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Re: Klez.H worm preserved in Debian BTS

Craig Dickson <crdic@pacbell.net> writes:

> I think you missed my point. Most computer people wouldn't have the
> slightest idea what the Latin plural of anything is, yet we seem to have
> an annoying fixation on trying to use Latin or other unusual forms of
> words based on incorrect inferences. Hence "Unices", "Vaxen", "virii",
> etc. 

"Unices" and "Vaxen" are, I think, amusing jokes.  Not *hugely*
amusing, but funny.

"Unices" merely continues the silly pun that resulted in the word "Unix"
in the first place.

"Vaxen" follows the moribund rule for English plural in "-en".  We
have the actual survivals "oxen", and "brethren", and "vaxen" I think
is constructed on the analog of "oxen".

In the case of "unices" and "vaxen", people are making up plurals on
moribund nonproductive rules for *new* words.

In the case of "virii", the joke ain't funny, because most of the
poeple who say it are actually unaware that it *is* a joke, and
"virus" was isn't a new word at all.

> (There is a certain amount of intentional humor in this, of
> course.) So it doesn't strike me as odd at all that we would tend to
> have more trouble than most people in this area. A biologist like Mr.
> Garrett, on the other hand, has had enough exposure to Latin (via
> taxonomy and other technical nomenclature) to have a better chance of
> getting a plural right.

Hrm.  I find this unlikely.  Taxonomy ain't Latin.  Just look up how
many so-called "Latin names" of organisms are actually Greek.  I have
no objection to naming things with Greek terms, but Xinactinous is
*not* a Latin name of anything, it's a Greek name.

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