Cumberland Times-News

Maude McDaniel - Living

June 16, 2012

Much in our world is extremely annoying

Ohmigosh, I can hardly wait to write this column. I’ve been collecting examples for it for a couple of days now — that’s all it takes to find enough annoying things in the world for still another column on the subject.

Maybe you won’t find these things as annoying as I do, but that’s okay. This column isn’t for either one of you — it’s for Me! (And, no, I will not find self-centeredness annoying in this column.)

First, let me direct your attention to that awful voice underneath the Hyundai commercials: CHUNDAI CHA ZIT! If you have not heard it, you cannot imagine the level of excitement it signifies, which is closer to an announcement of the end of the world than a plea to buy a car. Hyundai has it, all right, the biggest loudmouth in the TV commercials of our time.

Words are a big part of my annoyances this week. Words like wellness and truthiness, memes and tropes, which have already been accepted as part of our modern vocabulary, though no one knows exactly what they mean at any given moment. Oh, yes, and the biggest pain of all, “ek cetera.” Folks, folks, please — know that this phrase, which means, “and so forth,” is not “ek” but “et.” It’s ET cetera, I tell you! ET CETERA! Do you hear me?

And “ostensively,” which people keep saying instead of “ostensibly.” And if you don’t believe me, ask any Latin teacher around — oops, that’s right. There are no Latin teachers around these days, just retired Latin teachers, since I have heard that Latin is not being taught in public schools here any more. Just one more foundation of our culture disappearing under our very eyes — et al and sub rosa, of course.

And where did this come from? A lover (usually male) wiping his girlfriend’s tears away — with his thumb! This appears to be the universal sign of male sensitivity in modern movies, or at least TV movies. (I don’t go much to the other movies, which seem to explode a lot.)

Supermarket carts that list to one side are annoying.

Irony out of control is annoying, to the point of nuttiness, as in books about Jane Austen heroines, Abraham Lincoln, and Jesus Christ being vampires or vampire hunters. And these are best-sellers! Just about the only role models we have left in this world of Grand Theft Auto are being systematically undermined by such trash, but it sells, and that’s the most annoying part about it all. People seem to love it.

Well, teen-agers do anyway, and honest, folks, they really are people. Besides that, it’s the grownups who produce the stuff, so who do you blame really, hormone-crazed kids or the steely adults that cater to them? And I’m leaving that “who” in there (although the word should be “whom” ).I will probably get some guff for even mentioning it. Good English gets no respect these days, but you should always strive to achieve it, I believe.

Except when youse want to make a point.

Don’t you think that narrow toilet paper in store bathrooms is annoying?

And people who get bent out of shape when you say, “Have a nice day?”

Most annoying of all — people who set you up by declaring that you think something you don’t necessarily think, like one I heard the other day: “And you thought that only bad people do bad things.” No, I don’t think that, and never did, so don’t preach at me for something you say I think, but I don’t.

Is that clear?

Advertisers do this a lot. First they set you up with something like this: “You always thought it was hard to clean your septic system, didn’t you?” Well, er — a, haven’t thought about it recently — haven’t had a septic tank since 1985. Then they close in for the kill. What they say implies, “Lady, you are so dumb I can hardly stand it — if you had any sense at all you’d have been using Septic System Blowout every other day for all these years — even if you don’t have a septic tank. It’ll solve all your problems, except that one about being so dumb.”Strangely enough, I find that insulting.

Still, the folks who really get my goat are the ones who say, “This is not your mother’s (or your father’s) world.” No, it’s not, but we all might be better off if it were.

Anyway, taking everything into consideration in this column, I have decided unanimously (me, myself and I) to award today’s Annoying Prize to people who deliver their opinions on every subject in the world (ok, people like me) and then end up saying, “Think about it,” or “Think again.”

As if I never thought about it until their superior brain brought it up?

Actually, I find that annoying even though I might agree with them, which, I suppose, is rather annoying of me.

Think about it.

Maude McDaniel is a Cumberland freelance writer. Her column appears on alternate Sundays in the Times-News.

 

1
Text Only
Maude McDaniel - Living
  • Trivial questions you don’t have to answer

    Every so often in this life, my mind, all on its own, generates questions that have no real answers. So I have decided to pass them on to you. I’m tired of them. If you come up with any answers, let me know. Remember when TV jealously guarded the time zone before 9 p.m. for wholesome shows that children could watch. My gosh, how many years ago was that? It seems like another world nowadays, when you can see murders, torture and rape, or those implied, every hour on the hour, somewhere on your public screen. It might be comforting then, to remember that most children nowadays are glued to their little machines with whole different worlds on them, that they can access all day long. Except that in these different worlds they also can view murders, torture and rape on demand.

    April 20, 2014

  • Rusty writes about the nature of doghood

    I am a dog.
    Therefore I bark.
    I don’t understand why it is so hard for humans to understand this.
    I mean, there are certain things that come with the territory, right?

    April 5, 2014

  • Free-range reminiscing and occasional nostalgia

    When I was in grade school, (many more years ago than when either of you were in grade school) my daily winter (fall, spring) routine included walking to school across a railroad track.

    March 22, 2014

  • Beatles return us to what might have been

    Here’s a a free gift from Goldy (to your left), and it should get us going with a good laugh, that both my readers will approve of. Then, after that (fair warning) I am going to turn a little sour.

    March 8, 2014

  • What’s missing in TV cooking shows? Lots

    As if badmouthing cupcakes isn’t bad enough — I have to go on and say this: I think the plates of food that are winning so many of the prizes on the Food Channel are well — boring.

    February 22, 2014

  • Only one person doesn’t like cupcakes

    Cupcake-wise, the last four or five years have ballooned into a huge plus for almost any bakery that attempts them. (Not to mention the ballooning of many of the individuals involved.) You could call cupcakes the up-cakes of our time. Well, you could, but I guess only I would, and even then only in a column on a very good day, when everything else was go!

    February 8, 2014

  • Some of us are ‘privy’ to certain information

    Outhouses used to be an object of fascination for me. (and in fact I wrote a column about them in 2007. Since we have all forgotten that, I decided to write another one this week.

    January 25, 2014

  • Just the right thing for very cold weather

    Beginning the new year with a tasty recipe always seemed like a good idea to me. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it should be a healthy recipe, and I’m a little short of those. It turns out that the period I learned to cook in (the 40s and 50s) was not noted for its general nutritional values. Although, of course, we thought we were pretty much on course there. Later, the next generation informed us that we were way off track and what did we mean by raising them in such unwholesome habits. (Foodwise, I mean. They arrived at certain other unwholesome habits on their own.)

    January 12, 2014

  • Who thinks these things up, anyway?

    Here are some of the best jokes (of the email world) in 2013. Have a Happy New Year, as I plan to!

    December 28, 2013

  • How do we compare with rest of the U.S.?

    I recently purchased “The World Almanac 2014,” reviewing events of this year, energy, government, science and technology, past and present celebrities, U.S. and world history, nations of the world and sports.

    December 14, 2013

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads