[Taxacom] validation of taxon names

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Fri Feb 24 13:34:12 CST 2012

Hi Bradley,

> This sub-thread about what to call the "parts" of a taxon name highlights
> another confusing disconnect between the languages of botany and zoology.
> I spend part of my time working on biodiversity informatics projects
> both botanists and zoologists. You would not believe the unproductive
> coding errors this little difference in terminology has caused.

Actually....yes I would.  I think it was at the TDWG meeting in Christchurch
when a bunch of us data nerds from both the zoology camp and botany camp got
together in a room to hammer out Taxon Name stuff, and it was mind-boggling
how difficult the conversation was due to these subtle but critical
differences in vocabulary between the disciplines. If even the
taxonomy-based data nerds had so much trouble communicating with each other,
you can imagine how hard it was to explain all this stuff to a
non-taxonomist coder.

I've always wanted to build a dictionary of unnecessarily confusing terms in
our domain.  The obvious ones are "species", "name", "valid", etc.  But once
you throw in the IT domain, a whole new suite of confusing & homonymous
terms emerge ("Class", "Type", "Natural Key", "Identification", etc.)

> I know the ICBN and ICZN are officially independent, but there are times
> when I think it would benefit everyone to standardize at least some of our
> terminology.


And, in particular:

Table 1, on pp. 17-18, is particularly helpful.


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