American publisher Merriam-Webster, well-known for its dictionaries, has declared “vaccine” as its word of the year, noting it expanded its definition to reflect the times since the promising medical solution has become a political argument and source of division.
When countries around the world went into lockdown in 2020 in an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the publisher’s word of the year was “pandemic,” and the development of a new, mRNA type, of vaccine prompted it to change the definition of the word in May.
Describing additionally the conventional vaccine technology and the mRNA vaccines, Merriam-Webster dictionary now defines ‘vaccine’ as “a preparation that is administered (as by injection) to stimulate the body’s immune response against a specific infectious agent or disease.”
Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large, Peter Sokolowski, pointed that the omnipresent truth was extremely high in their data every single day in 2021and is a word that carries two huge different stories: the science story showing the remarkable speed the vaccines were developed with, and the debates regarding policy, politics and political affiliation.
He noted that that the number of people looking up the word “vaccine” had increased 1,048% in 2021, compared to 2019, end explained that what has happened with the word “vaccine” is an example of how words can become vehicles for ideological conflict.
Earlier in November, the Oxford English Dictionary’s publishers selected “vax” as its word of the year.