Thoughts From A Grammar Nerd On “Whatever,” “Cool” And “Word”

As an avid lover of all things literary, I’m a massive dork when it comes to communicating. If a guy can argue with me about grammar, discuss Oscar Wilde, and quote Hemingway, it’s basically all I can do to stay in my pants. Words are hot. Use them. Correction: use them correctly. Text-speak has made it virtually impossible to get turned on anymore IRL, yet there are a few words that actually send icy chills of hatred down my spine. Gchat conversations can lead to romance. Think about that the next time you’re typing, and please, do everything in your power to avoid these three words/phrases.

“Whatever”

What? Ever. Do not use this word. Just, don’t. It not only makes you sound like a moron, it also comes off as the most passive-aggressive word known in virtual conversations. Let’s break it down. When you say the word “what,” you’re inevitably asking a question. Okay, so, the word “ever” means always, or something continuous. So you’re basically stating that you’re in a continuous state of confusion. This is not sexy. This is so not sexy, in fact, that it makes me want to immediately cease communication with you, and make you “never show” on Gchat. However, even if I really like you and try to get past your occasional whatever-bomb, there’s still something holding me back: hello, passive aggressiveness. Whatever implies you’re bored, or indifferent, or have a lack of anything wittier to say. If you’re bored with me or indifferent to my magical musings, you suck. If you have a lack of anything witty to say to me, say anything else but “whatever.” Say “I really have nothing imperative to add here, so I’m going to go take a 5-hour energy, because I can feel the drain-suck my brain is having on this conversation and I realize I’m dangerously toeing the line of being permanently blocked from further communication.”

“Cool.”

Cool with a period is also super passive-aggressive. Again, you have no paramount ponderings to throw into our conversation, so you cop-out and say “cool.” No, you’re not cool. You’re being lame and you’re making me irrationally irritable. I want to like you, but you make it oh so impossible when you litter such frustrating phrases into our chats. Do you actually want to be talking to me, because it doesn’t seem like it. Also, what’s up with the period?? The word “cool,” when used casually, clearly indicates that whatever I just said was indeed super uncool and that I’m boring you. Throwing in the period is just an extra “fuck you.” Really? We’re there? Punctuation is awesome, but not here. Don’t use it unless you want me to think you hate me, and therefore suck. Because I will.

“Word”

Really, brah? The ennui that exists from too much screen-time has depleted all of your creative energy so now you can’t even pick an actual word to say to me. Not only does saying “word” make you sound illiterate, it also makes you sound like a bored, egotistical prick. Congratulations, we’re no longer friends and you’ve officially been blocked.

Cool. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Brett Jordan

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