Common Names

To: "" <>
Subject: Common Names
From: Maris Lauva <>
Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2017 16:45:42 +0000
Phew! What a range of opinion. Personally I am in the "leave it be" group but 
when do you draw the line? Names have been changing forever.

I'm thinking all of us are being self-centred and promoting our particular view 
and one argument is as good as another.

Think outside the box. Think next generation. Let's leave them with names that 
are unique, descriptive and attractive. BUT THEY DON'T HAVE TO RELATE TO SOME 
SORT OF INTERNATIONAL STANDARD. So there's an authority taking it on themselves 
to alter names to fit their rules. So long as our names are unique and chosen 
by us, just tell the "authorities" to get stuffed. It's COMMON names we are 
talking about for goodness sakes, used, I would suggest, 99.9% in Australia. 
Any international references would use the latin.

How could Willie Wagtail confuse anybody for goodness sake! How could you tell 
20,000,000 Australians you've decided to change the name of their favourite 
bird? And can anybody honestly say any of the mooted alternatives are better? 
Same with "Magpie" Why shouldn't our "Maggies" be taxonomicaly unrelated to 
"Magpies" elsewhere. Touring USA I had no problem understanding that. After 
hosting many overseas visitors over the years I've not found any of them to be 
confused by the concept that our "robins" are not the same as theirs.

The current alternative to "Honeyeater is neither descriptive nor attractive. 
Get the science nerds on splitting, lumping and assigning Latin names and 
birdwatchers on assigning common names for the common person that will roll off 
the tongue and let newcomers see a link between the bird and the name. (not to 
mention non-birdos) If you want to make changes, nuke "Gerygone". There's many 
others - If you have to explain a name it should be shot down.

To do that, all of us, in our own particular cliques, have to give up our 
favourites. I'm happy to surrender "Jabiru" and "Thick-Knee", but let's have 
something attractive and descriptive. "Stone-Curlew"? uh uh. Black-necked Stork 
when it's head is Blue (or satin) just shows up the ignorance of those who have 
decided our names in the past.

Maris Lauva

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