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Abstract

Emesis nemesis: a pretty word symmetry, suggesting the name of a nostrum to prevent vomiting. It is, instead, the Latin name of a little Texas butterfly. H.L. Lewis's Butterflies of the World boasts color photographs of more than 5,000 of the lovely creatures. Most of the book does consist of these color plates, and at the bottom of each page are the scientific (genus and species) names. The Latin words encountered form a fitting counterpoint to the fascination of the photographs. If a living being happens to belong to a notorious genus, that name appears as a bold entry in the Webster dictionaries. Butterflies do not fare very well in this regard, but their genus names ought to be as deserving as those of mammals or plants used for human food.

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