ICBN or BS

Mary Barkworth Mary at BIOLOGY.USU.EDU
Mon Jul 16 10:10:17 CDT 2001


An excellent point that I am glad you made. One of the contributors to
the Grass Manual objected to my changing the phrase 'common name' to
'English name'.  Of course, I should probably change it to 'American
name', to which non-English speaking Americans could reasonably object,
or English language name, one more word - but greater accuracy.

-----Original Message-----
From: Carmine Colacino [mailto:colacino at UNIBAS.IT]
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2001 9:53 AM
To: TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG
Subject: Re: ICBN or BS


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).

Even though these names could get somehow "stabilized" they still
remains
just English language names, often quite different from the common names
used elsewhere in the word. More importantly even if we translate them -
somehow - often their 'circumscription' (that is, what is included in
the
name) is not coincident with the use elsewhere.

In Italian we have different names for different oaks, that is Quercus,
or,
in Italian, Quercia [plural: Querce] (i.e. they are coincident - most of
the
times - with the Taxonomic nomenclature, leaving apart the specific
problems
of that genus), Quercus ilex is Leccio, Q. suber is Sughera, Q. cerris
is
Cerro, Q. petraea is Rovere, Q. pubescens is Roverella, for example, are
these names consistent with English common names? and with the French
ones?
with the Spanish ones? with the Arabic ones? with the
Greek/Albanian/Croat/Macedon/Portuguese/Catalan ones (just to remain in
Countries/Regions where you might find at least some of these species)
etc.
etc. I have no idea, but if I say I saw a Quercus cerris everybody will
understand me, everywhere.

--
Dr Carmine Colacino - colacino at unibas.it
Herbarium Lucanum [HLUC] & Dept. of Biology
University of Basilicata - Campus C/da Macchia Romana
85100 Potenza, southern Italy
Tel. +39 0971205743; Lab +39 0971205732; Fax +39 0971205742
http://www.unibas.it/utenti/colacino/mediterraneo.html




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