Talk:word

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This definiton isn't strictly accurate, as I could say a word to someone else and both of us would know it was a word, without either of us having to write it down. --Imran 00:24 Dec 19, 2002 (UTC)

Hebrew translation[edit]

The Hebrew translation has a yod in the pointed spelling but not in the pointed spelling. Are we getting our Biblical and matres lectionis spellings mixed up here or what? — Hippietrail 03:51, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Proto-Germanic *wurða-[edit]

Allegedly, this is also the etymon of wyrd and weird, which are not yet said to be cognate with word. Please make clear what's wrong here. --KYPark 05:21, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I missed the minor difference:
  • Proto-Germanic *wurða-, whence English word, Frisian wurd, German Wort, etc.
  • Proto-Germanic *wurþa-, whence Old English wyrd, English weird, etc.
Yet the two Proto-Germanic may be cognate. Words are to call goods, while weirds or soothsayers are to call gods to make wyrd, weird, or ill fortune well. Fortune-telling is just a beginning, not an end. Thus, fate as a sense of either wyrd or weird only sounds passive and marginal. --KYPark 03:55, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

wordform vs. word-form[edit]

What is more correct word? -- AKA MBG 10:52, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

word form. —Stephen 11:00, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. My article will be perfect :) -- AKA MBG 14:48, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

vocabulary vs. vocable[edit]

Sure "vocabulary" is a synonym of "word" as 'distinct unit of language'? A mass noun referring to a collection of items is not usually a synonym of the noun for an individual item. Maybe "vocable" was meant instead? I've just made that change, but I'm not a native speaker, so perhaps one should check it.--77.209.42.188 15:05, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree with your logic, your supposition and your change (and I am a native speaker!) Thanks. -- Bricaniwi 21:13, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Interjection an abbr of "My word!"[edit]

Surely the much older and still-used meaning/origin of "Word!" as an interjection is as an abbreviation of "My word!"? I would have thought it was such an obvious one, but as it's not mentioned in the article maybe there has already been some discussion and decision to exclude it? If not can someone add it please, with references (I'm sure there are many!) Thanks, -- Bricaniwi 21:28, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

"spoken word" rfv[edit]

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word[edit]

Rfv-sense: (music) Spoken-word poetry accompanied by one or two musical instruments and performed as a unit. I'd like to know more about this from citations and/or usage examples. DCDuring TALK 21:23, 18 September 2008 (UTC)


from the entry:

  1. (music) Spoken-word poetry accompanied by one or two musical instruments and performed as a unit.


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word[edit]

Rfd-redundant: "A distinct unit of language which is approved by some authority." The previous sense is "A distinct unit of language (sounds in speech or written letters) with a particular meaning, composed of one or more morphemes, and also of one or more phonemes that determine its sound pattern." Do we really need both of these senses? They seem to be simply different ideas of what the same word is. I don't think the dispute over whether something becomes part of a language due to usage or due to being approved by an authority should split the senses. --Yair rand (talk) 22:24, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

I assume this sense is to cover alot of people who say "irregardless", "alot" or "ain't" ain't words, irregardless of how common they are. Keep. — lexicógrafo | háblame — 22:34, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Not sure, I'd spotted this before and didn't rfd it myself. I don't see how this is better covered by usage notes. The fact is there is no strict definition of what a word is. We have our CFI of what we accept, which isn't the same as Oxford, Merriam-Webster, Larousse (etc.). I'm not sure what the second definition achieves. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:51, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
There is no strict definition of what anything is, and we don't split senses wherever the dispute over what falls into the class is relatively clear. --Yair rand (talk) 22:55, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I think you've undermimed your own argument a bit there. If that's the case, why bother having more than one definition for any word? Mglovesfun (talk) 23:00, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Nobody thinks that "mouse" the input device is part of the same class as "mouse" the rodent. There isn't a dispute over what a mouse is, with one side saying that something must be an input device to be a real mouse and that the animals aren't "real" mice. They are completely separate elements of the language. We wouldn't split the input device sense just because some people think that mice must have a certain amount of buttons to actually be mice. Dispute over what can be described with a certain word is irrelevant. --Yair rand (talk) 23:16, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
The two citations for the second sense don't comport with the first sense. That seems to me to make a prima faQcie case to keep the sense. DCDuring TALK 00:02, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Keep. Despite what Yair rand says, this isn't a matter of a "dispute" about what the word means; it means both. I think a statement like "His e-mail was 232 words long — and 17 of them weren't real words. That's one non-word in every 14 words" is perfectly coherent. Incidentally, so is a statement like "There were two mice in her room. The one in the cage on the floor was a lot fuzzier, and more adorable, than the one attached to her computer", which (for the nonce) treats the two senses of mouse as though they were one. —RuakhTALK 01:58, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Your example doesn't exactly match up to the definitions of word given. "His e-mail was 232 words long — and 17 of them weren't real words." has the last use of "word" refer to whether it is part of a/the language ("a unit of language"). Whether the speaker thinks that something becomes part of the language via being approved by an authority or by being commonly used is not relevant. I'm not sure the first use fits into to either definition. Perhaps the entry should have one definition as "a unit of language" and a separate definition refer to something formed by a series of letters/sounds without break. --Yair rand (talk) 02:19, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
That's a matter for RFC, not for RFD. It's not clear what "approved by some authority" means; it's quite likely that, like most prescriptivists, the statement's utterer is accidentally setting himself up as an authority, as an arbiter of wordness. (He thinks there's some external, objective measure. He is mistaken.) The senses are separate and shouldn't be merged, but the definitions could definitely be improved. —RuakhTALK 02:59, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
This cannot be a valid definition of "word". We have about 400 languages in Wiktionary. I bet at least 200 of them have no authority to determine which combinations of sounds are "words" in that language. Ergo, according to the definition these languages have no words at all! If anything, this is a definition of the term "correct word" or "standard language word", and as such, it does not belong in the entry for "word". Delete --Hekaheka 19:45, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
It definitely belongs in the entry for "word" if that's how word is being used.
  • I've been umming and ahing about this one for about a week, but I think I'm leaning to delete. Much as I love Ruakh's admirable and ingenious example sentence, I think it hinges on the fact that the second "word" is qualified by real. When someone says "that's not a word", they mean exactly "that's not a distinct unit of language"; in other words, in my view, the term always conveys a judgment about assumed place in some authoritative or personal lexicon and I think it would be OTT to start distinguishing between them. (Note that a separate meaning of word is "string of characters separated by a space", which has certain technical uses, and a distinction could be engineered between that and the use we've been discussing; but I don't think that is what's at issue here.) Ƿidsiþ 12:15, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Leaning more towards delete, per Ƿidsiþ. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:06, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
That doesn't make sense to me. Someone who says that '"ain't" is not a word' is not saying that it's not a distinct unit of language; they know that "ain't" is a common collection of sounds with a normal meaning. They're saying that "ain't" is not valid within the constraints of their lingual rules. The prescriptive view means something completely different from the descriptive view. (I'd also argue that (a) just because a phrase is only really usable with one sense of a word doesn't mean that's not a distinct sense, and (b) "X!'vtltb is not a word; it's a unpronounceable random collection of letters! Call them the Vbrskn; at least that has vowels." implies no standard lexicon.--Prosfilaes 02:06, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I see where you're coming from, but I think that both people use word to mean "distinct basic meaningful unit of language"; different people have different ideas of what those units are, whether based on authority or just their own opinions, but we can't write a separate description for all of them. Ƿidsiþ 09:20, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
  • keep; as per my comments above--Prosfilaes 02:06, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

kept -- Prince Kassad 07:19, 4 February 2011 (UTC)