User talk:DCDuring

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


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]

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

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]
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]
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]


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]

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]
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]
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]
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]

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

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]

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]

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]

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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]

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]

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]
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]
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]



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]

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]

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


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)[reply]

Why don't you take this to User talk:Purplebackpack89? --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:15, 9 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
In some parts of the USofA we have another option: open carry. DCDuring TALK 17:35, 9 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]


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)[reply]

Insects are my least fun group. DCDuring TALK 12:36, 10 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Next time, please tell me why the group is worth my time. DCDuring TALK 12:44, 10 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The group is nothing special, just that Nicolaus had other meanings. Thanks, anyway. --Stubborn Pen (talk) 17:13, 10 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]
  • 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)[reply]

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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
(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)[reply]
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)[reply]
Cractidae turns out to be an uncommon variation of Cracticidae. - -sche (discuss) 04:47, 30 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]

I edited your page[edit]

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

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)[reply]

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)[reply]


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)[reply]

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)[reply]
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)[reply]

Voted twice[edit]

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


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

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

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)[reply]

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)[reply]


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)[reply]

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

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)[reply]

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)[reply]
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)[reply]
Aha thanks. Won't try that trick again then (-: — hippietrail (talk) 14:38, 8 July 2016 (UTC)[reply]
FYI: Help:When do pings get sent? and mw:Manual:Echo. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 14:57, 8 July 2016 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]


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)[reply]

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)[reply]
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)[reply]


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)[reply]

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)[reply]


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)[reply]

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

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)[reply]

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

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)[reply]

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)[reply]

"" 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)[reply]
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)[reply]

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)[reply]
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)[reply]
@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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
See Aethalium. DCDuring TALK 14:23, 4 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]
-ium (biological structure???). Not a definition we have. How do we support it? DCDuring TALK 20:42, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]
May as well add it to the -ium entry. DCDuring TALK 22:48, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Other than aethalium only [[pseudanthium]] links to [[-ium]] and fits the definition. DCDuring TALK 23:07, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I think we can probably find many in fungal anatomy. DCDuring TALK 23:23, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed, see -ium#Derived terms. DCDuring TALK 23:53, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Great work! Thanks for that. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 13:12, 19 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]


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

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)[reply]

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)[reply]

Was it meant to italicize the link? --WikiTiki89 19:37, 13 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed. See Template talk:projectlink/Wikipedia#Optional italics. DCDuring TALK 21:01, 13 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
@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)[reply]
Done. —CodeCat 16:25, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@CodeCat: Thank you! :-D  — I.S.M.E.T.A. 17:36, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Wait, I thought CodeCat did it in delayed response to my prior request. So, thanks @CodeCat: DCDuring TALK 17:48, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

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)[reply]

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)[reply]
Right! I have a lot of qualms with the site and users as well. UtherPendrogn (talk) 19:08, 17 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

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)[reply]

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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
Most of these people have holier-than-thou complexes higher than the Burj Khalifa. UtherPendrogn (talk) 05:34, 18 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]
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)[reply]

"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)[reply]

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)[reply]
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)[reply]

media bias[edit]

Can you deal with this idiot? DonnanZ (talk) 21:39, 27 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Nice job insulting me, hero. -- Pedrianaplant (talk) 21:40, 27 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
What's this about? DCDuring TALK 00:10, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
In the meantime I had found out how to properly implement what was once called {{only-in}} with a somewhat different format. It is very much like what Pedrianaplant had done. I guess it's the singer not the song here. Sorry, Pedrianaplant. DCDuring TALK 00:15, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I was merely trying to alert you about what was happening, but I was followed. DonnanZ (talk) 01:22, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks. What Pedrianaplant had done was better than what I'd done, though not yet in our canonical form for such entries. The display resulting from our canonical form stinks though, obscuring the substantive link, in this case to Wikipedia. DCDuring TALK 03:39, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
That user doesn't deserve any credit, the reference to Wikipedia was removed. I reverted the edits twice, then it was put up for speedy deletion. With hindsight I should have reverted that too. But reverting edits can be like waving a red rag at a bull. Anyway... DonnanZ (talk) 09:28, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Believe it or not, but what I did is exactly what the page contains right now. Down to the source, 1:1 identical. If you don't believe it, ask an admin, he will confirm it. -- Pedrianaplant (talk) 15:30, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I stand corrected. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 15:38, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
That's not how I saw it, but I'm not going to argue any further. DonnanZ (talk) 16:19, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Clearly, that must not be how you saw it. But the edit history shows that Pedrianaplant's 16:34 and 17:30 versions were identical to my version, which is the current one. DCDuring TALK 17:36, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

So, things got you down?[edit]

Hello. Way back in 2007 you added this example usage of down.

So, things got you down? / Is Rodney Dangerfield giving you no respect? / Well, bunky, cheer up!

The styling makes me think it might be a lyric, but I can't find it to add a date. The quote is all over the web, but mainly in English-learning sites that presumably got it from Wiktionary. Was it original to you? If it is from a song or poem, do you happen to remember the source? Thanks for your time, Cnilep (talk) 07:46, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The exact words may be original to me. But the line is in the style of "The Old Philosopher", Eddie Lawrence. For a few minutes of him from You Tube, try this. DCDuring TALK 13:52, 28 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks muchly! Cnilep (talk) 01:47, 31 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Category:Taxonomic name templates[edit]

Most of these seem to be reference templates. Do you think those could be placed in a separate Category:Taxonomy reference templates? —CodeCat 23:20, 31 October 2016 (UTC)[reply]

They are already in Category:Translingual reference templates. DCDuring TALK 10:18, 1 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Question about category templates[edit]

This is related to Wiktionary:Grease pit/2016/November#Category:en:Philanthropy, but also a bit off-topic: would you support removing all templates and modules from all categories, and using only "manual" categorization? (Personally, I like the templates, and dislike the messy untended category tree, but I'd like to know if you think that the existence of templates and modules are part of the problem in some way) --Daniel Carrero (talk) 02:39, 18 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I just don't think that the categorization system is transparent or documented. It looks very much as if we don't want the wrong kind of people to create categories, which may be true and possibly desirable, but we still need a way to ease the creation of categories both inside and outside the current hierarchical structures. To do this it is not enough to document templates and modules. I also don't think that the error messages are much help. The error message at Category:en:Philanthropy (at present: "The automatically-generated contents of this category has errors. / The label given to the {{topic cat}} template is not valid. You may have mistyped it, or it simply has not been created yet. To add a new label, please consult the documentation of the template.") doesn't really cover the situation that category is in. It would have to say something like: "Beg for help from your betters at the Grease Pit."
I created my own, admittedly baroque, system for taxonomic names, because I needed categories that did not fit the existing structure, trying to hook it into the existing system where I could.
Also I've also created categories for English grammatical groupings that sometimes don't fit a pure hierarchy, many of them small. Some have been deleted even though they could have been populated. They might have been useful for achieving a consistency in the entries involved. DCDuring TALK 02:55, 18 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]


Hi. I have been doing a bit of dusting in some of WT's less-visited nooks today, and came across a clam. The definitions on the page are obviously from a hundred years ago, so lots of taxonomic stuff is rubbish. I tidied it up a bit, but I never feel comfortable with taxonomic entries, so thought I'd ask you to double-check. --Derrib9 (talk) 18:27, 26 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks. This particular are is apparently not resolved taxonomically even now and is confusing to me. That is why I have been discouraged in trying to update the taxonomomic entries associated with this. I will take another run at it. DCDuring TALK 19:53, 26 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]


Hi DCDuring, I would like to be added to this list. By using the AWB I am going to add Kurdish prons to the entries (by using ku-IPA-template) For example. Thanks in advance --GeorgeAnimal. 20:08, 26 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Up to speed[edit]

In this edit, you added to up to speed the example sentence "Is Mary up to speed on the situation in KL." This has me wondering what KL means. Cilantrohead (talk) 03:56, 5 December 2016 (UTC)[reply]


Creation of a new template[edit]

Hi DCDuring, I have a question. I created this new template along with a documentation page used for a conjugation table of the German verb "senden" by copying this template of the German verb "wenden" that shows the same irregular conjugation pattern. This newly created template works fine as you can see here: zusenden#Conjugation. I wonder, however, whether something is missing that might cause some kind of difficulty. So my question now is: Did I do anything wrong or is this sufficient?-- 13:13, 17 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

All I can do is take a superficial look, not being at all conversant with inflection templates. It looks OK. Try a couple of the DE-N, DE-5, or DE-4 Users for a more cogent review. DCDuring TALK 13:39, 17 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks a lot.-- 13:44, 17 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Fox entries[edit]

I created entries for Dutch names of fox species in Category:nl:Foxes, also some in Category:nl:Canids (for those that are not true foxes). I noticed many of the English words are redlinks, so if you want to make entries for them...? —CodeCat 14:08, 8 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Translations in Translingual taxonomic entries[edit]

Is adding Translations to Translingual taxonomic entries an accepted practice? —suzukaze (tc) 04:25, 5 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

@Suzukaze-c: Yes. WT:EL contains the rule "Translations should be given in English entries, and also in Translingual entries for taxonomic names.", which was voted and approved in Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2016-01/Translations of taxonomic names. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 04:31, 5 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@Daniel Carrero: Thanks. —suzukaze (tc) 04:38, 5 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
You're welcome. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 04:39, 5 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
(@Daniel Carrero) What about "translations into English"? —suzukaze (tc) 05:11, 14 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I think translations into English are fine. I don't remember any explicit consensus/proposal/vote/discussion to allow them, but they seem a natural thing to have in Translingual sections, if the translation table exists in the first place. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 08:35, 14 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

External links[edit]

Just so you know, per a recent vote, this header is being phased out in favour of "Further reading". —CodeCat 23:26, 14 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Why? The new name doesn't well characterize the links in taxonomic names. I suppose I can replace it with "See also". DCDuring (talk) 23:42, 14 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
"See also" is for links within dictionary only, e.g., entries, appendices, categories. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 20:46, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
The only explicit reference to See also in ELE from the days BDC is under "Semantic relations", which would but rarely include appendices and categories. That's not entirely consistent with its placement separated by Translations from the other semantic relations headers.
It take it that the basis for the wording in WT:ELE is the vote outlawing the use of "See also" for external links. DCDuring (talk) 22:45, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Keeping an eye on votes[edit]

Greetings. As for "I wonder why no one brought this vote to my attention or noticed the widespread use", I think watching WT:VOTES is a must. The required minimum practice is to check WT:VOTES and its proposals at least once a month.

By the way, thank you for your late oppose in Wiktionary:Votes/2017-03/"External sources", "External links", "Further information" or "Further reading". --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:25, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

More to the substance: I think editors might accept a proposal to use "Further information" heading for taxonomic entries. I for one think that External links was the best heading overall, but editors at large disagreed. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:27, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
One might argue that if the source contains words, then the user has to read the words. That is to say, even perusing a bullet list of items would be reading. One kind of source that would not be read in any way would be image-only database. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:37, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Of course it's on my watchlist. But votes often make my eyes glaze over. Of course, too, there is a definition of read that suits the desired meaning, but it is not the most common one and indeed is not normally applied to dictionaries or databases. It's a choice of words that indicates that native speakers are not much at work in enwikt. DCDuring (talk) 10:26, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
In Wiktionary:Votes/2017-03/"External sources", "External links", "Further information" or "Further reading", I count 7 native speakers in the support rubric for Further reading; I count 3 non-native speakers. --Dan Polansky (::::talk) 20:31, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe we could use "Taxonomic databases" as a new heading. Even though I prefer "Further reading", which is a great heading name for links to databases. But I see DCDuring thinks differently. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 20:42, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
When I look at Google Books "read|reads|reading a database" only about 10 of the approximately 50 hits that had a preview were from books that were not books in areas of computing. Sadly, it was not possible to see specifically how the expression was being used in any of those works. When the word read is used I guess most folks here have adopted the stance of a computer program with respect to its meaning. That is, they are adopting a word usage differing from that of "normal" users, this time because they have some intimate familiarity with computer programming (not computer use, which is much more widespread, of course). DCDuring (talk) 22:24, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • I suppose that the best header for the items included formerly under External links is "References", not "Further reading." The important content for Wiktionary is the correspondence or lack thereof to the semantic relations and definitions included in the entry. The "reading" content is mostly incidental. Even if it were not, I can't see any good from having both "References" and "Further reading" in our already heading-heavy entries. I wish that footnoted references did not appear in a way so distinct from other references. I am sure that our technical mavens will resolve this sometime in this millennium, possibly even this decade. DCDuring (talk) 22:53, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    OK. Why "References"? I'm not saying it's a good or bad idea. I'm just asking why. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 23:41, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    I gave my reason above. The taxonomic references (See Category:Translingual reference templates, which contains mostly items from the category fka Taxonomic reference templates (another infuriating bit of harassment from CodeCat).) support semantic relations in or to be included in the entry or show alternative, mostly obsolete, semantic relations and definitions of the taxa. DCDuring (talk) 23:49, 19 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Doesn't that already fit the use of "References" as described in WT:EL#References anyway? That would mean you can use "References" according to the voted policy. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 00:45, 20 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Someone has thoughtfully inserted 6,222 "Additional readings" headings where there were 6,222 "See also" and "External links" headers in Translingual entries. I think there are probably many more such poorly selected headings added in English entries. DCDuring (talk) 03:49, 20 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Rollback of just like[edit]

The rollback was inappropriate, because you deleted the RFD tag when the RFD discussion had just started. PseudoSkull (talk) 00:32, 20 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Sorry about removing the RfD. I wss in a snit about the other changes you had made and didn't take appropriate care. BTE, see Talk:like#Is_the_preposition_definition_right.3F for MWOnline's definitions of like Preposition. They have seven to our one. DCDuring (talk) 03:35, 20 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]


I for one would appreciate if you could reduce the use of sarcasm. In me, it creates unpleasant emotions; I often feel a strong urge to write something angry in response, but luckily, I usually resist the temptation. I believe an excessive use of sarcasm is basically incivil insofar as it contributes to inflamming the conversation while contributing no substance to it. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:59, 20 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I suppose passive-aggressive is the preferred means of (non)communication. DCDuring (talk) 23:01, 20 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Do you have any specific instances in mind? DCDuring (talk) 23:41, 20 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
A recent item is this: 'Someone has thoughtfully inserted 6,222 "Additional readings" headings'; obviously, you do not think it was thoughtful yet you say "thoughtfully". (In fact, those were "Further reading" headings.) --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:10, 21 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I don't that if I said "thoughtlessly" that it would have been an improvement. DCDuring (talk) 09:12, 21 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
It would be an improvement. The pragmatic meaning of the "thoughtfully" sarcasm is "thoughlessly" anyway, so it would at least be plain and honest. --Dan Polansky (talk) 09:28, 21 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Personally, I'd prefer a little more sarcasm. But make sure to put the text in green when doing so. --WF back from hols (talk) 00:02, 12 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Template:Annelida Hypernyms[edit]

You subst'ed this template at Myzostomida and Template:Myzostomida Hypernyms but it does not exist. —suzukaze (tc) 22:23, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I had misspelled the name ( "ll" for "l") and didn't check what I'd done. Thanks. DCDuring (talk) 23:10, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Conus is not a fish. It's a snail, some species of which eat fish by firing venomous darts at them. Is Rhombus, the flatfish, an invalid homonym of the subgenus of Conus? PierreAbbat (talk) 06:04, 1 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Let me check Rhombus at World Register of Marine Species etc. DCDuring (talk) 12:14, 1 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
The flatfish is now Scophthalmus. The remaining question is how is rhombus#English actually used to refer to the snail, the flatfish, neither, or both.
Thanks for asking. DCDuring (talk) 12:20, 1 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]
See [[Rhombus]]. DCDuring (talk) 12:37, 1 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Could you fix the formatting error in sense 6 when you get the time? Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:02, 26 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Yes check.svg Done DCDuring (talk) 05:20, 26 June 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Dear DCDuring, regarding your comment "If you want to challenge it, this is how (hit the "+" and provide a rationale) if not please remove the RfD template".
Thank you, but I know how RFD and RFV work.
I didn't intend to RFD this or a similar term (at least now because of a lack of time). My intention was to revert some removals of attestable terms (which were removed without using WT:RFV or WT:RFD). The meaning "German" of "germanicus" is attestable (e.g. in "lingua germanica" = "the German language"), and it's more general and hence more important than the biological usage of this sense "to indicate that a species was discovered or is common in Germany".
BTW: English uses the word "German" similary in German Shepherd, German cockroach, German Rex, German chamomile, German measles, German Autumn but the entry German doesn't have senses like "(biology) used to indicate that a species was discovered or is common in Germany", "(medicine) used to indicate that disease was discovered or is common in Germany", "(politics) used to indicate that a political event happened in Germany". - 02:09, 18 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

As you are not registered and your IP address has few edits, I wondered whether you were visiting from another project that didn't have the same procedures or at least the same templates. I don't mind your presentation, though the more common one has the non-gloss definition (templated to show italics and so that such definitions can readily be found) starting the definition and the meaning, eg, "German", thereafter. I have long campaigned against the waste of vertical screen space, so IMO the one-line format is to be preferred to your 2.x line format. DCDuring (talk) 04:34, 18 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Message in Template:taxlink[edit]

.redundant-template-message {
display: inline !important;

I realize I did not explain things very well. The message you added to {{taxlink}} in this edit will display for all users. So I went and modified it, so that it will not display by default. This is what I meant by "placing the CSS in the HTML tag", which I realize I did not explain. I changed the class name used to identify the message. Now you will have to add the CSS code above to your common.css to get the message to display again.

You can revert me if that's not what you wanted. It may not be necessary to hide the message since now it gives instructions on what to do. — Eru·tuon 22:26, 8 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]

My thought was that it wasn't so bad to display it for all. I could leave it until someone complains. It took a couple years before there were any complaints about "=>". DCDuring (talk) 23:26, 8 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I undid it. If someone undoes my undo there can be a further discussion. DCDuring (talk) 23:28, 8 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I could either:
  1. replace the instructions with "=>" in the preview only text or
  2. hide it from everyone who does not have the line above in their custom.css.
The second option is a bit too concealed. DCDuring (talk) 23:36, 8 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
In general, I prefer error messages that are easier to understand, so I think the longer message is an improvement over the arrow thingy. You're probably right that it doesn't need to be hidden. — Eru·tuon 02:26, 9 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Again, thanks. Your are wise to check what I do as my understanding of CSS and JS, and even HTML and templates, is minimal. DCDuring (talk) 23:43, 8 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Category:Entries using missing taxonomic name (species)[edit]

Hi there. I couldn't help noticing that there are over 11,000 entries in this category. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:14, 15 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I only add a name when there are multiple hits for it. Now the threshold for species is SEVEN hits. I have a higher priority (lower threshold) for the principal higher ranks, phyla, classes, orders, and families. See User:DCDuring/MissingTaxa. DCDuring (talk) 18:26, 15 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Can't find any documentation - "i=1" ? Does it indicate image present? Perhaps not! — Saltmarsh. 10:18, 18 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]

It selects display in italics. Not useful for much except generic and subgeneric taxonomic names.
Thanks for working on organism names. At User:DCDuring/MissingTaxa you may find some that are of interest to you and frequently linked to from entries. DCDuring (talk) 11:00, 18 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Cheers - I'm going through the Greek bird names I can find - but even English names for birds and fish are variable! — Saltmarsh. 17:49, 18 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
If you can find any sources that give taxonomic names, that would be very helpful. Of course, some names will apply to more than one species, and taxonomic names tend to change over the years, but I would be happy to help sort that out. Chuck Entz (talk) 18:08, 18 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Birdwatchers produce checklists galore, in addition to the more definitive sites.
You might find the following useful:
HTH. DCDuring (talk) 20:38, 18 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thanks - although expect the interest may wane - I shall just have to remember to return occasionally!
  • and do I gather that species are italicised but not taxonomic terms? — Saltmarsh. 14:49, 20 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Genera and all subgeneric names are italicized, but not "subg.", "subsp.", "var.", "sect.", "subsect.", etc. {{taxlink}} handles all that. It can be substed if it is redundant, but then a lot of spurious stuff has to be cleaned out in the edit window. DCDuring (talk) 16:52, 20 August 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Really old swiftboat edit[edit]

Hey, this really old diff on swiftboat changed the etymology. As far as I can tell the old etymology applies to the political sense, perhaps not the scam sense. Does that sound right to you? I can split the entry into two sections if it does, but I wanted to make sure you didn't have other reasons for removing the old etymology. - TheDaveRoss 15:19, 12 October 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Yes. In retrospect, my mistake. Not too long after that time I came to think that we often don't give enough attention to "sense development" or to explaining no-longer-live metaphors, such as rural/agricultural ones, the sense of which often seems to elude urban speakers.
Also, I wonder whether the scam sense would be attestable. Since the political sense is actually something like "slander", given the specifics of the original John Kerry case, the scam sense seems less than likely. DCDuring (talk) 21:10, 12 October 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Hey! nutela comes from Nutella. I think there was a category for these kind of genericised names here...--P5Nd2 (talk) 19:06, 1 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

There's "Genericized trademarks". Not sure if that applies when the word has actually mutated from its original form. Probably. Equinox 19:15, 1 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

{{rft}} at みょうが?[edit]

I finally noticed that you'd added an rft to the みょうが (myōga) entry in April last year. Do you remember what you wanted to talk about? There's some additional detail in the senses at the lemma entry 茗荷. Perhaps that addresses your question?

Curious, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:18, 2 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Yes. I forgot why I originally asked, but the combination of the plant and "dimwit" on the same definition line seem weird to me now, so that was probably my problem then. Why are different definitions combined like that? DCDuring (talk)
For non-lemma entries intended as soft redirects, disambigs even, it's a tricky question -- providing no gloss does users a disservice, as does providing only one gloss for multi-definition terms. So over the years, I took to providing simplified glosses as a list, separated by semicolons, as I had seen others do occasionally for links to entries in other languages. Trying to find a balance between usability and elegance, basically. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 22:14, 2 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't know that it was a non-lemma entry. But it is in the lemma category. DCDuring (talk) 02:40, 3 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Ya, all of the kana-only entries appear to be so categorized. I'm not sure how or why that's so. Some kana-only entries are lemmata, but in most cases, the kana-only entries are soft redirects to spellings that include kanji. C.f. ほし, にじ, かみ, etc.
Another good point that your experience brings up -- {{ja-def}} apparently doesn't give a clear enough indication that the user should refer to the linked lemma form. I've wondered about that before, but I'm not sure how to improve things. Any ideas? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:15, 3 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I'm accustomed only to the approach taken for inflected forms and alternative forms in some Indo-European languages, which have no definition other than the specification of their inflected form and a link to the lemma. If the kana and kanji entries are fairly completely alternative systems with some users preferring on and some the other, maybe they should both be lemmas, with cross-references. Perhaps the definitions should be in separate pages for transclusion so the definitions remain complete for both, if that reflects reality. I notice that some Chinese pages are (in part?) transcluded into others. Perhaps that offers a model. I'll see if I can find an example on my watchlist or recent changes. DCDuring (talk) 16:50, 3 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
南沙參 is a page that is transcluded in other Chinese pages. See what links here. I don't have any knowledge that would tell me whether that is very relevant to the situation in Japanese. DCDuring (talk) 17:04, 3 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

spark plug[edit]

good morning. i believe we're missing a figurative meaning, see merriam webster: "one that initiates or gives impetus to an undertaking". thank you. --2A02:2788:A4:F44:F031:62F8:23B7:FCB8 10:05, 6 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

If you feel a change is needed, feel free to make it yourself! Wiktionary is a wiki, so anyone — including you — can edit any entry by following the edit link. You don't even need to log in, although there are several reasons why you might want to. Wiki convention is to be bold and not be afraid of making mistakes. If you're not sure how editing works, have a look at How to edit a page, or try out the Sandbox to test your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome.
hello, i've taken a stab at spark plug but i don't speak english, can you review it.
im confused by the 9th definition of the conjunction as ("(now England, US, regional) Functioning as a relative conjunction; that."). the 2016 example is not good i think, its not a relative conjunction there. what do you think of "you can't kill a man for lying to protect them as was his brothers." --2A02:2788:A4:F44:318D:E7D1:3F58:A1F2 13:51, 7 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Seeing as (or as how) you don't speak English, I appreciate your effort at spark plug.
Note that prior sentence uses as in the same way as the citations for def. 9 do. A relative conjunction is defined to be one that introduces a relative clause. "(How) you don't speak English" is such a clause. Your example adds the grammatical mistake of using was instead of were, making the example extra hard to understand. In these uses as can be replaced by that. DCDuring (talk) 17:04, 7 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
thank you. i disagree that "(how) you don't speak English" is a relative clause: for me there is difference between "the thing that you want isn't the thing that i want" (relative "that") and "the fact that you don't speak english doesn't change anything: you will be treated as everyone else" (subordinating "that"). better examples for 9th def would be where "as" can be replaced by "who", because it's unambiguous. sorry i dont have capitals. --2A02:2788:A4:F44:7950:9F6C:B6D3:8FA4 18:10, 7 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

raise one's hand[edit]

This is an old (2008) entry of yours. Would you consider expanding it a bit to indicate whether these senses are figurative or literal? I can imagine a school class where one raises one's hand to indicate that one is volunteering but I'm not sure whether you meant something else. Equinox 18:52, 12 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I meant some "figurative" or, better, communicative uses, but I don't know whether they would be attestable. The use of this in books is of two types: one about a motion for a non-communicative purpose (raised his hand to shield his eyes from the glare), the other for communicating some intention, the exact nature of the gesture and its meaning being determined by context (eg, "volunteer", "seek permission to do do something, eg, speak", "threaten"). "Literal" and "figurative" don't correspond to this distinction. I am not sure that any of these possible meanings of the gesture are meanings of the expression. I am not sure whether this case differs from give the finger/give someone the finger and still less how to characterize the difference. DCDuring (talk) 03:34, 13 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Hello. Is this verb ambitransitive? I'm pretty sure it can be transitive ("How do you parse this sentence?"), but can it be intransitive (does the sentence "This sentence doesn't parse." parse?) as well? --Barytonesis (talk) 22:07, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]

This reminds me of an old argument I had with Rua (née CodeCat) re: the ergative label. There is confusion in discussions about how this concept applies to English, in that the "transitive / intransitive" distinction in English grammars is primarily a syntactic one, while the "ergative" construction inherently involves the semantics of the verb.
parse in this sentence doesn't parse meets my understanding of an ergative verb. This differs importantly from our definition at [[Appendix:Glossary#ergative]], which appears (to me) to get caught up in the syntax without considering the semantics. To wit: an ergative verb in English is one where the underlying meaning of the verb requires an object, and that object is used syntactically as the subject, with the agent of the verb generally left unstated. In this sentence doesn't parse, we understand that someone (i.e. a person) is doing the parsing, and that the sentence itself is the object of that parsing. Likewise for this egg cooks up nicely, or this car handles poorly, and similar constructions.
FWIW, a syntactically intransitive and unergative use of parse would be something like the code interpreter parses. → the object is left unstated (presumably "source code"), and the syntactic subject is not the semantic object of the verb. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:08, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Also, I believe that most (all?) semantically transitive English verbs can be used with ergative syntax. I.e., I don't see any utility in having any ergative verb label. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 23:10, 30 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
For the sentence above, 'sentence' is semantically the patient, whether it is the subject or the object grammatically. I think that makes for ergativity. In contrast a verb like 'hammer' does not allow a patient to be subject. That is, some verbs are ergative and some not — or so it seems to me 10 minutes before I fall asleep. DCDuring (talk) 04:51, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Ah, yes, thank you! That was the word I was missing -- [[Patient (grammar)]] is what I was calling the semantic object.
And re: hammer (verb), why not these nails don't hammer in straight? The "nails" here are both syntactic subject and semantic patient, which would seem to meet the criteria for an ergative use of the verb. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 17:32, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
You are right about hammer. Hence, my dormitive sleepiness disclaimer. DCDuring (talk) 17:43, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I wonder if statives are exceptions. I can't think of good examples though. The ergative *This idea doesn't understand easily doesn't work, but the transitive version ?I don't understand this idea easily (= I find it difficult to understand this) may not either. — Eru·tuon 22:17, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I don't know how to characterize the distinction between verbs that do operate ergatively and those that don't. Consider:
He grasps the hammer clumsily
? The hammer grasps clumsily.
He handles the hammer clumsily.
The hammer handles clumsily.
To me, the difference seems to lie in the difference in the range of other meanings of grasp and handle, which somehow lets handle but not grasp be ergative. DCDuring (talk) 22:32, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
William Empson wrote an article (in The Structure of Complex Words) (1951) on dictionaries. The article seemed to argue against isolated definitions, because the range of meanings can influence each individual use of a word, even across parts of speech for homonyms. (Also homophones?) DCDuring (talk) 22:42, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@Eirikr, Erutuon: If I understood that well, there are three uses to consider:
  • transitive (syntactic subject = semantic agent, syntactic object = semantic patient)
  • intransitive 1 (syntactic subject = semantic agent, syntactic object/semantic patient implied or absent)
  • intransitive 2 (syntactic subject = semantic patient)
A standard ambitransitive verb has transitive and intransitive 1 uses: hear: transitive ("I heard a sound from outside the window.") and intransitive 1 ("I was deaf, and now I can hear.")
An ergative verb has (at least) transitive and intransitive 2 uses (are there even verbs which only have transitive and intransitive 2 uses to the exclusion of intransitive 1?).
translate would have all three uses: transitive ("Hans translated my novel into Welsh"), intransitive 1 ("Hans translated for us while we were in Marrakesh.") and intransitive 2 ("That idiom doesn't really translate.").
Would you agree? --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 19:25, 18 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@Per utramque cavernam: That sounds like a reasonable analysis. Thinking about your question, given the way English works (where objects can be omitted from a sentence), I can't think of any examples of verbs that have intransitive 2 senses (ergative) but no intransitive 1 senses. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 20:02, 18 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@Per utramque cavernam: I think that's a correct summary (ignoring any verb whose arguments don't fall into the categories of semantic agent and patient). I believe that intransitive 1 is sometimes called unergative and intransitive 2 unaccusative. This is odd terminology, but it means that the subject could theoretically, semantically speaking, be assigned ergative or accusative, respectively (if the syntax of the clause is ergative–absolutive or nominative–accusative) – under the assumption that the ergative is meant to mark the more agent-like argument and the accusative the more patient-like one – but is not. So, an ergative verb can be used transitively or unergatively, an accusative verb transitively or unaccusatively. I don't know if there's a term for a verb that can be used transitively, unergatively, or unaccusatively.
I think break can't be used unergatively: I break easily means it is easy for me to be broken, not that it is easy for me to break things. But I could be wrong. — Eru·tuon 20:25, 18 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@Erutuon: What about "he breaks well" in this Baltimore Sun article:

He chased last out but could have the upper-hand if he breaks well.

From the context about horse racing, I assume the breaks here is in reference to break away -- but I'm not that up on horse racing. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:20, 18 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
@Eirikr: Well, it seems to be an inherently intransitive meaning of break. I don't know if it's unergative or unaccusative, or whether it counts as a counterexample, because its meaning is so different. — Eru·tuon 00:58, 20 December 2017 (UTC)[reply][edit]

Hello, could you look at 'reverse rape' please. Thank you. Kaixinguo~enwiktionary (talk) 17:28, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

In the absence of reliable authority, ie, another dictionary that has it, there is no substitute for citations. Urban dictionary has a variety of definitions, many broadly similar to ours. There manrape is advanced as a synonym. DCDuring (talk) 17:48, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Google "reverse rape" (BooksGroupsScholar). (News portion doesn't work.) Although there are many usages that don't quite fit our definition, it fits most usage. BTW, manrape doesn't seem to have nearly as much use and may not be attestable from Google Books. DCDuring (talk) 17:57, 1 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]
I have added some book cites, some from academia. Equinox 09:26, 16 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Science hot words[edit]

I think you might have proposed something like this, hence bringing it to your talk page. We now have a "hot word" system that works well overall, but is lacking when it comes to some scientific words. A new element, for example, is so notable that it will work its way into durable media quickly and the hot word status will tide it over until then. But what about something obscure: a new species of beetle, or a new mineral? I am currently bothered by the case of davidsmithite, a mineral that was just named but is so rare and obscure that it is not likely to meet CFI for many years hence despite being, well, the only name for it and the only name that people will use in the future for it. I think this could be an important inclusionist push, but I'm not even sure it is necessarily a wise one. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 08:33, 4 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I agree that not all new scientific words are important additions to Wiktionary, even after they meet our attestation standards. Species names of macrofauna and pathogens are an important set of words we should cover, probably as soon as they appear in newspapers, if not sooner. I have subscribed to several science news aggregators to see what might be trending, but I haven't followed through, even to test whether my sources would produce many entries.
I remain focused on the backlog of missing taxonomic names, especially those which already appear in non-Translingual definitions(!) or in etymologies and image captions (including in Translingual entries). Equinox is working on the backlog of mineral names. Other underrepresented items are geological strata and time periods.
It would probably be best if someone else took charge of scientific hotwords. At present I am the only one who cares enough about taxa to have systematized them. That effort consumes most of the time I can devote to Wiktionary. The approach I've taken gives me relatively little to contribute to scientific hotwords in general, though I'd be happy to support the effort, especially with respect to taxonomic names. DCDuring (talk) 13:25, 4 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

bonytongue and arowana[edit]

I just created these fish entries based on Wikipedia, but they seem sort of inconsistent re hyponyms and which family is which. Are you able to fix? Thanks. Equinox 09:10, 16 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Inconsistency is unavoidable if you are accurate about usage. Usage is the problem.
So far, I have created [[Osteoglossidae]] and expanded [[arowana]]. There is a fair amount still to do. In general, the mapping between vernacular names and taxonomic names is many-to-many. The referent of a vernacular name is often very unclear, though it can be assumed that it is almost always an organism found where the language is spoken. For English, it helps to know whether the vernacular name is used in UK, Canada, US, Australia, NZ, India, or elsewhere, so that a local species can be associated with it. DCDuring (talk) 16:19, 16 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]


Hello DCDuring. Do you approve of my archiving endeavour? --2A02:2788:A4:F44:11FD:8514:F4C1:3A2 16:07, 23 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

If what you are doing is getting discussions from RfV, RfD, TR, etc onto entry talk pages, you are doing God's work. Keep it up. DCDuring (talk) 16:11, 23 December 2017 (UTC)[reply]

lemming test[edit]

Hello. Maybe you'll be interested in this: {{lemming test}}. If you have any idea for improvement (more dictionaries?), I'm all ears. I don't guarantee I'll be able to carry them out, but I can try. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:33, 4 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I grant you that it's much ado about nothing though: a simple Google search should be both faster and more efficient :p --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 17:38, 4 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Looks good. I have two recommendations:
  1., which is a gateway to some of the dictionaries you have and to others, mostly specialized, that you don't. ({{R:OneLook}}
  2. Century 1911, which is an old encyclopedic-style dictionary that is great for older words and (older) specialties (maritime, animal husbandry, etc). {{R:Century 1911}}
Convenience is a big deal. I include the two template I refer to on many pages that I create, have disputed senses, or need improvement. I could use yours as is for certain types of entries and would use it a lot with the two additions I mention. DCDuring (talk) 17:47, 4 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
All right, I've added these two references. {{R:OneLook}} is so good I've put it in first position.
Initially, I didn't intend to use it in the mainspace, but maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea after all. A complete list of references such as the one found in this revision is visually aggressive and distracting, in my view; this new template is more discreet. What do you think?
P.S.: I've renamed it {{en-lemming test}}. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 00:51, 5 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Big lists of references with lots of repetitive content are a problem. I like the idea of a discreet template, though it may be a challenge to my fine motor skills to click on the abbreviations. But I doubt that it will prove to be a real barrier. Thanks for the initiative and for asking me about it. DCDuring (talk) 01:28, 5 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Five lemmings is too challenging a standard for inclusion. The way the "lemming test" is used here is as a guide to the completeness of the definitions that we have. The existence of even one good dictionary or glossary (for specialty terms) that includes the term or, more commonly, definition is generally sufficient preliminary evidence for inclusion. Even when there is no coverage then one still has to expect a term to face RfV (any definition) and/or RfD (usually for SoP MWEs or in cases where one definition of a term is arguably included in or duplicative of another). I view dictionary references not as authoritative support, but rather as a help both to passive users in understanding the range of definitions and to contributors who are trying to improve an entry. DCDuring (talk) 01:40, 5 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

tabbed browsing[edit]

Hey there, I read at Metaknowledge's talk that you avoid tabs. I can recommend the Tree-Style-Tabs [1] extension for firefox. The main feature of [1] is grouped listing, collapse/expand groups as needed, and bookmarking individual subgroups to folders. Alas, it flattens the tree structure to a single folder in bookmarks.

It's a bit sluggish at times, perhaps because it's written in javascript, and it crashed on me once or twice in a few years, but using chrome now I can see exactly what the problem with too many tabs can be. There are extensions in similar spirit for chrome of course, but I didn't install any and so cannot vouch for them.

On the other hand, avoiding too many open tabs, just using a history side bar and a keen memory to go back and forth will go a long way, too.


Rhyminreason (talk) 16:09, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I no longer have a keen memory, so that option is out. I probably should just try to be more systematic about my Wiktionary workflow. DCDuring (talk) 22:06, 17 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
You still seem to be having trouble. I'd really like to help you — it will make it easier for you to edit, improve your entries (which often include links that lead nowhere), and make it easier for other editors like me who want to add etymologies and the like. Do you want to walk through your process here on your talk page, privately by email, or by another means? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:13, 3 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Tell me about links that lead nowhere. There are a couple of sites that have changed the most obvious way one can construct links to specific pages. I haven't been very diligent about updating the templates to follow. DCDuring (talk) 05:33, 3 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I will admit that I don't know of that happening recently, although I've fixed older ones recently, like here where an unciteable name became a deadlink to WP. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:58, 3 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
SB might have found it from someone who found it at WoRMS, where it was entered without a source, probably just as a calque of the taxonomic name. I can find mention of "wheel-bearer" in reference to the Cycliophora, but not likely to meet ATTEST. DCDuring (talk) 17:35, 3 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
There is the pedia= parameter in {{vern}} which suppresses the attempted link to WP. I usually don't use it because often one can "search other entries" to find uses elsewhere in WP. DCDuring (talk) 17:35, 3 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Here's an example of links that lead nowhere that you just added today. Two out of the three external links went to dead pages; the third (which I've retained) is a redirect, but better than nothing. How can I help you to learn how to use tabs? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:32, 10 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
What does this have to do with tabs?
As to the entry, I really can't stand largely uninformative entries such as this. I put in links, which I'd like you not to remove, that go a page from which one can usually find something on Wikispecies, using the options on their failed-search page. You were right about the Commons link. I have replaced it with a link to a Hypernym for the term in question. DCDuring (talk) 20:28, 10 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

WT:SASE (short-attention-span encyclopedia)[edit]

Thanks for this. Honestly, I think it concerns at least half of the entries submitted at RFD (example). --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 00:02, 21 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I do favor content beyond one-word synonym-style definitions. But the core of a dictionary are substitutable definitions. When a definition requires a full sentence, encyclopedophilia is at work. DCDuring (talk) 00:28, 21 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Hahaha, encyclopedophilia! I wish more of our anon protologisms were as entertaining. Equinox 00:37, 21 February 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Hello. I'm facing a terrible inner conflict.

While I'd like my arguments for deletion or conservation to be rooted in CFI, as it would be more conducive to rational debate, I can't help but resonate with this. I tend to rely a lot on intuition and speaker's feeling, as I think it has served me well in the past (in not filling this dictionary with too much crap).

Besides, I think CFI are skewed towards "conservationism". I also find that getting hung up on what's written there can lead to "increasingly scholastic" arguments. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 15:22, 7 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Intuition can guide one's choice of side in the discussion, but we cannot have consensus-generating discussion without arguing from principles and criteria. We can only vote and make RfD a fact-free zone. DCDuring (talk) 15:53, 7 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
All right, I'll try to bear that in mind, and to actually read the CFI at least once. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 15:02, 8 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Taxonomy and typography[edit]

Hello Herr During --

I was curious about this change, removing italicization from a family name. It seems I was under the misapprehension that taxonomic names in general should be italicized -- is it instead only the two-part species names that are italicized, and nothing further up the tree?

Cheers, ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 04:49, 17 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for noticing and inquiring.
The cut-off for italicization is genus. All taxonomic names at genus level and below, down to variety and form (and possibly beyond?) are italicized, except for the words, abbreviations, and typography like subsp., var., form, and ×. All taxonomic names at higher "rank" are not italicized. In addition, italicization is mandatory under the main taxonomic codes when the surrounding text is upright, but, when it is not, the taxonomic names are supposed to be in a contrasting font, which usually means upright.
The exception to this is the realm of viruses. All virus taxonomic names, which currently extend to order, are italicized. I don't know whether the orthographic contrast applies in virus names.
I don't know the full rationale, but I can hypothesize, as can you. DCDuring (talk) 17:07, 17 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Hey DCDuring, I just want to say thanks for fixing my misuse of italics. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:40, 18 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]
It's my pleasure, really. Taxonomic names follow rules that Wiktionary should follow. I've learned them over time. Others can too. I don't want to try to force compliance on individual contributors as that is an extra burden on those who contribute entries and definitions of organism names, whether vernacular or taxonomic. The best thing that contributors can do is use {{taxlink}} around taxonomic names, even without adding the "rank" parameter or having the correct typography (or even spelling). DCDuring (talk) 15:58, 18 March 2018 (UTC)[reply]

flying squid[edit]

Researching akkar in Norwegian led me to this. There's no Translingual entry for Todarodes [4] which you may like to rectify. DonnanZ (talk) 09:30, 19 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

We are a few million short at the species level; tens of thousands or more at the genus level. At the rate we are going at Wiktionary and in the world We will not be keeping up with renamings, let alone discoveries and the backlog, even of those taxonomic names that are entered using {{taxlink}}. DCDuring (talk) 10:25, 19 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I note that there are no entries currently linking to Todarodes and that the taxonomic name in [[flying squid]] is not enclosed in {{taxlink}}, therefore not getting onto any list that I would eventually attend to. There are three entries that contain Todarodes sagittatus, none of which use {{taxlink}}. Further I not that only one entry links to flying squid and none of the five other entries that contain flying squid link to the term or to a more specific name like Japanese flying squid (if that is a valid name). IOW: a little help. DCDuring (talk) 10:39, 19 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
We only have two of the 25 or so families in the squid family Teuthida. DCDuring (talk) 10:44, 19 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]
As it happens squid are well covered in entries accessible through Oegopsida at the Tree of Life Web Project. DCDuring (talk) 13:58, 19 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]


I have been naughty and created this, as I came across it when creating the English entry. Maybe I should leave well alone in future. DonnanZ (talk) 12:02, 25 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

It takes a bit of work to make a real entry. I don't mind doing the work if someone has some interest, for whatever reason. This one was a bit obscure, but it led me to a superspecialized database (on snout moths). DCDuring (talk) 13:15, 25 April 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Think of the newbies[edit]

Food for thought: Considering the new users who are being bullied for not knowing or having studied a language, what do you think they benefit from, the vote running or the vote not running? (Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2018-05/Proficiency as a prerequisite for contribution) You know, I am an old veteran who has been bullied again and again, and I know how to take care of myself. But who will take care of all those new users? --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:15, 20 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]

How does the vote help? DCDuring (talk) 12:42, 20 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
It helps to collect plentiful input on a subject in one place, including various reasoned comments. From what I have seen, nothing beats a vote/request for comment in this ability. Anyone who sees a newbie being treated less then nicely can then point to the vote, done. You can ponder why this vote has earned so much ire where some other votes don't. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:48, 20 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Because it looks like a proposed barrier to participation. If it is a stalking horse for something else, you should disclose your underlying purpose and forswear using stalking horse proposals henceforth. It's hard enough to have discussions without adding hidden agendas to the mix. DCDuring (talk) 12:54, 20 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
It isn't a stalking horse. My point is to obtain input for the proposal specified in the vote so that what happened to me recently won't happen again, to anyone. The proposal, in its formulation, closely matches words of multiple English Wiktionary admins. No hidden purpose there, really. --Dan Polansky (talk) 12:57, 20 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
The vote is created in the tradition of Wiktionary:Votes/2018-03/Showing romanizations in italics by default and multiple other votes. In that vote, the people opposing having the vote are mostly the people supporting the proposal of the vote. When certain people refuse to put their proposals to vote, I put them to vote instead. They want that their will prevails without consensus, and do not like having these votes, of course. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:06, 20 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
You see it that way, and I see it as a way to (sometimes) thwart proposals you don't like. In my view, once people have voted, they tend not to come back on their vote (they might not even revisit the vote page); but had all the evidence been brought forth from the start, they might have voted the other way. --Per utramque cavernam 13:23, 20 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
And by the way, I don't think votes are evil, I just think you're far too quick on the trigger. As long as it's not exactly clear what the disagreement is about, and all the facts haven't been checked, it's too soon to have a vote. A vote should only take place when a matter of opinion has been reached and there are irreconcilable viewpoints: "all right, I've seen all your points, I understand them, but I still think the points I've raised are more important", "no, that argument weighs more than this one", etc. As long as there's still a discussion about facts, we're not ready to have a vote. I'd say that's been an issue with some of your votes. --Per utramque cavernam 13:38, 20 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]


What do/should we normally do if a word is attested only as an epithet for one species? Soft-redirect the word to the full species name with something like {{only in}}? Or just leave it as a redlink? (For example, I think that rimiculus is such a word, attested only in Catostomus rimiculus.) - -sche (discuss) 05:57, 27 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Isn't the form rimiculum also attested (in Latin)? SemperBlotto (talk) 06:01, 27 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    There might be a barely attestable Fusarium rimiculum, a fungus. DCDuring (talk) 11:34, 27 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    But I'd go for use of {{only in}} in this case for now. If someone finds Latin or other use, all the better. DCDuring (talk) 11:40, 27 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I suppose that the "only ins" need to be reviewed once in a while. The language categorization should be sufficient to limit the tedium of the review, at least until CJKV characters us {{only in}} in Translingual sections. DCDuring (talk) 11:50, 27 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Shouldn't this be "Asterids"? SemperBlotto (talk) 09:30, 31 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • And, similarly "euasterids I" and "euasterids II".
There are perhaps 20 of these. They are more common in scholarly articles in lower case. They still seem to be treated as taxa, but seem to be much less influenced by the ICN. The use of the terms is driven by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group, which seems to dominate much of botanical taxonomy. I think of the uppercase forms as alternative forms, influenced by the older practice capitalizing taxa. DCDuring (talk) 14:04, 31 May 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Hey. I saw an animal yesterday and it wasn't in Wiktionary. The moral of the story is, of course, that you have to work harder. --Harmonicaplayer (talk) 15:37, 4 July 2018 (UTC)[reply]

We only have several million species to go, not counting synonyms and names above and below the species level. The idea is mostly to have entries for "interesting" species, usually macrofauna and macroflora, disease-causing organisms, bizarre organisms, organisms that are typical of higher-level taxa, those with names of interesting etymology, photogenic species, etc.

Correctness of heading order.[edit]

Thank you; but there was no excuse for my carelessness: I have reverted my similar edit for kindle for the same reason. Andrew H. Gray 18:47, 28 July 2018 (UTC)Andrew talk


Hi there. I think "superrosids" is English, plural. The taxon must be "Superrosids", capitalised. SemperBlotto (talk) 20:14, 16 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]

My policy has been to present all of the APG clade names as lowercase. That seems to be what they do in taxonomic literature. I treat the uppercase orthography as an alternative form. If it is to be changed, it is a global matter for all angiosperm entries and others that reference them. Virtually all of the entries involved would be taxonomic ones (Translingual). I really don't want to have to do frequency comparisons between each of the upper- and lower-case forms, presumably limited to the scholarly literature.
This and similar APG terms are used in taxonomic literature in the same way as ICN-approved names, so I am loath to characterize them as English, unless they have a meaning in English that is significantly different than the meaning in taxonomic literature. Though some databases use ICN-style names, increasingly the APG names are winning. For many of these APG names there is not a corresponding ICN-style name or the placement and/or circumscription differ. I have recently added a series of plant superorders (ending in anae) that follow the simplified taxonomy of Ruggiero et al. Ruggiero MA, Gordon DP, Orrell TM, Bailly N, Bourgoin T, Brusca RC, et al. (2015) A Higher Level Classification of All Living Organisms. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0119248. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119248. pmid:25923521 has the default taxonomy I follow for all hypernyms at the rank of order or higher, unless there is a more recent one that is clearly superior and has fairly broad coverage, ie, class level or higher. An example of such is at User:DCDuring/LPSNProkaryoteClassification, which covers the entire Prokaryota superkingdom.
If you think it's worth it, we could take the matter to BP, though it should really be a matter for something called WT:About taxonomic names. Chuck Entz and Metaknowledge are the principal contributors who have the best background for taxonomic matters and may have this page on their watchlists. DCDuring (talk) 21:00, 16 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Hey. For these edits, you might want to use {{rfquotek}} instead. --XY3999 (talk) 07:06, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

BTW, I just made {{rfdatek}}, based on {{rfquotek}}. It might make some things easier. --XY3999 (talk) 08:19, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
I just used copy-and-paste. I didn't especially want to create another template. I also wanted to indicate that the citation needed more than just a date. Apparently some contributors thought that a request for date meant a request for the birth and death years of the author. Once you open the edit window what appears is: "rfdate|and other bibliographic particulars". That comment is too long for a normal user display of the entry. DCDuring (talk) 14:46, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe a longer comment would help: "rfdate|and other bibliographic particulars, eg, title of work, page, url, full name of author" DCDuring (talk) 14:49, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
We don't have a good template for requesting cleanup of a grossly incomplete, misformatted citation such as:
"We seem to be made to suffer. It's our lot in life." in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
What's missing are the name of the writer, the date, a link to the script or some other way of confirming that these words were part of the movie and showing the context, etc. DCDuring (talk) 15:20, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
@XY3999: BTW {{rfquotek}} is only for cases where an author's name is present, but not the actual text of the supposed citation. DCDuring (talk) 16:26, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
See WT:BP#Cleaning up citations. DCDuring (talk) 16:26, 2 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Hey again. I reckon we could improve our cleanup process by getting a bot to make edits like this. My idea is that a category is generated for, e.g. all Wordsworth quotes missing "bibliographic particulars" - one book by him was quoted multiple times, you know. --XY3999 (talk) 14:07, 15 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    Why eliminate the link to author last name at Wikipedia? If that link is unsatisfactory, then we need a link to the author name in an Appendix that says which work(s) is(are) involved. Also, it is highly desirable to have a pageurl link and a complete citation with page numbers etc. DCDuring (talk) 17:56, 15 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Response to "what's the big idea?"[edit]

Your subsequent changes to the entry seem fine to me.

Wizymon (talk) 17:49, 16 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Some old taxonomic junk[edit]

Haha, hello, do you want a list of old Chambers 1908 taxonomy that I couldn't find on Wikipedia? Well, I'M NOT LISTENING, you're just going to have to have it. If you don't want to deal with them, and if you think they have any value whatsoever, you may want to dump them somewhere else. I recommend leaving them on Chuck Entz's lawn in the middle of the night, and roaring away on your motorbike. BTW, there will be more to come, but I felt I had enough to drop them on you now.

  • Dioecia, a class of plants having the stamens on one plant and the pistils on another. [Gr. di-, twice, oikos, a house.] -- compare English adjective "dioecious"
  • Gnathopoda, the xiphosura: the arthropoda.
  • Lamellicornes, a very numerous family of beetles: the cockchafer, etc.
  • Natatores, the swimming-birds.
  • Ostracea, the oyster family. adjs. ostracean, ostraceous
  • Plumbagineae, a natural order of oxogenous [?] plants found on seashores and salt-marshes.
  • Prosobranchiata, an order or subclass of gastropods having the gills anterior to the heart. [Gr. proso, forward, branchia, gills.]
  • Raptatores -- alt form of Raptores ?
  • Retifera, the true limpet.
  • Rhabdamminina, a group of marine imperforate foraminiferous protozoans. [Gr. rhabdos, a rod, ammos, sand.]
  • Rhabdomesodon, a genus of polyzoans. [Gr. rhabdos, a rod, mesos, middle, odous, odontos, a tooth.]
  • Rhiptoglossa, a suborder of lizards. [Gr. rhiptein, to throw, glossa, the tongue.]
  • Rhizantheae, one of the five classes into which Lindley divides the vegetable kingdom. [= rhizanths?]
  • Rhizocarpeae, a group of cryptogams.
  • Rhizostomata, an order of discomedusans
  • Rhynchea, the painted snipe. [Gr. rhynchos, snout.]
  • Rostrifera, a suborder of gasteropods, with contractile rostrum or snout.
  • Saccobranchia, a division of tunicates with saccate gills. [Gr. sakkos, a sack, brangchia, gills.]
  • Sarcophyte, a monotypic genus of parasitic and apetalous plants native to South Africa. [Gr. sarx, sarkos, flesh, phyton, a plant.]
  • Scatophaga, the dung-flies.
  • Sciadiaceae, a family of freshwater algae, its typical genus Sciadium.
  • Scirtopoda, an order of saltatorial rotifers. [Gr. skirtan, leap, pous, foot.] [Wikipedia suggests it was also a former name for Perittia moths.]
  • Sclerobrachia, an order of brachiopods
  • Sclerodermata, the scaly reptiles; the madrepores
  • Sclerostoma, a genus of nematode worms
  • Scolecina, a group of annelids typified by the earthworm; also Scoleina
  • Scotophis, a genus of carinated serpents of North America
  • Scotornis, a genus of African birds with very long tails
  • Seleucides, a genus containing the twelve-wired bird of Paradise.
  • Semostomae, a suborder of Discomedusae, containing jellyfishes.
  • Spermophyta, one of the four divisions of the vegetable kingdom including flowering plants.
  • Steganopus = Wilson's phalarope, but may also be Phalaropus ? see WP
  • Subulicornia, a division of neuroptera, including dragonflies, May-flies, etc.

Equinox 00:19, 19 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

  • Oh, thank you ever so much. Do you mean that these do not appear anywhere in principal namespace at WP? I take it you haven't tried Wikispecies (which has a lot of old names as synonyms and in pages that memorialize old systems).
In many ways I hate these things, but they can differentiate us from other resources. DCDuring (talk) 02:00, 19 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks[edit] As I recall, I had formatted this in a way that was non-standard for species names here so thanks for smoothing it out for me. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:41, 30 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

No worries. The most important thing is to wrap any taxonomic name in {{taxlink}} (which need not have all of its parameters. I closely monitor maintenance categories for this template and also occasionally search for oddness in taxonomic entries. DCDuring (talk) 18:49, 30 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Otaria orsina di Guadalupe[edit]

Can you please tell me the meaning of "ver=190411" you added in the taxlink. Thanks.Angelucci (talk) 12:21, 12 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I try to check the spelling of all taxonomic names, at least those using {{taxlink}}. It is easy to make mistakes. I also check whether the name is the accepted current one. Ver means "verified"; the 6 numbers are YYMMDD. DCDuring (talk) 17:15, 12 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

A (potentially) fun puzzle[edit]

I have two Chichewa words, insa and gwape, which seem to refer to duikers, but I can't figure out if they're synonyms or (as is more likely) refer to different species. My informants are of little help, and one actually glossed insa as "deer", which I knew was zoologically problematic but went into my notes anyway. Your googling skills would be much appreciated. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:51, 15 April 2019 (UTC) From w:List of mammals of Malawi:[reply]

The species are notably different in color, so distinct vernacular names are quite possible. Are either of the nouns used with color words? There are also a few other species of antelopes in Malawi. The starting hypothesis should be that the words are for duikers. I'll look into this late tomorrow or Tuesday. DCDuring (talk) 04:06, 15 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Mtenje describes gwape as "reddish in colour, about the size of a good dog, with very small straight horns" (which sounds like a red forest duiker to me), but insa gets no detailed description. This source uses the name "Manganja" and claims insa refers in fact to the oribi. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:53, 15 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
FWIW, the commons distribution map doesn't show much area in Malawi currently occupied by oribis. DCDuring (talk) 17:33, 15 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Confusingly, the very helpful Appendix 4 of this paper gives gwape as S. grimmia, which I would have to say conflicts with Mtenje's description quoted above. Chichewa is not a taxonomically exact language, so I begin to wonder if these are not errors, but reflect real disagreement about which duikers have which names. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:50, 15 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think any normal language is particularly taxonomic, except perhaps locally. My own model is that a given regional group of speakers of a language share a 'type' that anchors the range of organisms that a given name can usually refer to.
IMO, the description of a typical gwape given by Mtenje could fit S. grimmia just as well as it fits C. natalensis, based on the images at Commons-logo.svg Sylvicapra grimmia on Wikimedia Commons.Wikimedia Commons . The red of C. natalensis is redder than that of S. grimmia, but I wonder how often even a hunter would see them or their hides next to each other. DCDuring (talk) 23:17, 15 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]


So what´s so great about ELEXIS? --I learned some phrases (talk) 20:01, 26 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

It might be free or, at least, cheap for those in EU countries. Their website explains what they offer. I doubt it will that great for English. DCDuring (talk) 22:43, 26 May 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Adding new kinds of detail to pronouns and determiners[edit]

Do you see any value in adding information such as the following:

  • interrogative who is a pronoun but not a pro-form
  • relative who is both a pronoun and a pro-form
  • noun one can be a pro-form but isn't a pronoun
  • today is always a deictic marker
  • Monday is sometimes deictic marker
  • all is a universal determiner
  • few is a negative determiner

If you see any value in this kind of thing, is there a format the immediately strikes you as practical and useful? --Brett (talk) 15:24, 19 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Nice to hear from you.
We don't use any of the terms in entries very much because we don't have high expectations for the level of terminological sophistication of our hoped-for population of normal users. Perhaps we should beef up our grammatical-term entries, as a couple of people have mentioned over the last year.
Starting places would be appendices linked to initially from the entries for pro-form, deixis (or deictic marker?), determiner (universal determiner and negative determiner) and subsequently to the terms that are always, often, or occasionally members of the class. For some of the larger word subclasses, categories might be good, but many normal users never get that far down the page. Linking to grammatical appendices from usage notes give more prominence if we have something to say that is useful to normal users. Categories may be helpful for contributors working to achieve some higher degree of consistency in how we present grammatical matter to normal users.
I've been spending a lot of time on taxonomic-name entries, and less time on grammatical matters, including the entries for adverbs, determiners, etc. User:-sche is good on these things when s/he has the time. Newish User:Mihia may be interested as well.
We have repeated discussions of the duplication of content between the Determiner PoS section and the Pronoun and Adjective PoS sections in our determiner entries. I don't see how we can eliminate the duplication as long as many users are not familiar with the term determiner. I am sensitive to this because I had virtually no awareness of the term Determiner when I started editing here in 2007. Perhaps working on the entries for determiners, including adding usage notes, and adding linked appendices would be useful in educating both contributors and normal users. DCDuring (talk) 16:26, 19 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks! some good thoughts here. I'll try to think about them.--Brett (talk) 17:01, 19 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you, but please do more research about the topic.[edit]

The research should be inside some "spiritual" books aswell, I will not name any, but please do be carefull of what you write in rage because of some inspiration I had.

I am very resourcefull and am watching this webpage with as many IP adresses as I wish to have just for the sheer love for what I actually do know.

Take care kind sir... ThankYouForContributingToEutheismEvenThoughItIsNotCorrect (talk) 21:56, 26 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]

This is a dictionary, not an encyclopedia. The extent of research to be done on this topic is to find sources using the word, and to provide a definition reflecting how it is used in those sources. bd2412 T 23:58, 26 June 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Jeez, I might been seen as dumb, but you left me with more doubts than anyhow else.

  • Nearly three times as common as or nearly three times more common than?
  • What is the second different definition of difference?

Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 14:25, 2 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

1. Either one will do.
2a. "Def. 2": We have a difference in our native languages.
2b. "Def. 1": One difference your language has from mine is its inflection of nouns.
HTH. DCDuring (talk) 15:44, 2 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Hey TaxonMan. I found the only living species you haven't made an entry for yet - treehunter. BTW, they are beautiful birds, which should be included in the entry. Also, they don't hunt trees, which should also be included. I'm going for a definition "beautiful non-tree-hunting bird which was discovered and then probably went extinct." --Gibraltar Rocks (talk) 21:32, 14 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

As there are certainly more than 10 million species, we have a ways to go. It looks like the treehunters are three genera in family Furnariidae, tribe Philydorini: (Cichlocolaptescryptic treehunter and pale-browed treehunter, Heliobletussharp-billed treehunter, Thripadectestreehunters (7 species). Presumably they hunt in trees. DCDuring (talk) 21:51, 14 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I know you're just making small talk, but you have no idea... While DCD does lots and lots of new entries all the time, the task is pretty intimidating: Category:Entries using missing taxonomic name (species) currently has 17,512 entries. Many are repeats- different names for the same species- but we keep finding entries that don't use the {{taxlink}} template, so they don't show up there yet, and we have a few people cranking out entries assembly-line fashion. I'm sure he feels at times like Lucy in the classic "I Love Lucy" candy factory sketch... Chuck Entz (talk)
The good days are when someone seems to take an interest. Please don't discourage Gib. DCDuring (talk) 02:19, 15 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

wild goat[edit]

Also, the grammar on wild goat looks a bit off - a species or goat believed ancestral to and including the domestic goat. --Gibraltar Rocks (talk) 21:33, 14 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

It's not grammar; but modern taxonomic semantics is not the same as the semantics of older taxonomy. All domesticated species have wild ancestors. If they can still interbreed, they are often viewed as the same species. The 'domestic goat' is really just the domesticated goat as familiar to Linnaeus, ie, as domesticated in Europe. DCDuring (talk) 21:43, 14 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Deletion of User:DCDuring/TaxonomictermsfromSpecialWantedPages[edit]

Fay Freak marked that page for deletion. It is your page. Do you agree? Equinox 02:51, 24 July 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Hi DCDuring. Thanks for your comments on this thus far. I was wondering why after you removed the dubious info about the term being an ethnic slur from the page, as well as after saying "This is ridiculous. We do not have to label something as a slur based on the events of the past 24 hours. There is nothing wrong with revisiting this in a year or 5 years.", you have added it back even though the quotes still do not use it as such, albeit with a "(Can we verify(+) this sense?)"? Vaselineeeeeeee (talk) 21:02, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Our best standard practice for entries that have a defective definition that has been RfVed is to add a definition that is supportable by citations and leave the challenged one untouched. I have added what seems to me to be a supportable non-ethnic definition. I believe that two of the cites previously shown for the challenged definition unambiguously show non-ethnic use and moved those to the non-ethnic definition. The two other cites are ambiguous, showing use of the term, but with the meaning not clear. I believe further that all the cites that appear only on the citations page also unambiguously support the non-ethnic definition. Some others may view the cites as offering unambiguous support for the ethnic-slur definition, though I don't see how they can, at least not based on the citations alone. DCDuring (talk) 21:19, 14 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I found this article interesting: Washington Post says that Edward Falco, the author of 2012 novel The Family Corleone, "said he agreed with Cuomo that “Fredo” was directed as an ethnic slur, not just meaning someone weak and incompetent but a weak and incompetent Italian. It sounds close to “guido,” he said, a more prominent insult toward Italian Americans, though he said Cuomo went “overboard” comparing it to the n-word." This is still just the opinion of one man, it is not in books or dictionaries. Do with it what you will. Perhaps over time it will be listed as an ethnic slur, but it will take some time before it is added into things like dictionaries to make it concrete and not just opinions. Of course there are others that say it is not a slur, so at this point it is still just a bunch of opinions. Vaselineeeeeeee (talk) 00:13, 16 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I have yet to see a single cite, even in non-print sources, of a use of Fredo as an ethnic slur. I have not heard it so used either - and I have heard plenty of ethnic and other slurs during my decades in New York. DCDuring (talk) 16:51, 23 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Slash substituted for line break[edit]

Just wondering what the rationale is for removing line breaks in citations of verse. (Aabull2016 (talk) 16:33, 23 August 2019 (UTC))[reply]

Give users a break by reducing the need to scroll down. Also, poetry and lyrics are often not the best cites to unambiguously illustrate meaning, so the extended amount of screen real estate taken up by the short-line layout draws user attention to the wrong kind of cites.
I am a firm believer in the importance of reducing the amount of vertical screen space taken up by Wiktionary entries. That's why I wish we defaulted to right-hand-side display of the table of contents. That's why I replace the 3+-line project boxes (like {{wikipedia}} for Wikipedia) with templates like 1+-line {{pedia}} under Further reading or References headers at the bottom of a language section and {{rfe}} with {{rfelite}} in the etymology section. DCDuring (talk) 16:47, 23 August 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for your response. I respectfully disagree. While verse is not always ideal for illustrative citations (and I'm careful to weigh up the usefulness of the citations I add), in many cases it is very good or the best available. In my experience, crowding lines together and separating them with slashes is actually much harder on the eye than presenting verse properly on separate lines. (Aabull2016 (talk) 15:34, 24 August 2019 (UTC))[reply]


Hi DCDuring - umm, I thought you wanted me to add taxlinks, but now you've gone an removed one I added. Pourquoi? - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 08:03, 2 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I remove them if they are "redundant", meaning we have the taxonomic entry. Each use of {{taxlink}} is, in principle, supposed to be temporary. It exists to indicate a "vote" for the creation of the taxonomic name entry. We have only about 15,500 taxonomic-name entries. There are millions of taxonomic names (including invalid and obsolete names) and millions of unidentified species. {{taxlink}} is just there to help prioritize. I don't mind any error-free taxonomic entry, eg, entered by someone who has an interest in, say, birds, liverworts, flora and fauna of the Middle East, huntsman spiders, felids, species with noveboracensis as apecific epithet, digraphs, disease organisms, endangered species, or bizarre taxonomic or vernacular (pink meanie) names. But I want to make sure that we have taxonomic name entries for the most "popular" taxa.
Each month I do a dump run and tally the "votes" (instances of taxlink) for taxonomic names. (See User:DCDuring/MissingTaxa). I then add the most "popular". There have been as many as 20 "votes" for a given taxon. I add entries for some of the most "popular", but rarely get beyond the top 20. I then remove the instances of {{taxlink}} for those names, which I have made redundant by creating the corresponding entry. HTH. DCDuring (talk) 12:24, 2 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I do wonder if this is the best strategy. Firstly it's a bit annoying to have to use Preview to check that a taxlink will render properly, and not require a simple link to an existing entry instead, and secondly we lose some semantic info when we turn a taxlink into a simple generic link. Equinox 22:07, 6 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
The redundant-template categories appear among the hidden categories, so you don't have to use Preview, but I take your point.
The test for the existence of an entry in a template is relatively expense or seemed so when the template was designed. It isn't so bad for a handful of taxlinks, but we have pages with scores of taxlinks and more. Could we bypass the test with a switch, eg, by having it in a template that wasn't called if a switch was manually set? Or could we have another template that differed by only one character (or a few) that duplicated the functionality of {{taxlink}}, except for the entry-existence test? DCDuring (talk) 22:20, 6 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Hmm, don't know... taxlink before verification, taxlinked afterwards? Probably not very clear. Equinox 16:22, 9 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Or extaxlink.
There is some loss of information, but it is info that might matter to at most a small number of contributors: those processing the XML dumps or using the new categories created by the new template. Would anyone really use a category like Category:Entries using a taxonomic name with a Wiktionary entry (species)? Wouldn't it have to be Category:English entries using a taxonomic name with a Wiktionary entry (species)? How useful is such a category? DCDuring (talk) 16:46, 9 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
A further nag (though we can't beat ourselves up too much about things that a bot can fix: it is better to spend time on the "human" work): I just saw you replace a taxlink with ''[[...]]'', but that's of course not strictly correct because you're linking to a Translingual entry as English. Really it needs to be ((l|mul...)) or what not. (While I have become very picky about using ((m... vs. ((l... depending on whether it's a mention or a use, I still tie myself in knots when it comes to layering the italicisation rules of taxonomy on top of that.) Yowza. Equinox 20:40, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Not if it's in a definition. Nothing in a definition is supposed to need {{l}}. Since taxonomic names are translingual, they are understandable as English. And the number of taxonomic names that could be confused with German nouns is small. Since a link without {{l}} goes to the top of the page, it necessarily goes to the Translingual L2s. I often forget in other uses. One shouldn't use {{m}} to achieve italicization of taxonomic genus and species names. Taxonomic-name italicization is intended to provide a contrast to the surround text. Sometime we have taxonomic names with no surrounding text as in {{sense}}, {{trans-top}} etc. In etymologies the question might arise as to whether the contrast is supposed to be with the surrounding text or the other mentioned terms. DCDuring (talk) 22:37, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I would not "use m to achieve italicization of taxonomic genus and species names" because that italicisation is done for different reasons, and is liable to change if we change our CSS/stylesheet. (Therefore what I've usually done is to use "l" and put explicit double-apostrophe italics around it. Which feels like shit but works.) I have to admit I have come to see Translingual as a strange "language that nobody speaks" (like Latin, lol) and I didn't consider your idea that it's okay in English. Equinox 22:43, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, that's the goal: to have them replaced by a bluelink. You should congratulate yourself every time you see that on having helped improve our coverage of taxonomic names. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:23, 2 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
We have so few (15,660 taxa entries and 63,000 other distinct taxa in {{taxlink}}) and will always have very few compared to the vast numbers that have been identified, let alone those to come. And a significant number of out taxa are synonyms or are obsolete, archaic etc. I am amazed at how many common, photogenic and economically important plant, mammal, bird, and fish species don't have entries. DCDuring (talk) 22:37, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Community Insights Survey[edit]

RMaung (WMF) 14:34, 9 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Yes check.svg Done

Me too. God it was tedious. I got my revenge by saying "this was very long and tedious" in the response box on the final page. I could have just not done it but my angry hateful opinions are important. Equinox 21:28, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I told them that I was afraid to express or even give hints of my opinions: I felt unsafe. Also that they lied about how long it would take. DCDuring (talk) 22:09, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Don't say that you feel unsafe! They will take that as a reason to say "50% of users felt unsafe therefore we are going to introduce new rules where you have to use everyone's pronouns"! Equinox 22:27, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I did say it was because of the treatment of Fram (or whatever his name was). DCDuring (talk) 22:38, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

prairie hen[edit]

In case you are curious, see Talk:prairie chicken for some thoughts about this missing term. Equinox 01:41, 15 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]

{{rfdatek}}, {{rfquotek}}, {{rfc}}, etc. all take a lang parameter in 1=[edit]

Hi. I've cleaned up all the request templates so that the ones that take any sort of language parameter (which is the large majority of them) always take it in 1=. This includes {{rfdatek}}, {{rfquotek}} and {{rfc}} among others. Hopefully this makes your life easier as you don't have to keep track of which templates have optional vs. mandatory lang params and whether it goes into lang= or 1= ... there are now only two major types, those that don't take a lang parameter at all (which is only a minority and primarily includes less-common templates) and those that take a mandatory lang parameter in 1= (all the rest). See Wiktionary:Templates with current language parameter for more details. Benwing2 (talk) 08:22, 8 October 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Appendix:English irregular verbs categories[edit]

This appendix I have recently created appears to cross paths with some of your own work in the same area. I wonder if you might find some time to glance over my appendix (not the one in my belly, please ;) ) and maybe cross reference or link or, well, whatever you think appropriate. One minor concern is the overlap with your Appendix:English verbs with base form identical to past participle. Any comments would, as always, be appreciated. -- ALGRIF talk 20:36, 10 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]

I don't know who this guy was who hijacked my account ten years ago to add this appendix. I wonder where he got the data. I would just try to make use of that guy's data, if it is indeed correct. DCDuring (talk) 00:49, 11 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Wiktionary:Lü transliteration[edit]

Why do you mention the Tai Le script on Wiktionary:Lü transliteration? Is it just a mistake for the Tai Tham script? The latter is still in use and has Tai Lü entries on Wiktionary. --RichardW57 (talk) 12:53, 17 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Correct me if I'm wrong. I created that page because it was one of the many pages "wanted" by inflection templates. If more knowledgable people such as yourself had troubled to create the wanted pages or eliminated the wanting in the templates/modules, I wouldn't have needed to display my ignorance. DCDuring (talk) 13:45, 17 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I asked because I didn't want to miscorrect you if you were right. The wanting of these templates was a well kept secret until recently, and creating useful pages of this type is not always easy. I've been spending a long weekend putting together a transliteration page for Northern Thai; a good transliteration scheme is frequently not something one can easily pull out of Wikipedia. In the case of Tai Lü, it's not inconceivable that there might be some Tai Lü who actually write in the Tai Le script. More to the point, there are features of New Tai Lue script that aren't hinted at in the Wikipedia article. --RichardW57 (talk) 15:35, 17 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]
I will expand the page on the basis that the Tai Le script is not used for Tai Lü. --RichardW57 (talk) 15:35, 17 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Ah yes, the cunningly concealed, encrypted Special:SpecialPages. Grasshopper, you have earned your own decrypted access to Special:WantedPages. Henceforth you will find that alt-shift-q gives you the access you seek and more. DCDuring (talk) 16:17, 17 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]


Why'd you revert? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:28, 22 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]

mahleb is the more common form (after subtracting the names Mahleb and Mahlab from the counts). I've made it the main entry. DCDuring (talk) 21:31, 22 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Makes sense. I finished up the job for you. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:35, 22 November 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the thanks[edit]

So tell me have you ever had a giant barnacle?Ndołkah (talk) 07:45, 10 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]

No. I appreciated your entries for Chilean/Argentinian local flora and fauna. The giant barnacle was particularly striking. DCDuring (talk) 14:33, 10 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Request for date[edit]

Hi DCD. Would you like to go catch a movie with me sometime? --ReloadtheMatrix (talk) 22:42, 30 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]

JK. I was wondering if you had an online list from which to find all the entries with crappily-formatted quotations to change like in this edition. If so, I'll add it to my To-do List --ReloadtheMatrix (talk) 22:43, 30 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]
There are thousands of them. I use regexes to find some.
I've got a very fruitful regex I'm mining right now, but I've also discovered a few other things that need work:
  1. Pages that use Template:RQ:Malory Le Morte Darthur followed by some roman numeral, need for the roman numerals to be placed inside the template.
  2. We need to apply the appropriate templates for the numerous Bible citations. We should have the right edition of the Bible (usually KJV, but sometimes Tyndale etc), the right book, and chapter and verse.
If you work on enough of these you will discover recurring problems on which you can apply your reqex skills. Help:Cirrus Search has useful info for almost any level of skill you might have. HTH.
A larger project is to confirm the correctness of the citations by using Google books/news/scholar searches and simultaneously formatting with {{quote-book}}, {{quote-journal}}, etc. The existing templates could be expanded to link to such searches. Most will be correct, but the many taken from older dictionaries contain unacknowledged ellipses. DCDuring (talk) 23:01, 30 December 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  • Reading, lol. Can't decide if you posted this to bait me or if it's actually true, since I've heard your pronouncing accent and it's definitely Home Counties. Films suck though. Equinox 03:51, 23 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    It was bait, Mr. Equinox. Like a bluegill it got you. --Yesyesandmaybe (talk) 12:02, 23 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Asking "is this bait" is not taking bait. You are a blinkard and a fopdoodle, sir. Equinox 12:22, 23 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • It´s pretty fun, this game. You tag rfdatek, and I add dates. I'm currently working on Shakespeare. At the moment there are 727 entries in Category:Requests for date/Shakespeare and 193 in Category:Requests for date/William Shakespeare. It is good to see the numbers go up and down, it is like a therapy of sorts for me, you know. Naturally, the work will never be complete, and the number of entries in the category will never get whittled down to 0. All part of the work on a Wiktionarian. --Yesyesandmaybe (talk) 11:12, 21 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@Yesyesandmaybe: if you apply our Shakespeare quotation templates (such as {{RQ:Shakespeare Lear Q1}} and {{RQ:Shakespeare Lear}}, the dates are already indicated in the templates. — SGconlaw (talk) 12:33, 21 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]
My regex has identified about 4,000 more entries that have author names and quotes, without dates and usually also without titles of the works containing the quote. Entries average nearly two opportunities for {{rfdatek}}, so there are quite a few more to go. For many of them it would be nice to have links to wikisource or Google Books for full context. It should be possible to modify templates like {{quote-book}} to use full-text search to get the full context on demand from the various online corpora. That would speed up the process.
Links to WP articles where available for authors and works should be standard. Links to Wikisource for works and authors should be replaced by WP links, with wikisource links as chapter or page links. The WP articles often have authorship and publication dates and other information about editions that can be lexicographically relevant.
I am concerned about the searchability and legibility of citations that have use "vv" and "f" to represent "w" and "s", respectively. Also, the complete bibliographic detail for some works coded in entries or in templates would probably better be in an appendix or, eventually, appendices to avoid burying the lexicographically relevant text passage beneath lengthy bibliographic detail of interest only to antiquarian literary scholars. DCDuring (talk) 15:45, 21 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]
And another thing: IMO translators should be shown before original authors and the prominent, emboldened date of the citation should be the date of the translation because it is the translator that selects the English words used, which is the reason for the citations being there to begin with, not to glorify the author of the original work nor to make a display or pretense of our polylingual erudition.


Can we delete this? The page title looks wrong: it's not part of your userspace. Equinox 22:01, 17 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Wrong as rain. Deleted. Thanks. DCDuring (talk) 10:56, 18 January 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Edit description[edit]

Would you mind adding an edit description for your edits like when you updated mountain [5]? If I see a mention of 'rfdatek' in the description, then it will likely satisfy my curiosity enough to not have to look at it. -Mike (talk) 20:09, 13 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Extra keystrokes are a bit hard on my arthritic right thumb, but I will do it when I remember until the habit is established. DCDuring (talk) 13:26, 14 February 2020 (UTC)[reply]

When are brackets indicated?[edit]

Hi! I see in this edit that brackets for Langley's Rhetoric dictionary shouldn't be included? When are they needed? Should they be defaulted to off, if the definitional rhymes are considered a use rather than a mention? grendel|khan 15:37, 11 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Fair question. It looked like a use to me. It wasn't in the form of a definition. Others may differ. To get more opinions try taking it to {{tea room}}. DCDuring (talk) 16:31, 12 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Taxonomic slip-up at tamarind[edit]

You listed "Gypsophila tubulosa" as the current name for "Diploglottis australis". This is nonsense, but it's a very easy mistake to make: Wikispecies doesn't have an entry for "Diploglottis"- it's a redlink on the species:Sapindaceae page- so it also doesn't have an entry for "Diploglottis australis". When you search for Diploglottis australis, it very helpfully gives you the results for species:Dichoglottis australis, instead, which redirects to species:Gypsophila tubulosa. Wikipedia, on the other hand, has no entry for "Dichoglottis", let alone w:Dichoglottis australis (though w:Gypsophila has a redlink for G. australis). When you search for Dichoglottis australis it very helpfully gives you the results for w:Diploglottis australis instead. In other words, the misdirections cancel each other out, giving the seamless illusion of the two wikis having different names for the same taxon.

As far as I can tell, however, "Gypsophila tubulosa" is the valid name for an annual herb related to baby's breath, while either "Diploglottis australis" or "Diploglottis cunninghamii" (Australian Plant Name Index vs. TROPICOS and The Plant List) is the valid name for a tree that gets over a 100 feet tall with a trunk 2 1/2 feet thick.

I'm not sure how best to fix this, since {{taxlink}} doesn't link to anything useful- but at least we have to keep users from ending up at species:Gypsophila tubulosa. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:51, 12 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for catching the error. I often wonder how many careless errors I make. I've been a bit lazy about checking taxonomic names on non-Translingual entries. As my eyesight gets worse, the visual similarity of different names can fool me as it did on this one.
Usually I don't care much whether {{taxlink}} doesn't have a target at Wikispecies, because I view the more important function as counting uses of the taxonomic name for purposes of prioritizing taxonomic name entries. I have been relying on the failed search to help users get something useful if Wikispecies doesn't have an entry. It would have worked for this if Wikispecies at least had an entry for Diploglottis, especially one with a species listing.
I have removed the nonsense name. I may add D. cunninghamii as a synonym as WP says many use that name. DCDuring (talk) 05:50, 12 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Your remark about "mean"[edit]

@Kent Dominic: I don't care about chronology and authorship. My remark was aimed at what I thought a weakness in the 5th definition that you were apparently advocating. DCDuring (talk) 19:16, 18 April 2020 (UTC)

@DCDuring: I couldn't care less about authorship, either. As for chronology, sorry I don't recall what remark you made about that 5th definition. At any rate, it was my bad for making a half-baked edit which, IMHO, should have been subsequently (a) edited by someone to fix its initial weakness, or (b) deleted along with the entirety of definition #5 rather than being reverted to its original infirmity. If you're the one who made that initial reversion under a different user name, shame on you for complicating things! (LOL) In fact, it's not a matter of my being too lazy to do a thorough edit in the first place. I simply wanted to defer to the (non)sense that was already there in case the definition resonated more with others than with me. That's in keeping with my tendency not to delete stuff.
Again, my only issue concerned transivity, neither ergativity re. express nor the semantics re. importance/importance. The ensuing discussion about the acceptability of "important a lot" or "importance a lot" leads down a linguistic rabbit hole for cross-lingual considerations. I resisted the urge to argue how "very important" or "utmost importance" challenges the silly assertion that "Importance is not a neutral term: unmodified, it usually implies a high degree of importance." The whole discourse along those lines was ancillary to my sole interest relating to transivity. I hope the entire episode is water under the bridge since no one has restored definition #5. Yet. If whoever wrote definition #5 feels possessed by pride in authorship to restore it, I surely will die in an apoplectic fit of laughter.--Kent Dominic (talk) 03:43, 19 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]


I notice you've split out two subdefinitions here, but "division" and "phylum" are considered the same rank in botany; those terms are 100% interchangeable. So the two subdefinitions are akin the saying "France is a country in Eurasia" and "France is a nation in Europe". There is no functional nor practical difference in the definition, the difference is in the phraseology. --EncycloPetey (talk) 04:20, 21 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Agreed, though division is the equivalent specific to botany, with "phylum" being allowed as a synonym. I'm sure the "Ruggiero, et al" source uses "phylum" for consistency in naming of ranks between kingdoms. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:41, 21 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I was aware that they are at least approximately equivalent. The uses of division on Wiktionary often marks a different circumscription and/or placement. I was relying on the different terminology to draw attention to those differences.
Because higher taxonomic names often have little lexical meaning apart from circumscription and placement and both of these are subject to frequent adjustment and occasional drastic revision, our entries for such taxa will tend to be behind the curve. That's a reason for our taxonomic entries to have as links to as many of the better-staffed, likely-to-be-durable taxonomic databases as possible.
What, if anything, should be done to preserve the older placements and circumscriptions? Just link to the Wikispecies pages that show the variety of schemes for higher taxonomic ranks where such pages exist?
If we decide to keep it simple, then the consensus scheme of Ruggiero et al., which has been accepted by a few databases and may be updated soon, is probably our best bet, though there are areas where other databases depart from its scheme. Also, we use APG in the areas they cover. DCDuring (talk) 14:46, 21 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
The Ruggiero classification has some drawbacks, but it's the best general classification I've seen. It will cause problems with certain groups of fossil seed plants. But again, the two definitions have no difference. The only real difference in our current definitions is that one identifies the kingdom to which the group belongs, and the other identifies the superphylum, but in fact both classifications put Marchantiophyta into kingdom Plantae. --EncycloPetey (talk) 21:19, 23 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I haven't tried to apply Ruggiero to fossil-only taxa. I will probably never work on such taxa. I am also reluctant to spend time on the numerous clades which only exist because of the need to fit fossils into schemes such as that of Ruggiero et al..
I can accept any changes to [[Marchantiopsida]] that respect the Ruggiero placement and circumsciption. I wouldn't mind the conversion of any use of division above the level of order (There is lots of use below that level for insects.) to phylum or other taxonomic rank. But there are some definitions that are based on definitions, mostly superseded or disused, in Century 1911 which use division, for which I am not now willing to spend the time to reconcile with modern schemes. DCDuring (talk) 22:44, 23 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
But this instance is not such a case. This is a situation where you've added two subdefinitions that say the same thing in different words. I see no rationale for splitting the subdefinitions. Splitting definitions like this would create similar issues across the whole range of biota. (Def 1. Dogs are canids, Def 2. Dogs are a group of mammals, Def 3. Dogs are a group of vertebrates, Def. 4 Dogs are a group of animals) How many such subdefinitions are actually needed? Without justification, I will re-merge the subdefinitions you split.
Where I think you are setting yourself up for issues is that you are not simply identifying the rank and definition of the taxon, but you also are incorporating information about its placement within a specific classification system. The placement of a taxon has no bearing on its definition; if I move a book from one shelf to another it merely changes the location of the book, not its contents, appearance, nor any of its essential details. On Wikidata, descriptions of taxa are limited to statement such as "a class of plants" or "an order of animals", without specifying the parent group as part of the definitions. Parent relationships are not inherent to a taxon, and are subject to all manner of changes. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:47, 4 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Definitions are written in terms of words. DCDuring (talk) 22:22, 4 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I've made the merge, since I cannot tell whether you are understanding my argument at all. Please see my proposed revision. Also Metaknowledge is harassing me again, this time on my talk page. Your attention would be appreciated. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:10, 5 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Also, is Wiktionary concerned at all with the acceptability of name under the Code? I ask because Hepaticophyta is one of those names that's been used extensively in the literature, but a 2008 paper (by the creator of the "name") concluded that it is a nomen invalidum because the genus upon which it is based is illegitimate. This fact could be added as a Usage note, but doing so (potentially for every such name) may go beyond the utility of Wiktionary. --EncycloPetey (talk) 03:16, 5 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I haven't been willing to remove any definition, even a mere wording difference, out of process.
I don't think that we can keep up with the code. It would be nice to note the status of various names, but I think we do well to just follow usage. DCDuring (talk) 13:36, 5 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Even the definitions you added? This was a pair of sub-definitions you inserted. I have not removed them, simply combined them because they say the same thing. --EncycloPetey (talk) 17:08, 5 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't add any definition involving division. I split an existing definition using division into a sense and a subsense. I added the subsense definition using phylum. DCDuring (talk) 17:27, 5 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

niwa-fuji 庭藤[edit]

Hello. You changed a taxlink at 庭藤 from I. decora to an internal to Indigofera tinctoria. Unless I miss my guess, though, niwa-fuji is I. decora. See GRIN. Happy editing, Cnilep (talk) 01:50, 23 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Right you are. Thanks. DCDuring (talk) 01:54, 23 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
This is my usual source for botanical names of romanized Japanese terms. Of course, the taxonomy is a half century out of date, but you can use the usual taxonomic databases to track down the current names. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:27, 23 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
This time it was just my careless reading of the entry. DCDuring (talk) 03:29, 23 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]


Hey DCD. After an epic week Wiktionary-wise, I feel burned out. Literally, my eyes and head and wrist all hurt after working so hard. Please, if you see me around hit me with your admin block hammer. Thanks--Vitoscots (talk) 19:37, 26 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I look forward to it. DCDuring (talk) 19:42, 26 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Snake melon, yard-long cucumber[edit]

This rollback is an error: both links redirect to Armenian cucumber anyway and thus are useless. Ain92 (talk) 23:28, 22 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Among the functions of the templates {{vern}} and {{taxlink}} is to enable the creation of lists and counts of missing Wiktionary entries, such as User:DCDuring/vern and User:DCDuring/MissingTaxa. Inspecting the code for the templates would demonstrate that the templates also place the entry in categories.
The taxonomic names lists is relatively current. If you'd like, I could do a run to update the vernacular names list. DCDuring (talk) 00:25, 23 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@Ain92 I updated the vernacular names list. DCDuring (talk) 00:38, 23 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't see any changes in the article itself, but I checked the discussion of the template and the issue seems to be quite complicated and probably above my competences, so I won't insist. Ain92 (talk) 13:46, 23 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    @Ain92 I didn't make any changes in the entry ("article"). I updated a list that depends on the large number of template transclusions. The list of missing vernacular names is located at User:DCDuring/vern. DCDuring (talk) 14:48, 23 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Reverts to rhymes pages[edit]

Please stop reverting my edits to this page.

Linking to Wiktionary entries for surnames turns most of the links red. Wikipedia contains more information on the people linked to, and in some cases, a particular surname may only rhyme for the particular person linked to.

If you disagree with this approach, please raise it for discussion in the Beer parlour. Thanks. — Paul G (talk) 13:20, 20 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Why didn't you bring it up before you started. Our convention is to leave redlinks to indicate missing entries. DCDuring (talk) 21:48, 20 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
@Paul G: Red links are an intrinsic part of the wiki model: if you see 'em, create the entry (which might optionally link to Wikipedia). If the link isn't an everyday surname but some specific trademark, brand, or performer name (like, say, Ke$ha) then we probably shouldn't have it at all, per policy. Equinox 22:01, 20 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Also, we are already having a BP discussion in which you have failed to participate. DCDuring (talk) 22:04, 20 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for pointing it out to me: I was unaware of it. I have replied there now. — Paul G (talk) 15:25, 27 June 2020 (UTC)[reply]

chip off the old...[edit]

Yep, it that's time again to give myself a wikibreak. Please could you do the honours? --Nueva normalidad (talk) 17:18, 1 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

flowers - flowers of zinc, antimony, etc etc[edit]

Hi. Thank you for your reply on SB talk page. However, I still feel that flowers as a plural only noun should be in the plural name-space. As a plural only, the singular form is not the right place really, is it? Thanks. -- ALGRIF talk 12:15, 31 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I think it's enough, but I don't object to double-posting. I wouldn't want someone who stripped the 's' to not find it at [[flower]]. To avoid divergent entries we might want to have a {{senseid}} anchor at the relevant definition linked to from the other. Some other (mostly older) dictionaries have the various "flowers of" terms as run-ins for each material: benzoin, antimony, arsenic, sulfur/sulphur, tin, and zinc. Since that list of materials is probably not complete, it would be necessary to have definitions at the flower/flowers pair anyway. Are we sure that the singular is extremely rare relative to the plural? DCDuring (talk) 16:27, 31 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
The singular 'flower of' seems to be somewhere between 10% and 30% as common as the plural. It seems to have been used uncountably, as was the plural form. DCDuring (talk) 16:41, 31 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the info. I hate to impose, but I'm not too sure how to use the {{senseid}} anchor. Could you possibly oblige? If so, most grateful then I will be (Yoda-speak). -- ALGRIF talk 19:03, 31 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I'm cleaning up some taxonomy messes at the moment. It's worth learning {{senseid}}. The documentation isn't awful. DCDuring (talk) 19:05, 31 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Re. "going to"[edit]

I think your recent edits represent an improvement vis-a-vis some that I made not long ago. I've returned a bit of the favor. Have a look. Cheers! --Kent Dominic (talk) 20:44, 9 August 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Still recovering from power outages. Perhaps tomorrow. DCDuring (talk) 02:04, 10 August 2020 (UTC)[reply]


Hi, just to alert you, in this edit you added a new line that has a label "of a user of a service" but not an actual definition. Regards, Mihia (talk) 22:15, 11 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks. DCDuring (talk) 23:05, 11 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]


Hi DCDuring - I don't agree this is a preposition, even though some online dictionaries analyse it that way. I suppose it can be substituted with "by" and the overall meaning is not very different, but that doesn't mean it is a preposition. I don't know if you know the Jimmy Buffet song "Come Monday", but that's a good example of a case where the intended meaning is very much verbal: it means "when Monday _arrives_" not "by Monday". I myself have always understood it as a subjunctive verb, like other modern-day subjunctive uses fossilised to a certain degree. I suppose we could leave the preposition def but I would also like to add a verbal def and cross-reference them. What do you think? - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 20:21, 12 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I don't doubt that the origins of this usage of come are from the verb. I also wonder when one decides that a conversion of a word to a different word class has taken place. A number of prepositions have deverbal origins, such as my namesake and the other prepositions ending in ing. More similar to come is the preposition save. The key usage fact that makes me hesitant to insist that it is a pure preposition is that it partially inflects: one can find both come and came used with the same semantics, except for the tense difference. But number doesn't change come to comes (*comes Monday, ?come Mondays). I don't know whether there are other etymologically related prepositions that reflect a tense difference. I am pretty sure that there are no deverbal ones that do so. I think I would prefer to see more about this in an etymology section at come#Preposition and came#Preposition, but we don't usually have PoS-specific etymology sections (just as sense evolution generally is left as an exercise for the reader). It doesn't really have to do with usage, because thinking of come as a verb or a preposition makes no difference in how words are arranged around it.
What would a 'verbal' definition look like? DCDuring (talk) 22:11, 12 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Webs3 has a verbal def: "to come to pass: take place — used in the subjunctive with inverted subject and verb to express the particular time or occasion." Also, OED1 sees it as a verb, def 35: "Come, the present conj., is used with a future date following as subject [...] 'come Easter'; i.e. let Easter come, when Easter shall come". The reason why it is not "comes Monday" is because it is in the subjunctive mood and therefore omits the -s. Of course, you are right that prepositions can begin life as verbs (regarding, during, are good examples - but they are continuous ones, so not exactly analogous to 'come' that we are discussing). However, I think that not all examples of this use of "come" can be seen as prepositional - for example, "Shanahan is a reactionary little toad who will be up against the wall come the revolution". The usage note says that it can be used in the past, but I wonder if that is the same sense exactly. I found this example (? maybe it is an example of what the usage note author as thinking of) "Came six-thirty and we were put out on to the cold street." I think this is just a playful/poetic reversal of subject and verb. But if this is an example of the same sense, then surely it is a verb, otherwise we would be saying that English now has an inflected preposition! - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 04:48, 13 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

@Sonofcawdrey: and @DCDuring: In my book, it's less productive to parse a word according to a supposed part of speech than to identify it according to the lexical context in which the word occurs. So, "Come Monday" is a preposition as DCDuring explained; "come hell or high water" is a preposition for similar reasons; "Come All Ye Faithful" is a transitive verb in the imperative mood. As far as I can tell, the prepositional etymology of come is verbal but the usage is archaic in a way that differs from, e.g., "come one, come all," which is a transitive use in the imperative mood. Whether an archaic preposition derives from a verbal or deverbal basis might be interesting but isn't particularly relevant to its use in a fossil phrase, IMHO. However, for trivia's sake, the prepositional senses of come and save (and also except) indeed have verbal etymologies, as DCDuring hinted. Moreover, during also has a verbal origin, from the Proto-Indo-European root, deru-, which morphed into the Old French verb endurer in the 12th century, to the English endure in the mid-13th century, and then to during in the late 13th century. I can't rightly tell whether the earliest use of during was then considered a preposition or a so-called present participle of endure, but I'm nearly certain that any such distinction was immaterial to its usage at the time of its emergence. Kinda like how most people (not including me) consider "regarding" or "considering" to be prepositional parts of speech nowadays. (In fact, I deign to use the terms, present participle and parts of speech in my own lexicon; I prefer continuative participle and lexical category to avoid the anomalies and non sequiturs associated with the traditional terms.) --Kent Dominic (talk) 04:14, 13 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]

hard word[edit]

Hi, I commented on the Tea Room saying I've never heard of "hard word" in the context you cited. But English has many native speakers who have all heard of different usages. "Hard word" in the sense you cited is meaning 6b in OED, "outrageous demand". Do you have the OED? You could put an entry in Wikipedia if you wanted to - it is a dictionary anyone can edit. You can email me at djwebb1969 AT and I will send you an OED image. 10:54, 15 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]


What do you reckon 'bout nominating User:Lingo Bingo Dingo for sysophood? Darren X. Thorsson (talk) 23:40, 6 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]


@Sgconlaw. As the go-to guys in matters legal and templative, I have to ask you both. Do we have a template like Template:quote-case or Template:quote-legal? I feel we can do more with the bonesy quote at short notice. Returning2stadia (talk) 22:43, 3 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]

I rarely use legal citations and am not very good at template matters, especially since modules are usually involved. DCDuring (talk) 00:14, 4 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Not sure we need to proliferate the number of quotation templates. Just use {{quote-book}}, in my view. — SGconlaw (talk) 04:26, 4 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]


What word fits the pattern? ... of flats / stumbling ... / ... party / this is a request for another Wonderfool ... because it's been a month already since the last one. La más guay (talk) 01:24, 20 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]


Hi. I moved this page rather too hastily. Can you undo the page move, please? Alexfromiowa (talk) 22:39, 14 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Yes check.svg Done DCDuring (talk) 22:47, 14 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Sorry, mate[edit]

I apologize for requesting this again, but I'm going crazy here. I neeeeed a WT-break! Please block me ASAP so I can sort out my mental health. Alexfromiowa (talk) 23:46, 25 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Some questions re. our mythical targeted users:

  1. What do they know?
  2. What do they want to know?
  3. What do they need to know?
  4. What should they know?
  5. How does anyone know any of the above?

I'll gladly participate in any survey you conduct or authorize, but I want CPAs involved in the process. --Kent Dominic (talk) 08:07, 4 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I'm sure that someone somewhere has studied some population, probably students, to find out what they retained from earlier schooling. I doubt that we would find more than a small fraction of non-linguists who would know how to diagram a sentence in any way. I think most remember the names of parts of speech and dimly remember the functions of the PoSes. Most don't find any use for even that knowledge. They don't need to know it for any practical purpose and don't find any part of grammar fun. These are my expectations. I look for disconfirmation when I talk to people like a guy who works in a writers talent agency, a budding author, a psychologist, a teacher, a social worker, a retired HBS grad, and an intelligent college dropout. Formally trained language learners are the one group of folks other than their teachers (linguists) who might know, want to know, and perhaps should know more, at least during the period when they are acquiring a new language formally. DCDuring (talk) 13:57, 4 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
You read my mind, stole my thoughts, and beat me to the punch for what I'd intended as my next post, dammit! In my ideal world, paradigmatic set linguistics prevails. Its consistency is unassailable. It's replicable algorithmically for machine learning under AI. But people first need to get their heads extricated from their traditional linguistics butts and wash their hands of the inconsistent excrement that gets pooped out. For instance, look up see ya and you'll find it labeled as an interjection. Rightly so, I'd say. Look up see you and it's labeled as a phrase. (Can you see me shaking my head right now?) Then go to Webster and look up see you, which is labeled there as a bloody idiom. LMFAO! I'd be a millionaire if I had a dollar for each time I've heard an ESL student ask, and an instructor fumble to answer, the precise meaning of idiom as that term has been bastardized in ESL classroom settings and literature.
The long and short: people don't need a physics PhD to see sunlight and they don't need a linguistics primer to say, "see ya." However, for those who do want to know its lexical category for whatever casual or academic reason, they're currently screwed under our inherited but traditionally beloved naive set linguistic legacy. By no means am I trying to change that mindset here. First, the data corpus here is too big to apply paradigmatic set linguistics an ad hoc basis even if there were a consensus to promulgate it as a basis for labeling. Second, I have no interest in developing the software to do it en masse. (I've long since transitioned from computer programming to encoding thanks to Windows.) Third, I have too much proprietary interest in the relevant work that I've done to freely offer it here prior to publication of the e-book that demonstrates it hypertextually. Rants such as these are mere rehearsals for doing it live once publication gets underway and the bashing from linguistic traditionalists invariably ensues. Cheers. --Kent Dominic (talk) 17:27, 4 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
P.S. In my book, the lexical category for "no matter" can't rightfully be construed as a noun phrase (Det + N) in the "no matter what" phrase. It has to be deemed an adverbial phrase (Adv+V). You'd be right in a context such as "There's no matter in the space between an electron and its neutrons." (Whether the statement itself is scientifically valid depends on some pretty spooky theory. --Kent Dominic (talk) 17:27, 4 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Why the two adjective senses? Are these properly distinct? Equinox 02:51, 13 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It is from a long time ago. BUT, I often think that many terms have two kids of definitions: everyday and techincal. Everyday use is sense 1; physicists and engineers automatically write as if their definition is the second. See the entry for iron, which has an everyday definition of the material and more technical ones, each for a somewhat different technical specialty. I don't know whether the second ("technical") definition is worth keeping. Almost every definition that has some technical causal element will be rendered obsolete by advances in theory and changes in the style of technical discourse and be so rendered more quickly than everyday definitions. DCDuring (talk) 05:12, 13 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Short answer: Sense #1 entails anything that can be poured whether liquid (n.), fine powder, sand, figurative thoughts or emotions, etc. Sense #2 entails the attributive sense of the noun that became the adjective e.g. liquid (pourable) nitrogen. For anyone keeping score, words are "pourable" under sense #1 but not under sense #2. Conversely, words can be "liquid" in the adjectival sense included in sense #2 but not in the nominal sense included in sense #1 unless you literally throw a book into a blender. --Kent Dominic (talk) 23:52, 25 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Re. as in[edit]

This article typifies my dissatisfaction with labels cut from the cloth of tradition PsOS as applied to phrases. The "as in" article has one label (i.e. Adverb) above two senses. Clearly, sense #1 is clearly parenthetically adverbial: "bow," as in the weapon, not the front of a ship (wherein as is an adverb: namely, and in is a preposition: concerning, regarding, or relating to). Sense #2 is absolutely is not adverbial: "In Sweden, as in most countries, ..." (wherein as is a conjunction: like, and in is a preposition: within or inside).

Long ago, as traditionalist, I would have created a Conjunction label for that second sense. Not so anymore. Nowadays, I'd put sense #1 under a phrasal preposition label, with an adverbial phrase sub-entry. I'd enter sense #2 as a phrasal conjunction. You've no doubt noticed that Wiktionary has defined the former but not the latter. And as usual, I don't want to upset the Wiktionary apple cart by posting edits with unfamiliar labels from my own yet-unpublished lexicon. Nonetheless, I have two questions for you:

1. Do you honestly think the "target user" at Wiktionary:
(a) can't figure out what a phrasal conjunction means in the given context, and
(b) would have any more difficulty figuring it out compared to what "phrasal preposition" means? (If you quibble that sense #2 of "as in" is a collocation rather than an indivisible phrase, then perhaps the entry should be deleted from the article.)
2. Can you empathize with -
(a) my refusal to add a naïve conjunction label for sense #2 as described above, and
(b) my sympathy for readers who try to figure out the POS regarding "as in" (i.e., the way I've left it under "Adverb" in the article)?

No, I'm not trying to linguistically evangelize anyone at Wiktionary on the moribund PsOS versus modern lexical category conundrum. My main reason for posting you on the "as in" article is to see if you have the linguistic conscience to do something on your own about its currently mislabeled sense #2. Regardless of whether you do anything at all and notwithstanding what you might do, I hope you give typical readers as much credit as I do, seeing how I took a survey of one and it's unanimous: the target user expects more regarding the labeling of lexical categories for phrases than Wiktionary typically provides. Cheers. --Kent Dominic (talk) 23:26, 25 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Whenever we have a multiword term, especially one that seems hard to put in a lexical class, the first question should be whether it is a constituent. I don't think this one is. Accordingly, I have RfDed it. DCDuring (talk) 02:22, 26 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Looks like you nominated the entire entry, not just sense #2. Where's the proper place for discussion? My own two cents: "As in" is part of the vernacular re. both senses despite how sense #2 is a criminal victim of linguistic malpractice, label-wise. --Kent Dominic (talk) 10:31, 26 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
^Never mind. --Kent Dominic (talk) 10:36, 26 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
As to your immediately preceding comment, there is only one definition advanced as idiomatic. As for your earlier, lengthier comment, I would need a better example to address the matter fully. (Do you see what I did there?) I don't think labels should be at all technical and, still less, that they should reflect what seem to be merely the idiolects of our contributors. Part of the problem of technical vocabulary is that there are different schools of thought or practice that use terms in different ways. The bigger problem is that the more syllables to the NPs in a label, the more likely our users' eyes are to glaze over. I think repetition of such eye-glaze experience leads to the selection of other online dictionaries. I regularly consult other dictionaries for the greater clarity (and authority) they usually have relative to ours. DCDuring (talk) 15:40, 26 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
We've never had coffee, but I think I know you well enough to say we can respectfully disagree about certain conclusions. Yet, if we ever met in a café, the lawyer in me would have at your arguments a bit like this:
DCDuring: As to your immediately preceding comment, there is only one definition advanced as idiomatic.
Kent: You know it, I know it, but do average readers know that when they’ve learned only the sense #1 meaning and they mistakenly apply it to the sense #2 usage when they first encounter it? Rather than defining sense #2 (which , if done for every collocation, would go on endlessly) I think a usage note about it would be better than simply deleting it. That’s what I plan to do if the deletion goes forward, since sense #2 is definitely encountered a regular basis in the vernaculars worldwide.
DCDuring: As for your earlier, lengthier comment, I would need a better example to address the matter fully. (Do you see what I did there?)
Kent: Yeah, I don’t want you coffee to get cold.
DCDuring: I don't think labels should be at all technical. …
Kent: I agree. Now, let’s define “technical.”
DCDuring: [Still] less, that they should reflect what seem to be merely the idiolects of our contributors.
Kent: I won’t comment on how relying on “what seem(s) to be merely the idiolects of our contributors” expresses what I consider to be a condescending attitude toward the target users that I’ve surveyed.
DCDuring: Part of the problem of technical vocabulary is that there are different schools of thought or practice that use terms in different ways.
Kent: “Technical?” Did you say, “technical?” Sorry, I don’t know what that word means. Is it a noun? An attributive noun? An adjective? If so, when did it become an adjective? If the other way around, when did it become a noun? Speaking on behalf of the entire population of target users in my survey, I can safely say that my interest in lexical category (based on the various linguistic schools of thought) and etymology are the primary reasons I look up stuff.
DCDuring: The bigger problem is that the more syllables to the NPs in a label, the more likely our users' eyes are to glaze over.
Kent: For what it’s worth, I took that into account by limiting all of the labels in my own lexicon to three words. No exceptions.
DCDuring: I think repetition of such eye-glaze experience leads to the selection of other online dictionaries.
Kent: I can’t dispute what you think, but I respectfully think otherwise. Specifically, for the disinterested, I think the eye glaze leads to disregard of the labels; for the interested, I think the labels either lead to confusion regarding mislabels (e.g., one of my students said, "My boss was titling at windmills the project" after finding tilt at windmills labeled as a verb at Wiktionary) or to curiosity regarding unfamiliar but linguistically apt labels. If curiosity isn’t a hallmark of human intelligence, call me stupid.
DCDuring: I regularly consult other dictionaries for the greater clarity (and authority) they usually have relative to ours.
Kent: Accordingly, can you explain why – for a random phrasal example – you’re content to let “around the world” remain labeled as a prepositional phrase when Webster (to choose one of my four go-to dictionaries) has around the world labeled as a noun?
(An FYI: “Around the world” isn’t included as a phrase in my lexicon. But if it were, it’d look like this:
around the world (prepositional phrase) - Blah, blah, blah; Example: @DCDuring sailed around the world last year. (I.e., with each word linked not to a separate article, but to the corresponding sense of each word as defined according to their varying labels among the glossary's 14,000+ entries.) See generally adverbial prepositional phrase. (I.e., wherein interested readers can see how that works and also find a comparison link to an adjectival prepositional phrase).
Incidentally, Wiktionary labels “go ahead” as a Verb; Oxford (go ahead) labels it as Phrasal Verb; in my book it’s an intransitive phrasal verb. No one’s died or gone blind reading my stuff. At least, no one that I know of. Hope I can say the same about you after you’ve read these 645 words or after some well-intentioned numbnut tells you his boss "went ahead the project" upon reading the Wiktionary entry instead of mine. If you wanted to read about the "Hope I can say..." syntax from the preceding sentence, my book would internally link it to a null subject entry for additional reference. If you think of a way to include "null subject" as a label rather than as a linguistic term of art, I'm all ears. Ha! (Yes, Wikipedia has a null-subject language article and Zero (linguistics) article, but nothing relevant to how we, as native English speakers, regularly drop the subjects from casual speech. Know what I mean? Drives ESLers crazy. Say what? Anyhow, been nice chatting. Rant's done. See ya later. Cheers. --Kent Dominic (talk) 21:01, 26 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Re. go back[edit]

Under the logic you've applied to "as in," sense #1 and sense #3 re. go back should be RFDed. I'm not expressing an opinion whether to keep or delete either; I'm just sayin'. I do think, however, that the "go back" label needs some love. --Kent Dominic (talk) 21:54, 26 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I apply the logic conservatively, but I believe that many of our definitions for "phrasal verbs" are NISoP, certainly not all, probably not more than a substantial minority of them. It's a little fuzzy because for most phrasal-verb entries there is at least one definition that is idiomatic. There is a rationale for including the NISoP definitions to contrast them with the idiomatic ones. DCDuring (talk) 23:10, 27 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I know NoISP, but not "NISoP." Typo, or ... ? --Kent Dominic (talk) 00:21, 28 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry. Non-idiomatic sum of parts. DCDuring (talk) 03:36, 28 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Cheers. --Kent Dominic (talk) 22:20, 28 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

by way of analogy (a.k.a. "Food for thought as my one and only doomed attempt at linguistic evangelism re. the efficacy of labels with more description at Wiktionary")[edit]

Assume you’re reading an article about a certain 20th century poet. After prefacing his identity as T.S. Eliot, he’s subsequently referenced as “Eliot” in the majority of the article’s corpus. You’d probably be put off if he were alternately referenced as “T.S.” in the narrative despite the fewer number of syllables. And I don’t think your eyes would glaze upon seeing “T.S. Eliot” rather than “Eliot” in the various photos’ captions. Lastly, I don’t think you’d be confused, but it might satisfy your curiosity, to see his name as “Thomas Stearns Eliot” in the section regarding his early life. In my view, the article would be negligent without mentioning his full sextuplicately syllabic full name. (No charge for the “sextuplicately” neologism, which has exactly one Google Scholar hit.) --Kent Dominic (talk) 11:02, 27 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Yep, I didn't expect a comment. Just a shrug and an eyeroll. Or, instead say that you'll read my lexicon of grammatical terms when it comes out. In return, I promise to shrug and eyeroll to criticism that the lexicon's thrust deals with linguistics, not grammar. But, hey - most people seem to think grammar is bad enough while linguistics is downright scary and to be avoided at all costs.--Kent Dominic (talk) 22:18, 28 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Inasmuch quotation reversion[edit]

The change you reverted was unjustified. The quotation I inserted was an example of usage, not prescription or definition. As such it was perfectly justified and informative. You would have a hard time finding a better example, whether you agree with Fowler or not. JonRichfield (talk) 17:11, 28 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It was a mention, not a use. It is on the talk page. DCDuring (talk) 17:38, 28 February 2021 (UTC)
@JonRichfield: Insofar that Wiktionary contributors confuse "inasmuch" and "insofar" in their titles for discussion, my reliance on their credibility and attention to detail evaporates. Ribbing aside, I agree the adverb label for "insofar" is troublesome. If Fowler called it a "compound preposition," I'd say that's exactly right. The consensus at Wiktionary (to which @DCDuring will attest) is to label stuff according to its contextual use rather than its technical POS or lexical category. So, yes - "insofar" is always used adverbially, and the adverb label makes sense from a word-economy standpoint. Nonetheless, in my lexicon, it would be labeled as a preposition, with usage notes that (1) it's in the compound preposition subset, and that (2) it occurs only as part of the "insofar as" or "insofar that" phrasal conjunctions. Silly me: coining a term such as "phrasal conjunction" and deigning to co-opt Fowler's "compound preposition" gem. Wiktionary is way behind the curve when it comes to labeling and defining compounds and phrases. --Kent Dominic (talk) 22:09, 28 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
The sole PoS header for inasmuch as is "Conjunction". It is self-evident that it is a phrase. I always wonder how a single word, whatever its derivation, can be put into a "Phrase" word class. Is phrase much used to refer to single words outside of its use in compound nouns? DCDuring (talk) 23:06, 28 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Great point! Glad you asked. Using terms from my own lexicon:
You say "It is self-evident that it is a phrase," but I think you're using an ordinary sense of "phrase," not a linguistic sense. In the linguistic sense that I apply regarding the term "phrasal conjunction," it means you can't segment and substitute the phrasal components without corrupting the meaning. E.g., you can't say "inasmuch because" or "inasmuch so." There's no fossil record of such articulations, and trying to invent such phrasing would earn you stares as a lunatic. So the "phrasal" moniker is a linguistic red flag not to muck with the syntax.
Similarly, a linguistic sense of "phrase" applies to something like "bite the dust," which is unfortunately labeled here as a Verb. Yet, in my lexicon, it's a verb phrase (which, I might add, Wiktionary defines pretty well in both of its linguistic senses). The "phrase" element of the verb phrase label red flags it: don't muck with it by trying, e.g. "eat the dust" or "bite the mud."
Sure, there are uses for the ordinary senses of "phrase" (e.g. 1. an expression that comprises more than one word, 2. an individual word that implies a specific meaning within a given professional or conversational context, such as "wicket" or "strings" or "skookum"), but that's not what's meant when we say "put it down" is a verb phrase. It's obviously a generic phrase; it's not an obvious verb phrase. In my teaching experience, student's know the difference. They know "put down the book" entails a phrasal verb. They know "put the book down" entails a verb phrase. They memorize which verbs can be collocated with separable objects and which ones can't, e.g. "He flew off the handle" is an inseparable verb phrase. If some leaky dictionary labels it as verb (please don't reference "fly off the handle" here; ha!) they'll attempt some inanity like, "My dad flew off the living room when he saw the F grade on my report card." By dumb luck some might try instead, "My dad flew off the couch..." In such a case, it becomes a generic phrase with a metaphoric meaning but not an idiomatic phrase likely to be found in any dictionary. So, does "fly off" merit a separate sense in Wiktionary's "fly off entry to account for such permutations? Hardly, but I think its Related terms section properly addresses the issue. --Kent Dominic (talk) 01:35, 1 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I try to stick to the "ordinary" meanings of words for all definitions, labels, headword lines (excluding the headword and its inflections), etc. I am simply not interested in making Wiktionary into a specialist dictionary for logophiles. Linguistics students should hound their professors for approved vocabulary for their coursework. For normal humans "phrase" means what we might call in Wiktionary space an MWE (that is also a constituent).
BTW, I created Category:English non-constituents to make it easy to find them. They are ways for us to include certain snowclones without having full entries for the large number of varied forms they may have. In some cases we should try to replace them with better-formed entries.
If you can attest inasmuch that, by all means create an entry therefor. DCDuring (talk) 02:53, 2 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Quibble, quibble, quibble: You stick to labels and headword lines re. ordinary meanings usage. I'd have no complaint if a word, say, "swimming," had a Usage headword line that identified it according to (1) Present participle (e.g. he is swimming), (2) Adjective (e.g. the swimming pool) (3) Gerund (I like swimming) (4) Noun (e.g. swimming is fun). But, labeling it as a noun to the exclusion of its identity as a gerund, or vice versa, is just plain sad. Here it's listed as a verb. Technically wrong. I can read your lips: "How many average users can distinguish a present participle from a verb?" I concede the point, but not the propriety entailed. As always, I'm not trying to change your mind. And I'm hardly a logophile. God knows I'd rather practice law or, ideally, produce movies. In a nutshell, I wish Wiktionary had more entries that conform to the standards my own target readers expect so that I can link more words to this website instead of having to define them myself for the work that I do. Given the intransigence here, it's often just easier to expand that corpus to an unfortunate extent than bang my head against the WT:POS wall. As for inasmuch that, I used it only for illustrative purposes based on a quick gloss and distant memory. I mentioned it solely in the context of @JonRichfield's interest in this thread. It's not part of the 500,000-word corpus in my lexicon. But if it were ... --Kent Dominic (talk) 10:04, 2 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

multi-word expression (new) and MWE (edited/updated)[edit]

Consider my multi-word expression creation to be an anti-Frankenstein; the poor man's approach to language acquisition; the ghetto-world of lexicographical taxonomic standards. I've gone into hiding from my students who'll read me the riot act after they somehow find out about my hand in it. The irony of labeling a multi-word expression under a one-word label - and my admission of condescension for adhering to the WT:POS guidance in so doing ... well, let it be our inside joke. Credit me for resisting the temptation to label it an Idiom. For what it's worth, "multi-word expression" is entered under a Grammar label in my own lexicon. (Fair criticism: It should be labeled as Linguistics, but I've learned most people are allergic to that word.) I don't otherwise use "multi-word expression" in my textbook. It's merely included as a glossary entry that has eight separate senses (unlike the one sense I've included at Wiktionary), with each sense being cf.'d to one or more relevant lexical categories for examples. Happy editing! --Kent Dominic (talk) 23:56, 2 March 2021 (UTC)[reply]

re. in order to[edit]

It's been more than a month since I last bothered you, so perhaps you've grown restless. Here's your fix: Please look at the POS label for in order to, edit it accordingly, and ping me afterward. I'm just interested in seeing how you'll handle it. Perhaps needless to say, "phrase" doesn't add anything relevant to its meaning. I'm not giving any hints how in order to is labeled in my own lexicon, but I will say it's the only item with its POS label in its lexical category. Cheers. --Kent Dominic (talk) 18:05, 5 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Does Template:MW1913Abbr serve any purpose and if not can we delete it plz? Indian subcontinent (talk) 21:54, 10 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

What harm does keeping it cause? I don't know whether its original purpose has been rendered obsolete. Do you have any evidence to the effect that it could not have any benefit or that its use causes harm, excluding "harm" to those with a compulsion toward 'tidiness' (OCD). DCDuring (talk) 17:53, 14 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Meh, I don't care that much, TBH. Perhaps I have selective OCD Indian subcontinent (talk) 22:14, 17 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I have channeled my OCD into keeping certain maintenance categories empty. DCDuring (talk) 04:07, 19 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
It can be quite satisfying to have empty maintenance categories, yes. It's like a gold sticker, a reminder that we've done so much clean-up work and we are doing the world a huge favour. Alternatively, it is a reminder of our sad existence, the only achievements of our lives are cleaning up an unimportant dictionary that is destined to perish one day. Indian subcontinent (talk) 09:05, 19 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Repeated addition of references that do not exist[edit]

Special:Diff/62609240; Special:Diff/62650963; Special:Diff/62650965. I am confused; what are you trying to do? J3133 (talk) 17:41, 3 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Usually the links are there to show that there is nothing to be linked to. When the relevant discussions are closed they can be deleted. If such deadish links are upsetting to someone, they can be deleted just like almost any other non-definition content. DCDuring (talk) 19:46, 3 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I think this is fine for the temporary purpose of an rfv, but I totally agree that these links shouldn't be there outside the context of the rfv. --Geographyinitiative (talk) 20:12, 3 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Using common sense, adding a list of sites that do not have a term seems absurd. Using them in a RFV discussion is fine but they do not belong in a dictionary entry. J3133 (talk) 20:18, 3 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Requests for attention in Norwegian Bokmål entries[edit]

Hi there, you have added some requests for attention to a number of Sami languages in Norwegian Bokmål all the way back in 2013: akkalasamisk, enaresamisk, kemisamisk, kildinsamisk, lulesamisk, nordsamisk, pitesamisk, skoltesamisk, tersamisk and umesamisk. You did not add an explanation, so I am wondering if you would like to either add a reason or remove them, if no longer relevant? Thanks! Supevan (talk) 19:25, 14 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

It looks like the problem was the lack of an inflection line. I didn't want to add one myself since I don't know the language. It looks like the peroson (or bot) that added the inflection line didn't remove the request for attention. DCDuring (talk) 04:23, 15 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Great, I have updated the inflections and removed your requests for attention, cheers. Supevan (talk) 06:18, 15 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Viola wikipedia[edit]

Our entry suggests this is a valid taxonomic name, but WP's article Viola angustifolia indicates that it is not, and the species was renamed in error. Fancy sorting it out? Thanks. Equinox 23:20, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I think they have a point: it's only mentioned as a synonym in the original description of Pigea banksiana. I would have to see a published description to back that up before I would base anything on such a mention. Kew, TROPICOS and The Plant List/World Flora Online all treat Viola angustifolia Phil. as a legitimate, accepted name. Most of them don't even mention V. wikipedia, but IPNI lists it as a "nom. illeg. nom. superfl.", i.e., a name that is illegitimate because there was already a vaild name for the taxon, and Kew lists it as a synonym of Viola angustifolia Phil., while it treats Viola angustifolia Banks ex Ging. (the name that supposedly invalidated Viola angustifolia Phil.) as a synonym of Afrohybanthus enneaspermus (L.) Flicker.
To sum it up:
  • Frédéric Charles Jean Gingins de la Sarraz, in his description of what he called Pigea banksiana, published in 1824 in the first volume of the De Candolle Prodromus, mentioned that it had the name Viola angustifolia in the Joseph Banks herbarium. This was apparently the same as a plant that had already been described as Viola enneasperma by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
  • Rodolfo Amando Philippi published a description of a species he named Viola angustifolia in the journal Linnaea
  • John Michael Watson & Ana Rosa Flores were convinced that the name mentioned by Gingins was a valid name, which would make Philippi's name invalid, so they published an article pointing this out and renaming the species. So far, no one seems to agree.
  • by the Principle of Priority a taxonomic name can only be used for one taxon, so any use of a validly published name for any other taxon gets thrown out. Since there have always been so many different taxonomic publications and no way to keep track of them all before the internet, just about every name more than a century old has been been accidentally published for more than one taxon, often many times. Any decent taxonomic publication will have a list of these synonyms for each taxon, but it's not unheard of for someone to discover an earlier publication that invalidates a widely accepted name. When a name becomes invalid for the taxon, the next name validly published for the taxon becomes the correct one. In this case, there wasn't one, so the person who discovered the alleged invalidation would have the chance to rename it.

Chuck Entz (talk) 02:16, 9 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

As the authoritative sources all now seem to agree that this is a synonym of V. angustifolia, that should be what our entry says of it. We can add whatever damning labels seem appropriate, too. DCDuring (talk) 05:03, 9 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]

on air[edit]

Hi, just to let you know that at RFV you accidentally put comments about "on air" under "Dovercoaster". Mihia (talk) 19:47, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks. I was wondering where they went. DCDuring (talk) 19:51, 14 September 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Some messy taxonomic attempts that I thought you would be interested to see. The editor could use some guidance. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:19, 2 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks. I'll take a look. DCDuring (talk) 14:08, 2 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Metaknowledge I looked at a few of their latest edits. They seem to be copying from some kind of a list, perhaps the index from a book. Typos like "echinta" for "echinata" and "exelsum" for "excelsum" aren't encouraging. In one case they had "Hevea grewiaefolius Hassk.", which is impossible- "Hevea" is feminine, and the genus is strictly South American. Hevea brasiliensis is cultivated worldwide as a source of rubber, but according to TROPICOS the generic name has never occurred in any species name with any variation of "grewiaefolius". There is a Hibiscus grewiifolius Hassk., which is native to Indonesia, and one can find the Hibiscus grewiaefolius variant in the same snippet with Hevea brasiliensis in a few books. I'm guessing they missed the change in the genus from Hevea to Hibiscus in a list. At any rate, definitions consisting of nothing but taxonomic names regurgitated from some list by someone who obviously sees them as random text and has no clue what they refer to is dangerously close to useless. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:16, 2 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
It is easy enough to check the validity of the taxonomic names and make corrections. It also seems easy to delete out of process such entries after they have been corrected. Fortunately is not only somewhat harder to revert the deletions. Why would one delete reviewed and corrected entries having asked for them to be reviewed? DCDuring (talk) 23:59, 2 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I saw Chuck's comment, and I missed that you had edited them. I didn't know there was a reference for Sundanese botanical names — you should definitely add it to the entry. That information would also be very important for Rankf, so they can learn to create correct entries. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:30, 3 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Chuck had preceded me in correcting the taxonomic names. I found a couple of other items that included taxonomic names by doing some searched on the user's contributions. I see good faith efforts to bring the entries closer to our standards. I'm fairly sure that all of the entries are copied from some print dictionary or word list. I suppose that, in principle, there could be a copyvio problem. It would be handy if the taxonomic names were enclosed in {{taxlink}}, however crudely or even wrongly, to make them easier to find and verify. I do that with some Polish entries and others. I added the English vernacular names from Wikispecies, Wikipedia, Wikicommons, or from USDA GRIN, which has a lot of vernacular names for plants, probably the best source for them. DCDuring (talk) 03:07, 3 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Hi. You like cute animals - the shrikethrushes (Colluricincla) are supercute, and don't have a WT yet. Roger the Rodger (talk) 13:20, 2 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

And the barbtail (Roraimia adusta (Roraima); Premnoplex spp; Premnornis) not so cute, but missing Roger the Rodger (talk) 12:47, 3 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I tried to make a redirect on Wikipedia for barbtail, but had to go through about 10 steps asking me "are you sure want to do this?" - screw that! Roger the Rodger (talk) 11:36, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
It's not clear whether WP would need a redirect or a dab page. DCDuring (talk) 17:19, 5 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]


Crandall-Stotler and Stotler (2000) head their classification with "PHYLUM (DIVISION): MARCHANTIOPHYTA" The leading classification for the group calls it both in the same phrase. Splitting a second "definition" is unwarranted. Your edit would have definitions only in rank of the next-higher including group, which is not an inherent property of the taxon. It would be like splitting definitions of Canidae as: (1) a group within Carnivora, (2) a taxon within Mammalia, (3) a family within Animalia. --03:37, 10 October 2021 (UTC)

The customary thing here is to put such a thing up to RfV, and certainly not to simply rely on a single authority. Our taxonomic entries are subject to the same rules as the others. Mostly, people don't challenge them, but there are instances where taxonomic names have failed. Are you sure that the definitions of the phylum and division Marchantiophyta have always been the same? We do pretend to be a historical dictionary. I see no reason why we should not strive to eventually (possibly even in this century) be a historical dictionary for taxonomic names.
I hope you also realize that {{taxon}}, its categories, and its structure are needed for maintenance of taxonomic entries. DCDuring (talk) 04:16, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, they have always been the same. The paper I cite is the paper where the name was published. There is no earlier history for the name Marchantiophyta. --EncycloPetey (talk) 00:06, 25 November 2021 (UTC)[reply]


I know you hate me adding taxons but an accurate (if lacking) stub is better than nothing. Maybe. I was wondering: when we talk about a genus, we usually talk about its parent being a family, but sometimes the "immediate" parent seems to be a tribe or a subwhatever or who knows what the hell. Suppose family A contains tribe B contains genus C. I would create my C entry with B as parent, because it's the immediate one (as computer nerd, I think that this will allow us to "follow the links" and build the whole tree): but is that right? Or should I pick the more important taxon level like the family. It seems particularly dumb to write something like C: parent tribe B: "A-aceous flowering plants", clearly this is a way to slide A in there without a template slot. EQUINOX STOP DOING TAXONOMY. never!!! Equinox 04:21, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Because families (and orders, classes, phyla, and kingdoms) have been around longer and seem to be more stable than the other ranks, let alone unranked taxa, I have limited parm2 in {{taxon}} to those ranks, unless the placement would be incertae sedis, in which case I go to the next higher of those principal ranks. It would be very hard to maintain all of these hierarchies if we always had the next highest rank (or clade) directly in {{taxon}}. Taxonomists are constantly inserting new clades into the tree of life, at locations between the traditional ranks, some of which clades they name. I don't think we want our Hypernyms trees to include all of these, though they can be good entries. Wikispecies has had the problem of excessive numbers of nested templates causing display errors.
I don't really think the various English adjectives derived from taxonomic family names are very helpful. The -id and -aceous suffixes (and others) are productive, so if something is in a given family with name ending in aceae or idae, the adjective is usually obvious in its formation and more often understandable in meaning. (The difference between "usually" and "almost always" having to do with the difference between the nominative form and the root of some genus names.) DCDuring (talk) 15:14, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
You didn't actually answer my question there. But you did remind me that taxons are not some perfect, eternal, God-given DNA thing but they might change next week. Hmm. Equinox 17:55, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]
"but is that right?" I don't like the consequences of trying to put the taxon that includes the lemma taxon and the smallest number of other taxa, because that will cause our entries to fall short of correctness more often than other approaches as new taxa are inserted in the tree and because many of the names not of the well-known ranks are obscure and unhelpful to most users. Many other taxonomic databases generally don't bother with names fro such ranks. "Or should I pick the more important taxon level like the family.[sic]" That is what I do and think both reduces maintenance and enhances usefulness. DCDuring (talk) 22:51, 10 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Callitrichinae, not Callithrichinae- it's the law! (Grassmann's law, to be precise)[edit]

Five years ago you moved Callitrichinae to Callithrichinae with the edit summary "spelling". In reality, Callithrichinae is wrong and Callitrichinae is right. The reason is is something called Grassmann's law, which prevents two aspirated consonants from being in the same syllable in Ancient Greek. The case of Ancient Greek θρίξ (thríx) is very tricky, because the nominative singular has a ς (s) at the end, which merges with the asprated χ (kh) to become the unaspirated ξ (x). The names of higher taxa, however, are formed by removing the inflectional ending from the genitive singular before adding the taxonomic ending, and the genitive singular of Ancient Greek θρίξ (thríx) is τριχός (trikhós). Since that form has a vowel after the stem, the χ (kh) remains, and Grassmann's law forces the aspirated θ (th) to become the unaspirated τ (t). That means you can have "-thrix" and you can have "-trichinae", but you can't have *"-thrichinae".

This is obscure enough that some publications aren't aware of it, so Callithrichinae is attested- but it's not allowed by the ICZN. Wikipedia, Wikispecies and Mammal Species of the World all have Callitrichidae. I would be astonished if any of the taxonomic databases accepted "Callithrichinae" as valid. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:17, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[reply]

I'm down with a move of the main entry. I'm neutral on whether the redirect from Callithrichinae should be soft or hard.
We could hunt down other entries with the issue, but I'm still trying to add taxon entries that have 10 or more links via {{taxlink}} (Usually with some ordinary redlinks and even unlinked uses too. I find it a bit frustrating that taxon entries that have no incoming links are being added regularly when so many important species entries have yet to be added.. DCDuring (talk) 14:02, 25 October 2021 (UTC)[