Appendix talk:Glossary

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Thee and thou are still used[edit]

"archaic" ... "For example, thee and thou are archaic pronouns, having been completely superseded by you." ...

Not quite completely superseded as noted here

(Vowel shifts)

fpl, mpl[edit]

Are these appropriate? Shouldn't these be substituted with the template, which show {{fpl}} and {{mpl}} anyway, rather than fpl and mpl? DAVilla 06:16, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Good call. —RuakhTALK 15:04, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Fixed ref to {mpl} and {fpl}, here (!?) Robert Ullmann 23:59, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


In the "uncountable" explanation, it says there is no English word "informations," yet that word is linked to a dictionary entry saying it's the plural of "information." What gives?

No, but the page informations only claims that there is a French word "informations". \Mike 16:19, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

The word "information", in English, also relates to the submission of offences to the magistrates' court for summons. So, if you were submitting multiple offences to the court, you would say that you, "laid the informations". Tom 11.00, 22nd August 2008 (BST)


This is a GOT used in the BOTD. 16:23, 10 February 2008 (UTC)

Add apocopic[edit]

It's a word form used in Italian and various other languages; it has various categories, but it should have a template, and an entry here pointing to it. (really, w:en:User:JesseW/not logged in) 20:34, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

It has a template {{apocopic form of}}, which I've now linked to the glossary; I also copied over the def on the entry page into the glossary; it could still use some improvement in wording, etc. (really, w:en:User:JesseW/not logged in) 20:53, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I suggest adding more info to "apocopic"; I know it's used/present in both Norwegian and Spanish, in slightly different contexts (but with the same core meaning of removing the last part of the word). 17:46, 04 October 2012 (UTC)


A lot of grammatical terms seem to have different meanings depending on which language you're talking about. In English, I think "progressive" means that a be verb is used with a gerund, but see w:Continuous and progressive aspects which seems to imply that the term isn't as meaningful in English because there's no distinction from "continuous". It's probably more correct to call this "imperfect", although that includes other constructions ("used to"), and anyways there's a difference between w:imperfect aspect and w:imperfect tense, the latter a subcase referring only to the past. If it's an issue, someone a lot more knowledgeable than me is going to have to sort this out. It would probably help to start by having our definitions (imperfect, progressive, etc.) fully fleshed out. DAVilla 16:53, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

In English, the form-of-be+gerund-participle aspect is called either "progressive" or "continuous"; both terms are used. However, some linguists (dunno how many) use "progressive" to refer to the aspect, and "continuous" to refer to something slightly different, an imperfective use of the neutral aspect (as in "I live in Ohio"). The Wikipedia article you link to draws such a distinction for Chinese, where there are two distinct aspects — it uses "progressive" in reference to an in-the-middle-of-an-action aspect, and "continuous" in reference to an in-a-certain-state aspect — but from what I understand, that distinction, relevant to Chinese linguistics, has little bearing on English linguistics. —RuakhTALK 18:54, 1 September 2008 (UTC)


Could somebody please add hyphenation and add a link to Template:hyphenation so readers could understand that it is dividing the syllables? Thanks. 20:07, 19 March 2009 (UTC) Never mind, I'll just do it myself and anyone who does not think it should go in there can revert my edit. 23:34, 21 March 2009 (UTC)


I can't find nominative, surely this is just a silly error? Mglovesfun 23:54, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

suffix jump[edit]

Is there any grammatical name for the words that are formed by adding multiple suffixes so that the between forms are not used (do not exist)? It happens sometimes in Hungarian entries that a word has a suffix at the end but taking it off will produce an unused form, not even worth an entry. Is there a name for this? It is not back-formation but rather a fastforward-formation. But that is not too linugistical. Qorilla 20:30, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Inverse requests ("what's the word for...") are usually at WT:ID or WT:TR. I don't know how many people watch this page.​—msh210 22:26, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


Hi, there is a category and a template named "offensive", but I don't see a definition here. thanks, Facts707 06:49, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

The appendix define technical term. What's technical about a word being "offensive"?? Circeus 17:46, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's specifically for technical terms; rather, I take it to be for terms that we use in a specific way that readers can't necessarily divine. I do think we should define what we mean by "offensive", since the term is sufficiently subjective that it's not obvious. —RuakhTALK 18:42, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

internal linking fixes[edit]

I noticed that #transitive links to #I for its "intransitive" link. It seems to me it ought to link to #intransitive. Alas, I don't appear to have access to edit the page, so... posting here. Could someone make that change?

Digging further, I also see that a few others need similar help:

  • portmanteau links to blend as #B
  • strong pronoun (which I can't link directly to, because it doesn't have the usual <span id="..."> tag) to emphatic pronoun as #E (should be #emphatic, I think)
  • weak pronoun to emphatic as #E and strong as #S

I found these (other than transitive/intransitive/#I, which was by noticing it as a user of the site) by running the following commands on a unix box:

curl -O
grep '#[A-Za-z]">[a-zA-Z][a-zA-Z]' Appendix:Glossary

Once corrected, I would expect the latter command to give no output.

Revived words[edit]

Hi. I have been doing work cataloguing old, obsolete terms which have generally fallen out of use in the modern language. I come across the odd one now and again, however, which evidently has experienced a slight resurgence of use. Do we have tag for such previously labelled (obsolete) (--by dictionaries), but have since been "revived"? Leasnam 17:39, 26 January 2012 (UTC)


Denotes words or expressions that likely arose via casual conversational language. --> Could this possibly be changed? Maybe this holds true in English, but in German for example many or even most colloquial words, i.e. words used in normal spoken language, but not in formal or written style, are of dialectal origin. "Colloquial" shouldn't denote how a word probably arose, but simply how it's used: in the colloquial. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 11:16, 7 October 2013‎ (UTC).

I agree, Yes check.svg done.RuakhTALK 15:27, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Phrasal verbs[edit]

Hello there. As Facts707 suggested in the Phrasal verbs discussion page, I think it would be interesting to add phrasal to indicate a phrasal verb, in addition to the existing Category:English_phrasal_verbs.

Moreover, as Rising Sun suggested in the same discussion page, I think we need something to add keywords to indicate if a phrasal verb is:

  • obligatory separable
  • optionally separable
  • inseparable

Maybe inseparable is not needed as there already is intransitive. What do you think about it? Do you think I can add these keywords? Raphael.jakse (talk) 22:08, 25 December 2013 (UTC)

"Obligatory separable" gets only 7 Google-hits, so it's probably not a good label. —RuakhTALK 22:59, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
UsingEnglish uses separable [obligatory] or separable [optional]. But I agree with you, obligatory separable (and optionally separable) might not be good labels. They are too long. However, as of today, I couldn't find better labels. Any idea? Raphael.jakse (talk) 15:38, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
Well, I guess it depends what those terms are supposed to mean. In general, for verb-particle idioms, the choice between [verb] [object] [particle] and [verb] [particle] [object] is determined by the heaviness of the object: an unstressed pronoun like "it" will nearly always precede the particle ("give it up", not *"give up it"), whereas a noun phrase with a nested clause like "the most brilliant invention she'd ever heard of" will nearly always follow it ("thought up the most brilliant invention she'd ever heard of", not *"thought the most brilliant invention she'd ever heard of up"). So I'm not sure what it would mean for a given verb-particle idiom to be "separable [obligatory]" vs. "separable [optional]". But I'm listening. :-)   —RuakhTALK 21:42, 26 December 2013 (UTC)
I am not a native speaker, so I can't check, but for some phrasal verbs, it seems you have to separate the verb itself and the particle, like for "keep around", "answer back". If I trust UsingEnglish, one cannot *"keep around something". We rather keep something around, whatever the heaviness of this thing. You always answer someone back, you never *"answer back someone". Also true for wrap around. Tell me if I am mistaken. Raphael.jakse (talk) 13:20, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Yes, it's true that the object always precedes the preposition phrase: "keep someone in the dark", never *"keep in the dark someone"; "answer someone in reply", never *"answer in reply someone". I wouldn't have thought to call those "phrasal verbs". —RuakhTALK 17:43, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
But You kept in the dark the very people who were there to help you does have the particle before the object. So even that isn't clear-cut. —CodeCat 17:52, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
In "keep someone in the dark", or "You kept in the dark the very people who were there to help you", it seems to me that we are indeed not speaking about a phrasal verb, but the regular verb "keep", with "in the dark" being a prepositional phrase introduced by the preposition "in". The phrasal verb "keep in", if I'm not mistaken, exists and means approximatively "prevent from going out" → "They kept me in after the meeting", "They kept in the dog {in the house}" (I can't check whether these examples are correct). We keep nothing inside the dog, "in" before "the dog" doesn't convey the same meaning as in your examples and isn't part of a prepositional phrase, it is part of the phrasal verb "keep in", with is "optionally separable". For optionally separable phrasal verbs, we can choose (I suppose it is a matter of usage) to separate the verb from its particle or not but when the object is a pronoun, in which case it must be placed between the verb and the particle.
IMHO, the same goes for "answer someone in reply". "answer" and "in" are not indissociable nor part of the same entity. I don't think "answer in" is a phrasal verb; in any case, here we are dealing with the verb "answer" and with the prepositional phrase "in reply". It is different from "answer something back", where "answer" and "back" are part of the same thing. Raphael.jakse (talk) 22:47, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
In a modern/scientific presentation of English syntax, in "answer someone back", "answer" is a verb and "back" is an intransitive preposition (a preposition without an object). Not one entity, but two (at least syntactically: the semantics may be more complicated). In traditional grammar, intransitive prepositions are grouped in with adverbs. But either way, "answer someone back" has more in common with "answer someone in reply" than with "give something up". (For this reason, by the way, *"They kept in the dog" is more or less ungrammatical. English doesn't generally allow a preposition phrase ("in") to appear between a verb ("kept") and its object ("the dog").) If English-as-a-second-language resources are using the term "phrasal verb" for both "answer back" and "give up", then either they're wrong, or they're applying some pedagogical principles that don't have to do with linguistic accuracy, or perhaps they're applying applying a mixture of semantic and syntactic criteria rather than strictly syntactic ones. —RuakhTALK 08:46, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
All right, so I don't know where, but there is some confusion around phrasal verbs and I will try to get more information on English grammar and phrasal verbs. If you have any reference on this, please share. For now, I still think the wiktionary should give usage of phrasal verbs in a more formal and systematic way but I feel we need opinions from more people on this subject to go forward. Here's a phrasal verb for which the wiktionary gives the usage: make_up#Usage_notes. As for "answer back" and "give up", there are both declared as phrasal verbs in the wiktionary. —Raphael.jakse (talk) 14:30, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

colloquial / informal[edit]

The distinction isn't very clear to me. Could the two possibly be merged? --Fsojic (talk) 20:44, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

Colloquial has to do with how people talk conversationally. Informal is anything that's not formal. --WikiTiki89 20:51, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Would you have an example of something that would be informal but not colloquial, or colloquial but not informal? As I see it, something is informal precisely because it relates to how people talk conversationally. --Fsojic (talk) 21:07, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
The way I see it, is that something that is colloquial is generally regarded as incorrect but still commonly used, or something that is more common in speech than in writing. For example, in French I would considering using j' or d' before a consonant to be colloquial; these can be used when speaking quickly even in a formal context. Something that is informal but not necessarily colloquial is for example using on to mean nous. --WikiTiki89 21:44, 22 April 2014 (UTC)
Old discussion, but... I wouldn't say that colloquial is "considered incorrect", it is considered inappropriate in formal writing, and that's exactly what links it to informal. But colloquial—and I think that's what you mean, too—means forms, words, constructions that are chiefly restricted to speech (and obviously particularly common in casual speech). Maybe gonna is an example in English. It is not generally "informal" to say gonna: officials will use it at a press conference. But it is colloquial, that is restricted to speech, and not very likely to be used when someone reads out the written words "going to". — The distinction is more obvious in languages that have a greater split between spoken and written language than English does (such as French, German, or Persian). Kolmiel (talk) 13:37, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
As a non-native speaker of English, I don't see any difference, and have been using the two interchangeably. There's been a discussion on StackExchange, although no consensus seems to have been reached. As it is, this glossary tells us to compare the two words but doesn't really explain the difference, just as their respective entries (informal, colloquial) refer to each other. I'd suggest a merge, since they are either the same or so close in meaning that a distinction is more confusing than useful.__Gamren (talk) 09:38, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

genitive_case entry is broken[edit]

The entry for 'genitive' is missing the word heading. The definition is there, wedged between 'gender' and 'gerund', but its title is not. Curiously, ( still goes to the text of the definition. That link is used as one of the examples under 'case'. I think I see what's happening. There are two span IDs, but no bracketed copy of the word, in the source for that entry. 19:46, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Fixed. Yep, they included the HTML tags to go with the text, but no text. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:30, 29 November 2014 (UTC)


  • fpl & mpl: is it really and only fpl and mpl and not, maybe just also, f pl/m pl or or f. pl./m. pl.?
  • "ed. - "Editor".": does it never mean "edited [by]" or "edition" in Wiktionary?
  • "UK English, i.e. The English of the United Kingdom." -- shouldn't it be "the"?

-IP, 19:56, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

"Many" is not an article[edit]

Under the section "uncountable, uncountable noun, mass noun"... It implies that "many" is an indefinite article. Yet it's not an article; it's a determiner. Meanwhile other determiners like "some" or "any" or "most" work with uncountable words. For instance "There is some water over there" or "I will find any water that's left". To fix this, phrasing could be added to the definition to say "In addition, words cannot be used with it that suggest a number can be given to the noun." Also, see Wikipedia entry on the indefinite article which points out there are only two articles in English ("a" and "an"). Dani210 (talk) 20:20, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

neither here nor there[edit]

This is minor, but I'm barred from editing this page, so I can't fix it myself. The page uses neither/or constructions in a couple places, which should be neither/nor. 2605:6000:EE4A:2900:6250:C93B:E4D4:B4BC 02:40, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Descriptively, it could be debated that neither/or is grammatically acceptable as an alternate, almost dialectal form. Joseph Yanchar (talk) 16:54, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
If you use the conventional form (neither/nor), you avoid the debate altogether. It makes more sense to use a form everyone agrees is correct than a debatably dialectal one. 2605:6000:EE4A:2900:6250:C93B:E4D4:B4BC 08:25, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

Oblique Case[edit]

It's stated in the section on the oblique case that it is especially applicable to Old French and Hindi. Is there any reason why these two languages out of many that have oblique cases are stated specifically? As far as I know, one could even say that English has oblique cases when it comes to personal pronouns (for the pronoun I, me could be considered oblique). Joseph Yanchar (talk) 16:52, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

In case of English, objective (case) or object case is more fitting. - 11:23, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

"Pedantic" being used as a label[edit]

I have noticed that "pedantic" is sometimes used to describe words, often using {{label}}. I am not quite sure as to how, exactly, we are supposed to determine whether a word is pedantic(?), and it seems like a pointless value judgment anyway, since "pedantic" is a derogatory word. If we must accept this practice, we need an entry here to clarify. A few examples I found:

__Gamren (talk) 15:09, 8 October 2015 (UTC)

CE & BCE[edit]

"CE Common Era."
CE also means Current Era and Christian Era. Please add this for the sake of neutrality and as one can't decide which abbreviation somewhere here uses. - 11:23, 24 November 2015 (UTC)