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Posted by ww on January 14, 2003 at 13:50:41:
In Reply to: how about . . . posted by troy h on January 14, 2003 at 11:59:06:
:Bogert's Scale-under-the-eye Snake???
... of a French effort to standardise a series of French "common names", which consisted primarily of simply gallicising the generic names, and translating the specific epithets. Thus, for instance, Trimeresurus albolabris became Trimeresure aux levres blanches.
The results are quite remarkable - firstly, every preservational artifact was thus translated, to give an actively misleading description (T. albolabris has yellow lips, not white lips, but they fade to white in preservative). Second, since the "common" name now mimicked the generic name, this means that as soon as a species is assigned to a different genus, either the common name has to change with it, or it becomes actively misleading in terms of leading to erroneous inferences as to what the scientific name might be.