Roast, corned or ground, the beefs are stacking up. Here's what's annoying you readers these days:
TELEVISION: Georgia Sydnor of Falls Church and Verna Merry of Rockville filed the same complaint--about TV reporters who begin their stories by saying, "Jim, the fire started when . . . ," or "Bill, the council met for four hours . . . ." Why not address the viewers instead of the anchor, my readers wonder.
Joseph H. Warfield of Damascus beefs about live coverage from the scene of a news event. "If they are going to the expense and trouble of moving to the scene," says Joe, "then let the viewers see what's happening. If all they are going to show us is the commentator's face filling the whole screen, then why not just stay in the studio?"
From Gertrude Davidson of Silver Spring comes a telling point about TV's portrayal of grandparents. "Why are grandparents portrayed . . . as ancient senior citizens?" Gertrude asks. "I know that 50-year-old and even 40-year-old grandparents don't appreciate this portrayal."
Right on the button, Gertrude. My only question is where you're finding elderly grandparents on television at all, particularly grandfathers. Other than that lovable old coot in the lemonade ads, I can't remember the last time I saw a man over 65 in an ad or a series.
LANGUAGE: Marion Mitchell lives in Silver Spring, Md. That's right. Spring. Just one. She has been trying to keep it singular for ages--without singular success.
Ditto Herman Goins of Northeast, who says he has given up watching sports on TV "because the players say 'You know' every three seconds. Drives me nuts, you know!"
MODERN LIFE: Mr. and Mrs. William E. Dulin of Alexandria had me nodding my head when they beefed about modern-day waiters and waitresses.
They "introduce themselves, with a big smile, and then, 'Hello, my name is Jane (or Karen or Pat or Mike) and I'm your waitress (waiter) for the day!'
"In the first place, we don't care what the name is. If we get good service, we give a good tip, not because of your name or your cheery greeting.
"Secondly, he/she is not our waiter/waitress for the day, as we do not plan on being there for the whole day . . . . Would you walk up to a stranger, flash a huge smile and say, 'Hi, my name is Bob, and I'm your reporter for the day?' We rest our case."
Bert Schlesinger of Alexandria yelped accurately about "the store, repair department, whoever (that) will specify only a day for a delivery--not even an a.m. or a p.m." Of course, "invariably, that delivery will deliver itself at 5 p.m."
Meanwhile, Gerald M. Van Pool of Kensington indicts the grocery customer "who pushes a fully laden grocery cart into the fast lane and then asks innocently, 'Oh, is this the express lane?'"
And like J. Frazier Botsford of Northeast, I can't understand why local governments permit the bumper stickers of political candidates to remain stuck to our traffic signs and phone poles, sometimes years after an election has come and gone. "There is a law, is there not?" J.F. asks. There is indeed--and it ought to be enforced.
THE TELEPHONE: K.P. Freck of Northwest can't understand "people who, after you answer the phone, say, 'Whoozis?' or 'Whoodat?' or something similar. Bugs the life out of me. Got a good answer?"
Not an answer, my friend. Just an explanation: The lazy and rude among us are impossible in person. Why expect them to be any different when the phone rings?
Last, but never least, THE SEXES: Mireille DuBois of Falls Church says her beef is with "men who address women by their first names while referring to themselves as 'Mr.,' as in 'Hello, Mary, this is Mr. Campbell calling.' . . . Where have they been for the last ten years--under a rock?"
I doubt it, Mireille. But that's about where they belong.
Got a beef? Mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C. 20071.