Proposal (331) to South American Classification Committee


Modify English name of Guttulated Foliage-gleaner (Syndactyla guttulata)


Edward Dickinson has pointed out to me that there is no such word as "guttulated." Our 40-lb Webster's International indeed states that the English noun guttula is an obscure word for a drop-shaped spot, and the adjectival form is guttulate, not "guttulated." As far as I can tell, the latter would be analogous to using "spatulated" for spatulate. 


One wonders how the planet has continued to rotate on its axis in the face of this flagrant error. Therefore, after several minutes of deep thought, I implore the committee to drop that "d" and use a real English word. 


Slightly more seriously, I support Edward's view that we should at least use real words in our English names. Stability concerns here are rather minor, with the only change a dropped letter.


Van "Drop the D in Guttulated" Remsen, Jan. 2008


Note: Pedantically curious concerning similar words used as adjectives, I see that Webster’s says that “variegate” is a real word, a verb, and thus “Variegated” is a legitimate adjectival form. “Flammulated”, however, is a legitimate adjective despite the absence of a verb “to flammulate.”





Comments from Stiles: "YES. Realizing that this issue is undoubtedly emotionally charged, I will timidly support Van's and Dickinson's recommendation."


Comments from Zimmer: "Overcome with excitement and exhausted by the stimulating challenges presented by this proposal, I simply vote YES."