A poll done in the United States by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion has revealed the most despised words of 2013. Among the most hated words to pop up in conversations were “like,” “you know,” “Just sayin’” and “obviously.” “Twitterverse” (I’m not hip enough to even comprehend that slang) and “gotcha” rounded out the list. But the title of the most annoying word in the English language is reserved for an especially bothersome statement that found its way into our vocabulary in the last 20 years or so. In fact, it’s such a cringe-worthy statement that it’s topped the charts for the past five years – and still hasn’t died. Whatever. It’s a word that’s meant to say “I don’t care,” but in most cases it says something completely different. It screams “You win!” Anytime you’re in an argument with someone and they let this word slip from their mouth, it’s all over. Example: Wife: “Sweetie, could you please fold the towels nicely before you put them away? I want the house to look clean when Bob and Susan get here.” Husband: “But honey, the Smiths aren’t going to be rummaging through the bathroom cupboards.” Wife: “Whatever.” I don’t think I need to point out who the winner of this disagreement was. Some of you may recall that I’ve vowed not to make any resolutions on the first day of the new year. I’m sticking to that. However, if I was to make a new year’s resolution, this would be it: to use the word “like” less often. Much less often. Because we all know those people who use this one-syllable word way too easily. And it’s not just the stereotypical 13-year-old girl who’s overusing it, it’s everyone – from four-year-olds to 40-year-olds. I have girl friends who can say “like” half a dozen times in a sentence where it serves absolutely no purpose. They use it so much I can barely focus on the point they’re making. There are even TV shows that have become drinking games because of the characters who are guaranteed to use the same word or statement multiple times in an episode. And it makes me wonder: am I guilty of using a certain word or phrase to such an extent it becomes annoying? If so, please let me know what it is and I’ll do my best to tone it down or abolish it completely from my vocabulary. If I could add a few more words to the do-not-use list, they would include “so yeah,” “sitch,” (and essentially every other ridiculous-sounding abbreviated version of a word, from “diff” to “hilar”) “epic fail” and the subtle insult of “no offence, but….” While we’re at it, texting abbreviations are also becoming so obscure I feel more like a caveman than a Gen Y-er. If I have to take the time to google it to understand what you’re saying, it kind of defeats the purpose of an abbreviation. So, you know, let’s like try not to abuse the English language and irritate those around us with our worthless filler words and whatever, OK? Just sayin’.
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