Template talk:en-infl-reg-sibilant

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"third person singular simple present" is dauntingly verbose. I've never heard it worded quite this way though it gets a few Google hits. What is a casual dictionary user going to make of it? "3rd person singular present" is as simple as I can think of and even that's too wordy.

Far less importantly, why invent yet another order for the forms? I think does-did-done-doing is probably the most common order so far. — Hippietrail 08:31, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Originally, the words were just listed, without parts of speech, or even commas. Two editors expressed a preference for parts of speech. As for what casual dictionary users are going to do: They are going to understand it, far more than they would without that text there. This is for the simple reason that the assertion that simple present/simple past/past participle/present participle is the order that will be automaticlaly understood and conventionally used is in fact false. Without the text, casual dictionary readers won't know which order we've chosen to employ, because orders vary. The order that you give is not the order that everyone everywhere uses. (w:English verbs uses the same ordering as in these templates, for example.) It's certainly not the order that everyone will automatically understand, without labels. (Indeed, paper dictionaries explicitly label inflections for the same reason that inflections are labelled in these templates.) Even within Wiktionary orders vary. Part of the problem that these templates address is that there wasn't a uniform order in Wiktionary. Indeed, many articles even omitted one or more of the inflections. I think that "third person singular simple present" is not too wordy. Uncle G 12:27, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
There seem to be more conclusions than justifications in your response. How can you declare that casual dictionary users will understand "third person singular simple present"? Specifically, what does the "simple" mean? Not complex? Not complicated? Not subjunctive? I think that it's not only too wordy, it's also confusing.
Re ordering, my words were "probably most common", not "that everyone everywhere uses". But as I've said, this is of very little importance, especially when the forms are labeled. — Hippietrail 03:38, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
I also find this a bit troublesome. On the one hand, using templates makes sense here for several reasons. On the other hand, the present expansion is a bit too much. But back on the first hand, it's easy to experiment.
Ideally, expansions of templates could be configurable much as stylesheets are. If I like just talk, someone else likes talk, talks, talked, talked and someone else likes something like the present expansion, we should be able to choose what we like. This is much easier if the data are tagged, either using templates or some other markup.
Even more ideally, the Wiktionary data model would know about this sort of tagging directly, without recourse to templates.
Back in the real world, I'd like to tone this down a bit, to something more like:

talk, third person talks, past talked, past participle talked

This conveys about as much information as the previous, without bringing in moods (should we mention subjunctive as well) and other heavier machinery. -dmh 7 July 2005 22:13 (UTC)
Hmm, well for starters, you missed out the gerund/progressive form :). I don't like 'past', but otherwise, I like the reduction in size that you have there. Instead of 'past' I would suggest 'preterite', but that's a bit less simple for your average user. And, as a minor niggle, I like the brackets around the inflections. --Wytukaze 7 July 2005 22:42 (UTC)
The gerund/progressive is completely regular (except perhaps for disputes over consonant doubling in cases like targeting/targetting, focusing/focussing etc., and this matches the past). Even be becomes being. I'm not greatly concerned about that, though, nor past vs. preterite (though I prefer "past").
However, I very much dislike wikifying the regular inflections. The links are almost never there, and for good reason: they're not idiomatic. When they are there, they're often just redirects back to the stem form. It's particularly annoying and confusing to chase a link and silently end up back where you started. -dmh 7 July 2005 22:51 (UTC)
Hello! Hadn't noticed this conversation earlier. dmh, you have made that point before. I know *I* have tried to comply with your wishes on this matter: rarely now are mere #REDIRECTs entered that point back. I think even WS:ELE may have said not to do that now. But the pronunciation of them can very easily be different. The translations will certainly be different (in conjugation, at least.) The interwiki links will certainly be different. Are you saying you dislike the ===Verb form=== style entries? (I won't even mention "all words in all languages" just yet.) I have not yet decided if it is worth a separate cleanup task to programatically list all words that are only a #REDIRECT to an entry that points back to themselves. Are you suggesting they should each be nominated on {{rfd}}? --Connel MacKenzie 7 July 2005 23:03 (UTC)
I'm not adamantly against entries for regular inflections. For example, I notice you have a some pages under your user page where you bring in text and wikify it. It's then easy to see which links are red and which aren't. What makes sense to me in such a case is to have, say, talks redirect to talk, and have all the information concentrated there. The spellings for the plural form would not be wikified, but translations of the stem form should be. In other words, if I want to translate talks into Dutch, I look up talks, get redirected to talk, find the translation praten, discussie or whatever, and thence know to use praat (?), discussies or whatever.
The advantage to this is that when someone adds a new sense of talk (e.g., gossip or rumor, as in "there is talk of a rebellion"), then the translation gets put in one place. Otherwise, the entries for talks, talked and talking have to be kept in sync and somehow note which inflected translation goes with which sense of the stem (in the example, the new sense wouldn't be carried over to talks, since it's uncountable, nor to talked and talkiing, since it's a noun sense, but in other cases it would be ). -dmh 8 July 2005 16:14 (UTC)
Yes dmh, that's an attractive scheme, to use redirects. I only have one problem with it - I'd prefer "soft redirects" (=See also:s) since one word often can be an inflected form of multiple different stems. One of the worst example I have ready at the moment in Swedish is the word "kors", which not only is a stem in itself, but also an inflection of two different words (kor and ko). \Mike 8 July 2005 16:31 (UTC)
Yikes. I suppose English has a similar situation in does (third person of do, plural of doe, though not a stem in its own right). I think the entry for does is about right (except for a little formatting that I'm about to tweak). The key is that the bulk of the information is at do and doe, while only things like spelling and pronunciation are at does. -dmh 9 July 2005 17:26 (UTC)