Sunday, December 16, 2007


I fear that I've used that title before. I have that fear a lot, it seems. Titles are important to me. They mean so much and so little. A title can go a long way. This title reminds me of dolphins. But the post has nothing to do with dolphins. It's called porpoise because porpoise sounds like purpose, and this post has no specific purpose. I mean sure, it has a purpose. The purpose is for me to say what it is I have to say. But I don't necessary have an overriding theme for the post. There's no official outline of what I'm going to say, so there's no official "purpose". Purpose didn't seem like a good title, and I might have used it before anyways. That's why I chose porpoise, because it sounds like purpose.

Yeah, titles are pretty cool.

So what's in the news? Merriam Webster just named "w00t" as their word of the year. That doesn't mean that it's going into the dictionary, but it does mean that it's got a better chance in the future. A lot of people are a little upset about it all. "w00t" isn't necessarily even a word, judging by the fact that it's spelled with two zeroes and all that. People have come to expect something epic and relevant from Merriam-Webster's word of the year. A few years ago they had "truthiness" as the word. It was penned by Stephen Colbert, and represented not only the gap between what one perceives and what is reality, but a culture that was willing to reject the shackles of grammar for effective meaning. It was a good word.

But what does w00t really mean and represent? When I first heard the news that it was selected as word of the year I was pretty overjoyed. I use w00t all the time. It's plastered all over this blog. It's a gamer term, and I take pride in having that whole culture be a part of my upbringing. I am the way I am, at least in a small way, because of the forums.

I've begun to wonder if it really ought to be the word of the year though. It does represent a cultural shift, obviously, towards a new generation with their own slang that is influenced heavily by recreation that our parents never even fathomed. The world is changing, and our language has a tendency to change with it. w00t encapsulates that.

I think one of the things that turns so many people off from w00t being the word of the year is the relatively small community that it's associated with. If an individual is over the age of 25 and doesn't have teenage children or play video games, he or she has probably never heard of it.

Most journalists are over 25, don't have teenagers, and don't play games. They therefore run about slamming on Merriam for selecting w00t.

I tend to think that w00t wasn't that bad of a choice. Yeah, a lot of folks out there haven't heard of it. A lot of folks are still running around with the idea that anybody that says w00t is some pasty LCD-monitor-tanned weirdo without friends. I've got to wonder about people like that. It's generally considered bad form for journalists to generalize and insult an entire group of people with no regard. I think it's hilarious that they're doing it to gamers. I suppose they figure none of us read the paper.

So here we are. Apparently I'm a recluse with no tan that plays D&D all day long simply by the virtue that I use w00t. Bahahahaha.

I feel pretty good about myself. I know that I'm a pretty decent person. To that, I say w00t.

And so, therefore verily, I'm going to set about on a quest. I'm making it my person goal to prove that those of us who w00t are not all social rejects. One day, when I'm rich, I'm going to complete one heck of a business deal. I'm going to shake hands with some other moderately wealthy individuals. We'll hold a press conference announcing how rich we all are.

And I'll say w00t. That's what I'll say. I'll say it right into the NYTimes reporter's audio recorder. Maybe I'll even spell it out. Or, I could say something smooth, like "w00t! Business merger FTW!" and see what they make of that.

Because I feel like a fairly successful person. Don't take this for arrogance, but I know that I'm not a failure at life. I'm out to prove to all the naysayers that I'm not scum just because I say w00t. I'm going to do it.

Does w00t deserve to be the word of the year? I don't know, really. Merriam didn't just make an executive decision. There was voting and all that good stuff. There are 20 or so other words that were runner ups. But here we are, it's 2007 and w00t is the word of the year. The issue to me isn't it's WOTY status, it's the hilarious insults being tossed my way by the ignorant press.

Now, really, most of the insults have come from columns, not actual stories. Most stories have been very objective. But all you column writers. You just watch out. Cause you're gonna get pwned by a man that says w00t. Oh snap!

1 comment:

Courtney said...

oh snap. way to be, thatcher. stand up for the gaming nerds...



i mean... ;)

just kidding.