[Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf

Siva Kalyan sivakalyan.princeton at gmail.com
Mon May 4 21:18:48 EDT 2020


I’ve only come across “Miss Rhona” in the context of a thought experiment about how a cultural memory of the current pandemic might be preserved centuries from now in the form of a nursery rhyme (in the same way that “Ring Around the Rosies” is thought to preserve a cultural memory of the Black Death): https://www.reddit.com/r/tumblr/comments/fwt85x/coronavirus_nursery_rhymes/ <https://www.reddit.com/r/tumblr/comments/fwt85x/coronavirus_nursery_rhymes/>.

Siva

> On 5 May 2020, at 10:02 am, Daniel W. Hieber <dwhieb at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> The clipping rona has been popular in younger circles, and interestingly has even been anthropomorphized as Miss Rona. A quick Twitter search yields some examples:
>  
> https://twitter.com/search?q=miss%20rona&src=typed_query <https://twitter.com/search?q=miss%20rona&src=typed_query>
>  
> I’ve noticed that this anthropomorphized use seems to be socially indexed to black, gay, and drag subcultures, as the Twitter examples evidence.
>  
> Daniel W. Hieber
> Ph.D. Candidate in Linguistics
> University of California, Santa Barbara
> danielhieber.com <https://danielhieber.com/>
>  
> From: Bill Palmer <mailto:bill.palmer at newcastle.edu.au>
> Sent: Monday, May 4, 2020 6:45 PM
> To: Felicity Meakins <mailto:f.meakins at uq.edu.au>; lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org <mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
> Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf
>  
> Ditto Felicity’s comment. I have never heard “rona”. And I’ve had plenty of opportunity – people talk of little else these days!
>  
> Best
> Bill
>  
> Bill Palmer
> Director
> Endangered Languages Documentation,
>       Theory and Application Research Program
>       The University of Newcastle
> Vice-President, Australian Linguistics Society
>  
> From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org <mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>> On Behalf Of Felicity Meakins
> Sent: Tuesday, 5 May 2020 9:22 AM
> To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org <mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
> Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf
>  
> I must move in different circles in Oz. I haven’t heard the truncation “rona”. Even as a happy consumer of broadcast and social media!
>  
> From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org <mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>> on behalf of Peter Bakker <linpb at cc.au.dk <mailto:linpb at cc.au.dk>>
> Date: Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 9:18 pm
> To: Natalia Levshina <natalevs at gmail.com <mailto:natalevs at gmail.com>>, "lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org <mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>" <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org <mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>>
> Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf
>  
> In Australian English, corona is being clipped to 'rona. That's what Aussies do...
>  
> Tony Thorne (London) has an almost encyclopaedic overview of corona terminology on his website:
>  
> https://language-and-innovation.com <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Flanguage-and-innovation.com%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112028053&sdata=bgbYDoY21NeVoCfyZr2F3OhmJdVn%2BF%2F3e2KUho%2BEo9I%3D&reserved=0>
>  <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Flanguage-and-innovation.com%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112038040&sdata=a90swdCqVdpAOOAqQtdPK9T6gliTi37Ab29YfmKr%2By8%3D&reserved=0>	
> tony thorne | language and innovation <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Flanguage-and-innovation.com%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112048037&sdata=zkJ2hjDQoF4S95ncYnnZkxFIaAITMBL4mq9AkqQXG0w%3D&reserved=0>
> The second part of my Lockdown Lexicon, Covidictionary, Glossary of Coronacoinages. In trying to make sense of our new circumstances, under lockdown, in social isolation or distancing, we must come to terms with an array of new language, some of it unfamiliar and difficult to process, some pre-existing but deployed in new ways.Many of us, though, are empowering ourselves by inventing and ...
> language-and-innovation.com <http://language-and-innovation.com/>
>  
> mostly from English.
>  
> There is also a less serious Covidictionary here:
>  
> http://www.lingoblog.dk/en/covidictionary-your-go-to-dictionary-in-times-of-coronavirus-and-covid-19/ <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lingoblog.dk%2Fen%2Fcovidictionary-your-go-to-dictionary-in-times-of-coronavirus-and-covid-19%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112058033&sdata=VhLor7UrarFuBblFSGk07BEMZml5DJOPEp6ZnDAmX0Y%3D&reserved=0>
>  
>  
>  <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lingoblog.dk%2Fen%2Fcovidictionary-your-go-to-dictionary-in-times-of-coronavirus-and-covid-19%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112068038&sdata=rPuEReAE4LampCuHdJWKimY3H0OAuBowuaC2FNknfOg%3D&reserved=0>	
> COVIDictionary. Your go-to dictionary in times of Coronavirus and COVID-19 – Lingoblog <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lingoblog.dk%2Fen%2Fcovidictionary-your-go-to-dictionary-in-times-of-coronavirus-and-covid-19%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112078023&sdata=Rr5%2B%2F%2FFATRVaACc7jWTggzAovNzDefH4Wnbt0KpMdA8%3D&reserved=0>
> Lingoblog.dk <http://lingoblog.dk/> goes viral! Ideas worth spreading! Please send this link: all your isolated friends, relatives and colleagues who can be uplifted by some COVID-19 humor. COVIDictionary 20: your go-to …
> www.lingoblog.dk <https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lingoblog.dk%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112088024&sdata=ee6cqj7CI1dYV%2BkZZxiuthSlUG%2FKBPcarMHXJtO3QJA%3D&reserved=0>
>  
> Peter Bakker
>  
> <65DEFB59D02A461596FEB5E00B9EF935.png>
> Fra: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org <mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>> på vegne af Natalia Levshina <natalevs at gmail.com <mailto:natalevs at gmail.com>>
> Sendt: 2. maj 2020 12:47
> Til: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org <mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org> <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org <mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>>
> Emne: [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://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpublic.oed.com%2Fblog%2Fcorpus-analysis-of-the-language-of-covid-19%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112098013&sdata=OjZOcpfPoFMn8YeF4yYTs4NLclBclhYX%2BrajzPbDMeg%3D&reserved=0> 
> 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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