Did you hear?! w00t has been named the word of the year by Merriam-Webster
! I wish I had some sort of short exclamation I could use to express my joy! Oh wait, I know: HOORAY!
As a side note, this marks the first time a word comprised partly of numbers (the O’s are traditionally zeros) has been put into the Dictionary since 2003’s inclusion of “Sk8r Boi.” The Definition? “(N.)-One who wasn’t good enough for her / But now he’s a superstar / Slammin’ on his guitar / Does her pretty face see what he’s worth?
In all seriousness, I’ve got to say this is something of a troubling sign. I’m all for gamer slang; anything that keeps a barrier of understanding between them and me is all right in my book. But the fact that it’s gaining mainstream acceptance gives the linguophile in me a shiver of fear, and a vision of a day when l33t is the U.S.’s official language.
To be fair, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is chosen by Internet ballot, so it makes sense we’d be seeing things like “truthiness” and “blog” start making the rounds. But is that really what we want? Do we really want the same folks who create
entire online encyclopedias
just to chronicle their “hilarious” labyrinthine subculture deciding the direction the English language is going in?
And by “hilarious,” I mean