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No offense, but ‘whatever’ tops annoying word list

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — The shoulder-shrugging reply “whatever” continues to annoy Americans more than other words or phrases, but “fake news” is coming on strong.

The annual Marist College poll of most annoying words and phrases found “whatever” topping the list for the ninth straight year. It was the pick of one third of poll respondents, who were given five choices.

The recent addition “fake news” was slightly ahead of “no offense, but” for second place, 23 percent to 20 percent. About one in 10 found “literally” to be most grating, as did a similar number for “you know what I mean.”

The telephone survey of 1,074 adults conducted Nov. 6-9 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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