The coronavirus pandemic has played a major role in influencing the English language, with many words being added to the Oxford English Dictionary. In its latest update, Remdesivir has been added to the dictionary’s list of words. Remdesivir became a popular name during the harrowing second wave that hit India in April. The anti-viral injection that sent people scouting for it, has now recorded itself as a dictionary word in June 2021 following its extensive demand.
In a note, the official website of OED said, “1,000 fully revised entries and nearly 700 new words and senses have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary in our latest update, including deadname, staycation and social distance."
Earlier, OED mentioned that their ‘2020 Word of the Year campaign’ looked a little different. “The English language, like all of us, has had to adapt rapidly and repeatedly this year. Our team of expert lexicographers have captured and analysed this lexical data every step of the way. As our Word of the Year process started and this data was opened up, it quickly became apparent that 2020 is not a year that could neatly be accommodated in one single “word of the year”, so we have decided to report more expansively on the phenomenal breadth of language change and development over the year in our Words of an Unprecedented Year report," it mentioned.
In the previous months of 2021, OED also included words like ‘self-isolate’, ‘self-quarantine’, ‘infodemic’, ‘physical distancing’ etc due to their prolonged use during the pandemic and the covid lockdown.
Earlier in 2020, the Collins Dictionary said that ‘lockdown’ is its Word of The Year in 2020 following a dramatic increase in usage during the spread of Covid-19.
Lexicographers said they picked the word because it had become synonymous with the experience of populations across the world as governments look to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is a unifying experience for billions of people across the world, who have had collectively to play their part in combating the spread of COVID-19," publishers Harper Collins said.
Collins registered more than a quarter of a million usages of “lockdown" during 2020, against only 4,000 the previous year.
Because of the way the pandemic has affected the daily use of language, six of Collins’ 10 words of the year in 2020 are related to the global health crisis.
“Coronavirus", “social distancing", “self-isolate" and “furlough" as well as “lockdown" and “key worker" were included in the longer list of 10 words of the year.