Vape gathers linguistic steam to become Word of the Year 2014

Alison Flood in The Guardian:

VapeThis was the year of vaping, according to Oxford Dictionaries, which has chosen “vape” – the act of inhaling from an electronic cigarette – as its word of 2014 after use of the term more than doubled over the last year. Vape – defined as to “inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device” – beat contenders including slacktivism, bae and indyref to be chosen as Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2014. The shortlist is compiled from scanning around 150m words of English in use each month, applying software to identify new and emerging usage. Dictionary editors and lexicographers, including staff from the Oxford English Dictionary, then pinpoint a final selection and an eventual winner, which is intended to be a word judged “to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance”.

The concept of slacktivism also took off this year, said the publisher, defining it as “actions performed via the internet in support of a political or cosocial cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement”, and pointing to the Ice Bucket challenge, the no make-up selfie and the hashtag #bringbackourgirls as three examples of the trend. “It was inevitable that vocabulary around the subject of the Scottish independence referendum would make its mark on the lexicon,” it said of the word indyref, while bae is a form of endearment which “originated in African American English and has been propelled into global usage through social media and lyrics in hip-hop and R&B music”.

More here.