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



But the reason we use "abhorrent" Indo-European languages is because they are 
familiar worldwide, and also because Latin and Classical Greek are DEAD 
tongues. Chinese and other languages are OK in moderation, but they are simply 
not "global" enough. Remember that Latin gave rise to French and Spanish, which 
are very widespread.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Gilvary" <dinosaur@gilvary.net>
To: "Dinosaur Mailing List" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 7:41:31 PM
Subject: 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!