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Deletion debate[edit]

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The following information has failed Wiktionary's deletion process.

It should not be re-entered without careful consideration.


Sense: "(figuratively, slang) Any very large number, exceeding normal description." This seems to just be an instance of exaggeration, which could be done with any particularly large or small number. --Yair rand 04:18, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

True, but that's not a reason to delete it, or is it? I don' t object all that much to this entry, but I wouldn't actively want these created either. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:34, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Delete.​—msh210 20:01, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
Keep. I added some citations that I think support the figurative sense of the word. Ackatsis 14:33, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Delete. Any of a hundred and one entries for definite numbers can be used to indicate an indefinitely large number. I'd be surprised if we couldn't find citations for most of the round definite numbers in this sense, as well as a few more. DCDuring TALK 18:29, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
  • 1901, Great Britain. Parliament. House of Commons, Sessional papers, page 155:
    And when you speak of a "hundred and one" accidents from over-winding that is a purely imaginative number? [] / [] I have simply said a hundred and one as a term to mean that there would be more than a hundred and one.

Sense removed.​—msh210 (talk) 17:36, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

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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.


A figurative sense has just been deleted, after it failed RFD-sense. I have overlookedfailed to notice the RFD process, hence I am reopening it. It is archived at Talk:quadrillion. The sense sent for RFD was "(figuratively, slang) Any very large number, exceeding normal description". This sense was properly cited. The sense meets CFI, as far as I can tell. Then on what principle has the sense been deleted? I vote keep, as it meets CFI. --Dan Polansky 12:34, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Delete. As many quantities have such meanings in some context, we could have a list of synonyms for the sense that would consist of, say, all CFI-meeting numbers over twenty. Consider: "He had like twenty people in the car". DCDuring TALK 10:25, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
    The example with "like twenty" does not prove the intended conclusion: in the example, it is the "like twenty" that is approximate, not "twenty".
    I very much doubt that every attestable cardinal number (or numeral) over twenty and less than, say, one million, has this sort of hyperbolic meaning. This sort of meaning would be typically found only with round numerals, and several other ones, but not too many.
    And again, what is the exclusion principle that you are using? Maybe you are using a principle along the lines of "If a group of senses is regularly attached to a group of terms, these senses should be excluded". Or maybe you are using another principle, like "Attestable hyperbolic senses should be excluded". Whichever principle you are using, it seems to be absent in CFI. --Dan Polansky 12:24, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Delete (again), we don't normally keep every figurative meaning of every word. Plus, CFI says "all words in all languages", not "all meanings of all words in all languages", so na! Mglovesfun (talk) 13:33, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Where does it say that we do not keep every attestable non-sum-of-parts figurative meaning of every word?
Your reference to CFI seems made in joke. CFI includes nothing that justifies this proposed deletion of a figurative sense.
Surely you do not claim that all figurative senses should be excluded: see Pages that link to "Template:figuratively". So it seems that you say that some figurative senses should be excluded. This principle is not in CFI, but maybe you want to push this principle (one that does not say which figurative senses should be excluded) through this RFD.
What about "elephant"--Anything huge and ponderous? If the reader knows what elephant is, he has a fair chance of guessing that "elephant" is used figuratively to refer to anything huge and ponderous, right? And yet, this figurative sense is not excluded. --Dan Polansky 15:34, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Keep; the sense is adequately attested, so I see no reason for deletion. --EncycloPetey 03:09, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I added the citations, so obviously I'm voting Keep again. I think if it's used in a figurative sense, and can be attested as such, then Wiktionary should include it. Ackatsis 08:04, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Delete. Do we want a separate sense for hundred, too, because of cites like [1] — and, then, for probably every other large, round number? But "slippery slope" isn't a criterion for exclusion. However, not being a separate sense is. This is just the usual sense, used with hyperbole. (Incidentally, the 1999 Lewis cite in the entry isn't even using hyperbole AFAICT, so doesn't belong on this 'sense'.)​—msh210 (talk) 16:29, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

So what is your exclusion principle? Is it "All hyperbolic senses should be excluded no matter whether attestable and non-sum-of-parts"? What about proposing the principle for addition to CFI?
What is wrong with having attestable hyperbolic senses for large numbers included when they are attestable? Surely not that Wiktionary gets overflooded with them, right?
On yet another note, a user of "quadrillion" in the hyperbolic sense does not need to know which number is denoted by the term in order to use it hyperbolically. In this case, the sense stored in the sender's mind and in the receiver's mind is really "a very large number" rather than "<hyperbole>thousand trillion</hyperbole>". This argument, used by me here only to augment the other arguments, does not apply to "hundred". --Dan Polansky 17:12, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
To tackle your last point first, you're right, I think. Such a user might not even know what number quadrillion really is, and be using it like zillion. Is that sufficient to include it, though? To tackle your first: I'm way too tired right now to formulate a good one. (Some would argue that's inherent in me, and not a function of tiredness.) But I'm fairly sure we don't want all 'senses' that are merely hyperbolic uses of other senses. That would include a "nearly complete" sense for complete, a "nearly empty" sense for empty, etc.​—msh210 (talk) 17:23, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Interesting that I found a talk page from 2006 by accident with Connel Mackenzie saying that CFI was "permanently broken" and I think he had this right. Do we want to be the sort of website that prioritizes a faulty document over its best editors? Furthermore, if you want to play that game (I choose the word game deliberately) it's not idiomatic, and since all Wiktionary terms need to be idiomatic (first paragraph) it should be deleted. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:39, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I think the hyperbolic sense of term "quadrillion" is worth keeping. I have given a stronger criterion for keeping, going beyong CFI: the user of the term in the hyperbolic sense does not need to know to which number the word refers.
As regards the "CFI game", I have supported making exceptions to CFI, but each exception should be marked as such. If someone is arguing outside of CFI, he should clearly say so, and he should formulate a tentative principle that can be incorporated into CFI in future. CFI is not permanently broken; it is in an acceptably good shape. CFI, at least in part, tracks past consensus, there where it is supported by a vote.
As regards "idiomatic", let us have a look at CFI: 'An expression is “idiomatic” if its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components.' So is "quadrillion" idiomatic using this definition? Yes, it is: its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components, as it has no separate components. The only problem with CFI's definition of "idiomatic" that I can see is that there is no definition of "separate components". Those "separate components" are probably typographic words, at least for English entries. This ambiguity is not a reason to despair about CFI. The meaning of "separate components" is fixed for English through the precedent of many past RFD requests. The common practice provides disambiguation there where the codification remains silent. --Dan Polansky 10:17, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Delete. Ƿidsiþ 09:26, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I see nothing compelling about the arguments in either direction, so treating this as a straight vote, I'm keeping as no consensus.​—msh210 (talk) 18:43, 22 March 2011 (UTC)