[Taxacom] Best usage - spp (no period) or spp.?

Stephen Thorpe stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz
Mon Oct 8 00:49:09 CDT 2012

the slight flaw in your argument, Geoff, is that spelling it out in full, the single and plural forms are the same, so it is actually *less ambiguous"  to use the abbreviated forms ...
... and nobody got my pun about Tony's original post being *pointless*! We must be entering a dark period in Taxacom ... ahem!
Stephen :)

From: Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>
To: Tony.Rees at csiro.au 
Cc: stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
Sent: Monday, 8 October 2012 6:24 PM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Best usage - spp (no period) or spp.?

Abbreviations might have been necessary when programming the Apollo 11
module in 1969 and in early databases. But I think we've largely moved on.
They can hamper understanding.

Spell it out in glorious full, "species" 7 letters, versus spp. 4
characters.  And there are people out there who don't have a clue what a
spp. might be.


On Mon, October 8, 2012 5:57 pm, Tony.Rees at csiro.au wrote:
> Stephen - it's not my call to make (in this case) which is why I am after
> some external guidance. And yes, it does matter when you are relying on
> computers to match "name strings" between one system and the next - or
> just for general internal tidiness / consistency between different
> versions of database content. Or just trying to get 50% of your taxonomist
> colleagues to change the habit of (half a) lifetime.
> The following would doubtless make interesting night time reading:
> Partridge, E. 1953: "You Have a Point There: A Guide to Punctuation and
> its Allies." Perhaps Mr Partridge's work would contain the answer, but I
> suspect not.
> Meanwhile I await others' views and guidance as initially stated,
> Cheers - Tony
> From: Stephen Thorpe [mailto:stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz]
> Sent: Monday, 8 October 2012 3:35 PM
> To: Rees, Tony (CMAR, Hobart); taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Cc: Gledhill, Daniel (CMAR, Hobart); Pogonoski, John (CMAR, Hobart);
> Gowlett-Holmes, Karen (CMAR, Hobart)
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Best usage - spp (no period) or spp.?
> Congrats Tony, you win hands down THE most pointlessly pedantic (and
> pedantically pointless) thread ever on Taxacom!!
> Here's a solution: choose an option, make it explicit, and stick with it
> ...
> Stephen
> From: "Tony.Rees at csiro.au<mailto:Tony.Rees at csiro.au>"
> <Tony.Rees at csiro.au<mailto:Tony.Rees at csiro.au>>
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> Cc: Daniel.Gledhill at csiro.au<mailto:Daniel.Gledhill at csiro.au>;
> John.Pogonoski at csiro.au<mailto:John.Pogonoski at csiro.au>;
> Karen.Gowlett-Holmes at csiro.au<mailto:Karen.Gowlett-Holmes at csiro.au>
> Sent: Monday, 8 October 2012 5:26 PM
> Subject: [Taxacom] Best usage - spp (no period) or spp.?
> Dear Taxacomers,
> I maintain a database here on marine species in Australian waters (called
> CAAB) covering largely zoology but also some marine plants, where for many
> years, those responsible for entering and maintaining the fishes component
> of the content have consistently preferred "spp" (no trailing period)

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