Talk:use-mention distinction

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use-mention distinction[edit]

Seems like a typical context-specific bit of NISoPitude. Put in Wiktionary:Glossary or Appendix:Glossary, which can house the WP link. DCDuring TALK 18:55, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't know, but Wikipedia seems to consider this as a set phrase, one of the two possible ways to express the idea (the second one being words-as-words distinction). What does NISoPitude mean? There is no entry for this word. Lmaltier 18:54, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Non-Idiomatic Sum of Parts + -itude. --Bequw τ 20:43, 27 October 2010 (UTC) Thank you. Lmaltier 20:57, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Now via NISOP at Wiktionary:Glossary#NThanks for mentioning the gap. DCDuring TALK 22:14, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
I was not aware that WP is a prescriptive authority on any matters of language, let alone on this particular question. Tell me more. DCDuring TALK 22:17, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, delete.​—msh210 (talk) 06:15, 28 October 2010 (UTC)14:50, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Keep. Do you seriously claim that you know what "use-mention distinction" refers to only from "use", "mention" and "distinction"? In the sentence "I need a hammer", I am mentioning a hammer, whereas in the process of hitting nails, I am using the hammer: is this the use-mention distiction? (Rhetorical question.) Well, obvious not, given the definition.
Occurrences in books that would call for a dictionary lookup:[1][2][3]. A quotation that suggests that its authors deems it necessary to explain to his readers what the allegedly sum-of-partish "use-mention distinction" is: [4]. --Dan Polansky 08:27, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
The argument you repeat above applies to any words used to represent any complex concept. But complex concepts per se belong in an encyclopedia, something like, say, Wikipedia. A dictionary is not aimed at explaining concepts. It is aimed at explaining the words used to explain concepts. In this particular case, the SoP gloss "distinction between use and mention", which follows from the grammar of the phrase provides a wonderfully concise definition. It suggests that the meat of the concept requires understanding the "distinction" between "use#Noun" and "mention#Noun".
The core issue is whether a dictionary is about words or concepts. A thesaurus, not a dictionary, is the kind of reference that maps between the two. Thesauri have structures that are distinct from those of dictionaries. And encyclopedias have yet another structure. That computer and communications technology has allowed us to transcend the size limitations of print references does not imply that it has overcome the human cognitive limitations that have made these kinds of references distinct in the world of print.
The effort to lexicalize everything distracts us from the consequences our inability to attract enough editors to write or rewrite all the missing senses and obsoletely, archaicly, and datedly worded worded senses of English words in Wiktionary. I would submit that writing definitions for individual words is harder than writing definitions for SoP terms, but that it is the irreducible core responsibility of a dictionary. I am reasonably sure that most who have had the experience writing definitions for entries in their own native language's Wiktionary would agree: The hardest words to define well and completely are the most common and grammaticized ones.
It is to be expected that we are most solicitous of the multi-word entries that bear on our own work and interests and ignore the fact that we cannot recruit users to add all the concept entries that would apply in the worlds of bond traders, roofers, seamstresses, auto mechanics, soldiers, and paper manufacturers. DCDuring TALK 11:56, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Using arcane terms in need of deciphering such as "NISoPitude" ("sum-of-partness"? the former has 10 keystrokes, the latter has 15 keystrokes) is a conscious or unconscious attempt to make the discussion less accessible to outsiders. --Dan Polansky 08:32, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
"NISOPitude" is no more arcane than the substance of the discussion, ie, NISOPitude. "Sum-of-partness" fails to convey the "non-idiomatic" element. Perhaps one would have thought that in this context the NI was understood. Actually it was found necessary to invent NISOP to make a distinction that some insisted on. The "NI" is a necessary part of the word to convey the meaning. Of course, it would not be necessary if "NISOP" were written "NI SOP". NISOPitude is just a bit of neologistic jargon, attempting to relieve the repetitive tedium of these discussions for a simple monolingual contributor. DCDuring TALK 11:56, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
"Sum-of-partsness" will not suffice because calling these cases "sum of parts" in the past brought up the objection that all multi-word terms are a sum of parts, but only some are idiomatic. Equinox 12:20, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Responding to DCDuring: I will ignore most of what you have written above, as it only makes me angry and wanting to throw in some strong words that I would be sorry about later on. I will try to focus on the essentials instead.
1. A dictionary is about words and concepts: concepts are meanings of words. A dictionary is aimed at explaining concepts, for instance the concept of bird.
2. What is the allegation that you are making in the "NISOPitude": is "use-mention distinction" non-idiomatic, or is it sum-of-parts, or is it both? Which is it, if any? I claim and think to have demonstrated above that "use-mention distinction" is not sum of parts, and it meets CFI: it is attestable and idiomatic in the sense of non-sum-of-parts. --Dan Polansky 13:13, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Re "...all multi-word terms are a sum of parts": Not at all. The multi-word term "black hole" is not a (semantic) sum of parts. Furthermore, CFI does not know two notions, one "non-idiomatic", the other one "sum of parts"; the way CFI defines "idiomatic", "idiomatic" is synonymous to "non-sum-of-parts". --Dan Polansky 13:21, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Seems like a pretty clear keep to me as a technical term. DAVilla 17:08, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
No OneLook reference except WP has it: not the Lexicon of Linguistics, not the SIL Glossary of Linguistic Terms. The same applies to use-mention and use-mention fallacy. One glossary of philosophical terms has use / mention (use/mention). DCDuring TALK 17:22, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

kept -- Liliana 14:13, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

  • I think this is an instance of failing to eat our own dog food. Would we really keep a term with such structure and semantics if it were from, say, metalworking, finance, or botany, rather than a term we find useful for ourselves? DCDuring TALK 15:47, 24 July 2011 (UTC)