[Taxacom] Goddess Changes Sex, or the Gender Game: Polistes dominula

Scott Lyell Gardner slg at unl.edu
Mon Oct 22 22:37:56 CDT 2018


Karen: Very cool pointer to Brown's Composition of Scientific Words. We 
will use this for sure. Also, I can point out our online dictionary of 
invertebrate zoology by Maggenti. It can be found here: 
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/onlinedictinvertzoology/2/

On 10/22/2018 6:16 PM, Karen Wilson wrote:
> Further to this general discussion, for those who have not heard of Brown's 'Composition of Scientific Words', it is available online at https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__archive.org_details_compositionofsci00brow_page_n0&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=P_58xN2m5ELn2ct4w8lxaA&m=EI34D_yQJdOqcVq1z-HtWvSTjrtQzxQvBkU6b9qBWVI&s=Pf-7dNnXM9faMKvOBGv-zuefdvvdMGf4fHp6iGD6Dkw&e=
> The hardcopy book is still available - see the Smithsonian website: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.smithsonianbooks.com_store_science-2Dnature_composition-2Dscientific-2Dwords_&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=P_58xN2m5ELn2ct4w8lxaA&m=EI34D_yQJdOqcVq1z-HtWvSTjrtQzxQvBkU6b9qBWVI&s=BxHxzzqDh9cCl3_fLSvxCX3XWbqQ2L50tc-P3GpMvwM&e=
> It is invaluable both for its general discussion of Latin and (ancient) Greek grammar and for its extensive vocabulary with numerous examples of scientific names.
>
> Karen Wilson
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________________________________________
> Karen L. Wilson AM
> National Herbarium of New South Wales
>
> Adjunct Associate Professor, University of New England, Armidale, NSW
> Secretary, General Committee, International Code of Nomenclature for Algae, Fungi & Plants
>
> Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands
> T +61 (02) 9231 8137 | E karen.wilson at rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
> Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> On Behalf Of Sean Edwards
> Sent: Tuesday, 23 October 2018 3:08 AM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Goddess Changes Sex, or the Gender Game: Polistes dominula
>
>   From Wikipedia: https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Polistes-5Fdominula&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=P_58xN2m5ELn2ct4w8lxaA&m=EI34D_yQJdOqcVq1z-HtWvSTjrtQzxQvBkU6b9qBWVI&s=LeLyDV1q4zCmoIIsQja0AtvdiKuwj6PYpVd4oq7RZkY&e=
>
> "The European paper wasp was originally described in 1791 by Johann Ludwig Christ <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Johann-5FLudwig-5FChrist&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=P_58xN2m5ELn2ct4w8lxaA&m=EI34D_yQJdOqcVq1z-HtWvSTjrtQzxQvBkU6b9qBWVI&s=Da8vWtFhRzage8ZLapMKnVbBx7XcT7ddd00WP5R1Wk0&e=> as /Vespa dominula/. The specific epithet <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Specific-5Fname-5F-28zoology-29&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=P_58xN2m5ELn2ct4w8lxaA&m=EI34D_yQJdOqcVq1z-HtWvSTjrtQzxQvBkU6b9qBWVI&s=qLEaIL5bBW42k0tQ1keYg1JLNXIkm_cqqB55DK5Ii9Q&e=> //dominula// is a noun meaning "little mistress",^[4] <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Polistes-5Fdominula-23cite-5Fnote-2D4&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=P_58xN2m5ELn2ct4w8lxaA&m=EI34D_yQJdOqcVq1z-HtWvSTjrtQzxQvBkU6b9qBWVI&s=zom6jOSNZ5yuRtdealQ1VAMLFrDhUy6kv45f5czo0BI&e=> and following the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_International-5FCode-5Fof-5FZoological-5FNomenclature&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=P_58xN2m5ELn2ct4w8lxaA&m=EI34D_yQJdOqcVq1z-HtWvSTjrtQzxQvBkU6b9qBWVI&s=PuQ4rIWrH554k2S6bG3tIqYZhzHqmWjwB80I8IaUaTA&e=>,
> species epithets which are nouns do not change when a species is placed in a different genus. Authors who were unaware that /dominula/ was a noun have misspelled the species name as "dominulus" for decades.
> Another cause of the confusion in the species' name was the ambiguous distinction between masculine and feminine genitive nouns.^[5] <https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__en.wikipedia.org_wiki_Polistes-5Fdominula-23cite-5Fnote-2D5&d=DwIGaQ&c=Cu5g146wZdoqVuKpTNsYHeFX_rg6kWhlkLF8Eft-wwo&r=P_58xN2m5ELn2ct4w8lxaA&m=EI34D_yQJdOqcVq1z-HtWvSTjrtQzxQvBkU6b9qBWVI&s=k_JyYtnv66daTx_i3MlA9Nb2ydL5XA1bosOtNOIp91g&e=> ."
>
> It's remarkable what bryologists chance upon.
>
> Sean
>
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>
> Sean Edwards, Thursley, Surrey
> email: sean.r.edwards at btinternet.com
>
>
> On 20/10/2018 16:23, John Grehan wrote:
>> In reference to some brief discussion of gender rules in taxonomy I
>> have appended below the text from an article on the subject that may
>> be of passing interest. First published just over 50 years ago and
>> seems to be still relevant today. Any mistyping my responsibility.
>>
>> John Grehan
>>
>> Goddess Changes Sex, or the Gender Game
>>
>> John R. G. Turner
>>
>> Systematic Zoology, Vol. 16, No. 4 (Dec., 1967), pp. 349-350
>>
>> In his recent criticism of the gender rule in zoological nomenclature,
>> Moore (1966) discusses the difficulty of deciding on the gender of a genus:
>> he does not mention a problem that I have found most teasing –
>> discovering whether a specific name is substantive, and therefore
>> invariant, or adjectival, and therefore with a variable ending. It may
>> be reasonable to expect zoologists to manage  -*us, -a, -um* endings
>> and the more awake ones to manage  *-is, -is, -e,* but they can hardly
>> be expected to have an extensive knowledge of Latin and Greek
>> adjectives, much less of classical mythology. The sneaking pleasure
>> that I, and perhaps others, derive from exercising scholastic
>> pedantry, thereby feeling in touch with the great stream of Western
>> Culture, hardly compensates for the time spent hunting through Latin and Greek dictionaries.
>>
>> In working on the evolution of the South American butterfly genus
>> *Heliconius* (e.g. Turner, 1965) I have had to sort out some of its
>> very tangled systematics and nomenclature. The trouble is that there
>> is a tradition going right back to Linnaeus of giving the species the
>> names of nymphs and muses (*Heliconius* = dweller on Mount Helicon),
>> so that one has a masculine genus with a feminine species; moreover,
>> there was at one time a feminine genus *Heliconia*, now in synonymy,
>> with which some of the adjectival names agreed. As classical names ran
>> out, systematists named the butterflies after their wives, rivers with
>> classical-sounding names, saints and opera-heroines; one needs to know
>> not only mythology, but biogeography, geography, hagiography, and musicology.
>>
>> Understandably, systematists have changed endings that should have
>> remained, and unable to master the many names of Venus and all the
>> other ladies, have come up with *cytherus, veustus *(“Scandal in
>> temple. Vestal Virgins say *We are just good friends*”), *eulalius,
>> egerius, antigonus,
>> lucius* and so on. Now these are deliberate emendations, and under the
>> *Code *are strictly junior synonyms, to be taken into account in
>> future revisions. In addition to these very clear cases, there are
>> some that are almost impossible to decide, at least without consulting
>> a classicist. Did Linnaeus intend *charitonia*, frequently rendered
>> *charitonius* (from *Charites*, the Graces), to be an artificial noun
>> or an adjective, and if the latter, why did he not make it agree with
>> its genus (*Papilio* at that time)? Did Cramer intend *numata* to be
>> some obscure nymph (an appellation of Egeria perhaps, who taught the
>> mythical Numa), or did he just mis-spell
>> *nummata* (=wealthy); and again, why did it not agree? (See also
>> Turner,
>> 1967.)
>>
>> The gender rule not only promotes instability of names which are
>> adjectival, it wastes much time in deciding difficult cases, and when
>> a hard-worked zoologist does not notice that the name is substantive,
>> results in an unnecessary synonym. Surely, the only sensible thing to
>> do is retain the original spelling of all names (Barring misprints),
>> even as far as the termination.
>>
>> John R.G. Turner
>> Department of Biology
>> University of York,
>> York, England
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-- 
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Scott Lyell Gardner, Ph.D.
AAAS Fellow
Curator and Professor
Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology
W-529 Nebraska Hall
University of Nebraska State Museum and
School of Biological Sciences
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0514

e-mail:   slg at unl.edu
Web:      http://hwml.unl.edu


Phone:    402-472-3334
Fax:       402-472-8949
Cell:       402-540-9310

If we don't work to describe and preserve biodiversity now,
our descendants will be very upset.  -slg

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Courier address:

Scott L. Gardner
900 North 16th Street
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