"Nu", the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet, was supposed to qualify this new variant, but it is too easily confused with the English "New".
"Xi", the fourteenth letter, was not used because it is a common surname in Asia, the WHO explained. One can easily imagine that the Chinese leader of the same name would not have appreciated this. However, there is at least one criticism to be made of "Omicron": it is an anagram of "moronic". Is the institution trying to send messages with the use of the Greek alphabet? Nothing is less sure... The WHO assures that "these labels were chosen after a wide consultation and a review of potential naming systems".
We are already at the fifteenth letter out of 24 of the Greek alphabet in less than two years. The pessimists already see the sixteenth coming. Will "Pi" also be abandoned for fear of attracting the wrath of math teachers?
Drawing by Amandine Victor