Re: Common Names

Subject: Re: Common Names
From: "Ken Rogers" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 17:39:46 +1000
Just to get one little point clear.  Anybody can call any bird anything
they want to.  Mind you, there's no point in referring to, a Mountain Lory,
a Cranky Fan, or a Wariangle if the person you are talking to does not know
what you mean.  Quite apart from anything else, it would be rude.  Standard
English names were, I believe, first introduced in Australia in Emu 77
(RAOU 1978), the introduction to which says:

"English nomenclature ... does, however, unlike scientific nomenclature,
have the potential for stability."

"It is the purpose of this presentation to recommend for use in the
ornithological literature a set of English names for Australian birds from
the point of view of international usage.  We emphasize 'use in the
ornithological literature' because ..."

This seems to me to grossly unfair.  Why should taxonomists have all the
fun?  Birders ought not to be constrained by the quaint understanding  of
the concept of stability of the RAOU.  It (pardon the synecdoche)  must
have read Emu 77 before rewriting it, mustn't it?

So, name the birds what you will outside the international ornithological
literature, thus simultaneously keeping the vernacular alive and having

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