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For at least this "amateur"(ie. "me")  this particular thread has been
rather helpful, and in addition it helps me to make a point that I tried
to make a few weeks ago about the inadvertant (please note the
"inadvertant") obfuscation effect of jargon. Below is a good example of
what I mean about "personal" things that inadvertantly confuse the
reader. Clearly, "Tetanurae" (P. Bucholz) is a knowledgeable individual,
but until the subjective shorthand was explained, the previous material
was less comprehensible than it might have been otherwise.

This is NOT a value-judgment about either jargon or subjectivity, it is
an observation about clarity and, hopefully, an encouragement to other
folks to follow one of my favorite exhortations of Mark Twain.
(paraphrased below)

"By all means," Twain wrote to the beginning writer, "At some point or
another come right out and tell the reader what you're talking about!"

Tetanurae@aol.com wrote:
> By the way, I have been using my own cladistic shorthand throughout this
> email with node based clades (all the descendants of the most recent common
> ancestor of both A and B) as: {A + B}; and stem based clades (all those
> organisms that share a more recent common ancestor with A than B) as: {A >
> B}.
> Peter Buchholz
> Tetanurae@aol.com

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