User talk:Bluewhim

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Hello. Is there any published evidence for the etymology you added to waitron? Equinox 23:01, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Hello Equinox. There is published evidence of the Time Magazine article cited (which I am trying to track down for sure), but not of the episode at Jo Federigo's. Bluewhim (talk) 23:08, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Okay. That would be interesting to see. My feeling is that we should shift this ety onto the entry's talk page until we can find a reliable source. Equinox 23:45, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

What is considered a reliable source, please. Is first hand knowledge of the parties to the conversation a reliable source? Thank you! Bluewhim (talk) 03:02, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Wiktionary doesn't use the exact same rules as Wikipedia, but [1] has some good guidelines on finding sources. If it's a case of you and your friends knowing about some situation, unfortunately, that's anecdotal and can't be verified. Equinox 03:04, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for that information, Equinox, and I've now read the guidelines for reliable sources. The knowledge is from a primary source, it was because I was a party to the conversation and incident cited, when it happened. The incident and conversation can be verified by the other waitstaff who were present at the time, one of who was Jerry Seljan, who later became the owner of the restaurant.

Going by the Wikipedia guidelines, I would classify this under "self-published and questionable sources as sources on themselves" (because you're telling us something about yourself, and publishing it on the Internet). In that case, it might fall foul of some of those rules: "the material is neither unduly self-serving" (you are inserting your name, or somebody's name, as the originator, when that isn't clear); "it does not involve claims about third parties" (you talk about what happened at a "nearby restaurant"); "there is no reasonable doubt as to its authenticity" (I just doubt it, since waitron has been in some major dictionaries, e.g. Chambers, for a significantly long time, and they don't show your etymology). I think you need to find some print source, because to be honest anybody could come here and say "I invented word X", where X doesn't already have a good ety. Equinox 03:31, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Not sure about Chambers now — I thought that was the case because of the Scrabble word list (where I first encountered WAITRON) but it seems it isn't there. However, the US dictionary Merriam-Webster gives this etymology: "blend of waiter or waitress and -tron (suggesting the machinelike impersonality of such work), later (perhaps influenced by neutron) taken as a gender-neutral term; first known use 1980". Did you use it in 1980? Equinox 03:37, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments. I can understand your skepticism (and yes, you are right, anyone can say they created a word or invented something), but this etymology is also entirely consistent with all other sources as to the dates and origin of the word. I unfortunately don't have a copy of Chambers, but would be curious if it cites a date or time period in which the word first came into use (which all other sources cite as the early 1980s or the 1980s).

Hello Equinox, our messages crossed. Yes, we used it in 1980 or 81; I cannot pinpoint exactly when this conversation initiating use of the word occurred, but it was soon after Jo Federigo's opened in Eugene, Oregon. Bluewhim (talk) 03:43, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

There are no articles on the word waitron originating at Jo Federigo's, but there are articles substantiating the facts on the restaurant itself. Fred Lee first bought the restaurant in around 1980, and it had formerly been Biederbeck's, owned by Doug Biederbeck (who is now a restauranteur in San Francisco). Two of the first people on the waitstaff of the then-new Jo Federigo's restaurant were Jerome Seljan and JD Beltran, who first started using the word at that restaurant, in the incident described. Three years later, Jerome Seljan actually purchased the restaurant from Fred Lee Bluewhim (talk) 03:58, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

I am sure the restaurant exists, but, you know, I could come here and show evidence that the Rising Sun used to be a Goth pub, and then it closed and reopened as a gay pub. (I miss the old one!) That is not useful in trying to establish the origin of a word that people might have said there. I don't know what your best course of action is, but it might be getting all the old employees together, and getting someone to write a book about it, published by a reputable publisher. This sounds very stupid but there you go. We can't really add etymologies based on "I was there at the time" stories. Equinox 04:01, 27 January 2013 (UTC)