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Hyphenated or not?[edit]

This entry is at the heart of a serious issue - the co-option of language for political ends.

At I've posted an essay concerning the appropriation of the word ‘cooperation’ from its antecedent, hyphenated form, ‘co-operation’, along, there, with the definition of 'cooperation'.

(Additionally, the OED tells me that their preferred form is, now, the unhyphenated form - due, they say, to usage statistics.)

So the problems are two-fold (with one technical point).

The technical point is that the Internet domain name for co-operatives is the unhyphenated form .coop - this form was 'forced' on co-operators when this domain name was created, about ten years' ago. The cited reason for the use of .coop rather than .co-op was that the domain name character set did not include the hyphen (or I guess? any other punctuation marks) - there was discussion, for example at co-opnet, of this at the time. This seems to have initiated, for example, use of the (even more bizarre) use the unhyphenated form 'coop' rather than the phonetically distinct form 'co-op'.

The substantive issues are that:

a) The co-operative movement has always used the hyphen - the global federal is, for example, the (hyphenated) 'International Co-operative Alliance' (ICA - see ), and - with the exception of US usage and some UK publication style guides from not-co-operatives - co-operators, co-operatives and co-operative organizations all use(d) the hyphenated form.

b) The not-hyphenated form has significantly different meaning (imposed or developed) than the hyphenated form - as the definition shows. That imposed/developed meaning has none of the voluntary equality contained in (say) the ICA Statement on the Co-operative Identity, but is, rather, a coercive usage - more akin to 'compliance'.

These matters also have lexical implications - not least that internet searching delivers separate information sets, depending on whether the searcher specifies the not- or hyphenated-forms.

Could Wikipedians or Wiktionary contributors consider these conundrums?

Hope so!

John Courtneidge

Deletion debate[edit]

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Moved from RFV. DCDuring says "Five senses that seem to me included in two real senses." DAVilla 05:22, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree that only the two uncontested senses are worth keeping, but would this mess up the translations? Perhaps the sociological and ecological ones are different words in some languages. Equinox 15:23, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I would not worry about translations. The tagged senses have currently only two translations. If other languages need several words to cover a sense, they should simply be all listed, and explanations given in appropriate foreign-language entries. --Hekaheka 23:50, 22 March 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, you're quite right. Delete. Equinox 22:10, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I'm okay with deleting these without prejudice. I don't doubt the definition could be more finely splintered, but I would want to see examples to make sure that the way it was divided was appropriate. 02:53, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
These haven't been deleted. I'm taking the rather unusual step of moving this to the bottom of the page to get a debate going, as I don't feel right deleting or keep these based on a discussion that took place 7 months ago. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:36, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

We need some serious debate here, given the number of senses up for deleted. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:36, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

Fine to express openness to good definitions, but we will need citations to add senses unlike those that appear in other dictionaries. If we could get contributors to contribute even one real citation that doesn't seem well covered by our existing definitions, we would have something to work with. DCDuring TALK 00:18, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Maybe just use {{rfc}} instead. I don't really think merging similar definitions into one is an RFD issue. Deleting one outright when no similar definition exists (like the juggling meaning for cascade) ok yes, but not this. Any objections to an rfc? Mglovesfun (talk) 20:43, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I think this has been around for long enough (more than 1 yr) to be solved without tossing it to another "department" as if this was a huge government bureaucracy. We have a relatively nice set of definitions for the verb cooperate:

  1. (intransitive) To work or act together, especially for a common purpose or benefit.
  2. (intransitive) To allow for mutual unobstructed action
  3. (intransitive) To function in harmony, side by side
  4. (intransitive) To engage in economic cooperation.

My proposal for "cooperation" is this:

  1. any instance or state of affairs in which two or more parties cooperate

Only remaining problem is the circular definition #4. I'm not sure whether this is a separate sense or not. Any of the three other types of cooperation may be economic by nature and the fourth does not seem to add much new to them. Perhaps the word "cooperation" should be replaced by the noun cooperative. --Hekaheka 09:27, 25 April 2010 (UTC) Moved to rfc by me a few weeks ago. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:52, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Request for verification[edit]

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Rfv-sense. Five senses that seem to me included in two real senses. DCDuring TALK 00:25, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

At least two of these senses are clearly widespread use, RFV passed. Did you mean to RFD? DAVilla 05:14, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

I see this has been moved to RFD: WT:RFD#cooperation. Equinox 15:31, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
You should look more closely. Unstruck until remaining senses resolved. 10:32, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Re-opened at RfV to restart clock. DCDuring TALK 20:00, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You can undo my last edit if you like. One request, move this to the bottom of the page so it doesn't go unnoticed. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:02, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Second request for verification[edit]

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Rfv-sense X 3. sociology, ecology, mechanics, software. DCDuring TALK 19:57, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

RFV-failed; senses deleted. - -sche (discuss) 01:13, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Deletion discussion (senses)[edit]

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How many distinct definitions of cooperation are there? Ignore the entry for a second and decide if you were writing the entry from scratch, what usage would not be covered by 'The act of cooperating'? Now to the entry itself

Active help from a person, organization, etc.

An orderly sharing of space or resources.

Association for mutual benefit, such as for purposes of production or purchase.

I don't think 'active help' is cooperation because it's not mutual, you can't cooperate with someone without their consent or against it, but you can help someone without their consent or against it

Orderly sharing of space or resources, this sounds like a specific example of cooperation

Sense #3 sounds like another example of cooperation. To me, it just sounds like the act of cooperating by another name.

This previously went to rfd (see Talk:cooperation) when there were seven senses and it failed to reach a consensus. Perhaps with only four senses, we can do it. Renard Migrant (talk) 14:09, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Senses #1 and #2 could be merged, since they express more or les the same concept, but sense #3 is distinct because it can refer to the organization or association itself rather than to the act of cooperating. --Tweenk (talk) 09:05, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
The definitions look like the product of some kind of encyclopedic, not lexicographic, effort. I would rather start over (RfC?) than work with the confused mess we have, but the RfD process limits us and may help preserve some of the translations.
I find that the most helpful thing one can do in defining English words is find any grammatical distinctions. For English nouns, a countability distinction commonly requires a distinct definition. Also, for a noun that is clearly associated with a specific verb, inclusive definitions either refer to the definitions of the verb or have to duplicate the senses of the verb, though possibly some verb senses may not carry over.
Sense three, because it starts "a" is countable and therefore distinct from the other senses. The most general countable definition would be something like "an act or instance of cooperating". Which definition is close to sense one "The act of cooperating", which is confusingly (mis)labeled as uncountable. "An orderly sharing" (sense 3) is possible among inanimate things whereas cooperation is usually among animate things, though I could imagine it being applied to, say, computer processes. Thus sense 3 seems wrong.
I think the more common uses of cooperation are uncountable. A general definition is something like "The process of cooperating". I suppose that senses two and four would be included in such a definition, though they seem at best to be two arbitrary classes of cooperation. Moreover, "active help" (sense 2) is a one-sided giving, whereas cooperation is essentially mutual. Thus sense 2 seems wrong.
Perhaps the best way to save the translations is to make sense 1 countable and make sense 4 the uncountable sense or make it a subsense of a new general uncountable sense "The process of cooperating." DCDuring TALK 14:12, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
This would preserve the bulk of the translations, as sense 2 and 3 have little not in sense 1 and 4, except in for words translating sense 2 that mean "help", not specifically cooperation. DCDuring TALK 14:22, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
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Let's get this closed out. bd2412 T 13:03, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

As of 9 May 2015, there are no attested usages for any senses. How can there be consensus about whether any sense is idiomatic? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 12:30, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Idiomaticity is not being challenged here. Redundancy is the issue. Renard Migrant (talk) 12:33, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep sense three as distinct; I believe that this is the sense reflected in co-op, a specific kind of entity rather than an abstract concept. bd2412 T 19:14, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Striking as no consensus to delete. bd2412 T 16:19, 16 May 2015 (UTC)

RFC discussion: April 2010[edit]

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No consensus at RFD for more than a year now. I think if someone had a go at this it would be ok. Mglovesfun (talk) 08:14, 4 April 2010 (UTC)


Apart from a noun, isn't it also an adjective?


It is likely the most important cooperation tool.

--Mortense (talk) 23:03, 28 December 2015 (UTC)