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Re: What's in a name?

Bryan R. Stahl wrote:

> Just a thought that came up from a discussion on language evolution on
>another > list. Is it possible that "English", as opposed to pseudo-Greek
>or Latin,     > terms are being developed?  How often are living creatures
>referred to this    > way outside of scientific papers?  It also can help
>when discussing creatures   > that are originally put in one genus, then
>without warning shifted to another, > then possibly back again.  A
>commonly accepted "English" name, whether based  > on the scientific name
>or not, would allow it to be kept track of, instead of > trying to figure
>out if the new name is one of your old favorites                >
>redesignated, or something truly new.

_Panthera leo_ is a lion in common parlance, and _Panthera tigris_ is a
tiger. Can we call _Velociraptor mongoliensis_ a raptor, and _Deinonychus
antirrhopus_ a raptor? With extant animals, different species (even of the
same genus) have different common names; the problem with "raptor" is that
it has gone beyond its original purpose as a nickname for _Velociraptor_ in
JURASSIC PARK, and has been applied to the entire family of dromaeosaurids
to which that animal belongs.

> Remember, us unedjukated cain't keep up with you brite peepul! <g>

Nonsense. When I got into this seriously over a decade ago, I knew
*nothing* about dinosaurs beyond what I remembered from books I had read in
childhood. If you want to make the effort to learn something, it can be
done. Enthusiasm and perserverance are the keys.

Brian (franczak@ntplx.net)