Pandemic diary 15: It's a words special!

Bunny panos are fun. Still trying to snap the damn squirrel.


How’s things? X
Sorry wrong Fiona again but how are things?? 😘
Super, never better. You?
Tickety Boo 😫

The emoticon really sells it, I think. Say what you mean – or don't and be facetious, sarcastic or antiphrastic (yes, that is a word!) I'm reminded in this exchange today of John Mostyn's 'lovely lovely' response to all things, good or bad. Or Jonathan Van Ness's catch-all catchphrase and defence mechanism: 'Gawjus!' I'm imagining JVN talking about how 'gawjus' this all is.


Remember when we only knew this thing as coronavirus? Then COVID-19. Now it's called Covid-19. Let's review in a month, maybe a week.

I'm working on a lot of coronavirus copy at the moment so I'm cycling through various terms of reference: outbreak, pandemic, crisis, disruption, situation. I found myself wondering if Covid-19 has become the preferred media choice because it's shorter for headlines.

Update (via technical writer/editor Julia @Catnip):

At the start there was a lot of talk about a “novel” coronavirus (there are a few different types of coronavirus). COVID-19 is short for COrona VIrus Disease (first reported in 2019). There are other coronaviruses (e.g. SARS). So technically it’s more correct to specify which one. Although at the moment it should be obvious. I suspect the average person prefers the term coronavirus.

I’m following a few grime kids on Twitter and they’re calling it “the rona”.


Is there a word for a word that has no dangly or sticky-uppy letters? Like coronavirus? It's such a neat set of letters, far better than the ugly Covid-19.


Covid-19 makes me wonder about Covid-18 and Covid-20. Inside my head I pronounce it Cough Fit 19.


Current virus ear worm is 'You're A Germ' by Wolf Alice. I wish someone could make it stop. And the earworm.

Style guide

I was given a 10-page Powerpoint by a client this week on how to talk about Covid-19. I thought 'how ridiculous' but then read it and it made sense. Things are changing so fast it is very easy to get the tone wrong. Remember when we were so concerned about toilet paper and now people we know are dying. Facebook time-hop is going to be a bitch in a year.


Today I am grateful for still having work. If you are reading this, thank you clients! I'll work harder, I promise.

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