honorific epithets: draft ICZN guidelines

Doug Yanega dyanega at DENR1.IGIS.UIUC.EDU
Wed Dec 6 12:04:21 CST 1995

A colleague just passed along a copy of the 1995 draft guidelines, which -
though explicitly stating "under no circumstances to be used as a set of
rules" - are nonetheless enlightening, because if adopted in their present
form, they will render any decision I make about the "-i" vs. "-ii" endings

To wit: Article 31(v) says basically that variant spellings of certain
pairs of species-group epithets formed from personal names are to be
treated in zoological nomenclature as "permissible variants" rather than
considering either variant as an incorrect original or subsequent spelling,
or as an emendation. The first pair they list is "-i" vs. "-ii". They do go
on to *recommend* that the original spelling is preferrable in practice.
        In essence, then, it won't matter what decision I make, because
when these rules go into effect in a year or two, either ending will be
equally valid, though my inclination to return to the original spelling
will fit the preferred alternative. They may not be the official rules yet,
but they can certainly help one make up one's mind. I also would strongly
suspect that if anything is going to *change* between now and the final
authoritative version, it will be in the direction of restoring the
original spelling (if they're going to adopt a firm policy instead of the
either/or approach). Myself, I'd think that would be less confusing,
especially in this age of computer text searches, where a minor spelling
variant can have huge consequences ("Gee, I'd have thought there were more
references than *this* for that species...oh, well, that's less work for
me, then...").
Thanks to others who have made suggestions in this thread...just goes to
show that it can be fruitless to dwell on things when the rules are on the
verge of changing.

Doug Yanega       Illinois Natural History Survey, 607 E. Peabody Dr.
Champaign, IL 61820 USA      phone (217) 244-6817, fax (217) 333-4949
 affiliate, Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Dept. of Entomology
  "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
        is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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