User:Dmh/talk archives2

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NOTE: I really don't have time for this, not that that seems to stop me. As a result, I'll probably be intensely active for short bursts and then pretty much comatose for a while. If I don't reply on one of the many threads I tend to jump into, that's why. Experience shows that Wiktionary seems to get along just fine either way.

ANOTHER NOTE: I've summarily moved most of the contents of this page to User:Dmh/talk archives. Feel free to restart any of the discussions there, but please reference the archives if you do.

Welcome back[edit]

Connel MacKenzie 18:57, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Thanks! I'd originally gone cold turkey as I was spending way too much time on Wiktionary, and then I had a disk crash on my laptop. Nonetheless, I have a few projects I'd like to continue, just not at quite the pace I'd been going at.
While I'm at it, my current priorties (until I change my mind tomorrow) are:
  • Gathering raw material for by and trying to treat it as thorougly as of, thereby completing the b section of Basic English.
  • Continuing on common words, first Basic English and then back to the top 1000.
  • Writing the occasional essay
  • Continuing to agitate for this and against that.
  • Cleaning up and archiving this page
  • Reading the whole "words affected by prescriptivism" page from top to bottom, and doing a comparative analysis of same and Finnigan's Wake.
  • Trying to get categorization to critical mass, where assigning categories becomes part of the process of entering/cleaning up a term.
  • Entering interesting words as they come along.
  • Cleaning up RFC items from time to time.
I personally think that templates will be of great use in categorizing, especially for straightforward "cattag" cases. These shouldn't be much affected by the vagaries of the engine's handling of categories, since they shouldn't have to change once established. I would like to see the topic index finish going away. Many thanks to whoever moved its content into the categories! This makes it easy to go through a category, tag the terms in it, and remove them from the de facto "untagged" section.
Update: I've not spent any significant time on Wiktionary in the last couple of months, and don't plan to spend much going forward for a while. I still like Wiktionary, and I'm glad to see it getting along just fine in my absence. I'll be stopping in from time to time and occasionally plugging away at the projects above or maybe others (a thorough accounting of prepositions, for example). Feel free to drop me a line on this page, but don't expect a prompt response. -dmh 15:46, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

template change propogation[edit]

Dmh, while you were away, we collectively did some experiments; articles in namespace 0 ("normal articles") have a special property where they somehow copy the version of the template at the time they are edited. User pages, Special pages, Wiktionary pages (etc.) do not exhibit this behavior.

In particular, if a template assigns a category, and the category's CaPiTalIzAtIoN is is changed in the template, the article that includes that template will still appear in the old category until it is edited (even if no change is made at all during the edit, it still needs to be saved again, to use the new version of the template.)

--Connel MacKenzie 19:03, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Hm. This is definitely worth noting. However, I don't think it means we shouldn't use templates and categories. It does seem worth agitating to get the current behavior changed or at the very least clarified. -dmh 19:08, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)
 : I'll be interested to see how this progresses. Templates and categories could go a long way toward making Wiktionary more useful and easier to maintain, particularly if they're enhanced just a bit. Note that the idea here is not to re-invent the database, but to make better use of the underlying database technology. -dmh 15:46, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Anointing of the Sick / Dying[edit]

Hi there. I notice that you piped dying => die. Presumably this was to turn the red link blue. I think that a better approach is to add a definition for the missing entry. That is what I shall do (and that is why I am reverting your change - I thought I had better tell you first). Cheers SemperBlotto 13:17, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hmm ... my ideal would be to do both, that is, point the link at die unless dying is idiomatic (which I don't think it is here), and add a minimal entry for dying to capture the somewhat irregular spelling. Personally, I don't like links to regularly inflected forms, particularly from within the entry for the stem. I also don't see a particular need for entries for (non-idiomatic) regular inflections, but neither is there any great need to remove them if they appear.
If there are idioms involved, that's different. For example, I would link and be sure there is an entry for blues (there is) if I were, say, defining rock and roll as a blues-derived form of music ... or something similar.
In any case, I can live with either form of the definition. -dmh 14:56, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)



I have a series of entries intentionally including the trailing period defined as Webster abbreviations. Please do not nominate them for deletion without first cleaning up <what links here>. As they are sometimes handy, I personally would prefer they not be nominated for deletion, but if that's the consensus...

Note: I first saw an anonymous user wikify the abbreviations, and realized that is a natural way for someone to perhaps try to figure out if Webster meant "from" or "French" when using the abbreviation "fr.". Or if the Webster abbreviation "a." perhaps meant "Adverb" instead of "Adjective". --Connel MacKenzie 17:01, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hmm. I see the point, but on the other hand this seems inconsistent with most (but not all) of the existing abbreviations in Category:Abbreviations, Acronyms and Initialisms. I'm most concerned with consistency here, both with the other abbreviations and with the "abbreviation" subsection of a. Also, IMO, it's better not to slice the headings too finely as it makes things harder to find by heading. That said, I'm not violently opposed to A. per se. Perhaps this should go to the Beer Parlour for further discussion? -dmh 17:57, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable to me. --Connel MacKenzie 18:44, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Good to be back[edit]

Dmh, Thanks for the welcome back, and good to "see" you again, too. I never really left, mentally, but this "real life" stuff sometimes gets in the way.

Impressive bio, BTW. Since I have no formal training in linguistics or symantics (though I finally looked up transitive/intransitive!), I rely on other Wiktionarians such as yourself to keep me honest. As you may have noted, there really is not that much rhyme or reason to my entries, beyond trying to add useful stuff and have fun at the same time. I do pay attention to corrections and suggestions, and I certainly appreciate the help. Take care! --Dvortygirl 05:43, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"Trying to add useful stuff and have fun at the same time" seems like an excellent basis for participating in Wiki*. Our conventions evolve and it's up to all of us to work with them and help them evolve. In other words, you're doing fine; keep it up!



The entry had {{rfd}} on it so that it could be discussed on the rfd page. Wiktionary:Requests for deletion#Eutopy is probably a better place to vent about my POV. But looking again at the "references" web site, it is clear this is at best a neologism. And that that website's author is trying (so far unsuccessfully outside of Wiktionary) to push for its adoption. I still feel it belongs on the list of protologisms, rather than merit an actual article.

About my POV, hmmm. Yes, I do still feel that overall, Wiktionary's criteria for inclusion is way too permissive...but that's why discussions on {rfd} keep me in check. Thanks for doing your part there. --Connel MacKenzie 06:48, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Aha. I had always seen RFD as "This term is clearly bogus, get it out of here!" and preferred to keep other discussion to the talk page. This may have shifted while I was gone. I do think there have been several clear "cleanup" items on RFD — the word clearly deserves some sort of definition but the one given is bad or malformed — that shouldn't have been there, and I tend to be pretty militant about this. IMO, if it's bad, fix it, don't remove it.
I'm also militant about doing basic checks for attestation before RFDing. Anything with over a few hundred google hits is pretty clearly attested unless there's a very good specific reason to doubt all of them. Even a few dozen hits are usually good enough to turn up independent usages in running text.
In the case of eutopy, if it's really in Utopia, then it gets an entry, no question. Pretty much anything in the traditional Dead White Guys canon should get an entry, even if no one uses it anymore. There also appears to be an medical sense (see here for example), which I would guess means "the condition of being in the right place" as opposed to ectopy. Ideally we would hunt that down and add it, include whatever of More is actually accurate, and expunge any self-promotion. -dmh 15:31, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Criteria for inclusion[edit]

Hmm... No offense intended, but I'm wondering if some of your additions to Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion haven't gotten a bit too conversational in tone... - dcljr 08:07, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

None taken. I tend to take a more conversational tone in the hopes that it will be easier to read, and in the present case to keep the rules from looking more rigorous than they actually are. IMHO, the criteria for inclusion would better be called "guidelines". The other goal I have is to try to explain the motivation behind the criteria/guidelines. I'm concerned that an unadorned list of formal rules would lead people to quibble over the exact rules ("your three citations are 367 days apart — sorry, RFD") instead of thinking about whether it's useful for a term to be documented in Wiktionary.
That said, if you think any of the prose can be improved, by all means just do it. It's a wiki. It wouldn't be the first time something I put in went through one or more rounds of editing before settling down. That's the wiki process and it's a Good Thing. -dmh 14:53, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
dmh, I was hoping I'd get a response from you sooner, but you seem to be away again. Most of your changes are wonderfully reflective of what actual practices here are. But there was a single line that was significantly changed in meaning. Now, your version is being quoted back to me (even though it directly conflicts with earlier revisions.) I wanted to give you at least an opportunity to make the revision yourself. But reading your reply above, that seems less likely. I'll be bold(er) with Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion in the next few days. --Connel MacKenzie 04:51, 18 May 2005 (UTC)


Um, now what.

Could you please leave something indicating that it is a bizarre term? Like {{neo}} perhaps? The majority of the citations you provided look like they could actually be honest typos! Are you trying to suggest that this term is in widespread use?

I still cannot understand why you insist there is a negative connotation to "protologism." Such a stigma is not understood nor assumed by many (most?) people.

--Connel MacKenzie 05:40, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've tagged the term itself as Rasta. That should be good enough. It shouldn't be tagged as a protologism since it's not one. It might be new to us, but it's clearly not new to the Rasta community.
Now we just have to define Rastafarian. -dmh 15:43, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

torroid and photon belt[edit]

  1. Do you mean toroid ?
Nope. Torroid was the form I saw in the published source I consulted.
  1. Is photon belt science fiction?
My understanding is that You are Becoming a Galactic Human is intended as a spiritual guide, not as a fictional account. In particular, the photon belt in question is presented as an actual, physical object with which the Earth is projected to intersect in, erm, 1995 or 1996. -dmh 19:36, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

SemperBlotto 19:10, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC) Hmm. I think I'll RfD them both and see what happens. SemperBlotto 21:21, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I noticed that you wikified all the words in nílim. Please do not do this. We only wikify the main words or those that a user is likely not to know the meaning of given that they did not know the meaning of the word they are currently viewing. Wikifying all words puts unnecessary strain on the server, so we don't do it. Thanks. — Paul G 16:59, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Generally, I tend to take out gratuitious wikification, but this one was so heavily wikified to start with that it seemed like the only reasonable thing to do was complete the process. -dmh 17:05, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)


For what it's worth, I entered fsr on request. I do agree that because it is a chat-room term (only) it is therefore not Wiktionary-worthy. Thanks for nominating it for deletion. --Connel MacKenzie 22:33, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I shan't miss it, though it seems no less worth than anything else we've been haggling over. -dmh 03:26, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I see it's back, presumably because it's now abundantly clear that chat-room/texting abbreviations are in widespread use, making it likely that one would run across them and want to know what they mean. --dmh 06:04, 27 July 2010 (UTC)


Want me to delete this for you? --Wytukaze 6 July 2005 19:35 (UTC)

Please. -dmh 6 July 2005 21:34 (UTC)
Done. :) --Wytukaze 6 July 2005 21:35 (UTC)

Unifying wiktionary langs[edit]

Hello dmh, check out this new project to broaden the discussion of a unified wiktionary: Wiktionary:Project - Unified Wiktionary outreach

+sj + 16:35, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Damn euphemisms[edit]

I have moved this material here, as requested. It actually had not yet been deleted. In error I had only deleted the redirect. I might never have noticed without your request. :-)



This page collects information about the various combinations of god/gol/gosh and damn/dang/darn/durn, possibly further combined with -ed or it.


dang, darn and durn are all euphemistic pronunciations of damn. gol and gosh are euphemistic pronunciations of god

Pronuncation and Spelling[edit]

The n in damn is never pronounced, even in forms such as damned and damnit (but see damnation and damnable). For this reason, damnit and associated forms are also spelled dammit etc. The two forms are equally common.

Note that damned must be spelled with an n, as dammed is simply the past tense of dam.

Usage Note[edit]

The various forms listed here may be used interchangeably, except that damn is generally considered more impolite. Darn is the most common euphemism, with dang and durn as regional variants. Just as damn is combined with god for extra emphasis to get goddammn and goddamned, the euphemisms combine with the euphemistic forms gol or gosh. Any of the six possible combinations is heard, though goshdarn may be more common than goldarn and goldurn more common than goshdurn.


damn, damned, goddamn, goddamned
dang, danged, goldang, goldanged, goshdang, goshdanged
darn, darned, goldarn, goldarned, goshdarn, goshdarned
durn, durned, goldurn, goldurned, goshdurn, goshdurned

  1. Generally used to express annoyance or impatience concerning the modified word.
    Give me the goldang phone already!
    Do you have to be so damned stubborn?

Usage Note[edit]

Grammatically this form is a past participle acting as a modifier, but the final -ed is often dropped, so any of damn, damned, dang, danged, durn or durned could be heard (or goddamn, goddamned, goshdarn, goshdarned etc.).

Transitive verb[edit]

(only used in imperative)
damn, goddamn
dang, goldang, goshdang
darn, goldarn, goshdarn
durn, goldurn, goshdurn

  1. Expresses intense disapproval of the object.
    Damn you for doing that!

Usage Note[edit]

Given its original meaning, damn may also be used with hell as in Damn you to hell for doing that!. One occasionally hears constructions such as darn you to heck, but these are only for humorous effect. The euphemisms do not retain the theological meanings of the original.


damn, dammit, damnit, goddamn, goddammit, goddamnit
dang, dangit, goldang, goldangit, goshdang, goshdangit
darn, darnit, goldarn, goldarnit, goshdarn, goshdarnit
durn, durnit, goldurn, goldurnit, goshdurn, goshdurnit

  1. Expresses surprise or generally adds emphasis.
    Durn! I thought I was going to win that game!
    Durnit! I thought I was going to win that game!

Usage Note[edit]

As with damned/damn above, the original form (damn it) is often contracted, and either form may be heard. As always, damn can combine with god (goddamn, goddamnit or goddammit) and the euphemisms can combine with gol or gosh (goshdarnit, goldurnit, etc.).


damn, goddamn
dang, goldang, goshdang
darn, goldarn, goshdarn
durn, goldurn, goshdurn

  1. Even a little bit. Often used in the stock phrase give a damn etc.
    It really doesn't matter a damn what you think.

Usage Note[edit]

The compound terms are more rarely used. Some, namely goshdang and goldurn, may not be used in this sense at all.

See Also[edit]


Where did you get the etymology of chode from? Looks suspicious. Ncik 13:02, 15 September 2005 (UTC)

SIGH. This is what comes of deleting words because they couldn't possibly be words fit for inclusion in an august resource such as ours. I didn't come up with the etymology. I just re-created the entry from memory after it was gunned.
That said, the whole thing is a mess. The first definition just points to choda, an ill-formatted (but quite possibly valid) entry which is basically the same as one of the later definitions. There are no examples or citations. It would be particularly nice to see citations for the putative archaic past tense of "chide", which to the best of my knowledge (and Amgine's) was always "chid". Citations for "penis" and "conteptible person" not as important since google is lousy with them.
FWIW, I had only heard the word, mainly on Beavis and Butt-Head, until it popped up here. I had always imagined it spelled "choad", but I'm not sure why. As I recall, there was actually some support for the alleged Hindi etymology, but I don't recall exactly what it was. Further research is definitely indicated. -dmh 15:26, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
OK, here's a little more. First, "choda" is pretty clearly Bengali/Gujrati/other Indian slang. It appears to be a noun: you can call someone various kinds of choda. It appears to mean roughly "dick" or "fuck" as in "He's a stupid fuck."
The Jargon File — generally better researched than Wiktionary — has more detail on this, which you can find at under "choad". So the "contemptible person" sense is pretty well nailed down. The general "penis" sense is probably not hard to support, whether or not it's etymologically correct. I'd take the "wider than it's long" senses with a grain of salt. I believe they came over from Urbandictionary, which I tend to take as suggestive but never definitive. The spelling seems variable, with both "chode" and "choad" attested in English, and "choda" attested at least in the Hindi family (when written in roman characters).
Finally, I have strong doubts about the "past tense of chide" sense, but I'm going to check project Gutenberg before I dispute it. -dmh 15:49, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
Postscript after the fact: Good thing I went and looked it up. It's in the KJB (and probably elsewhere, but KJB is good enough). -dmh 15:20, 14 May 2007 (UTC)


Don't you mean w:Verulamium ? SemperBlotto 18:51, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

I may have been hasty. However, there is a Verulam golf club in Herts., and a Verulam writers' club, and so forth. So I took it that locals liked to use Verulam attributively, much as locals the world over like to with similarly moderately obscure terms. It might compare to "Albion" as applied to England (I'm thinking for example of Private Eye taking the piss out of Tony Blair as the pastor of St. Albion parish.). In terms of CFI, I'm thinking a newcomer, or someone running across a local-friendly reference, would want to know "What's all this 'Verulam' stuff?"
In any case, I quite enjoyed my (brief) visit to St. Alban's. -dmh 20:29, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

project clean up of BE[edit]

I can help with translations (I'm Catalan and Spanish speaker). Should I start in any particular way?-- 16:50, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Tellus vs. Terra[edit]

I, Keraunos, left a comment on your Wikipedia talk page about the Tellus vs. Terra issue. 12:43, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Got it, in case you're checking here. I went trolling through several classical dictionaries at a local bookshop. Only the Oxford dictionary mentioned the Terra/Tellus distinction, and then only in passing in a footnote. It was unclear just what the scope of this comment was. It's not hard to find actual classical Latin texts that completely ignore such a distinction, so I don't see any way it can be generalized. -dmh 05:30, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, welcome back[edit]

It seems you are back just in time for the next round of color/colour on WT:BP. --Connel MacKenzie 06:33, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


Would you please stop. Yes, I am still composing a lengthy response for the beer parlour, for your reading pleasure. It is hard to do with interruptions.

And why do you keep vandalizing the language heading, of all things? --Connel MacKenzie 18:32, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

That's what's known in the business as a "mistake". I've fixed it. Now look at the resulting article. Is it bad? In what way? -dmh 18:48, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


for wasting my time. --Connel MacKenzie 18:22, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Don't thank me. Only you can waste your own time. -dmh 18:23, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

True. But you know why that is idiomatic. I had thought you actually cared about what we're doing here.
But your recent push for all-inclusiveness, combined with your direct damage to entries, combined with your attacks on policy pages (CFI, {{neologism}}, etc.) lead me to believe you wish to make this the most unusable "dictionary" in history.
When the signal-to-noise ratio is low, there are secondary effects, even when some aspects are filtered. For example, you recently made observations about ALT-X/Randompage. This is the English Wiktionary, where one might expect English terms, no? And what were the majority? Not usable Spanish definitions but "form of" entries, for Spanish verbs.
When the signal-to-noise ratio is low, for English terms alone, similar secondary effects are observed. Not only sysops and regular contributors are inundated; the whole world is. Readers hitting the "Random English entry" button, reviewers, spellcheck software writers, grammar check software writers, linguists and even the press all see mostly crap here. Another secondary effect is that disruptive contributors are thereby encouraged or rewarded for entering crap. This is not a slang-only dictionary, but is becoming one.
For readers unused to Connel's habit of throwing out assertions without a shred of evidence, here are the 10 random entries I got:

If this is mostly crap, I'd like more crap, please. -dmh 18:31, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

When the signal-to-noise ratio is low, primary effects are felt too. Those you canidly lump into "technical concerns" far too blithely for my taste (and efforts!)
I don't understand why you wish to so rabidly force the point, that some slang should be included. We already have far, far too much crap overwhelming the valid entries. No amount of loading of inflections is a match for the collective imagination of 10 million adolescents. Your militant vandalism of any of the fledgling attempts at marking the crap correctly is just baffling.
I don't understand why you wish to so rabidly force the point, that non-words should be here. CFI should be much more difficult...perhaps ten times more difficult than it currently is. Perhaps it should be a comparative measure, yielding much more difficult criteria than 30 print citations spanning ten years. (After all, the Internet is still growing rapidly - the dramatic change in the number of books available from b.g.c. between now, and when RFV started is one relevant example.) When "real" slang comes along that should be here, it is much easier to make the exception, for inclusion. Instead, your tail-wagging-the-dog approach of searching out bizarre terms that barely squeak by, is disappointing.
I don't understand your rabid opposition to suggestions for "shelving" the crap to other namespaces. I am beyond astonished, actually. Even a moderately rabid inclusionist doesn't agree that all your terms belong in a general purpose dictionary. But with the namespaces concept, they could be kept, instead of immediately zapped. I see your efforts as direct opposition to the progress I thought I had made on that front!
I don't understand your rabid desire to change Wiktionary overnight. Yes, there are more inclusionist around, than when you left. (I think I am mostly to blame for that - nearly all of our inclusionists were my sysop nominations, and I'm glad to say that for some of them, that seems to have made the difference for them sticking around.) And yes, you can always drum up support from that quarter (even without trying, it seems) but that still does not reflect the Wiktionary community, and certainly not the wider (30k anons/day) readership.
I don't understand your rabid insistence on wasting everyone's time in BP/RFV when there is so much real grunt-work left to be done. When was the last time you cleaned and imported a Webster's 1913 entry? When was the last time you imported an 1811 entry? A Project Gutenberg term? A term from the British national corpus? A television frequency term? Anything other than just crap that barely passes a far too weak CFI?

So, thank you. Your behavior has reminded me to re-focus elsewhere. Good luck getting people to drink your poison cool-aid (short-sighted rabid inclusionism.) --Connel MacKenzie 07:23, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I'll make this short. Our stated aim, on our front page, is "all words of all langauges." Pretty simple. We have rules for sorting out words from non-words. They're pretty simple. I'm pushing for doing what we say we do, consistently. That's what a serious, useful dicitonary will do. If that's "changing wiktionary overnight", then we've lost the plot and it needs changed. -dmh 15:58, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Knock it off[edit]

You are being overly abusive. What do you expect is next? --Connel MacKenzie 00:13, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Please take this as a straightforward question: Which of my recent contributions to you view as abusive? -dmh 00:53, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
rel. As a side-note, why do you wish me to provide three examples? I can only assume you'll continue with your bizarre justification of previously failed terms. Such nonsense grates me; it is clear CFI is broken and needs tremendous overhaul. But nonsense that has failed shouldn't be "resurrected" because more blogs or usenet messages are now searchable for those particular errors. This is more relevant, in that CFI has been gradually weaking itself by requiring only three citations, even as more refuse is poured into google. At this point, I can't imagine you'd do anything else, than try to push your point further by attacking any examples provided. --Connel MacKenzie 01:01, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
When did we change CFI to exclude abbreviations with millions of hits? Honestly, that hadn't occurred to me. It's an abbreviation. It stands for release. Should it be under rel. (or Rel., not rel where I put it, but those don't seem to be in there either. I had no idea that this had been considered and rejected. In any case, it shouldn't have been. If adding this is disrupting anything, we're way off in the weeds.
My only "bizarre justifications" have been that a term meets our stated CFI. I find this whole idea that — as it appears — there are words that meet our stated CFI but shouldn't be here, but there aren't any rules for when this should or shouldn't happen ... that is bizarre. -dmh 01:14, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
I wonder if it's safe to add the "release" meaning back in? --dmh 06:20, 27 July 2010 (UTC)


Nah, Semper should have just had the sense to look in the comments to see that twistification was in the OED. Clearly it was already verified, Wiktionary's "criteria for inclusion" is somewhat inspired by the OED's to begin with.

Looks like Kappa did some good work with the definition!

You’re a troll too, I see[edit]

If you want to tell us what we should do, rather than cooperating with us and changing things only through consensus, then you are indeed a troll, and will be treated as such.[1]

I see that I’m not the only one who receives this sort of treatment. You may take this as a poison chalice, but for what it’s worth, I find myself agreeing with you a lot of the time. Your axiom, Wiktionary should have clear rules and apply them consistently., is, for me, self-evident. I take it to mean that Wiktionary needs clear policies based upon objective measures. Unto that end, I have recently tried to influence policy (perhaps not always tactfully, but I think always patiently and in good faith), having been invited to do so by DAVilla. The results have, evidently, not been good.

My first attempt started with scenarii — I tried to have policy formulated using it as a case study. Things started well in my productive and civilised conversation with Connel MacKenzie on my talk page, but ground unto a halt on the linked category page. This perfectly legitimate addition has been labelled irregular, rare, non-standard, and (not in the entry) prætentious — that’s despite “irregular” being misleading (though universally accepted to be true), “rare” being ill-defined (though not a bone of contention), “non-standard” being just plain untrue (if anything, it’s “suprastandard”), and “prætentious” being POV (as well as in conflict with the non-standard tag). Ditto campi (minus “rare”) — the treatment of this latter popularly despised being even more indefensible. I was blocked by Robert Ullmann for this edit, and was given this message: You are blocked 1 hour: removing non-standard tag from campi, reverted. It is a regular rule in English that borrowed Latin masculine nouns (usually in the nominative case) from the second declension form plurals according unto the “‘-us’ → ‘-i’” pattern. Furthermore, I gave the requisite three citations. Is there at all a good reason why Robert Ullmann did this? I doubt it. The fact that he seems to dislike both “campi” and me in æqual measure is a more likely explanation.

The other big flashpoint was due unto mine addition of preëmption and all its derived forms. I created properly-formatted entries, with etymology, pronunciation, and alternative spelling sections for all except the minor inflected forms — ditto in my thrice-citing them, and adding a reference unto their entry in Webster’s 1913 dictionary where applicable; fairly and objectively considered, I added a number of high-standard entries, much unto Wiktionary’s benefit. Nevertheless, this caused an uproar. Many seeked to change my full entries (which were undeletable without violating WT:CFI) into alternative spelling ones (which seem to be called “soft redirects”) — against the emerging protopolicy that every valid alternative spelling gets its full entry. Perhaps diæretic spellings are invalid. However, given their use for over a century, as well as their entry within Webster’s 1913 dictionary, this position is not, in fairness, tenable. Recently, Robert Ullmann gutted preëmpt (which wasn’t unexpected) — but what really annoyed me is that he didn’t bother copying mine improved and more numerous definitions unto either preempt or pre-empt; that I am more likely to attribute unto laziness that unto anything else. The whole situation smacks of hypocrisy and double-standards.

My most recent attempt to influence policy was made is being made here. That has been civil thus far and shows real signs of going somewhere; however, that isn’t surprising, as Connel and I usually manage to get somewhere in our conversations (probably because he forbears making argumenta ad hominem, which is more than could be said for some around here). Nonetheless, I’m sick of the unwarranted hostility which I receive around here, and shall be taking a break for a while (perhaps making the odd edit from time unto time). I imagine that there will be cheers (or at least some unpleasant smirks) at my departure; however, my desire to devote my time unto doing something fruitful outweighs my desire to rob of triumphalism those who would be pleased to see me go.

You may not see why I bothered writing this unto you. In part, it is an opportunity to express my views without (I hope) having my writ hacked unto pieces with critical tirades in a forum such as the Beer Parlour. Apart from that, I see you (along with DAVilla and Connel, and maybe some others whose names I can’t remember right now) as pretty much the only people who, whilst not necessarily agreeing with me, will at least give me the time of day, and take mine arguments seriously. You personally may want to make use of some of the policy suggestions that I’ve made, and unto which I have linked hereïn. At præsent, they would be too tainted by their association with me, for me to be able to champion them myself. When (or if) I return (in any meaningful sense), I hope that the rules around here will be better defined, and that the community will be a little less critical of diversity of opinion (yes, I accept, I am in many ways way out on the lunatic fringe — though as only a few here seem to realise, what I am does not affect the validity of mine arguments). All the best, and good luck. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:28, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm with you on some of this, not on parts. I agree that the less-common forms of preempt are attested, though I'm not sure whether all of the forms you use are. Certainly "present" is the only spelling I've ever seen other than here. However, the less-common forms of preempt are not standard anywhere I know of other than the New Yorker, and some of the other spellings you give have not been used anywhere to speak of for quite some time (and I'm not even sure how widespread they ever were). This has to be noted. It is simply not defensible for a descriptive dictionary to designate anything other than an overwhelmingly prevalent form "standard" (and even then I'd prefer a more neutral statement of prevalence).
Suprastandard is your opinion. While I appreciate your reasoning, and you seem to make an effort to apply your rules consistently, it is not an opinion to push here. Wiktionary has historically had a lot of people come in and try to impose their view of what English is our should be by editing. This has never sat well.
  • You have every right to enter and support preëmption.
  • preëmption should be noted as not being in wide use.
  • Citations count. Presumed rules don't.
  • You would have done better to make any changes to preemption and leave preëmption as a soft redirect with cites to show attestation.
  • Summarily reverting was harsh. Things get overly harsh here sometimes.
Finally, there is no regular English rule for -us becoming -i. It's an irregular form based on history (particularly for Latin 2nd declension), where the plural was borrowed with the singular back when everyone knew Latin. As you point out, it's applied to octopus despite the actual etymology (though octopus was borrowed through Latin, so take your pick), It's not applied to omnibus or circus (at least not widely these days), but perhaps they're not second declension. Recent medical terms tend to be Latinate, but not necessarily Latin, and the borrowed plurals are losing currency as knowledge of Latin becomes less common. The Latinate pattern is consciously applied from time to time (hackish virii but medical viruses), and of course scenarii, but these are completely irregular, based on people's whims. Trying to treat borrowed words according to their origins leads quickly to inconsistency, as I tried to point out with the pronunciation of scenarii and the actual Italian plural scenari.
The regular plural of scenario is scenarios and that of campus is campuses. Irregular forms in general tend to regularize over time if they're not in wide use. E.g., I learned shone, and lent but I mostly hear and see shined and loaned. This is exactly what is happening with Latinate plurals, diacritical spellings and several other things. It's fine if you want to point out that things have been different; Wiktionary needs to point out how things are; If you believe they shouldn't be different, that's just your POV. -dmh 18:10, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I am flattered that you characterize my behaviour as forbearing Ad hominem attacks. Of all the things you have said that anyone might scoff at, that certainly must top the list. But perhaps my efforts in that specific regard over the last couple months are reaching some fruition? Wait, no, I guess not. The very first link you gave above, started to degrade from one such trangression by me. If I've made any progress in this regard, it is clear even to me, that I still have a very long way to go. --Connel MacKenzie 06:34, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

...but that wasn't your intention, so you aren't![edit]

Perhaps I shouldn't even have said it with if, but I get frustrated when I have to fight rather than get on with what I want to do ... like you I am fascinated (though not terribly knowledgeable) in how the spellings and meanings of a word mutate over time and between languages. (That's why I push for cites to be organised by meaning rather than just left in a lump.) I am certainly glad that you tend to add cites, as we are embarassingly short of them, and I seem to spend much of my time finding just enough to pass RFV, rather than exploring in depth.

I have only been here about a year, but am beginning to wonder if there was a time when keen wikt users did little but tell each other what to do :-~ Usually, only Connel is that abrasive these days, and most of us dislike it. Anyway, I hope you won't be disappearing again. As I said the other day, I think we have similar aims.

I tried (and failed) to improve your change to CFI. It would be good to think of another dish where eggs were more clearly fried than the low-temperature cooking of scrambled eggs. Which reminds me that, after a brief visit, (and that punctuated by real world distractions), I am late for my dinner. May not be back for another 2 days unfortunately. --Enginear 21:50, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Things definitely started badly, ironically because I was miffed that several changes of mine had been undone (and, by and large, the ultimate result was in the same direction as my original change). I believe things have been smoothed over. For myself, I'm getting back to my day job and also trying to do more Wikt grunt work like sorting through Appendix:English idioms.
As to CFI, I had thought that Connel was going to revert the changes (with my permission) and bring them to BP or possibly VOTE. My intent was to clarify but not change the effect, but a change in such a basic part of our DNA should be reviewed, however innocuous. That's actually one sign of progress on Wikt. There are much better-established procedures for many things that we used to "just do". I still believe in "be bold", but it applies some places better than others.
In any case, I won't be disappearing entirely, but I do have to throttle my involvement back considerably (and I have done). -dmh 17:51, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Fried egg test[edit]

That's just one of many, as derived from the CFI talk page. See Wiktionary:List of idioms that survived RFD which I haven't gotten around to populating yet, and will be too busy to do just now. DAVilla 00:35, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

At Connel's prodding, I had a look at the CFI talk page a while ago. I tend to agree with those who say that most if not all of the specific tests match up with the more general CFI. It might be good to give them as examples, though. I'm a little leery of inadvertently letting in anything and everything, but OTOH, we don't seem to have trouble with regular inflections, which are only idiomatic if you don't know English grammar.
Personally, I would tend to let in "scream like Rain Man" if it's attested and appears to be used to refer to some particular kind of scream. Just knowing that Rain Man is autistic doesn't necessarily say how he'll scream. However, it doesn't seem to be attested (0 Google groups, 0 Google books, 0 Google blogs, only web hits are from Wiktionary). -dmh 16:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)