Merriam-Webster has announced the newest Word of the Year. Last year it was “truthiness” — this year it’s w00t. Yes, with two zeroes. I’m not sure if I believe in numbers as parts of words — perhaps it should be called the String of the Year.
You can get a list of the other Words of the Year at http://www.merriam-webster.com/info/07words.htm . Some of them I found surprising (“facebook”, as a verb), some were rather pedestrian (“apathetic”) and some I just want to go around saying all day long. Sardoodledom! Sardoodledom! Sardoodledom! Sardoodledom!
2007 was not a good year for my geek vocabulary, but there were two words that I thought I would see: “teh” (misspelling of “the” used in an ironic sense) and FTW (“For the Win” — “ISBN/Wikipedia lookup mashed through a Google Spreadsheet and output as an RSS feed FTW!”)
Speaking of * of the year, now’s the time of year where I like to set up one of my temporary information traps. I go to Google News or some other news search and run samples searches like “annual list” “of the year”. If you go to Google News and run that list right now, you’ll find out about the ten worst celebrity ads, the ten best engines, the most gracious autograph givers, and the top ten movies and wines. Or try “the top * of 2007” and get linked to the top games, gadgets, and incidents of celebrities falling down.
If you want to slant your search somewhat, you can also try the “the worst * of 2007” list as a query. Replace worst with your adjective of choice — stupidest gets you all of two results.
I’ll generally run these for four weeks just to see what I pick up, and get an idea of what trends are going on in different parts of the world. It’s a very strange crash course in pop culture and industry-specific popularity.