vernacular names

Thomas Lammers lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU
Thu Jul 24 10:23:29 CDT 2003

At 10:05 AM 7/24/03 -0500, Richard Jensen wrote:
>In the early 20th century, Evelyn Waugh wrote a novel called Scoop.  It
>involves an English reporter who is sent to Africa to cover a manufactured
>revolution.  The natives of the fictional country, when asked about the
>locality of the capital, replied, in their own language, "I don't
>know".  This became the name of the capital for all subsequent news
>stories filed with the home office.  Could this be the origin of the myth

I've heard it said (perhaps apocryphally?) that "kangaroo" means "I don't
know".  Seems a common theme.

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and biogeography
of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

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