I'm sure some people would say there wasn't that much to cheer about in 2007, but Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year goes against the grain -- the word in question is "w00t." (Yes, those are zeroes, in case you were wondering.)

According to the dictionary publisher, the word, which emerged from gamer culture, is defined as: "expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word 'yay'." It's also supposedly derived from the phrase, "We owned the other team."

It beat out puzzling entrants "sardoodledom," "Pecksniffian," and even "Facebook," which has joined company with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) in becoming a verb. And of course, "w00t" follows up some fascinating "wordish" choices from previous years, such as "truthiness" (coined by Stephen Colbert) and "blog" (the 2004 winner).

Merriam-Webster explained that "w00t" hasn't been added to its print dictionaries, but instead is included in its online Open Dictionary. Welcome to the Wikipedia generation; "w00t" gained the 2007 honor because Internet users voted for it. (I guess online gamers took a wee break from "owning the other team" to vote.)

Obviously, game imagery is showing up on more than movie screens, as the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Resident Evil franchises have. It's also showing up in a mounting collection of Viacom's (NYSE:VIA) South Park episodes; there's been Vivendi's World of Warcraft, Nintendo's (OTC BB: NTDOY.PK) Wii, and the more recent lampoon of Activision's (NASDAQ:ATVI) Guitar Hero. For goodness' sake, William Shatner's a shaman (at least he claims to be in recent World of Warcraft ads). 

I'm sure "w00t" makes many wordsmiths shudder. However, anybody who pays close attention to video-game-related stocks -- like Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO), or THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) -- should contemplate the way video games are moving into the vernacular and playing an increasingly important role in entertainment. There are investment winners out there.

Popular culture is more than starting to take notice, so shouldn't you just say, "w00t!"

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that occasionally lets out a w00t.