Talk:apple pie

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Verb sense - Google books for "apple pied" give maybe one hit for that meaning. Is it legit? --Connel MacKenzie T C 06:25, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I remember occasional use in that sense, particularly in children's books. I found 2 hits in Google books (1 restricted unless you log in) from 2002 & 2005. Surprised nothing from 1950s - 1970s. The verb is also mentioned at least twice in this sense in a book review at [1] (1986) and another at [2] (2004) and also at [3] and [4] and [5] and [6]. No time to enter now, but will return and add the best. Enginear 14:34, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes. I've apple pied peoples beds before, (granted about 30 years ago...)Rfvpassed Andrew massyn 15:51, 29 July 2006 (UTC)


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apple pie[edit]

I felt obligated to delete the unidiomatic sense, but do we want to keep it for the phrasebook, or on some other grounds? DAVilla 19:28, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Strong keep. It is idiomatic, including the basic sense, and translating it correctly cannot be achieved by translating apple and then translating pie. —Stephen 11:13, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I know you have been pushing for translations to be a basis for article existence. But as I pointed out at Wiktionary talk:Criteria for inclusion#Multi-word entries, sums of their parts and translations, this is not a good idea.
Please explain to me how "apple pie" is idiomatic. It is a pie made with apples. Would you say that cherry pie and peach pie are also idiomatic?
I'm not against keeping this definition line, but I'd really like to see a solid reason for it. Maybe there's some quality of an apple pie, for instance, that is common knowledge? A required ingredient that isn't evident from the fact that it's a fruit pie? DAVilla 15:21, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
I’ve been a translator all of my life, and I know very well when I should look up apple, or pie, or apple pie. Pie all by itself is idiomatic, because what we know as a pie is not known, or not well known, in many other cultures. Also needed is cherry pie...but no need for peach pie, because that is not a set term. For peaches, we have peach cobbler.
I built and operated four translating companies and have owned and used thousands of dictionaries. A good dictionary has apple pie. A good dictionary has go to bed. If a bilingual dictionary does not give go to bed, it means it’s intended for elementary-level students, or that it’s a specialist’s dictionary (such as a legal dictionary). —Stephen 16:26, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
There's no need to get defensive. We really desire nearly the same result ultimately. You will note that I voted strong keep on go to bed, and that I've proferred arguments for including e.g. escargots au beurre, so I'm not against you in this matter. That you will hear me out, I withdraw the nomination as a gesture of good faith. I only wish to know what is special about apple pie that would warrent its inclusion. I thought it might be unique to apple and not other sum-of-parts pies, but you surprise me in claiming that cherry pie is also idiomatic. Peach pie gets more than half a thousand Google Book hits by the way. There are also a plethera of berry pies, even the more obscure berries. Are you sure that peach pie gets the out? Presumably all the berry varieties do too?
You are really the person to know the answer to this more than anyone else, certainly here. The question is, what is different about an apple pie last year and your father's older brother? Is there any way to codify why you would look the first two up in a translation dictionary and not the last? It seems to me that you would have to already know a great deal about the words involved and about the target language. I feel very strongly that, while it may shed light on our human thinking, the way other languages define terms should not affect English Wiktionary's measure of idiomaticity.
Perhaps the traditional layout of translation dictionaries blinds us in this matter. Even if father's older brother could never pass here, it should be possible to search for father & older & brother in the target language to achieve the same result, and likewise for any of these pies that are apparently single concepts in foreign languages. However, if we were to allow entries just for the sake of translations, what characterizes a collocation? We really need a standard measuring stick, and preferably not so whimsical or capricious as google hits or the like. What essentially is the difference between translations into English that succinctly define single concepts and translations that are explanations? How does one define the set of set phrases in a language such as English? Or maybe we could allow a few unidiomatic phrases such as father's brother, male cousin etc. to ease the burden of glosses (a good example being the Swedish translations of nibling). But how would we at least rein in the possibilities for these translations pages? If every foreign word must be fit into a translation table somewhere, then do the number of cases at year for last year, next year, and the year after next serve as justifiction? DAVilla 18:28, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
There was nothing defensive about it. The problem with these terms is not whether they merit inclusion, but why. As I pointed out, I’ve been making this judgment about words hundreds of times a day, six days a week for forty-five years. I can still remember many years ago when I would look up a simple word as it appeared, then have to search for the phrase, then have to reduce it to a citation form, expending a lot of time and effort when I should have known to look in just one place. In those days I only charged a nickel a word, and it was painful to spend fifteen minutes doing five cents worth of work. You learn quickly what you should look up the very first time, and it becomes second nature. What you are asking for is how I make the judgments. That’s a little like asking how you determine whether someone is beautiful, plain, unattractive, or repulsive. Even though people make such judgments effortlessly, explaining it is not easy, and most explanations are just theories and guesses.
The explanation that I like to use for terms like apple pie is "set phrase". But if someone does not like the explanation, or disagrees with it or thinks it is insufficient, that doesn’t mean that apple pie should be thrown only means that somebody should try to put together a better explanation. With years of experience under my belt, I do not bother to analyze these things, I just know.
As for peach pie, that dish does not exist in my English. Blueberry pie is valid, mulberry pie is not. Cherry pie is good, loganberry pie is not. This is not to say that someone could not make a pie out of mulberries, but simply that it is not a recognized pie and not a set phrase. If you baked a mulberry pie, you could call it a mulberry pie and it would be good English, but mulberry pies are not a standard bit of American cuisine, and the term in this particular case would be sum of its parts and nothing more, and the good American English dictionaries would not carry mention of it. So it’s not a question of allowing good entries such as apple pie but not "mulberry pie", but determining why this should be so. My long experience with the "why" of it is internal and subconscious, and trying to codify it is like explaining rational thought...easier said than done. —Stephen 14:01, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I have some intuition into what a "set phrase" is, basically a collocation in the process of thought, referencing a single concept in the intellect rather than two concepts that have to be mentally summed. Mulberry. Pie. What!? Oh, okay. Got it! When you think as slowly as I do, these sorts of self-analyses become more feasible. ;-)
Thank you for the consideration of your response. DAVilla 16:47, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Two comments: firstly, your claim that you can't translate "apple pie" by translating "apple" and then translating "pie" is true, but not terribly meaningful; in general, you can't translate from one language to another without understanding the grammar of both languages, knowing that attributive nouns in English become genitives or "of"-phrases in your target language (assuming it's almost any other major language), etc. Secondly, while it might be true that a bilingual dictionary should have a distinct entry for apple pie (and indeed, all of mine do, except for the tiny ones I was given as a child), we have specific criteria for inclusion, and they currently exclude collocations that mean exactly what the sum of their parts would suggest. I'm not opposed to including certain particularly common collocations (and apple pie does seem reasonable to include), but before we start doing that, I really think we should have a discussion at WT:BP and a vote at WT:VOTE. —RuakhTALK 03:31, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I don't (and didn't) stay on top of changes to WT:CFI, but my impression was that the consensus reached on WT:BP (in previous years) was to keep the referents. There was always residual ambiguity, so it would be nice to have a clarification vote on it. Said another way: I agree we should have a vote, but I don't see the need to delete this item unless that vote has the unexpected result of not allowing them. --Connel MacKenzie 17:07, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
strong keep; The term is a key component of the set phrase as American as apple pie. There are no other pies (other than meat pie perhaps) that are idiomatic in this way, but this one is. It carries strong additional connotations that are not present in either apple or pie, or in the mere sum of those terms. --EncycloPetey 17:45, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Apple pie but not blueberry pie? I'm curious. Apart from its figurative use as quintessential Americanism, which is a separate definition line, what specific connotations does a pie made from apples carry that one from blueberries does not?
Do you suggest that we should have entries for silver spoon, kitchen sink, and top of my head, all of which are components of idiomatic phrases? DAVilla 18:55, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
For silver spoon, probably. For the others, I'm less certain and would need to hear some sense in which they appeared without the surrounding text that normally accompanies the full phrase.
The key point is that apple pie does carry an additional idiomatic sense. If we define only that idiomatic sense, then anyone reading the entry (who isn't fluent in English) might assume that the term has only an idiomatic sense. Since not all idioms carry a literal sense, it is useful and right that we note the literatal sense of such idioms if they are likely to be encountered. So, since apple pie is frequently met with in a non-idiomatic sense, that sense should be explained as well. By contrast, kick the bucket and horse of a different color seldom or never are used in the literal sense, so defining them exclusively in their idiomatic senses is useful and right. --EncycloPetey 03:14, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
That is a very good point. I was going to argue to delete, but now I think we should keep. —RuakhTALK 03:30, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I used to feel the same way, and spent a good deal of time with get down, get in, and get across, to think of cases that were not idiomatic, to supplement the ones that were. The first had so much clutter that I recently had to strip definitions like "become sad" in order for the justification of its existence to be made clear. Another recent example above is Japan-only, which is idiomatic in the sense of "Japanese only" and in neither of the other two.
On the other point, come to think of it, silver spoon is probably worth including, and possibly kitchen sink although I too would like to see cites, but the top of my head has nothing off it that I can think of off the top of my head. DAVilla 16:31, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
What? We don't have kitchen sink? Do we at least have everything but the kitchen sink? Shouldn't the former redirect to the latter, if nothing else? --Connel MacKenzie 19:41, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
On a slightly serious note, shouldn't all idioms explain the literal meaning? It seems to me, that the earlier convention was to give a literal definition first, then the idiomatic definition (in cases where it helps.) But if something can be idiomatic, the literal meaning can always be useful for clarity between the possible senses. I'm not sure the same CFI should apply to such literal explanations, provided they are used to immediately precede an idiomatic definition. --Connel MacKenzie 19:51, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Care to demonstrate at: born with a silver spoon in one's mouth?
Well, that would be a case where it doesn't help, no? The literal component to explain is silver spoon, describing the connotation of extreme wealth, as opposed to a normal infant suckling (with no spoon whatsoever) from their first moments after birth. --Connel MacKenzie 16:54, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I suppose that is a good reason to enter silver spoon. --Connel MacKenzie 17:07, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
On a less serious note, should everything except kitchen sink redirect there? :-7 DAVilla 13:00, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Okay, it seems the only really good example I came up with was top of my head, which is clearly not worthy of inclusion. I don't see why kitchen sink would merit it, but I'm starting to give in for silver spoon. Regardless, it only takes one exception (like my head) to break the rule. Anyways the parsing for these has been far too nice. If taken literally the rule would also imply the inclusion of the roses as in stop and smell the roses and of a time as in have a whale of a time.
Another point that should be made is that the literal sense, if needed to explain the figurative sense, can be included within the same definition line. This example is probably a terrible test case because there are so many other reasons, and all difficult to explain, for keeping the literal sense. It is, at the very least, an excellent phrasebook entry on account of the translations. By the way, do apple pie recipes include cinnamon as a general rule? DAVilla 21:15, 14 May 2007 (UTC)