Things that cause strife, II

  • People who say “females” when what they actually (or should) mean is “women.” (It seems to me that these are the kinds of people who are at most a step or two away from comparing women to cows and pigs and chickens.)
  • Writers who don’t use contractions in informal prose. People don’t talk that way.
  • The use of “impact” as a verb. I’m sorry, I still can’t get over that one.
  • When writers use “they” instead of “he or she.” I agree, the repeated use of “he or she” can get cumbersome, but there has to be a more elegant solution.
  • Piñatas. Piñatas always cause strife: the whacking stick, the scrabbling competition for candy. Never ends well. Later, you will find a half-trampled Hershey’s kiss in the grass and it will all come rushing back to you, even as you unwrap the foil.