Biological Informatics question

Robin Leech releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Tue Jan 30 11:10:28 CST 2001


Is that mo' boinfomatics or mobo infomatics, or less boinfomatics.  teehee.
Robin Leech
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gail E. Kampmeier" <gkamp at UIUC.EDU>
To: <TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG>
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2001 10:21 AM
Subject: Re: Biological Informatics question


> I think we should give the molecular biologists the term "moboinformatics"
> and reclaim "bioinformatics" for ourselves!
>
> ;-)
> Gail
>
> >I believe it may be too late (or too early) to reclaim the terms
> >"bioinformatics" to mean "information about biology" in general as the
root
> >terms would imply, but I need to point out how strange it seems
> >linguistically. In linguistics (most languages) the more general, less
> >specific, normal, base form of a concept is generally "unmarked" meaning
> >there are no added morphological embellishments to set it apart. The
> >unmarked form is shorter. Only the specialized forms of concepts, the
> >special cases, get extra morphological markers. e.g. "blue" vs "royal
blue"
> >and even "aquamarine". From that, you would think that "bioinformatics"
> >would stay the general concept and if you wanted to talk about
information
> >about genetics/protomics you would need to say "molecular
bioinformatics."
> >
> >I think the takeover of the term was unavoidable, however, because of a
> >different and more powerful force in setting markedness. That is
frequency
> >of use. Concepts that are used more frequently become shorter words.
> >Molecular bioinformatics has been in the news (and Wall Street) a great
> >deal more than the more general term "bioinformatics - information about
> >biology". People and news print editors quickly got tied of saying
> >"molecular bioinformatics" and used the abbreviated form instead. The
only
> >way to reverse the trend would be to use the original meaning more often
in
> >the press. I don't see that happening but at least scientists should keep
> >aware of the distinctions so that we don't get confused about which we
are
> >discussing.
> >
> >I am sure I've succeeded in making this seem much more reasonable!?
Right?
> >
> >Bryan Heidorn
> >
> >--------------------------------------------------------------------
> >   P. Bryan Heidorn    Graduate School of Library and Information Science
> >   pheidorn at uiuc.edu   University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign MC-493
> >   (V)217/ 244-7792    501 East Daniel St., Champaign, IL  61820-6212
> >   (F)217/ 244-3302    http://alexia.lis.uiuc.edu/~heidorn
>
> =======
> Gail E. Kampmeier, Research Entomologist, Illinois Natural History Survey,
> Box 5 NSRC, MC-637, 1101 W. Peabody, Urbana, IL 61801 USA
> ph. 217-333-2824; fax 217-333-6784; email: gkamp at uiuc.edu
> http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/cee/therevid/gkamp.html
> =======




More information about the Taxacom mailing list