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Terrible People, Part 2: Constantly Chewing Things

This one wasn’t inspired by anything that I saw today, but it’s been on my mind for a little while. So here it is.

Everyone knows someone like this, or has seen someone like that on TV. I know I sure have. It seemed to be all the rage on the most recent season of Survivor; at one point almost everyone was chewing on something, usually like a toothpick. Mike, the eventual winner, was rarely seen without something in his mouth, including during challenges and tribal councils. But that begs the question, where on the island did they get toothpicks? And if they weren’t toothpicks, then what were they? Dirty chips of wood they found on the ground? That seems…nasty.

Survivor Second Chance cast vote results Mike Holloway

Taste like a million dollars, Mike?

I have to admit, sometimes I just need to chew on something, but usually I use some gum or candy. Occasionally, if I am wearing long sleeves, I’ll chew on one of them, and when I was younger I used to chew on paper and cardboard, but it wasn’t all the damn time.

But seriously, it’s unattractive and gross to watch half-masticated pieces of wood rolling around between your teeth. It doesn’t make anyone look tough; it just makes people look stupid, like they had a popsicle and forgot to take the stick out of their mouth once they finished it. It’s like, are you that dumb that you don’t know when the popsicle’s finished and you’re just chewing on cold, potentially-tongue-splintering wood? And a tongue splinter would probably really hurt.

Stop it, you’re not that great.

I don’t have much more to say on this topic, but people, we’re not beavers. Stop chewing all the damn time.

Unless you are a beaver, in which case, hi there literate beavers! How’s the dam coming along?

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Bye, Bei, Bye

Now that I finally have a moment…

Here’s another pet peeve of mine.

The sentence “we stayed by my grandparents’ last night” is something that a Jewish person might say.

It is also horribly grammatically incorrect. I never actually noticed it until a few years ago when my dad pointed it out, but if you think about it, it makes sense.

By means via, as in “by train”, alongside, as in “pass by a house” or “sit by a window,” or indicates a creator, as in “a painting by Picasso”. It does not mean over, at, or with.

“But why do you call out Jewish people, Jacob?”

Because they’re the only ones whom I’ve heard use it that way. I used it myself until my dad corrected me.

Actually, it has a linguistic meaning. In German, the word bei means “with,” therefore making its usage in the aforementioned sentence about staying with grandparents grammatically correct. For some reason, this word kind over traveled over and became a false cognate in English speech.

For some reason, though, it irks me more and more each time I hear someone use it incorrectly. I don’t know why it does, but it is grammatically incorrect. One time, I tried to correct someone, and was greeted with a blank stare, so it is not something that I try terribly hard to change about others’ speech patterns.

But don’t start saying it now.

That, or singing the Maude theme song in public, or else Lady Godiva will be freedom riding through your brain for the rest of the day.