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Additional information[edit]

Can someone translate the following:

指对偶语句, 可写在纸上、布上或刻在竹子木头柱子。也叫“对子”对联、题名并篆文。——明· 魏学洢《核舟记》 22:02, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Removal of definitions[edit]

Why were definitions just removed? I don't think this thing always has to be surrounding a door. One of the removed definitions made that clear, and now it implies that the couplet is always around a door. 22:19, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

When you make an definition, you need to make sure the information is not repeated or redundant. If you want to express the fact that it's not always around a door, then words like 'usually, but not always', or 'sometimes' are sufficient, rather than putting in a new def. Defs should be exclusive of each other, whereas it's not in your case (if A includes B, then B needs to be included in A, either as an extension or in a gloss). It's really a pretty simple concept. JamesjiaoTC 22:24, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

You tell us. Is it always around a door? Can it be written in a book? Can it appear on a column or a piece of bamboo? Or the ones you can buy in the store could be kept or displayed somewhere that is not a door. Etc. The removed definition allowed for it to not be around a door. 22:27, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I think you didn't get my point. These are two separate properties of the same object. One provides information in regards to its usual location and the other provides information on its content. Putting them in separate definitions doesn't make sense. Do you get what I mean? It's not about whether it's found in a book, around a door or on a door. It's irrelevant. JamesjiaoTC 22:33, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Having an entry that is complete and accurate for the user on the ground is the most important thing, more important than any arguments over semantics. Does this item always have to be around a door? 22:34, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

That's not the argument here. No it doesn't always have to around a door. I think I have made myself clear here. I am not sure what you are getting at. Are you trying to avoid the sense behind my argument? JamesjiaoTC 22:37, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't matter. The entry now states that it is around a door, when I am not certain that that is always the case. Previously, the entry left open the possibility that it could not be around a door. The most important thing at our project is to provide an entry that is accurate, and currently I do not believe it to be. 22:39, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I am confused here now. Is it really that hard to add the word 'usually'? JamesjiaoTC

That's the thing--arguments about semantics, that go on and on, seem to be more important to some editors than making the entry complete and accurate for the user. I am not Chinese and had asked you because you have a Chinese name and I assume that you are of Chinese origin, and might know better than I whether this item is always around a door. To answer your question: no, it is not really very hard to do that, but I was leaving it up to you because you have a Chinese name and most likely have had more experience with this item to be able to know. That is why your changing the definitions to imply that this item is always found around a door was so confusing to me, because definitions I found in various dictionaries implied that it did not have to be around a door. But as the entry stands now (as changed by you), it does have to be always around a door. 22:53, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

You raised two issues. One - the location of the couplet and two - whether the original 3rd definition should be incorporated into the second. I provided answers to both. Yet you disregarded the second issue completely after your 2nd dialogue, then you started accusing me of arguing over semantics. Unfortunately the argument over 'semantics' is actually pivotal to this conversation. If you choose to ignore it, why did you bring it up? JamesjiaoTC 22:58, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Now it says:

an antithetical couplet, which usually consists of a pair of lines of verse written vertically down the sides of a doorway

But I think it should say:

an antithetical couplet, which consists of a pair of lines of verse, which are usually written vertically down the sides of a doorway

Because I believe "consists of a pair of lines of verse" is accurate. I think the lines may also always be of the same number of characters. One further issue is that I think this kind of inscription, beyond appearing down the sides of a doorway, can also appear on pairs of columns or similar things. And a last issue is that the characters may be painted or carved into the wood of the doorway or may be on cloth or paper that is hung. In the latter case, I'm not sure whether one can say these cloth or paper things are written down the sides of the doorway, because they're written on the cloth or paper. 23:05, 3 November 2011 (UTC)