Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year Will Piss Off Parents (and Anyone Who Likes the English Language)
By John Boone
Photo: Oxford Dictionaries
Oxford Dictionaries slogan is “Language Matters.” It’s plastered right under their name on their site. But when you look at their shortlist for the 2014 Word of the Year, a list that includes:
bae, noun: Used as a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner.
normcore, noun: A trend in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate fashion statement.
slacktivism, noun: Actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement.
You realize that “Language Matters” is more of an optimistic goal and less of a hard and fast rule. Because bae? Anyway, none of those words are The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2014. That honor goes to: Vape.
“Although there is a shortlist of strong contenders...it was vape that emerged victorious,” Oxford tried to reason in a blog post. “You are thirty times more likely to come across the word vape than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year.”
To be fair, Oxford’s Word of the Year is, as they put it, “a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date.” So really, it’s not the best word of the year, but the most popular word. Heck, last year’s, uh, distinguished winner was “selfie.”
“Vape” has made its way onto Oxford Dictionaries website, but has not been included in the print version of Oxford English Dictionaries. It is “currently being considered” for inclusion. We have a feeling that it will never end up in ink, because the world will have moved on to new slang or will shorten vape — already shortened from vaporizer — to, we don’t know, “v.”
(Please do not use “v,” people. We don’t want to be responsible for that.)
Anyway, here are Oxford Dictionaries definitions for “vape”:
vape, verb: Inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.
vape, noun: An electronic cigarette or similar device; an act of inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.
Use it while you can! #VAPELYFE!
While you’re here, find out why Hollywood is so obsessed with marijuana: