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w00t: The 2007 Word of the Year

That’s not an interjection from the reporter. The exclamation “w00t” was chosen by Merriam-Webster’s online users as 2007’s Word of the Year.

An interesting choice if not simply because half of the word is spelled with numbers instead of letters, w00t is a neologism showing the effect that technology has on common language.

Deriving from the proto-language 1337, traditionally used by online gamers and the ever nefarious hackers (hax0rz!), the expression is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “an interjection expressing joy.” It could be invoked following a personal triumph, or for no reason at all.

Think of it as “hooray” with zeroes.

“W00t” has also been noted to stand for “We Owned the Other Team,” but as is sometimes the case with pop culture terminology, this is likely just a backronym.

Technology-influenced terms are the top two items on this year’s Merriam-Webster Words of the Year list, the second top ranked word of the year this year is facebook. It’s not the proper name of the popular social networking Web site, it’s a verb describing practically every activity possible there: facebooking a photo (uploading it to the site), facebooking a party (creating a party as an event), facebooking someone (to look someone up).

For those who prefer The New Oxford American Dictionary, that publication’s list of words of the year for 2007 include further tech-related terms such as bacn –a noun describing the automatically-sent email updates from news and social networking sites, (they’re not quite spam, they’re bacn)– cloudware –shared online applications– and social graph –the network of one’s friends and connections on social networking sites.

w00t, Dictionary, Term

Source:→ betanews

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