Wiktionary:Information desk/Archive 2008/January-June

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January 2008


What should I do with "cusper"? Looking at Criteria for inclusion, it's hard to gauge if it has sufficient attestation, or if it is a protologism, or if it simply to be added to the list of requested words. As a newcomer, I created a talk page for "cusp". Would some other action have been better? Perhaps my question is more about how things get noticed, since simply creating a talk page might not be noticed. --Caswick 16:46, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

You've done the right thing so far. Questions about a single entry are best posted in the Tea Room. It is better to make an informed effort to create an entry that has the main elements of good format than to do a request. Word-specific talk pages are not usually very useful because the ratio of articles to contributors on Wiktionary is so high that there won't be any attention paid, as you had guessed. We use google books, scholar, news, and groups to find citations for current words like cusper. Little tricks like finding word combinations that exclude items from the search result (like the proper name "Cusper") that won't generate good quoations are helpful.
As to cusper, I think a variant of the first sense could be attested. I noted that there several specialized uses of the term to apply to people or things that fell between two categories. This more general definition would be able to use all of the specialized uses to become attested. DCDuring 17:13, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
Good thing s/he didn't ask about cuspy! [1] --Connel MacKenzie 00:35, 17 January 2008 (UTC)


The pages löschen and lotion are linked via a homophone section. Do we accept cross-language homophones? And are these in fact homophones? From what I remember at school all those years ago, the ö is pronounced longer than the o in lotion. WT:ELE mentions only that cross-language homophones are unlikely. --Keene 22:40, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

I'd bet that there is some dialect of German for which they are the same, but not standard Hochdeutsch. DCDuring 22:46, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
No, we do not accept cross-language homophones. Only homophones in the same language should be listed. Besides, these aren't even cross-lingual homophones. --EncycloPetey 22:54, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Tamarin monkeys

Looking for photos or info regarding the "monkey jar" traps that were used to catch monkeys by using their curiosity. monkey would reach in to grab food but couldn't release jar because they wouldn't unball fist with food.

This dictionary may not be the best place to look for photos. We define words. Why not try looking at Commons? --EncycloPetey 19:49, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I've only heard them called monkey traps but only figuratively - plausible that the literal item exits. (How would a monkey see inside a clay jar?) --Connel MacKenzie 00:15, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

looking for spelling

I have been looking for the correct spelling of this word, that most likely is not of english origin, maybe french? It means something beautiful, original or extraordinary mostly in art? For example: "I want this new building to have POSAS, POSASE, PO-SAIS? What is the correct spelling and the EXACT meaning of this word, please?

Do you mean pizzazz? --EncycloPetey 23:57, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

can someone help me? i need to know about the romans and who they fought with thnx

LOL i need help quick

Go and look Roman_Empire on Wikipedia, this is Wiktionary - a dictionary. Yours Conrad.Irwin 14:04, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

comparability at sense level

How does one indicate comparability/non-comparability distinctions among senses? Same way as countable/uncountable? DCDuring 00:00, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I don't know that this issue has come up before in discussion, but that sounds like a logical solution. --EncycloPetey 02:19, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I found that there is a template called comparable that makes a nice appearance, but haven't found its mate among non-comparable, noncomparable, incomparable, uncomparable. Is the comparable one intended for some other language? DCDuring 03:37, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Template:not comparable.—msh210 19:30, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

Japanese katakana for animals?

Hi! I noticed that horse was linked as both as うま and ウマ in the translations. So I thought, huh? -and checked with ja.wp. They had the articles with the names in katakana (w:ja:ウマ, w:ja:カメ), so my simple question is: why is this? Do they always have the "scientific names" in katakana though they are japanese native words? So do all these words have to exist in both hiragana ana katakana? -Moberg 23:31, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Since none of the editors with actual Japanese knowledge has answered this, I'll take a stab at it … katakana are often used like English italics: to represent foreign words, to provide emphasis (e.g. in advertising), and so on. I'm guessing that any Japanese use of katakana for scientific names is analogous to Western use of italics for the same, and may even be an attempted translation of said use to the closest Japanese analog. —RuakhTALK 00:33, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok, but if all words can be written with katakana (especially scientific names), should all of them also be respresented here with there own page? -Moberg 12:50, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
By the way, the translation into Japanese of Equus is ウマ属, horse-class. If you look at the right side of w:ja:ウマ, it shows the Latin and Japanese scientific names. Cynewulf 22:48, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
This doesn't have anything to do with "scientific names", ウマ is still "uma", not Equus caballus. (The ja.wp articles include a lot of scientific names, but ウマ and カメ (かめ, "kame" are just the ordinary words for horse and turtle.) Why these words are written in katakana in ja.wp titles I don't know. (note that we—properly I think— don't have カメ).
Interesting, the ja.wp entry for w:ja:かめ (kame) is a dab page, pointing to the interjection in hiragana, the "urn" meaning in kanji, and the "turtle" meaning in katakana. Very odd. Robert Ullmann 13:15, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Yeah this is all what I saw very surprising. Does anyone know how to figure this out? -Moberg 22:08, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
(we have カメ now) Cynewulf 22:48, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't really count as one "of the editors with actual Japanese knowledge" of this kind, but I think ウマ is used in scientific contexts to refer to the exact species, whereas can have broader meanings, similar to the way mule can mean things such as "one who transports drugs" in addition to the hybrid of a horse and donkey. I don't go reading Japanese biology textbooks so much, but go jargon uses basic words like 押す osu "push" in very specific ways, and writes them in katakana (with hiragana verb inflections) オす osu, オシ oshi. Cynewulf 22:20, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

I love reading science in Japanese, especially paleo-anthropology. To me it seems many such texts include the katakana version regardless of the word's origin for species names. I haven't been to a Japanese museum in years, but I feel it's like the use of italics or German's universal noun capitalization.

The same way our pages on (incorrectly) capitalized common nouns redirect to the lower case ones & wikipedia's lower case proper nouns re-direct to caps, I think we should, basically treating katakana as caps, re-direct katakana to hiragana, while wikipedia does the reverse. w:ja:ウマ is the page for horse, to which both うま & 馬 are re-directed. On that page, うま, ウマ, & 馬 are listed: thrice, 83 times, & 331 times. When うま did appear it was once as 「うま」 & twice as おうま. Like I said, in an encyclopedic entry, katakana dominates hiragana for animal types. My Japanese wife backs me up & says restaurants trying to look more formal do the same.

In personal or informal letters or texts for a juvenile audience however, hiragana will predominate. In Japanese Wiktionary, horse lists うま, ウマ, & 馬: once, not at all, & 4 times. うま: thrice, 5, & 7 times. ウマ does not exist. : thrice, 5 times, & 50 times, but the transnational symbol is also shown there. --Thecurran 02:12, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

But if you take some more uncommon species, like w:Asian House Martin in japanese wikipedia イワツバメ. The difference in google hits for イワツバメ vs. いわつばめ is 24 000 to 1100, the katakana version is much more common. So maybe you can't always have a redirect from katakana to hiragana? -Moberg 12:25, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
We don't normally do redirects at all; I'm not sure why we would in this case. (particularly since it seems like there is a significant difference at least in the context of use). -- Visviva 14:07, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
I cannot speak for the other words, but for iwatsubame イワツバメ the katakana is probably more commonly used to distinguish it from surrounding text. If いわつばめ was in the middle of a bunch of hiragana, it could easily be misinterpreted as parts of other words. Kind of lame example, but あかいいわつばめはそらにとんでいる could be 垢良いわ 燕は空に飛んでいる (I know, lame example, but you get the point). Konamaiki 05:11, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Plural nouns-verb agreement

Does remains take s plural verb? —This comment was unsigned.

Plural. Example:

  • 1981, The Encyclopedia Americana
    The remains are believed to date from the Second Interglacial period. DCDuring 12:27, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Dry sense of humor?

What does that phrase mean? Help!

I have trouble with it, too. I am told of the dry British wit or that the British have a dry sense of humour. Wet humour involves bodily actions or fluids (e.g., farts, sex, & vomit). Wet humour is immediately obvious to all participants. Pythonesque humour involves situations that are phenomenally unlikely/unexpected; but I don't think this is dry humour. I think dry humour is the kind employed in w:Are You Being Served? and has a bitter component like a dry wine in that one person reveals ingenuity by employing a double entendre to deride another that is oblivious and this is inherently not sweet. Any takers? --Thecurran 14:45, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
dictionary.com ([2]) has "expressed in a straight-faced, matter-of-fact way" (sense 21); in other words, it is humour that is subtle because it is not clear that the joke is in fact a joke.
I have never heard of "wet humour" - can give an attestation of this, Thecurran? — Paul G 15:57, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I believe humor is implicitly "wet". Consider saucy as a synonym for sassy or sarcastic or smart-alecky. Humor is generally seen as a liberal, non-restrictive play on conventions. It is in its essence more "liquid" than the norm. Thus, "dry" is a good descriptive for humor, describing a joke or remark which is intentionally not "wet"-sounding but still intended to amuse.


I guess that WP:BITE is not part of the Wiktionary guidelines, as I was just blocked after having made exactly one edit, in good faith, and with the reason for the block being "stupidity". If someone could unblock me, I would sincerely appreciate it. My edit was legit and I can (and, given the opportunity, will gladly) reference it with reliable sources. 15:29, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Forgot to mention, my real IP is 15:33, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Given the edit, I'd say that was rather mild treatment. Reliable sources? Yeah right. Take your sickness elsewhere. Robert Ullmann 16:15, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I would strongly recommend that others not look at the edit or the issue. (and yes, it is completely bogus) Why it is that people with this level of sickness have such limited imaginations I don't know; it is like docking/spacedocking, in which the imagined definition is just disgusting; the actual (sexual) definition is very reasonable. Robert Ullmann 16:20, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Here are several links showing such usage; Google turns up many others:
In fact, this definition has been discussed on Wiktionary before, here. You people are just being rude and unhelpful. 17:34, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
You are right, it was discussed, by policy, and failed RfV as bogus. which it is. (Others should note that all purported citations are discussions of the word (sense), mention and not use. It is not valid.) Robert Ullmann 17:42, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Newbie: feel free to contact me on my talk page for an extended tutorial/explanation if you would like. DCDuring TALK 17:50, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
My favorite part is the edit summary, where the anon described this as "a second common definition". —RuakhTALK 01:39, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

phrase meaning

What does "Yen sleep" mean?

Inflection = pages?

When writing on a latin noun/adj./verb, should I create a page for every red link? For example is it right if I made the page XYZa to also have separate pages for XYZam, XYZae, XYZas, XYZarum and XYZis explaining what they are? For XYZabam, -bas, -bat and all the rest for verbs? Also when the ablative and vocative are the same as the nominative, do they need noting as separate definitions like they are at puella? (there is a broad amount of inconsistency throughout the latin pages). Thanks, Harris Morgan 23:13, 24 January 2008 (UTC).

The policy for this is that each form should indeed have a separate entry, but a minimal one. For example, take a look at ἄνθρωπος and ἀνθρώπου (the policy on this is the same in Ancient Greek and Latin). The lemma page (ἄνθρωπος) has all the information (etymology, definition, etc.), while the inflected form has merely a pronunciation and explanation of what form it is of what lemma. While the emphasis in both languages is on the lemma entries, the inflected form entries are desired and certainly not prohibited, as long as they are not full entries. If you haven't yet, it may be worth your while to take a look at the About Latin page. Atelaes 23:47, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Looking at your contributions, mentulae and pipinnae look fine to me. You may want to double check with EncycloPetey, as he is sort of heading up the Latin department here. Atelaes 23:50, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks. Harris Morgan 00:03, 25 January 2008 (UTC).
I would humbly express a preference for those Latin forms that are already used in etymologies. It is nice to work from a list because it speeds things up. I don't know where the good Latin lists are. The Category of English entries with Latin and Late Latin Etys might be a place to start. I don't know whether anyone has yet extracted the Latin wikilinks from those. DCDuring TALK 02:20, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Most Latin words appearing in etymologies will be the lemma form anyway. The key exceptions will be present infinitives and passive participles of verbs. --EncycloPetey 05:04, 26 January 2008 (UTC)


I was editing futuo, and found a message "watch this space for something from Martial". Who is "Martial"? Ionas Freeman (自人) 20:41, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Probably a Vandal, thanks for removing it. Conrad.Irwin 21:09, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Martial was a Roman writer, well known for his explicit poetry. Harris Morgan 21:11, 25 January 2008 (UTC).
In fact, a Martial quote is probably most suitable there. Harris Morgan 21:17, 25 January 2008 (UTC).
I can't believe that someone editing a Latin article has never heard of Marcus Valerius Martialis SemperBlotto 22:44, 25 January 2008 (UTC)


I am going through a free speech battle. I am tired of fighting the Wikiarchy, and I am also tired of them "neutrality" bullshitters and their propagandist trash. See the logs:

Anyone, please help by defending me and any administrators, please undelete my pages. -Ionas Freeman (自人) 00:48, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Irrelevant to the conversation. I didn't mean a specific person, I meant the people who wanted the incorrect IPA. Please don't block me, I have went through enough. Ionas | Fuck Censorship 00:54, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Come on, Ionas, you do this at every wiki you go to. Do something controversial, get something deleted, swear and curse at the sysops and then get banned and forgotten forever.
Don't screw this one up, eh? Harris Morgan 00:59, 26 January 2008 (UTC).
Ionas has been blocked for a week for unsuitable contributions. Harris, what exactly is your connection with him - if you don't mind me asking? Conrad.Irwin 01:07, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Firstly I saw him getting banned for his routine on Simple English Wikipedia, then joined some trashy homemade wiki with him from an advertisement on his user page. Then I googled around a bit and wrote something about all the wikis he's been banned on and he presumes I was some kind of web predator. I just implore him not to get banned from yet another wiki (he does have promising talents - just likes to trample over them with his pointless political rants). Harris Morgan 01:45, 26 January 2008 (UTC).

to profiliate

Hi all, I have come across this word in English several times before and would like to know if anyone can help me to find access to its meaning again, and where; E.g. In which dictionary I can find it again. Wikipedia has an Italian word in which does not conform to the English one. The verb is "to profiliate" in the sense that one is trying to create a profile for himself. —This unsigned comment was added by Joejoe (talkcontribs) at 10:36, 27 January 2008 (UTC).

Looking through the hits on Google Books (no uses in English, except where Google has mis-scanned a different word) and Google Groups (three uses in English, all seeming to mean roughly “spread, propagate, be prolific”), the word you describe doesn't seem to exist, at least not with the meaning you have in mind. —RuakhTALK 14:39, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
Not even @ urbandictionary. DCDuring TALK 15:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Translation Error?

I have no clue how to make changes for the better so here I am.

I looked up the word "service" in english to look for the root of the word. And by chance, I looked at the Korean translation word for "service" and it is spelled wrong in Korean. It says 붕사 when it should be 봉사--subtle but certain error in the consonant of the first syllable--while the english phonetic spelling of "bongsa" in parenthesis is correct. I spent little time in my attempt to correct the Korean spelling but all I found was expanding on the Korean word and definitions. I leave it to whoever is reading this, to either let me (or anyone else stumbling upon this post) know how to fix it, or tell those people who does the fixing.

under the English word "service" and in the translation section, 붕사 for Korean translated word should be 봉사 instead.

Thanks! —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 06:34, 28 January 2008.

Thanks. I've made the change in our entry for service. The trick is to click the "edit" link above and to the right of the Translations section there. Rod (A. Smith) 07:29, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Finnish word my father used when I was growing up - is it slang or Finnglish?

My father would hear my sisters and I listening to rock and roll music and he would refer to it as rumbadustuu. I don't know the exact spelling and he said that the word meant noise. Has anyone heard of this word? —This unsigned comment was added by The dolphynia (talkcontribs) at 16:41, 30 January 2008 (UTC).

That spelling at least doesn't ring any bells for me, except for the obvious rumba at the beginning. Is it an attempt to express a Finnish word phonetically in English? If so, then one word which might fit would be "rämpytystä" (dictionary form "rämpytys", probably from the verb "rämpyttää"). I don't know anything about music and the only music-related use for this word I've heard is to play an instrument badly (like someone who has never played just "playing" at random). It is also used of e.g. pressing a button (e.g. for a doorbell) repeatedly in quick succession. FWIW, the entry for strum links to the word, but the meaning seems to be different when used as a technical term. -- Coffee2theorems 20:24, 30 April 2008 (UTC)


Is there a term for an irrational fear of clowns? (I don't know why people are afraid of clowns but given the number of anecdotal claims of it you'd think there'd be a word for it.) RJFJR 02:23, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

coulrophobia. —RuakhTALK 03:51, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
"It is almost certainly not a reaction to clowns, but we are sensitive to things which are extraordinary, particularly sensitive when we are young. My three-year-old was terrified by Peter Rabbit at a B&Q. Peter Rabbit is six inches high, not seven feet high." ANd then there's somthing to be said about the theme of evil clowns in popular culture. Circeus 04:37, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. RJFJR 14:32, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

February 2008

Modern Latin?

I found the term Modern Latin in the etymology for the word rachis. Can't find a template for Modern Latin. Do they mean New Latin? - dougher 03:47, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

New Latin, encompassing the period 1600-1900 seems to include the period of zoological and botanical classification. "rachis" seems to have become widespread by 1800. "New Latin" seems like the right period. Unfortunately the ISO classifications of languages don't yet include that kind of refinement for Latin, so we have to rely on the older templates instead of "etyl" and "term", which use the ISO codes. DCDuring TALK 04:26, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
ISO language codes do allow us to specify Latin + private extension information; is there any reason not to have, say, {{lang:la-x-new}}, or {{lang:la-x-late}}? —RuakhTALK 03:58, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
That would be really nice. I suppose it wouldn't be impossible to update the templates to the new ISO codes (639-4/5) when, as and if they are created for the newer Latin vintages. DCDuring TALK 04:40, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

help please

Chuchigirl678 02:56, 5 February 2008 (UTC) where does the alabama river canoe fight at????? when did it happen???

November 12, 1813 [3] Mutante 02:56, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Examples for other sources of quotations

It would be nice if the section on Quotations contained some examples of quotations from magazines and other periodicals. The examples there now are limited to books. - dougher 07:42, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Why are you posting this at the Information Desk? --EncycloPetey 06:24, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Where should it have gone? --dougher 18:26, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Help with a medical test

Hello all, I work in a hospital lab and was asked to order a test for a doctor. What he wrote was neutrophil chemostasis. I have not been able to find this test anywhere, can anyone shed any light on this for me? Thanks. —This comment was unsigned.

Is it possible what the doctor wrote was Neutrophil Chemotaxis? Look that up on the internet. I think someone needs to ask the doctor to be sure. -- dougher 06:17, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

us navy ship general w a mann tap 112

I served on this ship 1958-60 I am trying to find some info on it —This unsigned comment was added by Donnell Robie (talkcontribs) at 04:15, 11 February 2008 (UTC).

As this is a dictionary, we really don't deal in that kind of information; I'm sorry. You might fare better at our sister project Wikipedia, which is an encyclopedia, though I'm not sure. Best of luck! —RuakhTALK 04:21, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

{{past of|}} template broken?

Well, maybe not broken but missing a word. Consider entry annoyed.

I just noticed that {{past of|annoy}} produces the text "Simple past tense and past participle annoy"

I expected to see "Simple past tense and past participle of annoy". I.e. the "of" has gone missing.

Am I mistaken? Or is the change intentional? Makearney 17:52, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure how it is that no one noticed this problem before now, but thanks for catching it! --EncycloPetey 18:39, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps because the problem didn't exist until yesterday, if I'm reading this diff correctly. {{form of}} used to supply the "of". See e.g. livre Cynewulf 22:17, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Glitch in my contribs?

Hi. I'm fairly new around here, created my account January 2008. However, when you look at my contributions, an apparent use of rollback shows up from August 2007. Does anyone know why this happened? Keilana 23:36, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

That page was transwikied, which means it used to be on Wikipedia. Either you or someone with the same user name must have made an edit to the page before it was transferred here. --EncycloPetey 00:18, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

p-amino benzal rhodanine

any body plz informed about this indicator for a test of cynide test

Try Wikipedia:, this is a dictionary. Conrad.Irwin 22:15, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

my doubt

I would like to find adj. which end with the letters 'ible' and its noun form should be ending with 'ability'.How can I find these words?

There is a search box on the left side of your screen. Type in "-ible", "-able", "-ibility", "-ability" to find the entries for those suffixes. Look for derived terms. If necessary, click on "show" on the right-hand end of the bar. The lists are not necessaily complete. DCDuring TALK 15:45, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
I would be rather surprised if there are many such terms. Adjectives ending in -ible should form their noun as -ibility. e.g. feasible, feasibility; risible, risibility... -- Visviva 06:54, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
It's worth pointing out that if we used suffix categories systematically, questions like this would be trivially easy to asnwer (using a category intersection tool). -- Visviva 06:56, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
To achieve consistency at this point wouldn't we need a bot to find all the inconsistencies. This also connects to the discussion of alternative views of etymologies that we'd been having. Oh, was that you ? DCDuring TALK 13:29, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

IRC woes

For some reason, when I try to log onto the irc (using the link in the upper right of the screen), I no longer get a choice of which channel I'm sent to. I get sent to #test, and I can't figure out how to get to Wiktionary. --EncycloPetey 05:47, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't know anything about where that link in the corner leads, but in most IRC clients, typing /join #wiktionary will let you join the channel #wiktionary (and /part #test will let you leave #test). I hope that this helps.—msh210 22:12, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, a couple of those worked for a few hours. Now they don't. I'm finding that I'm having a few other wiki-related problems as well. It may be my computer that's having the difficulties. --EncycloPetey 23:08, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, possibly a "CGIWrap Error: Real UID could not be changed!"? That's what I get once in a while (and when having gotten one, it returns every time I try to log on) for quite a while (most often several hours). I don't know who's behind the site, but as it is located on wikizine.org, I sent a mail to User:Walter about it. Hopefully he can at least point out whom to contact... \Mike 18:57, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Pronunciation plural-s in English

Hello, can anybody tell me the rules, in which cases the pronunciation of the plural-s is [s] and in which cases it is [z] or give me link, where I can find informations about this. -- 16:02, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

The rule is that after sibilants ([s z ʃ ʒ tʃ dʒ]), it's pronounced [ɪz] (or [əz] or [ɨz] or [ᵻz] depending on how you want to transcribe it and dialect), and then after unvoiced consonants it's [s] and after voiced consonants and vowels it's [z]. More information here: w:English plural#Regular Plurals. --Wytukaze 21:28, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you very much. -- 15:12, 16 February 2008 (UTC)

Cooking term?

Is there a word that describes the following method of cooking "A pit is dug, lined with hot rocks from the fire, wrapped food is placed in the pit, covered with more hot rocks, buried and allowed to cook for a few hours ebfore being dug up". The wikipedia article on the Dani people claims this procedure is unusual, but its basically how to do a pig roast, a dutch oven or a clam bake. Is there a technical word for it? RJFJR 17:26, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, it's a very common way of cooking over in PNG, and we always call it a "mumu" (which is both the hole-in-the-ground-and-hot-stones combo and a dinner event centring on same). I'm not sure of the spelling, and I'm quite sure that isn't the type of word you're looking for. --Wytukaze 21:54, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
This kind of cooking is also used in rural Mexico and Central America. I don't know whether there is a specific English term for this sort of cooking, but there might be in Spanish, Nahuatl, or Maya. --EncycloPetey 00:31, 16 February 2008 (UTC)
In New Zealand the Maori people call it a Hangi. —This unsigned comment was added by Naganokumas (talkcontribs).
I would have assumed this was just called a "pit oven" [4]. Perhaps I'm missing some nuance, though (and I think most pit ovens are not buried, just covered). -- Visviva 12:05, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
You will find this technique covered in 'The Clan of the Cave Bear' novel written by Jean M. Auel. Thorskegga 21:09, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
The Hawaiian dinner event including such an oven is called a luau ( wikipedia: luau ). -- 12:33, 13 May 2008 (UTC)


i have a question if some one woudl like ot answer it it woudl be appreciated when is a BIGOUDEN worn? --


This word is used in your site many times. It is a verb meaning: to spread about, generally, hopefully fruitfully. But this word is not in your dictionary, nor any other dictionary that I have close handy. I was surprised to find this as I thought it was well entrenched to mean this. This word is used in biology frequently. Pollination comes about through the propogation of pollen by insects. Pollination comes about by the 'spreading about' of pollen by insects. Is my spelling of this word awry? Please tell me about this word.

Hi, it is actually spelt propagate (two a's not two o's), I will create an entry at [propogate] to inform people that it is wrong. Conrad.Irwin 16:21, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Afrikaans transation

Does anyone know what is the Affrikaans version of a bachelors degree-- 14:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

All Nouns Starting with ...


Is it possible to get a list of (for instance) all verbs that start with k, or all nouns that start with c (etc)?

I imagine it should be a pretty straight forward database request, but unless I've missed something, I can't see how to do it. It's for a project I'm doing and would be hugely appreciated.

Thank you

Yes, this is possible, assuming that you are looking only for nouns/verbs in one language (English?), and assuming that the entries have been categorized. For example, for your second query (nouns starting with "c") use http://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Category:English_nouns&from=c . Note that only 200 will appear per screen, and that only nouns beginning with lower-case c are shown (change "c" to "C" for upper-case). -- Visviva 12:01, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

March 2008

Promotion of slang

If you continue to promote slang words here, then it's a waste of time to teach proper english in schools. If you said 'sup' to me, I'd reply, no thanks, I just ate! —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 01:19, 2 March 2008 (UTC).

I'm sorry, but I don't see that we "promote" slang words here; we define them, translate them, and so on, but we also mark them as slang. Someone who doesn't want to use slang (for whatever reason) can do so, but we're an open wiki, and not in the business of suppressing forbidden knowledge. —RuakhTALK 01:27, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Explanations on a sentence

Excuse me, I need an help: I am not American and I need to know the explanation of a sentence. Would u be so kind to translate it to me? The sentence is what the hizzle for shizzle? Thank u if u wanna help me. -- 10:55, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

See for shizzle. It's just rhyme, I think. DAVilla 10:57, 4 March 2008 (UTC) Copied from User_talk:DAVilla Conrad.Irwin 10:59, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Ehm, I don't understand at all that sentence.... really, nothing at all.. -- 11:14, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

So I am still at the starting point...-- 11:49, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't really mean very much on its own, though it possible means "nothings for sure" or any word starting with n that has been mutilated to rhyme with shizzle. What context is this in? Conrad.Irwin 12:30, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

The contest is that a girl and a guy are no more togheter and the girl tells it to a friend. This friend answer that sentence -- 12:35, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, "nothing's for sure" could well be right then, just a consolation - saying something along the lines of "don't worry about it, things get better". (Isn't guesswork and blaggery fun) Conrad.Irwin 12:49, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
As Conrad says, "nizzle" might any word starting with n, in the case of "for shizzle my nizzle", the word is (of course) nigga. In the case of "hizzle", Dogg used it for "house" ("in the hizzle"), but that isn't the "h" word intended here. "Off da hizzle fo shizzle" is "off the hook for sure". In the given context, maybe "what the hell? For sure?" but I wouldn't be so shizzle bout it. Robert Ullmann 11:55, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article w:izzle has a discussion of these "-izzle" words. — Paul G 16:36, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

After scanning the Wikipedia article, I'd go with Robert Ullmann's suggestion. Concern and surprise are just what you might expect, as is the disguised use of a mild expletive. Knowing the stress and intonation used might help determine this fo shizzle. -- Pingku 15:28, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

descriptive title

I wish to define a name of people who live in an area known as Butte Alaska as Butteniks "b-ute-niks"

Feel free to do so. Once the term meets our criteria for inclusion, especially 3 citations, usually print, from durably recorded media we would encourage you to enter it into Wiktionary. Good luck. DCDuring TALK 11:24, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

request for audio pronunciation

What is the tag for a "request for an audio clip" of someone pronouncing a word? I tried 'rfa' and 'reqaudio' and have tried looking up a template cleanup message but could not find one. The word I tried it on is dirigisme. Cheers. N2e 20:42, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

It's {{rfap}} ("request for audio pronunciation"). —RuakhTALK 23:29, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Help required with multiple plurals

I have just added a new entry for 'aett'.

This is a Norse loan word which has two different plurals when used in English - a Norse form 'aettir' and an Anglised form 'aetts'.

Can someone help me show the plural in the entry with both forms.

Thank you in advance. Thorskegga 20:59, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I want to learn how to speak Cherokee

i want to go from speaking english and learn how to speak cherokee please can u help me thank you i want to learn my indain hertage lanuge —This unsigned comment was added by Hoto (talkcontribs) at 17:38, 8 March 2008 (UTC).

You can learn some vocabulary and writing here (see Category:Cherokee language, but we don't have information about how to put the words together correctly to make sentences. Knowing the words, and knowing how to use them are two very different skills, and as a dictionary we only cover the first half. --EncycloPetey 16:46, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Try the Cherokee Wikipedia. Teh Rote 21:26, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Adding categories

Is it possible to add extra categories?

The Pagan faiths with categories currently include Paganism, Heathenry and Wicca. Two obvious pagan faiths that are excluded are Druidry and Witchcraft. Please can these be added.

Also is there a category for folklore? Some of the words I will be adding would fall under this heading - names of country customs, supersistions, nature spirits and so forth.

Thank you. Thorskegga 13:38, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

While I'm not saying such categories should be added, let me tell you how to do so. First, categorize a relevant entry into the desired category by adding [[Category:Whatever]] into the entry. Then, at the bottom of the entry, that category should be listed, and should be a red-colored link ("redlink"). Follow that link, and you'll be editing the category's page. Write a short description of the category there, and add [[Category:Whatever else]], where "Whatever else" is the (existent) category that this category should be a member of. (To figure out what category or categories the category you've created should be a mamber of, look around at existent categories.)
Note, though, especially if you've used Wikipedia a lot, that we don't categorize nearly as much as they do, especially by subject matter.
I hope that this helps.—msh210 18:35, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for explaining. I appreciate that you dont want unecessary categories and so far all my contributions have been linked to 'paganism'. Due to the large volume of words I have to submit can I ask for a policy decision here. Should all pagan words be entered under 'pagan' or under the seperate faiths 'Wicca', 'Witchcraft', 'Druidry' and 'Heathenry'? Please bare in mind that each category will have at least a hundred words within it.

From our point of view we would like them to be listed under seperate categories - paganism is very much a umbrella term for a number of very diverse traditions. A good comparison would be combining Christianity and the ancient egyptian sun-god cult under 'monotheism'. Thorskegga 10:59, 17 March 2008 (UTC)


Does anyone know how a polynomial divided by a binomial be used in a real life circunstances? —This comment was unsigned.

You're more likely to get an answer if you ask at Wikipedia's Mathematics reference desk. Thryduulf 15:09, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Sure. Just think of engineering applications. The w:ideal gas law is a helpful guide, but it ignores the fact that gas molecules are not spheres of infinitesimal width with no interactions besides perfectly elastic collisions. There are adjusted forms to that basic P V = n R T equation that turn different terms into polynomials in order to incorporate finite molecular width, steric effects, rotational issues, relativistic issues, & long-range electromagnetic interactions. If, for example, volume became a simple binomial, to incorporate finite width and temperature became a polynomial to incorporate long-range interaction, the equation for the pressure of a gas, given its number, temperature, and volume would be a polynomial over a binomial. Of course, you may need to use an adjusted w:ideal gas constant, R, but this is just off the top of my head. Pls, dn't b uzng us 4 hw, 'cuz i cd b way off & tht'd b 2 rood. :)--Thecurran 03:45, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Fear of Asia

Other than "Yellow Peril", which is a phrase, is there an English word for a 'fear of Asia', preferrably ending in "-phobia"? I do not suffer from this condition myself, but would like to know anyway. ー悟り 22:33, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Asiaphobia exists, but a lot of more specific terms — Russophobia, Sinophobia, Japanophobia, Indophobia, etc. — are more common. Asia's kind of huge continent, it's hard to be afraid of all of it. ;-) —RuakhTALK 23:54, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Use of Chinese

Hi, I'm mostly on Wikipedia and occasionally use Wiktionary, so I'm basically a newcomer. But I was looking through the translations for toad, and as I'm starting to learn Chinese I checked that word. It gave something that was the character corresponding to "toad," but not the word Chinese actually use (see the discussion page on toad for details). I don't have a dictionary at hand, but this was confirmed to me by two Chinese speakers, as well as by Google Translate. I worry, based on this, that people might be finding Chinese translations in a character dictionary rather than a real dictionary, which could lead to problems.

Is there a place where people involved in adding the Chinese translations gather, where I could bring this up? -- Minivet 13:34, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Either try WT:AZH or look for friendly people in Category:User zh. Conrad.Irwin 14:31, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing this. Unfortunately, the basic structure of Wiktionary -- with Chinese-English information in the Chinese entries and English-Chinese information in the English entries -- means that translations tend not to receive as much oversight as one would like. In time, mistakes are found and corrected; but in general mistakes tend to persist much longer in translation sections than in FL entries. To put it another way, the odds of a fluent Chinese speaker just happening to pass by toad and check the translations are unfortunately quite slim. I doubt if this was part of any organized campaign of bad-translation-adding; probably just the usual wiki case of someone trying to be helpful and not quite succeeding. -- Visviva 16:53, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
A lot of the "CJKV character" translations date from when 20K+ character entries were loaded (a bit more than 1/2 the wikt for a short while), and someone added them; there not being any "word" entries to speak of. They aren't useless, but they do only lead to a character that might be of interest. Adding translations for the languages is good, please use Mandarin, Min Nan, Cantonese (etc); "Chinese" isn't that helpful, we don't use it as a language name. (I've been working a bit on various ways of checking and adding translations with some automation.) Robert Ullmann 17:02, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Automatic text replacement

Hi, I have seen someone using autoedit to replace text quickly. Could I use this to update {FAchar} to {fa-Arab}? It was changed and I haven't got the foggiest idea why or how the decision was made but at the moment it would be better to standardise them. Pistachio 14:05, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like an ideal task for AF. Also replacing 'RUchar' to 'Cyrl', 'LOchar' to 'Laoo', 'KMchar' to 'Khmr' and 'Cuneiform' to 'Xsux' --Ivan Štambuk 14:10, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
For information on how to use autoedit, look at mw:Extension:Autoedit. It seems from looking at some usage examples, you need to replace sc=FAchar too where you find it. However given the huge numbers of these, and depending on urgency it can be given to a bot to chomp through - which is probably quicker and easier. Conrad.Irwin 14:28, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
thanks, so I should save this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Lupin/autoedit.js) in http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/User:Pistachio/monobook.js and then edit it? what else do I need to do? Pistachio 15:17, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
oh yeah, Persian only has about 2000 and a bit entries so it won't be too difficult. only three people add persian entries :'( Pistachio 15:25, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I have added it but nothing is happening. any help is appreciated. Pistachio 16:24, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I've replied on your talk page with some instructions, however I think you'll tire of autoedit after a few hundred (I certainly did :) but good luck! Conrad.Irwin 17:09, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
We can feed these to AF; especially as people will continue to introduce them (and there is nothing wrong with that); we don't need to demand that everyone convert immediately. There are more than a few, and some care required. Robert Ullmann 23:21, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
That would be nice. Someone let me know if I should stop changing them using Autoedit. The reason why I wanted update some of these is that at the moment there too many variations between Persian entries.
  • FAchar, URchar and ARchar are now fa-Arab, ur-Arab and Arab (SDchar and some others remain).
  • the inflection line of some entries now have a template (e.g.) {infl|fa|noun|sc=FAchar|کون|tr=kun} whereas older entries have {fa-Arab|word} (transliteration)
  • in an etymology section, the previous standard of {Ar.|fa} {Arab|[word]} (transliteration) has been replaced by one template which I can't remember right now and {term|sc=fa-Arab|کون|lang=fa}.
  • in a translations section from English to Persian *Persian: word (transliteration) has been replaced by {t-|fa|دستار|tr=dastār|sc=fa-Arab|xs=Persian}.
Pistachio 00:09, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
not sure about the case in the etymology. The code I have in AF will replace the template direct calls, and sc=. Introducing the {t} template is Tbot's job. I need to add an entry to WT:GP with a table so people can look at it. Robert Ullmann 11:41, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
I have found the one I meant now, it's {{etyl}} which has also started to be used in some Persian entries, e.g. برادر.

how to list Okinawan words

I am wondering if there has been any previous discussion, or a previously established guideline as to how Okinawan should be represented on Wiktionary. A very cursory investigation seems to reveal that it is sometimes (as in the case of ) included under the Japanese heading and given as an alternate reading of the character; sometimes, as is the case with east, it is listed among the translations as a language on a level with all the others.

It would seem the easy answer would be to simply ask, is it a dialect or a language? But from what little I know, and from what I've read on Wikipedia, it seems the jury is still out on that one. Books I've read (in Japanese) on Okinawa make a distinction between Uchinaa-guchi (沖縄口・ウチナークチ, "Okinawan language") and Yamatu-uchinaa-guchi (大和沖縄口・ヤマテゥウチナーグチ, "Japanese-Okinawan language"), that is, a distinction between native words and Japanese words pronounced slightly differently in Okinawa. Even so, the line is blurry on this, and from what I gather from Wikipedia, there is no general consensus among linguists nor among the (mainland) Japanese populace as to whether it's a separate language or a dialect.

I suppose technically there is the Ryukyuan languages group, including not only Okinawan, but also the languages (dialects?) of each of the different islands or clusters of islands in the Ryukyu chain, the chief/core version of Okinawan being sometimes referred to as Shuri dialect. But even so, technical linguistic classifications aside, the language as spoken today is most frequently encountered as modern (mainland) Japanese, with some local words thrown in, not unlike the way many in New York and elsewhere use Yiddish in their English, and with some pronunciation changes.

Sorry for the long explanation... Getting back to the point, do we have a guideline or policy or precedent already established for this? Thanks much. LordAmeth 21:44, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Well, the Okinawan language (specifically "Central Okinawan") has its own ISO 639-3 code, RYU, so there should be no problem with labeling entries as "Okinawan", if appropriate.
To my mind, this is fairly similar the case of Scots language and Scottish English -- on the one hand, a recognized distinct language that is used by very few people in modern times, and on the other hand a heterogeneous group of dialects of the mainstream language. I would venture that we should, likewise, have both Category:Okinawan language and Category:Okinawan Japanese (if that's the right term).
AFAIK, we haven't really begun to address the imponderable matter of distinguishing Scots and Scottish English, but I favor a sort of Occam's razor, not multiplying languages unnecessarily. That is, if something can reasonably be categorized as Scottish English (or Okinawan Japanese), it should be, and only those words which are unmistakably and exclusively part of the Okinawan language should be labeled as such. -- Visviva 06:31, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, what? You want to make guesses about whether a particular word is part of one language or another known distinct language? Why not use Dictionary of the Scots Language to help make that decision, instead of just guessing? I shouldn't evere like to guess, even if it's an educated guess, about which of two languages a word belongs to. --EncycloPetey 14:33, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
1. I don't think I said anything of the kind, nor do I see how you would get that impression. But as far as trusting dictionaries, not all words and senses are accounted for in dictionaries, or accounted for satisfactorily; and in my experience lexicographers vary greatly in where they choose to draw the line between closely-related languages. I am fairly sure I have seen the same lines from one or another Child ballad cited in different dictionaries as examples of Scots and dialectal English, respectively. I see no reason why we should blindly trust any dictionary on this matter any more than we do on other basic questions of linguistic fact. Also I don't think the OP indicated that he has access to an authoritative Okinawan dictionary. 2. If Okinawan and Japanese (or Scots and English) were completely distinct languages in practice, this issue would not arise. -- Visviva 14:52, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
The above seems kind of snide, sorry. I was just a little taken off guard. -- Visviva 04:52, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

Landowner needs help!

I'm a landowner in Georgia and I'm having trouble with trespassers. What can I do? What are the laws that protect me and my property? My property is located in a very rural area in South Central Georgia. If anyone can help me and provide me with the right actions that I should take, it would be greatly appreciated. —This comment was unsigned.

This is a dictionary...you need a lawyer. - TheDaveRoss 05:51, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

help with a definition

when I was a young boy my parents used the word "Scroot" (not sure that is how it is spelled) for a dog that was a mixed breed and not too smart. I could not find this word anywhere. Is this a good word for that type of dog? Has anyone heard it before?—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 16:12, 17 March 2008.

I've put three citations at citations:scroot. Perhaps someone could add a good definition?—msh210 17:35, 17 March 2008 (UTC)


can anybody please help....how do i determine the hight of a vertical line from a triangle when the horizontal line is 400mm and the top 'corner' is 22 degrease?

Consult a w:trigonometry (Wikipedia) or a trigonometry text. DCDuring TALK 11:20, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
It should be noted, however, that one very seldom degreases anything in trigonometry. -- Visviva 12:44, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, you do if it's slippery. Otherwise it slides out of your hand... RJFJR 14:02, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Let's not get off-trak here; that would be a slippery slope. --EncycloPetey 04:02, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
Would you use a slippery derivative to find that or will a regular one work? RJFJR 13:49, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
With this being an iso-silly-s traingle, I think you'll find the regular one adequate. Conrad.Irwin 13:56, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Declined forms format

Could somebody direct me to a good (preferably Russian) page that shows the standard format for declined forms of words? I've got this word моего, which is the genitive masculine/neuter singular and accusative masculine singular form of мой. Should its heading be "Pronoun form" since even мой is a pronoun form (but the nominative masculine singular, and therefore "normal form")? And how should I describe its declension? As I have it it is kind of messy, and definitely not standardized. ALTON .ıl 01:21, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

You might find help at Wiktionary:About Russian, though it doesn't seem to mention pronouns specifically. --EncycloPetey 04:01, 26 March 2008 (UTC)


How can I move the above page to toast rack? It334 13:14, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Use the "move" tab at the top of the page. Note that new users aren't allowed to move pages for some number of days (5?) to help prevent vandalism. (Which might be the problem?) Robert Ullmann 13:38, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

April 2008


Hi, can anyone explain to me what the performing rights in a beauty salon would be? Would be grateful if anyone could help =]

I recommend you ask at Wikipedia, an encyclopedia. This is a dictionary.—msh210 15:40, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

can there be a 4 strike out half inning

Is it possible to have four strikeouts in a half inning?

I recommend you ask at Wikipedia, an encyclopedia. This is a dictionary.—msh210 15:40, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
If you are still around: There is a special case strike out, when a batter swings on a called third strike, and the catcher drops the ball, and first base is unoccupied. If this happens the batter is not out, even though the pitcher is credited with a strikeout. The batter may run to first, and the batter must be put out either by a tag or by a force out at first. You may have seen a catcher tag a batter after a called third strike before, this is why. Theoretically there could be many strikeouts in one half inning, it just isn't likely. - TheDaveRoss 03:09, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
It is rare, but Chuck Finley did it (4 Ks/inning) 3 times in a year, he's the only MLB pitcher to do it more than once. Robert Ullmann 03:18, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
w:Strikeout#Four Strikeouts in an Inning Robert Ullmann 03:25, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

metaphysics of materialism

What is it meant by Metaphysics of materialism

Thank you CJ

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 01:24, 3 April 2008 (UTC).

spam talkpage

My talkpage just got spammed by user:Jack the Merridew with graphic images of torture and dismemberment. see http://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk: 06:00, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Yours was not the only page vandalized by this user. They have been banned. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 06:03, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


How do I add a protologism? I went to the entry on protologisms but couldn't find any instructions.

See Appendix:List of protologisms. Thryduulf 00:39, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Changing an entry's capitalization

I believe rumint should be changed to RUMINT, à la the military intelligence terms HUMINT, SIGINT, et al that it is derived from, but it seems I cannot do this by editing the entry.

Is the solution then to create a new entry for RUMINT and then request removal of rumint? Is there a way to avoid breaking existing links (within Wiktionary or elsewhere) to the original rumint page?

It seems to have been CIA than military, but that must be changing. "rumint" is somewhat more common than "RUMINT" in books.google.com and Google news. We'll make RUMINT an alternative spelling. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 18:42, 11 April 2008 (UTC)


What on earth is going on with the Irish wiktionary. All I get is a white screen, a reques for money and a busy signal. Jcwf 02:06, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't know, but: (1) I don't get that problem when I disable JavaScript; (2) I get that problem regardless of skin; (3) I don't get that problem once I log in. Given all this, I'm sure you won't be shocked to hear that the donation-request messages are defined in a part of ga:MediaWiki:Common.js that's only run when wgUserName == null — i.e. when the viewer is logged out. —RuakhTALK 02:46, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, yes, duh, the reason is that they're calling document.write() in an on-load hook. You can't do that, because once the page is fully loaded, any call to document.write() will create a new document and write into it, rather than writing into the current document. So if you're logged out and have JavaScript enabled, and don't have a cached version of their Common.js from before they introduced this bug, the page will fully load, and then get replaced with a page that only contains the donation message. Funnily enough, they didn't introduce the bug by adding this call to document.write(); that was in there with no problem for quite a while before Alison added the function that they'd been trying to use to call on-load hooks. So previously, they had two wannabe-bugs that canceled each other out, and she introduced this bug by fixing one of them. :-P   (Alternatively, it might not be a bug at all. Perhaps they're implementing one of the suggestions at m:GAY.) —RuakhTALK 02:55, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
I left a note on Alison's talk page alerting her to the bug. - TheDaveRoss 03:06, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Me, too. Well, two is better than none. :-) —RuakhTALK 03:07, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

In the mean time: I got around this (after much useless fiddling about) by just pressing Escape before the page had completely loaded and logging in. ☸ Moilleadóir 05:26, 13 April 2008 (UTC) /

Should be fixed now, after a refresh. I caught a steward on IRC to comment out the last edit. Dmcdevit·t 10:16, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi there. Thanks, everyone, for getting involved and for sorting all this out. js isn't one of my strong areas, unfortunately :) Pathoschild went in and commented out the offending writeln(). I have to say, too, that this shows the awesomeness of the Wiktionary community, where people get involved across wikis in getting issues like this sorted, and for caring about us small wikis. Thanks again, everyone! - Alison 16:13, 13 April 2008 (UTC) (User:Alison on gawikti - we've only one active sysop)

Thanks to all of you for your prompt rescue! I had the problem once, but Sarvaturi from co.wikt pointed it out to me.

Jcwf 03:14, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

rationale for pronunciation symbolization?

Is there an explanation somewhere in Wiktionary for the reasons for selecting the pronunciation coding symbols that are used, rather than something less precise but more straight-forward to use? Most of the time when I do a quick lookup in Wiktionary I don't bother to look at the pronunciation, but I just looked up "bricolage" and the pronunciation symbols stopped me dead in my tracks (metaphorically, since I was sitting down). Strange stuff.

We don't have the resources to determine how many of our users share your reaction to pronunciation symbols, though I suspect that the numbers are large. I suspect that relatively few users benefit from our Pronunciation section. There probably is no good solution to the problem at present. The sound files don't work for all computer users and situations. Homophones ("way"/"weigh") often don't exist ("xerox" ?). Rhymes don't always work and are insufficient for the whole word. Regional speech differences are hard to capture except by using a standard phonetic alphabet. Some of the complexities of English spelling are attributable to the effort to capture the sound of diverse English regional speech by those unfamiliar with the word in writing. DCDuring TALK 12:45, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
IPA is most commonly used for pronunications because it is the most widely used system, both in English and internationally. It can be applied to many langages, and not just English. Most major dictionaries now use IPA as well, for similar reasons. IPA (for English) really isn't that hard to learn, and we do link to a table of sounds (just as print dictionaries include a table explaining such symbols).
Other systems you may have seen are limited in their use to a single publisher, though a number of similar systems are in use, especially in older dictionaries. Such systems are proprietary, and therefore not in the public domain. Further, they are usually devised for pronunciation in a single standardized dialect, which is insufficient for the purposes of an international effort such as Wiktionary. We have a modified adaptation of one of these older systems, which we call enPR, but because it is uniquely used by Wiktionary, you'd still have to look up the symbols to be sure of the pronunciation. --EncycloPetey 14:24, 13 April 2008 (UTC)


hi frndz .can u plz tell me hw 2 str ds acc n hw 2 use..i just came 2 ds for word meanings..hw 2 use it,plz temm me smthing--sim 12:43, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

  • Any chance of translating that into English? SemperBlotto 12:44, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Something like "Dear all. Can you please tell me how to (Appears to be some line noise at this crucial point - something like "start this account and how to use") I just came here for definitions. Please tell me something about how it is used?" though I'm not the best translator in the world Conrad.Irwin 13:05, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
That translation looks decent to me. :-)   Unfortunately, we seem to be lacking entries for several of those words, including the one that's the most opaque to me (str — to me this means "string", especially in such compounds as substr, but that doesn't seem to be what's meant here); and for several more, we have an entry, but it seems to be missing the relevant sense. (Of course, in some cases it's not clear whether we need an entry; for example, I'd consider it,plz to be two words and therefore sum-of-parts, but I realize that some editors would disagree.) —RuakhTALK 22:31, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

shortcut to wikitionary

What is the correct shortcut wikitionary from other wikimedia projects, for example w for wikipedia, like this: dictionary -- 05:49, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

On Wikimedia Foundation projects the "shortcut" is [[wikt:term]]. On many interwiki systems it is abbreviated wt, or just t. - Amgine/talk 05:57, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Neither of these work from Wikipedia to get to a User page? like w:User:IrishDragon -- Mjquin id 17:28, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Main picture seems to be cut off

-at the top and bottom. Dunno where else to note this. --Epl18

It's supposed to look like that... Wiktionary's current logo is the source of infinite criticism and the attempt to change it was met with undiffusable apathy resulting in the chosen replacement dropping off the bottom of the popularity chart unused leaving a state of dejection and hopelessness permeating through all of Wiktionary which could be resolved by trying to find yet another new logo if there were but a few people willing to even discuss this thorny topic. Conrad.Irwin 12:41, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
So, what you're saying Conrad, is that you're volunteering to create the new logo? Great! I look forward to it. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 01:58, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Middle English

Hi, I was just curious, is Middle English considered a separate language than standard English on here? Some ME words have separate entries along with English and some only seem to have the English definitions, under '(obsolete)' or '(archaic)'. Or is it only that Middle English definitions are listed if they DIFFER from the standard English (comparing ye and faire)?

For that matter, what languages ARE considered to be languages suitable to have definitions on here? Is there a list? Thanks. -Erolos 23:49, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

As you've noted, we consider "Middle English" to be a separate language from "English", but aren't very consistent about it. And, it's not complete, but Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion#Languages to include gives an idea of what languages we include. —RuakhTALK 23:54, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
To be completely honest, that question does not have a very concrete answer. It has been proposed that all Middle English entries be placed under English, and Middle English not be used as a header, but this is by no means set in stone. Ultimately, we don't have anyone working too much on Middle English at the present time. The best person to talk to concerning this is Widsith. As for languages in general, we don't have an official list of all acceptable languages, but the general rule of thumb is that any language recognized by SIL is acceptable. A list of language headers currently in use can be found at User:Robert Ullmann/L2. Hope that helps. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 00:00, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
It is my understanding that a word could, in principle, appear both as "Middle English" and "English" with identical spelling. We might not do so unless there were some reason like some change in meaning; citations from before, say, 1500; or material imported from an out-of-copyright Middle English dictionary. I think we would welcome Middle English entries, especially attested ones. If the French can have Middle French and the Dutch and Germans their Middles, we should have Middle English! DCDuring TALK 01:22, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I used to be quite opposed to counting ME as a separate language. I have come round to the idea though when dealing with some words which did not survive beyond about AD 1400. However the fact remains that the vast majority of ME words survived into early modern English and so I tend to use =English= with an {{obsolete}} tag. There are also issues with citations, in that we really want a list of quotations of a given English word to include ME attestation, but there are probably ways round that. I think the short answer is you are welcome to add =Middle English= words, as long as you are aware that they may duplicate information in =English= sections. Widsith 15:11, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Admin SemperBlotto complaint

I am not a regular user of Wiktionary but I am concerned about the administrating of admin SemperBlotto[5]. According to a complaint I received from a friend via e-mail, SemperBlotto reverted all of his good faith edits, blocked him (without warning or any attempt even at discussing whatever issues he had) with his reason being vandalism. The edits that were made by this IP address [6] are clearly not vandalism or remotely deserving of an immediate block without warning. I'd also like to note that just before the immediate block, SemperBlotto went back and reverted all the user's edits. In each one, he failed to provide an edit summary reason for why he reverted all of the edits back, as is shown here [7], here [8], here [9], and here [10]. I should think one at least deserves an explanation for why all their good faith edits are being reverted and why their being an immediate block beforehand. However, as you can see I was the very first person who commented on the user's discussion page [11] and once the user is blocked he is unable to make an unblock request which is why he came to me. Frankly, I'm concerned about whether or not this admin is doing this to a lot of people

He hasn't bothered to refute or get back to me or the user about my complaint I made to him on his discussion page found here[12] which is now several days ago. He also hasn't cleared up the situation on the user's page at all either [13] as the only thing there is still my comment. I've since went back and reverted all SemperBlotto's baseless reversions [14] several days ago with an edit summary concerning the issue. He hasn't tried to revert them again. If this is not the correct place to make a complaint against an admin, please point me in the right direction Uponsure98 11:11, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

There is some very odd behavior in your friend's contribs, such as the unexplained removal of interwikis. These may have been honest mistakes, but if I saw a contributor making value-neutral edits (replacing one word or example sentence with another equivalent one) while mysteriously removing content from other parts of the page, I would also be inclined to read that as vandalism. Perhaps these were just honest mistakes? -- Visviva 12:43, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Content is disappearing because this IP is "restoring" edits made previously by that were reverted or undone. All intervening additions (interwikis, translations, etc) dissappear. This editor (presumably the same one) is not operating in good faith, simply edit warring (badly). Should be treated as a (minor) vandal. I'm going to have to clean up. Uponsure98: you have re-introduced vandalism by rv'ing SemperBlotto, please stop and let us clean it up. Robert Ullmann 13:06, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
The IP address was banned for removing translations and interwiki links without reason. All the other edits were, I suppose, reasonable but didn't seem to add anything useful - So I reverted them all without bothering to waste time reveiwing them all. That was probably over the top. It takes far too long cleaning up vandalism at the moment without the extra hassle of issuing warning messages. A short block (1 day in this case) normally works fine as a warning. SemperBlotto 13:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
That took a bit of doing but I've unwound the damage from the two IPs and Uponsure98, without losing any good edits. Robert Ullmann 13:20, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Ok, I now see one (and only one) edit in which there's a removal of what could be important information [15]. One could easily assume that it wasn't a deliberate act of vandalism by simply basing it off the fact that the rest of the edits were in good faith. Simply readding that back into the article and an edit summary that "it's important" would have been more than enough. I'm not going to dig deeper into the situation though since it's not my own and you've acknowledge it as being "over the top."

Now that that's taken care of, anyone want to monitor the recent attacks I've received from Robert Ullman and put an effective stop to it. User appears to have completely missed the major points of this conversation which is the removal of this info [16] was what SemperBlotto admittedly regarded as vandalism. The labeling of these edits [17] [18] as "damage" (without any explanation) and reverting it, followed by coming to my user page with this [19] load of incivility that I've deleted seems both uncalled-for and inappropriate. Thank you Uponsure98 14:57, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

I can't find the incivility that you refer to at the link provided. I did find visible annoyance. I believe that the damage had to do with the translations that were lost, possibly because user edited an early page instead of working on the current version, which is almost always bad practice at a Wiki. Multiple instances of such editing by an anon could easily be seen as vandalism. Blocks are the only practical remedies for anon vandalism. DCDuring TALK 15:19, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
I've issued user "Uponsure98" a second block warning for re-removing content and blanking the first warning from his talk page. He has now attacked both SB and myself for cleaning up vandalism by the anon-IPs. (Frankly, I think it is possible that he is the anon-IP.) Note that his reversions have re-removed content first removed by the IP (as DCDuring says, by editing a prior version). Robert Ullmann 15:24, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
In case this user is confused, we are here to get work done, not find grievances where none exist, not to stir up drama. All links above are pretty clearly very busy editors cleaning up after a dubious contributor, something which we all do all the time. I suggest the anons and new user learn from their mistakes and move on. - TheDaveRoss 15:27, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Sugarcoat it as you wish but referring to someone's good faith edits as "Your mess" falls into the category of [incivil]. The admin himself has since returned to the article in which he claims "damage" was done here [20] and changed that up to this[21] after my reversion, indicating that the damage that was done was the use of the name "Jane" in the example. If one doesn't find the behavior to be irrational and downright incivil, I'd question their ability to be reasonable and fair about anything.

I can see the admins have each other's backs around here and trying to reason with an admin is a pointless task so I retire from contributing to the Wiktionary. You may consider a more friendlier and fairer environment tho if you want more contributors here and for this place to reach any type of popularity Uponsure98 15:37, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

User "Uponsure98" blocked indef, is a sock of the IP-anon vandal. All of his drama above is simply trolling. Robert Ullmann 15:39, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Citation page

I don't see any of them being used. Is this just a spot to drop a list of sources that back the definition you've used? If so, is there any standard format (i.e. bullets or numbering), should you sign your additions, etc? Thanks. LaraLove 16:56, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

It is relatively new, it is used for at most a few thousand words so far. Top the page with {{citation}}, then add the cites below. Citations:hinder is a great example. - TheDaveRoss 17:00, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, also, it isn't used primarily for resources, it is used primarily for usage examples. - TheDaveRoss 17:01, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Ah. Okay. That's not at all what I had envisioned. Writing articles on Wikipedia gives a different idea of "citation", haha. Thanks. LaraLove 17:06, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

creating entry list by language

I am interested in creating the lists of words/entries for the English and Chinese versions of Wiktionary.

Initially, I thought this would simply be enwiktionary-20080410-all-titles-in-ns0.gz and zhwiktionary-20080405-all-titles-in-ns0.gz, but the en-all-titles has some non-english words and non-words while the zh-all-titles is mostly English.

If someone could provide assistance or point me to the relevant documentation, I would greatly appreciate it.

If you are trying to get a complete list of entries on the English Wiktionary, then you will get entries in all languages. Each Wiktionary (except Hebrew) allows and encourages all words in all languages. The difference between projects is the language in which the words are explained, not the language of the entry title. --EncycloPetey 12:36, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for this clarification. It appears that the entry titles may be sufficient for an English word list, but not for the Chinese one. For instance, zh-all-titles has "money" but not the Chinese translation of money. The translation appears at the bottom of the entry when viewing on Wiktionary. How can I extract all the Chinese translations for the non-Chinese titles in zh-all-titles?

For that you would need the article-text XML dump of ZH-wikt. I haven't done this myself, but since definitions are generally the only thing in an entry in a numbered list, I assume you could extract all lines from each entry that begin with "#" (and not beginning with #*, #:, or ##) for a good first approximation of what you're looking for. Of course some of the lines you obtain may not be strict translations -- they may be long-form definitions, contain usage information mixed with definitions or translations, etc. -- Visviva 09:28, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your help. I have one additional question, however. Wiktionary provides simplified and traditional Chinese (click on a tab to toggle between them), but I only see simplified Chinese in the ZH article text. How is the traditional Chinese generated? My understanding is that character mapping from simplified to traditional is error prone and that it is preferable to map the other way around.

Very Unhappy with Search facility

I'd like to see a MUCH better search facility. I heard a garbled new word on the home page for "hotforwords" on youtube, and tried to look it up by searching for "confu*". I just got a confusing scramble of hundreds of results, most of them in Italian, and most of them useless. I didn't bother to complete my search.

What i need is (a) A checkbox for the parts of speech (in english), if I want to restrict my search to a particular part of speech, and (b) A series of categories so that I can narrow search results, much like Yahoo Mail Search, or Ebay Search. Categories would be (a) Parts of Speech [Adverb], (b) Language [English], etc. Other possible categories are (c) descended from (latin, greek, french, etc.), and (d) Era (ancient, middle ages, renaissance, modern, etc.)

Thanx, SystemBuilder 06:31, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

You can do that by looking in the categories themselves. If you want to find an English adjective beginning with "confu-", then go to Category:English adjectives and skip to the part of the category that begins with "co-". --EncycloPetey 13:01, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Not an unreasonable request. Also, our categories are not yet very complete and are not always accurate. But it's the best we can offer right now. With all the structure we have, you would think we could offer more structured searches. DCDuring TALK 15:10, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
It would be nice to be able to search for words with origin in latin, greek, or some other language. –dMoberg 21:26, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
Much of that information has not yet been entered. When it has, you can look in the Category:Etymology by language to find it. --EncycloPetey 22:31, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
How would I search for Latin nouns that aren't in the Latin noun category to improve the entries? DCDuring TALK 00:28, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Ask someone (like Connel or Robert, say) to do a bot run, looking for Latin entries with a Noun header, but without {{la-noun}} or {{la-noun-form}}. Some of these may have {{infl}} instead, but most of those should be fixed to the language-specific templates anyway. There's also a short list of some of them at Wiktionary:Categorizing. I'm working through some of those, but I'm focussing on the other parts of speech first (verbs and adjectives). My goal is to not only add the basic templates, but verify, clean up, and otherwise expand the articles, since many of them are minimal form being quite old. --EncycloPetey 03:11, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

more flattering word for Coot or Codger

Am stuck for a word that would be similar to old coot or codger, but with more respect, dignity or even humor.

No epithet needed. Just call me by name. DCDuring TALK 14:48, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Other suggestions: good-looking, handsome, stud, studmuffin, Brad. I could go on. You have my sympathy with the word search. I have a similar problem in finding euphemisms for whippersnapper, punk, snotnose, rugrat DCDuring TALK 14:53, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

why so many translations?

I mean look at meco angr ivan daniel polanski stephen brown a lot of people that only do different language translations where are the english contributers the only real one i can think of is semperblotto. -- 13:18, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

sorry forgot about jyril -- 13:20, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

There's a few of us ;) but SemperBlotto is by far the most prolific. I personally find writing definitions very difficult though I do do it from time to time. The main problem is that the easy work for English is done - we have a moderately good coverage of a broad range of standard vocabularly. The hard bit is now perfecting the entries we do have, and adding the specialist words that we don't. Feel free to help! Conrad.Irwin 13:54, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Ignoring the random ad-hominems, the reason is simply that the English language (qua subject matter) accounts for far less than 1% of our total mandate. At present, English is actually vastly overrepresented, compared to its share in the ideal final version of Wiktionary which will (nervous cough) have comprehensive coverage of all words in all languages. Also, your premise is false; most regular contributors to community discussions (myself included) contribute heavily -- if not exclusively -- to English entries. -- Visviva 13:55, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Look at our statistics. We have more than 100,000 base English entries, which is three times the number of entries for the next language on the list. Most of our work in on English entries. You will see a lot of activity in other languages, yes, but mostly because those languages are so far behind, and it is easier to find a simple word that hasn't yet been added. Therer are also those of us currently concentrating on Latin and Ancient Greek because it will enrich English etymologies. But, most of the work is still on English.--EncycloPetey 15:15, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Centuries in etymologies

Please see Wiktionary talk:Etymology#Century. Harris Morgan 21:31, 27 April 2008 (UTC).


I am trying to find six letter words that end in w and all have the same sequence as 123324 4 = w —This comment was unsigned.

I'm impressed; how did you think of all of those?! Running perl -e "while(<>) { print lc if m/^.(.)(.)\2\1W\n/ }" on the U.S. National Scrabble Association's Official Club and Tournament Word List, Second Edition, I only get those six plus sorrow (and ditto with the transnational SOWPODS list used elsewhere in the world). —RuakhTALK 16:56, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Je ne grep pas - See [22] - sorry I missed one (bad eyesight). SemperBlotto 19:02, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

May 2008

Help translating into Chinese

I have been writing several contributions on amber, Dominican amber and blue amber for the German and the English Wikipedia. I would like to see them in Chinese Wikipedia as well, since the information there is rather scarce. I don't know Chinese at all. Would anyone be RWA to help?

I think it would be 琥珀 (hǔpò, amber), 蓝琥珀 (lán hǔpò, blue amber), and 多米尼加琥珀 (duōmǐníjiā hǔpò, Dominican amber). —Stephen 14:40, 1 May 2008 (UTC)


I'm a newcomer to WT, but a seasoned veteran of WP. When I create new pages, I try to create them with proper formatting and everything, but often I am at a loss as to what to do, and/or I need to draw someone's attention to the page to make sure it's done correctly. So far I've just resorted to capslock PLEASE CHECK in the edit summaries, hoping a recent changes patroller catches it, but there has to be a better way. Is there any template I can use to draw attention to a page that needs it? WP has template:helpme, which is a bit similar (and I only use in dire circumstances), but if there's anything here, I haven't a clue about it. -Oreo Priest 22:11, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

{{rfc}} might do the job, especially if you followed through by clicking on the "+" after saving and adding a little text to the rfc page. DCDuring TALK 01:51, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Even better, use {{rfc|explanation}} and click that +.—msh210 17:11, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
{{wikify}} is useful in this sort of case. You can put it at the very bottom so it isn't obtrusive. Robert Ullmann 08:11, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


I have flowers growing that someone told me are called in Russian "sirin" (сиръин??). Does anyone know what this is?—msh210 17:10, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Maybe they meant сирень (sirén’), which is lilac. —Stephen 21:02, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks.—msh210 19:09, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

slavery language

I'm wondering how the word "gal" was used in reference to a black woman. I was told this had to do with treating african slaves like children. Hence boy for a man, gal for a woman.


I can't make the numbering show '1' and '2'. If anyone knows how to do it then thanks. Pistachio 11:13, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

This has been fixed now thanks. ‍‍‍‍‍‍‍Pistachio 13:28, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

For future refernce, you can't have an empty space between the lines. Conrad.Irwin 19:21, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
# 1.
# 2.
# 1.

Wiktionary main page links for the Chinese, Korean, Russian and Romanian Wiktionaries

Hi, I can find the link to the Spanish and German, because I know the names of those language in their language, but how does one go about finding the links for languages that one cannot read. Right now I would like to get the links for the Chinese, Korean, Russian and Romanian Wiktionaries for a friend who runs a center for internationals. Thansk. N2e 20:32, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

I usually find things by the ISO code. All of the interwikis are in alphabetical order by the ISO codes (I think). So, for example, the codes you're looking for are Chinese zh, Korean ko, Russian ru, and Romanian ro. If you look at the bottom of the browser and see the address of the link, you'll notice that everything's prefixed by the ISO code. If you need more codes, the best place to find them (IMO) is at User:Robert Ullmann/L2. Does that help? -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:52, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
The standard place to look is Wiktionary:Index to templates/languages Robert Ullmann 08:03, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
If you look at the bottom of the main page, we also list the various large Wiktionaries according to size. In each case, the native name is followed by the English name in parentheses. So, you can search on the page for a language name in English to find the link. --EncycloPetey 02:25, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks everyone. That helps. N2e 05:21, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
meta:List of Wiktionaries may be helpful. You can use the little toggles at the top of the table to sort whichever column desired. Robert Ullmann 08:03, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Synonyms and Antonyms

What about adding synonyms and antonyms so that there is also the functionality of a thesaurus as well as a Dictionary? —This unsigned comment was added by Artpoetryfiction (talkcontribs) at 04:35, 14 May 2008.

We do include synonyms and antonyms, actually. However, while many of our entries have them, many of them don't (remember this is a work in progress). You are more than welcome to help out, if you like. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 09:41, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


I find a few fonts missing from my system, e.g., entries in Mycenean are not appearing (see empty squares instead). Any central source to point one the downloading of special fonts? I already have the usual suspects, greek, chinese, korean, thai, hindi, arabic, etc. Best regards, 21:03, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

You might look at w:Linear B and at Linear B Syllabary. —Stephen 14:44, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Phonetic vs. Phonemic representations

Is it better to give a phonetic or a phonemic form, or both, when giving the pronunciation of a non-English word. A phonemic representation will often lead to a wrong pronunciation, but a phonetic representation won't give a very good insight in the structure of the language. Are there any guidelines on this topic (It's probably explained somewhere else?)? Grunnen 19:09, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

  • Generally speaking, we want phonemic rather than phonetic representation. Widsith 19:54, 16 May 2008 (UTC)
I'd have to disagree with that; I think a broad phonetic transcription, one which shows all those features which are distinctive or likely to confuse, is likely to be much more helpful than a purely phonemic representation (which may be quite misleading). -- Visviva 15:03, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree. —RuakhTALK 15:23, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Er...someone is confused here. Perhaps me. Phonemic transcription is the broad transcription, indicated by /slashes/ (which are used here for most languages). Phonetic transcription is much narrower and is usually placed between [square brackets]. See Wiktionary:Pronunciation. Widsith 15:32, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
But strictly, a phonemic representation aims to show the underlying phonemic structure, without any of that messy stuff that goes into actual pronunciation. For example, a phonemic representation would not distinguish between the British and American realizations of the "long O" sound, and -- since no "pure" O sound exists in either dialect -- would probably use o for both. That is rather different from our usual practice, and would IMO not be wise. Likewise such a representation would probably distinguish between the middle consonants of reading and writing, which would be actively misleading (at least in my dialect). See [23]
I think we have gotten into the habit of using "phonemic" to mean approximately "broad phonetic" on Wikt, but it's not strictly accurate. Actually using strictly phonemic representations would deprive our users of a lot of information.
A classic example of the phonemic approach is Chomsky and Halle's Sound Pattern of English. Brilliant though that work is (I recall in particular how they managed to show that the pronunciation of "giraffe" is uniquely determined by its full spelling), it is probably not a model to which we should aspire. -- Visviva 16:09, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
The difference between phonemic and phonetic is a continuum rather than a binary system. Our own transcription distinguishes between different countries, but does not distinguish allophones within those countries. The slashes indicate that we are trying to pin down the phonemes of a particular country's speech, rather than trying to denote all phonetic details of the way each word is said. I agree that we wouldn't want to go as broad as Chomsky/Halle, but that doesn't necessarily make us phonetic. Widsith 18:57, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Re: "we are trying to pin down the phonemes of a particular country's speech, rather than trying to denote all phonetic details of the way each word is said": Now who's making this a binary system? :-)   I don't think we're restricting ourselves to phonemes; do we not distinguish between Spanish [b] and [β], for example? I agree that we're not "trying to denote all phonetic details"; rather, we're aiming for a very broad transcription, and while we make certain choices based on the phonemes of a language (e.g. we don't distinguish [p] and [pʰ] for English, because we don't need to), I don't think that makes our transcription phonemic. —RuakhTALK 19:29, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
As Widsith said, there is a continuum, and we do lean more towards phonemic than phonetic when we transcribe the pronunciation. That doesn't make this binary. --EncycloPetey 21:09, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure we are all actually in agreement here, in terms of what should actually be done (a broad transcription which includes all phonemically distinctive features, and some additional info if appropriate). Whether we call it phonemic or phonetic is somewhat beside the point; it's certainly mostly phonemic.
Still, my experience in Korean entries makes me a bit leery of phonemism. Consonant voicing, for example, is non-phonemic in Korean, but is one of the leading causes of unintelligible Anglophone pronunciations, and is noted in one way or another in most Korean pronouncing dictionaries. If we note important non-distinctive features such as this (and I definitely think we should), ours is not strictly a phonemic system.
Ideally we would have guidelines for each language outlining those features which are and aren't worthy of inclusion in transcriptions, perhaps allowing multiple levels of precision. -- Visviva 06:01, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

What is the Equivalent

...of the "WP:..." format from Wikipedia on Wiktionary. For instance, the Wikipedia page on Warnings is [[WP:Warning]] (short for Wikipedia:Warning). Or for Barnstars, it is WP:BARN (short for Wikipedia:Barnstars). Thanks. I'm kinda new here. Nwspel 18:18, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

WT:. But, unlike on WP (but like the way it used to be on WP), WT: doesn't automatically redirect to Wiktionary:; we use redirects instead.—msh210 18:31, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks :) Is there a list of WT pages? Or a category? Nwspel 18:32, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
WT:WT Conrad.Irwin 18:33, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
TY Conrad & mdash. However, something has occured to me. On WT:ELE, it says this:
"The name of the entry is that of the word or phrase that you are defining. For languages with two cases of script, the entry name will usually begin with a lowercase letter. Exceptions include proper nouns, German nouns, and many abbreviations."
Yet I thought some users here say that you should keep words with different cases of script on different pages; but surely, this policy would appear to go against that? Nwspel 18:40, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
No, it describes the situation correctly. Some English words are not used in the lowercase form (like proper nouns) and so should be in the uppercase as they only exist in one script. Conrad.Irwin 18:50, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Why are LOL and lol separate? Nwspel 18:59, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
ELE is talking about languages with two cases — like English, which has capital and lowercase letters. (Contrast, e.g., Hebrew, which doesn't.) ELE says, then, that in English (but not Hebrew), the entry name will usually begin with a lowercase letter. See, e.g., see or e.g.. (In Hebrew it begins with a letter, not a lowercase letter, since there is no lowercase letter in Hebrew.) Those sentences are talking not about words that are spelled in two ways, but rather about languages that have two cases. I hope that this clarifies.—msh210 19:04, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
But what is the difference between LOL and lol? Nwspel 19:11, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
The former is capitalized. If you think that's a distinction without a difference, well, so do some others here, including at least one frequent contributor who is an admin, to boot. But nonetheless the (current) rules we have in place call for them to be separate entries.—msh210 19:16, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
LOL can also mean Loyal Orange Lodge. lol is also a Dutch word. However, people are equally likely to look up the common internet abbreviation at either LOL or lol, so it makes sense to have a definition line in both locations. -- Visviva 03:49, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Pronunciation presentation

In goal, the pronuncations are listed as thus:

GenAm /ɡoʊl/ /goUl/

Are they all supposed be done as so? I think it's quite a nice idea, but I haven't come across it very often, so I'm presuming it's a new policy? Nwspel 22:15, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

That's the format used by one of our older contributors. Check listen for the current format. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:27, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
So there isn't really a set policy? Nwspel 22:31, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
There is a set policy, which is enunciated at Wiktionary:Pronunciation. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:41, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I've cleaned up the goal entry to current standards. For this word, the IPA is different between the UK and US, so the format is slightly more complicated than for listen, but not by much. --EncycloPetey 19:42, 17 June 2008 (UTC)


I know I keep asking a lot of questions lately... but it's only so I can understand how things work here; i'll be experienced enough soon not to need to ask things. :)

in this article, it lists the references as part of the article. I was wondering what policy was on this, since, there is a whole separate tab for citations. I would like to point out that some users who do not have javascript enabled, will not be able to see the "citations tab". Nwspel 08:31, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I hope you don't mind, but I've moved your initial remark out of the title, as it was making edit summary usage rather difficult. -- Visviva 11:31, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused here, but I think you're saying that all the quotations are in the article, when perhaps they could be within the citations space. If I've wrongly interpreted your question, I apologize. While we don't yet have a very firm policy on this (partially because the citations namespace is so new), the general rule of thumb is that quotes should only be put in the citations tab when A. There are too many of them, and they would clog up the article or B. They're not yet properly formatted/selected or C. The entry does not exist. In this case, the entries are all well formatted, and the entry has plenty of space for them, so they should be kept where they're at. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 08:45, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
They could probably be at teh Citations page AS WELL, I guess. Widsith 10:39, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
They could, but that would be rather silly, unless more citations were added in the process. -- Visviva 11:31, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
Just to add to Atelaes' A, B, and C, I think there's also an informal rule something like "D, Stick them in the Citations: namespace when they are not good citations, so we want to hide them from the casual reader's eyes".—msh210 16:21, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
My own method for working with citations is (1) Put a short list on the entry page if there are only a few; (2) choose one citation that best illustrates a particular sense to place under that sense (with the rest in the Quotations section); (3) if there are no simple clear citations, then use a manufactured example sentence under the definition instead; and (4) move long lists of citations to the Citations namespace. Note that this personal method of mine developed prior to the existence of the Citations namespace and may change once we have community norms for citations. --EncycloPetey 17:51, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
My own method is to put all quotations under the relevant sense. If there are more than three for a sense, or at most four, then clearly I've expended my attention span, and anyway there are other entries that would be better served by my quotation-finding time, so I don't need to worry about these "long lists of citations" that everyone else seems to produce. :-P   —RuakhTALK 19:17, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Protologism links

A question about the list of protologisms: if a word does not exist in the dictionary, but is in the list of protologisms, a search will find it, however, if it does exist in the dictionary, maybe as an obscure word with a different meaning, is there a template (or other method) of linking to the protologism? 01:07, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

No, there is not. Generally we allocate almost no resources to our protologisms. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:34, 28 May 2008 (UTC)


In the book Plutarch's Lives Vol. 1, there is a word that I don't know and is not in my dictionary. In the account of the person "Aristides" of Athens the word "barathum" is used. It seems to have a sense of a noun or place. I would like to know what this word means. —This unsigned comment was added by Shejyn (talkcontribs) at 16:43, 27 May 2008.

Interesting, the wikisource version uses barathrum. In any case, it's a romanization of Ancient Greek βάραθρον (bárathron). Hope that helps. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:19, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Multi collumn

What is the code to create multi collumns here?
I started making the code a while ago, but I was stopped,
with someone telling me that these: {{Template:rel-top}}, {{Template:der-top}}, and {{Template:trans-top}} would all work instead.
However, this is not the case, since they do not create collumns, but a whole separate drop down box.
So does anyone have the code to create real collumns for here? thanks
nwspel tork kontribz 13:29, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
The whole point is that we want lists like that to be hidden. Where are you wanting to put unhidden multiple columns? For those cases the MediaWiki table code is very flexible and much simpler. w:Help:Tables for more information. Conrad.Irwin 14:04, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
| Column 1
| Column 2
You can use {{top2}} (top3, 4, 5) to get columns without the collapsible box. Robert Ullmann 14:17, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. :)
nwspel tork kontribz 15:49, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I should add: Some in the community want all the informartion hidden. Some in the community are concerned that this makes the information harder to find for new users. --EncycloPetey 20:14, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

June 2008


I created what I believe was an attempt to create an entry for the word paraph on Wiktionary, but I think I put it in the wrong place: [24]. What should be done?--Filll 15:28, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

False-friends, faux-amis or international homonyms

Thank you to add a false-friend option in definitions.
In fact, I'm working on a HUGE list (1600 entries described in French at the present the moment) on my free copylefted site : (blacklisted link excised for archive--EncycloPetey 18:29, 31 January 2009 (UTC)).
Moreover, I suggest to also add some hyperlinks behind each title of languages.

JackPotte 00:19, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

In the past, we have confined false cognates to the appendix, e.g. Appendix:Spanish false cognates with English. Would you like a similar appendix page for French? Rod (A. Smith) 15:48, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Looking for review of my pronunciation work

  • I've been bold and updated about 5 words with hyphenations and IPA pronunciations. My source for the unaccented and accented pronunciations was the on-line version of the Oxford English Dictionary. My source for the hyphenations (OED doesn't hyphenate) was the on-line version of Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary. Since these are minor bits, I do not believe I am plagiarizing. Anyway, what I'm looking for is feedback on whether I'm doing it right. Would someone mind checking my contribution history (Dragon695 (talkcontribs)) and see if those entries are correct?
  • Does anyone have a listing of IPA quirks for OED 2nd edition and above? For example, the IPA it uses for start is really weird. It looks like /stɑɪt/, except /ɪ/ has been cut in half and pulled apart a bit. Does start sound the same in both US and UK English? The page on Wikipedia dealing with inter-dictionary pronunciation re-spellings is not very helpful. What would be helpful is a way to translate the alt tags for the IPA entries in OED. For example, if I highlight the pronunciation of start and copy it here, this is the result: st{fata}{lm}t.
  • Should I be consistent and provide hyphenations even for single syllable words? --Dragon695 20:59, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, based on what you've done, I'd say that the OED uses /oʊ/ for "long O", but we use /oʊ/ to represent this sound only in the US. In the UK, the sound is different, and we use /əʊ/. There are also a couple of words for which the US pronunciation and/or stress look wrong, especially bromine. The pronunciation on that page was clearly wrong for the US (but now fixed), and looks like it might be wrong for the UK as well, based on the Cambridge Pronouncing Dictionary.
As far as hyphenation, that's a difficult issue. Hyphenation standards differ from country to country and from context to context. We had a recent long discussion about it (see WT:BP#Suggestion_from_OTRS_mail). You can include that information or not, as we've never been consistent, and it is largely regional and highly variable. --EncycloPetey 21:22, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. Ok, well I guess OED uses UK pronunciation for older entries, where no accent is indicated. Part of my problem is how confusing the IPA pages are on WP. They seem to be terribly disorganized and lack continuity. As for bromine, the WP IPA Help page seemed to imply that it was proper to transcribe /əʊ/ as /oʊ/, for both RP and GA. I will not make that mistake in the future. I'll stick to pronunciations that are less sticky for now. Sorry for the trouble. I will limit myself to US pronunciations, since that is my native tongue. Also, I will stop using OED which is a little confusing and just transcribe the M-W pronunciation to IPA. Is that acceptable? --Dragon695 02:01, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
You may find Wiktionary:English pronunciation key to be a useful reference. --EncycloPetey 02:15, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps it would be a good idea to precede the hyphenation template with an accent template? Since M-W is an en-US publication, (US) would be the best bet? --Dragon695 02:07, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
No, an accent template is only appropriate when describing accents. Hyphenation is a strictly written property of words, not of spoken language. Opinions on how to hyphenate words vary from source to source, even within the same geographic region. --EncycloPetey 02:15, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

OK, a few clarifications to the above: the "i that has been cut in half and pulled apart a bit" is the symbol "ː" (not the same as a colon [":"], although it might look like it in some fonts), which is used to show that the preceding vowel is lengthened. The OED gives pronunciations in Received Pronunciation (RP), considered a standardised way of pronouncing UK English. In RP, the letter "r" following a vowel is not pronounced unless it comes before another vowel. So "start" is pronounced "staht" in UK English, and in IPA, this is spelled /stɑːt/.

The sound of "oh" as in the words "oh", "no" and "low" is pronounced differently in RP and in US English. In RP, it is /əʊ/ (imagine the Queen saying "oh no" and you'll get a reasonable idea of the sound. In US English, it is /oʊ/.

The SAMPA pronunciations given in Wiktionary are an ASCII version of the IPA pronunciations.

You might ask why we and the OED use IPA — one answer is that IPA is designed to be able to show pronunciations of all words in all languages (and all words in all languages are what Wiktionary is setting out to define), which pronunciation schemes used in some English dictionaries (especially American dictionaries) simply cannot do, because they are restricted to English words only, for the most part.

There is no point in giving hyphenations for one-syllable words because they are not hyphenated.

Please do go ahead and add US pronunciations, as we are lacking many of these, but please mark them as US pronunciations by using {{a|US}} before them. Merriam-Webster's pronunciation scheme is similar to our enPR pronunciation scheme, so you can transcribe these to Wiktionary. This cannot be considered a breach of copyright because pronunciations are "facts" and so are not copyrightable.

Paul G 08:49, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Usage labels

I have gone crazy several times running in circles in the help pages trying to find a list of labels to start definitions with, such as usage like colloquial, dialectical, informal and fields such as chemistry and anthropology.

Can someone tell me where to find a list of those labels, and also, can this information be added to one of the help pages? Wakablogger 06:38, 18 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger

Try this regularly updated list: User:Robert Ullmann/Context labels. New context labels are created almost every day, and most of them are categorized in corresponding topic categories (e.g. {{chemistry}} into Category:Chemistry). --Ivan Štambuk 06:43, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. From that, I found what appears to be a series of master lists at Category:Context_labels. This should be added to the help pages or made clear if it's already there. Wakablogger 23:23, 19 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger

Community evaluation

As I approach 500 edits (whew!), I'd like to know what is generally thought of my contributions. I got off to a rocky start (what with my embarrassing in retrospect creation of anopia and Anglophobia) and got into some disputes rather quickly (goddessship, uncopyrightables), but then I began to expand my lexicon and do some serious research when looking for words to add. While my contributions have largely been monolingual (with the exceptions of gox, imperfecto, and tumbo), I personally feel that I have been a good contributor to the English definitions and would like to know if other contributors feel the same way- if not, suggestions please! Thanks, Teh Rote 15:14, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Pretty accurate self-evaluation, AFAICT. Everyone has different detailed preferences and interests so perspectives are likely to vary at the detail level. We probably can't agree on much more than the importance of sticking to principles, policies, and preferred styles and working well with others. DCDuring TALK 16:16, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

proper nouns

I'm having a difficult time figuring out exactly what is a proper noun and what isn't. North America and northern Japan are very similar (they both refer to a specific region), but the first is a proper noun and the latter isn't. Is it because the first is an open compound, and the latter is just "adjective noun"?

Is Continental Europe a proper noun? It seems like a judgment call whether something is a compound noun or not. --Interiot 18:46, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

You wouldn't be the only one with this problem. Perhaps w:Proper noun or proper noun or Appendix:Glossary#proper noun might help a bit.
In most normal uses it is fairly clear what is and what is not a proper noun. The more authoritative entities there are treating something as unique with well-defined borders, the more clear it is that it is a proper noun.
Contintental Europe is not an entity that would have a high level of agreement on its borders, I would bet. But there may be some significant administrative entity that has a useful definition. The noun phrase "continental Europe" is a little vague as to whether Sardinia, Corsica, Malta, Sicily, Crete, Greenland, Channel Islands, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Spitzbergen, Russia, Ukraine, all or some of Turkey, etc. would be included.
North America as a continent might be a proper noun. But there are many North Americas for various purposes.
"northern Japan" is probably not a proper noun, unless it is a well-defined administrative entity. If two administrative entities refer to two different areas in northern Japan as "Northern Japan", they could both be proper nouns. In the sentence "The Northern Japans have different boundaries." "Northern Japans" is not a proper noun.
Even with individuals these problems arise in borderline cases. Are your hair clippings you? How about the severed tip of your finger? How about a fetus in your body, a brain-dead body, a body in the funeral parlor, a freshly buried body?
Not to belittle the question, which bothers me as well and has caused debates here, but how would it make a difference to you whether it was called a "proper noun" or a "noun"? DCDuring TALK 19:42, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I've been doing more WP:MOSCAPS edits on Wikipedia lately, and the key distinction is whether something is a proper noun. It's true it's a small and relatively unimportant issue, but I just wanted to make sure that I "do no harm" when making these edits. (and I did ask over there first, but there don't seem to be many people interested in linguistics details over there)
Anyway, I've got many more questions like this, so I guess I'll camp out at the library for a while. --Interiot 20:25, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
If you find any generally good resources, please post them to me. I'm writing an Appendix on proper nouns in English, that I hope will spell out the characteristics as well as usage. --EncycloPetey 20:33, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
It seems as if you are lucky in that WP has its own particular rules on capitalization that usually do not depend on the definition of proper noun. You could simply submit a list to us here of the gray-area cases where specific WP capitalization rules don't apply a "proper noun" determination needs to be made and you can't find answers in reference works. We could provide reference-work-based rationales for such determinations.
The grammar in English would be quite different. A proper noun (or proper name) has the grammar of a noun phrase, whereas a common noun does not. --EncycloPetey 20:04, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Although I see this used as a definition, it does not seem to hold up for North America and northern Japan. Also, using an approach like that, earth (the planet) should be capitalized because its grammar is the same as that of other planets. I think there are a lot of border cases and arbitrariness. Wakablogger 07:45, 21 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
I was always taught that Earth is capitalized when referring to the planet. —RuakhTALK 15:14, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
I was taught the same thing in school. WB, there are indeed borderline cases, but they occur rarely, and are concentrated in a limited number of situations, such as names of wine types (e.g. Merlot/merlot), names of games (poker/Poker), ideologies (communism/Communism), the days of the week (which are consistently capitalized in English), and a few scientific and mathematical concepts. Also, the fact that proper nouns can regularly be used as common nouns is no more arbitrary than using a common noun adjectivally (e.g. computer table) or using an adjective substantially (e.g. the poor). Many languages have regular patterns of words crossing part of speech, but this is done according to a pattern and is not arbitrarily. --EncycloPetey 17:42, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I find the practices of capitalization to be highly irregular and arbitrary in English, and that problematic items occur frequently. Examples include go (the game, which shouldn't be capitalized but usually *is*), bird names (which are capitalized in Wikipedia as per bird naming rules even though people don't capitalize them on a day-to-day basis), any noun considered to be important in writing (which has gradually decreased, it seems, beginning around a century ago), foreign words (which normally shouldn't be capitalized, though people frequently do so), genera (which are always capitalized though species are not), the word "the" (which is to be capitalized according to some style books when part of a company name), the first person subject pronoun, the word "Internet," sometimes words having to do with the WWW (Webpage or webpage, etc.), the word "President" when referring to the president of the US (quite odd), the third person pronoun when referring to the Abrahamist deity but not when in use for religions with multiple deities, am/pm/bc/bce/ad/ce. The list goes on and on. I'm not arguing that there are more irregulars than regulars (people's names and toponyms easily wins there), simply that there is a great deal of arbitrariness in capitalization in English. The comment about use as common nouns was in response to the grammar comment, which was left hanging without clarification.Wakablogger 07:16, 22 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
OK, I will agree that there is arbitrariness in English when it comes to capitalization. However, that does not mean that there is arbitrariness when it comes to proper nouns as a part of speech. The two issues are not the same, and are are coincidentally related. Whther or not a word is capitalized and whether or not it is a proper noun are two separate issues. Please don't take out you frustration over English capitalization on the proper nouns :) --EncycloPetey 16:44, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
So we're back to the question of how to do define a proper noun, LOL. Wakablogger 00:10, 23 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
No, you just wandered off on a tangent; "proper noun" was already defined. I've also started a lengthy appendix (still in draft). If you want to discuss what a proper noun is, then you will nedd to start talking about that issue instead of capitalization. My point was that all your discussion above about English capitalization rules is irrelevant to the discussion topic, as was stated at the outset, since capitalization not all proper nouns are capitalized and many capitalized words are not proiper nouns. Orthography of a word's written form is independent of its grammatical part of speech. --EncycloPetey 00:19, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

redirect (re-direct) question

I made post-humously redirect to posthumously. Should I have done this? Or should have wrote something like "alternate form of posthumously"? Rocket000 20:30, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

See large scale and large-scale for an example of one way to handle this. --EncycloPetey 20:39, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. But you deleted it instead of doing the large scale/large-scale. I still don't know... Rocket000 20:44, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I deleted the redirect only, and then alerted you to community policy, so that you could (1) learn about editing Wiktionary and (2) have credit for creating the correct entry. --EncycloPetey 20:47, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Ohh... ok. I didn't think about that. In summary you said "bad redirect" so I thought maybe the hyphen changed the meaning or use of the word and I was simply incorrect. (The entry would have been useful in this case. :) Rocket000 20:54, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
"Bad redirect" in the sense that we don't want redirects for words. It's one of the standard reasons for deletion on the pulldown menu that administrators have. --EncycloPetey 20:58, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Maybe that could be change to "Unwanted redirect" (with the link) for us newbies? P.S. Can you check out that page and see if I did it right? I keep feeling like I'm breaking something every time I edit. Rocket000 21:02, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I made one minor change (to keep the statistics happy), but otherwise it looks fine. --EncycloPetey 21:08, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Cool. Statistics? So much to learn... Rocket000 21:12, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
A page must include explicit wikilinks (square brackets in the text) in order to be counted towards our page totals. Even though templates may provide links, the brackets must explicitly be typed into the entry page itself or the software won't count it as a "good" page. --EncycloPetey 21:24, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


Perhaps I'm understanding it wrong, but there seems to be a lack of June headings or sections on all of the pages I've visited. February, March, April, May, but no June.

There are a few, but you're right. The person who normally puts those in did not do so this month. --EncycloPetey 03:57, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

GNOME Dictionary Server

Hey, I was wondering if it is possible to use Wiktionary for the GNOME dictionary in Ubuntu that you can add to a panel. I know other people that want this feature, too. Choicefresh 19:20, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

More usage is good. More usage that Google and others give us credit for is wonderful. DCDuring TALK 19:28, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but at this time, I don't think it is possible as it needs a GNOME-friendly dictionary server as well as a port to use. I was asking if there was a server or if you could construct a server for it. Choicefresh 01:07, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
AFAICS it requires a DICT-compatible back-end for Wiktionary and not some horrid "GNOME server". I'm not that sure that DICT is compatible with relatively advanced format Wiktionary uses. The concept of "defining a word" is much more elaborate than people would think. Also, Wiktionary entries are multilingual, and DICT seems to be oriented towards one language only. However, it would be fantastic if this functionality could be provided for external sites to use in a few API calls.
As an alternative, you might wanna check out Firefox add-on WikiLook which defines a lexeme in your browser using Wiktionary a highlight away. --Ivan Štambuk 13:21, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Language-specific discussion topics

Are there designated places to discuss issues that are specific to a particular language? Issues that would probably seem arcane if not tedious to most people, but not for those having an interest in the particular language. 12:09, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Language-specific issues are mostly discussed in the talk space of "about pages", like e.g. Wiktionary talk:About Ancient Greek for Ancient Greek and similar for other languages. The only exception is English which gets discussed mostly in WT:TR/WT:BP. --Ivan Štambuk 12:33, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Not quite the only exception. Some languages have no "About" page yet, and in those cases it is also appropriate to use the Beer Parlour and/or Tea Room. --EncycloPetey 13:02, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

niche- IPA help please

The UK/Ireland pronunciation is 'neeesh' only. The two audio files are of 'nitch' (rhymes with ditch, US) and 'nish' (rhymes with 'dish'), so I edited the page to try and reflect that the UK pronunciation is neither 'nitch' nor 'nish'. I don't know the IPA but shouldn't 'niːʃ' be 'neesh'? Anyway the English pronunciation is basically the similar to the French so I edited the page but I think there is still some mistake in IPA or in the files. So could someone who knows IPA please check that there are three pronunciations, 'neeesh', 'nish' and 'nitch', and that the two US pronunciations are actually 'nish' and 'nitch' ( not 'neesh' and 'nitch'). Thanks. Pistachio 16:37, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I've regrouped to pronunciations; the US pronunciation is highly variable. --EncycloPetey 16:45, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
thanks darling! I don't know the IPA you are a lifesaver! we say 'neeeeshe' like 'quiche' and sorry about not helping with Categorising work as I have been busy in real life. Pistachio 16:55, 27 June 2008 (UTC)


I am working on ふかふかした on User:Kitty53/Test page. Is anyone available to help out? Thank you.Kitty53 18:16, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

What kind help do you need, formatting or definition? —Stephen 14:29, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
I think just formatting, and that's it.Kitty53 17:53, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

besides requested enteries what other lists do you have?

-- 16:35, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

To cut your teeth, try Wiktionary:Community_Portal#Help us with entries needing attention DCDuring TALK 16:59, 30 June 2008 (UTC)