Sunday, May 9, 2010


A little story of how a simple mistake spawned a brand new word that swiftly set the globe alight.
Two journalists writing for The Times of London have told how they were interviewing the  Baroness Greenfeld - a neuroscientist no less - who was despairing at the technological habits of young people who flip relentlessly from games to Facebook to YouTube. 
In describing these brain-frying computer geeks, the journos thought the scientist said 'yaka-wow'.
Within 24 hours of publication, Google had amassed 75,000 results for yaka-wow. There was a Facebook page, a Twitter stream, and some nut had established online the 'First Church of the Yaka-Wow'. 
'Is it phonetic for Eyjafjallajokull?' someone asked.
Another dubbed it 'Kumbaya for the 21st century. A world of people saying ‘yaka-wow’ is better than a world of people shooting each other and smoking.'
You can now purchase your 'Yuka-wow not war' T-shirt in a range of 10 colours.
The word is, in fact, a transcription error of the humble 'yuck' and 'wow'. The scientist's comment misheard by the writers to be:
'Is it going to be a planet worth living in if you have a load of breezy people who go around saying yaka-wow. Is that the society we want?'

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