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Everyone has things that irritate them deeply and I am no exception. Following in the tradition of the Room 101 TV show, these are the five things/concepts that I would love to consign to a fate worse than death!
***Bad spelling and grammar***
I've probably written about this before, but I really can't stand it when words are spelled incorrectly or really terrible grammar is used. Minor typos and mistakes in informal messages are ok, but it irritates me when signs or formal messages are wrong. Some words get to me more than others - I hate it when people confuse 'stationery' and 'stationary' (they have two completely different meanings!), misspell 'definitely' as 'definately' or mix up 'affect' and 'effect'.
Some people think that bad spelling is exclusive to young people, but I disagree. I work in a university and received an email in which the author used 'there' instead of 'their'. The author was an academic! I used to have a job working for my local council, and applied for another job while I was there. My manager wrote a reference for me and emailed it to me so I could check the spelling and grammar!
I do make mistakes myself (I'm only human) but I always get really annoyed with myself when I do!
To be precise, it's the concept
of referring to your home as your property that I dislike, thus reducing it to a financial asset. I partly blame daytime television and those shows in which wealthy families are searching for a new home (sorry, property) but turn incredible houses down because the kitchen doesn't have a breakfast bar or there are only four bedrooms. I also hate the obsession with people who know nothing about the responsibilities of private landlords buying extra houses to rent out and rake in a nice little profit. I've nothing against owning your own home - I hope to buy a house myself one day - but there is such a bad housing shortage anyway and it's so hard for young people and low earners to buy a house these days that wealthy people who buy up all the houses are just being greedy. I would love to restrict home ownership to one per person but I don't see that happening any time soon!
***Foods that should be vegetarian but aren't***
I'm vegetarian (actually, strictly speaking I'm a pescatarian, meaning that I eat fish), but I don't have any problem with other people eating meat or meat being available generally. What I DO have a problem with is food that contains meat or meat products for no reason whatsoever. Cases in point include certain Muller yoghurts, which I used to love until I found out they weren't veggie, and Pop Tarts, which I was gutted about. Not forgetting many kinds of sweets which contain gelatine. I've seen vegetarian versions of jelly sweets before so why can't all brands make their sweets veggie?
Most people love a nice Sunday roast. Not me. One of these reasons is that a Sunday dinner revolves around meat, and as I don't eat it I end up having roast potatoes, vegetables and a bit of salmon or Quorn - not the most exciting meal. What I really resent is that you are supposed to have a particular meal, just because it is Sunday. When I'm away from home I eat whatever I want but now I'm living at home I have to eat Sunday dinner! It's not just the food, it's the fact that you spend half the day starving, waiting for your meal, then eat around three o'clock (which is far too late for me), then spend the second half of the day feeling full and sleepy. What a waste of a day.
I hate Christmas dinner, too - it's just a glorified Sunday dinner. If I'm ever responsible for cooking a Christmas dinner, I'm making Mexican enchiladas.
Valentine's Day is just an excuse for people to be really soppy and for shops to display vomit-inducing cards and horrible red colour schemes. I used to work at Paperchase and a girl once came in to buy twenty-four Valentine's cards - one for every month she and her fiancé had been engaged. I smiled sweetly like a good shop assistant then as soon as she left dived behind the counter and burst out laughing!
I don't hate the day because I'm single - I did have a boyfriend one Valentine's day a few years ago and made him promise not to get me anything. I think the poor guy thought I was bluffing but I was deadly serious! On the night I went clubbing with one of my best friends and had a great time!
I will make one exception when it comes to Valentine's Day commercialism - I'm addicted to Lush and enjoy trying their Valentine's products as much as anything else they produce! In fairness the connection to the day is often dubious at best - I've no idea what the Magic Mushroom bubble bar has to do with romance!
So there it is, my list of five things I would be happy to see vanish into Room 101. There were several other contenders, such as Mary 'practically perfect in every way' Poppins (no you're not, you're just irritating), abridged versions of books (except for Moby Dick, which is one part exciting adventure story, six parts DIY whaling manual) and The Daily Mail (need I say more?). On the whole though, I'm pleased with my final choices! I hope you've been amused by my list even if you don't agree!