Language for taxonomic names, redux

Martin J. Dürst duerst at
Fri Feb 24 04:27:14 CET 2017

I tend to concur with Kent, for the many reasons he gives below.

Regards,   Martin.

On 2017/02/24 11:02, Kent Karlsson wrote:
> Den 2017-02-23 05:39, skrev "Peter Constable" <petercon at>:
>> - having a way to select spans or other elements for applying particular
>> styling (a CSS class will do)
>> - having a way to keep words not supported in English spelling dictionaries
>> from being marked as false-positive mis-spellings (lang="zxx" or lang="und"
>> would do)
> Needing to have both a class (for styling) and a language tagging (avoiding
> false spell error indications) seems excessive. Fortunately, CSS allows
> styling based on language tag.
> As for styling (to, say, italic), styling directly is not the best way.
> It is better to have a "semantic" marking of some kind, and then style
> on that "semantic" (whether the "semantic" type is indicated by a class
> (in HTML), language tagging or something else).
> Taken together, using a language tag for this "semantic type"
> (scientific species names) seems appropriate. However, using 'zxx' (no
> linguistic content) or 'und' (undetermined language) for this seem
> inappropriate.
> So even though scientific species names don't really constitute a language,
> nor is really a dialect or orthographic variety of a language (Latin),
> a tagging like 'la-linne' (from Carl von Linné; easier to spell than
> 'la-linnaeus') or similar seems to be a pragmatic solution. Admittedly, that
> may be taken as a precedent for (say) 'la-medicus' and others. But I don't
> think there will be a flood. Any reason to think there will be a flood?
> Yes, there is the issue of getting this widespread in relevant publications
> (including Wikipedia); but without a standard language tagging, any
> "solutions" (for "semantic" marking of scientific species names) will be
> more ad hoc and indeed more varied. Not a good idea either.
> /Kent K

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