Can you guess what would be the most annoying word in the English language? What are your thoughts? What is the most annoying word for you? Maybe you’ve guessed it? Or maybe you are reading this article and thinking to yourself: “Whatever.”
Exactly, “whatever” is the most annoying word in the English language. The word is often used among young people and it shows indifference or people pretending to be indifferent while they truly care and if they use the word often enough you can’t tell if they are honest or not.
How does that word make you feel when you hear it or when you use it? This word is not a particularly beloved one. Actually, for nine years in a row, the word “whatever” has been voted as the most annoying word in the English language.
“Seriously? Whatever” is something that we might hear from teenagers today. Probably when we say “whatever” we don’t feel like that and “Seriously? Whatever” is the deadly combination of what people find annoying. Think about if you use this word too often.
One of the most exciting days for the English language comes once a year when the New Marist Institute of Public Opinions releases a poll with the results of the most annoying words or phrases in the world. The word “whatever” is the number one most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation. The word which was commonly used in the movie “Clueless” had the number one spot for nine years from 2008 to 2017. From the year 2017 onward, we didn’t have a poll for the most annoying word in the English language.
It’s interesting that from 2017 when compared to 2016, “whatever” became more acceptable. The poll found that 28% of participants who were younger than 45 voted for “whatever” as the most annoying word while it was the number one choice for those of 45 years of age or more.
Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, the Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion said:
“It has been more than 20 years since ‘whatever’ first gained infamy in the movie ‘Clueless’. While the word irks older Americans, those who are younger might not find ‘whatever’ to be so annoying.”
What is it about that word that annoys Americans? Since 38% of participants from 1,005 participants in total found that word annoying, it’s worth looking into it. The Oxford Dictionary explains the word is:
“Said as a response indicating a reluctance to discuss something, often implying indifference.”
It’s that indifference that people find annoying. Maybe if you are using this word too often, you should think about the emotions that the word brings to your conscious. Do you find the word “whatever” annoying as well? Are you thinking about using the word “whatever” less?
Here is the list of the most annoying words in the English language in 2017:
- Whatever: 33%
- Fake news: 23%
- No offense, but: 20%
- Literally: 11%
- You know what I mean: 10%
From 2016, the list looks somewhat different:
- Whatever: 38%
- No offense, but: 20%
- You know, right? 14%
- I can’t even: 14%
- Huge: 8%
- Unsure: 5%
Fake news as a phrase was number two in 2017 and you have to admit it is annoying to think that there is something like fake news, usually, those two words don’t go together. If it’s fake then it’s not news, right? Literally! Another annoying word. You know what I mean? Most of these are used as slang words for the younger population such as a phrase from 2016: “I can’t even.”
Or some words are related to politics and President Trump such as “fake news” and “huge” these words gained traction during his presidency.