10 April 2008

Any way you spell it, it's Saccharomyces cerevisiae

I work in an office where we mostly review and write documents. Sometimes, matters that may appear frivolous to outsiders become subjects for serious discussion among ourselves. Today was one of those days. Whilst writing a document, I realized there were 3 possible spellings of the common name of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: baker's yeast, bakers' yeast, bakers yeast.

I sent out an e-mail to some of my coworkers asking for their input. Later we noticed that we had already used "bakers yeast" in some of our old public documents. That usage set a precedent and we decided to stick with it, although I personally would have preferred "baker's yeast".

After I came home, I did a Google search and got the following numbers of hits.

baker's yeast: 350,000
bakers' yeast: 66,600
bakers yeast: 66,500
Saccharomyces cerevisiae: 4,090,000
Saccharomyces cerevisae: 146,000


Katie said...

I would have used baker's yeast as well. But who would have thought there would be those variations on the common name?

Deniz Bevan said...

ooh I love those sorts of discussions! we had one at work about check in. I.e. it should be check-in counter but passengers check in (no hyphen). The rest thought that was too hard to remember, I and a couple of others were overruled and now we use check-in everywhere. So I know how you feel - I owuld have used baker's yeast myself.

Dave Coulter said...

No laughing matter when you had a professor who would dock you points if you misspelled these sorts of things. :)