Wiktionary:Beer parlour

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Wiktionary > Discussion rooms > Beer parlour

Lautrec a corner in a dance hall 1892.jpg

Welcome, all, to the Beer Parlour! This is the place where many a historic decision has been made and where important discussions are being held daily. If you have a question about fundamental Wiktionary aspects—that is, about policies, proposals and other community-wide features—please place it at the bottom of the list (click on Start a new discussion), and it will be considered. Please keep in mind the rules of discussion: remain civil, don't make personal attacks, don't change other people's posts, and sign your comments with four tildes (~~~~), which produces your name with timestamp. Also keep in mind the purpose of this page. There are various other discussion rooms which may serve the idea behind your questions better. Please take a look to see which is most appropriate.

Sometimes discussion identifies an issue as an idea for policy development or rewriting. Such discussions may be taken out of the Beer parlour to a relevant page, or a brand new page may be created. Usually, the active policy pages will be listed in one of the sections below. See also the policy development page and the votes page.

Questions and answers will not remain on this page indefinitely, as it would very soon become too long to be editable. After a period of time with no further activity (usually a couple of weeks), information will be moved to the archives. We make a point to preserve all discussions that were started here in the archives. However, talk that is clearly not intended for this page may be moved and will not end up in the archives. Enjoy the Beer parlour!

Beer parlour archives +/-


September 2014[edit]

English plural nouns: agreement and countability[edit]

We tell our users what is mostly obvious by inspection, that a noun is plural in form. The only significant information that is provided is that there is no singular form, which information is sometimes false.

I would expect that it would be more useful to a learner of English would be to know what form of verbs was used for agreement in number and whether the noun was countable, which indicates which set of determiners it would be used with.

  1. Apart from the work involved, is there any reason not to try to provide this information?
  2. Is there any reason for this information not to be on the inflection line?

If we can agree to the answers to these simple questions, then it should be possible to emend {{en-plural noun}} and/or {{en-noun}} appropriately. {{en-plural noun}} is transcluded in 1454 times in principal namespace and probably should be used in additional existing entries. This may overlap in some cases with the separate phenomenon of British/Commonwealth English requiring that a noun like team take a plural form of verbs for agreement. DCDuring TALK 15:05, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Responding to your last sentence first, the British use of "team (etc) are" vs the American use of " team (etc) is" seems like a general grammatical phenomenon, perhaps not worth mentioning in individual words' entries. If one inverts a new word, e.g. the country name "Triceleuden", I expect it will be adapted to the existing grammar and hence a Brit will report sporting news as "Triceleuden face Australia in their next match" while an American will say "Triceleuden faces Australia".
Some entries do mention whether they take singular or plural verbs, in varying ways: feces, data, dramatics, bobby socks, grits. I agree that indicating the "verb number preference" of plural-only nous would be useful. Grits and data show why the information cannot always be on the inflection / headword line, and feces shows how the information may be too long to fit into a sense-line {{label}}. Perhaps we could use sense-line labels and just expand on them in the usage notes when necessary, though. Regalia is an example of a plural-only noun that seems to take singular verbs and plural verbs in even measure. - -sche (discuss) 16:28, 1 September 2014 (UTC)

Chinese Medicine Entries[edit]

There are hundreds of entries for Chinese medicinal preparations that nobody seems to be aware of. They go beyond encyclopedic into a level of detail that Wikipedia doesn't touch. To illustrate the magnitude of the phenomenon, here's the "definition" for 二十五味珊瑚丸:

  1. A reddish-brown pill used in traditional Tibetan medicine to "promote the restoration of consciousness, promote blood circulation and relieve pain, when there are symptoms that include unconsciousness, numbness of body, dizziness, headache, abnormal blood pressure, epilepsy and cranial neuralgia".

Ershiwuwei Shanhu pills have the following herbal ingredients:

Name Chinese (S) Grams
Qingjinshi 青金石 20
Os Corallii 珊瑚 75
Margarita 珍珠 15
Concha Margaritifera 珍珠母 50
Fructus Chebulae 诃子 100
Radix Aucklandiae 木香 60
Flos Carthami 红花 80
Flos Caryophylli 丁香 35
Lignum Aquilariae Resinatum 沉香 70
Cinnabaris 硃砂 30
Os Draconis 龙骨 40
Calamina 炉甘石 25
Naoshi 鱼脑石 25
Magnetitum 磁石 25
Limonitum 禹余粮 25
Semen Sesami 白芝麻 40
Fructus Lagenariae 壶芦 30
Flos Asteris 野冬菊 45
Herba Swertiae Bimaculatae 獐牙菜 80
Rhizoma Acori Calami 白菖 50
Radix Aconiti Preparata 制川乌 45
Herba Chrysanthemi Tatsiiensis 打箭薹草 75
Radix Glycyrrhizae 甘草 75
Stigma Croci 红花 25
Moschus 麝香 2

二十五 is Chinese for 25, and, not coincidentally, there are 25 ingredients listed. Though it's no doubt got more ingredients in the list than most of these entries, there are hundreds of them. DCDuring has added hyperlinks to some of the Latin, but other than that, a look at the edit history shows no one but the creator of the entry and some bots, and that seems to be the norm.

I may be wrong, but I think someone listing the names and amount of the ingredients for various standardized foods or beverages would be reverted pretty quickly, but these have been there for half a decade. The question is: do we want to have different standards for entries that no one cares about? Chuck Entz (talk) 07:35, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Most of those articles need to be deleted. Only the ingredients themselves warrant inclusion. Wyang (talk) 09:57, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Other than the fact that the tables are not WT:ELE compliant, what exactly is wrong with the entries? The items on all the tables are meronyms of the headwords, with quantification. I know that EncycloPetey has expressed a linguistic interest in Chinese herbal medicine. I have become convinced that the meronyms are themselves not necessarily SoP as they are often short names for ingredients more specific than the names would suggest, either in the species involved, in the form, or the manner of preparation. The large literature on Chinese herbal medicine makes it highly likely that all of the terms involved, headwords and meronyms, are attestable. The subject matter is basically irrelevant to inclusion.
It seems to me that all of the entries with the tables would be worth some effort to bring into greater conformity with WT:ELE and would otherwise be subject to the same RfV and RfD as other entries.
I would also appreciate views about whether "radix Aconiti preparata", as used in Chinese or English works on herbal medicine, are or might be likely to be entry-worthy or, if not, why. DCDuring TALK 13:41, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Here is a list of them:
These are not considered words by Chinese dictionaries. Apart from SoPness, problems also include: 1) lack of creator's knowledge in Chinese. Many of these entries have been fixed over the years, but numerous mistakes are still present. For example, this nonsense entry 发育迟缓 ("growth retardation"). 2) incorrect formatting. Most of these fall into Category:Chinese terms with uncreated forms, and have weird formatting errors (eg. nonstandard use of the hanzi box, initial or trailing spaces in Pinyin, hidden characters in title). Wyang (talk) 23:50, 2 September 2014 (UTC)
Which ones should be RfDed? Which ones have something that can be saved (ie, should be RfCed)? I would like to at least harvest the taxonomic species or genera referred to in the tables. The English or "Medical Latin" terms seem attestable and not necessary SoP, as they are used as units. DCDuring TALK 02:28, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Arabic transliteration module enabled, a minor change needed, verb header template needs work[edit]

(Notifying Benwing, Wikitiki89, ZxxZxxZ, Mahmudmasri): I have just added Arabic transliteration module Module:ar-translit to Module:languages/data2 to allow automatic transliteration, which is now enabled in all templates, which use automatic transliterations. It's not added to Module:links, so the manual transliteration is not overridden. It's a good time to change Arabic verb template {{ar-verb}}. As most verbs use full diacritics and it would be much easier, if the manual transliteration is removed, all missing diacritics checked, when the template starts using the automatic transliteration. It works fine in most cases. We need to make "showI3raab" default to show case and verb conjugation endings. As was previously agreed, we don't need word stresses for Arabic words, so a fully vocalised word نَزَفَ (nazafa) should be transliterated as "nazafa", not "nazaf" (missing iʿrāb ending) or "názafa" (stress mark). (I should mention, if it's not obvious that the module is supposed to be used on a fully or partially vocalised forms, i.e. with diacritics, which are normally unwritten in a running Arabic text). You're doing a great job, Benwing, thanks! --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:28, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

You're welcome.
Can you give an example of templates that use automatic transliterations? In the case of {{ar-verb}}, can you point to a verb where this translation happens? Will it happen if you remove the manual transliteration?
I'm all for making "showI3raab" the default; if no one objects I'll go ahead and do this.
Also (Notifying Lo Ximiendo): I haven't done much with {{ar-verb}} so far. I think it should be rewritten entirely so that it basically takes the same params as {{ar-conj}} and makes use of the same code. That would obviate the need for explicitly writing out the perfect and imperfect verb forms and would automatically supply the right vowels and such. This should be retrofitted into the existing params, which I think is possible. What this means is that form I verbs need only the form and past and non-past vowels specified, and augmented (non-form-I) verbs need only the form specified (the radicals are inferred from the headword; the few cases where ambiguity exists all involve weak radicals i.e. و or ي, and as it happens the call to {{ar-verb}} already specifies the radicals in these cases, e.g. in تسلى where III=و is specified, see below). The form is already present in the call to {{ar-verb}} but the past/non-past vowels aren't; however, this isn't an issue if the verb forms are manually given (which they are, currently), and we can arrange things so that there's a category containing form-I verbs whose call to {{ar-verb}} is missing the past or non-past vowels, so they'll eventually be fixed. For augmented (non-form-I) verbs, I'm thinkingwe should actually ignore the parameters specifying verb forms, because of cases like تسلى, which has a call to {{ar-verb}} declared as {{ar-verb|III=و|form=5|tr=tasallā|impf=يتسلى|impftr=yatasallā}} with missing vowel diacritics. Module:ar-verb will correctly generate the verb forms on its own: it currently handles all "regular" verbs and almost all of the very few truly irregular verbs, and if any cases come up where it doesn't work properly, just fix the module. (A more conservative approach is to check to see whether the diacritics are present and use the manually specified verb form if so.) I don't have time to work on this now, so Anatoli if you're interested in working on it, go ahead. Benwing (talk) 04:49, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
I have just updated نَزَفَ (nazafa) (and the verbal noun), which now uses automatic transliteration ("showI3raab" is currently off), so it now automatically shows "nazaf", instead of "nazafa". Note that imperfect forms only need one parameters - the form with diacritics, |impfhead=يَنْزِفُ is not necessary, neither is |impftr= (inflected forms are not transliterated in the headword. The entry got into Category:Arabic terms lacking transliteration, which should probably be removed from {{ar-verb}}. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:25, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Re: templates using automatic transliteration: {{t}}, {{l}}, {{term}}, headword templates, etc. One problem with that is that if a term is missing both manual transliteration and diacritics, it will transliterate incorrectly, e.g. نزف is, as you can see is just "nzf". Various Arabic translations using {{t}} or {{t+}} will now have wrong transliterations. Someone may complain about this. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:32, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the intention is clearly that the imperfect is translated in the headword. The call to {{ar-verb}} passes in the |impftr= param as {{head}} param |f1tr=, but this is (no longer?) supported. I think this intention is correct. Benwing (talk) 05:49, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
(You must have meant transliterated in the headword). It's no longer supported. I posted on the GP discussion you started. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:01, 3 September 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry, I meant transliterated. Benwing (talk) 06:11, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

Swedish entries give glosses rather than translations[edit]

The entry for malm, for example, has, among other definitions:

(archaic) an alloy consisting of copper, zinc, lead and some tin (archaic) the geological period of late Jurassic (archaic) a hill or ridge consisting of sand or gravel

Unless these are specifically terms for which there is no English equivalent, these should be translations rather than glosses - for example, the first looks as if it should simply be "bronze".

I've looked at several other Swedish entries and they seem to give translations, so this may be an isolated example after all.

Grants to improve your project[edit]

Greetings! The Individual Engagement Grants program is accepting proposals for funding new experiments from September 1st to 30th. Your idea could improve Wikimedia projects with a new tool or gadget, a better process to support community-building on your wiki, research on an important issue, or something else we haven't thought of yet. Whether you need $200 or $30,000 USD, Individual Engagement Grants can cover your own project development time in addition to hiring others to help you.

Four RfV topics to clear 2013.[edit]

If we can settle the four oldest RfV issues, we'll have 2013 cleared off of that board. Any takers? bd2412 T 20:01, 3 September 2014 (UTC)

returning nil in Module:ar-translit when vowel diacritics not available?[edit]

Now that we've turned on automatic transliteration for Arabic, one issue is that not all words have the vowel diacritics supplied, leading to incorrect transliterations. One possibility is to check for this, and return nil when encountering a word that isn't completely vocalized (with an exception made for vowels omitted on the last letter of a word). Some questions:

  1. Will this work? What happens in general when a transliteration module returns nil?
  2. Is this a good idea?
  3. Is this the right place to ask a question like this (apologies to Wikitiki89)?

Benwing (talk) 05:18, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

Maybe @Wyang: can help? You made the Korean transliterate hangeul 공부하다 (gongbuhada), while hanja is not transliterated: 工夫? (工夫하다 (工夫hada) should also be nil, IMO)
Nil shouldn't transliterate anything, like with language for which automatic transliteration is not enabled, e.g. Hindi, Hebrew, if there is no manual tranliteration. Most Arabic entries have manual transliterations, they shouldn't be removed, before vowel diacritics are added, that's all. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:39, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
This probably should be a WT:GP question. But to address the question itself, I was actually thinking that we should do the exact same thing. User:CodeCat would know if it does what we want it to do. I was thinking further that if any letter where a diacritic is expected does not have one, then we should return nil. For example بَني would return nil because a diacritic is expected on the ن to distinguish بَنِي from بَنَيْ, and دَم would return nil because the iʿrāb is not specified. But لَا would not return nil because no diacritic is expected on the ʾalif. --WikiTiki89 19:32, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
My thought was to allow final consonants without iʿrāb (which is frequently omitted in otherwise properly vocalized nouns), and to allow a few other cases where things are unambiguous even without diacritics -- specifically, alif or tā' marbuṭa with missing fatḥa before it. This is not intended to encourage people to write things like this but to handle existing usage like كاتِب, which is written as such in the كاتب entry and can be unambiguously transliterated as kātib. (Sorry if this is drifting into an Arabic-specific discussion again.) Benwing (talk) 20:52, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
But doing that would be a way to catch all existing cases and fix them. --WikiTiki89 21:31, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
This is true. I guess it comes down to a compromise between current usefulness and usefulness in fixing. Since I don't see any people currently offering to go fix all the (thousands of) existing cases needing fixing, I'd rather have the iʿrāb-less transliterations there. If someone wants to fix the iʿrāb, they can edit Module:ar-translit and temporarily comment out the lines that allow iʿrāb-less transliterations (there's a comment indicating where to do this). Ideally there would be a way of allowing iʿrāb-less transliterations while still marking them but I don't see how to do it.
BTW in case it's not clear I did implement returning nil on unvocalized text. Hopefully I did it correctly. So far all the places I can find that should have transliterations do. Benwing (talk) 08:07, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
If a transliteration module returns nil, it's equivalent to having no transliteration module at all. —CodeCat 19:34, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Can we somehow tag it with a category such as Category:Arabic terms lacking transliteration? --WikiTiki89 19:45, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
How would Module:headword know that a transliteration is needed? —CodeCat 20:37, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Any time a call to the transliteration module returns nil, it should be inserted into a category indicating this, perhaps Category:Arabic terms lacking vocalization; presumably this would be language-specific (for Arabic, maybe Hebrew as well and other languages using Arabic script) or script-specific. Module:links should also do this; it in fact already inserts categories like Category:Terms with manual transliterations different from the automated ones. Benwing (talk) 20:52, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I think Category:Arabic terms lacking transliteration makes more sense, since it would be difficult for Module:headword to infer the reason for the transliteration failure. This would only apply to Arabic, not other Arabic-script languages, since most of them do not have vocalization systems. --WikiTiki89 21:31, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I think we should be able to make this more general. After all, we really want transliterations for any language not written in Latin script, right? Whether it's generated or manually supplied is not even relevant, as long as it's there. So maybe we could apply this general rule: if the term is written in a script that is not Latn, Latinx or varieties, then if there is no transliteration, add a category to request one. That way we don't have to make it specific to Arabic. —CodeCat 21:50, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Did I ever say "Let's make it specific to Arabic so that other languages can't take advantage of this useful feature."? Anyway, jokes aside, I agree, if there is no transliteration then it should be placed in a category, whether it's a headword or just a link. But, I think that if {{{2}}} is specified, then the category should not be added, and we need some language-specific exceptions such as for Serbo-Croatian. --WikiTiki89 21:54, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I also think this is a good idea. CodeCat, could you take a crack at this when you have a chance? I can't do it myself since Module:links is locked. Benwing (talk) 08:07, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Bracketed ellipses and widowing[edit]

A week or so ago I fell sick and faced a time of lassitude and confinement. To counter or alleviate this I decided to undertake a detailed but repetitive Wiktionary project that had suggested itself during my normal occupation of adding quotations to senses, a project that could be done with a dull mind, and sitting up in bed.
 I had noticed that Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy was frequently and justifiably quoted in various entries, but also that the quotations varied in details and only occasionally (and sometimes wrongly) linked to the two directly relevant Wikipedia entries. So I created a template (Template:RQ:RBrtn AntmyMlncly) to use in sense headings. I've recently finished (I think), and there were over 400 quotations.
 As is my habit, I occasionally made what I saw as minor changes, such as adding full stops (periods) at the end of sense definitions, and making leading letters in those definitions upper case if needed. After I had been doing the project for a few days I became aware that one of the most frequent problems I was fixing was potential widowing. Because of a background in the printing industry going back to the early '50s and the days of moveable type, this was not a minor problem to me. I'll explain.
 A widow, as I was taught it, was several possible things. A line widow, as it was told to me, was the first or last line of a paragraph placed on a separate page from the rest of the paragraph. And this was considered unutterably evil if a word was split by hyphenation across the pages. Of course, in the days of moveable type this could very easily be fixed before the flong was flung. But there are widows at the letter level if mistakes are made in the typesetting, particularly with punctuation because punctuation usually needs to be juxtaposed to a word. These were avoided automatically by typesetters and simple ones are nowadays usually avoided by formnatting software. And line widows are irrelevant to the Wiktionary as running text is not split between separated pages; Keys such as PgUp and PgDn move text on the screen.
 However, the widowing that I became aware of was particular to quotations related to the bracketed ellipses (hereinafter simply called ellipses). It looks as if the {{...}} template was introduced to make ellipses easy to key in. This is just fine if the ellipsis is simply a gap between words, but there is a problem: if the ellipsis is at the end of a sentence or quotation then it needs to be followed by a full stop (period). Unfortunately for the full stop, {{...}} puts a simple space in the display on either side of the ellipsis.
 That it looks bad is not the major problem, which is that the full stop will be split off if it won't fit onto the end of the line, and worse still if the split happens at the end of a quotation. Ordinary users of the Wiktionary will have different line widths, so some would see it even if most wouldn't. Not quite so bad, but bad enough, is the effect of the simple space put in front of the ellipsis which can split the ellipsis from the text it follows, which has a bad effect on the aesthetics and a bit of burden for the readability.

  I have been criticised for making my modifications to avoid these problems and have had some undone. What I am asking for here is to have agreement that something should be done about the problems like the ones I have outlined. If agreement is reached, I suggest that what should be done is to create three new templates
(1) {{..,}} to leave off the trailing blank of the ellipsis,
(2) {{,..}} to replace the leading blank of the ellipsis with a non-breaking space ( ),
(3) {{,.,}} to combine the above two actions.
Note that it would be a mistake to use (1) to add a full stop to the ellipsis as the omission will also be needed for other punctuation, such as the comma.

I've tried to look for what's in the {{...}} template, but have got lost, perhaps because of my medical state, which continues. If something can be done very quickly I would be extremely grateful, as I would like to use another similar project to lighten my oncoming days. — ReidAA (talk) 10:06, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

(First of all, thanks for your work on finding the quotations.) Personally I don't at all like seeing the &.amp; &.hellip; &.nbsp; stuff floating around in an entry (I see you've even used it to format your comments here) and I think it hinders editing. Almost the only one I ever use is &.mdash; and that's because I get tired of having to open Character Map to find the literal symbol. Anyway: IMO, if we need to fix this "widow" problem at all (has anyone else been upset by it, or even noticed it?), then Wiktionary's markup is not the correct place to fix it. It sounds more like something that should be addressed by the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) standard, surely...? Equinox 10:16, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I must plead guilty to sometimes using &.amp; in place of an ampersand and always use &.#0133; in place of an ellipsis - on the assumption (maybe mistaken) that these characters might not show up correctly on some machines. Should I desist? — Saltmarshαπάντηση 10:54, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I would greatly appreciate any advice on how to achieve the effect of a non-breaking space using CSS. Specifically, I would like to replace many instance of &.nbsp;- with something less intimidating to potential contributors. In the application I have in mind all instances of a dash in a piece of text (a line with no line-breaks other than those imposed by the width of the frame) would warrant such treatment. DCDuring TALK 13:13, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
This discussion seems to be straying from the requests that I started this discussion with. Let me start again with a different tack.
  Someone wrote the (presumably very simple) {{...}} template that seems to have had wide acceptance, probably both by those like me who are concerned with presentation details, and those who are put off by plain HTML code, at least such as uses ampersands.  Furthermore I have been told that the Wikimedia software has trouble handling the directly coded […] ([…]) so that I should use the template, and I have been doing so when no widowing is threatened.
  If there are others like me concerned with presentation effects, and if it would be a simple task for someone with the requisite knowledge to create the three new templates I suggest, what objection is there to creating them so that concerned contributing editors like myself could improve the presentation as we go along making other contributions?  What effect would there be on editors who are not worried about widows?  My work here suggests to me that there is a hell of a lot of such tidying to be done. — ReidAA (talk) 23:07, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure that I did this right, but it seems to work. It substitutes a nonbreaking space for what turned out to be an ordinary space. Try it: {{nb...}}. Frankly, if it works, it would seem to be preferred to the original. I can't see why it would ever be right to risk having the [...] widowed. DCDuring TALK 23:26, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I tried it by simply putting {{nb..}} into an entry I was working on, but it gave an error. Is there something special I need to code to get to your brave attempt? And, yes, I agree about it being better than the original. I can't offhand think of any case where the change would cause problems. — ReidAA (talk) 00:05, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@ReidAA: It is {{nb...}}, not {{nb..}}. If you typed it in with three dots and got an error, leave it there and let me know the entry. DCDuring TALK 00:46, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Not needed; I took it out when it didn't work.  But, I would prefer the shorter name for elegance; or how about {{nb.}}? — ReidAA (talk) 01:04, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@ReidAA: I'd like to understand in which situations it goes wrong. Maybe I could fix it. DCDuring TALK 01:12, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
This addressed your second requested item. But why not eliminate the trailing space for all cases? What harm could come of having the leading space always be a non-breaking space? DCDuring TALK 23:31, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately there is a lot of existing code that relies on the trailing space being added. Oh, and I agree about the leading space. — ReidAA (talk) 00:05, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@ReidAA: I removed the trailing space for {{nb...}}. The impression I get is that most uses of {{...}} have additional leading and trailing space inserted by users after the template. The wiki software renders the two spaces, one from the user the other from the template as one. I think the problematic entries that would exist if we were to substitute {{nb...}} for {{...}} would be of two kinds. 1., The kind with no space rendered after the template could be found by search for  [] followed by a letter. This wouldn't be so bad for the basic Latin script, but the search would also have to take place for other letters and symbols in other scripts. 2., The kind with an extra space before would need some kind of bot to eliminate the extra breaking space, but the extra space is not very annoying to me. Can you find the extra space on this paragraph? DCDuring TALK 00:24, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@DCDuring: I put two responses in last time; I think you might have overlooked the first.
  Indeed a lot of editors include both leading and trailing spaces with their ellipsis template invocation, but there are also a helluva lot who don't.  Hullo, hullo, I've just noticed that your template has three dots; in my trial I only used two.  When I've finished here I'll go and try again.  Wouldn't the extra preceding breaking space your refer to potentially widow the ellipsis?  Or have I misunderstood you?  Incidentally, I've just imitated your ping at the start of this response.  Is this supplementary or alternative to the watch this page button? — ReidAA (talk) 00:57, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Well, it works, thanks very much indeed.  When will it be alright for me to start using it?  Do you agree with me about the shorter name(s) though? — ReidAA (talk) 01:14, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
{{ping}} is additional. It lights up the number next to your username at the top of the page. I don't remember if it works across projects.
If we replace insert the altered code into {{...}}, there would be a lot of cleanup to do.
I'd like to keep this five-keystroke name until I know we can't improve it. Your suggestions seem fine, but this might warrant more attention, perhaps at the grease pit.
{{nb...}} should be used without a user-added leading space to avoid the line-break. The user controls what happens after the {{nb...}}. It is by no means idiot-proof.
You could start using it now. It is really fairly simple, probably low risk. If something goes wrong, — stop using it, undo it, and let me know the entry where it went wrong. DCDuring TALK 01:26, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Then I shall start using it right away.  My tests suggest to me that, since I understand it well (I think), there will be no problems.  My very small experience with RQ templates included the (somewhat obscure) creation of documentation to go with them.  Your code for nb... looks very opaque to me, but would you like me to try to create documentation for its use?  Again, thanks very much for your cooperation and work. — ReidAA
It is not really my code. All I did, starting from a copy of {{...}}, was substitute a nonbreaking space for the ordinary space at the leading position and delete the trailing space. I really couldn't have started from scratch. DCDuring TALK 04:31, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Well done. I'll put some documentation together in a little while and let you know. — ReidAA (talk) 04:36, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Template documentation added at Template:nb.../documentation. You might like to look it over and improve it. — ReidAA (talk) 07:00, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@ReidAA: I added Category:Text format templates to both {{nb...}} and {{...}} and referenced {{nb...}} in the documentation for {{...}}. There might be some now-unnecessary CSS stuff in {{nb...}}. DCDuring TALK 13:02, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Thanks very much.  Great work!  And I've found it useful several times already. — ReidAA (talk) 23:20, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Proto-Hellenic and Proto-Greek[edit]

Although we tend to think of Greek as a single language, it's actually a family of languages, and those languages have a common ancestor. According to Wikipedia, what is reconstructed as "Proto-Greek" usually includes all Hellenic dialects, including Mycenaean, but not the rather divergent Ancient Macedonian. One noticeable point of early divergence in AM is that the aspirates have voiced reflexes in some cases in AM while they are always devoiced in the rest of Hellenic. Unless Mycenaean underwent a re-voicing, this would have to indicate that their common ancestor still had voiced aspirates as they were inherited from Proto-Indo-European.

So this would mean that a hypothetical Proto-Hellenic, including Macedonian, would have to have voiced aspirates, while Proto-Hellenic-minus-Macedonian would have voiceless aspirates. The problem is how to define the Hellenic language family, and how people reconstruct it. Wikipedia notes that people may or may not include Macedonian in the reconstruction, but generally do not. Of course, if we include such reconstructions, we can't really call them "Proto-Hellenic" because they're missing one branch. So what should we call them? If we call them "Proto-Greek", then we would need to invent a new language family for the non-Macedonian branch of the Hellenic languages, make up a name for it (if we use "Greek" it would cause confusion with the language) and also a code. —CodeCat 23:28, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Is there really that much consensus that Macedonian shares a common ancestor with Greek later than PIE? I would say we should treat Proto-Hellenic as identical to Proto-Greek and leave Macedonian out of it altogether to be on the safe side. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:01, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
I think there is a fair consensus, at least judging by Wikipedia sourcing. But after having looked at it, there are some common innovations that appear to show that if it wasn't Greek, it was closely allied with it. At the very least, it was still similar enough to Greek that it took part in common sound changes, such as the loss of -y- intervocalically and the change of final -m to -n. w:Ancient Macedonian language shows various classifications that have been made over time. To me, the first and last proposals are the most plausible, and note that some sources call the combination of Greek + Macedonian "Greco-Macedonian" while others call it "Hellenic". So we have to make sure we check how each source understands the terms "Greek" and "Hellenic" before using them as references. In any case, if we do treat Proto-Hellenic as not including AM, then we also need to change the family of AM because it's currently included in Category:Hellenic languages. —CodeCat 13:12, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
I've written a basic draft for Wiktionary:About Proto-Hellenic. Can other editors review it and comment on it? —CodeCat 12:30, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh look - even more legitimate etymologies vandalized by CodeCat's original research. Will this nightmare ever end? --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 18:08, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
Oh look, even more personal attacks from Ivan. Will this nightmare ever end? —CodeCat 19:59, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
CodeCat, what are your sources for reconstructions like *éhər. Also, how is it useful? All its content can be presented at ἔαρ (éar) without duplication. --Vahag (talk) 20:18, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Angr that we should not distinguish Proto-Hellenic from Proto-Greek. Wikipedia does not seem to support such a distinction, specifically noting in w:Hellenic languages that most researchers consider them identical. This could happen either if Ancient Macedonian is considered to be a descendant of Proto-Greek or to be outside Proto-Hellenic entirely. The Wikipedia page on w:Ancient Macedonian language describes it as a dialect of Northwest Greek (i.e. a Proto-Greek descendant) but also notes that it's not well-attested. The supposed need for a distinct Proto-Hellenic hangs from a pretty thin thread, IMO -- one single sound change (which Wikipedia identifies as happening "sometimes") in a barely-attested language along with a clear lack of scholarly consensus. As a result I really think that it needlessly complicates the picture to create a Proto-Hellenic separate from Proto-Greek, which is going to have identical reconstructions to Proto-Greek except for mechanically substituting voiceless aspirates with something else. If you want to include AM forms, you should probably just list them under Proto-Greek.
As for the sound changes themselves, there's nothing a priori impossible about a revoicing of aspirates to voiced stops, i.e. there's not really any strong evidence that AM wasn't a Greek dialect. And your examples of common sound changes between AM and Greek don't rule out AM being outside of Proto-Hellenic: The loss of intervocalic -y- and change of -m to -n could easily be areal phenomena, or simply independent changes, esp. -m to -n, which occurred in many different IE branches. Benwing (talk) 21:32, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The w:Proto-Greek page lists several sound changes that must have occurred after Grassmann's law, and the devoicing of aspirates is one of them. AM didn't appear to have aspirates (or at least they weren't written for us to see?), so it seems that this important identifying feature of Greek did not affect AM. It also implies that any pre-stage of Proto-Greek that would include voiced aspirates would also lack Grassmann's law, as well as palatalization, so it would be much closer phonologically to PIE; basically PIE minus laryngeals. —CodeCat 21:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)
The devoicing of aspirates occurred before Grassmann's Law. And the list you present isn't necessarily chronological (BTW I wrote most of that list). But I don't see what any of this has to do with whether there should be separate Proto-Hellenic reconstructions, which I don't think makes sense. And as I said before there's no evidence that AM's voiced sounds weren't secondary or due to substrate influence or whatever. Benwing (talk) 02:27, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Italic and transliterations[edit]


I noticed that in the section of translations and for the headline, transliterations are not in italic, while they are in the section of etymology. It's not very important but I'm curious: is there a reason to that? Thanks by advance. — Automatik (talk) 02:00, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

That's odd- I see the opposite (удар (udar) (no italic), удар (udar) (italic)). DTLHS (talk) 02:14, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Sorry, my mistake. I fixed it. — Automatik (talk) 04:08, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Layout of IPA in the editing tools[edit]

Currently there doesn't seem to be a very clear method to how the IPA characters are arranged in the edit tools (below the edit window). This makes many of the characters hard to find as you basically have to look through the whole list, sometimes several times. So I'd like to propose that the characters be arranged in the standard IPA table format, like on WT:IPA but perhaps more compact. —CodeCat 13:45, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Certainly more compact; there's no need to include the IPA characters that are also basic ASCII characters. (I believe that set consists entirely of the 26 lowercase letters of the English alphabet.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:03, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Then there would just be gaps in the table. We might as well include them if the space goes unused otherwise. —CodeCat 15:37, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
The most helpful layout for a non-linguist editor would be per language: letters in alphabetical order, the IPA symbol immediately after each letter. E.g. for Hungarian: Aa /ɒ/ Áá /aː/ Bb /b/ Cc /t͡s/ Cscs /t͡ʃ/, etc. Since there are more than 1500 languages in this wiki, this might be a very long list in the drop-down, but this could be solved if editors could select a small number of alphabets to appear in the drop-down; the ones they are actually using, let's say between 1 and 15. This could be added to the preferences. --Panda10 (talk) 16:35, 7 September 2014 (UTC)
Surely people who are editing in a language are at least able to name the script it uses? —CodeCat 17:09, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Automatic pronunciation templates[edit]

We now have a fair number of templates that automatically generate pronunciation information in IPA based on the spelling of the headword and/or an orthographic representation given as a template parameter. The ones I'm aware of are:

There may be others; not all of the above are included in Category:Pronunciation templates, so maybe there are more that aren't there. (There's also {{fa-pron}}, which doesn't actually give pronunciation information, and {{liv-IPA}} which requires manual input of IPA rather than generating it automatically.) If you know of others that I haven't listed above, please add them.

The first problem is that these templates are not all gathered into a single category. Is Category:Pronunciation templates sufficient, or should there be a more specific category like Automatically generated pronunciation templates for them?

The second problem is that there is no uniformity of naming. Some are called "xy-pronunc", some are called "xy-IPA" (or "xy-ipa"), some are called "xy-pron" (particularly bad since other templates called "xy-pron" are headword line templates for pronouns), and some have "-auto" appended to the end. Ideally, there should be a uniform name for these; my preference is for "xy-pronunc", but what do others think? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:55, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

I think we should name them {{xx-IPA}}. This resolves the pronoun problem and leaves room for the theoretical possibility of counterparts outputting something other than IPA. --WikiTiki89 13:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Some IPA templates names differ in usage, e.g. Korean {{ko-pron}} is to display the user written IPA and {{ko-pron/auto}} is automatic. (There are also a number of templates for Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Min Nan, etc.) and a Japanese template, which weren't listed above.) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:54, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Also {{fa-pronunciation}} (takes transliteration as input; not Lua-ized) --Z 08:54, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
I have made the following moves so at least the Luacized templates are consistently named:
Two languages that automatic IPA templates ought to be easy to write modules for (but not by me since I don't know how to write modules) are Finnish and Hungarian. Anyone feel like writing modules and creating {{fi-IPA}} and {{hu-IPA}} to invoke them? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:01, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
I've considered writing a module for Slovene, but for that language we would also want to display the tonal diacritic/respelled form. Naming it "IPA" would not be appropriate in that case. —CodeCat 15:32, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah; as Wikitiki says, using "-IPA" for the ones that do generate IPA allows the option of having some other name for the ones that don't (or the ones that generate other things in addition to IPA). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:56, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

Workshop: Greek and Latin in an Age of Open Data[edit]

This event, at the University of Leipzig in December, may be of interest: Workshop: Greek and Latin in an Age of Open Data. It would be good to have somebody there to represent and speak about Wiktionary and Wikidata. Pigsonthewing (talk) 16:00, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

ORCID and other identifiers[edit]

People who edit Wiktionary should be able to show w:ORCID (and other forms of w:Authority Control, such as w:VIAF) on their user pages, as explained at w:WP:ORCID.

The template d:Template:Authority Control allows this. Can someone with the relevant bit please use Special:Import to import it and all its sub-templates (or set the bit, temporarily, to allow me to do so)? I'll then be happy to do the documentation and set up some examples. Pigsonthewing (talk) 16:15, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

@Pigsonthewing: Assuming you meant w:Template:Authority control (d:Template:Authority Control doesn't seem to exist), I imported it to Template:authority control. However, I didn't want to import the complex modules it depended on — like (apparently) w:Module:Arguments, which is probably written according to different coding conventions than are used here, and possibly also redundant to things here — and the template was being waaay more complex than it needed to be by depending on modules, anyway, so I simplified it dramatically. If someone wants to prettify it a bit so that parameters which are not set simply don't display, rather than displaying "—", they can feel free to do that. - -sche (discuss) 02:34, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, - -sche. I actually meant d:Template:Authority control (lower-case "c"). Your version has removed both the links to articles about the authority control type (like w:VIAF, w:ORCID, but also to the authority control databases, (like https://viaf.org/viaf/70042340 and http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5882-6823 ). For a comparison, look at my user page here, and on en.WP. Please will you look to importing the Wikidata template instead, which has the latter links, and a version of the former (which I will then update), and hides empty parameters? Pigsonthewing (talk) 21:10, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: Ah, I see. Well, I didn't notice this before, but it seems that en.Wiktionary cannot import pages from Wikidata. (Compare how en.WP cannot import pages from en.Wiktionary.) The wikis which our Special:Import is configured to allow importation from are w, b, s, q, v, n, commons, and a long list of other-language Wiktionaries. I can think of a couple of ways around this. One is to get approval for en.Wikt to import Wikidata pages; I suppose the avenue for that would be bugzilla. Another is to copy whatever revision of the Wikidata template you want, using your edit summary to explain what you were doing and to direct users to see the Wikidata page for its history and contributors. - -sche (discuss) 22:54, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
@-sche: Thanks; in that case, I'll do the latter (I was just hoping to preserve the edit histories). Before I do, would you like to delete your imports, or shall I just overwrite them? Pigsonthewing (talk) 18:05, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
You can just overwrite them. - -sche (discuss) 18:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
@-sche: OK, that's done; see Template:authority control. I'm out of time now, but tomorrow I will work on the documentation, examples and styling. In the meantime, please see the instance on my user page. Pigsonthewing (talk) 21:03, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


The template is now working. It can be styled horizontally (like on Wikipedia - see my user page on en.WP) or left as it is. To do the former, we'd need to copy the rules for the class hlist from en.WP's Common.css

Next, we need to think about how to encourage contributors to display their authority control IDs on their user pages; and if appropriate to register for an ORCID identifier. How can I get a line added to Wiktionary:News for editors? Pigsonthewing (talk) 15:11, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

I've solicited others' input on whether to copy en.WP's hlist rules or not.
I can add a blurb to WT:NFE. What should it say? "Template:authority control exists and allows users to specify their authority control numbers." ?
- -sche (discuss) 20:10, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Requests for verification of pronunciation[edit]

Occasionally I come across entries where I suspect the pronunciation listed is erroneous. Where can I request verification of suspect pronunciations? We have Wiktionary:Requests for verification but that seems to be for verifying meanings only, not for verifying pronunciations. —Psychonaut (talk) 14:18, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

All I can think of is to use the {{attention}} tag, or take a specific issue to the Tea room. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:48, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
We have {{rfv-pronunciation}}. —CodeCat 16:58, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Which categorizes entries into "Category:Xyz entries needing reference", but AFAICT all such categories are red. Category:English entries needing reference is at any rate, and adding {{poscatboiler|en|entries needing reference}} creates an error. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:13, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
They haven't been created yet because there's a discussion at WT:RFM about what to name them. Please join in! —CodeCat 13:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
The trouble with joining in that conversation is that I don't care what they're named as long as a name gets picked soon. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:33, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
I think I'll just create the categories for now, and delete them once a conclusion is reached. That way things aren't left hanging in the air while people decide. —CodeCat 19:25, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Change in renaming process[edit]

-- User:Keegan (WMF) (talk) 16:22, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Sant Bhasha[edit]

Apparently, a user that goes by the username Bhvintri (talkcontribs) says/claims that the word ਸੋਚੈ is of a language called Sant Bhasha. Should we make a code and category for such a language? --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 19:31, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

Can we wait for someone to comment before deleting the entries? DTLHS (talk) 00:56, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of this discussion, and the user kept creating more of them. I deleted them to try to limit the damage as every single one of them was badly formatted, and in any case we'd need to update them all if a code is assigned. —CodeCat 01:08, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
The Wikipedia article (w:Sant Bhasha) seems a bit confused about what this really is: is it a lingua franca, a conlang, or a grab bag of various similar lects used to communicate between members of a particular stratum of society who otherwise don't speak the same languages? Chuck Entz (talk) 02:51, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Literally, it means "Saint language". I had not heard of it before, but I believe it is like the Slavic esperanto that any group of people who come from each of the Slavic-speaking countries (Russian, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belorusia, Bulgaria) naturally fall into in order that everyone can speak to and understand everyone else. In the time of Germany’s w:Martin Luther (early 1500s), the German theologians, philosophers, and other writers from various parts of Germany, all speaking different dialects of German, did much the same thing, which is where today’s Standard High German comes from. —Stephen (Talk) 03:18, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
I think calling it an "Esperanto-like language" is misleading. It doesn't seem to have been deliberately constructed by someone. I think it's much more like a lingua franca. The Wikipedia article on Sant Bhasha is very confusing, but the article on the Guru Granth Sahib says more clearly, "It is written in the Gurmukhī script, in various dialects – including Lehndi Punjabi, Braj Bhasha, Khariboli, Sanskrit and Persian – often coalesced under the generic title of Sant Bhasha." That leads me to believe that Sant Bhasha doesn't require a code of its own, because all of the words appear in some other language, i.e. ਸੋਚੈ is a word of Lehndi Punjabi, Braj Bhasha, Khariboli, Sanskrit and/or Persian, although perhaps only written in Gurmukhi when it's being used in Sant Bhasha. (Is the phonetic similarity between sant and saint/santo a coincidence?) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:01, 11 September 2014 (UTC)
Hi There! I will stop making any new entry unless this matter is resolved.
Now why we need separate entry for Sant Bhasha. Here are my points in favour of it:
1.) There is a bulk of literature written in it by number of writers. I am listing few of them.
a. Guru Granth Sahib - Note it is a combined work of more than 30 authors.
b. Dasam Granth
c. Varan Bhai Gurdas
d. Panth Parkash
e. Suraj Parkash
2.) The languages from which it draws its vocabulary: Punjabi, Hindi, Marathi, Sindhi, Apabhramshas, Sanskrit or Persian, none of them use Gurmukhi Alphabet except Punjabi. Here it is not logical to put Sanskrit, Persian or Hindi language words in Gurmukhi Alphabet. The same logic why we need to put the word 'algebra' under English in Latin Alphabet, when we already have an entry for this word under Arabic in Arabic Alphabet. Why we need the words borrowed from Latin under different languages, when they are already explained under Latin ?
3.) Most important point is that we a bulk of word-forms where the root word comes from different language and its declension or conjugation is derived from different language. eg in ਸੋਚੈ 'sochai', root-word 'soch' could have been borrowed from Punjabi, whereas declension -ai is derived from Sanskrit instrumental plural -aih. So where should we put this word under Punjabi or Sanskrit?
Q-Is the phonetic similarity between sant and saint/santo a coincidence?
A-Maybe Latin sanctus and Sanskrit santa originated from same Indo-European root.Bhvintri (talk) 00:32, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Are there any grammars or dictionaries of it, or it's just a literary language of a fixed number of works? I think that it should be mandatory to have citations for any added words for obscure cases such as this one, so that it's easier to clean them up in the future (e.g. if it is decided to treat it as a form of some other Middle/Modern Indo-Aryan language). --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 10:02, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
This is what wikipedia says under Sacred language:
Sant Bhasha, a mélange of archaic Punjabi and several other languages, is the language of the Sikh holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Itp2twGR6tsC Indo-Aryan Languages by Colin Masica also attests it on page 57 as:
The Sant or Nirguna tradition of mystical poets, beginning with Kabir, prefered a fluid mixed dialect with a strong Khari Boli element.

'An Introduction to the Sacred Language of the Sikhs' by Christopher Shackle is a book on the grammar of this language. But unfortunately I can't find it online. http://www.amazon.com/An-introduction-sacred-language-Sikhs/dp/B0007BRI5W
In Indo-Aryan Languages (edited by Geroge Cordona and Dhanesh Jain) http://books.google.com/books?id=OtCPAgAAQBAJ on page xxi it is listed as 'Language of Adi Granth' (note: Adi Granth is another name for Sikh holy scripture Guru Granth Sahib), separate from Punjabi or Hindi. Further from page 656 to 672, Christopher Shackle has given a Declensions and Conjugations of its nouns, pronouns, adjectives and verbs and compared them with Modern Punjabi.
The most famous dictionary of this language is Mahan Kosh published in 1930 and then republished in 1981.
Mahan Kosh and other online dictionaries of this langiage can be found online at many links like this: http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.dictionary
Bhvintri (talk) 19:39, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation needs to be at level 4 for Arabic[edit]

WT:ELE claims that pronunciation ought to be at level 3, above individual entries for nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. Apparently, cases like duplicate where the pronunciation differs by part of speech are handled by listing the part of speech under the pronunciation section, above the corresponding pronunciation. But this fails entirely for Arabic, where a single page may have e.g. two nouns and three verbs on it, each with a different pronunciation (because the vowels are omitted in writing). In fact, it's rarely the case that two different part-of-speech entries will share the same pronunciation. As a result it seems clear to me that pronunciation for Arabic needs to go at level 4. But where exactly? I think the most obvious thing is to place it directly above the definition, possibly without any preceding header.

Note also that the current naming scheme for the .ogg pronunciation snippets is totally broken because it's named for the page title (without vowels), meaning that there's no way with this naming scheme to have separate pronunciations for two different subentries on the page, much less five or six. Benwing (talk) 06:28, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

This is a side-effect of the problem of etymologies in Arabic (both diachronic i.e. from Proto-Semitic, and synchronic i.e. from root x-y-z) - they usually refer to a one specific PoS using one specific derivational mechanism, but are instead usually grouped as if referring to all of them. After splitting by individual etymologies, pronunciations should come at level 4 naturally. These are left at level 3 for now until someone knowledgeable comes along. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 15:22, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Cleaning company spam[edit]

We're getting quite a lot of this lately (one every day or so?). It advertises various cleaning companies in the UK, in e.g. Brent and Enfield. I added a filter thing to prevent the original spam message, which can also be found on other sites with the same wording, but they seem to have changed to another one. Further filtering would be welcome, as this spammer is creating a lot of accounts — one useful thing might be that the word "clean" appears in many of the user names. Equinox 15:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Chinese Character Composition[edit]

During my studies of Chinese I thought it would be useful to be able to look up characters by their components, not limitted to the traditional radicals. I saw that wiktionary already has some of this information and I used it as a starting point.

Altogether I decomposed more than 14,000 characters, traditional and simplified. My decomposition also provides locational information of the components in the characters.

See http://bioinfoc.ch:8081/languages/HanziComp for an application that uses the composition information. The Help link gives a short introduction.

The format of what I could provide is like this:

児 t:131/2s,b:r10 er2

兑 =11/3 =(t:r12a,b:11/2) s7 dui4

兒 =r10a =131/14 =(t:r134,b:r10) s8 er2 r5

兔 =164/1 =(a) s8 tu4

兕 t:69/118,b:r10 si4

兖 t:29/57,b:11/27 yan3

兗 t:29/57,b:11/2 yan3

兘 o:11/13,i:58/6 shi3

兙 o:152/1',i:r24 shi2 ke4

党 =63/32s =(t:200/105,b:11/2) s10 dang3

兛 o:152/1',i:10/3 qian1 ke4

The three fields are: Character Composition Pinyin

The composition field can also name components that are used in other characters: =rNNN traditional radical =NNN/NNN name used in Chinese Characters: A Genealogy and Dictionary (English and Mandarin Chinese Edition) [Paperback], Rick Harbaugh (Author) (http://www.zhongwen.com/)

Some of the named components are atomic =(a) Others are further decomposed, e.g. =(t:r134,b:r10) All of the named components have the number of strokes sNNN

I'm sure that my analysis still contains errors (but I checked it in multiple ways for consistency), some questionable assignments or incomplete decompositions.

Anyway, is there interest from your side to integrate this information into wiktionary in order to make it available to a broader audience? I would be able to put more work into this and give you the information in any format. —This unsigned comment was added by Brogerc (talkcontribs).

My Chinese knowledge is extremely limited, but no one else has replied and this information seems valuable. My main question would be how it could be presented to the user so that it could be useful and easily understood? And how does it differ from the composition data which is already present on many entries in Wiktionary. E.g. lists the composition as: ⿱. I assume this is similar to what "t:131/2s,b:r10" represents? Thanks. Pengo (talk) 22:43, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
From what little I know about Chinese characters, the components aren't necessarily just simple combinations. Often a character that is made of smaller components can be used as a component itself in an even larger character. So it's much like compounding, where a compound can be used as a base to form a larger compound. So the question is how we want to show this information. Do we want to show only the most basic components, or do we also want to show the intermediate combinations? —CodeCat 22:53, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
All I know is that this notation looks confusing and darn-near unreadable. I don't know how helpful it would be to add such an obtuse notation for character decomposition, especially given its dependence on using Latin letters. There's never going to be an "easy" method of breaking down these characters; many characters aren't based on regular radical forms but rather on however the Chinese could best modernize them from earlier Oracle Bone and Small/Large Seal Script variants. Bumm13 (talk) 22:29, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
The information I can contribute is exactly as already available for some characters such as the above mentioned , but I created it for >14,000 characters and, in addition, I can provide positional information (top, bottom, left, right, in, out) that is currently not available in Wiktionary.
Most of my decompositions are binary: left/right, top/bottom or in/out. Both of the components can possibly be further decomposed, but this can be looked up in the entries of both components (characters), as it is currently done in Wiktionary.
My (internal) IDs don't have to be shown, just the corresponding components (characters).
—This unsigned comment was added by Brogerc (talkcontribs).

Birds in English[edit]


In the Finnish version we have many articles on birds. However, we have yet to decide a naming policy, and I came here to ask your thoughts. I've noticed, that here birds names are in small caps, for example coal tit. In the Finnish version we have both fi:coal tit and fi:Coal Tit and this is somewhat problematic. In ornithology, caps seem to be used: http://www.worldbirdnames.org/english-names/spelling-rules/capitalization/. So, how should we write English bird names in the Finnish version? Of course, we would ideally want the interwiki links to work, so also a common naming policy could be sought after. Suggestions? --Hartz (talk) 16:18, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

It’s up to you guys, but my suggestion is to include all attested spellings. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:49, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Naming policies are for Wikipedia (where there's a good bit of debate on the subject). Wiktionary goes by usage: in theory, the spelling/capitalization that's used most should be the main entry, and any others attestably in use should be alternative forms. In practice, though, the one that's created first tends to be the main article, and I'm not sure if the "most used" criterion has ever been explicitly made a policy. Information about which capitalization is used in which contexts would be good information for usage notes. If we were consistent enough with our context labels, we might indicate it that way, but people tend to use "zoology" or "ornithology" for any word having to do with animals or birds rather than just for words used by ornithologists or zoologists. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:51, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I find there is a conflict between building a good set of substantive entries of such kind and having entries that are true to the most common orthography, which may differ by the source of whatever list or source the contributor was working from, contributor personal preferences, or even actual frequency research. Perhaps frequency of use should govern in principle, but it is a counsel of perfection that may stand in the way of good substance. Almost whatever reasonable two-part spelling a user types in will cause the search engine will find any two-part spellings in the wiki (including hyphenated forms, eg coal-tit, Coal-tit) and place them at the top of the headword-not-found page. Even a single-word spelling would be found, eg coaltit. But for regular users and contributors consistency of orthography makes it easier to know whether there is a substantive entry for a given vernacular name. The tedium of determining which is the more common form seems to me to far outweigh the benefits-in-principle, which seem quite modest relative to the benefits in practice IMO.
A possible practical solution would be to have standardized spelling for all main entries, but indicate the most common orthography among the alternative forms/spellings at the top of the entry. DCDuring TALK 20:20, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The English Wikipedia engaged in a lot of bickering for a long time regarding how to capitalized birds' names, e.g. "rusty blackbird" / "Rusty Blackbird". Finally, recently, a broad (site-wide?) RFC — which NB was judged by an admittedly pro-uppercase editor — determined that birds' names should be lowercase, because they are lowercase in most cases (e.g. in general books about subjects like home decor which happen to mention that a tapestry depicts a rusty blackbird; in works of fiction; in general reference works; etc — in other words, in general use) and it is only in some specialist works on the subject of ornithology that bird names are capitalized, and in those cases, the capitalization is equivalent or akin to honorific capitalization or to the old English practice of capitalizing Important Words. As far as I know, Wiktionary has long used lowercase for that same reason. (Wiktionary and Wikipedia have both always used lowercase for animals other than birds, e.g. rusty tinamou.) Compare how several armed forces uppercase their rank terms and other terms, e.g. "Private", "Sailor", "Ship", etc, but we have just "private", "sailor", "ship", etc. Whether you want to include redirects from other case-forms is up to you. Wiktionary does not use redirects for things like "Ship"; I don't know of any examples of Wiktionary using redirects for birds' names, but I can't rule out that some exist, and I express no opinion at this time on whether or not such redirects should exist. - -sche (discuss) 20:10, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

Official wordlists for specific fields[edit]

There are prescriptive lists of common names for some taxonomic groups issued by various scientific and other organizations, e.g. the w:International Ornithological Congress has a list at www.worldbirdnames.org. These obviously aren't a factor as far as CFI, but it might be worthwhile to have categories and/or reference templates to indicate that a name is designated as the preferred name in a given list. I don't think appendices are that good of an idea, since they would duplicate lists available elsewhere online. The IOC list would fit nicely in our current topical framework, since it covers multiple languages, but I believe there are some that only cover a given language in a given region.

I would appreciate any suggestions on how to represent this information, since these lists would be a good way to expand our coverage of names for living things, and some are available online in formats that could be used for mass importation of entries if anyone who knows how is so inclined. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:43, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

A good representation is to create an entry for each bird. I'm sure many already exist. This Excel spreadsheet has a lot of good information and this would be a lot of work. A bot could create the missing English entries, add the given translations, and create the FL entries. The English bird names are all capitalized in the spreadsheet, though. --Panda10 (talk) 18:46, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
We have more than 5200 Translingual bird name entries that use {{R:Gill2006}}, thereby indicating recourse to the IOC publication. These usually contain little more than the English vernacular name, not even that for many genus names. Remarkably that template does not appear in many (any?) English vernacular name entries.
Mass importing might be nice once we agree on a desirable format, which need not be very difficult. I have been working on a more demand-oriented approach for taxonomic names and corresponding vernacular names, but mass-import is good. Spreadsheets are easy to work with for reformatting, so capitalization need not be a problem if we agree on a simple policy of importing in a standard capitalization, leaving the more time-consuming business of determining more frequent capitalization, by date, usage context or whatever, for future generations of contributors with even more powerful tools and resources.
Isn't there also an international bird-watchers body that has different naming ideas? DCDuring TALK 21:39, 13 September 2014 (UTC)
  • @Chuck Entz: There is also a similar list for viruses (~2-3K names), published by the International Committee for Taxonomy of Viruses. Checklists from the USDA Plants database are downloadable for each US state, certain territories and possessions, for Canadian provinces, and for the whole. It should be possible to get their USDA official "vernacular" name. The large NCBI (US) taxonomy database seems downloadable and has some vernacular names. There are certainly others for taxonomic families or other groupings. Some may be POV, in the sense of advocating a taxonomic scheme, not necessarily widely accepted. Some more definitive higher-level groupings seem to be restricted to further the sales of print publications or of machine-readable data (eg, mammals). There seem to be many more databases of scientific names than of vernacular names, even of the "recommended" vernacular names. Vernacular names deserve some priority, especially as long as contributors who vote on this page disfavor for some reason I can't fathom translation tables for taxonomic names.
All of that said, Wikispecies has many entries with tables of vernacular names. Simply adding the taxonomic names for such entries, followed by stub L2 sections for the vernacular names we do not have would be a significant contribution, possibly more to the taste of contributors here. We might be able to do them the favor of identifying possible or even actual errors using gender agreement. I have confirmed some using more definitive online database such as IPNI. DCDuring TALK 18:18, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Renaming rhyme pages[edit]

I have noticed rhyme pages have been renamed, such as from Rhymes:Czech:-alɪ to Rhymes:Czech/alɪ. I object and ask that they be renamed back. I cannot find the Beer parlour discussion for this. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:25, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Note that I am the creator of more than 1000 comprehensive Czech rhyme pages.

I object to subcategorization; I ask that all Czech rhyme pages be found in Category:Czech_rhymes, as they were before not too long. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:28, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits[edit]

I think Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits does more harm than good. Proposals are being made there that affects more than 1000 of pages. Such proposals should IMHO be made in Beer parlour. For one-off moves of single mainspace pages, WT:Tea room should suffice. I think whenever someone makes a proposal there affecting a volume of pages, the proposal should immediately be rejected as being made via a wrong venue. In the ideal hypothetical world, the page would probably be deleted. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:56, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Maybe we should merge all the forums into your talk page so you won't miss anything, because, obviously, there's nothing more important than keeping you informed. Never mind that it's been the designated forum for this kind of thing for years- you missed out on something because you weren't paying attention to it, so it has to go. NOW!!! Chuck Entz (talk) 15:01, 14 September 2014 (UTC)
Wrong. I found the forum annoying when it was created back in 2010. It is now doing tangible harm. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:28, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Rhyme pages and subcategories or subcategorization[edit]

Dutch rhyme pages have subcategories. You can browse them from Category:Dutch rhymes and see how useful or not these are.

  • I oppose creating such subcategories for Czech rhyme pages.
  • I oppose that an editor not working on rhyme pages for a particular language creates rhyme subcategories for that language without having express support for doing so from editors working on rhyme pages for that language.

Subcategories for rhymes are a fairly useless form of organizing rhyme pages, IMHO. My idea of a useful organization of rhyme pages can be seen at Rhymes:Czech, which uses tables AKA matrices rather than a hierarchical tree, which is what categories present. Worse yet, subcategories do not present the hierarchical tree at a glance; rather, you have to click through them one at a time to see their content; even by clicking them one at a time, you won't see the larger picture.

--Dan Polansky (talk) 09:10, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

Please make RFE & RFP mandatory[edit]

Requests for etymology and requests for pronunciation should be common practice. Contributors should have the luxury of being able to facilely go through catalogues of terms that are without etymology or pronunciation. It facilitates navigation and accelerates labour. Concerning etymology, exceptions can be made for some noncanonical entries and some alternative forms, but that is about it. --Æ&Œ (talk) 07:16, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Every lemma entry should have under those headers either good content or a link to an entry that has such content.
But I don't think universal use of {{rfp}} and {{rfe}} will lead to more good content under the headings. Perhaps it would be nice to make sure that all lemma L2 sections have Etymology and Pronunciation headers to reduce tedious typing for those who would add the content. IMO it is more important to find out which entries actually have motivated a specific individual request. It might be nice even to have a mechanism for votes supporting such requests on specific entries.
I would strongly favor creating lists (even just counts) of lemma L2 sections that lack pronunciation headers, etymology headers, translation headers and, more importantly, those that have the headers but lack actual content under those headers. DCDuring TALK 15:12, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
  • Block this troll already. This is not a sane proposal, and the troll knows it very well. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
The French Wiktionary always uses {{rfp}} (well the nearest equivalent). Admittedly the total number of entries that use it is in the hundreds of thousands, probably over a million. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:13, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
What exactly is the point of a request category with millions of members? DTLHS (talk) 22:17, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe we should start making a distinction between entries for which something is requested, and entries which are merely lacking something? —CodeCat 22:27, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
That's what I was trying to get at. I was thinking that lists of entries lacking pronunciation headers or lacking etymology headers would be good applications of dump-processing. I would think they would be most helpful for English one-word lemmas. DCDuring TALK 23:50, 15 September 2014 (UTC)
We have 369K members of the English lemma category, 89K mainspace entries that contain both "English" and "pronunciation" (so, probably an overestimate of entries with English Pronunciation headers) and 1K English rfps. It seems that the English lemma category includes many abbreviations, plurals, multi-word terms, and other items for which pronunciation and etymology are not necessarily worth any significant effort. DCDuring TALK 00:05, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I found nothing strange in the request. The requests would not be manageable but it's not a reason for blocking or ridiculing. As for the request itself, I oppose it. We have a huge number of such requests already. We're lucky to have an entry for a term - with an English translation.
Etymology: I actually find Korean entries a good example - the etymologies are split roughly by Sino-Korean (40-60%), native (about 35%), loanwords from European languages (5%). Having something like "native + language name" is already informative. For Slavic, Germanic, Romance, etc. the minimum info could be "Slavic", etc.
Pronunciation: For languages such as Czech, etc. pronunciation can be automated but someone has to create a module. Languages, such as English could use a phonetic respelling to get automatic IPA, look at Persian or Chinese which use transcription to get IPA. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:19, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Category:Terms needing transliteration by language[edit]

I've not spotted this one before but, some of these use [[:Category:<langname> needing transliteration]] and some use [[:Category:<langname> lacking transliteration]]. Even worse, some use both and split the entries over two categories. Purely because of the name of the parent category, could we align these into [[:Category:<langname> needing transliteration]]? For our purposes lacking and needing are synonymous. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:12, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

large page navigation[edit]

When I’m loading a large page, I have to wait approximately one minute for the content to load just so that I can see the languages that I’m interested in. The table of contents is irritating to navigate, particularly on pages with a huge number of bytes (e.g.: a). The table doesn’t even have nested tabs like on Wiktionnaire.

My idea would be to have some sort of option to ‘filter’ languages before the page loads, but I suspect that this would be very difficult to programme. I can’t think of a superior alternative, though. Do you lot have any better ideas, by any chance?

Am I the only one who finds it annoying to navigate high‐content pages? I’m not sure what we can do about it, though. --Æ&Œ (talk) 13:04, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Buy a newer computer. I never have problems with large pages. --Vahag (talk) 13:25, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I don’t have that kind of trouble at all. For me, every page loads as fast as every other page ... in about a second. First, I think you should go to PREFERENCES > Gadgets > User interface gadgets, and tick Enable Tabbed Languages. Each language will have its own page (and no more tables of contents). Second, I don’t know if the browser makes any difference, but I use the very latest Firefox browser, Firefox 32.0.1. Third, RAM memory might be an issue, and you should see if you can get another RAM memory card that will increase your computer’s memory. My computer is just a cheap old laptop that I bought second-hand several years ago. I just added some RAM and upgraded to Windows 7. I think if you do these things, your pages will load quickly. —Stephen (Talk) 13:57, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

Subpage editing weirdness[edit]

I went to cull some blue links from User:Brian0918/Hotlist/A2, and was unable to save the edit, instead receiving a message that said:

This action has been automatically identified as harmful, and therefore disallowed. If you believe your action was constructive, please inform an administrator of what you were trying to do. A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Users touching other users' user pages and subpages

I was, however, able to move the page to my userspace, delete some of those blue links, and then move it back. I also tried editing User:Robert Ullmann/Oldest redlinks, and got the same message. Since I am an administrator, it seems rather pointless to "inform an administrator" of what I was trying to do. I have edited subpages like these up until earlier today without this issue coming up. What changed? bd2412 T 19:02, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

See Special:AbuseFilter/24. Looking at today's change log, it says: "2014-09-16: Check user_rights for "autoconfirmed" instead of user_groups for "*confirmed". That way global groups providing "autoconfirmed" are also supported whilst still supporting the local "confirmed" user group, too. ––Krinkle". Equinox 19:09, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
Fixed. Next time, post this in the WT:GP. --WikiTiki89 19:11, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
... but as long as we're in the BP: there has been discussion of changing the filter to allow users to edit others' subpages; I now support such a change. Would anyone else like to express a view on (or implement) that change? - -sche (discuss) 19:14, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I support such a change. It's often legitimate to edit subpages of other users, like to update bot feed lists or to remove entries from lists that another user has generated from a dump. Editing the main user page of another user should be restricted to people who know what they are doing (unlike User:WritersCramp who vandalised my user page in diff). —CodeCat 19:27, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
I've been doing that for years. Removing entries from lists that another user has generated from a dump, I mean, not vandalizing CodeCat's user page. bd2412 T 20:09, 16 September 2014 (UTC)
As admin I've been editing selected dump-populated subpages, too. But I have simple questions about this:
  1. Would this be a default setting that could be overridden?
  2. What level of user are we talking about? Registered? Whitelisted?
Prudence would require that the pages be added to one's watchlist, no matter what the default and no matter what level of user. DCDuring TALK 21:47, 16 September 2014 (UTC)

bookworm: movies[edit]

Here’s a kind of ngram for movies & TV: movies.benschmidt.orgMichael Z. 2014-09-16 21:16 z

Korean lemmas and categories[edit]

Discussion: User_talk:Jusjih#Categories

(Notifying TAKASUGI Shinji, Wyang, Jusjih):

We have a bit of a disagreement with User:Jusjih regarding Korean hanja. In my opinion, hanja or Chinese character forms, as not a primary writing system for modern Korean, should not have any topical categories. Cf. Japanese kyūjitai (pre-reform spellings), kana (usually hiragana and sometimes katakana) terms (when not the most common spelling), let alone romanisation entries - rōmaji and pinyin.

E.g. 중국인 (junggugin) (the current standard spelling) belongs to Category:ko:Nationalities but IMO 中國人 () (hanja entry) should not. I would say the same about Vietnamese Hán tự entries. Both Korean hanja and Vietnamese Hán tự definitions are, by convention, very short (one-liner) and only link to the current writing system, i.e. hangeul for Korean and Latin spelling for Vietnamese.

What do you think? Comments regarding kyūjitai, kana, Hán tự would also be appreciated. Format for rōmaji and pinyin entries are set in stone by appropriate votes. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:02, 17 September 2014 (UTC)

As South Korean debates of pure hangul vs. mixed script with hanja are still ongoing, your POV toward Korean hanja could extend the Korean "text war" (w:zh:朝鮮漢字#六十年文字戰争, w:ja:朝鮮における漢字#「文字戦争」). Wiktionary is not a battlefield. Even Korean Google News does get a few hanja without hangul in parenthesis, like "사우디전 나서는 이광종號, 주목해야 될 점은?". When using a Korean hanja dictionary getting homophone compounds is so easy, like 수도 (sudo) matching so many different hanja compounds with very different topics.--Jusjih (talk) 07:16, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
To clarify, I don't hold or promote any negative opinion about hanja, I create hanja entries, too. I'm just saying that hangeul is the primary writing system and the forms learners are more likely to use. Most hanja entries lack categories, pronunciation and other sections too. I don't think it's such a great deal but maintaining categorisation for both forms is also quite difficult. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:47, 17 September 2014 (UTC)
The practice of centralising all information on the Hangul/Quoc Ngu pages is about minimising the amount of maintenance work needed, as words in various East Asian languages can easily be written in a variety of scripts. I also support merging the Simplified and Traditional Chinese entries, by making Traditional the lemma form where all trad-simp conversions are by default enabled, and making Simplified a pretty soft-redirect containing no information but the link and the Hanzi box. Wyang (talk) 00:30, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
If simplifying maintenance is the reason not to categorize topics in too many pages, here are some scenarios that your proposed merger from simplified Chinese to traditional Chinese will work:
  1. If a Chinese compound has simplified and traditional characters while unused in Japanese kanji, Korean hanja, and Vietnamese Hán tự, then your proposed merger to redirect will work very well.
  2. If a Chinese compound has simplified and traditional characters while also used in Japanese kanji unchanged and Korean hanja unsimplified, then your proposed merger to redirect will work well, like the noun 结婚 redirected to 結婚 (marriage).
  3. Finally, thanks for promoting traditional Chinese. I have heard that red China has officials calling for reverting to traditional Chinese with no further avail yet, but I have not heard of Japan planning to return to kyujitai. Once Chinese soft redirects work well, would you like Japanese kyujitai (old characters) soft-redirected to shinjitai (new characters) as well? Some but not all Japanese shinjitai are the same as simplified Chinese.--Jusjih (talk) 04:36, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
@Jusjih:. I think User:Wyang means a soft redirect, meaning there will be still entries for simplified forms, traditional having all the term info. It has its merits (centralising all information), even though simplified Chinese beats traditional 10:1 or so (Internet content and publications). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:06, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Chinese Wiktionary is even more sensitive on traditional vs. simplified characters. English Wikisource already uses soft redirects for different purposes. Now, what is your concern of maintaining categories on different scripts, like Korean hangul vs. hanja? Because categories may change in the future in some ways?--Jusjih (talk) 06:11, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
My concern is synchronisation. It's difficult to keep in sync infos in both traditional and simplified entries. E.g. currently there are many traditional entries without the audio link but simplified entries have them. If we add categorisations to hanja as well, then ALL hanja entries should have them but I don't see the need. If, e.g. countries, fruits, animals contains hangeul only, it's sufficient, one-line hanja entries have the link to hangeul entries. As for the Chinese Wiktionary, it's not very consistent with keeping only simplified entries but they have only one entry per term, not two, like paper dictionaries - they provide both forms but in ONE entry. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:31, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Then soft redirects or the like should be considered for these?
  1. simplified to traditional Chinese (Hong Kong and Macau sometimes use different traditional characters from Taiwan.)
  2. Japanese kyujitai to shinjitai
  3. Korean hanja to hangul
  4. Vietnamese Hán tự to Latinized ahplabets
As treating different scripts in CJKV as equally as possible would be ideal, I wonder how feasible it is to automatically synchronize topic categories with our proposed soft redirects. This will require some technical works to detect topic categories in target pages.--Jusjih (talk) 05:50, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
  1. Variants (with qualifiers, context labels) would be sufficient. Simplified characters are actually better standardised than traditional and have less dated, rare, obscure or regional characters. Well, that was also a reason for the simplification.
  2. Already the case, sort of. Kyūjitai has less info than shinjitai. User:Eirikr thinks they also need dated labels or similar, since kyūjitai is no longer used in Japan.
  3. Don't you like our current hanja structure?
  4. Same for Vietnamese Hán tự. Hanja and Hán tự entries are almost like soft redirects already. At least they are supposed to be one-liners, with pronunciation, etymology, synonyms, usage examples, etc. in hangeul entries.
From User:Wyang's post I understand he wants simplified entries look something like this:

The problem is here with the definition lines and missing PoS. Even if we make it like (with a new template {{jiantizi}} or similar):

# {{jiantizi|天氣}}

The community may not accept such formats. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:02, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
I like Anatoli's second proposed format. Wyang (talk) 00:38, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
@Wyang: I was just materialising your view in an example. As I said, the problem is with the missing PoS header. It won't work without a vote because it violates the current WT:ELE. The format may need tweaking to match something like {{alternative form of}} examples or other templates. If PoS headers are included, it has more chances to pass. Otherwise, let's see what others will say. If it passes in this format, then WT:ELE need to be updated to reflect this exception. Other Chinese editors need to be polled as well. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:51, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
(Notifying Kc kennylau, Atitarev, Tooironic, Jamesjiao, Bumm13, Meihouwang): Pinging other editors. Please express your views here too. Wyang (talk) 00:55, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
I am favourable to a centralisation of the information in the traditional page.
  • First it will reduce the amount of work for word with simplified and traditional form. no need to copy and convert the work done on one form to the other.
  • Secondly, the Wiktionary data will be easier to parse as there would be no duplicate informations. I parse the Wiktionary data to use in dictionary I am programming. With character with two form, it's hard to programmatically merge the two entries so I just take one arbitrarily.
A little more work will need to be done as every word in the entry will need to be written in simplified and traditional form (with {{zh-l}}, {{zh-ts}}, {{zh-tra}} or {{zh-sim}}) but in the end the will be less work to do than when synchronizing simplified and traditional entries.Meihouwang (talk) 11:17, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
I am more favourable in centralising trad./simpl. entries but with preserving PoS headers and categorisations, that way simplified entries won't be "discriminated against". The definition lines would contain soft redirects to traditional entries. Simplified entries would still require maintenance but would be less "pronunciation, etymology, synonyms, antonyms, usage examples, usage notes, etc., etc. I won't insist on this if Wyang's proposal passes and others agree with his plan. BTW, we should separate this topic from the original Korean hanja.
(While realising the need to centralise and simplify work, jiantizi is a standard in China, Singapore, Malaysia and most universities teaching Chinese, preferred by foreign learners and, as I mentioned before, has much more Internet penetration and amount of published texts. Japanese shinjitai also often coincides with Chinese jiantizi (about 30%?). Just a thought, which may be raised by opponents.)--01:05, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Visual Editor[edit]

For the record, I oppose the introduction of Visual Editor (W:Wikipedia:VisualEditor) in any form or manner into English Wiktionary; I also oppose an opt-in introduction. Some reasons for this opposition were stated by Kephin in Wiktionary:Grease_pit/2014/September#Visual_Editor. --Dan Polansky (talk) 05:40, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

  • Hi Dan. Having this tool would allow me to more easily do some things that would be helpful to the project. Please reconsider. Perhaps we could condition use on the editor having some level of participation which makes misuse unlikely (admin-only or the like). Cheers! bd2412 T 14:09, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I see no reason why this should not be allowed as an opt-in if it does not have any effect on anyone other than the contributor using it. I doubt that it would be a serious server-resource hog, that it would generate a lot of help requests at WT:GP or WT:ID, or that it would generate a higher ratio of bad content to good content, at least as an opt-in. DCDuring TALK 14:19, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I also support the introduction of Visual Editor, at least as opt-in. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 22:30, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I would also say there is no reason for it not to be available for anyone who wants to try it. It should not, of course, be enabled by default, or even promoted in any way, but it should at least be possible for individual users to use it somehow. VE is at the stage where it is not causing page corruption or other undesirable effects that disrupt or pollute wikitext or diffs. This, that and the other (talk) 10:14, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

requests for synonyms[edit]

I believe that we should have a template that requests synonyms. This may be somewhat problematic since not all words are going to have synonyms, but perhaps we could compensate by simply inserting ‘This term does not have any synonyms.’ Is anybody totally opposed to this template idea? --Æ&Œ (talk) 13:23, 18 September 2014 (UTC)

From the user's point of view I think it's annoying and unhelpful to have editor-only content in an entry, saying "hey, something is missing!". I would prefer this kind of thing to be some kind of invisible markup that generates a category (for those wanting to help with that category) but doesn't add text to the entry. Also, is this a feature that people would use; do we get many requests for synonyms already, on talk pages? Equinox 13:28, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
You both make good points.
We do get occasional requests for synonyms at Info Desk and Tea Room. As we discourage the use of entry talk pages by not responding to them quickly, it is no surprise that they are not much use for this. Even if the only use of this would be to structure user requests to make them easier to fulfill it would be a help.
I agree that some of our request boxes aimed at requesting content, such as those created by {{rfi}}, {{rfp}}, {{rfe}}, are too prominent. The alternative of eliminating them and relying exclusively on a category misses a chance to teach ordinary users that such requests exist, which may help them make such requests, which may get them involved as content contributors. I also find that occasionally I will be motivated by a visible request in an entry to add the requested content. OTOH I have never been motivated to add content by a category.
Accordingly, we could make a {{rfsyn}} that displayed on the scale of {{rfv-sense}}. I would further favor it not displaying properly unless a sense were provided. Another approach would be to modify {{sense}} to allow a second parameter which could be "?", which could generate the (modest) display and categorize. DCDuring TALK 14:09, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
I have added and used {{rfelite}}, both because it is less intrusive and therefore desirable and as a demonstration of what a {{rfsyn}} could look like. DCDuring TALK 16:23, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
I’m not sure what you mean by ‘editor‐only content.’ Are you saying that your requests for quotations aren’t ‘editor‐only content?’ I’m confused.
I don’t remember many requests from others concerning synonyms, but I certainly do request many synonyms from Mister Brown. Not sure why you think that it must be requested to be merited. Nobody requests my silly entries, but I create them any way. I mean, if I end up helping people besides myself, great. But if it only helps me, whatever. Generally speaking, I create what I want because I want it, not because somebody else does. --Æ&Œ (talk) 14:21, 18 September 2014 (UTC)
  • I oppose there being a template for requests for synonyms. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:33, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Can we disable the #babel parser function?[edit]

This parser function is quite problematic because it does not use Wiktionary's own database of languages, but uses Wikimedia's. These two lists differ on some crucial points. In particular, the Wikimedia list is not always ISO compatible, using "als" for Alemannic German while this code represents Tosk Albanian in ISO and "gsw" is used in both ISO and Wiktionary for Alemannic. The function also includes codes like "zh-min-nan" for our "nan", "nds" for our "nds-de", and also codes not recognised at all by Wiktionary like the Serbo-Croatian standard varieties, and even "Simple English". And perhaps most crucially, it does not support any of the custom Wiktionary codes (basically all the ones in Module:languages/datax). It could be argued that users should be free to declare their language in the form they prefer, but at the same time the main point of Babel boxes is to allow other users to find people who know a particular language well enough to edit entries for it. In that light, since we have no Croatian or Simple English entries, we don't need categories for speakers of those languages either. —CodeCat 22:37, 19 September 2014 (UTC)

That's the whole point of it: so people can use the same babel template across all Wikimedia sites. I'd say we should discourage its use, especially by frequent contributors, but definitely not prohibit it, and definitely not disable it. Also, I don't see people listing languages Wiktionary doesn't recognize as a problem in any way. --WikiTiki89 22:47, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
What do you suggest we do with categories like Category:User simple, Category:User zh-min-nan or Category:User als then? —CodeCat 22:57, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
That's one minor flaw. Can we make it not categorize? --WikiTiki89 23:05, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
Not that I know of. And if we could, what would be the point in having it at all? —CodeCat 23:19, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
The babel boxes on the userpage... --WikiTiki89 23:34, 19 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't think the current format of the babel boxes is very useful anyway. Because the text is not in English, someone who doesn't understand the language will probably not know what language it is, unless they also know the language code. It would be clearer if the description was in English. —CodeCat 01:15, 20 September 2014 (UTC)
You can use non-predefined templates within the Babel boxes. The templates just have to start with the name "User " (or maybe "user ", not sure what happens on case-sensitive wikis like this one). Such templates could be created for languages not known to Wikimedia. This, that and the other (talk) 10:16, 23 September 2014 (UTC)

Category structure documentation, review and correction[edit]

I have a few questions about categories.

  1. Where is the topical category structure and its current implementation documented? I can find lots of bits of obsolete documentation, predating modules, but it would take a research project to figure out how things are now working.
  2. Where is the rationale for the particular topical hierarchical structure explained? It seems to be the product of at most two minds, which minds I cannot read.
  3. What is the process for reviewing the adequacy of the structure and then implementing changes? None of our existing review pages seem appropriate based on their names.

Is it supposed to be a secret? DCDuring TALK 16:42, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Automation of German verb conjugation[edit]

In May, I have raised the discussion of automation of German verb conjugation both in BP and in GP, in which nobody has put any idea. If nobody opposes, I shall start the automation soon. --kc_kennylau (talk) 08:12, 21 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't understand what you are proposing, since I thought the German conjugation templates are already automatic to a considerable extent. It won't harm to ping a couple of people: User:-sche, User:Matthias Buchmeier, User:Liliana-60, User:Longtrend, User: --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:56, 21 September 2014 (UTC)
@Dan Polansky: Then treat it as a reform. --kc_kennylau (talk) 13:02, 22 September 2014 (UTC)
It looks to me like the code in Module:de-conj is half-implemented. It handles some strong verbs but there are tons more. Is there not a better way of handling strong verbs than essentially listing each one? I've seen analyses of German strong verbs in terms of the seven classical Germanic strong-verb classes, and if this is fairly regular in the modern language, it might make more sense to do it this way. In classical Germanic languages, which class you're in is predictable to a large degree from the stem vowel. This may not completely apply in the modern language, meaning you sometimes will have to specify the class explicitly.
Also, the documentation in Template:de-conj-auto is totally confusing and needs to be rewritten and expanded, if you expect other people to figure out how to use it. Although the docs say to divide the verb into "prefix", "stem" and "ending", in reality it's not at all obvious how to separate stem and ending in the expected way. Why for example does finden separate into stem f- and ending -inden, or even more strangely, how would someone possibly figure out that in erlöschen the "ending" is -löschen and the stem is empty, while in plain löschen the ending is -en and the stem is lösch-? Benwing (talk) 02:45, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
Maybe Module:nl-verb can be used as a base to work from? —CodeCat 12:12, 24 September 2014 (UTC)
  • If it still requires parameters, then it's not automation. At best, it's parameters reduction. Users don't care about the behind-the-scenes voodoo generating the inflection tables that they see. Perhaps a less time-consuming path would be compiling a table that leverages existing template infrastructure using some of the online German inflection databases, creating a huge correlation table (split into several parts to take care of the memory consumption limits) so that the usage of {{de-conj-auto}} would require no parameters at all? It would be a simple pattern matching exercise. Just a suggestion. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 00:04, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Documenting in WT:CFI our treatment of certain typographic and code-point variants[edit]

Pursuant to Wiktionary:Votes/2011-06/Redirecting combining characters, whenever Unicode has included both a combining and a non-combining variant of a character, Wiktionary excludes the combining variant except as a redirect to the non-comibin variant. I recently moved the documentation of this practice from the "conveying meaning" section of WT:CFI to the "spellings" section, and replaced the hand-wavy lament that the vote didn't explicitly specify text in WT:CFI to be changed with the text of the approved proposal. It got me wondering: should we also document our exclusion of other typographic and code-point variants — our exclusion of ligature variants like fisherwoman, and long-s spellings, and perhaps also our exclusion of The? And perhaps also our inclusion of variants like vp and dies Iouis? (We could add a section with a header like "typography and encoding" next to the "spelling" section, or wherever else is deemed most appropriate.) - -sche (discuss) 18:34, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Names of letters of the English alphabet and their plurals[edit]

When searching to confirm the spelled out names of letters, of the English alphabet, I found that there were considerable inconsistencies in the entries. I did not know where to expect to find them as I moved through the alphabet.

Some letter entries offer the singular and plural for the noun (with a plural). Others have no noun entry or only the singular spelling is offered. That singular spelling might also be in the <letter> entry or the <number> entry or both.

In any case there are sometimes alternative names.

For these names to be presented consistently it appears that the entries themselves need to be more consistent.GHibbs (talk) 05:20, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Easier to find them by using the category: Category:en:Latin letter names. —Stephen (Talk) 10:14, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Who the devil came up with these spellings, by the way? Why "aitch" and not "eitch"? Why "wye" and not "wai", for instance? Tharthan (talk) 18:43, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

you need to expand quotations!![edit]

I was surprised by http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/gunsel which stated "By misunderstanding of the 1929 Maltese Falcon quotation above". There is no quotation above. So I thought, well, clearly it got removed. I went through the history. I found the ACTUAL EDIT that added the quotatino (http://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=gunsel&diff=7728039&oldid=7715648 ) and then I clicked on that version (after literally seeing it after a + in the diff, so I knew it was there). I got to this page http://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=gunsel&oldid=7728039 and STILL didn't see it. I clicked back, found what I was looking for, clicked forward, to read it on the page again, STILL couldn't see it. It took me 5 minutes to find that there is a hidden part of Wiktionary, that I NEVER knew about, hiding a lot of text, under an impossible to see superscript that has a similar styling to the IPA key! I never would have thought that has text. This makes me angry, as it means for HUNDREDS of wiktionary entries I've seen over the past year (or whatever length of time), I've been missing really valuable quotations people took the time to upload! For this reason I very strongly suggest changing this template or software so that if you do need to hide it, at least the first few character (10, say) are shown. This would let you not have to include full quotations open, if you don't want them, yet make sure nobody misses this really valuable content that is added specifically for the entry.

As it is not at all standard template language (like the IPA key) I would actually advise including the full quotations without hiding them, regardless of length. Space is simply not at a premium in a wiktionary entry! The alternative is to change the software so that the full quotation is hidden, but the fact that it is custom content specific to that page is clear, from the first few words being visible. Thank you kindly!!! —This unsigned comment was added by ‎ (talkcontribs) at 08:13, 25 September 2014 (UTC).

This is the first time that I have heard of this kind of problem.
We would like to understand your problem a bit better so that we can address it.
What kind of device were you using? What browser (including version) were you using? Does it have Javascript enabled?
Did you see the text "quotations" where the "superscript that has a similar styling to the IPA key" was?
Were you logged in as a registered user?
I will attempt to get the attention of someone who can address the problem technically. DCDuring TALK 18:11, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. Yes of course, I mean that I didn't notice the word "Quotations" has valuable content under it! There is no other important content that is 'hidden' in this way. So this is a UI suggestion. You are, in my humble suggestion, taking away from some of the valuable work people contribute by folding it up in this way. To answer your questions, I was just viewing it from a standard browser, it looks like this to me. http://imgur.com/qVfdaKI I realize this is 'as intended', and I realize that you can click Quotations. I think this should be changed so that the text is not hidden. There is no other hidden content on the page, nor any reason to hide it, but there are irrelevant links (like the IPA key, and the Edit links) that I am used to ignoring. Thanks so much! 09:32, 26 September 2014 (UTC)
@ What do you say to this sort of display instead? Is that more noticeable? The number would change and we could use a more distinctive bullet (like ‣, ❧, or ⦿) if that'd be better. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:59, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
That's pretty good, but IMO it would be bettert without the break. It is still true that we want to get as many definitions as possible on the screen at once within the limits of our entry structure. Giving up a display line for a problem that hasn't surfaced before seems unwarranted to me. DCDuring TALK 15:40, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
A small part of the quotation should be shown in a style that suggests it's a quotation, but the text should fade out along the bottom or towards the end so the user instantly perceives that there is a quote without having to explicitly tell the user "Hey, there's a quotation here just click on this arrow here! We hid it so we wouldn't have to fill this entry with as much stuff." I cannot think where to find an example of the "fading" style but it seems common enough online. I find the current collapsed quotations (and also hidden translation tables, and other collapsed content) quite awful from a user experience perspective, as they are very easy to miss (as demonstrated here), also the user has little idea what will happen when they click, and it requires a bunch of clicking on little arrows to open the whole page. This would at least be partly fixed with a style where part of the quotation (or table or whatever) acts as a suggestion that there is more, rather than a mystery triangle. Pengo (talk) 10:32, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Royal Society of Chemistry - Wikimedian in Residence[edit]

Hi folks,

I've just started work as w:Wikimedian in Residence at the w:Royal Society of Chemistry. Over the coming year, I'll be working with RSC staff and members, to help them to improve the coverage of chemistry-related topics in Wikipedia and sister projects.

You can keep track of progress at w:en:Wikipedia:GLAM/Royal Society of Chemistry, or use my talk page here if you have any questions or suggestions, or requests for help with chemistry-related terms. Pigsonthewing (talk) 12:59, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Disable automatic creation of redirects?[edit]

Because Wiktionary tends to avoid redirects, we generally don't want to leave redirects when we move pages. But only sysops can move pages without leaving a redirect behind, which is cumbersome, especially as ordinary users are not aware of this and will not mark the redirect for deletion afterwards. So I think that redirects should not be created when moving pages, or at least not by default. Ordinary users should also be given the option to disable the redirect. —CodeCat 16:57, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Is our patrolling and filtering diligent enough to catch something being moved to a hard-to-find namespace or pagename? DCDuring TALK 18:29, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
Probably not. But would we find them even now? —CodeCat 19:33, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
At least a user would find it with a properly typed search. Also a link to the original name would. We could also periodically search the dump for redirects to implausible namespaces or implausible characters. Without the redirect the search might be harder and the remedy a bit more time-consuming. DCDuring TALK 19:40, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Category:English coordinates[edit]

I'm a bit confused by this category. Many of the terms listed don't actually match the description. For example "et" is not a coordinating conjunction in English, and "etcetera" is not understood as a combination of a coordinator and a head, but is treated by English speakers as a single indivisible set phrase. But even then, is the term "coordinates" even the most common term for this? We already have Category:English non-constituents, should these really go there? —CodeCat 20:22, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

It might be useful to make it a subcategory of English non-constituents. The description could be improved to allow for abbreviations that are synonyms of a combination of coordinator and head. I'm open to other suggested names.
I've often wondered why all MWEs are categorized into phrases when many are not, why we categorize things as interjections when many are not, why we use context tags to make topical categories. I suppose many of our categories are compromises among any contributors' senses of the logic of things, the limited availability of generally accepted terms, and the willingness to police them. DCDuring TALK 21:47, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
I have to say that I don't fully understand the meanings of many linguistic terms like these, and it doesn't help that people might have different ideas of their meanings, not just here but also in scholarly circles. I've been trying to make things fit a bit more, but it's not easy. I would greatly appreciate it if other editors could review the current structure, in particular the categories that now use {{poscatboiler}}. I'm trying to add more and more categories to that module/template, but it's hard when I don't even really know what the categories' names mean or what they're meant to contain. That's why I came here; I have no idea what a "coordinate" is, nor if it's a linguistically standard term, nor whether all the entries in the category belong there. —CodeCat 21:56, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't know that there is any official term to characterize these expressions, but no PoS does them justice. To call them "Adverb" in the wastebasket use of that term hardly does them justice. Calling them Phrase is contrary to the grammatical definition of the word and our general effort to use grammatical PoS terms, correctly applied, for headers. Other dictionaries variously assign nice and no PoS, Adjective with an adverbial definition, Adverb, and Idiom.
I have edited the text, removed the one item, [[honoris causa]], that clearly didn't belong there, added one, and made the category a subcategory of English non-constituents. The category could be made more homogeneous by eliminating items that could not terminate lists of multiple conjuncts, but why? DCDuring TALK 22:52, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
In a sense, these terms feel a bit like prepositions. They are "incomplete" and need something extra to make a whole "thing". —CodeCat 22:55, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
And also like other non-constituents, but also like determiners, conjunctions; adjuncts, like adjectives and manner adverbs; copulas and transitive verbs. Everything short of a complete canonical sentence can be considered grammatically incomplete in some way. DCDuring TALK 00:18, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

Description for Category:Predicatives by language?[edit]

I'm struggling a bit with coming up with a description for the terms in this category. Right now, the descriptions of the individual categories just say "?". Can anyone come up with something better? —CodeCat 20:43, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Maybe it would be easier if we used these words' actual parts of speech rather than making stuff up. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:11, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
If parts of speech actually provided a complete category structure for our entries and exhausted the useful, generally accepted knowledge about a language, they would indeed suffice. Would that they did.
I always thought that the category structure in our software and most other user-oriented software did not compel hierarchical structure for good reason: poor correspondence with most folks' needs and perception of reality.
Supplementing PoS categories is essential, not only to overcome the poor match between PoSes and the actual nature of many of our entries, eg, Proverbs which aren't even proverbs, Phrases which aren't phrases, Interjections which aren't interjections, but also to reflect kernels of knowledge that can make break our categories into more manageable units, especially those that reflect some actual specific knowledge about some linguistic class of entries. DCDuring TALK 22:08, 25 September 2014 (UTC)
That's why we now have Category:English terms by semantic function. This category deals with ways of categorising terms that is not strictly a matter of part of speech, but has some semantic element in it too. —CodeCat 22:19, 25 September 2014 (UTC)

Vote on CFI Misspelling Cleanup[edit]

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2014-08/CFI Misspelling Cleanup is nearing to its end. Could you please post your vote, even if it is "abstain"? It is a trivial vote, from my standpoint, but it would do with a couple of abstains so that it can be cleanly closed. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:17, 26 September 2014 (UTC)

@Dan Polansky: Done. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:35, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Some confusion with suffixes and the absence of many prefixes and (is it all) infixes .[edit]

1. Some confusion with suffixes.

In Wiktionary, sometimes suffixes have special characters like the Latin <-ālis>, but sometimes they do not, as in the Latin <abdominalis> (Wiktionary entry). The suffix entry does not accommodate the <-alis> version.

Sometimes the suffixes in Wiktionary have two components <-at-> and <-ive>, or even three components <-at-> <-i-> and <-on>. The <-ate> or other components may or may not be acknowledged in the entry. How <-ate> may become <-at-> to combine to form other suffixes is not mentioned, though the archaic <-at> is acknowledged.

The entry <-ation> takes you the Latin <-ātiō> but there is no mention of the English <-atio> as in <ratio>.

2. Absence of many prefixes and (it may be all) infixes.

Clearly to include them all would be a gigantic effort. Perhaps some temporary rudimentary pages could be made. Prefixes are often used as infixes and identifying just the prefixes would be a valuable move forward.

GHibbs (talk) 08:06, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

I've added the appropriate long marks to abdominālis. It would be easier for us to find the things you're talking about if you linked to them using double square brackets [[like this]] rather than with greater than/less than signs. I don't think the -atio in ratio is really a suffix in English. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:57, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
I see no good reason to declare -at- to be an English infix when we have -ate as an English suffix. This must be the product of the synchronic morphomania in our Etymology sections and overuse or misuse of {{confix}}. DCDuring TALK 15:04, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Checking for invalid phonemes in Template:IPA[edit]

The template already checked for invalid characters before, but I've now added some functionality that lets you check for the validity of the phonemes themselves, according to which language is being used. This is done by listing all valid phonemes for the in Module:IPA/data. If an entry contains invalid phonemes, it's listed in both Category:IPA pronunciations with invalid phonemes and a language-specific subcategory. I've done it for Dutch, and it seems to work quite well, but I don't know if it would be useful for every language. At least it's there if anyone wants to use it, and I hope it helps. —CodeCat 22:31, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Hm, that could be useful for languages with small or closed inventories, like Latin, Old Norse and Esperanto. I notice it's currently highlighting the /œ/ in Duits, but the Dutch Wiktionary says that word does indeed have a /œ/ in both the north Netherlands (where nl.Wikt says it's /dœʏ̯ts/, /dʌʏ̯ts/) and Flanders, Brabant and Limburg (/dœːts/). - -sche (discuss) 02:02, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
It's because it got written with the nonsyllabic diacritic above the y, while most other entries write it below. —CodeCat 11:52, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
Can't this be made to work when transcribing phonetically with [ ]? --Vahag (talk) 09:33, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
  • The purpose of IPA template is font support, it shouldn't decide whether the characters used in phonemic transcription are valid IPA characters or not. You can phonemically transcribe using whatever set of symbols you like. Even using e.g. Cyrillic characters as it is done for many Cyrillic-script based languages. Phonemic transcriptions are *not* pronunciations. (Which is why Wiktionary's usage of /ɹ/ instead of /r/ which every single other English dictionary does is so dumb.) Furthermore, phonemic inventory of a language depends on the author making such analysis and vary for just about any single language except artificial ones, or those with dictatorial institutions "governing" them. To proper step to reduce inconsistencies is to forbid manual transcriptions altogether and make pronunciation-generating modules in Lua, even if it requires phonetic respelling to properly generate regional variants. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 23:48, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
    I mostly agree with Ivan, but I don't think it would hurt to have it do some behind the scenes cleanup category stuff, even if it is experimental with a lot of false positives. The average user would not see hidden categories and would not be affected by this in any way. --WikiTiki89 08:23, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
    I disagree that {{IPA}} can be used with whatever set of symbols you like. Pronunciation information can be added using other transcription systems, as we do with {{enPR}}, but non-IPA systems shouldn't use the {{IPA}} template. I asked for a way of categorizing invalid IPA characters because I was tired of finding things like g ' : instead of ɡ ˈ ː in IPA transcriptions and wanted an easy way to find all the instances. (I sometimes regret making that request, though, because the number of characters considered invalid is greater than I expected, and the number of pages in Category:IPA pronunciations with invalid IPA characters is far greater than anyone can work through.) But I am very skeptical of the attempt to find invalid language-specific phonemes, not least because we often give narrow phonetic transliteration in addition to broad phonemic transliteration. If the template knows that /kʰ/ and /æ̃/ are not phonemes of English, won't it incorrectly tag IPA(key): /kæn/, [kʰæ̃n] as containing invalid phonemes? Or is it smart enough to look only inside slashes and not inside square brackets? Then there's the problem of languages with dialects (/æː/ is a valid phoneme of Ulster Irish but not Munster Irish, /ɑː/ is the opposite) and the problem of people not wanting to stick to the symbols listed in our pronunciation appendices (I get a lot of grief from other editors for trying to make English pronunciations comply with Appendix:English pronunciation). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:18, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Why would we use /r/ for /ɹ/ when they're completely different phonemes? o_O Tharthan (talk) 11:39, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
@Tharthan: If you know what a phoneme is, then you should realize that in the context of English, that sentence is completely nonsensical. English only has one rhotic consonant phoneme, which is usually pronounced something close to [ɹ]. Whether you use /r/ or /ɹ/ to represent it makes no difference, but if you assume that you can only choose one of them, talking about them simultaneously as in "they're completely different phonemes" is completely nonsensical (or if you assume that you can choose both of them, then your sentence is plain wrong because they are the same phoneme). When choosing the representation of the phoneme, there are criteria to consider, such as how easy it is to input, how recognizable it is, how close to the actual phonetic realization it is, etc. How much weight we give each criterion is up to us. --WikiTiki89 11:58, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89:,some dialects of English (not in North America, but nevertheless they do exist) use /r/ or (more rarely) /ɾ/ where other dialects use /ɹ/. As such, we need to distinguish between /ɹ/ and /r/ so that those with an actual /r/ in their phonemic inventories don't get confused. Tharthan (talk) 16:46, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I believe the dialects you refer to have [r] and [ɾ] as allophones of /ɹ/. --WikiTiki89 20:42, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
No one would be confused if we used the same symbol for the English r-sound that every single dictionary of the English language except Wiktionary uses, namely /r/. At worst we might have to distinguish between [ɹ] and [r] at the phonetic level (using the latter for, say, Scottish English), but never at the phonemic level. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:21, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that /r/ isn't the right IPA letter for the English "r" consonant in most dialects. As such, the idea of changing the correct and more-or-less unambiguous /ɹ/ to /r/ is ludicrous. What would be the purpose of making pronunciation transcription more ambiguous? Should we also write modern widespread British English dialectal glottal stops as if they were /t/s? Tharthan (talk) 00:37, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
The IPA is more flexible than you think it is. If Peter Ladefoged, Alfred C. Gimson, Kenyon and Knott, and John C. Wells are comfortable using /r/ to transcribe the English r-sound, we can be too. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 05:51, 9 October 2014 (UTC)


Can someone please restore Template:policy to the revision from 7 May 2014? I think the color change is inappropriate. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:45, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Done, I agree with you. Additionally that template page itself shouldn't be modified without at least some discussion. --Neskaya sprecan? 23:01, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary URL shortcut[edit]

Hey guys, so it seems there's a redirect to EN Wikipedia at http://enwp.org/ (such that enwp.org/Foo redirects to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foo). I've used this many times and it's really useful, but I feel that it'd be great to extend it to EN Wiktionary.

The information at wikipedia:User talk:Tl-lomas/enwp.org indicates that I can use http://enwp.org/wikt:Foo to redirect to Wiktionary, but I quite feel that many people (myself included) surely must use Wiktionary enough to find a more direct URL useful. Furthermore, the user who created that script has not edited ENWP in four years and Wiktionary never - he isn't responding to any past talk page messages, and presumably won't be around to respond to feature requests. Thus I thought it'd be logical if someone set up an "enwt.org", but someone on IRC claimed that "enwikt.org" would be more logical based on current interwiki links.

Do you guys think it'd be worth it? 20:38, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

I don't think so. I think most browsers permit custom address-bar searches now. For example, in Opera, I have it set up so that "d blah" finds blah on Wiktionary, and "k blah" finds blah on Wikipedia. Equinox 20:40, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't think that's the point. I think the point is simply to have shortcut URLs, similar to URL shortening. I think this might be useful, but it certainly is not necessary. --WikiTiki89 20:44, 28 September 2014 (UTC)
TBH the primary times when I would personally find this useful is on my phone when I need to look up a word. Currently it's annoying enough that I had to resort to a - shudder - paper dictionary when reading Tale of Two Cities. I will see if my mobile browsers support what you mention. 20:52, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

<meridium> is it < merīdīum> as in <post meridium> page or <merīdium> as the main entry.[edit]

The Latin spelling of <meridium>. Should it better be it < merīdīum> as in the English <post meridium> and <ant meridium> pages' cross references or <merīdium> as the main Latin entry? GHibbs (talk) 07:49, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

It should be merīdiem. What the English entries had (until I just now corrected them) was merīdiēm. They never said "merīdīum". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:55, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

The most common binomials in books[edit]

Below are the top 20 most common binomial names to be found in books, found via my original research using the Catalogue of Life and Google ngram data. I'm not sure what our policy is for scientific names, but these are the most commonly found ones, so it seems some care should be taken to give them complete entries with etymologies (which several already have, but also almost half are red links). Hope this is useful for editors.

  1. Homo sapiens
  2. Escherichia coli - E. coli
  3. Staphylococcus aureus (8 occurrences in wikt defs., 4 linked, 2 taxlinked) - Staphylococcus - staphylococcus - staph
  4. Candida albicans (4, 2 linked)
  5. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (7, 4 linked, 0) - Pseudomonas - pseudomonas
  6. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (5, 3 linked, 3) - Mycobacterium - mycobacterium
  7. Saccharomyces cerevisiae (8, 7 linked)
  8. Drosophila melanogaster (10, 7 linked)
  9. Zea mays (21, 16 linked)
  10. Bacillus subtilis (8, 6 linked)

11. Haemophilus influenzae (2, 2 linked, 1) - Haemophilus - influenzae
12. Pneumocystis carinii (2, 2 linked, 0) - Pneumocystis - pneumocystis
13. Salmonella typhimurium (2, 1 linked, 0) - Salmonella - salmonella
14. Treponema pallidum (4, 3 linked)
15. Streptococcus pneumoniae (2, 2 linked, 0) - Streptococcus - streptococcus - strep
16. Phaseolus vulgaris (20, 16 liked)
17. Clostridium botulinum (5, 5 linked)
18. Listeria monocytogenes (2, 2 linked, 0) - Listeria - listeria
19. Klebsiella pneumoniae (6, 4 linked)
20. Xenopus laevis - Xenopus (1, 1 linked)

Pengo (talk) 10:10, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks. We have only some of the generic names for the redlinks. Bacteria are definitely not well covered, partially because there are rarely vernacular names for them and they therefore aren't "requested" by use in an entry. DCDuring TALK 12:54, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
If you think about it, binomials would be more likely to show up on this list if they didn't have common names to compete with them in usage. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:29, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes. And the strong interest in disease-causing organisms among researchers, clinicians, and the public accounts for 14 of the list members. I guess that a way of measuring the "demand" for these would be to add the organism name to the name of the disease caused in each language for which we have an entry for the disease and to request translations for English disease words. DCDuring TALK 14:32, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
And 5 on the list are model organisms that would appear in a vast number of scholarly publications, including the beer yeast. That leaves us with Homo sapiens. DCDuring TALK 14:43, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
A lot of the "generic names" for bacteria are just the species name written lower case. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:49, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
Those are the really common ones.
w:Model organism and the pages linked at w:List of sequenced eukaryotic genomes#See also contain a good number of potential entries which would have similar usage. DCDuring TALK 14:56, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
When I get a chance, I might try making a lists of vertebrates and plants found in the fiction corpus to try and get a less research-centric list. Pengo (talk) 23:04, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
I don't object to what you've done: I welcome it. I don't certainly consider the research bias a weakness, but it is a characteristic of the methodology. I don't hope for much from a fiction corpus.
In my discussion of your list I was trying to understand how your approach differed from the approaches I and others had been taking and specifically why our approaches missed a good number of the specific items in the top 20. (I haven't even looked at the longer list.)
The approaches that have been used, some only sporadically, are:
  1. Top-down filling in of the tree of life, adding hyponyms at each level. (This becomes quite unwieldy sometimes at the genus level, sometimes at the species or lower level. It also leads to a possible overemphasis on extinct taxa and on the proliferating population of clades not used outside of systematic taxonomy.)
  2. Bottom-up filling in of the tree of life, adding hypernyms. (The number of additions declines because so many lower taxa share hypernyms/ancestors.)
  3. Adding items of interest to the contributor, often by type of flora or fauna (eg, birds, spiders, types of mammals: felines, canines, murines, bovines, marine, etc) or based on national or local lists of flora and fauna (most notably Finland), (This is a good fit with our wikiness, but makes for very spotty coverage.)
  4. Adding lists of flora and fauna neglected in other sources (eg, liverworts) (Something of a dead end in this case.)
  5. Adding templates to any taxonomic names already in Wiktionary to determine the "demand" for taxonomic and lately English vernacular names and adding the most common ones. (Limited so far by a lack of automation of the template-adding process, which should perhaps be replaced by counting the number of occurrences in en.wikt's dump of taxa names occurring as headwords in en.wikt, WP, and Wikispecies.)
  6. Adding items from topical lists such as for endangered species, sequenced genomes. (Small numbers of items)
  7. Adding items from WP dab pages for English vernacular names. (Limited use so far, but could become systematic)
Other approaches not yet tried:
  1. Add L2 sections or definitions for all the vernacular names in all languages contained in Wikispecies
  2. Add entries or definitions from available downloadable databases, such as for viruses and birds.
  3. Follow the approach taken at Swedish WP: having webcrawlers gather material for a good stub for such articles.
I favor approach 5 for systematic additions at this stage, but practice 1 and 2 as part of that effort. I also indulge in 3 and 6. If we were to shift to automatic mass addition of entries, I would shift my efforts to making sure that we were linking to external databases as automatically as possible, reviewing such entries, and improving existing entry quality. DCDuring TALK 00:22, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your #5 point? What kind of templates? Do you mean taxlink templates? and how do they help measure "demand"?
The main thing I've focused on with my approach is ranking the data. I figure if we started at Aa achalensis and work our way down through 1.5 million species then we'll take a long time to create entries for any of even the most common searches (I know that's not actually an approach you've listed, but it's the alternative I have in my head). My goal is to have definitions and etymologies for the most popular taxa, especially around the species level (genera, epithets, binomials), so that nature enthusiasts and students of biology can understand their meanings better and be less discouraged by the Latin terminology they encounter, perhaps even referring to Wiktionary one day when it comes to naming a new species. I've tried a few other approaches to ranking, such as using Wikipedia's hit counting (although I can't find much of the list I created from it except the short list here), and of course simply counting the most popular epithets in a big list of species. I'd like to try using Google Trends. I don't think Google's API allow doing 1.5 million queries, but perhaps it would be possible just to re-rank the 52,000 species found in books. This might be the best way to discover the scientific names which the broader population are actually searching for.
The other audience for my lists is Wiktionary's editors. I still have little proficiency with Latin. (The first time I posted a list of common epithets, I was actually surprised to discover, after seeing new entries created, that most of them were not terms specific to modern biology but were simply ordinary Latin words). So I largely rely on editors to do the heavy lifting of creating new entries. And that's something that has that has occurred to me again after reading your post: although I've been editing wikis for over a decade, I don't really have any idea what editors here would actually prefer to be editing, or what their process is, or what motivates editors to do what they do, or what kind of lists they'd like to see. I've basically just made lists and posted them, hoping that they'll list things worth including in Wiktionary and that editors might be interested in creating the entries, and fortunately it's generally worked out well. Although I have plenty of ideas for how to improve the lists or for how other lists could be made, I haven't gotten a lot of broad feedback on what editors would actually like to be editing or creating entries for, or how their process works, or what information would be most useful, whether editors would prefer to focus on one type of entry at a time (e.g. words ending in -ceps), or a bunch of things with a general theme? or how information should be grouped (would it be a big help if masculine, feminine, and neuter forms were listed together or not make much difference?), what trips up editors or slows them down? or what kind of decisions are editors making when looking through a list? —Pengo (talk) 11:19, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
@Pengo: re: 5 above. I have a little perl script that counts occurrence of {{taxlink}}. I will soon modify it to do the same with {{vern}}. I had originally thought that the categorization would be good for generating lists, but, as the list is of entries, not taxa, it isn't. As a result I run the script and add the most common items on the resulting list each time. A more ambitious approach would be to count the occurrences in Wiktionary of words in lists of specific epithets or of entire taxa. It is necessary to count unlinked terms because so many taxonomic names in entries are not linked, for reasons that can't reflect any user considerations. Probably the contributors disliked the redlinks and thought that taxon entries, especially for binomens and trinomens would never be created. This thought reflected expressed opinions of senior contributors. Many such entries don't even have links for the taxa to WP (in any language) or to Wikispecies.
By 'demand' I only mean use on Wiktionary, which reflects some kind of blend of how many language have one or more vernacular names for the taxon and whether wiktionarians have any interest in either the taxa or the vernacular names. Over time, taxa appearing as Hyponyms or, especially, Hypernyms in Translingual sections have come to be well-represented despite being uncommon except in the literature of systematics.
The list of specific epithets used in the most species names, as useful as it is, does not well correspond to the list of those specific epithets actually used but missing on Wiktionary. Due to a lack of consensus about whether some specific epithets not occurring in Classical Latin were better treated as Latin or as Translingual I use {{epinew}} to link and categorize epithets by the language we choose for them. This is supposed to link the the lemma entry and display the actual term. It sorts the item by the lemma so it is easy to use Category:Species entry using missing Latin specific epithet to find missing specific epithets with multiple occurrences. Adding {{epinew}} to the existing species entries that don't have it is tedious.
I have thought it a little embarrassing for us to have so little knowledge about what users seek. It should be even more embarrassing that we are unwilling to characterize what we like to work on. Speaking for myself, I have liked:
  1. cleanup lists, both one-time lists unlikely to need to be recreate and those that are constantly renewed, often by user error or ignorance. Such lists can be long if the effort required per entry is modest.
  2. relatively short lists of items that IMO need a lot of work, so that I have the satisfaction of emptying them.
  3. individual requests, because I know someone is interested.
  4. variety in my areas of interest and self-perceived responsibility. I have browser tabs open to several lists in those areas (whether categories, search results, or user-created).
I have always been motivated to correct what I see as problems, so lists with such focus are particularly motivating. I now try harder to avoid areas of controversy, unless in an area I feel especially responsible for.
I expect that my preferences are not unique, but also not universal. DCDuring TALK 14:05, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

There is no British English <-isation> though the US version <-ization> exists.[edit]

In Wiktionary there is no entry of the frequent British English <-isation> though the US version <-ization> exists. Both the entry and cross references are required. GHibbs (talk) 13:38, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Huh? We have an entry -isation, and have had for quite some time. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:48, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

requirements for getting rollback permission?[edit]

Special:ListGroupRights shows that the rollback permission can be granted to users without having to make them an admin. I searched the help files, but there is no mention of this practice. So I'm just wondering: what are the requirements of getting the rollback permission on Wiktionary? --Ixfd64 (talk) 19:35, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

I was going to apply for rollback and patrolling rights. You can be nominated by an admin on WT:WL but there's no procedure for nominating yourself (AFAIK). Renard Migrant (talk) 11:05, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
No, WT:WL is only for the autopatrolled flag. If you want rollback, you can just ask here. The only requirement is that you have to convince The Powers That Be that you can do the job well. For me personally, that means you already have the autopatrolled flag, you know WT:CFI and WT:ELE like the back of your hand, and there are no red flags of potential trouble (drama-queening, etc.). (Would be nice to get acquainted with the admins, too.)
User:Ixfd64, your contributions here have been rather sparse lately, and I have not really seen you around in the "(anti-)social" side of the project (so to speak), but otherwise I see no reason not to grant you these flags. Just ask. User:Renard Migrant, I think you know policies well, but I have mixed feelings about letting you deal with newbies given your, shall we say, brutal honesty. We already have a few too many arseholes in power here. Keφr 14:24, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
How is the rollback tool different from just clicking "undo" on an edit or series of edits and then saving the page in its reverted form? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:07, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
It only takes one click and automatically generates an edit summary. --WikiTiki89 16:17, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
WT:WL has been used for rollbacker nominations before. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:26, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I haven't been that active on Wiktionary in recent years. I used to regularly create wanted entries, but Wiktionary has since become pretty mature, and most of the wanted entries nowadays are foreign words that I'm not familiar with. So I spend much of the time doing RC patrols now. --Ixfd64 (talk) 17:21, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Category tree[edit]

How does one create a new category these days? Do we have a page with instructions? Ƿidsiþ 07:31, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

The modules are not quite finished yet (at least not how I would like them to be) but I suppose I could write some documentation in the meantime. If you look on Module:category tree, there are various subpages for different parts of the tree. Some are modules containing code, while others are data modules where the categories themselves are specified. —CodeCat 12:35, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
So one hasn't been able to readily add a conforming category for how long now? DCDuring TALK 12:48, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
One can create a category the old-fashioned way and let others bring it into conformity later. DCDuring TALK 12:50, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

October 2014[edit]

What makes a single word idiomatic?[edit]

I think it would be nice if we took WT:CFI a bit more seriously. I mean, de facto there's no problem because nobody's forcing us to apply our own rules; there's no 'court of appeal' if there's a deletion decision that goes against WT:CFI. Anyway.

Under General rule:

"A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means. This in turn leads to the somewhat more formal guideline of including a term if it is attested and idiomatic."

Under Idiomaticity:

"An expression is idiomatic if its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components."

So, all terms have to be idiomatic (well, it's a 'somewhat more formal guideline'. Viewed from that perspective, it does make it sound like attested and idiomatic aren't in the rules, they're just in the guidelines!), but in terms of CFI, it only give guidelines on what idiomatic means from an expression. Given that all terms have to be idiomatic, what's the test for say, hat, or reenter?

I know it's hard work, but I just think it would be nice if we could take ourselves a bit more seriously. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:14, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

For hat it's obvious because its meaning cannot be easily derived from its phonemes /h/, /æ/, /t/, since phonemes do not have any meaning to convey. For reenter it's less obvious because its meaning can be derived from the meaning of re- and the meaning of enter, but we seem to have an (unwritten?) agreement here that everything written together without a space is eligible for an entry. That convention breaks down, however, for languages that are not usually written with spaces; and it has been controversial for polysynthetic languages that may write whole phrases like "he had had in his possession a bunchberry plant" as one word without spaces. For English, the only real ambiguity is in expressions that are written with spaces, because there is no unambiguous criterion to distinguish idiomatic ones from unidiomatic ones. Probably everyone agrees that hot dog is idiomatic and hot lightbulb isn't, but between those two extremes there's a continuum, not a clearly defined split. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:53, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Make Categories Show Where They're Defined[edit]

I would like to propose that the category templates be modified to show the name of the data (sub) module where the information for the category resides. This would make it easier to make changes, and also make it easier to figure out where a new category analogous to existing ones could be added.

Adding documentation pages to modules is helpful, but it still takes a bit of wandering the maze of modules and sub-modules and data sub-sub-modules to figure out where category information resides. This shouldn't be too hard, since the modules have to have this information at some point- it's just a matter of developing protocols for passing it back to the templates.

It might also be nice to give instructions on where to go to get changes made, but that may not even be settled yet. This is all part of a larger problem with our newer Lua-based architecture, which is that things are centralized in data modules and impossible for non-admins to access, but I'll leave that for a separate topic. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:43, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

All the categories have an "edit" button already, and it's been there for a few years maybe. You never noticed? —CodeCat 16:47, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Why are you so surprised? It's not what one one expect from how many other things work. Human attention works that way. Given that the question of category documentation and editing has been asked before without answer, Chuck probably assumed that it must be a policy matter. DCDuring TALK 18:47, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
And, once the edit button is clicked on, then what? DCDuring TALK 18:51, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
I wrote three paragraphs. You never read them?
If you click on Edit for Category:English colloquialisms, you get:
  1. {{poscatboiler|en|colloquialisms}}. poscatboiler contains:
  2. {{#invoke:category tree|show|template=poscatboiler|code={{{1|}}}|label={{{2|}}}|sc={{{sc|}}}}}, so we go to that module.
  3. Module:category tree refers us to:
  4. Special:PrefixIndex/Module:category tree. The logical next step is:
  5. Module:category tree/poscatboiler. This refers us to:
  6. Module:category tree/poscatboiler/data, which refers us to:
  7. Special:PrefixIndex/Module:category tree/poscatboiler/data, which contains dozens of submodules. Fortunately, I've been working with categories long enough to spot:
  8. Module:category tree/poscatboiler/data/terms by usage as the most likely choice.
And there it indeed is. What I'm proposing is a line at Category:English colloquialisms that refers you to Module:category tree/poscatboiler/data/terms by usage without your having to going through all the steps above. I've worked a lot with categories, and I know something about templates and modules, and there are times when I have to look at several data sub-sub-modules before I can find where the configuration is for a given category. Sure- it's simple! Chuck Entz (talk) 18:58, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
CodeCat was referring to the small edit button next to the text. You were referring to the edit tab at the top, which is the first place one would look to edit something other than a section. Someone introduced a non-standard positioning of the edit option and expected it to "of course" be noticed by anyone with half a brain. But that is simply not true: habits that are reinforced by thousands of successful repetitions are not easily overcome and cause attentional blindness to such things as small edit buttons in unexpected places. DCDuring TALK 19:11, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Ah, that explains it! No, I never noticed it. I was wondering how she could have so completely missed my point. That feature does, indeed, make my proposal rather redundant- but it might still be useful for those who are trying to figure out how the categories work, but aren't going to be editing data modules. Perhaps a combination would be a good idea, such as "This category is defined at Module:category tree/poscatboiler/data/terms by usage" with the edit link at the end. Chuck Entz (talk)
That would be a bit too long to fit where the edit button currently is. Do you know where else it could be placed? —CodeCat 19:52, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
How is what happens after one clicks the edit link self-explanatory? Some kind of help (colored green?) to click on next to the edit button would both make the edit button more visible and afford an opportunity to explain further. DCDuring TALK 20:42, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Is new to me too. Here's some ideas for making it more visible:
  1. Add a hidden category to the category pages, e.g. Category:Categories defined by Module:category tree/terms by usage. (And that category can then explain more in its description, and link more obviously to the module). Editors are more likely to have hidden categories showing, so may notice.
  2. Change the text to something more descriptive, such as "[Edit category definition]", and/or perhaps an even more wordy hover text, e.g. "Edit the module which defines this category's description, category parent, and category text."
  3. Add an item to the left nav under "Tools". (Though that would probably be even less noticed)
Also, pages like Module:category_tree/poscatboiler/data/terms_by_usage could really use some docs to say what is and isn't safe to edit, how to propose or add new categories, and how to test that your edits aren't going to break everything. (Especially as it [Edit] buttons encourage users to edit it). Even if you know Lua and something about Wiktionary, you still don't know what can be edited safely on that page.
Perhaps a whole other conversation, but the docs on each category page really should say (or link to) how a regular editor can add a page to that category, e.g. which template or group of templates are used in the article space to add the category tag and whether it needs additional parameters to cause it to be added, etc. Though that's a whole other conversation and perhaps a thankless task to document properly. Pengo (talk) 11:52, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
How about in an editnotice? --Yair rand (talk) 14:13, 5 October 2014 (UTC)


Considering that so much time has been wasted on rfv's/rfd's due to misspellings (especially in hyphenation) resulting from scannos, should we expand our criteria for inclusion page with notifications/warnings or something? Just a suggestion. Zeggazo (talk) 20:15, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Category:Arabic definitive nouns???[edit]

First of all, shouldn't these be "definite nouns", not "definitive nouns"? Second of all,four of the five entries in this category are simply the definite equivalents of Arabic lemma nouns (which are always in the indefinite). The definition itself specifies this. The definite equivalents are formed simply by appending "al-" (or rather, the Arabic equivalent) to the noun. I thought there was a policy not to include such forms unless they have an idiomatic definition? I'm going to add {{delete}} tags soon but I want to make sure others don't disagree.

BTW the fifth of five entries is the word العَرَبِيَّة (al-ʿarabiyya), which has a special meaning ("the Arabic language"), separate from the word عَرَبِيَّة ("carriage" or "female Arab"), so it should be kept. Benwing (talk) 08:38, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps nouns and proper nouns where ال (al-) is always used should still be categorised as "definite nouns"? It's useful for readers to know that a term is formed by al- + the stem. Not sure if ALL such terms should be redirected to terms without the definite article. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:36, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
OK, So no one answered my question. For the ones that are simply the definite equivalents of existing lemmas, with no special meaning, should I delete them, or keep them and use something like {{definite of}}? I think we should delete, since otherwise we're setting a precedent for creating definite equivalents of every single noun out there, which is crazy, since they're all formed trivially in exactly the same fashion by just adding "al-" (actually ال (al-), in the Arabic script) onto the beginning of the noun. It would be comparable to creating entries for the car and the boat and the kumquat, etc. etc. Any objections to me deleting them? Benwing (talk) 10:31, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Normally terms should be RFD'ed for deletion but since they are definitely just "definite article + noun" entries, yes, delete all, except العربية and اللغة العربية. If you don't have the rights to delete, I'll delete them for you. العربية and اللغة العربية should probably be RF-ed or RFV-ed, not sure. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:29, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I would also keep الأمين as one of the names of Muhammad and also given name after that. --WikiTiki89 22:49, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Also, {{ar-proper noun}} should automatically add to Category:Arabic definite nouns. --WikiTiki89 22:52, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, keep الأمين. Agree about proper nouns as well. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:59, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Definite forms in Arabic are not written with a separating space, as far as I know, so they closely parallel the definite forms of the Scandinavian languages. Since we have separate entries for those (dag, dagen, dagar, dagarna), we should probably also have separate entries for the definite forms of Arabic nouns. —CodeCat 23:20, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Arabic grammar doesn't consider definite articles part of the word. Exceptions are proper nouns. Also, monosyllabic prepositions consisting of one consonant and a short (unwritten) vowel are spelled together, they are separate words, unless they are adverbs (debatable), e.g. بِسُرْعَة (bisurʿa) -quickly (lit.: "with speed"), preposition بِ (bi-) + سُرْعَة (surʿa) (speed), enclitic pronouns بَيْتِي (baytī) "my house", بَيْت (bayt) + my - "ي" (-ī). Scandinavian, Bulgarian/Macedonian, Albanian definite forms are also debatable but they should be considered separately. Korean particles and copulas are also written without a space but they are considered separate words. 도서관 (doseogwane) "to the library" = 도서관 + 에. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:43, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic have a lot of clitics and we have a consensus generally not to include words with clitics. The definite article is arguably one of these clitics, although in Aramaic the definite form is actually the lemma form. However, we do seem to have a status quo of generally not including the definite forms for Arabic and Hebrew. --WikiTiki89 02:52, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

The Latin word com has no entry.[edit]

The Latin word com, a component of commodus does not have an entry. GHibbs (talk) 08:06, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Is it ever a free-standing word? As a prefix we have com- (and con-, col-, cor-, and co-). DCDuring TALK 10:39, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
The free-standing word corresponding to com- is cum. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:37, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Transliterations for headword-line inflections[edit]

Previous discussion: Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2013/October#Transliterations for inflected forms in headwords?

This was discussed before a while ago, but didn't reach much of a conclusion. The question is how to deal with transliterations of inflected forms that are displayed in headwords. Module:headword, and by extension many of our current headword-line templates, do not support this at all. But for Arabic we've always displayed transliterations for inflected forms, and the templates therefore had to be custom-made to handle this.

I imagine it's best to have a single common behaviour for all languages. So the question is, should we include them for all languages, for none, or for some subset? And if only for some subset, then based on what criteria? —CodeCat 16:08, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

  • My 2p is on all. As the EN WT, our user base can be assumed to read English. If an entry is in a non-Latin script, we cannot assume that our users can read the headword, and as such, for the sake of usability (among other factors), we should provide transcriptions. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 17:26, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I thought that our "ground rules" said that all non-Roman texts should (eventually) be transliterated - and that this could be by means of "pop-up" text if necessary or wanted. — Saltmarshαπάντηση 17:44, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Transliterate all. --Vahag (talk) 18:42, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Don't transliterate Russian inflected forms or some other languages having irregular pronunciations. It may also look quite messy if there are a lot of forms in the header. Arabic editors want to transliterate all, so be it. I don't object Arabic transliterations. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:36, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand your reasoning. If I understand correctly that by "irregular pronunciation" you mean "pronunciation not fully predictable from spelling", then it seems to me that those cases are exactly the ones where a transliteration would be useful. Then again, we've already established that many editors here disagree with the practice of using pronunciation as a guide to transliteration in phonemic scripts such as Cyrillic. —CodeCat 22:49, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Atitarev that we should transliterate inflected forms only for languages for which the transliteration is essential to understand the structure of the inflected form. For languages such as Arabic, for which transliterations could be considered superfluous when the words are fully vowelated, there is another consideration: It may be difficult for some readers to see the vowel diacritics, making the transliterations essential to these readers. For languages like Persian, for which we do not indicate vowels at all in the native script, transliterations are absolutely essential. --WikiTiki89 22:47, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
What about users who want to know what is written, but are not learned in reading it? Arabic looks like nonsensical squiggles to me, and without transliterations the forms might as well not be there at all. For Cyrillic or Greek the consideration is no different, except that I just happen to be able to read those scripts. But there will of course be many users that can't. —CodeCat 22:51, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Someone who cannot read a language is unlikely to need to know how a word inflects. --WikiTiki89 00:04, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: I guess I'm unlikely then? —CodeCat 00:33, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, you are one of the few. Keep in mind that our inflection tables usually do have transliterations. But if you are interested enough in Arabic, I suggest you learn the alphabet. Otherwise you would be comparable to someone wanting to learn chemistry without learning the chemical element symbols or someone wanting to learn calculus without learning mathematical notation. --WikiTiki89 11:30, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Does adding a romanization to inflected forms harm the project in any way? It seems to me instead that it would add value. Perhaps I happened across the term რეჰანმა (rehanma) and simply wanted to know roughly how to read it, without any knowledge of the Mkhedruli script. Thankfully, this entry for an inflected form already includes a romanized spelling. Would you advocate for removing romanizations from inflected forms? If so, why? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 05:29, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
@CodeCat, Many editors doesn't mean there's a consensus. If you haven't noticed there are a lot of languages with irregular pronunciations and transliterations (exceptions). There's no practice in published dictionaries to transliterate Russian or Greek, hence an in-house (Witktionary) transliteration method is used. "narodnovo" and "narodnogo" are equally attestable transliteration of genitive form of наро́дный (naródnyj) - наро́дного (naródnovo). Japanese and Korean exceptions are partially handled by smart modules (some Korean exceptions still need to be transliterated manually, such as 십육) but Russian is not, こんにちは is "konnichi wa", not "konnichi ha". Do I need to bring up that argument again? Hindi, Thai, Lao, Greek also have irregularities, which are reflected in standard or Wiktionary transliterations. Automatic transliteration would cause, e.g. ру́сского appear as "rússkogo", which should be "rússkovo" (gen. of русский) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:03, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Cyrillic, Greek, Armenian, Georgian vs Hangeul, Arabic, Hebrew, Thai, Devanagari, etc. The former are considered "easy" by dictionary publishers, although Devanagari is very phonetic. Since dictionaries usually don't use transliterations for the former, we have this argument that those should reflect the spelling, letter-by-letter whereas the difficult ones use phonetic transliterations or transcriptions, mixture of literal and phonetic. You can learn about transliterations for complex scripts and see that they are full of exceptions, most are documented ("standard" or "scientific"). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:13, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Reading the above, I think it would be useful for us to be clear about transcription -- changing one script for another, such as “ру́сского” → “rússkogo” -- versus transliteration -- which would include phonetic considerations, such as “ру́сского” → “rússkovo”.
Anatoli, do you (or any others) have any objection to transliteration? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 23:29, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
@Eirikr: You seem to have gotten transcription and transliteration backwards. Transcriptions are phonetic while transliterations are (supposed to be) graphemic. --WikiTiki89 00:04, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Fair enough, I may have gotten it backwards. But the point stands -- are we worried about orthographic fidelity, or phonetic? Or do we even want both? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 05:29, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
@Eirikr:, have you read all of my posts above? Would agree to transliterate こんにちは as "konnichi ha" and 십육 as "sibyuk"? Modern standard transliterations go far beyond just representing words simply letter-by-letter. They use a lot of phonetic considerations, call them transcriptions, if you wish but they are not. "rússkovo" is not 100% phonetic, only shows irregular pronunciation of "г", it's pronounced [ˈruskəvə] (the phonetic respelling is "ру́скава"). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:37, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
BTW, fully automated Arabic transliteration will affect irregular Arabic words, such as إنْجِلِيزِيٌّ (ʾinjilīziyyun), which is pronounced the "Egyptian" way - "ʾingilīziyyun" and other loanwords and dialectal pronunciations. It's probably fine, just need to be aware of this. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:46, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
Just to make sure, you realise that if we do have transliterations for inflections on headword lines, there will also be parameters on {{head}} to override any default ones? —CodeCat 23:49, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
I suspected there would and should be but the task is too big. All adjective-like nouns will be affected first (-ого, -его/-ёго genitive endings), all words where (Cyrillic) "е" is pronounced as "э" (the largest group of exceptions). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:55, 7 October 2014 (UTC)
  • @Atitarev, Wikitiki89: I'm left unsure -- do you two oppose the addition of romanizations on inflected forms, or do you instead oppose an automated approach that might introduce errors? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 05:29, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I oppose the addition of romanizations on inflected forms for two reasons (for Russian) - 1. The irregular words will need to be transliterated manually or might introduce errors. 2. The headwords get cluttered. (genitive sg., nom. plural, feminine form - are the possible inflected forms for Russian). It doesn't have to be for all languages like that. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:34, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Your mention of "clutter" led me to look into Russian entry format. Here's a sample headword line from the entry for русский:

ру́сский (rússkijm anim, m inan (genitive русского, nominative plural ру́сские, feminine ру́сская)

This looks like a bit of a mess to me; all of the additional headword information for inflected forms is already given, as expected, in an Inflected forms table contained within the entry.
Redundancy aside, I think русский (russkij) is already fine -- there's a romanization of the headword, and the Inflected forms table provides romanizations of all other forms.
My current understanding of general policy, and this proposal, is that we want to make sure that all entries in non-Latin scripts include romanizations. So I'm really not worried so much about the lack of romanization for the link to русская (russkaja) in the headword line for the русский (russkij) entry. (For that matter, I think the headword line should be simplified to remove the redundant and visually cluttered inflected forms, but that might just be me.) I'm more concerned about whether there is any romanization given in the actual entries for inflected forms. Gladly, русская (russkaja) does provide a romanization.
Would you be amenable to ensuring that all entries have romanizations? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 07:11, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm going to add my 2 cents to transliterating all inflections in all languages, but I think it's most important for languages like Persian and Arabic where vowels may not be written, and is important for Arabic even when vowels are written because of the difficulty that the average user will have in reading the script. So far it looks like Anatoli is opposed to transliterating inflections for Russian but not Arabic, Wikitiki might be similar, and everyone else is OK with transliterating inflections in all languages. Is this right?
I do think it's possible to make an argument that there's something qualitatively different and more "foreign" about Arabic or Devanagari or Thai vs. Greek or Cyrillic. Certainly this is the case for me. However, keep in mind, Anatoli, that you're a native Russian speaker whereas the majority of users of the English Wikipedia will not be, and might well be trying to learn a foreign language and so care about the inflections, but not be very comfortable with the script.
BTW as for the clutter issue, the same "issue" should theoretically appear in Arabic, but IMO the previous way of doing things (before CodeCat changed it), which did display transliteration of all Arabic inflections, didn't look especially cluttered. The trick here I think is to put the inflections outside of the parens, so that you don't end up with nested parens when you display the transliterations. Benwing (talk) 08:20, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree that we put too much information on the inflection lines of Russian nouns. There is absolutely no need for the genitive or plural in the headword line, unless the form is irregular. The feminine form is useful, however. If the argument is about showing the stress pattern, then the genitive is needed only for nouns ending in a consonant (or ь). But I still don't see why the declension table isn't enough for this. --WikiTiki89 11:30, 8 October 2014 (UTC)
Just to clarify my position on Russian headwords. I don't oppose the information (it's helpful, can help quickly identify stress patterns and declension types and plural forms) but I don't think it's a good idea to transliterate inflected forms. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:33, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
The genitive only helps identify the stress patter for nouns that end in a consonant, and only the singular stress pattern at that. It is completely useless for nouns that end in consonants, as the singular stress pattern is apparent from the nominative, except for nouns ending in , which may need the accusative (but certainly not the genitive). The nominative plural is insufficient to identify the plural stress pattern. You additionally need one other plural form other than the plural genitive and also the plural genitive in some cases. At that point, there is too much information in the headword line and we already have declension tables with all of this information. --WikiTiki89 03:02, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
I disagree (please review your post, you have two contradicting statements - the first two sentences, so I don't know what you mean there). There are 6 stress patterns: Appendix:Russian stress patterns - nouns + some nouns that are irregular.
Consonantal endings:
  1. до́ктор - до́ктора - доктора́
  2. ди́ктор - ди́ктора - ди́кторы
Ь or "hissing" sounds:
  1. ле́карь - ле́каря - ле́кари (stress pattern 3 is also acceptable)
  2. сле́сарь - сле́саря - сле́сари/слесаря́ (то́карь is the same)
  3. глуха́рь - глухаря́ - глухари́
  4. врач - врача́ - врачи́
  5. това́рищ - това́рища - това́рищи
Do I need examples for vowel endings? For people mastering the basics of Russian, including native speakers, this info is usually sufficient without looking at the full declension table. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:30, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Maybe you misunderstood my post. For nouns that end in consonants (including ь), I agree that the genitive singular helps determine the stress pattern for the singular. For nouns that end in vowels, the genitive singular is of no help at all, since the stress is always in the same place as in the nominative singular. Furthermore, for nouns that end in , the accusative might have a different stress from the nominative, yet for some reason we do not include it. For the plural, the nominative plural is insufficient to determine the full plural stress pattern. More information is needed as I explained above, and that would completely overwhelm the headword line and defeat the purpose of having inflection tables. --WikiTiki89 03:43, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
-а nouns are only one portion of nouns, large but not huge. You still need to know that plural and gen. sg for ка́ша is ка́ши, not ка́шы (beginner level) and томоды́ is a form of томода́. Animacy helps determine the accusative. Well, yes, it's not comprehensive but sufficient in MOST cases. Apart from stress patterns, there are other things - колесо́ -колеса́ - колёса, огонёк - огонька́ - огоньки́, и́мя - и́мени - имена́. Knowing that "-а" nouns (NOT ALL VOWELS, just "а"!) are predictable is a blessing but there are too many other declension and stress patterns. I want to reiterate that gen. sg. and pl. nom. forms are sufficient to determine THE FULL STRESS PATTERN (usually). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:38, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Someone who does not know the rules for ы vs и will probably need the full declension table anyway to figure anything out. Can you give me an example of a noun that ends in a vowel (not including ь or й) whose stress pattern for the singular cannot be determined from the nominative? (I don't believe there are such nouns, but if you can prove me wrong, go ahead.) Note that I am all for including the genitive for nouns ending in consonants. As for the plural, the "usually" part is exactly my point. If there are exceptions, then you can't say that the full stress pattern can be "determined", but only "guessed". I noticed other Russian dictionaries tend to include the genitive and/or the dative for the plural in cases where there could be confusion. But the more we include, the more we get back to the question of why isn't the declension table enough? --WikiTiki89 05:26, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Haven't I already with колесо, имя, голова, борода (unlike simple one like женщина with stress pattern 1? What about о́блако - о́блака - облака́ ? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:37, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you should re-read which forms I am referring to: nominative singular (колесо́, голова́, борода́) and genitive singular (колеса́, головы́, бороды́). Although you did remind me that the n-stems such as имя are possible exceptions; we should definitely include the genitives for them. --WikiTiki89 05:49, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
And here's a good one for you: with "-а": голова́ - головы́ - го́ловы, борода́ - бороды́ - бо́роды. So it's not absolutely useless, even for this type of nouns. :) --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:01, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Umm... Yes it is useless. Unless you're blind, you can see that the genitive singulars you just gave have the same stress as their corresponding nominative singulars. --WikiTiki89 05:26, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Hmm, what?! Have you read it carefully? голова is not like most nouns ending in "-а" and stress patterns can be determined not just by genitive sg but gen. sg + nom. pl in combination! See the table again. It's pattern 6, not 1, example given: полоса́ (same pattern as голова and борода). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:37, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps you should re-read which forms I am referring to. My point is that in these cases, if you have the nominative singular and the nominative plural, then the genitive singular adds no new information (since the singular pattern is determined from the nominative singular and the plural pattern has nothing to do with the genitive singular). --WikiTiki89 05:49, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Displaying genitive sg just shows that it's "as expected", treating vowel and consonant endings differently doesn't make much sense. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:58, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
Then instead of treating the vowel and consonants differently, let's use this simple rule: if the stress in the genitive is in a different place from the nominative (or if the stem itself is different, such as for день/дня or имя/имени) then we include the genitive, otherwise it is "as expected" and we exclude it to avoid clutter. If the user is still unsure, then they can check the declension table. --WikiTiki89 06:07, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
The modules are complicated as is. I don't see the need to change the Russian noun headword. The Russian headword style was discussed and agreed on a while ago. Even if genitive is hardly the crucial case, it's an example of a case and shows how nouns may change. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:32, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Who exactly "agreed" on this, just you and CodeCat? I don't think there is anything wrong with using the genitive as opposed to another case, I just don't think we need to include it for every word. --WikiTiki89 11:21, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Right, I too favour not including inflected forms in Russian headword lines, but practices for Russian are usually determined by a minority here. Refer to the transliteration debate. --Vahag (talk) 12:46, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
If transliteration for the headwords is chosen I'd favour removing inflected forms from the Russian headword altogether. That way, there won't be any additional reasons for arguments, introduced discrepancies with the existing transliteration practice. @Wiki, having genitive in some terms and not the others will be confusing. Also, if you don't like something, don't do it. You're under no obligation to edit in Russian and genitive sg. and plural forms are optional. I've added manually genitives and plurals on many entries, CodeCat did it with a bot and did the headword changes, no conspiracy here. @Vahagn, you can direct your anger at all other languages where transliteration is not 100% graphemic. Transliterating English into Armenian or Russian graghically wouldn't be very useful, would it?--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 13:22, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
The question isn't about whether the transliteration is graphic, but whether it represents the written expression of the word rather than the spoken one. For example, a reasonable Cyrillization of English that aims to represent the written language would transliterate colonel as колонел rather than as кёрнел, but bite would still be байт rather than the silly бите. --WikiTiki89 14:10, 10 October 2014 (UTC)

Consensus on transliteration of headword inflections?[edit]

Irrespective of the question of how much info to include in Russian headwords, can I propose a consensus around the following?
  1. For Cyrillic (and maybe also Greek), don't include transliterations of inflections in headword lines.
  2. For other non-Latin scripts, do so. This info comes either from an explicitly given transliteration or, failing that, from auto-transliteration when it is available and is able to succeed.
My preference would be to transliterate all inflections, but I can accept this compromise for the purpose of consensus. The logic here might be something like this: Cyrillic and Greek are similar enough to Latin script, and easy enough to learn, that there's a reasonable likelihood that someone interested in the inflections of a foreign word has a decent command of these scripts, whereas other scripts are generally much harder to learn and especially to master fluently to the point where a transliteration isn't helpful. This is certainly my experience: I've learned Arabic script and tried to learn Thai script and Devanagari, and my experience with all of these is that it takes a lot more work to become comfortable reading these fluently than it does with Cyrillic or Greek, both of which I learned easily. Even after a lot of work with Arabic I still sometimes stumble over the letters, and find the transliteration very helpful. An additional consideration for Arabic script is that some of the vowels are typically omitted, making transliteration essential. Even when vowels are present, they're often hard to read properly because of font considerations (the vowels are displayed above or below the letters and frequently get drawn over letter descenders or other diacritics, or sometimes a vowel below the line can be confused with a vowel above the next line below). Benwing (talk) 04:19, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
I have already expressed my opinion. Yes, splitting "easy" and "complex" scripts sounds reasonable to me. I have to ask about Korean inflected form (verbs and adjectives). @Wyang:, what do you think, do we need to transliterated Korean inflected forms in the headword? Vahagn wants Armenian (and probably Georgian) to be fully transliterated. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 04:38, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
I think the idea of compulsorily applying headwords to all languages is silly, and a lot of languages would be much better off without it, including the non-inflecting languages and some agglutinative languages. I think the headword is being overused in two aspects: 1) pronunciation; 2) inflection. For Korean, the inflection information in the headword more properly belongs in the conjugation section, and it can be moved to the top of the conjugation table as another table (identifying the key forms) alongside the stems table. The romanisation in the headword is redundant and should be removed. There is then no need for information or parameter duplication as in the cases of 십육 (rv=) and 아름답다 (irreg=y). In the division of "easy" and "complex" scripts, Korean would definitely be classified as an "easy" script, especially according to the Hangul supremacists. It's also called "morning script", as "a wise man can acquaint himself with them before the morning is over; a stupid man can learn them in the space of ten days". Wyang (talk) 22:35, 9 October 2014 (UTC)
This isn't a question of whether to have info in headwords but whether to transliterate them. I personally see Korean as a bunch of random squiggles, so for me it's not that easy. I have also heard that romanization of Korean involves various considerations beyond mere transliteration, i.e. the transcription shows various sorts of assimilations. I think one problem here is that people are thinking in terms of their own expert knowledge rather than the likely audience, which is someone who is a native English speaker and foreign language learner who may not have much experience with a foreign script. Benwing (talk) 00:19, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I also used to look at Korean and Arabic as a bunch of squiggles, until I started learning these languages. Changes in the Korean transliteration make perfect sense when its phonology is understood. And learning a foreign script without learning a bit of a language using it doesn't make much sense. So, learning a script in a day or in a few days is applicable to people speaking that language. Arabic was somewhat easier for me (with good fonts only) and I still think Arabic script is easier and would be quite easy if vowel points were always written (I'm not suggesting it should). I think some info in the Korean headword is useful but for me the important bits are not those currently appearing there. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:20, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
OK, consensus appears to be:
  • No translit for Cyrillic, Greek or Korean scripts.
  • Yes for others.
  • @CodeCat:, can you implement that? We can always add additional exceptions later if needed. Benwing (talk) 04:11, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Arrowred.png Sorry guys, wrench-thrower here --
What constitutes a "simple script"? Who decides what is "simple"?
Again, I must note that, as the English Wiktionary, our only safe consideration we can make when it comes to scripts is that our user base can read the Latin script. I reiterate my position that I believe we should provide romanizations for all headwords not written in the Latin script.
One argument against including romanizations for certain non-Latin scripts seems to be that the scripts are "simple". Sure, any script (or anything at all, really) can be viewed as simple, once you've already learned it. Many other scripts are also pretty straightforward, with charts providing straightforward phonetic conversions. Are we to no longer provide romanizations for Mkhedruli? Gothic? Amharic?
An undercurrent appears to be that we shouldn't include romanizations because doing so would be difficult. That said, this whole project of creating a multilingual dictionary is itself an enormous amount of work. Is such a relatively small amount of additional work really so much of a hurdle? Romanizations are a very simple way to greatly increase the usability of Wiktionary as a whole.
As with everything here, those who don't want to do the work don't have to. But as far as policy or goals are concerned, I feel very strongly that deciding to not include romanizations for non-Latin-script headwords does us, as a project, a grave disservice. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 04:55, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
@Eirikr:, a few points.
  1. This issue concerns only the inflected forms in headwords. The headword itself is always transliterated, as are links.
  2. I agree with you. I would rather see transliterations (transcriptions or romanizations, more correctly) of inflections for all non-Latin scripts.
  3. I don't think it's an issue of how difficult it is but rather that some people seem to think it's "cluttering" the display.
  4. My main concern for the moment is to find some workable compromise so that CodeCat is willing to put back auto-transliteration of Arabic inflections in headwords; I'd do that myself but I don't have permission to edit Module:headword. (Can I request such permission on a page-by-page basis or do I have to become an admin?)
Here's another possible compromise:
  1. For scripts where there's no objection to transliterating inflections in headwords, we go ahead and put the transliteration there after the native-script inflected form, whether it's explicitly given or auto-transliterated. Let's say this will currently apply to all scripts except for Cyrillic and Korean, maybe Greek as well.
  2. For scripts where people think doing this will "clutter" the headword line, include the transliteration in a mouse-over -- I think this is feasible. (It could be said that we should use mouse-over for all scripts, but I'd rather have the transliteration directly visible whenever possible -- it is faster to read that way, and users might not realize that the transliteration is present on mouse-over.) Benwing (talk) 12:15, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I've added a temporary exception to Module:headword so that Arabic inflections are always transliterated. This will hopefully alleviate your immediate concerns, but I do hope that you'll continue to participate in the wider discussion. —CodeCat 13:00, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, and I will stay in the discussion. I wish more people would contribute; it's hard to form a consensus when only a small number of people speak up. Benwing (talk) 13:16, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
I realised I haven't stated my own opinion. I mostly follow Eirikr's reasoning, and think that transliterations should accompany all non-Latin-script terms in some form, wherever they are. Exceptions can be made in cases where terms generally appear paired with Latin-script alternatives, such as in Serbo-Croatian. —CodeCat 13:18, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I support transliteration of all forms listed in the headword line in all scripts other than Latin, preferably automatically generated, even if this means certain Russian forms will appear to end in -ogo instead of -ovo. Some people might say that's easy for me to say, since the only non-Latin-script language I spend much time on is Burmese, and Burmese doesn't have inflections. Nevertheless, I think it's preferable to transliterate them all rather than to try to decide which scripts are "simple" enough that they don't need it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:53, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
    • It reminds me a bit of a debate we had some time ago, considering whether languages were "well known" and "major" enough to not be linked in translation tables and in {{etyl}}. Eventually we gave up on the debate and just made translations never link, and {{etyl}} always link. —CodeCat 14:05, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
One thing we seem to be forgetting here: why are the inflections included in the headword line in the first place? They're included for those who know the rules of the language to figure out the inflection without looking through the tables. In other words, they're a shorthand for people who mostly don't need transliterations. For someone who sees the letters as scribbles, an inflected form is most likely just decoration, anyway- whether it's transliterated or not. That means that this isn't a matter of substance (with a few exceptions such as Arabic), but of style. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:58, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
But many languages don't have tables, so we include the forms on the headword line. And even in cases where there are tables, the forms we include on the headword line are sometimes not in those tables. —CodeCat 17:00, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
Certainly for Arabic, this is exactly correct. The inflections list basic and very important things, like feminines and plurals for nouns and adjectives. For nouns and adjectives we don't currently have any inflection tables. There are other languages that are similar. I took a look at other non-Latin-script languages with inflections, and I can find only Russian and Georgian for nouns, and they also list basic things like the plural (and in the case of Russian, the genitive singular). I can easily imagine a situation where a learner has some concept of grammar -- doesn't take much to want to know how to form the plural -- but a shaky grasp on the native script. Benwing (talk) 23:29, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
For Russian, the genitive and plural forms are also in the tables. But for adjectives, there's the comparative forms, which are not in any table. For verbs, the imperfective and perfective counterparts are not in the table either. —CodeCat 23:47, 10 October 2014 (UTC)
The world of language learners is not neatly divided into those who can read the script and those who can't read the script. If push comes to shove, I can read Sanskrit in Devanagari, but I'd rather read it in transliteration because it's easier. I don't know if our Sanskrit headword lines currently include principle parts or not (our coverage of Sanskrit is not great), but if it did, I would want to have translits on each form listed. Devanagari is not just scribbles for me, but it does take me about 10 times longer to read than transliteration. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:28, 11 October 2014 (UTC)


OK, a majority seems to want to see translit of inflections in all languages. This consists of (at least) me, CodeCat, Angr, Eirikr, Vahag, perhaps also Saltmarsh. A minority seems to either want translit of inflections in only some languages, or wants fewer headword inflections in certain languages, or both. This consists of Anatoli (doesn't want translit in Russian, is OK with the rest, is OK with headword inflections in general), Wyant (doesn't want translit in Korean, wants fewer headword inflections in Korean), and Wikitiki (seems to want fewer headword inflections in general, has expressed particular opinions about Russian, might also want less transliteration although I'm less sure about that).
So, we can do two things, it seems:
  1. Take a vote.
  2. Find some compromise that will satisfy both camps. I've proposed above the idea that we can transliterate the headword inflections of most non-Latin-script languages the traditional way (in parens or something similar, after the native-script word), and for the ones where people object (Korean, Russian), transliterate using a mouse-over popup.
I'd like each person who has expressed an opinion, and any others who want, to comment indicating whether they find #2 reasonable and whether they'd accept it, and if not, do they think #1 is the way to go, and if not, what do they think is the way to go? Benwing (talk) 09:02, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
I don't feel super strongly about this, so I'm open to finding a compromise. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:22, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
I really like the idea of the mouse-over popup (or tooltip) transliteration; however, MediaWiki is imposing their own "preview" popup, which does not even work properly in any useful way on Wiktionary and I really wish we could get rid of it and make room for our own popups. --WikiTiki89 14:30, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
  • What I'd like to see for transliterations is 1) the most common scheme used by default, for all languages 2) ability to switch between all of the popular transliteration systems available by clicking on a link placed near the headword, opening a popup menu with options 3) selected choice remembered when browsing other entries in the same language. 4) Ability to hide/show all transliterations for languages that use them. No "one true transliteration scheme" and no "one true transliteration display option". I believe that all of the necessary data can be generated in Lua, and selectively displayed/hidden using JavaScript. We should give users options not cripple them. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 00:27, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Phrasal verbs whose lemma is not the infinitive[edit]

I noticed that there are some phrasal verb entries in English that are conjugated, but the infinitive is not used as the lemma. An example I noticed just now is all hell breaks loose. This verb certainly does have an infinitive, all hell break loose. This is clear when you add auxiliary verbs: I want all hell to break loose or may all hell break loose. So I think we should move these entries to the infinitive. —CodeCat 22:24, 11 October 2014 (UTC) :We usually don't bother with inflecting phrasal verbs, as it just clutters the entry for no real gain. This kind of a case probably warrants it, however. DCDuring TALK 22:38, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

The problem is it just sounds funny when the subject of the verb is included. I know we moved there is to there be a while back, but it has the same problem: with the subject (even just a dummy subject there) present, the bare infinitive just sounds really odd. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:42, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
It does, but you can't deny that the infinitive exists. So either we should make a specific rule for these cases, or we should continue to use the infinitive, right? —CodeCat 23:13, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Among OneLook dictionaries only Cambridge Idioms actually covers this and they do it at all hell breaks loose. DCDuring TALK 23:54, 11 October 2014 (UTC)
Whichever form we make the lemma, there should be redirects from the other forms. - -sche (discuss) 03:38, 12 October 2014 (UTC)
  • This isn't what I would call a phrasal verb, nor is it so categorized. It is a full sentence. As is the case with virtually all other full English sentences (See Category:English sentences.), the verb and sometimes the noun within can be inflected. (It is trivial to show it to be a full sentence and to show it or any other sentence to occur with an infinitive.) Sentences are usually shown in their canonical form (present indicative tense). DCDuring TALK 05:49, 12 October 2014 (UTC)

use–mention distinction in reference templates[edit]

As happened seven months ago, Dan Polansky and I are currently in disagreement about reference-template formatting; this time, we disagree about whether {{R:L&S}} should enclose the cited entry title in quotation marks. I believe that such quotation marks are necessary in order to mark the use–mention distinction, and that quotation marks create a more legible presentation than italicising the entry title would. I don't know why Dan Polansky disagrees, and nor do I know why he reverted the addition of {{documentation}} to the template in the same edit. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 01:37, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

To explain, I come here in the hope that I shall find or obtain consensus to use quotation marks in {{R:L&S}}. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 01:57, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

Just ignore him. Keφr 11:14, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
@Kephir: Forgive me; does "him" refer to Dan Polansky or to me? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:02, 13 October 2014 (UTC)
Polansky. He is going to be obstructionist just because he can. But for the sake of having anything said on-topic, I agree with you about the quotation marks. On the other hand, some consistency in formatting mentions would be nice, which would favour italics instead. But either way, bare external link formatting seems rather unfitting to me. Keφr 15:34, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Keφr; I thought you meant him, but I wanted to make sure. I've made the change again; hopefully it'll stick this time round. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:28, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
FWIW, I agree with quotation marks, since we are referring to a piece of a larger work: "qua" (for example) is more-or-less a section title. (This is not exactly the same as the use–mention distinction. We are neither using nor mentioning the word qua, we're just citing a source that mentions the word qua. Perhaps a subtle distinction, but IMHO a useful one to keep in mind in cases where the reference work uses a different citation form than we do, or when it assigns a few lemmata to a single entry for whatever reason.) —RuakhTALK 04:56, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Empowering WingerBot[edit]

I filled out a vote request to empower my new bot WingerBot, here:

Wiktionary:Votes/2014-10/Request for bot status: WingerBot

This is my first bot.

It gives a 30-day vote period, which seems excessive. For example, JackBot had a 7-day window, which seems reasonable. If that can be applied here, can someone fix up the start and end times appropriately?

Thanks. Benwing (talk) 07:20, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

FYI, the voting is going on now (and has been for a few days).
My bot's source code is available on github: [1]
See also Wiktionary talk:Votes/2014-10/Request for bot status: WingerBot.
Benwing (talk) 11:29, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
It's been several days since this vote has finished ... could someone close it? Thanks. Benwing (talk) 01:24, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Compound lists for Japanese entries (and possibly CJK in general) -- are these really needed?[edit]

With the advent of User:Haplology's various categories for Japanese entries, which compile lists of terms using each kanji (such as Category:Japanese terms spelled with 赤 read as あか, or Category:Japanese terms spelled with 幸 read as こう), it occurs to me that the potentially *huge* lists of compounds that could be compiled and included within each kanji entry are actually redundant and obsolete. Rather than laboriously compile these lists by hand, I think it makes a lot more sense to leverage the categories to do the hard work for us.

Comparing the categories and the manually created lists, the only additional information that the manual lists provide is a possible reading, and a gloss. This leads me to two things:

  • As a proposal: I posit that this information, while potentially helping to improve usability slightly, also represents a sizable negative potential for mistakes and inconsistencies. I therefore propose that we no longer include such lists in Japanese entries, referring users instead to the categories. I also submit for consideration that Chinese and Korean editors might do the same for hanzi and hanja compound lists.
  • As a request: Does anyone familiar with the inner workings of categories know if there might be some technically feasible way to get readings to display automatically in category listings? For instance, 幸運#Japanese is added to category Category:Japanese terms spelled with 幸 read as こう, with the sort argument こううん (kōun). Looking at the list on the category page, we see that 幸運#Japanese is there, but its sort argument is lost -- other than the sorting itself, the sort argument doesn't appear on the page as any kind of useful information. Is there any way of capturing sort arguments and getting them to display somehow in category lists?

I look forward to hearing what others think. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 18:19, 13 October 2014 (UTC)

I find them useful. They are not hard to create. Ideally, a bot should make those categories.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 10:09, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Sorry, which them did you mean in I find them useful? Did you mean the categories that list compounds (which are already auto-generated once the appropriate templates are added to an entry), or the in-entry lists of compounds (which so far have to be created by hand)? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:11, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I find categories useful, such as Category:Japanese terms spelled with 飢 read as う. Yes, the template auto-generates cats but they have to be created manually if they are missing. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 21:42, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

Rethinking Babel boxes[edit]

I did some minor editing at WT:Babel recently, which made me wonder whether it would make sense to rewrite {{Babel}} in Lua. My initial motivation was to integrate it with our central list of languages (maybe even into the category boilerplate system which User:CodeCat developed) and get rid of inline styles on the way. While planning this out, some other ideas emerged in my head:

  • To have the blurbs ("This user speaks Elbonian at an advanced level") in English, and English only. On one hand, this is contrary to how Babel boxes look in other Wikimedia projects. On the other, not only will it massively simplify the code, it also makes the most sense: English is the one language in which English Wiktionary's (duh) definitions, boilerplate and meta-content are written and in which discussions are (usually) conducted, and the only language which can be assumed to be understood by all users. If I am looking at a Babel box of an advanced speaker of Cantonese, I can recognise it only because I remember yue to be the code for Cantonese, and that the number 3 means advanced level. The blurb tells me nothing; I do not know nearly enough Hanzi to recognise a single character.
  • To rename the user categories. "User si-3" is rather terse and again forces me to remember language codes. "Wiktionary:Advanced speakers of Sinhalese" would be more elegant and descriptive.
  • To deprecate {{#babel:}}, as was suggested in Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2014/September#Can we disable the #babel parser function? (I see the English blurb issue was brought up there too). I think some page in the MediaWiki namespace can be edited to point users to the template instead.
  • To suggest users to add themselves to interest groups (in Module:workgroup ping/data) when they speak a certain language at a high above level.

Some considerations:

  • Integration with our central languages list would mean that, for example Template:User en-us-N would have to be folded into Template:User en (I see Template:User sr-4 already redirects to Template:User sh-4)
  • I think some users may expect Wikimedia language codes to work in our Babel boxes (they may simply copy the Babel template across projects). I think we should generally not break that expectation; however, I worry about some Wikimedia codes not mapping perfectly to local ones.


Keφr 17:08, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

I support translating the Babel boxes into English. Their very purpose is defeated when they are incomprehensible. — Ungoliant (falai) 17:18, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I agree with this too, and I definitely agree with converting to Lua to eliminate the unmaintainable mess of templates we currently have. —CodeCat 17:21, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
I support translating to English. I oppose converting to Lua because once we translate to English it will be very easy to turn it into a small maintainable template without Lua. I also oppose, as before, deprecating {{#babel:}}. --WikiTiki89 17:30, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
The Module:workgroup ping integration and (maybe) validation would be much harder to do from a bare template. And I think so would be Eirikr's suggestion to avoid nested tables (while maintaining all current functionality, at least). Keφr 08:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Arrowred.png I enjoy seeing the other languages and would be sad to see them go, but I understand and generally agree with the rationale for changing the Babel boxes to be all-English. If we're going to have them redone, my 2p request would be to not use nested tables, and to make sure that the columns actually line up properly. I'm one of those visually oriented people for whom the jagged inconsistencies of the current Babel infrastructure is so jarring, that I deconstructed the tables and rebuilt them to line up properly on my own user page. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:08, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Does the text really matter, other than the English, as well as native, language name? Wouldn't luacizing the templates would mean that, as a practical matter, the text could only be in English? A new person with a new language could not be assumed capable of adding the text required in their language in a standard-conforming way, unless there were a particularly obvious way to add the text. DCDuring TALK 08:20, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, maybe; translating into every language would be a bit of work (just create a huge data table… the only problem is that it would probably grow even larger than Module:languages, so we would have to split it, and it might become hard to navigate…), but could be done in principle. Though I think we could abuse the Scribunto i18n library to reuse messages provided by mw:Extension:Babel, and have every single Babel box in any language the reader desires (just add ?uselang= to the URL). Though that would put mw:Extension:Babel in a weird limbo of "deprecated but depended upon by its replacement"; and I have no idea how this interface could be exposed. Or we could just use that facility to maintain the status quo (pardon the Polanskyism) of having them in the target language. Keφr 08:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Proof of concept: {{#invoke:User:Kephir/test1|babble|ast|5}} gives
{{GENDER:USER|Esti usuariu|Esta usuaria}} tien un conocimientu [[LEVEL LINK|profesional]] d'[[LANG LINK|asturianu]].
This user has [[LEVEL LINK|professional]] knowledge of [[LANG LINK|Asturian]].
This user has professional knowledge of Asturian.
. Try also viewing this page in Chinese. Keφr 14:38, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I always thought that the purpose of having the blurbs in the target language was to help non-English speakers or English language learners to find users with whom they might be able to communicate if they needed help. I think it is beneficial to see the name of the language in English so that English speakers can easily recognize which language the box indicates. - TheDaveRoss 20:35, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
I did not consider this. This is a good argument. Keφr 08:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
On that note, I wouldn't be opposed to the option of adding English text to existing Babel boxes-- but WITHOUT taking away the foreign language text. This would allow them to serve the purpose of helping foreign language users find people with whom they might communicate and talk to, and still make it easier for English speakers to make sense of it. (Note also, I'm one of the people who got so fed up with the babel templates and their alignment and such, that I made my own table rather than deal with them, as well as because there were a number of babel templates missing at the time when I set mine up. This isn't as uncommon as one might think, and thus while changing the templates is well-intentioned, it won't necessarily reach every instance.) --Neskaya sprecan? 17:32, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
It would be hard to fit all of that text neatly in a small box. We could work around that, though, if we shorten the text. Something like "near-native level English speaker" is short enough. —CodeCat 17:43, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Or even more brief: "Basic Russian", "Intermediate Russian", "Advanced Russian" and "Native Russian". - TheDaveRoss 18:06, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Rough initial version: Module:Babel. Does not categorise, and I did not aim for pixel-for-pixel replication. Try it by expanding {{Babel/x}} at Special:ExpandTemplates. Supports script, language and "coder" boxes; {{User time zone}}, {{User Wikipedia}}, {{User SUL}} and {{User bot owner}} are not supported. Using an unsupported box specification makes it fall back to the old Babel template. Keφr 19:25, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Spaces in alphabetization of language names[edit]

How do we treat spaces when we alphabetize language names? Specifically, does "Lower Sorbian" precede or follow "Low German"? If we ignore spaces, then "LowerSorbian" precedes "LowGerman", but if we treat spaces as preceding A in alphabetical order, then "Low_German" precedes "Lower_Sorbian". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:01, 14 October 2014 (UTC)

There are pros and cons to both options. What do Dictionaries that list multi-word phrases as separate entries do? --WikiTiki89 01:35, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
I just checked six print dictionaries (two British, four American) and they all ignore spaces (hotchpot before hot dog before hotel). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 06:12, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
w:Alphabetical order#Treatment of multiword strings is relevant.​—msh210 (talk) 12:30, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
That page basically outlines the question, but does not provide an answer. --WikiTiki89 12:39, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Both treatments are valid; the question is, which do we want to use? Dictionary headwords apparently usually follow the "ignore the space" rule, but other lists may follow the "treat the words separately" rule. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:53, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Internet-based sorting, including our own categories, generally treats a space as being ordered before any other character. So that would place Low German before Lower Sorbian. —CodeCat 18:27, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Some paper dictionaries, too, use this ordering, e.g. the Routledge dictionary of historical slang: have a look at http://books.google.fr/books?id=JRuNMHNcu5cC&pg=PP12&lpg=PP12&dq=%22something+before+nothing%22+dictionaries&source=bl&ots=6iDNPNRHjr&sig=S8mC2Wqar5xb4FCC2zWaw4itGG8&hl=fr&sa=X&ei=yXJBVNebNMnDPPWkgIgG&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22something%20before%20nothing%22%20dictionaries&f=false This is the better ordering for our kind of dictionary. Lmaltier (talk) 19:52, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
This dictionary calls it something before nothing. Do you understand why? Lmaltier (talk) 20:12, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
On what basis do you say "This is the better ordering for our kind of dictionary."? I happen to be leaning the other way. --WikiTiki89 21:30, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
The reason is the number of multi-word phrases, etc. here. When entries in a dictionary are almost always single words (without spaces, etc.) and phrases are defined in these basic entries, the strict alphabetical order is the logical choice. Wnen each phrase has its own entry, it's much better to get all phrases beginning with the same word together when using a category. An example : you expect boulanger-pâtissier (probably adressed in boulanger in most paper dictionaries) after boulanger but before boulangerie, the order boulanger, boulangerie, boulanger-pâtissier is not what you would expect. Lmaltier (talk) 15:48, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
For the most part, we don't have to worry about alphabetization here; our entries are on separate pages that aren't ordered with respect to each other. Our categories alphabetize automatically, and I see that Category:en:Languages has Low German >> Low Prussian >> Low Saxon >> Lower Lusatian >> Lower Silesian >> Lower Sorbian >> Lower Wendish, meaning that our automatic alphabetization does treat spaces as ordered before any other character. The only alphabetization we have to do manually is the ordering of the languages in entries like se, which is where I first encountered the problem of where to put Lower Sorbian with respect to Low German. My immediate instinct was Low German >> Lower Sorbian, but then I second-guessed myself and asked here. After discovering that dictionary lemmas treat spaces as nonexistent, I went back to se and switched the order to Lower Sorbian >> Low German. But now that I've looked at how our categories alphabetize, I'm gonna go back again and switch it back to my first instinct, Low German >> Lower Sorbian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:07, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
We have to worry about categories only, but this is very important. They alphabetize automatically, but we must ensure that they alphabetize the best way for readers. For languages: the result is disputable for Lak'ota. Lmaltier (talk) 05:41, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
We have some control over sorting in categories, though I'm not sure if that includes treatment of spaces. As for "Lak'ota", that's not a good example- we call the language Lakota. Chuck Entz (talk) 12:24, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
It was a real example: see Category:en:Languages and look at L. Lak'ota is before Lake Miwok. Lmaltier (talk) 20:17, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Extended etymologies[edit]

I came up on this website illustrating an idea that I had in mind for a while (click on the blue links in the leftmost column). We could extend the < "derives from" operator used in etymologies to generate a drop-down table illustrating intermediate steps between pairs in the derivational chain, i.e. all of the sound changes involved. Short descriptions could link to appendices where more details are available. This would be applicable to both reconstructions and attested etymons, including borrowings (which often undergo some special rules can nevertheless be described and cataloged). Chronologically inverted list would be used in the descendants sections of the corresponding source word/reconstruction. Support could be added for multiple sequences of derivation, and even multiple sources or different reconstructions reflecting different protolanguages. It would however require some non-trivial investment in the groundwork to make it work, so it should best be approved (or better: not disapproved) first before people waste time. I've seen some recent works that use this method but they use numbers instead of descriptions to explain what's going on, so one has to manually look up what each of the numbers used means, and the layout is horizontal not vertical. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 00:13, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Support, although I recognize that there should be a lot of discussion about the specifics of the layout. --WikiTiki89 01:36, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
How would it work, on a technical level? How would you share data between entries? DTLHS (talk) 04:46, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Support. I had a vague idea about having such lists in appendices somewhere, but never developed it. Filling out the details would seem to go beyond the limits of published sources without resorting to the kind of extrapolation that you've been berating CodeCat for- are you ok with that? Chuck Entz (talk) 13:30, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
Support. Categorization based on sound change could also be added, such as Category:Old Armenian terms derived by Meillet's law. Or such terms could appear on the appendix dedicated to Meillet's law. --Vahag (talk) 10:29, 16 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I think this might overwhelm normal entries, especially if people do it for every morpheme in a polymorphemic word, but it would be nice to do this somehow on reconstructed-form appendix pages. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:49, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
    • It wouldn't be too bad if we restricted it to the rules between a term and its nearest parent (i.e., an English etymology would only have the steps between it and Middle English or maybe Old English), and hid the list so that only those who choose to look at it would see it. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:57, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Categories for words that have pronunciations marked in the form of IPA[edit]

Should we create such categories? I believe that it is convenient to go to Special:WhatLinksHere/Appendix:Italian pronunciation for the above information. --kc_kennylau (talk) 09:53, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

What's the general consensus view on handling abusive editors?[edit]

I stumbled across the activities of a new editor and have been quite impressed at how abusive they can be -- foul language, name-calling, lawyering, basically the kind of trollish behavior that drove me from Wikipedia years ago. I analyzed their total contributions, only a short list so far, and found that more than a quarter have been on talk pages, where this editor has mostly argued about editing decisions, illustrated their profound ignorance of the consensus here, and berated other users. Another more-than-quarter has been in this user's own userspace. 40% has been actual constructive mainspace edits, mostly in January-March this year. Out of the total, more than a quarter has been confrontational and even outright abusive.

For what it's worth, this editor has not yet had any direct dealings with me.

How would other admins approach this? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 18:05, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

I would post a warning on his/her user page along the lines of "Start being nice to people, or I will block you." (but in a more polite way). --WikiTiki89 18:10, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I have to agree here. If you don't want to post the warning to the user, feel free to post a note on my talk page or use EmailUser to contact me, and I'll be happy to deal with it and whatever incivility comes up of it (as well as happy to watch them for a few weeks to see if they improve or need some time off to think). That sort of attitude isn't what we need from editors here. --Neskaya sprecan? 17:26, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Proposal: use quotation marks to mark headwords cited in reference templates for Latin-script languages[edit]

Further to §: use–mention distinction in reference templates above, may I suggest that we use quotation marks in our R:-prefixed reference templates to mark the headwords cited by those templates? So, for example, the standard format (at least where the headword is concerned) would be:

  • “foo, n.” in Some Big Dictionary

(Because of potential problems with using quotation marks with other scripts, I make this proposal for Latin-script languages only.) Does that seem sensible to everyone? Is there consensus? Shall I prepare a vote? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

  • It's also worth noting that all three of these changes to remove the quotes were in 2009, now half a decade ago. Attitudes and ideas change over time. I suggest we check the opinions of the relevant people here. That said, Ullman is no longer with us, and Spangineer's last edit was in 2010. @DCDuring: do you have any input on this quote issue? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:32, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I support adding quotes. It's the only way we can make the cited part stand out without changing text style like the italic "n.". —CodeCat 19:16, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
    The only way to stand out? That is obviously untrue. The text of the word stands out by the use of a different color for the hyperlink, as in cat in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:27, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
    Not all people can see such colours. —CodeCat 19:35, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
    You mean color blind (are there such that cannot distinguish blue vs. black)? Or people with a simple browser that does not distinguish a piece of text with a link from a piece of text without a link? Even assuming some people do not see such colors, will they miss the link because of the missing quotation marks? If so, will they miss links in general, since in general links are not surrounded by quotation marks? --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:38, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
    Surprisingly, I agree with Dan. Color or other link distinction seems sufficient. Quotation marks, especially double, add visual clutter IMO.
We use quotes for glosses, so any need for glosses in such templates — quite possible IMO — would require multiple quotes.
If we resort to further distinction, I would strongly oppose ever using italics as it makes it impossible to maintain the appropriate typographic contrast for the taxonomic names that are supposed to have it. DCDuring TALK 19:51, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Re: links, are there any cases where a term might not be linked in such a template call? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:27, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
    It certainly might not always be the pagename. In some cases having a named link might be misleading, as it implies that it is possible to go to a page that is directly related to the term, rather than, say, a general search-form page. The more I deal with these, the more I appreciate such refinements. Also: optional italics for the taxonomic names that need them ("i=1") and a optional gloss ("gloss="). Not every template needs such options, but they are handy. DCDuring TALK 22:08, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Redesign-Redefine of Russian Entries[edit]

I'm going towards a large redo of many Russian pages, translating swathes from Russian Wiktionary with a focus to layout consistency, definition intuitiveness/coverage, and relevant design/coding.

Info on en-Wiktionary is generally inadequate for translating literature; often confusing for basic words (e.g.'весь', see below). We have all necessary info already, only, on Wiktionary-ru, hence inaccessible to casuals (many definition examples cited there derive from literature.) I started translating Dostoevsky, ( https://github.com/icarot/bk ) which was when such inadequacies became more obvious.


1) Collaborate with Grease Pit to try to normalize the data layout as consistently as possible, for parsing by robots. A parser/morphological analyzer needs quality, open data. Hacky consistency = hacky parse.

2) Improve word-count and definition count immensely. On the order of a few thousand for one of them. Even ru-Wiktionary is occasionally lacking in this department.

3) Clean messy pages, i.e. 'весь' (which confound the novice with the unintuitive concept that Russian uses declensions to represent irregular meaning on an unusually multi-purpose [pronoun-adjective] word), and does not represent all of the critical meanings.

4) Pronunciations from ru-Wiktionary as well. Ours are sufficient but different (we use phonemic vs. narrow transcriptions). In my opinion, the narrow transcriptions are better since they reveal useful subtleties of pronunciation without adding obscure IPA symbols. The main changes would be notating non-phonemes when ru-Wiktionary decided to do so and we did not, such as replacing our alveolar approximants with velarized allophones, and notating unusual instances of vowel allophony, or secondary stress. In short, copying the more precise and still friendly transcriptions from ru-Wiktionary. Consensus?

What are desired improvements I've missed for Russian translations which can be directly bettered from conventions and the scope of information on Russian Wiktionary? Looking for criticisms, guidance, etc. I wouldn't just run rampant without letting the community know what was going on, or asking for help.

Main Points Noted

  • Ivan I can help generate stubs [..] — that would be brilliant! I'd do the same, using lemmas from Dostoevsky. I'll use the corpora from ru-Wiktionary (i.e., National Russian Corpus) because if it's there, logically I assume it's license-compatible. I agree with you about Google Translate — they can't possibly have the copyright on that data. But we should verify to make sure.
  • Ivan German article in Spiegel and there were like 2-3 missing words in every single sentence. I can imagine that the statistics for Dostoevsky are even worse. It has become embarrassing. We should have some kind of stubs for statistically top 20k words in every language IMHO — I think this is a fantastic idea. And you're absolutely right about your inference about Dostoevsky. It's the English equivalent of reading the word 'snicker' and having no entry whatsoever. This is middle- or high-school vocabulary, and is a large problem as a whole for practical use as a dictionary. Can we reach a consensus for doing this specifically for ru-articles?
  • Wikitiki89 do not change the layout without discussing it first. — Main change wanted is inflection tables. These on en-Wiktionary waste huge amounts of space. We should copy ru-Wiktionary's approach: a clean, uncluttered overview of an inflection pattern. While we're on the topic of morphology, I want Alfred Zalizjank's inflection descriptions from ru-Wiktionary as well. He uses one number and one letter for each word to comprehensively cover the morphology and stress pattern of Russian. I'll work on translating the description from ru-Wiktionary when I get a moment.

Icarot (talk) 00:18, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

We have seen you talking but we haven't seen you working :). You're welcome to demonstrate your ideas. Yes, we need more Russian entries and some entries may need fixes or improvements but you can't make major changes without a prior agreement. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:20, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Just a heads-up: Any automatic transmission of data from Russian Wiktionary into English Wiktionary has to clearly indicate the source of the data in the edit summary to prevent copyright violation. --Dan Polansky (talk) 05:34, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Feel free to make any changes you want to content, but do not change the layout without discussing it first. --WikiTiki89 14:25, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
  • @Icarot: I can help you generate stubs for Russian nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs (the rest are a closed category and mostly covered). Stubs would be entries like in this category - the only thing they are missing are definitions. I could help extract a list of missing lemmas from a particular work. We could also pregenerate a list of examples for every entry and format them using the {{usex}} template, by taking them from ru Wiktionary, glosbe, parallel corpora databases, subtitles, google translate and so on, that editors could easily copy/paste into entries that are missing them. Don't worry about associations (derived terms, *nyms, morphological etymologies etc.) - those can be largely automated once entries with definitions are created. The primary focus should be on coverage. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 07:32, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
    • Not sure why you are not continuing with this crap in Serbo-Croatian Wiktionary. It already has more than 100 000 Serbo-Croatian definitionless entries. If Wiktionary users are so hungry after such content as you posit, Serbo-Croatian Wiktionary could become one of the most visited Wiktionaries soon. Unless it gets shut down due to copyright violation, that is, such as because of automated lifting of data from Google translate as you seem to suggest above. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:58, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
      Inflections cannot be copyrighted, the databanks such as HJP are completely free. Besides, I fixed many errors in them, and used two others as well. Definitions on the other hand can be copyrighted, and are nevertheless abundantly stolen by many FL Wiktionaries without anyone so much raising an eyebrow. Don't worry Polansky, soon I'll add many such stubs for Czech as well. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 08:07, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
      • As you know from a previous discussion on the subject with copious participation, there is no consensus supporting your mass creation of definitionless entries. There is no consensus for blocking that behavior either, though. You may get blocked in the process nonetheless; if I were a crat, I would have blocked you by now for entering definitionless rubbish. You may also get blocked for the above cynical utterances of disrespect toward copyright; if I were the operator of this website, I would block you for that. In the meantime, I will take this opportunity to register my annoyance. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:16, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
        A wide consensus is not necessary for language-specific work (The original discussion was for all languages). A few editors agreeing and working together is enough. The rest can complain about it all day for all I care. (It seems to be the only thing that you do anyway.) Just looking at the content of Category:Czech nouns: We have 13k Czech nouns and 95% of them don't have inflection and pronunciation. I can guess the meaning of 90% of them and I've never studied Czech in my life. I know it's hard to accept that most of your work has been futile, but such is life. Google Translate is based on statistical correlation in parallel corpora not owned by Google an its translation pairs are uncopyrightable, and can completely substitute all of the work you've done. Working smart not stupid is the way to go, using bots and free databases for heavy lifting and not wasting time on typing wiki syntax. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 08:31, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
        • Re: 'The rest can complain about it all day for all I care. (It seems to be the only thing that you do anyway.)': That is obviously untrue; it suffices to inspect my mainspace contribution to see otherwise. I propose you use your blocking tools to block yourself for that remark. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:36, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
        • Re: "I can guess the meaning of 90% of them": Very unlikely. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:38, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
          Well I took a look at the last 50 contribs of yours, and the only novel mainspace edit is some English misspelling. Anyway, my point was that you've invested too much time into easily replicable manual labor so that you oppose stubbing not by reason but principle. See: neo-Luddite. We have too little editors to do everything manually, and after 10 years we're still missing thousands of top words in many major languages. The other day I was reading a German article in Spiegel and there were like 2-3 missing words in every single sentence. I can imagine that the statistics for Dostoevsky are even worse. It has become embarrassing. We should have some kind of stubs for statistically top 20k words in every language IMHO (including translations). Regarding blocking - using words such as crap or rubbish when referring to other people's work is considered impolite and could be a cause for a block. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 08:56, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
          Are you semantically challenged? Which part of "the only thing that you do" you fail to understand? Some recent contributions are [2] and [3]. Your ridiculous insults and inaccuracy are just tiresome. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:19, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
          You've made ~500 mainspace edits in 4 months, most of which are translation pairs. I could in a few hours write a script that would generate both those and inflections and pronunciations. 4 months of work reduced to few hundred lines of code. I can even extract context labels from dicts. I understand your anger but there is no need to project it towards others. Behave yourself. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 09:36, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
          • My point is that what you said was clearly false. I still see no "I stand corrected". Actually, when one rereads your posts above, they are full of obvious inaccuracies. I am not sure why I care to respond to that sort of communication style that is inaccurate by design, and whose author never says "I stand corrected, I was wrong". --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:44, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
            Natural languages are too primitive to convey the nuances of meaning representative of the real world. Nature is stochastic and statistical, and there really exists no such thing as true or false, right or wrong. In practice "never" means "almost never/in 0.something % of cases", and "all" means "100% for all practical purposes". It's real life 101. But I digress. If you don't have anything to say regarding my points I suggest that we terminate this interlocution.--Ivan Štambuk (talk) 10:05, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
            • Re: "Natural languages are too primitive to convey the nuances of meaning representative of the real world." No one should be allowed to get away with this sort of continental nonsense. The relevant distinctions are very easy to express in natural language: there is a clear, easy to understand difference between "The only thing you do is X", "You do almost nothing but X", and "Most of what you do consists of X". No rocket science, nothing to do with stochastic nature of the real world. As I said, remind me of the occasion on which you admit you made an error rather than blaming natural language for lack of expressive power. Your sort of response to clear refuting examples is the sort of behavior which Popper's philosophy of falsificationism was intended to combat. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:51, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
          Re: 'using words such as crap or rubbish when referring to other people's work is considered impolite and could be a cause for a block': That's utter rubbish. You can hear "rubbish" all the time, used be well educated and generally polite people. These words are not the most polite forms available, but fit well to describe the sort of content that dominates the Russian Wiktionary. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:23, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
          I'm not sure what kind of polite people you socialize with, but referring to other people's work as crap and rubbish an them as challenged (a jocular pejorative) is generally reserved for intimate contexts where they would not perceive it as an insult (e.g. family or close friends). Russian Wiktionary is doing fine, thanks for asking. And so will the Serbo-Croatian Wiktionary. Not so long ago the SC Wikipedia was ridiculed on similar grounds, and now is the bigger than any of the hr/bs/sr pedias with the highest growth rate. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 09:36, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

@Icarot: Feel free to add definitions to Category:Russian entries needing definition, generated by User:Ivan Štambuk, which I have been working on. Plenty of work to do! I'll repeat what was said before: please don't change the design without a prior agreement. As I said before, we haven't seen you working yet. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:37, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

IPA, language code and error message[edit]

Whatever changes were made to IPA modules to make older pages (2013) have conspicuous red error message in the IPA section should be undone. Example: this revision. Old revisions should look as legible and sane as possible; this is not. In general, IPA templates should not require the language parameter; filling-all-the-fields concerns should be delegated to editors with a shovel who have no real interest in building the dictionary. --Dan Polansky (talk) 05:31, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

I agree that the lack of a lang parameter shouldn't result in an error message, but we don't have any editors who have no real interest in building the dictionary. People with no interest in building the dictionary don't become editors. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:00, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I completely agree that there shouldn't be an error message. A cleanup category would be sufficient. --WikiTiki89 14:27, 18 October 2014 (UTC)
I was gonna say exactly what Wikitiki89 said. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:49, 24 October 2014 (UTC)


There's a lot about this entry that makes me nervous: the word was apparently coined in a journal article published in mid August, with some or all of the authors working at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. The Wiktionary article was created at the beginning of September by an anonymous contributor whose IP is assigned to ASU. A variety of IPs from the same southern Alabama/northern Florida area as ASU, as well as an account that seems to bear the name of one of the authors, have been adding references, which are all articles/blurbs about either the research program at ASU or about the original article itself. It's tagged as a hot word, but it looks to me to be lukewarm at best: a Google search does show the word in a blog or news article here or there, but this isn't the kind of strong, widespread adoption we saw with olinguito.

I can't escape the impression that we're being used for promotional purposes, and I feel we need to do something- but I'm not sure whether to tag this for cleanup to prune out all the PR from the references, or to rfv it, or something else. It certainly doesn't meet the letter of the CFI, since it's only 2 months old, but how do we decide whether this is "hot" enough to keep it provisionally as a hot word? Chuck Entz (talk) 05:04, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Some use outside of the group promoting it would be nice. I'd RfV it for starts. DCDuring TALK 12:44, 19 October 2014 (UTC)
It's hard to say which of the "references" have print counterparts or can otherwise be considered to be durably archived. At least one is a self-proclaimed blog. Nothing in CFI says we have to include something as a hot word, especially when it is not at all clear that use would get ever beyond the field of forensic science and practice. I think that means that it would in the end come to a vote, which usually takes place at RfD. And then there's the increasingly important question of how we address the decline of print media.
This particular case seems to me to be part of a campaign by a university PR office. RfC seems inappropriate as the entire issue is with the attestation. I'd RfV it to get a slow clock started. We need to have properly formatted attestation to facilitate wide participation in review. Why should each participant have to click through to each website? DCDuring TALK 13:17, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

Headwords for reconstructed languages[edit]

So I'm putting in the first steps towards an appendix for Proto-Samic, a fairly well-reconstructed proto-language. I'm however wondering what would be a good choice of headword for verbs?

  1. Use just the bare verb stem. This is what the main published sources, including the 1989 dictionary by Lehtiranta [1], seem to do: e.g. *ëstë (to be in time). However this is not an actual wordform by itself.
  2. Use the verb stem, marked by a hyphen to be just a stem and not an actual wordform: e.g. *ëstë-.
  3. Follow the standard for the modern-day Samic languages (and, for that matter, our PF and PGmc appendices) and use the infinitive: e.g. *ëstëtēk. These are not directly listed in the source literature, but they are simple enough to assemble, and the ending itself is uncontroversial.

Worth noting is that some otherwise homophonic roots would be distinguishable under options #2 and #3 (e.g. *ćēkćë 'osprey' ~ *ćëkćë- 'to kick'). OTOH there also exist roots for which it is not clear if the original meaning was nominal or verbal (*teampō 'to become wet / seaweed'), and their placement would end up arbitrary if we strictly separated verbs and nominals by citation form.

(Discussion on further matters perhaps ought to go at Wiktionary talk:About Proto-Samic. [EDIT] 15:34, 24 October 2014 (UTC): Page now up.)

--Tropylium (talk) 20:46, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

[1] Lehtiranta, Juhani. 1989–2001. Yhteissaamelainen sanasto ('Common Sami Vocabulary'). Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Toimituksia 200. Helsinki: Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura. ISBN 951-9403-23-X.

I would choose option 3 mainly because it lines up better with modern terms and makes comparisons easier. It also matches our treatment of Proto-Finnic, which also uses the infinitive as the lemma. —CodeCat 21:21, 19 October 2014 (UTC)

On proper nouns[edit]

Previous discussions: Wiktionary:Information desk/2014/July#Are names always proper nouns (or proper names)?, Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2014/July#Proper nouns

Why do we treat proper nouns as a separate POS from nouns? Proper nouns are just a specific type of noun; having separate headings and categories for "Proper nouns" as opposed to "Nouns" is a bit like having separate headings and categories for "Transitive verbs" as opposed to "Verbs". Merging proper nouns in with nouns would solve a lot of ambiguity problems, such as words like Friday and Christmas that can be used both as a proper noun and as a common noun, not to mention the problem that there is no real clear cross-linguistic definition of what constitutes a proper noun. (Most attempts at defining the difference I've seen apply only to English and don't necessarily work for other languages.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:26, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

I definitely support this. Furthermore, even if this does not pass, I would like to propose categorising all proper nouns as nouns as well, and merging Category:Proper noun forms by language into Category:Noun forms by language. —CodeCat 16:59, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
As a general rule if something (eg, a classification, attribute) is reasonably well researched and documented in a given language and has lexical implications, then we should have it in that language. If other languages don't have the distinction or don't have it documented then we shouldn't have it for those languages. I don't see why we should dumb down presentation of any language, let alone the host language, for the sake of uniformity or the convenience of translators or Lua practitioners.
For English and for taxonomic names, the notion of proper nouns is well-documented and useful. We could make the presentation simpler by acknowledging that large classes of English proper nouns have perfectly predictable (ie, effectively syntactical) patterns of common-noun use. I always wonder whether we can prevent contributors from adding "missing" information such as an Adjective PoS section to cover attributive use of an English noun, but that problem seems to be declining. DCDuring TALK 17:21, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
But we don't have to indicate the "propriety" of nouns by having "Proper noun" considered a separate POS. We could tag nouns {{lb|en|proper}} or {{lb|en|common}}, for example, the way we already label verbs {{lb|en|transitive}} or {{lb|en|intransitive}}. It isn't "dumbing down" the presentation of the language to aim for accuracy as well as precision. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:34, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
You have now taken a position that is better defined than your initial posting, which expressed opposition to proper noun headings and categories. And your initial posting included "the problem that there is no real clear cross-linguistic definition of what constitutes a proper noun", which seems like the kind of cross-linguistic uniformitarianism that is often proposed here and which is probably what has won you CodeCat's support.
Your statement above that 'having separate headings and categories for "Proper nouns" as opposed to "Nouns" is a bit like having separate headings and categories for "Transitive verbs" as opposed to "Verbs"' implies that you are opposed to such headers and categorization in the case of entries that are now proper nouns. But we have categorization of "Intransitive verbs". Are you really opposed to that as well. The ratio of English proper noun entries to total English noun entries is even smaller than the ratio of intransitive English verbs to total English verbs, so the category is arguably more useful. Given our current "efficient" method of implementing labels, we cannot use "what links here" and a template to construct a list of items so labeled, leaving us with only categories, programs run on dump runs, and text searches as ways of constructing such lists from labeled definitions. Speaking from extensive and recent experience, I can say that text searches are not fully satisfactory and that programs run on the XML dumps are inconvenient for many ad-hoc purposes.
Are you opposed to the proper noun category as well as to the proper noun heading? Are you in favor of proper labeling of individual definitions before the proper noun heading is eliminated? Are we sure that proper labeling does not require manual review? Who do you propose do the checking and conversion? DCDuring TALK 19:15, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I'm not proposing anything yet; at this point all I want is discussion. I do want to consider getting rid of the L3 header, but you're right that parallelism with transitive and intransitive verbs does suggest retaining Category:English proper nouns as well as creating Category:English common nouns. As for a cross-linguistic definition, I'm not even talking about languages that aren't considered to have the proper/common distinction (though I'm not aware of any languages that don't), I'm talking about a definition that would apply to all languages that are considered to have both kinds of nouns. Even for such syntactically similar languages as English, French, and German I don't know how to define "proper noun" in a way that will apply to all three languages. And if each language has to have its own language-specific definition, that's a good indication to me that the concept of "proper noun" has no linguistic basis at all and is useful only for pedagogy. And if it turns out there is no adequate definition of "proper noun", then we shouldn't use the label template or the category at all. What do other dictionaries do? Do other dictionaries label proper nouns separately? What criteria do they use? For that matter, what criteria do we use? Why are AB-yogurt and air chief marshal proper nouns? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:36, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
I'd be willing to stake my reputation as a linguist on there being massive overlap among the sets of things considered as proper nouns in all languages. Many folks don't act as if taxonomic names are proper nouns, but most theoretical taxonomists seem to. And then there is the proper name/proper noun distinction. DCDuring TALK 21:48, 20 October 2014 (UTC)
But "being considered a proper noun" isn't a definition. And I'm not sure there's even always overlap within the same language. For example, we call language names like Latin and Sanskrit proper nouns, just like names like Noah and London. But the American Heritage Dictionary, which gives no part of speech info for Noah and London, labels Latin and Sanskrit "n.", which they otherwise do only for common nouns. So are language names proper or common? What usage of taxonomic names indicates that theoretical taxonomists treat them as proper nouns? (That's an actual question, not a rhetorical one.) Considering our first definition of [[proper name]] is "proper noun", I wonder the distinction between the two is supposed to be. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:12, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Support tentatively (but I will see how the discussion goes), even if it causes Japanese, Chinese (only Mandarin, Min Nan/Min Dong and Hakka) and Korean transliterations to become lower case (various dictionaries use different standard for capitalisations of these languages, place and personal names are usually capitalised but not by all dictionaries). There's definitely no need to treat language names, demonyms, month and weekday names to be proper nouns. Various languages here just follow English when using proper nouns. Transliterations, which are never capitalised don't need and don't benefit from this distinction at all. E.g. Arabic nouns are just nouns. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:59, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

@Atitarev: Actually, in Arabic there is very important distinction between proper and common nouns. Proper nouns are automatically definite and never take the definite article الـ (al-) or possessive suffixes, and usually do not take nunation, in which case they also have a slightly different declension pattern. For example: مِصْرُ الْقَدِيمَةُ (miṣru al-qadīmatu, Ancient Egypt) and فِي مِصْرَ الْقَدِيمَةِ (fī miṣra al-qadīmati, in Ancient Egypt). Similar applies to Hebrew and Aramaic. --WikiTiki89 21:05, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Proper nouns never take the definite article in Arabic? So العراق‎, السعودية and الإسكندرية are common nouns? People sometimes make the same claim about English, that proper nouns never take the definite article, but then Netherlands, Gambia, and Philippines (not to mention Ukraine and Crimea in more old-fashioned varieties) would have to be called common nouns. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:29, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Well in those cases, they don't take another definite article because the definite article is part of the proper noun. For your English examples, I would say that "the Netherlands" is the proper noun, while just "Netherlands" is an incomplete proper noun (or the plural of "Netherland"). --WikiTiki89 22:45, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, some proper nouns may become diptotes but this probably has to do with their definiteness, rather than the fact that they are proper nouns. The thing is also, not ALL proper nouns are triptotes, e.g. (with full vowelisation) مُحَمَّدٌ (muḥammadun) and, as Angr mentioned, they can also take a definite article, as in العِرَاق (al-ʿirāq) "Iraq" and الأُرْدُنّ (al-ʾurdunn) "Jordan", although the nisba doesn't have it: عِرَاقِي (ʿirāqī) "Iraqi" and أُرْدُنِي (ʾurdunī) "Jordanian". There are some rules about, which proper nouns can be diptotes - the length, whether they are loanwords or native Arabic, the endings, certain patterns (e.g. "fuʿal"). --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 12:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
My whole point was that their definiteness (more so, the fact that they cannot be made indefinite and cannot take possessive suffixes) is what makes them proper nouns. Nisbas are not proper nouns, so I don't see how they are relevant. You cannot, for example, say مِصْرُكَ (miṣruka, your Egypt) or عِرَاقُكَ (ʿirāquka, your Iraq); or if you do say that, then you are turning it into a common noun. As for مُحَمَّدٌ (muḥammadun), I did use the word "usually" for a reason. --WikiTiki89 12:56, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
Well, it's obvious that proper nouns, like unique place names, are definite but I personally don't see this really as a grammatical difference, to separate them as proper nouns, they can sometimes take a definite article, they can also take possessive suffixes (converting to common nouns, if you wish), they can sometimes be triptotes (and common nouns can be diptotes). These features are not reliable (also hard to verify, since ʾiʿrāb is seldom written, not so often pronounced in full). I found some rules for diptotes for proper nouns but my source doesn't mention how many are triptotes, so, not sure if the list is big. My nisba examples were just to show that الـ (al-) is not part of the word. Since Arabic grammarians do mention Arabic proper nouns, I'll drop this point specific to Arabic. I only think that language names and nationalities should be common nouns in Arabic, reserve proper nouns for place, people's and company names. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 14:24, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

A much simpler solution would be to rename the current Noun to Common noun. I would strongly oppose the introduction of an Intransitive verb POS, but I think it's very helpful to readers to keep both POSs when they are meaningful in the language, these two kinds of nouns being used very differently. The precise limit between proper nouns and common nouns only depends on tradition in each language (e.g. we consider italien (the language), septembre or Parisien, a capitalized word, as common nouns in French). Note that, generally speaking, all proper nouns can be used as common nouns (but this does not make them common nouns), and common nouns can be used as proper nouns, this cannot be considered as ambiguity. Lmaltier (talk) 20:26, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

  • We need to indicate whether a noun is common or proper in some way. Whether this is in the POS heading or somewhere else makes little difference, but it seems that the POS heading is the most obvious and best place for it. Verbs do not need transitive/intransitive distinctions as much because it is usually obvious from the definition. --WikiTiki89 21:05, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
    • What's the evidence that the two kinds of nouns are "used very differently"? They seem to be used exactly the same way to me: as the subject or direct object of a sentence, as the object of a preposition, etc. Why do we need to indicate this apparently undefinable and artificial distinction? And if we do, why is the POS heading the most obvious and best place for it? To the extent the distinction actually exists, it's usually obvious from the definition too. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:29, 21 October 2014 (UTC)
      • In some languages, it's clear that they are used very differently, and that they are very different from the reader's point of view. In French, the article is usually used with common nouns, not with proper nouns (it's much less simple, e.g. the definite article is normal with most country names, but this is the general idea). Lmaltier (talk) 05:49, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
        • The only thing that's clear to me so far in this discussion is that many languages have nouns that are definite without the markers of definiteness that are usual in that language, such as being governed by a definite article, a possessive determiner or the like. But in none of the languages discussed so far is that set of nouns exactly coterminous with a set of nouns that can be defined by a semantic property such as being the name of a person, geographical location, language, etc. In English, Arabic, and German, most geographical names don't use the definite article, but some do, and statements like "the definite article in the Netherlands is part of the name" is simply begging the question. In Irish, most language names do use the definite article except in certain constructions, but at least one (Béarla (English)) never uses it. So if we want to label nouns by this property at all, we should label them as being definite even without a definiteness marker, rather than implying that there is some sort of semantic property that causes nouns to be "proper nouns" and that their syntactic behavior results from that. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:13, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
          • No, no, not at all, the only possible criterion is the tradition in the language. It was only an example to show that being a proper noun often has a major impact on the use, including grammatical rules to be used. Lmaltier (talk) 17:29, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

Another argument is that paper dictionaries including both common nouns and proper nouns sometimes have a fully separate part for proper nouns (it's the case of a best-seller dictionary for French: Petit Larousse Illustré). Readers may be used to this clear separation. Lmaltier (talk) 17:35, 22 October 2014 (UTC)

  • I don't think "tradition in the language" is a reason at all, especially since the vast majority of the world's languages don't have a tradition about it one way or the other. If the distinction between common nouns and proper nouns is linguistically real, it must be possible to come up with a definition that applies to all languages regardless of traditional grammars. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:42, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
    • I don't think so. In any case, stating that the French nouns poker, septembre or arménien (the language) are proper nouns would clearly be wrong. They are not proper nouns in French. Lmaltier (talk) 18:58, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
      • But why not? What definition of "proper noun" are you using to determine that? Capitalization alone? Because if that's the only criterion that can be used to distinguish proper nouns from common nouns, then the distinction is definitely nonlinguistic. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:40, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
        • No, we consider Parisien as a common noun in French, too, despite capitalization. When I refer to tradition of the language, I mean that the general meaning is always the same (see proper noun), but how it's interpreted precisely may depend on languages in some cases (in most case, it's the same in all languages recognizing proper noun as a word category). Lmaltier (talk) 19:52, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
          • So the distinction is made on the basis of native speakers' intuitions? A noun is a proper noun because it feels like a proper noun? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:59, 22 October 2014 (UTC)
            • This intuition is based on the tradition of the language, on how specialists of the language usually consider the word. In French, traditionally, proper nouns are names of places, people (and peoples), companies, brands, historical events, works of art or books, not much more. Sometimes, we hear about proper adjectives in English (seemingly according to capitalization), this word is meaningless in French. Lmaltier (talk) 05:59, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
              • So still no definition, just an appeal to authority. I'm becoming more and more convinced there's no such thing as a proper noun. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:05, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
                In French the definition is simple: a proper noun is used to described a unique being or thing. Every modern French dictionary unambigously distinguishes proper nouns from common nouns: Larousse, Robert, TLFi, Dictionnaire de l'Académie française... Just because you can't find a universal definition for a proper noun doesn't mean that you can ignore this distinction when it is part of a language like French. Dakdada (talk) 13:10, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
                • If my family owns one dog and my mother says "Have you fed the dog?", then "the dog" refers to a unique being; does that make it a proper noun? What about language names like arménien mentioned above? Is that not a unique thing? Then why is it not a proper noun in French? Just because dictionaries invent distinctions to make life easier for language teachers, that doesn't mean those artificial distionctions are actually part of the language. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:49, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
                  That's just the + dog. It doesn't change the fact that dog is a common noun. Language names are debatable, but obviously I can't convince you if you really don't see any difference between e.g. city and London. Dakdada (talk) 16:30, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
The kind of thing that a proper name names can include a lineage (real, hypothetical, or conventional), as a Roman gens or a taxon. It can include a people, race, tribe, breed, family?, etc, even when they are not lineages. All of these can be plural in form, but they are considered to be referring to a single entity. Such a word, whether singular or plural, when referring to an individual member or subset of any such grouping, seems to me to be a common noun.
More generally it is a question of convention, as almost all actual language is, as opposed to part of some ephemeral rational scheme, purported to be universal and timeless, but actually just a hypothesis.
If a given definition has exceptions, that does not invalidate the definition, which is usually of the typical member of the class. Wittgenstein's discussion of game (or was it Spiel?) should informative. DCDuring TALK 14:29, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
A distinction can be made for analytical purposes (not, IMO, for Wiktionary presentation purposes) between proper names and proper nouns. Mary is a proper noun, sometimes serving as a proper name (where the context makes it sufficient to uniquely identify the individual) and sometimes as part of a noun phrase (Mary Ellen Smith) that serves as a proper name in other contexts (but not necessarily all possible contexts). That White House is a proper name, which we present as a proper noun, does not make House a proper noun or proper name. House is a proper noun by virtue of its use as a surname.
It is hard for me to believe that the request for a definition is anything but a rhetorical ploy, as such definitions are abundant and adequate for most purposes. If we need something more for purposes of knowing what goes under a given language's Proper noun heading or into the category, we can either impose the host language's conventions, either universally or by default, allowing exceptions for the conventions of other languages. We already allow orthographic departure from English usage and certainly don't impose English grammar (eg, use of determiners) on other languages, not even PoS headers, useful though they may be. If someone would like to document the proper noun/proper name practices of a language in an appendix, they would be doing the project a service. DCDuring TALK 14:29, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
No, the request for a definition is not a rhetorical ploy. I'd genuinely like a definition because I am often uncertain whether to label a particular noun as a ===Proper noun=== or not, especially in languages other than English. Usually I simply have to rely on how the English equivalent is labeled. Most conventional definitions seem to be circular and therefore useless, as in: "When is a noun capitalized in English? When it's a proper noun. OK, so when is a noun a proper noun in English? When it's capitalized." Either that or hopelessly vague, as in "a proper noun is the name of a specific, unique being", which doesn't explain why The Hague is a proper noun that just happens to include the word the, but the dog is a common noun made definite by the presence of the definite article. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:23, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
The Hague is the name of a particular city. The dog is not the name of a particular dog (just the + dog). It has nothing to do with the definite article or the capitalization, which are secondary and language related. If you want definitions, what about w:Proper noun? Dakdada (talk) 17:53, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
If a distinction can be made between definite and indefinite reference, then it's a common noun. Otherwise it's a proper noun. If both, then it's both. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 18:38, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
I can't venture anything about languages other than English.
Not all capitalized words or expressions in English are proper nouns. You should discard with prejudice any reference that says otherwise.
The Hague (sometimes the Hague) is a proper noun because of its definition. I expect that it has the attached because it is a calque of Den Haag.
The is attached to Netherlands in running text (but not in mailing addresses, etc.), probably because of the historical Nether Lands, whether factual or imagined.
In English it is usually not too hard to distinguish in current and recent usage between a definite expression (usually with the) that describes or characterizes something and a proper name that includes the. But it was not too long ago that an expression like "John, sawyer" served to uniquely identify someone on parish rolls.
In English the incompatibility of a proper name with a or any or every seems more indicative than the presence of the.
In English the hand of history and fashion is very visible. Usage dictates. How each usage gets started or terminates can be a very particular story. As a result I don't think there is a short list of rules and exceptions that covers all the cases. That is why WP needs a style sheet that documents its decisions about capitalization and why the taxonomic naming authorities have explicit rules. And why users need dictionaries and style guides. Wiktionary can do a better job of providing such lexical information than other references if we continue to be willing to do so. We can check corpora and style guides so users who trust us don't have to. DCDuring TALK 18:44, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

Small, doable modification to WT:CFI#Idiomaticity[edit]

WT:CFI#Idiomaticity sentence #1:

An expression is idiomatic if its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components.

Change this to

A multi-word term is idiomatic if its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components.

The changed part here is A multi-word term.

Rationale: WT:CFI does not define what an expression is, the Wiktionary entry expression isn't any help either. Some multi-word terms like come in may not be considered expression. Multi-word term is vastly better than term, because term could include single words with transparent meanings, like improvable, points (plural of point) reenter (enter again) and so on. I'm canvassing to see if there's enough support to make a vote of it. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:01, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

The sentence is better, but is it really useful anyway? Idiomaticity of multi-word terms should not be a condition for inclusion. ice hockey cannot be considered as idiomatic. Nonetheless, it's a term of the English language, and including it is therefore normal. Lmaltier (talk) 16:54, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Support. I think it is useful. — Ungoliant (falai) 17:16, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Lmaltier I appreciate your input, but we also know from past experience it's just you that thinks this. Also I do consider ice hockey idiomatic. It has very different rules to hockey. Like, is table tennis merely tennis played on a table? I certain don't think so! Renard Migrant (talk) 11:52, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Of course. Nonetheless, the meaning can be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components (provided you know the sport, even without knowing its name). I copy the definition of idiom: An expression peculiar to or characteristic of a particular language, especially when the meaning is illogical or separate from the meanings of its component words. table tennis is not something peculiar to English or characteristic of English, and its meaning is not illogical nor separate from the meanings of its component words. You understand why I don't like this sentence as a criterion. Lmaltier (talk) 18:18, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
  • I have to oppose. I think the term "expression" was intended to cover both single words and multi-word terms. The new wording would not do that. Therefore, the new wording would no longer define what CFI:idiomatic means for single words like "redefine". Right now, "redefine" is idiomatic because its components are not separate enough. --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:41, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
    • But that interpretation is not the status quo. The status quo, although it's an unwritten rule, is to accept all single words (for varying interpretations of "word") as idiomatic regardless of morphological transparency. Or to say it another way, idiomaticity is not a factor in the inclusion of single "words". —CodeCat 18:23, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
      • What I have written is consistent with current common practice. For instance, we include "blueness", since while "blueness" is clear from "blue" and "-ness", the two are not separate, which matters for "An expression is idiomatic if its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components." --Dan Polansky (talk) 22:39, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
        • I can see this interpretation, just it wouldn't be my interpretation; blue and -ness are separate. "Separateness" doesn't mean "separated by a typographical space". Renard Migrant (talk) 13:15, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
          • I like your interpretation very much, and a good spot, well done! However if you think of a cake made of eggs, flour, sugar and butter, when you've made the cake are eggs, flour, sugar and butter separate ingredients or not? Of course they are! Just because you've used them to make one cake doesn't mean they aren't separate concepts. Renard Migrant (talk) 19:23, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
            • Then please extract eggs, flour, sugar and butter from your cake. If they are separate as you claim, this should be easy. Also: talking to yourself is a bad habit for a dungeoneer. Keφr 19:33, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
            • Another thing to note: a criterion like WT:COALMINE makes much more sense if single-word terms are automatically presumed idiomatic. Keφr 19:47, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Dialect context labels - adjective, dialect name or place name?[edit]

There's something vaguely weird on croggan: The first sense is described as "Cornish" while the second is "Scotland", and the mixing of parts of speech stands out a bit. This isn't an isolated thing - among other British Isles dialects, we have "Wales", "Ireland", "Teesside" and "Yorkshire", but "Geordie" (rather than "Newcastle-upon-Tyne" or "Tyneside"), "Bristolian" (rather than "Bristol"), "Manx" (rather than "Isle of Man"), "Northumbrian" (instead of "Northumbria") and "Liverpudlian" (rather "Liverpool", "Merseyside" or "Scouse").

I understand why we can't use (for example) Welsh or Irish as context labels in English-language entries (and by that logic, "Manx" is probably inappropriate too since there's a Gaelic Manx language), but the mishmash is a bit strange. Would people object to changing the labels to follow this pattern?

We use the proper name of the city/region that spawned it, except for in the handful of cases where the dialect has a widely-understood name that is not etymologically related to its origins (Geordie, Pitmatic, Cockney, Scouse - possibly Cajun, although I don't know whether everything currently tagged "Louisiana" is actually Cajun English.)

It just seems a bit cleaner that way. "croggan" would then be (Cornwall, Scotland), "mam" would be (Scouse, Northumbria). Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:40, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

I think that using the adjective could be more practical. It would allow us to distinguish terms used in a place from terms used in the context of discussing a place. —CodeCat 16:45, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I prefer using placenames. Using placenames in context labels for senses discussing the place is usually confusing and can always be improved by removing the label and amending the definition (i.e., at ABC “(Brazil) [] cities [] that form the most important industrial area in the country.” → “(geopolitics) [] cities [] that form the most important industrial area in Brazil.”). — Ungoliant (falai) 17:11, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
When we had context labels rather than a module, we used to redirect things like {{Scottish}} to {{Scotland}} so that both displayed (Scotland). I see no reason to discontinue this. Having said that an adjective is better if it's more accurate or easier to understand, so Geordie rather than Tyneside, I'm fine with that. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:55, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
We still do that, only everything is within the module. --WikiTiki89 14:52, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Good, then let's keep doing that, unless people don't want to. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:17, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
I've noticed this inconsistency myself. The other 'restricted register' labels I can think of are adjectives ("dated", "archaic", "obsolete", "uncommon", "rare", etc), whereas the labels I can think of that are nouns indicate restricted topical contexts ("mathematics", "aviation", etc). Context labels should indicate when a word is restricted to a certain place's dialect, while definitions should indicate when it's topically connected to a certain place, IMO. Ungoliant has a good example of how to clear up a misuse (or at a minimum a confusing use) of "(Brazil)". So, my inclination would be to make all the 'dialect' labels adjectives, noting that "UK" and "US" are adjectives and so can stay as they are. - -sche (discuss) 04:26, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

Black's Law 2d going up at Wikisource[edit]

Just a heads up - I am currently creating OCR pages of Black's Law Dictionary, 2d Edition (1910) at Wikisource, and would eventually like to bring as much of it as is useful over here. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:02, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Cool! Maybe you should make a Template:Black's 1910 or something, similar to {{Webster 1913}}, for entries taken from it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:26, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that is a very good idea. bd2412 T 21:27, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
@BD2412: That is excellent news. Thank you for your efforts. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:27, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
Cool. Even if you don't bring it here. DCDuring TALK 00:27, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
Maybe you could link all the terms here, like [4] (a lot of work!) DTLHS (talk) 00:53, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Where is it? --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 18:31, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
    • s:Index:Black's Law Dictionary (Second Edition).djvu. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:05, 24 October 2014 (UTC)
      • Here is a treasure: "HALYWERCFOLK. Sax. In Old English law. Tenants who held land by the service of repairing or defending a church or monument, whereby they were exempted from feudal and military services". bd2412 T 15:57, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
        • Sadly, having done a bit of digging in the hope of creating an entry, it looks like the concept of halywercfolk/hailworkfolk/Holyworkfolk/holy-work-folk was only ever invoked once, when the Bishop of Durham tried to get the men who maintained shrine to St. Cuthbert to fight the Scots. I've created an entry here, but all the citations seem to be about the same group of people. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:50, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Meta RfCs on two new global groups[edit]

Hello all,

There are currently requests for comment open on meta to create two new global groups. The first is a group for members of the OTRS permissions queue, which would grant them autopatrolled rights on all wikis except those who opt-out. That proposal can be found at m:Requests for comment/Creation of a global OTRS-permissions user group. The second is a group for Wikimedia Commons admins and OTRS agents to view deleted file pages through the 'viewdeletedfile' right on all wikis except those who opt-out. The second proposal can be found at m:Requests for comment/Global file deletion review.

We would like to hear what you think on both proposals. Both are in English; if you wanted to translate them into your native language that would also be appreciated.

It is possible for individual projects to opt-out, so that users in those groups do not have any additional rights on those projects. To do this please start a local discussion, and if there is consensus you can request to opt-out of either or both at m:Stewards' noticeboard.

Thanks and regards, Ajraddatz (talk) 18:04, 26 October 2014 (UTC)
I think you mean 'requests for comment'; here 'RfC' usually means 'request(s) for cleanup'. Renard Migrant (talk) 19:19, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Mari terminology[edit]

Is there any particular reason why the two literary standards of Mari (the Uralic one) have been titled "Eastern Mari" and "Western Mari"? Following Ethnologue? I would suggest that "Meadow Mari" and "Hill Mari" are preferrable, for at least two reasons:

  • The traditional subethnic self-designations are specifically "Meadow Mari" and "Hill Mari"
  • There exists an "Eastern dialect" (spoken in Bashkortostan) distinct from standard Meadow Mari. Hence the term "Eastern Mari" is ambiguous.

--Tropylium (talk) 14:46, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

In the case of Western Mari, yes, the name was just imported from the ISO / Ethnologue along with the code. Eastern Mari was previously called just "Mari", until "Mari (Sepik)" and "Mari (Austronesian)" were added to Module:languages and disambiguation became necessary. At that time (see the archived discussion; skip the first half, which is about Buryat) I went with "Eastern Mari" over "Meadow Mari" so as to conform to "Western Mari", and because "Eastern Mari" seemed to be more commonly used than "Meadow Mari". Oddly enough, Andrej Malchukov and ‎Anna Siewierska's Impersonal Constructions: A cross-linguistic perspective (ISBN 9027287163), page 397, suggests that "Eastern" and "Western Mari" are the linguistic self-designations: "Mari has two literary variants Hill and Meadow Mari (or Western and Eastern Mari according to their own terminology)". OTOH, the difference in commonness is not large if you cut out the exceptional year 2003 (compare [5] to [6] and [7]), and there is the ambiguity you note: a few references refer to three or four Mari dialects and distinguish "Eastern" from "Meadow". And "Hill Mari" seems to be more common than "Western Mari". So I wouldn't object to renaming them both. - -sche (discuss) 20:21, 27 October 2014 (UTC)
I support such renaming. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 01:46, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

WMF grant request for a "Kids Visual Dictionary"[edit]

Hello all, I co-designed a Wikimedia outreach project to get a group of Indian kids to learn computer graphic while creating a real Wikipedia picture dictionary for basic English which they could be proud of ! The whole team will be under the management of a professional graphic designer lady who previously worked at Yahoo Inc India. The IEG proposal is detailed there on meta. We are obviously thinking to illustrate the wikitionaries for the most frequent words, and since the data will be structured, it could also help to build up further resources for various languages. As we are competing with other great projects as well, please take a look, your support for this Kid Visual Dictionary is also much welcome (here). Yug (talk) 18:45, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Hello. You might like to take a look at the existing Wiktionary:Picture_dictionary. I don't think anybody has been actively working on that for a while, but a certain amount of work was done. Equinox 21:36, 29 October 2014 (UTC)


Is there a Wiktionary policy on which dialects to include in pronunciations and in rhymes. For example, your has pronunciations that would be non-standard on this side of the pond (including a recent addition that is common in my home dialect, but which I would expect to see only in a dialect dictionary). If we include every dialect variation, then the pronunciation section will take up the whole initially displayed page for many entries. Do we include all regional vowel mergers in rhymes? Personally, I would prefer to see only the "standard" pronunciations and rhymes, as given in major dictionaries, but I realise that we will probably not agree on "standard". Dbfirs 11:07, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

The pronunciation /jɝ/ is actually very common in American English and has nothing to do with vowel mergers, but rather with the re-stressing of a previously unstressed and reduced vowel. It seems strange for me, however, to include rhymes at all for your, since as far as I know this word can never occur in a rhyming position, since it must always be followed by a noun, since otherwise it becomes yours (or its homophone you're is separated back into its parts you are). The only sort of rhyme I can imagine for it is something like "your chin" and "urchin". But I would definite include /-ɜː(ɹ)z/ as rhyme for yours. --WikiTiki89 12:09, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
So does your rhyme with year and were in many parts of America? (Strangely, though that rhyme exists in my local dialect, I can think of no part of England where yours is pronounced /jɜː(ɹ)z/. Maybe in Ireland?) Do words like insure, secure and mature also rhyme with refer and deter in those parts of America, and is demure a homophone of demur? Dbfirs 13:03, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
With were, yes (although, keep in mind that the pronunciation /jɔɹ/ is still used interchangeably with /jɝ/), but certainly not with year, which is pronounced /jiːɹ/. Words like insure, secure, and mature do rhyme with refer (unless mature is pronounced /matuːɹ/, which is rare even in dialects with otherwise regular yod-dropping), but in some dialects they rhyme with core instead; demure and demur still differ by the /j/ sound. --WikiTiki89 16:04, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Does the /j/ mean that they do rhyme or not. If we include every dialect world-wide, we will end up with lots of rhymes that are nonsense to the majority of speakers of English. Dbfirs 16:34, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Tough one. Show has {{rhymes|əʊ}} but not {{rhymes|oʊ}}. I can see why it's preferable to have only one rhyme, but how do you pick? How is this different from colour and color (that is, in term of an 'alternative form' template, which neither has)? Renard Migrant (talk) 15:25, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
That's the way we standardized it, since RP /əʊ/ always corresponds to GA /oʊ/. --WikiTiki89 16:04, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
Yes, {{rhymes|oʊ}} doesn't exist because it would be identical to {{rhymes|əʊ}}. Personally, I'd prefer the former, but 1950s RP has the latter. Should one redirect to the other or should we just add a note to {{rhymes|əʊ}}? ... and it would be {{rhymes|oː}} in my dialect! Dbfirs 16:31, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
I would prefer "oʊ". It's more neutral because it's in the middle between the extremes (oː on one side and əʊ/əʉ on the other). —CodeCat 16:47, 30 October 2014 (UTC)
That makes sense to me, though, as a courtesy, I'd like to get the agreement of the creator of the rhymes section who put a lot of work into it. It would be the same rhymes page, just a different heading. Perhaps the heading could include both /əʊ/ and /oʊ/, then we wouldn't need to change all the entries. I wasn't seriously suggesting {{rhymes|oː}} because I don't think we need to include hundreds of regional variations. Dbfirs 18:36, 30 October 2014 (UTC)

November 2014[edit]

Inappropriate capitalization of nouns[edit]

I've been working on clearing up some missing entries and I've noticed that many of the entries that are redlinked are, in fact, present, but under a capital letter. For instance admiraless is redlinked, but Admiraless is not. This is the case for a good number of nouns and probably ought to be corrected. The list of capital letter English nouns should be culled of all non-proper nouns. —Yellowhen (talk) 18:34, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

Look at the citations listed at Admiraless. It really is spelled with a capital letter. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:38, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
"Admiraless" seems to be a truly exceptional case. Equinox 18:45, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
The citations page does give one example of lower-case admiraless. Examples of lower-case usage are hard to come by since it's almost always as a title or part of a title. However, culling the list of capital letter English nouns of all non-proper nouns would be a bad idea since there are plenty of common nouns that are always capitalized in English, first and foremost demonyms like Englishman and Spaniard. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:00, 1 November 2014 (UTC)
All those capitalized admiralesses are so because they are honorifics, or proper nouns (usually in an archaic writing style), or in in one case in an article title. This is absolutely clear where several of them accompany the term admiral, likewise with initial cap.
There are now three l.c. citations (although one is a reference to the word). This entry should be moved. See Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits#AdmiralessMichael Z. 2014-11-24 02:27 z

Any way to force WT:CFI to be applied?[edit]

I'm getting a bit annoyed that entries that don't meet WT:CFI keep passing a vote at WT:RFD. Is there any way to force WT:CFI to be applied? Renard Migrant (talk) 16:50, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

I think one thing we need to stress is that RFD/RFV discussions are supposed to be about whether the entry meets CFI and not whether we personally want to keep the entry. This is easier to apply when there needs to be a unanimous decision because people are compelled to convince others of their reasons, as I have experienced when serving in a criminal jury. However I'm not sure how it should work when there is a vote and thus less of an obligation to think critically, since I have not experienced a civil jury. (Pardon me if my jury analogy does not hold outside the US.) --WikiTiki89 17:08, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Whether an entry meets WT:CFI is often a matter of subjective interpretation, not objective fact. While it's true that sometimes people say "keep in spite of the fact that it doesn't meet WT:CFI", much more frequently it's a matter of one side saying "this entry does meet WT:CFI" and the other side saying "no it doesn't". When I vote "keep" at RFD for a term some people consider to be SOP, it's because I disagree with them that it's SOP, not because I think that its SOPness should be ignored. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:17, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
A valid concern. It could be addressed by creating more objective criteria of what makes a term idiomatic, like we did with WT:COALMINE. Keφr 19:33, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose: If people want to keep an entry, it should be kept. This proposal would essentially give deletionists a supervote, and it would damn near make CFI a criteria for speedy deletion. Purplebackpack89 18:52, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
    • It already is a de facto criterium for speedy deletion. —CodeCat 19:01, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      • And it shouldn't be. CFI is too subjective for that. Speedy deletion should be for junk or vandalism entries. Most entries with RfD votes aren't junk or vandalism entries. Renard wants any entry that doesn't pass CFI to be automatically deleted. The problem is the only way CFI is determined is for somebody to say "this passes CFI" or "this fails CFI", with certain permuations such as "this passes SOP" or "this passes SOP". Therefore, if Renard got his way on this proposal, if any ONE editor said "this fails CFI", the article would have to be deleted. That's regardless of whether or not he's in the minority, or whether or not somebody gives a good reason as to why it doesn't. That seems patently ridiculous to me. Purplebackpack89 19:06, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
        • That's not what I want. The problem is that entries that nobody thinks meet CFI get kept because they win the vote. Right now the vote is everything and policy is nothing. It wouldn't be a 'supervote' for deletions any more than it would be for inclusionists. Interpretation of CFI would matter if we applied it at all. We don't. Like I said, 100% voting, 0% policy. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:30, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
    • You misspelled "support". Keφr 19:38, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      • @Kephir:, I didn't though. I don't like the ramifications of the enacting of what Renard wants, so I opposed the proposal. Since this is a discussion about interpreting or changing policy, I am fully entitled to oppose it for any reasons I see fit. Purplebackpack89 21:14, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Could someone list a few examples of what this would affect, perhaps even recent RFD listings? It sounds like we have two camps:
    1. Delete anything that doesn't meet CFI.
      • Frankly, that sounds reasonable to me, and seems to have been our MO for quite some time.
      • Angr brings up concerns about subjectivity and how CFI is applied. These strike me as reasonable concerns, and also as the underlying issue in many of the CFI disputes I have witnessed over the past few years. An effort to further clarify CFI could be warranted.
    2. Include anything just because someone wants it included.
      • I must admit that this sounds terrible. I understand that WT is intended to be prescriptive and not proscriptive, but part of that descriptivism necessitates some evidence that a given term is actually in use in the language. Including an entry for fleemkaboddinal just because I happen to like the way it rolls off the tongue doesn't strike me as a sound basis for building a dictionary (pun not intended).
      @Purplebackpack89: could you clarify your statement? Are you arguing that any entry should be kept whenever any single editor wants to keep it? Or is your argument intended to be narrower in scope -- do you instead intend to state a position more specifically about entries deemed to be SOP, or some other more limited area? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:26, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      No, @Eirikr:, I'm arguing we should keep any entry that at least 50% of RfD participants want kept. Also, the problem with your first camp is "who determines it"? Purplebackpack89 19:32, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      • When you say "who determines it", what is the it? CFI itself? SOP-ness? Some other aspect? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:14, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      The 50% of participants is a bad idea because not everyone will be around to participate in every RFD. 20:16, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      When I said 50% of participants, I meant 50% of the people who participated in a given RfD... Purplebackpack89 21:14, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      So did I! (Sorry, not logged in.) Having rules like CFI allows the consensus opinion (as established by policy votes) to be applied without every user having to repeat their opinions on every vote. Equinox 22:07, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      So you'd be OK with an article being deleted after four users vote keep and Renard votes "Delete. Fails CFI"? Deleting something even if 70-80% of people in that particular discussion said keep? That seems to be what Renard wants. I think that would be a bad idea. Purplebackpack89 22:14, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      I would be okay with deletion for things that fail CFI. Renard has nothing to do with that. Equinox 22:37, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      Even in the circumstance I outlined? Purplebackpack89 22:46, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
      Renard does not have a supervote, so your outlined circumstance is not really relevant. Only the failing of CFI is relevant. Renard might point out that something fails CFI but he does not decide whether it fails. Equinox 19:43, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      I honestly can't see how you can divorce Renard's premise from supervoting. Renard is upset that votes are being closed based on consensus. If you don't close on consensus, the closer is giving weight to some opinions (perhaps his own) than others. The people whose opinions get undue weight hold supervotes. BTW, where is Renard anyway? He started this thread and hasn't been heard from since yesterday. Purplebackpack89 20:04, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      It shouldn't take much thought to not that there are many possible procedures to help enforce CFI. All votes could be required to present a reasoned argument or consent to someone else's reasoned argument and be invalidated if the argument were shown to be wrong. This would only require some more explicit rules for inclusion and exclusion. People who vote without reasons could be allowed only a fixed number of votes per month (proportional to their contributions?) before being disenfranchised or blocked or whatever. We could have votes to disenfranchise contributors for a time or indefinitely. The franchise to delete could be limited based on some explicit criteria, to those with a degree in linguistics, employment in language teaching or professional lexicography, veteran status, Or those could be deemed to disqualify. We could simply formalize the lemming criterion. I'm sure you could think of others. DCDuring TALK 21:15, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      I don't really want to think of any others, because I honestly believe that the whole premise isn't really a problem, and certainly not one worth solving. And each of the counter-solutions you propose are solutions I cannot stomach. People should be entitled to participate in as many discussions as they see fit without any penalty whatsoever or the need to present bona fides. That's how a Wiki project works. Your counter-solutions are pretty clearly designed to prevent people from participating, which I find wrong and in violation of the "anyone can edit" ethos of Wiki projects. It's even worse because the proposal seems to be singling out people who Renard/you disagree with. Purplebackpack89 21:26, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      • You note, “People should be entitled to participate in as many discussions as they see fit without any penalty whatsoever or the need to present bona fides. That's how a Wiki project works.” I must disagree -- that's how some Wiki projects work. In my entire time participating in Wiktionary, that is not how Wiktionary works.
      Anyone is welcome to edit. Anyone is welcome to participate in discussions. But when it comes to the outcome of discussions, bona fides of some sort are very much part of how the community consensus comes together. Bona fides could be something as simple as being a community member (i.e. editor) in good standing. In fact, that's probably the most important bona fide here.
      But suggesting that anyone and everyone can and should have equal weight in the outcome of any discussion is in error, and is decidedly *not* how Wiktionary operates. Moreover, I cannot support any move to make Wiktionary operate that way. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 21:53, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      @Eirikr:, "anyone can edit" is a pillar of all Wiki projects. I dislike the term "good standing" because who the hell determines "good standing". I'm sorry, but the things that have been written here smack of disenfranchisement of Wiktionary editors, including potentially myself and Dan for at least the next few weeks. And the problem is that the people who are pushing this proposal happen to fall on the deletionist side of things. If this was being pushed equally by keepist and deletionist editors, I wouldn't have any problem with it. If it was being pushed primarily by people who didn't participate in RfDs, I wouldn't have a problem with it. This is a proposal started by a deletionist who's upset that articles aren't being deleted, trying to make an end run around the consensus of RfD discussions to get more articles deleted. Purplebackpack89 22:02, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      I, for one, would be happy with any reasonable explicit inclusionist criteria that reduced the total amount of blather on this page. DCDuring TALK 22:34, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      @Eirikr:, "it" is whether or not it is CFI Purplebackpack89 22:48, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I formerly thought that we just needed to make explicit more criteria for inclusion and exclusion by having them voted on so as to reduce the scope for debate. The apparent lack of any desire to adhere to any such criteria as well as the miserable experience of most votes makes me think that this is no solution. No one seems to feel the need to make principled arguments (whether or not based on CFI), let alone develop explicit criteria. Even something as simple as criteria for differentiating and adjective from a noun used attributively was never made a policy. Actually applying to all the cases where it should be applied would probably generate a firestorm of opposition whining. DCDuring TALK 19:45, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
  • My point of view as a frequent participant in discussions, and as a frequent closer of discussions, is that RfD is a very heavily trafficked page, and every editor has ample opportunity to participate in every discussion on the page. Therefore, if there are twenty editors participating in discussions on the page, and only five of them weigh in on a given point, then fifteen don't have a strong or certain enough opinion to bother expressing it in the discussion. The obvious cases generally come out with overwhelming support for the obvious position. In other words, if four editors say "keep", and one editor says "delete" on the grounds that the word doesn't (in their view) meet the CFI, the fact that fifteen other editors participating in other CFI discussions above and below didn't think it important to agree with the proposed deletion speaks volumes about whether the presence of the word is seen as a serious breach of our standards. bd2412 T 01:37, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
    I completely disagree. People tend to ignore RFD discussions about words outside of their field of interest. If many editors ignore a particular RFD discussion, it may not be because they have no strong opinion on whether it should be kept, but because they have no interest in that word at all. --WikiTiki89 02:39, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I agree with Wikitiki89. I generally only weigh in on RFD discussions pertaining to Japanese terms. I may put in my 2p on the stray English term, but as far as monitoring the RFD page as a whole, I often skim through for Japanese and move on if nothing presents itself. —This unsigned comment was added by Eirikr (talkcontribs) at 08:09, 4 November 2014 (UTC).
    • I am somewhere in between those two. For some terms I do not care, and for others I simply do not feel competent to judge. But I also have other reasons: one of the things that really discourage me from participating in RFfoos is the sheer volume of these pages: having to wait sometimes half a minute every time I post anything on those pages is just too frustrating. It would help if there were fewer discussions, shorter discussions (both in terms of duration and amount of text) and the discussions were promptly archived and removed. Right now we only have a solution for the last problem. Keφr 12:32, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      One thing we can do to reduce page size is to split WT:RFD into two separate pages, one for English entries and one for foreign entries. --WikiTiki89 16:08, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      Yes! And the same for RfV too, please. I've actually been holding off nominating a few entries 'cuz they're foreign and might make it hard for most people around here to find the relevant, i. e. English terms. -- Liliana 00:18, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I formerly cared more. I often disagree with keep decisions, but have come to be resigned to the fact that many contributors find multiword terms easier to wrap their heads around than single-word terms. Adding silly entries is less destructive than definitions omitted because of insufficient breadth of participation from contributors with special domain knowledge, excessive reliance on MW 1913, poor organization of definitions for highly polysemous words, and incorporation of polysyllabic, rare, obsolete, and archaic words in definitions and glosses when better words are available. DCDuring TALK 13:33, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
      In my experience, the words that tend to draw the sharpest divisions of policy interpretation are common, everyday things, like fat as a pig, have an affair, and devalueing. I grant that when it comes to truly esoteric stuff like arfer dda, there are likely fewer editors who feel qualified to offer an opinion. bd2412 T 14:01, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I'd say I participate about as much as Kephir does. I certainly don't weigh in on every RfD; I seldom if ever weigh in on foreign words and there are plenty of English words I take a pass on as well. I don't think the solution is fewer discussions; I think we have the right number of discussions and I would oppose the suggestion that discussions be replaced with speedy deletions. I say the problem is discussions (particularly those trending keep) are dragged on for months and months and months, even if consensus is clear. All RfD discussions should be closed within a month, and if there's no consensus, that means there's not enough support for deleting them. It's also flummoxed me that we don't break up RfDs by month the way we break up this page. Purplebackpack89 14:14, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Add "via" parameters to Template quote-news[edit]

Can someone please add "via" parameters to Template:quote-news as is used at en.wikipedia for w:Template:Cite news ?

This way, we can specify what database archive may be used to verify the material, for example: NewsBank, LexisNexis, Westlaw, InfoTrac, etc.

Thank you,

-- Cirt (talk) 20:17, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

Aren't some of those sources behind paywalls?
You can include the url now. DCDuring TALK 22:30, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Converting RfD to monthly subpages[edit]

Previous discussions:

User:BD2412 has expressed a wish for splitting WT:RFD into monthly subpages. It seems like a good idea, but probably requires change to {{rfd}}, {{rfd-sense}}, and {{rfd-redundant}} [others?]. I don't think it will need a vote, but it certainly needs an opportunity for discussion to make sure. DCDuring TALK 18:09, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

I wouldn't object. When we've done this to other pages, it seems that any newly created month page gets automatically added to my watchlist, if I am already watching the parent page. I would want that to happen here too. Equinox 19:45, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
No such thing. Keφr 19:55, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
While I might dislike it, the current single-page set-up has one advantage — it makes sure no discussion slips through unresolved (even though it sometimes takes ridiculously long to close some of them). Which is what often happens to Tea Room discussions now. Anyone remembers why succumb was tagged with {{rft}} and whether the issue was resolved? I do not. Sure, I can check backlinks in the appropriate namespace and find out, but it is quite tedious. Keφr 19:53, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
@Kephir: How does the use of subpages lead to items falling between the cracks? Is that a big contributor beyond the other contributors to requests being neglected?
Requests of all kinds fall between the cracks for several reasons. We have items that are tagged, but not added to the appropriate page for rfc, rfd, rft, and rfv. The absence of any time limits or dramatic consequences of rft and rfc mean that such items are not closed, let alone archived (at least for rft) to the appropriate page. Tags are not removed from many of the above requests and also rfi, rfp, and rfe. DCDuring TALK 20:59, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Because the main pages of discussion rooms using the monthly subpages system display only discussions from last three months, and there is no good way to view all unresolved discussions in order to assess and properly close them. RFI, RFP and RFE are irrelevant — no debate is usually started for those, because none is needed; those requests are considered resolved simply when someone fulfils them. Keφr 21:36, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Can the discussion room main page structure be changed to include more time periods/subpages? How about three months per page? And more for the oldest? What about templates to categorize items as "open", "closed", "look"? It is possible to have tables that present the newest or oldest X members of such categories. DCDuring TALK 22:20, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, would just lead to nominations getting forgotten. DTLHS (talk) 19:39, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The risk of rubbish being kept because a discussion disappears from the page before it is closed is not worth it IMO. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:07, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, of course. We can always have a single transcluded page where editors can go if they feel like having a long wait while the page loads, and keep the discussions on shorter pages for those who prefer faster loading. Better yet, we could go to the system used by Wikipedia and Wikiquote, where each discussion is a subpage transcluded into the page for the month. bd2412 T 14:13, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
  • We've been doing this on the French Wiktionary for years, but it's different because those pages don't get archived to talk pages, and ours do. Probably oppose for that reason. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:25, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

SPAM or Spam?[edit]

The entry on Wikipedia is titled "Spam (food)," not "SPAM (food)," so which one should be the main (as opposed to the alternative form of) listing? Right now, it is "SPAM." WikiWinters (talk) 20:48, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Hormel Foods calls it The SPAM® family of products, SPAM® brand, SPAM Classic, Great American SPAM® Championship, SPAM® Musubi, SPAM® Tocino, The SPAM Museum, and #SPAMCAN. Apparently the all-caps style is part of the logo. —Stephen (Talk) 23:04, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
It looks like the company is trying to protect their brand name from w:Trademark erosion by using a spelling that's less likely to show up in non-brand usage. If you think about it, we shouldn't be interested in how the company decides the brand name should be spelled, but in how the term is spelled when used for non-brand senses. I think the main entry should be at spam (as it is now), and I have my doubts as to whether we should even have an entry for SPAM. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:32, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • As editors of a descriptive dictionary, should we not include an entry for SPAM if the term is indeed used with that capitalization?  :) ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 06:26, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: The main entry currently is SPAM, not spam. Do you suggest changing this? WikiWinters (talk) 23:56, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
For future reference WT:TR is the discussion room for individual entries where there are no policy issues. Google Ngram Viewer gives a slight edge to spam even before the Internet meaning appears so I'd go with that. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:34, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done (Got it. Also, I corrected the entries.) WikiWinters (talk) 20:02, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

Eliminating Template:trans-mid, etc.[edit]

I recently created a pair of very simple templates {{col-top}} and {{col-bottom}} that create auto-balancing columns of text (for an example, see WT:Wanted entries). If we integrate these templates into pairs like {{trans-top}}/{{trans-bottom}}, {{rel-top}}/{{rel-bottom}}, etc. we will no longer need to manually balance their columns with {{trans-mid}}, {{rel-mid}}, etc. Assuming we test this for browser compatibility, is this something we would want to do? --WikiTiki89 17:11, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

  • It seems like a worthwhile goal. Can you tell anything about resource consumption before testing? Assuming it is not a resource hog and passes on all major browsers, it would seem that it could be initially deployed by having the existing templates call it. Is that right? DCDuring TALK 18:15, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
    It's CSS-based, so it's all on the client side, so no effect on server load. Even on the client side, I would think all the browser needs to do is a simple division of the number of lines by the number of columns, which should be completely insignificant. The only potential issue (as with all CSS features) is browser compliance. As far as deploying it, yes, we just need to have the existing templates call it and have the mid-templates do nothing. --WikiTiki89 19:22, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
    Which browsers will have trouble with it? DTLHS (talk) 19:27, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
    I'm not expecting that any will, but we still have to test it. Maybe some outdated browsers or versions of browsers will not support it. Just to be clear, it work perfectly in the latest Chrome, Firefox, and IE. --WikiTiki89 19:29, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
    Are there sites for testing using older browser versions? Does MW have copies or a testing suite or insight? DCDuring TALK 20:16, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
    CSS columns are not supported by Internet Explorer 9 and lower and Opera 11 and lower. --Yair rand (talk) 22:17, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
    Sigh. Are higher versions part of automatic updates for IE 9 and Opera 11? What share of users have the old versions? I suppose it's too much to expect that it fails gracefully. DCDuring TALK 23:07, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
    Re browser share: The most recent Wikimedia Traffic Analysis Report shows the following usage share: IE9 - 2.25%, IE8 - 2.20%, IE7 - 0.89%, IE6 - 1.53%, IE5.5 - 0.22%, Opera<11 - 0.3%. Browsers that don't support CSS columns will display the content all in one column. --Yair rand (talk) 00:56, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
    Thanks. That doesn't seem fatal. Also, isn't it possible to change template/CSS/etc behavior based on the browser? That would at least dramatically diminish the importance of balancing that tables as 90% of users would see the table as balanced even if the various "mid" templates were misplaced. Isn't such balancing done by a bot? (Autoformat did it.) DCDuring TALK 01:07, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • (After e/c) This sounds brilliant. It always puzzled me that we had no auto-balancing, given how simple the math is. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:17, 5 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I would recommend to use a column width as parameter (with a set default, like 20em) instead of a number of columns, so that the number of columns would adapt to the screen width. Dakdada (talk) 10:12, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
    @Darkdadaah: Would that work with more browsers? DCDuring TALK 13:52, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
    No more, no less: same support (see here and here). Dakdada (talk) 15:00, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
    But that would be a drastic layout change for our translation tables. I'm not against it, but we would probably need to vote on it. --WikiTiki89 15:50, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • One thing that occurs to me. In some cases, JA editors (and probably others) have been using the {{mid}} family of templates in semantic ways -- in my case, specifically by splitting up derived term tables to have derived terms starting with the headword on one side, and derived terms ending with the headword on the other side. (This is common and useful for Japanese entries.)
Is this proposal intended to entirely scrap the {{mid}} family of templates? Or is this proposal more limited in scope, and targets only some of the {{mid}} templates? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 18:28, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
For that kind of situation I would suggest using something other than {{mid}} to delineate the split. That way it's clear that the split is not just there for balancing purposes. —CodeCat 18:45, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
What would you suggest? A sample usage is here on the 刀 entry. I added column headers here to try to clarify the table organization. In either layout, though, I have no idea what to use to split the columns other than the various {{mid}} templates. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:02, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't know. We probably don't have templates specifically for this kind of thing, but it would be a good idea. I am a proponent of using templates in a way that signifies intent/meaning, rather than just using whatever template "looks right". —CodeCat 19:08, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
One thing to think about is whether that is actually better than just having two separate tables as in this edit. --WikiTiki89 20:06, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Having just the one collapsible div seems like less clutter and better usability. Perhaps some other template tweaking would do the trick? We could create something like {{der-col-top}} etc, or even just {{der-head|header text}}, which would fit between {{der-top}} and {{der-bottom}}. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:12, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
    But having two separate collapsible tables makes it easier for readers to expand only what they want to see. It's not really a lot of clutter to have two tables. --WikiTiki89 20:27, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
So what's the verdict? Can we do this? --WikiTiki89 20:53, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd think it needed a vote, because it is a bit rough on those with older browsers. DCDuring TALK 04:02, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Multiple etymologies=mess?[edit]

The use of the whole etymological chain of a word is necessary? For example see the entry for the French word "démocratie", which derives from the Latin "democratia". The origin of the latter is Greek, but should this be presented in the etymology of the French word or only for the Latin one? And why is this exhaustive etymological analysis through the Proto-Indo-European roots presented, which applies only to the Greek word? In the categorization, the French world is presented as deriving from all these languages, Latin, Greek and Proto-Indo-European, while it's only a loanword from Latin. Actually, the Latin comes from the Greek word, and the Greek comes from the PIE. In this way (which isn't used for the most part of the words in the wiktionary), all loanwords come from a very first proto-something language, but the point is to present the language from which a word derived, e.g. the French word derived from Latin and that's all. If anybody wants to see the origin of the Latin word should go to its entry and so on.--Ymaea (talk) 16:48, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Does it really make sense to only go back one step? If you put borrowed from Latin, then you click on the Latin it says borrowed from Ancient Greek. You click on the Ancient Greek it says from PIE. That's a lot of clicking. If you get a chain of seven languages in an etymology you're going to have to click 7 times to get all the etyma. Renard Migrant (talk) 17:11, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Another issue is that sometimes the intermediate etyma don’t exist. From example, there are 1809 words listed at Category:Portuguese terms derived from Old Portuguese but we only have 460 Old Portuguese entries. And sometimes the etymon immediately preceding the word is not the most important; people who want to know the origin of French words are more likely to want to know the Latin or even Old French etymon than the Middle French one. — Ungoliant (falai) 17:21, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Without a proper etymology backend this is all just pissing in the wind. DTLHS (talk) 18:17, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

The problem here is mainly the automatic categorization according to the etymologies used. The French word "démocratie" is listed in three categories: a) "French terms derived from PIE", b) "French terms derived from Ancient Greek" c)"French terms derived from Medieval Latin". My objections:

  1. What is this word? It cannot be PIE, Greek and Latin simultaneously.
  2. Especially the first category (PIE) is totally weird, as it indicates a straight connection between the French and the PIE words. But originally only the Greek word was formed from PIE.
  3. The mess becomes more chaotic when we want to describe the origin of the French "démocratie". We should say that it has a Greek origin, it's a Greek influence, which was passed in French through Latin. This "through" doesn't indicate the etymology, but the route of the word. So, categories which indicate that this word derives from PIE and from Greek and from Latin, are obviously wrong.

To sum up, imagine a category "French terms derived from Ancient Greek through Medieval Latin". It's much more accurate and totally different from this coexistence of the three categories above.--Ymaea (talk) 18:53, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Being in three categories does not imply that the etymon existed in three different languages. French démocratie is derived from both Medieval Latin and Ancient Greek, though I would say it is not derived from PIE since the compound was coined in Ancient Greek and didn't exist yet in PIE. Even the Greek word is not derived from PIE; it was coined within Greek from two words that were themselves independently derived from PIE. Categories like "French terms derived from Ancient Greek through Medieval Latin" sound like a good idea in principle, but in practice I think they would quickly become unmanageable. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:31, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
"It cannot be PIE, Greek and Latin simultaneously." No and we're not claiming it is. It's a bit like saying a word can't be a verb and a noun simultaneously. Not simultaneously no, but separately, yes! Renard Migrant (talk) 22:55, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
"So, categories which indicate that this word derives from PIE and from Greek and from Latin, are obviously wrong."
"So, genealogies which indicate that I am descended from my father, my great-grandfather, and my grandfather, are obviously wrong."
--Catsidhe (verba, facta) 22:59, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not really seeing the need for a determination on this. a) I'm generally OK with long etymologies, and b) how long an etymology should be should be dictated by common sense. Purplebackpack89 22:17, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Regarding this genealogy case, yes you are descended from these three persons, but it would be weird to put you in the category of each one without giving this vertical kinship ties. So, when the Latin and the French word are both categorized as deriving from Greek, one could assume that we talk about two separate formations with a common ancestor, the Greek one. When a dictionary says "100 French words derive from Latin and 100 more from Greek", this word is double-counted? I don't think so. But in wiktionary yes, it's double-counted, you can see it in both categories. My point is very clear when we compare the present situation with a category like that I proposed, "French terms derived from Ancient Greek through Medieval Latin". On the other hand even this solution would sound weird in other cases and I have some in my mind. Indeed it would be very complicated and possibly we couldn't handle a situation like this. But, I just wanted to point out that there is a strong lack of clarity with the categories in the way they are constructed. Thank you all!--Ymaea (talk) 01:47, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

"... derived from ..." ≠ "... directly derived from...". I certainly belong in a category of "people descended from {my grandfather}", and in "people descended from {my great-grandfather}", but not in "children of {my grandfather}". Similarly, démocratie is derived from δημοκρατία, but is not directly derived from it. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 02:08, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Category:French terms derived from Ancient Greek through Medieval Latin would fail the utility test, i.e. not useful to anyone. It has no advantages whatsoever; it's not more useful and it's not more accurate. And there isn't a lack of clarity, quite the opposite. We include all relevant truthful etymological categories. So if something's derived from Latin, we include that. If something's derived from Ancient Greek, we include that. We don't pick one or the other. With something like mock you end up with Category:English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European via Proto-Germanic, Old Saxon, Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Middle French and Middle English. If that's your idea of clarity, I'll take obscurity thanks! Renard Migrant (talk) 16:28, 7 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, with Wanderwörter the chains can get quite complicated. It wouldn't be difficult to list e.g. a dozen of words in Inari Sami whose etymology is roughly "from Finnish < from Swedish < from Low German < from French < from Latin < from Greek < from Persian". To keep this in hand, the useful stages to indicate would seem to be
  1. Direct loan origin.
  2. Ultimate loan origin.
Both indicate an action: the loaning by French (or by Inari Sami, etc), and the word's derivation in Greek (or Persian, etc). Anything else is not that necessary.
Note that by "derivation" I do not only mean the morphological composition, though. Sometimes a specific semantic or phonological mutation may have occurred in a specific language (say, between Greek and Persian), and this is also relevant info for the etymology of a word.
On the other hand, indicating the reconstructed proto-roots from which a word was derived in some other language entirely is largely superfluous IMO; while for inherited words, though, these clearly ought to be mentioned. Pretty much everything in English comes in some way from PIE (sometimes thru quite a few detours) — the purpose of a category like "English terms derived from PIE" would be mainly for indicating what exactly has been inherited from that far back.
I suppose this gets more difficult with French vs. Latin, or Hindi vs. Sanskrit, where one might want to distinguish inherited vs. learned vocab. But maybe things like "French terms derived from Medieval Latin" versus "French terms derived from Vulgar Latin" suffice for the job?
Worth mentioning here as well BTW: we currently have a somewhat inconsistent system where e.g. some Germanic words' etymology is discussed right under the modern words (as is proper), while others' is discussed under the corresponding Old Norse or Old English or Old High German words. --Tropylium (talk) 01:08, 9 November 2014 (UTC)


User:Ready Steady Yeti found out the hard way that we don't include this in our in our data modules as a language. We do have Guernésiais and Jèrriais, which are lects spoke nearby, and likewise often considered to be dialects of Norman. According to w:Sercquiais, the island was settled in the 16th century by speakers of Jèrriais, and has archaic features that have been lost in that language, along with considerable Guernésiais influence. Should we create a language code for this, or treat it as a dialect of Jèrriais/Norman? Chuck Entz (talk) 00:12, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Why do we have separate codes for Guernésiais and Jèrriais to begin with? I'd say all three should be dialects of Norman. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:51, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
I, too, am not convinced Jèrriais and Guernésiais are languages distinct from Norman. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:42, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Indication of different pronunciations of English words of shared etymologies[edit]

Many English multi-syllable words that are used in different functions, especially as a noun and a verb, have the stress on different syllable according to which part of speech they occour as. Examples include increase, reject, excerpt, defect. The meanings and etymologies of such a word are usually related and the pronunciations are all grouped under the Pronunciation header. Many pages use various templates, some of which are clearly wrong, to indicate the part of speech a pronunciation pertains to. WT:ELE doesn't prescribe any template, instead hinting that parts of speech should be separated under multiple Pronunciation headers. Sound files often lack part of speech information. They may be indented under the relevant IPA description, but that requires a knowledgeable linguist, and to my knowledge isn't suggested on any policy page. The template {{qualifier}} seems to be the closest to what is intended. Is there a preferred way? Kumiponi (talk) 18:55, 11 November 2014 (UTC)

I'd use {{sense}} myself, I don't know about other editors. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:12, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
That template's documentation doesn't allow such usage. Kumiponi (talk) 19:29, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
We've discussed this before (does anyone remember when/where?). Some people say that if a word has different pronunciations, then the two pronunciations actually have different etymologies. --WikiTiki89 22:07, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
At the very least, they're distinct words, so maybe something like this? Etymology at the top, in level 3, followed by Pronunciation 1 at level 4, then the words with that pronunciation, then Pronunciation 2 at level 4, etc. Of course this should only be done if we're really sure the words have the exact same etymology and came into existence at the same time from the same origin. —CodeCat 23:12, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
But how do you explain the different pronunciations? It should be part of the etymology. --WikiTiki89 23:20, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
You could say that the etymologies are different, but that sets up an inconsistency with the way we divide terms without pronunciation differences: we currently show the verb perfect as derived from the adjective perfect, but we don't show the verb mouse as derived from the noun, nor do we show the computer mouse as derived from the rodent mouse. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:03, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Module:template utilities[edit]

Could someone please show me where the renaming of Module:template utilities to Module:ugly hacks was discussed at WT:RFM and where the deletion of Module:template utilities was discussed at WT:RFDO? As far as I can tell, the first was only mentioned in passing while discussing the fate of other templates, and the second wasn't discussed at all.

I can understand why User:Kephir might want to discourage people from using the module, but I can't understand why he didn't discuss it in the appropriate places first. At the very least it would have given people a chance to point out any potential problems, and to get people thinking about alternatives (this reminds me of a line in w:Dr. Strangelove about keeping deterrents secret, but I can't remember it offhand).

I'm sure he was very diligent in orphaning template utilities from everything that links to it. He wasn't so diligent, however, in checking Category:Templates that must be substituted. This is analogous to demolishing a bridge without closing the roads on either end. I've updated my own templates to use the other module, but there may be others. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:09, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Yup. DCDuring TALK 02:33, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
How incredibly self-serving (or what a sign of youth?) it is to be able to say "I won't bother writing documentation for this module because you shouldn't use it: you should use Lua instead (and to hell with you if you don't and I won't answer your questions on my talk page if I don't feel like it). DCDuring TALK 02:41, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

AWB rights or task request[edit]

I'm looking to be granted rights to use AWB on this project. I noticed that Category:English simple past forms was supposed to be empty and I was going to correct the pages to point to Category:English verb simple past forms as prescribed. If granting AWB rights is not advisable because I'm an infrequent editor on this project, I'd ask that someone else please perform this task. Thanks, Ost316 (talk) 18:26, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

On it. bd2412 T 19:51, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
Done. Cheers! bd2412 T 20:01, 13 November 2014 (UTC)
Not that I object but, was this perhaps done unilaterally by CodeCat with no prior discussion? I don't think verb is really needed as other parts of speech don't have simple past forms. We don't have Category:English verb past participles for the same reason, 'verb' is implied by 'past participle'. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:30, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
That may be so, but we had two categories with duplicated intent, one containing about 75 entries and the other containing about 20,000. I have no problem recategorizing the 20,000, but it is definitely an easier task to recat the 75 with AWB. If we go the other way, it will be a bot task. bd2412 T 17:43, 15 November 2014 (UTC)


I came across a recent edit which replaced a use of the non-existent Template:Bibleref with a direct wikilink to the relevant Biblical book, which is certainly of no use. There used to be on WP a template Bibleverse, which used "mediatools", when that went belly up, it failed for a while, and now it has been replaced with a same named template that works again. It is absolutely magnificent: the template creates an external link to any of a dozen off-site Bibles.

I assume such a template existed, and was deleted when mediatools disappeared. Either way, a Template:Bibleref that works like the WP template would be quite useful. That's certainly much better than "fixing" the Templates to something hard-coded. Choor monster (talk) 15:36, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

What does the WP template do? Does it link to one or multiple translations? Does it 'find' the citation? DCDuring TALK 16:15, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
On a partially-related issue, I find quotes that just say 'Bible' and not which edition a bit irritating. Modern English Bibles span at least 500 years, so which edition really does it matter. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:24, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Good grief, it worked on Friday—linking to the asked-for particular Bible translation—and now it doesn't work at all, trying to link to tools.wmflabs.org and coming up empty. Well, it half-way works, creating a properly formatted Biblical reference. As an example, in Shuah, there are numerous instances of the template, with the parameter HE added, that originally and last Friday when I checked, provided a link to this stable line-by-line English/Hebrew Bible. This was particularly useful for this article, since there are four distinct Hebrew spellings that KJV transliterated into "Shuah". In contrast, the template did not provide links for any on-line LXX, so the relevant links had to be hand-coded, which is, of course, a nuisance. And in theory, this is less robust, but in practice, it has turned out to be more robust. Choor monster (talk) 16:39, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to allow breves for Latin words in certain exceptional cases[edit]

Some Latin words have one or more vowels with variable length (for example, agrimensor/agrīmensor, Galilaea/Galīlaea, Lūcipor/Lūcipōr, Moȳsēs/Mōȳsēs, patruus/pātruus, Pharisaeus/Pharīsaeus, -por/-pōr, Publipor/Pūblipor/Pūblīpōr, redux/rēdux, succisīvus/succīsīvus, etc.). Allowing only macra, and no breves, accurate presentation requires something like this. To me, that seems like a crazy amount of duplication to account for variation in the length of one vowel; far better, in my opinion, would be presentation like this. Right now, however, such presentation is problematic, because the links generated point to page titles with ĭ in them, but this is easily fixed by automatically stripping macra–breves from Latin links in the same way that standalone macra are currently stripped from Latin links; to achieve this, the following change would need to be made to Module:languages/data2:

This sort of double-diacriticking is standard practice, and can be seen in Lewis & Short's Latin Dictionary and Félix Gaffiot’s Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français. L&S and Gaffiot both use standalone breves to mark short vowels anyway, but the Oxford Latin Dictionary, which only uses macra and never breves to mark fixed-length vowels, also uses macron–breve double-diacriticking to mark vowels with variable length, as in the case of “sibī̆¹, sibe” (p. 1,753/1 in the 1st ed.), its headword for sibi, the dative of the reflexive pronoun .

Does allowing the use of breves on Latin words in these exceptional cases seem like a good idea to everyone? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:15, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Regardless of whether we should use them, the module should definitely strip them. I will make the change (and your particular suggested edit will not work). --WikiTiki89 18:21, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Thanks for that. And I'm sorry that I was wrong with my suggested edit. Could you explain what the u(0x0304), u(0x0306), u(0x0308) in the text you added does, please? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:05, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
@I'm so meta even this acronym: First of all, the reason your suggestion would not have worked is that the combining breve is treated as a separate character, thus "Pharī̆saeus" would have become "Phariasaeus" rather than the intended "Pharisaeus". u(0x0304), u(0x0306), and u(0x0308) are respectively the combining macron, combining breve, and the combining diaereses, which are replaced by nothing. The u(...) function converts a number representing a Unicode codepoint into the character itself (if you look at the top of the module, you will notice that u is just a shortcut for mw.ustring.char), the 0x indicates that the following number is in hexadecimal notation, and the number is the Unicode codepoint of each respective character. --WikiTiki89 21:27, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89: Hugely illuminating. Thank you very much. :-)  — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:55, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Template usage policy (generic vs. FL)[edit]

Do we have a written template usage policy? I thought FL-specific templates were allowed whenever there was a need, and the use of generic templates were encouraged when it was possible, especially when no special FL functionality was needed. But the opposite is happening in two cases and it's confusing.

  1. {{hu-proper noun}} is linked to {{head|hu|proper noun}}. It does not have any extra functionality. I was planning to manually move every entry that is using {{hu-proper noun}} to {{head|hu|proper noun}}, and eventually delete the template. So I try to change {{hu-proper noun}} to {{head|hu|proper noun}} whenever I see it, but there are other non-Hungarian editors who do the exact opposite: they change {{head|hu|proper noun}} back to {{hu-proper noun}}.
  2. {{hu-suffix}} was developed to provide functionality specific to Hungarian entries. The template was changed to point to {{suffix}} which does not provide the same functionality. Requests for adding back the unique original functionality are treated with resistance.

What is the policy that should be followed? --Panda10 (talk) 17:42, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Now that many templates simply call on {{head}}, we should only use the ones that have additional functions or have a realistic prospect to have added functions in the future. For example {{fr-noun}} has a few extra functions, such as the automatic plural and the gender. {{fr-adv}} has no added functions (when compared to {{head|fr|adverb}}) and no realistic prospect of them, which is why I've nominated it for deletion. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:30, 15 November 2014 (UTC)

Changing the alternative display form parameters, again[edit]

Previous discussions: Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2014/January#Parameter to use for alternative display of links, Thread:User talk:CodeCat/Why the rush?

Now that we have Lua to automatically strip diacritics, we don't need the third parameter of {{l}}, {{m}} and similar templates nearly as often as before. Some people have brought this up before and suggested that we could rename this parameter to alt= and "shift" the gloss parameter (the fourth) downwards to take its place. But it's far from clear whether more entries use the fourth parameter than use the third. So before we make this change, I would like to add some tracking to these templates so that we can more easily judge which of the two parameters gets used more, and make a decision based on that. Is this ok? —CodeCat 20:56, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

I still think we should add |text= instead. Keφr 21:51, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
…by which I meant that instead of having {{m|en|A|alt=B}} we would write {{m|[[A|B]]}}. And instead of {{m|en||X}}, {{m|en|text=X}} (I preferred {{m|en|=X}} initially, though). Keφr 22:14, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes it's a good idea, and I prefer |alt= because it's more established here. Renard Migrant (talk) 21:54, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I support doing this, and I support naming the parameter |alt=. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:06, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
    • I actually wanted to do this before deciding on whether to rename it. To see if it's needed. Keep in mind that there are many instances where {{m}} is used with only the alt display and no linked term. These cases turn up often in etymologies where you might want to show an intermediate reconstructed form without linking to it. Renaming the parameter would make such cases longer to type. —CodeCat 22:16, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
      Maybe we could create two more templates, such as {{l*|en|foo}} and {{m*|en|foo}} that would not automatically link the parameters (we don't have to actually go with my scheme-influenced asterisk usage)? --WikiTiki89 00:56, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
      Your suggested {{l*}} seems almost the same as {{lang}}. —CodeCat 01:13, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
      Except that {{lang}} doesn't support transliterations or language linking. --WikiTiki89 02:10, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
      It should probably support the latter. And maybe the former too. —CodeCat 02:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
      But regardless, we'd need a mention version of it as well. --WikiTiki89 03:31, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
      {{l*}} makes me rather think of reconstructed/unattested terms than Scheme. Keφr 12:18, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
      Then maybe you haven't used Scheme enough. The asterisk is used similarly to the way the prime symbol is used in mathematics. Compare functions such as let*, list*/cons*, and map*, and see this question. --WikiTiki89 16:55, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
      Quite probably so. Though why not {{l'}} if you just meant to use a prime? Or hell, even {{l′}}? (That is U+2032 PRIME.) Keφr 18:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
      The apostrophe is a special character in LISP-derived languages; the asterisk is not. The Unicode prime symbol would only work in some implementations and would be inconvenient to input anyway. As for why I didn't use an apostrophe here, I didn't actually connect the Scheme asterisk with the mathematical prime symbol until I was righting that response. --WikiTiki89 20:14, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I don’t think the tracking is necessary. Even if it shows that there are more uses of {{m}} with an alternative display than with a gloss (which would not correspond to my personal experience), all that proves is that we need to start adding more glosses. But if that’s what it takes for people to support the parameter change, I see no harm in it. — Ungoliant (falai) 05:41, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/2014-11/Entries which do not meet CFI to be deleted even if there is a consensus to keep[edit]

Let's start applying our own rules! Otherwise I will be nominating Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion for deletion as de facto it isn't being used anyway. Let's go one way or the other; apply our own rules or get rid of them all together. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:49, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Oh, you know I'm voting oppose! Purplebackpack89 20:32, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't know how useful this vote is. It just means we'd be squabbling over "interpretations" of CFI. It has to come down to common sense in the end. To paraphrase Renard under another name, if the lunatics take over the asylum (single-issue propagandists, fringe kooks, etc.) we are not going to defeat them with rule-mongering. Equinox 22:32, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, it's not useful at all. There is an enormous crisis of implementation if this vote passes. Which it shouldn't, because entries should be kept or deleted because of consensus. I'm also worried about the motivations of this vote: it and the discussion above grew out of Renard's complaint about not enough articles getting deleted. I'd feel much more comfortable if this was coming from a neutral third-party rather than an ardent deletionist. Purplebackpack89 22:52, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
CFI is consensus in itself. It consists of the rules that all of Wiktionary has agreed to work with. If the rules don't suffice that doesn't mean we should just override them when we feel it's necessary. It means we need better rules. I'm also rather surprised that you, as a proponent of applying Wikipedia practices here, do not agree with the suggestion that we apply the common Wikipedia practice of using policies as rationales. Personally I think this is a problem here and if policies were enforced more strictly then they'd actually mean something. In particular I would love to see Wikipedia-style deletion messages used here, in which the name and a link for the relevant policy stating rationale for deletion is always included. —CodeCat 23:09, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Since you brought up Wikipedia, my experience is that admins there don't tend to close an AfD against consensus, even if consensus is in one direction and policy is another. The exception to that is AfDs that have a lot of IPs or new editors, who are usually discounted. Purplebackpack89 23:32, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
That may be true, but I don't know what you're interpreting as "consensus" in this case. I've seen administrators close discussions with option 1 even though the majority of votes was for option 2. The rationale given for this was that the people who wanted option 1 gave better rationales, in particular rationales that had more merit with respect to Wikipedia policy. That consensus depends on the quality of arguments over numerical superiority is a Wikipedia policy in itself, as can be read at w:WP:Consensus. And I would definitely favour a similar approach on Wiktionary. The only problem is that with our much smaller number of users and administrators, it's harder to find someone who is not involved and who can therefore be trusted to view the given arguments impartially. So we have the problem of "no consensus over the consensus"... —CodeCat 00:03, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I am interpreting "consensus" as the preponderance of opinions on the matter. I honestly don't think it occurs as often as you do. The decisions you cite where that's true almost always fall in the 60-40 range. Admins almost never close a discussion one way when more than 65% of the votes are the other. Purplebackpack89 00:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
It's not common, no. But the fact that it can and does happen does mean something. The fact that Wikipedia even has an official policy saying it must be done that way is even more telling. While Wiktionary is certainly not Wikipedia, there are some things we can learn from and I think this is one case. —CodeCat 00:08, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Purple, that's absurd: claiming that Renard operates on how many entries get deleted. He only wants to delete the ones that are actual SoPs. I know you don't understand SoP, as you have often made evident. Equinox 00:23, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I stand 100% by that. Prior to the beer parlour discussion above, Renard had expressed dismay that a number of entries were closed as keep despite he believing them to fail CFI. He mentions this dismay in the beer parlour discussion above. Purplebackpack89 00:30, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
If anyone is operating purely "by the numbers" and not by thought or logic, it is you, Purple, who want to decide everything with a transient "keep" or "delete" vote, rather than deciding why, and formulating rules based on the reasoning. Equinox 00:24, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I object vociferously to what you've just said. I give reasons for every vote I make. And I'm nowhere near the most voting person here. I also understand what SOP is; I believe it to be a ridiculously restrictive policy that should be eliminated to allow us to have worthy entries that many other dictionaries have. It's not that I have no reasons, it's mostly that you and Renard don't like me reasons. Purplebackpack89 00:28, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
There won't be any point in making any entries (of more than one word) at all if this is passed. Migrant's policy would ruin the dictionary and it would be in danger of stagnation, IMO. There are more receptive dictionaries around on the Internet. Donnanz (talk) 23:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Yep, what Donnanz said. Purplebackpack89 23:32, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm not given to the expression of strong opinions around here, but, frankly, this proposal seems like an absolutely terrible idea to me. It isn't always clear-cut whether a term meets CFI or not. Sometimes the determination of CFI compliance depends upon making a subjective/qualitative judgment (SOPness) rather than simply ensuring that certain objective criteria are being met (three non-mention citations spanning a year). The RfD process exists to resolve such cases. We discuss the matter and reach a consensus. If we're not going to respect the outcome of these discussions — if we're going to allow admins to become judge, jury, and executioner, deleting entries at their sole discretion based on their own personal interpretations of CFI - then the RfD process will become nothing more than a meaningless song and dance. Discouraging discussion and disrespecting consensus in such a manner would be contrary to the collaborative spirit of this project. -Cloudcuckoolander (talk) 00:01, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
On Wikipedia, as I noted above, AfD (article for deletion) discussions are not the same kind of back-and-forth that is often seen here. Instead, each person gives arguments and then a third party will judge those arguments based on policy and decide which view has more merit. The fact that a third party is involved means that powers are somewhat separated. Perhaps we should do something similar here, by requiring that whoever closes an RFD discussion must not have taken part in it. —CodeCat 00:06, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
We absolutely should do that! Purplebackpack89 00:09, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
This looks like something that should be obviously desirable and nice in theory, but I do not think the CFI as it is written right now is a good policy to enforce to the letter. For starters, I would like WT:CFI amended to accommodate "hot word"/"hot sense", {{translation only}} and phrasebook entries first. But even if we do that, there will still be too much room for subjectivity in interpreting CFI, which at best means that RFDs will keep being votes — or worse: as one person on TOW put it, "AfD is not a vote" means "AfD is a vote that administrators are allowed to count any way they like.". Keφr 08:22, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

This is a joke proposal, right? It’s honestly difficult for me to tell. --Romanophile (talk) 16:03, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Your comment is a joke, right? You think applying rules we already have is a joke? Renard Migrant (talk) 20:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Maybe the joke is that we need to vote to approve rules that have been already formally enacted. Keφr 20:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
No, I believe Renard is solid in his convictions. Solid enough that the vote starts on Monday. Purplebackpack89 16:42, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Purplebackpack89 is wrong about what he says about me, for the reasons he gives. It's nothing to do with the number of entries being deleted, but which ones. Also, Purplebackpack89 if with what CodeCat says about deletion debates not being about counting votes but about the overall arguments made, why would you oppose this vote? It's what I'm proposing, after all. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:16, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
"Which ones". The ones I've seen you complain about the most vociferously are those where you voted delete, others voted keep, the discussion was closed as keep, and you claim the entry should be deleted on CFI grounds. What you're essentially proposing is to shut out a line of argument, which coincidentally tends to be one you don't agree with. Purplebackpack89 18:46, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
But if Renard's argument is rooted in CFI whereas nobody else's are, why should we ignore CFI? I support this vote because it means people will be forced to come up with better arguments - specifically, arguments that follow consensus-established Wiktionary policy - if they want their views to be taken into account. I think that's a good thing. —CodeCat 19:54, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
More than that, any problems that are in CFI, currently we've no reason to fix them because editors are free to ignore CFI as much as they choose. Forcing CFI to be applied will put in under much greater scrutiny and therefore it will get amended. What's the reason to improve it right now? Renard Migrant (talk) 22:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Because participating in RfD is easy and changing CFI is hard. And CFI can never cover everything. Sometimes, you just have to use the Potter Stewart test. Purplebackpack89 22:08, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2014-11/Require third-party closures of RfD and RfV discussions[edit]

Starting one week from today, there is going to be a vote on whether RfD and RfV discussions must be closed by uninvolved editors. Purplebackpack89 00:37, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

We generally do this anyway, no need to vote on it. --WikiTiki89 00:39, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
There's no policy that says we have to, though. Purplebackpack89 00:41, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
We don't need a vote to enforce something that we already do. --WikiTiki89 00:42, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
We need a policy to make sure we keep doing it. —CodeCat 00:52, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
It is not that clear that we should. It is naïve to think that requiring "uninvolved editors" to close discussions will eliminate biased closures — maybe even the opposite. Also, this requirement is especially superfluous on RfVs, where the existence of citations is usually not a matter of any interpretation. Keφr 08:30, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I have removed RfVs from the vote, though I still harbor reservations that there's nothing stopping the same editor from starting and closing an RfV. Purplebackpack89 16:49, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I think as it's worded, no, because it excludes anyone who voted. If it excluded just the original nominator and the entry creator, I could go with that. Excluding anyone who votes (though I note, not anyone who comments) could rule out practically everyone for really well discussed entries. Also why would someone who hasn't voted necessarily be 'unbiased'? Also, you could abstain from voting in order to be able to close, which means if you had a bias you'd be free to impose it onto the entry, because you hadn't voted. Renard Migrant (talk) 18:20, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
This. Keφr 18:33, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
I have closed dozens of deletion discussions that I have participated in - mostly because it seems (to me at least) that discussions tend to languish on the page long after they have run their course. If I hadn't closed those discussions, someone else would have had to pick up the ball, which wasn't happening. If consensus differs from my views, then I go with the consensus. The closed discussion remains on the page for a week following the closure, so if there are objections to the closure they can be raised. bd2412 T 17:07, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Harassment by User:Kephir[edit]

Another admin, Kephir, is harassing me. He removed comments I made on another user's talk page, here and here. When I asked him not to do that, he deleted the message on my talk page, claiming it was vandalism here (commenting on another person's talk page is clearly not vandalism nor graffiti, as he labeled one of my edits). There are many other instances of harassment of me by this editor in months past, including a number of unwarranted personal attacks on talk pages and in edit summaries (this is a good example). Could someone PLEASE get him to stop? Purplebackpack89 22:56, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

If the abuse is long-term I recommend starting User:Purplebackpack89/Kephir. Subsequently write all the instances you can think of where he has misused his tools so that everything is in one place. That way you could remember every negative interaction that has occurred between you and if others agree with you then they may chime in where Kephir could possibly eventually get his admin tools revoked. Zigguzoo (talk) 23:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Kephir has been an admin for 10 months only. Maybe he;s experiencing powertrips of some sort but I get the feeling that if he continues on his current projection of misleading edit summaries and misuse of the tools he may face desysopping soon. Zigguzoo (talk) 01:12, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, he oughta. The deletion of talk page threads and hiding of edits he did was just seeing what he could get away with with the tools he's proving he shouldn't have. While it's acceptable to clear one's talk page, user warnings should not be tagged as vandalism or graffiti. What compelled him to remove good-faith edits from your talk page, I do not know. Purplebackpack89 03:30, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I think he's making legitimate criticisms, and I also think you're happy to make legitimate criticisms yourself, but when someone does it to you, you accuse them of harassment. Why do you think it's ok for you to act that way, but when other people do it to you, it's awful and horrendous? Renard Migrant (talk) 18:02, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Proposal to start WT:Courthouse[edit]

I propose we start WT:Courthouse, a page to discuss user conduct, blocks, reverts, etc. without disrupting the WT:BP. --WikiTiki89 16:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Definitely support. But I wonder if it wouldn't be clearer if we just named the page after its function. —CodeCat 16:11, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Support the page Not a big fan of the name, though. Purplebackpack89 16:13, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Is "courthouse" not indicative of its function? --WikiTiki89 16:17, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Not in the same way that WT:Vandalism in progress is. —CodeCat 16:29, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Courthouse may actually be a little too indicative. I'd just call it Wiktionary:User conduct Purplebackpack89 16:31, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes that's a good idea, although that might be mistaken for a page describing how users should behave. —CodeCat 16:35, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
WT:Vandalism in progress is a different story, since it's for emergencies. I chose the name WT:Courthouse by analogy to pages such as WT:Beer parlour, WT:Tea room, etc., except that it is actually more indicative of what the page is about. I'd put it at the same level of self-explanatory-ness as WT:Information desk. --WikiTiki89 16:47, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I realise that. I'm not really that fussed about the names, I'm just wondering if the fancy names like "Beer parlour" and "Grease pit" aren't too confusing to new people who don't already know what they are. —CodeCat 16:50, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course they're confusing, but only for the minute before they read the description on the page. But "Information desk" is not confusing, and I don't think "Courthouse" would be either. --WikiTiki89 17:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
What about Wiktionary:Dispute resolution? —CodeCat 17:19, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
That is currently a redirect to Help:Dispute resolution, which says, among other things, that if you have a dispute with a user, come here. That page will have to be reworded when the user conduct page is created. FWIW, I think the user conduct page would be more expansive than just dispute resolution. Purplebackpack89 17:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
"Dispute resolution" is something that can be done on userpages. This new page would be for when the dispute resolution fails. --WikiTiki89 18:17, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
...like above, when another editor arbitrarily decides any attempt to communicate with him is vandalism and immediately deletes it. Purplebackpack89 18:26, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
How about Court of last resort? —Stephen (Talk) 19:40, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
As a five-time administrator, I put my name forward for being the judge in the courthouse. --Type56op9 (talk) 14:36, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
In my experience the accusations of harassment and evidence gathering and posse forming which go along with it often result in more abuse that the instigating incident. I don't think adding a venue for tong wars will do anybody any favors. I would go so far as to say that disputes between users are better settled off of the site. - TheDaveRoss 23:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I would have agreed, except that some users are always going to complain and giving them a place for it will prevent the Beer parlour from being disrupted by the complaints. It's like creating designated smoking areas versus banning smoking altogether. --WikiTiki89 23:16, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I support the creation of Wiktionary:Courthouse, and with that name (and, consequently, with the shortcut WT:CH), if only to get all the recent whining off my watchlist via WT:BP and WT:RFD. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:52, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I suspect this will become some sort of sensationalistic, exhibitionistic bullshit like Judge Judy. Let's do it. Equinox 02:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I support this idea. It will be a place for just average block discussions, rather than for just emergency vandal reports. WT:VANDAL has in the past also been used for regular block discussions, which gives another advantage to WT:Courthouse. Rædi Stædi Yæti {-skriv til mig-} 03:36, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • How about calling it WT:Theater since it will be for nothing but drama? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:18, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
    That could be a redirect. --WikiTiki89 15:26, 25 November 2014 (UTC)



According to Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion#Inflections, entries like keeps one's options open are to delete? (cf. keep one's options open).

Regards, — Automatik (talk) 20:23, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Links to Appendix:Glossary in Template:inflection of[edit]

I've added a feature to this template (in its module Module:form of) that automatically links to the glossary definition of a given grammar tag, if it exists. For example:

Not all of the recognised grammar tags have glossary entries yet. I hope this is useful in any case. This feature would make it more desirable to use this template instead of {{form of}}, at least as long as it's possible. I will probably also add this feature to the "shortcut" templates like {{plural of}}, {{accusative of}} and so on. —CodeCat 18:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Oddity in Template:context[edit]

(Not sure if this is BP or GP material...)

I was just adding context labels to two Chinese entries (traditional spelling 庫納 and simplified 库纳) to clarify that the meanings here are about a currency. I added {{context|lang=zh|currency}}. Confusingly, and incorrectly, this adds (numismatics) to the visible page, although it does add the page to Category:zh:Currency as expected.

I've left the context labels in place on those two entries. Could someone more familiar with the context infrastructure see about changing this behavior? Numismatics is specific to coinage, whereas currency is about more than just coins. TIA, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:30, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

This is all handled in Module:labels/data. You can remove the following lines, if you think that is the right thing to do:
aliases["currency"] = "numismatics"
deprecated["currency"] = true
--WikiTiki89 19:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Some unelected person made the unsanctioned decision to deprecate the currency topical tag. Is it clear to anyone what the logic of these labels is? Is this deprecated because some believe topic categories are not a good idea or because this one is not to their taste? Is it explained anywhere accessible? It certainly doesn't fit the documentation of {{context}}.
In the absence of any particular sanction for such, I guess you can do whatever makes sense to you. Even if something ends up broken, it wouldn't be all bad: it might create some pressure to make some actual community decisions about this kind of thing. DCDuring TALK 19:55, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Actually, the label only adds to the "Money" category. This is because the "numismatics" label is defined twice:

labels["numismatics"] = {
	display = "numismatics",
	topical_categories = {"Currency"} }
-- ...
labels["numismatics"] = {
	topical_categories = {"Money"} }

The following entries use the "currency" label as of now:

Use that list as you please. Keφr 21:15, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Note that the {{context}} and {{label}} tags aren't supposed to be about clarifying which meaning of a word is being referenced. That's what {{gloss}} is for. The context tags are for labeling technical terms within a certain field. Numismatics is a field that has technical terms, but currency isn't. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:19, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
We have many other labels like that, including "cardinal", "ordinal", "personal" and so on. We should probably get rid of those. —CodeCat 22:50, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Those seem less clear cut than the more purely topical labels. Like other dictionaries we use beginning-of-the-line labels to convey grammatical information that qualifies and clarifies the definition. The labels mentioned above sometimes convey grammatical information. For example, in English, ordinals normally fit only in certain slots relative to determiners and adjectives in NPs. DCDuring TALK 15:56, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
But does that mean they should be a context label? "Ordinal" is not a context, it's a description of the semantic function of the word. —CodeCat 16:00, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
So are the labels about transitivity and countability. The convention among dictionaries is generally placement at the beginning of the line. (We rejected the other convention of having a separate header for transitive and intransitive.) Dictionaries that have information on complements (eg, head of following PP), semantic restrictions of what is modified, and orthography also place that at the beginning of the definition line. DCDuring TALK 16:27, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Transitivity is contextual though. Verbs can have different meanings depending on the presence of an object. —CodeCat 18:38, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Why should we care about what you or I think is or is not 'contextual' or 'grammatical'? We are discussing a user interface. The sole question of importance is what and where would users expect certain classes of information. I was simply arguing against another case of jumping to - and acting on - premature conclusions.
I like the idea of putting topical information after the definition, if we have it at all. Are you saying that this is information that belongs after the definition or on the inflection line or in a usage note or that it doesn't belong in the entry at all? DCDuring TALK 19:34, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
"cardinal" and "ordinal" don't need to be displayed because that should already be obvious from the definition and the part of speech. "personal" could just be a gloss after the definition, but only if it's needed to qualify it (for example who alone could be both a personal and relative pronoun). —CodeCat 20:37, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I might agree with this conclusion, in most applications, but the evidence of how you reach it scares me. "Obvious" to whom?
Is it obvious from the PoS header "Adjective" or from the PoS header "Numeral"? Both of them are applied to English ordinal numbers. BTW, do we still have runs of entries with unusual or no-longer-conforming headers? DCDuring TALK 23:18, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
@CodeCat: At the very least next and last are ordinals that depart from the numeral pattern. Presumably, next to last, ultimate, penultimate, antepenultimate are also ordinals. My imagination and memory both fail to provide me with others, but I suspect there are more, some probably used only in special contexts. I think all of these have common characteristics in terms of order in noun phrases: '[det] [ord] [card] [adj]s [N]' (much less often '[det] [card] [ord] [adj]s [N]'), not *'[det] [adj]s [card] [ord] [N]', nor *'[det] [card] [adj]s [ord] [adj]s [N]', etc. Ie, 'the last six red cars' (or ?'the six last red cars'). I think this kind of characteristic suggests that we need to keep the 'ordinal' label. I have the strong suspicion that it is only by ignoring some of the fine-grained features of syntax that we can feel free to ignore this kind of essentially lexical information. I wonder whether we shouldn't actually apply an RfD process to any deletions of data from the modules. DCDuring TALK 01:25, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't see why the meanings of those terms can't be expressed without putting {{lb|en|ordinal}} in front. —CodeCat 01:50, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
It is a question of SYNTAX, not semantics. That is exactly the sort of thing that we put in front-of-definition labels. By labeling them properly we can help folks use them properly without having to have a common usage note in every English entry that has an ordinal sense. Wiping out content that you don't seem to understand does not engender trust in your decisions. DCDuring TALK 04:46, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
What Angr said (at 21:19, 21 November 2014 UTC). "Currency" is a gloss, not a context. - -sche (discuss) 02:01, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/sy-2014-11/User:ObsequiousNewt for admin[edit]

Hello all. I'm just posting this here to notify everyone that the vote to confer administratorship on User:ObsequiousNewt began twenty-five minutes ago; the vote will end at 24:00, 10 December 2014 (UTC). — I.S.M.E.T.A. 00:31, 25 November 2014 (UTC)