"prevailing usage"

Ron at Ron at
Tue Aug 27 03:29:10 CDT 2002

> The current rules do no allow for a discovered "dead" name to usurp a
> specific taxon.
> Ron Gatrelle

I should not have used the world dead in quotes as it conveys no specifics.
This was sloppy as it was pretty much an after thought at the end of my
post.  In the context of species groups names that are in current usage, if
an older senior available name is discovered for that same species group
taxon that older name has to meet certain requirements or it can not even
be considered for the purpose of becoming the valid name of said taxon.
Those objective senior names, though available and clearly biologically
applicable to the exact same taxon, are disqualified from consideration
(dead) if they do not pass these requirements.  (  It matters not
that they meet the requirements of publication / availability - their
absence from the nomenclatural world for over 100 years makes their
existence moot. That is what I meant by dead names.

This is no small matter.  3.2 has already told us we need not be concerned
with any names or nomenclatural act before 1758. tells us we also
don't need to be concerned about any name not used as a _valid name_ from
1900 to date.  Both of these cut out a lot of work - especially at the
species group level which is where the overwhelming majority of all names
are at.   There are a heck of a lot of "dead" names out there.  Everything
from the earliest cave paintings to 1 Jan. 1900 are just "history" if they
haven't been used in just the last 100 years as a valid name (one with
specific application = not just cited or listed).

That's it for that.  While I am here I might as well address another point
or two.  I see the ZN Code as a whole document - not just a bunch of parts
stuck in a binder.  As such it has an overall rationale - predictability
even.  And yes, that means some things can be assumed or read into vague
areas.   I feel a person that is going to be using this tool needs to spend
time becoming familiar with the whole thing.

All one has to do is to start reading it and immediately it begins to
reference to other sections, and those sections to yet other sections.  Its
very make up is one of interconnectedness.  Thus, I mark in mine.  I also
put references in the margins to points not mentioned specifically.  For
example I note in 11.5.2 & example the word "cited".  This is reminiscent
of 23.9.6 "mere listing".  I see rationale in this.  In 11.5 I find "valid
taxon".  I find the parenthetical phrase of 11.5.2 very enlightening as I
see adoption = to a delineated application.   This reminds me of
which talks of adoption and I put a note in my margin to these.  I go to
the Glossary for Adopt and see some of these sections I found on my own and
I also see that the Glossary does not list 11.5 or 11.5.2  But though not
mentioned there - it could and should be.   This tells me the Glossary is
not complete in all that it could reference to.

I see in 11.5, 11.5.2, 11.6.1, 23.9.6 and total connectivity and
rational supportive thought.  Just reading about "Adopt" in the Glossary
tells me basically nothing.  But when I read all these parts of the code
together, then the _words_ "valid name" under adopt in the Glossary become
a _term_ (have meaning and application).   So to be adopted in the
name has not just been "cited" (11.5.2) in a combination or "listed"
(23.9.6) in a nomenclator it has been delineated and employed (by an
_author's_ explanation (see valid)) to a taxonomic taxon (one whose
boundaries have been defined) and is thus a "valid taxon" (real taxon =
taxonomic taxon) and now has an available and valid name.

Valid name, valid taxon, taxonomic taxon, valid for a taxon, valid name of
a species, adopt, adopted, applied, cited, listed etc.  are all terms
(rationale) used within these sections of the Code with complete harmony of
meaning and use.

So.  When I come to the word "adopt" in the Glossary under - usage,
prevailing -  why should I think this term (not just word) has a different
connotation here than in 11.5.2 or   Sure the Glossary gives the
"meaning" but the Code shows what the meaning means - what it does in
practice.  If I can't bring 11.5.2 and to "adopt" in - usage,
prevailing - then I can not bring 3.2 or Article 8 to the phrase
"irrespective of how long ago their work was published" either.  But if I
can consult/apply one then I can consult/apply the other --  and others
more.   I have every right then to rationally connect adopt in -usage,
prevailing- with adopt in 11.5.2 and then with

I do the same with the word "authors" in - usage, prevailing -.  I have to
read authors as meaning what it means in the sections of Code I referenced.
That is, it does not mean list makers or mere citations.  It means
authors - people who delved into the name in question and "published" as
scientific (albeit minimal) presentation and not some hobby book, amateur
check list, or Bob's Friendly Handbook of Back Yard, Beetles, Butterflies
and Bushes. !!  11.6 "...is not thereby made available"  echoes this same
rationale. Not the same situation but the same rationale.

And yes, I see 23.9 and 23.9.6 having relativity to -usage, prevailing-
also from the perspective of rationale and principles.  The very first
thing 23.9.6 says is, "The deliberate use of a name contrary to Article
23.9.1, or.  The comma and "or" (not and) complete a thought.  So what does
23.9.1 say?  Well it starts with small letter after a colon so we have to
begin the quote at 23.9 "Reversal of precedence. In accordance with the
purpose of the Principle of Priority [Art. 23.2], its application is
moderated as follows: prevailing usage must be maintained when the
following conditions are _both_ met...."  In conjunction, 23.9.1 and 23.9.6
state the when _both _ conditions are _not_ met that Priority is to be
observed (unless appealed by the researcher) over usage.  So how does this
apply to -usage, prevailing- ?   Simple, 23.9.6 says "contrary" to 23.9.1
(which includes sub points).  Thus, if any of the "authors" we consult
per -usage, prevailing - are demonstrated to have "deliberately" just used
the name they wanted and ignored the rules of the Principle of Priority is
their work to still count as _usage_ ?  Not according to 23.9.6.    I thus
see an element in -usage, prevailing- that is as relative to usage as 3.2
is to the time factor.  That element is _legality_ "Of a name: that [legal,
or code compliant] usage of the name which is adopted by at least a ... of
most recent authors..."  Why should code anarchists be rewarded?

Well, these are just some more of my thoughts.  If there is too much
speculative reasoning in my presentation it is because there is a lack of
preciseness (clarity) and too much ambiguity is sections of the ZN Code.
Or, direct conflict and contradiction in it.   None of it should be open to
private interpretation, otherwise there will be neither stability or

Overall, I see it as the best Code version yet.  I find it as a whole very
rational and easier to follow the more I work with it.  At times it does
not mean what it says it means what it means.  And that is not always easy
to determine.  This has been authored by many people over many generations.
Thus, I don't think that even the current stewards have a full grip on
every subtle point.

Ron Gatrelle

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