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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 now.
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 around.
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).
-----Ken Kinman
From: Dinogeorge@aol.com
Reply-To: Dinogeorge@aol.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
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, bh480@scn.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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