[Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

Rafaël Govaerts R.Govaerts at kew.org
Tue Jan 14 07:40:19 CST 2014


Chris wrote " So, as I once proposed, the ICZN could be simplified and greatly reduced if the historical factor of language / gender was removed."

I know that in zoology there is more focus on the original spelling than in botany. I do therefore not agree that it would be "simplified" as in Botany you automatically know what the ending is if you know the gender (which you can deduce from other species or the genus). If this link was broken then you would not be able to know the ending from looking at the names (even if you were very familiar with the group) you would have to go to a certified database to find out. I don't see how all that checking and rechecking would simplify matters.
Rafaël

-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Chris Thompson
Sent: 14 January 2014 13:20
To: Francisco Welter-Schultes; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

All:

Sorry, but a little history ...

Yes, when Linnaeus started his Systema Naturae, Latin was the accepted, universal language of science / scholarship / etc.

but our Science (at least Zoology) has moved on from there.

Today a name is simply an universal, unique tag for a concept that denotes what we call a "species," and an indicator of where we place the species in a hierarchical classification.

So, as I once proposed, the ICZN could be simplified and greatly reduced if the historical factor of language / gender was removed.

Unfortunately, a significant portion of people objected.

So, today we now have had to build a new registration system (ZooBank) and create digital identifiers as these people objected to adapting the old system to the new digital interconnected world, etc.

HOWEVER, as a practical solution for all who proposed new species-group names, they can declare that those new names are simply "arbitrary combination of letters ... to be used as a word." If done, then their ending does not change.  And the best practice is always to have a derivation paragraph / sentence to explain to future users what you as the original author intended the name to be, etc.

As for the past, beware of Art. 33.3.1, what I call the "Tubbs" clause. That is, regardless of whether name is properly or improperly formed originally, the "... spelling ... in prevailing usage ...  is deemed to be the correct original spelling."

So, one needs only to determine whether Neoromicia nanus is used more than Neoromicia nana. Language is irrelevant as usage determined the "correct original spelling!"

Oh, well

Sincerely,

Chris



-----Original Message-----
From: Francisco Welter-Schultes
Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 7:26 AM
To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?


> On 1/13/14 11:11 AM, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
>> This is perhaps a good example of why the Code requires simplification?
>> Endless debate over Latin grammar doesn't really help biological
>> understanding!
>>
> I figured you wouldn't be able to restrain yourself. This is precisely
> why I commented that we can use registration to solve the problem. Once
> a name is registered as a noun or adjective, the debate ENDS.

I am not in favour of a rule that the First Person to Place an Entry into
an electronic data resource has the right to take such a decision and to
stop a debate in this form. There must be escape rules what to do if the
entry is incorrect, and there again the debate would continue.

>
> Robert's arguments, BTW, are sound, but the ICZN does indeed work
> differently from botany; if a name can be either a noun or an adjective
> (which is what is claimed for nanus), then it is noun by default under
> Art. 31.2.2.

I also regard this point as valid, however I do not consider this as a
useful rule. It seems the rule is not used in the community, at least not
strictly, and at least not by the malacological community. It should be
replaced by a better rule in the next edition. I fully agree with Stephen.

Francisco

Francisco Welter-Schultes
Zoologisches Institut, Berliner Str. 28, D-37073 Goettingen
Phone +49 551 395536
http://www.animalbase.org


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