Merriam-Webster (you know, that dictionary company) announced its word of the year is "w00t." And that sound you now hear is millions of English teachers screaming out in terror. The leading US dictionary stated that the word is like saying "yay" and was selected after Merriam-Webster website users were invited to vote on 20 words frequently looked-up or submitted by readers. The runner-up word was "facebook" as a verb, which means to add or search for a person on a social networking site.

The etymology of "w00t" is still a little messy. Some say it's a combination of wow and loot, others say it comes from hoot, but the zero replacing the letter o definitely comes from l33t speak. English sticklers can rest easy for now, but the day will come when companies pwn each other in the Wall Street Journal and someone makes a newb of themselves on the front page of the New York Times. w00t!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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