My Pet Peeves | Blogust_07

We all have those things that irk us, grind our gears, make our blood boil, or our skin crawl. These can be big or small things, and we each have our own reasons that these things bug us, but here are mine.

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Bad grammar

My parents are both teachers. Every once in a while, I would look at students’ written tests and couldn’t believe what I (couldn’t) read. Hand-written tests and papers filled with “ta” instead of “to,” “u” instead of “you,” and  more “lols” than you can shake a stick at.

I have sympathy for people who make mistakes when they’re writing, I know I’ve made a few, but what bothers me is when people don’t care enough to even try. It’s so easy to look up the proper meaning of a word, or the proper use of punctuation, why not take these simple things more seriously? Every tweet, email, and text message I send is purposefully crafted, because right is better than wrong, and good writing is better than bad.

This isn’t me just picking on people for the sake of it, it can be incredibly practical. Too many times have I needed to reply to a friend’s text message because their aversion to basic grammar and spelling made the message too ambiguous. Too many times I’ve lost respect for a business contact when every other sentence in their emails ends with “lol.”

I shake my head every time I read a newspaper article or a published book that confuses “less” with “fewer” or “good” with “well” or “everyday” with “every day.” They should know better than that.

I go into more detail in this blog post.

lol

This dovetails nicely off the last point because I can’t understand how overused this expression is. For so many people this expression is now just a part of their vocabulary, and it doesn’t mean today what it used to. Have you ever actually laughed out loud when you typed “lol”? Have you ever seen anyone else do it? Have you ever actually ROTFL-ed?

Our diction matters. Consider using something else to make every text, tweet, and status update appear more casual than three letters that really don’t mean anything.

Hipsters

The definition of “hipster” is a person who follows the latest trends and fashions, especially those regarded as being outside the cultural mainstream. Through my experiences, I’ve found that what they really are is people who like and do things purposely because it’s not the mainstream. On the surface, they appear to not care what people think, when in reality they care about what people think more than anyone else. They make their decisions based on the opinions of other people, and go out of their way to circumvent cultural norms.

I’m a big fan of being true to yourself regardless of what other people think, all evidence of what hipsters do points to the contrary. If any person is doing, saying, or wearing what they truly like and enjoy, then more power to them. They have my full support. But people who do, say, or wear things for no other reason than because it’s different, they don’t have my respect.

Hyperbole

This is the most annoying thing that has ever happened in the history of the world.

See how annoying that is? Similar to when I was talking about appropriate grammar use earlier, appropriate word choice is also really important to me. I don’t ever want to misrepresent my ideas or make any ambiguous statements, and hyperbolic statements offer more opportunity for that to happen. I sincerely doubt that the video I just came across on Facebook is the “Funniest thing you’ll ever see!!”

Complaining

Yesterday I talked about how complaining is something that I choose not the engage in. What’s more is that it really annoys me when other people do it. I understand that people need to vent, but I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you have, that some people overdo it by oozing negativity; the complain about every little thing, to anyone who will listen, any time of day. Complaining is the biggest indicator of a non-winning player, and serves absolutely no purpose. I can’t imagine a bigger waste of time and energy.

Edit: It’s been pointed out to me how ironic this is, as it appears that I’m complaining about complaining. To me, it feels like I’m just venting, though. These are things that I see every day and am now getting my frustration about them out of my system. I make a point to not inundate other people with any negative thoughts or opinions that I may have.

Spam

Marketers ruin everything.” Some new thing comes along that grabs people’s attention, then we get our hands on it and make it all about selling stuff. For this reason, I know why spam email was born, because people wanted to sell stuff to people who never wanted to be sold to in the first place. What I can’t believe is how blatantly insincere they are with their offers, and more often than not how cheesy and transparent their pitches are. Spam email hasn’t gotten more sophisticated as spam filters have, they’re still as cheap and nonsensical as ever. Like, how many Nigerian Princes are there in the world, anyway?

Nagging / Micro-managing

One of the biggest sticking points in my relationship with my parents is their tendency to try and micro-manage my life under the guise of making “suggestions.” My argument is that I should be allowed to take or leave a suggestion, but what I encounter is a request that I am expected to say yes to no matter my personal feelings or opinions on the matter.

What I need in life is the opportunity to make my own decisions. Whether I win or lose, I want to be beholden to nobody. That’s what I like about being an entrepreneur… for better or for worse, I have nobody breathing down my neck and directing my every move. I do get that from clients now and then, but I make sure to set clear boundaries and make sure that they trust me that I know my work better than they do.

#1 Movie in America

It annoys me that so many movies that come out in theatres are the “#1 Movie in America” and have all of these great, identical-sounding soundbites. When all we ever hear during a movie’s promotion is 5-star ratings and impeccable reviews we become desensitized to them and they end up meaning nothing. Needless to say, I put no stock in these ratings and wait to judge a movie for myself.

“We didn’t shake on it”

How many times have you made a bet with a friend and this was their response? My thinking is that if you aren’t willing to pay after losing a bet then you shouldn’t have made the bet in the first place. Your integrity is everything, and this excuse speaks to a larger issue about not honouring your commitments.

I Googled it, a verbal agreement is binding. Your word should be enough.

I want my $50, Adam.


Blogust is my attempt to challenge myself to write every day for an entire month. The end goals include practice writing, more material on my blog, establishing a daily writing habit, and accomplishing a personal challenge. I have not given these posts any forethought, all prompts were conceived by other people.

 

3 thoughts on “My Pet Peeves | Blogust_07

  1. Hey Matt,
    Just came across your blog and noticed a few things. Not that I was looking but that’s how I read. Like you, I am a bit of a logophile and as such think that expression in any form has its own unique existence that cannot be extracted from its current or any other context. With that said, I too feel the overuse of “LOL” to be cringeworthy, but I think you are a bit reductive in saying that it is without meaning. It may not be literal, and I doubt if it ever actually was, but it certainly is a pseudo self-reflexive signifier of one’s own emotional state, if not meant as one to simply appease the receiver, and is now commonplace in electronic dialogue. Which in fact gives it quite a bit of meaning. It’s the “nothing is still something” argument. So yes, I agree with you…somewhat…but perhaps, your choice, I’m not “nagging”, we should pay closer attention to all language and expression no matter how seemingly insignificant.

    The “LOL” dilemma ties slightly into your it’s square to be a hipster argument in that, if “being true to yourself regardless of what other people think” is something to be regarded as exemplary then no matter what hipsters or anyone else choses to do could ever be “to the contrary”. So, regardless of how they form their opinions those are still their opinions. Even if they are cliche and seemingly hive-minded, perhaps that is who they truly are, or at the very least, who they wish to be at the moment.

    Let me jump around a bit here and go back to your first “peeve”, bad grammar. I know you said that you yourself are guilty of it, I certainly am as well, but you are missing an “I” in the very first paragraph and there are several other mistakes throughout your blog. Caution when complaining about grammar, the worst kind of trolls are educated ones. I find that a second pair of eyes helps to catch these mistakes, or to simply have your macbook/pc read things back to you. Again, I’m not nagging. Trust me, my grammar isn’t anything to write home about (pun intended). Just felt that you might, and hopefully, would welcome some constructive criticism and at the least a dialogue with someone about what you wrote. You clearly have a passion for it, as you should.

    Moving on… you complain about complaining which is not only paradoxical but then you go on to say, “it really annoys me when other people do it”. This feels like a joke at first, but the rest of the argument doesn’t seem to support that notion. Did I miss something?

    Before the section on complaining you wrote how you were “peeved” by the use of hyperbole then you go on to use hyperbole in your argument against spam saying that, “Marketers ruin everything”. This is where I begin to think you are joking again…but again, I think you, or I, or both of us missed the punchline.

    Next, you have a very blanket statement that simply isn’t true. Not every movie that gets released in theatres receives the moniker “#1 Movie in America”. I think you would be better served here to discuss the idea of selective advertising rather than denying statements based on highly selective facts.

    Last but certainly not least. Don’t be discouraged by any of what I have written instead take it with a grain of salt, think on it and as you said, make your own decisions. But mostly, keep writing. By continuing to explore concepts and ideas in new and creative ways we can only ever improve. I promise you that and would certainly bet on it. Shake or no, you can hold me to it.

    Cheers, Jay

    1. Hey Jay

      First, thank you so much for reading, and for your feedback. I am taking everything you said as constructive and not just criticism, mainly because you offer helpful suggestions with each comment. So thank you.

      I’d like to state for the record that I squeaked this post out at 11:30pm before my midnight deadline after a very long day. My usual practice is to write something, sleep on it, read it over in the morning with a fresh set of eyes, and then click publish. Unfortunately, in this instance, I don’t even think I gave it a read-through before making it public. If I had I likely would have picked up on some of these mistakes.

      And that’s what most of them were, mistakes. Accidents. My issue with poor grammar, spelling, and diction is with the people who just don’t care. Some friends of mine say “Oh yeah, I know the difference but it doesn’t matter.” So they text me in a mangled form of English that I can’t even read. This is what bothers me, the blatant disregard, not mistakes. But I do appreciate you pointing out mine.

      I also went back and reworded a few things for clarity. For instance, “marketers ruin everything” is a generalization, but also a quote.

      What you’ve helped me realize is that I need to look over my work with a little more scrutiny, no matter what time it is. Again, I appreciate you reading and for taking the time to let me know what you think.

      🙂

  2. Matt,
    Glad you take it all in stride. One of a writer’s greatest tools is a thick skin. Keep up the good work and interesting reads.
    Cheers, Jay.

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