The Hate List – Volume 12

(Originally published on 29th April, 2003)

  1. Use of the phrase ‘I could care less’, which is a stunning example of people simply repeating something they’ve heard without spending even a fraction of a second considering what the words actually mean.
  2. The US pronunciation of ‘croissant’, i.e. ‘cruh-SONT’.
  3. The way Americans profess to love cheese, while the only cheeses available in the country are rubbery, tasteless versions of cheddar and ‘Swiss’.
  4. People who aren’t white but who voluntarily dye their hair ginger, thereby inflicting upon themselves a curse from which they should be grateful their race is otherwise free.
  5. The term ‘to pull’ misused as a synonym for ‘to kiss’, as in ‘They were pulling for about an hour’, ‘Did they have sex?’, ‘No, they just pulled’. ‘To pull’ is more like ‘to seduce’. You can’t be continuously pulling for a whole hour, you pull at the instant the kiss begins (or maybe some time before it when it becomes likely that you will kiss), and then continue to kiss. While you are kissing, you have pulled. Also, if one were to meet someone and then have sex with them without kissing, it would still be true that they’d pulled that person. QED.
  6. Calling the mobile phone pre-pay top-up service, going through the whole tedious rigmarole of entering a debit card number, expiry date, signature strip number, house number, post code numbers and top-up amount, and then being told that the top-up was unsuccessful since the top-up service is temporarily not working. COULDN’T THEY TELL YOU THAT AT THE BEGINNING?
  7. Single Twixes. Oxymoron. ‘Twix’ means that there are two of them, two ixes.
  8. Home-made Hungarian baked goods.
  9. That the BBC uses streaming ‘Real’ files for its internet radio stuff. I’m not sure which is worse, that the supposedly commercially-neutral BBC uses an utterly proprietary, corporate-specific file type, or that it uses such an outrageously shit one.
  10. When you still haven’t done anything all day, and children’s programmes come on the TV.
  11. People who are really proud of being virgins.
  12. One of the most annoying features of the English language: that ‘oral’ and ‘aural’, which ought to be very useful for making distinctions, are pronounced the same.
  13. The sort of puzzle where you’re given a situation and you have to provide the explanation, since the ‘correct answer’ is usually as arbitrary and ridiculous as any of the alternative answers you’ve suggested. Especially this one on a box of Cornflakes: ‘You fall naked out of a five storey window. There is a big cactus below the window. You do not injure yourself. Why?’ The answer is ‘You have not hit the cactus yet.’
  14. Enormous digital photos of people’s faces close up. I hate opening an image file and having someone’s pimply cheek in almost cellular detail fill my entire field of vision.
  15. West Side Story, especially when they’re supposedly fighting but really they’re just doing lots of cartwheels near each other.
  16. Ghost photograph websites. Showcasing every exposure error, rogue lightbeam, and vaguely facelike image in random smoke patterns, which of course prove the existence of ghostly presences. ‘I was in the woods at night and it was raining, and there was a really spooky atmosphere, so I took a photo and look what came out! Glowing supernatural orbs!’ written next to photograph of raindrops illuminated in flashlight. The web is a tool allowing morons around the world to publicise their wrong opinions and join forces with other morons in order to create a great collaborative project of idiotic wrongness.
  17. Gimpy male students with stupid satchels; gimpy male students with stupid big beards.
  18. When a catering service serves up something really good, like cottage pie, or chilli con carne, but it’s a vegetarian version with Quorn instead of meat. It’s as if they’re rubbing your nose in it: ‘Look what a delicious meal we COULD have made. But we didn’t!’
  19. Radio callers who ask if they can give a few ‘mentions’, and then launch into a long, tedious list of every person they know.
  20. Pacifists. Annoying studenty types, so utterly, smugly ensconced in a little world of comfort and freedom where they can safely say ridiculous things like ‘war is always wrong, even to defend ourselves against tyranny.’
  21. The following responses to the phrase ‘I want to join the Army’: a) Don’t you have to start as a private and do all the basic training and get treated like shit? b) Are you insane? You’re going to get killed! c) But you’re going to be in intelligence or planning or something like that, right? d) Oh, an officer. So you’re going to be behind a desk after all. e) The Army is evil! You want to be part of an evil, fascist organisation? f) (after quoting the Falklands as an example of why we need an Army to defend ourselves) We shouldn’t have fought the Falklands. They belong to Argentina really.
  22. People whose sense of humour is entirely derivative.
  23. The tendency among many British males to be attracted to any Oriental girl just because of her race.
  24. Definitely in my all-time top 10 hates: bad film watchers. People who continually ask all the way through a film, what’s going on, refusing either to pay attention to what’s happened already, or to wait patiently until the film reveals the explanation. People who make jokes or criticise all the way through. If it’s the right sort of film in the right sort of situation, I don’t mind a few comments, jokes, and so on, but not continually so that the person is competing for attention with the film. People who continue a pre-film conversation or even monologue into the beginning of the film. People who use the film as a series of starting points for meandering observations, discussions and anecdotes. Tossers, all of them.
  25. Do I even need to say British people who call films ‘movies’?

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