"viral" (was RE: Licensing options for firmware)
b.rossen at onsnet.nu
Wed Apr 6 23:13:21 UTC 2005
On Wednesday 6 April 2005 22:53, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Benjamin Rossen (b.rossen at onsnet.nu):
Yes, but that reference is about English. In Latin, the plural form would be
viri (in the nominative case) but it is a neuter noun following the second
declension in a form that is usual for a masculine word, which has some odd
effects. John Cowan pointed out to me that there are no known occurrences of
this in the extant Latin literature. That might be because "man", which is
'vir' gives "men" which is also 'viri', as well as the the possessive (gen.
singular), meaning "of the man" or the "man's". Most Latin dictionaries show
virus, -i n. (nonnisi sing.num.) i.q. sucus noxius et venenatus serpentis
virus is the singular
-i indicates that viri is the plural
n. indicates that it is neuter
(nonnisi sing.num.) means that if it is not singular it cannot be enumerated,
in the same way that one cannot enumerate 'waters' in English, although one
can have "waters of the oceans" or "holy liturgical waters" and similar.
i.q. noxious fluid and venom of serpents.
But I do suppose we are drifting off topic. The relevant point is this: we
generally understand virus by its English meaning to be an infective agent
that replicates itself. This is not a useful analogy for a license. It is for
software when the software is an agent of infection (which is exactly why it
is used for computer viruses) but not for the kinds of software we find
arising from Open Source Projects that have licenses. These do not infect. We
select. A nourishment analogy might be more apt.
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