Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2010/February

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Beer parlour archives edit

February 2010


After years in Wiktionary, I am still unclear about the distinction between RFD and RFV:

  • (a) When I see a sense in an entry that I think should be deleted, how do decide whether I should send it to RFD or RFV? What is the as-complete-as-possible decision procedure?
  • (b) What are the exemplary cases or prototypes that mark the boundary between the terrains of RFD and RFV?
  • (c) If I see an English definition in "green car" which is sum-of-parts and I assume there is no quick deletion process, where do I send it?
  • (d) If I see an English definition in "caraxar" which is likely a word that does not occur at all, where do I send it?
  • (e) Is there anything that prevents the merging of RFD and RFV processes? What are the main disadvantages of the merge, if any?

--Dan Polansky 11:32, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

(a) If it is a "word", in the CFI sense of idiomatic expression; but you are not sure whether it is a protologism or nonce, then it should go to RFV. If it is not a protologism or a nonce, but it might not be a "word", in the CFI sense, then it should go to RFD. If you think it is neither, then it's up to you, probably just delete it :).
(b) perhaps "squash bucket" "a bucket full of squash" ":he drank a squash bucket" - is this an idiomatic term, or just a strange way to say "bucket of squash", like water glass I suppose; but in this case it's not likely to be attestable either.
(c) RFD. (it's clearly attestable, but probably not a word)
(d) RFV. (it probably would be a word, but it's not clearly attestable)
(e) At the moment a failed RFV => delete, and a failed RFD => keep. Conrad.Irwin 12:52, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Re: "a failed RFD => keep": Logically that's what makes sense (someone requested that the page/entry/section/sense be deleted, the request failed, the entry was kept), but in practice, I don't think anyone uses the term that way. One of our stock deletion reasons, for example, is "Failed RFD or RFDO; do not re-enter". (The idea is that the page/entry/section/sense itself "failed" to pass muster.) —RuakhTALK 15:52, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
A difference between RFD and RFV, which may be what Conrad meant, is that a stale RFD, one on which no one comments, is adjudged a "keep" whereas a stale RFV (in which no one comments or adds citations to the entry or its citations: page) is a "delete". Another difference, in further answer to Dan's "(e)" question, is that RFV is for seeking citations whereas RFD is for debate.​—msh210 16:26, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I must admit that I also get confused between these two areas and, as often as not, put things in the wrong one. I shall try to be more careful. SemperBlotto 16:30, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Responding to all the previous discussion: Thank you for the explanation. I had no idea that RFV is per default more lethal for entries than RFD—that a stale RFV means the entry can be deleted; and I find it a bit counterintuitive. Deletion is not requested in the name "Request for verification". In any case, both RFV and RFD are potentially lethal for entries and senses.
Merging the RFV and RFD processes into one RFD process seems a good thing to do, reducing the cognitive cost of deciding where to post an entry, freeing the memory taken by the decision procedure, and reducing the number of pages for an editor to watch and repeatedly visit. It has happened several times that editors were moving requests from RFV to RFD or vice versa. The decision procedure would be the following: if you doubt that an entry or sense meets CFI, send it to RFD, with an explanation of what makes you think it fails CFI such as "sum of parts" or "I can't find proper citations in durably archived sources". For the case that an entry gets stale, I'd propose to keep it with the option of reopening a RFD for it later. That would mean that, for the entries suspected of unattestability, one or two additional editors would have to post a notice to the effect of "I can't find an attestation either" to get the entry or sense deleted. Thoughts? --Dan Polansky 08:17, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Given that both pages perform different functions, and both are already enourmous, I do not like this idea. Maybe we could refer to RFV as "Requests for attestation" or something. Deletion from RFV is only a side-effect of the entry not being attestable; deletion from RFD is a conscious decision made by debate. It seems to me likely that merging the pages would further encourage "debate" about RFV issues, it's not about what we think, it's about what evidence there is. I think the headings at the top of each page make the distinction clear, though I know no-one reads them :). Conrad.Irwin 09:46, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Renaming RFV to "Requests for attestation" would be an improvement.
Even evidence needs to be judged by someone as relevant or irrelevant and valid or invalid, so something like voting may be needed. In the absence of notes by editors, the closing of an issue is left to the judgment of the closing editor.
I find the headings of the RFD and RFV pages unclear, and I sure have read them several times :p :). The first sentence of the RFV page says: "Requests for Verification is Wiktionary’s forum for verifying whether a definition meets our criteria for inclusion." This sentence seems wrong: (a) it is not a forum, it is a formal process page; (b) it does not say what "verify" means other than "check"; (c) it refers to criteria for inclusion in general, so it refers both to (i) attestability, and (ii) idiomacity AKA non-SOP-ness. The first sentence of RFD: "This page is where users can propose and discuss the deletion of pages in the main namespace (see the nomination category)." From reading the first sentences—and I think the scope of each of the pages can be captured in one sentence—, the scopes of the pages are the same: a sense or an entry should be deleted if and only if it fails criteria for inclusion.
If the processes should be kept separate, which I don't like, the first sentences of RFV could read: "Requests for Verification is a page for requests for attestation of a term or a sense, leading to deletion of the term or a sense unless an editor provides an attestation in the form of citation from three durably archived sources as specified in Criteria for inclusion; requests for deletion based on the claim that the term or sense is nonidomatic AKA sum of parts should be posted to RFD." --Dan Polansky 10:18, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I have moved the fixed explanatory part of WT:RFV to a dedicated header, and edited that header to make the text hopefully clearer and easier to navigate. --Dan Polansky 12:11, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Conrad (09:46, 3 February 2010 (UTC)). Note also that RFV and RFD were one page and were split. I suggest going back to see why they were split before merging them again.​—msh210 16:26, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Where's interwicket??

Where's interwicket bot? Since Febuary 1st interwikcet has disappeared from all wikt projects. Does somebody know what happened? Andino 06:36, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Oddly, Autoformat hasn't made any edits since January 29, and Tbot hasn't made any since January 7. How strange. --Yair rand 06:45, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I have emailed Robert Ullmann. Conrad.Irwin 09:22, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
If he doesn't answer, we might want to run the bot ourselves as a makeshift measure. I'm sure people will volunteer. -- Prince Kassad 09:33, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I did offer this, noting the "This code runs on a highly modified version of the Python Wikipedia framework, [] , don't try to run it as is! If you would like to use it, either steal (;-) all you like on your own responsibility, or ask me; I'll be very glad to help.". That said the last time I borroed Interwicket it did seem to work, but that was before it became such a massive thing. Conrad.Irwin 09:37, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I think it's better to ask other users to do this work too. When Robert Ullmann can't run the bot, we'll have other bots working. Interwik bots are very important to keep all wikt projects united. Andino 01:58, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Has Ullmann answered yet? I have a feeling Štambuk finally killed him and buried somewhere. If so, dibs on Tbot. --Vahagn Petrosyan 02:25, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
If you run Tbot, I will have my little friend destroy you and all that you love. It's a glorified and automated version of RF. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:59, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
No. Interwicket is the most important one to get going again, followed by Autoformat I think. Conrad.Irwin 12:29, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
That said, it seems to be running again. Special:Contributions/Interwicket Special:Contributions/AutoFormat

Abbreviations as palindromes

While cleaning up palindrome categories, I noticed that a common description scheme in a handful of these categories stated that abbreviations should not be their members. For example, Category:English abbreviations should not contain HH, txt or B2B. Why? --Daniel. 06:41, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Abbreviations are not words in the strict sense, they're just a combination of letters used as a replacement for a longer word. As they may contain any combination of letters (and numerals and even special characters) and thus are much more likely to be palindromic, their inclusion makes no sense. -- Prince Kassad 09:37, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
However, some abbreviations have become words in the sense that they are pronounced as words rather than individual letters. An example would be lol, now often pronounced [lɒl] by many people. —CodeCat 11:00, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
If a distinction between "strict" words and palindrome categorization resulted, either from a previous discussion or from your thoughts, I'd like to know more about it. Otherwise, I see no such distinction inherently. For instance, if any Spanish phrase or suffix meets CFI and is a palindrome, I'd expect it to be at [[Category:Spanish palindromes]]. --Daniel. 14:09, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Abbreviations, too.​—msh210 17:27, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I also agree. If you are interested only in "not-abbreviation" palindromes, it's usually easy to get them as they are not in capitals. Lmaltier 19:47, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Would you accept a as a translingual palindrome? What about - or +? Mglovesfun (talk) 19:57, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Including single-character palindromes is going a step further, of course: it doesn't follow necessarily from inclusion of abbreviations. That said, I have no strong feelings either way about it (unlike multi-character abbreviations, which we should count as palindromes imo, as I stated).​—msh210 17:22, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Institutionalism of languages

Hi everybody, I would like to raise the attention about a serious function of the language which is (at least) different between French and English, and perhaps concerns also all the countries relying on the French Code Civil and on the German Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch (thanks to our German fellows to comment me this point). Please I apologise for the bilingualism of this question but I think it will illustrate the problem better.

In French laws « Nul n'est censé ignorer la loi »[1]. It doesn't mean « Ignorance of law is no excuse » but « Nobody is supposed to ignore the law » and this is the funding stone of the French legal system: Any (French) citizen with an average level of litteracy (Baccalaureate) must be able to read and understand the Codes (at least the Code Civil because it concerns everybody: weddings, heirlooms, private properties, etc). And the interpretation of these Codes by the judges (which are not lawyers but graduates from a School of Magistrature for Civil and Criminal cases) must be strict. Previous cases are not binding the judges, but the Code relevant to the case binds them. These Codes can be freely read in any Public Library in France. (and there are even now English translations available on www.legifrance.gouv.fr if you're more interested)

In the Common Laws countries, the Acts of Parliaments or Congress are sometimes hard to understand and don't cover all the particular situations. Therefore the judges themselves make the laws because the previous cases are binding. To really "know the law", you need to ask it to lawyers who have sometimes browsed myriads of previous cases in specialised libraries (although the most important cases are taughts in Schools of Law). Therefore if for the English-speaking citizen « Ignorance of law is no excuse », you cannot expect average people (High School graduate) to be able to access easily to the knowledge of Common Laws.

Where it comes to concern our "business of linguists", it is about the flexibility and evolution of the language. Because of the legal and civil impact, there is a mechanism of "officialization" of the French language through recognized institutions (ie. Académie Française) which doesn't exists as such in English. (what about German?) It causes sometimes issues when for example a new mean of communication becomes suddenly broadly available to all citizen and that people pretend to use them in court or to communicate with the Public Administration. I am talking here of the "emails" which have stressed the French institutions because they had to decide quite quickly between the words "emails", "courriel", "e-courrier", "courrier electronique", etc to choose one and make it "officially" part of the language. I think that's a serious reason why the French language cannot evolve with the same "freedom" than English and that the "Littré"[2] is still today an official reference of the French language.

And I haven't read so far any mention about this problem among linguists. (otherwise I simply missed the entry in this Wiki and I would sincerely apologise for this buzz). Thanks a lot in advance for your comment about this question. -- Silwilhith 23:25, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

  1. ^ JP. Sartre, Qu'est-ce que la littérature?
    • Nul n'est censé ignorer la loi parce qu'il y a un code et que la loi est chose écrite : après cela, libre à vous de l'enfreindre, mais vous savez les risques
    • Nobody is supposed to ignore the law because there is a code and the law is a written thing : after that, you are free to infringe it, but you know the risks [the amount of fines and the possible duration of imprisonnement]
    What I think a person used to Common Laws would have culturally translated (which is not the case in the "official translation" of Sartre) :
    • Ignorance of law is no excuse because the previous, binding cases are published in written [though making hundredth of bookshelves] : But only a lawyer can tell you if you're infringing laws, and what level of risks you are actually taking
    Beyond the "difference of story" in these utterances, please have a thought about the relationship between people and their language when it comes to talk about ethics, rights, duties, liberties, etc and the possibilities to make their language changing: If the French(wo)men develop a language which differs too much of the one written in their Codes, they won't be capable to know their rights and legal duties by themselves and it will then challenge the core of their Legal System (good luck then to keep the stability of the Society).
  2. ^ Émile Littré. 1863. Dictionnaire de la langue française
While there is a high coincidence of countries with Civil law also having a "language regulator" for the dominant language, this is not always the case. Malaysia uses common law but has the w:Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka for regulating Malaysian and Vietnam uses Civil Law but has not regulating body for Vietnamese. Wiktionary takes a descriptivist stance (see Wiktionary:What Wiktionary is not and Wiktionary:Descriptivism). We describe how the language is actually used and generally take no stance on how it should be used. We will often note what various authorities have to say about issues as well, though this may be confined to "Usage notes". --Bequwτ 19:48, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Bequw. These issues are not related. Specialized legal terms are used much more by lawyers than by laws (at least in France).
There is no regulation about the French language, except (in France) rules that people correcting official exams are supposed to follow, and the fact that companies writing tenders for official calls for tenders are supposed to use French. There is also a law about the use of French in advertising (for protecting consumers).
There is a traditional official body about the French language (Académie française), but it's composed of writers, not linguists, it only delivers recommendations and writes a dictionary. These recommendations and this dictionary have no legal impacts.
And, no, the Littré is not an official reference (fortunately!).
Lmaltier 20:12, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Well if you think that the Civil Code has been written for being read by lawyers only, I am afraid you would have missed something serious during your Civic Education course @ school! ;-) I invite you to read the chapter Codification et Consolidation which would give you another perspective. :-) (English version available here)
Concerning the Littré, I invite you to read Fulvia Fiorino in Le Nouveau Littré et les autres while I will double-check your opinion with some Professors of French in France, because it doesn't seem to be the opinion of publishers of litterature that I know.
But just by thinking at how the French language is taught at school (2ndary educ) I think you are simply just wrong: this teaching is based on the reading of texts (of authors as old as Michel de Montaigne) which majority has been either used by Émile Littré to write his Dictionnaire, or either written when the Littré was then definitively the reference for writers.
So if you consider that French schools (collèges & lycées) teach a language that is not 'official French', I think you're seriously challenging the fundations of your mother language. :-D Actually I would even advance this was also the opinion of Michel Foucault that I read in Archeology of Knowledge where he explains the language enriches itself officially from writers like Balzac (1st half XIXth Century), but only unofficially from the people in the streets. Did I misread him?
Again this problem of 'officially correct language' (nearly 'frozen') versus 'everyday/everybody language' ('dynamic') seems undocumented in Wiktionary. And as words and expressions are documented here, wikinautes (any people) can think it is 'correct language'. So why wouldn't we end up by documenting SMS abbreviations too, and using them in a Court, heh?
Does it make more sense? Cheers. -- Silwilhith 03:28, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Post-Scriptum: Ok, I have found some data of what I meant in Appendix:French spelling reforms of 1990 and in Wikipedia:Reforms of French orthography. I think/hope the wikinaute (if s/he finds it) would understand there is a notion of 'official French' (approved by institutions) and of 'casual French' (unapproved). And if I get a moment to pull up my sleeves, I would write down an English summary of Linguistic laws among the World. Many thanks all the same. :-) -- Silwilhith 05:40, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree that French laws are written in normal French and are supposed to be readable (this is what I was meaning: lawyers use technical terms, laws try not to use them). I also agree that French tends to be taught as a frozen language with frozen rules, and even that some grammar rules we learn are actually wrong because they are simplified too much. But this is not something official. I assume that Foucault was referring to usual dictionaries when using the word official, but this is not how I understand the word. On the otehr hand, the spelling "rectifications"" of 1990 have something official, but are only recommandations, and traditional spelling is not considered incorrect. The Académie française approved them, but also added that usage will eventually decide. Lmaltier 07:29, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Capitals for pets

To continue a discussion that has arisen at puli in RFD which I believe would be better served here. After reading the RFD discussion, it seems that a lot of contributors are in favour of doubling up all the lower case entries as upper case entries also, simply because they can be found in large quantities in Google. This is referring to, or will eventually affect, the following; Category:Mammals, Category:Birds, Category:Insects, Category:Plants, Category:Flowers, Category:Trees, Category:Chemistry, to name a few. My opinion is that this is not only unnecessary, but also pretty pointless, and even counter-productive. Capitals are for proper nouns, and words with proper nouns at their root. Any specialist book about any of the above categories (and others I have not mentioned) will almost de rigueur use capitals, but this does not mean that Wikt should follow suit. A birding book will spell "blackbird" as "Blackbird". A book about trees will spell "oak" as "Oak". And so on. There seems to be developing a kind of lemming logic with regard to this. Opinions please, with a view to setting something down in black and white to prevent this discussion from rearing its ugly head again and again. -- ALGRIF talk 15:50, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

If the word that is properly spelled in the uppercase can legitimately be spelled in the lowercase (at least, for the majority of people) then it would at least be an alternative spelling. By the way, why is this section titled "Capitals for Pets"? That brings to mind "Fido" and "Rover" and "Spot". bd2412 T 16:14, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
All words can legitimately be spelt in uppercase. What are you suggesting? All words to be doubled up? Which is where the original discussion seems to be heading, btw. (Couldn't think of anything better. The discussion started at puli, a type of pet dog). -- ALGRIF talk 16:43, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
I thought the question is whether the routine practice within a context of capitalizing certain commons nouns in running text makes the capitalized form worth an entry. This is an extension of the original RfD about whether the uncapitalized form should be deleted. "Puli" is routinely capitalized in the dog-breeding and -showing context, but not in more general usage. DCDuring TALK 16:59, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
That is what I meant by "properly spelled in the uppercase" - that the uppercase spelling is the proper spelling, irrespective of the location of the word in a sentence. bd2412 T 17:26, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
My impression is that breed names should be capitalized, including . Non-breed names and names for groups of breeds (, ) should be lowercase. In your example should be lowercase, as it refers generically to many breeds of birds, but would be capitalized. I do agree that we shouldn't merely go by the number of hits a particular spelling gets on Google. - [The]DaveRoss 16:54, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
If we don't rely on data from the free corpora we have been using about forms-in-the-wild, what authorities do we accept for such prescriptions? The AKC? An international body? A different organization for each breed? DCDuring TALK 16:59, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
As I noted in afformentioned RFDdiscussion, the AKC and dog clubs tend to use fully capitalized versions. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 17:03, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that we should accept such organizations' decisions as determinative of the correct orthography for terms in their context as applicable outside that context, eg, in normal people's ordinary discussion? Do we care that others don't follow the practices of the priesthood of cynolatry? DCDuring TALK 23:17, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

"The discussion started at puli, a type of pet dog)" - The Puli is a herding dog. Any dog can be a pet dog. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 17:03, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

I think that capitalization is used to make clear that what is referred to is a generic name, e.g. the name of the kind of dog, not of a particular member of the species (or race, etc.). This is one of the cases allowing capitals in English words normally written without them, some other ones being: beginning of sentences, titles, ideas / virtues when personalized (e.g. Freedom), etc. It's pointless to create all these entries, as they are the result of a general rule, just like capitalizing words at the beginning of sentences. I would not call any of theses cases a spelling issue, the spelling is the same with and without capital, the capital is only an indication of something. Lmaltier 23:35, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

We tend to lexicalize lots of things that are essentially rule-based, for example, numbers, English words prefixed with non- and un-, many compounds, inflected forms.
As to this one in particular, what should the Appendix be called? What are the specific rules? I suspect that there are more contributors with the ability and motivation to make the entries, than there are to write the Appendix. DCDuring TALK 00:14, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
The capital should be used in page titles when this capitalization belongs to the normal spelling (e.g. proper nouns). For animals, plants, abstract ideas, etc. (and, of course, words used in book titles), I don't see the point of pages with capitalized titles, nor of appendices. But a template with a standard text might be used, as a usage note: it might be useful, because people often don't understand when they may use the capital, and when they should not. Lmaltier 08:09, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Evidently not.
Titles and the beginning of sentences are an entirely separate matter.
The issue is: when, in running text, "can" or "should" a capitalized form be used? There is no law that forbids the use of capitals in running text. Descriptivists act as if they believe that speakers and writers are, statistically speaking, pretty good at knowing what is likely to work in communicating to their audience and readers. Thus, we tend to infer "can" or "should" from "is", in a Nietzschean sort of way. In the dog-breed industry they seem to prefer the upper case in running text. In normal writing writers prefer the lower case.
The follow-up question is whether the capitalized and uncapitalized forms mean something different. Does the capitalized form usually refer to the breed and the uncapitalized form usually refer to a member of the breed? That would take a little roll-up-your-sleeves investigation.
To approach this as a matter of rules implies that we know the rules in the major contexts and that we will know when the rules change in those contexts. It is the genius of an online wiki that we don't have to make those assumptions. We can make entries in accordance with our understanding of the rules and accumulate objections to the presentation and data supporting our presentation on a case-by-case basis. DCDuring TALK 11:01, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Babel category changes

I'd like to propose two changes to the Babel categories.

  1. Add all language speakers to the base language category. Categories such as [[Category:User ar]] by default have only the level categories (Category:User ar-N, Category:User ar-0, etc.) as members. Some users, however, manually add themselves to the base User lang category (see several in Category:User en). This hodge-podge probably isn't very helpful to a user browsing the language categories looking for someone who speaks a certain language. Therefore, I propose all babel templates (except level 0) add users to the base language category.
  2. Remove the User lang-0 categories. The User lang-0 templates are only useful on a user's page (when there would be reason to think s/he would have knowledge of a language) but the category is useless. Technically, almost everyone should be member of Category:User ast-0.

I think these might also be good for the script Babel categories. --Bequwτ 20:40, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

The template User en-0 would be quite useful for someone with a SUL account but no knowledge of English. However the category does indeed seem to be useless. I have almost no knowledge of thousands of languages. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:44, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
The templates should have a sortkey so all users with xx-1, xx-2 etc. are sorted together in the category. Otherwise I agree. -- Prince Kassad 21:43, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean all the ar0-1 users are classed under 1 in the Arabic category? Mglovesfun (talk) 14:59, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and so on with -2, -3, -4 and finally the native speakers. -- Prince Kassad 21:18, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any use to dumping all users in the main category. I always browse by skill level.
I do agree that the xx-0 categories are pretty useless... I can't really think of a reason to seek out a person who doesn't speak a certain language, except perhaps as a cross reference, like someone who speaks Galician but not Spanish or Portuguese. But I can't think of a wiktionary-useful reason to search for such a person....etcetc. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:53, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
A possible use of -0 is to indicate interest in a language or early-stage learning. Such persons could possibly be recruited to undertake some low-level cleanup of entries in the language etc. DCDuring TALK 16:22, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I'd be happy with keeping all languages with ISO codes (even ones that don't meet CFI like Klingon) levels 1-4. Also I like double categorization - so anyone if fr-3 is automatically in fr, but not sorted by number as the individual categories (1, 2, 3 and 4) already do that, so it would just be duplication. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:30, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
A slightly knowledgeable user can still find all the lang-0 user by looking at what links to the template (eg Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:User es-0). So the question is whether there would be a use for the lang-0 categories for unknowledgeable users. --Bequwτ 19:00, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • The changes sound reasonable to me. (While we're at it, I'd like to get rid of the "level 5" option, too.) Ƿidsiþ 16:36, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
    Already done. It redirects to -4. --Bequwτ 20:29, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

ISO codes

Many ISO codes were recently RFV'd, requesting citations of use which probably don't exist. We have no official policy on including ISO codes at the moment, although we do have very many entries for them and a category. The issue, as far as I can tell, remains unresolved. So the question here is: Do we want these? If so, can we make a policy stating it? --Yair rand 20:15, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't like our naming system for topic categories (Category:fr:Trees and so on), but until we change it to something better, I think we should keep these entries whether or not these codes are ever actually used as terms. (After that point, I'm not sure.) —RuakhTALK 20:28, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I would like to include these. However they do not come under the category of "all words in all languages". I see that, as an unlimited "dictionary", we can be a useful repository for all kinds of look-up. Airport codes, iso codes, numeric standards, train specifications, unicode characters, etc. in addition to, and without sacrificing our ability to lookup the meaning of "words". Up until now it has been the de-facto assumption that this is what we want to do (hence so many of all of the above are already included). It seems that there is a growing feeling that these don't belong in a dictionary; but I have yet to hear any convincing reasons why they should not. I suspect this issue will end up like the inclusionist/deletionist debate on Wikipedia - and in many ways it is related. Even though a traditional dictionary/encyclopedia would not include such information, an online version of the same can be more useful to more people by including more information. Relagation to Appendices would be a workable compromise, providing that the appendices are consistently linked to (using {{only in}} or some kind of "see also") from the page of the correct form of the entry. Conrad.Irwin 20:46, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree there's an inclusionist/exclusionist feeling about the debate. This is an area where a Wikipedia/Wiktionary join task force could help focus resources and direct users appropriately. Here's how I break down the issue (please add to this list).

Probably unattestable:


  • Unicode: wikt (and NS0 entries) and wiki

Probably attestable:

As wikipedia covers all of them, I think Wiktionary should focus on where there's linguistic content (translations, inflections, etc.). So I think we should focus on the attestable ones (the others are in appendices). I also think our CFI should be independent of our category naming scheme (Help/Wiktionary/Appendix pages should of course be provided). --Bequwτ 21:30, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Are people aware that many language name entries link to the ISO code entry? (For example: Hebrew: proper noun: "The language of the Hebrew people, ISO 639 code he.") --Yair rand 00:46, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Those are in a small minority of language name entries. The codes usually shouldn't be on the definition lines because it creates circularity. They should be noted using something like {{ISO 639}} or {{ethnologue}} in an External links section. Either way though it's a side issue since it's just some cleanup. --Bequwτ 04:12, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Category:English terms spelled with ſ

Why does this exist? In English, ſ is generally considered a subspelling issue--it's the way s appears in the middle of a word--and it's used in every word with a medial s in that font style. Is it really useful to have these duplicate articles for about a third of the words in English (or at least pre-19th century English)? (And if they need to exist, shouldn't they be at diſtinguiſh instead of diſtinguiſh?)--Prosfilaes 23:15, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

You might enjoy Wiktionary:Requests for deletion#ſeveral. DCDuring TALK 00:03, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
In answer to your last question, yes; I’ve now done the necessary moving of entries. DCDuring has already linked to a pertinent discussion; WT:BP#ſ (long s) typographic variants is another.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:07, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Beta editor is broken

The Beta editor has been broken for several days. I've sent feedback to the "Beta feedback" link, but the page editor is still broken. How does one get their attention? -- dougher 01:42, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

They know. To turn off the beta features go to Special:Preferences → "Editing" and turn off the "Experimental features" on the bottom. See w:Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)#Edit box .26 monospace style changes for details. --Bequwτ 04:17, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Obtuse abbreviations

Per this cleanup list, do we want to eliminate these? I'd say theoretically yes, it's best to use plain English whenever possible. Writing 'See flower' is not exactly more difficult than writing cf. flower. I'd also add to that list cfr., used as 'cfr. supra' (see above) or 'cfr. infra' (see inside?). As for qv. I've actually never heard of it. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:17, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

doesn’t really mean “see” — its meaning is closer to “compare”; I use it in some very specific circumstances, viz. for semantically close words and parallel derivations in etymology sections and for homœophones in pronunciation sections. I’d not seen cfr. before, but my copy of The New Penguin Dictionary of Abbreviations: from A to zz tells me (on page 89) that it is an abbreviation of the Italian confronta, and not the Latin confer; nevertheless, it is glossed with the synonymous . means “below”, not “inside”. Q.v. stands for quod vide and is the Latin for “which see”; it is used to admonish the reader to read on at the place to which one refers (e.g., “historically related to blah (q.v.)”). A lot of these are quite useful for brevity: for , for
(deprecated template usage) exempli gratia (for the sake of example)
, for
(deprecated template usage) id est (that is)
, for
(deprecated template usage) videlicet (it is permitted to know”, “namely)
, (or ) for
(deprecated template usage) et cetera (and the rest)
, ( in the plural) for or
(deprecated template usage) et sequentia (and that (or those) which follow(s))
, for
(deprecated template usage) quod vide (which see)
, for , for , for , for , for , (or ) for (or, less ususally, and ), and so on.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 12:45, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
My goal in making the cleanup list was just to replace esoteric abbreviations. I was fairly certain cf. and q.v. fit into this category. We can probably leave some abbreviations as they are known by most English speakers such as e.g., etc., i.e., and most likely the ones mentioned at WT:QUOTE. I'm not really sure about the others, though. --Bequwτ 14:17, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree that is probably unnecessary and a bit obscure, but is both useful and fairly commonplace.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:25, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I think cf. should stay as it's difficult to replace. Something like cf. Middle English delaien can't really be replaced by 'see also' or 'compare' without losing some of the meaning. But I think cfr. supra, cfr. infra and q.v. are indeed to obscure. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:56, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. AFAICT: = , ; = , ; and, = . Whereas, for , in cases where it is deemed necessary (I have only ever used it here once, IIRC), can be written instead.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:08, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I think we could dispense with all latinate abbreviations, with the exception of those that can be found in general-circulation newspapers and magazines. "cf" could be replaced with "compare" or "see" or a scaled-up graphic of a finger () pointing to the wikilinked word. That would be with no loss of meaning for 99% of the general population of users. I doubt that we will ever succeed at having a substantial user and contributor base if we retain an aura of Victorian retro-Medievalism. And there are simply not enough scholars to do the work here. Perhaps we could insert templates so that registered users of scholarly taste could see latinate abbreviations and, by default, others could see terms they understood. DCDuring TALK 16:08, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
isn’t weird or “scholarly”; you’ll find it used in virtually every dictionary that has etymologies. It’s unfair to accuse us of trying to “retain an aura of Victorian retro-Medievalism” when we’ve just agreed to dispense with the more needlessly esoteric of these Latinate (and Italianate) abbreviations (viz. , , , and ).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:22, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
My preference, like DCDuring's, is to remove all non-English abbreviations (and maybe even English ones!). I regularly see i.e. used to mean e.g., which tells me that even with the very common abbreviations, people don't always interpret them correctly. The only abbreviation that I'm guessing is really probably universally understood is etc., but even that one seems like a bad idea to me, because it generally seems to be an alternative to saying something meaningful. (Full disclosure: not counting templatized abbreviations, I do use one abbreviation, namely et al. in citations. My only excuse is that I never really thought about it until now. Maybe "and others" would be better?) —RuakhTALK 16:28, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Ruakh. The reason dictionaries and encyclopedias routinely use these abbreviations is to save space, not a concern we have here. We should be fine with "for example"; "in other words"; "compare"; and "see". bd2412 T 16:33, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Ruakh. I don't understand why cf. is considered irreplacable; it absolutely means compare. Ƿidsiþ 17:04, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
The OED says it means "bring into comparison, compare, collate", so the meaning is not always reducible to "compare".  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:21, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone use it to mean collate? If not I think there's a negligible loss of fidelity. I also don't think cf. is commonplace outside of dictionaries, which is the yardstick we should be using to evaluate the use of abbreviations here. --Bequwτ 17:38, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
I've definitely seen it used to mean "examine diverse documents et cetera to discover similarities and differences". I should think that something being commonplace in other dictionaries would count in its favour here, given that users are more likely to be familiar with a given abbreviation if it's also used elsewhere.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:49, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
"Commonplace"??? I don't recollect seeing cf. in any of the on-line references at OneLook, nor the APA Dictionary of Psychology (which uses "compare"), nor my old edition of Black's Law Dictionary. It is not among the "Abbreviations used in this dictionary" in my print MW3. One is most likely to find it references in classical languages or in truly scholarly references in many fields. This raises the question as to whether we need a "scholarly" context tag to mark such abbreviations appropriately. DCDuring TALK 18:43, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
It's used three times on this page of the Online Etymology Dictionary.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿
Exactly. An etymological dictionary is even more obscure than a general purpose dictionary. We don't make pages only for the lexicomanes. If "compare" isn't the exact desired meaning then luckily we have a dictionary at our disposal to find another English word (or two) that is. --Bequwτ 21:48, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
My link was in answer to DCDuring saying "I don't recollect seeing cf. in any of the on-line references at OneLook" (the Online Etymology Dictionary (curse the lack of a suitable initialism) is a OneLook dictionary). Besides that, the Oxford English Dictionary also uses cf., and that is a general-purpose dictionary (and a prestigious one at that).
BTW, lexicomane is an interesting word, and one I've never heard of before; if you feel inclined to furnish it with an etymology and pronunciatory transcriptions, that'd be much appreciated. :-)  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:19, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
(unindent) I dunno, maybe it's my years of working with etymologies that I'm used to seeing cf. I wouldn't get rid of e.g. and i.e. as they're very common, well, everywhere! I remember using them in school when I was 12 or 13, so I certainly don't they hinder understanding. I'll conceed on cf., however. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:24, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
My take is that non-English abbreviations are better expanded and thus avoided, including "cf.". We don't need "e.g." and "i.e." either; as Ruakh mentioned, people confuse "e.g." and "i.e." often. --Dan Polansky 13:24, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
People frequently confuse and , too. Context ensures that and won't be misinterpreted.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:07, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Oh, and FWIW, I wouldn't have a clue as to what would be supposed to mean; words convey far more specific meaning than a pointing, gloved hand.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:10, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
It would encourage people to actually click on a link. There are a number of complaints at "Feedback" that suggest to me that users don't click on links. They may be obtuse or they may not be able to discriminate between blue and black, because of ambient lighting, or using a monochrome or low-quality color monitor, or some kind of color-blindness. Of course, if my hypothesis were true and, against history, we decided we cared, the need would be for it to supplement all wikilinks. An alternative would be underlining, which has other advantages (like affording discrimination between two adjoining one-word wikilinks and one two-word wikilink). DCDuring TALK 20:27, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Underlining would be the less intrusive of the two schemes; perhaps a box somewhere saying “Are you having difficulty seeing wikilinks on this page? If so turn on underlining.” — does that sound OK? The problem with both and underlining is that neither tells a user why he should click on the highlighted link; at least and friends do that.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:37, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Most websites don't have an elaborate explanation of the purpose of the link, just as most well designed doors don't need a sign that says "push" or "pull". What is it about etymology that makes it almost the only section of our entries that is well populated with abbreviations to support certain of links (to cognates)? DCDuring TALK 23:50, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I've noted how to turn on link-underlining at Wiktionary:Usability#Accessibility. I think a help page would be more appropriate than a project page but we don't seem to have many of those. --Bequwτ 21:11, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I had missed it at "my preferences". A large percentage of the websites I use seem to have links (mostly same-site) underlined. Why had we decided to break the Web convention, I wonder? DCDuring TALK 23:50, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if it's because, being a wiki, we have a much greater density of links. Having all these elements both underlined and color would be too distracting. Maybe I'm just used to our current system but I find it overwhelming now to turn on underlining. --Bequwτ 02:45, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to see whether I get used to it over time. Not at all clear it would be good as a default: the benefit of visible links (especially multi-word links) might be offset by the net increase in the busy appearance of the every page. It is also true that we have too many wikilinks in our definitions, some of them to the most common of words. One possibility is to edit the inflection line templates to support underlining (but there sure are a lot of them). Other possibilities might be to make the underlining thinner, dashed, or dotted. DCDuring TALK 08:34, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
I've updated the cleanup list to also look for "supra", "infra", and "viz." as most people seem to think those should be changed. What do people think about the abbreviations used in referencing quotations: anon., tr., ed., a., p., c., and et al.? The only one I'd want to keep would be et al. as the expansion is less commonly known than the abbreviation. Converting a.ante also seems a bit odd. What are others' feelings? --Bequwτ 23:57, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
IMHO "tr. by", "trans. by" or even "translated by" is better than "tr.", if only to draw attention to the fact that for translated works the quotation date is of the translation, not the original. Not much bad happens from a user not understanding a, p, and c, though they could be changed to ordinary English at the cost of space. All of the list seem common enough to be understood by anyone likely to care about sources, IMO. DCDuring TALK 00:22, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Pages for entries in other Wiktionaries that have no entry here

It might be useful to put a notice on pages for words that have no entry here, but which have an entry on the Wiktionary of another language, to redirect users who are searching for them. For example, there is no entry for 一折八扣 but there is one on the Chinese Wiktionary. There could be a notice such as 'there is an entry for x on the Chinese Wiktionary'. Would this be possible? Kaixinguo 13:59, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Could we link Hanzi and Pinyin entries together (Such as 七折八扣/一折八扣, qizhebakou/yizhebakou; 开心果, kaixinguo)? —This unsigned comment was added by 123abc (talkcontribs) at 20:38, 11 February 2010.
Not easily, and not desirable either. Let them use Google. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:10, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Or better yet, let's get all those entries. "Let them use Google" suggests that we will be unable to accommodate. However, eventually we will have virtually the entire corpus of every language. bd2412 T 16:35, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Well yes, I guess (s)he means as a stopgap until we have those entries. I'd say no, for a load of reasons I'm not going to explain. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:25, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

The search page shows results in the sister projects like this. If it could show results of other Wiktionaries the problem would be solved... Jesielt (user talk) 16:58, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Definitely not. It would ambiguously convert red links into blue. We need to know what words we don't yet have - so we can add them. SemperBlotto 17:05, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I think Jesielt was referring to the WP links. See the search result page linked to. Links to other wikts wouldn't help much IMO, but I don't see the harm (except of course in computing effort).17:13, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Personally I'd find them very useful, at least if they're in a language I have some knowledge of. For example, fr.wikt and he.wikt seem to have a lot of Hebrew entries that we don't, but neither one has very good coverage, so it's a pain to check every single time. (Speaking of which, is there a good way to get a list of such, or do I need to do some XML-dump-diving?) —RuakhTALK 21:11, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
A list would be better, maybe creating a "list of foreign words wanting English translations and to be checked" to be looked at by contributors later, rather than copying them here. Foreign words will need English translations, pronunciation, grammar, which can't be imported. Some foreign Wikt. definitions may have English translation but this may be unreliable as the translations can be used for different part of speech. Anatoli
Then why not import them en masse with a template atop the page indicating that these are bot-made pages which have not been checked by a human, and may therefore be unreliable? At least then we'll have a start of a page, and a link on that page to the other-language wiki from which it came. Furthermore, we'll have a page for the casual visitor with better skills in that language to fix (rather than create from scratch). bd2412 T 21:42, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
(By "them" I mean pages on other-language wikis which purport to include an English translation). bd2412 T 21:43, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
It seems interesting but I'd like to hear other people's opinion on it. The amount of words imported could become huge, though. Certainly, a language header and the word/expression is somewhat easier to work with than creating a new entry. However, the entry should have a template with part of speech, translation, etc. Some language wikis also provide pronunciation - IPA or audio files. This could be useful in itself but the entry format is different in different languages. Entries often contain the English translation, which possibly could be used as a suggested translation, if the part of speech matches. --Anatoli 22:11, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
123abc, please stop editing other people's comments (by adding toneless pinyin) and sign your own! I already asked you and you agreed! --Anatoli 22:57, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
  • What? Where? ---123abc
I am sorry. These were your own comments (unsigned), which looked like next person's comments because you didn't signed them. --Anatoli 00:36, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Automatic importing of pages without checking is not going to be reliable enough. As an example, see some of the fr.wikt's English words that we don't want fr:100 metre hurdles (100 metre hurdles), fr:aberrateth (aberrateth), fr:ablutophobes (ablutophobes). Lists of missing words would be good; imports not. Maybe even some magic javascript to look up the lists and point people along interwikis if there's no page. Conrad.Irwin 23:10, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Conrad, the words you listed are English. The idea is to import French words from the French wictionary. Chinese words from the Chinese wictionary, etc. These are more likely to be correct. Derived forms worry me though. The rules for inclusions differ largely. --Anatoli 23:26, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
User:Tbot already does this, providing we have a translation that mentions the word and the foreign wiki has the same translation. Doing the importing with fewer checks is dangerous, we are full of errors and so are all other wiktionaries; copying the errors means they are less likely to be found. Conrad.Irwin 23:29, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Conrad (23:29, 11 February 2010 (UTC)).​—msh210 15:50, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
We seem to be missing the point (maybe?) As well as links to other projects (Wikipedia has an article on...) we add translingual links (French Wiktionary has an article on...) Mglovesfun (talk) 23:33, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Oh and 100 metre hurdles was my article, I think. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:33, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Why not just have a small notice, 'There is an entry for x on the French Wiktionary'? Or include results from other Wiktionaries in the same way that results from Wikipedia now show up? Kaixinguo 23:38, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Mglovesfun, (French Wiktionary has an article on...). This feature already exists, as a link to the entry in other language wikis. --Anatoli 23:39, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
What about a page that doesn't exist here? Like 100 metre hurdles. How would I know that that has a French entry? Mglovesfun (talk) 23:58, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
We have, for example, User:Darkdadaah/Diff/fr/2008-01, which lists French entries for English words missing here. In some cases, we've gone to French Wikipedia to inform them that the term in question is SoP and should be deleted there. bd2412 T 01:57, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

English synonyms

Currently, English synonyms (for instance, head south and go south; or anemia and anæmia) are randomly distributed between alternative spellings, alternative forms and individual entries. As far as I understood their purposes, the spellings category is supposed to contain variations of few characters such as in "color" and "colour" and forms is for variations of words such as in two shakes of a dog's tail and in two shakes of a duck's tail. Is that their difference? Where do we draw the line? --Daniel. 20:00, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

As far as I know, alternative spellings are for words that are identical except for the spelling (same pronunciation, same meaning, etc.), and alternative forms are, at least in English entries, only for idioms/phrases where the meaning is the same and there is a word or so difference. --Yair rand 20:19, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I always use alternative forms, as I think that covers all variants, but not synonyms. 23:53, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
As I said, they are currently interchangeable: Some English terms which fit your description of "alternative spellings" are at the "alternative forms" category and vice-versa. In addition, there are individividual entries like color and colour. Is there any policy or discussion that prevents all the synonyms from being individual entries? --Daniel. 17:32, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

NASA public domain quality definitions

Pages 22-25 of A Guide to the Mission and Purpose of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory lists some 30 or so definitions which you can copy/paste. Anyone think this can be used?Smallman12q 02:17, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Sure. Definitions in the public domain, let's take them. They will need formatting, and I see they are in all initial caps, which must be dealt with as well. bd2412 T 03:10, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

See also or Related terms

Shouldn't the lists of characters present in the Translingual terms Ã, and -, Greek δ, Armenian Վ, among other entries, be at a Related terms section, instead of a See also section? --Daniel. 09:11, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Since the majority of the terms aren't etymologically related I think they should be in See also. They're of course "related" just not in the Wiktionary:ELE#Related terms way. --Bequwτ 14:29, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough. --Daniel. 17:19, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Demoscene template?

Is it worth adding a template to categorise demoscene terms? There are quite a few by now, and I've been awkwardly filing them under "computing". e.g. cracktro, demo, demogroup, dentro, graphician, intro, invitro, megademo, rip, rotozoomer, scener, votesheet... I don't know how to do it and whether it's too small a category to bother. Equinox 13:01, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Eh, why not. {{demoscene}} and Category:Demoscene created. --Yair rand 04:50, 14 February 2010 (UTC)


This paragraph says the following:

The language names of regional languages, dialects and recognised artificial languages may be wikified, but in general, language names are not to be wikified.

To me this looks like a direct contradiction of Wiktionary:Translations/Wikification, which specifically states that apart from 40-something major languages, all language names should be wikified. This would need a vote to fix. Any thoughts? -- Prince Kassad 15:53, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Procedurally, changing WT:ELE would seem to need a vote. If the Translations/Wikification page represents a consensus of those most active and interested who noticed the discussion, it would seem like a start. Advertising that discussion here may get some more constructive participation either there or here. Some may not participate until it is closer to a vote despite best efforts to draw attention to the discussion. DCDuring TALK 16:44, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
I have created a draft vote at Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-02/Wikification of language names in Translation sections (with no fixed start date yet). Hopefully this will draw some more attention. -- Prince Kassad 16:57, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry for the revet. I was not aware of it. I must have clicked on the wrong place. Lmaltier 21:11, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Any reason not to just start the vote? I can't see any problem with the proposed wording... --Yair rand 06:41, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Phrasebook entries

There are many entries in Category:Phrasebook that are sum of parts.

I have sent "I love you" for WT:RFD to see how it fares. This entry could serve as a precedent for judging future deletion requests, so I am notifing of it here in Beer parlour.

I have started Appendix:English phrasebook to house common phrases that are sum of parts. --Dan Polansky 09:28, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Until you've gone to m:Proposals for new projects and proposed a WikiPhrases, I cannot support this. A phrasebook is essential when traveling to a country whose language you don't speak. -- Prince Kassad 10:59, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
I have opened WT:GP#Category:Phrasebook and bilingual phrasebooks about the feasibility of automagically or periodically generating bilingual phrasebooks from our phrasebook entries. Such bilingual phrasebooks (printable, downloadable to portable devices) could make for more incentive to address all kinds of policy issues about phrasebook entries. DCDuring TALK 13:06, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
What is the point of the appendix? Phrasebook entries are supposed to be SoP, and they clearly meet CFI. What is the problem with keeping them in their own entries, and listing them in the category? --Yair rand 19:54, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I am merely trying to suggest that the individual entries as we have them are not the most desirable/useful form from a user perspective. They may have utility as a warehouse for raw materials for more useful formats. IMHO a phrasebook from en.wikt would provide the most help by offering an extensive selection of entries in two languages (en and an FL) grouped by usage context/situation, register, etc either in portable print form or downloadable to a handheld electronic device. If we cannot make that possible I believe that we are simply pretending to be doing something useful rather than doing something that merits the resources that we consume.
We probably have enough phrasebook entries to mock up some formats that might be more useful than our single undifferentiated category. We might consider what situational categories would be useful (eg. greetings/introductions, farewells, restaurants, driving, walking, air travel, rail travel, urban transportation, hotels, classes, dating, drinking, entertainment, sightseeing, shopping, household, grooming, clothing, telephone conversation). DCDuring TALK 23:06, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm confused. I thought Phrasebook entries were supposed to be SoP. Tooironic 08:58, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
To use that dirty word, this may require a vote to eliminate the phrase book and move all the entries to appendices. Like DCDuring, I think we overestimated the usefulness of the phrasebook to our readers. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:02, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

My mistake in overlooking the phrasebook passage in CFI in the section "Idiomacity", added to CFI in this edit in January 2008, and not voted upon AFAIK. The phrasebook passage reads: "Phrasebook entries are very common expressions that are considered useful to non-native speakers. Although these are included as entries in the dictionary (in the main namespace), they are not usually considered in these terms. For instance, What's your name? is clearly a summation of its parts." The passage does try to refine the meaning of CFI:idiomatic, but rather seems to overrule the sentence "This in turn leads to the somewhat more formal guideline of including a term if it is attested and idiomatic", one located at the top of the document. My reading of the phrasebook passage: "A non-idiomatic term should be included if fits into a phrasebook by being considered useful to non-native speakers". --Dan Polansky 10:13, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Keep. Like a dictionary with example phrases and common phrases, it makes the dictionary more attractive, demonstrates a bit of grammar where dry words come to life, yes, they are useful. I think we can expand the phrasebook a little to include very useful generic phrases. --Anatoli 23:18, 17 February 2010 (UTC)


Hi there all. I started looking through this editors' Kannada contributions and found that nearly 90% of all the Kannada entries he's made were completely incorrect entries, with no mention of any of them in both of my Kannada-English dictionaries that I have at home AND on the Kannada Wiktionary and other sites on the Internet. They were not mentioned at all. This raises the serious question: How do we know that his edits are correct? I therefore would like to ask any and all editors who can to double-check EVERY edit he's made and make sure they are right. While I know that this is a very large task, it needs to be done, because I know for a fact that the edits he's made are suspicious, and very dodgy. I think we need to verify all his work because I want this Wiktionary to be the best that it can be. Thanks, Razorflame 14:07, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Can we not recruit (temporarily) a native Kannada speaker from Kannada wiktionary or Kannada wikipedia who is fluent enough in English to appraise the entries and the translations? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 16:17, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Bogorm, I've tried making contact with the users on the Kannada Wiktionary, however, none of them speak English, so they won't be able to help out here, but they are making on the scale of >100 edits an hour over there, and both of the active users there are native Kannada speakers, from what I can tell. I bought two Kannada-English dictionaries (books in real life) that are both fairly complete (they have words such as forest fire in them), and I've been checking every one of his edits against both of those, the Kannada Wiktionary and Wikipedia, and two online Kannada-English dictionaries, and I've found that every single one of his edits in Kannada that I've marked for deletion are worthy of deletion because they did not exist. I've also warned him to desist from editing in Kannada. Razorflame 18:13, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, quite many of his entries are incorrect. Among them is all of Category:Kalispel-Pend d'Oreille language. He would be quite worthy of an infinite block and deletion of all contributions point blank. -- Prince Kassad 16:35, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Why didn't you contact Strabisums about Kalispel-Pend d'Oreille entries? --Ivan Štambuk 17:23, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
What point would this have? -- Prince Kassad 18:15, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
If you see somebody making errors (regardless whether it's content or formatting), you let him know of them so that he can first and foremost learn something, and secondly cease propagating mistakes in the furthering edits. Strabismus is certainly well-versed contributor in many languages, and any mistakes he did made were committed in the best possible intention. --Ivan Štambuk 18:21, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
I doubt that after hundreds of incorrect entries, any assumption of good faith is lost. Razorflame 18:23, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
So what are saying, that he intentionally added badly-spelled entries? :) Don't be silly... I'm sure there is some perfectly decent explanation for them. Lets wait what he has to say first before making unnecessary assumptions about assumptions. --Ivan Štambuk 18:31, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
He hasn't edited since January and might not see the discussion. Someone might want to use Special:Emailuser. -- Prince Kassad 19:02, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
I've e-mailed him by means of Special-Emailuser. --Ivan Štambuk 19:26, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Hello, Internet hate machine. What seems to be the problem? I've been raked against the coals many a time for my sleuthing skills in paleolexicography but this hairsplitting is rather idiotic! Razorflame seems to want us to believe that he is some Kannada expert yet VERY FEW entries in Kannada exist here on en:WT. I don't appreciate the accusation that I know nothing about Kannada. I would appreciate a full discussion on why the Kannada vocables I entered "do not exist". No terrorism, please. Thank you.--Strabismus 07:31, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
If a word gets no hits on Google at all, does not appear in reputable dictionaries and is found nowhere else, it's safe to assume it does not exist. -- Prince Kassad 10:35, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Define "does not appear in reputable dictionaries and is found nowhere else". I have already discussed the issue with Dan and Ivan.--Strabismus 22:07, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Is this bloke for real? His talk page is just one pot stir after the other. It amazes me what admins will put up with on Wiktionary just to remain civil. Tooironic 09:14, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
What exactly is your point, Professor Tooironic? Though I may be unfashionable I am NOT a verbicide! I stand by my work and do my utmost to provide accuracy.--Strabismus 22:07, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
One consequence of taking our slogan as policy is that we include languages for which there are are no contributors who are speakers let alone native speakers. For all we know Category:Kalispel-Pend d'Oreille language might be populated with imaginary words or with the words recorded by one of the scholars desperately trying to preserve it before extinction. If you would like to try to figure out which, try RfVing a few. Something similar might apply to Kannada, especially if the entries are from an early form of the language. Old French entries would look pretty bad as French entries, after all.
If OTOH we would like to open up conversation on whether our slogan is good or whether a slogan is a substitute for a policy, some good might come of this. DCDuring TALK 13:04, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your understanding, DCDuring. I'll just briefly point out that I have used several public domain dictionaries which are likely to contain older words. I cannot emphasize enough my utter disdain for shoddy workmanship and I ASSURE you that I do my best when I come here and work. I do not like making mistakes and I would appreciate a streamlined rectification of any problems my efforts may have caused rather than us engaging in a gigantic pilpul over my mental well-being. Thank you.--Strabismus 22:07, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
Overwhelming RfV is not a good idea. It already suffers from low participation. -- Prince Kassad 17:06, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
There is no need to overwhelm RfV. The first thing would be to do one, then do, say, ten in each class. If all ten fail then we can consider wholesale deletion. How many have been done so far? What is the actual evidence that the entries are bad? All I see is that folks who rely on dictionary knowledge don't think the entries are real.
We could break RfV up into either, 1., English and all other languages or, 2., high-participation and low participation languages. We can easily justify a longer waiting period for low-participation or non-English languages.
Indulging one's personal likes and dislikes seems like a much larger danger to the future of Wiktionary than excessive reliance on RfV. DCDuring TALK 17:40, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
1., English and all other languages I like the sound of that. -- Prince Kassad 19:06, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Comments in local time

As I mentioned in the GP, I think the default view of timestamps should be localized to a viewer's time zone rather than to UTC. This will help users and provide a more consistent interface as page histories and watchlists are already localized. As the underlying wikitext is not altered, one can still easily copy and paste timestamps in the same section to reference specific comments. Copying and pasting timestamps from the HTML (eg from a different section) won't be as nice though still accurate as the timezone is specified in parentheses. To this end I propose switching this functionality from being opt-in (which it currently provided by this script as a gadget) to opt-out. Opt-out would also be done by a gadget in Special:Preferences. How does this sound to others? --Bequwτ 22:21, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

I can assure you I will opt out. If enough people say the same thing, I suggest you don't implement it.​—msh210 17:05, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
You're sentiment is noted, but I hope people could comment on what would be good, not for themselves necessarily, but for the average user. Obviously, precision in this regard is difficult, but we shouldn't think that the 5 seconds that it takes an advanced user to opt-out of this change is all we care about. --Bequwτ 18:23, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I was unclear. I didn't mean that you should not implement it if enough users say they'll opt out because they don't like it. I meant that you should not implement it if enough users say they'll opt out because they are likely a good sample of the whole population.​—msh210 18:26, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Note also that the "averageuser" doesn't care about timestamps, since he doesn't see discussion pages. Only editors do.​—msh210 17:17, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
You were clear. I just think that imagining the average user is better than sampling our own preferences. Without data it's hard to know how often other users view pages with timestamps. Your statement (that they don't) appears anecdotal to which I can only add that I saw such pages before I registered. But like I said, I don't think "we" are representative at all. --Bequwτ 20:54, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
I support wholeheartedly Bequw’s idea. In the opinion of a humble user from the EET timezone being able to sign my comments in my timezone would be a major facilitation, since I find the compulsion of adding 2/or 3/ hours to the time in UTC uncomfortable (not to speak about users from India or Venezuela who must add not only hours, but 30 minutes too). Introducing such a solution with the possibility of opting-out for users who for some obscure reasons are not willing to see the signatures and histories in their own timezones would certes satisfy everyone. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 13:48, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Re: "page histories and watchlists are already localized": That's technically true, but misleading in context. Timestamps in page histories and watchlists are formatted on the server according to the time-zone the user has specified in his/her preferences, and I think it's fair to assume that most users never change that value away from "Use server default" (meaning UTC). Your gadget formats timestamps on the client according to the current time-zone offset in the browser, which is unlikely to be that of UTC. —RuakhTALK 19:55, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
You're right, that would mean inconsistent displays for many users non-logged-in users (and those logged in who haven't set their timezone). I'm not sure if partial localization is any improvement. Is there anyway to get MediaWiki to use the browser's timezone by default even for non-logged-in users? Can the "Fill in from browser" timezone option already in preferences be set as the default? --Bequwτ 21:00, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
"Fill in from browser" isn't actually an option per se; it's in the drop-down with all the options, but when you select it, all it does is copy your current browser's current offset into the text field, then select the "Other (specify offset)" option. There's nothing in the software to support client-side translation based on the settings of the browser that's viewing the page. (More generally, MediaWiki preferences and gadgets are always tied to the account, independent of current browser settings.) —RuakhTALK 22:02, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I think I'll suspend this idea until I can modify the script to show a localized version of all pages for a non-logged-in user. Non-logged in users don't have watchlists so I'd just have to localize page history timestamps. This addition would only be done for non-logged in users (one can't tell if logged in users have set their timezone). --Bequwτ 17:13, 18 February 2010 (UTC)


The LiquidThreads extension is now in use in the strategy wiki and Wikinews, and I think it would be really useful here on Wiktionary for the large discussion rooms and on User talk pages. I don't know about everyone else, but the standard format of discussions being crowded by others, having to search through long discussion pages to see if anyone's responded, having discussions be pushed far from where everyone's looking and not being pushed back when someone comments, and all the other problems with the current format that would be fixed by LQT, drives me nuts. What do people think about the possibility of using it here? (Keep in mind that the many existing bugs in LQT would probably be mostly fixed by the time we go through the standard two-weeks-or-so BP discussion, month-long vote, and huge wait for someone to notice the bug report and turn it on.) --Yair rand 22:40, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

I hope we won't enable any gaudy idiocy like the "avatars" it claims to support. Equinox 19:42, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I highly doubt anyone would want avatars enabled. They are not used in WN or the strategy wiki and they would serve no useful purpose. --Yair rand 20:00, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
As you know, Conrad has expressed doubts that most of its bugs will ever be fixed. Do you disagree? How quickly have its bugs been getting fixed so far? —RuakhTALK 20:00, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
The doubts were expressed at WT:GP#LiquidThreads. I would like to clarify that, even were the bugs to be fixed, I think this is rather less useful than the current talk page system (though I'll happyily agree it does have more buttons, and widgets, and cool things). Conrad.Irwin
I'm pretty sure bugs are getting fixed, but changing existing discussions to the new format seems to be impossible, which would make the transition difficult. I can see three possible ways to deal with this:
  1. Temporarily split the discussion pages into two pages, one for holding pre-LQT discussions until they're finished and can be archived. (IMO, this is the best way.)
  2. Keep everything on the same page, keeping the old ones in the header until they can be archived. (This would cause confusion as LQT is ... upside-down.)
  3. Try and copy active discussions into editable threads, mixing the old format into LQT, probably causing a lot of confusion in the process.
So the transition period from the current format to LiquidThreads would be rather difficult, but I think it's definitely worth it. --Yair rand 21:17, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
(BTW, anyone who wants to test out LiquidThreads should go to http://liquidthreads.labs.wikimedia.org.) --Yair rand 02:15, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Old deletion/verification archives

The old WT:RFDA and WT:RFVA could quite easily be put onto talk pages by Conrad.Bot. Shall we? They are certainly a lot easier to find on talk pages than on Wiktionary: pages where to find them, you have to browse Special:WhatLinksHere and get pretty lucky. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:47, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Sure, if someone else writes the code :p. Conrad.Irwin 20:35, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Translations for English "sum-of-parts" entries

I can't help thinking that we ought to link the French riziculture with the Italian risicoltura somehow, but the English term

would be sum of parts. Given that we don't accept translation sections in foreign entries, what could we do? SemperBlotto 13:42, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

IMHO, anyone interested in these French and Italian entries would be better off looking at fr:riziculture, fr:risicoltura, it:riziculture or it:risicoltura. Fortunately, we don't translate between foreign languages here, although the German Wiktionary does and possibly others do. However, we could add it in the etymology section sth like "compare Italian risicoltura" --Rising Sun talk? 13:47, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I've added the translations on Wiktionnaire --Soleil levant 13:52, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
It would be useful to compile how the Wiktionaries deal with non-native translations, similar to how we have m:Capitalization of Wiktionary pages. Maybe it could even document how to add translations. --Bequwτ 18:28, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
can be one word, therefore is eligible per WT:COALMINE. Equinox 13:53, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
They look as though they're cognates; if they are, they can link to one another s.v. "Etymology". Here, COALMINE applies, as Equinox notes: that's another solution. But both of those are solutions only in this specific case, and others, but not in general. We've discussed this question before: see Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2008/January#translations_between_FLs_of_non-English_phrases.​—msh210 18:27, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

There is a very simple solution: accepting translation sections wherever they are useful. Lmaltier 20:41, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

You would need translation sections in every language where it occurs as one word, it would require much less effort to use an appendix. Polarpanda 16:18, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

"Clearly widespread use"

Recently somebody added

(a blend of the names Derek and Casey used to describe fan-fiction pairings) and it was deleted multiple times because there are no uses in any of the sources we can use (Google Books, Groups, etc.). The creator kept saying that it still passed CFI under the "clearly widespread use" clause, citing reams of Google matches. Why did it not? What does "clearly widespread use" mean? Do we have any cast-iron entries that pass on this criterion but for which three citations in acceptable sources could not be found? Equinox 19:46, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

It's in case someone is really bored and nominates pages like water and English. It's not really meant for anything else. -- Prince Kassad 20:22, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
In my understanding, we use it to economize on time, especially for colloquial expressions or those of a form that would require a great deal of attestation effort or cleverness in searching corpora beyond what we can normally achieve.
Don't forget symbols. Google won't search for these at all. -- Prince Kassad 21:27, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
We also seem not to use the widespread use claim for terms that are might embarrass us. A term from celebrity fanzines (eg, Bradgelina/Brangelina) is the kind of term which would need some shoring up to maintain Wiktionary's credibility. That kind of term might not end up being around for very long either, but as part of celebrity worship some contributor might feel compelled to enter it here while it was still less than a year from coinage.
Procedurally, I would expect that any multi-person challenge to the claim of widespread use would require ordinary attestation. OTOH, claims by unregistered users and new users of widespread use generally would receive no weight and such claims by non-native or not advanced speakers would receive less weight. If we need to vote on that we can, but, in the meantime, I would act on some such understanding, unless others disagree, of course.
As to "Dasey", I, for one, would like to see attestation. If it is real and has been in use for more than a year, there should be no shortage of usage in news and groups. DCDuring TALK 20:38, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Logically, anything that's in widespread use would meet at least one of the other criteria, so it's almost not worth putting it in there. Like PK said, I think it's in case I suddenly reveal myself to be Wonderfool and RFV photograph or something. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:22, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Adjectives that counter nouns

Is there any grammatical term for the phenomenon of an adjective modifying a noun such that the referent is not in fact the thing denoted by the noun? former pupil, so-called Christian, solved mystery Equinox 20:27, 17 February 2010 (UTC

I think the adjective in such a case is called an alienans. DCDuring TALK 20:42, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Interesting! Thanks. Equinox 21:10, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Call for proposals for Wikimedia UK initiatives

Hi all. The Wikimedia UK board has been putting together a budget for the next year (You can see this, and help with its development, here) and we have some money left over. We are looking for proposals for projects/iniatives with budget requirements in the range of £100-£3000 (GBP). These projects can be either online or offline, but they should be primarily focused on the UK and they must further the objects of Wikimedia UK (broadly, to collate/develop/spread freely licensed material).

The deadline for proposals is the end of this month (i.e. 0:00 UTC on 1 March 2010). You can find more details of the requirements, and how to submit proposals, on our blog. Thanks. Mike Peel 23:14, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

They could buy me a new microphone and I could add some audio. Cost? About a tenner. For everything else... --Rising Sun talk? 00:41, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
You aren't allowed a microphone, because every 50 words you would add some kind of sneaky clip of something terrible hoping nobody would check it. Now here is my idea. Buying dinner for every regular contributor to Wiktionary would probably be a couple of hundred. For Wikipedia this would be in the millions. I edit better on a full stomach. Equinox 00:46, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
This is true, I would sneak the sounds of my tortued prisoner in under the guise of an audio clip of an obscure word nobody'd ever look up (and I already have, in fact). As for the dinner, sounds great. If we all had baked beans we cold cut the cost. Now who's nearest to Asda (or whichever supermarket offers the lowest-price beans). I edit better under the influence, however, so we could charge a couple of pints to Wikimedia too. --Rising Sun talk? 01:06, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

More dodgy User:123abc entries

A'erbaniyaren, Alaboren, Aodaliyaren, Běijīngrén, Bai'eluosiyu, Bai'eluosiwen, Bai'eluosiren, Chángjiāng, Cháoxiānyǔ, Daluren, Darwin主义, Hánguóyǔ, Java语言, Mao Zedong-zhuyizhe, Rìběnyǔ, Shijieyuzhuyizhe, Tàiguórén, Tàiguóyǔ, Tàiyǔ, Zhongshi-Yingyu, Zhōngguórén, Zhōngguóyǔ.

All of these are classified as nouns when they should in fact be proper nouns. They are also incorrectly formatted. What are we supposed to do about this user? I've notified him/her a number of times but nothing has changed. Tooironic 10:34, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't know anything about whether the format's right (are the wrong templates being used or something?), but some of these are certainly not proper nouns. We don't even have proper noun senses at Arabian, Australian, etc. --Yair rand 19:54, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I suppose you're right about nationalities/ethnicities as they can be counted. But the incorrect formatting irks me more. You can see the result of this at Category:Mandarin_nouns where all of this user's dodgy entries have put the alphabetical order out of whack. Tooironic 21:31, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
The best course of action would be for you and other main Chinese contributors to come together and decide the fate of 123abc, whether it be more newbie-training or an indef-block. Most of us can't judge about the quality of his contributions. --Vahagn Petrosyan 22:44, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Trouble with this user is, he/she is not responding much to requests and warnings. I personally see very little value in having pinyin entries with or without tone marks. --Anatoli 00:52, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I find this editor extremely defensive, and is difficult to talk to. Rather than trying to constructively resolve issues, he refuses to listen to your advice and stubbornly chucks everything back at you. He has jeopardized my attempt to keep his account alive. JamesjiaoT C 01:10, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I'll agree with Vahagn, if contributors want a block, I'll block in good faith of your collective judgment. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:11, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Should alternative spellings have en-adj, idiom, etc.?

I've found that alternative spellings include such items as "Adjective", en-adj, etc. But problems arise in two ways:

  1. The main entry is expanded or updated to define another sense, such as an adverb, or is otherwise updated. Now there is an inconsistency between the terms.
  2. The main entry is listed as an idiom, and so is the alternative spelling entry, which results in two nearly identical entries in Category:English idioms, thus cluttering up that category.

In any event, a user would simply click on the main entry to see the actual definition, so there is no real benefit to including more detail than necessary, i.e. alternative spelling of main entry, unless the alternative spelling actually did have a different sense or meaning (might happen in rare cases).

Example from bassackwards (in this case I have already removed the idiom tag):




bassackwards (comparative more bassackwards, superlative most bassackwards)

1. Alternative spelling of bass-ackwards.

Example from bass-ackwards:


Alternative spellings


Spoonerism and euphemism of ass-backwards, meant to suggest the same meaning.


1. (idiom colloquial euphemism) alternative form of ass-backwards
Their whole approach is bass-ackwards.


bass-ackwards (comparative more bass-ackwards, superlative most bass-ackwards)

1. (idiomatic, colloquial, euphemism) Alternative form of ass-backwards.
What do you expect? They did the job bass-ackwards.


>>> following comments are from my talk page: >>>

This would be a worthwhile principle to establish, one way or the other. I think I agree with your approach. But rather than implement it wholesale or in edit wars, it might be better to bring the matter up at WT:BP with a rationale. It could then become a matter of cleanup and be implemented universally (one way or the other). DCDuring TALK 18:22, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, didn't mean to start an edit war. I don't think the others actually had a problem with removing "idiom" from, say, bassackwards when bass-ackwards has "idiom" and is the main entry. I think the problem was when I went a step further and removed the "en-adj" etc. subheadings for bassackwards, etc. My thinking was that since it is only a minor alternative spelling (with a hyphen), the definition including "en-adj", etc. was redundant since the user would just to go the main entry. This would eliminate having to maintain two entries and would avoid inconsistencies, such as the currently existing one where bassackwards is defined only as an adjective, while bass-ackwards is defined as both an adjective and an adverb. I'd be happy to post this subject at WT:BP or where otherwise appropriate as well. Facts707 18:43, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

<<< end of talk page comments <<<

Looking forward to hearing on this! Facts707 18:44, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

IMO yes all of the same templates as a 'defined' entry. If you used {{infl|en|noun}} on a countable noun, it would then have no link to a plural, but the noun does have a plural! Ditto pacy/pacey (pacier, paciest). I don't see the downside to having {{idiomatic}} on any alternative form entry as long as it is correct. I certainly wouldn't go round removing it (or any context label) from entries where it is already correct. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:52, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Mg. Note also that the first problem Facts mentions with using infl templates at altsp entries exists even without the infl template, as we use PoS headers anyway.​—msh210 19:08, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Entry list

I've recently created a template that should make the See also sections more consistent, more complete and easier to keep track. There is an example at ice blue. --Daniel. 07:03, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Rather than having one enormous {{list/Colors}} with lists of basic colors for every single language, why not have {{list/en-colors}} for English, {{list/pt-colors}} for Portuguese, and so on? —RuakhTALK 16:00, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Even better:
====See also====
* [[Appendix:Colors]]
Mglovesfun (talk) 16:10, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Another option (although the category is already listed on the bottom, so this may be a duplication):
====See also====
* [[:Category:Colors]]

--Panda10 16:16, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Mglovesfun and Panda10, the Appendix:Colors is already linked at ice blue as a result of using {{list|Colors|Blues}}. How a secondary link to the category at the See also section would be more helpful than a mere link to it at the footer alone? Ruakh, how one line per language at {{list/Colors}} can be considered more enormous than hundreds of templates just for Colors? In my opinion, the existence of various languages separately for a single list would virtually defeat my three purposes listed above: "more consistent, more complete and easier to keep track". --Daniel. 17:57, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, adding the category under See also would be a duplication since the category is already listed at the bottom of the entry. Maybe I just don't understand the benefit of the new template in this particular situation. It would provide the same list as the Colors category. Not to mention that it has to be edited. --Panda10 19:04, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
To avoid duplication of category links, I've created a new function to {{list}}: It places entries in categories now. A separate link [[Category:Blues]] is no longer necessary at ice blue. --Daniel. 03:19, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Re: enormity: With the current approach, each time anyone edits {{list/Colors}}, every entry for every basic color name in every language will have to get re-processed by the server. After just a few hundred languages, we'll have to protect the template to keep people from editing it too freely. And eventually the template will grow large enough that the software won't actually allow it to be transcluded. Wiktionary templates, like everything else on the Web, are designed to be small parts of a big network.
Re: consistency: Consistency between languages is not achievable: I can fix the template to add the missing English pink, but I can't fix all the other languages. It's also not desirable: just because a given color is a basic color in one language, that doesn't mean it's a basic color in another. For example, many languages do not have separate basic color words for "blue" and "green"; and conversely, many languages do have separate basic color words for "light blue" and "dark blue".
RuakhTALK 23:31, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
How the entries would be re-processed by unrelated new information? As far as I know, if you add Catalan colors to {{list/Colors}}, Korean linked terms are not directly rewritten. The fact that a template might grow sufficiently to not actually work properly in entries worries and interests me; if possible, I'd like to know how much (how many bytes, perhaps?) is that limit. I'm sorry, Ruakh, if I made you guess that in my opinion "consistency" means "equal quantity of terms between every language". I think that consistency in this case simply means shared goals: Currently, {{list/Colors}} has a list of common colors including red, which may be a noun or adjective. Languages with two different words, one for a noun meaning "red" and other for an adjective meaning "red", may include both in the list. When listing languages that use a single word for both blue and green, evidently only that word is required. If you add "pink" to a list where related words in most languages are clearly visible by anyone who is interested in editing a collection of colors, other editors might see your addition and notice that the color is lacking in other languages, thus the chance of completeness increases; they might also form discussions as they dislike or question about the "pink" addition. --Daniel. 03:19, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
By default the transclusion limit is two thousand kilobytes, so not likely to exceed this any time soon (that said, Template:list helper seems to include the template four times, so we only have 500 kb to play with - still more than enough, though some will be taken up by other templates). The only page we have hit performance issues on is water (i.e. 1/1,500,000 pages), worrying about performance is totally unnecessary. I quite like the idea, but as with all powerful things, it will need some thought to prevent it going completely crazy. The main problem with this is, I think, how to ensure the lists remain organised - I can see it easily becoming like the {{context}} derivatives, where no-one is quite sure which exist or which should exist, or under what synonym (well I have no clue, so I assume others have difficulty too). It also makes yet more crazy artifacts for new editors to learn (and storing the information outside the page makes it harder to write javascript editing helpers). Also, at which points should such lists be built? Just for sets of co-ordinate terms, or are we wanting to do this with synonyms too? Does it go onto the page of any common hypernyms for these co-ordinate terms? How does it work on a page like dog, where you might want to include {{list|pets|dogs|canidae}} for one sense, and {{list|insults}} for another - presumably it needs to take a sense argument. (oh, and why does it have Capital letters in the template names, frightfully ewww :p) Conrad.Irwin 13:14, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your explanation on performance issues, Conrad.
Editors, new or old, don't need to know everything; if they have problems with lists or any other aspects of Wiktionary, they may ask for help. Furthermore, these lists are not even particularly difficult to edit; if we optimistically assume that nobody is going to remove template brackets (which would inflict ugly and undesirable results in many entries), another possible action is examination of lists of related terms with related formatting: a line with "orange", "purple", "red", etc. is decidedly a good place to add "pink" if that word is not already there. On the other hand, if users do harm templates by removing brackets, the result would be so incredibly perceptible that I think it should not take much time to be reverted.
Please explain more clearly which Javascript concepts may be harmed through the discussed lists.
The current names "Colors" and "Blues" with uppercase first letter serve the purpose of being shown between parentheses at each entry. For instance, this is a possible result of using {{list|Trees|lang=pt}}:
Obviously, typing that uppercase letter at the entry code to call the template is not inherently necessary. So I've upgraded the scheme a little: Currently, {{list}} subtemplates must start with uppercase letter, for example Template:list/Coffees (not Template:list/coffees) and Template:list/Bones (not Template:list/bones), but they may be called at entries by typing either lower case or upper case first letter, for instance {{list|coffees|bones}} (if this example of combination of subjects in one entry is possible).
Yes, I'd like to include synonyms: if a language has fourteen words for yellow, including alternative spellings, slangs and shorthand, they all could be found by {{list|colors}}.
I would not include x-ray vision, night vision, invisibility neither blindness at {{list|senses}}, but could include these four terms at {{list|vision}}, therefore hypernyms are not allowed. To avoid inclusion of hypernyms and unrelated words, perhaps {{list|colors}} should be renamed to {{list|basic colors}} as I dislike the possilibity of adding turquoise to it when {{list|blues}} is available.
A {{list|pets}} is too dependent of cultural distinctions: Cats, tigers, horses, snakes, elephants and cockroaches are definitely pets. I'd be against this specific list. A {{list|canidae|dogs}} at dog is fine. --Daniel. 16:31, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
These big templates slow down the loading of the page enormously, isn't this a case of creating something complicated and big for personal satisfaction when a simple 'see also' would do the job. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:25, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Really? Can you point to some pages where this is the case please, then maybe we can fix them a bit. That said, it does make more sense to me to use {{list/en:colours}} rather than {{list/Colors}}. Conrad.Irwin 14:06, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
More exactly: The job is editing the contents of a simple "See also" of various entries simultaneously; your statement "simple 'see also' would do the job" without further context may be understood as an agreement with my proposals, but I feel you disagree with them. To reply your other affirmation, I don't think any one of the people who are discussing at this BP section, including me and you, would achieve personal satisfaction out of a scheme to slow down Wiktionary pages. --Daniel. 16:31, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
First let me say that the idea of standardizing lists is great. I agree with Ruakh, though, on several proposed modifications:
  • The display text, parameters, and subtemplate titles should be minuscule. This is in keeping with context templates (and others) as well as our orthography of glosses.
  • I think the languages should have separate templates. This will cause fewer pages being needlessly reprocessed on template edits and reduce site-wide problems. It is in keeping with our template usage as, in general, where content differences between languages we use separate templates. We don't do {{verb|lang=fr}}. Separate templates also lowers the bar to new contributors which we should not underestimate.
--Bequwτ 00:41, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Category:Questions about entries

This is starting to fill up at least a little bit. Could people with knowledge of the languages start to answer them, if possible? Mglovesfun (talk) 17:54, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

The WT:TR, WT:ID or even WT:ES are much better places to ask questions. I just strolled through the English one, some of the questions have been answered, some are nonsense; with centralised discussion rooms you're a) more likely to get an answer as people watch them b) don't have to speculatively open 20 pages to see if there's anything of note (there generally isn't, I won't be looking through this stuff again) c) it's obvious when things have been dealt with. Conrad.Irwin 00:55, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, can we please scrap this category and {{question}} and merge it into {{attention}}? (I've asked the same question, though less forcefully, at [[template talk:question]] a while back and got no response.)​—msh210 16:52, 10 March 2010 (UTC)


"Yet Another Place Name (Proper Noun) Proposal". I believe that many previous discussions on this topic have lead nowhere because the only mechanism debated was inclusion via the CFI. Borrowing a play from our more compromising view of constructed languages, I'd like to propose that place name entries be allowed in Wiktionary under an alternative namespace (possibly Placename:*). This project(?) would serve several purposes.

  • It would separate the debate about what to include from the debate about whether to include. Decisions could, for example, be made to include all toponymns, only common ones, or only linguistically interesting ones.
  • Free from the ELE, alternative formats could be explored.
  • It would ensure that we can keep to the current CFI without deleting linguistic information (non-attributive place names would just be moved).
  • It would allow place name entries to mature so that editors could get a better understanding of their utility and quality if discussions about their inclusion in the main namespace arise in the future.

Some issues to think about are linking and searching. Is this "compromise" agreeable enough to set up a vote? Should all proper nouns be include or just place names? --Bequwτ 01:10, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Seems like a good start. I don't see why all the proper nouns should be included when it's just the place names that are disputable. Moving all the proper nouns in all languages to a separate namespace would be a major effort, and oftentimes, in languages written in non-Latins script where there is no orthographical difference between proper and "normal" nouns (i.e. no uppercase/lowercase distinction), proper nouns are often treated within the usual ===Noun=== section. --Ivan Štambuk 23:11, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I do not like this idea. Place names are words, they should be treated like words. If the standards need to be bent then we can modify ELE/CFI specifically regarding place names. Including them in a separate namespace makes them basically useless. --Yair rand 23:20, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Some of the already proposed amendments to CFI to handle placenames have failed gloriously, and the perennial discussions on the issue didn't seem to have yielded any constructive consensus, so this might be a good way to simply start adding entries at the moment. Some folks are adamantly opposed to adding placenames in the main namespace, whilst others are frustrated that their industrious work keeps getting deleted under the excuse of not passing CFI. If you think that you can make the difference in the right direction, feel free to start a vote/discussion...
I don't see how having them in the separate namespace makes them "useless" ? In case you're referring to the discoverability issue: we could leave redirects in the main namespace (or some kind of a top-page info when they collide with already-existing entries, or simply add them to {{also}}). --Ivan Štambuk 23:32, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
WT:Votes/pl-2010-03/Placename namespace created to start in a week. Please review and edit as always. --Bequwτ 04:37, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-02/Restructure Category:Phrasebook

I almost forgot this. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:33, 20 February 2010 (UTC)


Is it worth updating this? Most of the administrators listed are inactive. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:55, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

No. The updated list will meet the same end, sooner or later.--Vahagn Petrosyan 13:06, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Abuse of multiple accounts?

User:Kmedu, User:MaureenJ8, User:Lucyhaagen, User:Amybedot1 are clearly the same person but all accounts were created within a few days of each other. They have been making repeated encyclopaedic edits to Internet entries and never respond to any questions on the talk page. I blocked the latest incarnation. Equinox 01:10, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

This sounds like a job for a checkuser. Razorflame 01:17, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Then a healthy block. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:12, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Greek declension templates for adjectives

Modern Greek nouns are quite well populated with their declensions, the same cannot be said of adjectives. I have just started writing Appendix:Greek adjectives to describe the use of the templates for creating adjectives' declensions. The current names are inscrutable, will interested parties please comment on a new naming scheme which will follow the example given. I intend to start changing the names in a few days time, unless there are strong objections.

el-a-etc-etc follows the scheme used for nouns (el-nm-etc-etc, where the m indicates gender). The names el-adj-etc should be reserved for use when formating headword/inflection line formats. —Saltmarshαπάντηση 07:26, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Obviously a minority interest - changes started —Saltmarshαπάντηση 10:48, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Generally for template names, I would say
  1. Should be written in English, not the target language
  2. Genders are a good idea ({{es-noun-m}}, {{es-noun-f}})
  3. But should always use the right script for specific character, like {{fr-adj-al}} (al, Latin script) but Template:hy-noun-ի-եք (Armenian script).
Does this help? Mglovesfun (talk) 15:07, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Perso-Arabic script

I saw that Persian chracters are covered under Arabic in this section! Persian script does not fall under Arabic script because of it's additional characters and differences, but it is originated from Arabic. There are characters like "پ ,چ ,گ, and ژ" which are absent in Arabic. If you want to cover both Arabic and Persian and Urdu and other similar scripts, the best title is "Perso-Arabic", or you can leave Arabic as it is and make a new group for "Perso-Arabic" characters, as this is more accurate.

"Perso-Arabic script has been applied to the Urdu alphabet, Saraiki alphabet, Kurdish Sorani alphabet, Lurish (Luri), Ottoman Turkish alphabet, Balochi alphabet, Punjabi Shahmukhi script, Tatar, Azeri, and several others."[1]

--Wayiran 15:08, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Finnish form of entries

Hello there all. After discussing this with Hekaheka, both me and Hekaheka have concerns that there might just be too many form-of entries to create them all. According to Hekaheka, we haven't even covered 10% of the root words in the Finnish language, and with every root word being declensed (and some of the form-of entries, such as comparative and superlative adjective forms), this could spell out that there would be hundreds of thousands, if not, millions of Finnish form-of entries that would need to be made, but the question that I pose is: should they be created if there is the possibility that there would be a very, very large number (hundreds of thousands upwards to around several million) of form of entries? Would it be worth making them? Cheers, Razorflame 21:45, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

I think you are still underestimating. Lets's assume there are 100.000 nouns, each inflected in 15 cases in singular and plural. This alone would make some 2,5 million entries. Introduce five different possessive suffixes, five most common clitics ( e.g. -kin, -ko, -pa, -han and -kaan) and their combinations and you have almost 90 million forms for nouns alone. Add 50.000 verbs with more than 100 forms each combined with clitics and you have some 20 million more entries. Counting adjectives, pronouns and adverbs we get easily to 200 million and more. I think one should think twice before starting to enter Finnish word forms (or those of any other inflected language) en masse. --Hekaheka 22:20, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
If it means we can surpass those Frenchmen in pagecount, then by all means go for it Please remember that we're not paper, and a high number of entries just means we get more and more complete, which is our goal. If the inflected entries help people who read their entries, and they recommend us to others, it creates good publicity. -- Prince Kassad 22:24, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
We might as well ask Jimbo to spend some of the donations money to hire Marina Orlova to make videos for our WOTD, I'm sure it would make more publicity than all of the inflected forms for all the languages of the world combined xD
Seriously, in terms of thorough lemma entries, French is no match to English Wiktionary. I'd personally have no problems if we removed all the wikilinks from inflected form entries, thus not making them appear in the total page count. For once, it would force editors to keep focus on the quality content instead... --Ivan Štambuk 23:45, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
We should have them if they are attestable. (I bet some rarer forms of some words have never appeared in print, though.) Entering them manually doesn't seem like the way to do it, though as yet we have no alternative. No hurry to complete the list, though, is there? Equinox 22:39, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
What's the problem? We must have massive amounts of Italian verb forms and such, and nobody seems to mind. My guess is that if we were to complete the Hebrew forms we would have millions of entries made, and I assume we're going to have them eventually. Inflected forms are useful, having millions of them is a benefit. There is no maximum amount of entries we can have. (Specifically for Finnish, I had a situation less than a week ago where I was looking for an inflected form and couldn't find it on WT. I had asked the fi.wikt people for a translation of "140000 entries" into Finnish for www.wiktionary.org, and I was very confused when the answer (140000 artikkelia) wasn't even something we had an entry for.) The goal of Wiktionary is "all words in all languages", even if this amounts to billions and billions of entries, which it probably will. --Yair rand 22:44, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Inflected forms, yes; inflected forms plus clitics, no. —RuakhTALK 22:56, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
To tell you the truth, I think that we should include all of the form of entries for nouns and adjectives, but after looking through the form-of entries for the verb side of things, I think it would be best to stay away from the ones that are more than one word. For example, the entire right side of the conjugation table. Also, depending upon how many clitics there are, I think it would be wise to not include form-of entries for every clitic, but maybe for the four or five most common ones. Cheers, Razorflame 23:59, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you both. No clitics, unless they're really common (negative verb, personal pronouns, some adverbs, eikö, eihän, mekin, ...), and special words like palindromes (apinallanipa). Multiple word entries are pretty useless (tule instead of en tule, et tule, ei tule..., älä tule). Other inflected forms should be okay. The vast number of inflected forms is not an issue. The total number of inflected forms is smaller if we only consider non-compound words, though they shouldn't be rejected either.--Jyril 08:14, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Yeah all words in all languages. I notice on Wiktionary:Requested entries:French you get quite a lot of conjugated forms like sirotait requested because people meet the conjugated form and don't know how to get back to the infinitive, so having conjugated terms is vital as people look them up.
There's a (slightly) similar argument with French elided forms like l'animal, d'animal which are sort of one word (so spaces) but represent a very like number of very low value entries. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:03, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
l'animal is considered to be composed of two words (but presqu'île is a single one). This case can be solved by providing a general guide on how to perform the search when there is a '. Lmaltier 20:55, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Ultimately editors will add whatever they want - words they find interesting, helpful to others, their hometown, etc. There's no need to feel overwhelmed. I mean, if I let the number of undefined Chinese characters get to me (*cough* there are thousands, most with at least half a dozen meanings) I wouldn't be able to get up in the morning. Tooironic 21:59, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
People will, of course, add words they like. However, I think there could be a strategy too. There are phrasebooks and lists of most common words. They could be used to create entries or add translations to English words. It's always a good idea to start with most common words (frequency list are good for this). I, for example, have used a list of most common Arabic verbs and adjectives when I added translations. While adding translations for Arabic, I added translations fro Russian (my mother tongue), Chinese and Japanese (main focus of my studies). You can, of course, create entries for obscure, rare or fashionable words but I would start with most useful, everyday vocabulary. No need to worry, there are many words in a language but not all words are always used. --Anatoli 22:29, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
  • This has already been discussed many times. Our current method of generating "inflected forms" is very primitive (if not plainly stupid) and doesn't scale at all to:
    1. Agglutinative languages such as Basque where you can nest inflectional morphemes one onto the another, theoretically generating infinite number of "inflected forms". In case of Basque in particular, with > 130 inflected forms per noun phrase some half of witch are nestable, you can get more than half a million inflected forms per noun/adjective in case of two-level recursion alone.
    2. Languages with extensive sandhi (mostly Indian languages, e.g. Sanskrit), where in actually spoken discourse words "merge" in long phonetic sequences, and it makes no sense to add an entry of every sandhi variant separately because these would never appear in isolated form as we would add them.
  • The only proper long-term solution for this problem would be to incorporate a lemmatizer in the Wiktionary software, one that could read the presentation-layer inflection tables (xx-infl-PoS, in case of Finnish nouns that would be {{fi-decl}}), and add the output generated in it by high-level templates in some dictionary-like data structure which would be dynamically searched whenever a user utilizes the search box functionality. In case of languages with extensive sandhi, some kind of "de-sandhifier" step should be added too. All of which is not really that complex to do (at least it's easier than all the pains of maintaining a bunch of bots and millions of machine-generated entries), but sadly, beyond the capabilities of this platform.
  • As for the generation of many inflected-forms entries for some very inflected languages - perhaps these could be restrained on the basis of actual attestations? E.g. by generating only inflected forms that occur in some comprehensive Finnish corpora, or similar. I'm particularly disturbed that many inflected forms could be generated that would never ever appear in actually spoken language due to semantic constraints. The problem that English has with e.g. countable/uncountable nouns is analogous to this problem, in languages with lots of cases. It doesn't make sense to apply e.g. vocative case to a word not denoting a living being (unless personified, which most of inanimate objects cannot be). --Ivan Štambuk 22:54, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
    • I think we are in agreement here: Inflected forms = yes, inflected forms + clitics = no. Am I correct in assuming this? Razorflame 03:32, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Popularity of names as part of a definition.

I wanted to find out if there is a policy regarding the popularity of names in Wiktionary, and if there isn't then can I suggest one. Some users have been adding info to proper name entries that I don't think is appropriate for a dictionary, eg, putting in "A female name, popular in the 1930s and 40s" as the definition. Obviously, as baby names go, this info might be correct, but as a dictionary, the name is still in use by those people (Most of whom are still alive), so the info is incorrect. It would be misleading at best. Can I propose the following.

No popularity info in the definition.
Brief usage notes can be used regarding first use of the name, and any significant changes over time, such as spelling or gender use, added there.
Tags such as Dated or Obsolete can be used if there is no modern evidence of the name being used at all, not just at time of the baby's birth.
Notes regarding a names origin (eg, A male name of German origin) belong in the etymology section.

We don't want to become a baby name handbook, and I think we've already started down that road.
Comments would be appreciated.--Dmol 22:54, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Information about the popularity is encyclopedic and clearly not wanted. We have never really figured out what to do with things that really don't have much use for the definition line (toponyms, given names/surnames, phrasebook entries, some proper nouns) so they're usually filled with some encyclopedic or etymological information (or explanation of components in phrasebook entries). I don't have any ideas on how this could be fixed in the entries that don't have anything else in the definition line, but for given names and surnames, where we have standard templates for the definition line, such extra information should be removed. --Yair rand 23:09, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
In any language, there are around 500 names recognized by everyone - regarded as "normal" - and thousands of rare names. I have tried to make clear which group a name belongs to. It's not directed at parents naming babies. "Popular in the 1930s and 1940s" naturally means popular among persons born during those years; in other words, most persons with such a name are 60-80 years old today. I'm sorry if that isn't clear from the wording. The popularity of a name is never constant, peaks come at about (or over) hundred year intervals, so calling a name "obsolete" is pretty risky.
Most names are never particularly popular (over 0.5 percent of the age group) so usually such information isn't needed.
Where to put the info about popularity, or etymology is a matter of taste. It's often shorter and simpler to add it to the definition ("of German origin") when the same name occurs in ten different languages. Anyone is welcome to make more detailed etymologies. I'm ready to move info anywhere by community consensus. It's deletion of valid information that I object to. Many people here seem to have strong feelings about names, though in reality few of them ever edit given name entries, or add new names.--Makaokalani 14:38, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
We should utilize the =Etymology= rather than sticking that information in the definition line. --Bequwτ 01:11, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Baby name handbooks often include data about etymology and popularity, which is linguistic data. Etymology should go to the etymology section. Currently, popularity of a word is often given in the definition line (e.g. rare template in abacinate). Therefore, including it in the definition seems to be normal (anyway, it's difficult to include much as a definition). If too much info is given, it should go to a usage note. Lmaltier 17:26, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for all the good input so far.
I agree with Yair rand, in that popularity is encyclopedic. A similar thing would apply if we started listing the popularity of car such as Lincoln. Such info would be removed very quickly, and there is no reason why popularity of names should also be included.

Popularity is POV, and varies greatly between regions. Most popularity tables seem to be based on the US, with the UK coming in a close second. Further defining it (eg, calling it popular in the US in the 20s) only compounds the POV.

We are also defining something that is constantly and frequently changing. While it might be true that names change in popularity over a long period of time, I think that now we are seeing more sudden changes in a name's popularity. An old, almost unheard of name like Eugenie become common again when a British princess was given that name.
Another example that I am aware of is in Ireland, where there was a huge influx of East European and African immigrants in the last 10 years, resulting in a demonstrable change in the usage of names. I'm sure this was similar in the UK but not to the same extent.

There are also significant variations in a spelling of names, which only when totalled together put it in the top of a popularity race. Mohammed, which I believe is the world's most popular name, has at least all of the following… Muhammed, Mohamed, Mohamad, Muhammad, Muhammed, Muhamed, Mehmed, Muhammed, Muhamed, Muhammet, Muhamet, and Mehmet.

I've come to agree with the comment about not using the obsolete and dated tags. They are POV to certain cultures, and the obsolete one is only used in Wiktionary when there has been no evidence of a word's use for a long time (100 years, isn't it). That doesn't happen with names, as there is always someone somewhere looking to call their child some obscure name. The rare tag, I'm not sure of.

We've also not covered the gender usage of many names, which vary in both in region and generations. A good example is Tracy, which is almost always a girl's name, but rarely exists as a man's name. Not sure if it is best to put a rare tag here, or stick with usage notes which I think would be better. Other examples would be Jody, Meredith, Kieran, where the gender usage varies greatly between countries and generations.

The main issue is that this is a dictionary, and entries should be very consice, and deal with the words, not the names that they are. The definition should be very basic, with other items in either the etymology or a usage note (Notwithstanding the POV mentioned above).--Dmol 04:26, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

If you consider popularity encyclopedic, then call it frequency. Yes, frequency of a word changes with time and with places, but word frequency data are welcome in a dictionary. Lmaltier 07:45, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Calling it something else will not change any of the above listed problems. And we don't routinly add frequency of a word to a definition. The usage of the Dated and Obsolete tags has already been addressed above and does not seem appropriate. (Jury's still out on the Rare tag). But we're getting away from the point I originally raised, and that is that popularity does not belong as part of the definition.--Dmol 03:56, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind having the rare tag in name entries, but pointing out the popularity of a name in the definition line doesn't seem appropriate. --Yair rand 04:13, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
It's not the best place, but it's impossible to provide a real definition anyway... Lmaltier 20:51, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Why is it impossible to provide a real definition????--Dmol 09:04, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Because given names have no meaning, except etymologically. Interesting facts are gender, etymology, pronunciation, frequency, etc., not definitions. Lmaltier 20:20, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
OK, I disagree, but I see what you mean. But the definition is just that, a definition. We shouldn't bulk it up just to make it interesting.--Dmol 10:22, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
I, for one, believe that unique restriction that play a role in the "vision" of a name are relevant, and a way to express them is needed. is a name not known to be used outside Quebec. would be {{archaic}} if the people bearing the name weren't still around: nobody has been given the name since the sixties! These have as much influence on the connotations of these names as they would if they were not proper name. We just need to figure out the right way to include that information. Circeus 03:52, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Dialect categories

I'd like to move [[Category:Regional English]], [[Category:Regional Portuguese]], etc. to [[Category:English dialects]], [[Category:Portuguese dialects]], etc. --Daniel. 00:20, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I assume you mean the contents of Category:Regionalisms? What would the category itself be renamed, as Category:Dialects is already taken? (On a side note, why in the world don't we have a specific discussion room for moves, merges, etc. instead of them all being placed in the BP or RFDO?) --Yair rand 04:06, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
The supercategory would be named [[Category:Dialects by language]] as usual. Interestingly but maybe not directly related to this discussion, the [[Category:Dialects]] currently contains entries that define regionalisms, such as "British English". --Daniel. 20:28, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

This is not always the same. I think that a single word used only in a region does not create a dialect. dialectal and regional have different meanings. Lmaltier 06:59, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

In German, the Southern area uses some words totally unknown to northern German residents (like heuer), even though South Germany is split up in the Alemannic and Austro-Bavarian dialect area, which are very different, the words are the same in both areas. -- Prince Kassad 14:48, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Regional English seems to me to be the better title. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:56, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I agree with others, let's keep dialectal to (more or less) strictly defined linguistic notion of dialect, and mark the words that are merely regionally confined/characteristic with (regional X), or some similar type of context label. These two could often overlap, but in case where they don't it's better to have them clearly separated. --Ivan Štambuk 22:24, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Regionalisms are dialects, no? I'd expect to find Category:Leet in the same supercategory of Category:Canadian English, because these two are English dialects. --Daniel. 20:28, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

No, dialect conveys a different meaning. A few regionalisms don't make a dialect. Lmaltier 21:46, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Can you please give me examples of regionalisms that are not dialects? --Daniel. 03:59, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
An example: a pain aux raisins is called schneck in some places in France. Yet, French spoken there is not a dialect at all, it's standard French. Very often, regionalisms come from other languages spoken in the region or in nearby regions. Another example: a pain au chocolat is called chocolatine in a large part of France (South). This is a regional difference, specific to this word, and has nothing to do with dialects or with other languages. Lmaltier 06:43, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Likewise in the United States, the words and are regionalisms, but are not dialectical. The words and are regionalisms, as are the words , , , and . --EncycloPetey 02:27, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Individual provinces, cities, and even neighbourhoods may use words or senses not heard elsewhere. See bismarck and jambuster for some regionalisms in Canadian Prairie provinces (although most of Canada speaks one dialect). Michael Z. 2010-03-10 03:31 z

Suggested edits to {{ja-kanji}}

I'm new here and there doesn't be a simple way to request an edit for blocked templates like there is in Wikipedia. I'm wondering if it would be possible to make a few minor changes to {{ja-kanji}}, or if someone could point me in the right direction for where to suggest such changes. Currently, the parenthetical classifications of kanji by their rank seem a bit inadequate, particularly for someone unfamiliar with Japanese who may be looking for information about the characters in question. I realize that the template documentation describes this, but the average user isn't going to find that information easily. The template does place each kanji into a category that also provides some of this additional information, but I think there could be a more direct explanation in the body of the entry. For example:

  1. Grade X kanji could link to the corresponding Kyōiku kanji article discussing education kanji.
  2. Instead of just "Common kanji" it could read "common (Jōyō) kanji" and link to the [w:Jōyō kanji|]] article.
  3. kanji for names could link to the Jinmeiyō kanji article.
  4. uncommon kanji could read "uncommon (non-Jōyō) kanji and link to the Hyōgaiji article. Just because a kanji is outside of the Jōyō table, doesn't necessarily make it "uncommon."

These changes I'm suggesting would only be to the inline descriptions that appear next to the kanji in entries. The current categories in which each character is placed wouldn't changed, so it shouldn't break any articles currently using the template. I've created a new version of the template in my template sandbox for editors to review and copy of they think this change is worth considering.Dcmacnut 03:37, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Seeing as you seem to know what you're on about, but no-one else is jumping in, I've lowered the protectiuon on that page. Go wild. In future, the Grease pit is for questions like this. Conrad.Irwin 01:03, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I made the edits per above. Thanks for the heads up on the Grease pit. I'll use that in the future.--Dcmacnut 02:47, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Image relevancy

While looking at some of the entries I noticed that many images that are embedded on entries are not actually from the region where the language is spoken. For example, on the English entry on bus, the image shows a bus from Japan, where English is not actually spoken. Now, when one learns a new language he often also learns the local culture, the region, the people, etc., which is very important when learning a language, especially if you ever plan to visit that country so you can acquaint yourself with the locals, and so it would be nice if the images used in a language's entries also originate from that region. My suggestion is a guideline (not a policy) that images used in a language's entry should preferably originate from the region where the language is spoken. For example, mountain should show a Mountain in North America or England, while Berg should show a typical German mountain. -- Prince Kassad 12:11, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Sounds good, as long as one doesn't remove images without replacing them. The limits are obvious. Should Sun be illustrated only with a photo taken from an English-speaking country? Do we have any images of German volcanoes or Ibo subways? DCDuring TALK 13:22, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
On a related note, I sometimes remove images from small sections as they float right and overlap into the next section. With something like which is used in a lot of languages, it's best to have an image in the English section and not repeat it . Mglovesfun (talk) 13:30, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
When a user clicks on the table of contents, he cannot see the image in the English section. I don't think that repeating the same image is an issue. In addition, there may be several different senses interlaced in the page, depending on the language: looking at images in other sections may be misleading and should not be the rule. Lmaltier 22:59, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Agreed. Also, I'm sure there are plenty of kimonos in the U.S., but the canonical kimono is nonetheless a Japanese one. —RuakhTALK 17:02, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. A vehicle in Japan is called bus in English just as much as a vehicle in the States is. Denali is just as much called Berg as the Fluchthorn is. (I know no German, and maybe that wasn't the best example. But you get my point.)​—msh210 16:29, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I get your point, but disagree. It's not that the foreign images are wrong, but they're less canonical in many cases. A local image is likely to be better. —RuakhTALK 17:02, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree, some text to this effect should be added to Help:Images (or Wiktionary:Images, which reads to me like a help page), but I don't see this as being a task that "needs" doing. Conrad.Irwin 09:48, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Here is an excellent example of how not to use images and right floating boxes all together. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:59, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Or is that an example of why we should eliminate {{top}} where {{rel-top}} or {{trans-top}} should be and {{wikipedia}} where {{slim-wikipedia}} (for a dab) or {{pedia}} should be, under "See also"? DCDuring TALK 15:38, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
We should really have some kind of image use policy (independent of this suggestion) so users know how images are used on this wiki. Currently, it's not written anywhere and you pretty much have to go by trial and error. -- Prince Kassad 19:54, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
We have a start at Wiktionary:Images, and I have enough thoughts on the matter to expand that page, if necessary. However, the page is currently more a helpful "how-to" page rather than a policy sort of page. I think that's better, and don't believe we ned a "policy" on this.
While I agree that a "local" image can be better, I disagree with that as a matter of policy, and disagree on the specific choice of bus as an example. I see no problem with using a picture of a Japanese bus to illustrate the word, since buses vary enormously among the various English speaking countries. London buses, San Francisco buses, Sydney buses, Johannesberg buses, and New Delhi buses look quite different from each other in details. A Japanese bus has no features that fall outside of that range of variation that are significant to understanding what a bus is. --EncycloPetey 02:23, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm really having a hard time believing that this is seriously being discussed. "A typical German mountain"? I suppose that in our entry for rainbow the picture should be one taken in a predominantly English-speaking country, because rainbows differ so much from place to place. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 18:52, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

But mountains really do vary from place to place. I think I'd actually be confused if our entry for the Tibetan word for mountain showed a picture of (say) Pikes Peak. —RuakhTALK 21:31, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Mountains' apperances vary mostly by how they are formed... not necessarily by where they are in the world, although different geological features will make a difference. I still can't bring myself to take this whole thing seriously. It could easily become racist. Should our entries for terms meaning man and woman only use images of people who come from the countries where the language is spoken? No, why should that be necessary? I would just as soon have no images than follow this business. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 17:18, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I do think that it would be nice for [[איש]] (for example) to have a picture of an Israeli man, rather than (say) every single "man"-meaning entry using the same photograph. I don't see what's racist about that. But parts of your comment veer into straw-man territory; why " [] terms meaning man and woman only use images [] "? Why "should that be necessary"? No one is saying that this should be a requirement, only that it would generally be better. Obviously there are plenty of exceptions — DCDuring gave some, I gave one, and EncycloPetey argued that "bus" itself is one — but that doesn't mean the entire concept is ridiculous. —RuakhTALK 18:02, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't like the "picture of an Israeli man" idea in general, as there isn't a one-to-one mapping between languages and countries or cultures. Equinox 18:11, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Certainly; but we don't need such a one-to-mapping. There's also not a one-to-mapping of words to people (note that I was only suggesting *a* picture of *an* Israeli man, even though a few million Israeli men would then be left out). But it seems a bit silly if [[homme]] has a picture of (say) George W. Bush rather than Abdoulaye Wade. —RuakhTALK 18:42, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
No, it really doesn't. But I repeat myself.​—msh210 18:45, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if part of why we disagree might be because of our different language-learning backgrounds. I suspect that most people who study modern languages are also interested in exposing themselves to the corresponding cultures, literatures, aesthetics, and so on. French and Spanish textbooks, at least in the U.S., are overflowing with snippets about different holidays celebrated in different countries, and the different ways that people spend their days, and so on. The goal isn't just to be able to read a text and understand its denotation. By contrast, people studying ancient texts don't necessarily take the same attitudes toward the cultures. (Note: This is mostly speculation on my part, and I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions. In particular, I imagine that hundreds of millions of people are studying English purely for practical reasons, without giving a darn about any Anglophone culture.) Even so — even if you take a very literal, text-based approach to the language — surely you can see that many of our readers don't feel that way, and are studying more than just the language? It may make no difference to you whether the images bear any relationship to the culture, but why should you object to a loose guideline that, when all else is equal, they should do so? —RuakhTALK 19:41, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Okay, fair enough. "All else is equal" of course excludes the case that one picture is easier to find than the other by virtue of being higher on the Commons' search-result list.  :-) ​—msh210 19:56, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Right. :-)   And if someone's improving entries by adding images to them, it's not like I'm going to get annoyed just because they're not choosing the exact same images that I would have chosen. That is a level of irritable pettiness that even I can only aspire to. ;-)   —RuakhTALK 20:04, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I could see using the canonical item for something like a spoon or robe or taxi, where specific words that translate to spoon or robe or taxi in another language might have a different canonical shape, color, style, etc. But in English, a Japanese bus is just as much a bus as a bus anywhere else. DAVilla 20:52, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Requests for... something else

We really need a "Miscellaneous requests" page, for moves, merges, splits, and restructurings. Right now, people either put them in the BP, RFDO, the appropriate talk page, or even to WT:V (we're actually going through a month-long vote of the phrasebook category split right now). Can't we just have a separate request page for these, running the same way as RFD/RFDO? (I'm thinking WT:RFM, but I don't know what that would stand for...) --Yair rand 01:32, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

I think more the problem is that we are vote-happy. "correct figures in CFI", "category phrasebook", even "category numerals", or "removing wikisaurus-Link" do not really need a vote. There are currently few requests for large changes, and I think this is the correct place for them. I am not a fan of new discussion rooms, decentralisation means it's harder to keep track of what is happening; and there will still be people who file the wrong request to the wrong room, more so if they're not sure exactly which rooms exist. Conrad.Irwin 09:45, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
While I'm not a fan of votes, it can prevent edit wars of people renaming categories ad nauseam. If there's a vote that passes 10-0 it's gonna be impossible for them to do that. Re specific discussion page, yes. User:Daniel. for example nominates them for deletion, without actually wanting to delete them. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:10, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, the act of moving categories includes deleting them. When I want to rename appendices, I either do it or post at BP when I think the new scheme is too controversial. --Daniel. 20:17, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Maybe something like WT:RFCO (there'd be no need for an RFVO)? --Bequwτ 18:17, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
RFCO would indicate that it would work like RFC rather than like the RFD process of being able to get a clear result just by a few people posting in bold letters. Also, it would probably then be put on the page by {{rfc}} rather than by things like {{merge}}, and would also confuse sending categories, etc. for simple cleanup for other reasons. --Yair rand 18:31, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Requests for restructure could be a name, if we need this, which I'm not sure we do. (No litotes intended.) If we do have such a page, it should IMO clearly delineate what belongs on it. And I'm not sure what that would be, at all.​—msh210 18:52, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure what the problem is with using BP, and if there is one, then maybe we should look at in-BP ways to address it, rather than creating a separate room in the hopes that it won't have that problem. But if we do want such a room, maybe it should be called Wiktionary:Quick votes (WT:QVOTE)? I mean, that's basically what RFD and RFDO are: you make a simple proposal, and people vote on it, and if it looks like there's agreement to make the change, someone implements the result. If it looks like there's agreement, but it flouts policy, then someone puts together a policy proposal, brings it to WT:VOTE, and waits a month for it to fail for stupid reasons. —RuakhTALK 19:12, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
    I'd rather continue to discuss such issues in BP, but I also like the "quick votes" proposal. Would it deprecate RFDO? --Daniel. 20:17, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
    I hope not. RFDO is one of the few things on Wiktionary that actually just works, without massive backlog or long ridiculous arguments. Having quick votes sounds good, but only if it's not strictly 'votes', allowing discussions and changes to the 'vote' in the middle without driving anyone crazy, and without scheduled start/end dates. Basically I'm very much in favor of the RFD/RFDO method. --Yair rand 20:28, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Re: "only if it's not strictly 'votes'": Right. My thought was that it would be exactly like RFD and RFDO, but not restricted to — indeed, not inclusive of — deletion proposals. But again, I'm not sure we really need such a room; rather than encouraging people to bring quick-votes to a separate forum, it might well be better to encourage them to structure their BP proposals in a quick-votable format when appropriate. —RuakhTALK 21:11, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Maybe some better technology would help. Other discussion fora have a feature, which I crave here, that allows users to agree or disagree with existing comments. An example are the thumbs-up/down on youtube. We could implement something similar here, with a template that had pro and con list parameters. It would display positive and negative signs ("+" & "-" or thumbs-up & thumbs-down) and, when clicked, the username (or IP) would be recorded by Javascript in the appropriate list. A tooltip could show the number "for" and "against" (one could look at the wikitext to see who was in both lists). This could bridge the gap between votes (which aren't "fluid") and discussions (where people often only post new concerns so it's hard to know the popularity of existing statement). Staw-polling would be much easier and organic with such a solution. --Bequwτ 23:00, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
    I'd rather not ... It seems like that mode of consensus gathering would hinder discussion.
    The point of the original proposal to split moves, merges and splits into a new discussion room was mainly aimed at things that are currently either going in RFDO or just nowhere, stuff like minor topic category restructures, template renamings, Wikisaurus merges, and stuff that couldn't go into the BP (no major policy implications) but fall out of the scope of any other discussion room. We even have some mainspace entries that could use this, idioms that aren't in the best locations, or are duplicated (see run by, which isn't being discussed anywhere AFAIK). Some RFDO requests that aren't actually deletion requests have been sitting there for a long time, in a discussion room that they aren't really supposed to be in. As far as I can tell, there's no way to fix this other than creating a new discussion room. So how about this: We start up Wiktionary:Requests for moves, merges and splits (shortcut WT:RFM), use it for a couple months or so, and then re-discuss whether it's an improvement or not afterwards. Any really major moves, merges or splits can either take place in the BP, or simply have a notification in the BP, similar to what we do with major RFDO's. If it works, the problem is fixed, if it doesn't then we either try to think of a different solution or just go back to the way we have it now. Any objections? --Yair rand 05:30, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    Your proposal is also good, but that name is too long. Perhaps we could use WT:RFM and Wiktionary:Requests for manipulation instead. --Daniel. 06:04, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
    I'm not sure "Requests for manipulation" gives a clear impression of what it's for, whereas "moves, merges and splits" clearly shows the purpose of the discussion room. And it's really not all that long, only nine characters longer than Requests for deletion/Others. --Yair rand 06:22, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
IMHO we don't need yet another request page apart from WT:RFC and WT:TODO; executive votes are a good thing, as are votes for even minor changes in WT:CFI and WT:ELE; Beer parlour is a good general-purpose forum. --Dan Polansky 09:49, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but people aren't using the Beer Parlour, and I doubt anyone thinks it would be a good idea anyway. We really have no place to discuss a template move, an idiom move/merge/split, a Wikisaurus page move/merge/split, a category move/merge/split, an appendix move/merge/split, etc. Should the BP be used for all of these? Can it be? --Yair rand 19:05, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Under most circumstances very little discussion should be needed. Everything has a talk page if you want to discuss changes before implementing them. Can you list a few open discussions that you would move to your new page? Conrad.Irwin 22:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Most of the move/merges/splits that go to RFDO generally aren't very clear about what the request is for, but WT:RFDO#Category:Leet and the RFDO of the football categories could probably be moved there. The pages at Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:merge also need discussing. There are also a couple of requests that I personally would like to put up, such as a possible merge of Category:Given name appendices and Category:Surname appendices (or maybe just cat them both under Category:Name appendices?) and renaming some appendices that are badly named (Why Appendix:List of scientific journal abbreviations instead of just Appendix:Scientific journal abbreviations, and why is Index:Geordie lexicon in the wrong namespace?). I think some possible moves/merges/splits just go undiscussed, because we don't really have a process for them. --Yair rand 03:14, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough. In my opinion, renaming Index:Geordie lexicon doesn't need discussion, and neither does Appendix:List of scientific journal abbreviations - sure some poeple might not agree with the change, but when the effect is local to one page, who cares, it's trivial to undo. (While you're at it some notes on naming at Help:Appendices might not go amiss). The same goes for most of Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:merge, instead of waiting for a discussion that takes days or months to finalise, just fix the problem in the best way you can, it will take under ten minutes. If the fixes have wide-spread consequences, then maybe a discussion is needed, or a less intrusive fix (like the "less-intrusive" fix for the names categories you suggest above).
At the moment this sort of thing have no discussion rooms, because no discussion is needed, discussing local changes is a waste of time (rumours abound that google run usability tests on thousands of users and meet to discuss the results before making even a pixel-sized change to their results page - yet can anyone honestly say they look perfect?). The more active fixes a person makes to Wiktionary, the more experienced, independent and useful they become; the more discussion they get bogged down with, the more dependent they become on other people to do the thinking for them, which wastes the time not only of the dependant but also the dependees. It's a vicious cycle, please let's avoid it. </rant> Conrad.Irwin 12:04, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Well, the Beer Parlor is suffering from overuse, sort of being used for everything that other forums don't already cover. I read the Beer Parlor less than the other forums just because its sofa king big. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:14, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
As far as I can see, this proposal would not remove many discussions from WT:BP. Conrad.Irwin 12:04, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Links between editable and non-editable

The editable policy WT:CFIEDIT links to WT:CFI (at the blue header box). In my opinion, WT:CFI should link to WT:CFIEDIT too. --Daniel. 22:27, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, that would be useful. Perhaps added to Template:policy? --Yair rand 22:33, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Done. Not added to {{policy}} though, it's not policy, right? Conrad.Irwin 01:20, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I thought it might be better to add an option to {{policy}} to add a link to editable versions of policy pages, but I guess just putting it on top works too. I've added a link to WT:ELEE from WT:ELE. --Yair rand 01:46, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I've added an automatic message to related policies through the template {{policy}}. See current CFI header, for example. Should we use the message at the blue box or the other one at the top? I prefer the blue box for consistency. --Daniel. 03:54, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Multi-language entries with subpages

Not sure if this was discussed before, but would it make any sense to use subpages for the FL entries on long multiple language pages such as hat? Each FL entry would have its own subpage, the English entry would have the main page. Links on the top of the pages (main and sub) would assist navigation between them. --Panda10 02:42, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

That's the idea. Do you find any inconsistencies? All words sharing the spelling in different languages are done this way and I think it's the best approach. How can it be otherwise? --Anatoli 02:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
It's all on one page when I look at it. Such pages are eventually going to become very long. Dbfirs 10:49, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, currently it's one page with separate sections for each FL entry, but what I meant is subpages. Are subpages included in search?--Panda10 10:55, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Tattoos as sources

Various Chinese characters are extremely common as tattoos in English-speaking countries (most are abstract concepts such as "hope" and "love"). They are already defined as Translingual characters here. Fine. In my opinion, erroneus but popular characters should be defined here too. For instance "天" is known as the supposed transliteration of the letter E, "先" is known as K, etc. The English name "ERIKA" may be written as "天誼小先生" by conversion of each letter. --Daniel. 04:55, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Are you saying that tattoos should be our sources, like if we're citing a term or verifying if it is CFI-passable --Rising Sun talk? 20:45, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Cites need the term in context to verify meaning, which tattoos rarely have. --Bequwτ 23:57, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I've never heard of this phenomenon. But if people are doing such ridiculous things, surely this amounts to mere symbolisms and not actual usage in actual sentences. Tooironic 00:05, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Here is one example: OSUKE site. The "行迎友先天" at the picture is read as "OSUKE". --Daniel. 00:54, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
There are several variations on this. See here and here for starters. However, I have doubts that such content is appropriate for a dictionary. Descriptively they are used for tattoo shops, not by any real speakers of the language. Bendono 09:03, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
According to CFI, it is appropriate to include such content as long as three people use each character in a verifiable way. Though probably the context would be character explanation, such as "See my friend Phill's tattoo. It's his name in Chinese! I can tell because the letter 'l' appears twice at the end." --Daniel. 03:51, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
But it's not actual use of the language. There are no sentences, no real texts or contexts. In short, it's complete and utter tosh. As Mandarin editors we have mountains upon mountains of work ahead of us until Wiktionary becomes a barely decent Mandarin<->English dictionary. The example you gave is utterly meaningless and ridiculed in blogs like hanzismatter.com. If I see any such entries on Wiktionary you can be sure I'll be swiftly nominating them for deletion. (Unless, of course, real use can be found anywhere on this planet.) Tooironic 07:41, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Exactly: That's tosh. My point is, if there are symbols (or words) commonly used in an improper way, they might be defined here as improper. Another example are the English misspellings ("refered", "accessable", "artifical", etc.). --Daniel. 21:17, 3 March 2010 (UTC)
I feel it's different to say that a word versus a symbol is used within a certain context. A symbol standing for a letter by itself is not in context, but in a person's name could be considered to be within the latter as running text. Although they resemble Chinese characters, the language is clearly not Chinese and may be broader than just English. How to represent a transliteration is unsettled in my mind and needs to be resolved. But more importantly, I find arguments that say it's not language because it's not clearly within a specific language to be extremely weak. If it communicates something then it is language, and to say that it isn't English because it doesn't use the letters a through z is prescriptive and counter to existing examples that we have already voted to include. DAVilla 21:02, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

admins to be made

Hello any bureaucrats. There are a few users awaiting promotion to sysophood atWT:V. Please can any necessary steps be made --Rising Sun talk? 20:44, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Maybe it wouldn't be a terrible idea to consider recruiting another bureaucrat. Is anyone interested? There's a good half-dozen users here who I'm sure would have no problem being elected, but if nobody else is interested, I might just nominate myself --Rising Sun talk? 21:00, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I knew this was coming. For a long time already Wonderfool has been promoting his sockpuppets into adminship and not deleting the Main Page. He hopes to be voted a bureaucrat with the help of this army of sock-admins. Of course, I expected Equinox to be nominated, not RS. --Vahagn Petrosyan 22:31, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
We do have two active bureaucrats. There's not much to do for 'crats (just fulfill admin and bot votes and check WT:CHU every once in a while) so I'm not sure if we need another one. -- Prince Kassad 23:02, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
lol@Vahagn...I now should invoke clause 8 of my premise, I guess. --Rising Sun talk? 08:53, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
The wonderfool theory aside, the issue raised in Rising Sun's original post still needs to be addressed. JamesjiaoT C 03:58, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

I think that I shall offer myself as a bureaucrat to the community. That solves everything, because Dvortygirl has met me and can assure that I am not Wonderfool. However, I shall have to wait until I am on my own computer and can log in from my usual account rather than this one. I'd love to hear if anyone still harbours objections to me doing that. --Nesksock kanetsv verify? 17:47, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Obviously, this means that you and Dvortygirl must both be Wonderfool. :-)   --RuakhTALK 19:27, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
We have pictures to prove that we aren't. Really! A picture in fact exists of the two of us together, I believe, though it is in Dvorty's possession rather than my own. --Neskaya contribs - talk? 22:11, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Since the two of you are the same person, you should have no trouble getting hold of the picture, then, Neskaya.​--msh210 16:43, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
Maybe after four or five days of IRC tag. :P --Neskaya contribs - talk? 21:43, 2 March 2010 (UTC)
I messaged SemperBlotto about this, and he's taking care of it now. Razorflame 19:30, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
This is good, but there's still no reason not to have one more active 'crat. This stuff should get done without having to send off messages and all. :P --Neskaya contribs - talk? 22:11, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd be happy to appoint Neskaya, and Razorflame, as crats --Rising Sun talk? 21:55, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
Wait, now I'm being equated with Razorflame? This is no good. :P --Neskaya contribs - talk? 22:11, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

I believe that there are a few users who would make great bureaucrats: Mglovesfun, Ruakh, msh210 and Corand.Irwin. These users have exactly what is needed for the bureaucrat position, and I would be more than happy to nominate any one of them. Razorflame 21:35, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

I would opt for Opiaterein, Vahagn Petrosyan, Ivan Štambuk or Atitarev. Wonderfool does not speak either Romanian or Armenian or Russian or Serbo-Croatian so they are four administrators who are exempt from the suspicion of being Wonderfool. The same applies for Leolaursen, Doremítzwr and many other administrators (the language criterion). They are all cordial and courteous in their demeanour towards other users, so I consider them suitable for this position. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 22:00, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Um, the only user that I'd actually support in that (not that I don't like opi and vahag) is Atitarev. --Neskaya contribstalk? 08:18, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
I would completely oppose both Opiaterein and Ivan becoming bureaucrats. Neither are suitable for the position. Razorflame 22:58, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
How about we make a vote on who to vote for bureaucrat? -- Prince Kassad 22:11, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Only the bureaucrats can do that. Conrad.Irwin 22:14, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
All of the above admins would be fine as 'crats - good-humoured and often around, except maybe Vahag, because he sometimes edits while drunk, Opi because he's frickin' angry and rather too pro-Wonderfool. And I hope the vote for a vote was a joke - I don't know you (PK) well enough to know if you've got a sense of humo(u)r. ;p. --Rising Sun talk? 22:19, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
But seriously, anything that reduces SB's workload can only be a Good Thing --Rising Sun talk? 22:21, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
So Vahag can't be a 'crat because he edits while drunk, but you can, although you do? User:Rising_Sun/Premise Tsk! Equinox 16:47, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
We already have six -crats. The five that aren't me (and none of them are my sockpuppets) are all contactable by email, and at least one of them roams Facebook. There isn't really much for a -crat to do, and none of it is really urgent. We probably have enough. SemperBlotto 22:25, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
Out of those six -crats, only two are active in doing bureaucratic things, Semper and EP. Two of the others are inactive (Paul G and Eclecticology), and the only person who has done any bureaucratic actions has been Semper. EP hasn't done any since the 28th of December, Dvortygirl since November of last year, Hippietrail since July of last year, and the other two not since 2008 detailed here. For a WMF wiki of this size (100,000+ members), I would expect there to be at least one or two more bureaucrats, if not more. While there might not be a high demand for bureaucratic actions, the more active bureaucrats there are, the better off because if only one bureaucrat is making all the calls, that can lead to problems further on down the road. I would suggest that we put up one or two people for bureaucrat, as I think that that would be the right call for the English Wiktionary at this point in time. Razorflame 23:37, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree with SB, we probably don't need more crats. What we do need more of is... Oversighters! </random semi-joking exclamation> :-P --Yair rand 22:32, 4 March 2010 (UTC)
We definitely need more colorful sigNATURES, so that the signatures do not get overlooked in the overflood of discussion text. --Dan Polansky 10:25, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

In any case we seem to have resolved the matter, and I'm frankly glad that we aren't going to need to nominate another 'crat. Though anything that made me get less OTRS messages about SB would also be a good thing, overall, but that's just having to do with admin stuff. And Dvorty can be reached on IRC, even if she isn't terribly active on wiki. --Neskaya contribstalk? 08:18, 8 March 2010 (UTC)