“Slippery slopes” and other things that annoy…

Diebold Opteva 562 ATM (Automatic Teller Machi...
Diebold Opteva 562 ATM (Automatic Teller Machine). With an extrange expansion on the side. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


I thought we were really past this, yet I keep hearing terms that make me cringe! Right up front, I’ll say I’ve had it with the following: “slippery slope,” “been there, done that,” and “ATM machine”–particularly this one! And how many times during the course of a day do we thank someone and are told that it’s “no problem”?


OK, folks, how long does it take for one to realize that ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine? So why would people continue to refer to it as “Automatic Teller Machine machine”? Baffles me.


And what, may I ask, constitutes a “slippery slope”? I’m almost afraid to venture out wherever there might be some hilly country where it might not serve my best interests. Seems to me it borders on the lewd and lascivious.


And to be really blunt, I’ve had it with “been there, done that” as well. First, I really don’t care much if someone has experienced the same thing, event, feeling, incident, etc., previously, and I find it rather annoying whenever I hear “been there, done that” as a follow-up comment about something I’ve said. It adds nothing to the conversation.


Taking another tack in this world of word usage that annoys me, I must say that anyone who answers “no problem” to my “thank you,” is really treading on thin ice! I’m not sure where this all began, but it has truly grown quite annoying exponentially for the past several years. Once, as very young students way back long ago, we were taught to say “You’re welcome” when someone thanked us for something. Seems pretty clear to me, and I don’t know why that simple response needs to be anything else.


Call me old-fashioned or whatever, but saying “You’re welcome” seems to be very clear-cut and respectful. On the other hand, “No problem” seems to cheapen the act and takes away from the person doing the “thanking.” It’s as though the person being thanked has gone  out of his or her way—at great sacrifice—and provided some kind of good deed or service.


And something that always seems to go hand-in-hand with the “no problem” reply is the phrase “there ya go…” offered up usually by the window person, handing us our change and/or food, at McDonald’s, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, or any other drive-through facility. I really wouldn’t mind this part so much if only it were accompanied by the aforementioned “thank you” instead of the “no problem.” 


Call me old-fashioned or just simply a grouchy and grumpy old guy and I’ll live with it. What I find even worse, however, on my various forays and adventures through the many drive-through’s is a complete failure by the window person to offer any kind of response at all! Not a “thank you,”here ya go,” or “no problem.” They merely take my money, send me to the next window, and quickly hand me my order in silence. At times like these, however, I make it a great point to shout out “You’re Welcome!” It often draws stares and quizzical looks from the Einsteins behind the glass as they have no inkling as to what I mean.


Drive Up Window
Drive Up Window (Photo credit: David Gallagher)


Fact is, I know exactly what I mean and I feel better about things, even though, at the same time, I wonder what kind of higher-level management there is in this particular franchise. Is there no training in the area of proper etiquette at these places? Alas, I write it off as just one more brick that is being eroded out of our wall of society and the way things are supposed to be. Sad, isn’t it…CortlandWriter






A new year: Time for some housecleaning!

a-z of banned words
a-z of banned words (Photo credit: DrJohnBullas)


The holidays scooted in and scooted out rather quickly it seems, and another sunshiny-cold morning has shown its face today. The decorations and lights have been dismantled–for the most part–and this second day of the new year is off and running on a course that is sure to be heavily laced with twists, turns, ups, downs, and everything in between! But perhaps it’s a good thing that 2012 finally reached its conclusion, if for no other reason than the whole world seems in need of a clean slate, a fresh start, and a chance to solve some of the many problems facing us all–if that’s even possible!


Like most folks I know, I’ve grown weary hearing about the “Fiscal Cliff” that we all are in danger of sliding over and that we’re all in dire peril of watching the world as we know it collapse before our very eyes at any given moment. I will be extremely happy when that repugnant term disappears from its constant state of overuse, taking a plunge over its own “cliff” forever! And I could make the typical comment right here about having Congress and the president follow suit, but I will refrain from that here as well–for the nonce. Suffice it to say, that we have a very long ways to go in righting the ship that is the economy. But, please, no more “Fiscal Cliffs.”


The new year is a perfect time to do away with all of those other annoying words and expressions that populate the current culture and social picture. I believe it’s time to put to rest the following terms, expressions, or behaviors:


  1.  at the end of the day-the sun should set on this trite piece of whimsy!
  2. super foods-not sure what these even are, but they sound way too cutesy-pie for my stodgy tastes!
  3. to die forused when describing some very good food, but why would one partake if they would die doing so?
  4. sabermetrics-taken all the fun out of good, old-fashioned baseball enjoyment!
  5. fantasy leagues-ditto to the above (add any other sport as well!)
  6. bucket list-time for this to finally “kick the bucket!”
  7. man cave-this one speaks for itself!
  8. Twitter-Don’t do it, don’t understand it, don’t care!


I’m sure there are many more that I will eventually add, but for now, let’s call it a day. I can hope that a new year will bring new and good things for all of us–even old dinosaurs as I! Happy New Year….CortlandWriter


Oh, the things that annoy!

Okay, it’s been awhile since I last wrote about things that annoy me—at my age more things are annoying than not, it seems—so I will spend a few writing moments today and mention some more “random” items that have worked their magic annoyance on me!

First, I’m yet to understand the preponderance of “LOL” in blog posts, e-mails, or other forms of written communication. Is it really necessary for the writer to include these cutesy-pie examples of Internet Speak? A smiley face emoticon when appropriate, I can understand (don’t really know why), but I detest the LOL or its cousin, ROTFL. It’s as though the writer isn’t confident enough that his/her words will carry the intended meaning. Call me an old, out-of-touch fuddy-duddy, but so it goes…

Next, TV commercials that make little or no sense to me are annoying beyond belief. The ad that comes to mind right away is the one which ran for quite some time promoting some 4G network (whatever that means), and some guy, in a large, public area—a train station, perhaps—begins dancing and gesticulating as the passersby look on in wonderment. Soon, a message appears on his phone that the flash mob event had been scheduled for a later time. The fact that I had no idea what a flash mob was, I didn’t quite grasp the overall concept of the commercial. I kind of understand it now, but for the majority of the time the ad ran, I had no idea why this guy was acting like a complete, unfettered goof and what it was they were trying to convey. Guess I missed the cut on that part of the current youth culture!

Twitter. Every time I think I can handle it—at least understand how it works—something else comes along to frustrate—and annoy—me all the more! I have yet to find an easy-to-understand tutorial (video or PDF), and those that I have run across are either for earlier versions of Twitter or they fail to explain the basic terminology and what we need to do to get started and up and running. I fear that the folks who produce these tutorials assume way too much that we (the users) are far more advanced in our understanding of the lingo involved than what we really are. I’m still trying to comprehend what a hash tag and ReTweet are! I have not grasped the concept, I suppose, so I’m very tempted to go back in and delete my account and be done with it altogether. But I’m inclined to give it another chance…for now, anyway. Stay tuned.

There’s more, of course, but I realize I’ve used up my self-imposed word limit for this post. In the very near future, I will write about those things. Now, though, I must get the travel bag out of dry dock and get some clothes packed for my journey to Kent State for a weekend of May 4 memories and fraternity reunion activities. Should be good to get back with some other fuddy-duddies and try to figure out hash tags and ReTweets over cold beers in old haunts. Now that makes me smile…LOL!