[Taxacom] FW: formation of zoological names with Mc, Mac, et

Stephen Thorpe s.thorpe at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Sep 2 01:23:45 CDT 2009

No way! The authority/date should be thought of as part of the name! The authority is only indirectly about a person. The authority for a taxon is however the surname of the author of that taxon is spelled in the original publication, i.e., it is a "nominal person". If it is Smith, then the authority is just Smith. The name needs to be linked to the original publication is some other (external) way. The only reason for having dates as part of names is because of PRIORITY, NOT to point to a publication. Ideally, in a database, a name needs to be followed by a field pointing to the original publication, maybe like this:

Examplus primus Smith, 1970
Original publication: J. Smith, 1970a

From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Tony.Rees at csiro.au [Tony.Rees at csiro.au]
Sent: Wednesday, 2 September 2009 6:02 p.m.
To: jim.croft at gmail.com; fwelter at gwdg.de
Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] FW: formation of zoological names with Mc, Mac, et

Jim Croft wrote:

I am getting quite worried about all this 'sanitization' of authorish
strings as though it has some sort of nomenclatural, taxonomic or
operational validity.  The author and date are not part of the name -
they are attributes of a particular use of the name.

Sounds a lot like operational and taxonomic validity to me. In the cases of homonyms at least, we need to distinguish between usages of a name - different authors/years/publications/pages, different usages, often different taxonomic status (nomen nudum or whatever). If we can't link together authority citations that are not identical but which are variant references to the same published name instance, then they all look like different name usages, which is incorrect.

- Tony


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