Here I am, early Sunday morning, writing about things that never fail to annoy me. And these are things that never go away. They're always there, staring me in the face, and no one will alter the situations.
NUMBER ONE: The Amazing Shrinking Newspaper--please don't tell me I can read all the news I want on-line, because I already do that. However, I want my daily newspaper thrown at my house for a very good reason. For decades, we have eaten breakfast at the island which I designed for our house in 1989. To get the proper dimensions, I opened two sections of the newspaper and laid them on the floor side-by-side with generous space between them. This nice big island allowed us to sit on the bar stools, read the newspaper, trading sections, while we ate our Cheerios. (On weekends I actually cook breakfast--under a little duress, but I do it.) But the newspaper is gradually phasing us out, pushing subscriptions to the on-line newspaper every day, and also mentioning the expense of physically throwing the paper to individual houses. If they think reading the paper on my computer while I eat Cheerios is going to work, let me tell you--it won't work. In addition, I want the daily crossword puzzle.
The newspaper has become thinner and the pages are narrower, giving us even more room on the island.
NUMBER TWO: Apostrophes in Contractions Turned the Wrong Way. I've written about this topic so many times, it should be evident by now. But no, I still see this often, especially at Christmas when the word 'Tis appears in many ads. Rule: If you use curly quotes, please remember that the tail of the apostrophe in a contraction is ALWAYS turned to the left, even if the contraction is at the beginning of the word. I'm still seeing this error in digital books far too often. The author must take the time to correct it, because Word will automatically turn it to the right, as though to enclose the word in quotes, and the writer must manually change it.
The best solution? Use straight quotes and avoid this problem altogether.
NUMBER THREE: Improper Use of Pronouns. This error seldom happens if there's only one "object" in the sentence. "Adam asked Alice to dinner." This is correct, of course, but an error may occur when an additional person is included. "Adam asked Alice and I to dinner." Not everyone can recognize the error, because it does happen. "Adam played the piano for her and I." Uh-uh. Most often, the error occurs in confusing "I" with "me." I've heard politicians do this, and commentators on news programs, persons being interviewed, and car salesmen in television commercials. It seems that many have an aversion to the word "me," maybe thinking it sounds uneducated.
NUMBER FOUR: Names repeated too often in written dialogue. I'm an expert about this topic, because I am the queen of repeating names. When we have a conversation with a friend or spouse, we don't call the name every other sentence. In fact, we may not do it at all. Therefore, in writing dialogue, the author must identify the person speaking some other way. When I'm writing, I'm unaware I'm using the names so much, but I know to edit and re-write to correct the error.
NUMBER FIVE: Rude Drivers. Why does a driver roar up behind you when you have your right blinker on to either exit off the interstate or turn right at the next corner, and zip around you to be in front so he can turn first? And he barely makes it. And he causes me to hit my brakes so he won't take the front bumper off my vehicle. Rant over, but it happens often to make me wonder what possesses a person to do this? There's no reason for it. All he accomplishes is moving forward one car length...or thereabouts.
Now, everyone have a nice day. If you have a rant, be my guest. I'd love to hear it.