"Whatever" deemed most annoying word: poll

NEW YORK Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:20pm EST

Related Topics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Do you want to kill a conversation? Try saying "whatever."

Words like "you know" and "like" might be irritating to hear, but for the third year in a row, it's "whatever" that holds the most power to annoy, according to an annual survey by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Nearly four in ten adults named "whatever" as the most annoying verbal filler in casual conversation, while one in five adults had similar disdain for "like" and 'you know."

"Just sayin'" and "seriously" were more forgiving to the ears, though still quite irritating, Marist found.

The telephone survey of 1,026 adults nationally had a margin of error of three percentage points.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; editing by Patricia Reaney)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (7)
AlisonR1 wrote:
This definitely sounds pretty accurate. Ten years later I’ve found, “whatever” is still the most despised word in my mother’s dictionary. I still use it though, just to annoy her. :)

Dec 16, 2011 6:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Fatesrider wrote:
“Just sayin’” means “Just insulting you to your face.”

Seriously = “What kind of an idiot is that???”

“Whatever” = “I don’t care enough about this to say anything more.”

“Like” = Mental block.

One thing that missed the list: “I’m all…”

All of these examples are signs of acute mental laziness.

Dec 16, 2011 6:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Mafettig wrote:

Dec 16, 2011 7:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.