A verb was created, ?to Hebrew-ify? (noun: Hebrew-ification), and people, especially those in the government service, were asked to ?Hebrew-ify? their last names. Scientists took on the daunting task of providing ?scientific? Hebrew binomial translations of Latin binomials; each organism was assigned a consistent generic and specific Hebrew epithet. (This scientific undertaking is quite distinct from the common names of plants that are found in every language, and, as far as I know, unique to Israel.) In line with the change of the new state?s name from Palestine to Israel, Pistacia palaestina, became ?Elah eretz-yisraelit,? indeed, ?Israeli Pistacia.? I have had occasion to hear one botanist express retrospective doubt, and perhaps tentative regret, about the enterprise---today Israeli students of botany have difficulty learning Latin binomials, so accustomed are they to using Hebrew binomials.
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