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Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2006/January

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Beer parlour archives edit


inline interwiki links, Template:trad

I just noticed the article Moor now has a bunch of inline interwiki links, which previously we've always decided against. This time it seems to be implemented via the cryptically named template "trad". Has any of this been discussed? What do people think about it?

(This is apart from the subject of poorly named templates which I think is growing all the time.) — Hippietrail 16:14, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

'trad' presumably is for 'traduction' (which, though obsolete in English, its cognates are ordinary Romance for 'translation', indicating something about its provenance). As for the thing itself... these links are common on other wiktionaries, because apparently people find them worthy information. I don't know if I like the choice of the symbol '*' though, which I would rather expect to point to a footnote, not another article. —Muke Tever 16:43, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
I too have my reservations about this idea. I am always hesitant about starting yet another template. My preference is still to have interwiki links connect more or less identically spelled words words. For Moor, the link to the fr:Maure should be on Maure. We also don't know where the Ultimate Wiktionary project is going, but the one place where it may have some use is as a clearing house for interwiktionary links. At least this proposal should wait. Eclecticology 23:44, 31 December 2005 (UTC)
Right now I'm not totally against inline interwiki links but I have always deleted them in the past because we had discussed it and that was the consensus. At the time I may have been strongly against them - I no longer remember. But I've now been living in a foreign country using a bilingual dictionary every day for 4 months and I always cross-check the article translating back into the other language becuase as often as not you learn more about one or both words - especially for fuzzy translations of which there are many. However I really hate this template and I really don't like the look of any kind of inline interwiki I've so far seen. I don't know which way to do them would be best. — Hippietrail 20:03, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
This template has been imported from the fr: dictionary (without being renamed? bad!). Since it has not been discussed before, I suggest that you delete it.
If you need, I can run a python script that changes {trad|lang|word} back into [word]. Kipmaster 16:12, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that there are so many that a script would be needed. There are maybe a half-dozen words involved, and the change can be done manually. Eclecticology 17:48, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Special pages

I've started to expand Wiktionary:Special pages along the lines of w:Wikipedia:Special pages (see also my comment on Wiktionary talk:Special pages). If anyone wants to, they can help with the explanations. You might also want to see about finding/creating/redirecting pages for the redlinks that currently appear on the page. - dcljr 19:10, 31 December 2005 (UTC)


  An edit war is starting at Wiktionary:Entry layout explained. Please take a look at the page.

Gerard Foley 02:34, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Because of Ncik's continued reverts to this page (even after I asked him to stop) I have posted this notice to all the admins I recognize, so many of you will have recived this on your talk page. Gerard Foley 03:18, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I've reverted his most recent edit and am protecting the page for the time being. --Connel MacKenzie T C 09:29, 1 January 2006 (UTC)


I think this rule is a good one and should be applied here. Some users have already been following this rule but I can't find anything about it here. Please leave comments at Wiktionary talk:Three-revert rule. Thanks, Gerard Foley 04:15, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I tried to instate it here once and imported the Wikipedia page. It was at a time when Ec and I had one of our heated disagreements which are now much rarer (: At the time I believe Ec said we had no need for such a rule here yet and we can always bring something like it in if it ever does become necessary. It would be good to hear from Ec and some other prominent or long-time contributors now. — Hippietrail 19:50, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Ec has already replied to this at Wiktionary talk:Three-revert rule. Gerard Foley 00:02, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Cognates in Etymology

As cognates are so useful in Etymologies (especially as I mainly edit ancient languages), I like to add as many as I can. Sometimes it can seem a bit crowded, so I have started separating them slightly according to classification - see bidan for an example. I've also tried indenting the sections, see e.g. fæder. Any comments, suggestions, insults? Widsith 13:26, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Trading insults would only be a very distant prospect. There has not been much done to develop the format of the etymology section, so there is a lot of latitude in what you can do. If I can think of anything I'll let you know. One thing that would help would be to start documenting the source of the information that you are addinge. Eclecticology 19:26, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
We definitely need a way to link between cognate words in different languages. Since the etymology sections of many big dictionaries often list cognates, this has been said to be the best place for it. In cases where a word has no etym section I see no problem with creating one and a level-4 Cognates heading below it where people who know some cognates but not the etymolgy can list them. An etymology expert will sooner or later incorporate them in a more expert way. It's important to include some information even when we don't have all information. That's how we grow. — Hippietrail 19:43, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

British TV program about word etymologies

Starting Monday 2nd January 2006, at 9pm on BBC 2, Balderdash and Piffle explores the etymologies of words. Don't expect it to be academic (even though the OED is involved) as it's in prime time. SemperBlotto 15:36, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I've added an etymology section to full monty inspired by the program. It's quite a good program though obviously prime time.MGSpiller 18:42, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Word "guy" in electric or construction

I have symbols that are identified as: Down Guy Head Guy Sidewalk Guy

What is a "guy"?

a "guy wire" is attached to ensure the stability of a tall narrow structure like a pole. Eclecticology 19:31, 1 January 2006 (UTC)


Is Quenya a valid language for Wiktionary? I'm guessing at no. --Wonderfool 23:04, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

It is mentioned under Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion#Constructed languages. It has an ISO 639-3 code, but has not yet received positive endorsement from the community. Eclecticology 01:12, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
I think Quenya is widely enough known of to to add words here if you want to. At least words used by Tolkien himself. I believe there are some Unicode / transliteration / spelling issues however so may sure you know all the issues before you start. — Hippietrail 19:32, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

If Quenya is OK then I think Klingon should be allowed also. It too has an ISO code and is widely known. Gerard Foley 19:39, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I strongly agree. Klingon is also a literary language with at least one if not more books having been published entirely in Klingon. I do think Klingon entries should only be listed in the roman alphabet however as there is much disagreement about the "klingon script" which is even rejected by Unicode. — Hippietrail 19:47, 3 January 2006 (UTC)


Do we have a category for colloquialisms? --Think Fast 02:00, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Nah, but we have Category:Slang which is close --Wonderfool 13:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Feel free to create a Category:Colloquial or prallel ones in other languages. Keep in mind that whole words or just one or several individual senses of a word may be colloquial. One of those templates that shows (colloquial) and adds the category may or may not be a good idea. — Hippietrail 19:27, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Slang and colloquialisms (we usually mark up the latter using (informal)) are two different things. — Paul G 17:11, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Browser not Displaying IPA

I have Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6.0.2800.1106. I have my encoding set to UTF-8, but I am not able to read IPA. What should I do? --Think Fast 03:18, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

You should do this. Jon Harald Søby 12:04, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice. I did, and it works great. Thanks:) --Think Fast 02:38, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Requested words that do not match inclusion criteria?

What to do with requested words that are either misspelled, or are correctly spelled but fail to match the inclusion criteria (plural forms, diminutive forms, place names, etc.)? Related to that: is the main purpose of requesting words to find a translation for a foreign word that one wants to know the translation of, or to merely expand the site by adding random foreign words that are then left for native speakers to create pages for?

Plural forms do meet the criteria for inclusion (CFI) e.g. blankets, though many editors prefer to concentrate on the root forms. There are even helpful templates for creating them. Place names can meet the CFI e.g. Hastings though the article should describe the word itself not the place. Diminutives are also valid words e.g. Max. MGSpiller 02:24, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
The main purpose of requesting words is getting an English definition for them I suppose. But your question made me set up Wiktionary:Translation requests. Ncik 18:24, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

There are several reasons one might request English words:

  • To get a definition
  • To point out to us that we lack an entry for a common word
  • To bring our attention to a rare word

For other languages there is another reason: to get an English translation or definition.

I have been thinking about interaction between inclusion criteria and requests. So far it hasn't been a problem, but recently I had to revert some major edits to the Spanish requests page because a new user trying to be helpful removed many requested words without saying why. Many were perhaps rare in Spain but many had entries in the RAE (major Spanish dictionary) or had been used by prominent authors.

What we may need is a parallel page for each request page which might do all the jobs of RFD, RFV, and Tea room for that language for words which do not yet have entries. We would need a way for users to mark entries in the request page that they "challenge". Maybe a template which displays a symbol and links to the "disputed" parallel page with a heading matching the term in question.

Generally it's a waste of the request page to ask for a regular plural of a term which already has an entry in the singular. But I regularly add entries in languages other than English which look like they may be plurals, inflections, or diminutives. I do this precisely because I don't know the words in question and while I might make a presumption about the basic form, that presumption could well be wrong. So I list the form I have seen with my own eyes. I do this a lot with Russian and Stephen often creates entries for me. I list the form I've seen. If I've seen two forms I think are of the same word, I put them on the same line separated by a comma. Stephen then creates a redirect from my form if it's not the citation form, and then he makes a full article under the citation form. He also lists them all as links in is edit summaries when removing them from the request list. This way on my watchlist I can click on all the terms I requested and go straight to the articles to see his work. To me this is the perfect way of doing it, some users of course prefer minimal articles for inflected forms rather than redirects but this is a minor point.

At the moment I am reading a Dutch book but I don't speak Dutch. I do know that -je is a diminutive suffix in Dutch but I don't remove it when requested words because I know from Spanish that many diminutives and augmentatives become separate words. Spanish examples are tortilla from torta, sillón from silla, and reggaetón from reggae. Dutch must have the same so I can't make assumptions. Especially when I don't have a dictionary or the word is not in the dictionary. — Hippietrail 19:22, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Is there a convention on listing inflected forms?

I've seen some use boxes, such as the entry on inflect and other that list them in a ()

I'm just wondering if there's any agreed upon standard before I start either adding new pages, or adding redirects. -- Chupon 06:01, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

According to Wiktionary:Index to templates, there are two accepted ways of using templates for inflections. I'm a strong proponent of the red boxes, mainly because I deem the alternative too complicated and difficult to apply. And you are of course always allowed to add anything you want manually (sticking to certain layout conventions being greatly appreciated). Ncik 18:43, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Use the style that you prefer, I suppose. I do like the boxes though. Gerard Foley 19:27, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Isn't the IPA markup missing the a in wiktionary, as in wik-shun-err-ee... I thought it was in parentheses when it was optional.

It's a representation of a British pronunciation, not a general pronunciation. This should really go in the Wiktionary:FAQ. —Muke Tever 16:35, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Good point it really is an FAQ. Eclecticology 17:46, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I've added this to the FAQ. — Paul G 18:24, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Translation of the Week

Right, seeing as we're a translation dictionary, I've done a vague set-up of a new multilingual project, which can be found at Wiktionary:Translation of the Week. The idea is that for words which don't have (m)any translations attached to them, this is where we notify the foreign-language speakers, who can then add translations. Two or three per week sounds like a reasonable amount, and we could probably gather about a dozen of translations every week if enough people know about this. I'll do my best to maintain the page at least every week, and this could become a useful resource. --Wonderfool 13:35, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

While I don't object to your new project, I think we could do without the tag box on each page where you want trnaslations. The "of the week" qualifier suggests something that is being featured. Is it your intent to remove things from the list even if nothing happens during the feature week? Eclecticology 19:04, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
We definitely need things like this. I've sometimes thought about it but never came up with good ideas of how to run it or set it up. I'm glad you've taken it up! It would also be nice to have some similar kind of thing for several important languages to help build them up now that our English section is getting "complete" - whatever that means for Wiktionary (-: — Hippietrail 19:02, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry to burst your bubble, Hippietrail, but the English section is still a long, long way off being complete - for a start, for just about every entry there are probably a dozen derived terms that are undefined (at a very rough guess). Even when we have every word in every print dictionary, along with all of their inflections, we still won't be complete as there will always be neologisms, obsolete words, slang, dialect, etc, that we are unaware of. Even the OED is incomplete - we feature many English words and phrases that it does not. That's not to put a dampe(ne?)r on things, but it is not possible, I believe, for Wiktionary ever to be "complete" in the true sense. — Paul G 09:55, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Excellent idea, by the way. I've made a contribution.
One small but important point. The pages to be worked on this way really must have translation tables added before they are posted. We know in the past that a single list of translations, sometimes with numbers referring to the numbered senses, but a lot of the time without, just didn't work. Someone only had to switch a couple of senses round, delete one or add a new one somewhere in the middle for the list of translations to be come useless. Please could whoever nominates the words to be worked on ensure that all senses have an associated translation table before the words are put forward. Where it is not clear which sense a given translation is for, this translation can be put under a fifth-level "Translations to be checked" section below the tables of "good" translations, along with the {{checktrans}} template that marks the translation as needing attention. Thanks. — Paul G 14:39, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
We're doing well here - lots of translations were added last week. A couple of requests... please provide the gender of translations of nouns, where appropriate; and don't add literal translations back into English - these really belong on the page for the translation itself. — Paul G 10:34, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Reference desk/Language

Does anyone here read or use this page? Gerard Foley 16:45, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

How we're doing

According to Wiktionary:Milestones, at the end of 2004, we were adding approximately 2000 new entries a month. At the end of 2005, according to the latest update, input has gone up to 5000 new entries a month. In the two years I have been contributing to Wiktionary, I have seen it go from around 20,000 entries to over 110,000. Well done everyone! Let's keep it going. — Paul G 09:49, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

It seems worth mentioning that the French Wiktionary has caught up with us in total number of entries. So I ran the random page function 10 times for each project. For them only one of the ten results was for a French word; we did three times as well with three of the ten words being English. :-) Eclecticology 18:28, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Single policy concerning proper nouns in various languages?

On pages like Nepal, most languages just get a mention in the list of translations (in most cases it's just Nepal, anyway), but Swedish and Norwegian get a part of their own, though of course Nepal in those languages means the same as in English or Dutch or German or whatever.

So my question is: for proper nouns or rather technical nouns, that are the same in several (sometimes almost all) languages, is it worth it to make separate headings for all the languages? I would think not, but then a number of pages (including some that I made myself) requires cleaning up.

Of course, if the word has multiple meanings in another language, of which some that are NOT the same as in English, it deserves a separate heading...

Paul Willocx 14:58, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, even when the mere meaning is the same, the other properties of the word (which we must of course include) will differ: declension, pronunciation, alternate spellings used, etymology (the source may be ultimately the same, but the path it took to get there will perhaps differ), derived and related terms, and of course quotations, the history of how long it has been in the relevant language, as well as any separate senses or subsenses developing out of connotations of the word as used in the culture speaking that language... so ideally every word will have its entry, just like our motto says: all words in all languages. IMO this is one reason why introducing disambiguation pages to en: may be a good idea: otherwise pages like Nepal, modem, etc. will become interminably long when their entries develop out of the stubhood that pervades Wiktionary. —Muke Tever 18:46, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
Norwegian and Swedish have not been given special treatment - it is simply the case that the page is incomplete. All languages that use "Nepal" for the name of that country (or include the word "Nepal" with some other meaning) will, eventually, have their own sections on that page.
This might look like unnecessary duplication, but as Muke says, each foreign-language section can provide grammatical information that would not appear under the English section. Furthermore, someone looking up the meaning of, say, the Swedish word "Nepal" will look in that section, not the English section. — Paul G 09:52, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Policy concerning US v Brit spelling

oesophagus has a single proper article with esophagus little more than a redirect.

OTOH color and colour merit 2 extensive articles with most being repetitive.

Is there a policy? Saltmarsh 07:46, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes. The policy can be summarised as follows:
  1. The first spelling entered into Wiktionary becomes the "official" article, irrespective of which variety of English it represents, and gets the full treatment.
  2. The alternative spellings are then given on separate pages as cross-references (eg, "US spelling of oesophagus"), or, less satisfactorily, as redirects. A cross-reference is preferable to a redirect for multiple reasons: it gives useful information about a word that might not be easily found in the article to which the redirect goes; it then gives the user the choice whether or not they want to go on to look at the word in the full article, which they might already know the meaning of; it allows the entry to be expanded if the word happens to have other English senses that have only that spelling and not the spelling cross-referred to (for example, "program" in the computing sense, which is spelled like that in the UK as well, but is spelled "programme" in the UK in other senses); and it allows the page to be expanded if the word happens to be a word in other languages as well.
  3. color and colour were written long before this policy was put in place. The policy suggests that the content of these two pages should be merged and put into whichever of the two pages came first, with the other becoming a cross-reference. I think we have discussed this in the past, and I'm not sure why it hasn't been done - can anyone bring me up to date on this? As Saltmarsh's message shows, this is a confusing situation, and I don't know why these two pages have been left as they are. — Paul G 10:04, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Paul G's answer is definitive - so I revisited the articles to size up the job of merging. I looked at their respective discussion pages - separate, and perhaps irreconcilable, camps had been set up. Can the controversy be revisited now the dust has settled?
color is some months older than colour, so colour should be radically curtailed. As an Englishman this won't please me but from a logical point of view is must be done - the current situtaion is IMHO a mess. Can I go ahead? Saltmarsh 06:24, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Paul, that is simply not true. You make this same assertion every time but only one time have I heard anyone support you (and even then, Polyglot's response was far out of context.) The notion that one should be a redirect to the other is utter nonsense. Everyone knows that colour isn't a real word - it is just a joke spelling used in England for some reason.
Seriously though, Wiktionary should clearly expound the differences between the two; it should not take sides and force one to redirect to the other; doing that would be POV. --Connel MacKenzie T C 07:02, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh, you Yanks and your insistence on getting "-our" words back to their Latin roots (whence "color"). Everyone knows that "colour" comes to English from the French "couleur" (well, actually Old French, according to, not directly from the Latin, so if anything, we should be adding a "u" and writing "coulour". Big smilies and winks from me too :) ;) :P
Seriously though, what are the differences between "colour" and "color"? I wasn't aware there were any, but if there are, then yes, as Connel says, a redirect from one to the other is inappropriate. I would like to see the duplication being removed, with "colour" (as the late-comer) only including any senses that cannot be spelled the US of A way. It seems odd that we should have the "first spelling entered is the official one" policy and for this pair of pages (among others) still to be languishing. — Paul G 10:52, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Only color is used in Spanish. A colour sergeant in the Royal Marines and other Commonwealth regiments would not be a color sergeant. A South African coloured person would be different from an American colored person. Eclecticology 00:14, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

The fundamental principal of writing is that you write for your audience. Since a majority of English speakers live in the United States, the esophagus spelling should take precedence. Anyone who thinks that the entry should be named oesophagus is a bit inconsiderate--and I should say, imperialist.

I think that this is an example of the British exclusory culture of Wiktionary. For example, this forum is named the Beer Parlour, as if it's just for British people. Americans find that sort of thing very offensive. I should also mention that Paul G's historical argument is not very convincing, either, given that English is possibly the most bastardized language in the world.

Primetime 15:21, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps we should use œsophagus and make everyone un/happy :)
The duplication all such words seems daft - and the future work involved in keeping them instep is even dafter.
We English gave up on imperialism some time ago. Saltmarsh 15:46, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
The current split is certainly neither useful to users nor to editors of Wiktionary. I would suggest to make one of the articles link to the other in the usual manner, and put a usage note on meanings that are regionally restricted, hence always spelt in a certain way. Ncik 17:21, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Primetime, I'm sorry if you were offended - my argument was meant to be unconvincing as it was a joke in reply to Connel's joke at me, hence the smileys. "Beer parlour" is just a name and nothing to get worked up about. We can't very well have one with a "u" and one without, can we? By the way, English has a whole host of varieties (UK, US, Indian, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian...) and we are not in the business of favouring any one over the other here. We're doing our best to be inclusive and non-partisan.
The duplication in "colour"/"color" is out of line with our current policy and should certainly be removed. The policy is "the early word gets the term" (geddit? I propose we adopt that name) so "color", which came first, I think, should have the majority of the content as well as giving "colour" under "forms and variants", and a Spanish entry. "Colour" would just be a cross-reference to "color" and have "colour sergeant" and "coloured" as derived terms, each of which would be derived on separate pages. "Color" would also have "colored" as a derived term, but not the non-existent "color sergeant".
"Color" should, I think, give derivatives in both forms (as I have done with aluminium/aluminum and sulfur/sulphur - which see) because people could look these up in either form. Perhaps we should include "color sergeant" but as a redirect only. — Paul G 18:13, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
"program"/"programme" need similar treatment ("program" being universal in the computing sense) as they're getting rather messy. I'll see about doing both colo(u)r and program(me) when I get some time and feel like getting my hands dirty :) — Paul G 12:46, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Paul G., it is a fallacy (argumentum ad nauseam) to continue asserting that the "first one in" concept is a policy. You suggested it as a policy and it got shot down. You repeat (as often as you can) that it is policy, but it is not. It never should be. You avoided letting the topic reach a vote last time, will you do the same again? Nothing should redirect. No section of anything. No nuthin. People shouldn't be sent off to some other page (ever) to reach the information that rightly should be where they are looking. Pages such as color and colour should cross reference each other as alternate spellings, and perhaps a note in each etymology. Beyond that, the two pages should always be encouraged to grow separately. Whenever a Brit gets his dander up, he can copy relevant content to the British spelling page. But no one should ever delete content. If something needs to be noted as US or CW then we can label it as such and cross-reference the other. But never should anyone be encouraged to delete would a Brit know anything about the American meaning of a word anyhow? How would an American know anything about a Canadian subtlety? Content should not be deleted. --Connel MacKenzie T C 01:11, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Coming from a Unix background, I wonder why Wikis make "primary names" such a big deal. Why not fix the software so you can give one article several names, one for each of the common spellings? Dfeuer 19:50, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

It's never that easy. With the color/colour example there is a significant overlap between the two usages, but they are not identical. One obvious difference is that "color" is used in Spanish, but not "colour". Even in words like "[o]esophagus" where no other differences other than the spelling is apparent we cannot presume that that will always be the case. Furthermore, whatever system is chosen, it must be remembered that most content providers are not familiar with Unix. Eclecticology 22:10, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Redirecting inflected forms

I have a humble proposition: wouldn't it be more useful for users to be redirected from an inflected form of a word to its standard form? So 'trees' would redirect to 'tree', where then the plural is mentioned. Vildricianus 13:03, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

I'll comment myself: what about cross-references instead of full-blown entries? Yesterday, I made a couple of entries in the shape of:



  • plural of reason, noun
  • third person singular of reason, verb

but they have all been replaced by complete entries in the standard shape. Doing this for English would work, but in highly-inflected languages such as Russian, it will cost an enormous amount of work, and therefore I suggest there be simple cross-references like my example. Bad idea? Vildricianus 13:48, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

  • We took the collective decision some time ago that in this dictionary there would be a separate entry for each and every word. For inflected languages that does mean that there will be very many simple entries such as andiamo. It will take many years and lots of tedium to get anywhere near completion. SemperBlotto 14:06, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
We actually experimented for quite a while with the system you are proposing (only that we had an additional "Forms" or "Forms and variants" header). But it turned out that in too many cases this simple format is unsatisfactory. Ncik 15:15, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
Ok, that's clear. But then, for clarity's sake, I propose that it be clearly mentioned somewhere, since though I looked for it, I did not find a clear statement on that. Vildricianus 15:06, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

Arabic words - organizing by root - proposal

The English-Arabic dictionary section has the potential to be a very useful section for English speaking students of Arabic. However, the fact that virtually all Arabic words are based on a three (very rarely 4) letter root, with standard prefixes, suffixes and infixes, presents unique problems for organizing an english dictionary of Arabic. Simply organizing the dictionary alphabetically would be unwieldy and difficult to use; when looking up an arabic word, one typically identifies the 3 root letters, then the "form" of the verb it is associated with (there are 10 common forms) and looks up the entry alphabetically by the root letters, to find the definition.

The advantage here is that all related words are grouped together instead of being spread throughout the dictionary. Also, if a dictionary is not organized by root, most words would begin with one of three letters: the equivalent of "Y", "M" or a glottal stop.

I propose the following variation, then, to the standard Wiktionary word page, for arabic words:

Word This would be the entire word, which could still be searched for directly, without deciphering the root letters, for instance منظمة

Arabic Language, as per wiki normal

ROOT in the above example, this would be ن ظ م without the prefix "m" letter and the suffixed "a" sound.

PATTERN NUMBER The above word is form II, or as arab dictionaries describe it:wazn فعّل

Part of Speech --here I don't know whether it makes sense to use English grammar terminology, which only loosely describes arabic grammar functions, or whether it would make more sense to also include the arabic grammar terms (masdar, etc).

pronunciation 'munathama'
Definition. 'organization'

The advantages of this minor variation on the normal definition page will be obvious to students of arabic I think.

>>So my first question, then, is the following: on Wiktionary, how do we go about imposing a fairly radical change in organization of one part of the dictionary? In other words getting people to include two extra indexes (root and pattern) to the arabic words they enter...

>>And second: are we really supposed to hand code every word definition, then rewrite two or three other pages (the front end of the Arabic-English dictionary, etc) to link to every word we enter? Or is there some slightly more automated process for entering and linking to word definitions? --Jackbrown 13:51, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

Firstly, you could write something like this and put it at Wiktionary:About Arabic, for people who don't know Arabic. Personally, I say go ahead and format Arabic entries like you did above; none of the regular contributors (I think) speak Arabic. Also, other languages have a different layout, like Chinese ones, see . --Wonderfool 20:39, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree. It's up to the people who understand Arabic to write about Arabic. The rest of us simply don't know enough to do much. To be accurate what you are proposing to work on is the Arabic-English dictionary rather than the other way around. In one sense the English-Arabic portion is represented on each English word page that has an entry. In theory it will have an even more thorough treatment in the Arabic Wiktionary, but that project is really for the benefit of Arabic speakers.
If one would expect to use the triliteral roots to find things in an Arabic dictionary that should have a big influence on what we do here. What I would like at this stage is to see a few examples, so that we have something to work from
In regards the headings, the level 2 "Arabic" heading is fairly inflexible, since it is what will divide the page up into the various language. Other languages, most importantly Farsi and Urdu, use the same script, and it is quite conceivable that the same "word" could be valid in more than one language.
What you put above as "word" seems to refer to the name of the page; this will be generated automatically when you start a page. This and your automation question suggests that you may not be familiar with using our software. Don't worry; it's not as difficult or daunting as it may at first seem.
The changes inside the Arabic section of an article may not be as redical as they seem. Using English names for parts of speech is often preferable, but it should not be at the sacrifice of meaning, nor should it force a language into a completely inappropriate Indo-European mould. Don't worry about the index for a while. Eclecticology 07:37, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
So there is some automated indexing of new words, I guess? I will try coding a few words in and see what happens. Meanwhile I've taken both of your advice and written up a kind of instruction page for the Arabic-English section at Wiktionary:About Arabic, linking to it from the Arabic-English index page.
I hope that is enough to impose some formal order on people who come by and code in a few word definitions. Right now, I've written it all as more of a request in case others are already working hard there, but it doesn't really seem like anyone else has taken much interest in the Arabic section anyway.--Jackbrown 10:53, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

New Missing entries hotlist: WT:EDH

As mentioned earlier, I've created an "English Dictionary Hotlist" of over 300,000 entries as part of Wiktionary:Requested articles. Please read the guidelines before getting involved in the list. I have a lot of experience with this from the Wikipedia equivalent. --Brian0918 04:13, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

If you have any questions, leave a message on my Wikipedia talk page (linked on my talk page here). --Brian0918 04:16, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't see why this can't be merged with Index:English. This isn't the only entry of this kind. Eclecticology 17:08, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Index:English contains a lot of redlinked stuff that was obviously deleted and shouldn't be re-created (see, for example, the page for the letter I). I'd say these lists should not be merged. - dcljr 11:52, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Exactly what were these "obvious" deletions? The English index should include both red and blue links. There are already several long pages of words to be included under different names for each letter. People generate these pages and as quickly abandon them, only to have someone else generate a whole new set of pages a few months later. Nobody uses them, and the responses to suggestions of getting rid of them tend to be somewhat anal.
To be effective a request page needs to be short, and list only the most desired words. Eclecticology 18:05, 20 January 2006 (UTC)


I just did a search in Wiktionary on this term and there are dozens of pages that feature this misspelling. That doesn't look good. Any volunteers to help clean them up? (Note that "what links here" on "accidently" is not sufficient as not all of them will necessarily be wikified.) — Paul G 10:18, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Well, how about that? Apparently "accidently" is an alternative form of "accidentally", at least, according to it is. Can anyone find more evidence for this? — Paul G 15:57, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Regretably Google Print gives over 5,000 hits for this, including a Middle English dictionary published in 1956. It may be a consolation to know that most of the references appear to be American. Instinct tells me that it should be a misspelling, but it's hard to resist tsunamic ignorance. :-) Eclecticology 18:21, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
'Accidently' is actually a more regular form of accidentally, at least by medieval conventions. My Shorter OED says it is now rare, except as a misspelling. We should definitely include the entry. Vildricianus 21:51, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
My OED (1989 edition) lists it as obsolete (with two senses: "accidentally" and "incidentally", but I have not copied these). I've changed the entry to reflect this, pointing out in a usage note that in modern-day usage, it is a misspelling.
In any case, this does suggest that we should be using the spelling "accidentally" rather than "accidently" in our definitions, meaning there is a fair bit of clean-up to be done. I'll report this on Requests for cleanup. <<unsigned>>
If you feel like cleaning entries up, take a look at User talk:Connel MacKenzie/typos. "Accidently" was in our list of common typos, and I did therefore include it in my search. --Connel MacKenzie T C 11:17, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


What happened to our page Wiktionary:Announcements, or maybe it was called Wiktionary:Goings-on, or Wiktionary:Current events? It got deleted didn't it? Cos we could probably do with it back, what with a wave of new proposalas (Wiktionary:Translation of the Week, Wiktionary:Translation requests, User:Brian0918/Hotlist, User:Dangherous/Main Page, Wiktionary:Administrators). Could someone revive this please, lest I have to? --Wonderfool 20:38, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I nominated it for deletion because nobody updated it for over a year. It shouldn’t be brought back unless we are going to use it. Gerard Foley 22:37, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree with Gerard on this. It's not a question of whether such a page is a good idea, but of whether someone accepts the responsibility of maintaining in. Eclecticology 23:53, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Next week's Translations of the Week

Here are next week's Translations of the Week, as to my knowledge no one else has come up with a list. If anyone has objections to anything on the list you have until 12 tonight (UTC) before the list goes live. Gerard Foley 19:33, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

How did we do with last week's entries? It might be good to give a summary of each page (by looking at the history of the page and comparing how it was before it was nominated with how it ended up) to see how effective "Translations of the Week" is. — Paul G 08:55, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I've added a summary. It looks like we did a pretty good job, with lots of translations being added for "happy". Unfortunately it is not clear which sense these are for, and so many of them will need to be checked and put in the right translation tables. Still, this is a good start. — Paul G 10:12, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

How do we collect attributions?

I've been reading Iron Council by China Mieville, and I keep finding words that aren't in Wiktionary or I have trouble telling whether they have enough attribution to be included in Wiktionary. I'm pretty new here, and I was wondering where we accumulate research on word usage. For example, I've found the sentence "The train's semiferal cats highstep.", and I'd like to record that usage of the word "highstep", but it's not appropriate to create an article with only that one usage. -- Creidieki 20:31, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

  • If there isn't already a solution to this, would an "Attributions" namespace be appropriate, where we could record usages of words? -- Creidieki 20:34, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
  • The kind of citation that you mention is what descriptive lexicography is all about. My own preference is very strongly in favour of putting the quotations on the page that describes the word. Others prefer a separate subpage marked with "/Citations"; this latter approach makes more sense when there are a lot of quotations. Go ahead and write the article for the word. If you make mistakes somebody will correct them. Attestation should not be a problem with this word since you are taking it from running text in a published book. Google Book Search gives 11 other examples of the word's use as either a verb or a noun. Have fun. Eclecticology 08:50, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
    • All right. I've started adding articles that document words I've found, even when I don't know the definitions (spivvy, atramentous). Let me know if there's anything I'm doing wrong or anything I could do to be more helpful (mark with a template, etc.). -- Creidieki 10:10, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I recommend adding quotations and citations directly to the definitions they belong to, rather than giving them in a separate section, which should only be done if none of the definitions applies (which is often the case when quoting from a very old book). Ncik 16:53, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Roman numerals

Apologies if this has been asked before, but is it affordable to add all Roman numerals, at least those up to 2000? Vildricianus 19:22, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, please add as many as you will --Wonderfool 01:13, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Except for a small number of key numerals, adding such material is strongly discouraged. This is not an arithmetic book. Eclecticology 10:07, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. If they are not already there, then I, V, X, L, C, D and M probably ought to go in, but no more. If you really want to, you can always add an appendix (perhaps Appendix:Roman numerals) that gives more numbers and more information. But all Roman numerals up to 2000? No. — Paul G 17:44, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Multiple definitions and corresponding etymologies

I just added a new word. I know its etymology and completed that text. I am aware of other uses of this word and they have different eymologies than my use. How do I associate one etmology with one word...and another with another?

Thanks, Father of Phoons 06:27, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I think the recommended method is:
Set it out as shown below. Note that Noun etc have an extra nesting
===Etymology 1===
===Etymology 2===
Saltmarsh 10:05, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

ISBN numbers in quotations

The Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion page says "when citing a quotation from a book, please include the ISBN." However, the example quotes in Wiktionary:Quotations don't include ISBNs. I'm having trouble finding an article which does. I'm fairly new here, and I'm trying to add quotations for some words. If including ISBN numbers is consensus, would someone be able to update the examples in Wiktionary:Quotations? Thanks, -- Creidieki 10:40, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I would treat including ISBN's as optional. Eclecticology 19:21, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
Since different versions of the same book have different ISBNs (e.g. hardcover vs paperback) there is also the mater of determining which ISBN. JillianE 14:19, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually you should use the ISBN of the edition of the book you took the quotation from. Especially for an obscure or dubious form—say, spelling 'famine' with seven letters—we can't know whether the word was originally so written by the author, or introduced/changed by the publisher or the author in a later edition, either intentionally or accidentally, so we indicate what particular printing we got it out of. This is why it's better, when possible, to use original editions. (When I put quotations in that are clearly reprints, I try to put the possible original date in brackets, and the printing date beside it, e.g. "[1914], 2004"—I don't know how reasonable/intuitive that is.) —Muke Tever 17:30, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Word of the Day

I can't find a word of the day template. Can we start one? And if so, how? Iamnotanorange 00:21, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


The Word of the Day is Template:day18

This is one --Dangherous 01:06, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Stress marks in examples.

I couldn't find the answer in the FAQ or Help, so I decided to ask here.

I make entries for Russian words with translations into English, and sometimes I add Russian sentences as examples. (Paper) dictionaries usually put stress marks on all Russian words in such cases. However, in Wiktionary, a stress mark has to be placed after the stressed vowel, thus breaking the word in the middle. I guess this makes the examples unsearchable.

So the question is, which is preferable: to have searchable examples, or to have examples with stress marks conveniently embedded? Or maybe it is possible to have both features simultaneously?

Thanks in advance for any advice,

-- Oleg Katsitadze 20:24, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Although it would indeed be preferable to have both, I would recommend to keep your examples searchable. Since there are few Russian contributors, this problem has, as far as I know, as yet not been discussed. Vildricianus 21:19, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
What discussion there was on this before had more to do with how we represent the word itself, and the contents of the declension tables. By keeping the examples searchable there will always be the opportunity to show the accents on the page for that other word. Eclecticology 21:51, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
I assume that by searchable you mean spelt in the Russian way. I have put a few greek words in and spelt thus: άλφα - after all the stress might be treated as an accent in French or umlaut in German.
I would have thought that where placing a stress mark between letters they ar talking about about Pronunciation where άλφα might be written a'lfa ? Saltmarsh 10:30, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, that's exactly what I mean. In Russian, words outside the dictionaries/textbooks are almost never spelled with stress marks. If I spell грозá, then the user searching for this word would also have to enter the accented 'a'. Even if it would have been possible to make all entries consistent in using the accented vowels, normally the user would not know how the word is stressed, so he/she would not be able to enter the word correctly. So this is not a solution. I agree with Eclecticology that the user can lookup the stresses in relevant entries. So I think that the most rational solution is to wikify every Russian (substitute any other language other than English) word in examples, while entering them without stress marks. -- Oleg Katsitadze 13:53, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
This has come up before. The best solution with languages like Russian or Arabic, which use optional diacritics, is to use the word in its plainest form on the page title (i.e. what you search for), but to write it with all relevant diacritical marks within the page itself. Stephen has usefully discussed the specific situation with Cyrillic at User_talk:Stephen_G._Brown#Combining accents, and elsewhere on his talk page. Widsith 18:19, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the link, I'll have to read through this page :). —Oleg Katsitadze 22:22, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Transliterations (in Translation section)

Somebody just changed the transliteration of the Hebrew translation of Hebrew from ivrit to eevreet with the argument this would better reflect the pronunciation. I havn't followed transliteration issues very closely, but I'm pretty sure this is not how transliteration works. First of all, are there standard ways of transliterating Hebrew into English (this, as far as I remember, is a condition for us accepting transliterations)? And secondly, most transliteration systems might try to provide hints at how to pronounce words, but they can hardly be definite (though I guess IPA is). If I'm right, Wiktionary:Transliteration#Key terms should be updated with respect to this, as should that page in general as it is not very useful in its current state. Ncik 23:02, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you on this. Transliteration is not pronunciation. Most transliteration systems tend to reflect pronunciation to some extent. That makes the transliterations more readable, but it's not obligatory. More important than updating the page itself would be developing our own transliteration key for various languages. They should be mostly based on existing systems, but there is room for deviation to suit our needs. The Library of Congress romanization tables at can be a very helpful starting point. Eclecticology 09:21, 12 January 2006 (UTC)


This page has been here for nearly 2 weeks and only 2 people have expressed an opinion. Comments are welcome (and wanted) at Wiktionary talk:Three-revert rule Gerard Foley 01:08, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

What's the point? Ec says no, so that's the way its gotta be. If we turn that Wiktionary talk page into an actual vote, it gets vetoed again. So what? --Connel MacKenzie T C 08:06, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Category:English Adjective

Are part of speech by language categories, like Category:English Adjective, really useful? The category will be gigantic if ever finished. Will people be able to find anything in them? I don't see any way to subcategorize them. Are they just there to form a machine readable list for building reports? JillianE 02:07, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I absolutely agree. They have been put into the various templates for starting new articles and should be removed from there. Eclecticology 03:20, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure why we introduced these categories for part of speech in the first place, but there you go. If people agree, I'll remove these categories from the noun, adjective and verb templates. Unfortunately the categories will only be removed by editing each of the entries in them, but fortunately the categories themselves provide a list of these. Then of course there are all the pages where the categories have been entered manually. — Paul G 11:53, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I have a gut feeling that the great majority of Categories are of no use to anyone. Do we have any hard evidence that any of our actual users use them to find words? The background processing behind them must eat up quite a lot of work on the servers. SemperBlotto 12:01, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
This seems pretty reasonable to me; in later stages, one single category might take up over a 100,000 words, which is useless of course. Furthermore, some inflection templates still have a link to a category (Template:en-adj-er), others don't (Template:en-noun-reg). Vildricianus 14:04, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I've removed the "English <POS>" categories from the {{en-...}} templates for nouns, adjectives and verbs. There were only a couple that did not include them. There are a few that include "Template:Countable" or "Template:Uncountable" - should these be removed too? — Paul G 10:20, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Same with (in)transitive verb. All these categories are far too big. Ncik 22:36, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
I've commented them out in the Template:new_en_* series. --Connel MacKenzie T C 17:42, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Historical principles

I see that the template for new pages now asks editors to order definitions ‘from most common definition to least common’. I do not think this is the best system for ordering and I'd like briefly to argue the case for arranging meanings in chronological order, from oldest to most recent. This is the guiding principle of the most authoritative print dictionaries, and in my opinion it is one of the most helpful guides not just to a word's meaning but to its various shades and connotations. At present Wiktionary does not show sense-derivation at all, which is a bit rubbish.

For example, take the word bead, which originally meant ‘a prayer’ (as the cognate Gebet still does in German). Later it came to be used for ‘a prayer-bead on a rosary’, then by extension to ‘any bead on a necklace etc’, and from there to ‘bead-like droplet of liquid’. Listing the senses in that order (with the first one or two labelled as obsolete or archaic) is both helpful and sensible, and in fact to my mind any other order would just make people rather mystified as to where the different senses came from. That is a simple example, but some words have dozens of wildly different senses which may nevertheless have developed in small logical steps. It makes sense to represent this development on the page.

Actually, I think this is what people instinctively do when they are aware of which meanings are the oldest - slang words are good examples. I think we all know what the ‘most common’ meanings of cock or pussy are, but surely it would seem weird to list them first - because that is not, fundamentally, what the words mean. Anyway the idea of commonness is ambiguous at best. What is the most common meaning of a word like set (for which the OED gives two-hundred-and-something different senses)? At present we just have a jumble of different meanings there in no apparent order, which makes me a little panicky when I look at it.

Does anyone have any thoughts? Has this been discussed before? I feel quite strongly that a good dictionary should show the evolution of a word's meaning, not least because that is often a part of its connotational baggage. Widsith 04:53, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I absolutely agree with you. See Wiktionary:FAQ#Limiting and/or ordering definitions. Ordering by which is more common would require evidence that one definition is more common than others, and would still not address issues where common will mean different things in different countries. Which template were you referring to? Eclecticology 08:57, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

The part-of-speech ones - new_en_noun, new_en_verb_infl and so on. If you search for a word which doesn't exist, these templates are offered as a way to create it. Widsith 11:14, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Just briefly because I'm running out of internet cafe money, I agree with the historical ordering because it's the most practical for our humble research abilities. If we had a good way to handle work-in-progress and a true database backend and dreams came true and streets were paved with gold I would really love to include in the database both usage statistics and historical data to allow the page to show either order. But currently this is just not possible.

We can fairly easily compare other dictionaries or search Gutenberg or Usenet for earliest uses of a term, it's harder for a peculiar sense but often possible. But to rate how commonly each sense is used - what does this even mean? Over the whole history of English? Over the last 200 years? Over the last 50 years? Over the last year? And what about regional and archaic or obsolete senses? How can we even hope to come up with statistics for those which will be reliable enough to order senses?

If people feel they can in fact obtain these results I would love to see them in the talk pages under a prominent heading for a few words. Maybe some day we will be able to make use of them. In the meantime I think the historical principle is the only one we can even get close to accurate with. — Hippietrail 18:58, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps this is the populist in me coming out but I think we should order the words by which are most commonly used today. Historical ordering is useful to few people besides etymologists. I understand the argument above that doing so reliably would be difficult, but that's no reason to make an article harder to read by listing the oldest--and thus often least-used--definition at the top. In other words, How about we stop acting like robots and use our common sense when ordering entries? --Primetime 14:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, I feel nobody has yet acted like a robot and everybody has been using their own personal common sense which differs from yours and from mine. Much as people use their common sense on the colour vs. color debate and others. — Hippietrail 16:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think any one has, either. I'm not sure if I want them to start acting like robots with a rule such as this, though. I wasn't saying that the current practice is perfect, but it's definately better than the alternative, in my opinion. --Primetime 16:16, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
It's pretty much impossible to order meanings in chronological order with our linear definitions structure since words don't just have one meaning which happens to chance from time to time, but they have lots of meanings which can also ramify or cease to exist. The common sense ordering we have now is probably the best we can get. Historical information belongs into the etymology section anyway. Ncik 18:19, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Firstly, etymological information is not the same as a word's historical meanings, although they may overlap. World etymologically means ‘age of man’, but that is not a meaning it has ever had in English no matter how far back you go. I am talking about meanings you might come across if you are reading older texts (eg the Victorian use of sensible for ‘sensitive’), and you would naturally expect to find clear definitions in the definitions section, rather than examining the etymology for clues. Secondly, I do not believe that historical ordering is inherently less popular, as Primetime politely suggests, and I think the fact that all the best print dictionaries adopt the system supports this view. Still, although the two shouldn't be mutually exclusive, I don't mind saying that if we ever had to choose between being popular and being comprehensive, I hope we would choose to be comprehensive. Widsith 08:37, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Historical information belongs into the etymology section anyway. Forget about this. You are right when demanding to include a meaning's period of use in the definition (as we already do by using tags like obsolete, dated, etc.) But how one meaning became another, ramified, or came into existence is part of the etymology (isn't it?). But maybe we'd do better with definition depending etymological notes rather than including these things in the Etymology section. Ncik 23:07, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
But how one meaning became another, ramified, or came into existence is part of the etymology (isn't it?)
Actually that kind of thing is generally called word history, which is closely related to but distinct from etymology. Some dictionaries have both and there are also dedicated dictionaries of word histories. — Hippietrail 01:47, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Replying to Widsith, a populist is someone who has the interests of the general public in mind. And I don't think that lexicographers represent the public. Ordering senses chronologically would make them harder to read--especially with longer entries. I don't care about being popular (manifestly), but as a populist, I want to do what's best for the people. --Primetime 07:00, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I suppose it depends where you think the best interests of the general public lie. Certainly you're right that longer entries are harder to read, but for me a chronological order, far from making them worse, is the only thing that makes them bearable. However, I take all the points made here. I don't have the energy to go on debating it forever, but hopefully this discussion has at least put the idea out there, and I hope that people will at least consider some of these ordering issues especially in connection with words that have many or differing meanings. Widsith 15:49, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Qutting the project

Hello. I'm quitting Wiktionary now. Seriously. Never coming back. Maybe this is because I have a job now finally. Anyway, no hard feelings, sorry for deleting the main page again. Make this site better, and listen to Ec, he's rational. --ex-admin part-time sockpuppetting quasi-vandal Wonderfool 17:10, 13 January 2006 (UTC)


This seems odd. There is Huvudsida, Kollektivportal, Senaste andringama, slumartikel, hjalp, donationer down the left hand side of of the wiki, instead of Main Page, Community Portal, Random article, etc. Strange. Wikipedia's main page was all funny too. What language is it? It's not any language I'm aware of. Dutch? --Dangherous 14:33, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Swedish then, whatever. --Dangherous 14:35, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I see these strange labels too. I don't know what language it is. I've checked Preferences, and the interface language is set to English. Wierd. B jonas 16:04, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Me too. Who can make changes to these things? Admins, or only developers? Ncik 16:10, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
It does look Scandinavian. I don't have it, but I use the classic skin. It could have something to do with the skin settings. See if it still happens when you change skins. If the Main Page for Wikipedia is also affected, I'm sure they'll get onto it quicker. Eclecticology 17:36, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
It's Swedish. Brion has fixed it now. Jon Harald Søby 17:38, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it's been fixed. I'm still seeing it. --Dijan 23:24, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
im also seeing it[[--Go 02:56, 15 January 2006 (UTC)]]
It appears to be fixed now. --Dijan 04:48, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

reqeusted articles

can nick rename the "requested articles" page?--Go 02:54, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Why can't its contents be merged with Index:English, or whatever other index page. It serves the same purpose since those links will appear in red. Eclecticology 12:25, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I always wondered what the index pages are. Do they serve any purpose (apart from that they can be used as missing words lists)? It would be nice to have an article request page from which words get deleted as soon as they get an entry just to keep requesting words as simple as possible. Shall we just add all the red links from the index pages to the request page and then delete the indices? Ncik 17:58, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I see three functionally different types of pages: 1) index pages which try to have a complete list of words in a language whether they have articles or not 2) missing article pages which try to have complete lists of words in a language but which do not yet have an article and 3) request pages which lists words in a language which do not yet have an article but make no attempt to be complete, rather indicating which words have specifically interested contributors or users. — Hippietrail 16:34, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Uncommon, archaic & obsolete.

Is there any policy on uncommon, archaic, and obsolete words? For example, words used in heraldry may be uncommon and archaic, but because they are used by Heralds, they must be part of modern English. A word like "wot" is, in my view, obsolete. Words like "glasnost" and "detante", which had currency recently are no longer used in English and must therefore be obsolete. The first meaning of "gay" is now archaic, even though it was current as recently as the 1980s. These of course are my views, and may be wrong, but what policy is used to show what is modern English and what is not? Any thoughts?

Many of these are subjective findings. Typically archaic words have not been regularly used since before 1700. Obsolete words have replaced by something else. Heraldic terms are not rare but specialized. "Detente" is still used. The contemporary usage of "gay" has not rendered toe traditional meaning archaic; it can still be used that way. Whether something is good modern English can be established by the proper use of dated quotations. Eclecticology 12:35, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
There is now a draft policy - Wiktionary:Obsolete and Archaic Terms--Richardb 21:03, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

Use of # even if only one definition

Wiktionary:Entry layout explained says that each definition should start with a #. "A very simple example" shows that this is to be used even if there is only one definition (to ease the addition of subsequent definitions). Is this correct? If so, how can I get User:Primetime to follow this rule and stop him from reverting my corrections. See myrmecophile as an example. SemperBlotto 17:20, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I tend to follow Wikipedia's definition format for single definitions. I don't know of any published dictionaries that number senses in such a way as mentioned above--probably because it doesn't guide the reader's eye very well. I still number my entries with more than one sense, though. --Primetime 17:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Why? This isn't Wikipedia. Do they use any of our formats? Also, we are not "other published dictionaries" - what other dictionaries do is not relevent. SemperBlotto 17:41, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Don't be silly, Primetime. Ncik 17:44, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not being silly at all. Right now, the Entry layout explained page can't be followed in all cases because it's so incomplete (see also Wiktionary:Entry layout explained#Flexibility).
It's not about ELE, it's about you having void arguments for what you're doing and SemperBlotto having good arguments for what he and everyone else are doing. Ncik 18:06, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I find it hard to understand why Primetime insists on pushing these small points of formatting. If he starts a one definition article and does not number that one definition no-one is going to bve bothered by that, but all are very likely to add the "1". The point of the Flexibility paragraph was to establish that someone who wants to maintain a deviation from community accepted norms bears the burden of convincing the community that his methods are superior. Eclecticology 20:09, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I thought I just did. Most of my points raised above have gone undisputed, as if no one disagrees with them. --Primetime
Another reason to use "#" when there is only a single definition is machine-readability. Since the Encyclopedia software we are using has no fine data abstraction, we use syntax of entries instead. Most of mine (and others) off-line analysis tools have to make this assumption. --Connel MacKenzie T C 11:04, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

New main page

Can we publish User:Dangherous/Main Page on the main page? I've been redesigning it for a long time now. It's got more colour than Main Page. Please have a look at it and make suggestions for improvements. --Dangherous 18:14, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm working on a new main page myself. It's based on the German Wiktionary's main page, which I consider the best currently around. Ncik 20:21, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I like Dangherous's version better. It looks less glum. However, I would shrink that yellow box on the left a little to make the page look more proportional. --Primetime 22:01, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
In reply to Nick - Hey, stop copying what I do! We both made almost simultaneous Word of the Days (mine is here, and succumbed to his in the end). If this is a challenge in programming skills, then I'll probably lose. As for Primetime's comments, I've fiddled about and tried to trim the "yellow box on the left a little to make the page look more proportional", but something always goes awry. If you know about the wiki computer language better than I do, please have a fiddle about with it. --Dangherous 23:12, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
This previous comment to Ncik is meant to be merely jocular, --Dangherous 23:14, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Both you guys's pages are too wide for my screen and require scrolling (my window width is at 928 pixels... furrfu) —Muke Tever 18:01, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
OK then, I give up with the new main page. The current one is OK I guess. I'll find another wiki's main page to redesign. --Dangherous 16:59, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps using fr: as a model might help? --Connel MacKenzie T C 11:01, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't see any of these questions as reasons for either of them to stop trying. Eclecticology 02:12, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Randomness, again

Now there are funny things going on in my toolbox when accessing Recent changes. Looks like this:


  • rss atom
  • Upload file
  • Special pages

Ncik 01:09, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

What's wrong with that? Or do you mean that it actually is a list, and not the normal appearance? Jon Harald Søby 10:48, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
From your answer I conclude that I'm supposed to have links to the rss and atom feeds there. I never noticed these things before, and was surprised at the strange format they have. Ncik 22:57, 16 January 2006 (UTC)


I think it would be great if we could include a section on grammar in Wiktionary.

There have already been a couple of pages explaining grammar, the latest being Finnish compound noun. I suggest we set up a "Wiktionary:Grammar" namespace for these, which could be subdivided by language ("Wiktionary:Grammar:Finnish", etc). Within each of these namespaces we could have as many pages on aspects of the grammars of each language as we liked. I'm not aware of any web resource that gives grammars of all languages, and as grammar is a fundamental part of language, I think we should definitely have such a resource in Wiktionary.

What do other people think? — Paul G 11:46, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

This idea has already crossed my mind, too, and it would greatly add to the value of Wiktionary, certainly considering the other languages that we include, some of which have complex grammar. I strongly agree. Vildricianus 14:15, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
With stuff like Wiktionary:Grammar:English/Use of commas, or Wiktionary:Grammar:German/gender of nouns, you mean? This would be a big project that I'd support, but I'm not a grammar expert (I could do a bit about German and an even smaller amount about Welsh though, if pushed). Nice idea. If it gets big enough, who knows, I may even have space for it on my main page. I'll add this to my to-do list. Which is getting a bit longer (Wikipedia Wales Portal is my next task). --Dangherous 14:24, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think it would be a good idea to attempt to duplicate the work of our sister project, Wikipedia, which has a series of excellent grammars and many more contributors than we can hope for. It would also be a shame if we ended up with conflicting grammars between the two projects. There is another Wiki called UniLang which is specifically for grammars and all other language-related stuff. It was steadily growing last time I looked. — Hippietrail 16:38, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I strongly support the idea to include grammar in Wiktionary. After all, every single dual-language dictionary I've ever seen has a grammar section. The namespace shouldn't be "Wiktionary:Grammar:", though, it should only be "Grammar:" (grammar isn't Wiktionary specific, is it?). And Wiktionary is a multi-language dictionary, which makes it even more important to include grammar. To me, Wiktionary is the most logic place to do it – although of course it shouldn't be excluded in Wikipedia. Jon Harald Søby 17:26, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Hippietrail. Contributors should direct their efforts to the Wikipedia grammar entries, as those are hardly complete. Creating our own grammar section is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. --Primetime 18:35, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

This issue came up esarlier in Wiktionary's history when a few grammar pages were written. These were moved to Wikibooks shortly after that project started. That (rather than Wikipedia) is probably a better place for a full scale guide. I don't think we can completely avoid some overlap between the three projects. We already accept that conjugations and declensions are validly included in Wiktionary. Usage notes are frequently necessary to clarify data about a given word, or to show that some common usages which we properly describe would, if used in a more formal context, leave the impression that the user is poorly educated.
I still think that Wikibooks is the best place for comprehensive grammar texts. Wikipedia is still good when dealing with specific topics in grammar. It's probably still a good idea to revisit the issue to decide what is the optimum overlap between the three projects. Eclecticology 01:38, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Ah, I wasn't aware that Wikibooks already had content on grammar. In that case, I agree with Eclecticology: Wikibooks is the place to post stuff about grammar. — Paul G 09:59, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Here's a candidate for moving there: Wiktionary Appendix:Serbian grammar. I've asked the poster if he can do this. — Paul G 10:45, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

"What links here" unreliable?

It seems that "What links here" is somewhat unreliable. I know that a lot of links to Template:sv-noun and Template:sv-adj are missing. There are more examples as well. It happend at least a few days ago, not sure exactly when. Before that the lists were much longer.

If you edit a page the link is restored but if you edit the template itself it doesn't. Note that any visual changes to a template is shown on all including pages but a page is not added to the "What links here" list until the page itself is edited.

Very annoying. 15:12, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Word of the day Help needed

We are looking for suggestions for the new word of the day:


Word of the day
for November 18
Minecrafter n
  1. (video games) A person who plays the game Minecraft.

  The video game Minecraft was released on this day in 2011.

← yesterday | About Word of the DayArchiveNominate a wordLeave feedback | tomorrow →

I'm sure there are many people who have useful suggestions for the word of the day. Currently there are two people running this and the words range from good to mediocre. I would like all of them to be either good entries or vocabulary expanding words and help in any way would be much appreciated. Iamnotanorange 18:08, 16 January 2006 (UTC)


Due to the exiprevent googlingcornt vandalisms lately, it seems to me that this project needs some local CheckUsers. Now, I don't mind checking the users like I have done a few times lately, but I'd rather get it into more "civilized forms", e.g. with two or more (required by policy) local CheckUsers. For further reading about CheckUsers, see m:CheckUser and m:CheckUser policy (and corresponding talk pages). Jon Harald Søby 15:33, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I see no point to having two people with this tool. It's just not needed that frequently. I might complain if it seemed as though you were abusing the tool, but until then I must assume good faith. The exicornt problem is as clear an indication for its use to combat sockpuppetry as we can have. Eclecticology 19:11, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Jon, we should have local CheckUsers ready for things like this. Gerard Foley 21:29, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Can you be checkuser as you're a steward? --Dangherous 16:17, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Copyright in citations

IANAL – can someone please advise me on where we stand legally with copyright in regards to adducing quotations as examples of a word's use. Do we have to cite works whose copyright has expired? Or does reproducing material on a site like this not really matter? I have no idea. I am sure this info must be on the site somewhere, but I can never find what I'm looking for.. Widsith 18:08, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

This is exactly what fair use/dealing was designed for. Tracking down these uses is a clear act of research and scholarxhip. In the absence of fair use we would be left in the ridiculous position of being unable to provide evidence for what we are doing. Eclecticology 18:52, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Cheers Ec. Widsith 18:56, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

Maintenance page runs

I've been mostly offline for some time now; I thought for sure, the maintenance:updateSpecialPages.php would have been run by now. Anyone have a way to request these updates more consistently? I'd like to clear off the doubleredirects and broken redirects, but to do so requires a manual review of those special pages before letting the 'bot loose.

Also, it has been a while since there was an XML dump/database backup. --Connel MacKenzie T C 05:48, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Roget Thesaurus Classification

Can we use any of this, particularly to categorise abstract concepts? Whoever put it there failed to make note of which edition he was using. I have a copy of the 5th (1992) edition which shows 1073 categories in 15 classes. A sixth (2002) edition has 1075 categories. Eclecticology 09:37, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Mine has 990. Probably useless then? Vildricianus 16:12, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Maybe, maybe not. Our categories for concrete concepts continue to evolve as expected. In some cases we may already be better than Roget. There have been numerous editions of Roget; apparently Roget himself produced 25 editions before he died in 1869. Whatever edition we use will probably need to be much modified for our own use. In the course of working on absolve I found that my copy of Roget lists that word in five different categories. The categorisation of abstracts is not an easy problem. Eclecticology 17:51, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


Someone used the word exi---nt here, when I went to look it up in wiktionary to get the definition I found a protected page that was a redirect to --error: link target missing--. The talk pages don't seem informative. There's no definition. Is this a real word and if so what is going on? JillianE 16:23, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

And, when I try to copy the word to clkip board so I can copy it to the search field I have trouble selecting it and the clipboard has exiprevent googlingcornt. So I looked at the view source for this page and it looks a little odd. More "what's going on?" JillianE 16:26, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

OK. I see it now. The actual text typed was "exi<span style="display:none;">prevent googling</span>cornt". Now I'm just windering why. JillianE 16:58, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

This word is the product of a problem user who has been using multiple sockpuppets. He also refuses to provide any eveidence for the word's use. Nevertheless, I don't see much point in preventing people from googling the word. Eclecticology 17:10, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps someone could put a definition for sockpuppet on this site, as I have no idea what you are talking about and just get visions of Sooty and co. Widsith 17:20, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

It is been added by w:User:Edd ieSeg oura, who also has an account here User:E ddieSego ura. You may also be interested in w:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Exi---nt. Gerard Foley 18:55, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

template:DIRMARK T

  • Why? What does it do? SemperBlotto 23:02, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
In the absence of an explanation I would be inclined to delete it as some kind of joke. Eclecticology 11:29, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Ganglerti is a trusted person (or, at least, I trust him). I'm sure it has its purpose. Jon Harald Søby 17:24, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Hello, Gangleri gave an explaination here: [1] and here: [2]. Since he is very active in resolving bugs (not only that) he can be trusted! Best regards --birdy (:> )=| 21:11, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

The Commons link is not informative at all. What we need is a plain English explanation of what this does. Saying that he is trusted is not an adequate substitute for an explanation. Eclecticology 22:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

The first link I gave you is. I will inform Gangleri, so he can put an extra note. greetings --birdy (:> )=| 00:08, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Hi! template:DIRMARK is included in template:wikivar which by design can be used in all Wiktionaries. Wiktionaries with a script from left to right are using the value &lrm; while Wiktionaries with a script from right to left as the list from meta:BiDi workgroup are using the value &rlm;. DIRMARK should not be changed until an equivalent as {{DIRMARK}} is available in the MediaWiki software. The template wikt:en:template:wikivar is the "master template" for all Wiktionaries because the templates from the sisterprojects contain minor interwiki modifications. These other "(sister-) master templates" are also located at the English projects. best regards Gangleri | Th | T 00:22, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

OK. Thanks for the explanation. On that basis I have protected the page as requested. Eclecticology 01:11, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Patrolling New Edits

One of my regular (self-imposed) tasks is to look at all new edits from anonymous users (and a few whose edits always need tweaking). I have been away for a day and find that nobody else seems to do this (with a few noble exceptions). Edits from the following users need to be either formatted, improved or just deleted. I do not normally look at updates to existing articles, so will miss petty vandalism - I just hope that somebody else does this. I do realise that sysops are busier than normal with the exicornt vandal - thanks for your help.

These are such users who have made new edits in my absence - perhaps somebody might like to work through the list. It is tedious, mind-numbing work - but many will be a single edit. I am going to do something else. SemperBlotto 22:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

  • Mostly done - thanks for your help. SemperBlotto 23:26, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Edits of Primetime

I'm having disputes with Primetime on the following pages: ounce metal (linking of ounce and metal in the headphrase), wife (wikifying words in definition), entity (wikifying words in definition, format of quotation (in particular his manually forced line break, these things should always be left to the software since you never know how wide other peoples screens are)), discomfit (wikifying words in definitions). Ncik 14:20, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I kept the vast majority of his changes to my entries except for (1) links unecessary for understanding definitions and (2) keeping a source on the same line as a long quotation, which orphaned the source, rendering the dash useless. --Primetime 14:29, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Hi folks, I didn't notice you brought ounce metal up here too. Primetime, it is customary to link the individual words in that 'header' you argued about over there, just look at virtually any idiom. \Mike 14:46, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I understand it is a habit (and a bad habit, in my opinion). But, it is unecessary for understanding the word (as they are almost irrelevant to its meaning). It is not supported by any policy, either. --Primetime 14:51, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Primetime is getting to be a real pain. He will not adhere to Wiktionary standards but goes his own way in a cavalier and bloody-minded manner. What can we do? SemperBlotto 14:48, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Show me where those edits that I'm reverting are supported by policy, please. --Primetime 14:51, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Primetime, first of all I, and I'm convinced most people with me, consider it to be unnecessary to pin down each and every detail of our daily work in policy documents. Secondly, at least I have never seen any objections - until now - to this 'habit' (as you call it), and still I see only opinions about it (no arguments). So, I would put the burden on you: convince us, with good arguments, why this de facto policy is unnecessary. \Mike 15:11, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I tend to follow Wikipedia's position on the excessive use of links. As it is, there are editors adding links to my entries that pretty much no one would want to cross-reference. For example, in the entry "dog," there's a link to the entry "woman." My belief is that if it wouldn't say q.v., see also, or see in another reference work, then it shouldn't have a link here. I should also mention that I don't care how anyone formats their own entries. I'm only concerned about how my own contributions look. I let Ncik change a lot in my entries--but this (and the seperate line for the source) were unnegotiable. --Primetime 15:15, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Unnegotiable? Their own entries? Sorry, but that was pretty funny... And concerning the appearance of your contributions - well, that's what the version history is for, and those noone can change. 'Cause you didn't mean "your entries", now, did you? \Mike 15:46, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I said my contributions because I was trying to assure everyone that I simply object to unbearably bad formatting to areas of entries--which I donated to Wiktionary--only. --Primetime 15:52, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
I'll quote from below the edit box (on every edit page!): "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here."
As to Wikipedia's policy, that cannot apply here; we are more concerned with the words themselves, not the concepts. That is why all multi-word entries should have all words (including the, of, and etc.) of the inflection line wikified (well, a couple other reasons, but nevermind.) Wikifying key terms within a definition that add to a reader's understanding are strongly encouraged. And use of HTML tags instead of Wiki-markup for formatting is very strongly discouraged. --Connel MacKenzie T C 17:28, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
So what policy says that I have to be exactly like everyone else? In the above case, I was even following policy and kept most of Ncik's edits (which I thought were also bad, but kept just to compromise) but I guess that wasn't enough. I guess every single objection I have ever raised about the format some editors force on me is wrong. I guess other people can edit my entries, but I can't edit their additions (at all). There's a double standard for me. --Primetime 17:46, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Wiktionary (like other Wiki projects) is a community. Garnering support (i.e., getting consensus) is the method for settling disputes here. Going against several sysops is rarely a good idea. Perhaps Ncik is trading favors outside of Wiktionary to coddle enough people to avoid getting himself banned again...I really don't know. --Connel MacKenzie T C 04:59, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Please all see User talk:SemperBlotto#Fine - any thoughts? SemperBlotto 19:47, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
My thoughts are that Primetime is acting very unreasonably. He is obviously not creative enough to give well-funded arguments for his inferior entry format, and his desperate attempt has now moved him in an unfortunate position. Vildricianus 21:10, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
You are obviously not knowledgeable enough to know how to spell founded correctly. You are also obviously too lazy to back up your claims with actual evidence. --Primetime 21:35, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Primetime has been warned on his talk page that persisting in this behaviour could result in his being blocked. If there is any disagreement about this please let me know ASAP. Eclecticology 23:47, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

I'd object to any ban over 24 hours for User:Primetime. You've let Ncik get away with a hell of a lot more, in my opinion. --Connel MacKenzie T C 04:59, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
No, he should not be blocked. That would only fuel his paranoia. I think that his personal attack on me was an attempt to get me to block him, so that he could use that as further evidence. I didn't rise to the bait. Anyway, he would only come back with a new UserID (like the exicornt vandal). Also, we would lose his further input - and there is nothing wrong with the content of his articles, only his strange format. SemperBlotto 08:14, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Requests for cleanup

Hmm.... I started changing references to Category:Requests for Cleanup to Category:Requests for cleanup (lower-case "cleanup"), acting on a message at the top of the latter category. But now that I look around, maybe I shouldn't be doing this after all. Please see Category talk:Requests for Cleanup and discuss there. - dcljr 11:24, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

I have responded at the page indicated. Eclecticology 17:45, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
Since no one has objected in the last two days, I'm going to go ahead and complete the changes I started. - dcljr 10:25, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Done. All entries are now listed at Category:Requests for cleanup and almost all links to the former category have been changed (only a few user page and talk page links didn't seem worth bothering with). - dcljr 13:06, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Sex and the WikiSaurus

No to be prudish, but it strikes me as rather bizarre that almost all the WikiSaurus entries are to do with sex and genitalia The "promiscuous woman" entry is a little hard to take (what about "promiscous man", huh?).

I'm new to the Wiki world but it seems to me like these have all been entered by somebody with too much time on his or her hands and only one thing on the brain. The article listing reads like a Freudian word-association game whilst the entries themselves resemble the back pages of a horny 14-year-old's school text-book!



  • I agree completely with your analysis. Whether anything can be done about it is another story. Like it or not, most of these words are a part of the language. Ideally the WikiSaurus should be developed so that there is so much material about sensible words that these infantile displays fade into the background. It would be difficult to start deleting these pages without stirring up a storm of protest; for the rest of us I think our time is more valuably spent on other matters. In these topics I limit muself to demanding evidence when someone seeks to add a new term of this type to the Wiktionary. Eclecticology 18:21, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
    • It is nice that for once someone has chosen to comment on this situation, which too often is taken for granted in the online world in general. Widsith 18:46, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

The simple fact is that looking up, and adding, the rude words first is what some people tend to do with dictionaries, and thus the rude words tend to be at the forefront of development as a consequence. (WikiSaurus:penis is one of the first entries to have had to tackle the fact that Wiktionary encompasses "all languages", for example, since it is one of the first entries where words in languages other than English have been added to a significant degree.) The situation is particularly pronounced with WikiSaurus because many of the Wikipedia articles on bodily functions, genitalia, and the like themselves grew mini thesauri that have since been moved out of Wikipedia and into their natural home at WikiSaurus, and that Wikipedia cross-links to. Thus WikiSaurus has had, and continues to have, two project's worth of attention for these headwords. If you want to add other headwords to WikiSaurus, please do so. The solution to the situation is to add the rest of the headwords, and bring them up to the level of the "rude" headwords, not to worry about the fact that the headwords that have been worked on so far are concentrated in a specific area. Uncle G 20:21, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Do we actually need WikiSaurus? I think all the information could easily be contained in the semantic relations sections and see no point in duplicating these things in another namespace. Ncik 03:38, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
The WikiMedia encyclopedia software is not well customized for writing a dictionary, let alone a thesaurus. Creating a dictionary from the encyclopedia- centric Wiki software is taxing enough. Wikisaurus really should be a separate project, not a separate namespace within Wiktionary. As a separate project, it could possibly get developer time, focus and attention that it needs to become more than the current joke it is. --Connel MacKenzie T C 04:47, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Nice that somebody noticed the semantic relations page that I added. The problem is that just because some word has some semantic relation with some other word doesn't mean it should be on the page for either word. For coordinate terms we have the categories under Category:*Topics. Most (to not say almost all) pages shouldn't have a coordinate terms section. They should and do use the topic categories.
A thesaurus handles synonyms and antonyms. While we should and do have synonyms and antonyms sections listing the most common synonyms and antonyms we can't list all at least not in all cases. Now most words doesn't have that many so even listing them all is not a problem. For some words like penis that have a lot of synonoms listing them all would be insane. The situation is very similar to situation with the coordinate terms. For them given the limitations of MediaWiki the only reasonable choice was using categories.
Thus the only reasonable solution that I can see given the limitations is to yet again to use categories. Why not just add [[Category:Synonyms:penis]] to all pages that are synonyms to penis. For the other languages just link them like with the topic categories. If you are in the page for penis and want to know the Swedish words for penis just click on [[Category:Synonyms:penis]] and then on [[Category:sv:Synonyms:penis]]. In addition we could have an appendix called say [[Appendix:Synonyms:penis]] which probably should look like very much like what the page WikiSaurus:penis looks today.
The advantage of the above solution is that we can do the same not only for antonyms but also for meronyms and whatever other semantic relations we want to use. For example the pages for door and window could add [[Category:Meronyms:house]] if we wanted to.
So IMHO WikiSaurus should neither be a seperate project nor a namespace. Actually the name itself is not useful at all except as a fancy name for an internal project. I suggest we use the prefix Synonyms: for synonyms and Antonyms: for antonyms. --Patrik Stridvall 12:15, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm not against the "rude" words being entries (it's almost more embarassing that sites like exclude words like 'penis' and 'vagina'), indeed they are often the most interesting. I suppose work needs to be done on the project to redress the balance somewhat in favour of useful little words like 'puerile'! ACV

I think that adding the semantic relations experiment to the categories would make them unnecesarily complicated. Using "Wikisaurus" for a thesaurus section already allows for some deviation from the traditional thesaurus. Thus meronums and the others can easily be made a part of the Wikisaurus. Eclecticology 11:45, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Point taken. I'm not saying it is a good solution. However given the current technical limitations of MediaWiki I can't see any other reasonable solution.
Ignoring the "problem" might be a solution. That is let people play with the WikiSaurus "namespace" and wait for somebody interested enough make something better. Perhaps Wikidata will be that, then again perhaps not, I haven't really looking into it.
However IMHO prefixing the pages with WikiSaurus: doesn't really make much sense. Why not prefix them with Appendix:Synonyms: or whatever instead? Not that I care that much though. --Patrik Stridvall 15:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
As Uncle G mentioned I'm (slowly)in the process of moving a whole bunch of 'rude' words across using transwiki. There is Transwiki:List of sexual slang waiting for my attention which will just make the balance between everyday & rude words worse unfortunately. After spending some time on these entries with most of the edits being first edits by IPs I sympathise a lot more now with Ec's suggestion that the rest of us go spend our time more productively. If anyone can point out some lists on Wikipedia which could be more productively turned into Wikisaurus entries it would salve my conscience somewhat :-).MGSpiller 01:41, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Template:en-conj-irreg, Template:en-infl-irreg, and Template:En-infl-irreg

These templates are no longer in use. All words in Category:English irregular verbs are now either tagged manually or use Template:irregverb. Ncik 01:28, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

You vandalized how many entries, removing the accepted template to convert to your ugly rogue templates? Keep and convert entries back. --Connel MacKenzie 17:59, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
A quick look at the results of a grep "en-infl-irreg" 20051211_pages_full.xml shows that User:Ncik vandalized approximately 95 entries that had these templates. In most cases, these acts of vandalism or POV pushing are obfuscated by other edits, because Ncik has gone unchecked for so long. ATM, I'm sick of reverting this type of vandalism by hand. --Connel MacKenzie T C 12:29, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

We should at least be able to get rid of those that begin with "En" instead of "en". All of these are only redirects, and are used nowhere. Eclecticology 03:56, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I am unaware of anyone confirming that all upper case templates have been fixed. In light of the flurry of two-month old reverts, it certainly seems possible that incorrectly capitalized template references might sneak back in as part of the process. But those are very different reasons that the one given above. I do see value in checking for template references that start with an upper case character, but such a task will have to wait until the MediaWiki XML dump backups are operational again. So no, I don't think it is wise to delete the upper case variant at this point in time. --Connel MacKenzie T C 04:21, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I have looked at What links here for all of them, and none of them have any. What few I did find were corrected. Waiting until the system backups can be seen is just speculative. If we end up with a few red links because of this they can be fixed when they are discovered. Eclecticology 11:21, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Corrected? WTF? To assess what templates have community consensus, particularly in this dispute, one needs to not further promote vandalism!
To say that none are linked is demonstrably false.
To ignore that there are approximately a hundred known vandalisms that have not been reverted yet is simply bizarre.
There is a bug currently reported on bugzilla (see Wiktionary:Announcements) that indicates there is a major problem with the WhatLinksHere functionality at this point in time. Using WhatLinksHere is certainly not all inclusive and should not be used as a conclusive indication that a template is not used.
I don't see how the templates as they are today can be used in conjunction. Simply having Ncik's out-of-order listing of inflections is so inconsistent with the rest of Wiktionary I don't see a clear path to allowing both sets of template to continue being used.
Eclecticology, perhaps I misunderstood what one of your other comments was implying. Were you suggesting we should not permit any templates for inflections in the main namespace? Perhaps that idea should be revisited, and all templates subst:'ed away. Then we could return to undoing Ncik's nonstandard formatting choices manually one by one. Was that what you were suggesting? If such an action is voted on and supported by the community, I could indeed automate that effort...but I personally would probably vote against it. --Connel MacKenzie T C 20:59, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't see the En/en issue as being a part of the current dispute. I don't see how you can call that change vandalism; the resulting template is the same one that is there. The "En" pages currently all redirect to the corresponding "en" page. The bug in "What Links Here" is also a different matter. If you believe that something is "demonstrably false" you should have no difficulty demonstrating that.
The "subst:" solution to eliminate these templates is not entirely bad. I do "personally" prefer plain text for nouns and adjectives, and something similar to Ncik's model for verbs. My immediate interest, however, is in trying to find peace between you and Ncik rather than trying to push my preferences. This is why I suggested a moratorium on changes in any direction, and allowing people to use whichever of the three alternatives they want when first enterring this data until a consensus is reached. Eclecticology 02:09, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't see where I said the capitalized template was vandalism. I as saying the pages that referred to community accepted templates were vandalized, in Ncik's very POV manner.
Assuming the entries have not been (again!) re-vandalized, simply look at Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:en-infl-irreg. Keep in mind, there approximately 100 entries that have not had their vandalism reverted yet.
I do not see why you are suggesting a moratorium when Ncik has ignored it in the past and presumably will continue to do so. Rather, evidently continues to do so.
--Connel MacKenzie T C 03:41, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Template edit war (Ncik) restarting

  An edit war is starting regarding User:Ncik's contributions POV assertion of templates overtop of community accepted templates. Please take a look at his stalking of my reverts and with consensus block him. He's had and ignored many warnings in the past.

Ncik is currently engaged in a pogrom of eliminating community-adopted templated despite numerous objections. His tactic has been to vandalize entries that use any template that is not his own. Often this results in elimination of useful categories to make the entries harder to find (e.g. irregular verbs.) He is often attempting to mask edits with additional changes, making straight rollbacks inconvenient. And of course, he is still stalking my edits, as he makes a habit of always doing. --Connel MacKenzie T C 16:56, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Just in case you haven't noticed yet, Connel, my templates are accepted by the community. See Wiktionary:English inflection templates. I would really like to know where I have removed a useful category. The claim I would remove irregular verb tags is just ludicrous since it is me who added the largest part of Category:English irregular verbs to this category, which is now very comprehensive. It is not true that I stalk your edits. You keep bullying me by messing up pages you know I pay particular attention to. Ncik 17:59, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
See below. Wasn't quite as fast as Connel. Ncik 17:52, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Your templates are not accepted by the community.
How can you say this, knowing about the discussion Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/October-December 05#Templates for inflexions which resulted in the red boxes being accepted as an alternative to the other templates (I shall address your last comment in that discussion, which I previously hadn't noticed, probably because the thread was archived 4 days later, below)
Are you saying that you can't read? Or that you refuse (and refused) to? Nothing I said there was new to you. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Some are allowing your experiments to proceed even though you stomp on more appropriate names after being warned not to.
This is a wiki am I'm certainly allowed to experiment with things. You will not intimidate me by issuing warnings to me. Ncik 23:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
It's not an experiment when there is a community accepted and preferred method in place already. And you will not succeed by vandalizing community accepted templates. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
As you are very well aware, the ones I reverted were ones you compromised, for reasons stated above. Your flat out lies are getting very old; I've expounded numerous complaints about your templates here, on your talk page and on template talk pages.
You say that all the time but never provide any links. Ncik 23:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
That's right: I don't research six months of continuous lies because you say you cannot or will not read. Your re-vandalism of entries I make has never taken more than 8 hours (usually much much less than that.) And you are suggesting you didn't read a response to a question of yours in four days, after having gotten the same response a half dozen times prior? --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Your flat out lie about creating and populating the irregular verbs category is astounding. After I had populated it, you vandalized every entry I had there. You are also very well aware that substituting your inferior templates over templates that have community acceptance is POV. You are also aware that you are changing formats and appearances against accepted community formats.
I didn't say anything about the creation of the category nor about populating it. I simply said I added most of the entries in that category to it. This in fact happened after it had been populated. You claim that my templates are inferior. What is this based upon? The silly format you gave penis in your desperate efforts to defend the en-irreg-noun template? Again, the red boxes are accepted by the community. Ncik 23:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
No. You contradict yourself in those first two sentences. The third is a lie. The fourth has been stated numerous times. You say now that you can't read a relevant response within four days, while stalking other entries I make during the same time period? You've never let an edit of mine go 8 hours without re-vandalizing it. Are you suggesting that you've never read your own talk page? You know you need to read discussion pages for entries, especially if there is any controversy about an edit. You pretend that the talk page isn't there when it suits you. I (and I doubt anyone else) can believe that you didn't read a relevant discussion...I can believe that you couldn't devise a rational response in four days since your position is so untenable.
The main point about the red boxes now, is that you got tentative acceptance to proceed with your experiment based on the wide-spread acceptance of your templates, which was not widespread at all; it was mere vandalism of existing entries. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Looking further at the entry history for penis it is clear that the MediaWiki software itself changed in the intervening time. The template (back then) handled the situation correctly. When I went to report the error in the MediaWiki software, the developers didn't see the problem, as it had already been replaced by one of your templates (not penis, but I forget the entry now.) As I rarely check on bugzilla, I did not notice that they missed it for a very long time. (Software changes that break functionality are much easier to fix when the problem is noticed right away.) It remains broken today, in part, thanks to you Ncik. --Connel MacKenzie T C 03:30, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Your stalking is quite evident, in and of itself. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:01, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Quoting from Connel's last comment on Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/October-December 05#Templates for inflexions:
"I've presented dozens of specific critiques of your templates as have others. Since you've adopted Polyglot's suggested input parameter format (slightly reordered) almost half of my complaints have been addressed.
I'm glad to hear that the order of the template arguments accounts for half of your complaints. Let's see what the remaining one is. Ncik 23:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
We don't need to be reminded that you cannot count. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
But then again, you reordered the input parameters against his suggestion, therefore it remains wildly unacceptable.
It is just the bloody order of arguments, what can be "wildly unacceptable" about this. I didn't even change Polyglot's suggested input format. I just chose the output format that at the time seemed to be the prevailing one throughout Wiktionary according to my own, subjective experience, and made the order of arguments of the template correspond to the output. Ncik 23:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
It is not "just the bloody order" but that alone is damning, yes. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
My complaints about the boxes' inflexibility remain.
They are more flexible (i.e. those templates ending in "2", which cover any case I've ever come across) than anything you have in your repertoire. I gave some evidence for this at Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/October-December 05#Templates for inflexions. Ncik 23:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Anything in a fixed box is inherently less flexible than flowing text. Some templates have problems (i.e. penis) and the community accepted solution in those cases is to "subst:" the template and make the corrections. Because of your blitz of entries I did not correct that entry, while in the midst of many other edits. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
My complaints about categories remain.
I don't know what these are. I avoid adding categories using inflection templates since I favour a modular approach to editing. We should allow users to add information in steps as small as possible. Ncik 23:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Certainly not at first. I understand your approach to categories has changed over time, but nonsensical removal of relevant categories remains nonsensical. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
My complaints about the excessive verbosity remain.
Having more parameters than the templates Connel prefers reduces the number of templates needed (2 instead of half a dozen which don't even cover all cases). Ncik 23:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
Those are based on you stomping on the naming convention I suggested for Polyglot's proposed template formats. I was being nice in letting you proceed; I see that was a consequential mistake now. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
My complaints about your stomping on other people's naming conventions remain.
What do you mean by this? Ncik 23:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
You took the name of suggested templates being discussed and put your own flavor of template there, knowing that your formats were in disfavor, but mainly so that no one else could implement the proposed improvements. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:14, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
My complaints about your vandalizing entries remains."
Ncik 23:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Connel, I really don't see the point to re-opening these old wounds. There is no community consensus about the right way to represent inflections in English. Allowing both approaches, as well as plain text, has helped to calm this issue. There should be some respect shown for whichever of these three options was first chosen. It's true enough that many of your reverts in this recent round involve reverts to changes made by Ncik, but he did this two months ago -- before we reached some level of understanding. Making those changes now may be technically correct, but it also seems provocative. Remember too that if you insist on reverting these changes that same argument can be used for reverting back to plain text. Eclecticology 03:32, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

He reopened "these old wounds" by nominating the correct templates for deletion. ALL the reverts I did were entries where the correct template was used initially and vandalized by Ncik. That amounts to only a tiny fraction of this exact type of vandalism he did (I only completed a search of one of those templates; there are how many?)
It obviously is not the same as going to plain text; one (Ncik's vandalism) is a direct POV assault. The main point here is that Ncik is the only one here trying to assert his templates at the expense of other accepted (and rather popular) templates. --Connel MacKenzie T C 03:52, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

The nominations to delete what you call the "correct templates" were made on October 31. Only one of those was in fact deleted, and that was perfectly justifiable because it was an orphan that still used "En" instead of "en", a change which you seemed to support. More recently he was not making these reversions until you recently decided that his older changes should be reverted. Also there is no need to perpetrate the illusion that your templates are the correct or accepted ones. Your view is as much a POV as his; if reverting one way is vandalism then so is reverting the other way. In the short term until both of you show a willingness to find a compromise, it might be better if the status quo be maintained as it is at the time stamp of this comment. This should apply whether it's your template, his template or plain text. Eclecticology 10:46, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that we would all be much happier if you could sort it out amicably between the two of you - then get on with something more productive. Personally I think that Ncik's version is ugly, but I can live with either. SemperBlotto 10:52, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I call them the correct templates because they are. They are the templates (for the most part, developed by other people, not myself) that reflect the accepted formatting standards we use on the English Wiktionary. Ncik did not simply experiment with his templates, he forged ahead with formats that met significant resistance. He vandalized many entries that used correct formatting in an effort to skew the appearance that his templates are popular. Very few people (if any) use his templates besides himself.

It is no illusion to call the formatting conventions widely accepted, prior to Nciks vandalism. I must repeat: these are not "my" templates - offhand I cannot think of any one inflection template that I authored. Also to repeat: my activites so far have been limited to only the entries that Ncik vandalized by changing community accepted templates to his own. Also to repeat: he intentionally used proposed names of templates that were to be used (and were currently being discussed) to propogate his errors such as incorrect inflection ordering, inconsistent non-flowing text boxes, absense of desired categories, inconsistent bold and italics conventions and ugly color schemes.

I wish you would provide a link to where the use of the red box template names was proposed for other templates. I can't remember this and would be rather surprised if it were the case since I seem to be one of the few people on en.wikt who has continuously argued in favour of prefixing English language specific items with "en" (eg. in categories) as is done (necessarily) for all other languages. Inflection ordering can be the one or the other way but hardly "incorrect" or an "error". I also contest your claim that the red boxes are non-flowing. Those ending in a 2 are, and can contain code of pretty much any nature. The templates you favour are displayed as if they were flowing text but in fact are not, restricted by their automatic formatting. This is demonstrated by nouns which have more than one plural (eg. penis, but many other words in Category:English irregular plurals could serve as an example) and many of the verbs in Category:English irregular verbs. I have pointed out other problems in connection with the lack of flexibility of the templates of the kind you use (See Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/October-December 05#Templates for inflexions). I thought we were on the same side when it comes to adding categories manually rather than via templates (you were in favour of modular editig when it came to (in)transitivity, see Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/October-December 05#Verbs that are transitive and intransitive, and also seem to be against adding categories that would become unreasonably large such as Category:English nouns as your latest changes to WT:ELE and your comment five threads below suggest). Ncik 02:50, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
The Wiktionary search capability currently is not working in the [Wiktionary:] namespace (yes, I checked the appropriate boxes when I searched.) Wiktionary talk:Index to templates#New English verb templates is one conversation you obviously wish had never occurred. (My compromised in there assumed other parties would be equally, or even a little willing to compromise as well; given the abuse instead of compromise, I'm not sure I should back down on any of the complaints I had there, that I was previously willing to compromise on, now.) I'm sure you don't want Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/October-December 05#Templates for inflexions dredged up again - or are you too embarrassed to link it yourself? How about Wiktionary talk:Entry layout explained#Rollback or Wiktionary talk:Entry layout explained#Vandalism in progress or Wiktionary talk:Entry layout explained#Part of speech or your user talk page for the most incriminating stuff? Why are suggesting this is all brand new to you?
Other relevant links: (most of which you commented directly on):
As far as categories, I believe that irregular verbs most certainly should be auto-categorized by the inflection template. All irregular forms deserve some categorization. Building such "exception" lists is incredibly helpful to programming tasks, as well as to English language learners. Making a distinction between inflected forms vs. other forms is not nearly as useful. I don't think transitive nor intransitive really merit categories of their own, especially when there is so much overlap between them, having a category listing them really isn't granular enough to be useful anyway.
--Connel MacKenzie T C 05:56, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Since the point of dispute is whether we should have a standard format or not and what that should be, I cannot comprehend why you encourage his further vandalism. We've seen one or two examples of what his formats might look like; beyond that he should not be using them any more without full community support. Encouraging him to ignore community feedback is absurd.

Encouraging him to further vandalize entries is not productive.

At this point, I can't demonstrate what correcting his templates would look like without being accused of a POV vandalism of them. He has demonstrated repeatedly that he refuses to even try to listen to suggestions and/or making changes to his templates himself.

Eclecticology uses, at least to some extent, Template:conj which is a slightly modified clone of my red boxes, and has created Template:conj2 in order to make a clearer distinction between different conjugations. This is the right way to bring forward constructive criticism, not the blind, agressive, abusive and unreasonable rage you unleash onto the red boxes and me. Ncik 02:50, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

--Connel MacKenzie T C 21:21, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Please!!! Making suggestions is not the same as vandalism. Secondly there can for obvious reasons not be non-POV solution to the problem. Even technical issues like how the templates should take parameters, defaults and how flexible they should be is at least partly a matter of taste. As for the layout, well that is almost entirely a matter of taste. So what is needed is a consensus.
Futhermore, while I certainly do not wish to defend Ncik behavior, since AFAICS his templates have both not entirely unreasonable names as well as takes parameters in ways that makes the salvageable without changing the including pages in most cases, your accusations of vandalism only partly makes sense. --Patrik Stridvall 22:21, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, this problem has apparently a more deep-rooted cause. I'm the newbie here, so I don't know much about it, but although I certainly wish not to stimulate this conflict, I think that it would be useful if we could peacefully reach a consensus on which template to use. Vildricianus 22:57, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

When someone starts insisting that his favoured template is the "correct" one, it is not very different from insisting that a particular spelling of a word is the correct one. The latter would soon draw complaints about being prescriptivist. Eclecticology 03:06, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Complaint against Connel

There is an edit war looming between Connel and me. The following pages are affected: volcano, wolf, statesman, energy, penis, brat, carry, discovery, werewolf, possibility, charity, remedy, passerby, passer-by, statuary, panty, consigliere, dory, feasibility, practicality, mora, titanic. It is about the inflection templates. Connel basically replaced the inflection templates I use by the ones he prefers. There are the following problems with that:

  1. He wrongly classified "carry", "remedy", "charity" and "statuary" as irregular plurals. This is wrong according to Category:English irregular plurals. If he wishes to change the definition of irregular plural we use he should engage in a discussion about it, e.g. on the category's talk page.
    As I explained when I started, Ncik commingled many other changes as he vandalised community accepted templates. The method of search I was doing (combined with the monstrous volume of Ncik's vandalism) did not permit me to review some (four) entries close enough. Nevertheless, there are more appropriate templates for these than the rogue templates Ncik is trying to promote by subverting entries. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:13, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
  2. He must realise, from what he was forced to do on penis alone, that Template:en-noun-irreg is incapable of handling the irregularities of some nouns.
    Same as above. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:13, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
  3. My main point of criticism: He called some of his template changes "vandalism reverts" in the edit summaries. Trying to conceal one's maverick edits which change accepted layout conventions from the view of other editors (considering Connel is an administrator and as such reverts a lot of vandalism and is trusted by the community) is unacceptable, particularly since his only criticism on that format is that it's "ugly" and that he doesn't like the order of inflections of Template:en-verb (if Connel would bother suggesting improvements, both could be changed easily thanks to the concept of templates).
    Ncik's campaign to abolish community accepted templates is vandalism. Ncik needs to stop lying saying I've never suggested anything other than "ugly." --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:13, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
    Regarding Ncik's comments about administrator responsibility, I was acting on invalid edits made to entries, that in their very very strong POV were clearly an attempt to undermine the entire community. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:13, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
  4. In his following spree of reverts he has not bothered to keep other WT:ELE conformal changes I made.

Ncik 17:49, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I know Ncik should have been banned for that vandalism too. If Ncik didn't get community acceptance somewhere such as the beer parlour before making his changes, then guess what? Any changes he made are invalid. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:13, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

{{transitive}} and {{intransitive}}

Again about templates. Are we using these: Template:transitive, Template:intransitive? Vildricianus 20:21, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

As far as I know, yes. Ncik 02:40, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Deleted userpage

Can anyone explain where my (admittedly weak) userpage went to? Thanks.--SarekOfVulcan 02:32, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Someone deleted it with the comment (EXICORNT vandal). --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:53, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Interesting, considering I had a total of about three edits at that point. Any chance of an apology for mistaken identity?--SarekOfVulcan 08:36, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Maybe, next time he's online. I've restored your user page (even though I don't see evidence of prior edits - perhaps as an anon?) Sorry about the rough start. --Connel MacKenzie T C 09:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. I can't swear I never made anon edits to Wiktionary, but I know if I did, it wasn't related to "EXICORNT", whatever that is. As long as I'm typing, is there a better template to link to our accounts on Wikipedia, Wikitravel, etc.?--SarekOfVulcan 01:33, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Uh. Similar problem, my account was missing and I had to create it. My user page was probably just a redirect to en.wikipedia. Would this just be related to being inactive for too long? Please cc my userpage on WP if possible. --RealGrouchy 20:31, 30 January 2006 (UTC)


Hi, I'm new here and I am transfering a definition from wikipedia. I looked at the formatting guidelines, but I noticed that there is no indication as to where to put the adjective definition for a word. So what gives?--Ridge Racer 03:08, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

We should have a Wiktionary for Wikipedians help section but do not yet. Transwiki mechanisms are what are used to move entries from Wikipedia to Wiktionary, for a variety of reasons. Please take a look at our entry layout and see if that helps you understand our formatting. --Connel MacKenzie T C 04:12, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Yea, that was the page I was talking about, a section for adjectives doesn't seem to be indicated on there. I will, however look into transwiki.--Ridge Racer 04:27, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Have a look at lead, one of the examples quoted in entry layout ... ;) 09:17, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Templates support default parameters

See also: Help:Parameter default on Meta-Wiki

Note: This should not be interpreted as an endorsement of either side in the edit war.

In light of the English inflection templates edit war, I have been wondering whether all parties know that template parameters can take defaults. The Swedish inflection templates does heavy use of them.

In particular, I wonder why {{en-noun}} doesn't. If {{{1}}} is replaced with {{{1|{{PAGENAME}}}}} and {{{2}}} is replaced with {{{2|{{{1|{{PAGENAME}}}}}s}}} then for all regular nouns, say for example light could just do {{en-noun}} not as currently {{en-noun|light|lights}}}}. Irregular nouns, say for example child could use {{en-noun|2=children}}}}.

In order to not to confuse the situation by introducing a third version, I instead appeal to the parties to try and find a reasonable compromise by themselves.

IMHO though the important thing is how the templates takes parameters and how many different templates that are needed to in an easy way represent all reasonable variants. The exact formating can to a large extent be changed later.

--Patrik Stridvall 09:10, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

Why do we need templates at all for English nouns. In general the only inflection is the plural. Eclecticology 11:59, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
In order to:
  • Easily be able to change the layout without changing every page.
  • Making it easier to parse the pages with some data extraction tool like some application of Wikidata or something like that.
  • Adding categories. Yes, I know you removed Category:English nouns. While I disagree with that, I don't care enough to debate it right now though. Maybe in the future...
--Patrik Stridvall 15:35, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
What would you want then with a category which in the end will have 250'000+ pages? Vildricianus 18:53, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
For intersections between categories. AFAIK MediaWiki doesn't currently support it, but it or something else might in the future. It would be useful to know what is in say Category:Anatomy that are also in Category:English nouns. Or all words that are nouns in both English and Swedish...
But since it probably isn't possible right now. I don't care that much especially since it is easy for a bot to add that kind of category in the future. Just look for all pages that have a section English with a subsection Noun. Or perhaps better extend MediaWiki to do it automatically when a page is saved... --Patrik Stridvall 19:50, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
The DynamicPageList created for Wikinews will actually let you do just that. But if used recklessly, it could put a lot of pressure on the servers. Anyways, I fully support your proposition @ templates. Jon Harald Søby 20:28, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Nice!!! However, I don't think installing right now would be a good idea. Lets wait for whatever the future brings.
In any case it sort of strengthens the position that we should
Yes, adding the noun category is possible to do automatically as described above. However it solves part of the problem now as well as brings the other advantages of using templates. --Patrik Stridvall 21:17, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
I only became well versed on parameter defaults two or three days ago. Thank you for the pointers. I don't think these sorts of corrections are at all relevant to the "edit war." But it is good information nevertheless.
Your welcome! The point I'm trying to make is that Ncik templates are both salvageable as well as improvable. --Patrik Stridvall 22:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Category:English nouns has met significant resistance not only by Eclecticology. The humongous categories are just not useful at this point in time. Offline analysis and list-build I think is a better approach for generating huge lists of these sorts of breakdowns. They belong in the [Index:] pseudo-namespace. In short, large categories are not well appreciated here.
The DynamicPageList thing is the sort of tool better replaced by an offline tool, not taxing the overloaded servers, I think. The result is in essence the same either way. --Connel MacKenzie T C 21:40, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Point taken. Overloading the servers is not a good idea. However, intersection of categories are useful as an online tool as well. But it will probably have to wait. Oh well, I have no real use for it right now anyway. --Patrik Stridvall 22:39, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

A further complaint, unrelated to the one above, against Connel

Connel reverted and blocked the page OHG. after I made changes to his revert of my edit. The edit summary I gave when changing his first revert clearly states what the reasons for those changes were, whereas none of the edit summaries of his reverts give any reason for why he reverted, nor did he comment elsewhere on the motivation for those reverts. I think this is a gross abuse of his administrator status, which has now become an instrument of retaliation. Ncik 03:16, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Think what you want, it obviously is not. You vandalously removed Template:dontlinkhere, a subject of discussion on Wiktionary:Requests for deletion#Template:dontlinkhere and even mentioned on Wiktionary:Announcements (Bug 4713.) The revert functionality still does not allow for extended comments. Other much more extended relevant comments appear in their respective sections of this page. --Connel MacKenzie T C 03:26, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Please recall Ncik, you've been warned before about editing items relevant to current ongoing discussions. Your MO in this regard has not changed. This is definitely another reason you should be banned for some period of time. Spin-doctoring some form of implausible ignorance is another reason you should be banned. Your re-vandalism of a sysop-reverted entry without discussion is another reason you User:Ncik should be banned from editing Wiktionary. --Connel MacKenzie T C 06:49, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Please stop calling Ncik a vandal, your persistance in this kind of name-calling suggests that you are trying to maintain some kind of vendetta. Ncik is right to say that when you reverted his edit on OHG. you made no explanation whatsoever about why you were reverting. The other thing that I noted about Ncik's edits on this page is that he did not reopen the Noun/Abbreviation dispute which might have been relevant on this page. This does show some willingness on his part to modify the way he edits. The fact that you are a sysop does not exempt you from explaining your changes. Eclecticology 10:17, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
You expect me to believe that he was unaware of the discussion on WT:RFD he started? You are being absurd. --Connel MacKenzie T C 10:20, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
You seem to forget that you were the one to remove the rfd tag at A.. Eclecticology 17:23, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Not at all. I removed that because I believe that had a separate discussion that was over. Was that incorrect? --Connel MacKenzie T C 17:26, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Wait a second! A. had separate conversations that did end with understanding. WTF does that have to do with OHG.? A. had also had its own BP conversations previously; Ncik's tagging was mere silliness. --Connel MacKenzie T C 05:09, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Call for Eclecticology's resignation

Eclecticology, you are very well aware that Ncik is not a genuine honest contributor. For lack of any better term I call that a vandal. Your insistence that we need none of Wikipedia's policies (e.g., 3RR which would have had Ncik banned numerous times, or stalking which would have had Ncik banned for longer periods several times) has been done in a manner seemingly to protect your friend. Your activities have masked his abuses.

The word you are looking for is perhaps maverick? By insisting in calling him a vandal you have, at least in my eyes, lost some credibility. --Patrik Stridvall 19:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
The word maverick is far too weak to convey the extent of Ncik's activities. Perhaps stalker is closer or more appropriate. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Being more than a maverick sort of suggests more sinister motives to me... do you really wish to go that far? --Patrik Stridvall 21:08, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Probably. The term maverick always had a connotation of a wild west hero; there is certainly nothing heroic about Ncik's directing the majority of his edits at my contributions. --Connel MacKenzie T C 21:33, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, American movies especially Western movies have in many cases glorified the behavior of the maverick. However in a cooperative enviroment like this behavior is less good, to not say outright bad. --Patrik Stridvall 22:19, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

The current situation has been caused by a variety of factors. Not having enough sysops on hand means that the current sysops address problems on a first-see, first-fix basis. Having elaborate policies is not my desire either, but now seems unavoidable. Users such as Ncik would have been banned numerous times, preventing their self-nomination from ever being taken seriously.

Well, the problem is that you probably would want people that has gained some credibility in the community. For example would you vote for me? You know next to nothing about me... so why should you or anybody else trust me... --Patrik Stridvall 19:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Your helpful pointers on templates for one. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Your welcome! --Patrik Stridvall 21:08, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Your stubbornness on many issues has had secondary effects. Blanket disapproval of templates, categories and other MediaWiki features has stifled the growth of Wiktionary tremendously. Perhaps that is why the French Wiktionnaire has so easily surpassed us, despite having fewer contributors?

Your refusal to add namespaces is inexplicable, after votes for them were approved here (unanimously, right?)

Yes, I noticed the voting. I miss them too. --Patrik Stridvall 19:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Your edit wars with other parties User:Dmh, User:Hippietrail (sysop) etc. show that perhaps you should have stepped down sooner. (The "Category talk:English words affected by prescriptivism" discussion being a particularly good example.)

Your application of double standards is appalling. With Ncik, you called for a one sided-moratorium twice. This not only permitted, but encouraged, further damage (that I call "vandalism.")

You should undo the damage you to did to OHG./OHG and resign as a Wiktionary bureaucrat. Doing so will permit the community to vote policies into place to prevent abuse such as Ncik's while providing guidelines and policies for sysops such as myself to follow. Removing yourself from your position will allow Wiktionary to liberally add sysops (like other WikiMedia projects) instead of the perpetuating the current situation where by your insistence alone, there are pathetically few sysops.

On what grounds do you disagree with Ncik's comment "Not an exclusive Webster 1913 abbreviation. -Wiktionary internal stuff that doesn't belong in the main namespace"? --Patrik Stridvall 19:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Two parts: 1) The unusual punctuation does make it an exclusive Webster 1913 abbreviation, 2) Wiki internal stuff in main namespace: see WT:RFD#Template:dontlinkhere discussion and some background links. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:35, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
OK now it makes more sense to me. While I really don't like having such thing in the main namespace, I don't have any better solution. OK, you have providing some evidence towards establishing that Ncik is a maverick. --Patrik Stridvall 21:08, 23 January 2006 (UTC)
Please see the talk page of OHG for references proving that Connel is wrong on 1). Ncik 17:13, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Note the sequence here carefully: Ncik is caught, and digs a weird reference out of nowhere. Do we routinely quote from those other sources? Is there any automated effort underway to convert from those sources? If you wish to note additional sources that MIGHT have been one thing, but the purpose of saying "Webster's" is more than simply citing a source; it is identifying the relevant source. --Connel MacKenzie T C 03:42, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
The point is that you damaged (I was about to use the word vandalised but changed my mind) a special purpose page.
What makes OHG. a special purpose page? It is just a standard entry like 115,000 other ones. Ncik 21:49, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
The use of template "dontlink" perhaps? --Patrik Stridvall 22:53, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
That's a good guess, but if you read the relevant discussions, the trailing period is what caused Paul G to question it in the first place. At that time, no entries were permitted in Wiktionary with punctuation (perhaps a couple exceptions) and all abbreviations, acronyms and initialisms were bereft of punctuation, even though American English seems to punctuate them while CW English rarely does. If Ncik has asked he might have gotten an answer. But he refused to even raise his point. That makes his revert look malicious, while his reasoning added afterwards look specious. --Connel MacKenzie T C 03:42, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
The first change is understandable and ignorance is excusable. However after you were reverted by Connel you persisted and changed it again without any discussion. OK to your defense you added comment on why.
Of course I persisted. I was right on at least one point, the other one is still being discussed at WT:RFD#Template:dontlinkhere (and it's currently a 4-1 against Connel, your own opinion included).
My opinion is that we shouldn't have "dontlink" pages nor self-references in the main namespace. The Webster abbreviations pages violates both AFAIU. How you do it I have no opinion on as of yet. But please discussed it properly first. --Patrik Stridvall 22:53, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I was the one who first commented on why reverting. I was also the one who started to discuss about it by complaining here in the BP. Ncik 21:49, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
The chronology suggests that the discussion was started after revert of the revert, not before. While I admit that I havn't examined the evidence very carefully, I find it hard to believe that Connel's complaint against you is entirely groundless. --Patrik Stridvall 22:53, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, Ncik knows he is lying; one needs only look to the entry prior to Ncik's. About one hour later, he came back and started this series of his lies. --Connel MacKenzie T C 08:16, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
While one time is no time IMHO, if Connel is to be believed this is only the top of an iceberg. This sort of suggests that you indeed are a maverick and I don't mean that in a positive way. Note that I fully agree with you that these sort of thing should not be in the main namespace. However before we have come up with an alternative solution you can't just recklessly modify such pages. --Patrik Stridvall 19:32, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Quoting Connel from WT:BP#Edits of Primetime: 'I'll quote from below the edit box (on every edit page!): "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here."' We can't have a discussion on every edit before it's implemented. This would considerably slow down Wiktionary's development and is just not how wikis work. Ncik 21:49, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Reverting reverts is something entirely different from editing an entry. Additionally with things like the Webster abbreviations that are widely used AFAICS more care then usual needs to be taken. --Patrik Stridvall 22:53, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Likewise, stalking edits, specious nominations for deletion and bizarre page moves are to the tip of the Ncik iceberg. Ncik, having a consistent format does not slow progress down, it speeds it up considerably. --Connel MacKenzie T C 03:42, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps a one year term on all bureaucrats would help discourage further abuse. Actually electing people might remove some of the appearance of bureaucrats acting as little tyrants.

I, as of yet, don't have enough evidence to be willing to support either side... However having a one year terms sounds like a good idea. --Patrik Stridvall 19:27, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

--Connel MacKenzie T C 17:21, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

It seems that Connel's obsession with maintaining a vendetta against Ncik has begun to cloud his judgement. Using terms like "vandal" or "stalker" is not intended to promote any kind of rational discussion of the issues, nor is insisting that one's own Point of View is necessarily correct. The suggested moratorium was not one sided; it was intended to apply to all template versions, not just the one that Ncik prefers, not just the one that Connel prefers. Since I began to approach Ncik on these issues, he, not Connel, has shown himself capable of modifying his actions. The fact that Connel is a sysop does not make his edits and views more important than those of an ordinary user, nor his point of view more right; it does mean that he should be held to a higher standard than the ordinary user because he has more experience. More flexible behaviour on his part would be very welcome, as this would allow him to focus on his more positive skills. Eclecticology 21:42, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Excuse me? In what manner has Ncik demonstrated a modifcation of his actions? Do you mean his redoubling his efforts to overwrite existing temple calls with calls to his own?? --Connel MacKenzie T C 21:52, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

This is so depressing! Connel, what do you want? For someone to arbitrate in favour of yourself? Hysteria on the Beer Parlour just makes it harder for the rest of us to reach a consensus on the issues you are arguing about, which is already difficult enough when they seem to be (to me at least) very minor cosmetic differences when compared with the core project of trying to write a big online dictionary (remember that?). Certainly Eclecticology should not resign, he is the only sane person posting here. Widsith 22:47, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I am sorry that recounting facts seems insane to you. Having a consistent look and feel has been a goal of many here for a very long time. Allowing experiments is one thing, but encouraging wholesale deviations over numerous complaints is irrational.
What do I want? Really, that is an interesting question.
I'd like to see the template names Ncik usurped redone in the previous formatting style, with the previous order of parameters (infl, 3rd, pres. part, past, past part) with the original boding and italics conventions followed. I'd like to see an actual vote on each proposed change to that. I'd like to see a single format approved as "Wiktionaryish" subject to future votes to amend it.
I'd like a moratorium on deletion of any template unless the author(s) request it, and it can be confirmed that the template is not used (currently the What links here function is inconsistent.)
I'd like to see a policy prohibiting stalking other user's contributions.
I'd like to see a policy prohibiting changes to entry layout explained without a link to at least a discussion with consensus (preferably a vote) in the beer parlour.
How is this?
This page is an official policy on the English Wiktionary. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. Feel free to edit the page as needed, but please make sure that changes you make to this policy reflect consensus before you make them. Gerard Foley 01:07, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I also think anybody should be able to edit WT:ELE freely. If somebody has objections, that person can make changes or hint that a discussion should take place by performing a revert. After all, all changes (apart from vandalism) to WT:ELE are made in attempt at improving Wiktionary (as is the case for any other page), and the majority of them seem to be perceived as such by the community. Having to produce a positive vote in order to be able to make a change to WT:ELE would tremendously slow down the development of Wiktionary. Ncik 17:13, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Why Ncik, the previous paragraph summarizes why you should be banned so well, gosh, I'm not sure how to top it. Having someone (such as yourself) with a very different view on what Wiktionary should be than the rest of the community permitted to rewrite the whole thing at whim is very detrimental. When you first re-wrote WT:ELE it was obvious that nothing we (Wiktionary) did was acceptable to you. There are many points of the layout I disagre with, but I am not the only editor here. Neither are you. No changes should be allowed to policy pages without agreement from everyone involved. In most cases, that is everyone here. Therefore, every change to such a page should have not only a discussion, but agreement from (at the very least) a majority of the contributors. Acting as you do, rewriting WT:ELE without ever discussing it or getting some feel of what the community wants is the very best, most perfect reason you should be banned from editing here. --Connel MacKenzie T C 03:42, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see the pseudo namespaces formalized.
Sure what's the hold up? Gerard Foley 01:07, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I have no idea. We had a vote. IIRC, it was unanimously in favor. --Connel MacKenzie T C 09:36, 12 February 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see image uploads restricted (they should only be uploaded on commons, not here.)
What about Nintendo? A logo would be nice, but can't come from commons. Gerard Foley 01:07, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
That is the trade-off. I don't run into commons' rules very often, so am not attuned to such catches. But the vandalism image problem (hundreds of goatse images) is much more effectively dealt with by the army of Commons sysops, than the handful of Wiktionary sysops. --Connel MacKenzie T C 03:42, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd like an apology for the assumption of bad faith. (Yes, I am pissed off.)
I'd like to see a Wiktionary version of 3RR voted on.
Then vote! Wiktionary talk:Three-revert rule -- Gerard Foley 01:07, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd like to see a profound attitude change about Wiktionary policies; that they should not come down from on high, but rather from community votes. Violators amending policy-like pages (such as WT:ELE) without consensus should be treated as harshly as anonymous IPs.
--Connel MacKenzie T C 00:01, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

By coincidence Google's quotation of the day for to-day seems relevant: "Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Michael Crichton" - ;-) Eclecticology 02:28, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

As that can easily be interpreted either way, I'd prefer that you clarify what you are trying to say. Is that meant as a personal attack? Or do you see the light, and are willing to honor and uphold the votes I proposed? You've worked against these things becoming actual votes in the past. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:45, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Further evidence of User:Eclecticology's blindness to Ncik's abuses (which he probably calls "impartiality") take a look at User talk:Ncik#Current dispute with Connel. Little late for calling a moratorium on stalking, don't you think? (The note above it where Ncik was starting another edit war with Ec is amusing; Ec backed out from that edit war presumably so that he could leave Ncik a comment about "the high ground.") --Connel MacKenzie T C 08:41, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Despite my esteem, I cannot consider this call for resignation to be formal. The matter would appear to require some form of mediation, first of all on the dispute between Ncik and Connel MacKenzie which has not been resolved to the second party's satisfaction under Eclecticology, and second and to a lesser degree on the dispute between Connel MacKenzie and Eclecticology, although obviously the latter may have a greater result on the Wikipedia community. (I support democracy personally, although the Hamas victory has me a bit shaken up. At least no one is calling the other a terrorist at this point. ;-) Because of the high profiles, I presume Wikimedia would be involved. To the point, what is the procedure? 23:28, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Today's abuse here. Certainly not indicative of a change of attitude; perhaps a start at cover things up. Ignoring the request for obvious restoration, refusing to respond (presumably so he can say the matter hasn't been discussed for a week.) Perhaps it was removed in an effort to save face, even though the statements he made were untrue? I fail to see how saving face at the expense of potentially useful entries is benefiting Wiktionary. --Connel MacKenzie T C 00:04, 14 February 2006 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Defining competition

I've set up Wiktionary:Defining competition. It sprang to me while I was struggling for a definition of double bluff. The idea is that different users make different definitions to a particularly nasty difficult to describe word. Its just a bit of fun really, and I'm assuming that little bits of fun are allowed here? It would be nice to have something like w:Wikipedia:Wikifun. --Dangherous 17:49, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I haven't played fictionary in a long time. Sounds like fun. --Connel MacKenzie T C 05:44, 25 January 2006 (UTC)


I noticed that on the English language wiktionary Search results page, it says the following:

"For single word entires, you can also create it with one of the following preloaded templates:"

I'd love to edit the mistake myself (I'm sure it should say entries), but I suppose I'd need to have some serious administrative power to make an edit to the Search page! Andrew 19:54, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Looks like somebody fixed it. Eclecticology 00:50, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Updating CJK single-character entries

My apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere, but I was going through some of the single-character CJK entries (using Special:Allpages, starting from the end and working backwards) adding the categories Category:Chinese hanzi / Category:Japanese kanji / Category:Hanja to the entries, as appropriate, until I came to my senses and realized that I'm not gonna do that "by hand" for 10,000 entries (or however many there are)! We need someone to write/modify a bot to do this automatically. What it would have to do:

  • For each CJK character, find the page for it or add it to a list if there is no existing page.
  • If the page exists, look for appropriate strings to identify it as belonging to one or more of the above categories. (Since most of the pages were added by the bot NanshuBot and many have not been touched since, it should be easy to create regexes that will pick out this info.)
  • Tag the articles with the necessary categories.
  • Even better, find the radical for each character (already on the pages themselves) and use that as a sortkey for the category, to sort the categories by radical (as is done in the Japanese category).

Anyone know a bot that could easily be modified to do this? Or would someone like to write such a bot? Other comments/objections? - dcljr 20:20, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

These categories are not very useful. Even with only the 10,000 entries that would be too much. At 200 entries per category page that is already 50 pages. In reality the number of entries that would qualify into this category is many times more. When I just looked Category:Japanese kanji already had 882 entries. Put yourself in the shoes of a user. How do you go about finding something in a category that long or longer.
I think that catagories need planning. Categories should be neither too small nor too big. As I see it any category with more than 200 elements is too big, and should be broken up into sub-categories. How would you go about subdividing Kanji? Eclecticology 00:47, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I think it is a fallacy to think that the only possible use of a category is for looking up directly related entries. Large categories complement a paper dictionary analogy: looking up a word one is likely to browse other entries as well. Certainly for language-learners, having an "over 200 entries" list would be useful. Certainly for teaching, having large lists can be beneficial.
I do not know of any major server being overwhelmed maintaining category tables; these record entries seem like a very light-weight approach that the DB servers should handle without any noticeable performance hit. (That is an unsubstantiated guess.) Is there any complaint from the developers that the performance hit of categories is overwhelming? When categories were first introduced, there were serious user-interface problems navigating large categories, but those seem to have been overcome about six months ago. --Connel MacKenzie T C 05:20, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
If further subcategorization is needed, that can be handled by users familiar with the respective languages (and future bots). As it is, there are a ton of these pages with no category on them at all, so I was just thinking that should be remedied. Note the existence of many "index" pages for Chinese characters (by radical, strokes, and two input methods) which greatly alleviates the lookup problem (links to these should be given on the various category pages — I'll work on that in a bit). It would be nice to compare how they handle the corresponding category in the Chinese Wiktionary, but zh:Category:汉字 doesn't look like where the action is (that's using simplified characters — a search using traditional characters didn't turn up anything).
As for subdividing the kanji, that category is already being worked on to list the characters by radical in the main category and by grade in subcats, the latter approach being best done "by hand", anyway. The bot can just use cats like [[:Category:Japanese radical <character>]] and these can be checked for any discrepancies between how the languages traditionally assign radicals (NanshuBot was working from a Chinese perspective, it appears). Index pages similar to the Chinese ones can be created for Japanese, but the basic category system should probably be based on radicals. In other words, just change my "sortkey" suggestion to a "subcat" suggestion and any further subcategorization can be done later.
Again, checking how the natives do it is a good idea: ja:Category:漢字 is the main kanji cat, ja:Category:Category:漢字 部首 is for radicals, and ja:Category:Category:漢字 総画 for stroke count. It doesn't appear that they're trying to subcategorize the non-Jōyō kanji at all (e.g., by radical). As for sortkeys, they seem to sort everything by kana (i.e., pronunciation), which makes sense if you're a Japanese speaker. I don't know much about the Korean hanja, but I assume they should be categorized here by radical, as well. Finally, note that Vietnamese also uses Chinese characters (Chữ nôm and Chữ nho), but this information wasn't added by Nanshubot and so is lacking on most pages. - dcljr 06:50, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Please follow me to Wiktionary talk:Entries on Chinese characters#Sortkeys and subcats for single-character entries to continue this discussion. dcljr 08:19, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Templates for Abbreviations, Acronyms and Initialisms

Since Connel and Ncik is fighting again (see User talk:Ncik#More template screwiness) this time over Template:acronym and Template:initialism, I thought that perhaps some new templates would do a better job.

I will take initialisms as an example. Suggested name en-initialism

[[Category:Abbreviations, Acronyms and Initialisms]]

with use like on say page DC

# [[direct current]]

Note The en- prefix is needed because there are different initalisms in different languages so they should have separated categories. --Patrik Stridvall 12:54, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Your suggestion will certainly get the link out of the heading, and that's a good thing. I can also live with the "en" in the template name.
I can live both with it and without it. However. I prefer a good name with "en-" to a bad name without it and in this case "initialism" is taken by the currently used templates. Foreign languages should IMHO always have some sort of prefix though. --Patrik Stridvall 21:09, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I definitely agree about the foreign languages. I also agree about good names. If the names of templates are hard to remember, or if people need to constantly look them up they'll just stop using them, or we end up with multiple templates for the same thing because someone simply didn't know that an earlier one existed. Eclecticology 23:57, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I would argue against it in the category name, but since nobody is putting forth an argument in favour of having it there it's pointless to go down that road at this time.
Well, since English is the main language here any category or template that doesn't say it some other language is either English or Translingual. However, I suppose that you could make an argument that we always should prefix an "en:", "English ", or "en-" before all English categories and templates in order to minimize the misclassification of foreign words in the English categories. I don't think it is worth it though. Especially since a 'bot could easily find misclassfied words just by looking for use of language specific categories that belongs to languages that doesn't have sections on the page. --Patrik Stridvall 21:09, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
It looks like I need to elaborate my vision of how categories should work, but not in this thread. I don't know if we are talking about the same thing with "language specific categories". Eclecticology 23:57, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm talking about both the grammatical as well as the topical categories. But please elaborate your vision in a separate thread, when you feel you have the time, so we can discuss it further. --Patrik Stridvall 13:01, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I do have a complaint about Category:Abbreviations, Acronyms and Initialisms. With currently 2640 entries it's too big. This came up before with Connel. I relented at that time just to avoid a confrontation although I know that that's not always a good basis for doing something. I really think that that title should be reserved for a sort of super-category, say Category:Shortforms, that could include these and a number of other short ways of writing things as subsets. On the mailing lists Magnus has spoken of working on a system where a call to a category could include the contents of its sub-categories. Something that works like the /s parameter to the dir function in DOS would be an improvement over these long categories. When Google gives me 2640 hits for a search item I rarely look beyond the first couple of pages.
As I said in the debate concerning Category:English nouns, big categories might be useful for intersections. In this case if we decide that we should use the part of speech as the name of the header the information would not be available to recreate the category as is the case for parts of speech. --Patrik Stridvall
One of the biggest concerns around this is out of most of our hands. The MediaWiki search function is too primitive for an operation this size. If it were updated it would take the pressure off the category to do more than it needs to. Eclecticology 23:57, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, as long as the needed information is in a standardized way somewhere on each page, the problem need not be solved now. It can wait until the technology in available. --Patrik Stridvall 13:01, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Although Connel is correct to say that categories can have other uses I don't think that those other uses should detract from the primary function of categories: making it easier for the non-technical user to find the information that he is seeking. Connel also argued against the notion that long categories would put an excessive load on the servers, but unless a contrary argument was raised in the first place that point is moot. While there is intuitive sense to the idea that each additional linked element in a search will add some number of milliseconds to the search time, I am in no position to make an evidence-based argument about that. Eclecticology 18:44, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Speaking of abbreviations etc. I am not sure it is a good idea to have it as a title. Abbreviation, initialism and acronyms are not grammatical types like name or verbs ; they are only forms. When I look for an abbreviation into a dictionary, there is always n written there, and then abbr of (or something like that). And some abbreviations are not even nouns, they can be adverbs like ASAP. So, shouldn't we use Name as a title ? The abbreviation information could be on the line where the word is written. Am I wrong ? - Dakdada 19:12, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

In the beginning we saw this heading as referring to a part of speech even though the term "Part of speech" has never itself normally appeared in the heading. As we developed we soon came to understand that we were including many more entities than just the traditional parts of speech. We have never really come to any sort of agreement about how we refer to that line. It has developed into some kind of general identifier for the term in question. Eclecticology 19:40, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
You are not wrong, Dakdada. I have been trying for a long time to explain this to people here, but they (Eclecticology in particular) just don't want to understand. The inconsistency is obvious an confusing. See my latest comment at User_talk:Ncik#EDIT WAR WARNING. Ncik 01:56, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Note:edit conflict.
Patrik, that is an excellent technical approach to a non-existent problem.
Perhaps. --Patrik Stridvall 21:09, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I was instructed as a newcomer to use the template-within-heading format, presumably as that is the community consensus on the format. It looks like Ncik is now stalking changes I later made to the categories, lists and entries. I suspect whatever policy he alludes to regarding headings was edited by himself, again with no discussion or consensus. Also of note, User talk:Eclecticology#init/abbr/acron. On the other hand, Ncik hasn't yet vandalized scoundrel-ized Wiktionary:Policy - Abbreviations to match his POV.
I have seen the Abbreviations/Acronyms/Initialisms section go from completely neglected to cooperatively overhauled in my short tenure here. I am inclined to think the link to the abbreviations section was instrumental in that. Your ommision of that link was an oversight?
My ommission? You mean in the suggested templates? Well, I not really hot on the idea using categories as links in the main namespace at all. So no it not an oversight. I'm not saying you are wrong though. --Patrik Stridvall 21:09, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I meant the ommission from your suggested template(s). What's wrong with links to categories? The ===See also=== section occasionally has them (in the main namespace.) Oh, that it is redundant with the bottom of the page? I guess I can see that. --Connel MacKenzie T C 22:29, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Exactly, either they should be at the bottom of the page or they should have nothing to do with the page at all. So the default policy IMHO should be no category links in the main namespace. Any exceptions would need to have a much stronger reason than "nice to have". --Patrik Stridvall 13:01, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
That strikes me as a bit inflexible/drastic. Adding an Also see the "foo" category style link does not add the entry to the pointed to category, it merely emphasises to the reader that a relevant category is relevant. (The regular category links without the preceding colon already are supposed to go at the end of the entry, right before the interwiki links, since, as you also say, they pertain to the entire page, not just a specific language section contained in an entry.) --Connel MacKenzie T C 18:23, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
If a category that a page shouldn't belong to is relevant to a page, there will always exist some word or words that embodies whatever the category represents that can be linked to instead. --Patrik Stridvall 21:12, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps I should rephrase that; I'm not talking about entries that don't belong to that category. I'm talking about the emphasis that the category gets on that page. The point is, there really is no good reason to put a blanket prohibition on a useful part of the Wiki markup syntax. Especially when there doesn't seem to be any reason for prohibiting it, technical or aesthetic. Much of the time, listing categories only in their default location (at the very bottom of the page) may be sufficient. More often, having the category link presented right where it is appropriate is much more helpful to a reader. --Connel MacKenzie T C 00:01, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
OK. Note that I said default policy, not blanket prohibition. Each exception needs to be carefully considered. If a link isn't helpful it shouldn't be there is the first place, so that is no reason in itself to clutter the page with links that are redundant. Patrik Stridvall 09:52, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
This seem motivated by Ncik's rejected POV that headings should only reflect the "big 8" parts of speech. (See User talk:Connel MacKenzie#Connel's comments #5.) The community (especially Ec) have rejected his POV in this regard in several separate edit wars that he started.
You don't render my position on this correctly. The level 3 heading which commonly contains the part of speech should always contain the part of speech of the symbol sequence (intended to be this general) defined unless it doesn't have one; this is, eg, the case for affixes or whole sentences. See my latest comment at User_talk:Ncik#EDIT WAR WARNING for more information and examples. Ncik 01:56, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Regarding Eclecticology's change in stance, I must stay I am not terribly surprised that he is trying even harder to protect his friend. I think his overprotective attitude must be clouding his reasoning. --Connel MacKenzie T C 20:01, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Please let us discuss the technical issues and not your personal feelings about other people. I and presumably anybody else that is intrested already knows how you feel. OK? --Patrik Stridvall 21:09, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry you (and others who have been so neutral) end up wading through all this. But the situation continues to escalate, prompting each of my responses. (Indeed, prompting this entire thread.) --Connel MacKenzie T C 22:29, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Division of senses

I was looking at the page for deal, the verb sense of which shows a bewildering variety of senses. It seems to me, though, that they break down into two main strands, and I wonder if this should be represented on the page. So the Verb section would look something like this:



  1. to divide or distribute
    1. to distribute or apportion property or money among a number of recipients
      Allow me to deal out the winnings.
    2. to distribute cards to players of a card game
      Luckily, I dealt myself ace-king suited.
    3. (Baseball) to pitch
      The whole crowd are hoping he'll deal a humdinger soon.
  2. to engage, to interact
    1. to have business, to negotiate, to trade (with or in)
      My friend deals drugs. We deal in information, not gold.
    2. to be concerned with, to handle, to manage
      The film dealt with a sensitive subject. There's only one way to deal with her.
    3. to treat (a person), to behave towards
      We must deal fairly with our enemies.

This subdivision corresponds to what they do in some print dictionaries; I've not seen it used on Wiktionary. To my eyes it makes things clearer and cleaner, and it might be a useful technique for a small number of words which have developed very different senses (though from the same etymology). Do people think this is helpful? Widsith 12:50, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Seems like a good idea to me. Vildricianus 15:34, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
How do ===Translations=== break out for your example? Could you please expand your example to show how you would deal with the sub-meaning? --Connel MacKenzie T C 17:51, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
P.S. This came up before and my objections pertaining to making the entries difficult to parse remain. However, my objections are offset by the NOAD discussion (see that touted the tremendous improvement in readability of entries using nested definitions. --Connel MacKenzie T C 18:05, 26 January 2006 (UTC)
I used to support nesting definition actively (see history of joint, eg) but there were quite a couple of people against it at the time and I didn't care too much. It is certainly worth reconsidering this and maybe editing a couple of pages just to see what problems might arise. I don't see any problems with translations since we repeat the definition anyway (on those pages which still have the numbers one can simply refer to the definitions using something like (1,1.1,1.2,2.1)). Ncik 01:43, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
If the translations are numbered, they are supposed to be converted anyway.
I was asking to see an example here. I am not sure that there is a coherent way to match the definitions to the translations, with our current scheme...unless we don't allow nesting. With an example, it might be very apparent one way or the other. --Connel MacKenzie T C 01:52, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Er, I'm not entirely sure what you mean...It won't affect the translations at all, as long as they're in the newer format. The example above would take six Translation sub-headings just as before. It shouldn't be less or more coherent than the current system. Thanks for the NOAD link above, by the way - v interesting. Widsith 09:01, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

response far below. --Connel MacKenzie T C 06:28, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
As much as I have favored the historical order of definitions I have to admit that I am not completely satisfied with that decisions. While historical listings circumvent the POV determinations that underlie frequency based listings, they still require an article to be fairly advanced before we can have any evidence about which sense is the oldest.
The "sense and sub-sense" order has some merit since many of these senses have only subtle differences. They belong near each other and certainly should not have a more distant sense separating them just because of blind adherence to historical dates. The major sense differences can still appear in historical order.
For synonyms we could probably make better use of Wikisaurus, and in that regard I beginning to accept the idea that Wikisaurus should be made into a full namespace.
We have indeed gone away from numbering, and now usually have sections semantically linked to senses. Some time back Connel did experiment with a series of hidden tags; how would he evaluate that experiment retrospectively? Nesting can be another approach to translations; some of this has already been done on pages that have short translation lists. But, this may not scale well when the number of languages is long or when the article is more complex. There are other possibilities like a whole new namespace, or even co-operating with Ultimate Wiktionary if they ever get things together.
Maybe we should each take a moderately complex entry and simply experiment with it. If you choose to do this make sure that everybody knows what page you are experimenting with so that somebody else isn't inspired to bring that article into conformity with the existing way of doing things. Eclecticology 09:53, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I've made some changes to deal. I think it's worked out well, but please comment if it upsets you. Widsith 11:24, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think that "upset" is the proper word. I do have criticisms, but there is nothing for me to be upset about. I'm glad that you reduced the number of etymologies, but I would still be inclined to reduce it to two. The meaning relating to wood and planks is clearly distinct, but everything else seems to have a common origin. Eclecticology 19:01, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

For. Although words developing from different sources should get their own entry or ===Etymology 2=== section, subsenses of a word should be where they belong (e.g., assistance and solace nested inside the same sense in "comfort"). --Primetime 23:56, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Are we at a voting stage or still discussing it? I'd vote strongly against it, if the former. (Who are you going to ask to reformat over 100k entries?) I think the experiment should continue as we discuss it a bit more.
Widsith, yes I enjoyed the NOAD thing too...I wish I had remembered to attend. :-( Anyway, for the example User:Widsith gave above, there would be a translation section for um, what, the lowest level of each nesting? Or said another way, there would be no translation section for meanings that have sub-meanings? (Come to think of it, Synonyms, Antonyms etc. would all have the same problems.) Would third and fourth levels be permitted, or can everyone agree that sticking to (at most) two levels can cover all cases?
I asked the question about the translations sections, because when I looked at your example, I assumed there would be eight translation sections. Two of them would end up being pretty nonsensical. Also, would the super-definition verbiage carry down to each of the sub-meanings (as a general rule) or would each sub-meaning stand on its own? If they are made to stand on their own, then there really is a lot less point in having the nesting to begin with.
That is, if a meaning merits a separate line, it should be distinct enough from the others that no confusion remains about where the overlap lies. If the definitions are spelled out clearly enough to accomplish that, there isn't much reason for retaining the nesting format.
But these comments of mine are tempered by the examples I saw some months ago. That's why I'd really like to see what it looks like this time around. Last time around, it seemed like something devised to make every parser (not just mine) coredump when trying to read a Wiktionary entry. :-) But I admit, my perspective on it is somewhat different from some others here.
Regarding the experiment with "hidden" tags Ec, are you referring to Polyglot's <!--TagA--> things or to Hippietrail's Template:pos_n (etc.) templates? --Connel MacKenzie T C 06:28, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
It was the Polyglot material that I was thinking about; sorry if I erroneously attributed it to you. I had never noticed the "pos n", but it harmlessly doesn't seem to do much anyway.
I don't think that anything like a vote is taking place. We are still expreimenting and trying different possibilities. The translation issue is too tricky for any kind of quick fix. I've even had vague thoughts of synchronized side-by-side boxes with the regular dictionary material in the left box, and the related translations in the right box. I think we can continue to brainstorm ideas about the translations.
I'm open to the idea of having third and fourth level nesting when the situation requires it.
I think that Primetime's idea about different pages for the different Etymologies is a non-starter. Doing that would open up a whole new set of problems about disambiguations. Eclecticology 08:04, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, if we're brainstorming about complete redesigns, then why not consider combining all the meanings together (like a dictionary) rather than having pages of translations intervening between nouns and verbs? Then Ncik could have his POS at the start of each meaning (just like in a dictionary.) Then there would be only one ===Definitions=== section per language, and only one place to look for translations. --Connel MacKenzie T C 08:24, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
However, it is wrong of me to step forward with a compromise, just because of other's stubornness, lack of cooperation and unwillingness to compromise. --Connel MacKenzie T C 09:17, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Just to add that I don't think this is a very drastic change which will require "reformatting 100,000 entries" as suggested above. It is just another technique which some editors might like to use when working on particularly complicated pages. Most words will not require it. Widsith 11:32, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Complete redesigns? Rather not. We're not an embryonic project anymore. Replacing all parts of speech and move them to the beginning of the definitions... huge job. Moreover, it would not add to clarity at all, rather to complexity. The current layout is fine; a new one will involve new issues I guess. The POS headers bring a fine and clear structure to the entries.
I'm not sure about the division of senses either, and in following the example of (paper-)dictionaries we may end up with nonsensical divisions as they sometimes are in whatever dictionary I can cite. Distinctions between senses may be pretty vague, and subject to POV. In some instances, it might even become a complete mess, as subsenses are sometimes related to both main senses, or borrow nuances from another one, and so on... — Vildricianus 20:43, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I think we are embryonic. Many of our practices are not yet adopted as policy. Because we have a habit of doing something does not mean we should keep it that way. As for redesigning every entry, I think we should allow users freedom to deviate slightly from what other people are doing as a way of allowing Wiktionarians to experiment with new formats. This will allow us to discover the best format and redirect many editors here to doing more productive and civil things, like adding definitions. (We're still very incomplete for an English dictionary.) As it is right now, editors are sowing conflict throughout Wiktionary by trying to force other users to be exactly like everyone else. (Individuality is a human right, in my opinion.) --Primetime 22:56, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
I suppose you think I don't/haven't contributed much. I'm certainly not doing 500+ entries per day anymore. At any rate, I know that when I first got here, the hot debate was regarding standardizing the look and feel of Wiktionary so that it would not be dismissed as a joke or a feeble amature attempt at a respectable dictionary.
I didn't even refer to you so don't put words in my mouth. I was expressing the belief that formatting other users' entries is a waste of time. In my opinion, the current layout imposed is far more amateurish than any other dictionary I have ever read. Editors here need to be tolerant of new ideas because their format is not perfect.
We certainly do allow users to "deviate slightly" but it is very helpful if they discuss it (ask about it) first. More than two illustrative examples is no longer a mere demonstration, but more a sign of a rebellious attitude. That can be either ignorance (i.e. they are brand new) or an attitude problem. Cooperation is the central principle that any Wiki builds on; those who refuse to cooperate are not liked. Sometimes, that dislike turns into an ugly public display.
I think an example of this is the conflict between you and Ncik. Another example would be the conflict between me and other editors. Contrary to what you just wrote ('We certainly do allow users to "deviate slightly"'), the intolerance on the part of editors here has caused quite a bit of conflict. For example, not one of my six deviations was tolerated by other editors. When I revised any of their changes, they would immediately revert my change.
I agree that by many measures we are embryonic. Did I understand you correctly, that you think I should proceed with my importing of public-domain sources in whatever format I choose? Darn, I've taken all this time to try to find out how other people think they should be formatted...I should've just barged ahead any which way and let others clean up the mess. --Connel MacKenzie T C 07:16, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes. We've absolutely wasted our time. You're busy adding #s to my single-sense entries, while Wiktionary is about the size of a pocket dictionary (and even smaller if you don't count definitions of foreign words). That's pathetic. --Primetime 09:24, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
So which is less-professional looking? 100,000 poorly but consistently formatted entries or 100,000 entries formatted 6,000 (or however many users we have now) ways?
The phenomenon you experienced with your entries has been called the piranha effect. New users add entries then more established contributors format them, enhance them and refine them. Your "deviations" were not announced as experiments, nor discussed as a propsed new format. Why are you surprised that a horde of established contributors converged on your entries? And why do you resort to veiled personal attacks intentionally misspelling my name? Is that your idea of cooperation? --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:33, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Notes: 10,281 users. Name misspellings were entered in edit summary comments of this page/section. (McKenzie is a common misspelling, but what Primetime entered is not.) --Connel MacKenzie T C 20:16, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Listen: I'm tired of flaming wars on Wiktionary, so let's not get involved in one. Anyway, I think we should get our priorities straight. We should build a decent-sized dictionary first and then format the entries. If we build it, many more editors and writers will come. After we build it, it will be larger, but there will be more visitors to help us. As it is, very few people reference Wiktionary. Take Wikipedia, as an example. As Wikipedia has grown, its formatting standards have as well. It's not Wikipedia's quality that has made it great, but its size. Its size is due to its inclusiveness. However, many editors there seem to have forgotten this and will destroy the project one day. We also need to be more inclusive to build goodwill as well as the dictionary itself. --Primetime 20:24, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

We should build a decent-sized dictionary first and then format the entries. Allow me to say that this makes little sense. A million entries or more will be yours to reformat. I think our current format is fine, as far as this software permits. — Vildricianus 22:04, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
The amount of work involved is exactly the same. Formatting each entry shortly after it is created involves the same amount of work as formatting it after a year. Further, besides having more editors to help us, we would also have more experience with formatting. --Primetime 08:49, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
In your suggested scenario, Wiktionary looks stupid for a year extra. Your implication that those who clean up entries do not create entries is demonstrably false. Having fewer corrections to your entries will not give you more (nor better) experience with formatting. --Connel MacKenzie T C 07:46, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
No. The logical conclusion of my premises is this: The more time one spends formatting, the less they spend on writing. Some editors here also write a lot, but they would write even more if they edited less. (As an American, when I want to insult someone, I'm blunter than you're supposing.)

As to your other point, as time progresses, more formatting concepts arise. For example, Widsith has pointed out that some of our listed senses in entries are actually subsenses of other list items. If you had waited until now to reformat the entries in Wiktionary, you would have had less work to do. Now, it is clear that our entries would be better off with another touch-up. In other words, this touch-up process--currently incremental--can be shortened by waiting longer to reformat entries.

So, to summarize all of my points made for a periodical revision process in this thread, I think such a technique would (1) expose editors to new ideas, (2) reduce conflict, (3) make Wiktionary more popular, (4) make Wiktionary larger, and (5) allow for a more orderly and quick revision process. --Primetime 10:03, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

This still makes little sense. What you envision (a perfect format, applicable to perfect entries) does simply not exist in a Wiki. This project keeps on evolving and will do so as long as there are new users. Even in five years time, or whenever we reach a million entries, there will still be new imput and revisions of our formats and policies. What you suggest would slow us down even more, not less, as we'd first be waiting forever for the perfect format to be agreed on, and then we'd be formatting huge bulks of tedious, chaotic entries (also forever, since by the time we get to the B, there's an even more perfect format found). I guess no reasonable user stumbling on this project would be attracted by that. Now I suggest you save your breath on this matter; I don't think anyone agrees with you. — Vildricianus 15:37, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Primetime, your fallacy is in ignoring the existing minimal requirements for entries. Yes, this is a Wiki, but your suggestion that I bombard Wiktionary with Webster's entries formatted against the current standard is nonsensical. Your five points are all subjective and can certainly be asserted the opposite way with greater validity.
Votes about formats do not slow down new contributions. Having consistent formats make Wiktionary look less amature, while helping sysops identify utter nonsense. New entries are entered regardless. --Connel MacKenzie T C 16:19, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

invisible deletion of new articles?

Hi, I'm a newbie here although I am an occasional contributor to Wikipedia.

I recently added a new word (gish) with its definition, copying the example format from the help page; unsure of the precise semantics or the correct number of == and :: and [double apostrophes] to use. Two days later I check back to see how it may have been edited/corrected and lo and behold... its gone! I can't find where it was deleted, or even why.

Wikipedia shows records of deleted articles, wiktionary does not? (or am I just looking in the wrong place?)

All answers appreciated (Meanwhile I added 'gish' to requested articles, in case whoever deleted it felt my definition was not up to community standards)

I think it was me that tagged this entry for speedy deletion. The definition made little sense to me, which might have been salvageable except that I couldn't find this word used in any dictionary or online. If you want to resubmit it, by all means do so but please provide some attestation if it is that rare or slang. Widsith 12:55, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I will, but most of the references you will find for it are in blogs and articles (it is a young person word, and I can confirm I hear my own kids using it in the same sense). The fact that its not in any existing dictionary at the moment confirms (to me) it is a new word, I thought I was helping Wiktionary by including it. Can I resubmit it with weblinks showing the various uses of it?

Seems to be back: gish. Widsith 14:32, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

I've restored the history. You had put an rfv tag on it and it was improperly deleted about 10 minutes later. Eclecticology 18:47, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

Literal and figurative language

I have written a draft policy on Wiktionary:Literal and figurative language. Comments on both factual as well as policy issues are welcome.

In addition there some issues where I'm not really sure what we should do. Including but not limited to:

  • Are there other figures of speech like for example personification that should be marked and/or categorized?
  • Which categories should the various figures of speech belong to? Should each of them have a separate category? The problem is that that it is no real consensus on what belongs to what.
  • To what extent should we use templates for formating and to include the categories?

--Patrik Stridvall 17:14, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

What policy you were suggesting was not clear from the page.
Well, specifically the markings themselves. However, it doesn't really contain that much policy, mostly because I'm not sure exactly what the policy should be. That is why I want to discuss it. The document is meant to be extended with the answers to questions asked above as well as any other comment. --Patrik Stridvall 08:46, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
You evidently did a lot of work to describe these literary techniques.
Thank you. It took more time that I thought in the beginning. Not that much though. I did a lot cutting and pasting from either Wikipedia or from our own definitions. --Patrik Stridvall 08:46, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Some of these should be marked if used consistently, but more often they don't rise above the level of stylistic trickery. A word can be used in totally new and unexpected circumstances, and draw its meaning from a combination of the word itself and the context. To invent an example on the spot: I can speak of a person exhibiting a prominent dorsal fin as he glides through a political gathering, and a certain metaphor will be formed in the reader's mind. I did not draw that metaphor from any dictionary, but many people will understand the image immediately. Figures of speech are more often about connotations than denotations, and we already have enough difficulties with the latter. Eclecticology 21:52, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
Yes, there is a paragraph that says that and some other paragraphs hint that as well. But perhaps that should be made clearer. However, some do carry additional meaning and some while not really carrying that much additional meaning should be included and marked as well because of their common use. Other refer to human artifacts or historical events and is not possible to known what they mean unless you know the specifics of the artifact or event. Even if we just link to Wikipedia, marking it as what kind of figure of speech it is helps the understanding of the expression.
The point is that we do use markings and categories for some figures of speech. However, we doesn't seem to do it in a standardized way. Then we have no policy on what specific figures of speech that should be have entries at all. Your example above probably should not because its is rather obvious as well as that it is probably not commonly used. The reason that I wrote a draft policy was because that I was confused about what to do myself. Actually I still am to some extent. It is a non-trivial issue. However, having a vague policy is better than no policy at all. --Patrik Stridvall 08:46, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Where we seem to differ is in that I don't see this as a policy issue. If it weren't so rude I would even be tempted to move your article to the eventual "Appendix:" namespace.
Well at least the non policy parts of it probably belongs there too. --Patrik Stridvall 19:47, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I can see a case for making synecdoches a subcategory of metonyms, a subcategory of metaphors, e.g. But right now most everything is tucked away in the idioms category, aside from a few euphamisms. Do you believe the lack of policy to be a hinderance in deciding a label for any specific definitions?
In most instances Wiktionarians have a free hand in adding these kinds of tags to articles when they apply. I personally do resist templates, but where the effect of a particular template is to add corresponding tags and categories I don't have a general problem with the tag and category. So if you want to mark one definition of Judas, Uncle Tom or Aunt Edna in Category:Antonomasia feel free to do so. Eclecticology 19:16, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Having a free hand to decide and be given a default recommendation are two different things. I'm not after a strict policy but rather some kind of recommenation on what to do it for people that are unsure on what to do. --Patrik Stridvall 19:47, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I believe the most useful place for what you've assembled is on the category pages themselves, somewhat disassembled unfortunately, except that a bit of guidance would be needed to know that a phrase is a synecdoche rather than a metonym or what have you. Wouldn't that serve as a recommendation to those who try such labels, even perhaps at first the more common ones?


First, excuse me for my poor English. I like to run a bot in this Wiktionary periodically, to check interwiki links. I may do it? Please, if I don't get permission to run bot in this Wiktionary, please accept my warnfile to update these articles with another bot.

Operator: pt:User:555 (w:pt:User:555)
Bot user: User:Zumg (pt:Special/Contributions/Zumg)

Reply here, please. I only send my request to meta after (and if) local approval. Tanks. 555 21:14, 28 January 2006 (UTC)

Can you please say exactly what your bot does? Does it change anything in this Wiktionary or does it only change things in the Portuguese Wiktionary? Eclecticology 22:07, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
In this Wiktionary, update interwikis based on my scanning at pt:Wiktionary (in, "pt" is mylang). I use these tree commands: -force -wiktionary -autonoumous -start:!, -force -start:Categoria:! and -force -wiktionary -file:autonomous_problem.dat (categoria is category in Portuguese). --555 23:03, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
User:GerardM runs several interwiki-bots here. I do not know if he does pt as part of that, already. --Connel MacKenzie T C 08:59, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

When I run the bot, I run it on some 30 wiktionaries at the same time. This does include the Portuguese wiktionary. At the moment I am running the bot on both the French and the Portuguese Wiktionary. Yesterday I finished a run on the Turkish wiktionary.

When a new interwiki link is found, the bot does change records on all the Wiktionaries that are associated with a particular word. From my perspective, the Portuguese wiktionary would benefit most from the interwiki runs when they change their capitalisation. GerardM 17:08, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Am I wrong to conclude that what 555 is proposing is already being done, and that his proposal is thus redundant? Eclecticology
It is nor kind to say it is redundant. I would rather say that it makes more sense to run it properly when the bot is run for the pt.wiktionary.. There is no harm done in people making an effort. GerardM 00:47, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Excuse me over again for my poorly english. Initially I think in run a bot only at pt:Wiktionary. I feel that GerardM have bot in pt but for apparently don't run it since november-2005 I concerned with that delay. After started my bot and see thath anothers languages have articles to be updated will to have bot in more languages. Currently I have bot accounts at pt-io-es-de (queues with no ultimate reply here and in gl-fr-it) and think to request bot account in more languages. In the next run of my bot (in two weeks) I mean to check all articles in pt-gl-io-es-ca ,and in anothers languages taht I have a bot update them simultaneously. In Portuguese: Inicialmente eu pensei em operar bot apenas no pt:Wiktionary. Já havia reparado que GerardM possuia um naquele idioma, mas, por aparentemente ele não ter acionado mais o seu bot desde novembro-2005, fiquei preocupado se demoraria mais muito tempo em reativá-lo. Depois de iniciar meu bot e ver que vários outros idiomas possuiam articles para serem atualizados que decidi ativar um bot em outros idiomas. Atualmente já possuo conta marcada como bot at pt-io-es-de (pedidos pendentes at here gl-it-fr) e penso em requerer bot em alguns outros idiomas. Quando eu for fazer nova verificação (dentro de cerca de duas semanas) pretendo verificar por todas as entradas at pt-gl-es-gl-ca e nos outros idiomas atualizar as entradas simultaneamente a essas verificações. 555 18:14, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

WiktionaryZ blog

As most have already heard, there is an ongoing effort to combine different language Wiktionaries into a unified Wiktionary, to cut down on duplication of data. A read-only prototype based on an initial dataset is available for review here.

To keep the community involved and informed on develompents and related concerns, a blog has been created. Comments are invited and encouraged. —Dvortygirl 06:36, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Nice to see that something is happening. Unfortunately since important things like editing doesn't work it is a little hard to give any constructive critisism and since it is a protype is not very helpful to critisize the layout, which I presume can easily be changed.
I do however have a few questions
  • How will words with multiple meanings be handled? Specifically, if say a word have two different meaning with translations into several languages. Now somebody realizes that there is one more meaning or that somebody tries to add translations to a new language that makes distinctions between two meanings that the other languages don't. What happends then? I assume that the translations, synonyms, antonyms etc is somehow attached to a specific meaning. So can you have submeanings or what happends?
An Expressions can have multiple DefinedMeanings, and indeed antonyms are associated with a specific meaning. Translations are synonyms in a different language. Technically (from a database point of view, they are treated the same).
When a language has a higher granularity as to a meaning, the translation will be good in one direction only. There will be a need for three at least DefinedMeanings.
  • How will inflections be handled?
Inflections need to be handled depending on the part of speech and the language. GerardM 17:19, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Shall I interpret that as "No, we don't have any special support for it" or as "It depends". To be concrete: How will plurals in English be handled? --Patrik Stridvall 20:05, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
--Patrik Stridvall 16:00, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
GerardM's enthusiatic vision appears to be based on a simplistic and Eurocentric view of language. If you eat enough tripe another great project will be born from Gargamelle's left ear. It seems to be typical of the EU that it wants to make everything fit into its particular box whether or not it belongs there.
Perhaps. Still, there is nothing wrong with trying. I'm sure it will be useful for something and then we have something that possibly is better for the indo-european languages then it is easier to disscuss its shortcomings. --Patrik Stridvall 22:18, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Lately we have had some interesting points raised in relation to Japanese, Ojubwe and Arabic.
Where? --Patrik Stridvall 22:18, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Wiktionary talk:Entries on Chinese characters; includes Japanese
Wiktionary talk:About Algonquian languages
Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Arabic words - organizing by root - proposal
Probably a few other places too. Eclecticology 23:29, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
For the record, and I am sorry if I repeat myself, WiktionaryZ intents to include the data of the Wiktionaries. presenting the commission. This means that we will not have full functionality if we cannot include the radicals for Chinese for instance. GerardM 09:41, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
It's not just about Chinese characters, but word patterns in Arabic and the agglutinating processes in the Algonquian languages. Eclecticology 21:35, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Indeed. GerardM 23:52, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
So dear Eclectiocology, why do you think we are working together with contacts in all over the world? I hope you don't mind me telling you that my colleague, a professor for linguistics at the University of Cairo (Egypt) being of Arabic mother tognue, will help us out with questions we have regarding Arabic, that an African Business Network indeed has enough connections to African languages to be able to help and of course, last but not least, a translator who translated plenty of business websites into traditional and simplified Chinese helps us with that... Well, of course, we prefer to work with the help of the community because WiktionaryZ is going to be a project for all of us.--SabineCretella 00:32, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
None of these is indo-european, and they are not related to each other. The terminology that we use to describe languages is based on prejudices in the European part of the indo-european languages that go back to the time of Aristotle. We indo-europeans all roughly know what we mean by a noun, but is it appropriate to impose that concept on unrelated languages. To be sure, there will be a large overlap of concepts, but they will rarely be identical.
To be effective a WiktionaryZ project (as it is now called) needs to be rooted in a metaconceptualization of language that addresses the deeper structures of language. The indo-european clade in languages is no more superior than the vertebrate clade in zoölogy.
The problem in order for it to be useful we must classify things in a way that is understandble for its users. Since the indeo-european view is what most of our users has been tought since childhood this must be the starting point. Confusing people with nonstandard conceptualizations is not a good idea. --Patrik Stridvall 22:18, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
As long as the proposed project is Wikibly untouchable than forgive me if I am too quick to associate it with vapourware. Eclecticology 21:14, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Don't be so negative. While I'm not that impressed either with what I have seen at least it has the potential to be something. --Patrik Stridvall 22:18, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm not going to judge the project for what it hasn't achieved yet, but I can't help but laughing at some of the entries. I don't get out a measuring tape to tell the difference between snow and hail, a rain shower and sprinkling. Even if I did, I'm not sure it would have metric units. There's a certain intuitiveness in language that's been rewritten top-down, somewhat idealistically, presumably to avoid issues that arise from differences in closely related concepts in these many different languages. You have to realize that when this goes wiki, those concepts are going to be rewritten bottom-up, pragmatically. Davilla 14:07, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
The current content that you find here is content from the GEMET thesaurus. When you say that these things are going to be re-written "pragmatically" you will find that you will have to argue your case, these are good definitions and it is not obvious why what you call pragmatic is sensible and adds value. Indeed, it is NOT an English only dictionary and therefore you are in my view completely wrong. Yes, you can add a new DefinedMeaning but what would your point be ? GerardM 11:53, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Um, Gerard, could you please re-read Davilla's comment here? I don't think he was suggesting he wanted to rewrite the entry, but that he wanted you to be aware that in *any* wiki, entries are approached from bottom-up. --Connel MacKenzie T C 17:57, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
It's cool, I had thought WiktionaryZ had drawn and quartered these concepts. My laughter then is directed at GEMET. Like I said, I can see these concepts being rewritten once it goes wiki. My question then is who will rewrite them. I would guess that sort of thing would have to be done in committee, slowing the process down to a grind. Alternatively, would you accept if someone changed the concept of rain to "water condensed in the atmosphere and falling in drops"? Suppose they might be able to revise a couple of other language version as well, but certainly not all of them. Would they be allowed to do it? Davilla 22:13, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Gerard seems to presume that the GEMET material is unquestionable. I have no objection to some requirement that people need to support their case for adding material, but I see no reason to exempt the GEMET material from this requirement. This is a Wiki. Eclecticology 22:32, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Yes it is a Wiki. It is also a Wikidata project. You mix up adding material and changing material. What requirement are you talking about when it comes to GEMET material ?? GerardM 19:43, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
GEMET won't be there to defend its reasoning. Somebody "will have to argue [their] case", the reasons why "[those] are good definitions", on their behalf. If "it is not obvious why what [I] call pragmatic is sensible", your definitions should nonetheless be sensible by some measure. That much is inherent in the quality of a Wiki. But in your mind, you've thrown the burden of proof on me, the community contributor. Why prove that a change adds value when it is not obvious that there's value to begin with? The way GEMET makes definitions, contrasted perhaps as idealistic, certainly yields more technically precise definitions than what any of us would consider an intuitive notion of these concepts. Davilla 03:36, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

There is a difference between things being a wiki and the methodology of a project. Key to the WiktionaryZ project is the concept of a DefinedMeaning. One word of one language is key; it defines the meaning. The consequence is that the definition needs to be translated as literally as possible to all languages. This is necessary because otherwise you will get translations of the word with definitions of their own that do not match the original meaning of the DefinedMeaning. It is therefore absolutely not obvious that definitions should be changed. It is more obvious to start a different DefinedMeaning for the English term. This then leads to the question what the translation is for that DefinedMeaning in other languages.

WiktionaryZ is not centred around one language. The big issue in WiktionaryZ is to come to definitions that can be shared among all languages. Aproaching from the bottom up means that you have to consider the other languages and not see these things in isolation. WZ is NOT an English language project it will be a project where people speaking ALL languages collaborate. GerardM 19:43, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Gerard, perhaps a concrete example will help us understand how WZ will deal with day to day situations. Today on en.wikt: someone edited granddaughter and split the single English definition in half. (So far, so good...sortof.) In English, no distinction is or can be made about the granddaughter's parent's gender, from the single word. But in Swedish they say "daughter's son" or "daughter's daughter" as one word each; sondotter/dotterdotter.
Assuming GEMET had the single DefinedMeaning (the only one correct for English) entered, how would that same contributor add their translations? Would they have their two gender-specific defined meanings listed as translations for our one DefinedMeaning or is there a one-to-one correspondance? What happens when the user enters a second incorrect EnglishDefinedMeaning? Does a WZ sysop delete it, or merge it? Or are there two new DefinedMeaning(s) for the Swedish words that umbrella up to the EnglishDefinedMeaning? If so, do all three DefinedMeaning have translations that go only to their respective langDefinedMeaning? How then does the EnglishDefinedMeaning get translated to Swedish? Does it list both? Does it downlink to the two SwedishDefinedMeanings, and offer the translations from there?
Or would the whole attempt at translating the EnglishDefinedMeaning of granddaughter be removed as invalid (since there really is no Swedish word that means what "granddaughter" means in English.) If that is the case, how do you get from English granddaughter to Swedish sondotter/dotterdotter and back again? Would WZ create an invalid EnglishDefinedMeaning daughter's daughter and daughter's son? How then would EnglishDefinedMeaning granddaughter map to them? And how would they be marked as invalid EnglishDefinedMeanings? (That is to say, terms that are never used in English, instead using only "granddaughter.") --Connel MacKenzie T C 22:06, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
That's a great example not because it's typical but because it's incredibly clean. What we're dealing with here are discrete concepts, not fuzzy ones. I would guess that there would have to be all three defined meanings. In Swedish, the concept for granddaughter is translated as "[son-daughter] or [daughter-daughter]" while the English is one word. In English, the concept for son-daughter is translated as "the [daughter] of a [son]; a [granddaughter] by one's son" and likewise for daughter-daughter. That's my guess anyways, we'll wait for the official word. On anything fuzzier, I'm not sure I want to get involved. Davilla 03:50, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Both sondotter and dotterdotter translate to granddaughter in English. They will be marked as non endiginous meanings and the defition explains the exact meaning of the word. When there is no word that translates cleanly into Swedish, both sondotter and dotterdotter are given as a translation for granddaughter also with the mark for a non endiginous meaning. GerardM 09:20, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Is really endogenous/exogenous really proper linguistic terms for this? I can't seem to find any use for it in that sense. The senses I can find mostly relates to dialect uses. --Patrik Stridvall 13:20, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

As a side note, even very simply words can have a lot of different senses. I have just cleaned up the word grandchild. This very common word has 9 different senses with distinct translations into different languages. Swedish have words for 7 of these senses. However not the ones that means exactly grandson or granddaughter.

The point is that I really hope that it will be easy to merge and split different senses since I think it will be a make or break feature. --Patrik Stridvall 13:20, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Your cleanup indicates that "grandchild" translates to many languages. It translates for all senses easily into "kleinkind". Now in order to translate to Swedish you either have to know about the relations or you have to translate it to "barnbarn".
If you translate to Dutch, German or Swedish, certainly. However, it seems that Latin, Italian and Portuguese doesn't really have gender neutral word for grandchild. While I don't know any language, I wouldn't be suprised if some language existed that didn't have any words exactly translating to grandson or granddaughter either. So from a translation point of view grandchild really does have 9 different senses. --Patrik Stridvall 15:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
You did not include as part of the definitions: "the child of someone's child". This is probably an oversight.
Yes and no, I didn't want to change the definitions since the translations to be checked refered to the numbers. --Patrik Stridvall 15:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
When you want to indicate the relation between these meanings, it is best to use thesaurus like structures. This is something that will be available in WiktionaryZ. This will lead to a construction like "barnbarn includes sonbarn".
However, the way you have treated the senses of the word "grandchild" is problematic; when defining the word for the English meaning the senses are implicit and need not be defined. They are not specific to English they are specific because of your need to include translations. For the translation of a word like sonbarn grandchild is applicable however it can only be seen as a one way translation. This is something that is not obvious from the way it is would be in sonbarn; you HAVE to read the definition and now the standard meaning. Given that WiktionaryZ does not only but also exist for human readable form, an indicator like the endiginous meaning is needed.
Endogenous in this context means "produced, originating or growing from within" which begs the question is "From within of what?". Marking something as endogenous makes no sense unless you define what it is endogenous in respect of.
Wouldn't it make better to be able to have submeanings to a meaning instead. In the case of grandchild:
  • child of someone's child
    • child of someone's son
      • son of someone's son
      • daughter of someone's son
    • child of someone's daughter
      • son of someone's daughter
      • daughter of someone's daughter
    • son of someone's child
      • son of someone's son
      • son of someone's daughter
    • daughter of someone's child
      • daughter of someone's son
      • daughter of someone's daughter
Note that a meaning can be a submeaning to multiple other meaning as can be seen above --Patrik Stridvall 15:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
That's not a fundamental problem. In computer science terms, the "inclusion" operator would be cyclic as a directed graph, but as an undirected graph it is acyclic. In mathematical terms, there are multiple partitions of the sense grandchild. Davilla 11:37, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
I'm not implying it is a fundamental problem. I just point out that it makes things more complicated. It is not the algoritmic aspect of it that worries me. I have studied computer science at university level so I know it can be solved. What worries me is presenting in an understandable fashion and even worse making it easily editiable as well as the worst part supporting a revertable edit history. --Patrik Stridvall 18:05, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

I am not aware of a professional term for this but I have a need for this and the term is indicative for what is meant. GerardM 14:03, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

What you mean is clear but I just have a gut feeling that there exists a better term. --Patrik Stridvall 15:58, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

But the word in English is grandchild. Again, you would almost never say "Mary's daughter of someone's daughter." My question (from way back) is still, how do those translations go back and forth? The abstract definition is fine, but sondotter has to get translated to grandchild can't just stop at "daughter of someone's son." So, how is it supposed to work?

On a completely unrelated note, I noticed that you've elegantly finessed the {{US}} vs. {{UK}} issues. Bravo! --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:57, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Go v Search

I notice that recently added words cannot be found by putting them in the search box and pressing the "Search" button, but they are found OK by pressing "Go". Does anyone know what time needs to elapse before Search works properly? Do you think that our users should be told to use the Go button? - ideally somewhere on the Main Page. SemperBlotto 16:47, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure this used to work. Have you reported it on yet? It might be dependent upon the Wednesday/Saturday runs of the maintenance pages, but who knows. --Connel MacKenzie T C 20:36, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm pretty sure the search runs on some kind of cache. I think similar issues have come up in the past (e.g. when using Search to find typos to fix, and finding half of them fixed already). —Muke Tever 17:20, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
Fiddling with my user preferences seems to have affected the results I get from the "search" button. I turned everything on by default, on the Preferences' Search tab. --Connel MacKenzie T C 02:26, 8 February 2006 (UTC)


I co-made propre with a housemate. Apparently if the adjective goes before the noun then it means different then with adjective after the noun. How should you format this?? --Dangherous 19:56, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

There is a presumption that the reader knows that the French modifier usually follows the word it modifies. It should be sufficient to indicate modifiers that precede the modified word. Eclecticology 21:43, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Main page.

On the main page, we have a bit that reads "This is the English Wiktionary: it aims to describe all words of all languages, with definitions and descriptions in English only. For example, see frei (a German word). In order to find a German definition of that word, you would visit the equivalent page in the German Wiktionary." This is, for me, important to have on the main page. The thing is, frei isn't such a good page (it still has a cleanup tag on it and ). We should really point new users to a page that is well formatted and completed and of relatively high standard. I'm sure there's an alternative foreign language page we can find that is suitably formatted, and has a link in into its respective language Wiktionary. Any suggestions as to which foreign language page it should be? Either that, or make frei up to scratch. :)--Dangherous 20:46, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

I've never been to happy with frei; if you've got a better idea, go for it. Eclecticology 21:37, 30 January 2006 (UTC)
libre? ;-) Kipmaster 15:31, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps a word that is in only a single language? Like universale perhaps? It would be nice to have an entry with an etymology though. --Connel MacKenzie T C 08:42, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Figenoiama ? :x) —Muke Tever 20:29, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

How about search engine optimizing Wiktionary?

I work for Yahoo! Search and have noticed that when type "define word or phrase" into Yahoo! or Google using their shortcuts, Wiktionary definitions are no where to be found. In significant part, this is due to the fact that the indexed Wiktionary pages do not contain the word "define" on the them. Also, I've noticed that the page summaries displayed are not great for either search engine.

I'd like to propose to the powers that be on the Wiktionary team that some techniques from the Search Engine Optimizers (sometimes known as spammers) and apply them to Wiktionary pages to improve the likelihood that Wiktionary pages would appear in search engines.

For each page add these two meta tags: <meta name=keywords content="word or phrase, define word or phrase"> <meta name=description content="primary or first definition from the entry">

This would help both the recall and the presentation of Wiktionary articles in Yahoo! and Google.

I've tried suggesting this in the Wiktionary bugs area but have seen no response. I'm trying here to see if others think this would be a good idea.

BTW, It really isn't clear as to who to contact and how to do so with respect to fundamental infrastructure changes such as this.

here is a good place to contact people :-)
Also, thanks for the information on meta-tags, I had already noticed that Wiktionary pages do not appear very well on search engines, but was not very sure what to do about it.
The problem I see with adding meta-tags is that I think it needs to be done on the software that runs Wiktionary, that is Mediawiki. Developers of mediawiki can be contacted here:
This software also runs Wikipedia, so I don't know if we can modify such things just for Wiktionary.
The first meta tag can be easily added automatically, but the second one looks harder to get automatically. However, it would be very interesting for web indexing, so it needs some reflexion. Kipmaster 15:41, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
Hey, I've just noticed that a keyword meta-tag is automatically created taking every wikilinks on the page, I did not know that. Kipmaster 15:43, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
If you work for a major search engine and want to help us on some tech issue, please email me directly at brion at Thanks. --Brion 05:52, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Anonymous reply on archive page

Brion, I sent you an e-mail, but didn't get a reply.

I've noticed that "the free dictionary"

is making use of a lot of Wikipedia and Wiktionary content. If you look at their keywords and descriptions, they are spending a bit of time search engine optimizing (sometimes spamming) the results. But, they make some good points. Beyond what I've suggested of "define word", they also have "definition of word" in the keywords which makes a lot of sense.

It's really a pity that someone is making money off of the Wikimedia efforts simply because they're more astute at getting consumers to their pages.