"José H. Leal" jleal at SHELLMUSEUM.ORG
Mon Jul 16 13:30:38 CDT 2001

I couldn't agree more with the statements below. Common names can be
confusing even for domestic use. Barry Roth made reference to the volume on
mollusks of the American Fisheries Society's "Common and Scientific Names
of Aquatic Invertebrates of Aquatic Invertebrates from the United States
and Canada", which some of us malacologists regard as the "official" list
of English names for North American species. However, still in the universe
of English language applied to North American species, FAO/United Nations,
in their species identification sheets to fishery purposes published in
several formats/regions, has opted for the use of a different set of common
names. FAO's names sometimes coincide with the ones in the AFS list, but
quite often they don't. If one takes into account the English-speaking
Caribbean nations, Canada, and England, there may be several other sets of
"official" English-language names for the same group of molluscan species. 

>>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[...]The unstated
assumption is clear: "Common names impede
>communication -- what is it REALLY called, please?"
>Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

José H. Leal, Ph.D., Director 	
The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Editor, The Nautilus    	
3075 Sanibel-Captiva Road
Sanibel, FL 33957 USA
fax (941)395-6706

More information about the Taxacom mailing list