Feral peeves




Peeve, in case you’re curious, is both a verb, “To annoy,” and a noun, “A cause of annoyance.” So, things can peeve you. Like when people wave you through a four-way intersection when it’s clearly their turn and, if they’d have just gone, everyone would have been moving along faster.  Or the people themselves can be a peeve. Good to know, isn’t it?

Some people have pet peeves. I had a professor who hated how people were using the word “impact” as a verb because they can’t tell the difference between “effect” and “affect”. Instead of affecting someone’s behavior, they impact someone’s behavior. People do it so much now it’s generally accepted but it drove her nuts to hear it.

I’m afraid I have feral peeves. I’m not taking care of them, they’re running amok in my life. They pop up occasionally to drop a dead bird at my feet and remind me they exist. Lately, the little beast that’s scratching at my door is the word “resilience.”

If you’re a hockey fan, as I am, this word abounds in discussions of players and teams. I don’t know where it started, but it’s there and it’s spreading. Apparently, it’s the most important thing ever, the ability to bounce back from difficulties. Which is a truly helpful attribute in sports. Or life. You’re not always going to win, so being able to get through it and keep moving is important. But I don’t have to hear it in every interview.


Or maybe I do. But it’s okay. I’ll survive. I’m tough. Resilient, even.

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