In the aftermath of the Palin fruit fly comment, some bloggers are knocking people for not knowing that the model organism D. melanogaster is technically not a fruit fly.

But the fact is that the confusing nomenclature isn't some recent mix-up - as we see in the paper everyone's citing, biology textbooks as early as 1923 have referred to Drosophila as fruit flies, and

Among 13 textbooks published after 1945, with one exception all use fruit fly as the common name... Noteworthy is the finding that even the Entomological Society of America has been seduced. Its list of common names of insects assigns small (sic!) fruit flies to the Drosophlidae and other fruit flies to the Tephritidae.

So it's not unreasonable at all, when someone refers to "fruit fly research," to assume that this person is referring to one of the world's most widely used model organisms.