Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-01/Renaming given name appendixes

Renaming given name appendixesEdit

  • Voting on: Renaming given name appendixes in such a way that:
    • (a) "Appendix:Names male-A" becomes "Appendix:Male given names/A", "Appendix:Names male-B" becomes "Appendix:Male given names/B", "Appendix:Names male-C" becomes "Appendix:Male given names/C", etc., until "Appendix:Names male-Z" becomes "Appendix:Male given names/Z";
    • (b) likewise, "Appendix:Names female-A" becomes "Appendix:Female given names/A", "Appendix:Names female-B" becomes "Appendix:Female given names/B", "Appendix:Names female-C" becomes "Appendix:Female given names/C", etc., until "Appendix:Names female-Z" becomes "Appendix:Female given names/Z";
  • Justification: (a) "Names male" does not seem to be a correctly formed English term; (b) "Male given names" seems correct English, modeled on "tree names" in spite of some people deeming it incorrect; (c) the alternative "masculine" refers to grammatical gender, and not every language has nouns that feature grammatical gender (and of those that do, not all have "masculine" and "feminine" genders); (c) (i) according to one account, English nouns do not have a grammatical gender, and also, specifically, given nouns such as "Anna" and "Paul" do not have a grammatical gender; (c) (ii) the ability of English nouns such as "Anna" and "actress" to drive the gender of their accompanying pronouns such as "he" and "she" is best explained through the object or referent gender, rather than through the hypothetical grammatical gender; (d) even if it were admitted that English given names have a grammatical gender, the interest driving the split into two appendixes per letter of the alphabet is in the sex or the social gender of the named person rather than the possible grammatical gender.
  • Note: The only thing that is voted on is the "voting on:" part: even if the voter disagrees with the justification, by voting "support" he only supports the matter that is voted on, not its above presented justification. The voter can have his own justification for the same conclusion expressed in the "voting on" part. Put differently, even a true theorem can receive a fallacious proof; a fallacious proof does not make the theorem invalid.
  • Vote starts: 00:00, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 24:00, 6 February 2010 (UTC)


  1.   Support Dan Polansky 09:39, 11 January 2010 (UTC)
  2.   Support Yair rand 00:28, 12 January 2010 (UTC) Though I don't understand why two separate votes are being held for this ... Yair rand 00:28, 12 January 2010 (UTC)
  3.   Support Mglovesfun (talk) 09:31, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
  4.   Support Razorflame 09:32, 13 January 2010 (UTC) Makes sense to me.
  5.   Support Ƿidsiþ 11:26, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
  6.   Support --Makaokalani 16:14, 14 January 2010 (UTC)
  7.   Support Ultimateria 04:55, 17 January 2010 (UTC) It's just unnatural to have dashes as opposed to forward slashes.
  8.   Support Ruakh ← As EP says below, names are associated primarily with social gender rather than with biological sex, but in a dictionary, the terms "masculine" and "feminine" normally indicate grammatical gender rather than social gender; and social gender correlates much better with biological sex than with grammatical gender. And for whatever reason, even though "grammatically masculine|feminine pronouns" is fine, "socially masculine|feminine given names" sounds insane. So comparatively speaking, I think "male|female given names" is a pretty decent option. (I assume no one wants "boys'|girls' names" or "men's|women's names"?) —RuakhTALK 05:43, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
    "Males' names"?​—msh210 16:43, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    No, because we explicitly decided not to make these categories topical (and changed all their names to reflect this), but basing the category name on a property of the referent makes them explicitly topical. --EncycloPetey 19:17, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    This vote pertains specifically to the appendices, and not to any categories that may or may not be related. —RuakhTALK 22:25, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  9.   Support DAVilla 13:41, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  10.   Support Conrad.Irwin 15:30, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  11.   Support --Panda10 15:34, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
  12.   Support--Vahagn Petrosyan 01:42, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  13.   Support —Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 04:11, 19 January 2010 (UTC)


  1.   Oppose EncycloPetey 04:39, 17 January 2010 (UTC) This is a gender issue, and the proposal does not fairly represent that fact. Gender is cultural and not merely linguistic. The terms "male" and "female" preferentially refer to biological sex, not to cultural or grammatical concepts of gender where "feminine" and "masculine" are the preferred terms. Even in languages that have no grammatical gender, there is still cultural gender and names are cultural. --EncycloPetey 04:39, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
    Given names are allocated to infants who do not yet have a social gender but only biological sex, if I understand correctly the concept of social gender. Also, social gender coincides with sex in an ovewhelming number of cases. Social gender mostly refers to the fact that the gender roles and expectations vary among cultures, so the knowledge of the sex of a person does not yet predict the sex-specific social behavior, such as females avoiding hunting and competitive fighting in some cultures, while using a bow and arrows for hunting in other cultures. Thus a hunting female and a stove-heeding female are of the same sex but of a different social gender.
    Even if it were admitted that the distinction sought is by the social gender rather than the biological sex, it is not clear that "masculine gender" is a term preferred to "male gender" when referring to social gender. Google hits:
    Note that the hits for "masculine gender" include also hits referring to grammatical gender.
    I know that Google hits are sometimes frowned upon, but anyone is welcome to provide better empirical or scholary evidence on the subject. --Dan Polansky 10:07, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
      • You seem to be obsessed with meaningless Google statistics. Searching for specific collocations does not reveal any information of the kind we are discussing. Further, the numbers you have listed after each search differ vastly from the numbers I see when I follow the link. Where you have "1,444,000" for " male gender", I get only "494,000". Throwing around Google numbers is meaningless, especially as you have not investigated context in any of the returns but have accepted them blindly without analysis. The collocation "male gender" could appear in a content where the gender of individuals of male biological sex is discussed. To put it another way, I would read "male gender roles" as "gender roles of people born male" but would read "masculine gender roles" as about masculine gender roles regardless of the biological sex of the people involved. Until these possibilities and similar ones have been ruled out, the numbers you've given have no validity. --EncycloPetey 17:15, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
    I disagree that the searches and their numbers are meaningless or have no validity; they just need to be taken with a grain of salt as a first approximation. The Google hits numbers are a heuristic indicator—an imperfect one but better than nothing, better than mere speculative arguments made without check against some empirical data. The terms with " roles" looked for at Google scholar are more specific than the other searches. Everyone can click the links that I have collected and see for themselves what kind of quotations they find. I find the hypothesis that there is some semantic differentiation between "male gender role" and "masculine gender role" rather improbable, but will gladly stand corrected by a proof, even a heuristic one. --Dan Polansky 20:06, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
    Here's a heuristic proof then, in the form of a quote from one of the sources you found ("Encyclopedia of Women..." in first page of hits, so no digging required): "...failure for men to achieve a masculine gender role identity is thought to result in negative attitudes towards women, homosexuality, or defensive hypermasculinity." Here, masculine clearly refers to the cultural perception and not sex, since it is possible to "fail" to achieve the identity. Likewise, chapter 1 of Levant & Pollock's New Psychology of Men (chapter by Joseph H. Pleck) discusses Pleck's original formulation of "male gender role strain" in the 1980s, and points out that one of the three theoretical subtypes of male gender role strain is a discrepancy between the expectations or norms that individual males fit or do not fit. His concept, from this an other places in the chapter, concerns the roles of individuals who are biologically men. So, you have your heuristic prrof that there is a difference in scholarly sources.
    Your argument misses the fact that infants do have assigned social gender, as there are differences from birth in social pressures and expectations, such as the Western custom of blue/pink color differences in clothing and decor. Infants do not usually express their own gender roles, but pressures to fit into social roles begins even at the stage of infant. While these pressure are strongly correlated with biological sex, it is a mistake to assume that the biology is the cause. The cause for differences in name selection is cultural. Also, names are not always given to infants; names are also given to older children in many cultures and even are selected by adults. --EncycloPetey 02:52, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    You quotation does not show that there is a semantic difference between "male gender role" and "masculine gender role"; it merely shows that a biological male may "fail to achieve a masculine gender role identity", whatever that means. But it is true not only of "masculine gender role" but also of "male gender role" that it may be rejected by a biological male: "Although most women may adopt female gender roles and most men, male gender roles, there is no reason to assume that all women and all men do so. "[1]. I surmise without having conclusively proved it that "masculine gender role" and "male gender role" are synonyms.
    On the link between given name allocation, biological sex and social gender: When physicians use imaging techniques before birth to determine the sex of the baby, the parents often start choosing the sex-specific given name for the baby before birth; before birth, there is no social pressure. In fact, the parents are using the biological sex of the baby to determine the social gender; to determine whether to dress the baby in blue or in pink, they look at the biological sex of the baby. But I have to admit your point that in some cultures given names are given later in life. Also, unless I am mistaken, male transvestites may chose a female name. In any case, a female name is a name that is mostly given to females, not a name that is given exclusively to females. --Dan Polansky 11:26, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    The biological sex of the baby is not the cause for dressing the baby in blue or pink. The cause is the social norms and expectations imposed by society through the parents. The biological sex can be a factor in the parents' choices, but it is not the cause. I have to disagree that a female name is a name "mostly" given to females, as we cannot apply that as an objective criterion. I have never advocated that such names are given exclusively to females either. The problem with "female name" is that we must document then "every" name given to any female with at least three citations, so (deprecated template usage) George is a female name in English (because of George Sand, George Eliot, etc.) despite the fact that it is a masculine name and was used by those women for precisely that reason. --EncycloPetey 16:16, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    But that's just as subjective. In point of fact, it is not difficult to find references to George Sand and George Eliot as "she"; "George" is male/masculine names because that is its normal use, not because it's impossible for it to be applied to females/women/"she"-s. —RuakhTALK 16:31, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    I disagree. "Normal" use is subjective, whereas identifying the fact that prominent women have used the name is not subjective. So, George is a female name as well as male. However, the name is still masculine and it is possible to find quotations from the indivudals indicating that they chose the names because they were commonly reagrded as used by men. All arguments in support of using "male/female" have rested ultimately on the biological sex of the bearer or on the avoidance of "masculine/feminine" because those terms are also used for grammatical gender. George Sand and George Eliot were women, so George is a female name. If we have a category labelled "female given names", then George and names like it must be included. --EncycloPetey 19:13, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    Well, in fact George is a female name (a shortening of Georgina - sometimes used to appear tomboyish as in The Famous Five). Your point of "George Eliot" is wrong though - the name is male (and masculine); intentionally chosen for use as a pen name because it is a name used by males. Conrad.Irwin 19:26, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    I did not say that it wasn't a male name; I said that it was also a female name because it is used by females. If a name is used by females, then it is a "female name", regardless of who else might be using it. It a name is used by males, then it is a "male name", regardless of who else might be using it. Why would you oppose listing George (or any name) as a female name in spite of evidence that it's used by females? --EncycloPetey 19:48, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    And why would you oppose listing George (or any name) as a feminine name in spite of evidence that it's used by women and co-refers with feminine pronouns? This line of argument demonstrates very well that the proposed system is imperfect, but it doesn't suggest that a different one might be better. —RuakhTALK 20:04, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) George should be listed as the shortening of Georgina. George should not otherwise be listed as a female name (or a feminine name), because it is clearly a name "charactaristic of men" (male def.2) and not "charactaristic of women" (though we seem to miss that sense of female). Assuming that any use of something by females makes that thing female seems a bit untenable, I'm sure there have been occasions when people (particularly children) of a male persuasion have used the female changing rooms in any swimming pool, it doesn't make them the male changing rooms too. Conrad.Irwin 20:12, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    It's attributive use of the noun, which is what is being voted on, and it's attestable. Why is that untenable? It's not transient use by females we're talking about, but persistent, ongoing use by a female. The changing rooms you mention might be used briefly by a male or males, but not on an ongoing basis. In contrast, a name is a label used on an ongoing basis. So, your counterexample isn't valid, since it does not involve continued usage nor is it about classifying the label applied to the room. If an unlabelled changing room were used by males on an ongoing basis, then it could be called such. --EncycloPetey 20:47, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    It `might` be attributive use of the noun, there's no marker that enforces this though, any acceptable parse of the label could be used by whoever reads it. The female changing rooms are used infrequently by males, just as the male names are used infrequently by females; I don't see your distinction at all. There are males who wear female clothing on a very regular basis, just as some female authors use male pennames on a very regular basis. I hope you can see that, if you were to agree with me on the similarity between changing rooms and names, then your position would be untenable; as you don't, I can only ponder why... Conrad.Irwin 21:01, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    It might help if you consider that a changing room is a public facility, each one of which is used by many individuals, whereas a givne name is a proper noun, each instance of which applies to a single and specific individual. --EncycloPetey 23:24, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    Well, so what? By that reasoning, if a male buys female clothes, then they become "male clothes", but if he merely borrows them from a group of women, then they don't. —RuakhTALK 00:11, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
    I get the impression you are doing this deliberately, as the distinction between referrent and label is one I would be very surprised to find that you did not comprehend. A proper noun is a label for a specific object. Clothes are objects, not labels. --EncycloPetey 01:30, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
    Rrg. You drive me crazy sometimes. Yes, there are many, many differences between a changing room and a given name; but you have not given any coherent reason for why one of those differences should make the former "male" and the latter "masculine", nor have you even given a coherent description of which of the differences does. Yes, I understand the thing-name distinction, but your comment invoked other distinctions, and it wasn't (and isn't) obvious to me that it was invoking the thing-name distinction as well. (If you don't know what your reasoning is, or can't articulate it, that's fine; you're entitled to an opinion, and you don't have to be able justify it. But the approach that you're currently taking? It's frustrating as heck.) —RuakhTALK 01:45, 19 January 2010 (UTC)
  2.   Oppose Daniel. 15:27, 17 January 2010 (UTC)



Vote passes 13-2-0. The appendices have been moved. --Yair rand 00:25, 9 February 2010 (UTC)