Talk:mob

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Role-playing games[edit]

Mob is also a slang word for any computer-steered character in role play games. Some say, it is an abbreviation of "Man Or Beast", others claim it origins from the word "MOBile object".

Yes check.svg Done Equinox 15:49, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

Tea room discussion[edit]

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.

According to the Wikipedia article, there are a lot of senses missing. Probably, the etymology needs to be split up (from unruly crowd to criminal organization is an extra step). H. (talk) 20:44, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Gender agreement[edit]

mōbilis (vulgus), surely? Masculine singular? Koro Neil (talk) 09:53, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

us mob[edit]

The OED has "us mob", relating to the Australian Aboriginal sense. An example I found is below. Equinox 15:49, 21 September 2016 (UTC)

    • 1995, Lumu Nungurrayi, ‎Jordan Crugnale, Footprints Across Our Land: Short Stories by Senior Western Desert Women
      My mother and other women used to go hunting, getting their own food, and us mob went to get our own too.
"us mob" sounds very reminiscent of Hindi "hum lōg" (lit., "we people", = "we") although I can't imagine why there would be any connection between the two. Mathglot (talk) 15:35, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

Disputed definition[edit]

The sense of "to mob" as crowding around someone "often with hostility" is erroneous. This is not the primary sense of this word as it is understood by hundreds of millions of native English speakers. Rather, this is Euro-English, used first by a Swedish scholar(de) in the 1970s to refer to the specific anti-social phenomenon of group bullying and harassment. This sense was then picked up by other scholars, including somewhat later by native English scholars, and now is sufficiently widespread in academia to be notable as a secondary sense of the term. It is not, however, the first sense of the term as used by native speakers.

The principal meaning of the verb "to mob" is to crowd around, with neutral or positive rather than negative intent. For example, a search for "Beatles were mobbed" will turn up thousands of examples of crowding around with positive intent, and none that I can see with negative intent. It's this positive sense of joyous approval that native speakers are familiar with in the word "mobbing", such as in "He flew completely undetected through Soviet airspace and then guided his plane to a landing near the Kremlin in Red Square in Moscow. A crowd of onlookers mobbed the young man, many of whom sought his autograph.", or "Outside the courtroom, they hugged and mobbed the prosecutor 'for a job well done'". The negative sense is basically unknown in common parlance; for example, "[The] lynch mob mobbed [the victim]..." is unattested.

The negative, scholarly sense is attested now by reliable sources, and so should be covered, but it is clearly the secondary, and very recent sense, going back only a few decades, and is a sense which is entirely unknown to the 99.9% of native English speakers who do not read scholarly journals. The Wiktionary definition should account for that. Mathglot (talk) 09:29, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

First of all the definition says "sometimes with hostility", not "often with hostility". Second, this is Wiktionary, where we take a descriptive approach based on usage, not Wikipedia, which takes a prescriptive approach based on authoritative/reliable sources. If English speakers use and understand the word a certain way, it's not "erroneous"- our only "reliable source" for English is usage (see our Criteria for inclusion). Usage with a negative connotation isn't common, but it exists. Third, there's a reason you had to improvise to tag the entry the way it's done at Wikipedia: we don't do things that way here. We have over 5 million entries, many of which are rarely or never visited by editors. If you want to dispute something about the entry, you tag it with the appropriate template and discuss it on the appropriate discussion forum: if you just want to discuss something about the entry, you use {{rft}} and post an item at the Tea room. If you want to remove a term or a sense because of usage-related concerns, you use {{rfv}} or {{rfv-sense}} and post at Requests for verification. If you think a term or a sense should be removed based on something else in WT:CFI, use {{rfd}} or {{rfd-sense}} and post at Requests for deletion. There's also {{rfm}}/ Requests for moves, mergers and splits, which might be a good idea here since the hostile behavior might best be split off into a separate sense, with possibly a subsense for its use in animal behavior to refer to birds or other animals surrounding predators in large numbers to drive them away. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:05, 5 May 2017 (UTC)