Linne or Linnaeous question

Robin Leech releech at TELUSPLANET.NET
Tue Feb 17 17:39:34 CST 2004

¢Æ NeoExpress ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢Æ¢ÆHello one and all,

Further to Petit's comments, I add:

When Linnaeus and Clerck were alive, the international social language was French, hence Linne (letter "e" with an acute accent).  The international scientific language then and for many, especially in Europe, was Latin.

I have just looked at my copies of the following books:

The title page of the 10th Edition of Systema Naturae reads: CAROLI LINNAEI.
The 1753 edition (volume I) of Species Plantarum reads: CAROLI LINNAEI
Just for the hell of it, I checked in Charles Clerck's (=Carl Clerck in Swedish, and Caroli Clerck in Latin) 1757 book on spiders titled "Svenska Spindlar/Aranei Svecici", and Clerck, last page of text, wrote CARL LINNAEUS at the upper half of the page (in Swedish), and CAROLO LINNAEO in the bottom half of the page (in Latin).  With tongue in cheek, I comment that perhaps Clerck was giving Linnaeus an Italian name.

The name "Linnaei" is genitive, and when it moves to the nominative case, it becomes "Linnaeus".

The problem about which of the above names to use can be solved if one reverts to the capital letter "L." with a period following.  When this is done, and Linnaeus is the only one for whom "L." can be written, it solves all the nationalistic and emotional situations.

Hope this helps, Soowon.

Robin Leech
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Á¶¼ö¿ø 
  Sent: Friday, February 13, 2004 12:41 AM
  Subject: Linne or Linnaeous question

  Dear members, 

  After I asked this question, I received a lot more replies on language debate than on the name ifself. Yes, as you probably noticed already, I am a Korean, and English is not my native language. Like Dr. Melot, and probably all of you, I love my language, too. However, I also learned English because communication effectively with diverse people is, to me, another very important factor to update my knowledge. I asked Dr. Melot, of course politely I think, to explain again in English, and he kindly expained me on the Linne/Linnaeous question. Through the debate on language, or even before this debate, we all know why we are using English now in this discussion group. Therefore, why don't we stop the language debate and go back to my or other usual scientific questions? As someone suggested, it is better not to spend too much time reading this kind of debate letters including mine. Thank you and have a nice day. :-) 


Cho, Soowon
Á¶   ¼ö   ¿ø
Department of Plant Medicine
Chungbuk National University
Cheongju, 361-763
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soowon at
82-(0)43-271-4414 Fax

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