Wow If True
Unlike “literally perfect,” “wow if true” hasn’t been beaten to death yet. For the uninitiated, “wow if true” is a way for people to convey their astonishment at something whilst simultaneously expressing hesitation that the thing they are so astonished by is actually real or not. This, at least, is preferable to people jumping the gun and saying “yes that happened OMG that actually happened” before getting all the facts, but still kind of annoying.
Our world is interconnected in ways only understood by Silicon Valley types and Thomas Friedman, and in the world we live in now we’re just itching for news as soon as it comes out. There is, of course, the “too good to check” phenomenon that’s plagued news organizations before, and no one wants to look like an idiot if it turns out this story they were hocking or drooling over turns out to be a complete sham. And so that’s why “wow if true” was invented.
But why use it? Can you not reserve your judgment about something until it’s confirmed to you? There’s often a lot of speculative news that stuns me, but as a general rule of thumb I try not to get too worked up about something that hasn’t been confirmed yet (i.e. every single goddamn rumor about the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the past year). “Wow if true” is really a short way of saying “I have no idea if this is true, and nothing has been officially confirmed yet, but holy crap I’ve gotta have an opinion on this now just in case!”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Come on, lighten up! There’s nothing wrong with people getting worked up about something even if it hasn’t been confirmed yet, people don’t have to wait for evidence.”
You are thinking that, right?
Okay, I don’t actually know what you’re thinking, but wow if I got it right.