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IT Terms Dominate Webster's New World Dictionary Annual Word of the Year Selection Process

Distracted driving was chosen as the word of the year by Webster's New World Dictionary, though it is actually two words. Webster's New World defines distracted driving as "the use of a cellphone or other portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle." Three other IT words were runner-ups, including cloud computing (computer operations in which documents and data are created, edited, and stored remotely on servers and accessed by the user via an Internet connection; netbook (a portable computer, smaller and lighter than a typical notebook, designed for operations performed via an Internet connection; see cloud computing); and going viral (to become extremely popular in a very short time; said of a website, blog entry, posted video, etc. on the Internet).The winning word and three of the runners-up (the two other runners-up were wrap rage and wallet biopsy) reflect today's society and the highly influential role of IT to the extent that industry buzzwords are part of the everyday lexicon. Though I don't expect this post to go viral, the only reason you are reading it is due to the fact it was created on my netbook and forwarded/distributed via cloud computing. I also expect many of you readers are currently on a netbook linked to a cloud computing service.

A few years ago the past sentences may have been gobbledegook to most IT industry outsiders, but today the meaning is more likely than not to be crystal clear, at least to the younger generations out there. Watch out next year to see the dictionary's choice for word of the year, because it is just as likely to be social networking or telepresence as anything else. The day when computers (to use an aging expression) take over the world may not be too far off.