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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pet Peeves - Part I

I've been compiling a list of pet peeves lately because (like most people's) they're kinda quirky and therefore might make someone laugh...or realize they're not alone.

I've said before that I have a natural aversion for non fiction.  To me non fiction = boooooring.  I know that's a tremendous disservice to tons of fantastic books, but I can't help how I'm wired.  But now, thanks to NPR, I think I know why I am the way I am.

It's the colon's fault.

To be clear we're talking about this guy --> : <-- not the first half of colonoscopy.

I love listening to NPR.  I especially enjoy listening to interviews with writers, musicians, or other artists. I always learn something new and worthy of repeating (ie, "did you know...").  

They help me sound way smarter than I am.


Anyhow, I can't tell you lately how many interviews I'll listen to and I'll think to myself: wow, that sounds like a really interesting bookI'll have to check that out.

But then they tell me the title and I run screaming from the room.

Really.  I look like this:

Please tell me why the Title Creation Committees are so addicted to the colon.  It's a serious problem. Don't believe me? Check out this random page from Amazon.  Almost every single book on that page has a : in the title.  


Don't they know that those two stacked dots totally kill any desire I have to read a book?  Here's a perfect example.  I heard part of an interview with this author the other day.  Smart guy.  I came in half way, so I only heard part of it, but it was chock full of interesting information and I was actually thinking about checking it out.  Then they told me the title: (<-- uh oh, that totally slipped through).

Bottled Lightning: Superbatteries, Electric Cars, and the New Lithium Economy

Why couldn't they stop with Bottled Lightning?  That's intriguing, hook-y, and concise.  That's a book I'll look at.  But the rest of it?  Bleh.

So, non fiction writers out there...are you listening?  Can you do me a personal favor and just drop the colon?  Please?

(oh, and everything you're tempted to put after the colon, too, of course)

Next Pet Peeve (maybe next week): men's bathroom's not what you think!


Candyland said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!! I hate the colon on NF titles too!!!!!

BECKY said...

Hey Vicki! Yeah, I hear ya! Sometimes the titles are so dang long....the last few words don't even register in the old noggin!

Creepy Query Girl said...

I never really gave it any thought! I don't read a ton of non fiction either but now that I'm looking in my book case I see I have a couple volumes. No colons though. Guess some NF writers hear your call!

Jules said...

ROFL, they do tend to lose us with that colon. But then at my age mention colon and I run :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Shannon said...

Great post, Vicki! =) Made me smile.

Pet peeves...huh...I was just thinking about it this morning, actually.

Here's mine for the day -
"friends" who IM you for emotional support but don't even bother asking a simple, "what's new with you" question.

Oh and nose picking. Not a fan of that one, either.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Guess I never noticed before! Now I'm going to look for the colon. (Dots, not body part.)

GigglesandGuns said...

Maybe it's how to identify an NF book? doesn't matter cuz I never get past the colon even if I mention such a book.