Sphaeroides of tuber?

Michael@Mizzou1.Missouri.edu A.@Mizzou1.Missouri.edu VincentDr.@Mizzou1.Missouri.edu Michael@Mizzou1.Missouri.edu A.@Mizzou1.Missouri.edu Vincent@Mizzou1.Missouri.edu, Curator TEL: 513-529-2755 VINCENMA at CASMAIL.MUOHIO.EDU
Wed Dec 18 08:00:02 CST 1996

I am offended that anyone would accept such shoddy work as
an acceptable Latin diagnosis.  The code says LATIN diagnosis, not
"igpay-atinlay" (Pig Latin).  My questions are: 1) HOW could such
gibberish get through the publication process? and 2) HOW can anyone
consider it acceptable?  Even if one is a proponent of doing away
with Latin diagnoses, this garbage should be offensive as Bad Science!

I would certainly not have accepted this as validly published, were
it a Trifolium species (on which I am working now), and would not
consider it validly published in Amorphophallus!!!!

M.A. Vincent
> >   Sphaeroides of tuber 5 cm longis in diametre, flowering before the leaves 1
> >leafing 3 leaflet decurrent pinnatatus 4-6 cm longis spathe 30 cm longis
> >spike brevioribus 20 cm longis floret Aprili; leafing Junio. ... typus ...
> This diagnosis happened to be published in a genus I am revising and just
> for completeness I'll mention it is the plant genus Amorphophallus
> (fam. Araceae). When I saw this diagnosis for the first time a few years ago,
> I decided that with ICBN art. 36.1 "In order to be validly published, a name
> of a new taxon of plants, ......, must be accompanied by a Latin description
> or diagnosis or......", the name of the species accompanying this diagnosis
> was invalidly published. I cannot but interpret that "Latin diagnosis" IS
> a diagnosis in LATIN! Wrong! I had this diagnosis examined by a few people
> that are professionally very busy with ICBN and its interpretation and I
> understood that "There is enough Latin in it to fit ICBN art. 36.1" and
> consequently the name of the taxon was e.g. accepted in Index Kewensis.
> Up until this day I think that this is a wrong way of using ICBN. It may be
> that naturally English speaking colleagues can interpret art. 36.1 in a way
> fitting their tradition (it is said that the English think more in concepts
> than in definitions) but for a non-naturally-English-speaking person a
> translation of "Latin diagnosis" can hardly read "A diagnosis with at
> least ...% Latin words in it". That would require an explanatory note.
> As a consequence a diagnosis with e.g. hexadecimal computer language in it
> but also some Latin words, could satisfy art. 36.1. Discussions about
> the interpretation of ICBN are many and now we seem to get presented by
> interpreting the LANGUAGE proper that ICBN is published in. I hope that
> the wordings of the BIOCODE in the future will be clearer on such matters.
> My question remains: does this Amorphophallus taxon seem validly published?

 Dr. Michael A. Vincent, Curator    TEL: 513-529-2755
W.S. Turrell Herbarium (MU)        FAX: 513-529-4243
Department of Botany
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056 USA
Email: Vincenma at MUOhio.edu

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