Talk:chump

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nuances[edit]

Rodasmith merged my two added senses:

a foolish or gullible person; a sucker; someone easily taken advantage of It shouldn't be hard to put one over on that chump.

and:

one with compunctions which disallow taking advantage dishonestly or unfairly (used by the unscrupulous to describe the scrupulous; thus:) a fool What a chump! He could have kept that money! Who would have known?

into:

a foolish or gullible person; a sucker; someone easily taken advantage of It shouldn't be hard to put one over on that chump. What a chump! He could have kept that money! Who would have known?

The two senses are not equivalent. The second one is a common nuance, showing that it is used specifically to refer to people who do not take advantage. This is not the same as being easily taken advantage of.

I am returning the separate senses, but with an improvement which I think will be more clear. The uses of the word "foolish" in the first one is unnecessary and detracts from the specific sense described, so I will remove it. I will also reword the second one to be more inclusive.

I will also add a common meaning, "blockhead", which is not the same as "fool" or "gull". Let's not muddle meanings, and let's allow valid nuances.

Abstrator 08:59, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

I'd be tempted to say that the merge was correct. The nuance of overscrupulousness is a special case of the "sucker" definition. Being such a sucker that you allow your own conscience to take advantage of you is a matter of degree and direction rather than a separate sense of the word. Dpv 20:38, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
You appear to me to be confusing meaning in usage with abstract interpretation. No, there is a difference between *being a gullible person*, and *being a person of conscience*. These are two senses of "chump", two different types of people referred to as "chumps" for different reasons. When you say "being such a sucker that you allow your own conscience to take advantage of you", I don't see "sucker" as being the appropriate word here; "fool", in the cynical sense of "chump" I describe below, would fit. My reply to Rodasmith below should further clarify this point. Abstrator 01:32, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
Abstrator, are you really of the opinion that the following are three entirely different meanings?
  • a blockhead; an idiot
  • a gullible person; a sucker; someone easily taken advantage of
  • a fool, especially in the opinion of selfish or unscrupulous people
As Dpv points out, they seem to be three nuances of a single sense of the word. I've retained your wording to make the different nuances clear but recombined them as two senses:
  • an unintelligent person
  • a gullible person; someone easily taken advantage of, especially in the opinion of selfish or unscrupulous people
Doing so allows us to create a usable synonym list and translation table for each sense. Rod (A. Smith) 18:12, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, they are different:
- A "blockhead" is simply one considered a *stupid* person. The word "chump" was long used to mean "a thick chunk of wood", thus the extended usage. (Perhaps the old definition should be added.) Replacing "blockhead" with "unintelligent person" removes this allusion. It also is too gentile to convey the "color" of the word. By adding "idiot", I was clarifying the meaning of "blockhead".
- A "gullible person, a sucker; someone easily taken advantage of..." is someone not necessarily regarded as stupid/unintelligent, but one who is regarded as naive or easily fooled, who may be otherwise intelligent. My wording was inclusive enough to cover nuances of this sense. "Sucker" shows the tone. "Easily taken advantage of" broadens the scope a bit, although closely related, suggesting that it also applies to those who are easily used. The next sense, however, is *not* closely related:
-A "fool, especially in the opinion of selfish or unscrupulous people", was my attempt to satisfy the objection that "a fool is a fool". I wanted to document a commonly found special sense of "chump" used primarily by people who regard conscientious or unselfish people to be fools for having moral motivations or compunctions. It is cynical and unscrupulous people who use the word "chump" this way, much as racists use "nigger" as an insult. My preference was to separate the sense of simply "fool" from this special nuance, but I compromised by using "especially...", because I perceive that "chump" is commonly used as this special sense of "fool".
I realize now that I was unwise to compromise my sense, which originally (in an earlier version you also dumped) explained more clearly that the reason selfish or unscrupulous people would regard someone as a "chump" is because, foolishly (due to their compunctions), they don't take unfair advantage or "take the money and run".
The combined sense you offer does not address the sense I intended, but uses my words where they don't apply. You say above: "I've retained your wording to make the different nuances clear...", but actually you *removed* that part of my wording ("in the opinion of selfish or unscrupulous people") which *did* make the nuance clear. In your: "someone easily taken advantage of, especially in the opinion of selfish or unscrupulous people", the "especially..." clause is unnecessary because it can be understood. The clause *was* necessary in my "fool" sense because it showed a special reason for being called a "chump/fool".
The important aspect of my added sense is that "chump" has a special use by selfish, unscrupulous, or cynical people, applied to people who are supposedly foolish for *not* being selfish or unscrupulous. Thus my quote, misapplied in your version: "What a chump! He could have kept that money! Who would have known?" It is not "gullible" or "naive" to return found money, but rather it is *unselfish* or *conscientious".
This sense gives the word "chump" part of its distictive character which differentiates its use from other "synonyms" (such as "fool", which applies broadly and can be used by anyone). Merely listing synonyms does nothing to discriminate their special uses. I hope that the recent trend of muddling synonyms doesn't completely spoil that. In that hope, I want to unmuddle the dictionary interpretation by *distinguishing* nuances rather than *merging* them.
I plan to revise this entry soon and hope that it will be understandable and acceptable to all. Please, next time, don't dump my changes so easily, as they are not made casually. If you have reservations, please discuss them first.
Abstrator 01:32, 23 May 2006 (UTC) Edited my comments. Abstrator 00:07, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
Your points are well taken. I now more clearly understand the distinction of sense you wish to illustrate. Note that your earlier versions are available in the history list, so you can access your versions prior to my overwriting them. Please be sure to keep the list of synonyms and the placeholders for translation tables clearly tied to individual meanings of the word in order to help other editors add unambiguous translations of "chump". Doing so is not much of a challenge with an entry like this that currently lacks translations, but for entries with longer histories, it becomes difficult to keep translation tables accurate as editors submit new minor variations of senses to entries. Rod (A. Smith) 23:00, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Further comments from Abstrator about changes made by Rodasmith[edit]

I was editing my comments above at the same time you were replying, so the system apparently didn't allow it to print. I re-entered it anyway, for what it's worth. But here are more comments in addition:

You also merged these two other listed senses which I did not create:

(U.S. Slang) the opposite of a champ; a loser
(slang) derogatory term describing a loser, or a spoilsport.

You turned these into:

(US, slang) the opposite of a champ

What was the purpose of removing the very clear word "loser" ? Doing so makes the sense potentially misleading and more difficult to understand for anyone who is unfamiliar with the sense. "Opposite of champ" alone would suggest that we are talking about a sports term rather than a general term for someone regarded as a "loser".

I agree that it is unnecessary to keep the "derogatory " clause. I am not entirely sure about "spoilsport" - what makes you confident enough to remove it ? I appreciate that you retained my quote. Abstrator 00:07, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

I often move one-word definitions of the term to the ====Synonyms==== section when they seem to reiterate a more verbose and clear definition in the main section. If you feel that my edit compromised the clarity of the definition, I won't take offense to your fixing it. Rod (A. Smith) 00:41, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
I have begun my revision, to discrimiate nuances. I am still uncertain whether "spoilsport" is appropriate - I didn't put it there and am leaving it for now.
The second stage of the revision will be to:
- add other senses, such as "chunk of wood" (as the basis for "blockhead" and extensions thereof), "thick end of a joint of meat" (which leads to "blunt end of anything"), plus verbal forms, etc.
- reformat to create appropriate subsenses, which will show relations as mentioned above, and will meaningfully combine some senses without loss of nuance.
Abstrator 00:56, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

RFV[edit]

See Wiktionary:Requests for verification archive/2012. - -sche (discuss) 02:47, 29 March 2012 (UTC)