It shouldn't amaze you at all...it should be expected. You should be a tiny bit surprised at how ignorant some of the coaches and players are...but only a bit.
What should amaze you is how little so many umpires know about the rules of the game.
As far as the play at first...I know it technically doesn't match the definitions in the rule book, but what do you call it? Using the English language the batter IS forced to run to first, just like R1 is forced to run to second. That the rule makers decided to make some weird semantical differentiation for reasons known only to those partaking in snuff in a country club back room doesn't change the fact that those speaking English and using "force" as it is defined in the dictionary are not "wrong".
Even MLB.com's rules glossary uses the misnomer.
A force play occurs when a baserunner is no longer permitted to legally occupy a base and must attempt to advance to the next base. The defense can retire the runner by tagging the next base before he arrives, though not if the defensive team first forces out a trailing runner. In that instance, the force play is removed and the defense must tag the remaining runners to retire them.
First base tends to have the most force plays, as batters are eligible to be forced out at first any time they put the ball into fair territory and it is not caught in the air.