Fwd: [iczn-list] Re: Original spelling

Doug Yanega dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU
Mon Feb 3 10:20:54 CST 2003

Miguel wrote:

>However, since we are in this situation, why not a rule to make
>mandatory that any reversal of the original spelling, etc. (that is,
>any subversion of the Priority principle) must meet the requirements
>of Art. 23.9.1 as well (at least this is an objective rule).

This is one alternative. I have elsewhere suggested a few other
alternatives to the status quo (the following is an excerpt):


Alternative 1:
        All specific and subspecific epithets would be permanently
fixed in their original orthography. "Prevailing use" would not be
grounds for retention of a variant spelling.

Alternative 2:
        All specific and subspecific epithets would be permanently
fixed in the form they occupy at the present date, regardless of
original orthography. This thus represents opting for "prevailing
use" spelling.

Alternative 3:
        All specific and subspecific epithets would be permanently
fixed UPON REGISTRATION. The name-registration process would, under
this proposal, include a step where the submitter specifies the form
of the epithet to be used in perpetuity, and it need not be the same
as the original orthography if this would promote stability. This
alternative would involve open review (via website) of each proposal
by the taxonomic community, and a vote to determine the outcome of
any proposed act of registration if there is any disagreement
surrounding it.

Alternative 4:
        Allow epithets to vary, but only in the context of a
registration system and public master authority file which allows all
potential users to track such changes immediately and unambiguously.
There are arguments for and against each alternative (discussed in
detail in the original document, which a few people on this list have
seen), though my personal inclination is alternative #3, as it gives
total stability without leading to the massive confusion (alt. #1) or
controversy (alt. #2) of the first two alternatives.

It would be nice if the next ICZN meeting actually investigated the
latter two possibilities. Name registration has many potential
benefits IF DONE CORRECTLY, and stability of epithets is one such.


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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