12/14: “Whatever” Retains Title of “Most Annoying Word or Phrase”

It’s “like” “whatever!”



According to The Marist Poll, “whatever” remains the most annoying word or phrase in conversation today.  39% of Americans despise the often tossed about term.  The uber-filler “like” is deemed the most irritating by 28%.  “You know what I mean” is considered the biggest verbal gaffe by 15% of the population.  “To tell you the truth” grates the most on 10% while “actually” receives the dubious distinction from 5%.  Three percent are unsure.

In October 2009, “whatever” was crowned king with 47%.  Other annoying words and phrases included in that survey were: “you know” (25%), “it is what it is” (11%), “anyway” (7%), and “at the end of the day” (2%).  Eight percent were unsure.

Younger Americans, those 18 to 29, currently have a different take.  44% of these residents wouldn’t mind if “like” is abolished in everyday conversation.  Their older counterparts disagree.  Among those 30 to 44, 37% say “whatever” gets on their nerves the most.  46% of Americans 45 to 59 and 40% of those 60 and older agree.

Table: Most Annoying Conversational Word or Phrase

Marist Poll Methodology

The Marist Poll’s Mary Azzoli discusses our latest “annoying words” poll: