Quoting Ciaran Costelloe (ccostelloe at flogas.ie):
> Are you sure? The word originally meant a poisonous substance, as in
> the pus from an ulcer.
It's what the dictionaries seem to say -- though I'll not be able to
check my _OED_ until I get home. Does it matter? The English plural
would be formed with -es even if the word came from Outer Mongolia.
> Analysing the Romans' use of the word in Latin seems a bit presumptious.
I really don't think they'll mind -- but the consuls are welcome to
send me a telegram, if they're offended.
> More correct than the vernacular usage: most people use the word fish
> where they should be using fishes.
OK, but in this case the vernacular usage _is_ "viruses", so I'm still
not getting your point.
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