Talk:nonology

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
Keep tidy.svg

The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

Failure to be verified may either mean that this information is fabricated, or is merely beyond our resources to confirm. We have archived here the disputed information, the verification discussion, and any documentation gathered so far, pending further evidence.
Do not re-add this information to the article without also submitting proof that it meets Wiktionary's criteria for inclusion. See also Wiktionary:Previously deleted entries.


nonology

Nonology is one of several nonce words created by analogy with trilogy (along with duology, heptalogy and other [Greek number prefix]+logy constructions). One problem with this word is that it doesn't exist, (Google Books Search brings up a handful of examples of such a word but none of them obviously means "a book in nine parts"). A much more serious problem is that it is erroneously formed and couldn't possibly exist. "Nono-" is not a Greek suffix. That would be "ennea-".[1] I think "nono-" is supposed to be from Latin nonus, "ninth" but even this suffix is pure invention.--86.26.252.142 20:14, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Compare quadrilogy, which was invented by the makers of the Alien films, who, if they had bothered to check, would have discovered that the perfectly adequate and correctly formed tetralogy already exists. (Interestingly, the Wikipedia article for "tetralogy" mentions that the even more abominable [my opinion, not Wikipedia's] "quadtology" has been used in an attempt to create a successor to "trilogy".) As "quadrilogy" has come about as part of popular culture, we're probably stuck with it now. Combining Greek and Latin affixes in this way is by no means new, and probably should not be considered incorrect (and perhaps should just be deprecated where Greek can just as well be combined with Greek, or Latin with Latin) - the best-known example is "television" (prefix of Greek origin, ending of Latin origin). (Interestingly, the Modern Greek word for television is formed from the Greek equivalent of "tele-" and the Greek word for "vision"; if we had done the same in English, we might be watching a "teleorase" [which would probably pronounced "tel-ee-O-rass-ee"]).
"Nonology" is incorrectly formed by that criterion (and all the more so because the correct prefix is "nona-", as in "nonagon", and the correct suffix is "-logy", not "-ology", so, if anything, it should be "nonalogy" - after all, we don't say "triology") but if valid citations can be found for it, then it must stay. English is littered with incorrect formations, but they are part of the language. — Paul G 08:37, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with what you've said; certainly I wasn't proposing the removal of words on the grounds of etymological impurity. My point really was that the fact that the word is so very poorly constructed makes it very unlikely that any citations could exist. Although "nonology" yields a small number of results from Google, they seem to be separate coinings that do not have the same meaning as our "nonology". I'd be interested to know where the a in non-a-gon came from actually. My suspicion is that it may not be a part of the suffix but an aid to pronunciation. After all, "hexagon" exists but "hexa-" isn't a prefix. Perhaps we should be looking for "nonilogy" with an -i- theme vowel that is common to quadr-i-lateral--86.26.252.142 16:53, 5 January 2008 (UTC)