User:Dan Polansky/Use-mention distinction

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In Wiktionary, the use-mention distinction is used in the criteria for inclusion. Wiktionary's criteria for inclusion require of all quotations that serve for attestation that they use the word to be attested rather than mentioning it. By means of example, the sentence "cat is a noun" mentions the word cat, while the sentence "there was a cat across the street" uses the word cat. To use a word, a sentence typically requires the receiver (listener or reader) to already know the used meaning of the word or to look it up in a dictionary in order for the receiver to understand the sentence. By contrast, the sentence "gato is a Spanish word" can be wholly understood even without the knowledge of the meaning of the word gato. Definitions of a word found in dictionaries count not as uses but rather as mentions of the word. For a further example, "We arrived at London at six" is a use of the word London.