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Wooooo! and "young people"

Posted by Word Camel on December 06, 2002

In Reply to: Wooooo! posted by ESC on December 06, 2002

: WOOOOO!! - "The exclamation pierces any gathering where young people are getting excited.But where did it come from? Why has it replaced everything from 'hooray' to 'right on'? Experts in linguistics and culture offer guesses about the woo's origin, but nothing firm. Maybe woo is a spin on the verb 'to woo,' meaning to attempt to attract or solicit. Perhaps it's just a syllable that is easy to project loudly, less harsh on the throat than an all-out scream." Or maybe it originated from "The Arsenio Hall Show" or "The Simpsons," TV shows that both premiered in 1989. From "It's the shout heard round the world.but where did it come from? Wooooooooooo!" by Michele M. Melendez, Newhouse News Service, Dec. 6, 2002, The Courier Journal, Louisville (Ky.)

If only it *were* young people. Watch the crowd outside the "Today Show" in NYC. It's just as often a group of middle aged men and women wearing identical sombreros and shouting "Wooooo!" whenever the weather man mentions Ohio.

By contrast I once heard a very moving speech in London and felt the urge to stand up and applaud afterwards. I was half way out of my chair when I noticed the rest of the audience sitting bolt upright and tense, looking terribly moved, tears in their eyes even, but no one able to do more than applaud politely.