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Attributive use needed. DCDuring TALK 11:51, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Three citations from Google books added. I'm sure that you could have found them yourself. SemperBlotto 08:40, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I haven't had as much time for en.wikt lately. DCDuring TALK 09:48, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
The citations are not attributive use. DCDuring TALK 09:51, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
See also WT:RFV#Washington, September 2009. --Dan Polansky 12:51, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Those look attributive to me, see attributive ‎(used as an attribute). In fairness, we have no definition of attributive or durably archived when it comes to citing things. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:31, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
The definition at attributive#Adjective explicitly refers to attributive#Noun which is "A word or phrase, such as an adjective or noun, that modifies a noun and is part of the noun's noun phrase; contrasted with predicative." In none of the 3 citations is that true. I rest your case. DCDuring TALK 16:53, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
1950, Hardin Craig, A history of English literature, Page 269,
He revised a Pericles play, whose authorship cannot be determined—very drastically in the fourth and fifth acts, less so in the third act, and very slightly in the first and second—in order to purify the part of Lysimachus and ennoble the story.
1973, William Shakespeare, Hardin Craig and David M. Bevington (editors), The complete works of Shakespeare‎,
Beyond doubt, Wilkins' prose account is based in part on a Pericles play; Wilkins acknowledges in his Argument that this same story has been recently presented "by the Kings Majesties Players."
1995, Jerry Combee and Kurt A. Grussendorf, History of the world in Christian perspective‎, Page 77,
In a Pericles modern representative democracy, the people elect a few men who represent them in the government.
Pingku 18:42, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
As I understand it, the first two refer directly to Pericles and do not count as good exemplars of the sort of attributive use WT:CFI requires. DCDuring TALK 18:52, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
On inspection the ungrammaticality of the third is attributable to it being a scanno. Pericles appears as the caption of an interlineated image of some kind. DCDuring TALK 19:03, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Umm. Thanks for finding that. Pingku 20:07, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
How about:
1988, William Shakespeare, Ernest Schanzer, Richard Hosley, Clifford Leech (editors) Pericles, Prince of Tyre: Cymbeline: The Two Noble Kinsmen (with John Fletcher)‎, Page 208 footnote,
Phyllis Gorfain, "Puzzle and Artifice: The Riddle as Metapoetry in 'Pericles,'" Shakespeare Survey 29 (1976):11-20 shows how the Pericles riddle, because unanswerable, confounds the ordinary structural and culutral functions of riddles.
The typo is in the original.
Pingku 15:37, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

w:Pericles (play) the play is just as encyclopedic as w:Pericles the Greek. The Gorfain cite refers to a riddle in the play probably using the to specify it in contrast to some other riddle discussed. The point of the attributive use rule is to exclude encyclopedic-type entries. I am a little surprised that Pericles apparently isn't citable in attributive use, at least from older texts. Perhaps widespread use of Proper nouns attributively (Mickey Mouse, White House) doesn't go back very far. DCDuring TALK 16:33, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Not that it matters - because the first line of CFI still says "all words in all languages", and Pericles is a word. SemperBlotto 16:40, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
If the consensus has been that slogan a slogan were enough, why would we even have WT:CFI, RfD, and even patrolling? If "Workers of the world unite" had been sufficient, why did the Soviet Union bother with a constitution and laws? DCDuring TALK 22:40, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
It isn't a slogan, it is our mission statement, and sets us apart from all other dictionaries. We have CFI to handle all terms that are not words (in my opinion). SemperBlotto 22:44, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
We have specific provisions for proper nouns in WT:CFI, just as we have specific provisions for brand names and fictional universe words (not just multi-word terms). If you would like to simplify WT:CFI to read "All words in all languages", we would just have to make sure that we understood what each of "all", "words", "in", "all", and "languages" actually meant in this context. I don't think that any of these exactly correspond to the most obvious everyday meaning or that they could do so without destroying en.wikt. DCDuring TALK 23:15, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I oppose deletion, doing so outside the current CFI. The entry is one of a space-free word "Pericles" referring in most or all of its occurrences to the particular ancient Greek politician. The entry is useful for translations. The question "how do I render 'Pericles' in Polish" is a lexicographical question, to be addressed by a lexicographical reference work. So is the question "How do English speakers pronounce 'Pericles'?". The entry has an etymology[1]. Several dictionaries do have this kind of entries; check Pericles at OneLook Dictionary Search. --Dan Polansky 11:34, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I note that OneLook does not offer "translations" or transcriptions of Pericles. All proper nouns have some kind of etymology and pronunciation. This clearly requires a coherent proposal and vote. If no one is even willing or able to organize a successful vote in favor of such entries, advocates are merely imposing the burden of supporting such entries on others who are clearly less than willing to support such entries. The basic question as to which ones are to be included is the first step. DCDuring TALK 11:51, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I find it meaningful to discuss individual cases even outside of CFI, and to consider making exceptions to CFI on individual basis. If I am the only one who supports the keeping of "Pericles" outside CFI, then "Pericles" gets deleted.
In any case, is there a vote the result of which is a consensus that the kind of entries like Pericles should be deleted? --Dan Polansky 12:42, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
One more note: I for one find the definition of "New York" much less useful for the definition of "New York delicatessen" than the definition of "Pericles" for the definition of "Periclean" (google books:"Periclean", google books:"Periclean Athens", google books:"Periclean democracy"). I could enquire ages into the location or character of the particular "New York", and yet find almost nothing about the specific meaning of "New York delicatessen", while the definition of "Pericles" tells me what "Periclean" means given I recognize the suffix group "-ian" and "-ean". --Dan Polansky 15:27, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I could only invite you to New York so you could experience an ostensive definition. I suppose it must mean a deli with menu items and service typical of New York in the 1940s-1960s (possibly earlier to 1920s), especially with Jewish-American menu items of central and eastern European origin. That is the best this native New Yorker can do. We don't refer to them as New York delis here. I have never been impressed with the authenticity of "New York deli" establishments or menu items elsewhere. There might be a w:Damon Runyon story that covers this. Also, see w:Carnegie Deli. DCDuring TALK 15:53, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Re: "We don't refer to them as New York delis here. I have never been impressed with the authenticity of 'New York deli' establishments or menu items elsewhere": in that case, it seems that New York is precisely the wrong place to learn what the term New York deli means. :-)   —RuakhTALK 16:11, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Is an accurate definition of "New York deli" "an establishment hoping to profit by leading customers to hope that they will enjoy food of a type typically found in New York"? DCDuring TALK 13:13, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
Delete unless appropriate attributive use is demonstrated. None of the CFI seem to bar our having an entry for the name Pericles, with pronunciation and etymology and translations, and even perhaps a usage note mentioning that most uses of the term are referring to this specific man. What the CFI do bar, unless there's appropriate "attributive use" (as defined by whoever happens to close an affected RFV discussion), is the entry that we currently have, which attempts wrongheadedly to define the man Pericles rather than the name Pericles. —RuakhTALK 13:46, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I have found what seem attributive uses of "Pericles", in the pattern of "the Pericles of $1":[2][3][4][5][6]. Is my understanding correct that these are considered attributive uses? --Dan Polansky 17:24, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

keep, because it's a word. CFI should be changed to accept all words, including proper nouns if and only if they are words (sometimes including spaces), and therefore can be addressed lexicographically here: OK for Churchill, Pericles ou ([New York]], but not Winston Churchill (=2 words). The attributive use condition was designed for English words only and it should go. CFI should focus on what's a word? (the answer may be different depending on languages) and when is a word considered as used in a language, and therefore as deserving a page here? I agree with Ruakh on the principle he describes but, as the word applies to a single man, the definition provided is quite normal. This is the meaning. Lmaltier 08:22, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

I have added some of the citations that I have found to the citations namespace: Citations:Pericles. I admit that they are not attributive use in the sense of "such that it modifies a noun and is part of the noun's noun phrase".
I have done some digging on the origin of the requirement for attributive use in CFI. From what I have found, the requirement has never successfully passed a vote, and it does not enjoy a majority community support, let alone consensus. I don't see how such an unsupported requirement can be applied so strictly. --Dan Polansky 09:50, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
This is not RfD. It is a RfV-sense for the sole sense given.
We have been acting as if WT:CFI is the law of the land. Irregularities in the consensus/vote process do not invalidate our practice, though they provide ammunition for damaging rhetorical attacks and may help undermine support for this aspect of WT:CFI and CFI in general.
I dispute the consensus point. I would need to see some facts on each of the points that you raise. If it is not a consensus anymore because of the departure of some or for other reasons then there should be no problem is make a proposal to formalize the consensus, including any limits on the inclusion of proper names or proper nouns, and put such a material change in our practice to a vote.
There is nothing that says that we do not have one-word proper nouns as words. In this case, the issue is with the sense. Our consensus practice has been to put specifics about coinage etc and any etymologically meaningful connection to an encyclopedic subject or name-holder in etymology. I fail to see any reason for us to waste time on becoming a short-attention-span Wikipedia when Wikipedia is not a rival, but a mother/sister project and our FL coverage is so weak and our English-language definition quality is so poor. DCDuring TALK 12:59, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
Nobody proposes to include encyclopedic information. We include only linguistic information (etymology, pronunciation, etc.), and definitions/images/examples, only to be able to clearly understand what the word means and how it's used (nothing more should be added). In this case, the definition is correct, this is what this word means. We cannot invent another sense. For first names and for surnames (shared by nature), it's very different, and I would remove such definitions from their pages (I consider them as encyclopedic, and they should be replaced by links to Wikipedia). Lmaltier 15:59, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Pericles (n. “A Greek personal name”) is a proper noun. If it's an English given name, then it clearly meets the criteria allowing inclusion in Wiktionary.

Pericles (n. “Athenian statesman c. 495–429 BC”) is a proper name, not an English word. CFI doesn't allow its inclusion. (Of course, the person should be mentioned in the etymology of Periclean [adj.].)

Pericles (n. attrib. “Of or relating to Pericles c. 495–429 BC”) is an attributive use of the proper name, but it fails the (unclearly written) “widely understood meaning” part of the criterion. English can use any name attributively, specifically, as “a Pericles play,” or figuratively, as “a bad-ass Pericles attitude,” etc. If this were includable, then we may as well just put every living, dead, and fictional person, place, and pet into the dictionary. But things and people belong in the encyclopedia, not the dictionary. And we do have the perfectly serviceable word Periclean.

Pericles (adj. [having some independent meaning of its own]) is the kind of word that the specific-entities rule could support, but doesn't seem to be attestable. Perhaps that's because the language already has Periclean.

Why are we expending all this energy trying to add a person to the dictionary, when our guideline doesn't allow it, and when there is a red link to a real dictionary word here? Can we fix the stupid guideline already? Michael Z. 2010-03-09 18:04 z

Hear, hear! —RuakhTALK 18:32, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Mzajac, have you invented new terminology of "proper noun" and "proper name"? What is your source for this kind of terminology, applied in this particular way?
Re "Pericles (n. “Athenian statesman c. 495–429 BC”) is a proper name, not an English word. CFI doesn't allow its inclusion."; where exactly does it say in CFI that this sense is excluded, other than implicitly in the attributive-use rule? But the attributive use rule does not even speak of senses or sense-lines, only of names. So again, where in CFI does it say that the sense of "Pericles, an Athenian statesman" should be excluded, given that CFI does not even speak of sense lines or senses? --Dan Polansky 09:55, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Re "Why are we expending all this energy trying to add a person to the dictionary": We are not expending energy to add a particular individual at all; I am expending my and your energy on keeping the person in the dictionary. Adding the person to the dictionary is quick and cheap; what is expensive is arguing with non-encyclopedic purists and exclusionists who are reading some unvoted-on rules of CFI in their particular way. I would be happy not to have to monitor RFV and RFD to prevent deletion of useful already created entries. --Dan Polansky 10:06, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

There is no voted support for the attributive-use rule, and there is not even a clear interpretation of what "attributive" means in that rule, some reading it in a grammatical sense, others as if "attributive" were a synonym for "figurative", which includes "metaphorical" and "metonymic".

From Xenophanes and Talk:Xenophanes; it seems that Xenophanes has passed RFV in November 2009 with the quotations "the Xenophanes of Roman culture", "No Xenophanes arose amongst the Jews", "Euthyphro is no Xenophanes but as a religious and thinking man ", the sort of which have been provided for "Pericles". The def reads "A Greek given name; most often used in reference to the pre-Socratic philosopher Xenophanes of Colophon. By extension, a profound or transformative religious thinker." If someone wants to define "Pericles" on the model of that def, let them go ahead.

If DCDuring or Mzajac want to create a votable proposal for the change of the CFI, good luck with that :p. --Dan Polansky 09:46, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

I draw your attention to the following text from WT:NOT, which has appeared in this wording since May 2005 and in concept since 2002:
Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia, a genealogy database, or an atlas; that is, it is not an in-depth collection of factual information, or of data about places and people. Encyclopedic information should be placed in our sister project, Wikipedia. Wiktionary entries are about words. A Wiktionary entry should focus on matters of language and wordsmithing: spelling, pronunciation, etymology, translation, concept, usage, quotations, and links to related words.
Whatever confusions may have occurred in attempting to apply common-law WT:CFI, whatever irregularities might have accompanied its establishment as a policy, for some three years since its imposition as policy and for some time before that, it helped define what en.wikt should be. We have been striving to make en.wikt somewhat consistent with that and with the similar WT:ELE. Undermining the legitimacy of the few policies we have is good politics to achieve short-term particularist goals, but not to maintain the consistency of en.wikt in the minds of users and contributors. —This unsigned comment was added by DCDuring (talkcontribs).
WT:NOT is not a policy. WT:NOT, and the quoted text in particular, has not been voted upon, unlike some parts of CFI. Your reading of "... it is not an in-depth collection of factual information, or of data about places and people" is consistent with what you wish Wiktionary to become, but not with what has a consensual community support, and not with what the actual common practice has been, the actual practice documented for individual people by me at Wiktionary_talk:Votes/pl-2010-03/Including_particular_individuals#Particular_individuals?. It is also clear that the actual practice has been to include dedicated sense-lines for many particular places, as there is not a community consensus for getting these deleted.
I oppose the idea that unvoted-on regulatory policies inconsistent with the common practice and community consensus should have any binding power.
If you think that WT:NOT should be made policy, you are free to start a vote. I am going to oppose. --Dan Polansky 18:09, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I fully agree with what WT:NOT states. But including the word Pericles with its meaning (i.e. who Pericles is), pronunciation, etymology, etc. is fully consistent with what WT:NOT explains. What would not be consistent would be to include details not useful to understand the word (e.g. birthplace, biography, etc.) Lmaltier 18:40, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Birthplace is a traditional way to distinguish between different people with the same name; Zeno of Elea, Zeno of Citium, and four others are listed on w:Zeno.--Prosfilaes 05:45, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
You are right, everything required to understand the sense(s) of the word should be included. Lmaltier 07:58, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand your telegraphic comment. How many of WP's proper noun senses should we include? I am sure that we can find cases where Zeno is used tout court to refer to several of the referents in the WP dab page.
  1. Are we to have different presentations of proper nouns according to whether one (vs. many) individual is the only notable holder of the name in our learned opinion (ie Pericles vs Zeno)?
  2. Are we to have different presentations of persons according to whether they are known in history by a one-part name {eg, Hitler, Jesus, Pericles) or a multi-part name (eg Queen Victoria, Alexander the Great?
A name, when a word, may mean a person (e.g. Pericles) (one sense), or happen to be common to a few person (e.g. Zeno) (several senses), or be the name of a family (e.g. Churchill) (one sense, as a surname, not as a person). The important thing is not the absence of space, but: Is it a word or not? It seems clear to me that Churchill, La Fayette are words (surnames, names of families), that Pericles is a word (it means a specific person). Alexander the Great may also be considered as a word: it's not sum of parts, unlike Winston Churchill, which means any person with the first name Winston and the surname Churchill) or Queen Victoria (sum of parts meaning a queen named Victoria). Lmaltier 14:21, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
In the case of Pericles, it strikes me as extremely implausible that there is only one person who went by the name of Pericles.
  • Are we to have the name qua name as one sense and a separate sense for each notable individual holder of the name?
You seem to have an unstated (and probably unstatable) notability criterion that has misled you to believing that the encyclopedic definition referring to a specific bearer of the name is appropriate.
I am fascinated that Winston Churchill is SoP, but possibly not Alexander the Great. I am unclear what you mean by "word". I take it that you mean "term", in line with the mass renaming of categories that had the apparently misleading word "word" in their names. I am confused by the subsequent distinction between words often used as components of proper names ("Winston", "Churchill") and those only sometimes so used ("the", "great").
-- DCDuring TALK 16:09, 13 March 2010 (UTC)
For clarifying: I use word in its linguistic sense (see w:Word), not the sense used by typographers. Yes, Karl der Grosse is exactly the same case as Alexander the Great, they are names of specific persons, not of families. Winston Churchill has no specific meaning, from a linguistic point of view, it's simply a person with this first name and this surname. Alexander the Great has a specific meaning, and this meaning should be mentioned. The fact that great is an adjective is not my point, my point is that this name is a real proper noun (it's proper to a person) and that linguistic info about this proper noun can be provided (why the Great?). Linguistic info about Winston Churchill belongs to Winston and Churchill, there cannot be any linguistic data specific to Winston Churchill, any data would be encyclopedic. And no, I have no notability criterion, the fact that a particular individual may have to be mentioned in the definition is only because it's the actual meaning, just the same as cat deserves to be defined more precisely than an animal. Defining Pericles with the actual meaning of the word is no more encyclopedic. Lmaltier 18:15, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Proper nouns and proper names[edit]

A review of the important difference between proper nouns and proper names. From the OED, (s.v. “proper”):

  • proper noun [. . .] a noun that designates an individual person, place, organization, animal, ship, etc., [. . .]
  • proper name [. . .] a name, consisting of a proper noun or noun phrase including a proper noun, that designates an individual, [etc.] A proper name may receive a connotation from the qualities of a person or thing named, and thus may be used as a common noun, as a Hercules, a Calvary, etc.

Compare, s.v. “common”:

  • Gram. and Logic a. common noun, substantive, name, term: a name applicable to each of the individuals or species which make up a glass or genus.

A proper noun is a term, includable in Wiktionary by the CFI, e.g., Pericles (a Greek name), Carolina (name of a North American colony after Charles II). A proper name is only includable by the vague attributive-use criterion, e.g., Pericles (the Greek statesman); many proper names are not includable as sum-of-parts phrases, e.g., North Carolina (the US state) = north + Carolina.

It's further complicated because, unlike any other dictionary, we use “noun” and “proper noun” POS headings incorrectly, as if properness were a fixed property of a term. Being a proper noun varies by grammar and context. Proper nouns are used in common-noun senses (e.g., through antonomasia), and vice versa (e.g., through apostrophe).

Winston Churchill, [. . .] means any person with the first name Winston and the surname Churchill – really? Let's see three durably-archived citations demonstrating the proper-noun sense of Winston Churchill as a person other than “Winston Churchill (1874–1965).” (There is also the common-noun sense of a Winston Churchill or the Winston Churchill of the Middle EastMichael Z. 2010-03-14 17:17 z

As I understand it, both Pericles and Winston Churchill are proper names, but only Pericles is a proper noun, Winston Churchill not being a noun (not being a word). But a proper noun means an individual person, place,etc, we must state which one in its definition. And Winston Churchill is the name of anybody with this first name and this surname, yes (I'm not sure there is more than one Winston Churchill, but it's quite possible). About antonomasia, we already had this discussion on fr.wikt, and I think that using a proper noun in a common-noun sense does not make it a common noun, it's only a general possible use of all proper nouns (and proper names), just as using a noun atributively does not make it an adjective. Lmaltier 17:44, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
No, the proper noun Churchill doesn't “mean” a specific individual person, it means “a surname,” which tells us it has been used to name, individually, any number of specific persons, including Winston Churchill. We define both proper nouns Winston and Churchill, but we don't list any of these people as “senses” of the noun. (Likewise, Paris is a proper noun referring to many cities, but it's Wikipedia's job to list the cities and write about them.)
Yeah, a proper noun is a word used mainly as a proper noun, but also as a common noun (and vice versa). And there are grey areas. Per the Oxford Companion to the English Language (1992:813), “Nationality nouns (Americans, a New Zealander, the Japanese) lie on the borderline between proper and common nouns.” Maybe that's why dictionaries don't specify. Michael Z. 2010-03-14 19:39 z
I agree with you, except that Paris just happens to designate several cities (i.e. several senses), while Churchill is a surname (one sense) used by many people, by its very nature of surname. These cases are very diffeent. For information, in French, Americain, Parisien, etc. are considered as common nouns, despite the capital. Lmaltier 19:53, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
Nope. Different how? Paris is a toponym referring to some places. Churchill is a surname referring to some people. (In fact, both of these and Winston are toponyms, which the OED charmingly defines as a “place-name; a name given to a person or thing marking its place of origin.”)
Your formula equates “cities” with “senses,” which is wrong. A sense is a subdivision of the meaning of a term; an abstract concept residing in the minds of beings that have language. A city, or a person, is a concrete thing you can touch; a term's referent. Michael Z. 2010-03-15 05:06 z
No, Churchill applies to one family, this family including many people, of course, just as the word chair is applied to one category of objects, and is applied to all individual chairs. On the other hand, the nature of placenames such as Paris is not to be shared by many cities, even if this sometimes happens. Lmaltier 22:20, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
Is the name Churchill different because all Churchills are genetically related? (Are they really?) Is it different because there have been more Churchills than Parises? How is any of this of any lexical significance? Please explain your logic. You seem to be talking about the nature of people and places. What, exactly, about the nature of place names is different?
If anything, etymologically, every other other Paris probably inherits its name from the French original. But any claim that all Churchills, Smiths, Chekhovs, Chandras, Lees, or whatever, are related either by genetics, or that any of their names are all descended from one individual, would probably be bunk. Michael Z. 2010-03-15 23:17 z
Winston Churchill b.g.c. is a well-known American author; Winston S. Churchill (1874–1965) is at best a very minor author. There's also two other British politicians by the name of Winston Churchill.--Prosfilaes 18:24, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
I've already explained it: Churchill is the name of a "family" of people, just as Felis is the name of a category of animals, while each place has its own, proper, name. It's not a question of genetics, but the fact that, for surnames, the same word is shared because of legal linguistic rules, the same word is used by people with the name, it's the nature of surnames to be shared, and it's the nature of scientific names such as Felis to be shared. For places, they may be etymologically related, but each one deserve a definition as much as all senses of a common noun deserve a definition, even when the etymology is the same. Lmaltier 06:32, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Mzajac, so you are using the terms "proper noun" and "proper name" in the OED senses. Now, according to these definitions, "OED:proper noun" is a hyponym "OED:proper name", right? Each OED:proper noun is by definition also a OED:proper name, right? Do we agree on that? --Dan Polansky 10:16, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
I think so: “Some grammarians distinguish the proper noun (a single noun like London; the and a single noun: the Pennines) from the proper name, a wider category which includes these and also such word groups as the United States (of America), the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Navy, A Tale of Two Cities, The Concise Oxford Dictionary.” (Oxford Companion to the English Language 1992:813)
But proper nouns are “a category of noun distinguished on grammatical and semantic grounds,” and their “reference is said to be unique in context and definite,” so their identity seems to depend on usage. The Companion entry gives examples of proper nouns used as common nouns, and vice versa, and says “There is, however, no clear demarcation between proper and common nouns, [...] People can speak of Churchills, who could be members of the Churchill family, people with that surname, or people figuratively compared to Winston Churchill,” &c.
I see what you mean by a family name, but how is it lexically significant? (“Legal linguistic rules?”) Felis is a genus, but the East End Churchills may have no real relationship with the Southern Alberta Churchills. Certainly countless Smith families share a name of countless unremembered horse-shoers, having no more in common than all of the Williams and Stephanies. Would you consider the Carolinas, the Aleutians, or the Alps to be like surnames? What about Lake Winnipeg, the Winnipeg River, Winnipeg, Winnipeg Beach which inherited their names from geographic association, rather than commemoratively? Michael Z. 2010-03-16 17:23 z
You are right, there may be several different, unrelated, "families" with the same surname (e.g. Smith) and, theoretically, it might make sense to distinguish them. However, it would be almost impossible 1. to determine the list 2. to provide a different definition for each of them (and, anyway, it would be quite useless). This is useful only when etymologies (or pronunciation, etc.) are different. For places, it's easy and it's useful to readers. Lmaltier 18:30, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
But the etymologies of 15 or 20 Parises are the same (“after the city in France”). Are you saying that we should list every referent when it's easy and useful? By your logic, the dictionary should duplicate Wikipedia's disambiguation pages w:Rockport, w:Smith, w:James, etc. Right? Michael Z. 2010-03-17 15:01 z
Then we can clarify your statements on Pericles in relation to "proper noun" and "proper name". "Pericles" is a proper noun and thus also a proper name. One of its extensional meanings, those that you call "reference", is "Athenian statesman c. 495–429 BC". "Proper noun" is not a meaning of "Pericles" but rather a grammatical classification of the word "Pericles". Neither is "given name" a meaning of "Pericles", although it is given on the sense line in the dictionary for the sake of convenience. It is not true that various meanings of "Pericles" can be classified as either "proper noun" or "proper name"; they are always both or none. Each meaning of "Pericles" can be classified as either one of Pericles—proper noun or Pericles—noun, the latter for the use of "Pericles" with a definite or indefinite article.
What I have now written refers to the following of what you have written:
  • "Pericles (n. “A Greek personal name”) is a proper noun. If it's an English given name, then it clearly meets the criteria allowing inclusion in Wiktionary."
  • "Pericles (n. “Athenian statesman c. 495–429 BC”) is a proper name, not an English word. CFI doesn't allow its inclusion. (Of course, the person should be mentioned in the etymology of Periclean [adj.].)"
Each of the quoted lines identifies a proper noun and at the same time a proper name. It is not so that one is a proper noun and the other one a proper name. Once a proper name is space-free, it is automatically a proper noun. The second line identifies not only a proper name, but also a proper noun, hence the falsity of your "... is a proper name, not an English word". --Dan Polansky 20:19, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
So you want to add a definition line for each known referent of the proper nouns Paris and Pericles? I suppose then that you'll want to do the same and add specific-entity senses under Cher, Seal, Beck, Björk, etc. And you'd want entries for proper nouns like Winston, adding sense lines for Winston Churchill, Winston Smith (from Orwell's 1984), Winston Leathers (the painter), Winston Peters (the politician), etc? Michael Z. 2010-03-17 15:01 z

RFV passed. WT:CFI, while still making clear that not all names of specific entities warrant inclusion, no longer specifies attributive use as the deciding criterion. Indeed, it does not specify any criterion that, in my opinion, could be enforced via RFV. More than three independent, durably-archived citations have been provided, spanning more than 170 years; any further discussion should take place at WT:RFD. (If anyone disagrees with me, please unstrike and explain.) —RuakhTALK 17:23, 19 June 2010 (UTC)