Message 2002-04-0004: Re: Fwd: Gender of species names?

Thu, 18 Apr 2002 09:34:03 -0700 (PDT)

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Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 09:34:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: "T. Michael Keesey" <>
To: Philip Cantino <>,
Subject: Re: Fwd: Gender of species names?

--- Philip Cantino <> wrote:
> One
> negative aspect of epithet-based names that was not discussed in that
> paper is that converting an epithet to a name will entail using an
> adjective as a noun.  Names should be nouns, but epithets like
> americana, latifolia, purpurea, etc. are descriptive adjectives.  If
> one translates the Latin into one's native language, these words
> sound very peculiar as names (e.g., naming a species of plant
> "broad-leaved"). 

It depends on the language. Some languages have no problem using adjectives as nouns, e.g. Spanish
"El Gordo" ("the fat one"), etc.  English just doesn't happen to be one of these (usually --
there's always exceptions, like Gollum's "my precious" -- or "American", for that matter!)

Aren't some supraspecific taxa based on adjectives, anyway? E.g., _Pilosa_ (sloths), meaning
"hairy"? (I could be wrong on that one.)

=====> T. Michael Keesey <>
=====> The Dinosauricon <>
=====> BloodySteak <>
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