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Re: ICZN exegesis was Re: New Shandong Dinosaur Discoveries
<<If they did it before the ICZN cut off emmendations like this in 1999, then
yeah, no one should complain.>>
David Marjanovic wrote:
<But has there ever been a cutoff point for such emendations?>
I beleive the Code simply stated (1985 here) that the emendations should
occur, not that they MUST; I may be mistaken, in such that even were they NOT
to occur despite compelling argument from the ICZN document, it did NOT occur,
and one cannot NOW retroactively apply 1985's argument to century-old
nomenclature. It can be fair to say that not only has the misspelling entered
regular circulation, it's WAY too late to just change it now, even were it one
stubborn author at a time.
<"Art. 32.4: Status of incorrect original spellings. An original spelling
is an "incorrect original spelling" if it must be corrected as required
in Article 32.5. An incorrect original spelling has no separate
availability and cannot enter into homonymy or be used as a substitute
I notice that you did not include 32.5, which argues for what constitutes an
incorrect original spelling:
"32.5.1. If there is in the original publication itself, without
recourse to any external source of information, clear evidence of an
inadvertent error, such as a lapsus calami or a copyist's or printer's
error, it must be corrected. Incorrect transliteration or latinization,
or use of an inappropriate connecting vowel, are not to be considered
"32.5.2. A name published with a diacritic or other mark, ligature,
apostrophe, or hyphen, or a species-group name published as separate
words of which any is an abbreviation, is to be corrected."
Neither of these refer to the appellation of an ending, which has been
accepted nonetheless, by potential revisors. Note that the first revisor is the
method by which the ICZN offers workers to emmend the nomenclature, and by
which case, if the nomenclature passes muster without revision, then such is
permitted to stand, at least insofar as the ICZN seems concerned by being
ambiguous on the matter. And no, while I'd like to see -opsidae replaced by
-opidae in many names, for the sake of "correctness", I'm not going to bend
myself backwards to do it.
On the other hand, the great lengths and attempts to read this particular
article of the Code for the purpose of revising the nomenclature indicates how
clearly unavailable this Code IS for this purpose.
But, wait, there's MORE!
Most certainly, Art 29.4 is the clearest delineator of this case:
"29.4. Acceptance of originally formed stem. If after 1999 a new
family-group name is based on a generic name which is or ends in a
Greek or Latin word or ends in a Greek or Latin suffix, but its
derivation does not follow the grammatical procedures of [Articles
29.3.1] or [29.3.2], its original spelling must be maintained as the
correct original spelling, provided
"29.4.1. it has a correctly formed suffix [Art. 29.2], and
"29.4.2. its stem is formed from the name of the type genus as though it
were an arbitrary combination of letters [Art. 29.3.3].
"Example. If an author proposes after 1999 the name PROREXIDAE based on
the generic name Prorex (genitive: Proregis) that spelling is to be
maintained, even though the spelling PROREGIDAE would have been proper
under [Article 29.3.1]."
Now, certainly, this refers to a cutoff point, even if it refers to names
coined AFTER 1999. The ICZN clearly distinguishes that there are names, even if
incorrectly formed, cannot be changed (the suffix was not incorrectly formed,
just the genitive).
Application of this principle for Ceratopsidae also follows:
"29.5. Maintenance of current spellings. If a spelling of a family-group
name was not formed in accordance with [Article 29.3] but is in
prevailing usage, that spelling is to be maintained, whether or not it
is the original spelling and whether or not its derivation from the
name of the type genus is in accordance with the grammatical procedures
in [Articles 29.3.1] and [29.3.2]."
I think I'll end this here.
Jaime A. Headden
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)