Fuschias amongst the Fuchsias

Discussion in 'Plants: Nomenclature and Taxonomy' started by Grooonx7, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. Grooonx7

    Grooonx7 Active Member

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    Vancouver, Canada
    —Or should I say, "amongst the Fuchsiae", to keep accord with the artificially Latinized form of Leonhart Fuchs' name? (That's intended as a tongue-in-cheek rhetorical question.)

    The discussion of the right spelling of this made-up word, evidently duly created and ascribed to the plant a century after Leonard's death, is fascinating. In googling about, I have learnt so much! (Or would you be so vulgar as to say, "I have learned so much"?)

    I maintain the "correct" use of "I shall" versus "I will" in my everyday speech. I use "wonderful" to mean "full of wonder". I use "terrific" to mean "terror-invoking", rather than the ghastly contemporary alternative ascribed politically to everything and everyone we simply don't like.

    And so: in dealing with all these fuschias, or fuschiae, amongst the fuchsias, or fuchsiae:

    If you enjoy etymology, I suggest you look at the following link, which I felt was the best among the great many I found about Fuschia googlia:

    http://virtuallinguist.typepad.com/the_virtual_linguist/2009/04/fuchsia.html (Do be sure to read the Comments there as well.)

    There is no "right" answer, of course. We can play nice and call the plants fuchsias—er, fuchsiae, then—but learned folk of a century ago would still be horrified by our ignorant mix of Greek with Latin in our scientific names.

    I find it delightful irony that Leonard Fuchs himschelf remains aloof and innocent of all susch fussching.
  2. Douglas Justice

    Douglas Justice Well-Known Member UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society 10 Years

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    Vancouver, Canada
    Thank you for that. Then there's Weigela, Kniphofia and Aubrieta. I've been telling my students that these should be pronounced Vie'-gel-ah (with a hard "g"), Kunnip-hoff'-ee-ah and Ah-bree-et'-ah. And I'm on a veritable crusade to convince people that Halesia ought to be pronounced Hale'-zee-ah. Please weigh in...

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