With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life.

24 January 2015

Food Allergies Caused A Semantic Change in English

For some time, people have been using the words "Epi-pen", "Epipen" or "EpiPen"--a brand name of an epinephrine injector--for any epinephrine injector. EpiPen is manufactured by Mylan. The shortened "epi" is used as a noun, an abbreviation for epinephrine--"Don't forget your epis!" You may also have noticed a variant of the word EpiPen or epinephrine being used as a verb: "Did you have to epi her?"

I was just catching up on my reading and spotted a headline with yet another use of the word "epi-pen". Take a look!

The Chronicle Herald
In this Chronicle Herald headline, the author uses the word "epi-pen" to describe an emergency measure taken by the Bank of Canada. "So when the bank does do something surprising, as it did Wednesday in reducing its benchmark overnight borrowing rate from one per cent to 0.75 per cent, you can safely conclude it has a very good reason — even an urgent one."

So, when you feel like progress is slow in the world of promoting food allergy awareness, take heart! There is so much more awareness of food allergies today, the word "EpiPen"--which is the brand name of a life-saving device for those managing food allergies (and other allergic conditions)--is actually undergoing semantic changes and is being used in other contexts, completely unrelated to food allergies. When you think about it, that is amazing! Keep advocating, keep promoting food allergy awareness, it is making a difference slowly but surely.  That headline is proof of how the general public is more aware.

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