Americans considered "whatever" to be the most annoying word or phrase in conversation for a fifth straight year, according to pollsters at Marist College in New York state.
Thirty-eight per cent of adults polled said "whatever" was most annoying, followed by "like" at 22pc.
NO CHRISTMAS SATAN
Officials overseeing holiday displays at the Florida Capitol have allowed a Nativity scene and a Festivus pole. But they are drawing the line at Satan.
The Department of Management Services has emailed The Satanic Temple, telling the group its proposed display of an angel falling from heaven into an open fire was "grossly offensive". Several groups have been allowed to put up displays because the area is considered to be a public forum.
SERVING UP SUNSHINE
Today is the shortest day of the year -- but the outlook is brighter for sufferers of seasonal depression in one US city.
Brightness is now on tap at one bar in Portland, Oregon. The booths at Lightbar include light-therapy lamps that can be dialled up to 10,000 lux, the recommended dosage for those with seasonal affective disorder.
THREE DIE IN SAUNA
German prosecutors say three men died after drinking heavily at a Christmas party and apparently passing out in a sauna.
The three metal workers, aged between 36 and 48, were found dead in the sauna at the oldest man's home in the western town of Ennepetal on December 8. Prosecutors in Hagen said yesterday that tests have determined the men's blood-alcohol level was more than four times the legal limit to drive. They say they believe the three men passed out and died of heart failure.
GACY 'VICTIM' IS ALIVE
A man presumed dead for decades as a potential victim of US serial killer John Wayne Gacy has been reunited with his family after investigators found him alive in Montana.
Robert Hutton was last heard from in 1972, when, at 21, he told his mother he was travelling to California. But he was found in April after his sister submitted his name as a possible Gacy victim.
Cable TV network TLC is to show a full series about a polygamous family from Utah that starred in an hour-long pilot earlier this year.
The network will produce nine one-hour episodes about Brady Williams and his five wives and 24 children, with the first episode on March 9.