Common Names

veldkamp Veldkamp at NHN.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Tue Jul 17 13:54:20 CDT 2001

At 09:00 PM 7/16/01 -1000, you wrote:
>Jim Croft wrote:
> > There is nothing that contributes to knowledge less than the invention
> of a common or vernacular name.  We have to accept that in many (most?)
> cases common names simply do not exist,

Well, the people of the National Geographic Dutch edition have very
different ideas about that. And I bet my clogs that they know extremely
well what the layman wants.

I was recently approached to provide Dutch names for N American desert
plants, and when I protested there weren't any, of course, that didn't
matter. When I said I then would have to invent them on the spot and didn't
see the scientific value of that at all, they said that didn't matter,
either, NG has a policy that things should be in Dutch entirely. "Will you
then at least put the scientific name between brackets?" I pleaded. No,
that was not NG policy. But this novel idea might be discussed at a future
editor's meeting...

Keep smiling!


Dr. J.F. Veldkamp
Nationaal Herbarium Nederland, Universiteit Leiden branch
POB 9514
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands
e-mail: veldkamp at
fax: + 31 0715 27 35 11

More information about the Taxacom mailing list