Things that make you immediately stop reading something

So you start reading a book, article, essay, poem, whatever, and you’re thinking, “this will enrich my life in some way.” And then you get to some word, phrase, sentence, or idea that makes you go, “Nope! This is actually not worth my time.” What flips that switch for you*?

For me:

“Flyover country.” Use this phrase unironically, and I’m done with you. Also, as a resident of “flyover country” I will use my influence to stop our next shipment of food to you.

“Virtue signaling.” I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a person or written piece that used this phrase (unironically) that was worth further interaction. I accept that some people are hypocrites or poseurs, and they deserve criticism for that. But the phrase “virtue signaling” is just a shibboleth for douchebags.

Quoting The Art of War. This may just be peculiar to my field, information security. But when I start reading an article in a security publication, and the writer quotes the Art of War, I know it’s a shit article. “As Sun Tzu said, ‘Know your enemy’!” Well, as Winston Churchill said, “Good day, sir!”

OK, what makes you say, “Yeah, actually, fuck this.”

*NOTE: The rules are, you begin reading with reason to believe the work will be useful, or at least entertaining, but something in it makes you change your mind. So, please no answers like “It appears in publication XYZ” or “It was written by so-and-so”. Presumably those factors would prevent you from even starting to read it.

The use of the word “illegal” as a noun.

“The gay agenda.”

Anything with “check your privilege” used in a non-ironic manner. I know this is mostly my problem, not others’ use of the term. But fuck them too. I hate it still.

Using ‘First they came for the Jews…’ Maybe you’ve got something interesting to say, but I’m not sticking around to find out.

Anything written in textese. The word is spelled “you”, not “u”.

“Liberal” used as a blanket pejorative.

I didn’t know it was ever used seriously.

If I’m reading a blog post or comment and I see the word “leftist” or “printing”.
With “printing” I mean if it is used in relation with the FED or some other government agency.

Anytime that starts off with a warning that’s basically IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH THIS THAN FUCK YOU/YOU’RE STUPID. Or any article that obviously starts off very defensively for no real reason except because the author is so completely full of themselves they have to put a warning because they’re so right.

Also whenever somebody brings up “I know I’m a white guy talking about a non-white viewpoint” more than once. First time it’s understandable because you’re acknowledging the elephant in the room, but anything more seems like pandering. I once listened to a podcast talk about moviecasting and race and the 3 white hosts brought up the fact they were 3 white guys literally four times in 40 minutes, and they weren’t doing it in a joking manner.

I find that very few things that use the word “unpack” seriously are worth reading.

Any article about art or literature that uses the word “subvert”.

Yeah, I don’t think I’ve seen it used except as a description of how the writer thinks people on the coasts think, not what the people on the coasts or the writer actually think.

Any opinion piece with the name “Trump” in it. I am sick of the man and I am sick of the squalling from both his detractors and his defenders.

If there’s an initialized name or department, ( ABC ), WITHOUT following the common publishing protocol of spelling it out fully, upon first use, and ever thereafter abbreviated.

You can’t be arsed to be clear to your readers? I got better things to do than look up something that you’re trying to use in your discussion.
Be clear or be gone!

Any incorrect uses of apostrophes stop me in my tracks. If it’s just once I might give them a chance that it was a typo (but then why didn’t the editor catch it?) but not twice. There are a few other grammar issues I have (alot is one) but the apostrophes are the kiss of death.

“I know most of you won’t bother to read this . . .”

Fuck you. Passive aggressive bullshit.

Yep - this makes me stabby!!!

Same here, but the keyword/subject is “Brexit”.

I’d say when the word “teleological”* makes its first appearance.

  • And such.

Using “democrat” as an adjective.