Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Community News Network

December 31, 2013

The Internet's most variously spelled word

(Continued)

The expression is now exceedingly common, and in 2013 the continuing ascension of its usage overlapped with the advancing popularity of social media to create an unstoppable force of media momentum. With so many people using the word on Facebook, Twitter and other networks that drive Web traffic these days, it appears as though editors and writers this year felt they had little choice but to join the parade. By using "whoa" in headlines, as the opening word of published articles, and pretty much everywhere else online, they seemed to be hoping that readers would see it and think: "Hey, what comes next must be really exciting, because there's that same 'whoa!' all my friends use on Twitter when interesting and important things happen." But people were so busy writing that there was no time, apparently, to agree on how we all should be spelling it.

Merriam-Webster, a host of style guides, 238 likers of the Facebook page "It's 'Whoa' not 'Woah,' " and rapper Earl Sweatshirt all support Amira's take on the proper and preferred contemporary spelling of "whoa." But don't tell that to hundreds and hundreds of headline writers who worked on articles published in 2013. In January, for instance, the Daily Mirror ran a story online titled "Woah! Rochelle Wiseman's Baby Bump Pops Up Out of Nowhere." Wonkette posted a story and video accompanied by "Woah: Fox & Friends Nearly (Accidentally?) Practiced a Tiny Smidgen of Journalism." (As if to prove that "woah" headlines transcend all party lines and political ideologies, Glenn Beck's the Blaze, in late autumn, trotted out "Woah: America's Youngest Voters Have Turned on Obama in a Big Way.") Just a few weeks ago, the Apple news website Cult of Mac ran with "Woah! Check Out the Beautiful Curved Front at Apple's Refurbished Stonestown Store."

Text Only
Community News Network
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • A night in Ferguson

    For the past week in Ferguson, reporters have been using the McDonald's a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown's shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby.

    August 14, 2014