(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.
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!
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.
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