Monday, December 12, 2005

INTERESTING: Where did the term "pet peeve" come from?

While pretty much everyone can agree that car alarms are aggravating, as individuals we harbor our own set of annoyances, or pet peeves. Language misusage drives some people absolutely batty, while simple acts of discourtesy set others off.

Pet peeves are often very personal and idiosyncratic. Plastic bags in trees, for instance. Or dogs in sweaters. Or the pronunciation of the word "nuclear." Somewhere there's a person who can't stand any of these.

A "
peeve," meaning something that is particularly irritating or annoying, is a relatively recent word. Its first printed usage was in 1911. The term is derived, however, from a 14th-century word -- "peevish," meaning ornery or ill-tempered.

The modified term "pet peeve," a uniquely personal irritant, first appeared in print in 1919. It's no wonder it caught on -- it's snappy, alliterative, and pointed.
My Pet Peeves:
> When people make prefaces to things. [i.e. when a teacher has to explain what will happen in every given situation throughout the entire course. Just wait till it happens!!]
> When you can see what was written on a chalkboard after 'erasing' it
> The sound of a fork scratching against a plate
> The sound of someone scratching their head
> The sound of keyboards typing.
> When people honk in traffic jams.
> When people wont stop talking despite continued requests.