Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 11:38:24 CST From: "Donald M. Lance" Subject: Re: whoop The w/hw variation in 'whoop' shouldn't be surprising -- i.e. the "complexity" shouldn't be surprising. The spelling suggests an old word that used to have /hw/ in everyone's English, and now just people like Dennis Preston and me keep to the old tried and true. Since the vowel is a back vowel, we should see the loss of /w/ in some dialects (like the loss of /w/ in 'who') if not in all dialects. I have /h/ in 'whooping cough' and 'war whoop' but /hw/ in 'to whoop it up." Can't explain the latter. Also /h/ in 'whooping and hollering'. Well, I can explain my patterns: my parents' usage. But why did they keep the /w/ in 'whoop it up' but "lost" the /h/ in 'whoa' and "lost" the /w/ in other uses of 'whoop'. My usage is strictly from oral tradition, no booky spelling pronunciations, of course. DMLance