Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Word "Whatever" - My Pet Peeve

As many writers out there, I fell upon the Absolute Writers Forum quite by chance after googling for some information about an agent. It is a farily serious place, though with over 7000 members, there are still 1000+ who are quite active. Some are on the periphery of writing, others take the craft seriously, others just like to be around such a friendly and nice group of people. I highly recommend it for those who are serious about their writing craft (just don't get addicted to it!)

Of course, like any other group of people, especially in "Virtual Land", there are those who are incredibly annoying, obnoxious, think too much of themselves, look down on others.. all those human foibles which exist upon the planet. As Kurt Vonnegut Jr. wrote time and again...
"So be it"

Anyway...back to Whatever....
Over the years I have watched and listened as the word "whatever" took on a life of its own. Today that word makes me physically cringe, usually, and to be honest, I associate it with the female gender. It seems to be a word almost exclusively used by them, at least from my experience. It is a word that when used cuts off any possiblity of useful or meaningful dialogue. So one day on AW after seeing this word appear in a post - I went ahead and posted the following. It is, I admit, my pet peeve with words, (almost as bad as "like" and "you know" and "dude")

Comments are welcome as long as you can hold back the urge to say "whatever"!

Okay folks this is MY PET PEEVE with words..
I call it a "Gender" Word and it is one of those words I have come to hate...

Yep this is gonna be horribly chauvinistic...

The word is "Whatever" and I have come to believe that is a totally female invention. Cause if there is any word in the English Dicitionary that the Feminist side of the human race has adopted with such force and surely such deadly purpose it is the word "whatever". Beware all males...use of the word Whatever means you have categorically, completely been put in the dog house and its gonna take oodles of hard work to get out of there again.

"Do you like this dress?"
"Sure. Its great"
"NO! I mean do you like IT?"
"I said so didn't I?"
"It's that bad?"
"I said I liked it!"
"You know you never listen to me, or even look at me. If you liked the dress the least you could do is LOOK at me in it!"
"I am looking! I like the dress. It is beautiful, stunning. Makes you look great and slim."
"Oh so now I am fat?"
"Did I say that?"

She says:
"I think we have to spend more time being together. Between both of us working and the kids we really need to stay in tune and work on it"
He says:
"Of course. Anything you say. When would you like to start?"
She says:
"Are you trying to placate me?"
He says:
"Where did that come from? I was agreeing with you. I think it's a great idea."
She says:
"No you don't. You just don't want to discuss it!"
He says:
"Okay. What do you want to discuss? I am all ears."
She says:

See... a GENDER word. Whatever. Oh I hate that word!

Males of the universe - here is my sincere warning to you.
If you hear the word Whatever ever escape from your partners lips, get your act together, and do something FAST. Cause if you don't well you know...


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Anonymous said...

it is mostly a generation word rather than gender! if you look at the article ' collection of cool', you will realize that the new generation is called 'whatever generation!'
did you do your homework?whatever
don't do drugs! whatever
think about your future ! whatever
don't skip the class:whatever
do you wanna vote? whatever
what do you want from life? whatever!!

thanks to the internet to make us lazy even to talk!

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with your theory that it's a gender word, because my ex, whose a dude, used it all the time, I probably used it once or twice in the 3 months we dated, and it bugged the hell out of me, thumbs down for your review.... i was hoping to find a more social analysis rather than some sexist & biased blog entry...

Anonymous said...

Hah. You sir, got a nice laugh out of me today.

The author isn't trying to be sexist, in the fact that he is a straight male, and thus his encounters with this word relate mostly, if not totally, with the opposite sex. And while he is making a statement about the use of the word, I saw his post as humorous, a well told joke.

Irene said...

i think its a rude word especially in Africa....an american lady used it on me and i think i will talk to her about using that word...we dont use it in Nigeria...if used, then its an insult

Irene said...

gender or not, i think its a rude word.... Africans see it as an insult and we dont use it on older people...an american lady used it on me and i had to tell her not to repeat it again...