MAGarland at AOL.COM
Sun Feb 28 10:14:36 CST 1999
> (1) Is not English the lingua franca of
> science now, as Latin was 250 years
> Answer me this: If English is as universally
> accepted as you claim, why is it then that my
> doctoral dissertation contained references to articles
> or books in seven languages other than English?
How many of those articles or books were in Latin? Any recent ones?
An observation: In the 1980's, the biology department at Florida State U.
eliminated the foreign-language requirement for graduate students. Short-
sighted? Maybe. But the fact is that in most fields of biology, you can keep
up with the literature very nicely by reading papers in English.
> English has been the #1 language for a few decades,
> but this will not last.
OK, I agree. Latin was also #1 for a few centuries in Western Europe, but it
didn't last. So why should we be writing botanical descriptions in it? When
English is not generally used, I won't be arguing that we should still be
writing botanical descriptions in it.
> By the year 2050, the
> idea of publishing in English a description of a plant
> native to Guatemala or Chad or Manchuria will seem
> rather quaint.
And the idea of publishing a description in Latin will seem even *more*
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