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Thread: Plant Names

  1. #9
    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    No, really, I did not move thez_yo's post into this thread. I only moved my own post that answered dexenthes' rant. Since I hadn't intended to leave it in thez_yo's thread, but move it here. I had already begun creating it, so had to plop it down before I could then move it to where I wanted it, here.
    I believe you meant to say "dexenthes' valid points"


    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Dexenthes,
    Discussion is good. Plants and everything about them, including the names we call them by are dynamic. A good reason to be particular about using proper form when writing them.
    So then why are you not italicizing every name when you edit other people's posts?

    In the first sentence of this thread the plant is named as, Nepenthes peltata. Nomenclature says that whenever the genus being discussed changes in the text, the entire name must be spelled out, first, before the genus is then abbreviated. As you say the subforum is primarily for the Nepenthes genus, but even in that same first sentence another genus is mentioned.
    This is a valid point, however there was an accompanying picture of a Nepenthes that went with the post. This appears to be an inherit lack of faith in the average hobbyists' ability to use extremely basic deductive reasoning? Or am I wrong.

    The rules do not require that all plant names be spelled out completely in all circumstances.
    Yet they do require that you edit every single post in order to put the appropriate letter in front of each species name? Where do you draw this line? Maybe it's in your

    You may be interested to read about my reasoning, here.
    link that doesn't work.

    Just a minimum of conformity so no matter how we use the "search feature" or which language is our native language, that we are all using the same names for the same plants. So called, scientific plant names are the way they are so that everyone, no matter where they are, or what language they speak, we can all understand what plants we are discussing.
    I could not agree with this point more, and this I recognize probably as being the backbone of your passion towards this subject. But that seems more applicable when we are talking about cultivars, hybrids, and complex crosses. Would there really be anybody, regardless of language that can't discern the use of just peltata in the context of the thread?

    Do you realize that these threads on terraforums are not just searchable with the forum's own search tools, but they are cataloged on google and other internet search engines. Searching for names that are misspelled, incomplete, or plants being called by affectionate "nicknames" are difficult for search engines to include intelligently for someone looking for information on a particular plant.
    I do realize this. Which is why I agree that unregistered cultivars should be registered, and that all hybrids should have their lineage posted, and that names of plants should be spelled properly.

    But that is not the same as adding an "N" in front of peltata, or villosa. If someone is truly juggling different genus around that use the same species name, then don't they normally specify which plant they are talking about, or isn't the context of the conversation usually totally obvious? I can't think of an example where it's not.


    I'm sorry for being critical, but I just don't understand where the basis of your extremities lie with all these post edits that you do. If it's a mispelled name, that makes sense. If it's an improperly labeled hybrid, I understand. If it's an unregistered cultivar, then call them out on it.

    But, for instance, who really doesn't know what plant I would be talking about if I said?

    "Hey my edwardsiana is growing well"


    I am not trying to force us all to adhere to any scientific standards of nomenclature.
    Right, you're just editing 90% of the posts on Terraforums.
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

  2. #10
    Raven01000's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, but I have been thinking the exact same thing as Dex for the last week or so. 98% of the nomenclature adjustments I have seen have been completely unnecessary, and in my opinion only serve the purpose of gratifying the inherent nomenclature nazism of the adjuster. It's nitpicking bordering on obsessive compulsive. I can certainly sympathize with Mr. Clemens' honorable, scientifically accurate intentions, but I find the excessive fixing to be annoying if not outright patronizing.
    Last edited by Raven01000; 02-25-2011 at 05:18 AM.

  3. #11
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Yes, Dexenthes, you have several valid points. I especially appreciate the one about my correcting plant names by adding the abbreviation for the genus. In the future I need to be sure, as nomenclature requires, that the first time a genus is mentioned it should be written out, not abbreviated. This is the only way to ensure the search tool can most easily do its job.

    But, for instance, who really doesn't know what plant I would be talking about if I said?
    "Hey my edwardsiana is growing well"
    Sure, I would probably know what you mean. Especially if the post/thread were in the Nepenthes subforum, but there was a time when I wouldn't have. I would have been annoyed and either have to ask you to explain, or do more research to discover you were probably talking about Nepenthes edwardsiana (Low ex Hook.f., 1859). But contemporary meaning isn't all that is important in archive searchable forums. Sure it would be okay if we were discussing "Instant Messaging", but this isn't an IM only forum.

    Try using the "search" feature to pull up all "posts", not threads, concerning Nepenthes, or N. The search tool works for the full genus name, but the abbreviation alone, is too short - so any and all posts where a Nepenthes plants genus name was not written out completely, such as your hypothetical, edwardsiana post, well, that post wouldn't come up in the search - oh well, unless the search were specific for edwardsiana. What if I were a newbie trying to learn all I could about Nepenthes. Appropriate threads might or might not, all be in the Nepenthes subforum. If the full genus name is not used in a post or posts, those posts will not be in that search. Perhaps at some point, someone might even wish to read about this subject as it regards Nepenthes. And since we may not always limit our discussion of CP to this or any other forum, it might benefit some of us to learn more of the details of formal plant nomenclature. An important detail might be that all plant names are both singular and plural, as written, for an important reason. Changing plant names, even by adding an apostrophe and "s" in an attempt to make them plural, modifies the name so it is no longer correct.

    It's not so much being able to understand what is being discussed in a particular thread or even post, it's being able to find those threads or posts when they're buried in the archives, archives being any and all threads that aren't active at the moment.

    Maybe being able to accurately search the archives, which all forum threads eventually become, isn't important to some. But, I, for one, use the search feature quite regularly, and am still frustrated when I can't easily locate threads/posts I remember viewing in the past, to refresh my understanding of those threads contents, or to try to answer a question that has developed. I envision there may be others, besides myself, who may someday want to easily find posts concerning certain plants or groups of plants, and be unable to easily accomplish this task - as already happens to me when I try to do my own searches.

    Newbies to CP, which I can still vividly remember being, can certainly benefit from learning the details of plant nomenclature, from all sides of this issue. Do you remember when you didn't know all the genera of CP? When I was a newbie I certainly could have used more education about this subject from where I expected to find it - growers, who we now consider oldtimers (we're the oldtimers for current newbies). I've been involved with many different facets of the plant world, (orchids, bamboo, and CP) and communication has always benefited from accurate and correct nomenclature, either oral or written. It is a disservice for those of us who have been working with CP, no matter how long, to disregard these details and teach others to do likewise, even by example. The first time a newbie gets into a situation where correct nomenclature is important, and there are many situations where it is, they will question why such important information was being ignored, here.

    Perhaps someday we may even find ourselves attempting to discuss our beloved CP with a French botanist. It might even assist our discussion if we know enough about the language of plant names, even if we don't otherwise speak each others languages.

    - - - - -

    Though I may be editing 90% of the posts, I am not correcting grammar, spelling, or other possible problems, just incorrect plant nomenclature so that current and future searches can be more meaningful, and so newbies can discover the worlds of botanical and horticultural nomenclature, so they might not be completely caught off guard when they find themselves in situations where nomenclature is much more respected and expected.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 02-25-2011 at 08:12 AM. Reason: Continuing editing for clarity
    Joseph Clemens
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  4. #12
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    My my, such language and name calling isn't going to go very far.

    It pretty much boils down to a few people who think rules don't apply to them and rebel further when rules are pointed out to them. And again for no other reason that they think rules don't apply to them.

    Just do your thing and let Joseph do his. Simple.

    Or take all the time, energy and emotion you've spent getting upset over nothing and learn the binomial nomenclature rules (it will take you about 5 minutes to read them through twice) and use Google to search proper spelling with the help of the Carnivorous Plant Database or the International Plant Name Index.

    Tip: in Firefox and Opera you can select text in your browser, right click and use a search engine. Opera allows you to choose which engine interactively and Firefox uses whatever is currently set as your search bar.
    Tip: For Firefox Mobile has created a search bar add-on for the CP database and you can get an "Add to Search Bar" extension so you can add just about any search engine to your search bar.

    And in the end you learn something, which to me is more noble than rebellion for the sake of rebellion.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  5. #13
    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    Good discussion Joseph, and you are right about the search terms dilemma. I have, myself, ran into that problem when searching posts and threads. There might be more results than I would like, or even information that doesn't show up in a search.

    Anyway, I apologize for seeming steamed up and volatile about this. I guess just from a forum surfing perspective I get indignant when I see a moderator flexing their post editing abilities in a manner that seems excessive. Though in this context, it has now been thoroughly discussed and I don't think there's anyone that would say that Joseph is doing some "wrong".

    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    My my, such language and name calling isn't going to go very far.
    It illustrated my frustration well I thought.

    It pretty much boils down to a few people who think rules don't apply to them and rebel further when rules are pointed out to them. And again for no other reason that they think rules don't apply to them.
    I believe it's probably more about people being ignorant in some respects or maybe just very casual with their hobby. As far as rebelling, I can't think of who you're talking about.

    Just do your thing and let Joseph do his. Simple.

    Or take all the time, energy and emotion you've spent getting upset over nothing and learn the binomial nomenclature rules (it will take you about 5 minutes to read them through twice) and use Google to search proper spelling with the help of the Carnivorous Plant Database or the International Plant Name Index.

    Tip: in Firefox and Opera you can select text in your browser, right click and use a search engine. Opera allows you to choose which engine interactively and Firefox uses whatever is currently set as your search bar.
    Tip: For Firefox Mobile has created a search bar add-on for the CP database and you can get an "Add to Search Bar" extension so you can add just about any search engine to your search bar.

    And in the end you learn something, which to me is more noble than rebellion for the sake of rebellion.
    I really hope you don't think I am just rebelling to rebel. I actually keep my nomenclature pretty tidy for the most part. Since Joseph started this campaign against casual lingo, I have made it a point to keep it accurate. Simply because I do not like having my posts edited by anyone but me.

    I am not rebelling, I am exercising my free speech. I found one of Joseph's edits to be excessive and not helpful, and I don't think that's rebelling.


    But you are both right, I'm done debating this subject because it is too much energy to expend.
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

  6. #14
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kulamauiman View Post
    LOL! I'll bet there's some really good ones on XKCD!

    Seriously, though, this forum is a cross-section of a wide variety of folks - young and old, the incredibly educated and those who are barely in junior high, etc.... We do need to be educated and take into consideration that nomenclature will be a little confusing at first, particularly beyond the basics of genus and species.

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