451: Pet Peeve

What’s your biggest pet peeve?


Full episode script

Around the late 14th century, the word peevish started entering the lexicon of English. Meaning cross or fretful, the word also ended up being shortened to just “peeve”. There’s no certain etymology to point to, but some theorize that it comes from the latin meaning “to turn about”
Around 1919, the word “pet” got appended to “peeve” — pet as in something especially cherished. And the idea of “pet peeve” was born. Something especially close to you that causes you to become cross or fretful.
And wow, delving into what people’s pet peeves are can be a deep, dark area of the world. Ranker.com, which supposedly lets you vote on anything, has a giant list of pet peeves. Currently ranked #1 as I’m researching this episode? When someone steals your idea and takes credit for it.
People who are always interrupting is #2. And number 4 is people who are always talking over you…
Which might be a bad time for me to mention that one of my pet peeves is databases with near-duplicate information listed twice. For no good reason. But ANYWAY,
GetAnnoyed.com has a seven-page single spaced list of pet peeves, if you want to feel that particular level of annoyance rise in your chest.
I was also very happy to find an episode of the All The Rage podcast from April 2017, where the hosts Drs. Ryan Martin and Chuck Rybak discussed the psychology behind pet peeves , including a number of studies. One of the most interesting takeaways was a study that found the more pet peeves you have, the less satisfied you are with life in general — though there’s likely a breaking point where it tips from “a pet peeve” to “all the pet peeves.”

This script may vary from the actual episode transcript.