Publishing convention re bird-names

To: Philip Veerman <>
Subject: Publishing convention re bird-names
From: John Harris <>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2012 15:24:53 +1000
the text message abbreviations I can understand. It is not necessarily
laziness but, in my case anyway, a way of shortening the message to keep
under the 160 character limit for the message. Anything longer than that
gets sent as two, three or four messages and subsequently costs 2-4 times
more than just one.

As for names of organisms (let's go the whole hog!), as proper nouns they
should be capitalised as with names - philip veerman just doesn't have the
same ring-to-it! :-)

Long live the capital-isers and splitters for that matter!!

On 10 April 2012 15:04, Philip Veerman <> wrote:

> Hello Richard,
> I agree entirely on your point. However I think it overly generous of you
> to
> refer to this trend of ignoring the intelligence behind capitalisation as a
> "convention". It is hardly deserving of that title. Unless you care to call
> laziness and stupidity a "convention". Is it anything other than laziness
> and stupidity?
> Communication in many forms is going that way, just like the ABC news
> readers who don't know the difference between "is" and "has" or can't be
> bothered to use either word but just a useless "s" sound. Or people sending
> me text messages on my mobile phone with "UR" as intending to say "your",
> or
> was it "you are". Etc etc blah blah.
> Philip Veerman
> 24 Castley Circuit
> Kambah  ACT  2902
> 02 - 62314041
> -----Original Message-----
> From: 
>  On Behalf Of Richard
> Nowotny
> Sent: Tuesday, 10 April 2012 12:36 PM
> To: 'Birding Aus'
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Publishing convention re bird-names
> I know this topic has received attention on Birding-Aus previously but my
> interest was re-awakened by reading in an ornithological book of "little
> owls" and being reminded of the futility of trying to determine whether the
> author is referring to smaller owls in general, a particular group of small
> owls, or Little Owls Athene noctua. I continue to be baffled by the
> widespread publishing convention (used by most newspapers and books) not to
> capitilise the common names of bird species (and all other biological
> species for that matter).
> Is anyone with publishing experience/knowledge able to explain why this
> convention has been adopted and perpetuated, in spite of its obvious
> failings in regard to clarity of meaning, particularly when the name
> includes words in everyday use such as little, common, long-toed, singing,
> etc?
> Richard NOWOTNY
> Port Melbourne, Victoria
> M: 0438 224 456
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*Yours in all things* "*GREEN"*
*John Harris*
*Croydon, Vic*
Proprietor - Wildlife Experiences
*Nature Photographer*
*Wildlife Guide*

*President, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria*

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