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Merriam-Webster's 2007 word of the year: w00t

In the spirit of the Stephen Colbert-fueled "truthiness," the dictionary giant crowns a l33t-speak favorite with its annual award.


That's how I feel about Merriam-Webster's selection of the 2007 word of the year.

Which just happens to be "w00t."

Defined by M-W as "expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word 'yay,'" "w00t" has been one of my favorite words for years.

You have to give the company credit for choosing a word straight out of the l33t- (or "leet" or "elite") speak dictionary, the argot used by geeks of many colors that substitutes numbers like "3" for "e," "7" for "t," "0" for "o," "4" for "a," and so on. Though, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, given that a year ago, it chose "truthiness" as its best word of the year.

According to the Associated Press, M-W President John Morse applauded "w00t" as its choice because it "blends whimsy and new technology."

That's because the word, which derives from video game speech, is used as an exclamation of joy, often upon the completion of a task or the besting of an opponent.

For me, it's definitely more about pure enjoyment, and if you read e-mails I write, you'd know that it's a word I probably way overuse.

But now I'm totally vindicated. W00t.