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UTC-5 This user's time zone is UTC-5 and observes Daylight Saving Time UTC-4 (c March 11 — c November 4).


Wiktionary:Babel
en-US This user is a native speaker of American English.
de-1 Dieser Benutzer hat grundlegende Deutschkenntnisse.
fr-1 Cet utilisateur peut contribuer avec un niveau élémentaire de français.
la-1 Hic usuarius simplici latinitate contribuere potest.
grc-1 Ὅδε ἐγκυκλοπαιδειουργὸς ὀλίγον ἀρχαίως Ἑλληνιστὶ γράφειν οἷος τ’ ἐστίν.
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I have become disengaged. I don't believe in the practices followed as they have changed.

This is not a dictionary I would rely on.


A mathematics professor is giving a lecture and has made an assertion as part of his presentation. A student, not understanding the basis for the assertion asks why it is true. The professor responds that "It is obvious." Then the professor steps back, stares at the board and ponders for several minutes. Then he turns and walks out of the lecture hall. He is absent for a fairly long time and finally one of the students goes to look for him. He sees the professor in his office working on the blackboard which he has covered with mathematics. The student returns and reports to the class. Finally, just before the class is scheduled to end the professor reappears, and announces "Yes, it is obvious."


My idiolectEdit

  • Parents not native speakers (German [Lower Franconia] and Letzebergisch). My father's accent was about as thick as and similar to Henry Kissinger's (Middle Franconia)
  • Born and schooled (through grade 8) in Brooklyn, NY, 9-12 in Manhattan, 12-14 in Indiana, 4 years in Boston area, balance of time in Manhattan and Westchester.
  • No cot-caught merger.
  • No pin-pen merger.
  • No r-dropping.
  • bad does not rhyme with had.
  • father rhymes with bother.
  • I don't do the prototypical New York pronunciations except in jest:

Usability stagesEdit

The Nielsen-Norman Group posits 8 stages of usability development, of which the first four seem somewhat relevant to en.wikt.

  1. Hostility toward usability: We don't need no stinkin' users
  2. Developer-centered usability: Hey, I'm a user! (WE ARE HERE, mostly!)
  3. Skunkworks usability: I'm too smart to be a typical user.
  4. Dedicated usability budget: (which might mean a respected cadre of admins and users with such a focus).
    The above are summarized at [1].

Our motto, annotatedEdit

All1 words2 in3 all4 languages5

The ordinary-word meaning of this slogan is somewhat misleading. The following notes explain the qualifications:

1Not every word is included at all, let alone in a meaningful way. Obviously we haven't gotten around to all of them. Attestation requirements exclude many. Due to the narrowness of our contributor base many languages are unrepresented and many specialized contexts are unrepresented, even in English.
2"Word" can include letters, numbers, symbols, abbreviations, proverbs, idiomatic expressions, some non-idiomatic expressions, clitics, affixes.
3Some "words2" could fall between languages. A multi-word expression borrowed from a foreign language could be non-idiomatic in its original language and thereby not includable in that language. It may also only be found in italics or quotation marks in running text in other languages, indicating that authors and editors don't think it has entered the lexicon in that language.
4See Vote on Serbo-Croatian.
5Translingual is not a language. Many non-words are better characterized as things. Things that are not words are not part of languages.

QuotationsEdit

On excuses
17 And he sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden. Come, for all things are now ready.
18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the Lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Luke XIV 17-23

  • 1600, John Marston, Antonio's Revenge ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
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  • 1611, King James Bible ((Please specify the language of the quote)), 2 Corinthians 11: 19:
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  • 1650 August 3, Oliver Cromwell, to the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
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  • a. 1680, Samuel Butler (poet), “Paedants”, in Satires and miscellaneous poetry and prose‎[2] ((Please specify the language of the quote)), page 165:
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  • 1790, John Adams, “Discourse Three”, in Discourses on Davila ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
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  • 1842, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Sir Galahad”, in Poems ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
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  • 1847, Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, Chapter 7
    A person who has not done one half his day's work by ten o clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.
  • 1876, Charles Darwin, The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin: Including an Autobiographical Chapter ((Please specify the language of the quote)), page 282:
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  • 1930, D. H. Robertson, 'Economic Commentaries' ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
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  • 1968, Taj Mahal (music), “Good Morning Miss Brown”, in The Natch'l Blues[3] ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
    Good morning Miss Brown  / Mamma how do you do? / I said good morning Miss Brown / Mamma how do you do? / She say I'm feelin' fine and lookin' good / Maaan what about you? / I say I got the misery and the back ache baby / And my feets hurtin' me when I walk / You know I got the misery and the back ache baby / And my feets hurtin' me when I walk / And you know too much conversation hurt my tongue to talk
  • 1995, Herbert C. Morton, The Story of Webster's Third ((Please specify the language of the quote)), page 80:
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  • 2001, Bruce Sterling, Digital Decay[4] ((Please specify the language of the quote)):
    Originally delivered as the keynote address for Preserving the Immaterial: A Conference on Variable Media at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on March 30, 2001
    Bits have no archival medium. We haven't invented one yet. If you print something on acid-free paper with stable ink, and you put it in a dry dark closet, you can read it in two hundred years. We have no way to archive bits that we know will be readable in even fifty years. Tape demagnetizes. CDs delaminate. Networks go down.
  • 2008, June 26, Geoffrey K. Pullum, Language Log
    The problem I am pointing to, however, is not about web programming or sorting technicalities. It is a simple problem that afflicts us all: people with any kind of technical knowledge of a domain tend to get hopelessly (and unwittingly) stuck in a frame of reference that relates to their view of the issue, and their trade's technical parlance, not that of the ordinary humans with whom they so signally fail to engage. I have written about this before — in Per bus per journey, for example, and probably on several other occasions. The phenomenon — we could call it nerdview — is widespread.
  • 2009, Fiona Talbot, How to Write Effective Business English[5] ((Please specify the language of the quote)), page 25:
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  • 2012, Robert Trivers, The Folly of Fools ((Please specify the language of the quote)), page 314:
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Based on his own direct subjective and other experience, DCDuring is a fallibilist.

Things I favor in making Wiktionary choices

  • Economizing on user time
  • Making the first screen that a user sees have as much as possible of what is needed while encouraging the user to look for more
  • Not misleading users or WP editors (an important retail channel of distribution for Wiktionary)

Level 1 is an exaggeration of my language capabilities in any of the four languages shown in the box on the right.

Topics of interestEdit

  • How to give WT users access to generic names given trademarked names. (easy: redirects or {{only in}})
  • Improving the requested entries list by having some kind of structure for new entries designed to elicit more info from requester. (Maybe, but not soon and probably not with help or push from me.)
  • Improving the handling of those trying to make a contribution to WT for the first time. (More patrolling, commitment to hand holding. Yuck.)
  • Measures of Wiktionary success (search engine hits, click-throughs, etc.). (Not enough of those with skills care, esp in light of community indifference)
  • Wiktionary user data (demographics, interaction) (deemed against the rules. see immediately above)
  • Accommodating dialectical entries. (Not a big problem)
  • Accommodating new terms rapidly. (We try)
  • Making entry pages more loaded with what users want, not what they don't (Evidence ignored)
  • Linguistic theories:
w:Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG),
w:Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG), and
w:Tree-Adjoining Grammar (TAG).
w:Discourse-Functional Grammar
w:Cognitive Grammar, and
w:Construction Grammar.

PostureEdit


PhrasebookEdit

If we were a different wiki (possibly with radical differences in the interface for users and contributors), we could be the best phrasebook ever. We could be tuned principally for mobile devices with pronunciations recorded for all entries, with different stress patterns and usage advice for those patterns where warranted. We could take requests, including in the forms of recorded sounds and images.

But we are what we are: a participatory but otherwise largely conventional dictionary of pan-lingual ambition and multilingual accomplishment, that competes ably with commercial sites, exploiting timeliness, flexibility, and completeness, against selectivity and uniformity of quality.

ProjectsEdit

  • Autocategorization of diachronic etymological and synchronic morphological derivation. BOTH.
  • Construction grammar (snowclones)
    quantization/quantification
  • Ostensive definitions
    Images
    rhetorical and grammatical examples
    other classes for use of examples boxes
  • New Latin
  • Modernizing definitions
  • Quality improvement of English entries

To DoEdit

TaxonomyEdit

humor

Lawn wildflowersEdit

OtherEdit

ReviewEdit

TermsEdit

CopulasEdit

Reference linksEdit

SubpagesEdit