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Beer parlour archives edit

July 2010

Unifying 'alternative forms/spellings' headers

A recent ELE discussion sparked my curiosity about the usage of both "Alternative forms" and "Alternative spellings". I made a list of pages using both, one right above the other. It seems to me that the dual headings should be unified, probably under the more general "forms" header. If so, should we provide any sort of qualifier to distinguish the two. More broadly, should we just use the more general header always? This would ease the constant confusion among editors about which one to use. --Bequw τ 21:44, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

My preference would be the standardisation of everything to a single "Alternative forms" header, with "Alternative spellings" being deprecated and automatically changed (probably on an ongoing basis) to "Alternative forms" by some automation or other. I think we'd just need a few notes in places that people are likely to look (ELE, anywhere else?) that "Alternative forms" includes forms that are alternative spellings. I've never understood why we have both. Thryduulf (talk) 22:37, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Re: "I've never understood why we have both": Originally we only had "Alternative spellings"; later, some editors started using "Alternative forms" for cases where "Alternative spellings" didn't work. (And there were some objections to that. As I recall, some editors felt that "forms" implied "inflected forms".) Before now, I don't remember ever seeing anyone suggest the wholesale elimination of "Alternative spellings". Maybe it's just never occurred to anyone? But personally, I never use both on the same page, preferring "Alternative forms" whenever "Alternative spellings" doesn't cover all listed items, and I'd be fine with your suggestion of never using "Alternative spellings" at all. —RuakhTALK 23:23, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
There was an earlier discussion on the topic about a month or two ago, but I can't remember where it was. Someone proposed using alt spelling only for pairs with identical meanings and pronunciations, and alt forms for everything else. However, I'd be ok with simply using either for all entries. Whatever the outcome, standardization is a higher priority for me. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:25, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
FWIW I, too, am fine with Thryduulf's suggestion of sticking to "forms".​—msh210 (talk) 07:12, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I think it is important that we have wording that is satisfactory for all languages. Either would work for English. But if "forms" introduces some ambiguity among users who are not native English speakers or for English speakers learning inflected languages, it might not be satisfactory. This might be a good use for a straw poll. BTW, the previous discussion included "synonyms" in the header, which may indicate the full extent of ambiguity. DCDuring TALK 10:11, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Strong support for unifying and redirecting {{alternative spelling of}} to {{alternative form of}} --Vahagn Petrosyan 10:12, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I've started WT:Votes/pl-2010-07/Alternative forms header as this would have to change a line in WT:ELE. --Bequw τ 05:15, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
  • I have some concerns. It might be ambiguous, as it has been pointed out. For any entry with alternative forms, how will we know whether the listed entries are just two spellings of the same word or slightly different words (ie. they represent different pronunciation)? Should we list the latter as synonyms? —Internoob (DiscCont) 18:55, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
    • To some extent alternative spellings, alternative forms and synonyms overlap. I'd be inclined to keep all three, but manage them well. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:24, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
    • And homophones. Does that make a difference between "alt spelling" and "alt form"? Ie, is an alt spelling an alt form that is also a homophone? In contrast, words like buoyance and buoyancy might be alt forms. DCDuring TALK 22:51, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
      • That's the way I understand it, yes. —Internoob (DiscCont) 03:04, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
It's not ambiguous in that we are blurry previously distinct concepts. We don't have (and I haven't seen elsewhere) a clear policy for what is an alternative form and which is an alternative spelling (some say similar/equivalent pronunciation, some bring in etymology too). Readers would probably care more that we provide the necessary tools for them to assess the relationships between terms themselves rather than for us to invent an additional phrase of jargon. That's why we should unify the headers.
It would also be good for Wiktionary to eventually have an idea of what should go in this section. I don't care too much about the specifics. It could be a heuristic like "similar etymology, pronunciation, and meaning" (with variants for foreign languages). But I think that is a slightly separate issue. --Bequw τ 03:13, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be better just to have alternate forms/spellings work something along the lines of {{also}} right under the language headers? I don't really see the need for either alternative forms or alternative spellings to have headers (though I do think that unified alt form headers is still better than what we currently have). --Yair rand (talk) 03:19, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
One reason for including an "Alternative whatever" heading is that it allows us to include additional info about the relationship between the entry and the alt, such as dialect or register in which each is found. Also, I generally see the {{also}} stuff as information which is not actually related to the entry. There is no real relationship between act and ACT besides the coincidental similarity of their spelling. We include the {{also}} stuff as a convenience to the reader, yet it is not information about any particular word, and consequently is not placed inside any language header. Conversely, there is a very real relationship between the English words color and colour, and this is why that info is placed inside the English section. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 03:41, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I think it could work if additional text is allowed next to the word (Alternative forms: color (US)). --Yair rand (talk) 05:04, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
But it couldn't make language level distinctions. If "foo" is a word in English, with the alt "bar" and also a French word with the alt "baz", then we'd have a problem encoding this. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:31, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
That would only be a problem if we put it at the top of the page, as opposed to right below the language headers, as I had suggested. --Yair rand (talk) 05:36, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
Oh, I missed that bit. Sorry. I guess I've run out of smarmy counter-arguments then. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:47, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I prefer that data about the entry always be included under some header idnetifying the nature of the information. We do have relative frequency data, wikipedia links, and images already placed directly under the language header. I fear allowing more information there os other types will create an impossible-to-edit jumble. If the alternative forms are under a specific header, then a bot can at least recognize what that information is supposed to mean. Without a header, it's random content. Further, alternative forms are sometimes listed at L4, when the forms apply only to one POS or one etymology, etc. So, removing the header when the information appears at a different location again introduces inconsistency to the data structure that both editors and bots will have troublw with. --EncycloPetey 04:23, 6 July 2010 (UTC)
FWIW I only ever use alternative forms. Mglovesfun (talk) 08:54, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
"Alternative forms" would be confusing for given names and surnames. Some editors may think that, for example, Cathy, Catriona and Kathleen are alternative forms of Catherine. Right now they are listed in "Related terms" and "Alternative spellings" only includes forms pronounced like Catherine, such as Katherine and Kathryn. "Alternative forms" would also make their pronunciation uncertain.--Makaokalani 14:04, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
We could spell extra policy out at WT:Alternative forms (maybe merging with some info from WT:Alternative spellings?). Or all the forms you mention could be listed in the section with an "alternative spellings" qualifier in front of the ones that are pronounced the same. I think this is similar to other Latin script issues. Given names in other scripts (eg Asian ones), I'd imagine would be more happy with "Alternative forms". --Bequw τ 15:51, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Word moves

I noticed that we have role-playing game, but not roleplaying game (or role playing game). I went to Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits to propose a move, but it says "Out of scope merging entries which are alternative forms, spelling or synonyms such as color/colour or traveled/travelled. Unlike Wikipedia, we don't redirect in these sort of situations." That's wonderful; it might be a little useful if it told me what we do do in these types of situations. Should I do a cut and paste from role-playing game to roleplaying game? Surely there's a saner solution...--Prosfilaes 14:53, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Whoops, we do have role playing game. Though it's just wrong, in claiming that it's a misspelling; in my pile of roleplaying games I assembled here, I think there's more that describe themselves as role playing games than role-playing games.--Prosfilaes 14:56, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
In such cases we usually create an entry for them as "alternative spellings", using {{alternative spelling of}}. We also add a heading for "Alternative forms" (or "Alternative spellings", though there is now a vote to eliminate that header in favor of "Alternative forms" at the main entry. We try to avoid having duplicate content for entries that only differ by spelling or form in this way. HTH. DCDuring TALK 15:35, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Is this better? DAVilla 05:09, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Value of the Quotations header?

Now that we have hideable quotes up and running, I'm wondering whether there is any value in continuing to have the "Quotations" header in entries. These days we (de facto) prefer to have quotations either inline (and optionally hidden) following the sense they relate to or on the separate citations: page, rather than in their own section between the definitions and translations.

On the other hand, having a quotations section in the new entry templates is a very explicit way of showing that they are a requirement of a good entry. Changing from the quotations section to the inline quotations format is not a big job (at least when there is only one sense), and may be automatable (1. delete Quotations header line, 2. prepend # to any lines starting * or *:, 3. remove any blank lines between the definition line/example sentence and the first line starting #*, 4. remove any blank lines between lines starting #* or #*: ). This is work that has to be done though.

In summary, I'm not certain whether there is more value in keeping or removing the Quotations header. Thryduulf (talk) 15:00, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

I have seen cases where I could not determine which single sense (if any) was the illustrated by the citation snippet. Though I would think that is prima facie evidence that the citation fails to serve as a good usage example (or that our definitions are inadequate), I am loathe to eliminate the quotation or move it to citation space, especially if authored by one of the sainted members of the literary canon. Thus, on an exceptional or temporary basis I retain the header. DCDuring TALK 15:41, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
The header is also an excellent visual cue to users for the "See more quotations on the Citations page" template. Time and again, new users have not understood that the Citations page existed, or have misunderstood what that page was intended for. That's a reason in addition to DCD's points. --EncycloPetey 16:28, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
In my opinion, that's more an argument for Thryduulf's point. Ƿidsiþ 15:54, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
We should have an alternative location for {{seeCites}} (or similar message). It looks silly to have it in an empty Quotations section. What about putting it at the bottom of the PoS, below definitions, but before subsections? We could even make it a right-hand side message. I think we should treat the header as a cleanup task (over 5k page) per DCDuring's reasons. --Bequw τ 15:13, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
See abstemious for a look of how {{seeCites}} has already been used at the bottom of the main PoS section. I like it.--Bequw τ 21:31, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I have personally treated Quotations headers as cleanup tasks, but have been defeated often by my inability to match hallowed literary quotations with our senses, when the senses did not seem to be at fault. I would be in favor of allowing a Quotations header to be replaced with an "Ambiguous quotations" for such quotations if we can't bring ourselves to desecrate them by moving them to the citations page, which would be my preferred choice.
The implication of my experience with quotes and the excessive respect given literary quotations (single citation used as sole justification for a sense; ambiguous and dated literary citations providing sole usage examples) is that it may not be possible to fully eliminate the quotations header, though that is my preferred choice. DCDuring TALK 16:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree with DCDuring and EncycloPetey. That said, WT:ELE currently implies that we shouldn't have multiple quotations under a given definition, and doesn't even mention the possibility of a citations page, so I'd support modifying it to better reflect current practice. —RuakhTALK 17:14, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
I support getting rid of "Quotations" altogether, since we are not Wikiquote. We include quotations not for the purpose of extolling the pithiness of a turn of phrase, but to show how and when a particular word is used. bd2412 T 15:58, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we should consider more regularly using a {{wikiquote}}, or better, {{quoteslite}} template under See also, to direct folks to other quotations sources, which we could even supplement with some of the ones we have. Such templates would make Bequw's cleanup process more productive. DCDuring TALK 16:35, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Remove autopatrol after long blocks

Thinking about the RazorFlame discussion at user talk:msh210, I think we should keep a closer eye on the contributions of those users who return after a lengthy block. The easiest way I can think of to make this more likely to happen is to remove their autopatroller status, such that every edit should be reviewed by at least one other person. The existing WT:WL procedure should I think be sufficient to ensure they get it back when it's clear they aren't immediately returning to the behaviour that got them blocked. Thryduulf (talk) 22:16, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

ps: I forgot to add that I was thinking about defining a "lengthy block" for these purposes as 3 months or more, but that's just a figure plucked out the air. Thryduulf (talk) 22:18, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

That sounds pretty reasonable to me. Quite frankly, I would argue that any block merits greater scrutiny of the editor's edits, and thus de-auto-patrolling. The whitelist process is pretty lightweight and consequently it's easy to reinstate if the editor in question returns to good editing. What we really should have is an addition to the "blocked banner" that notes that the user is autopatrolled, so that the blocking admin remembers to do so. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:12, 10 July 2010 (UTC)
Good idea. DCDuring TALK 01:05, 11 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Trust is something that is quite rightly easier to lose than to gain, and there's no harm in encapsulating that principle in procedures. I think people will understand. Pingku 17:59, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Is this something that would need a vote to implement or can it just be written up as a policy page and promulgated somehow? Thryduulf (talk) 23:33, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Razorflame (and blocking more generally).

So, there's been a lot of discussion of Razorflame's block in places, and via media, that don't really strike me as the best places and media for it — msh210's talk-page, other talk-pages, e-mails, ACARS, and Rayleigh waves, to name a few. In a way, this has been a discussion of just the one editor, but it's also been a discussion of our blocking policies in general, so I think it's worth bringing here.

In short: a number of editors want him gone, and a number of editors don't. Indeed, I'm not sure any of the blocks against him, even the relatively short ones, have had real consensus.

The problem is, there seems to have developed a notion that unblocking is rude, so the former group seems to "win", even if it's in the minority. I think that's a serious problem. (Full disclosure: I share the blame for this; if nothing else, I once let an unjustified one-month block against Doremítzwr stand rather than risk wheel-warring with an admin whom I like.) I've even seen comments that seem to imply that, if it came to a vote, there would need to be a consensus to overturn the block. I happen to agree with this specific block, but I think that the general idea is, frankly, ridiculous.

But I don't have a good solution. Should we have a discussion-page for discussing contested blocks? Should such discussions come here? Should they be held on the blocked user's talk-page (perhaps with links from here or another page)? Should it be like RFD, with bold Block for 1 week and Don't block and Comment and so on? And, how should we resolve such discussions? Does it require a majority to uphold a block, or to overturn a block, or what? What happens if the discussion lasts longer than the block itself?

We should also have procedures to archive such discussions for future reference, whether or not there's a single forum for them. Recently Sven came back up, and we were basically dependent on the recollections of involved admins. It would have been nice if we'd had some links handy to demonstrate his unacceptable comments.

RuakhTALK 02:15, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Oh — and though I'm raising broader issues than just Razorflame, I might as well mention my thoughts on him specifically, which are:
  • I don't like the de facto validation we've given to his promises. I'd rather block him for a very bad Ido edit than for a slightly-bad Persian edit.
  • That said, I think the Persian edit is a bit worse than people have been acknowledging; I realize that transliterations, as factual information in a non–editor-specific format, are not copyrightable by editors, and therefore not actually restricted by GFDL and CC-BY-SA when copying within Wiktionary, but it's part of a general pattern on Razorflame's part of not giving attribution to his sources (and in many cases this has meant copyright violation).
  • I've actually seen fairly few examples of his adding incorrect information. I have seen some, but I've also seen cases where he was wrongly accused of adding incorrect information (e.g., [[generalismo]]), and cases where he was blocked for making an edit without regard for whether it was actually correct.
  • All told, given that he's basically a troll, albeit probably unintentionally so, I personally don't really mind his being blocked for a year; we can urge him to return to the Simple English Wiktionary (it seems to have a shortage of editors, and as a fairly-well-meaning, highly-productive editor with apparent native-level proficiency in English, he should be able to help there a good deal, without as much risk that he'll make edits based on knowledge he mistakenly thinks he has), and after a year, we'll have a basis to see how much he's matured as a Wikimedian.
RuakhTALK 02:15, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
This seems a reasonable proposal. I'd like to note that, inasumch as I appreciate that it's not good to have users stay blocked simply because the folks who oppose the block are too timid, I think it's also not good to have wheel wars with blocks, or simply to have blocks overturned out of hand and out of process. In any case, having a formal procedure for having these sorts of discussions would likely increase participation and generally alleviate both problems. I would prefer a centralized place for these discussions. User talk pages sometimes get archived, but sometimes also simply get cleared, and my experience is that folks are less reliable in archiving discussions they'd rather forget. Also, this would make for a watchlistable page, which would encourage broader participation, and allow admins to keep up with what we're blocking for and what we're not blocking for, which might help move us away from "blocked because I'm grumpy", which we sometimes fall into. Concerning Razorflame specifically, I've already given my position....several times, probably, and so won't repeat it in detail. Suffice to say that I generally agree with Ruakh's assessment. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:34, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I am not going to comment about Razorflame any more than I have already done so at msh210's talk page. I do think we as a community are large enough now that we need some formal discussion place regarding blocks - the ad hoc way we currently do it was probably fine back in the day but was never going to scale well and it s long overdue for replacement. We also need somewhere to discuss editing restrictions other than blocks, so page name like perhaps Wiktionary:Blocks and restrictions would seem appropriate. Such a centralised discussion place would likely help admins who are not involved keep abreast of what is happening - for example I knew very little about the Razorflame situation until he emailed me. As such I think it would be useful to create a factual, dispassionate record (sort of case notes) about an individual dispute that summarised and linked to previous discussions. Thryduulf (talk) 08:08, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I do not find banishing Razorflame to the Simple English wiktionary particularly enticing, especially for an edit which could be considered correct by the transliteration standard of Persian used in April 2007 (when the stuff he copied was created), nay I find any punishment for this particular edit unnecessary. For a contributor like Razorflame, two weeks without any transgression can be seen as an improvement of his behaviour and the block is far from delivering the due encouragement. That said, I am no fan of Razorflame, but I consider it accurate to evaluate the edits he makes per se and not the contributor as a whole. Even though he is not entirely unshent, I cannot concur with blocking him (or any other contributor, e. g. Sven’s tentative return) on the basis of his record. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 08:17, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
I would be very much against trying to use numerical superiority to decide the issue of blocks. Currently the blocking policy is fairly general - but it would seem very acceptable for a block to be revoked (without fuss) if it was made without justification that the block is preventing harm to Wiktionary's progress. I think it's important to note that the policy is not worded to exclude cases where, in addition to harm, there is a lot of good - it certainly shouldn't be the case that being a good editor most of the time exempts you from being blocked if you behave idiotically occasionally, though again it comes down to a large grey area in the middle.
The reason it is considered rude to "unblock" is because it says "I don't trust your judgement" - as it seems that Wiktionary is too big for us to trust each other anymore, it may be the case that we need to create a higher authority to appeal to. I really don't like the idea, at all. Perhaps we could try adding a single safety buffer. If a contester wishes to undo an admins block, in the first instance they should ask for more explanation from the admin, if still wishing to contest, they should ask a second admin (of their choosing) to perform the actual unblock. This should allow the second admin a freeer hand, as the admittance of lack of trust has already been made. Obviously the selection of the second admin is the weakest link in the process, perhaps it should be at random, or selected from a shortlist of the contester by the blocking admin. Once a user is unblocked, I think they should remain unblocked until such a time as new proof of their casuing harm to Wiktionary is revealed. Conrad.Irwin 08:38, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps we should have a requests for comments type system. If one user wants to discuss or challenge a block or similar action, they should first contact the admin who made the decision. If that discussion does not result in an outcome acceptable to both parties (which could be the status quo, after the challenger better understands the reasoning), then they could come to the RfC page where both parties would make a brief factual statement and invite wider community review. The consensus of that discussion should be considered binding.
As admins are only human, it should be fine to make the occasional error as long as when they make errors they are prepared to admit they were wrong and make amends for it (typically by apologising and undoing their actions). If they are not prepared to do this, or the mistakes are more frequent than acceptable, or are on several occasions completely at odds with policy and the general consensus of users then we as a community should be reviewing whether we still trust that user to be an administrator. If general consensus of users is at odds with policy then we should review the policy. Thryduulf (talk) 14:21, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
As I and SGB and now Ruakh have pointed out, we have no real process other than respecting a blocking admin's decision, and I agree that we need one. Like Ruakh, I don't know what process that would be, but I would not want it to be initializable by the blocked party (unlike on enWP, where it is). Perhaps have an admin request an explanation (on the admin's talkpage) formally, using a special template that seeks a clear one-time explanation (so the blocking admin knows to make a complete case), and if that satisfies the requester then fine, and if not then he should insist on an unblock. If the blocking admin denies it, then perhaps a vote (on some page devoted to such) among admins, to be decided either by simple majority or by a (preferably uninvolved) b'rat (in the latter case with weight given to arguments)?​—msh210 (talk) 19:55, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
And perhaps this process should only be in place for long-range blocks (say, longer than a fortnight). Anything less is usually not worth the bureaucracy, I think.​—msh210 (talk) 17:17, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Request for bot status: ArathVerbFormBot

I formally request community approval of running the bot from the account User:ArathVerbFormBot.

Purpose: Create Bulgarian verb forms. Arath 13:39, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

I (personally approve). Is there any chance we could skip the vote all together? I mean we know exactly what the bot does. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:41, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
The description confuses me. It seems to imply that Bulgarian entries are split by pronunciation, and that verb sections go within pronunciation sections? —RuakhTALK 14:09, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
The bot does not do anything if the entry does not have a Pronunciation section. In entries that have only one pronunciation, the verb section goes after the pronunciation, not within (Example: грабиш). In entries that have more than one pronunciation, the verb section goes within the pronunciation section (Example: граби). The bot takes account of that. You can see in the history of граби.
  • First, the bot created the entry and the Verb section was after the Pronunciation section.
  • Then, there was another verb form that is spelt the same but pronounced differently. The bot didn't find a matching pronunciation. It moved the existing Verb section as a subsection of the Pronunciation section, added a number to the name of the Pronunciation section, and added a new pronunciation section with the other verb form.
  • Then, there was another verb for that is spelt and pronounced the same. The bot found a matching pronunciation. Since the pronunciation was numbered the bot knew that there were more than one pronunciation section, and therefore it should search for a verb section withing the matching pronunciation section. It found a verb section and added the verb form at the end of it.
The bot will treat entries that are split in any other way, for example in Etymology sections, as entries that have no pronunciation, because it searches for pronunciation sections only in level three headers (=== ===). Arath 15:02, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
O.K., I think I understand. Thanks for explaining. :-)   —RuakhTALK 16:44, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
  • thanks to Arath's bot's we have surpassed French Wiktionnaire's article count. --Volants 12:19, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
    This could easily be anticipated, since an average Bulgarian verb delivers 3 or 4 scores of conjugated forms and in Category:Bulgarian verbs there are hundreds of them. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 15:00, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation section format

The current standard pronunciation section format is a mess. It's unnecessarily huge, it's disorganized, it's constructed by a mess of templates, it's unclear, and did I mention that it's unnecessarily huge? Nothing associates the various elements with each other, other than the inconsistent indentation, so it's difficult to tell which parts are connected with which, and where new material should go. So, I think we need to change it to use just one box per accent, containing all the content related with that accent, preferably using a single template. (Maybe something like this, except built by someone who knows how to make things look not messy.) Thoughts? --Yair rand (talk) 20:48, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Except for the button being a little big and, consequently, two lines being necessarily taken up for each item with audio, it looks like a big improvement over what would otherwise appear once one had "opened" the show-hide. DCDuring TALK 21:19, 14 July 2010 (UTC)
How about some JS to only show your preferred accent line(s)? If your preference isn't available it could show all of them. This would of course require some standardization on content. Also, usually hyphenation differences are closely related to pronunciation differences but this isn't necessarily true (US and UK hyphenation rules differ, and there could conceivable be a word pronounced equivalently that is none the less hyphenated differently). --Bequw τ 21:25, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

I like the idea of trying to tidy up the pronunciation sections, but this is not the answer as it just produces a compressed block of text that's difficult to pick a single thing out of, and doesn't look like it would cope well with entries that are more complicated. Before we can clean up pronunciations sections, we need to firmly decide several things, including but probably not limited to:

  • How should we show entries with multiple pronunciations?
    • Do we want Pronunciation N headers?
      • If so, how should they be organised? How do we nest them with entries that have multiple etymologies? How do we show entries where different regions split pronunciations differently?
      • If not how do we tie pronunciations with sense? '''bold POS headers'''?, ''italic POS headers''?, {{a|accent templates}}?, ::indentation?, ;definition lists?, ====L4 sub-headers of Pronunciation====?, ====L4 sub-headers of POS headers?====, other? What about where a pronunciation represents more than one POS?
  • How do we handle sub-national region pronunciation differences (e.g. moor is one syllable in southern England and two in Northern England)
  • Do we show rhymes only for British English pronunciations when the US pronunciation varies in a regular fashion such that the rhymes are the same (e.g. /ɒ/ vs /ɑ/)?
    • If so, how do we show this? How do we note on rhymes pages which aren't rhymes in both varieties of English when the difference isn't regular?
    • If not, how do we synchronise rhymes pages?
  • Do we want to show all regions always?
    • If not -
      • How do we set the preference to take account of the variety of accent labels like "UK", "RP", "US", "Northern England", "Anglicised", "Anglicized", "Francophone", "Original French", "AusE", "Australia", "Western Australia", "Welsh", "local", "standard", "rhotic" (I've seen all of these at least once)?
      • What about for non-English pronunciation regions (e.g. many Portuguese words are pronounced differently in Brazil and Portugal)?
      • What about when a pronunciation is shared between regions - e.g. if a person wants to view only British pronunciations, do we show them pronunciations that are marked as "UK, US" and do we hide the fact that it's also the US pronunciation?
      • What about pronunciations that are not marked for a region?
      • What about pronunciations that have the PoS marked in the accent template (e.g. "{{a|verb}}, {{a|South Africa|noun}}")
      • Do we show usage notes that are not relevant to the region(s) users have expressed a preference to see? How do we link usage notes to regions? What about usage notes that contrast regional differences?
      • What about when we have the preferred region for one POS but not another (e.g. UK and US exist for noun, only UK exists for verb)?
    • If so, how do we stop the sections taking over the page?
  • How do we want to associate items like hyphenation (currently a real mess, but a separate thing to sort out), rhymes, homophones with regional pronunciations?
  • How do we show which rhymes, hyphenation, homophones, etc relate to all regions and which relate only to some of them?
  • How do we show that some rhymes/homophones relate only to some pronunciations within a region (e.g. poor and pour are homophonous in some southern English accents but are not in Northern English accents)?
  • How do we show historical pronunciations, non-standard pronunciations, pronunciations that are affected, pronunciations that indicate age, social class, education level, etc?
  • How do we do all this without excluding those on mobile browsers? those without javascript? those without UTF-8 support?
  • How do we tie audio pronunciations to specific transcriptions? How do we do it when there isn't an associated? transcription when the audio is added? How do we associated two or more audio files to one transcription (e.g. rhotic and non-rhotic)?
  • What do we do when we have both phonemic and phonetic transcriptions of the same sense, region, etc?
    • Can users elect to see only one of these if both exist? If so, how do we tie an audio file to a hidden transcription?

As you can hopefully see, what is needed is major structural decisions being taken and implemented rather than just decoration at this point. Thryduulf (talk) 23:03, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

The enormous potential for (appropriate) expanded content makes it all the more important that Pronunciation (and Etymology) not squeeze other content off the landing page (pace MZ), especially for unregistered users (Problem 1). Selective display partially address the display problem for registered users (Problem 2). As there has been less productive discussion let alone movement on the structural problems of pronunciation than on many of our other structural issues, sweeping the mess under the rug pending a grand solution seems like an appropriate step. The Pronunciation N header question has been Exhibit A. DCDuring TALK 00:07, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I disagree that sweeping it under the rug in this manner will be a net benefit as every change we make will likely need to be made again. What we have now could be much better, but equally it could be much worse, so I'm very tempted to say now is the time to tackle the big question - teh longer we leaveit the more work we will have to do, as new content is added all the time. For the short term, this particular proposed layout doesn't seem like an improvement to me as it compresses everything so that it's hard to see any one thing. Also it has far too many things undefined (e.g. everything relating to different pronunciations for different parts of speech, and for transcription:audio correspondences that are not exactly 1:1) . Thryduulf (talk) 00:48, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm thinking of the pronunciations going in something like the HTML <fieldset> element, one per dialect, with the {{a}} in the <legend> when there is one, template-generated, and including all the information relevant to that dialect with the stuff that applies to each dialect either outside or repeated in each one, which I would demonstrate to you if I knew how to get the MediaWiki software to accept the tag. It would look almost like the one in the box, but with a <legend> and perhaps more CSS. The length of some of the sections could be made less of a problem if we put them after the definitions, like they do on Wiktionnaire, but I seem to recall that people were not very keen on that. I don't really like the idea of using JS to hide all the dialects except one's own because it won't apply for most unregistered users, who are the main audience. —Internoob (DiscCont) 02:15, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

The proposed revision versions and releated discussion suggestions all have a number of problems. (1) We often have IPA for one region but audio for another, or have unspecified audio, or have unspecified IPA with specified audio. So, we often don't have all the matching parts. (2) Sometimes there is more than one pronunciation for a single word in a single region. The proposed formats would look hideous if we tried to cram all the various IPA and audio for one region into a single block. (3) Hyphenation has nothing to do with pronunciation. It's placed in the pronunciation section because we've been too lazy to put it someone appropriate. It should not be consolidated into other items that do pertain to pronunciaiton. (4) The rhymes pages are only keyed to the UK standard pronunciations. We have no Rhymes pages set up for any other region's IPA because (in nearly all situations) it would duplicate the UK content. So, the Rhymes are currently listed after the regional pronunciations because they go with all of them, and not just one. The proposal does not seem to take that into consideration. (5) Rhymes often need qualifiers added to them. The proposal does not take this into account. (6) Some entries have pronunciations listed according to part of speech or sense. The proposed revisions do not allow for that. (7) The proposed new verions are ugly. (my opinion) --EncycloPetey 03:44, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

(1) How is this a problem? (2) (I don't understand what you mean, sorry.) (3) Hyphenation sure seems like pronunciation information to me. Does anyone else think that hyphenation isn't pronunciation information? (4) I don't know where you got that idea from, but it's completely incorrect. (5) Why would you assume that adding qualifiers would be impossible? (6) Why not? (7) I agree with you on this one, which is why I was hoping someone would build a similar one that looks less messy. Maybe something using Internoob's idea... --Yair rand (talk) 21:37, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Some of your responses do not make sense to me. I assume you did not understand my original comments and are not familiar with common content in the Pronunciation section (based on your responses I do understand). I am correct about (4); that's how the Rhymes were set up. Denying it is silly. It's the reason we have pages like Rhymes:English:-əʊl but not Rhymes:English:-oʊl; the former is the UK pronunciation IPA and the latter is US IPA for the same words.
As for (3), I have no idea why people seem to think hyphenation is about pronunciation, or why I have to keep explaining that it isn't. We go through this every six months or so. That's why we have some written explanation at Wiktionary:Pronunciation#Hyphenation.
Hyphenation is about breaking written language at the ends of lines for typographical reasons. Pronunciation is about what spoken language sounds like. Why on earth do you think they're at all related? One deals with writing, while the other pertains to speaking. Note that syllable breaks and hyphenation breaks often occur at different places as a result of this enormous difference. A simple example is axis. This word is so short that it is seldom hyphenated, but when it is, the break occurs as ax·is. The syllable break in the spoken language occurs as /ak.sis/, which is not the same. To hyphenate that way, the break would have to split the letter x in half. There are also situations where the standard hyphenation is the same in the UK and US, but where the spoken syllable breaks occur in different places. For example, the word spasmodic has different spoken syllable breaks in the UK and US because of the difference in vowel pronunciation, but the hyphenation is the same in both countries. This happens because hyphenation is based on the breaks between written roots of words, and not on the pronunciation. Additionally, some words are pronunced the same in the US and Canada, but dictionaries sometimes differ on the hyphenation, which is an editorial choice.
Can everyone please remember this time that hyphenation has nothing to do with pronunciation, so I don't have to keep explaining this over and over? --EncycloPetey 22:01, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately for your sanity, I don't hold out any hope of that happening until we move hyphenation outside pronunciation section. Thryduulf (talk) 22:17, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
(@YR) (1) is a problem for grouping them together by accent. You would have to determine what the unspecified part represents. (@EP) (2) Then we just have to find a format that doesn't look hideous for the most part (easier said than done, I know) and accept that we probably won't appeal to everyone's tastes. As for (3), I understand what EP means and agree that that probably needs to be fixed one way or another. I don't know how, though. (4) See DMZ. But for most, yes, it will have to either be duplicated a bunch of times or go at the end. Perhaps we should redirect oʊ to əʊ? —Internoob (DiscCont) 01:14, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Rhymes pages are mess currently (but a different one). I've suggested before somewhere (I can't remember where though, but possibly somewhere related to the pronunciation exceptions stuff?) about making the Rhymes namespace work similarly to the Category namespace, with the existing pages becoming like category description pages giving the pronunciations, and some common/otherwise important/useful rhymes. The remained would just appear as they do in the current category. As I remember it got a little bit of attention with some negative comments from people who apparently didn't understand it properly (I'm not suggesting deleting the current pages) and some "sounds a good idea but meh about doing anything about it now" comments). If this were done then having both /-əʊ/ and /-oʊ/ would become much less of a maintenance problem. My attitude for some time though has been to just leave the rhymes namespace in the mess that it's in currently until after we've sorted out (or at least agreed how to sort out) the pronunciation sections in the main namespace). Redirecting /-oʊ/ to /-əʊ/ is not a bad idea in the meanwhile though. Thryduulf (talk) 01:32, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

They use us but doesn't cite us

While researching upcoming WOTD spasmodic, I noticed that "Webster's Online Dictionary" lists our definitions (see). However, they credit Wikipedia as the source rather than Wiktionary. So technically, they are violating our license, yes? Does anyone see how (1) to contact them, and (2) whether this site really has any connection to Webster's or is just ausing the Webster's name. --EncycloPetey 19:13, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Hm? I see "Wiktionary" listed next to the definition, not "Wikipedia". --Yair rand (talk) 19:21, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
But it doesn't say the definition is from Wiktionary; it just gives Wiktionary as the "domain", with a link to a bunch of translations of the word Wiktionary. The "references" link goes to a page that implies that the information is from Wikipedia. IMO, neither one gives enough information for a user to track down our entry. —RuakhTALK 19:29, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
YR: follow the link that says "References" at the end of each definition. It's a page listing all of Wikipedia's licensing information, but doesn't mention us. I wouldn't have guessed (without knowing) what "domain" means, since one of them just says "Health". --EncycloPetey 19:31, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Re: (1): There's an off-domain e-mail address at the bottom of Re: (2): The name "Webster's" is not protected. Anyone who wants to name their dictionary "Webster's" can legally do so. I feel confident that this site is not affiliated with any Webster('s), such as Merriam-Webster, that we're otherwise familiar with. —RuakhTALK 19:37, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia also uses a different licence than we do, so they aren't even doing that right... —CodeCat 21:04, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

5 times, baby

Woop!!!! Wonderfool's just managed to get adminship and delete the main page 5 times. See you all next year! --Volants 12:25, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I told you this was Wonderfool, nobody listened to me. --Vahag 12:39, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
"Next year"? Meaning not sooner? Meaning I'm not WF? :( I was so hoping I was. —Internoob (DiscCont) 17:46, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Just because he says next year, it doesn’t necessarily mean next year. It could be tomorrow. Or he could already have an active sock here. And it could be you. You can’t take him at his word, since he delights in going back on his word. —Stephen 18:11, 16 July 2010 (UTC)


WTF just happened? Does this mean Volants is Wonderfool? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:42, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

Gloves, you should work at Scotland Yard :) --Vahag 12:43, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Ha, and he nominated himself for admin, then supported himself. Rude words. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:47, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

We need to set up a mainpage monitoring service. A bot with sysop privileges (not necessarily with a bot flag, just a script sitting dormant) that would check deletion log every minute, restore the mainpage if deleted and block future WF socks deleting it. It would also log onto IRC and notify the active stewards of the necessity of immediate account desysop. That wouldn't be hard to code (I volunteer if necessary). There is no hurry though, I think we're safe for the rest of this year. --Ivan Štambuk 12:51, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

There are two users I suspect of being Wonderfool still with active accounts. I've passed those two names onto to other admins by email, but I'd rather not say them openly to avoid embarrassement if I'm wrong (PS I'm not one of those two ;o)). Mglovesfun (talk) 12:54, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Or so you would have us believe. DCDuring TALK 13:35, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Can someone chronicle the various users who have been Wonderfool (those with extreme certitude)? I forget who they all were. Maybe using the system mentioned above, like at Wiktionary:Blocks and restrictions/Wonderfool? --Bequw τ 13:59, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
[1] can get whoever wants to do that started: search through that page for the string 'wf' or 'wonder' (case-insensitive). I can't think of any benefit of having such a list, though.​—msh210 (talk) 15:24, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
How about User:Wonderfool rather than a Wiktionary prefix? Create it and fully-protect it. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:45, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
And the reason would be he gets mentioned a lot on WT: pages and people who don't know anything about him (like me a year or so ago) have nowhere to look directly. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:48, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
True, but see also [[w:WP:DENY]].​—msh210 (talk) 15:57, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Exactly, just ignore it -- he deletes the main page, we undelete it -- so what? It's five minutes of hassle and makes zero difference to anything, yet everyone always seems to act like Al Qaeda has infiltrated the White House. Ƿidsiþ 16:07, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Proven WFs so far (those that I can remember) :- Wonderfool, Dangherous, Keene, Jackofclubs, Borganised, Volants. SemperBlotto 15:50, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
Rising Sun, Soleil Levant. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:53, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

See also m:User:Dangherous --Ivan Štambuk 16:25, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd much rather we didn't chronicle it - it's too much like a hall of fame. Conrad.Irwin 16:40, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Bulleted references

Should bulleted references, like at unvaluable, be treated as a cleanup issue? This style, makes it seem like we copied the entry entirely from the referenced dictionary. When only parts of the entry were copied or reworded, we should reference those parts with footnotes (<ref> tags). When the entry was copied entirely from a public domain work, we should improve the entry to the point where we can again use footnotes. Is there any reason to not convert these bulleted references and keep them as they are? --Bequw τ 13:42, 16 July 2010 (UTC)

I have not interpreted Wiktionary's use of "References" as being the same as WPs. Just as COPYVIO works differently (hard to think of how an exact copy of a large portion of a copyrighted definition could be "fair use"), I think of References as being useful for helping contributors and users look at alternative wordings, registers, usage examples, or sense division. I often insert {{R:OneLook}} for that purpose. We have the Webster tag for the cases where the wording is painfully close to the original Webster 1913 copy. The wording of the copyright-free definitions is almost always awkward and date, if not obsolete. DCDuring TALK 14:01, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
If the links are just provided to allow users to compare our entry versus that of other dictionaries (which is great), then they should be in =External links=. If they are used to support claims in our entry, we should cite which parts they are for. This also helps with formatting, =References= use #'s and =External links= uses *'s. As an aside, we really should have more material on this (the ELE was all I could find). --Bequw τ 17:08, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
"External links" is not sanctioned in the text of WT:ELE whereas "References" is. Both are mentioned in an the example.
In any event, I almost always refer to (reference ?) other dictionaries when working on the substance of an entry. Isn't that what "References" is for? We may need different template display wording if we have simply copied content, presumably from copyright-free sources. DCDuring TALK 18:01, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
IANAL but a mention in an ELE example seems acceptable. I'm sure most everyone refers to other dictionaries when crafting entries. I think we should <ref>-tag parts that were added just because of another dictionary and without separate supporting material (eg quotations or audio files). Entries start out looking more like copies of other dictionaries' entries but as we build up separate supporting material, the link to other dictionaries because less general and more specific (for example, getting limited to just the etymology section). --Bequw τ 02:41, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I have been acting on my vague memory that in some conversation on this page someone said that external links was a less-than-desirable heading. I don't see any use to it except for those cases where we link to, say, Ethnologue. I have also found external links to be a fairly rich source of dead links. DCDuring TALK 03:15, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
The most common thing I see in external links sections is links to Wikipedia, very often to articles that are conceptually related to the term rather than directly about the word/subject (which links end to be inline). Thryduulf (talk) 09:18, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
I couldn't find the BP discussion you were think of, but I did stumble across Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2007/September#References, where EP makes my same argument. I think we should have a Wiktionary: page about each of the heads so that we can record some of the common practices about each. This would augment the ELE. --Bequw τ 21:12, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Not a bad idea. I had meant to add "Dictionary notes" to the list of overlapping headings in this grouping. The end product might be a matrix (or set thereof) laying out the use of headings with specific types of content, possibly by language. DCDuring TALK 21:32, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Gutenburg rankings

Over at Wiktionary talk:About English#Placement of Gutenberg rankings I suggested moving the {{rank}} templates from the top of English entries into a Trivia section. Since I'm not sure of how many watch WT:AEN (hint please do in order to remove BP clutter), I thought I bring it up here before going ahead. I want to move it because this information is too insignificant to have more prominence than pronunciations and definitions and so should be moved lower. Trivia seems better than See also, which is more for other things (semantically related terms, wikimedia links, etc.). --Bequw τ 20:47, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

I've replied there. Thryduulf (talk) 22:54, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Straw Poll

None of the proposed options in the discussion appeared to garner consensus. The main issue of dealing with statistics is not just an English issue, so I'll bring it back here. One thing to keep in mind is that, although current statistics are just about word occurrences (implying an L3 header), linguists do sometimes produce sense- or PoS-specific statistics (L4 header). If people would approval vote here we can do a formal vote on the most "approved" option vs. the status quo. Please add or modify the list. --Bequw τ 21:04, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Just below L2 header [status quo]

  • (comment) Currently {{rank}} is right below =English=, but I think it's not important enough to be the first thing in the entry. It's not a good sign that there's a preference to hide it. --Bequw τ 21:04, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
  1.   Support Thryduulf (talk) 09:38, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Usage Notes

  1.   Support Rankings are quantifications of "usage". Some L3 examples exist (example), though header usually used at L4+. --Bequw τ 21:04, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
  2.   Support, especially for sense-level information. We already have sense-level relative frequency data in a small number of English sections. DCDuring TALK 09:57, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  3. Assuming this straw poll is only about frequency in media (including Gutenberg), I support putting them in a Usage notes section, as they are, in fact, notes about usage. Note that ELE allows such a section at level 3.​—msh210 (talk) 16:22, 6 August 2010 (UTC)


  1. Assuming this straw poll is only about frequency in media (including Gutenberg), I do not oppose this option (whereas I do oppose, say, See also). But I prefer one of the two options I expressed my support for.​—msh210 (talk) 16:24, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

New section (e.g. =Statistics=)

  1.   Support It wouldn't be that used now, but in the future it could be. The ELE does say Other sections with other trivia and observations may be added, either under the heading "Trivia" or some other suitably explanatory heading, so we wouldn't have to modify it, though we could. --Bequw τ 21:04, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
  2.   Support Thryduulf (talk) 09:38, 6 August 2010 (UTC) my preferred option. Thryduulf (talk) 09:38, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  3.   Support, especially for L2 and PoS-level frequency data. DCDuring TALK 10:02, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  4. Assuming this straw poll is only about frequency in media (including Gutenberg), I support putting them in a Frequency section. I prefer Usage notes, only so as to reduce the total number of headers, but I like this option, too.​—msh210 (talk) 16:22, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

See also

  • (comment) This section is sometimes like a holding pen for words that aren't semantically related. I don't support this option because, though currently {{rank}} links to closely-ranked words, if we have statistics from more sources it's probably better just to display the rank w/o the accompanying words (I doubt anyone browses through that feature). --Bequw τ 21:04, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Context-type tags

  • (comment) Because, 1., many of our entries are for rarely used words and many senses are rarer yet, 2., entry-improvement and translation efforts should not be wasted on very low-frequency words, 3., we are unlikely to ever get very comprehensive frequency information, we should have:
  1. Formal criteria for the use of {{rare}}
  2. One or more additional tags for relatively low-frequency PoSes and senses.
  1.   Support DCDuring TALK 10:13, 6 August 2010 (UTC)


It looks like =Statistics= was the most approved (actually by everyone participating). Do people think we need to vote on using this header or is the dispensation in WT:ELE (Other sections with other trivia and observations may be added) enough for this usage? --Bequw τ 04:18, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't object to a vote, but am undecided about whether we need one. Thryduulf (talk) 09:04, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
I would prefer a vote, whether or not strictly required. DCDuring TALK 09:47, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Open bot request

I think it's about time that the Swedish templates be brought into line with the rest of our declension and conjugation templates (they currently float to the right) but before I edit the templates to sit on the left, I need someone to move them from their various positions in entries to ====Inflection==== or ====Conjugation==== sections.

Here's the ones I can find that need fixin'. (I think there might be some instances of some that are already under =Inflection= headers, so that's something to watch for)

[ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 17:49, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Support standardising declension tables. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:24, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
These Swedish templates are wild. They encroach upon other language sections. See e.g. this. --Vahag 20:34, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Please do. I couldn't come up with a fully-automated way of sorting the templates. Sometimes they're not in the PoS section and it's confusing especially when there are several (and sometimes several PoS's in different etymologies). I did it by hand for a while but got burnt out. Maybe we can have a bot tackle the easy ones (where the template is in a PoS already) and then cleanup the rest by hand.--Bequw τ 21:44, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Not sure if I can help, but I can try, as my coding skills are 'decent'. While you're at it though, you might want to rethink the naming scheme for the templates as well. The general scheme with lang code, hyphen, then part-of-speech is usually reserved for inflection-line templates (i.e. the ones that show the headword in bold). Conjugation and declension templates are usually named xx-conj and xx-decl. Take a look at [[Category:Dutch declension templates]] and [[Category:Dutch conjugation templates]] to see what I mean. —CodeCat 23:39, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Apart from their ugliness (make them blue and collapsible), does the naming, their number, and structure of parameters also need to change? Some of the -ar/-en/-n could be a parameter instead of three separate templates, I guess.
Each one of these templates are full of "margin-bottom:10px; background-color:#FFFAFA;" and similar details that are the same everywhere and not at all specific to that group of nouns or verbs. When looking around at languages that have blue and collapsable templates, they too are full of similar code. Shouldn't there be a single meta template that does all the colouring and layout, so our various language-specific templates can focus on grammar?
I painted sv-noun blue, made it collapsible and it has now been renamed {{sv-decl-noun}}. With its 8 parameters, it is the most basic of the noun declension templates, containing no internal grammar logic, but requiring all 8 variants to be explicitly enumerated. All nouns should be able to use this directly, or other noun declension templates should be able to call this one. Still, the new light-blue colours (copied from a Norwegian template) are hardwired in this template in a way that I can't be proud of. --LA2 13:44, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
Whoa, now the old name sv-noun is reclaimed as an inflection template. This will be confusing to any earlier users. Perhaps we need a plan?! --LA2 22:27, 18 August 2010 (UTC)
All the noun and verb tables that were brown, are now blue and collapsible. This accounts for 4807 entries. The adjective tables remain to fix, accounting for 501 entries. These 4807+501 template calls still need to be moved to the ====Inflection==== heading. --LA2 08:58, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Inflection-line tables - again

I'd like to bring up the topic of removing inflection-line tables again (previous discussion). In addition to the problems discussed before, I've just seen some problems with several mobile gateways and apps (even those designed for newer phones). As you can see from viewing house through wapedia and Sevenval, these sites show both the inflection line and the table (not selectively hiding one). This looks pretty ugly. In the previous discussion, the one dissent to removing the tables was that they helped draw attention to the PoS section and therefore definitions. Is there a way that we can do this without the inflection-line tables? What about something like:

.infl-inline { background-color: #ADFFD6; }

as an option at WT:PREFS? The color is obviously up for debate. Or does anyone else have another suggestion? --Bequw τ 03:37, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Do mobile devices not have some way of identifying themselves and possibly device characteristics (bandwidth, screen width)? If there were something simple we could do with the information, that would be generally helpful. I would not want us to be wasting our development talent on what the gateways should be doing, but, if a gateway is doing only something relatively trivial, we need not protect them by refusing to minimally facilitate direct access from mobile devices. DCDuring TALK 11:17, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
We're limited here to doing the client querying in JS (don't think you can get bandwidth though). But that's slow and clunky as it that means the client still downloads all the normal site files and at the end the JS can reformat things. This is why the gateways and apps are nice (smaller download and pre-formatted for a small screen). Wikipedia has a new & better system where they detect and redirect mobile users to but they haven't said if/when they'd roll it out to the other wikis. --Bequw τ 13:09, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. In fact, just name the cookie for imposing the background identically to the one now showing tables, so no one even needs to change his PREF.​—msh210 (talk) 16:24, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Done. As the previous display option wasn't at PREFS, I've held off on putting the highlighting one there as well. Shout out if you'd like it to be and I'll do it. Also, a related problem exists for {term}, which I'll try and work out a solution for next (probably implementing the customization in JS). --Bequw τ 18:11, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm apparently blind. It's in PREFS now in the same slot. --Bequw τ 22:14, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
That would explain why you're the one leading the charge in making our pages accessible to those with screen readers.  :-) ​—msh210 (talk) 16:42, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Request for bot status: QuasiBot

I hereby formally request community approval for running the bot QuasiBot (talkcontribs), whose purpose is to create Latin verb (and participle) forms. —AugPi 11:13, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Does it do anything FitBot doesn't? — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:28, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
It would have a public feed-me page... and EP said on my talk page that he hasn't set up FitBot to conjugate 2nd conjugation verbs: he said I could handle (in his words: "blaze trails" with) those. And, anyway, is there a rule that inflectobots have to have a monopoly over the languages whose verbs they conjugate? Because the format which I use to create (articles for) Latin verb forms is exactly the same as the format used by FitBot: there wouldn't be an incompatibility or "dissonance." —AugPi 18:19, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
He said that he set up his bot to conjugate 1st and 3rd conjugation verbs, so that I should concentrate on 2nd and 4th conjugation verbs. —AugPi 18:21, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
AugPi is an experienced Latinist, with more time (currently) for conjugating Latin verbs. His bot works a bit differently from mine, but does fill essentially the same function. Do keep in mind that, unlike AF or interwiki bots, his bot and mine and run semi-manually as we prompt them, rather than continuously and independently. --EncycloPetey 19:04, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Support.​—msh210 (talk) 19:45, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
  Support, since EncycloPetey is on board with it and it will handle the cases that FitBot doesn't. ("Monopoly" has negative connotations, but broadly speaking, I think it's better to have only one bot working on a given task at a given time. Though bots like these only create new entries, so at least we don't have to worry about their getting into revert-wars.) —RuakhTALK 20:03, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
  Support Mglovesfun (talk) 20:04, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Made it so. SemperBlotto 21:23, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Thank you all! —AugPi 15:26, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Proposal for a new namespace: "Sign Gloss:"

Following up this discussion, I would like to propose a new namespace called "Sign Gloss:". The purpose of this namespace would be to make it easier for novices to read and write sign language entries.

The current sign language policy requires that entries have names and headwords like "OpenA@Palm-ThumbUp-FlatB@CenterChesthigh-PalmUp OpenA@Palm-ThumbUp-FlatB@CenterSternumhigh-PalmUp". This name can be understood as a phonemic spelling of the sign itself, using a format that, while specific to Wiktionary, is closely derived from work in sign linguistics.

This "movement encoding" format provides valuable information for sign language entries, but requires substantial linguistic knowledge to write or decode. For this reason, many (perhaps most) sign language dictionaries are indexed by sign gloss. The sign gloss for a sign is essentially a semi-standardized translation into a written language, but it is used as the name of the sign.

A "Sign Gloss" category on Wiktionary would allow the above 97-character string to be identified as "Sign Gloss:HELP". A speaker of American Sign Language could create such a page, maybe with a video demonstrating the sign and a usage example, without having to learn Wiktionary's encoding system. A student of ASL could more easily find such a page, or recognize its meaning from the URL. "Sign Gloss:HELP" might redirect to the longer title in the main namespace, or it might be a stub definition page of its own if no movement encoding has been contributed for this sign. If a gloss corresponds to multiple signs (e.g. in different sign languages), then the page might provide links to each of them.

There are certainly many questions to answer about how exactly a Sign Gloss namespace should work, but I don't think we need to resolve all of them before the namespace can be created. At worst, it should do no harm. At best, it might help Wiktionary to become a much better dictionary for sign languages. Bemasc 19:30, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

I think this is a good idea. I'm not certain about redirects though, as I'm pretty sure most if not all sign languages would have a sign for "help". Would it be possible to structure it like the main namespace, ie. have an L2 section for "American Sign Language", another for "British Sign Language", etc? Thryduulf (talk) 20:54, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I agree; if a gloss corresponds to multiple signs in different sign languages, it should definitely not be a redirect. I think L2 sections as you describe would be a good way to structure a page in that case. Bemasc 04:17, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I also like the impetus. Two main questions. (1) Would this be a true namespace (independently searchable) or a pseudo-namespace (entry titles with a standard prefix that looks like a namespace)? Or do you care? (2) Would sign languages originating in "foreign countries" use an English GLOSS, or a foreign one? --Bequw τ 03:14, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. (1) I've been told that making it a true namespace would be better in order to make clear that the pages are subject to slightly different policies from the main namespace. I didn't know about searchability; that seems like a nice bonus. Personally, I think a true namespace just makes sense, because sign glosses truly are a different "space of names" from spellings.
As for (2), I don't know enough about the field to give a strong opinion. This book from 2007 says "Note that some of the contributing authors give all glosses in English, irrespective of the sign language, while others decided to gloss sign language examples in the surrounding spoken language (e.g. in German for a German Sign Language example) in order to distinguish sign languages from each other." I would welcome further input, but I hope that discussion doesn't hold up the whole namespace. I think we are likely to start with ASL and BSL on EN Wiktionary, so we do not have to resolve the issue immediately. Bemasc 04:17, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for initiating this and bringing it here, Bemasc. I strongly support the creation of such a namespace.
(I don't think Mediawiki namespaces are case-sensitive, but if they are, our naming conventions here would prompt the capitalization as "Sign gloss", with a lower-case "g".)
Rod (A. Smith) 16:13, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I second all that Rod said. Like Bemasc, I don't think that indecision over how to name pages for glosses of e.g. Israeli Sign Language should affect the creation of the namespace. Namespace names are case-sensitive: You can type wiKtiOnAry:BP into your browser, but there's a canonical capitalization that you'll be redirected to (I'm guessing via HTTP 3xx).​—msh210 (talk) 16:30, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't like ASL entries in the mainspace, as the page title should be identical to the written form. Thus, I support a new namespace. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:33, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
No, I think you're misunderstanding the proposal. It is that SL entries remain with their current titles in mainspace (as voted on, BTW) but that there are redirects to them from this new namespace (or, essentially, disambiguation pages, if one gloss is used for ≥two signs). The new namespace can also be used as a holding area for contributed entries whose proper pagetitles are unknown at the time of contribution.​—msh210 (talk) 16:43, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
So far everyone who's written seems to support the creation of a "Sign gloss:" namespace ... so what do I do now? Bemasc 19:07, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Request at [2] that someone add the namespace, referring, in your request, by URL, to this conversation (as they'll want to see enwikt consensus for the namespace creation).​—msh210 (talk) 19:15, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
FYI, y'all, that's now been filed at bugzilla:24570 (not by me).​—msh210 (talk) 15:23, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
...and has been effected.​—msh210 (talk) 17:35, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
...and it's been around for almost two months and there's still only one entry in the namespace. Anyone want to rethink this? --Yair rand (talk) 04:56, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Sign gloss:BOX does not seem very useful. If I want to know how "box" is translated to American Sign Language, I would look for that particular translation in box (which is currently missing from that entry). --Daniel. 05:06, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Request for bot status: User:NadandoBot

I request formal approval to run User:NadandoBot, the purpose of which is to fix broken links in {{form of}} after this edit by Msh210. Code and test edits are on the bot's userpage. I will create a voting page after discussion here. Nadando 00:20, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

While we're changing the template, can we make it have the same parameter structure as {{term}}? Couldn't we get rid of the wikilinked parameter entirely and go from specifying abaisser#French|abaisser|lang=French to just abaisser|lang=French (rather than [[abaisser#French|abaisser]]|lang=French). If the target is different than display_term#language, let's have it be a different parameter. --Bequw τ 03:10, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I support this idea; if someone will edit the template, I will modify the bot code to fix it. Nadando 04:30, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
No we can't, because of Wiktionary:Page count. -- Prince Kassad 08:46, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
I think using the {{count page}} template is better than making content templates suboptimal just for the sake of a statistic - indeed reading Wiktionary:Page count it seems that avoiding the need to kludge other templates is one of the reasons it was introduced. I support the change to make it work the same as {{term}}. It would be good if the bot could add the {{count page}} where required as a result of its edits though. Thryduulf (talk) 11:22, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, or just leave it for AF, which already adds {{count page}}. --Bequw τ 11:36, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Go for it. SemperBlotto 08:51, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Alright, since there apparently isn't consensus for further changes to form of, and there are currently 30,000 broken links, I've created a voting page. Nadando 16:23, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Template {{past participle of}} is now broken in the same manner. See rimorso as an example. Do you want to fix those as well?? SemperBlotto 14:48, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

Idea: Best terms that don't exist

Browsing through RFV, I can't help but notice that while a lot of terms fail verification, the terms themselves are sometimes quite brilliant. I often think 'if these don't exist, they certainly should!'. So for the purposes of posterity and humour, I propose that we keep the best entries that fail verification in a list of some sort. —CodeCat 09:46, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

I know, but the difference here is that the idea I'm proposing would contain terms that are actually useful in a certain setting. I.e. they are not 'nonsense', just 'unattested'. —CodeCat 09:59, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Isn't that what Appendix:List of protologisms is for? Thryduulf (talk)
Yep. Equinox 12:35, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
The term "best" is an indication that this might be a matter of personal taste. It would seem best to have one's personal list of favorites on a user page and perhaps put the empty page on one's watchlist to monitor any interest expressed by others. DCDuring TALK 14:32, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Can I get rollback?

I have it at both en-wikipedia (where I also have reviewer) and simple-wikipedia Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 16:22, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Give it a while. Our formatting is finicky. Don't take getting rolled back personally. Also, see red hot and red-hot#Noun. DCDuring TALK 17:10, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

Formatting Non-English Abbreviations

I can't find any guidelines for formatting non-English abbreviations. I'm torn on where to put the expanded form in the original language (I've seen it put under Etymology, Synonyms, or as the definition) and where to put the English equivalent (I've seen it put as a definition or just ignored). I quite like how it is done on this page: usw. . How should I format non-English abbreviations? Thanks in advance. --Mirek2 21:23, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

As a starting point for any discussion: at ΠΑΣΟΚ I have given in-line: |Expanded word-linked original language|English equivalent (if used)|English expanded|brief gloss. —Saltmarshαπάντηση 06:39, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
It's just the same as all other words. Th expanded form is the etymology. As the definition must be in English, the expanded form should not be included in the definition. The English equivalent should be in the definition (as for all other words) And the expanded form may be mentioned as a synonym, if it's a synonym. Lmaltier 17:13, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Sorry I'm responding so, so late. I get the logic behind putting it in Etymology, but I just don't like it. For one thing, the entry loses precision, because the English equivalent of the abbreviation is rarely as precise as the form it is shortening. Having the expanded form under etymology implies that the abbreviation was derived from it, but doesn't necessarily mean the exact same thing anymore. This format also creates a discrepancy between English and non-English entries: English abbreviations have an Etymology section only if the expanded form is uncommon, holds a slightly different meaning, or has been adopted from another language (like e.g., i.e., or et al.). Non-English abbreviations have an Etymology section whether the expanded form is used or not. I really feel more comfortable with the formatting on usw. (I don't think anyone would be confused by this formatting.) Still, it'd be nice if there was an official help page that set a formatting standard. --Mirek2 17:56, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
I agree, the definition line is definitely the best place. And {{abbreviation of}} was obviously designed with that location in mind; neither in name nor in appearance does it match the etymology templates ({{prefix}} and so on). —RuakhTALK 22:19, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, this helps a lot. --Mirek2 18:41, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

"Printable version"

Every page links to a "printable version" of the page in the toolbox section of the sidebar. Is this really necessary? Can it be removed? --Yair rand (talk) 06:21, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Quite frankly, most of the stuff in the toolbox is utterly worthless and irrelevant. Clicking "related changes" gives me a bunch of discussion room edits, and we don't upload files to this project, and all the "special pages" are distinctly unspecial. Could we do some general trimming here? -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:23, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
"Related changes" can be useful from categories, and "Upload file" links to the Commons upload page, which can be useful. "Special pages", on the other hand, is totally useless, IMO. --Yair rand (talk) 05:04, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
We do have some uploads, for illustrative purposes. —CodeCat 08:20, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I find "printable version" quite useful for, well, printing. I had assumed it was generated on the fly, rather than periodically. I use it when I would like to make extensive revisions of an entry or provide some benighted non-user of the web some information from en.wikt. I find it alarming that some users here don't grasp such potential use. DCDuring TALK 12:15, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I think the print link should be somewhere at least. You can hide it. --Bequw τ 15:26, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Winning words at a spelling bee

sanitarium and other words contain a trivia section that includes a note that it was the winning word at a spelling bee. Regardless of how notable or otherwise the spelling bee is, this is just encyclopaedic cruft about that contest and so imo it should not appear in our entries. A list of winning words might be appropriate for the Wikipedia article about the spelling bee, or perhaps some appendix here (although I'm not convinced of that). If others agree with me, then I think this should just be deleted from any entries where it appears. Thryduulf (talk) 09:30, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Note previous discussion at Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2009/September#Scripps National Spelling Bee winning words. --Bequw τ 16:07, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Thryduulf that these bits of trivia have no place in entries, and should be deleted on sight. bd2412 T 16:44, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Had Logomaniac not been so charming, we probably wouldn't have allowed it. Would a See also link to an Appendix of such words be better? It would at least be hidable under {{rel-top}}. Or should we simply exclude this kind of metadata from principal namespace. I wouldn't mind putting it all (anagrams, frequency, folk etymologies?, WOTD-hood) in another namespace, possibly called "metadata", including new information about entry characteristics, like readability scores, maintenance information, etc. DCDuring TALK 17:15, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm weakly in favour of anagrams remaining in the main namespace, as Equinox put it in the previous discussion they are "an objective property of the word". Folk etymologies I think should definitely be in the main namespace so as to both educate readers about their inaccuracy and discourage editors from adding them as a real etymology (or indeed replacing the real etymology with the folk one, although I have no evidence of this actually having happened). Dictionaric meta information about the words is something that we need to be able to handle, although we should do it in a way that allows us to include information at the entry level (e.g. frequency of the word run over all senses), at the PS level (e.g. frequency of run as a verb vs run as a noun) and at the sense level (e.g. comparative frequency of "drug running" vs "drug smuggling"). Thryduulf (talk) 19:09, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I agree we don't need WOTD-hood or spelling-bee-winning-word-ness. Frequency is useful information about how a word is used, and should be kept. Anagrams should also be kept, though I can't put my finger on why. Folk etymology, if so etymologized by enough folk, should be kept just to show that we're repudiating rather than ignoring it.​—msh210 (talk) 16:27, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't like the spelling bee information, it isn't lexicographical at all. Anyone who wants to know what the words were could look it up on wikipedia. ~ verbalista | talk ~ 18:23, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

As far as I can tell, every entry that contains this spelling bee cruft is listed at User:Thryduulf/spellingbee. If there are no objections in a few days I'll go through and delete them all. Thryduulf (talk) 17:10, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Well, I wouldn't mind. But where are the people who stood up in favour of the spelling bee information last time I raised this? Equinox 17:13, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Once Logomaniac left, her spell on us was broken. DCDuring TALK 18:04, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

Following no objections in more than a month, I've gone through and deleted all the spelling bee cruft as a I proposed. Thryduulf (talk) 10:35, 25 August 2010 (UTC)


Following a short discussion at user talk:Bequw, it is clear that we hold very different opinions about the merits of trivia sections and the inclusion of trivia generally.

The ELE says only, "Other sections with other trivia [in contrast to anagrams] and observations may be added, either under the heading "Trivia" or some other suitably explanatory heading. Because of the unlimited range of possibilities, no formatting details can be provided."

I'd like to completely revoke this section and prohibit the inclusion of trivia altogether. Trivia sections are being used to hold various things including:

  • Encyclopaedic notes about one or more of the senses - if it isn't part of the meaning, usage notes or etymology then this should be a Wikipedia.
  • Cruft relating to the appearance of the word in spelling bees (see section above), and other appearances of the word in other bits of popular (or not-so-popular) culture. These should simply be deleted imho as they add no value to the entry.
  • Notes about uses of the word in various literary works. Unless the use satisfies the CFI as a separate sense, the notes should just be deleted or moved to the Wikipedia article about the work.
  • Notes about pronunciation, rhymes, etc. - these should be moved to a usage notes sub-section of the pronunciation section if they are actually impart useful information, otherwise they should be deleted.
  • Notes about the spelling, e.g. weird#Trivia notes that it is one of the most common exceptions to the "I before E except after C" heuristic. If it can be verified that it is indeed one of the most common (it isn't cited at the entry, and I've not looked) then it might be worth including in a section about the orthography of the word (which would also be a good place for hyphenation information and maybe also anagrams). If such notes can't be verified, or impart no useful dictionaric information then they should be deleted.

As a general rule of thumb, our entries should contain only:

  • Dictionaric information about the word being defined (definitions, alternative spellings, pronunciation, etymology, usage notes, links to etymologically, semantically and orthographically related words, notes related the word as a wider part of the language, etc)
  • Quotations and other references to verify the dictionaric information
  • Links to dictionaric or encyclopaedic information about the word or its meaning hosted elsewhere.

If a trivia section contains any of this, then it is not trivia and should be moved to a more appropriate part of the article. If it contains none of these things, then it should just be deleted. Thryduulf (talk) 09:55, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to delete the lot, yes. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:12, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

"Obsolete" and "archaic" ?

Hello. What are the tags "obsolete", "archaic", "dated", etc. generally taken to mean here? [Category:Obsolete] says "Words, phrases or usages no longer in current use, but found in older texts." and [Category:Archaic] says "Archaic terms are no longer widely used or understood, but will be found in older texts." Those two explanations don't seem that different. I know Merriam-Webster says obsolete means "no evidence of standard use since 1755" and archaic "standard after 1755 but surviving in the present only sporadically", but different dictionaries have different terms. ~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 22:11, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, on Wiktionary they're essentially interchangeable. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:14, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Should they be? ~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 22:19, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

We had a discussion about this recently, see #Labels (informal, colloquial and ...) further up this page. The difference as expressed there is that "archaic" terms survive in fixed expressions, faux-archaicisms, etc, and will generally be understood but sound very old fashioned; while "obsolete" terms on the other hand generally will not be understood. Personally I think there is another aspect to it, in that "archaic" terms drifted out of use, whereas "obsolete" terms have been replaced/superceded more decisively. However, "obsolete" does get used where "historical" should for instances where the word isn't obsolete but the thing or concept it refers to is (e.g. modern technology has generally rendered lamplighters superfluous, and so the profession is obsolete, but the term lamplighter is not obsolete, as it is still the current term used to refer to the profession. Thryduulf (talk) 22:51, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
After edit conflict, not too much different from Thryduulf.
In almost all dictionaries, "archaic" means it is still understandable in the sense so labeled, but is unlikely to be used outside of a relatively specialized, often literary, context. "Obsolete" means that the sense is likely to be not understood or misunderstood by a native speaker. This is standard lexicographic usage, which hard-core dictionary users understand, though not so many others. If some (most?) users confuse the two, little harm is done.
For example, address (to dress, to clothe) might be considered "archaic", whereas address (prepare) would be considered "obsolete". I think that, if any other dictionary (or one from each side of the Pond) calls something either "obsolete" or "archaic", we can rely on it. But we can find contemporary usage that might take something out of "obsolete" and put it in "archaic" or even take it out of either category. DCDuring TALK 23:07, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
Really just repeating what I've said before, but an archaic term has to be really old, whilst a term that's been used as recently as 1970 can't be archaic, as that's too recent. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:26, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
No. A term can be in limited current use, especially literary, and still be archaic. The archaic spellings shoppe and olde are obvious examples. DCDuring TALK 00:51, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't shoppe and olde be more of faux archaic? ~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 01:34, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes. Sadly the faux usually has good publicists. DCDuring TALK 02:41, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Hmm. But there aren't any dates attached to either one, then. So you say the only difference here is that "archaic" means it still would be understood although not used, and "obsolete" wouldn't be understood or used? ~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 23:47, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
That's what I'm saying. I think it's close to what Thryduulf is saying. He is also going beyond what I was saying to discuss "historical", which might deserve wider use. We also have {{dated}}, which seems to be used for terms that are or have been used by some living speakers and are understood, but are out of fashion. DCDuring TALK 00:51, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
OK, that makes it a little more clear.... How does one determine whether a term is in current use, or would be understood by other speakers, then? ~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 01:34, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Your questions have forced me to make my own thinking explicit. I may be mistaken about some aspects and nuances of this.
Perhaps by looking using the date-range capability of Google Books. If books with modern publication dates (excluding the numerous reissues) have a lot of usage not in historical novels and fantasies, then it is at least in literary use. One might be able to make a crude estimate of the frequency of the term in question relative to a term of constant frequency over modern and former times. In that way one could test for a decline in relative usage frequency and not be fooled by the absolute number of occurrences. Google news, COCA, and BNC can provide evidence of wider usage (The latter two also include literary usage.). DCDuring TALK 02:41, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Mm-kay, I'll check out those sites. Thanks for the responses! ~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 11:42, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
  • It's not a matter of how old they are. Most words go from being common to being rare (I often tag {{context|now|_|rare}}) to being obsolete. At that point they are no longer used. Archaic is a different thing altogether, that is where an old word stays in limited usage but with a specific effect of "sounding old". Being archaic can often stop a word from becoming obsolete – for a while. (A similar branching-off happens with historical words, which are still in use, but only to describe things or concepts which we no longer use.) Ƿidsiþ 11:48, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I'm still a little confused, but okay. So archaic just means it sounds old, while obsolete means it really is old? And could a word be rare without quite being obsolete? ~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 14:57, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Obsolete tends to correlate with age, but need not. There are a number of 19th century American and Victorian coinages (ie, not very old, but not merely "dated") whose meanings are all or mostly obsolete (ie, unintelligible or analogous to "false friends": misleading). If a word is rare, but all the citations are 20th century or later, it would be hard to justify calling it obsolete instead of just {{rare}}. DCDuring TALK 16:17, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
@Logodaedalist: Not quite. Both terms mean that a word is old. The difference is that archaic means it's old, and has now mostly fallen out of use, but is still understood, it just sounds old now, whereas obsolete means it's old, and has now fallen out of use, and is no longer understood. For example, thy is archaic — when we encounter it, we process it as roughly "old-fashioned word for 'you'" — whereas Japonia is obsolete — when we encounter it, we can guess from its form that it means something like “Japan and its environs”, and in context we might do better, but we don't recognize it, and without context we couldn't guess that it's simply a no-longer-in-use name for Japan. —RuakhTALK 16:58, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I think that's kinda what I meant. Is there also a tag for faux-archaisms? ~ Logodaedalist | Talk ~ 23:02, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

I have taken "obsolete" to mean "incorrect", i.e. replaced with another form. But then I come from a small language (Swedish) where spelling reforms are a practical possibility (by government decree). In some cases, when other contributors have marked a Swedish word as obsolete, I have corrected this to dated or archaic if the word is just oldish but not officially replaced. I like the template {{obsolete spelling of}}, because it clearly points to the replacement. This is not possible for dated or archaic words. For examples, see category:sv:Obsolete. --LA2 21:50, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

ISO-639 NDS not "Low Saxon"

Not sure if this is the right discussion room for this, but I noticed on the translations for water, language ISO-639 nds shows up as "Low Saxon." NDS is the code for "Low German," of which Low Saxon is a variety. Other languages, language groups, & dialects under nds include:

(copied from my personal notes, qqq.x notation is not ISO and just for my personal use) Nicoleta 01:59, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Not sure if this helps, but we have codes from Old Low German and Middle Low German, not just "Low German" on its own. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:31, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
We use Low Saxon for nds (an acceptable alternative by both Ethnologue and ISO) because we use Low German ({{etyl:gmw-lge}}) to refer to the whole history of: "modern Low German"/"Low Saxon" ({{nds}}), "Middle Low German" ({{gml}}), and "Old Low German"/"Old Saxon" ({{osx}}). It's not ideal since Low Saxon can be ambiguous (see w:Low Saxon). Complicating the issue is that we avoid having "Modern" in a language name. --Bequw τ 13:13, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I was always under the impression that they are the same thing. The modern descendant of Old Saxon. What exactly is the difference, if there is one at all? —CodeCat 13:29, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Re Bequw, yes sorry I later realised this but forgot to correct myself. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:32, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

Translations in Translingual section

How about ===Translations=== section for Translingual "words"? Is this allowed? WT:ELE says that "Translations are to be given for English words only". See for example [[!]]. I think if a word is "translingual", it is the same in all languages and translations are needless. Maro 20:35, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Translingual doesn't necessarily mean "panlingual" as in "all languages", just the same in several historically different languages (true panlingualism would seem impossible since no script is even used in all languages). Translations, therefore, *could* work, but I haven't seen many (any?) good examples. The translations at [[!]], for instance, should be symbolic, which the current ones aren't. --Bequw τ 02:44, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Some languages, such as Hebrew and I think Finnish, have their own scientific names for taxa. For example, the family Felidae in Hebrew is חתוליים(khatuliyím). That said, Felidae is also often used in Hebrew contexts — it may even be more common — such that חתוליים is as much a "Hebrew-specific synonym" as a "Hebrew translation". Even so, I plan to add it to [[Felidae#Translations]], not to [[Felidae#Synonyms]]! —RuakhTALK 12:17, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Are there any languages that don't use certain scientific names at all? As far as I known, Felidae is not used at all in Dutch, the proper translation is katachtigen. —CodeCat 12:47, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I think that, for scientific names used in biology (i.e. names in scientific Latin), translations should be the common name in each language. This is the ideal place for gathering vernacular names in all languages, because (in principle) a scientific name cannot be ambiguous, while vernacular English names are often ambiguous. Lmaltier 19:46, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Translingual words are often used in English (not surprising) so we could add an English section to Felidae and cite it, it would just be redundant to the Translingual section. So when Translingual words/terms are used in English, cut out the middle step and add translations directly to the Translingual sections. Per Maro, ELE should reflect this. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:31, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but I would keep the English/French/etc. sections nonetheless, only when useful (for pronunciation in the language, gender in the language (as opposed to gender in Latin), citations, etc. But my proposal was mainly relevant for species, not families. Lmaltier 05:46, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I may add that, for families, there may be a translation (adaptation to the language), e.g. Felidae may be used in French, but often becomes félidé (singular), félidés (plural). This is a general rule in French for all families. Lmaltier 05:50, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
I think, in general, this is better handled by Wikispecies, which does have a setup for including the vernacular name of any taxon in any language. Duplicating that information here is not a good use of our time. --EncycloPetey 19:08, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
If we are leaving the translations of species (or taxon or whatever) names to Wikispecies (I haven't thought about it enough to have an opinion atm) then I'd suggest we need to develop a specialised template along the lines of {{trans-see}} that looks like a translation table header but directs readers to the appropriate page at Wikispecies. That isn't to say that the existing templates should be used as well (as people looking for a sister project link but not a translation wouldn't think to look at the translations section). Thryduulf (talk) 23:28, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
That would be very easy to do, since in the majority of cases, the Wikispecies page will have exactly the same name as the Wiktionary page. So, the template will seldom need any parameter but the pagename. The only situations that will not exactly match between projects are those where there is more than one taxon with the same name, such as an animal and a plant genus with the same name. Here on Wiktionary, we simply list those as separate senses in the same entry, but on Wikispecies there are separate disambiguated pages for each one of such taxa. So, an optional parameter would be needed for those situations. --EncycloPetey 03:55, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
@Lmaltier: My understanding, and what I've just edited our entries to say, is that félidé is a French translation of English felid (and vice versa). They're both common nouns, so I don't think either one is exactly a translation of the translingual proper noun Felidae. —RuakhTALK 01:35, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

anagrams, word play, false friends, extensive lists of cognates, etc

Following on from the discussion at WT:AEN about frequency lists, and related to the discussions above about Trivia sections, I think we need to decide where (if anywhere) in the entries the following should be placed.

  • Frequency rankings
    • Currently suggested at WT:AEN to move the existing Gutenberg rankings to the Usage notes sections. I'm not sure this is the best, especially if we get additional rankings (e.g. it might (with varying degrees of likelihood) be possible to get rankings from national corpuses, wikipedia, wikisource, google books, etc).
  • Anagrams
    • Currently in the Anagrams section, but it has been proposed to move them to Trivia - given my stance on Trvia sections I obviously disagree with this, but it might be better to group them with lists of other words connected only by the orthography
  • Word play
    • Currently where this exists, it's in Trivia sections. Going through these I've seen notes about words that use every vowel in alphabetical order (currently covered by a category), words that form a sequence of other words when letters are left off each time, words that are "notable" due to the position they occurr in $dictionary, words that are the "longest" (of a certain type) in common usage in $language, etc. Do we even want these? If so, where? I'm aiming to get rid of all the Trivia sections as they attract meaningless trivia that we really don't want (e.g. appearances of words in $popular_culture/$book/etc).
  • Scrabble
    • Notes about words that are particularly high scoring, or were used in record breaking games, etc. This seems more encyclopaedic about Scrabble than lexical about the words, but this is appearing currently in Trivia sections. If we want it, where should we include it?
  • Spelling bee winning words
    • See separate section further up this page.
  • False friends
  • Extensive lists of cognates
    • Currently these appear in etymology sections, but they can get truly excessive and take up huge amounts of screen estate and make the actual etymons harder to sport.

One suggestion I made at the AEN discussion was a separate per entry namespace companion page to hold this information, possibly with a tab in the same style as Citations. What do others think of all this? Thryduulf (talk) 11:32, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

If you read Wiktionary:Feedback, the most common complaint is that definitions are hard to find, so cutting back on 'other stuff' seems good to me. Dare I say it, we have a format that pleases the editors more than the readers. We don't (IMO) have a client-centered approach. I'm not mad about anagrams as I consider them mathematical (an I'm a former tournament Scrabble player). I'd keep homophones as they're a sort of "disambiguation" feature (you've typed in feet - did you mean feat?) But certainly I'd like to see cognates used more in appendices and less in entries, and no Scrabble/spelling bee stuff at all. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:39, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Anagrams: I have a related question, which is the level at which we do these--currently only intralingual anagrams are provided. I would like to see interlingual ones as well, perhaps by moving the section to the end. This would also make definitions easier to find.
  • True and false cognates should be listed together, and not under trivia as they are legitimate lexicographic information. Also not under etymology, because they're not (except in the few cases where they do help to show the origin of the entry).
  • Scrabble and spelling-bee winning words--leave this to Wikipedia, it's encyclopedic, not lexicographic. I'd be slightly more sympathetic to more inherent properties of words, such as buzzbomb being the shortest word which needs two blanks in Scrabble to represent two different letters, muumuus being the least common, etc.
Matchups 02:08, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Missing etymology

Why do we have two different templates that both denote a missing etymology? See, for example, کس, which uses both of them. -- Prince Kassad 20:06, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

I think I noted this as Wiktionary:RFM. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:13, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
A perfect opportunity for me to say that page (ideally) needs more input. A lot of the move requests pass with a 2-0 consensus. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:59, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-06/Number vs. numeral

Much as I'd like to forget about it, that's not going to solve anything. I set the vote for 3 weeks, starting July 29. Any questions? If this goes right, we can lay the whole thing to rest. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:36, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Can we have an option «Use "Numeral" as level 3 headers»? --Vahag 12:49, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Ah I forgot those, "numeral" and "number" on their own. Yes of course, as people might vote them. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:51, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Please discuss at Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2010-06/Number vs. numeral. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:02, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

MediaWiki talk:Common.css#Non-gloss definitions

What does everyone think of this? I am reconsidering whether it's worth it, but more input would be good. —Internoob (DiscCont) 01:37, 28 July 2010 (UTC)