Alright so this just falls extraordinarily well! Someone searched for the phrase “why do french women gasp when they say oui” on my blog today and fell across a post that I made three years ago observing this behavior. On July 18 2010 i wrote:
“French women all speak with this gaspy breath thing in their voice. They gasp and then they say “oui” I don’t understand it and they ALL do it, even on TV. What is with that?”
Apparently this began amongst bourgeois women as a certain trend to be somewhat hush-hush perhaps when talking down on the dastardly behaviors of the “les moyens” and it quickly caught on as a way to mock the hoity-toity. However in recent times (and maybe because it was abused in a comic way) this practice has seeped into a younger demographic.
Mostly still practiced by women every now and then I will run across a young male who will say “oui” in this very exasperated way to my great displeasure.
This is such a ridiculous thing to do because basically you just sound like an idiot or like you’ve accidentally inhaled a bug. But also this is the ONLY word that you can say like this!!!!! Nothing else! IN any case there is just NO reason for it. So to all you students out there learning french in Paris DO NOT pick up this ear-grinding habit.
This annoying practice is reviewed by Norman: a french guy who does this popular form of comic video blog alone in his apartment. He also looks over a few more of our everyday expressions in French that make little to no sence. Skip to 1:13 for the explanation.
A quick thank you to my awesome fella who showed me this ever so useful video.
In short(BREF): What is this trend? No clue! Just an obnoxious sign of the times that is sure to be made fun of for years to come.