16 votes

What's a "sore thumb" for you?

You know: something that sticks out to you in a bad, unignorable way -- like a "sore thumb" -- every time you see/hear it.

Maybe its apostrophe misuse, maybe it's using cliches like they're going out of style, maybe it's b  a d k e  r n i  n g, or a lack of parallelism perhaps bothers you.

Whatever it is (and it doesn't have to be writing related), let us know. Also, most importantly, why do you think it has such a profound effect on you?

42 comments

  1. [2]
    Deimos
    Link
    Images (or videos) that have been squished/stretched into a different aspect ratio. I'll never understand how people can have a TV in the wrong aspect ratio with a 4:3 show stretched into...

    Images (or videos) that have been squished/stretched into a different aspect ratio. I'll never understand how people can have a TV in the wrong aspect ratio with a 4:3 show stretched into widescreen and not care, it bothers me so much. Same thing with websites that have squished a photo to fit into a certain space instead of cropping it.

    28 votes
    1. Wes
      Link Parent
      Now that Youtube supports dynamic aspect ratios, it's a lot more apparent when videos have had black bars added.

      Now that Youtube supports dynamic aspect ratios, it's a lot more apparent when videos have had black bars added.

      3 votes
  2. [5]
    emdash
    Link
    I prefer the use of the typographically correct U+2014 EM DASH to indicate an aside—rather than two U+2010 HYPHEN's :). I also prefer my em-dashes "closed", that is, there is no space between the...

    I prefer the use of the typographically correct U+2014 EM DASH to indicate an aside—rather than two U+2010 HYPHEN's :). I also prefer my em-dashes "closed", that is, there is no space between the two adjacent words and the em-dash. This is consistent with the Chicago Manual of Style, but not with the AP Handbook.

    These are minor pet peeves, not things I genuinely get upset about, by the way. I also admit to massively overusing this character. Often commas or other types of grammatical delineation are just as acceptable and far less pretentious.

    20 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I feel very attacked right now! Also I left all that deliberate bait and you instead critiqued the one thing I was actually using earnestly! How DARE you! Only kidding. :) Believe it or not, I...

      I feel very attacked right now! Also I left all that deliberate bait and you instead critiqued the one thing I was actually using earnestly! How DARE you!

      Only kidding. :)

      Believe it or not, I actually prefer that myself too, I just don't have an easy way to type an em-dash on my phone. I also think the double hyphen looks weird without spaces--like this--so I always add them in. If I'm writing in a word processor, however, it's a closed em-dash every time!

      9 votes
    2. [3]
      tomf
      Link Parent
      For you, I have created an autoreplace for -- with —. I am notorious for over-using --. I'm not sure I will ever break the habit of the space, but I'll give it a swing. :)

      For you, I have created an autoreplace for -- with . I am notorious for over-using --. I'm not sure I will ever break the habit of the space, but I'll give it a swing. :)

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        There are tools on the market that let you type "--" and get a letter-dash of your choice in-text. No need to switch off a habit should the effort prove too burdensome. There are also alternative...

        There are tools on the market that let you type "--" and get a letter-dash of your choice in-text. No need to switch off a habit should the effort prove too burdensome.

        There are also alternative keyboard layouts that give you the power to type advanced symbols with a wider keystroke (e.g. I can type "—" via [AltGr]+[-], or "–" via [AltGr]+[Shift]+[-]). My getting-used-to took much less than the anxiety of the switch predicted.

        3 votes
        1. tomf
          Link Parent
          Well, using the auto-replace with macos/ios isn't too bad. Pretty much transparent on my end. Good to know about - – —, though. Outside of formal writing, I've never really used an em-dash. New...

          Well, using the auto-replace with macos/ios isn't too bad. Pretty much transparent on my end. Good to know about - , though. Outside of formal writing, I've never really used an em-dash. New plan: I'll use autocorrect as a backup, but I'll switch over to using the shortcut for . It's a fairly natural key combo. :)

          2 votes
  3. [4]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      For me it's the sound of fluorescent lights that I hate. Most of them produce an incessant buzzing that is incredibly annoying, but similar to yourself almost every time I have mentioned it nobody...

      For me it's the sound of fluorescent lights that I hate. Most of them produce an incessant buzzing that is incredibly annoying, but similar to yourself almost every time I have mentioned it nobody else hears it. :(

      10 votes
    2. Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      Also terrible: florescent fixtures with a mix of both cool and warm temperature bulbs

      Also terrible: florescent fixtures with a mix of both cool and warm temperature bulbs

      5 votes
    3. Odysseus
      Link Parent
      I absolutely despise fluorescent lighting, especially in restaurants. It's depressing and unwelcoming.

      I absolutely despise fluorescent lighting, especially in restaurants. It's depressing and unwelcoming.

      4 votes
  4. [9]
    CALICO
    Link
    I can hear "electricity". For some reason, I can perceive very high frequency tones that many of my peers cannot. For a while I thought it may have been something like tinnitus, until I noticed a...

    I can hear "electricity".

    For some reason, I can perceive very high frequency tones that many of my peers cannot. For a while I thought it may have been something like tinnitus, until I noticed a serene quiet I rarely experience while hiking miles from civilization.

    Old school televisions were the worst, but if I'm anywhere near powered devices I can pick up on a sound that's sometimes only just at the edge of my auditory perception. I can mostly ignore the ever present whine, but when certain things are plugged in or powered it can be very difficult not to pay some attention to it.

    I kind of can't wait until I lose some of the upper range of my hearing. As of my last audiogram however, my hearing is still excellent.

    9 votes
    1. [5]
      euphoria066
      Link Parent
      Hey this was going to be mine! Flatscreen tvs have largely eliminated the problem, but I used to be able to tell if your tv was on when I walked into your house. Same with the receiver part of a...

      Hey this was going to be mine! Flatscreen tvs have largely eliminated the problem, but I used to be able to tell if your tv was on when I walked into your house. Same with the receiver part of a stereo system.

      8 votes
      1. [4]
        kfwyre
        Link Parent
        For any Muse fans out there, the track "Take a Bow" off of Black Holes and Revelations has the CRT whine throughout. I used to get that "hmm, there must be a TV on" sensation when listening to it....

        For any Muse fans out there, the track "Take a Bow" off of Black Holes and Revelations has the CRT whine throughout. I used to get that "hmm, there must be a TV on" sensation when listening to it. Whether or not it's there intentionally or as an oversight is left as an exercise for the listener.

        I tried to relive it again, for the first time in a while, using a couple of streaming links, but it wasn't clear if I couldn't hear it due to changes in my hearing or the audio compression used. So, I dusted off my FLAC rip and busted out my very nice IEMs and can officially report that I'm no longer able to hear it at all, despite knowing it's there. The thirteen (!!!) years since its release have given my ears ample time to age and apparently lose some higher frequencies. If you can hear it, let me know, because I certainly can't anymore!

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          Do you think it may have been the particular instance of the song's rendering to audio? I've heard two different versions of this song so far, and I think I know what to look for, and I haven't...

          Do you think it may have been the particular instance of the song's rendering to audio? I've heard two different versions of this song so far, and I think I know what to look for, and I haven't found any CRT noises.

          It's a nice track, though. Thanks for sharing.

          1 vote
          1. kfwyre
            Link Parent
            Glad you enjoyed the track! I don't know enough about audio recording/mastering to know whether it was intentional or not, but I'd wager it probably wasn't. My guess is that whoever did the...

            Glad you enjoyed the track!

            I don't know enough about audio recording/mastering to know whether it was intentional or not, but I'd wager it probably wasn't. My guess is that whoever did the mastering simply, like me, couldn't hear it and didn't realize it was there.

        2. Tygrak
          Link Parent
          Wow, I never knew that! Now that you mention it, I think I can hear it faintly in the intro, but I am not 100% sure. Also nice to see Muse fans here, saw them this year live and they put on the...

          Wow, I never knew that! Now that you mention it, I think I can hear it faintly in the intro, but I am not 100% sure. Also nice to see Muse fans here, saw them this year live and they put on the greatest show.

          1 vote
    2. [2]
      vivaria
      Link Parent
      How do you tell the difference between this and tinnitus? This one, @ThatFanficGuy's response, and @asoftbird's comment all struck a chord with me, and past me has described very similar...

      How do you tell the difference between this and tinnitus?

      This one, @ThatFanficGuy's response, and @asoftbird's comment all struck a chord with me, and past me has described very similar experiences. I've gone through the psychiatric ringer and have gotten an ADHD diagnosis, then an ASD diagnosis. At this point I'm mildly skeptical of my own experiences because of how hard it is to pin down perception. But, still, I'm curious to hear how each of you know that it's that reason in particular as opposed to any other reason (tinnitus, adhd, sensory processing sensitivity, asd/autism).

      3 votes
      1. ThatFanficGuy
        Link Parent
        Pieces of the puzzle. I've never had a persistent noise in my years: it grows stronger if I'm near something that make noise others can rarely hear, and it grows weaker the further away I am from...

        Pieces of the puzzle.

        I've never had a persistent noise in my years: it grows stronger if I'm near something that make noise others can rarely hear, and it grows weaker the further away I am from the item. The latter means it's exceptionally quiet during night and far from civilization.

        One of ADHD's main characteristics is inability to focus, and I know I'm undisciplined sometimes, but it's never been detrimental to my ability to stay on target. Hyperactivity? Maybe, mildly. Doesn't fit the experience.

        ASD is not out of the question for me, but then, I would have no landmarks to know the difference.

        High SPS fits significantly better because it ticks the most boxes. I may be erring in the side of simple solutions here, and my SPS may be a part of something else – but I wouldn't know, 'cause the diagnosis isn't there.

    3. ThatFanficGuy
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      We're on the same boat, except I'm enjoying the ride... most of the time. I think I have high sensory processing sensitivity. I hear more than others, see deeper than others, and otherwise process...

      We're on the same boat, except I'm enjoying the ride... most of the time.

      I think I have high sensory processing sensitivity. I hear more than others, see deeper than others, and otherwise process the information slower but deeper. Makes me suck at quick-witted verbal combat, but I get to enjoy things with overwhelming joy from time to time. Helps me appreciate music that much more, to a point where I have mental orgasms from listening a particular track at the right time.

      This also means loud noises and "noisy" visuals cause me distress. I can't look at certain visual patterns 'cause they overload me, like my brain "overthinks" itself while processing. If a date dresses in a dress of such a pattern, I can barely look her in the eyes 'cause then I see the dress, and the pattern reaction ensues.

      But it is a fun experience I would keep against any offers of quiet or serenity.

      EDIT: a word.

      2 votes
  5. Alfred
    Link
    When people post pictures of a screen instead of taking and sharing a screenshot. I saw this multiplied to the worst extent where someone recorded a screen-recording (with a second device) and...

    When people post pictures of a screen instead of taking and sharing a screenshot.

    I saw this multiplied to the worst extent where someone recorded a screen-recording (with a second device) and posted it as a video.

    It's always horrible quality, and the thing you saw definitely has a native share option if you saw it on the internet. Take the extra 3 seconds and send me the link.

    9 votes
  6. mrbig
    Link
    My biggest "sore thumb" are people full of "sore thumbs", that think other people's language, opinions, and even tastes should conform to their personal sensibilities. Just an example: I hate...

    My biggest "sore thumb" are people full of "sore thumbs", that think other people's language, opinions, and even tastes should conform to their personal sensibilities.

    Just an example: I hate mango, even the smell makes me sick, but if someone eats it in front of me I either restrain myself or quietly leave the room.

    7 votes
  7. asoftbird
    Link
    Nearly inaudible (human) noises. As someone with ADHD they're incredibly distracting but of course l can't realistically expect the cause of the effect to conform to my disability; things like...

    Nearly inaudible (human) noises.

    As someone with ADHD they're incredibly distracting but of course l can't realistically expect the cause of the effect to conform to my disability; things like people sneezing or dropping stuff on the floor a few rooms away is much more distracting than someone in the same room doing that, for some odd reason. Constant or semi-constant noise like the fridge humming or cars passing on the nearby highway don't matter, that's background noise.

    You might suggest wearing earplugs but those sounds are often high frequency which means it'll pass right through the earplugs. It's always audible no matter how much you try to block it.

    5 votes
  8. [3]
    hungariantoast
    (edited )
    Link
    Slammed trucks. Look y'all, I get it, "different strokes for different folks" and all but... no, I actually just don't get it. I mean, smaller trucks like a Nissan Hardbody or old Toyota pickup I...

    Slammed trucks.

    Look y'all, I get it, "different strokes for different folks" and all but... no, I actually just don't get it.

    I mean, smaller trucks like a Nissan Hardbody or old Toyota pickup I can totally get lowering (not slamming) if that's your thing. I don't get "slamming" though. Or "stance culture" either.

    It actually wasn't until I moved to Texas that I encountered my first "slammed" truck. Haven't been a fan since.


    Other than that, I have a general distaste for modern trucks because they're massive, disgusting vehicles. I mean, seriously, a second generation Chevrolet Colorado is basically as large as a first generation Silverado. That's stupid.

    Fuck the chicken tax. Fuck Johnson. Fuck America. Bring our small trucks back.

    4 votes
    1. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      I'll play a little devil's advocate here: Do you "get" lowriders? How about rat rods? Hot rods? Classic muscle cars? Radwood? Raised trucks/SUVs/Wranglers? Donks/boxes/bubbles? Collector cars?...

      I'll play a little devil's advocate here:

      Do you "get" lowriders? How about rat rods? Hot rods? Classic muscle cars? Radwood? Raised trucks/SUVs/Wranglers? Donks/boxes/bubbles? Collector cars?

      Slammed trucks are the same as all of the above. They are a genre of automotive enthusiasm that is centered around an aesthetic and form of expression. They are an art form and just like any art form there are masters of their craft seemingly born specifically to create this art, merchants that do it for a living, amateurs that enjoy the hobby, and audiences that just like to watch. I don't think either of us would deny the craftsmanship and artistry in seamlessly chopping, channeling, sectioning, and shaving a lead sled Mercury. Nor should we admonish those without the skills to create masterpieces, but can only paint by numbers if that's what they enjoy doing. Sure most people are followers, not leaders. They don't have the imagination, skills, resources, or time to create something new so they pick and choose bits and pieces of things they like or find trendy and use them. It is simply automotive fashion.

      Sure, these changes effectively make the truck less capable than it was from the factory, but so does just about every modification that can be made to any vehicle. If you give your car more power it'll wear out more quickly and burn more fuel. If you lift your truck for better off road capabilities you've ruined the stock suspension geometry for every other task. If you put stiffer suspension on your sports car you've ruined its carefully engineered behavior and given it more NVH. If you add sound deadening, seat heaters, and other entertainment peripherals to your vehicle you've lowered its performance.

      What's the, non-investment, non-historical, point of collector cars? Outside keeping the vehicle to make money off it later, I despise these people, or if it is historically significant, what is the point of having a vehicle that is rolled onto a trailer, taken to a concourse, shined and shown, and then returned to it's, typically heated, garage other than the appreciation of its aesthetic?

      All of the genres listed at the onset of this comment effectively ruin the vehicles involved when they are taken to that group's ideal, and so "getting" them is the same as "getting" slammed trucks; it's the aesthetic of the subculture.


      [Deviating from the Devil's advocacy here]

      Why do you understand lowering small trucks? They're already lower than a full size truck, so what is the point of lowering it more? If anything a modern full size truck needs to be lowered more than any small truck as they are nearly useless at this point. I find it absolutely laughable that modern trucks have grown so monstrously in both size and stock height that they can be equipped with ladders and steps from the factory. There's not a single new full size truck that I've seen that you can reach into the bed from the side to get anything out.

      I too despise modern trucks due to the sheer monstrosities they've become and their constant march toward luxury barge status that are seemingly bought solely by apartment dwelling cubicle bound sales guys that have never done a day of manual labor in their lives in an effort to exude a ruggedness that their pre-distressed jeans never possessed. And I will happily join you in the rally cry of fuck the chicken tax and bringing our small trucks back.

      Trucks however have a purpose even if it is lost/never utilized on most that purchase them. SUVs do not. I have an utter undying hatred for SUVs (their smaller "crossovers" included). They have no purpose and are worse in every aspect imaginable than another class of vehicle.

      3 votes
    2. Loire
      Link Parent
      As a devoted truck owner; what in the fuck is that monstrosity? That completely obliterates the aesthetic and purpose of a pickup!

      As a devoted truck owner; what in the fuck is that monstrosity? That completely obliterates the aesthetic and purpose of a pickup!

      2 votes
  9. ThatFanficGuy
    Link
    In professional terms: bad UX. In layman's terms: bad experience with an instrument of any sort because of the way it was designed. In simplified terms: things that don't work as I expect them to....

    In professional terms: bad UX.

    In layman's terms: bad experience with an instrument of any sort because of the way it was designed.

    In simplified terms: things that don't work as I expect them to.

    Cheap things are usually the perpetrators, but not always: some of the cheaper things in my inventory behave better than their expensive counterparts.

    I used to have a wireless mouse that, while decent in operations, would sometimes have me press the left button. It wasn't that I have a secret pointer-finger tick where I randomly tap it, and it's not as if the mouse compelled me to. My fingertip would rest just off the edge of the button that wasn't framed in the rest of the structure. I guess this meant my finger would randomly be compelled to press the button. Most of the cases were annoying but inconsequential, but when you lose the dragged text in the middle of the document, or when you lose a skirmish with an opponent in fast-paced video game, things got frustrating quickly.

    Interestingly enough, I can't recall many cases where that happened recently. My laptop keeps glitching, but it's more of a truth of life at this stage, what with the things it went through for the last three years. My new mouse is excellent in all sorts of ways. Some of the software I use glitches, but it's mostly because of the RAM constraints: only one app is certain to glitch because of its incomplete codebase, and even then, it's an app good enough for me to ignore the occasional issue.

    4 votes
  10. Arshan
    Link
    Inconsistent / Terrible UI One program that is an internal tool at the company I work at is the one that haunts / fills me with blind fury. It represents whether a sensor is toggled on, i.e....

    Inconsistent / Terrible UI

    One program that is an internal tool at the company I work at is the one that haunts / fills me with blind fury. It represents whether a sensor is toggled on, i.e. seeing an object, or toggled off, not seeing an object. Some sadistic fuck made part of the UI be "[On/off indicator] Object NOT in location". Every time I see it I want to smash something becuase it is so unecessary. The interface has other sensors that are designed in the sane way, "[on/off] Object is at location". Also the program hasn't been upgrade in 20 years, but everyone in my department uses at least once a day.

    4 votes
  11. Elishah
    Link
    Getting into photography has basically ruined me. Things that most people don't care about, but that completely dominate any picture for me: Pictures that are even the tiniest bit crooked....

    Getting into photography has basically ruined me. Things that most people don't care about, but that completely dominate any picture for me:

    • Pictures that are even the tiniest bit crooked.

    • Pictures that are even the tiniest bit out of focus.

    • Pictures of people that are centered on their faces, and thus are 50% ceiling.

    • Fluorescent lights, and nearly all LED lights. They have absolutely wretched spectral consistency.

    4 votes
  12. MisoSoupBroth
    Link
    People watching Instagram stories in public with high volume. Talking on the phone or using Facetime doesn't bother me, but there is something about recorded social media "stories" that irritates...

    People watching Instagram stories in public with high volume. Talking on the phone or using Facetime doesn't bother me, but there is something about recorded social media "stories" that irritates me more than just about anything else you could do with your cellphone in public. Even more so than a child watching an obnoxious children's movie or someone listening to music I don't like. It's twice as bad if the person in the recorded video is speaking through a voice-altering filter.

    3 votes
  13. [2]
    jahnu
    Link
    Conversation fillers. "Understand",Know what I mean", "and,like","You know", etc.. I get an urge to slap people over this.

    Conversation fillers. "Understand",Know what I mean", "and,like","You know", etc.. I get an urge to slap people over this.

    2 votes
    1. ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Listen, I'm with you on this one, but, like... do find a grip on it. Some of the smarter people I know speak either like they're from da gentrified hood or the Deep South. Don't let something as...

      Listen, I'm with you on this one, but, like... do find a grip on it. Some of the smarter people I know speak either like they're from da gentrified hood or the Deep South. Don't let something as stupid as speech patterns mar your perception of an otherwise excellent companion.

      4 votes
  14. [6]
    krg
    Link
    Some kind of dark wash jeans (especially if they're kinda baggy) + dress shirt + dress shoes (bonus points if they're squared toed) is a big "OOF", from me. Pièce de résistance is a blazer/sport...

    Some kind of dark wash jeans (especially if they're kinda baggy) + dress shirt + dress shoes (bonus points if they're squared toed) is a big "OOF", from me. Pièce de résistance is a blazer/sport coat.

    Which, I've noticed...seems to be the standard tech keynote address uniform.

    2 votes
    1. [5]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      Render incomplete. Please supply visual aid.

      Render incomplete. Please supply visual aid.

      1. [4]
        krg
        Link Parent
        This guy pretty much ticks all the marks. sorry for clownin you, guy that makes more money than I ever will.

        This guy pretty much ticks all the marks.

        sorry for clownin you, guy that makes more money than I ever will.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          ThatFanficGuy
          Link Parent
          Yeah, he's gonna cry himself to sleep on a pillow made of bills he liked the smell of. :P It could look good with a slightly-different choice of attire: make it feel like your muscles aren't...

          Yeah, he's gonna cry himself to sleep on a pillow made of bills he liked the smell of. :P

          It could look good with a slightly-different choice of attire: make it feel like your muscles aren't sogging off your bones, for one. It's the "I don't really care how I look" look.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            krg
            Link Parent
            I mean, if the guy was wearing slacks it'd be fine (but probably still ill-fitting). Just, the jeans make it look like a half-assed attempt to dress up, but not in an endearing way. It even looks...

            I mean, if the guy was wearing slacks it'd be fine (but probably still ill-fitting). Just, the jeans make it look like a half-assed attempt to dress up, but not in an endearing way. It even looks bad on stylish dudes wearing well-fitted clothing, in my opinion.

            But, yeah, most guys who attempt that style look super frumpy, which sticks out like a SORE THUMB.

            1 vote
            1. ThatFanficGuy
              Link Parent
              I rocked 'em black fuckin' jeans, and you can't tell me otherwise.

              I rocked 'em black fuckin' jeans, and you can't tell me otherwise.

              1 vote
  15. [4]
    thundergolfer
    Link
    An unbuttoned button-down collar. When I was going through a phase of learning how to dress better I ingested a lot of those sort of does-and-donts. When you get fastidious about dressing there's...

    An unbuttoned button-down collar.

    When I was going through a phase of learning how to dress better I ingested a lot of those sort of does-and-donts. When you get fastidious about dressing there's dozens of little rules and details to get right, and they do produce a better dresser, but none of them irk me like an unbuttoned button-down collar. It's either someone being completely oblivious to the buttons being there or obviously lazy about things.

    1 vote
    1. [2]
      mooseknuckle
      Link Parent
      As someone who keeps the button-down collar unbuttoned, I do it because it make the collar lay further from my neck instead of propping upright and rubbing my neck constantly.

      As someone who keeps the button-down collar unbuttoned, I do it because it make the collar lay further from my neck instead of propping upright and rubbing my neck constantly.

      7 votes
      1. thundergolfer
        Link Parent
        Didn't realise this was a thing. Does the cotton irritate you? I'll keep this issue in mind in future, but I know my brother doesn't have this problem 😄

        Didn't realise this was a thing. Does the cotton irritate you? I'll keep this issue in mind in future, but I know my brother doesn't have this problem 😄

        1 vote
    2. Parliament
      Link Parent
      In this same vein, when someone hasn't cut the stitches from the vent of a new suit jacket.

      In this same vein, when someone hasn't cut the stitches from the vent of a new suit jacket.

      3 votes
  16. Omnicrola
    Link
    I loathe this. First, humor is about timing so if you're trying to be funny every other sentence you've already fucked up. Second, if you don't know how to speak without using only sentences...

    maybe it's using cliches like they're going out of style

    I loathe this. First, humor is about timing so if you're trying to be funny every other sentence you've already fucked up. Second, if you don't know how to speak without using only sentences you've heard others repeat a lot I have a very low opinion of your intelligence. Thirdly, it always feels like someone is really, really desperate for attention and validation. Ugh.

    1 vote