A health worker prepares to give a Covid-19 vaccine shot. Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionary have chosen “vaccine” and “vax” as 2021’s words of the year. Photo: EPA-EFE
A health worker prepares to give a Covid-19 vaccine shot. Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionary have chosen “vaccine” and “vax” as 2021’s words of the year. Photo: EPA-EFE
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

‘Vaccine’ and ‘vax’ are the 2021 words of the year – they symbolise protection and possibilities during a pandemic

  • Merriam-Webster named ‘vaccine’ and Oxford English Dictionary plumped for ‘vax’, both words that reflect our evolving circumstances amid the pandemic
  • Increased usage of the word ‘vaccine’ has seen clipped forms of it being employed, with ‘anti-vax’ and ‘anti-vaxxer’ coming into being in the past 10 years

A health worker prepares to give a Covid-19 vaccine shot. Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionary have chosen “vaccine” and “vax” as 2021’s words of the year. Photo: EPA-EFE
A health worker prepares to give a Covid-19 vaccine shot. Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionary have chosen “vaccine” and “vax” as 2021’s words of the year. Photo: EPA-EFE
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