Shelbyville Daily Union

Community News Network

December 31, 2013

The Internet's most variously spelled word

(Continued)

The sheer breadth and depth of woah-filtration during 2013 surely exists as a source of frustration for Dan Amira. But you know who else is none too pleased with all these four-letter, "h"-ending woahs being tossed around?

"Whoah" people, that's who!

So, the members of Midnight Oil, and Chris Cillizza, and the person at BBC America who came up with the headline "Status WHOAH!" for a piece about a mincemeat ad, they're all in that crew. Joining them are the individual who maintains a Pinterest food page with the heading "Whoah!!!," thousands of mostly unknown people who posted silly videos on YouTube, and lots of other individuals who enjoy adding h's to the ends of things.

There's good news and bad news for those in the "whoah" camp. Earlier this month, just in time for the holiday shopping season, KBOI TV out of Boise, Idaho, alerted visitors to the station's website about a break at the gas pump like so: "Whoah! Gas prices in Kuna drop below $3 a gallon." News from the U.K. morning newspaper Metro in early August about the laundry habits of bachelors provided less cause for celebration: "Whoah! Single Men Wash Their Sheets 'Four Times a Year.' "

All things considered, it's been a banner year for "whoa," no matter how you prefer to spell it. In fact, the word hasn't seen this level of media saturation and pop cultural prominence since 2000, when rapper Black Rob released a rugged, very un-PC and not-safe-for-work, pre-Earl Sweatshirt club banger called "Whoa!" All the spellings, taken together, combined to form a Voltron-type superword that was pervasive in our communications this year. Sure, if you want to be all Amira about it, you could point out that "whoa" with the "h" following the "w" and an "a" at the end was once again the version that was most commonly used — due largely to the stamp of approval that goes along with being sanctioned by various books held in high regard. But there's nothing particularly new about the word spelled that way showing up all over the place (with its trusty sidekick, the exclamation point). This year in whoa-ness was noteworthy instead because it was a magical and ridiculous time when more people than ever were spelling this goofy word in more ways than ever.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014