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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,, and 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

Ordering of elementsEdit

@Smuconlaw Shouldn't "Noah Porter, editor" come after the author? Right now it's in between "<word>, in" and "Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary", which seems unusual. —suzukaze (tc) 16:47, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Multiword entriesEdit

The site that the template now uses (not ARTFL!) has many run-in entries which have no redirects. Thus, plume grass appears at 'Plume' and White House appears at 'House'. They also have MWEs that appear under the combination, eg, 'White horse'.

This template is transcluded on 28,000 pages. To avoid running bots to change the parameters, an error-prone process, we should probably accept the current behavior, for which parameter 1 is optional and the default is PAGENAME.

The logic should be that if the target entry is not parameter 1 and not PAGENAME, then the optional parameter 2 is used for the link.

The display should be either parameter 1 or PAGENAME. As the run-ins are often not visible on the landing screen, it might be useful to suggest that the user pagedown to find the run-in.

I would love to do this myself but I don't understand the use of PATH and don't know how to force the correct display. DCDuring TALK 23:41, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

This now works with an optional parameter 2 for the target entry, but requires typing in the display term as parameter 1 if parameter 2 is used. This should be consistent with all the current uses in entries and on discussion pages. DCDuring TALK 23:49, 26 July 2016 (UTC)


@Smuconlaw, why not T:R:Reference-meta? —JohnC5 20:36, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

The template uses a different format for the "Linking to a term that appears on the page of a main entry" scenario. — SMUconlaw (talk) 21:56, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
Cool. —JohnC5 23:37, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with that. Let us use the beautiful traditional formatting that does not add unnecessary details. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:57, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Like the location of publication—one of the most common pieces of citation information? Again, “beautiful” is your opinion. Accurate and relevant citational information is not. —JohnC5 08:10, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Too much information that is of very little utility is bad for the user. That is what you disregard.
Now please explain to me, how is the reader going to benefit from having the location of publication in the mainspace? --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:18, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Because it's how everyone else in the world and on Wikimedia does citations except for you. I read correctly formatted citations faster because I know where everything is already. I would argue that the type of people who would even look at the citations in the first place are similar. —JohnC5 08:25, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Can you show us the benefit for that class of information in an online link? And are you sure everyone does it? Should I find a counterexample or was it just hyperbole on your part? --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:30, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── From my humble perspective, it just seems odd that we have some templates that use quotation marks and others that don't, some that use the word in and others that don't, some that indicate full imprint information and others that don't. I see no reason why we shouldn't standardize these templates. — SMUconlaw (talk) 10:37, 18 March 2017 (UTC)

The reason is very simple: there is no consensus. You can't standardize in the absence of consensus. In the absence of consensus, lack of unity prevails, depending on the preference of whoever created the item first. Otherwise, I could start removing details from reference templates that the original creators placed there, citing consistency as the reason. In fact, consistency is down below on the list of reasons to do anything.
Can someone please show me a real academic article that uses the style of referencing that you envision? --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:50, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I believe it was JohnC5, not me, who drew an analogy with academic articles. I don't think that we need to follow any particular academic citation format. I think it is useful to provide ISBN and OCLC information in case users wish to look up more information about the references, and this would be consistent with our {{cite ...}} and {{quote ...}} family of templates, but do not consider it essential. On the other hand, I think we should maintain consistency with {{cite ...}} and {{quote ...}} in terms of the use of quotation marks and the provision of imprint information. It seems odd that, for example, {{R:Gaffiot}} states the place of publication ("Paris"), but {{R:Webster 1913}} does not. — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:37, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
I apologize if I keep mixing up assignment of arguments to people. Template:R:Gaffiot does not state "Paris" in my preferred version, nor does the original revision of the template from diff. If I were to make templates consistent, I would remove the place of publication from all of those that are external links. However, this I cannot do since that is not supported by consensus. Absent consensus, this kind of thing cannot be made perfectly consistent. Nonetheless, I would hazard a guess that a large majority of external link templates do not state the place of publication, so removing that extraneous piece of information would be the most straightforward way of making things consistent. --Dan Polansky (talk) 15:53, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, I had to go to bed as it was 4AM my time when last we were discussing. —JohnC5 17:26, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
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