Talk:Centuria Insectorum

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Long s[edit]

Writing scientific names with long s is not done when original names are cited. It also creates misunderstandings in such a forum like here, most people do not know the long s, they read this letter as l and this leads to subsequent misspellings. This is a forum for a general readership here and not one for Latin experts.

If there's a reason to do it, it's ICZN paragraphs 11, 27 and 32.5.2, not "usual standard", which would require a citation. Faithfully reporting the original spelling is unbiased; anything else isn't; Linnaeus' usage predates ICZN

This is your personal opinion. The Code does not mention the long s. Can we discuss the issue here and find a solution? -- FranciscoWelterSchultes (talk) 18:43, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

On the contrary, the code explains explicitly which letters it allows and (partly explicitly, partly implicitly) which it does not. It allows no ligatures, no diacritics, and none but the 26 letters of the English alphabet. Since the long s is not used now, the Code (implicitly) forbids it.
The problem with your edit, Francis, was that it left the names neither one way nor the other: they weren't the names as Linnaeus wrote them, and they weren't the names as the Code would require now. They were something in between. (You also added an entirely unsourced statement which contained some untruths.) You changed the long s, but not the ligatures, not the capitalisation of the genus name, and not the initial capitals on the specific epithets, all of which are proscribed by the ICZN. The way I see it, we have no business changing Linnaeus' orthography in an article which is explicitly about Linnaeus' work. Everywhere where a current name is listed, it is given in full accordance with the ICZN, even if there hasn't actually been a nomenclatural change in between; thus, in the "Name in Centuria..." column, we see "CURCULIO ſurinamenſis", but in the "Current name" it is listed as "Curculio surinamensis". I don't agree that the long s is confusing. If you think so, then the solution is to add a note explaining that the long s has been retained, rather than to needlessly meddle with Linnaeus' text and add a note explaining that you have done that instead. The simplest and best solution is to report exactly what Linnaeus wrote in Centuria Insectorum (and Centuria Insectorum Rariorum where that differs), and to provide the modern equivalent under the ICZN. --Stemonitis (talk) 19:01, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
"Since the long s is not used now, the Code (implicitly) forbids it."
This is an unsourced assumption. It is generally incorrect to say "all things that are not used now, are for this reason implicitly forbidden by the corresponding legal work". The long s is commonly regarded as equivalent to s, both are regarded as typographic variants ([1]), this is just a question of the typeface used. If you cite the original spelling of a zoological name, you cite it always with short s. The long s is not contained in most modern fonts. It is logical that the Code Art. 32.5.2 does neither mention nor rule typographical variants.
32.5.2. A name published with a diacritic or other mark, ligature, apostrophe, or hyphen, or a species-group name published as separate words of which any is an abbreviation, is to be corrected.
The original spelling was Curculio surinamensis, and this was also exactly the correct original spelling in the sense of Art. 32.5.2. CURCULIO ſurinamenſis was the spelling in the original typeface. The "valid" name in the sense of the Code is the name used today for the corresponding taxon. "Current name" is not a term used in the Code (although I like it much more than "valid name", I assume you do too).
If you like to cite the names in the exact typeface used in the original source, you must also cite all the ligatures (ct, fi, ft, and all the others) as used in the original. The present version that you defend does not do that. This is inconsistent. If you deviate from the usual way of citing original spellings of zoological names, then you must do it consistently.
To be complete, 4 rows would be needed: spelling in original typeface, original spelling (independent from typeface), corrected original spelling under the Code, and currently used name.
Example: DERMESTES Gleditſiæ - Dermestes Gleditsiæ - Dermestes gleditsiae - Caryobruchus gleditsiae
To have a reference you can use the AnimalBase entry for that name, and the list of all taxa established in Linné's 1763 work Centuria Insectorum. -- FranciscoWelterSchultes (talk) 22:22, 17 June 2011 (UTC)
"The long s is commonly regarded as equivalent to s." This is evidently untrue; if they were regarded as fully equivalent, then you wouldn't have tried to convert one into the other, citing potential confusion as the reason.
"If you like to cite the names in the exact typeface used in the original source, you must also cite all the ligatures (ct, fi, ft, and all the others) as used in the original." I would gladly do that, but I don't think they are guaranteed to appear correctly for all users. If I could guarantee that they would appear consistently, I would happily use them, for consistency's sake, as you suggest.
"To be complete, 4 rows would be needed: spelling in original typeface, original spelling (independent from typeface), corrected original spelling under the Code, and currently used name." I never said I wanted to be "complete", in whatever sense that is meant. I just reported Linnaeus' original name, as close as I could to his original orthography, regardless of anything the Code would later regard as an error (including changing the gender agreement of Sphex pensylvanicus, for instance). The two other "columns" you refer to could be added as intermediate steps between the former and the latter, but I hardly see that they are necessary or useful. Given the number of taxonomic changes that have taken place between 1763 and now for some of these names, filling space with minor variations of the original name does not seem warranted.
If you don't mind, I will adopt the strategy I outlined before, and add a note to the article explaining that the long s has been preserved; that should solve any problems of "misunderstandings", which was the motivation for your original edit. With that, I think all the problems should be solved. --Stemonitis (talk) 05:09, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
On my computer the long s looks almost equally like the letter l, and I read penlylvanicus. I initially corrected it because I believed it was a typographical error (l instead of s), before I realized (when editing the page, the edit mode displayed the text in a different font) that it was a long s and not an l. In some fonts it is extremely difficult to tell the long s from the letter f. Searching for ſ in WP leads to the S page, not to the long s page. There are good reasons why the long s is never cited as such in bioscientific contexts. This article is of the bioscientific, not of the linguistic realm. What you are doing here, is insisting on a very unusual way of citing scientific names from a zoological publication. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. WP authors are required not to publish personal views and new ideas. It would be much more useful for the readers to use the standard conventions for citing the names. In the form you are presenting the page right now it just leaves the impression that this was written by someone who did not know how to do it. And this again, adds to the general impression people have from Wikipedia: a serious lack of scientific expertise.
Okay, I accept that this seems to be "your" page here. You might consider adding the Note 1 to all the names in which you inserted the long s. At the position where you have it now nobody who needs the information will find it. -- FranciscoWelterSchultes (talk) 09:58, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
No, I am presenting the only representation which is not a personal view (except that of Linnaeus, and conceivably Johansson), and new no ideas but only those which date back to 1763. I fully recognise and endorse WP:OR and WP:SYNTH. Importantly, our first column here is chiefly historical, rather than nomenclatural. For instance, no-one would dream of putting all butterflies in one genus nowadays, so the names they would have under the current application of the ICZN, were they to be so united, is of only academic interest, and might itself constitute original research. It doesn't matter that "PAPILIO Hypermneſtra" would now be written "Papilio hypermnestra", since it hasn't been in Papilio since 1818, 35 years before the first attempts to codify zoological nomenclature, when Jacob Hübner erected Elymnias, citing [a synonym of] P. hypermnestra as the type.
It seems that the core of the problem lies with your browser settings. I suggest you set a new typeface in your user CSS, or increase the screen resolution; on my screen, l, f and ſ are all easily discernible, both as italics and as roman type. --Stemonitis (talk) 10:24, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Documentation of discussion on edits in chapter "Publications"[edit]

A discussion on recent edits in the chapter "Publications" is documented here. I intended to correct the unbalanced and misleading information of the last sentence which suggested that it was unclear if the standalone thesis was available for nomenclatural purposes or not. I cited ICZN Code Art. 8.1 as the appropriate reference for nomenclatural availability of published work, but my edit was reverted. -- FranciscoWelterSchultes (talk) 23:17, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

And your citation does not mention Centuria Insectorum explicitly, but merely states the general rules. It is your opinion (and mine, as it happens) that the thesis is available under those rules, but we require a independently published source for that assertion before we can include it here. (Linnaeus himself cited "Amoen. Acad." when referring to the work, as do most other nomenclatural listings.) The current text only says "It has been argued that [the first publication is not available]", not "It is a fact that ..."; it doesn't state that the thesis isn't available, and is not therefore misleading. It leaves the issue open, as have all the other sources I have seen, probably because it makes so little difference. The typographic error in "vocaus" would be corrected anyway, so it only affects the valid name of Gryllus brachypterus / Gryllus necydaloides. You could argue for using the Bragg reference at Pseudophasma brachypterum, which explicitly applies the principle of priority in that one case, and implicitly considers the thesis to be available. Would that satisfy you? Perhaps one of us can propose a wording here (I can do that if you like, or I'd be happy for you to); let's see if we can find some kind of agreement on this. Whatever we use as a reference, though, it has to be a third-party source. --Stemonitis (talk) 05:04, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
No, I don't think we can find an agreement on this, sorry. The only solution is to try to avoid conflicts in the future. I can only ask you politely not to destroy my work I have invested here in this public web service, and I will not disturb your work. There will always be people contributing here with slightly different styles and slightly different interpretations of what is an encyclopedia, what is original research, and what is common knowledge that does not need a reference. It would not be good if the English Wikipedia section would adopt the same style of communication between users as in the German section. You can imagine that no user will be pleased to see a user chasing after their edits and reverting them. You can also imagine that unfair users could easily check all your recent edits and start inserting terms like "citation needed" or "verification failed", just to force you to work without interruptions, and in the way they like you to do it.
If you have much time to spend editing here, you might consider checking your own edits. The quality of your contributions is not good, they only survive as long as you personally protect them. You seem to be working with outdated literature. See here and here, the correct name of the species is Pseudophasma phthisicum (Linnæus, 1758), Pseudophasma brachypterum is incorrect. And this is certainly only one example. -- FranciscoWelterSchultes (talk) 23:52, 24 June 2011 (UTC)
This isn't a question of style. This is a question of understanding what original research is, and what a novel synthesis is. I am not the only one who insists on keeping original research out of Wikipedia; it is one of Wikipedia's core policies. Having read your messages on Taxacom, I am starting to understand why you find Wikipedia frustrating. You would like recognised experts to be treated differently, and to be at least partly exempt from rigorous referencing. I'm afraid it doesn't work like that, and I don't think it could. (Citizendium does acknowledge expert status, but isn't doing too well these days.) The material you have added here routinely suffers from a tendency to go beyond the cited sources. For Svenska Spindlar, for instance, what is really needed is a citation to a text that discusses both dates and their usage in online databases. What you have done instead is to query the databases yourself and report on your findings. That is original research. In some cases, the databases may give information about the decision, which can be cited (your own AnimalBase does, for instance), but the rest of them are your own observations and opinions (as, indeed, is AnimalBase), and it is certainly unacceptable to add novel syntheses along the lines of "[a database quotes 1757] ten years after the 4th edition of the Code has been in force". Both parts may be true but the implied connection is unverifiable. I only bring that up because it is the same problem we have here; we have to recognise original research and remove it. As a professional scientist and maintainer of AnimalBase, you have plenty of outlets for primary research; Wikipedia is not one of them. It is very important that you understand this; simply avoiding areas where I edit isn't going to solve the problem. --Stemonitis (talk) 04:32, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
I wrote a summary on my own homepage. -- FranciscoWelterSchultes (talk) 16:41, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, you're entitled to your opinions, but I consider parts of what you have written there to be serious misrepresentations. It seems that you either fundamentally disagree with or have not understood Wikipedia's policy on original research. I could produce a detailed summary of where I disagree, but I doubt it would do any good. --Stemonitis (talk) 16:55, 25 June 2011 (UTC)
A search on Google Books with "Centuria Insectorum priority Amoenitates Academicae" yields the following snippets - "...Therefore Johansson has four years priority. " (EOS, Volumes 50-53 Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, 1974") While the right sources have not been cited for the edits, it appears that the priority claim is supported in some publications. It would be good if the source mentioned here can be examined and if it supports the statement, the citation can be altered appropriately. Shyamal (talk) 05:38, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
The matter of priority is not in question. The thesis was published first, and the collection published later (albeit with the same stated date). The only possible question is whether the earlier publication is available, and there have been some opinions raised against that (my impression is that the consensus view is that it is available). The citation you quote discusses a rather different case, of a name published in Centuria Insectorum/Amoenitates Academicae versus one published in the 12th edition of Systema Naturae (1767). I don't mean to be dismissive of your efforts (I hope it doesn't come across like that) – I am very grateful that you have taken the trouble, and I would still be very interested in a good reference for this point. --Stemonitis (talk) 05:56, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
If the ICZN Commission regarded in an Opinion published in 2004 the standalone thesis as having been correctly published and the name Gryllus (Mantis) brachypterus Linné 1763 (not Gryllus brachypterus Linnaeus 1758, Ensifera, currently Metrioptera brachyptera) being available (see my two links given above AnimalBase and BZN), I do not think it makes sense to cite a 1974 or 1997 publication as the appropriate reference. Current name seems to be Pseudophasma phthisicum (Linnaeus, 1758), see also Phasmida species file the note under Brock 2007. -- FranciscoWelterSchultes (talk) 16:08, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
I will deal with the phasmid soon; I recognise that the current article title is untenable. Your original assertion was that the "last sentence which suggested that it was unclear if the standalone thesis was available for nomenclatural purposes or not". That was never the intention of the text, although it cannot have been as clear as it should have been. The problem with your attempt to solve this problem, Francis, was that it introduced original research into the number of copies in various libraries and the number of copies digitised. It also had a misleading citation, where "It was regularly published for the purpose of prividing a permanent scientific record" was referenced to the ICZN Code which states that this criterion must be fulfilled, rather than to a statement that Centuria Insectorum was so published. I only reiterate this to demonstrate that it is not the facts of the matter which I am contesting, merely which we can cite.
Sadly, the text of the BZN doesn't explicitly mention the availability of the work (neither in the opinion nor in the case that led to it), but it is clearly implied. Anyone with knowledge of zoological nomenclature understands that it is available. Since everyone except Skelley seems to agree that both versions are available, I could envisage adding a sentence such as this:
However, the ICZN Code merely requires that a work be "published for the purpose of prividing a permanent scientific record".[ref]
This could then be referenced to the Code. It leaves to the reader the inference "and therefore Centuria Insectorum is available", which seems like a fair solution. The "however" is a little bit cheeky, but it might be acceptable in this instance. Would anyone object? --Stemonitis (talk) 17:27, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Art. 8.1 contains several provisions, it requires more than only that (and the requirement you intend to cite can usually not be disputed). 8.1.2 contains the much more important requirement, which is much more often denied in cases of internal university prints ("it must be obtainable, when first issued, free of charge or by purchase"). It is mainly this argument for which presence of a thesis in public libraries provides evidence for correct publication.
Oh oh oh. The more we go into detail here the deeper we fall. Skelley 2009: 84 cannot be given as a reference for the statement you are including here to the article, because it is clear from Skelley's statements that Skelley did not know that the standalone thesis was published months before the Amoenitates publication. Skelley's statement that the Amoenitates publication is "the official publication" was unreferenced and unsubstantiated. The reason given by Skelley ("because the Centuria insectorum rariorum issue is a dissertation") was obviously a pure speculation.
I see you do not have the scientific experience. I hope this helps you a little to understand more. Such an argument based on this kind of a speculation is usually not disputed in subsequent publications, because it is only necessary to write "the dates were different". This makes it useless and unnecessary to mention Skelley's mistake or discuss Skelley's speculation. It is highly unlikely that you will ever find a published response to Skelley's note. For your demand for published sources.
I assume that you referred to p. 84. I did not find other arguments in the paper, the PDF search function does not work in this file. It would be good if you cite the page number in a paper that has 94 pp. No reader likes to search 20 minutes until finally finding a statement that was probably meant or not.
I am asking myself why you consider it so absolutely necessary to mention the disputed statement at all. Every scientist can overlook something. It is not necessary to cite in detail every mistake in every scientific paper. A responsible author must read a scientific publication critically, and not just copy any written nonsense.
Skelley did not dispute that the standalone dissertation was published. I also overlooked that when I initially modified the edit, because I relied on the assumption that both sentences of the chapter were arranged in a logical entity. They were not! If you first inform the reader that the dates were different, and in the second sentence you state that precedence of the standalone thesis was disputed, then it is logical that every reader will assume that the dispute arised although the previously given information was known (two different dates of publication). But the two sentences were totally unrelated. Is this a special Wikipedia style?
It is good and useful to write that the standalone publication was published first and that the date given on the Amoenitates publication was incorrect. The rest is misleading and can entirely be removed; you would have to write "a person who probably did not know that the two had different dates, published in 2009 a statement that...". -- FranciscoWelterSchultes (talk) 22:59, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Let's steer clear of personal attacks here. A statement like "I see you do not have the scientific experience" is not a helpful addition to this discussion. Whatever my scientific credentials may be (and I'm not going to go into that here), I have a lot of experience of how Wikipedia works; if you wish expert status to be recognised, you should accept my greater experience of writing for Wikipedia. A better solution than that, and one that is promoted by both the scientific community and the Wikipedia community, is to treat everyone as a peer, and not use ad hominem arguments.
My example sentence was always meant to be a placeholder, to which any other provisions could be added. I do recognise that the Code is more complex than that. I also found the search function to work acceptably; searching for "Centuria" brings up three instances of that text, all on p. 84, and likewise searching for "1763" brings up the instances on p. 84 and one passing mention on p. 22.
Having stripped away the hyperbole, we are left with your suggestion that we remove the sentence citing Skelley. I could live with that. Although it is perfectly well referenced, Skelley's opinions are effectively a fringe theory, and may well result from his not understanding that the two were published at different times. I will remove it. I think if you had said that at the start, this would have been a lot easier. --Stemonitis (talk) 04:38, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

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