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RE: why scientists don't just give up the names battle

  • Subject: RE: why scientists don't just give up the names battle
  • From: Jonathan Ertelt <jonathan.ertelt@vanderbilt.edu>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2001 14:13:21 -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!
>Susan Cooper

Susan,

	A good point from you as well, and somewhat ironic that you should
choose a common name which I have heard referring to at least four
different genera. Quite honestly, if the scientific genus name has not been
mentioned already, then most of the aroiders on the list couldn't be sure
which plant(s) were being referred to by the common name 'voodoo lily' -
they could assume, but with no guarantees. Thus the limited value of common
names and how they're applied!

Jonathan

Jonathan Ertelt
jonathan.ertelt@vanderbilt.edu
Greenhouse Manager
Vanderbilt University Biology Department
Box 1812, Sta. B
Nashville, TN  37235
(615) 322-4054






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