nomenclatural evils

Stephen Halford halford at SFU.CA
Fri Mar 17 21:35:09 CST 1995

>Just in case some future
> taxonomists want to go back to latin, we could use numerals which
> correspond to the location of the letter in the Latin alphabet.  Thus,
> Tagetes (a genus near and dear to my heart) would become
> 2017520519.
Hey! we're missing a bet here -- if we convert our Latin numerology to
Roman numerals, we can even confuse the computers!

> Or they could simply be given numbers such as 2017520519-1, etcetera.
> 1-4, being in the same subgenus, a different subgenus from 5-56.

And of course, in this perfect world, subgenera (or equivalent
ephemerophylletic gobbledygook) will *never* need to be changed, organisms
will cease to evolve, and researchers will never have to recognise that
2017520519 was the *old* number of 456DX32901!

(And -- how do you eliminate typos? -- could be embarassing to write a
treatise on orchids and have it turn up in a journal of cetacian biology!)

Feeling the flames already

Steve (halford at

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