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Griffy and Zippy experience whateverism of an extreme sort:

The Valley in question is the San Fernando Valley of southern California, home of Valspeak, a sociolect made famous by the 1982 Frank Zappa song "Valley Girl" (as performed by his daughter Moon Unit Zappa) and the 1983 movie based on it. The song is packed with linguistic features that are (or have become) stereotypes of the variety (especially as used by affluent upper-middle-class young women), but whatever isn't in the song.

In fact, whatever has come to be seen as a mark of disaffected young people all over the U.S., conveying apathy, dismissiveness, and a variety of related attitudes (lack of commitment, refusal to make discriminations, and so on) that draw scorn from all sorts of sources. Predictably, some of these sources grossly exaggerate the prevalence of whatever, as in this Urban Dictionary entry from 2003:

Word all too often used by Americans to connotate a feeling of apathy. The fact that it's used in almost every sentence is not as alarming to many as it should be.

Language Log has looked at whatever as a symptom of what's wrong with young people — "whateverist nomads" — these days: first in a critique by Geoff Pullum of Naomi Baron's alarmist outcries about the dire effects of cellphones, texting, and the like; then in light-hearted follow-ups by Roger Shuy (it's not electronic media that are at fault, but crossword puzzles) and Mark Liberman (in the comics: is youth slang the death of us?).

[Ben Zimmer notes an earlier Language Log posting on whatever — Mark Liberman on wev as a short version of it.]

[Bob Ladd writes to say that the usage is all over the Anglophone world. I posted only about the part of it that I thought I knew, making no claims about usages I didn't know about.]

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