Talk:little girl

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Deletion debate (1)[edit]

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This is pure SoP. I don't really get why we need to have an entry for every translation of a one-word non-English term into English. I doubt that English users would think to look up "little girl" to find the non-English words they might be looking for. DCDuring TALK 19:26, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Delete term; keep translations. sewnmouthsecret 20:13, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Delete this and [[little boy]].—msh210 20:38, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
Delete, now that I've added the appropriate sense to [[little]]. —RuakhTALK 23:12, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


Deletion debate (2)[edit]

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Given that little boy was kept as a no consensus, should this be restored? I say no but I'd like us to make our minds up one way or the other. Mglovesfun (talk) 07:02, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Why not have any restoration start with the citations. That way we can be discussing something concrete and not too speculative. If we establish that there is usage of one or more non-SoP senses which we can specify, we can determine whether we need to start fresh or can salvage any of the failed entry. I suspect that some of the translations were of the SoP phrase rather than the purported idiom (but then I'm just skeptical generally). IOW, no, IMHO. DCDuring TALK 18:46, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Why? Little boy didn't (and doesn't) have any citations. Restore, both cases were borderline but they were exactly the same. -- Visviva 00:05, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Quoting from the top of this page: "Terms that failed a request for verification are presumed invalid. They should not be resubmitted as the same term without adequate verification (see verification archives) and do not need duplicate listings here." We have a procedure. We could validate it by conforming to it or we could make all procedure subject to debate and interpretation. Other decision procedures are also available. DCDuring TALK 00:44, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
This is RFD, not RFV. Neither of these terms was submitted to RFV, and I would imagine that they would both pass with flying colors, since idiomaticity is not an RFV issue. -- Visviva 00:52, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
It indeed was RfD that it had failed. My mistake. DCDuring TALK 01:06, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

"ndeed it failed RfD not RfV"-so rfd fail.not the end?>can sb explain pl?--史凡>voice-MSN/skypeme!RSI>typin=hard! 02:50, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

RFD is decided by consensus, while RFV is decided by whether a word/sense is attested or not. As a rule, an RFV cannot be overturned by consensus, but only by providing three durably-archived citations of use. Likewise an RFD cannot normally be overturned by adding citations; rather, it must be shown that the consensus of the community has changed (usually through a second RFD). -- Visviva 14:22, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
There were specific assertions about the meaning of the term that were not supported by much attestation. I was hoping that attestation would help make the arguments less ideological and more constructive. DCDuring TALK 16:35, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, here's an argument that would be kind of specious to cite, but compare the use of google books:"you going|doing little girl" to google books:"you going|doing young girl" (rare, mostly translations), google books:"you going|doing little woman" (only a couple of unique uses), google books:"you going|doing little lady" (mostly a different meaning entirely). It's pretty clear that "little girl" is not pragmatically equivalent to "young girl", or any of the obvious candidates except -- arguably -- for "young lady". This suggests to me that there are useful things we can say about this word, and also that the case for this word is if anything stronger than it was for little boy. -- Visviva 15:44, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

Restored and RFD re-opened. DAVilla 05:45, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

Deletion debate (3)[edit]

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This was restored by Ruakh to allow for a new deletion debate. Delete, little + girl covers this. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:04, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Keep. It's an English word. And the definition cannot be reconstructed from little + girl if you don't know how little girl is used in English. Lmaltier 20:14, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Delete this preposterous entry. The definition seems way too precise for actual use. There is nothing magical about the number ten. Including it is completely specious. If this passes RfD, it deserves to be RfVed to ascertain the validity of the elements of the "especially" phrase, including the number "ten" and the focus on age.
What any one person means by little girl is influenced by context. And "little" might have to do with absolute or relative height, weight, anatomical development, or age; behavior; clothing; or any of a number of other characteristics of the referent, the speaker, or the situation.
Including this trivializes the concept of an English headword. Someone following a blue link to this entry and expecting to find something meaningful (and not misleading) is sure to be disappointed and/or misled. DCDuring TALK 21:56, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Delete. Abstain. It can be reconstructed from little + girl if you bother to look at our entries for those words. (I know that some editors have a policy of not doing that, but, well, those editors are simply wrong.) And for the record, it was restored by DAVilla, not me. —RuakhTALK 22:27, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Really? little' mentions 3 senses: small, very young and younger... How can you guess in which cases little girl may be used and in which cases it should not be used? Lmaltier 22:05, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
In the way you do when decoding language, from the context. If you don't understand and need to, you ask for clarification. If you can't ask, you hope your life doesn't depend on precision or that matters will become clearer as the discussion or text continues. DCDuring TALK 12:37, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Delete iff little boy is also deleted.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:30, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Historical comment. Just linking fyi to old discussions from 2008 and 2009.​—msh210 23:04, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
There's also a current re-nomination of little boy for deletion, here at RFD.​—msh210 17:01, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Delete, still. SoP, per previous discussions, and per comments above herein.​—msh210 23:04, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Delete as per DCDuring. —Internoob (Disc.Cont.) 23:31, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Little has more than one meaning, little bird, little duck and little cat have the same meanings (small; young). --Mglovesfun (talk) 23:39, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but the difference is that little cat or little duck are not set phrases you can consider as English words. They are just little (young) + animal. Lmaltier 19:04, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Delete. It is indeed a bizarre entry. Why anyone would want to keep this is beyond me. Tooironic 06:11, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

It seems obvious to me that it is as much an English word as e.g. maiden. I'm not the only one feeling so. Have a look at a detailed discussion on this issue: http://www.jstor.org/pss/454833 . Also look at other dictionaries:

I can't understand why nobody here seems to consider this phrase as an English word. Lmaltier 18:47, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

There is no real dictionary on the list. The Free Dictionary Thesaurus uses WordNet.
Not every concept has a word or idiom that corresponds. That fact means that some translations won't have a blue link. Adj + noun phrases are less likely than noun + noun phrases to be entry-worthy. DCDuring TALK 22:53, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Do you want another dictionary defining little girl and little boy? Harrap's Shorter, a best-selling English-French dictionary. Lmaltier 17:16, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Nobody's ever been able to tell me what a set phrase is. If it just means common then my name is John is common enough, isn't it? Mglovesfun (talk) 22:59, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I already told you... It's a phrase used by speakers the same way as a simple word, without any need for the brain to build it. A typical example in French is chemin de fer (railway). In most cases, set phrases are idiomatic, but not always. When they are idiomatic, reasoning can be used to identify them, but when they are not idiomatic, reasoning cannot be used, only the knowledge of the language. Whether idiomatic or not, they should be considered as words, as they really are building blocks of the language. Lmaltier 08:41, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
But why keep them here? 12:47, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Because somebody not knowing a set phrase cannot guess that this set phrase is the appropriate term when he wants to express the idea. A dictionary is not used only when reading, but also for writing. In this specific case, it's not very likely to happen because this set phrase is very common, but commonness is not a reason to exclude it. Lmaltier 17:10, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Keep this always takes one meaning of little and one meaning of girl, so no context is necessary to tell you that a "little girl" is a young female child, despite the fact that it could mean a "petite woman" or many other things. Conrad.Irwin 01:23, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Keep per Conrad Irwin and because it is used always in this collocation and not small damsel, little maid or anything like that. It is always little girl. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 10:16, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
"Girl" is transparently more inclusive than "damsel" and "maiden". Covering a larger range of ages, sizes, weights, etc, there is more value and need to qualify it. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
AFAICT a girl that is not big is called a little girl, ditto for little boy. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:37, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
Can you find a quote that demonstrates this? I had a quick scan, but didn't notice any - though there are several "big little girls". Conrad.Irwin 17:17, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I do not understand the reasoning expressed for keeping the definition given in the entry: "a female child, especially one younger than ten years of age." The defenses of the entry do not refer to the sole definition given, perhaps because it is indefensible. A female child is itself well covered by "girl", without "little". One cannot say "she is not a little girl, she is a female child" or vice versa in normal speech. The "especially" phrase is in fact the heart of any claim for idiomaticity. There are no citations to support the claim that this denotes girls younger than ten. The statistical correlations among all possible dimensions of littleness in the real world: height, girth, age, anatomical development, and behavior would seem suggest that one cannot definitively ascribe any one sense of "little" to "little girl". Which dimensions, absolute or relative, of "littleness" were relevant in a given context would be determined by - the context. Trying to define this usefully in a dictionary seems a case of over-reaching. There might be some idiomatic sense of this but it is not this definition and it should come with citations. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
I have updated the definition to "young female child", it would be interesting to see if there are many cites for the other possible meanings of little girl. Conrad.Irwin 17:17, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
(after edit conflict} That definition seems fully within the scope of "little" + "girl", that is, it is fully decodable based on the component meanings. If our three senses at little don't clearly include the appropriate sense, then that would suggest a problem with [[little]]. MWOnline has 3 senses (not the same as ours) and 11 subsenses for the adjective. It could be that a wiki is inherently unable to handle highly polysemic words and we should forget about doing a good job on those terms and instead define whatever collocations people find interesting. We could then follow wikiness where it leads instead of trying to make it do something it apparently can't do well. DCDuring TALK 12:52, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Conrad, you're saying a girl of a small size is not called a little girl? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:44, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Huh? By a remarkable coincidence a lot of young girls are of small size. What I do think is that "little girl" does not refer to the size of said child, only to her youth. I would quite happily abandon this opinion if there were quotations to the contrary. I think this should be included, even though it is technically "sum of parts", because it has surprisingly only one interpretation, or only one to a close approximation. If other people think this isn't an interesting enough feature of language to document, then I'm not fussed. Conrad.Irwin 20:13, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Keep provided that "little girl" is never used to mean "girl of a small height", that is, is exclusively used to mean "young female child". I would even like to see a fuzzy age boundary specified. Other combinations thus excluded from the meaning of "little girl" include "small woman", per little--small, and girl--Any woman, regardless of her age. It even seems to me that "young girl" is already semantically different from "young female child".
If this gets deleted, a usage note in the "girl" entry documenting "little girl" would be in order. --Dan Polansky 22:34, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Delete. Ƿidsiþ 20:28, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Does not seem to be a set phrase more than little bird, little hamster, little pig. You can also replace little with small or young without changing the meaning. Re: Dan, as Internoob pointed out small (in size) girls are generally the young ones, so there's no real distinction there. Would anyone claim that a girl of a small size is not (not ever) called a little girl? I should note that when I closed this last time as no consensus, there was a 60% majority to delete, which I ruled was not enough (hey, nobody else wanted to close the discussion). Mglovesfun (talk) 13:08, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
MG, then again: (a) "little girl" does not mean "small woman", while "little" means "small" in one of its senses and "girl" means "woman" in one of its senses; (b) re "Dan, as Internoob pointed out small (in size) girls are generally the young ones, so there's no real distinction there": hardly; whether an individual object is small or not is determined based on the comparison of the size or height of the individual with some reference threshold height in the specific class of the individual object; so "small" in a small car takes different threshold from "small" in a small house; the absolute value of the threshold as expressed in meters differs. Now "small girl" means "below the threshold for the height determined from some class of girls"; so a little girl, meaning young girl, may still be a high one, meaning higher than is usual in the girls of the given age. As Conrad already explained, a young female child of small height is called "little girl" not on the basis on the height but on the basis of the age; a young female child of high height is also called "little girl". Some of these statements are falsifiable AKA testable to the extent to which a quotation can be found in which a young female adolescent of low height is referred to a "little girl".
Some searches that I find interesting:
Voting results so far:
  • People so far supporting keeping: Lmaltier, Conrad Irwin, Bogorm, Dan Polansky.
  • People so far opposing keeping: DCDuring, Mglovesfun, msh210, Internoob, Tooironic.
  • People who conditionally oppose keeping: Raifʻhār Doremítzwr.
  • People who abstain: Ruakh.
  • Percentage of opposing people including contitional opposition: 60%, determined as ( 5 + 1 ) / ( 4 + 5 + 1).
--Dan Polansky 12:38, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Keep, "girl" can mean "young woman" except if it has "little" in front of it. Polarpanda 00:31, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Keep', the numerous links Lmaltier provided are convincing enough "little girl" as a phrase is different from "little automobile" or "fat girl". The listed, uncontested, single, meaning, "A young female child" is different from "A girl who's not big" (which I would understand). Joepnl 21:41, 15 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Kept - Polansky's googles are very convincing, and the 2 recent support keep votes sway this debate into a keeper. See also my recent creation cry like a little girl. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 22:42, 15 March 2010 (UTC)