Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2010/April

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April 2010[edit]

ƞ (U+019E ) cf η (U+03B7)[edit]

The Greek alphabet exists on Wiktionary - so I was surprised to see a new entry ƞ on the Special:RecentChanges wanted list. Closer examination showed that it is not eta but a character described by Unicode as "Latin small letter N with long right arm" - part of the extended latin character set. I have tidied it up as I thought best - but.. Do we have policy on entries for Unicode characters? —Saltmarshαπάντηση 06:15, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

No, but what you've done closely matches the approach taken by other similar entries. Conrad.Irwin 10:11, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Looking into the unicode charts, the character has specific uses, so I've put those in. Circeus 01:49, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

Sysop Activity[edit]

I have created an analysis of Sysop activity for the first quarter of this year - see User:SemperBlotto/Sysop Activity.

The data came from the Deletion and Block logs. I would like to include Revert activity as well, but it is a bit fiddly to obtain.

The data seems to confirm the standard Pareto principle that one would expect - some people have a lot more free time than others.

However, we do seem to have a number of Sysops who don't really need to be Sysops any more - they make it look as if we have a much more massive team than we have in reality.

I propose the following:-

  1. Sysops currently listed as inactive, and who did no deletion or blocking in 2009 to be asked (via email) if they want to continue as sysops. A negative reply (or no reply after a while) to result in the sysop flag being turned off. They can always apply for sysophood again in the future.
  2. Sysops currently listed as active but who seem to inactive (as sysops) to be moved to the inactive list.
  3. This process to be repeated in six months.

Does that seem reasonable? SemperBlotto 13:40, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Activity should be lowercase, and you should use one of those nice sortable tables with arrows, but I can't remember what they're called. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:43, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm with you as far as deletion goes -- but I'm not entirely sure we should be encouraging people to block more users. Ƿidsiþ 13:49, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
    • Seems I'm first for deletions, but second for blocks (by over 2000). I think Semper you block when no other sysop would do it, whereas I (try to) block persistent vandals and people who do personal attacks, although already that's quite a lot of user. 99% (or more of them) are IPs, very rarely do users register in order to do vandalism. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:00, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
      • This is off-topic. (and why do people use * for indentation?) Conrad.Irwin 14:02, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem with having loads of inactive sysops. Then again, there isn't much point in them I suppose. Conrad.Irwin 14:02, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
(On topic again) Maybe the bigger question is why people request sysop tools, but then don't use them. We generally seem to vote on desysoping (spelling?) anyone who is inactive for 12 months or more. Most interesting one is User:Brett who seems to have never rolled back or blocked, and deleted 4 pages. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:10, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Sysop also allows editing protected pages, which can be very useful. Everyone who is competent should be a sysop. Conrad.Irwin 14:14, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
We can institute an award for the second best sysop to encourage Activity: golden Wonderfool's head on a lance. --Vahagn Petrosyan 14:13, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
You should probably include me in the statistics somewhere. It looks like I'm missing for some reason. -- Prince Kassad 14:20, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
I imagine that's because you never added yourself to Wiktionary:Administrators/List of administrators. Very sneaky. ;-)   —RuakhTALK 16:02, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
SemperBlotto, you remind me of Atlas trying to cheat Hercules into carrying his burden of heaven. You can't desysop admins just because they don't perform admin duties. Sysopric on Wiktionary means more than technical tools to combat vandalism: it has become a ritual, a way of saying you are now one of us — accepted and trusted by the community. How many regular contributors do you know who are not admins? --Vahagn Petrosyan 14:50, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
A bulk of the 'inactive admins' haven't made an edit in years. It's a security risk to have them bestowed admin powers while not making any active use of it. If they've said goodbye to this project for good, and that can be confirmed by e-mail, there's no damage being done by desysoping them. It's simply a bit uncomfortable to see many inactive sysop ghosts around. --Ivan Štambuk 15:46, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Misspellings[edit]

I've made a start. Any feedback so far? Mglovesfun (talk) 13:57, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

Very well written, should be at Help:Misspellings though. Conrad.Irwin 14:08, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't object. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:11, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it would be better to use {{infl|en}} in the example, instead of '''. After all, it is the proper way to generate inflection lines, even for 'non-lemma' forms. —CodeCat 14:43, 2 April 2010 (UTC)


Esperanto hyphenation[edit]

I see a lot of changes in Esperanto hyphenation. Hyphenation is hard; it's rare enough that standards are hard to detect. But as I wrote at RFV

If there is any such evidence, it'll be hard to find, especially as hyphenating after one character is bad typesetting even if it isn't formally wrong. But eohyph.tex says "ebligu tranĉon post la vokaloj" (enable breaking after vowels), and all automated Esperanto hyphenation systems a quick Google shows me seem to be derived from it.--Prosfilaes 02:55, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Is there any reason not to accept this code as best practices in Esperanto hyphenation? If there is, what is our source for Esperanto hyphenation?--Prosfilaes 13:16, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

We try and source these things manually simply because there is no "perfect" algorithm - indeed (at least for English) you can find dictionaries that provide different hyphenations for words. I imagine a good deal of the existing ones have been added by editors looking for easy things to do - so it may be worth running a comparison against the algorithm, but I'd advise not blindly believing either. I suppose the question could come down to "is the probability of human error higher than the probability of the algorithm failing?" - that I don't know the answer to. Conrad.Irwin 07:53, 12 July 2010 (UTC)
Certainly with English the hyphenation is a complete mess, with some recording how a word should be hyphenated, some showing every possible place it could be hyphenated, others being an attempt to show pronunciation, stress and or syallabation. Other than saying that hyphenations that contain different letters and/or capitalisation to the headword are not representations of how to hyphenate the headword, I don't know of any way to tell the difference other than manually. I don't know about other languages, but I imagine the same could be true for these as well. Thryduulf (talk) 08:16, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

"Idiom" vs. "Idiomatic"[edit]

Appendix:Glossary#I says that the adjective idiomatic includes idioms as well as other things like colocations (which may be idioms as well). Note that idiom implies idiomatic, but idiomatic does not imply idiom. However, Template:idiom redirects to Template:idiomatic. I think this is a least an inconsistency, if not an error. Facts707 22:40, 3 April 2010 (UTC)

We use both templates to mean "idiomatic", and have the redirect because "idiom" is shorter and faster to type. --EncycloPetey 22:45, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
But use of Template:idiomatic will put an English language entry into Category:English idioms, thus implying everything idiomatic is an idiom, which is not what the Glossary says. Facts707 22:59, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
This is one reason that the categories and their associated template have been the subject of debaate and cleanup recently. You indeed have spotted a problem that needs more attention. --EncycloPetey 23:15, 3 April 2010 (UTC)
May I suggest that Wiktionary not attempt to mark entries as idiomatic since that category is far too broad to be useful in a dictionary (includes all colocations)? And then may I suggest we drop the existing (redirect only) Template:idiom and move Template:idiomatic to Template:idiom? Concurrently I suggest we update the glossary, templates, and categories to indicate that Wiktionary is only going to identify idioms for two or more word phrases where the meaning cannot be derived from the meaning of any combination of the component words.
E.g. post office is a dictionary entry and colocation (thus idiomatic, but not an idiom) because it restricts the meaning of post to just mail (thus "mail office", not "wooden or aluminum pole office"), while eye candy is an idiom because no-one could determine the real meaning without prior knowledge of the phrase.
Feel free to educate me if I am missing something. Facts707 13:33, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Main Page redesign[edit]

It will be a year since work on this started as of Thursday, and I think it's time to finally launch the redesign of the Main Page. I've set the vote to start in a week, and run until May 10. --Yair rand 17:44, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

When the Word du jour is working, I'll fully support this. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 10:02, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Spanish creation template[edit]

What happened to it? Was there ever one? Template:es-new-adj is being used as a preload to create Spanish articles but the page does not - and apparently never has - existed. -- 124.171.169.189 04:07, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Wrong page name I suppose, I have no other ideas. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:18, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
New-page templates for Spanish should start with "new es" AFAIK.​—msh210 19:43, 8 April 2010 (UTC)

The new Template talk:IPAchar2[edit]

It should be only used in the fundamental dedicated pronunciation pages like Wiktionary:English pronunciation key (so we don't need it in the Wiktionary:News for editors). JackPotte 11:06, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

The issue of transitivity and ergativity[edit]

Looking through some information about verbs on Wikipedia and Dutch Wiktionary, I noticed that for some languages the picture isn't a black-and-white distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs. Another property called ergativity also seems to play a major role in languages such as Dutch. Here's a quick explanation of the issue.

A verb is transitive if it takes an object, intransitive if it does not. But you must also consider the semantic relationship between the subject, verb and object. A subject is an agent if it performs an action through its own effort. It is a patient if it undergoes an action through no effort of its own. The subject of a transitive verb is almost always an agent. But some intransitive verbs have agent subjects, while others have patient subjects. Of course, plenty of verbs can be both intransitive and transitive. But the same applies: some of those dual-purpose verbs have agent subjects used intransitively, some have patient subjects. This gives roughly five basic types of verb, by function:

In English, the agent/patient relationship is mostly semantic, as it has a role only in determining the correct interpretation of a sentence. I have broken the glass versus The glass has broken. In languages such as Dutch however, the relationship is grammatical as well. Verbs where the subject is an agent take hebben as the auxiliary verb in the perfect tense. Ik heb het glas gebroken. Verbs where the subject is a patient take the auxiliary zijn. Het glas is gebroken. This is an important difference inherent in a word, and does not apply just to Dutch but to German, Swedish, French and many other languages. Important enough to include in a dictionary.

The issue is that there is no consistent way to handle this at the moment. Templates like {{poscatboiler}} support categories for transitive, intransitive and ergative verbs, but does not make any mention of accusative, unergative or unaccusative verbs. Furthermore, while {{ergative}} categorises articles accordingly, {{transitive}} and {{intransitive}} do not, which makes this approach useless for grouping verbs in this way. I would propose simply adding categorisation to those templates and updating {{poscatboiler}}, but there are probably other considerations I am not aware of. Another issue is that the aforementioned templates are context templates, so they refer to one specific meaning of a word. Accusativity, unergativity etc. are properties of the entire verb however, not just one meaning but all of them. So does anyone have a brilliant solution or some further advice? —CodeCat 22:33, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't speak Dutch, but you also mention French, and in French the choice of auxiliary does not perfectly match the semantic property you describe. The choice of auxiliary, we indicate through the conjugation template; the semantic property, we indicate by defining the word properly. Is that not appropriate for Dutch? —RuakhTALK 02:36, 6 April 2010 (UTC)
Adding categorization to {{transitive}}, {{intransitive}}, {{ergative}} etc. would create useless categories with thousands of entries. I see no point in doing so. And BTW there are languages where transitivity and ergativity do depend on the meaning, and are constrained to a particular meaning. --Ivan Štambuk 02:39, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

WT:VOTE[edit]

There seems to be no consensus on what percentage a vote needs to pass. I'd propose 60%, excluding 'abstain' votes, which is what I use (manually) when proposing votes on the French Wiktionary. I do agree that votes are a long, often difficult process and should be avoided for uncontroversial issues, or relatively unimportant ones. It would be nice to put that in the WT:VOTE introduction, too. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:04, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Discretion of the closer is useful, it makes it slightly harder to abuse the votes. Secondly 60% is very low. Conrad.Irwin 11:09, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Re: "60% is very low": See User talk:Ruakh/2009#WT:ELE reversion. ;-)   —RuakhTALK 14:37, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
 :D Conrad.Irwin 14:44, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I also think it's a bit low. Most people around here have used thresholds of ⅔ - ¾. The range 70-80% is thrown around Wikipedia sometimes. --Bequw τ 14:30, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I know the UK parliament requires a simple majority, even a majority of one is enough. Therefore to require 80% seems like madness. How about 65%? Mglovesfun (talk) 14:33, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
The UK parliament has some institutions that stabilize its processes: Common law, Courts, a free press, political parties, and is a representative, not a direct democracy.
60% is too low for any matter of importance that generates heated disagreement. IMO, we are better off to have continuing disagreement and contention than 60% agreement on a succession of minority-alienating votes. Of course, a declining contributor base may make it easier and easier to achieve consensus. There may well be certain classes of votes that do not need higher percentages. There may also be votes for which the appropriate electoral base is or should be restricted to admins or to people with some level of language skill in a given language. I doubt that we can well anticipate which classes of decisions should have various percentages or restrictions on whose vote ought to count. Accordingly, closer discretion seems essential. If necessary, closing votes could be reserved to a restricted subset of users, more restricted than admins. DCDuring TALK 14:44, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I've always thought that semi-protecting all votes circumnavigates the need for criteria on who is allowed to vote. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:16, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. Sockpuppets are often autoconfirmed, while regulars from other Wiktionaries often are not. —RuakhTALK 21:40, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Concerning the percentage, as I recall, the whole notion was that votes weren't supposed to be votes, but rather documented consensus. I.e. we're not deciding things democratically, but rather we're arguing the thing until most people agree, and then documenting that agreement with a vote. This view might easily be argued to be pathologically naive, that there are oh so many times were we're not actually capable of hashing the thing out properly, and that we're resorting to democratic methods because of that inability. However, I like to consider myself a pathological optimist, and would feel more comfortable with a 70-80 mark, as I am rather fearful of the tyranny of the majority. Additionally, as I recall, bureaucrats were intended to have a central role in closing votes, hence the imprecise cutoff. Seeing as we have the very good fortune of having a set of phenomenal 'crats, who I think have the depth of character and maturity to make tough decisions, I think we might want to consider placing some of the burden of responsibility on their shoulders, whether they like it or not (I suspect that SB, in particular, would loathe this idea :-)). Finally, I would like to, again, decry our utterly inadequate discussion format. The BP is set up in such a way that it's nearly impossible to carry on a conversation long enough to work through a complex and long-standing issue. We desperately need discussions to have their own pages which can be independently watchlisted, maintained, and referred to, rather like votes do. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 00:26, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree one hundred percent with everything Atelaes says here, up to and excluding "Finally". (And I agree with the rest.)​—msh210 00:42, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
(What we really need is LiquidThreads. That would definitely make discussions managable.) --Yair rand 00:46, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I do feel we're a bit stuck with policies that are at best no longer relevant, and in some cases quite literally incomprehensible. An 80% approval needed would make any sort of change almost impossible. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:56, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
This is a good point. However, note that my proposal doesn't use a straight 80% cutoff, but uses a 70-80% cutoff, with the loose 10% being at the discretion of the closing 'crat. Also, I think that it's kind of silly that we have to vote on EVERYTHING here, hence my probably failed vote to change that. Finally, I think it best to get at the root of the problem, which is our inability to sort these things out with discussion before a vote, hence my proposal to revamp the BP. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:04, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

Flood flag proposal[edit]

I would like to propose the addition of the flood flag again. The previous discussion didn't go anywhere, and I definitely think that it would be very helpful to those who like to RC patrol, because it would remove edits made using tools like AWB from view, allowing them to make them quicker than they normally would (they would normally have to make a few edits, wait, make a few edits etc.). Instead of doing that, they could just make all the edits that they need to make using the tool like AWB so that it won't clutter up the RC. I understand that edits should be visible at all times, however, I think edits made using AWB could be an exception to this rule because whenever someone uses AWB, they always clutter up the RC, so I would rather they have the flood flag so that their edits would not show up in the Recent Changes whilst they make the AWB edits.

Basically, any administrator can add and remove the flood flag from anyone. I would recommend that we set up a page where people can request the flag with information like: Why you need the flag, how long you use the flag for, etc. and that it only be granted to users who are already on the Autopatrolled list as well as people whom can be trusted. Anyone up for enabling this (I understand a vote would be required first to enable it)? Razorflame 16:44, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

It's a good idea in theory, but there is the issue that people will start making other edits with the flag still on, and all that. Never underestimate the human capacity to forget important things. A simpler solution I think would be to just tell people to create alternative accounts for AWB, just like we do for bots. That way, we can permanently set the flood flag on such an account. AWB behaves much like a bot does after all, more than it behaves like a real live person sometimes. So a separate account for it would be useful. —CodeCat 16:56, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, I figured that that could potentially be a problem, however, not all edits made in AWB are automatically made, so the alternative account suggestion won't work. Razorflame 16:58, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
AWB can essentially behave like a regular editor (make any edit imaginable) or like a bot (make one specific kind of edit). I think it would be hard to come up with a scheme that accommodates both aspects without at least some compromise. —CodeCat 17:05, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
As someone who routinely generates new cleanup lists and clears them out "too quickly", I support the flag. I think we should have a request page and someone else would have to grant the flag. A compromise would be to have the flag for no more than a specific amount of time (a day). Having a few admins with bot accounts is good (for unsubstantial edits or tasks the community has already approved of), but I don't think all admins should have separate bot-flagged accounts for unvoted on purposes. The flood flag request page would provide a bit more transparency for medium-sized changes (everyone has made incorrect assumptions from time to time when cleaning up). --Bequw τ 17:09, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd like that a lot. I actually do have a separate bot account (Rukhabot (talkcontribs)), but it doesn't have any single long-running task, so I never asked for a bot flag for it; originally I was hoping to run it for clean-up tasks of 50–1000 edits, but it's not worth setting up a bot-vote for such things. A transparent flood-requests page would be perfect. —RuakhTALK 21:38, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Most everyone seems to think this could be a good idea. Should we setup WT:Request for flood flag (WT:RFFF:) to iron out the details and ask a dev to enable the feature? --Bequw τ 17:31, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Seems like a good idea. --Yair rand 23:38, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Straw poll on Inflectional affixes[edit]

Clearly, many people want to include these as entries, but we do not have a POS header for them. They are not Suffixes, as we use that term, because they do not form new words nor add new senses to words. Rather, an inflectional affix modifies the grammar of the word to which it is attached, so Spanish rojos is rojo (red) + -s, meaning that it describes more than one object, or is applied to a singular noun that looks like a plural. It doesn't even translate any differently into English. Latin lūnam is lūna (moon) + -(a)m, and indicates that the moon is the object of a verb or preposition, rather than the subject or used in the predicate with a copula. Again, no new meaning to the word itself, just an indication of its grammar in that particular instance. Verb conjugational endings are a huge group of these in Romance languages, and many such endings cannot actually be translated into English except by using a non-gloss definition to indicate the voice, mood, tense, and person of the verb form it creates. Again, these do not create new words, or new senses, but modify the grammar of an existing word.

So, this is a straw poll to see whether the community would support a new POS header to accomodate these items. Support means that you support a new header, although not necessarily Inflectional affix; you may propose whatever alternatives you like. --EncycloPetey 19:56, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support EncycloPetey 19:56, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
  2. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain Bequw τ 20:46, 9 April 2010 (UTC) While suffix only mentions derivational suffixes (which create new words and senses), w:Suffix also mentions inflectional suffixes. So why don't we just use the word "suffix" in its broader meaning? Are there users who interpret "suffix" to mean just derivational ones? Same goes for "Affix"--Bequw τ 20:46, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
    We shouldn't lump together radically different functions, because the POS headers are supposed to differentiate major differences in use. That's why we separate nouns from adjectives, even though the Classical grammarians didn't see a difference. Also, not all of these are necessarily suffixes. If we have "inflectional suffix" as the POS header, then languages that mark inflection with something other than a suffix will need a different POS header. Latin has inflectional infixes, for example, such as -āv- for perfective, and -āb- for the future and imperfect passive. I would not at all be surprised if there were languages that used prefixes, particles, or syllabic characters to mark inflection. --EncycloPetey 20:58, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
    It's fine to say that we shouldn't lump together radically different functions, but this specific proposal is confusing. It seems to consider {inflectional affix}, {derivational suffix}, and {derivational prefix} to be three separate functions, and then labels the latter two "suffix" and "prefix" despite standard usage. (And it's not obvious to me why we should separate derivational suffixes from derivational prefixes, but not separate inflectional suffixes from inflectional prefixes.) —RuakhTALK 21:48, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
    It's been my experience, at least, that derivational prefixes and derivational suffixes work in different ways, but that both regularly co-occur in a language. By contrast, I'm unaware of any language that regularly uses both inflectional prefixes and inflectional suffixes—they have one of those only—so there wouldn't be any need for a distinction. Certainly, a language that had both could create separate categories, but the function of grammatical inflection is still the same, so they are the same POS. This isn't the situation for derivational affixes in the languages I'm familiar with. In Romance languages and in Germanic languages, at least, derivational prefixes tend to derive from prepositions, and function to modify meaning with a direction, placement, or sequence. In those same languages, derivational suffixes change the part of speech. This may not be true in other language families, but it shows that there is a real distinction in many languages, so separate POS headers are justifiable. --EncycloPetey 22:25, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
    Ancient Greek uses inflectional prefixes, such as ἐ- and initial consonant reduplication (not sure what the entry title would be for that entry, were it created), in addition to its rather vast array of inflectional suffixes. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 00:30, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    That would be the famous Indo-European augment.. Also found in Sanskrit, Avestan and Armenian, but not in Latin though. --Ivan Štambuk 01:01, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    And lets not forget transfixes in Semitic languages... I don't think that these could even be represented properly in some scripts (due to the trickiness of representing wovels in abjads and abugidas, not to mention the horrible cuneiform used for Akkadian...) --Ivan Štambuk 01:01, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    And does ġe-/y-/a- count? —RuakhTALK 01:15, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    Sure. Proto-Indo-European only had suffixal morphology (both derivational and inflectional, the only exception was this -n- infix used to form one particular type of present). Later various daughter languages invented inflectional prefixes (including the abovementioned augment), but these are rather exceptional accidents of history. --Ivan Štambuk 01:47, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    @EP: The tendency you describe is a real one; if I understand correctly, it results from PIE's (postulated) lack of prefixes, such that prefixes in its daughter languages mostly derive from older prepositions. Nonetheless, English has plenty of exceptions: consider enlife and liven, which are synonymous; or prewar, which has a different POS from war; or -ward, which modifies meaning with a direction. So I don't think this really indicates a fundamental distinction between prefixes and suffixes, at least in English. If we think these distinctions are worth indicating, then fine, but ===Prefix=== vs. ===Suffix=== doesn't indicate them, it just happens to correlate with them, to lesser or greater extents, in some languages. —RuakhTALK 01:15, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    Addendum: We have categories like Category:English words suffixed with -tion. If we adopt the broader definition of "suffix", as you hint, then why not replace categories like Category:English plurals with Category:English words suffixed with -s? Answer: because we make a very important distinction between words etymologically derived from other words through addition of a suffix to form a new word (and often a new part of speech) versus forms of words with some inflectional marker. --EncycloPetey 21:36, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
    I agree completely. —RuakhTALK 20:54, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
    With what? Bequw asked a question. --EncycloPetey 21:28, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
    With his comment. Yes, his comment contained sentences structured as questions, but it nonetheless made points, and I agree with those points. —RuakhTALK 21:48, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
If this is about making a clear distinction between inflectional and derivational suffixes, I see no problem. However, it's important to realise that not all languages, notably highly agglutinative languages, have this distinction. In an agglutinative language, suffixes are often alike and can be mixed together. And of course another point to remember is that some language have inflectional infixes (Finnish plural -i- comes to mind), and notably the Bantu languages have prefixes as well. —CodeCat 21:12, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Could you provide some example(s) for the languages that do not have this distinction? Also, please note that I deliberately chose "affix" in the section title for this discussion because I realize they're not always suffixes. Dutch has residual 's- in place names like 's-Hertogenbosch, which originally marked a genitive. --EncycloPetey 21:23, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I can provide any examples, but what you could ask is where the line lies between inflectional and derivational. Infinitives and participles are commonly thought of as part of a verb's inflection, but at the same time they behave grammatically like nouns and adjectives. Comparatives and superlatives might also be both derivational (since they derive a new headword which inflects in its own right) and inflectional. A nice example might also be the word 'bearded'. While it has the inflectional structure of a past participle (compare Dutch 'gebaard'), there is no corresponding verb 'to beard' that it can be a past participle of. The -ed is therefore derivational in this case, despite being a past participle suffix. —CodeCat 21:30, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Re: -ed. In a situation such as you describe, I would say that the ending is a suffix in certain uses, but an inflectional ending in others. These senses are both listed in major dictionaries, and have separate etymologies, so they would need to be in distinct POS sections anyway. However, in the case of bearded, there actually is an obsolete verb in English to beard. --EncycloPetey 21:42, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
And that's why I love Wiktionary. It's the only dictionary that's actually interesting to read, by itself. You keep learning new things. :P —CodeCat 21:56, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Ive been thinking about this too. We have a lot of them, even -és in French. I wouldn't want to see them deleted as at the very least, they're verifiable and provide useful lexical information for the reader. So, only the word "suffix" bothers me, but "inflectional affix" is probably more accurate, but likely to cause confusion and edit wars for extremely little benefit. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:27, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Re: "edit wars": Hence the discussion and straw poll. If we can reach consensus, then there shouldn't be any edit warring. I've come at this from the other direction. The Latin inflectional endings mostly don't exist as entries, but having them would be very useful. However, I can't in good conscience create these entries under a POS header I consider to be wrong. I'd like to see the community adopt a header that I can use unreservedly, before I begin. I also can't in good conscience delete any of the endings entries for various languages we do have, but neither can I help but cringe at the "Suffix" label on them. --EncycloPetey 21:36, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
We could use plain (Pre|Af|Suf|In)fix labels for the PoS and then distinguish (derivational vs. inflectional) on the sense line and in category structure. That would seem to not confuse the average reader as well as satisfy our desire for grammatical precision. --Bequw τ 21:59, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
That seems like a good solution to me. That way, we can list a 'multipurpose' suffix like -ed as simply a 'suffix', and mention the inflectional and derivational senses together as separate meanings. —CodeCat 22:07, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
If we do that, then we'll need inflection line templates suitable to categorize the entries separately. Otherwise, the potentially useful categories will be a less useful jumble of the two types.
It will also lead to edit wars because categories like Category:English words suffixed with -tion will no longer distinguish between words formed in English by adding -tion versus words inheritted with that ending from Latin words suffixed with -ātio. Currently, that distinction is made by the {{suffix}} template, but Bequw's proposal would eliminate that distinction. --EncycloPetey 22:31, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the problem is. I would personally have no problem categorising words inherited from Latin with the suffix already attached, alongside those where the suffix was attached in English. If it's an English word and it ends in -tion, then surely the etymology doesn't change the fact that it's still the same suffix with the same meaning? —CodeCat 23:12, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
It changes the way we're using those categories, and requires a new set of categories for etymological differentiation. The etymological template {{suffix}} no longer fulfills its function then. To put an extreme example forward, would you put dance in Category:English words suffixed with -ance? Why not, if all that matters is the ending? The key point is that words ending in a particular form do not always carry that same meaning. The word gumption does not come from "gump" or relate to any such similar root word, despite being listed at -tion. As well, the ending isn't a suffix in acceleration, since there is no *acceler- root in English. The suffix -ātiō was added in Latin to accelerō. So, the etymology section can't and shouldn't use the {{suffix}} template, and would not be categorized this way. The "suffixed" part of the category name describes a specific action of adding a suffix, and that's not the case for acceleration. Acceleration is just a word ending in -tion, not suffixed with it. --EncycloPetey 23:28, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
  • This is interesting, coz I've been flirting with the idea of adding -ais, -erait, -ant etc. to the French entries User:Dawnraybot makes. It's easily done, and would require no more input than DRB normally needs. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 00:54, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    Well, the good news is that any consensus from this discussion will make your work clearcut. The bad news is we'd have to reach a consensus. --EncycloPetey 01:14, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    Right, I'll continue with my work then until late 2013, when an ingenious idea rears its head. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 01:30, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Straw poll on the 'names of specific entries'[edit]

In the criteria for inclusion, we could possibly amend it if we could agree. I vote for just dropping it like a hot coal. United States of America is at RFV right now. It seems unlikely to pass. The text is rather nonsensical and makes some unwarranted assumptions:

"A name should be included if it is used attributively, with a widely understood meaning. For example: New York is included because “New York” is used attributively in phrases like “New York delicatessen”, to describe a particular sort of delicatessen. A person or place name that is not used attributively (and that is not a word that otherwise should be included) should not be included. Lower Hampton, Sears Tower, and George Walker Bush thus should not be included. Similarly, whilst Jefferson (an attested family name word with an etymology that Wiktionary can discuss) and Jeffersonian (an adjective) should be included, Thomas Jefferson (which isn’t used attributively) should not."

  1. There's no agreement on what "used attributively" means
  2. There's no agreement on what a "widely understood meaning is"
  3. The rest is just assumption. Thomas Jefferson might be used attributively. Since nobody agrees on what this even means, how can we know?

It would be nice to remove all the contradictory and overlapping stuff from CFI. Our current de facto method is just to ignore it. Mglovesfun (talk) 00:12, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

I think there has to be some means to distinguish between names we want and names we do not. I am pretty inclusive in this regard; I would gladly have all US presidents, all countries, all states, other world leaders, things like this. We should have something which excludes Dave Ross while including United States of America. - TheDaveRoss 00:24, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Support removing[edit]

  1. Mglovesfun (talk) 00:12, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
  2. --Dan Polansky 07:29, 10 April 2010 (UTC) Removing the dubious, unvoted-on and illegitimate rule from CFI would mean to switch from CFI-driven regulation of names of specific entities to RFD-driven regulation, occurring on case-by-case basis. It would mean that CFI would remain silent on the names of specific entities, not that all names of specific entities should be included. There would soon be enough precedent cases from RFD, such as that "Albert Einstein" should not be included as an individual person. If the community does not have an agreement on a rule, it is only fair that there should be no rule written in the policies. --Dan Polansky 07:29, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
  3. Saltmarshαπάντηση 09:32, 10 April 2010 (UTC) Line drawing may be a problem, but dictionaries in Britain tend to be dry such that lots of people assume that they are not for them. Picking up a Webster's college dictionary in a 2nd hand bookshop years ago - much more welcoming: Einstein and the odd drawing. Originally lexicographers had to concentrate their efforts because there was a shortage of space and of time was of the essence "we have to get this edition out". We suffer from neither of these. Einstein, Albert. German physcist. (1878-1955) see Wikipedia. Wont upset WK and is helpful to all? —Saltmarshαπάντηση 09:32, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
  4. --Vahagn Petrosyan 09:44, 10 April 2010 (UTC) I don't believe in the notion of ninja-gazeteers hiding behind the bush waiting to flood Wiktionary with placename entries without lexicographical information. Given names are allowed and no such flood occurred in their case. --Vahagn Petrosyan 09:44, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    Though you might like to take a look at the contributions of User:Ivocamp96 in May 22-June 4, 2009, blindly copied from the Italian wiktionary. A splendid way to canonize mistakes. But no worry, not meeting the the attributive use CFI has not stopped people from adding placenames, and there's no reason to believe the pace would increase. --Makaokalani 12:53, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
  5. --Makaokalani 12:53, 10 April 2010 (UTC) For obvious reasons, since it contradicts my placename proposal vote. But it's also quite pointless in languages like Finnish.
  6. Internoob (DiscCont) 16:36, 10 April 2010 (UTC) Per above.
  7. I don't like removing the rule, but I also don't like the way the rule is applied. I think its existence is actually impeding the development of a better alternative, so I have to give weak support for removing the attributive use criterion. If a disaster ensues, we can always decide to put it back, but I think it's better removed for now. --EncycloPetey 05:09, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
  8. Well, since nobody has a clue what it means anyway... --Yair rand 19:51, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
  9. —Stephen 21:20, 19 April 2010 (UTC) A proper name or place name is not de facto encyclopedic, it only becomes encyclopedic if what is written about it is encyclopedic. Any place name can be made a perfectly good dictionary article with linguistic information and not be encyclopedic.
  10. --Anatoli 23:32, 19 April 2010 (UTC) Vahagn and Stephen already said what I wanted to say. The fears of too many entries are largely exaggerated. We already have the policy of not adding encyclopedic info and the linguistic info is what is important for a dictionary.

Oppose removing[edit]

  1. If I understand it, the proposal is too simply drop the attributive-use standard for names of specific entities without any replacement whatsoever, thereby leaving only attestation as a criterion for inclusion.
    As this would eventually flood us with entries of largely encyclopedic content in competition with our sister project WP, I am opposed. The virtue of the attributive-use concept, however difficult it is to apply, is that it focuses us on the cases where a proper noun becomes something else, a true part of the language. DCDuring TALK 01:02, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
    Now that's just FUD! There is no reason whatsoever to assume that we'll get flooded by bot-generated entries (even though I personally see nothing wrong with that; the sooner we get them over with, the better). Automated generation of entries for given names from some predefined liest, which we currently do allow without any constraints, would be even easier: you don't even need to add real definition lines (only use the predefined template {{given name}}). And yet it hasn't happened. Why? Because, unlike wikipedia, the number of articles is not our primary metric of 'development'. Actually, considering that >90% of all of our articles are nothing but inflected form redirects, and not real entries, it's pretty much worthless metric. So IMHO barely anyone would want to waste time doing such mass-generation in the first place, because it wouldn't increase the overall dictionary quality for a iota. --Ivan Štambuk 23:18, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
    Were you talking to me? Speaking of FUD, I said nothing whatsoever about bots. I am more concerned about local boosterism: manually entered, poorly formatted entries. I'm sure we could get bots to mass enter entries from our sister projects, but no one has seen fit to enter even the vernacular names from WikiSpecies yet. I am not so familiar with 9:1 ratios for inflected forms as there can be nothing approaching this for English. I don't police non-English entries and cannot be troubled by such matters. It is precisely because I am concerned about quality rather than number of entries that I believe that proper noun entries are, at best, a diversion. DCDuring TALK 02:16, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  2. I believe Groucho Marx made Dave's point best, "I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member". If nothing is offered as a replacement, I would not be for its removal. --Bequw τ 20:45, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
  3. Oppose There is a high demand for names of specific entities, many of which absolutely should be included, and an infinite number which should not. Removing the rule wouldn't stop their inclusion, it would only say that there is no restriction, so anything goes. Better this vague guideline as an excuse to argue over specific cases than nothing at all. (Hopefully, we won't have to deal with this situation for 200 years, like the Americans with their constitution.) Michael Z. 2010-04-19 21:05 z
    The smaller or less significant a place names is, the larger is their number. A small village in Africa, which is only 5 years old and may not be known a 100 miles away but how likely is it to be included here? If it is Google map won't confirm its existence, so it can be removed. "Attributive usage" automatically removes the majority of foreign place names, if they have nothing to do with the Anglophone culture. Rostov-na-Donu - one of the largest cities in Russia and very important culturally, was a big issue. I already suggested to make restrictions (if there must be any restrictions at all apart from checking for their existence) based on the size, history, significance (news articles or at least Wikipedia article) or inclusion in literature works. You can make yours but the "attributive usage" criteria should go. Where is this high demand you are talking about and who decides they should not be included? If you decide Rostov-na-Donu should not be included, then it will be removed? --Anatoli 02:49, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
    I don't think the attributive-use rule should prevent the inclusion of place names on their own merit, nor does it. I think the attested lexemes in every single African village's name belong in Wiktionary. Although, of course, we have yet to come up with any consensus guidelines on their inclusion and format. (English Rostov-na-Donu could be revisited.) Michael Z. 2010-04-21 19:16 z

Discussion[edit]

This is a poorly planned out proposal. It'd be great if we had a benevolent dictator on subjects like this, like the rulemaster in WT:FUN. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 00:47, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

An alternative to merely removing the rule is replacing it with the following text:

This section regulates the inclusion and exclusion of names of specific entities, that is, names of individual people, names of geographical entities, names of mythological creatures, names of planets and stars, etc. ¶ Many names of specific entitites should be excluded while some should be included. There is no agreement on specific rules for the inclusion of names of specific entities.

I am looking forward to seeing other specific proposals of texts that could replace the broken attributive-use rule. --Dan Polansky 07:39, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd support that change. —RuakhTALK 02:46, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Re "The virtue of the attributive-use concept, ..., is that it focuses us on the cases where a proper noun becomes something else, a true part of the language": That is not true. CFI has a special provision for what it calls "generic terms", such as Mother Teresa, Tom Jones, Abraham Lincoln, Einstein, Lothario, Rockefeller, Brigitte Bardot, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The provision starts with the sentence "Generic terms are common rather than proper nouns." The listed cases are included by that provision as common nouns, not by the attributive-use rule. An attributive use of a proper name does not establish anything like something being a "true part of the language"; in particular "New York delicatessen" does not establish that "New York" is somehow "a true part of the language", no more than "a David Beckham hairstyle" establishes that "David Beckham" has become "a true part of the language". --Dan Polansky 07:57, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
I much prefers Equinox's generic use rule. So, if Xena (currently at both rfd and rfv) can be cited as "a Xena" with three durably archived citations showing meaning, it passes. United States of America wouldn't pass under this rule, or not with the meaning of the country. Mglovesfun (talk) 08:46, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
A generic-meaning rule would be an excellent addition. But “a Xena” is not generic, it is a very specific, allusive pop-culture reference. If you don't know the TV show, it means nothing. (Hell, why not define Xena as “a person with some qualities of Xena in TV's Xena: The Warrior Princess?”) This kind of misinterpretation is why we need explicit, restrictive rules for specific entities. If this project turns into urbandictionary.com then all of our work is in the toilet. Michael Z. 2010-04-19 21:14 z
Interesting Rising Sun, it's so poor that it's currently 'leading' 8-2! Mglovesfun (talk) 16:35, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

beggars can't be choosers[edit]

So Wiktionary entries for proverbs normally have "Proverb" as L3 POS header. Can someone please say if this fact was discussed somewhere? I'd rather use "Phrase" like I done with this test case: beggars can't be choosers. --Daniel. 05:58, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

"Phrase" is too generic is some respects (what kind of phrase?), but more importantly it's too specific in terms of grammar. In English grammar, a phrase is distinct from a clause in that a phrase does not express a complete thought. "Beggars can't be choosers" is a complete thought, and could stand on its own as a sentence, so it's a clause and not a phrase. However, we don't include all possible clauses on Wiktionary, just the ones that have become proverbs, and hence the POS header. --EncycloPetey 06:29, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
The category English sentences contains 290 members, excluding subcategories, and most are not proverbs (presumably because proverbs are in a subcategory). They include phrasebook entries (e.g. see you later) and other well-known clauses (e.g. do you come here often) and all your base are belong to us). So I think that your explanation of the current facts is incorrect. On the other hand, if complete thoughts are conveyed through clauses and not phrases, L3 headers should be generally changed anyway because "Phrase" appears in both instances. --Daniel. 03:24, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
We have used "Phrase" only for Phrasebook translation entries. I have long thought that this is a mistake, but haven't had a suitable alternative to propose. However, "beggars can't be choosers" is not a Phrasebook entry, which is supposed to be limited to basic expressions, greetings, traveller's questions, and the like. Lumping English proverbs into the same POS header would be a futher step from sanity. --EncycloPetey 05:06, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
We have long allowed entries that are neither proverbs nor would be considered appropriate for the restricted phrasebook concept you suggest.
In English we have largely eliminated the "Idiom" L3 header. The entries that formerly had Idiom L3 headers now have other PoS headers. Those multi-word entries ("MWEs") that could not be assigned to the traditional PoS L3 headers ( + Determiners, Contractions, and Proverbs) have Phrase L3 headers. The Phrase L3 header includes all MWEs not otherwise classified. Accordingly it does not well fit any grammarians definition of "phrase". For example, consider the subcategory of Category:English phrases: Category:English non-constituents. Apparently no grammatical categorization system has been developed that includes all lexical entries while not having very numerous categories, some of which have very few members. If the categories are further required to have names that normal folks might understand we are left with systems such as actual dictionaries have. Real dictionaries have classes that are extended to include entries not at all typical of the class and may also have entries that have no grammatical class whatsoever.
Also, AFAICT there has been no adequate groundwork laid for a phrasebook, so its quality is far below our standard for word entries for, say, common nouns.
Finally, no reason whatsoever has been advanced to dispense with the Proverb header other that a single user's preference. As in other similar cases, the absence of a specific discussion of a widespread practice is not per se evidence of a need for change. Our existing practice reflects a kind of tacit consensus, the outcome of the social processes that result from our Wikiness, not from an axiom system. DCDuring TALK 09:54, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Inflection v Declension/Conjugation[edit]

Do we have policy on which L4 heading heads up inflection sections? A brief look shows that Latin here seems to use Inflection whereas German uses Declension or Conjugation. ELE only seems to mention the latter. I started out using the former in Greek entries and then changed. Inflection has the problem of being confusable with the Inflection line. It would be nice if we were consistent? —Saltmarshαπάντηση 09:49, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

It varies by language. We've chosen to always use "Inflection" in Latin, because Participles and Gerunds, although derived from verbs, have a declension rather than a conjugation. The headache of keeping these two section labels straight for all the adjectives, nouns, pronouns, determiners, verbs, participles, and gerunds for all Latin entries would be irritating for editors, while the appearance of sometimes one header and sometimes the other would confuse novice users. Better to just have a single header that's consistent in such a situation. Ancient Greek does the same (using just Inflection), as should all highly-inflected languages, IMHO.
That said, most Romance languages seem to use Conjugation for their verb entries, but since they do not usually have noun inflection (other than the plural), there is no need for such a section on any other part of speech, so there is still just one header in use within all those language's entries. In those languages, verbs are usually the only items that have any kind of inflection to be included, so the more specific label is used.
You can make either choice with Greek, as long as its stated on WT:AEL what that choice is. --EncycloPetey 15:54, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
That's because participles are adjectives, as I've argued for a long time. They can qualify nouns, can be graduated in intensity just like adjectives, inflect as adjectives in gender-specific forms... If it quacks like a duck.... :) Just because they're derived from verbal stems by regular morphology, or participate in the formation of periphrastic tenses, it doesn't make them 'verbs'...
Conversion of ==Inflection== to ==Declension== and ==Conjugation== should be easy: if it's within L2 ==Noun== then change to ==Declension==, otherwise turn to ==Conjugation== unless we're dealing with a limit set of participle-specific templates, in which case also use ==Declension==. I could help generate a cleanup list if anyone's interested. --Ivan Štambuk 23:08, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
You mean if it's within L2 ==Verb== then change to ==Conjugation==, otherwise turn to ==Declension. Otherwise you'll be calling adjective inflections conjugation as well. —CodeCat 23:14, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I've forgot that Latin and Ancient Greek also use =Inflection== for adjectives as well. And also pronouns, determiners and other minor 'inflectables'... --Ivan Štambuk 23:31, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I assume that you are talking about using a bot. Feel free to do a try on Greek (modern) entries. IF within ==Greek== and ==verb== then ==Inflection== > ==Conjugation==. After this all remaining inflections will be nouns, adj, pronouns, articles etc. Then ==Inflection== > ==Declension==. —Saltmarshαπάντηση 05:50, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Conversion may be easy, but not necessarily desirable for all languages. Participles in many languages are well-classed as adjectives, but not in Latin. Latin participles also have tense and can take objects, which are verb characteristics. They have both verb and adjective traits, so they walk like a duck but give milk like a cow. Latin participles are therefore a platypus, and not a duck. --EncycloPetey 03:28, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
This is actually a similar problem to what I've been facing in Dutch. Dutch participles inflect, but only those that can be used attributively. And since the past participle is passive in nature and not all verbs have a passive voice, this restricts the attribute use of such past participles to only a subset. Right now, I've been adding declension templates to some participle entries but that is by no means a rule, and the problem of course is that the heading still says ==Verb==. Another thing I noticed was that some participles have separate ==Adjective== headings describing the adjectival (attributive) properties of the participle in more detail, which to me seems redundant but at the same time useful. —CodeCat 08:48, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Addition: another issue just cropped up as well. Dutch adjectives can be inflected, and participles are also adjectives. Participles are currently listed under a ==Verb== heading. But what do we list the inflected forms of the participles as? ==Verb== would be confusing here, but ==Adjective== would be inconsistent. A new heading ==Participle== would work, but where do you draw the line between adjective and participle? They can be easily mixed in Dutch. —CodeCat 11:08, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, I don't know Dutch grammar well enough to offer a specific suggestion. I wrangled with the issue in Latin for a long time before finally opting in favor of using "Participle". One point: If you're going to use a Declension section for the "participles", but use a "Verb" header, then you will confuse both the users and the potantial bot conversions being discussed. Obviously, a participle does not conjugate, because there is no person or tense in the conjugation. Rather, it is gender and number that change, which is a property of declension. So, if you need some sort of inflection section, and prefer Declension, then Adjective or Participle would be my recommendation. --EncycloPetey 18:56, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
The general situation for Dutch (and German) is as follows. Verbs conjugate, and two of those conjugated forms are the present and past participle. When used to form the perfect (or sometimes continuous) aspect along with an auxiliary verb (hebben/haben or zijn/sein), the participles do not decline at all. However, participles can decline if they are used attributively by modifying a noun. In that case, they decline for number and gender (and in German also case). Past participles of intransitive verbs can't be used attributively however. But since most participles can be declined and used as adjectives, many have taken on a role as independent adjective, somewhat detached from the original verb. Some are clearly still participles that happen to be used attributively a lot, while others are semantically quite different from the participle they derive from. In any case, it's not clear where the dividing line is (that is, at what point there is a clearly separate adjectival sense independent of that of the participle). —CodeCat 14:52, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Automatic imports[edit]

Hi everybody !

When I was coming here for the first time, I asked myself why the English community has less pages than french one. I've been looking for a solution for months and, after having developed a stable bot for the french Wiktionary, a wonderful idea has came to me.

My idea is based on the analysis of the english translations of french pages, which let me create here the french translations of english pages ! In the long term and if this project works, I could do it for every project and it would be very useful to both Wiktionaries.

Anyway I'll do it for the french project. And you, what do you think about it ? -- Quentinv57 12:32, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

User:Tbot does this, it checks for a translation from "english->foreign", then checks that the foreign wiktionary has the word with the same "foreign->english", and creates the entry (see ありのまま). Automated creation of entries without both checks was found to be too unreliable to run unsupervised, though if you speak both English and French and are willing to cast an eye over the work done by your bot, then feel free. Conrad.Irwin 12:44, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
And what do you think of sending a deletion proposal to english articles which french equivalents have been deleted (concerning french words only, of course ;-) ) ? Sometimes, you're not able to check if French expressions are correct, so you keep the files. If a french sysop decides to delete a franch expression, he's probably a good reason, don't you think ? -- Quentinv57 13:22, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, I once told fr.wikt about a page we deleted, but they kept it. There are many other ways mistakes can be corrected, if you were planning to monitor changes to all the imported pages that would be perfect, but obviously hard. Conrad.Irwin 18:55, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

I'd only support it on two conditions

  1. Tagged in some way so that they can be later checked
  2. Not too fast, for basically the same sort of reasons

Having said that, there are about 1400 Tbot French entries that need checking, so I'm not in a hurry to suddenly add more.

PS for reference CaBot is already flagged on the French Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikinews. Maybe some others, too. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:07, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

No problem for the two conditions. Anyway, you'll be able to stop it whenever you want if you think there are too much entries to check -- Quentinv57 13:22, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Dear, let's also ask the bot flag to add the needed characters "subst:" in these pages. JackPotte 15:05, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Those are anon IP talk pages. Better to look for the oldest ones and delete, rather than bother to edit them. The un-subst nature of those pages allows them to be found quickly using "What links here". If they're subst'ed, then that won't be possible. --EncycloPetey 15:45, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Of course we should add a category to this kind of templates -- Quentinv57 17:22, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Why should we create a category for anonymous talk pages that have a welcome notice? What possible purpose could that serve? --EncycloPetey 18:02, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
I was persuaded it was the case of the french Wiktionary and Wikipedia, but actualy it's just for vandals and blocks. You're right there is no use to find this pages. Furthermore, you can access them through Special:Allpages. So that's okay ;-) -- Quentinv57 18:46, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

We're not copying entries from French wikt are we? They have way too fuckin many mistakes. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 02:27, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

It's true. I've not spent much time there, but have seen a few mistakes splattered around, some of which I've corrected. So this is just my small window into the Wiktionnaire world, but it is rather mucky. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 18:43, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
You're not the first who says there are a lot of mistakes on the French project. So I think that if my bot import fake words or expressions, english sysops will see and delete it. So my bot will be able to report that to the french sysops, who'll delete the article of the fake word. So it will be obviously useful for every projects in the long term ! -- Quentinv57 11:53, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
If you're importing entries in languages we don't have editors for, how will we know they're fake or have mistakes? Pronunciation sections on fr.wikt are particularly bad. I don't know if I've ever seen a completely correct one for Albanian or Hindi, for example. I just really don't like the idea of copying entries from a project where outside of the French language quantity is held in greater regard than quality. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 12:42, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I think Quentin's planning to copy French material from Wiktionnaire, not foreign-language stuff. And I'd be happy with his proposal, as long as Mglovesfun's reasonable conditions are there. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 20:30, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Could we import from FL entries into translations, e.g. I have just added Hindi and Persian translations of racism but the Hindi and Persian entries (जातिवाद and نژادپرستی) already existed, provided they are the same part of speech and FL entries have only one English translation, it may work? It may require some human involvement. --Anatoli 23:49, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
It could be made safer if English entries with only one sense got automatic translations, otherwise it could create more problems than add benefits, e.g. button is translated as кнопка (mechanical device) and пуговица (fastener) into Russian and they are not interchangeable. Perhaps restricting to nouns with a single sense is better. --Anatoli 00:29, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

One-character palindromes[edit]

The current text of Category:English palindromes includes "English terms with two or more characters [...]". This text is standardized, so similar categories like Spanish palindromes and Italian palindromes also make references to the number of characters. However, palindromes with just one letter are usually categorized, for instance the English word a. Should the category description be changed to allow one-letter palindromes? --Daniel. 10:17, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Technically I suppose it should, but that would include an awful lot of terms (including single symbols for punctuation, etc. which number in the hundreds), right? In actuality they aren't useful or interesting palindromes so I don't really like the idea, even though I have to admit that every character is a palindrome. Equinox 20:03, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
The basic modern Latin alphabet has 52 letters, including lower case and upper case varieties. This quantity, which I don't consider an "awful lot", would be the usual number of one-character members of each palindrome category. Even as we include possible accented versions, leading to a hypothetical total of 100 per category, this would not make them grow so much. I didn't count punctuation symbols because they are mostly Translingual. But, wait, punctuation as palindromes? So I suppose the term ... (the ellipsis) is a palindrome anyway; then I added it to the related category. --Daniel. 02:55, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
26 letters – it just happens that type compositors stored them in separate cases, but the letter a is the same one as A. Palindromy is an artifact of spelling, which involves letters, not punctuation or other marks. Both principles are demonstrated by the nice palindrome Madam, I'm AdamMichael Z. 2010-04-21 18:54 z
I'm sure you possibly understood that my phrase "52 letters, including lower case and upper case varieties" is a synonym of "52 letter entries". Of course we can naturally not categorize punctuation (that is, ..., !! and so on) as palindromes. However, your description of palindromes being directly related to letters doesn't fit other languages, such as the Japanese palindrome 磨かぬ鏡 (みがかぬかがみ). Maybe we should treat palindromes according to each language separately. --Daniel. 20:29, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Appendix:Academic degrees[edit]

I thought this would be a useful appendix to have, but I'm sure I'm missing many. Please add as you are able. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:04, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Just what is considered an academic degree?
Australia has diplomas and (I think) associate degrees granted by universities which are considered equivalent to completing either a major or a 3-semester part of an undergraduate program. They go by something like Dipl.Arts.
Here's a perhaps more exhaustive list (in prose), but we might need a column stating where the degree is granted. Unless this page restricts itself to the US. -- 124.171.169.189 06:15, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
Many are transnational, even translingual. Perhaps have that be the default, and any that's not can have a note attached to it. (This should really be at [[appendix talk:Academic degrees]].)​—msh210 14:37, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, thanks. bd2412 T 00:31, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Abbreviation standards[edit]

There seems to be a complete lack of standards when it comes to abbreviations for parts of speech in templates. Conjunction templates are now split between con (like {{eo-con}} and {{nl-con}}), conj (like {{arc-conj}}, {{cmn-conj}}, {{lo-conj}}, and {{nan-conj}}), conjunc (like {{hy-conjunc}}, {{ka-conjunc}}, and {{xcl-conjunc}}) and just conjunction (like {{sh-conjunction}}, and {{ur-conjunction}}), interjections are split between int, intj, inter, and interjection, contractions are split between cont, and contr, pronouns are split between pron and pronoun, and particles are split between part and particle. There should really be a standard for these. Thoughts? --Yair rand 21:05, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Standards are good, but at least with conjunctions there is also the problem of conjugation templates, which are also called conj. If we set standards we'd have to include conjugation and declension templates as well. —CodeCat 21:40, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
The standard print dictionary abbreviation in English for "interjection" is interj. I'd recommend that it be the standard for any new interjection templates, and that users who are so inclined can migrate older templates to the form xx-interj as well. But, since we have very little work being done on interjections, I don't see this as a high-priority issue. Conjunctions have additions difficulties for standardization, as CodeCat has already noted. --EncycloPetey 02:15, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
There is currently only one template that uses interj, {{la-interj}}. I think it would be better to go with a shorter alternative such as int or intj, but if almost all print dictionaries use interj, it might make sense to use that. All existing conjugation templates are using conj except for the Russian templates, so using conj for conjunctions is probably not an option. I think con would probably work best, even with the slight possibility of confusion. --Yair rand 02:34, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
The Russian templates bring up another issue, which is that a lot of inflection templates are called xx-verb, xx-noun etc. even though they show an inflection table and not the headword. We should make sure to rename those as well, if possible. —CodeCat 08:39, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I took the liberty of moving {{arc-conj}}, {{ka-conjunc}}, {{hy-conjunc}}, {{xcl-conjunc}} to {{xx-con}} format. --Vahagn Petrosyan 18:01, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
That was quite a liberty, considering that you moved without keeping the redirect and the issue is still under discussion, discussion that started less than 24 hours ago. I've reinstated the redirects to the new names, so people can still find them. Since when do we delete anything with so little discussion, let alone important templates that people may add to pages only to find them redlinked? Keep the old name as a redirect, at least, for several months or more, and then delete iff no one has been using it.​—msh210 18:16, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Don't lecture me; I know what I was moving. Three of those 4 templates were made by me and used only by me. I can remember to use {{hy-con}} instead of {{hy-conjunc}} without keeping the redirect for several months or more. {{arc-conj}} was used only by User:334a who doesn't contribute for a long time already and can read the deletion summary when he's back. --Vahagn Petrosyan 18:26, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough (w.r.t. ka, hy, and xcl, anyway).​—msh210 14:40, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I see no need to standardize: linking heavily to the template is more helpful to editors IMO. People already working with specific languages know what templates to use (and therefore existing templates should continue under their current names). Links to, e.g., a Hebrew interjection template should be at special:prefixindex/template:he, Wiktionary:About Hebrew, category:Hebrew templates (or its appropriate subcat, sub "i" or something), category:Hebrew interjections (sub " " or "*", and perhaps also in the prologue text), and perhaps elsewhere. Standardization of something like this is a bad idea because different languages have different needs: for some, conj as conjugation makes sense, whereas, for others, conj as conjunction (or even conjectural) may make more sense, and we should not require all languages to use a longer name for both. As another example, some languages may want langcode-noun to be an inflection-line template, because it has nice-sized inflection lines but no inflection tables (or more specific tables that require more elaborate template names like langcode-noun-1st-declension), whereas others may want langcode-noun to be the inflection-table template, with a simple {{infl|langcode|noun}} on the inflection line.​—msh210 15:50, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
No one (in this discussion, anyway) has yet said a reason to standardize the template names. I've mentioned three reasons not to (pre-existing names should be kept to avoid confusion; some languages may use conjunction whereas others will use conjectural and others conjugation; and some may want -conj as an inflection-line template whereas others will want it as an inflection-table and others as a definition line). I'll grant that my second reason is not very strong, but, as I mentioned, I have yet to see an argument in favor of standardization.​—msh210 19:08, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Argument pro: users editing in multiple languages (like me) won't have to memorize idiosyncrasies each language’s template tradition has developed. Besides, standardization is a Good Thing by default. --Vahagn Petrosyan 23:16, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah but why use abbreviations and not full names? Why forcing everyone to struggle with memorizing whether con(j) is 'conjuction' or 'conjugation', whether det is 'determiner' or 'determinative', whether there is a space or a hyphen connecting words... (it should be hyphen everywhere IMHO). --Ivan Štambuk 23:27, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Because typing is hard! Duh. :) --Vahagn Petrosyan 23:32, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Extending the edit control by autocompletion when typing wikilinks (in both main [] and template {} namespace, just like the search box does it) seems to me the most proper way to handle that particular problem. It can also be mitigated by adding redirects to fully-named templates, which would work just as fine when used, and which could be substituted by bots later. Cryptic and arbitrary abbreviations should be avoided at all cost. --Ivan Štambuk 23:49, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Re Vahagn (23:16, 16 April 2010 (UTC)): True that editors in multiple languages (like me, too, though only two) will be annoyed by differing template names, but I think that my arguments against, above, outweigh that. And yes, standardization is a Good Thing by default, but only by default, not if there is any reason against it.​—msh210 15:47, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

I would like to see template naming conventions standardized very much. Let's do it. Is this scheme OK?

  • xx-noun
  • xx-noun-form
  • xx-proper noun
  • xx-proper noun-form
  • xx-pron
  • xx-verb
  • xx-verb-form
  • xx-adj
  • xx-adj-form
  • xx-adv
  • xx-prep (preposition)
  • xx-prep-form
  • xx-postp (postposition)
  • xx-postp-form
  • xx-con (conjunction)
  • xx-interj
  • xx-letter
  • xx-particle
  • xx-phrase

added after comments below

  • xx-suffix
  • xx-prefix
  • xx-det (determiner)
  • xx-article

Tables:

  • xx-conj (conjugation)
  • xx-decl (declension)

--Vahagn Petrosyan 16:20, 14 April 2010 (UTC)

Looks great. Don't forget xx-suffix and xx-prefix, and the the charts xx-conj and xx-decl. --Yair rand 16:41, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
There are others missing, too. Preposition form, number (or numeral or whatever we call it), determiner, and article come to mind, but there are probably more.​—msh210 17:48, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) There are no preposition form templates that I can find. det would probably be best for determiners, I'm pretty sure there's only one determiner template that doesn't use that ({{ko-determ}}). I can't find any article templates at all other than {{pt-article}}. --Yair rand 18:00, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
There is {{hy-postp-form}}, a postposition form template. --Vahagn Petrosyan 18:05, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
{{he-form of prep}}. Oh, wait, that's a definition-line template. I assume you stanrdizationists wish to standardize those, too, no? What name should he-form of prep have, then?​—msh210 18:16, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
{{he-prep-form}}.--Vahagn Petrosyan 18:29, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
So he-noun-form should be an inflection-line template, and he-prep-form a definition-line template. Got it.​—msh210 18:36, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The code-pos format is ordinarily for inflection templates. Form-of templates usually have form of as part of their name. I don't see how these would really be possible to standardize, every language has very different needs. See Category:Form-of templates by language. --Yair rand 18:37, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
No. I thought {{he-form of prep}} was an inflection line template, sorry. --Vahagn Petrosyan 18:50, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
Apparently, xx-proper noun is a template name quite popular among many languages so probably it will continue existing, but in my opinion it is too extense. It could be abbreviated too, like xx-adj, xx-adv, etc. When non-abbreviated, xx-proper noun is even bigger than other possible non-abbreviated names like xx-adjective and x-adverb. --Daniel. 17:30, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if form-of entries need separate templates. Usually, {{infl|xx}} suffices for me. I then use a form-of sense template to handle any categorisation. Dutch uses {{nl-verb-form}}, {{nl-noun-form}} and {{nl-adj-form}} in the sense lines, and I've been working on using {{infl|nl}} as the headword line. It's also shorter if you leave off the 'of'. —CodeCat 19:48, 14 April 2010 (UTC)
There are languages like Latin and Hebrew where that won't work because diacritical characters not present in the pagename need to be included on the inflection line. For the Latin form-of templates, we use them so that an error and cleanup tag are generated when that parameter is missing. BTW, Latin has adv-form, but I think we can surmise that -form as a template name suffix is the preferred standard. --EncycloPetey 03:24, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
You can use head=, as in {{infl|la|verb form|head=amō}}.​—msh210 18:39, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Is there any particular reason why not use full PoS names, and use these obscure abbreviations as redirects (that could be easily replaced by bots) ? --Ivan Štambuk 22:52, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

It is easier to type and remember adj and prep than "adjective" and "preposition". Tpyos are commno with longre words, and English learners can remember shorter codes more easily. In addition, the num abbreviation can be used without forcing us to decide in favor of "number" or "numeral" for the part of speech. --EncycloPetey 03:24, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
I was ready to smash my computer after previewing about 4 times just to guess which abbreviation of some POS some editor chose to create (I was probably yelling “POS! You POS!”). So I created redirects {{en-adjective}}, {{en-adverb}}, {{en-conjunction}}, {{en-particle}}, {{en-preposition}}, {{en-pronoun}}, and any other I've encountered since. This has saved me from buying a new computer for two years now, so please do not remove these redirects. If you can't type, well, just ignore them. Michael Z. 2010-04-19 20:46 z
Some of that comes from the variability of abbreviations in current use, which is what the current conversation is trying to standardize. --EncycloPetey 18:51, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Standardization is good, but it won't affect me, because I'll continue to type it out. Michael Z. 2010-04-22 00:26 z

Whitelist[edit]

We've been having a little spat over on Wiktionary:Whitelist, which I'd like to get some community input on. A user was nominated by Yair rand and EncycloPetey deferred the nom. Mglovesfun disagreed with the defer, and took it upon himself to whitelist the user. I took it upon myself to unwhitelist the user, and it's gone back and forth a few times since. Mglovesfun has made some personal attacks on EP, and Opiaterein has responded in kind. Basically, I'd like this thread to clarify a few things:

  • Am I correct in assuming that the original policy of "an admin can defer a whitelist nom, which can be reattempted in a week (and cannot really be overturned)" still stands?
  • Aren't issues here supposed to be resolved with reasonable conversation, instead of childish personal attacks?

In closing, the user in question has made quite a few edits since the error cited by EP, and I think that he might want to reassess their editing skills, and reconsider his defer movement. Mglovesfun and Opiaterein, unless you have some constructive comments which can be formulated civilly, please just hold your tongues. This thread is not meant to evolve into a flame war. Many thanks all. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 09:01, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Both your points are correct. It's nice that we have at least one procedural page which works efficiently, so I would strongly advocate against changing anything there. As to this particular instance, I cannot comment, but I do recall there being a feeling that WT:WL should not be used for "discussion", given that the editors that would be discussed are mainly unaware the page even exists, and are unable to join in conversation on that page (for the sake of efficiency and lack of hard-feelings). Conrad.Irwin 11:13, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I completely agree (with both Atelaes and Conrad.Irwin). —RuakhTALK 11:58, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
I am surprised that whitelisting can generate such heat. I would have thought that it causes no harm to the candidate to not be whitelisted. Isn't the difference merely the chance of scrutiny from a patroler? If an admin takes the trouble to blackball a contributor for a week, there is likely to be a reason for the continued layer of scrutiny. The alternative of having the skeptical admin review the contributor's contributions seems likely to cause more conflict. Patrolers who don't object to the contributor's efforts can simply skip over them on recent changes. DCDuring TALK 14:33, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Me too (re Ruakh).​—msh210 14:58, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

I actually have a question. Do all users have to be whitelisted manually, or do their edits stop getting marked with the red ! after a certain amount of time/edits or something? — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 20:32, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Manually. We could file a request to make it happen automatically (though I'm not sure we should). Conrad.Irwin 20:39, 15 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah I'd be willing to exaggerate and call that dangerous. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 23:25, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:About given names and surnames[edit]

Yair rand created this policy page, but apparently forgot to mention it anywhere. Comments are welcome on the talk page - particularly from those users who actually edit given name and surname entries. --Makaokalani 15:41, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

There seem to be a number of points of dispute on given names and surnames. Some people think that the translation tables should include etymology-based cognates, some think that the translation tables should primarily identify actual translations, like is done with other names (placenames, etc.). Also, there is some dispute over what makes a name part of a language. I happen to think that usage of a given name or surname makes it part of a language, like other words/names, as opposed to speakers of the language being named a certain name. (I just noticed these disputes because of the edits Makaokalani made to the page, changing it to contradict what I originally wrote, showing once again how policy think tanks can be useful in identifying issues.) --Yair rand 05:39, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad to see someone taking a stab at this very complicated and controversial issue. This might help focus some of our discussion.....or it might just turn into a giant flame war. Either way, it should be fun. :-P Thanks to Yair rand for starting this, and Makaokalani for letting us know. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 06:52, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps English given names, and surnames should have a "Cognates" and a "Names with similar meaning" section rather than a "Translations" section. Also, on a related note, I've been thinking that translingual words, all of them, should have a "In languages" (or something, that's a terrible name) section for synonyms, and that translingual symbols, specifically, should have a "Names of the symbol" section, wherein (both of them) English, too, is listed.​—msh210 15:43, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it would make sense just to have a "Cognates" section separate from the "Translations" section. --Yair rand 17:52, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
How would you distinguish a "cognate" from a "translation"? Also what do you mean by "translation" when it comes to given names? I know someone named Juan whose name is never "translated" to John or anything else. I know some names of Russian authors that are only transliterated into English, never translated. So, do we list such transliterations as translations, or start another new section? --EncycloPetey 18:48, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Translations for names should be the same as for all other words: how one would say the same thing in a different language. If a person called "John" in English is also called "John" in another language, it's a translation. The language section should include all standard information, how it is most often pronounced in the context of that language, the etymology, inflections, etc. --Yair rand 18:56, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
But names aren't translated. If I visit another nation, my name stays the same wherever I go. So, does that make the translation of my name the same for all languages? Names are personal labels, and except for certain specific famous historical individuals, names are not translated. --EncycloPetey 19:01, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Bingo. So, apart from languages that force particular grammatical attachments on names, and the differences in spelling and alphabets that exist across languages, there will be very many duplicate sections, much like we get with place names. --Yair rand 19:14, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I must have gotten lost somewhere: I thought this discussion was about English-language sections' subsections, and the inclusion of foreign words therein. No one was talking about including Michael as an Italian word, or was he? In any event, to answer your comment, Yair, although Michael remains my name when I travel overseas, so it is not translated, it doesn't become Italian, either: it's my name, in English, even when I'm in Italy. Of course, at some point enough Michaels are in Italy to make it an Italian name, and we've had discussions about that in the past with no resolution, but that's not the issue here AFAICT (again, unless I'm missing something).​—msh210 19:23, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. The name "Michael" is an English name just as much as "America" is an English place name, but it is also an Italian name if used with the same spelling in Italian context. --Yair rand 19:50, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @ Yair rand: So, you feel that the Translations section should be limited to translating names of specific historical people (who usually aren't allowed under CFI anyway), since names aren't translated? --EncycloPetey 19:25, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm saying that names should have translations sections, even though their "translations" (i.e. what they'd be called in another language, as explained above) would be mostly identical. The "cognates" should go in a separate section, clearly labeled "Cognates". --Yair rand 19:50, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we should have transliterations at all. Into any given language there wither will be numerous transliterations of the same name or a standard one, and, in either case, anyone knowing the language and attempting to transliterate the name will arrive at a/the correct answer. But names of similar meaning and cognates I think are useful.​—msh210 19:13, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean by "names with similar meaning"? Names are proper nouns and refer to the person who bears the name. Personal names therefore have no "meaning" in the sense that other words do. --EncycloPetey 19:25, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
You're right, of course. I mean it in the way people do when they look up what their name "means". Perhaps "similar etymological meaning" or something?​—msh210 15:10, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Transliteration/romanization isn't a bad idea. This is a way that names enter other languages, and the information may appear with ancestors in etymologies, so why not be systematic about including it with children, too?

I brought up a proposal for a romanization section that seemed to be welcomed, but I only tried a test in a few entries (горілка#Romanization, батяр#Romanization). A better method might be to include attested descendants normally, but label them if they correspond to standard romanization methods (and corresponding to normal contexts, e.g., only show passport romanization methods for personal names). Michael Z. 2010-04-22 16:42 z

Just noticed this topic. Not sure, if there are still questions. I will repeat my view on cognates vs transliterations, which are both standard translations of names in Russian. So, John can be translated as Джон (Džon) into Russian and it's standard. Translating it as Иван (Iván) would be incorrect, unless a person wants to be russified and change his name. I added both to translations of John, Stephen, Michael, Nicholas, Anthony, etc.
It is true for Russian and other languages but may not be true for other languages. The name of a historical person (e.g. kings) with the same name may still be translated as Иван. There are no strict rules and the transliteration type of translations may take different forms as well, they are not just phonetic, e.g. Heinrich is Генрих (Génrix), not Хайнрих. Louise may be both Луиз (Luíz) but more commonly Луиза (Luíza). --Anatoli 05:30, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation of initialisms[edit]

There is no apparently consistency with how we show the pronunciation of initialisms. I've not (at least recently) come across a pronunciation section for entries where the initials are individually spelt out (e.g. BBC, WNBA, TCCB), presumably as this is the default. However, for initialisms where this isn't the case, e.g. IEEE, NCAA, IAAF, where pronunciation is very useful, how should we show it? IPA and SAMPA are fine, but for things like "I triple E" not the most obvious, even for those familiar with these alphabets. Thryduulf 23:05, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Our enPR system could be useful there. /īʹ trĭpəl ēʹ/ is fairly easy to read. --EncycloPetey 23:19, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
This is a case where a plain-English pronunciation like “I triple E” could help readers. May be clearer with letters' written-out names: “bee bee see,” “aye triple ee”. I think quotation marks may help make it clear at a glance that this is not a mentioned term, as {{term||aye triple ee}}Michael Z. 2010-04-19 23:42 z

MediaWiki:Revertpage[edit]

You might want to delete this MediaWiki message. The default has been improved many times since that page's last edit, and now also has proper spelling. Of course, I know that I'm not the biggest contributor here, but I think it would be an improvement nonetheless. --The Evil IP address 12:31, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

What actually is the default, though? Any way to see that? —CodeCat 14:02, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
You can see the current version (and default version if different) of all MediaWiki messages at Special:Allmessages. [1] is a filtered version that shows just this message.
As for deleting the message, I really don't see the point, the only difference is that the modified version provides a bit more explanation. Thryduulf 14:46, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Voting policy[edit]

In order to prevent any influx of users completely detached from this project towards the vote pages I have initiated a vote on amending our voting policy. People from fellow wiktionaries are duly respected and given the right to vote. However, interference of people, who have never contributed regularly in any language edition of wiktionary, with the votes is to be fended off. Any comments are welcome in order to harbour concord for this vote. 50 contributions is an exiguous and lenient threshold, but is better than allowing Tom, Dick or Harry to overwhelm regular contributors on important votes. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 13:16, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

trennbare Verben[edit]

Most of the German-English dictionaries I use, mark in a way the fact that a verb is separable (trennbar). One common mark is simply sep after the word (assuming the user will know where to "cut"), some put a pipe. I'll demonstrate the two ways:

aufbessern sep
auf|bessern

I think the second option is better. It can be easily achieved via a simple template "{{separable|auf|bessern}}" - or, better, a fix in the inflate template for German. By the way - in many verbs (such as aufbessern) there are full conjugation tables, which maybe makes it not so useful; but first of all, most of the verbs still don't have these tables, and secondly, I think it is good for the eye, to see fast that it separates, and how, even without opening the collapsing JS conjugation tables.

Will be glad to here your opinions. Peleg 18:19, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

It should be similar to how Dutch does it - look at verbs like opmaken to see what I mean. Your second option looks a bit like hyphenation, which might be confusing - besides, the conjugation template which should be on all verbs already shows what the separable part is if you don't know. -- Prince Kassad 18:37, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
A third approach followed by Langenscheidt's monolingual dictionaries is to show the stress. Everyone having acquired at least basic knowledge of German grammar can determine whether dúrchdringen or durchdríngen is trennbar. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 18:41, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Even if the Conjugation is missing, the separation can be easily be seen through Etymology, and for the exceptional cases where it cannot (e.g., because one of the components is not a stand-alone word) then you can use an Example Sentence (Quotation) under the definition, where the components are separated and boldened separately. If all else fails you can use Usage Notes. So I think you should use sep or separable explicitly to make things clearer for the reader: the use of pipes in the inflection line is not Wiktionary-style, IMO: it is implicit and assumes more knowledge from the reader. The pipe character itself may be relatively hard to read (it is for me, at least, unless it were put in a different color: auf|bessern, auf|bessern), it could be, say, confused with a small-cap letter L. Continuing on the explicitness theme, the word "separable" in the inflection line should link to article separable verb or to some page which discusses German separable verbs. Let's see: I have a Langenscheidt's Standard Dictionary (German-English, English-German) in my possession. The bold entry headers are often punctuated with pipes and stress markers. Print on paper is finer than pixellated type on computer monitors: in particular, the pipe character used in the Langenscheidt's is significantly finer than the letter l, [and more elongated, both upwards and downwards] so there is less chance of confusion, whereas on my computer monitor, the pipe character has the same width as the letter l, merely differing in being elongated at the bottom: l vs. |. [No, it was only longer in the Editing Box, they look almost the same when rendered.] Actually, since the inflection line is in bold, the pipe will actually be a little thinner (l vs. |), but still... Anyway, since the Langenscheidt's is printed on paper, there is some pressure to save space, and so use adj instead of Adjective, v instead of Verb, sep instead of separable. But what do I see here?
'umsein v/i (irr, sep, -ge-, sn, →sein) ...
so the separable components are not separated with a pipe (surprise! surprise! The pipes are instead used for noun compounds) but instead explicitly marked with sep and with a right arrow (→) followed by the stem. The dictionary uses little icons instead of context labels... cute icons perhaps, but not Wiktionary-style. There are no Conjugation tables. Wiktionary has plenty of room for Conjugation tables... Anyway, IMO, Wiktionary-style is that boldened words in the inflection line should look just as they would appear in a piece of text, without any extraneous "body piercings" (pipes, primary and secondary stress markers, interpuncts, hyphenations, syllabifications, etc.)... all those analytical piercings can be put elsewhere (Pronunciation section, Etymology section, Conjugation section, Usage Notes, etc.)... —AugPi (t) 07:48, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Uh-oh, there is an exception to my above opinion: Latin words have pedagogical macrons added to their inflection lines: e.g., see mathematica. —AugPi (t) 08:11, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
So, what is decided, then? Everything you've said sounds wise, and I can agree with almost any decision; should it be linkable "separable" sign near the word, as in Dutch, as Prince Kassad said? Peleg 15:02, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

LiquidThreads[edit]

LQT in use

I propose that the LiquidThreads extension be enabled on Wiktionary, but not used in the major discussion rooms yet. We can enable the extension, any users who want it on their talk pages could have it by adding the standard {{#useliquidthreads:1}}, and after a while we can come to a consensus as to whether/where it should be used in discussion rooms. If there are no problems with this then we can start the vote in a few days and have it enabled within a few weeks. --Yair rand 18:58, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Definitely. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:28, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Not only is it shiny, but it also provides some much-needed clarity to discussions. Brings it more in line with other discussion-oriented media like forums and blog comments. —CodeCat 22:11, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
As I've said before, I am very distrustful of this extension, and, as I'm not a huge fan of shinyness, would prefer that it stayed far, far away. But, if you really want to inflict this on your own talk page, I suppose that's up to you. The reasons I am against this are partly summed up by the ever growing list of bugs, the increase in size of discussions, and the decrease in the size of pages that it imposes; and the added complexity of having things stored in an abnormal format that is hard to customize. The advantages it brings are almost entirely cosmetic, though I believe it has a phenomenally complicated flexible system for watchlisting. Conrad.Irwin 22:19, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Of course, if one of our regular tech geniuses were to come up with a better discussion format, one which allowed topics to be individually watchlisted and whatnot, and was still not so shiny, and not so complicated and buggy, then we wouldn't really need LiquidThreads, now would we..... -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:27, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
phpBB-*gets shot* -- Prince Kassad 00:44, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
I have tried http://liquidthreads.labs.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:LiquidThreads_testing, and I don't like this. I don't know where the discussion data is stored but I suspect that it is stored in one page per discussion thread. I mostly agree with Conrad Irwin's post above.
I think the hard thing about starting a discussion is to decide whether it will be a minor one or a larger one. For larger discussions, we could start creating pages named like "Wiktionary:Workgroup:Subject" and placed in a category that can be watched. Creation of such a page would be announced in Beer parlour. Renewing a discussion in a workgroup page could be announced in Beer parlour too. A downside of the idea is that people could be starting many insignificant workgroups, as has happened in the past in Wiktionary under the name of "project". The name of "project" seems wrong, as a workgroup has no budget, time constraint, scope goals and quality goals. The terms "workgroup" and "working group" sound a bit better to me though not perfect. --Dan Polansky 09:06, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
LiquidThreads stores every comment as a separate page, and seems to eliminate most problems. Regardless of whether you prefer LQT over the current format, I don't see the sense in enforcing the standard discussion format on everyone's talk pages, and stopping even the possibility of testing it here on Wiktionary. --Yair rand 05:08, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

The vote to enable LQT is now live. --Yair rand 00:01, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Why not?[edit]

(Quote from my userpage) Users can still search using misspellings toneless pinyin, for instance [4], [5] and even without proper apostrophes [6]. Moreover, toneless pinyin entries create a huge amount of unnecessary work for words which have dubious attestations as it is. Focusing on, at the very least, pinyin entries with tones, or even better, actual hanzi entries (gasp!) should be our priority. ---> Tooironic 13:49, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Why not in Mandarin?[edit]

91.104.51.67 13:23, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

  • Is this any different from your perennial (and now tedious) "why not toneless pinyin" question? I think that's been answered many times already. Just create the entry with the tones and use {{also}} to link them. Conrad.Irwin 14:16, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Tooironic is going to propose to exclude all toneless pinyin entries from Wiktionary and I'm going to support this. There are topics in WT:RFV and WT:RFD and many useless entries are waiting to be deleted. A large portion of them was created by 123abc and his anonymous clones. --Anatoli 05:16, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I will do this, but first I need to know how such a proposal is written. Can anyone help me with this? The longer we leave it the worse the problem will get. ---> Tooironic 14:49, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Is it really a "complete tosh"?[edit]

  • [9] —This unsigned comment was added by 91.104.34.43 (talk).
    Assuming that it actually is a given name/surname and a place name, then it doesn't look at all like "complete tosh", and I don't understand why it was deleted. Perhaps Tooironic can elaborate. --Yair rand 18:27, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
    Yep. Yet another entry created by 123abc who does not know what constitutes dictionary-worthy material. The content given was "person name and place name". Yes, this is a literal translation. But 人地名 is not a word. After checking half a dozen dictionaries, corpora and native speakers (all of which had never heard of such a strange combination), I deleted it on sight for the tosh it is. ---> Tooironic 21:59, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
    Google hits: 人地名 for reference. 91.104.28.112 23:46, 19 April 2010 (UTC)
    As per usual you fail to understand that Google hits are not criteria for inclusion on Wiktionary. We get plenty of hits for 北京的医院 ("Beijing hospitals"), that doesn't mean we include that phrase in Wiktionary. 人地名 is completely some of parts - literally translated as "people and place names". How about you stop stuffing us around with your nonsense and come up with some real entries for once? ---> Tooironic 04:03, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
    If 人地名 is "completely some of parts", 人名 and 地名 are "completely some of parts" as well. Right? 91.104.20.142 08:08, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
    Nope. The basics of Mandarin word construction dictate that most words in modern Mandarin are one, two or four characters in length. Three-character words in Mandarin are usually limited to prefixed (e.g. 非食用) or suffixed (爱好者) nouns, or verb extensions (记不住). And indeed many dictionaries won't list these as, to some, they are not considered words (I've advocated their inclusion on Wiktionary though because of their consistency and usefulness). By contrast,人地名 is completely discernible from its parts and makes for a very strange idea for a word; an English equivalent might be green-red apples or playing and trading cards. ---> Tooironic 11:12, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
    So, 人名 and 地名 are "sum of parts" also. 91.104.51.67 14:38, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
    No. Try re-reading my previous post. I don't think you understand the basics of Mandarin word construction. ---> Tooironic 21:56, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
    How about 工农业? 91.106.30.119 03:07, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
    You're right, that "word" is quite similar. However the difference with 工农业 is that it actually IS included in the multitude of dictionaries available; 人地名 is not. ---> Tooironic 10:11, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
    It is not bases on dictionaries only, but bases on other information and "the basics of Mandarin word construction" as well. For your reference, how about 中小学 and 海陆空军? 91.106.30.119 11:21, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
[From the Japanese side] Do not be deceived by those Google hits; they are essentially worthless. Lets take a look at the first few:
  • 日本人・地名: Two separate words.
  • 中津川市のブログ人:地名: Two separate words.
  • 「間人」地名: Two separate words.
  • 「四人」地名: Two separate words.
And those are only the best matches. Most of the results are from pages that use 人, 地, and 名 in some random order anywhere on the page. Even putting it in quotes does not significantly improve the search as Google ignores punctuation separating words like above.
人地名 obviously means 人名 and 地名. This kind of formation is quite common. But I too doubt that it belongs in a dictionary. As a basic sanity check, I checked 9 dictionaries at hand but could not find any support for inclusion. And the above Google search certainly did not help your case. Bendono 11:38, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Horizontal lists[edit]

I wanted to see if there was any potential use for the new {{flatlist-top}} and {{flatlist-bottom}} templates. They allow a normal wiki list to be displayed horizontally. For example:

Wikitext Output
{{flatlist-top}}{{sense|foo1}}
*one
*two
*three
{{flatlist-bottom}}
(foo1):
  • one
  • two
  • three

The advantage of this structure over manually formatting a list horizontally (with explicit ", " between elements) is that screen readers and other devices can traverse them more easily. They don't work perfectly when embedded in an another list, but maybe there's place where they're still useful. --Bequw τ 01:29, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

  • I like this idea a lot. It's particularly useful for short lists of 'nyms of a sense, where there is such a list for each of several senses. I think drop the period at the end.​—msh210 16:29, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
  • How signficant is the difference, for how many people? I think the expanded wikitext is an unimprovement, we should consider our editors too. Conrad.Irwin 17:00, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
  • I was thinking it would be more useful when designing list templates (eg {{list}}) rather than on individual entries by editors. --Bequw τ 23:59, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Mission statement[edit]

It might warrant renaming, but AFAICT we have WT:NOT to say what Wiktionary is not, we don't have anything to say what it is. Furthermore, it should allow us to remove some nonpolicy stuff from WT:CFI. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:05, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Good idea, though I'd prefer it if the mission statement said absolutely nothing about how to write a dictionary, rather it should explain in detail why we are doing so and who we expect to benefit. Once we have that worked out, it should be much easier to reason about the how - which rightfully belongs at CFI, not split across many pages. Conrad.Irwin 21:52, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Input very welcome, especially at the early stages. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:21, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
I always imagine a mission statement as being something like the following (maybe even less specific still). Conrad.Irwin 22:55, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary is a project to produce a multilingual dictionary. This edition of Wiktionary is written in English, and its intended audience may be divided into approximate groups:

  1. Native English speakers who wish to broaden their understanding of our language, and the words therein.
  2. Learners of English who wish to discover basic properties of English words.
  3. English speakers learning Foreign languages who wish to explore the meaning and grammar of words in other tongues.
  4. Translators who wish to find words that correspond between English and other languages.

In order to serve the needs of such diverse groups, we include a phenomenal amount of information, and an important part of our mission is to ensure that this data will remain freely available to anyone who wishes to access it.

I would think that the mission statement would be more of a simple explanation of the goal, which is pretty much summed up in the first sentence of CFI ("As an international dictionary, Wiktionary is intended to include “all words in all languages”.") and the explanation on the main page ("We aim to include not only the definition of a word, but also enough information to really understand it."). Information on how that's done, or who it's being done for, doesn't seem like it should be part of the mission statement. --Yair rand 23:57, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
The problem with the first sentence of CFI is that it is too broad, too general, and (when you come down to it) means nothing. Perhaps it should be used as an introduction, and further information added below for clarity. Conrad.Irwin 00:12, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, the actual mission is basically "let's build a huge collection of every single scrap of lexicographic content on the face of the earth, complete with dead languages, unspoken languages, artificial languages, languages that no sane person has ever heard of, with every single "word" in existance, and anything in the world that might make anyone have a further understanding of any of those words, not to mention inflections that have never and will never be used, non-"sum of parts" phrases, idioms, proverbs, initialisms, letters, symbols, anything that anyone might argue to be a "word", (which the definition states as being "A distinct unit of language", leaving it open to who-knows-what), document every last detail down to how often it's used, where it came from, what they call it in Swaziland, and what meronyms it has, and what the heck, throw in some thesaurus pages, rhymes lists, appendices, phrasebooks and concordances, some things that actually are SOP but might be helpful for understanding non-SOP words, some proper nouns, names, and places, and anything else anyone can find that might be dictionary-ish to have!" but that would sound silly in the mission statement, so let's stick with "All words in all languages". --Yair rand 00:31, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
In that case we need a better mission statement, I submit my proposition above. I think it's an important thing to have, and it should represent something that is both simple to understand, and useful as a guide to deciding on the details of how we go about building this dictionary. (As you hint, we will probably end up building a mish-mash of semi-relevant information, but it'd be nice to have a well defined goal so that we can claim we made decisions to further it). There's a lot of information we currently include that is not justified by my proposal, maybe someone should tweak the proposal, or maybe that's an indication that we shouldn't be bothering with that information. Conrad.Irwin 00:39, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Other than replacing 'our' with 'their' (or perhaps 'the English language') it looks ok to me. I mostly concern myself with type 3 and 4 on here, so it's good that they're mentioned. :) —CodeCat 13:47, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Lol, another WT: namespace thing that 5 people will read/care about. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 12:48, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

We should care. Even though most people needn't, it's this kind of basic statement that helps us creators understand what we're doing and could inform every activity.
I think the statement should be more inclusive and open, by writing “includes” instead of “may be divided into approximate groups.” I think point 1 could allude to the academic aspect, and certainly would concern more readers than just native anglophones. Michael Z. 2010-04-21 15:31 z

I don't like that one person created this (no personal offence intended, I wouldn't like it no matter who that person was). I think that this should be a group effort (or handed to us by WMF if they insist, as they have a right to). To that end, I've created the page [[Wiktionary:Mission statement/Mission statement creation taskforce]].​—msh210 15:40, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

For the record, I am opposed to anything that is labelled a "mission statement". Let's rename the page please. Nothing good can come of anything labelled a "mission statement". I think this would be a better use of WT:ABOUT, although some of the content from the page where that link currently points (Wiktionary:Welcome, newcomers) could also be used to revise the [insert new name of page here]. --EncycloPetey 18:02, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Re the name "mission statement": too Dilbert-like for you, EP? I created the taskforce as a joke, BTW, for that reason.​—msh210 18:20, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
On the nose. Every time I hear the phrase "mission statement" I think of a specific Dilbert strip in which a caveman stands up at a meeting in the final panel and announces, "Ugh make mission statement." I appreciated Dilbert all the more after I had a boss who was 50% pointy-haired boss from Dilbert and 50% Ricky Jervais' character in the original UK version of The Office (although he was my boss several years prior to ever seeing The Office.) --EncycloPetey 18:29, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
Sure, rename it. Our policies aren't coherent right now, hence as DCDuring says, they are "increasingly-ignored". When it comes to nitty-gritty policy like this, I see no reason not to state the incredibly obvious when necessary. Basically, anything that increases interest in updating/cleaning up policy, I'm for it. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:32, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I dislike lots of strict explicit policy, I do like the idea of creating a high-level purpose of Wiktionary which we can then apply, with common sense, to situations as they arise. We could probably learn something from the "Zen of Python" - a set of generally accepted guidelines that are used to define what Python should look like without giving any specific details at all. It then becomes reasonable to reply to a question like "why won't you add feature X to Python", with "because Python shouldn't be like that", only because they have a strong idea of what Python is supposed to be. (Unilaterally renamed page to Wiktionary:Purpose, feel free move again). Conrad.Irwin 23:42, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

compound words - definition needed[edit]

I noticed Wiktionary#Appendix:Glossary does not include "compound" as used in Template:compound and Category:English compound words.

Can I assume compound words do not include phrases (two or more words with a space in between) or hyphenated words? There are a couple like that in the category, such as dial in and dial-in. Facts707 22 April 2010 (sorry, forgot to sign originally)

I would say, yes, you've summarized it pretty well. The one case that's not clear on Wiktionary is whether a "compound" includes situations in which the first word in the compounded term is a preposition or short adverb (like outsource, indwell, overproduce). We don't seem to have a firm position on those. However, someone else may be able to point out something I've overlooked. --EncycloPetey 04:23, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks EP, I'll update the Glossary in a day or two unless someone else does first. Facts707 11:55, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Since the glossary isn't language-specific, the definition of a compound should include other languages as well. So keep in mind that adverb+verb combinations are certainly compounds in many languages, even if not necessarily in English. Furthermore, a lot of those combinations are idiomatic in their own right. —CodeCat 14:43, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

The definition of compound word makes it pretty clear that this does include multiword or hyphenated words. And other dictionaries use etymologies like term + term for all of these. Why would we use a different definition of compound? Michael Z. 2010-04-23 14:28 z

Proper names of international products[edit]

Wiktionary currently includes entries such as Nokia, Debian and Doom. All of these are names of a specific entity that is known worldwide. This means that potentially any language on Wiktionary could have a completely identical definition of each of those words. 'Debian' means exactly the same in Swahili or Thai as it does in English, because it's the name of a product. Shouldn't these entries really be translingual? Should they really be on Wiktionary at all? —CodeCat 10:15, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Well they need to fulfill WT:BRAND, beyond that there is no restriction. Also, keep in mind that some languages like Thai use different scripts, obviously these need to be in separate entries. -- Prince Kassad 12:51, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
And Chinese, and Japanese, and Korean, and Arabic, and Vietnamese, and Armenian, and Farsi, etc, etc... ---> Tooironic 22:17, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
There is still the potential for half the world (a rough estimate of the amount of languages using Latin alphabet) to have an entry, in its own language, for something like 'Debian'. Is that really what we're going for? —CodeCat 13:33, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Given that WT:BRAND requires citations, you're not likely to able to create an entry for Doom in, say, Swahili, maybe not even in Portuguese. (Certainly, if Doom is unavailable in Portugal, Brazil, and Mozambique (and wherever else Portuguese is spoken), or unavailable by that name, then you're not likely to find attestation of it anyway in Portuguese.)​—msh210 14:44, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Much of the rationale for inclusion of proper names of places applies to commercial proper names:
  1. The argument from slogan.
  2. The argument that someone might want to know what it means.
  3. The possible existence of an etymology.
  4. The need for translations or transliterations.
We are more than a little vague on how many languages of attestation are required before a word of any sort is eligible for treatment as "translingual". DCDuring TALK 15:14, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Category:Creoles[edit]

Was I right in creating Category:Creoles (e.g. for Singlish)? ---> Tooironic 22:15, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Yep --Rising Sun talk? contributions 23:39, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Part-of-speech headers[edit]

At the moment we have an awful lot of these, which is ok, though I'd like to find out which are actually valid and which should be considered errors. The counts for definitions under each heading is at User:Conrad.Irwin/poses, and those with very few entries are at User:Conrad.Irwin/pos_errors (and there are a lot of ==Language== ===Language=== pages :(). It seems quite a lot of them are of the form "<adjective> part-of-speech", so things like "Indefinite pronoun" - should these all be normalised to "Pronoun" with the indefiniteness indicated in the inflection line or definition? Conrad.Irwin 23:31, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

It might be useful to consider putting the entries with such headers into categories with the header as part of the category name. That way little information is lost. Perhaps bots could do some of these if the risk of information loss is low enough. DCDuring TALK 00:15, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Where there is an inflection template or POS category and no POS header, it should be trivial for a bot to add the appropriate header, e.g. I'm sure a bot (maybe AutoFormat) could make edits like [10] correctly. Thryduulf 14:37, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't. There are multiple parts of speech that can use the same inflection pattern in many Classical languages. That is, Nouns, Participles, Adjectives, and Pronouns (among others) can potentially use the same inflection table. --EncycloPetey 16:05, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Obviously it wouldn't be able to handle every case, but if there was a {{xx-noun}}</noun> template or <nowiki>Category:Fooian adjectives in the section then it shouldn't be difficult for a bot to deduce that the POS is a noun or adjective. Thryduulf 17:50, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
But that doesn't apply unless we generate a master list of those temp[lates that contain such a name and are used in only that way. Templates are often coopted for functions they were never intended for, and (as noted in a discussion further up this page), most inflection templates involve some sort of abbreviation, and these abbreviations are not consistent. A "conj" template, for example, could appear as a conjugation of a verb or as an abbreviation for conjunction. There is too much variability and too many exceptions for this to be simple. --EncycloPetey 17:59, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Have you looked at WT:POS? That page was started to coordinate an effort to do exactly the sort of standardization you're wanting to do. --EncycloPetey 16:05, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
No. Thanks for the pointer, I will base my whitelist on that page, and see what that leaves over. Conrad.Irwin 00:13, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Preemptive Google-mining[edit]

We have this pattern wherein new words are added to the dictionary, their existence is (possibly) contested, and we turn to Google Books (and the somewhat more questionable Google Groups) to determine whether these words meet the CFI. Can we preempt that process? Can we, perhaps, generate a list of all words that get more then (for the sake of sloughing off scannos and the like) fifteen Google Books hits for the exact word? bd2412 T 23:39, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like an interesting project, I don't know how it would be done though. One thing we could consider is when a user is about to add a new word, there could be a button that takes them to Google Books and searches for that term. I don't know if we should tie WT to Google Books like that though, I'm guessing probably not. Facts707 06:20, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Renaming Appendix:Latin words with English derivatives[edit]

I am reposting this here to Beer parlour, where I have posted it recently. I do not want to have it moved to "Wiktionary:Requests for moves, mergers and splits".

I have renamed "Appendix:Latin nouns with English derivatives" to "Appendix:Latin words with English derivatives". The page is now categorized as a Latin appendix, but it seems to be much more of an English etymological appendix. It is an analogue of a thesaurus, just that the relations by which words are grouped together in the page are etymological rather than semantic. Each bullet point has a list of English words that share a common Latin root.

I would see the page renamed to "Appendix:English derivations from Latin", "Appendix:English derivatives from Latin" or something of the sort, to emphasize that the main entity listed in the page is an English word rather than a Latin word. Then I would switch the category of the page from Category:Latin appendices to Category:English appendices.

Thoughts? Other proposals for a new name? Opposition? --Dan Polansky 07:23, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Personally I think it's silly to have the thing at all, except as a work-list. Two thirds of English vocabulary is from Latin, and consequently, this appendix can't even scratch the surface. Our readers would be far better served by work done on the etymology sections of English words (which you, Dan, have certainly been doing, let it be noted). That being said, I think it does little harm except to distract editors from productive endeavours. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 12:22, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the feedback. One reason why the purpose of the appendix cannot be served by etymology sections and RT sections in the mainspace is that each set of mutually etymologically related terms is replicated at each RT section of each member of the set. It is in this way that the appendix is analogous to a thesaurus. One benefit of a theraurus is that you can keep a single set of synonyms at one place instead of at, say, ten places. Here, you can keep a set of related terms at one place instead of at, say, twenty places. --Dan Polansky 15:42, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Structure of pronunciation sections[edit]

Mzajac made this edit to compound a short time ago.

I was under the impression that when the structure of pronunciation sections was last discussed (I haven't time to hunt out the discussion atm) that L4/L5 headers were rejected and the ; markup agreed upon? I haven't reverted as I'm not certain, but I don't think that extra headers are the way to go. I also wouldn't be surprised if "Adjective, noun" as a header is not in AutoFormat's lexicon.

There is a need to define how we handle pronunciation sections like this as there are all sorts of presentations out there at the moment. When I come across them through my cleanup of pronunciation formatting, I've been changing them all to the ; markup (as indeed I did at compound [11]). Thryduulf 17:59, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

The edit is definitiely incorrect. Subheaders under ===Pronunciaiton=== have been repeatedly rejected, and should certainly not be POS headers ever. --EncycloPetey 18:10, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Oops, sorry.
But the “;” form doesn't make sense in any context. It creates an HTML definition list element (dl), with a defined term (dt) and zero definitions (dd). It definitely does not indicate any relationship with the following content. (And of course, it has nothing to do with the actual definition in the entry.)
Better just to mark it up the fake subheading as bold text. Better still, make it a note on the same line as the related pronunciations. Michael Z. 2010-04-24 18:28 z
The complexities of doing this are good reason for instituting properly the Pronunciation 1 and Pronunciation 2 subheaders; so the pronunciation sections of heteronyms don't have to have these kinds of ridiculous gymnastics to tie them with their parts of speech. --EncycloPetey 18:31, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Pronunciation N sections. I don't see why they need to be complex either, as all we need to do is define what happens in the following cases:
  • one etymology, one pronunciation.
  • one etymology, multiple pronunciations.
  • multiple etymologies, single pronunciation.
  • multiple etymologies, multiple pronunciations.
User:Thryduulf/PronN shows how these might be structured.
To keep it simple, we should just say that we go for multiple pronunciation sections whenever one region has multiple pronunciations for different senses. Even if that means repeating the same pronunciation for the other regions. Thryduulf 12:08, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
EP, didn't you start a vote about this some time ago? I seem to recall it failing, but can't find it. Maybe my brain is just making up lies and telling them to me for its amusement. In any case, I support numbered pronunciation sections. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 12:43, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
No, we've never had a vote on this issue specifically that I'm aware of. --EncycloPetey 14:23, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Template:documentation[edit]

When did we agree to start using {{documentation}}? I thought this has been rejected several time previously? Yet I see it's now in use for quite a few templates (I spotted it when the edits to {{en-noun}} and {{en-verb}} by Bequw showed up on my watchlist just now. Thryduulf 22:32, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

See Wiktionary:GP#Interwiki_links_on_templates. No objections were raised in over two weeks of discussion concerning the latest iteration. --EncycloPetey 22:39, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
For those who don't peruse the GP frequently, Witkionary-specific versions of the {{documentation}} family of templates (including {{documentation subpage}} and {{documentation/preload}}) are available for those that want to convert templates to the “template doc page pattern”. Pros include:
  • Ability for anyone to edit documentation (usage notes, categories, and iwikis) of protected templates
  • Documentation shown on the actual template page ({{temp}} now links to the main template page when the /doc page exists) so that users follow "What links here" links actually see helpful information
  • Simpler template pages
  • Smaller talk pages that now focus only on discussion
The only inconvenience should be that you might have to watchlist some /doc subpages if you care about those details. I was converting templates that were "problematic" (iwiki's on the talk pages, talk pages >32Kb, etc.) in order to see if this approach could work well on Wiktionary. If other editors desire we can move more templates over, but no "policy" is being forced ATM. Comments are welcome. --Bequw τ 23:18, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Comments then :D.
  • Instead of the cutesy message from {{documentation subpage}}, I'd prefer just a =Documentation= heading (which would already have an [edit] link). [I suppose we could compromise on ={{documentation title}}= if people really want]
  • Someone(:p) should fix up the citations tab javascript to also make Template /doc pages look like a namespace in the user interface (and also the auto-redirect javascript to take people from Template_talk:blah/doc to Template_talk:blah - having two talk pages for one template is not a good idea). Now done.
  • There should be a Help:Documenting templates :D.
  • It should be possible to include the template documentation onto the talk page too? It can make discussions easier to follow if the documentation is there.
  • Where do I put {{rfd}} if I want to delete the template?
Conrad.Irwin 00:07, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Feel free to make {{documentation subpage}} less cutesy. I think something that warns newbies that this the /doc page isn't the main template page is good, which I don't think ={{documentation title}}= would provide. I don't think having the documentation on the talk page is that necessary, but you can disagree (one would have to make the pattern more complex since you don't want to transclude the categories on the talk page as well). Is the laughter solely because this pattern is from Wikipedia (which we constantly define ourselves in relation to)? I couldn't find any previous BP/GP discussion about this pattern, just vague messages in edit summaries and on random template talk pages. --Bequw τ 15:50, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I'll have a go (re documentation subpage), not sure why there are so many smileys, clearly I was in a strange mood. I have no rational argument against doing something like this, when done well, previously it has come up as either a "someone should do this" or a "but I need this template for this other template I copied from wikipedia", neither of which have much future. Conrad.Irwin 20:34, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Frankly, I like the documentation subpage (mostly) as it is. I especially like the image that helps to differentiate the subpage proper from the transcluded form of the page, so that there is a visual clue as to which page one is currently seeing. --EncycloPetey 20:42, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

capital letters to begin defintions[edit]

The style guide says

"A full definition should start with a capital letter. Because a definition is not normally a complete sentence, opinions vary on whether it is necessary to end a full definition with a period."

The fact that a definition is not a sentence, but a sentence fragment, also implies, I think, that it should not begin with a capital letter.

I happen to think that definitions look better if they don't begin with a capital, but what do you all think about it? Gregcaletta 09:27, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

It depends on whether the definition is a sentence or not, but it makes virtually no difference either way; feel free to update/ignore that page, so long as you abide by WT:ELE all is well. Conrad.Irwin 10:11, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
House style has been to start all English definitions with a capital letter, and many editors now habitually make that change. So, ignoring the style guide would mean edit warring (although perhaps at glacial speed). The lower-case definitions are principally used in non-English "definitions", where where is given is actually a one or two word translation into English. --EncycloPetey 15:33, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Also in abbreviations and acronyms, or any other place where the definition is a straight gloss. Michael Z. 2010-04-25 16:37 z
User:Visviva created a vote to amend WT:ELE by one word, but it was never opened. See Category:Votes that have not been opened. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:52, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Etymologies - invitations for, compounds, hyphenated compounds, compounds containing spaces vs. phrases, etc.[edit]

Note: This section is moved here from my talk page - it generated a lengthy discussion involving at least five editors. The discussion was prompted when I removed the "Etymology" section from about 20 entries which are composed of two or more words separate by hyphens or spaces, such as rice growing and vine-grower. The etymologies mostly just contained entries such as "{{compound|rice|growing}}", and the main entry updated with something like "{{en-adj|pos=[[rice]] [[growing]]|-}}" The rationale was that, as pointed out by a contributor who corrected me at veggie burger, current use at Wikitionary does not identify hyphenated words or entries with embedded spaces such as a phrases as compounds (click on to see defn. in the Glossary). Facts707 14:47, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Why on earth are you deleting etymologies? If {{compound}} is inappropriate, then just remove the template, but don't delete information. Michael Z. 2010-04-23 13:41 z

Okay, I see you are also moving etymological info into the definition line. I don't think this is a standard procedure, and I can't find anything about it in the guidelines. Michael Z. 2010-04-23 13:46 z
I'm just following the practice of User:DCDuring (corrected me at veggie burger). I noticed in Category:English compound words there were a very few (< 0.1%) words with spaces or hyphens, which is not appropriate as per my question at WT:BP. Thanks for asking, Facts707 14:10, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
To clarify: IMO, there is no reason to waste space (on a user's landing page, above the fold) with a complete etymology for a multiword entry if all we are doing is repeating the etymology of the components. (There might be reason to explain something else about a multiword term's etymology, such as the context of its core metaphor.) {{compound}} is useful for splitting a word spelled solid into its components so ensure that a user goes to the correct entries. (The division might not be obvious for every word to every user.) The inflection line for multiword terms should contain blue links (through the use of "head=", "sg=", "inf=", or "pos=") that give users the equivalent information. I believe that this is in accord with the practice of others who have worked on such things, but haven't explicitly tested that belief.
The categorization of solid-spelled compounds into Category:English compound words is certainly not wrong. It may be unnecessary. If we choose we could include some other spellings of compounds (eg, only hyphenated or both hyphenated and spaced) in the category. I suppose that we could have a bot insert Category:English compound words in every multiword entry not a phrase, proverb, or idiom (?). That would work well only if we have those entries properly categorized. HTH. DCDuring TALK 15:43, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we could have English hyphenated compound words with Template:compoundhypen or something, and similar for ones with included spaces, with an appropriate super category. Bots should be able to handle the hyphenated ones easily, and probably wouldn't have too much trouble with the others if non-included ones are marked as "phrasal", or are under "phrase", or something. I think a list of all hyphenated words would be useful.Facts707 20:03, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
The blue links in a multiword lexeme are not an etymology. Many editors treat linking them as mandatory, regardless of any need, and all this accomplishes is to de-emphasize the headword and potentially mislead. But it does not indicate etymology. E.g., silver wedding's etymology is Ger. Silberhochzeit, silberne Hochzeit, not English silver + wedding, grow op's etymology is grow + operation, not grow + op. Etc ad infinitum.
I don't see the point in categorizing solid compounds, but not hyphenated or spaced ones. Why define compound in an arbitrarily restrictive way? Compound (word) simply means a word made of other words. This is intuitive, and this appears to be its meaning in dictionaries. We can discuss the nuance of whether we prefer it be used for particular orthographic forms, or whatever.
But if the template is used in etymologies, and if it's a shortcut for writing term + term, then it will always be used this way by editors who didn't get the memo. So we may as well treat compounds as including etymological compounds, written in whichever form.
And sure, we could subcategorize compounds, but what meaning would this have? Solid, hyphenated, and spaced variants are often interchangeable, or their usage changes over time with no change in etymology or meaning. In many cases the hyphenated form is more often used for an adjective or attributive. Michael Z. 2010-04-23 20:31 z

Sounds like we should move this discussion to WT:BP, it is getting well beyond the scope of my page with you, DCDuring and I. Feel free to move/copy it or I can in a day or two. Facts707 22:10, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree with removing {{compound}} from multi word entries like give up the ghost. Sg can complement etymologies in instances like silver wedding above. They're both useful to the reader. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:14, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I too agree with DCDuring in that above the fold space is too valuable to waste on repeating the etymology supplied by the head=/sg= parameter. When head=/sg= is not enough (perhaps, <1% of cases), additional information can be supplied in ===Etymology===. --Vahagn Petrosyan 05:19, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
This logic is completely fallacious.
Links in the headword are not an etymology, except by accident. Training editors and readers that they are is misleading. They'll start expunging etymologies from entries habitually, even when there is other information present.[12] If we agree that headword links are etymological, then we must remove them in each case where they aren't. Good luck with organizing that effort.
This fold business is a myth from 1994. Please catch up on the state of web design.[13][14][15][16]
 Michael Z. 2010-04-24 16:32 z
I agree with Vahagn and MZ that there are instances where the SoP morphological etymologies are insufficient or completely inappropriate. For multi-word entries (MWEs) calques are prime examples. Other examples are idioms like lower the boom for which, at the very least, a gloss for the sense of boom would be desirable (if we can determine whether it is a nautical boom or a derrick boom). In the case of many metaphor-based idioms, a user could well be curious about the source or nature of the metaphor. DCDuring TALK 10:30, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
And each etymology will have more information. At the very least, every single one warrants the date of first attestation. Deleting the section just discourages editing. Michael Z. 2010-04-24 16:41 z
When, as, and if they do, the heading can be added back. If it is a vacuous etymology it is a waste of space. A first attestation date often belongs at the sense level, where it is apparent from the attestation quotes shown below or on the citations page. A bare first-attestation date often reeks of copyvio from, especially, OnlineEtyDict or OED. DCDuring TALK 18:06, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Attestation dates do not belong in the definition, unless missed part of WT:ELE. No such thing is apparent from the attestation quotes, unless you're telling me that Jurassic for the period was coined in 1990, Xenophanes first mentioned in 1931, or Zorro in 1999. Citations get added for many reasons. And what does “reeks of copyvio” mean, that we have a WT:ODOUR guideline? The OED and etymonline can't copyright the facts they publish, so if an editor enters that year, it cannot be a copyright violation. But I have gone and found the earliest citation in Google books for dozens of entries, and copied many quotations from online and print sources which are fuller than the corresponding ones in the OED, so please be more specific when you toss around an accusation of lawbreaking. Michael Z. 2010-04-24 20:02 z
As words pick up and lose their meanings over time, I don't see why it would be wrong to put the date range that a given meaning occurred in the sense line. Widsith has a particularly nice template for that purpose. But I was thinking specifically of the dates associated with the attestation quotations we show, which often include early citations. If dated attestation quotations are present arranged by the associated sense, what is the point of the summary for the etymology (not the PoS, not the sense)?
Jeez. I'm sorry if I touched a nerve. I certainly didn't mean to and I made no accusation of anyone and certainly not you. Though we have no odor policy, we do have a WT:COPYVIO policy. The reeking that I refer to is that a bare date of first use is highly likely to have been ripped off from a copyrighted publication. If it was ripped off from multiple ones, then it could be considered to not violate any one copyright. I don't believe that such information is available from the copyright-free sources such as Webster 1913 or Century. DCDuring TALK 21:29, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. A start on an etymology section invites improvement to that etymology. By contrast, a missing etymology section invtites a contributor to add only the bare minimum or nothing at all. Etymologies should not be deleted simply because they're not fully formed yet. We shouldn't go around stomping on caterpillars simply because they're not butterflies. --EncycloPetey 18:14, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
So you like using {{compound}} for words spelled with hyphens or spaces without reservation as an interim step. Do we have any evidence or authority that it actually induces the contributions that we seek? DCDuring TALK 21:26, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
EncycloPetey 1; Non-sequitur straw man 0. --EncycloPetey 15:23, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I was trying desperately to understand the connection with the ostensible point of the discussion, rather than follow each and every increasingly divergent tangent. DCDuring TALK 15:36, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps in addition to our existing templates Template:compound, Template:prefix, Template:blend, Template:clipping (I added that one recently), etc., we could have Template:compound-hyphen, Template:en-two-word-noun, Template:en-three-word-noun, Template:en-adj-phrase, Template:en-adv-phrase, etc. I'm sure some users in the Wiktionary community or in linguistics, psychology, sociology, history, statistics, artificial intelligence, etc. would find categories for those useful. Eventually we could have a template for most types of etymologies formed from component words, and one (or maybe two or more, if they can used together?) could go in the Etymology section. Facts707 19:13, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Do you know of someone who wants or needs any of this? I'm not likely to memorize all of those template names. Michael Z. 2010-04-24 20:02 z
Note: linguists typically consider a "two word noun" to be a "noun phrase". Wiktionary terminology differs at times from the standard in linguistics to avoid overwhelming the non-specialists. --EncycloPetey 19:42, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Compound is an etymological description, at least when it's applied in a template in an “Etymology” section. Noun phrase is a functional-grammatical description, and can be inferred from a “Noun” POS heading in an entry for a phrase. I don't see a conflict. Michael Z. 2010-04-24 20:02 z
There again, the terminology we use and that linguists use differ. A linguist would not call water under the bridge a "compound", but the proposed template name forms and categories would. So, this wouldn't help linguists; it would confuse them. The problem is not an internal conflict of Wiktionary terminology, but about making our our peculiar idiosyncratic terminology stand out like a diseased thumb to outsiders. --EncycloPetey 20:16, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Do we know this? We consider water under the bridge a term, or lexeme, just as lexicographers do (and we and they both sometimes use “word” as a shortcut for term or lexeme). If it's made up of other words morphemes, then is it not a compound term or compound lexeme to a lexicographer? Michael Z. 2010-04-24 20:44 z
Looks like linguists mainly focus on the shorter terms that are likely to be in traditional dictionaries, but I see nothing in the definitions of compound and compounding (or composition) that prohibits their application to longer terms. Refs: compound, p 92, composition & compound, pp 90–91, compound, p 69, compound & compounding, p 53Michael Z. 2010-04-24 21:15 z
Please read only what I write, and not additional information I did not write. I said water under the bridge would not be a compound according to the terminology of linguists. I did NOT say that no multi-word terms were compounds in that terminology. --EncycloPetey 21:31, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
And I'm saying that as an idiomatic term, “water under the bridge” could be considered a compound by linguists, and backed it up with references. I read what you wrote, and I think you're wrong. Michael Z. 2010-04-24 21:44 z
Pasting a bunch of word search links does not support an argument. You have not provided any evidence to support your position that I could see. you may feel free to believe that I am wrong, but may not claim that you are correct without supporting evidence. --EncycloPetey 21:47, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Water under the bridge can be considered a compound by linguists' definitions:
  1. ... a linguistic unit which is composed of elements that function independently in other circumstances. (Dictionary of Linguistics & Phonetics)
  2. Result of the process of word formation of composition, a linguistic expression that consists of at least two free morphemes or morpheme constructions... (Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics)
  3. A word constructed by combining two (or more) existing words, ... (Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics)
  4. A word formed by compounding. ... The process of forming a word by combining two or more existing words... (Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics).
 Michael Z. 2010-04-24 22:46 z
Look at how each of those sources defines word; you'll find they consider only units without spaces in the middle. --EncycloPetey 22:57, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Keep trying, but you're not going to get my goat. For the benefit of anyone else still reading this, examples of compounds in the respective sources, right in the definitions I cited: 1. washing machine; 2. (s.v. compound) refrigeration mechanic, dance step, step dance, child prodigy, chief editor, child psychology, paper trail, (s.v. composition) step turn, living room, women's liberation, children's literature, table board; 3. video gameMichael Z. 2010-04-25 08:23 z
You've found examples that do not match the one we're disucssing. All of those examples combine two nouns, usually with on of them used attrbutively. The example I gave was water under the bridge, which does not match the form of any of those examples, since it is a noun modified by an adverbial prepositional phrase. The term compound, as used by linguists almost always refers to a word (term) constructed from a combination of two units originating in the same part of speech, or from two parts of speech whose grammar can allow those parts to function in the same capacity. The strictest definition of compound, however, excludes the examples above, as the Oxford Companion to the English Language notes. You are trying to selectively apply the broadest definition, in which case definition is a compound word itself, since it was compounded in the source language Latin. Do you wish to apply this broadest sense? If so, then the majority of English nouns will be compounds. --EncycloPetey 15:30, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
If you read further, you'll also find examples given of compound verbs and adjectives, and you'll see that compounding, or composition, is applied to morphemes, words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. The compounding aspect of water under the bridge is not particularly interesting or instructive, so you won't find any linguist writing about it. But the sources I cite show that compounds can include spaces, and that water under the bridge is composed by this process, exactly as it is considered by linguists.
We need one simple, consistent, expressive, and correct way to show compounding, and to link to the morphemes that compose terms in their etymologies, which can be understood by a new editor who hasn't read any docs. Using {{compound|term|term}} is it. Using {compound|term|term} sometimes and one of {en-noun|sg=[[term]] [[term]]} or {en-adj|pos=[[term]] [[term]]} or {en-verb|inf=[[term]] [[term]]} at other times is not it, because it fails about four of the mentioned criteria. Michael Z. 2010-04-25 16:07 z
Multi-word terms such as "landing page" should IMHO be allowed to have dedicated etymology sections, even if trivial ones. However, the template "compound" should not be used in space-containing terms such as "landing page"; and my long-standing position remains that "landing page" is not a word and not a compound word, contrary to the position of Mzajac. --Dan Polansky 15:53, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean it's “not a word?” If not, then why would we include it in the dictionary? But please, let's use precise language.
It's a lexical unit, a lexeme, a term. Since it's formed by compounding two or more morphemes (landing and page), it's a compound term, or a compoundMichael Z. 2010-04-26 16:06 z
We have already had that discussion, Mzajac. Are by your account the letters "t" and "α" words? Is the prefix "dis-" a word, by your account? What about "don't count your chickens before they're hatched", is it a word, per your version of "word"? We include these in Wiktionary. You see, Wiktionary entries are not constrained to words. --Dan Polansky 17:14, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Landing page is a compound. Its method of formation is compounding, or composition (“Next to derivation, the most important process of word formation”). This is the essential information that belongs in its etymology. It should be expressed by the conventional notation “landing + page.” I don't see why the meaning of word should matter for this discussion, and I don't understand why you wouldn't want to use {compound} to accomplish this. Michael Z. 2010-04-27 00:49 z
By the way, not only do the references I linked above accept terms containing spaces as compounds, so does our guideline which defines term for our purposes: “Compounds and multiple-word terms such as post office.” Michael Z. 2010-04-27 00:58 z
Incorrect. The CFI says [grouping added]: "(compounds) and (multiple-word terms such as post office)". That is, it explicitly differentiates between compounds and multiple-word terms as separate items. --EncycloPetey 02:17, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
That has always been my reading of CFI. Restricting the use of compound for our purposes to single words spelled solid from with standalone words as constituents gives us a somewhat more useful category precisely because it is less inclusive. Bot- or AWB-creatable categories that includes hyphenated MWEs are less directly useful for ordinary human users as humans find the information content self-evident from the existence of a hyphen or space in the headword. If there is some function that more specific categories for hyphenated words or spaced MWEs (eg, Category:English noun phrases) could serve, then such categories could be created and populated over a relatively short period of time (months). DCDuring TALK 11:28, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Your reading is incorrect. Post office is both multi-word and formed by compounding, so obviously it means “(compounds and multiple-word terms) [comma] (such as post office).” Why would someone write two clauses with only one example? – it's reads more naturally as a compound noun phrase, with an example illustrating it. Especially, why would compounds not be given an example if it were meant to be a special Wiktionary sense rather than a conventional one? Yeah, of course I see how the sentence is ambiguous, but assuming competent writing, the reader has every reason to prefer my reading.
I don't understand why this restricted use would be more useful to us. stepdance, step-dance and step dance are orthographic variations of the same term, with a single etymology (compounding from step + dance). It makes no sense to classify one as compounded, but not the others. And the etymology is not self-evident from the form (or from headword links), because, e.g., a calque like silver wedding would evidently be a compound, which is false. Michael Z. 2010-04-27 17:26 z
Mzajac, do you agree that Wiktionary entries are not constrained to words, per your definition of "word"? Or do you say that each Wiktionary entry is for a word, per your definition of "word"? --Dan Polansky 15:01, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe I've defined word, and I don't find it useful in these discussions, although occasionally it's used here as an imprecise synonym for term. I can't remember if our use of term includes more complex units like proverbs, but I'm sure that you can look that up. Dan Polansky, do you agree that compound refers to a compound term? Michael Z. 2010-04-28 15:41 z
(<) Are you saying that when you say "word" you are not sure what you mean? Per your sense of "word", whether defined or not, do you say that each Wiktionary entry is for a word? Do you say that the letter "a" is a word? --Dan Polansky 16:12, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm saying that I try not to use word when I mean morpheme, lexeme, lexical unit, term, phrasal word, entry, or headword, because it can mean any one or more of these. If I wrote something unclear, point it out and I'll try to clarify. Michael Z. 2010-04-28 16:40 z
(<) The point is that you wrote: 'What do you mean it's “not a word?” If not, then why would we include it in the dictionary?' I think you can consider taking it back, be cause Wiktionary includes also non-words such as the letter "a". --Dan Polansky 19:39, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
And on your claim that "word" can mean "morpheme", I would like that claim substantiated by dictionary quotations of the term "word" in the sense "morpheme". Either you are clear what you mean by word or not. So far all your answers to my questions on what you mean mean by "word" were evasive. If you have no clear idea of what you mean by "word", you should stop claiming that "black hole" is a word. --Dan Polansky 19:54, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
No, I “claimed” that I'd rather not use word here, exactly because it doesn't clearly mean any one thing. (But the OED does say that word [12] refers to something like a sequence “of one or more sounds or morphemes”.)
If you have a personal beef, why don't you take me down a notch on my talk page. The topic is writing etymologies of compounds. Don't you think {{compound}} should be used to indicate the formation of a compound term? Michael Z. 2010-04-29 06:12 z
(<) Okay, so you don't give any account of "word", and you do not even know whether you yourself think that the letter "a" is a word. As I have written, "landing page" is not a word and not a compound word. Further, while some authors use "compound" to include what they call open compounds such as "school bus", the terminological choice that I stand for is that "compound" is synonymous to "compound word", and that "black hole" and "landing page" are thus not compounds, while they are phrases. According to your account, all multi-word terms would be compounds, I guess. This broad category of "compound" seems pointless to me, even more in Czech than in English. In Czech, "černý kníže" is a two-word phrase, declined as two words, while "černokněžník" is a compound, declined as one word. --Dan Polansky 06:34, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
No, sir. Etymologies note the method of formation. One method is compounding, but many multi-word terms are instead coined, derived, calqued, borrowed, abbreviated, back-formed, etc. (Landing page is compounded, a compound term, as are the forms of school bus/school-bus/schoolbus.) Compounds are conventionally noted by “term + term,” which is conveniently reproducible with {{compound}}. I haven't read the whole page, but see wt: ETY#Compound.
I haven't considered other languages than English, and I don't know Czech dictionary conventions (I would have guessed that černokněžník is the product of affixation with černo-, a regular prefix form of černý, and -nik, rather than of simple compounding), but of course your constructive input is welcome. Michael Z. 2010-04-29 07:27 z
Referring to Wiktionary:ETY does not prove anything about the conventional meanings of "compound". The referred part has been inserted into WT:ETY on 21 June 2008 by Nbarth. I do not know where he got his information from. I stand by my terminological choice by which "compound" refers to "compound word" and excludes "school bus", while I do not deny that some authors make other terminological choice that does include "school bus". In any case, the referred part says "A compound word is a word composed of two words", so you see that the scope of the term "word" is crucial; the referred part implies a broad scope of "word" that considers "school bus" to be a word, a terminological choice that I do not make, and that I am not used to. --Dan Polansky 08:02, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
So you haven't looked at the four references I linked, either, or the excerpts, or the examples I pasted above? If anyone has to “prove” anything about their view, it's you. Michael Z. 2010-04-29 14:08 z
Come on, Dan Polansky, can you take the trash talk as well as you dish it out? Let's see you “give an account of” the meaning of compound. Prove that the linguistics dictionaries I quoted are wrong, and compound doesn't refer to anything but words lacking hyphens or spaces. “I would like that claim substantiated by dictionary quotations.” “If you have no clear idea of what you mean by” compound term, “you should stop claiming that "black hole"” is not a compound term. “According to your account,” schoolbus should have its method of formation noted as compounding, but school-bus and school bus should omit that information about their origin. You really think that our guidelines for editors should be rewritten to reflect that, and that it will serve our readers well? Michael Z. 2010-04-29 14:53 z
My definition of "compound" is "a word that consists of more than one stem". I am not saying that the dictionaries that you have quoted are wrong; I am saying that there is a terminological choice to be made, made differently by various authors. My request for dictionary quotations referred to your claim that "word" is sometimes used to mean "morpheme", a claim that to me looks wholly implausible. I have a clear idea of what I mean by "compound", and I have said nothing about the term "compound term". I am not saying that "school bus" should be without etymology, merely that it should not be marked up using {{compound}} but rather using {{term}}. I do not wholly understand the sentence "Come on, Dan Polansky, can you take the trash talk as well as you dish it out"; it seems to refer to some "trash talk" that I should take (take where?) as I deliver it. It seems to says that I speak trash, a compliment that I enjoy to take. --Dan Polansky 17:40, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
You demanded dictionary quotations, so I quoted the OED. You demand proof about the conventional meaning of compound, but refuse to cite name “various authors” to counter four linguistics dictionaries. You appear to be interested only in your own opinions, and are afraid to back them up with evidence, lest they fall flat. I think I've had enough of this. Michael Z. 2010-04-29 18:43 z
(severalfold unindent) I do not see that I demanded anything, other than dictionary quotations for a particularly dubious claim that "word" is also used to mean "morpheme". I also did not see a point in your referring to a part of WT:ETY that has been entered by a single Wiktionary editor. I appreciate dictionary quotations (such as those that Wiktionary has in the Citations: namespace) and academic references in general, and those provided by you in this thread in particular. Now to the subject matter itself.
I have to admit that almost every resource in Google books that I have found when searching for "compound word" includes open compounds under "compound" and "compound word". So the terminological choice that I am proposing for "compound" seems rather unusual. But there are exceptions: The section "Composition" in the article on "English language" of Britannica online gives no example of open compound, which implies that it excludes open compounds - EBonline. Another exception seems to be Oxford Companion to the English Language, which per EncycloPetey says that the strictest definition of compound excludes the examples "step dance" and "child prodigy". I have no access to Oxford Companion to the English Language, though.
If we decide to include open compounds in the category "English compound words", the category gets a bit less useful IMHO. Also, I do not see anything like an analogue of the English open compound in Czech and German, so the categories "Czech compound words" and "German compound words" should still contain only terms without spaces. Czech "černá díra" ("black hole") should not count as compound, neither should German "schwarzes Loch". The Czech term for compound is "složenina"; the German one is "Kompositum".
On another note, I do not know the scope of "open compound"; I do not know what sequences of words separated by a space count as compounds. In particular, I am unclear about phrasal verbs and proverbs, but I would estimate that phrasal verbs and proverbs do not count as open compounds. Some sources gave the following sequences of words as examples of open compounds: "fruit-juice carton", "high voltage electricity grid systems supervisor", which to me seems rather dubious, for dictionary purposes anyway. This would imply that some open compounds are some-of-parts. --Dan Polansky 11:19, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Why do you suggest that we ignore WT:ETY's advice on indicating compounds? A guideline can't be written well the first time, so we have to add a few edits to give it authority? Should we set all the stable “single-editor” sections in red type so we know which ones are bad?
You cite good sources, but they don't say what you say they say.
Britannica Online (s.v. Composition) includes hyphenated examples peace-loving, fact-finding, heart-rending, life-giving, time-consuming. The omission of open compounds in this very short article doesn't imply anything.
The Oxford Companion to the English Language can be previewed on Amazon. I don't know what EP wrote, but I don't see anything there supporting your interpretation. Some relevant passages:
P 4: Abbreviations > Word-formation > Compounding includes examples A-bomb, AIDS cure, B-movie, CCAT (Cambridge College of Arts and Technology), kiddie porn. NY kiddie porn, an AIDS–Africa link, Metro-Montreal QPF contingent patrols. pseudo-BBC accent, UFOlogy.
Pp 244–46: Compound Word (“A word made up of two or more other words [...]”)
> Compounds in English: “The majority of English compounds fall into two types: (1) Vernacular compounds [...], formed on principles typical of the Germanic languages. They are written in solid form, open form, or with hyphens. (2) Classical compounds [....] Grammarians generally treat the vernacular form as the compound proper.”
> Orthographic Compounds: “As a further rule of thumb, the older and shorter a noun/noun or noun/adjective compound, the more likely it is to be solid: rattlesnake. The newer and longer it is, the more likely it is to be open: population explosion. Beyond that, the traditional practice appears to be, ‘When in doubt, use a hyphen’. However, the writing and printing of many compound patterns remain uncertain and idiosyncratic, except where a house styli is firmly applied.” Examples include man of the church, commander-in-chief, man-at-arms, emergency plan, republican party, orange juice, car factory strike committee, car factory, strike committee, Coventry car factory strike committee policy decision, body-blow, bridge-builder, mud-walled, Army depot, coffee cup, green-house, the White House, businessman, business-man, business man, wine bottle, wine-bottle, winebottle, population explosion, worldview, world-view, world view, flower pot, bank clerk, London goods, silk merchant, honey bee, Wellington boot, Balaclava helmet, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, solvent abuse, spouse abuse, substance abuse, ashram fashion, blimp patrol, energy vampire, herpes factory, karma debt, kitten juice, mistress bank, punctuality nut, Rebetika music, Stupor Bowl, time-womb, whale jazz, zombie powder.
I don't see how omitting the great majority of compounds makes the compounds category more useful (what exactly do you use it for? If your work requires a category for open compounds then let's create one). Neglecting to note the great majority of compounds in etymologies makes etymologies less useful.
What defines compounds is that they are the result of compounding (a.k.a. composition). But compounding doesn't beg dictionary inclusion. Yeah, of course many sum-of-parts formations are compounded; so are sentences, paragraphs, and novels. But please don't imply that I want to add any of these to the dictionary. I'm not advocating any change to our inclusion criteria, only suggesting that each etymology clearly and consistently indicates the method of formation, and that exceptions have some logical basis. Michael Z. 2010-05-03 16:17 z
WT:ETY: No comment. I think we can agree that we disagree. The case seems actually very clear to me.
Britannica: You say that "You cite good sources, but they don't say what you say they say". Britannica does say exactly what I said it says. It does not include open compounds as examples, while it gives a host of closed compounds and hyphenated compounds as examples. If Britannica wanted to include some open compounds as examples, it had plenty of opportunity to do so; the exclusion cannot be explained by space contraints, while it could be at least theoretically explained by an accidental omission. The implication is there, as far as I can judge.
The Oxford Companion to the English Language: As I said, I do not have access to this source; the preview does not do. What you have quoted suggests that the source applies a broader definition of "compound", but it is quite possible that there is a passage in the source that mentions the existence of a narrower definition of "compound", at least believing what EncycloPetey has said. I do not know.
No comment on your last two paragraphs. --Dan Polansky 17:19, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Your Britannica Online link says nil about open, hyphenated, or closed compounds, and even by the most wildly broad interpretation it doesn't support purging the method of formation of hyphenated compounds from our etymologies. That you haven't looked at OCEL, but have a hunch that it contradicts “almost every resource in Google books” that you have found, is not citing a source, nor advancing an argument. Michael Z. 2010-05-03 18:52 z
Let me note that it is by examples listed in the various sources that the scope of "compound" and "compound word" implied by these sources can be determined. The scope often cannot be determined from the definitions they give, as they often have "word" as a genus of "compound" and "compound word". My judging from the set of examples given by Britannica Online is consistent with my judging from sets of examples given by other sources. --Dan Polansky 09:30, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Compound is not restricted to words, and it is defined by the mechanism of compounding. Nevertheless, word is defined; it means “lexical unit,” and not some kind of “space-free word.” And no matter how you cut that, closed compound, open compound, and hyphenated compound are specific kinds of the genus compound. If you mean closed compound then just say “closed compound.” Michael Z. 2010-05-08 18:54 z

Category / Template for text messaging short forms[edit]

Do we have any category or template for text messaging short forms? That is, words in phrases like "r u ok?" Perhaps we could have Category:English short text words and Template:short-text. Ideas / opinions? Facts707 10:37, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Please disregard. I just found Template:text messaging. I also created Template:text msg and Template:text-msg as redirects. Facts707 10:42, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Category:Text messaging, Category:Internet slang, Category:Internet[edit]

These three categories seem to be used interchangeably.

Category:Text messaging is a subcategory of Category:Lexicons which is a subcategory of Category:Language.

Category:Internet slang is a subcategory of Category:Internet, which is a subcategory of Category:Computing which is a subcategory of Category:Technology.

Could we replace Category:Text messaging with Category:Short text, which could be a subcategory of both Category:Lexicons and Category:Internet? Then we could move all the abbreviations and initialisms r, u, lol, IMO, LMHO, etc. to there.

There seems to be a whole generation of people who use hundreds of these words daily in text messages, log entries, Wiktionary comments and edit summaries, etc. Facts707 10:57, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

I'd agree that Internet chatroom 'slang' and text message 'slang' are basically the same thing. So uniting them would be good, it's more a question of how to do it. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:01, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Do we need to have Category:Internet slang vs. Category:Internet and Category:Slang? Also, aren't these "short text" entries just abbreviations of some sort? Don't some of them already have wider use? Increasingly, for some of these entries, it seems to me that "internet" or "text-messaging" might belong in the etymology or even an Appendix rather than in a context tag.
For those that do not yet have wider use, if it is true that all text-messaging abbreviations have also gotten internet usage, then we could make "text messaging" a subcategory of "internet" and remove the internet tag from those that have both. I think users would be able to make the leap that text messaging included internet use.
The problem with "short text" is that it is a protologism in the use proposed. Of course, if we would agree finally to explicitly dispense with the burden of communicating with normal users, we could have our own vocabulary for context tags and non-hidden categories and enjoy other simplifications. DCDuring TALK 15:43, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Pesky normal users.
There are two different contexts represented here.
  1. Keyboarding shortcuts and character play, like LOL, teh, l33t, pwn, AFK, @$$, etc. Their usage context is the medium of immediate or informal digital communication (I wonder if any of these date back to teletype; there is a parallel in shortwave and CB radio).
  2. Internet slang, like facebook (verb), leetspeak, googlewhore, Intertubes, kibology (red link!?), etc. Their usage context is the subject of the Internet.
I'm not saying that we need to break it down that much, but if we do, this may be a good way. Michael Z. 2010-04-27 00:23 z
Yes, I think Category:Internet slang should stay, but it should have a note about its usage and also have a link to Category:Text messaging or Category:Short text or Category:Fewer keystrokes words or whatever we want to call it. Facts707 20:02, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

It seems to be called SMS language at wikipedia:SMS language, along with many aka's: "SMS language or Textese (also known as txtese, chatspeak, txt, textspeak, txtspk, txtk, texting language, or txt talk) is a term for the abbreviations and slang most commonly used due to the necessary brevity of mobile phone text messaging, though its use is common on the Internet, including e-mail and instant messaging." Facts707 20:05, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

WT:RFD#paternal half brother[edit]

These seem to have failed, but I don't trust myself to be neutral. What do others think? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:51, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Paternal half brother itself, yes. The others mentioned there were never tagged, so anyone wathcing the page doesn't know they were nominated. I say tag 'em {{rfd|section=paternal half brother}} and let it sit another ≥week.​—msh210 15:12, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Vote on renaming requested entry pages 2[edit]

I have started Wiktionary:Votes/2010-04/Renaming requested entry pages 2, to be formally on the safe side. Set up for 14 days, as it seems to be a mere formality. --Dan Polansky 16:59, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Genius idea[edit]

New subtab (like we did with Citations for main namespace)

Documentation/Usage.


That's good shit, right? The name is debatable. Discuss. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 22:50, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

You mean like what Cirwin suggested yesterday? :) Yes, that definitely sounds like a good idea. "Documentation" sounds better than "Usage", I think. --Yair rand 22:57, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Done. Please test this on IE7/8, Safari, and Camino. I also fixed the bug with Vector where it hid the Citations tab, and generally tidied up that code. Conrad.Irwin 00:26, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Tested in IE 7 and 8 and Safari; looks great! (But not in Camino, sorry. iTunes pressured me into installing Safari, but it hasn't yet pressured me into Macking my whole computer.) —RuakhTALK 01:04, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! No worries about Camino, I think User:Dominic is the only person in the world who uses it :p. (I tested IE6/chrome/firefox/opera/konqueror so that gives us the complete set, I think). Conrad.Irwin 01:11, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, the template page itself shows all the documentation and even includes a little "edit" link to edit the documentation, so what's the point of this tab?​—msh210 19:51, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
It's main advantage is consistency, but also, if you are looking at the documentation page, you can click to the correct talk page. Conrad.Irwin 20:56, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
There's an autoredirect from the wrong talkpage, but fair enough.​—msh210 14:54, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Special:WantedCategories[edit]

I've found 2 amazing categories, pretending that the letters are some numbers and generated by {{en-number}}. According to WP "A" is NaN ("not a number" for those who aren't aware of the JavaScript), at least for many English speakers and programmation languages... I can't find any prior consensus, could you please explain this original research? JackPotte 23:06, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Apparently, the concept of letters as ordinal numbers was introduced in Wiktionary in the entries s and n, through this edit this edit and this other edit, both from 2004. --Daniel. 23:39, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
We could RFV these if people want to, but I think they should just go. They are various typographical conventions for identifiying lists, I don't think these attach lexicographical meaning to the symbols used. (I went to the shops but forgot the eth thing on my list...). Some letters do have specific uses, and it's probably worth documenting those: n is used as a meta-variable, The nth item in a list is just an "arbitrary" one (yes, 14 is a good example of an arbitrary number, but no :p). As to the categories, I'd call these other uses symbols, not numbers. (I could be wrong, and if people think it's worth searching for cites of people using the Latin alphabet in place of a base-26 number system in English [i.e. not just as a simplistic encoding mechanism], by all means do). Conrad.Irwin 17:46, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Help:Creating a template[edit]

I've created this. Please better it and/or comment.​—msh210 17:24, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

{{el-noun}}[edit]

The Greek noun inflection line template now caters for neuter plural and invariant/undeclinable terms. —Saltmarshαπάντηση 15:41, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Gross abuse[edit]

For the past 7 months, I've been taking abuse by Opiaterein, and now, with his recent comments, here, here, and here, in addition to the numerous incorrect blocks and misuses of the blocking tool that he has done, it is in my opinion that he should be blocked at the very least, and possibly desysopped. Administrators should never personally attack another user, and should never misuse the blocking tool, or any of the other tools that they are given. He also threatened to block me which would be just for posting on his talk page, which isn't blockable according to the blocking policy.

According to the blocking policy, people cannot act uncivil towards one another persistently, and that is what I have been having to deal with for the past 7 months from Opiaterein. Therefore, he needs to be blocked, especially after the messages that he posted on his talk page.

He's now also taken to stalking me and changing pages that I just make, which is disconserting.

Thanks, Razorflame 18:52, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

You should take this to the General Assembly of UN, not Beer Parlour. --Vahagn Petrosyan 19:08, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Razorflame. THis kind of behaviour of an admin on such a project is clearly unacceptable. There's never a reason to offend other people. Especially admins should know the rules and shouldn't never post such comments. If this would be a project I'm a regular user on, I'd propose this user for desysop. Disrespectful and inappropriate comments and behaviour, even the message on the top is in my opinion against any rules and guidlines. "I bite" or something is against a normal behaviour guidline. The admin should at least be blocked for this behaviour. Barras 19:10, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your input, but we currently have 101 admins here. We are capable of resolving the issue without interference from outside. --Vahagn Petrosyan 19:18, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Some input from outsiders are sometimes better than always the same people... I know that my comment has just a little (if even this) weighting... But when I see such things, I'd like to observe it... And only because a project has lots of admins doesn't mean that all goes well. Barras 19:22, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Opiaterein has been blocked for this behaviour before, and Razorflame has been blocked for his behaviour before. I am at a loss as to what to do with the pair of them. Razorflame, you need to improve your memory, read back over comments from the past and stop making the same mistakes over and over again every time you pick up a new language. Opiaterein, be civil; it's boring, but useful - if you annoy enough people your opinions will be overruled just because it's you (that's how humans work, fallible as we are). Razorflame (and others) please don't quote "policy" you haven't read or that does not apply here. We're here to build a dictionary, if you don't want to help, then don't. Constructive criticism of Wiktionary is welcome on this page, as is constructive criticism of editors on their page. If you can't be constructive in your criticism, you should probably accept that your criticism is invalid. Posts like the above are boring and pointless, and have never, ever, acheived anything. Conrad.Irwin 19:27, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
What a great community that ignores such comments such as from Opiaterein. You allow people to be uncivil and unkind to each other. Must be a great working area here then. Operaterein wasn't block for the last comments, I assume. So the matter is still actual and should be discussed. Barras 19:32, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I also agree with Razorflame, a lot of the behavior I have seen from multiple admins has been completely out of line; Opiaterein has just been the most frequent and most flagrant of the bunch. Some of the behavior exhibited by admins would be block-worthy in a non-admin, and I see no reason for the double standard. There is no excuse to be uncivil, and many of the actions and words I have observed pass beyond uncivil into the territory of abusive. It is pretty clear to me that Opiaterein doesn't really care to be a team player, so I don't exactly understand why he opted to be an administrator. My advice would be that he give up that role so he can be himself without stirring up so much grief.
Vaghan's comment above is also disturbing to me. Someone came to the community with grievances and you mocked them for doing so. If your history with the user prevents you from being impartial then at least refrain from further abuse while the discussion is had. Contribute facts and opinions, leave your heckling to private communications. - TheDaveRoss 19:33, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Razorflame, you are (mis)repræsenting here the effect, but not the cause of Opiaterein's remarks concerning you. You unleashed them by reprehending Opiaterein for the design of his user page. From your experience in various WM projects, you are supposed to be aware that user pages are not censured or bowdlerised and users are allowed to make use of their imagination, if this does not infer racism or personal attacks, and this has not been trespassed in Opiaterein's user page. Thence, your harangue about Opiaterein's page would surely have incensed any other user. I am not defending the veracity of the content he inserted, but his right to shape his user page in whatsoever manner and at his leasure. As for the clamour aimed at blocking Opiaterein because of his concept of his user page and because of his retorts to said harangue, this is in sooth no option here. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 19:33, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

He badgers me and telling him to leave me alone doesn't work. So I don't bother making an effort to be kind. That's all, really. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 19:44, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Does being rude help then? I think it doesn't. Barras 19:46, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
You don't make an effort to be kind, you don't make an effort to be civil. You clearly state that you don't intend to be civil. Why on Earth would you sign up for a job which requires civility? Why on Earth would you continue to communicate with people you clearly have no desire to communicate with? You are trolling him and he is trolling you and it is all completely counter to the spirit and purpose of this project. It isn't at all helpful and you know this. - TheDaveRoss 19:47, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I've been around here since long before RF, and he is the first user to ever go out of his way to communicate with me knowing well that I don't want to communicate with him. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 19:49, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
And where is the reason to be allowed to be unkind? Barras 19:55, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I agree with Conrad.Irwin and (especially) with TheDaveRoss. Razorflame and Opiaterein have both behaved unacceptably, as have some of Opiaterein's fellow thugs; the difference is that the latter are admins, so should be held to a high standard. (And if their behavior doesn't improve, I do support eventual de-sysopping, but I think it's a bit premature at this stage.) —RuakhTALK 19:53, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

So it's acceptable for regular users to badger admins and continually seek to find ways to have them removed. Has everyone forgotten that he went to Meta to get Semper desys'ed over a block he disagreed with?
And it's ok for users to continually ignore suggestions from various admins and similarly long-established users. That's pretty cool. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 20:00, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
What? No. As I said, Razorflame has behaved unacceptably. But his unacceptable behavior doesn't justify yours. —RuakhTALK 20:10, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
1-0 to Barras! (though pushing for answers is mean). Opiaterein, please accept the criticism of your civility with good grace, the Razorflame issue can be round two. Conrad.Irwin 20:06, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Everyone should be kind and civil, admin or normal user. But seeing such comments as you said to Razorflame on your talk page is counter-productive. Both sides have to live with consequences if they can't follow simple rules like being civil. Barras 20:12, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I have and will continue to admit that it's unnecessary for me to be so rude, but I can't say that without pointing out that it's unnecessary for him to behave the way he does. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't behave that way with anyone else. Even Ullmann (who I openly despise) doesn't get this kind of treatment from me. The specific way in which RF behaves toward me is what elicits the specific response - my harsh incivility. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 20:10, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
That still does not mean that it is allowable to do so. Razorflame 20:11, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

- I don't know anything about the issue but it reminds me of something I've heard a lot: "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all". --67.217.0.108 20:02, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

That would be nice, but if you ignore RF, he frequently asks "why aren't you answering? You can at least have the decency to respond". — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 20:10, 28 April 2010 (UTC)


I don't know. It's not my issue..... --67.217.0.108 20:28, 28 April 2010 (UTC)


I would think that Opiaterein's "You're a fucking moron" as addressed to Razorflame would be blockable. But what do I know. Also, however, Razorflame should have been blocked by breaking his own promise, at least for a week. --Dan Polansky 20:03, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
He already has been (for months on end..), he just doesn't seem to learn. Conrad.Irwin 20:06, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I seem to genuinely want to help this Wiktionary more than other people by trying to clean up the atmosphere that one has to work in. If you want to block me for doing that, then go ahead, but know that it would be inappropriate. Razorflame 20:08, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Cool. It's a laudable goal, but as I've hinted at thus far, you are doing it the wrong way. If you want to make Wiktionary better, you need to make proactive, and acheivable suggestions. Ideally those which make "common sense" to the various trolls we have sitting in the wings. Maybe, this once, you've managed to get a point through to Opiaterein (on the 5th public attempt?), but you are playing a very dangerous game, which makes people distrust and dislike you. By setting a good example, and making constructive comments, you can hope that other people will want to follow your example. At the moment it sounds like do as I say and not as I do. Conrad.Irwin 20:15, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
@RazorFlame: I beleive that you genuinely want to help this Wiktionary, but you always end up hurting it. Ordinary people start editing Wiktionary like this: screwup-goodedit-screwup-goodedit-goodedit-screwup-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-screwup-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-screwup-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit-goodedit...
And you're like this screwup-goodedit-screwup-screwup-goodedit-screwup-screwup-goodedit-screwup-screwup-goodedit-screwup-screwup-goodedit-screwup-screwup.
I.e., you are not learning. You are botching entries in languages you have no clue about. And you have the chutzpah to expect us to clean up your mess. Add to this occasional drama queen outbursts in Beer Parlour like this.
Please, take up another hobby. Origami, for example. --Vahagn Petrosyan 20:25, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't see that at all. You continue to ignore requests to not make entries in languages you don't speak, but continue to do so. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 20:11, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually, that is where you are wrong. I have not made any entries in any languages that someone has specifically told me not to in the past. Furthermore, I would stop editing in languages if and when the native speakers of those languages want me to stop because I make mistakes. I must not be making mistakes because nobody has piped up. Razorflame 20:14, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
No, people ask you "Don't make edits to languages you don't speak"... and you promise you won't, but then you pick another language to edit. One that...you don't speak. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 20:18, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Nope, nobody has asked that of me in the past two months because I've been making sure the entries that I add are correct before I add them. Therefore, they've had no reason to say that to me. Razorflame 20:21, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
You two have had this conversation 27 times before, it is not necessary to repeat it now, we can just go and look in the archives. Conrad.Irwin 20:23, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

How about we roll a dice. On 1, block opi. On 2, block Razorflame. On 3, block both. On 4, 5, and 6, continue a long long discussion about ethics and civility that does not actually change anything. -- Prince Kassad 20:17, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I am not resigned to the fact that this is a futile discussion. I would like to prevent it from degrading into yet another argument between Razorflame's posse and Opiaterein's posse though. I think we can all agree that things are not the way they should be, and that Wiktionary as a whole is suffering from the status quo. That is a great place to start. - TheDaveRoss 20:21, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Conrad.Irwin 20:23, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
If anyone should be blocked, it should be Opiaterein, because his behavior was more aggregious and was against the blocking policy, whereas mine was not. Razorflame 20:24, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Razorflame, I appreciate you bringing up this important topic, but at this point I can't imagine there would be anything better for your case than for you to listen in rather than contribute. No matter what you say here, or how you say it, it will be construed as inflammatory. - TheDaveRoss 20:28, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Several admins here think that incivility is all right. Discussions about civility are classed by some admins as petty and needless. But we do not need to discuss about civility: it would suffice to block incivility on sight without much ado. --Dan Polansky 20:27, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
the problem is you have to fight against the SC clan (opiaterein, Ivan Stambuk, Va-, Va- Vhatever). Good luck in that, they always protect each other and fight against non-members like us. -- Prince Kassad 20:31, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
What the hell? There is no SC "clan". There is just me, and people who have enough brains and courage to tell the anti-SC clan (you, Robert Ullmann, Amgine, DCDuring) to sod off. It is you who have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, have no competence in Serbo-Croatian language whatsoever, and yet have the courage to troll abut it and tell others what to do. Ullman should have been desysoped and blocked long time ago for his disgusting dirty lies, e-mail propaganda to uninvolved Wiktionary admins, WMF board and meta. The only reason why you "support" him is because you're all hopelessly morally bankrupt, and enjoy sharing common idle time at that IRC channel. --Ivan Štambuk 05:45, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

To keep the status quo means that we stop this discussion and wait 4 weeks for the next incident. This is not really the best idea. Barras 20:30, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I understand to an extent some of opiaterein's actions. I'm not gonna get really involved in this I will endeavour to make sure that people here know exactly the way things stand (particularly you Barras, since as you put it you are an "outsider") Razorflame has often made erroneous contributions in languages he doesn't speak (or doesn't speak very well) As people have said he has been told many times to stop but often he does something similar not very long afterwards. Thankfully, I have been lucky enough to never have had a problem with a user that escalated this far but if I had a problem like this (even if not on Wiktionary) going on for quite some time I wouldn't be surprised if I snapped and told them to fuck off. Don't think though that that is to be seen as a manifesto of my feelings regarding Razorflame.

I'm just throwing the point out there that while civility is needed, "over-niceyness" is inappropriate and a bit ridiculous in some situations. Like, once on Wikipedia I'm sure I saw a user being warned (read, warned not blocked for a time) after performing an edit that was blatant vandalism...That's when AGF is an ass. To compare to real life, do you think a thief who gets caught is going to be just warned? I think not... 50 Xylophone Players talk 20:37, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

These are two different issues. The discussion about how to handle Razorflame is not what we are about here. What we are trying to discuss here is the way we conduct ourselves and whether or not recent behavior is acceptable or desirable. - TheDaveRoss 20:41, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Incivility does yield a short block, enough time to cool down. A new editor whose edits are mostly uncivil or not productive will be permablocked (if not an anonip), but a long-standing editor with many productive edits won't be: it has nothing to do with being an admin AFAICT. Should Ric be blocked for a short period so he can cool down? Sure, when he's seemingly not cool: that does not seem to be the case at the time I'm writing this. Likewise RF, and anyone else. Admins required to be civil no more or less than any other editor, and are expected to be civil no more or less than any other long-time editor. Abuse of admin tools is a good reason for desysoping; abuse of editor tools (e.g., editing uncivilly) is not, unless the admin is to be permablocked. (See also an approach to successive offenses.)​—msh210 20:58, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I've been cool for quite some time now. The only thing that keeps me from being cool is RF talking to me when there is no need for it. (Was it not remarkably obvious that promoting myself to near-native status on a score of languages was a joke?) — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 21:27, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
An administrator is expected to be cool-headed, mature, and not prone to outbursts of swearing and whatnot. Furthermore, no, it was not obvious; that was the main reason why I made that observation. Even though I made the observation, you are expected to respond in a civil manner, as should be expected from every editor here on this project. When you did not respond civally is when I have a problem with you. If you did not respond incivilly, we would not be here right now. Razorflame 21:43, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
If you rise to it, he wins. (And the same goes the other way around). Sorry to treat you both like children, but... Conrad.Irwin 21:57, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Abuse of admin tools is a good reason for desysoping; abuse of editor tools (e.g., editing uncivilly) is not - I strongly disagree. An admin is a person most people will head for when they need assistance, so an admin is required to have at least basic communication skills. If he does not have them, he's not fit for the admin role. -- Prince Kassad 21:04, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
People will go to whomever they see on discussion pages: I doubt many will check the list of admins. I may well be wrong.​—msh210 21:34, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
A block for incivility should be punitive, not to let someone time to cool down. --Dan Polansky 21:10, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Prince Kassad; like it or not, administrators represent the project. If I visit Wikibooks and an editor is rude to me, that tells me something about that editor. If I visit Wikibooks and an administrator is rude to me, that tells me something about that project. If an admin there blocks me, I might go to his talk-page to ask about it. If I discover that he's proud to "bite", and that his most recent talk-page discussion is one in which he's made incredibly abusive comments to another editor, that tells me I should leave the project and take my contributions elsewhere. That's true even if the block was justified, and even if there was back-story with that other editor.
But even if I accepted your point, Msh210, I'd argue that there are more admin tools than just those provided by the software. For example, the ability to threaten to block a user (such as Opiaterein's recent "I'm tired of dealing with you and you will be blocked if you continue to go out of your way to bother me with bullshit") is an admin tool, in that it's a tool that a non-admin lacks.
RuakhTALK 21:41, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree with that last (i.e. re tools).​—msh210 21:44, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it is a mistake to treat admins as though they are role models. As far as I can tell they are simply people who a) want to help the project, b) we trust not to make a mess. That said, it is very, very, common for people to assume that c) are nice people - mainly (I claim) because there is often a correlation between people we trust and people we like. I agree with the comment above about the correlation being between new users and long-term users, the statistics are somewhat skewed as most of our long-term users are admins. I think it is unreasonable to enforce (c), though we can continue to expect it. I do think there should be more of an atmosphere of scolding those who disappoint us, though it is often socially hard to do so (I certainly find it harder than it should be to tell someone they've made an important mistake). Thirdly, and somewhat ramblingly, I think it is a mistake to assume that we can monitor incivility - the worst problems are caused by actions or comments that are not blatently rude, but are none-the-less impolite. Conrad.Irwin 21:57, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
It is not about being nice and friendly; it is merely about avoiding verbal abuse such as "you're a fucking moron". A person whose control over himself does not suffice to prevent writing "you're a fucking moron" should not be an admin. I do not see how enforcing avoidance of such language on the side of admins is unreasonable. No monitoring of incivility is needed; it suffices that blocking happens upon notice. --Dan Polansky 22:11, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Suggestion: Let's impose a restraining order on both RF and Opi. —Internoob (DiscCont) 23:12, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Why has Opiaterein did this? 23 and 25 April he blocked infinitely users Sokac121 (not a single word of explanation!) and Roberta F. (Opiaterein's comment was "Nationalistic vandalism").
Sokac121's edit was [17], Opiaterein reverted [18], Roberta F. reverted to the same (enriched!) version of Sokac 121 [19].
These edits weren't blanking, but enriching the article. No Croat, Serb, Bosniac or Montenegrin 'd consider Sokac121's and Roberta F.'s edits as "nationalism" and "vandalism".
Sokac121 and Roberta F. weren't vandalising. They meant good. They weren't behaving offensively, there was no personal attacks.
Why has Opiaterein blocked them infinitely?
2 days later, he reverted Roberta F.'s edit on article mnijenje [20] (19:15, 27 April). Roberta F. added plural forms, that do exist. Minute later he blocked her on 3 days [21] ("reverting instead of re-adding is even worse.").
Opiaterein names such contributions as "bullshit" [22] (19:22, 27 April 2010 ). That's not truth, Ivan Štambuk knows what I'm talking about, he can confirm my words [23].
User Roberta F. surely won't dare to object, since he blocked her infinitely 2 days ago and then for 3 days.
Razorflame's case is not the lone case. Kubura 01:51, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Kubura, your round of trolling is the last thing we need here. Go write some articles on Uzbekistan hockey players. --Ivan Štambuk 05:53, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Ivane Štambuče, please, don't attack me. Please, don't etiquette me. Please, have understanding when I'm writing things that deal with the topic. Kubura 01:01, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Personal abuse is not acceptable behaviour from administrators. It doesn't help resolve disputes, it's amateurish and it's embarrassing. And if that is not set down somewhere in policy then it should be. Ƿidsiþ 06:06, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • My impression is that Razorflame has been deliberately trolling on Opiaterein's talkpage over the last few months, leaving provocative messages in order to stimulate "abusive" response which would then, after enough accumulation, be used as an "evidence" of Opiaterein's incompetence in handling user interaction, and as a justification for his desysop/block. Given Razorflame's prior history of disruptive editing, and the fact that he has been specifically warned several times by several users (me included) not to engage into any kind of unnecessary communication with Opiaterein, which likely to provoke an emotionally-charged response and the (ab)use of block button, I think that Razarflome deserves at least equal, if not much larger, share of reprimand. It's pointless to observe this whole situation as one-dimensional problem out of context, Razorflame being treated as a user vulgaris X, and Opiaterein as violent admin "unable" to engage in a civil discussion. It's much more subtle than that, and especially seeing several irregulars making their sudden appearance here uninvited (no doubt IRC had something to do with that), and IMHO it's safe to assume that at least partially this absurd harangue is driven by coordinated forces whose purpose is to specifically target certain users. How to solve this problem? Very simply: since Opiaterein is infinitely times more valuable contributor, Razorflame should be indefblocked. Like comrade Stalin used to say: No man - no problem. --Ivan Štambuk 06:22, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
No offense Ivan, but seeing as you are so close to Opiaterein, I do not believe that your input in this matter should be given at this point in time because it would be obvious that you would have a conflict on interest in this case, which when someone usually has a conflict of interest in something, they shouldn't be involving themselves in it. Furthermore, I do not "troll" anybody. I ask questions and expect civil responses. That was not given by Opiaterein. End of discussion. Razorflame 21:27, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
In a community like this, and an issue like this, everyone has a conflict-of-interest (or everyone who could possible give useful input anyway). Please stop vilifying Opiaterein, that has been done enough already. Conrad.Irwin 21:30, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what do you mean by "close to Opiaterein". The only communication I've had with him outside Wiktionary is exchanging two e-mails, which is light years apart from you bringing your IRC bullies who were told god-knows-what to preach about "what should admin do" and "how should admin behave", with their one-letter number of contributions in the main namespace. I am merely trying to remark on the entire situation from the position of a neural bystander. I see everything in terms of variables, input and output. Your personal signal-to-noise ratio is very low, you seem to be getting into lots of conflictive situations that could've been easily avoided, and seem to have a predilection for organizing harangues against individuals with much higher level of productiveness. I perceive you as an anomaly that could easily be dispensed with. --Ivan Štambuk 05:48, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
No man - no problem. He-he. Another one: "Or something along those lines" - Stalin said in response to whether an actor who looked exactly like him should be executed or simply forced to change his hair style and remove the moustache. At first Stalin suggested to execute the poor actor but then the director humbly suggested - "Maybe he could just shave his moustache?" - Yeah, something like that! said the great leader. Jokes aside, I don't agree that Razorflame should be blocked for good at the moment but he has been given many chances but this case is arguable. I will continue observing and will express my opinion later. --Anatoli 06:39, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The claim that Opiaterein is a mere victim of Razorflame, and that his abusive behavior is caused by Razorflame is utter nonsense. Opiaterein has a track record of abusive behavior that predates Razorflame's activity on Wiktionary. Opiaterein is fully responsible for his use of abusive language; no attempt should be made to causally explain that sort of abusive response made by Opiaterein by Razorflame's activity. When that attempt is made by another abusive fellow, that only fits together. --Dan Polansky 08:15, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The fact that Opiaterein has a record of "abusive" behavior is unrelated. As I said, this cannot be viewed as an isolated incident with respect to their former interactions. Razorflame in particular has had a long history not only of contentious editing, but also of organizing off-wiki activities in one of which he has even manged to get Opiaterein desysoped by one of the naive stewards (who regretted that hasty decision later). Razorflame has made no attempts to focus on productive Wiktionary work other than which includes conflictive behavior, ignoring advice not do so. About few months ago while I was on wiki-break I even received abusive e-mail from him which he "threatens" me to stop making Serbo-Croatian edits, citing: If it were up to me, your merging after the vote closed as no consensus would all be reverted as vandalism, and you would most likely be desysopped and indef blocked, but that would be the scenario if I were in charge. To him Wiktionay is just a social playground where he wants to exert influence on individuals as if moving chess-pieces. He has no interest in learning any of the various languages he's been making edits in. It is essential that he's evaluated as a collective all his past and present actions, and not, as I said, user vulgaris who made a provocative comment and was discharged with abusive retort.
Regarding this: When that attempt is made by another abusive fellow, that only fits together. - I will not tolerate this Polansky. If you have any issues with my written conduct or sysop actions of recent, feel free to bring them up on my talk page. --Ivan Štambuk 09:23, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
"I will not tolerate this Polansky." What in the world do you mean by that? --Dan Polansky 12:08, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm fascinated that out of the entire reply you comment on the most irrelevant remark. --Ivan Štambuk 05:35, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
So you don't answer, right? What did you mean by "I will not tolerate this Polansky"? I would like to know that, to confirm my reading of that remark. --Dan Polansky 08:05, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
It means that I will not sit back silently while somebody publicly makes preposterous, unfounded accusations against me. It is logically connected to the next sentence where I offer my talkpage to settle any real or imagined abuse issues. You cannot just quote that statement out of context and cogitate on its meaning. --Ivan Štambuk 08:17, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
So what in particular does it mean? What kind of actions come under the head of "I will not sit back silently"? Am I misreading "I will not tolerate this Polansky" when I construe it as a threat?
Re "... while somebody publicly makes preposterous, unfounded accusations against me." The accusations ("abusive fellow") are well founded and are tracked in the revision history of wiki pages, as you probably know. If you desire that I provide a list of quotations and references, I can serve this request. --Dan Polansky 10:06, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
What kind of actions come under the head of "I will not sit back silently" - Actions of dismantling your inflammatory garbage whenever you try to use it as a logically fallacious argument.
Am I misreading "I will not tolerate this Polansky" when I construe it as a threat? - You are too paranoid.
The accusations ("abusive fellow") are well founded and are tracked in the revision history of wiki pages, as you probably know. - Again, more trolling from Polansky. As I said: if you have any issues with real or imaginary abuse or misconduct by me, my talkpage is open for discussion. If you don't, try sticking to the topic, or don't comment at all. So far you haven't provided any real counter-evidence to my theory that Razorflame's anti-Opiaterein exhortation fits nicely into his more general history of unproductive behavior, and that ultimately the net effect of his actions is negative. --Ivan Štambuk 10:39, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Your talk page is a wrong venue for this subject. This thread is not only about incivility from Opiaterein but also about incivility in Wiktionary in general. In this thread, you have been defending Opiaterein's actions, so it is good to know in this thread that you are the other uncivil person on English Wiktionary; no other comes to my mind but you and Opiaterein. Your theory that Opiaterein is a mechanoid who automatically responds to provocative stimulus by generating a vulgar response is either wrong, or, if it is right, it is a sufficient reason to desysop the mechanoid. A human should be held accountable for his inappropriate response. Opiaterein's response "Pardon my French, but are you fucking retarded?" was addressed to another user but Razorflame. Opiaterein's "Oh hi. Be warned. I bite. Exercise caution when approaching me with any issue you may have with anything" is addressed to any user, not one in particular. --Dan Polansky 12:01, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Oi. This thread is not the place for extolling the virtues of one set of users while ridiculing another - this sub-conversation has many strong parallels with the Opiaterein/Razorflame sub-conversations (that I hope are obvious to both of you). Conrad.Irwin 12:19, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
The only thing that is obvious to me is that you have repeatedly opposed any action that would reduce profanity in Wiktionary. --Dan Polansky 12:22, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't deny that I am more against public vilification than choice of vocabulary. As elsewhere in this conversation, I would encourage people to tell others when they feel the line has been crossed (in private/on talk pages), but I remain strongly opposed to public vilification and automatic sanctions. Profanity is a symptom of underlying problems, removing profanity will not remove the problems, just make them much harder to spot. I am also very doubtful of the notion that incivility of an action can be classified (even if a full understanding of the surrounding situation is available). Conrad.Irwin 13:43, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I am not wholly sure what you mean when you say that the notion of incivility cannot be classified, but this seems to lie at the heart of the problem. If you mean by that there is no way to practically determine whether someone has been incivil, I do not think this at all. There are fuzzy edges between civility and incivility, but there are also clear areas of the two regions. The utterances "You're a fucking moron" and "In other words, if you - someone I very openly despise and wish death upon - are going to communicate with me" (italics by me) lie very clearly at the center of the region of incivility; if you do not acknowledge that, then I do not know whether there is anything you consider uncivil at all. While you say that you would encourage people to tell others when they feel the line has been crossed, you yourself have never told Opiaterein in a clear and unambigous manner that you think that he has crossed the line. You probably do not think that Opiaterein has crossed any line. Very few admins in this thread say very clearly that Opiaterein has crossed the line. Overall, Opiaterein can sense an overwhelming support for his abusive behavior from Wiktionary community, as only a minority of editors want to or dare express a clear disapproval, whether leading to a punishment or not. --Dan Polansky 07:28, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't beleive (in this particular case) that it would have been possible to reply to Razorflame politely (though I have addressed comments to both about previous issues). Something on the lines of "Thank you very much for reminding me of something I've been telling you continually for the last seven months. I have taken your criticism on board, but still feel my actions are the correct ones." would just come out as sarcastic (and be a lie). I regard much as incivil (for a deliberately inflammatory example, your continued goading of Ivan, and his overly-defensive replies), though maintain that poor choice of language is an indicator (probably also dependant on personal background) rather than incivility in itself. From this point of view, I don't see any way to deal with profanity without incivility just becoming hidden in these much more subtle rudenesses that no-one can point a finger at. Conrad.Irwin 10:22, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Your talk page is a wrong venue for this subject. - My takpage is precisely the right type of venue for discussing alleged abuse or misconduct problems that pertain to me. As I repeatedly stated: If you have some issues to bring up, bring them up there, otherwise stop spreading FUD.
This thread is not only about incivility from Opiaterein but also about incivility in Wiktionary in general. - I agree, but your accusations have been particlarly directed againt me, not in general. You made it sound as if my statements are less truthful because they were made by me, not because they're inherently so.
In this thread, you have been defending Opiaterein's actions, so it is good to know in this thread that you are the other uncivil person on English Wiktionary; no other comes to my mind but you and Opiaterein. - How about Robert Ullmann? It's most interesting that you omit him. If you didn't find his rants as deeply uncivil, you really are one strange person. My "uncivility" is primarily targeted against him and his mindless minions making those half-baked arguments, arguments in which they have absolutely zero personal interest and who are doing so simply because they're bored IRC trolls. I assure you that I have very high threshold of tolerance for various forms of human stupidity and all imaginable forms of ideological/religious/ethnic indoctrination which I unfortunatelly encounter on a daily basis. Patterns of human idiocy never fail to fascinate me. Beside that malevolent clique comprised of 3-4 low-profile editors, I have had good relations and civilized, productive discussions with most of the Wiktionay community that I crossed my path with. You make it sound as if I'm some kind of an uncivilized savage incapable of normal interaction, which is a preposterous accusation that I must reject with complete and utter abhorration.
Your theory that Opiaterein is a mechanoid who automatically responds to provocative stimulus by generating a vulgar response is either wrong, or, if it is right, it is a sufficient reason to desysop the mechanoid. - No it's not a sufficient reason, because such vulgar response can be made even withouth sysop rights. It doesn't solve the probem, neither generally nor in this particular case. But it sure does sound as a good excuse for getting rid of Opiaterein, wich has been a thorn in your side for quite long. As I said: Opiaterein's response isn't exemplary, but to me it's pretty obvious that we're dealing with a problematic editor (Razorflame) who's been deliberately provoking Opiaterein, suddenly making bombastic request to sanction uncivil behavior, with some obscure dudes making appearance, with Razroflame acting as a saint and pushing for a desysop as the only "solution". If this were brought up by some other uninvolved editor, I'd bite, but now it seems so glaringly obvious that it's primarily a personal issue between those two gone amok.
A human should be held accountable for his inappropriate response. - You sound like some totalitarian ideologist justifying the existence of thought-police. No, human can be accountable only for his actions at the expense of other humans. For example, if Razorflame committed factually incorrect edit in some language in which he is not very proficient in, with his edit promptly reverted with some vulgar (f-word) remark by Opiaterein, the only one deserving reprimand is actually Razorflame. It is very unlikely that the same vulgar response would be met with some other established editor making an occasional blunder, or benevolent language learner still making his way through the basics. I personally find any restraints on the freedom of speech as an absurd and immoral (because one doesn't have the right to curb other people's rights which are derived from the laws of nature). People give too much importance to words instead of the message conveyed. It is much more material 1) what do words mean 2) how does that project in the long-term. One can be equally uncivil without resorting to profanities.
Opiaterein's response "Pardon my French, but are you fucking retarded?" was addressed to another user but Razorflame. - That would be this edit, where apparently Opiaterein thought that Carolina wren was proposing a deletion of all Cantonese topical categories under the justification of Cantonese being "dialect and not a full-fledged language", which was later clarified as incorrect. This was an overreaction by Opiaterein, but it was given in exceptional circumstances, rather than being representative of his general interaction with Wiktionary populace. Plus those two also share a line of confrontation through User:Carolina wren's absurd cogitations of Serbo-Crotian, where she has striven to prove that 4 national standards based on the same subdialect can theoretically be 4 different languages, using many fallacious and inapplicable linguistic generalizations and analogies while advocating so. Regardless, however, Opiaterein's response to User:Carolina wren was way out of line, but you cannot simply observe it as an isolated incident out of context. If he were a decent person he would offer some apologies after the issue was clarified. (But I don't think he's much of a decent person.)
Opiaterein's "Oh hi. Be warned. I bite. Exercise caution when approaching me with any issue you may have with anything" is addressed to any user, not one in particular. - I see nothing problematic in that opening message, especially with that funny lolcat picture attached. You're talking things too seriously Polansky. Chill out. --Ivan Štambuk 14:11, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I declare this a "victory Polansky!" - seriously, do you really think such a reply was warranted or helpful? (like I said to Razorflame and Opiaterein, the more you reply, the less good you look to everyone else - we can all read and judge people's words for ourselves) Conrad.Irwin 14:16, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I expressed my opinion in the most concise possible manner. I don't care much what others think of me, this is not a popularity contest. Some things have to be clarified for everyone's sake. --Ivan Štambuk 14:36, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Things were clear enough before - we don't need commentry added to every statement to be able to interpret it correctly (anyone who does need such explanation can be safely ignored as their ability to debate is likely highly restricted). As I said to Opiaterein, you might not care, but you will find that getting things done right is easier if you don't annoy people. Conrad.Irwin 14:59, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Quoting 'Opiaterein's "Oh hi. Be warned. I bite. Exercise caution when approaching me with any issue you may have with anything" is addressed to any user, not one in particular. - I see nothing problematic in that opening message, especially with that funny lolcat picture attached. You're talking things too seriously Polansky. Chill out.': Thank you for proving my points. It is very clear that you support Opiaterein's vulgar behavior, and that you show abusive behavior yourself. I have forgotten what the typical length of your responses is, of course reduced to a bare necessary minimum by your account. --Dan Polansky 07:36, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
You're crazy. --Ivan Štambuk 10:28, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I would support restraining orders for both Razorflame and Opiaterein. Let them get on with improving the project and not waste time abusing each other. ---> Tooironic 08:47, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
    How's this:
    1. One may not edit the pages in the other's user space, including talk pages
    2. One may not block the other
    3. One may not revert the other's edits
    4. One may not email the other
    5. Violations will be punishable by a block of a week, plus another week for every repeat offence
    The obvious work-around will be to get someone else to do it for them if it really needs to be done, but that will be more acceptable because the discretion of another user is involved. —Internoob (DiscCont) 22:56, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The "revert" rule is dangerous, and I'd argue that it's harmful to Wiktionary (unless of course they're allowed to "undo" each others edits). And, of course, once they are allowed to edit the same articles, they will talk to each other (they've been asked not to talk to each other before - it lasted for a week or so). I agree with the "no blocking". The block sentence should double on each offense, and it should be remembered that they've both already been blocked for talking to each other. Conrad.Irwin 23:09, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
They can always discuss any article on the article's talk page without resorting to each other's user talk pages. That could boost the activity in our Talk space, which is rather scanty. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 06:35, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Notice: I have blocked Razorflame for (once again) editing in languages he does not speak. In the past five minutes, he's created entries in Catalan, Galician, and Romanian. We ought to consider a permanent ban as a possible (partial) solution to the problem. I, for one, am fed up with his failure to learn and continued disruptive dramatics. --EncycloPetey 02:50, 30 April 2010 (UTC)


I feel this has gotten overly specific, and has turned punitive where it need not have. What seems to be the case is that we have allowed a culture to develop where harassment is acceptable; where disrespect goes without comment. I hope that we as a community can change this fact and hold each other accountable for a reasonable amount of civility and cooperation. We will just have to have this discussion over again the next time two people don't get along if we don't make some decisions about what expectations we have for behavior here. Once those decisions are made we should adhere to them and hold one another accountable to them as well. I would be especially happy if there was a code of conduct or similar which was developed out of this, some short list or few paragraphs stating how we as a community expect the members to behave with regards to other community members. - TheDaveRoss 02:52, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

I'm afraid that's the norm, not just for here (or even for wikis), but for human organizations in general. It's been said that the history of any organization is recorded in its bylaws. Whatever general principles we derive from this instance will likely be stongly specific to, and colored by, this particular incident. The next incident will produce new aspects that weren't forseen, and the process of arguing revision will likely begin.
Even if some guidelines are voted in and universally supported by the admins, our active adminship drifts in composition over time, and those same measures could be voted back out. Even if they are voted in, and kept in, and the community chooses to adhere to them, they become a focus for dreading wiki-lawyering. Even worse, we could end up like the English Wikipedia, which does have behavior guidelines, but they're often ignored selectively on a case-by-case basis by "voting" by the community in each incident report whether to apply the penalties or ignore them because of personal opinons.
So, I'm obviously pessimistic about putting effort into such a set of guidelines, even though the concept itself, in its purest form, is one I like. --EncycloPetey 03:07, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm against every unnecessary regulation on the freedom of speech. Such laws never work and are always exploited. Once the people start to have "right to be offended", it all turns to a travesty of itself. These incidents should be handled by a vote on an individual basis, rather than by a generic guideline that is likely to never scale on any other case other than the one it was based on (as EncycloPetey notes above). It's appealing to human psyche solve crises by even more regulation, because it gives the impression that "something was done", but it is not the answer in the long-term. When somebody misbehaves and starts to be more abusive than a productive factor, that will undoubtedly be perceived from a wider community and the appropriate sanctions could be put forth by a community vote. Which, even if doesn't pass, would no doubt have a corrective effect upon the conduct of everyone involved. --Ivan Štambuk 06:06, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't want laws, I want a statement of expectations. I am not looking for something to be used for legalism, but for furthering this discussion in a venue which is not as shaded by the specifics of one particular incident. I want all administrators and long time users to collectively put together a set of ideas which express how we think administrators should comport themselves within the scope of this project. I have heard from a several fronts that I am not alone in thinking that behavior and culture on this wiki has deteriorated to the point where wishing death on another user is a matter of course, where profane ridicule is a standard opening response to even trivial errors. That is not a culture in which productivity and cooperation are enhanced. It is not the kind of culture that will grow Wiktionary. It is not the kind of culture that I want to see here. Free speech is not unlimited on this project, most of us spend most of our time here blocking people for saying things we don't want them to say. Holding one another accountable is what we fail to do. - TheDaveRoss 10:11, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
where profane ridicule is a standard opening response to even trivial errors - can you give examples for that?
Free speech is not unlimited on this project, most of us spend most of our time here blocking people for saying things we don't want them to say -- 99% of blocks are for vandalisms or for creating garbage entries. I don't really remember anybody being blocked because he said something "wrong" (as opposed to did something wrong, in terms of faulty editing).
Regarding everything else: perhaps you should start some page clarifying this further because I don't really see what you have in mind there. I see current Wiktionary community as a very productive and cooperative. Yes there are cabals and tensions over some controversial issues, but that's perfectly normal. --Ivan Štambuk 11:04, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I guess my thinking is that since this entire project is a matter of written words, every action is something of a speech issue. Blocking someone for writing "Joe is a gaylord." is just as much a restriction of speech as is blocking someone for writing "I wish you were dead", or "you are all morons". As for examples of overly harsh responses to trivial issues, nearly every interaction between Razorflame and Opiaterein can provide these. Almost every organization I have ever been a part of has had some form of code which expresses the purpose and spirit of the organization. Codes of conduct, as Wikipedia puts it, are: "Principles, values, standards, or rules of behavior that guide the decisions, procedures and systems of an organization in a way that (a) contributes to the welfare of its key stakeholders, and (b) respects the rights of all constituents affected by its operations." I just think we should have one too. - TheDaveRoss 19:44, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I would be in favor of starting such a code of conduct page. I think it would help solidify our feelings on the matter. --Bequw τ 22:49, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Apparently Razorflame has been blocked. Fow how long? Does the community agree with this? Are there other measures? I have unblocked him for now. --Anatoli 03:53, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Reblocked. Please do not unblock without consulting with the blocking admin, as that is inappropriate behavior. I have explained the reasons for blocking him on his talk page; they are unrelated to the current matter. The block was noted two paragraphs above, as well, if you had looked. Being part of a discussion does not give license to the affected parties to do as the please in other maters. --EncycloPetey 04:25, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I had the feeling that this was unjust or too harsh that's why I unblocked him. It seems there are many admins with conflicting feelings about what is right in this situation. Looking at block history, Razorflame has been blocked and unblocked. I am not completely used to my role as admin yet but I am sorry if I violated any rules. I still feel we are not being fair. --Anatoli 05:06, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Correct. It is not fair that one disruptive user should be able to whinge his way to an unblock every time he gets blocked. The unblock is usually for a reason unrelated to the block. I previously blocked him for abusive language, and he was unblocked for a promise to edit in specific languages, which is a completely separate issue. Here, he was not blocked because of any issue in the current discussion, but for an entirely separate issue. Being the subject of an ongioing dispute does not exempt a contributor from blocking for other problems. He has been warned, and blocked, for this same problem before. He has complained about each block until he has gotten his way from someone whom he convinced to feel sorry for him, then he expectes the same thing to happen the next time, and becomes abusive when he doens't get his way. It's childish, unacceptable, and this time the block is sticking. Period. This cycle is unfair to other users who don't know how to work the system, and we have admins who are enabling his behavior, which must also stop. --EncycloPetey 05:14, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Notice: I have blocked Razorflame for (once again) editing in languages he does not speak. In the past five minutes, he's created entries in Catalan, Galician, and Romanian. We ought to consider a permanent ban as a possible (partial) solution to the problem. I, for one, am fed up with his failure to learn and continued disruptive dramatics. --EncycloPetey 02:50, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Finally... someone sees what I see. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 15:29, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean "finally"? Most of us have been saying this for quite a while. I think you're mistaking our civility for blindness, which perhaps explains your own continued refusal to be civil. In that case, let me reassure you that no one is asking you to pluck out your eyes. :-)   —RuakhTALK 17:10, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I mean it's been a while since I've seen anyone say that they think he should finally be blocked indefinitely. It seems 4 out of 5 times he gets blocked, he's unblocked within 5 minutes. 3 out of those 5 tend to be blocks by me, but even the ones that I've set for 15 minutes or an hour are almost immediately overturned. You can also be civil and say "knock that off, you've been warned" but very few ever seem to actually do anything about it. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 17:30, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I can't speak for other admins, but personally I was inclined to be more lenient on Razorflame when I read the sort of harassment he had been the recipient of. I agree that his behavior has been counterproductive and in certain cases block-worthy, but what stands in the way of everyone agreeing that he should be blocked is the ongoing drama-fest that he has elicited out of a few admins here. It has elevated a simple case of corrective action into a community-wide, time-wasting, clique-forming fiasco. The simplest way to avoid these situations is to have admins who are willing to step back and hand off administrative duties when they know they are conflicted for whatever reason and will be unable to act impartially. There are ALWAYS other active admins, rise above the squabbles and everyone can get more work done with less effort. - TheDaveRoss 19:36, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
No amount of grief as the recipient of harassment justifies persisting in including incorrect information in the dictionary. An editor who so persists in that course of action after having been warned should be blocked, no matter their reason, and no matter what ill treatment they have received in the past. bd2412 T 19:51, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I think the more important principle is that no amount of incorrect information justifies harassment and abuse from an administrator. Ƿidsiþ 17:38, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Why is "Oh hi. Be warned. I bite. Exercise caution when approaching me with any issue you may have with anything." acceptable on an admin's talk page?--Prosfilaes 00:58, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Because he does bite. —Internoob (DiscCont) 03:35, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
It's because he's proud of biting, which isn't good; at least he advertises the fact I suppose... Conrad.Irwin 10:22, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm not proud or ashamed of my biting. :P I "advertise" it because I want people to know that I'm not always the least hostile person around. I've gotten some less-than-friendly messages before, and I don't tend to respond to those with a wink and a smile. — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 13:54, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Since you don't snap at people for no reason, perhaps your message should be, "I bite back". bd2412 T 17:07, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Oooh I like that... I might have to revise the message. Thanks :D — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 21:35, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
So the result of this whole discussion did not result in a block of Opiaterein for any period of time? I would be happy if an admin just blocked him for an hour with the summary "Intimidating behavior". Razorflame 05:02, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
The result is...... get over it and let's make a dictionary. Thanks --Rising Sun talk? contributions 07:44, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikimania 2010[edit]

Wikimania 2010, this year's global event devoted to Wikimedia projects around the globe, is accepting submissions for presentations, workshops, panels, and tutorials related to the Wikimedia projects or free content topics in general. The conference will be held from July 9-11, 2010 in Gdansk, Poland. For more information, check the official Call for Participation. Cbrown1023 talk 22:22, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

I hope these scholarships are still up for grabs. --Soleil levant 00:49, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

SOP included[edit]

I'd like to know the opinions of other editors on the following phenomenon, please. The English term come up currently has various definitions including the phrasal verbs "To come towards [...]", "To emerge or become known [...]", etc., but the first definition is "Used literally [...]". In other words, come and up, which I believe is a sum of parts. So, when a sum-of-parts happens to be spelled exactly like a non-SOP term, do we define the SOP version too? Other entries, such as ace of spades, also apparently have unexpected SOP definitions among non-SOP ones. --Daniel. 00:34, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

I can see the sense in providing the SoP definition when idiomatic definitions are being provided; sometimes a phrase is not being used idiomatically and we need to acknowledge that. If we omit that definition we are tacitly saying that the phrase is never used literally which is a bad thing. Compare your example to head over heels, your example is used both figuratively and literally, while head over heels is never literal. - TheDaveRoss 01:20, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
IMO, a problem of including a "literal" definition for multi-word entries with polysemic words as constituents is that there may be multiple literal definitions, possibly very many. To have the most common literal definition or the one that comes up in the contributor's thoughts while making the entry may suggest that the other meanings are "wrong". The only clear, bright line that leaves us with uncluttered entries includes all and only the truly idiomatic senses and excludes all and only the literal ones. I had earlier thought that we needed the literal senses for contrast, but have seen error in my previous ways. DCDuring TALK 01:45, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, perhaps we could build a template to acknowledge that non-idiomatic uses exist without specifying exactly which one(s). Perhaps it could give a brief note, such as "non-idiomatic senses" and link to an appendix which speaks about idiomaticity and Wiktionary's stance on it. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:00, 29 April 2010 (UTC)


Just off the top of my head I am thinking that more than about 2 literal definitions for one of these entries would be vanishingly rare. I suppose that there are some entries which would provide many literal definitions which would survive CFI sans SoP clause, but I don't see that as being a problem unless someone is deliberately trying to make it a problem by adding lots of SoP definition lines where they aren't useful. I guess I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other but I can see why they have been added in the past. - TheDaveRoss 02:03, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
If we try to explain SOP definitions throughly like it is done in ace of spades, many entries would probably have dozens of such definitions each. For instance, dead dog could possibly be defined as:
  1. Deceased domesticated animal of the genus Canus.
  2. (slang) Deceased and morally reprehensible person.
  3. (derogatory) Indifferent and ugly woman.
...and so on. I'd oppose such flood of definitions. Back to my example, if we do want SOP definitions, at least "Ace of spades." would convey the concept well; maybe better than the current "The playing card belonging to the spades suit and featuring one pip." for reasons stated above. --Daniel. 06:44, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I think ace of spades is a bad choice for an example, as it's possible SoPness is debatable. Personally I have argued (elsewhere) that it is quite valid in the same way as steering wheel is valid. Non SoP. However, we have digressed from the question which seems to have been directed mainly at the phrasal verb entries. In these entries, it is desirable, imho, to have SoP definitions along with the idiomatic ones for the reasons stated above by Dave Ross. Normally there is only one, or rarely 2 of these. But I would also be ok with a Usage note or template. Usage notes are good, because most phrasal verbs need that heading anyway to explain which uses allow separation of the particle. -- ALGRIF talk 09:39, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Phrasal verbs seem like a good test case. Do we need custom usage notes or would boilerplate be sufficient for phrasal verbs? DCDuring TALK 11:51, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Can't really be bothered reading this, as I'm trying to concentrate on entries instead of talk pages, but see {{&lit}}. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:43, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Right. This specifies that literal senses exist without stating what they are, thereby encompassing all of them. For dead dog, {{&lit|dead|dog}} displays Used other than as an idiom: see dead,‎ dog..​—msh210 16:10, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Thanks. -- ALGRIF talk 17:06, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
A good idea. The inflection-line blue links seem too elude some users. How many items can it take? BTW, I have found that MWEs that are clearly constituents of other MWEs are often not linked in the inflection line. Also, it is sometimes helpful to use section links to direct the user to a particular part of a dauntingly long entry. This allows pipes, doesn't it? DCDuring TALK 20:19, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
It can take 10 items (that can be augmented by modifying the code simply if it's deemed necessary). It does not take pipes, but does allow for customized display. The template's documentation says how: if there's a link in the first parameter, then only the first is displayed, so you'd need to have {{&lit|See '''[[foo]]''' and '''[[bar]]'''.}}. If there's desire, perhaps someone can better the code so it can take piped links (but, of course, this should ideally be done soon, before it's widely transcluded, if it's not backwardly compatible.)​—msh210 15:26, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
To me pipes seem more important than a large number of parameters. I wouldn't use this for, say, a proverb, which class is by far the most likely to contain more than 10 constituents. One could (even should) also often exclude mainly grammatical constituents (articles, determiners, prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions) unless they are used in an archaic, obsolete or otherwwise obscure sense. DCDuring TALK 15:56, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Would all entries with an idiomatic definition also inherently merit a literal one? An interesting example would be ears are burning (Used other than as an idiom: see ears,‎ are,‎ burning.); and, a little bird told me. --Daniel. 07:16, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I only bother with {{&lit}} when most uses of the word-sequence are actually literal, as I don't want to risk giving the impression that the non-SOP sense is what the phrase really means. A non-native speaker who looks up dead dog or pearl necklace would be misled if the only sense we gave was the non-SOP one. —RuakhTALK 14:52, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I OTOH bother with {{&lit}} where the literal uses are common, even if they don't comprise the majority of uses.​—msh210 15:26, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I certainly wouldn't do it for proverbs. It might be worth doing as a matter of course for true phrases, but not necessarily for clauses and sentences. Predicates and non-constituents might not warrant literal definitions as a matter of routine either. But we will probably only be able to tell by trying to apply the new template to a large number of cases. DCDuring TALK 15:56, 3 May 2010 (UTC)