For example: "Wow! How can he do that? Unbelievable..."


"Wow! How can he be so insensible!? Unbelievable..."

I would like to double check so I don't become the insensible myself... :)

  • What did I do wrong for the down vote? – Gringol May 7 '12 at 20:50
  • I’m neither of the down-voters, but how is it that a dictionary could’t have answered this question? – tchrist May 7 '12 at 20:55
  • I did check a bunch of online dictionaries and they all mention the world "pleasure". – Gringol May 7 '12 at 21:02
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    I found this: "1. (Chiefly Scottish) An exclamation, variously expressing aversion, surprise or admiration, sorrow or commiseration, or mere asseveration. 2. (In general use.) Now chiefly expressing astonishment or admiration." Seems perfectly adequate for answering your question. Which means that this certainly sounds very general-referency to me. – tchrist May 7 '12 at 21:35
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    You wrote: "I checked a bunch of online dictionaries and they all mention the world 'pleasure'." In the future, please reveal such info in your question, and even mention some of the dictionaries by name. Why? The more we know about the research you've already done, the easier it is for us to get to heart of the matter, rather than simply repeating your research. When you ask, "How can I use 'Wow'?" an initial reaction is, "Can't he use a dictionary?" But when you say, "I checked five dictionaries, and they all said 'Wow' was used to express pleasure, some might say, "Wow! I didn't know that!" – J.R. May 7 '12 at 23:34

It is common to use "wow" to express surprise, regardless of the nature of that surprise. Example:

"So I went to the store and it was not until I returned home I realized I left my baby in the garage." "You left your baby in the garage?" "Yeah, can you believe it?" "Wow."

  • Thanks JD! I just did not want to sound insensitive by demonstrating pleasure for something bad. :) – Gringol May 7 '12 at 20:51
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    I am reminded of the mother who texted her daughter: "grandmom died. lol." Thinking that lol meant "lots of love" (and not "laugh out loud") – horatio May 8 '12 at 18:57

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