A general pet peeve of mine is when an author or film maker attempts to depict military action, or a military milleu, and obviously lacks the knowledge to do it right.
One specific annoyance in the last decade or more is the hand-arm signals used by actors portraying fighting men.
(Such signals are used by marines and infantry while moving tactically in the field, prior to contact, lest they break noise discipline by talking.)
Now, granted: units down to the platoon level often develop their own S.O.P.s for signaling, but in my experience the basic set of signals (get in the wedge; move out; double-time; cease-fire; rally point; head count; halt; freeze; enemy sighted; etc.) are universal across the combat arms in both the US Army and USMC.
So here’s what I think happened: Some movie was made depicting soldiers or marines on a patrol or some other tactical movement. The point man heard or saw something to make him suspect the enemy was close, so he gave the signal to “freeze.” The grunts stopped in their tracks. Some other film maker watched the scene and decided, “Hey, that’s kinda’ cool. Now I know everything I need to know about tactical movement.”
So that film maker, when it was his turn to display his wealth of military research, had an actor use the gesture when it was his turn to film such a scene. Problem is, he thought it was the symbol for “halt,” (open palm facing the troops: “Come to a stop, you richard-heads.”) which is used in different circumstances than “freeze” (raised fist: “Don’t make a move or you might get all our asses shot off!)
After that, any time a similar scene was shot in any subsequent military movie, rather than hire an advisor to police basic minutia like this, the director went by how it was done in the last flick. After all, “it looked cool.”
So now, invariably, the “freeze” signal is used to command a halt on the screen (even in non-tactical situations, and even in vehicle convoys).
The fallacy is so ubiquitous that I wouldn’t be surprised if actual soldiers begin jacking up the S.O.P. in a life-imitates-art manner after having grown up on these poorly researched movies.
[End of rant.]