Wow! Neato! The big 3-0-0!
“But Matt! Didn’t you miss, like, 45 days or something?”
I’m lucky that I can see the analytics. A lot of you read these — I’m not sure why — and even though it occasionally feels like I’m locked in a padded WordPress cell talking to myself, I want to thank those (dozens!) of you that have ridden with me on this stupid little journey over the last 10 months.
And now I want to talk about the word “whoa.”
Why do so many people spell it wrong?
Here’s Colin Cowherd hitting you with a hard and fast “WOAH.” I’m being a little unfair to lead with his example because I’ve known people ever since I primarily started talking to them through written digital missives (my first “girlfriend” in middle school actually spelled it “woah” and even then, I thought it was kinda bullshit).
But Colin’s example is the most recent, the most irritating and the most high-profile example I’ve found in a long time.
My main problem is that “woah” wouldn’t even be pronounced “whoa.” It would be, like, “woe-AH” and that’s not the same word.
The ALWAYS REPUTABLE Grammar Girl calls it a misspelling, which is exactly what it is. And it’s not just an occasional misfire on the keyboard. I’ve known several otherwise highly functional and intelligent people relentlessly refuse to spell “whoa” the correct way. Is it the Keanu meme? Is Internet Culture just the cement shoes dragging proper grammar to a watery grave?
I know what you’re thinking: “Language is quite varied. Hey, man. You have to accept that it moves on with or without your approval.”
Alright, that was just J at work.
But what if we ALL felt that way about everything? Who would stand up for democracy? Who be our public defender of language? If there’s one thing the internet needs more of, it’s angry people who correct your grammar. Real vaccuum there.
I asked some friends why so many people spell it “woah.” Some answers:
“Because they’re frustrated little people who are unable to express themselves.”
“Idk man. Heathens.”
“who said that”
friends enemies ignored me.