Publishing convention re bird-names

Subject: Publishing convention re bird-names
From: Lloyd Nielsen <>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 08:58:58 +1000
A couple of points following points others have raised -
1. "A long time ago, the journal Notornis took this a step further. Not only were 
bird names capitalised, they were typed in BOLD! "  And for the past 6 years at 
least, Notornis editors have been using lower case for all bird names. A backward step!

2. "BTW, the RAOU (now called 'birdlife australia'?) published a set of rules and list of 'Recommended English Names' for Australian birds in the Emu vol. 77 Supplement in 1977 that predates Parkes 1978 and sets the basis for the names in common use in Australia today. " A snippet from that (Emu Vol 77) Supplement under the heading Capital Letters reads - "There are few ornithological publications (other than popular ones) that use lower case for the initial letters of English names. Lower case throughout leads to ambiguity, destroys the possibility of distinguishing in writing between general and specific references and can throw a reader off the track. Initial letters of each part of a binominal name ought to be capitalised because the names are regarded as proper names." HEAR HEAR!! Makes good sense to me!!

I for one will never use all lower case for bird names. Apart from rules and convention it can be confusing and appears ugly, lazy and unprofessional.
Lloyd Nielsen
Mt Molloy, Nth Qld


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