Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The opinions expressed in the following post are all mine.

It has been about a year since I had to ask my brother what "w00t" meant. Evidently, I had been sadly uninformed about the coolspeak that was invading my generation's vocabulary. You know, things like "d00d" and "how r u doin?" and "l8r"? {shudder} Wow... I couldn't even type those things in quotes just now without feeling lame. You see, I'm in my 30s. I'm a mom. I just feel that I'm too old to pull off writing with text-message shortforms (especially when I'm not texting, which is, well, most of the time.) And even though I can write a word like "lame" and know that most of you know that I'm not feeling injured but rather just "uncool", I have to draw the line somewhere.

Maybe I'm just a perfectionist when I type. If I know how to spell something, I spell it correctly. If I don't, I generally try to look it up. I enjoy the shift key, and I actually take pride in capitalizing my first-person singular pronoun.

That's "I", by the way. But of course you knew that.

So you can likely imagine how I felt when I read this article from Reuters. Are they serious? "w00t"? with zeros even? Merriam-Webster's "word of the year"?

Speaking of lame...

It's not that I'm against the idea of "w00t". I recognize that it has a place in society and language. I even laughed out loud* when I saw it included in this, one of the funniest little viral e-mails (aka internet time wasters) I've ever seen.

A little warning to those with sensitive eyes, there is some bad language in that link, but it's still very funny. Unless, that is, you are easily offended by needless anger directed towards kangaroos.

Where was I? Oh yeah... I'm not against the idea of w00t having it's place blah blah blah, but come on. A dictionary? Words with numbers instead of letters? I'm the person who flat out refused to watch "Numb-three-ers" because it just annoyed me that they use a 3 instead of an e (although I have been told I would like it by a few people... yeah yeah.) But surely a dictionary should have a standard of validity to what constitutes a word.

Oh right - my favourite part:

Merriam-Webster President John Morse said "w00t" reflected the growing use of numeric keyboards to type words. "People look for self-evident numeral-letter substitutions: 0 for O; 3 for E; 7 for T; and 4 for A," he said. "This is simply a different and more efficient way of representing the alphabetical character."

Sorry, but is he on crack? "more efficient"?

Maybe I am a hypocrite. I use words like "yeah" and "lame" and "blah blah blah", but I draw the line at "l8r" and converting letters into numbers. Am I being unfair? Am I just being stubborn? Do I need to just accept that this is the way of the future? What do you think?

*see!? I can't even write lol when I blog, because it just rubs me the wrong way.

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