Monday, February 25, 2013

Word of the Week - Virus

Virus is another word that really surprised me. I guess because I know that viruses are so itsy-bitsy they require a high-powered microscope to see them...I just assumed they were a modern realization. And hence a modern word.

Um, no.

Virus has been around since the late 1300s as a word, its original meaning being "venomous substance." It's in fact straight from the Latin virus that means "poisonous liquid." So, okay...really old meaning. But that's not what a virus is today exactly, right? So how about the modern meaning?

Even that surprised me! It's from 1728. If someone had asked me, I would have guessed sometime in the 1800s at the earliest. But nope. 1728. Obviously "computer virus" didn't come around until the 20th century though. ;-) And viral is from 1948.

Now let's pray everyone can stay immune to all those nasty viruses floating around out there this time of year!

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