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Daspletosaurus (was Re: What's in a name?)

On Fri, 15 Aug 1997 Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:
> Michelle here might be more knowledgeable than it seems at first. Don't
> forget that Greg Paul at one time referred _Daspletosaurus_ to the genus
> _Tyrannosaurus_, and indeed labeled his famous striding _Daspletosaurus_
> accordingly, which might be what Michelle was thinking of. You could get into
> some nomenclatural hot water(!).

That was going to be my next point. After I "corrected" Michelle, I
envisioned her bringing in a copy of Paul's _Predatory Dinosaurs of the
World_ and showing me page 337. I just wanted to see who was really paying
attention. (Don't you hate it when teachers do that? Sometimes it's a
cover-up for their own ignorance. Now you have to decide: Is Amado
covering up, or did he really know...?)

The whole point I was trying to make is that you assess the situation and
decide "Should I make the correction now, or is there a more appropriate
time?" A child misidentifying Daspletosaurus as Tyrannosaurus (and please
note that in my scenario, Michelle identified the creature only by genus,
not species) requires less immediate attention than a child misidentifying
Styracosaurus as Triceratops (which I said I would correct on the spot).
(Ah, Amado deliberately left off the species name; maybe he did read

Suppose that the Smithsonian gets the funds to purchase Sue on the
auction block. She is properly prepared for study. Some imminent
paleontologists from another country are invited to participate. In his
best English, the leader of the visiting team says to you, "I would like
to thank you for letting my colleagues and I see this specimen." Do you
say to yourself, "Oh. He committed a grammatical error. I better correct
him now or he'll always be making that mistake!" No. You probably don't
give it a second thought. I give it a second thought, because linguistics
is part of my background. But I wouldn't correct him, because I know that
his English is better than my Chinese (or Spanish--In spite of my name,
the only language besides English that I speak fairly fluently is German).
If later he asks me how good his English is, I might then correct his
usage of "I" and teach him how to test for the proper use the next time.
(Teaching facts without teaching how to think is a disservice to the
student.) (Now, if he makes an embarrassing pronunciation mistake, like
mispronouncing "sheet of paper" so that "sheet" sounds like the "s-word,"
then I might with a smile offer a more immediate correction.)

----- Amado Narvaez
(For those who don't know, the test for "I" or "me" is simple. Leave off
the noun phrase in front of the word "and". No one says, "I want to thank
you for letting I see this specimen.")