Most Annoying Word Ever?!?! Pffffft. Whatever
A recent poll by the good people at Marist College concluded that the nearly half of Americans detest the word "whatever". I know. It is shocking. I can think of 100 words and phrases far more annoying than "whatever." My list would included such inanities as: leading expert, breaking his silence, his/her, and maverick. Those all need to go.
There are a lot of words to hate. But this is not one of them. "Whatever" is the most perfect word ever invented. It can fit nearly any situation and convey almost any emotion. For example:
Indifference: "Are you ever going to get out of bed and get a job. You are a lazy bum!" "Whatever, dude"
Contentedness: "Do you want a Twinkie or a Ding Dong for dessert?" "Whatever, dude"
Annoyance: "Sir, you can't keep standing up to do yoga stretches in the movie theatre" "Whatever, dude."
Mockery: "Your blog is informative, or, whatever."
See? It is nearly the perfect word. Kinda like the Swiss army knife of the English language.
Now, some people have taken this thing of beauty and tried to destroy it. I am speaking, of course, of Valley Girls, who have chopped it into two separate and distinct words (pronounced "what (pause) EV rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr." These people must be mocked into irrelevance, lest they destroy my beloved favorite word.
I will grant you that it is not universally, 100% of the time appropriate. For example, if you are leading your team to a Super Bowl win, and the other players in the huddle ask "What play are we running?" the last thing you want to be saying is "whatever." And if you're an airline pilot on final approach and ask the tower "Which runway is clear for me to land?" you probably don't want to hear "Um, yeah, whatever" back from air traffic control. But, barring extreme examples like those, the word fits in almost anywhere.
So, for the people who took the Maris College survey, I have only one response for you: