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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.


No. There is no such suffix. The combining forms listed here are from + ship, not from ... + manship. — Paul G 08:32, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

By what criteria does one evaluate the "existence" or, more importantly, includability in Wiktionary of a suffix? DCDuring TALK 10:59, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Good question. Do we have criteria for this? The question is also begged by entries such as workmanship or craftsmanship. Are they derived from + -man + -ship or from + -manship? A craftswoman, or craftsperson displays good craftsmanship. But this does not give rise to craftswomanship or craftspersonship. -- ALGRIF talk 12:25, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
The words evolved from adding "-ship" to craftsman etc. The word appeared and stabilized before there was a regular word craftswoman in English. I think a good avenue for exploring this is the word sportsmanship, since the hypothetical root sportsman is not a common English word. --EncycloPetey 23:42, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually, both craftswomanship and craftspersonship do exist. Also, sportsman is, in fact, nearly four times more common than sportsmanship (also consider (un)sportsmanly &c.). I believe an essential criterion for the inclusion of an affix ought to be (by analogy with the “idiomaticity” criterion that we have for words) that its meaning cannot be reduced — in a sum-of-its-parts fashion — to its constituent affixes; in the case of -manship, unless it can be shown that there exist at least three words ending in -manship whose -man æquivalents do not exist, then I believe it should be deleted.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:14, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

  • gamesman;
  • one-upman (though this is probably by back-formation); and,
  • Google Books, unfortunately, refuses to recognise brinkman as anything other than a surname; “a brinkman” yields results chiefly for people named “A. Brinkman” and technical terms named after people bearing that surname (e.g., a Brinkman medium); the world book dictionary lists it, but the results page is blank; nevertheless:
    «Threatening to sue unless something is repaired is a brinkman’s move, as lawsuits hurt everyone involved — except the lawyers. On the seller’s part, the willingness to risk “no sale” can be a brinkman’s move.» — [1];
    «His record shows he is a brinkman. I think he should clearly understand now he is at the brink and he must now seek a settlement.» — [2]; and,
    «But this doesn’t make Galileo a martyr, only a brinkman. When it came to actually dying for ideas, Galileo wasn’t having any.» — [3].
  •  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:54, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
  • The recency of your hits indicates a back-formation, which would necessitate "-manship" having existed before brinkman was derived from brinkmanship. bd2412 T 03:40, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Also, not easy to get a citation for a freestanding suffix, but:
    • 1996, Steven H. Gale, Encyclopedia of British Humorists: Geoffrey Chaucer to John Cleese, p. 874:
      Summary Stephen Potter is best known for his gamesmanship theory, a cunning, psychological tactic used to best a competitor, on or off the field. His basic "-manship" principle was later incorporate to include many everyday events.
  • And, there is no "exams-man", but :
    • 2004, Jonathan Silverman, Suzanne M. Kurtz, Juliet Draper, Skills for Communicating with Patients, p. 102:
      This exams-manship history is decidedly different from the focused history that we are talking about in this chapter...
  • Cheers again! bd2412 T 00:47, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Examsmanship is valid, considering [4], [5], and [6]. The citation for -manship alone is rather interesting; it should be added to the entry.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:05, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Keep per Algrif and BD2412. All of BD2412's -shipless examples do seem to meet the CFI, but they're certainly far less common than their -shipped counterparts, and IMHO seem to be backformations. google books:"her chairmanship" makes google books:"her chairship|chairwomanship|chairpersonship" look like Taíno, even though google books:"she was chairman" is not far ahead of google books:"she was chair|chairwoman|chairperson". Also, it seems to be a fixed expression, so to speak: -manhood, -manity, and -manness are all almost nonexistent. —RuakhTALK 00:47, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Regarding this last point of yours: That doesn’t prove that -manship is one suffix. Due to the esoteric (descriptive) rules of English morphology, certain morphemes are simply naturally prædisposed to be affixed by this or that affix; for example, the en- -en words, as far as I know, form nouns exclusively by the suffixation of -ment, whereas the -less words are almost always suffixed with -ness when nominalised — this doesn’t mean that en- -enment* and -lessness* are English affixes.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:46, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
That's true, but it's an additional reason to keep the entry, just as we keep fixed series of words. (I won't argue that all such fixed sets of suffixes should be included — for one thing, they're not constituents — but taken together with the other arguments, I think it makes a stronger case. Or maybe not.) —RuakhTALK 03:07, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
  • One more note, the 2002 World Book Dictionary entries on brinkmanship and conmanship present the respective etymologies of the words as "brink + -manship" and "con + -manship". Although this is a citation to a dictionary, it is not to the dictionary's definition of the word, but to the use of -manship as a suffix. bd2412 T 00:53, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    Brink + -manship” I can believe, but I reckon they’re wrong with conmanship (which is far more likely to be “conman + -ship”). I get your point though; however, it is not absurd to argue that they’re wrong in according suffixship (  ;-) ) to -manship.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:16, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    But wouldn't that be prescriptivism on our part, to decide that a use in print is 'wrong'? Also, I have found another such use in the nifty Rice University Neologisms Database:
    • Quippmanship n.
      The ability to produce a catchy soundbyte, witty remark, or clever turn of phrase. The art, skill, or ability to create a catchy soundbyte, witty remark, or clever turn of phrase. Formed by an unknown word formation process.
      [affixation; formed from 'quip' + 'manship']
      "So far most of our intelligentsia have been more eager to explain what this war is not than what it is. Yet the conflict is not a hash-it-out in the faculty lounge, nor a brainstorm over a headline in the newsroom, nor flashy quippmanship in a political d" -From a NationalReviewOnline editorial by Victor Davis Hanson, on Fri Nov 7, 2003.
    Cheers! bd2412 T 16:25, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Here’s the deal: I don’t personally object to this entry’s existence. Nevertheless, I believe the principle I outlined above is a good one; what do you all say? As for the entry, I think examsmanship and the direct use count as two of the requisite three citations, so I’m sure we can find another -manship word that lacks a -man æquivalent; perhaps in one of these three lists (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:22, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

  • I think the fact that another dictionary uses it as a word-forming suffix should at least count for a citation. bd2412 T 01:41, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    I disagree (although I’d be open to debate on that, if it is explained to me their reasoning for specifying those etymologies); we don’t consider as citations the fact that a word is listed as a headword in a dictionary. Neither do I think that appearance in an etymology counts as a “use”.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:50, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
    It is exceedingly difficult to find uses of suffixes in the wild. How would you prove that -ist or -ally exist? We don't accept existence as a headword in a dictionary as proof of existence, but the writers of a dictionary would be more, not less qualified in using a word in its natural form, and not as a definition. bd2412 T 03:47, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
    First of all, whoever wrote that entry isn't actually using the suffix, only mentioning it; it's equivalent to the full sentence, “Quippmanship[sic] is formed via affixation from quip and manship”. Further, it's not a durably archived word list. So it might be usable as a reference, but not as a quotation. (Not that we need quotations for affixes, anyway, provided we have quotations for the words they form.) Secondly, looking through that page, nothing about it suggests that all of its writers are particularly knowledgeable about these things; for example, one of them describes Quick Outtie as a blend of quick and outtie, and another describes Queasishness as the result of zero-derivation because (s)he thinks that -ness is a verb-forming suffix. It's like urban dictionary, where some contributors know a lot and others just act like they do. (On average I'd imagine they know more than the typical urban dictionarian, since they're submitting these entries for an English-slash-Linguistics class, but overall they're clearly not reliable.) Our CFI don't say enough about affixes; I think it's obvious that we can't expect them to be attested detached-ly, since that would be basically impossible (and counterproductive, since that would be a very unrepresentative set of quotes if we managed to find them). —RuakhTALK 14:58, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
    Actually my last comment was about the 2002 World Book Dictionary, which is an actual print dictionary. bd2412 T 17:57, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
    Oh, sorry, long discussion, got confused. So, it is reliable and durably archived — but still a mention. —RuakhTALK 19:00, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
    My fault, I threw two different thoughts up at the same time there. But the larger point is that it is virtually impossible to find use of a suffix alone in a format that is not simply a mention (try to find such a citation for "-istic", "-faction", or "-atory" ). And yet we include (and must include) suffixes. bd2412 T 19:47, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
    Yeah, I think we're basically in agreement. Your reasoning seems to be "it's not possible to find uses of such affixes, ergo our quotations for them will have to be mentions", whereas mine is "it's not possible to find uses of such affixes, ergo we can't require quotations for them", but that's a tiny difference, in the grand scheme of things. :-)   —RuakhTALK 20:08, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Keep. Whether it's its own indecomposable suffix or a combination of two suffices is academic, subjective and irrelevant. When two separate words are put together to form a new one, the new word warrants an entry; why should suffices be any different? Language Lover 03:09, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Keep Per all above. Whether or not the suffix itself is formed by suffixing another suffix is irrelevant. --Jackofclubs 18:29, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Kept. Although I did already opine, the cites on the page deem this worth keeping. --Jackofclubs 06:11, 16 June 2009 (UTC)