What Pisses Me Off: Mum’s the word 62

What pisses me off


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My mother often said that with old age comes the privilege to say and do whatever you wish. She passed away three weeks before her 80th birthday. I was 57 at the time but now I am 90. If I live till the 24th of May, I will be 91. I have decided that living this long I have every right to claim my mother’s words as gospel.

Firstly the term”Pisses Me Off” is not one that I like or use in everyday conversations, but in saying that I am reminded of one time being in the chemist with my daughter Christine. She needed medicine for her eldest boy; after he had a cold, he was left with a persistent cough. The assistant, anxious to find the correct medicine, asked Christine if the cough bothered her son a lot. Christine replied with. “I am not sure if it bothers him a lot, but it certainly pisses me off!”  Now, who couldn’t laugh at such a spontaneous reply?

That expression is just another example of the changes in our language. At one time we would have said “It gets on my nerves”or “It gets on my goat”, or even, “It gives me the willies”. These days if you tell a half truth, instead of hearing “oh yeah, pull the other leg – it whistles”, you will get “Oh, bullsh*t”. Excuse the language but please remember I am almost 91 and privileged.

When I was a child, and an elderly person would start off a conversation with the words “Now back in my day”, I would adopt a bored expression and roll my eyes because I knew there was a story with a moral coming up. It always got my goat!

These days our morals have slipped, our language has dropped below par, our fashions have gone crazy. Christine has a bit of a dig about our prime minister Tony Abbott and those lycra bunger crunchy things he wears. She also says he has a good physique!

If you have ever seen Tony going down stairs you will notice one of his feet face due west, the other due east. I get the feeling he never knows which way to go. Like all our MPs, Tony speaks well. They all use the correct language, they all pronounce their words clearly. In fact, that is all they do and it pisses me off actually!

Block your ears while I use the old expression “back in my day”. At school we had what we called a speller, it was a long narrow booklet of words that we had to learn for homework then recite in parrot fashion during class. We were taught there was no plural to the word you, but so many say “youse”. I argued about this with a friend. She phone her school teacher daughter; she said that yes of course youse was a word. I disagree, especially since it has been found that a large number of our teachers cannot spell.

It gets on my goat when people know exactly what they are saying but haven’t got a clue what they are talking about – it pisses me off!

Thank you to Christine’s mum Joan for writing this piece for Starts at 60! Have you got something that pisses you off? We’d love to hear your stories! Submit your articles to us here.

Guest Contributor

  1. WPMO is reading an article on Starts at 60 and being asked if I want to do the survey (again). No offence meant though, because I love your page, and this article. Long may it continue.

    3 REPLY
  2. Youse, is commonly used, but it grates on my nerves. I’m sure one day it will be added to the dictionary. Why, because that’s what we do these days. It’s too hard to teach people to spell, let alone be grammatically correct. I’m sure it won’t be long before the dictionary has words like……..anythink and Satday. Either brought or bought will have to go. Even people with degrees don’t know what the difference is or how to use them. Hearing a journalist say, the prisoners were BOUGHT to the island during a television interview was enough to make me switch channels.

    Are university degrees worth wasting the paper they’re written on these days. Seems not when journalists and teachers aren’t even capable of speaking or spelling properly. Don’t get me started on nurses.

    Bet I’m not the only one who’s children had a teacher change a word that the child had spelt correctly to an incorrectly spelt word. My first experience with it was when my eldest spelt the number 4, as four. The teacher changed it to fore. That was over 30 years ago, I haven’t forgotten it, why, because over the years it happened many times with many different teachers.

    2 REPLY
    • Not all nurses have spelling problems……. But when I was at school we learned “parrot fashion.”
      As for teachers marking down homework, I was helping my daughter with yet another “worksheet”…..anatomy & physiology of the human heart. I made sure she understood the subject & we got a “C.” I had worked as an RN in cardiac intensive care when I was pregnant with my girl. Bit insulting really.

  3. Love the article but we must remember English is a constantly evolving language i.e. Plane for aeroplane we may not like it and our grand parents would be horrified at our use of the language but it’s going to continue people from Chaucer and the bards time would find us almost uninterpretable.

  4. People who say “youse” is WPMO and recently hearing reports of Cyclone “Marsha” not Marcia

  5. Thank you Margaret Peluso. That’s it in a nutshell…and I’m shore youse would of all agreed

    1 REPLY
    • Pamela Watson, your tongue in cheek comment has included reference to one of my pet WPMOs .. could of, would of, should of

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