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

On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 9:06 AM, Tim Williams <tijawi@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Andreas Johansson <andreasj@gmail.com> wrote:
>>ÂAnd after all, things like hagfish and ratfish
>> and lungfish lie outside the Actinopterygii. ÂSo 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. ÂOverall, the vast 
> majority of names ending in 'fish' are, well, fishes (= non-tetrapod 
> vertebrates).
> We can allow for some poetic license when dealing with common names. ÂThe 
> sand-tiger and smooth-hound are sharks, and the sea robin and sea raven are 
> actinopterygian fishes, for example. ÂThese names don't detract from what we 
> commonly understand 'tiger' or 'hound' or 'robin' or 'raven' to mean.

So why couldn't or shouldn't "hagfish" and "lungfish" be treated the
same way? There's not all that many non-actinopterygian craniates with
frequently used common names ending in "fish" that I can think of.

Andreas Johansson

Why can't you be a non-conformist just like everybody else?