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Re: AMORPHOPHALLUS @ Fairchild Tropical Garden

  • To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
  • Subject: Re: AMORPHOPHALLUS @ Fairchild Tropical Garden
  • From: Neil Carroll <zzamia@hargray.com>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 19:38:36 -0500 (CDT)

> Neil Carroll schrieb:
> > (BTW the plural of Amorphophallus is Amorphophallus)
> >
> > Neil
> >
> Dear All,
> botanists definitely have their own opinion about the spelling and
> declination
> of botanical names, but if you see it from a linguistic point of view, you
> should consider that Amorphophallus originates from the greek words amorph
> phallos. The plural of the greek phallos should then be phalloi. If
phallus is
> the latin word for phallos, then the plural should be phalli.
> So.... Amorphophalluses or Amorphophallus or Amorphophalloi or
> Amorphophalli ...
> that is the question now.

I would agree that the parts of this word can be made plural as nouns, But
Amorphophallus is a proper noun not merely a noun. And it is a proper noun
which names a group of species ( usually more than one, and in the case of
monotypic genera, the possibility of an additional species allways exists).
There are not two genera named Amorphophallus....only one.

I may have spoken too soon but I am not quite convinced that genera should
ever be pluralized since it is the name of a genus and there can only be one
genus with that name.

"I have many Amorphophallus" is not incorrect
" I have many Amorphophalli" is redundant

A taxonomist would revise Amorphophallus. He would not revise Amorphophalli

Check the title of any revision of any genus. Does it say Anthuriums or
Amorphophalli or Dracontiums?

and thus it goes for all genera
These are just my thoughts as I have not yet had time to dig through
Stearn's yet.


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