Writing Prompts: Pwn

Earlier in the month, I scoped out Dictionary.com for possible prompt ideas, and noticed they do a ‘Word of the Day’. On the day of writing this, that word was ‘pwn’.

Pwn gets marked up as a typo by Chrome. That’s understandable. Pwn is not a good-looking word, from any perspective. There are a handful of words that work with no vowels, but pwn is not one of them. If we let that slide for a moment, what does it mean?

Well, it’s a verb. It means ‘to completely defeat or dominate someone at a computer or video game’. It’s basically geek-speak, and it’s crept its way into regular language, albeit not in a huge way (at least, not yet). I don’t know how the word came about, so shall we see if we can find out? The best I can learn is that it’s related to the word ‘own’. To own someone in a game is to have overcome them, beaten them, and pwn conveys a similar meaning. Maybe it also relates to overpowering an enemy? It’s all a bit weird to this old timer. I am struggling to think of an occasion where I’ve used this expression, and I would like to think that’s because I haven’t. Still, you never know…

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