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Ebola Zaire panic

Robert Morrell Jr. bmorrell at isnet.is.wfu.edu
Mon Jul 24 08:21:48 EST 1995


On 21 Jul 1995, Steven Poet wrote:
> scientists a bad name.  I'm advocating correct terminology.  A virus
> will not stalk you.

That is a matter of semantics, not science. Stalk can mean to lie in wait 
for a victim, or put yourself (through action or adaptation) in just the 
right place to get the victim. 
Clearly viruses do exactly that. This is what I mean by going overboard 
trying to de-anthropomorphize. If a word fits the scenario, and is well 
understood, use it. Next I expect we'll argue whether a tomato is a fruit 
or vegetable! 

Your estimation of the odds that panic will be productive are probably 
right, however, in the case of epidemiological cases, I suspect that the 
odds in favor of productivity are better.


*                     Bob Morrell                       *
*              bmorrell at isnet.is.wfu.edu                *
* The operation was a success, as the autopsy will show *




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