13 May 2008

More naming thoughts

English is currently the language of science. It wasn't always so; Latin and German have held the title at various times.

But since English currently rules the roost, why do I advocate using "Marmorkrebs" in the scientific literature instead of "marbled crayfish"? Doesn't my recent story about why I registered a new domain name favour using an English name?

The main reason I advocate using "Marmorkrebs" is precisely because it isn't an English word. Hence, it is distinctive and unique. This reduces confusion, because there are no doubt many species of crayfish that could be described as "marbled."

"Marmorkrebs" also greatly facilitates web searches (increasingly a consideration), because it is a single word. If you type in "marble crayfish," you'll get pages about crayfish. You'll probably also get pages about marble, both the mineral and the kids' toys. You will also get the combination, of course, but you have a lot more chaff to sort through.

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