A Word In Your Ear with Roy Edmonds - November 21, 2019
Edmonds Towers is still a whoop-free zone – until, that is, we switch on the telly.
This I rarely do, loving peace and quiet. However, She Who Knows turns it on if only passing through our living room into the kitchen.
If you look up ‘whoop’ – as in ‘to holler’ - you’ll learn both these came from the States. Whooping was originally used by cowboys to startle cattle into moseying on, which it makes me do – usually to the sanctuary of my upstairs so-called study. ‘Red Indians’ (sorry, not very P.C. I know) also famously made whooping chants to instil terror into early settlers.
Nowadays you can’t get through a public concert or a television show with a live audience without idiot onlookers breaking into whooping. What was wrong with dignified or eager applause? That’s what English audiences used to do. One doesn’t even mind the odd hearty cheer, or even an appreciative whistle. (Though, sadly, no longer at the ladies.)
The answer is that whooping makes over-excitable, childish and selfish people feel important and, as they desperately want, draws others’ attention toward them. It’s the call of someone who can’t contain themselves, especially in public auditoriums.
Probably these hyped-up whoopers have been over-doing those unhealthy sugary drinks (also mostly American) - or other, less legal substances.
Whatever the cause, as soon as She Who Knows is out of earshot I turn the telly to mute – or, once she goes back upstairs, switch it off.
Last weekend we saw whooping reach new heights as Strictly Come Dancing came to Blackpool Tower Ballroom. TV previously used ‘warm-up comics’ before variety shows, now they must have whooper-uppers - waving placards to stir up everyone. By contrast, if I murmur any remarks while we await the results, I’m immediately shushed!
Fortunately, I’d already anaesthetised myself with dinner wine.
* Roy’s books are on Kindle or in paperback - see www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.