A user has

Pet peeves include unreadable code (from poor formatting) and in-line styles.

in their description. Thanks to WordReference, I know that a pet peeve is "a particular and often continual annoyance".

But who do the pet peeve annoy? In my case, is the user annoyed by in-line style, or does the user annoy someone else by using in-line style?

  • 1
    In the case of the example, the peeved person is the one who gets frequently annoyed when forced to read poorly formatted code -- normally the one who says "this is my pet peeve".
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 20:21
  • pet: "2. adjective Someone's pet theory, project, or subject is one that they particularly support or like." + peeve: "If something is your peeve or your pet peeve, it makes you particularly irritated or angry."
    – user3169
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 20:57
  • Possibly related to ell.stackexchange.com/questions/77772/usage-of-pet-in-pet-peeve)
    – Peter
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:04

4 Answers 4


This user is the one who is annoyed. It sounds like you found this on some kind of profile/description page. In these kinds of pages, it is not uncommon to write abbreviated sentences. The statements included in the profile page are usually about yourself. The complete, implied sentence is

My pet peeves include unreadable code (from poor formatting) and in-line styles.

Generally, when you talk about your own pet peeve, you will say

  • X is a pet peeve of mine.
  • My pet peeve is X.

This means that X annoys you.

This abbreviated style is similar to what people (stereotypically) have on their dating profiles:

  • Likes long walks on the beach. (= I like long walks on the beach.)
  • Dislikes liars. (= I dislike liars.)
  • Thanks, I think I never saw "pet peeves" in a gramatically correct sentence, only in profiles or self-descriptions.
    – Trucy
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 7:36

A pet peeve is something that annoys the person in possession of it. For example, if someone is irritated by the misuse of the words 'there' and 'their' in writing, they would say they have a pet peeve when it concerns those words. A usage example might be,

"It's a personal pet peeve of mine when someone does not hold the elevator doors open."


"One of my pet peeves is when people write for all intense and purposes, rather than intents."

Anything that can be pointed to as a minor source of irritation, which is likely to occur with some regularity, can be described as a pet peeve. In the case of your example, the pet peeves are annoying not to the people who commit the errors, but to those people who care that code is reachable and that in-line styles are not used.

  • my ex used for all intensive purposes!
    – WRX
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 20:37

A pet peeve is something that is really annoying and disturbing for you. For something to be a pet peeve it has to annoy you more than it does other people.

A common pet peeve example: People chewing with their mouths open.

If you see someone chewing with his mouth open, and you feel annoyed, you want to leave that place because you are irritated, we can say it's your pet peeve!

It is explained in more detail in this video: https://youtu.be/5MAu3nam-xU


To put it simply, a pet peeve is something that you particularly dislike. This idiom is similar in spirit to the expression of French origin bête noire. For example:

I like Chinese electronic products because they're dirt cheap! But, on the other hand, they are one of my greatest pet peeves because every once in a while they break on you as soon as you pull them out of the box thereby wasting your, though not huge, but still hard-earned money.

As for the example you provided, don't you find it annoying when you open up a source code file in your text editor and realize that the formating is so atrocious that you just can't read it? Don't you hate that? Well, most people do. And that's why a poor code formatting style is considered by many programmers and coders one of their biggest pet peeves.

What I personally consider one of my biggest pet peeves on this website is when people downvote your question or answer without explaining why they did that. Don't you hate that?


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