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HeavenO or Heaven-O is a
church-approved breakfast cereal meaningless greeting coined by Leonso Canales, Jr. of Kingsville, Texas, and promoted by a few fundamentalist wingnuts as a "more positive" alternative to "hello".
The intention is to avoid "hello"'s negative connotations of Hell (despite the fact that such connotations would not occur to most level-headed people and the two words aren't related anyway) and replace it with a supposedly more inspiring reference to Heaven. As Canales' website proclaims, "The 'O' is not enough to hide the most negative word (Hell) printed in every dictionary",[note 1] while the "Universal greeting 'HeavenO' is a symbol of Peace, Friendship and Welcome."
In 1997, Canales successfully persuaded officials of Kleberg County, Texas], to officially adopt "HeavenO" as the county's preferred form of greeting. Subsequently, the greeting has grown in popularity within Texas and beyond, being adopted by some businesses as the correct way to greet customers. However, Canales' right to promote the word as his own invention has been challenged by others who claimed to have used it previously.
Of course there is no etymological link at all between the words "Hell" and "hello", the latter deriving from "hallo", , which ultimately comes the Old French "hola", which literally means "Ahoy there".
Linguistic arguments such as these are one source of criticism of the "HeavenO" trend, along with the fact it's more than a little bit silly. Other common objections among more sensible Texans include "What's wrong with 'Howdy, y'all?'"
Iyaric is a form of English used by Rastafarians that purposely eliminates words with negative phonetic associations. One of these words is “hello”, due to sounding similar to both “hell” and “low”, and so Rastafarians generally use other greetings instead.
Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver said Amen and Awoman during the swearing of the 117th congress. Conservatives have misinterpreted this as saying the words Amen and Awoman to be more politically correct by changing the word Amen to Awoman since the word Amen has the word men in it. However, the reality is that Emmanuel Cleaver actually said the word "Awoman" as a pun to joke about how Congress has a record number of Women in it.
- HeavenO — official website
- Most negative? Well, then FuckO off.
- "Greetings through time", and Main page at HeavenO.com.
- "Texas Town says goodbye to 'hello'", Minnesota Daily, January 17, 1997.
- "'Heaveno' has received one heck of a response pall", Lubbock Online, February 08, 1997. Archived from the original on May 25, 1997.
- Hello, Dictionary.com
- Hallo, Dictionary.com.