[Taxacom] the family Tortricidae or just Tortricidae

Richard Jensen rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Wed Oct 14 12:26:47 CDT 2020


By my reckoning, the two statements below

    1. The family Tortricidae
    2. The Tortricidae

are grammatically equivalent and I would recommend "is" for both.  Family
is implicit in the second statement because that's what Tortricidae is; the
word "family" is redundant. In fact, "The" in both statements is also
unnecessary.

Cheers,

Dick

On Wed, Oct 14, 2020 at 2:34 AM Gurcharan Singh via Taxacom <
taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:

> My understanding
> - The family Tortricidae: is (Group belonging to a particular category)
> - The Tortricidae: are [Group of several members)
>
>
>
>
> Dr. Gurcharan Singh
> Retired  Associate Professor
> SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi, Delhi-110007
> Res: 932 Anand Kunj, Vikas Puri, New Delhi-110018.
> Mob: 9810359089
> https://www.gurcharanfamily.com/
>
>
> On Wed, Oct 14, 2020 at 9:58 AM Soowon Cho via Taxacom <
> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
>
> > Dear all,
> >
> > Thank you for clarifying my questions on group names. Here are what I
> > understood from your comments and I hope I got it right.
> > - the Code states:
> >    names of the family-group are nouns in the plural
> >    names of the genus-group are in the singular
> > - Tortricidae: are [sometimes (or rarely?) 'is', depending on the
> context]
> >  *However, the following two are still arguable?:
> >    Tortricidae consist of leaf-roller moths.
> >    Tortricidae consists of leaf-roller moths.
> > - The family Tortricidae: is ['family' becomes the subject and is
> singular]
> > - The Tortricidae: is [considering 'family' omitted]
> > - Tortricids: are [general informal name]
> > - Tortrix: is [Tortrix is a genus name]
> >
> > Sincerely,
> >
> > On Wed, Oct 14, 2020 at 1:37 AM Frederick W. Schueler via Taxacom <
> > taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
> >
> > > On 13-Oct.-20 11:43 a.m., Richard Jensen via Taxacom wrote:
> > >
> > > >  if referring to the family as a single
> > > > entity, then treat it as singular; when there is a stated or implied
> > > > reference to only some members of the family, or using the informal
> > name
> > > > (e.g., rosids, tortricids), then treat it as a plural.
> > >
> > >
> > > * but the main point in this is that taxa are nested individuals - the
> > > higher taxon is a holophyletic individual as is each species of which
> > > it's composed (and the species is a monophyletic individual made up of
> > > individual organisms). Whether you use a plural or singular depends on
> > > whether you're referring to all or some of the subordinate taxa as a
> > > collective, or to the higher taxon as a single holophyletic individual.
> > > You get the same thing with other collective entities - you can say
> "the
> > > United States is..." or "the United States are..." depending on the
> > > context.
> > >
> > > fred.
> > > ===============================================
> > >
> > > > A number of my
> > > > botanical colleagues argued that, given the Latin origin and
> structure
> > of
> > > > the name, it requires a plural verb, as in (using my favorite plant
> > > family)
> > > > "Fagaceae consist of trees and shrubs."  My view is that, because we
> > are
> > > > not writing in Latin, but using English (I won't try to deal with
> other
> > > > languages), we should use English constructions, not follow Latin
> > rules:
> > > > thus, "Fagaceae consists of trees and shrubs."
> > > >
> > > > This is done regularly in other English contexts.  We do not write
> "Los
> > > > Angeles are a city in California" or "Colorado Springs are a city
> > > > in Colorado".  In English, it is, in my experience, generally
> > recommended
> > > > that collective nouns (such as Tortricidae or Fagaceae) take singular
> > > > verbs.  But, not everyone follows these recommendations.
> > > >
> > > > Cheers,
> > > >
> > > > Dick
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 11:07 AM Robert Zuparko via Taxacom <
> > > > taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> As to your point one: I can see three different explanations here:
> > > >>
> > > >> 1. It MAY be a matter of the perceived audience: if one is
> addressing
> > > >> (either in print or in person) an audience of lepidopterists, then
> > > >> "Tortricidae" is sufficient and adding the phrase "the family" does
> > seem
> > > >> redundant to me. However, if one is addressing an audience of
> layfolk,
> > > who
> > > >> know little about nomenclature, emphasizing the taxonomic level
> could
> > be
> > > >> useful.
> > > >>
> > > >> 2. Again, when focusing on taxonomic classification, adding "the
> > family"
> > > >> helps add emphasis to a point one is trying to make
> > > >>
> > > >> 3. Some people are a bit on the, er, garrulous side.
> > > >>
> > > >> -Bob
> > > >>
> > > >> On Tue, Oct 13, 2020 at 5:04 AM Paul van Rijckevorsel via Taxacom <
> > > >> taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >>> I agree with Ken. All three options can be correct.
> > > >>> It depends on context and intent.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> Paul
> > > >>>
> > > >>> ----- Original Message -----
> > > >>> From: "Kenneth Kinman via Taxacom" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> > > >>> To: <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> > > >>> Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2020 8:59 AM
> > > >>> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] the family Tortricidae or just Tortricidae
> > > >>>
> > > >>>
> > > >>>>      1.  I don't think it is necessarily redundant, because -idae
> is
> > > not
> > > >>>> only the ending for animal family names, but it is also the ending
> > for
> > > >>>> plant subclasses (such as Rosidae).
> > > >>>>      2.  As for being singular or plural, it depends on the
> context
> > > >>> within
> > > >>>> the sentence.  Tortricidae are tortricids, so it can be plural
> > > >>>> ("Tortricidae are moths").   But "Family Tortricidae" is a single
> > > group
> > > >>> as
> > > >>>> a taxon, especially when used as the subject of a sentence.
> "Family
> > > >>>> Tortricidae is speciose".   If you don't explicitly refer to it
> as a
> > > >>>> family, you could say "Tortricidae are speciose" or "Tortricidae
> is
> > > >>>> speciose", depending the context (plural  tortricids or as a
> single
> > > >>>> taxon).   Likewise, you could say "Rosidae are speciose" (meaning
> > > >> rosids
> > > >>>> are speciose), but it would be "Rosidae is speciose" if you are
> > > >>> referring
> > > >>>> to the subclass (a singular taxon).   Perhaps it is best to make
> > your
> > > >>>> meaning clear by saying "Rosids are a speciose group" or "Subclass
> > > >>> Rosidae
> > > >>>> is a speciose group".   Same for Tortricids and Family
> Tortricidae.
> > > >>>>                   ---------------Hope this helps,
> > > >>>>                                                        Ken
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> ________________________________
> > > >>>> From: Taxacom <taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu> on behalf of
> > > Soowon
> > > >>> Cho
> > > >>>> via Taxacom <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> > > >>>> Sent: Monday, October 12, 2020 8:47 PM
> > > >>>> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
> > > >>>> Subject: [Taxacom] the family Tortricidae or just Tortricidae
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> Dear members,
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> As a non-native English speaker, I have two questions and really
> > hope
> > > >> you
> > > >>>> could help me.
> > > >>>> 1. I feel curious about why people add "the family", "the
> > subfamily",
> > > >>> "the
> > > >>>> genus", etc. in front of the scientific name in writing: for
> > example,
> > > >>> "the
> > > >>>> family Tortricidae" instead of just "Tortricidae". Is there a
> > pattern
> > > >> or
> > > >>>> rule in English? I thought it is redundant when we know
> Tortricidae
> > > >> with
> > > >>>> idae-ending means it is a family name.
> > > >>>> 2. Sometimes I see Tortricidae, Tortricinae, or genus name Tortrix
> > is
> > > >>>> treated as a singular, but sometimes as a plural noun. I thought,
> > > based
> > > >>> on
> > > >>>> the ICZN, they are basically plural, but, in many cases, they are
> > > >>>> considered as a singular noun. Spell checker also treats them as a
> > > >>>> singular
> > > >>>> form. This may or may not be an English question, but I hope
> someone
> > > >>>> please
> > > >>>> let me know how to distinguish between the two.
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> Sincerely,
> > > >>>>
> > > >>>> --
> > > >>>> Soowon Cho
> > > >>>> chosoowon at gmail.com
> > > >>>> Dept Plant Medicine
> > > >>>> Chungbuk Nat'l Univ
> > > >>>> Cheongju, 361-763
> > > >>>> KOREA
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> > Soowon Cho
> > chosoowon at gmail.com
> > Dept Plant Medicine
> > Chungbuk Nat'l Univ
> > Cheongju, 361-763
> > KOREA
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> > Taxacom Mailing List
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> >
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-- 
Richard Jensen, Professor Emeritus
Department of Biology
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556


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