- 韦伯斯特周一宣布 "pandemic" 作为其2020年年度词汇。
- On March 11, when the World 健康 Organization declared the novel 新冠病毒 outbreak a global 大流行, lookups on the site for 大流行 spiked hugely. Site interest for the word has remained significantly high through the year, Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for 韦伯斯特, said.
- He attributes the lookup traffic for 大流行 not entirely to searchers who didn't know what it meant but also to those on the hunt for more detail, or for inspiration or comfort.
NEW YORK (AP)—If you were to choose a word that rose above most in 2020, which word would it be?
叮叮叮：Merriam-Webster周一宣布 "pandemic" 作为其2020年年度词汇。
"That probably isn't a big shock,"Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for 韦伯斯特, told The 美联社.
"Often the big 新闻 story has a technical word that's associated with it 和 in this case, the word 大流行 is not just technical but has become general. It's probably the word by which we'll refer to this period in the future," he said.
The word took on urgent specificity in March, when the 新冠病毒 crisis was designated a 大流行, but it started to trend up on 韦伯斯特.com as early January 和 again in February when the first U.S. deaths 和 outbreaks on cruise ships occurred.
On March 11, when the World 健康 Organization declared the novel 新冠病毒 outbreak a global 大流行, lookups on the site for 大流行 spiked hugely. Site interest for the word has remained significantly high through the year, Sokolowski said.
By huge, Sokolowski means searches for 大流行 on March 11 were 115,806% higher than lookups experienced on the same date last year.
大流行, with roots in Latin 和 Greek, is a combination of"pan," for all, 和 "demos,"for people or population. The latter is the same root of"democracy," Sokolowski noted.
The word 大流行 dates to the mid-1600s, used broadly for"universal"and more specifically to disease in a medical text in the 1660s, he said.
He attributes the lookup traffic for 大流行 not entirely to searchers who didn't know what it meant but also to those on the hunt for more detail, or for inspiration or comfort.
"We see that the word love is looked up around Valentine's Day 和 the word cornucopia is looked up at Thanksgiving," Sokolowski said. "We see a word like surreal spiking when a moment of national tragedy or shock occurs. It's the idea of dictionaries being the beginning of putting your thoughts in order."
韦伯斯特 acted quickly in March to add 和 update entries on its site for words related to the 大流行. While"coronavirus"had been in the dictionary for decades,"COVID-19"was coined in February. Thirty-four days later, 韦伯斯特 had it up online, along with a couple dozen other entries that were revised to reflect the health emergency.
"That's the shortest period of time we've ever seen a word go from coinage to entry," Sokolowski said. "The word had this urgency."
Coronavirus was among runners up for word of the year as it jumped into the mainstream. Quarantine, asymptomatic, mamba, kraken, defund, antebellum, irregardless, icon, schadenfreude 和 malarkey were also runners up based on lookup spikes around specific events.
Particularly interesting to word nerds like Sokolowski, a lexicographer, is quarantine. With 意大利n roots, it was used during the Black Death of the 1300s for the period of time a new ship coming into port would have to wait outside a city to prevent disease. The"quar"in quarantine derives from 40, for the 40 days required.
Spikes for mamba occurred after the January death of Kobe Bryant, whose nickname was the Black Mamba. A mass of lookups occurred for kraken in July after Seattle's new National Hockey League franchise chose the mythical sea monster as its name, urged along by fans.
Country group Lady Antebellum's name change to Lady A drove dictionary interest in June, while malarkey got a boost from President-elect Joe Biden, who's fond of using the word. Icon was front 和 center in headlines after the deaths of U.S. Rep. John Lewis 和 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
The 韦伯斯特 site has about 40 million unique monthly users 和 about 100 million monthly page views.
Do you have a personal experience with the 新冠病毒 you'd like to share? Or a tip on how your town or community is handling the 大流行? Please email [email protected] 告诉我们你的故事