So much for nomenclatural stability

Richard Petit r.e.petit at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Wed Mar 9 10:15:17 CST 2005

Dr. Lammers note about "vile names" brings to mind some of the comments made
by early workers on mollusks where Linnaeus' analogies with human anatomy
went rather wild.  Maton & Rackett in 1804 wrote of some Linnaean names that
"however strongly they may be warrented by the similitudes and analogies
which they express, and which when so pointed out are of great advantage to
the language of science are not altogether reconcilable with the delicacy
proper to be observed in ordinary discourse; nor are they such, perhaps, as
should be employed on any occasions, except when their original
signification is immediately implicated."  Other writers, in a field in
which British ministers played a prominent part in the early 19th century,
expressed dismay about shells with names that could not be used in
conversations with the opposite sex.

Dick P.
r.e.petit at

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