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"Woot" Becomes an Official Word

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the prescriptivists-mourn-death-of-language dept.

Idle 146

tekgoblin writes with a quick bit about new words in the COED. From the article: "Concise Oxford English Dictionary is the smaller but most widely recognized derivative of the official Oxford English Dictionary, which is celebrating this August its 100th anniversary. To celebrate, the lexicon published its 12th edition today that adds more than 400 new entries – many of which reflect the technological vocabulary found in today's society, like 'woot,' 'mankini,' and 'jeggings.'"

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First w00t! (3, Funny)

Jimbookis (517778) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136796)

Is it w00t or woot?

Re:First w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136848)

Since it stands for "We Owned the Other Team" I imagine woot is right.
Do people still talk in 1337? How sad...

Re:First w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137044)

Since it stands for "We Owned the Other Team" I imagine woot is right. Do people still talk in 1337? How sad...

That acronyme was made up. woot is only a variation on wow+loot, wow+shoot. Also, woot is only '1337' if you spell it w00t. PLease go die in a fire ignorant anonymous coward.

Re:First w00t! (0)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137400)

You know, there was an English language and slang before WoW... woot being one of them.

Re:First w00t! (1)

clarkcox3 (194009) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137732)

"wow", as in the English word, nothing to do with "World of Warcraft"

Re:First w00t! (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138160)

Mah bad!
But with the ignorance of WoW gamers, can you blame me?
hehehe

Re:First w00t! (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138226)

woot. v. Middle English. Third-person singular simple present indicative form of witen.
witen. v. To know.

And there was an English language and "woot" before... well, before a lot of things. I guess your high school English teacher doesn't woot Shakespeare?

Re:First w00t! (2)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138330)

And there was an English language and "woot" before... well, before a lot of things. I guess your high school English teacher doesn't woot Shakespeare?

I hate to correct someone with my favourite name (actually "Samantha" is my daughter's name too), but being a linguistics freak with a passion for the indo-european group, I just can't help myself here.

  • 1- Shakespeare did not speak or write middle English.
  • 2- Even accepting that you're mixing modern and middle English in that sentence, you've already got a primary verb with "doesn't" (to do), so that should be "doesn't witen" rather than "doesn't woot". "woot not" or "not woot" depending on your sentence structure also could've worked.

Re:First w00t! (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138374)

It appears I recollected an occasion on which Shakespeare did in fact use a word with the letters "woot", committed it to memory, and assumed that digging up the first dictionary that came to mind would settle the question properly without remembering any other detais. For what it's worth, this [tufts.edu] is what I should have been pointing to. At any rate, both accomplish my point: that "woot" has had a meaning in the English language for hundreds of years before the neologism was coined.

And bravo for rendering a grammatically valid structure; I spent five minutes pondering over how to cram it into the third person and the present tense and never considered dumping the stupid auxiliary verb. My linguistics background is mostly in the extremely synthetic breed of conlang, and as such I tend to stumble with subtle realities of legitimate linguistics.

Re:First w00t! (1)

YttriumOxide (837412) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139060)

It appears I recollected an occasion on which Shakespeare did in fact use a word with the letters "woot", committed it to memory, and assumed that digging up the first dictionary that came to mind would settle the question properly without remembering any other detais. For what it's worth, this [tufts.edu] is what I should have been pointing to. At any rate, both accomplish my point: that "woot" has had a meaning in the English language for hundreds of years before the neologism was coined.

I wasn't actually aware he used "woot" at all, but what's more interesting is that it appears he isn't even using it in the middle English sense. His usage appears to be a neologism (or at least "neo" in his time) as an alternative of the second person present for "willen"/"willan" - "wilt" (to want).

It's not terribly surprising though, as Shakespeare was a bit free and easy with language at the best of times (allowing for some excellent puns sometimes, but also more often than not, just making a mess of things)

And bravo for rendering a grammatically valid structure; I spent five minutes pondering over how to cram it into the third person and the present tense and never considered dumping the stupid auxiliary verb. My linguistics background is mostly in the extremely synthetic breed of conlang, and as such I tend to stumble with subtle realities of legitimate linguistics.

I'd probably be more interested in constructed languages if someone came up with a really nice Germanic one. It seems all the really popular ones are heavily Romance oriented though. Not that I have anything against the romance languages (I speak French pretty well, and can at least read most of the more common languages in the family like Spanish, Italian, Latin, Portuguese, etc), just that I tend to prefer the Germanics for clarity.

Re:First w00t! (3)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137476)

actually, it is wow+loot from tabletop D&D days.

Re:First w00t! (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139028)

I'm afraid you're wrong about that..

Here is the official description from the Oxford English Dictionary, "woot: used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph (especially in electronic communication)".

As you can see, you are obviously wrong and should now bow to my superiority, and for the assburgers of slashdot (because there are a lot), this was all a joke, you can stop replying right now.

Re:First w00t! (1)

stderr_dk (902007) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137128)

Since it stands for "We Owned the Other Team"...

No, it doesn't...

The Jargon Lexicon [catb.org] says:

An interjection similar to “Yay!”, as in: “w00t!!! I just got a raise!” Often used for small victories the speaker dies not expect to be of special interest to anyone else. Some claim this is a bastardization of “root”, the highest level of access to a system (particularly UNIX), originated by script kiddies as a 133tspeak equivalent of “root”, and said as an exclamation upon gaining root access. Others claim it originated in the Everquest multiplayer game as an abbreviation of “wonderful loot”. Still other claim it on originated on IRC as the “Ewok victory cheer”] Adj. w00table has the sense of “cool” or “nifty”. This is one of the few leet-speak coinages to have crossed over into non-ironic use among hackers.

Re:First w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137772)

Huh. I always thought it was just the exclamation "woo!" with a "t" added to it for fun.

Re:First w00t! (1)

pjbgravely (751384) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137272)

I think coward is confusing w00t with pwned. I vote for the proper spelling with zeros to remain.

Re:First w00t! (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136912)

Is it w00t or woot?

Both are perfectly cromulent words.

Re:First w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37139080)

I'm still waiting for ain't to be accepted

Re:First w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137006)

ZOMG, they misspelled it!

Re:First w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137620)

It was going to be w00t, but the Scrabble players' lobby came down hard on them.

Re:First w00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138016)

Is it w00t or woot?

w00t is correct damnet

What a say day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136812)

"Woot".

Re:What a say day (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137440)

"Where will I be able to buy an HP TouchPad?" Word of the day for three hundred, Alex.

Re:What a say day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138424)

It was w00t until woot commercialized it.

American Heritage (1, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136850)

I'm in the market for a good dictionary, but I think I'm going to wait until the 5th edition American Heritage comes out in November. That dictionary is pretty much the standard for most professional writers and editors in the U.S. I've also heard that the New Oxford American is a good dictionary -- some say better -- but I'm leaning toward the traditional.

Re:American Heritage (1)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136874)

If you've any connection to a university, you might consider taking advantage to OED online. Most university libraries have access to it and I imagine a good many public library systems will as well. Especially since that is the only way the full OED is to be published henceforth.

Re:American Heritage (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137734)

I can't blame them for that. The unabridged OED was always a crush risk to children.

Re:American Heritage (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136934)

Are you talking about their electronic version?

If so, I'm guessing you don't have a good smart phone/plan and must be away from your desktop most of the day.

Re:American Heritage (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137752)

The American Heritage Dictionary is a good dictionary. But understand that there are two basic types of dictionaries and it should be important to have one of each kind and understand the difference in the two styles of dictionaries. One type is descriptive [wikipedia.org] ; the other is prescriptive [wikipedia.org] . This difference extends from the two types of linguistics that bear the same name. A descriptive dictionary looks at how language is practiced and pulls the definition from that. This type of dictionary is exemplified by the Miriam-Webster Dictionary. A prescriptive dictionary builds its definition from accepted usage rules. These usage rules can come from different sources, but mainly it is a group of people who together come to a definition. An example of this type of dictionary is the American Heritage Dictionary. The definitions are agreed upon by a group of experts in this dictionary's case.

This is an important distinction. And you should understand the difference. If you follow the American linguistic tradition as a break from the European, linguistic description is more in line with that. Prescriptivism is much more aligned with the ideas of French or Czech language protectionism rather than the ideas of early Americans who dropped the 's' organization or the 'u' in colour or reversed the 're' in theatre.

Re:American Heritage (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137900)

I think I'm going to wait until the 5th edition American Heritage comes out in November. That dictionary is pretty much the standard for most professional writers and editors in the U.S

The American Heritage Dictionary has its origins in scenes like this:

Mr. Wolfe is in the middle of a fit. It's complicated. There's a fireplace in the front room, but it's never lit because he hates open fires. He says they stultify mental processes. But it's lit now because he's using it. He's seated in front of it, on a chair too small for him, tearing sheets out of a book and burning them. The book is the new edition, the third edition, of Webster's New International Dictionary, Unabridged, published by the G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts. He considers it subversive because it threatens the integrity of the English language. In the past week he has given me a thousand examples of its crimes. He says it is a deliberate attempt to murder the --- I beg your pardon. I describe the situation at length because he told me to bring you in there, and it will be bad.

Nero Wolfe [wikiquote.org]

The Usage Panel makes it explicitly a writer's dictionary:

For expert consultation on words or constructions whose usage is controversial or problematic, the American Heritage Dictionary relies on the advice of a usage panel. In its current form, the panel consists of 200 prominent members of professions whose work demands sensitivity to language. Present and former members of the usage panel include novelists (Isaac Asimov, Barbara Kingsolver, David Foster Wallace, and Eudora Welty), poets (Rita Dove, Galway Kinnell, Mary Oliver, and Robert Pinsky) playwrights (Terrence McNally and Marsha Norman), journalists (Liane Hansen and Susan Stamberg), literary critics (Harold Bloom), columnists and commentators (William F. Buckley, Jr., and Robert J. Samuelson), linguists and cognitive scientists (Steven Pinker and Calvert Watkins), and humorists (Garrison Keillor and David Sedaris).

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language [wikipedia.org]

How to pick a dictionary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138208)

I look to see if the dictionary has cuss words. If it doesn't have any, it's probably not good.

I figure if they are too reserved to list cuss words, they probably also censor or 'politically correct' definitions of other words they might deem objectionable.

Desperate Attempt to Stay Relevant (1, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138470)

The problem with the Oxford English Dictionary is that it has become the "Guinness World Records" of dictionaries - adding all sorts of dumb-assed "words" for no other reason than to make the headlines and be "hip", with one single goal - get press to sell whatever it is they sell.

I'm guessing that they have some "on-line" product, as not too many people are buying huge multi-volume book series these days.

But rest assured, adding all this trendy "1337" crap and other new words that the young folks are spewing (get the fuck off my lawn) is being done *not* because these words have passed the test of time and are now semi-permanent in our lingual consciousness, but rather a desperate attempt of these "dictionaries" to stay relevant and thus stay profitable.

Re:Desperate Attempt to Stay Relevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138642)

A dictionary just like a hammer is a tool.
The purpose of it is to make it possible to look up the meaning of a word.
If grandpa hear the kids on his lawn say "woot" and tries to look it up in the dictionary the word has to be there or the dictionary is useless to him.
Any dictionary who tries to be an authorative "serious" source of words is pretty useless but I guess people like you will still buy it because "it looks nice in the bookshelf."

Re:Desperate Attempt to Stay Relevant (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139096)

For that the urban dictionary [urbandictionary.com] would be more useful, although some definitions may be shocking.

Re:Desperate Attempt to Stay Relevant (2)

SmallMonkeyPirate (932116) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138942)

The OED reflects words in common usage at the time of the publication of the edition not necessarily words that have passed the test of time. Words are not removed so that someone is the future can read a book published x years previously and still have a reference guide for those that are now out of use and the reader has not previously seen defined or been taught. It is a reflection of what is in use not a conservative list of what should be in use if everyone spoke the same static language. If that were the case we be missing a lot of words used quite correctly everyday in the tech press and would may not be able to understand them correctly in years to come once they drop out of use. As for staying profitable and relevant, the UK pays OED for free online access for EVERY library card holder in Britain so they can log in and use it from home or the library. That makes it very relevant as I cannot afford to pay for digital access nor buy a complete edition, and I would hope at least a little profitable.

A response from the coal face (5, Informative)

carndearg (696084) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139434)

Since the OED lexicographers are over an office divider from where I am sitting I guess I'm in a good position to answer this.

The most important point to make about modern dictionaries is that they are descriptive not prescriptive. That is to say that they describe the language as it evolves rather than tell you how you should use it. Lexicographers are like scientists though they do not generally consider themselves as such, everything they include in their dictionaries has made it there through painstaking linguistic research.

Please believe me when I tell you that my lexicographer colleagues have no interest in being 'hip'. Trust me on this one, I see them walk past my desk every day. Instead they are passionately interested in language and when a word has amassed enough evidence of usage in modern English they include it in their modern English dictionaries. Evidence of sufficiently common usage to be considered to have entered the language is their only value judgement.

It is also worth spelling out the differences between the different Oxford dictionaries. The OED is a massive multi-volume historical dictionary based on human research. You would use it to find the etymologies of words over a milennium. The Oxford Dictionary of English and the Concise Oxford English Dictionary however are corpus based dictionaries, they are derived from computational analysis of a billion-plus word corpus of contemporary English. That kind of stuff should be right up the average Slashdotter's street. Thus words like 'woot' and 'leet' (The lexicographers are funny about numbers in words, don't blame me) will not have been selected for trendiness but because the corpus analysis tells us people are using them.

The multi-volume book sells rather well as it happens. Not to many individuals but there are a lot of schools, universities and libraries in the world. And yes, we do have two dictionary [oxforddictionaries.com] websites [oed.com] . But as to a desperate attempt to stay profitable, the OED itself is not likely ever to do that. It took decades to produce its first edition, decades more for the second. We are a publishing company that is also a not-for-profit department of a major university so the OED is a project created for its academic value rather than its monetary return.

Oh hey (1)

cmv1087 (2426970) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136866)

"Noob" is now also an official word in the dictionary. I suppose that means I have to actually add it to my browser's dictionary so it'll stop telling me it's not a real word. Take that, spellchecker!

What about shipping? (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136878)

Will we still get 5.00 shipping????

Re:What about shipping? (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136922)

All I know is there better be a Bag of Crap sale to celebrate.

Re:What about shipping? (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 3 years ago | (#37136984)

I don't think the servers will hold.

Woot-off! (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137000)

This totally deserves a Woot Off.

Re:Woot-off! (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137012)

I wish they would do one on Friday when I'm not at work.

Re:What about shipping? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138326)

You mean like Kirk/Spock shipping?

Woot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37136884)

Woot o.O ? Woot is and official word now! That pwns!

There are no "official" words (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137024)

Any schmuck can publish a dictionary, and there is no central authority that decides what is or isn't a word. If "woot" is appearing in dictionaries then that's all well and good as a sign that it's becoming more recognized by our culture, but that doesn't make it any more "official" of a word than it was last year.

Re:There are no "official" words (1)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137196)

The Oxford University Press is hardly "any schmuck"*. Appearing in The Concise Oxford English Dictionary is a sufficiently well-respected validation of a word that it is really not unreasonable to colloquially describe such a word as "official".

*Anonymous Coward , on the other hand, pretty much is any schmuck!

Re:There are no "official" words (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137236)

Yeah most of the popular dictionaries have been doing this for a few hundred years at least. There are a couple(I think oxford u based), that have been doing it closer to 600 years.

Re:There are no "official" words (2)

carndearg (696084) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139474)

It's nice to know that we're not "Any schmuck" :)

However my lexicographer colleagues would take issue with their decision to include a word granting it any sort of "official" status. They are scientists though they often don't see themselves as such, all their inclusion means is that they have found sufficient evidence of the word's use for them to consider it to be part of their record of contemporary English.

Whether a word is part of a user's "official" vocabulary is purely up to that user, not to anyone else and certainly not to us.

No central authority? (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137462)

What about Samuel Boswell?

There most certainly are (1)

F69631 (2421974) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138442)

Speak for your own country. In Finland, at least, we have Research Institute for the Languages of Finland [wikipedia.org] .

The Research Institute for the Languages of Finland is a governmental linguistic research institute of Finland geared at studies of Finnish, Swedish (Cf. Finland Swedish), the Sami languages, Romani language, and the Finnish Sign Language. The institute is charged with the standardization of languages used in Finland.

Emphasis mine. In Swedish, there is a very similar body of Swedish Language Council [wikipedia.org] .

The Swedish Language Council (Swedish: Språkrådet) is the primary regulatory body for the advancement and cultivation of the Swedish language. The council is partially funded by the Swedish government and has semi-official status. The council asserts control over the language through the publication of various books with recommendations in spelling and grammar as well as books on linguistics intended for a general audience, the sales of which are used to fund its operation.

You might also be interested in this rather long list of language regulators [wikipedia.org] from other countries. So there are indeed words and ways to spell them which are considered official.

The Royal Christmas Message (2)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137114)

Now that COED have given it's approval, hopefully the Queen will have the good taste to call out the noobishness displayed by the looters and offer them a royal teabagging.

Baba Wawa is woot!!! (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137152)

Woot; is the Baba Wawa superuser!

Once jeggings becomes a word ... (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137166)

Are the others [collegehumor.com] soon to follow [collegehumor.com] ?

+1 (1)

Noodlenoggin (1295699) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137238)

"Woot!" It's sort of a decade too late, but I do still get some use out of the word.
I also love how some people consider if may have been created due to the words wow and loot. Given that WoW was barely in development when I first noticed the word while playing quake. 0.o

I was on the fence.... (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137246)

but now I no longer have any respect for the OED

Re:I was on the fence.... (0)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137746)

It's a dictionary, it's supposed to add words as they come into the language and record the generally agreed upon spellings, not to define new words and dictate a spelling. Something which a lot of folks around here ought to realize before they make asses of themselves trying to stifle the language.

loosers.

Re:I was on the fence.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137892)

Alas, I don't have access to the OED, or I would check and see if "loosers" is a documented variant spelling of "losers" now... Maybe someone else can look it up.

Re:I was on the fence.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138466)

It's a dictionary, it's supposed to add words that come into the language and record the generally agreed upon spellings, not every little subculture's passing jargon fad.

Re:I was on the fence.... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138622)

loosers

Ha! You almost got me with this one!=digest&topic_id=4776&forum=34

Re:I was on the fence.... (5, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137816)

but now I no longer have any respect for the OED

The OED is a descriptivist dictionary, as opposed to a prescriptivist dictionary. That means that the OED includes words that are actually being used, rather than prescribing which words should and should not be used. This means including words that many people object to, but too bad, there are a large number of people who use the word regardless of any official position about the word.

If you want to speak a language which has a prescriptivist authority, then I recommend French or Spanish, they have institutes that declare what is and is not proper language, and if you disagree, then you're wrong. If you want a language that is generally descriptivist, then stick with the Germanic languages, where we recognize that the authority on language is a native speaker, and not some people locked up in a room declaring that "ain't isn't a word" even though 70% of the population uses it on a regular basis.

Re:I was on the fence.... (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138788)

70% of the Anglosphere is using woot on a regular basis?

Anyway, descriptivists like to portray themselves as men of the people. "We just note the words, we don't prescribe them."

The problem with 100% descriptivism is that language is a social phenomenon. And when some comes to a place of work saying "ain't", he won't be lynched, but some people may view him as less educated.

Again, this is because language is a social phenomenon.

Any dictionary would be wise to note that certain words are view pejoratively by certain speakers.

But when you do that you lose the claim to purist descriptivism.

Re:I was on the fence.... (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139974)

70% of the Anglosphere is using woot on a regular basis?

Anyway, descriptivists like to portray themselves as men of the people. "We just note the words, we don't prescribe them."

The problem with 100% descriptivism is that language is a social phenomenon. And when some comes to a place of work saying "ain't", he won't be lynched, but some people may view him as less educated.

Again, this is because language is a social phenomenon.

Any dictionary would be wise to note that certain words are view pejoratively by certain speakers.

But when you do that you lose the claim to purist descriptivism.

I was going to agree but while writing this post I've come to the conclusion that the proper answer is "that depends".

Most dictionaries do note where a word is appropriate, using tags like "colloquial", "pejorative" or "technical". That looks like prescription at first but can actually be purely descriptive. Noting that the definition "temporary data store" for "buffer" only applies in the context of computing does not make any statement about where it should be used; it describes where it will be understood that way.

Likewise, differentiating between "nut" as "a perforated block of metal with an internal screw thread" and as "a testis" is made easier by annotating them with contextual information. Now, this is where it gets interesting. The first meaning could be annotated with words like "technical" or "engineering" while staying purely descriptive but the annotation for the second meaning can have a varying degree of prescription. I'd put "colloquial" as a rather descriptive... description (as use of that meaning does happen mainly in colloqial contexts) while, for instance, Merriam-Webster use "usually vulgar", which gives us more social information but can also be seen a prescribing a reaction. Of course "vulgar" or even "offensive" would be even more prescriptive.

Now, the question is: How much do I prescribe? Do I just give a list of possible meanings without any further metadata about them so as to best avoid influencing common use? Do I add basic contextual information that is intended as a pure description of where a meaning is commonly used? That approach does have the advantage of making homonyms easier to distinguish. Do I explicitly note when a word might be considered inappropriate? That might help someone avoid a faux-pas but it does involve defining "bad" words or meanings, even though my work is inclusive of commonly-used words.

I'm not a lexicographer* but I'd say that basic contextual information like "this meaning is usually used in a botanics context" is part of a meaning and does not make your dictionary prescriptive. Of course even if it does the usual white-black analogy applies: Taking a hardline stance is unlikely to yield the best result and a descriptivist dictionary can afford to have a little bit of prescription in it. And the hardliners can take their opinion and shove it (as described by the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary).


* But as a nerd I can pointlessly argue about semantics for hours.

If you have mod points, give them to the parent. (1)

carndearg (696084) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139488)

The OED is a descriptivist dictionary, as opposed to a prescriptivist dictionary. That means that the OED includes words that are actually being used, rather than prescribing which words should and should not be used. This means including words that many people object to, but too bad, there are a large number of people who use the word regardless of any official position about the word.

If you want to speak a language which has a prescriptivist authority, then I recommend French or Spanish, they have institutes that declare what is and is not proper language, and if you disagree, then you're wrong. If you want a language that is generally descriptivist, then stick with the Germanic languages, where we recognize that the authority on language is a native speaker, and not some people locked up in a room declaring that "ain't isn't a word" even though 70% of the population uses it on a regular basis.

If I had mod points I'd give 'em to your post. Sitting next door to the OED lexicographers I couldn't have put it better myself.

Re:I was on the fence.... (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 3 years ago | (#37140242)

"The OED is a descriptivist dictionary, as opposed to a prescriptivist dictionary. That means that the OED includes words that are actually being used, rather than prescribing which words should and should not be used. This means including words that many people object to, but too bad, there are a large number of people who use the word regardless of any official position about the word."

The problem is, we *want* to use slang when we use some of those words. If you go and make it an official word, we just have to start the laborious process of finding and spreading a new slang word all over again... ~;-)

all the best,

drew

Let me know when slashdot makes it in (1)

JustinFreid (1723716) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137256)

Slashdot, verb: to send a much higher amount of internet traffic to a website due to a link to it being included in a post on Slashdot, sometimes resulting in said site becoming inaccessible due to the increased load.
also slashdotted

Good news! (1)

wootcat (1151911) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137312)

This makes me very happy.

Re:Good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137944)

I doubt that "wootcat" is gaining much traction as the next word to be added, but I'm in favor of it.

No it isn't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137364)

Fucking dictionary companies just need to sell more fucking dictionaries, why else do you think they need to make a new fucking edition every fucking year?

Re:No it isn't... (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137484)

looks you could use a whole fucking lot of new fuckin' words your-fuckin'-self: maybe you should take fuckin' advantage of this fucking release.

Re:No it isn't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137528)

At least I can fucking spell it.

Re:No it isn't... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138516)

you sure fuckin' can, it's just a pity that your fucking understanding of fuckin' grammar is rather fucking poor.

hahahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137426)

woots!
I feel I am the one that restarted this up! Some friends and I started it during MegaTF Quake matches. Then that died. Now after playing battlefieldBC2 matches, everyone started copying me and it took off again to this point. Fing hilarious!

Re:hahahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138452)

Yeah, you totally invented the english language and its fondness for creating new words. Thanks, i don't know what i'd do without you.

Woot! Too late (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137434)

Too late. Woot sold out to Amazon.

Who cares about woot... (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137698)

...when mankini was added? I never believed language-rape was possible, until now.

Re:Who cares about woot... (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 3 years ago | (#37140100)

I came to that conclusion when they added "ginormous"

Newb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137702)

'Newb' would actually be the correct word. Short for 'Newbie' from the root 'New'.
'Noob' is either a misspelling or just a rude word for 'Newb'.

Re:Newb (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137756)

I'm just waiting for Grammar Nazi to hit the OED. The lulz of it would be plentiful.

Re:Newb (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137832)

I've never seen anyone use newb for newbie [catb.org] . But I've seen noob or n00b all the time. In fact if you do a google search for both newb and noob, it only returns a section of images for noob, therefore noob is more common and accepted.

Re:Newb (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138796)

It's standard usage in Dungeons and Dragons Online. A newb is a new player, he is fresh and has to learn. A noob is someone with a certain state of mind, an unwillingness to learn coupled with self-professed mastery. A newb asks if he should wield a greataxe as a monk, a noob does it and proclaims it to be uber.

Re:Newb (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137960)

"N00b" is a misspelling of "newb", that is in its turn an abbreviation of "newbie". "Noob", on the other hand, is a misspelling of "n00b" that no one ever used before those self-proclaimed lords and masters of English language.

May it enjoy as long a life as... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37137726)

darb, spifflicated, and giggle water.

Thereitis (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 3 years ago | (#37137948)

I know it's supposed to be referencing the Tag Team song Whoomp! There It Is, but I can't be the only one who read it as "thereitis", as if it's there just because it's there.

Thereitis for Oxford English 2017.

Re:Thereitis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138650)

No it's not! It stands for
We
Own
Other
Team!
and is issued when you won. Over the other team obviously.

I wonder if OED got it wrong too.
And if not, if they have included that definition of "own(age)".

Oxford also incubator for Monty Python (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138196)

It was at Oxford that some of the Monty Python troop began to display their talents for both erudition and silliness.

Why can't the OED display both, as well?

Re:Oxford also incubator for Monty Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138294)

Cambridge, methinks.

I always thought....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138232)

I always thought "Woot" stood for "We Owned the Other Team" ........ The "offical" meaning is "used to express elation, enthusiasm, or triumph (especially in electronic communication)" .... which is true... but not by acronym definition

Re:I always thought....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37138404)

i always thought that acronyms abbreviated, not defined. Is that just me?

w00t! (0)

byronblue (855499) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138280)

d00d, at least spell it correctly, it's, "w00t". oh=zero. I'd also like to add they we shouldn't fight this decision. Imagine what would happend if the work F#@k was never conceived?

my own portmanteu (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138350)

woot! + grats! = woots!

Chinook Jargon (4, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138360)

Woot.com is one of the sponsors of a conference I attend. A couple years back they began giving each attendee a box of random swag - with the company logo: WOOT! on the box.

When I brought it home after the conference and my wife saw it she couldn't stop laughing for several minutes.

She's one of the several hundred remaining speakers of Chinook Jargon - a west-coast American Indian trade language that has become an L1 on at least one multi-tribe reservation. It seems that WOOT-l'et (my phonetic approximation, not one of the canonical spellings) is a word in that language for penis.

Re:Chinook Jargon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37139980)

When I brought it home after the conference and my wife saw it she couldn't stop laughing for several minutes.... It seems that WOOT-l'et ... is a word in that language for penis.

I am offended her your wife's inappropriate outburst! Hey... if your wife is married, why is she still belittling and harassing our gender? Its up to you man... show the woman that the penis is no laughing matter. We don't laugh at her boobs do we?

Re:Chinook Jargon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37140368)

Which makes sense when you think about it. Elation, enthusiasm, triumph.

In related news (1)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 3 years ago | (#37138906)

The Concise Oxford English Dictionary was today renamed to "T3h ub3r5h0r+ gr@mm4r h4ck3r5 ch34+ 5h34+". Co-author of the dictionary, Edmund Weiner (alias "w3iner69"), said the move was made "for teh lulz" and that "411 ur wrdz r b3lng 2 us". Leaked copies of the latest edition are in fact ROT13d, and editors appear to have adopted Unicode in order to create crude textual illustrations.

Social media and instant-access technology in 1911 (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139154)

From the article:

Since publishing its first edition back in 1911, the COED shows how the effects of social media and instant-access technology on language has created a variety of new words while modifying existing definitions such as “follower”.

Wow, I didn't know that there already were social media and instant-access technology in 1911.

Dictionaries. (1)

Cant use a slash wtf (1973166) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139176)

So do words have to get approval from dictionaries now to become a word? I'm pretty sure words like 'jeggings' and 'mankini' have been commonly known colloquialisms for a while now. '"Woot" becomes a word' is not a very accurate title.

Huzzah! (1)

Wootery (1087023) | more than 3 years ago | (#37139894)

Huzzah!

BOC (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 3 years ago | (#37140458)

I'm just excited because I finally won a boc from woot.
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