A lot of things
Make me Very Cranky

"I'm just saying...."

Where on earth did this come from? Yes indeed, you're just saying. You've just said it.

A huge list of things that make me cranky!

There are a lot of things I dislike in television programs and in films but with the aid of my pointy thing I can either turn off the sound in a flash, or speed on past. Until I began this list I didn't realise just how many things annoyed me. It is a miracle I can watch television at all.

The other amazing thing is that, in spite of all the things that make me cranky, I am a very happy, even joyful! and optimistic person.

  • Background music so loud it drowns out the dialogue (communication fail)
  • Using the lyrics of songs to tell the story (communication fail)
  • Heads under water and that absolutely includes baths
  • Anyone going undercover, makes me very nervous
  • Vomit
  • Urinating
  • Operations on toes and/or mouths
  • Brushing teeth
  • People ignoring doorbells and telephones (bad manners)
  • Eating
  • Chewing gum
  • Any sort of competition, I can't bear to see people lose so turn off the program
  • Snow
  • Caves
  • People crawling through airconditioning ducts
  • Deserts
  • Scenes shot at night or in very dark rooms
  • Magic
  • Jazz
  • Nightclubs
  • Sport
  • Love scenes
  • Fish being caught
  • Animals killing each other
  • Humans killing animals
  • Anything set in an historical period
  • Violence except for zombies!

Cranky in March 2015

For the past two years I have driven across a sick bridge in Mackay about four times a week. Vines Creek Bridge since that time has had a 40 kilometres an hour speed limit for a very good reason. As I am an incredibly compliant person (except where the spelling of kilometre is concerned), I always reduce my speed to 40 and I am then tailgated by irate drivers who, at the end of the bridge, zoom around me very loudly. I fail to see a problem with driving at 40 for less than a minute.

Cranky in September 2013

So, having been cranky below about Captcha, I have now been forced to add it to a new website I have done on Mackay nursing homes because of the huge amount of spam that was coming through. And it works, so thank you. I continue to have great problems reading the wavy letters on sites but the code serves a purpose.

And I can be cranky about many movies - people driving cars, racing away from danger, who never ever look in their rear vision mirror, they always turn around to look out their back window thereby putting themselves at even more risk with an accident likely to happen. Are scriptwriters to blame, or directors, or actors?

Cranky in June 2012

Are Hollywood scriptwriters giving up writing original scripts? So many of the films these days show the characters driving/walking/running with a soundtrack of a modern song, the words of which are supposed to explain the feelings of the character. I love opera, but prefer it in any language as long as it is not English as the words are stupid, and likewise I don't listen to the words of most popular songs as they are also stupid with obvious rhymes. And if it is the fault of the actors, that they can't show feelings, then find new actors. Very cranky because I am cold.

Unreadable

I have just come across, yet again, the ungodly captcha thing and it took me three tries before I could work out what the letters were. I do not have any problems reading English but it really is guesswork to make out letters which are wavy, distorted and motheaten. I was about to give up. I know there is a sound option but I don't have sound on my computer.

An Americanism that appears to be embedded

In Australia September 9 is 9/11.

He wrote what??

Yes, Diana, the author really did write "he trousered his mobile" and not once, but twice. Now what is the world coming to? And the sad thing is the rest of the book is very well written.

Contemn, contemn, contemn

Just as bad as the millions of people who say all that 'glistens is not gold' when it is now, and always has been, GLISTERS.

So it is a natural segue to complain bitterly about that piece of poetry, written by Laurence Binyon, that is much quoted at this time of year. The word is NOT condemn. The word is CONTEMN.

I feel much better now.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Shattering experiences

Must be a huge amount of broken glass in the United States. Apparently people are constantly cracking car windows, house windows etc. Maybe they all have anger management problems. Alternatively perhaps they could open the windows instead.

Streets ahead

I fail to understand why the writers of so many books feel it is utterly necessary to give us a run down of every street along which the hero/anti hero drives. It may be fascinating for someone in Manchester, who reads a book set in Manchester, to be able to say 'I know that street', but for people who live elsewhere (and there is a great deal of elsewhere) it is meaningless and a waste of a paragraph or six.

Absolutely pitiful

I am not so much cranky at the following, rather gobsmacked that anyone who has the slightest understanding of English, would consider using this to promote the price of tickets to something (which I have totally forgotten because my mind went blank for a while)...
"$10 waged $5 unwaged".

Well golly gosh.

That word

And from Mark - "I hate the word 'iconic', which is about the only adjective newspaper hacks seem to have in their vocabulary these days. Makes me iconoclastic."

And I agree as I am moved to fury when I read about icons who, far from being saints, are simply people who play sport and then of course we have heroes - a hero is someone who undertakes a brave act, usually to help others.

But, back to iconic, it appears there are many journalists (the very ones who overuse this word) who feel very cranky about the constant misuse of the word.

Mark's dislike is mirrored by a list put together by academics from the Lake Superior State University in Michigan which suggests iconic and maverick and desperate search should all be banned as they have lost their meaning. The list adds that iconic is now "overused to the point where everything from a fast-food restaurant chain to celebrities is 'iconic'".

The Guardian style guide editor, David Marsh was truly fed up with iconic way back in August 2007 and went so far as to count instances of the word during the preceding twelve months. In the Guardian alone he said there were 493 instances of iconic, and 670 of icon or icons.

moreintelligentlife.com also derides the overuse of iconic describing it as 'today's expression of humankind's perennial bent towards aggrandisement". Jonathan Meades has unfortunately read of the word being used for everything from baby lotion to a shoehorn and of course to many people and buildings. He traced the meaning of the word "from the ancient Greeks and the early Christians (the original iconoclasts), to the Nazis and Stalin, and on to the visual bombast of today's stadium-rock concerts".

Don Hauptman from earlytorise.com noted iconic originally meant having the characteristic of an icon, usually a saint. He said "the word has become a tool for exaggeration and is now a cliche".

Then there are the mistakes - the Boston mayor described local athletes as having 'ionic' achievements. Maybe, instead of running around with a silly ball they were playing statues and pretending to be columns.

More butter doesn't make it better

I wrote in an earlier post how butter was being used increasingly in novels to describe anything leather. The word is jumping out at me now and the latest I have found refers to wine, and as connoisseurs of wine are known for their totally erratic use of adjectives, (like sports writers), perhaps it is not surprising to find "buttery white chilled liquid".

And here is the explanation from www.logabottle.com - "A buttery wine ....has a rich, creamy texture and a smooth finish, much like liquid butter. The flavor of butter in a wine is the result of an oak barrel fermentation process and extended contact time with yeasts. However, due to the tannins and other overpowering characteristics of oak-barreled red wines, a butter flavor is nearly exclusive to white wines. "

Which is probably why, when I rarely have a drink, I stick with red. The idea of drinking something which reminds me of liquid butter makes me want to throw up.

I can't stop the music

Increasingly I find that television programs and dvds are being produced with very loud "background" music to the point where it is very difficult to understand the dialogue. Add in strong accents and it is very easy to totally miss out on what is going on. I don't have any problems with deafness, however once upon a time, (in the olden days), music was added to films to enhance the mood and it did just that. Hitchcock made wonderful use of music to that end, but it was never too loud. In fact he also used silence to enhance mood and I think of the scene in The Birds where the woman is sitting on a seat outside the school and there is no music, no dialogue, no sound at all I think, just the sight of birds alighting nearby. It was totally creepy.

If only someone would invent a pointy thing that could decrease different areas of audio, such as the music. It is useless turning up the general sound as the dialogue might be louder but the music is even more so and still covers up the talking.

A cranky bit
I really need to get over

As a frail aged geriatric I often get extra cranky and one of those times is when I am trapped in a hospital waiting room, armed with a book of course, and the television blares away. As someone who hates the sound of commercial television (and commercial radio) this is not only an anathema but it also causes me great fury. I sit and read and fume. I think violent thoughts and as I am a pacifist this is not a good thing.

Today, not being in a waiting room but in my serene home with ABC FM Classical floating around me, and surrounded by lovely animals and family and books and windchimes, I realise I must get over my fury when I am placed in this situation.

Sadly a lot of people don't read, in the days when televisions were not a feature of hospital and surgery waiting rooms, such people sat and stared into space and no doubt worried themselves sick about what was ahead. Having a television working in the area means people who don't read have something to look at and be distracted by. And who am I to take such a minor pleasure and help away from them? You're a rotter, Diana.

I resolve to think calming loving understanding thoughts next time. And unfortunately I can't stand earplugs so that is not an option.

Butter but not menthols

Now that everyone is confused, I have been getting increasingly cranky as I read book after book in which leather couches, leather jackets, in fact anything leather, is always preceded by "butter soft" or "buttery". This isn't just an occasional occurence but occurs over and over. I wish I had been making a note of all the names of the novels. The novels are all from the USA, perhaps there is something weird about leather over there, or something weird about the authors.

Cranky again

I have been uncranky for ages, maybe I am maturing. My crankiness at the moment relates to books which clearly do not pass the eye of an editor and instead of normal speech, everyone says "I would not know", "I could not tell you".

I hadn't realised how much contractions, wouldn't, can't, shouldn't etc., make a sentence flow. Reading my present book, which is about to be dumped, I am constantly annoyed and, what is worse, I am returned to the present day when all I want is to be swept along by the book, even if it is England and it is raining.

Oddly enough

Having written the above paragraphs I realise I am totally perverse because in day-to-day conversation there are certain contractions which I consider to be an abomination. For instance that word bub, and then there is hubby, not to mention telly, brolly etc. I use the word 'cardie' on purpose as this reflects my love of Fawlty Towers.

Talk about a distraction!

There are numerous e-mails doing the rounds at the moment which show some beautiful photographs of animals, how sad then, that the text on the photographs appears to be baby talk. They would be equally amusing if correct English was concerned. Below are two examples.

Rotten English!

Here is another one

More rotten English!

Starting off 2010 with....

Intersectoral.

This abomination flies around government and community agency areas. It is NOT a word.

And the other one I heard just a few days ago which totally turned my stomach, spade-ready. What does this mean? Perhaps it relates to cadavers which are beginning to smell. It relates, apparently, to operations which are about to begin.

A December 2009 annoyance

During the past month Mackay's local newspaper has begun to use the word 'tasked' when referring to rescues, as in the service was tasked to attend a man who was involved in an accident etc. This terminology is new however I hope it ceases very quickly.

A phrase which has upset Diana since she went on-line almost a decade ago

And that phrase is 'Forgot Password?'

Surely it should be 'Forgotten Password?'??

In the early days of Hotmail I sent them an e-mail regarding this, not realising that the people at Hotmail would never answer.

And I still incensed whenever I walk down Peel Street in Mackay where there are two signs and both spell that word as 'accomodation'. If I remember rightly, one of the signs is fluorescent. All the better to agitate me.

Two more words which upset Diana on February 16, 2009

Two more words that I happily, so far, only find in novels which are written by people from the United States, are crib and burb. One crib was fine, it made a change for the word 'bed', or 'home', but when it appeared every thirty or so pages it became most annoying. Now I find it over and over and it jumps out at me and brings me back to reality which I don't necessarily want.

And the other word, burb, is short for suburb, in much the same way Americans say hood for neighbourhood. I fail to see what is wrong with writing the words out in full, unless, of course, writing burb and hood is cool. In which case people are overdoing it and could catch cold.

Ello Diana

Words which upset Diana in 2008

There are two sayings which drive me to distraction. I have never spoken them aloud, I go deaf if I hear them spoken and I skip them if I find them in printed matter. They are, of course, 24/7 and 9/11.

I do wonder, on occasion, what happened on November 9th. No one has the answer.

Forgot about this one, "Nor hell a fury, like a woman scorned". I don't think I have ever heard or read that one quoted correctly. Written by William Congreve in 1697 in his play, The Mourning Bride.

All that GLISTERS is not gold. The word is NOT glistens or glitters. It is glisters, a simply beautiful word and one which is under-utilised.

This is where I can write the following: ACCOMMODATION, not acommodation, not accomodation.

Where I can write "There are DRAWERS in a cupboard, a person draws, one will never find draws in a cupboard."


A note made on 23 March 2015

I am in the middle of designing and coding a new website and I have just read through all the above notes. And the tragic thing is ALL of those items continue to make me very cranky seven years later. Apparently I have not matured one iota during that time.


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This page was updated by Diana Kupke (Diana Mann) on 2 March 2019