Friday, 14 December 2007

Word of the day

Today's word is w00t. Many thanks to Tom, who has pointed out the Merriam-Webster word of the year list, from which I have taken this one, the word of the year. According to Merriam-Webster (and they are a dictionary, so they should know, but you be the judge of that) is means:

expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word "yay"
w00t! I won the contest!
Submitted by: Kat from Massachusetts on Nov. 30, 2005 23:18
Sharp-eyed readers (that is, all readers of this blog) will have noticed that two of the letters are in fact numbers. The obviousness of this depends on what font is being used, and the pronunciation of nought, Oh or zero (whatever you call that number) is as if it was the letter O.

Merriam-Webster explains this by referring to the origins of the word in 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 zeroes, the exclamation is also known to be an acronym for "we owned the other team"—again stemming from the gaming community."

The Wikipedia has an entry on it, and Google turns up 12 million search results, so I guess W00t really is a word.

2 comments:

Bec said...

'... the pronunciation of nought, Oh or zero (whatever you call that number) is as if it was the letter O ...'

I wonder if the gradual disappearance of these pronunciation variants has anything to do with the Web/Library/Life/Everything.0 phase the world appears to be enduring? Most people don't refer to it as 'point zero', but 'point oh' or 'dot oh'.

I'm going to go out on a limb against the enthusiasts and risk saying I pronounce it as 'two-point-oh-verhyped' ...

TRR said...

Dictionary.com has now done a copycat and put up its own words of the year. I think they're bland by comparison though; I liked seeing 'facebook' as a verb, and of course 'w00t', which has an etymology I wasn't aware of.