Every year Merriam-Webster’s lexicographers, the authors or editors of a dictionary, have the honor of deciding the words to add, the ones to be removed, and the Word-Of-The-Year.
I envision these lexicographers deep down in a crypt with rows of old dictionaries, wearing brown robes and wire-framed glasses perched on their noses. In the real world, these dictionary scholars actively read current newspapers, publications, listen to various news mediums, and record the frequently with which word’s meaning is searched on-line.
The winner for 2021 Word-Of-The-Year is vaccine.
But, wait! There’s more. A second runner-up Word-Of-The-Year was sent from the crypt. It is a word from the 14th century – perseverance, defined as “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition; steadfastness.”
Perseverance’s popularity rose because a seventh-grader Alexander Mather submitted the term to NSA’s contest’s “Name the Rover”. Of the 28,000 entries, Alexander’s word was selected. Clearly NASA loved it! On February 18, 2021, NASA’s Mars rover “Perseverance” landed safely on Mars after seven months and over 3000 million miles.
I love this word – “pər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s” I hope you like it. Feel free to use it in your writing, words of wisdom, or self-encouraging thoughts.