Uppercase and lowercase for omicron

Havana Cuba. – Detected in South Africa the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 known as omicron occupies the attention of the planet and gains space in the press, digital platforms and social networks.

Due to the danger it represents for the collective health, the new variant of the pathogen is attended with capital attention by governments, researchers, doctors and by the population in general, although, in accordance with Spanish grammar, the name omicron must be written with a lower case.

The name of the new variant of SARS-CoV-2 detected in South Africa is omicron, with a tilde in the first letter and in lowercase.

It is not uncommon to find phrases such as Following the decision of the EU and the US, more countries add restrictions for the “Omicron” variant, There is already in Europe a confirmed case of a patient infected with the new Omicron variant O What do we know about Ómicron, the new South African variant of the coronavirus? something that reflects variations and errors in his writing.

Origin of omicron

The new variant of the coronavirus has been named by the World Health Organization with the name of the Greek letter omicron, which, is a word esdrújula, so it is written with a tilde in the first O.

Early in the pandemic, new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus were given scientific names with a complex combination of letters and numbers.

It meant that in short, it usually referred to variants depending on the country where they were first identified, a system that experts say resulted in stigma against the people of those countries, as well as some confusion and misinformation. . In May 2021 the WHO announced a simple naming system for new variants of the virus. He declared that each new variant would be named after successive letters of the Greek alphabet.

According to this method, the WHO named the new variant B.1.1.529 omicron, which is the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. The letter omicron is equivalent to the short English letter “O” and is written in lowercase.

Omicron in the Greek alphabet

Omicron (uppercase, lowercase with accent on the last o) is the fifteenth letter of the Greek alphabet. And it has the value 70 in Greek numbers. The letter omicrón took its root from the Phoenician letter ayin (ayn or ain), which was shaped like a circle. And it meant “eye” in the Phoenician language. The Phoenician letter gave rise to Latin and the Cyrillic letter “O” as well. The uppercase and lowercase omicron is used only in mathematics. The omicron is also known as the little O.

The uppercase omicron was used to denote the notation for the big O in mathematics. The omicron is used primarily as a symbol for the fifteenth star of a group of constellations. There is a star system called Omicron Andromedae in the constellation Andromeda. Omicron Ceti (Cet) is a red giant star in the constellation Cetus. And Omicron Persei (Persei) is another star system in the constellation Perseus.

The new variant of the coronavirus has been named by the World Health Organization with the name of the Greek letter omicron, which, as stated in the Dictionary of the Spanish language, is an esdrújula word and, therefore, is written with a tilde in the first or.

On the other hand, and as the Spelling of the Spanish language points out, both the names of diseases and those of viruses and their variants are common nouns and, therefore, it is appropriate to write them in lowercase and without quotation marks or italics. .

Adhering to these rules of the Spanish language, the variant of the new coronavirus is written in lowercase -micron- although it is addressed by its danger in capital attention.

 
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