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To the Editor:
—Dr. Herbert Kaufman, in his editorial "Viruses, Names and Ophthalmology" in the November issue of the Archives, refers to viruses as "virile bits of organic matter." According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary the word virile has the following definitions: "1. Having the nature, properties, or qualities of an adult man; characteristic of manhood; specif., capable of procreation. 2. Masterful; forceful. 3. Masculine; male."The question in my mind is which of these characteristics Dr. Kaufman assigns to the viruses. They do not possess the qualities of an adult man; I do not believe they are capable of procreation in the accepted sense of the word, although this point may be moot. Possibly he conceives of them as masterful or forceful. This would attribute personality characteristics undeserved by such small particles. Finally, I wonder if he considers that all viruses are masculine or male. If it is possible
Robe M. "VIRILE BITS OF ORGANIC MATTER". Arch Ophthalmol. 1962;67(4):541. doi:10.1001/archopht.1962.00960020541032