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Re: Pronunciation, France and Cladistics (and a little art)
Ralph (et al):
I've interspersed my comments into parts of Ralph's. Look for the "***"
in the beginning of each of my lines.
From: Ralph Chapman <Chapman.Ralph@NMNH.SI.EDU>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Monday, December 21, 1998 8:24 AM
Subject: Pronunciation, France and Cladistics (and a little art)
I got to know the three world's experts on calymenid trilobites, 2 of them
British and very serious about their pronunciations. No two of them
pronounced the genus Flexicalymene the same. That told me a lot about
pronunciation and science - that there sometime are multiple interpretations
of the same input that make sense and the importance is in the communication
*** I have been in discussions where one person called _Deinonychus_
*** 'dine-o-NEE-cus', whereas I have been taught that it was pronounced
*** 'di-NON-i-cus'. I still knew which animal he was talking about, and he
*** knew which one I was.
Stegosaurus and Stegoceras are trickier - .....
Conventional wisdom has the third syllable from the end accented, ...
*** I have most often heard _Stegoceras_ pronounced as 'ste-GOSS-er-us'
*** to avoid confusion with 'steg-o-SAWR-us' (_Stegosaurus_). Of course,
*** this is most likely wrong (maybe 'steg-o-SAIR-us' would work better for
So, there are problems with cladistics but there is no better alternative as
yet. I suspect we will evolve towards one. There was an interesting
discussion on the Nature website on integrating stratigraphic data within
phylogenetic reconstructions. Very polar with both sides frequently making
very over-stated opinions. Interesting points did come out, though.
*** I had suggested running a cladistic analysis, then running a time-series
*** analysis based on the range of times know for the species involved -
*** effectively weighting the cladistic results with time positions. It may
*** lead to some interesting new views.
A nice Bob Walters work with color dinos in a line. I consider Bob one of
the best and I had my eye on this for 5 or 6 years before finally extracting
it from Bob.
*** I think I know the one you mean, sort of a conga line of different
*** (and colors) all lined up. I always liked his thecodontids, especially
*** painting he called "The Lookout" (the thecodonts were blue). Maybe
*** one year, I'll pry it from him - if he hasn't already given or sold it
*** someone else. (Oh, well...)
Have a good holiday all,
Ralph Chapman, NMNH
*** P.S. Ralph: Happy Holidays to you, Linda, and family.