Dump Latin!

Mark Garland MAGarland at AOL.COM
Sat Feb 27 10:20:26 CST 1999

A few questions about the use of Latin in botanical descriptions:

(1)  Is not English the lingua franca of science now, as Latin was 250 years

(2)  Is zoological nomenclature, with no requirement for descriptions in
Latin, in worse shape than botanical nomenclature?  Has it been taken over by
Anglo-Saxon imperialists?

(3)  If McNeill's proposal to use either English or Latin in descriptions had
passed, wouldn't nearly everyone be using English now?  (Observe the Roman
Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council.  The use of  vernacular
languages instead of Latin in the Mass was offered as an option.  Try to find
a Latin Mass in the U.S. now.)

I know Latin.  I like Latin.  I write Latin descriptions for people.  But I
think that an objective evaluation will lead botanists to replace it with
modern languages--not necessarily English alone.


Mark A. Garland
Florida Department of Environmental Protection

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