Favorinus elenalexiae or F. elenalexiarum

August 15, 2002
From: Bill Rudman

I said earlier I would check out the International Code to see whether or not the name Favorinus elenalexiae should be changed to F. elenalexiarum. I did not realise at the time that the authors had addressed this point in their published correction which I cite below. Basically I tend to agree with their argument that the -arum -orum endings refer to 2 or more people with the same surname. Artifical combinations such as 'elenalexiae' would probably make a Latin purist turn in their grave!

The whole topic though raises an interesting point:
Under the 3rd Edition (1985), wrongly constructed gender endings (suffixes) were considered to be an 'incorrect original spelling' and were to be corrected [Art 32 c, d]. Which would mean that under those Rules, it would have been mandatory to change such an incorrect spelling.

However in the 4th edition (1999), the same rules concerning gender endings apply, [Art. 31.1.2] but it is not clear what we are supposed to do if authors ignore the Rules, or make an error in applying them. In Article 32.2 it states that 'The original spelling of a name is the "correct original spelling", unless it is demonstrably incorrect as provided in Article 32.5'. Art. 32.5 covers inadvertent errors such as a typographical mistakes or mispelling of a name, but specifically states that "Incorrect transliteration or latinization .... are not to be considered inadvertent errors"

It seems to me that this is a major rule change. As far as I can determine it means the incorrect gender suffixes, in fact any incorrect latinization, cannot be changed.

To many of you this is probably all very esoteric and boring, but in an age of computer searches, changes in the spelling of a name can be a major problem. I would welcome any views on my interpretation of the Rules. Have I missed something?

• Garcia, F.J. & Troncosa, J.S., 2001. Correction of a mistake introduced in the description of an aeolid nudibranch of the genus Favorinus Gray, 1850. The Nautilus, 115(4): 150

Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2002 (Aug 15) Favorinus elenalexiae or F. elenalexiarum. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/7775

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