We should be very careful labeling Scientific name entries as "Latin". They are actually used in all modern languages by scientists (etc) but were never used in the ancient language Latin and are probably not used in the Latin currently spoken in the Vatican City for what that's worth. Somebody quite familiar with the ages of Latin should voice some recommendations on what to do in these cases. — Hippietrail 10:42, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
- Ah, taxonomic Latin. Latin enough if you happen to be doing science in Latin, but many of the examples are pretty bad or clunky Latin on their own. ;p
- Anyway. Some of these terms are just Noun + adjective (or Noun + genitive), like "felis domesticus" (domestic cat), which makes them ordinary Latin phrases. Others are Noun + noun though, like "Panthera leo" (panther lion) which is more unusual. In my PDF of Linnaeus' Systema Naturae (1766) noun species appear to be capitalized, thus under the genus Felis are listed Leo (lion), Tigris (tiger), Onca (jaguar), Pardalis (ocelot), Pardus (leopard), Catus (cat), and Lynx. The adjective ones seem to be lowercase, thus under the genus Canis beside Lupus (wolf), Hyaena, Vulpes (fox), etc., stand familiaris (familiar), aureus (golden), mexicanus (Mexican). As best I can judge, constructs like "Canis aureus" are analogous to saying "golden jackal" in English—ordinarily you can get by with just "jackal" (or, apud Linnaeum, "canis"), but the former are more specific/technical/etc.
- Either way, I would let such things stand, though mark it as a technical term of taxonomy, not just zoology (which is a label that gets overused, IMO; in webster 1913 even 'dog' is marked as 'zool.'). —Muke Tever 18:42, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
- Thanks Muke. I think you're right. We'll go with just "==Latin==" as the language and "(taxonomy)" or "(taxonomic)" before the definitions since as you say they are not idiomatic Latin phrases and many words such as mexicanus were never used by native Latin speakers. — Hippietrail 02:40, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I've moved this from Felis domesticus since Felis is feminine, and the adjective should agree in gender. See http://www.iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp?article=30&nfv=true at 30.1.1. There remains, nevertheless, the problem that authorities have not been consistent on this matter. Eclecticology 03:37, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
- Incidentally — that same source [very interesting!] says "If the spelling of a scientific name, or of the final component word of a compound name [Art. 31.1], is the same as a Greek or Latin word, that name or that component is deemed to be a word in the relevant language unless the author states otherwise when making the name available."  which should help with the language problem for many of the entries... "Felis domestica" then would be unproblematically [New] Latin (though if it became a common noun in many languages, with pronunciations or figurative uses and whatnot, you would have a similar international-word situation to what you have with, say, modem). —Muke Tever 02:20, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)