[Taxacom] Objective synonyms?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Sun May 30 16:38:10 CDT 2010

I actually agree with you that we should leave terms like "synonym" with the loose intuitive meanings that they indeed have. However, some among us (the more "anal" personalities) seem to think that these terms have more precise "official" definitions, which they do not, despite the efforts of those who write glossaries. The only problem with the lack of such "tight" definitions could be when it comes to computer-based bioinformatics projects (computers don't like loose intuitive definitions!)

The problem with species names in particular is that they entangle naming with taxonomic (generic) placement, which leads to headaches if you try to be too precise about what is going on

The role of taxonomy in the current world is unaffected by any of this - we could just as easily be arguing over precise definitions in economics, yet money still uncontroversially plays an important role in the current world ...


From: Gregor Hagedorn <g.m.hagedorn at gmail.com>
To: TAXACOM <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Mon, 31 May, 2010 9:08:36 AM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Objective synonyms?

I hope this thread helps to clarify definitions in the codes, so users
of taxonomy can use intuitive concepts like "synonym" in a normal

Sadly, it strikes my that this (public!) discussion supplies a prime
argument for anyone doubting whether taxonomy has a role in the
current world.



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