Is it just me, or is it the general consensus that the universal list of pet peeves is getting longer?

Blame it on the winter doldrums. Blame it on age. Whatever. I’m finding recently that some things I’ve previously been able to ignore are really starting to get on my nerves.

Let’s start with people who don’t cover their mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing. Not only is this gross, it’s not healthy. It’s flu season, for crying out loud! Nobody wants your germs – festering in those 3,000 droplets expelled in a cough at 50 mph, and 100,000 droplets from a sneeze at 100 mph (stats from

If you can’t grab a tissue or paper towel or your mommy’s skirt, please sneeze into your sleeve or down your shirt!

Speaking of unhealthy, how about those who nibble off the salad bar – with their hands?

Our hands get dirty by default when we are in a public place (think door knobs, grocery cart handles, tabletops and chairs). When you snag an olive from a salad bar, pop it in your mouth and grab another, you are contaminating the entire bin.

Don’t do that!

And servers, please do not handle my water glass by the top – you know, the rim from which I drink. I don’t know where your hands have been, but I know that busy kitchen is not immaculate during dinner service.

This is one more reason to appreciate the simple straw. But they’re plastic and they end up in our oceans. Maybe I just need to buy a stainless steel straw and take it with me everywhere.

And of course the ultimate peeve: traffic. Lately it has been people who slow down and speed up between their texting while driving. My son pointed out this phenomenon during a recent road trip. He noted that the car ahead of us continued to change speeds. “She speeds up right after she sends a text,” he said, “then she slows down while she reads the reply and types the next one.”

Since that trip, I’ve noticed several others doing this. In nearly every case, the culprit has been a middle-aged woman – generally in a large SUV.

Teens, you aren’t off the hook, but please tell your mom to stop texting and driving too.

Lest readers think I’m blaming others for all my pet peeves, here’s a final thorn in my side: I absolutely abhor seeing typos in this newspaper that we work so hard to make perfect. Every word in this issue – in every issue – is ultimately my responsibility as editor.

In our last issue, I got the dates wrong on our arts section cover page for a major Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra event. (To set the record straight, BravoPiano will run March 8-12.)

I also missed a simple word in a headline: “is” should have been “it.” The headline sounded stupid because of one little letter.

These are but the latest in my editorial goofs. I have also misspelled the name of our new assistant editor three times. In print. I’m not sure she has forgiven me yet.

Yes, we have a copy editor and a proofreader, and we all do our level best to catch errors in our copy and our ads.

Alas, as with every other person I know, we are all mere humans. For that reason, I’m going to make a concerted effort to cut us all some slack. I hope you’ll join me.

Just don’t sneeze on me.