`Vaccine´, word of the year for FundéuRAE

THE Urgent Spanish Foundation (FundéuRAE), a non-profit institution whose aim is to promote the proper use of Spanish, especially in the media, chose ‘vaccine’ as the word of the year 2021. In addition to his great presence in social, political, scientific and economic debate, the institution selected him for his linguistic interest.

The concept of ‘vaccine’ emerged in XVIII century following the discovery of the english doctor Edward Jenner that those infected with smallpox of animal origin, bovine or bovine, were protected against human diseases.

In addition to its great presence in the social, political, scientific and economic debate, FundéuRAE selected the word ‘vaccine’ for its linguistic interest.

In Spanish, ‘vacina’ was used for a while (created from the Latin ‘vaccinus’, meaning ‘da vaca’), but ended up being imposed ‘vaccinate’, which first appeared in the RAE’s “Dictionaries” in 1803, although not with its current meaning, which was included in 1914.

This voice and its derivatives, such as ‘vaccination’ or ‘vaccinate’, were present throughout the Spanish-speaking world this year, either alone or as part of larger constructs: ‘booster vaccine’, ‘mass vaccination point’ , ‘Vaccination calendar’ …

It is a word that has even motivated the emergence of neologisms, new concepts such as `vaccine field´ (formed with the cultivated base `-dromo´, which refers to a large space destined for specific purposes) or `vacuguagua’ (Acronym for ‘vaccination’ and ‘guagua’).

Very present in the media

FundéuRAE has been dedicated to `vaccineThere are numerous recommendations during 2021, several of them centered on their confusion with other terms, such as `serum´, ‘antidote’ or ‘immunization’.

Likewise, its use with certain verbs (‘inoculate’ is a generic term to refer to the administration of a vaccine, while ‘inject’ refers to a specific way of doing this).

Other related voices have appeared in foundation recommendations and consultations this year, such as ‘trypanophobia’ (irrational fear of injections) or ‘herd immunity’ (To refer to the theory that if the majority of the population is immunized against a virus, this group will provide indirect protection to the unvaccinated).

Candidates from various areas

Coronavirus-related words grouped an important part of candidates for word of the year FundéuRAE of 2021, as was the case in 2020. In addition to the ‘vaccine’, among those chosen were ‘denier’ Y ‘variant’. Two others were related to how the pandemic changed our lives: ‘lack’ Y ‘camper’.

The other candidates alluded to the environment (`eco-anxiety´, `carbon neutrality´), technology (`metaverse´, `cryptocurrency´) and other current issues (`fajana´, `megawatt´, `Taliban´).

The first word of the year for this institution was `escrache´, in 2013, the one that followed `selfie´ (2014), `refugee´ (2015), `populism´ (2016), `aporophobia´ (2017), `microplastic´ (2018), emojis (2019) and `lockdown´ (2020). This 2021 the winner is `vaccine´, which designates one of the concepts that has resonated the most in the media since the end of 2020.


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