“Whatever” Most Annoying Word in 2016

Once again, “whatever” claims the title of most annoying word or phrase used in casual conversation, according to The Marist Poll, a national public opinion poll operated by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion on the campus of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

“Whatever” irritates 38% of Americans followed by “no offense, but” with 20%.  “You know, right” is irksome to 14% of residents nationally as is “I can’t even,” 14%.  “Huge” grates on the nerves of 8% of Americans, and 5% are unsure.

However, “whatever” may be losing some steam.  In 2015, 43% of residents cited “whatever” to be the most annoying.  “No offense, but” followed with 22%, and “like” came in third with 20%.  Seven percent thought “no worries” was irritating, and “huge” received 3%.  Four percent were unsure.

Age matters.  Nearly half of Americans 45 years of age or older, 49%, believe “whatever” to be the most annoying, but among younger Americans, there is little agreement.  27% mention “whatever” followed by “no offense, but” and “I can’t even” each with 24%.  Digging deeper, “whatever” tops the list for those 30 to 44 years old, 33%, Americans 45 to 59 years of age, 48%, and those 60 and older, 49%.  Among Americans under 30, “I can’t even” takes top honors with 33%.

Regardless of race, “whatever” receives the dubious distinction of most annoying word or phrase.  However, African Americans, 57%, and Latinos, 42%, are more likely to have this view than whites, 35%.

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