Maria Garagouni

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  • 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 added "Image of Cirsium coahuilense" to the collection "Mystery Associates".

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jennifer Hammock who took this action.
    Jennifer Hammock added "Image of Piscicola geometra" to the collection "Mystery Associates".

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jennifer Hammock who took this action.
    Jennifer Hammock added "Carcas with Fungal Growth" to the collection "Mystery Associates".

    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

  • Profile picture of Deniz Martinez who took this action.

    Deniz Martinez commented on "EOL Curators":

    What (if anything) should be done with maps that are in the images section? I have run into lot of these. Is there a way to move them to the maps tab, or should a comment be left, or anything at all? Thanks!

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jennifer Hammock who took this action.
    Jennifer Hammock added "Suberites ficus" to the collection "Mystery Associates".

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Jennifer Hammock who took this action.
    Jennifer Hammock added "Green ants, farming 4844" to the collection "Mystery Associates".

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Michаel Frаnkis who took this action.

    Michаel Frаnkis commented on "EOL Curators":

    @Katja Schulz: "Accommodating the rules of all the languages we aim to support is a work in progress . . . . So providing us with information in a particular language and explaining the rules, as you are doing, is the best way to help us prioritize development efforts to support that language"

    For English, there are no definitive rules, but the strong modern trend is for all formal species names to have the first letter of each separate word capitalised (i.e., after spaces, but not after hyphens):
    European Golden Plover
    Common Honey-buzzard
    Purple Hairstreak
    Honey Bee
    Stag's-horn Clubmoss
    Rough-leaved Globe-thistle

    There are still some reactionaries who insist that everything must be decapitalised, unless the name is derived from a proper noun, but they never say how one determines whether a word is so derived or not (nor why one should have to do so), nor have any answer to the ugliness of having lists with mixed 'superior' Capital Species and 'inferior' lower-case species.

    over 1 year ago • edited: over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Katja Schulz who took this action.

    Katja Schulz commented on "EOL Curators":

    @Hans-Martin Braun: Accommodating the rules of all the languages we aim to support is a work in progress. As we accumulate more content in particular languages, we'll try to catch up with interface adjustments to improve the presentation in each of these languages. So providing us with information in a particular language and explaining the rules, as you are doing, is the best way to help us prioritize development efforts to support that language.

    over 1 year ago

  • Profile picture of Hans-Martin Braun who took this action.

    Hans-Martin Braun commented on "EOL Curators":

    @Jamie McMillan: I think the question has been settled. But there is another problem. In German all words of biological vernacular names are capitalised. That's a general rule. So why not integrate that rule into the programming like you did with English names?

    over 1 year ago