I have a serious love for the English language, more specifically grammer. Truthfully, I am not an expert and make many, many mistakes - spelling, punctuation... Often I sit as I type, struggling to think of a synonym - shooting for something that sounds more brilliant than the mundane word my brain can't seem to skip past. In the last two days, though, I've been confronted with three very specific pet peeves I have and it's funny - I don't think I ever gave too much thought to just how much they bother me. Perhaps, if I type them out here, those little ear worms will wiggle their way out of my head. At least for now...
#1 - "ex-President Bush" A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I completely agree with her. Reuters posted an article regarding former President Bush's recent and still on-going as far as I know, stay in the hospital. The headline was "Ex-President Bush..." This one actually makes me angry. He is a FORMER President, not an "ex." To my way of thinking, using ex in this instance seems overwhelmingly disrespectful and it saddens me that "ex" is cropping up in many places it probably shouldn't. He held THE top office in the United States of America, as a veteran of that office, he deserves great respect. So does the title.
#2 - Referring to a person as "that." This one may not be "technically" wrong, I should do some digging here but it is, for me, for lack of a better description, "painful" to me when I see it. When someone says or writes something like: "My mother, the most beautiful woman that I have ever known." My mind goes right to the "that." That denotes an object - usually inanimate - to me. The sentence should read "My mother, the most beautiful woman who I have ever known." Of course, it probably should be "whom" but my memory is fuzzy on that rule. I only know my mother was a "who" not a "what/that" or "it/that."
#3 - , and. A comma before the word and is redundant and unnecessary. A comma denotes a pause - a shift in the tenor of the sentence. And is a joining of two thoughts. It also denotes a pause. A comma before an and is also not technically incorrect I've been told. Apparently that rule has changed since I was in school because I can still see my freshman English teacher dancing around the classroom teaching us about redundancy and how it indicates a lack of understanding in what you are actually trying to say.
These issues are again not technically wrong, I don't believe but they sure feel wrong to me. Pet peeves. Mine. They don't interrupt my life for too long...this post only took about 3 minutes to type. I'll probably forget very soon each of the above infractions and where I saw them...until they crop up somewhere else, tormenting my feeble brain yet again.
So...what are some of your pet peeves?