March 11, 2010

Stolen Drivel.

The other day Swistle posted about a pet peeve of hers, which cracked me UP:
I'm tired of the words "avid" and "voracious" being used so surprisingly often before the word "reader." It's a pet peeve of mine.
How's that? Better?
While I love the irony that readers tend to use an over worn cliche to describe themselves, the lovely Swistle was irked.  Read the comments, they are entertaining.  I am quite sure I have used both words to describe my own reading habits and I commented as such:
I have probably used "avid" to describe me as a reader. Why? Because nearly everyone is a reader. Everyone, unless you are illiterate, is technically "a reader". When describing my other hobbies, I simply state I am a knitter or an animation buff, because not everyone knits and not everyone collects animation. But EVERYONE reads.

So, yes. I am "enthusiastic" when it comes to my books and as such "avid" aptly describes my attitude towards it. That is all, there is nothing more implied by that.

I suppose to avoid cliches, I will just simply state I am an "enthusiastic reader" from now on.
I also noticed there was some chips lounging on shoulders regarding folks who talk about how much they read. Maybe to a non-reader, it sounds like bragging when readers discuss what they are reading or how much.  For me, as a reader, I enjoy hearing which spines other folks have cracked open lately.  Quite simply, it gives me ideas.  I think most readers are constantly  perusing the market for NEW things to read - am I right?  For example, I am half-way through John Irving's "A Widow for One Year" and already, I have an eye on what I will crack open next.  In fact, last week, I finished "The Heart Was a Lonely Hunter", put it down and literally picked up the Irving book to begin.  And yes, I used "literally" in the correct manner. 

Anyway, the entire exchange gave me a giggle this weekend.   And trust me, I will never use those words to describe myself as a reader again.  Still giggling here, folks.

My recent pet peeve?  Folks who use incorrect grammar who KNOW better.

YOUR grammar is atrocious and YOU'RE going to lose readers.  Trust me.

The whole obsession with using LOLCats as a fucking writing style comes in a close second.  Talking like one's cat has grown old and moldy, folks.

Suebob of ye olde Red Stapler Fame had a thought-provoking read this week as well.  It was regarding that notion of "equality" when it comes to women and men.  She provides a stellar list of things that were not so "equal" when she was growing up.  And the way she summed up what being "equal" means is where it all came home for me and is why I wanted to highlight her post here:
Equal doesn't mean "the same." To me, equal means that we all have a chance to live our lives to the fullest and to express our talents and abilities as best we can, without being stopped from that by outside pressures brought to bear because we are one gender or another.

Equality for women is good for men as well as women. It isn't about taking from one to give to another. It's about creating a world that works for EVERYONE.

The best places to live on earth are those where women have the greatest equality. Those aren't just the best places for women. They are the best places for men and children and transgendered people, too. They have the best education, the best health care, are the most properous and the most stable.

Dusting off your pretty hands and saying "Equality - it just isn't for me," is a silly thing to say when you haven't experienced true inequality. If you think you don't believe in equality for women, go spend a couple months in Saudi Arabia and then get back to me
That is the conclusion to her post, please read all of the post, it is worth your time.  I read her list of experiences and realized what an incredible advantages I had been given in life. I have in the past, been hesitant to call myself a feminist or associate myself with what I have perceived to be a group of man-hating, bitter harpies. 

Thank you, Suebob, for giving me a valuable, quite different perspective on this.


Average Jane said...

I'll never give up the word "kitteh" (which I believe began as a South Park thing rather than as a LOLcat thing for me).

My biggest grammar pet peeves all involve the traditional spelling and usage mistakes. Watch your homonyms (and near-homonyms), folks! And pay attention to those squiggly red lines when you're writing - your software is trying to help you.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Average Jane,
You caught me - I DO use Kitteh and Monkeh. Guilty!!

Moderndayhermit said...

I love "O Hai" so much I've contemplated it as a license plate for my truck.

Olivia said...

I think I understand Switsle's "avid reader" pet peeve. Sometimes there is sometimes a whiff of superiority coming with it. I don't get feeling from you, Cagey, but I'm sure you are familiar the those who say "I am a voracious reader" and imply "I read instead of watching drivel on TV". That bugs me. When I detect that attitude, I like to say, "You are still sitting on your ass like the tv watcher."

I love Suebob's post. I wish more people understood that feminism isn't about man-hating, it's about creating a more equal society that benefits women and men of all types. The patriarchy hurts men almost as much as it hurts women.

Paula said...

Or you could use any of these substitutes from a thesaurus. I think I'll start saying that I'm a ravenous reader. Mom..

Main Entry: avid
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: enthusiastic
Synonyms: ardent, athirst, avaricious, breathless, covetous, desirous, devoted, dying to, eager, fanatical, fervent, gotta have, grasping, greedy, hungry, impatient, insatiable, intense, keen, passionate, rapacious, ravenous, thirsty, voracious, zealous

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I am going to start calling myself a zealot who relishes sitting on my ASS. Be it knitting, watching TV or reading, I love sitting on my ASS. ;-)

Olivia said...

Me too, with the sitting on my ASS!

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

I type really fast and will occasionally fall into a grammar lapse when posting/commenting as a result of typos or rewriting sentences or parts of sentences without properly editing out the old phrasing. Point taken, though. I should really proofread but for the most part my blogging was verbal vomit and even though I enjoyed it, I didn't put a lot of thought or effort into my posts.

I think lolcaterry is fine if you're just being silly and a good mood or talking about something silly, but I truly despise the FAIL! or lol-cat responses (kthxbai, OMGWTFBBQ!) to well-written news articles or other people's serious posts. It makes the response look as well-considered as the "WHATEVER!"-doorslam combo I used to give my parents when I was 12.

Christine said...

I keep trying to respond to this, and I can't, not in comment length. But the original blog that started the whole feminist debate really spooked me.

Also, bad grammar annoys me.