Vernacular concepts

Richard Pyle deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG
Tue Mar 1 14:49:46 CST 2005

> That latin names can be intimidating to a significant sector of
> human society may be unfortunate, and may even be "correctable"
> (e.g., kids
> seem to be able to deal with latin names for dinosaurs without
> difficulty) -- but is nevertheless undeniable reality of the
> present, and of
> the historical past.
> ***********
> Well, I reject this categorically.

I enjoyed your post, but must admit that I'm not sure what it is that you
categorically reject about what you quoted above.  Is it not undeniable
reality that historically (through to the present) there has been a
significant sector of human society (which extends well beyond western
society) that has not embraced scientific nomenclature?  I admit that
"intimidating" was probably the wrong word -- my bad. But surely a lot of
native Pacific islanders, for example, would feel some sense of intimidation
when looking at a latin bonomial name -- just as I feel some level of
intimidation when looking at or trying to pronounce Pacific island names of

You seem only to agree with my point that it is "correctable", but not
really disagree with anything I said.

> Real vernacular names are the common names used by the farmers in
> what ever country they are in.

ABSOLUTELY!  And there are a great many more of them than there are people
who use "english" vernacular names. Clearly you accept their preference for
vernacular names as "undeniable reality"


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