Talk:etymology

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Hmm ... that etymology looks suspiciously like it was cribbed from other secondary sources. Are there any citations to support it? -dmh 02:55, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

The etymology as it is at the time of my time-stamp after my signature is correct. Alexander 007 02:56, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Etymology of "etymology"[edit]

I re-edited the etymology of "etymology" and removed the part "Proto-Indo-European base *leg- (to collect)" because it is misleading. The fact is that (by definition) the symbol * before a word indicates a hypothesis, in other words any word that comes after * simply has never been recorded. However, the oldest historically attested base leg- is only found in Greek language.

Kassios 19:59, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

While I don't think PIE "leg" adds anything to this particular entry (and is more appropriate elsewhere), let's just be clear that as a matter of principle, reconstructed proto-language forms are not by definition off-limits in an etymology.
I'm more concerned by your elimination from the earlier etymology of all the steps from Middle Latin on. What is your justification for that? Keffy 20:30, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Etymology of "etymology" part 2[edit]

Keffy, of course reconstructed proto-language forms are not by definition off-limits in an etymology. I have to admit here that I should perhaps have kept the Latin (actually Latinised Greek) "etymologia" in my edit. However I honestly see no reason at all for the other steps to be there!

My justification for that is, simply, that etymology is by definition the science of the etymon, the true sense of a word according to its origin, rather than the steps that this word takes from a language to another through history until the present form of that word in a specific modern language!

In an etymology section, adding the original language that a word developed from, such as (in this case) Greek, is not only appropriate but it is also sufficient, if the word hasn’t been dramatically changed, of course.

Furthermore, the particular edit by Alexander 007 is insufficient, as it doesn’t mention the Ancient Greek verb ετυμολογέω (etymologeo) "analyse a word and find its origin", and that is rather significant in the etymology of a word from Greek, since Greek language is ρηματική "related to the verb" and actually ρηματογενής "verb originated".

Alexander 007, you have to take off the "Proto-Indo-European base *leg" part, if you want to be historically accurate here. In linguistics, words starting with * are just belonging to theory and they have no use in an etymology section. Also, keep the "wtf" expression for your house: since this is neither your house nor your property, you have to respect others who are also working to improve Wiktionary. If you have questions you can ask me politely and civilized, like Keffy did.

Kassios 11:17, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Kassi, I do not object to you further detailing the etymology; I do not even object to removing the PIE root for logos: but you are wrong: etymology entries in comprehensive dictionaries (AHD, etc.) do trace it back to PIE if possible, but in the case of the etymology entry, the PIE reconstruction can be reserved for the logos entry, sure, I more often do that in Wiktionary (see for example the etymology of cover, I reserve the PIE reconstruction for the operire entry). However, I do object to you removing the steps by which it originates from Greek. We should not give the impression that this word suddenly emerged into English directly from Greek; it has history from English to Greek. Alexander 007 11:42, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
For some reason I have the impression that you feel that this is somehow (I don't know how) taking something away from Greek; but that is a bizarre perception, if you indeed have it; the aim here is to detail the history of an English word. Period. Alexander 007 11:51, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Kassios, please don't be pedantic. We want to detail a word's origin, and indeed history, in our "Etymology" sections. We do include hyphothesied roots in the "Etymology" section, and actually give these entries in their own right. User:Widsith is quite active in terms of editing "Etymology" sections. Ncik 14:26, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
More than being pedantic, he (or she) is just doing what lots of Modern Greeks do in Wikipedia: making sure that the reader sees the word GREEK GREEK GREEK and not much besides. It really is a bore to see such editing creep into Wiktionary. Yes, indeed, this English word derives from Greek (not Modern Greek however). It sure does. However, it is not directly from Greek. And, I dare say, the reason you had a knee-jerk reaction to the PIE etymology is because this shows that Greek is not the ultimate source. Well, as an Indo-European language, Greek derives a lot of its vocabulary from the Proto-Indo-European language. Nothing to worry about. If your intent is to bring the Greek Greek Greek campaign into Wiktionary, please kindly buzz off and go to Wikipedia; you will have company there. Alexander 007 14:44, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Etymology of "etymology" final conflict[edit]

To Alexander 007 and all:

Obviously you belong to the majority of people who take the IE theory and everything around it as a fact, whereas I belong to the minority of linguists that see that theory exactly as it is: a theory.

I realise that we could rely on all those hypothetical PIE bases etc. if there wasn’t any other data out there. But while there is, I myself, from pure respect to science, have to value facts, and use the first and main rule of etymology: determine the earliest form and use of the word, observe chronology and then attempt an etymology of it.

The fact that many comprehensive dictionaries trace their etymology entries back to a hypothetical PIE base, finds me at the very least indifferent; it is still a theory. I will only accept even to consider it if I don’t have any other data to hand, but if I have historical records about a word, I choose to use them instead of any "PIE", "IE" or "Cat-dog" theory.

To conclude, I kindly will repeat what I have already said: In linguistics, words starting with * declare a non-recorded, hypothetical type of a word. Such words have no use in an etymology section, because etymology is a science and as a science must be based on facts - or data, if there aren’t any facts yet - certainly not hypotheses. The etymology of a word is not the same as the steps that this word takes from a language to another through history until the present form of that word in a specific modern language!

With etymology the aim is NOT to detail the history of a word. It is to detail the word’s origin.

Ncik: I don’t see how I am being pedantic. If we want to detail a word’s history, we should have a "history of the word" section.

This has been pointed out before (see Wiktionary:Beer_parlour_archive/January-March_06#Historical principles), yet we have never decided to introduce a "Word history" header. Instead we interpret "etymology" loosely. If you think this terminology is misleading and should be changed, you should start a discussion in the Beer parlour. But deleting valid dictionary content from the "Etymology" section without having found an alternative location for it is simply not acceptable. Ncik 14:24, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

To Alexander 007(I could have called you Alexis but then I would be like you…) :

You obviously don’t understand the definition of etymology.

As for the "GREEK GREEK GREEK" part: Would you prefer me not to mention that a word comes from Greek if it does??? Or should I not mention it because that bothers you? Sorry but I won’t do you that favour.

For your information I am a Greek under Isocrates definition: "The word "Greek" is not so much a term of birth as it is of mentality, and is applied to a common culture rather than a common descent". Something that I am sorry to say you will never be.

Your words speak for you; I don’t know why you have taken it personally, but anyone who reads your words and the tone they are written in, can tell for themselves who should "buzz off".

I have nothing else to add. Kassios 18:53, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I am not censoring anything concerning the Greekness of the word; on the other hand, you are, incorrectly, censoring the steps from English to Greek. Your conception of etymology is idiosyncratic, and you will be reverted again if you insist. Oh yeah, about your deep insecurities about whether you are a Greek or not---I did not bring up that subject. I referred to you as a Modern Greek---not a Modern Turk :-) And I have no idea what gave you the impression that I want to be Greek, or why you even started this part of the conversation. Very strange... Alexander 007 19:20, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Civility, please, both of you.
Alexander: Yes, most of us have encountered the stereotypical hyper-Greek net-troll. You don't need to remind us of their existence. But Kassios shows little sign of being one. His only apparent problem is a misunderstanding of how broad the meaning of etymology is in English, something that the way your remarks are phrased is unlikely to correct.
Kassios: Your narrow definition really isn't what etymology means in English and it's never been what the etymology sections in English dictionaries have restricted themselves to. (But I'll admit our own article is unhelpful here, something I'll fix momentarily.) I'd be delighted if you kept up the excellent etymology sections you've been adding, even if they do only mention Greek. Just understand that, sometime in the future, somebody may eventually add the later stages in the word's history. And please don't delete any more mentions of other stages. Keffy 23:21, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeah Keffy, Kassios is not quite doing this on purpose; after correcting (per the authoritative references) numerous erroneous etymologies posted by him (or her) in various entries, it is clear he is simply misinformed; but the fact that he is stubborn and pushy, as well as misinformed, can easily lead to different interpretations. Kassios, etymology in Wiktionary is not done according to your guesswork (I see for example how you added your own guess that English go "may be from Greek" etc., then you later removed that) but according to the authoritative references. I have no ill-sentiments against Kassios (now that it is clear he is misinformed; I was worried that he was deceptive, engaging in nationalistic editing, and/or had a hidden agenda) and definitely no ill-sentiments against Greeks. Alexander 007 07:11, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
I concur Keffy. Alexander 007, seven years on, while I agree to some extent with the content of your comments I find the tone of your comments rude, objectionable and offensive. In short, you are the type of semi-anonymous editor who gives Wikipedia and Wiktionary editors a bad name.101.162.206.245 10:15, 26 March 2013 (UTC)

Exodus[edit]

Alexander 007: The fact that you did to my edits a worse thing than what you accused me of doing to yours and furthermore purposely cut off the attested primary Greek words to replace them with hypothetical IE bases instead, says everything. About the italics (for the Latin spelling in English of the Greek words), it was about pronunciation - for example, that’s why it was pafsis instead of pausis, pavo instead of pauo and therapevo instead of therapeuo - simply there was no reason for a misleading "identical" spelling in Latin since the original Greek was already there.

The "may be go from Greek…" part was by one of my students because he thought to bring up the possibility of the derivations from the verb "Αγω", (ago) but I removed it since it is ambiguous. I have nothing more to add in response to the rest of your comments as to respond to them would be lowering myself to your level.

Keffy: Thanks for the understanding; my etymology sections that I’ve been adding to Wiktionary do just mention Greek. That is because Greek language is what I know well (and unfortunately only incomplete Latin). If I had known that in Wiktionary’s etymology sections you can also add the later stages in the word's history, I would only have reverted the "PIE *leg- …" part of Alexander’s edit.

I would like to contribute more to the etymology of English words from Greek. I was also planning to add Ancient Greek and Greek words to the Wiktionary project. But in all honesty I feel there is no point in spending my time, energy and knowledge here anymore since there are "experts" like Alexander 007, who believe that they can do better and will just continue to annihilate facts that are included here, so I am leaving.

Kassios 18:55, 21 March 2006 (UTC)