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

Steve Halford halford at sfu.ca
Mon Oct 8 17:15:22 CDT 2012

"Haven't heard anyone say the equivalent of Drosophila ess pee pee
stop in a lecture."

Victor Borge did  offer a solution with "Phonetic Punctuation."

Steve Halford (halford at sfu.ca)
Museum Technician
Department of Biological Sciences
Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, B.C. Canada               Phone
V5A 1S6                                  778-782-3461

On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 12:37 AM, Geoffrey Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz> wrote:
>  Sheep farmers seem to cope ok.
> "I'm a sheeps farmer"?  Haven't seen it used lately. And how do you
> differentiate between sp. and spp. in speech, if say a blind person was
> trying to use the CAAB info read out by the computer?  How do we do say
> them? Same for both, right. Haven't heard anyone say the equivalent of
> Drosophila ess pee pee stop in a lecture. It's species everytime, plural
> or singular.  And we understand.
>  Not sure how Tony's system uses 'species' outside of sentences and his
> opening search page where he has 'spp' several times labelling various
> tick boxes. Those would look better if spelled out. There sure is enough
> room to do so.
> If it ever it matters at all elsewhere there's context and the use of
> appropriate preceeding articles.
> So there :-)
> Geoff
> On Mon, October 8, 2012 6:49 pm, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
>> 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.
>> Geoff
>> 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)
> gread at actrix.gen.nz
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