For each of the different hats that I wear, there are one or two misconceptions that lay people have about it that irritate me to no end.
As a math buff, I hate it when people don't grasp the difference between mathematics and arithmetic. Gripe rating: 4/5. [Translation: I have to bite my tongue to avoid making a scathing remark.]
As a cryptographer, I hate it when people think algorithms that are secret are more secure. Gripe rating: 5/5. [Translation: I have to physically restrain myself from strangling them.]
As a programmer, I hate it when newbie programmers display the perfect programmer syndrome
, and especially when they don't see the need to write readable/well-structured/well-documented (at least self-documenting) code. Gripe rating: 3/5. This doesn't bother me so much because they soon find out the hard way. There's no joy so sweet as watching someone else debug their spaghetti-like homework code the night before it's due, having completed your own code already.
As a weight training amateur, I hate the spot reduction myth
. Gripe rating: 3/5. Very often I see women in the gym doing weighted
crunches, obviously trying to burn ab fat. Millions of people buy bogus excercise machines with the same vain hope.
As a computer enthusiast, I hate the clock speed myth. Gripe rating: 4/5. I seethe with rage at the mega-corps who deliberately perpetuated it in order to sell inferior hardware.
As an Indian-American, I hate it when Americans think all Indians speak the same language (and especially when they think it is called 'Indian'!) Gripe rating: 2/5 [Fortunately not as prevalent as the other myths.]
As a Tam I hate it when jingoistic Tams have no clue that so many of their words come from Sanskrit (4 out of the 7 in the first tirukkural
verse, for instance.) Gripe rating: 4/5.
As an atheistic Carnatic music lover, I hate it when people think Carnatic music is all about bhakti
(and especially when they assume I'm über-religious). Gripe rating: 5/5.
As a grammar nazi, I hate it when people say "I could care less" when they mean the opposite. I guess what really bugs me is that people cannot comprehend two negatives making a postive. Gripe rating: 4/5.
Now for some common gripes I've heard from other professions/areas: Texans get mad when people from other states think they still ride around in horses(!). Japanese chefs hate people thinking sushi is just raw fish. Racketball pros can't stand newbies playing tennis shots. Vegans are irritated by people telling them they need more protein -- although it is
very hard, while not impossible, for vegans to get enough protein.
Now, reply to this post with your pet peeve related to one of your hobbies/areas of expertise, or post a journal entry listing them all. Get all that rankling out in the open. It's good for your health :)