Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Merriam-Webster Inc. announced yesterday that their Word of the Year for 2007 is w00t.
There are so many problems with this it's hard to know where to start.
- When this announcement was made, there were still 20 days left in the year, more than 5%. That's like ending a football game with more than three minutes on the clock, or ending a marathon with 1 1/2 miles remaining!
- This decision was made by visitors to the Merriam-Webster website voting. Even if you accept that this decision should be made democratically, rather than by a panel of experts or by a computer algorithm, online voting like this just doesn't give truly representative results; does anyone really think that Ron Paul is going to win in a landslide, as many online polls suggest?
- No one but a n00b would spell it as "w00t." The word is "woot," and replacing the "o"s with"0"s is definitely n00bish. And if they're going with a democratic decision, they should have looked at this.
- Woot is not a new word. Consider that was founded in July 2004.
Add to this that the folks at Merriam-Webster don't really seem to grok woot, and the only reasonable conclusion is that this announcement is l4m3.

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