Mark Garland 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
>  ago?
>  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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