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Thread: Nomenclature revisited

  1. #17
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    I agree that enthusiasts should be exacting in the use and spelling of the names of whatever they're enthusiastic about. I've had my pulse race a couple times before realizing the royalty offered in an orchid trade was only a misspelled commoner.

    Unfortunately, students aiming towards the sciences often get the idea that they need not concern themselves with spelling. And the informal style of emails & forums further encourages lazy spelling. A spell checker isn't likely to steer someone towards a proper spelling of Sarracenia leucophylla.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  2. #18
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Some spelling are a nightmare. Like N. aristocl... you know the one.

  3. #19
    FarmerDave's Avatar
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    my latin teacher pronounced Cephalotus as Ke-fo-lo-tus

  4. #20
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I suppose he pronounces cephalopod ke-fa-lo-pod too?

  5. #21
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    yes.

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    Of course, the bitter irony is that sometimes the common names are better. I've lost track of the number of times I've been talking to my prof about a particular species of reptile, and we've had to resort to the common name because the scientific name has changed so often.

    Seriously, we regularly have conversations like "blah blah blah species A." "Species A? Is that in Family X?" "No, it's in Family Y; it's Common Name." "Oh! That used to be species C." "Really? I learned it as species B, then they changed it to species A; it must've been C before that."

    Frankly, I've just stopped trying for some species. I've resorted to just using "sand goanna" for several Australian monitors because nobody can bloody decide who's a sub-species of whom and which are true species and what's the senior synonym. I swear it changes every time an australian herpetologists runs a molecular phylogeny. "Oh, well, this was on snakes, but let's revise the varanids just to screw with people's heads..."

    Don't even get me started on molecular phylogenies. Sure, one gene is plenty of basis for re-classifying an entire family. It's not like we get contradictory results every time we do the same phylogeny with a different gene. That's not a tip that something's wrong, no....

    Mokele
    \"With malleus aforethought, mammals got an earful of their ancestor's jaw.\"
    --J. Burns, on the evolution of auditory ossicles.

  7. #23
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    Mokele

    Youre post made me smile, rantings amazing.

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