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caseworksEdit

Wow. You do lots. Good job. Was just looking up "casework" (flicking back from caseworker) and saw it had a plural listed (and a separate entry for that plural). But surely it's always uncountable? Obviously "work" can have a plural, but never in the generic sense that's part of casework (which is more like "work, rest and play")? Anyway - I saw you'd made the edit to add that, and thought I'd raise the query with you. Up to you. —This comment was unsigned.

It does seem to exist, but might be rare or nonstandard. See: [1] Equinox 02:01, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
I looked at those (apparently I have nothing better to do). 90% refer to an eponymous software company/product or Jazz work, and there's a handful which look like typos, but you're right - there does seem to be a bizarre use of the plural especially (perhaps specifically) relating to forensics. Even in forensics, they mostly use the uncountable single, so it's definitely nonstandard. Similarly, in (musical) organ making and repair/restoration, there is occasional use of "a casework" as a singular synonym for a case (i.e. the wooden structure that houses all the elements of the organ), which also gives rise to a rare plural. Again, that's nonstandard since "casework" normally refers to the craft of the case - as in "ooh, your organ has particularly fine casework". I suspect the latter should be added as an alternative definition of casework.
Well "92.17" (can I call you 92?) I created that plural and maybe I shouldn't have. I've killed it just for you. I do think we could technically cite it according to our rules but as you say it's mostly the name of some software product or something, and isn't in any way standard. Bear in mind that we do cover Englishes outside of the so-called "Inner Circle" which means on the one hand we have lots of amazing words for foods and cultural practices from India, Singapore, Trinidad, etc. and on the other hand means that I have to suck up the obnoxious fact that most parts of the world think "softwares" is a word. Hooray! Equinox 11:36, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
Ha. You'd actually persuaded me that caseworks should exist but be flagged as nonstandard. Unlike "softwares", which frankly deserves a headbutt. But hey, that makes me sound like one of those nutters who thinks "phenomena" or "data" should be restricted to the plural. As for "92" - I don't know if we're really on subnet terms. Not on a first datum, anyway.
I live for talk-page flirting. Equinox 12:43, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

Wiktionary as a historical dictionaryEdit

Hi @Equinox, I would only like to tell you that, since this is a historical dictionary, the earliest attested meanings of a word are shown foremost, followed by other senses that developed later. In the light of this, in the entry for shrewd, you have shifted the definition "Bad, wicked" below. However, this was the first meaning of shrewd. The other senses of "clever, intelligent" etc. came later. Hence, do you not think the definition "Bad, wicked" should be kept top? Thanks— Lbdñk (talk) 16:10, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

This is not just a historical dictionary, and the question of whether to order by current usage or historical sequence has been repeatedly debated over the years, with no census reached. In this case, it could be argued that putting that sense first would mislead those who are trying to understand current usage. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:29, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
Just an additional thought for @Lbdñk: "defdate" can be used to indicate the earliest attestation of each sense, so all the historical information can be provided without requiring senses to be arranged in chronological order of first appearance. Aabull2016 (talk) 17:13, 27 January 2019 (UTC)
No. I believe that most of our users are everyday humans wanting to know what unfamiliar words mean, and it confuses and hinders them to prioritise obsolete obscurities that are only of interest to academics. Furthermore, academics are educated enough to hunt through a reference work for what they want. A lot of our real-world users (especially NNES) seem to have difficulty navigating and using the site as it is. Equinox 03:03, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
It would be nice if our definitions could be in tables sortable by first attestation, frequency of use by time period, usage context, register, sense-group membership, grammar (eg, countablity, attributive, predicate, adjunct use; complements, etc), collocation, etc. Then users could specify how they want the data presented. Someone should get on that as soon as we finish our coverage of the English language, which should be soon. The first step is get the data for frequency of use by time period. Or is the first step to freeze our definitions so that the frequency-of-use data is not invalidated by rewording? DCDuring (talk) 14:15, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
Yes, this discussion has been had before, and it's another push towards having a central database of semantically tagged stuff. Wikipedia has clickable-sortable tables (look up any article like "the years that national flags were introduced") but that's still a script hack on top of an essay. We must, and will, eventually have properly structured data instead of weird "entries" made of text. It is easy to create an entry dynamically from the data. But I'm not sure when we will get there: I can see enough troubles with English and I'm sure it's 10 times worse once you try to be panlingual. Equinox 15:52, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
But without the data, we wouldn't, for example, be able to address the needs of both the ordinary human user and the lover of language for the different presentations under discussion. The data structure, as complex as some parts of it may be, is not nearly as hard as correctly capturing the data. In any event I'd rather serve my fellow meat machines than our digital soon-to-be masters for now. To be clear, I for one will be welcoming our new digital overlords. DCDuring (talk) 22:58, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

looong talk pageEdit

Thanks for reminder. I did some archiving five years ago, but there has been a lot of talk since then. I did some more now. --Hekaheka (talk) 00:12, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

Curly apostrophesEdit

Hi. I'm aware that the software takes care of these, but there are weird things happening sometimes, and besides I don't want French speakers coming here to create duplicates because they saw a red link (that often happens in translation tables). That's why I've asked DTLHS to draw up this list; he's created all the redirects since. Per utramque cavernam 11:13, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

triviata plural?Edit

Hello, Equinox. I'm not sure that triviata is plural — but neither am I sure it's singular. I found zero hits for "triviata are", but the handful of hits I found for "triviata is" were almost all (moth species) "Digrammia triviata is". Cnilep (talk) 02:56, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

I also found this difficult to establish because it's often a title (Jones's Triviata or something): I assumed it probably just works like trivia therefore plural, but if you find opposing evidence then of course fix it up. Equinox 02:06, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
One of the cites has "a trivata", so it doesn't seem to be plural only. I can find a couple of other instances. DCDuring (talk) 02:26, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
BTW, if a word can be either singular or plural, but has the same meaning, how do we encode that? I am advocating for my client, Satan. But I have seen this happen quite a few times. Equinox 02:49, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
(If the singular and plural are homographic,) how about usage notes, or maybe a label like {{lb|en|singular or plural}}, like brass (cf. authority, brace)? - -sche (discuss) 03:43, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
after e/c:
There are invariant nouns whose plural is the same as the singular, eg, fish. We handle that on the inflection line.
I've always thought that plural only confounded "plural in form" with "requires a verb of which it is the subject to be plural in form". Scissors is plural in form but, when referring to a single pair of scissors, is used with either a singular or plural verb form. And don't call me Satan. DCDuring (talk) 03:51, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
At least we got people to stop using the "whateverre tantum". These are the questions that make me think we should really be entering this stuff in a semantic fashion. IT'S INEVITABLE and once we get it right we will wonder how we ever used to type rows of equal-signs. Equinox 04:39, 13 February 2019 (UTC)
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