So much for nomenclatural stability

Barry Roth barry_roth at YAHOO.COM
Tue Mar 8 11:01:55 CST 2005

Parky Sharkey, my guru on matters of systematics, was over this morning -- odd
to see him abroad by daylight! -- and I showed him the BBC News article.

"How backward those Turks are!" he said.  "If they were living in the 21st
century they'd know that the way you do these things is to get your own team of
scientists to do a study that shows that the offending subspecies is not
taxonomically significant.  Then the name goes down into synonymy, and you move
on.  Preble's jumping-mouse."

"I'm sure that's an unfair comparison, Parky," I said.  Then I remembered
"Jefferson."  People in some northern California counties once mounted a
movement to secede from the state of California.  They were going to call their
newly independent state "Jefferson."  The name still has some regional currency
as a monicker of local pride.  I had planned to name one of a number of
undescribed snails from the region "jeffersonensis," but now I thought, what if
my federal government takes a cue from the Turks and decides that name is
secessionist, and politically harmful, and suppresses it?  The folks in
Washington had been doing some decidedly retrograde things lately.
International conventions like the ICZN didn't stand a chance.

Parky removed three beers from the fridge to take with him on his shift.  One
more than usual.  "I'm taking one for Parkina, okay?"

Parkina was Parky's sister.  I had never met her, but she seemed to like beer.

Barry Roth

--- Matt Buys <BuysMH at PUKNET.PUK.AC.ZA> wrote:
> For those of you who may be interested, Turkey plans to change the latin
> names of three animals found on its territory to remove references to
> Kurdistan or Armenia.
>
> Matt

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