For the fifth straight year, “whatever” has been selected as the most annoying word. Pollsters at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, conduct this research every year. I don’t, like, know how like isn’t, like, on top but it’s second-most annoying.  

I used “whatever” in a recent blog and I did it intentionally. The slang version of the word is meant to be dismissive. Instead of continuing a disagreement or a discussion people toss out “whatever” as a conversation-ender. I particularly dislike dismissive language or that which one-ups the other person. For example, “Ya think?”  You make a statement of some sort and the other person says, ya think, as another way of saying, wow, you’re kind of slow, but you finally caught up to where I’ve been all this time!  It’s a real barrier to communication.

After whatever and like came “you know” followed by another one I detest – just sayin’ – and then “obviously”.

They’re all annoying in their own way. In broadcasting we have the pleasure and pain of listening to how we sound on a regular basis. Most people do not and I think they would benefit from it. Not that I think we get it right all the time but we certainly develop a, you know, awareness of, like, how we sound, obviously.  Whatever. I’m just sayin’.

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