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Hi Welcome was first used in the DDO Forums way back on June 13th, 2009 in the Argonnessen forums by Milamber69. In the same thread Milamber69 posted it, other Argonites also used it. In the link below, note Tabun's form - probably the first time it was used in the correct form. HeavenlyCloud picked it up and then Raegoul picked it up immediately thereafter and ran with it, using it in its current, correct form - Hi Welcome exclusively.
According to Raegoul, it was first used verbally and it is said as it is punctuated with a flat tone used for both words. It was used to greet people joining the group and repeated in the same way as each person joined more specifically in raids. The more people that said it in the same fashion the funnier it became for everyone else. CREDIT must go to Milamber69 for its creation and common use. Everyone should PM him a thank you for creating such a valuable phrase.
Here's the link to the meme's first appearance in the DDO forums: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=2237185#post2237185
(Note the primitive incorrect form; also scroll down for other Argonites' usage of it)
Here's the first time HeavenlyCloud and Raegoul ever used Hi Welcome: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=2258604#post2258604
After a month or two, it started to catch on. Raegoul started its common use but a few forum posters really started to run with it. Arkat started using the meme in a different language (Spanish) - Hola Bienvenido. Strakeln wrote it backwards - Emocle Wih. Emili started writing it in Irish Ghaelic and others have translated it into French - Bonjour Bienvenue and Chinese - Ni Hao HuanYing. Other languages have been used as well.
Examples of other languages can be found here: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=3126302#post3126302
When Arkat first noticed the meme, he saw Raegoul using it and thought it was quite clever in its simplicity. The form was simple and elegant but its meaning was somewhat elusive to those who wished to put it into words. To get a grasp of its concept, one really needed to have an intuitive understanding instead of a firm one. You either "knew" when to use it or you didn't.
After the meme's adoption by Raegoul, Arkat and a few others, a problem arose when even more Forum members picked it up. Although they may have gotten the idea of when to use it, they rarely used the proper form which is when Arkat really come into the picture. Besides having used the meme in different languages first, he was the one who was MOST responsible for seeing that it is written correctly.
A review of the form is needed here. It should always be written with a capital H and a capital W. No punctuation is permissable either. It should always be written - Hi Welcome and no other way. If one was writing it in another language (and assuming the language has capital letters), only the first letter of each word should be capitalized and again, no punctuation is used. The lone exception to the "only the first latter in each word is capitalized" rule is for the Chinese form not written in characters. In this case Ni Hao HuanYing is correct. This is due to a peculiarity of the Chinese language.
While Arkat made the MOST corrections, he was quite gratified to see others are pick up the ball and make the corrections as well.
As to it's meaning, while KKDragonLord has made an attempt to define it, it is much more than that. Some would call it a "slam" or some sort of "snarky" reply. While that can be true it is much more subtle than that. It's meaning is more of a feeling than anything else. How can one possibly define Love adequately? They can't, of course, and likewise, no one can adequately define Hi Welcome.
As was mentioned previously, you either have the intuition necessary to grasp its meaning and use it in correct situations or you don't. It is possible some (those without the intial intuitive grasp of it) have figured it out eventually but they most likely observed its use over a long period of time and in a large number of posts. On the other hand, some have never "gotten" it and probably never will.
On Friday, August 13th, DDO Forum Moderators made it clear Hi Welcome would no longer be tolerated. Hi Welcome, in fact, had its "johnson stomped."
See this thread: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=3194607#post3194607
There was an Officially sanctioned "Say goodbye to Hi Welcome" thread which can be found here: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=268368
In that thread, in an ironic twist of fate, Arkat announced the Urban Dictionary had just approved his submission of Hi Welcome that very day. The irony being the attempt by the DDO Forum Moderators to kill Hi Welcome had failed. Now Hi Welcome was guaranteed to live on and perhaps be used in other forums for other games. Hi Welcome had ultimately won!
Hi Welcome's Urban Dictionary entry can be found here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Hi%20Welcome