The Vocabula Review

December 2007, Vol. 9, No. 12 Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mock Merriam
Web version

Merriam-Webster, which apparently embraces the idea of being mocked, announced this past Tuesday (December 11) that its Word of the Year is w00t — that's w, zero, zero, t. It's an alphabetic–numeric word that online gamers use to express their pleasure or approval, their happiness or triumph at, say, having defeated an online enemy. Some people exclaim yay; others w00t.

Yes, numbers have come to words, owing largely to video games and text messaging, and the dupes at Merriam-Webster who celebrate and promote this idiocy.

Online gamers sometimes substitute letters for numbers to form l33t — that's l, 3, 3, t — or leet, speak. Leet, short for "elite" — consider the irony — apparently has no more than a handful of words at its disposal, which must be all these "leetle" people need to express their few elementary thoughts.

Merriam-Webster President John Morse, clearly a good boy who does as he is told, said, "It shows a really interesting thing that's going on in language. It's a term that's arrived only because we're now communicating electronically with each other. ... This is simply a different and more efficient way of representing the alphabetical character."

Mock Merriam.

Merriam-Webster: no longer "your assurance of quality and authority."

Mock Merriam.

More Mock Merriam

Do you find fault with an entry in the 11th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary? Tell us what it is.

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