Talk:spaghetti junction

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Deletion debate[edit]

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spaghetti junction[edit]

The following was originally posted at WT:RFV#spaghetti junction

"A complicated interchange with many intertwining roads." Isn't this "the Spaghetti Junction"? —This unsigned comment was added by Mglovesfun (talkcontribs) at 30 June 2010.

  • I always thought that it was a specific interchange - viz w:Gravelly Hill Interchange near Birmingham - and was capitalized. SemperBlotto 15:15, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
    • I suspect it might have become more widespread since then, but that's what an RFV is for, to check. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:19, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
A bgc search for "a spaghetti junction" finds 233 raw hits, many of which seem to be clearly uses in the highway sense, some further metaphorical extensions. Are we sure this isn't just the metaphorical sense of spaghetti? If you know what "spaghetti" is, have mentioned highways (or railroads), and have the acquaintance of any modern intersection of limited-access highway, then the meaning is NISoP.
There seem to be many complex interchanges that carry the moniker of "Spaghetti Junction": Louisville, KY; Atlanta, GA; Durban, SA; Auckland, NZ; as well as one in West Midlands, UK (Gravely Hill?). DCDuring TALK 16:42, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
I've got some references to use. I've also found evidence of spaghetti junction used for other complex intertwining of paths (the final of my references show a spaghetti junction of nerves). Are these OK? I'll add another definition to spaghetti junction.--Mat200 22:16, 30 June 2010 (UTC)
    • 1948, Parliamentary debates: Official report, Volume 463:
      One scheme for what could have been another spaghetti junction problem became very simple with the help of the urban traffic control authority, and many millions of pounds were, I believe, saved.
    • 2004, The last of England?
      The volume of actual traffic in England, after all, had long since overwhelmed simple crossroads, requiring the construction of spaghetti junctions instead. Their complexity, and faintly foreign flavour, made them better metaphors for an era of more involved literary route-planning.
    • 2006, Torque - Mar 2006
      With viaducts, spaghetti junctions and underground roads, there is a way for Singapore to keep moving. But the strategy to keep us moving goes beyond building roads and setting up ERP gantries.
    • 2002, John Farndon - 1000 facts on human body
      The spinal nerves are made up of 8 cervical nerve pairs, 12 thoracic pairs, 5 lumbar pairs, 5 sacral pairs and one coccyx pair. Many spinal nerves join up just outside the spine in five spaghetti junctions called plexuses.
Its use to refer to various spaghetti-like junctions, as of nerves, goes to DCDuring's point that it's SOP.​—msh210 (talk) 05:15, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
What's SOP? --Mat200 12:23, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
The sum of its parts, semantically. See [[Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion#Idiomaticity]]. Other jargon used by Wiktionarians when speaking amongst themselves can be found at [[Wiktionary:Glossary]].​—msh210 (talk) 12:30, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't seem to me to be SoP, you can't have a spaghetti road, turning, highway, motorway. If it were just figurative use it would collocate with almost anything you want it to. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:43, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
As real-world considerations always restrict the possible range of feasibly collocations, the argument you advance would allow virtually any difference in relative frequencies of collocation of one word with another (or sufficiently high mutual information scores) to justify inclusion.
Fairly common collocations involving metaphorical use of this aspect of the meaning of "spaghetti" include "bowl", "grid", "cords", and "code" (COCA). From my own experience, confirmed by bgc, "spaghetti chart/diagram/graph" are fairly common. DCDuring TALK 14:31, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
We have spaghetti code. Equinox 15:19, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Should we? We have many such metaphorical uses with no obvious real special meaning that gamers or computer specialists or others insist has such a special meaning. DCDuring TALK 15:38, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

This would indeed be SOP, if the term described a junction made of spaghetti. bd2412 T 16:56, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Nobody noticed we're at RFV (not RFD) here? -- Prince Kassad 16:57, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Now at Wiktionary:Requests for deletion
My instinct says keep. While marathon match (a very long match) is SoP because marathon collocates with any noun, spaghetti does not. Unless someone can show otherwise. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:11, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
Hits at google:"spaghetti interchange" and "spaghetti intersection".​—msh210 (talk) 17:27, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
The first of those collocations gets about 1.2% of the number of hits for spaghetti junction; the second gets less than one half of one percent as many. The dominance of "spaghetti junction" is even greater with Google Books hits. bd2412 T 00:35, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Keep per Mglovesfun and BD2412. Thryduulf (talk) 19:44, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
The senses of "spaghetti" in attributive use are somewhat interesting and illustrative of what we lose by focusing on the collocations as entries in themselves instead of as illustrations of the meanings language users convey by using words like "spaghetti". The meanings I find at COCA are:
  1. shape (strap, stripe, string, shirt, paper?)
  2. Italian (western, side [trust me])
  3. configuration of strands (junction, bowl, maze, grid)
  4. floppy (leg, limb, hair?, cord?)
Even in the food area, "spaghetti squash" and "spaghetti stickiness" convey somewhat peripheral attributes of spaghetti.
Does anyone have any good ideas about what we should do with such clearly demonstrable meanings. Should we assume that our users will figure them out either from our definitions of the noun or from the collocations we choose to keep? DCDuring TALK 02:25, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Which of those even meet the CFI in terms of having three durably archived sources? As far as I can tell right off the bat, "spaghetti shirt", "spaghetti stripe", "spaghetti limb", and "spaghetti grid" do not. bd2412 T 03:42, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
You've missed the point. I have no particular interest in any of the collocations. I am interested in the attributive meanings of spaghetti that they show. Our fetishization of collocations like "spaghetti junction" leads us to neglect the meanings of that a word like "spaghetti" brings to the noun phrases in which it is an adjunct to the head of the phrase. A "spaghetti junction" is certainly a type of junction. What type it is can be inferred from semantically similar uses in other collocations, such as with "bowl", "maze", and "grid".
MZajac's interest in showing collocations is connected to my interest, but more general. I am specifically focused on the attributive use of nouns. This is one of the most common sources of debatable (and repeatedly debated) entries. Attributive use of nouns is also a source of repeated entry of adjective PoSs for nouns that have not become true adjectives. And, lastly, attributive use is the "bete noire" of those who don't understand the impulse behind our now-gutted CFI for proper nouns, that is, the impulse to maintain a distinction between linguistic and encyclopedic content. DCDuring TALK 09:46, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
I don't think he has missed the point. You've shown that this can be used attributively with different meanings. However this meaning (overcomplicated, entwined, etc.) only collocates with a few nouns. Spaghetti junction is literally a hundred times more common than all the others. If anything, I think your research reinforces his point. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:23, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Keep due to etymology and due to heavy figurative use, either of which would suffice by itself IMO. DAVilla 06:45, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
Keep per BD2412's analysis. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:19, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
At COCA all nine hits for "spaghetti junction" are from newspapers and transcriptions of broadcast programming and are for proper noun use, eg, "a course aimed at making you able to drive through "Spaghetti Junction" northeast of town, where an eight-lane highway meets a 12-lane highway." How does that work out at bgc? DCDuring TALK 13:18, 2 July 2010 (UTC)
From a superficial inspection, only about 840 of the bgc hits (22%) are for the plural form or determiner/article + singular form. Arguably all of them are for the common noun. Of the remainder 75-90 percent are referring to specific intersections for which this is the nickname. So perhaps a third of the total usage at books is for the common noun. News is even more heavily weighted toward proper-noun use. DCDuring TALK 13:36, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Kept. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:33, 29 August 2010 (UTC)