Taxonomy on tap

Annalee Newitz, in io9: “The last time we redefined what it means to be human”:

While the term hominin caught on among scientists, it still hasn't made much headway with the general public. From this Google Trends chart [click to enlarge] you can see that, at least from the perspective of Google searches, the term hominin really started to catch on in 2008. And the term hominid is in decline (though admittedly this decline could have as much to do with waning interest in the game Alien Hominid as it does changing uses of the term in evolutionary biology). Still, it's clear that many more people are aware of the term "hominin" than they were even ten years ago. Perhaps without realizing it, we are participating in a transformation of what it means to be human.

Related: from 2005, my “PhyloCode and human evolution”, which discusses the reasons I ultimately abandoned “hominid” in favor of “hominin”:

All this means that if I continue to use the term "hominid," I should have a principled reason I am willing to stand by. And I don't. Nostalgia is not a principle. I myself am not confused by older literature that uses "hominid," and I am not convinced that my students will be confused, either. For undergraduates, it's just another name to learn. And if popular magazines are blithely using the term, the public is just going to have to follow. In the end, I think there will be a cost, borne by all of us, but hopefully the change will be more or less permanent and any hard feelings soon forgotten.