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Beer parlour archives edit


December 2009

Template help

Please see the discussion here. If you're good at wikisyntax, please help. --The New Mikemoral ♪♫ 01:22, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

done. Conrad.Irwin 12:36, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

User page - time zone

I would like to encourage that people put a time zone box on their user page, like the one that I have on my user page: "UTC+1". I find this useful for estimating the time frame of a response in a conversation with a Wiktionary editor. If you find it a poor idea, please let me know. --Dan Polansky 11:29, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, these are very useful, but don't they count as userboxes? We really need a policy page for what userboxes are allowed. (I think global account userboxes should also be allowed.) --Yair rand 20:20, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
That information is listed on Wiktionary:Administrators, though I see no reason to prohibit people from using a timezone box, perhaps {{user timezone}}? I thought we already had a global account userbox sneakily created by some visiting Wiki*edian, {{User unified login}} (you can tell it's an import by the uppercase first letter ;) Conrad.Irwin 00:21, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the timezone box is a userbox. It seems a natural extension of the userboxes for the languages a user speaks. It does not fall into the group of advertising edit counts, political affiliation, and other practically useless information. In the page Wiktionary:Administrators, timezone is listed alongside the spoken languages as key information about a user.
It would already help if people has the timezone in a paragraph text rather than in a userbox. It is just that is seems to me that entering timezone on one's user page should be almost as much encouraged as entering spoken languages, and that it should be entered on a standardized location, much like the spoken languages. --Dan Polansky 07:40, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
We seem to be migrating toward an explicit policy on userboxes of the form: "Everything that is not strongly encouraged is forbidden." I personally think timezone of normal location would be useful as part of an extended Babel box. DCDuring TALK 10:55, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
We're not migrating towards that; it's been in print for a long time already. Our Wiktionary:User pages draft policy currently says user pages "must not contain any Wikipedia-style userboxes other than Babel templates, though specific userboxes may be allowed after discussion." That was kind of the community consensus when we set up the draft. However, there are a number of NPOV things like UTC boxes that I think ought not to be forbidden, and if we have a discussion allowing UTC boxes, script boxes (also useful, such as those who know Cyrillic or IPA), or the like, then we can use them without even having to redraft the draft policy. --EncycloPetey 03:46, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Went ahead and made {{User time zone}}, which also allows one to specify whether their district observes Daylight Savings Time. --Bequw¢τ 15:15, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Wiktionary talk:About French#Accents and ligatures

Comment if you have an opinion. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:17, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Gathering opinion on "Is a deleted page more value than a redirect"

Example shotgun marriage.

Can't remember exactly, but I was looking at the entry shotgun wedding, then must have gone to wedding, then to marriage. In marriage there was a red link to shotgun marriage, but, naturally, no mention of shotgun wedding.

So I created the page shotgun marriage with just a redirect to shotgun wedding. So, a user who is looking up the phrase shotgun marriage would at least get the definition, etymology etc of shotgun wedding, instead of nothing.

However, an admin, not long after, deleted the page, so we were back to square one. A red link in marriage, and no clues for anyone looking up shotgun marriage.

So, my question is. Which "Adds more value" to Wiktionary?

  1. To have the redirect to shotgun wedding as the sole content of shotgun marriage, and thus no red link in marriage.
  2. To have the page deleted.

--Richardb 12:20, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

I know one argument for having the deleted page, ie: no page, and a red link, may well be that some people try to track red links (thus shotgun marriage appears in pages User:Brian0918/Hotlist/S5 and User:Msh210/Duesentrieb/xjf). But can this not also be acheived by somehow having a list of pages that have REDIRECTS ? --Richardb 12:20, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Redirects are considered problematic because they don't give much information, we could quite easily add pronunciation, quotations, usage notes, anagrams etc. to alternative form entries. Having the redirects reduces the (already low) percieved need to create such entries. I would strongly encourage people to use the search box, and not edit urls directly, then the problem almost completely disappears (providing the alternative form is listed on the page with the definition) as the correct entry is in the search results. If people want to edit urls or follow broken links, then they should accept the slight degradation in behaviour that results. Conrad.Irwin 12:41, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
But that goes against laziness, which is to say that it is not user-friendly. There is no amount of exhortation on this page that will reach the bulk of unregistered users. Is there any way to have a default in which red-links are treated as searches, at least for the JS enabled. This might be accepted if our experienced contributors could opt out (I'd prefer to be able to opt out.). DCDuring TALK 14:38, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
So what should be done with all redirects left over from the Conversion script (e.g. Inflammation)? Many already have been deleted, and it seems odd to keep some around. Should they be cleaned up or left? --Bequw¢τ 15:26, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
The ones that were linked to from the main namespace were not removed. Special:WhatLinksHere/Inflammation. Conrad.Irwin 15:59, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Usually I remove the links for the main space as I find them, then delete. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:52, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
But why?? How is that adding value, not taking value away ? To me you are, in a sense, being a vandal, taking away vlaue for no good reason. If you have a reason, what is the reason. How is that action "adding value" ?--Richardb 23:47, 4 December 2009 (UTC)


(from RFD)
Someone (or a bot) has systematically been adding alphagrams to pages (see doula for an example). I don't see any point in these. Why are they being included? They become all the more pointless when added to words like ab. — Paul G 17:48, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Their non-wikiish style also cause contributors to place L4 translation sections after them, triggering rfc-structure tags. DCDuring TALK 18:47, 2 December 2009 (UTC), no? Anyway, this is in the wrong place as you're not nominating the word Alphagrams for deletion. Hence I'll move to the Beer Parlor. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:50, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
It's all per Wiktionary:Votes/bt-2009-09/User:Conrad.Bot to do anagrams. Though the vote page doesn't explicitly mention alphagrams, they were part of the showcased edits. --Bequw¢τ 19:07, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
If there's a structure problem, that problem should be fixed, but the whole projects shouldn't just be abandoned. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:10, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
The problem is inherent in the use of a template. Imbecilic contributors see the template, can't imagine that it needs to be the last thing in the entry or that such a technical matter should be of concern to them, and insert an L4 translations header. (Imbecile that I am, I wasted a minute myself once on an erroneously place translation section I added.) Then the bot marks it and I clean it up. It hasn't happened often but the departure from our policy against that kind of template has not turned out to be without cost. I'll likely vote against such a departure next time. DCDuring TALK 22:29, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
The templates have since been (mainly) replaced by real sections, I also learned the hard way. A list of the entries remaining the wrong style is at [1], which I'll go through and correct manually if the bot doesn't catch them this time. Conrad.Irwin 23:06, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I feel much better now. Really. DCDuring TALK 23:17, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
Alphagrams were in most anagrams sections before I started, I assumed the rationale is that people wanting to find anagrams might type the alphagram into the search box. If people want them excluded from the entry when the entry itself is tha alphagram, that can be done. As with the indexes, I don't claim to know the best way to do anagrams, so if people want to suggest improvements, I'm all ears. Conrad.Irwin 23:06, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
As I'm for the idea I've launched the French speakers debate in parallel. JackPotte 18:20, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Alphagrams are explicitly allowed within an Anagrams section by WT:ELE. As long as there aren't entries being created for meaningless alphagrams, I don't see a problem. --EncycloPetey 03:39, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Letter as Part of Speech

I'm curious as to why Letter is a Part-of-Speech subheading and I couldn't find it discussed anywhere. Thinking of the PoS of a letter is a bit odd because it's one of the few times when both the name for the thing and thing itself are in the dictionary (the name cee and thing c). A quick review of other dictionaries reveals that the Concise OED, Webster's, and Random House all classify as nouns both the letters and letter names (when included). Should we? Interestingly they all subdivide the letter definition differently. The OED keeps it unified, Random House has separate senses for 1) the letter and 2) the speech counterpart of the letter, and Webster's has subsenses for a) the letter, b) the glyph, and c) the speech counterpart. I'd lean towards using noun as, to me, the letterness (that it combines with others from the alphabet to forms words) is part of its definition. What do others think? --Bequw¢τ 20:58, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

We treat letters proper (as opposed to the names for them) as translingual, which I think precludes using any real part of speech as the header, since real parts of speech are somewhat language-specific. (IIRC, EncycloPetey has mentioned that language names are adverbs in Slovenian — like, "I speak Englishly" to mean "I speak English".) —RuakhTALK 21:50, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
There are both Translingual and language specific entries for the letters (e.g. a#Translingual and a#English). The Translingual ones use Letter and English ones usually use Letter but sometimes Noun. I think the English one should be all Noun (other languages can decide for themselves). Translingual is tricker, but don't we treat the species names (eg E. coli) as Translingual nouns (or is there no consensus on that)? If there are some languages that use the Latin alphabet but don't label the letters as nouns, then maybe keeping Letter is fine. Does anyone have an example? If there aren't, I think they could be changed Noun as well. --Bequw¢τ 21:06, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Translingual species names are Proper nouns. They are defined that way in the international codes that govern their usage. The problem with labelling all the Letter entries as Noun is that letters are not always used as nouns; they're most often used as letters within words. The only time they're used as nouns is when they are being mentioned rather than used. So, if we define "L" as a noun because of sentences like "The L is silent.", then we have to define "you" as a noun for sentences like "The you in that command is understood." and we have to define "the" as a noun for sentences like "I forgot to write a the in front of the noun." However, these are all mentions, not uses. On Wiktionary, we normally do not group entries in part of speech by their mentions, but by their usages. --EncycloPetey 16:06, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Though I think of the abstract idea of a letter as a thing, you're right that we have to base definitions on usage. So if not noun, would it make sense to label them as Symbols with "letter" as part of the definitions? It would be analogous to saying the period (.) was a Symbol with "punctuation mark" as part of the definition. This could be used not just for English, but also Translingual. --Bequw¢τ 23:23, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not strongly attached to either system, but I think there is a very important and useful "grammatical" distinction between a Letter and Symbol. A letter is inherently a part of a word, where a Symbol can represent a sound, word, phrase, or idea. The function of a letter is thus specific, while a symbol can have any of a wide variety of functions. Since the English language is one written in letters, and we are the English Wikipedia, I think that makes the distinction even more useful. If I come across an entry labelled as "Letter" for its POS, then I know immediately a great deal about what it is. If I come across a "Symbol" then I expect to have to do a lot more reading to figure out what I've got. Were this the Mandarin Wiktionary, I'm not so sure that distinction would mean as much, but I think it does for a Wiktionary in a language that uses an alphabet. --EncycloPetey 03:37, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) I see the distinction you're making. I wouldn't necessarily call it "grammatical", though, but more "syntactic" since it's about how to compose units of meaning, not how those units get fit together in a grammatically correct phrase. As you mention, the distinction between letter and non-letter characters is a bit fuzzy. Even in Latin-script languages you have words that contain ( / ), ( ' ), and ( - ) (plus some more rare ones). Both letter and w:Letter classify them as "Symbols". Certain classes of symbols have more rigid rules on their usage. Letters have many, but also mathematical and punctuation symbols do as well. I'd still classify them as all symbols (since nouns are out:) More importantly, though, they should at least be consistent. --Bequw¢τ 15:46, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Template:nonstandard spelling of

See Wiktionary talk:About French. Seemed like the quickest, best solution. Should be used for other languages, like we have {{obsolete spelling of}} and others. I actually thought this might already exist, but I can't find it. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:30, 3 December 2009 (UTC

See {{form of}}, which allows some flexibility, valuable before standard wording is settled on. It allows more precise and less (or more) pejorative wording: "Obsolete form of", "Typographical variant", "Pedantic variant of", etc. DCDuring TALK 22:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Chinese categories

At WT:RFDO#Category:yue-hk:Verbs Carolina Wren brought up renaming the Chinese categories I thought it was a good idea. Her basic idea was to:

  1. Use the language name for PoS categories:
    • zh-cn:Nouns →  Mandarin (Simplified) Nouns.  zh-tw:NounsMandarin (Traditional) Nouns.  zh:NounsMandarin (Pinyin) Nouns.  Mandarin Nouns - stays the same (already contains all scripts) and would be the parent of the previous three.
  2. Replace the country code extensions (-cn, -tw/-hk) with the proper script codes (-Hans and -Hant) for the remaining topical categories:
    • zh-cn:All topicszh-Hans:All topics.  zh-tw:All topicszh-Hant:All topics.  zh:All topicszh-Latn:All topics.  Presumably there'd be a new zh:All topics that was the parent of all three.
    2a) An alternative here would be to note the script in the name.
    • zh-cn:All topicszh:(Simplified) All topics. etc.

Is the wording clear on (2a)? If so, that would be preferable since it keeps the prefix for only the language code, but the wording would have to be clear. Whichever is choosen, though, I think these changes would be an improvement. Hopefully they would make the categories easier to understand for casual editors. How do others feel? Are there any problems with these types of renamings? --Bequw¢τ 21:58, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

As one of the half a dozen or so active Chinese contributors here I feel like I should give some input. Please forgive my lack of understanding of scripts and such, but I will try my best to grasp what it is that is being proposed.
Firstly, to be honest, I don't really see the point of changing "Zh-cn" to "Mandarin (Simplified)". To anyone who speaks Mandarin, the phrasing is extremely awkward. "Mandarin" (either taken as the group of Northern Chinese dialects OR Standard Mandarin Chinese) was never "simplified"; the script it was written in was. No one (certainly no one I know or in anything I have read) refers to the Simplified script as "Mandarin (Simplified)" or any variation of that. It just sounds... bizarre to me.
Secondly, what are these "Hant" and "Hans" script codes you speak of and why are they considered "proper"? No, really, I have no idea! And why should they be considered "preferable"? The wording is no clearer than "-cn", "-tw" and "-hk". I think most Chinese speakers could guess what the latter mean at first glance. "Hant" and "Hans" though - again - I have to say, "WTF"?
Lastly, I would like to ask, are any of the people proposing these changes Chinese speakers themselves? Given the awkward rephrasing they are proposing, my guess would be no? I don't mean to be flippant, but seriously, if any kind of major reform of Chinese is going to happen on wiktionary, IMO it should be done by (or in co-ordination with) the people who actually have some knowledge of what is being discussed. This is not to diss anyone, I'm just concerned that someone will change all this complicated script stuff and leave us poor (and less IT-capable) editors to pick up the pieces. Tooironic 07:42, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I second Tooironic's opinion. --Anatoli 08:31, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't mean to sound unilateral at all. No change should be made without the agreement of the active Chinese contributors. I bring the matter up on WT:BP, rather than on WT:AZH, however because the goal is find a structure that will enable casual editors to improve Chinese entries/categories. I and at least a few others steer clear of Chinese entries/categories because the categorization is so different than all other languages here on wiktionary. Chinese categories need not be structured exactly the same as other languages, but I hope there's room for improvement. Let me explain the reasoning behind these changes, and hopefully someone will be able find better solutions than the ones I proposed. The basic confusion I see arises from the implementation of the (good and proper) desire to have per-script categories for simplified, traditional, and romanized characters. Here's what I think is confusing to some editors:
-cn,-tw/-hk codes: These are ISO 3166 (country) codes are currently used to distinguish categories for simplified and traditional characters (Category:yue-cn:Nouns for simplified characters vs. Category:yue-hk:Nouns for traditional characters).
  1. These give unfair emphasis to specific countries. Traditional characters aren't just used in Taiwan and Hong Kong, but in Macau and many overseas communities. Likewise, simplified characters are used not just in (mainland) China, but Malaysia and Indonesia. Additionally, it completely ignores historical differences within those countries.
  2. It's not obvious that the lack of extension stands for the category of the usual romanization (Category:yue:Insects is for Jyutping romanization, while Category:yue-cn:Insects is for simplified and Category:yue-hk:Insects is for traditional characters).
I think it would be better to switch to categorization that is somehow explicitly by script. Hant and Hans are the ISO 15924 script codes for Han (Traditional variant) and Han (Simplified variant) respectively. If that is too obscure, an alternative option would be writing the script out. If my wording choice was awkward, perhaps you may provide a better one.
Organization between the script-differing categories.
  1. Currently the name of the Part-of-Speech category that holds all scripts is much different than the ones that contain single scripts (Category:Cantonese adjectives which contains all three vs Category:yue:Adjectives, Category:yue-cn:Adjectives, and Category:yue-hk:Adjectives). Additionally, with the language prefix, these latter three confuse people into thinking they are topical categories about "Adjectives", like Category:ja:Adjectives.
  2. There's no category links (or hierarchy) between the pan-script and single-script categories.
  3. There's no topical category designated to be for all scripts like there is on the PoS side (since the extensionless form is for romanizations only).
There is no reason we can't have consistent names for both pan-script and single-script categories. If my wording was awkward, could you suggest alternatives (that hopefully could allow for pan-script topical categories)? It would seem to me, as one who does much cleanup, that the pan-script categories should be parents of the single-script categories. Does that seem logical?
I do hope that something can be improved. And I would be willing to help in anyway possible. Hopefully people won't TLDR this:) --Bequw¢τ 17:10, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your detailed explanation. Very helpful, though my head is still spinning :P What is "pan-script"?
I do get what you mean though about the pinyin and character entries getting mixed in together. This is something I raised a few months ago but no action was taken.
Let's take nouns and one possible way to categorise them:
  • Mandarin Nouns (Simplified Script)
  • Mandarin Nouns (Traditional Script)
  • Mandarin Nouns (Pinyin Script)
  • Mandarin Nouns (Wade-Giles Script) (do we even have these?)
  • Mandarin Nouns (Yale Script) (do we even have these?)
  • Mandarin Nouns (Bopomofo Script) (do we even have these?)
Note, I can only speak for my own dialect, Mandarin. Cantonese and Min Nan speakers on wiktionary will have to devise their own category names. (That is, I don't know what romanisation schemes are used for those dialects, nor how to categorise them.) Anyway, I think these categories would prevent that whole country-bias thing you were talking about (.cn, .tw, .hk), plus make it a lot easier for casual users to understand. However, when writing the actual script, we could simply use abbreviations to make our job easier:
  • Mandarin Nouns (Simplified Script) → Category:Mans:Nouns
  • Mandarin Nouns (Traditional Script) → Category:Mant:Nouns
  • Mandarin Nouns (Pinyin Script) → Category:Manp:Nouns
  • Mandarin Nouns (Wade-Giles Script) → Category:Manw:Nouns
  • Mandarin Nouns (Yale Script) → Category:Many:Nouns
  • Mandarin Nouns (Bopomofo Script) → Category:Manb:Nouns
As for vocab categories, these could be displayed like this:
  • Category:Mandarin Nouns (Simplified Script):Insects
  • Category:Mandarin Nouns (Traditional Script):Insects
  • Category:Mandarin Nouns (Pinyin Script):Insects
  • Category:Mandarin Nouns (Wade-Giles Script):Insects
  • Category:Mandarin Nouns (Yale Script):Insects
  • Category:Mandarin Nouns (Bopomofo Script):Insects
But written as script (again to make our lives easier) like this:
  • Category:Mans:Insects
  • Category:Mant:Insects
  • Category:Manp:Insects
  • Category:Manw:Insects
  • Category:Manb:Insects
  • Category:Manb:Insects
Are the programming whizzes able to do this? Do let me know if I've overlooked something, this whole scripting thing does my head in. Tooironic 00:13, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I was asked to chime in on this, so here goes. First, some points upon which we probably all agree:
  1. Any modification should be more intuitive than the current arrangement, not less.
  2. Any modification should respect the preferences of the Chinese speakers who are actually creating new Chinese entries.
The following represents my own opinion on the subject:
  1. I don't like categories that include parentheses.
  2. I second Tooironic's opinion that Hant and Hans are not an improvement over zh-tw and zh-cn, in terms of user friendliness.
  3. If I were going to change the current scheme, and I'm not convinced that it would be worth it at this point, I would probably do something like:
    Category:Mandarin Nouns in Simplified script
    Category: Mandarin Nouns in Traditional script
    Category: Mandarin Nouns in Pinyin script
    Category: Min Nan Nouns in POJ script
The one thing that I don't like about spelling out the categories is that the categories become excessively wordy. On the other hand, I don't think replacing one abbreviation for another necessarily helps anything, and may actually turn out to be a step backwards. The argument for keeping zh-tw and zh-cn would be that, rightly or wrongly, their usage is long established in the computer world. In short, I think we should leave it like it is, unless we can come up with a much better scheme. Otherwise, it could mean a lot of work for a very minor gain. -- A-cai 12:58, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Are we also proposing to change "zh-tw:Fruits" and "zh-cn:Christianity" to "Mandarin Fruits in Traditional script" and "Mandarin Christianity in Simplified Chinese"? If so, that just sounds weird to me :) -- A-cai 13:05, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah I totally get what you mean. I think some people forget how far behind we are in Chinese entries on wiktionary (despite our hard work to this date). I mean I just created an entry for "rectangle" (長方形) yesterday! I'm afraid that all this stuffing around with scripts and whatnot might just be a big waste of time, and create more issues than it fixes in the long run. Tooironic 21:39, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

(unindent)@Tooironic. Thank you for posting suggestions. By "pan-script" I meant categories like Category:Mandarin nouns that contain entries written in all three scripts: Simplified, Traditional, and Latin (all the romanization schemes are transliterations into Latin characters so it's technically one script for all which is coded as Latn). Per WT:AZH, we currently only have entries for the main romanization scheme for each language (so we have Pinyin for Mandarin but not the others that you mention). For the topical categories, we shouldn't invent script/language codes (such as Manp, Manw, Manb) so I don't think that's the route to take.

@A-Cai, zh-cn et al. are localization languages codes (see w:Language localization#Language tags and codes). They specify the country (whose code is correctly capitalized but still sometimes lowercased) to target a dialect (eg en-GB = "British English") not to differentiate scripts like we are trying to do here. (We usually note dialect differences on the definition line.) So their's no reason to use them for this purpose here.

I think A-cai's idea for the PoS category naming is good. It's both consistent across the different Chinese script categories and it's similar to the PoS categories of other languages. If desired, a parent category (eg Category:Mandarin Nouns) could be used to relate the script-specific categories together and possibly also to contain entries in all script forms.

Is there something we can do for the topical categories? Following A-cai's preference (which is reasonable) away from codes and parentheses, would a suitable replacement for Category:yue-cn:Insects be something like Category:yue:Insects in Simplified script? This type of naming (which could be changed a bit if it sounds awkward) would fix all the confusions that I listed above. --Bequw¢τ 00:20, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Per your suggestions about Category:yue:Insects in Simplified script, why not do all of them that way? For example, we could have Category:cmn:Nouns in Simplified script and Category:cmn:Insects in Simplified script? The "pan-script" categories, if you still want them, would be Category:cmn:Nouns and Category:cmn:Insects. -- A-cai 13:05, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Because using the language code as the prefix for only the topical categories distinguishes them from Part-of-Speech categories. It allows for a distinction between a category of words that are nouns ("dog", "house") and a category of words about nouns ("uncountable", "collective noun"). See for instance the difference between Category:Japanese adjectives and Category:ja:Adjectives. Additionally, since this is the system used wiktionary-wide it would help other users edit Chinese categories. --Bequw¢τ 18:00, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Fair point. In that case, allowing for your argument, why not have Category:cmn:Mandarin Nouns in Simplified Chinese, Category:cmn:Words about Nouns in Simplified Chinese and Category:cmn:Insects in Simplified Chinese? Simply having a category called Category:Nouns for English words about nouns does not strike me as being all that intuitive to the average user (and has caused much confusion and debate, over the last few years). Shouldn't we call it what it is, i.e. Category:Words about Nouns? -- A-cai 18:27, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the naming isn't always obvious, but changing the policy Wiktionary-wide is a separate discussion. In the long-run it's most useful to have consistency among languages. Towards that end, were my previous suggestions natural-enough sounding?. --Bequw¢τ 00:06, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
They seem reasonable to me, but this is something that we may need to bring to a vote before proceeding. -- A-cai 12:08, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't hurt. I'll set it up and then post announcements. --Bequw¢τ 15:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Created Wiktionary:Votes/2009-12/Chinese categories. It won't start for a week. Please note corrections or changes. With regards to case, should it be "simplified script", "Simplified script", or "Simplified Script"? I see mixed usage across the internet. --Bequw¢τ 16:34, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
That's a good question. Now that I think of it, perhaps lower case would be better, since "simplified script" isn't really a proper noun. Also, just to clarify, the proposal is to change all Chinese dialects to this new format, correct? -- A-cai 00:43, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Beer Parlour

I don't know if this has been bothering anyone else, but the Beer Parlour is most likely more than twice as used as the next largest discussion room. A ridiculous amount of stuff goes in here, and nothing stays near the bottom for more than a day or two. In an attempt to fix this situation, I propose that the Beer Parlour be split into two seperate discussion rooms. To summarize the stuff that the Beer Parlour is currently used for:

  • Proposals for new policies
  • Proposals to change current policies
  • Proposals to start/change anything else
  • Bot requests
  • Discussions about current policies, and how to interpret them.
  • Discussions on the current practices.
  • Discussions on anything that affects Wiktionary as a whole (main page, logo, etc.)
  • Requests for permissions. (AWB, etc.)
  • Announcements, notices...
  • "Random stuff" (meaning everything else), which occupies a very large portion of the discussions.

Now, I would be okay with any restructure, but what I think would be best would be to split the first four of those items into a new discussion room, which would be set up with subpages, and the rest to stay in the Beer Parlour.

Comments? --Yair rand 00:20, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

How much could be off-loaded to language-specific discussions? In particular items that are English-specific. I understand that there are reasons to get cross-language expertise involved in languages that have few active contributors, but English has the least problem in that regard. I would expect that much of the "random stuff" is arguably language-specific. DCDuring TALK 00:37, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
The English stuff could go at Wiktionary_talk:About_English. --Bequw¢τ 17:11, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I have just inserted "Move to WT:AEN" at the entries that seemed to have principally English related content. There were not very many. Perhaps some other items could be moved to English, but they potentially have implications for other languages. Such subject areas include "translations" and RfV. By policy only English sections have translations. I haven't noticed too many RfVs for non-English terms. I don't recollect whether that is by policy. Including these would at least double the amount that WT:AEN would take. DCDuring TALK 17:45, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Should Wikisaurus discussions fall under AEN? Technically they are only English, but AEN doesn't seem to be the best place. Maybe they should go to Wiktionary talk:Wikisaurus. --Yair rand 17:51, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I had assumed if the discussion was here, there was a desire for a broader audience. I hope that WT:AEN could be broad enough. DCDuring TALK 18:02, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, I don't really care about the amount of stuff in BP, but one thing I wish we would do is have subpages for discussions, like we have on the voting pages. It'd make tracking and contributing to your preferred discussions A WHOLE SHITLOAD easier. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 17:39, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
That might be a big help as soon as a discussion passed a threshold level, probably well before someone would have felt compelled to add an arbitrary edit link. Some of the most voluminous discussions would not readily belong on any other root discussion page. I'm not so sure it should be done by default. It would be handy also if such a move automatically added the page to the watchlist of all (registered users ?) who had participated in the discussion or even to all admins or all registered users who request or don't opt out of such treatment. DCDuring TALK 17:59, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I quite like the way Beer Parlour works now - there are already several forums to watch, including Tea Room, RFD, RFDO, and RFV. Following the individual threads in Beer Parlour is a bit harder, but I don't see how managable the alternative of having one subpage per thread would be. There is already an established process of archiving BP, which works quite well thanks to dedicated archivers. OTOH, maybe watching all the currently running discussions in subpages could be done using the "related changes" function, given all the subpages would be linked to or transcluded in Beer Parlour. I don't like the option of creating several subforums managed in a way similar to the current BP, with threads being directly in the discussion page.
What could be created, however, is something identified clearly as a non-binding chatroom. Any old rant could be posted to the chatroom. The room would not be a problem-solving one but rather a digressive off-topic one. Right now, none of the forums is setup for the purpose, each focused on solving different kinds of problems. Once the discussion would grow serious, and would clearly pertain to policy making, it could be brought to "Beer Parlour". One of the problems is that the name "Beer Parlour" suggests that Beer Parlour is such a chatroom. The chatroom could be called "Ramble bar", or not. The content of the chatroom could be of IRC quality. Once the chatroom would be there, any posting to Beer Parlour that does not relate to policy making could be quickly redirected to Ramble bar. The present posting could, too, at least in part, be redirected to Ramble bar ;). --Dan Polansky 18:11, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I dunno. It seems like to many proposals to start something new just die when they get too high up in the beer parlour. (Whatever happened to the Portals discussion?) If these were moved to a separate subpage-based room it seems more likely that they would actually succeed. --Yair rand 18:27, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
Many of my trial balloons have turned out to be leaden. I don't think that is a fault of BP layout. DCDuring TALK 18:40, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
The portals proposal generated very little response. I personally was not interested in that proposal. If someone wants to start something, he has to show he is able to actually build it instead of only proposing it. He has to create a model portal as a showcase in his user space or something of the sort. But even that may be insufficient. In any case, a proposal needs to be backed with energy to work on it and bring it to a useful minimal state. If someone else responds positively to the proposal, the proposal can gain traction. But even when the proposal does have a dedicated page, it can grow stale. A case in point is Wiktionary:Picture dictionary. It got started by an enthusiastic person who stayed with the proposal only shortly. --Dan Polansky 18:53, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
I personally find myself forgetting the names of discussions and not wanting to take the time to find them. Subpages = better. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 18:47, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

I have personally long argued that "discussion pages" are where most of the discussions should take place, with a just an "advert" placed in BP. If we are discussing CFI, lets do it at the CFI discussion page, if discussing Wikisaurus, at a Wikisaurus discussion page. My analogy is this - Beer Parlour is like a rowdy pub. Everyone gets a bit overheated on a topic for a short while, then forgets about it when the next topic comes along. Meanwhile, the real long term, careful work should be done in the backroom committee rooms. Anyone from the Bar can call into the committee room to make their contribution, but can also first easily inform themselves of all the past discussion recorded in the discussion room, not scattered over many BP archives. Every so often someone can go to the bar and let everyone know the discussion is on, if they are interested. In addition, a category such as "Active WT Discussion" could be used to identify all these discussion rooms, so you wouldn't have to remember where they all are.--Richardb 01:53, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

It would certainly take out a huge chunk of the discussions were the ELE, CFI, and Wikisaurus pages to handle discussion about them, but we still have a huge amount going through here. Basically, we have three things left that go here which should really be split: new proposals, bot requests, and general discussions that can't go anywhere else. If we were to split proposals and bot requests into a new room and move discussions that already have pages for them, the Beer Parlour would become a usable size. The "Active WT Discussion" idea sounds great if possible. --Yair rand 02:56, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
One other thing I just noticed: We could also move some of the stuff about discussion pages themselves to the talk pages of those discussion pages. Which means we could move this discussion to Wiktionary talk:Beer parlour. --Yair rand 03:07, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Would anyone object if I were to move this discussion to Wiktionary talk:Beer parlour? --Yair rand 04:29, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
That sounds a bit like "which came first, the chicken or the egg". Eventually, yes, it might make sense. But not until the question is resolved, and implemented. But I'm not sure much would be achieved for this one special instance. Beer PArlour already is a discussion page. Do we need a discussion page for a discussion page ??? In this case, I'd say don't jump to doing it until the principl eis established and implemented. --Richardb 09:25, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Plus - be a bit patient. Don't rush this before you have enough people having viewed what you are intending.--Richardb 09:25, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
If this was only about the beer parlour, then it should be at Talk:Beer parlour, but it's not, it's about all discussion rooms. I don't see that splitting off bot proposals would do anything, we get maybe 1 every few months (we could always put them on WT:GP as opposed to inventing somewhere new). Policy proposals are "supposed" to be here, read the heading. A much better solution to this problem is archiving discussions better, I am of the opinion that we should archive them all to [[Wiktionary:Beer parlour/topic heading]] and (but only if someone is keen enough) to keep a log of discussions by date. The other thing that does not help is that people start lots of very similar discussions in multiple sections on this page, instead of going back and re-opening old discussions. Move them to the bottom again if you want to give them more attention. Conrad.Irwin 14:59, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Javascript archiving

Administrators can enable "Add Archive links to Beer Parlour sections" at WT:PREFS (after clearing your cache (ctrl+shift+F5)) or by adding importScript('User:Conrad.Irwin/beerArchiver.js'); to your monobook.js. Simply click the "Archive" button click "OK" and wait. Comments, bugs, improvements, please let me know. Conrad.Irwin 03:04, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Wow, this will certainly be very helpful. Just one question: why does it archive to Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/Month Year instead of Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/Year/Month? --Yair rand 03:33, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Categories for morphemes: un/productive

Is the productivity or non-productivity of a morpheme in a language stable enough to make for a worthwhile set of categories such as Category:English productive suffixes and Category:English nonproductive suffixes? It would have some value in helping with the creation of morphology-type etymology sections for some of our derived terms. It would also be useful for detecting certain errors in etymology (claiming modern English derivation for terms borrowed mostly formed from other languages).

One problem is that only some etymologies/senses are productive for some affixes (eg, -ly, -s). This is symptomatic of the more general problem is that a category is a language-entry attribute, rather than an etymology-language-entry attribute or a sense-language-entry attribute. Another problem is the intentional formation of archaic words of limited, though sometimes attestable, use (eg, be- ?). Thoughts? DCDuring TALK 00:28, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Hi DC – it definitely seems worthwhile and legit to distinguish between -ly (regular adverb) formation on the one hand, and be- or -en (plural) on the other, and AFAICT this is pretty clear and stable, outside of conscious archaisms such as boxen.
One may distinguish some of these categories, as in Category:English plurals ending in "-en" (which could use some subcategories for “men” and “children” – you can hardly find the oxen in it), and one could meaningfully use Category:English adverbs suffixed with -s, to incorporate POS in the category name.
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 08:23, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

The doublewiki on a single page Wikisource extension

Utilisation example on on Wikisource: to my mind we should install it and synchronise all the wiktionaries paragraphs orders to make it clearer. JackPotte 12:48, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

French version. JackPotte 12:51, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Expansion/explication by Amgine: The DoubleWiki Extension adds a small linked '⇔' symbol next to interwiki links. If clicked, the current page you are viewing is displayed side-by-side with that of the other language. An example of the extension in use is Engel & Marx's Introduction of the Communist Manifesto in English and Greek. Currently all namespaces of all Wikisource languages have the extension enabled. Urls add a parameter "match=[lang code]".
The extension can enforce exact alignment. For example, language headers can be aligned across Wiktionaries allowing readers to quickly find and compare translations or shared terms. This will require cross-language cooperation to insure a single standard for aligning marks is used. The extension is otherwise atomic, assuming the articles on two separate wikis have exactly the same elements and order of elements and aligning them as they appear. - Amgine/talk 17:13, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't seem to have any real advantage over just clicking on the interwiki and then clicking the 'back' arrow. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:43, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
But if would if a user had to compare more than one thing. Side-by-side would be easier than clicking 'iwiki link', 'back', 'forward', 'back', etc. Not sure if this is currently common, but it could be. Imagine trying to see if to#English had the same basic separation of senses on two different wiktionaries. --Bequw¢τ 21:00, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Not that useful, you can open multiple windows, then again, not intrusive, so whatever people want. I would personally much prefer we got the transliterator extension that we've been waiting for since August. Conrad.Irwin 00:06, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
"This will require cross-language cooperation to insure a single standard for aligning marks is used" - that seems like a very heavy cost for something that seems to have little use or support. I think you might say "biting off more than you can chew". Perhaps it needs the next version development of Wiktionary. What happended to that ?--Richardb 02:02, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with all this stuff, but wouldn't the standard aligning marks be headers? Almost all languages use the same basic format of ==Languag== (Sometimes with css) followed by definitions. Bawolff 20:57, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Amgine, does that mean that this can only be used for single-language entries, and other entries where the order of languages happens to be the same between two Wiktionaries? —RuakhTALK 21:40, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry about the delay in response. No, the current implementation defaults to atomic alignment - each block element will be aligned sequentially. The cool element is that, with a tiny invisible div tag, the language headers can be aligned, and the parts of speech, and the etymologies, and so on. The problem is starting the process of adding these small pieces. For en.Wiktionary it would be easy to do with Autoformat bot. It would likely be a bit more challenging to add such standardized tags on every other Wiktionary, but by no means insurmountable. - Amgine/talk 05:28, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
A point I forgot to mention: Although the comparison page shows the local article plus one other interwikied article, the edit link is only to the local page, so one can be a single back/forward click from the editor. Of course, one of the primary consumers of this would be readers as well as translators; the ability to read a more expansive native definition as well as a localized translation is often helpful. - Amgine/talk 16:34, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
For the concrete question, going to WT:PREFS and checking the box that reads:
Show an interwiki link under the language heading when one exists in the sidebar.
…yields the very simple and practical linking of Wiktionary entry in a foreign language to the corresponding entry in the foreign language Wiktionary – this is simple, low-tech, and works well for certain purposes.
The larger goal of “synchronizing all Wiktionaries” is a worthy goal, but rather better suited to a database backed dictionary, notably OmegaWiki, no? (Manually lining up paragraphs seems…baroque?)
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 08:38, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Template:bird (et al.)

Stuff like {{flower}} and {{fish}} that I can think of. Instead of proposing them for deletion, can't we just change the head word to (orthnithology), (botany) and (marine life) or something like that? We still have 700 pages using bird, but it's failed RFDO. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:32, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

No we can't, since these words are not restricted to a particular field of science but used in everyday life. So these must be deleted by hand (not doable by bot either) -- Prince Kassad 15:27, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I oppose deletion of these templates, and I oppose their removal from entries. They can be turned into category templates, such ones that are visible depending upon user customization while hidden by default. That is, these templates would be placed exactly where restrained-context templates are, would categorize the entry as they currently do, and would be invisible by default using CSS, but would have a CSS class "category-template" that makes it possible for a user like me to make them visible by placing appropriate CSS code to my custom monobook.css. On categorization, the template "bird" should categorize (as it does) an entry into the category of birds, which is a topical category rather than a restrained-context category, as follows from its name.
We should not change the showed label to "ornithology", "botany" or similar, as that would indicate restrained context. --Dan Polansky 15:52, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
You are welcome to propose a vote for such a policy, but this template currently is already in the process of deletion in accordance with a previous vote on the issue. --EncycloPetey 15:59, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I do not know of any vote on the mass deletion of these templates, but I'll gladly stand corrected.
I know of the vote Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-03/Context labels in ELE v2, which does not propose a deletion of templates. If it did, I would have opposed.
I also know of Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion/Others#Template:bird created on 29 April 2009, which, technically, is a not a vote. It is, admittedly, a precedent-making decision made outside of the full light of Beer Parlour.
And I know of Wiktionary:Beer_parlour#template:mammal, October 2009.
Anyway, I've created a prototype at the template "mammal" by placing the code "<span class="category-label" style="display: none;">(''mammal'')</span>" in there. The category label is invisible by default. The user can make the category labels visible by placing "span.category-label { display: inline ! important }" to his "monobook.css".
Other than that, votes are supposed to confirm current practice. The current practice has to grow from somewhere; it does not start with a vote. So my understanding anyway. --Dan Polansky 16:25, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
The vote you have linked above explicitly says "they must not be used merely for categorization". You are proposing using a context label merely for categorization, which is prohibitted as a result of the vote.
Template:Mammal was deleted in accordance with a full discussion on WT:RFDO. Deletion discussions are not duplicated in other locations. People may choose to watch those discussions or not, but items that fail RFD(O) should not be recreated. --EncycloPetey 16:30, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
(unindent) I am proposing that those templates that are not restricted-context templates should be turned into category templates on the model of template:mammal. I am proposing the introduction of category labels for categorization. I find these category labels convenient, and some other users like them too. The category labels are hidden by default. What I am proposing is thus in no contradition to "... context label templates ... must not be used merely for categorization"; once the templates become "category templates" they exit the scope of the term "context label templates".
On another note, if the intended consequence of this vote was to get all the templates deleted, that should have been made very clear, so that I could, in good conscience and for very good reason, have opposed in the vote. --Dan Polansky 16:47, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
The template:mammal was recreated by Stephen G. Brown, edited by me today, and deleted by EncycloPetey before short, on 5 December 2009. Thus, people interested in what I was proposing and how it looked like cannot have a look at it. The template:mammal was deleted by the RFDO vote[2], in which three people voted for the deletion: EncycloPetey, Visviva and Mzajac. In that RFDO vote, msh210 proposed a redirection, although msh210 executed the deletion which implies agreement. This vote of three people is supposed to prevent any further recreation of the template by those who happen to disagree after the process. That is ridiculous. The RFDO process is meant to prevent too hasty deletions, not too hasty recreations by experienced and major contributors such as Stephen G. Brown. --Dan Polansky 17:00, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
As I pointed out, your proposal would require a vote to go into effect. Your proposed "context" templates are for categorization only, which was prohibitted by the previous vote. You can speculate about the purpose of RFDO, and you can be frustrated by it if you like, but please note that one of the reasons for deletion states "Failed RFD or RFDO; do not re-enter", and so these items should not be recreated. This is long-standing Wiktionary practice. the fact that only three people bothered to explicitly comment is sad, yes, but that's how most RfD discussions work. Most people either agree and don't bother to comment, or don't care either way in the matter, or else don't participate. --EncycloPetey 18:53, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. I agreed with the deletion of mammal, but since there was no displayed controversy, didn't feel I had to weigh in. Startup another vote if you want to see the policy changed. --Bequw¢τ 21:12, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
(unindent) I do not want to get any policy changed. Categorization templates are not context templates; thus the result of a vote that prohibits certain uses of context templates does not apply to them. Categorization templates can be invisible by default. I have as yet heard no reasoned objection to categorization templates, no explanation of what harm they do, other than that they are allegedly context templates--which they are not--and that a vote on context templates forbids them. --Dan Polansky 11:57, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I just rfd'd {{flower}}, mainly to see what would happen. If we can word a vote right on "non-context context templates" then we can delete them per the vote, rather than by individual rfds. I just found {{city}} by chance too. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:51, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Dan, you are free to make a pure-categorization template, but I don't think that's exactly what you are intending. Categorizing on the sense line is controversial so such a template would be best put at the bottom of the entry. The name should be unlike context label templates for clarity (perhaps birds-cat). Finally, I imagine it would not display anything, ever (no CSS-optional display). But with so little benefit over simply typing [[Category:Birds]] it's no wonder that there are practically no entry-categorization templates in Wiktionary. What you proposed seemed to be a context label template for pro users (and it wouldn't even display right for them because it couldn't be "stacked" in correctly with other context labels). It would be confusing to normal editors who could see it's context-like name & placement but couldn't see any output. I would be against such a template. What exactly is the problem with just putting the plain-old cat at the bottom of the entry? What problem are you trying to correct? --Bequw¢τ 15:13, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Bequw, I have used wrong words when speaking of "categorization templates". The right term is "category label templates". The point really is to show the label to pro users rather than merely categorize the entry. I do appreciate that the category labels should better look different from context labels. OTOH it is clear that "(bird)" is not a context label, as "bird" is not a restricted context. If there is a will for finding a way how to make category labels workable, there are surely several technical and formatting options I have not looked into. On the other hand, if I get outvoted in the RFDO of template:flower that MG has just started, the discussion is over anyway. --Dan Polansky 11:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
It looks like you want to circumvent the vote for Pro users. "Category label templates" were discussed in the Vote, and to my (and others') reading explicitly forbidden. --Bequw¢τ 14:49, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I do not know how you and others read the subject of the vote, but category label templates are not explicitly forbidden in the vote AFAICS. And the phrase "to my (and others') reading explicitly forbidden" seems self-contradictory to me; either things need reading in the sense of guessing the intention and meaning, or they are explicit, but not both.
The vote was on approving the following text:
"A context label identifies a definition which only applies in a restricted context. Such labels indicate, for example, that the following definition occurs in a limited geographic region or temporal period, or is used only by specialists in a particular field and not by the general population. Many context label templates also place an entry into a relevant category, but they must not be used merely for categorization (see category links, below) ... ."
In this text I see no mention of deleting several templates, neither do I see explicit forbidding of category label templates; I see forbidding the use of context templates such as "geography" for mere categorization of, say, "river" or "mountain".
But this disagreement seems academic anyway. I get easily outvoted at RFDO of flower, which is going to formally confirm that the intention of the voters at the discussed vote really was to forbid category label templates. --Dan Polansky 18:01, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Dan Polansky, is your intention to help the reader, or just to avoid deleting these templates because it will be very time-consuming? Mglovesfun (talk) 18:08, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
MG, my intention is of course not to prevent anything merely because it seems time-consuming; and it is not all that time-consuming with the help of a bot that, with the help of a straightforward regexp replace statement, replaces each use or invocation of the template with a category assignment.
My intention is to have senses tagged with topical category labels, invisible by default to satisfy those who find this idea too pioneering or unusual. --Dan Polansky 19:11, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
We already have a way to categorize that is "hidden" by default (straight categoriation), so what you are proposing to change is to have the option of seeing the categorization at the start of the definition line. This is technically messy...very messy, since it requires coding to check all manner of things before it displays. If placed at the start of the definition line, such a template would have to interact with {{context}}, in case people started using the expected code like {{context|archaic|Australia|mammal}}, and so would have to be a kind of context template. You can't get around that by claiming it's not a context template. You are intending it to do the same job, but to be hidden from most users and from all anons. --EncycloPetey 15:03, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I've got another idea. We could use category tags like those proposed by Dan, but limited to non-English entries and added at the end of senses. This in order to avoid or limit the need to add a lot of definitions to non-English entries (like it happens in the underneath example of фаланга). You can see how this would work in User:Barmar/Italian N1, an example that I have created with an invented Italian word with invented meanings and categories. Basically, you have a categorization label ie {{tree||lang=x}} that includes a white space for comments or scientific names for plants and animals (IMHO useful because often different plants or animals share the same common name) and a language parameter. This category label would add at the same time definitions to different meanings of a given word and categories at the end of the entry. Any thoughts? --Barmar 15:28, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi there (and sorry for my written English that is not very good). Here's my two cents. And what about using for common plant/animal names something like (comm., botany) or (comm., zoology) where comm. means common name, like some dictionaries do? I mean, the template {{fish}} applied to the word shark would add (comm., zoology) at the beginning of the definition and the category [[Category:Fish]] at its end. The template {{plant}} applied to tansy would add the (comm., botany) at the beginning of the definition and the category [[Category:Plant]] at its end. And so on for mammals, trees, mollusks and so on. This would be very beneficial for non-English entries, where there is more need of categorization because we usually don't use definitions. Without category tags like botany or zoology or whatever would become more difficult to distinguish between the many meanings of a single word. --Barmar 09:28, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
I want to second Barmar here. I disagree with the results of the Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-03/Context_labels_in_ELE_v2 vote, whereby context labels now “indicate usage as jargon within the indicated field”. This may make sense in an En-En dictionary, where the definitions are fully written, but not so for FL entries. A context (zoology) would help me immediately to understand that the “shark” in акула refers to the fish and not the figurative senses. Also, with contexts (history) and (anatomy) I can easily define фаланга without explaining in parentheses that the first sense is about the military unit, the second about the bone; and the word gets categorized at the same time. In short, I think {{fish}} should display as (zoology) and categorize into Category:xx:Fish; {{flower}} should display as (botany) and categorize into Category:xx:Flowers; that’s what 90% of my bilingual dictionaries do.
Also, let's not act like Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-03/Context_labels_in_ELE_v2's 7-2-1 result is a genuine consensus. I know at least three more people who haven't voted but would like the labels behave like I described. --Vahagn Petrosyan 11:24, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Vahagn, I can tell you from personal experience that botanists do not use the common names of flowers, so to label then with (botany) would be positively misleading. Those words are not part of botanical jargon; they are used by gardeners, horticulturalists, and amateur nature lovers, but not by botanists. Worse, some of the so-called "common names" aren't actually used by anyone except publishers of field guides. --EncycloPetey 21:59, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
My point is that we should not use context labels to mark words that are part of a jargon in a certain field. To me, a context label is a means of distinguishing senses and translations of French grue. I just looked up my fr-en dictionaries: all of them mark the bird sense as (zoology) or (ornithology), and the machine sense as (technology). I cannot see why would you want to replace this useful purpose of context labels (accepted by most bilingual dictionaries) with the function of merely indicating certain-area-jargon. --Vahagn Petrosyan 13:28, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I would support reversing that vote, which I regret not participating in. The problem seems to me that as it is being implemented, it has the effect of wiping out content by converting sense-level information to language-level information. I would have hoped that this would bother people as they were doing it. At the very least the process of template deletion has to stop now. DCDuring TALK 11:52, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
@Vahagn Petrosyan: your example about акула is perfect. Actually with tags like (comm. botany) where comm. means common name or (comm. zoology) I was proposing something different: a compromise between context label = technical jargon and context label = common use/sense of the word. @DCDuring: could you please explain what you mean by 'language-level information'? (sorry, I've not understood) --Barmar 13:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry that I relied so much on context. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify. A category is naturally associated with a page, in principal namespace, an entry. By our practice, a context is associated with a sense. By our practice and category structure, we also have specialized our categories to be language-specific. I was referring to this as "language level". The narrowest specification of category information is an L2 language header. This is certainly useful. But, for long language sections (most commonly, English), it is not at all easy to determine which sense might be associated with a particular category.
For me the problem arises in associating grammatical or grammatical/semantic categories with particular senses. I am using these to attempt to improve the quality of the definitions, usage examples and synonyms for adverbs, for example. I cannot do it without context tags which are visible to me, short of some kind of rectal tonsillectomy, which is beyond both my surgical and technical skills. DCDuring TALK 15:39, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Can you give a specific example so that maybe a technical solution can be found? Carolina put forth the idea of categorizing on the sense-line. This accomplishes the goal of relating cats to senses, but it's slightly hidden in the wikitext. --Bequw¢τ 01:45, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
I was hoping for something visible without opening the editbox. I can insert as comment a terse abbreviation that reminds me of the category and doesn't waste edit box space (long full category names), but it is double work.
See the subcategories under Categories:English adverbs, such as Category:English degree adverbs. "Degree adverb" is a characteristic associated with a sense. It is arguably not a satisfactory term for normal users, but it is very useful for those who might be hoping to improve the entry. There is nothing technically complicated about having it appear as a context label and having the context template assign the headword to a category. The problem is just in whether we want to exclude that orienting information from appearing because it violates our idea of the purpose of a context label. It looks too much like scaffolding and chalklines, not like the facade of a finished building. To me we are still a construction site: entries that seemed great two years ago already could stand some major upgrades. So perhaps what I'm looking for is a class of sense templates that assign a category and provide a label that can be seen by registered users who wish to see them. If this turns out to be too complicated or of insufficiently wide interest, then I can make do, as HippieTrails seems to have, with embedded comments visible only in the edit box. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 03:44, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
But Barmar, shark is not a common name of any species; it is a everyday word which does not quite correspond to any taxonomic category. Your label would therefore be incorrect. Even more problematic, there is no longer any taxonomically defined group that corresponds to fish; zoologists use technical terms to refer to certain groups of fish, but "fish" is no longer a taxonomic category and thus "fish" is not the common name of any current zoological taxon. What you are proposing we do, then, is to inappropriately label items that are simply everyday words. Also, what would you do for a word that translates as "plant" (in the sense of the organism)? There are at least three different botanical meanings of that term in use that are very, very different. Labelling as (plant) or (botany) would not help clarify such a situation. It is better by far to put the definition in the definition, rather than try to cheat by putting some of the definition into a category tag. --EncycloPetey 21:55, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok some dictionaries don't agree on that, but I definitely prefer editing to discussing :), so if I have understood it right, in non-English entries we must add definitions to translations. I.e. фаланга (example of Vahagn Petrosyan) would become
фаланга (falánga) f.
  1. phalanx (ancient Greek military unit)
  2.  phalanx (bone of the finger or toe)
  3.  sun spider, wind scorpion (insect of the genus Solifugae<-or whatever it is) 

Can you confirm this? --Barmar 08:16, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

It could, yes, except the last could simply be glossed (arachnid) isn't an insect. However, I rather doubt that either sun spider or wind scorpion have any other meaning in English, so no additional gloss should be necessary at all. Also, depending on its actual usage, phalanx (2) could be labelled (anatomy) as it currently is. That depends on whether it's an everyday word or anatomical jargon. If it's jargon, like it is in English, then the (anatomy) context tag is correct as it stands in the entry. --EncycloPetey 15:52, 21 December 2009 (UTC)


For a few days, we need to make apply the terms consensus in our categories in order to correct a grammatical error. After an IRC confirmation, I've begun manually today, and for Category:English_terms_spelled_with_ligatures I could also test automatically with, before being stopped by EncycloPetey (I apologize for the time I made lost to him), because I've abused to let the script modify its 200 entries whereas our policy tells 10-100 entries enough clearly.

As far I can see there is now around 1,000 articles to change with a bot.

If nobody wants to do it I propose to continue 1 week with a bot flag:

  1. Your user name: User:JackPotte.
  2. The proposed bot user name: User:JackBot (already flagged on fr.wikt).
  3. The bot software you'll be using, with pointers to its source and documentation if it's not standard:
  4. An indication of the task or tasks you'll be performing with the bot: replace the string of characters "words" by "terms" in a few categories in around 1,000 articles.

JackPotte 20:21, 5 December 2009 (UTC)

Sounds okay. Create the bot User page, and indicate the replacement patterns (regexp) if you would. --Bequw¢τ 21:15, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
  Done, with the converter, it's "Category:English words spelled with ligatures" replaced by "Category:English terms spelled with ligatures" in the pages described on my bot request profile. JackPotte 22:12, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I noticed no prior consensus. I also can't understand what is being proposed. That is, I do not understand the sentences as English. The word "consensus" doesn't match my understanding. I have no idea who the referent for "we" is. I don't recognize "make apply". I have no idea what any of the discussion has ever had to do with a "grammatical error". And that's just the first sentence. It is very difficult to trust any process so dreadfully explained. DCDuring TALK 01:09, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Clearly, "hors d'œuvre" isn't a single word, and "hors" doesn't include any ligature. Yesterday I wasn't the only one to understand this current grammatical problem to let it in Category:English words spelled with ligatures, on this page, the French equivalent and on the #Wiktionary, for more than 15 days. That's why I begun to correct it. JackPotte 09:52, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
JackPotte, that's almost a punny use of grammatical, the issue is in the choice of word and the word is about grammar (you'd need a whole sentence to find a grammatical error), also you need a WT:VOTE to get a bot flag. DCDuring, I think this is "consensus" as in "lack of disagreement despite publicity" (the discussion was on WT:BP afterall). The process is simple enough, replace the many occurances of the word "words" in our category names by the word "terms"; the rationale is that a "word" is commonly (mis)understood to mean a set of letters without spaces, wheras a "term" has a broader intuitive meaning. Conrad.Irwin 10:06, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Ahh. Intelligibility. Trust. DCDuring TALK 10:29, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
If we have a bot vote, that will quite clearly discuss what the bot is actually doing, which will serve as a consensus in this case, right? Mglovesfun (talk) 10:58, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Fulfil(l)ed. JackPotte 11:54, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

What happened to "the next version of Wiktionary"

In the past there was a proposal for a next version of Wiktionary, using software specifically developed to support Wiktionary, a semantic network etc. Instead we seem to have an ever increasingly complicated Wiktionary with a labyrinth of templates and layout rules, with serious arguments between those like me, interested in adding new words, new information, but not too fussed about format and layout, and those very concerned about layout and format.

  • Does anyone know what happened to that proposed new version ?
  • Should the community perhaps be more interested in developing such seemingly necessary new software, rather than making Wiktionary increasingly complex, complicated ?--Richardb 02:11, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
See Such software would be nice, and I (and many others) have given a lot of thought to how to do it. To be successful, I think the following must remain true:
  1. It must be a smooth transition. (There's no way we can expect all users to unilateraly move to a new system that requires new training and skills, there's also no easy way to import the wealth of information we already have)
  2. It must be able to encode all the information we have now, even the stuff that means nothing to a computer and is just notes for humans.
  3. It must be flexible enough to allow non-technical users to add all the information they want to in a manner that is readable by a computer.
OmegaWiki took a different viewpoint and just started from scratch, they have lots of translations and definitions, and technical-looking pages (though I'd be the first to admit that ours are hardly less intimidating for the uninitiated).
The way I would like to see evolution in the immediate future is to stick with the Wiktionary we have in the middle, but to work downwards (towards machines) and upwards (towards humans). The downwards work would consist of adding a basic API, and then making the wikitext more regular and templatised; meanwhile the upwards work would be projects like WT:EDIT which allow the humans to add knowledge without needing knowledge of the formatting (though the wikitext will still be there for the advanced users and robots who wish/need to edit it). The difficulty with downwards development is doing it in a manner that Wikimedia will permit on their servers (i.e. it has to be reasonably efficient), the difficulty with upwards development is trying to design interfaces that are actually pleasant to use. (And of course the whole thing is made harder because you can't build in either direction individually, better editing tools need more structured wikitext, and more structured wikitext requires tools to hepl people edit). Conrad.Irwin 02:37, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd say that working upwards is more important at the moment. It would be great to have something like WT:EDIT for Wikisaurus. And for topic categories... --Yair rand 03:11, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Automatic TOC in categories

These changes were made by me some months ago, but in case you want to know, improve, criticize, praise or discuss:

  1. TOC templates are added automatically into every POS category (programmed with {{poscatboiler}}) and every affix category (programmed with {{affixcatboiler}}), considering the examples below.
  2. There is a {{ru-categoryTOC}} but not a {{ru-categoryTOC/full}}, so the existing template is added into all Russian categories that contain more than 200 members.
  3. There is a {{pt-categoryTOC}} and a {{pt-categoryTOC/full}}, so the former is added into Portuguese categories that contain more than 200 members, except those with 2500 or more members. When a Portuguese category has 2500 or more members, {{pt-categoryTOC/full}} is used instead.
  4. The exact naming scheme is "Template:xx-categoryTOC" and "Template:xx-categoryTOC/full", where xx is any language code. For consistency reasons, old messy template names such as hypothetical "Template:EnglishTOC" or "Template:TOC-en" wouldn't work.

--Daniel. 11:09, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

The big Finnish monster

Okay I was talking to Jyril about this yesterday and I think it's about time someone (namely me, at least partially) tackled this. What I propose to do is make it like Category:Hungarian noun forms. I don't know how hard it'll be but Jyril did say {{fi-form of}} or something was made in such a way that it'd be easy to do this. Thoughts? (and yes..., I know that a categorisation issue such as this is not Wiktionary as a whole's no. 1 priority but it's something I want to deal with) 50 Xylophone Players talk 19:55, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

mazel tov; whatever floats your boat - seriously. DCDuring TALK 20:10, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any purpose in these numerous noun/verb forms subcategories. IMHO they should all be kept together in one giant PoS category like Finnish. And also noun plurals categories - they make no sense for languages with cases such as Finnish and Hungarian. It's not "plural form of <lemma>", it's "nominative plural form of <lemma>" (and usually some other case as well). --Ivan Štambuk 21:23, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, I hate the idea of maybe someday having over a million entries in categories like this as I already stated on Jyril's talk page. As for the "(nominative) plural of", it makes some sense because nom. plural is the simple plural form indicating nothing but plurality, e.g. házak corresponds to "houses", whereas házakban corresponds to "in houses". Perhaps a note should be added to Category:Hungarian plurals to disambiguate the matter of exactly what kind of plurals they are. Category:Swedish plurals already has something doing the same kind of job. 50 Xylophone Players talk 15:22, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Like Ivan, I see no purpose in micro-categorizing all the inflected form entries according to the specifics of their morphologies/grammar. --EncycloPetey 02:43, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, even if you have separate subcategories for specific case forms (which might possibly come in handy, although a case in point is not evident to me at this time), I don't really see why the entries should not also be categorized in the main noun form category. I think there is greater need for a category that lists (ideally and hopefully eventually) all conceivable noun forms than noun forms within a specific case. So, to sum it up: keep the main noun forms category as it is, but by all means add the others if you find it useful. – Krun 11:29, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Main Page redesign

The Main page redesign seems to have basically died down. Anyone want to try a six-day rush job, throwing in nominations for the new features and deciding all the last minute stuff, to attempt to make the redesign launch on Wiktionary Day? --Yair rand 20:08, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Okay, that was rather ridiculous and totally impossible. We should at least try to get it done this year though, so it's still the 2009 redesign. --Yair rand 06:03, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there is enough initiative to tackle something this big any more. Some of the proposed additions to the Main Page withered long ago, and would need sustained input over a long time in order to work. I've been doing Word of the Day nearly solo for several years now, and on the rare occasion that I fail to get the new WOTDs put in, it's been three or four days before the community even noticed this. Extending the Main Page to include several additional items that require such continued and regular attention doesn't seem likely to succeed, in my estimation. I'd like to be wrong about that, but that's my own experience. --EncycloPetey 02:50, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, the "Interesting stuff" feature seems to mainly just pull stuff out of our existing stockpiles of rhymes, glossaries, appendices, random translations and a lot of other stuff lying around. I think if we trim the harder sections of Interesting stuff, and expand the standards of Word du Jour to include basically anything, this could work. But maybe not... --Yair rand 03:28, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Logo voting

... is now open, so that "Vote on a new logo for Wiktionary" link at the top of the page actually means something now. L☺g☺maniac 00:10, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I have advised the Russian Wiktionary. Please spread the word across other language projects. Anatoli 00:26, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Posted in the Spanish Wiktionary's Café. L☺g☺maniac 15:33, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Another place name deleted

Another place name has been deleted - Chiayi - a city in Taiwan, an administrative centre. It was rfv'ed, not rfd'ed. What has been achieved? How does it improve the Wiktionary? Does anybody care? I do and I am very upset. Anatoli 02:53, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I am confused. This entry was RFV'd and no one was able to provide citations for it which means the city must not exist, right? --Yair rand 03:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I am confused about the request for citation - why an what. Chiayi (Jiayi) 嘉義/嘉义 does exist, of course, not just in the reality but in the dictionaries, Wikipedia, etc. The RFV serves as a signal to delete for some, which is a big worry. --Anatoli 03:16, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Then the entry may be recreated once someone finds a citation that the city exists, right? --Yair rand 03:19, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure what drives place name haters here. Will the citations be satisfactory? Will the sources be considered "reliable"? Are these the real reason for the deletion? As if a city will stop exist, if there are no satisfactory English citations. In my opinion, it's a misuse of authorities given. The place names from the English speaking world are also welcome, not from other places. I feel sorry for my time spent on the entry - finding translations and transliterations in other languages. The English only entry itself has little value and would not take a long time to recreate. --Anatoli 03:32, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Wow, straw man much? We've had this argument enough times, I'd think you'd at least have a vague notion of what people have been telling you. Are you intentionally misrepresenting them, or were you just ignoring their explanations to begin with? —RuakhTALK 03:37, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Not quite. According to our criteria for inclusion (CFI), the question isn't whether the city exists, but whether the English name Chiayi is used attributively, with a widely understood meaning. (One can argue that the CFI allow it to be listed just as a name, like we do with given names and surnames; but first of all, I'm not clear on exactly how that would work, and secondly, that wouldn't satisfy Anatoli.) Personally, I don't RFV real place-names, given that the "attributive use" criterion doesn't really seem to have consensus, but if someone lists them at RFV, and no one provides citations, I'm not sure what Anatoli wants me to do. We've had many discussions and votes towards addressing the issue, and none of them has accomplished anything. —RuakhTALK 03:37, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Where was the vote to change CFI? I am not ignoring what I am being told, I disagree with what they say - I can only remember maximum about 5 users who would agree with you. People with this opinion (CFI based on attributive usage) are not in majority here but are the administrators with the right to delete. Yes, there were a lot of discussions and I could tell that the majority was for the increase of CFI, not for the decrease. The rule to base CFI on attributive usage is not followed, will only allow place names known to English speakers. If you want to be nice and don't know what to do when someone RFV's, place "missing citations" or other flags, add to discussion but why delete? Deletion is not productive, it's destructive, in any case. Do you personally doubt that the place exists and will have entries in dictionaries and pretending to be innocent? Anatoli 03:49, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
The simple logic is that it is not necessary that any place names be in a dictionary. It had been decided before I arrived here that they were to be excluded, except for those names that meant something beyond their literal meaning. "Golden Gate Bridge" is meaningful because its use as a jumping point for suicides appears in publications in ways beyond simple reporting of the fact of a suicide. This kind of usage is not very common, but some famous places have that kind of associated meaning. There have been various proposals to allow some kinds of places. The proposals always end up with some kind of non-lexicographic criteria that amount to to notability.
But, frankly, there seems to be no one willing to assume responsibility for making an intelligent proposal, let alone implementing it. Until there are at least two or three people who seem willing to put in the work required and start to do so, I doubt that a vote to change policy will succeed. Right now, if people are even unwilling to take the trouble to find out what geography entries might be included under current and proposed standards and do the work to cite a few entries, I think there is no basis for expecting anyone to do the sustained work required. At this point many of the geographic entries that have been made do not even meet our formatting standards. If they do not, they show up on cleanup lists. When they do, I often tag them if they do not seem likely to meet our current standards.
There seem to be quite a few people here who are already favorably disposed to place-name entries. It probably would only take a core group to make a good effort to understand the issues and make a proposal to get things changed. Perhaps someone could take a stab at something at Wiktionary:Editable CFI. DCDuring TALK 04:06, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Well suppose it doesn't? Suppose someone, as a joke, makes up a realistic sounding place name - let's say, Fjeurnsalooften, and claims it is a town in Norway. How can we protect the integrity of the dictionary from false entries without requesting proof? bd2412 T 04:09, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Use an atlas/Google/Google Earth!!! That's how lol...50 Xylophone Players talk 15:25, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
So you don't think that atlases, Google, and Google Earth constitute "proof", but do think that we should base our CFI on them? Sorry, but I don't think that makes sense. (And anyway, decent atlases don't include such place-names as Valhalla, which surely merits an entry more than Chiayi does.) —RuakhTALK 15:50, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
WTH? I never said I didn't think atlases etc. constituted proof. o.O Where are you getting that from?? As for Valhalla, while it is a "place name", whether it merits inclusion or should, IMO, be judged along with the likes of entries for Greek, Norse, etc. gods. 50 Xylophone Players talk 23:41, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
The place names situation is very similar to the given names and surnames, which also don't have an official policy. What we need here is for someone to start up a proposed policy page on place names, given names, and surnames, for everyone to work on, so we can have a vote and finally settle matters. --Yair rand 04:25, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
We've had 4 vote attempts on this issue so far, it's not such a simple matter. See Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-08/Common placenames get entries, Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-06/Placenames 2-A, Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-05/Placenames 2, Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-02/Placenames. If you want to create such a page do it, nothing on Wiktionary ever happens if the task is assigned to "someone". Conrad.Irwin 14:05, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
We also had this vote, Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-05/Names of specific entities, which I still believe to be the most sensible answer. Maybe it didn't pass as an overall solution to the proper names issue, yet it could pass in a narrower scope. I've never heard and would hardly believe analogy such as "the Chiayi of..." so I'm fairly confident the term in question wouldn't pass in English. In Chinese it's probably a different story though. And if not for Chiayi, maybe for the Chinese spelling of Taoyuan. And if not for Taoyuan, then for a bigger city like Taichung. And if not for Taichung, then most certainly for Kaoshung, depending on how inclusive or exclusive the criteria. Apart from where the line is drawn for any single language, the question becomes, would we allow translations of place names that can be cited only in a different language? If we use citation to back entries, inevitably there will be some that are highly recognized abroad and all but unknown to English speakers.
I personally think that a vote on expansion of exclusions to include "Wiktionary is not a gazetteer" (in the sense of a geographic dictionary) could culminate in a decision to or not to include placenames that are only placenames and do not have additional meanings. That might be too simplistic an idea, though. --Ceyockey 05:08, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Not to include any place names that have no further meaning, including New York, Africa, and Jupiter? --Yair rand 05:40, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I think a suitable enough criterion is whether a translations section is possible, i.e. whether knowledge of the place name is well-known enough for translations to have developed. --Yair rand 05:43, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
"Wiktionary is not a gazetteer" would not be an absolute blockade on inclusion of standalone placenames, just as "Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia" does not dictate definition content. Rather, it would set a high bar for inclusion, albeit a bar which would be open to interpretation (for better or for worse). --Ceyockey 11:22, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The most important sentence in our CFI is the first one "As an international dictionary, Wiktionary is intended to include “all words in all languages”". Perhaps some people would like to change that to "most words in most languages" - but I would prefer it to stay as it is. SemperBlotto 11:34, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Is not the entire purpose of the CFI to qualify the aspiration of "all words in all languages"? --Ceyockey 23:25, 8 December 2009 (UTC}
      Indeed. Not a single constituent of our slogan is without qualification, including "in". Much of it is necessary so we have the time to upgrade the quality of our content so it approaches that of our competitors. In the long run, we may have enough contributors to be able to successfully include more. DCDuring TALK 23:49, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
      Well, what is a word? Is a place name a word if it's proven to be in use? Is it a word if it's part of one language, meaning that other languages have their own versions? Is it a word if it has been mentioned in published works, or if has been displayed in a map or an atlas? Are all place names assumed to be words, or just those that are integrated into a language as much as any regular word? --Yair rand 00:01, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
FYI, all toponyms in all languages are words. --Ivan Štambuk 01:06, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Clarifying placename issues

To try and get some structure going here, let's assume we want "all words in all languages" and we have workable definitions for "all", "in", "language", just wishing to clarify "word" as it relates to placenames. After a few days/replies/when this whole structure disintegrates, hopefully we'll be able to see why we have disagreement; then we could try to solve it. Does anyone have short(ish) answers to the following questions, you don't have to answer them all, but try to avoid replying to answers (at least initially) any comments can probably go positively under the opposite section. Conrad.Irwin 00:37, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Why is a placename not a word?
because it's a placename. Conrad.Irwin 00:37, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Generally, word is phonetically or orthographically separable sequence of sounds (in most languages, in some due to extreme sandhi or agglutination only grammatically separable). Whether something is a placename or not has to do only with semantics. All placenames in all languages are words on their own. The whole "problem" of placenames as "non-words" was raised only to somehow degrade their status, as if they have nothing to do in a dictionary, which is in fact wrong as all modern dictionaries of all languages include at least some placenames. --Ivan Štambuk 01:31, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
re "because it's a placename": this is an empty reason, isn't it? It does not state any property of placenames from which their wordness or non-wordness could be inferred. --Dan Polansky 09:15, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
A placename, like a personal name, may be arbitrary and of no practical use to a dictionary. It seems obvious that if I decide to name my house Beedeevaynia, that would not merit an entry here (even though it is clearly a word that I have coined. On the other hand, it seems equally obvious (to me, at least, and to most of us, I think) that we ought to have entries for Chicago, Connecticut, Andorra, Gulf of Mexico, Mount Everest, and Ganymede, for example. The trick is explaining why we want the latter and pinning down the dividing line, a function I find to be fairly well served by the existing CFI. bd2412 T 04:16, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
A placename, like a personal name, may be arbitrary - Excuse me, but what exactly is this suppose to mean? How are toponyms "arbitrary" ?
...and of no practical use to a dictionary. How can you say something like that after everything what was written in this discussion. Entries or toponyms are exactly like the "normal" entries minus the definition lines. They have their own pronunciations (often extremely unpredictable), etymologies, translations, obsolete spellings, archaic varieties, slang synonyms, their own derived forms (demonyms, relative adjectives, even verbs in some cases). They are also extremely important source of etymological information (because they're usually attested before most of the languages were ever written. There are even some languages entirely reconstructed from toponyms). --Ivan Štambuk 13:16, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
If a placename is not a word, should Wiktionary include it anyway?
useful to readers. Conrad.Irwin 00:37, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
many of the same reasons as regular words: provide translations, pronunciation, etymology etc. --Yair rand 00:59, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
seconding input from Yair rand --Ceyockey 01:17, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
An entry without at least translations may be of little value but translations can't be added if the entry doesn't exist. A purpose of any dictionary for a place names is to look up its name in another language in a convenient way. The (previously) deleted Chiayi entry contained this useful information. An example, how do you find out how to pronounce 嘉義 in Russian or Korean? What do the characters and mean?--Anatoli 02:39, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Contributors can also contribute to the wikipedia w:Chiayi page. We aren't the only place people can add info to. And those pages probably have easier formatting details (though you'd have to write a few more words to make stub entries for those not already created). --Bequw¢τ 15:04, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
You cannot add translations to foreign languages to that page. In fact, you cannot add foreign-language entry info at all to Wikipedia because it's monolingual project and not multilingual like Wiktionary. We also have languages many of which don't even have an associated Wikipedia project. The type of content we're primarily interested in as a dictionary is of little or no value to encyclopedia and vice versa. The most logical conclusion is that they should complement each other. --Ivan Štambuk 15:35, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Translations are done via the iwikis (works only for languages that have a wikipedia project). This does raise the bar for editing since to add a new a translation someone has to create at a least a stub article in the foreign language wikipedia before adding the iwiki. Admittedly, no perfect. --Bequw¢τ 19:26, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Interwikis function very poorly as translations:
  1. For once, they're not translations at all. They're articles on FL wikipedias on the same topic or related topic. An article on English Wikipedia on some English village might interiwiki to an article on FL wikipedia on the entire county. An article on a certain mountain peak on English Wikipedia might intrwiki to an article on FL wikipedia on the mountain itself.
  2. Often interwikied articles are not in lemma forms. We deal with this all the time because users copy/paste interwikis from Wikipedia translations that happen to be in plural, in definite form, or similarly grammatically marked "title" form.
  3. Interwikis are bound to only one script, which is a major drawback in languages written in several scripts (like Mandarin - the most spoken language in the word). They also don't provide other additional information that our translations do: transliteration, gender and alternative display (with marked accents - often of utmost importance for proper pronunciation).
In general Wikipedia interwiki serves as a very bad source for the translations of toponyms. We could include all that I listed above plus more: historical and regional forms that will never have their own Wikipedia articles. Interwikies are opaque and decoding them requires intuition and lots of unnecessary assumption. Reading checked Wiktionary translations OTOH provides information user can firmly rely on. --Ivan Štambuk 20:17, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Why is a placename a word?
clearly a "distinct unit of language" (cf. word). Conrad.Irwin 00:37, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
it is a proper noun or noun phrase with a distinct though historically mutable meaning. --Ceyockey 01:15, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
gets pronounced, written, typed, sometimes contains no spaces, is a proper noun and proper nouns are words; in other words, looks like a word or a multi-word term, is non-SOP (the location of "New York" cannot be determined from the location of "York" and the meaning of the common noun "new"). --Dan Polansky 09:10, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Agree, but not all proper nouns are words (e.g. Winston Churchill is not a word, but two words). But most placenames are words, including New York. Lmaltier 22:45, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but where do you get these rules from? You've provided no evidence that the "wordness" of one is different than the other. I think it's far more "fuzzy" than you assert what a word is. --Bequw¢τ 23:52, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
If a placename is a word, why should Wiktionary not include it?
waste of time, it's in Wikipedia. Conrad.Irwin 00:37, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
dog is in Wikipedia, too. But information included is not the same. Here, it should be linguistic info, just like all paper language dictionaries dedicated to placenames (they mainly deal with etymologies). Lmaltier 22:45, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Especially since the default search here no searches Sister projects like Wikipedia. --Bequw¢τ 15:04, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
a distraction from core task of being as good a dictionary as our competitors. DCDuring TALK 00:52, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
We are competing with someone ? --Ivan Štambuk 00:57, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Like all living things in this universe. DCDuring TALK 02:23, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
In order words: we are not competing with anyone, and you're simply using a blank and invalid argument. --Ivan Štambuk 02:38, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I responded in kind to your vacuous question. DCDuring TALK 12:54, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
My question was hardly "vacuous". You gave a serious answer - that apparently inclusion of toponyms somehow "degrades" long-term goals of Wiktionary, as if we're effectively competing with commercial dictionaries. That is hardly the case. Wiktionary and all of the other Wikimedia projects are based on free, volunteering effort, and even tho certain goals may be more "desirable" from someone's perspective than some others based on the utility for the end-users (e.g. coverage of "big" and "important" languages as opposed to smaller and "less significant" ones), forcing contributors not to contribute valuable content is principally against Wiki principles of collaboration and self-managed creation of content. --Ivan Štambuk 14:54, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
It is gratifying to see you lay out this set of principles. My and your attempts to persuade are part of the "managed" part of self-managed creation of content. Collaboration among ourselves to compete with others is something I hardly can object to. I can think of at least a small number of "smallish" languages whose contributors I have tried to encourage. To prevent further OT divergence from I have opened a heading for #Competition. DCDuring TALK 15:44, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
In the sense that we aim to provide useful information to users and there are other sites that offer similar content, yes we are competing. If we don't try and address the needs of the user, and DCDuring thinks there are more important way we can do this than working on toponyms, then all of this is intellectual masturbation. --Bequw¢τ 14:25, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
This a volunteering project, no one is getting paid to do anything, and contributors are free to contribute in any domains then like to. It's preposterous to think of us "competing" with somebody. In this tempo Wiktionary won't reach the quality and coverage level of comprehensive English dictionaries in at least 5 years. I'm sure that DCDuring would like it to be sooner, but this kind of exclusivity fascism will not "force" anyone to contribute in the direction they don't feel like contributing, and DCDuring and his English-focused friends would. Toponyms are hardly an "intellectual masturbation" - their study is a well-established discipline in lexicography and historical linguistics. There is absolutely no reason why Wiktionary couldn't function as a dictionary of toponyms. --Ivan Štambuk 14:54, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
To prevent further departure of this discussion from its original susubject I have started a new header #Competition. DCDuring TALK 15:54, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Let me get this straight: You're basically saying:
  1. If we allow toponyms as entries we'd enter "a new arena of competition" that would somehow degrade the quality of "normal" (non-toponymic) entries?
  2. It is desirable to explicitly forbid creation of certain type of content if that measure would "force" contributors to focus on domains that are from someone's perspective more "important" as long-term goals ? --Ivan Štambuk 15:45, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Instead of achieving pre-eminence in one field, which is very possible, we will remain the fifth best free online English dictionary. DCDuring TALK 15:54, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
And I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. We'll get to the quality of commercial dictionaries sooner or later (much sooner than Wikipedia will reach the quality of commercial encyclopedias). This is a free dictionary and explicitly forbidding certain type of content is against the tenets of free knowledge that the Wikimedia Foundations cherishes. It's all about choice. --Ivan Štambuk 16:02, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
their definitions are quite difficult to nail down with much accuracy without resorting to inclusion of encyclopedic content --Ceyockey 01:15, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Can you give an a few example toponyms whose definitions are "difficult to nail down"? --Ivan Štambuk 01:21, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
This appears to be addressed adequately below without my providing redundant input. --Ceyockey 03:58, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Where below? Can you list a few such examples here? --Ivan Štambuk 13:17, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
How do you say "of or pertaining to Moscow" in Russian? Or "woman citizen of Moscow" ? How do you pronounce it? What is the etymology of that word? How does it inflect? What is the translation of that word in languages that don't have Wikipedia articles on Moscow (or worse, don't even have Wikipedias at all)? Countless lexicographically relevant information can and should be be included. The problem is not whether allow toponyms or not, but to set the lowest bar of criteria for their inclusion. --Ivan Štambuk 01:03, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Wiktionary cannot do justice the special needs of placenames: special data structures, special data, maps, photos, without doing great violence to its existing content and seriously challenging its technical resources. DCDuring TALK 02:23, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Not a good excuse, DCDuring, Wikipedia can do these things much better. Place names dictionaries don't have to do this. The linguistic information is all that's required - meaning (minimal info), spelling, grammar (gender, declensions, etc), pronunciation, etymology, translations, alternative names/spellings if I haven't missed anything. Anatoli 02:29, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
What special data structures? Photos would be nice (at most 1), maps are of no use (though linking to google maps or similar external resources in ====External links==== should be allowed). Absolutely everything else would simply follow the normal layout of WT:ELE. --Ivan Štambuk 02:38, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Coordinates, borders, overlapping borders, changing borders. Without some geographic information this is of minimal value, especially to users in the host language. With geographic information, it will start and remain far behind WP, Google Earth, etc. DCDuring TALK 12:54, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Coordinates can be trivially linked to in ====External links==== (they're static). Borders and order geographic information that you mention are completely irrelevant for our cause: this is a dictionary and we only focus on lexicographically relevant content. Users who want to find out how do you pronounce, inflect, translate X, what is the demonym or relative adjective of X, or the etymology of it, would look it up in a dictionary. If they're interested in X's climate, population and industry - they'd look it up in encyclopedia. You're really exaggerating when you claim that this is "of minimal value" - this type of information we could provide Wikipedia normally does not provide at all, and neither to Google Earth and others. We are not interested in providing the type of content they provide at all. --Ivan Štambuk 15:16, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and in my opinion, Google Maps could be used to confirm the existence of the toponym. I don't see any difference in checking out the existence of place names from other words. Like with any word human errors are possible but a simple check is easy for people worrying about the integrity of entries. Real and significant names are easy to check, especially in English. Anatoli 02:45, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Services such as Google Maps aren't "published" in the traditional sense. They can and do change the info in their mapping database. How then could we properly cite & reference this changing medium? --Bequw¢τ 14:51, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Coordinates are static aren't they? We could possibly embed them in some kind of template that will generate link to several online Maps services (Google Maps, Bing Maps etc.) This is really something completely optional. --Ivan Štambuk 15:22, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Clarifying placename issues — AEL
(a) they are traditionally excluded from dictionaries; only few place names are included by them if any;
(b) there are overwhelmingly many place names; (bi) they overflood the random-page function, and (bii) they overflood the next-page and previous-page functions, analogous to browsing a printed dictionary page by page;
(c) place names are not really a part of the vocabulary of a language; their knowledge is not needed for understanding of texts. I am not sure how valid these reasons are, though. --Dan Polansky 09:08, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Though there are many advocates-in-principle of WikiGazetteer entries there seem to be no advocates-in-action. IOW, lots of talk, no work. If no one can be found to even put forth a proposal that anticipates and answers practical objections, why should we expect this project to be anything other than a waste of time on a scale vastly larger than these tedious discussions? DCDuring TALK 12:54, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm shocked by this comment DCDuring. This whole discussion started after one of our editors did actual work, and complained after the entry was mercilessly deleted by one of the admins strictly abiding by the defective policy that basically prohibits 99.999% of world's toponyms. It's important to settle down disputed points (which apparently range from "placenames are not words" to "placenames are worthless from lexicographical viewpoint) first before making any kind of formal proposal. The purpose of policy pages is not to settle objections but to codify established consensus. --Ivan Štambuk 15:30, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
We have a never-ending stream of vandals who do that kind of "work": adding entries or other material that doesn't meet CFI. The true work that has to be done is to make a proposal that defines the change to be made and anticipates and addresses the issues that will be faced once CFI is relaxed to include the entries that ought to be in a Wikigazetteer project. What you define as "work" seems to be whatever someone wants to enter as long as it is properly formatted, without regard to any policy, guidelines or practices concerning inclusion. The intent of the existing rules is to exclude most toponyms. It is not accidental.
The resort to pejorative labels makes this discussion more like some kind of public demonstration rather than something practical. DCDuring TALK 16:25, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I've said more than once that I'd personally lock this project to registered users only. 99% of IP-generated content is either vandalism or so badly-formatted that it needs someone's attention to the point that the entry was better created from scratch. And the vandalism argument is not particularly strong IMHO: very rarely are the IP-generated entries toponyms. It is highly unlikely that there is a stream of some vandals out there that is eager to create thousands of low-quality toponym entries that would cause havoc on RfV. It's is much more likely that it would stay confined to a group of dedicated regulars who are primarily interested in that type of content. Like we have Makaokalani and Alasdair for personal names.
Anyway, as I said, the only thing that I see that needs to be done, judging from this discussion, is raising the bar a bit higher, so that we evade mass creation of stubbish entries. --Ivan Štambuk 17:08, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
As we have no intention at present of locking the project to non-registered users, I suppose that the WikiGazetteer proposal could wait until that time.
It is specious to use the behavior of users now to suggest their behavior in the future in such a way. If users find that we have place names, they will be more likely to look up their own favorite places and, finding them missing, add them. These are just the kind of entries and users that we need, I suppose, to successfully achieve high coverage of place names.
I eagerly await the arrival of the users interested in that kind of content. Do we have three from existing active contributors? Are they willing to do the real work of making a credible proposal that anticipates and addresses problems and objections. Or is there just going to be more whining, blathering, and fencing. Fencing can be a fun diversion, but it doesn't accomplish much. Why doesn't someone who wants this start a project page and get this show on the road? DCDuring TALK 18:25, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
It is specious to use the behavior of users now to suggest their behavior in the future in such a way - no, it's prefectly reasonable and common-sense. My prediction is based on the observation of empirical data, yours on some irrational apocalyptic scenario that has no foundation in the actual history of IP edits.
As I said below, we could explicitly request that all toponym entries be created with citations or some kind of additional value. That would significantly throttle "creation only for the purpose of creation". No we're not interested in coverage of world's toponyms at all - we're interested in the coverage of lexicographically relevant data. Entry such as ==English== ===Noun==={{en-proper-noun}} # City in Southern Arizona is basically worthless. But, if it includes some kind of information that a dictionary is interested in - that's entirely different thing. Once again, we are not interested in defining toponyms (as you cannot "define" onomastics): we're interested in including absolutely everything else.
We already have at least 1 user that happens to be quite interested in placenames: Anatoli who initiated this discussion in the first place. How many are there is irrelevant to this discussion. Feedback is still being actively gathered and discussed. There is absolutely no hurry as we have 117 billion years ahead of us (that's how long universe is going to last). --Ivan Štambuk 20:01, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
It seems (and I hope I'm not over simplifying too much) that those for toponyms are arguing that the only real criteria that should be used for inclusion is whether or not it (a toponym in this case) is a word. Taking that argument ad absurdum, would they be for the inclusion of any person's name (eg Ben Affleck) as well? People's anmes seem to share all the same dictionary needs as toponyms: they have translations (some are transliterated, some go to the nearest cognate, and some are reproduced exactly in the original script), etymologies ("we named him after ..."), inflections (in some languages), they are proper nouns, and there are mononymous and polynymous members. I'm definitely against including non-attributive senses of people's names, so I'm suspicious of the "for toponym" arguments. If some people are for toponyms but against individual names, how then should the criteria for inclusion be expanded beyond the the simple "is it an (unidiomatic & attested) word/term" test? --Bequw¢τ 14:47, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Translations, pronunciations and inflections of personal names are almost always equal to translations, pronunciations and inflections of individual component parts combined, which we do allow as entries. I wouldn't really consider a factoid after whom sb was named that name's "etymology" - it's a result of non-linguistic, external sources that are not the topic of a dictionary. Except if that is somehow connected with the word's meaning (which usually is not in case of personal names, except in nicknames). Our inclusion criteria for toponoyms (and all of onomastics in general) should be expanded to allow all toponyms in all languages, every village, hill, river, lake, mountain peak on Earth and elsewhere: every Martian canyon and Moon valley, asteroid or galaxy. We only need to agree what is the lower limit of quality for their creation, in order to only have quality content and not thousands of bot-generated stubs that are worthless (like Wikipedia does). Something like "at least one translation, link to Wikipedia, and coordinates linked to in Google Maps". --Ivan Štambuk 15:10, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Hear, hear. --Vahagn Petrosyan 15:50, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
While this has its ground, Ivan, please take into account the demand for 3 durably archived quotations, which the entry should provide, if demanded. If I create entries for hills and rocks in the vicinity of the village of my grandparents, e. g. Голо бърдо (not that from the western part of the Macedonia region) or Черната скала, they most certainly would fail such a procedure, even under Bulgarian headers (not to speak about English). In my opinion, it would be accepatable to allow such entries, if they are attestable by three quotations (though I am not favourable of them being prædicative), thus making no præcedent in current policies. Why not set a limit of, say, 10 000 inhabitants? Or even 10 inhabitants, if you will, some threshold is indispensable. There is no use in accepting defunct small settlements (I am not talking about Pompeii, but about El'ginski for example). I personally like your point of view, I myself am an ardent supporter of Aut Caesar, aut nihl, but let this comply with the extant policies. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 16:17, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Mandatory requirement of 3 citations when creating an entry could also serve as a reasonable alternative to prevent automatic creation of stubbish entries with little or no lexicographical value. Population as a parameter is a very bad choice, because there are some villages that are depopulated or barely populated today but have centuries or even millennia old history. In what external way (e.g. population, economy, historical significance etc.) is a certain toponym "important" shouldn't be a argument: that's the prominence type of inclusion criteria used for an encyclopedia. We don't care of the properties of real-word objects that the toponyms refer to, simply because we're not interesting in defining them at all (it is arguable whether onomastics terms can be defined at all, in the sense of normal gloss-definitions that we usually provide). In that respect, all toponyms are equally important. The more "important" and "less important" toponyms could have equally thorough entries and equally minimal definitions. The "important" toponyms are likely to get more attention and eventually rise in quality, and we should simply allow that process to occur spontaneously. --Ivan Štambuk 16:54, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
But Ivan, you're reasoning just separates multi-word proper nouns from single-word proper nouns. You're comment amounts to saying that usually peoples name are polynymous, and the constituent words are usually already in the dictionary. But, by applying that rule to places as well, you'd include "Moscow" one word, but not "New York". I don't think that's the inclusion criterion you're looking for. Why should toponyms as a class of words be treated differently that people's names?--Bequw¢τ 19:22, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
No, it's impossible to e.g. translate "New York" to FL by translating "New" + "York". In most languages it's actually some kind of counter-intuitive phonetically adapted form that regularly needs to be learned. Or perhaps it is some kind of a calque, or possible even some completely indigenous term (although that it very unlikely in case of New York. Perhaps in some Indian language or sth). In case of "John Doe" translation would literary amount to "John" + "Doe".
Also, I don't really see the point of drawing comparisons with polynymous personal names. We are not discussing their inclusion at all (and nobody wants them included anyway). Place names are special and distinct category and we should focus only on them. --Ivan Štambuk 20:28, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

OK, so say I'm reading a historical fiction book and come across a placename, say Ouagadougou. I get interested in the name and want to find information on a) how to say it, b) where it derived from, c) what it is, anyway, and d) how to say it in Spanish, the language that I'm learning at the moment. I don't want the Wikipedia article about the city itself, I want a dictionary entry which includes etymology, pronunciation, definition, translations, perhaps a map and a link to Wikipedia for information on the city itself. I look it up in Webster's Third, which gives pronunciation but really no other helpful information. Then I turn to Wiktionary, and find Ouagadougou with pronunciation, a definition and translations. Not perfect, but it does contain the information I was looking for and not much extra.
OK so that didn't really happen, but it could, and that would be why we would include such information. Right? Or did I misunderstand this whole discussion? L☺g☺maniac 16:34, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment. For translations to be useful, it's not enough to include place-names; we have to include actual places, indexed by name, like a Wikipedia disambiguation page. For example, consider the place-name Paris. I imagine that most modern languages have a name for the capital of France; but do they all use that name when referring to Paris, Texas? Now, there's no intrinsic reason that we can't include places — that's what Anatoli has been pushing for — but before we make that leap, I think we should pause to consider whether we really want to do that. That's a lot further than we go with given names and surnames. (At least, it's further than we're supposed to go, according to the CFI. In practice, we do currently include a lot of specific people, just as we do currently include a lot of specific places.) —RuakhTALK 17:59, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Sure. (And don't forget Paris, Missouri! And probably a boatload of others) Maybe then the definition would read "A placename used most commonly to refer to the capital city of France but also to several places in the US and elsewhere" and, if the languages have different words for different places, use maybe two trans-tables: one for Paris, France and one for others with explanations in the table as to which city each term refers to? L☺g☺maniac 18:12, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Different toponyms that happen to have the same form in English must be separated. In FL they might have different forms: e.g. French Paris being borrowed from French and American from English. Some languages might have some "native" term, others might not and use some international that happens to coincide with some other placename. There are countless possibilities. To me the best would seem not to separate them in the definition lines, but in different subsections altogether. --Ivan Štambuk 19:47, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Who said anything about "different toponyms that happen to have the same form in English"? Plenty of American cities are named after European cities — same toponym, no "happen"-ing at all. —RuakhTALK 20:25, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, toponyms may have several senses, derived from each other, just like other words. And linguistic info about these senses (pronunciation, demonyms, etc.) may be the same or different. Lmaltier 22:45, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Yup, we agree. —RuakhTALK 04:35, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
That's a good point, Ruakh, that including placenames as names are including placenames as referring to specific places are two wholly different things. That was the idea behind the vote I proposed in August: I thought that names as names, at least, could be agreed on. (I was wrong, apparently, as the vote stalled due to opposition.) But the difference between names as bare names and names as referring to specific places is one that's not always made, leading to discussion at cross purposes. Specifically, I don't think everyone taking part in this discussion is talking about the same thing.​—msh210 23:34, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment. Just to qualify an "afore-made" comment, whereby someone said at least 1 person (Anatoli) was interested in this matter. There are at least two others, making for a total of three.

Allow me to explain separately:

First, there is myself; last year I created entries for two toponyms (each specifying a place in a different country) : Tarica and Nkinora. Sure, I did create them for the Christmas Competition, but there was also the underlying, ulterior motive of actually making a nice, little, new entry to add to Wiktionary's "menagerie". ;-) Sadly though, they were later obliterated after allegedly failing RFV, no doubt due to certain (IMO) half-assed parts of the deformed chimera that is CFI... N.B. these in anyone's eyes were surely not the worst thing to emerge in the name of someone who wanted to win the competition. I remember the undesirable and waaay too uncommon relatives of T. rex and E. coli all too well ;P
Secondly, there is SB. I cannot cite any specific place but I know that in the discussion of votes on matters like this and whatnot, he has called himself an inclusionist and thus pushed (if only slightly) for the inclusion of stuff like this. 50 Xylophone Players talk 22:28, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Comment The "attributive use" condition strikes me as possibly causing some somewhat strange effects: say that "Venice" is verified as being used attributively, so that the page may exist (rather: the 'city' sense of that entry). But may we then add translations of that word (in particular the city definition) without first checking that the translation verifies the attribution test? Or should translations to language A (which never use its word for "Venice" in an attributive manner) be unlinked? Or perpetually red? Also, I can't say I ever understood the why attributive use would be relevant as a condition. CFI mentions "New York", and that it's included because of the existence of terms such as "New York delicatessen". Okay, I can see why that could motivate us to include the adjective. But why would the adjective motivate the proper noun? Why an all-or-nothing situation? Why either both adjective and proper noun, or none? Sorry, but I simply don't understand why the presence of an adjective is relevant to the presence of a proper noun. \Mike 23:21, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Many dictionaries have similar restrictions on entries for people and places. The OED for instance on includes them if they are used attributively, possessively (eg Foucault's pendulum), figuratively, or allusively(to meet one's Waterloo). It's general practice to note the geographic/biographic referent and then explain the meanings that extend beyond that referent. --Bequw¢τ 00:00, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
This is because the EOD does not want to include all words, its option is the traditional one in language dictionaries: excluding proper nouns (except when there is a specific reason to include them). But other language dictionaries are specialized in first names, other ones in surnames, other ones in toponym etymologies. We have no reason to specifically exclude placenames (no space limit). Including all words including toponyms might seem an issue for the random page feature, but this feature is not for those looking for information. Lmaltier 07:10, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Lmaltier is correct: comparisons with traditional monolingual dictionaries are pointless and misleading. We are multilingual multi-purpose dictionary, and there is no reason why we couldn't also function as a dictionary of onomastics (personal names, toponyms, *nyms of all kind). These themselves already have their own specialized dictionaries, and there is plethora od lexicographically relevant data that we can build on and integrate into "normal" entries. --Ivan Štambuk 13:07, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
On self-management and self-allocation of contributors as resources: Like some other editors and contributors above, I think each contributor should manage himself as a human resource rather than being managed by the collective of editors. If a person wants to allocate his scarce resources including attention and time to contributing toponyms, he should have the option. The only question should be whether that person's lexicographical toponym-documentation activity should be channeled to Wiktionary or to a dedicated Wikigazetteer project. Either way, the person is going to be spending part of their time and attention outside of English definitions. --Dan Polansky 11:17, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
To me the question is not simply about the time and enthusiasm of those who want toponyms, it is also with the loss of focus of the project as a whole. What technical resources we have will be spread yet thinner. Those who have the knowledge and experience to integrate a new class of entries into Wiktionary will find more and more demands on their time. There are likely to be a steady stream of compromises and confusions about the policies, guidelines and practices applicable to various classes of entries, as should already be evident in the discussion of attestation.
I think Wiktionary could play a role as an incubator for a portion of the content of Wikigazetteer. But for Wikigazetteer to be in any way limited by the structure, policies, guidelines, practices, habits, reputation, and volunteer base of Wiktionary or Wikipedia seems silly for an enterprise of such promise. Wiktionary is having difficulty in getting even Wikisaurus, a subproject close to the core of the function of project, to a level of coverage and use approaching that of the main dictionary. DCDuring TALK 11:56, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
To me the question is not simply about the time and enthusiasm of those who want toponyms - the question should be only about that. Absolutely everything else is irrelevant.
it is also with the loss of focus of the project as a whole - Again, there is no such thing as "project focus" that you speak about. People are free to contribute whatever interest them, whenever they want. There is no pan-project management and strategy. Common interest groups ("wikiprojects") and "could you help me with this"-type of wiki-friendships arise completely spontaneously.
Those who have the knowledge and experience to integrate a new class of entries into Wiktionary will find more and more demands on their time. - that is their problem not yours. We already happen to have people creating valuable toponymic information that is being deleted under the absurd CFI policy. That is much more relevant problem than any of your could-be scenarios, which I personally find very far-fetched. Who are we to forbid them to contribute what they like in their free time?
There are likely to be a steady stream of compromises and confusions about the policies, guidelines and practices applicable to various classes of entries, as should already be evident in the discussion of attestation. - Nothing more problematic than what has be done with "normal" non-onomastics entries. Again you're making ominous predictions without empirical data to substantiate it.
Wiktionary is having difficulty in getting even Wikisaurus, a subproject close to the core of the function of project, to a level of coverage and use approaching that of the main dictionary. - Wikisaurus receives as much attention as is statistical interest in it among Wiktionary contributors. Like every other part of this project. All of them are "having difficulties" as being undermanned and missing a bulk of essential information. But that is of absolutely no concern to the problem of forbidding toponymic entries on Wiktionary and I would be grateful if you finally stopped insinuating causal relationships between the two. --Ivan Štambuk 13:02, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Many place names - large, well-known and with lots of linguistic information are still in danger of being deleted. Please vote in Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-03/Placenames with linguistic information are accepted to save them if you can. The vote needs some clarifications. --Anatoli 10:33, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Active discussions

Richardb suggested that Wiktionary should have an "Active discussions" category a little while ago, which I thought would be really useful, so I made the {{discussion}} template, which, when placed on a discussion page, will (hopefully) place the discussion page in Category:Active discussions (not made yet, waiting to see if anyone proves the whole thing impossible) if the page has been edited in the past three days. The category will list the pages in order of how recently they were edited (I think).

Any comments, suggestion, criticism, proof that it will never work and is entirely impossible and/or ridiculous? (I've actually never had something like this work on the first try so it's pretty unlikely that it will work properly.) Could someone please try to review the template to see if I messed up before it's put on talk pages? --Yair rand 06:58, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

This category was deleted (by me) in 2007, along with {{active discussions}}. It does not work, it requires people to manually add it, manually remove it, and to manually look into the category, it doesn't allow people to chose which discussions are relevant to them, the watchlist is a much saner way of doing this, that has been proven to work. Because of the way pages are cached, the template will only be re-processed when the page is edited, and so all pages it is added to will appear in the category sorted under 0. (The previous template just added the category). Conrad.Irwin 13:57, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
You mean it will stay in the category permanently?--Yair rand 16:32, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, how about this: a template that when subst'd will replace itself with the same template using subst'd nosubst ... that would subst REVISIONTIMESTAMP as the first parameter ... inside noincluded comment tags ... and will show parameter one ifeq:PAGENAME|active discussions ... with the rest of the page inside noinclude ... and the active discussion page could take the revision timestamp and calculate it there and show it if it's less then three days. Does that make any sense? --Yair rand 17:44, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
That only solves manual removal, not manual addition, nor classification of relevantness. It will also still only remove the page when someone else edits it (i.e. the chances are someone will find the discussion in the category, go and reply to it, and thus remove it from the category despite the fact that the discussion is renewed). Conrad.Irwin 18:28, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
If you have something like {{#ifexpr:{{#time:U|{{CURRENTTIMESTAMP}}}}-{{#time:U|{{Wiktionary talk:Wikisaurus}}}}<259200|[[Wiktionary talk:Wikisaurus]]}} on the active discussions page it still won't update automatically? --Yair rand 18:34, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
No, you can test at WT:SAND, which is 20091207201652. Conrad.Irwin 20:17, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Placement of example media

I am unsure of where on entries to put "example" media:

  • Sounds (not pronunciations): Where would I put an example sound file of a laugh at laugh?
  • Images: How do we put more than one image per Part-of-Speech without making the entry look too clutter. One attempt at A#See also 3 put's all the images in an image gallery in a =See also= section, but I don't think that's what the header is really for.
  • Text (not quotations): Where should we put "The ball was kicked by Fred" on passive voice? We currently use {{examples-right}} a bit, but it's right-aligned (most real content should be at least able to be put inline), and makes some pages look weird, such as prepositional phrase.

As these all deal with the actual referents rather than the word, how would people be disposed to adding another heading to WT:ELE, such as =Examples=, or something better worded? There would of course be formatting to determine and placement (under each PoS or Etymology?). --Bequw¢τ 22:56, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

I am in favour of this, but also couldn't feel of an amazing title for the section. Examples is probably good enough (at level 4). Conrad.Irwin 22:59, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
If I can remember it, I found an article where I checked the French from T-bot, but with the image and {{wikipedia}} notices, the English section interfered with the French. It should be in my last 500 edits, so I will look tomorrow when I wake up. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:03, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
The idea of a =Examples= header sounds good to me. L☺g☺maniac 23:12, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, sounds good.​—msh210 17:45, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
The additional sound file may interfere with the pronunciation audio when the index is generated. I had a sound file for cselló in the See also section and it was picked up as the pronunciation in the index. This entry does not have an audio file. --Panda10 23:24, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
I should fix that, and only loook for audio templates under ===pronunciation=== ? Conrad.Irwin 02:55, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Part of the ratinale for {{examples-right}} is that its rhs positioning conserves vertical screen space. Images and examples both seem to fit into the same broad class of non-core content. I don't know how non-human users of our content handle such material but it is safe to assume that human users like to see useful content at the first screen they land on and some direction to what might lie below the fold. If examples have good content that illustrates a particular sense, then we should have the ability to place that content as close as practical to that sense, without radically disrupting user habits and expectations. I don't really see how a separate header accomplishes that better than our current non-standardized approach. DCDuring TALK 00:22, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
And many times that lay right-hand side layout is perfectly fine. We have decent ways of adding an image or a text example to the right-hand side and we should find a way to do audio like that as well. But my question is, what do we do when that layout looks bad, for instance when we get more than a couple media for a PoS? If there are too many quotations for a sense, some go in a quotation section. I think we should have the same facility for examples, and the decision to use the subheading would of course be on an article by article basis. --Bequw¢τ 00:51, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
It just occurred to me that we have had galleries of images in entries. See head. No header to set it off, just <gallery> HTML. DCDuring TALK 02:17, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Technically, everything is under some heading (unless it's before the first L2 like {{also}}). In this case, the image gallery is under a =Quotation= heading, which seems just about as right/wrong as what was going on with A#See also 3. --Bequw¢τ 02:41, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I've yet to see {{examples-right}} in a context it didn't look cluttered. It's wider than the images which makes it look out of place, coupled with the margins being wrong and the yellow bizarre, it's a truly dreadful effect. For audio examples, it is possible they will fit in a side-audio template like a sister-project box, but I'm not a huge fan of those either. Conrad.Irwin 02:55, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Ruakh admittedly just cobbled something together, for which I am grateful. Now that it has been used a bit we have a population of situations that such a thing should handle and we can emend, amend, or replace it. We don't have so many uses that we couldn't virtually start over. The side-bar approach is widely used in contemporary textbook publishing as well as on the Web. We would probably benefit from looking at the approaches that have gained traction on the Web on sites that are comparable from a user PoV. DCDuring TALK 12:34, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I have to admit that most of my previous complaints were removed by forcing the width to be like a box (though there are still some pages that explicitly set the width of it to 50%, yuck!) and by removing the right floating TOC stuff from my monobook.css (I'd forgotten that wasn't turned on for everyone). Conrad.Irwin 12:43, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
There are cases where the examples are long, too long for the default width. Whatever the weaknesses of the sidebar approach, having text examples (of figures of rhetoric or of any linguistic phenomena) appear unmarked and in-line confuses them with usage examples. That was and is the only essential point with respect to textual examples. Achieving consistency of presentation with other classes of examples media seems desirable, as does conserving vertical screen space and some proximity between definition and example. The head example shows that we can't always get even three of the desiderata, but long entries are multiply problematic anyway. DCDuring TALK 13:00, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I tried putting {{audio}} in {{examples-right}} on laugh. Works OK. --Bequw¢τ 01:12, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Glad it worked. At least it's a good second step, now fairly well advertised. DCDuring TALK 02:29, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Started Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-12/Addition of Examples header to ELE

Could we perhaps use "Illustrations" rather than "Examples", as a more general term? -- Visviva 01:36, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
That might look weird with example sound files. What about "Samples" or "Representations"? --Bequw¢τ 09:00, 26 December 2009 (UTC)


In response to Block ID: 53325 initiated by Mglovesfun <> .

After attempting to ADD CITATIONS to an entry WITHOUT ANY, I've been completely removed form your website. I can't even log on and edit the entry on dysafferentation that I STARTED AND CITED with my original username. It is not just a chiropractic word, and that misleading bit needs to be removed; but I can't.

I am sloppy, and editing my entries must be difficult and annoying to administrators. For that I apologize.

I study in Missouri, USA. I am earning a doctorate at a fully accredited institution with several hundred formal education hours under my belt. I know a lot about the history and use of the word subluxation as it is used everyday in the USA and around the world. I am aware of the controversy and disagreement within even the Chiropractic profession surrounding the word. So I attempted to begin to add bit by bit, every reliable source defining this word SPOKEN EVERY DAY FOR NEARLY 100 YEARS.

When the entry was changed back WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION. I edited it again, with good intentions, using DIFFERENT AND NEW INFORMATION, and told those who disagree to read more of the scientific literature on the topic.

Originating in mid America, chiropractic is a legitimate scientific profession. I understand it is historically primarily an American phenomenon; just you wait. My entry may not apply in France where McFunGlove's lives and studies, I don't know. But I didn't find any affiliation with the French Chiropractic Association on McFunGlove's user page. He left me without anyway of contacting him.

An updated definition for subluxation is needed. Chiropractic may not be as big and the most trusted and used method of healthcare in the word, TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE. However, there are thousands of chiropractors with millions of benefactors who say the word SUBLUXATION multiple times a day. AND THEY DON'T MEAN "LESS THAN A ISLOCATION." If allowed to debate with FunGlove, we could perhaps have agreed on a new entry "chiropractic subluxation complex;" But nobody except maybe 1st year chiropractic students would say it that way.

I was called STUPIDLY STUBBORN, but McFunGlove gave no citation or even an adult explanation!

He explained "This is a dictionary. We do definitions, we don't do biographies or miscellaneous information" Too busy to read...

1. A publication, usually a book, with a list of words from one or more languages, normally ordered alphabetically and explaining each word's meaning and sometimes containing information on its etymology, usage, translations, and other data.

AS DEFINED BY WIKIPEDIA! "and sometimes containing information on its etymology, usage, translations, and other data."

I tried to make the connection between the French luxation leading to a word commonly used to mean "less than a dislocation." (Etymology) DENIED

I tried to make the connection between the Latin lux leading to a DIFFERENT word literally meaning "less light" (Etymology) and connotatively used to mean "a condition of less life" (Usage everyday in America, found in online advertising for chiropractic care) DENIED

So I got the message. And changed my approach.

I tried to add the historical usage as definition by the founder and by the developer of Chiropractic, with four requirements for a subluxation. (Other Data)

I tried to stimulate further study by adding that the osteopathic term "somatic dysfunction" describes a subluxation complex (Other Data) (Dr. Still, also part of mid American history and who collaborated with Dr. Palmer)


Somatic dysfunction is in the current literature and not on your website! I'd add it if I could.

I used recent sources and intended on collecting the newest agreement among chiropractic colleges in American as well as agreement among current chiropractic physicians. Including a recent poll of chiropractors, majority of which agreed they wanted to keep the word "subluxation."

In my explanation for my edit I stressed the importance and need for more multidisciplinary sources. THERE WEREN'T ANY before I came along. I TRIED WITH GOOD INTENTION TO JOIN YOUR ONLINE COMMUNITY. Until further notice I will understand I am unwanted here. YOUR LOSS. I just wasted some time, but it was worth it. Now I know to STOP DEFENDING AND RECOMMENDING WIKTINARY to my peers.

I must add, in case anybody is blind to the fact, that a large population of humanoids are living in the dark ages; for lack of resources, time, ability, or EFFORT. I used to view Wiktipedia as a part of the solution. I was wrong.

THE ONLY CLINICAL ENTITY THAT CHIROPRACTIC CLAIMS TO TREAT IS SUBLUXATION! I'm not talking about partial dislocations. As a student I am hinting at fixations causing dysafferentation and therefore contributing to cord sensatization, neurogenic inflammation, and sympatheticotonia. Most importantly, as a future practitioner of strait chiropracTIC, I am thinking about how to remove a strangle hold on your brainstem.

WHAT A HEAVY, LOADED WORD! And McFunGlove would have you read one fragment about it.



To repeat what MG said on your talk page, this is a dictionary. We do definitions, we don't do biographies or miscellaneous information. The content you added was not appropriate for Wiktionary. And please don't type in capital letters so much. --Yair rand 22:07, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I understand where you are coming from, typing-in-caps-supposedly-no-name-user. However that first usage note simply didn't make any sense, and the historical stuff you added after that was way, way too detailed. Wiktionary is supposed to help the average person understand how words are used - not give detailed linguistic, socio-cultural, professional and/or historical information. Although I'm not directly involved in this dispute, I can see how perhaps Mglovesfun could have communicated this to you better. However, it would appear he was merely following Wiktionary's guidelines. Tooironic 22:26, 7 December 2009 (UTC)
    Indeed. Long explanations that go into detail are for Wikipedia. Your contribution seemed to talk a lot about one specific person, which I thought might have been yourself as we get quite a lot of promotional material on here. If I had nothing to do on here but reply to contributors, my reply would have been much better. But instead, I created and checked some entries. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:29, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

Why delete orphaned talk/citations pages?

Per Citations:American-born Chinese. Is there any advantage to deleting this, if so, what is it? At the very least archived deletion/cleanup/verification discussions should not be deleted when the article is. I notice this is in our policies, and I can see that in some case it is appropriate, but in others not. I sometimes feel a bit mean when I delete a legitimate, intelligent discussion because the entry failed RFD. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:05, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

It was copied without thought from Wikipedia. The talk page should be decided on its own merit, often there is nothing useful there, but sometimes there are previous discussions which it seems a shame to delete (that said the chances of anyone refinding them unless they are linked to is quite small). Conrad.Irwin 16:12, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I'd favor keeping both the talk and citations components by default. They are a bit more findable in the talk and citation spaces than anywhere else I think.
Also citations are sometimes not for the exact spelling (spacing/hyphenation/ligature/diacritic) of the headword. If we are going to have these headwords, then ultimately the citations ought to be sorted appropriately. However, I would not want to burden the closing of RfDs with this. Perhaps we could bot-identify such citations. both in citations pages and in entries. Ultimately, all these fine (and some are not really "fine") distinctions might be worth respecting in full. DCDuring TALK 16:19, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree we should by default keep citations, though for deleted-as-SoP entries they can move to the appropriate parts' citations' pages instead of remaining where they are if anyone wants to bother. (If we already have equally lexicographically interesting citations of all the parts, then the sum's citations can be deleted.) Talk pages are a good place for the RFD/RFV discussion to be archived; if the archivist goes another route than archiving there (we have no fixed process), then the talk page should be kept or deleted depending on content.​—msh210 17:43, 8 December 2009 (UTC) Actually, what Ruakh says below about consensus makes more sense. 19:30, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
We have no formal procedure for archiving, but everyone seems to use WT:PDE for deleted stuff, probably because if it's deleted we delete the talk page too, so it can't go to the talk page. I still think that's somewhat useful as it keep the terms together by letter. And I suspect nobody is going to bother retrieving the thousand-or-so archived debates and putting them on talk pages, so it will have to stay! Mglovesfun (talk) 17:50, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Re: "everyone seems to use WT:PDE [] we delete the talk page": Actually, no. In the past thirty days, you're the only one who's touched the PDE pages; and you're also the only person I've seen deleting these talk-pages. So the main problem is that you were doing it a different way from everyone else, destroying other people's efforts. (To be clear, I'm not blaming you; you didn't know better, and you seem to have stopped as soon as you realized. I'm just saying, you've already fixed the problem, and no further discussion is necessary on that subject.) —RuakhTALK 18:34, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think "orphaned" citations-pages should normally be deleted; after all, the major reason we created that namespace is to keep track of citations for entries that fail RFV or RFD. I don't think that all citations-pages are worth keeping, but our standards for them should be much, much lower than for entries. We deleted "American-born Chinese" because we (FSV of "we") decided it was SOP; but unless there was unanimous consensus that the term was obviously and unambiguously SOP, then I don't think that decision should carry over to the citations-page. —RuakhTALK 18:34, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
What Ruakh says makes sense to me. Keep citations-pages with exceptions; keep SoP citations pages unless there is an unanimity about their SoPness. Keep talk pages with expections. --Dan Polansky 19:18, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. And to add: “Citations pages for uncontestedly SoP phrases shall have their quotations copied to the citations pages of each of the phrase’s constituent words.” Agreed?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:42, 8 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't oppose "Citations pages for uncontestedly SoP phrases shall have their quotations copied to the citations pages of each of the phrase’s constituent words", yet it seems that copying citations of uncontested SoPs to the citations pages of the constituent terms should better be optional, especially for the case that the constituent citations pages are already full. --Dan Polansky 06:45, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Citations pages can’t (in practice) be filled. How many is too many? Fifty? To my knowledge, there are maybe two such citations pages in the entire English Wiktionary. That simply isn’t a problem. OTOH, requiring such copying ensures that editors’ work and the sorely-needed citations resource (upon which a descriptive dictionary ought to be based, and of which we have an extreme paucity) aren’t wasted. Copying should definitely be obligatory.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:26, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Err on the side of keeping Citations pages, and even when everyone agrees to delete, you can still keep the citations themselves by moving them to a different page. 05:50, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-12/Unidiomatic multi-word phrases to meet CFI when the more common spelling of a single word

Figured I'd go for it now. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:33, 8 December 2009 (UTC)


A somewhat OT digression from the placenames discussion is the nature of the competition Wiktionary is engaged in. Rather than clog that discussion any more than it already is, I am attempting to lead this thread here.

The competition that Wiktionary is engaged in is not a voluntary thing. We are in it whether we choose to acknowledge or not. Depending on one's profession, one's living circumstances, one's life experience, and one's ideology, one may be more or less inclined to perceive it and accept it. Wiktionary competes for:

  1. the attention of users (against other online and other references);
  2. the time of qualified and willing volunteers (against a great number of language-oriented commercial, non-commercial, and semi-commercial (ad $) sites);
  3. for technical resources from WMF (against our sister projects);
  4. for financial support from WMF or potential donors (against other language-oriented educational vehicles).

Whether attempting to compete in a new arena against new competitors by entering a new universe of entry types will help us in any of these competitions for resources more than, say, quality improvement or targeted recruitment of volunteers is a yet undiscussed set of questions. DCDuring TALK 15:28, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

From what I gather, according to your personal opinion the most important part of Wiktionary are the English definitions: you want to forbid placenames so that people would focus more on that part. But Wiktionarians are not a herd of cattle; if you bar them in one direction, they won't necessarily flow to where you want. People who do placenames, will do them; others who focus on en-content, will focus on it. Besides, I don't think Wiktionary's English content can ever compete with commercial dictionaries: not in 5 years, not in 10. I know I never use it. Where we can compete are the translations, FL-entries, great etymologies, inflection information and lexicographical content about placenames. IMO. --Vahagn Petrosyan 16:18, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Please keep the placename "discussion" under its heading above.
I personally believe that:
  1. the English language is the host language,
  2. English entries are the only one's that usually have full definitions and translations,
  3. English entries are what most users expect us to be good at,
  4. English entries are our most numerous entries.
  5. Many of our English entries are wrong, dated, or incomplete.
  6. Consequently, many of the translations are likely to be misleadingly wrong.
  7. If we continue to fail to get enough native English speakers to contribute to Wiktionary, then English Wiktionary will fail and, with it, all the translation work.
Wiktionary's main problem is the quality of the English-language definitions, the principal reason English speakers and, especially, writers use a dictionary. As these definitions are the targets of the translations, translations are unlikely to be superior in quality to the English definitions. There is no quantity of definitions and other work that is likely to overcome a significant English-definition quality deficit. DCDuring TALK 18:44, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry to break it down for you DCDuring, but in case you haven't noticed most of our native English contributors have rather limited contributions to English entries. In fact, they mostly focus on non-English entries in a language they happen to be studying at the moment. English entries have achieved enough quality and coverage to host FL entries, and only rather obscure and rarely used words have remained to be added. (As well as many -ly, -ness, -ian, and similar secondary forms, as well as countless idioms that are being coined faster than any dictionary could record them). We cannot "fail", because our goals (all words in all languages) is pretty much impossible to achieve anyway. After some thinking, I pretty much agree with that Vahagn has written: as the time goes on English entries will constitute ever-smaller and smaller number of total Wiktionary lemma entries, and most visitors from the Web will come here to look up inflection tables or a pronunciation of some Russian or Japanese verb because we happen to be the only site on the Internet that provides it.
I have no idea how to attract more native English contributors that are willing to contribute to English entries, but as the time goes on and Wiktionary's general quality improves, the threshold for making quality contributions will only rise and only rare sort of language freaks would left to be attracted.
I personally see little difference in a thoroughly covered FL and En entry - if the only difference is that the En term has definition lines (which FL term can have in terms of glosses). It would be IMHO extremely wrong to impose prejudice that English is somehow the "primary" target of this project and that absolutely everything else needs to be modeled around that thesis. No: We're here primarily to lexicalize words in all languages using English as a host language.
People are contributing in domains they feel like however they're able to. Our greatest potential lies in the inherent medium which is not bound by physical capacity, and the integrative approach. We simultaneously function as En-En, En-FL, FL-En dictionary, as a dictionary of names, etymological dictionary, we allow phrases and idioms, slang, proverbs, absolutely everything imaginable under the sky but which has never ever been compiled together.
I also firmly believe that in distant enough future EN Wiktionary will subsume all the other FL Wiktionaries. Perhaps in some OmegaWiki-type of common platform, or simply because we'll have 10 times more quality entries in their native languages than they do, and they'll get so demotivated to simply relocate here. So it's sth to keep in mind for the long-term. --Ivan Štambuk 19:40, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
I am completely in agreement, and I take issue only with the 'impossibility' of achieving the goal. There are a finite number of words in all languages out there (so long as we are not compelled to 'define' the endless streams of gibberish uttered by madmen), and I'd bet that our 1.5 million entries covers a good chunk of all the words that have ever been that would qualify for inclusion. And if we add another twenty thousand place names to that total, so much the better, we'll draw more people to the site through them. bd2412 T 15:58, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
There's 5,000 living languages; at 20,000 words per language, that's 100 million words. I estimate that Cook's Anglo-Saxon dictionary has 28,000 entries, so I bet that's a serious underestimate for all but the moribund of those.--Prosfilaes 23:04, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I think at the end of the day users will contribute however they want to; like Vahagn said, we're not "cattle". :P I'm not a fan of this apparently negative attitude, that the project somehow has the potential to "fail" because of supposed lack of quality in our entries. Now, I'd be the first to admit that Wiktionary has a long way to go to add new entries in English (not to mention the LOTEs) - but let's not forget how far we've come. I, for one, actually do use Wiktionary as a resource - it's quick and easy to search and, best of all, no ads. :) Moreover, I enjoy adding to the project and watching it grow, and see it more like a personal record of everything I learn in my language pair (Chinese/English), something which is very useful for me personally. As for this "competition" you speak of, DCDuring, isn't the whole point of volunteer programs that we don't have to desperately conform to commercial interests? Call me naive, but I'd rather just enjoy my time here and get on with the work that has to be done. Tooironic 21:43, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, there's competition considering a lot of things. Including, I'd like to add, competition for volunteer's time from different tasks which all have to be done, or at least could be done. Such tasks all have different weights for different users - if I may take myself as an example, the three tasks which compete most successfully for my attention while I'm here are Swedish definitions, Swedish translations and templates for Swedish, in that (approximate) order. Contributing to English definitions is quite far down, by the simple reason that I know my English is not quite advanced enough to do so. Would I instead like to add place names, to reconnect to the issue that started the whole discussion? Certainly not impossible, but most likely mainly Swedish. But: if these were to be banned - perhaps even further than they are today (I am e.g. not at all certain that Helsingfors would qualify under a strict interpretation of CFI - Swedish exceedingly rarely use noun attributively at all - if ever.). I would for certain not add more English definitions instead, by reasons already put forward.

So, in short I'm of the opinion that you can't be certain that people will work on what you think is important to work on just because you ban work on other things. Competition simply doesn't work that way. Instead we may see them go elsewhere where they *can* contribute with their special interests. \Mike 23:59, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

At this time, I'm only going to respond to DCD's #7 "If we continue to fail to get enough native English speakers to contribute to Wiktionary, then English Wiktionary will fail". The first website I spent my time contributing to allowed contributors the same kind of freedom (mostly) that Wiktionary or Wikipedia has, but existed long before either one. The small number of contributors that we had (about 6, but most of the content work was done by 4 people in their spare time) tended to focus on preparing content in smaller or lesser-known subjects, and we often overlooked the larger ones that people might normally expect users to want to find. What we discovered was that this bias actually contributed to our success. We kept very detailed statistics on how people arrived, what they went looking for, etc. In a growing internet, where most sites were focussing on general and big-picture items, we succeeded because our site floated to the top in searches for all the hard-to-find and obscure things people went looking for. We developed a reputation for being the place to look because of that, and the Smithsonian awarded our web site a medal. So, I have to disagree with DCD that failings with our big-ticket entries in English will lead necessarily to failure. It leads to problems (and often errors) in our Translations, but not failure. --EncycloPetey 02:38, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
What are the implications for us of your site's experience? The one I draw (of course) is that it would be really good to have good statistics on hits for anons, by source or source type (our own wikilinks, internal search box, sister-project link, portal (eg. OneLook), and search engine (Google)) and on which were the high-volume hits (eg, MILF).
Is the site still going in some form?
I don't know what you mean by big-ticket English entries? The long ones? The high-frequency-in-use ones? The high-frequency-of-hits ones? The high-number-of-translations ones? DCDuring TALK 18:01, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the site is still running, although it's no longer growing like it used to, and has accordingly dropped in terms of its profile (relative to other similar sites). Policy and personnel changes that were made after a few years practically locked out additional growth of the site. Instead of free editing access to the various contributors, everything (new images, corrections, additions, minor edits) had to go through a single individual who had other responsibilities besides the site. As well, the various active contributors all left for other work around that time. The site does now have a professional graphics designer working to make things look nicer, but most "real" content has changed comparatively little since I was involved.
By "big-ticket I mean those words that are common, have many meanings (eve if we lack them), and usually have sizeable entries in print dictionaries as a result. --EncycloPetey 04:38, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Toneless pinyin

There seems to be a consensus that toneless pinyin entries are not desirable; despite this they continue to be created. I've never seen it explicitly stated, so it would be nice to have something concrete. Nadando 19:26, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

They are quite ugly aren't they? And yet I suppose some beginner Mandarin learners might find such entries useful. Like many aspects of Chinese entries on Wiktionary, there is no consensus about this (AFAIK). I don't see anything wrong with them per se, as long as the actual tones are provided in the entry, along with tones in example sentences. (Unfortunately this is not the case with Shijieyu, renzao and some of yuyan, for example.) That being said, it would be hard to police such requirements as we Chinese contributors are stretched as it is and I think most of us probably don't want to spend our time adding tone marks to pinyin entries when we could be doing much more interesting things. So, yeah, there's two sides to it. Tooironic 21:50, 9 December 2009 (UTC)
For the record, I have been mainly responsible for deleting some of them and I have been doing so as per the precedents at talk:ou and talk:ojo. —Internoob (Disc.Cont.) 01:03, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Removing words easily attested in print, of the type that a reader is particularly likely to need help discerning, simply makes the dictionary less useful. bd2412 T 01:45, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Also, the discussions you cite do not offer a "precedent" for wholesale deletion of thousands of entries. They involved very few members of the community, and ojo is not even Chinese. bd2412 T 01:59, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
It failed RFD. (Twice.) What can I say? I am aware that ojo is not Chinese. The very same arguments apply to Japanese as to Chinese with regards to romanization.
AFAICT, these words are not attested except other-language texts. We don't use disambiguation pages on Wiktionary. That's why we have {{also}} and why the search feature displays hits for forms of the query with different diacritics. —Internoob (Disc.Cont.) 02:21, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
here is an example of a book filled with toneless pinyin (worse yet, it mixes sections of toneless pinyin with sections of pinyin with tones, to guarantee maximum reader confusion). Toneless pinyin entries are not disambiguation, they are entries which reflect the actual use of words in the real world. If we prescriptively prohibit such uses, we merely prevent the dictionary from being useful to those most befuddled by the words they encounter. In any event, only two specific terms failed RfD, one of which is not a syllable, and is inapplicable to the specific discussion of pinyin syllables, which are the fundamental elements of the Chinese language. You offer no means of determining which particles are more or less likely to need such an entry, nor any means of assisting readers who come across a toneless term for which one option is an actual toneless entry (such as bo). Unless and until there is a statement of policy on this subject which achieves the broad consensus of the community (and not three people voting in an RfD), there is no basis for putting the resources into tearing down the hard work that went into making the hundreds of entries that have been made for this purpose. bd2412 T 03:31, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, we have had at least one or two discussions about this topic on Beer Parlor in the past. I believe the decision was to permit non-tone Pinyin entries, provided that they are properly formatted. However, non-tone entries are not a priority. Since most students of Chinese quickly move to Chinese characters within a few semesters, I originally decided to place an emphasis on non-tone entries for Beginning Mandarin words. In fact, I had made it through to the T's in the Beginning Mandarin list, before getting sidetracked with other things. Take a look at bangongshi for an example of a properly formatted non-tone Pinyin entry. Thanks. -- A-cai 02:35, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
To me, creating toneless pinyin entries seems not worth too much effort. I don't think toneless pinyin has no usage at all. E.g. since this is the official romanisation in China and company, product or street names may have this spelling. However, more important is to have proper Chinese entries with pinyin with tones. If a word has become an English word (or other languages) - like jiaozi, guanxi, pinyin, they are no longer just Chinese and the entry should say it. I already mentioned on abc123's page that toneless pinyin could be ambiguous like yaofang and we don't have the disambiguation pages. There are two many possible combinations, even pinyin with tones seems to be a waste of time but perhaps it could be used to find the proper Chinese entry or if search allowed to enter toneless pinyin (or with tones) to find the Chinese entry with ease. --Anatoli 00:53, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I've thought this over, and think I have a solution. Instead of the current layout, we can simply use the {{misspelling of|}} template to correctly characterize toneless pinyin transliterations as a misspelling. bd2412 T 18:30, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
Different alternatives could be linked together as these examples: niuroumian, niúròumiàn, niu2rou4mian4, 牛肉麵, 牛肉面.
This format may be a practical solution for linking different alternatives of Chinese entry: {{cmn-noun|p|pin=[[niúròumiàn]] / [[niu2rou4mian4]] / [[niuroumian]]|pint=niu2rou4mian4|tra=牛肉麵|sim=牛肉面}}
I'd go for that. As pointed out, these words are used. Are we denying that? Mglovesfun (talk) 18:34, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
That would be an RfV question - and it's not particularly hard to find volumes of toneless pinyin when you know what you're looking for. Can we get a bot to do the work though? Shouldn't be to hard to pluck out the forms that I added and replace them with templated lines. bd2412 T 18:47, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
An example of the lyrics of the Internationale in Romanized Chinese (non-tune-marked Pinyin)
One more example: Examples in Romanized Chinese (toneless Pinyin)
Romanized Chinese (non-tone Pinyin) are used in the Internet such as:
* Google hits: "niuroumian"
* Google hits: "kaoshi"
  • I don't think anyone really doubts that toneless pinyin transliterations exist. The question is, should we exclude them from the dictionary anyway, and, if we do include them, how do we do it. bd2412 T 02:29, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I've changed a few to reflect them as common misspellings - see ai and bo, for example. bd2412 T 06:09, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Maybe use the template "{{alternative spelling of|lang=cmn}}" is better, because toneless Pinyin are formal spellings in some cases, such as this and this
  • Good point, although I fear we'd have to track down an official usage for each word to justify calling it an alternative spelling, rather than a mere misspelling. I suspect that if we look at enough street signs and official documents in China, we'd get every one of the 1,400+ base syllables. I'm game for whatever the community thinks is best. bd2412 T 15:49, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

My deletions and moves have all been reverted at this point. My sincerest apologies for acting without the due consensus. —Internoob (Disc.Cont.) 00:13, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

I am going to open a vote fairly soon on how these issues should be addressed - should we use the current single-sense format, template these as misspellings, or template these as alternative spellings. bd2412 T 05:31, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

FWIW ou didn't failed RFD simply because it was toneless, but also because it acted as a dismabiguation page and we don't do that here. So I wouldn't apply that example too easily to all other pinyin. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:36, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Still working on a proposal - will take some time, as I'm pressed this week, and I'm aiming to get it right. Cheers! bd2412 T 05:13, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Please take into account the efforts, the number of contributors we currently have and may have. Proper Chinese entries (in Hanzi, this is English, not toneless Pinyin) or translations from English into Chinese should be the priority. It may be fun to write sentences like "ni qu nar? wo qu mai dongxi" but this is not the proper Chinese and we are a dictionary. let me compare this with the discussion on place names. The English vocabulary here is in a very advanced state, we can add some extra stuff - expressions, place names, etc. Chinese content is still very low or not enough for a decent dictionary. As a result, we still need to save efforts and add more (proper) Chinese contents. When this is more or less achieved, we can worry about redirects, toneless pinyin and other features. --Anatoli 05:22, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, my primary concern is individual toneless pinyin syllables - of which there are only about 410, and for which I already made entries several years ago. The format of the entries that I made has been disputed, so the main question is whether to keep, delete, or change, those existing entries. bd2412 T 16:17, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

{{prefixsee}}, {{suffixsee}}

These templates transclude from from Category:x pages suffixed with y, to insert a list of derived terms into prefix and suffix pages (see ante-). I'm hoping that this will make the categories more useful / visible. I don't know if it is possible to style so that it is not simply a long vertical list. Thoughts? Nadando 00:12, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

With CSS columns, this should be doable using <categorytree>, which according to the documentation takes the style attribute. Of course, columns aren't official yet, and older browsers (including I think current versions of IE and many others) don't support them.​—msh210 17:29, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Loving this. Make it multi-column, please. --Vahagn Petrosyan 20:06, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

(British) Alternative spelling of

We have any number of entries that have {{UK}} {{alternative spelling of}} (or {{US}} {{alternative spelling of}}, but for brevity and clarity I'll stick to the UK ones). Some of these are actual UK alternative spellings: that is, they are alternative UK spellings of words that are, in the UK, primarily spelled a different way. But many — I suspect the vast majority — are actually the primary UK spellings of the word, but listed as {{UK}} {{alternative spelling of|some US spelling}}, I assume for want of a better way to wikify it. Well, that way now exists: Thanks largely to Conrad, {{context labelcat}} now exists, and — though I wish to avoid technical discussion here — can be used, if we slightly modify template:alternative spelling of, so that the latter template displays

  1. British spelling of foo.

linking 'British' (as {{UK}} does), and categorizing both as cat:English alternative spellings (as the template does now) and as cat:British English (as {{UK}} does). This method is already being successfully applied with {{eye dialect}}, q.v. This seems like a great boon, though care must be taken to only apply this change to primary UK spellings and not true alternative spellings (as I distinguish above), but I wanted to check here first to make sure there's no objection to this fairly major change.​—msh210 17:19, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

While the idea is fine in principle, I forsee a complication. We have a number of "UK" entries that become (UK, Aus) or (Commonwealth). Could this idea work with multiple regional contexts (and would that work well)? I also think this might be inconsistent formatting. There are some definitions whose usage is strictly "UK", so having a split in ofrmat style between those entries that have a restricted sense versus those that have a regionally restricted spelling could be confusing for both editors and users. --EncycloPetey 03:27, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Re the "UK, Aus" issue: Should be doable by means of multiple parameters (e.g., from, from2, ..., from5) and code similar to that found in template:also. I'm not sure I understand your second issue, though, EP, so can you please give examples (made up, if you prefer) of the different kinds of senses that you say will confuse people?​—msh210 18:21, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Two examples:
  1. If we say kerb is the "British spelling of curb", then how will the user know which meaning of curb is used in the UK?
  2. If we label kilometre as "British spelling of kilometer", there would be no doubt about the deifnition, but we'd be inconsistent in labelling. Consider that lift in the UK is the same as elevator in the US, but we can't say it's a "British spelling" because they're not the same word. We have to use (UK) to mark that deifnition of lift.
So, with the proposal above, we'd have some entries labelled with (UK), but others labelled with a non-gloss definition line. That's inconsistent and would confuse both editors and users. --EncycloPetey 04:02, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
There's currently no form-of template on [[kerb]]: there's a full definition. I have no problem leaving it there (nor, even, leaving full definitions on both kilometre and kilometer). I merely want to modify existing form-of entries, which brings me to your second objection. Yes, there will be inconsistency the way I envision it, but better inconsistency, imo, than inaccuracy, which is what we have now with "(British) Alternative spelling of..." on things that are not alternative in the British context (but, rather, the only British spelling). I'd even be happier with "(British) Spelling of..." than with what we have now, though I think that "British spelling of..." less ambiguous, referring more obviously to an only-spelling-of form.​—msh210 18:03, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I like this idea, though I assume there are some cases where two spellings are British, so it really is {{British}} {{alternative spelling of}}; but this is certainly not the common case, and I would support moving to embedding the dialect in the template. Conrad.Irwin 00:28, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Fine. I will implement this. Thanks for your input, folks.​—msh210 19:02, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Category talk:Topical context labels

Give your two cents, please. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:23, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

You propose that you sort topical context labels currently found in Category:Topical context labels into subcategories, for which you are planning to create new subcategories in that category. The reason or stimulus for your proposal is that you find 567 items in the category for topical labels too much.
I think having a flat category for topical labels is just fine, so I'd prefer you don't. --Dan Polansky 14:50, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Dan.​—msh210 18:17, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

bare-butt etc.

I'm not entirely happy about this "bare-butt" spanking stuff in example sentences (scroll down), as continually added by Verbo/Fastifex. They aren't natural-sounding examples and seem to exist only to serve some fetish. OTOH I don't know any Dutch to replace them with something saner. Should they be cleaned up? Equinox 07:41, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

IMO yes, we do not censor but there's no reason not to replace an example with a better example. This is a good example of one to replace, this one seems more justifiable as it's in the right context. It does seem to be a "fetish" of Verbo's as you say. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:29, 13 December 2009 (UTC)
This user has been blocked three times for this already, please do so again. Conrad.Irwin 13:07, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Link to Foreign Language Wiktionary in inflection line?

On reflecting on the doublewiki vote: might we consider linking to the foreign language wiktionary in or near the inflection line, as we already do for translations?

For example, on the page for renard (fox (in French)), list the main line as something like:


as is currently done by the translation {{t}} template?

This is because the most compelling reason to visit other language wiktionaries is to see their coverage of their own words – thus somehow highlighting this or making it easier would be very helpful, as we already do in the translation section.

Including a link in the inflection line may be distracting, but currently the link to the French entry for renard is relegated to the “in other languages” box, between فارسی (Farsi) and Galego – it would be great if it could be highlighted more prominently. Thoughts?

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 07:59, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

There is a preference which does something similar. If you check the option "Show an interwiki link under the language heading when one exists in the sidebar.", you'll see it does something similar to what you ask for. Of course, one could consider doing this the default option... someone? \Mike 08:19, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Mike! That’s exactly what I had in mind. It’s admittedly a bit buried – perhaps it’s useful enough that it should be default?
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 08:27, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
The one drawback to this is that there's no guarantee that the entry will be for the same language. That is, our Galician entry for cantar might let you go to the Galician Wiktionary, but their entry might be only for the Portuguese or for the Spanish word with that spelling. Programming the links to go to the other Wiktionary and to the correct language section is much trickier. --EncycloPetey 03:56, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
This is a good point - there is no guarantee that a language (esp. a less-used language) will necessarily have entries for their own language (for terms that exist in their language and others), so I'd be careful about doing anything too formal or automated (too many moving parts), but it's a pretty good bet, and perhaps worth highlighting.
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 04:23, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Fundraiser (again)

For those who find the strangely centered, colour-pulsating, fundraiser banner as irritating as I do, the WT:PREF, "Hide the display of site-wide notices at the top of the screen." is bliss-inducing. Though a similar effect can be acheived by adding

#siteNotice, #fundraiser, .fundraiser-box {display:none; !important;}

to your monobook files. Conrad.Irwin 02:28, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The current banner doesn't show for me, but it does seem to interfere with the acelerated page creation. I usually have to attempt to create the page three or more times before it fills in the information correctly, which is very irritating. --EncycloPetey 04:23, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Anagram layout

As noted by Bequw, the anagrams section of tesla was fairly monstrous, I've updated it to put everything on the same line, which uses about 5% of the amount of screen space. As this change goes against the example given in WT:ELE (though not against the text), I thought I'd ask your permission before updating Conrad.Bot to use the new horizontal format henceforth (old anagrams sections won't be updated unless they need anagrams added or removed). Are there any objections? Conrad.Irwin 02:28, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

The "eveything on the same line" link above should be to, not what it links to now.​—msh210 02:59, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I prefer the one-line way. It does seem to violate ELE, but I, for one, am willing to overlook that, or change ELE.​—msh210 02:59, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I think they should be kept vertical unless it's longer than five or so. We have the same situation we the synonyms/antonyms lists, that they look a little ridiculous when they get really long. I don't think there should be a bot running in violation of ELE, so I think it might be a good idea to hold a vote to modify ELE. --Yair rand 03:11, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
From memory, synonyms are supposed to be in horizontal lists, one per sense. I did think about the "up to five" idea, but it seems fairly arbitrary; a word with five synonyms has five lines, a word with six has one; if the word with six was still on five lines it would feel more consistent, but then it wouldn't make much sense. Conrad.Irwin 13:34, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Maybe the vote can trim the Anagram section of the ELE a bit, and have the majority at Wiktionary:Anagrams, that way if we want to make minor layout changes a vote won't be required. --Bequw¢τ 17:03, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
What if we did like this for large sections?:
The one-line proposal is fine too. I'm not fussy about the arbitrariness of what defines a "long section", personally. —Internoob (Disc.Cont.) 03:24, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that's worthwhile. I would prefer we be fully consistent, rather than collapsing some sections and not others, and the vast majority of anagram sections aren't long. We could use visible columns, if needed. --EncycloPetey 04:21, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I am still under the impression that all on one line is more aestetic, would people prefer multiple columns? Conrad.Irwin 12:58, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Using one line for all anagrams entries is a possibility with me too, as long as we do it consistently for all entries. --EncycloPetey 13:06, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Started Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-12/Modify anagram section of ELE. --Bequw¢τ 23:33, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

I prefer all on one line, as opposed to the two in the vote, but I'm not overly fussed. Conrad.Irwin 23:35, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
How would you prefer to show the alphagram (the only reason that I listed two lines instead of one). --Bequw¢τ 01:13, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
As above: Conrad.Irwin 11:33, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


Is this actually useful as a context template? For example, at [[Nuremberg defense]], what does the "idiomatic" tag tell me that's not otherwise obvious? —RuakhTALK 15:53, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

The fact that a given set of words is idiomatic is already given by its mere existence, as is explained at WT:CFI. However the template categorizes to [[:Category:<language> idioms]] which is useful, so it might just need a different name. -- Prince Kassad 16:45, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
That would be true were it not for the numerous actual exceptions to WT:CFI that actually exist, not all by accident or unintentional neglect. DCDuring TALK 17:59, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I think it's possibly overused. There are certainly some pages where it is used well, putting heart under {{anatomy}} is pretty much stating the obvious too. There are cases like mettre en bouteille where, for me, the tag helps. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:56, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Some uses and beneficiaries:
  1. It is useful for editors as a marker of that justification for inclusion (or lack).
  2. It is useful to all to distinguish idiomatic from non-idiomatic senses of a headword.
  3. It has been useful for English editors as a tools to migrate away from use of Idiom as a PoS header in favor of more grammatical PoS headers. It might be useful in the same way in other languages if they migrate away from the Idiom PoS header.
  4. It is useful to new users as a marker of a departure in en.wikt's approach to idioms (separate headwords) vs. what most general print dictionaries do (placement under the first and/or "heaviest" component word).
  5. It is useful, mostly for editors, because it creates a category which can be provide a useful list for scanning or for narrowing clean up lists using the intersection search tools.
As a matter of policy we might do well to not assume the identity between being idiomatic and meeting WT:CFI. We already have a few entries that are explicitly only translation targets and more "phrasebook" entries. DCDuring TALK 17:59, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
As DCDuring implies, since we (arguably de jure, and certainly de facto) include unidiomatic senses of idiomatic expressions, this is useful.​—msh210 23:11, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Really? O.K., if we assume that "unidiomatic" means "not being an idiom" (which isn't what it means in real life, but is basically how we use it here), then I'll grant that we do include some "unidiomatic" senses. But aren't those the exception rather than the rule? Shouldn't those senses be the ones set apart (by giving definitions such as {{non-gloss definition|Used literally; see this, is, not, an, idiom}})? I mean, if we were only using {{idiomatic}} at entries that have one or more "unidiomatic" senses, that would be one thing (though not my preferred approach), but at an entry like [[Nuremberg defense]], how is a reader supposed to guess the purpose (and therefore meaning) of the tag? (BTW, I don't think "Nuremberg defense" is really an idiom in the ordinary sense of that term. I suppose it's an idiom in that it's multiple words and not guessable from its parts, but it's actually more of an "allusion". I don't think anyone uses it without knowing what it refers to.) —RuakhTALK 23:26, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Ruakh here.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:44, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
No, the only appropriate use I can think of for this tag is on idioms' entries that have "unidiomatic" (as we use it here, yes, Ruakh) senses. But now that you mention it, marking the unidiomatic senses does make more sense.​—msh210 00:45, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
There is a great deal to criticize in our definition and use of this tag. I would welcome a recommendation in detail as to how this could be done better and how any change could be accomplished without the process being entirely manual. It would be nice if we had some concept that did not require large-scale revision in one or two years. —This unsigned comment was added by DCDuring (talkcontribs).
I'll look for some examples of where this is used in Latin. I find the {{idiomatic}} and {{figurative}} tags very useful for Latin, since there are many Latin words that have an "everyday" or literal use, but also have one or two senses that are highly idiomatic. Marking them as such shows much more about meaning in Latin than not marking them. --EncycloPetey 02:43, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that would be useful to see. —RuakhTALK 00:04, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm... On search and reflection, I guess I havent used {{idiomatic}} much for Latin after all. I found only four entries where it was used, and two of those don't need it. The one that I think most benefits is amabo te, which literally means "I will love you", but translates more often as please. If examples for {{figurative}} would still be helpful, I know I have done lots of those and could pull a few. --EncycloPetey 04:19, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Nah, don't worry about it. I use {{figurative}} all the time, too. Thanks for looking. :-)   —RuakhTALK 13:41, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Licensing of audio files


This question is not specific to Wiktionary only. Please let me know who to ask if it's the wrong place.

What are the licensing arrangements for the audio files? Can they be downloaded and used on other websites? Or they can only be linked to with a direct link. --Anatoli 01:46, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Each file may be different. You should check the file's page on the Commons for its license.​—msh210 01:54, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Either. See commons:Commons:Reusing_content_outside_Wikimedia for details. If the other site is running MediaWiki it can be configured to use files from wikimedia commons directly. Commons does not allow files that cannot be reused, with the exception of some of the wikimedia logos. Conrad.Irwin 01:58, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
But — and this is the reason I said to check licenses — you may have to do something to use the file elsewhere, such as include (or link to) a copy of the license.​—msh210 02:20, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for the answers! --Anatoli 02:55, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Greek → Modern Greek (again)

Previous discussion: Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2009/August#Greek derivations.

Please take note of this. It seems that, despite the use of {{etyl|el}} and {{etyl|grc}} in place of {{Gr.}} and {{AGr.}}, contributors still confuse Modern Greek (displayed as Greek) with Ancient Greek. This is probably down to the fact that most people don’t think to distinguish the two, and it really doesn’t help that a lot of dictionaries write “Greek” (or an abbreviation thereof) in their etymology sections when they mean “Ancient Greek”. I’m guessing that the switch to ISO codes hasn’t helped much because:

  1. A contributor wants the language-linky code thing that he’s seen in other entries for the etymology section he’s writing (if he doesn’t, then the language ends up as Greek, written in plain text only, and still suggesting derivation from Modern Greek), but he doesn’t know the ISO code.
  2. He searches for “Greek” on Wikipedia, which gets him to this disambiguation page.
  3. He scrolls down, and more often than not, seeing “language” in the name of the link (perhaps using Ctrl+F to look for it), clicks on the link for Greek language.
  4. He looks for the language’s ISO code in the section entitled “Language codes” in the box on the right (or uses Ctrl+F for “iso”), finds the ISO 639-1 code el, and uses that.
  5. The result looks fine, so he carries on oblivious, thus introducing an avoidable error to the project.

The best solution I can see would be to “outlaw” the use of el as a language code on Wiktionary; use of el would autocategorise that entry into a clean-up category, whose members would require having that ISO 639-1 substituted with any of the seven more specific ISO 639-3 codes, viz. grc, ell, pnt, gmy, gkm, cpg, and tsd (for Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, Pontic Greek, Mycenaean Greek, Byzantine Greek, Cappadocian Greek, and Tsakonian Greek, respectively). The initial clean-up effort could be as sluggish as it wants if the clean-up category is made a HIDDENCAT and the displayed language of {{etyl|el}} isn’t changed; however, this leads to the eventual elimination of this error and allows its easy detection in future. Does that sound like a good idea to everyone?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:39, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Re: your first two sentences: The relevant edit was part of Autoformat's misguided mass-conversion, more than a year ago, of {{Gr.}} to {{etyl|el}}. Before the conversion, use of {{Gr.}} for Ancient Greek was very common, but after the conversion, I'm not sure that any human editors have been using {{etyl|el}} where they should be using {{etyl|grc}}. —RuakhTALK 23:35, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm, OK. Nevertheless, IMO, the scenario set out in 1–5 seems pretty plausible to me. Furthermore, I think moving from the catch-all, imprecise ISO 639-1 code el to the seven ISO 639-3 codes would be a definite improvement that we should institute regardless; what do you reckon?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:41, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Well, according to the standards, el means Modern Greek; it's synonymous with ell. It's not really a catch-all or imprecise code, it just became one here as a result of an Autoformat mishap. I don't think we should start trying to distinguish el from ell; but the last time I raised this issue, I suggested using el-GR (Modern Greek as spoken in Greece), which amounts to the same thing. Alternatively, we could take the opposite approach: bot-convert all the {{etyl|el}} uses to {{etyl|Greek}} for cleanup, then change {{etyl|el}} to be explicit about meaning Modern Greek.
But either way, I don't think further BP discussion is going to get us anywhere. The current approach is to use {{etyl|el}} both for real Modern Greek derivations and as a cleanup template for the auto-converted entries; and the editors who are actually working on cleaning out seem to be happy with that approach. Personally, I don't like it, but we can't really force them to change. (But if they change their minds, then we can certainly offer suggestions, technical help, etc., towards a better approach.)
RuakhTALK 23:58, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Proposed pages

I would like to propose two new pages, one for for handling unresolved CFI and ELE issues, and the other for suggested templates, bots, and scripts.

The first of these would hold (in subpages) links to old archived (or not yet archived) discussions about ELE and CFI, and would provide centralized discussion areas for working on issues that have not been finished yet. Often, these discussions would have to take place partly in the BP to have a wider audience, but these could be moved afterward and continued. I think it would best look something like this (the draft does not actually contain all unresolved CFI/ELE issues, as I don't know what all of them are).

The second of these would be for suggested templates, bots, and scripts that there is no immediate need for, but would be useful to have. I notice that many users do have good ideas for bots, but do not have the necessary programming skills to build their own. Suggestions could remain on the page until they are either built, or have been proven to be unnecessary or impossible. Maybe something like this.

This leads to a third possible page, which could be for suggested suggestions pages, but I don't think we need that now :D.

So, what does everyone think? --Yair rand 08:25, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

The bots and scripts can stay on WT:GP, I have no objections if you want to create the page for old CFI and ELE issues, it'd be nice to have some proper thematic archives and that seems a good way to start. Conrad.Irwin 12:41, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I think a single placement for CFI and ELE discussions would be helpful, and I support this idea. I basically agree with Conrad, continued Grease Pit discussion of bots, etc., is fine. bd2412 T 20:22, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Unresolved CFI and ELE issues now started, although it really needs work. --Yair rand 03:02, 30 December 2009 (UTC)


We seem to have no specific policy (or even a precedent) on how to format Braille entries. In , we have English, Chinese, Cyrillic and Japanese Braille information under the ==Translingual== header, and information about Hebrew and Korean Braille are under ==Hebrew== and ==Korean==, respectively. The same is true for all of the other Braille entries. It seems like we should standardize these by either placing all information under the Translingual header, or by putting each piece in its respective language header. --Yair rand 05:36, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

This is an odd consequence of the fact that Braille symbols encode for letters in multiple scripts and that by our Translingual policy characters in some scripts are considered Translingual and others are not. Since the Latin, Cyrillic, and Hiragana scripts are used by multiple languages, characters in those scripts can have "Translingual" entries (see Latin a, Cyrrillic а, and ). This is not the case for Hebrew and Korean (though "technically" Hangul is also used now in Cia-Cia) where the characters still can only have individual language entries. So the Translingual entries for the three Translingual script are together and the other two are separate. I think there is room for improvement somehow though. --Bequw¢τ 06:24, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Fyi, Hebrew characters are also used in other languages (though I don't know whether Hebrew Braille is).​—msh210 20:11, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
In any event, I think certain Braille characters need an English section: those that code for words. For example, codes for child in English, per this font of information on Braille.​—msh210 20:11, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Toneless pinyin proposal

At top, bei, jing, lu;
bottom left, yan, zhong, lu
bottom right, guang, wei, lu.
Top: li, jiang
bottom: de, qin.

I am preparing the a vote at Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-12/Treatment of toneless pinyin syllables, regarding our options for the presentation of toneless pinyin syllables, discussed above at #Toneless pinyin.

A fundamental feature of spoken Chinese is the use of tones - four specific variations in pronunciation which can impart different meanings on any of the ~410 basic syllable combinations which make up the language. Chinese characters are romanised using pinyin, these tones are usually represented as either accents over the affected vowel, or numbers next to the syllable (for example and ma1). There are numerous instances of "toneless pinyin" out there in the wild - that is, instances where someone has used words that should have a tone, but left the tone out. This is particularly prevalent in the names of Chinese cities (like Beijing, which is bei and jing), with Chinese street signs, on Chinese currency, in certain official documents, in Chinese Restaurant names, and in certain common menu items (e.g. kung pao chicken and wontons), as well as in some books and bibliographies discussed earlier. I made entries for all 410 or so toneless pinyin syllables in 2007. We have four basic options on how to treat these, with examples set forth below.

The first is to continue using the format that I used in making the initial entries. From gang:


Pinyin syllable


  1. A transliteration of any of a number of Chinese characters properly represented as having one of three tones, gāng, gǎng, or gàng.
Usage notes

English transcriptions of Chinese speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Chinese language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.

The second option is to treat them as misspellings. From chan:


Pinyin syllable


  1. {{misspelling of|chān|lang=cmn}}
  2. {{misspelling of|chán|lang=cmn}}
  3. {{misspelling of|chǎn|lang=cmn}}
  4. {{misspelling of|chàn|lang=cmn}}
Usage notes

English transcriptions of Chinese speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Chinese language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.

The third option is to treat them as alternative spellings. From zhen:


Pinyin syllable


  1. {{alternative spelling of|[[zhēn]]|lang=cmn}}
  2. {{alternative spelling of|[[zhěn]]|lang=cmn}}
  3. {{alternative spelling of|[[zhèn]]|lang=cmn}}
Usage notes

English transcriptions of Chinese speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Chinese language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.

The fourth option is to exclude them altogether. A side issue is, if they are retained in any form, whether to also include the usage note which I added when I made the initial entries.

Cheers! bd2412 T 02:10, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Wouldn't it make sense to put the Usage notes content inside a template? --Yair rand 06:33, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, it is in a template for chan, but not for zhen or gang. --Yair rand 06:37, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
It used to be in a template for all of them, but I long ago subst'ed them. The wording is unlikely to change, but I've raised the question of whether we ought to have the usage note at all in the proposed vote. I'd like to add to the above that whichever option is ultimately selected, I can make all the changes with AWB in the space of a few days. bd2412 T 21:05, 24 December 2009 (UTC)


Proposal to pick a language for our next focus

I'd like to think at this point that we have coverage of almost every word in the English language for which people are likely to turn to a dictionary seeking a definition, synonyms, or similar guidance. I'd like to propose that one of our main value-added propositions is our utility as a translating dictionary. To that end, I'd like to propose that we as a community pick one specific language, and agree to spend the next month expanding our coverage of that language (both in the addition of entries in that language, and in the inclusion of translations into that language in English entries), through all the tools at our disposal. I feel that, given that month (and our existing decent coverage of widely spoken languages), we will be able to surpass the coverage of the typical translation dictionary. I would also suggest that either Spanish or French would be a good place to kick off such a focus, given our existing strong coverage of each. Thoughts? bd2412 T 03:49, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

While I think that this is a good idea, I just don't think that we have the userbase to be able to do so. There aren't enough users that would be able to spend a whole month helping out in our coverage with certain languages. I believe that instead of focusing on particular languages, we should instead let people continue making pages for the languages that they like to make the pages for as that will help us expand our coverage of more than one language at a time, which would be better than spending one month working on just one language. Razorflame 04:05, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I certainly respect the fact that users will work on what they are interested in working on, but I think if we come together on this, enough people will put in enough time to make it worth doing. bd2412 T 04:24, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
It is certainly worth doing, but I just don't know if enough users will be able to come together on this. We could always try, though :) Razorflame 04:36, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
If others are for it, I say why not try. bd2412 T 04:42, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I disagree with the premise that we have sufficient English coverage. We sorely lack many compound terms. I the past few weeks, we've added mobile home and electron cloud. Rather than picking a new language, I think we need to seek out compound terms in English that we lack.
In addition, we very badly need to clear up missing and incomplete definitions of existing English entries. Having an entry is not the same as having all the basic information. Consider the entry fluidly, whose entire entry consists of a PoS header and the *ahem* definition "in a fluid manner". So, if I hear that someone "spoke fluidly", does that mean he drooled a lot while talking? And what about the etymology, the pronunciation, the synonyms, the translations tables, etc.? There may be an entry for fluidly, but it's hardly an entry that would enlighten anyone. There is still a LOT of work to be done on our coverage of English words. --EncycloPetey 05:14, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
At least this would get us started on translation tables for words having none. I see your point, however. Perhaps a future project then, once English is more fully accomplished. bd2412 T 05:21, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I would like to see a process of advancing our English definitions to a state where they were worthy of the effort of, 1., initial translation and, 2., translation review. To focus translation effort initially, we might consider the, 3., use of {{trans-see}}, which, in turn, requires the, 4., identification of synonyms.
  1. One class of terms that need an initial translation effort will be adverbs. In almost all monolingual dictionaries most adverbs are not defined. We would be differentiating ourselves somewhat by providing good definitions and translating them. Until the adverb definitions are checked for adequacy, I am not sure the translation effort is worth it.
    Another class of terms are English idiomatic predicates and English idioms in general. The rationale for having them is that they cannot be understood or translated word-for-word. Yet a large portion of them have no translations. Massive insertion of trans tables and {{trreq}} would be a constructive step for terms that seem to have adequate definitions.
  2. Many basic terms have benefited from massive translation effort. Unfortunately much of that effort was applied to entries that were not renovated after import from Webster 1913. Visviva has compiled a list of terms on the GSL list of basic words that show signs of needing updating. It would help if we had some marker for a sense being sufficiently up to date to be translation-worthy.
  3. There is little value to copying translations to truly close synonyms. There is good reason to have translation effort concentrated. That is the purpose of {{trans-see}}. For English terms have particularly close synonyms, it is good to mark the term most worthy of translation effort with trans-see. To help translators and users it would be very desirable for the template to direct them to the specific Etymology-PoS. If trans-see directs users to our more massive basic-word entries, it may be necessary to remove it.
  4. To apply trans-see and to help with translations, it is helpful to have synonymous entries to refer to. Some entries do not have synonyms marked or wikilinked, or the in-line synonym links are lost in a sea of blue links.
While this is going on, there is no reason not to have massive addition of words in other languages. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 11:48, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
If that is what you want to do, then that would be very useful. But experience has shown that you can't tell (or even ask) people to cooperate on a project. We all do what we want. Cheers. SemperBlotto 11:56, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
It is part of what I have been doing. They are just suggestions for others. They fit into a program that couldn't possibly be completed without others working on it or similar programs too. The idea of a program in a volunteer effort is to solicit interest to get efforts that add up to more than the individual steps. I gather that I don't have your interest, which I regret.
My objective is to improve English definition quality enough so that translation effort is not wasted. I am, in part, responding to complaints about an excessive number of {{ttbc}}. To avoid excessive ttbcs (or divergence of trans glosses and definitions) translation effort shouldn't be wasted on poor entries, such as those still with obsolete 1913 wording. I would think it very cool if by 2013 we had honored Webster's 1913 by updating its language in our entries. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 13:19, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
We have a lot of missing English entries. I worked through a little bit of the first S page of User:Brian0918/Hotlist. Before we get anything big started with foreign-language entries, I think it'd be better to perhaps work on English quite a bit. There are lots of 'missing lists'... L☺g☺maniac 15:13, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
After some further thought, I'm wondering if it would be a good thing to have an organized Wiktionary:Sign up sheet or something with the major tasks to be done for each language listed so that users (especially newcomers) can have some idea of what needs to be done and who's working on what. Any thoughts on that? L☺g☺maniac 16:11, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
As with everything, it needs a dedicated user to devote time and energy into keeping it up to date, WT:DW (the previous attempt at something like this) fell into disuse; I think the WT:CDPR is a better idea, where people can create lists of things and mark them off as they get done. Conrad.Irwin 16:43, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Wiktionary Community portal has a section one or two page-downs from the top that directs users to some particular pages. Perhaps that could be made more prominent. Perhaps, also, we could identify and mark appropriately some tasks that are well suited for new users and suggest what skills are required (eg, basic knowledge of WT:ELE, knowing how to bold words in a usage example or quote, advanced knowledge of English grammar, knowing how to add or remove wikilinks appropriately, ability to add synonyms, ability to add transitive, intransitive tags, ability to detect and mark hard-to-understand definitions).
This would require:
  1. Some specific rfc-tags,
  2. Corresponding automated cleanup list pages with instructions,
  3. A page to help users find the tasks, and
  4. Some means of advertising some or all the tasks to new users (possibly a "featured task").
The first step might be to get consensus on some specific tasks that fit this kind of framework and were better done by new users than by bots. It might be necessary to make sure that bots were likely to catch the kind of errors a new user might make in working such lists. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 16:42, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I've started User:Logomaniac/Sign up sheet, if other editors would please add helpful links for each language. L☺g☺maniac 20:06, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Question: Is that list specifically for missing words, or can any tasks be placed there? --Yair rand 20:20, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
It would be better to keep tasks at WT:CDPR, where we could do with taking some of DCDuring's advice. Conrad.Irwin 20:26, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
(e/c) It is for any (semi- to large) tasks that need to be done. I understand that CDPR is for smaller things. L☺g☺maniac 20:57, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

There was a certain meta-logic to my thinking on this. Outpacing print translation dictionaries in a particular language brings us more utility that other resources; which brings more users; some of whom will stay and become editors. bd2412 T 21:09, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

The meta-logic is well worth some thought, too. I'm interested in tasks that improve en def quality where new users can help and learn something about en.wikt as they do it. Some of them might become long-term contributors too. Because this is en.wikt, English has a special role. I have focused on English definitions because they are important to both monolingual users and translation seekers and have quality problems which seem to have been hard to solve. Not everyone has the skills or desire to work in that direction, but we can reduce the skill requirement a bit by decomposing the tasks and serve the tasks up as clean-up lists a format that seems to direct effort fairly effectively in many cases.
I assume that the many non-en-N contributors here would like to be able to count on en.wikt to have good English definitions, usage examples, synonyms, glosses, and grammar information to facilitate their translation work and answer any questions about English. The quality of the English sections or the ambition to improve them must play some role in their being here.
One thing that I would really appreciate would be some feedback from those whose are not en-N, en-5, or en-4 about the intelligibility of definitions, especially at the sense level. Perhaps some new sense-level clean-up templates like {{rfc-hunh}}, {{rfc-saywhat}}, or, more prosaically {{rfc-def}} would help. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 23:15, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand this premise at all. If we haven't got a good number of contributors for most languages as it is now, how are we supposed to "focus" on one language? People either contribute in their language of proficiency or not - some kind of "focus" proposal won't change that - that is, unless you mean getting people who don't speak the language to contribute too which will only lead to errors. Tooironic 22:40, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Clearly there are choices in how folks spend their time. With negligible language skills outside of English I can still choose to facilitate work of translators by inserting {{trans}} (with glosses) and and clean up messes in the trans tables. I can clean up WT:ELE errors in entries outside of English.
With en skills of 2-3 someone could still evaluate English definitions for intelligibility and opine on the adequacy or relevance of usage examples.
At the level of shared resources, policies, and cleanup lists there are lots of choices that determine what is made easier or harder; encouraged or discouraged.
People ultimately do what they want and what they can. Most people want to do things that further a larger objective. Their view of how the larger objectives, how wiktionary as a whole might get there, and how they can best contribute is subject to discussion and change. In addition, what people can do changes as a result of what they learn, often by explicit choice. For example, I didn't own CGEL or Garner's before coming to en.wikt and didn't have much conscious knowledge about grammar. I chose to learn more to help more in those areas. Some of our more technically adept contributors have produced very helpful cleanup lists which facilitate correcting certain kinds of deficiencies. If a particular kind of deficiency doesn't capture enough of their interest, it will get corrected much more slowly. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 23:32, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
<tongue-in-cheek> Why don't we go through all the [[Category:User lang]]s, pick out all the users that are anything-3, 4, 5 or N, and leave a message on their talkpage, You list yourself as proficient in this language, would you please care to contribute in it? </tongue-in-cheek> L☺g☺maniac 23:33, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
The bottom line is this: what is our value-added proposition? Why should people in need of a dictionary turn to us instead of a print dictionary, or one of the countless websites offering dictionary services? Granted, most of those websites are either electronic versions of existing print dictionaries, or regurgitations of public-domain dictionaries that we have already absorbed and improved upon. Still, what is it that we offer that will make us the go-to source of lexical information? bd2412 T 23:50, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
why we are better than other dictionaries: 1) We are always being improved instead of once every several years like print dictionaries 2) We are a wiki, which means it's easy for someone to fix a mistake or add needed information 3) we rock. :)
Just FTR: I think it would be a good thing to have editors working together on specific language(s). But it would probably be better as a smaller project, not a community-wide one, as there are many editors who won't know the language(s) in the spotlight. So if we started something in, say, French or Spanish, all the French or Spanish-speaking editors (es or fr-2 (3?) or above, probably) would be invited to participate. L☺g☺maniac 00:12, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

I think there actually is a way we could actually make this work, and have a temporary specific-language focus:

  1. Don't do it often. Have a specific month for working on a language once every six months or so, or maybe once a year.
  2. Make it an 'event', as in "February is French month on the English Wiktionary! You can help!" and try to get users (especially newbies and IP's) enthusiastic about the idea. Throw in a sitenotice and we've got a huge load of new users interested in helping.
  3. Advertise off-Wiktionary. Wikimedia has very many users who would be glad to help with an event related to their language. For example, in the case of Spanish, we could post a message to w:wt:WikiProject Spain, and wherever the Spanish translators would see it, and try to get the word around Wikimedia. Again, try to make it a Wikimedian event, make it "exciting".
  4. Big, colorful, and active. I think everyone knows what I mean.

Still, it would be difficult. On the other hand, if it's a huge success, that would be a seriously major victory for Wiktionary. --Yair rand 04:51, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for taking so long to get back to this - I think that is a great strategy, and I think we should aim to try it out in June. If we can get the other Wiktionaries on board, and have that indeed be a Spanish month, in which several different Wiktionary projects work on adding Spanish content, we might be able to get a synergistic benefit of cross-posting from one Wiktionary to the next (by which I mean, someone posts a new Spanish word on Italian wiktionary, and then posts that same new word here so that we have a quick interwiki connection established). bd2412 T 03:40, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

How about a "month of the obscure language focus" ? Several interested editors pick a rather obscure language (living or extinct), decide to learn it and add quality entries to Wiktionary (complete entries with pronunciations & inflections). And I'm not talking about regional or minority variants of "big" languages with (semi-)official status (which are rather easy to pick up once you learn the standard idiom), but of indigenous languages, languages with little or no literary tradition, or e.g. ancient extinct languages attested in a relatively small corpus of texts (Hmm, that whould be pretty much all except Greek, Latin and Sanskrit). There should only be one condition: that there is at least one online reference work of it available (preferably a comprehensive grammar). And that a language is, of-course, "obscure" (e.g. spoken < 1 million people). There are a lot of high-quality research works (usually in PDF format) available on the Web, including audio recordings made during the fieldtrips as well as texts (songs, folk tales etc.), that can be utilized as a learning material. There are countless indigenous languages of America, Africa, Australia, Caucasus, Siberia etc. to chose from, most of which are extremely interesting. One or two months should be enough to cover the basic lexicon (a few thousand basic words). If there is anyone interested in this kind of teamwork, please let me know (either here or on my talkpage), and I'll start a project page! --Ivan Štambuk 06:29, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

That is a noble idea, but what does more to increase the utility of Wiktionary to the world at large? I suggest that we become a resource for translations into common languages first as a means of drawing in more participants, and once we have done that, use the additional manpower to plow through more obscure tongues. bd2412 T 16:55, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Name appendices

Perhaps Appendix:Names male-A, Appendix:Names male-B, etc. could be renamed to Appendix:Masculine given names/A, Appendix:Masculine given names/B, etc. --Daniel. 13:15, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Support renaming. --Yair rand 19:55, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Support, definitely a clearer and more intuitive naming scheme. bd2412 T 20:38, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Support.   AugPi 21:03, 24 December 2009 (UTC) (see below)
I prefer Appendix:Male given names/A which would be consistent with all uses of {{given name|male}} and its categories. (male: 5800, female: 5500, for interest) Conrad.Irwin 21:23, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Good point: Support this alternative.   AugPi 21:38, 24 December 2009 (UTC)(see below)
Support Appendix:Male given names. --Dan Polansky 12:58, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Support original proposal and changing "male names" everywhere to "masculine names". Names are grammatically masculine. Names are not male, as they have no genitalia and do not reproduce; only the bearers of such names can be male. --EncycloPetey 21:42, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
But then, the categories are wrong!   AugPi 21:53, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree. The category names are wrong, and should be corrected. They were named incorrectly the last time we went through name cleanup, becasue the change was hurried through without adequate discussion. --EncycloPetey 22:01, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
Names in English have no gender, male names are those given to males. While I can quite happily agree that a masculine name is one given to a masculine person, it seems fairly pointless to change the tens of thousands of pages just to "correct" a perceived mistake. Conrad.Irwin 22:38, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
The mistake is more than merely perceived if in fact there are women who have these names. Which, in some cases, there are. bd2412 T 23:16, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
What do you mean? We called a girl at school Harry Potter (because she happened to look `exactly` the same as Daniel Radcliffe or something) it didn't make the name less male or the person less female. Conrad.Irwin 02:14, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
If a given name is used for both males and females, it is both a male name and a female name; I see no problem here. --Dan Polansky 12:48, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I support Conrad's "Appendix:Male given names/A":
The term "male name" can be read in several ways, one of them being "name given to males" on the model of "tree name" or "person name", meaning that "male" in "male name" is read as a noun used attributively. And English has no gender, so "masculine name" as applied to, say, English "John" seems technically incorrect. --Dan Polansky 10:12, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
According to Wiktionary, one definition of masculine is "pertaining to male humans", so masculine given names is not technically incorrect when applied to English. --Daniel. 12:36, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
As far as "masculine" means "pertaining to male humans", "masculine name" is synonymous to "male name", while the term "male name" is less ambiguous than "masculine name" for the purpose of denoting "name given to males". In "masculine word", "masculine" clearly refers to grammatical gender, so "masculine name" seems per default to be read as a "name with masculine grammatical gender". For instance, "Praha" is a Czech feminine name, albeit a place name.
To apply "masculine name" in the sense "name with masculine grammatical gender" to "John" seems technically incorrect. --Dan Polansky 12:48, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
An afterthought, to expand on the point with "Praha": the point of dividing given names into male ones and female ones is to divide them by the gender of people to which they apply, not by the grammatical gender of the name. We have neither categories nor appendices on "Feminine place names" and "Masculine place names", not because these names can have no grammatical gender but because places have no gender. Yes, the gender of the person to which the name applies and the grammatical gender of the given name almost always coincide, hence this discussion in the first place. --Dan Polansky 13:05, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, no, I have to disagree about "male name" and "masculine name" meaning the same thing. They do not. One is grammatically correct in English, the other is a misuse of "male". Further, per my comments below, John does have grammatical gender, and saying so is actually correct. --EncycloPetey 15:41, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I am not saying that "male name" and "masculine name" mean, in one of their senses, the same thing; it is Daniel who implied this assumption in his argument above. I have only picked up his assumption, and, working from that assumption, shown what makes me think that even under that assumption "male name" seems preferable to "masculine name".
The claim that "male name" is grammatically incorrect seems implausible: from what I can see, it is an attributive use of the noun "male", on the model of "tree name" and "person name", a model that I have already mentioned. The claim that the term "male name" is grammatically incorrect is as yet lacking any proof, other than an attempt to interpret "male" as an adjective applied to biological entities, which "name" admittedly is not. --Dan Polansky 09:16, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Let us see some Google results:
While mere web hit counts cannot indisputably demonstrate that something is a correct grammar, they at least indicate that the users of the language do not consider it an issue. This seems relevant in the absence of an indisputable theoretical proof that the thing in question is not a correct grammar. --Dan Polansky 09:37, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for throwing out so many meaningless numbers. Now search "Male Arabic names" vs "Masculine Arabic names", or better still, look at what was actually returned in the first list of links you listed above. On the very first page are some hits for "masculine names" that lack the combination "male names" that you were supposedly searching for. Google numbers cannot be used the way you have tried to, and we've gone through the problems of using such numbers as support many, many times before. The Google search is not as strict as people naively believe, but searches also for things you might want, but didn't actually search for. It's also weighted in favor of sites with more pages, since it returns page links rather than sites, and doues not weed out duplicates.
Now look at google hits for "he be sick", which has more than one million returns, but which every grammarian will agree is a problematic construction in English. Your arguments from Google numbers are irrelevant. --EncycloPetey 16:16, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Support original proposal, per EP.   AugPi 22:30, 24 December 2009 (UTC)
No, stay with male as English given names (and lots of others) don't have a gender. Male can be used to me "for a male person" so to say that Peter is a male given name is correct, but not masculine. Not in English anyway. But yes move these somewhere better. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:31, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Debatable as it is, I don't think French given names have genders, they just take the gender of the person they are referring to. While Martine is a female given name, if someone did call their son Martine people would say un Martine not une. 14:35, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Given names do have gender, even in English. This is not to say that they have morphological endings specific to the gender, but that each name falls into an expected category of gender value, and takes corresponding pronouns that match this expected gender. These expectations affect understanding. If you saw the sentence, "Why can't Anna open her locker?" you would assume Anna was trying to open her own locker. On the other hand, if you saw the sentence, "Why can't Anna open his locker?" then you would assume Anna was attempting to open some other person's locker. This occurs because we expect that Anna is a feminine name. The expected gender of names in English affects understanding of the language, affects choice of pronoun, and so I maintain that English given names have gender. --EncycloPetey 15:36, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
The example that you have given only proves that the gender of the person called "Anna" can be securely inferred from "Anna", not that the term "Anna" has a grammatical gender. Yes, given the knowledge that Anna is a female name and not a male name, the inference can be made that in "Why can't Anna open his locker?" it is not the locker of Anna but of a male person. By contrast, in Czech, "osoba"--person--is a term of feminine grammatical gender, yet no conclusion can be drawn from it on the gender of the person denoted by "osoba". It is not the supposed grammatical gender of "Anna" but its being exclusively a female name that makes the inference on the gender of the person possible. --Dan Polansky 09:16, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
An afterthought: are you saying that "woman", "girl", "fiancée", "baroness", and "actress" have grammatical gender in English? Each of them can be substituted into the argument that you have built above; each is sufficient for an unambiguous determination of the human gender or sex of the referent: "Why can't the actress open his locker?" --Dan Polansky 09:45, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
You've misunderstood my argument. Nowhere did I say that Anna referred to a woman; the gender of the individual is not at issue. I said that assumptions about gender of the name affect understanding of the language and use of pronouns. That is what grammatical gender means. --EncycloPetey 16:07, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
I could have misunderstood your argument, but tell me: Are you saying that "woman", "girl", "fiancée", "baroness", and "actress" have grammatical gender in English? If they do not have grammatical gender, what makes them different from "Anna" for the sake of determination of the presence or absence of grammatical gender? Put differently, what feature, property, or quality that "Anna" has and "actress" does not have makes you think "Anna" has a grammatical gender? --Dan Polansky 10:48, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
EncycloPetey, I think your assertion is incorrect, and propose that people assume that "John" is male for the same reason they assume in "Alfred drank qwenkjqbn with his bakbjw" that "qwenkjqbn" is a liquid and that "bakbjw" is a consumable (food or drink, I'm not sure -- maybe we should include Klingon?). The same reason that I assumed Sandy was a male name, until I met a female Sandy. There is no grammatical magic here, it's merely our wordly experience; it is incidentally the reason that computers, lacking a large store of wordly experience, have enormous difficulty in reading text. I do agree with comments above that "male name" could be misconstrued, and that "masculine name" could be misconstrued, and would request the authors of such comments read a little more English, this will learn them how to use context to disambiguate multiple possible interpretations of terms. Both are arguably correct, and arguably confusing, "male" is simpler and shorter and requires less work to implement consistently, thus I prefer it. Conrad.Irwin 21:56, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
In your example "Alfred drank qwenkjqbn with his bakbjw", I could not assume that bakbjw was a consumable, because it could mean "mouth" or "straw". However, through the magic of grammar, I can assume that it is a noun. This is not a question of prior experience, but of grammatical context. If I say to you "That Gryldis sure likes his dog", then you assume "Gryldis" is masculine because of the grammar, and not because of any prior experience with a person named "Gryldis". This is what grmmatical gender means. As a parallel real example, consider the Spanish noun teorema. From previous experience with Spanish (or related langauges), you might assume from the terminal -a that the word is of feminine gender, but it isn't. The reason we say it's masculine is that it takes masculine articles, adjectives and pronouns, as in El teorema es correcto. It is grammatical context in relation to other words that identifies the gender to us.
Since "male name" is more likely to be misconstrued, the problem should be corrected, and not passed on simply because it will take work to fix. It took a lot of work to put the categories into their current shape, and we did it successfully. Now it's time to improve them. --EncycloPetey 22:40, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
But you agree, surely, that "qwenkjqbn" is a liquid? Is that grammar too? I can eaily insert "tasty" before "bakbjw" to make it more clearly a food (I would not assume an "implement" on first reading because of the "his", normally it would be with "a" fork, though the "mouth" interpretation works fine, and I suppose if Alfred was edible he could have a tasty mouth, but I certainly would not assume such when reading) Sure, I can use the "his" to tell me that Gryldis is probably (but not certainly) a male; I strongly disagree with the assertion that it's a grammatical property of the name. As above, even when "Harry" refered to the girl at school (and this was certainly the male name Harry, short for Harry Potter), "Harry liked her dog" still uses "her" to agree with "Harry". It is a property of the referent and not the word. For the purposes of category naming, neither are hugely advantageous, and I will happily go with the flow, but I would like to get to the bottom of the "do names have gender" issue now we've started on it. I disagree that "male names" is more misinterpretable than "masculine names" because I don't accept your parse of the sentence. Conrad.Irwin 23:01, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Being a liquid is not a grammatical property, but being a noun is. Adding "tasty" (an adjective) further supports the interpretation that it's a noun. The issues you have with referent/word are not as easily separable for proper names as for common nouns. Proper names have the characteristic of being applicable only to a particular referent. However, here's an example in English of a proper name having a grammatical gender, even though the referent does not: "Britannia's finest hour was her perseverance in the war." The proper noun Britannia takes the feminine pronoun her, but does not refer to a female entity. English names of countries and vessels are routinely treated grammatically as feminine in English, despite having no inherent biological gender. --EncycloPetey 23:12, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, and I contest that, for English names at least, being "female" is not a grammatical property. I find the notion that "Harry" when used to refer to a girl has different grammatical properties to "Harry" used for a boy quite absurd - we were deliberately giving her a boy's name. Mglovesfun seems to indicate that he understands the same to hold for French names, the gender stays with the referent. I am quite happy to agree that poetically, ships, countries (and indeed almost anything else an author would like) can be referred to as female, I don't think that makes their names, or the words that describe them female ("The Thames gently lapping her banks", "The Thames broke its banks" - it's up to the author, not the language). Our usage notes agree with my (possibly naive) interpretation of the situation "# Ships are traditionally regarded as feminine and the pronouns her and she are normally used instead of it." Conrad.Irwin 23:43, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
And part of my point in this discussion is that being female is a biological property, never a grammatical one. So I agree that "being "female" is not a grammatical property". However, being feminine is a culturally and grammatically determined property. This is why I object to "male name" over "masculine name" &co. You do realize that the reason English treats names of countries as feminine is a holdover from a time when English did have complete grammatical distinction, and parallels Latin tendencies to name places with feminine names? Modern English has largely lost the grammatical gender distinction, but does retain it vestigially in its pronouns, in many proper nouns, and a few common nouns that refer to animals. --EncycloPetey 23:55, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that neither "male" nor "masculine" is completely appropriate, "male" because it normally denotes sex, "masculine" because in a dictionary it normally denotes grammatical gender. Given names correspond to social gender, which is another thing entirely. You seem to think that, because English used to have grammatical gender, we can assume that socially gendered given names are a vestigial reflex of that; but I just don't think that's true. —RuakhTALK 00:01, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Pairing with certain pronouns is a feature of grammar, not of social gender. Your statements about what I seem to think have missed most of what I've said to this point, and draw an incorrect conclusion about my reasoning, which is from demonstrated grammatical context, not from historics. History implies cause, not current status. --EncycloPetey 00:31, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Ruakh is, to my mind, correct; and I thank him for stating what I feel so clearly. I can quite happily acknowledge that pronouns change their form depending on their referrent, and can quite happily acknowledge that this is due to grammar; I simply have a huge problem with saying that because this Harry is a male, this "Harry" is a masculine word, and that that process is grammar. This may well be due to a lack of linguistic training on my part, in which case thank you for your attempts to explain. Conrad.Irwin 01:07, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
At least do me one courtesy (Conrad and Ruakh): What would you look for in a word (in any language) to determine (1) whether it had gender, (2) which gender it was, and (3) does your answer apply to both inflected and uninflected languages? For your convenience, please note that Wikipedia defines grammatical gender as "classes of nouns reflected in the behavior of associated words." --EncycloPetey 04:29, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
When I was learning French, it seems that the article used would give the gender, from my memories of Latin, the set of endings used dictated the gender - though I can see that this is probably a backwards answer. I suppose you could thus retroactively say that because "he" is used to refer to Harry, and "Harry" must agree with "he", "Harry" is masculine, but that sounds a bit convoluted to me. Conrad.Irwin 22:24, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Name appendices — AEL
I reject the supposition that we can view gender as a property of "a word (in any language)". Some languages have noun classes, and of these languages, some have grammatical traditions whereby the noun classes are called "genders". In most of the latter group, a noun's gender is usually arbitrary, but frequently correlates with semantics (e.g., there may be one gender containing most words for men and another gender containing most words for women; if so, the former will likely be called "masculine" and the latter "feminine"), with phonological properties (e.g., Hebrew words ending in /-a/ are usually feminine, including new loanwords), and so on. But these concepts can't be transferred to languages like English that lack grammatical gender. English has a few gendered pronouns, but it doesn't have gendered nouns: a gender-marked pronoun's gender is not determined by its antecedent noun, but rather by its real-world referent. (Really, I'm not sure "gender" is even the right word to apply to these pronouns, but it's close enough, and I don't know of a better one.) —RuakhTALK 02:32, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Ruakh, your argument is tautological. You are saying that names in English lack gender because English lacks grammatical gender. This is akin to a botanical discussion I was party to, where a botanist insisted structures on a certain species couldn't be stipules. When asked why, the botanist stated that members of that plant family don't have stipules, so those couldn't be stipules. He refused to accept that the axiomatic declaration was incorrect, despite evidence to the contrary. It is true that people say English doesn't have gendered nouns, but the evidence is that it does have them, as I have presented evidence that supports that view. True, most English nouns are ungendered, but there are some that are, and these take gendered pronouns of the same gender. This pattern is not limited by referent, as I have provided examples where the referent of the noun has neither sex nor gender.
Again, could you do me the courtesy of answering the question I've asked: "What would you look for in a word (in any language) to determine whether it had gender?" the answer you gave of "there may be one gender containing most words for men and another gender containing most words for women" seems to point to a referent-based argument, but you then rejected that idea. So, what would you look for in a language to determine whether a noun had gender? --EncycloPetey 03:00, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Re: "You are saying that names in English lack gender because English lacks grammatical gender": Not quite. I am saying that English lacks grammatical gender, so it's meaningless to try to assign genders to names. We can just as well say that "Bob" is a feminine proper noun because it always takes feminine adjectives (which in English are identical to masculine ones). My basis for claiming that English lacks grammatical gender is that I am not aware of any feature of English that is best explained that way.
Re: "True, most English nouns are ungendered, but there are some that are, and these take gendered pronouns of the same gender": No, I don't think so. English nouns are ungendered; most correlate very strongly with a specific "gender" of referent, and therefore tend to co-refer with pronouns of that "gender", but the nouns themselves are without gender. Desk always (presumably?) has an inanimate referent, so goes with it; mother and Anna usually have female human referents, so go with she/her (though they sometimes have female non-human referents, in which case it is also possible); and so on. Not a grammatical property, but a semantic property with secondary grammatical consequences.
Re: "This pattern is not limited by referent, as I have provided examples where the referent of the noun has neither sex nor gender": Sorry, please re-provide them. I can't figure out which of your above comments provides these.
Re: "the answer you gave of 'there may be one gender containing most words for men and another gender containing most words for women' seems to point to a referent-based argument, but you then rejected that idea": What I was saying is that when noun classes exist, the referents of each class of nouns are typically a factor in choosing the terms "gender", "masculine", "feminine", and so on (or in not choosing them). In a language like English, where noun classes don't exist, we can still apply terms like "masculine" and "feminine" and such, but they no longer indicate grammatical gender — and in a multilingual dictionary, that's a confusing thing to do, because usually we use those terms only in reference to grammatical gender (e.g., we call French professeur "masculine", even though it can refer to a woman just as well as to a man).
By the way, even if you wish to maintain that English has a grammatical distinction between masculine and feminine, surely you must admit that there are some languages that do not. Do you suggest that we simply remove "male" and "female" from descriptions of Finnish, Hungarian, Persian, etc., given names, and leave our readers in the dark about the sex of those names?
RuakhTALK 04:10, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I begin to get the feeling that you aren't going to answer my question. You've posted a long reply, but still have not answered my question that has twice been directed to you: "What would you look for in a word (in any language) to determine whether it had gender?" --EncycloPetey 04:31, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
What would I look for in a word? I'd look for its language. If its language is a language with gender, then it has gender; otherwise, it doesn't. There, a simple answer. Happy? —RuakhTALK 13:23, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Simple and circular. You still have presented no criteria for actually making a determination, but have merely deferred the question to "How do you know if a language has gender?" Stacking turtles does not solve the problem. --EncycloPetey 16:54, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Not circular at all; I've merely replaced what I consider to be the wrong question (yours) with what I consider to be the right question (which you've now correctly identified). It is meaningless to consider a word in isolation and say that it has gender; gender is a property of an entire language, not of an individual word. Anyway, the answer to the right question is that a language has gender if it has a small number of noun classes, and it is reasonable to label these classes with terms like "masculine" and "feminine" (and sometimes "neuter"), or "common" and "neuter", or the like. (There can be borderline cases where it's not clear if a language's noun classes are best considered "genders" — in those cases, we just have to do our best to reflect tradition and linguistic consensus — but the entire question is moot if the language doesn't have noun classes to begin with.) Next question: "How do you know if a language has noun classes?": A language has noun classes if other words (such as adjectives, determiners, verbs, etc.) change form to agree with the choice of noun. For example, in French, if I refer to something as une chose ("a thing"), then any associated adjectives will be inflected for feminine gender, whereas if I refer to it as un object ("an object") or un truc ("a thingy"), then any associated adjectives will be inflected for masculine gender. Note that this never happens in English; no words inflect for gender, and while we have a few gendered pronouns (he/him/his/himself, she/her/hers/herself, and it/it/itself), the choice of which pronoun to use not determined by its antecedent noun, but rather by its real-world referent. —RuakhTALK 18:29, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
RE: "Note that this never happens in English": the experts at Oxford and Cambridge disagree with you on that point. They state that gender is not a matter of inflection, and that English pronouns and some English nouns do indeed have gender. See my lengthy reply below. --EncycloPetey 18:39, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that information; it's very helpful. (To be sure, they do agree with me on the specific point that you quote, but I definitely see what you're saying.) It looks like the CGEL applies "gender" to English in a few different ways, at times using terms like "personal" and "non-personal" (in reference to who, what, which, etc.) and at other times terms like "masculine", "feminine", and "neuter". However, and I think this is important, it doesn't look like the CGEL ever describes any noun as having a specific gender; it seems to apply those terms only to the pronouns. (We can certainly infer gendered nouns from its examples — e.g., it has a King/himself example with the word "masculine" off to the right — but it itself never seems to make that hop.) But please correct me if I'm wrong; I'm one of those lame-os who hasn't bought a copy yet, so am going from the preview on —RuakhTALK 19:24, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually, they do in the section entitled "common noun gender classes" beginning on page 489. They also treat the issue of nouns which can associate with either a masculine or feminine pronoun (tutor is used as an example), and they say that because the association with gender of the pronoun is not consistent, the noun tutor has no encoded gender. They classify these nouns as "dual-gender masculine/feminine". However, the discussion you're really looking for begins on page 490 with the section on "single-gender masculine nouns". They say of this class (in part): "This class contains man [] ; various kinship or similar terms involving marriage relations; a good number of occupational terms compounded from man; and names of various social ranks such as duke, count, squire. In all, they list seven noun classes in English. --EncycloPetey 21:51, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Butting in, unindenting and reiterating my question that likely got lost above, to EncycloPetey:
  • Q1: Are you saying that "woman", "girl", "fiancée", "baroness", and "actress" have grammatical gender in English?
  • Q2: If they do not have grammatical gender, what makes them different from "Anna" for the sake of determination of the presence or absence of grammatical gender? Put differently, what feature, property, or quality that "Anna" has and "actress" does not have makes you think "Anna" has a grammatical gender? --Dan Polansky 09:03, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
The question wasn't lost; I'm just waiting for someone to answer my question in which I'm trying to get at an operational definition of grammatical gender. So far, only Conrad has made a real attempt to answer the question. I'm now waiting for a serious answer from Ruakh, but you are welcome to reply as well. "What would you look for in a word (in any language) to determine whether it had gender?" Once I have an answer to that, then a discussion can continue. Otherwise, we'll keep working past each other. --EncycloPetey 16:54, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
For me, it would depend on the language. In Spanish, I'd look at the article used with a noun and possibly the ending of the word to determine the gender of the noun. (And I don't know any other languages to give examples in them..... and English just uses 'the' for everything) L☺g☺maniac 17:07, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, but what if there were no article used, and the noun ended in -z? (both are very real possibilities in Spanish, and I am trying to go somewhere with this question; it relates to Conrad's answer above) --EncycloPetey 17:13, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I would look the word up in a dictionary. And if I couldn't find it in a dictionary I wouldn't use the word. :p L☺g☺maniac 17:30, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
So the gender of a word is determined by proclamation from a published authority? Really? But we are a dictionary, so we need to know the criteria that a dictionary writer would use in making the determination, and to employ those criteria ourselves. This is what we do when we write definitions based on collected citations. Even if a published dictionary lacks the sense we want to add, if we have amassed evidence for that sense, then we include that sense. My question then is: what evidence do we look for to justify assignment of gender to a noun? Yes, an article pairing can help, and sometimes the ending gives a clue (but can be uninformative or misleading, even in Spanish). So, are there any other things we could look for, and what are they? The other things I would look for are pairings with certain adjectival forms and certain pronoun forms. This is essentially what the Wikipedia definition of "grammatical gender" says, and it's correct. Grammatical gender is determined by the behavior of other associated words.
The Oxford Companion to the English Language says that in languages with gender "these parts of speech when used together must agree in gender". It is the consistent pairings of different parts of speech that marks gender groups. The OCEL also says: "In English, grammatical distinctions of gender are mainly confined to the third-person singular pronouns," and "Some natural-gender distinctions between pairs of nouns show a derivational relationship [] but most have no morphological connection. Some feminine endings are criticized as pejorative and sexist [] In recent years, conscious attempts have been made to use the unmarked or masculine term for both sexes." The OCEL explicitly acknowledges the existence of gender in English, but notes it is largely confined to third-person pronouns, and to a few noun pairs associated with natural-gender distinctions.
The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language discusses gender on pages 484-499. It notes that "Gender is not an inflectional category in English. Gender classes can be differentiated only on the basis of relations with pronouns [] " They do point out that " [] some linguists argue that English simply has no gender system, that the category of gender is irrelevant to English. That is not the view we take here: we regard the differences between English and French or German as a difference in the degree to which gender is grammaticalised in these langugaes, not in whether or not they have a category of gender." (link provided solely for entry creation purposes) The CGEL then proceeds to describe and differentiate the gender of pronouns, and the common noun gender classes in English. They do not, unfortunately address the issue of gender for proper nouns, except for the (long-since) aforementioned application of the feminine gender to nations and ships, but their treatment of what constitutes a proper noun (or what they call a proper name) is lacking in other regards as well and sticks principally to descriptions of usage rather than delimitation of defining universal properties.
Thus, linguistics experts in English for both Oxford and Cambridge agree that there is gender distinction in English, and the CGEL unambiguously states that some English nouns have grammatical gender. --EncycloPetey 18:30, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
(e/c) I only told you what I would do. I am not a linguistic expert and I don't expect to know what I'm supposed to do to figure out the gender of a word. I'm a teenager and I know that dictionaries usually know what they're talking about. Frankly, I don't care much how they know that, I'm just glad they do. L☺g☺maniac 19:39, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry if the reply sounded as if it were directed specifically at you and only you. This is the line of reasonig I was hoping someone would point to, and you just happened to be one the first to get there. This was a reply to several questions that had been posed above by several individuals, and it seemed best to express the whole shebang in one go, rather than do it piecemeal or repetitively. --EncycloPetey 21:51, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
If I want to know the gender of a Portuguese noun, I'd look for how it may be substituted or accompanied by pronouns, articles or most adjectives. (The pronouns o, ele, os, eles, seus, esse, aquele, among others, indicate masculine context, so when they refer correctly to any noun, this noun is masculine; and while most adjectives have regular inflectional suffixes that indicate gender, the other adjectives are clearly unclear - that is, they have suffixes which don't indicate any gender.) --Daniel. 18:05, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. Please also read the reply to Logomaniac and Dan Polansky, immediately above your post (at the moment). It agrees with you and adds iformation from expert sources about the nature of grammatical gender in Egnlish. --EncycloPetey 18:30, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Okay, so the question was not lost, but you are not yet giving any reply to it.
I only speak Czech, German, and English, so I cannot be sure that an answer that I provide on how to recognize gender applies to other languages.
I see the following effects that the grammatical gender of a gender-bearing noun has on its surroundings:
  • (a) choice of a gender-specific article (German: "die Sonne" - feminine, "der Hund" - masculine)
  • (b) choice of a gender-specific modifying adjective (Czech: "čisté nebe" - neuter, "čistá studánka" - feminine)
  • (c) choice of a gender-specific verb (Czech: "žena běžela" - feminine, "čas běžel" - masculine)
  • (d) choice of a gender-specific pronoun
The gender of a gender-bearing noun can be determined from the following context-free markers:
  • (e) the ending of the nominative form; this alone often does not suffice ("kočka" f, "předseda" m)
  • (f) the inflection pattern of the noun; the set of all its inflected forms ("singular datives "kočce" and "předsedovi" reveal the gender of both)
From the listed effects and markers, English nouns can be speculated to have (d) and in part (e). But for this effect, seen in the sentence "Why can't the actress open his locker?", there is an alternative explanation: it is the gender of all the potential referents of "actress" that guides the choice of the pronoun, not the grammatical gender of "actress". I see no evidence in the given sentence to the contrary. Given that most of gender markers and effects are absent in English nouns, the explanation through the gender of the referents seems more plausible to me than the claim that "actress" is an English noun of feminine grammatical gender.
A conspicuous feature that distinguishes effects of grammatical gender from object gender or referent gender is the disagreement between the two, as in Czech feminine noun "osoba" when applied to a male, or Czech neuter "děvče" and German neuter "Mädchen", both meaning "girl". I am unaware of any such disagreement in English.
Can you now please indicate whether "actress" has a grammatical gender by your account, so we may start "Category:English feminine nouns" or "Appendix:English feminine nouns"? I think there are going to be quite a few. --Dan Polansky 09:42, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I have answered that question in the three lengthy paragraphs above, where I support ny position on gender of English common nouns with information from the OCEL and CGEL. Although many languages do have disagreement between the biological gender of the referent and the grammatical gender of the word, this is not a linguistic requirement. General agreement in this matter determines the choice of category label only, and not the existence or absence of the category. For example, Dutch nouns (since their 20th-century language reforms) are now all considered "gendered" (common) or "neuter", although some traces of masculine/feminine distinction do still exist, such as among the third-person singular pronouns.
As both the OCEL and CGEL indicate, gender in English is heavily reduced compared to other Germanic and IE languages, but it does exist. The CGEL offers seven gender classes of English nouns, although this is a result of simultaneously considering all possible genders a word may have. So their classes distinguish between words that are "feminine (only)" and "masculine/feminine" and "feminine/neuter", etc. I don't think categories based on that level of distinction are needed for our purposes, although an appendix might cover it. A Category:English feminine nouns could be a good idea, though, as there are some English nouns that regularly take feminine pronouns. --EncycloPetey 20:01, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
The word "actress" does not appear in your answer above, so I assume that your answer to the specific question is implied, and that it is that, yes, "actress" is a feminine noun, along with "woman", "girl", "fiancée" and "baroness".
Other than the authority of OCEL and CGEL, I still see no evidence that the fact that the gender of the pronoun is governed by the noun is best explained through grammatical gender rather than referent gender. And even CGEL say, quoting from above "some linguists argue that English simply has no gender system, that the category of gender is irrelevant to English. That is not the view we take here: ...", so this is at least a disputed issue among linguists. I have presented some considerations that lead me to side with those linguists who argue that English simply has no gender system, that the category of gender is irrelevant to English. CGEL takes a different view, but they do just that: take a view, rather than delivering a faultless and indubitable proof.
On another note, I doubt that the social gender rather than biological sex is at stake. Given names are allocated to newborns, who have sex but not yet any social gender; the gender-specific socialization into a group of same-sex people showing gender-specific expectations about the behavior of the group's memebers is yet to happen to the newborn.
If I get it correctly from the web search, "male gender" refers to social gender as often as "masculine gender" does. So it seems untrue that "male" automatically selects the context of biology and biological reproduction rather than social gender and its expected gender role. Searches: google:"male gender role", google:"masculine gender roles". This is unlike in Czech, where the sex of a human person is labeled as "mužský" and "ženský", while the sex of animals is "samčí" (male, of animals and plants) and "samičí" (female, of animals and plants). --Dan Polansky 08:53, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support renaming (with "male" wording, preferably). Ƿidsiþ 00:10, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support renaming Appendix:Male given names/A. Oppose renaming Appendix:Masculine given names/A. By the way, these appendices would be much more useful, and worth the tremendous effort User:Alasdair has put into them, if somebody could create bots:
1.To check all the given names and surnames in given name/surname categories and add the missing ones into the appendices, making the appendix work as an index;
2.To make all the hidden remarks, like [[Aach]] <!-- Frisian, NL, dim. of Agatha --> into [[Aach]] <small> Frisian, NL, dim. of Agatha </small> . The names are defined by country, not language, and there are references to TV personages etc, but I've understood that the CFI for appendices isn't as strict as for actual entries. A preface could be added. In any case nobody can check these remarks as long as they are invisible.--Makaokalani 13:16, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support renaming but keeping the male wording. It's one syllable and easier to say. I don't really care about the grammatical whatnot...... L☺g☺maniac 17:07, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Support male wording per Logomaniac. --Yair rand 18:32, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I support renaming to either of the proposed titles.​—msh210 20:20, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Daniel., EncycloPetey, AugPi and BD4212 (and supposedly Yair rand initially, but not currently) prefer Appendix:Masculine given names/A while Conrad.Irwin, Dan Polansky, Mglovesfun, Ƿidsiþ, L☺g☺maniac and Yair rand (and AugPi at some point, but not currently) prefer Appendix:Male given names/A. Apparently, Ruakh stated that neither is appropriate, and msh210, that both are appropriate. This informal vote results up to this date in consensus as everybody supports (either male or masculine) renaming. But as 6-4-2, no consensus, since there are four and six "votes" for each possibility and two abstentions. Personally, I think EncycloPetey presented very good reasons based on grammatical evidence, so I'll take the liberty to rename appendices to the masculine version. Furthermore, please see Wiktionary:Votes/2009-12/Masculine and feminine given names. --Daniel. 23:13, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Most of that paragraph reads like an explanation of why you're about to take no action — and then I get to "Personally, I think [] , so I'll take the liberty to rename appendices to the masculine version". Huh? Please refrain. And if you're going to rename them, why start a vote about it?​—msh210 23:19, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
The vote is intended to reach a decision about the treatment of given names in the whole Wiktionary, not only the 131 appendices discussed here. In fact, no one expressed in this discussion reasons to keep the previous scheme Names male-A, so I concluded that any renaming would be suitable until the vote reaches a specific conclusion. Since you and Yair rand objected my recent action, I've restored the appendices to the Names male-A scheme. Except surname appendices, as Appendix:Surnames/A, doesn't seem objectionable yet. --Daniel. 02:39, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
The renaming that has the majority support in the voting so far, by a narrow margin, is "Appendix:Names male-A" --> "Appendix:Male given names/A". This is a renaming that the proponents of the option with "masculine" should have no problem with, as it does not make things worse from their point of view, only equally bad. --Dan Polansky 09:56, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Your opinion about my opinon is incorrect. Any edit that propogates an error makes things worse. I object stongly on the grounds that male is a primarily a descriptor of biological factors pertaining to sex, while masculine is primarily a descriptor of cultural/grammatical factors pertaining to gender. Names are cultural and/or grammatical, not biological. --EncycloPetey 18:49, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I did not mean to misrepresent you. I do not see how the renaming propagates the error: before the renaming, "female" is there, while after the renaming, "female" is still there, so the number of page titles in which this error-would-be occurs remains constant. I don't see how this can be called a propagation. Be it as it may, I now accept that you prefer no renaming to renaming that uses "female", or that is what I understand from your reply. --Dan Polansky 08:35, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

To jump in a moment – could we also have a “Unisex given names” category, for names like “Francis” or “Jessie” (rather than just cross-listing them in both Male and Female)? There are some such names in English, and they are very common in Chinese and Sikh culture, for instance.
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 04:17, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

Redirects for apostrophes

Irritatingly enough, the French Wiktionary uses the printers' apostrophe (’) so we typical use redirects to allow Interwicket to link to them by interwiki. As pointed out, rather than creating these redirects by hand, can't a bot do it? Example: violon d'Ingres. Click on the French interwiki, then click again to get back to English. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:33, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Main page redesign

I've proposed some changes to the proposed Main Page redesign. Perhaps with these changes, the redesign could be doable. --Yair rand 06:52, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

My concern is for the Prather family history. I am finding less and less about them.

Some where somebody has the information. Why not let it be found here?

I am willing to help. I don't see where I need to comitt myself to contributing any money. Times are hard.

Jack Prather

Not here, this is a dictionary
What you need is a genealogical database - try Cheers! bd2412 T 05:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Though, if anyone's interested, there is a proposed Wikimedia project called Rodovid which is a genealogical wiki. The demo site has 250,000 records. --Yair rand 19:52, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/2009-12/Proposed CFI exception for SI Units

Pursuant to the unresolved discussion at Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2009/September#SI units and abbreviations, and several pending RfV/RfD nominations, I have initiated Wiktionary:Votes/2009-12/Proposed CFI exception for SI Units. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:15, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

AWB request

Even though I already have AWB access, I would like to ask the community if I can use my AWB access to make changes like this and this to Ido nouns to get all of them standardized. The edits will be made manually because of how complex the changes are. Thank you, Razorflame 00:14, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Seems fine to standardize on the Ido inflection line template. --Bequw¢τ 01:28, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Appendix:List of protologisms/large numbers

Can I have the content of this page before it was deleted pasted to my userpage. I am the originator of the content. Shoof 13:57, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Not sure who did so, but looks like it's there now. DAVilla 06:16, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Why does list of protologisms actually exist? Isn't it just a green light to create nonsense in a Wiktionary appendix? Mglovesfun (talk) 06:51, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
Apparently, just like the /more pages in Wikisaurus. --Yair rand 16:52, 25 December 2009 (UTC)


See Wiktionary talk:Spellings#Misspellings. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:00, 25 December 2009 (UTC)


Isn't this a bad redirect (to était), just like Raised et al? AFAICT our search will allow users to find words with diacritics they can't type. That's what I used to do before I learnt a large number of alt codes. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:54, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

It's a good example of a time to use {{DEFAULTSORT:etait}}, Mglovesfun (talk) 10:23, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Mandarin, zh

Unfortunately, the zh as Mandarin looks bad at WT:LANGTREAT. This language code is officially ISO 639-1 for Chinese, which would make more sense in that list. Since the community seems to not want a Chinese language in any context, my work is done. --Daniel. 21:48, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Because Wikimedia used "zh" for the Chinese Wikipedia (which happens to be written in Mandarin), we have a huge mess: Firstly, "zh" is widely used (here) to denote both Mandarin and Chinese, secondly (perhaps understandably) Chinese is used to mean Mandarin. The only sensible way to proceed is to create a new template ({{zho}} perhaps), to represent Chinese, and then, using {{cmn}} we could (manually) remove all instances of the horribly broken, ambiguous and misused {{zh}}. I do not forsee there being many things for which {{zho}} can be correctly used, as you note at WT:LANGTREAT we treat "Chinese" as a seperate language, (it should certainly not be labelled as Mandarin there). Conrad.Irwin 22:19, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
In my opinion, ideally {{zh}} would be our code for Chinese. According to WT:LANGCODE, {{zhx-zho}} seems a good alternative. I've moved the code {{chinese-language}}, which you created, to {{zhx-zho}} and updated WT:LANGCODE and WT:LANGTREAT. Thanks. --Daniel. 04:29, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Editable policy

I'd like to move Wiktionary:Editable CFI to Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion/Editable and create the shortcut WT:CFIE for it. In addition, the same for WT:ELEE. --Daniel. 14:07, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Seems fine. Wiktionary:Editable ELE was recently created. --Bequw¢τ 23:36, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Done. Perhaps non-editable WT:CFI should link to WT:CFIE and non-editable WT:ELE should link to WT:ELEE. Unless a vote is required, since they're non-editable. --Daniel. 04:50, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

I've edited the header of WT:CFIE to link to WT:CFI. May I do the same at WT:CFI to link it to WT:CFIE? --Daniel. 14:29, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

WT: redirect to Wiktionary:, WS: redirect to Wikisaurus:

I propose that the WT: namespace redirect to the Wiktionary: namespace and that WS: (not yet a namespace) redirect to the Wikisaurus: namespace in the same way that WP: redirects to Wikipedia in the English Wikipedia. I suggested this a while ago in the Grease Pit and I can see no problems with this. The Simple English Wiktionary recently decided to redirect the WT: namespace to Wiktionary: there. --Yair rand 00:18, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

Sounds sensible to me. --EncycloPetey 00:28, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes please. Conrad.Irwin 22:10, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I've started the vote here. --Yair rand 23:55, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I like this idea, except that WS: used to be the shortcut fakespace for Wiktionary: and some links still exist (e.g. to WS:BP). I doubt any links exist to WS:foo where foo is something that we're likely to have in Wikisaurus: space, since the WS: pages were fullcaps. But just in case some do, WS: for Wikisaurus: may not be the best idea. Is it possible to analyze a dump for current links to WS: pages? And do we want to worry about old revisions' links?​—msh210 18:14, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
The only old WS: links that I can see that could possibly end up being Wikisaurus entries are WS:NEWS, WS:WIN, WS:cuts, and WS:CAT, all of which are only linked to from User:Dcljr/Sandbox. --Yair rand 20:46, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, that eases my mind. How'd you get a list of all linked-to WS: pages?​—msh210 18:36, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I think Special:PrefixIndex/WS: might do it. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:43, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
There should be no, or few, links to WS: pages left. I removed them all in January 2008. (except to WS:OP which was kept as it is linked to in block summaries). Conrad.Irwin 19:36, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Harry Potter terms

The small list Appendix:Glossary of Harry Potter terms includes Veritaserum, which I don't think meets CFI. Should this appendix stick to CFI and list only verifiable terms such as muggle and Voldemort or include universe-only terms such as Aguamenti (spell for creating water), Chaser (attacker position in the sport Quidditch) and Pensieve (artifact for keeping and organizing thoughts and memories)? --Daniel. 04:34, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

If veritaserum is mentioned in three works, then it meets CFI for inclusion in a fictional universe appendix. There are a host of books and articles written about the Harry Potter universe, and published reviews and summaries of the films. I'd be genuinely surprised if veritaserum were not mentioned in three works. --EncycloPetey 04:52, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
I see. Then, virtually all spells, creatures, places and items from Harry Potter universe deserve a Wiktionary entry and a place at that appendix. --Daniel. 05:40, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
No, see Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion/Fictional universes. The criteria for a place in an appendix is not the same as for an entry in the main namespace. --Yair rand 05:42, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Understood. Then my statement about "all spells, creatures, places and items from Harry Potter universe" is true only for appendices; and in a more restrictive manner, as places such as Azkaban are not permitted as solely in-universe context. I did not find further restrictions, so perhaps an appendix with 493 Pokémon names multiplied by four official languages would also be possible. Interesting. Thank you. --Daniel. 06:05, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
Appendix:Pokémon done, with basic information. References shall be added soon. --Daniel. 09:23, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
You might consider adding links to any WP articles about specific Pokémon. --EncycloPetey 19:50, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Not a good idea. WP has 14 pokemon-specific articles at the moment, a number which changes ridiculously frequently due to disputes about whether there's enough "real-world information" to be an article. --Yair rand 19:59, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
While Wikipedia doesn't contain currently a high or stable quantity of individual articles about specific Pokémon, it does contains valuable information on the subject. As you can see at, for instance, Appendix:Pokémon/E, Wikipedia links were added where appropriate. --Daniel. 15:51, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Change Ido plural category to Ido noun form category

Hello there all. I would like to ask the community if you think that changing the category where the Ido plurals go from Ido plurals to Ido noun form category to standardize it with what the other languages are doing. Is this a good idea? I await your feedback! Razorflame 19:27, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

I think the only noun forms that Ido has is plurals, right? Noun forms is used for highlu inflected languages like Greek, Russian and Latin. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:29, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, ok. I didn't know that. Thanks for the feedback! Cheers, Razorflame 19:38, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
To expand a bit: if only nouns have plurals, nouns have only singulars and plurals (no cases or states or anything, and no other numbers), and the singular forms are the lemmata, then there's no problem with just "<langname> plurals". —RuakhTALK 19:43, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

English plurals

[[Category:English plurals]] is supposed to contain nouns only - this statement is not easily affirmed through intuitiveness, its current talk page, current description nor through analyzing its 67,248 members. This statement may even be incorrect, as there are English plural verb forms and pronouns. --Daniel. 20:17, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Where does it say "[[Category:English plurals]] is supposed to contain nouns only"?
There are only few plural pronouns--"they", "them", "their"--and few verb forms--"are" of "to be". What have I forgotten to list?
The talk page Category_talk:English_plurals says nothing of interest.
The decision for a category to contain something rests with the creator of the category; if the creator decides to exclude plural pronouns from [[Category:English plurals]], I see no problem with that.
What is the problem that you are trying to address, and what solution do you propose? --Dan Polansky 10:42, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Standardizing Finnish noun templates

Hello there all. It has come to my attention that some of the Finnish noun entries use {{infl|fi|noun}} and some of them use {{fi-noun}}. I believe that we need to pick one or the other and stop using the other one to standardize and make uniform our entries. This process could easily be done by bot, using AWB with a preset list of the Finnish nouns and enabling the find and replace function to either find and replace {{infl|fi|noun}} with {{fi-noun}} or the other way around. I thought that I might get others' thoughts on this matter first? Razorflame 10:42, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I know nothing about the Finnish noun entries, and I hope nothing is done along the lines you suggest without input from those who work in Finnish. But I can speak from experience that sometimes I use {{infl}} for an English or Hebrew noun — even though specialized templates exist — because the templates are not quite suited for the particular noun. For example, English pluralia tantum don't accommodate {{en-noun}} well (or, if they do, I don't know how), so I use {{infl}}.​—msh210 18:09, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't plan on doing anything until both Jyril and Hekaheka have said their piece here. I understand that there are particular nouns that don't work with the general template, and we could maybe make a list of those nouns and they would be put on the exception list so that they don't get changed. The whole idea of this was to help centralize and standardize the Finnish entries so that they all are the same without much variation (in terms of layout) so that people don't get confused with why one of the entries is different than the others. Razorflame 18:12, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Again, I don't know Finnish, but I'd assume that if some class of nouns can't use {{fi-noun}}, then that class is open in some sense, and there may be nouns that belong on such a list that no one will think to put on it.​—msh210 19:54, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
So maybe the better thing to do is change all of the Finnish nouns from {{fi-noun}} to {{infl|fi|noun}} then? Razorflame 19:56, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
No. {{fi-noun}} provides conveniences and standardized layout. You can make a horribly un-standard inflection line with {{infl}} as it allows for so many (unnamed) parameters. Language-specific inflection line templates evolve, gradually being able to encompass more and more classes of words. Those that can be appropriately converted from {{infl|fi}}{{fi-noun}} should be converted and {{fi-noun}} should be updated to encompass more and more classes of nouns. There is no utility in standardizing on the most base template. --Bequw¢τ 20:48, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
I would agree with you there, but I would have no idea about where to begin trying to update {{fi-noun}} to include more and more classes of Finnish nouns as I am not a template person. Razorflame 20:52, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Based on some earlier discussions (probably with Jyril but I'm not sure) I have regarded <infl> -template as the standard to be strived towards, and systematically changed all <fi-noun>'s that I have encountered to it. Now I understand that Razorflame would like to do the other way round. I do not understand the finesses of the template business and I have used both in their basic form only adding an occasional <|p> in plurale tantum -entries, which by the way only works with <infl>. I'm willing to go either way, but let's start by writing down the pros and cons of each. --Hekaheka 05:50, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Currently the main reason why I prefer <infl|fi|noun> is that the robot (or whatever) that creates this page: [[3]] automatically interprets <fi-noun> -entries as not having a declension table. I guess some template-wizard could fix this in no time, but I really would want to get Jyril's opinion on this, because we are talking of something that is pretty much built by him. --Hekaheka 00:25, 6 January 2010 (UTC)

My bot

My bot was blocked by EncycloPetey for using it when the concensus was against it being used about two weeks ago. He has told me that if the community thinks that I am a capable enough bot operator or that there is concensus for me to be able to use a bot, that he would unblock it. Therefore, I would like to ask you this: Am I a capable enough editor that you can trust me with the operation of a bot here on the English Wiktionary?

A few things to keep in mind: I've been running Darkicebot since January 2008 as an interwiki bot and over the years, he has gained the bot flag on more than 50 Wikipedias, as well as gaining the global bot flag about half a year ago. I've been working with Darkicebot since January 2008, and I believe that I am a capable enough bot operator.

My question to you is this: Can my bot be unblocked? I've already told EncycloPetey that I have no intentions of running it unless I am ready to test something out (and by test, I mean 5-10 edits) while I get it ready to possibly use in the future. Do you think I am a capable enough bot operator to handle this responsibility? Thanks, Razorflame 19:17, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree with EP that since your bot is blocked, your few test edits should be done through your Razorflame account. The username change should only require a find&replace in your bot code (+ storing new login credentials). --Bequw¢τ 20:54, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Ok. I will see what I can do about it. Thanks for the help and opinion. Other opinions are still welcome on this subject. Razorflame 15:53, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Definition layout.

I've created Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-12/Definition layout. The underlying proposal is lemma-to-lemma translation; the vote page is an attempt to formulate that in a way we can vote on. Right this instant, I'm not really interested in objections to the underlying proposal; the last discussion was about that, and I expect we'll have another one before the vote takes place (I haven't given it a start-time yet, as I don't think there's a need to rush this). Rather, what I'm looking for right now is help in getting the vote page to really reflect the underlying proposal: is it modifying the right part of the right policy, does the wording convey what it's supposed to, and so on. (I'm also wondering if I'm trying to put too many changes in one vote. The stuff about "a" and "to" feels logically connected, but maybe it's not connected enough to go in the same vote.) Please comment at Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2009-12/Definition layout. —RuakhTALK 03:44, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Translingual categories

I find it a little disconcerting that a Translingual entry (eg +) shows up only in Translingual categories and not in the language-specific categories for which that translingual definition is valid (eg Category:Mathematics). When viewing categories like Category:English proper nouns and Category:Mathematics, I'd want some inkling of the content in Category:Translingual proper nouns and Category:mul:Mathematics. Sure, the PoS categories are siblings and the Translingual topical category is a child of the English one, but I think we should do better than this. Here's what I was thining:

  1. Working at merely the category level we could edit the category page templates (eg {{poscatboiler}} and {{topic cat}}) to prominently display links in the category description to related extant Translingual categories. This is easy, but might wrongfully imply that all entries in the Translingual category are valid in a particular language.
  2. Working at the article level, we could formalize the Translingual entry structure for noting the languages for which a Translingual sense is valid. We could have, for instance, do something like:
===Usage notes===
* {{sense|the plus sign}} {{mul-range|pos1=symbol|topic1=mathematics|en|fr|ja|cmn}}
* {{sense|symbol for and}} {{mul-range|pos1=symbol|topic1=informal|en|fr}}
This would both display for the reader the languages a specific sense is valid in, as well as put the entry into the appropriate language-specific PoS and topical categories. This is more specific than #1 and our coverage would therefore be low for the foreseeable future.

Do either of these ideas, or a mixture of the two, seem appropriate? Does someone else have a better way of relating Translingual categories to others? --Bequw¢τ 22:36, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Ambiguous category names

Unfortunately Wikimedia hasn't figured out how to allow categories to be renamed, which is really irritating. For example, the categories Occupations, Construction and Drugs are all unusually ambiguous. I'd like to see [[Category:Occupations]] become [[Category:Professions]], [[Category:Construction]], well I don't know but it has a lot of meanings (grammatical, phonological, etc.) and [[Category:Drugs]] is currently at WT:RFDO because the content has to be split, although nobody really know how yet. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:53, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Why change Occupations to Professions? They are quite different things. I.e. an occupation can be a profession but not necessarily the other way around. They're supposed to be generic, aren't they, as they function as hypernyms/umbrella terms. Tooironic 01:51, 1 January 2010 (UTC)