Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Being Annoyed, Chapter 7,392
Let me be the first to admit that I am peevish. It's been a lifelong battle to avoid showing the world just how easily irritated I am. So it make sense that I have more than my fair share of pet peeves, in addition to my many peeves that remain feral.
High on my list of peeves (and I do actually have a list, I keep it in my wallet) are people who forward emails with wild and false claims, never taking a moment to consider if the warning, amazement or indignation they're sharing has any ghost of validity. Being big on the whole truth thing, each time I get one these canards in my inbox I feel - you guessed it - peevish.
It's not as if there aren't simple ways to check the reality of the latest outrageous news. There's snopes.com, for Pete's sake. How hard is that to use? Simply type in a few keywords from the latest lamebrain email you received, and chances are you'll know in 10 seconds whether to alert the nation or not. (But the more challenging question is this: do you hit reply and tell the offending sender that they are spreading BS? I do. But of course, I'm peevish.)
Long before there was Snopes there was The Straight Dope. I remember reading the column in alternative weeklies in the early 1980s. (Wikipedia says it's been around since 1973. That's no urban legend, either.) The Straight Dope is the place where you can learn the answers to such compelling questions as:
I have heard from numerous sources (many of them seemingly credible) that the average human consumes an average of four spiders per year in his or her sleep. Is there any truth to this fact?
Many years ago I was told that when a mosquito is engaged in dinner one should flex or tighten the muscle in the general vicinity. This would trap the hapless female, along with her proboscis, causing her to overfill and explode. True?
Was Abraham Lincoln gay?
And The Dope even has a searchable archive, too. Both Snopes and The Dope have weekly email newsletters that will keep you on the cutting edge of urban legend manufacturing and help you know crap when you see it.
This message was made possible by a grant from the Annoyance Foundation, helping the peevish to be less of an ass.