[Taxacom] ICZN - gender of genus-group name ending in -ops

David Campbell pleuronaia at gmail.com
Fri May 20 07:03:47 CDT 2016

It shouldn't be hard to have electronic databases recognize that -us, -a,
-um or -ensis, -ense or other common variations are the same word.  Such
variation occurs in the existing literature, even if we were to freeze
agreement at some point.  Similarly, various other misspellings need to be
recognized, although in many cases it will take a competent taxonomist
rather than a program to determine what are really different names and what
are errors.  Data entry and optical character recognition will continue to
introduce errors, especially with the apparent preference for crowdsourcing
over hiring competence.

On Fri, May 20, 2016 at 6:49 AM, Francisco Welter-Schultes <fwelter at gwdg.de>

> Actually the way lepidopterists proceed today has been initiated by
> Linnaeus himself. Among hundreds of butterfly specific names Linnaeus did
> not use one single declinable adjective that would have to change if placed
> in masculine or feminine genus. The lepidopterists have always had a
> special role, since the very beginning on. This is not because some folks
> in the past decades were lazy. This had initially been a supradisciplinary
> decision taken in 1758.
> So it would make sense to identify a mandatory change in a lepidopteran
> name as a subsequent spelling, not as a mandatory change under Art. 34.
> Possibly in some other less well-known disciplines we may have the same
> situation, I did not research that.
> I personally think that today the term "spelling" and its usage in
> regulations involving prevailing usage (Art. 33) should consider changes in
> the ending of adjectives, given that such changes are much more important
> in the electronic age than they had ever been before. We should think about
> inserting regulations in this direction. It would make sense because it
> would give more stability to the name usages and support the trend that
> only one set of letters is used for an animal in a scientific name.
> Francisco
> Am 20.05.2016 um 00:59 schrieb Michael A. Ivie:
>> On 5/19/2016 12:09 PM, Karl Magnacca wrote:
>>> ...
>>> Unfortunately, now that it's been the practice for 200 years, we're
>>> stuck with this unholy mess and no easy way to fix it...
>> Although I can hear the nashing of traditionalist's teeth as I write
>> this, it is actually very easy to fix it, and we are not stuck with it.
>> The Lepidopterists have fixed it, they simply use original spelling.  The
>> whole community has agreed to do this, and it works fine.  Since there is
>> no enforcement provisions in the Code, usage in the end determines
>> correctness.  All it takes is the will, and the execution is very easy.
>> I do not condone doing it the way the Lep folks have, i.e. outside the
>> Code system, but it is a reaction to frustration with arcane and archaic
>> strictures from the dim dark past.
>> When Linneaus and Fabricius wrote, they wrote in Latin, so of course they
>> used Latin grammar regarding gender, just was we use English verb agreement
>> when writing in English.  The enshrinement of using grammar from a language
>> not being used is an artificial construct. There is nothing about it that
>> is inevitable nor required.
>> Mike
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Dr. David Campbell
Assistant Professor, Geology
Department of Natural Sciences
Box 7270
Gardner-Webb University
Boiling Springs NC 28017

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