Fw: Proper names

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at tils-ttr.org
Tue Nov 7 12:27:07 EST 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ron Gatrelle" <gatrelle at tils-ttr.org>
To: "Chris J. Durden" <drdn at mail.utexas.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: Proper names

> Chris, I have tried about 10 times over the last 24 hours to send this
> I will try again.
> From Ron G (with an e).
>     This name issue is one that will not go away. It is actually almost
> boggling to me that so many just don't get it. Let me approach it this
> I think in most of the world it is typical for people to utilize what we
> call nick or pet names. We call men, Dudes. You may call a bowling friend
> Strike Man or Big Daddy. I may call my kid Precious, my wife Honey, and
> guy in traffic Hey Stupid. We use these fictitious tags when we get/give
> e-mail address buglady at . All of these can be very functional as well as
> I'm glad we have them and I use them. But when a police officer stops
> someone and asks for their name they do not want to hear I'm The Bug Lady.
> A court summons is not addressed to Big Daddy. The letter from the tax
> is not addressed to Smitty but to Reginald Orvin Smith III. (Not even his
> kids new his proper name was Reginald.) Ah! There is the key term
>     The longer this discussion goes on it only give the listener the
> impression that somehow "common" and "scientific" "names" are equative.
> Which would mean that they are equal. Which would mean that one if free to
> just choose which ever they prefer to use. This is dumbing down if I ever
> saw it. The two are not anyway near being in the same league, of the same
> status, on the same level, no more than Big Daddy and his proper name Less
> B. Little are.
>     These scientific word combinations we all refer to as "names" are
> actually scientific definitions, not names. There is water (English common
> name) and then there is H2O (scientific definition). In Nicaragua its
> name is agua but its scientific definition there is still H2O. There are
> of common names for H2O but there is only one H20. Mariposa, butterfly
> (common names) Lepidoptera (scientific definition). Through scientific
> definition we can identify a Labrador Sulphur in any language -- Colias
> nastes.
>     Hank & Priscilla wrote. "The main reason [for a name] should be to
> separate this organism from all others, hopefully in such a way to
> communicate to others the creature to which you are referring." This is
> exactly what was set in motion over 300 years ago when Linnaeus introduced
> the principles of trinomial taxonomic scientific definition. It has worked
> wonderfully! To hear some, one gets the impression that these scientific
> definitions are being changed in wholesale every year or two. Nothing
> be further from the truth. Most changes have not been in species
> (names) but in the higher definitions (genus, family, etc.). When a
> is found to belong to a different genus then the one in which it was
> originally placed or has been in, or a new genus is recognized, it must be
> placed in its proper taxonomic (evolutionary) placement.
>     Common names are determined by nothing but popular usage. They can be
> anything and changed by anyone at anytime. The words that compose and
> delineate scientific taxonomic Lepidopteran definition are not so. There
> rules, requirements, plenary powers, etc. To equate scientific "names"
> common "names" is exactly like comparing legal court terminology with
> slang. Common names mean absolutely nothing scientifically. Each has its
> place and function, I use common names myself for some taxa,  but please
> stop addressing them on the same level.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chris J. Durden" <drdn at mail.utexas.edu>
> To: "Ron Gatrelle" <gatrelle at tils-ttr.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 11:48 AM
> Subject: Re: Fw: Proper names
> > empty message!


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