Common Names

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Common Names
From: "S Cooney" <>
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 17:19:52 +1000
Consider me suitably abashed about the name Jabiru, though I don't mind
Australian Jabiru.

I suppose that the problem with common names is that they should be
accurate and consistent so that we create a common language in which our
ideas can be efficiently transmitted.  To contrast this a local name will
also transmit some of the history or anthropocentric meaning that the
animal had to its early human neighbours.  

I would argue that the role of scientific names and the rules of Linnaeus
are designed to do this and in fact do do it a lot more accurately than
common names.  This then, allows us to use our imagination, or our
fore-fathers/mothers imagination's to come up with attractive names.

The feedback has been interesting although I am not sure of Glen's
position.  On the one hand he puts forward the name Australian Jabiru, on
the other he puts down the non-birding plebs for using the "slang, such as
informality, Jabiru." Although I accept his pedantry with reference to Bin
it.  I will take it on board.  (As if I don't look like enough of a dork.)

Incidentally this would include Australia Post with their recent stamp
issue which includes the Jabiru!

Thanks for the comments


Another one I like which seems to be losing is Nankeen Kestrel instead of
Australian Kestrel.

Stuart & Sam Cooney

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