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Learning English:  The worst words in the English language

(Information taken from the Marist Poll website)

 

For the fourth consecutive year, Americans consider “whatever” to be the most annoying word or phrase in conversation.  More than three in ten -- 32% -- have this view while “like” irritates 21% of residents nationally.  17% are most irked by “you know” while 10% would prefer to ban “just sayin’” from today’s lexicon.  “Twitterverse” annoys 9% of adults while 5% are ticked off by “gotcha.”  Five percent are unsure of what to pick.  

 

Whatever!

In last year’s survey, 38% thought “whatever” to be the most obnoxious word in casual conversation while 20% said “like” was the most irritating.  19% despised hearing “you know” while “just sayin’” was the most bothersome to 11% of Americans.  “Seriously” made last year’s list with 7% reporting it was the most annoying word in conversation.  Five percent, at that time, were "unsure."

 

The Unique View

Personally speaking, I shudder when I hear the word "totally" used in the wrong context:  "It was like totally unbelievable"  is a sentence that I hear a few too many times when in the US, yet the Marist Poll does not mention that word as particularly annoying.  I assume that this is because it has entered the lexicon and people regard it as similar to words in British English such as "generally" or "honestly."

 

If I were to have been asked by one of the researchers for my least favourite word in the English language, I wouldn't have to think too long:  "chillax" is a horrific word that seems to be used a lot by our Prime Minister.  It is meant to combine "chill out" and "relax", yet means the same thing.  A horrible word that should be consigned to the dustbin as soon as possible!

 

Reaching Out

The latest word, or expression, that is being used a few too many times for my liking is "reach out", as in "We are attempting to reach out to you about this or that."  Whatever happened to contact?  A fine word that has existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years, yet now seemingly consigned to the dustbin.  

 

Here is a table providing greater details about the most annoying words or phrases.  

 

 

Unique Language Training runs courses in English language skills in London, on-line and in other selected parts of the UK.  For further information, please telephone 020 3566 0145.  You can also e-mail us or fill in the form on this page.  

 

 

 

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