Yes, Yes

No need to send me any further links to the article saying “Whatever” has been judged the most annoying word in the English language. I’ve heard. Noting that the “Whatever” here is meant in the context of “any thing” rather than an exasperated Valley Girl huff probably doesn’t change things much, I suppose. I’ll just have to live with it.

34 Comments on “Yes, Yes”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, who should be writing

    So be it.

  2. The degeneration of the English Language strikes again!

  3. Really? “Whatever” is worse than “meh”?
    The judges obviously don’t have teenagers.

    “Meh” is the “whatever” for those too apathetic to use an entire word.

  4. Heh, I saw this and thought of you. Then I filed it under the same heading as the chocolate covered bacon they were peddling at the county fair this year. That is the “I wonder how many Scalzi minions have already sent it?” folder.

  5. You know, “whatever” isn’t, you know, anywhere near as, you know, annoying as “you know” is, you know?

    Whatever.

  6. Words or word-like groups of letters more annoying than “whatever”:

    1. spew
    2. YMMV
    3. Methinks (used by people not wearing a ruff collar)

  7. Basically, it’s…

    That’s the annoying one for me. Usually due to the fact that the person using it is being oh so condescending and trying to talk down to someone else.

    if it’s used more than three times in a conversation, I get a bit cranky.

  8. As a replacement for ‘totally like’ I sometimes use ‘encompassingly comparable to’, or something of that ilk. I’ve also taken to labeling misuse of the word ‘like’ as an ‘improper simile’.

    Another formation that is especially annoying is “or something” and its cousin “and stuff”.

  9. Eh. I’m more likely to wax wroth if someone tells me they were literally glued to their chair. De Gustibus, I guess.

  10. I’m kinda disappointed your use of the word wasn’t in the vein of valley girl slang. I used to think that was very brave of you, risking ridicule and, wha-

  11. It took them this long; I remember “whatever” being valley girl slang back in the 80’s. Wasn’t that what Moon Unit Zappa kept saying in the song “Valley Girls”.

    Whatever.

    Cheers
    Andrew

  12. As long as it doesn’t become the new linguistic rant people use to fake their intellectual cred. A few years ago, there were more people complaining about “at the end of the day” than people actually saying it.

    You don’t hear that much anymore, and no one will find where I hid the bodies.

    You’re welcome.

  13. Seeing “Whatever” bolded in reader – a good thing.

    Hearing “Whatever” from the mouth of my sister in response to some suggestion or minor correction – extremely annoying.

    Context matters.

  14. Heteromeles – Heteromeles is the genus of toyon, a shrub in the rose family that occurs from San Francisco south to Baja California. It is the "holly" of Hollywood fame
    heteromeles

    Come on, “Whatever” is the best title for this blog, whatever you mean by it.

    The beauty of words like “whatever” and “dude” are the vocal shadings you can give to them, so long as you grew up in southern California and learned those words as part of your mother language.

    Nerdy word question: “It’s a whatever” is something I hear around here and use occasionally as a shorthand for “it’s a question to which the answer is, ‘whatever’.” Did that particular useage make it out of California?

  15. @DG Lewis, #24

    As everyone knows, so clearly you can not choose the wine in front of me.

    Which is a shame because it’s a lovely Australian Durif.

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