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Re: Pantydraco and the worst dinosaur name

On Fri, Mar 11, 2011 at 10:26 PM, David Marjanovic
<david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

> Big failure at elementary Latin grammar in that last one. The stem of
> ignavus ("idle, powerless, inept, weak, slothful, lazy, cowardish;
> exhausting"; noun: "coward") isn't ignavu-, it's ignavo-. There are no
> adjectives with a stem in u- (and very few nouns). See also *Cristatusaurus*
> and *Lurdusaurus*, <sigh>.

Agreed.  I know this is horribly esoteric, but this is a pet gripe of mine.

When it comes to erecting new names, we all love to mine the
vocabulary of the ancient Greeks and Romans.  But so many of us aren't
prepared to check if the grammar is correct.  So we end up with
hideously mal-formed monikers such as the ones David mentioned
(_Ignavusaurus_, _Cristatusaurus_, _Lurdusaurus_), plus a whole host
of others which we're also stuck with (_Limusaurus_,
_Minotaurasaurus_, _Confuciusornis_, _Gigantspinosaurus_, etc).  IMHO,
such a casual attitude towards something as important as naming a new
organism does not reflect well upon the author(s).

When it comes to the naming of prokaryotes, the International Code of
Nomenclature of Bacteria (ICNB) is prepared to hold its authors to a
much higher standard (Rule 57a: "Any name or epithet should be written
in conformity with the spelling of the word from which it is derived
and in strict accordance with the rules of Latin and latinization.)
Not only do new bacterial names come with a complete etymology
(including gender), but also a recommended pronunciation.  In so many
respects, the ICZN is well behind the ICNB.

Rant concludes.