Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It is official: English is the languaje of science

Tired to reading Latin for your favorite plant description? Contemplating to learn Latin with the priest in your town? Worry no more, from now on you can write your descriptions in English and publish electronically, so get ready with your lens and undust your collections, you can still name some plants after me...

When Linnaeus standardized the system of species description in the 18th century, Latin was the language of science. So it has remained, if only in a highly technical sense. The binomial names used by Homo sapiens are Latin, and for years botanists, unlike zoologists, were still required to use a page or two of Latin to describe the distinctive characteristics of a newly named species — the attributes that made it different from any other. But no more. As of Jan. 1, diagnostic botanical descriptions may be written in Latin or English, and the electronic publication of new names is accepted. full article in NYT

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