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"rescue is not an adjective in English"
Then how would you parse "rescue vehicle"?

As modifier, noun. "Rescue" is a noun; in "rescue vehicle", it is a modifier, that is, a noun functioning as an adjective. -- Paul G 16:51, 22 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'd like to make an article giving some guidance on what is an what is an adjective but I'm not sure where to put it. Such articles should be in some kind of namespace I think but where? Or should it be in an FAQ?
Something else interesting is that such uses as nouns may well translate as adjectives in other languages and may well have a different sense when used as a modifier. — Hippietrail 04:32, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The FAQ might be a good place for a comprehensive grammar guide, of which this article could be part. An altnerative would be to have an "English grammar" appendix (the front page of which could link to articles on all sorts of useful stuff). -- Paul G 11:38, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
A further issue is when to give a phrase its own entry as an idiom. English is very productive in using nouns as modifiers. Legislators and bureaucrats seem particularly productive in this regard. As usual, there is a spectrum, from newly-minted and clearly rule-generated (e.g, if someone called a new invention a "chair cleaner" you'd know exactly what it was supposed to do), to idiomatic senses like "field house" (an indoor arena generally used for basketball games).
In between are cases like "tax shelter," "rescue vehicle," "game plan," "moonbeam" and such, which are not idioms in the sense of "something you couldn't figure out from the parts" but probably are idioms in the sense of "something stored in the brain and processed as a unit." (Of course, that designation will vary from brain to brain).
My inclination would be to err on the side of too many idioms, and give "tax shelter," "rescue hero" and "game plan" their own entries (moonbeam is already in because it happens to be spelt as one word).
While there are a great many possible combinations of two English nouns, and it's possible to assign some sort of meaning to a great many random combinations, relatively few of these are actually widely enough used to pop into someone's head spontaneously. If I think of related terms for "chair," I might come up with "chairman," "electric chair" or "musical chairs," but I'm unlikely to come up with "chair cleaner" off the top of my head. I would expect that a random sample of a dozen native English speakers would produce similar results. This indicates to me that the first three phrases have "word" ("listeme") status and deserve their own entries. -dmh 15:56, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
These are good points. For what it's worth, the OED handles this by having three levels of entry:
a) Separate entries for compounds that are well-established and have one or more lengthy definitions that are not deduced from the component words ("chairman" and "wheelchair" might come under this category).
b) Entries given in a list under the first component, each having its definition. These are usually for words that have one or two short definitions (some words for special types of chair might come under this category).
c) Entries given in a list under the first component without definitions, where the definition can be deduced from the components and where many other possible combinations could easily be added to the list ("chair-leg" might come under this category, as it means simply "the leg of a chair"; others that might or might not be worth listing include "chair-arm", "chair-back" and "chair-castor" [which I've just made up, but which, were I to use them, would be understood without my having to explain them] as well as "chair-cleaner").
I would agree with Dmh and say that words fitting into categories a) and b) and some the words in c) should be included in Wiktionary. -- Paul G 16:10, 23 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'm with Dmh too. We differ from compact dictionaries in that each listeme gets its own article/entry but that homonyms with different etymologies and different senses must share an article/entry.
Another way in which we differ is that we're also a translating dictionary. So if it turns out that one of these such entries has a one word non-compound entry in another language, then it's pretty fair to give it its own entry in Wiktionary too. — Hippietrail 01:23, 24 Mar 2004 (UTC)


The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup.

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.

Sort synonyms, antonyms by sense; general modernisation of 1913 language. DCDuring TALK 21:11, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

ie, still Websterian. DCDuring TALK 17:03, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Striking. Synonyms and antonyms have been sorted by sense. 1913 entries are tagged using template:Webster 1913; no need to tag them using a rfc tag in addition. --Dan Polansky 12:34, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Use in genetics researchEdit

This word seems to be used somewhat unusually in the genetics research literature. I'm not sure what a good definition would be, but I wanted to collect some examples of the use here, and see if others can figure it out. JesseW (talk) 05:59, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

  1. "Incomplete rescue of the external abdominal pigmentation is also displayed." from Analysis of the Doublesex Female Protein in Drosophila melanogaster: Role in Sexual Differentiation and Behavior and Dependence on Intersex
  2. "Fostering the pups born to Mbd2(−/−) mothers with wild-type mothers completely rescued the weight phenotype" from Closely related proteins MBD2 and MBD3 play distinctive but interacting roles in mouse development
  3. "We next asked whether this failure of repression could be rescued by reintroducing MBD2 into theMbd2-deficient cells." from same source
  4. "overexpression of RGS-1 rescues all the behavioral defects seen in egl-10 null mutants" from Multiple RGS proteins alter neural G protein signaling to allow C. elegans to rapidly change behavior when fed

I can find more if people are interested. JesseW (talk) 05:59, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Return to "rescue" page.