What Is 'W/E? What Does W/E Mean?

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Question: What Is 'W/E? What Does W/E Mean?

Answer: 'W/E' is 'whatever', a form of passive-aggressive dismissal of someone else's statement. 

W/E is used as a sugar-coated form of hostility; it responds negatively to a statement that is disagreeable, but not worth arguing over. W/E indicates that the person is not interested in debating the topic any further.

You will see the same expression spelled as 'w/e', 'WE', 'whutever' and 'wutever'. You will even see 'wutevs' as a variation.

W/E and wutever are common when people are arguing over some knowledge subject online, and one person is being particularly pushy about his opinion.

Example of W/E usage:

(Kevin) Look, remolded tires are not the same retread tires. 

(Sean) No, dude. They are. I've seen tire shops call the same thing different names.

(Kevin) Nope. Remolded tires are baked around the sidewall and require more heat processing. Retread tires are just glued to the road surface only, not the sidewall.

(Sean) W/E. As long as they cost the same.

(Kevin) That's part of the point: the retread tires should be cheaper!

Example of W/E usage:

(Samantha) Climate change is a load of crap designed to sell us on carbon tax and electric cars. There is no evidence that the world's temperature is changing. 

(Colleen) How can you say that? There are over 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific studies that confirm that humans are changing the planet's climate to a measurable degree! Just take a look at theconsensusproject.com and see for yourself.

(Samantha) W/E. That's a socialist scam, and you're falling for it.

Example of Watevs usage:

(Suresh) Seriously, dude, police can't just stop and search you on the street for no reason. That's illegal, and you should politely refuse to let them search you.

(Craig) How can you even say that? These cops are mean and they have guns. Do you think they care about my rights? If they don't like the way I look, they're going to stop me and search me on the street, and they'll get their crony buddies at the precinct to back them up on any lies they want to tell. It's my word against theirs.

(Suresh) That's how they win: you let them intimidate you.

(Craig) Watevs, dude. It's not worth resisting a stop and search. 

The W/E and whatever expressions, like many cultural curiosities of the Internet, are a part of modern English communication.

Read more Internet abbreviations and shorthand expressions...

How to Capitalize and Punctuate Web and Texting Abbreviations: 

Capitalization is a non-concern when using text message abbreviations and chat jargon. You are welcome to use all uppercase (e.g. ROFL) or all lowercase (e.g. rofl), and the meaning is identical. Avoid typing entire sentences in uppercase, though, as that means shouting in online speak.

Proper punctuation is similarly a non-concern with most text message abbreviations. For example, the abbreviation for 'Too Long, Didn't Read' can be abbreviated as TL;DR or as TLDR. Both are acceptable format, with or without punctuation.

Never use periods (dots) between your jargon letters. It would defeat the purpose of speeding up thumb typing. For example, ROFL would never be spelled R.O.F.L., and TTYL would never be spelled T.T.Y.L. 

Recommended Etiquette for Using Web and Texting Jargon 

Knowing when to use jargon in your messaging is about knowing who your audience is, knowing if the context is informal or professional, and then using good judgment. If you know the people well, and it is a personal and informal communication, then absolutely use abbreviation jargon. On the flip side, if you are just starting a friendship or professional relationship with the other person, then it is a good idea to avoid abbreviations until you have developed a relationship rapport.

If the messaging is in a professional context with someone at work, or with a customer or vendor outside your company, then avoid abbreviations altogether. Using full word spellings shows professionalism and courtesy. It is much easier to err on the side of being too professional and then relax your communications over time than doing the inverse.