Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2010/December

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Beer parlour archives edit

December 2010

CFI and encyclopedic content

I propose to remove the second paragraph from the section WT:CFI#Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia:

"Care should be taken so that entries do not become encyclopedic in nature; if this happens, such content should be moved to Wikipedia, but the dictionary entry itself should be kept.
[proposed for removal:] "Wiktionary articles are about words, not about people or places. Many places, and some people, are known by single word names that qualify for inclusion as given names or family names. The Wiktionary articles are about the words. Articles about the specific places and people belong in Wikipedia. For example: Wiktionary will give the etymologies, pronunciations, alternative spellings, and eponymous meanings, of the names Darlington, Hastings, David, Houdini, and Britney. But articles on the specific towns (Darlington, Hastings), statue (David), escapologist (Houdini), and pop singer (Britney) are Wikipedia's job."

The text of the paragraph was added to CFI on 22 May 2005 by Uncle G without consensus or discussion AFAICT. I disagree with excluding a proper noun sense of the escapologist from "Houdini". Also, the entry Darlington should contain a sense line for the town, just like London contains a sense line for the capital of the United Kingdom. I am not so sure about Britney and David (statue). In any case, the second paragraph tries to regulate what should be regulated in the paragraph on names of specific entities.

The first sentence of the second paragraph not only speaks of Wiktionary "articles" instead of "entries" and "senses", but also could be read (or misread?) to imply that sense lines for particular geographic entities such as the river of Nile should be excluded.

The second sentence of the second paragraph says "Many places ... are known by single word names that qualify for inclusion as given names or family names", which makes no sense: place names are not given names or family names.

Any feedback, agreement, disagreement, other proposals? --Dan Polansky 11:54, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I would not remove the section (I fully agree with it), but I would make it more explicit: it should be explained that an article about Houdini is Wikipedia job, but that an article about the word Houdini is our job, and must include the sense of this word, i.e. the escapologist. The same applies to towns, etc. The sense of a town name is the town and, if several towns share this name, this name has several senses (but we don't write articles about these towns, we only give data required to understand the sense, i.e. which town it is: its location, but not its population, its activities, etc.). This is very different from surnames: each person is not a different sense of a surname, of course (we might say that the sense is the whole family of persons sharing it). For given names such as John, the sense is that it is a given name used in some countries (or some languages). Lmaltier 12:19, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I acknowledge the distinction between "article about Houdini" and an "article about the word Houdini", but there is the same distinctinction between an "article about cat" and an "article about the word cat". I do not see why "Houdini" should be listed while "cat" remains unlisted. The second paragraph lists some proper names while listing no common nouns, but common nouns feature the same distinction between a dictionary definition and an encyclopedic article. --Dan Polansky 12:27, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The reason for keeping it and making it more explicit is that everybody does not interpret it the same way, and this makes rules unclear. Lmaltier 16:22, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The existing text looks pretty good to me. Moreover, as I understand it, our original remit from the mothership seemed to provide that we were to be breaking new ground as a dictionary and not to be a fork of the encyclopedic content (eg, a short-attention-span encyclopedia) that the mothership had been providing and continues to provide. DCDuring TALK 15:16, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
For sake of clarity, do you consider a definition line for Houdini as the escapologist Harry Houdini to be permitted by the text or not? DAVilla 22:51, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
No. I don't think so. I hadn't really focused on the text until the recent flooding of questionable entries, most without even a figleaf of attestation. I've not focused on the text because I find our slogan-like "principles" to be less than adequate as a guide to concrete decision than the practice of those who have been here for a while. (IOW, I'm more of a common-law than a statute man.) In previous discussion of some specific cases the constructive focus was on how to gracefully include enough information in the entry to give users a clue (by having the appropriate etymology content) without having proper noun entries. I didn't engage in search-and-delete efforts on proper nouns as it seemed likely to promote conflict, which I find personally draining and not usually productive for Wiktionary, IMO. DCDuring TALK 02:05, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Not strictly on topic, but I'd still like CFI to officially recognize single words that aren't idiomatic as valid entries, such as my favorite example bucket, which believe it or not, doesn't meet CFI. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:18, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
To repeat myself: "bucket" does meet the idiomacity requirement of CFI. CFI defines "idiomatic" as follows: 'An expression is “idiomatic” if its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components.' The term "bucket" in each of its senses is such that its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components, as it has no separate components; hence, "bucket" meets the idiomacity requirement. --Dan Polansky 17:44, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The text as it is currently in the CFI looks good.​—msh210 (talk) 20:00, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
For sake of clarity, do you consider a definition line for Houdini as the escapologist Harry Houdini to be permitted by the text or not? DAVilla 22:51, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Not.​—msh210 (talk) 22:56, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
My own answer is: yes, of course (and I agree with this text). This clearly shows that it's worth clarifying it. Lmaltier 22:30, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Dan Polansky that that second paragraph seems slightly confused, but I don't like the idea of simply removing it, as it says things that need to be said and that aren't said elsewhere in WT:CFI. And I think there is a connection between encyclopedicity and inclusion of names of places and people; we can certainly treat "Should [[cat]] discuss cats' dietary needs?" and "Should we have an entry for [[David Copperfield]]?" as two separate questions with the same answer ("No."), but I think there is a reason that they have the same answer: we are a dictionary, not an encyclopedia. —RuakhTALK 04:35, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't know why more of you can't see that this is clearly flat wrong, and I can give a dozen examples of biblical characters who are not just fanciful but we know to have existed that demonstrably counter that text. I swear, if this deletionist bent takes over and wins I might just have to join in and delete the town Bethlehem as encyclopedic. DAVilla 16:58, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think of myself as a deletionist as much as an opponent of redundancy and other waste.
I also would like to see the toponym vote reversed, but I'll live with it, no matter how embarrassing the pathetically incomplete coverage of place names is. The advocates of most rule or policy changes don't seem concerned with achieving good coverage of the classes of words they favor. As to "Bethlehem", it is an English toponym, derived from a Hebrew/Aramaic one, the application of which to particular places is covered by w:Bethlehem (disambiguation). The distinction between the linguistic matrix, of which the toponym "Bethlehem" is a part, and the particular individuals embedded in that matrix, as WP partially covers, doesn't seem so hard to maintain. If we did not have sister projects that offered coverage of encyclopedic topics (as it offers images, sound files, quotations, copyright-free texts, and a taxonomic hierarchy), it would be much easier to see why we needed some short-attention-span-type coverage of encyclopedic topics. It is much harder for me to see the point as things stand. DCDuring TALK 19:55, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not happy with that part of CFI either, as it would allow Bethlehem as the town in Pennsylvania, instead of just the town in Palestine (which you might even omit, though most here would not) and the more general place name. It took me a long time to realize this but there is a very important distinction between a disambiguation page in Wikipedia and what we can provide here. In Wikipedia, anything at all worth mentioning is added if it has that word as part of its title. Just look up any common name and you'll see a long list of people, places and works. What we should be interested in are only those things that people refer to out of context exactly by that name. To give an example outside of proper nouns, we would never go into all of the different types of tons that Wikipedia does. The displacement ton and deadweight ton get their own articles. But we do include definition lines for anything that is called simply a ton, including a register ton. DAVilla 21:03, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
About "Should [[cat]] discuss cats' dietary needs?" and "Should we have an entry for [[David Copperfield]]?": these questions are quite different: the 1st one is about the contents of the page, the 2nd one about its existence. The reason for the first no is because we are not an encyclopedia, and because this name is not considered as a word in the 2nd case (while David and Copperfied are words).
I strongly disagree about covering encyclopedic topics. We'll never cover encyclopedic topics (such as Ants of Minnesota), we only describe and define words (including Houdini, Bethlehem and Los Angeles), this is very different. Lmaltier 22:30, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Is Tbot coming back?

Nearly 3 months now since the last edit. I propose we redirect {{t+}} and {{t-}} to {{t}}, as there seems to be little point in marking redlinks to other wiktionaries without any maintenance. This can be reverted if Tbot comes back or someone starts another bot. Nadando 07:17, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

I always felt Tbot was the most useless of the bunch. Why do we need a bot just to mark whether an entry exists at a particular FL wiktionary or not? -- Prince Kassad 22:19, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
It also created entries, generally AFAIK correct (if incomplete) ones.​—msh210 (talk) 22:26, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Nothing that one of our inflectobots can't fix. -- Prince Kassad 09:49, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Least useful of AutoFormat, Interwicket and Tbot, but still useful overall. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:36, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
I've redirected {{t-}}. Editing {{t+}} seems less important since it looks identical to {{t}}. Nadando 07:06, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I hope this will not be permanent. -- Gauss 10:25, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Poll: Inflection to inflection-line 3

In the recent poll number 2, one renaming option has been clearly chosen as preferred by a comfortable supermajority: "Category:Spanish headword-line templates". In that very poll, one another candidate name has been proposed--"Category:Spanish headword templates", and another poll has been started that most people have overlooked so far.

Please, provide once more (hopefully last time) your input about your naming preference, so we can proceed to finalize the renaming from "Category:Spanish inflection templates" to "Category:Spanish headword-line templates" or "Category:Spanish headword templates". I apologize to those few users who have already voted on this; please excuse me and vote again.

In this poll, the two compared alternatives are "headword-line templates" vs. "headword templates":

  • Option 1: Rename "Category:Spanish inflection templates" to "Category:Spanish headword-line templates"
  • Option 2: Rename "Category:Spanish inflection templates" to "Category:Spanish headword templates"

--Dan Polansky 08:33, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

I prefer "headword-line templates" to "headword templates":

  1.   Support Dan Polansky 08:33, 1 December 2010 (UTC) I will yield to plain majority on this issue. --Dan Polansky 09:00, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
  2.   SupportCodeCat 09:55, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
  3.   Support --Yair rand (talk) 09:56, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
  4.   Support Daniel. 14:24, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
  5.   Supportlexicógrafa | háblame — 21:42, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
  6.   SupportRod (A. Smith) 20:45, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  7.   SupportAugPi 21:41, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
  8.   SupportSaltmarshαπάντηση 06:07, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

I prefer "headword templates" to "headword-line templates":

  1.   unless a plain majority prefers the opposite (which it seems to, so far).​—msh210 (talk) 16:32, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
  2.   Support 50 Xylophone Players talk 20:22, 2 December 2010 (UTC) I don't know...just sounds better IMO.
  3.   Support Ƿidsiþ 09:10, 3 December 2010 (UTC) How official is a "poll" compared to a vote anyway?
  4.   Support JamesjiaoTC 09:07, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
  5.   Support The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:18, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

I am indifferent about "headword-line templates" vs. "headword templates":

  1.   SupportInternoob (DiscCont) 00:58, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
  2.   Support --Vahag 10:45, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Questioned/questionable altering of templates

This is pertaining to a FreezerTwelve who recently edited Swedish templates. See here for the meagre response. I took the liberty of bringing this here because the user does not seem to be here at the moment to do so themself. Personally, though I don't speak Swedish, my view is that "Swedish doesn't have a case system" is a somewhat outlandish statement and genetives should not be called possessives because in languages which they are used they do not always function as "possessives" of some kind. 50 Xylophone Players talk 20:20, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Quoth [[w:Swedish grammar#The genitive]]:
The Swedish genitive is not considered a case by all scholars today, due to a tendency of language users to put the -s on the last word of the noun phrase even though that word is not the head noun. This use of -s as a clitic rather than a suffix has traditionally been regarded as ungrammatical, but is a rather acceptable use today. It also mirrors English usage (e.g. Mannen som står där bortas hatt. "The man standing over there's hat.")
It's unreferenced, so doesn't justify/support the changes, but I think it shows where the user was probably coming from.
Also, your view doesn't seem well-supported, unless you have reason to suggest that in Swedish the "genitive" doesn't always function as a possessive. Note that English's possessive is frequently described as a "genitive", even though it's only ever used as a possessive.
RuakhTALK 21:41, 2 December 2010 (UTC)
Of the problems facing Swedish entries in en.wiktionary, this must be the least of them. As a native speaker but not a linguist, I know the -s is moving around (1910: mannens där borta → 2010: mannen där bortas), but I don't know what this trend is called or to what extent it is unique to Swedish, and I don't have useful sources at hand to quote. To a lay person like me, genitive and possessive are synonyms. As a template designer I want fewer, more elegantly crafted templates. Right now templates are named {{sv-noun-form-indef-gen}} with "gen" as in "genitive", but print out "indefinite possessive singular of" because somebody thought this was right. Whichever way we might want to change this in the future, it will be a lot easier than some of the other changes I'm considering. I'm taking most of my questions about Swedish language to the village pump of the Swedish Wiktionary, where more informed and detailed opinions can be heard. --LA2 13:20, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Citations of terms from fictional universes

I want to know why citations from Citations:middle earth were moved to Appendix:J. R. R. Tolkien/Middle-earth. After some debate it still says on Wiktionary:Citations that "if the citations page exists, it should hold all quotations and references for the term". This applies whether the term is fully cited or the entry does not exist, whether the citation counts as durably archived and whatever else, and regardless of the meaning of the term, even if the meaning is unknown.

What's worse is that, as far as I can tell, Middle-earth is fully cited as a place name in works outside of the Tolkien universe, so I'm not sure why even the definition was moved in the first place. DAVilla 23:59, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

By the way, this does open up the more trivial question of how terms that pass the fictional universe test will be represented in the appendix among those that do not. Or maybe someone has already thought of how that should look. DAVilla 00:09, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

This is part of the alternate universe of fictional-universe subpages that are just like entries. They were justified based on the treatment of words from reconstructed languages. The citations seem to have been copied, not moved, AFAICT. I intensely dislike both the subpages and the duplication of cites. DCDuring TALK 00:21, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
DCDuring, how come "They were justified based on the treatment of words from reconstructed languages."? As the most active editor of appendices for fiction, I say that reconstructed languages and fictional universes are completely different concepts, and may naturally have different treatments if applicable. Can you please link to a statement that contains this justification? --Daniel. 00:32, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
DAVilla, moving the citations that reference Tolkien works from Citations:middle earth to Appendix:J. R. R. Tolkien/Middle-earth seemed the most natural way of separating the concepts of "main namespace" and "appendix namespace" that apparently were so strongly discriminated from each other. Since then, I have started relevant discussions that came to confirm what you say now: Citations:middle earth should contain the citations from Appendix:J. R. R. Tolkien/Middle-earth as well. See Citations:mutant for a suggested format that links both to an entry and an appendix.
I believe the universe-specific terms should be represented in appendices. For example, the appendix namespace may be used to explain dozens of attestable varieties of zombie of Marvel Comics, One Piece, Buffy, Doom, The Sims, Final Fantasy, Harry Potter, GURPS, Fallout, World of Warcraft and other works. --Daniel. 00:32, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for your responses. Like DCDuring I have to say that I dislike the wholesale duplication, preferring sprinkled example quotations. But my primary concern was the Citations: space.
Daniel, I would have no problem approving an Appendix:zombie or something more descriptive, but I would think that this is an exception to the rule. DAVilla 00:50, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
The reasons and results of duplication of citations are discussed in Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2010/October#Duplication of citations. Last month I have started a similar discussion (WT:BP#Citations for fiction) focused on appendices for fiction, but unfortunately no one replied.
I basically approve the suggestion of an "Appendix:zombie", preferably with a more intuitive name or a different namespace if possible. It would more easily be an application of a novel rule rather than as an exception, because it would serve as precedent for many other words with nuances that vary wildly between works. As examples, there are dragon, centaur, god, witch, human, moon, giant, vampire, time travel, electricity, mutant, sex, demon, soul, love, radiation, stone, kiss, evolution, blue, elf, fairy, death, werewolf, immortal, monster, mermaid, angel and ghost. --Daniel. 02:24, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
I've been thinking that the fictional universe stuff is actually fairly closely related to concordances. The latter gives a list of all words used in a work (and sometimes the count or even a reference to where the words are used). What we are creating is the subset of that list consisting of all the nonces, be they entirely new neologisms or just terms where the definition is different from the standard definition. There is a very strong similarity in the organization, which is by work or author or corpus. Of course it depends on where the community would like to see these, but it makes just as much sense to me to list definitions not suitable for the main namespace in a concordance as it does to put them in the catch-all appendix as was voted.
This new idea you have for now I would put as a subpage of some appendix page that lists them all, for instance Appendix:Neologism/zombie, but I would consider that to be tentative. DAVilla 06:35, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I've started Appendix:Common themes in fiction, feel free to move. DAVilla 07:26, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I saw Appendix:Common themes in fiction, that appears to be the formalization of the proposal of "Appendix:Neologism/zombie". It may be a good place to explain universe-specific nuances such as the fact that zombies of Resident Evil are infected with "T-virus", which is in no way relevant to the other works.
However, I disagree with the alleged close relation between entries and concordances for fictional universes, for two reasons:
  1. It is not feasible and readable to define varieties of words within a list of hundreds of common words that are better defined on their respective entries. (For example, Concordance:Sherlock Holmes/M.)
  2. Commonly these words are unique and well-known by people, naturally including but not limited to the readers, players, etc. of the media that depict the fictional universes.
For example, as I mentioned in previous discussions, shiny contains three senses. Nonetheless, if one wants to use Wiktionary to understand the sentence "I got three shiny Gyarados for my team." word by word today, he or she would fail, because this phrase contains two words whose context is strictly of Pokémon: Gyarados is a fictional creature and shiny basically means "whose colors are rare". These conspicuous words are said and written by people all the time. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect readers to come to Wiktionary looking for them, and we to define the words, whether in a findable appendix or anywhere else. --Daniel. 08:18, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking the structure would be to define the neologisms on a separate page, like at Concordance:Pokémon/Nonces or in this case even Concordance:Sherlock Holmes is available. That's just a thought an alien planted in my head, so don't kill the messenger!
I would definitely have a link from the shiny entry to wherever the Pokémon definition resides, and I agree that the appendix or wherever such definitions are placed must be included in the searchable dictionary space. DAVilla 18:10, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the basic idea of creating a page like Concordance:Pokémon/Nonces as a list of terms and quantities of neologisms, not a place to define them. I can easily list thousands of words related to Pokémon, so each word would still be lost within a list of many others. These definitions can already be better handled by separate pages such as Appendix:Pokémon items, Appendix:Harry Potter objects and so on.
One obvious way of making the definition of "shiny" in context of Pokémon be searchable would be of course defining it in the main namespace. However, since we have a consensus on not defining "fictional" terms, and other of not imitating the format of entries for them, it may be better to create an additional namespace for these words, such as "Fiction:shiny", formatted as a simple list. --Daniel. 09:30, 5 December 2010 (UTC)
My experience with namespaces is to hold off on it until there's a preponderance of information necessitating it. While I have done so in the past, today I would not bounce around such ideas for something as controversial as this.
The current vote on the subject will lead us to put all definitions in on big list. Most of the fictional universe terms we run across will be of this type. The ones that are defined specially in several universes will be the exceptions, and while you are right that there are a lot more than at least I had originally imagined, the number will still be a small fraction of the total. What I imagine doing in these cases is linking one (or a handful) of these exceptional terms in a long list of definitions to the respective special page(s) where the definition(s for each) can be found. So Appendix:Harry Potter whatever and Appendix:Star Wars whatever will define a bunch of terms, but a few of them will instead say See [[Appendix:Neologism/such-and-such#Star Wars|such-and-such]] pointing to the common page for "time travel" or "magic" or what have you. (You know, it would probably be a lot better to flesh this out than to try and describe it, but I have a tendency of doing that and then being ignored.) DAVilla 16:56, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
OK, an additional namespace may wait or never be created, especially since the appendix namespace virtually serves the useful goal of holding whatever information we deem necessary.
I'm not sure what would be the ratio of fictional terms eligible to be included in the main namespace vs. the ones to be kept only in appendices. For example, by comparison with Citations:Pikachu, I suppose it would be relatively easy to include and attest the first 151 Pokémon species, which were introduced in 1996 and are the most famous ones.
I naturally agree with, for example, linking one or more appendices of Pokémon to the entries that define terms of this franchise. I think it would not be very different from Appendix:Star Wars derivations.
One example of universe that defines strict rules for what "immortal" means is Highlander. As a result, Appendix:Highlander might have both links: one to immortal and another to Appendix:Fiction/immortal.
Yes, the final part of your message is confusing, but I could understand it. --Daniel. 11:29, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
It strikes me that it's going to be very difficult to keep these in sync. In some cases we'll wind up with the word attested in the main space but still defined in the appendix for that universe, or an unattested word defined in both the appendix for that universe and the appendix for that word as compared between universes, or in the latter plus the main space, or all three. The goal should be to have it defined in exactly one place, which means that there should be a hierarchy: appendix for universe, appendix for the word across universes, and finally the main space. The higher levels should refer to the lower levels, e.g. the main space back to the appendix. Is this maintainable? DAVilla 17:04, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
(unindenting) This subject is becoming increasingly complex; which is not necessarily a bad thing.
We have the format of "glossaries", such as Appendix:Glossary of baseball jargon (M) (and the already mentioned Appendix:Star Wars derivations). They commonly have the same definitions that are found in entries, and apparently are always doomed to be out of sync.
Well, first of all, we can consider appendices and entries as different projects because not everybody would be inclined to edit both, so it is natural that they become out of sync. I would appreciate if synchronization could be possibly done by bot (or a bot could warn when definitions need manual synchronization), but this would be a complex automated task that was not introduced as of today. On the other hand, it is not that bad having out of sync definitions, as long as they are correct (and link to each other).
I suggest organizing the "hierarchy" as follows:
  1. Naturally, when a word may be added to the main namespace, add it.
  2. When there are multiple basic nuances, they should be included to the main namespace too. The entry immortal was referring only to "death" and "aging". I have added other forms of immortality as examples.
  3. There are universe-specific details such as the fact that (if I remember correctly) immortals of Highlander die if they lose their head. And in Hellsing, there is a vampire named Alucard who is immortal because he is undead and seemingly can restore himself from any injuries. One who reads the current entry immortal can already understand both types. Evidently, it is not necessary nor feasible to explain "superpowers" and laws of physics of each individual work in the entry. However, these peculiarities, when they are attestable, are expected to be important in context of the series, so they may be at Appendix:Fiction/immortal (or, even better, Appendix:Fiction/immortality).
  4. The pages Appendix:Hellsing and Appendix:Highlander may simply link to immortal and Appendix:Fiction/immortality with a good design and without any additional explanation. Or, alternatively, they may describe the intersection from a different point of view.
In addition, it may be worthwhile to create Appendix:Religion/immortality (or merge Appendix:Religion/immortality and Appendix:Fiction/immortality into another name), because there are multiple religious views on this matter. For example, depending on each doctrine, immortality may be virtually synonymous with "reincarnation", "eternal Heaven or Hell" and/or "a basic characteristic of God". Hearing this concept said seriously by a Protestant and by a Spiritist are entirely different experiences.
--Daniel. 19:15, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
That stuff is what an encyclopedia is for. Equinox 13:05, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Which part of the conversation contains "stuff" for an encyclopedia and how it affects Wiktionary? --Daniel. 13:33, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
"there are multiple religious views on this matter" Equinox 14:48, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree that mentioning the views of each religion regarding immortality is something purely encyclopedic. There is no reason to create such an appendix in a language dictionary. Our subject is words, only words (in the linguistic sense of the word), and I believe that the word immortality can be defined in a general way without dealing with these details. Lmaltier 07:08, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I am thinking in a simpler and more abrangent approach than what is found in an encyclopedia: that is, a list of reincarnationist religions, another list of monotheistic religions, and so on. Lists of words by their contexts are very common in Wiktionary. --Daniel. 17:41, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Even that strikes me as purely encyclopedic. Mentioning some reincarnationist religions in the page about the word reincarnationist may be useful to understand more easily the meaning of this word. But attempting to list all reincarnationist religions is out of our normal scope. Nonetheless, these words may be mentioned in a reincarnation thesaurus page, but not in the spirit of an encyclopedia, only because words for these religions may be needed when writing about reincarnation. Lmaltier 18:07, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, I personally find your distinction between dictionary and encyclopedia too subjective. Nonetheless, since my basic proposal of having a list of reincarnationist religions was accepted by you, at least, you and I don't need to discuss this anymore. I agree: it would be very natural to choose Wikisaurus as the place to list these religions by their characteristics. --Daniel. 23:52, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Category:Nouns ending in "-ism" by language

Is this really the sort of thing we want? At the very least, shouldn't Category:English nouns ending in "-ism" be moved to Category:English words suffixed with -ism? Mglovesfun (talk) 14:26, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

In any case, the name is unclear: the actual meaning intended is nouns ending in "-ism" (or a similar ending) by language. Lmaltier 15:01, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
We should probably use {{suffix|..|ism}} to categorize, also with "lang=xxx". Also see Category talk:German words suffixed with -ismus and Category talk:Nouns ending in "-cide" by language. Mutante 19:58, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

What is a fictional universe?

WT:RFV#Curselax got me thinking about this (again). How do we define a fictional universe. Cryptex failed RFV because it's a term from a fictional universe, the Da Vinci Code, yet the book is set in modern day Europe! That sort of makes me think that all works of fiction take place in fictional universes. So all are nonce words that are only used in fictional contexts would be their very nature fail RFV. One's used in non-fiction words would I suppose pass. I contrasted cryptex with warwood which is seemingly only used in Moby Dick, which is of course fictional.

Futhermore, didn't we once consider Monopoly, the board game, a fictional universe? Therefore video games and TV shows (rightly IMO) can be considered fictional universes. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:44, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

If the places and situations of Monopoly comprise a fictional universe, then I suppose Marvin Gardens (a variety of Marven Gardens) cannot be defined here. On the other hand, Chance card, Community Chest, Speed Die and GO are eligible as nonfictional.
We also have categories for Rubik's cubes (and even the entry F2L!), Chess and other games here.
Notably, certain characteristics of Tetris may be defined here as well, such as gravity, infinite spin, wall kick, S and Z. However, if I remember correctly, the Tetris-style game Columns has an embedded history about the pieces being jewels to be sold, which would clearly constitute a fictional universe. --Daniel. 13:42, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion/Fictional universes seems to be the 'policy' at hand. SFAICT it itself is not a policy, it's a fleshed out explanation to go with WT:CFI#Fictional universes itself. Neither of them try and define what a fictional universe actually is. Also, it seems pretty clear that if a term appears in more than one fictional universe, it is includable. The examples in WT:FICTION are a bit problematic, as in many cases it's unclear what they refer to, so difficult to show that they are not referring to a fictional universe. Ideally, citations in this sort of case should be at least a full sentence to show context. "Wielding his flashlight like a lightsaber, Kyle sent golden shafts slicing through the swirling vapors." as an example, doesn't show independence. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:01, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion/Fictional universes is a full-fledged policy because it was born from this vote.
It should be noted that, for example, considering "Pokémon" an individual fictional universe would be a broad interpretation, because there are various comicverses, gameverses, etc. of Pokémon that are of different authors and don't interact with each other.
The concept of "independence" from that policy is indeed very problematic. One arguable result from it is that the entry Gyarados (defined as a Chinese-style aquatic dragon with whiskers and a furious face) should be created, because it appears on at least three broad fictional universes: "Pokémon", "Pucca" and "Dungeons and Dragons", not to mention "Smash Bros." --Daniel. 15:50, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The overall consideration is that linguistic phenomena that are not part of the lexicon should be excluded from treatment as entries. Spending time on the meaning of fictional universe is letting the tail wag the dog. Under what circumstances can a word be considered to have entered the lexicon. Clearly it takes usage outside the universe of authored works that have created the terms. The existence of fanzines covering the fictional universe makes it somewhat problematic because these entities have a degree of formal independence from the corporate purveyor of the fictional universes. The problem is similar to the question of which computer terms to include when the principal source might be the purveyor of Java or .net.framework. That there is a community of supposed independent companies and programmers who use the terms doesn't really make them part of the lexicon. There is perhaps also an analogy to WT:BRAND. What has always seemed lame about fictional universe terms is the extent to which they are an integral part of the marketing of commercial products. Whereas once commercial interests often lost control of user vocabulary for their products, they now seek to develop, influence, and exploit it, ie, to control it. DCDuring TALK 16:11, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Re Daniel., no it doesn't say anywhere it's a fully fledged policy. The vote itself perhaps, but not the subpage. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:24, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Mglovesfun, Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion/Fictional universes is a copy of the proposal that has been accepted by Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2008-01/Appendices for fictional terms. They share the status of policy because they are identical.
DCDuring, my thoughts on this matter are probably influenced by the fact that I don't blindly support the "overall consideration" of what is or not "part of the lexicon" as you explained it. I personally read your arguments as very similar to saying that monogoneutic should not be included here because only entomologists are expected to use this word.
The mere existence of "Gyarados" in those four broad and different fictional universes is not necessarily a reasonable criterion for defining that word on Wiktionary. The entry Gyarados can of course be justified by WT:FICTION now, but I believe the most wise solution would be simply modifying the policy to avoid this excuse.
Nonetheless, perhaps differently from you, I consider the existence of fanzines as an argument in favor of creating, attesting and keeping fictional words on Wiktionary, as I would like to use this site to understand them if I want to.
It may be worth noting that (please correct me if I'm wrong; I didn't do an extensive research) apparently Wikibooks and Wikiversity (and obviously Wikispecies) are not fond of fictional universes, which appear to be commented as an examples of certain subjects but are never the center of the attention. For example, I couldn't find any Wikibook teaching how to play games of Pokémon; and some RFDs deleted material of Pokémon from there.
Other Wikimedia projects don't seem to care about sharing information about fiction, regardless of their commercial branches (usually as long as the tone of their texts is not of a blatant advertisement): Wikipedia, Wikiquote, Wikinews, Commons and especially Wikisource contain multiple pages focused on fiction when applicable, rather than having a rule that excludes them as inherently unworthy. --Daniel. 18:05, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
About Clearly it takes usage outside the universe of authored works that have created the terms.. No, it's not clear, and I disagree. Should a mathematical term be rejected because it's not used outside the field of mathematics? Should topological space be excluded because it is never used outside topology? Should intransitive be excluded because it is never used outside grammar? I agree that, if an obscure author creates a word that nobody uses elsewhere and that nobody knows, it should be excluded. But, obviously, well-known words from famous works are words of the language. The sentence about fictional universes should be removed, and normal CFI should apply. Lmaltier 22:36, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Re Daniel., you don't find the word 'policy' anywhere on that page. Not a 'this will be policy' or 'this will be considered policy'. Just says 'voting on the following'. In such as case where to me the intention of the author isn't clear at all, I'm not going to generously 'assume' he/she meant policy, but didn't say it. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:11, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
The vote is worded like a policy, starts with "pl-", which means policy, and it basically repeats a section of other policy named CFI.
I like Lmaltier's idea of applying the "normal CFI" on fictional terms as well. He and I were having an interesting conversation about this suggestion last month. --Daniel. 11:04, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Encouraging FL adjectives as translations of attributive use of English nouns

I am reasonably sure that we do not have FL adjectives appearing as translations of English nouns to cover attributive use. I would venture to guess that many languages do not have as much free attributive use of nouns as English. In any event, I assume that some languages have adjectives in instances where English uses a noun. We attempt to eliminate the needless duplication of senses between Noun and Adjective sections where there is no evidence of use of a word as a true adjective in English (See Wiktionary:English adjectives). Thus the Adjective header is not there to remind translators to make sure that their translations cover cases where English uses a noun attributively. For which languages is a separate adjective always, sometimes, or never required. How should we provide the reminders required, if any. DCDuring TALK 18:16, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Separate table?​—msh210 (talk) 18:30, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
For each sense, for every language? That would seem to put us on the road to a high level of duplication of headings. We cannot assume that one FL adjective would cover attributive use of every English sense. I was thinking that the languages that had a separate adjective (or adjectival circumlocution) would include the relevant adjective (or circumlocution) with a qualifier in the noun sense translation tables. It might be possible to provide a reminder in our translation facilitator, possibly with messages tailored by language. DCDuring TALK 19:04, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, probably wiser.  :-)  GP?​—msh210 (talk) 19:38, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I was thinking that this needed wider airing because of my lack of knowledge about the relevant grammar of languages other than English. GP is where this would need to go to plea for someone to take up the implementation. DCDuring TALK 20:16, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
How worthwhile is that? w:Star cluster's French interwiki is fr:w:Amas stellaire ("stellar cluster"), not fr:w:Amas d'étoiles ("star cluster"; lit. "cluster of stars"), so let's pretend, due to my inability to find a better example, that amas stellaire were the most common French term. Would this mean that "star" should have "stellaire" listed as a French translation? How useful is that? Do any other bilingual dictionaries do anything like it? (I suppose the comprehensive ones might have ~ cluster as a run-in entry, so stellaire might appear somewhere in the greater entry; but I doubt that any dictionaries take a very thorough or consistent approach to this.) —RuakhTALK 20:25, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I constantly hear the argument that we are unlike all other dictionaries in our ambitions. Sometimes the argument extends to our ability to eventually realize those ambitions. It is a matter of many, many facts whether there are cases where English uses attributive use of a noun and a FL uses a different grammar. In this particular case, perhaps both French and English have an adjective that can replace attributive use of the noun, but in this one collocation French uses an adjective, but English uses a noun. What about other collocations and other languages? If we can't answer this question very well, what are the implications of this inability for how we handle this? To me it seems that we need some kind of constructive message to encourage translators to offer the associated adjective in the translation table if it is used with any frequency at all where English would use the noun. DCDuring TALK 21:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Re: "To me it seems that we need [] to offer the associated adjective in the translation table if it is used with any frequency at all where English would use the noun": Why? —RuakhTALK 22:27, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
To offer a user the appropriate word in a given FL to translate the English attributive use of a noun if attributive use of the noun is not how the same meaning is achieved in that FL. DCDuring TALK 00:00, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I guess I'm just not convinced that that's necessary, or helpful. Rather, it seems potentially confusing. Should [[hungry#Translations]] include words that mean "hunger" in languages that say "have hunger" rather than "be hungry"? Should [[yesterday#Translations]] include words that mean "the day before yesterday" in languages that have a single word for that rather than casting it as a phrase? And conversely, should stellaire be glossed as "Stellar, star"? Maybe the answer to all of these questions is "yes". Maybe we can come up with a good format that makes clear what's going on — or that makes clear that the reader needs to click through to the linked entry for an explanation of what's going on. But you don't seem to be addressing the underlying questions of "do we want this?" and "what should it look like?", just taking for granted that we want it and that everyone knows what it should look like, and skipping to the next question of "how do we get translators to add it?". Did I miss previous discussions that already addressed those questions? —RuakhTALK 01:20, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I am not in a position to address this knowledgeably. I am reacting to the possible bad consequences of removing Adjective sections from words that have a lot of attributive use but not a true adjective sense by our criteria. If this relatively simple case cannot be addressed, I think an a fortiori case could be made that more complicated cases of other types of complicated circumlocutions cannot be addressed and that our dictionary cannot escape some inherent limits of a lexicon, ie, conceptual ones, not technical ones.
Practically, I am imagining this as being a limited, partial solution, not a global one. I doubt that we have participants of sufficiently broad knowledge to anticipate all possible problems or solutions.
I am only considering the cases where this can be accomplished by the simple addition of an adjective translation to supplement the noun translation. There are plenty of cases where I can more easily imagine construction-grammar appendices (one per language) covering each language's treatment of a particular type of communication need, eg, communicating compass or other types of directions, rather than attempting to include every possible lexical multi-word entry. DCDuring TALK 01:54, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Best Russian dictionaries translate the words star and sea as adjectives звёздный (zvjózdnyj) and морской (morskoj), apart from noun senses. The same for Armenian dictionaries. But I don't know how we can accommodate such translations on Wiktionary. --Vahag 02:06, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

How do they format it? —RuakhTALK 13:32, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Like this:
1. сущ.
1) звезда
2) знаменитость
2. прил.
1) звёздный
2) известный
--Vahag 18:59, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Include it with a gloss in the table of translations for that sense, e.g.:
Russian: звёздныйru (adj.)
DAVilla 16:39, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I could do that if we decide to make that the official format. --Vahag 18:59, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
You may be right, but we need to make sure that the benighted souls who search on a word-by-word basis hare directed to leading generic possibilities, at least until we have time to reach consensus and then add all the new entriess required. The project will assure us of continued gainless employment for at least the lifetimes of the youngest here. DCDuring TALK 22:00, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Proposed Phrasebook criterion

I propose that, aside from the regular rule of idiomaticity for proper dictionary entries, there should be at most one phrasebook entry for any particular thought expressed. For instance, assuming there were the need for such a phrase, any one of I need a drink of water, I need some water, I need water would be fine, but only one. Just as on Wikipedia, we could vote to move a page to a different title. I don't think it's necessary to vote when (1) the meaning doesn't change, as with these three, and (2) it's clear that a better title exists. As to the latter, in this case there's not much distinction. Each of the exact phrases in Google books get 773, 1310, and 2290 hits respectively, which is not surprising since they are progressively shorter. In the case that two of these existed, any disinterested contributor could make a judgement as to the best title to merge them to. When the meaning does not change, the removal of one for merger into the other would not need any formal process as it could be assumed uncontroversial.

Note that I need a drink gets 16300 hits (excluding "I need a drink of"), but this might be considered idiomatic in the sense of an alcoholic drink. I'm thirsty is also a strong contender at 25200 hits, but of course a lot of us expect to satisfy thirst with something other than plain water. The proposed rule wouldn't say anything explicitly about these alternatives. It is weak in that it would only specifically exclude having two phrasebook (i.e. unidiomatic) phrases to cover the same idea. On the other hand, on the grounds of this general principle of uniqueness, one could vote to delete I need water in favor of I'm thirsty, which one could argue is a more useful phrase anyways.

Another example is you need a condom at 57 results vs. you should use a condom at 364 results. Although they aren't exactly equivalent, they are close enough to express the same concern. Since arguably the second does a much better job of that, the page title could be moved to you should use a condom without necessarily consulting the whole community... even in the case that a deletion request for you need a condom had failed since technically it isn't being deleted but rather moved to an equivalent. As with any changes made on this wiki, discretion should be used for when to be bold and when to ask for opinion. As I said for the first example, the best choice is not clear based on statistics, so a move e.g. from I need water to I need some water is more subjective and requires at least discussion on the talk page. DAVilla 04:04, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Regarding specifically the "I need [] " phrases, in UK English this would be a bit impolite unless it's someone you know. For me, standard British English would be "[please] can I have [] ". Mglovesfun (talk) 12:35, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
You may be onto something. On Google Books may I have some water gets 820 hits, can I have some water gets 1130, which is pretty high given the length of the phrase. Although approaching the situation differently, it would seem that these expressions fill the same need in expressing the author's interest in obtaining water. Is there any way that we can code this, to say that I need water and may I have some water should not both exist, and that the best phrase to represent the idea should be chosen, and that best is sometimes clear but often subjective? DAVilla 16:54, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
At worst, another vote is necessary to determine that. -- Prince Kassad 22:14, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Wording? DAVilla 06:26, 11 December 2010 (UTC)


Is this ridiculously jargony for a Wiktionary header? The word isn't in the OED, Chambers or the AHD. (Some of the other ones at Wiktionary:Semantic relations seem a bit user-unfriendly too). Ƿidsiþ 12:02, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

A long-standing issue for which we have had no good solution. If someone has any even a partial solution, I'm all ears. DCDuring TALK 15:50, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Partial solution: link the header (====[[holonym|Holonyms]]====).​—msh210 (talk) 16:16, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it's ridiculously jargony. My solution: excluding holonyms, meronyms, hypernyms, hyponyms and troponyms from the main space (after all, they don't relate to the word itself, only to its meaning), and moving them to Wikisaurus pages, where they belong to (with clear subtitles, adapted to the page, of course: e.g. Subspecies, etc. instead of Hyponyms if the page is about a species).
I would keep a few synonyms and antonyms in the page describing the word, and move the other ones to Wikisaurus: they relate to the meaning, too, but users expect them in the page describing the word. Lmaltier 21:02, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Many of the items called antonyms in our entries are more validly considered coordinate terms. I have no idea how other semantic relations would fit in with Wikisaurus, nor do I see signs of life there. How much use does it get?
We could allow "Other semantic relations" as an L4 header and put all semantic relations except Synonyms there under a show/hide bar. The show/hide bar could include a link to a page explaining all the semantic relations. DCDuring TALK 13:28, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Cf. the proposal at [[User:Msh210/ELE]].​—msh210 (talk) 18:57, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Wikisaurus should be considered as seriously as the main space, and inclusion criteria should be the same. There is not much activity, but it's probably because its mission and its criteria are not very clear. I think that its mission should be All words related to a subject you might want to look for when writing about this subject (especially when you know that a word exist to express your idea, but you forgot it). These words have to be organized as clearly and logically as possible. When possible, it is recommended to include pictures, e.g. a picture of a bicycle showing the names of each of its parts (this is what a visual dictionary does: a visual dictionary has the same objective as a thesaurus, except that it is limited to concrete words). Each page should be dedicated to one subject in one language. Lmaltier 18:45, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Hear, hear! Amend the about page. DAVilla 08:20, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I may be wrong, but I always prefer to get a consensus through discussion before this kind of change... Lmaltier 21:07, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Please don't. Wikisaurus pages are not about subjects; they are about senses or concepts. The semantic relations of hyponymy and meronymy (the inverses are hypernymy and holonymy) give a nice guide for how to organize the material, a guide that has turned successful with WordNet. The terms "hyponym", "hypernym", "meronym" and "holonym" sound unfamiliar, but so did "synonym" at first. Thesauri in information science simetimes use the terms "narrower term" and "broader term", but these are vague and broad; someone can think that "electricity" is a narrower term than "physics", and indeed, electricity as a subject is narrower than the subject of physics. But Wikisaurus is not a subject thesaurus or a thesaurus of information science; it is a lexicographical thesaurus. --Dan Polansky 09:26, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
We don't have to create a new namespace before embarking on a new project, do we? I don't see what would be more appropriate for this information at least at the moment than the thesaurus, and a picture dictionary is still a dictionary, isn't it? Still, on a second read, I guess it is premature to put all that language on the about page, but at the same time I still feel it's inappropriate even after several years to dictate that Wikisaurus is one thing or another, by some sort of precedent, rather than to imagine what it could be. DAVilla 09:52, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
to Dan Polansky: When I refer to a subject, it may be any sense, but with a sufficient scope to deserve a thesaurus page, but a narrow enough sense, so that the thesaurus page is not too large. I fully agree that we should build a lexicographical thesaurus e.g. if we build a thesaurus page about association football, we should include footballer, goalkeeper, goal, etc. but not the names of famous footballers. A thesaurus page is an organized list of words. Would you agree with that? Lmaltier 18:52, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
To support what I propose, look at Roget's thesaurus. At the dressing entry, there is a footwear sub-entry, with words such as balletshoe, ski-boot or sabot (which are hyponyms); there is also a clothier sub-entry, with words such as tailor, tirewoman or milliner; there is a verb sub-entry with verbs such as dress, attire or accoutre and also, in a different sub-sub-entry: put on, slip into or carry; and many other sub-entries. There might also be words such as button or collar in the page. This is exactly what I propose: a thesaurus page contains words suggested by an idea, here the idea of dressing. It doesn't provide encyclopedic information about how to make clothing or the like, only words. Lmaltier 21:05, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
For French, I recommend a classical thesaurus: the Dictionnaire des idées suggérées par les mots (Paul Rouaix). It is in the public domain, and may be reused at will. Lmaltier 07:56, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

"Harry Potter objects"

I'm not sure if the franchises as attributive nouns sound good to name their respective appendices.

Pray, native speakers of English, shouldn't Appendix:Harry Potter objects and Appendix:Harry Potter spells be renamed to Appendix:Objects in Harry Potter and Appendix:Spells in Harry Potter? --Daniel. 12:05, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree. - [The]DaveRoss 13:27, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I would agree, except that the former sounds like gossypibomas.​—msh210 (talk) 18:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

"H. sapiens"

Is there any rule or guideline preventing the inclusion of abbreviations of taxonomic species, such as H. sapiens? If I remember correctly, at least some of them were deleted. --Daniel. 15:23, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

  • I think that they just need to meet our CFI. We have E. coli. I can remember deleting some very rare ones that were added only to get points in one of our competitions. SemperBlotto 15:27, 11 December 2010 (UTC) p.s. Anyone organizing this Christmas one?
    • Oh no, we totally forgot about the Christmas competition! Well I guess it's too late now. -- Prince Kassad 16:09, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
      • I vote the competition be about the first person to remember there should have been one, and unilaterally declare SB the winner! Pingku 03:24, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

What's the term for a compound part, that doesn't exist as a word

In atom- I tentatively used the heading "Noun", which was quickly changed to "Prefix". In Danish it is called "førsteled" ("first part (of a compound)"). "Atom-" is derived from atom, but the meaning in a compound is different. Compounds with "atom" must be concerning atoms eg. atomkerne ("nucleus of an atom"), whereas compounds "atom-" concerns atomic energy or nuclear processes.--Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 11:06, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Er, what's wrong with prefix?--Prosfilaes 21:01, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Well it's not a prefix, that's all.--Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 20:46, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
When I ask "what's wrong with prefix?", it means that it looks like a prefix to me. All answering "Well it's not a prefix, that's all." does is convince me you don't know what a prefix is.--Prosfilaes 22:24, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Maybe I don't know what a prefix is, 'cause I thought I explained above that it isn't a prefix.--Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 22:37, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Affix (also see wikipedia) seems to cover a multitude of sins. Pingku 03:11, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Combining form?​—msh210 (talk) 18:30, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Combining form sounds good, but all the examples on w:Combining form seems to be affixes.--Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 20:46, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Never mind, I'll just stay away from those kinds of entries.--Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 20:46, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

In my readings (only on the English language) I haven't come across a term that covers exactly the example you offer. The components of compounds are unbound roots/morphemes, but so are other things. DCDuring TALK 22:42, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't speak Danish, so I couldn't tell what atom- is. It looks like a prefix to me, though. Definitely not a noun, at least not with that "-" at the end. However, if a native speaker thinks of it as a noun, they shouldn't have created a separate entry at all. They could instead add the additional meanings in the entry for atom and explain the difference in a note. We do something similar with Ancient Greek prepositions which have special meanings when used in compounds. --flyax 06:52, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
You're probably right that it was a mistake to create it, so I'll just go and delete it. It is hard to tell, exactly how a Native speaker thinks about "atom-" since it only exists in compounds. Perhaps someone eventually will describe that "atom" has a non-existing sense that is only used in compounds, and generally translated with the adjective atomic or nuclear, and that the meaning differs from compounds with "atom" in the usual sense. Unfortunately there is quite a lot of these compound types in Danish, where the compound part is either obsolete or simply doesn't exist in it self.--Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 16:43, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
An archetypal example of a closely related phenomenon is the morpheme "cran-" as in cranberry. So archetypal that the term cranberry morpheme is used by some linguists. But "cran-" is not exactly the same. There is no unbound morpheme "cran" with or without a related meaning. DCDuring TALK 17:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
That is exactly it, thanks. I guess the only solution is to duplicate the information in the etymology of all the compounds with the morpheme. Too bad, because it would have been nice to educate the readers about the two different types of compounds with atom.--Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 20:23, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

It seems you should write the entry førsteled and find a good English translation for this word, as well as example sentences. Can you point to any Danish texts where a førsteled is described as being neither a compound or prefix? As far as I'm concerned, all words starting with atom- are compounds with atom, even if "atomic energy" is implied, e.g. atombomb (an atom bomb). --LA2 22:44, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Have a look at Den Danske Ordbog: "atom-" og Den Danske Ordbog: "førsteled".--Leo Laursen – (talk · contribs) 17:22, 23 December 2010 (UTC)


Am I over-egging the declined form of a superlative by indicating the original positive form, as in the entry: μέγιστου ? —Saltmarshαπάντηση 15:11, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Can't just all the forms be indicated in the conjugation table of the positive form? -- Prince Kassad 15:38, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
with the few exceptions the answer is propably yes. Μέγιστος is irregular superlative, but I think most cases are regular. Are any examples available? —Saltmarshαπάντηση 15:49, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
German already does this. See for example gut#German. It has always worked perfectly fine this way. -- Prince Kassad
Ah ha! that looks promising - I shall investigate. Thanks —Saltmarshαπάντηση 18:39, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Non-brand names of software products

What is the rule for things like

(currently defined as "(software) The primary text editor for Unix")? Okay, it's not a brand name, but surely we don't want to include the name of every free bit of software out there? What covers it? Equinox 16:33, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

It still looks like a brand to me. I would expect such terms should be easier to so attest than most software product names, especially relative to the size of the actual user bases, probably because of the use of Unix in university environments. DCDuring TALK 17:12, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
vi has been around for well over 30 years - hardy a "a free bit of software", it evolved from old text based 'teletype' editors and is probably the first visual editor many of us used. Its not 'commercial' and its many versions have evolved in the UNIX community. I think it should stay —Saltmarshαπάντηση 18:30, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
The famous, popular game Bubble Bobble has been around for 20 years or more, but I would be appalled to see it in a dictionary (an encyclopaedia is fine). My ideas about a dictionary seem to be at odds with everyone else's. Equinox 22:21, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
vi would easily meet the brandname CFI. -- Prince Kassad 18:59, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Why trying to exclude whole classes of words? Words are words, no matter what they mean. Lmaltier 19:17, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I suppose my idea of a dictionary is the kind that I grew up with, and that's dead now. Oh well. Equinox 22:19, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Arguably it's a specific entity, which would have unwritten rules. I wonder if when we write those rules we're going to have to take into account exactly how "specific" an entity it is. DAVilla 08:18, 15 December 2010 (UTC)


I gather the "abbreviation" and "initialism" parts of speech are deprecated. If that is so, how do we express them? e.g.

says "Abbreviation" in its definition, but that's bad because it suggests that "a str" is "an abbreviation"; this isn't really part of the def. Where can it be put? (Or should we use the non-gloss definition? That sucks though.) Equinox 22:57, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Huh? Since when were they deprecated? -- Prince Kassad 23:33, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
If they aren't, why have I often seen them replaced by noun entries (if only to permit a plural)? Equinox 23:38, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it doesn't need and hasn't had a vote. Of course, someone could insist. I have just edited [[str]] in accord with my understanding of the intent of the latest discussion that I remember. Does anyone have any better ideas? DCDuring TALK 00:10, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm happy with what you did. It is true that "abbreviation" isn't a part of speech (any PoS can be abbreviated), but I wanted to see at least a template, so we wouldn't be defining things as literally "Abbreviation of X" as though the word referred to an abbreviation. Equinox 00:18, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not entirely happy with the entry as an example of the emerging consensus, but it seems better than what we had and I can't think of anything better. There is a lot of repetition of the words "abbreviation of". I dread the inclusion of pronunciation sections. Is the programming use of "str" Translingual? DCDuring TALK 00:33, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
It's translingual insofar as most major programming languages tend to be based on English. But I don't think language-specific keywords are part of our remit, so really we're probably trying to define str as a programmers' abbreviation that would be used in a sentence or something (dare I say inlined?). The fact that one or two languages have a Str command, or that the natural abbreviation for substring is substr, doesn't have much bearing on it. Equinox 00:41, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Gotcha. DCDuring TALK 00:54, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree that the "abbreviation" and "initialism" parts of speech should be deprecated. Abbreviation of should not be in the definition, but in the etymology section. Lmaltier 06:16, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

A long-standing practice in Wiktionary has been to use "abbreviation" and "initialism" as part-of-speech headings. I do not see that this has been deprecated, and by whom. I am not so sure that noun initialisms in Czech are best classified as nouns, given they often lack clear gender and inflection. A vote could seem needlessly formal, but right now I have no idea how many people actually support the deprecation of "abbreviation" and "initialism" as part-of-speech headings. --Dan Polansky 07:39, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

This issue has long been at least somewhat controversial, and the policy handed down with a bit of opposition that was strongarmed in my view. We may have even had a vote at one point, or at least the proposal. Can't find it in the timeline though, maybe because there wasn't enough consensus at the time to address an overturn. There have been a few ideas like this that have been rejected in the past, and which I'm surprised to see in place today, for instance italicizing certain definitions, those that behave as usage notes moreso than synonyms. DAVilla 08:13, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I have removed the deprecation tag from {{acronym}} and {{abbreviation}}; {{initialism}} is protected, so I cannot do it. I see no clear consensus for the deprecation. In the previous BP discussion in which the deprecation of the templates was proposed, EncycloPetey had some misgivings about the proposal: #Re: Classification of abbreviations, initialisms and acronyms, November 2010 --Dan Polansky 07:53, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I promise you it goes back much further than that, but anyway I suggest we have a civilized conversation about it and finally confirm it one way or the other. DAVilla 08:16, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh the templates should be deprecated - we don't use them in headers because they break section linking. Instead, you should use plain ===Abbreviation=== or ===Initialism===. -- Prince Kassad 09:30, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Why don't you create a poll or a vote? Using these templates is a long-standing practice. The claim "we don't use them in headers" is obviously wrong: {{acronym}} is used in more than 500 pages; {{initialism}} is used in more than 4000 pages; {{abbreviation}} is used in more than 3500 pages. --Dan Polansky 09:43, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
But it already says in WT:ELE that we use only plain-text headers! -- Prince Kassad 09:45, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Can you be specific? What sentence in WT:ELE does say that? Was there a vote (probably not) or a BP discussion (more likely) leading to that sentence of WT:ELE? --Dan Polansky 10:17, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
As Lmaltier will know, these sort of headers were deprecated years ago on the French Wiktionary. From experience, a small pocket turn out to be very tough to deal with; like LTNS meaning long time no see. Long time no see is a phrase, but having LTNS under the header ===Phrase=== seems a bit ridiculous. Anything else usually turns out ok. Oh, by the way sometimes I just write [[Category:English initialisms]] instead of putting it in the definition. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:32, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Fwiw, I agree these templates should not be used in headers (though I use them in etymology sections, as they categorize). However, I've never seen consensus to stop using them.​—msh210 (talk) 15:33, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I think that there can be a consensus about several facts: that SQL, PHP or APL are as much nouns as Fortran or Python, that initialism is something about the etymology of these nouns, etc. Discussions and votes would benefit from a list of short arguments (pros and cons), a list everybody could add to until it is considered as complete. A vote can be useful only after nobody finds anything to add to this list of arguments. In many cases, this is the only practical way to get a consensus. Lmaltier 16:45, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:New Year's Competition 2011

Announcing. It hasn't yet opened; feel free to edit it for a while (and start it whenever it's deemed appropriate).​—msh210 (talk) 21:00, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I was thinking of something very similar to this. It's also written very technically, just as I would write it. Can someone make it more fun? Basically, find a word that's missing a lot of senses. The more senses missing, the bigger the find! DAVilla 15:48, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not such fun, I'm afraid, and no one else has rewritten it. Anyway, it's now begun.​—msh210 (talk) 04:11, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Category:Ligurian language

There's a problem with this category.

There are two languages called "Ligurian". One is the Romance dialect, represented by the code {{lij}} and also this category. But there's a second Ligurian language, an ancient language spoken around that area and represented by the code {{xlg}}.

The problem is, how do we differentiate between these two? -- Prince Kassad 20:28, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Ligurian and Ancient Ligurian, maybe? —CodeCat 21:40, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Maybe. We have such a pair already: Category:Macedonian language and Category:Ancient Macedonian language. -- Prince Kassad 21:31, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Luckas-bot for bot status

Hi all ! I propose to the english wiktionary community my bot, Luckas-bot, to get a bot flag. You can ask questions and give your opinion here. --Luckas Blade 14:28, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

We have a bot already, ChuispastonBot (talkcontribs), but a bureaucrat needs to grant it status because its vote has already passed some two weeks ago. —Internoob (DiscCont) 22:13, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Google Books Ngram Viewer at Google Labs

This link offers a new tool for examining trends in relative frequency of usage of words in a subset of Google's scans of books. This article from the NY Times provides some background. There are datasets available for free download. DCDuring TALK 15:14, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Addictive! Now I can't do anything else.--Makaokalani 17:26, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

CFI simplification

WT:CFI#Constructed languages currently has four separate lists: those approved by consensus, those not approved, those with no consensus, those rejected by consensus. This seems needlessly complicated as by current interpretations the latter three are equivalent (all not allowed in main namespace). Can we simply state that constructed languages aren't allowed by default and just list the exceptions? I think we should also remove references to ISO codes as our reasons for including a language don't really rely on that feature. What do others think? --Bequw τ 02:03, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

At the very least, we should make a distinction between those languages which simply have no approval and those which have been explicitly rejected via a VOTE. Still, that renders the middle two redundant. -- Prince Kassad 15:18, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I would keep these separate as you suggest. It's strange that consensus is required before a word can be included. Usually consensus is required to kick a word out. I guess in this case the consensus is presumed to allow only those words in approved languages, but I wonder what would happen if there were an RFD for a term in Romanova or Romanica. I suspect there are people here who wouldn't let it have its day in RFD.
Keep them separate because at least we would remember that there is uncertainty and the rule is subject to change. Mention ISO codes parenthetically only for the "no consensus" group, but no need to list them all. Effectively you could delete the third group of the four. I don't see why it's necessary to list a lot of artificial languages that don't have ISO codes and in some cases are even red and undefined. DAVilla 15:35, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed; most of the red undefined languages are completely obscure, and I don't believe Orcish actually refers to any specific language at all.--Prosfilaes 20:14, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, if we read CFI as to say that these two middle groups aren't prohibited, then certainly it is useful to list them all. But I doubt this is the way things will lean in the end. None of the undefined terms have an entry in Wikipedia. That is, Wikipedia doesn't think them noteworthy enough to even mention their existence. DAVilla 23:59, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I think there should be clear and simple criteria for inclusions of languages, either constructed or not. We have defined such criteria on fr.wiktionary:

  • all languages with an ISO 639 code
  • all languages with a Wikimedia code
  • all languages already used as their mother tongue by some people
  • all languages already learned in some schools
  • all languages with a literature
  • all languages with their own description page in at least 2 of the main 10 Wikipedias (the existence of these pages not being contested)

Any language meeting at least one of these criteria is automatically accepted. Other ones require a vote. Lmaltier 18:59, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

We had LFN terms, a constructed language which was among the "no explicit approval" group. Recently, all entries in this language have been removed as "not approved for inclusion", which in my opinion is a misunderstanding of CFI. -- Prince Kassad 15:41, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Lingua Franca Nova has got its own IS639-3 code (lfn): it would be automatically approved for inclusion if above rules are adopted. In this case, and in almost all cases, adopting these rules would make things much simpler, and many controversies can be avoided (note that accepting a language only means that sections for this language are allowed, not that they are encouraged). Lmaltier 06:51, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Essentially what it comes down to is, do we need consensus to keep or do we need consensus to delete? Without a proper vote on the matter, we must assume that consensus is needed to delete, and the removal of Lingua Franca Nova is inappropriate. I'm starting a vote to see if this can be considered the appropriate instead. DAVilla 23:13, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I find that overbroad and redundant. Maybe all languages with an ISO 639 code, though that overturns the no Klingon rule. But ISO 639-3 by design covers everything; we shouldn't create a bunch of other rules to cover stuff that ISO 639-3 should already cover. And I don't see your rules as helping; many are too easily gameable or subject to interpretation. ("with a literature", for example.)--Prosfilaes 09:10, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
ISO 639 codes are very useful for saving time, however I don't think we should live and die by them. Wiktionary users have to come first. RE: LFN, I had a similar feeling that 'not approved' doesn't necessarily mean 'not allowable'. I don't think deleting them was wrong so much as just one way to interpret that line in CFI. Therefore, if someone restored all the LFN stuff they'd be (IMO) in the same position - not wrong, just interpreting that line in CFI a different way. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:34, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that we should live and die by them, but I think that any exceptions are worth discussing. Any language that could seriously claim to have a literature is either listed in ISO 639-3 or was considered a dialect of a language already in ISO 639-3 and hence is worth a discussion. I'm less against making exceptions, and more against automatically making exceptions.--Prosfilaes 20:08, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
The idea of above criteria was to be very broad (remember: all words, all languages), while preventing inclusion of "languages" nobody has ever heard of except their creators. Forbidding the inclusion of words for languages recognized as such by international organizations, or when the language clearly exists, is against the fundamental principle of the project, will always seem arbitrary to many readers, and and will always cause controversies. Yes, Wiktionary users have to come first. For users, it's better to allow sections for all languages, even when some sections are not used much, than to frustrate users looking for forbidden sections. Lmaltier 17:50, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Old French archaic forms (for example)

It's occurred to me there is a difference between obsolete and archaic. To put 'obsolete' for a word in any dead language would be silly - but you can have archaic forms. Pro (recently created) could IMO be described as an archaic form of por, but not as an 'obsolete' form of it. Would give a Middle English example, just I don't have one. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:07, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

I had always assumed that neither tag made sense for dead languages. As applied in English (and presumably other living languages}, AFAIK "archaic" means something like 'not current, but intelligible at present (in its context)' and "obsolete" 'not current, not intelligible at present (in its context)'. For purposes of dead languages is "at present" appropriate? Does it mean at present from the point of view of a speaker of Modern French? Does it mean from the point of view of the end of the Old French period? What does fr.wikt do? How does Robert show such words?
Widsith's work in some English entries providing a period during which a word had a given sense is a major improvement over the use of these tags. It seems to be the highest standard that we have been able to achieve and the highest our users would be likely to appreciate. DCDuring TALK 15:13, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Couldn't archaic in this context just mean 'very old', that is older than other attested forms? Mglovesfun (talk) 15:20, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that's what it means in dictionaries. Have you seen Widsith's use of {{defdate}}? [[bead]] is an entry that has it in use. I don't know whether the online Robert always shows first use, nor how good its coverage of Old and Middle French is, let alone Anglo-Norman et al, but they seem to have some indication of an early use of a given sense. DCDuring TALK 19:04, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
To me "archaic" for a modern language means that it's now an archaism, but for a historical language that doesn't make sense. So if I saw it in a historical language entry, I think I would take it to mean that, over the entire course of the language's history, it was predominantly an archaism. For example, if a Middle English word were tagged as "archaic", I would imagine that (1) a Middle English speaker by 1150 or so would already have considered it archaic and (2) it remained in use until at least 1400 or so. Or something like that.
But historical linguists seem to use "archaic" a bit differently; they seem to use it to mean that a form is an exceptional holdover from an earlier form of the language, without necessarily considering it an "archaism" in the sense that we mean. For example, the second component of Latin pater familias is often said to be the "archaic" genitive of familia, because by the time of Classical Latin the normal genitive was familiae. I don't think that means that familias was otherwise used as an archaism in Classical Latin (though I can't claim to be sure about that), only that familias is an Old Latin form that persisted in this fixed expression, at least in legal contexts. And here Don Ringe writes of the reconstructed non-Anatolian Indo-European word for "wheel" that its "pattern of derivation ( [] ) is unique (archaic?)", which obviously isn't meant to suggest that speakers of the ancestor of the non-Anatolian Indo-European languages might have thought of their own word for "wheel" as archaic.
And you, Mglovesfun (talkcontribs), seem to interpret it differently from either of these ideas. (I think? Are you saying that all words in the Oaths of Strasbourg, say, would be "archaic"? Or only the ones that aren't also attested in much later Old French?)
So all told, I think we might be best off avoiding this word entirely for dead languages, and using more verbose context tags such as "rare after circa 900".
RuakhTALK 22:47, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

[Poll] American English, use /ɒ:/ instead of /ɔ/


I think we should stop using /ɔ/ for words like law, dog, bought in non caught-cot merger American English. The reason being that nowadays it's uncommon in American English, and it's used only in some parts of New England.

If British English law is /lɔ:/, then how American English law be /lɔ/? The difference is very easy to hear and even to see with a sound editor, because the vowel used in American English is not as "closed" as /ɔ/, it's much more open, because in reality it's something closer to /lɒ:/. It's not just a difference in length.

Also, if you listen to how the British say dog and then how (non caught-cot merged) Americans say it, it will be clear that they're using pretty much the same vowel (Americans perhaps with an extra schwa at the end), but the American one is longer. So BE /dɒg/, AmE /dɒ:g/, but certainly not /dɔg/.

Examples of the use of this vowel can be seen in dictionaries like Longman's Dictionary of Contemporary English. Other major American dictionaries either just use /ɑ/ or their own pronunciation system.

The only reason people are still using /ɔ/ is they're used to it, but the fact is, that is not the standard vowel found in American English today, and I don't see why we should keep using it. We are using an International alphabet, and it is very important to use the correct sound, because, if people go over to Wikipedia and hear what /ɔ/ sounds like, they will get a wrong idea. So, do you support using /ɒ:/ instead of /ɔ/ (except for before r) in American English?--AmeGOD 12:06, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

You say "only in some parts of New England", but it's in fact used in NYC also, so perhaps I'm biased: I say ɔ and hear ɑ (as I live in a cot-is-caught area), so don't know of this ɒ use at all that you say is so common. Is it really?​—msh210 (talk) 17:58, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
The New York dialect is kind of unique, because the vowel can be /ɔə/ or /oə/ or even something closer to /ʊə/. But usually in American English, the vowel in words like awe is different from the one the British use. It's easy to hear. And the vowel in words like dog is the same as the ones the British use, but longer. Under the current system, American "law" should sound exactly like British "law," because they both use the same vowel, /ɔ/, albeit in American English it is shorter. And the vowel in American "dog" should be more closed than British "dog." This is clearly not the case.--AmeGOD 19:50, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Again, the precise vowel that is transcribed as "ɔ" may vary. In a few speakers, particularly in a few parts of New England, it may approach "ɒ", but many of these speakers are cot-caught merged. So they would pronounce words like "not" and "lot" with the "ɒ" vowel as well. And in many cot-caught merged Canadian dialects, the vowel that is merged into is "ɒ" as well, so in fact many cot-caught merged speakers do pronounce "caught" "bought" and "sought" with a "ɒ".
Yes, the vowel an non cot-caught merged American would use for "awe" wouldn't usually sound identical to what a British speaker would us, but "ɔ" the closest and most accurate approximation, and not "ɒ". And it isn't just "some parts of New England", that's a highly innacurate description, especially considering how many cot-caught speakers there are there, especially in Northern New England. Many parts of the Midwest and South also preserve the contrast. If you head to Michigan or Wisconsin, you will hear a clear "ɔ" for "bought" and "taught", just as you would if you headed to Philly or New York.--Dezzie 14:31, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
You aren't confusing /ɒ:/ (Open back rounded vowel) with /ɑ/ (Open back unrounded vowel) are you? (they look almost the same) I'm not talking about the caught-cot merger here, I'm talking about the vowel that non merged Americans use, which is in fact more similar to /ɒ:/ (a long version of the vowel in British "hot") than to /ɔ/ (vowel in British "law")--AmeGOD 14:49, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm not. Some speakers with the cot-caught merger merged the vowel into /ɒ/ rather than /ɑ/. A few cot-caught merged accents in New England and Canada will pronounce both cot and caught with a /ɒ/. But the closest approximation of the vowel used by non cot-caught merged speakers for caught is /ɔ/, and is transcribed as such. And it is not "Northeastern", again, there are speakers throughout the Midwest and the South who keep the /ɑ/ and /ɔ/ in cot and caught, or bought and bot distinct. Here is a study done on the cot-caught merger in Ohio. http://www.ohio.edu/linguistics/workingpapers/2008/flanigan_2008.pdf --Dezzie 15:30, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
You are talking about a different phenomenon, which is using the short /ɒ/ in some sort of caught-cot merger. Again, I'm not arguing that Americans always use /ɒ:/, I'm saying that's the vowel they use, not /ɔ/. If you want, here's some quotes from an old phonology/english forum and website:
  • "The thing here, though, is that the traditional transcription of /ɔ(ː)/ is rather inaccurate in the case of GA, which really has the more open /ɒ(ː)/; speakers of GA-like dialects may very well perceive actual [ɔ(ː)] as being closer to /o(ʊ̯)/ rather than perceiving it as being the same as their actual /ɒ(ː)/. The transcription of /ɔː/ is more appropriate for Received Pronunciation, which has a significantly higher vowel for such than its counterpart in GA." [1]
  • In American transcriptions, ɔ: is often written as ɒ: (e.g. law = lɒ:), unless it is followed by r, in which case it remains an ɔ:. [2]

These are just 2 examples, you can find many more. But again, the difference between the vowel in British and American "law" is crystal clear. --AmeGOD 15:49, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

How about a compromise?
Fine, but why not just
  • (North American) IPA(key): /bɑ(ː)t/, (US) often IPA(key): /bɔ(ː)t/, /bɒ(ː)t/ ?


After all, Wikipedia says: "The merger occurs in some accents of Scottish English and to some extent in Mid Ulster English but is best known as a phenomenon of many varieties of North American English." And it looks better.--AmeGOD 16:57, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Again, many North Irish and Scottish accents are cot-caught merged as well. The cot-caught merger spans both countries and continents, and should be considered its own separate phenomenon, and not "North American" necessarily. I thought my suggestion was fair. How about:
My only beef with that is that considering how widespread the merger is in the US, writing it the way you suggests may make it look like an idiolect there, but since adding the IPA(key): /bɑ(ː)t/ after (US) would be redundant, I agree with your version.--AmeGOD 17:36, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
A typical example of our current practice would be dot (permanent link) where we use ɒ for British English and ɑ for American English. I'm not condoning this, just saying this is what we do. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:09, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
No, words like "dot" or "hot" aren't in the same category as "bought", "taught" or "caught". Almost all Americans would pronounce "dot" with an "ɑ", save for a few speakers with the Northern Cities Vowel Shift who might front it to "a".--Dezzie 15:30, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, fwiw, I'm from NYC, not, I think, considered subject to the NCVS, but pronounce dot with an a also. See [1].​—msh210 (talk) 01:35, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

[Poll] Caught-cot merger in American English

I think we should stop considering the caught-cot merger an isolated phenomenon, and instead an alternative/secondary pronunciation.

According to a 1996 telephone survey made by professor Labov, about 40% of Americans had the merger. That is already very significant, and I think more than enough for a secondary pronunciation, however, in 2006, in an NPR interview Mr.Labov said that: "Half of this country has a merger of the word classes, cot, caught, don, dawn, hock, hawk...," which is very plausible considering that mergers keep spreading and that 10 years are plenty of time.

Besides, there are words like blog, log, log, gone, cross etc. that can be said with a /ɑ/ even by those who lack the merger. The distinction is fading away.

So you can't really call it an idiolect. When an American has this merger, shouldn't this pronunciation be included as a secondary pronunciation?

What I mean is we should write, for instance, bought as

  • (US) IPA(key): /bɒ:t/ invalid IPA characters (:), replace : with ː, IPA(key): /bɑt/



  • (North American) IPA(key): /bɑt/, (US) often IPA(key): /bɒ:t/ invalid IPA characters (:), replace : with ː

but not

  • (US) IPA(key): /bɒ:t/ invalid IPA characters (:), replace : with ː
  • (cot-caught merger) IPA(key): /bɑt/

Do you agree?--AmeGOD 12:24, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

(Comment for other readers: The (IMO odd) ɒ in the above post is used per the OP's own opinion as expressed in the preceding section that it be used in pronunciations instead of ɔ and may for the purposes of this discussion be read as if it were an ɔ. if you want to discuss whether to use the latter or ɒ, see the preceding section.​—msh210 (talk) 17:52, 21 December 2010 (UTC))
If it were purely an American phenomenon, I would agree to label it under "US". But since it is standard in Canadian English as well, along with many dialects of Scottish and Irish English, it should be labelled as the separate phenomenon it is, not just existing in the US, and not just existing in North America, but occurring trans-continentally. Even if 40-50% make the merger in America, labelling it the way you are suggesting presents the cot-caught merger as exclusively American.--Dezzie 14:40, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I understand what you mean, how about my third option then? (*(North American) IPA(key): /bɑt/, (US) often IPA(key): /bɒ:t/ invalid IPA characters (:), replace : with ː)--AmeGOD 14:53, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I can't hear the difference very well which makes it both fascinating to me and also more difficult to follow the conversation. I won't give my input except to say that I'm glad we're not considering using parenthesis here. I really hate the use of parenthesis to indicate that it's a different dialect. That is not at all obvious and more easily interpreted as optional in the same way that inflection in French is unimportant. The worst is the representation of the rhoticized ɚ as ə(ɹ). Am I crazy in thinking there's a difference between ɚ and əɹ (speaking to those who know something other than English here)? Worse, this affects the rhyming dictionary, resulting in words that must rhyme in any dialect, where we should list exceptional words that only rhyme in certain dialects. Different pronunciations should be listed separately. We're not paper and we don't need to cut corners. DAVilla 22:58, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes I agree with this idea. Ƿidsiþ 14:11, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Company names

Per WT:RFV#Wikimedia, would anyone object to the extension of WT:BRAND to include company names as well? There is already some overlap. For instance Boeing, Nike, Pepsi, Sony, and Toyota can refer to either the company or its respective product. This would allow a definition line for the company and, therefore, also entries like Verizon and Wal-Mart which do not have a product identified with them. Anyways these are usually just nicknames in fact, and we can explicitly state that Inc., Ltd. etc. are not to be included in the entry title. DAVilla 06:42, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Do we want to have any limits whatsoever beyond attestation? Do we want names that are attestable only in combination with generic terms, eg, Mount Vernon Fire Department? IBM Americas? Do we want any multi-word names (ie, open compounds)? DCDuring TALK 09:13, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't, and I'm not opposed to tweaking the requirements a little. DAVilla 16:54, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
As I think on it, I wonder if I would object to any company name (or nickname) attestable from our currently accepted sources that was one word or hyphenated. Though I could imagine some multi-word (open compound) company names that would be acceptable, I think such need some criteria that prevent the waste of time that most such will represent. If we can't exclude most of them, I would be inclined to exclude company names unless they have a special, iconic meaning beyond their proper noun meaning. Eg, McDonald's, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Gimbel's, Niemann-Marcus, Sears, Harrod's, General Motors. I think we might want to make clear whether, when we refer to trademark, we mean to include service marks, as Verizon and Wal-Mart would be if they were not trademarks (as I would bet they are). I understand that service marks are easier to obtain and may include the names of performing groups, ie, bands.
I see a few simple approaches to excluding unwanted names, such as:
  1. Only attestable company names with a clear iconic meaning not referring to the company/brand/trademark/service mark.
  2. Only attestable one-part (or hyphenated compound) company names.
  3. Any attestable trademark or former trademark (or service mark) could be automatically included, possibly whether or not it is a one-part name.
The last appeals to me most, as the combination of attestability and registration implies that there has been some level of use in advertising that inevitably forces a term into the lexicon. DCDuring TALK 18:55, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
We require that for trademarks the source not indicate that the term is a trademark, e.g. no "TM". We could do the same for service marks, of course, and for company names require that it not indicate explicitly that the entity is incorporated, for instance no "Ltd." or "Inc." Pretty much everything else could be the same, such as the requirement that it not be clear what type of company is referred to, or that additional knowledge about the company is required to understand the author's intent. I couldn't imagine that Mount Vernon Fire Department or IBM Americas could be cited in this way, but to be sure there could be an extension of the requirement for idiomaticity that reflects location or subsidiaries, but does not necessarily prohibit compounds. I guess the test case would be International Business Machines, which I would allow given the proper citation. DAVilla 09:35, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
I feel there is no problem for inclusion, provided that these names can be considered as words. It's probably clear to everybody that Mount Vernon Fire Department or International Business Machines are names, but not words. But IBM or Wal-Mart can be considered as words (Wal Mart would probably have to be considered as a word, too, despite the space; I agree that the limit is not always clear, and clarifying it would require some work; linguistic interest should be a criterion). Therefore, including them is useful (for a definition, but also pronunciation, etymology, derived words such as IBMer, etc. I feel this is the same difference as between Confucius or New York (acceptable, because a word) and Charles Darwin, composed of two words, and without any linguistic interest.
Nonetheless, as anybody can create a company with any name, or a trademark with any name, I would require a minimum number (e.g. 10?) of independent citations not originating from the company, nor from its staff, nor from advertisement, etc. Lmaltier 21:23, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
I oppose an extension of WT:BRAND to include company names. I support removing WT:BRAND from CFI, given that I have seen no brand that unequivocally meets WT:BRAND, while there are some brands that ambiguously meet WT:BRAND. WT:BRAND consists of seven requirements, some of them complex; the requirements put a considerable cognitive load on anyone trying to demonstrate that a brand meets the requirement. OTOH some of the seven requirements seem okay and simple enough; removing the seventh requirement of WT:BRAND would do a lot to make WT:BRAND acceptable to me. (R7: "The text preceding and surrounding the citation must not identify the product to which the brand name applies, whether by stating explicitly or implicitly some feature or use of the product from which its type and purpose may be surmised, or some inherent quality that is necessary for an understanding of the author’s intent.") --Dan Polansky 11:28, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, criteria are much too complex. Criteria I propose above would be much simpler. Generally speaking, I'm against considering the sense of a word as a criterion (except for phrases, of course), because we accept all words. But it seems that it's impossible to do without stricter criteria for brands or companies. Lmaltier 17:43, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
What I'm understanding is that you don't like the current rules, but if that were fixed, you'd be willing to apply it to company names equally as to trademarks. I have some rudimentary ideas for simplifying CFI in general, but these are really long shots, and sneaking companies in under this existing rule is the only way I could imagine allowing company names in the near future. DAVilla 17:54, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
That seems right: If WT:BRAND is simplified and made more inclusive, then regulating brand names and company names together could make sense. OTOH company names are names of specific entities, whereas brands are names used to refer to sets of specific entities (individual things).
Re "...sneaking companies in under this existing rule is the only way I could imagine allowing company names in the near future": I don't think that anything like that is needed to allow company names. As regards voting and consensus, company names are not forbidden from Wiktionary. It is only an unvoted-on part of WT:CFI that forbids them. --Dan Polansky 09:29, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Category:German cardinal numbers = Category:de:Cardinal numbers 10:33, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes. The latter needs to be merged into the former. This is really a job for a bot, but mine seems to have broke. -- Prince Kassad 13:03, 24 December 2010 (UTC) (addendum: hmm it worked fine this time. It's done now.)
The regex needed should be so simple that even I can write it. Such as txt=txt.replace(/\[\[Category\:([a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z\ ]*)\:Cardinal numbers/g, "[[Category:{{subst:$1|l=}} cardinal numbers]]");. I suspect I've made a mistake somewhere, I usually do. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:02, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Category:Portuguese cardinal numerals -- 14:57, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

That is a long-standing issue. There is no agreement in the community on the usage of "number" versus "numeral". -- Prince Kassad 15:44, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Categorizing people

Shouldn't Shakespeare and Hitler be members of a category for names of individual people? I suppose Category:People would be perfect for that, but it is crowded with seemingly random common nouns such as dendrophile, banana bender and maid. --Daniel. 14:39, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

No. We aren't Wikipedia. We shouldn't categorize individual people together. -- Prince Kassad 14:46, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
We could do that: Maybe the naming different: Category:Actual people or Category:Real people or Category:Types of people are my lame suggestions --Parttimer 14:57, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Subcategory Individuals. DAVilla 16:55, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
I like DAVilla's suggestion of Category:Individuals. I personally consider it better than the alternatives Category:Actual people, Category:Real people or Category:Types of people. I have added Hitler and Shakespeare to it, but I suspect there are other entries that can be included there as well. Thank you. --Daniel. 23:45, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
That looks good. I've added a couple more entries to Category:Individuals. What do we do about Category:Biblical characters though? ---> Tooironic 02:48, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for helping me to populate Category:Individuals. Apparently, it is synonymous with "Category:Historical people", so why not include Jesus and David to it as well? --Daniel. 03:42, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
  • On a sidenote, how do we categorise entries like Magellan, which define it as a surname but which mentions the famous person at the same time? Should we divide these into two different senses? ---> Tooironic 03:05, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
    I have moved the etymological information of Magellan to the etymology section, not to another sense. On the other hand, naturally Washington has one sense for the famous person and another for the name. I would oppose a merged definition like "A surname of various people, including George Washington." --Daniel. 03:42, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
From a linguistic point of view, Washington is a surname (and a place name). From this point of view, the only valuable distinction is between the original surname and the surname of people named after George Washington. Listing some famous people named Washington would be like listing some famous dogs at dog, this is an encyclopedic consideration. It's only worth a link to Wikipedia (and, possibly, a note stating that, when used only, the word almost always refers to some individual, but this is not a different sense: even when referring to him, the sense still is a surname).
As for George Washington, I think this is never considered as a word, always as a name composed of two words : a first name + a surname. New York, Washington, Churchill or Berlin are considered as words, not George Washington nor Cheyenne Mountain Resort. Lmaltier 18:42, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
A linguistic point of view of whom? --Daniel. 19:17, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oh my God Daniel. I can't believe you went ahead and created Charles Darwin and Charles Dickens... Making real-people definitions for surnames is one thing, but full names? Are you serious? ---> Tooironic 00:36, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
    I am not advocating a distinction between "one-word name" versus "multiple-word name", where only the former can be included on Wiktionary. I simply prefer including aliases and pen names. Both "Dickens" and "Charles Dickens" are shorter versions of Charles John Huffam Dickens. --Daniel. 06:14, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
    We must not forget that we include words, not names. But we must understand word in its linguistic sense, not its typographical sense (e.g. New York or presqu'île are one word in the linguistic sense, 2 words in the typographic sense). Charles Darwin is two words in both senses of the word word. To understand who Charles Darwin is, you should either consult Wikipedia, or consult Darwin, then click on the link to Wikipedia. Lmaltier 21:02, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
    Lmaltier, if I may ask again essentially the same question, can you please elaborate what you understand by "linguistic sense"? The existing definitions of "linguistic", "nonlinguistic", "name" and "word" on Wiktionary don't seem to support your distinctions, but it may be simply due to the perceived poor coverage of some of them. Yes, articles of Wikipedia should be linked from entries of Wiktionary when applicable. We include names, such as "Daniel", as a subset of "words". Your personal criteria seems pretty broad if you support the inclusion of "Darwin" as the famous biologist, but the simultaneous exclusion of "Charles Darwin" seems contradictory. Why should we deny the possibility of searching for the latter but not the former? --Daniel. 22:17, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
    See word: A distinct unit of language (sounds in speech or written letters) with a particular meaning, composed of one or more morphemes, and also of one or more phonemes that determine its sound pattern.. This is the linguistic sense. I oppose this sense to the typographic sense (word defined as a sequence of letters between separators: space, comma, apostrophe, etc., without any reference to the sense: for them, eg is one word, e.g. is composed of two words). And I don't support the inclusion of Darwin (the biologist) as a separate sense, not at all: the sense is the surname, the list of all people with this surname is not of linguistic interest, the interest is encyclopedic only (but a link to Wikipedia is necessary, of course). Lmaltier 17:37, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
    Ah, so you, like Kassad, prefer names of individual people completely absent from Wiktionary, in favor of only defining whether a word is a "given name", a "surname", etc. Thank you for sharing this point of view. --Daniel. 21:24, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
    Not completely absent, but included only when they are considered as words (e.g. Confucius or Noah). Lmaltier 21:30, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  • As any one who has been around here for a while cannot help but to have noticed, there has never been a consensus for including the names of individual entities, except for demonyms, language names, certain toponyms, and certain others that have had an attributive-use rationale. By long-standing consensus, we also have long had entries for given names and surnames. Accordingly, this discussion of categorizing individuals can be taken as, at best, premature. Less generous interpretations would include "railroading", waste of time, and vandalism. As this is not the first time that consensus has been ignored, it is increasingly difficult to maintain the charitable view. If users do not like the consensus represented by our practice, said users can initiate a frank, explicit discussion of the main issue, rather than use such indirect methods as initiating (during a slow period, yet) a discussion that implicitly assumes a consensus of an issue known to be contentious. It does not take a paranoid imagination to suspect that the discussion of the side issue would be used to claim an implied consensus on the main issue.
  • Accordingly, I think all matters relating to individual entities are out of order until there is a clear consensus or a vote to include names of individual people or other individual entities not sanctioned by vote or long-standing usage here. DCDuring TALK 20:29, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
    Has there ever been a discussion about the following question: should all words be included, whatever their meaning? In any case, the first sentence of CFI states that we welcome all words. The question should not be is this an individual entity? but is this a word?. (note that I think that some feel that individual entities should not be included (except those with an attributive use) only because this seems to be Webster's policy. But you cannot compare an Internet dictionary without space constraint and dealing with all words of all languages to a paper dictionary dedicated to English). Lmaltier 20:48, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
    DCDuring, your last comment may be interpreted as disapproving the existence of Category:Individuals (among multiple other disapprovals), because it fits into "all matters relating to individual entities". Do you? Since we have two or more names of individuals, it seems natural to have a way to find them all at once.
    Perhaps I am underestimating Kassad's "We shouldn't categorize individual people together", but the most controversial subject that has been raised in this discussion is the distinction between one-word names and multiple-word names of famous people. Since this is the contentious issue, I don't see where consensus is implicitly or explicity assumed. On the contrary, I, the person who is willing to discuss against it, know that "Darwin" is widely accepted here; and I am asking, why "Charles Darwin" is treated as unacceptable by most editors, especially including the ones who accept "Darwin" to refer to the same biologist? Similar multiple-word names have been created before, such as Alexander the Great, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ and Mao Zedong. Am I missing certain merits of other existing entries that are absent from "Charles Darwin"? If so, what are them? --Daniel. 21:24, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Is this a word? is a useful starting point, but says nothing of what the entry should contain, if it is valid. Smith is a word, but I wouldn't want every attestable meaning of it included. By that, I mean everyone who has been referred to as Smith three times in durably archived independent sources. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:34, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
If Is this a word? is a useful starting point, Does it have a meaning? is a useful step two. By "meaning", I mean if the word implies some individual person, rather than a person out of a group of people of the same name. In the phrase "I believe in Jesus!", one assumes that the speaker is Christian, not that he believes in the words of (for example) his uncle named Jesus Johnson, unless the context clarifies it. --Daniel. 22:08, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
For Smith, the sense is not a person, the sense is that it's a surname used in English (it would make sense to define a sense as the common name of all people sharing this name and with the same origin, but this solution would be difficult to manage; one line for each etymology is much more practical)
Yes, for Jesus, the person may be considered as the normal, original, sense of the word (at least in English). I don't object a definition line in such cases. For Alexander the Great..., there is a linguistic interest too: this name is not composed of a given name + a surname, it's a name given to an individual person, just like Confucius, spaces don(t change anything to this fact, and this is a good reason for inclusion. Also note that:
  • while Charles Darwin can be easily retrieved though the link to Wikipedia, finding Alexander the Great from great is much less easy...
  • in the case of biologists, individual person names may be defined in a separate definition line because of the conventional sense used in scientific names (very often, using a surname in a scientific name refers to a well-defined person; if somebody else with this name describes some species, another name has to be used). But this is an exception. Lmaltier 06:50, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
To say "For Alexander the Great..., there is a linguistic interest too: this name is not composed of a given name + a surname, it's a name given to an individual person, just like Confucius", your personal understanding of "surname" must be different from mine. "the Great" is a surname, especially one used by dozens of famous people.
If, by chance, you understand that a surname is the one given from the parents, then the inclusion of Allan Kardec (the de facto founder of Spiritism) on Wiktionary might be possibly supported by you, since that is a multiple-word pen name given by himself.
Whether or not Charles Darwin can be easily found on "Darwin" and point to Wikipedia doesn't matter, because [1] Wiktionary is a dictionary, not an index of Wikipedia articles (though the functions often overlap); and [2] finding encyclopedical information about a person by searching for him or her on Wiktionary, and following a link from its surname to Wikipedia is not the most natural, intuitive and functional choice.
I can find information about individuals on both projects because I'm smart and used to the system, not because the system is well done. There are only 86 individuals at Category:Individuals. The absence of most American presidents, divine writers, biblical characters and founders of religions gives the impression that our coverage is deficient, not that certain editors are convinced that Wikipedia is the best and only place for them. --Daniel. 12:00, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Style of "plural of..."

The entry dogs has these two definitions:

  1. plural of dog
  2. Template:third-person singular of

Why does the former begin with a lowercase letter and the latter with a capital letter? I remember the existence of "Plural of" with an initial uppercase letter for years. The documentation supports my memories, by saying "By default, this template's output looks like a complete sentence, in that the word "plural" is capitalized at the beginning [...]". --Daniel. 00:05, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it should start in an uppercase letter. I have no idea why it doesn't. -- Prince Kassad 00:38, 25 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree wholeheartedly, but, now that it doesn't, people may have relied on that fact and created entries that will look terrible if it's to be switched, like # Canines ({{plural of|dog}}). (Not likely, and not the biggest deal even if true, so I'm not sure how much we care about accounting for such a possibility.)​—msh210 (talk) 07:15, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

"Comics characters"

I'm pretty sure that all or most of the characters currently listed at Category:Fictional characters appear in comics, among other media.

With that in mind, isn't Category:Comics characters entirely, or mostly, redundant? Is there any particular reason to keep it? --Daniel. 09:04, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

Foxy Loxy is not from a comic. The latter should be a subcategory of the former. All comic characters are fictional, but not vice versa. DAVilla 09:46, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
There are various comic books (and other media) where famous real people appear; apparently, no fictional time traveller makes a trip to the Second World War without meeting Hitler in person. Whether it makes the dead Nazi guy a "nonfictional comics character" or a "fictional comics character who is a depiction of a real person" is a can of worms. Nonetheless, Category:Comics characters is a subcategory of Category:Fictional characters. Foxy Loxy was not present in any of these two categories before I added it now to the latter (I don't care enough about the former to actively populate it). Apparently, it still would be more feasible and readable to list together the characters who don't appear in comics, if possible and desirable. Foxy Loxy appears in comics. --Daniel. 10:13, 26 December 2010 (UTC)
Foxy Loxy appears in comics? Okay, my interpretation then would be characters whose origin is the graphic novel. This would exclude Foxy Loxy. Obviously, Hitler did not originate there either. Whatever this should called, it's clearly a subcategory of Category:Fictional characters. DAVilla 04:51, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
A category for characters with that origin would exclude Superman and Mickey Mouse, but include Astro Boy. I believe it would be better to organize them by cultural origins, imitating Category:Arabic fiction to possibly create Category:American fiction and Category:Japanese fiction, and perhaps subcategories for their respective characters. --Daniel. 10:39, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Superman, really? You're probably the most qualified here to address this issue then. DAVilla 17:38, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, thanks. Yes, The Reign of the Super-Man has more information on the origin of the character; specifically, it describes how a villain named Superman of a short story was developed into a hero of comics years after. (Which may be interpreted as the existence of two characters, one "nondeveloped villain" and one "developed hero", but I would oppose this interpretation, because Superman has undergone many stages of development, depending on the writer or the decade, including multiple times when he was the villain, among multiple other changeable characteristics.)
I created Category:Japanese fiction to contribute to this project of narrowing categories for works of fiction. --Daniel. 20:43, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

"Star Wars derivations"

Should UTSL, Yoda, lightsaber, Jedi, Jedi mind trick, MTFBWY and other members of Category:Star Wars derivations be removed from this category and added into Category:Star Wars? The distinction between them is becoming more subjective with their new members, and apparently as standard practice isn't recognized and followed by most editors anyway. --Daniel. 22:58, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

UTSL is not part of Star Wars (which doesn't mention source code!) so calling it a derivation seems best. Equinox 09:52, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
UTSL, Yoda, Chewbacca, lightsaber and all other members of these categories are related to Star Wars but also used outside this context, otherwise, according to WT:FICTION, they wouldn't or shouldn't be defined on Wiktionary.
Before this vote, Category:Star Wars was synonymous with Special:PrefixIndex/Appendix:Star Wars/; Category:Pokémon was synonymous with Special:PrefixIndex/Appendix:Pokémon/; and Category:Star Wars derivations was the one with entries instead of appendices.
Since we don't allow numerous appendices for each universe anymore, I believe we don't need two sets of categories for each universe anymore. --Daniel. 19:50, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Vote on renaming categories for inflection or headword templates

As a follow-up on recent three polls, I have created a vote:

If the results of the polls were unequivocal, a vote would seem unnecessary, but as the last poll showed no supermajority, a confirmation vote seems in order.

The vote starts on 29 December 2010 and is planned to last 14 days. --Dan Polansky 12:37, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

It looks ok to me. —CodeCat 11:26, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Poll: Including individual people

I would like to ask your opinion in an informal poll on whether at least some individual people should be included in Wiktionary. Entries that currently do host sense lines for individual people include Shakespeare, Einstein, Socrates, Plato, and others. --Dan Polansky 20:41, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Some individual people should have dedicated sense lines in some entries.

  1.   Support [The]DaveRoss 20:49, 27 December 2010 (UTC) I have always been in favor of including glosses for the names of important people with a link to the relevant Wikipedia page. For what it's worth I am in favor of both and .
  2.   Support But the real issue is what some means. I support the inclusion only when the name can be considered as a word. A few examples are Confucius, Noah, Molière, Stendhal or Charlemagne (in many cases, they are nicknames or pseudonyms, but not always). Dickens must be included, too, but as a surname, not as an individual person. I strongly oppose inclusion of names which are not words, and, therefore, have no linguistic interest, such as Charles Dickens (there might be exceptions, but only when there is some linguistic interest). We are not an encyclopedic dictionary, only a language dictionary. Lmaltier 21:19, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  3.   Support - I support the inclusion for the following reasons. 1. English learners don't always know how to pronounce names, so it would be important to include individual names. 2. The translation section will lead to the FL entry of the same name. English names are inflected in some of the foreign languages such as Hungarian and the inflection is not always intuitive. --Panda10 21:51, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
    I note that WP is including more translations/transliterations in its entries. I further note that Charles and Dickens yield pronunciation and transliteration/translation information for "Charles Dickens". Dickens also provides half of the pronunciation for "Benjamin Dickens", who lives in my city. Charles provides useful information for a large number of individuals, including "Prince Charles" and "Ray Charles". DCDuring TALK 00:51, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
  4.   Support Dan Polansky 08:43, 28 December 2010 (UTC); in particular, Shakespeare should include a dedicated sense line or definition line reading like "William Shakespeare, an English playwright and poet of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries". A case less contentious than Shakespeare might be Confucius--"an influential Chinese philosopher who lived 551 BCE – 479 BCE" in contrast to mere Confucius--"A given name" or of the sort. --Dan Polansky 10:44, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
  5.   Support single word entries such as Dickens that, as well as being a surname, have a single line entry pointing to a Wikipedia entry for a famous person known by that name. SemperBlotto 11:45, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
  6.   Strong support including the full name where there is literary merit. DAVilla 17:42, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
  7.   I support very strict criteria for inclusion of (some?) single-word names modeled after and similar to our brand-names criteria.​—msh210 (talk) 17:46, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
  8.   Support Daniel. 20:10, 28 December 2010 (UTC) Among multiple other discussed names, I'd appreciate if Copernicus (the name of the astronomer known for heliocentrism) were defined here in the future. --Daniel. 20:10, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
  9.   Support single-word names of well-known historical, mythological and biblical characters, in some cases with an epithet. Shakespeare should be explained here, but I'd prefer a more logical definition like "A surname, most famously held by the English playwright w:William Shakespeare". Strongly oppose entries like Charles Dickens.--Makaokalani 15:47, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
    In Portuguese, we translate William Shakespeare and William Tell into, respectively, William Shakespeare and Guilherme Tell. There is no Guilherme Shakespeare or William Tell in Portuguese, unless someone is, for whatever reason, playing with translations of famous Williams. So, there are differences between the treatment of names of individuals that may be mentioned in their respective entries. Another notable example is Charlie Chaplin, whose name was translated into Carlitos. --Daniel. 00:37, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
  10.   Support in rare cases. —RuakhTALK 03:19, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
  11.   Support. bd2412 T 00:44, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
  12.   Support Particularly for historical and literary figures. -- A-cai 02:47, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

No individual person should have a dedicated sense line in any entry.

  1.   Support DCDuring TALK 00:39, 28 December 2010 (UTC) No multipart names of individuals, no single-person sense lines for one-part names. We have a wonderful resource a link away, with very comprehensive coverage of persons with a given surname, for example, as well as of works bearing such names, etc.,all on disambiguation pages of great scope.
    But, for some names (e.g. Charlemagne), the person is the sense. In such cases, the only possible definition is for the person. Lmaltier 06:31, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
    All names have an original target. Almost all are not historically unique. Charlemagne is no different. --Bequw τ 07:51, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, Charlemagne is the name of a single person (it's a francization of Carolus Magnus, I think, and it's not used for anybody else). And it's the case of many other names / nicknames. Definitions should explain the actual sense, and the actual sense may be an individual. But I agree that these cases, although numerous, are exceptions. Your almost should lead to another choice in this poll. Lmaltier 21:23, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
    (Actually, "Charlemagne" has been used by many people, such as Charlemagne Péralte.) --Yair rand (talk) 21:35, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
    In this case, it's a (very rare) first name, it's not the same meaning at all. The emperor is the etymology for this first name, but the proper noun should get a definition. First names and surnames are not really proper nouns, they don't name a specific entity (on fr.wikt, we use 3 different parts of speech for first names, surnames and proper nouns, it's clearer). Lmaltier 22:10, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
  2.   Support When we can identify the original target of a name, that individual will go in the etymology section. That will often identify the famous individual, but that should not be a primary concern. --Bequw τ 07:51, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

I am hesitant or don't care.

  1.   Support I support inclusion of nicknames and perhaps famous surnames, but definitely not full names like Charles Dickens. — lexicógrafa | háblame — 20:53, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
    If you support inclusion of Charles Dickens in Dickens, that would count as "some individual people should have dedicated sense lines in some entries". --Dan Polansky 20:57, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
  2. These vote options are very strange. I think there should not be separate senses for notable instances of specific senses. This opinion doesn't seem to fall under any of the options given. --Yair rand (talk) 06:47, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree with you about the options (the real issue is what some means in the first option) and I also share your opinion. Lmaltier 06:52, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
    At Yair Rand: It looks like you are saying that "No individual person should have a dedicated sense line in any entry"; if you are not saying that, then you must want to include at least one dedicated sense line for a person in some entry, right? But I do not wholly understand what you are saying, especially what you mean by "notable instances of specific senses". An example of what you mean could help clarify. --Dan Polansky 08:39, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
    Senses which are just specific instances of names should be deleted. In certain situations there could be a word/name that doesn't refer to anyone other than a specific person, which might be kept. I don't know whether the sense should be formatted as a name sense, a description, or a Wikipedia link, but the redundancy is the reason for deletion, not that it only has a single referent. Words/names that have entered common usage in a language as the standard way of referring to an individual but not to any others should still have at least one sense. In practice, I doubt that this would make much difference, as most previously unused names of historical figures have probably entered common usage and are attestable as referring to people other than the original holder of the name (though cites would probably be difficult to find in some cases). --Yair rand (talk) 17:28, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
    To be specific: Are you saying that "Confucius" should be defined merely as "given name" or the sort? If yes, and if your answer is the same for all given names, surnames and other names of people, then you probably agree with the second option. But if there is at least one term in which you want to see a sense line that specifically refers to a particular person and only to that person (as might be "Confucius" or "Charlemagne"), then you agree with the first option. By listing specific examples of inclusion and exclusion, you can make it rather clear what sort of inclusion you support. --Dan Polansky 10:40, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
    "Confucius" should be defined simply as a given name, as should "Charlemagne". "Stendhal" should have one sense shown even if it only refers to one person. --Yair rand (talk) 11:23, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
    Should "Stendhal" be defined like "given name" (or "pen name", "nickname", or of the sort) without referring to W:Marie-Henri Beyle? What sense line or definition line would you like to see at "Stendhal"? --Dan Polansky 12:06, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
    Charlemagne is the name of a single person, the name has been invented for him, he is the sense of this word. It is impossible to define the word without stating which person it is. The same applies to Stendhal (and to Confucius too, unless I am mistaken, even if this name has also been used, later, as a normal given name). But, of course, we should not write articles about these persons, their biography, etc., only enough to understand who they are, i.e. what the word means. But, in Hitler, I would remove the 2nd sense, which is the same as the first sense. It might be changed to a gloss explaining that, used alone, the word almost always refers to Adolf Hitler. Lmaltier 12:31, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
    Lmaltier has essentially said what I was going to say. Unless you exclude Charlemagne all together, I don't see how you can define it without mentioning he was Germanic emperor. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:38, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Of or pertaining to Shakespeare...

I would like to categorize adjectives of individual persons together, such as Kinseyan, Dickensian, Rowleian and Abrahamic. Any ideas for the name of the new category? Or would we simply use Category:Individuals for that, mixing adjectives with nouns? --Daniel. 11:28, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Eponyms, or more precisely, eponymic adjectives. — lexicógrafa | háblame — 14:01, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Rollback request

Is it possible to request for rollback in this wiki? I have rollback access on Wikipedia and I would like to request access due to recent ongoing vandalism. nh.jg (talk) 06:26, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

We don't have any official process by which such a right can be granted or rescinded, but using the process we have for the autopatrol right seems reasonable (and that's how our one rollbacker got his right), in which case (since any admin can defer an autopatrol request) I say deferred, too few undos.​—msh210 (talk) 16:34, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Whenever this question arises I always feel inclined to point out that this 'tool' does not add any special abilities to the user account, it merely adds a shortcut to an already available action. Furthermore the shortcut is one which could be added by modifying the users custom js. I am not sure what the downside is to allowing all auto-patrollers, or all auto-confirmed users this functionality on request or by default. - [The]DaveRoss 19:27, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Hm, I didn't realize it's JSable. A downside of allowing it by default is that some autopatrolled users may be trigger-happy. But I have to admit I don't see a downside to allowing it on request (since anyone requesting it can use the JS instead if denied). Does anyone else? (And I rescind my deferral, above.)​—msh210 (talk) 19:42, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure if most of the user scripts used on Wikipedia (e.g. Twinkle, GLOO, etc.) can be compatible for use on the Wiktionary. (BTW, I'm not familiar with any of the scripts used here on Wiktionary or outside of Wikipedia.) nh.jg (talk) 20:59, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Stupid question: As an admin, when I use the "rollback" feature, the edits that I'm rolling back are now considered "patrolled". I assume the same thing happens when a patroller+rollbacker uses the feature. But what about a rollbacker who can't otherwise mark edits as patrolled? —RuakhTALK 16:52, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Note to admins: Please watch major templates for a potential vandal

This notice is being cross-posted to the major administrators noticeboard (incidents or alerts) style pages on all the major projects.

Earlier today, a w:User:Meepsheep2 was blocked on English Wikipedia. Apparently in reprisal, he vandalized a major template on English Wiktionary with a fake fundraising banner that he photoshopped. Someone reported it on IRC, and we blocked him quite quickly for this time of night, but we want you to be on the lookout for future similar incidents. Please help keep an eye on major templates for vandalism specifically related to the fundraiser banners, and if they occur, globally lock their accounts (if you do not have that access, please block them locally on the wiki they vandalized, and then find someone on IRC who can globally lock the account). Stewards can assist with this. I know you guys all watch the high value templates anyway, and I'm not asking you to do anything different with those. I'm specifically referring to incidents that spoof the fundraising banners. Please keep an extra careful eye out for those, and take the extra step of globally locking the account to prevent future recurrences of this specific kind of vandalism. Please send any questions to drosenthal (at) wikimedia.org, or use my English Wikipedia User Talk page as I cannot respond locally on all projects. DanRosenthal Wikipedia Contribution Team 07:04, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Now blocked here as well. SemperBlotto 08:11, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

BP bug

Am I the only one who is seeing exactly the penultimate revision of BP, instead of the last revision, always? --Daniel. 13:25, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I am getting the current version each time I load BP, and this is across multiple PCs and browsers. Do you get the last version you loaded until you refresh? Or do you actually get the second most recent revision regardless of when you last loaded the page? - [The]DaveRoss 14:40, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
When I compare revisions or edit a section, I can see the code of the last revision (The text as is looks good.​—msh210 (talk) 16:21, 29 December 2010 (UTC)), but it doesn't appear where it should on BP.
I actually get the second most recent revision regardless of when I last loaded the page. This situation does not change when I refresh. This situation does not change if I never got the chance too see the penultimate revision when it was actually the last. It simple chooses the second most recent revision and shows it on my monitor. I use Mozila Firefox 3.6.8.
When I tested Internet Explorer, it did work as expected, with all the recent messages visible. I feel inclined to reinstall Firefox now (especially because the stable version 3.6.13 was recently developed), though this problem appears to come from the server. --Daniel. 17:13, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
If you don't mind saying, do you have Firefox set up to edit through a proxy? If you are getting stale pages with only one browser I am not sure how it could be a server-side problem. - [The]DaveRoss 20:24, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I am not using proxies. Hours ago, I discovered that apparently if the last revision exists for more than approximately 20 minutes (a phenomenon that has been a little rare today), it appears correctly when I try to see the Beer Parlour on my Firefox. --Daniel. 00:05, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Bring back WT:IRC

I've noticed over the festive period that the IRC channel has been quite popular. It's much, much more efficient than using user talk pages and pages like this one. Sadly there's often only two or three people on even at 'peak' times, if we could get our most active users (such as Equinox, Internoob, DCDuring) on there more often, we could discuss issues many many times quicker than you can on talk pages. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:55, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

But without the record of what was said when and by whom. IIRC, Wikipedia decisions have sometimes been criticised as done by an IRC-based "cabal" rather than on talk pages. (That's not to say that I dislike the IRC channel, but I see it mainly as a social venue.) Equinox 17:45, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
That is correct. Ok, it also allows working together on problems (disruptive editors, dubious entries). Some of my and others' RFD, RFV and RFC nominations have been based on IRC discussions. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:49, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The lack of record seems contrary to the spirit of wikiness for discussions with policy implications that don't require instant response. Vandalic "contributions" might warrant such response, but not where there is underlying substantive disagreement and non-negligible support for the "contributions". DCDuring TALK 18:30, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
It wouldn't be particularly difficult to log the IRC channel and publish the logs. That being said, the real value of the channel is to bounce ideas around informally before presenting them for on wiki discussion. Making final decisions there would be opaque and un-wiki, discussing them there is just expedient. The most important upside of the IRC channel is that it is informal and conversational, it adds a more social aspect to the project. A closer-knit community works together better, improving the project overall. - [The]DaveRoss 19:23, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The #wiktionary-gfdl channel is meant to be published, and Neskaya used to log it; I don't know whether that's still the case.​—msh210 (talk) 20:44, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Even so, an IRC log doesn't have the separation into topics of talk pages. It's just one huge mass full of irrelevant asides. Equinox 22:28, 29 December 2010 (UTC)


I created Category:Microsoft and populated it with existing terms. Sixty, to be exact. They include programs such as MS-DOS, PowerPoint, Excel and FrontPage, among functions and computer languages of that company. Our coverage may be increased by the addition of Word, Access and Windows, but I suppose they would be controversial. Thoughts? --Daniel. 17:20, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Subject to WT:BRAND. IMO, very unsuitable. Equinox 17:47, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

A Christmas Carol

I created the category A Christmas Carol and its members that name characters of the book, such as Ghost of Christmas Present. My rationale is that they are well-known, in addition to appearing in a huge number of adaptations for TV shows, including many that don't mention the source, thus passing WT:FICTION. --Daniel. 19:42, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Have they passed RfV? By what standard? How many RfV-passing characters are there in w:A Christmas Carol? Why would we want a topical category that is unlikely to have more than ten members? DCDuring TALK 19:49, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Delete this category named as a topical-context category (and apparently so intended, from its description on the category page). We do not include words used only in the context of one work of fiction, so if anything belongs in the category it (the sense) should be deleted.​—msh210 (talk) 19:55, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
None of these terms has passed RFV because nobody has created any RFV discussion for them. If they did, the foreseen standard would be WT:FICTION, as I said. Each topical category that is unlikely to have more than ten members should be analyzed by its own merits: Category:Days of the week is informative enough; Category:A Christmas Carol has the benefit of allowing me to create this BP discussion on these terms as a whole. The latter can be changed into Category:Charles Dickens, like Category:Lewis Carroll. The senses can be twisted to contain the fact that these characters were created by Charles Dickens but used in many other works. --Daniel. 20:03, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
The fundamental premise is wrong. There is no presumption favoring fictional characters when WT:FICTION makes inclusion time-consuming. Perhaps taking time to cite such entries in a way that meets the standard would help you see the problem. Or perhaps the problem is that you don't share the stated goals of the project to be a dictionary and not an encyclopedia competing with the mother ship, except for those with short attention spans. DCDuring TALK 20:23, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
"There is no presumption favoring fictional characters when WT:FICTION makes inclusion time-consuming." does not make sense.
Avoiding anything encyclopedia-like is one of many ways to make a dictionary compete with encyclopedias; please don't do it.
My message of "21:27, 28 December 2010 (UTC)" from this discussion contains some counterarguments that fit your understanding of "short-attention encyclopedia". --Daniel. 20:42, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
It is you who are making the dictionary "compete with encyclopedias" by putting loads of encyclopaedic material into the dictionary! Let a dictionary define words and an encyclopaedia expound on topics. Equinox 22:30, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Equinox, since we disagree in many subjects, it would be safer to expose and explain the merits of your opinions instead of giving plain instructions or orders when talking to me. --Daniel. 22:52, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you disagree,then, Daniel, that a dictionary is supposed to define words and an encyclopedia expound on topics?​—msh210 (talk) 05:03, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
No. I endorse the paragraph written by Lmaltier at "10:58, 30 December 2010 (UTC)", below, in this discussion. --Daniel. 12:29, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
It would be "safer" to say nothing and let you wreak your havoc undisturbed. I refuse. Equinox 09:29, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you refuse to expose and explain the merits of your opinions? --Daniel. 12:29, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
The term is not usual in English (while dictionnaire de langue is usual in French), but it might be better nonetheless to always use language dictionary to refer to Wiktionary, rather than simply dictionary, because encyclopedic dictionaries do exist (a classical example is the Petit Larousse (a French dictionary, providing both linguistic and encyclopedic information).
The differences between Wiktionary and Wikipedia are:
  • as Wiktionary studies words and Wikipedia studies topics, page titles must be words here, e.g. cat, New York, for instance (or prefixes, etc.) while any topic description could do for Wikipedia: words, but also List of ants of Minnesota, which is not a word.
  • here, information given in the page should be about the word, while it should be about the topic for Wikipedia (logically, the only common part should be the definition, but Wikipedia sometimes also provides some linguistic information).
Stating that a word is encyclopedic is meaningless: the contents of the page may be encyclopedic, but not the word. Lmaltier 10:58, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Mythological characters

Is there any consensus for the inclusion of gods and other characters of various mythologies, such as Jupiter, Bacchus, Osiris and Achilles, aside from the mere existence of these senses?

Naturally, my personal opinion is inclusionist. Apparently there is not any editor interested in deleting these senses as well. Am I wrong?

For what is worth, we have Category:Greek mythology with 226 members, Category:Roman mythology with 20 members and approximately a dozen of other categories of mythologies by culture. On the other hand, we are currently lacking Echo, Cloacina, Nefertem and various other characters. --Daniel. 21:46, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

We welcome all words (see beginning of CFI). Their meaning is important for providing a definition, but is irrelevant (or should be irrelevant) for inclusion, when it's obvious that they are words. But the sense is relevant for phrases, in order to ascertain that they can be considered as words. Lmaltier 22:10, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
In my unfashionable opinion, they are more worthy than recent pop culture (TV, anime, Web sites, etc.). But they should be defined as words and not encyclopaedia topics. Equinox 22:26, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
I would be happy if the entries for one-word names existed to carry the wikipedia links to the dab pages there, the translations or transliterations, the etymology, RTs, DTs, etc, and any attributive meaning they had as embodiments of specific well-defined attributes, where such usage was attestable. I see no reason to apply qualitatively different standards to Classical mythology or Harry Potter. I expect that attributive use of figures from Classical mythology would be easy to attest from sources before the 20th century. DCDuring TALK 23:18, 29 December 2010 (UTC)
Why looking for attributive uses, as they are words? The definition should always reflect the meaning: explaining in the definition that a cat is an animal, and what kind of animal, is necessary to be able to understand the word. It's the same for Jupiter: the meaning is the god, even if some figurative attributive uses exist, and the definition should reflect this fact. Anyway, attributive uses exist in English but, as they do not exist in other languages, this is not a possible criterion here. It seems clear to me that this criterion is very sound for Webster's (an English dictionary normally excluding proper nouns, surnames and given names, but including Abidjan because of a possible attributive use), but does not make sense for a dictionary describing all words of all languages. Lmaltier 10:35, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree: "the meaning [of Jupiter]] is the god, even if some figurative attributive uses exist, and the definition should reflect this fact". If we, hypothetically, find attributive uses for Jupiter, Bacchus, Osiris and Achilles as common nouns, then delete the proper noun definitions (resulting in the effect of the current Britney Spears, among other entries), the entries will probably seem incomplete. --Daniel. 12:55, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree on part of that. I see no reason to give mythology different treatment from pop culture. Lest we forget, Shakespeare was pop culture in his day, criticized for several centuries in fact. I just disagree that exclusion of Jupiter and all else is the best way to accomplish this. There are objective ways to determine which terms to allow. Subjective ones, you might agree, are only going to lead to a popularity contest, deciding which parts of our culture are to be embraced and which are to be detested. DAVilla 20:15, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
How can you define Jupiter as a "word" without mentioning anything encyclopedic like the Solar System or Roman mythology? No matter how you slice it, Jupiter is a proper noun, and it refers very specifically to a particular planet and to the individual god who was the son of Saturn. DAVilla 20:10, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
As the definition provides the meaning, there is something common with an encyclopedia in it, even for simple words as cat, but this must be limited to what is required to understand what the word means. There are objective ways to determine which terms to allow.: yes, the objective way is that we allow all of them. Any other way would be either subjective or arbitrary, or lead to disagreement between contributors. I don't understand why some words are not allowed here (I understand it for paper dictionaries, e.g. too recent words, but not here). Lmaltier 20:23, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Regarding Wiktionary:Votes/2010-09/Language codes in templates

I was thinking of organizing a new vote basically saying 'language codes are encouraged as much as possible, but some template also allow language names'. If I created such a thing, would other editors proof read it and/or vote on it? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:36, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

I might, for one. But what would be the purpose of such? Custom, which already includes the same 'rule', is as strong as a toothless voted-on policy, I think.​—msh210 (talk) 21:37, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
My lack of response says it all. I think. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:09, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

User:MalafayaBot for operation in article namespace

Hi, all.

I'm requesting authorization to run my interwiki bot in the article namespace. It runs in -auto mode which means no existing redirects will be removed.

Please, read and cast your vote at Wiktionary:Votes/bt-2010-12/User:MalafayaBot for operation in Article namespace. Thanks, Malafaya 14:51, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

The Bible and other books

We have entries for the Bible, and its books: Daniel, Mark, Genesis and others.

They comprise another group of proper nouns whose inclusion is unclear. If WT:BRAND applies to books, I suppose famous ones such as How to Win Friends and Influence People, War and Peace and Divine Comedy would be easily attestable, and most others would not.

All or most book titles fit the criterion of idiomaticy because their meanings of "A book [...]" cannot be inferred from its components. Nonetheless, I can see reasons for not making Wiktionary a compendium of every attestable title of book, which are related to the reasons for not making it a compendium of names of every living and dead person:

  1. One of these reasons is that the sense can usually be inferred from the context very easily. If an English student wants to understand and/or analyze the sentence "I was reading Harry Potter last week and I loved it!" by searching each word on Wiktionary, then every entry except Harry and Potter would be expected convey useful information about what exactly the speaker means, but the rest of the phrase already clarifies that Harry Potter is something written and entitled "Harry Potter". This is enough to understand the nature of this sense of the term "Harry Potter". If, alternatively, the sentence to be analyzed or understood were shorter, such as "I love Harry Potter!", the proper nouns still would be understood from the context, because it would be unusual to shout this on street without any introduction. It could be a discussion about movies; or even, about characters.
  2. Additionally, even when we accept the possibility of making an individual sense of proper noun for it that starts with "A book..." (generously avoiding the notion that titles of books comprised of multiple words are sums-of-parts), there is the fact that the title already explains something about the contents in the book. If the title is Harry Potter, it must be about a guy or something else named Harry Potter. It is short but explanatory enough.

These two reasons alone, as I see them, prove that in many situations, "Harry Potter" does not even need a definition in a dictionary to be understood, thus it fails the criterion of "A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means." from WT:CFI. The Bible also fails that criterion, since it etymologically merely means "book", not to mention that it is simply a bible (common noun: A comprehensive manual that describes something.)

One possible generic and simple interpretation is that all works of literature should be treated in the same way, thus excluded from Wiktionary. That is, we can hypothetically develop explicit rules for never adding the Bible here as the title of one or more specific religious books or collections of books. Similarly, we would formally exclude other famous titles, not to mention much less famous ones such as A history of language or Thought and language: an essay, having in view the revival, correction, and exclusive establishment of Locke's philosophy.

We seem to have very few titles of artistic works. Apparently, none of them are paintings, sculptures or musics: Monalisa and Für Elise are not defined on Wiktionary. Various of the works whose titles are defined here are fairy tales. If I remember correctly, one apparent criterion mentioned by IRC is that when the names of a fairy tale and its title character are spelled identically, we allow the inclusion of both, such as Little Red Riding Hood but never Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs nor The History of Tom Thumb. I personally don't take this criterion seriously, but apparently the groups of existing and nonexisting entries basically support it.

Thoughts? --Daniel. 16:02, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

You quote "A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means.". I think that sentence should be extended: looking for a meaning is not the only use of a dictionary, you might look for a spelling, a conjugation, a pronunciation, an etymology, etc.
When names can be considered as words, I see no problem, but this is very exceptional. An example is Parthenon: this is a word, and this word is the name of a work of art. Bible is another example. However, even when book titles are composed of a single word, this word normally means something, it should not be defined as a book title, but as this something. Generally speaking, such names (book titles, etc.) cannot be considered as words (e.g. Für Elise). The Italian Wiktionary used to include (or still includes?) a few book titles, translations being titles chosen when these books were published into other languages. I personnaly think we should not follow this example, because it's beyond the already huge scope of all words of all languages.
Little Red Riding Hood might be considered as a word (on the same grounds as Gulliver or Superman), but I agree that there is no reason to define two senses for this word, the character should be the only sense. Lmaltier 16:43, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Very simply, all specific entities should be attested in metaphorical use. This would permit War and Peace, Divine Comedy, and Harry Potter—just wrap the title with "the...of" in a Google Books search—presumably also Für Elise although those cites would be harder to hunt down, but would almost certainly exclude Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and How to Win Friends and Influence People (although oddly I was able to find one cite for the latter). DAVilla 19:15, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Shouldn't we be able to ascribe a particular meaning to the "metaphorical" use? At Donald Duck#Adjective the citations are focused on the voice of Donald Duck. That seems to be, by far, the most common attribute of w:Donald Duck that has entered the lexicon as something other than as the name of an individual. At WP there is often a section in the articles about various individuals with a title like "In popular culture" that can provide directions for searches for citations to support the kind of "metaphorical" use under discussion. I do not believe that three attestable instances of the formula "the [proper noun] of" is sufficient, unless it is clear that one set of attributes is being invoked. OTOH such searches may be effective in providing clues about the set of attributes that might be invoked in other usages of the proper name. DCDuring TALK 19:53, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
First let me just clarify that not all results for "the...of" are metaphoric/metaphorical, naturally. It is just an easy way to find such uses, which is otherwise extremely difficult to do in a text search.
Your proposal is too restrictive, in my opinion. It would require citing not just metaphorical use, but implicit understanding of a particular attribute, meaning all three metaphors must agree. Often it's not exactly clear which quality a metaphor refers to in the first place. It might work in some cases, but it's not like authors spell these things out for us. Criteria formed on this basis would be a nightmare even scarier than WT:BRAND. DAVilla 20:49, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
When something is a word (specific entity or not), there is no need for a metaphorical use to be included. You probably mean that a metaphorical use transforms something into a word even when it was not possible to consider it as a word before this use. Lmaltier 20:16, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
The reason to cite metaphorical use is to show that the term is part of the lexicon, not just a name. Of course it is a name, and should be defined, in my opinion, as the thing we all know it to be, by why some names and not others?
In DCDuring's example of Donald Duck above, we have
  • "local patrons can request that their greeting be sung in Donald Duck voice"
    It is not literally Donald Duck's voice, it is people impersonating Donald Duck.
  • "banish those irritating Donald Duck squeaks and quacks from speeded-up playback"
    Here it isn't even imitating Donald Duck deliberately.
  • "his voice had risen into the Donald Duck register"
    This register existed before there was the cartoon character. Speaking this way has no direct connection to Donald Duck. It's called that only because of the similarity, but they are not the same.
Metaphor is saying something is Donald Duck when it's not. Contrast that with the fourth quotation, which is a simile:
  • And then the most Donald Duck-like screaming and jabbering you ever heard.
DAVilla 20:35, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Right, similes don't count for this kind of attestation, though they illustrate a related usage. DCDuring TALK 20:54, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
  • @Maltier
That ship has sailed some years ago. We already exclude brand names, for example, and took the trouble to have a vote specifically including toponyms (which remain pathetically non-comprehensive, even random, in their coverage, a discredit to Wiktionary, IMHO). We are trying to decide on the desirability on include some proper nouns now. Whether we will ultimately include all proper nouns or all collocations is not really at issue now. There is almost no objection to the inclusion of single-word terms, though there is some objection (eg, by me) to include senses that refer to individuals. It already depends on an extended definition of "word" to include any multi-word term. I think our arguments about which class or types of proper noun words we could include now should be less based on arguments from first principles and more on practical considerations. One consideration is whether we can do a creditable job of including a large portion of the class of terms, at least in English.
I suppose another practical consideration is the possible role of proper noun (names of individual entities) in recruiting newbies. Names of specific entities are easy enough for our newest contributors to add given the skills, time, and motivation that they bring. Proper nouns often require no painful effort to attest to their meaning or painful conceptual effort to ascertain their meaning. As such they provide some nice easy entries. Perhaps we should reserve such proper-noun entries (for specific individuals) for unregistered users. Our more experienced and skilled contributors could work on correcting the entries and trying to convince the newbies to register and work on mainstream entities. DCDuring TALK 20:54, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
We don't include names, we include words (whatever they mean). But many names are considered as words, and there are etymologic (not encyclopedic) dictionaries about place names, etc. Here, I understand word in its linguistic sense: this is not an extended sense, this is the sense given in word (but I understand that most people might understand this term more or less in its typographical sense, this is the difficulty with polysemic words). Lmaltier 21:38, 30 December 2010 (UTC)
Mainly from DAVilla's comments, I believe Citations:Oxford English Dictionary is very attestable, in addition to already having five citations. --Daniel. 05:20, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
It's a typical example of a name which is not a word. We might consider that the last two quotes (not the first ones) in this page use this name as a word. But, as this figure of speech may be applied to any proper name, including your own full name or mine, I feel uneasy about allowing this name on these grounds. Dealing with true words is a huge enough task. Lmaltier 09:16, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
For anyone who's keeping count, only one of those OED quotations is metaphorical use, incidentally. The rest are merely out of context. DAVilla 16:47, 31 December 2010 (UTC) Updated. DAVilla 09:16, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Lingua Franca Nova

Apparently we had a lot of terms in this constructed language until recently. If we were to vote to include this language then now would be a good time to say something. You may also be interested in this current vote. DAVilla 02:52, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Is there any significant body of text that is durably archived? Looking at the Wikipedia page, I don't see any evidence that there is a single work of any length that is durably archived.--Prosfilaes 07:53, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
What difference does that make? Wiktionary covers many languages like that. --Yair rand (talk) 08:03, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't see why we would include a language that has no words that could pass WT:CFI. And I don't think it does; virtually all natural languages are durably archived, by linguists if no one else.--Prosfilaes 08:23, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Read the Wikipedia page itself, and references. I cannot understand how you can state that no word would be includable. Lmaltier 09:04, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
What words do we have in three independent durably archived sources? Between Usenet and published materials, what's available? All I see is a lot of stuff on Wikia and a couple English-language articles that at best use Lingua Franca Nova words for short example snippets.--Prosfilaes 00:57, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, there needs to be three independent citations in durably archived sources. So he has a point. -- Prince Kassad 17:04, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
You would want to delete everything in Category:!Xóõ nouns? The "three durably archived uses" is really built for English words, sometimes for some other major languages. This part of CFI is really broken, it doesn't allow most words. The best we can get to is consider virtually all works in languages with a small literary base to be "well-known works", try and count everything in small languages to be "clearly widespread use", and ignore as many instances as possible. There is a pretty clear consensus that we should include "all languages", including minor ones, and to include "all words", not just the top few that might be attestable. The real dispute right here is what makes something a "language", which is by the definition a "form of communication", which means that the issue here is whether LFN is used by people to communicate. As to the answer to that, I have no idea. --Yair rand (talk) 17:20, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't see why if someone invents a word for "modem" in !Xóõ, that it's any more notable then any other word that's invented and used by one person. I don't know what is recorded about !Xóõ, but linguists have made it their life's job to record languages, so for all real languages, there are durably archived records. If you want to permit attestation from one durable source or even a durable dictionary (which would certainly cover these !Xóõ words), that's one thing. But if we permit people to add words claiming they're !Xóõ with no evidence, nobody will have any reason to trust that, especially not the linguists who about the only people that will care.
If in 20 years there's durably archived uses of Lingua Franca Nova, then we can include the language. If not, then likely there will be nothing left of the language and no one will be interested in looking up words in it.--Prosfilaes 23:40, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the three independent citations rules was designed to exclude "words" somebody has invented some day, but are not really words of the language. If I use britchinettery in a sentence, and I explain that this word means cat, that does not make it an English word. And the durably archived rule is only for verifiability. If verifiability can be achieved through other means (e.g. several contributors testifying that the word has been used on some sites, even if these uses are not accessible any more), I see no problem. Basic principles (such as all words, all languages) are much more important than rules, when they seem to contradict. Lmaltier 17:38, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
For what is worth, Lmaltier's guideline of "If verifiability can be achieved through other means (e.g. several contributors testifying that the word has been used on some sites, even if these uses are not accessible any more), I see no problem." would probably make Citations:plotkai attestable. (The entry formally isn't attestable due to the lack of durable archived sources, since editors achieved the consensus that these forums and other websites are not durably archived.) --Daniel. 21:00, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
If you use britchinettery in a sentence meaning cat, then in the sentence you wrote it means cat, and is as much English as the rest of the sentence. We should turn away nonce and idiosyncratic uses, but I don't think we can justify that as "are not really words of the language". Perhaps I should say that you're appealing to a Platonic interpretation of language that I don't think is justifiable; there is no bright-line test of when or if kawaii or Clintonomics or britchinettery or antidisestablishmentarianism became real terms of English, nor whether a text is Scots, English or Middle English. I have problems with any form of verifiability that that does not demand a citation that can be checked indefinitely in the future, and as a dictionary for the ages, I wonder about the long-term value of any entry for words that may not exist outside the entry in the future.--Prosfilaes 00:39, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
I think the real key point here is that language serves as a form of communication between people. So it all comes down to whether the word actually communicates the same idea to multiple people. If you use a word and there are others who understand it without having to ask, then I would say the word has entered the language at least in a limited way. The next point from there is just a matter of how many people are aware of the meaning compared to how many that aren't. —CodeCat 01:12, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
You are right. People invent words all the time and, if they can be easily understod, they may be considered as English words. My POD (Pocket Oxford Dictionary) considers that all adjectives built as noun + -like must be considered as correct English words. This might make antidisestablishmentarianismlike an English word (as soon as somebody needs to use it). But it's not the case for words invented for the fun and that nobody understands and nobody has ever understood. Lmaltier 15:32, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
But words that nobody understands and nobody has ever understood aren't really the question. (Well, except for Selah and a few other translation words and words from well-known works.) What about CFI? You're sitting in a community of people who can read CFI in running text and understand what it means. What about floopy? One hundred students in Springfield Middle School agree on what floopy means and in five years no one will ever use floopy with that meaning. Words come into existence and disappear from record all the time. Do we really want every definition of floopy that two English speakers have mutually understood?--Prosfilaes 19:49, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Including local words is useful, yes, including floopy or rare ones. And why not CFI: including it here would be especially useful to readers. But I would not call an English word a word shared by only 2 speakers (as a joke, as a code, or otherwise) and not understood by anybody else. Lmaltier 21:33, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Fine, Floopy, of a fart, to be noisy and disrupt class. I can have three sockpuppets users aver that's used at Springfield Middle School. Not that anyone will ever come looking for that definition, or if they do, they will be able to find the right one under the pile of definitions.
Again, you're acting like there's a Platonic definition of language. I certainly don't agree that a word used in English sentences between monolingual English speakers can be said not to be an English word; it is certainly a unit of language, with meaning to its user and those he's using it to, and English is the only language it could be a part of. You can't dismiss this issue by reference to "real" English words; you're going to have to set lines excluding words only used between two people. (Three? Four?) And then while we're replacing CFI, you're going to have to find a way to tell whether a word fits the standards, and I for one don't see any way of telling whether a word is in current use among a small verbal community or is just made up and not really used. (And looking at Google Books, I don't think CFI would be especially useful to readers if we tossed the current rules to the side, as I can see at least six new definitions for CFI from the first couple pages of hits, and I can easily see a dozens and dozens of definitions with a little work. Wikipedia has sixteen, and that only includes two out of the six.)--Prosfilaes 23:23, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
When there are too many senses, the best way is to organize them by domain. There are dictionaries of initialisms, and they really help. Lmaltier 09:23, 2 January 2011 (UTC)