Everyone has annoyances. Things that drive them up a wall. I present the following for your consideration.
- When people say crap like “I killed abs at the gym today” or “I shredded some pecs today.”
Dammit people. I’m proud of you for having more willpower and masochism than I. I don’t even mind that you are proud of yourself for dragging your butt to the gym and working out because I sure didn’t today and probably won’t. You earned a bit of brag time. You did not earn the right to make up phrases that make no contextual sense. Unless your workout began with running from your life from a freakin’ werewolf who briefly caught you across the chest with razor sharp claws, tearing apart skin and muscle and ended with you snapping his wolfy neck with your bare hands, you didn’t kill anything. Nothing was shredded. Those words don’t have anything to do with the activity in which you just partook. Yes, I know. Slang. I use it too. But in this instance I’m wholly and unabashedly applying a double standard. You sound like a moron. Stop it. Stop it right now.
- When people feel that the amount of experience they have is always relevant in a conversation.
Especially when trying to solve a problem. Don’t get me wrong, experience counts for a lot and I respect those people who have been in the industry for any decent duration of time. I go to them for advice and consider many of them mentors. But the minute you feel the need to remind folks “Well, I’ve been here for 14 years…” it invalidates any argument you have made, will make or could have made. To me this signifies you feel you are losing the debate and are throwing the adult version of a temper tantrum. It happens constantly in the writing world. Struggling with a plot line and someone chimes in their gem of “Well in my seventeen years of writing, I’ve never seen that work out.” If you truly have garnered significant experience in a field, career or problem that needs solving, it is because you paid attention in the last x number of years and you apply those lessons learned to actually solving the bloody problem! Now tell me that this person tried this same thing and failed because of x and y and z and you have my rapt attention. On that note, doesn’t matter if a person has been around twenty-five years or two months; a good idea, well thought-out and applicable, is still a good idea.
- Crinkling chip bags.
Oh, I hate that sound. Back in 2010, these nearly made my head implode. You’d think I’d be skinnier for my extreme aversion to the tinny, plastic-y squeal of rustling chip bags. Nope. I dump my discs of potato goodness into a plastic container for freshness and easy access.
- Stupid grammar rules.
Let’s get one thing straight. Most grammar rules are fantastic. It’s unifies the effort to communicate with each other, creating smooth and fluid structures under which we understand each other and express ideas and opinions. But there are some grammar rules that are just stupid. This particular struggle makes my career of choice just a little more irksome from time to time. As a writer, I know what the rules are. I think they are stupid. But I have to follow them. For instance, split infinitives. Who the hell came up with that? Why does it matter at all if I say “To boldly go” or “To go boldly”? It doesn’t. It doesn’t matter at all. The exact same idea has been communicated with no mix-up as to intent. Someone is going boldly. It’s the rule of monkeys at this point and has been a long-standing debate. And why can’t you start a sentence with a conjunction or end a sentence with a preposition? Seriously, its a weird position I’ve put myself in.
On an slightly related note, commas confuse me. I don’t consider commas a subsection of stupid grammar rules. Just know that figuring out where these dumb things go manages to flip my brain out. ,
These are not real problems. No one will die as a consequence for any of these things. (Well maybe for the chip bag thing should that Sun Chips bag ever be revived…) They are just annoyances, things that make me go just a little twitchy. That’s all.