Posted: Jan 01, 2011 1:33 pm
by susu.exp
Delvo wrote:Just because some silly entomologist at some point in the past decided to insist on pretending that the word "bug" has such an absurdly narrow definition, and somehow got other pretentious entomologists to go along with that obvious pretense, does not mean that that insistence has anything to do with the actual, and much wider, meaning of the word "bug" in the real world.

You got your history wrong. The word bug first appears in English texts in the 17th century and remained restricted to animals within the hemiptera for a long time. The "silly entomologist" was von Linne who gave the technical name in the 10th revised Edition of the "Systema Naturae" in 1758. A broader non-technical use entered american english in the 19th century, but biological sciences have not seen a good reason to change their technical use. In particular since that broader use is mostly restricted to the Americas.
To check for the usage, let´s turn to Darwin. In the Origin he refers to the proboscis of the bugs, noting that it is "curious[ly] folded", indeed a synapomorphy of the hemiptera. In "Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle round the world, under the command of Capt. Fitz Roy", Darwin Describes the a bug, which again, is a member of the Heteroptera (genus Reduvius). In "The variation of plants and animals under domstication", he again refers to a Hemipteran as a bug.
Try as you might, you won´t find uses of bug for anything non-Hemipteran in biological science, nor in older text, nor in a lot of texts that aren´t american.