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Names and attributes must be accommodated to the essence of things, and not the essence to the names, since things come first and names afterwards.
— Galileo Galilei

Notwithstanding their influence, we apprehend, however, that dictionary-makers are on the whole an oppressed race, doomed to more than their due share of obscure drudgery. [] They may have had their romance at home — may have been crossed in love, and thence driven to dictionarying; may have been involved in domestic tragedies — who can say?
1864, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine (volume 96), uncredited author

[T]he maximum number of revisions an author made is 237,600 for the English Wiktionary (user "Equinox") [] As an anonymous reviewer points out, this "sounds as[sic] an incredibly high number of revisions for one single user".
2016, Wolfer & Müller-Spitzer, How Many People Constitute a Crowd and What Do They Do?

Words, words, words, words! You may as well listen to the birds.
2000, Coil

Equinox [is] one of those 'obnoxious elements' who cause [] trouble, but banning whom would go against every fiber of what built this project.
2024, Jimbo Wales

About me

I was born in 1980. Once I was a cute kid. Now I am a very non-cute old man, who can only rely on his ready wit and karate skills. Movie coming soon. Fund my Patreon.

My hobbies are: curling up in bed with a book (preferably 1800-1920 or so, and especially Victorian literature); the early history of home computing (c.1980-94, primarily 8-bits); walkin' in the woods and forests; and getting so drunk that I black out and don't dare to check my e-mail for a week.

On Wiktionary: I am the enfant terrible. Nobody wants me but I'm really useful.


The single thing that nobody seems to understand is grammatical countability. Let me try to explain it. "This word is not usually used in the plural" is not a measure of countability: we would rarely talk about the Eiffel Tower in the plural, because we know there's only one of them, but it retains the countability of tower. You could in theory count them: one tower, two towers. Better examples:

  • Potato is usually countable. I have a potato here. I have one potato. Now I have two or three potatoes. How many potatoes do I have?
  • Rice is not usually countable. I have some rice. Now I have more rice. How much rice do I have?

(Of course, I can say "the Chinese and Arabic rices are different", or "I mashed my vegetables and now there is some potato on my plate", but those are unusual cases. See universal grinder, universal packager.)


Of course not everybody perceives and understands things the same way. However, we ain't solipsists, and there is some kind of objective reality. We are starting to see the trouble now because of a modern idea that everyone has "their truth", which you must accept. And yet we secretly know this is bullshit. But it's rude/phobic to oppose it. There would not be a dictionary project if truth were purely subjective, because it would mean nothing and there would be nothing to share. Interesting clashes.

P.S. Why does nobody call Flat-Earthers "spherephobic"?


Individual words to consider


Possible problem entries

These are not always bad but I have bookmarked them because I think work or research is needed.

Other places to get words

Wiktionarians I have met