Words That Drive Us Wacky

A Marist poll was released yesterday ranking the most annoying words and expressions. Guess which word ranked number 1? If you're a parent of a teen you already know the answer. The number 1 annoying word was "whatever". Coming in second was "you know".

Eleven per cent found the word "anyway" to be most annoying while 7 per cent disliked "at the end of the day".

Interestingly, there were regional differences. Fifty-five per cent of Midwesterners found "whatever" the most annoying while people from the Northeast rated "whatever" and "you know" equally annoying.

I explain in my speeches and workshops that there is a science of speaking. I show my clients what confidence looks like, sounds like, and how to speak the language of confidence. Now we have the data!

Using fillers such as "you know" can create a negative perception. I've worked with people who couldn't get promoted until they sounded more "professional".

Parents I didn't know emailed me to ask how they could get their children to "speak clearly" and not sound like a "cartoon character".

And, executives are not off the hook. Think about all the buzz words you hear at meetings:
"Going forward", "At the end of the day", "More bang for the buck", "I've got my ducks lined up", etc. It's so pervasive that people are playing B.S. Bingo at meetings. When they hear five of these annoying words or expressions they call out "bingo"!

The Wall Street Journal interviewed me about this subject. To read the article visit this link:


If you want to advance, work on your speech. What's your most annoying word?