Wednesday, December 8, 2010

15 people who irritate me

1. People who say "vade mecum" instead of "reference book."

2. People who claim the Bible is the world's most authoritative vade mecum.

3. People who declare I'm anti-Christian for pointing out that the Bible isn't the authority they think it is.

4. People who think aggressive ignorance is a legitimate point of view. (Especially in matters of global warming.)

5. People who attack a speaker's supposed motives instead of challenging his facts.

6. People who say "he went" instead of "he said" and "he goes" instead of "he says."

7. People who say "I was like . . ." instead of "I thought . . ." or the rest of it.

8. People who say "Me and him went to the park."

9. People who say "Comin' with?" (Unless they're from Chicago. They can't help it.)

10. People who wait until the sales clerk rings up the total before digging deep into their purses for their cash or credit cards. Especially when I'm seventh or eighth in line.

11. People who say "Thank you" to the sales clerk after handing over their money. What?

12. People who take five minutes to tell me what they didn't like about my book before taking five seconds to tell me what they liked. (If they ever get around to it.)

13. Well-to-do people who declare that they'll wait and check my book out of the library instead of buying it. (Students and pensioners excepted.)

14. People who think all books should be free.

15. People who grab you by the lapel and tell you what irritates them.

No wonder I have few friends left. I'm fast turning into Andy Rooney.

(Feel free to contribute your own pet irritations in a comment.)


  1. 16. People who make lists of irritations

  2. do i get an exemption for #14 for being a librarian? or did i just blow it by not using capitals, as we've discussed?

  3. "so i was like, comin' with? to this guy on the bus and it turns out he was this anti christian guy and he just misunderestimated THE vade mecum in his novel, so me and him got into a discussion and so i grabbed him by the lapels and told him all the things i hated about his book, which he charges money for, but i showed him. even though i was recently the subject of lengthy senate negotiations, i got his book from the library."

    hm, sounds a little like mickey spillane, doesn't it?

  4. eric: i will overlook the lack of capitals just this once. your second message sounds like mark twain to me!

  5. I fear I'm guilty of #11 but I'm from Indiana, where we're all polite and self-effacing to the point of absurdity.

    I'd also like an exemption from #14, as I'm also a librarian. Sometimes I still can't get over how awesome the concept of FREE BOOKS is (yes, I know I subsidize with taxes, but still...)

  6. Need to refine No. 14: All books should be free -- when they finally emerge from copyright. In the meantime, libraries are BUYING new books, so their authors are getting paid, and I'm fine with the libraries providing the books free to their patrons. My beef is with members of the computer generation who think ALL information should be free. Ain't no such thing as a free lunch, buddy. Gathering and writing costs time and money.

  7. It's ok, Henry. Some of us like Andy Rooney.

  8. People who say "different than" or "different to" instead of "different from".
    Apologising when someone else has stepped on your foot.
    Putting apostrophes in the wrong place. Putting apostrophes instead of "s" in plurals.
    People who write "it's" when they mean its.

    I could go on because I love my language and hate to see it continually abused (I forgive Americans as they can't help themselves - joke!)

  9. Stephen, thank you for giving us English, but as you clearly can see, we needed to improve it some.

  10. People who don't know the difference between there, their, and they're. Also, people who don't know the difference between your and you're.