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Old 1st October 2019, 04:32 PM   #40
ariel's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 4,988

Originally Posted by Ren Ren
Ariel, do you imagine a situation in which a specialist in Latin philology begins to correct medical and biological terminology?
Any terminology is only an auxiliary tool that allows you to transfer information among specialists with minimal loss of meaning. And only within the circle of these specialists can it be recognized as right or wrong.

It is not a question of philology: it is a question of correct terminology. Calling secondary dentin a pulp is fundamentally incorrect: those are different parts of a tooth, with different location, structure, consistency and function. This is not “ the minimal loss of meaning”: it is a total one.
The level of writing depends on the audience: if one addresses tusk carvers, one can use their lingo, but in a supposedly professional book one should use professional terms. Carvers would look totally befuddled if one asks them about secondary dentin; professional biologists would not be able to understand how one can carve anything from a thin layer of a viscous pulp.

So the question is: was the book a professional publication of a respectable museum of biology or a popular brochure aimed at the makers and buyers of carved trinkets? It is the “either/or” distinction. If the latter, I shall withdraw my objection. But then, the museum and the author should not advertise it as a scientific publication.
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