User talk:DCDuring

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Contents

Comments welcome. DCDuring 17:44, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Archive[edit]


Projects[edit]

Taxonomic entries

Perennials[edit]

Problems with plurals[edit]

Hi. I only recently became aware that there was a problem. My first thought was to dig into Category:Uncountable to see just what sort of problems might be present. That was when I realised that we have a grave problem, given that we cannot really keep track of anything if the templates are not working. I think EP is right.

  1. Step 1 is to rename the category.
  2. Step 2.IMHO is to modify the {{uncountable}}, {{pluralonly}}, {{singularonly}}, templates so that only the senses are marked as uncountable, plurale t, and singulare t respectively, and the {{en-noun|-}} template option to simply not put plural forms only. That is, disable its automatic "uncountable" label and categorisation.
  3. Step 3. I hadn't thought about "pair of" Perhaps a new template and category?
  4. Step 4. A bot to find and list entries that need to be checked out. (Might turn out to be a huge list :-/)
  • We could then encourage the correct use of the templates. In any case, I see this as an urgent "to do" before it gets completely out of hand. I wish I knew how big a problem it really is! - Algrif 11:08, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Your plan looks pretty good to me. The wording of the display for "plurale tantum" and "singulare tantum" and of the WT entries for those phrases needs work. It needs to be more accessible to ordinary users and not just technically correct.
I am appalled at the number of entries that have no templates and no categories. I spend time looking at frequency lists and filling in missing inflected forms. Probably half of the associated lemma entries are missing or significantly defective - and I don't mean missing senses, I mean missing PoSs, missing templates, obsolete headers, erroneous statements of comparability or countability, and structure problems. One hardly knows where to begin.
Are there good tools for counting entries with various characteristics and, especially, combinations of characteristics? I often wish that I could just do queries (not necessarily real-time) on the WT entries to get info on combinations of headers and templates (and parameters of templates). I guess bots marking or listing entries is as good as it gets. I am in need of getting up to speed on the capabilities of templates, bots, etc. What is a good place to start learning? My computer skills are not very up to date, but I am still capable of learning and willing to do so. DCDuring 15:15, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I need to think more carefully on your program. Whatever we do should be linguistically correct, consistent with good wiki-tech-practice, and sufficiently user-friendly as to help WT benefit from and handle any extra users we get from improving WT visiblity on Google. DCDuring 15:20, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm quite good at suggesting, but not very good at doing. I wish I knew how to write bots, but my (modern day) programming skills are limited. I would need someone to write, or help to write, said bot. I don't even know what could be possible, although I expect it wouldn't be too hard to seek and list all entries with certain tags and bracketed words (uncountable). As for going through any generated list; like all the other listed tasks on Wikt, it could never be a one-man job, although I would see myself being heavily involved. Can we put together a brief proposal about all this for GP consideration? - Algrif 10:08, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

links[edit]

Is this word ever used to refer to more than one golf course? One can find usage of both "The links is ...." and "The links are ...." but every case I've looked at seems to refer to a single course. Also, an etymology is that it is a shortening of "linksland". DCDuring TALK 03:31, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Found usage: "links" (with either is or are) can refer to a single golf course. "Links are" can also refer to multiple courses. What is that called? DCDuring TALK 04:16, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what name this phenomenon goes by, but it's the same as deer, where the singular and plural forms are identical. --EncycloPetey 04:23, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Based on our Category:English invariant nouns, they are "invariant nouns". Thryduulf 18:17, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, yes. I've been to that page. Could someone clarify it? I'm having trouble understanding the distinction made there between invariant nouns and invariant use of non-invariant nouns. There is certainly too much "ink" spent on the second case without making it clear exactly what the difference is. I'm too simple-minded to take on that challenge myself. I also don't understand the relationship of that to plurale tantum. I'm beginning to suspect that it would be useful to have an article somewhere (Wiktionary Appendix or WP?) explaining the various non-standard plural phenomena: invariant nouns, plurale tantum, singulare tantum, uncountability, semantic singularity, invariant use of non-invariant nouns, pair-of nouns, and collective nouns with special focus on the simple usage questions of greatest potential interest to our anon and even not-so-anon users:
  1. How does a speaker/writer use each type of noun with respect to a single referent ? and
  2. Does it (always, sometimes, never) take a plural verb when referring to a single referent?
Consistent nomenclature and corresponding categories for the technically adept wouldn't hurt either to assist the flow of wisdom from adepts to contributors to lowest common denominator. There seem to be some bottlenecks in the flow. DCDuring TALK 19:43, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Regular, non-invariant nouns can be either singular or plural with different forms, e.g. "one ship", "two ships"
  • Invariant nouns can be either singular or plural, but have the same form for both, e.g. "one sheep", "two sheep"
  • Invariant use of non invariant nouns is using one form, usually the singular form, of a noun that has different forms for singular and plural as both singular and plural. e.g. elephant is a non-invariant noun ("one elephant", "two elephants"), but the singular form can be used for the plural (i.e. invariantly), e.g. "I shot three elephant today"
  • Pluarlia tantum can only be plural, e.g. tongs - you can say "pass me the tongs please" but not *"pass me the tong please".
  • Singularia tantum can only be singular, e.g. crack of dawn.
Does this help? Thryduulf 21:17, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
It helps because it gives real cases. I seem to try to avoid using many of these expressions as do many of the folks I listen to, so my ear doesn't seem to have been getting much practice.
OK: "One sheep is"; "Two sheep are"
Help me here: "Three elephant are approaching" ?; "Three elephants are approaching". I'm not sure this comes up much in US. You must have more elephant in the UK.
OK: "Three cannon are firing", "Three cannons are firing", "The cannon are firing".
Help me here: "The cannon is firing" How many cannons may be involved? Only one?
If only one cannon can be involved, why would we bother calling this "invariant" rather than a noun with two plural forms?
OK for pairs-of words: "These tongs have rusted" (whether referring to one pair or more than one pair).
How does this work for p.t. nouns that are not pairs-of?
Help me here: Is it simply wrong to say "The experience of cracks of dawn differs by latitude and season"?
Also:
Confirm: "The fleet is passing through the channel". (US) "The fleet are passing through the channel". (UK)

DCDuring TALK 01:45, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

So links (golf sense) is an invariant noun, plural in form (by coincidence only), with the added quirk of being optionally used as a plural to refer to what is normally considered a single place (a golf course). Oof. Do any other words behave this way? -- Visviva 23:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Come to think of it, I guess all pair-of words behave this way; glasses, scissors, jeans, etc. -- Visviva 11:04, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I started an entry for linksland, but was struck that this term is used only in golf-related literature. On the other hand links/lynkis is a valid Scots word for rough open ground, so linksland seems like a pleonasm, perhaps invented after "links" had begun to refer to golf courses themselves. [1] -- Visviva 23:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Comparability[edit]

Please be careful here. For example all the hits for "more nitrogenized" seem to have "more" modifying the noun rather than the adjective.[2] This is also borne out by the 0 hits for "more nitrogenized than." In general "more X than" is a better search, but still may result in false positives. -- Visviva 04:41, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. For nitrogenized, I also looked at the superlative and found nine in gbc. I reasoned that if a sup does exist, there is no reason for a comp not to exist. Is that too racy?
I am using "more-X-than" as my search term and reading until I find real comparables (not more modifying the same noun that the X modifies, first books, then scholar, sometimes then news, rarely groups. I look for 3. I'm trying to do it right so that I can meet challenges.
Many of the other adjs are logically capable of forming comparatives, but the number of uses is too low (0-2). I think editors are fooled by their own absolutist definitions. Someone defined worldwide as meaning applicable "everywhere". Clearly not how the word is actually used. DCDuring 04:53, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
You're certainly right that people tend to go overboard with prescriptive definitions. However, for cases like this, IMO very close attention to use is needed. Eight of the nine hits for "most nitrogenized"[3] seem to be modifying the noun rather than the adjective, as in "most nitrogenized compounds are..." The only exception is the 1881 use, and frankly I can't make head or tails of that one. -- Visviva 12:23, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
If your google yields the searches in the same order as mine 1 and 4 are the right cites. This is most marginal of all the cases. Frankly I am skeptical about many engineering-process words being non-comparable even without the cites. If you would like to challenge it, I will see if I can use print sources to located some additional cites beyond the two clear ones for the superlative. I must say that I thought that the situation would be even worse than it has turned out to be. I thought it would be as bad as with uncountability, but it isn't. The a-/an-, in-, non-, and un- adjectives are rarely comparable in practice. I had estimated 15-20% non-comparability, but find that the negative prefix adjectives reduce the ratio to closer to 10% opposable claims. If it weren't for the proscriptiveness of the "not comparable", I wouldn't care as much. Do our editors find that, given a permissive environment, free of received rules, they must use the freedom to create new rules and restrictions?
That is indeed a common reaction, though mercifully much more muted here than on the pedia. No worries, anyway; looks like you've got a notion for what you're doing. I just happened to notice the activity on RC and think "hm, that seems odd," so I went in for a closer look. It does seem odd that the only two uses of "nitrogenized" in a comparable way on b.g.c. date from the 19th century; but perhaps that's just a fluke. Happy editing! -- Visviva 15:28, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I have noted the wantonness of Victorian word invention (crash of rhinoceroses) and morphology (-ical when -ic would do). I have tried editing some of the 1913 dictionary entries and 1911 Encyclopedia entries. They were developing a more Germanic language for a while. Perhaps the comparatives were part of the same syndrome. When I engage in chains of similar edits, there is a risk that I will go over the top. I think nitrogenized was the edit with the least support, though I have faith that more could be found. I have often been chastened by confronting the goggle evidence that my a priori assumptions are often wrong. I just wish that some folks would test their assumptions more often. Thanks for the chat. DCDuring 16:28, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
No.


Countable and comparable[edit]

Hello there, I noticed that you have amended the inflection lines of many nouns so that they are countable e.g. adipic acid - in this instance the the chemical itself is not countable but only if there is more than one type of adipic acid e.g. isomers - if that is the case then the definition may need revision to make that clear.

I'm also curious as to what g.b.c. is? - Do you mean Google - in which case many of the changes might then reflect incorrect or at least dubious usages and should not be included in Wiktionary unless they are noted as such.--Williamsayers79

Thanks for following up. I was aware that those changes were incomplete. Since the entry remains on my watchlist, I was hoping someone would come along, make the appropriate changes, and thereby provide a good model for other entries. Yes, I have altered them based on the books.google.com (which ought to be abbreviated b.g.c. not g.b.c. (my mistake)). I certainly wouldn't rely on google web search results given the need to sift through even the supposedly edited works on b.g.c. (let alone the older scanned material). I try to look through the first few pages of a b.g.c. search to make sure that not everything is spurious. I have noticed that folks are inclined to claim that something is uncountable when it is not (not just in chemistry). It wouldn't be so bad if uncountability were marked only at the sense line. I am generally aware that structural differences are abundant in complex molecules, that atoms have isotopes, that there are many Marxisms. However, my chemistry is not so good that I trust myself to add the appropriate senses. If you would point me to a good example of an entry for a chemical with both countable and uncountable senses and let me know the approximate limits of applicability of that model, I would henceforth apply only that model in my effots and would hope to be able to call upon you for cases beyond the scope of the model. DCDuring TALK 19:25, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I would say that methane is a good example where the chemical itself (CH4) is uncountable as it has only one form, and where the word is also used to refer to other chemicals based on that compound therefore haveing a countable sense to.--Williamsayers79 13:16, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Comparablility has similar issues. I am somewhat numerate so I am sensitive to the fact that most natural phenomena are matters of degree. Folks who engage in selling, making, or studying things usually are making comparisions of types, grades, and lots in terms of various attributes which are sometimes popularly deemed incomparable. Maybe I have been wrong about believing that we should reflect the practice of "experts" in comparing and pluralizing what the laity do not, but the opposite presumption does not seem to have been based on much more than whim or limited experience in most cases, certainly not consultation with references or b.g.c. I am open to (and enjoy) argument on this as with most Wiktionary matters. DCDuring TALK 19:37, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad you are open for discussion in this area. We often have a bun-fight here over such things when all that is needed is good discussion and clear explanations (use of Usage notes are definitely welcomed from my view point). Regards --Williamsayers79 13:16, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
From context I assumed that bunfight meant dust-up, but the sense entered and defended by SB is different. Did you mean something like tempest in a teapot? I think the heat generated has to do with the missing side-channels of communication (facial expression, posture, gesture, tone of voice, clothing, tics}} - not that folks don't get into pissing matches in the real world. Internet communication is good for paranoid reactions. I've noted it in my own reactions from time to time. I'm wondering how to defuse some of the negative interactions between important contributors. Humor is a little risky without the side channels. DCDuring TALK 15:08, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
If you're addressing the idea of what is countable (a slippery concept to be sure) Arnold Zwicky does a good job of laying out the issues here. You might also check out Reid's 1991 book Verb and Noun number in English.--BrettR 13:36, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the references. DCDuring TALK 14:15, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Abbreviations[edit]

Issues[edit]

Following is a initial dump of "issues". Perhaps it could become the start of a guideline for handling the occasional abbreviations that are not well handled by the default features of the existing system:

PoS[edit]

Apparently c. is considered to be the cutting edge of forward thinking about abbreviations. I has PoS info optionally at the sense line. Perhaps that is all that is required, given that probably 99% of abbreviations are of proper nouns or nouns. Also an abbreviation that gets used as a verb is often not considered an abbreviation ("RVing" is not "recreational vehicling"). The PoS info is a gloss that may eliminate the need to click through to the entry underlying the abbreviaton, if there is an underlying entry.

No underlying WT entry[edit]

Some abbreviations have no underlying entry (it would not meet CFI). For such entries there is more need for PoS info, WP links.

Pluralization[edit]

There would be some value in including the plural form of an abbreviation to that a user who typed in a plural for "apts." or "apts" was directed to "apt." or "apt."

Period/no period[edit]

Periodless abbreviations are acceptable, following European convention. It would be handy it the search engine given eihter "apt" or "apt." would yield both "apt." and "apt".

Pronunciation[edit]

Now folded into characterization as "initialism" or "acronym". As Agvulpine pointed out, some are pronounced both ways and some are pronounced in a combination. Some are rarely spoken. Some seem unpronounceable. Some fraction of Abbreviations are not well served. DCDuring TALK 19:07, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Alternative spellings[edit]

Thanks for actually addressing the original question. Interesting that there was so much pent-up energy about the overall interface. Until there is some more radical advance on the user-interface front, we just have to do the best we can. I don't like to make unilateral changes, especially in something like first-screen appearance, especially if there is a more general issue involved. Are there other instances like OK that you know of? DCDuring TALK 11:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I also noted that the heading in "OK" is "Alternative forms". There are certainly other instances, arguable even rock and roll, where the content under the header is not "spellings" {u.c./l.c., hyphens, -or/-our, -ise/-ize, and/'n') but other closely related variants. Those variants don't always have a good home on the page. Do you think that we should make that the universal header in that position or an allowed alternative, either documented or undocumented? DCDuring TALK 11:32, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I think in all cases in all entries, we should work to present entries that give the clearest information about a word in the format that is most effective and appropriate to the specifics of that entry, while obviously being subject to the limitations of the Mediawiki code and remaining loyal to our strict formatting precedents, but not obsessively so. The entries should cater first to the reality of that particular word, and second to some overly rigid arbitrary format. For example, if rock-and-roll and OK really don't have "alternate spellings", but more appropriately "alternate forms", well we should be able to make that minor distinction without much fuss. If the list of four or five alt. forms takes up too much vertical space, well then, golly gee, just put 'em side by side. Not too difficult. The formatting conventions are arbitrary, and many believe something is emphatically a necessary formatting convention when it's just some pedant with Asperger's whose brain fights for routine rather than effectiveness.

It's clear some formatting is important to the future of the project, to some preference skins and analysis tools, and to Wiktionary's ability to be understood by potential third party software. However, if a change is necessary, it should be simply made rather than fought. If "alternate forms" (or another useful heading) is currently not a valid heading in some skins, it should simply be made valid. If our software can't properly report to third parties a list of alt forms if they are horizontal with commas, well we should fix that. It's really people's personalities, not actual limitations that sometimes prevent success. -- Thisis0 21:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

This place seems to have more justification for format rigidity than WP. I've been cautious because I'm new and because folks can be touchy about things I don't expect them to be touchy about. The alt spellings format "issue" connected with the homophones discussion a bit and with the general problem of the low useful-info content of the first screen users see for many entries. I also am disappointed by the lack of knowledge about design-relevant user behavior characteristics. We do this for love, but I personally would love to have happy end users. I am optimistic that perhaps we can allow customization of the user interface so that editors and members of the language community can have useful interfaces without jeopardizing the experience of our presumed client base. I would be willing to submit to format rigidity if it sped up the achievement of user-interface customization. DCDuring TALK 21:37, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Again, simple solutions. Extra trivia like Homophones (and Anagrams, for f's sake) really just need to go after the definitions (like near Synonyms and See also). I'm assuming the Anagram/Homophone junkies fought so hard to be included, the momentum of their cause overshot itself and pushed right up to a prime real estate location, when they really belong down among the trivias and see-also's, if at all. -- Thisis0 22:05, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Hompohones at least might be justified on the grounds of helping someone to pronounce something or at least to stop looking for non-existent/minimal pronunciation differences. My fear is that the phonetic alphabetic knowledge (or working software for the audio) required to benefit from most of the Pronunciation section isn't there among most (many) of our end users. Simple solutions are all that we are likely to achieve. Because WMF doesn't have vast technical resources, technical solutions at all but the most basic level will be few and far between. I hope that it isn't all duct tape at the server farm. DCDuring TALK 23:01, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Having IPA here to encourage learning something new is cool, however, I wish we employed classic dictionary pronunciation, or better yet, simple pronunciation (pro-nunn'-see-ay'-shun). Wouldn't that be useful? I also wish we had a better way of showing syllabic hyphenation. As an arranger/editor of sheet music, that is my frequent utility of a dictionary, and sadly, Wiktionary is no help in that regard. I currently hafta take my business elsewhere. It would be a huge change, but I think it would be appropriate where the entry name repeats in bold just under the PoS headers. You know, where the en-noun templates and such are used. That's just a repeat of the entry name, why not make it use·ful? -- Thisis0 23:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Anything that increases the density of useful info on the first screen without setting back a user's ability to find things on other screens is good. In particular, both of your ideas seem good.
  1. Hyphenation at the inflection line would either give more info than is now in the entry or save a line in the pronunciation block for those entries that have it. Hyphenation skill is becoming less broadly useful as word-processing software absorbs that function so there may not be much energy for implementing it.
  2. A pronunciation scheme that an amateur could use without a reference would be good, even if it was not as useful for linguists and not as correct. Horizontalizing it seems like a good idea, but I don't know whether it interferes with someone's grand scheme for the section.
Today someone was removing the Shorthand section (well formatted and apparently correct) of some entries and could not understand what use that could be. That seems like another skill (like Morse code) that will soon disappear. DCDuring TALK 23:39, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
What entries? I'd like to see (shorthand sections). Regarding horizontal pronunciations, apparently it's already being done fairly effectively (and simply -- the key to greatness!). Look at attribute. I'd just like to add simple pronunciation to the beginning of those lists. Wouldn't that be a neat way to promote learning IPA anyway, to see the equivalents side by side? -- Thisis0 23:48, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
There are perhaps 40 entries with the Shorthand heading, appearing at the bottom of the page. They mostly begin "ab". abash should be one. I assume that the person entering them ran out of gas. You can search for "shorthand" and find them by the bottom of page 3 of the search results. There might be more to found by serching the same way for "Gregg" or even "Pitman". If you want to test on a user who knows no IPA, I'm your test subject for alpha testing. DCDuring TALK 00:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Wikispecies[edit]

We can't be the only people wondering about this - perhaps we ought to set-up a project page somewhere on WT and let the Wikispecies people know about it? Maybe there will be some people on Meta interested in cross-project stuff? Thryduulf 23:29, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

It could be, but I'm interested in the specific way that we could get some content and get some impossible stuff off our plate. I think everything really constructive tends to be bottom-up rather than top-down in Wikiworld. We can offer WSP traffic and etymology on taxonomic words. We can get a little traffic and perhaps a lot of words (many thousands?), mostly Translinguals and Latins. We'd probably get some (hundreds, thousands?) additional vernacular names. We might be able to get many entries we don't have, blue some links and not embarass ourselves with amateur handling of taxonomy. IF you can find somebody at Meta for support that would be great too. I'm thinking about working on our classicists. EPetey, and Ataeles, HarrisMorgan because the offer of ety help (if WSp even cares) would depend a bit on them. DCDuring TALK 00:17, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Taxonomy levels[edit]

| Phylum phylum || Phyla |- | Classis classis Classes |- | Ordo ordo Ordines]] |- | Familia familia Familiae |- | Divisio divisio Divisiones |- | Cohors cohors Cohortes |- | Sectio sectio Sectiones |- | Tribus tribus Tribus |- | Genus genus Genera |- | Species species |- | Forma forma Formae


Some sort of quality process for important words[edit]

Hi,

I agree with you that we need to focus more effectively on core-entry quality. I'd been thinking of some sort of process that would focus on bringing entries for core vocabulary words (and particularly the senses and examples) up to the best achievable level. It would have to be sort of the opposite of our existing "Requests" processes, which do a reasonable job of enforcing compliance with minimum standards but aren't really equipped to go beyond that.

Specifically, I was thinking of something

  • slow (maybe a 30-90 day timeframe?),
  • fairly structured and deliberative (with a durable subpage structure, maybe including something like Appendix:Dictionary notes),
  • focused sharply on key words (maybe the Academic Word List and/or GSL), and with
  • restricted throughput (perhaps 10 words per month to start?).

Ideally, upon completing the process, entries would be raised to a high enough standard that they could be used as models of excellence. Truly model entries are something we currently lack, a fact which in turn discourages any serious work on quality, leaving us in the viciously circular place where we find ourselves.

Anyway, I was wondering if you've had any thoughts along these lines. This is another one of those things that I've been meaning to put together a more serious proposal for, but I keep distracting myself with various other shiny objects.  :-) -- Visviva 07:34, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Let me start by rambling.
I certainly think that we have numerous articles that have quality issues. Some of the issues are:
  1. insufficient modernisation of Websters 1913 imports.
  2. missing senses
  3. poor grouping of senses in entries with numerous senses
  4. redundancy of senses due to hyperspecific senses, especially in fields such as sports, computing, equestrianism, perhaps some scientific fields (eg, mycology).
All of these are fixable within our existing rules. Fixing them would seem to not fit well with our wikiness in that they require the intense efforts of a very few dedicated, experienced users and benefit hardly at all from the active participation of newbies, at least given current modes of participation.
I've been reading some older (1968) essays by Sir Randolph Quirk (Longmans Grammar). He cited Murray talking about the need for his contributors to go back over many entries (closed categories like prepositions especially) and make slips out for the usages that they did not find extraordinary. Quirk believes that non-literary-corpus-based analysis, barely feasible at the time of his essays, was the answer to the underlying problem. That would suggest that we need to have more recourse to the on-line corpera to improve those "core" entries.
To some extent our wikiness seems to give us disproportionate interest in "hard words" or "interesting" words. Though I should know better, I fritter away time on words like griffonage, which happened to be on the "uncategorised pages" list, instead of words like by, bill, defy, or set, just to mention words that have some degree of problem like missing definitions.
I know that lists are motivating. I don't think that the "collaboration of the week" idea worked. WotD creates some motivational pressure due to deadlines, but directs it at "interesting words" (=shiny things). Perhaps we need to have a sequence of lists aimed at intersections of maintenance categories, what-links-here, and other categories. An example might be English prepositions with Webster 1913 templates or used in 5 prepositional phrase entries. Perhaps we could have a page of lists of such lists.
And ultimately we could have featured entries and quality ratings as WP has.
I just don't know what is both motivating and truly useful. I continue to be desirous of ways of addressing the "needs" or "wants" of users, which may themselves be for "shiny objects". DCDuring TALK 11:29, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, there's no denying the motivational power of shiny objects. :-) On the other hand, there are a lot of structural needs that IMO are best addressed by focusing on a fairly limited set of "boring" core and near-core words. The need that's been most painfully apparent to me lately is to avoid "lost work" on translation sections -- there are far too many cases where a sloppy original entry has attracted lots of good translations, which have then all been dumped into TTBC when the entry was cleaned up (and if the cleanup itself was flawed, this process may repeat itself several times over). But that's not all; there's also the need to inform compositionality debates -- I think my most common rejoinder on RFD has been "if this is sum of parts, we're missing a sense at [X]" --; the need to support comprehensive treatment of 'nyms and 'terms; the need to delve into those issues of sense-grouping and -splitting that we keep touching on but never really hashing out; and so forth. Poorly-constructed definition sets have all sorts of undesirable side effects.
More cleanup lists would be an excellent thing, as would some kind of central, annotated list of lists (at least, I don't think there is any such list currently maintained). I think we often underestimate the amount of potential newbie and non-newbie energy that goes unchanneled. But still, cleanup lists focus more on the floor (minimum quality) than the ceiling; that is, while reducing the number of "bad" entries is a worthy goal in itself, it won't necessarily lead to more "good" entries. This is particularly the case for the lexical core, where the difference between "adequate" and "good" is particularly noticeable. To really do justice to a GSL word like by or one, or even an AWL word like analyze, requires a major collective investment of thought and effort. That's why I don't think we can do much more for these entries than we are doing now, without some genuinely new process -- perhaps something like a blend of Wikipedia's FA and Peer Review systems with their Core Topics collaboration. Maybe this process could harness the motivational power of to-do lists as well -- for example, the initial phase of review for an entry could involve outlining a list of individual, bite-sized tasks that need to be dealt with.
I think the biggest problem with the CotW approach has been that a week is too short a time to really gather even one person's energies to confront one of these words. I can say from personal experience that, when faced with an entry like do, 40 hours is barely enough time to lay the groundwork for an approach -- and I dare say few of us ever actually have 40 hours to spare in a single week. That's what tends to make these entries so discouraging to work on, and it's why I was thinking of a longer, flexible timeframe. Perhaps the process should be throttled with this in mind -- not 10 entries per month, as I initially suggested, but a maximum of 10 (or X) entries under consideration at one time. When consensus has been reached that the senses for a word are optimal, it could then be removed from the queue and a new word added. -- Visviva 12:29, 1 February 2009 (UTC) I'm having a hard time keeping my thoughts to less than 3 paragraphs lately, sorry. :-)
I guess I am of the opinion (and temperament) that wiktionary needs to be more checklist-oriented than WP. WP articles seem to attract fans, fanatics, learn-by-teaching types, and professionals with teaching inclinations, with narrow subject interests (though sometimes just eclectic). Wiktionary seems to attract serious effort mostly from language fans. Many of us seem to like short-attention-span work, for which checklists are very good.
The longer entries are overwheming. Perhaps the process would be to go through some high-likely-problem-ratio lists and
  1. leave a bunch of tags (including new ones) OR
  2. leave a tag on the talk page and an entry-specific checklist.
Perhaps the tags or checklists could be harvested for bot or template ideas that would make the process work faster. (I do not yet have a good feel for what can be done by bots or even templates, though a talk-page-checklist template that provided a formatted improvement checklist and entry-improvement log and some invisible maintenance-category membership does seem feasible though ambitious).
Maybe we need some simple focus-generating lists like "Preposition of the Month", "Determiner of the Month", "Pronoun of the Month", "Letter of the Month", "Symbol of the Month". (By the time we progress through each of these we could just start over, because there will be new issues.)
Maybe we need to mark senses that are in the opinion of some ready for translation. (Perhaps we could delete trans tables for those not ready and insert them for those that are.)
Senior contributor tasks:
  1. Sequence X-of-the-Month lists (easy ones, test ones, important ones, bad ones)
  2. Review entry for tasks to be done
  3. Review senses for translations
  4. Create short help pages for structured chunks of work
  5. Identify exemplars for each L3 and L4 Heading
Meta-tasks include some consensus- and enthusiasm-building.
Shiny objects might be a talk-page maintenance-task template, a page about determining the adequacy of a sense, a help page about how to write some class of definitions, and a proposed list of exemplars.
I'm almost getting enthusiastic myself. DCDuring TALK 14:26, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

2013 Q I[edit]

twenty[edit]

I saw a doubtful edit made by user Fête (talkcontribs). Can you confirm that the three pronunciations deleted are right? Ĉiuĵaŭde (talk) 14:23, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry. I can't help with pronunciations. DCDuring TALK 14:24, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Ok. No problem. Happy New Year. Ĉiuĵaŭde (talk) 14:25, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

The main problem with them is that you used phonemic slashes when you should have used phonetic brackets, assuming that those pronunciations are even accurate, which I somewhat doubt considering that I've never heard most of them. But if they're phonetic, we can bet at least somebody says them. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:29, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

FWIW, I've certainly heard many any instance of t-less pronunciations of twenty. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I mean weird pronunciations like [ˈtwʊ̃.ɾi]. If you can't read IPA, that's like twoo(n)ri where the oo is from book, the (n) is nasalized as in French, and the r is a tap like in Spanish. Personally, I've never heard anything approaching that AFAIK. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:09, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that seems weird. That I couldn't tell how weird is why I should leave pronunciation to the professionals. DCDuring TALK 01:31, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Serbo-Croatian[edit]

"See Vote on Serbo-Croatian." Where was this, and what was the outcome? Thank you! Slandan (talk) 00:12, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-06/Unified Serbo-Croatian. Note the vehemence. DCDuring TALK 00:18, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Agapornis cana[edit]

The spelling Agapornis canus isn't an "alternative form"; it's a misspelling. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Maybe in Latin, and maybe according to some authorities, but not in fact in Translingual. DCDuring TALK 21:01, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
It's an error, just like "Untied States" would be. Species names are governed by strict codes that determine which form is correct and which forms are not. If it's in violation of the Codes, then it's wrong. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:06, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
We don't respect the authority of national academies. Why should we respect the ICZN? In any event, "common misspelling" doesn't reflect usage before the ICZN. DCDuring TALK 21:16, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
National academies have no authority to govern language, but the ICZN has international backing. It would be a great disservice to our uers to imply that Agapornis canus is an acceptable form of the name. If it is only valid prior to the Code (assuming it was used then), then at the least it would be obsolete or archaic. More likely, it was a propogated error. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:19, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
We don't respect national academies even when they have the power to regulate words used in government and courts. ICZN is not followed by every book publisher. When someone does the work to better characterize the usage, fine. If someone wants to context-tag all of the terms not according to ICZN in some new explicit way or insert a usage note, I would welcome it. I would love it if the various terms in Category:mul:Taxonomic names (obsolete) were reviewed and corrected in this regard and in any other ways appropriate. I suppose I could use {{attention|mul|topic=ICZN}} or {{attention|mul|topic=ICBN}} and activate appropriate categories to draw attention to cases I find problematic. DCDuring TALK 22:20, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Or special-purpose categories and templates, such as Category:mul:Taxonomic names to be checked against ICZN and {{check-ICZN}}. DCDuring TALK 22:23, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

liquidus[edit]

Hello DCDuring. In June 2011, you tagged liquidus for clean-up; however, it is unclear what it is in the entry that needs to be cleaned up. Please pass comment in WT:RFC#liquidus to clarify matters. Thanks. I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 18:26, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I probably put it in when I was tired or in a rush. I've made a few changes and removed it. DCDuring TALK 19:20, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt resolution. I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 17:55, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

brave[edit]

It was {{trreq|tt} not{{trreq|tt}}. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:58, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

I blame my eyesight. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 18:59, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

WT:RFDO#Template:xno[edit]

Please consider revising your vote in this debate. English etymologies will remain unchanged; this is about improving accuracy and reducing duplication in the treatment of a dead medieval language. Thanks —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:35, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

sg= in English headword-line templates[edit]

This parameter was deprecated a little while ago. It still works, but its usage is discouraged because most templates on Wiktionary use head= instead. So could you use that from now on? There is a list at Category:Headword-line template with deprecated head parameter if you feel inclined to fix them, too. —CodeCat 19:46, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

My fingers have a mind of their own, the brain stem. DCDuring TALK 13:02, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Well maybe you can brain-stem the tide a bit? :) —CodeCat 14:08, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Just a notice that you used sg= again at sandhill crane. The templates still support this, but there is no telling for how long. —CodeCat 22:31, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Did I actually use it or forget to change it? DCDuring TALK 22:44, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Wow. Well, as students of human error, we can hardly be surprised. DCDuring TALK 22:46, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Students of human error? How so? —CodeCat 22:47, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Because the unexamined life is not worth living. DCDuring TALK 22:50, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry... I think you over-philosophisimacated me and now I am lost. —CodeCat 22:51, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
And because work on human interfaces in systems necessarily confronts the designer with the persistence of human habits and the the other abundant sources of error. DCDuring TALK 03:55, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

A question on {{taxlink}}[edit]

If an entry already contains, say, {{taxlink|Zea mays|species}}, should I avoid using {{taxlink}} on other occurrences of Zea mays? — Ungoliant (Falai) 05:25, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

If you know that a given taxon is already listed as missing, you could skip using enclosing it in {{taxlink}} on other entries, but it should be wikilinked, which yields a redlink until an entry exists. As you may have noticed, if someone adds the taxon, entries containing the taxon enclosed in {{taxlink}} are categorized in Category:Entries with redundant taxonomic template (taxlink) for removal. Also, if a given L2 section has multiple taxa at a given level, especially species names, enclosing at least one in {{taxlink}} is a good start as it will draw the attention of some interested party to the entry.
{{taxlink}} is intended to be like scaffolding, to be removed as the edifice progresses. If we had had more inclusive and reliable runs of the new "Wanted pages" when I started on this, I would not have needed this purpose-built scaffolding so much.
BTW, I saw an e-mail that Swedish WP (fittingly the country of Linnaeus) has something creating WP articles automatically from material on the web, with taxonomic entries being a major target. We could use that tool! because our number of taxa is pathetically small (<20,000). The possibility of such tools is one reason I am focused on creating the links rather than the entries. I don't know how well they would do at present with vernacular names of animals, for which disambiguation is often important. DCDuring TALK 12:58, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Prepared to answer a deleted inquiry on this subject:

Most importantly, {{taxlink}} is not intended to be a permanent inhabitant of any entry: it is designed to provide an interim useful bluelink, pending the creation of our own entries. There is a set of categories that are intended to provide lists for adding new starter entries reflecting the kind of taxon genus, species, family, parvorder etc that is required. As not too many folks (understatement) are working on adding these entries, the dwell time in an entry might be relatively long. Nevertheless the idea is to place the template wherever a taxon is used so that the entry goes into the queue. When someone decides to work on the taxons at a given level (species, genus, etc) in a given entry the best thing to do is remove the templates. If the template(s) is/are not removed the entry goes into the redundant template category, which I periodically clean up. If an entry exists, but there is no Translingual section, then the "nomul" parameter removes the entry from the redundant template category.
Thus, the templates that I removed today were on my cleanup list as the Wiktionary entries exist. To one, Smilodon AFAICR, I added the "nomul" parameter, as there is a German L2, not a Translingual one.
I am thinking of doing something similar for English vernacular names that more or less correspond to taxa, but that requires some further work on {{taxon}} to itemize and categorize taxonomic entries by their shortcomings, ie, no range, no vernacular name, no differentia, incomplete hyponyms, incomplete derived terms, incomplete hyponyms, project links to something other than the headword (ie, a higher taxon). I haven't decided on how to implement various improvements on taxon entries, nor whether to raise the question of recruiting those working on a webcrawling automatic entry creator to help create lots (100Ks) of taxon entries.
For now, I am working on wikilinking the unlinked taxonomic names in various entries and upgrading the existing entries themselves, which processes are likely to take months. As I am not a linguist, a taxonomist, a good template writer, a HTML/CSS/JS maven, or a botrunner, I depend on mostly manual efforts and the kindness of strangers. DCDuring TALK 19:44, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the additional detail, DC. As strange as I may be, I hope at least to be kind.  :) (Given your time zone, any connection to the city?) Ta, -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 07:57, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
    Your comments suggest good intentions coupled with competence. All kindness appreciated. DCDuring TALK 14:53, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

adverbs[edit]

I notice that against does not have an adverb section. Most dictionaries don't either, but the OED has a small adverb section after an enormous preposition one. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:35, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. That might be an indication that the category is questionable. If the category is OK, could handle it with an "if" or two in the template and a parameter like "noadv=1". DCDuring TALK 16:51, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I may have been too focused on intransitive phrasal verbs, whose validity is tougher to test. We could direct users to both sections (and away from other PoS sections like conjunction etc) and have both noprep and noadv parameters available. DCDuring TALK 16:59, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, looking at the verbs affected in this case, they all seem to be transitive and the term against looks more like a preposition. But formal grammar is not my strong point. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:01, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm making a bit of a study of this kind of thing, but I still have some prejudices against these: one reason why I used to keep peppering Algrif with requests for criteria for testing the validity of these. I'm trying to find some criteria on my own, preferrably grammatical like the "fronting" tests, modifiability of the particle by adverbial expressions, etc. I suspect linguists who study these may have some prejudices of their own in the opposing direction, perhaps reminiscent of my ability to find a distinction between for example and for instance. DCDuring TALK 17:38, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

for the life of my‎[edit]

You probably mean for the life of me - and that's a redirect. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:02, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, thanks. I just noticed. It all started with a typo in piped link, which was therefore red. D'oh. I realized that there was for the life of one and was about to make the redirect when I noted the initial error. Two errors. I'll be deleting shortly. DCDuring TALK 17:06, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Problems with phrasal verbs[edit]

Hi. Thinking about the problem of phrasal verbs, and the "impressive" counts obtained for non-related collocations (c.f. drift apart / drift together)
I find translate.google is a good place to go to get actual statistical results rather than relying on raw data (impressive counts is simply raw, unprocessed data).
It is an area of interest to me, the way that translation machines work. Perhaps you already know about this yourself. However, I would like to make a point.
They use various analog models, which are based on statistical probabilities starting from a huge set (several millions) of real sentences, from books, newspapers, blogs, etc. Very simply, the models are mainly developed from the statistical probability "counts" of one word being next to, or next but one to,or near, another word, and combined with the similar probability that the POS of the one will be next to, or next but one to, the POS of the other. In our example, the probability of "drift" being next to or close to "apart". When you make a simple sentence using "drift apart", the translator examines the probabilities, and comes up with a translation as per the phrasal verb -- some form of "slowly separate" (e.g. in Spanish translates to "alejarse" "separarse") as being the most likely meaning. If, OTOH you enter a sentence with "drift together" and even if you are trying to mean the opposite of "drift apart", the translator will give you a nautical definition for "drift" (in Spanish, "a la deriba"). That gives you a good insight into the statistical significance of the "impressive" counts in the raw data. It would seem that the translator, basing on real data, will give an idiomatic phrasal verb meaning to "drift apart", that "apart" deflects the meaning of "drift" (and visa versa), and that the translator model sees the collocation as a single verb unit. (Hover over the translation and you will see how the translator is seeing the words as a single verb unit.) -- ALGRIF talk 11:54, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I prefer corpora that are less black-boxy than anything Google offers. I certainly couldn't take what they do on faith, let alone make specific inferences for our purposes from their inferences for theirs. I use COCA and BNC when I need corpora. They even offer some PoS tags (not wholly reliable). DCDuring TALK 12:02, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
It's a shame you think that raw data + intuition (that is to say, your own gut feel) is better than a systematic statistical approach to certain problems to do with collocations. It flies in the face of most accepted methods. I only mentioned Google as an easily accessed translator with clear results that demonstrate statistical parsing in practice. You can use any tool you like, if you don't like Google.
I have in mind commonly used (by Google and by others too) processes such as the Viterbi algorithm applied to out-of-context parsing. (See Pedia entry for more info). The example I gave you above shows how statistical processing of huge amounts of real English sentences can throw up that the collocation "drift" given "apart" and "apart" given "drift" is statistically significant to the point of having a very specific meaning. I.e. it is a phrasal verb. Google simply puts pretty yellow highlighting as well, if you want. -- ALGRIF talk 11:37, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
If you could make explicit any criteria whatsoever, then it might be possible to have rational discussions. Why not have this discussion in a public venue where more folks are likely to participate? Why don't you advance a proposal for something specific? I'm sure that lots of folks would like to get behind a proposal based on Google translate - because it would fit their intuition and theoretical prejudices.
In the meantime, I'm going to be trying to use my intuition to produce explicit criteria to identify the SoP spatial senses that superficially appear to be phrasal verbs. It also would be nice to explicitly define the various contributions that particles can make to non-compositional phrasal verbs. Possibly "aspect marker" is a label that suggests some possibilities. DCDuring TALK 13:25, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
It would certainly be better than trying to convince you to stop attempting to destroy perfectly good phrasal verb entries, simply because your gut tells you so, even tho you don't quite grasp or understand them, as you have previously stated. Nothing wrong in trying to learn, but please stop trying to destroy entries as part of the process. -- Discussion moved to Appendix talk:English phrasal verbs#Statistical methods with Phrasal Verbs. -- ALGRIF talk 10:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd have been happy to learn from the master, but the master didn't seem to be interested. DCDuring TALK 10:55, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

2013 Q II[edit]

Etymology of democratic[edit]

In diff in 2009, you have entered a particular etymology into "democratic". Do you remember what is the source or basis for that etymology? I do not see any source indicated in the edit summaries. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:28, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

I added a References section, which I did not faithfully follow (copyright), having no other source for the Medieval Latin link. Robert does not show a Medieval Latin connection either. DCDuring TALK 12:43, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Your reference does not have "democrat +‎ -ic" ([4]). Should I feel free to remove "democrat +‎ -ic"? --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:54, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Feel free to improve on the changes I just made. DCDuring TALK 14:10, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Frankish compounds[edit]

How can we get {{compound}} to treat Frankish terms like it does Proto-Germanic, using {{recons}} instead of {{term}}? --Victar (talk) 23:53, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

I don't know. I'm not very good at templates. DCDuring TALK 01:21, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I think that you have to go on bended knee to someone who has recently modified templates like {{Xyzy}} and beg for assistance. Or you could just hard code what you want. Or you could create a template that does exactly what you want for Frankish. DCDuring TALK 01:25, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

{{taxlink}}[edit]

Hi. Why are you removing {{taxlink}} and {{spelink}} from Armenian entries, e.g. in ճագար (čagar)? --Vahag (talk) 11:15, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

I remove them if there is an associated wiktionary page. Once the entry for the taxonomic name has been created the templates no longer serve a useful purpose. Category:Entries with redundant taxonomic template (taxlink) identifies such entries that use {{taxlink}}. BTW, unlike {{spelink}}, {{taxlink}} categorizes the page as one that uses a taxonomic name that has no corresponding Wiktionary page. I prefer that the taxonomic level (species, genus, family, etc) be specified, but "unknown" is an accepted value for the second parameter of {{taxlink}}. DCDuring TALK 12:07, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I see. --Vahag (talk) 14:07, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

Moor[edit]

Moor contains an

{{rfc}}

from 2010-10-01 diff=10581594 which doesn't appear to have had any attention. When you have a minute, would you please see if it still needs cleanup and if so, add some explanation about what is needed. Hopefully that will encourage someone to address the issues. Thanks.
SBaker43 (talk) 01:23, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

I made the changes I think were needed. Take a look and improve it. DCDuring TALK 01:41, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Hard links to Wikispecies[edit]

FYI, I replied to this thread and created Wiktionary:Todo/Direct links to Wikispecies. - -sche (discuss) 20:08, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. Only 89 left. I'd found a few in the course of searches. I've made great progress in finding taxonomic terms that are unlinked, redlinked, or linked via {{spelink}}. I am enclosing them in {{taxlink}}, which facilitates making entries for the terms actually in use and in updating the taxonomic names to those lately in use. See Category:Entries using missing taxonomic names, which has nearly 5,000 entries in its subcategories. DCDuring TALK 20:18, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Terms without an English counterpart[edit]

  • Please give this nomination a second look in light of my responses. I am prepared to address any and all subsequent concerns in order to ensure that this category isn't lost from our project.   — C M B J   00:05, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I also want to stop and express my appreciation for you being a voice of reason on this issue and at the beer parlour when everyone else was losing their cool. Thank you for your levelheadedness and for your commitment to our common mission. All the best,   — C M B J   10:53, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

{{trreq}} for Chinese[edit]

Hi,

When you add Chinese {{trreq}}, just type {{trreq}} with the language code "cmn". This will produce:

* Chinese:
*: {{trreq|cmn}}

That way the translation is possible via the accelerated tool. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:49, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, I hadn't gotten the previous e-mail, so I've been trying to do it the old way. Does that work for Norwegian and for Greek, too, or just Chinese? Is it possible that wildlife names use different characters in different Chinese-speaking parts of China? Most surviving wildlife in China seems to be in the southern area and in the south-central mountains.
BTW, I'm trying to use geographic distribution maps to of species of plants and animals to generate translation requests for them. Occasionally, there are some fairly obscure languages, but I also omit some languages. Can you point me to a set of map that has language distributions, especially of "smaller", but not "tiny" languages? I really would like to know what languages are spoken in a given area. For wildlife areas spoken in wilderness areas are particularly important. DCDuring TALK 01:29, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
You can try with Norwegian and Greek, I don't know. For Serbo-Croatian the template doesn't produce the desired nested result (Cyrillic/Roman). For Chinese I usually add standard Mandarin only, which is used all over China. In 95% of cases words only differ in their pronunciation by the region in China, not the spelling. If you want to know what dialects are spoken and where they are in China, see a map on w:Chinese_language. You can also search for "languages of" + country. I don't know if it's a good idea to add requests for which we don't have editors. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:16, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
So it's just a one-off. Sigh.
My interest is limited to living things, for which locals often have a specific name. For big countries a list of languages doesn't say enough. Dialects are not what I need. Distinct languages of the rural and wild areas are what I need. I have some lang codes/names memorized, but the more remote ones will take a lot longer. DCDuring TALK 02:25, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Re: So it's just a one-off. What do you mean? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:39, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Good for one case only, despite similarity to other cases. DCDuring TALK 04:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't get the two-line result when I add a translation, though. Maybe I'll just skip Mandarin and do the other languages. DCDuring TALK 04:28, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I've tested adding {{trreq}} with Norwegian, Serbo-Croatian, Ancient Greek and Aramaic. They can also work. For Norwegian, need "nb" and "nn" (not "no"), "grc" for Ancient Greek. For Serbo-Croatian need to add "Serbo-Croatian/Cyrillic" or "Serbo-Croatian/Roman" to "Nesting". Same thing for Aramaic (arc) - Aramaic/Syriac, Aramaic/Hebrew. So requests work almost the same way normal translations do.
What did you do for Mandarin? Did you type {{trreq}} with the language code "cmn"? Works fine for me. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:32, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I've just realised. You don't seem to be using the JavaScript at all (User:Conrad.Irwin/editor.js) but manually typing the requests? It's easy to use, check if your JavaScript is enabled. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:36, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Could be. But I don't care enough to do it that way. If the (documented) way doesn't work, too bad. DCDuring TALK 04:39, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
You misunderstood me, I I think. Do you see "add translation" and the button "preview" when you expand any translation table (NOT in the edit mode)? If you do, then all you need to do is type the language code and add a translation or add a request. My suggestion was all under assumption that you were using the tool. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:52, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Heidegger and absconding[edit]

It's from here. I think it is more along the lines of commentary than paraphrase, although the translation is pretty close to that.

By the way, is the rabbit fleeing or hiding? I imagined the rabbit hiding down a rabbit hole. One does not necessarily avoid detection by fleeing, only capture. SpinningSpark 19:09, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

I had looked at the Heidegger quote above his usage. He was introducing his thoughts with a question that repeated a portion of the close of the translation passage. I have always found works by Hegel, Royce, Heidegger, Sartre to be impenetrable and virtually always worthless as sources of comprehensible usage examples or citations - just like poetry, but not as enjoyable.
Generally, I'm not very happy with literary type citations because they often play on some ambiguity between senses we would like our definitions to distinguish. Our definitions should stake out the range of possible meanings, not at the very border or shore of the meanings of the term but in the mountain range or headlands overlooking the edges of its territory.
A single sentence out of context does not always convey relatively subtle meanings, so I don't know about the rabbit. I now wish that I had always included a url with any citation so context was available to anyone who needed it. DCDuring TALK 23:13, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I tend to agree on the impenetrability of Heidegger, Sartre etc (but they are not half as impenetrable as those who write about them) but in this case the meaning is clear: it is an attitude that has been withdrawn (in this case piety replaced with arrogance). A person who absconds can be read as a person who runs away. An attitude that absconds cannot be read as running away (except figuratively), it is more obviously read as withdrawing, which the text then explicitly states. So I don't really see why you are finding difficulty with this cite. SpinningSpark 02:46, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
A citation that requires too much analysis to be understood is a poor usage example and questionable attestation.
BTW, does the Brill citation allow one to distinguish between hiding and fleeing/evading? I think not. If that is the case, perhaps we need to combine definitions with "or". And, the "marmot" citation, which I've found on Google Books, could as easily mean "hibernate" as anything else. DCDuring TALK 14:35, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
If I agreed that the Heidegger citation required analysis to understand I might agree with you that it would make a poor usex. But I don't, I think it is perfectly plain what it means. It cannot be substituted for any of the other meanings and the author explicitly describes the situation as "withdrawing". Brill: maybe you could substitute "hide" without changing the meaning, but that is only because "hide" can figuratively mean "withdraw". She is not suggesting the reader is literally hiding. Same with the marmot, the citation is clearly referring to hibernation, but I would read the meaning of "abscond" as the animal has disappeared from the scene, not as any kind of indication what it does when it disappears. I think those are all perfectly good citations. Frankly, if anything needs removing it is The Devil's Dictionary quote. That whole book is all hunorous mis-definitions and anything in it is not to be trusted for real usages. SpinningSpark 18:03, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

2013 Q III[edit]

Translingual genders?[edit]

How does a translingual term have a gender? That doesn't make any sense to me... —CodeCat 01:30, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Because they try to have agreement in gender and number when they use Latin or Latinized pure adjectives and participles as specific and sub-specific epithets with the genus or species. The instances where the principle is apparently violated are often cases where the epithet was formerly a genus name, in which case it is a noun used attributively. There are other cases where nouns are used attributively and cases where the epithets are in the form of Latin genitives. In all these cases, gender agreement is not required. If EP doesn't want to call it Latin, that's fine. But the fact that the coiners of these terms have tried to have gender agreement is self-evident. DCDuring TALK 01:40, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
That I can understand, but is the gender relevant to the use of the term, or only to the etymology? —CodeCat 01:42, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I've found it useful in catching errors in requests for scientific names and in entries. You can consider it frivolous, but it is a fact of language usage. Why do we have obsolete terms? Why do we have unattested inflected forms in dead languages? DCDuring TALK 01:47, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
The gender is indeed relevant to the use of the name. The Codes for both botanical and zoological names have rules about assigning gender, so the gender is explicitly part of the element's grammar. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:47, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

WT:GRC TR[edit]

HI, DCD. We have a standard transliteration system for Ancient Greek at use in Wiktionary, which should be adhered to until someone gets around to writing a Lua module for this. Even in etymologies, we try to unify our representations of non-Latin scripts. Also, transliteration should match the exact form being displayed, usually the lemma form. For example, here I had to fix the transliteration and change it to match the fact that the link displays 1st-pers. sing. act. pres. ind. but your transliteration was for the act. pres. infinitive. Thank you! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:22, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

oops. DCDuring TALK 18:34, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

TempWFBotaccount[edit]

Please block this account. He's pretty much just admitted to being WF on his talk page. Thanks, Razorflame 18:09, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I could have been quicker to respond with an actual link to, say, the contributions page. The pattern fits WF, so I would have blocked him. He's not the worst contributor we've had, though. DCDuring TALK 18:20, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Yep. My bad. I've been away for a while, so I forgot about the link. Thanks anyways, Razorflame 21:38, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Not a problem. I was making an excuse for not being very fast. Ivan is quicker on the draw than I am anyway. He probably went to recent changes straight away or he just accepted your view. DCDuring TALK 21:45, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
It is rare for him to accept my view since we've had our disagreements about the inclusion of Serbo-Croation and the exclusion of the separate languages...but that is something that does not need to be brought up ^_^ Razorflame 21:49, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

Bryophyta[edit]

I've reverted the changes you made to the etymology of Bryophyta. It is true that the Code justifies such names as being based on a genus name, and requires names to be based on either a genus or characteristic. However, the name Bryophyta predates this requirement. If you look back to when these names were being coined, there was not the same insistence on derivation from the name of an included taxon. Rather, the names were simply descriptiove, as in this case "moss plants". --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:52, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I favor history, bit it's more time-consuming to research so I am following a simplistic rule-based approach. Thanks for letting me know. For any changes of that sort that need to be made, you don't have to let me know. I'd expect a lot of that kind of thing in the higher ranked taxa. Some of them could often stand an additional definition or two to reflect the fluctuation of the concepts, sometimes form-based taxa, sometimes less formal groupings, always with membership subject to change. There is something a little too mechanistic about {{taxon}}.
BTW, I've been using categorization (without category pages) by {{taxlink}} to generate a kind of dynamic wanted-pages list at Special:WantedCategories which allows me to work on those names (genera at the moment) that appear most often within {{taxlink}}. I add the genus entry and look for all the entries that use the genus name to make them link to the new entry where appropriate, ie, not if the genus name appears in a species name or in a citation, but almost always otherwise. I am probably going to do the same for species soon, then families, before starting that cycle again. Tribes, orders, subspecies, and other levels are much farther down the list. Some people have been working on the etymologies and on adding images to the entries. I'm planning on adding some templates like {{R:USDA Plants}} to link to specific pages at external sources. DCDuring TALK 17:20, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
So, if I've pointed out the actual etymology for you, why did you change it back to the false etymology? This taxon is not derived from the genus name; rather they independently derive from the same Greek root. --08:31, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I didn't realize that I was doing that. I entirely support historical etymologies and believe that, when correct, they are invariably superior to mere morphological derivations. I have been operating in a mass-entry mode for quite some time and have developed strong habits which sometimes get the better of my best intentions. Habits being what they are I can't say that it won't happen again, but please understand that it is not in accord with my best intentions. DCDuring TALK 12:54, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Question about species/families[edit]

I don't really know what the most usual way to handle this is. In Dutch, most taxonomic names are actually Dutch words rather than the international Latin-based names. English also has some native words or at least slightly different names (like arthropods) but Dutch prefers native/Germanic names (geleedpotigen). Where would such language-specific terms be placed? Do the translingual entries have translation tables? Another thing is that the names for families/groups of species are plurale tantum in Dutch, but there is also a singular word which means an individual of that family/group, and that singular has the name of the family as its plural. So geleedpotige means "arthropod": either a single individual, or a single species, in the arthropod family. But its plural means both "multiple arthropods" and "the arthropod family as a whole" (the latter is "Arthropoda" in the international naming). So should these plurals have two definitions, one for the plural and another as a name for the family? And what would the singular definition be? —CodeCat 18:02, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

As you know, the English names that are at least roughly equivalent to taxonomic names appear as English. I would expect that many languages have similar types of names that belong to their language, which is where the entry should be.
I personally think that Translingual taxa should have translation tables, but others have disagreed. You can search for "Translingual translations" to find entries that have them. This is closely related to the problems of English synonyms for such terms. One could easily argue that they are "translations". I have been able to avoid facing the problem because a few of the the English names could be included in the definition of the taxon. There are already a few cases where there is a synonyms header for a Translingual taxon.
Above the level of genus, all taxa seem to have the form of Latin plurals. I suppose it reflects the idea that genus and species are natural kinds (God-made) and the higher taxa are man-made categories.
The nature of the referents (an individual, a group, multiple members of the group, one or multiple subgroups of the group) for such names in ordinary languages seems to follow ordinary grammar. The ambiguity is not limited to taxonomic names, but seems to come up with all sorts of things. Take brands, models, model-years of cars. I don't know how this generalizes across languages, but I suspect at least that it works the same way in all Germanic languages. It seems very much a feature of the grammars of the languages that they have this flexibility of reference. But I don't have the linguistic theory chops to address the matter at that level. It seems like a waste of keystrokes and users' attention to tediously repeat in each entry the formula in the first sentence of this paragraph. The English definitions finesse the question by defining each taxon using a hypernym that itself is used with the same ambiguity of referent with respect to number and individual vs group:
gentian: Any of various herbs of the family Gentianaceae
Any is ambiguous as to number; herb could refer to an individual, a genus, a species, a variety, etc.
I hope this is clear and that it helps. I know that EP watches this page sometimes. He may correct me or express a different perspective. Chuck Entz might have thoughts on this too. DCDuring TALK 18:51, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
BTW, I fear that neither Translations nor Synonyms are suitable headers for English names that roughly correspond to taxa. We may have to follow Wikispecies and have a heading for taxon entries called "Vernacular names", in which names of all levels of formality (duly marked) for all languages are placed. DCDuring TALK 18:58, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Our practice of considering only attestable and idiomatic English terms "translatable" is a bit awkward in this case. But you can get a clear idea of how this works for Dutch just by looking at the interwikis on Wikipedia. In many cases (except maybe very obscure ones), the English Wikipedia will have a Latinised name as the entry, but its interwiki for nl.wikipedia will be to a Dutch natively created word. For example w:Felidae interwikis to w:nl:Katachtigen (Oh, and I just noticed that Felidae has a translation table). English does not use a distinctive word here, it just borrows the international term, but Dutch has its own distinct term. In the past, we've deleted entries that are SoP in English but not in another language... but I can hardly imagine that practice is useful for cases like this. —CodeCat 19:08, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I think it is OK, even wise, that other Wiktionaries don't bother with Translingual taxa. If Wikispecies had definitions, etymologies, gender, obsolete taxa, and better interproject links we would not have to bother with taxonomic names either. Or if WP had gender and translations. None of the projects approaches adequate coverage of the millions of species that exist and the many, many thousands of hypernyms that have been applied to the genera and species over time. I just wish that folks at Wiktionary who were defining terms for living things used taxa to specify what they were referring to. See [[lotus]] as an example of ambiguity in the word many non-English entries use as a gloss. WP often does a much better job at disambiguation than Wiktionary does, much to my chagrin. DCDuring TALK 19:31, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
That's kind of why I asked this. I wanted to see if I could improve this at least for Dutch entries, but I am not sure how to format the entries themselves or how to add translations linking to them. —CodeCat 19:33, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I would start the definition with the taxonomic name and then find the English equivalent, if there is one, or something else that is useful. If you use {{taxlink}}, then it will turn out either that there already is a Translingual entry, which usually has an English vernacular name or at least something designed to give folks some idea of what the entity is, or the entry will be linked to wikispecies, which sometimes has vernacular names, sometimes in English. (You might add the Dutch to the Wikispecies entry in one of their vernacular name boxes.) Sometimes English WP has a vernacular name. Once you get past those, there is a vast array of online resources, but there is no assurance that there is a vernacular name in any given language for a taxon, even at the genus level.
I have created all the missing taxonomic name categories and the missing vernacular name category (a misnomer, as it just means that argument 4 in {{taxon}} is empty) because there are so many gaps in what we have and in what we can readily get. DCDuring TALK 19:57, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
And if you've found an equivalent English term then you have a home for its Dutch translation. If there is such a term, but it is a redlink, the stubbiest of English entries, again using {{taxlink}} will get things started. (You could throw in {{rfi}}, {{pedia}}, {{specieslite}}, and {{commonslite|Category:PAGENAME}}.) DCDuring TALK 20:05, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

trreq's[edit]

Hi,

I have removed some of the requests, which are unlikely to be filled and clutter the category a bit. It's not out of spite or something. It seems some editors are discouraged to add translations when there are too many requests (my long-time observation and feedback I got from other translators) and won't even add basic, every day words. Perhaps, you can request some living creature names directly by users or at Wiktionary:Translation_requests. Unfortunately, we are not getting new editors for exotic languages and northern tree shrew is a complicated, specific and long term. We don't have a Lao, Burmese, etc. translations for "shrew", which would be a higher priority, I think. Do you understand what I mean? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:33, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I strongly object to your removing them. I don't care if you think they are too exotic. They have decent-size populations of native speakers. I took the trouble to add these specific languages because they are the languages in the range of the animals in question. I would like to see the local languages added. If anyone should visit who knows the languages I would love to direct them to those entries. Actual local language knowledge would be very good so we could avoid travesties like the Slavic calques at snow leopard. I also don't think that your discomfort with seeing the categories is a serious consideration. If you disagree take it to the BP. DCDuring TALK 03:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I have added a topic in Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2013/August#trreq.27s. Please don't get angry. I don't know what you mean by "travesties". E.g., "снежный леопард" may be a calque (who borrowed from whom?) but that's a correct translation. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:53, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
The locals didn't wait for the Russians to name the local animals for them. Don't you have some idea of the source of the Slavic words that are the Russian for snow leopard: "bars" and "ibirs" ? Why should the Tibeto-Burmese languages use Indo-European words for local fauna? The might well also use the Slavic words of the power culture, but it just seems to hard to believe that such is the only word. The Uzbeks have qoplon. Don't the others have indigenous words too? DCDuring TALK 04:21, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand what you're asking and don't see what's wrong in the translation table. The Turkic words for "snow leopard" are not of Slavic origin, as you can see. Words "bars" and "ilbirs" are NOT of Slavic origin, they were borrowed INTO Russian from Turkic languages. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:34, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I may be wrong about those. It just looked very suspicious and nobody responded to WT:TR#snow leopard. Also see Template talk:trreq#RFD deletion debate. DCDuring TALK 01:34, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Script errors on Aquifoliaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Elapidae, Hippocastanaceae[edit]

These entries are now showing script errors. Could you have a look at them and fix them if possible? —CodeCat 22:56, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

There must be a lot more. Can you characterize what will generate script errors in {{suffix}}? Why don't you do things so that what has worked continues to work or fails in a predictable way. DCDuring TALK 23:08, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Because templates shouldn't need to account for exceptional usage/misusage. They should be used in the way they're intended to be used. These entries give a gloss for... no term at all. That's what's causing the error. —CodeCat 23:16, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
It's hardly a misusage just because you didn't contemplate it. If our templates were well-designed (ie, simple), they could take simple templates being inserted as arguments and my work-around wouldn't have been necessary. DCDuring TALK 23:21, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
We obviously don't have enough technical capability to wait for someone to design something ideal. I try to make do with what we've got. I'm still disgusted the reversion from the capabilities of the previous context system. DCDuring TALK 23:24, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

taxlink, spelink[edit]

I've added {{taxlink}} and {{spelink}} to few entries recently because I was under the impression that they were preferable to ''[[raw formatting]]'', but I notice this edit. Should I stop using them? - -sche (discuss) 23:34, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

{{taxlink}} is intended as a temporary replacement for a redlink pending creation of the Wiktionary entry. I'd prefer that it be used instead of {{spelink}} because I have made {{taxlink}} work with categories to help direct me to create the taxonomic entries that would have the most redlinks. It replaces the functionality of Special:WantedPages, but limited to one class of pages, the taxon pages. In principle, we search out all the uses of taxonomic names that are redlinks or unlinked, enclose them in {{taxlink}}, which puts them in the queue (See Category:Entries using missing taxonomic names.), and then clean them off the queue. I use Category:Entries with redundant taxonomic template (taxlink) to identify templates that have been rendered unnecessary because the missing taxonomic name entry has been deleted.
At present, I am adding genus names by having {{taxlink}} temporarily categorize pages with a missing genus name into a category for that genus name. The numerous categories are intended never to be created. The categories with the most members get the genus entry created. The special page gets updated every few days. I am guessing that about a third to a half of the 1000 items on the first page of Special:WantedCategories after the first 200 are for missing genus names. As the categorization is 100% created by {{taxlink}}, the clutter that this creates on that page could be eliminated by editing the template. But I intend to continue using this for genus names until the iterations stop producing any categories with more than three members, then do the same thing for missing species names, then genus names again, then family names, then genus names again.
This only works this way because nobody else seems to be using Special:WantedCategories as a task generator.
Something like this could be done using {{term}} and {{l}} and {{t}} to identify the most missed pages in each language. Presumably it would be limited to a small number of languages and there would need to be some commitment by contributors to take advantage of the prioritization so the limited number of items (5000) that appear in Special:WantedCategories would not be clogged with the same items every run. I suppose the same kind of thing could be accomplished by processing the dump to extract the missing entries and then create a list that counts the number of L2 sections that miss the item. Such a list might be pretty useful for Latin and Greek, for example, because etymologies generate so many redlinks. DCDuring TALK 01:28, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for that comprehensive explanation! I'll stop using those templates to link to entries that already exist.
Having {{l}} and {{term}} generate a list/category/whatever of the "most wanted" redlinked pages, or generating a list of "most wanted" entries in some other way, seems like a very good idea. - -sche (discuss) 01:41, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I knew that was more than you needed or wanted to know. Where SB can be painfully terse, I can be painfully prolix. At least it exposes my own thinking to potential criticism. DCDuring TALK 01:54, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

sperzieboon[edit]

Hello. Is there anything wrong with {{taxlink|...|species}} macro? Anceurs (talk) 09:38, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Before I have looked at it at all: If you are having trouble with it, yes, there must be. I will take a look. If you are bothered by the red (missing) categories, they are designed to enable contributors to use Special:WantedCategories to determine which of the species entries most need to me added, having the most pages on which they are used, actually used with {{taxlink}}. DCDuring TALK 10:57, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
For example in Special:WantedCategories there is a line:
144. Entries missing taxonomic name Erythrina subumbrans‏‎ (5 members)
We lack a Translingual entry for Erythrina subumbrans" and there were, at the time of the run that produced the special page, 5 entries that contained "{{taxlink|Erythrina subumbrans|species}}". Clicking on the (red) category will show those entries that still have the template for the missing species entry.
For pages that have very large numbers of species, the red categories can be numerous and form a menacing-looking mass at the bottom of the page. AFAIK there is no easy way to eliminate the red category display except by adding the entries or losing the capability of tracking the use of the terms. I had tried another means of tracking, but it led to an unprioritized listing. See Category:Entries using missing taxonomic names and its subcategories. DCDuring TALK 11:12, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I see that the above has nothing to do with your issue. You can see what worries me about {{taxlink}} in the answer above. There is nothing wrong with using {{taxlink}} if Wiktionary does not have any entry for the taxonomic name. As I create the taxonomic name entries, as for Phaseolus vulgaris, I look to create plainlinks to the entry for all mainspace uses of the term. That includes eliminating links using {{taxlink}}. DCDuring TALK 11:19, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Hey[edit]

I think you misunderstood something: "When a given technical contributor repeatedly proposes changes that are unresponsive to the needs of anyone other than those much like himself, ..." I proposed that because I guessed other users may want this too and started the discussion to know if it's responsive to the needs of anyone other than me and therefore gave up when people opposed. I don't know what are those other proposed "changes" that you're talking about BTW. --Z 08:05, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Our discussions among ourselves rarely take much account of users other than folks just like us. We often ignore the obvious, like the benefits of maintaining consistency and adhering to web standards. The mere fact that we give so much primacy to IPA indicates clearly that we are not really taking into account more casual users, from among whom we could conceivably recruit new contributors with a perspective broader than that of the existing group. That we can take up a full entry landing screen with etymology and pronunciation before we present definitions is another indication. If you would like to further the program of rendering us irrelevant to normal users by building such edifices, you will find ample support. Someone like MZ is at least aware of such obvious facts as the uselessness of IPA to most normal users (or should I say potential and past, lost users? Because we don't seem to get all that much attention now from normal users)?
We have software tools (CSS, JS) that would enable us to satisfy the needs of normal users while customizing for the more specialized needs of academic contributors and linguistics fans, but we don't seem to take the trouble to design our defaults for the likely characteristics of unregistered users. Frankly, if I need a good English definition and pronunciation information, I go to MWOnline for quality and to OneLook for supplementary coverage. DCDuring TALK 11:48, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
DCDuring, I guess that's how you see things, but from my perspective it looks like you never propose anything but simply obstruct or complain about every step forward, and you have seemingly offended multiple dedicated contributors (not hypothetical new contributors, real existing contributors) in discussion. Also, I think you misrepresent our users: how many complaints have you seen on WT:FEEDBACK about IPA? Have you ever seen such a complaint? I think that because you haven't bothered to learn IPA, you assume that the majority of our users see that as a big problem, but is that actually the truth? We have no budget to do market research, but we do listen to those who are annoyed enough to complain.
If you really have such problems with Wiktionary that you're not even willing to use the site, do something about it instead. Figure out solutions, create discussions and votes, whatever you need. In the mean time, this is simply the automatic gainsaying of another user's position. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:12, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I see virtually every 'step forward' to be serving our contributor group and those just like them and virtually no one else. The mere fact that you believe that IPA is at all relevant to most users of a dictionary site shows how divorced from normal people you, in particular, are. Ask some normal people or people in contact with normal people how many can read IPA. DCDuring TALK 16:56, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Chiming in here.
I do strongly think that a broader discussion about usability would be to our overall benefit.
I also strongly think that a broader discussion about user metrics could be invaluable to gaining an insight into how WT is actually used. I'm not even really sure where to go looking for such info. WT:FEED is certainly one venue, but that's only for users who bother to write something, and it's only useful inasmuch as the users are articulate enough in written English to convey their concerns. I'd love to see some other metrics -- how do users arrive on an entry page? how much are categories used? indices? the search box? etc. etc.
There are a number of truly horrible usability failures that arise due to known bugs in the MW backend (category indexing, nearly useless search results, etc). A few of these, at least, have been floating around for far too long (years). How would we raise the profile of these bugs?
There are also some usability issues that have been brought up on WT:FEED multiple times, but then we editors fail to act upon them. One such problem is confusion about where the definitions are. We might scoff and think something along the lines of RTFM, but the simple fact that so many users take the time to comment on this should be a big red flag that our current page layout leaves something to be desired.
Blue Glass Arrow.svg Anyway, I'd like to propose that we have such a discussion about usability, in a wider forum, and in the aim of drawing up a concrete list of suggested and implementable changes. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 18:11, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
"Drawing up a concrete list" is basically the biggest point of my comment that DCDuring missed. He exemplified the behavior I mentioned by calling me abnormal and then not actually proposing and/or doing anything. I agree with Eirikr's points, although thinking that we can raise the profile of MW backend bugs or solve our formatting issues in the BP seem like they'll be a mite ineffective (trust me, I've tried both).—Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:39, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
@Eirikr: I've been in that choir. The most serious underlying problem is the exaggerated concern about privacy in the entire WMF community that seems to prevent any kind of tracking whatsoever. I have always thought that the first step is for each individual to understand how far from being the typical user s/he is. Going to a public library to see who is using the public terminals or looking at the discussions on non-technical Usenet groups can be a way of broadening one's horizons in this regard. If such a thought raises a mild disgust reaction in a person, then that person should disqualify themselves from participating in usability discussions.
If we were to actually face up to usability issues, accepting the WMF limits on methods, the first thing would be to have some idea of who our users are and what they know (eg, meaning of "Hyponyms", "Prepositional phrase", "Homophones", and other terms we use so cavalierly; IPA). We already know that some will actually take the trouble to reveal their confusion with non-English entries (esp German) when they are looking for English, with tables contents that require multiple page-downs to bypass, with long etymology and pronunciation sections that precede definitions. DCDuring TALK 18:59, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

I responded to your comment in the Tea Room.[edit]

I responded to your comment in the Tea Room with some citations (including one from "The Laws of Rhode Island" and a Boston news piece.) On a side note, though, you said I might find it fun to document something like this. How would I do that, exactly? Tharthan (talk) 15:13, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

One finds one's motivation where one can. I like to be able to support debatable suppositions with irrefutable facts. I get weary of mere gum-flapping. DCDuring TALK 15:17, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh, forsooth! But I still am unsure on how I would document this. If I were to do a survey, would it not be considered original research?
We don't have any rule against original research. The kind of "research" we do to get citations that support definitions or location of spelling etc is not all that different from getting citations to support a statement at WP. We leave ourselves plenty of room to interpret the citations, though. A great deal of what is referenced at WP does not exactly support the statements made without a lot of "interpretation". DCDuring TALK 15:32, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Hmm... I may be able to come up with something... Tharthan (talk) 15:43, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

a quick zap, please[edit]

Hi Dennis, can you zap these please (RFD takes too long to load). My old bot created them in error.

-WF

  • Yes check.svg Done My feelings wouldn't be hurt if you asked someone else, but I'm happy to clean up. DCDuring TALK 18:39, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Keeping RfV balanced[edit]

Greetings! Since you have recently added new discussions to Wiktionary:Requests for verification, please help to keep the page from becoming overgrown by helping to advance, close, or archive some old discussions. Cheers! bd2412 T 11:26, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Birthday[edit]

Happy birthday to us, again. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:17, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you and a Happy B'day to you.
Mine would be happier if en.wikt were working better for me. I've been trying to make sure that my software is up to date and my preferences not too bizarre. Maybe I'll find something. DCDuring TALK 15:26, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Sweet Jesus. I had to clear out every custom bit of CSS and JS and Browser preferences to get things working again. DCDuring TALK 18:52, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

unprotect[edit]

Hi there. Could you do me a favour and unprotect the following template pages: {{es-conj-ar}}, {{es-conj-ir}}. -WF

RFV Golden diagram[edit]

Would you consider closing the RFV on Golden diagram? Previously, you have tagged it as "clocked out", which does not really advance the process. Closing it would involve the following:

  • Posting RFV failed or Failed to the nomination, in boldface.
  • Striking out the heading.
  • Deleting the Golden diagram entry.

Then it's going to sit there for a week or the like, so other people have chance to question the closure, which hardly ever happens. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:44, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

No thanks. DCDuring TALK 18:59, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Template:taxoninfl[edit]

FYI, WT:RFDO#Template:taxoninfl. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:01, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Guadalupe pine[edit]

Not sure we should even have entries for varieties. Moreover, taxlink doesn't even work right in this case, because IME (as a non-botanist) the var. part is actually left unitalicised. (To get it to work right we'd need another parameter or alternatively we could just do it by means of Lua, but I'm not personally capable of that.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:58, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Many of the items for which the taxonomic community has subspecific names coincide with there being specific vernacular names and having been synonymous specific names. Food and horticultural plants offer many good examples of use of subspecific names, eg, Brassica
One of the reasons why I'd like to use {{taxoninfl}} instead of {{mul-proper noun}} for taxa is so that the peculiarities of subspecific names can be handled by some Lua/Scribunto without burdening templates which serve other purposes. The idea would be that the Lua/Scribunto would parse the taxon to provide the formatting that is recommended by the authorities and followed by the scientific communities. DCDuring TALK 19:24, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
On what principled basis would we exclude variety names that were not commercial ones? DCDuring TALK 13:52, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

thereagain[edit]

I came across the following usage, but cannot date it, nor find who wrote it:

1883, H. Morley (editor), Cassell's Library of English Literature, page 143.
And we will rule and reign / And our matters maintain / Who dare say thereagain / Or who dare disdain / At our pleasure and will
An "exact" reproduction of Morley's work appears to be in print, and so may be in a library or something. — Pingkudimmi 13:10, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I guess it is Modern English, albeit obsolete. There is also another poetic use in Browning. I personally dislike literary poetry usage, because it is so distant from the ordinary language. I find Tolkien's archaicisms as bad. In this case and in the Browning case (AFAICR) the word choice was apparently governed by the needs of rhyme.
I don't think the late 19th century literary use makes the word not obsolete. I view "obsolete" as referring to a "now" evidenced by usage within the lifespan of folks in their 70s or 80s, ie, from the 1930s on. To me the main meanings of again have by now completely driven out alternative interpretations such as "against". DCDuring TALK 13:50, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Coriandrum sativum[edit]

Originally at User talk:-sche

At [[Coriandrum sativum]] I have put (temporarily) both the translation table from coriander and a copy of the "vernacular names" table from Wikispecies. Our translation table includes more languages, theirs has more terms per language, even having Chinese parsley, the redlink for which I just blued.

The language with by far the greatest number of vernacular names is German. Could you give me your assessment of these? Are they valid? common? specialized?

I am considering bringing over many of their vernacular-name tables to enrich our coverage of taxa. They have nearly 61,000 of them. I also expect that the entries with these tables that we don't have are probably the most desirable of the taxon entries that we could add from their million entries. DCDuring TALK 19:19, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

The general term is Koriander. Echter Koriander is an unambiguous designation, used in reference works. Gartenkoriander is another disambiguator; to me, it seems less formal (and therefore more common) than Echter Koriander. Those three are the only translations I would include in a trans-table.
Gewürzkoriander is another disambiguator. Arabische, Asiatische and Chinesische Petersilie are about as uncommon relative to Koriander as the circumlocution Chinese parsley is to coriander in English. Indische Petersilie is a variant I hadn't heard before.
I hadn't heard Gebauter Koriander before; it seems to be an obsolete technical term. Wanzendill could be rendered into English as "bug-dill" (a reference to the foul smell of unripe coriander; cf. the suggestion that coriander itself derives from a Greek word for bedbug), for which reason I expect it was a general term (and may still exist in some dialects), even though the only place I can find it used is in reference works from two- and three-hundred years ago.
Kaliander is a southwestern Upper German dialectal variant of Koriander; Koliander is another Upper German dialectal variant. Kalanner and Klanner are northeastern (Low) German dialectal variants.
Wanzenkraut, Wanzenkümmel, Schwindelkorn and Schwindelkraut often (and in some cases primarily) refer(red) to other plants, when used at all. - -sche (discuss) 22:58, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
I conclude that the yield of valid terms is relatively high, but not suitable for fully automated population of a translation table.
This raises the question of whether we have a suitable home for the large-scale import of these tables or their data. The table template could be Luacized to conform to our language-name display and the terms should be wrapped in {{t}} or {{l}}. The talk page for the Translingual entry is a possibility. Another approach would be for me to process the table into language-specific lists of vernacular names with the associated taxonomic name and English name(s) (if any) for each non-English language. Each such list would make a subpage (possibly with subpages) of the corresponding requested entries page.
It is a shame that we do not allow translation tables on Translingual entries as they would be a resource to both Wikispecies and Wikipedia. Both of them are a greater linguistic resource (ie, etymologies from WP; translations from both, but esp Wikispecies) to us than we are to them. DCDuring TALK 23:47, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Translations tables exist in translingual entries (de facto), whether they're supposed to be there or not (de jure).
I wouldn't (automatedly) populate translations tables with vernacular names from Wikispecies; too many of the vernacular names Wikispecies provides are too obsolete or rare to merit mention in a trans table, IMO; others are polysemous and more often reference another plant; others are limited to "dialects" (which we sometimes treat as separate languages, as in the case of Alemannic German and Low German); others don't meet CFI.
Automatedly importing the data into the Transwiki namespace or onto talk pages seems like a reasonable idea. - -sche (discuss) 00:02, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't think this entry is at all typical, especially the German section, which contained more terms in one language than I'd ever seen in a Wikispecies entry. But I thought it might illustrate in a compact form some of the range of problems that we might face in trying to use this.
That a term doesn't make a good translation doesn't mean we shouldn't have it (Remember our slogan!).
I don't think the transwiki process is right because we are only interested in a portion of the entries. The transwikied pages would languish, each page typically needing attention from multiple translators. I was thinking of using Perl or Python to extract from the wikispecies XML dump (smaller than enwikt's) just the page name and the table of vernacular names. That in turn could be processed into lists by language or language code. {{VN}} has fewer than 400 of them, some of which may not be used in entries. Then I could eliminate the names that already have definitions in the appropriate L2 that contain the taxonomic name. That would leave two lists: redlinked vernacular names and blue-linked ones that didn't include the taxonomic name.
I suppose that I could just put the language lists in my own user space. That won't risk upsetting anyone. And I could have links to the language-specific redlink pages from the entry request pages. The blue-linked ones raise definition style questions.
Thanks especially for the specific analysis of the German terms. Any further thoughts would be appreciated. I will move this to my own talk page unless you object.
Also, I have not forgotten about the US native species-native languages notion, but I don't have any good lists. I was a little disappointed in the ethnobotany works that I found. I was also unaware of how many of the languages are extinct and have insufficient records to support species/genus-specific translations. And there are the migrations that have moved tribes into environments with a completely different set of species. DCDuring TALK 01:32, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
re "Remember our slogan": Of course; to be clear, I agree that we should have entries for any of the terms which are attested. In this case, that's many of them, though the dialectal terms and the various parsley circumlocutions are iffy, and one would have to do a careful search to see which senses of the polysemous terms meet CFI.
I should work some more on Native American plant names myself. I started adding some terms for Novemberish plants about a week ago, but quickly got distracted.
You could ask in the BP (or GP?) whether others would mind the vernacular name data being imported onto terms' talk pages. Wherever the info ends up, I do think it'll be useful. - -sche (discuss) 02:45, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
I can follow the example of others who have pages and pages of such lists in user pages. If it subsequently seems there should be another location, that'll be fine. For now, I will keep the one example in principal namespace and see if it gets any comments while I work on the technical side. At least there can be a home for whatever I'm able to extract. Some of Pengo's somewhat similar subpages (specific epithets) have been around for years already.
Thanks again. DCDuring TALK 03:37, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Reindeer[edit]

Hi there. The reindeer is Rangifer tarandus but the Latin for reindeer is tarandrus (with an extra "r"). Do we define tarandus as a spelling mistake? SemperBlotto (talk) 19:45, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

I hadn't noticed that. But Ancient Greek τάρανδος (tárandos, reindeer) must be the actual source of the epithet. I wonder where the r came from in Latin. Did the Romans (Pliny? a scribe?) just construe it to be like ανδρος (andros, man)? DCDuring TALK 21:06, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

“something to facilitate searches for all inflected forms of a lemma”[edit]

Hello DCDuring. You may be interested in the work I've done since you asked for “something to facilitate searches for all inflected forms of a lemma, using our inflection tables” in WT:RFV#auroleus, q.v. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:55, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

You have new messages Hello, DCDuring. You have new messages at Wiktionary:Requests for verification.
Message added 11:53, 9 November 2013 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{talkback}} template.
I was reading a little about Lua today. If I understand it correctly, it would seem that a Lua table could contain information on all the inflected forms for a given term in a given language that should be searched for (given the nominative singular/1st person present indicative singular), a stem [if necessary], and the inflection category) and a Lua module could construct the search string (given the appropriate input and table).
Even my template skills are poor. I've not done a thing about Lua except the reading. So my inference may be wrong and I have no ability to implement successfully. It might be a Grease Pit question, but Achilles stills sulks (lurks?). DCDuring TALK 19:13, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for adding the notice to Wiktionary:News for editors. I'm afraid that I don't know the first thing about Lua. Does what you've read suggest that the function of the templates I've recently created could more easily be fulfilled by something "Luacised"? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:37, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I think it could be much more easily generalized, if I understand how it works correctly. This is a link to a tutorial. mw:Extension:Scribunto has some information on how it is used on wikis and links to reference manuals. Category:Modules has some of the stuff that's been done here using Lua. You may find someone who can help if they have worked on Latin or other modules. I haven't figured out a way for it to help with what I've been doing on Translingual entries, whereas Perl and/or Python can help. I just ran across an interview with the guys who developed Lua, which I read to help me assess its utility. That's pretty much all I know, except that Lua works by having a Lua module called by a template. Presumably Special:WhatLinksHere would show which templates called a given module. Another thing would be to look at some of the WT:GP discussions that mention Lua. DCDuring TALK 22:31, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I've added to my user page a permanent link to your post so I can peruse all those links at some point in the future. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:00, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

-caine et al[edit]

Thanks for filling out the page for the suffix and the rest of those entries. I had noticed the category didn't exist but didn't know how to create it. — E | talk 22:52, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

I started out skeptical of its validity, but became a convert as I looked into it. There are more of them around. You can do a searchbox search for "*caine" to find more. They need {{suffix}} or {{confix}} (which should be in the Etymology section) to automatically categorize and then show up in derived terms at [[-caine]]. BTW, cocaine and probably eucaine don't derive that way. There may be more exceptions. I'm not sure about novocaine, for example. DCDuring TALK 22:59, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I've added eucaine. Webster's says novocaine is novo- + cocaine, but eucaine from German, wherein it was formed by confixing eu- + -caine. There's probably no hard and fast One Right Answer for any of these, I'm guessing. — E | talk 23:05, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Certainly not. It is occasionally necessary to remove items in the affix categories because the historical (diachronic) etymology is completely inconsistent with the claimed morphological (synchronic) derivation. DCDuring TALK 23:09, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
How do you suggest to move forward in this instance? You're the better judge of how strict/lax Wiktionary is w/r/t categorizing affixes. — E | talk 23:35, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
If the formation was in German, then I would say it should not categorize in English. But User:Leasnam always puts in "Equivalent to ..." so it does categorize in English. There is no consensus. It won't kill me to see it categorized in English, especially if we don't even have the German entry. DCDuring TALK 23:43, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I'll probably leave things the way they are, then. Less work. — E | talk 23:45, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

"Serranus scriba"[edit]

I stumbled into a real brain-bender while going through the missing taxnames cats: Linnaeus described Perca scriba in 1758, which is now in the genus Serranus. It's a fish called the Painted Comber. He also described Perca marina, which, after going through the description and the source(s) he cited therein, later scientists determined was a synonym for Perca scriba. Somewhere along the line, someone decided that Linnaeus' Perca marina was describing the rosefish- probably based on location: Linnaeus said Perca marina was found in Norway, and Serranus scriba apparently never makes it north of the English channel. The rosefish is actually what was described in 1772 by someone else as Perca norvegica. Since the rosefish itself is apparently a good match for the genus Sebastes, this became Sebastes marinus.

Our entries for rosefish and synonyms such as Rotbarsch gave the taxonomic name as Serranus scriba and gave Sebastus marinus as a synonym. Following the links, I saw that Wikispecies agreed that Sebastus marinus was an obsolete synonym for Serranus scriba, but Wikipedia said that the rosefish was Sebastes norvegicus and Serranus scriba was a completely different fish. It was only after following references to try and figure out which was correct that I finally realized that both were, and in fact were in complete agreement. The final score, as far as I can figure:

  1. Serranus scriba=Sebastes marinus=Perca marina=Perca scriba=Painted comber
  2. Sebastes norvegica=Perca norvegica=Rosefish
  • #1<>#2

I figured you might look at the edit histories and wonder what on earth I was thinking, so I thought I should lay it out for you to avoid misunderstanding. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:17, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know. I might have wondered. But generally I take more of a lexicographer's view: if the usage is confused, we need to reflect the confusion. But you are saying that, in this case, the usage is not terribly confused, once we take Linnaeus off his pedestal for this point. Thanks for straightening it out. You have a better background and therefore better judgment than I on this kind of thing. I sometimes use WoRMS, Fishbase, etc. to get a read on this kind of thing. Fishbase I can't give you a direct link to what they say about "rosefish". Note the category "market"! They make it look like species:Helicolenus dactylopterus is another kind of rosefish, the blackbelly rosefish. There is so much need to clarify this kind of thing. DCDuring TALK 05:48, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I ran into another conundrum with the same species: most English sources tend to say bergylt is Sebastes norvegicus, but Wikipedia redirects it to w:Ballan wrasse, which is apparently berggylt in Norwegian and berggylta in Swedish. I'm trying to track down anything that would clarify whether the Ballan wrasse usage extends to actual English and not just someone going by the specific epithet (the species is Labrus bergylta) or the other languages from whence the term presumably originated. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:04, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Spelling pedantry[edit]

Regarding that huge new page of taxonomy: it's "occurrences", not "occurences"! Equinox 19:58, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

How humiliating. DCDuring TALK 20:04, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I thought we weren't a prescriptive dictionary. --WikiTiki89 20:20, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Only among ourselves are we. DCDuring TALK 20:23, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
We evidently are, though — like all dictionaries. We might list definately as a common misspelling but I doubt anyone (?) would want to use it as part of a definition of another word. Equinox 20:24, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Which reminds me. Isn't it time we starting doing runs to identify common misspellings in all of our definiens? I'd like to go beyond that to look at all singleton occurrences(!!!) of uncapitalized words in our definiens, many of which are likely misspellings, especially those that are not English headwords. How long would it take to get a run of all such singletons and the entry/L2 in which they occur from the XML dump on a typical home PC using Perl or similar? Hours? Minutes? Days? Once we do that we could go on to work on words that have only rare, archaic, and obsolete senses etc. DCDuring TALK 20:35, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

olinguito as "newly identified"[edit]

I'm not sure that "newly identified" is lexically useful. It is true as an encyclopedic matter, but it is a fleeting characteristic. Cheers! bd2412 T 13:25, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

New mammal identifications are rare. We can revise this when the next one is identified, sometime in the next decade or two. Almost all references to anything not part of everyday experience could be considered encyclopedic, but not by me. Anything terse that serves to identify the referent and place it in context, as for translations, seems highly pertinent, as do pictures. We have more encyclopedic content in some etymology sections, but consider it sacrosanct because word mavens and linguists find it so fascinating. DCDuring TALK 13:32, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with bd2412. "newly identified" does not help define the word. --WikiTiki89 13:36, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
It does for now, while folks need some confirmation that the word is connected to the highly topical animal. By the time it is not useful lexical information, the entry will hardly ever (never ?) be visited by anyone.
I really thing that we need a more concrete understanding of the actual cash value of a dictionary entry. And also that we take advantage of the fact that the value of our entries lies more in their timeliness and revisability than in the supposedly timeless truths that we might imagine them to contain. DCDuring TALK 13:50, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
How about "identified in 2013"? That will still be as correct in a century as it is today, and the 2013 reader will immediately understand that as of 2013, it is "newly identified". bd2412 T 15:40, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
What happened was the publication of the taxonomic description. Presumably the natives were aware of the existence of the animal, though they may have spoken of the olinguito as a "baby" "olingo". I don't know whether anyone wrote of it in any sense before this recent "discovery". "Recently" enabled me to finesse inserting (encyclopedic?) technicalities in the definition. In any event, I don't own the entry. DCDuring TALK 16:41, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Also, I don't wanna have to bring this up, but does the English usage of the word satisfy WT:CFI#Spanning at least a year? --WikiTiki89 16:02, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I'd be surprised if it didn't (Besides the scholarly publications, it was in the NY Times, for example), except I'm not sure about the "spanning one year" business. This seems a case where we would want an exception. You could search for it and/or challenge it if you want. I don't particularly care whether we have the entry or not. As a case study of what we choose to include or exclude it would be interesting no matter the outcome or process. DCDuring TALK 16:41, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

@Wikitiki: Sorry. I'd forgotten about the previous RfV. I wasn't trying to lead you into an ambush. DCDuring TALK 19:12, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

{{†temp}}[edit]

I don't know if you saw, but I posted a comment a week ago on Template talk:†temp.

Your latest comment at Wiktionary:Grease pit/2013/November#My suggestion does not display as you clearly intended it to.

RuakhTALK 22:45, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm not very good at templates, so I just do simplistic things. DCDuring TALK 23:12, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
The general problems are:
  1. the vast number of wanted pages from relatively inactive user pages and from talk pages of all kinds
  2. the large number of wanted templates from somewhere deep in our category template system, probably from ifexists tests as well as from talk pages.
I was thinking we could use some wrapper template for dead templates that takes them completely out of action except possibly for a link to some page which had a listing of deprecated and deleted templates, the date at which deprecated and/or deleted. The names would be available for reuse without wreaking havoc with the talk pages on which they were used. We would still have the problem of template deletion making a hash of entry histories. DCDuring TALK 00:53, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I had already mentioned the idea of wrapping entire user subpages with 'nowiki' to disable the spurious "wanting" caused by the links. The number pagenames like higgins and frederick that are wanted by 10 or 30 user page lists is large. DCDuring TALK 00:58, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that linking to a template causes it to be a "wanted template". Transclusions count (including transclusions via redirects, indirect transclusions, labeled-section transclusions, etc.), and if-exists tests probably count, but regular links should not count. —RuakhTALK 01:58, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I partially refute thee thus: I was able to clean up all of the wants on wanted PAGES of {{VL.}} by applying {{†temp}} where {{temp|VL.}} or [[:Template:VL.]] were in the discussion/talk pages — really!
Templates appear in Special:WantedTemplates when transcluded and in Special:WantedPages when merely linked to. I joined the Bugzilla effort to get Special:WantedPages run periodically (at least monthly, I hope) after a hiatus that began in 2009. DCDuring TALK 02:10, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

ὄρχις[edit]

I was wondering if you could explain the motivation behind this edit. Mind you, I don't have any particular agreement or disagreement with it; it still seems to work more or less the same. It's simply that I thought {{context}} was meant for definitional qualifiers, while {{a}} was for pronunciational qualifiers. Cheers. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:08, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

We now occasionally (~monthly, I hope) get a run of Special:WantedPages. I have been trying to fill in some of those wants. However, there are many spurious ones. One set is from deleted templates formerly used in Conrad's implementation of {{context}}, which has now been Luacized, though not cleanly. One side effect of the way that modules and templates work is that ifexist-type tests for wiki pages make those pages "wanted" in the sense that they appear on Special:WantedPages. Module:labels, which does the heavy lifting for {{context}} has such a test. Why it should need such a test I don't know. I imagine that it was convenient during the transition. I have been looking for various ways to get rid of the spurious wants. Replacing {{context}} with {{a}} where there is no adverse effect on categorization or appearance is a way that I tried to eliminate {{masculine}} from the listing.
I would be happier if the ifexist tests were eliminated wherever they were not essential. I thought that was part of the point of Luacizaton. However, few share my view of the utility of Special:WantedPages and the desirability of eliminating its spurious inhabitants.
There are other kinds of page wants caused by the current operation of {{context}}, by the topic categorization system, by various kinds of overreaching by template designers, and by the links to unlikely-to-be-created entries like frederick or white house or The from various frequency lists and concordances. SB cleaned out many of the ones from his concordance of Moby Dick, but many Connell's and Ullman's pages generate many useless links. I created {{†temp}} to delink mentions of defunct templates on talk and discussion pages to get at another class of bad wants.
There are also a whole lot of, erm, poorly worded categories that are automatically generated by Module:labels, for which no one seems to want to create the "wanted" category page. There are many cases where I simply have no idea what text would explain the category name.
I'm sure that's more than you wanted to know, but it may bring you up to date on some consequences of our implementation of Luacization. DCDuring TALK 23:57, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I myself have often been accused of over-answering a simple question, but I've never quite understood the critique. It seems to me that more information is generally preferable to less, even if one didn't happen to be looking for the particular info at the time. Based on your explanation I now disagree with your conversion of {{context}} to {{a}}. It seems a bad idea to use an incorrect template in place of an existing correct template simply to clean up a list. I would ask for your consent to undo the edit in question, except that Wikitiki89 has already done so. That being said, I sympathize with your desire to have a useful version of WantedPages, and would like to offer a couple of alternative approaches to that end, if I may. First, the specific problem with ὄρχις lies not in its use of {{context}}, but rather in the unnecessary ifexist in Module:labels. I suspect that all of the context templates have been incorporated into Module:labels/data at this point, and the ifexist can be safely removed. Perhaps you should place a request at the Grease Pit to check on this, and if everything's been migrated into the Lua, to remove the template check. Such an approach would allow all pages using {{context}} and {{label}} to use them with impunity, and would remove spurious results from WantedPages (rather more quickly and easily than by converting them to {{a}} I might add). A more difficult but better still approach would be to simply make your own WantedPages from scratch, bypassing all of inherent flaws in the built-in version altogether. I see that you've been conversing with Ruakh on the topic of dump analysis. I imagine that once you get the hang of doing your own analyses, you could make your own version with the spurious results removed. Mind you, this would be a rather long-term approach, as I'm sure dump analysis isn't as easy as our techno-ninjas make it appear. Truth be told, it's a skill which I need to acquire myself at some point. However, I think it's something that could be done more quickly than trying to coerce Special:WantedPages into giving up something useful. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 01:54, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
How we got, without a vote and no consensus, from WT:ELE to mandatory use of certain templates, I don't fully understand. How we get "improvements" to our templates that are actually a regression I also don't understand. Editing seems more cumbersome than ever. In any event, I don't especially care about any specific reversion. I do care about overambitious templating or luacizing, coupled with a lack of documentation, indifference to expressed user complaints and other user consequences, and unwillingness to promptly clean up entries whose formatting didn't fit the new paradigm. Instead of these tasks being done, we have the relentless pursuit of the next bright shiny object or doubling down on complexity.
Dump analysis is superior for almost any targeted need. I intend to use it to find unlinked taxonomic names in all of Wiktionary's principal namespace, using the complete set of taxonomic-name headwords from Wikispecies, supplemented by some from Wiktionary and from WP. (Perl looks like it might be somewhat better than Python for the job.)
However, the resources of MW applied to the entire wiki are both more efficient and more effective for the broader and indispensable job of discovering the unexpected from wherever it may materialize. A targeted effort to locate specific flaws in some class of template or module will inevitably be perceived as an attack. There is more chance that the special pages could provide evidence that anyone could use to raise questions, which is way I participated in the Bugzilla complaints about some of them not being run at all since 2009 and none of them being run for some weeks this fall. DCDuring TALK 03:15, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
If you want the templates to be improved, bring it up in the WT:GP or something. Swapping out for the wrong template is not the right way to improve. --WikiTiki89 03:36, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
What was the actual bad consequence of that swap, besides not following the rules?
Anyone who lurks here knows the issue. I'd tired of being berated. DCDuring TALK 04:20, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
The bad consequences are if we decide to add customizations to those context tags. --WikiTiki89 04:48, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I fully support the Luacizing. Speaking as someone who is nearly finished switching a population of templates to a few Lua modules, it makes the project easier to maintain, simpler to use, and more flexible and responsive to problems. There are always bugs when a program undergoes a major overhaul, and it's easy to assume that that means the new version is inferior, but that is often a false conclusion. At the moment, there were no problems with the switch you made, but that does not mean it's the right thing to do. The two templates will invariably diverge over time, and people will improve them with the assumption that they are used in the manner for which they are prescribed. Had your switch remained, it almost certainly would have caused problems down the road. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 04:25, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
This problem existed before Lua. Luacizing was supposed to fix it. The problem is it was only partially Luacized due to people complaining about the deletion of the old templates. --WikiTiki89 04:48, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Why are there hundreds and hundreds of content items from {{context}} being tested for (both deleted templates {{frequentative}} and things never templated, eg, {{of a face}})?
Why did so many users lose confidence in the process? Were they just cranky or was the process poor and the implementation worse? And all the time the changes were being wreaked on nearly universal components, ie, those likely to cause maximum disruption and those for which corrections would take weeks to ripple through the queue. DCDuring TALK 05:00, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
That was the case before Lua. Lua was supposed to fix that, as I just said. --WikiTiki89 05:14, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I note how selective you are in answering questions. What was the need to delete templates rather than deprecate them?
Evidently the Luacization implementation "plan" was unrealistic. It is not as if there was any effort to lay out what the consequences of implementations would be. The implementation was assumed to be conservative of user habits and of existing formatting as had been the case with many past changes. Instead we got something more reminiscent of the implementation of the categorization system, except with more impact on users. What's worse, the response to the failed elements of implementation is to blame the users. DCDuring TALK 11:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Did I not say that it was poorly executed? If not I meant to. I'm defending the concept of Luacization, not the specific way they did it in this case. --WikiTiki89 14:21, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong AFAICT with Luacizing per se. It's a question of over-complicating the effort and allowing regression (complication, extra keystrokes, etc) from a user PoV. I would much prefer that the messes from the first efforts be cleaned up before the next major luacization efforts are undertaken. Otherwise, not all of the lessons will be learned. DCDuring TALK 18:52, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

I have implemented the necessary technical improvements to Module:labels so that it can support all our existing context templates. I have migrated most of the templates, but everything in Category:All context labels needs to be gone through, orphaned, and deleted (or recategorized, some of them are used by other templates) before we can kill the template polling in Module:labels. I've done all I feel like doing on this project, so if you'd like to kill off some of the bad wanted entries, I'll leave the completion to you. Cheers. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:34, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm glad you felt like doing that! Sometimes other folks, including me, sell something based on benefits that they then fail to deliver, in real life, in government, and in wiki projects. You seem much more realistic than most. underpromise and overdeliver is a good proverb.
In order to remove items from Wantedpages and Wantedtemplates all I need to do is work on the linked items that are doing the wanting. As I understand it, that does not cover their possible use in templates, some of which may still be in use, say, the category templates. Would it make sense to do a bot run to list all the named items in all templates? Or all the ifexist uses? Someone could evaluate whether the uses were the best way of accomplishing whatever the objective. I would volunteer but my understanding of templates is not so good. Who would have a valuable opinion on this? Who could I beg to do this if it is worthwhile? DCDuring TALK 15:39, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
My suggestion is that we should try and kill the ifexist part of Module:labels. Not only would this remove a lot of bunk wanted entries, but it would also improve performance site-wide. The tricky part's already been done for this project, namely tracking down all the templates which render the ifexist necessary. What's left is the tedious task of confirming that whatever orphaned templates from Category:All context labels are in fact orphaned, and then having them deleted. This doesn't require much in the way of template expertise. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:18, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
What should happen as users add labels into entries that are not in the data module? Shouldn't there be yet another maintenance category for the page which then "wants" the template? That would serve to speed the process of updating the data module by providing an up-to-date indication of problem pages. Is there any limit to how big the module can be? I notice that trying to orphan the labels (as opposed to seeing whether they are orphaned) requires more knowledge of the total list of topical categories than I care to develop to avoid creating extra labels. Who is going to be doing that on a regular basis? Alternatively, how can the task be made so easy that someone like me would be willing to chip away at it from time to time, ie, on topics that I know and care about? What existing process can be used? I raise this now because whatever would make ongoing maintenance easier would also make this process easier.
I'll take another run at this and see if I can answer some of my questions myself. DCDuring TALK 13:06, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I have been thinking about how a Lua module could express its desires in a healthier way than bringing them up on WantedPages. Truth be told, I don't yet have a final answer, as I don't fully understand the workings of Lua on Mediawiki just yet, but I have some initial ideas that I'm kicking around at the moment. The best solution I've yet come up with is to create a category Category:Entries that use a context label not in labels/data or something. Such an approach would work well for Module:Quotations, but is probably less than ideal for Module:labels. As for the non-orphaned templates, honestly, I wouldn't worry about them yet. If we can just get the orphaned templates deleted, that will make it immensely easier to see what remains, and formulate an approach to finishing the job. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 18:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
OK. I've got a dump to work on a bit. DCDuring TALK 19:10, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

re numbered Pronunciation headers[edit]

Hi DCDuring. Thank you for correcting my formatting error. However, Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV corrected such a formatting error in the opposite way. Which is the correct format? It seems I can't win with KassadBot! — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:11, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I haven't done this kind of "correction" very often. EP was/is? a big advocate of Pronunciation n headers. I do recollect that there is Category:Entries with Pronunciation n headers, a large subcategory of Latin entries in Category:Entries with level or structure problems. I hope that this will lead to Kassadbot leaving the entry alone. An alternative approach is to merge both pronunciation sections and put them in the canonical location. Let's try the following:
  1. Let's see what Kassadbot does. If nothing then we are OK and can discuss the matter with Ungoliant, if necessary.
  2. If Kassadbot kicks it out again, then let's try adding Category:Entries with Pronunciation n headers as a hard category.
  3. If Kassadbot kicks it out, perhaps we can discuss with Liliana.
At any point that someone wants to bring it to the Beer Parlor, we can. In the meantime, you could try WT:ALA. If you'd like you could bring it up with Ungoliant, EP, and/or Liliana, but I'd like to see if we know how Kassadbot actually behaves first, if possible. I remember Liliana having suggested that she didn't like to mess with the bot, not understanding it fully (having inherited it from the late Bob Ullmann, I believe), but she may be more comfortable with it now. Ullmann and EP had a long-standing debate about this with the special category being the result. DCDuring TALK 17:37, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I note that ocris has not been flagged by Kassadbot (which has been running) over the past 12 days. DCDuring TALK 14:11, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the historical context to this. Since Kassadbot hasn't done anything to ocris, I guess we can do № 1; moreover, since Ungoliant hasn't touched the entry either, it's probably unnecessary to discuss it with him/her. I'll revert his/her miscorrection now; we'll see if he/she says or does anything in response. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:57, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Kassadbot complained again; I'll try № 2 — adding Category:Entries with Pronunciation n headers… — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:51, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Template:topcatdescdefault[edit]

On Category:fro:Fish, it says "See fro:fish" (not "See fish"). Mglovesfun (talk) 13:57, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Dumps[edit]

Is that really newsworthy? They release them every few weeks don't they? —CodeCat 18:27, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

It's apparently the closest thing to something newsworthy so far this month. Unfortunately the schedule is not perfectly reliable. If someone wants to process the dump before it starts to get obsolete, they would probably prefer it fresh from the servers. It would be nice if MW had an automatic notification - or if I knew how to set one up for myself. DCDuring TALK 20:14, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/firestop[edit]

Firestop mortar in a cable tray penetration in a pulp and paper mill.

Hi! I don't edit Wiktionary. I only work on Commons and Wikipedia. I noticed you edited the firestop page here on Wiktionary. The Wiktionary definition of firestop is rather at odds with the Wikipedia page on the topic. The old "fireblock" is when you close off the spaces between studs or joists. And you can't just stuff even those spaces with just foam or insulation batts. Image someone trying to use the materials described on the current Wiktionary page to seal this opening and provide a 3 hour fire-resistance rating that meets the local building code? I suggest a re-consideration of the contents of Wiktionary's page on the term firestop. Best regards, --Achim Hering (talk) 20:07, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

I can't imagine anyone relying on Wiktionary for much except for the meaning of words. As soon as something becomes important, I'd go to a real source. DCDuring TALK 20:10, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

Tiaris[edit]

Hi. I have gone with the masculine gender & species epithets for this genus. Wikispecies appears to be an outlier (of the few sources I rely on) in treating it as feminine. WP lists the "-us" epithets. ITIS lists the "-a" forms as invalid. Perhaps we should include them as synonyms. — Pingkudimmi 12:50, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Good catch. I've become happier as I've become less dependent on WikiSpecies. Today I checked classical language dictionaries and found that τιαρις (tiaris) was an alternative form of lang-grc, masculine in "epic" Ancient Greek, feminine in Attic, Doric, and Aeolic, which would give license to either gender. -ις endings are almost always feminine, as are -is endings in Latin. Presumably there is some ICZN determination that the feminine is invalid for this term. There is an arachnid species Tiara, so presumably the alternative spelling was selected for disambiguation. In any event, I should have checked for actual usage in more than one source, as I now usually do. NCBI also seems pretty good about validity of names. EOL often gives quick access to multiple taxonomic trees. DCDuring TALK 13:35, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

-aculum[edit]

Hi,

I've submitted this entry you created to deletion. Could you give your opinion about this? --Fsojic (talk) 16:05, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

From before to behind[edit]

Following on from the RFV for behind, there seem to be quite a few book hits for from before to behind. It would seem to have been a set phrase 18th-19th century. Do you think it would make a suitable entry? SpinningSpark 21:30, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Actually, there are quite a lot of modern usages especially in anatomy related papers. SpinningSpark 21:33, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Interesting. A dated collocation. The fact that it was once used and has fallen out of fashion is suggestive that it has some kind of cohesion as a collocation, but it is certainly easy to decode. The alliteration reminds me of from stem to stern, which is idiomatic due to the obscurity of stem. I can see why a print dictionary would not waste paper and ink on it. It would not need to be in my personal decoding dictionary. If you add it, I wouldn't RfD it, nor would I vote to keep it, unless someone makes some compelling arguments I can't think of now. DCDuring TALK 22:38, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

sphaeroides[edit]

Hi,

there are two Latin sections, and I'm not sure what to make of it. --Fsojic (talk) 23:47, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

I think it's technically called a mistake, but it resulted from my confusion about how the entry should look.
I don't have good access to any references or texts from Latin after Late Latin and before Linnaeus. Not really good after Linnaeus until modern times. That makes it hard to tell whether it was ever used in running Latin text.
Even without references, I suspect that sphaeroides may have been used in several ways. For example, there are three instances of use as a genus name, so it could be an noun used attributively referring to any of those three, when a specific epithet. Sometimes it may have been an adjective.
I suppose we could RfV the Latin L2. We have never resolved how to present items mostly known as specific epithets. I am inclined to present them only as Translingual. SB likes to make them to be Latin. If someone can show that they exist in running Latin text, eg, in species descriptions, which were formerly done in Latin, then the L2 could be shifted to Latin. I have begun tracking specific epithets by whether we show them as Latin or Translingual, using {{epilang}}, Species name using Latin specific epithet and Species name using Translingual specific epithet. I also make conjectures for missing specific epithets whether they are Translingual or truly Latin. See Category:Species entry using missing Translingual specific epithet and Category:Species entry using missing Latin specific epithet. DCDuring TALK 00:28, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Nonces[edit]

The two votes on Joycian and other noncense (that's a blend of nonce and nonsense) have started and are about to start, respectively: Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2014-03/CFI: Removing usage in a well-known work 2 and Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2014-03/CFI: Removing usage in a well-known work 3. And speaking of Joyce, I spotted this Finneganic redesign of a famous restaurant's menu. - -sche (discuss) 19:34, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

I won't miss the votes. Mirth-waiteringly appling minu. DCDuring TALK 22:30, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Literal sense of private language[edit]

Hello DC -- Re this edit, I don't think that using {{&lit}} is appropriate here, since it implies that the philosophical sense is idiomatic. The philosophical sense may be somewhat technical (many terms are) but I don't think that fact in itself makes a term idiomatic. (As for deleting what is now sense 3, which Wikitiki89 thinks is SOP, I don't have any feelings about that.) -- · (talk) 18:41, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

What do you mean by idiomatic? If a term has a specific technical meaning such as this one that is not predictable based even on technical definitions of its component parts, it is thereby idiomatic in the sense we usually use it in Wiktionary discussion pages. DCDuring TALK 18:49, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I think what he means is, and I somewhat agree, that the philosophical sense is just a more specific technical version of the literal sense, and thus not really an "idiom" according to the non-Wiktioanry definition of "idiom". --WikiTiki89 18:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89, Talking Point: Are there any attestable senses of private and language the meaning of which would combine to yield the philosophical sense of private language? I think not, but citations could prove me wrong. DCDuring TALK 19:15, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
A private language is a language that is private to one person. All other information is just qualities that philosophers say such a language must possess. --WikiTiki89 19:34, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I think Wikitiki89 represents the matter reasonably. DC, I think you are on a path where almost every multi-word technical term in philosophy, psychology, and a host of other fields, would qualify for a {{context|idiomatic}} tag, and that's going much too far for my tender sensibilities. -- · (talk) 19:50, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why we have to have a label that says idiomatic — ever. I also don't see why having a non-transparent sense in an entry should mean that we should not remind users that there are any number of possible senses that are transparent combinations of components, whether technical or not.
That private means "private to a single person" is somewhat contradictory to the ordinary notion of language, what with it being so involved with communication. I can't find a definition of language at MWOnline that does not involve communication. An ordinary construal of the expression would require a novel definition of language that would allow the "individual" sense of private to be a modifier. DCDuring TALK 21:04, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
We seem to be lacking some definitions, such as the one that would cover formal language. --WikiTiki89 21:23, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
MWOnline covers that with a definition of language as "a formal system of signs and symbols (as FORTRAN or a calculus in logic) including rules for the formation and transformation of admissible expressions".
Though WMOnline has 12 definitions for language they do not have one that is consistent with the use in private language. I wonder whether the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy does. The Free Online Dictionary of Philosophy (FOLDOP) does not. DCDuring TALK 21:49, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Now that I think about it, there is communication involved. Writing a note to yourself is communicating with yourself. There doesn't have to be anyone else in order to communicate. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not at all sure that I wrote all the things that appear over my signature at Wiktionary. Sometimes I don't understand them. Sometimes they seem too wise to have come from my brain. Sometimes they seem expressed with more certainty than I have or remember having. Who is hacking my user account?
IOW, are the originator (me, according to the signature) and receiver (me, lurking) really the same? After all, no man ever steps in the same river twice. DCDuring TALK 23:41, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Three logicians walk into a bar. The bartender asks, "Will you all have beers?" The first one says, "I don't know." The second one says, "I don't know." The third one says, "Yes." --WikiTiki89 23:46, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Descartes walks into an oyster bar. The server asks: "Would you like any oysters today, René?" Descartes says: "I think not." and vanishes. DCDuring TALK 23:56, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

greenline[edit]

Your recent edit to greenline makes no sense. Creating a new definition and then RfVing the old one? Why? Each of the sources you added to support your definition supports mine as well. The two definitions on the page are essentially the same, except that one better emphasizes being an antonym of redlining: mine. The RfV needs to be closed, my definition needs to be kept, and your definition needs to be deleted. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 20:41, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Don't try removing the RfV.
"Essentially" in your opinion, not mine. I object to inclusion in the definition of healthcare and financial services other than real-estate lending or property insurance. The citations I found support only those services. If you put some good citations in the entry to support other senses, then an extension of the definition to other services might be valid. In principle all definitions should have citations. The case for having them for definitions not found in other dictionaries is stronger. DCDuring TALK 21:44, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
But if citations for the other stuff were found, you didn't need a full-blown RfV. All I need is ONE citation that supports health care as a cause, and since there's already three citations for the definition (as all three of the citations for your definition are applicable for mine as well), I have an infinite amount of time to find them even if I don't remove your bogus RfV. BTW, while we're on the subject of what's supported, profitability in your sense isn't supported: the sentences support stuff happening, not causality Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 23:12, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
RfV is our only procedure other than RfD and direct editing without any process, which I am fairly sure you would find more annoying than following due process, as I am. As I am favoring narrowing the definition, I don't think RfD-sense, often used to challenge redundant senses, applies.
You can find a single citation for lots of nonsense. As to "profitability", I am sure I could find ONE citation and could almost certainly find three. I suppose that Martians and others uninformed about human nature and institutions might need such citations. We could always delete the word profitable, too.
And we really should have three citations for both transitive and intransitive senses, unless we stipulate that the term can be used both ways and find a wording that includes both.
I wonder whether greenline is used about areas that were never redlined or yellowlined. DCDuring TALK 23:54, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Areas are not just greenlined because of perceived profitability, they are greenlined because of political pressures. I again reiterate that your citations are applicable to my definition. Also, yellowlining isn't a word. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 00:03, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Try to keep up. I deleted the word "profitable" to allow for the possibility of the greenlining being the result of extortion. DCDuring TALK 00:15, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
You do realize that you're making an RfV argument in an RfD of a different definition, right? And that I have a week or more to find citations, right? And that you tearing down my definition won't save your own definition, right? Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 00:55, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

On the -eth Suffix[edit]

Hello and a profound admiration for you and your fellow travelers' lexicographical endeavors. I have a question on one of your contributions, however. I see you are the one who five years ago edited the entry on the suffix "-eth" to suggest that it may have been pronounced in Early Modern English as "-s". This would bring much joy to my heart; as a non-native speaker I always found people's reciting of poetry with that full-blown "-eth" pronunciation cringingly silly. I must nevertheless ask you if you have any pertinent sources to back up this fantastic claim.

As an aside, you seem to have misspelled the name of your mathematics professor. He is in fact the renowned mathematician Norbert Wiener. —This comment was unsigned.

Thanks for the Wiener correction.
I only tried to make the text of the Pronunciation note more intelligible. I don't much care about pronunciations generally. DCDuring TALK 20:15, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

<=[edit]

What does that sign mean here? --Vahag (talk) 21:04, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

The one on the right is an older, disused synonym. I was hoping not to have to be explicit about the nature of the synonymy, as I don't have the tools and knowledge to achieve a high level of correctness. I was also hoping that the parentheses and arrow combined would at least make it clear that the term within the parentheses was less important to a user than the one outside the parentheses. The taxonomic literature calls things synonyms that we might not call synonyms or would call "obsolete" or "archaic" synonyms. I don't want to merely duplicate what the taxonomy sites have. That's a pattern that I leave to those who faithfully copy the marginally intelligible Sanskrit to English dictionary that we have a redundant copy of. There is no left-pointing arrow symbol in our Miscellaneous character set.
An alternative is to move the old synonym under a Synonyms header, but that would increase the need for an explicit label. I'm not sure how many entries have these, but I doubt that there are more than 200, so a consensus agreement on a desired format (one that did not assume perfect information !) could be readily implemented. DCDuring TALK 21:40, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. I think it is better to remove the obsolete synonyms from non-translingual entries altogether, so as not to confuse readers like me. --Vahag (talk) 07:46, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that the terms are still to be found in older books and current books that rely on older references. Taxonomic names - at all levels - are revised regularly. The language of the taxonomic community has some of the features of languages of other communities. Taxonomic language evolves creating many opportunities for confusion that cannot be eliminated by not covering 1., ambiguities and 2., the use of multiple terms (some disapproved of by authorities) for the same underlying natural objects. DCDuring TALK 13:17, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

The (tearoom)[edit]

When I noticed your rft on the, I posted my 2 cents. I would be interested to know whether this answers your doubts. --MarcoSwart (talk) 22:53, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

Disengaged?[edit]

You don't seem disengaged. Have you become reengaged? bd2412 T 00:59, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I am mostly disengaged on the subject of idiomaticity. I prefer working in more constructive, less contentious areas. I think some inclusionists are becoming less dogmatic and more skeptical about claimed idiomaticity. DCDuring TALK 01:05, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Am I an inclusionist, by your reckoning? I don't see how it hurts to err on the side of inclusionism, though. bd2412 T 02:20, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Highfalutin-steamboat etymology[edit]

Why i treat an etymology along Bragg's lines as convincing.
--Jerzyt 03:31, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

pioneering[edit]

I see you restored the quote under the adjective. Let's see how long it stays there. Donnanz (talk) 16:23, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

It is not entirely unambiguous. At first I thought to put it back under the noun PoS, but pioneering is used as a true adjective (I think it is even comparable). We need a clearer illustation. Unfortunately, demonstrating the semantics and demonstrating the grammar do not often lead to the same selection of citations. DCDuring TALK 17:09, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I’m not denying that it is used as a true adjective, just that the usex is using another sense. The people mentioned in it were notorious for exploring polar regions, not for creating new ideas and methods. — Ungoliant (falai) 19:09, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Collins has "pioneering work or a pioneering individual does something that has not been done before, for example by developing or using new methods or techniques". DCDuring TALK 02:20, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I gave it a try. DCDuring TALK 02:25, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

comae[edit]

Yes, I do think your rollback was in error. —CodeCat 23:24, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I think there is very good reason to achieve the right result (ie, getting users to the right lemma) by expedient means that are not inherently destructive. If, eventually, you devise some means that you find esthetically or otherwise more satisfying, more power to you. I see no reason to wait for that result. If you would like to have such entries categorized into some noncompliance maintenance category for eventual resolution, I would be glad to do so as I find them or enact them. DCDuring TALK 23:31, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that this is going to bite us sooner or later. I see so reason to wait for {{plural of}} to be improved when it works fine as it is. There is nothing wrong with the entry. —CodeCat 23:46, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't take readers to where they should be taken. This is a problem for all long English entries that have multiple etymologies. Unless tabbed languages enables us to split English L2s by Etymology there is a serious entry navigation problem that is much more significant for English L2s, which tend to be much more elaborate than those of other languages even before allowing for translation tables.
Could {{senseid}} be made to do the job? Could something like {{senseid}} be created that would do the job? DCDuring TALK 00:01, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand how {{senseid}} doesn't already does the job. —CodeCat 00:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm slow. Apply it at comae. DCDuring TALK 00:18, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
That's what I thought. Placed at a sense, it highlights the sense and comes below the inflection line. Placed above a header it adds a blue bar and an asterisk. Placed above text it highlights the following text. The only place it might work would be above the inflection line. But the highlighting seems dumb. And the name is misleading when used in one of the places it should be be used for cases like comae. DCDuring TALK 00:36, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
It is the right concept but doesn't do the job as is, most obviously because of the formatting. A renamed and revised one would be better than the expedients I have been using, which in any event only work for the first L2 section using a given section name on a page, ie, usually English for words with all plain Latin script headwords. DCDuring TALK 00:44, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
BTW, where it is now above the inflection line, the highlighting is not terrible, but there is that intrusive dot. As a general rule, for the kind of thing I have been discussing highlighting seems more likely to be harmful than helpful. DCDuring TALK 00:47, 16 July 2014 (UTC)