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Tea room discussion[edit]

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.

Is it not highly likely that this and all forms using it are actually not English but rather Middle English? Generally, a significant proportion of the English senses marked "archaic" and "obsolete" seem to be more conveniently treated as Middle English. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 16:30, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I think yclept is occasionally found in Modern English. —Stephen 19:35, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
  • The problem is many of these forms, though not survivng to modern English, outlasted the M iddle English epriod by some way. As Stephen says, yclept and a couple of others are still sometimes used as deliberate archaisms. Ƿidsiþ 20:08, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Actually the only thing I dislike is showing the "y-" and other mostly Middle English forms on inflection lines, where they add clutter and no value to all but a tiny number of users. I agree that we need some way of referencing the Middle English forms in the English entry. To some extent, including the Middle English lemma in the etymology, even when its spelling is identical to the Modern English, would provide the required link. I'm sure there are cases like "yclept" and "ycumen" that might warrant a full Modern English entry. DCDuring TALK 20:23, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't think I understand you. Where else would they be if not the inflection line? They're words, after all.... Ƿidsiþ 20:28, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  1. They would have their own entries as inflected forms, with both English and Middle English language sections.
  2. They would also appear on the inflection line for the identically spelled Middle English form as well as any other appropriate Middle English spellings.
  3. The Middle English lemma would be in the Modern English etymology.
Thus any experienced user and most enwikt-newbie scholars of early modern English would readily find the inflected forms. The gain would be a less confusing, misleading, and antiquarian appearance of the inflection line for "ordinary" users, including especially language learners. DCDuring TALK 20:39, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
See the newly-created lend a helping hand. You can see that the arch. 3rd-pers. sing. præs. act. ind. form and the rare past form are both clearly marked with the appropriate context tags; this is what we do wherever forms needing comment appear — why ought conjugation and inflexion lines be any different?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:51, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah, right....well if this is what DCDuring meant, then I agree with him. Not that this is ME, but it certainly seems unnecessarily messy to me. Ƿidsiþ 21:43, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
(Returning to margin for examples’ sake):

Not that I think it’s messy, but I agree that the situation is less than ideal. Lendeth a helping hand should really go a the end of the conjugation (after the past forms), and ditto *lendest a helping hand; however, the way that {{en-verb}} is set up at præsent doesn’t really allow that. (I could write in the past forms’ parameter:

'''[[lent a helping hand]]''' ''or'' (''rare'') '''[[lended a helping hand]]''', ''archaic second-person singular simple present'' [[*]]'''lendest a helping hand''', ''archaic third-person singular simple present'' '''[[lendeth a helping hand]]'''

to give the conjugation line as:

lend a helping hand (third-person singular simple present lends a helping hand, present participle lending a helping hand, simple past and past participle lent a helping hand or (rare) lended a helping hand, archaic second-person singular simple present *lendest a helping hand, archaic third-person singular simple present lendeth a helping hand)

but that code would be very messy.) Ideally, we’d have named parameters such as arch2= and arch3= for these forms which, if not specified, would simply display nothing. Thoughts?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:57, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I wholly embrace this proposal, since the second person sg. pronoun thou should undoubtedly be included as should the archaic ending -eth for he/she/it. Bogorm 16:16, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
This seems to make a strong case for using {{infl}} for verbal idioms. I dread the appearance of even lend under this proposal (if it is indeed a proper proposal). OTOH, keeping ordinary users away to the greatest extent possible might reduce the need for patrolling and would certainly reduce the load on the servers. I'm sure that those who use our content for their own on-line dictionaries will not have any serious trouble stripping out what they don't need. I know also that language learners also need to be encouraged to use other on-line resources beside enwikt. So, by all means, we should have a template that facilitates placing more obscurantist content on the inflection line. DCDuring TALK 16:49, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be under the impression that today is Sarcasm Day, but in fact it's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Don't feel bad; J. Edgar Hoover made the same mistake. —RuakhTALK 17:02, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Moi? DCDuring TALK 19:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
DCDuring, this is not an attempt at obscurantism; please try to suggest ways that this information (which is perhaps of more historical interest) can be clearly præsented without detracting from information which aids learners. E.g., would it be possible for the end of the conjugation line to feature a button — similar in function to rel-tables’ show/hide toggles (but instead with the text [more]/[less]) — by default set not to show the additional, more academic content, which could be clicked by users with an interest in these archaic and other forms?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:14, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
IMO this is one of many excellent uses for Usage notes -- in this case, to describe certain historical aspects of usage. (With a usage note, we could even, if we wished, note the specific historical periods in which a particular inflection was current.) -- Visviva 17:19, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Fwiw, I agree obsolete forms do not belong in an inflection line where a corresponding form is currently used. (In other words, if the word currently has no third-person present, then by all means list the obsolete form, marking it as such. But if it does, don't.)—msh210 17:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
True current and fairly recent (19th century? older?) alternative forms should appear on the inflection line.
  1. Visviva's suggestion of Usage notes covers more cases. We may need to have some more structure for Usage notes as we have more content that we place there.
  2. My original proposal stands: Put forms prevalent in Middle English under Middle English entries, referencing the Middle English in the English Etymology, even if the forms were used in the Early Modern English period. This is admittedly not 100% accurate, but offers practical advantages. I guess it is true of many Middle English forms that they survived into Early Modern.
It is rare, obsolete, and archaic forms that we would want to remove from the inflection line (not, I hasten to add, remove their entries nor exclude them altogether from the English lemma). I don't know whether something similar to the Middle English trick would work for any dialect forms. DCDuring TALK 19:36, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Nota the quotation from 1852 in our entry for lendeth — from the mid-19th century — 482 years after the traditional date when Middle English became Early Modern English (circa 1470) and 202 years after Early Modern English became Modern English (circa 1650, according to Wikipedia).
One may quæstion the utility of specifying the arch. 3rd-pers. sing. præs. act. ind. form, seeing as it is formed so regularly (+(e)th); however, the same, of course, goes for both the non-arch. 3rd-pers. sing. præs. act. ind. form and especially the præsent participle (though not the past forms, which display irregularity with far greater frequency). This form is often misused (sometimes so much as to be used for all three persons and for both numbers, as well as sometimes being applied to tenses other than the præs. ind.), so it could be argued that we’re teaching more people something they didn’t know already by specifying the archaic third-person yaddy rather than the non-archaic third-person yadda (not, of course, that I’m advocating the absurdity of leaving out the current common form).
FWIW, I see specifying the arch. 2nd-pers. sing. præs. act. ind. form as more important than doing so for the 3rd, since while the latter is pretty much solely used for archaism nowadays, the former still has applications for shorthand translations of languages that still distinguish the singular and plural 2nd-person pronouns as well as English dialects that also maintain the distinction (such as the Yorkshire dialect); furthermore, the arch. 2nd-pers. sing. forms seem a lot more anomalous than the arch. 3rd-pers. sing. forms, often featuring markedly distinct indicative and subjunctive, and præsent and past forms (e.g., art, wast, wert, hast, hadst, shalt, shouldest, shouldst, thinkest[1], thoughtest[2], &c.).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:10, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Hear, hear. And let's not forget the added benefit, that we can show everyone exactly how smart we are. (By "everyone", I mean of course "us", since no one else would likely bother to use Wiktionary if this approach became standard.) :-P Hmm... perhaps part of my unease at this proposal is that I don't want people to know exactly how smart I am. Much, much better to keep them guessing. -- Visviva 17:19, 19 January 2009 (UTC)