[Taxacom] canliculate

John Grehan calabar.john at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 13:16:49 CDT 2020

It would be nice if there were a good word for u-shaped, and also for a
u-shape that curves medially towards the distal ends (sort of like the
Greeek letter omega), but if there isn't, then there isn't ,and will I
manage anyway.

John Grehan

On Tue, Aug 4, 2020 at 2:06 PM Les Watling via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> I was curious about canaliculate being used to describe a U-shaped
> structure so I checked various dictionaries online. One a medical
> dictionary made the distinction between canliculate and valleculate. The
> former is more like a canal, i.e., with steep sides, and the latter is more
> wide valley-like. In the medical dictionary the valleculate is used for
> wide depressions and canaliculate for narrower, probably more steep-sided
> depressions.
> Geologists tend to just use U-shaped or V-shaped for valleys carved by
> glaciers (in the former case) or rivers and streams (in the latter case),
> but it seems that maybe medicine and botany have coined specific terms,
> based most likely on Latin words, for structures or features with specific
> attributes.
> When I first started out in taxonomic work, I was concerned that my
> vocabulary of adjectives, in particular, was not very good. So, I bought a
> book called Bersteins Reverse Dictionary, which helped a lot, but wasn't as
> easy to use as one might think.
> In the end, in taxonomy, words are great if their meaning is not too broad
> or ambiguous, but I can also agree with Ken Kinman that maybe using
> "U-shaped" is better than trying to come up with a word that has more
> precision than that....
> Best,
> Les
> Les Watling
> Professor, Dept. of Biology
> 216 Edmondson Hall
> University of Hawaii at Manoa
> Honolulu, HI 96822
> Ph. 808-956-8621
> Cell: 808-772-9563
> e-mail: watling at hawaii.edu
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