Template talk:R:Webster 1913


This template refers to this 1913 edition which is the source of the MICRA/ARTFL online copy and the other online sites, including the imports to Wiktionary.

It should not be confused with this edition, titled Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language

See also:


Word not foundEdit

This template links to ARTFL, which doesn't have the word "sodger" in it. However, dictionary.die.net, 1913.mshaffer.com and dict.org all find it. Is there a good reason for this? If not, shouldn't we link to a different version of 1913 Webster? --Spangineer 19:41, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, this template is specifically for words in the "revised unabridged ..." version that ARTFL imported, the source of most of the "1913" versions on the net. We can have a variant template to refer to another reference (we have lots of R: templates). (And thanks for trying to fix the lousy syntax; Doremítzwr and I tweaked it further.) Robert Ullmann 16:07, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I guess I'm just confused why some hosts of the "revised unabridged" have it and others don't. The sites I linked all claim to be "revised unabridged" versions as well, but apparently there's some difference between them and ARTFL, the reason for which is not clear to me. You're right, though; a separate template is probably the best solution.
And thanks for tweaking the template; the new version is definitely an improvement. --Spangineer 21:02, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Discussions moved from User talk:Robert UllmannEdit

Template talk:R:Webster 1913Edit

… is a great and fun place I just found out about; it turns out, we can use it propose and discuss changes to {{R:Webster 1913}}, rather than having to make a series of unilateral and contested changes to a widely-transcluded, sysop-protected template! Isn't that neat?   (In all seriousness, neither of your edits bothers me — the quotation-marks and the external-link symbol are all as harmless as they are unnecessary — but I don't think sysop-protection + unilateral-decision ∈ {great ways to end an edit war}, however trivial.)RuakhTALK 15:54, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't think there was an "edit war" in any sense (e.g. nothing was "contested"), just several people trying to improve it; there was a problem that the first user tried to fix; Doremítzwr did it differently, and I effectively tweaked that (restoring the arrow). Some other intruder protected it during the process (;-) Robert Ullmann 16:02, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Hi there. Whilst it probably looks “cleaner” now, there’s a problem with the way that template is now formatted; to maintain the use–mention distinction, we need to mark the linked headword, either by italicising it or by enclosing it in quotation marks. Which option we take isn’t massively important, as long as we mark it somehow; I’d personally opt for the quotation marks because some dictionaries italicise some of their headwords (usually foreignisms) and others italicise parts of their headwords (like the OED does the POS abbreviation of its entries’ headwords). Also, out of curiosity, what’s the point of that little external-link arrow? –Is it that important to distinguish internal from external links (which they already kinda are anyway, given their differing shades of blue)? If so, why?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:02, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Quotation marks please, which distinguish entries, articles, sections, chapters from major works, like the dictionary title which appears in italics. I believe a number of other reference templates do this.
Yes, the arrow warns you that you are going elsewhere. It's an accessibility feature. I have good colour vision, but I think I edited Wikipedia for a year before I realized that there was a seventh link colour for these (after visited and unvisited internal links, stubs, and missing articles). Michael Z. 2009-04-16 01:32 z
You know, I'm not sure that's the use-mention distinction, so much as the thing-name distinction (or whatever it's called): the headword is the name of the Webster's entry we're linking to, just as we might use a headline as the text of a link to a news article. —RuakhTALK 15:13, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Your removal of quotation marks from Template:R:Webster 1913Edit

Hello Robert -- While I appreciate your desire to eliminate clutter from the content of entries, I question the appropriateness of this edit. First, the quotation marks are grammatically appropriate since it is standard to list a term in either quotation marks or italics when referring to the term (as opposed to using the term). Second, the 1913 Websters listings in the References sections are now stylistically inconsistent with the listings produced by the other "R:dictionary" templates (see, for example, perfidiousness). I think you should consider restoring the quotation marks. Respectfully -- WikiPedant 03:33, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Ah, so there are other R: templates that need the bogus quotation marks removed? I see. Not right now, it is 7AM, and I just spent 4 hours cleaing up a very weird Conrad.Bot breakage that had to be gone through manually one pageID at a time. It was breaking the XML dumps. So I will sleep a bit I think. Robert Ullmann 03:57, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Indeed there are more, Robert, but you seem to have no regard for my point that the quotation marks are not bogus. As one of many references available, consider what The Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed.), section 6.76 says: "When, in running text, a word or term is referred to as the word or term itself and is not being used functionally to convey its meaning, it is commonly set in italics. . . . Quotation marks are also often used for this purpose." The usages in our R: templates are of the sort described here, and I honestly believe that, for the sake of good English usage, the quotation marks belong in these R: templates. Please sleep on it, and see what dreams may come. -- WikiPedant 05:11, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
As I noted above, I don't think we're mentioning the term, but rather referring to an outside work by its name (a dictionary entry is named for its headword). But either way, I agree with you that we should set it off somehow, either with italics or quotation marks, or with boldface (like in our pedia-links). Just linkifying, even with the external-link symbol, isn't really enough. —RuakhTALK 12:30, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
It is already "set off" by being the headword/pagename, by being a link, and by the external arrow. That is already overkill. (and CMoS is irrelevant as an authority, as it is not running text, and the entire page is a dictionary entry, not a prose entry; CMoS is of course a worthwhile PoV.) And why is all this on my talk page? Robert Ullmann 12:55, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Ruakh, sorry I missed the discussion above when I started this section. I would still be more inclined to take these terms as mentions of the words. However, if we take them as the headwords/names/titles of entries, then quotation marks would indeed be the way to go since italics are only used for titles of major works like books or epic poems. -- WikiPedant 17:45, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Robert, actually, even in glosses and footnotes (which are not usually counted as running text) a mentioned word is normally set off by italics or quotation marks. So I think the usage point stands. As dictionary editors, I honestly believe it is incumbent on us to respect the established conventions of style. Additionally, you are opening a Pandora's box here, since the number of R: entries is quite large, the number of transclusions is vast, and there are also references out there which were added manually using the quotation mark format (for dictionaries and references which have no R: template--See, for example, cosmological argument). -- WikiPedant 17:45, 20 April 2009 (UTC)
Colleagues, these are bibliographic citations. Some have unlinkable citations, for example with {{R:Webster NCD 1974}}, {{R:Canadian Oxford 2004}}, and {{R:Melnycuk 1982}}, so they must be set off by some method other than linking. The convention is to use italics for major works like dictionary titles, and quotation marks for parts of works, in this case headwords.
The Oxford Guide to Style (Ritter 2002, p 526) suggests citing dictionary entries using s.v. (sub verbo) and omitting page numbers. Examples, with Oxford's convention of single quotation marks:
  • Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. ‘Tawdry’
  • OED, s.v. ‘Tawdry’
 Michael Z. 2009-04-20 19:03 z
I support adding the quotation marks back, per what has been said by the proponents of this move here, that is, that the term linked to from the template is the title of a section of a work, and as such needs to be set off, which the hyperlink alone does not properly do. --Dan Polansky 00:52, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

My apologies for making the edit that opened this can of worms. I personally don't mind the quotation marks so much as having the quotation marks surrounding the external link icon—if there were a way (and perhaps there is) to surround the link by unlinked quotation marks, followed by the external link icon, I would be satisfied. Putting quotation marks around an icon, however, is silly, so I prefer the current version to what existed before my edit. --Spangineer 03:18, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

That's definitely doable:
Personally, I think that's even sillier — separating the external-link icon from the rest of the link like that — but if other people want it, I don't really mind.
RuakhTALK 21:23, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
Incidentally, Mzajac implicitly raises another good point, which is that we should be capitalizing the word in question (e.g., "Example" rather than "example"), because that's how Webster's did it. —RuakhTALK 21:26, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
That's a matter of style, I think. It is common to capitalize article, section, or chapter titles, but dictionary headwords are a special case. Since letter case is significant in our entry titles, and probably in most current dictionaries too, I would rather see the original letter case preserved in our citation style. Michael Z. 2009-04-22 21:50 z

The style for external links and article citations is conventional in English Wikipedia and Wiktionary, and elsewhere. If we change our citation style for dictionary headwords, referenced article titles will continue to display the external link icon inside quotation marks. So if it's agreed that this is a problem which needs to be solved, then agreeing to change this template, or all dictionary citations, or all reference templates doesn't solve it.

If we do want to change our citation style, then it's a site-wide style change which should be brought up in the Beer Parlour (doesn't that turn of phrase invoke the wrong image?).

We could change the citation style to differentiate headwords from other titles. Using “s.v.” as mentioned above is one possibility. Another is to imitate the common dictionary style of boldfacing headwords, e.g. below. But doing so would not resolve the issue of icons inside quotes (which is odd, but the reason for it is evident, so it doesn't really bother me). Michael Z. 2009-04-22 22:01 z

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