Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Virulent Virus

The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday November 9, 2010: "When asked to remove the virus form the laptop, Mr. Bedi allegedly told Mr. Davidson that his computer had in fact been attacked with a virus so virulent that it also damaged Datalink's computers, according to prosecutors." This sentence appeared in an otherwise well written, entertaining, and inspiring article entitled "Virus Leads to $20 Million Scam," by Tamer El-Ghobashy.

I propose that we refrain from using adjectives derived from nouns to describe the nouns from which those adjectives are derived. I think we can do better than melodious melodies, oozy ooze, muddy mud, liturgical liturgy, engaged engagement, or wet water. Anyone?

I also have to point out that my 1988 Roget's II The New Thesaurus (Expanded Edition!) offers the following as synonyms for virulent: deadly, malignant, noxious, pernicious, pestilent, pestilential, and poisonous.

In fairness to Mr. El-Ghobashy, it is possible that the statement above is actually a quote. However, this is problematic because it is not attributed to either the alleged criminals or the actual prosecutors (the statement was "..according to prosecutors"). If my supposition is correct, then I and the other WSJ daily subscribers are mere victims of lazy journalists and their educable editors.

Meanwhile, I sincerely hope Mr. Davidson continues to compose, and recovers his losses--or at least that his (Halliburton) family will help support him.