It's one of those surveys that make you wonder how they reach these conclusions. More to the point, why did poll takers bother going around asking Americans what their most annoying word is. In the end, will it have any effect, anyway?
Again for the second consecutive year no less, the word 'whatever' topped a Marist poll for being the most annoying word or phrase in the English language. Who wants to know this and why?
To discover the answer to this question, one must go to the source of the question, the Marist Poll, for a further explanation. To break it down, 39% of Americans actually despise(!) the word followed by 'like' coming in at 28%. Following close behind, 'you-know-what-I-mean' is deemed the biggest verbal gaffe by 15% of the population. Close on the heels is 'to-tell-you-the-truth' at 10% and 'actually' is irritating to a mere 5% of the population.
Come to think of it (a term I use very often and probably bugs a lot of people) these are phrases that most people utter regularly. My choice is you-know-what-I-mean. There is something about that phrase...
Interestingly, among younger Americans in the 18 to 29 category, 44% wouldn't mind if 'like' was eliminated for everyday conversation, while 37% of those in the 30-44 age category claim the usage of the word 'whatever' bothers them the most. Finishing it off, 46% of Americans in the 45-59 age group and 40% of those in the 60 years old category agree.
In case anyone was wondering, "The Marist Institute for Public Opinion (MIPO) is a survey research center at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Founded in 1978, MIPO is home to the Marist Poll and regularly measures public opinion at the local, state, and national level. The Marist Poll is highly respected and is often cited by journalists and analysts around the globe."
Your most annonying word(s)?