Last May my sister suffered a seizure, was diagnosed with epilepsy and barred from driving for 12 months.
My sister was eager to get her license back, as it’s tough to live in a rural state such as New Hampshire when you can’t drive. Fortunately, my sister’s medication was effective, her year free of seizures and earlier this month her license was returned to her. She celebrated by driving home from the Division of Motor Vehicles. I learned that my sister had gotten her license back later that day, via an exuberant text message: “And I can drive again!”
I felt that a celebratory text was in order, and attempted to type “Woo hoo!” But the autocorrect feature on my iPhone rejected hoo, changing it to hop. I noticed the change too late, and decided it needed to be corrected. “I meant to say ‘Woo hoo!’, not ‘Woo hop!”, I explained, in a subsequent text. “I liked the first version better!” my sister replied.
She wasn’t kidding.
A few hours later, she posted a status update on Facebook that read, “One seizure, 12 months, one week and five minutes later, the NH Dep’t of Safety has declared that I am no longer a hazard to public safety and can drive again. Woo hop!”
Not everyone got it — some friends assumed she meant to write Woo Hoo, and replied accordingly. But I knew the truth. And after careful consideration I’ve decided that the phrase Woo hop! is superior to Woo hoo! For one thing, it suggests a happiness so great that you momentarily take leave of your senses and leap into the air. Woo hoo! also suggests happiness, but of a slightly more earthbound sort.
There aren’t many things that make me feel like jumping in the air and shouting with joy. But should such an occasion ever arise, I know which expression I’ll find most fitting.
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