“Whatever” deemed most annoying word: poll 20 Dec 11

(Reuters) – Do you want to kill a conversation? Try saying “whatever.”

Words like “you know” and “like” might be irritating to hear, but for the third year in a row, it’s “whatever” that holds the most power to annoy, according to an annual survey by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

Nearly four in ten adults named “whatever” as the most annoying verbal filler in casual conversation, while one in five adults had similar disdain for “like” and ‘you know.”

“Just sayin’” and “seriously” were more forgiving to the ears, though still quite irritating, Marist found.

The telephone survey of 1,026 adults nationally had a margin of error of three percentage points.