Talk:creature

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Usage notes[edit]

The points I wrote were usage notes — the first stated that “[creature’s] original sense of ‘something created’ is not always evident to those who hear its modern, disyllabic pronunciation”, preceded by an explanation thereof, and the second explained that some authors use the diæretic spelling (and they do), as well as why they do so. If these are not usage notes, what are they? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:18, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't know what they are, that's why I commented them out. Perhaps they are notes on the word's historical formation, or trivia about things you think ordinary people don't appreciate about the word's pronunciation. The "original" sense of creature is clear from our definition section and doesn't need reiteration. As for the claim that some authors still use a diaeretic spelling, I find it hard to believe. Have you any cites later than the nineteenth century? If so, maybe it is worth mentioning. I still think it's unnecessary myself. Widsith 17:14, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Consider the situation if the usage notes are not included: readers will still see creäture given as an alternative spelling, but will not know what is its specific raison d’être — the usage notes put its inclusion in proper context. I assert that most people use creature to mean any non-specific living being (closest to sense №3), and that many are not aware of its original meaning (I was not until February this year). These usage notes are useful (their inclusion certainly does no harm), and what’s the problem if some minutiae about this word’s pronunciatory development are also given? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 18:51, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't have a special raison d'etre. The situation is the same as with any other obsolete or alternative spelling, many of which represent alternative pronunciations. The notes may not do harm per se, but they're encyclopaedic and clutter up the entry unnecessarily. Widsith 22:27, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
I’ve shortened them a little. I would be in favour of every alternative spelling explained in usage notes; not only would doing so inform the reader as to where, when, and why a given spelling is appropriate, but would also have the added benefit of educating a reader as to a word’s development — giving all the whys behind historical changes in spelling and such. The usage notes in the entry explain why a diæresis can be used to spell creäture, but not any of its related terms; I consider that worth knowing. Wiktionary is not paper; these usage notes are appropriate, do some good, and do no harm. They ought to be included. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:11, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
OK, I suggest you ask for a 2nd opinion from other admins then. Widsith 06:58, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Widsith. The only thing a usage note here could conceivably say is, "this is the normal, usual, universal spelling of this word", and it's my opinion that such a usage note is quite unnecessary. However, I think it would be very useful for creäture to have a usage note explaining why creäture might be used. (Incidentally, I'm not sure I agree with your pronunciations at creäture; may I ask where you got them from? Personally, I'd pronounce it something like /ˈkrɪ.ə.tʃɚ/.) —RuakhTALK 14:52, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Well, I prefer for usage notes concerning alternative spellings to be in the “primary entry”, for the reasons that doing so allows all the alternative spellings to be discussed in one place; however, being as there is only one alternative spelling in this situation, I guess it doesn’t make much of a difference — if I move the usage notes to creäture, and then add a short note to creature to the effect of “see the usage notes at creäture for an explanation of that spelling’s specialised usage”, will that be OK with you two?
I didn’t get the pronunciation anywhence; I devised it, based upon the pronunciations of its related words which retain the syllabic break. (Create/kɹiːˈeɪt/; created/kɹiːˈeɪtɪd/; creates/kɹiːˈeɪts/; creating/kɹiːˈeɪtɪŋ/; creation/kɹiːˈeɪʃən/; creations/kɹiːˈeɪʃənz/; creative/kɹiːˈeɪtɪv/; creatively/kɹiːˈeɪtɪvliː/; creator/kɹiːˈeɪtɔː/; creators/kɹiːˈeɪtɔːz/; creatrices/kɹiːˈeɪtɹɪsiːz/; and creatrix/kɹiːˈeɪtɹɪks/ — all of which share the same pronunciatory beginning: /kɹiːˈeɪ/.) Seeing as the diæresis is used to specify that original trisyllabic pronunciation, it would make sense for the diæretic spelling to share its relations’ pronunciatory stem; to me, /ˈkɹɪ.əʧə/ (UK) sounds very strange. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:08, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Re: usage notes: I'd be O.K. with that, if Widsith is. Re: pronunciation: yeah, I guess you're right. It's just that to me that pronunciation sounds like it should be a synonym for "creation", rather than another way to spell/say "creature". *shrug* —RuakhTALK 00:44, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Your disagreement hits the nub of the problem. The fact is that there is no real authority for giving a pronunciation of a word which is effectively obsolete. This is why for instance the OED do not have pronunciation sections at all for obsolete words. RD pronounces it one way, Ruakh another. Actually, my feeling is that Ruakh is speaking some sense, because initial stress is more likely to lead to the /i:/ vowel which the word now has. But you could get a more accurate idea of where the stress was by looking at how it was used in poetic scansion and stuff. Anyway, I have no problem with a usage note at creäture explaining the diaresis: as an unusual form it may require it. But creature to my mind requires nothing except a link (under =Alternative spellings=) to the archaic form. Widsith 10:04, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
From examining said poetry, I have concluded that creäture rhymes (or formerly rhymed) with poor, sure, aventure, endure, dure, nature, cure, stature, figure, and recure — which at least rules out the /—ʧə/ pronunciatory ending theory. I agree that different stress patterns would explain why creature came to have an increasingly divergent pronunciation from its relations. I guess we’ll never know for sure. However, as pronunciation sections are largely prescriptive, then the pronunciation we ought to give is a transcription of the pronunciation which we can best deduce the word was meant to have by examination of poetry and such. In which case, I still favour the original one I gave (although we can probably do away with the specifically US pronunciation, given that I have yet to find an example of creäture’s use by an American author). In re the usage notes: I believe that a one-line link at creature would be useful, as it would not necessarily be assumed that usage notes for spellings would be given — surely you don’t mind a one-line link like that? –It can hardly be called “cluttering”. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:20, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with your claim that "pronunciation sections are largely prescriptive". Pronunciation sections should reflect how the word is actually pronounced by those who use it. —RuakhTALK 15:30, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
The argument that was made (and which won) for having a descriptive dictionary relied upon the rationale that it is better — for both strict and permissive prescriptivism — to include a word and discourage (or otherwise) its use is better than to exclude that word. That rationale does not apply to pronunciatory transcriptions, which cannot be looked up as words are, and instead serve only to instruct readers as to how to pronounce a given word. Your belief that “[p]ronunciation sections should reflect how the word is actually pronounced by those who use it” does not make our pronunciatory transcriptions any less prescriptive — all you’re saying is that the correct pronunciation is that which sees use (to the exclusion of more idiosyncratic (mis)pronunciations); that is, you are merely disagreeing with the basis for prescription, not with prescription per se. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:50, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
Am I to assume that there is no objection to:
  1. The pronunciatory transcriptions as they presently stand;
  2. The removal of the US pronunciatory transcriptions, due to no evidence of this spelling’s use by a US author; and,
  3. Adding the usage notes to the entry for creäture, with a link thereto from a one-line usage note in the entry for creature?
† Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:35, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
As no objection was raised in sixteen days, those changes are done and done. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:51, 29 September 2007 (UTC)