A Snob's Pet Peeves for the Day
1. People who use the word “factoid” when they mean “fact” or “small fact.” The suffix “-oid” means “like” or “resembling.” Kind of like an asteroid resembles a star (aster = star), or a humanoid is a non-human that has human characteristics. So when you call something a factoid, you’re saying it resembles a fact, but it’s not actually a fact. Of course, I’m sure the descriptive-loving Webster’s probably says it’s OK to call a fact a factoid, but I disagree. Webster’s, remember, is the same dictionary that recently admitted “ginormous” and “w00t” into its pages, if I recall. Just because Webster’s says it’s OK doesn’t mean it’s OK. People, learn your English. Be better than Webster’s.
2. When the Subway sandwich artists use a mayo- or tuna-covered knife as an aid to closing a non-mayo, non-tuna sandwich for a mayo-hating, tuna-hating person like me.. Or they use their pickle-juice-covered gloves to make a non-pickle sandwich for a pickle-hating person like me. Or they use wear their gloves to grab a rag and wipe off the counter before adding food to your sandwich while wearing the same gloves.
3. Dumb English majors. I always get excited when I meet someone who majored in English. To me, it means that they had higher ideals in college than in simply getting trained for a job. To me, it means they care about big ideas, about art, about philosophy, about all the things that really matter. It also means they’re people who love to read and write and were willing to spend four or so years exploring the wonders of literature and writing about the ideas encountered. So when I meet a dumb English major, I get a little upset. I think, “What are you doing in my tribe?”
I know. I am a snob. But it’s how I feel. Maybe the pregnancy hormones are making me irritable. But I’ve come across exactly four "factoids" that weren't really factoids, one mayo-laden knife in my Subway sandwich, and one dumb English major, all in the last 24 hours, and I am fit to be tied.