W00t! I'm The Word Of The Year! Merriam-Webster Is Totally l337!

from the m3rr14m-w3b$73r dept

Back in 2001, the folks at the Oxford English Dictionary caused a little stir with they added Homer Simpson’s “Doh!” to their dictionary of the English language. Merriam-Webster has upped the ante now by not only adding “w00t” to the dictionary, but choosing it as the 2007 word of the year. Last year, “truthiness” beat out “google” for the honor. When asked about the numerical characters in word, Merriam-Webster John Webster explained that this “is simply a different and more efficient way of representing the alphabetical character.” Um, more efficient? Hardly — w00t is from leet speak, and the orthographic substitutions of numbers for certain letters are intended to make more secure, yet easily remembered words for passwords. Is Merriam-Webster grasping for attention? With traffic on sites like urban dictionary catching up to Merriam-Webster, perhaps they wanted to curry favor with all of the l33t kids.

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Comments on “W00t! I'm The Word Of The Year! Merriam-Webster Is Totally l337!”

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Whooz on First? says:

Bekuz I sed so that's y!

Who says the way we write now is the best form of written English? My 6-year old girl, in first grade, is taught to spell phonetically now. Half the words she comes up with are better than our normal written words (i.e. shorter and easy to understand). I know exactly what she has written, even though half the words are spelled “incorrectly.”

Keybored says:


Is WTF in the dictionary. W00T is a stupid slang word used by very few people. If you don’t believe the ‘dictionaries’ are not trying to define language by choosing one stupid new word over another you are illiterate, inexperienced, innocent, naif, naive, nescient, unconscious, uneducated, unenlightened, uninformed, unknowing, unknowledgeable, unlearned, unlettered, unversed, and/or unwitting.


Anonymous Coward says:

Technically it is a more efficient way of representing the alphabetical character, but only within the confines of a cell phone number keypad where you have to hit a button multiple times for a single letter. On any standard keyboard, it is not in any way more efficient.

That being said, I agree that the English language is being destroyed as we speak, and dumb words aren’t the half of it. Has anybody else noticed how words like “to, too” and “there, their, they’re” and even “lose, loose” are almost never used correctly anymore? I’m even starting to see errors like that in major news articles now. Come on people, it’s not that hard to figure out. Quit being so lazy. I am sick of having to interpret the comments from the linguistically-challenged who can’t figure out how to use simple words that even a third-grader should know how to use. I think we need to stop and figure out how to use what we’ve got already before worrying about dumb new words that are nothing more than a fad.

Zabolyx says:

Jargon and Slang

This is nothing new. In fact much of the words you speak today are fairly new to the English language.

Computer jargon or slang of the 60’s and 70’s and even newer are finding themselves in the dictionary. Look up floppy, or CD-ROM. Take sweet or rad for instance. These words change and have new slang meanings that are now in the dictionary.

Sadly the English language allows for many words to have multiple meanings even without counting the slang meanings. That alone can be a very confusing.

I saw an article that some schools are allowing txt spelling in class. BTW they are considering it a new shorthand style. When my dictonary starts listing words like BFF, B4, WTH, WTF and more I think I’ll take Latin back up.

klaatu62 says:

There should be a limit

There should be a limit to words that can also be pronounced verbally. We are lucky that Prince’s unpronouncable symbol didn’t make it into the language!

Seriously, yes language grows, and that is good, but there should be a difference between actual growth and trendy gobblediegook. maybe we should add ROFLMAO and CUL8ER

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