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12/21: “Whatever” Most Annoying Word or Phrase, Except Among Young Americans

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12/21: “Whatever” Most Annoying Word or Phrase, Except Among Young Americans

It’s the most annoying (word) time of the year!  Once again, “whatever” claims the title of most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation.

“Whatever” irritates 38% of Americans followed by “no offense, but” with 20%.  “You know, rightis irksome to 14% of residents nationally as is “I can’t even,” 14%.  “Huge” grates on the nerves of 8% of Americans, and 5% are unsure.

However, “whatever may be losing some steam.  In 2015, 43% of residents cited “whateverto be the most annoying.  “No offense, but” followed with 22%, and “like” came in third with 20%.  Seven percent thought “no worries” was irritating, and “huge” received 3%.  Four percent were unsure.

Age matters.  Nearly half of Americans 45 years of age or older, 49%, believe “whatever” to be the most annoying, but among younger Americans, there is little agreement.  27% mention “whatever” followed by “no offense, but” and “I can’t even” each with 24%.  Digging deeper, “whatever” tops the list for those 30 to 44 years old, 33%, Americans 45 to 59 years of age, 48%, and those 60 and older, 49%.  Among Americans under 30, “I can’t even” takes top honors with 33%.

Regardless of race, “whatever” receives the dubious distinction of most annoying word or phrase.  However, African Americans, 57%, and Latinos, 42%, are more likely to have this view than whites, 35%.

Complete December 21, 2016 Marist Poll Release of the United States

Complete December 21, 2016 Marist Poll Tables of the United States

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample

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30 Comments

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  10. richard schmidt

    December 22, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    and nobody mentioned “no problem” ??? i go nuts everytime i say thank you and get “no problem” in return-it has replaced “you’re welcome” in most young people’s vocabularies

  11. Barbara Bryson

    December 22, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    And another thing. What’s with starting a sentence with “I mean”? That makes absolutely no sense at all. I don’t have a problem with slang, but when people can’t even spell the tense of a word correctly, I wonder what they were taught in school. That actually has nothing to do with starting a sentence with I mean, but I thought I would just go ahead and rant about everything while I’m at it. The English language is being destroyed!!!!

  12. Barbara Bryson

    December 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Where have these people been? As a member of the grammar, spelling, etc police, I truly believe the overuse of the word “like” has been completely overlooked; i.e., “l was like scared to death.” Even adults and seniors citizens do this. What has happened to common sense? Don’t people know how ignorant they sound? I am like so happy to get that off my chest!!!!!

  13. Jean-Claude

    December 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Nooooo, you’ve got one wrong there…..it’s not “you know, right”, not YOU, it’s “I know, right?” (inflection up at the end like a question )) which is by the way my vote for top of the list. Instantly makes an adult sound like a middle-schooler.

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  22. David Jobes

    December 21, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    I had guessed that the phrase “No problem…” would share the top bill. For most annoying phrase.

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