Tag Archives: etymology

Etymology of garter snake

Even though “garter snake” has been the common name for Thamnophis sirtalis for over 200 years, I discovered this week that people who know a lot about garter snakes don’t agree on why. There are two theories: (1) the snakes were named after stocking garters and (2) … Continue reading

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Antibiotic confusion in the Wall Street Journal

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I have a thing against antibiotics. I love to take them when I have a bacterial infection, but I think it’s a terrible synonym for ‘antibacterial’, an older word that doesn’t mislead people … Continue reading

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Do antibiotics kill viruses?

If you wonder why most people think antibiotics can treat viral diseases, one reason is that when people use search engines to understand what antibiotics do, they are informed that antibiotics do target viruses. Examples below. Google: antibiotic: a medicine (such as penicillin … Continue reading

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