Saturday, August 11, 2007

Pet Peeves

As a teacher, I have to admit there should be little for me to stress about during the summer. However, like everyone, there are just a few things that drive me crazy, and I thought that if I wrote about them, it would help ease me to the end of summer. (Feel free to add your own peeves in the Comments section that follows.)

Peeve #1 That left-lane thing. What in the heck is wrong with these people? The left lane of the highway is the PASSING lane. It is for faster-moving traffic, not for tune-jamming, cellphone chatting, chillin' calm folks with all the time in the world. It is for insane, hyper, task-oriented maniacs like me, with a life to live. (Yes, I know I drive too fast, but that's between me and the cop who pulls me over.) We're talking about you here, Mr/Ms Left-Lane Disrespecter. I know you like to hang out there, because there's lots of space and you like being first in line, but when you look behind you and see six cars riding your butt, you should not feel proud, like you're some kind of leader in a marching band. You are annoying the snot out of everyone behind you, and you need to safely get out of our way. Please don't hang out in the left lane!!

Peeve #2 Is it me, or does this drive anyone else crazy? When the heck did "fustrated" become a word in the English dictionary?! I have heard people (at work, on tv, in movies) say, "I was really fustrated, because...." AND NOBODY EVER COMMENTS ON THIS! I don't know why; maybe it's that I have always prided myself on having good grammar, spelling, etc., not to mention using proper English, but this drives me nuts. I'm not sure what bugs me more; that people say "frustrated" this way, or that nobody calls them on it. I have to admit that I have never said, "Uh...excuse me. It's 'frustrated,' not "fustrated." I guess that's because frustrated people get really ticked off when you add to their stress by correcting their grammar. Okay, I've figured out half of the puzzle; why nobody says anything to their faces, but why don't I ever hear anyone else mention this? It's fustrating! (See what I mean!? It drives you crazy, too, admit it!)

Peeve #3 Now, I love Oprah, and I've even been to her show, so I know a little about this subject. No disrespect to Oprah, but what is with this standing ovation for every single person who walks onto the stage? I looked up "standing ovation" in Wikipedia and got this: " This action is done on special occasions by an audience to show their approval and is done after extraordinary performances of particularly high acclaim." I like the standing ovation. I think it is sends a special message when you, as an audience member or observer stand up and clap. To me, it means, "WOW! You are amazing! I am inspired by you. Your performance has moved me to my feet, and I thank you for that." I also appreciate it as a sign of respect; I think it's important to stand when the President of the United States walks into a room (regardless of our personal feelings, whatever they may be for the man himself). I don't think a standing ovation is necessary for everyday actions or movie actors who are plugging a film (even if the movie is good); and I think it waters down the value/meaning of the action

I have to admit that I appreciate the standing ovation at my kids' school concerts; it gives my legs a good stretch and sends blood to my bone-tired butt, but I think the standing ovation should be reserved for really, really outstanding actions or performances, not just for stuff that you think is "nice" or movie actors you think are hot (Do they really need more fuel for their egos anyway?). Honestly, I'd give Oprah herself a standing ovation if she walked in to the bathroom I was in ; she is amazing, someone to be honored, someone whose life works definitely deserve the recognition of a standing ovation, but it seems like her audience stands for everyone, and this waters down the meaning of a standing ovation, in my opinion.

Fortunately, school will be starting soon, and I'll have no time for "Oprah" anyway. I'll be driving country roads (which have no passing lanes) to and from school each day. I'll do my part to rid the world of fustrated kids (take that however you like! :) and I'll try to get my students to stop giving me a standing ovation every time I walk into the room (until I become President, of course!)


  1. Love it! The 'fustrated' thing doesn't bother me, but how about people who say 'O' as in the letter 'O', instead of ZERO. Is your phone number REALLY 92'OH'-555-1212? There's a LETTER in there? Oh, Barb, now you got me all worked up!! Thanks! : )

  2. I just stumbled over your blog. I to get annoyed with people who drive slow in the left lane. My biggest Peeve is when people say "ain't" "I ain't going to do that?" What is that? Can we not speak right. Did we go to school in a barn yard? I guess that is the only thing that drives me mad.
    I see that you are a teacher. I just wanted to say bravo! I myself do not have the patience for that. I to am a Oprah fan. Love watching her show. I enjoyed reading your blog. If you don't mind I will peek in from time to time.

  3. Funny. I just returned from a book store, and saw the book "English Grammar for Dummies". Almost picked it up for someone, but wouldn't want to insult them! I have many peeves, but won't go into them now. :) Still, I can't resist mentioning that that last comment has the word "too" spelled wrong twice. Just goes to show that we are all human and make mistakes. :) Enjoyed reading this!!! :)

  4. I'm not sure why; maybe it's because I teach students with learning disabilities, but spelling errors never bother me, unless I am editing something (which I absolutely love to do). I'm accustomed to ignoring spelling errors otherwise, because in my line of work, the message is often more important than the spelling. It's kind of like the "fustrated" thing; if I focus on that, I miss the message. I find the spoken word more distracting (just as I did today, in a meeting; when the person said "fustrating," I had to filter it out.) Thank God we all have our strengths :) Thanks for your comments.

  5. Funny, I have to agree with all of your peeves for the most part. The passing lane thing drives me crazy too! I can't help but shake my head at this every time I see it which is virtually every day. The fustrated word is probably the only example of bad grammar that hasn't made it down South yet. If you think that is bad come stay down in Memphis for awhile. It will drive you crazy when you hear the many examples. How about AXE as in "Can I AXE who is calling"? ERRRGGGHH!! And finally... I don't watch Oprah but I have to agree with the standing ovation opinion. People obviously don't mean harm but I agree that it often doesn't seem appropriate and this does "water down the meaning". Pretty soon anyone will be able to get a Purple Heart License plate too I suppose! Ahhh, that felt good to get that out and Barb you are right. It did feel good to vent from the keyboard. A good old fashioned pen and paper is still ok with me too though :o)


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