Open main menu

Wiktionary β

Talk:breakfast cereal

Green check.svg

The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.

breakfast cerealEdit

Is this really idiomatic? ---> Tooironic 23:29, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Well, it's "a food made from processed grains", which means it's not merely a cereal. Equinox 23:30, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
But cereal also means stuff like Cheerios or Frosties; we have that definition.​—msh210 (talk) 15:00, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Nor is it necessarily only eaten at breakfast (I had breakfast cereal for tea today, for example). Thryduulf (talk) 00:38, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
But it's meant for breakfast and most commonly eaten thereat.​—msh210 (talk) 15:00, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Keep, I wouldn't eat raw rye or wheat for breakfast. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:11, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
My impression is that what's now commonly called cereal was originally called only breakfast cereal, which would make it obsoletely idiomatic. Should we keep such things? We keep obsolete terms. (This is besides any claims of current idiomaticity voiced above, which, FWIW, I don't buy.)​—msh210 (talk) 15:00, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Incidentally, I asked the same question at [[#portmanteau_word]], above. (Later, I guess, at [[talk:portmanteau word]].)​—msh210 (talk) 16:42, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Keep, Wiktionary includes idioms, although I do not see this as being one. In its strictest definition, it is just the sum of its parts. ~ heyzeuss 14:27, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
If you don't see it as an idiom why are you voting to keep it? ---> Tooironic 23:52, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps answered your own argument there, it's not ust the sum of its parts for any definition other than the strictest one. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:32, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Keep. Breakfast can mean different things in different places.--Dmol 04:26, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Delete This is a noun phrase intelligible from its components. The use of "cereal" to mean what was formerly called "breakfast cereal" simply indicates that "breakfast cereal" is too cumbersome in context. There is worthwhile encyclopedic content to be found at WP. The appropriate sense of cereal is available as a translation target. In fact, if this entry remains, it would be misleading to provide as translation the most frequent corresponding term in another language. It is "cereal" that is the attributive noun in expressions such as "cereal bowl" (or is that too confusing to parse and also needing an entry?). DCDuring TALK 10:33, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
"The use of "cereal" to mean what was formerly called "breakfast cereal" simply indicates that "breakfast cereal" is too cumbersome in context." sounds like a good argument for keeping it - outside of context "breakfast cereal" is still used, and even if it wasn't your comment says that it used to be so we'd include it as a historical or whatever entry. A "cereal bowl" is just a bowl for cereal, but a "breakfast cereal" isn't just a cereal for breakfast - it's a specific type of processed cereal normally eaten with milk, regardless of the time of day that it is consumed. Thryduulf (talk) 16:53, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand the reasoning. Are you saying that any disambiguating redundancy (eg, "unsalted butter") merits a new entry? Currently, breakfast is a modifier used occasionally to disambiguate "cereal", though "cereal" now usually means "breakfast cereal" in usage outside the food-processing and agriculture sectors. That would suggest that it is more clear less ambiguous than "cereal". I doubt if that clarity is because hearers have a lexical entry for it. (BTW, oatmeal, not necessarily served with, let alone cooked with milk, is a (breakfast) cereal, as are "farina", "cream of wheat" and possibly, "pastina".) A cereal bowl is a bowl for cereal (prepared, often sweetened, cereal food). It is referred to as a "breakfast cereal bowl" only rarely. I just recently say a documentary about a place that serves breakfast all day and have experienced such places personally. Breakfast means both "a meal eaten in the morning" and "a meal consisting of the foods customarily eaten in the morning". I am not sure that you are fully recognizing the implications of the polysemy of the component words. DCDuring TALK 20:32, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
First, I would disagree with respect to cereal bowl. Any bowl of any size could be the repository of cereal, but a cereal bowl is a bowl which is relatively small (compared to, say, a mixing bowl), and deep, to accommodate cereal with milk. Second, keep breakfast cereal for its historic value. bd2412 T 15:36, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't making an argument about whether we should have an entry for "cereal bowl", I was arguing the that what might have been called a "breakfast-cereal bowl" (or a "breakfast bowl") was called a "cereal bowl", suggesting thereby that "cereal" alone conveyed the necessary information and that "breakfast" was used relatively rarely as a disambiguator. This seems of comparable lexical value to hunting rifle, only slightly better than reading book. Any reference to what the referent "is" in terms of the most general meaning of the term "cereal" is irrelevant to the function of the word "breakfast" in the phrase. That a "hunting rifle" might possibly be somewhat different from a "target rifle" or a "sniper rifle" doesn't mean that each of these in lexically worthy. I think to advocate each of these trivializes language and the role of dictionaries for human users. DCDuring TALK 16:26, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I see your point. However, if it can be demonstrated that there was a period in history in which "cereal" alone would not have conveyed the information conveyed by the phrase "breakfast cereal", then shouldn't we have "breakfast cereal" as an historic idiom? bd2412 T 17:39, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
This puts us at a point where we must finally admit that we can't rely on our intuitions very much at all. What corpus-based tests could we use to determine the answer to that legitimate question? DCDuring TALK 17:52, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Aargh, no, this whole line of reasoning is a red herring. It is ridiculous that we should discard noun phrases just because their meaning can feasibly be worked out, and it is ridiculous that you have to look for some kind of historical loophole to keep what is obviously good idiomatic English. The point is that this phrase exists, and that is not predictable. We don't talk about dinner cereal when we have rice with our lasagna, or breakfast meat if we have sausages. But we do talk about breakfast cereal and dictionaries should record that. Ƿidsiþ 11:30, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Quoting CFI exactly "An expression is “idiomatic” if its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components." I can't derive the meaning easily, for reasons explain by several users above. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:41, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Keep. --Dan Polansky 08:51, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Striking as rfd kept. For keeping: Mglovesfun, heyzeuss, bd2412, dmol, Dan Polansky. For deletion: Tooironic, DCDuring. Without boldfaced vote, although some arguing for keeping: msh210, Equinox, Thryduulf, Widthsidth. --Dan Polansky 10:21, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Return to "breakfast cereal" page.