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Thread: Nomenclature revisited

  1. #1
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    When a new member of another plant forum, where I am also a member, posted for the first time, he included a list of plants that he had begun his hobby with. Of about fourteen varieties he listed, all but 4 were misspelled or incorrectly written, or both. I pointed out these errors and mentioned where he could find a listing that included correct spelling and format. A long-time member on that forum, chastised me, in a following post to the same thread, for being too critical of this new member, so I felt a need to provide a more detailed explanation of my reasonings to him and the new member. This is what I said in response to his suggestion that we should not be overly critical in order not to frighten off new members. I thought my explanation might be illuminating here too:

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I highly agree. And by no means would I try to foster an oppressive atmosphere, nor is that my intent, but I wouldn't feel right if I ignored such incorrect terminology. Their names and properly writing them are the only truly "universal" language we have when communicating concerning our beloved plants, bamboo included, especially in international circles. If others had not been bold or assertive enough to correct me, I would still look silly when trying to discuss the plants I love with others who are also interested in them from around the world. I am an avid follower of many plant forums, as I have a deep interest in many different plant groups. I frequently find threads with intriguing subject titles, and then I find that the author has used an unfamiliar nickname or has somehow mangled the format or spelling such that I have to ask in order to find out what plant species or variety is being discussed. Sometimes I even get excited that there may be a new species that I had previously been unaware of, only to discover after inquiry that it was only a misspelling. If I were the author and went to the trouble of writing a post, I would, at the least, want my audience to know which plant was being discussed, without having to guess or ask. That could be embarrassing. And if the errors aren't brought-out and corrected they will grow. Others new to these plants will accept the errors, they don't know better, and they will repeat them -- I know, I was there, and sometimes I still am. Overlooking and even repeating obvious errors in correct name spelling and format is a disservice to all who love these plants.

    Everyone here, as anywhere, are at various levels of experience and those of us with more experience shouldn't be enablers of those less experienced, we should be mentors, sharing our experience, with the basics, not just our exciting experiences with our plants, but the tough, practical things, as well.
    It seems to be in our human nature to more easily dismiss those who are less well spoken, while those who speak and write well are automatically granted more credibility. Perhaps this is the way it should be. I choose to help encourage correctly spelling and formating the names of our beloved plants that everyone's credibility may grow.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    nepenthes_ak's Avatar
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    I totaly agree with you. But never the less, it is hard for some people to simply type better, learn proper grammar, and what not. I know I have that trouble so, I try to stick to simple words. If their was some kind of spell check I would probably use it.

    If I dont know how to spell a Scientific name or something like that, I definetaly go out and try to find out what the name is until I find it. If not Ill get frustrated and decide not to post.

  3. #3
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Try this site, it isn't perfect, but it sure helps:

    CP Database



    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    nepenthes_ak's Avatar
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    Thanks, but I'm not talking only CP's Im talking Insects also. I know most of the names for CP's but what frustrates me is when I can't rember a species of ant, or some non CP. It just takes some practice for me to memorize it.

    Thanks for the site though, I really like it.

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    I certainly don't have "all" of these names memorized, I'm just thankful for my ADSL, google, and favorites. I will even save pages I like in appropriately labeled folders, in case the owner of said favorite pages, were to ever change or delete them. Gives me a reference copy of the page.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I apppreciate importance of spelling and nomenclature, as well as the corrections I have received. In a former life I used to work for a tropical fish wholesaler and among other things, I was in charge of the saltwater section. I had to order fish from the various suppliers and did so with the scientific names. This was important because many of the fish had multiple common names. For example. Centropyge tibicen was called a Tibicen Angel, a Keyhole Angel, Teardrop Angel,.... I needed some standard name to call it. Some fish, annoyingly, were categorized under differing classifications. A Rummynose has been listed as a Tetra and a Rasbora. A Marine Betta has been listed as a Wrasse and a Grouper. So, having a standard scientific name is important for ID and ordering. Taxonomy, however, is another can of worms. With CP's, the whole reason I even stumbled upon the discussion forums was because the people who supply the retailers, put common names on the pots. I couldn't IDbthem beyond their useless and sometimes incorrect descriptions. e.g. Asian Pitcher Plant doesn't tell me anything. Neither does Red Pitcher Plant, especially when it turned out to be a Sarracenia leucophylla cultivar!

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    nepenthes_ak's Avatar
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    how do they turne a S. leucophylla into red pitcher plant? I could see how their could be some red coloration, but alot of S. leucophylla are mostly white and green.

    And Jim, im with you for the whole Nepenthes things, but for some people saying Nepenthes is preaty hard, so they simply call it the Asian pitcher plant for sale any ways.

    Makes the plants more appeiling to customers who dont know scientific names.

  8. #8
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Neh-pen-theez

    I always thought common names were kind of tacky.

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