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Whoa not woah. Woah is not an alternative spelling.

seriously, it's "whoa"[edit]

this should be redirected to "whoa" and indicated as a common error

Merriam-Webster agrees. Kane2742 21:25, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Not redirected, but unless this happens to be really common we can call it a misspelling, not an alternative form. Whoa is so informal that I'm not sure if misspelling is the best word for it. Ah well. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:10, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
This is a misspelling, not an alternative spelling. "Alot" is not an alternative spelling of "a lot," "there" (possessive) is not an alternative spelling of "their," etc. 21:51, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Ok done. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:35, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
It says "alternative spelling." It's not one. It's a misspelling. Please fix! 01:35, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
That was changed per the Tea Room. It's an alternative spelling as common as other words. Meemo16 (talk) 07:32, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Removed from "misspelling" category, rationale:[edit]

While "woah" is certainly proscribed against and it's a disputed spelling, it's not a "misspelling" as such. To give a quick feeling for what a "misspelling" means in contrast to other categories, one quick look at the "English misspellings" category gives spellings like "aquifiers", "Amercia", and "artic". I think it's clear that while there is definitely an opposition to "woah", the use of "woah" is not based on incorrectly mapping the word to the letters that make it up, but simple variation, just like "lite", "transitionary", etc. 05:38, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

cmon people[edit]

you dont get to make up language. if people type "woah" then its "woah". i also dont see how it can be a "misspelling" because its very intended and consciously done. the "Removed from "misspelling" category, rationale:" guy also makes a good point

@Alteijú: You know what else are misspellings? "cmon", "dont", "its" (in the meaning you are using it for). You are making an ad populum argument, which is by nature fallacious. Just because a large number of people make a mistake, doesn't make the mistake no longer erroneous. It is true that we are a descriptivist dictionary, but that doesn't mean that an obvious misspelling ought to be marked as legitimate when it is not. Tharthan (talk) 00:13, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tharthan: those arent "misspellings". like i said they are very intended and consciously done. if a large number of people make a mistake, yes it does make the mistake no longer erroneous. literally the english youre speaking right now is derived from "mistakes." language is always changing and being made, and stating otherwise would make you a prescriptivist. i am not making an "ad populum" argument, an ad populum argument goes by the belief of other people. i am only stating facts here. also there are no "legitimate" spellings or non legitimate spellings. everyone writes differently, there is no way to legitimately use such tools (orthography), thats not exactly how standardization works. youre being kinda ironic by pointing out that we are a descriptivist dictionary
@Alteijú: I'm sorry, but if you are consciously misspelling words (because that is what you are doing), then you are not taking a plain descriptivist approach with language coverage, you are taking a very radical approach not widely accepted anywhere.
The thing is, fellow, the "mistakes" (as you call them) that led to Modern English have been categorised within a transitional period between Late Middle English to Early Modern English. The new English that was formed has (by now) been classified as a separate form of English: Modern English. Middle English and Modern English are considered separate, not the same. Whether you like it or not, Modern English has standards. And if a word/spelling is both proscribed and a misspelling, then it is not wise to use it, lest you appear foolish. Unlike you, I like to try to roughly follow standard English spellings (that doesn't mean that I don't have my variances) not only because I agree with the standard, but also because it accurately represents the vast majority of the forms of Modern English pretty well. Also, as a bonus, it has (somewhat of an) etymological spelling system. Amongst other things, that can help people who speak related languages in understanding English.
Radical descriptivism is just as bad as radical prescriptivism. Both are also largely unwanted. Tharthan (talk) 23:28, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tharthan: i dont remember stating that im consciously misspelling words. im only some dude casually chatting on the internet.

dont see the point youre making by claiming middle english and modern english are considered separate. also language never has "standards," it is always changing. the fact that a word/spelling being proscribed and misspelled doesnt matter, because it is anyways attested by wide use. youre calling out a lot of people on being foolish just because of their particular writing habits you dont like. and the fact that you agree with, follow, and promote the use of standard english makes you a pretty radical prescriptivist to me. also its pretty weird how you state that standard english represents the vast majority of modern english. 99% of english is dialectal or colloquial and consists of people who uses specific terms, spellings, and constructions that you wouldnt agree with. and descriptivism is not as bad as prescriptivism because usually the descriptivists are educated on actual linguistic theory.

@Alteijú: With spoken language, I agree with you. I don't care for "standard" dialects of English, because they dismiss very many elements of dialectal speech (I especially detest it when the features being dismissed are actually more historically accurate, in a fashion).
With written language, however, I don't agree. It is important to have standards for written language, so as to facilitate mutual intelligibility between individuals.
I didn't mean to imply that standard English represents the vast majority of Modern English. I meant to imply that standard English spellings cover the vast majority of the forms of Modern English pretty well. The spelling system that English has allows word origins to often be discerned, sometimes allows for former pronunciations of a word to be discerned, can allow someone whose idiolect might really stick out to someone else and might bother them to be able to be communicated with comfortably through writing instead etc. Tharthan (talk) 22:51, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tharthan: then i dont see what gets you to think that "woah" is not standard enough even though it is widely written.

also, standard english spellings dont cover most of modern english any better than proscribed spellings do. ironically "woah" being standardized and more written than "whoa" would make woah even more "well covered" despite being proscribed. also i dont see what etymology has to do with what we're talking about here. and that last example makes no sense

@Alteijú: Because the traditional spelling of the word is whoa [ʍoʊ], and it ultimately goes back to a variant of ho [hoʊ] (interjection), which is derived from Old Norse (interjection). The H being after the W (making it be thus pronounced with [ʍ] / /hw/) is relevant as such. Tharthan (talk) 19:39, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tharthan: and what about the word "wah-wah" which does not follow this pattern? and the word's etymology is irrelevant. and a words etymology doesnt choose its spelling anyway.
@Alteijú: Well, wah-wah is of direct imitative origin, first attested in jazz slang, then attested later in imitation of the sound of a baby crying. It never had an H sound in its pronunciation, /wɑwɑ/ or /wæˈwæ/.
Many would beg to differ. After all, in English, April was originally averil/aueril [in Middle English] (which was in turn derived from Old French avrill) until it was (to be more etymologically accurate) re-Latinised to apprile and later in the more modern period fixed to April. Similar things occurred with June, January, lectern, August, debt, doubt and other words. Furthermore, the French language had extensively at one point changed the spellings of many of its words to be "etymologically accurate". Even the accent marks are sometimes used for this purpose. The circumflex, for instance, is used to mark a lost sound (S, usually). So, yes, in some cases etymology does indeed determine the spelling. Tharthan (talk) 01:06, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tharthan: that is an example of people making up orthography based on its etymology.
@Alteijú: Right, and there's nothing wrong with that. Basing the spelling of words on their etymologies is not some foreign concept, nor is it wrong. Some languages like to do that more than others and English and French are some languages which are more inclined to do so than not. Tharthan (talk) 13:16, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tharthan: languages do not do anything, it is the speakers who change them. if you mean orthography is changed by a few people, then that is also absurd. imagine trying to get millions of writers to write in a specific manner just because you like it. in such a case here orthography is changed by standardization, hence the woah spelling. trying to change the way people write is at best prescriptivism which is against linguistic thought.
@Alteijú: I agree. Trying to change the way millions of people write is absurd. That's why I scoff at the Académie française and a number of their decisions, such as their recent actions to remove the circumflex from a large number of French words for little good reason (and incorporating that change into school textbooks). Thankfully, written English has been largely standardised for hundreds of years now, and it has loads upon loads of speakers, so there is no reason to haphazardly change the spellings of simple words such as whoa. Tharthan (talk) 17:20, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tharthan: but in this case the spelling "woah" was rather brought up naturally than decided/enforced by someone.
@Alteijú: I don't know. How that developed is intriguing to me, because if one wished to indicate that they weren't pronouncing it with /ʍ/, they could have just spelt it as woa. There was no need for the final H. Tharthan (talk) 15:20, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tharthan: that point is weird. if we started spelling words based on phonetics english would look a lot different. Lead would be spelled as leed. Dessert as dezert. Bow as boe etc.
@Alteijú: Right, but onomatopoeic words and their ilk (such as similar but interjectional terms which are based upon sounds) tend to be spelt phonetically; zoom, beep, bow-wow, buzz, eek, vroom, etc. Even though whoa is derived ultimately from Old Norse , it's still largely a natural interjection. Tharthan (talk) 20:16, 20 February 2018 (UTC)