Monday, March 24, 2014

Pet Peeves: A 10 List

Since yesterday's post was an upbeat ode to the campus geese that bring joy into my heart, I feel justified in turning around and making today's post a quite curmudgeonly rant about all the things that ... don't.

The airing of my grievances is a fairly regular feature on my blog, so I think it's only fair that all the Slice of Lifers out there get a taste of it.

1. Distorted aspect ratios

When you upgrade from an ancient CRT monitor to a fancy-pants new widescreen LED, but do not upgrade your graphics card to handle the new display, you get a horrible-looking picture where everything is stretched out horizontally. I can't stand this, but what I really can't stand are the people who can.What do you mean, you don't notice that everybody's face looks like they've gained 10 pounds? How can you not see that the typography is all distorted? Argh! Why are you not bothered by this?

2. Spaced ellipses

Sometimes – apparently, often even – style guides will tell you that to create an ellipsis in your text, you should type 3 periods separated by spaces . . . like so. Do you know what happens when a line break falls right in the middle of your ellipsis? It gets broken up into three meaningless dots. Far better, in my opinion, to use the ellipsis character (which MS Word conveniently creates for you whenever you type three periods in a row) … like this. Not only do I prefer the compact look of the ellipsis character, but it completely avoids the problem of mid-ellipsis line breaks. Ah, if only every style guide would get with this program.

3. Pre-dressed salads

A salad is supposed to be healthy! Healthy, I say! How can I get my fiber and vitamins in a low-calorie format when it is slathered with a concoction of sugar and oil? It is not that hard to allow diners to choose how much dressing they want, if any, by serving it on the side. Oh, how I dream of the day when I don't have to always remember to order my salad without dressing.

4. Hiccups

Does anyone love these muscle spasms from hell? Sometimes when I have hiccups, I just want to break down and cry... but that would probably cause me to get hiccups.

5. Using periods mid-sentence for emphasis

Maybe this unconventional form of punctuation was cool in 1998, but now, I'm So. Over. It.

6. Facebook guilt trips

I'm not much into re-posting things I see on Facebook, or really, posting much of anything on Facebook at all, other than occasional one-liners, but when someone's post begins with the sanctimonious, "99% of you won't repost this, but..." that's pretty much a guarantee that I'll never want to repost it. Even if I think it's the coolest thing ever shared.

7. Auto-correct not reading my mind

Everyone hates auto-correct. Always taking your (correctly spelled) words and twisting them into something you didn't mean. But just as annoying is when it fails to auto-correct my legitimate mistakes. Just because I typed "bit" doesn't mean I actually wanted to say "bit!" I meant "but!" Come on! Read my mind, already (or at least read context clues. I know that's within your capacity, if someone would just program you right)!

8. Opening the windows in winter

I don't care how much you need the fresh air, or how bad the bathroom smells—no odor could be worse than suffering hypothermia every time I go to use the toilet. We live in the 21st century, and we did away with outhouses for a good reason. Just spritz some of that air freshener and let me keep my body heat.

9. Hashtags

I don't think I can escape them, but I don't have to like them. I can barely read my Twitter feed because the real content is buried under such a mess of hashtags. Do you think that counts as #firstworldproblems?

10. People who don't read

This has been a problem that has plagued me from the beginning of my working life. People call me asking stupid questions that they would have found the answer to if they'd spent 10 minutes searching the website. People contacting me with the very first question on the list of "Questions we can't answer" on our contact form. Potential Airbnb guests asking things like "Is the room private?" When "Private room" are literally the 2nd and 3rd words of the listing. I always think when I get a new job or start a new venture that maybe I won't have to deal with lazy idiots any more, but I always do.

There, now that I've got my grumpy on, I promise to follow up soon with a list of things that I do like!


Kay said...

You may have your grumpy on, but your list made me laugh. I am right with you on the Facebook posts. The quickest way to ensure that I will not share a post is to start it with a threat, promise, or guilt trip--no matter how good it is. Though sometimes, I've been known to copy it without the threat if I really like it.