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Re: Sauropodz r kewl WAS: silly conversation on 2012 US presidential race

Ar 4/16/2012 12:49 PM, scríobh Mike Keesey:
The rules are basically the same as they've always been. The changes
are not due to changes in the rules themselves, but other factors.

There are a few issues here:

1) The so-called "classical" European languages (Latin, Greek) aren't
taught as widely any more. (Everyone here who's taken a class in one
of them, raise your hand. How about both?) And these languages are
pretty complex, grammatically -- look at the increasing numbers of
malformed names (which are still valid by ICZN rules). When it comes
to a choice between learning a dead, grammatically complex language or
devoting that time to learning science, a lot of students choose the
latter. I'm not sure we can blame them.

Two years of each, but couldn't continue either in college.

When the newest public high school opened in our county a few years ago, they offered Latin, but dropped it after a while. Maybe too few students wanted only Latin without Greek? ;)

But those languages are no more "complex" than this modern Germanic variant we're using on the list is. They just encode semantic values differently than this modern Germanic variant does. Look at what goes into teaching ESL, even to students speaking an IndoEuropean tongue. The strange things some people do with complex, mandatory word ordering rules instead of using simple, intuitive inflexions!

2) Science is more and more a global endeavor rather than a European endeavor.

Very true, and I believe the strongest factor in the decline in Greek+Latin naming. I agree, too, that it's a positive. So many dinosaurs lacked the good sense to fossilize in Europe and North America!