Eye Roll: Merriam-Webster Announces Word of the Year

(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Woke dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster has chosen “vaccine” as its 2021 word of the year—dethroning 2020’s word of the year, which was “pandemic.”


“In everyday use, words are useful tools that communicate assertions, ideas, aspirations, and uncertainties,” the publisher explained. “But they can also become vehicles for ideological conflict.”

“This is what happened to vaccine in 2021,” they assert. “The promising medical solution to the pandemic that upended our lives in 2020 also became a political argument and source of division. The biggest science story of our time quickly became the biggest debate in our country, and the word at the center of both stories is vaccine.”

Nowhere in the announcement is it explained that Democrats, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, were sowing the seeds of doubt in the vaccine last year.

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“This was a word that was extremely high in our data every single day in 2021,” Peter Sokolowski, Merriam-Webster’s editor-at-large, told the Associated Press. “It really represents two different stories. One is the science story, which is this remarkable speed with which the vaccines were developed. But there’s also the debates regarding policy, politics and political affiliation. It’s one word that carries these two huge stories,” he added.

Searches for the definition of “vaccine” jumped over 500% in 2021.


“The word vaccine was about much more than medicine in 2021,” noted Merriam-Website. “For many, the word symbolized a possible return to the lives we led before the pandemic. But it was also at the center of debates about personal choice, political affiliation, professional regulations, school safety, healthcare inequality, and so much more.”

One runner-up to “vaccine” for word of the year was “insurrection.” Searches for the word jumped 61,000% over 2020 because of the Capitol riot, which wasn’t an insurrection, but Democrats have tried to brand it as such.

Merriam-Webster has sparked controversy in recent years for its Orwellian changes to longstanding definitions of words. Earlier this year, they changed the definition of racial color-blindness to suggest that one could still be racially colorblind and racist. The dictionary updated the definition of “sexual preference” in order to declare it offensive after Amy Coney Barrett used the term during her confirmation hearings.


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