Adjective: 4 senses: "More ill", "Of lower quality, less desirable.", "More severe or serious.", "More evil."
The sole remaining sense would be as comparative of bad, which covers it, IMO. And why does this have a translation table (fortunately only one, though without gloss)? DCDuringTALK 12:44, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Presumably because the word 'worse' is often suppletive compared to 'bad'. Languages may even have several terms meaning 'worse', and they may not all be a comparative of the same base word or even of any word. In particular, Proto-Germanic and its earlier attested descendants had several comparatives and superlatives meaning things such as worse, better, greater, smaller with no corresponding base form. So it comes down to this: if X is a translation for bad, it does not imply that the comparative for X is the only possible translation for worse. Such terms would be literally 'lost in translation' without a translation table for worse. —CodeCat 13:18, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Wouldn't those differences show up in the translations of the different senses of bad, through the comparative formation process for each translation? DCDuringTALK 13:31, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Not necessarily, that is the point I was trying to make. A word such as 'bad' may have more than one comparative and superlative like in several Indo-European languages. But, even in Dutch, the comparative minder can translate as worse even though its base form weinig never means bad. So, someone looking in the translations for bad will not see weinig listed there. However, minder would certainly belong in a translation table for worse! Another example which pertains to suppletive comparatives in general occurs in Gothic. The Gothic comparative adverb mins means "smaller, less". But it has no corresponding base form, so it is a comparative but it is not a comparative of anything. I believe Latin has similar cases as well, though someone who knows Latin would need to confirm this. In any case, for sitations like this it's hard to assume that base forms and comparatives map one-to-one because it's more complicated than that. Some comparatives among world languages are the comparative of more than one base form (like more is to both many and much), some may have no base form, and some may have senses that their base form does not have. So, certain comparatives may have to be treated as independent lemmas because there is no other way. And as such, there would have to be translations linking to them as well, or risk having a translation 'blind spot'. —CodeCat 13:48, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
Might that not apply to other polysemous adjectives, too? What makes this one different? Is it just that even the ancestral PIE comparative was also quite distinct from the PIE for "bad", so this is a highly unusual case? I suppose the same might be true for better.
In any event, it seems to me to make the entry for worse worse for a user simply trying to understand English, because it introduces the possibility that the meanings for worse shown explicitly differ from those implicit in the "comparative of bad" line. Do we care about such users? DCDuringTALK 14:55, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
@CodeCat: I'm not sure there's much benefit in merely saying that a given term appears in some translation table somewhere; it has to be actually findable. I think that within-language usage notes are more likely to be helpful than unexpectedly-placed translations-tables. —RuakhTALK 15:07, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
In the case of Gothic mins I can't think of anywhere to place such a usage note. Can you? —CodeCat 17:21, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
That one would go in the translation table at less#English, so there's no problem. (Less is a lemma.) I was talking about cases like minder, where the English translation is not a lemma. —RuakhTALK 00:32, 4 July 2012 (UTC)
At least the sense "More ill" doesn't seem to be covered by any of the senses listed at bad, so we would need to keep that at least. -- Liliana• 15:24, 22 April 2013 (UTC)