Blunt’s advice on the pronunciation of scientific names (Brit. Birds 102: 2528) makes interesting reading and I wish those involved in promoting classical pronunciation every success. Such abominations as `Beauty-oh’ for Buteo (should be `Boo-teh-aw’), `Troglo-dietees’ for Troglodytes (Troglo-dee-tess) and `Puffyness’ for Puffinus (Poo-fee-noose), among many others, have always struck me as implausible but I am a native speaker of Spanish as well as English. When scientific names are pronounced as Spanish words, or those of other Latin-derived languages, most of the advised criteria are met. I fear that it will take a lot to shift British usage away from the straitjacket of, especially, English vowel sounds, at least among those who do not also speak a Latin-derived language. Still, it is well worth a try.I read with amusement the recent letter on pronunciation of scientific names (Brit. Birds 102: 2528), and assumed that it was written by M. Python. However, joking aside, there is an important issue here, about which I have been intending to write to BB for some months. In terms of pronunciation, it is of course futile to even contemplate a `correct pronunciation’ since scientific names are not Latin names. They are based largely, though not entirely, on Latin. And the Latin on which they are based is not classical Latin. It probably has more affinity with medieval church Latin or even botanical Latin, both of which are recognised as distinct. To suggest that there is a `correct’ way of pronouncing Latin is like
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British Birds – how it works
BB 2000 Ltd, the company that owns and publishes British Birds, is run by a board of directors, all of whom are volunteers. The company employs two full time staff – Roger Riddington is the journal’s editor while Hazel Jenner manages subscriptions and administration – and three part-time design/editorial staff.
The company is wholly owned by The British Birds Charitable Trust (BBCT, registered charity no. 1089422). Neither the company directors nor the trustees are paid for their services, providing their time and enthusiasm because they passionately believe in the value of BB. The Company is managed with a view to making a small profit which can be donated to the Trust to help fund its charitable work.
Over the past six years, this, combined with donations from other sources, has enabled the Trust to give almost £70,000 support to a variety of conservation and educational projects ranging from rat eradication on seabird islands to the study of cuckoo migration, as well as assisting young birders develop their interest.
A full list of projects is given here. The Trust is seeking to expand its charitable endeavours and would welcome donations from like-minded organisations and individuals.