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RE: Tethyshadros comments misunderstood



> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of bh480@scn.org
>
> I'm a bit taken aback by the reaction (on and off line) to my 
> comments on the name Tethyshadros. My comments were clearly 
> misunderstood and were not a criticism of the name nor an 
> argument to change it. A list member had stated that the name 
> Tethyshadros was supposedly not correctly formed according to 
> Greek grammar rules. I wanted to point out the Greek and 
> Latin had alternative ways to form words that have also been 
> used in creating zoological names, including names for 
> dinosaurs and ancient reptiles. Based on the etymology, the 
> name Tethyshadros also would NOT be pronounced as 
> teeth-i-SHAD-ros, with a typical "sh" sound in English. The 
> etymology as well as the spelling should be a guide in 
> pronouncing names.

May I add that I was distrubed by the reaction, too. For the newbies on the
list: Ben Creisler is the go-to guy for biological/paleontological etymology
(see http://www.dinosauria.com/dml/dmlf.htm among others). His work and
advice is invaluable, and I would strongly suggest that people who are in
the midst of coining new taxon names seek his advice in structuring them. (I
have recommended this in the past for several taxa for which I was a
reviewer; as a result, some poorly-formed manuscript names were refined.)

> This detail seemed worth mentioning in 
> light of the recent Clash of the Dinosaurs cable series. The 
> narrator repeatedly mispronounced the name Parasaurolophus as 
> pair-a-sor-OFF-o-luss, ignoring the etymology and the 
> spelling. The paleontologists got it right was either 
> pair-a-sor-OLL-o-fuss or pair-a-sor-o- LOAF-us. 
> 
I have suggested elsewhere that, in honor of the Internet acronym, the
infrasound weapon lambeosaurine be called ParasauROFLus. It just happens to
look like a real dinosaur, Parasaurolophus.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/sgc
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA