The gender of the generic name Acis
Fri, 18 Feb 2005 13:45:23 PST
I forwarded Jim McKenney's question to Aaron Davis at Kew, one of the
author's of the paper on Acis, Leucojum and Galanthus and of course great
Galanthus authority. He writes:

>Your friend may well be right: Acis could be masculine. Very
interesting. Taxonomists tend to follow gender allocations as
adopted by previous workers. Acis has been universally accepted
as feminine, and that's why we used feminine endings for our new
combinations. To change the gender of Acis would require a formal
proposal, which would be voted on at the next ICBN meeting. The
chances of this being accepted are negligible, as (contrary to
popular belief) taxonomists like to retain current usage. Also, the
link with 'poetic' is not absolutely convincing. If a proposal to
change the gender to masculine were successful the endings of
many Acis names would have to change, of course.

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP


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