Someone has taken the scare out of Boo. Boo used to send shivers of fear down my spine. Sisters, lying in wait, would leap forward with a loud BOO and laugh as I scurried off to the safety of a seemingly compassionate mother.
But now, boo is no more scarier than a peacock feather thrust into an armpit. This dawned on me as I tried to scare the hiccups (or hiccoughs) out of my niece. The look of “what the hell was that about”was not the one I was expecting. A little shriek would have restored my faith in the timeless fright word.
But no. Boo was laid to rest at that very moment. It has been replaced by RAAARRRR and AAARRRGGHH and various meaningless guttural sounds. Personally, while acknowledging the power of these newcomers, I find they are a little bit to obvious for my taste. The have the subtlety of a Jim Carey movie. Boo, on the other hand, conjured thoughts of darkness and monsters and ethereal forms wailing o’er the moors.
Alas, Boo has been rendered impotent, relegated to a nicer form as the appendage to peek a. Granted, it does have a moody, if somewhat maudlin, side when it is coupled with hoo.
Further, one would imagine that by duplicating Boo, one would make it a scarier word – in much the same way as some languages magnify intensity. I give you, by way of example, the Bahasa Indonesia word orang which means person. When doubled as in orang orang, it becomes people. Daluk in an aborignal dialect means woman, daluk daluk means women. But does Boo get sacrier? No. Thanks to out Americanisation of English, Boo has had injury added to insult when it is a boo boo.
The once fearful boo is no more.
Lets hope that Tickle is never taken from us as it would be a travesty to be mute while inflicting uncontrollable spasms on a person.