Like the Valley-slang version of Meryl Streep, the word "whatever" just keeps bringing home the trophies.

For the second year in a row, "whatever" was crowned the most annoying word in the English language. Thirty-nine percent of the Americans polled would like to rip "whatever" out of the dictionary, set it on fire, and give that most dismissive and juvenile word a proper burial.

After "whatever," Americans found "like" to be grating, followed by "you know what I mean," "to tell you the truth" and "actually."

The Marist Poll, the brilliant folk who conducted the research, divided the results by age and found that words annoy people differently depending on how old they are. Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 hate the word "like" more than the word "whatever." Aww, is that so? Our lack of sympathy for what annoys teenagers is, like, astounding.

The scariest thing about this research? This year, 39 percent of Americans found "whatever" to be annoying, compared to 44 percent last year. That's 5 percent less! What if the number just keeps going down and down and down until one day, our great-grandchildren tune in to a NASA press conference where the head researcher says, "We have made contact with extraterrestrial life ... or whatever."