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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.


Encyclopedic. — Paul G 11:17, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

In what sense is it encyclopedic? It's a one-line definition. In contrast, the wikipedia article is quite lengthy (see: wikipedia article for Friends).

A-cai 11:55, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Are there cites available showing it being used attributively, and therefore clearly satisfying CFI? -- I haven't heard such use myself, but then I wouldn't expect to, and I rather suspect it exists. (I considered RFDing it myself when I split it out from friends, but refrained for that reason.) --Enginear 16:56, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
I think the question is - will people look here to find out what it means? Suppose they are reading "Mass Communication Theory With Infotrac: Foundations, Ferment, And Future - Page 292" (chosen at random from the many Google book hits) and find "When you relax by clicking the remote and watching Friends or CSI: Miami, you might like to assume that you are only being amused by these well-known . . ." you might want to know what the word means. Isn't that what we are here for? SemperBlotto 17:03, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
This is an interesting dilemma - it opens the door to us listing the name of every TV show (and for that matter movie, song, or band name) for which the title meets the CFI. If we're going to let Friends in, I'd set a hard and fast rule right now that the only titles that should be permitted a line in the dictionary are short titles of media for which some variation of the word itself would have an entry even if the media had never existed. In other words, Friends, Trespass, KISS, and Glitter, yes, but not Forrest Gump, 2 Live Crew, The X-Files, or Makaveli. bd2412 T 17:44, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
A perhaps stronger criterion than what S.B. is saying is that Friends the TV show and even Forrest Gump, X-Files etc. could be included provided that they can be cited out of context. In the quotation above it is clear that Friends is the proper name of a television show, an entertaining one even, and that would give indication of where to look for anyone who was interested in learning more. However, there may be several cases where it is not clear what "Friends" refers to at all. For examples see the quotations on Double Jeopardy and Oxford English Dictionary. DAVilla 20:50, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

The entire article should not be deleted. Whatever the merits of sitcom title (which I'm undecided about), Friends is heavily attested as a term for Quakers (a sense I just added). This would probably be better changed to an RFV-sense. -- Keffy 23:24, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

The fact that alternatives exist is the exact reason that I think the sitcom sense should stay. Suppose you're reading a book or article that refers to a particular person as a "Friends-watcher". Someone looking here for enlightenment as to the meaning of the phrase would potentially be misled to think that meant a watcher of Quakers (or of friends in the conventional sense). We can and should avoid that. bd2412 T 02:48, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
I think we need an entry for Forrest Gump. Kappa 04:09, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
If it's used in an idiomatic sense we do. bd2412 T 04:32, 4 March 2007 (UTC)
The reason for creating an entry for the TV show Friends goes beyond merely defining it in English. Remember, we are also a multi-lingual dictionary. The reason that I created a definition for Friends (the TV show) which is separate from friends (plural of friend) is to highlight the difference in the Chinese translations of the two. Friends is 六人行 in Mandarin, which does not literally mean friends (plural of friend - i.e. 朋友们). More often than not, the Chinese names for movies, TV shows etc have nothing to do with their English names and vice versa. As one quick example, the Chinese name for the Jet Li movie, Fearless, is 霍元甲 (Huo Yuanjia). This title is acceptable in Chinese, because a lot of Chinese people know the name Huo Yuanjia (similar to how most Americans are familiar with the name Alex Trebek). Therefore, in my opinion, we should have appropriate entries for each and every song, TV show, movie, person, book title along with their translations into other languages. Why not? Some people may actually want to know how to say X-Files in Min Nan (X Tóng-àn). Ok, maybe I'm the only one interested in that one :-) We have enough disk space on Wiktionary to include this kind of information. Paper dictionaries could never do this. Wiktionary can and should.

A-cai 14:47, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

    • Hmmm, good point, but where would we draw the line? Names of TV shows? Titles of individual episodes? Half a million movie titles? Band names? Song titles? Paris Hilton? Are we going to have notability debates as to whether an actor with a few bit parts and a TV commercial should be in the dictionary? I say keep "Friends" precisely because we're already going to have an entry on the word whether the media format exists or not - same thing with Cheers or Rocky or Spinal Tap or Time. bd2412 T 19:45, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Why does a line need to be drawn? As long as an entry meets Wiktionary CFI, and is well formatted, I think it should stay. Incidently, Paris Hilton is 帕丽斯·希尔顿 in Mandarin and got over 46,000 hits on Google China[1]. I'm sure she'd be delighted ;-)

A-cai 23:15, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

A-cai, this clearly does not meet CFI, which is why I nominated it.
One thing we do not do in Wiktionary is include articles that clearly belong in an encyclopedia, no matter how brief they might be. That is Wikipedia's job, and that is the line we draw.
People wanting to know what "Friends" (the TV show) means will not find an answer here. Instead, they will see a link to the Wikipedia page from the Wiktionary one.
People wanting to know what "CSI: Miami" means will also not find an answer here. Instead, they will get a page saying "Perhaps there is an article in Wikipedia" and a link they can follow, where they can read all about "CSI: Miami".
Admitting "Friends" but not "X-Files" merely because they happen to match a lower-case entry of the same spelling would be a nonsensical thing to do. It would mean adding names for some very obscure TV shows but not for very well known ones.
Not being well formatted is not a reason for deletion of an article, by the way - it is a reason for nominating it for clean-up.
What Paris Hilton is in Mandarin is irrelevant. She might get into some of the swankiest clubs for being who she is, but she sure ain't coming in here ;)
I'm cutting to the chase and doing what I should have done in the first place. DeletedPaul G 14:38, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see we have some new content. Does "Friend" exist in this sense? If so, it belongs there, and "Friends" should just say "Plural of Friend". — Paul G 14:40, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I have no doubt that you'll correct me if I'm wrong ... would not the proper thing to do in this case be to raise the issue for a vote? Deleting information without doing so presumes that you are the authority on such matters, and that other people's opinions do not matter. If you are in fact such an authority, please let us know and I'll respect that. If not, it was my perception that I was not the only one in favor of keeping the entry.

A-cai 22:49, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I am not an authority, but I am speaking from experience of these kinds of issue (I have been involved with Wiktionary for over four years). We deal with them by discussing them here and considering whether they meet CFI, not by voting on them. — Paul G 16:02, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Azadeh Moaveni, Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America and American in Iran (2005) p. 147:
I dragged my shocked, sweaty body back to the partyl had left two hours ago, to find my friends sprawled on the sofa watching Friends, the smell of hash heavy in the air.
Matt Warren, Jane Rawson, Neal Bedford, Czech & Slovak Republics (2004} p.86:
Czech-language TV runs plenty of American sitcoms and films in the evening, but they're all dubbed: surrealists may get a kick out of watching Friends and Baywatch in Czech.
Rachel Gibson, The Trouble With Valentine's Day (2005) p. 1:
Something other than working in the M&S and watching Friends reruns at night.
Sarah Arthur, Dating Mr. Darcy (2005) p. 58:
Without prior notification, you find yourself alone on a Friday night, scooping chocolate-mocha-crunch out of a carton and watching Friends reruns.
The point of all of these is that the authors are referencing the watching of "Friends" as shorthand for a particular kind of pathetic Americanism. It's the thing you do when you're lazing around, perhaps because you couldn't get a date. It's symbolic. bd2412 T 22:03, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Keep. I can think of several reasons why we should allow names of shows and in some cases the names of fictional characters. The main one is where a comparison is made to a show for a simile; as in the following (made up) examples.

  • The SWAT team leader was dressed up like Robocop.
  • The geek's apartment looked like a CSI lab.
  • My hometown would make Deadwood look good.

Someone mentioned a ruling that the definition is short. I agree, just a one liner, maybe dates, genre, with a very brief description of notable features. Obviously no mention of sequels, if they understand Rocky then Rocky 2 needs no introduction.--Dmol 21:48, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

No, the TV show definition is not to be kept. Please explain exactly how this meets CFI. I repeat: users wanting to know what this means can look in Wikipedia. Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia. — 15:33, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
We should keep the definition for the same reason that we have articles for apple/Apple on both Wiktionary and Wikipedia. The Wiktionary definitions are not encyclopedic (i.e. they are not lengthy). Additionally, Wikipedia does not include a translation section. Friends the TV show is a proper noun, just like Apple the computer company is a proper noun. Valid uses of both of these proper nouns can easily be found by doing a quick search on google. Now, please explain exactly how a one line definition is encyclopedic. -- A-cai 22:55, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
For everyone's convenience, I quote the following explaination from the Wikipedia article on encyclopedia. Note that the Wiktionary article does not provide this level of detail:
A dictionary primarily focuses on words and their definitions, and typically provides limited information, analysis, or background for the word defined. While it may offer a definition, it may leave the reader still lacking in understanding the meaning or significance of a term, and how the term relates to a broader field of knowledge.
To address those needs, an encyclopedia treats each subject in more depth and conveys the most relevant accumulated knowledge on that subject or discipline, given the overall length of the particular work. An encyclopedia also often includes many maps and illustrations, as well as bibliography and statistics. Historically, both encyclopedias and dictionaries have been researched and written by well-educated, well-informed content experts. --A-cai 23:02, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
I think you've misunderstood what is meant by "encyclopedic". It does not refer to the length of a definition in an article (we have some very long articles and even some very long definitions here), but the fact that an article belongs in an encyclopedia rather than a dictionary. "Friends" (the TV show) is encyclopedic because it meets the criteria for inclusion in Wikipedia but fails the criteria for inclusion in Wiktionary.
I read your explanation from the Wikipedia article as further evidence that "Friends" as the name of a TV show does not belong in Wiktionary. Wiktionary has articles on words; Wikipedia has articles on subjects. While "Friends" is indeed a word, the TV show is a subject for treatment in an encyclopedia.
Please re-read the CFI to see why "Friends" (the TV show) does not belong in Wiktionary. We have the CFI for good reason, and they have been carefully thought out.
The best help we can provide the user is to say "See also Friends in Wikipedia". Note that Wikipedia has similar links back to Wiktionary for terms that are dictionary material, and sometimes even transwikis dictionary material here and deletes it from Wikipedia. — Paul G 16:02, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Attributive use? Here's attributive use:
L. J. Shrum, The Psychology of Entertainment Media: Blurring the Lines Between Entertainment and Persuasion (2003) p. 300:
Friends describes more than the characters' relationships with one another; it describes the relationship that viewers are repeatedly asked to cultivate with the six young characters as we consider them to be our friends.
For example, Courtney Cox Arquette, known for her role as Monica on Friends appeared on the cover of Redbook with the caption, “The gutsy Friends star on how she put a tragic year behind her and opened her heart to love. PLUS: Her secret marriage vow" (June 2002).
-bd2412 T 17:32, 14 March 2007 (UTC)
Paul G, if I understand your argument correctly, you believe that a definition for a proper noun should not be included if it is the name of a movie or TV show, but should be included if it is the name of a corporation. Your reasoning for this is that this is what it says in Wiktionary's CFI. In fact, wiktionary's CFI makes no direct reference to TV shows or movies. It does talk about entries that are encyclopedic (without specifically defining what is meant by encyclopedic. This could be a flaw with WT:CFI, since we are both subjectively defining the term to suit our respective arguments). You seem to be implying that if the word has an entry in Wikipedia, it is encyclopedic, and therefore should not be included in Wiktionary. Actually, there are a huge number of words that can be found on both Wikipedia and Wiktionary. Wiktionary provides brief definitions, etymologies, translations etc whereas Wikipedia provides an in depth explanation of the concept represented by the word. Yes, some Wiktionary articles are quite lengthy, but the type of information that comprises that length is completely different from what is found on the matching Wikipedia article (look at the difference between w:apple and apple). Probably the most important condition for inclusion into Wiktionary is attestation. WT:CFI provides a lengthy explanation, but the salient facts are as follows:
  1. Clearly widespread use,
  2. Usage in a well-known work,
  3. Appearance in a refereed academic journal, or
  4. Usage in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year.
Several of the above posts have already demonstrated how Friends (TV show) satisfies the requirement for attestation. -- A-cai 06:01, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
OK, in response to BD2412 first: "Friends star" is an attributive use. "Friends describes more than..." is not.
Of course Wiktionary and Wikipedia can have articles on the same subject, but their treatment of them will be different. You have already posted about the differences between dictionaries and encyclopedias.
A-cai, WS:CFI makes no reference to TV shows, but also makes no reference to many other types of proper noun. I think we need to be interpreting CFI by what it intends, not by the letter of the law. CFI doesn't mention many things that would nevertheless be deleted if entries were created for them in Wiktionary.
The only place I see in WS:CFI that might make "Friends" acceptable is "A name should be included if it is used attributively, with a widely understood meaning." Now, I understand that statement to mean names of cities, (well-known) corporations, etc. Specifically excluded are names that are used non-attributively. I think this is open to broad interpretation, which would allow "Friends".
I think what we have revealed here is a wider issue: how should this statement in WS:CFI be interpreted, and can it be made clearer on cases such as this one?
Note that I am not arguing against the inclusion of "Friends" at this point but rather saying we should make it clearer whether or not such a word belongs in Wiktionary both to clear up the current debate and to avoid similar debates in future. I'm therefore going to take this discussion to the Beer parlour. — Paul G 06:56, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Delete - If someone references Friends or any other television show, the proper place for someone confused to look is an encyclopædia, not a dictionary. I hate to slippery slope, but if we argue that Friends should stay, we are making the argument that anything notable enough to be referenced should have a dictionary definition. Paul G is right, its completely encyclopedic. Atropos 21:57, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Atropos, this debate has already moved way past this single entry, and onto proper nouns in general. Please read Wiktionary:Beer_parlour#Interpretation_of_CFI, if you have not already done so. -- A-cai 00:00, 25 March 2007 (UTC)