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Re: Definition of 'fish', & GSP is displeased ;-)

Andreas Johansson <andreasj@gmail.com> wrote:

> And after all, things like hagfish and ratfish
> and lungfish lie outside the Actinopterygii.  So the word
> 'fish' is pretty entrenched in the English language for lots
> of non-actinopterygians.
> It's also entrenched for a number of non-vertebrates (eg.
> starfish).

True; but 'starfish' is an exception that proves the rule.  Overall, the vast 
majority of names ending in 'fish' are, well, fishes (= non-tetrapod 

We can allow for some poetic license when dealing with common names.  The 
sand-tiger and smooth-hound are sharks, and the sea robin and sea raven are 
actinopterygian fishes, for example.  These names don't detract from what we 
commonly understand 'tiger' or 'hound' or 'robin' or 'raven' to mean.