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RFD-sense: "(disputed usage) Biblical"

From RFV:

Rfv-sense. (disputed usage) Biblical. Seems like the noun used attributively. Also, what is disputed about it? Mglovesfun (talk) 11:08, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

I would say that when it is used in the phrase "Bible verse" it is the noun being used attributively, but when it is being used in the phrase "Bible times" it is not. If anyone can guess why I think this I would love to know. - TheDaveRoss 19:15, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Hey! I just went and asked Kreskin. I figured, if anyone knows why, he will. He said you differentiating them because in "Bible verse" it's a verse of the Bible text, whereas in "Bible times" its the times of the Bible story, i.e. the referent of the Bible text. Isn't he amazing?​—msh210 (talk) 19:36, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Move to RFD. The phrase "Bible times" is in clearly widespread use, so if TheDaveRoss feels that said phrase demonstrates adjectival use, then we can't really resolve this via attestation. (I mean, perhaps we could, if someone produced cites along the lines of "very Bible times" "when times were Bible", but it's been more than three months and no one has done so yet, so we probably can't rely on that.) —RuakhTALK 23:57, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I have no opinion on this one.

RuakhTALK 22:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

But MG was challenging exactly its adjectivity. No one produced citations that it meets adjective tests as in Wiktionary:English adjectives in three months. I know such tests aren't policy, but on what other basis are we to decide? DCDuring TALK 23:52, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, per Ruakh and DCD and erm, myself, are there three cites where this is an adjective, such as "totally Bible" or "very Bible"? This looks like a regular RFV fail to me. Mglovesfun (talk) 00:15, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, the phrase "Bible times" is in clearly widespread use; TheDaveRoss contends that that phrase is using this as an adjective; and neither WT:CFI, nor any commenters, disputed that contention. —RuakhTALK 00:35, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah right, well I dispute it. Evidence would be a fine thing. Mglovesfun (talk) 00:38, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
But how is the attributive-use only challenge addressed by the "Bible times" usage? PoS tests are grammatical. Obviously it is grammatically attributive use.
I dispute the relevance of any semantic distinction about the referent in the two cases, however much classroom fun it may be. The semantic question of how one interprets compounds like Bible verse "verse of the Bible" or Bible times ("times referred to in the Bible") is distinct. DCDuring TALK 01:43, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
As Ruakh noted in the RFD discussion on archaic (later to be archived), m.m., the rules don't require cites that can't be interpreted as citing another sense. That said, I think this is just the noun, and say to delete. Just my feeling, I guess. (My Kreskin comment was trying to explain why the phrases sound different, not to explain that/why they are.)​—msh210 (talk) 05:33, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Some complicating factors:
  • There is an attestable adjective "Bible"; but it seems to be quite rare, and it doesn't mean "Biblical", but rather something like "Bible-oriented". (See e.g. [1][2][3].) So if we delete this sense, we'll still have an adjective section, it just won't cover the overwhelming majority of instances of "Bible <noun>".
  • Even when "Bible" does mean "Biblical" (as in "Bible times"), it's not always in attributive position: google books:"times of the Bible" is well attested, for example.
  • Often (usually?), when a noun has a corresponding adjective that's closely related to it, the noun isn't used when the adjective could be used instead. No one talks about *"in these tough economy times" or *"the America President" (even though "the U.S. President" is fine). It's all well and good that we know which nouns have this limitation and which don't, and which registers and so on, but how are our readers supposed to?
All told, should we keep this sense in some form? If so, should it be under the ===Adjective=== POS header? I just don't know.
RuakhTALK 17:55, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
How about adding the other adjective sense and a usage note (s.v. "Adjective") along the lines of "However, many uses of Bible before a noun are merely attributive uses of the proper noun, as in Bible times (the times represented in the Bible) and Bible story (the story in the Bible)."?​—msh210 (talk) 18:13, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Re: attributive use of noun vs competing adjective: The implications of an effort to note this properly are staggering. Doesn't it mean that each sense of each noun would need to be tested for its potential to be used attributively? Is attestable use enough or should frequency of use in controlled corpora be taken into account? DCDuring TALK 03:26, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Attestable use is definitely not enough. It wouldn't surprise me if *tough economy times alone is attestable (it has two Usenet cites, and a few Google News Archive cites that are conceivably durably archived), but we'd do our readers a bizarre disservice if we noted that economy is used attributively. No, I think this is only worth mentioning in cases where a noun is either particularly often used attributively, or particularly surprisingly used attributively, or particularly dialectally used attributively, or whatnot, as well as possibly (conversely) in cases where a noun is unexpectedly not used attributively. Obviously most dictionaries don't bother with this at all, but it's not like we'd be the first: the World English Dictionary at (i.e. Collins 10th) has a special subsense for Bible "as modifier", and the OED Online entry has a whole top-level section devoted to its "Comb., chiefly attrib." uses. (The former treats it as a noun, even so; and the latter doesn't seem to assign it any part of speech whatsoever, though I may be missing something. Oh, and I should note that the latter's "comb." section serves a similar role to that of our derived terms, so is only partly analogous to having a separate sense for attributive use.) —RuakhTALK 03:50, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Delete; this is attributive use of the noun, and doesn't quite carry the meaning "Biblical". I didn't find convincing citations sufficient to make me believe otherwise. However, there should be a separate entry for Bible times, which is a set phrase used with modeifiers, as in "earliest Bible times". --EncycloPetey 02:59, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

deleted -- Prince Kassad 19:06, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Last modified on 21 June 2013, at 15:22