Publishing taxa in Latin and in print

lou jost
Thu, 21 Jul 2011 16:14:02 PDT
My first reaction was "Alleluia". I have always hated writing those inane Latin descriptions, which I kept as short as possible to avoid taxing my linguistic abilities. I would often have to spend more time on the Latin diagnoses than on all the rest of the writing. 

But then reality sinks in----now, there is apparently no lingua franca, so if somebody in China publishes a description in a genus I work on, I have to REALLY tax my linguistic abilities and learn to read and understand Chinese, and every other language a botanist might use. Maybe the new code makes a provision for a diagnosis in some other de facto standard language? If not, this will indeed cause trouble. 

The lack of paper publication also seems like it can cause problems. You can be sure pdf software will be dinosauric in the next century. Descriptions from our era might be very difficult to locate then....

Still, online journals are here to stay, and I guess we have to live with this.


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