selling of names

Curtis Clark jcclark at CSUPOMONA.EDU
Thu Feb 18 09:28:00 CST 1999

At 10:04 AM 2/18/99 -0700, JOSEPH E. LAFERRIERE wrote:
>1) Concerning Anita's statement that "smithii" means
>"In honor of Smith" instead of "belonging to Smith:"
>On what Classical Latin text are you basing this?
>This is indeed the meaning biologists for centuries
>have been pretending the word has, but it is not at
>all how Cicero would have interepreted it.

The genitive seems superficially simpler in English than in many other
languages. The simplest translation of smithii is "Smith's", but even in
English, "Smith's bakery", "Smith's Syndrome", and "Smith's left index
finger" all imply different types of "possession". In the Native American
language Navajo, by the way, the phase translated as "my milk" has a *very*
different meaning from the one translated as "my the cow's milk" :-)  So
Planta smithii is in a sense "Smith's nature's plant".

Curtis Clark                  http//
Biological Sciences Department             Voice (909) 869-4062
California State Polytechnic University      FAX (909) 869-4078
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