We at the Examiner are writers of few words — 500 a day, usually, at most. So we like to choose them carefully. Marist College has a new poll of the most annoying words and phrases of the year. Note to self: Quit saying “whatever” all the time.
For our money, it's the phrases that are the most irritating, and especially those frequently deployed on cable: “at the end of the day,” “blood and treasure,” “it is what it is” and “look,” as the start of an answer to a question. Barf.
According to Marist, 39 percent of Americans rank “whatever” as the most annoying word in the lexicon. Running a close second was “like” with 28 percent. “You know what I mean” got the nod of 15 percent, and “to tell you the truth” was considered worst by 10 percent.
Big surprise that “actually” was deemed intolerable by only 5 percent. When J.P. Freire says it all the time, we start looking around for the very sharp letter-opener.