User talk:DCDuring

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Comments welcome. DCDuring 17:44, 30 August 2007 (UTC)



Taxonomic entries


Problems with plurals[edit]

Hi. I only recently became aware that there was a problem. My first thought was to dig into Category:Uncountable to see just what sort of problems might be present. That was when I realised that we have a grave problem, given that we cannot really keep track of anything if the templates are not working. I think EP is right.

  1. Step 1 is to rename the category.
  2. Step 2.IMHO is to modify the {{uncountable}}, {{pluralonly}}, {{singularonly}}, templates so that only the senses are marked as uncountable, plurale t, and singulare t respectively, and the {{en-noun|-}} template option to simply not put plural forms only. That is, disable its automatic "uncountable" label and categorisation.
  3. Step 3. I hadn't thought about "pair of" Perhaps a new template and category?
  4. Step 4. A bot to find and list entries that need to be checked out. (Might turn out to be a huge list :-/)
  • We could then encourage the correct use of the templates. In any case, I see this as an urgent "to do" before it gets completely out of hand. I wish I knew how big a problem it really is! - Algrif 11:08, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Your plan looks pretty good to me. The wording of the display for "plurale tantum" and "singulare tantum" and of the WT entries for those phrases needs work. It needs to be more accessible to ordinary users and not just technically correct.
I am appalled at the number of entries that have no templates and no categories. I spend time looking at frequency lists and filling in missing inflected forms. Probably half of the associated lemma entries are missing or significantly defective - and I don't mean missing senses, I mean missing PoSs, missing templates, obsolete headers, erroneous statements of comparability or countability, and structure problems. One hardly knows where to begin.
Are there good tools for counting entries with various characteristics and, especially, combinations of characteristics? I often wish that I could just do queries (not necessarily real-time) on the WT entries to get info on combinations of headers and templates (and parameters of templates). I guess bots marking or listing entries is as good as it gets. I am in need of getting up to speed on the capabilities of templates, bots, etc. What is a good place to start learning? My computer skills are not very up to date, but I am still capable of learning and willing to do so. DCDuring 15:15, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I need to think more carefully on your program. Whatever we do should be linguistically correct, consistent with good wiki-tech-practice, and sufficiently user-friendly as to help WT benefit from and handle any extra users we get from improving WT visiblity on Google. DCDuring 15:20, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm quite good at suggesting, but not very good at doing. I wish I knew how to write bots, but my (modern day) programming skills are limited. I would need someone to write, or help to write, said bot. I don't even know what could be possible, although I expect it wouldn't be too hard to seek and list all entries with certain tags and bracketed words (uncountable). As for going through any generated list; like all the other listed tasks on Wikt, it could never be a one-man job, although I would see myself being heavily involved. Can we put together a brief proposal about all this for GP consideration? - Algrif 10:08, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


Is this word ever used to refer to more than one golf course? One can find usage of both "The links is ...." and "The links are ...." but every case I've looked at seems to refer to a single course. Also, an etymology is that it is a shortening of "linksland". DCDuring TALK 03:31, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Found usage: "links" (with either is or are) can refer to a single golf course. "Links are" can also refer to multiple courses. What is that called? DCDuring TALK 04:16, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't know what name this phenomenon goes by, but it's the same as deer, where the singular and plural forms are identical. --EncycloPetey 04:23, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Based on our Category:English invariant nouns, they are "invariant nouns". Thryduulf 18:17, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh, yes. I've been to that page. Could someone clarify it? I'm having trouble understanding the distinction made there between invariant nouns and invariant use of non-invariant nouns. There is certainly too much "ink" spent on the second case without making it clear exactly what the difference is. I'm too simple-minded to take on that challenge myself. I also don't understand the relationship of that to plurale tantum. I'm beginning to suspect that it would be useful to have an article somewhere (Wiktionary Appendix or WP?) explaining the various non-standard plural phenomena: invariant nouns, plurale tantum, singulare tantum, uncountability, semantic singularity, invariant use of non-invariant nouns, pair-of nouns, and collective nouns with special focus on the simple usage questions of greatest potential interest to our anon and even not-so-anon users:
  1. How does a speaker/writer use each type of noun with respect to a single referent ? and
  2. Does it (always, sometimes, never) take a plural verb when referring to a single referent?
Consistent nomenclature and corresponding categories for the technically adept wouldn't hurt either to assist the flow of wisdom from adepts to contributors to lowest common denominator. There seem to be some bottlenecks in the flow. DCDuring TALK 19:43, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Regular, non-invariant nouns can be either singular or plural with different forms, e.g. "one ship", "two ships"
  • Invariant nouns can be either singular or plural, but have the same form for both, e.g. "one sheep", "two sheep"
  • Invariant use of non invariant nouns is using one form, usually the singular form, of a noun that has different forms for singular and plural as both singular and plural. e.g. elephant is a non-invariant noun ("one elephant", "two elephants"), but the singular form can be used for the plural (i.e. invariantly), e.g. "I shot three elephant today"
  • Pluarlia tantum can only be plural, e.g. tongs - you can say "pass me the tongs please" but not *"pass me the tong please".
  • Singularia tantum can only be singular, e.g. crack of dawn.
Does this help? Thryduulf 21:17, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
It helps because it gives real cases. I seem to try to avoid using many of these expressions as do many of the folks I listen to, so my ear doesn't seem to have been getting much practice.
OK: "One sheep is"; "Two sheep are"
Help me here: "Three elephant are approaching" ?; "Three elephants are approaching". I'm not sure this comes up much in US. You must have more elephant in the UK.
OK: "Three cannon are firing", "Three cannons are firing", "The cannon are firing".
Help me here: "The cannon is firing" How many cannons may be involved? Only one?
If only one cannon can be involved, why would we bother calling this "invariant" rather than a noun with two plural forms?
OK for pairs-of words: "These tongs have rusted" (whether referring to one pair or more than one pair).
How does this work for p.t. nouns that are not pairs-of?
Help me here: Is it simply wrong to say "The experience of cracks of dawn differs by latitude and season"?
Confirm: "The fleet is passing through the channel". (US) "The fleet are passing through the channel". (UK)

DCDuring TALK 01:45, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

So links (golf sense) is an invariant noun, plural in form (by coincidence only), with the added quirk of being optionally used as a plural to refer to what is normally considered a single place (a golf course). Oof. Do any other words behave this way? -- Visviva 23:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Come to think of it, I guess all pair-of words behave this way; glasses, scissors, jeans, etc. -- Visviva 11:04, 23 April 2008 (UTC)
I started an entry for linksland, but was struck that this term is used only in golf-related literature. On the other hand links/lynkis is a valid Scots word for rough open ground, so linksland seems like a pleonasm, perhaps invented after "links" had begun to refer to golf courses themselves. [1] -- Visviva 23:39, 22 April 2008 (UTC)


Please be careful here. For example all the hits for "more nitrogenized" seem to have "more" modifying the noun rather than the adjective.[2] This is also borne out by the 0 hits for "more nitrogenized than." In general "more X than" is a better search, but still may result in false positives. -- Visviva 04:41, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. For nitrogenized, I also looked at the superlative and found nine in gbc. I reasoned that if a sup does exist, there is no reason for a comp not to exist. Is that too racy?
I am using "more-X-than" as my search term and reading until I find real comparables (not more modifying the same noun that the X modifies, first books, then scholar, sometimes then news, rarely groups. I look for 3. I'm trying to do it right so that I can meet challenges.
Many of the other adjs are logically capable of forming comparatives, but the number of uses is too low (0-2). I think editors are fooled by their own absolutist definitions. Someone defined worldwide as meaning applicable "everywhere". Clearly not how the word is actually used. DCDuring 04:53, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
You're certainly right that people tend to go overboard with prescriptive definitions. However, for cases like this, IMO very close attention to use is needed. Eight of the nine hits for "most nitrogenized"[3] seem to be modifying the noun rather than the adjective, as in "most nitrogenized compounds are..." The only exception is the 1881 use, and frankly I can't make head or tails of that one. -- Visviva 12:23, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
If your google yields the searches in the same order as mine 1 and 4 are the right cites. This is most marginal of all the cases. Frankly I am skeptical about many engineering-process words being non-comparable even without the cites. If you would like to challenge it, I will see if I can use print sources to located some additional cites beyond the two clear ones for the superlative. I must say that I thought that the situation would be even worse than it has turned out to be. I thought it would be as bad as with uncountability, but it isn't. The a-/an-, in-, non-, and un- adjectives are rarely comparable in practice. I had estimated 15-20% non-comparability, but find that the negative prefix adjectives reduce the ratio to closer to 10% opposable claims. If it weren't for the proscriptiveness of the "not comparable", I wouldn't care as much. Do our editors find that, given a permissive environment, free of received rules, they must use the freedom to create new rules and restrictions?
That is indeed a common reaction, though mercifully much more muted here than on the pedia. No worries, anyway; looks like you've got a notion for what you're doing. I just happened to notice the activity on RC and think "hm, that seems odd," so I went in for a closer look. It does seem odd that the only two uses of "nitrogenized" in a comparable way on b.g.c. date from the 19th century; but perhaps that's just a fluke. Happy editing! -- Visviva 15:28, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I have noted the wantonness of Victorian word invention (crash of rhinoceroses) and morphology (-ical when -ic would do). I have tried editing some of the 1913 dictionary entries and 1911 Encyclopedia entries. They were developing a more Germanic language for a while. Perhaps the comparatives were part of the same syndrome. When I engage in chains of similar edits, there is a risk that I will go over the top. I think nitrogenized was the edit with the least support, though I have faith that more could be found. I have often been chastened by confronting the goggle evidence that my a priori assumptions are often wrong. I just wish that some folks would test their assumptions more often. Thanks for the chat. DCDuring 16:28, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Countable and comparable[edit]

Hello there, I noticed that you have amended the inflection lines of many nouns so that they are countable e.g. adipic acid - in this instance the the chemical itself is not countable but only if there is more than one type of adipic acid e.g. isomers - if that is the case then the definition may need revision to make that clear.

I'm also curious as to what g.b.c. is? - Do you mean Google - in which case many of the changes might then reflect incorrect or at least dubious usages and should not be included in Wiktionary unless they are noted as such.--Williamsayers79

Thanks for following up. I was aware that those changes were incomplete. Since the entry remains on my watchlist, I was hoping someone would come along, make the appropriate changes, and thereby provide a good model for other entries. Yes, I have altered them based on the (which ought to be abbreviated b.g.c. not g.b.c. (my mistake)). I certainly wouldn't rely on google web search results given the need to sift through even the supposedly edited works on b.g.c. (let alone the older scanned material). I try to look through the first few pages of a b.g.c. search to make sure that not everything is spurious. I have noticed that folks are inclined to claim that something is uncountable when it is not (not just in chemistry). It wouldn't be so bad if uncountability were marked only at the sense line. I am generally aware that structural differences are abundant in complex molecules, that atoms have isotopes, that there are many Marxisms. However, my chemistry is not so good that I trust myself to add the appropriate senses. If you would point me to a good example of an entry for a chemical with both countable and uncountable senses and let me know the approximate limits of applicability of that model, I would henceforth apply only that model in my effots and would hope to be able to call upon you for cases beyond the scope of the model. DCDuring TALK 19:25, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I would say that methane is a good example where the chemical itself (CH4) is uncountable as it has only one form, and where the word is also used to refer to other chemicals based on that compound therefore haveing a countable sense to.--Williamsayers79 13:16, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Comparablility has similar issues. I am somewhat numerate so I am sensitive to the fact that most natural phenomena are matters of degree. Folks who engage in selling, making, or studying things usually are making comparisions of types, grades, and lots in terms of various attributes which are sometimes popularly deemed incomparable. Maybe I have been wrong about believing that we should reflect the practice of "experts" in comparing and pluralizing what the laity do not, but the opposite presumption does not seem to have been based on much more than whim or limited experience in most cases, certainly not consultation with references or b.g.c. I am open to (and enjoy) argument on this as with most Wiktionary matters. DCDuring TALK 19:37, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad you are open for discussion in this area. We often have a bun-fight here over such things when all that is needed is good discussion and clear explanations (use of Usage notes are definitely welcomed from my view point). Regards --Williamsayers79 13:16, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
From context I assumed that bunfight meant dust-up, but the sense entered and defended by SB is different. Did you mean something like tempest in a teapot? I think the heat generated has to do with the missing side-channels of communication (facial expression, posture, gesture, tone of voice, clothing, tics}} - not that folks don't get into pissing matches in the real world. Internet communication is good for paranoid reactions. I've noted it in my own reactions from time to time. I'm wondering how to defuse some of the negative interactions between important contributors. Humor is a little risky without the side channels. DCDuring TALK 15:08, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
If you're addressing the idea of what is countable (a slippery concept to be sure) Arnold Zwicky does a good job of laying out the issues here. You might also check out Reid's 1991 book Verb and Noun number in English.--BrettR 13:36, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the references. DCDuring TALK 14:15, 2 April 2008 (UTC)



Following is a initial dump of "issues". Perhaps it could become the start of a guideline for handling the occasional abbreviations that are not well handled by the default features of the existing system:


Apparently c. is considered to be the cutting edge of forward thinking about abbreviations. I has PoS info optionally at the sense line. Perhaps that is all that is required, given that probably 99% of abbreviations are of proper nouns or nouns. Also an abbreviation that gets used as a verb is often not considered an abbreviation ("RVing" is not "recreational vehicling"). The PoS info is a gloss that may eliminate the need to click through to the entry underlying the abbreviaton, if there is an underlying entry.

No underlying WT entry[edit]

Some abbreviations have no underlying entry (it would not meet CFI). For such entries there is more need for PoS info, WP links.


There would be some value in including the plural form of an abbreviation to that a user who typed in a plural for "apts." or "apts" was directed to "apt." or "apt."

Period/no period[edit]

Periodless abbreviations are acceptable, following European convention. It would be handy it the search engine given eihter "apt" or "apt." would yield both "apt." and "apt".


Now folded into characterization as "initialism" or "acronym". As Agvulpine pointed out, some are pronounced both ways and some are pronounced in a combination. Some are rarely spoken. Some seem unpronounceable. Some fraction of Abbreviations are not well served. DCDuring TALK 19:07, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Alternative spellings[edit]

Thanks for actually addressing the original question. Interesting that there was so much pent-up energy about the overall interface. Until there is some more radical advance on the user-interface front, we just have to do the best we can. I don't like to make unilateral changes, especially in something like first-screen appearance, especially if there is a more general issue involved. Are there other instances like OK that you know of? DCDuring TALK 11:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I also noted that the heading in "OK" is "Alternative forms". There are certainly other instances, arguable even rock and roll, where the content under the header is not "spellings" {u.c./l.c., hyphens, -or/-our, -ise/-ize, and/'n') but other closely related variants. Those variants don't always have a good home on the page. Do you think that we should make that the universal header in that position or an allowed alternative, either documented or undocumented? DCDuring TALK 11:32, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

I think in all cases in all entries, we should work to present entries that give the clearest information about a word in the format that is most effective and appropriate to the specifics of that entry, while obviously being subject to the limitations of the Mediawiki code and remaining loyal to our strict formatting precedents, but not obsessively so. The entries should cater first to the reality of that particular word, and second to some overly rigid arbitrary format. For example, if rock-and-roll and OK really don't have "alternate spellings", but more appropriately "alternate forms", well we should be able to make that minor distinction without much fuss. If the list of four or five alt. forms takes up too much vertical space, well then, golly gee, just put 'em side by side. Not too difficult. The formatting conventions are arbitrary, and many believe something is emphatically a necessary formatting convention when it's just some pedant with Asperger's whose brain fights for routine rather than effectiveness.

It's clear some formatting is important to the future of the project, to some preference skins and analysis tools, and to Wiktionary's ability to be understood by potential third party software. However, if a change is necessary, it should be simply made rather than fought. If "alternate forms" (or another useful heading) is currently not a valid heading in some skins, it should simply be made valid. If our software can't properly report to third parties a list of alt forms if they are horizontal with commas, well we should fix that. It's really people's personalities, not actual limitations that sometimes prevent success. -- Thisis0 21:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

This place seems to have more justification for format rigidity than WP. I've been cautious because I'm new and because folks can be touchy about things I don't expect them to be touchy about. The alt spellings format "issue" connected with the homophones discussion a bit and with the general problem of the low useful-info content of the first screen users see for many entries. I also am disappointed by the lack of knowledge about design-relevant user behavior characteristics. We do this for love, but I personally would love to have happy end users. I am optimistic that perhaps we can allow customization of the user interface so that editors and members of the language community can have useful interfaces without jeopardizing the experience of our presumed client base. I would be willing to submit to format rigidity if it sped up the achievement of user-interface customization. DCDuring TALK 21:37, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Again, simple solutions. Extra trivia like Homophones (and Anagrams, for f's sake) really just need to go after the definitions (like near Synonyms and See also). I'm assuming the Anagram/Homophone junkies fought so hard to be included, the momentum of their cause overshot itself and pushed right up to a prime real estate location, when they really belong down among the trivias and see-also's, if at all. -- Thisis0 22:05, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Hompohones at least might be justified on the grounds of helping someone to pronounce something or at least to stop looking for non-existent/minimal pronunciation differences. My fear is that the phonetic alphabetic knowledge (or working software for the audio) required to benefit from most of the Pronunciation section isn't there among most (many) of our end users. Simple solutions are all that we are likely to achieve. Because WMF doesn't have vast technical resources, technical solutions at all but the most basic level will be few and far between. I hope that it isn't all duct tape at the server farm. DCDuring TALK 23:01, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Having IPA here to encourage learning something new is cool, however, I wish we employed classic dictionary pronunciation, or better yet, simple pronunciation (pro-nunn'-see-ay'-shun). Wouldn't that be useful? I also wish we had a better way of showing syllabic hyphenation. As an arranger/editor of sheet music, that is my frequent utility of a dictionary, and sadly, Wiktionary is no help in that regard. I currently hafta take my business elsewhere. It would be a huge change, but I think it would be appropriate where the entry name repeats in bold just under the PoS headers. You know, where the en-noun templates and such are used. That's just a repeat of the entry name, why not make it use·ful? -- Thisis0 23:19, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Anything that increases the density of useful info on the first screen without setting back a user's ability to find things on other screens is good. In particular, both of your ideas seem good.
  1. Hyphenation at the inflection line would either give more info than is now in the entry or save a line in the pronunciation block for those entries that have it. Hyphenation skill is becoming less broadly useful as word-processing software absorbs that function so there may not be much energy for implementing it.
  2. A pronunciation scheme that an amateur could use without a reference would be good, even if it was not as useful for linguists and not as correct. Horizontalizing it seems like a good idea, but I don't know whether it interferes with someone's grand scheme for the section.
Today someone was removing the Shorthand section (well formatted and apparently correct) of some entries and could not understand what use that could be. That seems like another skill (like Morse code) that will soon disappear. DCDuring TALK 23:39, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
What entries? I'd like to see (shorthand sections). Regarding horizontal pronunciations, apparently it's already being done fairly effectively (and simply -- the key to greatness!). Look at attribute. I'd just like to add simple pronunciation to the beginning of those lists. Wouldn't that be a neat way to promote learning IPA anyway, to see the equivalents side by side? -- Thisis0 23:48, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
There are perhaps 40 entries with the Shorthand heading, appearing at the bottom of the page. They mostly begin "ab". abash should be one. I assume that the person entering them ran out of gas. You can search for "shorthand" and find them by the bottom of page 3 of the search results. There might be more to found by serching the same way for "Gregg" or even "Pitman". If you want to test on a user who knows no IPA, I'm your test subject for alpha testing. DCDuring TALK 00:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


We can't be the only people wondering about this - perhaps we ought to set-up a project page somewhere on WT and let the Wikispecies people know about it? Maybe there will be some people on Meta interested in cross-project stuff? Thryduulf 23:29, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

It could be, but I'm interested in the specific way that we could get some content and get some impossible stuff off our plate. I think everything really constructive tends to be bottom-up rather than top-down in Wikiworld. We can offer WSP traffic and etymology on taxonomic words. We can get a little traffic and perhaps a lot of words (many thousands?), mostly Translinguals and Latins. We'd probably get some (hundreds, thousands?) additional vernacular names. We might be able to get many entries we don't have, blue some links and not embarass ourselves with amateur handling of taxonomy. IF you can find somebody at Meta for support that would be great too. I'm thinking about working on our classicists. EPetey, and Ataeles, HarrisMorgan because the offer of ety help (if WSp even cares) would depend a bit on them. DCDuring TALK 00:17, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Taxonomy levels[edit]

| Phylum phylum || Phyla |- | Classis classis Classes |- | Ordo ordo Ordines]] |- | Familia familia Familiae |- | Divisio divisio Divisiones |- | Cohors cohors Cohortes |- | Sectio sectio Sectiones |- | Tribus tribus Tribus |- | Genus genus Genera |- | Species species |- | Forma forma Formae

Some sort of quality process for important words[edit]


I agree with you that we need to focus more effectively on core-entry quality. I'd been thinking of some sort of process that would focus on bringing entries for core vocabulary words (and particularly the senses and examples) up to the best achievable level. It would have to be sort of the opposite of our existing "Requests" processes, which do a reasonable job of enforcing compliance with minimum standards but aren't really equipped to go beyond that.

Specifically, I was thinking of something

  • slow (maybe a 30-90 day timeframe?),
  • fairly structured and deliberative (with a durable subpage structure, maybe including something like Appendix:Dictionary notes),
  • focused sharply on key words (maybe the Academic Word List and/or GSL), and with
  • restricted throughput (perhaps 10 words per month to start?).

Ideally, upon completing the process, entries would be raised to a high enough standard that they could be used as models of excellence. Truly model entries are something we currently lack, a fact which in turn discourages any serious work on quality, leaving us in the viciously circular place where we find ourselves.

Anyway, I was wondering if you've had any thoughts along these lines. This is another one of those things that I've been meaning to put together a more serious proposal for, but I keep distracting myself with various other shiny objects.  :-) -- Visviva 07:34, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

Let me start by rambling.
I certainly think that we have numerous articles that have quality issues. Some of the issues are:
  1. insufficient modernisation of Websters 1913 imports.
  2. missing senses
  3. poor grouping of senses in entries with numerous senses
  4. redundancy of senses due to hyperspecific senses, especially in fields such as sports, computing, equestrianism, perhaps some scientific fields (eg, mycology).
All of these are fixable within our existing rules. Fixing them would seem to not fit well with our wikiness in that they require the intense efforts of a very few dedicated, experienced users and benefit hardly at all from the active participation of newbies, at least given current modes of participation.
I've been reading some older (1968) essays by Sir Randolph Quirk (Longmans Grammar). He cited Murray talking about the need for his contributors to go back over many entries (closed categories like prepositions especially) and make slips out for the usages that they did not find extraordinary. Quirk believes that non-literary-corpus-based analysis, barely feasible at the time of his essays, was the answer to the underlying problem. That would suggest that we need to have more recourse to the on-line corpera to improve those "core" entries.
To some extent our wikiness seems to give us disproportionate interest in "hard words" or "interesting" words. Though I should know better, I fritter away time on words like griffonage, which happened to be on the "uncategorised pages" list, instead of words like by, bill, defy, or set, just to mention words that have some degree of problem like missing definitions.
I know that lists are motivating. I don't think that the "collaboration of the week" idea worked. WotD creates some motivational pressure due to deadlines, but directs it at "interesting words" (=shiny things). Perhaps we need to have a sequence of lists aimed at intersections of maintenance categories, what-links-here, and other categories. An example might be English prepositions with Webster 1913 templates or used in 5 prepositional phrase entries. Perhaps we could have a page of lists of such lists.
And ultimately we could have featured entries and quality ratings as WP has.
I just don't know what is both motivating and truly useful. I continue to be desirous of ways of addressing the "needs" or "wants" of users, which may themselves be for "shiny objects". DCDuring TALK 11:29, 1 February 2009 (UTC)
Well, there's no denying the motivational power of shiny objects. :-) On the other hand, there are a lot of structural needs that IMO are best addressed by focusing on a fairly limited set of "boring" core and near-core words. The need that's been most painfully apparent to me lately is to avoid "lost work" on translation sections -- there are far too many cases where a sloppy original entry has attracted lots of good translations, which have then all been dumped into TTBC when the entry was cleaned up (and if the cleanup itself was flawed, this process may repeat itself several times over). But that's not all; there's also the need to inform compositionality debates -- I think my most common rejoinder on RFD has been "if this is sum of parts, we're missing a sense at [X]" --; the need to support comprehensive treatment of 'nyms and 'terms; the need to delve into those issues of sense-grouping and -splitting that we keep touching on but never really hashing out; and so forth. Poorly-constructed definition sets have all sorts of undesirable side effects.
More cleanup lists would be an excellent thing, as would some kind of central, annotated list of lists (at least, I don't think there is any such list currently maintained). I think we often underestimate the amount of potential newbie and non-newbie energy that goes unchanneled. But still, cleanup lists focus more on the floor (minimum quality) than the ceiling; that is, while reducing the number of "bad" entries is a worthy goal in itself, it won't necessarily lead to more "good" entries. This is particularly the case for the lexical core, where the difference between "adequate" and "good" is particularly noticeable. To really do justice to a GSL word like by or one, or even an AWL word like analyze, requires a major collective investment of thought and effort. That's why I don't think we can do much more for these entries than we are doing now, without some genuinely new process -- perhaps something like a blend of Wikipedia's FA and Peer Review systems with their Core Topics collaboration. Maybe this process could harness the motivational power of to-do lists as well -- for example, the initial phase of review for an entry could involve outlining a list of individual, bite-sized tasks that need to be dealt with.
I think the biggest problem with the CotW approach has been that a week is too short a time to really gather even one person's energies to confront one of these words. I can say from personal experience that, when faced with an entry like do, 40 hours is barely enough time to lay the groundwork for an approach -- and I dare say few of us ever actually have 40 hours to spare in a single week. That's what tends to make these entries so discouraging to work on, and it's why I was thinking of a longer, flexible timeframe. Perhaps the process should be throttled with this in mind -- not 10 entries per month, as I initially suggested, but a maximum of 10 (or X) entries under consideration at one time. When consensus has been reached that the senses for a word are optimal, it could then be removed from the queue and a new word added. -- Visviva 12:29, 1 February 2009 (UTC) I'm having a hard time keeping my thoughts to less than 3 paragraphs lately, sorry. :-)
I guess I am of the opinion (and temperament) that wiktionary needs to be more checklist-oriented than WP. WP articles seem to attract fans, fanatics, learn-by-teaching types, and professionals with teaching inclinations, with narrow subject interests (though sometimes just eclectic). Wiktionary seems to attract serious effort mostly from language fans. Many of us seem to like short-attention-span work, for which checklists are very good.
The longer entries are overwheming. Perhaps the process would be to go through some high-likely-problem-ratio lists and
  1. leave a bunch of tags (including new ones) OR
  2. leave a tag on the talk page and an entry-specific checklist.
Perhaps the tags or checklists could be harvested for bot or template ideas that would make the process work faster. (I do not yet have a good feel for what can be done by bots or even templates, though a talk-page-checklist template that provided a formatted improvement checklist and entry-improvement log and some invisible maintenance-category membership does seem feasible though ambitious).
Maybe we need some simple focus-generating lists like "Preposition of the Month", "Determiner of the Month", "Pronoun of the Month", "Letter of the Month", "Symbol of the Month". (By the time we progress through each of these we could just start over, because there will be new issues.)
Maybe we need to mark senses that are in the opinion of some ready for translation. (Perhaps we could delete trans tables for those not ready and insert them for those that are.)
Senior contributor tasks:
  1. Sequence X-of-the-Month lists (easy ones, test ones, important ones, bad ones)
  2. Review entry for tasks to be done
  3. Review senses for translations
  4. Create short help pages for structured chunks of work
  5. Identify exemplars for each L3 and L4 Heading
Meta-tasks include some consensus- and enthusiasm-building.
Shiny objects might be a talk-page maintenance-task template, a page about determining the adequacy of a sense, a help page about how to write some class of definitions, and a proposed list of exemplars.
I'm almost getting enthusiastic myself. DCDuring TALK 14:26, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

2013 Q I[edit]


I saw a doubtful edit made by user Fête (talkcontribs). Can you confirm that the three pronunciations deleted are right? Ĉiuĵaŭde (talk) 14:23, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

Sorry. I can't help with pronunciations. DCDuring TALK 14:24, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Ok. No problem. Happy New Year. Ĉiuĵaŭde (talk) 14:25, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

The main problem with them is that you used phonemic slashes when you should have used phonetic brackets, assuming that those pronunciations are even accurate, which I somewhat doubt considering that I've never heard most of them. But if they're phonetic, we can bet at least somebody says them. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:29, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

FWIW, I've certainly heard many any instance of t-less pronunciations of twenty. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I mean weird pronunciations like [ˈtwʊ̃.ɾi]. If you can't read IPA, that's like twoo(n)ri where the oo is from book, the (n) is nasalized as in French, and the r is a tap like in Spanish. Personally, I've never heard anything approaching that AFAIK. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:09, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that seems weird. That I couldn't tell how weird is why I should leave pronunciation to the professionals. DCDuring TALK 01:31, 2 January 2013 (UTC)


"See Vote on Serbo-Croatian." Where was this, and what was the outcome? Thank you! Slandan (talk) 00:12, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-06/Unified Serbo-Croatian. Note the vehemence. DCDuring TALK 00:18, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Agapornis cana[edit]

The spelling Agapornis canus isn't an "alternative form"; it's a misspelling. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:59, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Maybe in Latin, and maybe according to some authorities, but not in fact in Translingual. DCDuring TALK 21:01, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
It's an error, just like "Untied States" would be. Species names are governed by strict codes that determine which form is correct and which forms are not. If it's in violation of the Codes, then it's wrong. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:06, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
We don't respect the authority of national academies. Why should we respect the ICZN? In any event, "common misspelling" doesn't reflect usage before the ICZN. DCDuring TALK 21:16, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
National academies have no authority to govern language, but the ICZN has international backing. It would be a great disservice to our uers to imply that Agapornis canus is an acceptable form of the name. If it is only valid prior to the Code (assuming it was used then), then at the least it would be obsolete or archaic. More likely, it was a propogated error. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:19, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
We don't respect national academies even when they have the power to regulate words used in government and courts. ICZN is not followed by every book publisher. When someone does the work to better characterize the usage, fine. If someone wants to context-tag all of the terms not according to ICZN in some new explicit way or insert a usage note, I would welcome it. I would love it if the various terms in Category:mul:Taxonomic names (obsolete) were reviewed and corrected in this regard and in any other ways appropriate. I suppose I could use {{attention|mul|topic=ICZN}} or {{attention|mul|topic=ICBN}} and activate appropriate categories to draw attention to cases I find problematic. DCDuring TALK 22:20, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
Or special-purpose categories and templates, such as Category:mul:Taxonomic names to be checked against ICZN and {{check-ICZN}}. DCDuring TALK 22:23, 4 January 2013 (UTC)


Hello DCDuring. In June 2011, you tagged liquidus for clean-up; however, it is unclear what it is in the entry that needs to be cleaned up. Please pass comment in WT:RFC#liquidus to clarify matters. Thanks. I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 18:26, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I probably put it in when I was tired or in a rush. I've made a few changes and removed it. DCDuring TALK 19:20, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt resolution. I'm so meta even this acronym (talk) 17:55, 10 January 2013 (UTC)


It was {{trreq|tt} not{{trreq|tt}}. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:58, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

I blame my eyesight. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 18:59, 22 January 2013 (UTC)


Please consider revising your vote in this debate. English etymologies will remain unchanged; this is about improving accuracy and reducing duplication in the treatment of a dead medieval language. Thanks —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:35, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

sg= in English headword-line templates[edit]

This parameter was deprecated a little while ago. It still works, but its usage is discouraged because most templates on Wiktionary use head= instead. So could you use that from now on? There is a list at Category:Headword-line template with deprecated head parameter if you feel inclined to fix them, too. —CodeCat 19:46, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

My fingers have a mind of their own, the brain stem. DCDuring TALK 13:02, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Well maybe you can brain-stem the tide a bit? :) —CodeCat 14:08, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Just a notice that you used sg= again at sandhill crane. The templates still support this, but there is no telling for how long. —CodeCat 22:31, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Did I actually use it or forget to change it? DCDuring TALK 22:44, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Wow. Well, as students of human error, we can hardly be surprised. DCDuring TALK 22:46, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Students of human error? How so? —CodeCat 22:47, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Because the unexamined life is not worth living. DCDuring TALK 22:50, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry... I think you over-philosophisimacated me and now I am lost. —CodeCat 22:51, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
And because work on human interfaces in systems necessarily confronts the designer with the persistence of human habits and the the other abundant sources of error. DCDuring TALK 03:55, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

A question on {{taxlink}}[edit]

If an entry already contains, say, {{taxlink|Zea mays|species}}, should I avoid using {{taxlink}} on other occurrences of Zea mays? — Ungoliant (Falai) 05:25, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

If you know that a given taxon is already listed as missing, you could skip using enclosing it in {{taxlink}} on other entries, but it should be wikilinked, which yields a redlink until an entry exists. As you may have noticed, if someone adds the taxon, entries containing the taxon enclosed in {{taxlink}} are categorized in Category:Entries with redundant taxonomic template (taxlink) for removal. Also, if a given L2 section has multiple taxa at a given level, especially species names, enclosing at least one in {{taxlink}} is a good start as it will draw the attention of some interested party to the entry.
{{taxlink}} is intended to be like scaffolding, to be removed as the edifice progresses. If we had had more inclusive and reliable runs of the new "Wanted pages" when I started on this, I would not have needed this purpose-built scaffolding so much.
BTW, I saw an e-mail that Swedish WP (fittingly the country of Linnaeus) has something creating WP articles automatically from material on the web, with taxonomic entries being a major target. We could use that tool! because our number of taxa is pathetically small (<20,000). The possibility of such tools is one reason I am focused on creating the links rather than the entries. I don't know how well they would do at present with vernacular names of animals, for which disambiguation is often important. DCDuring TALK 12:58, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Prepared to answer a deleted inquiry on this subject:

Most importantly, {{taxlink}} is not intended to be a permanent inhabitant of any entry: it is designed to provide an interim useful bluelink, pending the creation of our own entries. There is a set of categories that are intended to provide lists for adding new starter entries reflecting the kind of taxon genus, species, family, parvorder etc that is required. As not too many folks (understatement) are working on adding these entries, the dwell time in an entry might be relatively long. Nevertheless the idea is to place the template wherever a taxon is used so that the entry goes into the queue. When someone decides to work on the taxons at a given level (species, genus, etc) in a given entry the best thing to do is remove the templates. If the template(s) is/are not removed the entry goes into the redundant template category, which I periodically clean up. If an entry exists, but there is no Translingual section, then the "nomul" parameter removes the entry from the redundant template category.
Thus, the templates that I removed today were on my cleanup list as the Wiktionary entries exist. To one, Smilodon AFAICR, I added the "nomul" parameter, as there is a German L2, not a Translingual one.
I am thinking of doing something similar for English vernacular names that more or less correspond to taxa, but that requires some further work on {{taxon}} to itemize and categorize taxonomic entries by their shortcomings, ie, no range, no vernacular name, no differentia, incomplete hyponyms, incomplete derived terms, incomplete hyponyms, project links to something other than the headword (ie, a higher taxon). I haven't decided on how to implement various improvements on taxon entries, nor whether to raise the question of recruiting those working on a webcrawling automatic entry creator to help create lots (100Ks) of taxon entries.
For now, I am working on wikilinking the unlinked taxonomic names in various entries and upgrading the existing entries themselves, which processes are likely to take months. As I am not a linguist, a taxonomist, a good template writer, a HTML/CSS/JS maven, or a botrunner, I depend on mostly manual efforts and the kindness of strangers. DCDuring TALK 19:44, 9 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the additional detail, DC. As strange as I may be, I hope at least to be kind.  :) (Given your time zone, any connection to the city?) Ta, -- Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 07:57, 10 March 2013 (UTC)
    Your comments suggest good intentions coupled with competence. All kindness appreciated. DCDuring TALK 14:53, 10 March 2013 (UTC)


I notice that against does not have an adverb section. Most dictionaries don't either, but the OED has a small adverb section after an enormous preposition one. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:35, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. That might be an indication that the category is questionable. If the category is OK, could handle it with an "if" or two in the template and a parameter like "noadv=1". DCDuring TALK 16:51, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I may have been too focused on intransitive phrasal verbs, whose validity is tougher to test. We could direct users to both sections (and away from other PoS sections like conjunction etc) and have both noprep and noadv parameters available. DCDuring TALK 16:59, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, looking at the verbs affected in this case, they all seem to be transitive and the term against looks more like a preposition. But formal grammar is not my strong point. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:01, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm making a bit of a study of this kind of thing, but I still have some prejudices against these: one reason why I used to keep peppering Algrif with requests for criteria for testing the validity of these. I'm trying to find some criteria on my own, preferrably grammatical like the "fronting" tests, modifiability of the particle by adverbial expressions, etc. I suspect linguists who study these may have some prejudices of their own in the opposing direction, perhaps reminiscent of my ability to find a distinction between for example and for instance. DCDuring TALK 17:38, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

for the life of my‎[edit]

You probably mean for the life of me - and that's a redirect. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:02, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes, thanks. I just noticed. It all started with a typo in piped link, which was therefore red. D'oh. I realized that there was for the life of one and was about to make the redirect when I noted the initial error. Two errors. I'll be deleting shortly. DCDuring TALK 17:06, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Problems with phrasal verbs[edit]

Hi. Thinking about the problem of phrasal verbs, and the "impressive" counts obtained for non-related collocations (c.f. drift apart / drift together)
I find is a good place to go to get actual statistical results rather than relying on raw data (impressive counts is simply raw, unprocessed data).
It is an area of interest to me, the way that translation machines work. Perhaps you already know about this yourself. However, I would like to make a point.
They use various analog models, which are based on statistical probabilities starting from a huge set (several millions) of real sentences, from books, newspapers, blogs, etc. Very simply, the models are mainly developed from the statistical probability "counts" of one word being next to, or next but one to,or near, another word, and combined with the similar probability that the POS of the one will be next to, or next but one to, the POS of the other. In our example, the probability of "drift" being next to or close to "apart". When you make a simple sentence using "drift apart", the translator examines the probabilities, and comes up with a translation as per the phrasal verb -- some form of "slowly separate" (e.g. in Spanish translates to "alejarse" "separarse") as being the most likely meaning. If, OTOH you enter a sentence with "drift together" and even if you are trying to mean the opposite of "drift apart", the translator will give you a nautical definition for "drift" (in Spanish, "a la deriba"). That gives you a good insight into the statistical significance of the "impressive" counts in the raw data. It would seem that the translator, basing on real data, will give an idiomatic phrasal verb meaning to "drift apart", that "apart" deflects the meaning of "drift" (and visa versa), and that the translator model sees the collocation as a single verb unit. (Hover over the translation and you will see how the translator is seeing the words as a single verb unit.) -- ALGRIF talk 11:54, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

I prefer corpora that are less black-boxy than anything Google offers. I certainly couldn't take what they do on faith, let alone make specific inferences for our purposes from their inferences for theirs. I use COCA and BNC when I need corpora. They even offer some PoS tags (not wholly reliable). DCDuring TALK 12:02, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
It's a shame you think that raw data + intuition (that is to say, your own gut feel) is better than a systematic statistical approach to certain problems to do with collocations. It flies in the face of most accepted methods. I only mentioned Google as an easily accessed translator with clear results that demonstrate statistical parsing in practice. You can use any tool you like, if you don't like Google.
I have in mind commonly used (by Google and by others too) processes such as the Viterbi algorithm applied to out-of-context parsing. (See Pedia entry for more info). The example I gave you above shows how statistical processing of huge amounts of real English sentences can throw up that the collocation "drift" given "apart" and "apart" given "drift" is statistically significant to the point of having a very specific meaning. I.e. it is a phrasal verb. Google simply puts pretty yellow highlighting as well, if you want. -- ALGRIF talk 11:37, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
If you could make explicit any criteria whatsoever, then it might be possible to have rational discussions. Why not have this discussion in a public venue where more folks are likely to participate? Why don't you advance a proposal for something specific? I'm sure that lots of folks would like to get behind a proposal based on Google translate - because it would fit their intuition and theoretical prejudices.
In the meantime, I'm going to be trying to use my intuition to produce explicit criteria to identify the SoP spatial senses that superficially appear to be phrasal verbs. It also would be nice to explicitly define the various contributions that particles can make to non-compositional phrasal verbs. Possibly "aspect marker" is a label that suggests some possibilities. DCDuring TALK 13:25, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
It would certainly be better than trying to convince you to stop attempting to destroy perfectly good phrasal verb entries, simply because your gut tells you so, even tho you don't quite grasp or understand them, as you have previously stated. Nothing wrong in trying to learn, but please stop trying to destroy entries as part of the process. -- Discussion moved to Appendix talk:English phrasal verbs#Statistical methods with Phrasal Verbs. -- ALGRIF talk 10:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I'd have been happy to learn from the master, but the master didn't seem to be interested. DCDuring TALK 10:55, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

2013 Q II[edit]

Etymology of democratic[edit]

In diff in 2009, you have entered a particular etymology into "democratic". Do you remember what is the source or basis for that etymology? I do not see any source indicated in the edit summaries. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:28, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

I added a References section, which I did not faithfully follow (copyright), having no other source for the Medieval Latin link. Robert does not show a Medieval Latin connection either. DCDuring TALK 12:43, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Your reference does not have "democrat +‎ -ic" ([4]). Should I feel free to remove "democrat +‎ -ic"? --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:54, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
Feel free to improve on the changes I just made. DCDuring TALK 14:10, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Frankish compounds[edit]

How can we get {{compound}} to treat Frankish terms like it does Proto-Germanic, using {{recons}} instead of {{term}}? --Victar (talk) 23:53, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

I don't know. I'm not very good at templates. DCDuring TALK 01:21, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I think that you have to go on bended knee to someone who has recently modified templates like {{Xyzy}} and beg for assistance. Or you could just hard code what you want. Or you could create a template that does exactly what you want for Frankish. DCDuring TALK 01:25, 2 May 2013 (UTC)


Hi. Why are you removing {{taxlink}} and {{temp|spelink}} from Armenian entries, e.g. in ճագար ‎(čagar)? --Vahag (talk) 11:15, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

I remove them if there is an associated wiktionary page. Once the entry for the taxonomic name has been created the templates no longer serve a useful purpose. Category:Entries with redundant taxonomic template (taxlink) identifies such entries that use {{taxlink}}. BTW, unlike {{temp|spelink}}, {{taxlink}} categorizes the page as one that uses a taxonomic name that has no corresponding Wiktionary page. I prefer that the taxonomic level (species, genus, family, etc) be specified, but "unknown" is an accepted value for the second parameter of {{taxlink}}. DCDuring TALK 12:07, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I see. --Vahag (talk) 14:07, 18 May 2013 (UTC)


Moor contains an


from 2010-10-01 diff=10581594 which doesn't appear to have had any attention. When you have a minute, would you please see if it still needs cleanup and if so, add some explanation about what is needed. Hopefully that will encourage someone to address the issues. Thanks.
SBaker43 (talk) 01:23, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

I made the changes I think were needed. Take a look and improve it. DCDuring TALK 01:41, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Hard links to Wikispecies[edit]

FYI, I replied to this thread and created Wiktionary:Todo/Direct links to Wikispecies. - -sche (discuss) 20:08, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. Only 89 left. I'd found a few in the course of searches. I've made great progress in finding taxonomic terms that are unlinked, redlinked, or linked via {{temp|spelink}}. I am enclosing them in {{taxlink}}, which facilitates making entries for the terms actually in use and in updating the taxonomic names to those lately in use. See Category:Entries using missing taxonomic names, which has nearly 5,000 entries in its subcategories. DCDuring TALK 20:18, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Terms without an English counterpart[edit]

  • Please give this nomination a second look in light of my responses. I am prepared to address any and all subsequent concerns in order to ensure that this category isn't lost from our project.   — C M B J   00:05, 2 June 2013 (UTC)
  • I also want to stop and express my appreciation for you being a voice of reason on this issue and at the beer parlour when everyone else was losing their cool. Thank you for your levelheadedness and for your commitment to our common mission. All the best,   — C M B J   10:53, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

{{trreq}} for Chinese[edit]


When you add Chinese {{trreq}}, just type {{trreq}} with the language code "cmn". This will produce:

* Chinese:
*: {{trreq|cmn}}

That way the translation is possible via the accelerated tool. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:49, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Thanks, I hadn't gotten the previous e-mail, so I've been trying to do it the old way. Does that work for Norwegian and for Greek, too, or just Chinese? Is it possible that wildlife names use different characters in different Chinese-speaking parts of China? Most surviving wildlife in China seems to be in the southern area and in the south-central mountains.
BTW, I'm trying to use geographic distribution maps to of species of plants and animals to generate translation requests for them. Occasionally, there are some fairly obscure languages, but I also omit some languages. Can you point me to a set of map that has language distributions, especially of "smaller", but not "tiny" languages? I really would like to know what languages are spoken in a given area. For wildlife areas spoken in wilderness areas are particularly important. DCDuring TALK 01:29, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
You can try with Norwegian and Greek, I don't know. For Serbo-Croatian the template doesn't produce the desired nested result (Cyrillic/Roman). For Chinese I usually add standard Mandarin only, which is used all over China. In 95% of cases words only differ in their pronunciation by the region in China, not the spelling. If you want to know what dialects are spoken and where they are in China, see a map on w:Chinese_language. You can also search for "languages of" + country. I don't know if it's a good idea to add requests for which we don't have editors. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:16, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
So it's just a one-off. Sigh.
My interest is limited to living things, for which locals often have a specific name. For big countries a list of languages doesn't say enough. Dialects are not what I need. Distinct languages of the rural and wild areas are what I need. I have some lang codes/names memorized, but the more remote ones will take a lot longer. DCDuring TALK 02:25, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Re: So it's just a one-off. What do you mean? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:39, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Good for one case only, despite similarity to other cases. DCDuring TALK 04:17, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't get the two-line result when I add a translation, though. Maybe I'll just skip Mandarin and do the other languages. DCDuring TALK 04:28, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I've tested adding {{trreq}} with Norwegian, Serbo-Croatian, Ancient Greek and Aramaic. They can also work. For Norwegian, need "nb" and "nn" (not "no"), "grc" for Ancient Greek. For Serbo-Croatian need to add "Serbo-Croatian/Cyrillic" or "Serbo-Croatian/Roman" to "Nesting". Same thing for Aramaic (arc) - Aramaic/Syriac, Aramaic/Hebrew. So requests work almost the same way normal translations do.
What did you do for Mandarin? Did you type {{trreq}} with the language code "cmn"? Works fine for me. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:32, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I've just realised. You don't seem to be using the JavaScript at all (User:Conrad.Irwin/editor.js) but manually typing the requests? It's easy to use, check if your JavaScript is enabled. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:36, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Could be. But I don't care enough to do it that way. If the (documented) way doesn't work, too bad. DCDuring TALK 04:39, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
You misunderstood me, I I think. Do you see "add translation" and the button "preview" when you expand any translation table (NOT in the edit mode)? If you do, then all you need to do is type the language code and add a translation or add a request. My suggestion was all under assumption that you were using the tool. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:52, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Heidegger and absconding[edit]

It's from here. I think it is more along the lines of commentary than paraphrase, although the translation is pretty close to that.

By the way, is the rabbit fleeing or hiding? I imagined the rabbit hiding down a rabbit hole. One does not necessarily avoid detection by fleeing, only capture. SpinningSpark 19:09, 27 June 2013 (UTC)

I had looked at the Heidegger quote above his usage. He was introducing his thoughts with a question that repeated a portion of the close of the translation passage. I have always found works by Hegel, Royce, Heidegger, Sartre to be impenetrable and virtually always worthless as sources of comprehensible usage examples or citations - just like poetry, but not as enjoyable.
Generally, I'm not very happy with literary type citations because they often play on some ambiguity between senses we would like our definitions to distinguish. Our definitions should stake out the range of possible meanings, not at the very border or shore of the meanings of the term but in the mountain range or headlands overlooking the edges of its territory.
A single sentence out of context does not always convey relatively subtle meanings, so I don't know about the rabbit. I now wish that I had always included a url with any citation so context was available to anyone who needed it. DCDuring TALK 23:13, 27 June 2013 (UTC)
I tend to agree on the impenetrability of Heidegger, Sartre etc (but they are not half as impenetrable as those who write about them) but in this case the meaning is clear: it is an attitude that has been withdrawn (in this case piety replaced with arrogance). A person who absconds can be read as a person who runs away. An attitude that absconds cannot be read as running away (except figuratively), it is more obviously read as withdrawing, which the text then explicitly states. So I don't really see why you are finding difficulty with this cite. SpinningSpark 02:46, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
A citation that requires too much analysis to be understood is a poor usage example and questionable attestation.
BTW, does the Brill citation allow one to distinguish between hiding and fleeing/evading? I think not. If that is the case, perhaps we need to combine definitions with "or". And, the "marmot" citation, which I've found on Google Books, could as easily mean "hibernate" as anything else. DCDuring TALK 14:35, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
If I agreed that the Heidegger citation required analysis to understand I might agree with you that it would make a poor usex. But I don't, I think it is perfectly plain what it means. It cannot be substituted for any of the other meanings and the author explicitly describes the situation as "withdrawing". Brill: maybe you could substitute "hide" without changing the meaning, but that is only because "hide" can figuratively mean "withdraw". She is not suggesting the reader is literally hiding. Same with the marmot, the citation is clearly referring to hibernation, but I would read the meaning of "abscond" as the animal has disappeared from the scene, not as any kind of indication what it does when it disappears. I think those are all perfectly good citations. Frankly, if anything needs removing it is The Devil's Dictionary quote. That whole book is all hunorous mis-definitions and anything in it is not to be trusted for real usages. SpinningSpark 18:03, 28 June 2013 (UTC)

2013 Q III[edit]

Translingual genders?[edit]

How does a translingual term have a gender? That doesn't make any sense to me... —CodeCat 01:30, 6 July 2013 (UTC)

Because they try to have agreement in gender and number when they use Latin or Latinized pure adjectives and participles as specific and sub-specific epithets with the genus or species. The instances where the principle is apparently violated are often cases where the epithet was formerly a genus name, in which case it is a noun used attributively. There are other cases where nouns are used attributively and cases where the epithets are in the form of Latin genitives. In all these cases, gender agreement is not required. If EP doesn't want to call it Latin, that's fine. But the fact that the coiners of these terms have tried to have gender agreement is self-evident. DCDuring TALK 01:40, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
That I can understand, but is the gender relevant to the use of the term, or only to the etymology? —CodeCat 01:42, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
I've found it useful in catching errors in requests for scientific names and in entries. You can consider it frivolous, but it is a fact of language usage. Why do we have obsolete terms? Why do we have unattested inflected forms in dead languages? DCDuring TALK 01:47, 6 July 2013 (UTC)
The gender is indeed relevant to the use of the name. The Codes for both botanical and zoological names have rules about assigning gender, so the gender is explicitly part of the element's grammar. --EncycloPetey (talk) 23:47, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

WT:GRC TR[edit]

HI, DCD. We have a standard transliteration system for Ancient Greek at use in Wiktionary, which should be adhered to until someone gets around to writing a Lua module for this. Even in etymologies, we try to unify our representations of non-Latin scripts. Also, transliteration should match the exact form being displayed, usually the lemma form. For example, here I had to fix the transliteration and change it to match the fact that the link displays 1st-pers. sing. act. pres. ind. but your transliteration was for the act. pres. infinitive. Thank you! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:22, 12 July 2013 (UTC)

oops. DCDuring TALK 18:34, 12 July 2013 (UTC)


Please block this account. He's pretty much just admitted to being WF on his talk page. Thanks, Razorflame 18:09, 18 July 2013 (UTC)

I could have been quicker to respond with an actual link to, say, the contributions page. The pattern fits WF, so I would have blocked him. He's not the worst contributor we've had, though. DCDuring TALK 18:20, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Yep. My bad. I've been away for a while, so I forgot about the link. Thanks anyways, Razorflame 21:38, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
Not a problem. I was making an excuse for not being very fast. Ivan is quicker on the draw than I am anyway. He probably went to recent changes straight away or he just accepted your view. DCDuring TALK 21:45, 18 July 2013 (UTC)
It is rare for him to accept my view since we've had our disagreements about the inclusion of Serbo-Croation and the exclusion of the separate languages...but that is something that does not need to be brought up ^_^ Razorflame 21:49, 18 July 2013 (UTC)


I've reverted the changes you made to the etymology of Bryophyta. It is true that the Code justifies such names as being based on a genus name, and requires names to be based on either a genus or characteristic. However, the name Bryophyta predates this requirement. If you look back to when these names were being coined, there was not the same insistence on derivation from the name of an included taxon. Rather, the names were simply descriptiove, as in this case "moss plants". --EncycloPetey (talk) 16:52, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

I favor history, bit it's more time-consuming to research so I am following a simplistic rule-based approach. Thanks for letting me know. For any changes of that sort that need to be made, you don't have to let me know. I'd expect a lot of that kind of thing in the higher ranked taxa. Some of them could often stand an additional definition or two to reflect the fluctuation of the concepts, sometimes form-based taxa, sometimes less formal groupings, always with membership subject to change. There is something a little too mechanistic about {{taxon}}.
BTW, I've been using categorization (without category pages) by {{taxlink}} to generate a kind of dynamic wanted-pages list at Special:WantedCategories which allows me to work on those names (genera at the moment) that appear most often within {{taxlink}}. I add the genus entry and look for all the entries that use the genus name to make them link to the new entry where appropriate, ie, not if the genus name appears in a species name or in a citation, but almost always otherwise. I am probably going to do the same for species soon, then families, before starting that cycle again. Tribes, orders, subspecies, and other levels are much farther down the list. Some people have been working on the etymologies and on adding images to the entries. I'm planning on adding some templates like {{R:USDA Plants}} to link to specific pages at external sources. DCDuring TALK 17:20, 21 July 2013 (UTC)
So, if I've pointed out the actual etymology for you, why did you change it back to the false etymology? This taxon is not derived from the genus name; rather they independently derive from the same Greek root. --08:31, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I didn't realize that I was doing that. I entirely support historical etymologies and believe that, when correct, they are invariably superior to mere morphological derivations. I have been operating in a mass-entry mode for quite some time and have developed strong habits which sometimes get the better of my best intentions. Habits being what they are I can't say that it won't happen again, but please understand that it is not in accord with my best intentions. DCDuring TALK 12:54, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

Question about species/families[edit]

I don't really know what the most usual way to handle this is. In Dutch, most taxonomic names are actually Dutch words rather than the international Latin-based names. English also has some native words or at least slightly different names (like arthropods) but Dutch prefers native/Germanic names (geleedpotigen). Where would such language-specific terms be placed? Do the translingual entries have translation tables? Another thing is that the names for families/groups of species are plurale tantum in Dutch, but there is also a singular word which means an individual of that family/group, and that singular has the name of the family as its plural. So geleedpotige means "arthropod": either a single individual, or a single species, in the arthropod family. But its plural means both "multiple arthropods" and "the arthropod family as a whole" (the latter is "Arthropoda" in the international naming). So should these plurals have two definitions, one for the plural and another as a name for the family? And what would the singular definition be? —CodeCat 18:02, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

As you know, the English names that are at least roughly equivalent to taxonomic names appear as English. I would expect that many languages have similar types of names that belong to their language, which is where the entry should be.
I personally think that Translingual taxa should have translation tables, but others have disagreed. You can search for "Translingual translations" to find entries that have them. This is closely related to the problems of English synonyms for such terms. One could easily argue that they are "translations". I have been able to avoid facing the problem because a few of the the English names could be included in the definition of the taxon. There are already a few cases where there is a synonyms header for a Translingual taxon.
Above the level of genus, all taxa seem to have the form of Latin plurals. I suppose it reflects the idea that genus and species are natural kinds (God-made) and the higher taxa are man-made categories.
The nature of the referents (an individual, a group, multiple members of the group, one or multiple subgroups of the group) for such names in ordinary languages seems to follow ordinary grammar. The ambiguity is not limited to taxonomic names, but seems to come up with all sorts of things. Take brands, models, model-years of cars. I don't know how this generalizes across languages, but I suspect at least that it works the same way in all Germanic languages. It seems very much a feature of the grammars of the languages that they have this flexibility of reference. But I don't have the linguistic theory chops to address the matter at that level. It seems like a waste of keystrokes and users' attention to tediously repeat in each entry the formula in the first sentence of this paragraph. The English definitions finesse the question by defining each taxon using a hypernym that itself is used with the same ambiguity of referent with respect to number and individual vs group:
gentian: Any of various herbs of the family Gentianaceae
Any is ambiguous as to number; herb could refer to an individual, a genus, a species, a variety, etc.
I hope this is clear and that it helps. I know that EP watches this page sometimes. He may correct me or express a different perspective. Chuck Entz might have thoughts on this too. DCDuring TALK 18:51, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
BTW, I fear that neither Translations nor Synonyms are suitable headers for English names that roughly correspond to taxa. We may have to follow Wikispecies and have a heading for taxon entries called "Vernacular names", in which names of all levels of formality (duly marked) for all languages are placed. DCDuring TALK 18:58, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Our practice of considering only attestable and idiomatic English terms "translatable" is a bit awkward in this case. But you can get a clear idea of how this works for Dutch just by looking at the interwikis on Wikipedia. In many cases (except maybe very obscure ones), the English Wikipedia will have a Latinised name as the entry, but its interwiki for nl.wikipedia will be to a Dutch natively created word. For example w:Felidae interwikis to w:nl:Katachtigen (Oh, and I just noticed that Felidae has a translation table). English does not use a distinctive word here, it just borrows the international term, but Dutch has its own distinct term. In the past, we've deleted entries that are SoP in English but not in another language... but I can hardly imagine that practice is useful for cases like this. —CodeCat 19:08, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I think it is OK, even wise, that other Wiktionaries don't bother with Translingual taxa. If Wikispecies had definitions, etymologies, gender, obsolete taxa, and better interproject links we would not have to bother with taxonomic names either. Or if WP had gender and translations. None of the projects approaches adequate coverage of the millions of species that exist and the many, many thousands of hypernyms that have been applied to the genera and species over time. I just wish that folks at Wiktionary who were defining terms for living things used taxa to specify what they were referring to. See [[lotus]] as an example of ambiguity in the word many non-English entries use as a gloss. WP often does a much better job at disambiguation than Wiktionary does, much to my chagrin. DCDuring TALK 19:31, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
That's kind of why I asked this. I wanted to see if I could improve this at least for Dutch entries, but I am not sure how to format the entries themselves or how to add translations linking to them. —CodeCat 19:33, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
I would start the definition with the taxonomic name and then find the English equivalent, if there is one, or something else that is useful. If you use {{taxlink}}, then it will turn out either that there already is a Translingual entry, which usually has an English vernacular name or at least something designed to give folks some idea of what the entity is, or the entry will be linked to wikispecies, which sometimes has vernacular names, sometimes in English. (You might add the Dutch to the Wikispecies entry in one of their vernacular name boxes.) Sometimes English WP has a vernacular name. Once you get past those, there is a vast array of online resources, but there is no assurance that there is a vernacular name in any given language for a taxon, even at the genus level.
I have created all the missing taxonomic name categories and the missing vernacular name category (a misnomer, as it just means that argument 4 in {{taxon}} is empty) because there are so many gaps in what we have and in what we can readily get. DCDuring TALK 19:57, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
And if you've found an equivalent English term then you have a home for its Dutch translation. If there is such a term, but it is a redlink, the stubbiest of English entries, again using {{taxlink}} will get things started. (You could throw in {{rfi}}, {{pedia}}, {{specieslite}}, and {{commonslite|Category:PAGENAME}}.) DCDuring TALK 20:05, 24 July 2013 (UTC)



I have removed some of the requests, which are unlikely to be filled and clutter the category a bit. It's not out of spite or something. It seems some editors are discouraged to add translations when there are too many requests (my long-time observation and feedback I got from other translators) and won't even add basic, every day words. Perhaps, you can request some living creature names directly by users or at Wiktionary:Translation_requests. Unfortunately, we are not getting new editors for exotic languages and northern tree shrew is a complicated, specific and long term. We don't have a Lao, Burmese, etc. translations for "shrew", which would be a higher priority, I think. Do you understand what I mean? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:33, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

I strongly object to your removing them. I don't care if you think they are too exotic. They have decent-size populations of native speakers. I took the trouble to add these specific languages because they are the languages in the range of the animals in question. I would like to see the local languages added. If anyone should visit who knows the languages I would love to direct them to those entries. Actual local language knowledge would be very good so we could avoid travesties like the Slavic calques at snow leopard. I also don't think that your discomfort with seeing the categories is a serious consideration. If you disagree take it to the BP. DCDuring TALK 03:39, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I have added a topic in Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2013/August#trreq.27s. Please don't get angry. I don't know what you mean by "travesties". E.g., "снежный леопард" may be a calque (who borrowed from whom?) but that's a correct translation. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:53, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
The locals didn't wait for the Russians to name the local animals for them. Don't you have some idea of the source of the Slavic words that are the Russian for snow leopard: "bars" and "ibirs" ? Why should the Tibeto-Burmese languages use Indo-European words for local fauna? The might well also use the Slavic words of the power culture, but it just seems to hard to believe that such is the only word. The Uzbeks have qoplon. Don't the others have indigenous words too? DCDuring TALK 04:21, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand what you're asking and don't see what's wrong in the translation table. The Turkic words for "snow leopard" are not of Slavic origin, as you can see. Words "bars" and "ilbirs" are NOT of Slavic origin, they were borrowed INTO Russian from Turkic languages. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:34, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
I may be wrong about those. It just looked very suspicious and nobody responded to WT:TR#snow leopard. Also see Template talk:trreq#RFD deletion debate. DCDuring TALK 01:34, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Script errors[edit]

Aquifoliaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Elapidae, Hippocastanaceae These entries are now showing script errors. Could you have a look at them and fix them if possible? —CodeCat 22:56, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

There must be a lot more. Can you characterize what will generate script errors in {{suffix}}? Why don't you do things so that what has worked continues to work or fails in a predictable way. DCDuring TALK 23:08, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
Because templates shouldn't need to account for exceptional usage/misusage. They should be used in the way they're intended to be used. These entries give a gloss for... no term at all. That's what's causing the error. —CodeCat 23:16, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
It's hardly a misusage just because you didn't contemplate it. If our templates were well-designed (ie, simple), they could take simple templates being inserted as arguments and my work-around wouldn't have been necessary. DCDuring TALK 23:21, 2 August 2013 (UTC)
We obviously don't have enough technical capability to wait for someone to design something ideal. I try to make do with what we've got. I'm still disgusted the reversion from the capabilities of the previous context system. DCDuring TALK 23:24, 2 August 2013 (UTC)

taxlink, spelink[edit]

I've added {{taxlink}} and {{temp|spelink}} to few entries recently because I was under the impression that they were preferable to ''[[raw formatting]]'', but I notice this edit. Should I stop using them? - -sche (discuss) 23:34, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

{{taxlink}} is intended as a temporary replacement for a redlink pending creation of the Wiktionary entry. I'd prefer that it be used instead of {{temp|spelink}} because I have made {{taxlink}} work with categories to help direct me to create the taxonomic entries that would have the most redlinks. It replaces the functionality of Special:WantedPages, but limited to one class of pages, the taxon pages. In principle, we search out all the uses of taxonomic names that are redlinks or unlinked, enclose them in {{taxlink}}, which puts them in the queue (See Category:Entries using missing taxonomic names.), and then clean them off the queue. I use Category:Entries with redundant taxonomic template (taxlink) to identify templates that have been rendered unnecessary because the missing taxonomic name entry has been deleted.
At present, I am adding genus names by having {{taxlink}} temporarily categorize pages with a missing genus name into a category for that genus name. The numerous categories are intended never to be created. The categories with the most members get the genus entry created. The special page gets updated every few days. I am guessing that about a third to a half of the 1000 items on the first page of Special:WantedCategories after the first 200 are for missing genus names. As the categorization is 100% created by {{taxlink}}, the clutter that this creates on that page could be eliminated by editing the template. But I intend to continue using this for genus names until the iterations stop producing any categories with more than three members, then do the same thing for missing species names, then genus names again, then family names, then genus names again.
This only works this way because nobody else seems to be using Special:WantedCategories as a task generator.
Something like this could be done using {{term}} and {{l}} and {{t}} to identify the most missed pages in each language. Presumably it would be limited to a small number of languages and there would need to be some commitment by contributors to take advantage of the prioritization so the limited number of items (5000) that appear in Special:WantedCategories would not be clogged with the same items every run. I suppose the same kind of thing could be accomplished by processing the dump to extract the missing entries and then create a list that counts the number of L2 sections that miss the item. Such a list might be pretty useful for Latin and Greek, for example, because etymologies generate so many redlinks. DCDuring TALK 01:28, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for that comprehensive explanation! I'll stop using those templates to link to entries that already exist.
Having {{l}} and {{term}} generate a list/category/whatever of the "most wanted" redlinked pages, or generating a list of "most wanted" entries in some other way, seems like a very good idea. - -sche (discuss) 01:41, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
I knew that was more than you needed or wanted to know. Where SB can be painfully terse, I can be painfully prolix. At least it exposes my own thinking to potential criticism. DCDuring TALK 01:54, 4 August 2013 (UTC)


Hello. Is there anything wrong with {{taxlink|...|species}} macro? Anceurs (talk) 09:38, 16 August 2013 (UTC)

Before I have looked at it at all: If you are having trouble with it, yes, there must be. I will take a look. If you are bothered by the red (missing) categories, they are designed to enable contributors to use Special:WantedCategories to determine which of the species entries most need to me added, having the most pages on which they are used, actually used with {{taxlink}}. DCDuring TALK 10:57, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
For example in Special:WantedCategories there is a line:
144. Entries missing taxonomic name Erythrina subumbrans‏‎ (5 members)
We lack a Translingual entry for Erythrina subumbrans" and there were, at the time of the run that produced the special page, 5 entries that contained "{{taxlink|Erythrina subumbrans|species}}". Clicking on the (red) category will show those entries that still have the template for the missing species entry.
For pages that have very large numbers of species, the red categories can be numerous and form a menacing-looking mass at the bottom of the page. AFAIK there is no easy way to eliminate the red category display except by adding the entries or losing the capability of tracking the use of the terms. I had tried another means of tracking, but it led to an unprioritized listing. See Category:Entries using missing taxonomic names and its subcategories. DCDuring TALK 11:12, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
I see that the above has nothing to do with your issue. You can see what worries me about {{taxlink}} in the answer above. There is nothing wrong with using {{taxlink}} if Wiktionary does not have any entry for the taxonomic name. As I create the taxonomic name entries, as for Phaseolus vulgaris, I look to create plainlinks to the entry for all mainspace uses of the term. That includes eliminating links using {{taxlink}}. DCDuring TALK 11:19, 16 August 2013 (UTC)


I think you misunderstood something: "When a given technical contributor repeatedly proposes changes that are unresponsive to the needs of anyone other than those much like himself, ..." I proposed that because I guessed other users may want this too and started the discussion to know if it's responsive to the needs of anyone other than me and therefore gave up when people opposed. I don't know what are those other proposed "changes" that you're talking about BTW. --Z 08:05, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Our discussions among ourselves rarely take much account of users other than folks just like us. We often ignore the obvious, like the benefits of maintaining consistency and adhering to web standards. The mere fact that we give so much primacy to IPA indicates clearly that we are not really taking into account more casual users, from among whom we could conceivably recruit new contributors with a perspective broader than that of the existing group. That we can take up a full entry landing screen with etymology and pronunciation before we present definitions is another indication. If you would like to further the program of rendering us irrelevant to normal users by building such edifices, you will find ample support. Someone like MZ is at least aware of such obvious facts as the uselessness of IPA to most normal users (or should I say potential and past, lost users? Because we don't seem to get all that much attention now from normal users)?
We have software tools (CSS, JS) that would enable us to satisfy the needs of normal users while customizing for the more specialized needs of academic contributors and linguistics fans, but we don't seem to take the trouble to design our defaults for the likely characteristics of unregistered users. Frankly, if I need a good English definition and pronunciation information, I go to MWOnline for quality and to OneLook for supplementary coverage. DCDuring TALK 11:48, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
DCDuring, I guess that's how you see things, but from my perspective it looks like you never propose anything but simply obstruct or complain about every step forward, and you have seemingly offended multiple dedicated contributors (not hypothetical new contributors, real existing contributors) in discussion. Also, I think you misrepresent our users: how many complaints have you seen on WT:FEEDBACK about IPA? Have you ever seen such a complaint? I think that because you haven't bothered to learn IPA, you assume that the majority of our users see that as a big problem, but is that actually the truth? We have no budget to do market research, but we do listen to those who are annoyed enough to complain.
If you really have such problems with Wiktionary that you're not even willing to use the site, do something about it instead. Figure out solutions, create discussions and votes, whatever you need. In the mean time, this is simply the automatic gainsaying of another user's position. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:12, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
I see virtually every 'step forward' to be serving our contributor group and those just like them and virtually no one else. The mere fact that you believe that IPA is at all relevant to most users of a dictionary site shows how divorced from normal people you, in particular, are. Ask some normal people or people in contact with normal people how many can read IPA. DCDuring TALK 16:56, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Chiming in here.
I do strongly think that a broader discussion about usability would be to our overall benefit.
I also strongly think that a broader discussion about user metrics could be invaluable to gaining an insight into how WT is actually used. I'm not even really sure where to go looking for such info. WT:FEED is certainly one venue, but that's only for users who bother to write something, and it's only useful inasmuch as the users are articulate enough in written English to convey their concerns. I'd love to see some other metrics -- how do users arrive on an entry page? how much are categories used? indices? the search box? etc. etc.
There are a number of truly horrible usability failures that arise due to known bugs in the MW backend (category indexing, nearly useless search results, etc). A few of these, at least, have been floating around for far too long (years). How would we raise the profile of these bugs?
There are also some usability issues that have been brought up on WT:FEED multiple times, but then we editors fail to act upon them. One such problem is confusion about where the definitions are. We might scoff and think something along the lines of RTFM, but the simple fact that so many users take the time to comment on this should be a big red flag that our current page layout leaves something to be desired.
Blue Glass Arrow.svg Anyway, I'd like to propose that we have such a discussion about usability, in a wider forum, and in the aim of drawing up a concrete list of suggested and implementable changes. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 18:11, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
"Drawing up a concrete list" is basically the biggest point of my comment that DCDuring missed. He exemplified the behavior I mentioned by calling me abnormal and then not actually proposing and/or doing anything. I agree with Eirikr's points, although thinking that we can raise the profile of MW backend bugs or solve our formatting issues in the BP seem like they'll be a mite ineffective (trust me, I've tried both).—Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:39, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
@Eirikr: I've been in that choir. The most serious underlying problem is the exaggerated concern about privacy in the entire WMF community that seems to prevent any kind of tracking whatsoever. I have always thought that the first step is for each individual to understand how far from being the typical user s/he is. Going to a public library to see who is using the public terminals or looking at the discussions on non-technical Usenet groups can be a way of broadening one's horizons in this regard. If such a thought raises a mild disgust reaction in a person, then that person should disqualify themselves from participating in usability discussions.
If we were to actually face up to usability issues, accepting the WMF limits on methods, the first thing would be to have some idea of who our users are and what they know (eg, meaning of "Hyponyms", "Prepositional phrase", "Homophones", and other terms we use so cavalierly; IPA). We already know that some will actually take the trouble to reveal their confusion with non-English entries (esp German) when they are looking for English, with tables contents that require multiple page-downs to bypass, with long etymology and pronunciation sections that precede definitions. DCDuring TALK 18:59, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

I responded to your comment in the Tea Room.[edit]

I responded to your comment in the Tea Room with some citations (including one from "The Laws of Rhode Island" and a Boston news piece.) On a side note, though, you said I might find it fun to document something like this. How would I do that, exactly? Tharthan (talk) 15:13, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

One finds one's motivation where one can. I like to be able to support debatable suppositions with irrefutable facts. I get weary of mere gum-flapping. DCDuring TALK 15:17, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh, forsooth! But I still am unsure on how I would document this. If I were to do a survey, would it not be considered original research?
We don't have any rule against original research. The kind of "research" we do to get citations that support definitions or location of spelling etc is not all that different from getting citations to support a statement at WP. We leave ourselves plenty of room to interpret the citations, though. A great deal of what is referenced at WP does not exactly support the statements made without a lot of "interpretation". DCDuring TALK 15:32, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
Hmm... I may be able to come up with something... Tharthan (talk) 15:43, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

a quick zap, please[edit]

Hi Dennis, can you zap these please (RFD takes too long to load). My old bot created them in error.


  • Yes check.svg Done My feelings wouldn't be hurt if you asked someone else, but I'm happy to clean up. DCDuring TALK 18:39, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Keeping RfV balanced[edit]

Greetings! Since you have recently added new discussions to Wiktionary:Requests for verification, please help to keep the page from becoming overgrown by helping to advance, close, or archive some old discussions. Cheers! bd2412 T 11:26, 17 September 2013 (UTC)


Happy birthday to us, again. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:17, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you and a Happy B'day to you.
Mine would be happier if en.wikt were working better for me. I've been trying to make sure that my software is up to date and my preferences not too bizarre. Maybe I'll find something. DCDuring TALK 15:26, 19 September 2013 (UTC)
Sweet Jesus. I had to clear out every custom bit of CSS and JS and Browser preferences to get things working again. DCDuring TALK 18:52, 19 September 2013 (UTC)


Hi there. Could you do me a favour and unprotect the following template pages: {{es-conj-ar}}, {{es-conj-ir}}. -WF

RFV Golden diagram[edit]

Would you consider closing the RFV on Golden diagram? Previously, you have tagged it as "clocked out", which does not really advance the process. Closing it would involve the following:

  • Posting RFV failed or Failed to the nomination, in boldface.
  • Striking out the heading.
  • Deleting the Golden diagram entry.

Then it's going to sit there for a week or the like, so other people have chance to question the closure, which hardly ever happens. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:44, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

No thanks. DCDuring TALK 18:59, 26 September 2013 (UTC)


FYI, WT:RFDO#Template:taxoninfl. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:01, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Guadalupe pine[edit]

Not sure we should even have entries for varieties. Moreover, taxlink doesn't even work right in this case, because IME (as a non-botanist) the var. part is actually left unitalicised. (To get it to work right we'd need another parameter or alternatively we could just do it by means of Lua, but I'm not personally capable of that.) —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:58, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

Many of the items for which the taxonomic community has subspecific names coincide with there being specific vernacular names and having been synonymous specific names. Food and horticultural plants offer many good examples of use of subspecific names, eg, Brassica
One of the reasons why I'd like to use {{taxoninfl}} instead of {{mul-proper noun}} for taxa is so that the peculiarities of subspecific names can be handled by some Lua/Scribunto without burdening templates which serve other purposes. The idea would be that the Lua/Scribunto would parse the taxon to provide the formatting that is recommended by the authorities and followed by the scientific communities. DCDuring TALK 19:24, 13 October 2013 (UTC)
On what principled basis would we exclude variety names that were not commercial ones? DCDuring TALK 13:52, 1 November 2013 (UTC)


I came across the following usage, but cannot date it, nor find who wrote it:

1883, H. Morley (editor), Cassell's Library of English Literature, page 143.
And we will rule and reign / And our matters maintain / Who dare say thereagain / Or who dare disdain / At our pleasure and will
An "exact" reproduction of Morley's work appears to be in print, and so may be in a library or something. — Pingkudimmi 13:10, 1 November 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I guess it is Modern English, albeit obsolete. There is also another poetic use in Browning. I personally dislike literary poetry usage, because it is so distant from the ordinary language. I find Tolkien's archaicisms as bad. In this case and in the Browning case (AFAICR) the word choice was apparently governed by the needs of rhyme.
I don't think the late 19th century literary use makes the word not obsolete. I view "obsolete" as referring to a "now" evidenced by usage within the lifespan of folks in their 70s or 80s, ie, from the 1930s on. To me the main meanings of again have by now completely driven out alternative interpretations such as "against". DCDuring TALK 13:50, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Coriandrum sativum[edit]

Originally at User talk:-sche

At [[Coriandrum sativum]] I have put (temporarily) both the translation table from coriander and a copy of the "vernacular names" table from Wikispecies. Our translation table includes more languages, theirs has more terms per language, even having Chinese parsley, the redlink for which I just blued.

The language with by far the greatest number of vernacular names is German. Could you give me your assessment of these? Are they valid? common? specialized?

I am considering bringing over many of their vernacular-name tables to enrich our coverage of taxa. They have nearly 61,000 of them. I also expect that the entries with these tables that we don't have are probably the most desirable of the taxon entries that we could add from their million entries. DCDuring TALK 19:19, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

The general term is Koriander. Echter Koriander is an unambiguous designation, used in reference works. Gartenkoriander is another disambiguator; to me, it seems less formal (and therefore more common) than Echter Koriander. Those three are the only translations I would include in a trans-table.
Gewürzkoriander is another disambiguator. Arabische, Asiatische and Chinesische Petersilie are about as uncommon relative to Koriander as the circumlocution Chinese parsley is to coriander in English. Indische Petersilie is a variant I hadn't heard before.
I hadn't heard Gebauter Koriander before; it seems to be an obsolete technical term. Wanzendill could be rendered into English as "bug-dill" (a reference to the foul smell of unripe coriander; cf. the suggestion that coriander itself derives from a Greek word for bedbug), for which reason I expect it was a general term (and may still exist in some dialects), even though the only place I can find it used is in reference works from two- and three-hundred years ago.
Kaliander is a southwestern Upper German dialectal variant of Koriander; Koliander is another Upper German dialectal variant. Kalanner and Klanner are northeastern (Low) German dialectal variants.
Wanzenkraut, Wanzenkümmel, Schwindelkorn and Schwindelkraut often (and in some cases primarily) refer(red) to other plants, when used at all. - -sche (discuss) 22:58, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
I conclude that the yield of valid terms is relatively high, but not suitable for fully automated population of a translation table.
This raises the question of whether we have a suitable home for the large-scale import of these tables or their data. The table template could be Luacized to conform to our language-name display and the terms should be wrapped in {{t}} or {{l}}. The talk page for the Translingual entry is a possibility. Another approach would be for me to process the table into language-specific lists of vernacular names with the associated taxonomic name and English name(s) (if any) for each non-English language. Each such list would make a subpage (possibly with subpages) of the corresponding requested entries page.
It is a shame that we do not allow translation tables on Translingual entries as they would be a resource to both Wikispecies and Wikipedia. Both of them are a greater linguistic resource (ie, etymologies from WP; translations from both, but esp Wikispecies) to us than we are to them. DCDuring TALK 23:47, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
Translations tables exist in translingual entries (de facto), whether they're supposed to be there or not (de jure).
I wouldn't (automatedly) populate translations tables with vernacular names from Wikispecies; too many of the vernacular names Wikispecies provides are too obsolete or rare to merit mention in a trans table, IMO; others are polysemous and more often reference another plant; others are limited to "dialects" (which we sometimes treat as separate languages, as in the case of Alemannic German and Low German); others don't meet CFI.
Automatedly importing the data into the Transwiki namespace or onto talk pages seems like a reasonable idea. - -sche (discuss) 00:02, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
I don't think this entry is at all typical, especially the German section, which contained more terms in one language than I'd ever seen in a Wikispecies entry. But I thought it might illustrate in a compact form some of the range of problems that we might face in trying to use this.
That a term doesn't make a good translation doesn't mean we shouldn't have it (Remember our slogan!).
I don't think the transwiki process is right because we are only interested in a portion of the entries. The transwikied pages would languish, each page typically needing attention from multiple translators. I was thinking of using Perl or Python to extract from the wikispecies XML dump (smaller than enwikt's) just the page name and the table of vernacular names. That in turn could be processed into lists by language or language code. {{VN}} has fewer than 400 of them, some of which may not be used in entries. Then I could eliminate the names that already have definitions in the appropriate L2 that contain the taxonomic name. That would leave two lists: redlinked vernacular names and blue-linked ones that didn't include the taxonomic name.
I suppose that I could just put the language lists in my own user space. That won't risk upsetting anyone. And I could have links to the language-specific redlink pages from the entry request pages. The blue-linked ones raise definition style questions.
Thanks especially for the specific analysis of the German terms. Any further thoughts would be appreciated. I will move this to my own talk page unless you object.
Also, I have not forgotten about the US native species-native languages notion, but I don't have any good lists. I was a little disappointed in the ethnobotany works that I found. I was also unaware of how many of the languages are extinct and have insufficient records to support species/genus-specific translations. And there are the migrations that have moved tribes into environments with a completely different set of species. DCDuring TALK 01:32, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
re "Remember our slogan": Of course; to be clear, I agree that we should have entries for any of the terms which are attested. In this case, that's many of them, though the dialectal terms and the various parsley circumlocutions are iffy, and one would have to do a careful search to see which senses of the polysemous terms meet CFI.
I should work some more on Native American plant names myself. I started adding some terms for Novemberish plants about a week ago, but quickly got distracted.
You could ask in the BP (or GP?) whether others would mind the vernacular name data being imported onto terms' talk pages. Wherever the info ends up, I do think it'll be useful. - -sche (discuss) 02:45, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
I can follow the example of others who have pages and pages of such lists in user pages. If it subsequently seems there should be another location, that'll be fine. For now, I will keep the one example in principal namespace and see if it gets any comments while I work on the technical side. At least there can be a home for whatever I'm able to extract. Some of Pengo's somewhat similar subpages (specific epithets) have been around for years already.
Thanks again. DCDuring TALK 03:37, 7 November 2013 (UTC)


Hi there. The reindeer is Rangifer tarandus but the Latin for reindeer is tarandrus (with an extra "r"). Do we define tarandus as a spelling mistake? SemperBlotto (talk) 19:45, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

I hadn't noticed that. But Ancient Greek τάρανδος ‎(tárandos, reindeer) must be the actual source of the epithet. I wonder where the r came from in Latin. Did the Romans (Pliny? a scribe?) just construe it to be like ανδρος ‎(andros, man)? DCDuring TALK 21:06, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

inflected forms of lemmas[edit]

re: “something to facilitate searches for all inflected forms of a lemma” Hello DCDuring. You may be interested in the work I've done since you asked for “something to facilitate searches for all inflected forms of a lemma, using our inflection tables” in WT:RFV#auroleus, q.v. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 22:55, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

You have new messages Hello, DCDuring. You have new messages at Wiktionary:Requests for verification.
Message added 11:53, 9 November 2013 (UTC). You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{talkback}} template.
I was reading a little about Lua today. If I understand it correctly, it would seem that a Lua table could contain information on all the inflected forms for a given term in a given language that should be searched for (given the nominative singular/1st person present indicative singular), a stem [if necessary], and the inflection category) and a Lua module could construct the search string (given the appropriate input and table).
Even my template skills are poor. I've not done a thing about Lua except the reading. So my inference may be wrong and I have no ability to implement successfully. It might be a Grease Pit question, but Achilles stills sulks (lurks?). DCDuring TALK 19:13, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for adding the notice to Wiktionary:News for editors. I'm afraid that I don't know the first thing about Lua. Does what you've read suggest that the function of the templates I've recently created could more easily be fulfilled by something "Luacised"? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 20:37, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
I think it could be much more easily generalized, if I understand how it works correctly. This is a link to a tutorial. mw:Extension:Scribunto has some information on how it is used on wikis and links to reference manuals. Category:Modules has some of the stuff that's been done here using Lua. You may find someone who can help if they have worked on Latin or other modules. I haven't figured out a way for it to help with what I've been doing on Translingual entries, whereas Perl and/or Python can help. I just ran across an interview with the guys who developed Lua, which I read to help me assess its utility. That's pretty much all I know, except that Lua works by having a Lua module called by a template. Presumably Special:WhatLinksHere would show which templates called a given module. Another thing would be to look at some of the WT:GP discussions that mention Lua. DCDuring TALK 22:31, 13 November 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I've added to my user page a permanent link to your post so I can peruse all those links at some point in the future. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:00, 15 November 2013 (UTC)

-caine et al[edit]

Thanks for filling out the page for the suffix and the rest of those entries. I had noticed the category didn't exist but didn't know how to create it. — E | talk 22:52, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

I started out skeptical of its validity, but became a convert as I looked into it. There are more of them around. You can do a searchbox search for "*caine" to find more. They need {{suffix}} or {{confix}} (which should be in the Etymology section) to automatically categorize and then show up in derived terms at [[-caine]]. BTW, cocaine and probably eucaine don't derive that way. There may be more exceptions. I'm not sure about novocaine, for example. DCDuring TALK 22:59, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I've added eucaine. Webster's says novocaine is novo- + cocaine, but eucaine from German, wherein it was formed by confixing eu- + -caine. There's probably no hard and fast One Right Answer for any of these, I'm guessing. — E | talk 23:05, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
Certainly not. It is occasionally necessary to remove items in the affix categories because the historical (diachronic) etymology is completely inconsistent with the claimed morphological (synchronic) derivation. DCDuring TALK 23:09, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
How do you suggest to move forward in this instance? You're the better judge of how strict/lax Wiktionary is w/r/t categorizing affixes. — E | talk 23:35, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
If the formation was in German, then I would say it should not categorize in English. But User:Leasnam always puts in "Equivalent to ..." so it does categorize in English. There is no consensus. It won't kill me to see it categorized in English, especially if we don't even have the German entry. DCDuring TALK 23:43, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
I'll probably leave things the way they are, then. Less work. — E | talk 23:45, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

"Serranus scriba"[edit]

I stumbled into a real brain-bender while going through the missing taxnames cats: Linnaeus described Perca scriba in 1758, which is now in the genus Serranus. It's a fish called the Painted Comber. He also described Perca marina, which, after going through the description and the source(s) he cited therein, later scientists determined was a synonym for Perca scriba. Somewhere along the line, someone decided that Linnaeus' Perca marina was describing the rosefish- probably based on location: Linnaeus said Perca marina was found in Norway, and Serranus scriba apparently never makes it north of the English channel. The rosefish is actually what was described in 1772 by someone else as Perca norvegica. Since the rosefish itself is apparently a good match for the genus Sebastes, this became Sebastes marinus.

Our entries for rosefish and synonyms such as Rotbarsch gave the taxonomic name as Serranus scriba and gave Sebastus marinus as a synonym. Following the links, I saw that Wikispecies agreed that Sebastus marinus was an obsolete synonym for Serranus scriba, but Wikipedia said that the rosefish was Sebastes norvegicus and Serranus scriba was a completely different fish. It was only after following references to try and figure out which was correct that I finally realized that both were, and in fact were in complete agreement. The final score, as far as I can figure:

  1. Serranus scriba=Sebastes marinus=Perca marina=Perca scriba=Painted comber
  2. Sebastes norvegica=Perca norvegica=Rosefish
  • #1<>#2

I figured you might look at the edit histories and wonder what on earth I was thinking, so I thought I should lay it out for you to avoid misunderstanding. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:17, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know. I might have wondered. But generally I take more of a lexicographer's view: if the usage is confused, we need to reflect the confusion. But you are saying that, in this case, the usage is not terribly confused, once we take Linnaeus off his pedestal for this point. Thanks for straightening it out. You have a better background and therefore better judgment than I on this kind of thing. I sometimes use WoRMS, Fishbase, etc. to get a read on this kind of thing. Fishbase I can't give you a direct link to what they say about "rosefish". Note the category "market"! They make it look like species:Helicolenus dactylopterus is another kind of rosefish, the blackbelly rosefish. There is so much need to clarify this kind of thing. DCDuring TALK 05:48, 16 November 2013 (UTC)
I ran into another conundrum with the same species: most English sources tend to say bergylt is Sebastes norvegicus, but Wikipedia redirects it to w:Ballan wrasse, which is apparently berggylt in Norwegian and berggylta in Swedish. I'm trying to track down anything that would clarify whether the Ballan wrasse usage extends to actual English and not just someone going by the specific epithet (the species is Labrus bergylta) or the other languages from whence the term presumably originated. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:04, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Spelling pedantry[edit]

Regarding that huge new page of taxonomy: it's "occurrences", not "occurences"! Equinox 19:58, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

How humiliating. DCDuring TALK 20:04, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
I thought we weren't a prescriptive dictionary. --WikiTiki89 20:20, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Only among ourselves are we. DCDuring TALK 20:23, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
We evidently are, though — like all dictionaries. We might list definately as a common misspelling but I doubt anyone (?) would want to use it as part of a definition of another word. Equinox 20:24, 17 November 2013 (UTC)
Which reminds me. Isn't it time we starting doing runs to identify common misspellings in all of our definiens? I'd like to go beyond that to look at all singleton occurrences(!!!) of uncapitalized words in our definiens, many of which are likely misspellings, especially those that are not English headwords. How long would it take to get a run of all such singletons and the entry/L2 in which they occur from the XML dump on a typical home PC using Perl or similar? Hours? Minutes? Days? Once we do that we could go on to work on words that have only rare, archaic, and obsolete senses etc. DCDuring TALK 20:35, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

olinguito as "newly identified"[edit]

I'm not sure that "newly identified" is lexically useful. It is true as an encyclopedic matter, but it is a fleeting characteristic. Cheers! bd2412 T 13:25, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

New mammal identifications are rare. We can revise this when the next one is identified, sometime in the next decade or two. Almost all references to anything not part of everyday experience could be considered encyclopedic, but not by me. Anything terse that serves to identify the referent and place it in context, as for translations, seems highly pertinent, as do pictures. We have more encyclopedic content in some etymology sections, but consider it sacrosanct because word mavens and linguists find it so fascinating. DCDuring TALK 13:32, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I agree with bd2412. "newly identified" does not help define the word. --WikiTiki89 13:36, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
It does for now, while folks need some confirmation that the word is connected to the highly topical animal. By the time it is not useful lexical information, the entry will hardly ever (never ?) be visited by anyone.
I really thing that we need a more concrete understanding of the actual cash value of a dictionary entry. And also that we take advantage of the fact that the value of our entries lies more in their timeliness and revisability than in the supposedly timeless truths that we might imagine them to contain. DCDuring TALK 13:50, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
How about "identified in 2013"? That will still be as correct in a century as it is today, and the 2013 reader will immediately understand that as of 2013, it is "newly identified". bd2412 T 15:40, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
What happened was the publication of the taxonomic description. Presumably the natives were aware of the existence of the animal, though they may have spoken of the olinguito as a "baby" "olingo". I don't know whether anyone wrote of it in any sense before this recent "discovery". "Recently" enabled me to finesse inserting (encyclopedic?) technicalities in the definition. In any event, I don't own the entry. DCDuring TALK 16:41, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
Also, I don't wanna have to bring this up, but does the English usage of the word satisfy WT:CFI#Spanning at least a year? --WikiTiki89 16:02, 18 November 2013 (UTC)
I'd be surprised if it didn't (Besides the scholarly publications, it was in the NY Times, for example), except I'm not sure about the "spanning one year" business. This seems a case where we would want an exception. You could search for it and/or challenge it if you want. I don't particularly care whether we have the entry or not. As a case study of what we choose to include or exclude it would be interesting no matter the outcome or process. DCDuring TALK 16:41, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

@Wikitiki: Sorry. I'd forgotten about the previous RfV. I wasn't trying to lead you into an ambush. DCDuring TALK 19:12, 18 November 2013 (UTC)


I don't know if you saw, but I posted a comment a week ago on Template talk:†temp.

Your latest comment at Wiktionary:Grease pit/2013/November#My suggestion does not display as you clearly intended it to.

RuakhTALK 22:45, 1 December 2013 (UTC)

I'm not very good at templates, so I just do simplistic things. DCDuring TALK 23:12, 1 December 2013 (UTC)
The general problems are:
  1. the vast number of wanted pages from relatively inactive user pages and from talk pages of all kinds
  2. the large number of wanted templates from somewhere deep in our category template system, probably from ifexists tests as well as from talk pages.
I was thinking we could use some wrapper template for dead templates that takes them completely out of action except possibly for a link to some page which had a listing of deprecated and deleted templates, the date at which deprecated and/or deleted. The names would be available for reuse without wreaking havoc with the talk pages on which they were used. We would still have the problem of template deletion making a hash of entry histories. DCDuring TALK 00:53, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I had already mentioned the idea of wrapping entire user subpages with 'nowiki' to disable the spurious "wanting" caused by the links. The number pagenames like higgins and frederick that are wanted by 10 or 30 user page lists is large. DCDuring TALK 00:58, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I don't think that linking to a template causes it to be a "wanted template". Transclusions count (including transclusions via redirects, indirect transclusions, labeled-section transclusions, etc.), and if-exists tests probably count, but regular links should not count. —RuakhTALK 01:58, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
I partially refute thee thus: I was able to clean up all of the wants on wanted PAGES of {{VL.}} by applying {{†temp}} where {{temp|VL.}} or [[:Template:VL.]] were in the discussion/talk pages — really!
Templates appear in Special:WantedTemplates when transcluded and in Special:WantedPages when merely linked to. I joined the Bugzilla effort to get Special:WantedPages run periodically (at least monthly, I hope) after a hiatus that began in 2009. DCDuring TALK 02:10, 2 December 2013 (UTC)


I was wondering if you could explain the motivation behind this edit. Mind you, I don't have any particular agreement or disagreement with it; it still seems to work more or less the same. It's simply that I thought {{context}} was meant for definitional qualifiers, while {{a}} was for pronunciational qualifiers. Cheers. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:08, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

We now occasionally (~monthly, I hope) get a run of Special:WantedPages. I have been trying to fill in some of those wants. However, there are many spurious ones. One set is from deleted templates formerly used in Conrad's implementation of {{context}}, which has now been Luacized, though not cleanly. One side effect of the way that modules and templates work is that ifexist-type tests for wiki pages make those pages "wanted" in the sense that they appear on Special:WantedPages. Module:labels, which does the heavy lifting for {{context}} has such a test. Why it should need such a test I don't know. I imagine that it was convenient during the transition. I have been looking for various ways to get rid of the spurious wants. Replacing {{context}} with {{a}} where there is no adverse effect on categorization or appearance is a way that I tried to eliminate {{masculine}} from the listing.
I would be happier if the ifexist tests were eliminated wherever they were not essential. I thought that was part of the point of Luacizaton. However, few share my view of the utility of Special:WantedPages and the desirability of eliminating its spurious inhabitants.
There are other kinds of page wants caused by the current operation of {{context}}, by the topic categorization system, by various kinds of overreaching by template designers, and by the links to unlikely-to-be-created entries like frederick or white house or The from various frequency lists and concordances. SB cleaned out many of the ones from his concordance of Moby Dick, but many Connell's and Ullman's pages generate many useless links. I created {{†temp}} to delink mentions of defunct templates on talk and discussion pages to get at another class of bad wants.
There are also a whole lot of, erm, poorly worded categories that are automatically generated by Module:labels, for which no one seems to want to create the "wanted" category page. There are many cases where I simply have no idea what text would explain the category name.
I'm sure that's more than you wanted to know, but it may bring you up to date on some consequences of our implementation of Luacization. DCDuring TALK 23:57, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I myself have often been accused of over-answering a simple question, but I've never quite understood the critique. It seems to me that more information is generally preferable to less, even if one didn't happen to be looking for the particular info at the time. Based on your explanation I now disagree with your conversion of {{context}} to {{a}}. It seems a bad idea to use an incorrect template in place of an existing correct template simply to clean up a list. I would ask for your consent to undo the edit in question, except that Wikitiki89 has already done so. That being said, I sympathize with your desire to have a useful version of WantedPages, and would like to offer a couple of alternative approaches to that end, if I may. First, the specific problem with ὄρχις lies not in its use of {{context}}, but rather in the unnecessary ifexist in Module:labels. I suspect that all of the context templates have been incorporated into Module:labels/data at this point, and the ifexist can be safely removed. Perhaps you should place a request at the Grease Pit to check on this, and if everything's been migrated into the Lua, to remove the template check. Such an approach would allow all pages using {{context}} and {{label}} to use them with impunity, and would remove spurious results from WantedPages (rather more quickly and easily than by converting them to {{a}} I might add). A more difficult but better still approach would be to simply make your own WantedPages from scratch, bypassing all of inherent flaws in the built-in version altogether. I see that you've been conversing with Ruakh on the topic of dump analysis. I imagine that once you get the hang of doing your own analyses, you could make your own version with the spurious results removed. Mind you, this would be a rather long-term approach, as I'm sure dump analysis isn't as easy as our techno-ninjas make it appear. Truth be told, it's a skill which I need to acquire myself at some point. However, I think it's something that could be done more quickly than trying to coerce Special:WantedPages into giving up something useful. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 01:54, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
How we got, without a vote and no consensus, from WT:ELE to mandatory use of certain templates, I don't fully understand. How we get "improvements" to our templates that are actually a regression I also don't understand. Editing seems more cumbersome than ever. In any event, I don't especially care about any specific reversion. I do care about overambitious templating or luacizing, coupled with a lack of documentation, indifference to expressed user complaints and other user consequences, and unwillingness to promptly clean up entries whose formatting didn't fit the new paradigm. Instead of these tasks being done, we have the relentless pursuit of the next bright shiny object or doubling down on complexity.
Dump analysis is superior for almost any targeted need. I intend to use it to find unlinked taxonomic names in all of Wiktionary's principal namespace, using the complete set of taxonomic-name headwords from Wikispecies, supplemented by some from Wiktionary and from WP. (Perl looks like it might be somewhat better than Python for the job.)
However, the resources of MW applied to the entire wiki are both more efficient and more effective for the broader and indispensable job of discovering the unexpected from wherever it may materialize. A targeted effort to locate specific flaws in some class of template or module will inevitably be perceived as an attack. There is more chance that the special pages could provide evidence that anyone could use to raise questions, which is way I participated in the Bugzilla complaints about some of them not being run at all since 2009 and none of them being run for some weeks this fall. DCDuring TALK 03:15, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
If you want the templates to be improved, bring it up in the WT:GP or something. Swapping out for the wrong template is not the right way to improve. --WikiTiki89 03:36, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
What was the actual bad consequence of that swap, besides not following the rules?
Anyone who lurks here knows the issue. I'd tired of being berated. DCDuring TALK 04:20, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
The bad consequences are if we decide to add customizations to those context tags. --WikiTiki89 04:48, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I fully support the Luacizing. Speaking as someone who is nearly finished switching a population of templates to a few Lua modules, it makes the project easier to maintain, simpler to use, and more flexible and responsive to problems. There are always bugs when a program undergoes a major overhaul, and it's easy to assume that that means the new version is inferior, but that is often a false conclusion. At the moment, there were no problems with the switch you made, but that does not mean it's the right thing to do. The two templates will invariably diverge over time, and people will improve them with the assumption that they are used in the manner for which they are prescribed. Had your switch remained, it almost certainly would have caused problems down the road. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 04:25, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
This problem existed before Lua. Luacizing was supposed to fix it. The problem is it was only partially Luacized due to people complaining about the deletion of the old templates. --WikiTiki89 04:48, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Why are there hundreds and hundreds of content items from {{context}} being tested for (both deleted templates {{frequentative}} and things never templated, eg, {{of a face}})?
Why did so many users lose confidence in the process? Were they just cranky or was the process poor and the implementation worse? And all the time the changes were being wreaked on nearly universal components, ie, those likely to cause maximum disruption and those for which corrections would take weeks to ripple through the queue. DCDuring TALK 05:00, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
That was the case before Lua. Lua was supposed to fix that, as I just said. --WikiTiki89 05:14, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
I note how selective you are in answering questions. What was the need to delete templates rather than deprecate them?
Evidently the Luacization implementation "plan" was unrealistic. It is not as if there was any effort to lay out what the consequences of implementations would be. The implementation was assumed to be conservative of user habits and of existing formatting as had been the case with many past changes. Instead we got something more reminiscent of the implementation of the categorization system, except with more impact on users. What's worse, the response to the failed elements of implementation is to blame the users. DCDuring TALK 11:13, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Did I not say that it was poorly executed? If not I meant to. I'm defending the concept of Luacization, not the specific way they did it in this case. --WikiTiki89 14:21, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong AFAICT with Luacizing per se. It's a question of over-complicating the effort and allowing regression (complication, extra keystrokes, etc) from a user PoV. I would much prefer that the messes from the first efforts be cleaned up before the next major luacization efforts are undertaken. Otherwise, not all of the lessons will be learned. DCDuring TALK 18:52, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

I have implemented the necessary technical improvements to Module:labels so that it can support all our existing context templates. I have migrated most of the templates, but everything in Category:All context labels needs to be gone through, orphaned, and deleted (or recategorized, some of them are used by other templates) before we can kill the template polling in Module:labels. I've done all I feel like doing on this project, so if you'd like to kill off some of the bad wanted entries, I'll leave the completion to you. Cheers. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:34, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm glad you felt like doing that! Sometimes other folks, including me, sell something based on benefits that they then fail to deliver, in real life, in government, and in wiki projects. You seem much more realistic than most. underpromise and overdeliver is a good proverb.
In order to remove items from Wantedpages and Wantedtemplates all I need to do is work on the linked items that are doing the wanting. As I understand it, that does not cover their possible use in templates, some of which may still be in use, say, the category templates. Would it make sense to do a bot run to list all the named items in all templates? Or all the ifexist uses? Someone could evaluate whether the uses were the best way of accomplishing whatever the objective. I would volunteer but my understanding of templates is not so good. Who would have a valuable opinion on this? Who could I beg to do this if it is worthwhile? DCDuring TALK 15:39, 16 December 2013 (UTC)
My suggestion is that we should try and kill the ifexist part of Module:labels. Not only would this remove a lot of bunk wanted entries, but it would also improve performance site-wide. The tricky part's already been done for this project, namely tracking down all the templates which render the ifexist necessary. What's left is the tedious task of confirming that whatever orphaned templates from Category:All context labels are in fact orphaned, and then having them deleted. This doesn't require much in the way of template expertise. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:18, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
What should happen as users add labels into entries that are not in the data module? Shouldn't there be yet another maintenance category for the page which then "wants" the template? That would serve to speed the process of updating the data module by providing an up-to-date indication of problem pages. Is there any limit to how big the module can be? I notice that trying to orphan the labels (as opposed to seeing whether they are orphaned) requires more knowledge of the total list of topical categories than I care to develop to avoid creating extra labels. Who is going to be doing that on a regular basis? Alternatively, how can the task be made so easy that someone like me would be willing to chip away at it from time to time, ie, on topics that I know and care about? What existing process can be used? I raise this now because whatever would make ongoing maintenance easier would also make this process easier.
I'll take another run at this and see if I can answer some of my questions myself. DCDuring TALK 13:06, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I have been thinking about how a Lua module could express its desires in a healthier way than bringing them up on WantedPages. Truth be told, I don't yet have a final answer, as I don't fully understand the workings of Lua on Mediawiki just yet, but I have some initial ideas that I'm kicking around at the moment. The best solution I've yet come up with is to create a category Category:Entries that use a context label not in labels/data or something. Such an approach would work well for Module:Quotations, but is probably less than ideal for Module:labels. As for the non-orphaned templates, honestly, I wouldn't worry about them yet. If we can just get the orphaned templates deleted, that will make it immensely easier to see what remains, and formulate an approach to finishing the job. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 18:42, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
OK. I've got a dump to work on a bit. DCDuring TALK 19:10, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

re numbered Pronunciation headers[edit]

Hi DCDuring. Thank you for correcting my formatting error. However, Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV corrected such a formatting error in the opposite way. Which is the correct format? It seems I can't win with KassadBot! — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:11, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

I haven't done this kind of "correction" very often. EP was/is? a big advocate of Pronunciation n headers. I do recollect that there is Category:Entries with Pronunciation n headers, a large subcategory of Latin entries in Category:Entries with level or structure problems. I hope that this will lead to Kassadbot leaving the entry alone. An alternative approach is to merge both pronunciation sections and put them in the canonical location. Let's try the following:
  1. Let's see what Kassadbot does. If nothing then we are OK and can discuss the matter with Ungoliant, if necessary.
  2. If Kassadbot kicks it out again, then let's try adding Category:Entries with Pronunciation n headers as a hard category.
  3. If Kassadbot kicks it out, perhaps we can discuss with Liliana.
At any point that someone wants to bring it to the Beer Parlor, we can. In the meantime, you could try WT:ALA. If you'd like you could bring it up with Ungoliant, EP, and/or Liliana, but I'd like to see if we know how Kassadbot actually behaves first, if possible. I remember Liliana having suggested that she didn't like to mess with the bot, not understanding it fully (having inherited it from the late Bob Ullmann, I believe), but she may be more comfortable with it now. Ullmann and EP had a long-standing debate about this with the special category being the result. DCDuring TALK 17:37, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
I note that ocris has not been flagged by Kassadbot (which has been running) over the past 12 days. DCDuring TALK 14:11, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the historical context to this. Since Kassadbot hasn't done anything to ocris, I guess we can do № 1; moreover, since Ungoliant hasn't touched the entry either, it's probably unnecessary to discuss it with him/her. I'll revert his/her miscorrection now; we'll see if he/she says or does anything in response. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:57, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Kassadbot complained again; I'll try № 2 — adding Category:Entries with Pronunciation n headers… — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:51, 29 December 2013 (UTC)


On Category:fro:Fish, it says "See fro:fish" (not "See fish"). Mglovesfun (talk) 13:57, 29 December 2013 (UTC)


Is that really newsworthy? They release them every few weeks don't they? —CodeCat 18:27, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

It's apparently the closest thing to something newsworthy so far this month. Unfortunately the schedule is not perfectly reliable. If someone wants to process the dump before it starts to get obsolete, they would probably prefer it fresh from the servers. It would be nice if MW had an automatic notification - or if I knew how to set one up for myself. DCDuring TALK 20:14, 6 February 2014 (UTC)[edit]

Firestop mortar in a cable tray penetration in a pulp and paper mill.

Hi! I don't edit Wiktionary. I only work on Commons and Wikipedia. I noticed you edited the firestop page here on Wiktionary. The Wiktionary definition of firestop is rather at odds with the Wikipedia page on the topic. The old "fireblock" is when you close off the spaces between studs or joists. And you can't just stuff even those spaces with just foam or insulation batts. Image someone trying to use the materials described on the current Wiktionary page to seal this opening and provide a 3 hour fire-resistance rating that meets the local building code? I suggest a re-consideration of the contents of Wiktionary's page on the term firestop. Best regards, --Achim Hering (talk) 20:07, 6 February 2014 (UTC)

I can't imagine anyone relying on Wiktionary for much except for the meaning of words. As soon as something becomes important, I'd go to a real source. DCDuring TALK 20:10, 6 February 2014 (UTC)


Hi. I have gone with the masculine gender & species epithets for this genus. Wikispecies appears to be an outlier (of the few sources I rely on) in treating it as feminine. WP lists the "-us" epithets. ITIS lists the "-a" forms as invalid. Perhaps we should include them as synonyms. — Pingkudimmi 12:50, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Good catch. I've become happier as I've become less dependent on WikiSpecies. Today I checked classical language dictionaries and found that τιαρις ‎(tiaris) was an alternative form of lang-grc, masculine in "epic" Ancient Greek, feminine in Attic, Doric, and Aeolic, which would give license to either gender. -ις endings are almost always feminine, as are -is endings in Latin. Presumably there is some ICZN determination that the feminine is invalid for this term. There is an arachnid species Tiara, so presumably the alternative spelling was selected for disambiguation. In any event, I should have checked for actual usage in more than one source, as I now usually do. NCBI also seems pretty good about validity of names. EOL often gives quick access to multiple taxonomic trees. DCDuring TALK 13:35, 9 February 2014 (UTC)



I've submitted this entry you created to deletion. Could you give your opinion about this? --Fsojic (talk) 16:05, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

From before to behind[edit]

Following on from the RFV for behind, there seem to be quite a few book hits for from before to behind. It would seem to have been a set phrase 18th-19th century. Do you think it would make a suitable entry? SpinningSpark 21:30, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Actually, there are quite a lot of modern usages especially in anatomy related papers. SpinningSpark 21:33, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
Interesting. A dated collocation. The fact that it was once used and has fallen out of fashion is suggestive that it has some kind of cohesion as a collocation, but it is certainly easy to decode. The alliteration reminds me of from stem to stern, which is idiomatic due to the obscurity of stem. I can see why a print dictionary would not waste paper and ink on it. It would not need to be in my personal decoding dictionary. If you add it, I wouldn't RfD it, nor would I vote to keep it, unless someone makes some compelling arguments I can't think of now. DCDuring TALK 22:38, 17 February 2014 (UTC)



there are two Latin sections, and I'm not sure what to make of it. --Fsojic (talk) 23:47, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

I think it's technically called a mistake, but it resulted from my confusion about how the entry should look.
I don't have good access to any references or texts from Latin after Late Latin and before Linnaeus. Not really good after Linnaeus until modern times. That makes it hard to tell whether it was ever used in running Latin text.
Even without references, I suspect that sphaeroides may have been used in several ways. For example, there are three instances of use as a genus name, so it could be an noun used attributively referring to any of those three, when a specific epithet. Sometimes it may have been an adjective.
I suppose we could RfV the Latin L2. We have never resolved how to present items mostly known as specific epithets. I am inclined to present them only as Translingual. SB likes to make them to be Latin. If someone can show that they exist in running Latin text, eg, in species descriptions, which were formerly done in Latin, then the L2 could be shifted to Latin. I have begun tracking specific epithets by whether we show them as Latin or Translingual, using {{epilang}}, Species name using Latin specific epithet and Species name using Translingual specific epithet. I also make conjectures for missing specific epithets whether they are Translingual or truly Latin. See Category:Species entry using missing Translingual specific epithet and Category:Species entry using missing Latin specific epithet. DCDuring TALK 00:28, 18 February 2014 (UTC)


The two votes on Joycian and other noncense (that's a blend of nonce +‎ nonsense) have started and are about to start, respectively: Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2014-03/CFI: Removing usage in a well-known work 2 and Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2014-03/CFI: Removing usage in a well-known work 3. And speaking of Joyce, I spotted this Finneganic redesign of a famous restaurant's menu. - -sche (discuss) 19:34, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

I won't miss the votes. Mirth-waiteringly appling minu. DCDuring TALK 22:30, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

Literal sense of private language[edit]

Hello DC -- Re this edit, I don't think that using {{&lit}} is appropriate here, since it implies that the philosophical sense is idiomatic. The philosophical sense may be somewhat technical (many terms are) but I don't think that fact in itself makes a term idiomatic. (As for deleting what is now sense 3, which Wikitiki89 thinks is SOP, I don't have any feelings about that.) -- · (talk) 18:41, 30 April 2014 (UTC)

What do you mean by idiomatic? If a term has a specific technical meaning such as this one that is not predictable based even on technical definitions of its component parts, it is thereby idiomatic in the sense we usually use it in Wiktionary discussion pages. DCDuring TALK 18:49, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I think what he means is, and I somewhat agree, that the philosophical sense is just a more specific technical version of the literal sense, and thus not really an "idiom" according to the non-Wiktioanry definition of "idiom". --WikiTiki89 18:57, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki89, Talking Point Are there any attestable senses of private and language the meaning of which would combine to yield the philosophical sense of private language? I think not, but citations could prove me wrong. DCDuring TALK 19:15, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
A private language is a language that is private to one person. All other information is just qualities that philosophers say such a language must possess. --WikiTiki89 19:34, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I think Wikitiki89 represents the matter reasonably. DC, I think you are on a path where almost every multi-word technical term in philosophy, psychology, and a host of other fields, would qualify for a {{context|idiomatic}} tag, and that's going much too far for my tender sensibilities. -- · (talk) 19:50, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why we have to have a label that says idiomatic — ever. I also don't see why having a non-transparent sense in an entry should mean that we should not remind users that there are any number of possible senses that are transparent combinations of components, whether technical or not.
That private means "private to a single person" is somewhat contradictory to the ordinary notion of language, what with it being so involved with communication. I can't find a definition of language at MWOnline that does not involve communication. An ordinary construal of the expression would require a novel definition of language that would allow the "individual" sense of private to be a modifier. DCDuring TALK 21:04, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
We seem to be lacking some definitions, such as the one that would cover formal language. --WikiTiki89 21:23, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
MWOnline covers that with a definition of language as "a formal system of signs and symbols (as FORTRAN or a calculus in logic) including rules for the formation and transformation of admissible expressions".
Though WMOnline has 12 definitions for language they do not have one that is consistent with the use in private language. I wonder whether the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy does. The Free Online Dictionary of Philosophy (FOLDOP) does not. DCDuring TALK 21:49, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Now that I think about it, there is communication involved. Writing a note to yourself is communicating with yourself. There doesn't have to be anyone else in order to communicate. --WikiTiki89 21:55, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
I'm not at all sure that I wrote all the things that appear over my signature at Wiktionary. Sometimes I don't understand them. Sometimes they seem too wise to have come from my brain. Sometimes they seem expressed with more certainty than I have or remember having. Who is hacking my user account?
IOW, are the originator (me, according to the signature) and receiver (me, lurking) really the same? After all, no man ever steps in the same river twice. DCDuring TALK 23:41, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Three logicians walk into a bar. The bartender asks, "Will you all have beers?" The first one says, "I don't know." The second one says, "I don't know." The third one says, "Yes." --WikiTiki89 23:46, 30 April 2014 (UTC)
Descartes walks into an oyster bar. The server asks: "Would you like any oysters today, René?" Descartes says: "I think not." and vanishes. DCDuring TALK 23:56, 30 April 2014 (UTC)


Your recent edit to greenline makes no sense. Creating a new definition and then RfVing the old one? Why? Each of the sources you added to support your definition supports mine as well. The two definitions on the page are essentially the same, except that one better emphasizes being an antonym of redlining: mine. The RfV needs to be closed, my definition needs to be kept, and your definition needs to be deleted. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 20:41, 7 May 2014 (UTC)

Don't try removing the RfV.
"Essentially" in your opinion, not mine. I object to inclusion in the definition of healthcare and financial services other than real-estate lending or property insurance. The citations I found support only those services. If you put some good citations in the entry to support other senses, then an extension of the definition to other services might be valid. In principle all definitions should have citations. The case for having them for definitions not found in other dictionaries is stronger. DCDuring TALK 21:44, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
But if citations for the other stuff were found, you didn't need a full-blown RfV. All I need is ONE citation that supports health care as a cause, and since there's already three citations for the definition (as all three of the citations for your definition are applicable for mine as well), I have an infinite amount of time to find them even if I don't remove your bogus RfV. BTW, while we're on the subject of what's supported, profitability in your sense isn't supported: the sentences support stuff happening, not causality Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 23:12, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
RfV is our only procedure other than RfD and direct editing without any process, which I am fairly sure you would find more annoying than following due process, as I am. As I am favoring narrowing the definition, I don't think RfD-sense, often used to challenge redundant senses, applies.
You can find a single citation for lots of nonsense. As to "profitability", I am sure I could find ONE citation and could almost certainly find three. I suppose that Martians and others uninformed about human nature and institutions might need such citations. We could always delete the word profitable, too.
And we really should have three citations for both transitive and intransitive senses, unless we stipulate that the term can be used both ways and find a wording that includes both.
I wonder whether greenline is used about areas that were never redlined or yellowlined. DCDuring TALK 23:54, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
Areas are not just greenlined because of perceived profitability, they are greenlined because of political pressures. I again reiterate that your citations are applicable to my definition. Also, yellowlining isn't a word. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 00:03, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
Try to keep up. I deleted the word "profitable" to allow for the possibility of the greenlining being the result of extortion. DCDuring TALK 00:15, 8 May 2014 (UTC)
You do realize that you're making an RfV argument in an RfD of a different definition, right? And that I have a week or more to find citations, right? And that you tearing down my definition won't save your own definition, right? Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 00:55, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

On the -eth Suffix[edit]

Hello and a profound admiration for you and your fellow travelers' lexicographical endeavors. I have a question on one of your contributions, however. I see you are the one who five years ago edited the entry on the suffix "-eth" to suggest that it may have been pronounced in Early Modern English as "-s". This would bring much joy to my heart; as a non-native speaker I always found people's reciting of poetry with that full-blown "-eth" pronunciation cringingly silly. I must nevertheless ask you if you have any pertinent sources to back up this fantastic claim.

As an aside, you seem to have misspelled the name of your mathematics professor. He is in fact the renowned mathematician Norbert Wiener. —This comment was unsigned.

Thanks for the Wiener correction.
I only tried to make the text of the Pronunciation note more intelligible. I don't much care about pronunciations generally. DCDuring TALK 20:15, 11 May 2014 (UTC)


What does that sign mean here? --Vahag (talk) 21:04, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

The one on the right is an older, disused synonym. I was hoping not to have to be explicit about the nature of the synonymy, as I don't have the tools and knowledge to achieve a high level of correctness. I was also hoping that the parentheses and arrow combined would at least make it clear that the term within the parentheses was less important to a user than the one outside the parentheses. The taxonomic literature calls things synonyms that we might not call synonyms or would call "obsolete" or "archaic" synonyms. I don't want to merely duplicate what the taxonomy sites have. That's a pattern that I leave to those who faithfully copy the marginally intelligible Sanskrit to English dictionary that we have a redundant copy of. There is no left-pointing arrow symbol in our Miscellaneous character set.
An alternative is to move the old synonym under a Synonyms header, but that would increase the need for an explicit label. I'm not sure how many entries have these, but I doubt that there are more than 200, so a consensus agreement on a desired format (one that did not assume perfect information !) could be readily implemented. DCDuring TALK 21:40, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. I think it is better to remove the obsolete synonyms from non-translingual entries altogether, so as not to confuse readers like me. --Vahag (talk) 07:46, 29 May 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that the terms are still to be found in older books and current books that rely on older references. Taxonomic names - at all levels - are revised regularly. The language of the taxonomic community has some of the features of languages of other communities. Taxonomic language evolves creating many opportunities for confusion that cannot be eliminated by not covering 1., ambiguities and 2., the use of multiple terms (some disapproved of by authorities) for the same underlying natural objects. DCDuring TALK 13:17, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

The (tearoom)[edit]

When I noticed your rft on the, I posted my 2 cents. I would be interested to know whether this answers your doubts. --MarcoSwart (talk) 22:53, 8 June 2014 (UTC)


You don't seem disengaged. Have you become reengaged? bd2412 T 00:59, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I am mostly disengaged on the subject of idiomaticity. I prefer working in more constructive, less contentious areas. I think some inclusionists are becoming less dogmatic and more skeptical about claimed idiomaticity. DCDuring TALK 01:05, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Am I an inclusionist, by your reckoning? I don't see how it hurts to err on the side of inclusionism, though. bd2412 T 02:20, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Highfalutin-steamboat etymology[edit]

Why i treat an etymology along Bragg's lines as convincing.
--Jerzyt 03:31, 30 June 2014 (UTC)


I see you restored the quote under the adjective. Let's see how long it stays there. Donnanz (talk) 16:23, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

It is not entirely unambiguous. At first I thought to put it back under the noun PoS, but pioneering is used as a true adjective (I think it is even comparable). We need a clearer illustation. Unfortunately, demonstrating the semantics and demonstrating the grammar do not often lead to the same selection of citations. DCDuring TALK 17:09, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I’m not denying that it is used as a true adjective, just that the usex is using another sense. The people mentioned in it were notorious for exploring polar regions, not for creating new ideas and methods. — Ungoliant (falai) 19:09, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Collins has "pioneering work or a pioneering individual does something that has not been done before, for example by developing or using new methods or techniques". DCDuring TALK 02:20, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
I gave it a try. DCDuring TALK 02:25, 5 July 2014 (UTC)


Yes, I do think your rollback was in error. —CodeCat 23:24, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

I think there is very good reason to achieve the right result (ie, getting users to the right lemma) by expedient means that are not inherently destructive. If, eventually, you devise some means that you find esthetically or otherwise more satisfying, more power to you. I see no reason to wait for that result. If you would like to have such entries categorized into some noncompliance maintenance category for eventual resolution, I would be glad to do so as I find them or enact them. DCDuring TALK 23:31, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
The problem is that this is going to bite us sooner or later. I see so reason to wait for {{plural of}} to be improved when it works fine as it is. There is nothing wrong with the entry. —CodeCat 23:46, 15 July 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't take readers to where they should be taken. This is a problem for all long English entries that have multiple etymologies. Unless tabbed languages enables us to split English L2s by Etymology there is a serious entry navigation problem that is much more significant for English L2s, which tend to be much more elaborate than those of other languages even before allowing for translation tables.
Could {{senseid}} be made to do the job? Could something like {{senseid}} be created that would do the job? DCDuring TALK 00:01, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand how {{senseid}} doesn't already does the job. —CodeCat 00:15, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
I'm slow. Apply it at comae. DCDuring TALK 00:18, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
That's what I thought. Placed at a sense, it highlights the sense and comes below the inflection line. Placed above a header it adds a blue bar and an asterisk. Placed above text it highlights the following text. The only place it might work would be above the inflection line. But the highlighting seems dumb. And the name is misleading when used in one of the places it should be be used for cases like comae. DCDuring TALK 00:36, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
It is the right concept but doesn't do the job as is, most obviously because of the formatting. A renamed and revised one would be better than the expedients I have been using, which in any event only work for the first L2 section using a given section name on a page, ie, usually English for words with all plain Latin script headwords. DCDuring TALK 00:44, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
BTW, where it is now above the inflection line, the highlighting is not terrible, but there is that intrusive dot. As a general rule, for the kind of thing I have been discussing highlighting seems more likely to be harmful than helpful. DCDuring TALK 00:47, 16 July 2014 (UTC)

chinkapin / chinquapin[edit]

Wasn't it better as a simple "alternative form" rather than the half-duplication, or are there subtle differences in the meanings of the two words? Equinox 23:12, 8 August 2014 (UTC)

Just differences in the frequency with which the spellings are used with the various species. A more economical method might have been to just have the species for which the spelling is the principal one, but that would not work unless the user opened one window for each alternative spelling to compare. It's a bit obsessive. Sometimes I remind myself of User:Doremitzwr, with his typographic obsessions. DCDuring TALK 23:22, 8 August 2014 (UTC)


Wow.................................................................... Rædi Stædi Yæti {-skriv til mig-} 06:09, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Empty taxonomic name categories[edit]

Category:Entries using missing taxonomic name (ambiguous) What's the point in using {{taxlink}} here? You're adding a link to a nonexistent Wikispecies entry, and creating a category for a nonexistent taxonomic rank. Most old higher-level taxonomic names are hard to state in terms of modern taxonomy, so the Wikispecies link is particularly useless with those (the Wikispecies architecture simply has no way to deal with taxonomic change). Chuck Entz (talk) 04:14, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

I am willing to hold open the possibility that we could have ranks for these based on usage, dated though they may be. DCDuring TALK 09:16, 18 October 2014 (UTC)

Good day![edit]

How are you doing Mister DCDuring? I hope all has been well for you!

I'm just wondering, but which Wikimedia projects do you work on most often, and which language versions of those Wikimedia projects? Tharthan (talk) 01:13, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

English Wiktionary. The others, WP and WS are just incidental. DCDuring TALK 03:15, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I was wondering about that since I saw your name elsewhere on other Wikimedia projects. Thanks for clearing that up! Tharthan (talk) 13:07, 25 October 2014 (UTC)


Could you please check whether my translation "film roll" of filmirulla is correct? I have placed a pic on the page to make it easy. --Hekaheka (talk) 19:15, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I would say "roll of film". film roll at OneLook Dictionary Search reveals no lemmings. "Roll(s) of film" outnumbers "film roll(s)" at COCA about 220 to 5. In contrast, at COCA "film reel(s)" outnumbers "reel(s) of film" 24 to 19. To be clear a roll of film is indeed what is pictured and a "reel" virtually always refers to "moving-picture" film. DCDuring TALK 19:32, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
BTW, I strongly favor the use of images in entries where there is any ambiguity, obscurity, or even just visual interest. As in this case it should make it easier to confirm the validity of definitions and translations, as well as helping users. DCDuring TALK 19:38, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! It's surprising how difficult it is sometimes to find proper translations for extremely common everyday items such as in this case for a roll of film. The English dictionaries do not list "roll of film" because its meaning is obvious to a native speaker and the term would thus be a SOP. --Hekaheka (talk) 20:41, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
You can always ask me about such things. It may help me get some insight into the translation problems. It might make me more sympathetic to the needs of all those who contribute translations. Maybe I can see some new approach (or accept one already advanced) to the SoP translation targets that will not mislead users about the nature of the English expressions and yet be convenient for translators. DCDuring TALK 20:49, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

groveling quote[edit]

Hello, could you see if this is okay? Thanks ~ DanielTom (talk) 17:34, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Looks OK. I usually use the virgule (" / ") instead of the HTML break to save space, but it doesn't matter for this entry. DCDuring TALK 19:07, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

kinda rude[edit]

[5] Equinox 14:46, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Sorry. I didn't notice your comment in the third or fourth edit-conflict diff needed to post my comment. Almost always I don't overwrite, but this isn't the first time I've made a similar mistake. Is it possible that your comment didn't show up in the diff?[Possible, but extremely unlikely.] DCDuring TALK 15:33, 20 November 2014 (UTC)


I don't think that link is helpful under 'External links'. If you want to remove it from where it's relevant, then please just remove it completely. —RuakhTALK 19:09, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

It certainly isn't a quotation. It could be where most other project links are. I don't really care, as my attention was drawn to it by {{taxlink}}. Also, I never liked the idea of External links for project links, preferring the See also header, but DanP had a vote. And welcome back. DCDuring TALK 20:18, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm not saying that you were wrong to remove it from where it was; although I do like having sense-specific Wikipedia-links there, and do think that they are a form of attestation (albeit not in the same category as a durably archived full-sentence quotation), I recognize that this is not an opinion everyone shares. But I think it's unhelpful to put it under 'External links', since there's not enough information in the link description to tell which sense it pertains to (or even that it is sense-specific). I think it would be better for the 'External links' section to link to the disambiguation-page, same as the box at right.
And — thanks. I'm actually not sure how "back" I am, though. :-P
RuakhTALK 04:00, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
In taxonomic entries, in which I often place many external links and for which there are sometimes more than on taxon, even from a given Etymology, I sometimes use a semi-colon subheader to split the links. Of course many such links are not project links, they are to true external sites, so proximity placement of project link boxes is not an option. Pipes are also usable. We miss you. DCDuring TALK 05:15, 24 November 2014 (UTC)


I have previously warned you to STOP WIKI-STALKING ME!! Got it? WritersCramp (talk) 00:11, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

What are you talking about? DCDuring TALK 00:40, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
He doesn't like it when people edit his articles. I have had the same whining from him. I don't think he has ever read the Save Page small print, which says: "By clicking the Save Page button, you are agreeing to the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy, and you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL. You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license." Equinox 00:47, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
This guy is the modern "Don't tase me bro!" guy. Tharthan (talk) 00:54, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm not even sure what he's on about, other than my comments about the 'chessmen' and the expensive London retailer. I don't even specifically remember editing any of his entries, especially not lately. I don't usually even look at edit histories, though perhaps I should do so more often. DCDuring TALK 01:01, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I think I understand. He's going back to all cases over the past six years where I edited something of his or disagreed with him. DCDuring TALK 01:34, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
He likes to use pure aggression to get people to agree with him, instead of using evidence and reasoning. Renard Migrant (talk) 23:21, 2 December 2014 (UTC)


I just saw your edit. I don't normally edit Wiktionary. I pretty much restrict myself to Commons and Wikipedia. But your edit on that one is not descriptive. I'm not going to argue this with you, but if you would take a moment to look at the links I put on the talk page, you might see it differently. I have been in this field since 1981 and I am a contributor to assorted industry for a, writing standards, working on codes. What you wrote (well-meant I'm sure) is inaccurate and misleading.--Achim Hering (talk) 15:40, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

@Achim Hering A dictionary definition should be brief, unlike a more formal code-style definition, as it is written for a general audience. If you can improve it, keeping it a single sentence not too much longer than my version, please do. I'll take a look.
Also, under an "External links" header, please add a link to any website page (or, better, section of such page) that has a full or official definition. I personally welcome "technical" vocabulary for Wiktionary, as it is an area of deficiency, but our users are not very technical and few technical users would ever rely on what they find here, no matter how carefully and accurately worded. HTH. DCDuring TALK 15:49, 25 November 2014 (UTC)


Hi DCDuring. Could you take a look at the entry I've just made for the generic name Leontice to check its formatting and accuracy, and to fix any omissions you find, please? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 09:48, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Also, the entry for the specific name Leontice leontopetalum, please. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:45, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
They were good as they were. I tried to gild the lilies. DCDuring TALK 02:27, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you. All improvements are appreciated. :-)  — I.S.M.E.T.A. 02:29, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
If I were just passing by, I'd probably have made no changes. As you asked, I pushed to add what I add when I had some reason to be focused on an entry. I like to add pictures and links to some good external sites, not just our sister projects. The genus entry will, sadly, possibly never be linked to from an entry in a real language, except as descendant: I can't find a vernacular name. I usually don't bother with the alternative names that differ only in capitalization. I'm not yet sure what I think about French as an alternative form of a Translingual term. DCDuring TALK 02:39, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
Please excuse the delay in response. I don't really mind about volume of links; my concern was to elucidate the meanings of its Classical etyma. As for the alternative forms, I found some instances where both parts of the binomen were capitalised even though other binomina received the standard treatment of having the generic name capitalised and the specific epithet decapitalised; I figured that was significant. My guess is that Leontice Leontopetalum is doubly capitalised because both parts of the binomen derive from nouns. (As for Leonticé Leontopetalum, it isn't French (or, at least, not exclusively so); that's the spelling used in the LSJ entry for λεοντοπέτᾰλον.)
I have a query about Leontice leontopetalum. Following the gender of the generic name, Leontice, I recorded the specific name as feminine; however, I'm not so confident that I ought to have done. The specific epithet, leontopetalum, derives from a neuter noun, and has retained a case ending characteristic thereof. In such cases of mixed-gender derivation, what is the gender of the resulting binomen? I note that a handful of authors have "regularised" the name to the effect that its component nomina agree in gender. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:51, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Worry not about delayed or forgotten responses. As to gender of binomials, the gender of the genus should always govern. A true noun used attributively as specific (or subspecific, etc) epithet has no effect on that. This comes up fairly often. Sometimes the noun is a genus name that is no longer used as a genus name. That isn't true in this case, as double-checking at Leontopetalum at The Plant List and Leontopetalon at The Plant List shows. Fairly often the namer of a species takes the wrong cue in guessing at the gender of the genus and has an erroneous ending on the epithet, as in your handful of cases, I think. We can do better because we can look at the names of more species name decisions (eg, at Leontice at The Plant List), besides having ready access to LSJ and L&S. I believe that the rules provide for such errors to be corrected even if made in an otherwise valid original description that is followed by others. Similarly, Wikispecies has gotten it wrong a few times that I've noticed. (If you are confident about a Wikispecies gender error, move the entry if you can or mention it on the talk page or their Village Pump page: they could use the help and would fairly rapidly whitelist you.) DCDuring TALK 20:08, 4 December 2014 (UTC) — IFYPFY.  — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:11, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you; that's reassuring. And I'll be sure to correct errors on Wikispecies if and when I'm sure how to. As for Leontopetalum, -on, Philip Miller (1691–1771) seems to have used Leontopetalon as a name for Leontice, so Linnaeus might well indeed have relegated Miller's generic name to a specific epithet for the type species of Leontice. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:11, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Under current rules for both plants and animals, the correct capitalization is upper-case generic name, lower-case specific epithet. This is only a matter of decades old, if I remember correctly, so older references did it any way they wanted. A fairly common scheme was upper case for specific epithets that were from proper nouns, but lower case otherwise. I'm sure there's at least some correlation between capitalization of common nouns in the writer's native language and capitalization of noun-based specific epithets.
As for gender agreement: both the botanical and zoological codes are quite clear that specific epithets which are adjectives (they can also be nouns in apposition or in the genitive case) must agree in gender with the current generic name, but there are pockets of resistance in certain fields. For instance, some people think that the gender should remain the same as it was when described, so that non-specialists don't get confused about whether X. alba is the same as Y. albus or Z. album when it gets reclassified into different genera. It's also true that not every scientist is a classical scholar: even Linnaeus got some genders wrong (I believe Sphex is one case, but I haven't checked if I'm remembering the right one). w:Eugène Simon, for instance, was a teenager when he started publishing species, so several of his earlier names are based on misunderstandings of Ancient Greek. Not to mention generic names based on words in languages that have no gender, or created from "arbitrary sequences of characters", which the author is supposed to designate a gender for, but for which they often don't.
As for -on vs. -um: I believe the current practice is to normalize Greek endings to Latin, but I do see some plant names, at least, in -on,-os and -e (Arctostaphylos, for instance).
As for the accents: some authors add them as pronunciation helps, but they're not part of the official name. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:41, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Chuck. I've developed my understanding mostly by induction, not by systematic study of the Codes and their history. It's nice to know that my surmises and fragmentary learning are mostly right. I'm still not entirely sure what to do about specific epithets that don't even look Latin. As you know I've been categorizing them as "derived from Taino" or whatever. As I haven't found too many yet, it would still be quite easy to rethink the categories. DCDuring TALK 03:07, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
As I mentioned above, arbitrary sequences of characters are allowed, as long as they fit the rules of Latin spelling. There are cases where an author created a new name by reversing the letters of an existing one (see w:Muilla from Allium) or even by rearranging the letters.
The taxonomic codes only allow names published from the dates of Linnaeus' first works using binomials in the respective areas (In the case of w:Svenska Spindlar they got around this by decreeing that it was published in 1758 instead of 1757), so there are lots of instances where the author of record is only the first to publish a description accepted by the taxonomic code, not the originator of the name. In the case of Leontopetalon, w:Philip Miller is credited with the name, but only because he published after w:Species Plantarum. Linnaeus himself cited previous works. Here are all the referenced works in the section on Leontice leontopetalum in Species Plantarum that I could find online: w:Hortus Cliffortianus p.122, w:Joseph Pitton de Tournefort's "Corollarium Institutionum Rei Herbariae" p.49, w:Gaspard Bauhin's "Pinax Theatri botanici", p.324, w:Joachim Camerarius the Younger's "De Plantis Epitome Utilissima" p.565, and w:John Ray's "Historia Plantarum" p.1326 (w:Robert Morison]'s "Historia Plantarum Universalis" doesn't seem to be available online).
By the way, I like to use the Missouri Botanical Garden's Tropicos for plant names because it gives information about obsolete synonyms as well as about currently accepted names. It doesn't always say which name is correct and sometimes disagrees with other references when it does- but it's great for deciphering old names. I should also give you links for the ICZN and the ICN. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:26, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: Thanks very much for all that information. I've made a note of those links to the ICN, ICZN, and Tropicos on my user page. From looking over those links about Leontopetalon, -um, I've been given the impression that Leontopetalon quorundam is a some kind of species name, in use since no later than 1696; is that so, or is it my misapprehension? Also, what is the significance of the "nouns in apposition" loophole with regard to the gender of Leontice leontopetalum? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 15:54, 17 December 2014 (UTC)
Before Linnaeus, taxonomic names consisted of a short Latin phrase, which, for species, consisted of the name of the genus followed by a very terse description of what made it distinct. Thus a hypothetical sparrow with white on the forehead and a big tail would hypothetically be called something like "Passer albifrons et macrourus" (my Latin's lousy, but you get the idea). Linnaeus used these too, but he also put what he called a "trivial name" in the margin which consisted of a single Latin word that was unique within the genus to that one species. The trivial name is what we now call the specific epithet. Anything from before Linnaeus started using trivial names was one of those phrases, even if it consisted of two parts. In other words, "Leontopetalon quorundam" is just Latin, not a binomial (it may just mean "a certain Leontopetalon" mentioned in the cited reference, and not be a name at all). Also, you'll notice in the codes that, by definition, no species name before Linnaeus' first publication using binomial nomenclature (the 1753 edition of Species Plantarum for plants & the 1758 edition of Systema Naturae for animals) is considered taxonomically valid.
As for "nouns in apposition": if a specific epithet is an adjective, it's required to agree with the generic name in gender and number. If it's an noun in the genitive, it agrees with the referent, not with the generic name (the specific epithet "smithae" would mean that the species was named after a female by the name of Smith, not that the generic name was feminine). A noun in apposition, though, is in the nominative case, so it doesn't agree with anything-Equus caballus would always be have a specific epithet of caballus, no matter what genus you moved it to. If "leontopetalum" is a noun in apposition rather than an adjective describing "Leontice", then it provides no evidence whatsoever for the gender of Leontice. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:18, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
How do the Codes address the potential ambiguity due to Latin adjectives that are also used as substantives? Is such substantive use discouraged or prohibited? Or does it require some explicit statement of whether the epithet is a noun or an adjective? DCDuring TALK 04:06, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
They don't. The proscriptions only apply to cases where it's clear that the specific epithet is an adjective and has the wrong gender. I'm not sure how often that would come up, anyway- how many substantive adjectives are there that one would want to use instead of an adjective? If someone claimed that changing the gender would be wrong because it was really a substantive form that just looked the same as an adjective, I'm sure the first question would be "what makes you think that?" Chuck Entz (talk) 06:59, 18 December 2014 (UTC)
I have no idea how important the possibility might be. It just looked like a loose end. I do keep on running across such adjectives at Little and Short, but haven't yet come across a case for a specific epithet in the two thousand or so I've considered. But I've still got a few million species to look at. DCDuring TALK 12:31, 18 December 2014 (UTC)


You've enter this as "from Middle French fromente." What's your source? I'm not finding it in primary sources on Google Books or listed in dictionaries. Renard Migrant (talk) 22:46, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

I should have included a link the this page for the RHU entry and the alternate spelling they give fourmente. This ATILF entry uses the fourmente spelling. I doubt that my research was very thorough or that my judgment was particularly good in 2009. DCDuring TALK 23:24, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
I've added the acute accent, but I still can't see it used anywhere. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:45, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
I relied on the references and should have cited them. What they rely on I don't know. In English I have been able to use the Middle English Dictionary online, which seems to be close to total in its coverage of the available material. DCDuring TALK 16:03, 5 December 2014 (UTC)


I noticed that this category is absent. We could use this, or we could just use Category:mul:Primates. What do you think, sir? --Romanophile (talk) 05:07, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

It's not essential, but could be useful for some. I believe that the species (or genus) members of the category Hominids would be found by a search for 'Translingual "species (or genus) within the family Hominidae"'. At least that is my intention. The only thing required for this to work is that each entry for members of Hominidae show family membership rather than genus, subtribe, tribe, or subfamily. If you use a definition other than Hominidae for hominids, the categorization would not be duplicative of the results of such a simple search. DCDuring TALK 05:25, 9 December 2014 (UTC)


Hello there! SemperBlotto requested spalacolestine on WT:WE, which I have created, but I was hoping you could create Spalacolestes for me, since I'm not confident in matters taxonomical. :) Feel free to decline! —JohnC5 (Talk | contribs) 09:56, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

It's in the queue, but won't be added soon, there being only two links to it. Use {{taxlink}} to put any taxonomic name into the queue and link to Wikispecies in the process. {{vern}} works the same for English vernacular names. DCDuring TALK 12:22, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, particularly for your edits to σπάλαξ‎! I feel foolish because I asked for your help before turning around and immediately starting to use {{taxlink}} shoddily, which would have gotten you to help eventually anyway. —JohnC5 (Talk | contribs) 21:30, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Don't feel foolish. Few contributors use {{taxlink}}, though I appreciate it when they do. It is more important to use taxlink around a taxonomic name than to use it "properly", ie, to determinw what kind of taxonomic name it is (easy if it is in Wikispecies, not as easy otherwise) and whether or not it should be italicized. At least the user can get a little more information from Wikispecies.
There are more than 11K pages that contain {{taxlink}}, many pages having multiple wanted taxonomic names. There are also many redlinked and unlinked taxonomic names. I eventually get bored adding taxonomic entries from those lists and do other things, like adding vernacular names from Wikipedia disambiguation pages; adding specific epithets, images, external links for taxa; adding my favorite local plants; and adding species that are model organisms, have Native American origins, etc. I try to add the most wanted taxonomic names, those with four or more taxlinks wanting them. DCDuring TALK 21:57, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Well, I very much appreciate your efforts and would love to help in any way I can; though all I'm really good for is etymologies, when it comes to taxa. But if you ever need anything, just ask! —JohnC5 (Talk | contribs) 23:37, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
You've seen Category:Translingual entries needing etymology? I cleaned out a few trivial ones a week or two ago. Many are not worth attempting, such as those ending in "lejeunea". I can't say what has priority. Whatever you find interesting or likely to yield a result in a reasonable time! DCDuring TALK 23:54, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
Just to check, should I be adding the noshow param in my {{taxlink}} usage, or should I leave that to you? The code for the template seems to indicate that it would only work if you add the param. —JohnC5 (Talk | contribs) 03:02, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
"noshow=1" suppresses the tracking category. You seem to have use of {{taxlink}} down - and you know you have my thanks - so you can add it if you want. Omit it if you would like me to take a look for any reason, uncertainty, pride, etc. DCDuring TALK 04:30, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Awesome! :)JohnC5 (Talk | contribs) 06:37, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

Flood flag[edit]

Hi Dennis. Any chance of a flood flag for about 30 minutes while I add lots of Spanish plurals/adjectives/verb forms? --Type56op9 (talk) 12:59, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't know how, but I'll look into it. DCDuring TALK 13:01, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done DCDuring TALK 13:02, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. Thousands of entries coming up without flooding RC. --Type56op9 (talk) 13:03, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Are you done yet? DCDuring TALK 17:04, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks again. Any chance of getting it again? I'd like to do the same thing with some more Spanish forms. There's 789 entries I've got lined up, which should take about 15 minutes to add. --SuperWonderbot (talk) 17:22, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Just don't do anything rash and let me know when you are done. DCDuring TALK 17:24, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Nothing rash, don't worry. I hope CodeCat doesn't delete all my edits like last time. --SuperWonderbot (talk) 17:25, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Was there a reason? Was there some departure from CodeCat's standards? From Wiktionary standards? DCDuring TALK 17:27, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
You'll have to ask him about that. I have no hard feelings about being blocked. --SuperWonderbot (talk) 17:29, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Another 100 chordates[edit]

Thanks for your work on the others. If you're interested, I've just posted the next 100 "most common" vertebrates as found in books here: User:Pengo/2gram-chordata/2Pengo (talk) 03:38, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the lists. It would have taken a long time for my methods to have gotten to these and they are clearly meritorious entries. The closest I would come to those is the WP lists of organisms that have had their genome sequenced. BTW, I like plants, too. DCDuring TALK 04:04, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Ok, got around to making a plant list too: User:Pengo/2gram-plantae :) Pengo (talk) 23:45, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. It has a good number of species that are on my list, but many of them are not at the top of my list. Arguably these are more important than some that are higher ranked on my lists. DCDuring TALK 03:17, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

One more thing[edit]

Also, could you unprotect Template:es-adj for a while. There's a little change I'd like to make to it, which hopefully could lead to finding some errors in some entries. --SuperWonderbot (talk) 17:35, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Could you ask someone who knows something about Spanish or inflection templates? DCDuring TALK 17:37, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Apparently headers are my enemy[edit]

I apologize for my apparent inability to spell or capitalize headers correctly. Thank you for fixing everything. —JohnC5 (Talk | contribs) 22:46, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Don't worry about it, but try not to produce so many. DCDuring TALK 22:51, 17 January 2015 (UTC)


If it's okay with you, could you remove corrected pages instead of striking them? Cheers. Renard Migrant (talk) 00:15, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Sure. DCDuring TALK 03:15, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Flood flag[edit]

Hey, can you flood-flag me for a few minutes? --Type56op9 (talk) 18:47, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Species names with abbreviated genus[edit]

I'm not sure how these are supposed to be formatted; E. coli looks good to me, but I wanted to make sure that you agree before I start trying to fix C. elegans or T. rex. Thoughts? What L3 header is best? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:56, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't like having the entries very much, but [[E. coli]] is well-formatted! (I had put my best man on it.) Relatively few such abbreviations are actually used without the context having previous provided the expanded name. Is C. elegans in that class? Certainly anything that has survived challenge in RfV or RfD (or is likely to) should be properly formatted. Let me know if we don't have entries for the expanded forms of any of these. DCDuring TALK 19:38, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: I don't know that it really helps to have separate etymology sections; they add clutter without much information. Also look at the usage note at [[E. coli]]. In this case it doesn't add anything, but in others it might. DCDuring TALK 19:46, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, C. elegans is in that class. (As are the others noted above, D. melanogaster, and possibly X. laevis, but that's about all of them comprehensible by every biologist wholly out of context.) I'll work on them when I get a chance, but I won't create X. laevis because I don't really want to sift through citations to find three where Xenopus isn't used. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:23, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
I trust your judgment. DCDuring TALK 21:55, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

not so hot[edit]

Adverb? SemperBlotto (talk) 14:21, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't think so. It can be used as a predicate: "His later work was not so hot." Feel takes adjectives (eg, sick, blue, happy) as complements. DCDuring TALK 14:44, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
If you say "I don't feel so hot", then you're saying a) You're relatively cool to the touch, b) you aren't experiencing as much of a sensation of heat as you might have expected, or c) you don't feel all that well, with "feel" being a stative verb in all three cases, and thus like "am". It's possible for "feel" to be an active verb: if you say "I'm feeling poorly today", prescriptivists would say that you're commenting on your tactile competence, not on your perception of your own condition. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:22, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

old taxonomic names[edit]

I got the idea to search Google Books for books that contained terms from Category:mul:Taxonomic names (obsolete), on the theory that works which contained a few obsolete taxonomic names might also contain more obsolete taxonomic names. I just picked sets of 2-3 terms at random out of the category and searched for them, and then flipped through the pages of the books that turned up, looking for other taxonomic names. I don't know if there's an easy way to make a more systematic search, or to more easily/systematically extract names from the books that turn up. (Searching for unrelated taxons turned up books with more taxonomic names in them than searching for related taxons did.) But here's a list of some old taxonomic names: User:-sche/old taxonomic names. Some may still be in use (i.e. not obsolete); I couldn't think of a way to filter them out automatically.
The old methods of grouping animals — "well these both have large heads", "well these are both inoffensive"(!) — are hilarious!
- -sche (discuss) 18:55, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

That's an interesting approach and has already yielded a good grouping on you page that we should cover.
The only way we can filter taxa for obsolescence is by subtracting the union of names in Wikispecies and other accessible sources that try to have current names from whatever list we find. I haven't mined Wikispecies for anything but lists or hypernyms and hyponyms. But they have lists of synonymized taxa (not exactly what we would call synoyms) and vernacular names in quite a few languages. It would be possible to extract their list of taxa, add any additional ones from WP and possibly Commons and find all unlinked uses of those taxa in Wiktionary. Comparing such a major list with all of Wiktionary namespace content would be really resource-intensive, but doable. Breaking it into smaller pieces would probably be smart, eg, only genera or only definitions.
We were focusing on genus-level names because they sometimes serve as, 1, specific epithets (Pengo's long-term interest), 2, the stem of supra-generic taxa, and, 3, the names of subgenera, sections, and subsections. Someone would eventually come across those or types 2 and 3, but it might be a long-time before it was determined that the stem or subgeneric taxon was once a genus.
With all the interest being shown in obsolete taxa, I am hopeful that we can develop a comparative advantage over other online databases by covering these. Otherwise our advantage is limited to our coverage of vernacular names that correspond to taxonomic names, which is, however, compromised by the lack of support for translation sections for taxa. DCDuring TALK 21:40, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I've added a few of them. I use a simple piece of cut-and-paste:

==Translingual== ===Etymology=== {{rfelite|mul}} ===Proper noun=== {{taxoninfl}} # {{cx|obsolete|lang=mul}} {{taxon||||corresponding to }} ===External links=== * {{R:Century 1911}} [[Category:mul:Taxonomic names (obsolete)]]}}

I insert the cut-and-paste and look up Century's definition. I'll be adding more. DCDuring TALK 22:45, 3 February 2015 (UTC)


What does it mean that saimiri is defined as "Saimiri"? Should that sense just be moved to the uppercase form, or is the word used in lowercase to refer to the genus, in which case it should perhaps use Template:alternative case form of? - -sche (discuss) 19:15, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I have altered saimiri in line with the fictions that our entries maintain, more or less.
We have been maintaining the fictions that:
  1. All Translingual taxa are proper nouns designating lineages, along the lines that many modern systematists insist on
  2. All vernacular names refer to individual animals, who are members of the lineages designated by taxa.
I think these are both fictions. Biologists may refer to a specimen by its taxonomic name, certainly in informal use. Capitalized use of plant and animal names is an indication that English writers think of the groupings they name as proper nouns. The fictions are useful. I don't see any advantage to dispensing with the fiction in a way that causes mere multiplication of sense lines. Wording changes - not too cumbersome - that included the usage that is contrary to the fictions, especially in real languages would be worth considering. DCDuring TALK 19:42, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
If people refer to taxonomic groups in lowercase, I would think it would be fine to reflect this, using Template:alternative case form of to avoid duplicating info (and having it fall out of sync). I notice that mammalia does this. - -sche (discuss) 19:46, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I won't object. DCDuring TALK 21:17, 3 February 2015 (UTC)


This entry was created by a problem IP mostly for inane mythology purposes, but, in typical clueless fashion, they threw in a butterfly genus as a second English sense. Could you make a proper translingual entry out of the buttefly sense? Chuck Entz (talk) 06:47, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

I suspect that most of these mythological entries should have Translingual sections, usually for insects. They are not high on my list of priorities but I'm happy to do the clean up whenever required. Thanks for letting me know. DCDuring TALK 13:05, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Linnaeus reference templates?[edit]

I'm in the process of creating the entry triandrus, which the OED claims was introduced in the 1st edition of Systema Naturae, and I couldn't find a reference template. Does one not exist? If not, should we create one that takes the edition, part, volume numbers, etc., and spit out the publication info and maybe even autolink to an entry, if such a thing exists? Just curious. JohnC5 05:34, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

Not that I know of. It would be useful for there to be perhaps several different ones for the different major works. It would be useful for his coinages and also his appropriations of Latin (all vintages) and Greek terms for his own purposes. We would do the world a service by having all the Linnaen terms as well as other taxonomic terms no longer in use and the definitions of terms as used in the nineteenth century. I have been more focused on the current definitions, but less current and obsolete ones come up in etymologies regularly. DCDuring TALK 06:17, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
Ok, do you have anyone in mind who might be able/willing to help us create a fairly complex template (unless you can do it)? It would need to be able to distinguish the many editions of Systema Naturae. Also, is there some easily queried database of Systema Naturae that we could use?
In a related note: the system of Latin epithets for Translingual words seems strange to me, i.e. that we add a New Latin term which may not have a true definition outside of taxonomic use. I feel like we should have a template {{epithet|la|some description of other}} which has entries say:
  1. a taxonomic epithet meaning "something about plants or some such"
Then this would link to categories like Category:Latin taxonomic epithets, Category:Translingual taxonomic epithets, etc., which in turn would make a nice pretty list of taxonomic epithets for us to admire with great delight. JohnC5 06:52, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
I would recommend treating different editions as different references: the main title may be the same, but all the details such as pagination and location of online versions are different. I'm not sure about other taxa, but the TROPICOS system has links to page images for all Linnaean vascular plant names
As for the strangeness of taxonomic Latin vs. Translingual: taxonomic publications started out as pure Latin text, then the Latin became progressively more restricted and constrained to the point that only the taxonomic names themselves have to be Latin, and they only use a very limited subset of Latin or Latinized Greek inflection. For the two main taxonomic codes, you can have:
  1. A generic name, which is a Latin noun in the nominative singular
  2. A specific epithet, which is either:
    1. An adjective modifying the generic name, which agrees with it in gender and number or
    2. A noun in the genitive, agreeing with the referent in gender and number or
    3. A noun in apposition, which is in the nominative case and doesn't agree with anything.
  3. Names of infra-specific taxa, which follow the same rules as those for the specific epithet
  4. Names of ranks above genus and up to superfamily, which consist of the genitive of a generic name with any inflectional ending replaced by rank-specific endings to make nouns
  5. Names of higher ranks, which can either:
    1. Follow rules like those for the supergeneric taxa or
    2. Be constructed as nouns according to traditions specific to the taxonomic group, such as insect orders ending in -ptera or
    3. Be just about anything that can be construed as a Latin noun, at the whim of the first describer
Non-Latin words are converted to Latin spelling, with first- or second-declension endings tacked on to nouns in the genitive, according to the gender:
  1. Male individuals take -i or -ii, as if their names ended in -us or -ius
  2. Female individuals take -ae, as if their names ended in -a
  3. Masculine or mixed-gender groups take -orum, as if their names ended in -us/plural -i
  4. Feminine groups take -arum, as if their names ended in -a/plural -ae
With taxonomic names such as Quercus john-tuckeri, it's questionable whether the specific epithet is really Latin, since it's just an English name formatted according to the taxonomic code and with -i tacked on to make it genitive. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:24, 16 February 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz Thanks! This is very informative. Of course I'm aware that publications were originally in Latin, and I suppose I was just seeking a method to mitigate that cold feeling I get in my heart every time I create a "Latin" entry with no Latin meaning. :( JohnC5 09:54, 16 February 2015 (UTC)


Hey DC. Feel free to flood me for a while if you like. I'm adding loads of Catalan plurals - all pretty dull... --Type56op9 (talk) 16:53, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

Error?[edit] Not sure why you did that, but you removed the page from its proper category (Category:en:Yoga poses). Ƿidsiþ 14:00, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

OK, I corrected the label. I didn't allow for the possibility of such consequences. I thought "asana" would appear on the screen for users. I won't be making that mistake again. I can't speak for all the others who will and those who will be discouraged by being reverted for making a change whose consequences are not at all obvious. DCDuring TALK 16:18, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Well I didn't mean to discourage you. Just wanted to point out that the cat exists and check whether you were deliberately depopulating it. Ƿidsiþ 08:12, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I worry about all the complication and lack of transparency that seems to be the natural result of our maturation?/ossification. DCDuring TALK 14:22, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Personal attack warning[edit]

Please refrain from sarcastic remarks and from saying other editors have a God complex. Purplebackpack89 22:23, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

I said nothing of the kind. I was trying to bring you down to earth, to realize that the ordinary Wiktionary user, for whom we should be developing it, are closer to the average human than to the average Wiktionary contributor in terms of raw capability, education, and patience. DCDuring TALK 22:29, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
But not all those things you've mentioned favor having fewer definitions. Being of lower education and capability would favor more definitions. And the God reference was way out of line, as was the belief that I advocate more definitions only because I want them. I believe the run-of-the-mill user wants as many definitions and entries as possible, which is why I want there to be as many definitions and entries as possible. Case in point is the fact that many of the dictionaries that are more widely-used than we are (such as Urban Dictionary) are less restrictive about what can become an entry than we are. Purplebackpack89 22:33, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
While I agree that the God reference was a bit much (I read it the same way as you did until I saw DCD's explanation), I think we should run as far and fast as we can from the Urban Dictionary model: the main things they allow that we don't are rampant fraud and ineptitude. I suspect that a substantial part of their readership is the same type of looky-loos that watch train wrecks and reality series for entertainment. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:30, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not necessarily saying go full UD. But the fact is that they have a lot of definitions there that we don't have, but would pass RfV if put to the test. Purplebackpack89 00:00, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

I was only...[edit]

...bringing Wiktionary in line with everyday language, where "deer" is understood to mean "deer that is not a moose". Georgia guy (talk) 01:38, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

You would have to lose Cervidae in that definition. I also would bet that most people don't view moose as a kind of deer. For normal folks the most useful thing on that page for defining deer is the picture. Any use of taxonomic names is aimed at precision and getting folks to more specific pages, if they need that. That said, I think many of our definitions of common animals could use help. DCDuring TALK 03:01, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Is the definition as it is now after the changes made (by another user) seem better? DCDuring TALK 03:04, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

æ & œ[edit]

Do you think that we should include any translingual forms that are spelt with æ or œ? Could we make Pongo pygmæus, for example? I’m enquiring because it’s not (yet) a common practice here. --Romanophile (talk) 22:23, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't favor ligatures, but am powerless to resist them. Whom do they help? There are so many substantive entries that we need, including in Translingual and English, but we spend time on entries that help no one? DCDuring TALK 22:29, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Ash and oethel are a bit special in terms of ligatures, don't you think, considering their histories in regards to the English language? Particularly ash. Tharthan (talk) 22:47, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
We might as well have them if they are attested forms, but I agree with DCD that there are better things to work on — especially because these days the Wikt search engine is (IIRC) smart enough to auto-redirect from one form to the other. Equinox 23:01, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
For animal names, at least, ligatures are against the rules. The same is true for algae, fungi and plants. I don't have access to them, but I doubt any of the other codes allows ligatures, either. Of course, the codes don't apply to historical usage, nor to higher-level taxa, but ligatured spellings would have to be tagged as obsolete and/or proscribed alternate forms. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:44, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

spelink behavior[edit]

Is there a reason that {{temp|spelink}} does not have the same behavior as {{taxlink}}? Perhaps because you don't want to be overwhelmed with uncreated pages? I only ask because User:Pengo has switched over his script for creating species descendant tables to epithet pages (IO found here) to using spelink over taxlink. I'm just making sure you aren't sad about missing out on the huge masses of extra work that adding spelink to your tracking would entail. :)JohnC5 19:42, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Is it still in use? DCDuring TALK 19:54, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, if it shouldn't be, Pengo and I need to stop using it... —JohnC5 19:55, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Very few of the species that are descendants of the New Latin specific epithets appear in any other entry. As such it will take a long time before they become Wiktionary entries. I find it more promising to look for genus and species names that redlinked or unlinked in definitions or etymologies. If you do use {{taxlink}} in specific epithet entries, please use the noshow=1 parameter. The two of you already have my undying gratitude. Other users of {{taxlink}} still need a little encouragement via thanks. DCDuring TALK 22:47, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Aw, gee... when I saw this in my watchlist, I thought it might be bad pseudo-German dialectal spelling, or a misspelled reference to caving but, no, it's just more boring shop talk about templates. How disappointing! <cue rimshot> Chuck Entz (talk) 23:41, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
I thought the same thing. "Your spelink ees awful." "Ja, but ze study of orsography ees so taxlink." IGMC. Equinox 23:43, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, great minds think alike... and I guess we do, too... Chuck Entz (talk) 23:57, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Ah sorry, I thought {{temp|spelink|...}} it was just a shortcut for {{taxlink|...|species}}. Will add noshow=1. We really should start a Wiktionary:About taxonomy sometime by the way. Pengo (talk) 21:20, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Very informative. That said, I shall probably stick to etymologies and epithets as they are requested (which you may do at any time, of course!). —JohnC5 08:23, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
@Pengo, JohnC5: Please consider mining Category:Species entry using missing Latin specific epithet and Category:Species entry using missing Translingual specific epithet. They are sorted by lemma form of the epithet. Anything with more than one use of the lemma could be considered a priority, but inherent interest is a valid consideration of course. As a rule I don't think it is worth the effort to make requests for these. I have about 1,200 more species names to process to generate a few more category members for those categories. DCDuring TALK 16:51, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
I was waiting until I wasn't just talking to myself and getting various kibbitzers to say it wasn't policy or was just so much talk. DCDuring TALK 22:22, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
Ok, so I'll just convert all the spelinks back to taxlinks with noshow=1 soon. —JohnC5 01:29, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
I have removed all the transclusions of spelink in all entries, so maybe the template should be removed along with the mentions of it in the {{taxlink}} and {{pedlink}} documentations? Removing it should prevent this mistake from occurring in the future (Also, am I allowed to edit archived conversations that use a soon-to-be-removed template to replace it with an equivalent one?). —JohnC5 04:11, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Mostly people just leave deleted templates in archived material, User talk pages etc. After all the edit histories are already full of such things. RFDO is the venue for deleting templates. I certainly don't object and am sorry that you and Pengo wasted time because it was there and lacked any sign even of deprecation. DCDuring TALK 05:41, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Ah, WT:RFDO. One would imagine that I would have observed this page by now. One would be wrong, however. :|JohnC5 06:05, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Revert of Nosema apis[edit]

Nosema apis is "A taxonomic species within the genus Nosema" and not "A taxonomic species within the family Nosema" – Nosema, in the species name Nosema apis, is the genus, not the family.

The species name of the parasite was coined by Enoch Zander in 1909 by combining Nosema ‎(a single celled fungus, a taxonomic genus within the family Nosematidae) + Apis ‎(honey bees, a taxonomic genus within the family Apidae) to describe a specific organism – the Nosema of the Apis, i.e. some fungus parasite Nosema infecting some insect host Apis. The adopted disease name is, variously, "nosema disease", which is also more generally an infection by various parasite species within the genus Nosema of some insect host species. Other species within the genus Nosema include, for example, Nosema bombycis which infects the bumble bee. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 20:41, 29 March 2015 (UTC), modified 20:45, 29 March 2015 (UTC) to add my username.

My mistake, I forgot to put the correct family in the template.
BTW, I put the family and not the genus name in the template principally because the genus name is already in the species name, but also because family names are sometimes more recognizable, there being fewer of them, because they are more likely to hint at a similarity relationship with another genus (not true in this case), and because the family ending also serves to indicate, at least to some, whether the definition is for a plant (or fungus) or an animal (not true in this case). DCDuring TALK 20:57, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
The species is a parasite of a kind of raised livestock – honey bees – used to pollinate plants, and that makes it quite recognisable since it affects agriculture. Other Nosema species (Nosema anomalum and Nosema bombycis) also affect livestock. In this case, the genus is the hint since the disease also contains the genus and not the family. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 21:45, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
The specific epithet bombycis refers to the silkworm (genus Bombyx), not the bumblebee (genus Bombus). As to the topic at hand: stating the genus for a species when the binomial has been given is redundant, and a waste of precious space. In a terse, highly-structured work such as a dictionary, knowing what to leave out is every bit as important as knowing what to leave in. Also, stating that the describer of a species combined the generic name with the specific epithet isn't a good habit to get into, given the huge number of species that have been moved to other genera. More often than not, you have the author of the genus, the other of the species, and the author of the combination. You also seem to have this naive belief that taxonomic names necessarily mean something- often they do, but there are far more species than there are names that mean something. It's better not to attempt to read the mind of the describer in order to explain why they gave it the name they did. Explaining in the etymology that Nosema is a taxonomic genus within the family Nosematidae is also redundant, given that this is a taxonomic entry, and you've already stated in the definition that the species belongs to the family Nosematidae. You have to let the structure of the entry provide some of the information, rather than spelling everything out. Otherwise, you might as well state that Eric Zander is an organism in the taxonomic subspecies Homo sapiens sapiens, just to be thorough. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:12, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
After edit conflict, before reading the most recent post:
I'm not sure that I understand your point. Are you referring to the specific epithets being in the form of genitives of genus names? apis being the lower case genitive of Apis and bombycis of Bombyx? This is a fairly common occurrence in species that we see only as parasites or causes of infection, as well as some that may be beneficial or more or less neutral in their effect on the host.
I think that you may be using the word genus where I would use specific epithet, which in this case has the form of a genitive of a genus of the host, different from the genus of of the parasite. In other cases, the specific epithet can be in the form of an adjective modifying the genus or of a noun being used attributively to modify the genus or of a genitive form of a name of a person being honored by an eponymous adjective. There are probably other types of specific epithets, but the ones I've mentioned are the most common types. DCDuring TALK 23:21, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Actually, here it's a noun in apposition, and the noun in question happens to be the generic name for the genus Apis. This is rather rare: usually the noun is in the genitive case. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:11, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
apis is also the genitive of apis, it being a third-declension 'i-stem' noun, so we could assume that they followed the usual pattern of using the genitive of the host, though I have no hard evidence that it is not the nominative. DCDuring TALK 00:42, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Nosema bombycis is a parasite of both silkworm moths and bumble bees. If I were looking up a definition of either the disease (nosema disease, or properly nosema disease of honey bees) or the parasite (Nosema apis) I would understand more by seeing the genus of the parasite in the definition and etymology. The epithet form is "Nosema apis Zander 1909". —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:05, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Which shows how useful etymologies of taxonomic names are: bombycis is the genitive of bombyx, the Latin word for silkworm, and it might also be construed as genitive of the generic name Bombyx- but you'll have to look elsewhere to find a mention of bumblebees. As for Nosema apis, I see nothing in the original description about whether Zander was referring to the generic name Apis, or was using the Latin name for the honeybee, which happens to be apis. Granted, I have a hard time slogging through Fraktur, so I might have missed something- but in the paragraph where he introduces the name, he doesn't explain it at all, except to say that he consulted with a colleague in coming up with the name. As for what you would find helpful: from all the stuff you've added to the entry, it's obvious that you still think of this as an encyclopedia article- so your expectations may be a bit off. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:01, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Chuck Entz: thank you for finding the German article. The title of the English article which I referenced states "Zander discovers a cause for a disease of mature bees". The entry in wiktionary is Nosema apis, in which I added an etymology of the word, which I more explicitly described above (diff) as the relationship. Neither the silkworm moth nor the bumble bee is affected by this species of parasite – this parasite infects honey bees. Zander was coining a species name for a parasite, of a species of Nosema (although genus Nosema was not classified as a fungus at the time), using the scientific convention of the time, nevertheless he described a species of parasite of honey bees, conventionally in Latin. The German article shows the parallel with Nosema bombycis and stated that Nosema is a Gattung ‎(genus), note the use of a different typeface to differentiate the Latin names from the German text and that "den namen nosema apis gegeben" (the name nosema apis given). Apis is, in Latin, the genus of the bees. So, yes, instead of "honey bees" the entry should use "bees". I don't think a single sentence as an etymology is too encyclopedic, this is not paper, it is a 21st century way of doing things. Why be restricted? I am not an academic trained to follow an 18th century way of doing things like a Webster. Saying that a sentence is too encyclopedic is just moving the goal post. I write entries that I believe provide dictionary information. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 15:18, 30 March 2015 (UTC) modified 16:19, 30 March 2015 (UTC)


Hi there. Strange text before Etymology, and within Synonyms section. Not sure how to fix properly. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:09, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

You caught it in media res. It is interim detritus from a subst operation for new English vernacular names of taxa. DCDuring TALK 15:19, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

head butter[edit]

Unless I'm missing something, the quote you add does not support an alternative spelling of headbutter (or head-butter as the case may be). bd2412 T 17:32, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Right. My mistake. It belongs under &lit, DCDuring TALK 19:38, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Definitely &lit. Thanks! bd2412 T 20:20, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Correlation Does Not = Causation is a Proverb?[edit]

How is correlation does not imply causation a prover? It seems like a statement of fact to me. Proverbs are usually meaningless words of "wisdom" like the Chinese proverb "Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are" or Sigmund Freud's statement "We get intense pleasure only from a contrast and very little from a state of things." Correlation is not causation seems like a pretty concrete statement to me, not abstract at all. Its saying that if a person drinks soda, and gets diabetes, it does not mean drinking soda caused him to get diabetes.--PaulBustion88 (talk) 20:26, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

  1. By the definition of proverb.
  2. A fact is not "something true"; it is more "something actual". General logical truths are not actual.
  3. Your definition of proverb is not a common one. See proverb at OneLook Dictionary Search.
  4. That an instance of a generalization is concrete does not make the generalization concrete.
I rest your case. DCDuring TALK 20:43, 25 April 2015 (UTC)


Tupian is a family, not a language. Which language did you intend here? —CodeCat 16:48, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

I had no intent, simply inserting the recognized code into {{term}}, but I don't see why families aren't supported in {{m}} and {{term}}. The family categories would seem to me to be a useful holding pen for terms where the current level of scholarship or references available to contributors doesn't allow greater specificity. These seems like a case of the "better being the enemy of the good". But "better" gives to much credit to our current approach, which makes for either loss of category information or unwarranted precision without real evidence. DCDuring TALK 17:06, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It's not well-defined. What would it mean, for example, for a term to be in "Slavic" or "Romance"? And we don't allow for entries using families as the language, so such a link would point nowhere. If the references don't specify which language, how come they know what the term itself is? Did they forget where it came from? It's a bit like saying "from Germanic green". —CodeCat 17:32, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
What difference would it make if it were not well-defined?
In any event, it is perfectly well defined as a term believed to be from an unknown language of the Tupian/Slavic/Romance family.
What different does it make that we can't have an entry?
Re: "If the references don't specify which language, how come they know what the term itself is?" Because many people operate in the real world of very imperfect information. For example, I find it very useful to be able to specify "?", "m?", and "mf?" for genders of taxonomic names. In the case of terms with ostensive definitions, such as the names of living things, the meaning of the term is probably not in doubt, but the reporter may not know what name the Western naturalist would assign to the language and the naturalist may not have any knowledge or interest about the language. DCDuring TALK 18:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
If you don't know the language, use "und". That's what it's for. But still, where did the term ultimately come from? How do we know that there is such a word as "jasaná"? —CodeCat 18:26, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Ah, if only all reference works were as tidy and complete as they should be. The problem is that the only references I can find which discuss the etymology of this term do indeed just say "from Tupi-Guarani jasaná" or "from Tupian jasaná". Actually, I can find one French reference which suggests it's from Guarani, not that that helps much, since Guarani is itself only sometimes considered a language rather than a family. - -sche (discuss) 18:39, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Ideally, such terms should be reconstructions in the appendix namespace. It's pretty simple: if it is attested, then it is attested in a particular language; if it is not attested, then it is a reconstruction. --WikiTiki89 18:47, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
That approach may be valid for well-documented language families, but for the various indigenous languages of the Americas, it's often enough the case that a record attests some words in some orthography — sometimes enough words to allow identification of the family — without specifying intelligibly which language they belong to. "The Indians call it X" is a fairly common and vague phrase. Category:English terms derived from Tupian languages has quite a few terms for which available scholarship has not yet allowed more precise categorization. - -sche (discuss) 18:52, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I recently ran into this issue when thinking about how we could potentially treat Amorite. Amorite words are only attested as names in Akkadian text. I think the most logical way to treat them would be as attested as "borrowings" (or whatever you want to call them) in Akkadian and then reconstructed in Amorite. The same thing can be done here: "Indians call it X" would sort-of count as an English "borrowing" ("borrowing" is probably not the right word) and the original term would really be a reconstruction. It makes no difference that these languages might still even be spoken and that this term may still even be heard in speech but not text. --WikiTiki89 19:05, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that "the Indians call it X" (or "our name, foo, comes from its native name, X") attests X as an English word, though, any more than "the Germans call it Schwarzdrossel" attests Schwarzdrossel as an English word.
An Akkadian text that says the equivalent of "King Amorite-name conquered the land" is different; it does seem to be using "Amorite-name" as Akkadian, just as "President Putin said he was concerned" is using "Putin" as English and not Russian.
- -sche (discuss) 19:43, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Well I didn't mean we should count it as an English word that we can include, but we should look at it as if it were an borrowing into English in terms of figuring out what it is in the original language. A closer example with German would be if someone had said "Germans call it Shvahtsdrussle". Now if Schwarzdrossel were (hypothetically) not attested directly in German, we would have to reconstruct it as *Schwarzdrossel. --WikiTiki89 20:19, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
How should we handle cases of imperfect knowledge that is better than nothing ("und")? Shouldn't we make the cases of imperfect knowledge easy to find in groupings that corresponded to areas of expertise and reference-work coverage? DCDuring TALK 20:07, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
It seems obvious to me: use a family/etymology-only code in the etyl template, and leave the term itself without a wikilink or template. The only possible problem might be terms in non-Roman scripts that might need script support. Otherwise, you have to ask yourself: "What am I trying to link to?". I'm not so sure we would want to have a "Tupian" entry even in an appendix, based on another dictionary's etymology alone. If you don't know anything about the language, you can't really correct for differences between the transcribers' languages and those of the speakers. There are word lists in w:Clinton Hart Merriam's work, for instance, that are poorly transcribed and have language names that don't match those in other works. If I see a word in a Merriam word list for Cahuilla, I can compare some known words in other sources for Cahuilla and make a good guess at what the original word might have been. His Alliklik list, on the other hand, is almost useless.
Also, if the etymology is from an older non-linguistic reference, remember that some authors who know a lot about other subjects are horrifically misinformed when it comes to etymology. Aside from incompetent amateur dabblers such as w:John Bellenden Ker Gawler and poorly-educated taxonomists such as w:Eugène Simon (he published many new spider species as a teenager, before he studied Greek or Latin), there are those who relied on etymological works using discredited theories such as "everything came from Celtic" or "everything came from Greek". I've seen books on plants with all kinds of references to the "Celtic" words that ordinary English plant names were said to come from. As for enigmatic word lists, some of them end up with ad-hoc names for their languages, such as w:Crimean Gothic, but for others we might consider having appendices with collections of "mystery" terms. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:41, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz, CodeCat: I think "linking" is a red herring. Through the magic of programming, there could be no link if there were not an entry and there were not an explicit parameter set to allow a link to an appendix. Special pages could be used to show demand for pages or categories that grouped terms or pages containing terms from specific families.
As to relying on dictionaries we mostly rely on reported etymologies, few here being sufficiently qualified to be called authorities. Most of our entries are little more than interim drafts of a dictionary-quality entry, so we would seem to getting a bit ahead of ourselves to demand high perfection and abandon imperfect information, provided we make it easy to show that we are aware that our information is imperfect. If we were to apply comparable quality standards to our definitions as are being implicitly invoked here we would need disclaimers for virtually all our English-language definitions that were unsupported by citations and did not bear our Webster 1913 disclaimer.
I think Chuck's idea of appendices (or families of appendices) for words of uncertain placement in a specific language within a conjectured language family is a good one. How could we harness one or more of the special pages to show which appendices were in demand? Special:WantedPages is currently much too cluttered, but Special:WantedCategories would be practical. DCDuring TALK 08:10, 21 May 2015 (UTC)


Hi DCDuring. Would you mind if I moved {{C}} to {{C.}} so that Template:C can be used for {{catlangcode}}? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 00:28, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

No. Sadly, the only user who valued it much was driven out of Wiktionary. Now I may be the only one who cares about the ugliness of orphaned dashes. DCDuring TALK 01:01, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. I've done the moving. Are you referring to ReidAA, by any chance? What happened there? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 01:24, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

basic words[edit]

You correctly point out from time to time that our entries for many basic, polysemous words are sorely lacking. That inspired me to begin a slow campaign to systematically improve such entries: User:-sche/basic English. Feel free to add entries to that list and I'll try to work on them. - -sche (discuss) 20:18, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

Sure. And thanks for taking them on. User:Visviva and User:Widsith were the principle other recent contributors to such entries. User:Visviva, in particular, was undaunted by the big ones, eg, head. I posed you some questions on your talk page. No rush, but I'd welcome your thoughts. DCDuring TALK 21:01, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I can only help when I am taking a break from taxonomic names.
I've been making a lot of progress on achieving more uniformity among Translingual entries. See and, especially, its subcategories. I would like to bring the entries up to a standard that includes Hypernyms and Hyponyms sections and lots of External links for all 13K current taxon entries and English vernacular names and improved or added definitions for the 2,500 that have neither and for the several thousands that have only one. Then there are the missing, linked-to taxa, of which there are many on the more than 12,000 pages that have at least one {{taxlink}}. There are thousands that are linked to on more than one page. And then there are the vernacular name entries, both from dab pages at WP and from {{vern}} (more than 6,000) that need to be added and the existing ones that need to be expanded with multiple definitions and with Derived terms. DCDuring TALK 03:25, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

noshow parameter to taxlink[edit]

What is the purpose of this parameter? Seems like all uses set it to 1, so that there are no pages in "Entries using the taxlink template" category. --Tweenk (talk) 19:15, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

I gives me a chance to look at new uses of {{taxlink}}, make any corrections, and often add {{vern}} for any English vernacular names used. I had been in the habit of thanking people who used it too, but I've been remiss. In any event, thank you for taxing a sufficient interest in {{taxlink}} to notice and ask. DCDuring TALK 20:06, 17 June 2015 (UTC)

OK not OK![edit]

Hi DCDuring
At the OK entry, when you did this edit I think you meant to have "{{" at the start of the template, not "PP". (which are right next to each other on my keyboard) Fixed it here. (Wow, my second Wikt. edit! Except for my IP contribs.)
Regards, 220 of Borg (talk) 05:57, 22 June 2015 (UTC)

Even veteran editors make mistakes and don't catch them when they save. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 12:21, 22 June 2015 (UTC)


Remind me again - when should I code noshow=1 in a taxlink? SemperBlotto (talk) 15:17, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Feel free to insert it or not as you please. If you would like me to look at the entry to make whatever changes I like to make, usually for taxonomic-related content, omit it.
I aggressively watch such entries. Formerly, I had been thanking folks for using {{taxlink}}. But most of the users of that template by now should know that I appreciate their cooperation in developing taxonomic entries that respond to the "demand" for them reflected in the number of entries that have the taxon enclosed in {{taxlink}}. Thank you for being one of the heavier users of the template. DCDuring TALK 15:38, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
OK. I'll omit it if the entry is missing and I haven't got time to add it (or if I'm unsure of it). (I may sometimes forget) SemperBlotto (talk) 11:04, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

Kind acknowledgement[edit]

Thanks for your kind acknowledgement DCDuring. Cheers! AmericanDad86 (talk) 17:14, 30 June 2015 (UTC)


Hi there. I don't think this is from a surname, rather from the genus name Aburria - and I've forgotten how we define those sorts. SemperBlotto (talk) 12:44, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't think we ever had one quite like that: They are both from a common native source or aburri is and the other is onomatopoeic directly, influenced by the -ia suffix. I have A Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names, which gave some substantive help. If anything about the numerous bird epithets seems hard, I should be able to resolve it fairly quickly and reliably. DCDuring TALK 14:12, 2 July 2015 (UTC)


Howdy DC! long time, no see. I was just editing {{R:L&S}} and was wondering why {{R:L&S2}} exists. You seem to be the only one using it (in User:DCDuring/Latin words ending in -bilis). What's going on with it? —JohnC5 21:31, 17 July 2015 (UTC)

I was looking for a simpler display for use out of principal namespace. DanP objected to someone else's attempt to shorten the display generated by {{R:L&S}}. I have't had much use for it, but I could imagine using it or an even shorter version in WT:RE:la in the same way that I use {{taxlook}} in WT:RE:taxa or {{REEHelp}} in WT:REE#G et seq. DCDuring TALK 21:50, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
Aha, makes a lot of sense. May I suggest adding a line to the documentation saying that is not for use in the mainspace? Also, if you want it short, you could do something like:
fūbārius” (L&S)
Just a thought. —JohnC5 22:08, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I just wanted to stake a claim to a short template name for subsequent improvement, such as your shortening. It actually would be pretty useful to transclude it into {{taxlook}} when parameter2 = "genus". DCDuring TALK 22:13, 17 July 2015 (UTC)
I did not object to attempts to shorten the display. I support shortening displays, in general, omitting unnecessary details. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:15, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
{{Template:R:L&S2}} currently shows this:
term” in Lewis & Short, A Latin Dictionary
I support this except that the year should be provided since year is a key part of the identificaiton of a publication. The difficulty is in convincing other editors of the following:
  • "Oxford: Clarendon Press" is unnecessary and should be dropped
  • "Lewis & Short" is preferable to "Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short"
So again, I actually prefer R:L&S2 except for the year missing. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:36, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
I created Template talk:R:L&S#Provision of publisher. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:39, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Your attack.[edit]

This is demonstrably false. I expect you to acknowledge that, or provide evidence to the contrary if you disagree. If this kind of attack is the route you're going, I think you might need to cool off for a while. bd2412 T 20:02, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

If you fail to acknowledge in any way that the process is being manipulated and propose to disallow votes by rules not in effect during the vote, what is one to think? The procedural inconsistency is clear as is the consistency of manipulation or advocacy of manipulation to achieve your objectives. DCDuring TALK 20:09, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
I am specifically referring to your assertion that I have closed RfD votes in order to bring about a certain result. I have never done that. I have never been accused of that. I have, in fact, been very careful to avoid doing that. I'm sure you can see why such a claim would tend to be inflammatory. If you disagree, support your claim. Otherwise, please retract it. bd2412 T 20:16, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Re: "If you disagree, support your claim. Otherwise, please retract it.": Agree absolutely. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:19, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
In the discussion you (BD) invoked a "principle" that has never been voted on and is not part of any policy here. That is, such "principle" is merely YOUR VIEW. You have used your discretion to close RfDs using the "no consensus" rationale. One could as easily extend the RfD, especially as there is no time limit. Thus one cannot escape the conclusion that you find it convenient to close RfD discussions to keep terms in accordance with YOUR VIEW. Other choices you could make are to insert {{look}}, to request at BP that folks participate in the RfD process, or to simply leave it alone. There are at least 100 talk-page-archived instances of this. DCDuring TALK 20:26, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Which part of the following sentence of yours is correct and substantiated, DCDuring: "BD has no trouble closing RfDs, which have no time limit, rather than keeping them open because he apparently likes the result."? --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:34, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
The RfD guidelines require closing a discussion as "no consensus" where there is an absence of consensus, and specifically state that a discussion without consensus should be closed after thirty days. I try to follow that scrupulously. Of course, we could just let old discussions linger on the page until it exceeds 500k and becomes almost impossible to open and edit. I prefer not to do that. As for your conspiracy theory about my motives, it took me no time to find five recent RfD discussions where I supported or would have preferred deleting an entry, and closed the discussion as keep or no consensus: Talk:Mobil, Talk:police protection, Talk:bacon and eggs, Talk:am I right or am I right, Talk:big balls. bd2412 T 20:37, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
That only shows that YOUR VIEW on the principle over your preference in an individual case. How many times have you exercised discretion to delete something not patently garbage? DCDuring TALK 21:01, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
DCDuring, how many times have you closed a RFD nomination, approximately? --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:06, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
There is no discretion involved. If there is consensus to delete, I delete. If not, I close as no consensus. For an example of an RfD where I preferred to keep the entry, but deleted it per consensus, see Talk:dolemite. bd2412 T 21:38, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm with BD and Dan on this. DCDuring, you either need to provide evidence of improper closures, or else drop the matter altogether. It is perfectly acceptable for anybody (you, me, BD or Dan) to close a discussion as keep after 7 days, and as no consensus after 30; there is no more discretion taken by BD in closing it as there is in you keeping it open. Purplebackpack89 19:26, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

You have made a false accusation against me, and rather than providing evidence in support of it, you have demanded that I provide evidence to prove my innocence of that accusation. Fine. I have provided that evidence. Will you withdraw your accusation? bd2412 T 17:07, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

I have just gotten back from the hospital and will refute your assertion in due course or die trying. DCDuring TALK 21:42, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
That's most uncharitable of you. bd2412 T 23:37, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
So, how is your quest to refute my assertion going? Let me know if you need any help. Cheers! bd2412 T 14:58, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi. It's been a few weeks since your declaration that you "will refute your assertion in due course or die trying". I gather that you haven't died yet, so are you ready to provide evidence of your claim, or are you going to need to withdraw the claim? bd2412 T 18:49, 16 August 2015 (UTC)


Re this, where did you find out that this generic name is feminine? I thought it was undeterminable because the only species (Cechenodes oweni) uses a genitive for its specific epithet… — I.S.M.E.T.A. 01:12, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

Not only that, the ICZN has a clause here that says: A compound genus-group name ending in the suffix -ites, -oides, -ides, -odes, or -istes is to be treated as masculine unless its author, when establishing the name, stated that it had another gender or treated it as such by combining it with an adjectival species-group name in another gender form.
Without access to the original publication (the American Entomological Institute is asking $23 for it), there's no way to independently verify whether the author did so, though I suppose a third party might have gleaned that information from the article and passed it on to us. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:08, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
I don't have good familiarity with the rules. I usually infer the gender from, 1., the gender of 1st declension adjective or participle used as a specific epithet or subspecific epithet, searching far and wide for any such epithet. Fairly often there are none of these. I then, 2., try the gender of the word the genus name is derived from and see if any specific epithet contradicts that. Then, 3., I compare the ending of the genus name with the endings of genera of known gender and with the endings of Latin and Greek words of known gender (L&S, LSJ}. Finally, 4., I place a ? in the place where gender would be, as Cirrus search lets me find that with a regular expression. The one thing I haven't done is looked at the damned rules. But the rules can only be assumed to apply to new names assigned since the rules have gone into effect and decisions to accept non-conformming names sometimes occur. For us usage still trumps rules, though my third step cannot be defended as usage based. Perhaps we need a category for genera that don't have gender yet. DCDuring TALK 03:13, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
Your methods will work fine for most first and second declension adjectives/participles or nouns but the third declension ones like this are a mixed bag- the reason that rule is there is because those particular endings can be either masculine or feminine, so there really is no way to even guess the gender of a word that ends with them. If you don't have the gender of the specific epithet to guide you and the original publication doesn't say, you might as well just flip a coin- or set an arbitrary rule.
As for application: the rule applies to every generic name ever published that meets the criteria. These generic names are sort of like Schrödinger's cat: they can go for centuries without being one gender or the other- until species with adjectival/participial specific epithets are placed in them. After that, the gender is set for any future specific epithets. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:48, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Henceforth I will add and not remove question marks from doubtful cases and I will apply the rule applicable to this case to other similar cases. I will also extract what I can from the codes on this subject. DCDuring TALK 21:21, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: What made you think it was feminine in the first case? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:42, 22 July 2015 (UTC)
@I'm so meta even this acronym: Beats the heck out of me. I didn't follow step 2 of my procedure either, as there is an exact etymological match with the correct gender. I was pushing to clean up some of the unknown gender items and might have been, must have been tired as well. Thus a lapse of judgment. DCDuring TALK 04:48, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
OK, I see. It happens to us all. Thanks for the response. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 08:45, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

R. rotunda[edit]

While looking for books using r rotunda, I noticed that "R. rotunda" exists as an abbreviated taxonomic name, possibly of Rossella rotunda or Runcina rotunda (although both get only 2 Google Books hits); Runcina coronata also exists. I just mention this in case you want to create the entries. - -sche (discuss) 21:11, 27 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for thinking of me, but I don't even have all the taxa in Special Wanted Pages, let alone all the ones with 5 or more uses in {{taxlink}}. DCDuring TALK 23:41, 27 July 2015 (UTC)


You're welcome. — LlywelynII 23:06, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

@LlywelynII: I don't get it. You've done this to me and to several other users. Is the idea that you are passive-aggressively pointing out that we should have thanked you for your edits? Please clarify why you leave these messages. —JohnC5 01:04, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I did thank him. DCDuring TALK 03:36, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
Very intriguing. Maybe I did too in the past? That would explain why he did it the first time, I guess. I still find it odd. If it just that, then I apologize. —JohnC5 03:44, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
I understand the impulse to say "you're welcome": I've felt it myself, but then I reflected on why it wasn't built in the same way 'thanks' is. DCDuring TALK 03:56, 30 July 2015 (UTC)
As above, in response to thanks. I don't have any problem with it not being a built-in feature. Seems like it would be taken as more sincere when you take the time to visit. My sympathy for whatever's going on in your life that your first thought is passive aggressive snark, let alone to the point where you take it to third-parties' talk pages instead of mine. (My apologies, DCD.) — LlywelynII 04:08, 31 July 2015 (UTC)
I have given this great consideration and determined that I've had enough arguments with users like Nemzag recently. Many happy returns, LlywelynII. —JohnC5 04:43, 31 July 2015 (UTC)

Arctocephalus ursinus[edit]

It looks like it was known as Arctocephalus ursinus for a very short time- I can already find citations for Callorhinus ursinus in 1860. Just thought it may not be that relevant for an English definition. DTLHS (talk) 20:16, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes. Linnaeus had called it Phoca ursina. The chain of renamings is often not worth knowing, so it's not high on my ever-growing list of projects. But if we can find them easily enough or there is some reason to try to show off, why not put 'em in? DCDuring TALK 20:22, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
BTW, Arctocephalus includes all or almost all of the other fur seals. DCDuring TALK 20:23, 6 August 2015 (UTC)


Hey. Can you temporarily unprotect Template:es-adj please? --A230rjfowe (talk) 20:24, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

(For the record this has been taken care of by Angr. - -sche (discuss) 20:57, 8 August 2015 (UTC))

Thanks for letting me know. I don't know the first thing about the template, the user, or Spanish. DCDuring TALK 21:07, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
The user is WF. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:22, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
He knows I'm a soft touch, or was. DCDuring TALK 00:29, 9 August 2015 (UTC)


Please look at the code of this template. If you need to use the template with the second parameter, it's completely pointless and just adds to page-loading time. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:55, 9 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm using it's presence or absence as an indicator of some other search and cleanup I am doing. That it doesn't make a visible difference and makes only an imperceptible loading-time difference is fine. When I'm done, I won't care whether it is reverted or bot-corrected. DCDuring TALK 00:20, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I see. Do you have some idea of when you'll be done? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 01:55, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Can you give me a week? I get bored doing the same kind of thing, so I don't work straight through. The kind of thing I'm looking for was formerly more common and therefore implemented with "[[w:" rather than "{{w|", so search for "[[w:" has a better yield than searching for "{{w|". DCDuring TALK 02:04, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Please excuse the late response; I've been busy IRL. A week would, of course, have been fine. It's been a fortnight; can I assume that you're all done with this now? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:12, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
I'll figure out how to do what I want on the dump, not that I understand why you care about this. DCDuring TALK 23:35, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't. It's just that removing pointless uses of {{w}} is something I'd do habitually, but I'll avoid doing it for as long as you are using its presence or absence as an indicator. I wish to extend you that courtesy. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:45, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

"vern" links[edit]

I think it's a pity to lose red links (which flag up entries requiring creation) by turning them in to Wikipedia "vern" links. Any thoughts? Equinox 16:32, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes. I will do an XML run, sooner rather than later, sorting the links by count. I would not object to an appearance and function like blue gooseWP, as I think many users would think to click on the "WP". I'd been putting off the template change for fear of objection and the XML run for fear of revealing my lack of good Perlmanship. DCDuring TALK 16:39, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
There is Category:Entries missing English vernacular names of taxa into which {{vern}} places entries, sorted by the first missing vernacular name the software comes upon. DCDuring TALK 16:45, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
And also see User:DCDuring/Vernacular plant names from Wikipedia disambiguation pages for more complex, but useful missing entries. DCDuring TALK 16:51, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Three taxa[edit]

Hi DCDuring. I just created entries for Grammicolepis brachiusculus, Vesposus, and Vesposus egregius; could you check them for errors and insufficiencies, please? Thanks. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 18:33, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 18:51, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for doing the touch-ups. You improved Grammicolepis brachiusculus considerably. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:25, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
That is the standard I aspire to for the most-linked-to current taxa (eventually all current taxa) at the rank of genus and species. Something less is all I can do for other taxa. The links carry the weight of the encyclopedic content people may want; the entry should be a superior source of lexical information. The images are intended to supplement the etymologies in many cases. DCDuring TALK 22:01, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
I shall try to imitate your practice in my future taxonomic entries. I was going to ask you to turn your hand to Grammicolepis, but I see you've done so already! Many thanks. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 12:27, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Any help in covering taxa is appreciated. Adding plain links to unlinked taxa is good. Adding {{taxlink}} and {{vern}} is very useful. Removing those templates when they are redundant (indicated by membership in hidden categories) helps too.
Of course good and near-good entries are wonderful. And if you omit "noshow=1" from {{taxlink}}, I will take a look at the entry. Periodically I look at additions to the large taxon categories: species, genus, and family. I may also create {{taxcheck}} to facilitate requests to validate, correct, or enhance taxonomic entries or uses of taxonomic names in other entries.
It may not be a good use of your time to add external links other than to WP, Species, and Commons. Checking those links is relatively easy. If necessary, correcting them to bypass redirects, and possibly using the post-"failed search" search to find the lowest-ranking higher taxon entry is straightforward. If you want to see what's involved beyond those, you could search for the taxon using {{R:NCBI}} and look at the links at NCBI, which usually include most of the good general-purpose ones (as well as some for the biochemistry of the taxa and others to confirm the legitimacy of the name). But I have bookmarked about a hundred bookmarked taxonomic sites and have repeatedly used at least half of them for research, usually for obsolete taxa, insects and other invertebrates, bacteria, viruses, etc. DCDuring TALK 13:03, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I admit that I am unlikely to add taxa for their own sake: I added Vesposus for etymological reasons, and then the rest followed; that will probably be my future editing pattern, too. I'm fairly familiar with {{taxlook}}, {{taxlink}}, and {{vern}}, and I generally use them where appropriate. Re "[r]emoving those templates when they are redundant", would it be possible to add something like a |nocat= parameter to those templates, which could then be used instead of removing the templates? The templates have section-linking and italicisation features that are useful beyond their categorisation feature. {{taxcheck}} would be useful, and I would be likely to use it. Noted re external links; it looks like a lot to master, but I'll do what I can. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 19:32, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
I assumed that to be the case. Obsolete taxa are not high on my list, but are definitely worth adding, in part because they are sources of current taxonomic terms, but also because some of the etymologies are intrinsically interesting. Obsolete taxa do not need WP, Species and Commons external links. You might find it useful to include {{R:Century 1911}}, {{R:TPL}} (the Plant List), and {{R:ION}} (Index of Organism Names) to validate the names. DCDuring TALK 21:37, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
By way of example, See Plautus at Index of Organism Names. You could pick almost any Latin or Greek name and find a taxon by that name, albeit often an obsolete one. DCDuring TALK 21:44, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
What do you mean by "validate"? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:44, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Find evidence that it would probably be attestable. Actual attestation (3 uses) of obsolete names can be tedious. DCDuring TALK 21:53, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Oh, right, I see. Well, I tend to use the trusty Google Book Search for that, but I'll keep {{R:ION}} in mind for cases where GBS fails to produce the goods. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 23:25, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Re my question above ("Re '[r]emoving those templates when they are redundant', would it be possible to add something like a |nocat= parameter to those templates, which could then be used instead of removing the templates?"), do you mind if I add that |nocat= parameter to {{taxlink}}? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 12:54, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

If you add something like that, I hope the idea would be to eliminate the #ifexist test, or at least its execution, which adds to wanted pages and slows execution. If we know we have a Wiktionary entry for the taxlinked term, the #IFEXIST test is silly. We could use a different template that differed by one or twp characters from {{taxlink}}, eg {{taxlnk}}, {{taxlinkwt}} or similar that did not contain the test. DCDuring TALK 15:58, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
Unless I'm very much mistaken, this change of mine should make |extant=1 skip all but one of that template's tests. Is that OK? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:22, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I think it does what you say. But extant in this context contrasts with extinct. We might want to show something as extinct, but having an entry here. Do you have dreams of automagical formatting for taxonomic names using taxlink, like reading rank from words like variety and subspecies that appear in the name, from punctuation and from suffixes? DCDuring TALK 00:17, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
Ah, good point. I meant "extant" to mean that the linked-to entry exists, but you're right that that usage is ambiguous (incidentally |nocat= was already performing another function in {{taxlink}}). Can you suggest a better name for the |extant= parameter? (|extant=1 is only used in Vesposus so far, so it's no hassle to change the parameter name.) Re "automagical formatting", I know that bits of taxonomic names (like var.) are meant to appear in regular type in the context of an otherwise-italic name, and from what I've seen of the other tricks accomplished by Lua string manipulation, I'm sure that such formatting could be automatically generated by Luacisation; accordingly, having as many taxonomic names as possible enclosed in {{taxlink}} in antecipation of such future improvements to the template's functionality is, IMO, A Good Thing™. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 11:20, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps wikt=1 or entry=1. I was thinking that we could get regexes to also detect the endings for order, family, subfamily, tribe, subtribe, and possibly others. We could let users override what the regex found. DCDuring TALK 13:38, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
I went for |entry=. Agreed re regexes — suffixes like -idae are pretty regular in their meaning, aren't they? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:02, 13 September 2015 (UTC)


I think you were interested in monitoring words that were 'in the news'. If so, this one is now.
I'll see about adding an etymology section and some translations. - -sche (discuss) 02:25, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

I've added a bare entry for Mount McKinley, in which is a quote (with a pagelink !!!) about the naming after McKinley from W.A. Dickey's NY Sun article on his explorations. I have edited the usage notes in line with the sources. Did the Territory or State of Alaska ever officially call the mountain Denali before yesterday? The Territory (1917-1959) may not have had the power to do so, but the State might have from its admission as a state on January 3, 1959. DCDuring TALK 11:44, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
The WP article on the dispute says an official Alaskan agency renamed it in 1975, but the link is dead. DCDuring TALK 12:00, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Shouldn't we at least have any other native names we know of as translations? DCDuring TALK 12:09, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Have you looked at a copy of Shem Pete's Alaska (2003), which has a partially visible table of the names of Denali in many native languages of the area? I've added some {{t-needed}}s for four native languages that reportedly have native speakers. DCDuring TALK 12:51, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
I've found and added a live link confirming the 1975 rename by the Alaskan board of names. And Shem Pete's great book is where I found the pronunciation information for the native translations I added. :) The translations themselves I also confirmed in the Handbook of North American Indians, which cites Jette+Jones, who seem to have been the primary researchers of the subject. I've tried to find another names (e.g. Gwich'in), but so far no luck. - -sche (discuss) 17:09, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
I put in {{t-needed}} just to remind folks of the 'small' languages - and in hopes that these were on the page that Google wouldn't let me read. Have you had access to all of Table 13 in Shem Pete's Alaska? Have you mined it for all that it has?
I never cease to be amazed at the amount of material that has been scanned and is available online. The US LoC has an astonishing amount of newspaper material, though the OCR of what I've looked at is awful. That's where I found the NY Sun article "by" the prospector. I had been able to find my grandfather's death notice in the Brooklyn Eagle online. I thought it was just New Zealand that had such good coverage. DCDuring TALK 17:19, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I mined all of table 13. Here's a copy; note that Middle Tanana = Lower Tanana; the apparent difference in the forms of the two dialects is due to differing orthography/notation. It's amazing not only how much is online, but how much is continually coming online; entries like Talk:octaviate, Talk:hatefuck and Talk:cisphobia went from being uncitable to being citable in the space of a few months/years, not due to new uses of the terms but due to old uses being digitized by Google. - -sche (discuss) 21:11, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Plautus Appendix[edit]

User:DCDuring/Names of characters in plays of Plautus By "not ready for prime time" do you mean that substantive work remains to be done, or are you merely waiting for the outcome of the discussion? I'm prepared to close it in favor of your proposal. bd2412 T 01:36, 7 October 2015 (UTC)

Obviously I didn't want to invest in completion if the proposal did not get favorable reception.
The data needed to be edited for missing fields. It still needs to be formatted as a sort table. I will eventually figure out the regex editor or do search and replace offline to yield a sort table. I will then add any missing taxonomic names or epithets and {{taxlink}}s or regular links for them. DCDuring TALK 13:21, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
I frankly don't think it matters if the page is in User space or Appendix space while these details are sorted out. bd2412 T 13:37, 7 October 2015 (UTC)
Moved to Appendix space. DCDuring TALK 00:30, 8 October 2015 (UTC)


Hi! I bet you removed the ety because it wasn't categorising nicely (i.e. it showed up at chromo- despite not having that particular orthography). But that seems like the kind of thing you'd normally oppose: putting the templating rules ahead of what benefits users. Surely that semi-ety was better than no ety, for someone who wants an ety? Is there a proper template for showing such equivalences without messing up categories? Equinox 05:33, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

Yes. I hate those "equivalent to" pseudoetymologies wherever they occur. I think they are phony. This etymology failed to even show that it was a borrowing and from what language. I am suspicious that the word meets even our ludicrously lax standards for inclusion as an English word. Using {{term}} or {{m}} would do the job you desire. DCDuring TALK 03:19, 26 October 2015 (UTC)

I fixed your edit[edit]

diff. URLs must always be given as named parameters because they can contain = signs. —CodeCat 21:06, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Linnaean definition of Glires[edit]

Please see "talk:Glires#Linnaean definition" regarding your recent edits. I think you may have confused the smaller-scope now-obsolete definition (#2 on "Glires") equating Glires with Rodentia, versus the original Linnaean definition, which also corresponds to the modern phylogenetic definition of Lagomorpha plus Rodentia. Linnaeus had the correct definition from the beginning, but for a long time apparently biologists thought that he was wrong to group rodents and lagomorphs together, until modern genetic studies proved him right. The second obsolete definition then corresponds to the usage of Glires between the time of Linnaeus and the recent genetic results. Nicole Sharp (talk) 15:00, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Feel free to edit to include all three definitions, which seems appropriate. I can't ascribe to Linnaeus any definition that includes the word "clade". I'm sure we could even add more definitions, but to little gain. The obsolete definition is sourced from Glires in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911, a convenient source for Victorian and Edwardian English, even of the scientific and technical sort. DCDuring TALK 15:16, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Glirina on Glires[edit]

What is Glirina (linked on Glires)? There is no mention on Wikipedia or WikiSpecies, and the interwikilink goes to a blank page with no content? Nicole Sharp (talk) 16:58, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Again I used Glirina in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 as a source. I doubt that it is an important term, but we might have some minimal entry for it. Sometimes we add terms that we discover while working nearby, without regard to their importance or fit with any strategy or priority. DCDuring TALK 18:33, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
I spent a little time trying to track this down: the marsupial sense is explained by this reference and this reference: it was first published as a family, but I suspect it was inadmissible due to the -ina ending, then it seems to have been made a "tribe", but with a rank higher than family. I believe it's equivalent to the modern suborder w:Vombatiformes, with the family Phascolomyidae corresponding to the modern family Vombatidae, aka the w:Wombats. I'm not sure what the rodent sense of Glirina means: it seems to include the w:Edible dormouse, but I have no idea what else, or what rank it's supposed to be. In fact, I suspect the Century Dictionary refers to Glirina in either sense as a "group" because of disagreement among references as to rank. Perhaps the best we can do for a definition is something like: "(obsolete) a taxonomic group within the rodents that includes the edible dormouse Glis glis." I hope not! Chuck Entz (talk) 03:18, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for looking into it. I suppose the Glarina saga is a cautionary tale (at least for me) about problems with older names. Glires is a simple illustration of the evolving meaning and recycling of terms. Linnaeus' groupings have had sufficient influence to be worth having without much reservation, but the post-Linnaean/pre-Codes names and definitions (like Glirina and the obsolete sense of Glires) seem both highly problematic and of limited reward. OTOH, I am encouraged by what I have learned about the quality of Century's entries. They seem to get encyclopedic sometimes to explain ambiguities of terms. DCDuring TALK 04:32, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps definitions of taxons should be differentiated into traditional physiological taxons (e.g. pre-genomics) versus phylogenetic taxons? Modern genetic studies have turned traditional (Linnaean) taxonomic nomenclature pretty much onto its head. Technically a full taxonomic name for a species can now include dozens or hundreds of hypernymic taxons, since each evolutionary change often delegates a new taxon. A sense template for taxons might help, e.g. {Linnaean} for original 1700s definitions, versus {physiological} for 1800s-1900s definitions, and {phylogenetic} for modern 2000s definitions. Nicole Sharp (talk) 03:57, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it, the phylogenetic names are as subject to change based on new information as the morphological definitions, the morphological names often remain the best classification available for many organisms and may remain so indefintiely (organisms known only from fossils). Pre-Linnaean scientific names are at least potentially includable as well.
I am attempting to not be diverted from a lexicographic focus by obsession with being up-to-the-minute with the latest taxonomy. I assume that our users are not taxonomy students or professionals, but rather folks who need some link to that world to help them understand what a vernacular name in English or another language might refer to, or what a taxonomic name in a book or sales catalog (say, for plants) might refer to. Gardeners, foodies, citizen scientists are perhaps representative users. If we also provide a service to biologists, it is likely to be in providing vernacular names, etymological information, and gender information for taxonomic names. I have been trying to use our normal labels, like archaic and obsolete for taxa to convey what users expect from Wiktionary, rather than introduce labels foreign to normal users. DCDuring TALK 04:35, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) First of all, the standard plural of taxon is taxa. It's not a big deal, though.
Secondly, any time you ask two taxonomists, you'll generally get at least three opinions. Differentiation of taxa is a very complex matter, with traits sloshing around in the gene pool until it moves in one direction or another. Compounding this is the difficulty in keeping track of what's already published, and in figuring out whether the specimen you're looking at is the same as a published description. Taxonomy is like taking a huge sack of pieces from many different jigsaw puzzles and trying to make them all fit, even though you know that most of the pieces are missing. Any taxonomic work worth its salt is going to have a long synonymy section, with misidentifications, partial overlaps, clashing classification schemes and various other uncertainties. Not only that, but different taxonomists will have different concepts of what belongs to a given taxon: just try and come up with a coherent account of all the different versions of w:Orthoptera, for instance.
Molecular methods have added powerful tools for taxonomists to work with, but they haven't been applied widely enough, and different studies using different sample sets, different statistical methods, and different choice and weighting of characters can still come up with divergent, wildly incompatible results. Most of this will eventually get sorted out, but for now even many molecularly-based taxa are still rather unstable.
Worse, each sub-sub-sub-field of taxonomy has a different history with a different timeline. There are taxa that Linnaeus got right the first time and haven't changed, and there are others where no one has ever done a decent taxonomic study, and new specimens keep turning up that keep completely changing the picture. There's a reason that no taxonomic name is technically complete without an author abbreviation: it very often comes down to scientist X said this, and scientist Y said that, and so on. Trying to come up with a tidy scheme for summarizing it all is a sure path to either insanity or procrustean denial of reality. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:57, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
The best Wiktionary taxonomic entries are better in a few dimensions than most taxonomic databases, but inferior in many others, such as synonymy, authorship, technical description, etc. We try to make up for the deficiencies, without becoming an encyclopedia or simply duplicating other databases, by linking to other online sources, first to WP, WikiSpecies, and WikiCommons, then to some of the standard comprehensive databases (ITIS, NCBI, EoL), then to the broader specialized databases or sources, like Tropicos, APWeb, FishBase, WoRMS, Avibase, ICTV, Mammals of the World, AnimalBase, AnimalWeb, etc. Occasionally we link to the narrowly specialized databases. I think this is a reasonable approach to including coverage of taxonomic names in a general-purpose, but comprehensive dictionary. It is hard enough to carry out this program for the existing list of only 12,000 or so taxonomic entries (4,000 species, 5,200 genera).
We need more coverage even more than we need greater depth. We even lack the overwhelming majority of orders from the recent comprehensive list of 1,400 published by Ruggiero et al. (We have fewer than 400, some obsolete and not included in Ruggiero et al). We have about 4,000 vernacular names that have redlinks in our entries. More generally we have about 70,000 redlinks for taxonomic names. Even if we exclude some of the sillier lists of hyponyms of insect genera we have tens of thousands of such redlinks. And the data are limited to those missing taxonomic and vernacular names that are enclosed in {{taxlink}} and {{vern}}. Many more are bare redlinks, as I was mortified to discover reviewing Special:WantedPages (no longer refreshed).
There might be some labeling scheme that enhanced the value of our definitions. On occasion, usually for disambiguation of polysemic taxonomic terms, I use {{defdate}} to indicate when a taxonomic name came into use, generally using a publication date, which is roughly consistent with its use in other kinds of entries here. DCDuring TALK 15:00, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
  • We also have {{R:ZooBank}}, which allows reference to ICZN nomenclatural acts to give us yet another link for some taxa. DCDuring TALK 23:57, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Curry favor[edit]

Hi! I was hoping we could reach consensus on curry favor – I realize I was being bold in removing the etymology, but I sincerely believe it's not true and needs good evidence if we're to include it. Do you have any thoughts on how we could best approach this issue? ThanksJchthys (talk) 00:47, 13 December 2015 (UTC)


Wikispecies has the nematode genus in family Uncinariidae, while wikipedia has Ancylostomatidae. Are these synonyms, and is one preferred? DTLHS (talk) 01:46, 16 December 2015 (UTC)

The better quality sources favor Ancylostomatidae: Index fungorum (cited by WP), NCBI (tries to be current), both better than Animal Diversity Web (cited at species:Uncariidae), at least for taxonomy.
Sometimes I try to have alternative views of the taxonomy. I then try to have a sense defined in English and use {{taxon}} multiple times as subsenses (usually just twice) for the placement. That also can mean multiple sets of Hyponyms and Hypernyms, sometimes identical, usually overlapping. I usually do this when there already is a definition in the entry that seemingly differs from the current one I am using.
I have a good source for modern taxonomy across the board at the rank of order and above. There are many sources for species and genera. I find less information on the ranks between and often rely on WP and its sources, but also NCBI. Incidentally there is much more information at the rank of family that at other ranks above genus and below order, which is why all uses of {{taxon}} below the level of family have "family" as the second parameter in {{taxon}}. DCDuring TALK 02:15, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
Ancylostomatinae has two genera in it per NCBI: Ancylostoma and Uncinaria, so Uncinariidae and Ancylostomatidae are at least approximately synonymous. DCDuring TALK 02:26, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
If we're using family as the parent taxon for genus in all cases, does that mean only major ranks (family) should have hyponyms? Otherwise you might go from tribe -> genus, but the genus will have no mention of the tribe. This might also lead to extremely long lists of hyponyms that might otherwise be spread out over several tribes or other intermediate taxa. DTLHS (talk) 02:32, 16 December 2015 (UTC)
It is particularly important to have good lists of hypernyms and hyponyms for the ranks between family and genus because it is hard to have other good content for the entry. I think the best use of a taxon of a rank like "subtribe" is often to help users get what the close relatives of a given genus might be. That means that fairly complete lists of lower-level hypernyms can be very helpful. The hypernyms in turn need to have good lists of hyponyms to fully achieve this. But many families and genera have numerous hyponyms (sometimes hundreds), which lists have not (yet) been broken down to more usable groupings. This limits the possibilities for understanding those taxa.
I try to have hypernyms lists whenever possible. I have many templates of the form {{Asteraceae Hypernyms}} for families, which I supplement with the missing ranks down to the genus. I am also putting together templates for phyla. I may do something similar for orders and/or classes. I decided against a full system of nested templates because of the seemingly endless proliferation of clades between the better known taxa at traditional ranks. It may be useful to have definitions for the clades but not necessarily to include them in every chain of hypernyms to which they might belong.
Typical taxon entries have only one definition, sometimes without any useful vernacular content, rarely with a substantial vernacular definition. So, long lists of Hyponyms and Hypernyms don't seem to me to be a problem. The long hypernyms lists sometimes help establish a connection to something a normal human would understand (eg, Mammalia, Reptilia, Tetrapoda) or might understand (eg, Aves). Climbing the ladder of hypernyms gives a user multiple chances to find real content or good links somewhere on the ladder. A rank like subtribe often has more need for Hypernyms and Hyponyms because they often have no corresponding vernacular name in use at all. OTOH, I am happy that we have any entry at all for a given taxon. My intent is to develop some shortlists of taxa that are "important" to users for improvement to the highest level that I can manage (image gallery; multiple external links; vernacular name(s); some brief combination of differentia, location found, importance to humans, etc.; hypernyms and hyponyms; etymology; gender (for genera and lower); historical and/or alternative definitions; even useful see alsos like symbionts, parasites, hosts. Lesser levels of completeness could be adequate for the vast majority of the taxon entries we have, let alone all those we could have. Links to WP, Species, and Commons are vital for further entry improvement; pictures help make up for lack of adequate definitions and hypernyms lists; etymology can help with gender determination; links to sites other than sister projects can compensate for missing or stub entries at sister projects. DCDuring TALK 13:59, 16 December 2015 (UTC)


Hi. I find this quite space-consuming and verbose, especially on WT:REE. What do you think about abbreviating some of the text it produces? Equinox 08:15, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

As a first attempt, I'll assume the main problem is the horizontal screen space taken up rather than the number of words or tokens. Let me know of any other changes you'd like once I given it my first try, DCDuring TALK 13:45, 27 December 2015 (UTC)
test - OneLook - Google "test" (BooksGroupsScholarNews Archive) - current
test - OneLook - Google (WebBooksGroupsScholarNews Archive) - replacement

Is the replacement good enough in appearance? I need to test it a bit. DCDuring TALK 14:09, 27 December 2015 (UTC)

Yep, I think it's much better. Equinox 09:01, 29 December 2015 (UTC)

Request for Help with Purplebackpack89[edit]

As an administrator, I was wondering if you could help resolve the situation occurring with Purplebackpack89's personal attacks in response to my comments on Requests for Verification/conservative. This all began when he seemed to suggest that the definition should discuss the histories of the Republican and Democratic parties, in a manner that implied that Republican ideology was "regressive" on racial, social, and religious issues. My comment was that it would be inappropriate to include what were essentially personal opinions in Wiktionary entries. Unfortunately, since that time he's unwilling to let it rest and has taken to a number of rude and insulting jabs, including carrying on his argument in the edit summaries of RfV, which is certainly against Wiktionary policy. I've asked him to stop twice, and it's still going on. These are some of his comments:

  • "Maybe get your facts straight? Also, I changed it, so why are you still talking?"
  • "And I'm not even sure you really know what the word "regressive" means."
  • "you have yet to actually edit Conservative Democrat, you've merely griped about it in this RfV."
  • "TLDR, except, regrettably, I actually read it."
  • "I'm not even sure you've actually read them. It should have been blatantly obvious to you..."
  • "I'm also not sure you've actually read everything I said above..."
  • "you're still far too hung up on a gut reaction to the word "regressive" that time you were hung up on a gut reaction to disableds...or to house...or to fabulous."
  • "And don't try to lecture me about when events happened in American history, young man...I have a bachelor's degree in American history with a minor in politics."

And these edit summaries occur in the page history, all directed at me:

  • "re:Aculeius' blueberry claim"
  • "I don't know why P Aculeius is making so much fuss over this. Frankly, his comments belie how little he knows about the project"
  • "oh, descriptive words are off-limits now? Try writing definitions without any descriptive words. You'll find it's quite difficult"
  • "dude, read the actual definitions for conservative and Conservative Democrat"
  • "too hung up on a gut reaction"
  • "collapse P's meandering"

Enough sarcasm, condescension, and insults to fill several weeks, IMO. I'm quite certain that personal attacks are not permitted; insulting and belittling other people's intelligence, education, reading skills, or contributions in general merely because you disagree with them seems to contravene Wiktionary policy; as does using edit summaries to do the same. Since I can't make him stop, is there any chance that you can? P Aculeius (talk) 16:11, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

Why don't you take this to User talk:Purplebackpack89? --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:15, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
Because asking him to stop only seems to result in more of the same. And try as I might over the last two days, I couldn't find any page or policy suggesting how to deal with repeated incivility and personal attacks, other than a suggestion to ignore them. Contacting an administrator who seems active and who might be familiar with the page and discussion seemed like the most obvious way of obtaining help. P Aculeius (talk) 16:51, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
I've had to thicken my skin over the years. In any event, your reputation among those familiar with PB89 is unlikely to suffer. Even to a newbie his mostly fact-free assertions and insults are fairly transparent. Keep up the good work. DCDuring TALK 17:00, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
If, in your job, a co-worker is continuously being impolite to you, what do you do first? Do you first talk to him or to your boss? Or do you talk to the security guy and ask whether the security guy could prevent the colleague from entering the building for a day? --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:01, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
I asked him to stop, several times, and did my utmost to respond only to the original point under discussion, not to subsidiary topics that I had never addressed or intended to address. I tried not to personalize what I said, or throw insults at him, but merely tried, again and again, to explain the original comment that was being described as naïve foolishness from someone who had no idea what he was talking about (I mean me, not him; I'm describing his assertions, not making one of my own). Talking to someone as an equal only works when that person is willing to treat you as one, and when they repeatedly indicate that they don't have to listen to you because they're your superior, then yes, talking to the "boss" is the best option. I didn't ask anyone to block or be blocked. I didn't request a punishment. I just asked if an admin could step in before it got really ugly, although IMO carrying on an argument through edit summaries is already pretty getting pretty ugly, since rude remarks in edit summaries are difficult to remove, and can't be modified by the offending party. And while I won't reject kindly-offered advice even if it isn't what I might have hoped to hear, it's good to know that I'm not the only one who feels the need to shout, "fetchez la vache!" when Mr. Backpack talks. P Aculeius (talk) 21:43, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
In some parts of the USofA we have another option: open carry. DCDuring TALK 17:35, 9 January 2016 (UTC)
Piss off, PB. You've got a lot of gall jumping in on this. It's enough to make me rethink my advice to PA. In your case folks "threw stuff" at you because you deserved it: you rarely responded rationally to anything anyone said and routinely resorted to ad hominem attacks, dragging down the tenor of virtually every discussion you "participated" in.
Please refrain from posting on any user page of mine. I will simply roll your "contributions" back. DCDuring TALK 19:51, 9 January 2016 (UTC)


Hey Dennis. As the Translingual spcies guy, could you please add some Translingual stuff to Nicolaus? Seems to me like another bunch of boring insects to me...--Stubborn Pen (talk) 10:55, 10 January 2016 (UTC)

Insects are my least fun group. DCDuring TALK 12:36, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
Next time, please tell me why the group is worth my time. DCDuring TALK 12:44, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
The group is nothing special, just that Nicolaus had other meanings. Thanks, anyway. --Stubborn Pen (talk) 17:13, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
I see. I guess I do that too to reduce confusion in advance, even when the risk of it occurring is very low. DCDuring TALK 23:39, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Hey, the next request is for a translingual entry for Godiva. These nudibranches are all really pretty, and are one day going to brainwash all humankind. That is why it's worth your time making it... -WF
  • Yes check.svg Done

RFI in template[edit]

Hey DC, can you update your template for taxonomic stuff to include the language code in {{rfi}}? If you are not using a template feel free to ignore this. - TheDaveRoss

Strepera fuliginosa[edit]

This was labelled English (and simultaneously a noun and a proper noun, which is how I noticed it). I tried to fix it up using Tyrannosaurus rex as a model; let me know if I got any of the templates wrong. :) - -sche (discuss) 22:51, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

What you did was correct and useful. Thanks.
If you have the chance, add templates for the sister projects WP, Species, and Commons. I put {{pedia}}, {{specieslite}}, and {{comcatlite}} under an External links header, which leaves makes for a more compact entry when an image is added (as I did for this). Clicking on them will sometimes reveal a better or additional vernacular name (black jay), some interesting fact (Tasmania), or that the family name in the template does not match what the sister projects have (All three projects show that Cractidae is now the subfamily Cractinae, Artamidae is the family). For me this is second nature now, so it doesn't even seem time-consuming, but it is for others.
As I check new additions to the taxonomic categories for genera and species, I tend to catch any "errors" and use the opportunity to add some content to the entry, as I did. This entry will not get the full treatment (more external links, add out of sequence a template {{Artamidae Hypernyms}} to Strepera) because I'm betting that it is not "important". DCDuring TALK 23:37, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the informative explanation. Nice catch that Cractidae is no longer current. (I wonder where our entry Strepera got Cractidae from. Maybe it was only recently changed; on Google Books, it's still used even into the 2000s.) Yes, I doubt this bird is important. - -sche (discuss) 03:22, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Cractidae is not at all far-fetched. One of the best avian taxonomy sources was formerly called Aves - Taxonomy in Flux. They report the Artamidae placement but clearly show that it is both recent (yes, post 2004-8) and subject to change. This kind of relentless and active change is occurring at many places, from trunk to twig, on the tree of life. DCDuring TALK 03:33, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Taxonomy is notoriously fuzzy, to start with, but the change from morphology-based to molecular-based to various types of DNA-based taxonomy has accelerated all of this to the point where there are multiple layers of revolutions in a matter of decades, each overturning everything in a given area of taxonomy, only to be overturned again. Field guides, floras and popular descriptive works tend to fossilize the taxonomic state of the art as of their compilation, and they're all out there being used by people who have no idea that anything has changed. I never wonder about how people come up with outdated taxonomy- I marvel that anyone is up to date at all. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:13, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
You may be amused by this parody from YouTube. Tun off the sound so the unedited and unrelated German doesn't interfere with enjoying the body language and the dubbing. DCDuring TALK 04:19, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Cractidae turns out to be an uncommon variation of Cracticidae. - -sche (discuss) 04:47, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Mistakes like the one I made above, dropping -ic-, occur in the literature for certain types of names with repeated syllables in the spelling. I'd imagine that authors never hear some of these terms spoken. Further I'd guess errors occurs most for authors who are not familiar with the genus from which the higher rank taxon is derived (like me!) or who are not familiar with the pattern of relationship between nominatives and stems in Latin and Greek. They may figure that a pattern like that of AccipiterAccipitridae is followed. DCDuring TALK 13:27, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

I edited your page[edit]

I have edited User:DCDuring/Symbolia. --kc_kennylau (talk) 17:06, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Species and Wikipedia links[edit]

Since you do a lot of the work on taxonomy I thought you might be in the best position to answer this: are links to Wikipedia and Wikispecies like interwiki links? Meaning, should I remove the link if the target page does not exist? I have run into a couple and I wasn't sure whether the common practice was to leave the links or remove them in such cases. Thanks. - TheDaveRoss 14:07, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

For any links to sister projects, I try to find the best content they have to offer. If all else fails, I search for the term on the sister project. Sometimes a project has nothing to offer in which case I remove the link.
For taxonomic names at either WP or Species there is a third option: go up the hypernyms until you find a page that exists. Often that page will have a redlink to the entry you started from. This usually works at Wikispecies, the exception being homonyms which need to be disambiguated, which isn't that hard. For Wikipedia: sometimes there is a substantive entry at the taxonomic name, sometimes at the vernacular name. Usually there are redirects between them. Going up the hypernyms requires guessing which hypernym might have a WP article, or at least a redirect. WP and Species sometimes have different hypernyms. Finally, Commons mirrors WPs hypernyms and has very useful content. The best access to taxa is through category pages, which is why there is {{comcatlite}}.
I know that's more than you wanted to know, but it means our taxonomic content is fuller and easier to update as WP fills in articles. DCDuring TALK 16:55, 11 February 2016 (UTC)


Used other than as an idiom. It's a single word isn't it? Anyway, can you cite any unidiomatic use? I think if nominate to rfv it would fail but I was hoping that won't be needed. Renard Migrant (talk) 13:20, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

It is used to mean a hole for pots in several stove patents and perhaps in other objects, as well as the ground. I thought the usage example was clear enough. I wonder whether someone refers to the location of their stash as a pot-hole. DCDuring TALK 13:38, 16 February 2016 (UTC)
I think it is also used to refer to holes the size or shape of a pot, to holes that serve as pots, privy holes, and exceptions to marijuana laws, none of them common and few with three citations. That is, it seems that the combination is productive. Even if there were more than three instances on a single type of use, it would hardly justify a definition. DCDuring TALK 14:06, 16 February 2016 (UTC)

Voted twice[edit]

FYI, in Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2015-12/References, you voted twice. --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:58, 21 February 2016 (UTC)


What do you mean? --Dixtosa (talk) 19:34, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

I didn't understand the documentation and really don't understand why the month and year can't be read automagically. DCDuring TALK 20:32, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
The template can read the current month and year, but it cannot not know what month and year the discussion was actually started. In other words, it would only be able to link to the correct page for no more than a month. --WikiTiki89 20:53, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
So there's no way to use subst? Scribunto is also crippled? You guys have all the technical talent. Why such a lame "solution" to a minimal problem? DCDuring TALK 22:45, 6 April 2016 (UTC)
It could be changed to use a subst. Just like {{subst:wgping|es}} substs to the same template with filled in parameters: {{wgping|es|u1=Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV|u2=Metaknowledge}}. --WikiTiki89 17:21, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Substitution principle[edit]

FYI, I agree with you that the substitution principle in relation to definitions is a good thing. Considerable effort should be taken to make definitions substitutable. The principle should probably be relaxed here and there where other considerations prevail, but in general, it is a useful guiding principle.

--Dan Polansky (talk) 07:23, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

It is so simple that it is usable. It is almost always something that can be agreed upon by multiple native speakers and probably and usually by advanced speakers of a language. I really don't understand why it has been opposed. DCDuring TALK 11:37, 8 May 2016 (UTC)


Do you mean with this edit that the cruciform symbol is part of the accepted orthography of the word?— Pingkudimmi 07:37, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

There's no way that whether a taxon is extinct can be considered lexical information. I say we shouldn't include that; plus, only neontological literature does that anyway. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:49, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
For clarification, I was only questioning the usage in the inflection line. In the case of genera, this part of the entry is italicised to indicate common typography, so there is precedence for a similar interpretation.— Pingkudimmi 09:51, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes it is, optionally, part of the typography, just like the italics and the capitalization. OTOH I wouldn't want it to mess up sorting, which is expected to not include such a symbol. DCDuring TALK 16:37, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

pings inside templates[edit]

Hi there. In the last day or two I tried to notify you about a couple of pages I wandered by that included Latin taxonomy. The way I did it was with a {{ping}} template inside a {{attention}} template. I have no idea if this is a trick that works though. Let me know if you got the notifications and I might keep using this technique. If you did not I'll try to find which pages they were and I'll let you know. Cheers. — hippietrail (talk) 09:50, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

It didn't work. You could next try putting {{ping}} on the Talk page for the entry. Sometimes the forces of negativity and limitation don't, or forget to, disable capabilities outside of the namespace dreamt of in their philosophies. DCDuring TALK 10:59, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
It only works if a link is actually created. The attention template does not actually wiki-render the text within it. --WikiTiki89 15:32, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Aha thanks. Won't try that trick again then (-: — hippietrail (talk) 14:38, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
FYI: Help:When do pings get sent? and mw:Manual:Echo. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 14:57, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
The correct way to do this is with the {{taxlink}} template. It creates a link to Wikispecies if there's no entry on Wiktionary for the taxonomic name, and populates missing-taxonomic-names categories that DCD monitors. Aside from the name and taxonomic rank parameters, you should also include |noshow=1 to keep the entry out of a category that tags {{taxlink}} usage by those who haven't had the template explained to them. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:10, 8 July 2016 (UTC)
That would be a little easier for me, but I don't mind the very modest extra effort required for the {{ping}} approach. If someone is not a regular contributor of vernacular or taxonomic names of organisms, I am loathe to add yet another template to the list they need to keep track of. If they do use {{taxlink}}, they can take some comfort that I avoid changing the template parameters, because {{taxlink}} seems to be used rarely or episodically by any one user.
I had always hoped that folks would add vernacular names from relatively exotic languages and provide the association with the local species or genera. DCDuring TALK 21:26, 8 July 2016 (UTC)


This is apparently an order of trees- but it seems to be used only by Polish authors. Do you know if there is a more common equivalent? DTLHS (talk) 17:39, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Not everything in Latin is a taxonomic name. It seems to be an ecological term for a plant association that includes Molinia caerulea- a type of grassland, in other words. Perhaps it's equivalent to one of the Purple moor grass and rush pastures. Although it seems most used by Poles, here is an example of English usage. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:03, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Chuck. It seems to be in use among some schools of ecologists in Europe. I found journal article that characterizes it and others as "syntaxonomic orders" within the Molinio-Arrhenatherata class. I had come across some similar names ending in -etum in some works by Francophone ecologists. Taxonomic species would seem to be meronyms of syntaxonomic names, AFAICT. I have enough trouble with the taxa on the tree of life without having to contend with "syntaxa". DCDuring TALK 20:21, 9 July 2016 (UTC)


This has a redlink to a taxonomic term. Since you create these a lot, I thought I'd let you know. —CodeCat 18:29, 17 August 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. If you put a taxonomic name within {{taxlink}} I will find it in due course. Although {{taxlink|Lycalopex culpeo|species}} is the canonical form, you can leave {{{2}}} blank or type "unknown" to indicate that the rank of the name is unknown to you. That's probably faster than leaving a message on my talk page, though it is yet another thing to remember. DCDuring TALK 18:37, 17 August 2016 (UTC)


Just a note (no criticism intended), re this edit. In entries, I often like to balance LHS (text) with RHS (images and boxes). It's merely aesthetics of course, and dependent on the screen you are using (and whether, like me, you always show quotations)... On the other hand, boxes aren't terribly pretty. — Pingkudimmi 08:00, 6 September 2016 (UTC)

Interesting. I seek the same kind of balance, but I use RHS Table of Contents, so the lines taken by the ToC and the image are almost an exact match to the lines taken up by the text. I've never understood why we haven't made rhs ToC the default. I don't remember any specific arguments against it. DCDuring TALK 10:52, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps because the implementation is a bit messy. By rights, the ToC should be completely above the first language group, but it seems things didn't quite work as planned. With LHS, it does display as expected, fully above the first level 2. (Thus it doesn't affect the balance within English, say.) With RHS, the ToC is balanced on the left only by the level 2 header (the name of the language), so it intrudes into the top language group. — Pingkudimmi 12:32, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
Since the intrusion is on the right-hand side, which tends to be relatively empty, the effect is for more of the first L2 to be on the initial screen, without as much paging down required to see content. This works very well for English and Translingual and it would probably work well for any L2 that was first on the entry. I don't see any disadvantage for other languages, for which the ToC is as accessible on the right side as on the left. DCDuring TALK 15:13, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
With LHS ToC, there is white space on the right until the first L2. The RHS ToC fills this otherwise white space at the cost of intruding into the first L2, pushing down any RHS elements that might be there. The latter is not in itself a bad thing, but it does mean that you can't predict (specify) exactly how the screen is going to look. If RHS elements dominate in the first L2, intrusion might cascade into the second L2. Conceivably (I've never seen it happen), an image might become separated from its L2. (In practice, the RHS isn't used enough for that to happen.)
To be fair, I see this as a design issue, and not a very high-priority one. It indicates limiting use of RHS elements, which aren't much used anyhow. Or at least they aren't now... — Pingkudimmi 02:19, 7 September 2016 (UTC)

like a train[edit]

Hello DC -- True indeed, there is a distinction to be made between motion and momentum. I'm not sure there's any way to directly image momentum in itself. But the moving GIF of a train does suggest momentum. Anyhow, it seems Sam has now adjusted the caption of that GIF in a manner that may help keep the entry "on track". -- · (talk) 01:37, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

I understand MW is working on a haptic interface that should address this. DCDuring TALK 03:27, 20 September 2016 (UTC)
Hello DC -- Alrightee, then. Bound to be impactful. ;-) · (talk) 17:16, 20 September 2016 (UTC)

News for editors[edit]

The link you just added isn't a working link. I was going to fix it but I can't tell what's wrong. Please check it again. Equinox 01:41, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

A good rendering of the link leads to the contribution being blocked by a spam filter. How about Hypertextprotocol:// DCDuring TALK 01:49, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

"" links suck because you can't tell where they go. It might be malware, or (in 2 years, when the teenage owners of give up on it, not having made enough dotcom money) we will have no idea what it pointed to. Please add a link to the real destination, not a faddy shortcut site. Equinox 01:51, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done as best I can. See WT:NEWS

aethalium: Special:Diff/41076411[edit]

Cf.'s etymology. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 12:57, 3 October 2016 (UTC)

I'd be down with that, though I'd usually prefer single words in Latin or Greek, The derivations of the etyma I'd leave at entries for the etyma. DCDuring TALK 13:43, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
I think the difference boils down to whether the name is from a sooty color or a soot-like mass of spores.Here's the original description if it helps (I don't have time to translate the Latin this morning, so I'm not sure). Chuck Entz (talk) 13:52, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
@DCDuring: I don't think your etymology is correct. For a Latinisation like aethalium, you'd need a Greek etymon of the form *αἰθαλιον ‎(aithalion); αἰθᾰλίων ‎(aithalíōn) would be Latinised *aethaliōn. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:02, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
If you really believe that taxonomists follow the rules like that. There is an abundance of instances of mistakes (eg, gender) and what you would call non-standard derivations in taxonomic Latin. I'd venture that Late, Medieval, Scientific, Legal, and even Ecclesiastical Latin have derivations that violate such rules. DCDuring TALK 14:13, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, fine, but I find it easier to believe a derivation that isn't erroneous over one that is. As such, I am inclined to believe's etymology. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 14:23, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
You are probably right. The name is fairly old. It was formally published in a German journal in 1809. The standard of classical language knowledge among taxonomic authors and editors was probably fairly high. DCDuring TALK 17:30, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
See Aethalium. DCDuring TALK 14:23, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
Your quotation is illuminating; however, αἰθᾰλίων ‎(aithalíōn) refers to toasted cicadae, whereas αἴθᾰλος ‎(aíthalos) can mean both soot and (more-or-less) soot-coloured (like αἰθαλόεις ‎(aithalóeis)), and has the advantage of making the derivation entirely regular. I hope you're happy with my solution. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:46, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
-ium ‎(biological structure???). Not a definition we have. How do we support it? DCDuring TALK 20:42, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
See the entry taken from the Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition of the Collins English Dictionary at — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:31, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
May as well add it to the -ium entry. DCDuring TALK 22:48, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Other than aethalium only [[pseudanthium]] links to [[-ium]] and fits the definition. DCDuring TALK 23:07, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
I think we can probably find many in fungal anatomy. DCDuring TALK 23:23, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, see -ium#Derived terms. DCDuring TALK 23:53, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Great work! Thanks for that. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:12, 19 October 2016 (UTC)


What does ver= do? SemperBlotto (talk) 12:49, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

I use it to record the date (YYMMDD) on which I have verified the existence of the name, ie, corrected misspellings, etc. As I do this I try to find out whether the taxon is current or has been superseded. I check against databases. The taxonomic names used in citations are, of course, usually right, but they can be misspelled and more often are older synonyms. Entries from foreign languages are often made from older, copyright-free dictionaries and books and often use obsolete (or misspelled) taxonomic names.
I should document it, but I hardly expect others to do the verification. DCDuring TALK 15:14, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Parameter "i" on projectlink templates[edit]

You seem to have added the parameter i= to lots of templates, but there is no such parameter. Now that some of them have been Luafied, they're showing errors. What did you intend this parameter to do? —CodeCat 19:34, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Was it meant to italicize the link? --WikiTiki89 19:37, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Indeed. See Template talk:projectlink/Wikipedia#Optional italics. DCDuring TALK 21:01, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
That was never implemented, though. Also, what you did here seems to work too: adenium. So there doesn't seem to be a need for this parameter. —CodeCat 21:08, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
Why wasn't it? What I did on [[adenium]] is a waste of keystrokes. The keystroke problem is much worse for subgeneric taxonomic names. Cut-and-paste saves keystrokes, but breaks up workflow. In addition, retroactively inserting the text within italics into the pipe, cannot be done efficiently, whereas inserting "|i=1" can be. DCDuring TALK 21:29, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
@CodeCat: Could you implement the |i= parameter into the Luacised projectlink templates, please? — I.S.M.E.T.A. 16:02, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Done. —CodeCat 16:25, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
@CodeCat: Thank you! :-D  — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:36, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Wait, I thought CodeCat did it in delayed response to my prior request. So, thanks @CodeCat: DCDuring TALK 17:48, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

What's this about?[edit]

I have become disengaged.

I don't believe in the practices followed as they have changed.

This is not a dictionary I would rely on.

UtherPendrogn (talk) 17:17, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Obviously the first is no longer true. Indeed it was never very true.
There are plenty of things I disagree with, many of them related to specific persons.
I would not and do not rely on this dictionary because many entries that I come across are poor and we have no processes no improve quality. DCDuring TALK 17:25, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Right! I have a lot of qualms with the site and users as well. UtherPendrogn (talk) 19:08, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

northern greater galago[edit]

Why do you insist on keeping a request that can't be filled? It was hard enough to find a dictionary with galago, and there is no mention, even in the more compendious older dictionaries, of any terms for specific kinds of galagos, let alone species that don't even live where Chichewa is spoken. This is nothing more than an annoyance to someone like me who's actually working on fulfilling requests. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:40, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Because simply deleting implicit requests to show progress on meeting them is, well, sleazy. Some requests are wildly implausible. This one is not, being from a neighboring region. If you want to see some real laffers among fulfilled "requests" and unrequested inventions, take a look at Navaho. DCDuring TALK 21:50, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
If we added a translation, it would fail RFV. Chichewa just isn't rich in these kinds of words. That's why the request should be removed, not for your idea of what sleaziness is (although if I understand you correctly on Navajo, I agree on that count). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:54, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
I think CFI-compliance should be a measure for whether we include any kind of link to a word. A red link means fairly explicitly "we want an entry here", which is of course not true if the term doesn't meet CFI. I'm not saying whether this term does or doesn't meet it, but it should be the main factor in deciding if a translation request can ever be fulfilled. —CodeCat 21:57, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
How would we know? What valid, objective process do we have to make such a determination? What is the big problem with having a few more redlinks on a list? I thought WMF is trying to increase participation from Africa. These requests are just one means of providing target activity for a native speaker or student of such a language. DCDuring TALK 22:03, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Heh, that's a BS excuse and you know it. This isn't a good "target activity" because the word would have to be made up. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:07, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
How do you know? Been doing a lot of traveling? You sure are good at being arrogant. DCDuring TALK 02:28, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
Most of these people have holier-than-thou complexes higher than the Burj Khalifa. UtherPendrogn (talk) 05:34, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
DCDuring has earned the right to insult me in earnest by at least demonstrating true competence in lexicography. You have a long way to go before you can insult me without merely causing me to laugh. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:05, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
I didn't think I was insulting you. After all, I'm pretty good at being arrogant myself. I was wondering whether you had some special insight into the range of application of east African languages. DCDuring TALK 11:07, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
It's not entirely unreasonable to hope for the possibility that a native Chichewa speaker who happens to know the name of this animal in his native language will see the request and fulfill it. We can't judge the potential of fulfilling a request by the availability of dictionaries. --WikiTiki89 14:42, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

"to lick one's balls"[edit]

This is in re: your reversion of my deletion. I did ask to be informed if I acted improperly, and I don't mind being reverted. That has certainly happened before, and will happen again, doubtless. I do appreciate your explanation, as I have often been reverted with no explanation whatsoever, and I don't intend to pursue this further, as I don't believe it merits the time or effort. I have no problem with vulgarity in a dictionary, or lewdness, certainly. I also understand the principle of erring on the side of caution. I DO, however, have a problem with pointless, disruptive lewdness or vulgarity. All that said, I think someone is pulling Wiktionary's leg. Having fun at the expense of those of you who are working very hard to create and develop something of value. Thank you for what you do. I have contributed very little to Wiktionary, and don't even visit very often. I just think it's a shame when someone makes sport of a serious wiki, and I think this is an example. I guess it comes with the territory. My hope is that they get bored and move on to troll somewhere else.

(I think you should seriously consider archiving some more material from this page. I came to it in "mobile" view, and had to back out to change to "desktop" view, in order to navigate. No disrespect intended, just a suggestion.) Ragityman (talk) 05:50, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Wow! I'm so glad you reverted me. I just took a cursory look at your USER PAGE. I really like an informative user page, as I am here to learn as much as to build. I'll bet you didn't attend Indiana State. Ragityman (talk) 06:49, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Yes it needs archiving. Thanks for the comments etc. You ought to come by and contribute - additively. DCDuring TALK 11:14, 19 October 2016 (UTC)