I seized on this and wrote to Dr. Smith: "Does this mean we still have a chance of going back to Roccus since Morone is obviously a scientific term in itself and not really a generic? After all, Type Genus saxatilis is a bit stupid for the striper (or any fish)."
Dr. Smith replied: "In regard to this business of the derivation of Morone, I'm quite sure what your correspondent is referring to is the fact that Morone has been used as a type genus of a family of fishes, which, of course, is the Moronidae and which we are temporarily considering Percichthyidae.
"Jordan and Evermann, who looked into such matters, said the name is unexplained, and a casual perusal through some lexicons suggests it may have come from the same Greek word as our word moron, meaning stupid or foolish. There is also a possibility it is involved in the stem of the word mulberry, which is the genus Morns.
"All this is academic, however, because under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature it makes no difference what it means, and even if it meant type genus it would still be usable. Article 18 of the International Code states that 'a genus—or species-group name—once established cannot afterwards be rejected, even by its own author, because of inappropriateness.' As a matter of fact, they give the generic name of paddlefish as a horrible example—Polyodon means 'many teeth' and, of course, the paddlefish is toothless. So for the time being I think we're safe to stay with Morone."
I passed Smith's letter on to Kruse, and he replied: "I don't know about the paddlefish being a bad example because the young of Polyodon spathula have a great many teeth indeed and sharp ones."
Not toothless! I was speechless and let the matter rest.