Marist Poll Results & Analysis: Annoying Word or Phrase 2020

Actually, It’s Like Whatever, Again

For the twelfth consecutive year, Americans consider whatever (47%) to be the most annoying word or phrase used in conversation. Whatever outpaces like (19%) by more than two-to-one followed by in my opinion with 13%. In this era of virtual meetings, you’re on mute receives 9%. Another 9% select actually.

Whatever (34%) also topped last year’s list of annoying words and phrases which included no offense, but (20%), dude (16%), literally (14%), and please wait, I’ll be right with you (9%).

Those age 45 or older (53%) are more likely to loathe whatever than those under the age of 45 (39%).

National consensus exists on the dislike of the word. Regardless of region of residence, whatever is thought to be the most annoying word or phrase around: 54% in the Northeast, 51% in the West, 45% in the South, and 40% in the Midwest. Women (52%) are more likely than men (42%) to abhor whatever.