[Taxacom] Language tags for scientific names

Andy Mabbett andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Sat Jun 28 03:08:45 CDT 2008

In message 
<a9f8e03f0806272049q64820e45tc23ffabdb4821728 at mail.gmail.com>, Jim Croft 
<jim.croft at gmail.com> writes

>if we want to extract meaning from "what follows", another tool is 
>required.  In this case, that a horticulturist might be able to infer 
>that we are talking a about some sort of big flowered Ericaceae is a 
>byproduct based on prior knowledge and context and not a result of the 
>information construct.
>If we were to use "zxx-taxon" for this purpose the message would seem 
>to to a potentially confusing "what follows is not a language but if 
>you were to treat it as language it is the sort of language you might 
>use to label a taxon".

More specifically, it would be saying "what follows is not a language, 
but if you were to treat it as language, use the language-rules 
(spelling, pronunciation, etc.) for taxonomic names" (taxon in this case 
being shorthand for taxonomy, not a noun).

>RFC 4646 does not appear to say we are not allowed to do this sort of 
>thing.  But given that we are talking meaning rather than language, I 
>am not convinced that we should.

I don't think we are talking about meaning. I repeat the question in my 
previous post: in what language is "Passer domesticus" written? And, by 
implication, how should it be pronounced? What language-rules apply?

Andy Mabbett

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