The Hate List – Volume 11

(Originally published on 25th July, 2002)

  1. The word ‘beastiality’. As if ‘bestiality’ just means any sex, and one has to pun it with the word ‘beast’ to talk about animal sex. Look, you etymologically-challenged fuckwits, ‘bestiality’ comes from the Latin ‘bestia’ meaning ‘beast’. Which leads to my next hate…
  2. Puns between two words which come from exactly the same root, like ‘beastiality’ above, or ‘terror-riffic’.
  3. People who think full fat milk is a bad thing to drink, because it’s unhealthy. It’s 4% fat. If it were made by Nestlé, and advertised as “Healthy-choice 96%-fat-free milk”, they’d lap it up. Things with 10%, 15%, even 20% fat are regarded as healthy, as long as they’re expressed the other way around. And since full fat obviously tastes nicer, shunning it (and outspokenly so) is just a rather silly form of moral smugness.
  4. The fonts Comic Sans MS and Benguiat Frisky. They’re both overused and clichéd, especially Comic Sans MS, which is typically used by people who want to appear ‘quirky’. Also, Comic Sans MS is used a lot on websites and printed materials that are at least semi-official, because the designer has wanted to convey a ‘fun, friendly’ feel, but ends up making the whole thing look horribly unprofessional.
  5. People who, when listening to classical music, pretend they’re conducting.
  6. The massive over-rating of The Shawshank Redemption. I don’t hate the film – it’s not bad – but it’s certainly not one of the best films ever made. It’s a corny, highly unoriginal, barely credible melodrama. Anyone who praises it as the best film of all time, or one of their favourites, can be contemptuously dismissed as not having seen enough films to have any useful or interesting opinions about them.
  7. The informal banter and raucous laughter that seems now to make up the entirety of BBC local news programmes.
  8. Web sites which, after taking your details, use cookies to refer to you by your first name. Look, Warner Village Online, did I give you any indication that we’re on informal, first name terms? That’s Mr. Bell to you.
  9. Skipping in public as a means of showing everyone that you don’t care what they think. Since it’s such a clichéd way of doing it, only the very dull will give you the sort of reaction you want in order to ignore it. So why don’t you find a more original way of displaying your individuality, and save yourself the hassle of looking like an utter twonk.
  10. Herbal ‘teas’. Not the drinks themselves, but that they’re called ‘tea’. People seem to think that if plant X is infused in hot/boiling water, it produces ‘X tea’. No. If the tea plant is infused in boiling water it produces a ‘tea infusion’ or ‘tea’ for short. If camomile is infused in water it produces a camomile infusion.
  11. The way current marketing strategy is intent on reducing the value of classical music to it being “relaxing”, ignoring the passion, anger, sorrow, wit, playfulness and other non-relaxing elements which make classical music great, and selling it on the basis that you can “chill out” to it.
  12. Women who rant against voter apathy by saying that “Women had to fight to get the vote, so we shouldn’t waste it now.” As if men have always had the vote, as if non-landowning non-aristocratic or non-capitalist men didn’t also have to fight for the vote a mere few decades earlier, as if there have never been any periods in history in which the vast majority of people, male or female, have been powerless.
  13. Supposedly intelligent people who have no idea what fire actually is.
  14. The currently popular form of advert which tries to claim, using some ‘humourous’ scenario, that a person will forget or betray any bonds of love, family, duty or morality, in order to satisfy their desire for whatever mediocre product is being sold to us.
  15. The superfluous use of the phrase ‘log on’ in connection with an ordinary website which does not require any username and password entry. Typically committed by the BBC.
  16. Referring to terrorist attacks by the date, not by a description of what happened. It sounds absurd when people talk about, for example, bad economic or corporate performance, or intelligence agencies’ incompetence, and say that they “weren’t expecting 11th September”. Didn’t they have a calendar? Or the shocking Newsnight quote, “the day that September 11th happened”.
  17. Pretentious fucking French car adverts.
  18. The smell of coins and keys.
  19. The word ‘morish’. Not only is it an ugly construction, and confusable with ‘Moorish’, but it MAKES NO SENSE. Maybe I’m just an old moralist, but you can’t combine the positive comparative adjective with a suffix meaning ‘similar to, approximately’ to make a word which essentially means ‘addictive’ but applies to biscuits rather than drugs.
  20. At the risk of turning this into a mere list of stupid, clichéd and frankly nonsensical phrases: ‘That’s not a threat, it’s a promise.’ Since a threat is a promise to do something bad, the only way this can make sense is if the person who says it is promising to do something good, or neutral. But this is not what they’re saying. Because they’re talking crap. And they’re talking crap because they’ve heard the phrase somewhere before, but haven’t got the intelligence to either consider what the phrase means, or think of something original to say.
  21. Claire Sweeney, media whore extraordinaire. From every celebrity panel, television charity event and questionable product endorsement (Irish Bingo???) her bizarre red chubby face beams out.

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