What's the Plural of 'Virus'?

virus is neither viri nor virii, nor even vira nor virora. It is quite simply viruses, irrespective of context. Here's why. English Inflections First off, the OED gives nothing but viruses for the plural. Here's its abbreviated entry: ... Pl. viruses. An infectious organism that is usu. submicroscopic, can multiply only inside certain living host cells (in many cases causing disease) and is now understood to be a non-cellular structure lacking any intrinsic metabolism and usually comprising a DNA or RNA core inside a protein coat (see also quot. 1977). [ Formerly referred to as filterable viruses, their first distinguishing characteristic being the ability to pass through filters that retained bacteria. ] Source: Oxford English Dictionary My friend Ian brought this up, and I thought it was virii too, after all, virii is used all over the place.

Comments (5)

'virii' would seem more correct to me, but I think 'viruses' is right. I had the same predicament some time ago.

Typical of a McUser - "holier than thou" but sorely inexperienced and insulated frrm learning and knowledge.

Is that comment spam?

I wish you had a blog, so I could tell you how ignorant you really are. You obviously do not read my blog, don't know that I own both a Mac and a PC, and don't know I am constantly learning, but teach this kind of stuff all the time.

If i were a "holier than thou" Mac user, I would be praying to the all mighty Steve Jobs, and I do not.

Mike M.:

I must say Ken, I find it funny that someone says you are inexperienced and insulated frrm (this should be from but I guess others don't learn so well either) learning and knowledge. I really don't think I know anyone who knows more about MACs and PCs than you, so to read that really cracked me up and I felt the need to share.

Thanks Mike!

I found it funny yoo, I coundn't resist. I just couldn't. I did take offense and had to reply, even though it is flamebait. Neil, who is a long time reader, has even thought about it!

I mean, isn't it ironic that I am posting about the correct usage of the plural of virus? I am sharing knowledge here. And I am even crediting Ian for it, thus it was not my finding.

BTW, Ian's web site is Doomsday Aardvark, I should like that in the main post.

Doing a google on 'virii' find me this page, and guess what, it pertains to viruses. Imagine that!

Oh Mike, I will get to that wheresgeorge.com thing, I am in Detroit for 3 days, so I will have time to post a bunch of stuff I have been meaning to. Yay :=D .

"R. Saunders" could not even provide us with a real URL of email address. If I bash someone I am at least going to give them a way to contact me, colorful conversations get started that way ya know.

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