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Button/field mushroomEdit

These terms really are used to refer to the button and field mushrooms, as originally given in the entry; the definition "mushroom" is too vague as there are many kinds of "gu" eaten in Chinese cuisine. Source 1. Source 2. Source 3. Source 4. Sometimes it has a modifier, sometimes not. 18:06, 15 December 2007 (UTC)



(pinyin: mógū)

  1. the button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus
  2. the field mushroom, Agaricus campestris

See alsoEdit 18:06, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

You're killing me :) That's why I asked you if you owned a basic Mandarin-English dictionary. Many of your definitions indicate to me that you not only don't speak Chinese, but you don't even bother to consult mainstream dictionaries like the one I indicated. 蘑菇 is even on the Appendix:HSK list of Mandarin words/Advanced Mandarin, which means that it is highly likely to be found in any medium-sized Mandarin-English dictionary! As for your "sources," it only proves my point that we need true language experts to make sense of such things. For example, compare your google search (Agaricus bisporus had 351 hits, and Agaricus campestris had 199 hits I think), with this google search (mushroom had 29,000 hits). Take a look at the Baidu online encyclopedia entry. If you could read Chinese, you would understand from this article that 蘑菇 refers generically to the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source (see mushroom). Here are my counter sources source1source2, source3source4source5source6 (I had to go you two better :). -- A-cai 00:04, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I have one, but the print size is very small and usually use the Internet. The question is, Wiktionary says that is a "type" of mushroom and CantoDict says it's "a species" of mushroom, but exactly which one is ? Obviously is used as a generic suffix for many edible mushrooms, but the question is, which does refer to (on its own, without ), or which did it used to refer to in ancient times? 01:12, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

According to your definition, 草菇, 冬菇, 花菇, 香菇, 杏鮑菇, 刺芹菇, etc. would all be forms of 蘑菇? 01:17, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Finally, the fact that many websites do list 蘑菇 (without modifier) as "button mushroom" or "field mushroom" signifies that this usage is "wrong"? It would seem to show, instead, that these are an alternate usage. 01:17, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Only on Wiktionary would a complete novice argue in such a way with a language expert and a half dozen Mandarin-English dictionaries :) Here is the Encyclopedia Britanica article which has the exact same text in Chinese and English. Read that first, and if you still have questions, post them here (or find a Chinese language instructor). Here are some other links for your benefit:[1][2] -- A-cai 02:45, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, that's very helpful; I didn't know Britannica had a Chinese version. It doesn't explain, however, the use of 蘑菇 in Chinese in the sites called up by the search I gave above. Simply deferring to print sources doesn't explain this, and when a question is so clearly focused, the actual question should be addressed rather than deflected. One explanation I would propose is that "button mushroom" is used as a "normative" sense of 蘑菇; i.e., the modifier "双孢" is understod when not speaking in scientific (i.e. Linnean binomial) terms, since the button mushroom has become one of the most widely produced and common mushrooms used in cuisine. In English, for example, "button mushroom" is never seen at pizza places, where the term used for the button mushroom topping is simply "mushroom." Again, the Chinese usage of 蘑菇 to refer to a specific mushroom (i.e. the button mushroom or closely related field mushroom) does need to be seriously explored, even if it is a colloquial usage. Regarding levels of skill in various languages, we all have our areas of skill and interest within and between languages, and all have something valuable to add; consequently, it's never a good idea to verbally "put down" another editor; that is not considered a "Wikipedian" mode of behavior. Good faith must be exercised at all times. Thanks again and best, 03:25, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Still needed is an etymology for (on its own), as our entries still state that it is a "type of edible mushroom," with no further identification. This may involve investigating this character's historical use, which may differ from the modern use, as well as differentiating between the use of and --if both are generic terms for mushroom, what are the differences in etymology and usage for these two characters? 03:29, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

One more: Chinese Wikipedia entry for 蘑菇--gives "field mushroom" in the taxobox. 04:11, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I will try to not "put you down." Here is a more technical explanation. In biological terms, 蘑菇 usually (but not exclusively) refers to anything in the 蘑菇属 (Agaricus genus, which includes the "button mushroom" and the "field mushroom"). That is why the Chinese Wikipedia article claims that 蘑菇 actually refers to Agaricus campestris. Since 蘑菇 is a generic term for mushroom, and Agaricus campestris is a common mushroom, the author of the article is attempting (incorrectly) to associate it with a precise species (keep in mind that the Chinese Wikipedia article is a grand total of six sentences, with no citations). But you could say the exact same thing about the English word mushroom, could you not? 蘑菇 is an imprecise term, just like mushroom is an imprecise term. As the Chinese wikipedia article states, a more precise term for "field mushroom" is 野蘑菇. Similarly, a more precise term for "button mushroom" is 双孢蘑菇. I think you're getting tripped up by over-analyzing the meanings of the component characters and . Doing that can be tricky in Chinese, because Chinese does not require the same amount of precision as English. The extreme example of this is from Laozi, "道可道非常道." -- A-cai 06:23, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

This is very clear, and I think should be explained to some extent in the entry. The Chinese language is still prone to "crisis=danger+opportunity"-type misunderstandings that arise when foreigners "think" they understand the derivation of a Chinese word, while failing to understand the fundamental rules regarding structure and construction of multi-character terms. So the reduction/elimination of these ambiguities by the addition of such clarifying information about usage and etymology in Wiktionary entries really makes our project superior to other online (and print) dictionaries.

I do think that Chinese colloquial/normative usages (such as the term "mushrooms" used in English for the button mushroom on pizza shop menus) should be included, if they do exist and are used. 06:46, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Even if their meanings can be flexible or nebulous, I think a historically contextual/etymological examination of the usages of and (why are there two terms for the same item, and which specific mushroom may they have referred to in ancient times) should be looked into. 06:48, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

For the record, I do sympathize with the small print issue. I have heard this complaint from a great number of enthusiastic Chinese language students. Unfortunately, there aren't that many Chinese print dictionaries which have decent large print versions. If I run across one, I will you provide you with the name and ISBN number. I own a ridiculous number of Chinese dictionaries, but most of them are in small print I have to admit (even the large ones). -- A-cai 07:14, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I have "Concise English-Chinese Chinese-English Dictionary" by A. P. Cowie and A. Evison, published by The Commercial Press/Oxford University Press in 1986. It's hard enough to track down a character by its radical or number of strokes with Wiktionary (especially when the radical isn't the one one thought it was!), even worse to try to do it from this small print dictionary. 07:25, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Ok, I have been thinking about your situation. You need something with larger print, Pinyin based, but also with the ability to search by radical. You also need a dictionary with a large enough lexicon that you can search for words beyond basic and intermediate level. The only thing I don't know is if you're really serious about Mandarin. If you are serious about Mandarin, I recommend you purchase a dictionary like this. As you already know, that concise pocket dictionary of yours is just not going to cut the mustard for your purposes here at Wiktionary. Online internet dictionaries and websites can be very useful, but almost none of them are authoritative. You need the ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. Without any fluency in the language, your only hope is to purchase a dictionary put out by a reputable publisher. As we say in Chinese, 工欲善其事,必先利其器. -- A-cai 12:40, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
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