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RE: Tsaagan mangas - new dromaeosaurid from Mongolia

Quoting "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@geol.umd.edu>:

From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
Jamie Stearns

I'm just as much for being "multicultural" or whatever as anyone else, but I think this critter's reached the "name is too goofy for its own good" point. It just seems that the traditional foundation of using Greek and Latin for scientific naming is being virtually tossed out the window with the new dinosaur discoveries from far-off lands. Just an observation of mine that I've had for a while...

Hey, _Tsaagan mangas_ is a cool name. It is Mongolian for "white monster".

Well, more or less. What bothers me is the failure to recognize that the genus name is the "thing", and the species name is the modifier. _Mangas tsaagan_ would be 'white monster'; _Tsaagan mangas_ is something like 'white thing: to wit, a monster'. I have the same problem with _Mei long_.

OK, so it looks like Khalkha Mongolian uses adjective-noun order. But what happens if we want to put another species into the genus _Tsaagan_? The name doesn't make any sense if you split it up.

Nick Pharris
Department of Linguistics
University of Michigan

"Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity."
    --Edwin H. Land