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Re: What's in a Name?

In a message dated 97-08-16 12:20:49 EDT, EDELS@msn.com (Allan ) writes:

<<  (George, I know that you think the ending of the name 
 should be "orum" instead of "i"  - but Peter told me he was honoring ALL 
 Lammers). >>

This brings up a sticky point. I told Peter at DinoFest in 1993
(Indianapolis) that I would drop the subject at his request, but that was
before I read his account of it in his book on ceratopians (page 302, note).
He said there that he had considered using the plural genitive "lammersorum"
but "deliberately chose the collective singular noun, representing the entire
family." This cannot be correct, because when I first mentioned this to him
(well before publishing the correction in MM #2 second printing), he did a
take, as if to say, "Hey, why didn't I think of that?" and he >certainly<
didn't say anything like, "Ah yes, I thought of that, and here's why I chose
the singular ending." Otherwise I'd never have published the correction.

The fact of the matter is that the Code makes no provision for collective
nouns or whatever in species epithets; it just refers to the number of
persons being honored in the species epithet. The ending therefore must be
the plural genitive "-orum," not the singular genitive "-i," simply because
more than one person is being honored. Not because only >one< Lammers family
is being honored, etc. The more Lammerses being honored, the greater the
necessity for the plural genitive ending(!). Peter also noted that the ICZN
has fully upheld his position, but a single letter from Philip Tubbs does not
and cannot represent the ICZN, particularly since I've heard from other ICZN
members by e-mail during the past two years who have explicitly disagreed
with Tubbs's and Peter's position.

SO: the correct species epithet, according to current ICZN rules and in the
absence of a formal ruling by the Commission to the contrary, is
"lammersorum," not "lammersi." (This also applies to the name _Tenontosaurus
tilletti_, which I likewise corrected to _Tenontosaurus tillettorum_.) This
is a very minor error whose correction should have been a matter of course,
but instead it has blown up into some kind of major issue.

I don't happen to have Peter's e-mail address. I'd appreciate it if someone
could forward this e-mail to him.