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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Basic Biittner: My "pets"

Monday, February 19, 2007

Have you ever been around people who just can't wait to tell you all about their children, grandchildren, or pets? Well, I sure have, and, I admit, I have actually been one of those people myself. So, if I've offended any of you with my bragging and showing pictures, as Steve Martin used to say - "well, excu-u-u-u-u-u-se me!"

I promise that I will NEVER brag about any of the above in this column, though I certainly could...

I am, however, going to tell you all about another kind of "pet" today -my pet ... peeves.

Why? Well, because I can. My bosses have been kind enough to let me share my opinions every week, and today I share my opinion about a few things that have bugged me for a number of years. None of them, I'll admit, are Earth -shattering issues, and most will continue to go on as they have for many, many years. But at least I can get these pet peeves off my chest, and if they cause even one person to think about them, and maybe change their annoying (to me) behavior, I'll have accomplished something.

Before I start, though, let me assure you that I am well aware that I am a long way from being "perfect," and have never claimed to be. Without further adieu, I present four of my "pet peeves."

1) The month in which we currently find ourselves - the shortest month of thr year, the month of Groundhog Day, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth's birthdays, Lincoln and Washington's birthdays,and Valentine's Day is correctly pronounced Feb-BREW-ary, not Feb-YOU-ary.

2) On a similar track , the building where all the books (among other things) are stored is called the Li-BRER-y, not the Li-BERRY.

The frequent mispronunciation of these two words has bugged me for years now - and what bothers me the most about that is the frequency with which I hear television news reporters - who I would think would know better - do the liberry and febyouary pronunciations. Make it simple for yourself - when you go to say the month, just think of beer (Brew), and for the book place, think of Brer Rabbit , from the old Disney film "Song of the South."

3) - Drivers who do not have their headlights turned on when they should. To you people I say: Headlights aren't necessarily turned on so that the driver can see better. Sometimes, they make it easier for other drivers to see YOU, thus making it less likely that they will run into you. I suppose with the advent of continually running headlights on newer vehicles, this may not be an issue forever.

4) - Answering machines which leave the caller unsure of whom they have reached. I absolutely hate it when I reach a machine that just gives the message that came with the phone. If you have an answering machine on your phone, please leave a message that identifies you in SOME way. You don't necessarily have to record a "cute" message, or even leave your name. You can simply say, "This is 555-1234 (substituting your own number, of course). No one can answer right now. Please leave a message, and we will get back to you as soon as we can."

If people are calling to leave any message of a personal nature, or something no one else would understand, most people don't want to leave such a message with the wrong person. So, again, at least identify yourself by phone number, so callers kow they've reached the right phone.

There - I've had my say now. That felt good.