[Taxacom] Is "deprecation" a taxonomic term or informatics jargon has crept into taxonomic literature?

Curtis Clark lists at curtisclark.org
Fri Aug 19 21:06:10 CDT 2011

On 8/19/2011 10:40 AM, Dan Lahr wrote:
> My question is could it be that informatics jargon is already creeping
> into the taxonomic thinking and literature (yes I do consider online
> material literature) or is this an isolated incident?  If this is not
> an accident, how prepared are we to deal with the merging of
> jargon/meanings/semantics from both worlds?

"Deprecated" has a very specific meaning in information technology, 
referring to a feature or syntax that can still be used in a specific 
programming language, or markup, or character encoding, or whatever, but 
that is recommended against because it may be eliminated from future 

It has a meaning in English that is similar but not identical. 
Reference.com says
1. to express earnest disapproval of.
2. to urge reasons against; protest against (a scheme, purpose, etc.).
3. to depreciate; belittle.
Of its etymology, Wiktionary says 'From Latin deprecatus, past 
participle of deprecari (“to pray against (a present or impending evil), 
pray for, intercede for (that which is in danger), rarely imprecate”) < 
de (“off”) + precari (“to pray”).'

I'm guessing that the information technology use is probably the most 
common even in recent print publications (outside of writing about 
literature, perhaps).

I think the use in nomenclature is unnecessarily imprecise, since there 
are several ways in which a name can be "deprecated", and certainly the 
"deprecation" of Reptilia means something totally different from the 
deprecation of Acacia for the African species, which is itself different 
from the deprecation under the ICBN of a later homonym or a nomen nudum.

But I can see why the word is used.

Curtis Clark
Cal Poly Pomona

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