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How to Pronounce “Omicron”: A Greek-American Has the Answer

Omicron pronunciation
Greek American comedian Gus Constantellis and his take on the correct pronunciation of the word omicron. Credit: Facebook/Gus Constantinellis

The spread of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus is causing many non-Greek-speaking people additional stress: that of the correct pronunciation of the word “omicron.”

It appears that the issue of pronunciation is so serious for non-Greek-speaking people that the New York Times published an article on how to pronounce the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.

Pronunciation, The New York Times and Omicron

In a piece entitled “How do you say ‘Omicron?”, New York Times reporter Christine Hauser says that there are so many divergences the word is pronounced that there is now great confusion.

Referencing pronunciations cited in dictionaries and the way certain individuals such as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, say the term, the writer explains that experts agree that there is no single, agreed-upon English pronunciation for “omicron.”

Greek-American comedian Gus Constantellis seized the opportunity to generate some much-needed laughter on such a troubling issue as the naming of yet another new COVID-19 variant.

“This is how every Greek feels at the moment,” says Konstantelis in a video posted on Twitter, presenting different ways in which non-Greek speakers pronounce the word omicron.

The first case of the omicron variant in Greece

The first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in Greece was confirmed on Thursday by the Minister of Health Thanos Plevris.

The “zero case” is a Greek citizen who recently arrived from South Africa. He was diagnosed as having the variant on Crete.

The Minister assured the public that all quarantine and tracking protocols have been observed.

President of the Greek National Public Health Organization (EODY), Theoklis Zaoutis, said that the man arrived in Greece from South Africa on the morning of November 26.

He noted that the first rapid test proved negative. However, on November 29 he tested positive for the coronavirus and he then underwent a PCR test, turning out it was the omicron mutation.

The appearance of an omicron variant case has increased concern as the number of new cases and fatalities in Greece rises daily.


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