Woe Unto You, Universal Studios Hollywood

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.”

It’s “whoa.”

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.

39 thoughts on “Woe Unto You, Universal Studios Hollywood

  1. Taswegian1957 August 27, 2022 / 3:21 am

    I looked at that and I thought “Is that some American slang I’m not familiar with?” Is it even a word. I sometimes see spelling errors in news articles and that still shocks me. I expect it everywhere else but I expect news outlets to get it right.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ron. August 27, 2022 / 3:35 am

    Woefully, we lives in a world that just don’t care no more.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Leyde Ryan August 27, 2022 / 3:37 am

    Good one! I have the same reaction when I see misspellings or hear atrocious grammar…yes, I was an English Major. Full Disclosure: as I get older and make similar mistakes, I blush with embarrassment–alone at my laptop😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 27, 2022 / 9:13 am

      Yeah, it happens to all of us upon occasion. But to advertising copy editors? Tsk tsk.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nope, Not Pam August 27, 2022 / 4:35 am

    I love spelling errors in media. Brightens my day

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Nancy Richy August 27, 2022 / 5:17 am

    Whoa!! I’ve fallen into this trap, sometimes not thinking and other times auto-correct taking over. I’m sure if we think about it we will find a bunch of words that are often misspelled. Good catch, Fan Man!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Nancy Richy August 27, 2022 / 5:20 am

    PS – Just to play the devil’s advocate I looked this up in my Funk and Wagnall’s:
    Whoa; also woah
    The plot thickens.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango August 27, 2022 / 10:24 am

      According to Dictionary.com, “Whoa is the much older spelling and is the one considered standard. Woah is a newer, alternate spelling that is often considered to be nonstandard or informal. The two terms are used to mean the same things, but woah is more likely to be found in informal contexts, such as in memes.

      To suggest that “woah” is an acceptable alternative to “whoa” (as in Funk and Wagnall’s) is kowtowing to the ignorant (in my very humble opinion).

      Liked by 3 people

      • Nancy Richy August 27, 2022 / 11:33 am

        There are a lot of ignorant people out there! Remember that segment of the Tonight Show when Jay Leno would stop people in the street and show them a picture of a famous person like Abraham Lincoln and ask who the man in the picture was? Half the people didn’t even try to guess and the other half said something ludicrous like “Moses”! Go figure!

        Liked by 2 people

  7. rugby843 August 27, 2022 / 7:37 am

    WOAH is a new dance “thing” with kids

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  8. ghostmmnc August 27, 2022 / 8:23 am

    I see things like this quite often, and it just makes me laugh. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Marilyn Armstrong August 27, 2022 / 11:29 am

    They probably think they can make up the spelling and no one will notice. And probably most people DON’T notice.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Marilyn Armstrong August 27, 2022 / 11:30 am

    Actually, I thought it was the name of some kind of application or product and it was an advertisement.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Marleen August 27, 2022 / 1:59 pm

    Remember Toys_Us with the backward R?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 27, 2022 / 5:37 pm

      Yes, but that was intentional as part of the logo. It wasn’t a misspelling.

      Like

      • Marleen August 27, 2022 / 6:27 pm

        It bugged me anyway, because it could be confusing to kids. You know, a little (only bugged me a little). It’s possible this woah for whoa — spell-checker doesn’t see either one as incorrect here but I do agree with you about the one being nonstandard and informal — was meant to indicate taking it easy or taking a load off or relaxing. I mean, that would be a mild version of letting yourself go.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marleen August 27, 2022 / 11:25 pm

          Or, rather than intentional, perhaps all the editing is done via computer. That’s somewhat worrisome. Will kids not need to learn spelling?

          Liked by 1 person

  12. PCGuyIV August 27, 2022 / 4:10 pm

    I may be the only one that feels this way, but there are certain words that don’t necessarily look as though they are spelled correctly when in fact, they are. Whoa is, at least in my opinion, one of those words. That dangling “A” at the end just looks incomplete and the “H” feels out of place. Woah, albeit incorrect, looks as though it should be correct, at least to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 27, 2022 / 6:05 pm

      Whoa was derived from the Middle English words “Ho” and “who.” If it were spelled woah, then shouldn’t it be pronounced to rhyme with “Noah”?

      Like

      • PCGuyIV August 27, 2022 / 6:23 pm

        Well… with that thought in mind, why don’t trough and though rhyme?

        Like

        • Fandango August 27, 2022 / 10:05 pm

          I dunno. For the same reason through and though don’t rhyme. English is a fucked up language.

          Like

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