Spelling Mistakes that get my goat

I am a stickler for good spelling. Here are the mistakes that annoy me most.

Defiantly instead of Definitely
This is the one that winds me up more than any other – and it’s probably the one you will see most on Facebook. “I defiantly agree… I am defiantly not going to do that…” This just makes you look like an idiot.

Thankyou instead of Thank you
Yes, it is two words. This one has started creeping in to Facebook and text messages. I don’t know why – have I missed a memo?

Loose instead of Lose
You might think we are going to loose the match but you are still a loser.

Lightening instead of Lightning
Stop being a moron – learn to spell.

Alot instead of A lot
If you care about something a lot, then spell it as two words.

Suprise instead of Surprise
Okay, so you are surprised by how to spell ‘surprise’. That doesn’t mean you should get it wrong.

Family activities that cost more than they used to


We went swimming for under an hour and a half this morning. It cost us £20. I’m sure it never used to cost that much!


Although some cinemas are trying to reduce ticket prices and are now allowing you to take in your own refreshments, typically a cinema trip is massively expensive. £3.50 for a bag of Revels? What?? Yes, you can buy a bucket of popcorn and a jar of Coke, but it will cost you £10. And the ticket itself? Usually around £10. Look out for special offers is my advice!

Going to the park

It’s not the park that’s expensive, it’s the parking. In some places parking will rush you £1.50 for an hour. But an hour is never enough so you always need to take the next highest length of time.

Feeding the ducks

People will have you believe that feeding bread to ducks is not good for them. So taking some old bread would cost next to nothing. If you now want to feed them sweetcorn, porridge oats, peas and bird seed like it is advised, it will cost you more!

Visiting the ice cream van

Ice creams were 50p each when I was a kid – maybe an extra 10p for a flake. Now, you feel like you’ve got a bargain if you manage to get one that costs £1.50 (and that’s without a flake!).

Things that are useless

There are lots of useless things around at the moment. Here are just a few.

Paper straws

Who’d have thought that putting paper into liquid would make it soggy and useless? Everyone except McDonalds. I get the idea of using less plastic so it’s time to come up with something new. But PAPER straws. Not a great idea.

Easter egg packaging

Everyone goes rightly mad about cutting down waste created by too much packaging. Except at Easter, where it seems to be ok because it protects the chocolate. I’ve never seen so much plastic and cardboard. Let’s see if it’s different this year…

Some hand dryers

Hand dryers are miles better than paper towels, etc. But they actually need to blow out actual hot air. Lots these days are useless.

Amber traffic lights

What is the amber light for?

AMBER means ‘Stop’ at the stop line. You may go on only if the AMBER appears after you have crossed the stop line or are so close to it that to pull up might cause an accident


So actually, what’s the point in it? Everyone I know speeds up to beat the amber, or uses it as a way to pull away and get away as fast as possible. Why don’t we just go to green and red?

Cake pops

A tiny cake on a stick. Sure they look tasty. But what’s the point?

Those sauce pots at McDonalds

One is never enough. So you always need two. Just make them bigger! Although I’ve heard about this trick.

Rulers that aren’t see through

The teacher in me says that opaque rules are useless. Rulers need to be see through to measure, underline and draw accurately.

Bottled water

Full frame of still water bottles in rows

I am getting on board with this whole cutting down waste thing. Buying plastic bottles just feels wasteful these days. I now use a water bottle and try to keep that with me.


What is the point in selling these any more? We either watch it on Sky or stream absolutely everything these days. Digital is the way. It’s time to ditch your DVDs (and Blu-Rays).

Bad driving

Don’t drive like a dick and remember these rules!

Say thank you – I don’t care if you wave, raise a finger from the steering wheel, smile, nod, flash your lights or whatever. Just say thank you. It’s basic good manners. Doing nothing makes me hate you.

Don’t dither – If the roundabout is clear, or if nothing is coming along at the junction, just go. Don’t hang around. We will hate you if you do.

Use your indicators – Don’t be a dick. Just use your indicators and especially at roundabouts!!

Park properly – Make sure you’re in the middle of the parking space. And if your car isn’t in the centre, reverse and have another go.

Pay at the pump – If you use a pay at the pump pump, then pay at the pump. And if fail to do that and you go into the shop, don’t make eye contact or you’ll get the death stare.

Keep to the speed limit – I have slowed down in my driving over the years – I don’t speed any more. But not I get annoyed by people who drive below the speed limit when it is perfectly safe to do so. 40 is 40 so don’t trundle at five miles an hour below.

Use the correct lane on the motorway – Move to the left lane whenever it is clear. Don’t be one of those muppets who gets into the right hand lane and just stays there. Move left! (And, on a similar note, do not undertake – that makes you a complete tosser.)

Sit in traffic – We all hate sitting in traffic. But just because you’re a dick it don’t make us hate you more by razzing past traffic on a red light or on a bend or something stupid just to cut the queue. Also, don’t block exits as that just gets on everyone’s nerves.

What are your driving hates?

The Santa Clause?

I’m not planning on letting my children read this – so don’t let yours.

I’m having a lot of doubt this year about the great lie that is Father Christmas. I think it’s because we are maybe at the last year that we will be able to convince our eldest that Father Christmas is real. She’s at the age where she’s becoming a bit savvy and asking a few questions about how the guy in the red suite actually manages to do his job. You know the sort – why does Father Christmas sometimes wear glasses? How does he get in to our house? How does he make it round the world in one night?

It’s got me thinking about the lies we are telling our children and made me wonder whether we should continue with it? Here are my worries:

  • We aren’t exactly well off and we can’t afford to spend loads of money (and, we don’t want to overindulge the children anyway). But some children get LOADS of money spent on them and get enormous presents. There’s a message to children that Santa brings some children bigger gifts than others and that’s not fair. We tell the children that the main gift is from us and the others are from Santa.
  • Don’t talk to strangers – but Father Christmas is ok.
  • Personal space is important – but you can cuddle up to Santa.
  • Lock the doors so that no one can get in – but Father Christmas can break in if he wants.
  • Watch what you eat – but everyone can leave out food for Santa.

And then there are the ever evolving and ever more extreme explanations for how St Nick manages to do his job.

It’s all lies – and we want our children to be honest!

This year our youngest told Santa what he wanted for Christmas but wants to keep it a secret from us!

The whole thing makes me uneasy and yet every year we do it all again.

Give your top five things that annoy you beyond any rational basis

I recently came across this tweet:

Here’s my list:

People who dither at roundabouts.

People who take too long at the shop counter/checkout.

People who walk around holding their phone whilst talking to someone on loudspeaker.

When people spell ‘definitely’ as ‘defiantly’.

When people just reply to an email with ‘thanks’.

Feel free to add yours in the comments!

Facebook Groups

Over the last year or so I’ve added myself to a few groups on Facebook. I’m in a local community forum, a site for school leaders, school governors, a music chart group and one Lego fans. And for the most part I love being a member and love being part of them and I’ve learned a lot too.

But certain things really wind me up on them. To be fair, most of this happens on the local forum, but they do happen elsewhere. Sorry to rant – but is it just me that gets wound up by this!

Delete if not allowed

Why do people start off posts with this?! Just post it – if it’s not allowed an admin will remove it. But more than that, the posts which start with ‘Delete if not allowed’ are almost always absolutely fine! Why would someone want to delete a post about a missing pet or asking for a good place to eat? Which rules would they be breaking?!

Thank you for adding me

We don’t all need to know that you’re grateful for being added. Having you there is enough, you don’t need to announce it.

Mundane post done as a big announcement

Your question is tedious enough without the big, bold, exciting background. All that does it add to my annoyance and makes your tedium stand out more.


Ok, you want to follow the comments for this thread. But click the ‘turn on notifications’ button instead so that we don’t need to be notified every time someone types in ‘F’.

What time is Asda open until tonight?

Surely its quicker to Google this?


What grinds your gears? What gets your goat?

Streaming in the charts

During Christmas chart week there has been much written about the way music is consumed. We are certainly in an era of streaming and downloads are barely relevant any more. But this week it has been proved that there might just be life left in the old dog yet, after Ladbaby claimed the Christmas Number One with massive download figures (just 7% of the total sales figure was from streaming). Maybe it proves that with the right promotion and the right song people will still pay to download. Of course, this might all be wrong – it might just be because the song is intended to raise money for charity. Who knows? (The song is crap which means you will probably hear it for years to come in kids’ birthday parties.)

All of this has made me reflect on the way the sales figures are now obtained for the chart. The calculations are very complex these days. In a nutshell, the figures are a combination of downloads, physical sales (albeit very tiny these days), streams and now video plays (YouTube). If a song is brand new or in active promotion its streams count with a full chart ratio (depending on whether they are paid for streams or free). If a song has seen figures decline for three consecutive weeks or if the song is no longer in active promotion then the streams count with the accelerated chart ratio which means they count for less. Have you got your head around that?

Yesterday, whilst waiting for my daughter’s dance show to start, A Million Dreams was played around ten times in a row. These plays will count in some way towards the chart (depending on whether they were being streamed, I guess) and I find that weird that they do.

Back in the day when streams did not count a consumer had to make the choice to purchase the track. I could play it a thousand times in a week but it counted once. Making a purchase comparable with listens is the issue here.

Back in 1991 when Bryan Adams was enjoying his record breaking stint at Number 1, his song was the most purchased each week. But was it always the most listened to? Probably not.

And in 2016 when Drake was at Number 1 for fifteen weeks with the God-awful One Dance, that definitely wasn’t the most purchased song each week.

The other issue I have with streaming is playlists. Songs that I add to my own playlist, are songs that I have chosen to be there. But if I listen to a Top UK songs playlist on Spotify, someone else has put them there. I would argue that those songs shouldn’t count towards the chart because I haven’t made that choice. Someone else has picked that song for me.

I understand the decision to count streaming and video plays on the chart – that is how music is now consumed. But the way they are counted is what bothers me.

Here’s a thought – I don’t know if it would work or not, but I like the sound of it. I think it would work!

How about: if one person plays the song then that counts as one sale for the week? And if the person plays it twice or more then they don’t count any further. This would mean instead of counting streams for the week it would count unique streams for the week.