Language of description
Ken J. Harrison
KHarrison at FCMR.FORESTRY.CA
Thu Oct 26 04:22:36 CDT 1995
>"I know no interesting zoologist who can write eloquently in Latin ..."
As someone with a background in mycology and a very limited knowledge of
Latin, I have followed this thread and debate with interest.
Since 1935, mycology has been subject to the International Code of Botanical
Nomenclature article which insists that any new taxon have a Latin diagnosis
(Latin description) for it to be considered "validly published". This is a
real help for me since if an article is published in a language I can't read
(i.e. most of the world's languages, except English), I can pick out the
Latin description immediately and use it.
After this preamble, my point is: If the Latin diagnosis works for one group
of taxonomists for the past sixty years, perhaps it isn't such a bad way to
bridge linguistic barriers in other fields? Eloquence in the language isn't
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