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Thread: Really trivial stuff that bugs you

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    When people use the wrong "its." Of all the grammar failings I see, it's the one that bothers me most. No, I don't know why.
    No surprise that I second that, but I think I know the reason(s).

    People who read properly are entitled to expect certain things in a sentence. If a sentence begins My current home address is, you expect it to continue along the lines of, 32 Station Road; if it actually continues with a cottage in the countryside, you are compelled to rewind, work out that you have to delete the word "address" and start again. And you probably think, "Why did the writer throw in the word 'address' when it just misleads?"

    If you come across an it's in a sentence, you are led to believe the writer is either talking about the current state of a thing (it is) or the present perfect (it has - a past event that has present relevance). For example, "It's cold today." "It's always worked up till now."

    But when it's incorrectly used as a possessive - "The dog likes it's food." - you have to rewind for the sole reason that the writer has not bothered to learn how to use its/it's properly, even though it's incredibly easy.

    Honestly, it's not as if we say hi's car or he'r horse!

    In many cases, the writer has learnt one language. Heck, there was even one occasion a few years ago here on BAUT itself when a BAUTer started a thread to complain that his word processor had advised him that he was using the wrong form!

    I don't tolerate the wrong form of it's/its from my students when I'm teaching them English, but then again, they generally seem to get it. So why can't native English speakers?

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    I don't tolerate the wrong form of it's/its from my students when I'm teaching them English, but then again, they generally seem to get it. So why can't native English speakers?
    Because not many have been taught well, or at all. Generally, I find the standard of English from native English speakers on internet forums absolutely appalling, as if few people read what they have typed before submitting it. BAUT seems to be an exception, by the way.

  3. #33
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    Another annoyance, increasing in frequency at all levels of writing, is the use of approximate homonyms (spelling it the way it sounds). As more and more communication seems to be by sound and rebus, the idea that vale and veil, for instance, mean different things is disappearing.

    I am alzo shur Im in a miner group hear.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    But aside from what I mentioned earlier, what really bugs me with tennis commentators is their penchant to immediately analyze and attribute some reason for a missed shot - "He went for too much", "She really tightened up on that return" and the like, when the more accurate thing to say would be "He missed the shot". John McEnroe is perhaps the worst.
    Queue the inevitable xkcd reference

  5. #35
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    Something that annoys me way more than i'd like to admit is the log out button that asks me if i'm sure i want to log out. It's not that i'm asking it to format my hard drive or something. And even if (and that's a big if) i were to somehow accidentally click it one time out of ten, it's still less work to log in again once after that mistake than having to acknowledge logging out ten times.

  6. #36
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    Media. The word is plural. Deal with it.

  7. #37
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    Really trivial stuff that bugs me? Really trivial stuff that doesn't bug me. That really bugs me.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    That apparent phenomenon is called the 'announcers curse' on golf telecasts. It's actually an excellent example of observation bias (if that's the right bias term). The announcer says something like "Tiger hasn't missed a put inside 6 feet all day" and Tiger proceeds to miss a <6 ft putt. It seems to happen so often that you're left thinking there's something to it. If you didn't know better, that is.
    Speaking of golf....

    Commentators that refer to a 250 yard drive or an approach shot that lands 10 feet from the cup as a perfect shot. 300 yards or in the cup would have been less than perfect?
    "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. There is much you have to learn. Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." --Galaxy Being

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Fake rock or bricks on the front of houses, with no conceivable structural purpose, and often hanging in space on a surface that sticks out from the foundation....
    Could they have been hiding a satellite dish? Some HOAs are fussy about what can be seen from the street.

    Nick

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    When people use the wrong "its." Of all the grammar failings I see, it's the one that bothers me most. No, I don't know why.
    The one that bugs me the most is the use of "loose" when "lose" is meant.

    Nick

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
    The one that bugs me the most is the use of "loose" when "lose" is meant.
    The one that bugs me is "labor" when "labour" is meant.....

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    When people use the wrong "its." Of all the grammar failings I see, it's the one that bothers me most. No, I don't know why.
    Something I feel irritated about - this peculiar use of a plural with an apostrophe when dealing with an acronym. So I have one DVD but somebody else has 2 DVD's. I in fact have several DVDs. What's you view on that? Neither looks quite right. [scratching-head smiley]

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Beardsley View Post
    No surprise that I second that, but I think I know the reason(s).
    That makes sense and is a beautiful analysis, Paul. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike alexander View Post
    Another annoyance, increasing in frequency at all levels of writing, is the use of approximate homonyms (spelling it the way it sounds). As more and more communication seems to be by sound and rebus, the idea that vale and veil, for instance, mean different things is disappearing.
    I proofread Graham's homework. That's one of his most frequent mistakes, and I can't quite figure out how to teach him not to make it. I think the problem is that, because of his dyslexia, he mostly listens to audio books instead of reading, so he doesn't have the same automatic understanding of which word is correct in the situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
    Something I feel irritated about - this peculiar use of a plural with an apostrophe when dealing with an acronym. So I have one DVD but somebody else has 2 DVD's. I in fact have several DVDs. What's you view on that? Neither looks quite right. [scratching-head smiley]
    In general, the current usage is not to use the apostrophe unless it's a single letter. So when you are discussing DVDs, mind your p's and q's. Remember, it isn't the '90s anymore.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
    Could they have been hiding a satellite dish? Some HOAs are fussy about what can be seen from the street.

    Nick
    Nope. It's just "decoration". Decoration that would cause me to veto the purchase of the house in question. I'll see if I can take a picture in the next couple of days, there are lots of these abominations in the area.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luckmeister View Post
    Retail clerks who ask "How are you?" but don't want to hear that you've had a crappy day.
    Even worse: Telemarketers that ask that. Well, telemarketers in general (I'm on the no-call list so what they do is technically illegal anyway), but especially when they try to pretend they're actually having a conversation with you; "And how are you doing today, sir/ma'm?" I always answer "Busy. Get off my phone."
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Even worse: Telemarketers that ask that. Well, telemarketers in general (I'm on the no-call list so what they do is technically illegal anyway), but especially when they try to pretend they're actually having a conversation with you; "And how are you doing today, sir/ma'm?" I always answer "Busy. Get off my phone."
    My mother used to try to engage them in conversation, usually getting around to "where are you calling from?" They'd generally be hanging up on her before she hung up on them.

    I'm opposed to the death penalty in general but find myself willing to make an exception for telemarketers, spammers, and malware writers.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  17. #47
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    How about when you use the correct "it's" (e.g., "'It's going to rain,' he said.") and the half-witted editor automatically removes the apostrophe? You'd be better off with a zero-wit editor in charge, because he'd leave it alone.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I'm opposed to the death penalty in general but find myself willing to make an exception for telemarketers, spammers, and malware writers.
    Not telemarketers themselves, because otherwise, it's been nice knowing you. (Assuming your death penalty is retroactive, of course.) But the people who decided that it's an effective and efficient marketing technique and hire telemarketers. Spammers and malware writers, I'm with you.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    In general, the current usage is not to use the apostrophe unless it's a single letter. So when you are discussing DVDs, mind your p's and q's. Remember, it isn't the '90s anymore.
    More proof that I'm stuck in the '90s.

  20. #50
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    When you're driving down a country road and someone comes up to it from a side street. Every time that there is no one in front or behind me(maybe one person following), they peel out to get in front of me without causing a wreck...and then they stop in the middle of the road 30 seconds later to turn on to a second side road(or driveway). Really?! Would it kill you to just wait the 5 seconds and not inconvenience others? Is your time that important? Now I know where you live!

    They never go on for more than a minute down the road. If someone waits and pulls out behind me, they'll be following me for a bit. If they peel out in front of me, I already know that I'll have to slow down again. The impatience of some is amazing. All you country folk, you have been put on notice.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Oh yeah, oblivious people blocking the aisles in the supermarket bug the heck out of me.
    I've observed the techniques my mother uses to deal with that. They're quite effective.

    If someone is just standing around blocking an aisle, but doesn't have a shopping cart, she'll roll her cart up close to them and give them a few seconds to move. If they don't move, she'll say, loudly enough that half the store can hear, "EXCUSE ME. THERE ISN'T ENOUGH ROOM FOR MY CART, AND I NEED TO GET TO THE OTHER END OF THE AISLE." That usually embarrasses them into moving.

    If there's an unattended cart in the middle of an aisle, she'll use her own cart to give it a loud bump. If she can just push past it, she will. In any case, the bump is usually enough to get the other shopper to notice and retrieve their cart.

    If someone is just standing around and blocking an aisle with their cart, she'll give their cart a small bump with hers (that's a great way to get someone's attention), and will say something like, "Oh, excuse me. I thought there was enough room to pass." Never mind that there would need to be another foot or so of clearance. Anyway, that usually gets them to move their cart, though with a dirty look, as if it's her fault they're blocking the aisle.

    Of course, she has the advantage of being a senior citizen, so techniques that work well for her might not out as well for someone younger. But it is hilarious looking at an aisle blocker's face when she plays bumper cars with their cart.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

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  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Not telemarketers themselves, because otherwise, it's been nice knowing you. (Assuming your death penalty is retroactive, of course.) But the people who decided that it's an effective and efficient marketing technique and hire telemarketers. Spammers and malware writers, I'm with you.
    I was entering into a marketing partnership with a gal a few years ago. I flat-out refused to telemarket and she flat-out insisted. The partnership quickly dissolved over that one issue.
    "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. There is much you have to learn. Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." --Galaxy Being

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShinAce View Post
    The impatience of some is amazing.
    You really shouldn't be so hard on yourself

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luckmeister View Post
    I was entering into a marketing partnership with a gal a few years ago. I flat-out refused to telemarket and she flat-out insisted. The partnership quickly dissolved over that one issue.
    Blessings upon you! Given our locations, I worked for a company that she might well have hired to get the work done.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Blessings upon you! Given our locations, I worked for a company that she might well have hired to get the work done.
    Possibly. She ended up selling her wares on QVC. She even made the on-camera pitch herself. I'm sure she did well... but without me (I'm glad I wasn't dating her).
    "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. There is much you have to learn. Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." --Galaxy Being

  26. #56
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    Bad kerning.

    Bad design, in general. I know a lot of people are just copying the designs of whatever wares they're trying to peddle cheap these days, but they somehow insistently fail to copy the function as well as the form. Designers of kitchenware (mixing bowls, water heaters, anything with a spout...), I'm looking at you.
    It's come to the point where I would rather get a 3d printer to make everything myself than buy any of this *redacted*, no matter the price (and price is not an indicator in this case!).


  27. #57
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    Maybe this isn't so petty. Packaging carefully designed to prevent retrieval of an item without either damaging yourself or the item. I make some exception for certain medical packaging (there are strong rules as well as protection from air, humidity and so on there). I also recognize that putting a cubic centimeter electronic item in a cubic meter of forcefield plastic as an antitheft procedure makes some sense. But getting the strawberries out of the container without a deep skin cut or berries all over the floor seems a bit much.

  28. #58
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    Pre-Split English Muffins.

    They are sometimes branded that way like it's a bonus. Used to be, long ago, you'd slice these with a knife and get two nice, smooth halves.

    With the new, improved, pre-split muffins, you pry into the (asymmetrically-placed) seam with a fork, and always end up with a 53% half-muffin, a 41% half-muffin, and 6% crumbs that mess up your toaster.

  29. #59
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    The grocery store was quite happy to sell me three boxes of soft drinks, each containing 12 cans, and to collect the deposit on the 36 returnable cans. Normally, fund-raising school clubs or sports teams come around periodically and take these off my hands. But that won't happen again for a while as school is out, and that corner of my garage where I store them is getting cluttered, so I took them with me on my last grocery run.

    The store refused to take back more than 24 cans at a time, even though I was returning them cleaned and packaged in their original boxes.

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    Pre-Split English Muffins.

    They are sometimes branded that way like it's a bonus. Used to be, long ago, you'd slice these with a knife and get two nice, smooth halves.

    With the new, improved, pre-split muffins, you pry into the (asymmetrically-placed) seam with a fork, and always end up with a 53% half-muffin, a 41% half-muffin, and 6% crumbs that mess up your toaster.
    Oh yeah, and bagels as well. When I'm King Of The World, the bakers will be required to either split them all the way or not at all.

    I used to have a long list of things I'd require when I become KOTW. Must dig that up and add the mismatched car wheels!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

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