Word of the Year: w00t!


Based on the “vast majority” of users voting at its website, Merriam-Webster has chosen its 2007 word of the year, and the word is “w00t.”

A report in the CBC says that w00t, which combines letters and numbers in the form of online slang known as “l33tspeak,” beat all other entries in the online poll for the word that best exemplified the year 2007. Other contenders included facebook, blamestorm and apathetic and hypocrite. John Morse, president of Merriam-Webster, described the word as an “ideal choice.”

“It shows a really interesting thing that’s going on in language,” Morse said. “It’s a term that’s arrived only because we’re now communicating electronically with each other.”

According to the Merriam-Webster website, “This year’s winning word first became popular in competitive online gaming forums as part of what is known as l33t (“leet,” or “elite”) speak – an esoteric computer hacker language in which numbers and symbols are put together to look like letters. Although the double ‘O’ in the word is usually represented by double zeros, the exclamation is also known to be an acronym for ‘We owned the other team’ – again stemming from the gaming community.”

Although the word isn’t yet included in the standard Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is defined on the website as, “w00t (interjection): expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word ‘yay.'”

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