Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Mon Jul 16 10:59:29 CDT 2001

At 05:53 PM 7/16/01 +0200, Carmine Colacino wrote:

>I am always surprised (quite naively, at this point) to find out that any
>discussion about 'common names' in the TAXACOM list always refers to
>English common names (I mean, in the English language).

Exactly!  Once you are dealing on a global basis (as this world does
increasingly), common names become even more troublesome.  As evidence of
that, consider how many appeals we field on this list, that run something
like, "I need to know please what is the plant referred to in [insert name
of nation or region here] as [insert vernacular name here]."  Every week or
two we see these.  The unstated assumption is clear: "Common names impede
communication -- what is it REALLY called, please?"

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:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                 -- Anonymous

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