Electronic cigarettes' relative risks and benefits may remain an open question, but the products clearly have hit the big time with much of the public. Now comes news that e-cigarettes are in vogue in another way: They are responsible for the Oxford Dictionaries word of the year for 2014.
The word is “vape,” used either as a noun for an e-cigarette or similar device or as a verb referring to the act of inhaling or exhaling the vapor that the device produces.
CNN reported that Oxford cited research showing that use of “vape” more than doubled in 2014 from 2013. “A gap emerged in the lexicon, as a word was needed to describe this activity, and distinguish it from 'smoking,'” according to an Oxford news release.
“Vape” was selected over such trendy terms as “contactless” (an adjective that means relating to technologies that allow a smart card or mobile phone to contact wirelessly to an electronic reader) and “budtender” (someone who serves customers in a marijuana business).