Last modified on 12 April 2015, at 18:30

Talk:surprise

Is really the fact that the noun surprise can be used attributively something to warrant a separate definition? The third noun def could perhaps also be merged into the other two?--sanna 09:27, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

I think the third definition should remain separate, because a feeling of surprise will often be translated differently from a surprising event. Kappa 11:11, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

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Rfv-sense: the sole adjective sense 'unexpected'. Is this an adjectival at all? Renard Migrant (talk) 16:45, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

There are a number of phrases that take the form "a surprise NOUN". Purplebackpack89 18:00, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Invalid argument: same goes for "tractor" (tractor parts, tractor driver) but that's not an adjective. "Surprise" fails many of the typical tests for adjectivity: you can't have "more/most/very/somewhat surprise"; you can say "surprise party" but not "the party was surprise"; and so on. Equinox 18:04, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree. It's an attributive use of the noun, not an adjective. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:06, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, this is rfv (though I'm not sure why it isn't at rfd), so it's all about usage, not arguments. At any rate, the usage mentioned doesn't establish adjectivity for the reasons mentioned. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:16, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't make them adjectives: you don't say "that inspection was more surprise than the last one", you say, "that inspection was more of a surprise than the last one. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:09, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: It is at RfV because RfD tends to be a fact-free zone and facts could in principle show surprise to behave like a true adjective. We actually have criteria for "true adjective" use, unlike the situation for multi-word entries. The burden of proof is on those with insight into some type of true adjective use to demonstrate such use. The longer minimum time period before removal of items is useful to give advocates more of a chance. There is a substantial bias toward deleting these because linguistically naive contributors are inclined to take attributive use of a noun as an indication that the noun is also an adjective. A weakness of the process is that we rarely add examples of the noun in attributive use as usage examples for the noun definitions. DCDuring TALK 18:52, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Are we sure it is a good idea to single out one particular sense that arises in attributive use, as the definition "unexpected" in this case? For example, in the surprise element (aka the element of surprise) the element is not unexpected, it is a desired and planned-for feeling of surprise, which may indeed be expected, as in those attending a horror movie. DCDuring TALK 19:32, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
It may be planned and expected in some way (as in expect the unexpected), but there's something unexpected about it for the viewer, otherwise it wouldn't provoke the "feeling of surprise". Chuck Entz (talk) 21:02, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Attestation is the key. Nouns can't be qualified by adverbs such as "very surprise" "more surprise" "the most surprise". I wasn't the tagger it was tagged by Hamaryns in December 2013. Not really relevant because we go on the merits of the entry, not who tagged it. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:15, 8 November 2014 (UTC)
There are thousands of citations for google books:"very surprise" and google books:"so surprise". I've found nothing yet (scannos for "very surprised" mainly) but I have looked. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:19, 11 November 2014 (UTC)


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