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Sunday, 2 February 2020

Sunday Rest: whatever. Word Not To Use Today.

According to the USA-based Marist Institute for Public Opinion, the most annoying word in the English language is whatever.

It has held this position for over a decade.

To be fair, the purpose of the word whatever is very often to annoy people (the implication being that your concerns are of no interest or importance to me whatever) so we must at least admit that it's effective.

Perhaps we should mark this word as annoying but useful.

Saying whatever is probably safer and more polite than stating your position in a whole sentence, anyway.

Sunday Rest: whatever. Whatever, in its dismissive sense, has been around for some time. It was so used in an episode of Bewitched in 1965 (that use was by a rather cranky witch, so it was never presented as a model for good behaviour).

Whatever is sometimes now abbreviated to evs


...I think that whatever might just possibly have yielded its most-annoying crown to evs.

The Old English form of what is hwæt; the Old English form of ever is æfre.

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