Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merriam-Webster, of previous prominence as a definer of the English language, has announced their pick for the 2007 Word of the Year. They picked "w00t".

Those symbols in the middle of the "word"? Those are zeros. You can read about the "word" and its culture-destroying numbers at the above link.

Now, I'm not bitching about the "word" of the year not being a real word. Last year's word was "truthiness", and I adored it. It filled a void. Now, however, we seem to be careening down a slippery slope. I mean, shouldn't a word of the year be mostly comprised of, you know, letters?

What's next? Is it the smiley face emoticon? No, that's not envelopey enough. How about choosing one of my farts? Not farts in general, but a specific instance of a fart, like the one I ripped 10 minutes ago, no doubt originating from the burrito I had for lunch. It clearly announced its meaning, telling the word in sound and smell that I ate a big freaking burrito for lunch. Anyone who was in the vicinity would definitely attest to the evocative nature of that fart. I'm going to submit it for the 2008 word and I am going to be so goddamned proud to be the farter of a 2008 Word of the Year nominee.

That's not what I wanted to write about though. As much as I hate the 2007 "word" of the year, I hate the runner up even more. Their second choice was "facebook". It was nominated and considered as a verb.

While steroids, gay marriage, and general contractors are routinely denounced as heralding the end of civilization, it is this verbification of the English language that will destroy our nation.

I understand our tendency to make nouns into verb, but it's alarming that all these new verbs represent actions that are so very sedentary. Are we trying to hide our increasingly action-free lives behind an ever-growing list of newly minted verbs?

Sane person: What did you do today?
Crazy person: Oh, I googled some stuff. Then I blogged about it, and then I spent the afternoon texting and facebooking.
Sane person: You busy beast! What did you do after that?
Crazy person: I napped.

Is this the same generation that lives off Mountain Dew? What exactly do they need all that caffeine for?

Will my blog posts look like this soon?

Today was a regular day. I egg and baconed and then I youtubed for a while. Afterwards, I did some other internetting, including some Christmas Amazoning. Now I'm gonna dessert the hell out of that bag of cookies.

Maybe I'm just cranky because I don't even know how to "facebook". Is it harder than surfing?


11 comments:

Neel Mehta said...

I'm going to submit it for the 2008 word and I am going to be so goddamned proud to be the farter of a 2008 Word of the Year nominee.

Man, then you'll just have words coming out the wazoo. Literally.

it is this verbification of the English language that will destroy our nation.

But noun-ing verbs is okay? (Ha!)

Now I'm gonna dessert the hell out of that bag of cookies.

What a great line! w00t!

Mike said...

Maybe I should have gone with "verbing". Regardless, by 2009 we'll all be adjectiving our asses off.

Larry said...

You're just cranky because you can't play w00t in a scrabble game.

dolface said...

I refer you to this: verbing weirds language

yajeev said...

How is w00t even pronounced?

"w thousand and t"?

"w double aught t"?

"double you zero zero tee"?

"wuit"?

Avery Gray said...

That's quite Pecksniffian of you, don't you think?

I'd say more, but I have sardoodledoms to craft. Later, gator!

Mike said...

Larry, that's an excellent point. It CAN'T be a word if I can't play in in Scrabble. Q.E. goddamned D.

Dolface, ah, that's a classic. I was going to say that Bill Watterson was before his time, but it's far more likely that I'm behind mine.

Yajeev, well, the correct way to pronounce would be to boycott it entirely, but if you promise to only do it mockingly, I'd go with "woot".

Avery, oh, you're sardoodledoming? Sweet.

holly said...

i fricking loved this. i fricking hate that 'w00t' is word of the year but 'fricking' isn't even an entry. it's far more pervasive.

Mike said...

Hi Holly. If not "fricking", than how about "fracking"? Battlestar Galactica fans the world over would rejoice! They'd be w00ting!

tinyhands said...

I refer you to the episode of the TBS sitcom "My Boys" in which the character played by Jim Gaffigan discusses nouns disguised as verbs (such as spa'ing and clubbing)-
"I'm going to sofa here for a while, then sandwich over in the kitchen."

Mike said...

Tiny, as it turns out, I'm pretty much the last person in the world to make fun of this trend.