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Viral Words
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We hear viral words a lot--as I'm sure you know, the ones that everyone seems to be saying and which serve as interjections and comments and responses in a wide variety of contexts.

When I was younger, it was "cool" this, and "cool" that. Cool! was a way of showing approval and "not cool" was disapprobation.

Then a few years ago, it was "you know" after every statement, nay, at times after every word, you know? I mean, like, you know? Seeking approval and validation would be my guess.

Recently my ears have been besieged by "whatever" as the catchall response. I find it very annoying. Someone starts a conversation or asks a question; there's a reply or comment upon it; and the flippant, dismissive "whatever" is what slaps the speaker in the face. WhatEVer. Y'know? The first person invested concern and interest in the topic and now it's being ended by "whatever" said in that bored, apathetic, or exasperated way.

I remember many years ago children saying reflexively, "I'm sorry" without really meaning it, just as a way to pacify the involved adult. The tone in which it was said gave their real attitude away, and was doubly infuriating.

Then there is my current least favorite: try. When a person doesn't want to do something, or has the intention of not doing it, he says he'll try. He means, no way, no how, I can't, I won't, you can't make me. But if he says "I'll try" then it's the end of the request, pretending to be answered semi-affirmatively. "Try" is another meaningless common viral word.

You know, cool. Whatever. I'll try.

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