And the young John Snipe and Margaret Pie.
Originally Posted by JWN Andrewes
I cannot see justification for a single one of these. We should not be afraid to maintain or use little understood words; it has never been easier to track down the meaning of words we don't know. Anyone who doesn't know the meaning of the word Pectoral, or Ferruginous, or Lanceolated, simply doesn't want to.
Most men who went to a gym know the word pectoral. Breasted Sandpiper?
I commented earlier that most these names are not only archaic but also wrong. Also, the number of words used in everyday English is growing, despite that many fall out into archaic.
I was not very serious. Bird names seem to function like surnames or place names, which have little relation to the object. Like Mr Smith is usually not a smith, and today Oxford has no oxen or a ford.
If bird names were
normal, utilitarian names, they should be updated. Using unnecessarily difficult language is not considered a merit but a flaw. It also results in two kinds of speech: an official one and the one used practically, which omits longer and more difficult words. When you listen to what birders really say in the field, they use only parts of names 'it's a sandwich' or shorthands 'it's a Pom'. That is why dictionaries and books, for example The Bible, are periodically updated. That is why Pectoral Sandpiper could
be changed to Band-breasted Sandpiper.