Irritation. Aggravation. Complete and total exasperation!
- Punctuation (subtopic: grammar). No, let me rephrase that. PUNCTUATION, PEOPLE! This is seriously not a hard concept to grasp. The English language is malleable, and punctuation plays an enormous part in determining what a phrase means. I strongly believe that everyone should have a handle on this, but if you’re writing in a public forum (like advertising or the internet)? For real, you need to have your shit together.
- Plurals (subtopic: grammar). Why, oh why, do people insist on using apostrophes to create plurals? It’s enough to drive me to the brink. I GET IT. Some words just look weird when you make them plural, but that doesn’t mean you get to tinker with them until you feel better! Family surnames seem to get people’s panties in a particular twist. Trust me: the Smiths live on the next block, not the Smith’s. If you’re truly troubled by this, just avoid the whole issue and refer to them as the Smith family. This works miracles on holiday cards and mailboxes alike.
- Homonyms (subtopic: grammar). Are we still having this conversation? Honestly?! Surely as a society we’ve progressed to a point where we understand that “you’re (you are) going to your (belonging to) grandma’s house” uses TWO DISTINCT WORDS. Do they sound the same? Yes. But does that make them interchangeable? NO. Much like there/their, its/it’s, and to/two/too all have specific and separate meanings. Get on board, people, and learn to proofread.
(Are you noticing a grammar freak trend? Yeah. I own that.)
Now on a non-grammar related note:
- Cigarettes and what seems to be the culture surrounding the smokers. Far be it for me to lump an entire group of people together based on a single vice, but…leaving ground out cigarettes on sidewalks? Gross. And the whole “throw a lit cigarette butt out the car window” habit. I mean, what the hell?! I’m driving down the road, minding my own business, when suddenly something that’s still on fire is flying toward my windshield. Not cool, man.
- The fact that sweet tea is actually considered a seasonal beverage in New England restaurants and is therefore unavailable in the winter. (I’m sorry, I know a bunch of you southerners just died a little inside.) — They do balance this flaw nicely with the most incredible clam chowder, but still…
- And, per BrightSide’s request, liquor-cycles. (Interestingly enough, this is pronounced liquor-sicles, like the ending of popsicles. Don’t ask me why.) For those of you uninitiated into this particular road experience, liquor-cycles are mopeds primarily ridden by people without drivers’ licenses (having lost them due to, well, liquor). Considered very useful for getting to the ABC store. Seriously. The “vehicles” have no tags so I’m pretty sure they’re not street legal, and they don’t seem able to go faster than 35 mph. Due to Murphy’s Law, you’re most likely to get stuck behind a liquor-cycle when you’re in a hurry, driving on a back road, with no passing zone in sight.
And yes, I’m sure some people would list “crazy grammar freaks” among their pet peeves. I suppose we’ve all got our cross to bear…