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RE: ...and how ranks don't work in mnemonics

> Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2012 16:48:21 +0200
> From: andreasj@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: ...and how ranks don't work was Re: Sauropodz r kewl
> On Fri, Apr 20, 2012 at 2:54 AM, Anthony Docimo <keenir@hotmail.com> wrote:
> [snip]
> >
> >> > It's like if we held conversations in German or in Damin - we would
> >> > each know what the other is saying and meaning...but if we want to
> >> > tell anyone else about what we're talking about and working on, we
> >> > would have to use a language they know: ranks.
> >>
> >> The general public doesn't know ranks any better than the distinction
> >> between lizards and salamanders. You'll need to show (or explain) a tree
> >> to them anyway.
> >
> > until trees get something as catchy as "King Philip can order five great 
> > snakes" (or the astronomical equivilent, "oh be a fine girl, kiss me"), the 
> > public may not catch on as fast as you like.
> Are you saying that the general public does understand ranked
> nomenclature now, or at least know the ordering of kingdom, phylum,
> class, order, family, genus, species?


 they should - at least, every time I use the mnemonic for the ordering, 
everyone knows what I mean.


> I'm asking because that would be
> wildly at odds with my experience - near as I can tell, the avg nature
> documentary viewer neither knows nor cares whether a phylum is bigger
> or smaller than an order.


 we can simplify it, we can explain it...but at the end of the day, it's to to 
them whether or not they bother to pay attention.