Monday, July 27, 2009

Pet Peeves

I was recently reading in a forum topic entitled 'Grammar Pet Peeves' and suddenly realized that the persons posting in the thread seemed to have forgotten something: Pet Peeves and what they really are... they are called pet peeves because they are Pet-ty Peeves (aggravations) that are meaningful only to themselves. They ask questions or make generalized statements that leave something to be desired while giving an insightful glance into their own minds. If something is a pet peeve then it means that it (whatever it is) is probably over-looked by 99.9% of the population. For instance, if the misuse of words or phrases or the occasional slip of the tongue or pen (as the case may be) makes someone a moron, they forget that the majority of persons listening or reading would also have to fall into the moron category.

One such complaint that grabbed my attention mentioned that the writer was a college professsor. What the poster did not mention was that he/she, while not a college professor, was a self-proclaimed auditor of words. The point being that even though the college professor was a man of great learning and a best-selling author and the poster merely a reader, he was of necessity, a Moron simply because he used grammar and/or spelling that irritated her. Apparently, he did not seem such a Moron to others, now did he?

I find this quite humorous. As a writer, imperfect of spelling and grammar (as all writers are), I am eternally grateful that not all readers are so well qualified to denigrate and dissemble another's works simply based on the mechanics of the work. Surely there were errant brushstrokes in Da Vinci's Last Supper, in Michaelangelo's Sistina Cappella and yet, the overall impact of their work is breathtaking. I wonder if Leonardo had persons milling about with magnifying glasses looking to see if he might have gotten outside the lines on his paint-by-numbers once in a while?

I found myself on the thread defending our former President from persons complaining about his mispronunciation of particular words in his speeches before I realized how silly it all was in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, good grammar and correct spelling are essential selling points for authors who expect their works to succeed, but it is unlikely that we will ever be able to please everyone, unlikely that we will ever turn out a perfect book. I especially like the critic who suggests that an author need only turn on MS spell/grammar check to correct it. Geesh, if it was that simple!

But here's a pet peeve for you: What about the guy in the scooter chair that comes driving into the public restroom and rams the door of the handicapped stall and learns that it is occupied. He invariably begins to complaint about people using the handicapped stall who are not handicapped. Well, I usually ask him "How do you know that the person in question is not handicapped? Not all handicapped persons drive scooter chairs!" Well, duh!!


  1. True enough about the meaning of pet peeves. Still, grammatical pet peeves are bothersome for a majority of folks.
    If you are grammatically challenged, or let’s face it, a grammatical snob who will catch the grammatical error in the title of this blog, you owe it to yourself to check out these grammatical pet peeves and tips at Top 40 Grammar Pet Peeves

  2. I totally agree with your post and I guess the writers blog you were on didn't simply just google it XD But it really annoys me! I wrote a post about my own fiction pet peeves, it includes some additional ones that you may not have talked about but I hope you will read and tell me what you think :)