January 27, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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You can learn the Greek alphabet one at a time

You can learn the Greek alphabet one at a time

(Vancouver) As the World Health Organization begins naming variants with Greek letters, the Greek alphabet has entered the world stage and entered the daily dictionary of COVID-19 waves.


Heena Alam
Canadian Press

As transformations changed from alpha to delta to omicron, people began to notice the 24 Greek letters. Omicron15E The letter of the Greek alphabet. Omega is fresh.

In June, a panel of experts led by the World Health Organization Task Force announced that it would use letters in the Greek alphabet to name variants.

“These are easier to remember and more convenient to use than alphanumeric statuses,” they wrote in the review. Nature.

“The Greek alphabet has become commonplace because its individual alphabetical names are already used for multiple purposes,” they added.

Mark Pallen, one of the authors of the article, said the scientific method of using letters and numbers was confusing and confusing. He noted that many people have resorted to the name of the place where the variant was first discovered, creating a stigma to that country.

“So, there is a recognition that something easier and faster is needed.”

Immediately, the World Health Organization decided to use the Greek alphabet.

He said in an interview that it was “a little oversight” and that no one had asked permission from the Greeks.

“And we made this mistake, which is a very common mistake,” said Mr Pallen, a professor of microbiological genetics at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. When people talk about Greeks, they often refer to the ancient Greeks and they forget that the Greeks are still a nation. ”

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But the Greeks seem to have ignored the association of their diverse language with traditional Stoicism.

Professor Paniotis Pappas, who heads the Department of Linguistics at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and uses non-binary pronouns, says that “the truth is very little” letters to any Greek language. Used to name malignant variants.

And it’s not just letters, because “many” Greek words are used in science, Professor Pappas said in an interview.

The linguistics teacher reads Greek newspapers and searches for reactions to the letters used to name variations.

“There are a lot of other deadly diseases that have Greek names and we are not complaining about them,” he said.

Professor Pappas grew up on a small island called Thasos in northern Greece, where he went to study in the United States and worked at Simon Fraser University.

“The Greeks don’t even care if the words are mispronounced or anything,” he said. They have always been proud of it, you know, we have a civilization that is almost 3000 years old and we can contribute to Western science. ”

Tom Archibald, a mathematics teacher at Simon Fraser University, studied Greek at a high school in Ontario for three years. He says his knowledge of modern Greek is “bad enough,” but he can read it using a dictionary.

“Any working mathematician knows basically about the Greek alphabet, even if he can’t read it in order,” he said.

Professor Pappas said he was more interested in language lessons using the Greek alphabet to name variations.

“It simply came to our notice then [est] A slight increase in linguistics in our courses, which explains the origins of languages ​​and words, we call etymology because most students are interested in the fields of health sciences, where most of the background English word is Greek or Latin, ”said the professor.

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“We offer courses that provide these explanations and they are popular. He said people do not want to learn the language by themselves, but need to understand where these words come from.