January 2011 Big List of Things I Hate

January 9, 2011
  • People getting taxis from the shops or from the pub
  • “Funny” replica warning signs, either the fake, e.g. “beware of the bullshit”, or real, e.g. “kangaroos crossing”
  • Piano students constantly practicing the cascading arpeggios from Schubert’s Impromptu no.4
  • Trailers and taglines that claim to be beyond my imagination or —-er than I could ever imagine
  • People in the army thinking it is funny to say and signal “come on me”
  • Stand-up comedy stories that are always narrated with the words “And I’m standing there thinking/going…”
  • Boys at school doing tie-flicking, towel-flicking, or belt-flicking
  • The way Hollywood script writers always make baddie hubris speeches, or launch-of-ill-fated-technology speeches, start with “Today we begin a new era: an era in which…”
  • “Because I could not stop for Death”
  • The way Starbucks can’t just say Small, Medium, and Large
  • People being “super stoked” about anything
  • People shaving their heads for charity http://www.newlondonfirefightersunion.org/St_baldricks.jpg
  • Gadget writers constantly describing things, especially apple things, as “hewn from a single block of magnesium”, or the word “unibody” (etc)
  • Things being slightly out of people’s grasps in films
  • Fashion writers referring to “THAT” dress or “THAT” bikini as if everyone is as stupidly interested as them to know wtf they are talking about.
  • Companies sending out menacing bills and reminders when you are already paying by direct debit
  • That ebay email for every Buy It Now purchase telling you to “please pay now” when of course you already paid…
  • Office suites apart from oo and ms
  • Sites which focus on regularly updated news and content, perhaps have facebook and twitter, but utterly lack any RSS feed
  • People talking about their “gut feeling” as if I care
  • “Ironic” versions of that evolution diagram showing monkeys getting more upright and ending with man.
  • Having to have google API keys for some tools, and WordPress key for Akismet… why
  • The way UPS in the UK demands cash on delivery in exact change in order to hand over an import-charged parcel
  • Generally, how lazy and stupid couriers are about delivering something successfully, starting from the fact that they are incapable of simply phoning the (mandatory) delivery phone number to check if you are in
  • The way there are still lots of people who have never bought something from overseas, so that they are surprised by import taxes and charges; the way office mailrooms have no clue how to handle those cases
  • Those little nasal bogeys that are insanely adhesive and no amount of flicking will get them off your fingers
  • The artwork of the Gorillaz
  • BBC Alba
  • Buttermilk
  • Whale song, especially artifically added by Foley
  • Red Leicester
  • Top Gear referring to any car having gone round the Nurbergring
  • Song lyrics referring to the moon or moonlight
  • Anyone trying to tell anyone else that they have, or will, “let the side down”
  • Eggnogg
  • The made in China cassette for 3 AAA batteries
  • Anything describing itself as “truly unforgettable”… I can’t remember any actual examples though.
  • Youtube overlay ads and intro ads
  • People claiming to be ambidextrous, people actually being ambidextrous, and the word “ambidextrous” itself
  • Multi page TIFs
  • When I was younger, being described by adults as “A keen—” (fisherman, sailor, cricketer, classicist) when usually I was actually below averagely interested in that
  • The Royle Family
  • The Grinch
  • People calling noughts and crosses “tic tac toe”
  • People going on and on about pasta having to be “al dente”
  • Seamonkey
  • Period piano music played pedantically on fortepiano
  • Mildly ill people being described as “peaky”, “below par”, or “bunged up”
  • Ebay sellers saying “good luck” in their descriptions
  • The play Equus, without even having seen it
  • Drinks that say add hot “but not boiling” water
  • The Glastonbury festival
  • When I was younger, people trying to teach me, evert time, about how to stop a nosebleed, always wrong, always conflicting, always unsolicited advice, and at that time I had at least one nosebleed a day so, yes, I did have my own methods
  • People describing themselves as “foodies”
  • People naming poodle cross breeds -poo
  • Fire breathers or people juggling with things on fire
  • Web pages with cgi-bin in the url
  • The Chrysler PT Cruiser
  • Having to remove500 of those y-front shaped bits of plastic from new cd wallets
  • Celebrities visiting children in hospital, and the children have no idea who these people are
  • News, journalists, newspapers, and mainstream media
  • People talking proudly about being “caffeinated”
  • ASK and Pizza Express
  • Mr potato head variations
  • Drying up, aka let’s put all the bacteria back on the dishes
  • Grown up women with fringes
  • Men proposing to their girlfriends in public
  • People calling light shades of blue “navy blue”
  • Crisps in sandwiches, or served as a side to sandwiches
  • Things being expressed in dpi
  • People laughing “hyah hyah hyah”
  • The outrageously short “working” hours offered by embassies and consulates
  • Men’s magazines like FHM and Maxim which pretend to be something more than porn but only elevate themselves above boring when they provide porn
  • Anything claiming to be an “extravaganza” or “bonanza”
  • The faint smell of beer-in-carpet on UK trains
  • Realtek audio drivers and software/ wtfware
  • Americans saying “he could care less” when they mean “couldn’t care less”… I could give an analogy to explain, but I give a shit.
  • Lame people claiming “humorously” to be “plotting world domination”, especially in web profiles
  • Ridiculously burdensome long customer experience surveys from companies online which they somehow expect people to give up half an hour of time for nothing
  • People showing off how they are “double jointed” by bending their fingers backwards
  • Marketing copy that talks about seasons, holidays, “back to school” etc
  • People thinking they are ironic for noticing that children’s TV like Rainbow, Magic Roundabout, or Teletubbies are ironic or trippy
  • That UK phony “smiling and friendly” public service cadence e.g. http://www.georgebaily.com/audio/annoying-uk-cadence.mp3
  • The UK customer service arsey “customer is always wrong” response beginning with “Yes we do ask that customers….”
  • Rio Carnival women
  • Headline layouts where the headline is put ANNOYING! between two parts of the subtitle.
  • Girls with vestigial tic-like head side-to-side twitching as if they are flicking hair out of their face, but it is just to the side of their face and just wobbles a bit each time
  • UK People prefacing a dumb and probably insulting remark with “I’m not being funnaiyy bu’ ….”
  • Door handles too close to the edge so you scrape your knuckles closing them; taps so close to the edge of the basin you can’t put your hands under them
  • MLM and offline network marketing
  • Books that start with acknowledgements where the author always thanks his typist
  • Offline mode in firefox and windows printers
  • Total lack of auto reconnect in linux wlan
  • Ubuntu start menu and bizarre classification of programs into utilities, system, system settings, and settings
  • The “came from nowhere” idea that every event has to have a “mascot”
  • Applause between movements of music; people coughing during music performances
  • Loo lids that don’t stay up
  • UK local governments’ delusion that linking PDFs constitutes an OK way of publishing information on the web
  • Parents “grounding” their children
  • Cartoon maps in theme parks
  • Public information maps that are not oriented north
  • Students being all excited and champagne-y when finishing exams
  • Literally any form of student protest
  • The way people need a “festival” before they can do stuff; similarly how cyclists need a “ride” organized with numbers on their back
  • Militant cyclists holding up traffic where they could cycle on the pavement
  • Reading lists of pompous band and dj names in concert listings
  • Shop chains that sell nothing in particular like WH Smith, Robert Dyas, and Woolworths (go figure)
  • People pronouncing ‘project’ with a long o
  • Anyone, especially middle class twenty somethings, making the metal hand gesture
  • Young people made up with grey hair to look old
  • When American TV has two or maybe three people on the screen at the same time to represent a conference call http://screencast.com/t/Zjd2tESqu
  • Americans constantly pre-warning or pre-apologizing for use of “profanity” which is almost always totally tame
  • Internet marketers referring in any way to the size of their launches
  • Internet marketers in the marketing-to-the-internet-marketing niche constantly referring to other internet marketers in the same niche like we are supposed to know who they are or care
  • People who do long loud breathing out through their nose in pauses in the middle of sentences, which sounds like a sigh of frustration whereas it is actually just their inability to control their breathing and syntactical concentration for long sentences
  • Verbose training speakers who always introduce a definition by saying extensively what it is not
  • Learning courses talking about “those ‘Aha’ moments” and furthermore the pressure on one to have had ‘aha’ moments
  • People bringing their children or babies to grown up parties. Ever.
  • Son illumiere
  • The Rocky Horror picture show
  • Rab C Nesbitt
  • The Vicar of Dibley
  • People who speak in really loud voices
  • German key signatures being in Soll Moll or whatever
  • Variety shows
  • Stupid camera settings like solarize, sepia etc that you never use
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Big negative warning labels on products
  • Sylvia Plath
  • Murray Perahia
  • Monty Don
  • The Chuckle Brothers
  • American people in movies saying “get out of here” in a joking way
  • Single gear bikes
  • Police/Ambulance sirens that cycle through stupid versions like they can’t make up their mind which sounded cooler
  • People flying England flags on their cars
  • American people pronouncing “Arctic” as ‘artic’
  • The horribly inaccurate crooning 1950s Sinatra singing style where they glissando their way either side of the notes like a sort of drunken slalom
  • Men having their top shirt button done up without a tie on. Come on, wtf
  • Face painting
  • Modern artists attempting to claim that any of their pointless masturbatory activity is “subversive”
  • Cars by the side of the road for sale
  • The new trend of the rich lower classes driving huge Toyota and Nissan pick-up trucks just to go from their cul de sac to Asda
  • Schoolchildren riding public transport to go to school
  • Flavoured mineral waters; Vitamin water
  • The concept of viva voce exams and the boring ‘legendary’ stories that come out like Oscar Wilde’s

July 2010 List of Hated Words and Phrases

July 25, 2010
  • Wonks
  • Blini
  • Bling
  • “Orr allaugh” (as an expression of interest or surprise)
  • Zippady doo daa
  • The ‘lurgy
  • Folksy, e.g. people always refer to Warren Buffett newsletter as “folksy wisdom”
  • Probe
  • Hypermarket
  • Indiscretion
  • That’s very true
  • In our neck of the woods
  • To suit all pockets
  • …every ounce of my not inconsiderable…
  • ppl
  • Ramekin
  • Lardons
  • Titchy
  • Poughkeepsie
  • Award-winning. Even assuming any of the companies or products which claim to be award-winning actually won some award, then the people who make up such awards should be shot.
  • Awry
  • Creature
  • “Important” (to describe art)
  • Washed down with gallons of
  • Think tank
  • GOP
  • Isotonic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Finagle
  • Hydratation (French for Hydration)
  • Maid of honor
  • Minted
  • Conflab
  • At the tender age of…
  • par excellance
  • Come together
  • Fall(en) pregnant
  • Telecommute
  • Blonde bombshell
  • Regimen
  • Romp
  • Hunky dory
  • Nitwit
  • “dear oh dear”, or even worse, “dear oh deary me”
  • Reredos
  • Don [v and n]
  • Syncretism, syncretistic
  • Miscegenation
  • Metastasized
  • Rate (vt. meaning, “think sth is good”)
  • Hubby
  • appropriate, inappropriate, appropriacy
  • Limelight
  • Female
  • Literally used any other way than literally
  • Close call, too close to call
  • Wake up call
  • Health and Safety
  • Pot pourri
  • Nous
  • wivya, arncha, aincha
  • Women saying “Thank yey”
  • People saying “I done (something)”
  • Cascade (vt, always used tautologically: c. information down to your staff)
  • Workshy
  • Whippersnapper
  • Palimpsest
  • Backwardation
  • Taper relief
  • Higgledy piggledy
  • Feisty
  • Liberal arts
  • Potential game changer
  • Cleanse
  • Sassy, sass
  • The opposite sex
  • No holds barred
  • Rumble in the jungle
  • “pull it off the net”
  • “on the internet”
  • Artiste
  • Whitbread
  • Caste
  • Cadre
  • Ecru
  • Bonding
  • Doula
  • Cholesteric
  • Winnebago
  • Emoluments
  • Perquisite
  • Fnac
  • Smear
  • Stroller
  • Brio
  • Combi / Kombi
  • Go(ne) pear shaped
  • Comestible
  • By and large
  • The whole kaboodle
  • Calisthenics
  • Auto da fe
  • Strawberry blonde
  • Acid test
  • Humbly beseech
  • Teleology
  • Ontological
  • “Thought-provoking” or “Disturbing” to describe boring modern art, particularly irritating if said by the artist himself
  • Fresh faced
  • Strapline
  • Durif
  • Endives
  • Sibling
  • Pizzeria
  • Yikes
  • Ska
  • Swingeing
  • Ventouse
  • Doozie
  • -driven (management-driven, design-driven, process-driven)
  • Lagniappe
  • Chuckle
  • Water fountain
  • Alhambra
  • Kickstand
  • Tunny
  • Elbow grease
  • Monternet
  • Fabian
  • Dry run
  • Enigmatic
  • Chic
  • Homily
  • High impact
  • Gouache
  • Addicting
  • Klutz
  • Peripatetic
  • Healthful, unhealthful
  • Delorean
  • People in an art or gallery context referring to “a space”
  • Drumlin
  • Tumulus
  • Mogul
  • Hardwired
  • Basket of currencies
  • Shanties
  • Bawdy
  • Tyrol
  • Take no prisoners
  • Tallahassee
  • Billabong
  • Scrimmage
  • Cribbage
  • Shaharazade
  • Skullduggery

End-Of-May 2010 Big List Of Things I Hate

May 29, 2010
  • People thinking Daria is the total extent of sarcasm or irony
  • “Sports” water bottles with a weird sucky nubbin on the top instead of a normal screw cap
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Green Salad
  • Pick Your Own
  • Enormous strawberries that are shaped like organs or tumours
  • Anything that goes with the territory
  • When cling film or sticking tape tears and you can’t find the edge or keep unravelling it with a section on the end staying stuck
  • Anybody pointing out that anything goes in cycles, and from that inferring that things must go in cycles, that cycles are mystically the correct way of understanding or predicting things. Generally, hate people thinking they are clever for pointing out any trait or trend which is “natural” and then inferring that what is natural is also what is best, most optimal, most morally desirable etc
  • People who claim to be a man of their word
  • English kids on skateboards
  • File extensions in capital letters
  • Moving text in footer of TV news screens
  • Anyone being said to be the “darling of” some group or movement or, even more irritatingly, the “poster child of”
  • Any organization or movement having a “mantra”
  • Fabric shopping bags with long handles that cause the bag to drag along the ground when you carry them
  • Taps that are too close to the basin causing you to crash your knuckles when running your hands under the water. (Almost all non-kitchen taps are like this)
  • People self-consciously introducing something uninteresting they’re about to tell you with “A word in your ear” or “A word to the wise” or “A word”
  • People pronouncing “scone” as Scohne
  • Enormous backpacker rucksacks
  • People wearing mini rucksacks which look lost in the middle of their backs
  • Kirsty Wark
  • Jeremy Paxman being so damn negative and interrupty the whole time
  • People constantly calling me “My Friend”
  • The arsey attitude of WordPress expert community in their forums/codex
  • Laptop design only being focused on being even lighter and even thinner
  • People calling Nick Clegg the kingmaker
  • Americans joking “I’m a horrble horrble person ha ha”
  • Centileters
  • People answering the phone “yello”
  • Labels saying that carelessness causes fire
  • Voltaire’s Candide
  • Marketing asking “which (product) are you?”
  • People in offices saying “what can I do you for?”
  • Penguin paperback books
  • That series of software books with animal pictures on the front
  • The “for dummies” books, which always seem to make the subject much more complicated and impenetrable than it actually is
  • Look Who’s Talking
  • French people saying “Gigo” or “Go” to mean Gigabytes
  • Warnings expressed in the format of “you’ll only [do mistake bad thing] once”
  • People poop scooping their dog’s shit into little bags… but then leaving the bags lying on the path (or quite often, on a fence or hanging in a tree)… I mean, what kind of people?
  • The s in Johns Hopkins
  • People saying in a silly voice “the man’s a nutter!” (or variants such as “the man’s a loon”)
  • Kes / A Kestrel For A Knave
  • The lack of urgency about road works in the UK
  • Americans getting all excited about wine, cheese, whisky etc when what they have over there is invariably lame
  • Modern (field) hockey sticks
  • Midwives not using articles or pronouns “Delivery ward is where baby comes out, and father will want to sit on chairs here, perhaps buy coffee, or read magazine?”
  • Mickey Mouse
  • This banner http://screencast.com/t/ZDBjYmY4
  • Anti spam blacklists
  • The bingly bangly theme tune of the harry potter films
  • Merged cells
  • All-female musical ensembles
  • People saying that someone “had a good innings” when they die, and even more annoying is the way one finds oneself saying it because there is nothing else to say.
  • Debentures and time shares
  • Women having to have a python draped on them in ‘sexy’ photo shoots
  • Party political broadcasts
  • Professional body builders
  • Companies called -aco or -corp
  • People sending emails to everyone in their address book to announce they are changing email address
  • The Beach (book and film)
  • Software or (no-shit) advice about “home budgeting”
  • Stupid UK rappers’ names like Titchy Brainstem and Wiener Dimwit
  • Helplines and websites having Welsh language options
  • The attempt to rebrand the Post Office as ‘Consignia’
  • Microformats
  • Boys at school constantly “knocking in” their cricket bats; even more annoyingly, the sale of cricket balls stuck on the end of a wooden stick solely for the purpose of constantly knocking in cricket bats
  • Women in the UK saying “norr bless”
  • The way price tags are quoted without sales tax in America
  • That song that goes “so you had a bad day” (yes, well, I did now)
  • Marketers deliberately trying to create viral videos
  • Cocktails with “outrageous” or “sexy” names
  • Anyone saying g’day
  • In journalismspeak, people “calling for” things
  • Having to worry if the American you’re talking to will get that you are being sarcastic
  • “Schlepping” or indeed any other yiddish word inserted into English on the assumption that it automatically makes the speaker funny because all things Jewish automatically must be ironic
  • Schools getting relaunched / rebranded as “academies”
  • The Wombles
  • Being routed to call centres in Pakistan and India
  • Helplines where you can hear massive chatter of hundreds of other call centre people in the background
  • Customer facing staff in shops or on the phone who sigh audibly because it’s such a big ffing effort being nice
  • The excuse for university that we have in the UK
  • Sports technology as a school or university subject
  • Anyone constantly discussing, debating, teaching as if there is any controversy, doubt, uncertainty, or mystery about evolutionary theory. (The whole thing is just so manifestly common sense as to hardly be a theory. As much as perhaps gravity is a theory.)
  • The good times
  • Adrenalin junkies
  • Sporrans
  • Parties
  • People saying they did something because they were bored
  • People blowing their nose when it is dry and doesn’t actually need blowing, making a sound like an elephant trumpeting
  • Pasta in salad; even worse, raisins or other fruit in salads
  • Crisps served on a plate especially as a side to a sandwich
  • Stadiums
  • Shitty British place names incorporating “dean” “lea” (/lee/leigh) and “park”
  • People maintaining that they “had you pegged as” something you are not
  • Anything described as “a blast”
  • Skater girls [Fall into the category of “I don’t know what they are but I already know they are annoying]
  • People being surprised that in general people can flip out and gun down their office or school. The people being gunned down being surprised that the person is doing it.
  • People attributing violence, criminal behaviour, children’s bad behaviour – to “video games”
  • Stupid camera settings like solarize, sepia etc that you never use
  • Arbitrary sloppy use of -wise at the end of a word, e.g. entertainmentwise, caloriewise, alcoholwise, fuel economywise
  • People who walk swinging their arms sideways across their body instead of by their sides
  • Fake and gay / evil software claiming to speed up your computer / fix your windows registry
  • Adsense about tooth whitening
  • Drying up with a dishcloth
  • Majorettes
  • Military tattoos
  • Tattoos
  • Pantomime horses
  • Pantomimes
  • The Royal Tournament
  • The Royal Variety Show
  • Variety shows
  • Anything described as “right royal”
  • Shaver power sockets in every bathroom in the world despite the fact that there are only three people left who need them
  • Women who are celebrities only because of having gigantic fake breasts
  • The crayon smell of primary schools
  • School
  • Plastic cups
  • Wetsuits
  • White papers
  • Platitudinous school report cards
  • People taking the afternoon off work because it’s a lovely day outside
  • Ridiculously loud scooters and motorcycles
  • Shops selling roast/mashed/boiled potatoes (if only they had readymade fried egg or shrink wrapped beans on toast..?)
  • Gnocchi
  • People who wheeze or even start coughing when they laugh
  • People introducing their boring opinions with “to be honest wiv ya”
  • Benny Hill, Harry Hill
  • Wines with “funny” animal names like “waxed bat” (usually from Australia)
  • People who are short and drive their car with their heads barely peeping over the steering wheel, with their hands right up top blocking their view – get a booster seat!
  • Women’s shoes that have a long pointy empty bit at the toe, especially where you can already see the foot bulging just to fit in the top bit
  • The company names PriceWaterHouseCoopers, Kleinwort Benson, Andersen, Arthur Anderson, Clancydocwra, and Sodexho
  • Annie Leibovitz
  • People who speak in really loud voices
  • The universal belief (religion, even) that not going out drinking in bars with shallow people who are not really your friends, and having photos taken where you pretend to be “wild”, means you do not “have a life”, and the willing relegation of anyone not fitting that bizarre religion of denial to a category of an under-human.
  • People pronouncing “block and tackle” as “tayy-cul”
  • Cold calls from sales people introduced as “just a quick courtesy call”
  • The same English customer service girls who always say “yay” instead of “you” always appending “at all” to the end of any question as in “Have yay got any ID on you at all?”
  • Whatever happened to the likely lads
  • Puppetry of the penis
  • The Rocky Horror picture show
  • IAMS Eukanuba and “scientific” pet foods
  • Celebrities signing autographs with big fat permanent markers
  • Why anyone like lifetouch would want to retouch kid’s yearbook photos. Oh, and I hate yearbook photos
  • Ber used in cooking, especially since you can’t taste anything special, e.g. beer duck in China, beer batter on anything deep fried. Even more annoying is the use of Guiness
  • People making blog posts about upgrading their wordpress
  • People talking about “there are always Black Swans ready to land” or some such lame metaphor using black swans
  • Trainers worn as normal shoes
  • Game shows
  • Children’s fashion shows
  • Lexus cars
  • The Elements Of Style
  • Being called puerile or immature, or to grow up, when I was a little boy ffs.
  • TGI Fridays.
  • TFI Friday. The isn’t-it-witty-to-hate-our-job attitude that spawned that catchphrase.
  • People saying “I hate to say it but…” in front of things they love to say
  • The way you can close Firefox but it won’t quit the program because the download window is still open
  • When things come out of the dishwasher all squeaky/sticky
  • Music tracks that include ‘street’ sounds like traffic or police sirens at the beginning or end
  • That “Swing low sweet chariots” song
  • Airline use of the word “momentarily”
  • Hotels not considering internet a basic amenity. And it should be wireless not some 30cm cat cable at the dressing table, fork
  • People talking about “the hoi polloi”, even more annoying because it is usually attempting to mock elitist attitudes and the speaker is attempting to identify themselves protectively with the masses as if that is a good thing.
  • That Tevas are the only viable brand for all purpose sandals
  • Socks and sandals
  • Almost anything made by grown ups specifically for children that the adults themselves would not believe in, engage in, participate in, consume etc, especially when I was little
  • Stomp
  • Slogans that answer a question that you didn’t ask… “Because I’m worth it.” “Because life is about living” etc
  • Every update of Firefox breaking at least one of your essential extensions
  • American actors doing English accents
  • English actors doing American accents
  • When you email someone on a b2b matter and they add you to their b2c newsletter without asking
  • Things which describe themselves as “made in the heart of…” e.g “…cornwall” to sound more rural and authentic
  • Wedding favors and Baby showers
  • Field gun races
  • Alain de Botton
  • People who have their.name@their-lame-ISP.co.uk email addresses
  • That “ah feel lahk a woman” song
  • People doing the 1812 overture with guns or fireworks and thinking it’s cool, funny, or original
  • Anyone suffixing anything with “which is what makes us human”
  • Tall ships
  • White football boots
  • The concept of options and futures
  • Credit checks
  • People on stilts
  • Films about weddings
  • Celebrity lookalikes
  • Doonesbury
  • Men hugging
  • The Edinburgh festival
  • The Glastonbury festival
  • All festivals
  • Swatch watches
  • Rio Carnival women
  • Living statues
  • Hello Magazine
  • Burger King fries
  • Evian roller babies
  • Evian
  • Bull fighting
  • Poodles
  • People giving me unsolicited advice

April 2010 Big List Of Things I Hate

April 3, 2010
  • Standing ovations
  • Standing ovations in parliaments
  • Repeated up and down standing ovations in parliaments
  • Software that puts you through a whole load of shit to “download update” and it turns out that the file you downloaded is just an installer which itself downloads the real stuff,ultra slowly
  • Trying to use a touchpad with a wet finger
  • Bank stress tests
  • Sites that iframe you without permission like digg and alibaba
  • Evangelicals holding their hands in the air
  • Puffed up crisp packets which you open to find only about 5 crisps inside
  • Air miles
  • Pizza Express
  • The price of first class air tickets
  • Docx and xlsx
  • Windoze “unused icons” cleanup wizard
  • Unneccessary sidebar menus in Excel, Frontpage, and Adobe Reader
  • Landlords’ attitude towards deductions from your deposit, and their general misconception that tenants are supposed to maintain the property
  • Atonal arythmical builder whistling
  • People in offices playing music out loud instead of on headphones; Generally, the assumption by annoying people that their taste in music (a) is a taste; (b) is music; (c) must automatically be shared by everyone in the space around them at that particular moment
  • People introducing their opinions with “let me ask you a question” or “lemme ask you one thing”
  • The Domain Registry of America (you evil, evil bastards)
  • Godaddy
  • Netfirms
  • UKL (meaning GBP)
  • Companies adding up all their people and saying “we have a combined experience of over 400 years in ecommerce” etc
  • Hotel surcharge for internet (w… t… f..)
  • Executive summaries
  • DJs, especially “huge” or “celebrity” DJs
  • Brian Blessed
  • Small bins
  • Hannah Montana
  • When comedy shows like Mock the Week or Have I Got News for You have celebrity guests who are not funny at all
  • J Cloths
  • “1st post” “sofa” type blog comments
  • Those little trailing bits of plastic at the rear of a car that are supposed to prevent static electricity buildup
  • The Vagina Monologues
  • Those puppetry of the penis guys
  • The Archers
  • Radio 4
  • The Huffington Post
  • People wearing sunglasses on the back of their head
  • People cycling mountain bikes in ultra low gear unnecessarily
  • Having to unpack my bags in airports
  • Croatia Airlines (see above)
  • Airport security generally
  • Grey no-brand hotel toothpaste
  • Tourist tat that is the same wherever you go, as if being a tourist makes you want to buy strange hats or magnets.
  • People taking suitcases as carry-on luggage
  • The Shanghai attitude
  • Americans pronouncing Ob-Gyn as if it is an acronym
  • Journalists appending “-gate” to anything to imply that we are supposed to have heard of it and it is amusingly scandalous (even more annoyingly Chinese news blogs now append -men (I suppose 1989 was tiananmenmen)
  • Scavenger hunts
  • Singing psalms where no one knows the setting and no one has the music
  • Sit com series DVD covers where all the actors are clustered together grinning blandly, totally ignoring all their in-show personalities.
  • Windows – things that install themselves by default to start at startup
  • Urchins and poor people in hollywood olde movies denoted by always walking around with dirt on their faces but otherwise looking plump and healthy and not thin or warty
  • The way printing a document modifies it in MS Word so you are prompted to save, but only sometimes
  • Stick on bow ties
  • Mountain bikes with no rear mudguard
  • People riding mountain bikes with no rear mudguard and a line of mud up their back
  • Cycling helmets
  • All cycling clothes
  • Birkenstock
  • Having to have both juice and coffee at hotel breakfasts
  • Stickers
  • People asking you to guess anything in a conversation
  • Slavic keyboards with the Y and Z the wrong way round (god it is annozing to tzpe on those kezboards)
  • People or marketing copy describing food as “prepared by” instead of “cooked” or “made”
  • Interpolation and upscaling
  • People noisily breathing through their mouth or noisily sighing during a conversation
  • Scientists, academics, and journalists assuming that “emotions”, “memories”, and “morality” are just areas of the brain that you can peer into and mess with.
  • People with a broken nose
  • Nasal office secretary women with stroppy attitude
  • People who speak like they’ve got a permanently bunged up nose
  • Chairs modelled on racing car seats (stupid anyway but they all look nothing like car seats anyway)
  • People saying they’d give their eye teeth for things, usually for something totally lame like being able to go to university or be able to eat spinach every day
  • Stupidly high art prices at auction
  • Modern pseud artists constantly calling their daubings “triptych”
  • Men who only talk in the back of their throats because they have come to think it is the way to sound cool, chilled, or deep-voiced
  • People being afraid of swearing, oh my gosh
  • People proudly narrating how they were lashed, smashed, caned, baked, messed up, well out of it, etc
  • Flexible displays
  • People writing MSFT instead of Microsoft
  • Articles talking in the future tense about how America might lose its power, prestige, influence etc… helooo
  • Couples saying “We are pregnant”
  • How cryptic Russian nicknames are and how when you read russian books you are supposed to know that Vasha is the same person as Anatoly etc
  • Cream Teas
  • Cleaners blithely stacking all your desk papers together to be more neat
  • Latin American people signing/identifying themselves using all 5/6/7 of their names
  • People not accepting money for good causes because it is “tainted” or from bad sources
  • Obscene pricing of water filter cartridges, ink cartridges, photo paper, and razors.
  • MS Word in “draft” view mode
  • Google Reader not remembering per-feed view preferences
  • Windows not remembering per-folder view preferences
  • Pub lock-ins
  • Shower gel claiming to be “2 in 1” as in, you can use it as a shampoo, as in, no shit.
  • Saved web pages
  • All TV gameshows and knockout competitions
  • Athletics
  • The sound of cars on wet roads in England
  • Any assumption or social arrangement that requires “everyone just to get along with each other”
  • The way people thought Nigel Kennedy was interesting and memorable just because of a “rebellious” haircut
  • American job applicants who think a cover letter or resume begins with “Personal Objective: to blablahblah whinywhingy memememe”
  • In-jokey web 2.0 comics
  • Fred Bassett, Love Is, Peanuts, hell, any and all cartoons in newspapers
  • Girls draped on motorbikes or cars
  • Paul Daniels
  • Stage hypnotists
  • The concept of unemployment benefit
  • Americans trying to be medieval
  • The way it always isn’t happy hour now or any other time you could possibly go there
  • American men being called Bugsy or Bubba
  • People supporting sports saying “Coomon”
  • People supporting sports
  • Never mind the buzzcocks
  • Beer and shots
  • Home fries
  • Satire that “pokes gentle fun at”
  • Satin
  • Louis Armstrong singing “what a wonderful world” used in commercials ad nauseam
  • The Bugatti Veyron
  • Smoothies with banana
  • Everything about What not to wear
  • Ashby de la Zouche
  • Americans referring to the main course as the Entree
  • El condor pasa
  • Burpees
  • Products that declare they are “Suitable for all the family”
  • Vauxhall cars and the people who drive them (usually to be found cutting in front of me or right behind me with full beam headlights)
  • Muffins, danishes, buns, brioches, shortbread
  • Being told to calm down, hurry up, chill out, cheer up, smile, get a move on, slow down, or take it easy. In each case can you think of anything less likely to work?
  • Rowing as a sport
  • Water ski jumps in lakes
Ashby de la ZoucheEl condor pasa

February 2010 Big List of Things I Hate

February 18, 2010
  • Elaborate suspenders supposedly being sexy. Especially with high heels.
  • The universal but completely false assumption by radio and tv advertisers in the UK that simply having an actor say some normal words in a regional accent will make the message catchy, funny, idiosyncratic, or ironic. In fact the effect is almost certainly simply to alienate and irritate 95% of the audience. Ditto for use of Welsh or Scottish call centres, Direct Line for example could surely make more sales if their customers didn’t have to fight through a thick treacle of Glaswegian to get to the message.
  • Jongleurs (a stand up comedy bar chain in the UK)
  • Street markets
  • Office worker men wearing brown leather shoes together with dark or grey suits.  In particular those too long type shoes which are supposed to look Italian, are pointy, and curl up at the toe.
  • People holding their mobile phone with their right hand against their left year with head cocked.
  • Those Halfords commercials with the yellow background and black silhouette of a strange dwarf.
  • Social kissing
  • The acting of Robert Strauss http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0833865/
  • The way chemistry distinguishes between different things with just a stupid little vowel change like sulphate/sulphite, alkane/alkene/alkyne.
  • Investment advice claiming to be “contrarian” and the underlying assumption that it must be automatically successful to be doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing.
  • Shakespeare plays [oh yes, you heard me]
  • Lame forwarded “warning” messages about the latest virus or scam, claiming to be “direct from Norton/Microsoft/the Police” etc
  • People in daily life smelling of deep heat, athlete’s foot powder, or other strange sports talc things.
  • Pull down hand drying towels in public loos
  • Door to door sales, charity, religion, anything.
  • People on their mobile phones wandering around supermarkets lamely asking for instructions from home what they should be buying. I also hate myself when I have to do that.
  • Retired people expressing mock surprise and indignation that they are “busier than ever”
  • Grapes or bright pink cherries in fruit salad
  • Car rental companies saying some good car model then in tiny font “or similar”
  • People calling scissors-paper-stone anything other than that. Anyone heard of cadence?
  • People thinking because Moore’s Law is called a law that it is somehow an obligation or target or natural passive effect to keep up with it.
  • The categorization of music, in particular stupid categories like “Alternative” and “World” and “Other”. As with anything, the music that can’t be categorized is usually the most interesting, and any attempt to categorize interesting things always misses the point.
  • Cheerleading
  • S’mores
  • Americans exhorting each other to have “spirit”
  • Olympic skiing (especially the cow bells, and now they have even more stupid stuff like lighting flares)
  • Inventors, artists, authors etc saying “I’ve always been fascinated by…” or “I’ve always been interested in the way…”
  • Crazy golf
  • Neelix
  • The Hollywood convention that insects make “chittering” noises
  • Kodak’s attempts to make digital photography complicated and proprietary
  • People labelling anything “urban” to try to make it sound more cool http://screencast.com/t/MTllOWNlZ (similar to “Guerilla” and “street”)
  • The limitations of Google spreadsheets, that mean it’s, er, not a spreadsheet
  • Excel suddenly deciding to jump to row 65,000
  • Recipes and diets measuring food in cups or half cups.
  • People being interested in child prodigy musical performers, but otherwise not, as if music is some kind of aptitude contest or poodle show.
  • People going on an on about a house having “character” as if it is something objective and measurable, e.g. “tons of character”, “52% more character than the previous house we looked at”
  • People calling me “Young Man”
  • Logitech software and update manager bloat; plus the annoying “feature” of having obsolete extra buttons all over the mouse, which when you accidentally touch them, every single time pop up a dialog box asking if you want to assign a function to it. Adobe is even worse in terms of software/installer bloat.
  • The greatcoats worn by air stewardesses especially British Airways
  • People pronouncing “mischievous” as “miss-cheevy-us”
  • Shiny clothes material, Nike being a particular offender
  • Farty sounding brass bands in shopping centres
  • Balloon sculpting
  • Full justify text
  • The Shorty Awards (whatever they are)
  • The animated red bull commercials
  • TV intros never just saying “new” but always saying “the brand new” (-series, episode, seaon) etc
  • Magicians’ wands, especially when Sooty holds one
  • Pro-gold writers constantly “ironically” referring to gold as “the barbarous relic”
  • “Boasts” used to mean “has” e.g. “this house boasts 3 bidets” or “area woman boasts four breasts”
  • “Funny” songs
  • Scully being pregnant in the X Files
  • People taking one RSS feed and making into “its very own iPhone app”

February 2010 List of Hated Words and Phrases

February 15, 2010
  • Credit crunch
  • Condiments
  • Goofy
  • anyone saying they’ve paid their dues
  • people asking “what are you up to?” or “what have you been up to?”
  • “Value” (meaning cheap)
  • Nutty
  • Zany
  • Chumby
  • Barnstorming
  • For kicks
  • Chutzpah
  • Peeps
  • people typing “ppl”
  • A touch of –
  • Pride of place
  • Special place in his heart for –
  • …to boot
  • Tragic
  • Put the hurt on
  • Haptic
  • Geronimo
  • Put the kibosh on
  • Green shoots of recovery
  • Supercharge
  • place names ending in -ovia and -ville
  • Mangosteen
  • Diktats
  • Sultry
  • Curvy (meaning fat)
  • Watershed
  • Debt instruments
  • Investment vehicle
  • Carrageenan
  • Endocrinitis
  • the annoying American way of inviting agreement by telling you “Well I’m gonna go ahead and….” with very optional “If that’s OK with you”
  • Prying eyes
  • Coffee hangout
  • Worth a punt
  • Tipple
  • Cheshunt
  • Slippery slope
  • people claiming to do, have, or know anything from “the street” as if it is a place
  • Hitherto, heretofore, estwhile, hereinafter
  • Sweet tooth
  • A writer writes
  • Boot camp
  • That special someone
  • The perfect storm
  • Tote
  • Hotbed
  • “the point is mute” [sic] said by Americans
  • …is a case in point
  • Reimagining
  • Daft
  • Paradigm shift
  • HD ready
  • Wahey
  • E wuz avin a larf e was
  • Profit play
  • Novelty
  • – cents on the dollar
  • Spearheaded
  • Stuff of legends
  • The rise and rise of –
  • inanimate objects being called “kind” (shampoo, hand soap, a rubber grip on a chainsaw)
  • Uncut
  • Scooch
  • Of a [time] (e.g. “of a Tuesday”)
  • Have -, will –
  • Mate / mates
  • Saskatchewan
  • Kohlrabi
  • Popsicle
  • Torte
  • Avail -self of –
  • Tempeh
  • A hoot
  • Chic
  • Apart’hotel
  • Biopic
  • Tackle
  • Windfall (used by journalists, pointlessly, to refer to any one making money)
  • Leery
  • Take-no-prisoners
  • Parmiggiano Reggiano

People adding up years of experience

December 20, 2009

When marketers or company bumph text arbitrarily add together people’s experience, like “Between them they have over 20 years of experience blowing things up” or “The transfer pricing team of Price Waterhouse have over 6523 years of experience to draw from”.

It just doesn’t work like that.

When you add people together you invariably get LESS than the sum of their parts. I think that is why in growing companies you need to have 300 employees to achieve the work that you started planning when you had 20 people and ought to have been able to achieve with 30.