About eleven months ago I started a curmudgeon list. I had a handful of gripes I often had as an editor. It was not an exhaustive list. And since I tend toward a curmudgeonly disposition, it is is not a list that will likely ever stop growing. As you can guess, it is a list that can and does include things not associated with editing books and dealing with authors. In the last several months, I’ve had some pressure building up. This blog post is my relief valve. Additions to curmudgeon list after the jump.
6. The words ‘amongst’ and ‘whilst’ sound pretentious to me. ‘Among’ and ‘while’ work just fine in almost every context. If you regularly use ‘amongst’ and ‘whilst,’ I apologize if this offends. Curmudgeons do that sometimes.
7. The path/sidewalk is only so wide. Do I really need to say something to your four-abreast walking/talking group about me running by when you can obviously see me? And when you are alone staring at your phone, would you mind walking to one side of the path or the other instead of square in the middle where I have to decide which way to go around you and hope you don’t drift in the same direction while you dawdle along?
8. When using short-form footnotes, it is not at all helpful to select your favorite word from the book’s subtitle as the shortened title, especially given that the bibliography, from which readers will be looking for the book’s full information, is organized alphabetically.
9. Apostrophe s does not make a word plural. It makes the word possessive.
10. AD should be placed before the date, not after. BC, BCE, and CE follow the year, but the abbreviation for Anno Domini (“In the year of the Lord”) should be placed before the year. In the year of the Lord 2014.
11. If I am sitting at a nearby table having the rare date with my beautiful wife and I can hear only your side of the conversation going on at your table, you are talking too loud and more than a little distracting me from the conversation I’m having with my beautiful wife about something other than our kids. Oh, who am I kidding, we are talking about our kids! But you are still too darn loud!!!
12. It’s a bike lane, not a turning lane.
13. The sign says ‘No Turn On Red.’ Quit honking at me to turn!
14. This one may tick off the largest group. Independence Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Thanksgiving, and any other holiday created by the nation to honor a group of people or an event in the nation’s history all have their place for the nation’s citizenry, but the church made of citizens of a different domain is not the place.
Any other curmudgeon’s amongst us? Stick your head out of your trash can whilst you can and get some stuff off your chest. It’s 2014 AD, for goodness sake, if you can’t air your gripes on the interwebs, where can you release the pressure building up inside?