What's in a Name

To: bird <>
Subject: What's in a Name
From: Syd Curtis <>
Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 11:51:30 +1000
Before Russell cries "Enough!" and closes down this thread, may I put in my
two cents worth?

The main purpose of a name is to convey to the reader or listener the
identity of whatever is being written or spoken about.  (There is a more
subtle purpose that applies in some cases which I'll come to.)

In the context of this mailing list, it is hard to imagine anyone posting a
message using either Jabiru or Black-necked Stork, where the reader could
not immediately, or with the help of a field guide, identify the species.
Surely if "Jabiru" was being used to refer to a bird somewhere other than in
Australia, this would be apparent from the context.

Ditto with my pet hate: "Pacific Baza" instead of the delightfully
descriptive and long-used "Crested Hawk".

The other more subtle use of names is to separate "them" from "us".  Many
professions, occupations, have their own jargon with nouns (names) an
essential part.  Not using the correct jargon, immediately identifies the
speaker as "not one of us".  Do I detect a hint of such immaturity, in this
"what's in a name" thread?



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