Gina Florio
December 23, 2016 3:15 pm
Paramount Pictures

Every year, the Marist Institute for Public Opinion compiles a list of “Most Annoying Phrases,” based on a survey of 1,500 American adults. These people get to vent about which phrases irritate the heck out of them the most, and all the answers get recorded. The winner of 2016’s most hated phrase takes the prize for an eighth year in a row: “Whatever.”

Ah, how versatile that word can be. “Whatever” can mean all sorts of things. It can indicate indifference or boredom. It can be used to end an argument you know you simply can’t win. According to Urban Dictionary, “whatever” can also be “a polite and less vulgar alternative to ‘FUCK YOU.'” Yep, sounds pretty accurate.

Regardless of its many uses, Americans are sick and tired of hearing people say it. 38 percent of the adults who participated in the survey said it was their number one pet peeve, which is actually less than the 43 percent who said the same last year. Among the people between ages 18-29, though, the most annoying phrase was “I can’t even.” It seems that the older bunch of folks are the ones who are particularly over the use of “whatever.”

Other phrases that made the “Most Annoying Phrases” list include “No offense, but…,” which 20 percent expressed extreme dislike for, and “Ya know, right?” which 14 percent of people despise.

For those of us who were raised (and perhaps still stuck in) the ’90s, this is devastating, because “whatever” pretty much makes up the majority of our vocabulary. We’re sure the next generation will come up with something equally annoying, though. Until then, we’ll continue to “whatevs” our way through life.

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