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Re: Sauropodz r kewl WAS: silly conversation on 2012 US presidential race
In the microbial literature, all authors have to provide an explicit
etymology for their new name, plus a recommended pronunciation. The
etymology is checked by one of the reviewers. I think this should
be standard practise for all new genus and species names - including
An etymology has to be given for every name governed by the ICZN (though
it hasn't always been like that -- hence discussions over what, say,
*Aublysodon* was intended to mean).
In papers I've seen, the etymology is often correct as far as the
meaning is concerned, but very often Greek roots are called "Latin" or
vice versa, even when you can tell which language it's from by just
looking at it.*
Pronunciation guides (would) run into problems of which
sound-to-spelling correspondences are assumed: that of the original
language (many names combine different languages, the pronunciations of
ancient languages aren't trivial to reconstruct, and in some cases few
people in the world can pronounce any particular sound or sequence of
sounds)? That of English (which nobody else will go along with, except
when speaking English)?
* V, f: only Latin. Ph, th, y, eu: only Greek. Ch: almost only Greek.
> Just tack on a "saurus" or some such and everybody will think it is
> neat and scien-cy except maybe someone who speaks the obscure
Megapnosaurus (the artist formerly known as Syntarsus) certainly
embodies that idea.
Entomologists have a much less subtle sense of humour though (*Colon
rectum*, *Agra vation*, *Aha ha*).
*Megapnosaurus* _was_ named by entomologists, "big dead lizard" _was_
intended as humour (we had one of the authors explain this here on the
DML in 2001), and it's not subtle at all.
(And, again, it should have been Megalapnoosaurus.)