Well, folks, this is it: the death of the English language as we know it. Every year, in an effort to stay relevant, the Oxford English Dictionary takes a new word from popular vernacular and adds it to the OED, making it the “Word of the Year.” Last year, it was “selfie” and 2012’s was “GIF” (which isn’t so bad), but 2014 belongs to “vape.” Yeah, that’s right, “vape”.
Inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device
An electronic cigarette or similar device; an act of inhaling and exhaling the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device”
Somewhere in an ivory tower of douchieness, Jenny McCarthy is laughing her ass off while blowing “harmless vapor” into Donnie Wahlberg’s face as she straps his nipples to a car battery and hits him with the juice. Or they flip burgers and play hockey together. I don’t know their lives.
Here’s what justified the OED’s decision:
“Today Oxford Dictionaries announces vape as its international Word of the Year 2014. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date. Language research conducted by Oxford Dictionaries editors reveals that use of the word vape in 2014 has more than doubled compared to 2013.
Over the last five years sales of electronic cigarettes have grown from almost nothing to a multi-million $ industry, and the habit has gone mainstream. Where in the early days the use was primarily driven by smokers choosing a more healthy alternative to traditional cigarettes, more recently the industry has gained its own momentum and new audience. A gap emerged in the lexicon, as a word was needed to describe this activity, and distinguish it from ‘smoking’. The word vape arose to fill this gap, and it has proliferated along with the habit.”
Interested in the other words the Oxford English Dictionary considered for 2014? Here’s the shortlist:
“slacktivism, noun, informal:
Actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.g. signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website.”
Relating to or involving technologies that allow a smart card, mobile phone, etc. to contact wirelessly to an electronic reader, typically in order to make a payment.”
A person whose job is to serve customers in a cannabis dispensary or shop.”
And, of course:
Used as a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner.”
Why do I feel like with every passing day, we get one step closer to the future depicted in Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy”? Just to be safe, I’m going to open up a Carl’s Jr. franchise.
[via Oxford Dictionaries Blog]
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