Viral vector nomenclature

Kyle Legate via (by legatek from
Wed Jun 6 15:24:22 EST 2007

Ian A. York wrote:
> In article <5cm33eF318dlkU2 from>,
> Kyle Legate  <legatek from> wrote:
>> Tom Anderson wrote:
>>> What do you call those blobs?
>> Attenuated viri.
> You might conveivably call them attenuuated, but you wouldn't call them 
> "viri" under any circumstances, since only illiterates (and, increasingly, 
> computer techs -- but I repeat myself) use "viri" as the plural for 
> "viruses".  "Virus" in Latin is a mass noun, and as such has no plural in 
> Latin; as an English word it follows the usual English rule and uses the 
> plural "viruses".  People who, either attempting to show off their 
> non-existent Latin, or attempting to blindly follow a rule they don't 
> understand, use "viri" as the plural are, if anything, using the plural or 
> "vir" ("man"). 
> I have nothing but pity for the poor pathetic wretches who use "virii", 
> thus desperately attempting to use an incorrect rule to pluralize the 
> non-existent word "virius".
I wish I could understand what you're saying, but I a little illiterate. 
Thanks for the pity.

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