Jim Endersby in the Times Literary Supplement:
In 1771, the Scottish naturalist William Smellie used an article in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica (of which he was the main compiler) to attack the “alluring seductions” of the Linnaean system of plant classification. Smellie accused Linnaeus of taking his analogies “beyond all decent limits”, claiming that the Swedish naturalist’s books were enough to make even the most “obscene romance writer” blush. His outrage was shared by the English naturalist William Goodenough, who was appalled by Linnaeus’s “disgusting names, his nomenclatural wantonness, vulgar lasciviousness, and the gross prurience of his mind”.
The subject of all this moral outrage was the methodus propria (“proper method”) of plant classification, devised by the Swedish naturalist Carl von Linné, better known by the Latinized version of his name as Linnaeus. His system was published in a series of books that started appearing in the 1750s, the most important of which were the Philosophia Botanica (“Philosophy of Botany”, 1751) and the Species Plantarum (“Species of Plants”, 1753). These provided the foundations for all subsequent classification, not least because the two-part Latin scientific names, such as Homo sapiens, that we still use were regularized and – even more importantly – publicized by Linnaeus.