A reply on common names

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at tils-ttr.org
Mon Apr 1 19:43:20 EST 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Kruse" <fnjjk1 at uaf.edu>
To: <TILS-leps-talk at yahoogroups.com>; <leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 6:39 PM
Subject: Re: A reply on common names

a common name _is_ a "common" name, using the definition of
> common, which thus should be inclusive of regional variants. Wisdom? Tell
> me, who is wise enough to choose the 'only' correct name from this list:
> Mountain lion
> Cougar
> Painter
> Panther
> Catamount
> (there are probably more, but you get it)
> You naturally tend to pick the one that is in use where you grew up. As a
> former Wisconsinite I might seriously question the use of "mountain lion"
> where they were/are found in Wisconsin, where no mountains (by most
> definitions) are found; or the usage of "panther" when it is already used
> reference to another species, much like "monarch" is in this case. Why
> all names be listed? Are some of these "invalid" because the wisdom of
> usage is questioned? They are not scientific names after all, but I would
> expect that more localized species may have only one, if any at all.
> So Ron, give us a "common names LIST".
> Jim

And this is exactly what the WUDBN list over at TILS.org by Chris Durden is
all about.  The three lists there are complimentry.  1) A synonymic
scientific names list (as correct = up to date as possible with the
scientifci lit -- but still with some subjectivity), 2) a list of the
closest thing to Standardized mono common names list we can assemble, and
3) the WEBsters' Unabridged Dictionary of Butterfly Names.  It will have

Yes, Chris is a partner with Harry and I in the TILS names conspiracy.
The conspiracy to bring to the public's awareness, and free availability, a
whole lot more info on "names" than most will want.  Some people just
complain about a problem (in this case the alleged dumbing down).  Others
see a problem and do something to help (name information brain food).
Chris is really busy, he really is.  But we should all be looking forward
to his (292 dog years in the making) "common names LIST".



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