SPUG: Re: Re: Thanks :)

Creede Lambard creede at penguinsinthenight.com
Mon Jun 14 13:15:51 CDT 2004

Probably most of us have heard Tom Christiansen go off on the subject of

I come from a culture (science fiction fandom) where the coinage of
words is a time-honored activity. They routinely use "fen" as the plural
of "fan," they use "ghod" with an H as a synonym for "deity," they
conflate words like "scentifiction," they create perfectly sensible
words that didn't exist before but should have such as "gafiate" (a
verbal form of "gafia," created as an acronym for "getting away from it
all" and meaning "to take a break, esp. from fannish activities") and
just generally mangle the language to suit themselves. Given this
background, the use of "virii" as a synonym for "viruses" seems
perfectly OK to me. 

Although I will admit that yes, it is bad Latin. :) My opinion is also
that the word has taken on a life of its own, and railing against it
probably won't do much good.

(Disclaimer: This was the state of fandom when I gafiated over ten years
ago; Old Time Fen may still hold to these traditions, but I don't know
what the newcomers are doing.)

On Mon, 2004-06-14 at 08:10, Brian Hatch wrote:
> I think it's a generational thing - for some reason, folks Dan
> and my age were taught it is always the right way to change
> singular '\w+s' to a plural noun.  Maybe it was a bad understanding
> of latin (though no one told us it had anything to do with latin)
> or maybe it was just the trendy thing to do.  It does sound cool,
> but it's not right.
> virii was in common usage 5-10 years ago, now most are starting
> to correct course back to viruses as is accurate.
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