Vaccine beats insurrection to become Merriam-Webster's word of the year 2021

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Nov 29, 2021, 03:52 PM(IST)

In this file photo, a child can be seen getting inoculated against COVID-19 in Sydney, Australia Photograph:( Reuters )

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Over 2020, the use of the word 'vaccine' increased 601 per cent

The word 'vaccine' has defeated 'insurrection' to become Merriam-Webster's word of the year 2021.

Over 2020, the use of the word 'vaccine' increased 601 per cent. Debates over inequitable distribution, vaccine mandates and boosters kept interest high.

According to its editor, Peter Sokolowski, It really represents two different stories. One is the science story, which is this remarkable speed with which the vaccines were developed. But there’s also the debates regarding policy, politics and political affiliation. It’s one word that carries these two huge stories.''

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“The pandemic was the gun going off and now we have the aftereffects,” Sokolowski said.

The other word that were runners-up in the word biography of 2021 include, infrastructure, perseverance and nomad.

Merriam-Webster bases its selection on lookup data, paying close attention to spikes and, more recently, year-over-year increases in searches after weeding out evergreens.

Also read | Collins Dictionary makes NFT its word of the year

However, other dictionary companies choose words of the year by committee.

Borrowed from the New Latin “vaccina,” which goes back to Latin’s feminine “vaccinus,” meaning “of or from a cow,” the word 'vaccine' was first used in 1882.

It comes after the Oxford English Dictionary has chosen the word ''vax'' and Collins Dictionary had chosen ''NFT'' as their respective word of the year. 

Merriam-Webster has been declaring a word of the year since 2008. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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