By the usual principles of constructing meaning-in-context, the details of which elude me, as the process is unconscious. There are a lot of theories about it though. DCDuringTALK 18:00, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Keep. There wasn't a sense listed at card matching the one used in these terms ("a greeting card") until I just added it just now. However, as Msh210 pointed out, there's still ambiguity over which sense of "card" it is that that these terms are employing. If someone says, "I'm not taking the trash out today because it's my birthday," I suppose they could be described as playing the "birthday card," but that's not what most people mean whey they use the term "birthday card." Astral (talk) 17:44, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Apart from the fact that WT:NOTPAPER doesn't even exist, NOTPAPER (on Wikipedia) does not mean that anything may be included, Equinox and I have both said that we have lots of room for pictures of kittens because we're not paper, but that doesn't mean we should include lots of pictures of kittens. It seems to me, hilariously, that you don't have a counterargument to that, if you did you'd've replied by now. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:17, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Not it’s not. It says “There is less need to exclude arguable entries”, it doesn’t say There is a need to keep arguable entries.— Ungoliant(Falai) 00:32, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
A slippery-slope argument is not a valid reason for deletion. NOTPAPER is a guideline, so it is. I frankly don't understand why we waste so much time deleting two-word phrases that are commonly used...we could be using that time to write definitions of more two-word phrases Purplebackpack89(Notes Taken)(Locker) 23:02, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps we should not be wasting time writing definitions for trivial terms.
I'm not arguing slippery slope. I'm asking if there are principled distinctions here or just whimsy for what we include or exclude. Or is it just that we haven't gotten around to them? Is it your belief that all attestable collocations should be in Wiktionary? If it is, I suggest you make a proposal as soon as possible and that we vote on it. Certainly many agree with you.
One test that can be made to see whether something is a set phrase is interesting. One can see whether the modifier term can appear in coordination with another term modifying the head of the noun phrase. As I see it, both birthday card and Christmas card would fail this test as one can say both "They just send us birthday and Christmas cards" and "The just send us Christmas and birthday cards." Also "I don't remember whether they send us Christmas or birthday cards". So the relationship between the modifiers and the heads is not very tight.
You could take the trouble to see whether the solid-spelled compounds are attestable. We have been interpreting that as conclusive evidence that the terms are thought of as a unit. We are picky about the attestation being unambiguous (not based on Google's interpretation of an end-of-line hyphen or on a possible scanno or typesetting error contradicted by spaced spelling in the same work. DCDuringTALK 01:30, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
No need to list all possible combination of cards, other entries should be considered case by case as always. Christmas card and birthday card should be kept as they are words and are often included in foreign language dictionaries, are as common items as postcards or envelopes and are also borrowed into other languages as single words. --Anatoli(обсудить) 03:11, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
The first requirement is that we have a good English dictionary that responds to the needs of English users without wasting their time. If you made arguments about the presence or absence of the terms in monolingual dictionaries, it would be easier to agree. The sole monolingual consideration that you raise is also unhelpful: a collocation like "broken chair" would also meet your common-item criterion. DCDuringTALK 10:35, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Are we wasting the time of English users? We would be if we had a policy that required all users to read every single definition in the dictionary. However, we have no such policy, so English users will likely never see definitions for terms that they are not looking up. Presumably, those who do look up birthday card or Christmas card are doing so because they are fuzzy on the meaning and would like to see a definition. Usage statistics might be helpful to see whether these definitions are actually being sought out. bd2412T 14:31, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Two arguments that could bring these discussions to a close are:
The inclusion of Christmas card and birthday card in other monolingual dictionaries.
Such arguments may not be intellectually satisfying or involve sophisticated analysis of what constitutes an idiom, but they are definitive or close to it. DCDuringTALK 10:43, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I have found a definition for one in Cambridge dictionary. Will come back when/if I find for the other. "Broken chair" is a free collocation, I understand your exaggeration but it's not valid. --Anatoli(обсудить) 23:41, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Here are some definitions of Christmas card in English monolingual dictionaries:
Cambridge dictionary: a decorated card that you send to someone at Christmas.
Merriam-Webster dictionary: a greeting card sent at Christmas. (a "greeting card" definition: a piece of paper or thin cardboard having any of a variety of shapes and formats and bearing a greeting or message of sentiment
My search for the definition of birthday card hasn't produced anything yet (I didn't search thoroughly, though) but I found a few instances of birthdaycard (solid) in Google book searches. --Anatoli(обсудить) 05:24, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
We can define it if we know we want it. It is just a question of whether other dictionaries have it (and also which ones). I use OneLook (eg, birthday card at OneLook Dictionary Search) for that kind of lemming check. It's easy enough to do. WordNet tends to be the most inclusive of multi-word terms. DCDuringTALK 06:20, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Actually, we need to update these definitions. I've received plenty of birthday cards and holiday cards in my email, and obviously those were not folded pieces of paper, but only electronic versions of the decorations and messages. If someone sends you an email that says "Get well soon", you wouldn't say they sent you a card, but if they sent the same email with the text in the middle of a big, brightly colored rectangle festooned with pictures of balloons and puppies, then you very well might say they sent you a "card". As it happens, I also have a "credit card" that is not an actual card, but is a fob on my keychain. If I sent you one of those for Christmas, you wouldn't think of it as a Christmas card. Therefore I would suggest that there are a lot of things out there which can be called a "card" these days which are not the traditional pieces of stiff paper, and we must reflect which of those collocations support these broader definitions. bd2412T 14:46, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
If it comes to that, if your birthday present or Christmas present to me were a credit card (or a hand-held tool for preparing materials for spinning), I wouldn't think of that as a birthday card or Christmas card either. Still, we want to avoid arguments like "red house isn't SOP because it doesn't mean 'communist dynasty'" too; just because a collocation of "X Y" can only refer to a subset of the definitions of X and a subset of the definitions of Y doesn't necessarily mean that that collocation is idiomatic. —Angr 15:50, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Red has a sense for communism and house has a sense for dynasty. Do we need to add a sense at card indicating an electronic salutation with some elements of the presentation of a traditional paper card? Actually, it's beyond that now, as there are e-cards that contain sound and animation. bd2412T 16:37, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Keep. They are transparent but fixed enough in the modern Western culture. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 03:02, 18 August 2012 (UTC)