I talked not long ago to a reporter for the CBC’s website about how various slang expressions enter (and sometimes exit) the language. You can find the story here.
A friend later remarked that it was the first time she’d ever come across the words “Oxford” and “bootylicious” in the same story. But further research shows it has happened at least once before: when “bootylicious” was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary. Linguist Elizabeth Pyatt has written an entertaining blog entry about that momentous occasion.
The inspiration for the story was a US poll asking people what words annoyed them most. Now, it seems to me that with all the troubles in this old world of ours, one’s ire can likely find a more appropriate target than indiscriminate use of ”whatever” or “bootylicious.” As I said to the reporter, “Annoyance is in the ear of the beholder. Repetition can make a phrase annoying but it also makes for a liveliness in everyday life. And you always have the option — if it’s annoying just ignore it.”
Now there’s a thought. –Whatever, as the saying goes . . .