Ubuntu Linux 12.04 Was Called … Precise Pangolin

Chock full of viruses, I'm sure.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Unfortunately, the B versions were Breezy Badger and Bionic Beaver; no Bubonic Bat. (More on the Possibly Perilous Pangolin here.)

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  1. Having run it I’m pretty sure this is satire, paradoy or a joke, especially since 12.04 L5S was EOL some years ago.

    1. You mean if you hadn’t run it, you wouldn’t have been sure this was a joke?

      1. Professor pranks Precise Pangolin; prankee protests.

    2. Missed it, didn’t start using Ubuntu until 16.04 LTS

    3. Yes – 12.04 was EOL some time ago. What does that have anything to do with the blog post about its code name?

  2. …but multiple corona viruses do seem to ‘enjoy’ attaching themselves to a single host: see for example (free, at the moment) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1386653218300325 , which notes that many humans host two simultaneously.

  3. Am an Arch & Solus guy, myself, but, kind of funny that. Didn’t expect ‘nux humor out of Mr Volokh.

  4. Pissin’ in the wind: The plural is virii, not viruses. I know the latter is in common use.

    1. Hank: What do you mean by “The plural is” virii? Usually, when we say a plural of a word “is” something, we mean that is what actual users of the language use. For instance, we say that the plural of “ox” is “oxen” (today, rather than in the past) only because we observe that this is how English speakers actually speak (and write).

      In ordinary English, “virii” is basically almost never used; “viri,” which I suppose would more likely be the Latinate form, seems very rare as well, see this Google Ngrams report. The American Heritage Dictionary lists “viruses” as the only plural.

      Now I understand that in some computer programming circles, virii has emerged in recent decades as a term for computer viruses. But why exactly does that mean that the “plural is virii,” given that I’m writing for a lay audience (never mind, of course, that I’m making a pun on the biological virus; we’ll set aside the joke for now) and given that, as best I can tell, “virii” isn’t the universal form even among techies. Or am I missing your argument here?

      1. If we make the questionable assumption that English usage must be governed by that of Classical Latin, we are nonetheless left in some difficulty by the fact that in Latin virus is a defective noun, attested only in three cases of the singular. The plural is unknown. We might think that we could construct the plural using our knowledge of Latin morphology, but a problem remains because virus, though it looks on the surface like a typical masculine second declension noun, whose nominative plural should be *viri, is in fact neuter. It is therefore not a typical noun of its apparent type. We might entertain the possibility that it is actually a fourth declension noun, but the attested forms are incompatible with this hypothesis, and if it were a fourth declension noun, its nominative plural would be *virūs, not *viri or *virii. *viri is a better guess for the plural than *virii, for which there is no basis at all, but in fact we do not know what the Latin plural was, if it had one. I myself, a reasonably well educated native speaker of English, say “viruses”.

      2. Mr V, it’s been said that my sense of humor is either so dry or so detached from societal patterns that it isn’t much in the way of humor. I did consider one jest worth another. As for the linguistic, attempts, from all, thanks; other than a liking for machines, I am a glossophile. And, I did say pissing into the wind, in 2 senses. My humor would be lost, the usage would be argued, which (the argument over usage, latin grammar) I find largely pointless, if mildly interesting in the short term. Yes, to your observation re tech and ‘virii.’ It’s in modern use as such; will leave with that as there is much afoot in the real that is fascinating.

        1. Ah, got it, sorry I missed the joke!

    2. “The plural is often believed to be viri or even virii, but neither is correct Latin and both are neologistic folk etymology. The word has no plural in Latin as it is a mass noun, like oxygen or sunlight.”

      https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/3838/viruses-or-virii

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