Today`s topic:

What is your biggest pet peeve on (the topic of) conversation?

(Wouldn`t you love to know what these dishes are dishing about? What`s the Hot topic?)

Clearly, I have a few, or I wouldn`t be stirring this pot.

Here I will share a few that “egg” me on to annoydom…

My first one is this: When I`m talking (deep or mundane) and the other person is saying “sure. sure. sure”, the whole time I`m talking. It`s like a fake way to sound really intuitive.

“Yes, and then I just wring it out because I don`t want my kids to get into..”


“…it. And I try to keep it out of their way, especially when I have other things to do.”


“And Galen gets upset also when it`s too much that way, you know.”

“Sure!” (A gentle laugh.)

By the way– I have no idea what I was talking about up there (wring WHAT out?) but it came, and I went with it. Use your imagination.

Sure! ARGH! I want to kill you the four letters that make up the word SURE.

The 2nd one is:

Bet you can`t wait.

When celebrities, or anyone from NPR actually– (think classs-Y and that T-aaalking from that back of their throat)– is interviewed, they stick “sort of” into any explanation.

If you ever watch Letterman, or Leno, or Fallon, you will hear it a lot.

“So you are a second time guest on this show. Now that you are done telling an hour long story (in an unnaturally prissy voice) about how even though you are worth millions, you just learned how to drive a car– I will now ask you– what`s your latest deal?”

“This fiiiiilm… is just, sort-of, about… the cataclysm of liiiife that hits all of our soooouls…”

“So you will be on Broadway then, next week in the production blank, blank, blank.”

“Yes, I feel, sort of, like a little girl living out a dream! (giggle)”

So that`s that one.

My last one is talking about babies/mothering in any way that includes the word fussy. I do ADORE being a mom and talking about children (mostly my own– haha), but too much of words like: potty. fussy. naughty. enjoyable. fulfilling. hubby. mommy. sharing. tummy. nippy. nummies. binky. num-nums. nursing.

I cant explain it, they just make me feel all milky and weird.

Only my husband understands that when I say “milky”– it means the saliva in your mouth gets thick, cheesy, and prissy. And it`s kind of talking from the back of your throat. It`s not really about “milk” as a dairy product. It`s like a way of speaking.

“Then little Billy was so fussy, so since I was potty training little Sally, I just had to call another mommy and just share a few of my heart`s fulfilling moments.”

Now you are going to be scared to talk to me. It`s not like that. Oh, dear.

But please do tell me your conversation annoyances…

Be frank. I can take it:)


Post script: I did not have one single specific person in mind when I wrote any of this. (Except Miley Cyrus on the “sort of” thing.)

So if you think, “I do that”– I was SOO not meaning you. To be clear. 🙂 And I still love you.

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  1. meg martin says:

    ha. i was just thinking of doing one of these the other day…but it was going to be all about phone manners and what i’ve learned from both good and bad phone manners that other people have had throughout my life. i scribbled all the thoughts into my journal so i’m pretty sure it’s going to be a future post. i think i get annoyed with too many “can i call you right back?”(s) that never happen. or… yes, like you mentioned the often mentionedmommy words… really any word or topic that gets waay over used… but i’m probably one of them, lol. I’ll think of more stuff later. My mind is blank now.

  2. cindy says:

    oh you are so NOT scaring me!
    this is making me feel the need to hang out with ya instead. 🙂

    funny. how my perspective doesn’t make something what it is. and how different we all are. and how cool that can be. and how i can trip on the very thing that i like ~ differences. and how what i offer may be intended one way and perceived another. and blahblahblah i think i went full circle back to perspective, didn’t i?

    i may be providing material to remind someone else of their annoyances. like conversations with people who take too long getting to the point.

    i am the person that interjects the occasional sure. sure. sure. inserting a gentle laugh as well. 😀 i hear ya on it sounding like a “fake way…” i never thought of it like that! it does! or can. when i say it *clearing throat* it is my way of communicating interest. i’m still engaged. what you are saying is yes. something i want to hear…

    because my conversation annoyances are people who don’t throw the ball back. and when being proper feels more important than the relationship.

    there. some of mine.

    love this. great thoughts, and as always. humorous in some way!
    and i’m hoping that i don’t feel like i need to come back and edit. or delete. just hypothetically speaking. that’s all. “sort of.”

  3. Shannon says:

    One huge annoyance of mine is no matter what you say, the person you’re speaking with has done that, been there, had sooo much worse happen to them, they know and have done it all. I’m finally like, “Fine, I’ll just quit and you hold the floor with all your grand experience.” There is a time and place to share your experience and make the other person feel like you ‘get them,’ but every. single. time. they say something. No no no!!

  4. Audrey says:

    I’m sure I provide annoyances in conversation, because I am not a very good conversationalist.

    That picture just intrigues me, though. That lady in red just screams “Queen Bee”!

  5. Audrey says:

    Oops, I saw that I overused “just” up there, and I can’t undo it. Hate when that happens!

  6. Aug says:

    What a fun post! You are hilarious! Especially the “milky” part about that “ugg” feeling in the back of your throat. I totally get what you mean.

    My biggest pet peeve…boring conversation. Chit-chat that never gets below the surface. I have a hard time staying attentive.

    And I totallyknow what you mean about the “sure, sure, sure” thing…there is a certain look on their face that goes along with it, though. Like, feigned interest. But you are not supposed to recognize that it is just feigned and not real. Sorry, lady, you’re not fooling me.

  7. lisa says:

    my pet peeve is when people say things like “chopping at the bit” instead of “chomping at the bit…” really, does chopping at the bit make one tiny bit of sense. think about it! something like that will bug me for hours. even days.
    and when my mom refers to one of my favorite restraunts as “montana wheat” instead of “wheat montana,” etc

    • Audrey says:

      this just made me laugh! i notice the same thing a lot. off hand, I can’t remember the latest one that’s been bugging me, but there’s one cliche that people keep getting wrong, and I’m thinking that if you have to use cliches, make sure you get them right 😉

    • Luci Martin says:

      heehee Lisa. Why do I know where you got “chopping at the bit”? 🙂 It seems like some people are so exuberant that they couldn’t care less if it comes out right.

  8. Jo says:

    Not nice to be in a small group and some of your friends are talking about this big fun shopping trip or whatever they are doing and you have not been invited. Can be awkward.

    • Marilyn says:

      Totally agree! Not only can it be awkward but it also can be rude, esp. if your about the only person in the room not invited.

  9. Marilyn says:

    Those women have got be talking about more than just the latest sale at Macy’s, I’m guessing it is some good gossip with the undivided attention they are all showing.

    I’m sure I am to blame on the sure.sure.sure line sometimes but if some people wouldn’t talk so much about nothing or go on and on about how cute their kids are, when I could care less, then I wouldn’t have to do that! haha. My biggest pet peeve is when in the middle of talking I get interrupted and the subject changes like we were never even discussing anything or else I get all done and expect them to say something back and they act like you were never even talking to them. So frustrating.

    I’m enjoying this post and these comments, it’s making me very aware and wanting to improve my conversation skills. 🙂

  10. Christy says:


    I have my annoyances, but I can’t usually think of them when I need them–like now. The one that does drive me nuts is when people oversimplify or are crazy redundant. Really bad grammar gets to me, too. I do have a somewhat wide tolerance level (since mine isn’t perfect), but when it’s really butchered I start correcting everything in my head. :/

  11. Christy says:

    Oh, also, I’m cracking up at how the second-from-the-left lady is being polite, but obviously trying to maintain her personal space….:)

    • gbear says:

      i think she’s worried about the dog down there, or else she is uncomfortable with the third-from-the-left lady breathing on her shoulder!!!

  12. Andrea Esh says:

    Detailed desriptions of sickness exhaust me. Like:
    “She was running just a low-grade fever, maybe 97.8 or was it 97.9? I can’t remember. Anyway, I gave her one half dose of tylenol, and then her fever went up to 99.1 So I gave her a dose of motrin…”
    Converstions like this make me clench my teeth because they drive me so crazy. I don’t know why

  13. Tracy says:

    This whole thing is very interesting to me and I totally agree with so many of the comments. Andrea I hate all the boring details that make no difference to me and Shannon I agree with the person who has been there and done that but it also annoys me if I am sharing frustrations and the person I am talking to acts like she has no idea what I am saying and pretends to have it all together like who are they fooling nobody has it all together. Another thing that annoys me is when I feel like I am having a one sided conversation because the other person doesn’t hardly say anything so I feel like I need to keep making conversation so it isn’t just stiff. Wow I am pretty sure I could use a class on being a good conversationalist cause I sure feel like I could use alot of help in this area.

  14. Maria Mullet says:

    I like this post, Jenny! I have to say, I’ve never heard the term “milky” used as you describe it. But it makes me laugh, and I think I can see where you’re coming from.

    Annoying words in conversation…funny how much more they annoy me when I see them in print. Facebook can almost drive me nutso sometimes. Right now the one that makes me wanna grab the nearest punching bag is “just sayin’.” Drive me crazy.

    Something else that annoys me (it doesn’t totally annoy me, maybe more intrigues me in how I hear people use it, but kinda annoys me too [now I make no sense]) is the “Christian” lingo. The word “journey” kinda annoys me right now. I get it, but isn’t there another word that would work, at least sometimes? Oh, he’s on a journey. It’s all a journey. blah blah blah. Or what about “intentional”? Or “calling”? Or “conversation”? Doesn’t it seem as if every church’s catch line for their small group goes something like this: “We are intentional about engaging in conversations that foster a sense of community to each person, no matter what stage of the journey he or she is currently on.”

    Now I shall climb off of my soap box.

    • Jenny says:

      oh my. this is super hysterical, dont stop now.
      just sayin’

    • Lynnelle says:

      With you Marie. Just let me know that your “journey” includes disobedient kids and moments of overwhelmed-ness and let your plan to be “intentional” include a phone call or email to let us complain about life’s imperfections together and I will believe that your “calling” is to be my friend.

    • Dawn says:

      another one is “passionate”…..ugh! i’m so tired of that word

    • Marilyn Miller says:

      I totally agree with you Maria on the “just sayin.” I’ve never understood why that needs to be said right after you’ve said your piece.

    • clarita says:

      You are SO funny, Maria. And yes, right on!!

  15. Elaine says:

    The phrase “keeping it real” annoys me really badly for some reason. Not so much when i read it. But when it’s some incredibly obnoxious person on tv proclaiming that they’re just “keeping it real.” Arrgh! 🙂

  16. Sonya says:

    The thing I thought about is when the person you’re talking with does not give you their full attention. A bad listener! Their eyes are looking somewhere else, they easily give their attention to the child thats tugging on their arm (and will even talk to them while you ramble on), or when they say nothing (like what you just said held no interest or had any importance to them).
    And we don’t always care or have interest in what someone is saying, but it’s just poor manners to leave someone feeling like you don’t care. 🙂

  17. linda hershey says:

    haha. i will go to bed happy and satisfied now! seriously, everything that has been said has me saying YES!
    i have to say, some of the worst conversations are the ones with too many details. where they HAVE to decide which day it was– “No it couldn’t have been Monday. i went to the dentist that day. it must have been Tuesday. No…that was the day we picked strawberries. Well. anyway….” i just want to scream, PICK A DAY. I DON’T CARE!!! and pretty much anything too detailed about a subject i couldn’t care less about. which reminds me–i hate when that little saying is said wrong. like, they will say, ” I could care less”. Really? in my head i ALWAY have this little dialogue about it. “Oh. ok. so you actually DO care then. Because if you could care less….that means you are still caring a little….” really. that is exactly what i say in my head.
    oh. and hate when they say they don’t care either way. so i decide. then i hear later that they weren’t entirely happy…..
    maybe i am just easily annoyed. by the length of this comment i am wondering…

  18. Lynnelle says:

    Loved this post, Jenny. I’m guilty of some of the annoying conversation habits people mentioned. 🙁 I don’t consider myself a very good conversationalist at all, but I want to learn to be a better one. My biggest pet peeve is inane conversation. If the conversation isn’t going to be about something substantial I’d rather not have it.

  19. Linda Hershey says:

    @Lynelle–don’t worry about being guilty of some of these annoying things!! when i get in a “conversation pinch” where the talk isn’t flowing… i pull out every annoying thing there is possible to do or say!! i even start scratching imaginary itchy spots.

  20. Julie says:

    I actually have a different perspective..I *like* superficial conversation. (hanging my head in shame-haha).

    I’m pretty sure that I’m guilty of superficial conversations lately. Why? Because right now, we’re dealing with big, real, scary issues..issues that consume my thoughts and won’t get out of my head. Honestly, it’s just nice to escape into superficial chit-chat occasionally. Not always…but some of the time. It’s a lot easier to talk about the latest sale at the Gap and not have to “think”. Does that make any sense? Probably should work on that.

    I’m also a big fan of just sayin’. OOOPS. 🙂

    • lisa says:

      i TOTALLY get this. there has definitely been times in my life like this. if i ever am in a spot like that again, i will know who to find to chit chat with. =)

  21. Maria S. says:

    My biggest pet peeve in conversation is when I’m talking with someone and their phone beeps and they pull it out and keep nodding and saying “uh-huh” and trying to still act Engaged in the Conversation . . . but THEY’RE TEXTING! While I’m talking!

    Look, one or the other, people. I’d prefer they tell me they need to reply to the text, put our conversation on hold, do their texting thing, and then Put the Dumb Phone Away.

    And Maria/Marie Mullet, that Christian lingo drives me nuts, too. What could we say instead of Journey? Vacation? Long drive? Trip? Yet Another Choir Tour?

  22. Angela says:

    I’ll tell you what annoys me in conversation- when people talk about things I couldn’t care less about! “And so my sister had to take her cat to the vet, and wouldn’t you know there was this huge long line and she had to wait. So there she is in the waiting room with her sneezing cat!” Do you really think I care? My word, meanwhile my mind is going, “And I could be cleaning my house now, or reading to the girls, or (fill in the blank), instead I have to listen to THIS???”
    Another thing is (kind of along the too many details line) when people don’t realize there are some things that are NOT okay to talk about and are really rather vulgar. I do not want to hear if you blew out snot the color of grass or if your hemorrhoids are bothering you lately!!! Gracious!
    So, the question I have then, is what do you do if you DO find yourself in a less-than-pleasant conversation?

  23. Sandi says:

    Two things that really bug me – when I am talking to someone and they are looking around at everyone else. It makes me feel like they are afraid they are missing someone and they are wasting their time talking to me, or that I am just a filler till they find someone better. And I so agree with the one about details of sickness, especially the gross stuff. TMI!! Oh, one more thing – when someone has no sense of humor. So disappointing 🙂

  24. Jo says:

    What about when the person you are talking to looks you up and down the whole time. Checking out your outfit or something. Unnerving. Makes me want to say, “Oh, do you like it?”

  25. Luci Martin says:

    Love this post and all the great comments. It’s so much fun–and slightly intimidating. I pretty much identified with everything written. Because I am so intuitive. ha.

    You know what I hate? When I realize after a conversation that I have been annoying or unfeeling in my responses without knowing it at the time.

  26. Luci Martin says:

    p.s. I highly appreciated your two posts on aging gracefully and never told you so.

  27. Rachel says:

    Super interesting post. And the comments are great too! I need to improve my communication skills. Oh, I can talk just fine, but well, maybe, you know, I might be annoying sometimes. But my biggest pet peeve, if you can even call it that, is about myself. Sometimes when I’m conversing with someone I have a very hard time keeping eye-to-eye contact. I. can. not. do. it. And I hate it.

  28. Terri says:

    this is an amazing topic, jenny! o my, let’s just say i’ve been thinking of this lately and the most annoying thing is that the people i’ve been annoyed by lately in conversation, i realize, are JUST LIKE ME! is that awful!? it’s so humiliating. 2 things: (so this is me and what i’m annoyed by, just to be clear) talking way too much in a group conversation and 2)being a know-it-all. i so do not mean to do these things but i look back and seriously have self-hate because i didn’t realize i was doing it as i did it. God help me: slow to speak. quick to listen.

  29. clarita says:

    Oh, I’m just laughing at all the comments! I agree with so many of them, and goodness, my heart is beating rapidly as some of *my* pet peeves are being remembered. 🙂 Stirs up the frustration I try to keep stifled!! 🙂

    For one thing, it bothers the TAR out of me when people dominate a conversation. I know several people like this, and everytime we’re with them I know that I probably won’t say more than 3 words all night. And I can talk. Oh yes, I can. But I like to be in *conversation* when I talk, not in dominance. These are the kinds of people I blushingly dodge on Sundays, because I know that 1) I won’t get to talk to anyone else the whole time we’re there, and 2) they will go in MINUTE detail about anything and everything that happened to them that week, as well as the rest of their family members, but won’t ask ONE WORD about how you or your family is doing… Whew. I feel better after venting that one.

    Two. It annoys me to NO END when people show up in public with a conviction against any body products, such as mouthwash, toothpaste, and deoterant. These somehow seem to be the very people that like to be mere inches from you when conversing. They are very natural minded/green and don’t mind telling you so. I would like to have a word with them about that. Would they mind staying at least 5 feet away then, so that I can breathe when I’m in their presence, and am not collapsed to the floor by alternating waves of B.O. and horrible breath?

    Three. Texting. TEXTING!! I think it is SO rude when someone sits with their phone and texts the whole evening they are with someone. For goodness sake, if your phone is so precious, just go have a date with it and leave me behind. (I’m not talking about my hus, by the way. He doesn’t have this problem at all.) If a text comes in when you’re talking, then please at least wait until the conversation is OVER, unless you’re expecting a call from a friend with a mother on her death bed, or something equally forgiveable. Do NOT bring your phone to the table. Do NOT sit in church meetings and text. Do NOT act like your text messages give you identity.

    But for all my annoyances, I’m sure (ha, SURE) that I have some that annoy other people too! One of them being “right.” I say that a lot. But only if I mean it. 🙂

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