Friday, 24 November 2006


I've been aching to rant about this. Good thing Matt here had the right words. I'm linking his article on this often misused American phrase.

The word "whatever" is, to me, one of the most offensive out there when used in a certain way. I used to say it a lot when I was in my first years of high school, until somebody unloaded on me for it. I hadn't realized how offensive I was being, but I agreed with him immediately, and have hated the word ever since.

... the context of a more serious conversation, its use can range from rude to devastatingly insulting.

On one end of the spectrum is the ungrateful teenager whose mom calls up to his room and says "What would you like for dinner, Sweetie?" and the kid says "Whatever, Mom." That shows that her efforts will probably go unappreciated, and will at least deflate her desire to do something nice.

Slightly more offensive is when the mom has already made dinner, the kid comes to the table, she smiles and excitedly tells him that she's made his favorite, and the kid says "Whatever, Mom" and picks up the plate and goes to sit in front of the TV. That's worse because it dismisses all the effort and care she went to as not being of any importance to the kid.

The harmfulness of its use varies proportionally with how much the person being scorned cares about what is being scorned. So, if the mom really prides herself on doing special things for her kid and he knows it, it's more hurtful when he says "whatever" than if she was mocking him when she asked what he wanted because she was just going to give him cold spaghetti-o's anyway.

I think the worst possible use of the word (and probably the most common, unfortunately) is in the context of a serious discussion or argument. When people discuss something important to them, they become personally invested in their argument. For however brief a time, they are staking their identity on that argument being respected and hopefully believed by others. To say "whatever" in a situation like that is to express indifference not only to the argument they're making, but also to the person investing herself in that argument. It indicates that her argument is not only wrong, but contemptible and not worthy of a well-reasoned response.

Read the rest of the article here.

In a more local context, bratty airheads would often use this as a senseless filler of some sort. Fuckin' teenagers.

By the way, Matt is from New England (originally from California). If you'd like to make him happy, leave him a comment. His blog is for adults ONLY, though. So if you are not your legal age, it is advised that you do not pursue the rest of his blog - which contains, from time to time, visuals suitable only for adults. I've been reading his blog for sometime now. Don't let the images of Abercrombie homoerotica scare you (they shouldn't), he can be the most profound person with his more personal entries.


  1. Wow, how nice! Thanks! *blush*

  2. Awgh, it's nothin'.

    Actually Matt, you're like a hero for me. You ARE a hero for me. Your life (particularly the parts where family is involved) has been an inspiration for my own. I plan to tell *it* to my parents next year when I turn 21.

    Thank you, Matt. =)