Gamer lingo is getting acknowledged in Merriam-Webster’s new edition of its Collegiate Dictionary.
With “woot” winning Merriam-Webster Online’s 2007 Word of the Year contest, it’s no surprise that the popular dictionary is trending toward technology talk.
Gamers will be glad to see “fanboy”, a common word often used with a negative connotation in many gaming circles, get included in the next batch of 100-plus additions to the dictionary. To settle debates on “fanboy”‘s definition, Merriam-Webster summarizes it as a “boy who is an enthusiastic devotee, such as of comics or movies.”
Merriam-Webster editor Peter Sokolowski explained the simple process for determing if a word belongs in English.
“As soon as we see the word used without explanation or translation or gloss, we consider it a naturalized citizen of the English language,” said Sokolowski. “If somebody is using it to convey a specific idea and that idea is successfully conveyed in that word, it’s ready to go in the dictionary.”
Additional tech terms being included are “malware” (software designed to interfere with a computer’s normal functioning), “netroots” (grassroots political activists who communicate via the internet, especially by blogs) and “Webinar” (live, online educational presentation during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments).
John Morse, Merriam-Webster’s president, spoke on the simplicity of internet talk, “There’s a kind of collective genius on the part of the people developing this technology, using vocabulary that is immediately accessible to all of us. It’s sometimes absolutely poetic.”