New vocabulary: pwnd

The more I think about it, the more I find the word pwn, or pwnd, very very complex.

pwn suggests defeat, but defeat is too old fashioned a word to be an equivalent

pwnd suggests shame

pwnd, for the very fact that it uses a ‘p’ for an ‘o’, and no vowels whatsoever, makes it elevate from the original variant (owned – apparently it was a typo in an online game, I think counterstrike), makes it an elitist word, a clique word, a word that outsiders are not permitted to use; its a kind of word that, when uttered, you either understand, or you dont. And if you do, you are part of the joke, part of the number ‘who gets it’

pwnd suggests a kind of loss of face

pwnd suggests an embarrassment

one can engage in self-pwnage


One thought on “New vocabulary: pwnd

  1. The whole l33t phenomena in general is interesting and disturbing – we have new patois languages coming together on the back of technology, where typing errors become linguistically meaning. I try not to fall into the trap of fearing for the survival of our rich lexicons – the growth of creole languages after colonisation did not diminish English, so perhaps (if only by virtue of the academy) the language can continue to survive.

    And I agree that inherent in the use of pwn is a status implication – shame or loss of face, as you say here. The behaviours to which pwn refers are not new (they happen in sports and playgrounds), but we are finding new ways to express ourselves in connection with these activities.

    Best wishes!

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