By: Edwin L. Crammer, CPA – I have been chastised by friends and family alike for using the word that makes up the headline of this column much too often. However, I find it convenient to use that word as a one word answer for most problems or tasks that have been suggested to me that have to be done, either by me or by the person who proposes that task. The word, “Whatever” has been defined, in most dictionaries, as both an adjective and a pronoun. depending on the context of its use. I, on the other hand, use it only one way. For instance: “Ed, we have to go to the store and we have to be there by eleven and it is now ten forty five” “Whatever!”
I use the word all of the time in both business and my personal life. Some days I use it as many as ten times. I find it an easy way to avoid a long conversation on things that can be settled quickly or are not requiring a long debate. In most cases, the problem or situation gets resolved quickly and to the satisfaction of all parties without any long term consequences.
In fact, I believe a lot of problems in this world both domestic and international, could be solved easily and quickly. If one or more of the party’s to the dispute used that word as an answer to a question or problem that could pop up. For instance a loud mouthed off the cuff rhetoric answer to a question posed to them that makes no sense to the person who comes up with the question or their audience. “Mr. President, I believe the trade deal that has been proposed will have detrimental effect on our economy. You should not sign it.” Answer: “Whatever” or “Whatever floats your boat” See how easy that is?
The word as such has not been in the lexicon for a long time. Its common use actually began on a television comedy series in the 60s. The show ‘Bewitched” had Endora, a character on the show, uttering the phrase: ‘Alright, whatever” to her daughter Samantha. On the television show, “My Mother the Car” the character Captain Manzini used the word “Whatever” throughout the shows life as a standard response.
According to Wikepedia, in a Marist Poll during the years 2009 and 2010 the word “Whatever” was voted as a most annoying retort in a conversation. I personally do not believe that to be true.
Whatever, (oops) it means, it is considered to be a slang word for all that’s worth that expresses the statement, “I don’t care” or “What will be, will be”. Therefore, it is used to either dismiss a previous statement or express an indifference to that statement. It has also been said it can be used as a polite answer to a complaint that has been tendered by one party to the answer, when the impolite response would be a two word retort whose’ first word starts with an F and the second word is you.
Sometimes the word is used in conjunction with one or two other words. Some examples of this are
“Whatever dude”, “Whatever flies your flag”, “Whatever butters your toast” etc, etc. You can add pretty much any addition to the word, whatever tickles your pickle. You may as others have done, criticize me for using the word more often that I should and be more explicit in my answers to all queries that are put to me, but I feel comfortable in using the word and so far it has not affected me in any adverse way. So to all of you out there my answer is: “Whatever”.
POST SCRIPT: Is it possible that Donald Trump is trying to lure Hillary into a feeling of complacency by letting her get slightly ahead in the race. He can do this by not going after her too hard for now. He is making her feel that she is dealing with a bumbling amateur who has finally met his match. In the meantime, he is probable refining his strategy that will be launched against her with full force in the last six to eight weeks before the actual election. This is the time when most people make up their minds. Believe me he is not a bumbling amateur and has dealt with much tougher opponents in the past. Keep watching and see if I am right in this matter.
You may contact Edwin L Crammer CPA at: Edwin@edwinlcrammerpa.com