family name use

Robin Panza panzar at CLPGH.ORG
Fri Jun 21 16:27:35 CDT 1996

>>    Which of the following statements is preferable:
>>    1) "Most herbaceous Lamiaceae are strongly square-stemmed."
>>    2) "Most herbaceous members of the Lamiaceae are strongly square-
>>        stemmed."
>IMHO statement 1), for the following reason:
>Family names such as Lamiaceae are plurals, equivalent to e.g. 'Americans'
>or 'Kennedys', and can be used in the same way, as in :"Most Americans like

I disagree.  "Lamiaceae" is equivalent to "England", not "English" and one
would not say "Most England prefer...."  Besides, I believe it is incorrect to
say "Most English prefer...", but should properly say "Most English people
prefer...."  The word "English" is an adjective, and "Most English prefer..."
is like saying "Most big prefer...."

I vote for 2).

Robin Panza                                         panzar at
Section of Birds, Carnegie Museum of Natural History

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