Merriam Webster, the Dictionary publisher, announced its 2021 word of the year -‘Vaccine’, replacing the previous year’s word of ‘Pandemic’. Although this might appear to be an obvious choice to describe the past year, the data from the Merriam Webster website shows a much deeper story.
“Vaccine lookups increased 600%, and the story is about much more than medicine,” said Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s Editor at Large in a press release. “It was at the center of debates about personal choice, political affiliation, professional regulations, school safety, healthcare inequity, and so much more. The biggest science event of the year quickly became the biggest political debate in our country, and the word at the center of both stories is vaccine. Few words can express so much about one moment in time.”