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  1. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 12, 2007 at 3:50 pm |

    w00t? pwn pwns w00t.

  2. Eileen
    Eileen December 12, 2007 at 3:58 pm |

    My favorite word of this year is also from the Colbert Report: ‘solitarity.’ As in, the tendency of people to respond to events (such as the aggressive tasing of a helpless person) by running home and blogging about them rather than uniting on the spot and doing something.

    It didn’t catch on though. Pity.

  3. Anatolia
    Anatolia December 12, 2007 at 4:02 pm |


    I think it’s “wewt” now, although by the time I’ve typed this out, wewt also will have gone out of vogue simply by the mere acknowledgement that it was ever in vogue.

  4. Speck
    Speck December 12, 2007 at 4:48 pm |

    I’ve always felt that woot has this self-mocking connotation to it, kinda like saying ‘This is so nerdy of me to say, but I’m gonna say it anyway, just because. Nerd pride, yo.’ Very meta, but not a word I see anyone using in a serious context.

    Now “meh,” on the other hand…that’s long overdue for some recognition.

  5. annalouise
    annalouise December 12, 2007 at 5:20 pm |

    w00t seems very 2-3 years ago to me.

    my favorite online word, in both unpronouncability and the depth of meaning contained is teh.

  6. drydock
    drydock December 12, 2007 at 5:21 pm |

    “Ebonics”, isn’t an incorrect use of English. It’s a dialect or variety of English. That said, the term became popularized because of an embarrassingly ignorant educational proposal by the Oakland school board back in the mid 90’s.

  7. Tricia
    Tricia December 12, 2007 at 5:54 pm |

    My co-workers (of the IT and Web design variety) and I have been making fun of how “behind-the-times” this is all day. Mostly by sending all of our non-official correspondence in out of date l33t vernacular.

    One of them suggested FTW as being more current, although as an acronym I guess it’s disqualified.

  8. The Debate Link
    The Debate Link December 12, 2007 at 6:24 pm |

    l33tspeak FTW!1!!!1!!1…

    Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is “w00t”. Seriously. I have to say, though I am a fan of “w00t” as a word, “ftw” is my favorite piece of 133tspeak. But I guess that’s just an acronym (“for the win”)….

  9. mythago
    mythago December 12, 2007 at 6:24 pm |

    Now “meh,” on the other hand…that’s long overdue for some recognition.

    Sure is!

    My kids tell me that ZOMG! (pronounced “Zohmug!”) and lolcatspeak are the thing now. They pity us, because we are old fossils from the days when people thought text adventures were cool.


  10. Karna
    Karna December 12, 2007 at 7:11 pm |

    Let me go on the record to say, if the lolcatspeak catches on enough to make me deal with it on a regular basis, I’m resigning from humanity. The grammar is what makes me only able to see about 2 at a time. IM speak is almost that way now, and I’m on the fence. I don’t know, I will apparently never be as linguistically welcoming as Holly-I tend to cringe when people make new words-like selfcare instead of caring for yourself. I have no good explanation for this. It just bothers me. My friends and I tended to make jokes in l33t speak. but not ever to use seriously. surely I’m not the only one behind the times out there?

  11. brandann
    brandann December 12, 2007 at 7:59 pm |

    second on “FTW”

    i thought “BAI” was me messing up l33t by accidentally writing chinese pinyin in the end…hahaha…i was cool and didn’t know it…

    now what did i do w/ that youtubery about making up new curse words in gaming…

  12. kactus
    kactus December 12, 2007 at 9:35 pm |

    I don’t understand these words that have numbers in the middle of them. I’m not trying to be funny, but I really can’t read them. I get stuck at the first number and I’m thinking “what?” WTF does l33t even mean? How do you pronounce it?

    My best friend’s email name is like that: 2ween. I asked her, “what does two ween mean?” And she’s almost 20 years younger than me so she just thought I was being funny, but I really had to nag her til she told me it was supposed to be pronounced “queen.”

    Whatever. I feel incipient crotchetiness coming on. You kids and your funny talk!

  13. Anna Phor
    Anna Phor December 12, 2007 at 9:50 pm |

    “Truthiness” wasn’t Merriam-Webster’s WOTY last year — it was voted WOTY by the American Dialect Society, who are a competing word-honoring outfit. So you can never be sure how official your word of the year really is …

    And what Holly said about the Oakland resolution. If kids don’t speak standard English, I think it’s a fine idea to teach them, rather than pretending that they do.

  14. Roxie
    Roxie December 12, 2007 at 11:35 pm |




    which is short for Elite.

  15. kactus
    kactus December 12, 2007 at 11:36 pm |

    Ok, thank you Roxie :)

  16. Luna
    Luna December 12, 2007 at 11:46 pm |

    I was using w00t as woo! + loot since about 1999.

    lolcatspeak bugs the hell out of me. On LJ, I have a English professor friend who uses it on occasion. GAH. Drives me apeshit.

    And I agree with the original about Ebonics, though it bugs me that it’s become the name of the dialect, when it was originally referring to the method of teaching it. Ebony + phonics. Hello. Sheesh.

    I like language change. The ever-changingness of language is what I like the most about it. However, being a crotchety old crab (but not a crabby old crotch), I only like it to change the way I like it to change! :)

  17. Isabel
    Isabel December 12, 2007 at 11:53 pm |

    Holly: wiki and ye shall find!

    I am a huge fan of lolcatspeak. Mostly because I am a huge fan of lolcats. I use it in IMs in that sort of semi-ironic wa (kind of like w00t i guess. for sincere delight I go with yay!). Especially “DO NOT WANT” and “i can has [insert object of desire here]?”

    But I am also 19. Geesh, you oldsters, always harshing our cool with your anti-lolcatism. DO NOT WANT!

  18. Unruly Duckling
    Unruly Duckling December 13, 2007 at 12:12 am |

    I’d like to put in a good word for “pleh”, please. “Pleh” has allowed me to articulate my attitude about a variety of circumstances with elegant efficiency.

  19. Ferox
    Ferox December 13, 2007 at 12:33 am |

    Finally, a threat revolving around leetspeak, in which I get to bring up the greatest band of the 90s, Tag Team!

    … it was “whoomp! there it is.”

    For what it’s worth, I only encountered w00t once it had become ironic. But I like to think, with hours long ago logged in WoW, that I helped forge some current lingo pre-irony! That will be my lasting partial legacy.

  20. Naadir Jeewa
    Naadir Jeewa December 13, 2007 at 4:55 am |

    I’ve been w00ting since 2001. Lam3rz.

  21. Grant Barrett
    Grant Barrett December 13, 2007 at 10:02 am |

    The American Dialect Society voted “truthiness” the word of the year for 2005, one year before Merriam-Webster did. They are definitely behind the times–but that’s what they get for making their result of a popular vote. Most people are behind the times.

    By the way, I’m a VP of the American Dialect Society and author of the “amusing” post about the woot/w00t history. I’d love to be able to prove that the word was older than 1993 in hacker/gamer/IRC uses, but so far all the people insist that it is have provided zero hard evidence. There are a few uses of similar words before then, but they’re used differently and have no context to show that they are the same word as used today. Like all historical lexicographers, I work with what can be proven, and I try to limit the surmise, conjecture, and intuition to very small sentences buffered with lots of hedge words like perhaps, probably, maybe, unlikely, likely, seems, etc. So, the call for evidence is out! Bring the hard, incontrovertable evidence and change lexicographical history.

  22. Daomadan
    Daomadan December 13, 2007 at 10:47 am |

    Meh. w00t is old. They should have gone with pwn/pwned or various other variations.

    Personally, I prefer ftw!

  23. GuyFromOhio
    GuyFromOhio December 13, 2007 at 11:46 am |

    early text-based online games (of which there are few if any written records)

    OK, that’s just funny.

    WTF is with w00t ? Never heard it before. ;)

  24. tannenburg
    tannenburg December 13, 2007 at 12:05 pm |

    Some future Edward Gibbon is going to cite this as the definitive point at which our civilization’s fall was inevitable.

    Still, it’s better than lead water pipes.

  25. tannenburg
    tannenburg December 13, 2007 at 1:13 pm |

    Yeah, Holly…but think of it this way – what persists of the Internet is far more information about the banality of the average person than we’ve ever had in the historical record. For example, before the excavations of Pompeii we had Livy, Seutonius, and the other “classical” authors as our points of reference for Rome…and after the excavation, we found artifacts scratched on walls which wouldn’t look out of place in the average New York subway (“For a good time ask Marcus above Potter Street.”)

  26. House of Mayhem
    House of Mayhem December 13, 2007 at 1:31 pm | rulz

  27. Hector B.
    Hector B. December 13, 2007 at 2:21 pm |

    the Usenet archive, which is spotty before deja came on line back in 1995, has only one early reference to woot (that is not in a message written in Thai, Esperanto, Weanerisch, or Bahasa Indonesia), in 1993. Note that the reference is on a game group:

    From: v110m… (David M Stokes)
    Subject: AOE is INCREDIBLE!!!
    News-Software: VAX/VMS VNEWS 1.41
    Sender: n…
    Organization: University at Buffalo
    Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1993 21:20:00 GMT
    Lines: 11

    I’m really hoping that someday soon I’ll see that subject heading up
    here… :( Yea I know how you feel. BASTARD! How could I?? Well
    we got a few guys here at work chewing their legs off waiting… since
    Feb if I can remember back that long… Oh well…

    Word! Woot there it is!


    I am not responsible for anything.

  28. W. Kiernan
    W. Kiernan December 14, 2007 at 4:09 pm |

    “W00t” is antique! It’s the exclamation you utter when you telnet into somebody else’s computer and manage, by hook or by crook, to award yourself the privileges of the user “root”.

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