... vira ...viri ... viruses ??

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... vira ...viri ... viruses ??

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:33 am

I recently updated my computer to something resembling light speed compared to my old faithful and as a part of the total package I received the eTrust Antivirus .. when I registered I was informed that,
Your PC/Notebook is protected from vira for the next 90 days.
.. and here was I hoping that I wasn't going to be exposed to any viruses .. maybe I should stick to Nortons ..

WoZ of Aus 07/07/05
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... vira ...viri ... viruses ??

Post by Alton » Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:04 am

Isn,t the plural of virus is viri as it is a latin word like medium medii or datum dati.

Alton
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... vira ...viri ... viruses ??

Post by Alton » Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:08 am

I must correct myself in a second message. I think the plural of Datum is Data.
Alton
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Post by russcable » Thu Jul 07, 2005 4:53 am

Alton wrote: Isn,t the plural of virus is viri as it is a latin word like medium medii or datum dati.
Alton, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in Latin not only is the plural of datum data, but the plural of medium is media. Medii would be the plural of medius. Viri is the correct plural of virus (slime) and also rather coincidentally vir (man) so perhaps the computer will be safe from him as well. ^_^
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Post by Alton » Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:02 am

Russ,
Thank You,I make no pretentions to being a latin scholar.

Alton
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Post by haro » Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:07 pm

Russ, although, of course, you are right as to media and data, matter are much more complex concerning 'virus.' See http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/plural-of-virus.html
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Post by Wizard of Oz » Fri Jul 08, 2005 5:19 am

.. haro have already emailed your scholarly contribution to eTrust Antivirus and now wait with great anticipation that they will see the error of their ways and correct vira to viruses .. *hmmm reminds self to not hold breath*

WoZ of Aus 08/07/05
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... vira ...viri ... viruses ??

Post by russcable » Fri Jul 08, 2005 2:49 pm

Hmm, haro, I seem to have one of those outdated Latin dictionaries that has been suddenly superannuated by the latest Oxford Latin Dictionary. I'm so glad that the people at Oxford Press have finally seen fit to update and revise their Latin dictionary. I'm sure old Julius Caesar is much chagrined to discover all the words he has been mis-declining for all these years.
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Post by haro » Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:10 pm

Russ, Latin, just like other languages, had its regional, social and other peculiarities, and there are substantial differences between dictionaries and grammars. Although all Latin students have to go through "De Bello Gallico," this doesn't mean good ole Caesar was a great writer, let alone a reliable grammarian.
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Post by russcable » Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:53 pm

See what happens when you try to make a joke and forget the smiley? ~~~>_<~~~
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Post by haro » Fri Jul 08, 2005 9:46 pm

Russ, I did take it as a joke, but it is a funny fact that even the rules of a dead language like Latin, which one would not expect to be subject to changes any more, are not sure-fire.
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Post by aelnamer » Sun Jul 10, 2005 5:21 am

WoZ, I just spring cleaned my computer and got rid of most of my Norton software.I was having problems with their application.I am now trying AVG Anti-Virus(Free Edition).
Ahmed
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... vira ...viri ... viruses ??

Post by racyrich » Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:42 pm

Sorry to resurrect this thread, but at least it shows I searched first!
I was writing a software technical spec and for some reason it hurt me to write 'the data is...'
Why do we use the singular verb form for data? I can't think of any similar plural (media, stadia, etc.) where we do. Though perhaps media is unthinkingly used either way. More synesis. (Which I also searched!)
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Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Aug 25, 2006 7:47 pm

Wiz, A check of my usual sources (OED, M-W Unabridged, Random House Unabridged, American Heritage) all give VIRUSES as the plural form. VIRA does not appear in the OED (or any other dictionary I checked) as either a headword or in any of its text.

And while we’re at it I feel it my moral duty to say a few words on the etymology of VIRUS and VIRUSES. (<)

The earliest appearance in print of the word VIRUS was in 1599, but, of course, not with its modern biological or computer senses – although I here tell that a nasty abacus virus was a tough thing to stamp out! It then meant “venom, such as is emitted by a poisonous animal (also figuratively) and this alternate meaning to the modern sense of virus actually survived in parallel up until the turn of the 20th century. The word is adopted from the Latin ‘virus,’ slimy liquid, poison, offensive odour or taste.
<1599 “You . . . haue . . . spit out all the VIRUS and poyson you could conceiue, in the abuse of his . . . person.”—“Broughton’s Letters,’ iv. page 14>

<1702 “The Story of Cleopatra . . . pouring the Virus of an Asp into a Wound made in her Arm by her own Teeth.”—‘Poisons’ by Mead, page 26>

<1728 “s.v. Viper, By the Microscope, the VIRUS [of the viper] was found to consist of minute Salts in continual Motion.”—‘Cyclopedia’ by Chambers>

<1867 “That the deadly virus shall in a few minutes curdle the blood.”—‘The Reign of Law’ by Duke of Argyll, i. page 37>

<1879 “He it was who hollowed the minute sting of the bee to shed its VIRUS through.”—‘Basil the Great’ by R. T. Smith, ix. page 111>

<1895 “Aelian thinks there is in man, as well as in serpents, a certain mysterious VIRUS . . .”—‘Harvard Studies in Classical Philology,’ Vol. 8 (1897), page 24>
The next meaning of VIRUS was in the field of pathology a) A morbid principle or poisonous substance produced in the body as the result of some disease, especially one capable of being introduced into other persons or animals by inoculations or otherwise and of developing the same disease in them. Formerly referred to as filterable VIRUSES, their first distinguishing characteristic being the ability to pass through filters that retained bacteria. This definition survived in parallel with the modern definition into the 1920s. Now superseded by the modern sense [see (b) below].
<1728 “Virulent, a Term apply'd to any thing that yields a VIRUS; that is, a corrosive or contagious Pus.”—‘Cyclopedia’ by Chambers>

<1771 “When he examined the egesta, and felt his pulse, he declared that much of the VIRUS was discharged.”—‘The Expedition of Humphry Clinker’ by Smollett, ‘To Sir W. Philip,’ 3 October>

<1799 “Whether opium applied externally, may or may not prove an antidote to the canine VIRUS.”—‘Medical Journal,’ I. page 448>

<1826 “In consequence of the VIRUS being mixed with the saliva of the rabid animal.”—‘The First Lines of the Practice of Surgery’ by S. Cooper (edition 5), page 165>

<1878 “It should never be forgotten that it is the VIRUS which infects the system.”—‘ The Practice of Surgery’ by T. Bryant, I. page 79>

<1910 “VIRUS dried for eight days was no longer regularly infectious”—‘Text-book of Bacteriology’ by Hiss & Zinsser, xlvii. page 639>

<1922 “It was quickly found that the VIRUS floats in a suspending fluid of specific gravity 1•14, while it sinks in a suspending fluid of specific gravity 1•11 . . . To purify it, . . . it seems best to wash it and centrifugalize it in a suspending fluid just heavier than itself.”—‘Journal of the American Medical Association,’ 11 February, page 411/1>
b) VIRUS plural is VIRUSES. An infectious organism that is usually submicroscopic, can multiply only inside certain living host cells (in many cases causing disease) and is now understood to be a non-cellular structure lacking any intrinsic metabolism and usually comprising a DNA or RNA core inside a protein coat.
<1880 “Le VIRUS est constitué par un parasite microscopique qu'on multiplie aisément par la culture, en dehors du corps des animaux que le mal peut frapper.”—‘Conmpt. Rend. XCI. page 673>

<1881 “M. Pasteur writes: ‘ . . . The VIRUS is a microscopical parasite, which may be multiplied by cultivation outside of the body of an animal.’”—‘Scientific American Supplement,’ 4 June, [age 4516/1>

<1899 “The vaccination in small-pox is an inoculation of the VIRUS of the disease; . . . the plague and cholera vaccinations are inoculations of pure cultures of living virus from out~side the body.”—‘Bacteria’ by G. Newman, vii. page 260>
The first appearance of the plural form in the OED is from 1908 (see quote below). However, I found an earlier examples starting from 1883 (see quotes below). All quotes use VIRUSES in the modern sense:
<1884 “To an ordinary citizen it would have seemed manifest that the veterinary profession throughout the country must be a fitting vehicle, both for the conveyance of the necessary VIRUSES, and the application of them.”—‘Science,’ Vol. 3. No. 70, June, page 690>

<1888 “By such simple means, then, it is possible to guard against the ever-present source of danger, as well as to obtain protection from those possibilities of the introduction into our bodies of the VIRUSES of enteric-fever, scarlet-fever, and the like, which the experience of past epidemics has taught us to be latent possibilities in milk . . .”— ‘Science,’ Vol. 11, No. 282, June, page 310>

<1897 “Haunted by the idea, Dr. Roux tells us how, during the busy period which preceded the discovery of the attenuation of VIRUSES, numbers of impossible experiments were gravely discussed amongst them, to be laughed over the following day.”—‘ Proceedings of the Royal Society of London,’ Vol. 62, page lv-lvi>

<1904 “The study of the ultra-microscopic, or perhaps more correctly the filterable VIRUSES, is being prosecuted with great energy and in a sanguine spirit.”— ‘Science,’ New Series, Vol. 20, No. 516, page 660>

<1908 “Filters which are efficient for the arrest of the smallest of the known visible microbes allow the VIRUSES of these diseases to pass through their pores.”—‘Journal of Comparative Pathology & Therapeutics,’ XIII. page 59>
And finally, the VIRUS that infects computers made its appearance in print in a science fiction novel in 1972:

VIRUS noun: A computer program or section of programming code which is designed to sabotage a computer system by causing itself to be copied into other parts of the system, often destroying data in the process. It was originally a science fiction term (see 1972 and 1975 quotes below), but its earliest appearance in print referring to a real computer virus is from 1984.
<1972 “You know what a VIRUS is, don't you? . . . The VIRUS program does the same thing.”—“When Harlie was One’ by D. Gerold, page 175>

<1975 “I'd have written the worm as an explosive scrambler, probably about half a million bits long, with a backup VIRUS facility and a last-ditch infinitely replicating tail.”—‘Shockwave Rider’ by J. Brunner, II. page 176>

<1984 “We define a computer ‘VIRUS’ as a program that can ‘infect’ other programs by modifying them to include a possibly evolved copy of itself . . . Every program that gets infected may also act as a virus and thus the infection grows. Ibid. “On November 3, 1983, the first VIRUS was conceived of as an experiment to be presented at a weekly seminar on computer security. The concept was first introduced in this seminar by the author, and the name ‘VIRUS’ was thought of by Len Adleman.”—‘Computer Security’ by F. Cohen in Finch & Dougall, page 144 & 146>

<1985 “A few years ago, Richard Skrenta Jr. . . . wrote a VIRUS program called Cloner. Every 30th time a disk containing the program is used, the VIRUS harmlessly flashes a few verses across the screen; then the interrupted task resumes where it left off.”—‘Time Magazine,’ 4 November, page 94/3>

<1986 “A computer VIRUS attack might bring a major weapons system to a standstill, . . . or wipe out computer-stored intelligence.”—‘Times,’ 12 August, page 21/4>

<1989 “A computer VIRUS triggered by the date Friday 13th struck computers at Britain's leading charity for the blind.”—‘Daily Telegraph,’ 14 October, page 1/1>

<1989 “The . . . Centre will also diagnose any disks sent in by users for any VIRUSES.”—‘Accountancy,’ June, page 148/4>
(Oxford English Dictionary, 20th Century Words by Ayto, and other sources)
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Ken – August 25, 2006
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Post by mongrowl » Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:06 pm

I wonder if Ken even noticed the date on this thread before he went off.
My understanding is that both ways are acceptable now. I use (DATA) in the singular sense because I think of data in the aggregate.
Lneil
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