Wednesday, November 07, 2001

Minor Annoyances and What They Teach Us.
Part I. Dysfunctional Institutions

(1) U2
(2) Starbucks
(3) The "New Report Out Today" That Isn't On the Web
(4) Untraceable Spam
(5) Cell Phone Companies' Service "Plans"
(6) Ritual Humiliation of People Who Ask Questions at Public Talks

Part II. Abuses of Language

(7) Business Jargon in Government
(8) Trend-Mongering
(9) The Language of the Staff in Computer Stores
(10) Op-Ed Columns That Make No Sense
(11) Left-Wing Discouragement and Disempowerment
(12) "Generation X"
(13) Subscribers Who Irrationally Flame Me Out of Nowhere
(14) People Who Write Me Snippy Little Notes Saying "Unsubscribe"

Part III. Cliches

(15) The Fake Little Laugh That Screams "Bad Acting"
(16) The Word "Aggressive" Used As If It Were a Good Thing
(17) Anything Called "The Insider's Guide"
(18) Being Told "I'm Sorry You're Having Problems"
(19) The "Thoughtful Executive" Cliche in Business Ads
(20) Stereotyped Rhetorical Questions in PR Jargon
(21) Advertisements That Say "Over 43" When They Mean "44"
(22) Meaningless Technical Phrases on Consumer Electronics Gear
(23) "We're Being Asked to Do More With Less"

Part IV. Bad Design

(24) Bad Information Design in Scholarly Books
(25) Computers That Can't Learn What Needs to Be Swapped In
(26) Dryers in Commercial Laundromats
(27) Useless Rubber Buttons on Remote Controls
(28) Air Intake Vents Next to the Loading Dock
(29) Hotel Minibars
(30) Value-Added Marketing
Hmm... I guess that about covers it!

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