Inhuman Swill : Pet Peeves

Springtime in Manhattan

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Tourists in Times Square
Blocking the sidewalk to gape
At an ambulance

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Cribbing

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Just received another instance of one of my favorite emails. It goes something like this:

Hi! You've been such a help and inspiration, I'd like to send you a copy of my new self-published book. I'd really like to read some of your books too. Which one do you suggest I start with?

Flattering, right? But you have to know how to read an email like this. Here's what it means:

I know I'm imposing on you so I'll salve my conscience by pretending to want to read your stuff. Only I'm too lazy to do my homework, so I'll let you tell me what books you've written instead.

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Don't knock it

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I was reading a major novel from a major genre publisher last night (okay, it was Half the Blood of Brooklyn by Charlie Huston, from Del Rey), when a character suddenly "knocked" an arrow into his bowstring.

Not to knock the book's copy editor, but the nock is the notch at the end of the arrow into which the bowstring fits. When you slide the arrow into place against the string, you have nocked it.

But this was also a book where "puss" leaks from one character's eyes, so maybe I shouldn't snatch at hopes that the copy-editing will improve.

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Yet another pet peeve...

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...is when someone says "tenant" but means "tenet." A tenant is an inhabitant. A tenet is a principle.

The building's tenants adhered to the tenets of Zoroastrianism.
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I like my size the way it is

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Remember how collective action killed the tag back in the late '90s? I'd like to kill another annoying Web practice from that era that seems to be making a resurgence: sites that resize your browser.

I'm sorry, but I've deliberately chosen browser dimensions that fit the way I work with my computer. If I surf to your site and suddenly my multiply-tabbed Firefox browser resizes itself to 800x600 pixels, I'm going to get so annoyed at having to fix this that I'm going to leave your site and never come back.

Come on, it's the Web. If you can't build a site that people can comfortably view no matter their browser dimensions, you should either 1) go back to design school, 2) put your content in a popup instead, or 3) just fucking live with it, chump.

I would cite examples, but I don't want 1) to hurt any feelings unnecessarily or 2) reward any of those sites with extra hits. If I were Stephen Colbert, I would put JavaScript-ed resizing on notice.

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AOL Intrusive Messenger

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Raise your hand if AOL automatically added an "AIM Bots" groups to your IM client, with MovieFone and ShoppingBuddy as members.

Fucking AOL. I switched to Trillian to get away from this shit. I guess the only way to escape is to stop using the AIM network altogether.

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If there's one thing you can rely on pedestrians to do, it's to not walk a straight line. Just try to pass one from behind and see.

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Pet Peeve #84

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Look, people, I know the elevators in this building are godawful slow, but pressing the down button when it's already lit does not help! I understand that you're frustrated at the long wait in the second floor lobby, but how do you think your obvious contempt for my button-pushing skills makes me feel? What, do you think the elevator's not coming because I don't know how to push the button properly? I've been pushing buttons since I was three, and even then I knew that when the button is lit you don't have to push it again! Of course, there might be something magic about your touch that I don't understand, never having experienced it myself. If so, let's talk about it over red wine at my apartment. In the elevator lobby, though, all bets are off. Stop pushing my buttons!

Thank you.

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Pet Peeve #17

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The way pedestrians traveling in a group always spread out laterally to block the greatest possible width of sidewalk.

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William Shunn

About This Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Pet Peeves category.

Perry Slaughter is the previous category.

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