How now, Ho Hum?

It's Hip to Be Square!
I am old. So my children tell me. So also says my 20-something friend and officemate. She says a lot of things I don’t get, actually. Then again, she watches a lot more TV than I do, so I usually dismiss her catchphrases as culturally irrelevant to those of us who still think REM is alternative.

One of her more arresting utterances is “ho hum,” a response to one of my many witty and cutting remarks:

Me: Yes, your new Tom’s shoes are fabulous. Because nothing says “urban sophisticate” like burlap.

Her: Ho hum!

By ho hum she means “what-EVER!” or, were we not at work, a visibly raised middle finger. That’s not what ho hum means to me (or, it seems, to nearly everyone on the web). So I’m asking a question: who among you has heard ho hum used in this manner? Who uses it thusly? The answer will help settle an ongoing argument about the vigor of youth vs. the merits of age.

— Otto E. Mezzo

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