Ferraria/Spelling rules

Thu, 11 Dec 2008 18:48:53 PST

I think you are right that botanical Latin is logically considered a
subset of classical Latin. I was not really arguing against this idea,
just pointing out that botanical Latin is a distinct branch, if you
will, of Latin and is recognizable as such.

You say "Language has nothing to do with rules concerning precedence
of publication." Quite right. I got stuck between latinization and


In thinking about how scientific plant names are created it is well to
remember that the names are *always latinized*, in other words they
are modified, according to a well-ordered set of rules. This accounts
for things like surnames beginning in "Mc" being converted to "mac"
for a specific epipthet, or a Mr. Sellow being honored with Sinningia

Some languages are not "latinizable" and a scientific epithet based on
a local name in such a language may appear in its original form as a
specific or generic epipthet, e.g. Dypsis bejofo, Caryota no,
Kaempferia galanga or Alpinia zerumbet.

It should surprise no one that in light of this complexity, low demand
for proficiency in botanical Latin and even lower priority in academia
for teaching these skills, the number of qualified persons on a global
scale can be counted on one or two hands.


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