Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.


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How do you get from ‘I second that motion’ to ‘donds’? Because that’s what ‘donds’ means.

It all started back in 2007 on a Guardian newspaper discussion board about readers’ favourite songs, called ‘Readers Recommend’. In response to a recommendation, someone else wrote the following:

Secdonds for the Sesame Street Theme Toon!!!!

Another contributor morphed this typo into ‘sedonds’ and this resulted in ‘seconds’ and ‘sedonds’ becoming interchangeable in the discussion threads.

This was then shortened to ‘donds’, at first with an initial apostrophe (‘donds). The apostrophe was later dropped, and ‘donds’ entered the language. Here are a couple of typical comments from the Guardian threads:

…it’ll no doubt be donds to The Stone Roses – I Am The Resurrection

Donds for Monster Mash

And this from the writer currently running the ‘Readers Recommend’ site:

I will actively encourage people to use the recommend button as a means of dondage. I don’t want to eliminate donding altogether, but if people can try to compile donds into lists where possible and otherwise use the recommend button we may save on posts, speed up page loads and all that good stuff.

Apparently ‘donds’ is spreading and has been spotted in the music magazine, The Word, and on YouTube.

You can read the story in more detail on WikiAnswers.

More neologisms


Written by Wordwatch

04/04/2010 at 8:58 am

7 Responses

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  1. hahaha. I’m surprised any Guardian readers noticed the misspelling — they’ve come to expect them. Similar typos have led to common Net use of “teh” (the), “Frist!” and “pwned” (owned).

    Michael Farrell

    04/04/2010 at 3:40 pm

    • I’m sure I don’t know what you mean about Grauniad redders. The typo ‘pwned’ used instead of ‘owned’ made me laugh because I read it as ‘pawned’ — which is done with something that is owned.


      04/04/2010 at 3:45 pm

      • Pwned is slang for “put in one’s place, defeated.”

        Michael Farrell

        04/04/2010 at 3:48 pm

        • Imagine someone who is more puzzled than someone very puzzled indeed: that would be me.


          04/04/2010 at 3:53 pm

          • And, to remain on topic, usu. said in the passive: “You got pwned.”

            Michael Farrell

            04/04/2010 at 5:36 pm

            • So is that how ‘owned’ is used then?


              04/04/2010 at 5:38 pm

              • Yes. But to my un-hip, too-old understanding, most kids now use “pwned” instead — at least in writing, since it’s hard to pronounce. 🙂

                Michael Farrell

                04/04/2010 at 8:44 pm

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