How do you spell a “sound” made in excitement? Although English language has more than one way of doing that such as Whoa or Woah, not both of them are considered correct in Standard writing. Yes, they both are popular exclamation but which one should you use when there’s no room for mistake?
Whoa or Woah – What Is The Difference, Definition and Meaning?
Defined as an interjection
“Whoa” is used in different ways in English writing. Most commonly you would see it as exclamation of surprise or excitement similar to the word “wow”. In some cases, its use is repeated in a single sentence to emphasize on the excitement or show urgency of a task.
Furthermore, Whoa is used as a command to stop. In fact, as per history, this word originates from “ho” which was used in the 16s to draw or slow down a horse.
Example 1: Whoa, did you just see the card that passed us by?
Example 2: Whoa, whoa, whoa you need to be more careful with shooting!
Also defined as an interjection
“Woah” is a popular alternative to “Whoa” which has the same meaning. You would also see it in a sentence to show excitement, amazement or surprise.
Example 1: Woah (read as Whoa), when did you learn to dance so well?
Example 2: Woah (read as Whoa), it looks like a thunderstorm is coming!
Why More People Have Started Using “Woah” In Place of “Whoa”?
There has been an uptick in the use of of “woah” in place of “whoa” in the recent years. To our surprise, even most prominent publications have made this mistake is some of the recent content.
For example, The Washington post had published “The realization that I could have easily died – that was like woah, I’m 16, that’s crazy to think about”.
However, it would be wrong to say that incorrect alternative “Woah” is anywhere close to replacing the original word. Analysts have concluded that the reason we see it more often now is because there has been a general increase in the use of both words.
It is more common to see the alternative spellings at places which do not have strict editorial requirements. Interviews made part of newspapers, memes on the internal, blogs, and social media posts are more prone to spelling errors like these.
So, What Did You Learn?
Looking at the history of these words, we see that Whoa is much older spelling and thus it is considered standard for writing. Although Woah is often used as alternate spelling, it is informal and non-standard. Nonetheless, they carry the same meaning. If you see “woah” when going through informal contexts such as memes, it is more likely to be a mistake.
Whoa: interjection, shows excitement, amazement or surprise, also used for command to stop.
Woah: interjection, carries the same meaning as “Whoa” but it is not supported as the correct spellings.
Skillset or Skill Set – Which One Is Grammatically Correct?
Different Between Unorganized and Disorganized