all_strange_wonders: The phrase "Either way, it is bad for Zathras" are superimposed over a picture of the character Zathras from Babylon 5. (bad for zathras)
Let me preface this (and explain the title somewhat), by explaining that I used to consider myself a misanthrope. Then I realized I actually do like (or can at least tolerate) most people, even if they do make me tired. I also used to think that people irritated me because they could not keep up and had a distressing tendency to not know the words I was using (why hello arrogant genius time tag, haven't seen you in a while…). That actually is true, but time and practice have made me, if not actually more patient, more tolerant of the fact that most people aren't going to operate on the same level I do in some respects*. So these days I mostly get on with people, and I find I generally like the people I come into contact with in my dealings with the world at large. Recently I have encountered a rare exception to that rather pleasant trend.

And then this entry got a lot longer than I expected. )
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (tired of smiling)
Have finally found something irritating about one of my flatmates.

Every time she walks in and sees me in the kitchen, she asks what I'm making.

"Well," I do not say, "if you would use your eyes, you would see that I have peanut butter and bread out. If you would like to exercise a little logic, you could probably guess"

I also do not say, "Frozen rolls, just like it says in big letters on this bag I'm holding, you moron," or, "Fried baby! It's my mother's recipe," although I'm deeply tempted to.

What is more irritating is that she then wants to have a conversation about how she lived on pb&j her freshman year but can't stand just peanut butter on her sandwiches, or how interesting frozen rolls are. I do not care about your peanut butter preferences, frozen rolls are not interesting. I just want to make this food so that I can go back to my mountain of reading.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
Oh my god people. Punctuation is still important, even if it's the internet. Correction: it is more important because it is the internet. When text on a screen is the only method of communication you're using, without the pauses and intonations from speech and the supplements of body language, making your text as clear as possible ought to be a major priority. SO PLEASE USE YOUR PERIODS, K? AND EVEN SOME COMMAS AND SEMICOLONS IF YOU'RE FEELING WILD. I get that all punctuation other than periods tends to be viewed as a sort of advanced topic these days (or as I like to call it, Every English Teacher Will Have a Different Opinion About How Many Commas You Should Use), but give it a try. If you really want to go out on a limb, find yourself a secondhand style guide. The section on appropriate punctuation will be good long after the MLA formatting changes again.

I'm not saying that you must punctuate every line of every IM conversation perfectly, because I certainly don't. I'm just saying that you ought to make an effort to be comprehensible, and the human eye needs punctuation (and sometimes paragraph breaks) to read and comprehend effectively. That's one of the things that makes reading very old source material an absolute bitch--no capitals, no spaces, no punctuation. Let's not backslide to BCE standards.

/rant
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (peace love bake)
Bakers who don't do yeast. *sigh*
It makes me sad, it really does. Because yeast is easy. People get all freaked out about it, but yeast dough is really just not that hard.

I feel like that's my motto for so many things. Sewing: not that hard. Knitting: not that hard. Baking: not that hard. Yeast/candy-making/meringue/other: not that hard. You do not have to be a genius to do these things. It does help if you go ahead and come to terms with the fact that you will sometimes do things wrong, like last week when I read baking SODA when the recipe said baking POWDER. These things happen. (Even if you are a genius. Maybe especially if you're a genius.) The key is to eat the accident if it still tastes good and then move on.

And if I can get over a mistake and move on (if only in the kitchen), anyone can.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (terrible danger)
There are plenty of things to be peeved about in the world of fanfiction--misspellings, bad or no punctuation, a total lack of paragraphs, badly handled dialogue, straight up bad writing, and pretty much all crossovers ever, just to name a few (and oh, does the list go on*). Here are two examples of what I call "summary peeves"--things people will say in their story summaries that will put me off a story before I've even read it.

Pet Peeve #11479a:
People who say "First fic, don't be mean" or some variation thereof in their summaries. This is actually code for "This is so bad it may actually be unreadable. I didn't use spellcheck and I don't believe in paragraphs or punctuation. If you offer constructive criticism, I will fly off the handle and threaten to kill myself because I am a sensitive artist and you are *SOB* SO MEAN!!1!!1!".
If there is a disclaimer of this type in an author's note within the story but NOT in the summary and it is clear that the author has made an effort to work with the English language instead of against it, this peeve may not apply. That first post is nerve-wracking, after all.

Pet Peeve #11479b:
People who say "Review for updates" (or, more commonly, review4updates, thus vaulting it into a whole new level of peevery**) in their summaries. This is convenient shorthand for "I am an attention whore. This story will be of indifferent quality at best, and you will not review it, hoping thereby to kill it stone dead."
As a general rule, I can pass by these without even a glance, safe in the assurance that there is nothing there worth reading and that any review I might post would merely be frothing at the mouth about the murder of the English language.

*Baby Peeve of the Day: Using "said" instead of "the" when referring to a recently mentioned person or object. Example: "Said girl picked up said sunglasses and put them on." I have written no less than 5 reviews today trying to politely point out that this is irritating, confusing, and jarring for the reader, and deleted them all after concluding that there is no polite way to tell people they need to Just Write Better.

**See: Spaces Are Good and Use Real Words
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (paying off karma)
ohgod. WHY CAN PEOPLE NOT SPELL?!

"Hear" is not the same as "here", "vile" is not the same as "vial". I just want to reach out and shake the internet and scream that HOMONYMS ARE NOT THE SAME AS SYNONYMS. And then, of course, I would have to pull out a dictionary and explain it all over again using very simple words. Also, proper capitalization and punctuation are VERY IMPORTANT.

I'm just going to go rock in a corner now.

ps--"ohgod" is an intentional elision of the two words, since whenever I feel this way they always come out as one when spoken.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (going mad)
I have a crappy job that provides no intellectual stimulation whatsoever, and where I am treated as if I am a drooling simpleton by almost everyone, including my manager and my boss.

AAAAAAAAAAARRRGH!

It would be so nice if they would just acknowledge that I am, in fact, extremely intelligent and fairly capable, even when confronted with physical tasks rather than intellectual ones. I'm not even saying that they have to appreciate it, just NOTICE that I am not the imbecile they seem to think I am.

I'm really just feeling rather frustrated and down today, and being at work really didn't help.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (going mad)
The weird thing about working with the public is the way people automatically assume you're an idiot. It is both amusing and galling to be treated like an imbecile by people who are almost certainly less intelligent than oneself.
It leads to strange moments of wondering why, exactly, I earn minimum wage making sandwiches when I have an IQ higher than that of roughly 99 percent of the population. Then I realize that I'm being a snob and should shut up.
But I should still get a better job.
Preferably one with fewer idiots.
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (heart geeks)
I'm noticing that my fondness for exactness of language and proper word choice is growing, not to mention the whole "please to be using grammar and spelling words properly, kthxbai" thing. As that sentence reflects, there's a certain amount of flexibility in what I consider exact and proper.
As an example of the sort of thing that's driving me crazy at the moment:
My French textbook told us that "content" and "heureux" both mean happy. This is patently not a precise definition for one of those words, because languages tend to be efficient in that synonyms have different connotations- joyful and ecstatic could both be defined simply as happy (by some dull and plodding simpleton), but they're different. So, while I'm willing to believe that heureux could just be "happy", I'm pretty sure that content does in fact mean content.
SO WHY DIDN'T THEY JUST SAY SO?! Contentment is not a difficult concept. I know I have a far better grasp of the English language than a fair portion of the population, and that a lot of word-things I find easy really aren't, but… content. Really, if you're learning another language you should at least know all of the two syllable words in your own.

/"why aren't other people as literate as me?" rant

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