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.Net virii

We just got a new "Win32" brand virus here at work -- Win32/Mydoom.a if anyone's interested -- and the thought occurred to me: Are there any .Net virii yet?

Andrew Burton
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Not that I know of. Doom is a called a worm, though I don't know the exact difference between a worm and a virus.

<<<RANT>>>

But I do know that the plural of virus is viruses, not virii... that wouldn't even be correct if virus was an actual Latin word, which it isn't. For the love of all that is a proper declination, stop trying to sound edjumacated by making up pseudo-Latin plurals!

Chris Nahr
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

...and the language barrier got me: it's declension in English, not declination. Typically, always when you're trying to correct someone else.

Chris Nahr
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

This type of virus is totally independent of platform or application vulnerabilities (it is fully selfcontained with its own SMTP engine and file system addy scanner). It only exploits the ultimate weakness of any computer system: the user. It would work on any platform.
The sole reason its targetting Windows is the number of installs (if Java would have been more popular, they might have picked that). They could have targetted .NET just as easily, but at least for now the "straight win32" audience is a large superset of the "have .NET installed" crowd.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Actually, virus is a Latin word, the best translation might be venom or poison.

http://catholic.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/lookup.pl?stem=virus&ending=

And the Latin plural would be 'viri' but that is no reason to use it in English...

Frederik Slijkerman
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

veni vedi viri

although peccavi was a better one

perhaps peccavi viri

Obscure latin for the day

Pietro
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Chris, my apologies.  I have seen "virii" written that was before, and figured it was at least a pseudo-word to refer to computer viruses opposed to biological ones.

Andrew Burton
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

I don't know if virus is a Latin word or not, but the catholic Latin is quite different from the ancient Latin. The Catholic Church often introduces neologisms in the church Latin dictionary, words that were never used by the ancients. Is virus one of them? I have no idea.

coresi
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Yes, there was a virus that took advantage of .NET. It was written by Gigabyte, a 17-year old Belgium girl.

http://www.computeruser.com/news/02/03/04/news3.html

SG
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Andrew, the neologism "virii" is very widespread, so I wasn't really adressing you in my rant but the people who made up this term in the first place. Sorry for not clarifying that, glad you put up with my venting. :)

The Catholic Church does indeed invent Latin neologisms so that the Vatican can talk about recent events in Latin. They sell an entire dictionary of such neologisms (Lexicon recentis latinitatis) which does include "virus" but also e.g. "autocinetum" for automobile! Pick it up if you can, it's hilarious.

However, I was wrong about the word virus -- it does in fact exist in classical Latin (virus, -i; neutral) and means humidity, slime, or poison. I confess ignorance of the correct plural, except that it's certainly neither virii nor viri.

The meaning of germ is recent, though. I believe it originated 17th century but can't find a reference right now. Probably around the same time when germs were discovered.

Chris Nahr
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Maybe we should, instead of answering the damn question argue about a word.  Yeah, that's a good idea.  And we wonder why our jobs go overseas.

Mike
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The riddle is solved!

http://www.perl.com/language/misc/virus.html

A comprehensive treatise of the origin and declension of the Latin word "virus". Apparently there simply aren't any Latin sources that ever used the plural of that word, hence the confusion. The author's conclusion:

"Best to stick with English and use viruses."

Now why doesn't Joel write about such vitally important issues, rather than irrelevant trivia like getting a job?

Chris Nahr
Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Actually, I think the error originates with scientists (who have been writing about viruses for a lot longer) -  you often see this mistake in the literature.

I've spent most of my professional life editing scientific writing, and I can tell you that although doctors and biologists are often very smart people, their English typically leaves a lot to be desired!

Dave Hallett
Wednesday, January 28, 2004

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