Talk:gut flora

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gut flora[edit]

SOP: gut (The alimentary canal (...)) + flora (The microorganisms that inhabit some part of the body (...)). — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:05, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Delete since we have the relevant meaning of flora. —Angr 16:40, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
It is SoP, but it often appears in usage that indicates it is the "name" of something, in this Google Books search, for example. There are also numerous instances of the term in single and double quotation marks and in italics. DCDuring TALK 16:59, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Maybe that’s because gut is sort of informal. — Ungoliant (Falai) 17:16, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Should really be intestinal flora I should think. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:02, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Intestinal flora is about four times more common than gut flora and also is used in the same kind of "naming" constructions. DCDuring TALK 17:51, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Collins has the sense of flora as "short for intestinal flora". Is there other usage of flora as a synonym for biota? To the extent that this is a misnomer, it would be idiomatic. DCDuring TALK 17:58, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Before I nominated this, I checked if flora was attestable with another random organ (“brain flora”) an it was. — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:10, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
But if intestinal flora started out as an idiom (since the microorganisms in question aren't actual flora in the primary sense), which then got shortened to just "flora", then one of our tests (I can't remember its nickname now) says we should include intestinal flora even if it currently looks like SOP, since the phrase as a whole is older than one of the parts it superficially appears to be the sum of. —Angr 19:08, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • keep, of course, as this is a term of the English language, a term that learners of the language may have to learn (they cannot guess it). Lmaltier (talk) 19:58, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Given sense 3 of flora, why can't they guess it? —Angr 20:10, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
    • They don’t need to guess, they can look at gut and flora and perfectly understand what gut flora means. — Ungoliant (Falai) 20:16, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Keep. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 20:11, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
    • @LMaltier: I always find myself having to impute to you some reasoning that you do not express, as your typical statement is either an unsupported assertion or a circularity. I am therefore responding to an argument that I give you credit for: There is no reason to think that a dictionary is a help in learning how to construct native-like speech. Being confronted with a multi-word expression that is unfamiliar, a learner may benefits from a dictionary to decode the expression, using recollection of the context in which it was used. This term would not have to be included in the lexicon by that latter standard. DCDuring TALK 20:37, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
      • Learners don't only listen or read, they may have to speak or to write. Therefore, they should find here all the English vocabulary they need (with the help of categories and thesaurus). It's a common mistake to believe that dictionaries are used only to find the meaning of a word. They are also used to learn new words / set phrases, and this is a very important use. Lmaltier (talk) 21:45, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Delete. --WikiTiki89 21:19, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
  • Delete. This is an area of medicine that is getting more attention in the West recently and this term will likely become very common in the near future. But it seems no more than SOP. One concern I have is that gut is generally taken as an informal term--I would never say it to a doctor, for example--but we don't label it as such, and in fact, "gut flora" is now in common use among those familiar with the issue. If the gut entry could be made a little more nuanced, I think that would suffice. --BB12 (talk) 21:29, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Seems a bit set-phrasey to delete. Possibly redirect to flora. Equinox 21:32, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
You asked for it folks!
Ungoliant (Falai) 21:46, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
If you want to show that this is SOP, I think that everybody agrees. This does not make the page less useful. Blue bicycle is SOP and does not belong to the English vocabulary, but this phrase belongs to the English vocabulary, and we want to describe the complete vocabulary of languages. Lmaltier (talk) 21:59, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Our criteria for inclusion in the mainspace is based on idiomaticity, not usefulness. The meaning gut flora is perfectly covered by the relevant definitions at gut and flora in a way that anyone who reads both definitions will know exactly what gut flora means. If the extralinguistic information is so important, this SOP should be included in a glossary (which we host in the Appendix: namespace) or, even better, Wikipedia. — Ungoliant (Falai) 22:08, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Lmaltier's view has (as far as I know) always been that all set phrases should be included. He's always been consistent on this, which is good, but as far as I know, nobody's ever agreed with him. Ever. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:14, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
In other terms, cover the complete vocabulary of languages. This is how I understand all words of all languages. No, I'm not the only one to think so: I've already been told something like OK, but this is not the priority. Is this a reason to delete a useful page? Other dictionaries define this kind of phrase, e.g. , or (which provides several synonyms). Do we want to be less complete and less useful than other dictionaries? Lmaltier (talk) 22:39, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
The first one is wrong (gut flora isn’t completely harmless and, if WP is to be trusted, not essential) and the second one is a glossary. — Ungoliant (Falai) 23:14, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Let's not go into encyclopedic details. The subject of the relationship between intestinal flora and the human digestive system is extremely complex, but I would agree that they "are essential for its normal functioning". That's not to say that there aren't adequate abnormal ways for the digestive tract to function, but a lot of the breakdown of food is normally at least aided by bacteria and other microorganisms, and they're a major source of w:Vitamin K. That said, the first isn't especially known for its lexicographic excellence, and the second is a specialized medical dictionary that would be expected to go into encyclopedia-level detail on terms within its specialty. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:38, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
You are right, let's not go into encyclopedic details. The fact that a specialized medical dictionary includes it is a very good clue that this is a term of the language. To make this distinction, it's necessary to know the term very well, to feel that it's worth a definition. Lmaltier (talk) 12:05, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
The fact that only a specialized medical dictionary includes it is a very good clue that this is not a term of "the language", but a medical concept that bears no more than encyclopedic significance. --WikiTiki89 15:14, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't understand. Why only ? I gave 2 examples. Anyway, if only a specialized dictionary defines a term, this only means that it's a very specialized term. But we include specialized terms, we include names of medical concepts. Lmaltier (talk) 20:04, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Do we sometimes keep such terms solely as translation targets? SemperBlotto (talk) 22:24, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
In my opinion, this is not a good reason: such translations might be added to flora. But there are good reasons to keep it. Lmaltier (talk) 22:39, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
But this page, anyway, is mainly useful to people trying to remember the term, rather to people reading it (although it may be useful to them too). The major issue with this page is that it lacks categories (such as Gastroenterology in English or Microorganisms in English). People having forgotten the term might consult this kind of topical categories and find the term they forgot. Lmaltier (talk) 12:14, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
To make clearer what I mean: I think that gut flora and intestinal flora are set phrases worth an entry, while intestine flora is a phrase with the same meaning, but is not a set phrase, because it is built (each time it's used) by people using it, from intestine and flora. This is not the case for gut flora: the brain does not think I want to refer to flora, and this flora is in the intestine, therefore I will add gut before it. In other terms, this phrase is not reinvented each time it's used, it's taken from the brain as a whole, unlike (I think) intestine flora, which is probably the most natural phrase for those not knowing the classical ones. Among all phrases mentioned above, such as tongue flora, which ones are set phrases and which ones are not set phrases, I've no idea at all. Lmaltier (talk) 12:34, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Keep as idiomatic. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:32, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Delete SOP.​—msh210 (talk) 04:57, 22 January 2013 (UTC)
Keep, since the default search is not helpful here. bd2412 T 20:01, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Delete. Or are we missing all the entries Ungoliant listed? - -sche (discuss) 05:10, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
By my count, 7 users have voted "delete" (Ungoliant, Angr, WikiTiki, BB12, Chuck Entz, msh210, me), 1 (Equinox) suggested redirection, and 4 voted "keep" (Lmaltier, Matthias Buchmeier, Anatoli, bd2412). DCDuring and SemperBlotto commented but didn't stake out clear (to me) positions. - -sche (discuss) 05:10, 9 March 2013 (UTC)

deleted -- Liliana 11:15, 20 April 2013 (UTC)


  • gut flora at OneLook Dictionary Search (Oxford Dictionaries, 2 medical dictionaries
  • intestinal flora at OneLook Dictionary Search (Oxford Dictionaries, Collins English Dictionary,, WordNet 3.0, 5 medical dictionaries)
Lemmings seem to be showing the way. DCDuring (talk) 23:25, 12 January 2019 (UTC)