Seinfeld-esque: What do our pet peeves say about us?

Seinfeld Graffiti

Seinfeld Graffiti (Photo credit: Essl)

I consider myself to be an easy-going kinda’ guy. There are one or two pet peeves, though. For instance, It doesn’t thrill me to hear people use the word “literally” just to add emphasis.  I’ve always understood its proper use to be when a figure of speech isn’t used figuratively. In a Spongebob Squarepants episode my kids were watching yesterday, after a series of events Squidward ended up in a garbage dump. Spongebob noted that Squidward was “down in the dumps” (though he didn’t actually use the word “literally”). I’m not sure why that word affects me so much, but it does.

There’s another thing that peeves me that’s Seinfeld-esque. I don’t know why people who are able-bodied use handicapped spaces in parking lots. Sometimes they throw on their hazard lights to indicate to the rest of us that they’re on a quest to conquer some grocery supply emergency, justifying their social infraction. That’s supposed to be okay by the rest of us? Then there are those who borrow the vehicle of somebody who is handicapped and misuse the privilege. The car isn’t handicapped, the driver or passenger is!  The reaction of the people who trashed Seinfeld’s uncle’s car in that episode (if I’m remembering it correctly) went a bit over the top, but I catch their drift.

I don’t know why these things bug me. My book, and the way I like to do church, is based on what the people are passionate about; the good things they’re attracted to. But I don’t want to overlook the things that God gives us a distaste for.  Using the word “literally” properly may not be of interest to God, but I wonder if it points to my desire for adequate communication. That is something the church needs more of. Or, what if my handicapped parking peeve points to a need for consideration for those who are disadvantaged? Or, it could be an aversion toward those who feel they have license to operate above the rules of the community that the rest of us adhere to.

I know that there isn’t a positive explanation for everything that annoys me just like everything I take pleasure in isn’t good. But, it’s worth thinking about. What things peeve you, and what might that say about changes in the world that God might want you to play a role in?


6 thoughts on “Seinfeld-esque: What do our pet peeves say about us?

  1. I think one of my pet peeves, and I see this increasingly (unfortunately) is when parents berate their children using four letter expletives and threaten them with physical violence “when we get home” and then say “I don’t know were they get it from” when their children are foul mouthed and violent to other children.
    Another is when walking down the High (Main) Street and I hear young people, but especially young girls using these same four letter expletives in their every day conversation as if it meant nothing (which sadly to them it doesn’t).
    There are many, mainly related to language, but I will make this the last. It is the misuse of the words can and may. I was the beneficiary of a classical education, and our Languages Master drove this home. When asking permission for something, such as going to the restroom during a lesson if we said “can I” he would respond “your ability to do so has never been in doubt boy, the question you should address is whether you MAY”. Trust me when told this often enough a) you learn and b) it gets to you when others misuse it.

      • Both really, and they are inter-related because without proper communication AND respect for ones self and others we cannot function well in society. In my humble opinion.

  2. And I’m figuratively nodding my approval, too. 🙂

    Passive voice writing is my peeve. It it known (or should be, by most writers) that editors will reject it, thus we have been behooved to avoid it.

    I’m with you, too, Frank, on the idea of people not cursing or threatening their kids. We teach them that they can ignore us because we don’t mean anything we say; we also teach them how to express themselves when they’re angry. I believe the way we talk to our kids when they’re three or four is exactly the way they’ll talk to us when they’re bigger than we (in their upper teens.) If you bad-mouth them, they’ll bad-mouth right back at you when they are too big to discipline anymore.

    I never spend time at blogs where I find a sprinkling of four-letter words. It’s strikes me as a display of immature people saying, “Look, I can talk dirty!” My response is: grow up once and get a language.

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