User talk:T. Mazzei

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I see you deleted my additions to the definition of chemist as an alchemist, particularily one who believed in the doctrine of the three principles of Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury

While I admit to knowing little on the topic, I have been adding the s:Sceptical Chymist to Wikisource, and while in it are passages where he can be interpreted as using the term to discribe alchemists and alchemy in general, he equally uses the term to distinguish those who believe in the tria prima, based on the teachings of Paracelsus, from those who believe in the four elements (earth, wind, fire, water), based on the teachings of Aristotle (see the passage on chymist from the novel, which is part of a speach deriding the group, delivered by an Aristotelian, also an alchemist in the modern sense of the term).

According to the chemist definition, the term first appeared shortly after the death of Paracelsus, and so is consistant with being associated with his followers. Merriam Webster dates alchemist to the 15th century, which was close to the time of Paracelsus (early 16th century). My guess is (and it is just a guess and is very likely completely wrong) is that the word (alchemist/alchemy) entered the language, the shortened form of which became associated particularily with the philosophy of Paracelsus, and later, following Boyle's use of the term, with modern chemistry.

Regardless of conjecture, Chymist is used in the book to refer to a particular breed of alchemist, and not simply alchemists in general.--T. Mazzei 18:30, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi. Boyle was trying to draw a distinction not between different kinds of alchemists, but between what he saw as "modern" chemists, who saw matter as composed of four basic elements, and "old-fashioned" chemists (ie what we would call alchemists) who preferred to think in Paracelsian terms of three elements. Now he may distinguish different types of alchemist, but that does not mean that the word chemist (or chymist) ever had that specific meaning to anyone but Boyle. Hundreds of writers used the word meaning only "alchemist". Boyle may use it in a more specific sense, but that does not in itself change the inherent meaning: every writer defines their terms to a certain extent. If you can show that other writers used the word with the specific sense you suggest, then you might have a case. I am pleased you added the citations though, because he is obviously an important writer in this area, and in general we have too few cites from this period. PS, if MW dates alchemist to the 15th century it's wrong - the word isn't attested until 1514 (though it's still earlier than chemist). Keep up the good work! Widsith 08:18, 26 April 2008 (UTC)


Please do not alter the spelling or orthography of quotations from the original. We try to preserve what appears in the original source, including long s. --EncycloPetey 01:44, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Alternate forms[edit]

The header "Alternate forms" is not an accepted Wiktionary section header. The correct header is "Alternative forms". --EncycloPetey 03:09, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Oops, my bad--T. Mazzei 03:15, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. My recent entries are all corrected, but that variant is all over this site. Should maybe get a bot to fix?--T. Mazzei 03:28, 14 October 2011 (UTC)


The word "proportionate is not Latin, as your etymology claims. Nor is ad a prefix; it is a preposition and so should not link to "ad-". --EncycloPetey 03:48, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Etymology copied from here. Please improve it if it is not correct. I normally don't write etymologies since they are definitely not my strong suit, but I figured I was safe with a direct copy. I'm not sure what you are saying about ad--in approportionate it is a prefix, which is what I linked. As to the Latin, I understood the etymology from the source as the "Latin ad-" + "English proportionate". Sorry if that wasn't clear--T. Mazzei 04:07, 8 November 2011 (UTC)
Latin prepositions are complete words often appended to the front of verbs, but that's not the same as a prefix. A prefix does not exist as a separate word. This distinction is more often important on Wiktionary, where is affects the section header and pagename of an entry. We don't create a separate entry for a prefix if the word itself has an entry with those meanings.
In this particular case, it looks more like evidence that "ad-/ap'" has become a formative prefix in English, and so there should be an English entry for it. --EncycloPetey 14:38, 8 November 2011 (UTC)



RuakhTALK 18:53, 31 August 2012 (UTC)