First off, f**k COVID-19 and the clique it claims.
We’ve reached that point in the year where superlatives are due and 2020 is going to have hard time outdoing itself after all that we’ve seen, heard, and experienced over the past 335 days. That said, the folks at Merriam-Webster have chosen the word that they think best represents what this year has meant and that word is “pandemic“.
According to ABCNews, the go-to name in the dictionary business believes that the coronavirus has earned its title as word of the year considering the devastation that it was laid upon so many families.
“Sometimes a single word defines an era, and it’s fitting that in this exceptional — and exceptionally difficult — year, a single word came immediately to the fore as we examined the data that determines what our Word of the Year will be,” Merriam-Webster said in its announcement.
As much as we don’t like it, it’s hard to argue that any single word was more life-or-death relevant than “pandemic”. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. That day, searches for the word went up 115,806% compared to the same day in 2019.
For the record, Merriam-Webster defines “pandemic” as:
“An outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area (such as multiple countries or continents) and typically affects a significant proportion of the population.”