You know, for the longest time, the hair on the back of my neck stood up whenever I heard a teen mumble: “whatever”. It wasn’t just the use of the word that bothered me; it was the unmistakable tone it was said in. (If you’ve ever heard a teenager use the word, you know EXACTLY the tone I mean.)
Well, I have to say — as of this week, I’m changing my tune (no pun intended) on use (or misuse) of that poor pronoun. My change of heart came after the umpteenth e-mail I got regarding a volunteer event I’m working on where every little decision seems to required a dozen back-and-forth e-mails soliciting opinions. Finally, at one point (thankfully alone in my office), as I read one of the e-mails I just wanted to scream: WHATEVER!!!! (After regaining my composure, I chose the more adult route and simply sat back and withdraw from the electronic “dialog”, figuring at some point a decision would be made and my additional two cents weren’t going to add much.)
I guess the reason I thought this merits word of the week status is because it’s a good reminder that when it comes to spoken words, it’s often not just what you say that matters, it’s how you say it!