"Whatever" you say

How does a statement like this make you feel?

"Whatever you think about using grating words, at the end of the day it's actually better not to say whatever, if you know what I mean."

You should be somewhat pissed off, if the Marist poll on the most annoying word or phrase in the English language is anything to go by. "Whatever" tops the list, followed by "like", "you know what I mean", "to tell you the truth" and "actually".

What makes these words or phrases so irritating? If you look at these top five, you will notice that they are either dismissive, patronising or condescending.

How about the Chinese language? It will be interesting to have a poll like that. My personal picks of annoying words and phrases are context specific. When financial analysts on TV say "in terms of" in every other sentence to sound more professional, when salespersons in shops harrass you by saying "can I help you?", when cold callers reveal their identity by saying "how are you, sir?", it drives me mad.

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