"w00t" crowned word of year by U.S. dictionary

"w00t", an expression of joy coined by online gamers, was crowned word of the year on Tuesday by the publisher of a leading U.S. dictionary.

Massachusetts-based Merriam-Webster said "w00t" -- typically spelled with two zeros -- reflects a new direction in the American language led by a generation raised on video games and mobile phone text-messaging.

It's like saying "yay", the dictionary said.

"It could be after a triumph or for no reason at all," Merriam-Webster said.

Visitors to Merriam-Webster's Web site 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.

Runner-up was "facebook" as a new verb meaning to add someone to a list of friends on the Web site Facebook.com or to search for people on the social networking site.

Merriam-Webster President John Morse said "w00t" reflected the growing use of numeric keyboards to type words.

"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."

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Leet speak is "leet" or "cool" because the people who use it feel they share a bond of exclusivity with those around them who use "leet" speak. The more people who use w00t in language the less cool (read "different") it makes those who use it, and the less "cool" the word becomes.

It's like Mac computers. Most of the people who are hardcore Mac users are so because they want to be "different". The more mainstream it becomes, the less cool one is for having a Mac.

...reflects a new direction in the American language led by a generation raised on video games and mobile phone text-messaging.

Reminds me of an insightful thought from Californication:
Quote - Episode "LOL"
Henry Rollins: What's your latest obsession?
Hank: Just the fact that people seem to be getting dumber and dumber. You know, I mean we have all this amazing technology and yet computers have turned into basically four figure wank machines. The internet was supposed to set us free, democratize us, but all it's really given us is Howard Dean's aborted candidacy and 24 hour a day access to kiddie porn. People...they don't write anymore - they blog. Instead of talking, they text, no punctuation, no grammar: LOL this and LMFAO that. You know, it just seems to me it's just a bunch of stupid people pseudo-communicating with a bunch of other stupid people at a proto-language that resembles more what cavemen used to speak than the King's English.
Henry Rollins: Yet you're part of the problem, I mean you're out there blogging with the best of them.
Hank: Hence my self-loathing.

How are people getting "dumber and dumber"? I mean, it's not like their standard English is being replaced by LOL and WTF! They're writing on the internet. I think all of us who write things like LOL will not say them, and we all know the proper ways. Wow.

Give me a break. w00t has been used for many many years now. Nice of the world to jump on the bandwagon once the general public starts using it.

95% of these people have no idea wtf "w00t" even means or where it originated from. They are just using it because they think it makes them look "cool", but of course they are 20 years behind the times. The first time this was used dates to the mid-80s.

With that being said...h4x0r5 1n 7h3 yu0r d1c710n4ry?! 0h n05!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111shiftoneshiftone.

w00t! Its a cool word but most people dont use it anymore, its out of style. They really shouldve made facebook a word, they made google one.

people say w00t all the time online. they type it and write it, but rarely say it, like most words

"lol" and "wtf" won't be added because they are acronym's. where as w00t is a new word


w00t is used all the time and represents the direction the current generation is heading in. making new ways to exprese themselves

there's nothing wrong with it being added to the dictionary

No. Words do not have numbers in them. It's not a word. Furthermore I have never typed it and I can't recall seeing anyone else type it for years now.

TRC said,
No. Words do not have numbers in them. It's not a word. Furthermore I have never typed it and I can't recall seeing anyone else type it for years now.

go to their webpage and look up the definition of "word". doesn't say it can't use numbers. and like i said, it represents the new direction this generation is taking. it's a new way of spelling in this computer driven world

you can see people type it on WoW all the time

it represents the new direction this generation is taking. it's a new way of spelling in this computer driven world

What a load of nonsense. People who use "words" like this look like illiterate morons. Do you know any "adults" who type like that? Citing a bunch of kids using it in a video game hardly qualifies it as a word. As for looking up the definition of word on their web page, why would I do that? They are the same idiots that added "w00t" in the first place, who cares what their definition of a word is.

Whoa. A little emotional over a "word"? It's a saying, just like saying "owned". A stupid internet term. BIG DEAL.

I mean, it does NOT deserve to go in the dictionary, but wow. I think you're taking this "word" a little too seriously.

Furthermore I have never typed it and I can't recall seeing anyone else type it for years now.

I see it written all the time, more sarcastically than not.

I haven't used w00t or heard anyone say w00t in years and years. What is with old people, get with it.

And facebook? I use the site constantly but I don't say it, or use the word.

Word of the year? Maybe if the year was 1997 and not 2007. Is Ric Romero running Webster now?

It's not even a word you dictionidiots. (<--- I just made that a word)

Look what our language is degenerating to and all because kids are too lazy to learn how to express themselves.

"This is simply a different and more efficient way of representing the alphabetical character."

No, it's a lazy and pathetic excuse for people who can't read or write basic English properly. It represents illiteracy, nothing more.

C_Guy said,
Look what our language is degenerating to and all because kids are too lazy to learn how to express themselves.

"This is simply a different and more efficient way of representing the alphabetical character."

No, it's a lazy and pathetic excuse for people who can't read or write basic English properly. It represents illiteracy, nothing more.

Spot on!

C_Guy said,
Look what our language is degenerating to and all because kids are too lazy to learn how to express themselves.

I don't see a problem with writing "w00t", but there IS a problem with putting it in the dictionary.

How is it laziness to write "w00t" instead of "woot". It's the same amount of keystrokes, and not only that, I'd say it takes even more effort to write the zeros because it's easier to write letters than numbers on the keyboard.

C_Guy said,
No, it's a lazy and pathetic excuse for people who can't read or write basic English properly. It represents illiteracy, nothing more.

Wrong. I'm sure that people who know how to write "w00t" know they're writing it like that. It's not like people who write "w00t" actually think that's how it's written.

I write "w00t" sometimes. Am I illiterate? Oh yeah, I wouldn't be able to this sentence if I was. Thanks for reminding me.

You weren't asking for an answer?

Am I illiterate?

Sorry but that's a question. Anyway I was joking, but then you still haven't seen what you did wrong either have you?

I'll give you a hint: "I wouldn't be able to this sentence".

TRC said,
I'll give you a hint: "I wouldn't be able to this sentence".

Oh, I completely missed that, lol.

I meant "I wouldn't be able to write this sentence.."

Happy now?

I think this is just a stupid ploy by M-W to get youth interested in the dictionary again. Does anyone actually use a hard copy dictionary anymore? Is "w00t" ever spoken or always used electronically (rhetorical)? Dumb, absolutely dumb.

Some times is is easier to flip through a dictionary (or analog storage device) on your desk to quickly look something up then to pull up the web browser and type.

this is messed up i cant believe they actually made that crap a official word in the dictionary.

is "aint" a word yet? ... cause if not, i think ALOT of people use that word (aint) over "w00t" on a much larger scale.

sure it's (w00t) used alot, but i think most of that type of slang sucks, i never use it.

lol. I should write this in my essays, then point them at the dictionary when they say it's wrong

This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard, "w00t", in the DICTIONARY.

In today's news:
h4x0rz, teh, Micro$oft, pwn, and n00b are added to the dictionary!

w00t? you gota be kidding me... that world is achient


and "facebook"? comon! hasn't anyone went to school for the past half century? facebook and yearbook have been synonymous for every! its not a new word and doesnt mean adding friends to a website......

please tell me that french and spanish will be spared by such stupid decisions.... seriously, if that's indeed true, it's a very sad day.

oh jesus......

"This is simply a .... more efficient way of representing the alphabetical character."
who comes up with this crap? honestly. Peoples intentional misspellings of words to make them seem more cool should not mean that the crap they come up with goes in the dictionary.

I'm right with everyone else on doing it, sure, i say stuff like w00t all the time. That doesn't mean it should go in the dictionary. And no... facebook should definetly NOT be in the dictionary either.

seta-san said,
texting on a phone it actually is easier... unless you have one of those phones with a full keyboard

I saw "w00t" before people used text messaging widespread, but on internet forums, where people would have access to a keyboard. Mainly because "woot" looks lesscool. So regardless, its not the reason for the spelling.

And, facebook is not really a widespread word. Dictionaries have been too lenient in adding new words recently, in I guess, an attempt to make them look hip to technology

seta-san said,
texting on a phone it actually is easier... unless you have one of those phones with a full keyboard

Actually on any modern phone with a dictionary built in, it's not easier and it IS slower. since getting numbers you either have to hold down the key for some seconds to show you want the number, or change to numbers with the # or * key depending on phone.

meanwhile typing woot, would require 4 quick presses assuming it's in the dictionary, if not it's a fairly simple job to add it and then it's there... so no, numerics are in no way faster on phones, unless you got a really old phone from the mid 90's