[Taxacom] latin out of botany

Curtis Clark lists at curtisclark.org
Thu Jul 21 00:40:12 CDT 2011

On 7/20/2011 9:37 AM, Jacques Melot wrote:
> [J. M.]   C'est-à-dire... « English or Latin ».
> C'est bien ce que je disais : beaucoup
> d'anglophones ne connaissent plus la fonction de
> « or »... et les inconditionnels de l'anglais
> prétendents pourtant imposer cette langue comme
> langue universelle de la botanique !
The existence of the mathematical operator "xor" (exclusive "or") is 
clear evidence that "or" in English once meant the same as "and/or" of 
modern usage. English evolves faster than most perennial plant species. 
How can using it for diagnosis be a good thing?

I am reminded of an article I once reviewed that contained diagnoses in 
both Latin and English. I glanced at the English and went on to the 
Latin, which was, in part, incomprehensible. I went back to the English. 
It had one or two nouns modifying another noun (it was long enough ago 
that I don't remember the wording), a common source of ambiguity in 
English. As a native English speaker, I subconsciously resolved the 
ambiguity, but the authors had tried to maintain the words as nouns in 
Latin, leading to incomprehension without reference to the English.

Curtis Clark
Cal Poly Pomona

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