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Re: [dinosaur] Middle Jurassic vertebrate assemblage from Siberia + dinosaurs of Pakistan + Arctic dinosaurs

David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> wrote:

> Typical of the ICZN that we're now haggling over the meaning of "primary". 
> Soon it'll be the meaning of "is".

When it comes to the gray literature, the ICZN rules are not
particular instructive as to whether certain works constitute a valid
publication.  So the rules are often irrelevant.  For names erected in
the gray literature (such as conference abstracts), validity is
usually determined by common practice, rather than what the ICZN (sort
of) states.  For example, _Gigantspinosaurus_ has effectively become a
valid name through active usage, even though the original publication
(Ouyang, 1992) is almost certainly in breach of Article 9.

So (and this goes to the points raised by Mickey and John), even if we
argue that certain names do not strictly conform to the Code, they can
still effectively become valid through active usage.  The ICZN Code is
reactive, not proactive - it can only respond to petitions.  Thus, if
subsequent publications treat _Gigantspinosaurus_ (or _Gspsaurus_) as
a valid name, then there is nothing the ICZN can do - not unless
someone decides to submit a petition to declare the name invalid, and
the ICZN is forced to adjudicate.

This isn't entirely the fault of the ICZN.  Authors could be more
stringent about how and where they publish new names.  I suspect
Malkani's multitude of genera and species will cause trouble down the
track, because of the way(s) these names were originally published.
At first glance, there looks to be quite a few potential nomina dubia
and nomina nuda in the mix.

> I agree that's probably the intention. But "challenging"? The German 
> equivalent to "shhh" is "pssst". Take that, exchange the first and
> the last sound, and there you go!

Whichever way you pronounce it (not actually stated by Malkani), I
still think _Gspsaurus_ is a god-awful name.

> *Suuwassea* is downright trivial to pronounce if you know how to read any 
> Latin-alphabet language other than English. (OK, French,
> Dutch and Swedish would throw you off on the first vowel, but that's pretty 
> much it.)

I wouldn't have said the pronunciation of _Suuwassea_ is trivial.
Without a pronunciation guide, it wouldn't be clear how the 'uu' in
_Suuwassea_ is intended to be pronounced.  It could constitute a
single vowel sound (as in vacuum); or two different vowel sounds (as
in continuum); or the same vowel sound repeated (which is actually the
case for _Suuwassea_: oo-oo).  A pronunciation guide also tells us on
which syllable(s) the accent is placed.  So the "intended
pronunciation" provided by Harris and Dodson is very helpful for
_Suuwassea_ ("SOO-oo-WAH-see-uh").  It's also a beautiful name, IMHO.