A Word In Your Ear - December 13, 2018
We've been enjoying Strictly Come Dancing on BBC1, but there's an annoying factor which increasingly jars with me. Why is everyone whooping?
It’s especially bad on the weekday show, compèred by lively and likeable Zoe Ball. They only have to announce the start of the show, or mention who a guest is and it starts up – wild whooping. Whoever was mentioned hasn’t even appeared yet!
Perhaps the floor manager is American and holding up a card instructing our traditionally reserved British audience to, “Holler and whoop!”
Or, possibly, he simply whoops himself. If you listen closely, it sounds like the same man; obviously young, very highly strung and wildly elated - as though high on mind-altering drugs.
Alternatively, this uncontrollable urge to shout above everyone else’s enthusiastic but polite applause is some malady akin to Tourette’s Syndrome, which should be pitied and medically treated.
Once you’ve noticed this irritating, anti-social behaviour you start hearing it on other programmes, rather like that annoying and false “canned laughter” they used to play in the background for telly sit-coms, specially American ones. Now it’s wild whooping which accompanies most live-chat programmes, such as The One Show or Loose Women. It’s even creeping into our theatres, like the Grand or Lowther.
Of course, this unseemly outburst stems from the States. The British, however deeply moved or excited, have traditionally simply clapped, cheered or, among down-to-earth types, perhaps whistled.
According to my online ‘urban dictionary’, whooping is, “The act of screaming in adoration, generally accompanied by a revolving fist-shake and prevalent in the United States, Australia and other former colonies settled by pioneering herdsmen.’ It also supplies a literary reference, quoting, “The buffoons were screaming like idiots!” and finally adds, see also ‘Screaming banshees’.
Well quite - and on the Beeb too! Anyway, it’s strictly off limits for me.
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