So, you know, it is what it is, but Americans are totally annoyed by the use of "whatever" in conversations.
The popular slacker term of indifference was found "most annoying in conversation" by 47 percent of Americans surveyed in a
"Whatever" easily beat out "you know," which especially grated a quarter of respondents. The other annoying contenders were "anyway" (at 7 percent), "it is what it is" (11 percent) and "at the end of the day" (2 percent).
"Whatever" — pronounced "WHAT'-ehv-errr" when exasperated — is an expression with staying power. Immortalized in song by Nirvana ("oh well, whatever, nevermind") in 1991, popularized by the Valley girls in "Clueless" later that decade, it is still commonly used, often by younger people.
It can be an all-purpose argument-ender or a signal of apathy. And it can really be annoying. The poll found "whatever" to be consistently disliked by Americans regardless of their race, gender, age, income or where they live.
'A special class'
"It doesn't surprise me because 'whatever' is in a special class, probably," said Michael
Adams, who was not involved in the poll and is not annoyed by "whatever," points out that its use is not always negative. It also can be used in place of other, neutral phrases that have fallen out of favor, like "six of one, half dozen of the other," he said.
But the negative connotation might explain why "whatever" was judged more annoying than the ever-popular "you know," which was recently given a public workout by Caroline Kennedy during her flirtation with the
Pollsters at the
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