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Vape Chosen As Oxford Dictionary’s Word Of The Year

Use of the word, defined as to “inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device”, has more than doubled over the course of the year to win.

LONDON n- Vape, a verb meaning to inhale or exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette has been named as the word of the year 2014 by Oxford Dictionaries.

The title is usually given to a word whose usage has increased exponentially during the year to date.

The winning word should “reflect the ethos, mood or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance”.

Oxford Dictionaries editor found that the use of the word vape in 2014 had more than doubled compared to 2013.

Vape was first coined in the late 1980s when companies like RJR Nabisco were experimenting with the first “smokeless” cigarettes.

The word has not only taken off but has also emerged in new avatars – vaper, vapoholic and vaporium.

Oxford Dictionaries’ editorial director Judy Pearsall said “As vaping has gone mainstream, with celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to Barry Manilow giving it a go, and with growing public debate on the public dangers and the need for regulation, so the language usage of the word ‘vape’ and related terms in 2014 has shown a marked increase”.

The Word of the Year need not have been coined within the past 12 months, but it does need to have become prominent or notable in that time. Vape was added to the Oxford Dictionaries 2014.

They said “E-cigarettes were not commercially available until the 21st century, having been invented in China in 2003, yet the word vape actually dates to the early 1980s. Its earliest known use is in an article, “Why do People Smoke” in New Society in 1983. The author, Rob Stepney, described a hypothetical device being explored at the time: “an inhaler or ‘non-combustible’ cigarette, looking much like the real thing, but…delivering a metered dose of nicotine vapour. (The new habit, if it catches on, would be known as vaping.)”

The shortlist which was prepared after scanning 150 million English words also included bae (shortened form of baby or babe but is sometimes interpreted as an acronym for ‘before anyone else'”, slacktivism, indyref to normcore.

Indyref is the short form of independence referendum while normcore means a trend in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate fashion statement.

Slacktivism means actions performed via the internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, like signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website.

has been chosen as the word of the year by editorial staff at Oxford Dictionaries.

Use of the word, defined as to “inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device”, has more than doubled over the course of the year to win.

The shortlist, which included contenders such as bae, slacktivism and indyref, is compiled by scanning around 150m words of English in use every month – using software to identify new or emerging usage – before lexicographers select a shortlist from which the winner is chosen.

The winning word should “reflect the ethos, mood or preoccupations of that particular year and to have lasting potential as a word of cultural significance”.

Vaping was first coined in the 1980s when companies such as RJR began experimenting with the first ‘smokeless cigarettes’.

“A gap emerged in the lexicon, as a word was needed to describe this activity, and distinguish it from ‘smoking’,” said Oxford’s experts of the rise of vaping and accompanying lexicon.

“It’s hard to anticipate what’s going to capture the public imagination at any given moment,” president of Oxford’s dictionaries division Casper Grathwohl told TIME. “Vape only really caught on a few years ago and now we’ve seen a dramatic rise.”

He added: “A word is just the surface of something that often has a really complex and rich life underneath”.

Oxford Dictionaries’ editorial director Judy Pearsall added: “As vaping has gone mainstream, with celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to Barry Manilow giving it a go, and with growing public debate on the public dangers and the need for regulation, so the language usage of the word ‘vape’ and related terms in 2014 has shown a marked increase”.

The vaping market has exploded recently, capturing new markets as much of the public cottons to an alternative to traditional smoking, and with such interest new words have become publicly recognisable, including vaper, vapoholic, vaporium, carto, e-juice.

Other contenders such as bae, generally taken to be a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner, were did not make the top grade – perhaps in an attempt to be a little more serious about the exercise than last year, which saw selfie championed as 2013’s word of the year.

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