So I’m a dillylaplodochiphobic. And what?

I normally consider myself to be a relatively laid back and placid person, sometimes to my detriment. I’m all for an easy life and if I can do something to stop arguments and disagreements, I’ll do it. Equally, I don’t really get het up or wound about things; I don’t scream hysterically about spiders or earwigs because they just can’t harm me. If I lived in Australia however, I can assure you I would be very different!

There are a few things that do really wind me up and none of them are rational or have any rhyme or reason. I shall endeavour to share some of my most hated things and perhaps you will understand, nod knowingly and not judge me. You are well within your rights to cackle like an imbecile and cast me aside from your address book forever more, such is the insanity of my little niggles. (No, that is not supposed to be a euphemism.) I know a lot of these probably have long and exciting names, but I can’t be bothered with that nonsense. I’m sure it’s just someone with a sense of humour inventing them; afterall hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia is a fear of long words. Bastard.

Ok, so we’ll start with a pretty standard one; clowns. Everyone is scared of clowns right? Well, they should be. For a start, their makeup is worse than that of Pat Butcher and less subtle than Katie Price. Anyone that has a thick, white crust of makeup slapped across their face has to be hiding something. There is the old cliché about the tears of a clown, but it has to come from somewhere. They are going out dressed as someone else, picking on small children; they cannot be happy in themselves. If you are in any doubt, don’t forget their past history; John Wayne Gacy, or “Pogo the Clown” as he liked to be known, who abused and murdered 33 teenage boys. I think that all those American horror movies involving clowns ought to make us suspicious enough about them before we even think about the real life psychos.

My next fear is possibly less normal; Weetabix. I’m sure a lot of you dislike Weetabix, but does the mere smell of it make you nauseous? It’s pathetic. I’m twenty three years old and I ought to know better, but I am an irrational, nervous wreck when it comes to this particular brand of breakfast cereal. I think what put me off Mephistopheles’ munch was a year 7 school trip, where I ate the most dry Weetabix without a drink; I was picking that junk out of my braces for weeks. First of all, we’ll start with the taste. I don’t actually remember what Weetabix tastes like it’s been so long since I’ve eaten it, but I do remember that it manages to suck every little bit of liquid from your body, so you are left chewing dry, mulch for what seems like years. It is so unbelievably dense that I cannot believe that it is sold as food. As far as I can tell, the only purpose for Weetabix is as bricks in areas at risk of flooding. All the liquid would be soaked up by the wheaty biscuits and the houses would stay as try as a bone.

I know what you are thinking; if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Unfortunately, I have young nieces and nephews who eat it. It takes a great deal of self-control for me to feed it to them; even the feeling of it getting under your nails as you pull it from the pack is enough to set me on edge. Cooking it gives it one of the worst smells in the world; it smells like a rat died in the microwave and then quicker than a builder’s cement, it has turned into a solid lump of mulch. It seems to climb out of the bowl and glue itself to your fingers so that you will unknowingly get that lukewarm, vomit smelling concrete onto your lips. It is food of the worst order. I would rather go hungry than eat Weetabix. It has got to the point that I feel a bit nauseous just handling it.

The final hatred that I will unleash on you today is of those TWATSS. For everyone who is unaware of what that means (which is everyone bar me) it is Tossers Who Abbreviate Totally Stupid Stuff. None of you knew what I was talking about, which I expect made you feel a little bit of inferiority, loathing and jealousy. I say a bit because you may not know that you felt that way, but you definitely did, even if it was subconsciously. When I was younger, LOL and ROFL were the choice phrases, but realistically we only used it when we had nothing better to say. As a regular twitterer, I have noticed that I’m behind the times and the favoured phrases of today seem to be FTW (for the win) and FML/FMW (fuck my life/week). Firstly, for the win doesn’t make sense! I have never heard anyone utter the complete phrase for the win. As for FML, has life got so damned terrible that you can’t even utter three monosyllabic words? Get a spine.

Within this hatred, I shall include people who use “text language”. I can cope with people sending me text messages in long hand text language, even if I don’t partake in the practice myself. I understand that is what it is there for, even if I would rather spend the extra ten pence and explain myself properly. But where it really gets on my wick, my goat and everything else, is in email and normal writing. Perhaps it is the difference between someone who writes with a love of words and someone who writes to get information across. But words aren’t difficult to use, you can use them to make people laugh, cry, love you and hate you. What’s not to like about that? It allows the shy people to feel big and clever and occasionally superior against the illiterate, mouthy sods.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those fascists who are intent on keeping English from changing; the language has to move and mould itself along with the society and culture it is within, just use it properly. That sounds incredibly hard-line and typical of an English graduate, but I don’t mean to be cruel. I am as likely to misuse words as anyone else (my friends will attest to that); I just wish people would appreciate them more. Don’t just use them to hurriedly pass information across to someone else, slow down and appreciate their magnificence. The world is built on words (and perhaps numbers.)

It is these hatreds and fears that make us the individuals we are, and I’m definitely individual; how many other people do you know that get in a cold sweat if a clown sent them a poorly written text message proffering weetabix?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Grace
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 06:47:06

    I used to play a lot of online games (actually… I still do ><) and while they are sapping your soul away (hours and hours and months and months… I think my favourite game has over 100 days playtime. 100 DAYS!? Shit.) they're pretty involved with the abbreviations.

    When you're trying to battle a mystical pixelated monster with 10 other people, frantically mashing every button on your keyboard with a vengeance then you start to appreciate the value of well-known abbreviations.

    It takes less time (and stress) to type shorthand. For example instead of typing "well done Jimmy, your timely use of a cure spell really saved our bacon!" we can mash out "Jimmy Cure FTW!" and carry the hell on with getting pwned (pwned = killed/defeated btw – by the way) one of those unusual instances were a typing error has become the actual accepted spelling of a word (originally from "owned" – of course).

    *Cough* anyway. There comes a time in life when you realise that you've spent far to much time playing games because you actually start to use the abbreviations or games terms IRL (in real life). And that, quite apart from being a serious warning about your mental health, is frankly embarrassing.

    At various time and locations I have said "I need to equip some socks" (rather than "put on some socks"), "let's zone out" (rather than "let's go outside") and "what did dogs do in real life?" (rather than "in the wild").

    Typing short hand is, imo (in my opinion), acceptable. Saying that shit aloud is just plain nutty.



    • sillybry
      Jul 01, 2010 @ 08:01:04

      I know someone who always types things about getting pwned and I really thought it was a typo. I’m very naieve to this gaming world. I play games, but not interactive games so have none of this excitement to deal with. Like you say, there is a time to abbreviate things. On text messages and sometimes on twitter (although that pains me, because I like to think that the beauty of twitter is fitting everything into 140 characters.) I think it bothers me a little simply because I don’t know what they mean, so I’m outside that circle. I don’t like being left out! I recognise the rookie phrases like IRL and IMO, but other than that I’m lost. As you say, online gaming and roleplaying games have a need for this sort of thing. But not at work! I get it on work emails and it’s just weird. Having said that, I never write u r 4 it or anything like that. and I can’t see an i on my email, I have to make it into an I.
      What happened to me Grace? When did I start caring? I never cared at uni – look back at our exceptional lessons with Pat, I made such a contribution… And on graduation day, Peter Stoneley came up to me and congratulated me before admitting he didn’t think he would live to see the day I made it! He was extremely shocked that I managed to get a 2.1. Anyway, I digress. I wasn’t that much of a perfectionist at uni, so why does it bother me? I spend my days proofreading veterinary presentations and the writing can be appalling, surely that should satiate my need?!


  2. Kate
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 18:31:04

    Totally agree with my irritability those who are too lazy to write in full and use abbreviations I don’t understand. However, I have recently found out why my Dad has always answered texts with one word answers…he thought he was paying per letter! I have since set him straight and I now get two word answers…brilliant. At least he can text.


    • sillybry
      Jul 01, 2010 @ 19:11:19

      That is fantastic! My mum does try and text, but since she has got predictive text, it’s a mystery trying to work out what “en you yank anything from verco?” means… Apparently, that’s “do you want anything from Tesco?”
      It’s when I’m at work and I’m asked to send a letter out, which is embarassingly poorly written, that really gets on my wick. I do think I have problems!


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