June 29, 2009 4:00 PM |
['Lingua Franca' is a biweekly GameSetWatch-exclusive column by Daniel Johnson which discusses the relationship between language, culture and video games. This time he sets a charter in search of the mystical gamer dialect.]
A few weeks ago, just after my last column, the Global Language Monitor, a company specialized in tracking new English words, declared “Web 2.0” as the millionth word in the English language. “Web 2.0” was running in competition alongside other contemporary words such as “slumdog”, “Jai Ho!” and “n00b”.
Scrutinizing these words as to whether or not they're legitimate enough to be christened as ummm....words, is about as silly as it sounds. If I say a word and you understand my meaning that should be enough to qualify it as a word. At least they're the rules I play by.
What this company does is track the use of new words in the media, and once the usage reaches a certain frequency, the word is popular enough to be officially welcomed into the English language. If there's anything we can take away from this headline grabber, it should be the mass acceptance of the gaming term “noob”.