We all have our pet peeves, things that annoy us out of all reasonable proportion. We shouldn’t let them bother us, but they do. Below please find some of mine. Most of them relate to excessive political correctness or courtesy, or lack thereof. Some bemoan what I consider unnecessary change. Perhaps, you agree; perhaps, not. Perhaps, I missed some that annoy you. Let me know.
- Many drivers behave as if they are the only ones on the road. They are oblivious or ignorant of the rules of the road or, perhaps, they are cognizant of them but too arrogant to concede that they have to obey them.
- Driving while texting, emailing, eating, fiddling with the radio or influenced by other distractions.
- Driving too slowly in the left lane or HOV lane thereby clogging up the highway. A good rule of thumb. If you’re not passing another vehicle, be courteous and move over.
- In a parking lot be mindful that people who are backing out of a parking space cannot always see you coming, especially if you are driving too fast.
- Don’t walk behind a car that is backing out of a space, especially if you are texting or emailing. They may not be able to see you, and, obviously, you won’t see them. Be aware that in a collision between a car and a person, the car will always win.
- Learn how to enter and exit a highway properly. For example, maintain appropriate speed and time your entrance to blend in with the traffic. Don’t drive to end of the ingress lane and stop to wait for an opening. You might be waiting there long enough to take a nap.
- At four-way-stop intersections if you have the right of way, take it. When you hesitate to do so, you confuse the other driver(s) as to your intentions. If you end up in an “Alphonse and Gaston” situation, the chances for an accident increase substantially.
- When did slow drivers start driving in the middle lane instead of the right lane? Again, move over to the far right, and don’t clog the highway.
- If another driver signals he or she wants to enter your lane, please allow them to do so. Don’t speed up to prevent them. More than likely, they’re not trying to cut in front of you; probably, they need to switch lanes to, for example, make a turn or exit the highway.
- What happened to “common courtesy?” Somewhere along the line it ceased being common.
- Women/seniors, do you find that few men hold the door for you, offer to carry a heavy package for you, or offer you their seat on a train or bus?
- If you are out with family or friends don’t ignore them in favor of your iPhone or other device. It is not uncommon to see a family sitting in a restaurant where each member is on his own device the entire meal. No conversation. No interaction. Why even bother to go out together?
- If you want to wish a family member or a friend happy birthday or happy anniversary don’t do so by email or text. I find this trend disturbing. In my opinion, they are too impersonal, almost like you don’t really care enough to be bothered. Call them or send a real card.
- In an office, if the person to whom you wish to speak is close walk over and talk to them face to face. Rather than trading several emails or texts, one conversation will normally resolve the issue. Additionally, if the matter is sensitive we now know it is ill-advised to discuss it in an email or text.
- Appropriate grammar seems to be disappearing. Examples abound. Too many people say, for example, “I seen him,” “Me and Joe went shopping,” or “If I was you.”
- Virtually no one uses the word “whom” when appropriate.
- When did English cease to be the universal language in America? How come whenever one calls customer service one now has to “press one” for English? I’m not trying to be politically incorrect. Just asking.
- Many people do not say “please” when making a request, and “your welcome” is disappearing.
- When was the last time anyone addressed you as “Sir” or “Ma’am?”
- In the last few years a small, but very vocal, group has been engaged in a “war” on male pronouns. This group has decided that they are indications of misogyny and is demanding that the other 90% or so of us purge them from our vocabulary.
- At least one university, Purdue, has advocated using only gender neutral pronouns. Thus, in their eyes, for example, “waiter” is now “waitperson” or “server.” “Mailman” is now “mail carrier.” And, so forth. How far does the PC crowd want to take this? What should we call a “man-to-man” defense in basketball? “Woman-to woman” defense? “Person to person” defense? In baseball, should we call a “first baseman” a “first baseperson?”
- How ridiculous do we want to get. Perhaps, the investment firm, Goldman Sachs should be forced to change its name to Goldperson Sachs? Just kidding, or maybe not.
What’s in a name? Apparently quite a lot. For several years, self-appointed pc police have been trying to force sports teams, such as the Washington Redskins, the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves to change their names on the basis that they are demeaning to and biased against Native Americans. Again, a small but vocal minority is trying to legislate for the rest of us. The fact of the matter is that (a) at least two polls, one by the Washington Post and the other by the Annenburg Public Policy Center, have found that a clear majority of NAs are NOT offended by the names, (b) as privately owned teams the owner can choose any name he wants, and (c) many high school teams carry the name “Redskins,” including at least two of which are located on NA reservations and have a majority of NA students. But, those self-appointed arbiters of what is right and appropriate for the rest of us have not given up. Perhaps, short people should organize protests of the name “Giants.”
We all know that money talks. One annoying example of this is the trend to naming ballparks for corporate sponsors who pony up enough money for the privilege. For example, take major league baseball. As recently as 1994 only one ballpark had the name of a corporate sponsor, Busch Stadium, and one could put an asterisk on that, because the Busch family also owned the team that played there – the St. Louis Cardinals. Conversely, presently, the stadia of all but nine teams are named for a corporate sponsor, and many of them have gone through multiple iterations. How many of the nine can you name? Unless you are a big fan, I would say “not many.” See the answers below.
These corporate name are too non-descript and bear no relation to the teams that play there. For instance, do White Sox fans identify with Comiskey Park or US Cellular Field. Do Astros fans identify their team with Minute Maid Park or the Astrodome? Who plays at Chase Field (Diamondbacks) or Qualcomm Stadium (Padres)? Would you like to see Yankee Stadium renamed as, say, General Motors Park?
So, there you have it. Those are the things that bother me. I’m sure I omitted some annoying things. What bothers you (besides, perhaps, my blogs)?
I don’t mean to sound like a curmudgeon, but I believe personal interactions and traditions are important. What’s your opinion.
Quiz answer: Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Nationals Park, Marlins Park, Kauffman Stadium, and the aforementioned Yankee Stadium. No need to identify the teams that play there. The name says it all.