gread at actrix.gen.nz
Mon Sep 21 15:30:17 CDT 2009
Yes. There should be no human disambiguating necessary. The era for
abbreviating Smith and creating cryptic little code sets of letters has
gone. Especially for web pages aiming to communicate with the
un-botanically tutored. Same for all obfuscating abbreviating anywhere
that has the effect of adding a barrier to comprehension. Once the full
name has a record as in the IPNI, subsequent uses can be in whatever form
is appropriate for the situation.
The three John Smiths I conjured up in IPNI were actually disambiguated by
their birth-death years, whereas the user abbreviations of IPNI for them
are hardly intuitive. One of them is "J.Sm.Dalry" and I have no idea where
the 'Dalry' comes from (I don't need to know thanks - just making a
Harping on about one letter abbreviations for genus names again - I've
just read a paper in which there was a table of character states and a
tree diagram presented, neither of which had the genera names, nor were
they conveniently in the captions. So what I had to do to understand the
paper was go back and forth through the text, find the genera names (well
dispersed in the text) and pencil them in on the table. I shouldn't need
to do that and I could have been doing something else with the time it
took. The authors unnecessarily created a barrier to comprehension of
their work. Full text rather than abbreviations please if possible.
On Mon, September 21, 2009 6:39 pm, Paul Kirk wrote:
> You conveniently didn't answer the question - which was - would you
> support (promote) the use of 'Smith' for all 120 Smith's rather than an
> unambiguous abbreviation?
> So, who mentioned databases and primary keys? The string of characters is
> for human consumption to disambiguate.
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