Hi, it’s nice to meet you. I’m a huge nerd who enjoyed the grammar part of English classes in high school, and spent more of my childhood with my nose stuck in a book than outside playing with normal kids. As such, I have a lot of pet peeves about how people write and speak. Since I acknowledge my own nerdiness and am self aware enough to know that not many people care about these stupid things as much as I do, I generally keep my mouth shut. Also, I don’t want to be seen as pretentious and academically snotty by correcting people, which is part of my reason for holding it in. Except now, it’s all coming out. Here is my latest list, in no particular order:
* Acrosst/Acrossed instead of “Across”: What the hell is this? Strangely, it is just something I have become aware of from people who I’ve worked with for over six years. I’m going to chalk it up to a regional thing, since most people I know who do it are from the Midwest or middle of the country.
* I’m not sure how to type it out, but I’ve also noticed people from this same section of the country say the word “saw” (as in the past tense of “see”) as though there is an “L” either in the middle or at the end.
* My boss is famous for using the wrong words when she speaks. Often this is in business meetings, and it’s as embarrassing to have this happen in front of clients with your boss as it is to have your parents say something stupid in front of your friends. There are two standouts. The first is when she says something is a “mute point” instead of “moot point.” I’ve known the difference ever since I heard Rick Springfield’s song “Jessie’s Girl” in the 80s and looked up the word “moot.” The other makes me cringe and I might actually have to start correcting her because it is just too mortifying. Whenever any of the girls wear wedge-like sandals, in an effort to be fashionably hip and with it, she’ll say something like, “Cute wedgies!!” I might need to break it to her that a “wedgie” is what happens when your underwear is lodged up your ass, not a type of shoe.
* Of course I have the they’re/there/their and you’re/your pet peeves that many people do. I’d like to add its/it’s to this equation.
* Superfluous abbreviations. An abbreviation is used to denote possession or a contraction. Not plural. I once had an email from a colleague that had about four abbreviations that were entirely unnecessary. It took all the self-restraint I had not to correct it with red font and send it back to her.
* I’ve griped about this before, but I’m bringing it up again. “AS” It is sooooo overused as a contraction instead of “since” or “because”. I feel like the Brits can do this because it’s actually how they talk. When people stateside do it, it bugs me because it makes it feel like they’re trying to sound smart or snooty. If you wouldn’t speak that way, don’t write that way.
Sometimes venting in “Pet Peeve” post makes me feel better, but this one hasn’t yet. I think there are some that I am forgetting at the moment, so I may keep adding to this one.
Author’s Note: I thought of something else to add here. It drives me bonkers when people use the word “genius” as an adjective. It has become 100% socially acceptable to do so, but using Mike’s “forte” example, I just can’t get on board with it (although I don’t correct people like he does). I much prefer “brilliant,” like the Brits. I think some people have the same issue with the word “fail” being used as a noun, which is also very popular right now. I get their point, but that one doesn’t bug me as much for some reason. I guess everyone has their thing.