News

‘Whatever’ is America’s ‘most annoying’ word

‘Whatever’ is America’s ‘most annoying’ word

WHATEVER!: We really don't like that word. Photo: clipart.com

By Kevin Murphy

(Reuters) – Hands down, no word grates on Americans more than “whatever,” a public opinion survey says.

The casual “whatever” was rated the most annoying word by 38 percent of 1,173 adults surveyed in early December by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. That is up from 32 percent a year earlier, pollsters said. What’s more, “whatever” has topped the annoying word charts for five straight years.

“The word can be very dismissive and rude,” said Mary Griffith, media director for Marist. “It’s a put-down to some extent and it can signal to the other person that what they are saying is not important.”

With apologies to Facebook, Americans also do not like the word “like,” which ranked second in the survey of most annoying words, at 22 percent. The term “you know” pulled 18 percent, “just sayin” 14 percent, and “obviously” 6 percent. Two percent of respondents were unsure.

Marist began polling on annoying words five years ago. The word choices are provided to the respondents based on Marist research and prior surveys, Griffith said. While most Marist surveys focus on politics, the poll on annoying words is enlightening, she said.

“We like to keep a finger on the pulse of popular culture,” Griffith said.

In the same survey, Marist pollsters wanted to know what political word or phrase Americans would like to see disappear in 2014. “Obamacare” was mentioned by 41 percent of respondents as a word they do not want to hear next year.

Americans are also averse to and would like to eliminate the Washington terms “shutdown” and “gridlock,” which got votes from 30 percent and 11 percent, respectively. “Fiscal cliff” got 10 percent of the vote and “sequestration” 4 percent. Four percent of respondents were unsure.

(Reporting By Kevin Murphy; editing by Gunna Dickson)

Recent Headlines

1 min ago in Sports

NASCAR changes to franchise model

Fresh

NASCAR has announced a dramatic overhaul of its business model, shifting to a franchise-like system that is intended to provide actual value and financial stability to team owners.

6 mins ago in Sports

It’s now Professor Selig

Fresh
budselig

The former baseball commissioner has a new gig.

8 mins ago in Sports

Feb. 10, 2016: Wednesday’s Sports Minute

Fresh

Here’s a look at some of today’s big sports headlines. WARRIORS WIN 10th STRAIGHT The red-hot Golden State Warriors are…

19 mins ago in Local

Lawmakers remain split on right-to-die debate in New York

Fresh
state leg

Debate focuses on whether terminally-ill New Yorkers should be allowed to choose to end their lives; opponents say any action needs to be taken cautiously

24 mins ago in Local

3 injured in Route 13 crash in Newfield

Fresh
Tompkins County sheriff

Head-on crash happened at around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday on Route 13 near Burdge Hill Road