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A pet peeve is a minor annoyance that an individual finds particularly irritating to a greater degree than would be expected based on the experience of others. The phrase analogizes that feeling of annoyance as a pet animal that one does not wish to give up, despite its objective lack of importance.

Everyone has their own personal opinions on what they perceive to be their own pet peeves. There are things that irritate us, make us mad, or cause our emotions and happiness to be negative. All of us have our reasons why these things are our pet peeves. Some if these causes are different than others and some very similar. These things shape our personalities. They are what makes us who we are.

Pet peeves often involve specific behaviors of someone close, such as a spouse or work associate. These actions may involve disrespect, manners, personal hygiene, relationships and family issues. However, often it’s best to adjust or silently ignore the annoying behavior rather than saying something such as, “Hey, you left the bathroom light on and I had to turn it off!” Not cool!

A key aspect of a pet peeve is that it may well seem acceptable or insignificant to others, while you likewise are not bothered by things that upset them. A pet peeve can best be described as something a person dislikes because it annoys him or her.

Here’s my current list ranked from least to most annoying:

12: As a writer I’m bothered by newscasters who say “12 noon” or “12 midnight.” There’s only one noon or midnight so just say it. “Our next telecast will be at noon today.”

11: No one dies any more. They “pass” or “join the angels,” “breathe their last,” “slip away,” “shuffle off this mortal coil,” “travel beyond the veil” and countless other euphemisms of saying anything but he or she died!

10: So many people say something similar to: “I was like amazed at the sight!” But weren’t you just amazed? What is like amazed, something else such as surprised or stunned? It doesn’t have to be like anything else. Eliminate the word like from your vocabulary!

9: You cut your finger. It’s bleeding. Now try to put a band aid on it. By the time you get it torn open you’ve got a mess of paper and blood all over the sink. Why are band aids – and a host of other packages, cartons, bottles, boxes, cans, etc. — so difficult to open!

8: Do you know people who are habitually late? And there’s always an excuse but seldom an apology.

7: Hopefully it’s not the same persons, but how about people who constantly talk about themselves and their tribulations, from health, family, work, vacations and so forth! Seldom to they ever ask how you are doing.

6. and 5: I’ve got a host of driving pet peeves but I’ll confine them to these two: “Improper use of turn signals” and “Making a left turn incorrectly.” The turn signal is not something you use to assist your vehicle in turning left or right. It’s to signal drivers behind and coming toward you that you intend to “turn.” Put it on long before you make a turn, not as you’re turning, if at all.

And when you intend to make a left turn at an intersection, put on your turn signal, of course, and pull halfway into the intersection when the light turns green to wait for oncoming traffic to pass. That way, when the intersection clears or the light turns yellow, you can complete your turn and maybe allow the vehicle behind you to also make the turn.

4: Littering! Need I say more? When I see someone throw something from their vehicle, I blow my horn to no avail. We used to live a few miles outside of the city. Before I could mow, I had to pick up all sorts of trash in our yard. Please pick up after yourselves. Being called a “litterbug” is too flattering.

3: And on the subject of littering the above especially goes for dog walkers. Please pick up after your pet(s)!

2. and 1: My last two peeves concern the telephone. Firstly, the number of unsolicited and scam calls we receive. And then the cell phone itself. What an intrusion in all of our lives! Yes, it’s a wonderful invention but it disrupts nearly everything we say and do especially by those who put it first and foremost in both their lives and others.

A baker’s dozen: Since this is my column, I get to list one more pet peeve. And that is, people, like me, who gripe about their pet peeves!

Vince LaBarbera
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Vince LaBarbera

Vince is a Fort Wayne native. He earned a master of science degree in journalism and advertising from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. LaBarbera is retired but continues to enjoy freelance writing and serving the Radio Reading Service of the Allen County Public Library. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer