Can the Decline of the Latin Name be Halted?

William A.S. Sarjeant
2000 Journal of Geoscience education  
When the Linnean system of nomenclature was proposed as a means for achieving consistency in naming plants and animals at the international level, it was adopted with enthusiasm by contemporary naturalists, since they shared a common background in the Classics. The names used initially were often taken directly from the original Latin or Latinized Greek vocabulary. As knowledge of animal and plant species (living and fossil) increased, this resource was soon exhausted; however, the new names
more » ... r, the new names formulated by those early naturalists reflected their sensitivity to those languages. With time and the further expansion of knowledge, it became increasingly difficult for naturalists to formulate generic and specific names on a purely descriptive basis. New names were often based upon personal and place names, handled with varying sensitivity. Words from other languages were increasingly incorporated. In the zoological and botanical Codes, the rules controlling nomenclature have been slackened to the point that almost anything is permissible nowadays. Because of the abandonment of the old standards, some present names, though technically valid, are conceptual and aesthetic disasters and approach total unpronounceability, rendering discussion at meetings and even recollection unnecessarily difficult. It is urged that this situation be controlled by elevating "Recommendations" in the present Codes to the status of rules, enabling future international regulating bodies to eliminate such undesirable appellations.
doi:10.5408/1089-9995-48.2.121 fatcat:yclu7ebwnndbrkeyksdq2yslsa