View Single Post
Old 2nd October 2014   #60 (permalink)
Field Herper
sde's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: [ Members Only ]
Age: 18
Posts: 1,878
Gallery Images: 27
Comments: 14
Rep: sde is a mainstay of Caudata.orgsde is a mainstay of Caudata.orgsde is a mainstay of Caudata.orgsde is a mainstay of Caudata.orgsde is a mainstay of Caudata.orgsde is a mainstay of
Default Re: Scientific Nomenclature

Originally Posted by Redear View Post
One thing I have learned in life is know your audience. When talking to hobbyist I tend to use scientific nomenclature. If I am showing my tanks to someone outside the hobby I use common names. If I am talking to both...I use both!
I do the same thing, it all depends on the audience.

Originally Posted by Azhael View Post
While i understand where you are coming from and i sometimes do the same, i think itīs kind of sad xD and i try to avoid it if possible. I tend to look at simplifying things for non-hobbyists as a disservice to them, in a way, because itīs not like scientific nomenclature is so difficult that only academics could possibly understand it (which is clearly not the case as this forum proofs :P), so why "dumb it down"?
Also, people shoudnīt be afraid of learning something new. It may be taking it too far, i donīt know, but in some cases i think itīs yet another example of the general laziness and anti-intelectualism that pervades our culture. I fully admit that in other cases itīs simply a matter of practicality, but then iīd rather use both so that people can make the connection. Scientific nomenclature is not just useful, itīs beautiful! Everybody should have a chance to appreciate it
The reason I don't use scientific nomenclature with non hobbyists is because if I do they just don't understand. When I say the name, they think I am just speaking rubbish, or say "what is that?". When I then tell them it is the scientific name they just say something like "what's it's normal name?" etc..
In my opinion most people who don't have an animal related hobby simply don't know much of anything about scientific names, and don't understand why we need them. So when you say them they just don't understand what you are all. Even my siblings who hear me say scientific names all the time just don't understand, and will get Taricha confused with Dicamptodon!
Also, I think a lot of people just don't want to learn, it seems too confusing or difficult at first, even though it's not. And some people even take it like bragging when I say a species scientific name. So what I often do now is say the scientific name, and then right after that I say the common name. It seems to minimize confusion.

Common names, however, are not reliable. They tend to be quite general, and the animal they refer to may change greatly depending on location. Therefore itīs complicated to establish which kind of animal exactly one is talking about.
My favorite example is that I have heard Taricha granulosa referred to as "Roughskin newt", "Northern roughskin newt", "Oregon newt", "Colorado newt" ( they don't even live in Colorado!!! ) and "Orange bellied newt". Oh man *facepalm*.
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Genus kept; Ambystoma, Cynops/Hypeselotriton, Pleurodeles, Salamandra, Taricha, Tylototriton, Ensatina, Dicamptodon
sde is offline   Reply With Quote