[Taxacom] labeling redescriptions properly

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Sep 8 19:45:56 CDT 2011

I am just as happy with "sensu" as with "sec." -- I'll go along with
whatever the community consensus is.  

But just to be clear, "sec." has been in use since the 1990's.  Maybe you
can fault Berendsohn for not going with "sensu" back then, but the point is
that we're not *now* introducing the term "sec." for this purpose as a new
convention.  It is a term that has been used, and is now in current active
use, that was introduced in response to a perception that "sensu" had a more
specific meaning.  Maybe now "sensu" has a less specific meaning, and can
fill this need (prior to Berendsohn's article, I had previously used "sensu"
for this purpose).

>From the tone of your message, it seemed as though you were insinuating that
"sec." is only now being introduced as a new convention.   This is not the


> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-
> bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Geoff Read
> Sent: Thursday, September 08, 2011 2:20 PM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] labeling redescriptions properly
> In that article Berendsohn introduces "potential taxon" and states the
> notation for such "extends that for misapplied names, for which the term
> "sensu:" is in common use, and might make use of the designation
> "secundum" (according to; abbreviated "sec." ) followed by an appropriate
> reference."
> Sensu is unambiguous, instantly understandable by lay people, not a
> common abbreviation used for a myriad of other concepts, acronyms, etc, as
> is the abbreviation 'sec' with or without the stop.  Sensu is not at all
> to misapplied names in my experience - sensu Brown could be the correct
> interpretation after sensu White who was off beam.
> Sorry, I can't see introducing 'sec' as being a necessary or wise
> to the already enough complicated world of nomenclature.
> Those 3 letters have too much baggage, & are too widely used elsewhere for
> other things.
> If you want to use 3 letter arbitrary indicators how about 'arf'
> (phonetic abbreviation of 'after'). Then we could have Formica sanguinea
> Latreille arf. arf. Smith 1853 (for his second concept use after 1951 that
> That would be sure to make non-taxonomists take us seriously.
> Geoff  :^)  [but slightly despairing of where this is going]
> On Fri, September 9, 2011 9:00 am, Richard Pyle wrote:
> [...]
> > The definition for "sec" under GNUB is that established by Walter
> > Berendsohn in one of his early publications on modeling taxonomic
> > data.  The reason "sec" is visible under ZooBank is that ZooBank is a
> > service that sits on top of GNUB.  I would encourage people to refer
> > to Walter's publications for why "sec." was selected instead of
> > "sensu". Probably check this one:
> >
> > Berendsohn W.G. 1995. The concept of "potential taxa" in databases.
> > Taxon
> > 44: 207-212.
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