More re: possible antedate of indiscriminative "whatever"?

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sat Jul 22 13:36:09 UTC 2006

Quoting Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>:

> On Sat, 22 Jul 2006, Fred Shapiro wrote:
>> Aren't there two uses of intensive "whatever"?  One is a recent voguish
>> use indicating extreme indifference: "if that's what you think, fine, it's
>> not important enough to me to argue about it, end of discussion, let's
>> move on to something else."
> As I think about it, the now-voguish use actually has been around for a
> while.  Think of "whatever" with the first syllable emphasized and the
> first ayllable spoken slowly with an air of resignation.  This is the
> precursor of the voguish usage, and probably goes back many decades.
> Fred Shapiro

I think that the "voguish" use is expressed with accent on the first syllable
sometimes and with accent on "ever" sometimes. Since the movie use in question
is in a movie, someone perhaps can tell us where the accent falls in
that case.
I'm so far missing a sense of a clear division between these rwo
proposed uses.
Stephen Goranson

The American Dialect Society -

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