Listed as a natural part of the English language, yet is obviously restricted to a very narrow use. As a nonce, does this pass WT:CFI? What is the best way to tag it? Note: rather than removing an overlooked RFV tag, particularly as the original submitter, it is better to correct the error and list it here. --Connel MacKenzie 18:39, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
The use to which this is restricted is no narrower than usurpers: it's just as unusual to have a plurality of usurpers as it is to have a single female one. But we certainly wouldn't delete usurpers unless we decided to delete usurper altogether. Forgive me the fact that nonce is not an everyday element of my lexicon, so I had to look it up. It seems like any plural, past tense, or other regular construction, is nonce, by the way we define nonce word. After all, the first person to use the word usurpers, made it up on the spot for their occasion (albeit using regular pluralization rules which noone would ever contest, but they made it up nonetheless). The b.g.c. results for usurpress seem quite independent :-) It's an interesting word and I think it will make our readers happy :-) If you think our definition is not good, I encourage you to rewrite it, and hopefully we can all thereby learn from you :D But there's no doubt this is a word. Language Lover 18:49, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me, but I most certainly was looking at b.g.c. The archaic Russian and British texts listed there, suggest the term is obscure, limited to Russian History, no? Why are you asserting that this is a core element of the English language? 16 hits? Perhaps we simply need better methods of tagging obscurities as obscure, or nonces limited to very narrow contexts. But then, WT:CFI used to (unless there has been recent changes there) specifically call out such terms as not appropriate here. --Connel MacKenzie 19:21, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
A word used in the early 1800s, if not earlier, in the 20th Century through to the present day you'd consider a nonce!? DAVilla 19:47, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
2004, Keith Smith, Re: A Jacobite Stamp, alt.talk.royalty Usenet
I have a number of these. They were issued in March 1893 and advertised the journal "The Jacobite", organ of the Legitimist Jacobite League. They are listed in "Scottish Stamp and Label Catalogue 1970" and subsequently illustrated in "Scottish Stamp News" and "Cinderella Philatelist" There are used covers in existence which show the usurpress stamp upside down with the 'stamp' of Queen Mary IV and III alongside.
2001, Paul Steinberg, Speak You Also: A survivor's Reckoning, p40
I would "attend" Auschwitz with invisible resources that vastly increased the chances of survival, resources that included even my linguistic abilities, since German was my mother tongue, so to speak, and French my vernacular, while English was the language I had spoken with my brother and studied successfully in school. Finally, Russian was the rule with my father, sister, and the usurpress, and I was literally at home in it.
1963, Victor Alexandrov, The Kremlin: Nerve-centre of Russian History, p147
Sophia, who was anxious not to be reckoned a usurpress and who wished to keep up appearances, held two thrones and two crowns on behalf of Ivan and Peter.
1868, Anonymous, Pandora (poem), The Atlantic Monthly, Vol 22, Issue 132, archived here
Thou, that assumest to lead,
Holding the truth and the keys of the skies,
Art the usurpress indeed,
And rulest thy sons with a sceptre of lies.
1863, Emma Robinson, Mauleverer's divorce: A Story of Woman's Wrongs, p59
Madame Le Crampon was the absolute ruler of this machine;--her mother had ceased to hold almost any relation to it! She had abdicated in favour of that hard and implacable usurpress.
This yet may dash the Marriage; and Leucasia That bold Usurpress of my Bed shall miss Of being saluted Queen to night howe'r.
(Signed Language Lover)
So, omitting the humorous use, it seems Russian-history specific. So back to the original question, before some of you got bent out of shape, how should this be tagged? It is not normal/standard/regular/whatever English. --Connel MacKenzie 23:40, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
Forgive me if I'm a little slow, but only one of the above cites has anything to do with Russian history, and I don't see how any of them are "humorous" use :). It's good though, that you have a good sense of humour, laughing is a great part of life and I'm glad my cites made you laugh :-D Now, even if there WERE some Russian history bias, that would just suggest that Russia has suffered more usurpresses. We could put a "rare" tag on this if you think it's rare (what exactly are the "rare" criteria, anyway?) But it seems to me that we ought to judge a word's rarity based on the rarity of the lemma, not the derived form. As an example, retransliterating appears to be of about the same order of rarity as usurpress, but I don't think it would be proper to mark that as rare. usurpress is basically just a conjugated form of usurper, following rules which are somewhat regular. Hmm, I think we might better understand eachother if you come out and openly say what you have against this word, I promise that as a descriptivist, I'll respect your reason no matter what, since afterall you are an English speaker and thus are a fellow steward of the language. Language Lover 00:03, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Fellow steward? What are you going on about? No. The forms of a term do not get automatic approval on en.wiktionary, for as long as I've been here. Each spelling is subject to a separate RFV. --Connel MacKenzie 01:17, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Forgive me for not being clearer. I didn't say forms should be immune to separate RFV (you'll note I myself did an RFV on sandmans), I said I thought it might be inappropriate to give a derived form a special tag like "rare" or "Russian history", unless there was really good reason to do so. Anyway, let's please not fight or anything. If we honestly can't find a compromise, let's put it at Wiktionary:Votes, with options "delete word", "keep word as it is", "tag word as Russian history", or "tag word as rare". In any case thanks for your unsleeping vigilance as always :-) Language Lover 01:42, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, you are forgiven that. Forgive me for being grouchy earlier. Reading "usurpress" I naturally read the humorous connotation of the term; gender is rarely applied to English words, particularly when a gender neutral term (usurper) exists in common use. That is, in normal situations, a woman who usurps is called a "usurper" not a "usurpress." So yes, this form is inherently "humorous." Why it seems to have a Russian flavor is not clear (to me.)
No, I don't think a "vote" is appropriate...that has enough traffic right now. Please, do go back to the start here - at what point did I ever suggest deletion? The initial implication/request was for an appropriate tag! Which, by the way, was why I tagged it, way back when. --Connel MacKenzie 05:43, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
That's one of the problems of taking a descriptive approach, when inflections that are formed quite naturally can't be attested, or sometimes even the base form/root is difficult to cite. For a long time we had necroposting without necropost, and we might end up with ferroequinologist but no ferroequinology. I would propose that there are certian universal and uncontentious forms that should in fact be lumped together. This would only apply to words where there are no attested irregulars (plural/singular of be and have for instance) and excusing the exceptions for patterns (such as -s or -es after long o). In this case however I'm not entirely sure that -ress could be considered "universal and uncontentious". It may be, and the proof is in the ability to define where regular application can take place. Otherwise it has to be cited. DAVilla 07:11, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
RFV passed (thanks to Language Lover's cites), but I've been bold and marked it (rare), with the usage note "This term is exceedingly rare, its counterpart usurper being used by most English speakers regardless of the sex of the referent." —RuakhTALK 21:55, 11 June 2007 (UTC)