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  • Writer's pictureMartini Seltzermayr

Brussels to rename Covid variants following French resistance

Brussels will next week rename the major variants of Covid-19 after French president Emmanuel Macron slammed what he called an “unacceptable culture of monolingualism.”

The World Health Organization this week proposed to rename the most popular kinds of coronavirus after letters of the Greek alphabet in a bid to avoid stigmatising individual countries, but their plans have caused concerns of linguistic favouritism.

Under legislative proposals to be put forward by the European Commission next week, progeny of the critter originally seen in India will be known as the Ø-variant in Denmark, the Ж in Bulgaria, and in the Netherlands as a sort of guttural gurgling sound.

A helpful guide to the new EU-approved variant names

“For too long, Europe has lain under the shadow of this one language, particularly when using technical or scientific terms,” a spokesperson for the French government said. “Europe is not about letting this or that language dominate, it’s about everybody having the equal right to be permanently baffled.”

“If we allow these foreign concepts to enter our language, it could prove a sort of T-... wooden horse that allows for easy invasion, an ach- … weak point between the foot and the leg” the spokesperson added. “That’s not in line with our philosohfuckit.”

Berlin is said to have taken an even harsher line, insisting that any concession to the Greek alphabet must be met with tough conditionality, including grammatical reforms and the posting of all vowels as collateral in the Bundesbank.

Under existing EU norms on the Single European Swearword, the UK variant will continue to be known as the kuñardocz.

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