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Information desk archives edit


December 2018

Alternate Spellings and Non-Oxford British EnglishEdit

On the page on the page monetise is listed as an alternate spelling of monetize. In a similar but different vein authorise is listed as a of authorize "Non-Oxford British English standard spelling" and generally a more extensive page. Is there a specific reason that these two cases are being treated differently, such as policy? —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 05:15, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

No, there is no fixed rule for this, but some people get upset if their preferred form isn't the main one, so we even have complete duplicate entries in some cases. Equinox 05:21, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
Not a policy, but a practice that many of us follow/advocate: leave things the way they are. Don't change a main entry to a regional alternative-form entry (or vice versa). That gives people an incentive to create the entries in the first place and discourages pondian edit-wars. I and at least some other US admins routinely revert attempts to switch the main form from British to US, and British admins routinely revert attempts to switch the other way. The reason no policy exists is that there are good reasons on both sides, so there's no irrefutable objective choice, only two subjective ones that no one can agree on. My experience is that nobody wins such disputes, so it's better to avoid them entirely. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:52, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
I guess in my mind it would be best for there to be one entry, and converting what is currently situated as the secondary entry, in this case authorise, into something more similar to monetise. I can understand that some users would get upset over implied preference or correctness. I also think that reformatting authorise in a similar way to monetise would be generally beneficial because it would prevent inevitable entry divergence between authorise and authorize. —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 06:02, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
Setting aside which spelling should have definitions and which should be a "soft redirect", let me answer your question about "alternative spelling" vs "standard spelling", since that's simpler. If a spelling is the standard (prescribed/normative) spelling in a particular standardized variety of English, then it's more accurate/explanatory to use the more specific {{standard spelling of}} template. Because that template was only created in 2013, prior to which only {{alternative spelling of}} existed, many entries like monetise still use the more generic template ― but that can usually be changed without a fuss. ("non-Oxford British English" is a bit of a Franken-descriptor not everyone likes, but it aims to distinguish -ise forms from Oxford [British] English that does use -ize.) Moving pronunciation information out of authorise and into the lemma entry is also OK, to avoid divergence, as you say. - -sche (discuss) 07:44, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, I think I understand much better now. With all that it mind would it most make sense for monetise to be changed to this:



Information desk (third-person singular simple present authorises, present participle authorising, simple past and past participle authorised)

  1. Non-Oxford British English standard spelling of authorize.


(If there is some better way I could have pasted this in or formatted it I would be interested to know) —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 16:40, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
I can't figure out what you are trying to say. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:10, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Where the apprentice wrote “would it most make sense for monetise to be changed to”, I am sure they meant to write that it “would make more sense for authorise to be changed to”, an idea implemented in this edit.  --Lambiam 19:12, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes, User:Lambiam, thats exactly what I meant, thank you for interpretting. —The Editor's Apprentice (TalkEdits) 03:21, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

Usage of graceful in the context of computingEdit

In the context of computing, the word graceful can sometimes mean in a gradual and non-disruptive manner, e.g. graceful shutdown / graceful restart, which is in my opinion, beyond the current definition Having or showing grace in movement, shape, or proportion.

However, as a non-native speaker, I'm not so sure about this. Do you think this should be included as a second definition? And if so, how would you phrase this definition? Thanks. --ZypA13510 (talk) 01:55, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

Yes, should be added.   Done Added with a book citation for "graceful shutdown". We also already had graceful degradation. Equinox 02:05, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

Handling agent-focus forms of nouns in Malayan LanguagesEdit

I have found that in Malay and Indonesian, a meng- prefix is added to verbs for, according to Wiktionary, agent focus. Generally I have seen headers say (used in the form meng_) when referring to that form of noun, and editors create seperate entries for them. My question is, as I haven’t found any policy or guideline pages about Malay or Indonesian, are such edits correct, with respect to the actual usage of this prefix? Are we doomed to have to create seperate prefixed entries of every single verb in Malay? Muchthanks. Desaccointier(talk) 06:41, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

@Desaccointier: (alias User:Epichaericacianus) For Malay and Indonesian, we have to refer to the Kamus Dewan and Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia (KBBI) respectively to verify the existence of a certain lemma. Not all nouns will have the meng- form, and separate entries are created only if the prefixed term can be found in any reputable dictionary or if the term is attestable in local radio, television or printed publications. Also, note that "agent focus" is a generalization, and some prefixed terms end up with a completely different meaning — compare Malay sampah (rubbish) and menyampah (to loathe or hate upon; to feel disgusted). KevinUp (talk) 13:41, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

Substitution of templatesEdit

You can't substitute templates like you can on Wikipedia, can you? I tried to susubstitute Template:zh-see, but it didn't work out well.

No, and there's no reason for you to do so in 99.9% of cases. DTLHS (talk) 00:23, 16 December 2018 (UTC)
You can, but it has to be one that's designed for substituting, which most aren't. If the template's documentation doesn't say it can be substituted, assume it can't be. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:01, 16 December 2018 (UTC)

Copyright for illustration from 1970s USDA publication?Edit

I would like to include the photo of the dryland sodder at this page, but am uncertain what the situation is with USDA publications; any ideas?

Publication date 1978.

Thanks, I hope JonRichfield (talk) 09:39, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

If this qualifies as a USDA publication, that is, it is a work of the United States government, it is in the public domain. The inside of the book gives me no confidence that it should qualify as such. It is the report of a workshop, which is stated to be “an organization of Federal and State agencies and private groups”, and it consists of the contributions of the participants. However, the particular contribution that has a picture of a dryland sodder, entitled “BLM’s Equipment Development Program for Revegetating Disturbed Lands”, is by the late Dick Hallman (died 2012), who worked for the Missoula Equipment Development Center (MEDC), one of the EDCs of the USDA Forest Service. So it should be exempt of copyright. If the picture was not taken by him or else under the direction of someone from the MEDC, it must have come from the BLM, an agency of the USDI. In either case, it is in the public domain.  --Lambiam 15:56, 24 December 2018 (UTC)

may the Force be with youEdit

  • Knows somebody a source for the translations into LDLs like Frisian, Hessisch, Latin, Navajo? Was some Star Wars thingy translated into several LDLs like Asterix or Harry Potter?
  • What's "Ærisk Friesk"? Because of -sk, ø and æ it looks like it could be a Danish term.

- 19:34, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

The editor who added those probably shouldn't have. Anytime I see someone adding translations in a dozen assorted off-the-beaten-track languages like that, it makes me very nervous. I'm guessing they got them from a) other wikis b) some kind of international Star Wars forum, or c) looking up individual words in dictionaries and guessing at the rest. Of those, a) & c) are a very bad idea for nonspeakers, and the middle one is bad because it probably involves someone, somewhere doing a) or c). Chuck Entz (talk) 20:06, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
The Navajo term was used in the Navajo motion picture "Sǫʼtah Anah" (Star Wars). —Stephen (Talk) 20:56, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Well, there are at least mentionings of it ([1], [2], [3]). [4] is older than the WT entry and gives translations for Latin, Alsatian, Occitan - yet is unreliable like WT.
  • Just noticed that "Ærisk Friesk" is given without a language code in the source. There are Old Frisian (ofs), West Frisian (fy/fry), North Frisian (frr), East Frisian (-) including the last surviving form Saterland Frisian (stq), East Frisian Low German (part of nds), and "Town Frisian" (Dutch: Stadsfriesch, Stadfriesch, colloquial Stadsfries, Stadfries; -)... Maybe it should be RFVed...
    [Dutch Ripuarian lacks a code too, but it seems obvious to be Ripuarian, which is part of Central Franconian (WT code: gmw-cfr), as spoken in the Netherlands.] - 11:13, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
“Ærisk Friesk”, or just “Ærisk”. is described on this mini wiki-enseklopeedje, written in Ærisk Friesk, as an unrecognized Frisian language spoken in Germany and the Netherlands. One of the sysops of that wiki is also active here and is admin at the Limburgish Wiktionary.  --Lambiam 13:23, 31 December 2018 (UTC)
Under "Aast-Ærisk" it has dialects for inter alia Delfzijl and Assen, so it is safe to assume that this is a private conlang. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 11:43, 14 January 2019 (UTC)

January 2019

Images of wordsEdit

Dear Editors: Would you be interested in the images of words? I am cutting up manuscripts into single words. I will have many representations of each word as my sources will come from different writers and from different time periods and styles of writing. David Kaminski (talk) 14:32, 6 January 2019 (UTC)

English, I assume? Is this a captcha project? Can you tell us more? Equinox 15:53, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
No, I'm not interested. I already have all the pictures of words that I could ever want. DTLHS (talk) 18:20, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
No, I don't think Wiktionary is the right place for that. See Wikimedia Commons instead. KevinUp (talk) 14:34, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
The project covers American handwriting--to study the styles and variations, and to aid people in reading old cursive handwriting from colonial times through the early 1900s. The variations are staggering, in my opinion. If you have pictures of single words in cursive American handwriting I would certainly appreciate access to your resources; those would be very useful to me. Please advise if you still believe this project is better for Wikimedia Commons. David Kaminski (talk) 23:08, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
Rather than for entire words (except for lexical exceptions) some paleographic notes (for example to help read the original U.S. constitution) would really be useful if added to the letters of the alphabet and their surroundings in text --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:58, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
I found David Kaminski's website for handwriting collections: [5] I think the present site is good enough. Images of words are not very useful, as every writer has his own style of writing. KevinUp (talk) 02:22, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
I'm new. But I am going to risk participating anyway, just to chime in and say this: Images from actual historical script of ancient dead languages is useful. It seems to me the standard scripts used in reconstructions are different to historical ones, which seem typically more varied. So people might be interested in seeing original orthography samples. This would help people to learn to read original documents, and perhaps even suggest potential error when the writing of the original sources actually isńt very clear. Additionally, it helps people to learn to date documents by writing styles etc.

Extracting list of words from category pagesEdit

In Category:Chinese lemmas, there are almost 157,500 lemmas listed under this category. Rather than using the "next page" function, is there a way for me to obtain a list of all lemmas in a particular language? I'm making a list of Chinese, Japanese, Korean compounds (hanzi/kanji/hanja) that are not yet listed under the "compounds" section of the single-character CJKV entries. KevinUp (talk) 14:34, 7 January 2019 (UTC)

There is no way to retrieve all of them in one go, because the wiki software itself limits how many items you can get at once. You'll need to write a program using pywikibot to retrieve a list quickly. —Rua (mew) 14:49, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I found the script I need to use. KevinUp (talk) 15:49, 7 January 2019 (UTC)
@KevinUp: please share it --Backinstadiums (talk) 18:53, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
Here it is: [6] KevinUp (talk) 02:22, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

"amagnetic" is an absolute adjective so cannot have a comparative or superlative formEdit

I wanted to edit the entry for "amagnetic", as this is an absolute adjective, involving the absence of a physical property. (Absence is by nature total. Something cannot be more absent than something else.) However, the editing options proposed did not include the possibility of removing the comparative and superlative forms given for the word.

If absence is total by nature, we should declare the adjective absent to be not comparable. But no attainable physical property is absolute, not even absolute zero, although some properties are more absolute than others.  --Lambiam 13:33, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
Not always true: something can be more asymmetrical than something else, for example. Equinox 19:12, 11 January 2019 (UTC)
In this paper we can read, “Barite was chosen for the off‐centered mass because it is almost amagnetic and heavy”, and, “Indeed, barite is not completely amagnetic, although its magnetic susceptibility value is close to zero.” I gather from this that barite is more amagnetic than, say, ferrite.  --Lambiam 13:13, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requested entries (French)Edit

Why is there a list of requested entries at Wiktionary:Requested entries (French) and also 26 separate lists at Wiktionary:Requested entries (French)/a, Wiktionary:Requested entries (French)/b, Wiktionary:Requested entries (French)/c and so on? Which list are we supposed to add requested entries to? – Arms & Hearts (talk) 00:12, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

Better to add requested entries to the main list (manual list). I think the 26 separate lists were an early attempt at alphabetizing the list of requests. It's easier to just use the main list at Wiktionary:Requested entries (French). —Stephen (Talk) 00:44, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
Because the page would be too big otherwise. WT:REE also has some subpages. These are usually drawn from word lists. Equinox 13:38, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

pronunciation of "anaerobe" and many, very many, other wordsEdit

I arrived here very upset and was just about to use unseemly, nay, downright profane, words. I counted patiently to one hundred and a half and now I can ask your courteously: How the fuck (oops!) does one pronounce the goddam (oops!) "anaerobe"? Or "bacteroides" for that matter? Or...

You can find pronunciations for most English words in online dictionaries. This page gives two pronunciations for anaerobe and a button by which you can listen to what I think is the most common American-English pronunciation. This page gives a pronunciation for for Bacteroides; in IPA that would be something like IPA(key): /ˌbæk.təˈrɔɪ.diːz/.  --Lambiam 19:33, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
When you need the pronunciation and the page does not have it, you can just mention it here and we will add it for you, as in anaerobe. —Stephen (Talk) 23:25, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

Technical issue with Swedish noun declension templatesEdit

Hello, I don't know if this is the best place to put this, but I would like to draw attention to an issue with the templates used for Swedish declension, for example in poäng. The "sv-noun-irreg-c" template has a defined "definition" field while the "sv-infl-noun-c-er" does not, leading to only the first box showing which definitions it is showing the declensions for, while the second having a "definition=2, 3" argument that isn't used. I have no idea how to go about fixing this or who to mention this to but hopefully highlighting it here will bring it to the attention of somebody who does. 2A02:C7D:1B8:5B00:A5EC:68DF:45A3:3E98 00:06, 16 January 2019 (UTC)

Yeah, this is an issue that was at least partly caused by @Rua, who has decided not to clean up after herself (see discussion here concerning one of the other templates). Ideally, the template shouldn't have this parameter, and the format at spann is what we should switch over to. In the mean time, it's an annoying cleanup task — maybe one of our more hardworking editors like @DTLHS will want to deal with it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:44, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
I think you can ask for my help without insulting other editors. And no, I really think this should be done by hand by someone who knows Swedish. DTLHS (talk) 20:54, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

Requested editEdit

Hello, please add an "(archaic)" label to verily. Source: New Oxford American Dictionary. Thank you. Opencooper (talk) 04:44, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

  Done Equinox 05:03, 17 January 2019 (UTC)

Nearly blank page on m.wiktionaryEdit

The parsimony page does not show up properly via The only part that appears is the word and the header for the English section. All of the page's source is intact if I go into edit. Issue happening in Chrome and Safari on iPhone. The desktop server doesn't have this issue. Zephalis (talk) 16:25, 18 January 2019 (UTC)

You have to click the header “English” to see the content. Sometimes that seems not to work (for all pages, not only parsimony). After waiting some time, it loads though, at least for me.  --Lambiam 17:26, 18 January 2019 (UTC)
Is that something new? I'm used to it opening to English right away, now there's an extra step. Also, it no longer can be closed once opened. I don't like it. Zephalis (talk) 01:01, 19 January 2019 (UTC)
Not only opening English section, even adding a page to watchlist requires an additional step now. However not every page is affected; for example, aggiuntivo is all right. It looks like something is wrong behind the scene.--3knolls (talk) 09:37, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

How to add a case variant of a Russian word so search will find itEdit

The word влажной is one of the variants of the word влажный (damp). влажный is the "dictionary" (masculine nominative) form of the adjective, and влажной is the feminine genitive, dative, instrumental, or prepositional. Usually, when I search via the "Search Wiktionary" field for an adjective in a variant other than the dictionary form, the entry for the dictionary form comes up, which is what I want. But perhaps ten percent of the time, nothing is found, even though the dictionary form has an entry and its declension table contains the form I'm looking for. My workaround is to start erasing letters from the end until autocompletion finds the dictionary form and shows it in the prepopulated list. However, this is not entirely satisfactory. When I see an instance like this, I'd like to fix it. What do I need to do to make sure that a search for влажной finds the entry for влажный? Thanks.

--AlanUS (talk) 15:03, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

@AlanUS: You mean you want to see влажной directly in the search bar, without actually making the search? There would have to be an entry for that, but nobody has created it yet. Per utramque cavernam 15:08, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
@Per_utramque_cavernam: Yes, I want to see it directly in the search bar. How would I create an entry? I've looked through the help, but the English-language help is mostly about adding English-language entries. Thanks. AlanUS (talk) 15:16, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
@AlanUS: I decided to look at a pair for which both items do show up in the search bar: сладкий (dictionary form) and сладкое (neuter nominative). Based on that pair, I figured out how to create a new entry. So I guess I'm a little closer to understanding how it works, but would appreciate a link to more instructions as to which symbols are available and what they mean. Currently, I'm using guesswork (for example, guessing that the symbol for "genitive" is "gen", and trying it out). Also, how do I get Russian to appear in the list of languages on the search results for a page that doesn't exist? Currently, my list only contains English, American Sign Language, Spanish, and Swedish. I have no idea how this list got populated. AlanUS (talk) 15:30, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
@AlanUS: "I decided to look at a pair [...]. Based on that pair, I figured out how to create a new entry." > that's exactly the right way to proceed. Your entry looks good, thank you! If you plan on creating more inflected forms, Template:inflection of/documentation might be of interest to you.
I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you mean by "the list of languages on the search results for a page that doesn't exist". Coud you clarify what you mean by that? Per utramque cavernam 18:39, 20 January 2019 (UTC)
@Per_utramque_cavernam: Please see highlighted area of embedded screenshot.

AlanUS (talk) 19:15, 20 January 2019 (UTC)

For each of those blue buttons someone had to create a new-entry template specific to that language and to that part of speech. In order for Russian to appear on that menu, someone who knows both Russian and the technical details of such templates would have to create templates for all the parts of speech in that language. I notice that the languages in question have relatively simple inflection systems. Russian is relatively complex in that regard, so there may be subtleties and intricacies that may be hard to cover with such a simple new-entry-template system. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:30, 20 January 2019 (UTC)