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Re: GALTONIA (computer searches)
I certainly agree with Ben that we should avoid homonyms (across all
kingdoms of organisms), and online databases certainly make that much easier
However, I have to agree with George on the Ricardoestesia spelling.
Computers are tools which should be adapted to our needs, not the other way
Electronic searches are going to become quite sophisticated (many
already are). "Fuzzy" searches (for close matches in spelling) will take
care of alternate spellings and many misspellings and typos. Coupled with
"words to exclude" and other features, searches will increasingly maximize
the "hits" we want.
Truncation searches are also useful in searching for taxa that share a
common stem (root), but have variable endings, such as Enantiornith* (with
endings like -ids, -idae, -us, -iformes, -ines, and so on). That was one of
the factors I considered before adopting standardized endings (and
emendations where necessary) of zoological order names and all class names
(for those of you who prefer Linnean ranks).
So I think George is right. Computers should adapt to our needs as
much as possible, not the other way around. BTW, the same goes for
cladistics as a tool, and that's one of the reasons I expect a future
backlash against purely phylogenetic classifications (regardless of
phylogeneticists best intentions).
Subject: Re: GALTONIA (zoology vs. botany)
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 01:51:53 EST
In a message dated 3/14/01 1:23:36 AM EST, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< The electronic search issue is one of the reasons I feel
the spelling Richardoestesia should be accepted as-is
rather than replaced with Ricardoestesia at this point.
It's spelled Richardoestesia in the Zoological Record,
BIOSIS, Georef, etc. If the name is switched after 10
years of one usage, it means that researchers will have to
remember to look up two very similar spellings for the
name to find all the literature they need. Because the
spellings are so close, it won't be as obvious as checking
synonyms used at various times (looking up Tarbosaurus
refs under Tyrannosaurus literature, for example). >>
In other words, we should allow the computers control us, rather than us
controlling the computers. I say instead, let's change to the correct form,
Ricardoestesia, >without further ado<, so that the name, spelled the way
the authors wanted it, will begin accumulating in the published literature.
Eventually the spelling Ricardoestesia will predominate, but only if we
begin using it forthwith.
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