Talk:Alpha Centauri

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There are a lot of star name entries. Do any of them meet CFI? -- ALGRIF talk 16:32, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Proxima Centauri is since 2006 see History of Proxima Centauri. Proxima Centauri 16:57, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Sirius is more often called by that name and less often called Alpha Canis Majoris. Alpha Centauri Beta Centauri and Proxima Centauri are most often called by that designation.

WT:CFI#Names of specific entities applies. Is there any reason not to RfV most of the capitalized entries from Category:Stars, as well as the non-alphabetics starting from ٭ and Michael Z. 2009-04-25 17:16 z

As I see it if Sirius, Canopus, Procyon, etc stay Rigil Kent should stay. If Rigil Kent stays Alpha Centauri should stay because the star system is more often known by that name. Proxima Centauri 17:20, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Each entry is included on its own merits; that's why we post individual RfVs. That said, can you point out even one star name entry which is attested to meet WT:CFI#Names of specific entitiesMichael Z. 2009-04-25 17:26 z

I don't know what your criteria are. I'm off to some other wiki where I'm valued. Proxima Centauri 17:29, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Well, I guess we can't really discuss this productively if you won't read the paragraph in the guidelines that I just linked to. Good luck. Michael Z. 2009-04-25 17:47 z

I'm sure at least a few must be includable. I seem to remember Poe or Lovecraft referring to some quality of Algol (al ghul, the ghoul star). Michael Z. 2009-04-25 17:52 z

According to my copy of Chambers, Rigil is another name for Alpha Centauri, and is cognate to Rigel (the bright blue-white star in Orion). The connection is from an Arabic word (of course), rendered in Chambers as rijl, meaning 'foot'. (Rigil appears in a foot of the Centaur, and Rigel appears in a foot of Orion.) Clearly there are rich pickings for Wiktionarians in star names. :) Pingku 18:33, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Based on our willingness to include gazetteer entries, I think it is quite revealing of our Earth-centric bias that we have singled out this class of proper nouns for RfV. And what about all the excluded or offensively defined adjectives, like Sirian, Mercurian, et al? After the photon belt hits in a couple of years and we need intergalactic assistance, don't come crying to me when they see all this evidence of our narrow-mindedness. DCDuring TALK 18:54, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
Hey, watch your language! You make it sound like we're all a bunch of dirty earthists. I'm not even from this planet. Michael Z. 2009-04-25 20:44 z

Watch it Earthlings! I'n from Proxima Centauri 02:38, 26 April 2009 (UTC).

It says "Cite, on the article page, the word’s usage in a refereed academic journal.". Sounds like it would be easy to find all the mentioned star names in some Astronomy journal? Whats the problem? Mutante 20:03, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

These are proper nouns. We only include them if they become part of the language independent of their proper referents. Please see WT:CFI#Names of specific entities for the requirement. Michael Z. 2009-04-25 20:41 z
What about our gazetteer proper nouns? We don't seem to be interpreting WT:CFI#Names of specific entities that way. See Wiktionary:Requests for deletion#Rostov-na-Donu. DCDuring TALK 00:12, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Apotentially useful principle has come to mind. When I step outside on a clear night, I can see many of the referents for star proper nouns. I can't do that with most proper nouns. I think that these proper nouns refer to things people can see for themselves from their own homes merits consideration. --EncycloPetey 02:44, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
When I step out, I can see a 1970 Thunderbird, about a hundred American elms, my street, a couple dozen buildings including several named ones, and sometimes my mom. Let's leave my mom out of the dictionary.
More specifically, the proposal would potentially add entries for multiple names for the 9,110 stars in Yale's bright star catalogue, including HR 4241, also known as HD 94083, SAO 27809, or BD +53 1439. I think we should articulate any new principles for CFI very carefully. Michael Z. 2009-04-26 15:07 z
When any person in the Northern Hemisphere steps out on a clear night, any of those people can see those stars. Only you and a handful of people can see a 1970 Thunderbird, your street, etc. Note that American elm, building, street, and mom are all valid dictionary entries and are not proper nouns. --EncycloPetey 19:13, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Quite right. So does star meet our criteria, but not HR 4241, and Alpha Centauri still awaits three durably-archived attributive quotations.
I'm open to suggestions for new principals, but I don't see a clear relationship of this to our mandate or method (we have many definitions of things forever unseen). There seems to be some agreement that some proportion of proper place names belong, but we haven't figured out why. Our CFI is based on only lexicographical principles, and maybe we do have to go beyond that. It would be nice if we had some common rationale for defining the names of important cities and important stars. I'm not convinced that prominence or visibility is it. Michael Z. 2009-04-27 05:27 z
As I understand it, a proper noun needs to demonstrate attributive usage (see New York), or representative usage (see Whitehall). Unless anyone can find durably archived quotes about eating Alpha Centauri hamburgers, or show that Alpha Centauri is used to represent another place, person, or institution, such as the seat of the intergalactic peace-keeping corps, then it should be deleted as being "not dictionary material, please add to Wikipedia". That's my interpretation of CFI anyway, and judging from other comments and other decisions, I suspect the majority of you would agree. -- ALGRIF talk 07:52, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I think that the main reasons for current CFI is that dictionaries such as Webster's seem to follow this policy, and that most proper noun dictionaries are encyclopedic. A striking example (for French) is the "Petit Robert", usually considered as a typical example of a language (not encyclopedic) dictionary. Nonetheless, its proper noun counterpart ("Petit Robert 2") is purely encyclopedic (without any pronunciations, etymologies, etc.). Therefore, I think the added value we can bring is a good reason for accepting all proper nouns, provided they can be considered as words (remember, all words in all languages...). It's very difficult, and usually impossible, to find pronunciation information about proper nouns such as place names or family names (etymological info is less difficult to find, as there are a few specialized dictionaries). Lmaltier 08:49, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't matter very much to me whether you keep these star names or not as I can always link my userpage directly to Proxima Centauri but I think you should keep them. Product differentiation works in business and product differentiation should work with dictionaries as well. I suggest making Wiktionary different from Websters so users value the difference. Proxima Centauri

That is an interesting argument for changing policy. We seem to be backing into a policy change that goes in that direction. See Rostov-na-Donu discussion linked above. DCDuring TALK 20:39, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I think the twenty brightest stars should certainly be included and so should other notable stars like Polaris the Pole star or North star. What about Gliese 581? It's a bit notable so I'll make a provisional entry. Barbara Shack 12:24, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Note: The notability of a referent is completely irrelevant to anything. The star named Gliese 581 may be notable, but the star named Gliese 581 obviously doesn't warrant an entry. Something could well be notable without there being even one English term for it that merits inclusion. (Wikipedia would then have the difficulty of finding an appropriate name for its article; but we would have no such problem.) —RuakhTALK 14:13, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Among the OED's quotes are such as these, which may help qualify some stars for inclusion in Wiktionary by the current CFI:
  • “Binaries and Variables of the Algol Type”
  • “Each gem turned into an Aldebaran or a Sirius
But the OED has many more stars included (even though it is not an encyclopedic dictionary, hence omits many proper nouns). Anyone have insight on their CFI?
Doesn't answer the question, but good reading on this topic is a short paper by the OED's astronomical advisor: Mahoney 1998, “Historical Astrolexicography and Old Publications.” Michael Z. 2009-04-28 20:23 z

RFV failed, entry deleted. —RuakhTALK 17:39, 7 November 2009 (UTC)