For the first noun def. I'm fairly sure the term was first used in Alexender Barclay's translation of "Shyp of Folys" (1509) if anyone wants to go and find a quote. --Imran
Irish & Scottish Gaelic translations
I removed Gaedhlaing, Gaolainn & Gaedhilge because they are not standard words for Irish. The first two are dialect forms and the third is just an old spelling. Do we really need to list every spelling variant in the translation section??? Furthermore Gaolainn is often used to refer just to the Munster form of Irish.
In Scottish Gaelic, Irish is usually referred to as Gàidhlig na hÈireann (lit. Gaelic of Ireland) just as Scottish Gaelic is called Gaeilge na hAlban (lit. Gaelic of Scotland) in Irish. They use the native words, not each others words.
Irish (ugh) Gaelic
I think this expression is a particularly American one. Irish people in general don’t talk about Irish Gaelic, it’s just Irish. Furthermore, opponents of language revival in Ireland have been known to use the word Gaelic to imply that it’s something almost foreign (the usual meaning of Gaelic in Ireland & the UK is Scottish Gaelic) so it has become somewhat politically charged. In the same way people in Scotland have referred to Gaelic (in a derogatory sense) as Erse (i.e. Irish).
I think the phrase "also known as Irish Gaelic" should be removed as it doesn’t add anything to the meaning at all. But it is a fact (however sad) that people do call it that. Does that make it a usage note? ☸ Moilleadóir 14:34, 30 January 2008 (UTC) ☏
- Hello, again. It seems to be exactly what should be in a Usage note and it sounds like you would be the right one to do it. I'd be happy to read it and ask questions if I'm confused. Do "Irish Gaelic" and "Scottish Gaelic" merit their own WT entries (or already have them) with the appropriate usage note and cross-references so folks know what they might be reading or saying when they use the words? Is there a good Wikipedia article on the linguistic controversy? DCDuring TALK 16:24, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
- Oh. five or six different WT entries on Gaelic languages. They don't look as full as they might be, especially with respect to usage notes. DCDuring TALK 16:28, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
collective sense of Nationalities
Should we treat "the whole people of a country" as a separate, proper noun sense that is distinct from the plural of the common noun nationality (cf "two Chinese" vs. "the Chinese")? We list this sense in a few places, but only for entries where it is common in English to include "the" beforehand. This is generally with nationalities whose plural is the same as the singular (see Chinese and Maltese) and where we refer to the people as a whole by a different word (we use "the Irish" not "the Irishmen"). Should we add this sense only to these types of entries (its lacking at Japanese, Kyrgyz and Swiss for example) or to all plurals (Canadians and Germans) and just note the lack of the definite article? I would be quesy adding the collective sense to Germans because you can generally always use the plural of a common noun to refer to the collective ("toys are for children"). --Bequw → ¢ • τ 19:02, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
- I would only do that for the "singular" forms that function that way, because it is unexpected. We don't need to do that for "plural" forms (like the Russians), because any plural noun can refer to all members of a class, including common nouns. --EncycloPetey 19:05, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
- I'm not sure they're proper nouns; to take your example, "many Irish" is well attested. And it's not the only such; the same is true of "blacks", where *"a black" (or *"a blacks") and *"two blacks" are awkward at best, but "the blacks" and "many blacks" are just fine (given the right context, anyway). I don't know what the right term is. It's almost as though "Irish" and "blacks" and so on were uncountable pluralia tantum, with singulatives like "Irishman" and "black person" being used for individuals and small numbers. BTW, am I the only one who finds ?"a Chinese" and ?"two Chinese" to be unacceptable? I've heard them a number of times, but it always jumps out at me. —RuakhTALK 20:11, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
- Oddly, to me, "a black" sounds wrong but "two blacks" somewhat okay. Same for "Chinese".—msh210℠ 20:25, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
- Jumping back to normal size — I feel silly carrying on a whole conversation in small — I find that they get more and more acceptable as the number goes up and up: "a million blacks/Chinese/whatever" sounds almost perfectly normal. Similarly for other collectives: "two cattle" sounds ridiculous to me (it's "two head [of cattle]"), but "a million cattle" sounds almost fine. I still slightly prefer "a million black/Chinese/whatever people", "a million head [of cattle]", and so on, but I don't think I'd even notice the other ones in normal conversation. I don't know why that should be; my understanding is that in languages with true singulatives, like Arabic and Russian, it's more like English "snow"–"snowflake" or "sand"–"grain [of sand]", where no matter how many grains of sand you're talking about, you can't jump over to *"a billion sand". Maybe it has to do with the fact that "Irish" etc. are treated as plural, whereas "snow" etc. are treated as uncountable-singular? —RuakhTALK 20:56, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
- Since you can say "many Irish", that indicates they're not uncountable nouns. Since you use plural verbs with "Irish" even in American English, I think that indicates they're not w:Collective nouns. So are they pluralia-tantum count nouns instead of proper nouns? (is that what you meant Ruakh?) Does anyone have the CGEL? --Bequw → ¢ • τ 01:01, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
- Re: "Since you can say 'many Irish', that indicates they're not uncountable nouns.": I'm not sure. Usually "uncountable" implies "grammatically singular", at least in English; but I think all English pluralia tantum take "many" rather than "much" (even things like "suds", I think, where *"one sud" is not only ungrammatical, but also IMHO uninterpretable; though "much suds" does get some Google-hits, so apparently some speakers disagree with me). The distinction between countable and uncountable pluralia tantum, if it exists at all, doesn't seem nearly so rigid as with singulars, but personally I think I'd put "Irish" more on the "uncountable" side, as it goes.
- Re: "they're not w:Collective nouns": Right, I agree. (To clarify, by "collectives" I was alluding not to "collective noun", but rather to "collective number". I don't think English has true collectives and singulatives, but I don't know the right terms, so I was grasping a bit. As you say, the CGEL would be helpful here.)
- —RuakhTALK 01:26, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
According to the CGEL, Irish is always an adjective, and never a noun. Nationalities are discussed from p. 1694 of the CGEL. On p. 1696, Irish is categorized as "class 2", and as such it has the name of the country (a noun) Ireland, the adjective Irish, and the inhabitant noun Irishman. The examples discussed above, the Irish and many Irish, would be analyzed under the CGEL system as follows: They are both noun phrases (NPs) the adjective Irish is functioning as a fused-head (fusion of internal modifier and head) in both NPs, which have no actual nouns in them. Fused heads are discussed from p. 410. A relevant example is given on p. 417: "[The French] do these differently from [the Dutch]".--Brett 01:47, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Irish as a derogatory term
So what if Irish meaning nonsensical or complicated goes against rfv, surely what matters is if people use it and it can be sourced. Obviously I haven't got a source for it, but I'm sure it can be found. 'Bad' meanings cannot be just edited out of the dictionary! 184.108.40.206 16:51, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
- If it can be sourced, why don't you find a source for it? We need sources or anyone could add any old nonsense they made up unchallenged. Equinox ◑ 19:49, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
The thing is, language doesn't exist in a vacuum. I can't be the only one who knows this meaning. 220.127.116.11 07:13, 21 June 2011 (UTC)
- You're not. It's actually quite common, but, like most informal usage, it's almost impossible to find a cite for. There's too many other uses that clog up the searches. BTW, I don't consider it derogatory, it's more comical than nasty.--Dmol 09:58, 21 June 2011 (UTC)