User talk:Stephen G. Brown/KGB article

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KGB article[edit]

Hi Stephen. I see you edited my entry for the KGB article and moved контора to the synonyms list. Well, I think it could stay on a synonyms list although it isn't quite a synonym. And you definitely can not call just any контора KGB. I suspect this usage of контора came from russian dissidents from years when it was inappropriate and maybe even dangerous to call KGB by its name. I believe some explanatory note should be put on a KGB page. Wouldn’t you agree?

Of course, synonyms are virtually always inexact. One synonym for "girl" is "bird," but "girl" and "bird" are also very different. Being a synonym simply means that one of the meanings of "bird" is almost the same as one of the meanings of "girl" as used by at least one geographical or social segment of the population under some circumstances.
The purpose of the КГБ page is to explain the meaning of КГБ in English, and to give the English equivalent (i.e., KGB). This special meaning of контора is just that, a special meaning of контора...that is, контора can mean КГБ under certain circumstances, but КГБ on the other hand does not mean контора.
If this were an encyclopedic article, then you would have a good point, and the контора explanation and many other details would be useful in a lengthy article on the KGB. But this is merely a bilingual dictionary listing giving the English equivalent or meaning (but not an actual definition of KGB, since that belongs on the English KGB page), and so this special meaning of контора belongs on the контора page, but not on the КГБ page. The КГБ page only needs a link to контора as a synonym. And since it is a synonym, that’s how I made the link. If this meaning of контора needs further elucidation, that also belongs on the контора page. —Stephen 07:22, 23 July 2005 (UTC)