User talk:Dan Polansky


You were right about the dialects, I misunderstood the source. Now I corrected it and added Etymology 2 section. --Jan Kameníček (talk) 22:32, 2 January 2016 (UTC)

I have absolutely no idea how you could write things to the effect that the likes of "dobrej" are specific to Moravia dialects. This is what one gets when one blindly relies on sources to the exclusion of common knowledge.
I changed again "standard" to "official written": colloquial Czech is not "non-standard". "dobrej" is standard colloquial Czech. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:12, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

FYI: cs:Wikislovník:Hlasování/Pravidla o správcíchEdit

Vzhledem k tomu, že také máte hlasovací právo, budu velice rád, pokud ta pravidla podpoříte. Dokonalá jistě nejsou, možná zbytečně podrobná a formalistická, nicméně je to všechno reakce na neutěšenou situaci na cs.wikt, však vy víte. --Auvajs (talk) 23:39, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

One entry per languageEdit

In Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2016/January#Format of entries in the Reconstruction namespace, you said: "We absolutely should not be moving the normal mainspace to one entry per language, [...]".

Would you kindly elaborate on that? What were your reasons for that statement?

In Wiktionary:Grease pit/2015/December#Make templates aware of the language heading they're under, that move has been discussed recently. (Though it was in the middle of a separate discussion.) There, it sounded like a good idea IMO. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 12:00, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

I hope someone else will do the articulation job when that becomes really relevant, so I will then be able to say, support or oppose per so and so. If that won't happen, I'll need to create a writeup. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:18, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

victorie a la PyrrhusEdit

Danke Danǃ Mein Beweis: /// Es gibt beide Varianten, und ausserdem ro.Wikipedia kann es nicht betrachtet sein, immer als genaue source/qwelle wenn es geht um richtigen Schreibweise.

BAICAN XXX (talk) 19:13, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Order of definitions and position of obsolete sensesEdit

Some prefer that most common senses come first, some that the oldest senses and etymologies come first, as per Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2012/December#Positions of obsolete senses, which contains a poll with over 10 participants. A 2007 discussion with almost no participants is Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2007/May#Order of definitions. Keywords: definition order, order of senses, sense order. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:22, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

Czech dictionary usage labelsEdit

Let me find what usage labels are used in Czech dictionaries. I will look at PSJČ and SSJČ, two Czech monolingual dictionaries available online. Some labels are not usage labels, e.g. neskl. for indeclinable.


  • vulg. - e.g. in hovno and srát
  • zhrub. - e.g. in klofec
  • expr. - e.g. in hňup and volovina
  • lid. - e.g. in fouňa and melouch
  • ob. - e.g. in volovina and trotl
  • hovor. - e.g. in honér
  • slang. - e.g. in fuška
  • řidč. - e.g. in běl
  • zast. - e.g. in dodavek
  • pejor. - e.g. in belháč
  • dial. - e.g. baračisko
  • dět. - e.g. bebíčko
  • žert. - e.g. brumbál
  • kniž. - e.g. čacký
  • fam. - e.g. in fuška
  • dův. - e.g. in jelikož


  • vulg. - e.g. in hovno and srát
  • zhrub. - e.g. in volovina and trotl
  • expr. - e.g. in fouňa, hňup and nešika
  • lid. - e.g. in brhel
  • ob. - e.g. in fouňa and fuška
  • hovor. - e.g. in šik
  • slang. - e.g. in lajna and melouch
  • hanl. - e.g. in pitomost
  • řidč. - e.g. in šik
  • zast. - e.g. in adieu
  • dět. - e.g. in bacat
  • fam. - e.g. in mami
  • nář. - e.g. in baně
  • mazl. - e.g. in cukrouš
  • žert. - e.g. in čírtě
  • kniž. - e.g. in bystřice


  • vulg.: vulgárně
  • zhrub.: zhruběle
  • expr.: expresivně
  • lid.: lidově
  • ob.: obecně, v obecné češtině
  • hovor.: hovorově
  • slang.: slangově
  • hanl.: hanlivě
  • pejor.: pejorativně
  • řidč.: řidčeji
  • zast.: zastarale
  • dět.: dětsky
  • mazl.: mazlivě
  • žert.: žertovně
  • kniž.: knižně
  • fam.: familiárně
  • dův.: důvěrně

Tentative mapping to labels used in the English Wiktionary:

  • vulg.: vulgar
  • zhrub.: mildly vulgar
  • slang.: slang
  • lid.: informal or colloquial
  • ob.: informal or colloquial
  • hovor.: informal or colloquial
  • expr.: N/A
  • řidč.: rare
  • hanl.: pejorative
  • pejor.: pejorative
  • dial.: dialectal
  • nář.: dialectal
  • kniž.: literary
  • žert.: humorous or jocular
  • fam.: could be familiar but that is largely unused; informal or colloquial could do

For links to help pages of English dictionaries covering labels, see #Colloquial vs. informal section.

--Dan Polansky (talk) 08:35, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Colloquial vs. informalEdit

The use of labels colloquial and informal in the English Wiktionary seems redundant. Let us check other dictionaries.

Label that dictionaries use in their "guy" entry for the meaning of "man; fellow":

  • Merriam-Webster: none; also "bloke" has no label; "shit" is labeled "vulgar"; neither "colloquial" nor "informal" is mentioned as a label in their Help - Usage Labels page
  • AHD: Informal
  • Collins: informal
  • Macmillan: informal
  • informal
  • Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary: informal
  • Longman: informal
  • Random House Unabridged Dictionary: Informal
  • Macquarie: I can't access "guy" but I can access "sure"[1] and "dog"[2], both of which have "colloquial" in some of its senses
  • Webster 1913: none
  • Century 1911: the sense is not there
  • English Wiktionary: colloquial; "dude" has also colloquial but "bloke" and "fella" have informal

The definition of "informal" used in Macmillan is that it is "more common in speech than in writing and not used on formal occasions".

Of "colloquial", says in[3] that "Slang, jargon, and idioms are examples of colloquial vocabulary but colloquial [...]" and that "Nowadays, few dictionaries use the label."

Dictionaries and the Authoritarian Tradition by Ronald A. Wells quotes Hench[4] to state that, in 1934, Webster 2 used "colloquial" for many words while Webster 3 dropped the label and explained why in the preface. Webster 3 would be Webster's Third New International Dictionary (1961) edited by Philip Babcock Gove, of which Wikipedia tells us that "Although it was an unprecedented masterwork of scholarship, it was met with considerable criticism for its descriptive (rather than prescriptive) approach", which seems to be referenced to Herbert Charles Morton, The Story of Webster's Third: Philip Gove's Controversial Dictionary and its Critics (1995).

Encyclopedia Britannica section "Kinds of dictionaries" of article "Dictionary"[5] says that "The label colloquial was much misunderstood, and now informal is often used in its place."

The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, Second Edition, 2013, uses "colloquial" label, e.g. in its entry "easy on the eyes".

Label explanations or mentions for English dictionaries:

In the above five links to label explanations, the word "colloquial" does not appear at all.

Wiktionary:Abbreviations in Webster, from Webster 1913, defines an abbreviation for colloquial but not informal.

In Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2007/December#Colloquial vs. informal, Circeus says: "Anybody able to define a proper lexicographical difference between those? I doubt it's possible."

Current category sizes for English:

--Dan Polansky (talk) 08:35, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

What is slangEdit

I am confused about what dictionary label "slang" is intended to mean. In Merriam-Webster help[6], slang is defined, approximately, as very informal. The definition is as follows:

The stylistic label slang is used with words or senses that are especially appropriate in contexts of extreme informality, that are usually not limited to a particular region or area of interest, and that are composed typically of shortened or altered forms or extravagant or facetious figures of speech.

That stands in contrast to the definition that slang terms are constrained to particular social groups. The MW's own dictionary entry for "slang"[7] contains two senses, of which the above quotation from the help page fits sense 2: "an informal nonstandard vocabulary composed typically of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech". Their sense 1 is the one I am used to: "language peculiar to a particular group: as a: argot b: jargon".[8] has a combination of the two senses from MW, where the restriction to a group is qualified with "sometimes":

slang is very informal language, sometimes restricted to a particular group of people, for example people of the same age or those who have the same interests or do the same job. Examples are dingbat, dosh.

Therefore, since "sometimes" is a severely weakening qualification, the label seems to be defined similarly to MW.[9] defines slang thus:

Slang is an extremely informal style of language that is vivid, often extravagant and facetious, in its striving for rhetorical effect.

Macmillan help page for labels[10] does not contain "slang".

AHD help page[11] mentions "slang" but does not define it.

For links to dictionary help pages, see #Colloquial vs. informal section above.

Wiktionary Appendix:Glossary#slang deviates from the three quoted dictionaries:

Denotes language that is unique to a particular profession or subject, i.e. jargon. Also refers to the specialized language of a social group, sometimes used to make what is said unintelligible to those who are not members of the group, i.e. cant.

However, it does not necessarily follow that the above definition is used in the actual labelling in the English Wiktionary. The actual labeling was made by a variety of editors many of whom probably did not read the Wiktionary appendix definition of slang and instead used the label as seen in other dictionaries.

--Dan Polansky (talk) 08:35, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

cs Wikislovník - blok pro Lenka64/DubickoEdit

--Auvajs (talk) 18:32, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for the notification of cs:Wikislovník:Pod lípou#Výstražný 24hodinový blok pro uživatelku Lenka64/Dubicko. I have changed the section title here on my talk page to make it shorter. I see your creation of a Beer parlour (Pod lípou) discussion as the right step, given how reluctant the local adminship has been in dealing with disruptive behavior of the user during past several years. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:37, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Re-Ido entryEdit

No, I totally understand. I just added it because the suffix -um- in Ido is only applied to ~30 words. The suffix doesn't have a set meaning, and we can not place it on any word to create derivatives. ULI, the body that is in charge of Ido, is the only one that can add this suffix to words (see the usage notes I wrote: -um-). I though that I'd start adding all the ~30 words using this suffix, but noticed after I added teleskopumar that this might happen and stopped. I can not find a quotation with the word in use, and judging by the complex meaning of this word, I doubt that we will. - Sincerely Algentem (talk) 01:21, 6 March 2016 (UTC)

Verb entries containg one's instead of his or herEdit

Should hold her breath be a hard redirect to hold one's breath? Now it is, created on 11 April 2007‎. A hard redirect seems good enough for the purpose, with no need to create a soft redirect.

The following suggests that the use of redirect is predominant since only few " her " entries appear in the result, a consequence of redirects not counting as separate entries:

cut -f2 enwikt-defs-20120821-en.tsv | grep " her "

The following gives a list of "one's" entries:

cut -f2 enwikt-defs-20120821-en.tsv | grep "one's"

Examples include get one's freak on, have one's wicked way and keep one's mouth shut.

From what I can see, for the one's entries, there are often no entries at all for the his, her, your, etc. forms, not even hard redirects. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:37, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Since "one's" is rarely the form actually used in real texts, I thought the whole point of "one's" was to avoid the need for such entries. It is understood that "one's" can become "his, her, their, Peter's, Jane's", etc. Equinox 10:53, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
Sure, the point of the one's entries is to serve as lemmas of sorts, central locations for what would otherwise be needlessly repeated. But the one's entries do a poor service from the findability standpoint, I fear. Do you think it better to actually have no his-etc-entries at all rather than hard redirects? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:57, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
I question the value of creating all of them as actual redirect-entries. Maybe it would be nice if the search engine could resolve this kind of thing. Equinox 12:19, 13 March 2016 (UTC)
@Equinox: The question is what to do about them once they were created: redirect or delete. I tend to think that the redirects are fine to support findability, and also since the things redirected are often more common than the form redirected to. FYI, there is WT:RFD#lose her cool, from which this question arises. --Dan Polansky (talk) 14:04, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

Category granularityEdit

I consider the category for Leprosy with its 15 items to be too granular; I consider Diseases to be the appropriate granularity. But people disagreed at Category talk:en:Leprosy. Another RFDO concerning granularity concerns Category talk:Dragons and Category talk:Merpeople. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:53, 3 April 2016 (UTC)


Oh, thank you: I hadn't thought my colorful signature could annoy other users. I'll try to find an alternative one (by the way, you made me realize those flags were really excessive, so I removed them). -- IvanScroogeNovantotto (parla con me) 15:43, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

@User:IvanScrooge98: Thank you for your change of your signature. Again, other editors may differ from me.
Let me note that, even after your change, "Scrooge" is nearly illegible. I think it advisable to make signatures functional above all. Also, I have some doubt whether it is wise to have Italian flag colors in your signature since non-default signatures are a personal expression, and a country is not so much personal as tribal. And again, I am not an admin and I am not speaking based on policy; I am just speaking my mind based on my taste. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:00, 9 April 2016 (UTC)


The simple and easy variant does not enable sorting by column which would be very convenient I think. The table could be expanded with new columns (e.g. # of extensions). The table also enables easier styling.

Besides, we and even Wiki show a lot of information using tables. Why do you feel this particular data needs to be simple? --Dixtosa (talk) 18:42, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

This is in reference to diff, I guess. I think it's kind of obvious. We don't need to create more columns and complicate things. The non-tabular format has served us well and the introduction of tabular formatting adds more markup with no appreciable value, as far as I can tell. Furthermore, the content from the discussed place is directly copied to Wiktionary:Votes/Timeline and should use the same format. You could want to change Wiktionary:Votes/Timeline to a table, and in fact, some of the oldest records there are in tabular format, but was later discontinued by anyone who probably felt that the tables were not worth the hassle. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:03, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

Inclusion of keywords of computing languagesEdit

A discussion on inclusion of keywords of computing languages was at Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2010/October#colspan.2C_etc. Computing languages include programming languages but also markup languages such as HTML.

Entries for keywords of computing languages that were deleted include colspan (Talk:colspan), bgcolor, cellpadding and cellspacing.

A 2015 deletion is MVC as an opcode (Talk:MVC).

Multiple symbols of APL programming language were RFV failed in 2010, including , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . The discussion is at Talk:≡.

--Dan Polansky (talk) 10:24, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

Expanded. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:10, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

What is proper noun vs. common nounEdit

I saw a user claim that the distinction between proper nouns and common nouns is arbitrary and unreal, or something of the sort. Therefore, let us have a look at what distinguishes a proper noun from a common noun.

The one thing that does not serve as a good marker of proper nounhood is capitalization since it is the other way around: once a word gets considered to be a proper noun, it starts to get capitalized, and furthermore, there are other reasons to capitalize a word than proper nounhood. Thus, when astronomers started to consider "sun" and "earth" in reference to the particular objects to be proper nouns, they wanted to start to capitalize them, although in common parlance sun is usually not capitalized. Furthermore, "Englishman" and "American" are common nouns rather than proper nouns.

Another thing that does not serve as a good marker of proper nounhood is the singularity of reference: there being only one thing named by the noun. The failure of the marker is especially obvious for common nouns denoting abstract objects such as "redness" or "wordhood". And the marker is not very useful, while it does not really fail, for many proper nouns including "Martin" and "London". Moreover, mass nouns such as "gold" can be argued to refer to a single referent, albeit one scattered (non-contiguous) in space.

Some formulations of tentative criteria for detecting proper nouns are as follows:

  • A proper noun is a noun that has as many senses as it has referents. Thus, "cat" is not a proper noun since there is a one-to-many relationship between the sense "domestic animal" and the referents corresponding to that sense, the instances of these domestic animals. By contrast, "London" is a proper noun since "the name of a municipality" is not really a sense, and "Adam" is a proper noun since "male given name" is not really a sense. This can be controversial; some may claim "male given name" really is a sense, and indeed, it does get a sense line in the dictionary.
  • As the first approximation, the referents of a proper noun have nothing in common. This needs to be corrected to state that the referents of a proper noun do not have much in common since e.g. the referents of "Martin" do have at least one thing common, their being males. And it can be admitted that they in fact do have one another thing or property in common, namely 'X is called Martin' (thanks to Ruakh for pointing this out in one discussion). I'll leave it at that; the formulation points in the right direction but can be counter-lawyered.
  • In order for a thing to be designated by the proper noun, something like "christening" has to take place. Thus, once the word "cat" is established, a thing that no one has before specifically refered to as "cat" can still be recognized as a "cat". By contrast, in order for a male to be called "Martin", someone has to say in the presence of the male, "let us call him Martin" or something of the sort. For common nouns, there is an analogue of christening in the event of connecting the noun to a sense for the first time, but the connection is to a sense rather than to a particular object.
  • A proper noun denotes a concrete object as opposed to an abstract object. Thus, "wordhood" is not a proper noun.
  • Less clear cases and cases that grammatical traditions of various languages treat differently include names of languages, names of months, and names of species. On languages, I posted User talk:Dan Polansky/2012#Why names of languages are not proper nouns. On months, Czech has names of months in lowercase; the argument could be that in order to recognize a month to be, say, April, nothing like christening has to take place; rather, you only look at where the month fits into a certain periodical scheme of month numbering. For species, one could argue that species are connected to individuals, look like abstract objects and their names should not be considered to be proper nouns. There probably exists some reasoning why species names are considered proper nouns.

A word may be in order on whether verbally expressed detection criteria for proper nounhood are really required in order for Wiktionary to include that distinction. Many things are detected by people without awareness of an express definition or detection criteria. This works fine until a controversy about whether a particular thing belongs under the headword in question arises. For instance, I am unaware of any real difficulty in assigning an object under the head of "human", yet many verbal definitions of "human" seem to give above all an occassion for mirth more than anything else. An overwhelming majority of assignments of nouns under the "proper noun" headword made in Wiktionary are entirely uncontroversial; other assignments are guided by tradition. There does not seem to be any deep and painful difficulty in actually making the assignment.

Further reading includes User:EncycloPetey/English proper nouns and sources referenced from User:EncycloPetey/English proper nouns#References, which includes Mill's A System of Logic. Also relevant is Kripke's Naming and Necessity, which I have read. I may have the idea of gold referring to a single referent from Quine's Word and Object. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:53, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

If it's of interest to you, here are some previous discussions:
There've been quite a few other discussions but those are among the more recent and longer ones. - -sche (discuss) 21:11, 23 April 2016 (UTC)

your EnglishEdit

IMO your English is near-native. In fact I wouldn't have guessed you are non-native based on your writing. Surely that deserves at least an en-4? Benwing2 (talk) 06:47, 14 May 2016 (UTC)

Thank you. I have upgraded my rank to en-4. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:21, 14 May 2016 (UTC)
I downgraded to en-3 again. It is nice to hear that my writing sounds native; thanks again. But I feel that, in order to be ranked as en-4, I would need to have much better understanding of spoken English and much better knowledge of everyday words: for instance, I know almost no bird names by heart, and I would probably struggle with names of kitchen appliances and other everyday objects. Writing affords the comfort of re-reading and polishing and of taking time to create sentences, which I cannot do in speech. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:15, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
I think we could do with separate Babel numbers for reading, writing and conversation. I would be an it-3, it-2 and it-1 (my conversational Italian is poor as I am slow at mentally translating back and forth). Of course, it would be very awkward to implement. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:36, 22 May 2016 (UTC) p.s. I don't think that I have ever noticed an error in your English.
The Babel templates are meant to reflect your skills as it concerns this project. Since on Wikrionary we communicate only in writing, only your reading/writing skills are relevant. --WikiTiki89 16:19, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
Just to be devil's advocate, some of us also communicate by yelling at the screen— er, I mean, some of us also record audio pronunciations in various languages. Equinox 19:16, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
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