SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) — English-language dictionary Merriam-Webster said Wednesday that an expression popular with people that play online computer games was voted its word of the year for 2007.
The word "w00t," spelled using the number zero in place of the letter "o," placed first in a Top Ten list based on votes by visitors to Merriam-Webster's website.
The word is described as an exclamation "expressing joy, possibly after a triumph or for no reason at all" and is similar to the word "yay."
An example given by the dictionary is "w00t! I won the contest."
The word is also considered an acronym in the online gaming world for "We owned the other team," according to US-based Merriam-Webster.
Merriam-Webster said "w00t" hasn't made it into the dictionary but being chosen as word of the year "just might improve its chances."
The word is part of computer hacker vernacular referred to as "l33t," or "elite," speak used in competitive online computer game forums.
The customized language combines letters and numbers used in their stead, such as a number three for the letter "E" or a number four for the letter "A."
Second-place in the word-of-the-year contest went to "facebook," making an unofficial verb of the name of the popular social networking website.
The meaning given to "facebook" is to post a picture, party news or other information to profile pages at the website.
Also finishing in the top ten of the competition were yet-to-be-sanctioned words "blamestorm" and "sardoodledom," according to Merriam-Webster.
A blamestorm is a verb described as a group discussion of why a deadline was missed or a project botched and whose fault it was.
Sardoodledom is derived from English playwright George B. Shaw's criticism of French peer Victorien Sardou and is used to mean contrived plots or stereotypical characters in dramatic works.
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