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Old 28th July 2010   #29 (permalink)
Chopper Greg
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Default Re: Scientific Nomenclature

So what if a English speaker is going to sound different than a German speaker? At least they will be able to communicate in print about the same animal ( in theory ).

Don't get me wrong - I agree with the issues that you stated, but even "a sounds like" guide will start removing the " strangeness " of scientific nomenclature - making it more familiar, and in turn, makes people more comfortable in using it.

Me? I have some amateur background in the etymology of English words - being able to recognize the root of a number of English words in some of the more common of European languages - but that doesn't come close to helping with scientific nomenclature, and knowing my problem with it, I feel pity for those that are getting started with it cold turkey.

In some ways it feels like the scientific community is wanting us to be able to communicate, by asking us to use the scientific name instead of the common name ( I have no problem with that in it's self ), but then very few of them actually go and try and help us to pronounce these names that they want us to use - they more than likely they give us what looks like an almost random jumble of letters and expect us to make sense of it.

Is this a Catch-22 situation or what?
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