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Request for verification[edit]

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Shouldn't this be speciesist? SemperBlotto 22:09, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree that it should be — at least, I'm down with /'spiː.ʃi.ɪst/ invalid IPA characters ('), replace ' with ˈ, but not with the -est ending — but google books:"is speciest" gets more than enough hits. If we want to call this a "misconstruction", then we could RFD it for not being a common one. —RuakhTALK 22:46, 17 December 2009 (UTC)

Moved to RFD. If it passes there, then we can bring it back here for citations. —RuakhTALK 00:54, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Deletion debate[edit]

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The following information passed a request for deletion.

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Was listed at RFV, but it seems pretty clear that it can be cited. The thing is, it seems to be an error; it gets very few b.g.c. hits compared to "speciesist", and of the hits that it does get, some are indisputably errors (since they attribute the term to Peter Singer, so it's clear they must mean "speciesist"). So I think we should delete this as an uncommon misconstruction of "speciesist". (If it passes RFD, then it should be returned to RFV for actual citing.) —RuakhTALK 00:53, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Delete. There seem to be a great number of scannos for "speciest" and precious few real uses. It seems likely it would fall below my own personal threshold of the relative frequency and absolute frequency for being deemed either an alternative spelling or a common misspelling. DCDuring TALK 01:20, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Keep Well, species is over 400 years old and speciesist not even 40. Since “species†” is a common construction, it's natural that the scannos will overwhelm. That says nothing about this word except that it is rare.
Since it's new and its use limited, perhaps it's too early to confidently classify this as a misspelling or alternate spelling. In either case, it's our job to document the language, and since I've added Citations:speciest, our guidelines don't really warrant deletion.  Michael Z. 2010-03-22 14:51 z
Though it's worth noting that the 2009 cite is wrong. —RuakhTALK 15:04, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
You mean that the source misquotes Singer, whether by mistake or as someone's preferred form? I agree that makes the citation valuable. Michael Z. 2010-03-22 15:45 z
Heh, you know that you're not agreeing with me. Is putting words in my mouth your way of honoring the 2009 garbage cite? (Yes, garbage cite. Even if we accepted mentions, which we don't, we certainly wouldn't accept mentions that we knew to be erroneous.) —RuakhTALK 17:16, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
That wasn't my meaning at all. I didn't think it was a garbage cite, I thought it was real usage, but clearly not the best writing. Okay, not a great cite at all. Michael Z. 2010-03-23 03:28 z
We have been making no provision for any special treatment of misspellings of newish terms. Speciesist is hardly a neologism, having been around since at least 1970.
Although speciest is already more attestable than the Shakespearean one-offs we often so cherish, it is uncommon both absolutely and relatively, providing ample support for an empirically based characterization as uncommon. As Ruakh points out it is a misconstruction. It does not follow normal morphology of adding productive -ist to a noun. It is a macaronic that risks confusion by adding the superlative form suffix to a latinate stem. It does not even rhyme with racist after which it is partly modeled.
If we can't bring ourselves to delete an uncommon misconstruction, at least pending its becoming common, I don't know how we can justify having {{misspelling}} at all. Everything would then seem to be {{alternative spelling of}} or possibly {{form of}} with some less-than-intelligible-to-normal-people characterization (even such as "misconstruction"). Doesn't anyone think that we have some obligation to try to communicate to normal humans instead of to each other and to some academic audience whose approval we seem to crave? DCDuring TALK 15:23, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
How do you pronounce it? I suspect it's pronounced the same as speciesist in which case it's a pure misspelling, and a rare one. Since we only keep common misspellings (well, de jure) we should delete it. The Category:English misspellings seems to contain a lot of rare misspellings which I'd rather see deleted than kept, but nominating them all individually could take months, and I can't be bothered. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:30, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
That's broken logic. Did your speculation about the pronunciation get magically confirmed before you flatly stated that the entry should be deleted? Michael Z. 2010-03-22 15:58 z
@Mglovesfun: I don't know how you decided that. As I said in the RFV discussion, I find the pronunciation /'spiː.ʃi.ɪst/ invalid IPA characters ('), replace ' with ˈ completely unobjectionable. It's only the -est ending, which doesn't have this sense in any other word SFAIK, that I find wrong. (Speaking only for myself, of course.) —RuakhTALK 17:16, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
We don't have to make a provision. We just have to follow our guidelines. We are not prescriptionist.
Speciest (\SPEE-she-ist\?) has been around almost as long as speciesist, 1978 vs 1975, as far back as I can cite. It can pass RFV and meets our CFI. You can get a sense that it is not just a typo with a more focussed search.[1] If you can find a general style guide which prescribes it, then that would be worth adding to the entry. Michael Z. 2010-03-22 15:45 z
*boggles* Have you read our guidelines? —RuakhTALK 17:16, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Keep, it is cited. How to display it is a much harder issue. This is an issue that actually needs sorting out, at the moment {{misspelling of}} and {{alternative spelling of}} depend on individual editor's discretion even though we're supposedly a descriptive dictionary. An approach I liked (it was the solution to a recent RFV/D which Connel nominated, I can't seem to find it) was to say "alternative spelling of" on the definition line, and then use a usage note such as "Authors may wish to use the more common X instead." We could go on, in this case, to add, that "this would be a more standard formation from species + est". Unless we can find cites of "authorities" proscribing the use of the word, it's a bit rich to call it a mispelling (maybe references not cites, I'd accept a self-published internet site's opinion as evidence). Conrad.Irwin 15:51, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps this is an alternate spelling of specieist.[2] Does someone care to count the occurrences of each? Michael Z. 2010-03-22 16:18 z

It is extremely tedious to get a good count of "speciest" from edited works. The first 10 from Scholar yields 1 typo; 4 mis-scans: 2 daggers (to mark footnotes) scanned as "t", 2 "species EST" mis-scanned; and five invisible articles (all following the same pattern of occurring in an article title or a citation in way like the dagger mis-scans). Books has a similar pattern, but has some authentic instances of "speciest". News has 416 of "speciesist", ~35 of "specieist", and ~30 of "speciest". Just looking at fiction (which has no confounded daggers), the count is 98 (83%), 6 (5%), and 14 (12%). The best support for including "speciest" is Groups, where about 25% of occurrences of the group are of "speciest" vs. about 10% "specieist" and 65% "speciesist". The pattern of increasing frequency among the less edited works is typical of entries we have called misspelling. DCDuring TALK 17:39, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for taking the trouble. I found I could eliminate a lot of outliers by limiting the search to 1970–present. Also helped eliminate false positives by ANDing the term with other likely neighbours, like Singer, racist, sexist, rights, etc, to at least get a sense of proportion if not capturing every instance.
We could interpret that pattern as professionals following the original usage more closely, or amateurs being more likely to interpret specie as the singular of species. I suspect specieist is considered an error by most pros, but I wouldn't label it an error based on form alone, as there are other species words with various roots: speciate, speciation, specific, and the prefixes specie- and specio- in speciegraphical, speciographic, speciography, speciologic, speciology (the suffixes and derivatives are mentioned in the OED).
In light of this, I'd call speciest a (mis)spelling of specieist, and the latter an alternative form of speciesistMichael Z. 2010-03-24 20:10 z
Kept, no consensus. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:20, 4 June 2010 (UTC)