Why I Hate The Letter W
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Last updated July 4, 2000

I have a real beef with the letter W. I've always hated W for as long as I can remember, and it didn't used to be that big a deal. But ever since the World Wide Web came into existence in the early Nineties, W has become well-nigh unavoidable, and this world's just not big enough for the two of us anymore. So, W, if you're reading this, I've got one thing to say to you:

"Letter, your days are numbered!"

Reasons to hate W

  1. W is the only letter in the English alphabet whose name doesn't give you a hint of what the letter sounds like. What's up with that?
  2. W is also the only letter in the English alphabet whose name is more than one syllable long. But it's not just one syllable longer than all the others, no! W's got to go and have a name that's two syllables longer than every other letter in the alphabet. Three freaking syllables for one stinking letter! What is it trying to prove?
  3. The letter looks more like two Vs next to each other than two Us. So, not only does its name not describe how it sounds, but it even gives you a misleading description of what it looks like! Why all this coyness, W? Do you think you're going to get people all involved in the "mystery of W"? You're acting like some coquettish waif who enjoys toying with guys who just want to know your name or phone number- but you're just a bleeding letter! You're a fricking functional component of the English language! Enough!
  4. It's unimaginative. A W is little more than a stylized upside-down M. M was there first (alphabetically), and W just came along biting M's moves. And it's a pretty half-hearted rip-off, too. See, M comes in two versions for upper-case and lower case, but a lower-case W is just a smaller version of the big one. Weak.
  5. W is responsible for the most evil three-letter acronym (TLA) in existence: WWW. Acronyms are supposed to save time when you use them, not take three times as long!

Alternatives to WWW

So you're at work trying to get something done, and your buddy stops by your cube to ask the URL of that MP3 site you were talking about earlier at lunch. Normally this wouldn't bother you, but you've got tons of things to do and this is only like the 30th non-work-related interruption to your most critical, super-important job that only you can do- and you just don't think you can spare an entire three seconds uttering the most mundane part of the URL you're about to utter. How can you make the best of a bad situation and save yourself a precious one-and-a-half to two seconds? Try these on for size:




"dub dub dub" My favorite, because it's short and "dub" can't easily be mistaken for some other letter. Some people think it sounds pretentious though.
"double yous" (as in the plural of W) Short, but doesn't tell you exactly how many Ws to type. You could say "three double yous", but that might make you sound like a novice.
 "world wide web" Also short, but a little bit of a tongue-twister in its own right. (Try saying it five times fast.)
 nothing Some people just assume that you're going to type "www." when they tell you a URL, so they don't bother saying it. While this is often okay, it's not bullet-proof, and it doesn't save either of you any time if the wrong URL gets typed in as a result of your omission and you have to correct the error.

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