[Ads-l] Disease names and geography

Mark Mandel markamandel at GMAIL.COM
Sun May 2 16:29:28 EDT 2021


Or Waldenström macroglobulinemia, which I have. The umlaut is optional in
English.

MAM

On Sat, May 1, 2021, 9:46 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:

> > On May 1, 2021, at 8:56 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> wrote:
> >
> > It would probably be difficult to convince journalists and newscasters
> > to use names like "B117 variant". Shorter and simpler names for
> > variants would be helpful. Four character alphanumeric strings are
> > unlikely to achieve much traction.
> >
> > Journalists might be willing to use names like Covid alpha variant,
> > Covid beta variant, Covid gamma variant, et cetera. But a scientific
> > body would have to assign those names. Scientists are probably
> > identifying an enormous number of variants at this time based on the
> > mutating genetic sequence of the virus. Therefore, to follow this
> > naming scheme only a subset of variants should be given simpler names
> > based on prevalence or importance.
> >
> > The WHO guidelines for disease naming also state:
> > Disease names may NOT include people’s names.
> > Examples to be avoided: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Chagas disease.
>
> So no Alzheimer’s, Tourette’s, Tay-Sachs?  Does it matter if the disease
> or syndrome is named for the doctor who discovered it?
>
> >
> > Interestingly, the tropical cyclone naming scheme in the U.S. is based
> > on common (and uncommon) first names. The 2021 list includes: Ana,
> > Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred. Are people unhappy when their
> > first name is also the name of a deadly hurricane?
>
> At least they alternate sexes now.  My cat never really recovered from all
> the awful things everyone said about Hurricane Katrina.
>
> LH
> >
> > https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutnames.shtml
> >
> > Garson
> >
> > On Sat, May 1, 2021 at 8:17 PM Mark Mandel <markamandel at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> Yes, that's what I was referencing with **Don't Encourage Prejudice and
> >> Hatred**-- or rather the converse: *inferring* from an ethnonymic
> nosonym*,
> >> such as "Chinese flu", that the population referred to is an enemy.
> >>
> >> WcBut the media's excuse for using geographic names, if they need one,
> >> would be staying comprehensible to their readers, who are not
> researchers
> >> in this field and can't reasonably be expected to remember which
> numbered
> >> variant does what.
> >>
> >> *nosonym: name for a disease.
> >> I coined this word myself, starting from *nosocomial infection *(one
> >> acquired in a hospital). On investigation I found, to my relief, that I
> was
> >> not alone, much less the pioneer. From the Compact OED:
> >>>>>>>
> >> *Noso:* combining form of Gr. *νόσος* disease, used in a number of
> >> compounds, chiefly pathological...
> >> <<<<<
> >>
> >> Respectfully submitted,
> >> Dr. Whom: Consulting Linguist, Grammarian, Orthoëpist, and Philological
> >> Busybody,
> >> Editor and Proofreader
> >> aka Mark A. Mandel
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Sat, May 1, 2021, 6:47 PM Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Isn't the problem the human tendency to name diseases after enemies?
> >>>
> >>> On Sat, May 1, 2021, 4:02 PM Mark Mandel <markamandel at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> It's a good idea socially -- i.e., *Don't Encourage Prejudice and
> Hatred*
> >>>> -- but geographical names are a heck of a lot easier for most people
> to
> >>>> remember than arbitrary strings of letters and digits.
> >>>>
> >>>> MAM
> >>>>
> >>>> On Sat, May 1, 2021, 3:13 PM ADSGarson O'Toole <
> >>> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
> >>>> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>>> The World Health Organization has suggested that disease names should
> >>>>> not include geographical markers. (See the citation and excerpt at
> the
> >>>>> end of this message.) Hence, the name of the infectious disease
> >>>>> causing the current pandemic deliberately did not include "Wuhan",
> >>>>> "China", or "Asian". Instead, the name Covid-19 was constructed.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Interestingly, the major news organizations are not following this
> >>>>> advice when reporting about variants of Covid-19. For example, the
> >>>>> names "UK variant" and "South African variant" are employed in news
> >>>>> reports from CNN and BBC.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Perhaps this will change over time.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Here is a report from CNN last month. The title prominently features
> >>>>> the name "UK variant". The accompanying video shows the Director of
> >>>>> the CDC Rochelle Walensky, and she uses the term "B117 variant", but
> >>>>> the journalists mention "UK variant".
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Website: CNN
> >>>>> Title: UK variant is now the dominant coronavirus strain in the US,
> >>>>> says CDC chief
> >>>>> Author:  Betsy KIein (CNN)
> >>>>> Date: April 7, 2021
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/07/us/uk-variant-dominant-coronavirus-strain/index.html
> >>>>>
> >>>>> [Begin excerpt of transcribed text]
> >>>>> Journalist: The CDC director just moments ago at the White House
> >>>>> briefing said that the UK variant is now the most prevalent strain in
> >>>>> the Unites States. Listen to this.
> >>>>> Rochelle Walensky: The B117 variant is now the most common lineage
> >>>>> circulating in the United States.
> >>>>> [End excerpt]
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Website: BBC
> >>>>> Title: Covid: Fears of 'impending doom' in Pakistan
> >>>>> Author: Abid Hussain
> >>>>> Date: April 30, 2021
> >>>>> https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56888541
> >>>>>
> >>>>> [Begin excerpt]
> >>>>> One of the key drivers which led Pakistan to this stage was the
> >>>>> arrival of the UK variant, as confirmed by Umar during second week of
> >>>>> March. He later declared it to be more dangerous than the original
> >>>>> strain.
> >>>>> But the variant has collided with something else: apathy.
> >>>>> [End excerpt]
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Website: BBC
> >>>>> Title: Moderna vaccine appears to work against variants
> >>>>> Author: Michelle Roberts
> >>>>> Date: January 25, 2021
> >>>>> https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55797312
> >>>>>
> >>>>> [Begin excerpt]
> >>>>> Blood samples exposed to the new variants appeared to have sufficient
> >>>>> antibodies to achieve this neutralising effect, although it was not
> as
> >>>>> strong for the South Africa variant as for the UK one.
> >>>>> [End excerpt]
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Website: WHO.int
> >>>>> Title: World Health Organization Best Practices for the Naming of New
> >>>>> Human Infectious Diseases
> >>>>> Date: May 2015
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/163636/WHO_HSE_FOS_15.1_eng.pdf
> >>>>>
> >>>>> [Begin excerpt]
> >>>>> Disease names may NOT include:
> >>>>> Geographic locations: Cities, countries, regions, continents
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Examples to be avoided:
> >>>>> Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Spanish Flu, Rift Valley fever,
> Lyme
> >>>>> disease, Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever, Japanese encephalitis
> >>>>> [End excerpt]
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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