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Views #1339 | High-Intermediate 6

Pet Peeves on the Bus

Jeremy talks about some things that really annoy him, especially things people do on the bus.


Abidemi: So Jeremy, can you tell us some of your pet peeves, things that people do that drive you crazy?

Jeremy: Well, I would say I’m, for the most part, a pretty positive person and pretty open-minded. But there are some situations that sometimes I can barely control myself when I’m in these situations. And one of these situations is riding local transit. So either a subway or a bus. I spend a long time in Vancouver, in Canada. And the bus situation there is something that can really drive people mad because it’s simple bus etiquette that can make or break your day.

And things like people talking on their phone or people clipping their toenails on the bus or people not moving to the back of the bus so that there’s no room and people don’t get on the bus because the bus driver doesn’t ask them to move back. It’s just a non-stop list of things that just get under my skin when it comes to the bus. And it seems like a small thing but I don’t have a car and I rely on the bus to get to and from work everyday. So it’s a place where I spend more than an hour of my time. And that’s an hour of my time that can either be spent in relaxation and maybe thinking or sleeping. Or it’s an hour where I can spend just sort of having these really, really, nasty thoughts go through my head about why are people oblivious, why are they ignoring common courtesy.

So for me, I know it’s a small thing but it’s something that can really either make or break my day.

Abidemi: I think I know what you mean when you mentioned about people not moving to the back of the bus. You would think it’s common sense but like somebody said, common sense is not so common anymore. Maybe that’s it because that just drives me crazy too. I’m like, “Just move back. If you were outside the bus, you would want to get on too, wouldn’t you?” So yeah, I definitely—I understand what you mean on that one.

Jeremy: Yeah. I think it’s a matter of before you get on the bus then, it’s almost chaos to get on the bus but once you’re on the bus then it’s all over then you’ve made it and now, you don’t have to care about other people anymore.

Abidemi: That’s true.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Abidemi: Thank you.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

pet peeve


Can you tell us some of your pet peeves?

A pet peeve is something that bothers you. Notice the following:

  1. My pet peeve is people not washing their hands before they touch food.
  2. Checking your phone while talking to someone is one of her pet peeves.

control myself


I can barely control myself when I’m in these situations.

When you control yourself, you control your temptations or anger. Notice the following:

  1. I was so upset I could not control myself.
  2. I really want that chocolate, but I can control myself.

drive people mad


The bus situation can really drive people mad

When you drive people mad, you bother them with your behaviour. Notice the following:

  1. It drives me mad when people talk when chewing.
  2. It drives her mad when her rommate does not clean the kitchen after cooking her dinner.

Note: Drives me crazy = Drives me mad.

get under my skin


It just get under my skin.

When something gets under your skin, it annoys you or upsets you. Notice the following:

  1. His comments are getting under my skin.
  2. It is very easy to get under her skin.

make or break


It’s simple bus etiquette that can make or break your day.

Make or break refers to outcomes that determine if something succeeds or fails. Notice the following:

  1. Getting a seat on the bus can make or break my day.
  2. Passing this test will make or break my ability to get into college.

common courtesy


Why are they ignoring common courtesy?

A common courtesy is a polite action all people are expected to do. Notice the following:

  1. Sending a thank-you note for a gift received is common courtesy.
  2. Holding the door open for people behind you is a common courtesy.

common sense


You would think it’s common sense.

Common sense is something everyone is expected to know. Notice the following:

  1. It is common sense that the mall is busy during holidays.
  2. His lack of common sense cost him his job.

Vocabulary Quiz

make or break • drives me • control myself
under my skin • pet peeve • common courtesy
  1. I try to when I get mad.
  2. People smoking near kids mad.
  3. She like to get .
  4. Saying thank you is a .
  5. This deal can our business.
  6. My biggest is people who talk too loud.

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