Shabby Latin

Teuvo Ahti ahti at CC.HELSINKI.FI
Fri Dec 20 10:01:30 CST 1996

I think that it is clear that ICBN Art. 36.1 allows even one-word Latin
descriptions of new taxa - although one word would be just bad practice.
There are many examples from last century that the descriptions consist of
one or a few words - Latin or any other language - and they are perfectly
valid. Of course, there are cases when people disagree whether the word
is descriptive enough (e.g., pulchra = beautiful is perhaps not
acceptable) but the recent Chinese example is not questionable. The
shortest valid description I know reads "K+" (meaning that the organism
reacts yellow with potassium hydroxide when compared to another one!). Teuvo
Ahti, Helsinki.

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