Passive Aggressive?

Last month I read the word “Whatever” was one of the most annoying words of 2017. I think sometimes it’s an appropriate response. What do you think?


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21 Responses to Passive Aggressive?

  1. nick says:

    Maybe also the word “Enjoy” as used by servers in restaurants. Well, I expect to enjoy my food anyway so why tell me to “enjoy”? Do bar staff tell me to “enjoy” my wine? Do shop assistants tell me to “enjoy” my new jeans? No, it would sound ridiculous.
    nick´s last blog post ..A touch of romance

    • Jean says:

      I actually use “enjoy” sometimes. Mostly when I give something away on Freecycle. If it’s something I cared about but can no longer use, I want someone else to enjoy it too.

    • Ursula says:

      Well, Nick, I often say “Hope you’ll enjoy it” (say, a film, a book, whatever!). It expresses you actually care for the other person and their pleasure. As to when said in the context of food it’s the equivalent of the French “Bon Appetit” or the German “Guten Appetit, ” “Buon Appetito” in Italian. There you go, a language lesson thrown in for free. Enjoy.

      Ursula´s last blog post ..Antidote

    • nick says:

      “Buon appetito” would certainly be more appropriate in Pizza Express.

  2. Sharon says:

    I use it quite a bit, it’s and easy to get along with word, or whatever.
    Sharon´s last blog post ..Wednesday January 10, 2018

    • Jean says:

      Andy and I use it a lot, especially when talking about current events that we don’t like but can’t do anything about.

  3. Ursula says:

    As you say in your reply to Sharon, “Whatever” is some sort of shorthand, the verbal equivalent of shrugging your shoulder. I most certainly wouldn’t call it passive aggressive (mainly because the concept of “passive aggressive” I don’t seem to be able to grasp) but it can be seen, and usually is, as dismissive. Dismissive of the subject, dismissive of the other person, disinterested, sprinkled with a hint of impatience – so yes, I’d say it’s a loaded word and, for some reason, whenever I use it (rarely) it’s taken as an actual insult. Funny when I think about it.

    Great subject, Jean, use of language and how we interpret it.

    Ursula´s last blog post ..Antidote

    • Cindi says:

      Totally agree.
      To me, it’s dismissive.
      As far as passive aggressive, I’d choose – ok, fine.
      I’m very passive aggressive.
      Not proud of it and I’m working on it.
      It’s one of the things on my 2018 resolution list.
      Cindi´s last blog post ..Blue

    • Jean says:

      Yes, it is dismissive, and very appropriate at times. Andy and I use it when we’re talking about the idiocies of the world. “Whatever” means so what else is new? If there’s something constructive to do then do it, otherwise let it go.

      I’m with you about the term passive aggressive, Ursula. To me it often means “passive assertive” — the people saying it are setting boundaries when someone else is pressuring them and isn’t interested in a meaningful conversation or reaching a compromise.

  4. Rummuser says:

    I rarely use ‘whatever’ but do not find its use offensive. I often tell people “have fun” which sometimes boomerangs!
    Rummuser´s last blog post ..Communication.

  5. Enjoy, like, whatever, even ‘love’, as in ‘I just LOVE that!”…these are some of the most overused words and phrases in the English language. With the thesaurus so readily available online, why do we stay stuck using the same language?
    Still the Lucky Few´s last blog post ..Vibrant Health—Yours at Any Age!

    • Jean says:

      This from the woman who responded to my comment last week with “Love your approach!”?? It’s a good term, this poor old world can use all the enthusiasm it can get.

  6. Mike says:

    It’s certainly not one of my favorite words.

    In the late 80s and early 90s, when our teen daughter used “whatever” when I tried to get her to understand something, it was dismissive and very annoying.

    When my adult daughter — with teens of her own to deal with — uses it, it’s still dismissive and still annoying, but I just tactfully give up, knowing that my opinion on whatever we’re talking about doesn’t matter.

    Whatever. 🙁
    Mike´s last blog post ..Endodontics… huh?

  7. Cindi says:

    This actually made me laugh out loud!
    In an email yesterday to Tammy, after a discussion about just letting things go and going with flow, for our health (and blood pressure!) we decided to have a “word” we can say that will indeed, remind us not to sweat the small stuff and mine is WHATEVER!
    So if it’s annoying to others, I’d have to say WHATEVER!
    Thanks for the laugh!
    Cindi´s last blog post ..Blue

  8. tammy j says:

    HA! it’s true.
    it is very dismissive in my mind. because whenever I hear it I am taken right back to Bob’s daughter and raising her through the teen years in the early 70’s. if she didn’t like something… from a new food to any attempt at discussion she might not like… there was that total shutdown and the surly response always of “whatever.”
    it was uber annoying. and that’s another word I’m tired of. uber!
    oh well.
    tammy j´s last blog post ..moving on old bean

    • Jean says:

      I like the term because it doesn’t have the bad connotations. The teen years can be trying for everyone involved, no doubt harder for you because you weren’t the mother. I still remember a book I read where the teenage daughter was complaining and the father said, “If life were too comfortable you would never get the courage to leave home.” I figured it was that way for mothers too. Time to gradually let go of being one of the most important persons in the child’s life, to moving back out into the wider world.

  9. Cathy in NZ says:

    it always seem to be used with a “tone” something like “throwing out a word, over one’s shoulder” and yes I guess I’ve used it but don’t think it’s something I use regularly…I might if i’m with someone shrug my shoulders or similar…

    I’m trying to fathom out the strange boxing in of the proposed new driveway – I suppose it really boils down to “whatever” as well…I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t “box it in, so it kind of curves to be continuous with the rest of the driveway down” because as it stands now, it comes to a “dead end” which might mean your car/vehicle takes a knock…

    there is another steep angle by my turn around, the fence on the other side curves around but the concrete on the other side will surely take a few knocks from vehicles cutting the corner…

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