Dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster announced yesterday that "w00t," the cyber-talk word for "yay," is word of the year. Apparently it reflects the future of language. Spelled with two zeros, w00t is the kind of coinage that Merriam-Webster president John Morse says he would expect from a generation raised on computers and cell phones. But Global Language Monitor, a group that uses an algorithm to track word popularity in the media and online, says the main word on everyone's typing fingertips this year was "hybrid." As in the car. What were the weird runners-up?
Merriam-Webster's runner-up was the verb "facebook," meaning to add somebody to your group of friends. For example, Bob facebooked Alice but then Eve de-facebooked Bob. Glad they picked w00t. But Global Language Monitor's runner-up words were equally yuck: "surge" (as in Iraq) and "bubble" (as in what's bursting in the US economy right now). GLM also noted that the most popular emoticon was ?-), the smiley for pirates. In addition, the mostly widely-understood word in the world is "O.K."
w00t Crowned Word of the Year [Reuters]