Message 2002-10-0004: Orthography (rather long)

Tue, 15 Oct 2002 20:01:15 +0200

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Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2002 20:01:15 +0200
From: [unknown]
To: PhyloCode mailing list <>
Subject: Orthography (rather long)

I've been informed that some list members had problems with my elabor=
formatted post on orthography on August 31st and the one on species n=
ames on
September 9th. Here is a modest proposal what to change Article 17 to=
, with
my questions in brackets:


Article 17. Orthographic Requirements for Establishment

17.1. In order to be established, a clade name must be composed of mo=
re than
one letter and consist exclusively of letters of the Latin alphabet, =
is taken to include j, k, w, y and z, rare or absent in classical Lat=
in. If
other letters, ligatures, or numerals appear in a name, it cannot be
established (but see Note 17.1.1). When such letters, ligatures or nu=
appear in the protologue of a preexisting name, they must be transcri=
bed at
the time of conversion in conformity with the preexisting code that i=
applicable to the taxon concerned.

[Is there a case where non-Latin letters appear in a preexisting name=
? There
are cases where numerals are used in specific epithets (*13-punctata*=
ICZN *tridecimpunctata*), but I don't know if any of these was publis=
that way or if this is restricted to the field guides I saw them in.]

Note 17.1.1. The use of diacritical signs, including diaereses, is no=
t part
of the orthography of a name, though it may be included in an establi=
name as an optional pronunciation guide. Clade names that only differ=
having different diacritics on/under the same letter(s) are homonyms.=
use of transcriptions for diacritics, such as ae, oe, ue for German =
=E4, =F6, =FC,
in names that are considered for publication is encouraged.

17.2. A name may not contain hyphens. Hyphens in a preexisting name m=
ust be
deleted at the time of conversion (see also Art. 18.7).

[I only recommend implementation of this article, and Art. 18.7, if h=
will get a role in species names, or as markers for PhyloCode names o=
suchlike. -- Why no apostrophes? Because apostrophes don't exist in L=
atin, I
suppose, but can *Chuanjiesaurus a'naensis* be considered Latin anywa=
y? (In
this example the apostrophe shows that the type locality's name is co=
of the Chinese syllables a and na in this order.) -- But wait! Isn't =
current Art. 17.2 contained in Art. 17.1, "consist exclusively of let=

17.3. When a preexisting name has been published in a work where the =
u and v or i and j are used interchangeably, or are used in any other=
incompatible with modern practices (e.g., one of those letters is not=
or is used only when capitalized), those letters must be transcribed =
at the
time of conversion in conformity with modern usage.

Example 1: *Vffenbachia* Fabr. (1763) would be changed to *Uffenbachi=
a* when

[I really don't think anybody will think of the following... but
theoretically one could produce an incredible fight about whether thi=
article can be applied to, for example, the first i in *Amurosaurus
riabinini*. Oops, that's a species name anyway.]

17.4. In order to be established, the spelling of a converted name mu=
st be
identical to that of the preexisting name on which it is based.

Recommendation 17.4A. When a preexisting name is converted, the spell=
ing in
prevailing use should be retained. As a general guideline, adoption o=
f a
spelling by two-thirds of the authors who have used the name in the p=
ast 25
years would qualify as prevailing use. If it is not clear which spell=
ing is
the prevailing one, the original spelling should be adopted for the
converted name, except for the correction of orthographical (includin=
typographical) errors and the mandatory corrections imposed under Art=
17.1-17.3. In this code, the original spelling is the one used in the

[Question -- does this mentioning of "orthographical errors" allow, o=
r even
mandate, to convert *Ginkgo* (if at all, of course) to *Ginkyo*? (The=
originated as a stupid reading mistake from bad handwriting.) And
*Haliaeetus* to *Haliaetus*? (The former originated as a typo or some=
similar.) And *Tsintaosaurus* to *Qingdaosaurus*? (The latter would c=
to the Pinyin transcription which has been mandatory in the People's =
Rep. of
China since 1979.) Article 18.2 only speaks of transliterations, not =
transcriptions... :-) ]

Recommendation 17A. Names established under this code should be easy =
to use
and easy to remember. Euphonious names are preferred. In general, sho=
names are desirable and the number of syllables should be kept to a m=

Recommendation 17B. Many converted and new clade names will be intend=
ed to
be Latin or Greek words. They should follow the rules of these langua=
ges how
to form such words. Correction of preexisting names that are incorrec=
t in
this way is encouraged. However, failure to follow this recommendatio=
n does
not nullify the establishment of names under the PhyloCode.

Example 1. Ceratopsia Marsh, 1890, Ceratopsidae Marsh, 1888, Ceratops=
Wolfe & Kirkland, 1998, Neoceratopsia Sereno, 1986, Protoceratopsidae
[author, year] and a few related preexisting taxon names (all ultimat=
derived from *Ceratops* Marsh, 1888) that are likely to be considered=
conversion are incorrectly formed, each should not have an s. A few a=
have called for emendation. While Ceratopsia, Ceratopsomorpha and
Neoceratopsia are not governed by any preexisting code, Ceratopsidae =
Protoceratopsidae are, and emendation is impossible for them under th=
Recommendation 17B recommends emendation during conversion. However,
considering the widespread usage of the incorrect spellings, it might=
considered unnecessarily confusing to do so. On the other hand, emend=
would bring the mentioned names in line with correctly formed names l=
Brachyopoidea [author, year], Brachyopidae [author, year], Eryopoidea=
1882, Eryopidae Cope, 1882, Polydolopoidea Ameghino, 1897, Polydolopi=
Ameghino, 1897 (from *Brachyops* [author, year] and *Polydolops* Ameg=
1897, respectively) that are likewise valid under ICZN. The decision =
is left
to the author of the converted names [will very likely be the same pe=
for all].


Okay. Fire back, everyone.



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