Usurped names

SEAN EDWARDS sean.r.edwards at BTINTERNET.COM
Mon Sep 26 09:52:37 CDT 2005


Curtis Clark <jcclark-lists at EARTHLINK.NET> wrote: On 2005-09-25 14:15, SEAN EDWARDS wrote:
> This excludes the huge group of folk taxonomy names such as grass,
> moss, celandine and so on, that are phylogenetically incorrect

Although I find these cases etymologically interesting, I hardly think
there is a case to be made for vernacular names having "phylogenetic
correctness". It's hard enough to do that with Linnaean names (witness
Phylocode), and it seems pretty pointless with vernacular names.

(One of my favorites is:
newt::salamander::gopher::tortoise::turtle::dove
where each name can be ambiguous with the ones on either side.)
Misunderstanding, sorry Curtis. I'd never suggested common names should be phylogenetically correct, indeed effectively the opposite, that's the whole "point" of them, they carry different information.  This was really an aside to exclude such examples.  Did, for example, the gopher get known as a tortoise because they got used instead of them, or vice versa? Crunchy little things gophers are these days, but not as fast as Grandma said....




Sean Edwards, Vine Cottage, Thursley, Surrey GU8 6QF, UK
sean.r.edwards at btinternet.com
tel: 01252-702-890 cell: 07768-706-295




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