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The One Word That Annoys Americans The Most?

By Rida Ahmed | Dec 20, 2013 10:16 AM EST

A casual “whatever” is the word that grates on Americans the most. You can thank the 1995 movie "Clueless" for this one.
(Photo : Wiki Commons)

What could be the most annoying word in the world to Americans? Apparently, a casual "whatever" is the word that grates on Americans the most, a public survey showed.

You can thank the 1995 movie "Clueless" for this one, Reuters reported.

The casual "whatever" was rated the most annoying word by 38 percent of 1,173 adults surveyed in early December by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

It's up from 32 percent in 2012, pollsters said.

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The surprising part? "Whatever" has consistently been topping the annoying word charts for five straight years.

"The word can be very dismissive and rude," said Mary Griffith, media director for Marist. "It's a put-down to some extent and it can signal to the other person that what they are saying is not important."

And unlike what Facebook might want to believe is a popular term, Americans also do not appreciate the word "like," which ranked second in the survey of most annoying words, at 22 percent. The term "you know" pulled 18 percent, "just sayin" 14 percent, and "obviously" 6 percent. Two percent of respondents were unsure, according to Reuters.

The poll on annoying words began five years ago by Marist. Based on Marist research and prior surveys, respondents are given different word choices, Griffith said. The annoying words survey is enlightening and provides a different view from other Marist surveys which focus on politics, she said.

"We like to keep a finger on the pulse of popular culture," Griffith said.

In the same survey, Marist pollsters wanted to know what political word or phrase Americans would like to see disappear in 2014. "Obamacare" was mentioned by 41 percent of respondents as a word they do not want to hear next year.

"Shutdown" and "gridlock" were some Washington terms that Americans would like to eliminate. "Fiscal cliff" got 10 percent of the vote and "sequestration" 4 percent. Four percent of respondents were unsure.

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