"Red Tails in Love"
is an absolutely fascinating book - for me, anyway! Perhaps a birdo
And it is an ongoing
saga - try Googling.
I do like your story
of the different biases - the American bias surely so much better in
not adopting names of superficially similar species so thus
they haven't lumbered people with so many misleading common names
based on immediate perceptions of size and colour ; ) Another one is
the way those who stayed behind (and perhaps even us in Oz) criticize those
in the US for using 'z' in spellings - but, if you look back, that was the
original spelling! As for 'aluminum', look at the history of that name
... Driving on the wrong side of the road is, of
course, something else ...
Judy (Oz born and
bred of many generations)
That is a good question. They should do so. I had
correspondence with an American birdo about six months ago, on this very
subject. This person explained to me that the difference is that whilst the
early settlers to Australia tried to give the new animals even if they were
not remotely related, names as close as possible to those back home in
England, in contrast, the early settlers to America tried to give the new
animals names as far as possible from those back home in England. So we have
two opposite sets of biases, that both produce some odd problems. It is hardly
surprising when you look at American spelling, as in the can't spell "cheque",
can't say "aluminium" put dates back to front, etc. Therefore
Americans call Buteo Buzzards "hawks" (which is sort of correct in
that buzzards are a sub set of hawks) but they call vultures "buzzards"
which is really weird, even though the new world vultures are quite likely not
at all close to old world vultures and maybe should not be in the order
Falconiformes at all.
Is 'Red-Tails In Love' a good book? I have often
seen that book in book shops and wonder why do we get that book in
Australia. Seems very obscure to me.