First up is "nucular." Yep. "Nucular." Know what that is? Neither do I, because that word does not exist. Despite this cold, hard fact, George Bush (the younger) and countless others use it in place of the actual word: nuclear. As in nuclear power. Nuclear weapons. Nuclear physics. Nuclear magnetic resonance. Neeeewwwww-cleeeeeeee-er. Nuclear. NOT new-cue-ler.
Next is grammar. I'm driving along, taking in the sights, when a giant billboard looms in front of me, filling my field of vision. It assaults my grammatical sensibilities, because on it, in three-foot-tall words, is this sentence: "Give them what their asking for." Their? Their. Ummm, shouldn't it be, "they're," as in "they are," and not "their," as in, "belonging to them?" I'm just saying, if you have the big bucks to pay for that oversized ad, at least hire a living, breathing, human proofreader to make sure it's right (since we all know spell-check will NOT find such a mistake/oversight). It seems that, for many people, "there," "they're" and "their" are interchangeable terms, to be used willy-nilly as the mood strikes them. I don't think so. (Hoity-toity? Perhaps. Nit-picky? Probably. But, it's MY pet peeve, and I'm stickin' to it!)
Moving on: Food. The pet peeve here, to be precise, is having to listen to the sound of someone chewing and swallowing in close proximity to me. I don't know why, but I just can't stand it. My rational side understands this is ridiculous, and that no one can help making those sounds (especially if they're eating a reeeeeally good chocolate cheesecake, or some sour cream and onion potato chips). Even so, it totally grates on my last nerve. There are only two ways I can deal with it: get up and move, or join in. Since joining in is infinitely more satisfying, that's my usual choice. My own chomping and chewing doesn't bother me in the least, so I can cover up their chomping and chewing with my chomping and chewing, and then everything is good. Go figure.
Finally: automated answering services. All I want is a real person to talk to. How many times do I have to navigate through endless prompts to get the answer to a simple question, only to have the computer tell me to "please hold for the next available representative?" Oh, you mean a real person? Wouldn't it have been simpler for said real person to answer the phone in the first place? Apparently not. Usually, when I get to this point, I get cut off, and then have to go through the whole maddening process all over again. Even worse are those voice-activated ones, where they don't give you the option of punching a number on the key pad, especially when the ol' work-around of just punching zero to get a real person doesn't work. "Tell me briefly... what are you calling about?" Even after carefully enunciating, I still sometimes hear: "Sorry - I didn't get that. Did you say... you want to join the circus?" No, I didn't. And no, I don't. But if I ever change my mind, I know who to call.
So, now it's your turn. Go on and click "comments," and tell me about your pet peeves. It's cathartic. I feel better now, anyway.