Vernacular concepts

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Tue Mar 1 21:25:30 CST 2005

Well, strict cladists are slowly making inroads on messing up vernacular names as well as the formal Latin taxa.  What does the vernacular "amphibian" or "reptile" or "dinosaur" mean.  Generally it would mean what I would classify in Class Amphibia or Class Reptilia or Order Dinosauriformes.  But if you are talking to a strict cladist, it all depends on which strict cladist you are talking to (especially when it comes to reptiles or even birds).  And what most of us call dinosaurs, they would often insist on calling "non-avian dinosaurs".  But even more unfortunately, their debate over what constitute Aves even renders that phrase increasingly nebulous, so now it is often "non-avialian dinosaurs".  Paraphylophobia began at the scientific level, but it is inevitably trickling down to confound the vernacular as well.
  ----Ken Kinman
Herb wrote:
     One advantage to colloquial names is that they are free from the "strict cladists," "phylocoders" and all the rest of us.

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