[Tweeters] names your whole audience knows saves them time and trouble

Stewart Wechsler ecostewart at gmail.com
Mon Nov 6 13:57:39 PST 2017

On the topic of 4-letter code names, bird nick-names, and other names you
wouldn't find on the AOU checklist of North American Birds:

I have been birding since 1968, and have become familiar with all of the
names of all of the birds of the Pacific Northwest, by their AOU checklist
full names (at least the ones that are the same as when I learned them).

I only use 4 letter codes for field notes for plant surveys, then I don't
use them to talk to other people about plants (for which I generally use an
English name, followed by the scientific name). I would hardly recognize
most of those 4-letter codes I jotted down myself if I hadn't written them
in my notebook in the last few days. Nor do I usually recognize the 4
letter codes one appropriately uses for their personal shorthand field
notes for bird sighting records.

Thanks to my older brother Doug <http://www.dougwechsler.com/>, I started
intensely studying butterflies after kintergarten, followed with an intense
study of birds through Jr High and High School, then I dropped the nature
study ball for 23 years, followed by an intense study, since 21 years ago,
of all of my local vascular plants, in hopes of using that knowledge to
help the local butterflies, and then in hopes of helping the whole local
natural community of all "wild things". I then made an effort to learn my
whole local community of "wild things" - the wild plants, animals, fungi
and lichens, the best I could, in hopes of applying that knowledge to
helping that whole community the best I could.

I am trying to both stuff as much local natural community knowledge into my
head, as I can. This includes having to constantly review everything I
have learned. If I am not studying, I'm likely either pulling weeds, to
help the plants that are being pushed out by them, or possibly teaching
others about nature, or, on occasion moving a few seeds <http://[Tweeters]
short cut names> from a physically and ecologically local wild population
to a site where I estimate they would have grown if the seed could have
reached the spot.

With so little time to study, and review what I have learned about, so many
"wild things", and so little time to help Mother Nature recover from the
assault of what I have dubbed "C-evilization", I don't like to take the
time trying to think of, or looking up what a 4-letter code stands for. I
also don't want to spend the time puzzling over what species of bird is
being referred to with a nickname. Nor do I wish I had spent the time
reading the post with that name I didn't recognize.

I'd like to encourage people to think about the whole audience that reads
your Tweeters post, and ask yourself if the largest number of readers
possible will understand what birds your are talking about, with the least
time puzzling over them or doing web-searches to figure them out.

I will also add that using names that the largest audience doesn't
recognize, makes your bird dialogue into the talk of kind of an insiders'
club, that might make someone who doesn't recognize them feel like an
under-informed outsider.

Thank you so much!

-Stewart Wechsler
206 932-7225

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