The word “whatever” held on to the dubious title of most irritating words or phrases for the second year running.
A Marist poll, as reported by Reuters, of 1,020 people found that 39 percent of 1,020 people grind their teeth at the utterance of the word, which, yes, is annoying if spoken with just the right inflection but pales when compared to its derivative “whateves,” used by the cool kids.
“Like” placed second on the list with 28 percent of people exhibiting bulging veins in their foreheads at the sound, and “you know what I mean” — is that interchangeable with “you know what I’m talking about”? — bugged the crap out of 15 percent of those polled.
Rounding out the top five, we have “to tell you the truth” at a 10 percent nerve-grating quotient and “actually” at a 5 percent shut-the-hell-up factor.
Classics such as “at the end of the day” — and God, that is one irritating phrase — “you know,” and “it is what it is” fell off this year’s ranking after strong showings last year, and where’s the justice?
Ah, whatever. [You know that was coming, didn’t you?]