Friday, July 14, 2006

RevGal Friday Five: Peevishness

1. Grammatical pet peeve: (1) Incorrect form of pronouns as the object of prepositions, e.g. “He gave the present to Walter and I.” Shudder. (2) Using “that” when “which” is required and vice versa. (3) It drives me nuts when people correct split infinitives and sentences that end with prepositions (these are NOT incorrect, do you hear?)—that’s just being fussy. Grin.
2. Household pet peeve.  My husband’s idea of organization is to stuff the stacks of papers and accumuilation of sundry objects into whatever drawer is immediately available. Also, why can we not commit to putting our clothes in the laundry? Either it can be worn again (meaning, hung up) or it needs to be washed. And yet my husband’s trousers are in limbo, laid out on the floor.
3. Arts & Entertainment pet peeve (movie theaters, restaurants, concerts). Seeing children at movies that are wildly innappropriate for them, particularly ones that are too scary.
4. Liturgical pet peeve. Well, there’s the “please just” issue that so many mention. I also hate it when the worship band plays soothing (vapid) music behind the person praying. And the woman who opens us with prayer at church—she has a perfectly modulated voice that sounds as if it belongs on a relaxation CD. With the “soothing sounds of jazz” behind her I feel like I’ll be nodding off any second.
5. Wild card--pet peeve that doesn't fit any of the above categories. Drivers who don’t buckle up. My husband always forgets and his brother and father never use seat belts. This drives me bonkers. How can you forget? How can you just flat out not use them? Great day, I used them when I was so pregnant they barely reached around me.
Bonus: Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God: What do YOU do that others might consider a pet peeve? I’m not tidy or a particularly rigorous housekeeper, and it drives my husband crazy. Then again, see Number 2.


  1. I am peeved by your peeves, too.

    Just remember this: dust is protective coating for fine furniture.

  2. Nothing like having a monkey on your back. What a wonderful list you have minus 2.

  3. I was never taught the grammer things in school. I was really pleased when someone told me the way to know whether it should be I or me - just temporarily cut the other person out and see how it sounds and then it's obvious.

    I like simple tools like that. I sometimes have to make my own up, for example with the discreet v. discrete thing. I think of Crete being an island and so seperate from the mainland - therefore that's the 'seperate and distinct' word and so the other 'discreet' has to be 'careful and circumspect'. Yes, I'm a bit backward and uncool about these things. Of course you don't have to think about it after a few times. My otherwise very good English teacher at adult college corrected me incorrectly on that and I was both discreetly and discretely livid.

    I've yet to see a really succinct and clear rule for 'that' v. 'which', though. Do you have one? It's that which I'd love.

  4. Augustus: I had to parse sentences for years on end, and for reasons I still don't understand, I opted to take Latin in high school. I've also spent a lot of time working in publishing doing the grunt work (editing). We all refer to the Chicago Manual of Style [reverent hush].

    From what I've read, the British don't adhere to a distinction between "that" and "which", so you're off the hook. Trust Americans to try to outdo the British in preciseness and polish.

    The CMS [reverent hush] puts it this way: "that" is used restrictively to narrow a category or identify a particular item being talked about (any building that is taller must be outside the state). "Which" is used nonrestrictively--not to narrow a class or identify an object but to add something about an item already identified (alongside the officer trotted a toy poodle, which is hardly a typical police dog). When "which" is used in this way, it is always preceded by a comma, a parenthesis, or a dash.

    "Which" can be used in other ways, as in your example, but in your example, "that" is acting in a restrictive sense to identify what you would love, and "which" is a pronoun acting as the direct object of "love".

    Aren't you glad you're British and can ignore all that?

    Oh, and to everyone out there--just because I have an editing background doesn't mean I proofread my blog writing. That's just toooo boring.

  5. This has been very educational for me. I don't know nearly as much about grammar as I thought I did. Now I've got to go back and proof about 300 blog entries. Unless... Do you have some free time, Alice?

  6. So whom is that which is upon the island that was the object of those that weren't anything to do with which the poodle don't with nobody?

  7. That's the opening sentence to my novel, by the way.

    It's post modern, see?

  8. LOL! And in my house, the floor is not limbo in the sense of laundry. Anything landing on the floor is usually covered in cat hair, and must go into the laundry.

    I think I'd do less laundry if I vacuumed more... lol.

  9. Dear Bad Alice, you are so good! Your writing is fantastic and funny and true and honest and all that great stuff. I stumbled my way here through "" - and I am so glad I did. Where do the RevGal Friday prompts come from? I like them a lot. Also I related to a lot of what you write about: I am 40 years old, the mother of two children. My mother-in-law is bipolar. I have many grammatical pet peeves. I live in Charlotte, NC and wonder what the big deal is about fireworks in the heat of July. And as a Christian, I am befuddled so much of the time. Thanks again for being so open and honest. Please keep writing about your befuddlement and your badness.

  10. Augustus: You are obviously the next William Burroughs.

    JPDC: You don't need editing. If we have to start worrying about perfecting our blogs, what's the point? No one is really worrying about grammar in those scintillating discussions of Waxlando.

    Wilsonian: I found cat hair on the ironing board today.

    Gail: Thanks for dropping by! If you go down my sidebar you'll find the RevGals. You'll find lots to enjoy, and a Friday Five each week.

  11. Augustus: Are you still back here? I've written so many scintillating posts since!

    A comma splice is using a comma when you need a period or a semicolon. In other words, you're trying to join two sentences with a comma, as in "I went to the store, I had to buy bread."