User talk:ReidAA

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Again, welcome! Ƿidsiþ 08:06, 10 May 2013 (UTC)


Hi. 1. Please don't put those weird non-breaking spaces in entries. We don't do this, and if we did want extra space there, it would need to be done in a better way than that (maybe through stylesheets). 2. Not sure that the "sense" you added is a separate sense, any more than "tractor" in "tractor parts"... it's just attributive use of a noun. Equinox 02:34, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

As to 1., I've been putting in a lot of them, yes, simply to improve the look of those senses that have a parenthetic prefix. Yes, it would be better done in a style-sheet, but (a) I don't know how, (b) I fancy that, as a newbie, I wouldn't have the authority or bravado to do so anyway, and (c) using the grease pit or beer parlour seems unlikely to get things done. As to 2., I was merely (for the first time) copying attributive senses that I had noticed elsewhere. Is there some sort of guidance as to such matter? ReidAA (talk) 02:45, 6 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, I don't see why using the discussion pages wouldn't get things done; many decisions have been made there in the past. I see you're still putting in non-breaking spaces in certain places (e.g. within quotations); I would urge you not to, because (i) this is a hacky way of achieving double-spacing; (ii) HTML in general, and MediaWiki in particular, does not double-space after full stops/periods by general consensus. Just a thought. I do appreciate the good work you're doing by adding these quotations though. Equinox 13:55, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
About the  s I've been putting in while tidying a bit as I add quotations: I've stopped putting them in after simple full stops, though with a background in formatting writings I strongly believe there should be double spaces between sentences for aesthetic reasons. However, as an act of tidying I've sometimes been putting multiple examples into single lines in which case I've been putting extra spaces between examples. I do this to help the reader, but if you think I should stop this then I will. ReidAA (talk) 23:20, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Oh, and I've also been using  s to keep ellipses in place. Assuming they're the ones in quotations that are objectionable, then I'll stop that practice. ReidAA (talk) 23:28, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
Greetings. Since the purpose of quotations in Wiktionary is to show the use of words in a sentence, I have reduced many of your recent quotes to the single sentence actually containing the word being defined. Please avoid putting additional sentences in quotations, as we do not want our readers to be hunting through long tracts of text to find the word being defined. Cheers! bd2412 T 15:32, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
I'll try, but I have been doing this to make plain the sense and context of the target word. Given that quotes are now able to be hidden I had imagined that most readers would keep them hidden (certainly if their density increases, which is what I'm trying to do to make Wiktionary more generally useful) and only bring quotations into view if the examples don't clarify the sense enough. ReidAA (talk) 00:02, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Example sentences go above quotations.[edit]

We put example sentences above quotations, not below them. —RuakhTALK 15:02, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

I put them after quotes so that when quotes are displayed an extra line is not used for tag that gets them hidden. In other words so that the user's display is both neater and holds more to read. ReidAA (talk) 23:30, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, we put just one example sentence per line. —RuakhTALK 15:03, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Again I bring the examples together to improve the reading experience; catenating them, provided there's extra space between them, puts them closer together, makes them easier to read, and fits more into the reading space. ReidAA (talk) 23:30, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • I second: We put example sentences above quotations, not below them. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:09, 2 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, I've started doing so, and "repairing" others, but I think it's very bad for the Wiktionary readers because it takes up at least one more line and usually two more lines. I've set up ask to show this. Of course it might be possible to code Wiktionary's working so that this didn't happen, because of course it would be a bit better to have the examples before the quotes but not nearly enough better to compensate for the extra two lines (in my opinion). But since I haven't a clue how to make the change myself, I started putting the quote before the examples as the lesser of two evils. ReidAA (talk) 10:48, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Simple method is just to remove example sentences when a quotation is present. Example sentences are "pseudo-quotations" and are never better than the real thing. Only better in that it's quicker to make something up than to research it. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:19, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
Well, that's not the way my several hard copy dictionaries treat them. They use brief, usually phrasal, examples to illustrate the sense, especially when there are several or many senses (see Collins for example). Quotations, usually one or two sentences, are used to validate the sense along a timeline (see OED for example). This is where the Wiktionary has a great advantage because quotes can be hidden from the casual reader, which allows the quotes to be longer and their source to be more specific (see the brief and usually enigmatic quotations, many from the Bible, that are left in Wikipedia (I assume) from the 1913 Webster's Dictionary on which Wikipedia is based). Furthermore, links can be given to online source text (such as Wikisource) and to biographies of an author. Quotes are not better than examples at clarifying senses; examples should be simple and several and carefully composed to clarify the sense. There are many bad examples in Wikipedia, but that does not make examples poor in principle. They are quite the opposite, especially for non-native speakers. Indeed all senses should have at least one simple example, and they should be carefully chosen and, if appropriate, for several contexts. ReidAA (talk) 10:48, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
I generally tend to agree with this, as far as example sentences. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:24, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
  • Re: "Simple method is just to remove example sentences when a quotation is present.": I disagree with that method. I find good example sentences preferable over quotations, as quotations present metadata such as the year or even ISBN that are of little interest for the purpose served by example sentences. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:25, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Political quotations[edit]

Your habit of including politically-charged quotations is quite annoying. It is being discussed on Wiktionary talk:Quotations#Using quotations for an agenda. Choor monster (talk) 18:41, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

I don't see them as politically charged (I presume your target is the ones I chose from my weekly reading of The Economist which is right-wing but in a very small way), just sentences or paragraphs chosen from my regular reading usually for having an unusual word in them. (Then I use the text for quotes for other words that don't yet have quotes for their sense in the text.) For my part I am offended by the widespread obtrusion of sexual slang senses without any validating quotes apart from occasional links to online blogs but I just ignore them. My view is that quotes should include links to an online source of the quote itself and to its author(s) so that readers can check and follow up. ReidAA (talk) 23:50, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
In the above, by "links to an online source" I meant to a relatively formal source, such as Wikipedia or a commercial publication. ReidAA (talk) 23:54, 23 September 2013 (UTC)


Thanks for your quotes, by the way. What you're doing is fundamental for the website. From what I've seen, all of them have been well-chosen quotes. --ElisaVan (talk) 22:32, 28 September 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for your appreciation. I too consider my work fundamental to the kind of facility I feel a Wiktionary can and should become. What I do comes from my daily reading. I feel there should be quotes from across a range of dates, and my modern ones come from the magazines I have long subscribed to, and others from my bookshelves. As to the quotes themselves I try to include URLs for both the author(s) (where there is one) and to the work being quoted. This gives the reader three phases if needed: sense with examples; quotes; background information through the URLs. ReidAA (talk) 10:16, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

No sooner has a synthetic drug been blacklisted[edit]

You have added a single cause-promoting quote to several pages: diff diff, diff. It is perfectly clear that the words "cycle", "identify" and "authority" can be illustrated using quotes that are not there to advance a particular cause. I ask you to stop adding similar cause-promoting quotes, especially from current news to illustrate a word that has been in use for decades or even centuries. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:46, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

By the way, User:ElisaVan, who has encouraged you to add more of these quotes, is probably thereby trying to make trouble. He is known as user:Wonderfool, and is temporarily tolerated each time he creates a new user until he starts making trouble, after which he gets blocked, and, well yes, the whole cycle starts again. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:51, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

It has been my practice to select for quotation a sentence or two or three with an uncommon word in something I'm reading. Then I look in Wikipedia for other words in my selection that are without roughly contemporaneous quotes and use my selection there. Is this practice what you are objecting to ? If so, please explain the basis for your objection. If, on the other hand, you are objecting to the content as "cause-promoting" would you please tell me what cause this quote from the venerable international highly-respected weekly, "The Economist", you see them (or me) promoting ? ReidAA (talk) 05:12, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
The article is Legal highs: A new prescription. Its subtitle is "New Zealand’s plan to regulate designer drugs is better than trying to ban them and failing". I now admit that my language of "cause-promoting" is a bit strong and possibly misleading, yet you can see that the article takes a particular non-descriptive stance, namely that something is better than something else without saying better for what. Furthermore, it deals in the controversial subject of illicit drugs. Of course, if the word being attested is "drug", the quotatations will quite often deal in the subject. But this is not the case with "cycle" and "identify". The things pointed out make the quotation linking to the article a fairly poor one for a dictionary citation of such words as "cycle", especially given that it does not illustrate the meanings of "cycle" and "identify" particularly well. Put differently, Wiktionary is not a collection of random quotations containing the attested words but rather aims to contain quotations that well illustrate the word. Moreover, the quote is implictly promoting Economist, I believe; to illustrate a word that has long been in use, we do not need to cite modern periodicals with economic interest in being mentioned on as many places on the Internet as possible, especially in a leading free-as-in-freedom dictionary. As an aside, the URL you have entered into the quotations is, and it does not lead anywhere. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:34, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
Thanks very much for noticing my bubu. I've fixed them all (I trust) and will try to be much more careful in future (especially as I've bubued twice ver recently). Perhaps it's age-related: I'm into my 80s. ReidAA (talk) 23:36, 5 October 2013 (UTC)
You have further quoted the single article in diff ("easy"), diff ("blacklist"), diff ("ban"), diff ("synthetic"), diff ("fight"), diff ("Sisyphean"). So the single Economist article is quoted in at least 9 (3+6) very common words that have little to do with the subject of the article. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:05, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
So, using this search for the URL, I have found 23 entries linking to the article: adjust, easy, ban, task, fail, synthetic, sell, churn out, Sisyphean, blacklist, recipe, identify, subtly, banned, chemist, authority, few, next to, cycle, window box, hillside, high, fight. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:24, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
@User:ReidAA, please just be aware of how these uses are perceived. Also, please consider using short sentences that can easily be interpreted without reference to any material outside the sentence. Our readers shouldn't have to parse an essay to see how a word fits into a sentence. The more concise, the better. bd2412 T 21:46, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
  • My expectation is that, as the use of the Wiktionary as a dictionary builds up, users (not editors) will not see quotations when they bring up a Wikipedia page (only the two wasted lines that shove the quotation tag into the user's face). All they need at first is a list of senses to choose from with simple examples to help them. Even the examples would not be needed if the senses were cleaned up; many long sense lists are scruffy in the extreme (now that usex works better I intend to tidy some up as I add quotes by improving the list structure) and the examples could be hidden like the quotations and only brought into view if needed.
      The quotations should, in my view be regarded (a) as an enrichment that might be very useful for students, particularly if each quotation is linked to good Web pages like Wikipedia's; and (b) as a validation and history of the sense (and eventually outdo the magnificent OED), again using links, which should be formal and long-lasting.
      As for as my using an extract to quote in several (even many) senses, this is a natural way to build up the quotations. As I read I sometimes notice an interesting word being used and I set up a template in a text file for an extract using that word. Then I can very quickly use that template to use the extract as a quote for senses of other words in the extract. But I do not replace existent quotes, nor do I add a quote where there is already a quote of very roughly the same date. When I find a quote I have done in the past that also uses a word sense in the extract I'm quoting then I'll replace it if it's of about the same date and the new quote seems better, but I don't do this for other people's quotes whatever my (sometimes very low) opinion of them. Surely this is a sensible and effective way to build up the Wiktionary's quotation bank ?!! ReidAA (talk) 23:36, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Merging usexes with nbsp[edit]

In diff, you have merged usexes with nbsp. I will be undoing such changes until you show there is consensus for this kind of thing. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:59, 2 October 2013 (UTC)

Use of usex lang equals en to format example sentences[edit]

I don't like your adding "usex|lang=en", but I do not know whether I am in the minority. Thus, I have started Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2013/October#Use_of_usex_lang_equals_en_to_format_example_sentences. I note that "usex|lang=en" is currently only rarely used in English entries in the mainspace, so unless consensus arises to use "usex|lang=en", the status quo ante should prevail, IMHO. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:27, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Removing senses[edit]

In diff, you have removed sense "The butterfly Gonepteryx rhamni of the Pieridae family", while your edit summary said "Quote added". You cannot remove senses like that; if you think a sense should be removed, you have to use {{rfd-sense}} or {{rfv-sense}}. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:55, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for noticing my error, for error it was - unintended and unnoticed by me. You don't seem to have restored it yourself so I have done so. ReidAA (talk) 08:19, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Adjective vs. verb[edit]

Hi. I did a merge here [1] because "braided rope yarn" seems to be just "rope yarn that has been braided" (verb), not a true adjective. True adjectives are usually comparable (e.g. "the biggest [most big] thing"); past tenses of verbs in "-ed" usually just express a completed action on a noun. Equinox 04:38, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

If that's the way Wikipedia treats them then I'll follow suit in future. I've done one or two similar additions recently, and I'll try to find and fix them. Thanks for your advice. ReidAA (talk) 04:45, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
How about "fading", as it's not a completed action ? ReidAA (talk) 04:50, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
No, to me that's not an adjective. e.g. "the Sagalassa valida larvae have a chewing mouth" = "a mouth that chews"; it is the typical form of the verb, as in "I am chewing". Appearing before a noun does not automatically turn a word into an adjective; consider "tractor" in "some tractor parts", and see attributive. Equinox 04:52, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
Then I'll fix "fading". But would it be proper to add the quote to the verb in a separate sense with an attributive context ? It seems to me that it would be useful that way. ReidAA (talk) 05:01, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
AFAIC, the fact that verbs can be used in an attributive way, and in an adjectival position, is part of the grammar. I don't believe it's a separate sense because the actual sense (meaning) of the word is not different: we would be duplicating. If you strongly disagree with this then do raise it in the WT:BP because my opinion might not be the consensus. Equinox 05:23, 2 November 2013 (UTC)
I only disagree mildly, as is my habit. Cheerio. ReidAA (talk) 05:28, 2 November 2013 (UTC)

A repeated misunderstanding in your use of {{quote-book}}[edit]

Hello ReidAA -- I generally like the quotations you add, but, when using {{quote-book}} please note that the "chapter" parameter produces information that displays before the book's title. A numbered chapter should display after the title, and a good way to achieve this is by using the "section" parameter, as in the example shown below (a modification of one of your edits):

{{quote-book|year=1914|author={{w|Louis Joseph Vance}} |section=chapter 2 |title=[ Nobody] |passage=She wakened in sharp panic, bewildered by the '''grotesquerie''' of some half-remembered dream in contrast with the harshness of inclement fact, drowsily realising that since she had fallen asleep it had come on to rain smartly out of a shrouded sky.}}

which produces this result:

  • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, Nobody, chapter 2:
    She wakened in sharp panic, bewildered by the grotesquerie of some half-remembered dream in contrast with the harshness of inclement fact, drowsily realising that since she had fallen asleep it had come on to rain smartly out of a shrouded sky.

The "chapter" parameter may be suitable for identifying a chapter by name, but please consider switching to the "section" parameter when identifying a chapter by number. -- · (talk) 05:04, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

The point you make about putting the chapter number after the book name is fair enough, but I would have thought that modifying the template code to put it in the right place would be the best way to fix the problem. Coding "section=chapter 2" is very clumsy. However, as a very inexperienced editor I wouldn't be able to do this myself, and I don't know how to get someone else to do it, particularly if you wanted to put a chapter name in a different place from a chapter number. Of course, if you assure me that it can't be done then I'll have to put up with the clumsiness. Thanks very much indeed for your concern. ReidAA (talk) 11:10, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Hello ReidAA -- Thanks for your considered response. I do agree that, by rights, the "chapter" parameter should always insert its content after the title (whether that content is a chapter number or name). But I'm not a coder and wouldn't try to touch this template myself. I've seen nasty disputes erupt even among the seasoned programmers here when one of them changes a template, and have come to the conclusion that, unless there's no alternative, it's best not to fiddle with the damn things. It almost always involves opening a can of worms. -- · (talk) 00:28, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
Well, well, in that case I'll adopt your suggestion in future quotes, but going back to make changes in old quotes is a tad too challenging. Thanks again, ReidAA (talk) 02:12, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
On second thoughts, I've just put a request into the GreasePit and will wait to see what comes of that. ReidAA (talk) 04:35, 16 June 2014 (UTC)