Guess what Merriam-Webster picks as word of the year — Analysis

Publisher Merriam-Webster, which is particularly well-known for its dictionaries, has declared “vaccine” as its word of the year, noting how the medical solution has become a political argument and source of division.

In a publication on Monday, Merriam-Webster said that the number of people looking up the word “vaccine” had increased 1,048% in 2021, compared to 2019 as the publishing group declared it as the word of the year.  

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The publishing firm said that words can become vehicles for ideological conflict, and that’s exactly what has happened with the word “vaccine.” They claimed that the “promising medical solution” which brought the promise of ending the pandemic that upended everyone’s lives had become “a political argument and source of division.”

“The biggest science story of our time quickly became the biggest debate in our country, and the word at the center of both stories is vaccine,”The Merriam-Webster group wrote. 

American company also pointed out that the May development of an improved type of vaccine called mRNA jabs prompted them to modify their definition of the term. It now has the following main description: “a preparation that is administered (as by injection) to stimulate the body’s immune response against a specific infectious agent or disease.”Additional text describes the conventional vaccine technology as well as the mRNA vaccines. 

The publisher’s 2020 word of the year was “pandemic,” as the Covid-19 pandemic saw countries around the globe sent into lockdown in an effort to prevent its spread.  

The Oxford English Dictionary’s publishers selected “Vax” as its word of the year earlier in November. 

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