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Thread: Covid-19

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    #1

    Covid-19

    The standard practice in the press and other publications I read seems to be to capitalise Covid-19, but not coronavirus.

    Does anybody know of any good reason why Covid-19 deserves a capital letter?

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    #2

    Re: Covid-19

    Could it be that a coronavirus is simply one of a family of viruses (note that I did not use a capital V for viruses), while Covid-19 is the name of a specific disease caused by one type of coronavirus?

    Incidentally, I have observed that coronavirus sometimes has an initial capital, and Covid-19 sometimes doesn't. There appears to be no general agreement on this yet.
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    #3

    Re: Covid-19

    Covid-19 is the name of the strain of this particular virus, so needs a capital.

    coronavirus is just a type of virus, so doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Incidentally, I have observed that coronavirus sometimes has an initial capital, and Covid-19 sometimes doesn't. There appears to be no general agreement on this yet.
    Those capitalising coronavirus are (arguably inaccurately) thinking of it as a a name. Those not capitalising Covid-19 are in error, since it is clearly a name.

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    #4

    Re: Covid-19

    I would think that most people had never heard of a "coronavirus" before, so this is basically a name.

    The news here gives "Coronavirus updates." Covid-19 seems too technical and clinical for common use. We first heard of it as "Coronavrus."

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    #5

    Re: Covid-19

    I thought at the start that it was the name of the disease. That wouldn't justify an initial capital, though. We are perfectly happy with measles, mumps, whooping cough, diphtheria, etc.
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    #6

    Re: Covid-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    The standard practice in the press and other publications I read seems to be to capitalise Covid-19, but not coronavirus.

    Does anybody know of any good reason why Covid-19 deserves a capital letter?
    What it tells me is that one is a proper name and the other isn't. Makes sense, right?

    As mentioned above, there are lots of coronaviruses. They're just any virus shaped like those underwater mines in old submarine movies.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #7

    Re: Covid-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I thought at the start that it was the name of the disease. That wouldn't justify an initial capital, though. We are perfectly happy with measles, mumps, whooping cough, diphtheria, etc.
    Yup. And this is the last straw. I'm moving somewhere that has a consistent language.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #8

    Re: Covid-19

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I thought at the start that it was the name of the disease. That wouldn't justify an initial capital, though.
    Quite right. You've reminded me why I stopped capitalizing covid-19. The virus is SARS-CoV-2.
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    #9

    Re: Covid-19

    It's actually more scientifically accurate ( and more common in the media) to capitalise every letter of COVID-19.

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    #10

    Re: Covid-19

    I know. I can't bring myself to do it, though.
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