Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Thank you PCDuring for your interest in the page about dignity. Thank you for improving the format.

It is not clear why the page is making you unhappy. Please state -- in concrete terms -- what you want. Do you want more quotations? Do you want some example sentences? Do you want more definitions? Do you want a definition reworded? Do you want definitions only from old dictionaries?

If you have any suggestions that will prevent any misunderstanding of dignity, I would be pleased to consider them.

Please reply here. Pyrrhon8 04:03, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The quotations do not support the adjective-laden definitions now shown, especially in the rfv'd senses. "Dignity" itself has mostly very simple meanings, expressable in fewer than ten words per sense. For example, it does not by itself mean "human dignity". Please take a look at any dictionary's entry for the word. [1] is convenient for comparing many dictionary's definitions. DCDuring TALK 11:27, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you DC for your message. Thank you for the link to
I am usually for brevity. As a general rule, I am also in favor of keeping things simple. On the other hand, I find sometimes that a writing is too brief, too cryptic. For example, long ago, I heard of a dirty word. I looked up the word's meaning. The meaning given was "self-abuse." For me, the meaning was woefully inadequate. It was not helpful. It is not true. It is the propaganda of an ideology. From that point on, I have always been distrustful of the meanings given by dictionaries.
Old dictionaries used cryptic meanings to save paper and ink. The meanings were cryptic to reduce the cost of the dictionary. Today, a dictionary that is not a matter of paper and ink does not need to be brief.
My view is that a dictionary should use as many words as will aid the reader to understand an idea. For example, if one searches for masturbation in Wiktionary, one will find that ten words are not enough to do the subject justice. So it is with dignity.
Dignity is a complex notion. Authors have written books about dignity. I will try my best to summarize the subject.
Dignity has a worthwhile meaning when it means 'the set of attributes that distinguish an intelligent, solemn, sober, healthy, independent, adult homo sapiens from a young child or a lunatic.' If someone says, "The king's tantrum betrayed his lack of dignity," one can understand that the speaker is saying, "The king has the temperament of a baby or the king has the temperament of a lunatic." One can understand what Thurber meant when he wrote that dignity "has gleamed only now and then and here and there, in lonely splendor, throughout the ages, a hope of the better men, never an achievement of the majority." One can understand that there are not many intelligent, solemn, sober, healthy, independent adults, and so it stands to reason that the ideal of dignity is rare. My point is that dignity may be meaningful.
On the other hand, dignity may be merely a vanity, a conceit, a delusion. It may be a substitute for glory or majesty or honor or specialness or a host of other abstractions. If someone says, "He paraded his dignity down the street," one can understand the speaker to be saying, "He paraded his vanity down the street"; but one can also understand the speaker to be saying, "He paraded down the street." In this case, dignity may have a meaning or it may be meaningless. It may be merely a circumlocution--a device for bombast.
Let us consider a definition offered by Onelook says dignity is "the quality of being worthy of esteem or respect." Onelook provides an example sentence: It was beneath his dignity to cheat. What is the sentence saying? Is it saying, "He was too much like an ideal adult to cheat?" Is it saying, "He had too great a sense of respectability to cheat?" Is it saying only, "It was beneath him to cheat?" Or is it saying, "He did not cheat." What use of dignity is in play?
Onelook does not tell us what use of dignity is in play. Onelook does not tell us that dignity may be used in multiple ways. Onelook does not tell us that dignity may be mere bombast. Onelook leaves it to the reader to guess at what information the speaker intended to convey.
Some people may say so what! They may say the definition offered by onelook is good enough; it will suffice for most purposes. What does it matter if a few people are bewildered by what they are reading?
The reason the meaning of dignity is important is that various international organizations are using the word 'dignity' to push their agendas. Those organizations are using dignity as the reason the world should adopt certain courses of action. To evaluate those agendas--to know whether they are beneficial or dangerous, one must understand how the term dignity can be used.
Dignity hopes he has made himself clear. The quality of being worthy of esteem or respect welcomes your thoughts. Pyrrhon8 22:00, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Encyclopedia vs. Dictionary[edit]

We are attempting to serve users by not wasting their time. We do not indulge tendentious definitions no matter how well-meaning the sentiment behind them. We do not value quirky definitions. I will set to work on this entry shortly to make sure that it conforms to our standards, as I understand them. DCDuring TALK 22:32, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

To whom it may concern[edit]

It is impossible to understand all the writings that invoke dignity unless one has ALL the definitions given under this entry. In my opinion, understanding all the writings is good. My point of view is that understanding is good. Pyrrhon8 02:58, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Then please understand that we are trying to reflect the language as generally understood, not as used by folks who may have an understanding that does not correspond to the readings of several readers of the citations provided and of the senses shown in other modern dictionaries. Reverting the outcome of a formal decision process is particularly unwelcome. DCDuring TALK 04:12, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I am talking about how the documents that invoke dignity use it. I am not interested in what some cabal wants any word to mean. Let the users of Wiktionary understand how writers are using dignity. Pyrrhon8 18:48, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests for verification - kept[edit]

Kept. See archived discussion of December 2008. 07:04, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


I don't understand how the "kept" in the above section has been arrived at. Let me quote from archived discussion of December 2008:

Rfv-sense "I, me, myself, we, us, ourselves;" I don't think so. Sole citation can be readily understood without this sense. DCDuring TALK 16:46, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Rfv-sense "the set of attributes that distinguish an intelligent, solemn, sober, healthy, independent, adult homo sapiens from a young child or a lunatic." Part of what I view as a well-meaning PoV push.
Rfv-sense "humanness" same as above. DCDuring TALK 16:59, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
All failed; removed.msh210 21:08, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I fully agree with DCDuring in questioning these three senses. I understand the result "All failed; removed" from the discussion as that the senses should be removed, not that they should be kept. Can someone please clarify this?

For comparison: google:define: dignity — web definitions found by Google --Dan Polansky 11:08, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

"Kept" here means that the entry was kept; only certain senses had had verification sought, and those were removed. It's opaque, but there it is.—msh210 00:11, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Wiktionary is not a list of all possible words. It is a list of words in use. In this context, "kept" means that Wiktionary recognizes the word which is being defined as a word in use. Wiktionary is saying that the word should be an entry. Wiktionary is saying that dignity deserves to be defined. Pyrrhon8 00:03, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Of Galileo and simpletons[edit]

I have restored the correct definitions of dignity. To the reasons given above, I add the reason following. In the 1500s and 1600s, several intelligent Europeans tried to improve our understanding of the planets. A collection of simpletons set itself against the intelligent Europeans. The simpletons held that ignorance and superstition were virtues. One intelligent European of the time was named Galileo. He had discovered that Earth was not the center of the universe. Galileo tried to share his discovery but the simpletons opposed him. The simpletons forced Galileo to renounce what was true, and to submit to ignorance and superstition. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Galileo made an observation which I find apt in the present circumstances. He wrote, "Philosophy is written in this grand book, the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and read the letters in which it is composed." As it is with the grand book, so it is with other books ... and charters and reports and international resolutions. One cannot correctly understand what is written unless one has all the definitions of the words. Without proper definitions, one cannot rise above ignorance and superstition. One cannot have dignity. Pyrrhon8 00:04, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

"Full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." Macbeth V v. The page has been protected from counter-productive edit warring. Your arguments are fine-sounding on the surface but do not justify a single definition that was deleted after examination. --EncycloPetey 00:18, 21 January 2009 (UTC)