- Information on how to avoid becoming upset while using Wiktionary to discuss can be found at Help:Interacting with humans.
A talk page is a special Wiktionary page containing discussion about the contents of its associated "subject" page. To view the talk page of an article, click on the "discussion" tab at the top of the page. When you are in the talk page, clicking on "entry" will take you back to the main entry.
It is highly recommended to use the various Wiktionary Wiktionary:Discussion rooms to talk about entries instead, as those receive much higher traffic in general.
What is it used for?
On Wiktionary, the purpose of a talk page is to record past discussions related to the entry page it is attached to. Discussions include anything from those challenging the validity of the senses or entries to general questions about its etymology.
User talk pages
Your user page has a talk page as well, and that one has some special features. For one thing, there is a link to it in the header next to your name (if you use a "skin" other than the default it may be somewhere else). Also, if edits are made to it by others, the text You have new messages will appear at the top of the page. These pages can be used for occasional personal communication among users; but note that these pages are public. If you want to communicate privately, use e-mail (see Wiktionary:Emailing users).
To write in another user's talk page, click the Discuss this page link on your sidebar when you view the user page (which you can do by clicking on a user's nickname). On the list of recent changes and on your watchlist, you can directly access a user's talk page by following the (Talk) link behind the user's name / IP address.
"Post a comment" feature
For editing a talk page, one can optionally use the "Post a comment" feature, but only for a new thread and for a reply to be put at the bottom of the last thread.
- For a new thread, fill in the "Subject/headline" box. Then the edit summary is automatically the same as the new section header.
- For a reply to be put at the bottom of the last thread, do not fill in the "Subject/headline" box. In this case it is not possible to supply an edit summary. Instead, edit the previous thread.
When using "Post a comment", an edit conflict is impossible. However, in the case that you are not starting a new thread but replying to an existing one, your response may be appended to a newly created post that was added while you wrote yours. It is therefore generally recommended to use section editing to respond, and "Post a comment" to start new threads. If your comment is accidentally misplaced, just edit the page and move it.
A few tips
These style guidelines have been adapted from the style guidelines at Wikipedia and are presented here as suggested methods, not rules. Following these guidelines is appreciated but not required.
- Sign your posts: To sign a post, type three tildes (~~~), and they will be replaced with your username after saving, like this: HappyDog. Type four tildes (~~~~), and they will be replaced with your username and time stamp, like this: HappyDog 15:50, 15 Feb 2004 (UTC). On Wiktionary we recommend that you try to always Sign your posts on talk pages. You can also use a pseudonym, or just "--anon".
- Use indenting to keep the conversation straight: The first contributor is all the way to the left, the next person starts with one colon (:), the next person starts with two colons. Then, when the first contributor responds, they start at the left margin again, and the second and third persons continue to mark themselves with one and two colons respectively, In that way, who is saying what is clear.
- Separate discussion topics: Put each new topic under a different headline (== Subject ==). The "Post a comment" feature accomplishes this automatically when you enter a subject line. The edit summary is automatically the same as this header. Thus every thread is a section. This allows section editing of the thread in question. You can also use horizontal lines (----), although some users strongly dislike them.
- Proceed vertically: The further down the contribution to talk, the later it was made.
- Feel free to ignore typographical conventions: Do as you please to make your points clear.
- Make links freely: Links to entries are as useful on talk pages as anywhere else, and links to non-existent entries can help get them onto the most wanted pages list.
- Don't misrepresent other people: Typing errors, grammar, etc are always fair game, but don't edit someone's words to have them say something they don't believe in. Editing or deleting your own words is up to you. Avoid context swizzling.
- Archive rather than delete: When a talk page's content has become extremely large or the discussion of the issue in hand has simply died down and no one has a reasonable chance of adding to it. Then create a new page. (See Wiktionary:How to start a page for details.) Place the page in a talk or Wiktionary talk namespace. Give it an explanatory name. Often people simply add "archive" to the original name. Explain on the archive page where the text you plan to archive will come from and provide a link. Cut the relevant content from the original page and paste it into the new page. Replace the text on the original page with a link to the archive. An alternative is to summarise the discussion and provide a link to the version with the full text.
- Keep to the topic: Not layout, but worth keeping in mind. Talk page discussions can be much more humorous and POV than the typical article, but personal attacks don't do much to make entry better.
- Use UTC when referring to a time, e.g. the time of an edit or page move.