Talk:cat's-paw

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For precedents, see Category:English words with multiple etymologies. As you see, there are a number of different ways to present the differing etymologies, but all use titles. I'm not sure I like this Meaning blah stuff, the definition comes in the part of speech heading. --Wytukaze 20:45, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

Well, you're just assuming that "Meaning foo" is a "part of speech heading." Looks more like a "primary definition heading" to me. Wiktionary is not a machine-readable corpus; it's a dictionary, and it's supposed to be read by human beings who need to find information quickly and easily. Obviously "cat's-paw" is a noun; the question presumably is, what does it mean? That's why I chose to put summaries of its meanings in the section headers, rather than meaningless nonsense like "Noun 1" or "First def" or "Furgle barker". --Quuxplusone 22:48, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

User:Uncle G writes, "Please read WT:ELE." Well, I've done that, and I fail to see any justification for this "Etymology 1" stuff. The section on homographs (WT:ELE#Homographs) currently suggests that each meaning of cat's-paw ought to have its own sub-entry, like this:

English
 cat's-paw(1)
  Etymology (from Aesop, etc.)
  Noun
   (pawn or dupe, etc.)
 cat's-paw(2)
  Etymology (from shape of knot, etc.)
  Noun
   (kind of knot, etc.)
 cat's-paw(3)
  Etymology (from playfulness of cats)
  Noun
   (kind of sea breeze, etc.)

Now, this seems to me like overkill. It's marginally better than "Etymology 1" etc., but surely we can all agree that to put the etymology before the definition is kind of silly in the case of idioms (which is what we're dealing with here). The reader needs to know what the word means before he can understand why it means that.

For example, see Bark, which has three competing "Etymology" sections with no indication of which etymology is supposed to go with which definition(s).

I appreciate that "Uncle G" is trying to standardize formatting here; I just ask that he either provide some evidence that other pages have actually been formatted readably in the new way ("Etymology 1"), or else do this page the way I think is best. ;) --Quuxplusone 22:48, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

Last modified on 8 January 2008, at 19:13