To hyphenate or not to hyphenate

Paul van Rijckevorsel dipteryx at FREELER.NL
Thu Oct 30 11:38:30 CST 2003


Some thoughts: the question of how long a tradition exists would appear
irrelevant, it is not a matter of earning the right to use a particular
Code! At some point in the past choices were made as to what groups were
treated according to what Code, and this is "tradition".

As to the question if each monophyletic group should have its own Code, this
is somewhat disturbing. A new manifestation of phylogenetic thinking to come
along and upset nomenclature? Each such Code could be more effective in the
sense it can provide examples fitting the group in question, thus improving
readability. Also it might be easier to make decisions on controversial
matters (the Bacterial people are the only one to come up with a clean-swept
list of names?). Still the mind shudders at where this might end. How many
Codes would this result in? What if views shift on what constitutes a
particular monophyletic group? This would necessitate the merging or
splitting of Codes?

Just an idle thought: for a while there were multiple versions of the
Botanical Rules (French, English and German). Maybe what should be the Code
of the future is not ONE BioCode, but a MetaCode that sets a general
framework of Rules, and separate Codes for the relevant groups, that follow
the MetaCode but each have their own examples, perhaps their own terminology
("valid"/"correct"), special rules for special situations, and their own
lists of names with special status (the actual ICBN is only a 104 pages but
has 258 pages with such names, not counting families). Such special Codes
would be user-friendly, and would limit the extent of a breach with the
past.

Paul van Rijckevorsel
Utrecht, NL




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