Subject: Re: english usage (fwd)
Date: Apr 26 11:57:30 1995
From: Don Baccus - donb at Rational.COM

> My $.02:

Your comments are worth at least a quarter...

> In all scientific publications except for ornithological ones, bird names
> are not capitalized.

This is an interesting point.

> In Ecology, it's dark-eyed junco. in Animal
> Behavior, it's dark-eyed junco. in the Journal of Comparative
> Endocrinology it's dark-eyed junco. In almost all popular writing, animal
> names of all sorts are uncapitalized (perhaps I should say "in all
> closely edited popular writing"). So if you try to apply
> the AOU rules outside of ornithological publications, you risk appearing
> provincial to the world at large.

Or simply incompetent, which is far worse...

> In newspapers, lower-case for
> everything is the way to go. Except for proper names, e.g. Wilson's
> warbler.

Yeah, this has always been my preference but I've tended to capitalize
simply because I've see it done that way in "real" birding pubs.

I've never been in doubt about mule deer or dog or cat.

> As to the ABA opinion that bird species names are proper names,
> that's just silly.

They're just a bunch of damned listers, after all! What would
one expect? :)

-Don Baccus-