Lockdown Blog Day 43

Tuesday, 5th May 2020

What’s the difference between pandemic and epidemic? What’s worse? What are we currently experiencing?

This is where I started this blog post. But sadly, it’s not going to be the journey of it! Because, as is so often the way, I got lost.

See, where do you go when you want to find the difference between two similar terms. A dictionary? Or three…

But, before I really get the answer from any of the dictionaries, another thought occurs to me. Why not head to the authority: The World Health Organization. (Urgh – a Z in that, but as it’s their organisation, they can name as they wish! – see what I did there?)

The WHO’s style guide is a rabbit warren stuffed full of information and, to be honest, I couldn’t find the answer I was looking for. But, I did discover:

  • The WHO prefers British rather than American spellings of disease names and medical terminology (p. 3)
  • Drinking-water is a hyphenated term (Oh, now I need to look that up in my NODWE…) (p. 6)
  • There are seven format styles for lists (pp. 34-35)

I need to stop now.

What was the original question?

Published by Nick Taylor | Editor & Proofreader

Editor and proofreader specialising in LGBTQ+ writing, both fiction and non-fiction.

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