Happy 2014…..Whatever

Timothy Egan of The New York Times wrote a piece today about “Words for the Dumpster.”  These are words that have been so overused and misused that they need to be dropped from our vocabularies because they have lost all meaning—if they ever had one.

WHATEVER Long ago, “whatever” was a cover for inexpressive ignorance — Hitler invaded Poland and then, whatever.  Now this word reigns as a facile dismissive:  I know it’s Mother’s Day, but whatever.  For the fifth year in a row, “whatever” was just rated the nation’s most annoying word in a survey done by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, beating out the hardy perennials “like” and “you know” and “just saying.”

The ever popular “whatever” was a mainstay of my mother’s lexicon.  For a nostalgic look back at that, here’s my post “The Mother Who Didn’t Cry Wolf!”


17 thoughts on “Happy 2014…..Whatever

  1. Another great post. My daughter is forever saying “whatever,” but when she says it, it’s “WHAT EVER,” said in a sort of Shakespearean way, accompanied by a subtle shaking of her head. And she says that to me a lot, for what it’s worth…or whatever it’s worth.

    I linked back to the post about you and your mother’s trip to the eye doctor. Again, a work of art and, you know, whatever.


    • Ha! Love your daughter’s dramatic reading of the word.

      Thanks for the kind comment about my trip to the eye doctor post. It was a year ago on Dec. 22 when my mother passed away. She would have appreciated it too. Or maybe not. Whatever.


  2. First of all, Happy Holidays.

    I had a gf who was big on saying whatever before I upgraded her to being my ex … A phrase I find very annoying because it seems to have replaced “thank you” is “no problem”. I have not read the Egan piece, but that would definitely make my dumpster list.


    • Another word that Egan loathes is “literally.” Here’s what he says about that one: “In that spirit, I renew an earlier objection to “literally.” It’s become the most overused of phony emphasis words, as in I went to the store, and they were out of kumquats — I mean, they were literally out of kumquats!”

      Happy New Year, dearie!


  3. Your WordPress handle is a complete misnomer if you pay this much attention to word use. If I could, I’d tag you as “thoughtful blogger.” Totally just sayin’, ya know?


Okay. Your turn!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s