I really love the word and use it all the time -- Whatever! when I'm totally annoyed; whatever? when I don't care; whatever, when I'm too tired to think and really mean "leave me alone." But UPI reports that:
A New York pollster said its survey indicates "whatever" is considered the most annoying or phrase in the English language by 39 percent of U.S. adults.
The Marist Poll of 1,020 U.S. adults, conducted via telephone Nov. 15-18 by pollsters at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., found 39 percent of respondents despise the word "whatever," while 29 percent cited "like" as the most annoying word or phrase in contemporary conversation and 15 percent said they were most incensed when people say, "you know what I mean."
The survey found "to tell you the truth" is the most irritating phrase to 10 percent of those polled while 5 percent said the word "actually" is their least favorite thing to hear in a conversation.
Edward posted the following comment to this article: "Agree. Only used by low grade flunkies who want to appear to be more important than they are." Yikes!
I heard this word on the BBC this morning, spoken by a non-English speaker. It is a word in Italian and probably should be one in English. A person who provokes in provocative (correct); a person who provocates is provocative (incorrect).
I am constantly amazed by people who learn English quickly, given such oddities as this. I'm presently reading a book by an old (high-school) friend, Mary Lou Weisman, entitled Al Jaffee's Mad Life: A Biography. It is absolutely fascinating, totally original and some dark, and a beautiful edition with many colorful illustrations by Al Jaffee, cartoonist for Mad Magazine. His facility with languages makes me so envious. English, Lithuanian, Russian, Yiddish, and more ...