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No-Gender in the ICZN



There are languages that do not have grammatical gender (Finnish and
Estonian, for example), but since Latin or Latinized terminology is
well-established, I agree that we should use it correctly.  The usual
endings are -us (masc.), -a (fem.), -um (neuter), but there are
exceptions (domus is feminine, and agricola is masculine).  Is it
too late to stop "Confuciusornis"?

Similarly, in Greek, the usual pattern is -os, -a, -on, but sometimes
it's -os, -on (with -os serving both for masculine & feminine).  There
are words which look masc. but are feminine (e.g. hodos, eremos), but
kephalos is not one of them (kephalos = a species of mullet;
kephale [last vowel an eta] = head).  The form Maiasaura does smack
of political correctness--were there no male Maiasaurae?  Ironically
the normal Greek word for lizard is saura (fem.)

BTW, Liddell & Scott's Greek Lexicon gives these meanings for Maia:
good mother (a form of address to old women in the Odyssey);
foster-mother; midwife; lady doctor (_sic_); grandmother;
a large kind of crab.

        George Pesely
        Department of History
        Austin Peay State University
        Clarksville, Tennessee 37044   USA
        peselyg@lynx.apsu.edu