July 25, 2014

An Objective View of WOOOOOO

by Guest Blogger

Arkansas Cheer

I have not watched a football game in as long as I can remember (Super Bowl, included). I only state that to support my assertion that I am a disinterested outsider for purposes of ranking the newly issued service mark to the University of Arkansas for WOOOOOOOO. PIG. SOOIE! WOOOOOOOO. PIG. SOOIE! WOOOOOOOO. PIG. SOOIE! RAZORBACKS!

For context, it is properly used by a person who is affiliated with the University screaming it at a sporting event. It is used to identify "Collegiate Athletic and Sporting Events." I had never really heard of it until this week, I swear. It turns out that many people seem to have strong opinions about it though.

So let's take a look at where a disinterested trademarkologist would rank it.

Trademarks are generally ranked as follows, from best to worst: Distinctive (i.e., Fanciful or Arbitrary), Suggestive, Merely Descriptive, Generic.

Is it generic? I think it is safe to say that most people do not make this noise, even when sitting at the stands at a sporting event (or ever). It simply can't be a generic sound people make at or to describe a sporting event.

Is it Merely Descriptive? Although some of my friends who went to Ole' Miss disagree, I don't think it is fair to say that this sound simply describes the Arkansas players or their sporting events.

Is it Suggestive (okay, maybe I should have clarified the meaning on this one: does it suggest an athletic event)? A little trickier, right? If you were at a hog auction and someone yelled this, that might be a suggestive use of it. If the players at Arkansas were substituted for actual pigs, that might be suggestive too. Otherwise, I don't really see it suggesting much related to football or any other athletic sport.

Is it Distinctive? Can you imagine anyone in the world, other than an Arkansas fan, yelling this anywhere? My guess is that if you answered yes, you are probably disqualified as being a rabid Arkansas fan yourself.

I really have to give this a good grade as far as service marks go. Nicely done. This does not mean you'll ever get me to say it, much less yell it though.

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