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Name of the parasite!

August 31, 2012 - 12:05 -- Clive Shiff

I have noticed several papers that make the name Plasmodium into an adjective plasmodial, they even capitalise the word to try and make the adjectiveback into a noun!
The medics have done this for uears, but it is INCORRECT we cannot make a name into an adjective. Imagine saying Cliveal to describe my hat!
Please all that referee papers be alert for this misnomer. If someone uses plasmodial in a paper, suggest the author take a simple grammer lesson and do not accept the slur on Shakespear's, (and my) language!
Please see in the current lists "Anti-plasmodial activities of 4-aminoquinolines...." It should have been "Anti Plasmodium......." etc,
good wishes to all,
Clive

Comments

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on

Dear Clive,

After reading your text (copied below) i felt compeled to make a few comments.

I personally have no issues with the word "plasmodial". If a new word serves a purpose and is understood immediately by those who read it or use it, then I'm even inclined to say that we should adopt it and make it official. I don't think that any medium of communication should be static and closed to new ideas, concepts or meanings, as long as there is an understanding among all the senders and receivers of the communication as to the meaning of what is being communicated.

I do understand that, due to the fact that I am not a native English-speaker, the word "plasmodial" may not irritate me as much as it irritates you. On the other hand, maybe you should take a look at your own English-writing skills because you’ve made some blunt orthographic and grammatical mistakes in your little text (note that the root of the word ‘grammatical’ is ‘grammar’, and not ‘grammer’). I know for a fact that Shakespeare (and again, note that his name is Shakespeare and not Shakespear) introduced several new words and new meanings to the language you so much defend.

We all get upset at one or two things every now and again. For instance, saying that someone has a malaria infection is not technically correct since we have infections by the parasite and not by the disease, but life carries on and so do we. Now, to come out raging against the world because someone used a word that you do not like, when you yourself make such poor use of the language you so fiercely represent seems a bit foolish, don’t you think?

Best wishes.

Original text:
"I have noticed several papers that make the name Plasmodium into an adjective plasmodial, they even capitalise the word to try and make the adjectiveback into a noun! The medics have done this for uears, but it is INCORRECT we cannot make a name into an adjective. Imagine saying Cliveal to describe my hat! Please all that referee papers be alert for this misnomer. If someone uses plasmodial in a paper, suggest the author take a simple grammer lesson and do not accept the slur on Shakespear's, (and my) language! Please see in the current lists "Anti-plasmodial activities of 4-aminoquinolines...." It should have been "Anti Plasmodium......." etc, good wishes to all, Clive"

Submitted by Guest (not verified) on

Without going into the grammatical and technical backgrounds (am wearing my linguistic and scientific hats simultaneously now), Clive is correct in that "Plasmodial" should not be used with an upper case "P", as if it is a noun. However, English adjectives can, in fact, be derived from taxa; and "plasmodial" is a valid word. What is wrong is to use "Plasmodia" to refer to more than one species of Plasmodium. Miles Markus