[Ads-l] patient zero

Chris Waigl chris at LASCRIBE.NET
Mon Nov 10 19:27:20 UTC 2014

On 7 Nov 2014, at 19:02, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET> wrote:

> Also, why not "patient one"? Metaphorical extension of "ground zero”?

My understanding, or honestly, guess, is that epidemiologist want to speak of primary, secondary, tertiary carriers (in the plural), or infections, or waves, or some other technical term. So the singular, special one would have to come before “primary”.

Chris Waigl

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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