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Re: what's in a name?

Bryan R. Stahl writes:

> 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.=20
>Remember, us unedjukated cain't keep up with you brite peepul! <g>

In general, when living creatures have a common name distinct from the
scientific name, it's one that laypeople have given it in their
interactions with the creature.  In the case of fossils, there have
generally been no such interactions.  Perhaps a better analogy would be
various microscopic creatures (e.g. protozoans) never directly encountered
except by scientists through a microscope, even if their effects are
generally known.

Brian Newhouse