"w00t" becomes Merriam-Webster's Word of Year
www.chinaview.cn 2007-12-12 11:21:54   Print

    BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- "w00t," an exclamation of happiness or triumph by online gamers, has topped all other terms to become Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year, media reported Wednesday.

    The word -- typically spelled with two zeros -- is like saying "yay," the dictionary said. "It could be after a triumph or for no reason at all."

    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.

    The word reflected the growing use of numeric keyboards to type words, Morse said.

    "People look for self-evident numeral-letter substitutions: 0 for O; 3 for E; 7 for T; and 4 for A," he said. "This is simply a different and more efficient way of representing the alphabetical character."

    Visitors to Merriam-Webster's website were invited to vote for one of 20 words and phrases culled from the most frequently looked-up words on the site and submitted by readers.

    Some also-rans in the 2007 list: the use of "facebook" as a verb to signify using the website by that name; nuanced terms such as "quixotic," "hypocrite" and "conundrum"; and "blamestorm," a meeting in which mistakes are aired, fingers are pointed and much discomfort is had by all.

    (Agencies)

Editor: Wang Yan
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