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Article: Plant Pronunciation, Part 1: People Plants: I do not get it.

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Forum: Article: Plant Pronunciation, Part 1: People PlantsReplies: 1, Views: 12
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Marquesas Islands
Polynesia (French)

August 1, 2011
4:31 AM

Post #8729050

Botanical names are useful or not. Pronunciation does not mean much unless one can really spell. Spelling is not necessary when researching since the system will suggest a correct spelling. Therefore, the preoccupation about correction and pronunciation is totally trivial and inconsequential.

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Gurnee, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 1, 2011
6:11 AM

Post #8729227

I can agree with you up to a point, Noturf. Spell-help when researching and spell-check when writing are convenient inventions, but they’re no substitute for a solid language knowledge base. You say that pronunciation doesn't mean much unless a person can spell. And I say, pronunciation and spelling are both vital skills necessary to being an effective communicator! (Sorry, I think it’s the school teacher in me coming out.)

There is so much to learn from studying plant names, or any words for that matter. Languages evolve along with people, and delving into the history behind the meaning, spelling and pronunciation of a plant name tells us as much about ourselves as it does about botany.

While I believe spelling and pronunciation of plant names are interesting and important, I also think those gardeners who are hyper-correct about Latin pronunciation, and who are only too happy to seize on what they consider the errors of others, are missing the point. (Perhaps this is what you were thinking of when you said pronunciation was trivial and inconsequential?) Scientific botanical nomenclature was created to enhance gardeners' ability to identify and communicate about plants. And communication -- not “correctness” -- should be our ultimate focus.

Thanks for including the lovely photo. What a beautiful place to live!

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