Vernacular names

To: "Syd Curtis" <>
Subject: Vernacular names
From: "Tony Russel" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 10:40:39 +0930
One of my hobbyhorses Syd !
I think we should also drop bits like "Eurasian" or "European" or "Oriental".  If the birds are here , and have no other types with which to be confused, ie European Blackbird should just be "Blackbird", and the same with "Eurasian Coot" ,what's the point of the other appendages ?  OK, so perhaps some of them were at one time  feral, but many of them are now so well ineradicably established here that the earlier usage of " Eurasian, Oriental, American etc." is now obsolete and should be dropped.    After all, we are terribly inconsistent in this usage anyway, we don't refer to House Sparrows or Starlings or Pigeons as European ( or wherever they came from, perhaps they should be "International Starlings eh ?), yet we do add that stupid "European" to Tree Sparrows, Goldfinches, and Greenfinches. This has to be just a load of old colonial baggage carried by earlier ornos. And why don't we then refer to Cattle Egrets as "African" ? Isn't that where they are believed to have come from ?  And all this garbage about " Australian this and Australasian that" could easily be eliminated by either just dropping the words or where necessary having a quick descriptive renaming.
On a final note there are many other vernacular names worth using too, like Murray Magpie and Jumping Jenny, far better than those sterile old academic words like European or worse, Eurasian. Yuk !
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