Appendix talk:Gestures/middle finger

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For explanation of the title (PAGENAME) of this entry, see Wiktionary:About signed languages.—msh210 17:04, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

For the RFV which led to the RFD, see Talk:!o^@Inside-PalmBack. - -sche (discuss) 17:09, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

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Request deletion of the ==English== section as User:Rodasmith suggested. Surely this is a sign language, and not English, right? I know absolutely nothing of sign language, so will leave this entry for others to discuss. --Jackofclubs 14:48, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Keep. That gesture is not ASL at all. It's used by English speakers, it conveys meaning, it's attestable, and it probably has an interesting etymology and an interesting set of translations. Other English gestures I'd welcome would be thumbs up ("A-OK"), wave ("hello, goodbye"), index-finger-and-thumb-form-a-loop-with-other-fingers-extended ("perfect"), corna (various meanings, including "rock on!"), and shaka (with regionally various meanings, including "cool" and "hang loose"). —Rod (A. Smith) 15:48, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
And someone in another forum mentioned salutes.—msh210 17:11, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Keep this per Rod. (The larger question, of course, is whether such entries are allowed altogether. We voted to allow such entries for sign languages specifically, but we never said anything about allowing them for English.)—msh210 16:02, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Strong delete. The entry isn't Male right middle crop.jpg , the entry is !o^@Inside-PalmBack - do you really mean to say that's English? --Duncan 16:22, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
See WT:ASL: that's the way we represent such things in pagetitles, which don't allow pictures.—msh210 17:03, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I dunno. I feel that signs and gestures, other than in sign language, are probably outside our remit and best left that way. Equinox 16:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
After longer consideration: Delete or move to some kind of appendix. Equinox 17:48, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I have to admit (as the entry's author) that "all words in all languages" does not seem to include gestures. This gesture is attestable, conveys meaning, is idiomatic, and has translations, as Rod notes, but Equinox may be right that gestures are outside our remit. "A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means", say the CFI, and this satisfies most of that clause — but maybe not the "term" part of it.  :-)  I dunno.... Abstain. But if there ever is a really good way for people to look up such things (e.g., if/when SignWriting is Unicodified), then we should modify the CFI to allow gestures, for sure.—msh210 16:54, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Keep if we have a way people can (reasonably easily) look up gestures. Conrad.Irwin 16:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
This from the Indexer? Just add a section to the index (and perhaps also the alphabetical list on the homepage)!—msh210 17:01, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Come again? How do you alphabetise gestures? What about offering somebody a hand for a handshake - how does it appear in such an index or alphabetical list? --Duncan 17:25, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
We'll only need to alphabetize them if they get to be more than a few. If so, we can alphabetize by pagetitle, or using the system Rod is currently working on for sign languages.—msh210 17:42, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Delete current format, I'm certainly not against sign languages, but !o^@Inside-PalmBack is not a 'word' in ASL, is it? That's a bit like saying diakritikós (diakritikós) is a Greek word - it isn't, it's just the correct Greek word transcribed into the Latin alphabet. I'm not sure what the solution to this 'sign language' problem is, I just feel like this isn't it. Mglovesfun 17:13, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
As for !o^@Inside-PalmBack is not a 'word' in ASL, please note that the disputed entry is not for an ASL sign but for an English gesture. As for I'm not sure what the solution to this 'sign language' problem is, you may be interested in the solution already established by Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2008-08/Wiktionary:About sign languages. —Rod (A. Smith) 17:35, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Not all our entries are "words". Anyway, huh? From my experience that sign means up yours, not fuck you. The one for fuck you is the one that seems to be described at V sign. 50 Xylophone Players talk 17:24, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Both entries are defined as "expression to show contempt". I think the average American would translate the current entry as either one.—msh210 17:42, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Rod: You can't have it both ways: "please note that the disputed entry is not for an ASL sign but for an English gesture" - agreed, but in that case of what relevance a vote on sign languages is here, English not being a sign language? msh210: didn't you react to Conrad's saying something which included the words "reasonably easily"? How does a list of pagetitles like the one we're discussing fit in? --Duncan 17:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Duncan, I wasn't trying to have it both ways. I was merely addressing two separate statements made by Mglovesfun. In no way was I implying that the sign language vote supports the disputed entry. —Rod (A. Smith) 18:10, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Duncan, depends what you consider reasonable.  :-) msh210 18:32, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Okay, okay, I got a bit carried away. Calmly now, back to the core of the problem: Can we say that !o^@Inside-PalmBack is an English word? I strongly believe we can't, that's all. --Duncan 18:50, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I think the questions is actually not that but the following two: (1) Does that gesture meet CFI? (1′) (As English, or should we emend it?) (2) If so, what pagetitle should we file it under? I think that the answer to 2 is that this pagetitle is the best choice: it's the one we use for sign languages, for example.—msh210 19:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
As for whether the gesture meets CFI, consider that not all of our entries are for words, e.g. b, -er, and !. As for whether it's English, consider that certain gestures are integral to speech (e.g., pointing in "I like this one better than that one."). As McNeil (1985, "So you think gestures are nonverbal?", Psychological Review 92, page 351) points out, "We tend to consider 'linguistic' what we can write down, and 'nonlinguistic' everything else; but this division is a cultural artifact, an arbitrary limitation derived from historical evolution." Several other linguists now agree that certain gestures (not including things like scratching one's nose) are linguistic, and I don't see what harm might come from including meaningful gestures. —Rod (A. Smith) 19:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

This isn't English. The gesture itself is Translingual, and the label for the gesture (used as title for the article) is written American Sign Language.AugPi 21:30, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Delete (per AugPi, after edit conflict). I think it would be great to have entries for gestures and such, but firstly, I don't think this is an English-language gesture per se (for example, I don't think you can say, "and then he said, !o^@Inside-PalmBack!") — I'm not sure if gestures can ever really be part of a spoken language, but I can't speak definitively — and secondly, though I admit that I don't know much about ASL, my understanding was that it has a fairly restricted set of "phonemes" ("kinemes"?), so I don't see how our ASL notation can really be equipped to cover gestures that deviate from that. (What's our notation for biting your thumb? Or for touching your butt and making a sizzling sound? For that matter, how come we don't have entries for sizzling sounds, for the different kinds of laughter, etc.?) —RuakhTALK 21:34, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Although the gesture is used in languages other than English, I don't see how that disqualifies it as English, on the same grounds that no appears in multiple languages. I can definitely imagine someone saying, "... and then he went [flips the bird]!" You're right about ASL phonemes being a restricted set, but our sign language entry name transcription system is flexible enough to notate other handshapes, e.g. Au"@Mouth, meaning that the four fingers are folded to the palm, the thumb is extended out but hooked at the end, and is touching the mouth. The system already allows for more phones to be added to refer to other locations, e.g. 1@Butt 1@SideNeckhigh (the sizzle sound would be omitted from the pagename but described in the entry). —Rod (A. Smith) 22:01, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not intentionally saying, "it's English plus other things, so not English" (though AugPi seems to be saying that, and I did add "per AugPi" to my deletion comment, so I guess I unintentionally said it, but I didn't mean it!). Rather, I'm saying, "it's not English, it's not part of the English language, it's not language at all". Sign languages, just like written languages, are a non-vocal form of verbal communication (language); but I think this sort of gesture is actually non-verbal communication (not language). A highly conventionalized form of non-verbal communication, to be sure, but nonetheless not language. I'd compare it to pictographic pre-writing: it would be cool to include, but it's not really a writing system, and we can't just use L2 headers like ==Lascauxian== and call it good. —RuakhTALK 16:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
What about shh then? That, like !o^@Inside-PalmBack, is the transcription into a screen-friendly format of a non-word gesture that people make that means something. (A difference is that shh is a gesture with the tongue. So what? It's still just a soothing sound, not verbal.) Shall we delete it, then? Likewise for pfft, tsk, tlk (oh, we don't have that one; it's the sound people make to horses to urge them on, a lateral click), argh, etc.—msh210 19:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
We definitely should include them, but we shouldn't be under any illusions that we have entries for the actual sounds; rather, we have entries for written (and sometimes spoken) representations of these sounds. In the case of the birdie, there don't exist such (though we do have an entry for birdie). —RuakhTALK 19:44, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Keep Move to appendix. The definition is correct for an English context and the transcription system is the best we have (it needn't be exclusive to ASL). If another system comes along that's better for an English than ASL, then we can move this page. --Bequw¢τ 23:00, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
That you need to improvise a transcription system to try to wedge this into an English dictionary should be telling you something... Michael Z. 2009-05-06 16:36 z

Delete Although !o^@ looks like something you might find in a Beetle Bailey comic, this is not English, nor a word in any language. There is no precedent for this in any dictionary that I've seen (sorry, I can't quite hear you over this connection; would you spell that out?).

Seriously people, let's stop getting in touch with our creative side, and keep building the dictionary. Michael Z. 2009-05-06 16:25 z

Knowing how much work has gone into this (and ASL) I would say they are "building the dictionary". I would hope you are not making light of their work just because you can't read the pagetitle. --Bequw¢τ 01:04, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

I meant that the gesture is Translingual in the same sense that !, , ۞, ;) are Translingual. The gesture is like an ideographic symbol, it is used in multiple linguistic contexts (e.g. including Spanish, not just English) and yet it is not articulated with the tongue, so it might not be part of a language per se ("language" < "lingua" ≡ "tongue"), so in a sense it "transcends language" = "translingual". —AugPi 17:23, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I was gonna say that as well. I don't think you can express it using any alphabet that I know of, apart from giving it a name in each language (le doigt d'honneur in French). It is translingual, but this little has nothing to do with it. So still delete and come up a better solution. Mglovesfun 17:31, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
If I barf on my shoes, that's also translingual, but it's not a translingual word, nor a term in any sense.
LOL, yes that's true. Mglovesfun 19:51, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
The symbols AugPi listed above aren't terms either, and don't meet CFI. This discussion is an example of what happens when we ignore our own rules: some editors get carried away with the idea. Michael Z. 2009-05-06 17:42 z

Delete Anyone wanting to look up a gesture can go to w:List of gestures, or there could be a new Wiktionary appendix to catalog gestures by their names (and thumbnail pictures, possibly), or there could be new Categories, one for each language, used to keep track of all linguistic labels given to gestures. This is possible since there are not all that many gestures to keep track of anyway. But the label "!o^@Inside-PalmBack" is non-standard, and note that this gesture does not belong to American Sign Language, so it does not fall under the Wiktionary:About sign languages proviso. Note, BTW, that the translingual symbols which I listed above are all standard. ...No typical user wanting to look up this gesture would think of looking up "!o^@Inside-PalmBack" unless he/she were previously acquainted with Wiktionary's transcription system for sign languages, which belongs only to Wiktionary anyway. The extension of using transcription for sign languages to transcribe gestures which don't belong to those languages smacks of creative invention/protologism/original research. —AugPi 19:28, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Or just add them to Appendix:Unsupported titles?—msh210 19:41, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
AugPi, are you saying that it would be OK to document the gesture in an appendix, but that it doesn't belong in the main namespace? If so, would our documentation of that gesture include information like ===Alternative forms===, the ===Etymology=== (why the gesture has its form), ===Production=== (a description of the configuration of the fingers and thumb, and of the rotation of the hand, noting that the finger must point up, the palm must face the person producing the gesture, and the back of the hand must face the recipient), definition, ===Usage notes===, ===Translations===, etc.? —Rod (A. Smith) 19:54, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
The Appendix:Unsupported titles gave me an idea: if this entry is deleted then you could create, say, an Appendix:Gestures, which would have a message at the top saying that gestures are indexed by Wiktionary's system of transcribing sign language, outlined in Wiktionary:About sign languages. Then each gesture would have its own entry, in which a label such as !o^@Inside-PalmBack would show in a level two header, followed by level three header such as "Translingual" or whichever particular language context the gesture is used in (if it is only used in that language with that particular definition), followed by a thumbnail picture as inflection line, followed by definition, followed possibly by level four headers such as just mentioned by Rodasmith above, including "Production", and then by a "Translations" section which would indicate how to label the gesture in each language. The entries would be ordered alphabetically: actually, since you would be using non-letter characters as well, you could order by ASCII code. If this entry survives RFD then you can just create a Category:Gestures and then include this entry under it. —AugPi 21:16, 6 May 2009 (UTC) P.S. Abstain
Our departure from Wikipedia's “no original research” rules is restricted to attestation of undocumented terms. I don't remember voting to completely abandon WT:CFI, or leave the sober realm of lexicography altogether and leap into narcissistic flights of fantasy. What next, a catalogue of dance choreography?
What we do here is define terms. This proposal belongs to some other wiki. Adding it to the dictionary would be an embarrassment. Michael Z. 2009-05-07 14:39 z
I feel that this sign and signs meaning yes, no, shhh... are part of a language, but not part of English. This language is international and unrelated to spoken languages, which is why it is very useful to travellers, although some signs may have different (even opposite) meanings in different cultural contexts. Of course, ISO-639 does not mention this language. We could keep the entry, but certainly not as English. Why not International sign language (translingual is used for another purpose)? Lmaltier 21:11, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
Wiktionary's job is not to invent new languages. Michael Z. 2009-05-08 06:41 z
You're right, but it's not a new language at all. The only risk is to do original research. Lmaltier 08:16, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
If the finger is an example of an expression in the International Sign Language, then please show me some references which back that up. Otherwise, you are being inventive. Michael Z. 2009-05-08 17:44 z

Unless I'm mistaken (and correct me if I am), this RFD will set our standard for all highly conventionalized, meaningful gestures used outside of sign languages, including the following:

At the very least, these gestures should be documented in appendix here, detailing their etymology, regional distribution, production details, definitions, usage notes, synonyms, and antonyms. —Rod (A. Smith) 18:14, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Is someone going to propose an amendment to CFI that we can vote on, or do we just let this discussion go until it peters out? I would recommend to the proposers that they quote some linguistics writing which supports the inclusion of such non-terms in a dictionary, or I'm not likely to vote for it. Michael Z. 2009-05-08 18:13 z
  • Adam Kendon (1972, "Some relationships between body motion and speech", in Studies in Diadic Communication): "Gesticulation is so closely integrated with speech that it must be considered an integral part of the act of utterance."
  • McNeill (1992, Hand and Mind, what Gestures Reveal about the Mind): "gestures are an integral part of language as much as are words, phrases, and sentences — gestures and language are one system."
  • Liddell (2003, Grammar, Gesture, and Meaning in American Sign Language): "Those who study intonation and gesture have provided overwhelming evidence that both intonation and gesture contribute to the meanings expressed by speakers of vocally produced languages." Also, "... spoken and signed languages both make use of multiple types of semiotic elements in the language signal, but ... our understanding of what constitutes language has been too narrow."
Rod (A. Smith) 19:02, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Re 1st & 2nd cite: You could say the same about punctuation marks. Does that make " ? " an English term? --Duncan 18:58, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Re 3rd cite: I see. So next you are going to start creating entries for various intonations. Now, that would be a challenge. --Duncan 18:58, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and lots of things in the field of linguistics don't belong in dictionaries. These quotations are generalities about gesture – what did Kendon, McNeill, and Liddell say about adding the finger or similar gestures to dictionaries, and how were any such recommendations received by their peers in lexicography? Which dictionaries have followed up by adding definitions for the finger? Is there any real-world precedent at all, or is this just pie-in-the-sky brainstorming? Michael Z. 2009-05-11 03:49 z
The appendix idea is by far the best we've had so far. I'd be for that. Good thinking. I don't really want unwritable stuff in the mainspace because it's erm, unwritable. Mglovesfun 18:20, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Start with an appendix. If in the future we need a Gesture: namespace then that can be accommodated. DAVilla 05:57, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Will this be an appendix based on real scholarship which we can take seriously, or should we just generally take Wiktionary appendix to mean “ideas sent out to pasture?” Michael Z. 2009-05-11 03:49 z
For terms like this. Depends on if you think this can be taken seriously, on what kind of scholarship is behind it. Personally I'd like to see it taken seriously, with a namespace for these constructions, but the need must first be demonstrated. DAVilla 11:21, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
An appendix would seem to give us an opportunity to actually demonstrate approaches to this kind of thing.
There are various types of visual and non-visual non-verbal symbolic communication that we can consider, especially now that we are withing hours of completion of the English-language parts of Wiktionary. We just need a little more updating of a couple of senses from Webster 1913 and several more usage examples.
Some of my favorite areas are signage, comic-book conventions (See w:Lexicon of Comicana.), and facial expressions, but dance instructions, musical notation, labanotation/labonotation for dance, and semaphores would all be candidates. Some have grammatical conventions.
There are some small issues about attestation and the relationship to spoken/written languages that we can probably find somewhere already worked out nearly to our satisfaction. If not, we can have WMF commission the required academic work. (Stimulus package?) DCDuring TALK 11:56, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Okay, I'm totally behind the appendix idea. Michael Z. 2009-05-11 13:33 z
Move to appendix. Not ready for prime time; still too developmental. It also might be wise not to have this particular entry be the flagship entry (indeed, the sole example) of a new class of entries. This could appear among other gestural entries such as for "stop", "be quiet", "slow down", "I can't hear you", "come here", "I don't know", "I don't care" as well as those mentioned above. DCDuring TALK 14:38, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
[Remember the detritus left behind by one person's effort to include shorthand.] DCDuring TALK 14:40, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd be fine with move to appendix for now. We can always reconsider in the future. --Bequw¢τ 00:15, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Moved to Appendix:Gestures/!o^@Inside-PalmBack.—msh210 16:59, 13 May 2009 (UTC)