The predictable blend error

It was bound to happen: the parts of

COVID-19 and coronavirus

were going to get mixed, to yield


And, yes, then we see ravens, ravens of death.

The speech error. This particular inadvertent blend seems to be pretty common; a few examples:

At BIFA we are receiving a significant number of enquiries regarding Corvid 19, and its impact on supply chains. (link)

Worryingly, it was revealed on Friday that a Corvid-19 case has just been discovered in Egypt. (link)

The Corvid-19 virus continues to wreak havoc in the seafood sector. (link)

Tellingly, every example I’ve found has been in passages where the expression is generally COVID-19 / Covid-19 / Covid 19. It’s clearly an error, even a fleeting error.

Embracing your inner corvid. From NOAD:

noun corvid: Ornithology a bird of the crow family (Corvidae); a crow. ORIGIN mid 20th century: from modern Latin Corvidae (plural), from Latin corvus ‘raven’.

Ravens and crows and magpies, oh my!

And so we are quickly taken to the folk figures of corvids. From Wikipedia:

Many references to ravens exist in world lore and literature. Most depictions allude to the appearance and behaviour of the wide-ranging common raven (Corvus corax). Because of its black plumage, croaking call and diet of carrion, the raven is often associated with loss and ill omen.

The Death Raven. Announcing the coming of death. Picking over the flesh of the dead.

Anything can be made into a tchotchke, even the Death Raven. From the Summit Collection Gifts site: Raven on Skull:

Long considered a sign of ill omen, the curious raven has come to be strongly associated with death and prophecy. Perched on a skull, this observant bird makes an eye catching accent to any shelf or tabletop.

Makes a unique gift!
Made of cold cast resin. Hand painted.
L: 5.75″ x W: 5.5″ x H: 7″

Cute bric-a-brac, or omen of death? You could die from CORVID-19, you know.

4 Responses to “The predictable blend error”

  1. Bob Richmond Says:

    Isn’t the “term of venery” “a murder of crows”?

  2. Mark Mandel Says:

    “Corvid” is not a word in common usage. Rather than human blending, I very strongly suspect miscorrection by a spellchucker [sic].

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