Moem wrote: ↑
Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:35 am
I disagree. Calling viruses 'alive' or 'live' might give the impression that they can multiply or transport themselves without a host. Avoiding those terms helps make the differences between viruses and bacteria clearer, which also has consequences for how we should behave around them, in order to stay healthy and keep others safe.
We all understand that a 'live' battery cannot walk or multiply.
With viruses, it's not so clear.
Well, calling a wire live could make someone think the wire might steal your wallet but that doesn't make the usage wrong.
You are entitled to your opinion but usage and dictionaries are with me. "Live" has the meaning of "active" just like "dead" has the meaning of "inactive" and it has no connotation of biological life and this usage is well established in the English language.
A "live round" as opposed to a blank. A live wire is active. Anything set and prepared to do its thing can be said to be "live" like an alarm, an ammunition round, etc.
Doctors and biologists refer to "live vaccines" when they contain actual viruses as opposed to containing only proteins and other virus "parts". If doctors and biologists use it that way your argument is with them, not with me. You can tell them they are saying it all wrong. I am not a doctor.
And all that is not even taking into account that there is no universally accepted definition of life and a definition which included viruses could be used. Viruses are born/created, they reproduce and then they become dead/destroyed. That would be sufficient to meet some definitions of life.
No one believes walking is a necessary requirement for life or else all plants, especially tomato plants, would all be dead. And as for multiplying, viruses multiply faster than we would like and that is the problem we are facing.
If someone says " it kills the virus" I understand perfectly that it means the virus is destroyed and rendered incapable of reproducing. I cannot imagine any misunderstanding.
Again, I am just stating what current accepted common usage is.
Now, If someone said to me "there is a bare electrical wire in that corner and my mother sitting in her chair on the other corner and one of them is live and the other one is not"... well, then, yes, I might ask for more details in order to avoid confusion. Is your mother wired into the panel with a white or a black conductor?
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