> The right to speak out certainly isn't and hasn't been the norm in many
> cultures, for instance among bush Aboriginal people. It makes them
> really easy to suppress.
> Political correctness means that a few visible people belonging to the
> dominant culture and having the strings to pull can build a mould into
> which they try to squeeze others with global, national and regional
> consequences. Over time cultures outside of the mainstream become an
> empty shell of practices acceptable to the wider society. Minority
> opinions are suppressed.
> Have a look at what happens with bird names. Now obviously the good of
> having common bird names as with any term, is that everyone knows what
> everyone else is talking about. But this works on a regional basis as
> well. Members of my Kuninjku language group all know what bird we mean
> by Djagana. But regional bird names are suppressed by names adopted by
> the wider society, and that includes Aboriginal language names. Whether
> that's good or bad depends on who you are. If you're a visitor or
> newcomer to a region you probably want names you are familiar with. But
> there are unintended consequences, namely the loss of legitimacy of
> regional differences, and languages. Bird names are part of the total
> process that causes national, regional differences that helped locals
> make sense of their world, gave them a sense of identity, to be subsumed.
> People down south may all agree on calling Jabiru, Black-necked Stork or
> Owl-faced Finch, Double-barred Finch. Has anyone asked long-term locals?
> Or bush Aboriginal people? When it was decided to name Grey Whistler,
> did anyone take into account the fact that our bird is brown? Not only
> that but the type was taken up here?
I don't see anything wrong with having alternate "common names". I for
one prefer "weero" to "cockatiel" - it more accurately captures the
essence of the species [and cockatiel has dutch origins]. I also reckon
panpanpallella would be a fair moniker for the crested bellbird.
Generally though, I think most common names [eg malleefowl,
spinifexbird, whipbird] are fairly descriptive of the birds in question
for English speakers.
Just out of interest, how many common names have aboringinal origins [eg
To unsubscribe from this list, please send a message to
Include ONLY "unsubscribe birding-aus" in the message body (without the