I’m done with this charade. I’m calling for a return to common sense.

And I’m going to start with the overuse of the word “anti-vaxxer” which the Government and its Press have weaponised to tarnish ANYONE who opposes their regulations mandating vaccines.

True – according to Merriam Webster online dictionary, the word ‘anti-vaxxer’ is defined as “a person who opposes the use of vaccines or regulations mandating vaccination”. This was added in February 2018 (pre covid).

But what you may not know is, the Merriam Webster online dictionary is only one dictionary … and interestingly, the ONLY online dictionary to include the words ” or regulations mandating vaccination” in the definition of ‘anti-vaxxer’.

Other online dictionaries define anti-vaxxer as:

  • Wordnik: One who opposes vaccination (anti-vaccinationist added some time on or before May 2015)
  • com: a person who distrusts or is against vaccination, often someone who is vocally opposed to vaccines (added May 2016)
  • Cambridge Dictionary: someone who does not agree with vaccinating people and spreads and encourages opinions against vaccines (added April 2017)
  • Wikipedia: Vaccine hesitancy (added February 2019)
  • Lexico: A person who is opposed to vaccination (added March 2020 at latest)
  • Collins: opposed to vaccination (anti-vax added March 2020)
  • Oxford Learners Dictionaries: a person who is opposed to vaccination, especially a parent who does not wish to vaccinate their child because they believe it could be harmful (added April 2021 at latest)
  • Free Dictionary: One who is opposed to the administering of vaccines, especially to children (added May 2021)

Without the Merriam Webster anti-vaxxer definition, protestors around the world standing up to the mandates would not be labelled anti-vaxxers – they would instead have been labelled anti-mandaters or pro-freedom campaigners.

So why is it that only one dictionary includes a reference to regulations mandating vaccination in its definition? It’s certainly convenient for Governments and their Press to label anyone as anti-vaxxers who disagree with them, or who are against the covid vaccine mandates, or who support others not being vaccinated.

The power of words (and how they can be used against you)

Words are supposedly entered into dictionaries when they are used by many people who all agree that it means the same thing.

If that were true, then:

  • Why didn’t the dictionaries that had defined ‘anti-vaxxer’ BEFORE Merriam Webster dictionary added its definition, not edit/update their definitions to include a reference to the opposition of regulations mandating vaccination as well?
  • Why didn’t the dictionaries that added anti-vaxxer AFTER Merriam Webster added ‘anti-vaxxer’ to its dictionary, also include the opposition of regulations mandating vaccination into their definitions also?
  • Why don’t all dictionaries include a reference to the opposition of regulations mandating vaccination in their respective anti-vaxxer definitions now (four years after Merriam Webster added its definition)?

It appears to me that if not for the Merriam Webster dictionary:

  • most people would agree anti-vaxxer includes “a person who opposes the use of vaccines”
  • most people would agree an anti-vaxxer should not include anyone who opposes regulations mandating vaccination (that would be best defined as anti-mandate)
  • it is only the Governments and its Press that agree an anti-vaxxer is “a person who opposes the use of vaccines or regulations mandating vaccination [emphasis added]”.

I believe most people understand anti-vaxxer as meaning someone opposed to vaccine (and nothing to do with regulations mandating vaccines). And I believe this is why no other dictionaries have followed Merriam Webster to include someone who opposes regulations mandating vaccines in that same definition.

The problem now is the Merriam Webster definition allows the Government and its Press to shame you as an ‘anti-vaxxer’ if you stand against regulations mandating vaccination (i.e. against what the Government wants) … regardless of whether or not you are vaccinated and/or you support vaccinations (including for Covid).

The thing is, to refer to people who have been vaccinated, or who support vaccinations, but rally against regulations mandating vaccinations as anti-vaxxers is idiocrasy … and I refuse to enable this anymore.

To be 100% clear. I am not anti-vax … I am anti-mandate (i.e. I’m against the mandating of vaccinations).

I reject being labelled as an ‘anti-vaxxer’ and I reject anyone else like me being labelled an ‘anti-vaxxer’ either … based on solely one dictionary defining me as such … when all the other dictionaries do not.

To take a leaf from Justin Trudeau and Jacinda Ardern … the sole dictionary of Merriam Webster that defines anti-vaxxer as someone who opposes regulations mandating vaccines, does not represent the views of the majority of other dictionaries. Therefore, Merriam Webster holds an unacceptable view of the definition of an anti-vaxxer.

Despite what the Merriam Webster dictionary says, and what the Government and its Press says, I will never allow anyone to define me with any label … especially a questionable label that is conveniently used by Governments and its Press to negatively portray anyone who disagrees with them. I challenge you to do the same.

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