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Latest IOC diary updates (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Attila and Hottentot are not remotely equivalent. A ancient warlord who predates pretty much most/all nation states and cultural groupings is not the same as a slang term in recent usage with negative connotations.
Attila is a name which is still in common usage in parts of the Slavic World, I've actually met a couple.
 

Sangahyando

Well-known member
It's frankly always the same and it's getting tiring. Conservative people want the world to stay exactly as it were when they were younger - including all the unfair benefits they get simply for being born the right way - and any change is a terrible disaster for them. White (and some of them even British to boot!) people outraged about renaming a bird named after an offensive term for an ethnic minority seems like such an inconsequential nonsense, but in the greater scheme of things, it's just another symptom of a bigger problem. It's really the same as white people in the US fighting against affirmative action or men in Europe whining about the "preferential" treatment given to women and vigorously denying the existence of a pay gap, or straight people everywhere claiming how same-sex marriage and humane treatment of trans people destroys their family values.
One would think that a person as well-travelled as you are would realize that "white" and "ethnic minority" are not mutually exclusive terms, and that people are treated differently in different countries. Not every place is the UK or USA.
Also, what does "being born the right way" mean? Is there a wrong way?


It really very simple: do you not want to be "attacked by the PC crowd"? Then check all your privileges and refrain from commenting negatively on matters related to people who lack those. Or, of course, don't do that, we have freedom of speech, but then I also have the freedom of speech to call you out, don't I?
No thank you, I don't subscribe to your racist ideology and hence, I don't want to "check my privilege".


Attila and Hottentot are not remotely equivalent. A ancient warlord who predates pretty much most/all nation states and cultural groupings is not the same as a slang term in recent usage with negative connotations.
Yeah, one of those actually killed people.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Poland
Back to birds - I noticed the split of "Turkestan Short-toed Lark", but I am utterly confused as to how to find any. The new species includes heinei, aharonii, pseudobaetica and persica - meaning that the old one - now called Mediterranean retains rufescens, polatzeki, apetzii, nicolli and most importantly minor for which the range is given as "Morocco to nw Egypt, s Turkey to the Sinai Pen. and e Iraq".

So, where is the line? According to the map on https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Alaudala-rufescens a large part of the Turkestan species is migratory, wintering possibly in areas that overlap with the resident range of minor. So what birds can we see in the winter in Israel? And most importantly, what nird did we see in winter in Kuwait? Are they IDable? There are some pointers in Collins (for the then-subspecies), not sure if it's enough.
 

MJB

Well-known member
Attila and Hottentot are not remotely equivalent. A ancient warlord who predates pretty much most/all nation states and cultural groupings is not the same as a slang term in recent usage with negative connotations.
Also, Attila is a common personal name** in Hungary
MJB
**I didn't use the term 'first name' because Hungarians put their family names first as in Bankovic Attila, a senior ornithologist in Budapest with whom I've collaborated in the past...
 

jurek

Well-known member
Just to sum up my thoughts on politically correct bird names.
  • Bird names are used internationally. Changing them destroys communication between people. Of 1.2 billion of people speaking English, all Americans are little more than a quarter.
  • Nobody so far put up evidence that scientific name changes in the past were welcomed or important to a larger number of people actually addressed by supposed offenses. So far, the status is that only activists care.
  • Changing names provokes more changing names like a snowball. Such feelings reinforce themselves, and no objective limit exists what is no longer offensive. And some people will always feel it is offensive. Such movements die because people feel tired, not because they feel the mission is accomplished.
  • Ideologically changing the language reminds of some very evil periods of the recent history. That is why it was condemned by great people of the 20. century, including Orwell. Young activists do not understand they are playing with fire. And themselves are guilty of belittling others or open hate speech.
  • Those who play with political correctness risk that soon they will be accused of being not politically correct enough.
 

YuShan

Well-known member
Until today I didn't even know that Hottentot was offensive. I thought it was just the name of an ethnic group. What about Pygmy, is that still OK?
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Just to sum up my thoughts on politically correct bird names.
  • Bird names are used internationally. Changing them destroys communication between people. Of 1.2 billion of people speaking English, all Americans are little more than a quarter.
  • Nobody so far put up evidence that scientific name changes in the past were welcomed or important to a larger number of people actually addressed by supposed offenses. So far, the status is that only activists care.
  • Changing names provokes more changing names like a snowball. Such feelings reinforce themselves, and no objective limit exists what is no longer offensive. And some people will always feel it is offensive. Such movements die because people feel tired, not because they feel the mission is accomplished.
  • Ideologically changing the language reminds of some very evil periods of the recent history. That is why it was condemned by great people of the 20. century, including Orwell. Young activists do not understand they are playing with fire. And themselves are guilty of belittling others or open hate speech.
  • Those who play with political correctness risk that soon they will be accused of being not politically correct enough.
Point 1: Birders adapt every year to changes in common names as a result of taxonomic lumps and splits, and eagerly anticipate those changes. Changing a few names here and there is less confusing for most birders than trying to figure out what White-eye you have seen. Under this argument, all bird taxonomy used by birders should be fixed with no further changes.

Point 2: No one has put up evidence that they weren't considered important or significant for some group of birder. Besides, this is almost certainly goal post moving: If someone here was Khoisan and said they appreciated a change, you can always fall back to asking for more people, or a majority of members of that group, or a super-majority. At least with the McCown's longspur change, for instance, the proposal was actually put forward by an African American ornithologist initially.

Point 3: Not changing something because other things might change is a vague and useless argument. You've provided no evidence that changing the names of these two South African birds will result in some sort of mass renaming of other South African birds

Point 4: Really? Fynbos Buttonquail invokes Orwellian nightmares of social control? Really? This is no different in mentality than the conservatives who view people telling them "Happy Holidays" as religious persecution

Point 5: Another slippery slope argument. If I find out some terminology is honestly offensive or has negative connotations, than I adapt and try not to use those terms. Doing otherwise just makes you a jerk.
 

jurek

Well-known member
Until today I didn't even know that Hottentot was offensive. I thought it was just the name of an ethnic group. What about Pygmy, is that still OK?

Even earlier to go might be oriental. Ebird has it in sixteen English bird names for now. I already read twice on online animal forums somebody surprised how it is tolerated in names like Oriental White-eye.

And already mentioned was an activist biologist who complained about words black, brown and yellow used as racial slurs and wanting also to get rid of Linnaeus.

So, yes, there are still people and words offensive to some Americans.

Interestingly, Asian birders themselves still use oriental on the, well, Oriental Bird Images. And African birders still use negrofinch and Hottentot teal on the African Bird Club.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
Just to sum up my thoughts on politically correct bird names.

  • Nobody so far put up evidence that scientific name changes in the past were welcomed or important to a larger number of people actually addressed by supposed offenses. So far, the status is that only activists care.
Yup.
 

Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
Even earlier to go might be oriental. Ebird has it in sixteen English bird names for now. I already read twice on online animal forums somebody surprised how it is tolerated in names like Oriental White-eye.

And already mentioned was an activist biologist who complained about words black, brown and yellow used as racial slurs and wanting also to get rid of Linnaeus.

So, yes, there are still people and words offensive to some Americans.

Interestingly, Asian birders themselves still use oriental on the, well, Oriental Bird Images. And African birders still use negrofinch and Hottentot teal on the African Bird Club.
1. The word "Oriental" is another one of those words with a far more complex history. Certainly there are some advocates for finding an alternative, though those voices are rather quiet at the moment.

2. I don't know what you mean here. Yes those words are used as racial slurs, I'd be interested in seeing that particular person's arguments against using them in other contexts if you have the source to hand. The whole Linneaus thing is a completely different can of worms, his name does not appear in any avian names.

3. Certainly some of these names are still in use. There are probably some hoary old birders in the USA who insist on writing Oldsquaw in their notebooks. There's nothing stopping you from doing the same if you feel so strongly about it.
 
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Jacana

Will Jones
Hungary
Posted link to draft (red) 11.1 spreadsheet on Master Lists page. Comments welcome.
I seem to be unable to download. I'll try another computer later. Meanwhile, there was one microscopic error in V10.2 that you may or may not have spotted already.

There was a space in front of "Penan" in Penan Bulbul.
 

DDonsker

David Donsker
I seem to be unable to download. I'll try another computer later. Meanwhile, there was one microscopic error in V10.2 that you may or may not have spotted already.

There was a space in front of "Penan" in Penan Bulbul.
The link should be working, at least it does for me.
Space in front of "Penan" in Penan Bulbul has been corrected in 11.1 red, as it appears to me.

I would suggest to all that we start a new thread for any further IOC 11.1 comments rather than continue these on the IOC Updates thread.

Thanks.
 

Ian Lewis

aka Gryllo
Europe
The search facility on IOC 11.1 is a vast improvement,

if you were looking for a species in a small Family finding which tab on the BOW drop down menu to click on could take some time.

Ian
 

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