Pet peeve week

National Pet Peeve Week is observed the first full week in October and especially on the culminating Sunday, October 9, this year. Pet peeves are things that drive you crazy year-round. My hackles literally stand up when someone calls me Mary, but my name is Mary Ann. Or . . . I answer the phone and have someone offer me an extended warranty on my car, which is a 2009 Lincoln Town car. Perhaps some politician wants to convince me that he is the best candidate for the job, so I should vote for him. You get the idea. Pet peeves are not very serious, but they are they are very annoying.

I care immeasurably about many monumental issues, things like abortion, mistreatment of people and animals, crooked politicians, etc., but not too much bothers me on the pet-peeve level. That is simply an annoyance level. I think of a single mosquito buzzing in my bedroom on a hot summer night or someone chewing with his mouth open or drivers hugging the left lane instead of moving to the right one. However, I admit that misuse of certain grammar/punctuation elements, especially the apostrophe, annoys me terribly. When I walk into a grocery store and see a sign that reads, “Apple’s $2.98/lb,” my eyes flash fiery red, sometimes at the price, but mostly at the misuse of that poor, abused punctuation mark. I want to grab my bright red Sharpie from my purse and scrub that apostrophe off the sign. Actually, I’m exaggerating a bit. I don’t carry a red Sharpie or one of any other color in my purse, for that matter. Having one readily available is too big a temptation, so I leave all my markers at home, far away from my eager fingers. I’m not sure my passion for good grammar is worth going to jail for vandalism. Probably some of my loyal readers would come bail me out though. I couldn’t possibly be the only one in this town who cares about this issue.