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'Whatever' is most annoying English conversation word, says poll

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 08 Oct 2009 13:10 User comments (34)

'Whatever' is most annoying English conversation word, says poll According to the AP, a new survey of Americans showed that about half of those polled believed the word "whatever" was the most annoying English conversation word and hated when it was used during a conversation.
The poll was conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion and shows that "whatever" received 47 percent of the votes. Second and third place went respectively to "you know" and "it is what it is."

The word was made popular in the early 90s by the movie "Clueless" and by the band Nirvana and has not left the everyday English vocabulary since.

"It doesn't surprise me because 'whatever' is in a special class, probably,"
added Michael Adams, author of "Slang: The People's Poetry." "It's a word that and it depends how a speaker uses it can suggest dismissiveness."

The poll used 938 U.S. adults from around the States.

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34 user comments

18.10.2009 13:31

"Whatever" doesn't bother me nearly as much as people mispronouncing the word "especially", by putting an x in the word. I've never understood what makes that word so darn difficult for people to say but people somehow have trouble with it and it annoys the crap out of me. It's not the only word, that's given the x treatment but its the first to come to mind.

28.10.2009 13:34

i think the word "Like" is more annoying like oh my god she's like totally stealing him from me like um like! STFU!!!!! GRRRR

38.10.2009 13:53

Whatever *runs*

48.10.2009 14:28

They should have included; "like, wow, oh my God, hands down, and Uhhh"

58.10.2009 14:52

OMG seems to be quite popular along with adding ish to the ends of words.

68.10.2009 14:56

Do me a favor and hit the eXcape button for me, will you?

This poll has a pretty small pool of respondents. Probably all WASPs...

78.10.2009 15:05

Always bugged me how some people say axe instead of ask. Let me axe you a question dawg. Yep, they mess up too dog and add a w into it.

88.10.2009 15:08

I hate the word "whatever" as well, simply because it seems to be my partner's main response during arguments.

98.10.2009 16:30

I thought this website only posted technology/computer type news?

108.10.2009 16:33

I agree. I can't stand people who make constant abuse/use of the words "whatever" and "like".
I've heard stuff along the lines of "Can I axe you something" far too many times. Where the hell did that X come from? I can't stand it. It's a 3 letter word, how do you fuck that up?

118.10.2009 16:37

"like" trumps "whatever" IMO. "Whatever" is mostly used as a response, but people use "like" numerous times in strings of disjointed sentences during conversations. It's not uncommon to hear upwards of 20 "likes" during the course of conversation.

128.10.2009 18:25

Originally posted by bomber991:
Always bugged me how some people say axe instead of ask.

This and "Like" are my two biggest annoyances.

138.10.2009 18:35

Originally posted by slickwill:
I thought this website only posted technology/computer type news?
That is true, I decided to switch it up a little bit though, and give the regulars something different to comment on :)

148.10.2009 19:32

i dont think 'whatever' is that annoying. i do think that 'it is what it is' can get awfully annoying real quick. saying it twice is already too much.

158.10.2009 20:41

and "lulwut" is next!!

168.10.2009 21:21

meh whatever

178.10.2009 22:14

Originally posted by bam431:
meh whatever
Ditto, why do I care about this? And yeah, this doesn't even have anything to do with tech news.

188.10.2009 23:18

Originally posted by dragnandy:
i do think that 'it is what it is' can get awfully annoying real quick.

In the real world, and on the internet, I've actually NEVER heard ANYONE say that before. Perhaps I'm just lucky?
That or I hear just more than enough "like" and "whatever" to make up for it.

198.10.2009 23:55

The "axe" thing I think comes from guys not wanting to sound fey with the "s" sound, but ghetto girls do it too, so what do I know...

209.10.2009 0:12

For me it has always been "I could care less." The correct phrase is "I couldn't care less."

219.10.2009 0:49

haha very refreshing. we should get more of these every once in a while :)

229.10.2009 3:55

@ Moomoo2 & Unfocused

I heard that, man. Also when people say "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Huh?!? Ok, here I am with my cake. I have my cake. What is preventing me from eating my cake? Nothing! I have my cake, so I will eat it. End of story.

The saying is "You can't eat your cake and have it too." Because once you've eaten it you no longer have it. That, and when people say "supposably" when the word is very clearly written supposedly.

239.10.2009 4:44
chris4160
Inactive

Most annoying word (or four words) = "That's what she said"... so lame.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Oct 2009 @ 4:45

249.10.2009 5:59

I thought the most annoying words were MPAA, RIAA, and DMCA...I get very mad every time I read an article with one of those words in it.

"Whatever" does not bother me, in fact it is usualy a good thing...
Me: "What do you want to eat?"
Her: "Whatever"
Translation: I get to choose, so long as it is something that she likes.

"Like" is like very annoying you like know because like dumb people like to like say it as like everyother word that they like speek. This is just like ignorant and like annoying...but like at least like you can easily like tell that whoever like keeps saying "like" is a dumbass...it like takes longer to find that out if they don't say "like" all the time.

BTW...I am a futurama fan, so when someone says "AX" instead of "ASK" I just get a little chuckle out of it...does not bother me at all...just like when someone says "Christmas" as "X-Mas".

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Oct 2009 @ 6:01

259.10.2009 6:14

"prolly" instead of "probably"

Not so much hearing it. More when I read it. People are too lazy to type the extra 2 letters.

269.10.2009 10:00

LOL, this isn't about technology but it's cool.

279.10.2009 18:08

I personally carry a hidden badge as a member of the grammar police; and a lot of little things get under my skin:
Axing questions, Ex-caping, supposably... These things all get under my skin, in ways that I simply cannot describe.

That said, I also tend to give some allowances for newer 'web' slang. In chat, a lot of words are simply abbreviated for simplicity's sake. No single one of these words makes a noticable difference, but it is imagined that typing "prolly", "kk", and "lol" are going to save some time, rather than typing "probably", "okay", or "that's funny".

In my mind, there is a distinguishable difference between these web-slang offerings, and the spoken abominations common in our dialogue. Saying that you'd like to axe me a question doesn't save any amount of time, it doesn't even attempt to, it just tells me you're too lazy to move your mouth in a way that will allow you to separate two sounds in a word. It simply is downright lazy.

Webspeak, txtspeak, whatever you want to call it, comes from a perceived necessity to save time. Many of them started with instant messaging and chat rooms, but have become staples of text based dialogue through popular cell phone usage -for many users without smart phones, these really do save measurable time. When something like this really does have a measurable real use, you can only expect that it WILL pour over into other parts of language. People will begin to say 'prolly', you will hear geeks pronouncing 'lol!', and internet forums will continue to be full of all sorts of abbreviated english.

My point is that SOME of these words are rooted in true convenience, not simplified laziness; even if they are outside of their useful context, I take no personal issue with abbreviations and modifications to words that, in some form, allow for simpler communication.

That's my take on the whole bit.

Oh, and 'whatever' really is the most annoying word in the english language. No matter what context you use it in. The word is either an ode to indecisiveness, or passive disdain; either way it's a nuisance.

289.10.2009 22:54

Originally posted by KillerBug:

"Whatever" does not bother me, in fact it is usualy a good thing...
Me: "What do you want to eat?"
Her: "Whatever"
Translation: I get to choose, so long as it is something that she likes.

GAH I can't stand it when my wife says that because she's so damn picky. Takes forever to figure things out because in reality she's already made up her mind but just won't tell me...

I'd have to agree with the survey.

2910.10.2009 0:13

Quote:
Originally posted by KillerBug:

"Whatever" does not bother me, in fact it is usualy a good thing...
Me: "What do you want to eat?"
Her: "Whatever"
Translation: I get to choose, so long as it is something that she likes.

GAH I can't stand it when my wife says that because she's so damn picky. Takes forever to figure things out because in reality she's already made up her mind but just won't tell me...

I'd have to agree with the survey.
In that case, if she wasn't saying "whatever" she would be saying something just as criptic, such as "I don't know" or "You Pick" or "It doesn't matter". If a wife wants to confuse a husband, she does not need magic words.

3010.10.2009 11:03

Originally posted by DDR4life:
@ Moomoo2 & Unfocused

I heard that, man. Also when people say "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Huh?!? Ok, here I am with my cake. I have my cake. What is preventing me from eating my cake? Nothing! I have my cake, so I will eat it. End of story.

The saying is "You can't eat your cake and have it too." Because once you've eaten it you no longer have it. That, and when people say "supposably" when the word is very clearly written supposedly.
The cake is a lie.

3110.10.2009 11:07
asjdua
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by slickwill:
I thought this website only posted technology/computer type news?
That is true, I decided to switch it up a little bit though, and give the regulars something different to comment on :)
whatever...

3210.10.2009 16:36

Quote:
Quote:
Originally posted by KillerBug:

"Whatever" does not bother me, in fact it is usualy a good thing...
Me: "What do you want to eat?"
Her: "Whatever"
Translation: I get to choose, so long as it is something that she likes.

GAH I can't stand it when my wife says that because she's so damn picky. Takes forever to figure things out because in reality she's already made up her mind but just won't tell me...

I'd have to agree with the survey.
In that case, if she wasn't saying "whatever" she would be saying something just as criptic, such as "I don't know" or "You Pick" or "It doesn't matter". If a wife wants to confuse a husband, she does not need magic words.
why so specific? every female that wants to confuse a man will do so words magic words or no words at all..haha its funny how in this article its ok to get off topic cuz(ya cuz- i said it!) the article itself is not "on topic" :P

3322.10.2009 2:12

spelling and grammar is very important but people are just lazy bastards.

personally, i'd never type "prolly" as part of a sentence that i intend for someone to read. i'd type prob'ly instead. just to let you know i've got a grasp on it's original spelling by using that apostrophe to substitute the missing 'ab'. not specifically to save time but more so to save letters in a txt msg.

Wife: "what do yo want to eat"
Me: "whatever you like", "it's whatever", "whatever", "it doesnt matter, just feed me. i'll prob'ly enjoy myself anyway."

whatever - is what i would consider to be the epitome of indecision and could have the most negative impact on a conversation. but as before, "it's whatever". why anyone would pronounce 'ell oh ell' or 'lol' (or even 'lulz') is beyond my comprehension. i just give a big fat 'ha!' and be done with it. ask = axe (or ax) doesnt bother me. 'prolly' bothers me more than that.

what about "idunno"? does that get to anyone?

3422.10.2009 16:56

what about... uh its like the um worst joint word used by uh politicians becuase uh that thing in there um ear is like slower than uh presidents own thoughts thats if uh he has um any.

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