Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Mon Jun 18 18:47:56 UTC 2001

I would say, on the other hand, that it shows us the importance of a
botanically-sensitive dialectology (and the scientific names could be
stuff like flower#247B for all most of us give a whack).

dInIs (whose father called ALL flowering shrubs wigilias, cause he
liked the word)

>  >Hardly. A buttercup is a crowfoot, and, botanically, daffodils and
>>jonquils are both narcissuses (or, for the high-falutin' narcissi,
>>not -ae).
>>But I know lots of green-thumbers who will regularly refer to some
>>plants as narcissuses and others (in contrast) as daffodils. Folk
>>realities are, of course, not any less "real" than scientific ones.
>  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
>The common names of plants collectively show us the importance of the
>botanical names.  A casual browse through the wonderful 3-volume Britton &
>Brown /Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States & Canada/ reveals
>that not only do many plants have half-a-dozen common names, but that the
>same common name may be shared by half-a-dozen different plants, coming
>from as many different genera.
>A. Murie

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at pilot.msu.edu
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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