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Petition to AOS Leadership on the Recent Decision to Change all Eponymous Bird Names (1 Viewer)

I'm also not sure that any term won't eventually be a pejorative when used by the opposing side. I've heard plenty of people on the left sneeringly use "capitalist" or "nationalist" or "religious" (and much, much more) as put-downs. It cuts both ways.

Many / most terms eventually will but as Mysticete pointed out, the term woke has pretty much been fully coopted as a pejorative at this point, for better or worse.

I could have and should have phrased my last statement better. What I was trying to express is that, whether the person using the term woke realizes it or not, and whether they are ok with it or not, many people will perceive them in a certain (perhaps not so positive) manner as a result of their use of the term.
 
Indeed I am quite tired of the endless repeat loop of fatalistic hyperbole. There are ridiculous statements and poorly constructed arguments and a lack of logic on both sides but many people who I otherwise respect have made themselves look quite a bit less respectable of late.

I realize that these arguments are not being made for my entertainment but they also really don’t work, at least with me. If anything, they have led me to ignore the majority of the arguments against the changes because very few of them are argued without hyperbole or ad hominem attacks.

They’ve also convinced me that in most any situation where the word woke is invoked I’d rather be labeled woke than be the person using it as a pejorative. Firstly, ad hominem attacks are what they are - ineffective debate tools that reflect poorly on the attacker and secondly, whatever your viewpoint on any issue, using terms like “woke” and “snowflake” basic labels you, like it or not, and true or not, as an inflexible old grump/conservative.
Is it not the case that every one of the proposed changes is an ad hominem attack?

And still no action to improve the nonsense English name of American Robin, which is not a robin.

John
 
And still no action to improve the nonsense English name of American Robin, which is not a robin.
Given the European Robin has gone through phases of, depending on who you are, being a thrush or being a flycatcher or simply the cute little red-breasted thing sitting atop garden spades on Christmas cards, what is a 'robin' anyhow?

As robin is also used for various other birds around the world, I think we can allow our friends across the water to keep their American Robin.

But, out of interest, what's your proposed alternative? :)
 
Given the European Robin has gone through phases of, depending on who you are, being a thrush or being a flycatcher or simply the cute little red-breasted thing sitting atop garden spades on Christmas cards, what is a 'robin' anyhow?

As robin is also used for various other birds around the world, I think we can allow our friends across the water to keep their American Robin.

But, out of interest, what's your proposed alternative? :)
Well, obviously given the AOS talent for names, I'd expect Black-headed Chestnut-breasted Thrush. ;)

John
 
Well, obviously given the AOS talent for names, I'd expect Black-headed Chestnut-breasted Thrush. ;)

John
This would give several of the good folk on the AOS cardiac arrest. They (a) don't like multiple word names, (b) would have issues with your hyphens and (c) might choke on their morning coffee over the use of capitals. Apart from these minor points, probably right up their street 👍
 
Is it not the case that every one of the proposed changes is an ad hominem attack?

And still no action to improve the nonsense English name of American Robin, which is not a robin.

John
Now that is a slippery slope...careful, or we'll end up with Grey-rumped Thrushes, on the grounds that they are neither a unit of agricultural land, nor something most people would put on their dinner plate these days.
 
Is it not the case that every one of the proposed changes is an ad hominem attack?

I personally do not see it as such but rather a philosophical change in the way things are named. I understand the emotional attachment to names and namesakes and why people are upset by the action all the same, however.

And still no action to improve the nonsense English name of American Robin, which is not a robin.

And American biscuits are not biscuits. And not all Warblers are in Phylloscopidae. News at 11. A thong is underwear for some and footwear for some, but what is a thong for Americans are chappals for english speakers in India. English has been carried all over the world and along the way terms and definitions that originated in Britain have been misapplied, have permuted, new words have come along.
 
It takes very very little for people to consider something "woke". In media for instance, Woke is thrown around for any game/movie/book/show which features a POC or female lead character, and any media that gives even a small role to a gay or trans person. Woke has just turned into "anything I don't understand or like" Hence why many of us, when we hear the term, have warning signs go off in our heads. Hell, even basic ideas like sex ed or acknowledging that slavery is bad causes some folks on the right to scream Woke.
And this, is why many hate the left, patronising in the extreme, just like Brexit supporters labelling remainers as 'thick' or stupid, the left do it all the time.

Please watch this, I don't know how many of you non Brits know Douglas Murray who is a self described 'centrist' but he really puts it across in a way that is certainly representative of most people I know. The topic is the same , decolonialisation but here, the target is art and British museums.

 
And still no action to improve the nonsense English name of American Robin, which is not a robin.
Actually, you guys could easily fix that issue yourselves. Just change the name of "your" robin, which would probably affect fewer birds and people, and the conflict disappears. :LOL:
We all know brits are famous for being flexible about what they call their birds.;)

But I will note that I believe all or almost all of the neotropical Turdus common names have been changed from "robin" to "thrush," so your complaint about the names you brits applied to "our" birds when you arrived here has actually been addressed in a number of cases. I suspect the reason American Robin has not been changed is because it is such a ubiquitous and common bird in the U.S. whose name is ingrained in everyone (not just birders) from a young age, and because it really doesn't make any difference if two unrelated birds that don't coexist have similar common names. (Just like "sparrow," "blackbird," "oriole," etc.; there are old and new world versions of each of those of course.)
 
Given the European Robin has gone through phases of, depending on who you are, being a thrush or being a flycatcher or simply the cute little red-breasted thing sitting atop garden spades on Christmas cards, what is a 'robin' anyhow?
I'll tell you what a "robin" is - an eponym!

So they both need to be renamed: Western-Redbreast and Eastern Red-breast. Nobody could possibly have a problem with those names.

;)
 
I'm not sure if its ironic or just amusing, to see the number of Brits up in arm over the changes. If eponymous name are so wonderful, why is it that barely any of the regularly occurring breeding birds of Great Britain use them? Perhaps we can retain history by having Brits adopt some of these eponyms? Townsend's Dunnock or Bachman's Linnet anyone? :)
 
I'm not sure if its ironic or just amusing, to see the number of Brits up in arm over the changes. If eponymous name are so wonderful, why is it that barely any of the regularly occurring breeding birds of Great Britain use them? Perhaps we can retain history by having Brits adopt some of these eponyms? Townsend's Dunnock or Bachman's Linnet anyone? :)
That's easy, most of our names have their origin, generations, prior to those which were named in the so called 'new World. They were known and named, well before scientists and taxonomists noticed them.

The last part is pure silliness unless you can show that someone called Bachman or Townsend, did in fact discover those species.
 
I'll tell you what a "robin" is - an eponym!

So they both need to be renamed: Western-Redbreast and Eastern Red-breast. Nobody could possibly have a problem with those names.

;)
But which was 'Robin' attached to first, maybe the man is named after the bird?
 
The issue is that woke has become a right-wing dog whistle that has lost all meaning.
The issue is that the left gets pretty agitated whenever what they're doing is exposed for what it is, and all too often with terminologies they self-identify by.

Nice dog whistle you're using there. Everything means what it means, it's just that you don't like wokeness being exposed for what it is; indoctrinated, illogical mindset.
 
But I will note that I believe all or almost all of the neotropical Turdus common names have been changed from "robin" to "thrush," so your complaint about the names you brits applied to "our" birds when you arrived here has actually been addressed in a number of cases. I suspect the reason American Robin has not been changed is because it is such a ubiquitous and common bird in the U.S. whose name is ingrained in everyone (not just birders) from a young age, and because it really doesn't make any difference if two unrelated birds that don't coexist have similar common names. (Just like "sparrow," "blackbird," "oriole," etc.; there are old and new world versions of each of those of course.)
In the event of a genuine misnomer, I can't see how anyone could argue against a name change for any bird. Your mention of 'familiarity' to defend not changing the name has been used by those opposed to the mass, name changes but rejected by BN4B , why does that argument fail here?
 
In the event of a genuine misnomer, I can't see how anyone could argue against a name change for any bird. Your mention of 'familiarity' to defend not changing the name has been used by those opposed to the mass, name changes but rejected by BN4B , why does that argument fail here?

I see it as more a question of whether each common group name for birds needs to be a monophyletic unit or describes rather a morphotype.

The new world Turdus thrushes have been mostly cleaned up but there are two left I guess - Rufous-backed and American. I’ve never understood why Rufous-backed wasn’t changed when ie, Clay-colored was.

There are 35-40 Robins in 7-8 genera in Petroicidae, that are not even closely related to the Robins in Muscicapidae. And it’s probably not safe to assume that the taxonomy of everything called a Robin within Muscicapidae is settled. So while the Austro-papuan Robins perhaps morphologically look a little more like a European Robin than an American Robin, the term Robin is hardly a monophyletic neatly organized little bundle.

And yet there is a preponderance of comments regarding American Robin yet Chatham, Pink, Hooded, Arfark, Dusky and all the others get a pass?

If we want to follow old world naming convention and precedent, we should clearly rename North America’s “Robin” to “American Blackbird” or “Rufous-breasted Blackbird” perhaps?
 
We do have earlier alternative names for the robin, the ruddock or redbreast. The robin came about as a fashion for attaching human names to birds (e.g. Robin Redbreast, Jenny Wren, Jack Daw, Tom Tit, Willie or Polly Wagtail) and other animals (e.g. Billy Goat). Other alternative names that have been used include robinet and roberd.

And for those wondering why it's not orange-breast, the name was used before orange was used for the name of a colour, although geoluhread was available. Can't think why they didn't go for geoluhreadbreast.


 

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