Document Type: Editorial
Department of English, Facalty of Literature and Humanities, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran
A new vocabulary item has been added to English dictionaries: Covid-19. For linguists, the addition of a meaningful linguistic element to any language should change the whole language as, for T. S. Eliot, a new poem changes the whole literature of a nation. But let us see how seriously the addition of the vocabulary item Covid-19 might change the English language. According to Cambridge online dictionary, Covid-19 is “an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus (= a type of virus), that usually causes fever, tiredness, and a cough, and can also cause breathing problems. I do not think that the change brought about by the item is a radical one especially when the definition claims that most often the disease caused by the virus is not serious! (I wonder whether there is a Newspeak type conspiracy going on!) But when one turns to the “real world,” the situation turns out to be extremely serious: Not only has Covid-19 brought the whole world almost to a total stop, but it has also been the cause of many deaths all over the world. People have died, families have lost their breadwinners, doctors and nurses have been affected and died while on duty and we are still on the verge of being affected by the virus everyday if the necessary safety measures are not taken. Millions have lost their jobs and economies are on the verge of collapse. Governments are keen to see their state enemies crush under the heavy burdens by Covid-19 upon their economies and medical systems! Schools are shut down and much more other factual events can be added to these, all of which lead many to claim that in the post-Covid-19 era peoples’ behaviours should change.