Does anybody see a problem with the following?
allegiance (plural allegiances)
Loyalty to some cause, nation or ruler.
loyalty (plural loyalties)
the state of being loyal; fidelity
faithfulness or devotion to some person, cause or nation
loyal (more loyal, most loyal)
firm in allegiance to a person or institution
faithful to a person or cause
loyal; adhering firmly to person or cause - A faithful dog
having faith - Faithful to God
reliable; worthy of trust - A faithful servant
consistent with reality - A faithful reproduction
Is Wiktionary just going to be another dumb dictionary or is it going to be a place where people write about the words and explain them in detail. These trivial one-liners that can be found in every other dictionary on the planet! And every other dictionary also gives no use when definitions are circular like this.
What does it actually mean to have allegiance to one's country? Are there degrees of allegiance? Does it apply to different groups in different ways. How many more questions could be posed about this word?
Maybe you'll say that an article on Wikipedia would be best for such things but I would wholeheartedly disagree. This Wikitionary is about words so surely the full exploration of a word should be here? —This comment was unsigned.
- At some point, you need to draw a line in the sand. People have particular expectations of what they expect from a dictionary. An accurate, but brief description of what a word means is always harder to write than an essay delving into nuances and subtleties. And extended verbiage violates the "principle of least surprise." But a larger problem, is that most extended discourse about words tends to be a copyvio-landmine. If you think catching single-sentence copyvios is a pain, imagine how horrific it would be, if essays were encouraged. --Connel MacKenzie 05:24, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
- Hmmm, people might have an expectation but that's not a good reason to give them what everyone else gives them. The questions still remains: Is Wiktionary's purpose to be YAD (Yet Another Dictionary) with its selling point simply being a lack of adverts? I'd love to see Wikipedia not draw a line in the sand but draw a box in the sand - a nice big box that allows it to develop into something innovative and exquisitely useful. YAD does not fit that image.
- I cannot believe that you really mean "An accurate, but brief description of what a word means is always harder to write than an essay". "Always" is always (heh heh ;-)) a dangerous assertion to make in contexts such as this, especially when a counter-example is right above. "Allegiance" = "Loyalty to some cause, nation or ruler" ... "Loyal" = "firm in allegiance to a person or institution". Those were hard to write?! I dare say that this is just one of many instances exhibiting a paucity of real information. Even without a quibble about "always", I think that there's more challenge in writing a good article. It's easy to imagine someone putting a day's worth of pondering and effort into an essay. How many single-liners would require so much?! ;-)
- "principle of least surprise." I'm not sure what that is (ie. what makes it a quoted term) but it sounds related to the "particular expectations" thing and I already can't see that as a leading light in the list of what's desirable. Besides, I was very surprised - and very disappointed - to find that "allegiance" had a non-definition. (I'd almost rather it had been missing.) Now that was enough of a violation of the principle to prompt me to write all this!
- copyvio-landmines - this isn't an area that I'm familiar with but if you're having trouble with single-sentence copyvios then, yes, paragraphs and essays would be a bigger challenge. But, hang on, there's a huge Wikipedia that suffers from that problem and then some! Doesn't that imply that it's a problem for which successful strategies have been developed?
- I say all this not for the sake of argument but because years ago I had a vision of the kind of dictionary that I'd like but doubted that I'd see, namely one that talked about the words that I'd come to look up rather than using as few words as possible to say even less. The versatility of the word "mind" is what started me thinking. I made a list of maybe a couple of dozen sentences which use the word in ways distinct enough to stand alone. Some of the sentences were clear enough but others needed a few sentences of explanation. All of that would have made for an article about the word (but not something suitable for Wikipedia, not that Wiki was even a twinkle at that time). Another thing that would be in such a work would be comparisons between similar words, as in "Okay, so they're synonymous but what's the distinction? When do I use one but not the other?" such a thing would require a deeper exploration than just saying "X: Synonym of Y".
- An example using the words above. A dog can be loyal. Allegiance means loyalty. Does a dog therefore have allegiance? If so, cool. If not, why not? ... Isn't that the kind of question that I should be able to answer when I consult a dictionary? What about ... How is a dog's loyalty demonstrated? How does this compare to, say, a customer's loyalty? ... The answers to such questions surely form part of the meaning of "loyalty"? Yet that meaning won't be available in a work that limits itself to terse one-liners. "Loyal: faithful, having allegiance" .... "Oh, is that it? But what I want to know is... :-("
- That's just a glimpse of the vision that I had way back then. It was never something that I could achieve on my own and I've forgotten most of the ideas I had. When I first saw Wiktionary I wondered - hoped - that it could be something that would bring that vision to reality. But if Wiktionary really is just to be YAD then so be it. I am sure that what I imagined will come about at some stage as I'm also sure that many others have a desire for the same sort of "full-bodied" dictionary service.
- Still, even if I can't have my dream, I do look up words on a daily basis and if OneLook doesn't give me the quick reminder that I'm after then I click the Wiktionary link next. Most of the other dictionaries are too slow to load, having all sorts of non-information bloat. Having no adverts is a good selling point! So, too, is using the whole of the window rather than a small panel in the centre of the page. I do appreciate the Wiktionary for what it is, and all the hard work that you and other editors have, do and will put it. But if Wiktionary should evolve into a superdictionary then I'll love it! :-)
- For the present Wiktionary, for all your hard work, my thanks to you, Connel, and all the other Wiktionarians. :-D ... 220.127.116.11 11:03, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
- Interesting. We do have an advantage in our close relationship with WP. Perhaps our integration with them could be better. But our specialty is more in offering a good view of how words are used without much evaluation. We operate at the brick level, not the wall level, let alone the building, developer or town planner level. BTW, you could be with us, as much or as little as you wanted. Sign up. DCDuring TALK 21:13, 13 February 2008 (UTC)