Talk:seven-level screwdriver

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Properly attested?[edit]

I raised the question of whether this compound term is properly attested on the Tea Room, and received one definite maybe, with the positive suggestion that I create the Citations page first. I did that, and it is now possible to have a more realistic discussion. And I created the page, so perhaps there is more motivated response.

To summarize, there are three ways this may be considered attested, quoting Wiktionary:Criteria_for_inclusion#Attestation. They are (1) clearly widespread use, (2) use in a well-known work, or (3) use in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year.

I have the impression (from far away) that (1) is true within the Air Force and amongst electronic technicians. It is perhaps possible (2) that the 1966 citation qualifies as a "well-known work", at least amongst the literati. And for (3), I've cobbled together 2 book quotations and 1 Usenet article and 2 other Forums. But I'm not sure if the book quotations are properly independent: the second is from an academic study that covers the first, the book in fact begins by quoting the first, then jumping into a seven-level screwdriver metaphor which I cite here. The two cited Forums look rather stable, a notch below Usenet. Google will reveal other citations, but nothing else that looks like you expect it to stick around. Choor monster (talk) 22:20, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

The Forums are not counted as "durable" for the purposes of CFI. (1) and (2) are definitely not true here; (1) is so that words like "good" don't have to be cited if they get challenged, and (2) is for words only found in e.g. Shakespeare. (3) looks OK, I think it passes the "independent" criterion although 1966 is a bit shaky in terms of the use-mention distinction. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:18, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
OK, thanks! Are Yahoo! groups durable? I've come across one attestation there, but I never use them and have no idea.
I've added a second quotation for 1966, same novel, later in the book. I assume it's definitely not independent. It is perhaps better than the first quotation, I can't really tell. One interesting feature is that it provides an attestation for a second meaning of "seven-level": the screwdriver. I added this to seven-level. Is this "word-level apocope" considered routine English? See [1] for another example, obviously not usable here. Choor monster (talk) 00:43, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
No, the general rule is: anything published (magazines, newspapers, books, Google Books, peer-reviewed scientific papers) or Usenet. Yeah, another cite in the same source is not independent, but it is helpful. Please note that so-called "routine English" doesn't matter here; we simply record language as it is used. If this sense of seven-level is citeable as well, then it deserves to stay. Easy as that. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:26, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
What I mean is something like this: I created scope dope the other day, with five citations, all singular. Next thing I know, someone else created scope dopes with no citations. I assume this isn't a problem, because of "routine English". What's happening with seven-level here is "attributive+noun" commonly gets clipped to "attributive", e.g., "red light->red", "number 2 pencil->number 2", and of course all the time with trademarks. It's certainly reasonable that a person will refer to a "seven-level" and not bother with "screwdriver", as in the Urban Dictionary example I linked to. My question is does this qualify as "routine English", no citations really necessary, or is this considered an independent sense/term that three attestations are needed?
I notice that red and number 2 do not list these meanings! Is this something that needs fixing, with or without attestations? Choor monster (talk) 16:51, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Our practice has generally been to make an exception for "inflected forms", like plurals, although there is no specific policy. I would argue that "attributive+noun" → "attributive" is a regular pattern in English, but not quite so predictable or heavily used as "noun" → "nouns" to make plurals. I think that most editors would agree that such senses at red and number 2 deserve a sense, iff they are citeable. A collocation search like google books:"ran a red. He" easily shows that "red" is citeable to mean "red light", but I can't find any evidence for "number 2". —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:44, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I found several citations for "number 2", and put three in. First I searched for "number 2s", then hoping to find a singular, I found hits for "number 2 pencil", took some enclosing text, deleted "pencil", and searched for that. Sort of like "ran a red. He", but where it was not obvious what has a chance. Anyway, thanks very much for your help! Choor monster (talk) 13:18, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Nice cites on number 2! Glad to be of help, please ask if you have any questions in the future. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:26, 28 February 2013 (UTC)