According to a recent poll, "whatever" is the most annoying word in America. Runner-up words and phrases included "anyway" and "it is what it is" — but the Jezebel staff have our own unfavorites.
I have a particular allergy to the word "random," as in "that's so random." In this context, "random" usually just means "strange" or "unexpected," which I think is a perversion of the word's real meaning ("proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim, reason, or pattern" or, in statistics, "of or characterizing a process of selection in which each item of a set has an equal probability of being chosen"). Just because something is odd doesn't mean it occurred anymore randomly than anything else in the universe, and in fact true randomness is very difficult to come by. Scientists actually have so much trouble generating truly random numbers that many actually rely on "pseudorandom" numbers instead. That said, I do slip up and misuse "random" a fair amount of the time. Here are some other staffer's most-hated words and phrases, with occasional commentary by me:
weird. She says, "I have a residual objection to the word 'weird' which was actually drilled into me: it was forbidden in my house growing up because my dad felt it was dismissive of anything different, and that kids used it as a means of exclusion and intellectual laziness." I wish someone had said this to me growing up — it would have made a good counterattack.
tits. I actually kind of like this one — it's appealingly vulgar and sounds better than "boobs."
chillax. She says, "If teenagers say it it doesn't bother me as much but I don't think people should carry that with them into adulthood." I say: anyone says "chillax" in seriousness is an idiot.
where is it at? She says, "even though it's a grammatical nightmare, it seems to be a totally fine thing to say in some places."
asshat. But I like it.
twatwaffle. Yeah, ew.
panties. Seriously, why is the only generally accepted term for women's underwear both unsexy and infantilizing? I'd rather call them my "whatever."