Monday, October 03, 2005

Idiosyncratic Me

Picking up on the 5 idiosyncracies meme, here are a few of my peculiarities:

1. The distinction between “that” vs. “which” means more to me than it should. I know that these two words have been used interchangeably probably since the time of Shakespeare, but somewhere along the line as an editor, I learned that “that” is inclusive and “which” is not. I am brought up short every time I see them used “incorrectly.”

2. The toilet paper must exit over the top, not from the back. My husband of course puts it on the wrong way.

3. I don’t like to look in reflective surfaces in the dark, particularly mirrors. (Anyone remember “Bloody Mary”?)

4. I am immediately drawn to people with odd-colored hair and multiple piercings.

5. I must have water by my bed at night. No exceptions.


  1. I'll see your "That" and "Which" and raise you an "its" and "it's". Makes me grind my teeth.

  2. Oh, I trump you both. If I see quotes used with flagrant disregard for punctuation rules, I get all shingly.

    i.e., FRESH "BANANAS"


    And you will not find me looking in mirrors in the dark, no m'am. That Bloody Mary will get you.

  3. Okay I was really liking your list but when I got to #2 I had to stop and blog a comment. Honey, when was the last time you actually put toilet paper in the "thing". And what about the toilet seat - why is it always up when you are done. So, when you get the seat down part I will read the instructions for how to put the toilet paper right!

  4. Oh Jeffie, Jeffie, I leave the toilet lid (not the seat) up because it keeps mold from growing in the toilet bowl, something that seems to happen only in Georgia.

    As for changing the roll, hey, I'm keeping the mold at bay, surely you can take care of the paper. :)

  5. What does this mean "'that' is inclusive"? Perhaps you're simply using different language to explain the rule as I understand it, but "that" is the restrictive preposition, "which" is the nonrestrictive one. I.e.:

    [There are two stores in town, one closed and the other open, and you're indicating which one you went to]: "I went to the store that was open, but couldn't find what I was looking for."

    [You are saying that you went to the store, and that it was in fact open, but that it didn't have the item]: "I went to the store, which was open, but I couldn't find what I was looking for."

  6. Scrivener,

    Oh you English professors, insisting on the proper use of terms. :) Yes I meant restrictive and non restrictive and not inclusive and non inclusive, which has to do with gender and language, a pet peeve I forgot to mention but must have had on my mind.

  7. How about when people use irony the wrong way? That Alanis Morissette song, for instance.