BioInfo (UK)

Stearn, W.T., 1973

Botanical Latin: History, Grammar, Syntax, Terminology and Vocabulary

This book is basically how to make up scientific names and prepare Latin diagnoses for plants. Even if you're not describing new species, at the very least the vocabulary section is a useful reference - names are so much more memorable when you understand what they mean.

The chapter (XXII) on descriptive terminology is also helpful to ascertain the precise differences between subtly different terms such as "dentate" and "serrate".

The other sections are instructive too - particularly Linnaeus's Canons in chapter XX where we learn that he rejected "Generic names ... misused in order to perpetuate the memory of Saints and men distinguished in some other branch of learning or to secure their favour."

Of course the same vocabulary is used in zoology (though not Latin diagnoses) so much of the book is of general application.

If you get you hands on the book, look at the cartoon on the last page. This will chime with all who have embarked on their magnum opus!

Publisher David & Charles
Pages 566
Edition Second
Illustrations Line drawings.

Malcolm Storey

Taxonomic Scope

BIOTA (living things) Background Reading Current
PLANTAE Haeckel, 1866 (plants) Background Reading Current
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