taxons and orthography
Petersen, Mary Elizabeth (MSX)
MEPetersen at ZMUC.KU.DK
Wed Mar 8 16:13:12 CST 2000
Re Thomas Lammer's suggestion:
Another way out of the "problem" with "The Medusozoa are the sister group of
the Anthozoa ..." is to circumvent it and write "The sister group of the
Anthozoa is the Medusozoa."
Here the meaning is not changed and there is no doubt that sister group is
singular, but the second formulation does not grate on the ears so much.
Mary E. Petersen
Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen
E-mail: mepetersen at zmuc.ku.dk
From: Thomas Lammers [SMTP:lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU]
Sent: 08 March 2000 15:16
To: TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG
Subject: Re: taxons and orthography
At 07:06 AM 3/8/00 -0700, Robin Leech wrote:
> > The Medusozoa are the sister group of the Anthozoa ...
> > Medusozoa is the sistergroup of Anthozoa ...
> > The Medusozoa is the sister group of the Anthozoa ...
> > THE FIRST ONE IS GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECT. "MEDUSOZOA" IS
> USED AS A
>COLLECTIVE NOUN, AND SINCE IT IS BEING TREATED AS A SINGLE ENTITY,
>VERB "IS" MUST BE USED. MY PREFERENCE IS FOR THE SECOND ONE IF YOU
>GIVING A LECTURE, AND THE THIRD ONE IF PUBLISHING. THOUGH THE
>READS OK, IT SOUNDS "STIFF" IF I READ IT ALOUD.
I disagree. A plural noun, as Medusozoa surely is grammatically,
plural verb, irrespective of usage. If you want a singular verb,
to put the name in apposition to the rank: "The class [?] Medusozoa
or "Medusozoa are ..." It doesn't matter so much how it sounds;
so much bad grammar slipping by that all sorts of bad usage "sounds
to our ear.
Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA
e-mail: lammers at uwosh.edu
phone (office): 920-424-7085
phone (herbarium): 920-424-1002
Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.
"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
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