Thursday, January 26, 2012

Like Literally Whatever

The English language is a wondrous thing full of beautiful and useful words (I should know. I am a writer, after all). But every now and again you run into words that get overused. Every year, the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion publishes the most annoying words used in daily conversation.

So what's the most annoying word of 2011?

Whatever took the top spot with 38% of the votes. Like came in second at 20%. Others in the category were "you know", "just sayin'" and "seriously."

There are some others I think should be on that list.

Literally: This one is overused and misused horribly. Literally means that it really truly happened, but most people use it in place of figuratively. 
Ex: Mom's head literally exploded when she saw the mess the dog left in the living room.If mom's head literally exploded, that would definitely be a mess. 

I know, right?: This is the one I'm most guilty of, and I hate that I use it so much, but I can't seem to stop myself.  

To be honest: I use this one a lot also, which makes no sense because I'm usually being honest before that, too.

Not to be mean or anything, but... If you have to preface with this, you probably shouldn't say what you're about to say. Just sayin'. ;)

So what are your pet conversation filler peeves? Are they on the list? Do you tend to use them, even though you hate them?


  1. When I first ventured west from my original hometown (Cincinnati), I noticed a tendency of people in Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland to end sentences with "or whatever." "Hey, do you want to go to Walmart or whatever?" "We should see a movie or whatever." "I think I'm going to take a walk or whatever." It's so superfluous. Why? Are people really that indifferent, or really can't think of a second option besides "whatever"? It... literally... makes my head explode. :-)

  2. I have to sadly admit that I'm guilty of a lot of these. I usually use "to be honest" when I'm saying something that I think the other person won't like but that I think needs to be said. (And you're right, I was being honest before too, so it's mostly a crutch for me.) I overuse "seriously" too. It's my fallback word when I don't know what else to say over the news someone has just given me.

  3. I use seriously and really a lot, too, Marcy.

    Stacy, I do that a lot, actually. I think it's because I'm afraid they won't like my idea so I give them an opening to suggest their own. That's also why I put "I think" in front of everything, so I have an out if I'm wrong. :P

  4. I am guilty of these. But then I am a valley girl. Like, what do you want for me, man. Seriously. Whatever.


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