RE: why scientists don't just give up the names battle
- Subject: RE: why scientists don't just give up the names battle
- From: "Cooper, Susan L." <SLCooper@scj.com>
- Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 09:10:02 -0500 (CDT)
Good point, Jim. Your note about permanency reminded me about a comment
someone made about the writer Stephen King: something to the effect that
his books are popular now, but in 20-30 years (or less) they will be
difficult to read due to the fact that he uses so many brand names. I just
read a book of his where he kept mentioning a certain type of toy by name,
and for half the book I had no idea of what he was talking about (the wooden
paddle with a rubber band thing attached, with a rubber ball on the end).
I'm only a hobbyist (and I wouldn't call my thumb green), and I still call
Zantedeschia calla lilies sometimes, but when people mention voodoo lilies I
have no idea what they are talking about!
From: Lewandjim@aol.com [mailto:Lewandjim@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, July 09, 2001 7:03 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L
Subject: Re: why scientists don't just give up the names battle
This is descending into a discussion between people who are simply not
talking the "same language". Taxonomists arnd hobbyists are not at odds with
Scientific names reflect the relationships between and among organisms. Once
a phylogenetic error has been detected the name is changed to reflect the
By contrast, common names are an effort to assign a permanent literary
reference to a common plant in cultivation. Barring the difficulties of
alphabets, linguistics and regional dialects, even the common names are
scarcely permanent in usage.
They cannot be equated nor used to achieve the same end.