Re: Non-trivial trivial names? -Reply

From:Barry Rittman <>

Precision in spelling is obviously critical in some cases and in others,
often because of common usage, it appears to be of little consequence.
I think that the important point here is that in histology, as in most
scientific areas, we rely on being precise. We do this by accepting a
specific nomenclature and abiding by it. While on the surface a phonetic
spelling of some word may be acceptable, this tends to generate a
general  attitude of trying to spell everything phonetically. An example
is mute or moot (a mistake I made some weeks ago on the Histonet).
When I  first came to the States  to Iowa,  I found that the town of
Prairie du Chien was often pronounced Prahrie doo Sheeen.  I am not sure
that the French intended for that particular pronunciation or  a
phonetic spelling of this.
I  feel quite strongly that if we pay attention to the seemingly
unimportant spelling of some words then we generate a good attitude
toward  word usage.
Please ignore any grammatical errors in this text.
Barry wrote:

> Tony says:
>> I will remove the second T from the word. But does this really
>> matter!!!
>> Getting into a linguistic battle doesn't seem worth it.
>> ?haematoxylin or
>> hematoxylin, hybridisation or hybridization, colour or color???
>> Haven't we
>> got more important things to ponder than American v English v
>> Australian
>> v German Spelling???
>> I think it's trivial
> .
> Take your point Tony about priorities of everyday lab life, but I dont
> think
> nomenclature is ALL navel gazing.
> Not if youre trying to find references on line, for instance. Which I
> was
> just when this thread started, hence maybe my interest?
> In the examples you give, asking for 'hematoxylin' will fail to find
> 'haematoxylin' and vice versa. Of course some electronic bibliographic
> systems let you do a wildcard search, and ask for (say) 'h?ematoxylin'
> which
> would find both forms.
> But maybe you wouldnt bother to do this, or even know how the
> particular
> system you wee using (they're all different) if you'd already decided
> it was
> trivial, would you? So you'd miss things.
> Bye for now - Richard Horobin
> Institute of Biomedical & Life Sciences, University of Glasgow
> T direct 01796-474 480 --- E
> "What should we expect? Everything."

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