For the ninth consecutive year, Americans say “whatever” is the most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation, according to the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
One-third (33%) of Americans consider “whatever” to be the most annoying word or phrase. The recent addition of “fake news” takes second place with 23% followed closely by “no offense, but” with 20%. Eleven percent think “literally” is the most grating word used in conversation, while 10% assert “you know what I mean” is the most agitating.
Opinions differ based on age, the poll finds. Forty percent of U.S. residents ages 45 and older believe “whatever” is the most annoying spoken word, while 28% of Americans younger than 45 say “no offense, but” is the most bothersome. Among those younger than 45, 26% consider “whatever” to be the most grating word or phrase used in casual conversation.
By comparison, in 2016, “whatever” was considered most annoying by 38% of poll takers, and 20% chose “no offense, but.” “Ya know, right” and “I can’t even” each garnered 14%. Eight percent of Americans deemed “huge” to be the most irritating word or phrase spoken in casual conversation in 2016.