Bruno causes utter umlaut confusion at The Guardian

Sacha Baron Cohen isn’t just upsetting sections of the gay community with his latest movie, Brüno. He’s causing all manner of confusion for sub-editors at The Guardian.

First, subs received this email:

A note about Brüno’s umlaut

Hello – it looks like our diligence with the umlaut may be scuppering

our SEO, as everyone’s searching without umlaut.

So please could you leave out the umlaut from headline, link-text, standfirst, trail and slugwords.

Many thanks


Next came this:

Re: A note about Brüno’s umlaut

Just clarify that:

– we should still use the umlaut in print headlines.

– we should launch web stories without the umlaut in the furniture

– once the article appears on Google*, we should update the furniture and put the umlaut back in.

* you can check this by searching for the headline in quote marks on Google.



Finally (or possibly not), subs received this:


Bruno’s umlaut –  update


re: Sacha Baron Cohen’s film Brüno

In a change to last night’s instruction, from now on please do not use an umlaut in the headlines and furniture for web stories.

Print headlines should still use the umlaut however.

Web subs, you can change headlines on front pages to include the umlaut.



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