birding-aus Common names

Subject: birding-aus Common names
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 12:05:31 +1000
Hi all,

Here's a nice big can of worms ripe for the opening.

What do people think of the issue of capitalising common names as opposed to
not e.g. Red Kangaroo as opposed to red kangaroo?

It varies considerably between publications, even from the same publisher!
Some examples of magazines that capitalise: Wingspan, Nature Australia,
Australia Wildlife; some who don't: BBC Wildlife, Australian Geographic,
Geo. It differs between books too: Reader's Digest Encyclopedia of Wildlife
doesn't but Reader's Digest Complete Book of Aus Birds and Aus Museum's
Mammals of Australia does.

It seems to be more common in bird circles and perhaps in Australian

Certainly it is not standard to do so in scientific literature (Emu

Any thoughts on the pros and cons, likes and dislikes?


p.s. yes, it is an issue up for debate here at work (the capitalisers are
loosing), but I am interested personally too.

Sean Pywell
Series Editor - Wildlife Guides
Lonely Planet Publications
PO Box 617, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122, Australia
Office: 192 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122
Telephone: +61 3 9819 1877
Fax: +61 3 9819 6459

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