Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

The word “whatever” is like, totally annoying

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Greg Peck
December 23, 2013

What word or phrase in conversation most grates on your nerves? Yes, it's annoying, when, like, some teenager will like, you know, fill a conversation with, you know, like, totally irritating extra words.

However, I agree with those who answered a poll for Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. My late mother-in-law made a habit of responding with “whatever,” adding a hint of sarcasm or harshness, whenever someone said something she didn't want to hear. My wife likewise had picked up the habit. When Cheryl and I started dating, I “banned” the word, pointed it out each time she said it, and soon broke her of this practice. Of course, one of us will sometimes toss out a “whatever” when we're disagreeing about something or just use it in jest.

The Marist College poll found 38 percent of Americans consider “whatever” the most annoying word or phrase. “Like” is most annoying to 22 percent and “you know” most irritates 18 percent, topping “just sayin'” and “obviously.”

I'm surprised the clichéd response of “really?” didn't make the top five. Whatever. Oops; my bad.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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