Our COVID Vocabulary Wants a Reset

Among the finest and hardest elements of being a science author is appearing as a form of jargon liaison. Bizarre, obscure, aggressively multisyllabic phrases seem in scientific discourse; I, wielding nothing however a Google Doc, a cellphone, and the Powers of the Web™, wrest these phrases from their tutorial hidey-holes and attempt to pin them down with some endearing but correct analogy. If I do my job nicely, generally readers by no means even must see the unique phrase, as a result of there’s a extra approachable strategy to describe it.

In a whole lot of circumstances, that’s how these phrases transfer—from tutorial to journalist to reader. (Hello there.) However generally the phrases leapfrog me. And that’s once I panic.

I’ve panicked quite a bit on this means throughout the pandemic. The coronavirus has prompted an enormous shift within the methods we speak with each other, and about each other.

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