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IOC combines forces w/ NACC, SACC, Cornell, and more to produce "global checklist"

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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 01:35   #26
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Originally Posted by Farnboro John View Post
which would of course suit "the Old World" - which under normal rules of priority should win every time.....

John
John I also don't fully understand your prior post - it reads as if you aren't aware of SACC and NACC?

Regarding the part I've quote above, I'm not sure what rules deem that old world vs new world have priority in anything? It sounds colonial, but again perhaps I'm not understanding.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 01:38   #27
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As far as languages go, I don't particularly care about English differences, and don't get worked up. British spelling is more elegant, perhaps. Some British names might be better, some American names might be. While a unified list in the end is a good thing, it'll be a bit of a loss of color if it contributes to unification of every last common name. And I fairly doubt it will.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 06:58   #28
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Funnily enough, every time this (pretty nonsensical) "debate" arises here (almost daily it seems) I feel reminded of Monty Python and the Judean People's Front
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 07:49   #29
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So this means the end of the silliness of different taxonomies, right? I really couldn't care less about what the English names will be (even thought I am willing to participate in any silly thread about how we could simplify them :)) but this means that we will have ONE list of species and the need to investigate which particular list is a given book, webpage, report or whatever following will end? That would be glorious, no matter what are the details of the given list.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 07:57   #30
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As an American I think Grey/Gray Plover is a horribly boring name.
Black-bellied Plover is better, but not much. Why not annoy everyone and change it to "Silver Plover" (a literal translation of the Dutch name - it immediately reminds you that it looks like a Golden Plover).
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 08:03   #31
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Black-bellied Plover is better, but not much. Why not annoy everyone and change it to "Silver Plover" (a literal translation of the Dutch name - it immediately reminds you that it looks like a Golden Plover).
In Czech, it's called "Pale plover". Which may not be the best name, but I can explain why it is really good that it exists: shorebirds, in Czech, are literally "mudbirds", so my wife once said, looking at a "Pale plover", being a "mudbird": have yourself some mud, you look all pale! And that's what we now say each time we see a Gray Plover and it's still funny!
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 08:06   #32
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Originally Posted by Maffong View Post
Funnily enough, every time this (pretty nonsensical) "debate" arises here (almost daily it seems) I feel reminded of Monty Python and the Judean People's Front
It might be nonsensical to you, it doesn't affect your national list, names.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 08:09   #33
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So this means the end of the silliness of different taxonomies, right? I really couldn't care less about what the English names will be (even thought I am willing to participate in any silly thread about how we could simplify them :)) but this means that we will have ONE list of species and the need to investigate which particular list is a given book, webpage, report or whatever following will end? That would be glorious, no matter what are the details of the given list.
Again, a non native speaker, telling people they don't care about English names. Many of us have grown up with these names, perhaps if you had, you'd also feel slightly aggrieved if they got changed in order to satisfy another checklist preference?

Non English speakers, seem to be claiming some kind of rights over the issue, simply because they've adopted the English language list for their own use.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 08:20   #34
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Again, a non native speaker, telling people they don't care about English names. Many of us have grown up with these names, perhaps if you had, you'd also feel slightly aggrieved if they got changed in order to satisfy another checklist preference?

Non English speakers, seem to be claiming some kind of rights over the issue, simply because they've adopted the English language list for their own use.
Well I am not trying to do anything to the English names, I am just saying I don't care, how does that hurt you? I would however be a bit upset if it turns out that the English name debate jeopardizes the convergence on the underlying checklist. Personally, I don't really see why there couldn't just be multiple versions of English nomenclature anyway - there are as many versions as there are other languages, couldn't it be just declared that US and UK English are functionally separate languages and have each of them have their own names?
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 08:50   #35
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So this means the end of the silliness of different taxonomies, right?
It doesn't explicitly say the others will go away just that this will one will be created - drawing on data from the existing various ones.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 09:24   #36
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[quote=opisska;4040617]Well I am not trying to do anything to the English names, I am just saying I don't care, how does that hurt you? I would however be a bit upset if it turns out that the English name debate jeopardizes the convergence on the underlying checklist. Personally, I don't really see why there couldn't just be multiple versions of English nomenclature anyway - there are as many versions as there are other languages, couldn't it be just declared that US and UK English are functionally separate languages and have each of them have their own names?[/QUOTE]

This is VERY much what I and a few others would like to see I think but as stated, there is now, no British listing authority so we're at the mercy of who knows who with a definite likelihood that the list will be totally Americanised.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 12:17   #37
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My point wasn't that I don't care about the English names and their history behind them. I can very much understand your points as some German committee recently decided to change several bird names without anyone ever asking for it and coming up with some horrible names instead.
My point was more along the line, that each and every thread here will sooner or (seldomly) later be inundated with posts about language and naming preferences instead of focusing on all the other aspects of the original topics.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 12:27   #38
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What I do think is silly is believing that taxonomy is an empirical science working towards an objectively correct fixed end-point, and that a single unified global body will result in a more perfect list. In a world that seems fixated on "diversity", it amazes me that anybody is cheering on the loss of diversity of opinion here, and ensuing competition of ideas. There isn't even a universally accepted definition of the concept of what is a species, yet here we are looking to have a single authoritative list of all bird species.

For all the criticisms levelled at the BLI / HBW taxonomy, some valid, at least it shook things up and made people look more closely at both the process of making taxonomic decisions, and at many individual species-level differences. Without the work of BLI, I don't think IOC would have adopted many of its recent decisions.

As a birder, in recent years I have followed IOC taxonomy with a few personal differences where I disagree, but have also made an effort to see taxa recognised as species by other taxonomies.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 12:48   #39
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So this means the end of the silliness of different taxonomies, right?
If the separate bodies that are combining forces cease to act as separate entities, this will mean a reduction in the number of independent and currently active global checklists. (Which indeed means a loss in the diversity of taxonomic opinions expressed at this level -- a process through which some areas of disagreements might plausibly become artificially 'hidden', despite remaining unresolved. From the viewpoint of 'taxonomy as a science', it's not at all straightforward that the positives of this type of move outweight the negatives.)

Meanwhile, BLI are (so far as I can see) still using their own global taxonomy, even though this taxonomy has now been deprived of its main former online presence (through a commercial (!) deal); H&M have not entered the unification process; many other local taxonomic authorities exist and will continue to do so; TiF is still online, and anyone wishing to start a similar initiative can do it; and most authors of 'books, webpages, reports or whatever' remain free to adopt their own views, wherever these differ from those expressed by any mainstream ('authoritative') body...
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 12:50   #40
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What I do think is silly is believing that taxonomy is an empirical science working towards an objectively correct fixed end-point, and that a single unified global body will result in a more perfect list. In a world that seems fixated on "diversity", it amazes me that anybody is cheering on the loss of diversity of opinion here, and ensuing competition of ideas. There isn't even a universally accepted definition of the concept of what is a species, yet here we are looking to have a single authoritative list of all bird species.

For all the criticisms levelled at the BLI / HBW taxonomy, some valid, at least it shook things up and made people look more closely at both the process of making taxonomic decisions, and at many individual species-level differences. Without the work of BLI, I don't think IOC would have adopted many of its recent decisions.

As a birder, in recent years I have followed IOC taxonomy with a few personal differences where I disagree, but have also made an effort to see taxa recognised as species by other taxonomies.
Agree with all this.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 12:58   #41
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It's predictable but rather depressing to see the focus here again on the parochial issue of English names.

This is quite an important initiative and hopefully should reduce taxonomic confusion and increase collaboration.

If criticism can help make things better, one thing that there is some noise on social media about (in these days of pro-diversity), and which has been overlooked here - is the unanimously US/European base of the participants (with one token Aussie?) and its mostly white-male-orientation.

To form a good global checklist requires diverse inputs and participation.

That should include taxonomic bodies for Asian, African and South American specialists, including local scientists, to feed in taxonomic information (or, better still, involvement of such persons in the main committee bodies). For South America, SACC is here, but this started as, and still largely remains culturally, a North American museum/university scientist-based initiative which has slowly been adding South American members (provided they are graduates of US universities like LSU) and recently had its first female joined, following some criticism of diversity. I am no admirer of SACC - but at least it exists and has local participation! For the two other diverse continents, Asia and Africa, there is no mechanism here to involve local scientists.

As for English conflicts, surely "Black-bellied Plover" (US) is way better than "Grey" (UK). And "Great Northern Diver" (UK) is miles better than the insulting "Common Loon" (US). Hopefully this committee can either pick the best, or, as I have previously asked of SACC and failed (as above, they are a US vehicle which promotes US names only) in relation to Sand Martin/Bank Swallow, adopt both entrenched names as alternates. This is a triviality though surely, compared to other issues?

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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 13:48   #42
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Frankly speaking, the premise is completely wrong. Even if it is charming.

Species and their relations are not agreed upon, but are facts which are discovered. There should be different opinions.

Names are not creations which are centrally introduced, but products of evolution of communication. Names of birds used in real language will be different. Created names will be a fake official language.

English language is not owned nor created by English or Americans, but is a global common language. Most users are neither English nor American, and speak English as a second or third language.

The whole idea of 'a central bird list' and 'standard names' would be best fitting if there was a central sport competition of watching birds, and it would need a common scoring system.

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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 13:50   #43
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I'll just throw this out: A) Many animals lack completely common names - see many tropical herps. and B) some checklists, such as mammal ones, have zero problem listing multiple common names for a given species.

So yeah, obsessing over common names in a new checklist seems a bizarre fixation, when I would be more concerned about how species concepts will be applied.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 14:45   #44
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Well I am not trying to do anything to the English names, I am just saying I don't care, how does that hurt you? I would however be a bit upset if it turns out that the English name debate jeopardizes the convergence on the underlying checklist. Personally, I don't really see why there couldn't just be multiple versions of English nomenclature anyway - there are as many versions as there are other languages, couldn't it be just declared that US and UK English are functionally separate languages and have each of them have their own names?
That bit you quote from Andy is exactly the reason I put him on ignore - nativism is just a 'polite' word for racism. My feed is so much nicer without his ugly tripe littering it; I'd suggest you give it a try as well.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 15:14   #45
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What I do think is silly is believing that taxonomy is an empirical science working towards an objectively correct fixed end-point, and that a single unified global body will result in a more perfect list. In a world that seems fixated on "diversity", it amazes me that anybody is cheering on the loss of diversity of opinion here, and ensuing competition of ideas.
The problem surely, is more that we currently have a whole load of different authorities all purporting to be THE unified global body (Clements, IOC, H&M, BirdLife), which makes ornithology seem like a Pythonesque pursuit - the People's Front of Judea vs the Judean People's Front etc. etc., all disagreeing with each other. Bird listing need fewer global standards, of higher quality, currency and accuracy.

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There isn't even a universally accepted definition of the concept of what is a species, yet here we are looking to have a single authoritative list of all bird species. For all the criticisms levelled at the BLI / HBW taxonomy, some valid, at least it shook things up and made people look more closely at both the process of making taxonomic decisions, and at many individual species-level differences. Without the work of BLI, I don't think IOC would have adopted many of its recent decisions.
This initiative should not stop other people coming up with their own independent or original research. BLI was grown out of frustration with a rotten, lazy, inconsistent and broken system of global taxonomy committees. This looks like a reaction from "the establishment" to BLI's reaction. So we have a new committee with some of the same people currently failing in the disparate PJF / JPF etc -like groups. But it is an attempt to fix the current failures; it involves collaboration which is encourageable and hopefully should be more productive when efforts are combined, and I think we should give them a go at it before prejudging its success.

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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 15:54   #46
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That bit you quote from Andy is exactly the reason I put him on ignore - nativism is just a 'polite' word for racism. My feed is so much nicer without his ugly tripe littering it; I'd suggest you give it a try as well.
I cannot think of a greater compliment than to be on your ignore list and as someone who contributes as little as you do to this forum, do you think I worry what you think little man, quit the personal attacks.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 18:11   #47
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That bit you quote from Andy is exactly the reason I put him on ignore - nativism is just a 'polite' word for racism. My feed is so much nicer without his ugly tripe littering it; I'd suggest you give it a try as well.
I find myself often disagreeing with him, but I try to do so respectfully (usually except when I am mad from something else and stop having the proper restraint but then I later regret it). I think this is not really the place to discuss other posters and I suggest we do not continue in that direction - I just wanted to respond as I have been kinda explicitly addressed and make it clear that I am not willing to follow this suggestion.
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Old Tuesday 4th August 2020, 18:34   #48
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I find myself often disagreeing with him, but I try to do so respectfully (usually except when I am mad from something else and stop having the proper restraint but then I later regret it). I think this is not really the place to discuss other posters and I suggest we do not continue in that direction - I just wanted to respond as I have been kinda explicitly addressed and make it clear that I am not willing to follow this suggestion.
Thank you Jan,
I have one poster on my 'ignore' list but would never, suggest that others follow me in doing the same.

It's the same, lame, weak, intolerant, moraly superior, liberal attitude on display again. I've been criticised in the past for pointing out that there is a repeating pattern with a lot of these people in that they are often very low posters, rarely contributing anything at all until they feel offended again, snapy is another one, 228 posts in 13 years.
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Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 04:22   #49
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As for English conflicts, surely "Black-bellied Plover" (US) is way better than "Grey" (UK). And "Great Northern Diver" (UK) is miles better than the insulting "Common Loon" (US).
One might think so. On the other hand, Common Loon is an iconic bird in Canada and it's on the currency in the form of the "loonie", the one-dollar coin. I don't think anyone here has ever found that insulting; it isn't hard for people to manage two different words in their minds which are spelled and pronounced identically.
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Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 05:53   #50
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But wait a minute. All of the hand-wringing in this thread is based on the idea that the new World List is going to include a list which provides one English name for each species. But I believe that is not the case. If you look at eBird you'll see that you can work with them today in a variety of languages and dialects including for example Argentina Spanish. They are well aware that people in the UK want to have different names than people in North America, but right now their solution to that issue is not the greatest. Likewise IOC provides a spreadsheet with vernacular names in over a dozen languages.

The new list isn't going to be out for a couple of years, remember. I predict that the result of that process is going to include vernacular names for at least US and UK English. Probably a lot of other languages and dialects too -- the data is available and once you go beyond the idea of one single vernacular name then why not provide French and Polish and so on?
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