[Ads-l] scariant - scary variant of the virus that causes Covid-19

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 13 20:32:11 UTC 2021

Ben Zimmer wrote:
> More specifically, "scariant" has been used lately to draw attention to how
> Covid variants are *made to seem scary* by sensationalistic media reports.
> When I first encountered "scariant" on Twitter back in February, I
> misinterpreted it as a blend of "SARS-CoV-2 variant" before commenters set
> me straight.
> https://twitter.com/bgzimmer/status/1365561446495645697

Thanks for your insights, Ben.
An article on WebMD claims that "scariant" was coined by Eric Topol,
but the earliest tweet from @EricTopol using "scariant" or "scariants"
seems to be dated February 16, 2021. Of course, Topol may have used it
in an earlier article somewhere.

Website: WebMD
Article: Variants or "Scariants": Are the Threats Real or Just Media Hype?
Published on MAR 01, 2021
Video Transcript

[Begin excerpt]
ERIC TOPOL: Oh, it's always great to be with you, John.
JOHN WHYTE: Now, you coined this word "scariant," where even with
little data about a new variant we have it on major news channels. Are
we covering it too much? Or other people will say, you know what? We
need to be transparent and get the information out there and let the
public decide.
[End excerpt]

Many twitter users are employing "scariant" to refer to variants that
are not truly scary, but I think the meaning is not yet fully stable.
The meaning may shift if a genuinely scary variant emerges. Let us
hope that does not occur.

[Begin twitter info]
Tweeter: Allen Berman @berman_allen
Timestamp: 9:02 PM · Apr 29, 2021·Twitter Web App
Replying to @K_G_Andersen and @EricTopol
"scariant"(Face with tears of joy)(Face with tears of joy) Who could
not love that joke (Winking face) [on the other hand, some of the
variants actually are "scary"]
[End twitter info]


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