information request

Ellen Johnson Ellen.Johnson at WKU.EDU
Tue Apr 1 08:26:37 CST 1997


     Hi.  I signed on to taxacom to ask a question about naming practices.
     I am a linguist and I am doing research on the terms 'buffalo' and
     'brontosaurus' and how and why they have been replaced by 'bison' and
     'apatosaurus'.  Please tell me your opinions on these terms and why
     they should or should not be used.  I am especially interested in
     hearing from those who are working with the public in some respect,
     e.g. as a curator of a natural history museum, etc. Also whether they
     can give me some similar examples of other names with a
     popular=incorrect/expert=correct history.  Note that I am not talking
     about common/folk vs. scientific names, but rather cases where the
     professionals are trying to "educate" the public by teaching them to
     use a new common name rather than a more popular one that is seen as
     erroneous. Thanks for any help you can offer. Ellen.Johnson at wku.edu




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