The Redeye Complex


Tuesday, January 01, 2008
2007's wORd of the year.

Russell Smith in the Globe explains Merriam-Webster's choice of 2007 word of the year - woot.
Why would woot be the word most representative of the spirit of 2007? First, because it represents the massive influence that slang derived from technological encounters has had on everyday (non-cybernetic) speech. (I have heard clever boys in bars saying "el oh el" out loud, to signify amusement or self-deprecation.) But one could also argue that this kind of ungentlemanly victory cry is also indicative of a certain contemporary mood: It is a pale boy's answer to the end-zone celebration dance or the thug's "Who da man?" It's strange how online communication devolves so frequently into an adversarial chest-thumping, with all its threats and insults and talk of owning and punking. Perhaps it is the anonymous Internet forum itself which has influenced our general view of life as a big dog-eat-dog competition.

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