'Vaccine' word of the year for 2021 by Merriam-Webster| MENAFN.COM

Friday, 21 January 2022 03:11 GMT

'Vaccine' word of the year for 2021 by Merriam-Webster


(MENAFN- BreezyScroll)

Merriam-Webster has declared an omnipresent truth as its 2021 word of the year: vaccine. Merriam-editor-at-large, Webster's Peter Sokolowski, told The Associated Press ahead of Monday's announcement. 'This was a word that was extremely high in our data every single day in 2021.'

“It really represents two different stories. One is the science story, this is the remarkable speed with which the vaccines are developing. But there are also debates regarding policy, politics, and political affiliation. It's one word that carries these two huge stories,” he says. The choice comes after“vax” was the word of the year. The selection was by the people who publish the Oxford English Dictionary. And it comes after Merriam-Webster chose“pandemic” as the top search term on its website last year.

“The pandemic was the gun going off and now we have the aftereffects,” Sokolowski says. Lookups for“vaccine” at Merriam-Webster increased 601% from 2020. After the first US shot was under administration in New York in December after rapid development and months of speculation and debate about efficacy. Earlier that month, in the United Kingdom, the world's first jab was administered. 

Merriam-Webster updates its online definition of“vaccine”
In comparison to 2019, when there was little urgency or chatter about vaccines, Merriam-Webster saw a 1,048 percent increase in lookups this year. Sokolowski said that debates over inequitable distribution, vaccine mandates, and boosters kept interest high. Vaccine hesitancy and disagreements over vaccine passports also increased. The word vaccine is derived from the New Latin“vaccina,” which stems from Latin's feminine“vaccinus,” which means“of or from a cow.”” According to Merriam-Webster, the Latin word for cow is“vacca,” which is related to the Sanskrit word“vasa.” 

Merriam-Webster updated its online definition of“vaccine” earlier this year to include all references to mRNA vaccines. Also known as messenger vaccines, such as those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna for COVID-19. Unlike other dictionary companies, Merriam-Webster bases its selection on search data. Paying close attention to spikes and, more recently, year-over-year increases in searches after weeding out evergreens. Since 2008, the company has named a word of the year .

Vaccine Word of the year

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