Thursday, July 13, 2006

RGBP Friday Five: Pet Peeve Edition

Reverendmother here with another edition of the Friday Five...

As I shared recently at my place, I am enamored of a newly-acquired treasure, the Illustrated Elements of Style by Strunk and White. It's also awakened the pinched, surly old grammarian in me. I have a few grammatical pet peeves, which I will get into on my blog, but in the meantime, I'm wondering about your pet peeves. Here's your chance to vent, gripe, and grumble to your heart's content. Go ahead, it's therapeutic.

Yes, Mother. (grins) And remember: YOU ASKED FOR IT!

1. Grammatical pet peeve: Having become accustomed to the very useful Southern pronoun "y'all," I get very annoyed when I hear someone (obviously not Southern) use it as a second-person singular pronoun. "Y'all" (a contraction of "you" and "all") never correctly refers to one person. The Oklahomans with whom I worshiped Sunday while on vacation, for example, all correctly asked me, a single woman visiting alone at their church, "Where are you from," though they used "y'all" quite properly to refer to those of us who live in Texas once I answered their question. I would add that it is a true sign of mastery of Southern dialect when one says "all y'all" to emphasize that the entire group in the vicinity is being addressed, as opposed to the somewhat nebulous subgroup described by a mere "y'all."

2. Household pet peeve: I accuse myself of committing that worst of all household pet peeves, neglecting to take out the trash until it either begins to overflow its container, or makes its aromatic presence known. (I know...EEEEW! But when I'm flying out the door, trying to avoid committing that other cardinal pet peeve, being late, well shame on me, I forget to take it out! When one lives three stories up and is already late and only realizes she's forgotten it yet again once she reaches her car, one may well decide she cannot spare the time to go back around the corner, down the terrace steps, around another corner, and up three exterior flights of stairs to get it.) Here ends Sister Psalmist's self-accusation in this Chapter of Faults. See the Bonus below for the next installment.

3. Arts & Entertainment pet peeve (movie theaters, restaurants, concerts): OK, here I reveal my music geekness: I get very put out when people attending orchestral and chamber music concerts applaud between movements. Each composition should receive only one round of applause, at the conclusion of the piece, regardless of how well one believes the earlier movements have been performed. If you have ever wondered why the conductor and/or performers did not acknowledge your enthusiastic between-movements applause, it is because it was considered bad concert manners, even if you simply didn't know better. Now you do.

4. Liturgical pet peeve: I confess it, I'm a "Jesus, wejus' " and a "Father, Ijus' " counter. That is, I become so distracted by repetitive "Jesus, we just..." and "Father, I just..." during public prayers that I count the occurences of these phrases. What's more, nine times out of ten, the very telling word "wanna" follows the "wejus' " and the "Ijus'." And for the record, the highest count I ever got was on "Father, Ijus' ": 17 in an under-five minute prayer. I think that was 17 too many. (If you've never heard this phenomenon, I'd bet money--were I not Methodist--that you live north of the Mason-Dixon line.)

5. Wild card--pet peeve that doesn't fit any of the above categories: Let me first say that I love children. Truly, I do! What I do not love is the piercing screaming that some children engage in, while indoors, and which their parents do not correct. Parents, please hear this from someone who wants desperately to continue to consider your child the most angelic tyke ever: His/her screams threaten permanent hearing loss. You may already have suffered such hearing loss. However, I have not. The screams conjure up in my mind a horrifying scene of my screaming at you to control your tiny banshee before I go hunting for a muzzle.

Bonus: Because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God: What do YOU do that others might consider a pet peeve? Sister Psalmist continues her Chapter of Faults: I accuse myself of being chronically late. I offer no acceptable excuse, throwing myself on the mercy of my sisters and brothers who I know are annoyed at my thoughtless behavior. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Please accept this confession as a down-payment on the repentance I shall surely owe you upon the next occurence of tardiness, which may well be tomorrow morning if I don't get off this computer soon and go get some sleep!


reverendmother said...

These are great--I could related to many of them.

Your liturgical one reminded me of "Father-God" which isn't a full-fledged pet peeve but it grates, although I'm not sure why. Use Father, use God, but both together is like nails on the blackboard for me.

Amy said...

Oh great, from now on I'll be counting "Jesus, wejus'" and a "Father, Ijus'. Thanks for that. ;)

P.S. (an after-thought) said...

1. Since I'm not southern, I don't want to sound southern, but the you-all is a helpful word and I occassionally use it with an almost Canadian accent.

3. I attend concerts of great music with a hoard of people who aren't all that sophisticated. I've noticed that they follow this "rule" if the musicians/condutor uses body language to convey that they aren't yet finished. But when they get lazy and long between movements, then we, the audience, is confused. Maybe we didn't count the movements correctly. Or maybe the program is wrong. And sometimes we can't read the program because the hall is too dark, so we don't know how many movements there are.

4. We hear this in the north as well, esp if the prayer has been touched by the less liturgical side of things. But it is just lazy language because they aren't praying from books and being high faluting.

But, yes, "just" diminishes what they are saying. It sounds like false humbleness. I kind of feel like if I have the guts to ask God for something, I'm not really all that humble. Does that make sense?

Maybe some sounter reward would work in this situation. For example, every time the Just comes out, ring one of those Catholic bells that the Catholic helper person rings. I don't know what that is for anyway, I'm not trying to demean it. But it certainly would be a disruption to the just-er.

will smama said...

These are great!

Songbird said...

I am with you about y'all. Using it about one person is simply ignorant!