Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2010-05/Names of specific entities

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Many excluded, some includedEdit

Responding to Daniel.'s criticism of the statement "Many names of specific entitites should be excluded while some should be included":

Okay, you would have to raise this point before the vote started, so I could adjust the proposal. While the statement does not say much in particular, it indicates that, in the search for specific criteria, most acceptable candidate criteria are going to exclude many names. It is not true that the mentioned statement says nothing: about the set of excluded names of specific entities, it says that (a) it is non-empty, and (b) it is at least as large as the set of included names of specific entities.

What harm does the statement Many names of specific entitites should be excluded while some should be included do, really? If it says nothing--and I admit that it does not say much--what harm does it make? --Dan Polansky 06:47, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I think you should reconsider whether this sentence is a sufficient reason for your opposing the vote, given you agree with what the vote proposes in principle. The sentence can be removed in another vote if the sentence is all that problematic. --Dan Polansky 06:56, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Surprisingly, in a way the statement might actually be saying something since there have been some who do not believe Wiktionary should have any of these "encyclopedic" entries, particularly the names of people. In other words, I don't think acceptance of the statement is obvious, although it should be weak enough to pass if there is general consensus to include certain historic individuals at least, with the main debate being where to draw the line. Anyways, even if it is incredibly basic, sometimes it's necessary to state the obvious. DAVilla 05:01, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

My definition of "effectively means nothing" is related to what DAVilla said in his message; specifically, the statement Many names of specific entitites should be excluded while some should be included. excludes two beliefs:
  1. That no names of specific entities should be included; that we should exclude Canada, Mars, Zeus, Donald Duck, etc.
  2. That all (or various) names of specific entities should be added; that we should perhaps add every name of Brazilian street, American president, etc.
Since I am personally in favour of one of these possibilities, I feel I cannot vote supporting this proposal. On the other hand, I have indeed reconsidered my opinion as you asked, Polansky; and changed my vote to abstain from this decision. --Daniel. 14:40, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for reconsidering your vote. Let me ask a few questions to make sure I understand your position.
  • (a) You seem to favor the above mentioned possibility 2: that all names of specific entities should be included in Wiktionary; is that right?
  • (b) Do you favor the inclusion of "Much Ado About Nothing", the name of a specific entity, namely a Shakespeare comedy?
  • (c) What about the inclusion of "The Battle of Waterloo", the name of a battle?
  • (d) What about the inclusion of "RMS Empress of China", the name of a ship?
  • (e) What about the inclusion of "World of Warcraft", the name of a computer game?
If the names of literary works, the names of battles, the names of ships, and other various names are to be mostly excluded, there will be many names excluded, and that is what the discussed sentence says. I have posted an incomplete list of kinds of name-bearing entities at Wiktionary_talk:Votes/pl-2010-05/Placenames_with_linguistic_information_2#Other_kinds_of_specific_entities.3F, for your interest. It seemed to me that no Wiktionary editor would want to include every name of a play, a novel, a movie, a computer game, a battle, a human organization, and other sorts of entities. --Dan Polansky 16:36, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
My goodness, I have completely forgotten probably the most numerous class of names to be mostly excluded, justifying the choice of "many" in the discussed sentence: the full names of people, meaning "Albert Einstein", "John Stuart Mill", "William Shakespeare", and the vast set of the names of people who are not famous for anything. --Dan Polansky 04:20, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your mention about people who are not famous for anything. Specifically, I have pondered beforehand about the groups of entities known as computer games, Shakespeare comedies, (famous) ships, (famous) battles, computer games, among others, and ultimately concluded that yes, in my opinion Wiktionary definitions for them would be desirable, hence my votes. Nonetheless, I may have ignored those fameless people, for whom my opinion is different: that they don't merit definitions in Wiktionary entries. Therefore, your suggestion indeed merits my humble vote of acceptance.
My reasons may seem obvious since they derive from observation of aspects of Wiktionary; on the other hand, they may be long and complex since various aspects were observed to come to the respective conclusions. That said, let me explain, maybe shortly, how I analyzed the entities.
  1. Firstly, as you certainly know, there is no strict consensus on which entities should be added; there are, however, arguments and tendencies on this wide subject.
  2. These arguments seem mostly grouped into two assumptions:
    • That there is a line between "unwanted entities" and "dictionary material" which often respectively overlaps with "proper nouns" and "non-proper nouns". Unwanted entities and proper nouns don't always overlap with each other, because one or more people have openly informed in discussions that they would like famous entities such as Nile, Daniel and United States to be defined in Wiktionary entries.
    • That Wikipedia is a considerably almighty conpendium of information where every unwanted entity can be thoroughly and usefully defined; therefore, Wiktionary definitions for unwanted entities may be considered repetitive, in addition to shallow and useless.
  3. Some notable tendencies are:
    • Basically, we create dictionary entries for the dictionary. That is, if a concept is represented by a word, we may explain that word in Wiktionary.
      For instance, the English language provides a word to represent organisms that are multicellular and eukariotic (animal), a word for a certain group of animals that are carnivorous, vertebrates, and mammals (felid) and one for species of felids that were domesticated since thousands of years ago (cat). Finally, there are breeds of cat (Siamese, Japanese Bobtail, Korat) and well-known cats (Garfield, Tom, Felix). Apparently, all of my examples said between parentheses are possible Wiktionary entries.
    • The names of cats, among other entities, may easily fall into the argument of unwanted explained above and be eventually deleted.
    • Finally, there are some exceptions where apparently the argument of unwanted entity is apparently never or rarely invoked at all:
      Religion and mythology. Books of the Bible, people from the Bible, God himself, gods from various mythologies including Zeus and Pluto, nymphs, heroes.
      Abbreviations. For instance, the entry SMS is defined as a video game "Sega Master System" and a ship "Seiner Majestät Schiff". Apparently, there is no theoretical limit for abbreviations at all.
  4. My conclusions and opinions are:
    • If a concept is represented by a well-known word, that word should be defined here. "Garfield", "Nintendo", "Shakespeare", "New York" and "Frisbee" belong to the culture of various English-speaking countries and others. They even often have noteworthy derivations, etymologies and translations, such as the "New New York" which is the futuristic version from the Futurama series and "Nova Iorque", which is the translation of New York into Portuguese. As another example, I personally think that the fact that a particular video game console is called either "Sega Genesis", "Sega Mega Drive" or "SMD" is relevant enough to be explained at this enormous dictionary.
    • Wikipedia is not perfect. If people want to find etymologies and translations of the given names Joshua, Sabrina and Matt in Wikipedia, they'll have to search it through the text of each page among other notable information such as people with those names. If I understood correctly, if a particular etymology or translation is not notable, it would not even appear in that wiki. In Wiktionary, readers would hopefully be used to simply search for the right subsections of each language section to find information more quickly.
  5. Finally, here is a related note:
    • There are some extreme possibilities such as Through the Looking Glass (episode of the Lost series), Samurai (character that appeared in one episode of the Pokémon anime), Pepsi Twist (variety of the soft drink Pepsi) and even 2 Games in 1 - Finding Nemo And Finding Nemo - The Continuing Adventures (a cartridge of Game Boy Advance featuring two games), which would still simply be added to Wiktionary according to the thoughts I expressed here; however, these types of entries may require further discussion eventually, since they may be valuable as examples but rarely show up, probably because not everybody shares my personal tendency of thinking about extreme versions of existing facts. Meanwhile, I'm developing appendices to contain a handful of such controversial items, usually by creating their definitions or removing them from the entry namespace in the process, as you can see at Appendix:Harry Potter/Muggle-born and Appendix:DC Comics/Bat-Signal. --Daniel. 01:55, 5 June 2010 (UTC)


As some voters have noted their opinion that this vote is pointless, a word on the purpose of this vote seems in order.

This vote proposes to replace the section containing the attributive-use rule with a statement of indeterminacy. The attributive-use rule has been, in the Requests for deletion (RFD) process and Request for verification (RFV) process, repeatedly stated as a reason for deleting Wiktionary entries. While it is now clear that the attributive-use rule does not have a consensual support of Wiktionary editors, it is still present in CFI, a document with a policy status. While blind adherence to policies seeems undesirable to me, it seems bad that a policy document contains a statement that does not match the current practice and lacks support of Wiktionary editors.

Removing the attributive-use rule from CFI also clears the way for further policy proposals, such as Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-05/Placenames with linguistic information 2. As long as the attributive-use rule remains in CFI, changes in the policy for inclusion of names of specific entities are hard to make. Such changes need to modify the problematic section containing the attributive-use rule. The changes may be opposed for the fear that, by them, the attributive-use rule gets officially further entrenched; I would oppose them for this fear. --Dan Polansky 09:04, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

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