I was watching TV last night and and was shocked at what I saw during an ad for Universal Studios Hollywood. So shocked that I whipped out my iPhone and took the picture above of my TV screen.
Can you tell what’s wrong with this picture? Let me give you a hint. There’s a spelling error. Got it yet?
Okay, here’s what’s wrong. The word “whoa” is misspelled. The word “whoa,” as most everyone knows, is used to express surprise, interest, or alarm, or to command a horse to make it stop or slow down, or to urge a person to stop or wait.
In the case of this commercial though, it’s used as a play on the phrase, “Let yourself go,” meaning to relax and behave much more freely than usual; to be unrestrained or uninhibited. In other words, to have fun.
But here’s the rub. There is only one correct way to spell the word “whoa.” And that one way is w-h-o-a.
It’s not “woah.”
It’s not “whoah.”
It’s not “waoh” or “whao” or “whaoh.”
And it’s only “whoa.”
Even if you’re British or Canadian or Australian, it’s still “whoa.”
I’m just really surprised that the copy editor at the advertising agency for Universal Studios Hollywood didn’t catch the misspelling of the word “whoa.” Unless it was done intentionally to get the attention of someone like me, who, were it not for that misspelling, would never have paid attention to that commercial.
But if they missed it and don’t care that they spelled “whoa” wrong…well, all I can say is woe unto you, Universal Studios Hollywood.