I have many pet peeves about a variety of things. I chalk this up to the fact that I am overly anal about certain things, most things. I know, I know, it can come across as being a total bitch and even more so, a “know-it-all” but still, I share these with you in the hopes that if you are guilty of any of these and think no one notices, you now know, I do.
First up is Language Skills. This is more of an injustice to the English language rather than just a typo, an oversight, a nonchalant who cares, etc. To me, this is a lack in education of the fundamentals of our written and spoken word. Without our actions, what do we have? Our written and spoken word. Here’s a list of the most common failures that simply get under my skin to the point where I am no longer focusing on what the author/speaker intended me to, but yet on the lack of proofreading/thought and respect for their craft.
- There, They’re & Their = It’s not that hard, really it isn’t. If I go all technical on most people, they’ll just glaze over. Instead, I like to use this as whipper snapper as an example: “Over there on the playground, Tommy and John are showing off their new toys; they’re pretty excited about them.” One sentence, three words used correctly. Location, possession, contraction.
- Merry, Mary, Marry = these don’t even sound the same yet are consistently misused. Merry = disposition/feeling (adjective). Mary = A females name. Marry = combine or join together. These words aren’t even remotely connected to one another in definition. I have another one of my fun-with-words sentence examples: “Mike asked Mary to marry him and they’ve decided to wait until spring to celebrate the merry occasion.” Bam!
- Ellipses = absolute chaos for most people. “…” is a very difficult thing for majority to understand. Though we all understand how the author intended us to read the ellipses, unfortunately, most of the time that’s not what the author intended to use. An ellipses is a series of 3 (not 5, 7, 2) dots (periods) separated by spaces before and after each dot, unless used following quotations, in which case, no spaces are necessary. It’s actually supposed to be used as an intentional omission of a word, sentence, or whole section from a text without altering its original meaning. It is not supposed to be used as a pause, collection of thought, exaggerated sarcastic build up, etc. The most correct way to use it is when you’re quoting someone and you don’t want to type out the entire quote verbatim, just the part that holds meaning for you. That would like something like this “… you aren’t as big of an idiot as I once thought.” Shocking, I know.
- Roof = the covering on top of a house, garage, car, etc. It’s not pronounced as the sound a dog makes. Equate it to “smooth” if you must, but just don’t say “ruf.”
- Drawer = the storage compartment lacking a lid that slides in and out of a desk, dresser or larger piece of furniture. Last time I checked, “draw” is an action, not a storage unit.
- Too & to, Its & It’s, Your & You’re = I can’t handle it.
- Valentine’s = Yes folks, that’s an “n” in there, not an “m”. I know, I know, it’s hard but please, for the love of all things holy, either learn to read, research the meaning of the day, or just don’t say the word but it is Valentine’s Day.
- Climactic, not to be confused with climatic. I love when people explain a movie as being anti-climatic. It would have so much more of an impact and progress the conversation much further if they actually used the word they thought they were using. Movies, unless we’re talking Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, A Perfect Storm (you get me here), are not climatic.
- Using “text/im’ing” language in emails is never acceptable, especially in a formal setting. Actually using them while speaking is even worse and makes you look like an idiot. If you feel the need to say Oh My God, then SAY IT, don’t say OMG. The only acceptable time that you should spell anything while speaking is when there are toddlers around you. Even then, most adults will ask you to repeat it because either they aren’t REALLY listening or their brain doesn’t operate in that way.
Second in line is Driving Technique. To me, there isn’t a “style” to driving, we don’t get to have our own “way” of doing things. There is a right way and a wrong way. It says so in the booklet, the street signs, the law that police officers enforce, oh yeah and on that thing we all took – the driving test.
- Lights out drivers. Wind shield wipers on = lights on. If mother nature is providing a reason for you to put your wipers on, then clearly there’s also a reason for your lights to be on. Unless you’re that asshole who drives around uselessly and unknowingly watching their wipers flick back and forth across your line of vision for absolutely no reason at all, there’s a reason your wipers are one. This also means that pretty much everyone else around you will also have their wipers on. Fun fact = Your headlights make it easier for other drivers to see your vehicle. Turn them on in bad weather, you tool.
- Read my mind drivers. Blinkers/Signals/Direction Indicators were built in to all vehicles for very specific reasons. Most of the time, the proper use of these magical lights is to make your intentions clear to the drivers around you for such things like turning, or pulling over, or turning, or better yet, turning. Signal dumbass. I, nor the other people around you, are mind readers, therefore, we are unable to simply just KNOW where you are going. This being said, just because you use your signals, doesn’t mean you are allowed to just willy nilly turn whenever/wherever you feel like it or whenever you are ready to. In cases that you actually do use your signal, here are a list of the reasons you will undoubtedly be called a douche OR be the recipient of the finger:
- Sit at a red traffic light in the left lane on a busy thoroughfare, wait for the light to turn green and then signal that you are turning left = DOUCHE.
- Drive at 70 miles per hour in the middle lane on the highway with your left OR right turn signal on for more than 10 seconds, providing no indication to the drivers around you if you are actually going to move or not = DOUCHE. (I call this “making a left around the world” by the way.)
- The simultaneous signal & move action can be so quick, one can actually miss it completely, in which case, the unsuspecting party will be honked at for not making room for the needy driver = DOUCHE.
- The shoulder asshole. On the side of highways & parkways, there’s a lovely “lane” called the Shoulder. This exists for multiple reasons, mostly for people who need to pull over. This lane should remain clear at all times except in the situation of NEEDING to pull over. This is not a driving lane. It’s not even a driving lane when there is traffic and your exit is RIGHT THERE. Nope, it’s never a driving lane. Not even for the people who think that their day is just so much more important than everyone else’s. When I’m sitting in traffic and I see those people start to come up on my right, I like to take the front of my truck and move it ever so slightly on to the shoulder, just enough so that they can’t pass me. I get honked at a lot for that move. Truthfully, once I stop them and the non-lane that they just made a lane, is now filled with just as much traffic, my world is at peace and it can begin to turn once again on the correct axis. You’re welcome.
- Car balls. A great theory to operate by is this: If you wouldn’t do what you’re about to do standing in public on a line, then don’t think it’s ok to do it with your 3 ton vehicle. The reason is very simple, when I slam my 4 ton steel vehicle in to yours, you won’t have your 3 ton vehicle anymore and in most cases, I’ll still have mine. Your Kia doesn’t hold a candle to my truck. Not to mention, you would not “cut” me or the 100 other people behind me if we were out of the car, you just wouldn’t. Sooooo, why would you think it’s ok to do it with your car exactly?
- The bad weather driver. These are the people that should have stayed home when it’s raining or snowing. They honestly believe that if they drive more than 15 miles per hour, the precipitation will simply melt their vehicle and they will be forced to reenact the death scene of wicked witch of the west. Rule of thumb, if you are afraid, don’t drive.
- Carnival cars = People who drive with their music so loud that the bass is actually rattling my windows. You know the type, the ones who roll down every window in their car, sit way back in their seat and try to look like they aren’t looking at anyone. News flash, we don’t think you’re cool (and your music normally blows.)
- Earbuddies. I’m not quite sure how the people who do this, think in any way that they are being safe. When you block out all sound around you, except for the music blaring through your ear buds, you have the potential to cause a major problem. How exactly do you hear sirens, or horns, or someone yelling to get your attention, etc? Last time I checked, your car came outfitted with this amazing device called “a radio.” If your radio doesn’t have the capabilities you are looking for, stop being cheap and upgrade it. In the meantime, make smarter decisions and remove the ear buds.
- Cabbies. Seriously, cabbies are the absolute worst drivers on the road. How could you possibly drive around a specific city/town every single day of your life, for a living, and still not know where you are going? They are kings of the fun treats bullet pointed in item 2 above. I’m pretty sure the reason they are so terrible is because they don’t own the car they are driving but I could be wrong. I’d love to know if they drive their own cars, in their own time, in the same way they do their cabs. If you see a cab/taxi, please, get out of the way and keep back 500 feet. They are notorious for sudden and unexplained jolts, turns or stops.
And finally, we have People Skills. I am a true believer in being nice, all of the time, until someone provides you a reason to not be nice. I’m blunt, which is not to be confused with being a bitch or obnoxious. If you are unable to have a conversation about dirt or the weather or that cloud right there or your shoes (get my point?) then please, don’t find your way near me. A conversation should be a two way street compiled of a series of listening and responding sequences by both parties, hopefully about the same topic.
- The Debbie Downer. You know those people, the ones who always have to add a somber tone to the conversation. They are full of negativity and are overly cautious in life in general. I’m fairly certain I know what could happen in most situations and I’m positive that I don’t need someone to remind me, especially when I’m excited about something.
- The Close Talker. We all have one. That person who essentially wants to BE YOU when you’re having a conversation with them. They could practically sit on your lap and wouldn’t think anything of it. As your conversation progresses, you look like you’re doing some form of modern dance: you take a step back, they eventually take a step forward. You take a step to the left, oh here they come with the step to their right. I find it’s easier to sit while talking to these folks, there’s only so much they can move at that point.
- The Cheerleader. This is the overly excited, high pitch conversationalist that can drive you slightly insane with their enthusiasm for what you thought was an ordinary conversation. These types can be a real bummer if you haven’t had your coffee yet.
- The Yesser. This is the person who really isn’t listening to what you are saying, they are just waiting for their turn to speak. They are lovely specimens.
- The Phone Gazer. This is the person who doesn’t look up from their cell phone while you are talking. Normally I like to envision myself beating them with their cell phone. (These types typically are also Yessers.)
- The Now, Me, Now. The person who will come to you when you are in the middle of doing something and don’t have the time to chat, and unleash a massive self indulgent conversation upon you while never realizing you don’t have the time. When you finally get a chance to speak, they lose interest quite quickly and move on leaving you realizing that, that was 10 minutes of your life that you are never going to get back.
Though I’d love to say that this was it for me, unfortunately I have many others but really, who has the time to write them all down, or in your case, read them all. ~K