Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

“SARS in provincial China” by Chris Berman, in which he quotes an email from a friend in China. From

;My friends in the university next door to mine have been told to stay in after two students were whisked off with suspected SARS; here at my place we were given kits containing some kind of medicine, a thermometer, and a packet of facemasks. We have to take a thermometer reading every morning and contact the foreign affairs office on campus with the results. This is a provincial-level ruling, apparently. We are also not supposed to stray too far from campus, and have been advised not to go to the supermarket (too crowded). And this morning I walked past the bizarre sight of my stairwell being sprayed with disinfectant by a bored looking waiter from the restaurant next door. His mate, clearly misunderstanding the whole process, was walking behind him spitting out sunflower seed shells all over the place.