[Taxacom] globalnames?

Dean Pentcheff pentcheff at gmail.com
Mon Sep 21 16:07:35 CDT 2009

I couldn't agree more with the desirability of using unabbreviated
information in text documents.

How much paper has been saved by abbreviating journal names? And how
many years of researchers' lives were wasted trying to resolve them?


Dean Pentcheff
pentcheff at gmail.com

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 1:30 PM, Geoffrey Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz> wrote:
> 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
> point).
> 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.
> Geoff
> 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?
> And elsewhere:
>> So, who mentioned databases and primary keys? The string of characters is
>> for human consumption to disambiguate.
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