A Collection Of Rants On Multiple Subjects

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Over Christmas, in between the plethora of bowl games – I thought it would be a great idea to watch the ABC telecast of the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Susan wasn’t convinced it was that great of an idea; but she’s a good sport, so she humored me.

I had forgotten how, during the last ten laps or so, they decided to split the screen to show the wives and girlfriends reactions while a small screen showed the on-track action between Ryan Hunter-Reay and Helio Castroneves. I got mad all over again, just as I did when I watched the replay last May.

I understand that on that particular race, they are really trying to humanize the drivers for the casual fans who tune in to watch an IndyCar race only once a year. But what about us die-hards that invest our time, money and souls into this sport? Isn’t there some consideration that we may actually want to see the great battle at the end of the biggest race of the year?

That set me off on a rant that Susan had to endure for the rest of the evening. I wanted to work the rant into this site, somehow – but I knew I couldn’t come up with an entire article on such a stupid topic as a split-screen, so I decided to create a list of mini-rants and pet-peeves to get off my chest before the start of the next season of the Verizon IndyCar Series.

While I’m blasting ABC/ESPN, I’ll include them in my next two complaints. First of all, if you watched as many bowl games as I did – you probably noticed that for the New Year’s Six bowl games, which consisted of the Rose, Cotton, Fiesta, Sugar, Peach and Orange along with the Championship Game; ESPN created a new score box that was stuck prominently in the lower right-hand corner.

This box would inexplicably shoot out another box full of graphics from it’s top, that somehow managed to obscure a large portion of the screen. Punters, receivers and quarterbacks would suddenly disappear under this giant box. I guess some graphics person that is trying to justify his or her job, decided that putting all of the information out of the way at the bottom of the screen was just too boring. No, it just worked.

Speaking of the Fiesta Bowl; as the game between Boise State and Arizona was coming back from a commercial break – ESPN made the decision to show us a slow-motion replay of an Arizona player throwing up on the field. A slow-motion replay of a kid vomiting? It’s one thing if the live cameras happened to catch him in the act. As unpleasant as it is to watch, that happens from time to time. But to purposely show us a replay – and in slow-motion – of someone blowing chunks on the field, crosses the line in my book.

While I’m on the subject of throwing up…just why do the filmmakers now feel the need to show us vomit? In the old days, they would just show someone going off-camera as we heard the barfing sound. But now, we must see every graphic gag, heave and hurl – along with the resulting vomitous residue splattering everywhere. I don’t really want to see that. What’s next – an underwater toilet defecation-cam with a zoom lens? Guess what? I don’t want to see that either.

There are also a few pet-peeves of the written/spoken language that are popping up everywhere. I’ll take a couple of moments to go off on them, as well. Non-words are becoming more and more common – both spoken and written. Strangely enough, they are now even becoming accepted.

Flustrated – If you follow me on Twitter (@Oilpressureblog), you’ve probably seen me go off on the latest non-word that I am hearing more and more frequently these days. I’ve heard it in casual conversations, but the worst offender is former Titan Kevin Dyson on the Titans post-game radio call-in show.

There is no such word as flustrated. You can be flustered or frustrated; but you cannot be flustrated. Still, I’m hearing it with increasing frequency. Perhaps Dyson is using it more because the Titans had a very flustrating 2-14 season this year.

Irregardless – Another of my all-time pet-peeves has been around for years, and is used by people that are smart enough to know better. There is no such word as irregardless. It doesn’t exist. Yet, it will probably be one of those non-words that will force it’s way into the dictionary – sort of like ain’t.

What people who say irregardless are looking for is regardless, which already has the one negative element –less. To add ir- to the front negates the other negative. However, people will continue to use it, irregardless if it is right or wrong.

Would of… – More and more, I see people avoiding the use of contractions and writing the words out phonetically – incorrectly, I might add. I believe I was taught this in the fourth grade, but apparently it is no longer taught that the contraction of “would have” is would’ve. Lately, it seems to be accepted to simply write out would of, like “I would of written it out correctly, but I didn’t know how”. That makes absolutely no sense.

Would’ve and could’ve are regularly butchered and no one seems to mind. Is the word hasn’t the next to be morphed into the non-word hassent?

Keep in mind, I don’t claim to be the King of Grammar – especially when it comes to punctuation. I’ve always struggled with the use of commas. Practically every post I have written has something to make strict grammarians cringe. But by and large, I try to adhere to the basic rules of grammar and spelling so that my writing is at least…readable.

But even that is not the end of my rants. About five years ago, I wrote a post dealing with what I considered the most dreaded clichés at the time. Going back and reading it, I still concur with everything I wrote back then. But now there are more that can be added to the list.

Actually, these aren’t so much clichés as they are trendy sayings. Clichés are the tired old phrases like “getting my ducks in a row” and “getting on the same page”. They’ve been around forever and are used in the workplace constantly. They sound corny and the meanings are hard to understand when you look at the words literally.

No, what gets on my nerves are not clichés but the trendy sayings we had never heard of until recently. Then suddenly, everyone is using them. What really gets me is when I hear someone my age using a phrase that only a teenager would use. Nothing comes across as more desperate than someone in their fifties trying to convince everyone, including themselves, that they are still young and hip. We’re not.

Some of the trendy phrases that I find particularly irritating, include the following:

That’s what I’m talking about – Yes, I know this one has been around a while. It should have been on the list that I wrote in 2010. The basic translation is “I like that!”. When I hear it used, it sounds canned, phony and disingenuous. It comes across like someone heard it used on a Chevy Tahoe commercial and they thought they sounded hip, so maybe they’ll sound hip if they use it. Sorry, but it sounds contrived on the Tahoe commercial and almost comical when people use it in real life. Don’t do it. It’s awkward. I promise.

I’m down with that – This was a catch-phrase in the early nineties, but I’m suddenly hearing it again. Why is that preferred over the English translation of "I’m OK with that”? Unless you are in the eighth grade, you shouldn’t be using this phrase.

Ain’t nobody got time for that – This is another phrase that originated from a YouTube video that went viral (another irritating term) a couple of years ago. Then everyone started saying it. Unless you hail from the ghetto – you don’t need to be talking like this.

Speaking of the ghetto – I tread lightly here, because I’m getting close to discussing racial issues, which is not my intent. But if you are white and you are talking to someone that is black, please don’t try to suddenly sound black. To me, that is a very patronizing, condescending and racist thing to do.

At my old place of employment, I had a white co-worker that changed her whole dialect and persona when a black co-worker came into the room. She would ask her white co-workers “How are you doing today?” but her black co-workers were greeted with “Hey wassup gurrl-friend?” It was painful to watch. If you’re not black, don’t try to be. You can’t pull it off.

Any verbalized text-speak – If you say the words (or letters) Hashtag, OMG, LOL out loud; you need to stop it. Immediately. Nothing sounds as asinine as a fifty year-old adult screaming O-M-G!

Epic Fail – I will admit to using this one on Twitter once or twice. It has its place, when used sparingly. But to post pictures of car-wrecks, wardrobe malfunctions or bad cakes and add “Epic Fail” as a caption to every single one is overkill. Like anything else, moderation is the key.

Get over yourself / I am so over it – If you’re not in the trendy loop and you hear someone say “I’m over it”, you think that’s a good thing. I once thought it meant that someone was mad, but they’ve gotten over it. Wrong.

In all honesty, the first time I heard that used was a few years ago when Susan and I were having a “disagreement” over something. After a silent period, I was trying to explain my stance and she came back with “I’m over it”. I thought that was great and the fight was over. To make things worse, I thought that meant she was conceding, she had gotten over it and I had actually won the fight. As it turned out, I was wrong on all counts.

To my dismay, the new meaning of “I’m over it” was pretty much “I’m done with it”. Translation: I’m tired of this whole thing. Needless to say, I had even more damage control to deal with than I originally had. And, no…I did not win the fight.

Now it seems that the saying has even more emphasis by adding the word so. “I am so over it” is the new variation. That and the “Get over yourself” version have worn themselves thin with me. I’m over both of them.

I could go on and on. Susan will tell you that this rant doesn’t even scratch the surface of my pet-peeves. I could write a book on road rage and other odd subjects that most would find very trivial. I think Susan considers me neurotic. I prefer to say I’m quirky.

Anyway, I’ve now purged my system of all of this pent up angst – for now at least. We’ve gotten Christmas behind us and the flurry of activity of returning to work has settled down somewhat. I’ve cleansed my soul of all the things that have been irritating me and I’m ready for racing season to start. It’s hard to believe, but the first practice of the 2015 season will be taking place seven weeks from today at Brasilia.

Based on this collection of rants, I’d say it’s about time. You can tell I’ve been getting very flustrated.

George Phillips

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44 Responses to “A Collection Of Rants On Multiple Subjects”

  1. WTF?!

  2. Jim Peabody, Colorado Springs Says:

    Hey George! How bout responding to someone saying “no problem” to “thank you”. We were taught to say “you’re welcome”.
    Other gross misuses: to, two, too. Also your, you’re. There, their, they’re. Are, our. Really a fine society we’ve crafted for ourselves!

    • Jim, if you read the post I wrote five years ago, I address the “No Problem” situation…another pet-peeve.

    • billytheskink Says:

      Here is a pet peeve I actually have a pet peeve about, at least partially because No Problem is my favorite monster truck of all time.

      Really, though, is responding to a “thank you” with “no problem” any different than responding with “it was no trouble”, “don’t mention it”, or other phrases that pretty much no one complains about? I don’t think so. As with “your welcome” and “my pleasure”, all of these phrases are intended to imply that you were happy to help the one thanking you and would be happy to help them again.

      Consider other languages. The closest English translation of many of the common responses to “thank you” in French/Spanish/German/etc. are phrases like “it was nothing” and “don’t worry about it”.

  3. Jack in Virginia Says:

    One of my pet peeves is “disrespected”, as in “He disrespected me”. Sorry, you can respect someone but it is not possible to disrespect them. You simply don’t respect them. To disrespect would imply that you used to respect them but have changed your mind and are rescinding your respect. In most cases when people say disrespect, the word they should use is “insult”.

    • Mrs. Oilpressure Says:

      The WORST part about it is now the dictionary puts this word as a transitive VERB. I member when it was a noun!

      • Since the late 90s, the verb “to disrespect” has been borrowed from English by the German language: the verb is called “dissen” and the corresponding noun is “der Diss” which, as you pointed out, is a cooler phrase to use than “insult”. I kind of grew up with the phrase as it became popular during my late teens, through celebrities using it in the media.

  4. Loved your post. I wish in your poll you had allowed “all of the above.’

    I share a number of your pet peeves. I hate the now somewhat new word in baseball for a game winning hit. A walk off single. Walk off home run. I recently read in a history book where Shoeless Joe Jackson won the 1919 American League pennant for the White Sox with a walk off single. He would have been very confused by that description.

    Another that drives me crazy is when someone is introduced the last few years. “Lets give it up for Shoeless Joe Jackson!” He might have expected some money from the crowd.

    While we are talking about it, are there any real NFL fans who are happy about the computer generated line of scrimmage and first down marker. Whether at the game or on TV, real fans could follow that action without the fake lines.

  5. The beautiful thing about languages is that unlike indycar bloggers, they EVOLVE. Frankly it really bugs me that this blog isn’t written in Old English. I am hoping that the next installment of 15 wandering tangential minutes is done in random in grunts and pointing genstures.

    Have a good day sir.

    Also Mark Miles bad, Randy Bernard good.

    • Mrs. Oilpressure Says:

      Sometimes evolving what is acceptable use in the English language is not for the better. We now accept the fact that four-letter words are perfectly acceptable on prime time television. I don’t consider that evolution for the good.

  6. Phil Kaiser Says:

    GEORGE! Anthony Joseph Foyt, Junior turns 80 years old today and NO HAPPY BIRTHDAY from Oilpressure??????? No pictures or anything????? Now THAT’S my biggest pet peeve of the day!

    But seriously George, you and I agree 100% on this! By the way, “irregardless” comes from people wanting to say EITHER “regardless” OR ” irrespective.”

    One YOU use all the time which drives me crazy is the use of “that.” You’ll write something like “…people that drink,” or “…drivers that drive.” People are NOT “that,” they are “who,” as in “…people who drink, ” or “…drivers who drive.”

    Another common idiotic thing you’ll see on many racing sites (among others) is the incorrect use of “a” or “an” as in “he was an F1 driver.” NO, he was a F1 driver. It would be totally incorrect to say “he was an Formula One driver” therefore it’s incorrect to say “he was an F1 driver.”

    Of course the most irritating of all is the widespread incorrect use of “I.” Here’s a good example: I bought the bread for my wife and I to eat. A good way to remember how to correctly use either “I” or “me” is to break down the sentence: you wouldn’t say “I bought the bread for I to eat.” No, it’s “I bought the bread for me to eat.” Therefore, the sentence should read “I bought the bread for my wife and me to eat.” That is absolutely correct, go ask your Mother. And I’m surprised she hasn’t gotten on your case about your use of “that!” LOL!

    On a side note, what about the folks (almost always female) who cannot pronounce the “ing” in a word correctly anymore? They don’t pronounce it “ing,” the pronounce it “ene.” They’ll say “thinkene instead of “thinking.” Or “singene” instead of “singing.” There’s a BEAUTIFUL weather girl here in Indianapolis who I would love to watch but cannot because the constantly says “ene” instead of “ing” and it drives me nuts!

    Oh, there was one more example but I’ve gone on long enough!

    Phil Kaiser
    Indianapolis

  7. Phil Kaiser Says:

    And then in my last paragraph I completely lose my mind and misspell and mis-punctuate a bunch of stuff!

    Niiiiiice….

    PK
    Indy

  8. DZ-groundedeffects Says:

    Gotta say, I like Ranty-George Philips… a LOT. For example, “What’s next – an underwater toilet defecation-cam with a zoom lens?”. Where is that ever going to come up in civil discourse? Paint with all of the colors my friend.

    With an off-season seemingly more punishment than positive reinforcement, sometimes we bloggers go a bit haywire. I can’t help but think of Strother Martin in the classic movie “Cool Hand Luke” explaining what consequences happen following bad circumstances or actions, such as the interminable off-season helping our good friend George go ‘rant-tastic’ in his blog today…

    “…So you get what we had here last week,
    which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it.
    I don’t like it any more than you men.”

    What we DON’T have here, is failure to communicate.

    • DZ-groundedeffects Says:

      PS I use “irregardless” purposefully around people who get beyond “flustrated” when I do. It’s one of the very few handful times I gleefully and so easily enjoy ‘poking the bear’.

      I don’t do it because I like to see people grimace, well, actually yes, that IS the precise reason, but to me, it’s much better than someone going into any sort of remotely graphic description of illness symptoms or surgery whilst one is eating – my biggest pet peeve.

  9. Bruce Waine Says:

    LIKE ………

    How about repeatedly starting sentences with the word “LIKE” ?

    Another one to add to the list.

  10. mickkraut Says:

    Presumably once you finished writing this essay you spent the remainder of the afternoon chasing those damn neighbor kids off your lawn…

  11. Fans of SEC schools that lose and act like they won when the good SEC team wins. Your team sucks! Why are you taking pride in what a rival does on the field? The war is over. Sherman & Grant won.

  12. The misuse of literally bothers me.

    People being asked to explain something and the first word that starts the sentence is “So”.

    The misuse of the word “proactive” when they are usually doing damage control and reacting to the situation.

    And so many others. Yeah, forgot about the Indy 500 coverage. Love when non-race fans get to direct the cameras. NASCAR has too much of that as well.

    • Chris Lukens Says:

      The word “proactive” really irritates me. I think people that use it fail to realize that it is possible for people to be “con-active,” i.e., actively work to undermine an idea.

  13. Literally

  14. “At the end of the day”- drives me insane!

  15. billytheskink Says:

    Like Phil K, I also kept waiting for George to bring up AJ’s 80th birthday. A Foyt interview and column made the front of today’s Houston Chronicle sports page, which I thought was a nice gesture. Perhaps it would have been strange to bring up a regular violator of proper English language in a rant dedicated largely to that subject.

    My father and grandmother are regular users of “flustrated”. It never bothered me much, but my mother would point out the word’s incorrectness so often that I never developed a habit of using it.

    • In all honesty…I added AJ’s birthday to the very beginning of this after I loaded it last night. Apparently, I forgot to hit the “save” button. It’s probably still sitting there on my computer at home. Oops! – GP

  16. Chris Lukens Says:

    There, their & they’re have already been mentioned. One I see all of the time is “TO” versus “TOO,” i.e., “I’ll go to the race” versus “If you go to the race, I’ll go too.” And one I have to look up just about every time is the difference between “affect” and “effect.” Where’s your copy of Strunk & White when you need it.

  17. The second month pf the year is almost here and can you pronounce it?? It’s Feb-RU-ary not Feb-U-ary.
    Newscasters can’t pronounce it, neither can weather forecasters, school teachers or politicians! Argh!

    Secondly, in fact, is in fact the use of in fact. Every newscaster uses “in fact” when stating an opinion or just wants to sound intelligent. In fact, we have heard that in fact the temperature will be 65 on Sunday. In fact this drives me crazy when, in fact, in fact never needs to be used at all EVER!

    Now there’s a punctuation mess for you.

  18. Lynn Weinberg Says:

    Wow, I feel as if I’ve stepped into a universe where I’m reading my own mind. The broadcast of the Indy 500 on ABC by ESPN makes me cringe, every year. Last year was particularly bad, with the split screen at the end. Every Memorial Day weekend, I have to exercise some patience while watching the ABC/ESPN broadcast, I’m not very good at it, I’ll admit. I tell myself that the producers aren’t targeting those of us that are “die hard” fans. On this one day out of the year, they are they are trying to entertain a much wider audience. I try to imagine there are viewers that are seriously interested in the “wife-cam.” In my mind, this audience doesn’t know what “marbles” are, and they can’t believe Charlie Kimball has diabetes. I guess we have to bite the bullet once a year and let the network and the series try to appeal to a wider fan base, improve tv ratings and hopefully, pick up some new fans. Hopefully, that’s what they’re doing, trying to gain casual fans. Otherwise, there is no excuse for “dumbing down the race” like they do. I don’t know what the younger demographic is looking for in a broadcast.

    As far as your grammatical pet peeves, all of the above. I also can’t stand when people say “EX-specially.” It’s especially! I’m especially talking to you, Scott Goodyear!

    All of this is a reflection on our age, I’m 47, I go on a rant when the local female newscasters wear sleeveless tops on tv. I still wear pantyhose. I had a smoking lounge in my high school. I’m old, I get it. But everyone should know the difference between your and you’re, grammar doesn’t change! The racing doesn’t change that much either. It’s still incredible to watch, the best it’s been in a long time. I sincerely wish ESPN took that more seriously.

  19. Sheesh George. You are going to have heart attack from getting so flustrated. I only have a few simple responses:

    1. I did not watch any Bowl games. I did things.
    2. If you have a practice of listening to talk radio, you deserve what you get.
    3. You were at the 500 last year. Why should it bother you if the TV producer goes to split screen to show the girl friends and wives during the last few laps. That’s part of the drama. Hell, if they want to increase ratings, just show Emma Dixon for 190 laps and then cut back to the race at the end.

    I’m sorry you had to hear all that.

  20. Thank you George for another posting on linguistics. Those are especially interesting for me as a non-native speaker – and as someone who loves a good play on words. You know what I’m sayin’. That’s what I’m talking about.

    A large chunk of the body of work that was witten by the authors of the so-called concrete poetry genre here in Germany in the 1950s and 60s was focussing on debunking catchphrases and clichés which came from various sources including the political campaigning of the not so recent past. Literary analysts have largely attributed the aim of putting away with overused and manipulative phrases to those authors of concrete poetry. Yet, a whole lot of them wound up in the advertising business in the end, but mainly in the graphics departments.

    I’m just mentioning this because I believe analysing popular phrases in language has got its merits for society overall by providing some food for thought in places where a fast talker would, by sheer pace and the use of catchphrases, just reduce the number of listeners who are able to reflect in real time on what he actually said. In short: analysing catchphrases can reveal attempts at deception. And if you like wordplay, it’s fun. So thank you, George.

    Now, I was annoyed by the “wife-cam”, too, because there was maybe the best racing of the season going on and you couldn’t properly see it. I guess the aim of this and the boxes on the bowl game broadcasts might be to help market digital Pay-TV because there, you can choose your own camera angles to some extent.

    The J. Geils Band sang “Must Of Got Lost” back in the 1970s so this has been going on for a long, long time.

    Filmmakers showing vomit might actually help as a preventive measure to counteract the the glorification of bulimia that has been happening on the internet and that could be easily found by googling a catchphrase.

    Even politicians have used the word “irregardless” though it ain’t making no sense. Yet, after all, it is just convention whether a double negation is the same as a single negation or whether it evokes a positive, like would be the case in mathematics. Currently, there are phrases of both kinds in circulation. That used to be different, though I guess it won’t change any time soon.

    As a non-native speaker living in a non-English speaking country, I haven’t heard the odd word “flustrated” ever before. What is it actually supposed to mean? Is it just a not so subtle hint that the speaker knows the cool slang and I don’t? Looks like it’s a mystery with not much behind it.

    “It is what it is” is used today by people who don’t want to complain but you can clearly hear by their tone that they don’t like what it is, whatever it may be.

    By the way, have you noticed, too, how much Scott Dixon overuses the phrase “you know” in his interviews? Does he also do that in real life? How does he not annoy anybody through this is beyond me. I find it utterly distracting. In printed interviews with him, journalists usually edit out the “you know”s.

    Is it really only seven weeks until the start of the season? Only seven weeks until Dale Coyne Racing announces its driver lineup? 😉

    • billytheskink Says:

      The J. Geils Band did try to correct themselves… While the original, studio version of the song from Nightmares… And Other Tales From The Vinyl Jungle is “Must Of Got Lost”, the live version on Live! Blow Your Face Out is “Musta Got Lost”.

      I’m not sure that’s any better…

  21. Mrs. Oilpressure Says:

    My real pet peeve is people using Pressdog-isms. “A festival of…” or “Cue the …” can only be effectively used by the man himself. I know everyone wants to BE Pressdog, but leave those phrases to him.

    • hahahaha. Thanks, Mrs.op, but to be fair (If I must) I first used “a festival of” after I heard “A festival of speed” on Champ Car’s intro. I consider the spread of “a festival of” and “cue the” an homage. I take no umbrage. I have few pet peeves as well. Carry On.

    • Phil Kaiser Says:

      As you might guess another pet peeve of mine is the folks who comment on blogs and won’t use their real names! Can anyone tell me why they do that? I’ve always used my real name and I’m not looking over my shoulder waiting for “pressdog” or someone who disagrees with me to show up and punch me out for my opinions. Is “pressdog” or “billytheskink” or “dzgroundeffects” or whatever (no offense guys, just using the ones that came to my brain first) supposed to be funny or clever? I don’t know, but it’s kinda childish to me…. (those four periods are an ellipsis […] with a period [….] Susan, look it up, lol)

      Phil Kaiser
      Indianapolis

  22. Randy Holbrook Says:

    I’ve always hated “show me some love”. It sounds perverted and makes me have uncomfortable visions in my head.

  23. My pet peeve is “basically”. And since when is cannot two words? The one I hear by drivers that gets on my nerves by late in the season is “it is what it is.”

    Thank you. I feel better now.

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