Spaghetti on a plateDon’t you appreciate when people use creative ways to help you understand something complicated? This is especially welcome as we continue grappling with COVID-19.

These days, scientists are explaining how vaccines or preventive measures work, the perfect situation where analogies give a shortcut to understanding. Other writers are having fun with what to call someone who is double-vaxxed (like “max-vax”) or making a comment about anti-vaxxers. I’ve never seen so many XXs in use.

The September issue of my newsletter, Wordnerdery, has a collection of recent expressive writing about the pandemic. I was particularly interested in this one, because I’ve sewn a few of my own masks and see that a new recommendation is to include a layer of non-woven spunbond polypropylene. Here’s why:

“Traditional materials for clothing and furniture have a woven or knitted structure. Non-woven materials, by contrast, have a random arrangement of fibres, like spaghetti on a plate. This randomness enables high particle filtration while remaining highly breathable.”  – McMaster University researchers

Another is for people nervous about the COVID-19 vaccine altering their DNA:

“mRNA vaccines don’t change your DNA or stay in your body. They give your immune system instructions for how to fend off Covid, then disappear like a Snapchat message.” – Dr. Tom Frieden on Twitter

Read more examples of clever and expressive writing in Wordnerdery. And if you’ve seen some other great ways of describing anything pandemic-related, please share in the comments.


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