Message 2002-08-0005: Re: "Last modified on July 1, 2002"

Wed, 14 Aug 2002 21:30:08 +0200

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Date: Wed, 14 Aug 2002 21:30:08 +0200
From: David Marjanovic <>
To: PhyloCode mailing list <>
Subject: Re: "Last modified on July 1, 2002"

> Why should we "allow" the wholesale alteration (not just re-spelling mind
> you, "Ceratopian" has one fewer syllables...)

My knowledge of English pronunciation stops here...

> of pre-existing taxon names
> when it isn't required? To suite someone's concept of "correct
> Latinization?" Is that really worth it?

Well... I'm under the impression many people think so.

>  I see this being an impediment to access to the
> literature,

Usually there's just one different letter. Or a different ending (Olshevsky
regularly emends specific epithets, such as *Bambiraptor feinbergi*, which
is explicitly named after a whole family, to *B. feinbergorum*).

> "Forelimb posture in neoceratopsian
> [NOTE SPELLING] dinosaurs: implications for gait and locomotion."


> From my brief experience in academia, if this is the greatest professional
> or personal trauma you suffer for your science, count yourself lucky.

Rest assured, it's by _far_ not the greatest trauma I'm suffering. But maybe
we should begin with the small problems. :-)

(To make Salvini-Plawen's statement more understandable, I should mention
that over here it's still normal, in about half of all school types, to have
5 to 6 years of Latin in school. Ancient Greek has become rare, so by far
most people wouldn't notice anything when reading *Jeholornis prima*, but a
great proportion of [paleo]biologists would cringe when reading

(Before someone else brings that up, some names are deliberately incorrect,
in order to stay different from correctly formed ones, such as several
family names that would be identical if formed from different genus names,
or the ichnogenera *Megalosauripus* and *Megalosauropus* as well as
*Tyrannosauripus* and *Tyrannosauropus*... of course such cases would have
to stay when converted in any case.)


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