User talk:DCDuring

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Comments welcome. DCDuring 17:44, 30 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]



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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]


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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
Based on our Category:English invariant nouns, they are "invariant nouns". Thryduulf 18:17, 21 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
  • 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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]


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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
Thanks for the references. DCDuring TALK 14:15, 2 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]



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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]

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 (deprecated template usage) rock-and-roll and (deprecated template usage) 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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]
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 (deprecated template usage) 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)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]
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. :-)Reply[reply]
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)Reply[reply]



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)Reply[reply]

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)Reply[reply]

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


In case you're interested: the OED added this in June, and they've used your Wiktionary definition verbatim (except for removing the space in "hind quarters"). Equinox 00:45, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We should keep a list of their offenses against our license for when they come for us. DCDuring (talk) 12:44, 19 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
More like so I can go begging for a job when my IT industry outdatedness hits 20 years. Equinox 22:18, 6 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Possibly obsolete taxonomy[edit]

Hi. You might be interested in this list of animals with a Webster 1913 definition. Many need updating, linking to the modern-day name, pictures, and general love. GreyishWorm (talk) 17:28, 28 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Sorry if I'm overloading you with taxonomic terms to tidy up. It's just that you're so damn good at them. Flackofnubs (talk) 19:17, 24 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

But I'm very far behind in adding new highly linked-to taxonomic names and in fleshing-out/cleaning-up old ones. Just try to get more of the basics into what you do add. Add links to WP, Wikispeciesm and Commons, confirm that the links exist, make sure that our content doesn't conflict with theirs. If it seems like a hard-to-resolve puzzle, add {{attention|mul|comment=taxonomy}}. DCDuring (talk) 19:33, 24 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Troponyms" at wilful[edit]

1. Our def of "troponym" says it must be a verb (not an adjective): so is it okay? 2. Errm, that "small" HTML tagging is a horrible trick... It might look right on your screen but there's no guarantee it will match the template for anyone else in other circumstances or stylesheets, or people with visual impairments etc... Equinox 22:17, 6 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2: I didn't find {{troponyms}}
1: So, are you recommending {{hyponyms}}? DCDuring (talk) 22:21, 6 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed, many manner adverbs would fit under many verbs if troponyms were defined to allow it. I'd be fine with removing these purported synonyms entirely. If a definiend is basically neutral, then positive or negative terms are not, strictly speaking, synonyms. DCDuring (talk) 22:31, 6 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dunno, you could ask the Lua powers-that-be to create a troponyms template (or fix the troponym def if that word, previously unknown to me, can cover adjectives). Just mentioning. Equinox 22:40, 6 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I subsequently found {{troponyms}}. I deployed it in two entries. DCDuring (talk) 23:24, 6 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Block time[edit]

Hey. I need another block. Thanks, punk Van Man Fan (talk) 22:36, 30 March 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hyponyms on Lupulella needs needs some formatting cleanup beyond what I can do. JeffDoozan (talk) 14:34, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks. I must have been interrupted or something. DCDuring (talk) 16:32, 14 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Phrasal Verbs[edit]

Lately an IP that geolocates to Thurmont, MD has been very busy adding phrasal-verb catagories and creating new phrasal-verb entries. I have no idea whether they know what they're doing, but you might. See Special:Contributions/ and Special:Contributions/2601:154:180:97C0:0:0:0:0/48 Chuck Entz (talk) 04:59, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I believe that it was @Algrif who was an advocate of phrasal verbs. He might be a good guy to discriminate between acceptable and unacceptable phrasal verb entries. I might be excessively hostile. DCDuring (talk) 11:17, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That IP is doing a great job. A small percentage of the edits might be dodgy, but overall it's useful Skisckis. Before we were missing extremely common phrasal verbs draft up, cut away (talk) 23:05, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Re categorisation: I was very suspicious of this (and mentioned on Discord briefly) but having reviewed English phrasal verbs it seems that the prepositional ones can be considered "phrasal verbs" too, as long as they are idiomatic enough to be a bit "fossilised". So, probably not much damage. Equinox 23:18, 11 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If there is a problem with these, it might be at a conceptual level (eg, are certain particles, in certain meanings, utterly predictable in the way they alter the meaning of the verb) or at the level of reviewing individual entries. I suspect that the ones that have a figurative meaning in addition to a literal one are more likely to be indisputable. DCDuring (talk) 00:55, 12 May 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Speaking of the wastebasket taxon ...[edit]

Are wastebasket taxon and dumping ground synonyms, hyponym/hypernym, or what? The two entries do not currently make it clear. P.S. You should "archive" (cough, delete) your talk page. Learn from the master! (LIMITED-TIME OFFER: I'll split the old stuff into old year pages if you want. It goes back to 2008! You're the same wiki-age as I am.) Equinox 03:25, 12 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Because dumping ground is obviously used figuratively outside of biology I don't think of it as in that kind of semantic relationship to wastebasket taxon. I'd be interested to hear what others think. I would think we'd at least need qualifiers to avoid misleading ESLers etc. DCDuring (talk) 12:51, 12 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can I archive your talk page? I'll do it for free! I'll pay you a dollar! Equinox 23:59, 16 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Shaming seems to have worked. You can Zelle me the dollar at my e-mail address. DCDuring (talk) 00:31, 17 June 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Luxembourgish or lëtzebuergesch?[edit]

Have you considered using either of the spellings “lëtzebuergesch” (LB) [4] and “Luxembourgish” (EN) [5] rather than “Letzebergish”?Redav (talk) 15:39, 5 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No and I never looked up any spelling in a dictionary. I have just followed the pronunciation of my parents, my mother growing up within a few kilometers of Sierck-les-bains (Siirk) and my father speaking German. DCDuring (talk) 16:16, 5 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

multiple authors in quote templates[edit]

Hi. We had a discussion somewhere a few weeks ago about multiple authors in quote templates. I have implemented splitting on semicolons in |author=, |editor=, |tlr=/|translator= and several other params. When they get pasted back together, it now uses commas, per another discussion. I am about to do a bot run to clean up instances where people have used commas, "and", ampersands, etc. to separate authors, and convert them to semicolons. The individual authors in each param can have a language prefix attached to them, e.g. ru:Лев Толстой (which will cause them to be appropriately language-tagged so the font turns out right, as well as getting automatic transliteration if the language supports it), and inline modifiers can be added following them, e.g. ru:Лев Толстой<t:Leo Tolstoy>. Titles work the same way with respect to language prefixes and inline modifiers, e.g. ru:Баллада о королевском бутерброде<t:Ballad of the King's Bread>. I am in the process of updating the docs appropriately. So feel free to put multiple authors together in a single param, with semicolon separators. Eventually I'd like to do away with |first=, |last=, |author2= and other split ways of specifying authors, but that comes later. Benwing2 (talk) 04:36, 19 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I like your ultimate objective. DCDuring (talk) 13:25, 19 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
thankyou Giangpro089 (talk) 11:12, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@User:Benwing2 If I continue to put multiple authors, separated by commas, as Google provides them, in the author parameter, nothing bad will happen in the short run and your ultimate scheme will handle the contents of the parameter correctly. Is that correct?
Particularly for scholarly articles, an author's name usually appear as one or two initials followed by surname. (I don't recall ever seeing an author name as surname followed by initials.) Do you intend to ignore such authors (ie, provide no authorlink) or address this with some large data table or recourse to WikiData? DCDuring (talk) 13:42, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DCDuring You should change the commas to semicolons if you can. The code specifically parses semicolons and not commas, and will see a bunch of comma-separated authors as a single author. It might "happen" to work because of the way that multiple authors are currently displayed as comma-separated, but it's likely to break in the long run. I have done some bot runs to convert commas to semicolons, but this is fragile and requires significant manual intervention due to the existence of embedded commas in names such as "Sammy Davis, Jr." and "Alfred, Lord Tennyson", and I'd like to avoid having to continually do these bot runs. As for author links, this isn't done currently at all unless you provide the authorlink yourself (if the name of the author is the same as the Wikipedia entry name, just prefix the author with w:, assuming you have correctly separated multiple authors with semicolons; if the Wikipedia link and author name are different, you need to write either {{w|WIKIPEDIA LINK|AUTHOR NAME}} or w:[[WIKIPEDIA LINK|AUTHOR NAME]] or [[w:WIKIPEDIA LINK|AUTHOR NAME]]). Benwing2 (talk) 13:53, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But many existing quotations are so listed. You are asking for a lot of manual work. I already use author={{w}} when it leads to the right author entry at WP. Will that also cause your module code trouble and need to be corrected. I always hope that module code will reduce the need to manual labor, but am often disappointed. DCDuring (talk) 13:59, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DCDuring There is no problem with using {{w}} in authors, you can continue to do that. The problem is with commas; the existence of legitimate embedded commas in names (in lots of different formats) makes it impossible to automatically parse commas in author specs. Converting commas to semicolons doesn't seem like that much work to me given the work required overall to format a quotation. I suppose an alternative is to provide a compact way of saying "to hell with it, go ahead and split on commas" if you can guarantee there are no embedded commas in names (which is risky given that even scholarly names can have embedded commas in suffixes like Jr.); typing that flag might be marginally less work than converting commas to semicolons. Benwing2 (talk) 14:17, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is the bad consequence (of leaving commas in) that humans would face an unintelligible or unsightly list of authors (I think not) or that computers would? DCDuring (talk) 14:28, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DCDuring There are various issues with having commas left in like this; for example, if we want to display authors with an and before the last one, this requires the ability of the module to know where the author divisions are. Various fields already display with and separation (e.g. |editor=, |editors=, |tlr=, |translator=, |translators=, etc. under some circumstances), and this requires that semicolons are used or the display will be wrong. In addition, currently, in things like |editor=, it displays "editor" or "editors" depending on how many entities there are (one or more); if you separate them with commas, this displays wrong. What I mean by a flag is that for example I could implement something whereby if an author-like field begins with a comma, it gets split on commas and the initial comma ignored; this is a single char you need to type when pasting from Google Scholar, you can't get any simpler than this. But I really don't want a mishmash of unsplittable commas just because it "looks OK right now"; as I have tried to explain, this will cause a lot of issues in the longer run. Benwing2 (talk) 14:38, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But, is it so bad that we don't always/ever have "and"? Wouldn't we be better off to have 1% more quotations than have "and" displayed? DCDuring (talk) 16:14, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ummm, is it really impossible to type a single character (a comma) in front of lists of people you copy? The alternative is you expect me to ultimately clean up your quotations. Benwing2 (talk) 18:19, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What about all the quotations that already exist that are retroactively deemed wrong? Every time there is this kind of change without some kind of accommodation for the past, that constitutes a technical deficit that adds to the technical debt. Do we need manual efforts to pay off the technical debt? DCDuring (talk) 22:23, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This isn't really a change; per the documentation you were always supposed to separate authors and such with semicolons. What I did is change the display to use commas when there are semicolon separators. I did do a semi-manual run that tried to correct cases where commas were used in place of semicolons, but as I mentioned above, there are lots of instances where commas legitimately occur in the middle of names, so I had to do a bunch of special-casing in my bot code to skip cases e.g. where there weren't two names between commas or where lowercase words occur. In fact I've been spending at least a month now cleaning up ill-formatted quotations from you and lots of other people. Some quotations had (and sometimes still have) 'LAST, FIRST' in place of 'FIRST LAST', some had/have names like 'Palmer E.C.' in place of 'E.C. Palmer', etc. etc. There were > 5000 uses of unrecognized params, etc. That's why I'm asking you to do the minimum of effort to use properly formatted quotations, so I don't have to spend this much effort in the future in another gargantuan cleanup task. I'm really not sure why you're resisting doing this; I've already told you I will implement a hack so all you have to do is add a comma at the beginning of comma-separated lists of names, if you can't be bothered to change the commas to semicolons. Benwing2 (talk) 22:33, 30 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why would one intentionally design a rule that made it more complicated to incorporate quotations from Google? Copy-and-paste is a tried and true technique, that economizes on contributor time. It defies belief that we would make it more complicated to do one of the more labor-intensive parts of making a good dictionary. That we are able to get people to do the work without much of any support from technology, instead having to do work to support the technology is beyond me and increasingly beyond my willingness to go along. DCDuring (talk) 02:15, 31 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You're saying you can select text, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, type the year, etc. etc. but you can't enter a single comma at the beginning of the copied text??? Benwing2 (talk) 02:47, 31 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or are you just purposely being cantankerous? Benwing2 (talk) 02:48, 31 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Seconding Ben Wing here. It's increasingly frustrating to have DCDuring push back against every minor request to do things a little differently. It's extremely inconsiderate, because these kinds of requests aren't arbitrary. Theknightwho (talk) 03:08, 31 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have implemented the initial-comma support. You can write |author=,Joe Bloggs, Richard Roe, E.F. Hutton, et al. and it will correctly split the authors on a comma and otherwise ignore the initial comma. Benwing2 (talk) 04:24, 31 August 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My overall problem is that your templatizing is not in response to expressed contributor needs and require significant changes in user behavior without commensurate benefits. Even the klugey way in which options are selected for the overcomplicated templates is something only programmers could love. DCDuring (talk) 17:53, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


So, how do you work out a a WFRank? P. Sovjunk (talk) 15:49, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Short for Wiktionary Frequency (not WonderFool)Rank. Downloaded file of pages visited from this page, but I don't remember exactly which time period I specified. It gives some idea of what users care about. It is a strange melange, some terms that are common, some that might belong on a Swadesh list, some that might be 'hard', some appendices and categories, colloquial idioms, FL terms, sexual terms, various derogatory terms, Roman numerals, letters, etc. DCDuring (talk) 16:17, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Items are not directly comparable to the NGSL list, which has only lemmatized words. I made some crude adjustments or indications for be, a/an, etc. but not very systematic and only within the limits of data onthe 1663-4 pages listed in the download. DCDuring (talk) 16:26, 27 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

New categories[edit]

I created Category:English positive polarity items and Category:English polarity items, but it seems I've screwed something up. I tried consult the documentation of the template, but I couldn't figure out what to do. Can you help? Brett (talk) 15:40, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You did what I would do. The category naming system has been improved so much that I can't use it. I usually just hard-code the category or abandon the effort and let the supposed maintainers fix things or try to delete them. You could try User:Benwing2. DCDuring (talk) 16:53, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have hardcoded what I use for taxonomic categories. The oldest/newest entries boxes and the letter links are not particularly useful for categories with few members. The size of the old/new boxes can be adjusted. DCDuring (talk) 17:15, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank youǃ--Brett (talk) 18:52, 10 October 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Column templates: elephant[edit]

Remove column templates again, like at elephant, and I’ll simply give you a 24 hour block, which will double each time. You have been told why this is a problem numerous times by now. Theknightwho (talk) 17:12, 14 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please point me to the policy page for this. Stop you arrogant bullying and stalking. DCDuring (talk) 17:15, 14 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DCDuring For a start, you’ve just breached WT:CIVIL by accusing me of stalking. Patrolling edits of other users is perfectly normal, so please feel free to enjoy your block.
You have had these issues explained to you tons of times (particularly with regard to how you can view the page in an unsorted way), you refuse to engage, and you repeatedly behave in an obstructive and uncooperative manner in discussions. We both know that kind of thing is out of line. Theknightwho (talk) 17:19, 14 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The explanation for what you allow me to do is unsatisfactory and implies that your wishes are policy, which they are not.
How I engage or choose not to engage in discussion with you is largely a result of the marked unpleasantness with which you interact with me and with some others. I accused you of bullying and stalking because it seemed clear that you were, certainly demonstrated by your subsequent behavior. There is no policy that makes your favorite templates mandatory, but the way you convert derived terms sections requires that I offload the lists, separate them from the undifferentiated mass to which you converts the lists, alphabetize to facilitate editing, and then return the edited section to the entry. And God forbid that I should make a mistake in the process. I am reasonably confident that were Wiktionary not desperate for technical skills such as you may have, your abrasiveness would have led to your not being voted an admin, to the removal of your adminship once elected, and your ultimate indefinite blocking. DCDuring (talk) 20:02, 15 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DCDuring Removing sorting makes the entry manifestly worse, when you have already been told that adding sort=0 in a preview would solve the issues you claim to have.
I'm not interested in your perpetual melodramatic comments, your inability to compromise, or your continued personal attacks, and my stance remains the same. Theknightwho (talk) 20:22, 15 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your opinion about what should be good enough for me seems like the kind of "I-know-better" comment that requires putting coders in room far removed from users.
What I try to obstruct is wrong-headed moves prematurely implemented without adequate consideration of the full range of issues. The desire to implement universally something pretty that works in most cases leads to content destruction. A "constructive" discussion in the Grease Pit is not an indication of broad consensus.
I agree that the new column templates are wonderful in many situations, especially when the derived terms sections have no duplicates or near-duplicates and need no further editing. They only suck when the contents need to be edited. I am perfectly willing to use the new wonderful templates, despite the extra steps required to format Translingual content, but it would be much easier for me if the contents of the derived terms section arrived alphabetized, preferrably one item per line. If the damage has already been done, then a user-side gadget (JS?) that operated in the edit window and sorted selected text would be the gadget of my dreams. In the meantime I hope you realize that any time that you have reverted after I edited a derived terms section, you destroy content laboriously added. Perhaps you believe that format is more important than content. Or the kinds of tools that you develop are of no great value when it comes to content, leading you to lose sight of what is involved in creating content that reflects the messy reality in which we live. Perhaps you believe that AI will allow the elimination of folks like me at Wiktionary. Maybe so. DCDuring (talk) 20:55, 15 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the issue is that they automatically sort when you're trying to compare the wikitext to the display form, then a solution which turns off automatic sorting for you should be good enough for you, yes. This is precisely why I said you seem to be incapable of compromise. The reason I've become abrasive with you is that you seem to be objecting because you don't want to feel like you're being told what to do, even afte others have spent many hours trying to come up with solutions to issues that you raised. That simply isn't fair on other people, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that's had enough of it. Theknightwho (talk) 21:00, 15 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh, and as for the changes you added at elephant, you can see that after I reverted you I made sure to re-add any content changes you made, so please don't pretend this is because I think content is unimportant. Theknightwho (talk) 21:07, 15 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you for that. In the heat of this unpleasantness I have been prepared to believe that work was undone whenever you reverted. Turning off automatic sorting may address my most pressing concern. Is that available now? For which specific templates that would be useful for derived terms?
And, yes, I do sometimes feel, possibly without sufficient justification, that the process is high-handed. And, yes, I am sometimes simply intimidated by the GP discussions, but feel that if I don't participate and complain that I will be railroaded. DCDuring (talk) 23:52, 15 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DCDuring It's been a feature of all the column templates for a while now, I think.
Can we please try to be more considerate of each other going forward? I don't really want to keep arguing with you over things, and I do understand why you get frustrated. Theknightwho (talk) 01:47, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If I didn't think we could get along I would have asked for an interaction block. It is clearly better if we communicate normally. I'll be trying (in a good way). DCDuring (talk) 01:51, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Theknightwho Please bear with me. Now that you are familiar with the entry, perhaps you can help with a question that sometimes arises in these tables, especially the more elephantine ones. My question is mostly about how it should appear to users, not necessarily whether templates should do all the things needed to achieve this. What are your thoughts about combining, on the same line, "E ear", "E ears", "E's ear", and "Es' ears'" items, where the referent is the same or very nearly so? I think these often have the very same referents.
I think we have some freedom of choice with respect to "E's ears" because IMO few users have strong expectations about where " ' " fits in the sort order. My inclination, for this entry, is to make all possessives subordinate to base forms spelled without " ' ". So "E's ears" would always appear on the same line as "E ear" (and "E ears" and "Es' ears"). I already try to do this with plurals, which is made easier by the current sort order already has regular plurals appear right after the singular.
I think irregular plurals are not normally a separate issue.
Determining whether the referents are actually the same, especially where some of the forms have multiple referents is hard, so having the items appear one after the other is a great default and facilitates manual combination or items.
As to whether templates should do anything different, I wonder whether possessives should always be ignored subordinated in English sorting, that is, " E's " should appear immediately following " E " in these tables.
I assume that combining them on the same line would not be worth doing, at least not in the near future.
I think that I would bring the display question up in some form at BP or TR. I think a simpler example than elephant (10-20 items) would be best. DCDuring (talk) 13:25, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When to link[edit]

Hi! When it comes to boring animal entries, you're the king of the WT jungle. In fact, I wanna be like you-ooh-ooh... I noticed you changed this taxlink template to a normal link. Any reason? Denazz (talk) 00:06, 7 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes. We have an entry for it. {{taxlink}} is intended to be a stopgap until we have entries for the taxon. Once we have the entry I remove the template. That's one reason why I don't like stub taxon entries to be too stubby. At the very least they should have links to any pedia, species, and commons pages for the taxon. If there is no entry for the taxon, then the entry for a higher taxon will do. DCDuring (talk) 00:10, 7 December 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Unsure "word"?[edit]

hshs, any sources or pronunciation? Heyandwhoa (talk) 22:29, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No idea. DCDuring (talk) 22:34, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, WT's taxo "expert". Can you check my definition of scyphistoma, which I researched half-assedly? Demonicallt (talk) 15:31, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It ain't taxonomy. It's biology. I'm an expert in neither. DCDuring (talk) 18:19, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That reminds me of a joke about etymology/entomology. — This unsigned comment was added by User:Demonicallt (talkcontribs) at Demonicallt.
People Who Can't Tell Entomology from Etymology Bug Me? DCDuring (talk) 19:26, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nooo, it was one I'd forgotten that didn't appear in the first 30 Google hits. Demonicallt (talk) 19:30, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, thanks for coming round to edit the taxonomic names of Welsh organisms!

Just a heads up, the heading for Welsh mutations should only be nested a level lower than an etymology (or pronunciation, it depends most on homography) when the entry it refers to has different mutations from homographs on the same page. E.g. foch and gâl.

By default the same mutations refer to all homographs, although they may be different parts of speech or have different etymologies, e.g. malwen.

OK, thanks for letting me know. DCDuring (talk) 22:09, 14 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Deletion of Citations:shrub[edit]

I am confused why you deleted Citations:shrub, in the deletion summary you said "No usable content given", a phrase I associate with vandalism, and referenced Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion and Wiktionary:Entry layout. As far as I can tell the page used to host a citation for the Kenyan English sense of the term before it was moved to the entry proper. I don't see why the page and its edit history should be deleted because it was no longer hosting quotations. I'm also not sure how the two policy pages mentioned relate to the deletion. Additional clarification would be appreciated, take care. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 23:39, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There was NO content. The history showed it had been created and deleted by you. DCDuring (talk) 23:42, 18 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@The Editor's Apprentice: it might help to add that the deletion tool that admins use provides a menu of standard deletion reasons, and DCD used one of those in this case (it saves time deciding how to word things and the work of typing). This particular deletion reason is mostly used in mainspace, where EL and CFI are almost always relevant and where the links help educate first-time would-be contributors on what they did wrong. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:51, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is helpful to know, thanks Chuck. —The Editor's Apprentice (talk) 02:22, 21 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On a related note, I tried to restore Citations:Shaoyang with more full content, so do let me know what you think of it. If you still object, I can try to make it more meaningful. I apologize for causing any problems. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 01:43, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have no opinion on Citations pages in general. There was no problem. I was deleting a few items that showed up on a cleanup list because they had no content.
That one seems fine, though I wonder about the value of the bunched-together dates on the timeline when there are so few data points. That 'problem' exists at almost any citations page at Wiktionary. DCDuring (talk) 02:41, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is such a rare pleasure when someone brings up a really niche/inside baseball question like bunching up dates on the timeline, so please let me ask a question. Do you mean that writing "2010's" like I did at Citations:Shaoyang is not the best practice? My theory was that, if (1) there were citations on Wiktionary from a previous decade (here 2000's) and in a future decade (here 2020s) and (2) there were citations from two different years in a decade (here 2010 and 2012) that (3) it made sense to just summarize the timeline by just giving the decade, because the word seems highly likely to have continuity from the beginning of the decade to the end, (4) barring some special circumstances which I can't really imagine. Additionally (5) I actually subjectively believe that the word will exist for every year in the 2010s decade. Let me know if you have any thoughts on this. I will be more conscientious about this issue, but I still plan to do this same "bunching" unless you say otherwise. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 09:25, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not your fault that the timeline template doesn't work very well if all the years are bunched together. The template is inflexible, only displaying one scale. I'm looking at it from the point of view of statistical display: the template doesn't add anything if all of the bold dates appear on the screen and little more if there are few more quotes. The template can squeeze one citation off the display. DCDuring (talk) 13:59, 19 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pretty awesome work at blue! Phacromallus (talk) 10:04, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks. More to do on that and other similar derived terms sections. Not sure about your username anagram, though, dick. DCDuring (talk) 14:48, 26 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You love the anagram, really. Phacromallus (talk) 11:02, 3 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Uh, hey. So this the current situation on my account on Wikipedia.[edit]

(More context on User talk:Chuck Entz) So if you read that, I've been falsely (inf) banned on Wikipedia due to being mistaken with a rule-breaker user. I'm making this message since User:Chuck Entz doesn't seem to respond. Any tips can be useful Thanks! ~ Kindly signed by Heyandwhoa (talk) 00:50, 27 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Chuck will get to it, I expect. I'm not experienced in this kind of thing and have been taken in in the past. DCDuring (talk) 00:54, 27 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Uh, think Equinox just commented about it on my talk page. Heyandwhoa (talk) 00:57, 27 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What were you trying to do here? 0DF (talk) 01:44, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When? At first, I thought it might be useful. Now, not so much. If someone wants to get to such sources, they can use wikidata, either via WP or, more directly, via our template. DCDuring (talk) 16:31, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
BTW, it does not have to be RfDed to be deprecated. DCDuring (talk) 16:33, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It looked like you tried to fix it and then gave up. Do I have your permission, as the template's creator, to rewrite it as I see fit? I would say that the information on taxa's protologues is amongst the most valuable we can provide. 0DF (talk) 17:11, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You don't need my permission, but thanks for asking. I don't have any objections. If I like it, I'll use it.
A better but more ambitious project IMHO, would be to figure out how to use wikidata to replace the list of external links. A consideration is that there is often a useful link to a higher taxon at a given source for a given taxonomic name entry. Wikidata is OK at handling recent synonyms, but not at jumping to higher taxa.
Also, some good sites require that one do a search or something before getting to the material most useful to Wiktionary. Does that require JS or something else? DCDuring (talk) 17:39, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thoughts? If you want a tie-in with Wikidata, I can see whether I can adapt w:Template:Authority control for such a purpose. As for Javascript, I'm afraid I wouldn't know. 0DF (talk) 04:25, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If I wanted a simple tie-in that would be fine, but many merely duplicate each other's content or cover the same basic facts, many of which are only of interest to taxonomists, as are other sources like BHL's. DCDuring (talk) 04:46, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wouldn't users be better placed going to Wikipedia if they wanted non-lexical content? 0DF (talk) 19:30, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey,taxodude. phylon is an old term, right? Demonicallt (talk) 21:39, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Never heard of it. Try “phylon”, in OneLook Dictionary Search., OED, or ? DCDuring (talk) 21:41, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The definition in the entry is definitely old- especially since it assumes one will know what is meant by "tribe". More recently it's been used as a general term for a grouping of things that are genetically related. Modern taxonomy is based on genetics, so theoretically a taxon and a phylon are basically the same thing. I don't see a lot of usage outside of theoretical discussions on phylogenetics, and I've never used it myself. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:57, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed, it's not in my 2010 copy of Terms Used in Bionomenclature (Hawksworth), so the taxonomic def. would need an "obsolete" tag. (It seems more than "archaic".) DCDuring (talk) 23:13, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apparently no later edition at DCDuring (talk) 23:18, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
FWIW, I would've assumed that phylon was a mere variant spelling of phylum. 0DF (talk) 04:26, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Apparently not, just same grc source. DCDuring (talk) 04:41, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I learn something new every day! 0DF (talk) 19:31, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]