I’m creating my very own Shovel List. For anyone who’s read Marian Keyes’ novel, The Mystery of Mercy Close, you’ll be familiar with the term. For those of you haven’t, you really should. It’s such a funny, heart-warming, touching read. Yes, I know Marion Keyes writes chick lit, but it’s good chick lit – her books have something so real about them, I feel I can always relate to some quality in one of her characters. This time it’s the protagonist Helen who I feel so drawn to.
An aside here: I have a massive girl crush on Marian Keyes. We’re so similar in so many ways, and the ways in which we’re not similar I just wish I was more like her. To quote Honey from my favourite movie of all time, Notting Hill: ‘I genuinely believe and have believed for some time now that we could be best friends.’
Ok, back to the matter at hand – the Shovel List. According to Helen Walsh a Shovel List is a list of all the things and people you hate so much, you want to hit them in the face with a shovel. So I’ve been collecting things to put on my Shovel List (a little like a malevolent Pinterest board). And it’s not as easy as you would think. You don’t want to overwhelm the list with petty little irritations and dislikes. You want to include only big, VERY annoying things that you just can’t let pass when people say and do them.
Simone’s Shovel List
Funnily enough most of the items on my list are examples of clichéd corporate jargon… but there are a few other little gems that don’t come from the Very Important Business World:
- Low hanging fruit – this just irritates me.
- Going forward – where else would we go? Into the past?
- Ask, as in ‘that is a huge ask.’ It’s not an ask; it’s a request.’ ‘Ask’ is a verb, not a noun. And, while we’re at it, ‘impact’ is not a verb, it’s a noun. This is not a sentence that is correct: ‘The decision impacts on our work.’
- Think outside of the box – this is used so often that if everyone thinks outside of the box, they’ll all be thinking the same way and will therefore be thinking inside the box.
- Multiple exclamation marks – no. Just no.
- Lots and lots of dots for an ellipsis – an ellipsis is a punctuation mark comprised of three full stops, just like a semi colon is a full stop on top of a comma. You can’t change an ellipsis into seven dots just like you can’t change a semi colon into a question mark on top of a hyphen.
- Me personally – as opposed to who?
- In my personal opinion – who else’s opinion would you give?
- People who throw rubbish out their car windows. Why? Who is going to see the inside of your car between now and when you get there?
- People who interrupt conversations. This just shows me that your mother didn’t teach you any manners. And, what you have it say is not more important than what I’m saying unless you’re chocking, blue in the face and need assistance. Then it might be.
I did a little investigation and invited a couple of people to add their very own items to my shovel list. A shovel list sub-let, if you will.
- Kirsten, our managing editor, has put inconsiderate people right at the top of her list, closely followed by people who don’t help other people.
- My Mister’s number one Shovel List spot is reserved for motorbikes that push in in traffic and then take up as much space as a car does. This is NOT alleviating the traffic problem – so don’t try use that as a justification for bad manners.
If you’re looking for an author to begin a relationship with like I have with my Marion, go to the Essentials website http://goo.gl/cEqSvJ and have a look at the fab books our features editor Taryn has reviewed. There are also a whole load of DVD reviews there if you prefer a less literary relationship.