12/19: “Whatever,” AGAIN!

For the sixth consecutive year, “whatever” tops the list as the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation.  Americans’ irritability about the term crosses most demographic groups.  However, in the Northeast, “like” and “whatever” are almost equally irksome.  Americans younger than 30 are the least likely to be perturbed by hearing “whatever.”

Which word or phrase is thought to be the most overused in 2014?  “Selfie” earns that dubious distinction.  While there is a consensus among most groups, a plurality of residents under 30 consider “hashtag” to be the word or phrase used too often during the last year.

Complete December 19, 2014 Marist Poll of the United States 

Poll points:

  • A plurality of Americans, 43%, thinks “whatever” is the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation.  “Like” is the most irritating for 23% of the population while “literally” gets on the nerves of 13%.  One in ten residents, 10%, reports “awesome” grates on them while 8% would prefer not to hear “with all due respect.”  Last year, “whatever,” 38%, defeated “like” which received 22%, “you know” which had 18%, “just sayin’” which garnered 14%, and “obviously” which was cited by 6%.
  • Regional differences exist.  Residents in the South, 50%, Midwest, 49%, and West, 34%, perceive “whatever” to be the most bothersome in casual conversation.  In the Northeast, “like,” 34%, and “whatever,” 33% are considered almost equally as irritating.
  • Americans under 30 years old, 36%, are less likely than older Americans, 46%, to consider “whatever” to be the most annoying.
  • “Selfie” is considered the most overused word or phrase by 35% of residents nationally.  27% say “hashtag” is the most worn out word.  “Twerk” receives 16% while “YOLO” garners 8%.  Five percent cite “twittersphere” as excessively used while 1% reports “hipster” was used too often.
  • While a plurality of Americans 30 and older, 38%, say “selfie” is the most overused word of 2014, 32% of younger residents think “hashtag” was used too much.

Marist Poll Methodology

Nature of the Sample and Complete Tables