[Taxacom] Neoromicia nanus or Neoromicia nana?

Francisco Welter-Schultes fwelter at gwdg.de
Tue Jan 14 09:07:42 CST 2014


Laurent,

"prevailing usage" is no solution for such a problem either. I am strictly
in favour of refining Art. 33.2.3.1 and Art. 33.3.1 in that for
determining "prevailing usage" there should be clear provisions, in a form
they were established for Art. 23.9.1 (reversal of precedence). These
rules should include provisions that the involved names must be frequently
used, and that a certain spelling must be definitely regarded as incorrect
after establishing a valid nomenclatural act. In the current form the
regulation is too arbitrary.

The experience tells us that in their current form the rules implying
"prevailing usage" produce more conflicts than they actually help. In the
few years that have passed after this rule was introduced we have
accumulated a significant number of totally useless and undesired debates
in publications in the malacological community about the correct spellings
of certain molluscan names that are used once in a decade or so.

People start citing six publications from the past 50 years and argue that
a misspelling is in prevailing usage because only in two papers the name
was spelled correctly. Others introduce a misspelling and use that one in
two subsequent papers and a few internet resources, and 3 years later they
argue the misspelling is in prevailing usage. All this is often associated
with serious conflicts that quickly lead to hostility among competing
colleagues in the same animal group. This is not a good development. The
nomenclatural rules should promote more harmony in the community, because
if more people work together this gives better scientific results.

Francisco

> Chris,
>
> On 01/14/2014 02:20 PM, Chris Thompson wrote:
>> 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!"
>
> The "Tubbs" clause doesn't apply here, I fear.
>
> The Code recognises three types of subsequent spellings (Art.33.1):
> - emendations,
> - incorrect subsequent spellings, and
> - mandatory changes.
> There is a clause protecting prevailing usage in the case of (otherwise)
> unjustified emendations (Art.33.2.3.1) and in the case of (otherwise)
> incorrect subsequent spelling (33.3.1). A change in ending due to gender
> agreement is neither: it is a mandatory change, covered by Art.34.2.
> There is no clause protecting prevailing usage in this case.
>
> Cheers, Laurent -
>
>
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Francisco Welter-Schultes
Zoologisches Institut, Berliner Str. 28, D-37073 Goettingen
Phone +49 551 395536
http://www.animalbase.org





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