Wiktionary:Information desk/2019/August

discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← July 2019 · August 2019 · September 2019 → · (current)


Two issues with the pronunciation of “advocacy”, which is currently given as (UK) IPA(key): /ˈæd.vəˌkə.si/ – I checked several online dictionaries that came to mind: Oxford Learner’s, Collins, Cambridge, Merriam-Webster, and the OED (requires login). 1. In all of these dictionary pages, no secondary stress is given. My opinion (I am a foreign speaker, but I think the respective sound samples support this) is that if anywhere at all, a secondary stress should be on the last syllable. 2. There is no unanimity about the symbol to use for the initial sound in British English, sometimes æ occurs and sometimes a. Perhaps both should be given.

I think a correction would be appropriate at least for issue 1., but as a newcomer to Wiktionary editing and a layperson I thought I should ask first. What do others think? SeL (talk) 00:06, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

Agreed as far as the secondary stress goes. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 04:56, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
There shouldn't be a secondary stress on a schwa /ə/. As for /a/ and /æ/, they're just symbols for the same sound. /æ/ is probably more common on Wiktionary. — Eru·tuon 07:46, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
The last syllable doesn't have a schwa... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:32, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy: Yeah, but the schwa that has secondary stress in /ˈæd.vəˌkə.si/ is in the second-to-last syllable. In case it wasn't clear, I was agreeing with you. — Eru·tuon 03:39, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Oh, I see. For some reason I didn't notice that the current pronunciation has a secondary stress. I thought SeL was proposing adding it where there was none. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:59, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy: Would you be against removing the secondary stress then? The other responses seem to support that change. SeL (talk) 11:40, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
I would support the following pronunciation: IPA(key): /ˈædvəkəˌsi/ Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:09, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
My advocacy would be for indicating primary stress only. When spoken in context (“she was recognized for her advocacy of diversity”) the secondary stress, if any, is not noticeable.  --Lambiam 19:52, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
@Andrew Sheedy, Lambiam: I did consider advocating for this entry to indicate a secondary stress on the last syllable – that would conform to what I hear when I come across the word from native speakers, and when I listen to all the sound samples on the dictionary pages I linked to. (For the record, I would give myself the de-N|en-GB-4 tags if I were to create my user page). For now I am going to remove the secondary stress from the penultimate syllable. I will continue watching this discussion. SeL (talk) 13:48, 12 August 2019 (UTC)


I was amazed and grateful to discover how much Wiktionary had done with regard to suffixes, particularly the lengthy list of suffixes and the number of words to which they have been applied. But I did note what I assume is an error in the list. There are only 46 mentions of "-OLOGIST" compared to 464 mentions of "-OLOGY". Either this is a simple typo or there are only 10% as many people studying the "ologist" subjects as there are "ology" subjects to be studied. That would be a tragedy, indeed!

Scott MacStravic (SCotch35@gmail.com)

The -ologist words may well exist, but they haven't been added to the category yet. Wiktionary is always a work in progress. —Rua (mew) 19:24, 4 August 2019 (UTC)
It is also how they have been analyzed. For example, meteorologist = meteorology +‎ -ist, so it is in the English words suffixed with -ist category, while meteorology, which in my opinion is (equivalent to) meteoro- +‎ -logy, has somehow been placed in the category of English words suffixed with -ology. I believe this is wrong. See also User talk:Scientific29#-ology.  --Lambiam 20:09, 7 August 2019 (UTC)


I am new to Wiktionary, so I don't know where to post but I'm wondering about the use of colloquial Tamil on Wiktionary. Just as Egyptian Arabic and other colloquial Arabic dialects used frequently in speech but not in writing (while both Modern Standard Arabic and written Tamil are used in writing but not speech) have entries, would it be possible that I, a native Tamil speaker, could add in colloquial Tamil entries? This may be as simple as including the IPA under the written Tamil entry as a separate dialect similar to how both Received Pronunciation and American English pronunciations are given for English entries or I could also create separate entries and link the written and spoken Tamil forms in the same way that Persian, Dari, and Tajik entries are on Wiktionary. (For examples of the differences between the two registers, even the numerals 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are pronounced quite differently in the two: oṉṟu vs. oṇṇu, iraṇṭu vs reṇṭu, mūṉṟu vs mūṇu, nāṉku vs nālu, and aintu vs añcu.) Also, I've noticed a couple inaccuracies with IPA pronunciations on Tamil entries stemming from what I assume is an inaccuracy in the code for the Template:ta-IPA. Is there a way for me to edit this template? (By inaccuracies, I mean mostly the use of [dʑ] where [s] should be and [ss] where [tʃː] should be. Other than this, I haven't noticed anything.) —This unsigned comment was added by Wokj (talkcontribs) at 23:02, 6 August 2019‎.

hi User:Wokj, thank you for your offer to help. i'll leave the specifics of the first questions to someone else more knowledgeable about Tamil, but you're certainly welcome to contribute and list alternative pronunciations to any word as long as they've been used by real people. as for making new pages for terms, the rule of thumb here is that they're OK as long as you can find three attestations in durable media (like books, TV shows, or movies) that use the term. overall i'd suggest being bold and adding things if you're sure they're correct, especially with smaller languages like Tamil.
the underlying code for T:ta-IPA is here: Module:ta-IPA and i think anyone can edit it. it's written in Lua, you can try to add your own rules to that if you're familiar with programming or if not you can make a request here or in the grease pit with what needs to be changed and someone else can take a shot.
please let us know if you need any help, and good luck. --Habst (talk) 03:37, 7 August 2019 (UTC)
Wouldn’t (Colloquial) be a better pronunciation qualifier than (Spoken)? After all, when a word is pronounced, it is being spoken, also in a formal register.  --Lambiam 07:00, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

I need a word as apparently "knight errant" isn't what I'm looking for.Edit

I'm working on some fiction and it has a character who is a military and political leader—part of a junta (if one will at least). He's not a knight errant as he hasn't left the scene, nor is he a rogue—at least not yet—he might never become one—but he's in that direction. He doesn't go by the spirit of many of the rules, has blatantly broken a few, even had people sent by the higher-ups to control him killed, and at times seems to be thumbing his nose at a few conventions: maybe as a test, maybe because he enjoys it, and/or maybe he's a jerk. He gets away with it because he has allies—kinda like Caesar had with Cleopatra, and has contributed much to the cause.

What word or words would you use to describe him?

Thank you. 22:07, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

Maverick?  --Lambiam 07:08, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I like I like. :D Giving me ideas (Thesaurus:maverick)—though I think you got the best word. Again, thanks. :) 11:14, 8 August 2019 (UTC)

Derived Characters section in CJK CharactersEdit


First, I was wondering whether the general policy for the Derived Characters section for CJK characters is that the characters be related etymologically or (for lack of a better word) morphologically. For instance, I was considering adding as a derived character of . I would feel comfortable doing this if 'morphologically related' is the standard, but not if knowledge of etymology is required.

Second, I was wondering if there is a particular standard order the characters in this section should be in or if none exists.

I could not find any general policy regarding this section after a cursory search, but if one exists, please point me to it.

Bhbuehler (talk) 23:48, 7 August 2019 (UTC)

What makes you think is derived from ? Nothing at 字源 suggests such a thing. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:56, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
I am in the process of learning the characters, so, like I mentioned, I am not certain this is the case. However, the translingual portion of gives the composition as ⿱龷日. Of course, that page could be wrong as well or the policy for 'composition' could be different than that for 'Derived Characters'. Going by shape, it looks as if they are related, but I am aware of instances where shape is misleading (see Appendix:Easily_confused_Chinese_characters) which is why I asked the more general question about the policy on the 'Derived Characters' section. Bhbuehler (talk) 14:18, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Of course, maybe since I am still learning, I shouldn't be editing anything, but I thought I might have something to add if the standard was based on shape and not etymology. Bhbuehler (talk) 14:28, 8 August 2019 (UTC)
Is it correct to label (and , and such) a Han character? The Chinese Wiktionary also calls it that, but I find it a bit strange.  --Lambiam 11:04, 9 August 2019 (UTC)

romanized korean to chineseEdit

today i learned a term that is used in taekwondo and would like to know its literal meaning. i assume it is Korean and because this language is written in syllables i have no way of determining the literal meaning of words, unlike Chinese. i was hoping a (hopefully Romanized since i don't read Hangul) Korean-Chinese dictionary might help but so far i have been unable to track one down. can someone please help?

What's the word? Wyang (talk) 00:31, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
The word is that the OP is not monitoring this page.  --Lambiam 19:54, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

how do you upload an entire thesaurus?Edit

Dear Wiktionary Friends, Colleagues and I have created an original Sioux Language Thesaurus focused on culture. Is there a way to upload this document to share with the world? Best, Partakeofthesound

You mean upload to Wiktionary? Do the entries of your thesaurus conform to the layout and inclusion criteria of Wiktionary? If not, it could be added as an appendix.  --Lambiam 13:31, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
Wow, sounds amazing, but we would need to look at it first. Are you able to share the file with us instead of uploading, and maybe take some comments? Equinox 10:02, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

on the skewEdit

does on the skew represent a productive pattern? --Backinstadiums (talk) 14:50, 13 August 2019 (UTC)

I do not see a pattern. That makes it a tough call to determine whether it is productive.  --Lambiam 19:50, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
@Lambiam: then it deserves an entry of its own, doesn't it? --Backinstadiums (talk) 22:41, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
I guess so. I am not familiar with this idiom, but I see it used here in opposition to “on the square”, which according to Merriam–Webster can mean “at right angles” – a sense we do not currently have. So then the prepositional phrase “on the skew” would mean at other than right angles, i.e. “at a slant“, ”aslant”, “skewed”. See also on the bias, with a related meaning but applied in a different context.  --Lambiam 08:56, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't know how far these things are related, but there are a few phrases like on the turn, on the boil, on the run, on the lam that seem to be similar structures. (The isn't really identifying a specific entity: we couldn't say "the water is on the boil? oh, which boil?") Equinox 10:04, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Another: on the piss, getting drunk :) Equinox 10:05, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

on the sly even though there's no noun sly even in Middle English --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:12, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

Collins also has “on the slant” as a variant of “on a slant”. This is not a productive construction, but it is reminiscent of proclitic a- (Etymology 2, sense 1). In same cases “on the” can even be replaced by “a-”: aboil, askew, aslant. More a-on the pairs, although in some cases their relationship is not clear: abubbleon the bubble; aburston the burst; acrosson the cross; adryon the dry; agroundon the ground; ajaron the jar; alineon the line; ariseon the rise; asideon the side; awatchon the watch; awayon the way; awingon the wing.  --Lambiam 16:52, 14 August 2019 (UTC)


Hi, could you do block this vandal User:Yogaaldo tanks à lot --Lomita (talk) 06:38, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

my humanEdit

In this TED talk Hannah Gadsby asks (at 9:14), “What was the purpose of my human?”, a question she repeats several time through the talk. How should one interpret the phrase “my human”? It sounds like a question by someone from a civilization of aliens that keep humans as pets. I also have trouble interpreting the book title Natives of My Person, which may have a related explanation.  --Lambiam 13:51, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps "my human" is the one that I (the mind/brain) happen to be located inside, and have to learn to operate. She seems to be speaking from a perspective of being autistic. Equinox 14:04, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Old PortugueseEdit

Hi! So, WT:AROA-OPT isn't specific about it, so I would like to get your opinion on if Crónica troiana (Wikipedia article in Galician) can be considered Old Portuguese. It's from 1370, which is already quite late, but not that much later than A sa vida seja muita (1350s) which is considered to make the cut (see usso, I reworked extensively the article, but that quotation was already there). The Wikipedia article above describes it as Galician-Portuguese, yet this edition from 1900 describes it as Galician (or possibly the Galician variant of Old Portuguese, page XV) and so seem to do other sources, while the manuscript's spine (see source) has the words Trojan Chronicle in Portuguese. The word in question I was hunting is husso (alternative writing of the usso, above). So, to which language do you think should these quotes be added? - Sarilho1 (talk) 15:02, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

I do not know enough about the topic to be really helpful. Several articles state that Old Portuguese developed into two divergent variants starting in 1128, but also that the first period of “Old Portuguese” was from the 12th to the 14th century, slowly becoming two increasingly distinct languages. Unfortunately, I see very little that tells us anything specific about distinctive features that can be used to classify the variants, but someone must have made a study of that. There is something in the Galician Wikipedia about confusion between voiceless and voiced sibilants, and changes in morphology (disso versus disse). If testing the Crónica for such features firmly positions it as written in one of these two variants, I’d be inclined to classify it accordingly. If the test is clearly inconclusive, it is obviously Old Portuguese. If the test is “semi-conclusive” (not an unlikely possibility), this will only reflect the arbitrariness of the segmentation of evolving languages into periods.  --Lambiam 20:50, 29 August 2019 (UTC)
I see that the Wikipedia article History of Portuguese states, ‘The end of "Old Portuguese" was marked by the publication of the Cancioneiro Geral by Garcia de Resende, in 1516.’ It does not explain this statement any further, which suggests a segmentation with a period boundary of 1516. That seems rather late, though.  --Lambiam 21:10, 29 August 2019 (UTC)

Luksemburg Polish declensionEdit

I believe, on the page Luksemburg the genitive should be Luksemburga instead of Luksemburgu. Sources: Luksemburg (pl.wiktionary) and Luksemburg (pl.wikipedia). I have no idea how to change the declension pattern on the wiktionary page, so I just post this here. Cheers --2A01:C23:7C26:7100:59BE:6A1D:A54C:FB82 15:58, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

  Fixed.  --Lambiam 12:49, 18 August 2019 (UTC)


I have been trying to, either edit or propose new usage, for the term visuality I must be making an error because when I enter comments in the edit form it does not appear as an edit. Here is the very brief meaning I am attempting to bring to this word: Visuality as a noun utilized to convey historical memory by museum artifacts or film. Visuality describes the optical encounter one has when viewing artifacts in a museum or the conveyance of historicity via a film. The optical encounter I describe is specific to historical memory convened in academia. —This unsigned comment was added by Gabe010 (talkcontribs) at 12:54, 18 August 2019 (UTC).}

We don't include newly invented meanings, only existing ones from the real world. If your meaning ever becomes popular and widely used then we might add it in a few years. Good luck. Equinox 12:57, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
I just discovered an edit from a month ago that somehow slipped through our checks: you wiped out the translation section in an entry so you could give yourself credit for creating the entry and explain your inspiration for creating it- all in the third person in order to make the blatant self-promotion less obvious. Of course, your version had been removed 5 years ago and replaced with a real definition based on how the term is actually used- and had been used for decades before you decided to "create" it. If you try anything like that again, you will be blocked. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:54, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
Editors can include new words, or new senses of existing words, provided that they satisfy our criteria for inclusion. Roughly speaking, that means that there need to have been at least three independent uses of the word – or of the already existing word in the new sense – in permanently recorded media, spanning at least a year. If the word or sense does not meet this criterion, it will be removed. Removing valid content without community consensus is not acceptable.  --Lambiam 15:44, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
The original form of the entry I'm talking about, artifactuality consisted of a definition that he made up, with a long and self-promoting usage note:
  1. Term ascribing the museal characteristics of an object.
Usage notes
How does an object become part of a museum collection? The term will help to determine when and how an object is thematic to the museum narrative and desirable for a particular collection in the museum. This property may aid the acquisition process. Thus items related to and incorporating Holocaust related resumes will be found appropriate for a Holocaust museum or exhibition and will project authenticity.The term is being utilized by Dr. Gabriel Mayer in researching artifacts exhibited in Holocaust museums, helping to define deliberations and considerations for determining authenticity and appropriateness of curated items.
The edit I reverted, which replaced the Translations section:
Dr. Gabriel Mayer originally posted the term artifactuality. The need for such a term arose during academic research centered on artifacts in Holocaust museums. This was attributed to the unique properties of authentic artifacts to augment historical memory. Thus, by utilization of artifactuality, we connote the historical memory attributable to a specific artifact.
Any guess who User:Gabe010 is? Look at his user page if you have any doubt. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:16, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but I think Lambiam's message was directed at the OP, not at you. Canonicalization (talk) 16:18, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
Indeed. I assume Chuck does not need to be told that removing valid content without community consensus (in this case the translations section of the entry artifactuality) is not acceptable. I tried to complement Chuck’s message by presenting an outline of what is acceptable; since it was meant as kind of an addition to his message rather than a direct response to the original posting, I indented it.  --Lambiam 21:49, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
TBH I would like to indef-block this user because they have been "incubating" like a disgusting larva in a warm nest for years upon years, and never made any legit edit. It's just self-promotion. Equinox 02:25, 20 August 2019 (UTC)
Let us give them a polite, non-hostile, but very clear warning on their talk page (which has not been done yet) and block them on any further infraction. BTW, larvae can be yummy.  --Lambiam 14:42, 20 August 2019 (UTC)

Flagging errors in GreekEdit

There seem to be a few spurious forms in the conjugation tables in the entry for the Greek προάγω. And some missing forms could be added.

  1. πρόηξα (aorist) and *πρόηχα (perfect) do not have recessive accents. They should be προῆξα (alt. 2nd aor. form – προήγαγον) and προῆχα (alt. form. προαγήοχα) respectively.
  2. The perfect could include the MP form προῆγμαι.
  3. Also, the imperfect προῆγον (act) / προηγόμην (MP) should also be added to the tables.
  4. There's also a rare form of the aorist MP προηγαγόμην.
  5. And the passive voice has the future προαχθήσομαι and the aorist προήχθην.

—This unsigned comment was added by Abbadonnergal (talkcontribs) at 23:07, August 21, 2019‎ (UTC).

Pinging Aearthrise, Furius.  --Lambiam 10:00, 24 August 2019 (UTC)
I think I've fixed all but (4)? But templates are not my forte... Furius (talk) 10:43, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

Searching By PronunciationEdit

I am trying to find words that contain particular vowels or sound environments and I was wondering if there was a way to search for "all entries with pronunciations containing the vowel /ɔ/" or, as a more advanced search, "words containing /æ/ followed by /f, s, θ, ʃ/". It would be helpful for future work to learn how to search pronunciations.

I don't think the search supports anything like that at present. Another part of the problem is that we don't have a pronunciation for every word, since many of them just haven't been added yet; and you'd probably need to be able to limit your search to a single language (i.e. this sound in English only, not Arabic or whatever). Equinox 23:49, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
On my own computer, I can search instances of {{IPA}} from the dump. For instance, on the command line ./lua/filter_IPA_transcriptions.lua 'lang == "en" and regex "æ[fsθʃ]":is_match(transcription)' gathers English words whose transcription contains /æ/ followed by /f, s, θ, ʃ/ and prints the template source code (results). The various programs and scripts that this involves probably can't easily be integrated with the Wiktionary search engine, but maybe I could figure out how to create a little website that allows these searches on Toolforge if there is enough interest. — Eru·tuon 03:32, 23 August 2019 (UTC)
This would be a neat hack but it's another thing that we probably can't do "properly" until we can move from pure markup to a more semantic representation. (I do like the plain markup though...) I have written various code that checks whether an entry contains the string "==English==", and I'm sure lots of other people's code relies on "----" and so on... messy but adequate for now. Equinox 16:47, 24 August 2019 (UTC)

"Feedback" versus publishing changes to contentEdit

With reference to:

Editing Wiktionary:Feedback (comment) - Wiktionary [Your text editor has neglected to carry over the instruction to put a carriage return/line feed here!] https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Wiktionary:Feedback&action=edit&section=new&preload=Wiktionary:Feedback%2Fpreload&editintro=Wiktionary:Feedback%2Fintro&preloadtitle=Word%20of%20the%20day%3A%20%5B%5BFaustian%20bargain%5D%5D

With reference to the "Leave feedback" option which is positioned at the foot of the "Word of the day" feature of the Main Page of the English-language Wiktionary; unfortunately, the "Editing Wiktionary:Feedback (comment)" page did not offer a feedback mechanism. The only visible tool appeared to offer a means to edit the content of the "Word of the day" feature, not pass feedback to some review process.

¿¿ "-- Please type your feedback in this box directly below this comment, clicking the "Publish changes" button below when you're done. Thanks! --" ??

"Feedback" and publishing changes to content are not the same thing.

¡¡ "...gratuitously removing content are considered vandalism, and editors who engage in such behavior may be blocked without a warning." !!

However, with reference to the "Word of the day for August 28", "Faustian bargain"; this "Word of the day" feature is supplied with an audio player module which might have been intended to provide an example of the phrase as it might sound when spoken. Unfortunately, the software which the Wiktionary uses to automate the production of audio versions of samples of text appears to have evaded any effort to review its work before publication. The audio version of the phrase "Faustian bargain" aborted playback immediately the first phoneme of the second word of the phrase was sounded.

Thus, if the intention was to provide the spoken form of the phrase "Faustian bargain", the attempt failed because the first syllable of the second word was curtailed before it could either complete or move on to the second syllable.

If, however, the intention was to provide the spoken form of the single word "Faustian", the attempt failed because the cut off point occurred after the second word had started.

Why does the French -ll- not sound like /l/?Edit

Question in subject title... "reveille", "ville", "travailler". I imagine French underwent a lot of mediaeval changes, like the awful spelling of English. But why does -ll- sound like /j/ and not /l/? Equinox 10:20, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

There needs to be an -i- before the -ll-: maille /maj/ but malle /mal/. (And, as always, strange exceptions like fille /fij/ but ville /vil/.) We find /j/ also in words ending on -il with a single l: , œil /œj/, rail /ʁaj/, soleil /sɔlɛj/ (but poil /pwal/). This is unlike Castilian, in which -ll- (only with a double l) more predictably corresponds to /ʎ/. It seems plausible to me that a phoneme /l/ was lost from an earlier pronunciation /lj/, and then the question is more one of orthography: why is it written with an i before the l, maille, and not after it, malie? (Compare Italian maglia and Dutch malie.)  --Lambiam 13:45, 30 August 2019 (UTC)
"+1" (in social media parlance) for pointing out that all my examples were ill (hip-hop slang -- oh wait). Yeah certainly this doesn't happen with words like belle. Equinox 13:57, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

right side upEdit

In a sentence such as It has to be stored right side up, how should a user find the meaning of a phrase such as right side up? Is it synonymous with with the right side up? --Backinstadiums (talk) 15:40, 30 August 2019 (UTC)

No it is not. I suggest adding "right side up" in a section called "related terms".--So9q (talk) 16:11, 22 September 2019 (UTC)