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

David Redei david.redei at gmail.com
Sat May 21 10:22:15 CDT 2016


I have nothing against generic names like Bob or Do or Abudefduf, I do not
want to have meaningful and euphonious names for all taxa; arbitrary
combinations of letters or names taken from any languages are just fine for
me. But if a name is a Latin or a Latinized Greek word, then I prefer to
treat it as a Latin or Latinized Greek word.

I agree with you that there is an apparent decrease in quality in respect
of treating names. However, there are good examples as well, I know some
editors who do great job in this respect, e.g. the editorial team of Acta
Entomologica Musei Nationalis Pragae pays lots of attention on the
nomenclature in papers published by them. I frequently review MS-s for
various journals and I have seen several dozens of badly formed Greek-Latin
names, in such cases I always give a suggestion to the author for a
grammatically proper name, and (as far as I remember) so far everybody
accepted my suggestions happily. The proper answer for the problem of the
"linguistically challenged zoologists" should be more careful manuscript
processing, and not abandoning rules and putting ignorance as standard. I
can understand that it is difficult, and some might claim that why should
Zootaxa publish only 3 carefully edited papers per day if they can publish
300 hastily and carelessly edited ones, but I do not think it is the good

Best regards, David

On 21 May 2016 at 06:12, Stephen Thorpe <stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz> wrote:

> Hi David,
> Some taxonomists (old school, which is not a put down, and I include
> myself here) want meaningful, euphonious and grammatical names for taxa.
> Others just want identifiers, and in between are a growing group who don't
> care as long as it looks and sounds enough like Latin/Greek and they can
> get away with it. There are generic names like Bob and Do, names like
> Ostreacryptus clarkae ("Helen Clark's Hidden Oyster Beetle"!) named for the
> author's favourite food (oysters) and the then N.Z. Prime Minister (Helen
> Clark), etc., etc. Journals like Zootaxa are far too interested in pushing
> out as many papers as possible to worry too much about quality control.
> Everybody has their own ideas on which way of doing things is best. Some
> taxonomists do very well by publishing lots of padded out nothingness,
> others get little recognition for taking the time to get things right. It's
> a jungle out there ...
> Cheers,
> Stephen

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