October 13, 2009

Whatever, bro, you know?

The Marist Institute for Public Opinion published their most recent poll of what word or phrase Americans just can't stand. According to them, the easiest way to send your fellow countrymen into a psychotic rage is to utter any of the following:

  • Whatever, with 47% of votes
  • You know, with 25%
  • It is what it is, with 11%
  • Anyway, with 7%, and
  • At the end of the day with 2%.
I like to think I'm not a language pedant, but I have to admit -- if someone came up to me and said, "At the end of the day, you've got to get up in the morning", I would have a few choice words of my own for them.

If they'd polled exclusively Dartmouth students, I wonder what the results would have been. My front runners for "most annoying word" at Dartmouth:

  • Flitzing -- Come on. It's just too cutesy. And the last dating refuge of the socially inept.
  • 'Schmob -- Sounds almost as unpleasant and annoying as the hordes of freshmen clogging up the grill line.
  • 'Tails -- Not the most elegant way to describe an evening of cocktails. Then again, booze served in pong cups isn't exactly elegance defined.
  • Random and sketchy -- It's not so much that they're annoying; it's that their meanings have been so thoroughly bleached by overuse that pretty much anyone and anything can be accurately described as "random" or "sketchy". The dinner special at FoCo can be random. My grandma is sketchy. I think we need some more adjectives around here.


  1. Anonymous3:34 AM

    Disagree with each of your Dartmouth-related terms except for random and sketchy, but those words are hardly Dartmouth related and are used inappropriately almost everywhere.

  2. Anonymous7:55 PM

    My favorite is "drop trou".