Monday 1 November 2021

woty: vaxx

Though very much a carry-over from the past year’s extraordinary multiplicity of choices to limn an extraordinary year, from fully-vaxxed, anti-vaxxers, to vax cards and vax apps vax passes demonstrates that lexically, our common-parlance still places us firmly in the midst of the moment. The Oxford English Dictionary’s choice by September as the jury was finalising its list of nominees was cited in print fully seventy-two times more frequently than the year prior. Aside from addressing our social and cultural moment, I wonder about the stylistic consensus to double the x in this clipping and can’t decide if it’s apothecary’s shorthand or just slang, the root coined by physician and scientist Edward Jenner to describe cowpox and his method to immunise people from the more severe smallpox through exposure and variolation.