2014 Word of The Year Is 'Vape'
It's official: the Oxford Dictionaries Word of The Year (WTY) for 2014 is "vape." The Dictionaries' editors said they chose this word because of its newfound popularity. According to the Oxford Dictionaries, use of the word vape has increased by more than 200% from 2013 to 2014.
Each year, the Oxford University Press (whom publishes the Oxford Dictionary) announces a new Word of The Year for both the U.K. and U.S. Sometimes it's the same word for both countries, while other times it's different. 2014's Word of The Year, vape, was chosen for the U.S. and U.K. It was chosen based on its trending popularity by an editorial team consisting of lexicographers and consultant.
“We’ve been tracking the rise of the word ‘vape’ with interest and it definitely peaked this year,” said Oxford Dictionaries chief Casper Grathwohl in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.“ [Vape] sat at the center of several rich cultural conversations: the debate over private versus community rights; regulation and public health; and our relationship to our visible vices. Given the booming e-cigarette market sector, expect to hear more from ‘vape’ in the years to come.”
So, what does it mean to vape? While it was recently named Word of The Year by Oxford Dictionaries, it's currently not listed in their dictionary -- at least not yet. Regardless, however, it's a universal term used to describe the process of inhaling and exhaling vapor, usually done through a vaporizer or electronic cigarette.
If smoking is on one end of the spectrum, vaping is on the opposite end. Vaping differs from smoking in the sense that there's no combustion/fire taking place. When you light a cigarette or burn a pipe filled with herb, the excessive heat creates new chemicals through combustion. Unfortunately, many of these chemicals are known carcinogens, meaning you increase your risk of developing cancer each time you smoke. When you vape, on the other hand, you are heating the substance just enough to create a mist-like vapor;
The Oxford Dictionaries editorial team notes that the word vape has been around since the early 1980s, long before the electronic cigarette was invented. Of course, it took a couple decades for the word to gain traction, but I think it's safe to say vape is here to stay.
Previous Oxford Dictionaries Word of The Year include the following:
- Selfie (2013)
- Omnishambles (2012)
- Squeezed middle (2011)
- Big Society (2010)
- Simples (2009)
- Credit Crunch (2008)
- Carbon Footprint (2007)
- Bovvered (2006)
- Sudoku (2005)
- Chav (2004)