Message 2003-10-0005: And now my quarterly nitpicking...

Tue, 14 Oct 2003 22:55:25 +0200

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Date: Tue, 14 Oct 2003 22:55:25 +0200
From: David Marjanovic <>
To: PML <>
Subject: And now my quarterly nitpicking...

In the existing codes, names of genus-group rank are words in the singular,
and all others are words in the plural. In the Phylocode, this is currently
unregulated, so some diffusion is expected to occur (e. g., eventually,
*Tyrannosaurus* could include "Tyrannosaurini" and "Tarbosaurini", or
*Siboglinum* could include *Vestimentifera*).
        Do we think that the resulting confusion will be negligible?
        Or should we regulate this somehow, e. g. by mandating clade names
to be plural words (with automatic change for converted names)?

The latter proposal could itself create a lot of confusion, but on the other
hand it could make it easily visible if an author is using the Phylocode or
not. It could also make the big rethinking needed to get the obligate
binomials out of our heads quite a bit easier.


Instead of complaining about Article 4 in general, which is much stricter
than the ICZN, I'll just ask why peer-review is obligatory. Currently, many
journals are not peer-reviewed, so the Phylocode would greatly restrict the
number of journals which could publish phylogenetic definitions.


Feedback to <> is welcome!