Pet peeves

I know how much greengrocers apostrophe’s  wind some people up, but I, too, have a pet peeve.

Whenever a pet, wild or farm animal is referred to in a magazine article, newspaper item or TV programme, the animal is referred to as “it”. This in spite of the pet having a name like “Fred” or “Bella”. I know it is quite possible that said pet might have been “done”, but surely they could be afforded the dignity of being addressed by their original gender.

Even more ridiculous is when a rampaging, escaped bull is described as “it” despite the very obvious evidence that the bull is a “he”!

It does annoy me. Anyone else got a similar pet peeve?

32 thoughts on “Pet peeves”

  1. “….their original gender.

    Original ? I wasn’t aware that there were transgender animals.

    Gender ? You mean sex.

  2. Seeing that the average baby is a monster of iniquity perhaps ‘it’ is being terribly polite.
    We called the boy the ‘monster’ for years.

    Apart from that, people who don’t RSVP! Or do it so late as to be meaningless for catering purposes.
    And then the bastards turn up in droves!!!

  3. American foot coverings.
    Either clodhopping hideous boots or whoring car to bar vertiginous vulgar 6″ heels, very little in between. All made in the Far East.
    I strongly object to having to drag every purchase across the Atlantic from Carmarthen putting me in peril of excess baggage. Where I can buy decent German boots and Spanish and Italian shoes, well designed and executed at a reasonable price.

  4. Perhaps ‘it’ should be reserved for the androgynous humanity one now sees in cities. Most of them are like hampsters, one need to turn them upside down and have a good ferret about to see what they are!

  5. GazoopiJazz, I think sex is no longer allowed. One must use the word gender.

    As far as I know ‘gender’ is a term in grammar. Sex is the correct term when referring to someone’s errr….sex !

  6. Jazz: “sex” refers to dangly bits, “gender” refers to certain cultural norms and sets of behaviour. In the West there have traditionally been two genders, male/masculine, female/feminine associated with anatomical sex. In other societies there are three such as the Hijra in South Asia, Fa’afafine in Samoa, Kathoeys in Thailand, etc. In traditional societies in North America there are groups such as Winkte in the Lakota tradition or Ninauposkitzipxpe in the Northern Blackfoot. They rarely associate with the freak-shows in the West, however.

  7. Backside is confused – usually an unedifying state. The freaks on tv are called transgenders when clearly they should be transsexuals.

  8. Oh god, one is so glad one is old and hasn’t got to bother with such! At least vegetables are much cleared cut so to speak.

  9. I liken the tv reality shows about such transsexuals to the 19th C travelling fairs exhibiting every human ‘peculiarity’.

  10. Peeves include using a plural possessive pronoun in reference to a single person, as in ‘a child and their friends’ or indeed ‘an animal and their gender/sex’. All in the name of political correctness. In my day, the default gender was a male, when it did not matter as in ‘every man and his dog’; alternatively, ‘a child and his or her friends’. (Sorry FEEG!)

    I think I would rather use ‘its’ than ‘their’ whether ‘it’ be human or animal.

    Another: using RSVP as a verb as in ‘Please RSVP before the 20th’. Sorry CO.

    A third: including the word ‘year’ when talking about anniversaries as in ‘our 10 year anniversary’. Or even worse, ‘our 3 month anniversary’.

    A fourth: phrases such as ‘ten times less than last year’ or ‘five times thinner than a human hair’.

  11. I didn’t use RSVP as a verb, just put RSVP with a telephone no underneath. Not guilty sir!

  12. I have never got used to ships being referred to as ‘it’.
    As far as I’m concerned they’re all feminine.

  13. Pet peeves… One thing that annoys me terribly is the incorrect use of apostrophes. The rules governing correct usage are not difficult. Other annoyances include confusing “your” with “you’re” and, of course, the “terrible triplets” — “there”, “their” and “they’re”. Equally annoying is when people confuse “its” with “it’s” or say “literally” when they really mean “figuratively”. Once again, the rules governing correct usage are not terribly difficult.

    I cannot stand being called “Chris” — bloody lazy! I use my full name, Christopher. Yes, I will insist on those final two syllables! The female-type parent chose to give me a simple, straight-forward name which could be easily understood and pronounced by those of Hunnish, Pommish, Strayanish, Canuckish and even Yankish persuasions. Actually, this was only her second choice. Her first was “Vasily” but the male-type parent opposed that as it was Russian, it was the Cold War Era and he had the misfortune of being a sub-Canadian North American. On second thought that might be the only thing he ever did that didn’t make my life more difficult than it needed to be. Without doubt my greatest pet peeve is being mislabelled with my male parent’s nationality. I am not him and I chose not to follow in his footsteps or to embrace his country. I paid a high price for my decision, one which I do not regret.

  14. Sipu: Agreed. “Their” or “they” is an acceptable alternative if the sex/gender is unknown, but when “its” is used when it is already established that the animal is male or female, that seems odd to me. (Note proper non-use of apostrophe in the possessive “its” 🙂 )

  15. Pet peeve: people who are so addicted to their smart-phones / ipads or whatever that they have to keep checking them all the time – even worse are those who stop in the middle of a conversation to answer their latest communication on Facebook, e-mail or whatever…

  16. Boadicea – Don’t even get me started on that topic!

    Current pet peeve: those who forget they cannot behave in daily life as they do behind their hectoring, holier-than-thou anonymity on Spaceface or whatever without there being real, immediate and possibly surprising personal consequences. They forget the golden rule, ‘Do not do or say anything online that would get you ostracised in decent company following a comprehensive verbal hoofing and, if necessary, a well deserved smack in the mouth’.


  17. Boadicea: Saw in my local paper yesterday that for the 20 to 30 year old bracket the magic number for checking cell phones is 134 (times per day on average).
    Another learned cove has published that a certain method of reducing any conversation to unimportant trivia is the presence of a cell phone on the table.

  18. Use of the word ‘chairperson’. God, how I hate that. Chairman is one word, not two. It refers to the person., who may be of either gender (and I use the word either deliberately) who ‘chairs’ or presides over a meeting or organisation. By all means address a female chairman as ‘lady chairman’, but do not call her chairperson.

    The vegan shadow minister of agriculture (Jesus wept) wants to call fishermen, ‘fishers’. Next we will be calling women ,’wos’ or ‘wopersons’ or even ‘wopeople’. Singular, ‘wo’ or ‘woperson’.

  19. Please feel free to refer to me as a “lady”, dear Charioteers. Screams of horror from the pc? Tough!

    You’re right, Sipu. A vegan minister of agriculture, who seems to think that North Sea trawlers are crewed by females.

  20. OZ -I understand you suffered from a ‘visitor’ with the same affliction that our last ‘visitor’ did. I have the feeling that she thinks I am incredibly rude – since I simply got up and walked away to do something infinitely more enjoyable than looking at her busily texting or whatever the minute she started clacking away on her iphone. And you are quite right, I think she also forgot the normal courtesies that one expects from a face-to-face conversation.

    FEEG – your stats do not surprise me one bit. However, I do have to say that only one of my grandchildren (in the age range you quote) has ever checked their phones in my company. The youngest did – once and only once! My ‘friend’ (possibly now ex-friend) is in her early seventies and insists that ‘everyone’ does it’…

    Sipu – I also object to changing the language to fit the ‘pc’ mentality. I’m quite happy with ‘chairman’… I object to the loss of such words as actress and poetess… I hate the present use of the word ‘gay’ which was a happy little word… like Sheona, feel free to call me Lady.. and while I have no problem with the legal recognition of same-sex unions – do not call it marriage – find another word. Leave my language alone!

  21. We are currently spending a few days in Cyprus and this morning returned to a favourite spot for a pre-lunch aperitif. This is the top deck of an old ship moored in the marina, nicely furnished and where one can get plenty of sun. A young couple was already seated in one corner and husband, who’s rather old-fashioned, whispered to me that he hoped we wouldn’t be cramping their style by our presence. Both of them took out their mobiles and proceeded to tap away. I quoted LW’s statistic. If that’s modern romance …

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