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ECigIntel - Oxford researchers investigate what vaping means

ECigIntel - Oxford researchers investigate what vaping means

ECigIntelligence.com:

There’s concern that young people may take up vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking.

That’s not a new idea – indeed, it’s one of the biggest concerns voiced by proponents of stringent e-cigarette regulation.

But it is a new quotation for Oxford Dictionaries, where it’s employed to illustrate usage of the term “vape”, which has just become one of the latest additions to the vast list of words widely regarded as the most complete portrayal of the English language.

“Vape” and the other newcomers “are words that are common enough that you are likely to encounter them, and may have to look up their meanings”, Oxford Dictionaries editor Katherine Martin was quoted as saying.

“The trend of e-cigarettes has created a sort of vocabulary around it,” she said.

Oxford Dictionaries researchers, who continually scour a huge and eclectic range of documents and other texts in search of new words, believe that usage of “vape” and “e-cig” has increased about ten-fold in the past couple of years.

“Electronic cigarette” was accepted by Oxford in 2012 as sufficiently widely used to justify a dictionary entry, and “vape” now joins it. Despite common belief, the main criterion for inclusion, and the principal basis of definitions, is usage; the dictionary’s editors aren’t endorsing a word or its definition as “correct English”.

What This Means: Along with terms that have sprung from the ever-developing Internet culture, neologisms like “bank of mum and dad” and “binge-watch” on Oxford’s list of new additions paint a vivid picture of 2014’s problems and preoccupations.

That “vape” now joins them is a testimony to the product category’s emergence from obscurity into the mainstream, but Oxford may soon have to revise its definition of “e-cigarette”: “A cigarette-shaped device containing a nicotine-based liquid that is vaporized and inhaled, used to simulate the experience of smoking tobacco.”

As so often, the world is changing even faster than today’s speeded-up compilation of dictionaries.

– Barnaby Page ECigIntelligence staff

 

Photo: Caleb Roenigk

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