Thursday, July 4, 2013

Infuriation Station

Admit it, we all have things we find infuriating.  Ever the optimist, ever the pessimist, or a gray area in between the two, whatever you are, there are still things that get our blood (as people) absolutely boiling deep within the bowels of our soul.  Some minor, some major, but how we deal with them is what truly defines us as a person.  It is not the infuriations...or "pet peeves", if you will, that paint the canvas of our character, per say, but it is how we react to those pet peeves that truly define who we are.  You have them, your mother has them, your child has them, your grandmother has them...heck, EVERYBODY has some way, or some form.  As a teacher, I have to cognizant of what can set off any one of my students at any given time; as a wife, I have to know what buttons to not push of my husband's; as a daughter, there are certain ways I cannot act and things I cannot say to my parents; as an employee, I most definitely have a different demeanor around my my boss; as a friend, I steer clear of things that'll set my lovelies into a fit of burning rage of which they may or may not hold within towards me.  See what I mean?  We are human and we are not always happy.  Things piss us off, people piss us off, it's just dealing with them or even being cognizant of our buttons that make us who we are  You are not wrong for letting little things get to you and you are not wrong for letting big things get to you...but just remember, if you're brought to it, you can get through it.

The point of this post, however, is to point out those things that I just find absolutely infuriating.  Color them pet peeves, deem some stupid, but some of these things are what really get me going.  Do I always act upon these annoyances?  No.  I simply write them down in the journal stored deep back in my memory bank and move on.  Sometimes, I can even find time to have a giggle, because hey, doesn't laughing make all things better?  I was brought to reflect upon them because while cruising through the parking lot of Target yesterday, I was rounding a row of parked cars to pull into the next, looking for a space when I was met with another car...a car I did not see and I assure you, I looked.  She was absolutely flying through the parking lot (I mean wow...a shade under 40mph, at least...farrrrr too fast for a packed lot) and I was meagerly attempting the delicate balance of sanity and forcefulness amongst the sea of mass chaos that we so callously refer to as parking lots.  I was being oh so cautious as I DID have very precious cargo in my backseat, but still I had to slam on my brakes.  And what did she do?  She slammed on her breaks, leaving a nice burnt rubber scent to paint the background of this scene that was about unfold, glaring at me with a piercing stare.  It was then that I clutched my sons had, contemplating my fate, while waving at her with my other, knowing she was beyond furious with me.  For what?  Almost hitting her?  SHE almost hit ME. Regardless of whom could've hit who, that's neither here nor there, but she. was. pissed.  Next thing I know, she's out of her car like a bat out of hell and I see her ferociously approaching mine in a fit of rage.  My mind flooded with ideas of what to do, because let's face it, I could have given her the verbal beat-down of the century, but I decided to be the better person and better example for my child and wave at her, apologize, take the blame, and tell her that I hope she had a nice day.  She simply said, "okay" and got back in her car.  Weird.  Guess I pushed one of her buttons, but would I have reacted that way?  Getting out of my car over a mistake?  Um, no.  I would have breathed silent (or not so silent) obscenities under my breath and moved on.  I hope my kindness spoke to her and allowed her to reflect upon her attitude and approach towards dealing with one of her obvious buttons I'd pushed.  Hopefully, someone will show her the same empathy and compassion in the near future and she'll remember our little encounter and act accordingly.  I guess I activated one of the things on her infuriating or "pet peeves" list...and thus, I thought since I acted so nicely, I deserve to share a few of mine...

(oh and read through my first one which is my most prevalent, but don't stop there, keep reading!  I just vent and offer some sound advice about the thing that irks me the very most...enjoy)

1) The most obvious of mine (and the one in which I'll be elaborating upon most...GRAMMAR MISTAKES!!!!  Seriously, people.  Get. it. together

Furthermore, I am passionate about the rampant misuse (overuse) of the apostrophe. I am baffled by its scope and progression over time. I am mystified about its origins.

I am, perhaps, a bit too emotionally invested in combating this widespread grammatical blunder.

Misplaced efforts aside, let me set before you the facts.

THIS is correct placement here.  It DOES not need to be between the 0 and the s.  Unfortunately, this is the most common apostrophe misuse.  They even do it on Wheel of Fortune like 90's or 80's and well, I die a little more inside each and every time.  Teachers are bad offenders of this as well: ORQ's, ERQ's, 4's, "All A's, or All B's".  Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong...on each and every single account!

see the wrong usage there?!?  See the irony?!  Oh how fun!  Yes, let's DO end Apostrophe ABUSES (NO apostrophe needed there...see the distinction?  Good....great....GRAND!)

A disease pervades American writing. I began to notice it about 5 years ago and it has only become more aggressive since.

The scale of its infiltration is evidenced everywhere; I often photograph examples.

Culprits have included grocery stores, restaurants, clothing shops, blogs, and billboards.

These are only examples from the public outings; daily, I read emails with plural nouns that apparently possess some mysterious, unwritten noun: “Everyone bring your hamburger’s!” or “Honor your mother’s.”

My hamburger’s what? My mother’s _____?!?!

Perhaps the most frequent offender is the surname. For some reason, we can’t seem to pluralize a last name without adding an apostrophe. This is the most infuriating to me. If it is your LAST NAME, it DOES NOT need an apostrophe, unless you are saying, we went to the Thomas's last night, or ooooo, the Banker's have a pool! Not, I hung out with the Banker's last night. THAT IS NOT CORRECT!!!!!!!!!! I see people doing this all the time and it quite literally makes my blood boil. Or, we are the Thomas's. Um, nope. We are the Thomases. Thanks.

As if the Smiths would be lonely without it. So we write: “The Smith’s are coming over.”

Oh dear.

The root of this infection?
My hypothesis is this: we have simply forgotten our elementary school grammar and so are left vulnerable to the contagion.

We see a billboard: “Get your vaccine’s here.” And the next thing we know we are writing “Hey man, just got me some new golf club’s.”

For reals. We need to remember our 3rd grade English teacher and think, “What would Mrs. Montgomery (mine) do?”

I’ve seriously considered making t-shirts that raise awareness of this expanding plague and offer free education about the proper usage of the apostrophe.Obnoxious? Maybe.

Necessary? Definitely.

Apostrophe Guidelines from the Good Ole MLA Handbook:

“A principal function of apostrophes is to indicate possession. They are also used to form contractions. (Ex: “can’t,” “wouldn’t”)

a.) To form the possessive of a singular noun, add an apostrophe and an s. Ex: the zebra’s stripes.
[Note the absence of an apostrophe in "stripes." This is because the stripes are not possessing anything. The zebra is].

b.)To form the possessive of a plural noun ending in s, add only an apostrophe (after the “s” Ex: firefighters’ trucks).”

are we advertising Pistachios or something these pistachios own?

From there, it goes on to address irregular plural nouns, nouns in a series, etc. But I don’t think we need to get ahead of ourselves.

Simply Remember the Basics:

1.) If a word is plural and not possessing anything, DO NOT USE AN APOSTROPHE.
2.) If it is not a contraction, DO NOT USE AN APOSTROPHE.
3.) When in doubt, DO NOT USE AN APOSTROPHE.

Use a semicolon or something. Really. We need to bring back the semicolon.

Here’s to halting the over-apostrophization of America. Who’s with me?

***Oh, and don't EVEN get me started on two, too, and to; our and are; then and than; or their, they're, and there.  I die a little inside each and every single time I see one of these misused.  Seriously.  And it's rampant amongst us which is most horrifying of all.  I could probably write a satirical scary movie about all of this in which I so crazily elaborated upon.  Yes, I AM the crazy grammar lady.  No shame here, though. Real talk.

2) Sara Barielles and the Neon Trees.  Um, nope.  Foul.  I'd rather eat mayonnaise than listen to them so you KNOW that's saying A LOT.  
welp, so are you.  BOOM.

about how much you SUCK?  Yup.

3) Shirts tucked in with no belt.  Wide open belt loops?  Can I just grab them real quick and smack you?  Fill those!  They're there for a purpose!  Utilize them or I'll cut them off.

4) Slouched pants.  Pull them up.  Do we need to see that you are wearing Calvins?  Congratulations, but nope.  See above...belt loops are for a purpose!  However, does this up your street cred?  If yes, then perhaps I should change my few.  Bitches be hatin', yo! Ha.  I just wanted to say that.

fully agree.  Support you 100% on this, peeps!

5) My husband not putting dishes in the dishwasher.  It is literally 3 extra seconds and not even a step away from the sink.  I often reintroduce them.  "Dishwasher, Mr. Thomas.  Mr. Thomas, dishwasher."  
a daily battle in our house.  The lines are clear - he loads the dishwasher because dirty dishes absolutely DISGUST me and then I put them away.  It's that easy.  But how can I put them away if he doesn't wash them in the first place?!?  And rinse...repeat.
6) People who absolutely BUST. A. MOVE. to pull out in front of you and then go slow.  What in the world?  You had a gas foot a minute ago but somehow in those 30-60 seconds, your foot developed amnesia?  I'm sorry for that, but dang.  Faux pas. 

7) Punny Church signs.  What are these in a catalog somewhere?  Some are clever, but still, most drive me crazy because I find them so very unoriginal.  
for real?  I NEED to know who goes there.
8) The lawnmower of my parents' neighbor.  It. is. the. loudest. thing. ever.  I mean, you think you've heard loud?  Next time he's doing his due diligence, I'll hit you up and we can lay back listening to the sweet sounds of Satan's serenity.
seriously, this HAS to be how his shopping played out.

9) Barack Obama.  'nuf said.

10) Parents who blame me for THEIR child's mistakes.  Oh, I'm sorry, it's MY fault your child did not do his/ her homework last night when I wrote it in his/ her planner for him/ her and/ or stapled it in there?  Or it's my fault your little beauty called so and so a royal biotch on the playground?  Oh, I GAVE your child that grade?!?  Believe me, I gave him/ her 34856.0987 chances to correct it and he/ she STILL didn't.  Grade earned.  I do apologize for apparently "possessing" your demon child on any of said particular moments, though...  
11) Pitbull.  What is with that, "daaat" or "daaaalee" sound he makes?  Ugh.  He just creeps me out; like seriously, he makes my skin crawl.

12) Intolerance of love equality.  Whose business is it of mine or yours for that matter of who someone else loves?  How would you feel if someone objected your love towards someone else?  Seriously, there are bigger things to worry about and my Bible says all sins are equal.  If you think homosexuality is a sin, then maybe you should hit up the verses about judgment and loving thy neighbor.  Equality people, equality and yes, I take THAT personally.  Get over yourself and love people for who they are and whomever they love. It's just that easy.  

13) Writer's block.  I LOVE writing.  I wholeheartedly ADORE it.  It is my outlet, but when I cannot think of something to write or something of substance?  Ohhhh eeemmmmm geeeee, I get so worked up, thus further fueling the block and then it's a downward spiral from there.  
14) No sun when the Weather Channel app shows there's ZERO chance of rain.  That's happened on more than one occasion this summer and it literally makes my blood boil.  Ask Brad.  It's not a pretty sight. I'm non too ladylike when that happens.  This gal needs promises delivered, especially when it comes to the sun.
I start to hate everything when I'm promised sun and there is none.  We go to the beach next week and well, this may be me.  Hopefully not, but maybe.  Tee-hee
15) Child leashes.  I absolutely get it.  I have a toddler who happens to be into everything and is hard to keep up with, but do you really need to put your child on a leash like a dog?  I know they run and you have to chase and it can be a danger to others or themselves in general, but seriously, how degrading.  I also understand special circumstances with special needs children, but for you parents who just do it because you feel like it?!?  Ugh, ugh, ughhhhh. How about I put YOU on a leash?  Geesh!  

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