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Re: Law Abiding New Papers

Nicholas Renaud <syntarsus@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Knoll, F. 2009. On the name Stormbergia dangershoeki
> Butler. Annales de Paléontologie. doi:
> 10.1016/j.annpal.2009.09.001.
> ABSTRACT: Imperfection in the formation of the name
> Stormbergia dangershoeki Butler is taken as an example so as
> to warn future taxon authors to repeat it.
> I haven't read the paper yet (don't have access), but I was
> wondering what the issue is with the name? 

This is a very short paper (only one-and-a-half pages); but after reading it I 
couldn't help wishing it had been even shorter... 

According to Knoll, the species name_dangershoeki_ should have been 
_dangershoekensis_, and a whole paragraph is devoted to this issue.  I agree, 
but it would seem to be entirely academic.  

Another whole paragraph is devoted to the genus name _Stormbergia_, with Knoll 
mentioning a lot of Germanic names ending in -berg (Heidelberg, Kahlenberg, 
etc), and explaining why he would have preferred the name _Stormbergia_ to have 
ended in -a rather than -ia, although -ia is actually OK too.  The precise 
point of this paragraph eluded me.  It also gave me a craving for beer... 
specifically a Carlsberg beer, which I don't usually drink. 

> Does this mean
> that someone needs to emend it to correct the imperfection?

No, because as Knoll says the name cannot be emended.  The "avoidable Latin 
grammar imperfection" is not grounds for emendation under the Code.

I think the paper is designed to be a cautionary tale, with the moral of the 
story being that people should be more careful to obey proper grammar when 
naming new genera and species.  Yeah, best of luck with that.