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Do you think 'pwn' is a word?


Do you think 'pwn' is a word?

  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
  2. No

    26 vote(s)
By Envergure · 27 replies
Jun 4, 2007
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  1. Hey guys.

    As texting and IM replaces writing traditional letters :cool: ppl keep making up new ways to type faster: better interfaces, ergonomic keyboards and, most significantly, shortening commonly-used words.
    'Because' becomes 'cuz', 'before' is now 'b4' and vowels are missing from scores of short words like 'the' and 'than'.
    There are also some new words like 'pwn' and 'noob' that are often classified as "unwords".

    This collection of new and modified words, sometimes called "netspeak", is almost indisputably a new dialect of English. It has become discernible from "normal" English just in the last five or ten years or so.

    Please don't make fun of me if I'm the last person on Earth to realize this :haha:. I just wanted to post this so I could refer to it in an email I'm going to write to my school board, saying the current English curriculum is getting old.

    I sent my message to the school board and it was forwarded to "the Superintendent of Teaching and Learning". I hope he replies soon, my last message took four days to be forwarded and a month to be replied to.
  2. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    I think that PWN is much more esoteric than other netspeak like 'noob', YMMV, TTYL, etc. But they are all up and comers to the living language we call English. The people at Merriam-Websters dictionary add hundreds of new words every year, though it takes them a while to 'certify' a new word. Here are three of their 'new' words from their Technology & Computers category (2006 edition)

    mouse potato

    So, as you can see, they do not add new words to the dictionary until they have been in use for several years. I believe that one of their criteria is finding certain publications using the new words repeatedly without explanation. Their concern is the potential longevity of the new word as they do not want to add words that will fall out of use shortly thereafter.

    But, without question, Internet-ese is adding to the written lexicon and will continue to do so. How much it will affect spoken language, remains to be seen.
  3. topps999

    topps999 TS Rookie Posts: 139

    pwn is a word i use it all da time
  4. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    I voted no as "pwn" is clearly a slang term.

    The term was one of 16 to appear on the 2006 "List of Words and Phrases Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness

    I along with a lot of other folks here at Techspot are of the opinion that the overuse of slang is detrimental. Before anyone points it out, I am aware that everybody uses some slang from time to time. However, some posts I see are barely legible and very difficult to understand. Text speak, while ok with limited characters on a mobile phone, have no place here as far as I`m concerned.

    End of rant. ;)

    Regards Howard :)
  5. kitty500cat

    kitty500cat TS Evangelist Posts: 2,154   +6

    Excellent, Amen Howard.
  6. Pieman

    Pieman TS Rookie Posts: 20

    i also voted no and i did not just do that to go with the flow it's just i have never heard and/or seen that abbreveation

    with pie
  7. Envergure

    Envergure TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 134

    To NetCablesPlus,
    Very interesting. But if that's true, how do they include those rediculous words like 'floccinaucinihilipilification'? (and "Constantinople" and "Timbuktu")

    To howoard_hopkinso,
    I've seen that list before. I thought it was stupid; if ppl want to use a word than let them. On the plus side, it's the funniest thing I've ever read!

    To Pieman,
    Just because you've never seen a word doesn't mean it isn't one. 'Syzygy' is a word, and so are 'rheumatism' and 'funambulist'. (Unless you've heard all those words, but you get my point.)

    Thank you all for your opinions. Personally, I use 'pwn' and 'noob' all the time. It's just part of who I am :D cuz I play too much Halo (and sometimes BF42).
  8. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 575

    No, it's not a word. A useful text abreviation, yes. Chat room and forum use, lazy.
  9. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    It's not an abbreviation... because it doesn't stand for anything besides the also non-word pwnage. However, I voted yes, because I hope it becomes a word only for the reason that it would be the only word in existence in the English language that doesn't have a vowel.
  10. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hi MetalX.

    There are already some English words that don`t contain vowels.

    Lynx/Rhythm/Gypsy/Crypt/Nymph. I`m sure there are others, but I can`t think of them ;)

    Regards Howard :)
  11. Envergure

    Envergure TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 134

    To howard_hopkinso,
    Remember from kindergarten that Y is "sometimes" a vowel? Unfortunately, the words you listed all have the "vowel" Y's. Y is a vowel if it's pronounced like an I or an E. It's only a consinant if it's pronounced "yuh", like in 'yodel' and 'Yale'. However, 'nth' is a word, and it has no Y's. 'N' is also considered a word, and it's the only one-letter word that's not a vowel (I'm pretty sure, anyway).
  12. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Ah, I was thinking of vowels being A/E/I/O/U.

    Regards Howard :)
  13. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Yea, that's what I mean. Pwn does not contain an A,E,I,O,U, or "sometimes Y." ;)
  14. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    Acutally, 'w' can also be used as a vowel as is the case in words like 'fawn' in which it is used much like the 'u' in 'faun' (a silent vowel that affects the pronunciation of the preceding vowel.) However, I have never seen a 'w' used as a stand alone vowel, though it may very well be in some uncommon words.

    Simple: once a word is in the book, it rarely, if ever, comes out. The trick is getting in. Longevity is also a relative thing. Constantinople, for example, was around for centuries.

    Also note that the lexicographers, being scholars themselves, will always look more kindly on historical, scientific and other more 'scholarly' new words than those created by kids playing a new game. Fair? Perhaps not, but fairness is not necessarily part of the process. Dictionary editing is not a democracy and is completely arbitrary based upon the publisher's whims. Of course, it is subject to the natural market forces that all businesses must serve and it is important to their business that they remain relevant and of high value to their customer base.
  15. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Bad excuse, cellphones aren't limited these days, and most people don't even use twenty characters when sending messages. Even my nine-year-old cellphone can concatenate "traditional" 160 character messages to longer ones if I have something more to say (albeit usually I call instead).
  16. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    That may be so, but a lot of folks try and cram in as much as possible into a single 160 character text message, so they don`t get charged as much. ;) Personally, I hate text messages and like you much prefer to call.

    Regards Howard :)
  17. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    I've probably sent a grand total of 3 text messages over cell phones, and I bet all 3 were to my sister.

    I am also suprised/disappointed with the 5 results saying yes so far.
  18. Envergure

    Envergure TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 134

    I don't have a cell phone. I want to get an iphone when they come out (but I have no money :(), but mostly to listen to music, take pictures and browse the Web (that is, everything but phone and text). I would never use a cell phone enough to justify owning one, but if I did I'm sure I'd just call people; You can say much more in a one-minute call than a 160-char text, and it costs less on most plans anyway (at least that's what I heard).
  19. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    My 15-year-old texts on her cellphone more than she talks, as far as I can tell. She does not email; she IM's. Texting and IMing seem to be her main form of communication with her friends. Me? I want a voice phone and an email account. Generational thing, I presume.
  20. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    I don't think it's a word....although I think it's rather an expression used after an online kill or describing one. I use it every once in a while to my friends :) .
  21. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    I use 1337 speak all the time. Just not around people who are bothered by it. Hence you never hear it out of me here on TS ;)
  22. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    "PWN" is not a word. it's that simple...

    is it commonly used? perhaps (by a select few) but that does not make it an official word. as already mentioned, it will never be an official [English] word for the simple reason that it contains no vowel(s).

    also, many times words are abbreviated while IM'ing or TXT'ing by simply removing the vowels. is "PWN" just short for "PAWN" ????

    in gaming, the [slang] word "PWN" is used in place of the [real] word "OWN", it seems like it was simply a common "typo" that somehow caught on over time and eventually became a regularly used term.

    oh and BTW, as already stated, slang/abbreviated terms like "PWN" are ok in gaming or IM/TXT'ing... but have no place in a forum such as TS. when speaking on a forum like this, one should always type out full words. (there is no reasonable excuse not to)

    just my 2¢ :wave:
  23. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    But "pwn" is kind of like a higher version of "own." If one gets "owned" in a video game, that means they were defeated in a complete and/or humiliating way. But to get "pwned" is to get defeating in such a complete and/or humiliating way that "owned" just doesn't cut it for describing the manner in which they were defeated ;) That's my opinion.
  24. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    I don't think its a word, its just an expression. Like "wow".

    1337 speak really isn't English, it is closer to a whole new languages based on alphanumeric numbers and symbols.

    And since we speak English here, 1337speak is not acceptable.
  25. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    I Voted No.....

    .....and while I agree that the shortened version of a word can be quite useful when IM'ing and gaming (sometimes haste is a necessary evil), in traditional communication such as forums, blogs, letters (remember those?:eek: ) where clarity is the preferred norm, pwn or any other "crimped" term has absolutely no place. There's absolutely no reason for not taking one's time and explaining things clearly, with the proper punctuation, etc.

    Just my $.02

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