Daniel Najera

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  • Profile picture of Andrew Brower who took this action.

    Andrew Brower commented on "EOL Curators":

    The whole point of "common names" is that they are not regulated like Nomenclature is regulated, and people can call things whatever they want. We have a tree in Tennessee called the Osage orange and also the bodark. There is a butterfly called the mourning cloak here, and the Camberwell beauty in England (and lots of other things in other countries). Fine, great. That's why we have scientific nomenclature with rules of priority and synonymy. The discussion about apostrophes seems wrong to me. If you have Steller's jay (Cyanocitta stelleri), the specific epithet is in the genitive case, meaning that the jay is of, from or belonging to Steller. That's what the Latin means. Calling it Stellers jay is incorrect, just like when you see the mailbox with "the Johnson's"on it (unless somebody lives there called "the Johnson" - let's hope not). Calling it the Steller jay just confuses people because they think it is from outer space. Last, if one desires that there be only a single non-Latin name for every organism, then plainly all common names will be in Urdu, because Urdu is the most widely-spoken human language. Greatest good for the greatest number, right? cheers, AB

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Laurence Livermore who took this action.

    Laurence Livermore commented on "EOL Curators":

    At Scratchpads we've been discussing how we handle vernacular names and their associated metadata. Which language codes to use is an issue as the DwCA extension standard uses ISO 639-1 which is fairly incomplete. We are thinking about ISO 639-2. For us associating languages is also important for taxon descriptions and will hopefully link us with a user's choice of interface language. Some links: ISO 639-1 list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ISO_639-1_codes ISO 639-2 list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ISO_639-2_codes DwCA Vernacular Name extension: http://rs.gbif.org/extension/gbif/1.0/vernacularname.xml

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Cyndy Parr who took this action.

    Cyndy Parr commented on "EOL Curators":

    @tony rebelo: From a technical standpoint it looks like EOL searching is thrown off by presence/absence of apostrophes. I'll see if I can put in a ticket to make sure that South Africans who leave them off will still find the same pages that would be found by other English speakers who use apostrophes. And I had a heck of time making sure I didn't misuse any apostrophes in this comment.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Cyndy Parr who took this action.

    Cyndy Parr commented on "EOL Curators":

    @John Tasirin: Personally I like the idea of establishing common names for organisms that don't have any. EOL could be a place to do that - if you add a common name, and if you set it as preferred, you are listed as the source. This doesn't sit well for curators who are adding common names established by organizations, but at least there is some accountability.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Cyndy Parr who took this action.

    Cyndy Parr commented on "EOL Curators":

    @tony rebelo: This is a fascinating discussion and obviously some of these issues go beyond what we can do as EOL curators. EOL has had discussions about (and have changed over time) how we capitalize common names. We've also had requests to automatically prefer certain "official" lists. For some of the reasons cited here (not to mention the lack of programming time) we haven't gone that route. From the user perspective, please know that if the name appears on EOL's common name tab, searching on that name will allow a user to discover the page regardless of the capitalization and whether or not it is preferred by a curator. So for findability we want as many common names as possible. Also please be aware that we don't currently have the ability to store different common names as *preferred* for different regions or dialects of a language. So Americans will constantly be at war with the Brits (and maybe the Australians and English-speaking South Africans) over which bird name should go at the top of the page (loons or divers, anyone?). We might want to change that, but this is a slippery slope technically. We can't support a preference for each local community unless there's a distinct language code to associate that preference with. Tony, I would be interested to know if your 11 official languages all have language codes available to choose from on EOL. If they do, then yes, we could support preferred names for each of them. If they don't, then maybe we need to add more codes.

    over 1 year ago • edited: over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of tony rebelo who took this action.

    tony rebelo commented on "EOL Curators":

    It seems as if every society, publisher and journal has its own unique set of rules for common names. I love the AFS rule 5: that explicitly says that common names are not proper names. - What are they then? Descriptive nouns? Also having this issue for South Africa - do we want an Official List of Names (we have 11 official languages) for all organisms: we have lists for birds, mammals, trees, reptiles, amphibians, fish, butterflies and odd charismatic groups, (as a rule local botanists have until recently refused to acknowledge common names, with some exceptions: trees, cycads, aloes, proteas), but each has their own sets of rules. Having been involved with threatened Red List plants the first step towards getting public buy-in is to create a common name. Clearly there is an issue here that needs attention. However, we immediately have a conflict in that (compounded with 11 languages) we want to retain the rich local culture of common names which an official list will effectively destroy. (we have ample example of this with the internationalization of the bird common name list). How does one proceed?

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Bruce Carlson who took this action.

    Bruce Carlson commented on "EOL Curators":

    Tried earlier to insert this comment on this thread but it went elsewhere I guess so trying again: FWIW: For fishes, the American Fisheries Society has formulated rules for the common names of all American fishes. Here are a few excerpts from those rules: 4. ...Hyphens, suffixes and apostrophes shall be omitted except where they are orthographically essential, e.g. three-eye flounder (etc.).... 5. Common names shall not be capitalized in text except for those elements that are proper names.... I have an older edition of the AFS's publication "Common and Scientific Names of Fishes" and in it they take up three pages to cover 18 rules regarding using common names. I don't know if they have made changes to these rules in more recent editions.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of John Tasirin who took this action.

    John Tasirin commented on "EOL Curators":

    Thank you, Steve. I saw your comments in my email but they did not seem to appear here. I refreshed my browser twice, they did not come up. I wanted also to say that EOL is in a good capacity and position to standardize common names. It is nice to have a place to refer to. A common name for each living organism. I would like to establish one for Indonesia that has more than 400 working, tribal languages.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of John Tasirin who took this action.

    John Tasirin commented on "EOL Curators":

    I think, I will be happy with "Cape sugar bird", "white oaks", "Plettenberg Bay" and "Capetown".

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of tony rebelo who took this action.

    tony rebelo commented on "EOL Curators":

    I would argue that most people would write "The forester came over and cut down 3 big oak trees in my woods." If they wanted to be specific they would write "The forester came over and cut down 3 big White Oaks in my woods." And if they were really fussy they would write "The forester came over and cut down 3 big White Oaks (Quercus albus) in my woods." Having published a field guide my fight was with the copy editor who wanted to retain the publishers style. It was only by appealing to the director that the copy editor budged. A lot of what is published is house styles, rather than what makes sense. After all why should it be "Cape sugarbird"? why not cape sugarbird? (this is entirely unpalatable for some reason - Cape is a proper noun and cannot be lower case) Indeed why not Cape Sugarbird (after all it is a proper noun for the bird)? I dont think that this is an issue that we can follow precedence on. As stated below, it depends whether you follow the descriptive noun or Proper Noun route. The trend is certainly - in many popular writings - to go the descriptive route. I think in ignorance by people who dont know better than that there is a fly, and perhaps a green, maybe a blue and perhaps even a brown one. but for anyone who appreciates that there are many species and wants to communicate about these species then descriptive nouns are wholefully inadequate. One of Adam's first tasks was to give Proper Names to the animals and plants: not to merely describe them, but to name them Properly. (And that explains why Fungi are such a pain - they were forgotten and dont have original Proper Names!)

    over 1 year ago • edited: over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Steve Baskauf who took this action.

    Steve Baskauf commented on "EOL Curators":

    My point about common names is that in the absence of "official names", common names will be in whatever form they are commonly used. I checked a number of North American plant field guides and there are a number of them that capitalize the first letters of common names. However, there are also a number (maybe more?) that capitalize ALL of the letters of the common name in the entries for the taxa (a practice I wouldn't advocate). There are also some which do not capitalize the common names (e.g. Gleason and Cronquist Manual of Vascular Plants which is a pretty standard reference). So there doesn't seem to be a consistent pattern, although perhaps the newer guides do capitalize first letters. ITIS (which I use as a source of names both scientific and common on my website) does not capitalize most common names, although it does for bird species, which I think is a recognition of what is common practice for those taxa. I just don't think that in common usage, people write "The forester came over and cut down 3 big White Oak trees in my woods." They write "The forester came over and cut down 3 big white oak trees in my woods." We may not like that or think it's a good idea, but that is what people do. We are not in a position to legislate common usage.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of tony rebelo who took this action.

    tony rebelo commented on "EOL Curators":

    The loss of the apostrophe is common as words become more commonplace. There are bird examples - I remember - but cannot call them to mind now. But around Cape Town (Cape's Town) we have Devils Peak, Lions Head, Sir Lowrys* Pass, Bettys* Bay, St Sebastian Bay, Jeffreys Bay, Gordons* Bay, Mitchells Plain, Simonstown (or Simons* Town) , Plettenberg Bay , Prince Alfred Hamlet (*on some/many maps still with apostrophe) and so on. So the loss of the apostrophe and the "s" is an ongoing process, although I will concede that the apostrophe is lost easier when the "s" is also dropped - where the "s" is retained many seem to think like you that it cannot just be an s as that implies plural and hence must be aspostrophed.

    over 1 year ago • edited: over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Donald Hobern who took this action.

    Donald Hobern commented on "EOL Curators":

    Hi Tony - I'm intrigued by your comment on Burchell(')s Coucal. The form without an apostrophe makes no sense at all to me in English. The only sense I can make of the name is that it is a Coucal that is associated with (not necessarily owned by) Burchell. English uses the possessive apostrophe-s to indicate this. The English s-without-an-apostrophe is good for plurals but not this case. I recognise that other languages (Afrikaans?) use s-without-an-apostrophe for the possessive, but I don't see how that would help you. So, in short, does "Burchells Coucal" mean something specific to you that is different from "Burchell's Coucal" and how? All the best, Donald

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of tony rebelo who took this action.

    tony rebelo commented on "EOL Curators":

    I think you are muddling Common Names with Official Names. What I have said applies to all common names. Official Names are lists of standardized common names set up by some committee or group for standardization. Those are a small subset of common names used by people, and in my opinion reduced the diversity and richness of common names - if we really need a standard list, well we have the scientific names. Some of what you say is correct. If people are using Greater Crested Grebe, who are we to say it should be Great Crest Grebe? Although I would say that Burchell's Coucal is a typological error for Burchells Coucal. So please: Strawberry Bush and Hearts-a-bustin-with-love is great, but remember the capital letters. (Heartsabustinwithlove is too extreme and Hearts Abusting With Love is ridiculous). Part of my problem is that I also speak Afrikaans, which apart from being phonetic tends to have a oneword approach to objects, so words like Heartsabustinwithlove are second nature to me (the phonetics is important as words like Whiteeye are almost never a problem in Afrikaans, so hyphens are rare).

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Steve Baskauf who took this action.

    Steve Baskauf commented on "EOL Curators":

    Well, what you are saying makes sense. However, one's position on this issue depends somewhat on what one believes about the purpose of providing common names in a reference. If one believes that a centralized body should decide on the proper common names for species and that everyone should use those names (e.g. as is generally the case for bird species where a governing body puts out a list of standardized common names), then perhaps your approach should be adopted. On the other hand, if one believes that the purpose of listing common names is to report what people actually call the taxon, then it doesn't really matter what we think is the most sensible way to list a name. What matters is how one finds it being used. Unlike birds, there is no centralized body that decides what common names should be used for plants. Subsequently there may be several common names for a single species of plant as well as different regional names. For example, in some places, Euonymus americanus is called "strawberry bush". However, in the area where I live, the most typical common name is "hearts a-bustin' with love" or just "hearts a-bustin' ". How does one render that according to rules? No one has actually appointed Encyclopedia of Life or EOL curators to decide the proper way to render common names.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of tony rebelo who took this action.

    tony rebelo commented on "EOL Curators":

    @Jamie McMillan: I concur. The issue of names being Proper Names or collective names is an issue I too feel strongly about. To my mind a Proper Name: the name that refers specifically to a special species is the same as a persons name: it should be capitalized and cannot be genitive. What is a white green fly? It could be anything. But White Greenfly alerts me immediately that this refers to a special species (or genus) that probably has a scientific name. I go a bit further than you though. Great Crested Grebe is still too descriptive. Why not Greatcrest Grebe if it has a large crest or Great Crest Grebe if it is the larger of a group of Grebes with crests. And certainly it is Burchells Coucal - it is named after Burchell and does not belong to him, so Burchell's Coucal is wrong. But I am amazed at the vehement criticism I get when I vehemently try forcing my views on the matter ..

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jamie McMillan who took this action.

    Jamie McMillan commented on "EOL Curators":

    @Michаel Frаnkis: I am a great capital letter fan and have tried to do this in my wildlife travel company http://www.naturalist.co.uk/ (just for ref -not and advert!). But several of my tour leaders are also journalists and it has taken a long time to persuade them to capitalise. My reasoning is that when someone writes 'I saw a little ringed plover' do they mean a small Greater Ringed Plover, a small Ringed Plover whose species they couldn't quite determine, or a species named Little Ringed Plover? Caps make it clear at once. The other big confusion that might have already been mentioned is hyphenation. A Great Crested Grebe means a large grebe with a crest. A Great-crested Grebe would mean a grebe of any size with a large crest. A Great Crested-grebe would mean a large species of a distinctive group of grebes, all with crests. Hope this helps.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jennifer Hammock who took this action.

    Jennifer Hammock commented on "EOL Curators":

    Calling ecologists and conservation biologists with a little time and expertise to spare: our colleagues at the Encyclopedia of Earth are looking for a few good editors. The Encyclopedia of Earth is an electronic reference about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society. It was an important contributor of material for EOL's new Topics in Biodiversity articles. If you can review articles on broad topics in ecology, conservation biology or environmental science, please register with them as a topic editor. Your work on EoE may also be re-purposed on EOL and other open access venues. Thanks!

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Katja Schulz who took this action.

    Katja Schulz commented on "EOL Curators":

    @Deniz Martinez: A "change image type to map" tool is on our list of features to develop in the future. For now, there's a collection for images that need to be moved to the maps tab. I have made both of you managers of that collection, so you can add images that need to be retagged.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Katerina Tvardikova who took this action.

    Katerina Tvardikova commented on "EOL Curators":

    @Deniz Martinez: Hi, I have the same problem, as I have a mpa of distribution for all birds. I only changed description, and left in in pictures with comment. However, I am not sure whether it is okay.

    over 1 year ago