Fifth Blog: From "Oops" to "Goop"

So, this probably happened: Back in the day, two Neanderthal dudes were doing a little cave painting (no doubt, renditions of a couple neighborhood gals they were infatuated with) when one of them accidentally spilled their paint and, without a moment's hesitation, said "Oops". The second caveman, having never heard actual language before, eyed his buddy curiously before donning a knowing look and a wry smile, tacitly signaling, "Yeah... sounds about right." And thus, the first word was born. Later, when they brought the ladies in to view their artwork, they were greeted with simultaneous "Oohs" and, thus, the second word was born.

CUT TO: 65,000 years later, give or take, and Gwyneth Paltrow decides to name her fledgling wellness and lifestyle company "Goop". Wedged between the "G" and the "P"--her initials--are double O's, purposely put there on the advice of her good friend and marketing guru, Peter Arnell. It was his contention that successful online companies have dual O's in their name. "Say what? We're supposed to believe that's actually a thing?... Total Madison Avenue hooey!" I thought to myself and immediately tried Googling it but was redirected to Yahoo.

Okay, so, yeah, that last sentence wasn't lost on me. And just like that, it got me to wondering: Was this some kind of phenomenon that had been hiding in plain sight since, like... the caveman days? And if so, what is there about these two like letters when paired together that we, as a species, find so appealing? Could it be something in their intonation that innately attracts us? Do we actually derive a sense of comfort from the double O's?

The progression quickly played out in my head. From "comfort" I found my way to "reassurance" which led me to "calm" which was right next door to "solace" which just happened to be hanging out with "soothe"... I know. And how soothing is the word "soothe", right? So that was it; I had my answer. We constantly use the dual O's in words in place of others to take the edge off. It's our default aesthetic adjustment; our way of making everything just a little more palatable. Society's collective "oops" in favor of a half dozen offensive, vulgar swear words.

And from there the floodgates opened. Suddenly I was seeing and hearing the double O's everywhere: " I wasn't hitting on that woman; I was just... 'wooing' her." "They're not gluttons; they're 'foodies'." "We don't want you to get the hell out of here; just 'scoot'!... 'Shoo', I say!". "Hey, he' not an egotistical jerk; he's a... 'tool'?" "She's not being a pain in the ass; she's just a bit 'moody'." And instead of the million off-putting words for defecation how 'bout we go with "poop" or even "pooh". And for the women disgusted with men's slang words for their breasts (and rightly so), here's to "boobs", a moniker that even the fairer sex can get on board with and support.

Okay, so that's it; case solved.  Gotta say, I do feel just a tad more enlightened and hope you do, too.  And so, before I go I'd just like to give props to the French for being forward-thinking enough to add an "Ooh" to their "la-la's" and apologies to The Goo Goo Dolls, The Foo Fighters and The Stooges for initially thinking their names were borderline ridiculous. In retrospect they're obviously very, very "cool".