Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Intellectual Pet Peeves

You know how some people can't stand knuckle-cracking or gum popping? Well, the thing that bugs me are certain intellectual facts that I just can't stand people getting wrong. This probably proves I'm a jerk, but there's stuff that bugs me. That probably makes me has been appearing in a lot of books lately, a fair amount of it wrong.

Now, if I wanted to cop out and blame my childhood, I'd say that my father used to always say that authors and screenwriters should not misrepresent or falsify history and then claim that they are telling truth, because people will believe that it is true when it isn't. (Let's just say, my father did not approve of Disney's Hercules.) I feel no embarrassment in having grown up to share this view.

When it comes to old stories being referenced in new stories, I get frustrated when people falsify the original story, and my flexibility on there is limited.

I mean, if you want to tell me that we were wrong about the Persephone story and it actually wasn't as shady as we've always thought, I'll accept that, at least to a point. Tell me how we got the story wrong and tell me what actually happened, and I'll accept that, so long as you haven't ignored the other facts (original mythos).

If you want to paint Artemis as a self-centered, shrill bint who only cares about clothes, I'm going to stop listening to you, because by that point you're just making stuff up and completely ignoring the entire base literature. To me, this is unforgivable.

So, yes, my intellectual pet peeve: people picking an original set of facts and lying about them/misrepresenting them.

This kind of pet peeve bugs a lot of people. It definitely bugs a lot of writers and artists, Captain Film Major for one. But I stand by it, if and only if because I already know from a lot of experience that it was not stop bugging me, to varying degrees. Just like my pet peeve will probably not stop bugging the people it bugs, again to varying degrees.

What's your intellectual pet peeve? Other pet peeves? Does my pet peeve bug you?


  1. This is a good one. It bothers me too.

  2. I hear you. But the only thing I have to say is


    Which is a whole other subject.

  3. My pet peeve? Sappy YA romance. I like romance when it's done well, but as a teenager I feel like very few YA books really get it right. Maybe I'm just reading the wrong books.

    I can understand what you're saying, but at the same time I'd argue that myths are very different from facts. You can't really misrepresent a story that's been told over and over, for thousands of years, in many different forms. These weren't actual historical events (as far as we know). They're stories. And there are many versions of each story, some that survived the ages, some that didn't. By changing the character of Artemis, they're not changing "facts" because Artemis was a mythological figure viewed and portrayed differently by different people.

  4. Susan -- I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

    Anne -- That's a fair point. I've heard the word used before from books back when they were still debating the issue.

    Kate -- While myths aren't facts, there comes a point when they are agreed upon stories, at which point deviations from the "official record" should be noted as deviations, not portrayed as part of the official record. I don't object to noted deviations. It's the unnoted ones that bug me.