shabby latin

Fri Dec 20 05:24:46 CST 1996

The common practice in botany today is to publish a short Latin
description followed by a lengthier description in English, French,
Spanish, or some other modern language. We have already established
that even an appallingly short latin description such as "Folia
viridia" would suffice because of the "in the opinion of its author"
clause in the ICBN [and I thank those who corrected my error on
this; mea culpis!]. The only difference between this now-standard
practice and the Amorphophallus description we have been discussing
is that in the latter the Latin and English are contained in the same
paragraph. If I can say

"Folia viridia. Tree 5 m tall. Leaves palmate ..."

and have this count as a valid description, then I can just as easily

"Sphaeroides 5 cm longis ..."

followed by total gibberish and have it still be just as valid. Again,
the ICBN does not require that things be done well; it simply requires
that a certain minimum be satisfied.

Joseph E. Laferriere
Tucson, Arizona, USA
JosephL at

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