[Lingtyp] R: coronavirus and Zipf

Aleksandrs Berdicevskis alexberd at gmail.com
Sat May 2 11:12:33 EDT 2020


In Swedish, people say and write both "corona" (sometimes "korona") and
"coronavirus". I think the short form is more frequent in colloquial
speech, but I haven't done an extensive corpus analysis. It does not have
any popular meaning. "Digerdöden" 'Black death' (lit. 'Great Death') is
also often used to refer both to the pandemic and the disease.

Best,
Sasha

On Sat, May 2, 2020 at 3:58 PM Spike Gildea <spike at uoregon.edu> wrote:

> In my circles, we just call it “the virus”, or elide it altogether, as it
> is presupposed in any conversations involving infection or death.
>
>
>
> An email from a friend who had been out of touch:
>
> “My husband and I both got really sick last week, but we’re pretty sure it
> was not the virus.”
>
>
>
> First question after morning greetings in the family: both the virus and
> the local context presupposed:
>
> “Have they reported any new infections today?”
>
>
>
> Zoom cocktails with a friend from Washington (to the north), response to
> the question “How are you guys doing?”:
>
> “We’ve been really fortunate so far in Eugene — eight days without a new
> case and still only two deaths!”
>
>
>
> Best,
>
> Spike
>
>
>
> *From: *Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> on behalf of
> Paolo Ramat <paoram at unipv.it>
> *Date: *Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 4:27 AM
> *To: *'Natalia Levshina' <natalevs at gmail.com>, "
> lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org" <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
> *Subject: *[Lingtyp] R: coronavirus and Zipf
>
>
>
> Dear All,
>
> the short form for *coronavirus* is Covid-19. As in Russian, Ital. *corona
> *means* ‘*crown’; therefore it is not used as clipping for the virus
> name;  and there have been jokes like the Russian on Prince Charles.
>
>
>
> Best wishes and take care, without Clorox injections as it has been
> suggested…
>
>
>
> P.Rt.
>
>
>
> *Da:* Lingtyp [mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org] *Per
> conto di *Natalia Levshina
> *Inviato:* sabato 2 maggio 2020 12:47
> *A:* lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> *Oggetto:* [Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf
>
>
>
> Dear colleagues,
>
>
>
> I'm writing an informal blog post about the impact of the coronavirus
> pandemic on language, with a focus on Zipf's correlation between frequency
> and word/expression length. For example, the clipping *corona (*from*
> coronavirus) *is becoming increasingly popular in English:
> https://public.oed.com/blog/corpus-analysis-of-the-language-of-covid-19/
> <https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/public.oed.com/blog/corpus-analysis-of-the-language-of-covid-19/__;!!C5qS4YX3!WEuNp_Qa-vMRc7VqynfDLViq9DneH3GRhvbL2B43pMocej5_JREu_eEmfbyvibZ7$>
>
>
> I also have some data from Dutch, German, Russian and Polish. I'm
> wondering how other languages behave in that respect. In particular,
>
>
>
> 1) Is there a shorter form for coronavirus, like *corona*? Can it only
> refer to the virus, or also to the pandemic and the disease?
>
> 2) If there is such a form, is it used widely or occasionally (e.g.
> humorously/creatively/in quotes)? For example, in Russian *koronavirus* is
> the preferred form because *korona* means 'a crown'. There's an
> untranslatable Russian joke, *Prince Charles finally got a crown
> (korona), but it was the wrong one.*
>
> 3) Is there a popular everyday (i.e. non-astronomic) meaning of the word
> that corresponds to corona in that language (e.g. a crown, like in Russian)?
>
>
>
>
>
> 4) Also, are there any other abbreviations or substitutions (e.g. the use
> of a shorter formally unrelated word, like *car* instead of *automobile*)
> related to the pandemic you have observed?
>
>
>
> I promise to post a summary if I get enough interesting data.
>
>
>
> Many thanks and stay corona(virus)-free!
>
>
>
> Natalia Levshina
>
>
>
> --
>
> Natalia Levshina
>
> Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
>
> Wundtlaan 1, 6525 XD Nijmegen
>
> The Netherlands
>
>
>
>
>
>
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