Open main menu

Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2011/November

This is an archive page that has been kept for historical purposes. The conversations on this page are no longer live.
Beer parlour archives edit

Proper label for Japanese "quasi-adjectives"

(NB: If this should be moved to Wiktionary talk:About Japanese, please let me know and I'm happy to move it there.)

What to call 形容動詞 (keiyōdōshi) in English has been a bit of a bugaboo for many a linguist. As noted above at Wiktionary:Beer_parlour#Preferred_forms_for_Japanese_lemmata, the current label of ===Adjective=== does not fit. The alternates of ===Nominal===, ===Adnominal===, ===Copular adjective===, ===Quasi-adjective===, ===Noun===, ===Descriptive noun===, and ===Nominal adjective===, among other possibilities, all seem to entail different kinds of confusion.

Considering that the keiyōdōshi part of speech has no real analog in English, it seems appropriate to eschew the plain English POS labels in favor of something more fitting. Does anyone have any strong argument against na- adjective? This is the most common label I've seen used in Japanese learning materials for English speakers. The only arguments against this that I've run across (so far not here on WT) arise from objections to how this term does not seem sufficiently technical or linguistic. Given WT's apparent target audience, I think being clear is more important than being technical jargon. What say you all? -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 16:46, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

It makes sense. To be honest it looks a little strange though, but I could live with it, especially since as you say it is common in English-Japanese dictionaries. Basically, something like 素直? I added that header. Haplology 18:14, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
Na-adjective, copular adjective, quasi-adjective, and nominal adjective are not very good because they are supposed to include だ. I prefer descriptive noun in the list above by Eirikr if possible. I know na-adjective is a well-known term among Japanese learners as Haplology said, but it is too specific to Japanese. There is a very similar word class in Korean, namely 형용명사 (hyeongyongmyeongsa, 形容名詞, "adjectival noun"), like 과학적 (gwahakjeok, 科學的, "scientific"), and it is a type of noun in traditional Korean grammar. We should treat the Japanese 科学的 (kagakuteki) and the Korean 과학적 in the same way. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 04:06, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
@Takasugi-san, just to be sure, are you proposing that we use Adjectival noun? (not descriptive noun) I agree that na adjective is good for bi-lingual dictionaries but multilingual dictionaries should have parts of speech as broad as possible. Haplology 04:18, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Although I have used adjectival noun, we should avoid it if we want to have a term as broad as possible. In the traditional Latin grammar, adjectives were called nomen adiectivum, which translates literally to adjectival noun. That might be confusing for Latin learners. Descriptive noun will be better. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 04:51, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I strongly prefer Adjectival noun. Wikipedia uses it on their English page linked to 形容動詞 (w:Adjectival noun (Japanese). Wikipedia's page doesn't use the word "descriptive" at all. Adjectival noun gets 3 times as many hits on Google. On Google Books, "Adjectival noun" Japanese gets 1,960 results and "Descriptive noun" Japanese gets 145, and the first hits at least are not about Japanese. Descriptive noun also has the common, non-technical meaning of being a noun that describes people, so it might confuse ordinary people. I don't think we need to worry about confusing Latin learners. 形容動詞 are confusing to everybody anyway no matter what we call them, but even if Descriptive noun is better, we should follow precedent. Haplology 08:16, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
For interest, some searches that show what people outside of Wiktionary write: google books:"adjectival noun" Japanese, google books:"descriptive noun" Japanese, google books:"na- adjective" Japanese, google scholar:"adjectival noun" Japanese, google scholar:"descriptive noun" Japanese, google scholar:"na- adjective" Japanese. --Dan Polansky 09:02, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I understand. It will be fine to use adjectival noun for Japanese keiyōdōshi stems and Korean nouns with - (-jeok). — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 09:42, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Mulling it over some more, I'm happy with adjectival noun, especially since (as Haplogy and Takasugi noted above) this broader label works for more than just Japanese. I balked at nominal adjective, not least since this term is more commonly used in English grammar to refer to an adjective used as a noun (as described at #4 at w:Adjective#Form), but turning this term around backwards works much better, and Dan's list of links make it clear that adjectival noun is used widely enough in the literature that WT users are likely to be at least passingly familiar with the term. A quick look at google books:"adjectival noun" Korean and google scholar:"adjectival noun" Korean shows some use of this term for Korean too, for what it's worth. -- Eiríkr ÚtlendiTala við mig 16:45, 2 November 2011 (UTC)


I urge the community to rethink the introduction of anagrams in wiktionary entries.

  1. The task of finding anagrams can be easily automated
  2. More information is not always better than less information. There are all sorts of useless statistics that we could add to each entry, but we shouldn't because the signal-to-noise ratio would be too small, and it would increase the overall noise in the page, making it more confusing and difficult to find what one is normally looking for: meaning, etymology, etc.
  3. Anagrams simply do not belong to a respectable dictionary. Are there any precedents?

Thanks. 23:32, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I like the anagrams. They are useful in word games, and when you consider (from the feedback page) that half our users are semi-literate and can barely read a normal entry without getting lost, they certainly aren't going to be able to "automate" anything. We can be a respectable dictionary and still introduce new practices, or else nothing would ever have changed or progressed from the first dictionary ever made. Equinox 23:37, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Of course, not everything useful or that you and I like belongs at wikt. Also, if users can't navigate our entries, that's fodder for 220's argument against noise; and they probably can nonetheless find anagrams, as they need merely Google anagram ayes (or whatever) to find already-automated anagram lists.​—msh210 (talk) 23:57, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
If users can't navigate, that is a problem with our navigation, not with the content. We can use collapsible sections, etc. Equinox 00:01, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I disagree with "Anagrams simply do not belong to a respectable dictionary". The set of anagrams of a word is a property of the word and, like rhymes and synonyms and other things, belongs in a page about the word, which is what we have here. (And like Equinox says, that other dictionaries don't have doesn't mean we shouldn't.) But that's just my opinion: I think opinions are what this will have to come down to, unless someone does a usability study.​—msh210 (talk) 23:57, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

I also think that including anagrams is a good thing (for those interested, not the majority of readers). Their inclusion emphasizes the difference between us and Wikipedia, which is not obvious to everybody. Their absence from most dictionaries is an additional reason for inclusion, another "plus" we can bring. Also note that anagrams can be found on other sites, but 1. certainly not for all languages. 2. certainly not for all words, including surnames (and readers might be interested by anagrams of their name), etc. Lmaltier 06:31, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Innovation must be allowed. Agreed, but it's not a sufficient reason to keep a feature that is marginal or useless to most users in such a prominent place (level 3, on par with pronounciation and the actual lemmas). I think at the very least it should be put somewhere less noticeable. There are plenty other statistics (e.g. character count, another questionable "plus" that we can bring, so to increase the entropy, ahem, information) that are even more useful in word games that could go together with anagrams, in a collapsed Statistics/Properties subsubsubsubsection.
I also think that finding anagrams can be automated (not by users!) and therefore should be automated. Agreed, it's not a trivial development, but manually adding anagrams to all words sounds like a massive waste of time to me. There are plenty of programs out there that already specialise in finding anagrams, so it is a computable function. If I really were interested in finding all anagrams of a word, why would I risk missing out some of them by relying on a manually-compiled (and therefore fallible) list?
Rhymes are similarly upsetting, but somewhat more acceptable in my view. That said, I find it incredible that some entries would have the "rhymes" but not the full IPA pronounciation - or did I miss it among all that noise? A usability study sounds good to me...
Thanks for listening. 12:33, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
It's already automated: see Wiktionary:Anagrams. Lmaltier 19:01, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Please let's switch to that talk page, where I added a comment. Also you may want to archive this page because it takes a long time to load. Thank you. 23:52, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
As a former Scrabble player, I'm not a big fan of anagrams on Wiktionary. Anagrams ignore the meaning of a word, and don't provide useful information in the same way pronunciation, rhymes and homophones do (which also ignore the meaning of a word). Mglovesfun (talk) 07:42, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

For the lack of a "Wiktionary:Requests for deletion review" page

See also Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Others#Template:py-to-ipa, Template talk:str index.

Please note Template talk:str index#Deletion, Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Others#Template:py-to-ipa and User talk:Ruakh#Template:str index1, where a review of the deletion of Template:str index and Template:str index/logic has been requested. Hbrug 02:51, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Bring template undeletion requests to [[WT:RFDO]] if anywhere.​—msh210 (talk) 05:57, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Let's be honest, nobody cares about RFDO. So many pages are sitting there just waiting to be reviewed, but there is nobody who reads the requests! -- Liliana 12:44, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Maybe that would change if we agreed that silence is confirmation. :) —CodeCat 15:10, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I take it back. The issue here is expensive templates generally, not any single one. So this really is the right place.​—msh210 (talk) 15:49, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
What we're doing could be compared to a country shutting down all coal and oil power plants because they consume resources like coal and oil. Sure, you do save up on them, but that isn't gonna help when 1. all the other countries continue wasting them, and more importantly 2. all the inhabitants of the country now suffer from a lack of power thanks to your politics. Automatic transliteration of Brahmic scripts (Brahmic specifically because the Transliterator extension cannot do these) is an excellent reason to restore these, because it adds a useful functionality. -- Liliana 15:58, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree, until a developer comes along and says "you are overulitizing resources" I think we should just use the tools we have in any manner we imagine. [The]DaveRoss 16:26, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Hbrug 10:41, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Incidentally, I think we should also get rid of the xs= parameter in {{t}}, which saves the language name for every page. This is a huge problem when a language name is changed, as has happened recently with {{nds}} (from Low Saxon to Low German), and isn't really worth the (usually marginal) performance increase. -- Liliana 16:47, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
How is it that Brahmic scripts can be transliterated by a pile of templates but not by the transliterator extension? --Yair rand 18:52, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
The transliterator is a simple table, while templates can make use of conditionals, like "if consonant is not followed by vowel or halant add inherent vowel else suppress it". -- Liliana 19:22, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
AFAICT, the only reason these templates were deleted is that they are "expensive". However, other Wiktionaries and Wikipedias use them (with no apparent adverse effect to how those sites load), and AFAIK no developer has asked us not to use them. Therefore, like Liliana and TDR, I think we should restore the templates — those which do things nothing else (such as the transliterator extension) can. I'm not opposed to making the templates work only when subst:ed whenever that's possible without loss of functionality. - -sche (discuss) 18:52, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

I have restored Template:str index per this discussion, but only on the premise that it be used for things which cannot be handled by other, more efficient mechanisms. -- Liliana 22:21, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

SoPs in Webster 1913

Apropos of nothing in particular, I've spotted a few howling sums of parts in this Webster 1913. My favourites are globe-shaped, "shaped like a globe", and beech tree, "the beech". Equinox 18:16, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

globe-shaped would pass per WT:COALMINE. But yeah, quite many of Webster's entries would be classified as SoP by us. -- Liliana 18:19, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Also "beech tree" is likely to pass per WT:COALMINE, although the Google books search seems dominated by the proper name "Beechtree". --Dan Polansky 18:27, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Translingual translations

Just noticed that queen features "translations" into Translingual. Where was this practice approved? Translingual isn't a language like the others and isn't really intended to be listed as a "translation". -- Liliana 20:16, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Also, this doesn't satisfy the purposes the translation table does, which is to know how to render stuff in another language. Anyway, remove. Put the chess-piece symbol's link under "See also". (True, "See also" is meant only for same-language links, but IMO mul links should be fine in a "See also" section for any language.)​—msh210 (talk) 20:23, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

{{pedia}} under sense lines.

I think it should be possible to do something like this (at [[cat]]):

# Any similar animal of the family ''[[Felidae]]'', which includes [[lion]]s, [[tiger]]s, etc.
#* {{pedia|Felidae}}

which would ordinarily produce this:

  1. Any similar animal of the family Felidae, which includes lions, tigers, etc.

but currently produces this:

  1. Any similar animal of the family Felidae, which includes lions, tigers, etc.  [quotations ▼]

I could list a bunch of reasons, but . . . I think the reasons "for" and "against" are all pretty obvious. Does anyone have any strong feelings about it, one way or the other?
RuakhTALK 21:49, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Good idea. I'm in favor if the subsequent quotations under that sense would still be hidden in the quotations down-arrow-thingy.​—msh210 (talk) 20:00, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I would rather not do this. There are already two kinds of information under the senses, and it is kind of messy. The proposal places an icon and boldfaced text next to a definition, making the definition stand out even less than before. I prefer that all links to Wikipedia are placed under one L3-section "External links" at the end of the entry. --Dan Polansky 08:07, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I also dislike the idea of peppering external links into the senses, especially with a nasty icon and template. The example given makes no sense to me, as it links the WP article on Felidae not from our Felidae entry but from cat. We should be providing enough information at Felidae (via a simple text link in the definition), and the WP link should be in the target article at Felidae. I see no reason to circumvent our own definitions with additional visual and structural clutter. --EncycloPetey 14:53, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Re: "The example given makes no sense to me, as it links the WP article on Felidae not from our Felidae entry but from cat": Sorry, but that makes no sense. The link is to the Wikipedia article on cats. How is it relevant that Wikipedia calls that article "Felidae"? —RuakhTALK 15:46, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Does anyone else want to weigh in? Right now it's two in favor, one opposed: not exactly a shining example of consensus. (I could start a vote, if people think it's something that should be voted on before being done?) —RuakhTALK 14:00, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Against. Let's avoid graphical icons, more boldfaced words, and external links all over entries. (And the example is not very good: why link w:Felidae instead of w:Cat in the entry cat?)
I see one rationale in preferring links to WP articles under senses: articles about things are more likely to correspond to senses rather than to our entries about words. But the correspondence will never be a good match, because the encyclopedia and dictionary is each a catalogues of a fundamentally different kind of thing. I'd rather group all of the external links at the bottom. Also better to have one link to a disambiguation page, which will list uses of a word whether they belong in the dictionary or not (e.g., persons, corporations, creative works, etc), than to try keeping up a set of matching equivalents in these two references. Michael Z. 2011-11-08 19:44 z
Re: "And the example is not very good: why link w:Felidae instead of w:Cat in the entry cat?": "Instead of"? Your second paragraph makes clear that you already know why your question makes no sense . . . also, re "graphical icons" and "boldfaced words", obviously those aren't inherent in the proposal. (You, EP, and Dan Polansky all have other reasons as well, but you also all mention the icon, so I feel the need to make that explicit!) —RuakhTALK 20:11, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Good points. I glanced at the example a little hastily. Perhaps it isn't a terrible idea to sort Wikipedia links by sense.
Still, if the definition links to the entry Felidae, then the link to the Wikipedia article is already in a prominent box on that page. No need for more page clutter. Michael Z. 2011-11-09 02:30 z
In my example, the definition links to Felidae, but in many cases it doesn't. For example, a definition for a non-English word will almost never link to a same-language synonym, because the definition is supposed to be in English. —RuakhTALK 18:09, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

Short quotes from copyrighted material. Is it allowed?

What's the deal with quoting short sentences from copyrighted material? In particular, I'm using "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" translated into Mandarin and Japanese for learning these languages (哈利·波特与魔法石; ハリー・ポッターと賢者の石). I have planned to have a go at these translations for a long time and now I'm doing it and progressing well.(Note: I'm not a great fan of Harry Potter but I have audio (Mandarin and Japanese), books and the English translation, which makes it a great learning material. Bilingual readers are very useful!).

So, if I add an entry in Chinese or Japanese, can I add a short sample sentence? Like here: 阴沉 (yīnchén) or 瘦削 (shòuxiāo)? (I had to make different sample sentences, not from the book) I know that some language forums allow about four sentences without fearing of some copyright violations when discussing some language points. If there are multiple questions, they are obviously not consecutive - a sentence here, a sentence there. --Anatoli 06:00, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Single sentences are barely copyrightable, if at all, and fair use would tend to weigh heavily towards us. As long as they were scattered sentences, I think we could reproduce a lot of the work before they had a copyright claim.--Prosfilaes 07:54, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
(ec)I'd say quotes from copyrighted material are okay if the words are rare and it's not easy to find quotes from public-domain material, but public-domain material should be preferred wherever possible. For example, I added two Stephen King quotes at Citations:megrim because is a very rare word that it isn't easy to find quotes for. But I would never use those same quotes for , (strip of material hiding the zipper at the front of a pair of trousers), or . —Angr 08:01, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
If that's the case, it's very good. Making or searching for good sample sentences in a foreign language, especially hard ones like Chinese or Japanese can be difficult or time-consuming. I hope people won't hate me for quoting Harry Potter. :) --Anatoli 09:02, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I add sentences from copyrighted material all the time. Concerning Harry Potter, Chinese and Japanese quotations would be more natural if they were not translations, but then creating a good English translation on your own is difficult. I have a good collection of Finnish quotations about given names - I've collected them all my life - but I don't want to put them here since I'm no good at translating poetry or high quality prose. And the Finnish wiktionary is so uninspiring.--Makaokalani 17:17, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I think it's a very bad thing to prefer public domain material. I would almost go so far as to say that every word that's been used in the 21st century should have a 21st century quote. Given the number of citation-less words, it's pretty far down my list, but we should be showing words in modern use as being in modern use.--Prosfilaes 07:27, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
I, like Makaokalani, add sentences from copyrighted material all the time. I asked BD2412 (talkcontribs) about it once — actually, I was asking about an extreme case, where a significant proportion of a news article would end up in various quotations here — and he wrote that "With respect to news articles, if they are divided into individual relatively short sentences and scattered about the dictionary with no quick and easy way to connect them, this would be a very clear fair use. After all, disjointed sentences reproduced individually can not harm the value of the work or substitute for it, and of course they use is for a non-commercial and educational purpose" (link). —RuakhTALK 18:41, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, all. Here's one of the quote: 低垂 (dīchuí), which I had to retranslate (perhaps a bit awkwardly) into English. I didn't shorten the sentence, otherwise I would have to rewrite it. The people familiar with the book may still guess where it's from. I didn't provide the source as it is a usage demo, not a proof of existence of the word. --Anatoli 19:53, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Re: "I didn't provide the source as it is a usage demo, not a proof of existence of the word": Sorry, but I think that's really wrong: not only a bad idea, but also immoral. —RuakhTALK 20:38, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Fixed immorality. --Anatoli 21:30, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree. A quick Google Search reveals that the example sentence has been taken from another source without attribution. It should be sourced. ---> Tooironic 21:11, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Like Makaokalani and Ruakh, I use copyrighted sources as citations without qualms. I don't know about the specific laws of various countries, but in general I doubt that short extracts for purposes of illustrating the use of a word are going to get up anyone's nose. I do try to keep them short. Equinox 21:13, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I was going to comment here, but only to say what Ruakh has quoted me as saying. Our use of a handful of individual sentences from copyrighted material scattered across our entries is de minimis, and would not even rise to the level of copyrightability for a fair use analysis to be made. If one were made, the actual use that we make of such sentences makes about the strongest case for fair use that I can think of. On the other hand, if we were to take the entire Japanese translation of Harry Potter (for which both the underlying work and the translation would be individually copyrighted) and use that for all possible examples, and point out that we'd done so, that might be bad and we shouldn't do it just in case. bd2412 T 21:39, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't have the energy or time to provide sample sentences for all words I learn or known words I see missing in Wiktionary - they'll go sampleless. I won't be adding sample sentences to existing Mandarin or Japanese entries - we already have quite a lot - basic vocabulary is already covered. In 瘦削 (shòuxiāo, shòuxuē) I used an example sentence from a chat. I know it's hard to say what would mean too many citations from one book but if I say 500 sentences (some short, some a bit long, like in 低垂 (dīchuí), inconsecutive, no repetitions (that sample sentence generated two more entries, however 丝毫 (sīháo) doesn't repeat the same citation and no quote in 迹象 (jìxiàng)). Would 500 citations from one source sound like too many? --Anatoli 22:36, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
The shortest Harry Potter book is over 76,000 words in English, and the longest is over a quarter million. Assuming an average of, say, 20 words per sentence, that would yield about 3,800 sentences from the shortest book. With no repetitions (which seems odd, given that several different words might be unique to a single sentence in the book), that would be between one seventh and one eighth of the book, which does sound like a bit much. However, if the sentences were scattered around our millions of definitions, with no guide to locating all of them and piecing them together, it would as a practical matter be impossible to nail down the amount of usage, and would very likely escape infringing any copyrights. bd2412 T 17:32, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I just want to add that short quotations may be prohibited in some cases, such as definitions from copyrighted dictionaries (each definition may be considered as a copyrighted work). And that (when the quotes are allowed, which is the normal case) authors or publishers are likely to be happy, because these quotes are much more likely to improve sales than to reduce them. Lmaltier 21:18, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, fiction books don't provide definitions just reading. Agreed with the second part. That was my idea. Having some vocabulary and examples could attract language learners. --Anatoli 21:40, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

The Maori flag

I think this flag would be better to use for Maori entries instead of the New Zealand flag. —CodeCat 12:59, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

  • I agree. Ƿidsiþ 14:23, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I disagree, it's not an official flag (from what I read in WP; if I'm wrong then I agree). Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 14:41, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

Flags? What flags? I've never seen a flag in an entry. --EncycloPetey 14:51, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

My preferences -> misc. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 15:24, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Huh? The only two options I see are
( ) Do not show page content below diffs
( ) Omit diff after performing a rollback
Neither of these appears to pertain to flags. --EncycloPetey 15:37, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
My preferences -> Gadgets. --Yair rand 15:39, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
Oh yeah, my bad. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 15:50, 6 November 2011 (UTC)

counting down

To let you know that there's only a few days left before the end of the Wiktionary:Halloween Competition 2011. Get your entries in before it's too late. --Rockpilot 17:42, 4 November 2011 (UTC)


Hi, it is I, ACDCrocks. I have a problem, Dick Laurent keeps bothering me and I believe he should be blocked for "Causing our editors distress by directly insulting them or by being continually impolite towards them." he is also abusing his powers blocking me for a reason not at all stated in block which is "stirring up trouble", only minutes after I was unblocked for another silly blocking of me, I got blocked for wishing 7 users Happy Halloween, I was unblocked for that but then Dick just blocked me again, It would be nice if Block could be updated if labeling my own talk page is no longer allowed or that Dick be blocked for constant harassment, because he thinks I am just a dumb cunt Also I believe his ability to block me should be taken away, and if he feels I should be blocked, he should have to contact another admin and ask them to do it or be blocked himself. 19:54, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Descendants format

Should Descendants sections of regular entries use nesting when one descendant is descended from another (example)? This seems to be the normal format for proto-language entries, but I don't think I've seen it in regular entries. (We don't seem to have a very clear policy for descendants.) --Yair rand 20:28, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

I treat proto-entries and regular entries the same when it comes to layout, so I would use the same nesting for regular entries. —CodeCat 21:41, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I format them the same way I would a Translations section, minus the collapsing template. That is, languages are alphabetical and bulleted as they would be for Translations. The proto-language entries do it differently because they are concerned principally with descent across many languages and many levels. Regular entry descendants sections are less sweeping in their scope. --EncycloPetey 04:27, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I think this is mostly because translations rarely list languages that are the ancestors of other languages. Old French, Old Norse and so on are not often listed in translation sections. fritho has an example of descendants. —CodeCat 10:43, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I dislike that approach because it gets messy very quickly. See oculus and unus for Latin examples. Languages like Latin will have many descendant words, and grouping these by linguistic relationship would be a mess. Note that the Old French placement on unus is a compromise by WordDeed to keep Mglovesfun from deleting it out of the entry. Mg believes that if the modern French word is there, then the Old French shouldn't be listed at all. --EncycloPetey 14:47, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
If the list becomes too long, couldn't it be made to collapse? —CodeCat 14:51, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
We could collapse the list if there were a template specifically made for Descendants. However, its formatting would be determined by the structure of the Descendants section, and we have no clear guiding policy on that structure. Frankly, I would want the section expanded always (like the side-bar "Show Translations" toggle), so I can see the Descendants myself, but I can understand that other people might not be interested in seeing them. Enclosing and collapsing an indented hierarchical list would be messier, which is another reason I prefer modelling after the Translations format that is far more linear. --EncycloPetey 14:58, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
{{des-top}}. --Yair rand 15:00, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
More of a 'neatness' issue than believing the entry should be there at all. I can see three main approaches: 1) alphabetical 2) as in translation sections 3) as in proto-entries. The difference between 2) and 3) is in translations Middle French and Old French are bulleted under French, in proto entries it's the reverse. Frankly I don't mind as long as we're consistent; Help:Descendants or WT:Descendants seems like a good idea to me. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:04, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
I should have time in a week or so, if WT:Descendants seems like a good idea (and with a second person suggesting it, it could be). I would start by pullling the model I prepared for WT:ALA#Descendants, and generalize it to a broader set of languages. However, we would need to choose a sequencing format. As I said, Mg's (2) option is my preferred sequence.
Note also that (3) would place Afrikaans under Dutch, whereas neither (1) nor (2) would group those languages. --EncycloPetey 18:41, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
(3) would give more information than (1) or (2). Also, it could be machine-readable. --Yair rand 20:32, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Why do you say that (3) is "machine readbale"? In what way over the others? Note that the structure of (3) varies greatly depending on which languages' descendants have been entered. Adding a new item would be very difficult for an editor to figure out, and it would be very hard for a bot to maintain given the reality that the selection of descendant languauges will be a random subset of the possibilities. Bots and editors can better cope with (1) or (2). --EncycloPetey 16:34, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
By "machine-readable", I meant that it would be possible to automatically pull up an etymology "tree" of which words came from which. With (1) or (2), this data isn't stored anywhere. What do you mean by a bot "maintaining" the descendants sections? If you mean a bot updating the sections based on other entries, I don't see how this would be possible at all with (1) or (2), but I'm pretty sure it would be simple with (3). Or do you mean fixing formatting/templates and things? --Yair rand 20:54, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Jocular or humorous

The usage label {{jocular}} redirects to {{humorous}}, which puts a word into [[Category:English jocular terms]]. We should use one term to represent the one concept in both labels and categories: jocular or humorous.

Either word is acceptable. Although humorous (“funny”) is a more familiar term, jocular (“joking, intended to evoke humour”) seems more precise to me. Michael Z. 2011-11-08 17:21 z

I think jocular is the correct term for words intended to evoke humor. Calling a word humorous could be taken to imply it's an inherently funny word. Bridezilla is jocular, but not funny; kumquat is funny, but not jocular. Calling either one humorous would be ambiguous. —Angr 14:52, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree w/Angr. By the way — does anyone have any thoughts on how we can confirm that a given term or sense merits this label? I worry that many entries in that category might not really belong there. —RuakhTALK 19:20, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't really know, but we do need to exclude as valid attestation instances where the jocularity is sarcasm or irony or is marked by putting the term in quotes. I think almost any term could, in some context, be rendered "jocular".
I think almost any term that is jocular also has a non-jocular sense and usage. I would guess that almost all jocularity depends on some kind of double meaning.
Why is it that this register merits a category whereas most of the vocabulary that has some other kind of context restriction is buried in topical categories that include terms that have no context restriction? DCDuring TALK 22:56, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
This does seem to be a troublesome area. We are likely to continue to get numerous adolescent efforts to add senses that purport to be "jocular". One approach would be to require a vote on each membership that was not supported by a reference to a dictionary that claimed the term had a sense that was jocular. It would be possible to monitor new additions to the category. DCDuring TALK 23:04, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Not only would be: it is possible.​—msh210 (talk) 23:12, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Me, too. (Ruakh's first sentence.) Or, more precisely, not that I agree with Angr (I have no knowledge of the issue, and agree sounds to me like I do), but I think that what he said makes sense and support the consequence.​—msh210 (talk) 23:12, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Er, yes, that's actually what I meant, too . . . and now that it occurs to me to check, the OED Online has 125 entries using the label "jocular", and 940 using the label "humorous". I don't know what distinction it's drawing, however, and whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be a very firm one: there's a "humorous" category, containing 1,952 senses (in 1,655 distinct entries), but no "jocular" category, and many of the senses labeled "jocular" are in the "humorous" category. (As are some senses labeled "playfully", "facetious", etc.) Even so, I'm on board with Angr. —RuakhTALK 00:34, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
I wonder if 3rd-edition entries have settled on using only one or the other term.
Maybe we shouldn't put too fine a distinction on how this label and category is used. Lexicography references don't seem to.[1][2] But nevertheless, if we mean a single specific or broader concept, then let's use one word. If we settle on two distinct meanings, only then let's use two different words. Michael Z. 2011-12-07 04:22 z

Process Action nouns

Hello all, I started working with the word civilization, and found it to be an "action noun" like "transition." Surprisingly the only material I could find was here -> Princeton::Wordnet::Lexicographer Files. I put some writing on Civilization::Talk saying that my interest is in the parallel evolutions of thought and lexical meaning, and this approach seems especially helpful for giving etymological meaning.--John Bessa 19:32, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Action nouns often come to refer to the results of the action as well. For example, opening refers to the process of being opened, but an opening is something that has been opened. —CodeCat 19:39, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Like an artist's wine and cheese party. Let me dig a little deeper into where I am going with this (stuff). I am finishing a masters in psych, and I hope to move into the field of "community counselling" (if it exists). Key to current personality understanding are the development models such as the five factor model (FFM) that are built directly from the dictionary using factor analysis; in other words, the outward "face" of the mind is best described lexically. (The problem with psych is that it describes both mental function and mental illness often at the same time; a professor of mine actually successfully correlated lexical personality models with personality disorders (which tend to be serious), when, in fact, they have nothing to do with each other (which CG Jung stressed with the first personality model that is now Myers-Briggs).
I have been attempting to add the evolutionary model to this. The time scales for brain evolution and language development should differ by factors, but the development of thought itself (which includes the "symbolization" of emotion such as in poetry and "modern" analytic disciples) parallels language development, and hence psychology (from the FFM). So I actually wonder if the mind, specifically the brain, has been evolving significantly over the past 100K to 10K years. To add to this, I think a collaborative wiki is the only way to pull these ideas together because even the kindest of university minds seem to be set in concrete (which, in of itself, is a personality disorder). This is why the above Princeton lexical link seems useful to me--to actually pin down the initial meanings of words in the context of their original use to link them to related psych development. Going a little further with the FFM, the development, or evolution, should be universal across language groups, and, hence, peoples. This is important to Science in that it is not biased and correctly describes phenomena with a single answer.
To reduce this to the topic of civilization, it seems to boil down to the difference between civic and social, where social describes artistic achievements, and I see civic nearly purely in terms of law and rules (and perhaps paranoia). I observe these differences often, especially in conflict. So civilization and society are parallel, though civilization appears bigger, but may not be--it may only be a virtual structure that we buy into, or are forced to at risk of marginalization--or worse. The proof is provided by it being an action noun. Hope this helps (HTH). --John Bessa 13:57, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
I stand corrected: this is a (related) process noun according to the Wordnet categorization, which seems like a useful idea. I suspect that this Wordnet system might be the input to the personality NEO-IPIP which is a new FFM. (Both programs are written in Perl.) From doing "evoutional" analysis (Carl Rogers way of saying evolutionary), the best and widest root meaning seemed to be city, as in civic center, which is invariably a sports arena. Cities are invariably financial capitals, which brings in the idea of civilization as the process of developing capital, which means centralizing remote resources where the first step is driving off the natives. The "antecedent" (as it were) is barbarianism, where the process is civilizing presumably to make things better. This brings to mind my reading about Jung, who was liberal yet highly racist: he referred to aboriginal bushmen as having "monkey love" for their children which seems to me to parallel the processing of humanity to fit some prescribed social structure. Obviously this attitude of Jung's would be unacceptable today, and he would probably be a different, more enlightened person today, which tells me that the entire lexicon needs some processing especially if the material is going to be plugged into "whole systems models" such as the NEO-IPIP--I will have to ask NEO-IPIP's Dr. Johnson.--John Bessa 13:45, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Wikimedia Foundation "Answers"

Hi. :) Please forgive me if this is not the best place. I just wanted to let you all know that the Wikimedia Foundation is testing a potential new communication system intended to provide a central address to which community members who need assistance from the Wikimedia Foundation or who have questions about the Foundation or its activities can reach out and find answers. This system is being unrolled on a trial basis to test its efficiency and usefulness to communities.

What happens to your question will depend on what type of question it is. Many questions are general interest, and answers to these are being posted to wmf:Answers. Generally, at least to begin with, I will be writing these answers myself, although staff members have assisted with some questions already and I don't doubt will assist with more. Some issues will not be general interest, but may require attention from specific staff members or contractors. These will be forwarded to the appropriate parties. Questions that should be answered by community may be forwarded to the volunteer response team, unless we can point you to a more appropriate point of contact.

I imagine most of you are familiar with how the Wikimedia Foundation works, but it's probably a good idea for me to note for those who are not familiar that the Wikimedia Foundation does not control content on any of its projects. They can't help with content disputes or unblock requests, and they are not the place to report general bugs or to request features (that would be Wikimedia's Bugzilla). The letters I've answered already have included primarily questions about finances and the Foundation's work. I've been asked to get feedback from staff on diverse subjects ranging from the amount of latitude permitted to a project in drafting their "Exemption Doctrine Policy" to whether or not groups seeking grants need tax exempt status first.

If you have questions for or about the Wikimedia Foundation, you can address them to answers Please review wmf:Answers/Process for specific terms and more information. --Mdennis (WMF) 19:32, 9 November 2011 (UTC)


If you edit the English Wikipedia and live in an area with an active Wikimedia community, you've probably seen the notices at the top of your watchlist advertising for local meetups and other events. This is one of the best tools we have for getting word out about events to editors who don't watch all the project pages, but we should be reaching all editors, not just those on Wikipedia. At one point, I created MediaWiki:Geonotice.js and ran a message here for a meetup, but the page was never maintained. However, I noticed recently that Wikisource is importing geonotices directly from the Wikipedia geonotice (see s:MediaWiki:Common.js/watchlist.js), and this seems to be relatively successful since that's where events are all advertised. Can we do this here? Dominic·t 01:18, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

If we do so, most (it seems) of the notices that appear will be WP-specific (viz, for WP meetups). Perhaps we can convince WP to adjust its JS so WP-specific notices get a certain variable set that other sites can use to decide whether to display the notice?​—msh210 (talk) 03:00, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
It's not mostly Wikipedia stuff, as meetups are for the whole community. I don't think we should suggest others would be unwelcome; these are mostly social gatherings . In fact, meetups, and most Wikipedians, would benefit from the perspective of more Wiktionarians. Last week's meetup here in DC attracted a Wikisourceror for her first meetup due to the geonotice, and that's a Good Thing. Dominic·t 04:19, 10 November 2011 (UTC)
Perdon me. I saw the title "Wikipedia meetup" (on most of them: some are "Wikimedia"), and assumed they were, well, Wikipedia meetups. (Why are they called that? And why is their info on enWP, not meta? Anyway...) If you're correct (as I trust you are) that the seemingly WP-specific announcements aren't in fact, then IMO, yes, import the notices.​—msh210 (talk) 04:26, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

diminutive, hypocorism and nicks or shortened forms

Using either diminutive or hypocorism, at least in Greek language, in place of a caressive or everyday form is not correct.

Δημητράκης is a hypocorism, which means "a small Δημήτριος" and as such can also be used as a caressive, evdeavoring name but you cannot use the opposite. You can't use Μήτσος (other familiar or everyday form of "Δημήτριος") to denote "a small Δημήτριος".

I think this is the same in many languages that have, at least, -k- (phoneme: κορίτσι-κοριτσάκι, dziewczyna-dziewczynka...) as a way to distinguish diminutive forms (Turkish and all Slavic languages have also this).

So, having i.e.: "Category:Greek noun diminutive forms" and including in that category alternative, or everyday forms misleads the reader. In my opinion creation of a template (and derivative categories) is indispensable.--Xoristzatziki 08:19, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

Desysopping Dick Laurent aka Opiaterein

If you think Dick Laurent (talkcontribs) should be desysopped, as I do, please say so. His long-term verbal behavior on-wiki is unworthy an admin, IMHO. Furthermore, he repeatedly blocked people in a bullyish manner, for offenses unworthy of blocking. If more people want to see him desysopped, I would collect a list of his actions unworthy of adminhood. Most recently, Dick Laurent blocked Pilcrow for addressing him with "[...] it would be a good idea to not write as a knuckle‐dragging, dysfunctional child like you always write", which, while not the most polite way of talking to people, cannot be blocked by a person who constantly swears and insults other editors. --Dan Polansky 09:26, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

He’s a bit of a handful and a little eccentric, and he doesn’t always play well with others, but he is an invaluable editor. We all know his talents here and I’m pretty certain that he has broad support, so desysopping is not likely to succeed, but will only cause bad feelings. It would be nice if he would learn to tell those he doesn’t like to just buggah off rather than blocking them, and I think an occasional reminder from the rest of us not to use his blocking power as an arguing tool, that would be a much better idea than getting up a petition to desysop.
It is probably a good idea at this time for someone to write a policy page that deals with blocking, and that should take care of it. Blocking ought to be reserved for vandalism or aggravated harassment...other blocking actions should be brought before the community for a vote. —Stephen (Talk) 09:47, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your input. We already have a blocking policy, one that has been voted on: WT:BLOCK. It is very short and says this:
  1. "The block tool should only be used to prevent edits that will, directly or indirectly, hinder or harm the progress of the English Wiktionary.
  2. "It should not be used unless less drastic means of stopping these edits are, by the assessment of the blocking administrator, highly unlikely to succeed."
By my estimate, Dick Laurent "does not give a fuck about this policy, lol", or the like.
I do acknowledge that Dick Laurent is a prolific and valuable contributor. I just doubt that he is a valuable admin. --Dan Polansky 10:10, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I do tend to agree a little. He has been using his administrative powers for personal disputes on occasion, and his language especially on his talk page is less than... civil. —CodeCat 11:12, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

I think a good place to start is with a solid definition of what we think a sysop should be. Historically this community has defined a sysop as "any good editor who has been around for a while", and Opi/Dick certainly meets those criteria. There is a prevailing opinion held by most Wikimedians who are not Wiktionarians that this project is very hostile to newcomers and non-regulars, and I think that may begin with our staff of sysops. We have lost a lot of our polite admins and now have almost exclusively admins who are great at getting the work done but less tactful when dealing with new users, problem users and outsiders. Maybe there should be a new role, or maybe we should leverage the 'crat role to be more fitting of its title, I don't know, but as it is people look at the sysops as the face of this project and the face is not a particularly gracious one. - [The]DaveRoss 11:19, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I'd prefer not to lose the good work he does reverting/deleting vandalism, but I'd definitely like him to be a bit more civil... perhaps 'professional' is the right word. --Mglovesfun (talk) 11:21, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
'Zis really amusing, given the person suggesting this. Sometimes, you really aren't much better. -- Liliana 12:31, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
I find it quite offending, actually, to liken my behavior to that of Dick Laurent. I have no blocking tools, and I do not use profanity. I would like to see which edits of mine "aren't much better". And, of course, I am not an admin, so even if my behavior were as poor as that of Dick Laurent, it would be perfectly consistent for me to propose his desysopping. --Dan Polansky 12:43, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Now I remember. Weren't you the guy who proposed me for desysopping before? That shows a lot about you, I think. -- Liliana 16:45, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Liliana, evidence please, in the form of a diff or a link of a wiki page: I don't recall having proposed your desysopping. Furthermore, I do not recall any behavior of yours that would call for desysopping. So again, please refer me to evidence, to help my memory, or yours. --Dan Polansky 19:08, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
Ah, it was Ivan. Sorry for the confusion. -- Liliana 19:23, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
So again, which diffs show that I act no better than Dick Laurent? (Again, I have no block tools.) Or are you confusing me with other editors, overall? --Dan Polansky 19:36, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
So, this exchange doesn't seem productive in the least, as the subject of this discussion is neither Dan nor Liliana's behavior. - [The]DaveRoss 20:31, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
No, I don't think he should be desysopped. But he should be advised against blocking those with whom he has an argument, as all admins should. Even if the block is legit, if it's personal, ask another admin to make the call objectively. DAVilla 04:12, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

The block on Pilcrow was really bad, because that argument was purely personal. A bit more "professionalism" (I know, I know, visions of boring suited executives) from Dick wouldn't hurt. On balance I don't think deopping him is a very good idea. Equinox 12:51, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Can we remonstrate with him? (And by "we" I don't mean "me": I don't think he cares two figs what I think about anything. But surely there must be someone whose opinion he respects?) If not, then — yes, I think we should seriously consider replacing his "administrator" flag with "autopatroller", "patroller", and "rollbacker", just so he can't block people. The biggest downside I see is that people might be overly tempted to block him; we'll have to restrain ourselves. (And by "we" I mean "me".) —RuakhTALK 14:25, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I, of all people, might actually be the best user to step up and remonstrate with him. We get on very well and as a former administrator myself I can see things from a different side (being an admin defintely makes a user less productive than being a non-admin, for a start). Anyway, I think everyone here is in agreement, including himself of course, that he can "be a total dick". We'll see what he thinks, at least. And if he is desysopped, at least let him delete the main page first. --Rockpilot 17:12, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

You can't desysop Opio, he's the only gay admin and is therefore protected by affirmative action. Likewise, you can't desysop me for making racist jokes: I'm the only admin from this region (Caucasus, former USSR, Middle East). That's right, bitches, I just played the race card. --Vahag 20:52, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

I realize you're joking, but — as it happens, he is not the only gay admin. —RuakhTALK 21:02, 11 November 2011 (UTC)
*Cough*. Not the only gay admin. ---> Tooironic 11:00, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, it says something interesting about Vahag that he just automatically assumes that a group of dozens of people must be 100% straight unless he's been notified otherwise. ;-)   @Vahag: Is there a form I need to submit somewhere, or is this comment-thread sufficient notification for you?RuakhTALK 13:58, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
I give people the benefit of the doubt. Unless proven otherwise I assume every Wiktionarian is a rich white straight male. But seriously, if you two are gay, we're exceeding the gay admin quota by one. I like Opio, I'm afraid of Ruakh, which means we should desysop Tooironic. But will we meet the Asian quota then? --Vahag 19:53, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Um, how is that giving the benefit of the doubt? Are you joking, or do you really believe it's better to be white? DAVilla 03:50, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
It totally is better to be white, based on HDI alone, but also we are better looking than all the other races, its like breeds of dogs, white people just come in more skin colors, eyes colors, and hair colors, than the rest.Lucifer 23:24, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm joking. Because I'm black, I can make racist jokes with impunity. --Vahag 12:12, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
You're Caucasian, so are we. -- Liliana 14:17, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Ooh, are we building a sexual census? I'm straight. That elevates the number of expressly known heterosexuals in Wiktionary to 1, I guess. --Daniel 14:26, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Guys, relax. We've got short-fused and long-fused types, straights and gays, whites and blacks, young and old. Dick's harmless, keep him sweet. And don't nobody be setting up no vote to get them Opi de-sysopp'd. If you do, minus 6000 Bastard Points. --Rockpilot 05:01, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Blocking Pilcrow and admitting it was hypocritical doesn't seem very harmless. I've nothing against Dick but I have in favour of Pilcrow (I like those medieval looking entries). Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 12:49, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
  • How about we just make Dan Polansky an admin? Then, he can just unblock himself next time and keep working. --EncycloPetey 18:35, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't want to see Ric (Dick Laurent) desysopped. I haven't always followed who he has blocked lately but knowing he is a great editor with good language skills makes me think I can trust his judgement. An admin is an editor with experience. If this was a personal clash, then we should invite him. If there is an issue about a particular block we can discuss here case by case but I see that not many people stood up to a few trolls he blocked. I don't support his rudeness, though. Yes, some revision of the blocking procedure can be in order. --Anatoli 21:27, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
An admin is an editor with experience. That is only part of the story. We use that criteria here, and amongst the regular community we understand that everyone who has been around for a while will end up becoming an admin. Outside of en.wikt that is not always, or even often true. Outside folks expect the admins to be the go-to people for help, they expect them to be the ambassadors for the project, they expect them to be somewhat professional. This is where our "anyone who sticks around for a bit" criteria falls down, while it is nice to have lots of people with the ability to block and delete, it also hurts us when someone who seems to be acknowledged by the community as a representative goes about harassing people and generally behaving in a manner unbecoming to someone in an ambassador role. - [The]DaveRoss 21:47, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Noone's perfect. I'm against harassing people. The actual blocks may be justified. Let's see what Ric has to say. I have invited him to join the discussion. --Anatoli 21:53, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
This user constantly harasses me although he has tone it down from calling me a "dumb cunt" and "wild bitch" directly, to calling me a "sloppy ho" in edit summaries. I have repeatedly told him I don't appreciate his aggressive series of insults, but he usually just blocks me. Wiktionary:BLOCK clearly states "Causing our editors distress by directly insulting them or by being continually impolite towards them." and based on that and arbitrary and inconsistent use of his admin powers he should simply be a regular editor, and should be blocked as well, because he regularly insults everyone around him it seems, sometimes in jest with friends, but very often at people in a willfully offensive manor, he may be a good editor when you look only at his work, but that is worthless if he is a rude hate monger here and a new and better editor will eventually come along.Lucifer 22:45, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
  • This discussion seems to have died down a bit, and it's clear that several editors do still feel that Ric should be de-sysopped. Should this be brought to WT:VOTE, or does anyone have any mediation-y suggestions first? —RuakhTALK 04:21, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
    In this thread, there appears to be too much opposition to Ric's desysopping for a vote to succeed, which is why I do not feel like creating a vote. --Dan Polansky 07:24, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
    Should an admin really be allowed to stay if up to 2/3 of the people disagree? I think in this case a lower margin should be used, maybe 1/3 at the highest. —CodeCat 11:55, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
    I mean an admin should have 67% support to be elected to that position by whomever votes, and perhaps every vote should make sure not to close before a set amount of active users vote, I'll aim low at %5. Perhaps admins should not be allowed to vote. And for a vote of no confidence/recall maybe just a simple majority can revoke an adminship.Lucifer 00:47, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • If he can agree to be polite and can sustain a decent level of civility that would probably address everyone's concerns, that is when and if he can agree to it and also agree to losing adminship and being banned if he cannot meet that basic level of courteousness such could be expected of a 5 year old, businessman, or a geriatric. Or that could be put into the vote.Lucifer 22:01, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
  • A also think that admins should be held to a higher standard, I like that on wiktionary you can use vulgarities, but I think sexual harassment, direct and repeated insults, and other personal attacks need to be reported to a body of admins as cause for a severe warning, with each offense (individual comment) equaling a strike, and after three strikes the admin should be desysopped for a year.Lucifer 00:50, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Sandhi phenomena

I'm wondering how we can cover sandhi on Wiktionary. I've been working with Gothic and I realised that there are quite a few cases where word-final -h assimilates to the first letter of the next word. This means that a word such as jah theoretically has many different forms depending on the word following it. In Gothic, word-final -a is also sometimes dropped if the following word begins with a vowel. Some particles can also appear between a prefix and the main stem, like in ga-u-laibeis (from the verb galaubjan and the particle -u). In modern publications of Gothic, these are indicated by separating the words with a hyphen, to indicate that they are to be read as several morphemes but they are pronounced as a single unit. But in the original manuscripts, word boundaries were not marked as far as I know, so it's not easy to decide whether a form like jaþ-þan is actually one word or two, and whether ga-u-laubeis is one word or two, or even three. Should jaþ have its own entry, and all other forms such as jan, jas and so on as well? Or should there be an entry for jaþ-þan instead (and then why not jaþþan too)? And to make it all even more difficult, Gothic has a suffix -uh which functions similar to Latin -que and can be attached to any word at all. And of course, this suffix can assimilate as well, creating forms such as munaidedunuþ-þan (from the verb form munaidedun + -uh + þan). I'm not sure if this assimilation occurs with every combination of words, but there is certainly a potential for many combinations. What would be the best way to represent this on Wiktionary? —CodeCat 22:05, 12 November 2011 (UTC)

Good question. In many languages, sandhi phenomena appear only in spoken language rather than in orthography, but when they do appear in written language and are a systematic process (English a/an variation is also a sandhi phenomenon but that's not much of a problem for us), that's obviously a problem for the "all words in all languages" account of Wiktionary (as are polysynthetic languages where one single word can represent a whole sentence). Longtrend 11:48, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
For the sake of cross-language consistency, just ignore sandhi variants and assume that the readers are already familiar with such elementary phonetic transformations and corresponding orthographic conventions. OTOH Gothic has a limited attested corpus and listing all of the variants shouldn't entail too much effort. This is primarily a dictionary, not a lemmatization/sandhi removal engine. OTOH we already have millions of contentless soft-redirects for inflected forms, bad spellings and other stuff that should be resolved at the level of database search and not static pages, so adding sandhi variants would be a mere drop in the ocean of our current "technological limitations mitigation" practices. OTOH Gothic is sufficiently obscure language that its two and a half Wiktionary users shouldn't have much problems utilizing whatever approach. --Ivan Štambuk 13:30, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I agree, surprisingly, with all of Ivan's hands. (I wonder if Vahag's affirmative action policies have a quota for four-handed folk?) —RuakhTALK 16:14, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm in favor of including sandhi variants where they're reflected in the orthography. It's not like we have space limitations, the way paper dictionaries do. I can imagine it happening in Sanskrit, for example, that a word ending in ā is ambiguous between being a form that inherently ends in ā and being a sandhi variant of a form ending in āḥ. In that case, even a reader familiar with the sandhi rules might be thrown off if our entry included only the former and not the latter. As for Gothic, I don't think it's quite as obscure as Ivan claims. There are probably hundreds of (post)graduate students around the world taking a Gothic class this semester, and I bet a hefty proportion of them would be pleased to use Wiktionary as a resource. (Especially if everything in Gothic is available in transliteration as well as in Gothic script, which really is probably used by only two and a half people.) —Angr 15:09, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

fitneß, kindneß, etc.

Should we in fact have these? We agreed not to include the "long-s" (ſ) forms of words, because they are purely typographical variants and not distinct words, right? Equinox 17:52, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

it doesn't even look like an ß to me, more like a ſs. -- Liliana 17:57, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
It's an artifact of the italics. --EncycloPetey 19:20, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
We have entries for German forms with ß and ss (Swiss orthography). Why not also for English? I think it does look like a ß. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 18:53, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
It may look like <ß>, but it definitely is <ſs>. The answer to "why not also for English?" is simply that forms with <ß> do not seem to occur in English. —RuakhTALK 19:19, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Unicode mentions that ß is "in origin a ligature of 017F ſ and 0073 s" ( Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 19:41, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm well aware of that — but <j> is in origin a variant of <i>, but that doesn't mean the spellings <fjtness> and <kjndness> occur in English. A ligature of <ſs> became a single character in German, but it failed to do so in English. —RuakhTALK 20:08, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
But if <fjtness> was attested, wouldn't it be accepted? And just because it stopped being used it doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't ever a letter. It also stopped being used in Swiss German, but it's found in older Swiss texts. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 20:58, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I feel like we're talking in circles. I stated that <ß> had not been used in English, and you replied that <ß> originated as <ſs>. I took that to mean that you felt that forms with <ß> should be included even if the only attested forms had <ſs>, so I pointed out that the same logic would mean including forms with <j> even when the only attested forms have <i>. You then replied that we would include forms with <j> if they were attested . . . which brings us back where we started: these forms are not attested. I assume that I must have misunderstood one or more of your comments? —RuakhTALK 22:06, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for being confusing. The point I was trying to eventually reach is: it's hard to pin down when a ligature becomes a letter, and just because the ligature/letter ß didn't survive in English, it doesn't necessarily mean that it wasn't ever a letter. But oh well, after weighing the other arguments I've changed my mind since yesterday, and I now agree that the ßs in the source provided are ligatures. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 13:13, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
In that case, I think we agree on all points. We seem to differ in how open we are to the possibility that <ß> existed in English — I'm pretty confident it never did, you seem more neutral — but since neither of us is proposing to ignore future evidence, we can ignore that difference for now. :-)   —RuakhTALK 14:35, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
German-speakers consider ß to be a separate letter (originating as a ligature of tz), and it has a name and conventions of use in that language. This has never been the case in English. --EncycloPetey 19:20, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
What about the capital form? Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 20:58, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Why would there be a capital form? It never occurs at the beginnings of words. --EncycloPetey 14:40, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
For writing in all-caps. Some people created a capital ß, but the official form is still SS/SZ; which is why I wouldn't be so certain of this being a letter and not a ligature. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 14:59, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
When German countries have had spelling reforms, those reforms by law have enshrined ß as a letter. The people who use it have no question about whether it's a letter or not.--Prosfilaes 21:47, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
This is definitely just a ligature in italics because you can see "credibleneſs" and "kindneß" both in here. Therefore, it should be treated the same way that we treat other ligatures, which is to hard-redirect them or else not include them, IIRC. —Internoob 01:16, 14 November 2011 (UTC)


Hereby I announce that the page water is now over 100,000 bytes, or more than 100 KB large, containing over 1,500 translations. (Of course, that means we aren't at 100 KiB yet, but we'll get there eventually.) That makes it by far the largest page we have.

Of course, with that comes a great deal of problems, as most of us have probably noticed the insane slowness of the page, showing that the system we use isn't quite fit for larger pages (and we already use hacks for this particular page, namely {{t-simple}}). Therefore, I guess it serves as a perfect testcase for any eventual optimizations. -- Liliana 19:54, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

How much of that page is taken up by the English section? —CodeCat 23:29, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
93%. --Yair rand 23:33, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
How about we just move the translations to an appendix? ---> Tooironic 23:38, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
We have so many translations into languages whose names are red linked. It is such a common word, perhaps we could leave about 100 languages and move the rest into an appendix? --Anatoli 23:52, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Maybe it would be better to re-think the whole approach to translations. Wiktionary is in a sense three dictionaries in one. It is an English dictionary, an English-to-anything dictionary, and an anything-to-English dictionary. The English sections fulfill the first purpose, the translation sections the second, and the non-English sections the third. Consider the possible usage cases of someone who wants to look up the foreign translation of an English word. Would they really be interested in all the other languages, or even the English definitions? Most of the time, if I am looking for a word in a foreign language, I'd like to see a simple list of words and their translations, without too much information (which makes it harder to find and slows the page down). Today I came across a English-to-Swedish index. This seems to fulfill the purpose of translation perfectly, far more than the translation sections in entries do. Would it be a good idea to treat translations in this way instead? —CodeCat 00:01, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
That index is quite nice. Personally I hate the amount of redundancy in all these various wikis doing various languages, with no synchronisation. It will be wonderful if/when we can get a standard representation for translations of senses. Equinox 00:03, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps {{trans-top|clear liquid H₂O}}[[Appendix:Overflow/water/translations/clear liquid H₂O|Due to the large number of translations of this sense, they have been moved to a separate page. Please see there.]]
{{trans-bottom}}.​—msh210 (talk) 00:34, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't think we're really at the point where it's so large we need to split content off to a separate page (plus that would break targeted translations). The page is what, 50% larger than the average ENWP FA? --Yair rand 00:50, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but Wikipedia articles are mostly plain text, whereas this one... well. 1,500 language templates, plus a bunch of etymology and formatting templates, and... you can guess the rest for yourself. -- Liliana 01:01, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
We could get rid of the language template transclusions by using an equivalent of the xs parameter. --Yair rand 03:05, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
I think a cleaner, general solution to the problem would be a MediaWiki extension which allowed collapsible sections to be loaded only when expanded. We could also do that locally with JavaScript but the handling would not be as clean. If we stuck all of the currently collapsed sections of water into subpages which were transcluded on demand it would be a much more manageable size. - [The]DaveRoss 10:36, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Those of us with limited internet access would certainly appreciate a solution along those lines. I often see unwanted sections load and display slowly, then collapse, delaying the main section that I wanted to see. Dbfirs 21:48, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Keep it all on one page but creating a way that avoids the uncollpase-load-recollapse whether you like it or not would be great and save time for people loading multiple pages to do mass cleanup or edits or any kind.Lucifer 22:08, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
That's the best idea I've heard yet. But I don't see why we would have to divided it into subpages. The right extension would be able to handle that transparently. DAVilla 19:23, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
I think it could be done either way, there are certainly a lot of benefits to having it all one one page. The downside is that if anyone is not using JavaScript they will load the whole page no matter what, but I guess that person is in the minority. - [The]DaveRoss 00:25, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Re: "if anyone is not using JavaScript they will load the whole page no matter what": I don't think that's possible. You can't really use JavaScript to not download something that is in the HTML, only to yes download something that is not in the HTML. Rather, I think what DAVilla means is that (for example) if the extension detected a block of the form <independent-section id="translations-clear-liquid-H₂O">...</independent-section> in [[water]], it could replace the entire block at parse-time with an HTML link to a Special:IndependentSection/water/translations-clear-liquid-H₂O for the JS-less (together with decorative HTML to trigger JS that would handle the collapsed-box-that-is-downloaded-when-uncollapsed magic). That way all the wikitext for the translations is in [[water]], and the extension transparently splits the HTML into several pages, without editors having to maintain subpages ourselves. —RuakhTALK 03:45, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

here's a hint: it would help if you closed the two RFDs on this page! -- Liliana 03:52, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

Suggestion: abolish administratorship.

¶ Dictionaries do not need ‘admins’, and we have a lot of bad administratours here (whom I would rather not name) that are using administratour functions poorly. Therefore: I propose current administratour functions be utilized democratically instead, with registred (or at least trusted) membres having the powre to vote. More democratization will make this project freer, more efficient, give a better balance of powre and encourage careful decision making; people will ideally critically debate on issues to get their opinions appealed and shared. Letting selected individuals make their own decisions for us is not very democratick and breeds tyranny. (A bit dramatick sounding, I admit.) --Pilcrow 01:52, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

How would deletions and blocking take place, without admins? --Yair rand 02:01, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I would rather propose a division of powers so that those responsible for blocking are not (by default) the same people that are responsible for maintenance such as rollbacking, deleting and so on. —CodeCat 02:06, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
The admin functions are utilized democratically, if you consider Wiktionary a representative democracy. I have no idea how more voting could make Wiktionary more efficient, the most inefficient processes are all voting/discussion based ones. - [The]DaveRoss 02:12, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I consider ‘representative democracy’ to be oxymoronic. As I said, it is not exactly democratical to let individuals make decisions for us whether or not ‘we’ elect them. As for voting, it may not be a fast process, but people have a say in the decisions, and that matters more so, I believe. --Pilcrow 02:32, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
Well it doesn't really matter if you don't think it is, that is what democracy is and it has many branches. You personally don't find it appealing but it is democracy. It is not an Athenian democracy which is what I think you are proposing. Maybe if you created a power point with a detailed plan people would take any suggestion you make more seriously. Also is it just my idea or are you going beyound color/colour in spelling words funny? Forgive me for any ignorance to UK spelling.Lucifer 21:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand what you're saying. Admins are already voted in democratically. ---> Tooironic 11:02, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I echo Tooironic here; what are you actually proposing? --Mglovesfun (talk) 11:36, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
¶ What I am tryïng to say is that registred users should have more powre. We need not require formal elections for minour decisions, just quick ones, so if at least three people click this (hypothetical) button to bloque me, they can, but the can un‐bloque me just as easily. No discussion is necessary. --Pilcrow 21:03, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I just got my adminship, the only kind of promotion I've gotten in anything years, and it's going to be taken away? :( I oppose Haplology 14:03, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
HugsLucifer 21:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
As long as there is democracy, certain people will make certain decisions you don't like. This would just push every single decision into a lot of bureaucratic voting. And there'd be a hell of a lot more vandalism; we already don't catch some of it. Equinox 14:09, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

Admins are necessary, but they should always apply rules, their actions should not be arbitrary (even if somewhat subjective in some cases). And rules should be disucssed by everybody and decided collectively. (but I'm aware that admins don't always apply rules well, especially when blocking much too often) Lmaltier 20:39, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I think a process to allow for recalls of admins would be in order, and if not already in place people should be elected as admins for set terms, and they should have to run for re-election, they should be elected by a majority of 50% + 1 vote, and if they are contentious or controversial, perhaps the threshold should be 67% instead +%10 for every time they get blocked up to 95%? As for more voting and discussion, not enough people participate in said discussions, look at rfv/rfd, sometimes only the proposer comments, and since there is nothing forcing people to participate in those discussions the contributors to them are not growing anytime soon. I think that a rolling banner on the top of the page every 10 impressions or so could be put together to coax people into commenting, i.e. "u6y8yhu: a made up word with no references" is up for deletion, would you add your comment to the debate? that would be helpful to get things moving and allow for people to be introduced to what are really hidden areas of the project. I know that I have created pages for entries just because they appeared on the periphery under "most requested".Lucifer 21:51, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
As for that, you might want to look at English Wikisource. They elect admins only for a term of one year every time. -- Liliana 21:56, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
I would support that in a real elected body but here it makes sense to allow most good admins to keep their powers indefinitely. Perhaps we should have a body of elected superadministrators that would agree to arbitrate conflicts of all kinds i.e. deletion, comments, verification, interpersonal, policy, long term blocks, warnings, new stuff, webformat, and they should be held to non-consecutive terms and be elected from the general admin population, I think everyone would support that.Lucifer 19:15, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
And if two superadministrators have a conflict they can ask the supersuperadministrators to resolve that for them. Dibs on the title Generalisimo. - [The]DaveRoss 20:38, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
You can have it.​—God (talk) 03:23, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but the Court's decision in Akhnai v. Oven was upheld on appeal, so You have no standing here. —SanhedrinTALK 03:55, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
There should be an odd number of superadministrators in the first place and they should be selected for their lack of contentiousness if they are conflictive I don't think they would be reelected.Lucifer 23:58, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
There can be only one. - Highlander 00:34, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
me! -- Liliana 00:37, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I think that Pilcrow is right in that admins are arbitrary and see themselves as beyond the rules. Earlier this week, I had an article QDed and the reason given was "Nah!". Just "Nah!" That's unacceptable Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 04:32, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
    Amazing how a badly formatted slang term of dubious validity got speedily deleted. That Semperblotto is truly doing Wiktionary a disservice. - [The]DaveRoss 00:23, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
    Seeing as though references were easily found, "dubious validity" is a stretch...but if he thought that, he should have said "badly formatted slang term of dubious validity", because that's a reason and "nah!" isn't. Or he could have RfDed or RfVed it, or, heaven forbid, tried to fix it or ask someone else to do it. Yes, Dave, Semper is doing a disservice by being overly deletionist and crass to other editors (he treats me like I'm no better than a vandal). Look at his talk's full of complaints about being overly crass and deletionist Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 18:43, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
    Has he locked the page against recreation? If not, just rebuild it with the missing support. A deleted page is no big deal if the page can be recreated as easily as it was created in the first place. bd2412 T 20:11, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
    There are 0 b.g.c hits. It had no language. It had no wikification. It claimed to be a slang term for breasts, which you can say for more or less every word ever. I would have deleted on sight also. We don't have 30,000 active users, we have about 200, we don't have the luxury of holding the hands of everyone who is able to click the edit button, sometimes we have to just delete and wait for someone to come along and do it right the first time. After two years it almost is vandalism to create an entry like that. - [The]DaveRoss 20:39, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Um, you're referencing the wrong page. The page in question is podunk, not whatever you are referencing. podunk has more than 0 b.g.c hits Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 22:25, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I was talking about the only "nah!" deletion in your deleted contributions list, magumbos. - [The]DaveRoss 22:30, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
The only one? Check those logs Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 22:42, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Quoting from above "I think that Pilcrow is right in that admins are arbitrary and see themselves as beyond the rules" oh God definitely not, that's why we get such long and so many Beer Parlour discussions, editors are looking for consensus before making edits that could be deemed controversial. I'm a fan of WT:BOLD inasmuch as the best way to find out if an edit is controversial is to make the edit, as pointed out, any edit can be undone, not only that, but very quickly! Even converting the several thousands misformatted pinyin entries is making progress on a week-by-week basis. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:42, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
So, Gloves, what you're saying is it's OK for admins to violate AGF, and also to shoot first and ask questions later? (by which I mean delete articles that could probably be saved). My issue, and probably Pilcrow's too, isn't just about what they're doing, but how they do it Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 01:22, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

¶ I cannot say my alternative was brilliant, but I expected more than a few people to agree with abolition. I really wish the community here was more supportive, but it is probably too late now; it is a shame, because this project had good potential. --Pilcrow 07:44, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

You, Troy, and Purplebackpack89 want things done here the way they are done on Wikipedia. But English Wikipedia has some 2000 admins and many thousands more regular editors and rollbackers. Here, we have only a tiny handful, maybe 25 or 30, active admins, and not many more regular editors. Yet we have almost as many pages to worry about as English Wikipedia does. Also, Wikipedia pages can take many different forms and formatting is free and easy. We rely on a lot of bots and templates here that require our pages to have fairly specific formatting, and bad formatting causes a lot of problems.
Our tiny crew generally does not have time to "fix" badly made entries, so we either leave them a mess or we delete them. We think it is better to delete them than to leave them in such bad shape that we have to field complaints and questions about them, and to keep them from flooding our watch pages with errors. There is no way to make Wiktionary like Wikipedia unless you persuade the thousands of Wikipedia admins and editors to help out here on a regular basis. But you won’t be able to do that because most of them are not interested in this kind of work. —Stephen (Talk) 08:29, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
In my opinion, it's better to warn readers (e.g. through a template) than to delete. We are not in a hurry. If admins delete too often, they discourage well-intentioned editors. With more respect, there would be many more editors. If you discourage editors coming from Wikipedia, they'll never come back. This also applies to messages on talk pages and blocks. The 1st message I got was mentioning vandalism (Entry blanking is typically viewed as vandalism.). The change reverted was on qinquagenarian (the correct page quinquagenarian was already present). This kind of thing should not happen. Please, take your time! You'll get more help. Lmaltier 09:02, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
Steve, where exactly did I overtly say that I wanted things done like Wikipedia? And even though we're not Wikipedia, most of our policies and many of are guidelines are almost exactly the same as Wikipedia. And your "delete a bad page rather than fix it" violates a whole bunch of them. It violates NOTPAPER, it violates DEADLINE, etc. It also comes off as extremely BITEy...I'd say half the reason we don't have new members is because people get discouraged when Semper or another admin drive-by deletes their entries. Wikipedia has thousands of bad pages, too (over 90% of articles are B-class or lower), and if someone complains about factual accuracy, they just say "so fix it". Also, I agree with most of the stuff Malt said (but wouldn't the right thing have been to redirect it to the proper spelling?). Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 15:21, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
Just for the record: there is no WT:NOTPAPER, WT:DEADLINE or WT:BITE here. — lexicógrafa | háblame — 16:15, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
WT:NOT has a NOTPAPER clause. Equinox 16:17, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
I didn’t say overtly. Which policies are those that mostly are exactly the same as Wikipedia’s? Which whole bunch does "delete a bad page rather than fix it" violate? Where are NOTPAPER and DEADLINE, etc., and what are they? Well, I knew before I even offered an explanation to you that this discussion was not going anywhere. I’ve explained it as best I could and that’s all I can do. Having nothing more to say on the subject, I withdraw from this discussion. —Stephen (Talk) 16:26, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
Geez, it says where NOTPAPER is above, and you don't know what or where it is? You need to familiarize yourself better with policy Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 16:42, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
You think that all Wiktionary admins should be familiar with the policies of every one of our sister projects? Why? It's not as though they have real influence here. --Yair rand 19:46, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

Google results

Urban Dictionary gets more useful Google results than us, because their definitions show up right on the results page. We should have a simplified mirror site that presents clean definitions at the top of the page for Google to read. Just fantasizing. ~ heyzeuss 08:32, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

There are lots of mirror sites out there, most of them are pretty awful but at least OneLook is good about SEO and content organization. We obviously don't maintain a mirror ourselves although that wouldn't be terribly hard, what might make more sense is for us to update the entry layout to reflect the fact that this is a website and we can do lots of really neat things. - [The]DaveRoss 02:47, 2 December 2011 (UTC)


I've been re-reading this section (edit link, should remain correct if/until a new section is added or one is removed). I see a couple of issues:

First point

While there is a natural bias in favour of established systems of pronunciation, it is not wrong to use an arbitrary representation if that’s all you know and there is an important point to be made. For the word

, one could have /RE-ject/ and /re-JECT/ to make the important distinction between the pronunciations of the noun and verb forms. It may not be standard, but neither is it wrong. Whenever possible, however, such ad hoc pronunciations should be replaced with one in an unambiguous system, such as IPA.

Really? I'd rather we always stick to something 'official' rather than 'made up'. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:51, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
I think the point, which I agree with, is that it's better to have something than nothing. If a person isn't comfortable writing IPA himself, he shouldn't feel that he isn't permitted to provide pronunciation information. I assume we have a template requesting someone to clean up the pronun so it's standardized; if that template is applied, then someone who is comfortable with IPA can come along later and tidy it up. —Angr 15:45, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Can Autoformat be changed so that it tags these entries for cleanup? —CodeCat 15:50, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
'Ad hoc' pronunciation is a personal thing, so the way a person intends other readers to read it, and the way they actually read it may be totally different. So I prefer nothing. Nothing can't be misleading. --Mglovesfun (talk) 17:07, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Second point

* Homophones: [[rite]], [[wright]], [[write]]

which results in

Surely it's uncontroversial to use {{homophones}} rather than manuallty list them. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:51, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Until {{homophones}} supports scripts and display forms, it's not so useful for certain languages. (Come to think of it, why don't we fix that?)​—msh210 (talk) 17:56, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Re the last point, I've started a discussion at [[template talk:homophones#alt,sc]].​—msh210 (talk) 18:36, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
True although even then it's no worse than square bracketed links like above, as those provide no script support. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:54, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Right, but it's easy to learn how to add script support to "Homophones: [[rite]], [[wright]]": use {{Hebr| or whatever. But really the homophones template should be fixed, and then I'd agree with your point here that ELE should use it.​—msh210 (talk) 20:01, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
No, I disagree. Why not listing homophones without using a template? This is much more flexible. In some cases, it is necessary to provide some comment. An example: homophones of boue (French noun /bu/) might look like:
* Homophones: bout (noun, except in the sense of a rope on a boat, pronounced /but/), bous, bout (inflected forms of bouillir), boue, boues, bouent (inflected forms of bouer)
Lmaltier 21:17, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
Good point, WT:ELE should reflect this. Homophones should use the homophones template except when there's additional information, such as your example. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:23, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Third point

:* {{rhymes|æt}}

to the code. This displays as

On Wiktionary talk:Entry layout explained it was suggested to drop the hyphen causing an extra indent, and I support this. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:51, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
You mean the colon, I think.​—msh210 (talk) 20:01, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes colon thank you. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:17, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
So do I, then. (Support dropping the colon.)​—msh210 (talk) 16:45, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Me too. DCDuring TALK 00:24, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't know, the colon can be useful where the pronunciations are split by dialects. If an entry has two pronunciations with different rhymes, the section can go * {{a|x}} {{IPA|/xxx/}}\n:*{{rhymes|xx}}\n*{{a|y}} {{IPA|yyy}}\n:*{{rhymes|yy}} (though I would prefer indenting with a proper double asterisk ("**")). But in simple cases where the page just has the rhymes link I agree that it shouldn't have the colon. --Yair rand 01:51, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Visibility:Show other boxes

How can I get boxes expanded automatically? ~ heyzeuss 09:43, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

I think you can do something to your css page, but... I'm afraid that's all I know :( — [Ric Laurent] — 18:40, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
At WT:PREFS is an option to "Show the translation sections expanded, instead of having them collapsed." This actually controls all of those boxes, not just translation-boxes. (Originally translation-boxes were the only ones; the description is just out-of-date.) If you haven't used WT:PREFS before, be sure to read through the first few paragraphs. —RuakhTALK 20:03, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Category:Entries with non-standard headers

A few headers in this category look likely to be valid to me. Three that come to mind are correlative (Category:Esperanto correlatives) Lujvo (Category:Lojban lujvo) and Verbal noun (Category:Arabic verbal nouns). Can we add these to User:AutoFormat/Headers? NB the most common 'non-standard' header is Jyupting syllable, and all of these have been nominated for deletion. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:39, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't think the correlatives are really valid parts of speech. They can be considered either adverbs, adjectives or pronouns. —CodeCat 14:10, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
And the other two? Mglovesfun (talk) 14:05, 24 November 2011 (UTC)
Category:Arabic verbal nouns should be left alone. It's a separate grammatical category in Arabic grammar, where noun a noun is an اسم(ism) and a verbal noun is a مصدر(maṣdar). — [Ric Laurent] — 15:49, 27 November 2011 (UTC)


Why does this have a translation box? I thought mere inflected forms don't get them. -- Liliana 02:38, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Index to appendices

After three years I finally created Wiktionary:Index to appendices, which should hopefully be a bit more user friendly than the link to Special:Allpages, and lists a bunch of appendices that were neither in the category nor linked to from anywhere!

Feel free to look through the list to spot any RFD candidates or anything. Some of those appendices are a real mess, to be honest. -- Liliana 18:37, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

That's pretty nifty :) But yeah unfortunately some appendices are pretty crap. — [Ric Laurent] — 18:36, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2011-11/Update ELE anagram format

Heads up. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:49, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Tabbed Languages, again

Most recent discussion: WT:Beer parlour archive/2011/June#Tabbed languages, definition editing, again

In the last couple of times this topic came around, people were mostly in favor of doing lots of testing of major new scripts before deployment. With tabbed languages though, I don't really see how there could be opt-out trials for such a major change, without already having strong consensus supporting using the script. So if trials need to be carried out before the process of getting consensus and the eventual vote, it seems like we've got a chicken-and-egg problem. Any ideas? --Yair rand 22:20, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

One approach is to temporarily make it on-by-default (opt-out) for admins, and off-by-default (opt-in) for everyone else. (There doesn't seem to be a smooth way to do this, but here's an unsmooth one:
* TabbedLanguagesForAdmins[ResourceLoader|rights=delete|default]|TabbedLanguages.js|TabbedLanguages.css
* TabbedLanguages[ResourceLoader]|TabbedLanguages.js|TabbedLanguages.css
) —RuakhTALK 23:04, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
There's a decent chance that some users might object to such a major change to the default admin view, even for a trial, without a full formal vote. Or maybe not... Only one way to find out, I guess. I'll start a poll below on whether to have a 30-day admin-only trial of tabbed languages, using Ruakh's method above. Hopefully no one will object to using a simple BP poll for this... --Yair rand 23:31, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Tabbed Languages, again — Support admin-only tabbed languages trial

  1.   Support --Yair rand 23:31, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
  2.   Support. Due to tabbed-languages not working for a while after the last MediaWiki changes, I've been reminded how the world looks without them, and man, was it painful. The sooner the tabbed-languages Kool-Aid is drunk by all, the better. —RuakhTALK 00:54, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  3.   Support --Vahag 02:13, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  4.   Support Matthias Buchmeier 10:40, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  5. I have no idea what that (pseudo?)code Ruakh posted is supposed to be, so can't really support, as Yair put it, "a 30-day admin-only trial... using Ruakh's method above" specifically. I do, however, support a thirty-day admin-only trial.​—msh210 (talk) 16:14, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
    • See MediaWiki:Gadgets-definition. What I proposed is to add a new gadget, internally called TabbedLanguagesForAdmins, that (1) is only available to users who have the delete privilege, (2) is on by default, and (3) is otherwise identical to the already-extant TabbedLanguages gadget, in that it uses the exact same *.js and *.css pages. (The reason it's not very smooth — aside from the obvious — is that admins would see both gadgets listed at Special:Preferences, and any admins who currently have TabbedLanguages turned on would now have both gadgets turned on.) Incidentally, I did not make any proposal for how this new gadget would be described at Special:Preferences, but suffice it to say, we would want to create some sort of MediaWiki:Gadget-TabbedLanguagesForAdmins (cf. MediaWiki:Gadget-TabbedLanguages). —RuakhTALK 16:29, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
      • Ah, thank you. I'd never seen Gadgets-definition before AFAIR, so was unfamiliar with the syntax of that page. Now that I've seen it and mw:gadgets, I can support fully.  :-) ​—msh210 (talk) 16:42, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
  6.   Support because administrators should be able to handle it or learn how if they've missed the discussion. DCDuring TALK 23:57, 30 November 2011 (UTC)
  7.   Support Bequw τ 13:37, 1 December 2011 (UTC)

Tabbed Languages, again — Oppose admin-only tabbed languages trial

Tabbed Languages, again — Discussion

This proposal should:

  • either be another way to format the table of contents, without changing the contents of the page displayed
  • or be optional, an option available to everybody, but not imposed to anybody.

The reason is that being able to compare (very easily) the nuances between senses in languages sharing the same word (or the differences in pronunciations, etc) is a major plus of the project. I don't want to lose it. Lmaltier 22:10, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it would be lost by this change, I think it would be improved. Replacing the script with a modification to the ToC or only having it used by the few users who could figure out how to change their settings would really ruin the point, in my opinion. Would you consider temporarily turning tabbed languages on by default for just admins (who probably could figure out how to turn it off if they wanted to) to be imposing it to admins? --Yair rand 02:50, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

!! There can be a test, but the conclusion should not be drawn now. And it will be a question of personal preference. Lmaltier 06:42, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't see anything different? —CodeCat 21:15, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Strange... Is the box for the trial checked when you go to Preferences? --Yair rand 22:00, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
I can confirm this, and yes the box is checked. -- Liliana 22:04, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't work for me, either — even though the regular TabbedLanguages gadget does work for me. Based on my testing, it seems the problem is that ResourceLoader doesn't play well with default. (So it's just as well that we figured this out now, from an admin-only trial, rather than after a vote that tried to turn it on for everyone; the experimentation to figure out the issue would have had much higher stakes then.) From my testing, it looks like MediaWiki:Gadget-TabbedLanguages.js doesn't require ResourceLoader, so that's good. According to the documentation, the Gadgets extension always loads CSS via ResourceLoader (and my testing seems to confirm that), so MediaWiki:Gadget-TabbedLanguages.css would be a problem; but it looks like nothing in there would be harmful even to users who don't have the gadget turned on (since all of its selectors include IDs or classes like tabstable or unselectedTab that won't select anything until the JS does its work), so we can include the CSS unconditionally using an importScript in MediaWiki:Common.js, and have the gadget only include the JS, not using ResourceLoader. —RuakhTALK 03:01, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Include the CSS using an importScript? How (do you mean using importStylesheet?) and why? Couldn't the CSS just be placed in Common.css? --Yair rand 03:09, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Er, yes, that. That is, either of those. :-)   —RuakhTALK 03:44, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Done, CSS moved to Common.css, JS loaded without RL. --Yair rand 04:00, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

If we're to have this at all, IMO (so far, which may change) each language's content should start vertically positioned near the language name so that 9on pages with many languages) a user needn't scroll back up to the top after clicking a language name.​—msh210 (talk) 01:39, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

We'll also need to have our section headers on RF* & the TR point to the right entry sections.​—msh210 (talk) 21:07, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Also, until its most recent edit, rock had categories listed in the wrong language sections (and at least one — South African English — listed in no language section at all).​—msh210 (talk) 00:49, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Which categories are listed in the wrong section? It looks like that revision has "South African English" in the English section right between "American English" and "English derogatory terms", right where it was supposed to be... --Yair rand 01:02, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I must have been delusional. (Or illusional, or something.) Never mind. Sorry about that.​—msh210 (talk) 05:11, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Persian entries

Do we have any regular Persian editers? What ever happened to our recent changes by language tool? ~ heyzeuss 07:44, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

We had one, but User:Nemzag hasn't edited since last March. See Category:User fa for a list of users who have listed a Persian Babel box on their user page. --EncycloPetey 04:22, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
About Persian Ask Dijan, he is good with Persian, also Stephen_G._Brown, Dick_Laurent (Ric) or myself (rare, Babel=1 but learning at a very slow pace). Ric might know what happened to the tool, I miss it too.--Anatoli (обсудить) 05:08, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

usage notes

Would a Category:Terms with usage notes be useful? I thought it might be good to have a list of terms for which special information which might be important is available. -- Liliana 23:37, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Why would it be useful? (I'm not saying it wouldn't, but I can't think of a purpose for which it would, so am wondering.)​—msh210 (talk) 00:27, 1 December 2011 (UTC)
Probably yes, Category:Terms with usage notes by language maintained by a bot. Useful because usage notes can be too informal or unfairly back one point of view instead of another. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:25, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
That's a use — if I understand you correctly — for us editors. Not for users. It's important to know who the category will be useful for, as it will determine whether the category should be hidden.​—msh210 (talk) 17:41, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:12, 4 December 2011 (UTC)