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The Most Annoying Word

teen-whateverA recent Marist Poll reveals that there is one word in the English language that annoys almost half of all Americans.  We hear it a lot and, not surprisingly, most often from our kids.  The word is frequently delivered with an eye roll and is the source of much parental exasperation.  Think you know what it is?

Whatever.

According to the poll,  those three little syllables rank at the very top of  words or phrases Americans find most annoying. I am guessing many of those polled were parents of teens.  “Whatever” is a word that was never intended to stand alone but somehow has evolved into a dismissive catch-all that says “I really couldn’t care less about what you are talking about and have no interest in continuing to converse with you.”  Or, you know, something like that.

Which brings us to the second most annoying phrase in the English language:  “you know.”  This one is abused by adults and kids alike and is so pervasive that many of us are unaware that we are constantly inserting into conversational pauses.  Which is probably why it is so annoying.

Coming in a distant third and fourth on the annoying list are “it is what it is” and “anyway.”

I agree that all those words and phrases are annoying, but my personal pet peeve is “awesome.”  That’s a word that gets way too much play and is almost never appropriate.  But somehow, it didn’t even merit a mention on the list of most annoying words or phrases.  Whatever.

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