taxons and orthography

Gurcharan Singh singhg at SATYAM.NET.IN
Thu Mar 9 21:08:49 CST 2000

Susan Farmer wrote:

>But one part of the gentleman's question hasn't been answered -- at least
>I don't think so (and it's one I'm currently struggling with as well --
>and English *is* my native tongue).  Do family names take an article?
>is it "Rosaceae are" or "The Rosaceae are"

I think we start confusing the whole issue. When we are talking/writing
about Rosaceae we have to interpret it as a plural case and as such we will
say "Rosaceae are.......". Secondly there is only one Rosaceae as such no
question of prefixing "The". Now when we are  mentioning Rosaceae as a
constituent of family rank our focus shifts to the word "family". There are
so many families and we are talking about only one of them and as such we
will need both "The" as well as "is". It will be more appropriate to use the
expression "The family Rosaceae is........"

Gurcharan Singh
Dr. Gurcharan Singh                      Res:
Department of Botany                        932 Anand Kunj
S. G. T. B. Khalsa College                  Vikas Puri
University of Delhi                               New Delhi-110018
Delhi-110007, India                             Phone: 91-011-5531534

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