The idea for this column came to me as I was brushing my teeth one morning last week. And then I realized that I hadn’t published a “list” recently, (in over eight years, as a matter of fact,) which was one of my most popular categories back then. So I decided to go with it.

Me, while writing this!

Me, while writing this!

Back in the day, I used to just enumerate the items on each list, but now that I’m a bit more of a writer, I’ve added some explanations for you.

So here are the ones that came to me at the sink that day; the small number here means that you should expect Things That Drive Me Crazy Part II in the near future.

Let’s get to them, just in the order I jotted them down:

1) When people think they’re classy to refer to “Afternoon Tea” as “High Tea.” Especially after I’ve explained the difference to them, so they should know better. If they only knew how classless that really makes them sound to people in the know. While Afternoon Tea is a lovely, classy repast of finger sandwiches, scones, and sweet treats, (sometimes accompanied by classical music,) served in the afternoon, (duh,) High Tea is a peasant supper, consisting of meat pies, sausage rolls, crusty bread, and the like, and eaten after 5PM. We Americans need to feel fortunate that Afternoon Tea is the one we offer in this country, and…know the difference and label it correctly!!! Enough with dummies already. (If you’re interested to learn more, here’s the link to a full article I wrote on the topic a couple of years ago:

The tea meal differences, explained beautifully.

The tea meal differences, explained beautifully.

2) News people and sportscasters with awful voices and speech impediments! Who is hiring these people?! Hearing them is worse than nails on a chalkboard for me.

3) When people erroneously say, “Me and my friend,” as opposed to “My friend and I!” (The same for all terms like that—“me and my children,” “me and my husband,” “me and her”; you get it.) Who is teaching our children???  I’ve heard supposedly smart/educated people, (including producers and teachers!,) talking like that recently, and I’m shocked every time. If you’re someone who wants to better yourself, here’s the rule: Always put yourself last! Period. And referring to yourself as “me” or “I” is decided by how the sentence would read if you eliminated the other person or people.

4)  Actually, now that I’m getting riled-up about incorrect language for the umpteenth time, I get sick from all the other grammatical errors I hear on a daily basis. Especially the ones I hear on TV, at which I shout corrections from the couch! People thinking that “brought” and “bought” are the same word is particularly maddening. (If you don’t understand the difference yourself, and want to better yourself, this tutorial is for you:

5)  The use of the word “they” for a single person, when “they” has referred to multiple people for thousands of years now! I’m absolutely fine with people referring to themselves as “non-binary”; I want everyone to be happy. If you feel like you’re neither male nor female, or both, great. But please, someone, come up with a new word for non-binary people already!!! One that indicates one person, not more than one, as “they” does. It should be something like “he,” “she,” or “me.”  There are seventeen other available letters to put in front of “e”!!! So please, everyone, anyone, come up with one of them, pronto.

The new tipping screens that are popping up everywhere!

The new tipping screens that are popping up everywhere!

6)  Relatively new almost-mandatory tipping at just about every place! I’m not talking about at restaurants—that must be done. Servers are running back and forth, juggling dishes and personalities, and really working to give you a good dining experience. They deserve compensation for all that. On the other hand, people who hand you a cookie at a bakery should not get tipped! But, if you pay with a credit card, you don’t seem to have a choice these days. Your “choice of tip” pops up on the screen, and you can’t sign your bill without choosing a percent or “custom tip,” or the dreaded, (and usually deserved,) “no tip.” With the personnel watching you the whole time! I was at an out-of-town bakery recently, where it was all the older woman owner could do to help me. She finally handed me a paper bag with a half dozen very old (tasting and smelling) cookies, and I added a very overpriced eclair that I had taken from the cabinet myself, and then I was supposed to tip her! For what? “Tip” actually means “to insure promptness,” so it had nothing at all to do with my experience in that bakery. I repeat—at all! On top of all that, these machines and receipts used to have tip amount choices of 10%, 15%, and 20%. Now they begin at 20%, and go up from there! The whole thing is ridiculous.

7) Drunk people. There’s no excuse for it. And it’s never funny, charming, or attractive. Period.



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