Talk:prison cell

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Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Others - kept[edit]

Kept. See archived discussion of November 2008. 07:15, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


Um, a cell of a prison?—msh210 18:54, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, w:prison cell defines it as a cell in a prison or police station. Seems to pass the lemming test, since WordNet has an entry for it (and its synonyms). -- Visviva 01:53, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Keep. One of oldest tagged transwiki entries, clearly not sum of parts. Also, just "sum-of-parts" is not a valid reason for nomination. --Connel MacKenzie 16:18, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Kept.msh210 23:08, 26 November 2008 (UTC)


2015 deletion discussion[edit]

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The following information passed a request for deletion.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, but feel free to discuss its conclusions.


prison cell[edit]

jail cell[edit]

These are as SOP as they come, IMO. "Prison cell" was kept per no consensus all the way back in 2008, after User:msh210 RFDed it, Visviva invoked the lemming principle because "it's in WordNet" (but I think we have since come to realize that WordNet is unreliable; I seem to recall DCDuring saying he wouldn't count on it when looking at the Lemming test) and Connel MacKenzie incorrectly argued that "SOP" wasn't a valid deletion rationale (in fact it is, per WT:SOP). - -sche (discuss) 23:39, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Keep, per me.  ;-) Since deletion is an extreme remedy that should apply to only the must straightforwardly out-of-bounds material, the fact that a word is used as a unit in any professionally-maintained lexicographic resource should, in most cases, weigh conclusively in favor of non-deletion. -- Visviva (talk) 02:16, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
    Although I had proposed that the lemming test be used as a simple, objective, discussion-stopping criterion for inclusion, there did not seem to a consensus on the idea, at least not a suitable level of specificity. Of all the lemmings, I thought Wordnet and its followers were the least reliable, with what seem to me to be concept-oriented entries rather than linguistic ones. There were also questions about whether specialist glossaries were reliable for our purpose. The upshot is that the lemming test is not conclusive and its weight depends on the opinions of the inclusion/exclusion electorate.
One possible, albeit weak, rationale for inclusion might be that a cell at a euphemistically named correctional facility ("prison") would almost certainly be referred to as a prison cell.
To me both terms otherwise seem simply SoP, given the widespread availability to language users of the appropriate sense of cell. DCDuring TALK 05:09, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep: "cell" without anything before or after it refers to the microbiological unit. It means something different with jail before it or phone after it. Purplebackpack89 23:33, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Not true: a search for "in his cell" comes back with 15,200,000 hits, of which very few refer to microbiological units. People also leave off the "phone" sometimes when referring to cell phones. It's a simple matter of context. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:01, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
What Chuck said. DCDuring TALK 15:11, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Keep as useful entries. Using the SoP theory every other derived term of cell would also be deleted. Those of you susceptible to knee-jerk reactions whenever the dreaded term SoP is mentioned can be transferred to padded cells. Donnanz (talk) 15:34, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

SoP is not a theory. It's an abbreviation for the supportable belief that a given term has no meaning not readily understood in context from the definitions of its component terms in a good dictionary.
Indeed I have a visceral reaction to such terms: nausea and disgust at the vacuous entries (which others need maintain) that contributors like to foist off on others in celebration of their having just noticed a given collocation for the first time. DCDuring TALK 19:59, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Delete as not ambiguous to humans because of the words 'jail' and 'prison' respectively. How can it refer to the microbiological unit with the words 'jail' and 'prison' in front of it? Renard Migrant (talk) 20:01, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
I would like to see entries for submarine cable, undersea cable, and underwater cable; when working back from other languages they would be useful, but with the SoP theory / policy the way it is they don't have a cat in hell's chance of being entered. Sadly, that's the short-sighted policy that prevails. Donnanz (talk) 23:15, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Why should English do heavy lifting for other languages? Why not just use [[submarine]] [[cable]] instead of [[submarine cable]]? DCDuring TALK 01:44, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I did, but it's a far from perfect solution where compound foreign words are involved, and I'm not happy with it. Donnanz (talk) 11:02, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Why should the tail wag the dog? If something is SoP in English, with a polysemic component, are we supposed to define each attestable combination of meanings (which I view as heavy listing, and quite unrewarding)? Or do you have some other procedure in mind? DCDuring TALK 11:36, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Some languages use the same words for any males of a particular generation relative to the speaker. Should we have an English entry for father or uncle? Brother or cousin? Should we have an entry for hello, goodbye or love to translate aloha? Chuck Entz (talk) 13:02, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Commonsense would rule Chuck Entz's ludicrous situation out. Before trying to answer DCDuring, returning to the subject of prison cell and jail cell, neither entry has a translations section, but there are some translations around, such as Gefängniszelle in German. Possibly the answer is to allow SoP entries if translations are included. In the case of submarine cable, I created an entry for sjøkabel, which from the sum of its parts is not an obvious translation, sjø meaning sea rather than undersea. There is another word - undersjøisk, but instead of saying undersjøisk kabel, sjøkabel is used - short and sweet I suppose. Another example, forsvarer is a sum of bits rather than a sum of parts; apart from the literal translation defender it also means counsel for the defence, defence counsel, or defence lawyer. On the other hand the compound word regnbuehinne is not a sum of parts in English. It's swings and roundabouts. Donnanz (talk) 17:58, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
That is an answer to your question. My question is why should English contributors have to create or clean up and maintain translation-target entries when there is a perfectly reasonable way for the meaning of an FL language word or FL idiomatic expression to be provided? What language learners seem to need to know is how to construct meaning in the manner of speakers of the language they are learning. For FL learners of English the SoP translations seem to cover that. English learners of FLs need to do the same in the opposite direction. One of the biggest problems that an English learner has in learning an FL using Wiktionary is the absence of entries for terms that are FL redlinks in translation tables. Take rebar as an example, pending more systematic study of the matter. Of the twelve terms (in nine languages) offered as translations, only two have entries in English Wiktionary, another two having interwiki links. And many terms have no translation tables at all. One service would be to patrol Special:WantedPages to extirpate some of the SoP redlinks there by substituting component-wise linking for whole-collocation linking, excepting those rare cases where a really English idiom is involved. DCDuring TALK 20:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I strongly suspect that any answer I give would be rejected anyway. As for rebar - I didn't realise the word existed, I would call it reinforcing steel. As for red links, it requires a joint effort to turn them blue, including those in hidden inflection tables. SoP red links are a different matter, they exist for various reasons. Even blue links can have hidden dangers as the word may be entered in one language but not another. Translation tables - I created one today for deathtrap, but I agree that many more are needed, but I doubt that you'll ever get them for the rarest and most obscure English terms. Donnanz (talk) 22:00, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
And reinforcing + steel would be understood. I don't really care that much about inflection tables rather than lemmas, as most inflections are based on rules.
Plenty of people agree with your position. It certainly isn't beyond the pale. But consider the effect of having entries that contain all the attestable combinations of highly polysemic words. Sometimes only a small number of languages have translations that are not word-for-word, but each language should have a translation whether or not its most idiomatic translation is word-for-word or not. Given the difficulty folks have in filling non-SoP translation tables and then making proper entries, I'd think that adding to the workload with debatable entries doesn't do much to further the ambitious goals we have. DCDuring TALK 22:31, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The claim that being more lenient in regards to SOP will result in increased work is specious. Workload implies a "need" or a "requirement" for those entries to be created. Being more lenient with SOP means that we could create those entries, it doesn't mean we have to. Also, as for "workload", one-word English entries are fairly built out. Spanish and French translations of those entries are fairly built out as well. If a person speaks nothing but English, Spanish or French, what are they to do on this project? What's so bad about people who speak only English, Spanish, or French creating two-word entries in those languages? Purplebackpack89 20:28, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
I am only fluent in English but I seem to find "a few" words to create around here. And I don't think that people being incompetent would be an argument to find work for them to do, anyway. If somebody had a weird disorder where they could only add made-up unattestable phobias, we wouldn't accommodate them just because of that. Equinox 11:21, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
Delete. The above comparison with e.g. "jailbird" is fallacious because jailbirds are not birds, while jail cells are cells. This entry is more akin to "prison canteen" or "hospital ward". Equinox 21:32, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Delete both on the grounds that their meaning is fully transparent. There is more to be gained from making sure that folks understand the jail-prison distinction. so that our entries don't contain blunders such as declaring jail cell and prison cell synonyms, as they had been at the time of the RfD. Some speakers may confuse jail and prison, but the distinction is maintained by many speakers and writers. DCDuring TALK 22:48, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Delete per Equinox and DCDuring. --WikiTiki89 13:24, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Keep, for me. prison cell is in the OED, I note (as a common collocation of prison). I see it as a single lexical unit, and I think that's supported by the usual pronunciation: 'prisoncell, 'jailcell, where the second word has only secondary stress, as opposed to how you'd say 'prison 'floor, 'prison 'bunk, 'prison em'ployee, where both words have equal stress. Ƿidsiþ 13:39, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Keep Both - both are idiomatic. IQ125 (talk) 19:12, 5 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Delete. I wonder Mr CloudCuckoo if you can find any more real Coalmine valid quotes, apart from the dubious one you just added. For me, these entries are SoP. I've never been in jail / prison (thank God) but I sincerely doubt that in any of them they say things like "Get back to your prison cells, now!" or "Lights out. Everyone must be in their jail cells!" No. It really doesn't sound right. "Everyone back to their cells!" sound right. We only add the words "jail" or "prison" as context clarifiers when necessary, not as idiomatic expressions. An idiomatic expression (see point 5) means there is something either greater than, or more specific than, the sum of the parts, which is NOT the case here-- ALGRIF talk 13:03, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

No consensus to delete. bd2412 T 14:07, 31 August 2015 (UTC)