MANNERS/CUSTOMS

10 Overly-Specific Annoyances That Anger Me Far More Than They Should

Overly Specific Annoyances - No Annoying Noises Sign
A lot of people will tell you that to be successful as a writer, that you should always "Write What You Know." Depending on which writers you talk to, this idea is either lifechangingly brilliant, or pure, unadulterated, greeting card bullshit. I guess I'd say I stand somewhere in the middle.
 
I will admit that in the beginning, I tried to "write what I knew", but it didn't take me long to realize that I didn't know much about anything anyone cared about. No worries though; I just decided to modify the phrasing slightly so it would apply to me, and then used that as my writing mantra.

So: "Write What You Know" became "Write a few worthwhile paragraphs on a random topic like before becoming bored and simply cluttering-up the remainder of the article with irrelevant rants, tiring nonsequitors, and run on sentences so long that a lot of the time upon reaching the end you'll be lost entirely and yet too indifferent to care".
 
All-in-all, I'd say things worked out pretty well so far. Oh, and also, on a semi-related related note: Below this intro you'll find an article in which I good-naturedly complain about oddly specific things which annoy me.

If you could find the time to look through it for me, I'd really be much obliged.

9 Impractical & Potentially Offensive Ways To Avoid Shaking Hands

9 Devious Ways To Avoid Shaking Hands
Of all the pointless and antiquated traditions humans infuriatingly continue to adhere to, shaking hands is probably the one I resent me the most. I'm not quite sure why I hate the idea of handshakes so much, and since it'd take more than a few sessions with a psychiatrist to figure it out, I'll probably never know for sure. But if I had to guess, it'd say it's probably a combination of two things:
 
  1. Handshakes serve no practical purpose and I see them as phony and insincere.
  2. I'm a contrarian sociopath who derives pleasure from flouting social codes I disapprove of.
 
In all honestly, it's probably 99% due to the latter, but in the end, I guess it doesn't really matter why I hate handshakes. I just do. What's really important is that I've come up with this list of ways to get out of shaking hands. Granted, this guide won't be of much use to actual well-rounded adults, but certain groups people (Germaphobes, Insufferable Iconoclasts, Angry Goth Teens, etc) will likely find it very useful.
 
So with that in mind, here are 9 sneaky and underhanded ways to get out of shaking someone's hand.

The Alphabet Of Swearing

 The Alphabet Of Swearing - Fcuk
Recently I performed a search on the internet for "The Alphabet Of Swearing" in the hopes of finding a list of curse words beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Much to my surprise, aside from a couple of disappointing "Yahoo Answers" replies and an article or two from websites even shittier than this one, I came up emptyhanded.
 
Needless to say, I could not let this stand. A world in which a thoughtful list of curse-words for each letter of the alphabet did not exist somewhere on the internet was not a world in which I wanted to live.

This left me with two choices: I could either commit suicide, or create and publish the alphabet of swearing myself. So I decided to go with the list.

The Casually Dismissive Guide to Funerals

Casually Dismissive Guide to Funerals - Coffin Sidecar
It's been a long time since I wrote my original Guide To Funerals. It's one of the first articles I ever wrote, and the childishness of my worldview at that time certainly shows. Fortunately, dear reader, a lot has changed since then. I've grown up. I've matured. I've gotten married, bought a beautiful four bedroom, one-and-a-half bath ranch home, and my wife and I have had 3 beautiful little boys (Zack, Moses, and Topper) all of whom are now the collective loves of my life.
 
Also, I've apparently begun lying for no reason, because none of that shit is even remotely true. I live by myself, eat pop tarts as meals, and spend most of my free time writing shitty stories about sasquatches. So yeah, life is pretty good.
 
But I hope you'll excuse me, because I have to get on with disrespecting the recently dead and the behavior of those who grieve for them.

5 Phrases Nerds Should Really Stop Using

  Nerds Stop Saying
As far as I'm concerned, the term "Nerd" has been rendered all but meaningless. I wouldn't use it at all, except I'm not sure how else I'm supposed to describe people who play World of Warcraft for 33 hours straight while listening to a single Dragonforce song on repeat, or who will say "lawl" out loud without a hint of hesitation or self-consciousness. So let's just say I'm updating Nerd for the 21st century. Now, instead of pocket protectors, glasses, and Dungeons & Dragons, Nerd signifies an unreasonable love of anime, horrifyingly frequent postings on message boards, and a complete and utter lack of anything resembling originality.
 
These are the social cripples, the sniveling masturbators. Rejected (some would say rightly so) by their schoolyard peers, they have sought refuge amongst the similarly-damaged youths who make up the online collective. Here, they are given the opportunity to climb a reverse social ladder, one in which the individual is not rewarded for attractiveness, physical prowess, cleverness, or the ability to abstain from using racial slurs, but rather by Time Spent Grinding, Posts Per Hour, and (most relevant to this article) The Ability to Deliberately Mimic The Deliriously Annoying & Repetitive Patterns of Speech Favored By One's Online Peers. Which is to say: There are far too many internet nerds perpetuating rock-stupid verbal memes.
 
Below are a few common nerdly phrases which--when used--cause me to become unreasonably upset.

How To Write a Proper Thank-You Note

Suicide Note
Thank-You notes are, without a doubt, absolutely integral to the way our society functions. Let's say for example that you've just attended a fantastic party hosted by Shane O'Sullivan, one of your closest Irish-American friends. Your first thought upon arriving home from the party would most likely be something like: "Wow, that sure was a great party, I'll have to tell that crazy Mick what a wonderful time I had next time I see him."

Not so fast there pal! The first thing you should realize is that calling an Irish person a "Mick" is pretty offensive. Just because a subset of people look and talk funny, are normally small in stature, and oftentimes have problems pleasing their women in bed due to their tendency to overindulge on alcohol and possibly a genetic predisposition towards small penis size, it doesn't give you the right to stereotype them with racial slurs! There might be a few Irish guys who would probably be pretty nice people, once you get to know them. But I suppose you don't care about that, do you? What a racist.

Words & Phrases I Do Not Particularly Care For (Part 3): Babes, Google It, Rig

No Talking

The third article in a series of articles describing a bunch of crappy words that I wish people didn't use. This section covers: Babes, Google It, and Rig.

Contents:
Part 3 - Babes / Google It
Part 2 - Owned / Fag / 110%
Part 1 - Pimp / Blogosphere



Part 3


No Talking
Babes

"Hottest Babes of All Time"

Gentleman’s Translation
Women?

Who Says It?
  • Apparently Just Journalists
  • OK Maybe Beetlejuice Too

Why Not Say It?
The only way I could allow you to use the word “Babes” would be if these criteria were met:
  1. You were to travel back in a time machine to the year 1982

  2. You must take a role as an extra in surfing film entitled Surf’s Up

  3. Your character’s name in the credits must be cited as either: Beach Bum #2, J.T., or Boner

  4. You must be sporting a shaggy haircut in which bleached blonde hair drapes over your eyes

  5. You must be wearing a pair of gigantic pink and electric green swimming trunks

  6. One of the lines in the script of said film must call for the character you are playing to point to a group of women, brush the hair out of your eyes, and shout excitedly: “Babes!”

No Talking
Then, AND ONLY THEN, would I allow the word “Babes” to be used in a non-sarcastic fashion; as then it could be understood, if not condoned. But the number of modern, high-traffic, professional websites I’ve seen using this term have puzzled me. It has left me with a number of important questions (yes, I like numbered lists):
  1. Who are these people who are creating headlines and features with titles like “The Babes of E3”, “Babes of Anime”, or even “Booth Babes”?

  2. Are they so utterly removed from the activities of other “regular” human beings that they don’t realize that nobody has used the term “Babes” for 20 years, and that even then it was a word that only obscenely huge freaks used?

  3. Is it thought that more men will click on a story involving scantily-clad women if the word “Babes” is used in the title? I can tell you from personal life experience (and common sense) that all you have to do is use ANY word describing women in any way. Better yet, just show a picture of a woman’s ass.

  4. Do they actually use the word in their everyday lives? For example, while the editors of IGN go out for a night on the town do any of them ever (upon spotting a group of particularly attractive women) elbow the person next to them, raise their eyebrows, and remark “Check out those bodacious babes!”

  5. Why are they are ignoring the years of man baiting using the time-tested “Girls” or the newer “Teens” that more experienced sex-selling companies have been using since the beginning of time? Examples: All Nude Girls, Girls Gone Wild, Hot Teens, XXX, Teen, Sex, Badger, Donkey, Hee-Haw, Fatchick, Dead, Infant, Midget, XXXX
Obviously sites like IGN are going to go all high and mighty and pretend to be above such lowly methods, but I would posit that they are simply worse at peddling their brand of upskirt video game convention pornography than most porn sites.

Yeeck. No More!



Google It
Gun
"Just google it, idiot."
Gentleman’s Translation
  • Look it up
Who says it?
  • Internet People
  • Lazy Message Board Jackasses
  • Google Executives

Why not use it?

Last time I checked, google is the world’s most popular search engine, which means that EVERYBODY ALREADY KNOWS ABOUT IT. Here's a tip then: You don't need to specify which search engine a person is to use when you ask that they look something up. Talk about unnecessary. What do you think is going to happen: "Oh, that guy just refused to help me and told me to go look up some information, I think I'll check out ASK JEEVES." I don't think so.

I'm not sure what is worse, someone not looking up certain information themselves on a search engine, or some fat piece of crap with his chubby hand down his sweatpants yelling at him for not looking the information up himself. At the very least, the first guy is probably just lazy, while the second is more than likely a seminude pile of sentient goo slathered into a faded office chair.

Fat
Anyway, unless you feel like going out of your way to be some unpaid corporate mouthpiece whore for google, you should just say “look it up” or “search for it” and let them figure out which search engine they want to use on their own. Where will it end? Soon you'll hear someone saying something like:

“I Gmailed you last night after we Googlechatted because I Googlecalendared the dates you talked to me about. Friday is a good day for us to meet and Piasca over those photographs I took when I was in Cancun (where I couldn't access my favorite search engine ever Google (located conveniently at www.google.com!) in May.”

It’s ridiculous and all because google has a good public image. Would you say “go and Microsoft some information on cat breeding” or “I just Clearchanneled for a list of top 10 lawyer jokes”? If you would, you’d better be in the marketing department at either of those companies, and if you wouldn’t, stop being a hypocrite and please stop saying “google it” because you are going to make me cry rage tears.

This message brought to you by Google (seriously, it's true): A corporation which makes cool stuff but is apparently not large enough to be universally hated like Microsoft just yet. Nor should you hate it, just please stop using it as a verb.




Case
Rig

"Yeah I just upgraded my rig last month."


Gentleman's Translation:
Computer.

Who Says It?
  • PC Tech Magazine Editors
  • Prety Much Everybody Who Builds Computers
Why Not Use It?
There are so many reasons why you should not be using this word, and frankly I'm surprised that I even need to be typing this. Usually the general public has at least a decent sense of when a word is cheesy, overused, or pointless, but this word seems to have gotten through the unacceptable pop culture filter for some reason.

Nobody is fooling anybody by calling their computer a rig. It does not make you any less of a loser for having built your own computer, it does not make you any less pathetic for having put windows and lights in your case, and it certainly won't make women gag any less when they get close to you. By using this word you are saying one of three things:
  1. I enjoy mindlessly emulating those around me for no particular reason
  2. I have no sense of self-consciousness
  3. I don't care what people think about me (read: I am inordinately insecure and sad and attempt to cover this fact up by pretending to be above everyone else oh please will someone like me)

I'm not exactly sure what sort of image pc users are attempting to project when they call a computer a rig anyway. The only other time I've heard this word used in a similar manner is by burly over-the-road truckers describing their tractors, and to describe oil rigs. Let's see: Powerful working-class hauling machines, heavy machinery used in refining oil. Yeah, those sure do fit right in with your little 600 dollar custom pc that you stenciled purple flames onto. Jesus. And also, truckers don't call their tractors "rigs" any more, even they realize how cheesy and ridiculous a person sounds when saying it. Not to mention that a trucker's big rig is actually something useful. To apply this name to something that boils down to nothing more than a really expensive toy makes it all the more hilarious.

So please, I am begging you, all of you (and you know who you are):

PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF SWEET BABY MOSES IN THE REEDS STOP CALLING YOUR COMPUTER A "RIG"


Back to Part 2

Words & Phrases I Do Not Particularly Care For (Part 2): Owned, Fag, 110%

No Talking

This is Part 2 in a series of articles about obnoxious words which I hate. This one is about: Owned, Fag, and 110%. That's probably the only information you need, right?

Contents:
Part 3 - Babes / Google It / Rig
Part 2 - Owned / Fag / 110%
Part 1 - Pimp / Blogosphere



Part 2


Owned Stop
Owned

"Holy crap dude, you just got Owned!"

Gentleman’s Translation:
I am attempting to fill the deep, all-consuming sadness that lurks within me by calling attention to a petty victory!


Who Says It?
  • Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible People
  • Kids
  • Pathetic Adult Gamers

Why Not Use It?
Usage of this word is limited almost exclusively to people who play video games. Normally, educated humans don’t use words like this. If you have ever used the either of these words in a game, there is a 99% chance that you are one of the childish and annoying people online who everyone else hates, and also that I think it wouldn't be so bad if you were to be stabbed in the lung.

What many of the people who use this word do not realize is that the idea of saying you “own” another person originally comes from slang used by prison inmates. Larger, more powerful inmates lay claim to (or “own”) weaker inmates, thus labeling them as their own personal “punk” or “bitch”. This relationship allows the stronger inmate to freely engage in sexual acts with his punk without having to worry about interference from other inmates. Needless to say that these sexual acts are not usually consensual.

The bottom line is this:

When you say you have “owned” someone,  you are claiming to have performed a violent and painful form of anal rape upon them against their will.

This about this for a moment, if you will. It really isn’t much of an insult to the person who you say you've "owned". After all, who comes out looking worse in that particular relationship? The guy who "got owned" certainly didn’t want anything to do with you! There he is, wandering around capturing flags and trying to have a good time with some of his friends online and suddenly you creep up from behind him, stuff a pillow in his mouth, and start getting busy in the back yard, whether he likes it or not. Yes, I do believe the person doing the “owning” is the one I’d like an explanation from.

Anyway I hope you people will think twice before using this term.



Corprate Stooge
110%

“Alright folks! Let’s get to work on this project, and let’s all give 110%!”
 

Gentleman’s Translation:
Put forth your best effort!


Who Says It?
  • Phony Management Types
  • Parents
  • Teachers

Why Not Use It?
Come on, it’s meaningless! You’ve no doubt heard the old joke that it’s impossible to give more than 100%. I wouldn't even technically call this a joke, because it is correct. I would say that giving 100% would mean putting forth every last bit of a person’s effort and strength towards some goal. Technically, this would end with the person’s death. You’ve given 100% of your effort, 100% of your brain power, and 100% of your strength: I hope it was worth it, because now you’re dead!

And to give 110%? This would probably be easy enough if you were some sort of eldritch daemon or powerful warlock. You would need to leech the lifeforce from some other unwilling being and then channel their energy into the goal as well. For most of us this is impractical, so stop saying this!



Gay Man
Fag / Gay

“That is so gay…”
“Oh my god! You’re such a fag!”


Gentleman’s Translation:
"You are acting in a manner which I find unappealing, sir!"
"This turn of events or situation displeases me greatly."


Who Says It?
  • Men
  • Manly Women
  • Bigots
  • 13-Year-Old Boys
  • People Who Don’t Really Know Any Gay People, Or At Least The Gay People They Know Aren't Around At The Moment


Why Not Use It?
Well, if you’re either a bigot or a 13-year-old boy, I suppose nobody’s going to be able to stop you from using these terms; they’re probably a big part of your life. For everyone else, I would strongly suggest you abstain from the use of these terms. This is so that you don’t come off looking like a bigot or a 13-year-old boy. Instead, you might try bringing back some of this old classic slang that nobody uses anymore:
  • 1950s - "Jeepers, you sure aren't as swell as I thought you were!"
  • 1920s - "Pipe down ya crazy pilker, or I'll give ya the bum's rush!"
  • 1850s - "You are nothing but a country clergyman, with a one-story intellect and a one-horse vocabulary!
  • 1800s - "Your correspondent caps the climax of Misrepresentation!"


Bonus Reader Mail:
Molester
West Texas Molester asks:
Sometimes I just need to speak like a 13-year-old boy! One example is when I’m prowling an internet chatroom. In that situation I need to use the same language as kids in order that I might endear myself to them. Is this behavior appropriate?

Well Molester,
First off, I would say that if your job (or perhaps hobby in your case) requires you to adopt a false persona, you could be forgiven for using these terms. But it would be best to try and find alternatives that aren’t quite as offensive and which would still allow you to maintain your cover. But in your case, I would recommend working on not molesting children before you start worrying about the language you use around them. By the way, have you ever seen the film Little Children? I think the ending of that movie has something fun in it you might want to try.



Back to Part 1
   OR    Continue to Part 3

Words & Phrases I Do Not Particularly Care For (Part 1): Pimp, Blogosphere

No Talking

This is Part 1 in a series of articles about bad words. Terrible, awful, and very bad words which have become annoyingly prevalent for some reason or another and should never be used, because they hurt you and those around you. I will attempt to define and discuss these ridiculous words, their origins, and the reasons why they trouble me so. New terms and phrases will be added to the top of the article as they are uncovered, or maybe they won't.
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