Tag Archives: cute spelling

7 of the Worst Things in the World (Pt 1)

1 Jul

I know that the worst things in the world are more like murder, rape, child abuse, catching on fire, and The Black Eyed Peas, so let’s get that out of the way from the start. This isn’t a catalogue of the world’s great evils, it’s the B-list.

1. Flies

I know everyone hates flies, but not everyone seems to hate them enough. When one starts buzzing around the dinner-party table, I experience mood change. I’ve broken things trying to swat flies. I’ve swatted them with shoes, towels, underwear. I’ve developed a fly-backhanding technique capable of killing them in flight. I bought myself fly killing devices for my birthday.

Once, having lunch at a friend’s place, I tried to kill a fly by means of high-velocity finger flick. Cock the middle finger back behind the thumb webbing, subtle push of the hand forward to startle the fly into flight, release the flick and hope for the best. It’s a very low-percentage kill method, but it attracts much less attention than that back-hand I mentioned or clapping it to death. Unfortunately for me, as I pushed my hand forward to get the flick in range, the clasp of my watch strap grappling-hooked onto the rim of my dinner plate.  The commitment to the flick was such that my watch strap lifted the plate up and flung it discus-style across my end of the table, sending cutlery flying, knocking over a cider bottle, and utterly demolishing my host’s wine glass.

So much for attracting less attention. It serves to illustrate, though, just how evil flies are.

Taken moments before attempted fly flicking.

2. Two-wheeled Midlife Crises

I have a motorcycle licence. I used to ride a beautiful (for the 80s) 1983 1000 cc BMW; I now have a little one that gets 40ks to the litre. Bikes are great. Bikes avoid being stuck behind all the lobotomised drivers I shall moan about shortly.

But some guys seem to get into biking for the Hells Angels street cred. They think they look like this:

But really they look like this:


You know who’s bike has handlebar tassles? My six year old daughter. They’re pink and sparkly, but you’re going to argue that village-people leather is more manly? So many of you going out in public in fancy dress on those dog-awful jack-hammer-sounding Harley things just ruins the credibility of the whole biking enterprise.

Look, big-boned, hairsome males, I understand that the midlife crisis is a biggie, but with the leather pants and studs, it doesn’t make you look badass, it just makes us wonder why you didn’t go full gimp. Buy a less daft vehicle and lose the Sadism Clown outfit.

3. DVD introductions and warning pages

Did I just see that guy trying to skip to the menu?

Imagine you bought some new music, stuck on the headphones, started the first track, and instead of the song you’re excited to hear, they had got the voice of your primary-school headmaster to say, ‘You are listening to copyrighted material, if you copy this, resell this, or play it on religious holidays, someone is going to come and punch you in the solar plexus. Please wait while this message is repeated in various languages. After that, we’ll give you some unsolicited samples of songs that are loosely within your probable demographic and that frankly you probably won’t like, but our label publishes it so what are you going to do about it? You cannot skip this message, so stop pressing that ffwd button; there’s nothing wrong with your device. Oh, and just a reminder that if you attempt to violate the copy protection on this disc, I don’t know, say, to remove this message… solar plexus.’

The music industry doesn’t think that they should risk annoying their customers by thrusting futile threats into their product, even though it is ludicrously easy to rip and redistribute music, people tell me. But the DVD industry is awash with unskippable pages of text that nobody reads because a) we’re all trying to see if skip or ffwd or the menu button works, and b) why would we ever read that? Put a ‘terms and conditions’ page among the menu items that I can read if I’m concerned that my garage bootlegging operation might be frowned upon. But seriously, pages of warnings, full duration, every disc?

If only there had been a page of text to warn me that it is wrong to steal, none of this would have happened.

4. Troll faces

The internet is overflowing with these:

They’re the once-funny-for-five-seconds replacement for emoticons. They’re pasted on everything. But this ‘gag’ has been going on for years now. Please internet. Enough now. Recycle actual trash.

I’ve been trying to find one that I saw some days ago that might have been the most obnoxious thing ever written, but it’s lost forever. This one will have to do.

OK, OK, one more, because they’re so darned moreish.

I’m pretty sure there was meant to be a joke in here somewhere. Surely you’re not just writing a vehicle-piece to link together troll faces that someone else drew? Surely?

5. Cute Spelling

I know that text messages cost double if you go over the character limit, and for complex sentences, Twitter forces you to abbreviate. Brevity is one thing, but there is no excuse for:

moar instead of more

kewl instead of cool

brakkyosoarus instead of… well you get it.

6. Lobotomised Drivers

Don’t tell me to hurry up. It’s not my fault that you didn’t leave home 45 minutes earlier than you needed to.

Speeding is bad, but slowing is maybe even worse. Sure, you don’t directly get in accidents, but you provoke people to take risks trying to get past you. Here are some driving behaviours that should earn you a slap behind the head:

  • Sunday driving all week (or even on Sundays). Our main road runs along an incredible picturesque stretch of landscape, nestled between mountain and ocean. I have sympathy for people driving slowly to take it in. And yet, it’s the main road. Being between mountain and sea, it is the only road. And I have somewhere to be. So if you want to take in the sights, pull over or do it at 60kph.
  • Can’t accelerate, reach legal speed. Speed limits have been the same for ages, i.e. since the days cars used to be made of timber, flint, and steel, and before airbags and impact bars. Cars can cope easily with these speeds. If you can’t manage the adrenaline rush of driving at 60kph, perhaps you’re made for public transport. Or living in open farmland.
  • Inability to anticipate. This is a petty one, but I hate it when drivers only think to evaluate the conditions at an intersection once they’ve stopped there. Their mental process goes something like:
    “I’m in a queue. Still in a queue.
    Queueing… Queueing…
    How does one spell ‘queueing’ I wonder?
    Well now! I’m second from front.
    It IS moving quickly now.
    Ooh, clouds!
    Ah! At the front at last!
    Let me make sure that I’ve managed to stop at the line.
    Just a little more… there!
    Nicely behind the line.
    Could probably go back a little if I’m honest.
    Whoops! Almost forgot.
    Disengage first and right there into neutral.
    So, how’s it looking here?
    Oh, there’s no-one around.
    Except behind me.
    I guess I can go.
    OK then.
    Clutch in, Check mirrors…”
  • Special mention: Pushing in. Not really about being slow, but to the people who push in to the front of queues of cars because no one else is brilliant enough to have thought of it, someone out there hates you.

For more drivers who don’t get moaned about often enough, read this fine article from cracked.com: 9 bad drivers nobody complains about and even 8 bad drivers nobody complains about part 2

7. Pop of Color

Anyone who says or labels anything (say on Pinterest) ‘Pop of color’.

[For my wife].


Is that ‘banker’ with a ‘w’?

5 Mar

It used to be a thing in advertising — at least when I studied — that certain industries needed to be marketed in a conservative way, because being too offensive, or even just too casual, could reflect badly on the institution and breed a lack of confidence among consumers. Financial institutions were the textbook example. Well, that seems to be changing pretty fast. It won’t be long before banks are using Cheezy the LOLcat to encourage us to ‘can haz ur monzies grw1ng by uz’.

Currently adorning my email provider (and now the right side of your screen) is an ad for Old Mutual that is really only a step or two behind LOLcats. Where to begin?

  1. Putting an ‘i’ before things when you’re not Apple is what mindless executives do to say, ‘We know about the computers (or gee whiz we’ll employ someone who does)!’, and ‘See how we’re down with the kids!’
  2. ‘Cute’ spelling is one of my pet hates, but in some words it’s inexcusable. Should we really trust the wisdom of someone who misspells ‘wise’ in two ways?
  3. Point 1 & 2 are nitpicky, I’ll admit. I could forgive the dumb branding, but they seriously sought out a guy wearing a ‘3 way’ t-shirt? The crassest, douchebaggiest, unfunniest possible ‘joke’ slogan shirt, pasted on the rugby-watchingest, douchebaggiest freshman, grinning like he knows his shirt is like the funniest thing.

‘Ja, bru, my pa bought me like tha sickest Alfa Romeo for ma twenty first, hey, so ja come an have a few drinks tonight an you can like check me doing burnout on this thing. An then we can fully pull some chicks, have some beers… Oh ja, hey, and I like luv ma wheels, hey, so you should also like insure with iwyze, maybru.’

I’m pretty sure that’s what it would say if the ad had a speech bubble.

I guess this is why we were told to go conservative with financial campaigns, because my life insurance is with these people, and it’s all I can do to keep myself from cancelling it right now.