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Re: Understanding names (long)



From: "Sherry Michael" <MICHAELS@preit.com>

>I do humbly disagree with you to a point. While I think that it is up 
to =
>us amateurs to learn basic anatomical and geological terms, I also 
think =
>some scientists like to use big words because they can. There is no 
sense =
>obscuring points of a technical paper with mumbo-jumbo. This doesn't 
help =
>anyone. 

The technical terms themselves are certainly complex, but their purpose 
is to make communication easier -- it's easier to use the (perhaps 
tongue-twisting) scientific term than to fully describe the (say) 
taxonomic term every time you say something about it.  

I speak from experience.  In the law we use certain terms which are 
"terms of art;" you'd never know what "promissory estoppal" is just by 
hearing the term, but having the term in the first place greatly 
simplifies matters for us.  And if you have a controversy that needs 
resolution by a court, you want us to advocate for you at full capacity!

If you hate lawyers, and who doesn't, use doctors instead as an analogy.  
There you are on the operating table.  Something wrong happens.  The 
doctor says, "nurse, give me the pointy thing with the little curve at 
the end -- no, no that one, the one two over to the left -- oops, meant 
to say third over ..."  An absurd example, of course, but I think you 
get the point:  Let the pros use their tongue twisters with each other.  
Plenty of them then turn to us and explain clearly.  (It's so ironic 
that Holtz was earlier accused in this thread yet here he is always 
ready to answer questions!)

>Well, some of us are trying to learn this stuff to aid the scientists. 
I'm =
>a preparator and am trying to learn so I can become more useful. It's 
just =
>not for my idle curiosities.

But I'd say that this places you out of the category of amateur interest 
I was discussing.  You need to know more than I do.

Larry

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