Rachel Heath

Intentional Living: learning to be fully present

Pet Peeves: only a fraction of my l o n g list

If you’ve been following my blog for very long, you will understand why the name is so appropriate.  One of my (many) talents lies in always being able to find something to complain about.  It makes me feel better.  And I often contradict myself, which I accept and am ok with.  Stephen has on multiple occasions reacted with surprise when I declare my vehement love/hatred of a certain thing.  “But a few weeks ago, you said the opposite!”  I’m given to passionate diatribes which match my feelings at that moment.

However, many of my pet peeves have remained the same since I developed a personality.  As a writer, unsurprisingly many of the things that make me crazier than a monkey in a knife fight have to do with words.

Shortening words
For a while I thought only teenagers said things like “whatevs” and “phenom”, but in the recent months I’ve heard adults use this kind of language, and not in an ironic way.  I realize I might be stepping on some toes here, as a handful of friends and family members have embraced this sophomoric slang vocabulary.  But seriously, everyone.  If you’re over 19 and you don’t wear skinny jeans, I promise people are laughing at you.  Or at least whispering behind your back.

Adding “-y” or “-ies” to the end of words (often to children)
For example, “Did you get an ouchies?” (this doesn’t even make sense!) or “I’ll pour you more juicy.”  I find this infuriating and not in the least cute and charming.  Children can comprehend long before they can form sensible responses and relate them to you, and they certainly won’t be forming sensible anythings with their parents talking like this all the time.

Text language
I lament the gradual deterioration of the written word in today’s society, and I place the blame squarely on text messaging.  I frequently receive text messages from well educated adults who use “4” and “u” and other abominations in place of actual words.  This, I cannot forgive.  I can bury it deep inside me and try my best to cover the alarming twitch I seem to be developing.  But when language (I hesitate to even call it that) like this is used in more legitimate mediums of communication, like email… well, don’t be surprised if you never hear from me again.  I can’t take the risk of my twitch* becoming permanent.

Excessive exclamation marks
I always say that exclamation marks are like garlic, to be used thoughtfully and carefully and never ever overdone.  Now, I like garlic as much, or almost probably more, than the average person.  This is probably why my husband always chuckles quietly to himself when I recite my wise exclamation mark adage.  But that’s beside the point.  Women are overwhelmingly the common abusers of this potent form of punctuation.  When reading, say, a facebook status in which 80% of the sentences end in one or more exclamation points, you almost have to read it with the mental voice of a 17 year old Twilight fangirl with ADD.  And that’s just tiring.

Unnecessary quotation marks
This is less of a pet peeve than it is a source of mild amusement.  I like to read The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks, but after a page or two of posts, I go from laughing to chuckling to glowering silently to growling and clenching my teeth.  You see these amateurish signs everywhere from gas station bathrooms to office breakrooms that say things like “Please” don’t take my soda from the fridge, or whatever.  I can’t decide if you’re quoting from another sign or you mean it sarcastically.

People who put periods at end of questions
This is where my opinions really get heated.  Questions with no punctuation whatsoever on the end just make me disappointed.  But questions with a period at the end make me angry.  If you’ve taken the time to push the period key, you most certainly have the time to put a question mark.  For some reason, executives and important business types think they are exempt from this rule, and unfortunately, recipients of emails from these people are often left scratching their heads and wondering how someone with such questionable** communication skills managed to gain hold of such lofty responsibilities.

The word Irregardless
I maintain that this is not a word.  Dictionary.com will ask if you meant “regardless”, and even Merriam-Webster, while acknowledging that it is a word (psh, what do they know?) will suggest you don’t use it.  This is a perfect example of mass ignorance creating reality: if enough people continually use a non-word, eventually the standard conforms to idiocy.  This isn’t meant to be social commentary.  Just throwing it out there.

The word Disorientate; -ed; -ing
I realize that this is an actual word, used mostly in the UK, but it still sounds so wrong to me every time Bear Grylls says “disorientating” instead of “disorienting”.  No amount of hot British accent can remedy the downright weird feeling always I get.

* If you notice it, please, try not stare.  I’m sensitive about it.
** Questionable! Ha! Get it?
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4 thoughts on “Pet Peeves: only a fraction of my l o n g list

  1. Any other pet peevesI really liked it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Guilty as charged! Did you notice that I only used one exclamation point there. Happy? I don't even know when I started using multiple exclamation points, but it was probably during my junior high school years, and I've just never stopped doing it.

  3. Oh My. It's like you read my mind. I have the exact oppinions as you…must be why you were one of my prize students. ~Mrs. H

  4. Exactly how I feel (except i'm not so anal about the exclamation points). It's also really annoying when people put question marks on the end of sentences that aren't questions. I lose a little bit of my respect for a teacher every time they do that.

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