W00t! Word of the Year 2007

December 13, 2007 at 12:00 am | Posted in Language | 2 Comments
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W00t! I actually do not know how to pronounce “w00t!” – I mainly knew it through Lenina’s blog, but have no phonetic representation for it. I thought it was a variation of ‘what!’, but that may not be true.

Regardless of my confusion, w00t! has become Merriam-Webster’s word of the year 2007. The New York Times writes:

Merriam-Webster’s president, John Morse, said ”w00t” was an ideal choice because it blends whimsy and new technology. ”It shows a really interesting thing that’s going on in language. It’s a term that’s arrived only because we’re now communicating electronically with each other,” Morse said. […] ”W00t” was among 20 nominees in a list of the most-searched words in Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary and most frequently submitted terms from users of its ”open dictionary.” The choice did not make Allan Metcalf, executive secretary of the American Dialect Society, say ”w00t.” ”It’s amusing, but it’s limited to a small community and unlikely to spread and unlikely to last,” said Metcalf, an English professor at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill.

W00t has not yet been added to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary – at least I couldn’t find it – but it is supposedly going to be added soon. I admit that I kind of disapprove of that – which official word can have two numbers in its middle in particular if these aren’t pronounced like numbers?

Here is the complete top ten – I’d also prefer if brand names wouldn’t be granted access (I know, I know – dictionaries are no longer prescriptive, they have become merely descriptive:

2. facebook

3. conundrum

4. quixotic

5. blamestorm

6. sardoodledom

7. apathetic

8. Pecksniffian

9. hypocrite

10. charlatan

Btw, am I correct in assuming that w00t is – more or less – pronounced like the German ‘Wut’ (anger)?

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