And the Word of the Year is... VAPE!
Toward the end of the year, lexicographers – those who are responsible for managing and updating the words found within dictionaries – gather and choose a word of the year that has captured the general feeling of the year. Oxford Dictionary's word of 2013 was selfie, and for 2014 their choice for word of the year is vape.
And rightfully so! Usage of the word vape, and much of its derivatives like vaping, vape pen, vape shop, and vape juice, has dramatically increased within the past twelve months, more than doubling in usage since last year. The popularity of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) and vape MODs has also risen parallel to increased usage of terms related to and associated with the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by these devices.
The selection of the term vape also underscores much of the legislative and political turmoil that has been aimed at regulating e-cigs. Peak usage of ‘vape’ occurred in April of 2014, a time when the very first vape cafés were opening and cities like New York began banning indoor vaping. During this time, media outlets were increasingly discussing the merits of such regulations pointing toward a burgeoning movement that has captured the attention of so many.
At a deeper level, vape captures the sentiments that many vapers, those who use e-cigs and vape MODs, hold with respect to their freedom of choice and the health aspect of dropping traditional tobacco cigarettes in favor of e-cigarettes. Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford’s dictionaries division, indicates how the word “vape” has functioned as a lightning rod through the last few years, raising questions as to what should be kept out of public spaces and what the government should be allowed to regulate.
Altogether, “vape,” since its first usage in the 1980s, has and will continue to become a prominent word in our lexicon.