Virus

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Dr. Goodword
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Virus

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:22 pm

• virus •


Pronunciation: vai-rês • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. Venom. 2. An electromicroscopic infectious biological entity that can function only within the living cells of a host (animal, plant), and which consists of a nucleic acid molecule (either DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat. 3. A piece of mischievous or malignant computer code capable of replicating itself and infecting other computers via the Internet.

Notes: This word is particularly relevant in 2020 because of the corona virus pandemic. The adjective for it is viral, and the study of viruses is virology, with its family, virologist, virological, etc.

In Play: You don't want to play with viruses: " A large number of viruses emerge from the host cell before it dies." On the other hand, if you call your play 'research' it may be OK: "The idea is to insert genetically corrective genes directly into a patient's cells, using viruses as delivery vehicles."

Word History: Today's Good Word originated in Latin virus "poison, slimy liquid". The meaning was exactly that in Old English, but then proceeded to refer to pus or any fluid produced by an infection, thence to its current sense. Latin derived it word from Proto-Italic weis-o- "poison" with rhoticism applying to the S. Proto-Italic came by its word from PIE weis- "to melt away, to flow", used particularly in relation to malodorous fluids. It is also the source of Sanskrit visam "venom, poison" and visah "poisonous", Latin viscum "sticky substance, birdlime", Greek ios "poison" and ixos "mistletoe, birdlime", Russian višnja "cherry (?!)" and Welsh gwy "poison". (Let's wish Tomasz Kowaltowski a safe escape from the corona virus and thank him for suggesting such a topical Good Word.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword

rrentner
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Re: Virus

Postby rrentner » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:59 am

I had always presumed it was related to “vir”, for man. And that virulent meant strong, and that viruses were strong somehow. Guess I was wrong!
So are vir and virus not related?

David Myer
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Re: Virus

Postby David Myer » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:10 pm

It seems, virulent is directly related, indeed it is really just a case form of virus - virulentus.

But it takes the good Doctor to bring this to my attention. I too had always assumed a connection with vir, a man. Perhaps in this modern world man is poisonous?

But what about the Welsh 'gwy' poison, suggested by the good Doctor? My research suggests 'gwenwyn' is the Welsh word, perhaps still related even if obscurely to virus. Gwy is the Welsh name for the river Wye which more or less defines the border between England and Southern Wales.

bnjtokyo
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Re: Virus

Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:35 pm

For a sound file that provides a pronunciation of "gwy," try this website
https://www.howtopronounce.com/welsh/gwy

damoge
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Re: Virus

Postby damoge » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:45 pm

Thanks for the link. I went to it, and am no better able to pronounce it now than I was before.
I wish they included some kind of written clue to further explain the sound.
Is it "goo ey" "goo eh" "djoo eh" "juu ee"
I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Any help with this would be appreciated!
Everything works out, one way or another

David Myer
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Re: Virus

Postby David Myer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:10 pm

Having also tested the link, I find I share your bafflement, damoge, on the pronunciation of Gwy.

But as for its relationship to the origins of virus, and its meaning Wye as in the river, I am completely in the dark.

bnjtokyo
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Re: Virus

Postby bnjtokyo » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:56 pm

Here it is in IPA in two Welsh dialects.
(North Wales): /ɡuːɨ̯/
(South Wales): /ɡʊi̯/
And here is a guide to pronouncing Welsh
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix ... nunciation
I hope these help you out.
Last edited by bnjtokyo on Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

damoge
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Re: Virus

Postby damoge » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:10 am

Thank you very much!
That did the trick, I can "hear" it now.
Everything works out, one way or another


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