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Re: Bambiraptor

Jordan Mallon wrote:

>>Bambiraptor is certainly more memorable than Micropachycephalosaurus.  Why? 
Because it is shorter, easier to pronounce, and can be identified with<<

It's a mistake, I think, to equate "short" with "easy-to-remember." For 
instance, names like _Hypsibema_, _Othnielia_, _Tarchia_, _Polyonax_ are all 
shorter than "Bambiraptor," but I would think they're actually *harder* to 

As for pronunciation, I can't see how "Bambiraptor" is any more difficult 
than _Micropachycephalosaurus_. In both, it's simply a matter of breaking the 
names down into their constiuent syllables and pronouncing them phonetically 
(the hard-K "ch" in _Micropachycephalosaurus_ *might* throw someone, I'll 
admit). Length is fairly irrelevant to ease of pronunciation. There are 
occassionally names where you do need to know a few bits of Latin or Greek, 
names that incorporate "coel" or "ch" or so forth, but the phonics thing 
almost always works.

Finally, the issue of identifying with a name is a non-issue. It's nice when 
a name has certain resonances, as _Brontosaurus_ did, as _Tyrannosaurus_ and 
_Carnotaurus_ do, names that summon particular images once you've grasped 
their etymology, but, as I said in an earlier post, I think that trying to 
fashion a name that will be "popular" with the public because it rings 
certain bells is a clear case of reversed priorities.

Caitlin R. Kiernan