The Evolution of Whatever

The word “whatever” used to be a welcome guest at parties.

It would arrive in elegant attire and hang out with the likes of — You’re Welcome, After You and My Pleasure.

Used either as a pronoun or an adjective it held its head high, offering the user a choice.

“Whatever you would like, my dear,” said the stately gentleman, pointing to an assortment of vibrators.

“I see no point whatever in confusing the situation,” replied the slew-breasted woman, her hand resting gently on her friend’s manhood.

Politeness surrounded the word. It knew its place in a sentence be it a pronoun or an adjective.

But then something happened. Some time in the late 20th century, Whatever crossed onto the wrong side of the track.

It threw off its fine clothing in favor of a defiant cloak of armor.

It challenged the receiver. Dismissing those around it, expressing indifference.

And to top it al off, it has became so cocky, so sure of itself, that it doesn’t even need any friends.

It is now a sentence is its own right. Not bound to any age bracket, gender or sexual preference.

One which always evokes a strong reaction in me. Much like the sound of a fingernail running down a blackboard.

“I’m not happy about this situation,” I’ll say to my daughter.


“I’ll be there as soon as I can,” I say to my mom.


“I’m coming to bed soon,” I say to my husband.


Whatever do you mean? I want to shout back. Don’t I deserve more of an answer?

It’s enough to make me want to strangle every single person in my family, every time I hear them use it as a reply. And believe me, I’ve come close.

But then I prefer not to spend the rest of my life in jail.

So, I grin and bear it. And hope it’s just a passing phase. That one day it will be outdated, hanging out with the likes of dame, gams, groovy, and rad.

The fate of this annoying one word sentence is totally out of my control.

Whatever will be, will be.


Janie Emaus is an author/blogger. ON SALE NOW! Latkes for Santa Claus.

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