Saturday, June 8, 2013

What's your biggest PET PEEVE?

This is the cover page of amNewYork on May 29. Do you see the PUN in this headline?
Would you get PEEVED if your neighbors kept snakes, rooster, or pigs at home? 

Last weekend, I blogged about PUNS, and at the end of that lesson, I mentioned that PUNS come up in conversation EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, sometimes unexpectedly, and that they're everywhere, especially in ads and newspaper headlines. I also said that we'd keep an ear or eye out for them, so we could share them with you here. Well, here's one from the cover story of a local paper here in New York City. This article is about exotic and illegally kept animals in New York City. Snakes, roosters, alligators, tigers, et al., all kept as pets. If you know the meaning of PET PEEVE, you'll quickly figure out the PUN. If you don't know what PET PEEVE means, well, keep reading; this is the topic of this lesson.
EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE (now and then; sometimes)
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR (watch out for)

A PET PEEVE is something that angers or annoys you every time you encounter it. To be PEEVED means to get angry. You can say, "I was so PEEVED at what they did that I left the party." This use of PEEVE is not as common because there are other ways of saying I'm angry--I am upset; I am mad; I'm pissed; I'm ticked off; I'm annoyed. PEEVE is more often used as part of the phrase PET PEEVE. We say, "that's a PET PEEVE of mine" to talk about something that angers us every time we witness or come across it.

Kelsey, Stephen, & Ryan talking
about their PET PEEVES.
So, what is your PET PEEVE? What annoys you every time you see it? I asked some of the teachers what their PET PEEVES were. First, I found Ryan and Philipp in the kitchen area on the 10th floor in Midtown. Philipp gets annoyed when people say "stand ON line" instead of "stand IN line." That's a PET PEEVE of his. One of Ryan's PET PEEVES has to do with customers who show no respect and don't even look at the workers serving them at restaurants or on buses. He also can't stand it when train doors take too long to open at certain stations. Then, Greg walked in and shared his PET PEEVE. He says he hates it when subway riders board the train without waiting for people to get off. Honestly, I get PEEVED about that, as well.

James, Philipp, Kelsey, and Stephen
talking about what gets them riled up.
GET RILED UP (get angry)
Next, I ran into Mark, and he told me he couldn't stand it when people CLIPPED (cut) their nails on the train. I hate that, too--gross! James's PET PEEVE is when people don't say thanks after he holds the door for them. Jonathan gets annoyed when people spend too much time at the ATM (Automatic Teller Machine). Then I caught up with Kelsey, who gets PEEVED when her boyfriend puts his backpack on her bed. I totally get that. Stephen, who often rides his bike, was right there and said he hated it when people walked on bike paths.

I didn't get to talk to all the teachers; I'll have to catch them next time. As for me, a huge PET PEEVE of mine is when people speak loudly on the train, especially in the morning when I'm not completely awake yet.
You can read this amNewYork article
about illegally-kept pets in NYC here.
OUTLAW (criminal)

So I'm sure you got the PUN in the headline. The story is about owners of PETS that PEEVE authorities, as well as their neighbors, so the use of the phrase PET PEEVE works and is a nice PLAY ON WORDS. So, what about you? What's your PET PEEVE? Let us know here, at the NYLC page on Facebook, or at NYLangCenter on Twitter. Include the hashtag #ilovenylc in your tweets. 

-- Joe Yu, ESL instructor

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