News

‘Whatever’ is America’s ‘most annoying’ word

‘Whatever’ is America’s ‘most annoying’ word

WHATEVER!: We really don't like that word. Photo: clipart.com

By Kevin Murphy

(Reuters) – Hands down, no word grates on Americans more than “whatever,” a public opinion survey says.

The casual “whatever” was rated the most annoying word by 38 percent of 1,173 adults surveyed in early December by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. That is up from 32 percent a year earlier, pollsters said. What’s more, “whatever” has topped the annoying word charts for five straight years.

“The word can be very dismissive and rude,” said Mary Griffith, media director for Marist. “It’s a put-down to some extent and it can signal to the other person that what they are saying is not important.”

With apologies to Facebook, Americans also do not like the word “like,” which ranked second in the survey of most annoying words, at 22 percent. The term “you know” pulled 18 percent, “just sayin” 14 percent, and “obviously” 6 percent. Two percent of respondents were unsure.

Marist began polling on annoying words five years ago. The word choices are provided to the respondents based on Marist research and prior surveys, Griffith said. While most Marist surveys focus on politics, the poll on annoying words is enlightening, she said.

“We like to keep a finger on the pulse of popular culture,” Griffith said.

In the same survey, Marist pollsters wanted to know what political word or phrase Americans would like to see disappear in 2014. “Obamacare” was mentioned by 41 percent of respondents as a word they do not want to hear next year.

Americans are also averse to and would like to eliminate the Washington terms “shutdown” and “gridlock,” which got votes from 30 percent and 11 percent, respectively. “Fiscal cliff” got 10 percent of the vote and “sequestration” 4 percent. Four percent of respondents were unsure.

(Reporting By Kevin Murphy; editing by Gunna Dickson)

Recent Headlines

1 day ago in National

Making headlines this week

kansasweatherAP

A look back at some of the biggest newsmakers this week and the headlines you may have missed.

1 day ago in National

Teen pregnancies hit historic low

sexed296416402183

The annual survey shows the continuation of a downward trend that began in 2006 and continued through 2014, the latest year of complete data, when nearly 250,000 babies were born to girls and women aged 15 to 19.

1 day ago in National

U.S. high court approves rule change to expand FBI hacking power

A lock icon, signifying an encrypted Internet connection, is seen on an Internet Explorer browser in a photo illustration in Paris in this April 15, 2014 file photo.

The Supreme Court on Thursday approved a rule change that would let U.S. judges issue search warrants for access to computers located in any jurisdiction despite opposition from civil liberties groups who say it will greatly expand the FBI's hacking authority.

1 day ago in National, World

Biden visits Iraq in show of support amid multiple crises

11-overlay-9

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other top officials in unannounced visits to Baghdad and Erbil on Thursday to show support for a government battling Islamic State amid political and economic crises.

1 day ago in National, World

No wall, but more high-tech gear, fencing sought by U.S. border agents

borderwallREUTERS

The modest scope of the requirements, details of which were contained in internal emails seen by Reuters and described by Border Patrol officials in interviews, contrasts sharply with calls by Republican presidential candidates for more drastic measures to secure the border.