User talk:DCDuring/2008 QII

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Apology for the removal[edit]

I was under the impression that I could remove the section if newfound sources were not disputer within 10 days. I apoligize for that, didn't quite catch that last part. Teh Rote 21:29, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Not a problem. Frankly, it may not even be formal policy, but it is standard practice. There are a lot of un- and under-documented procedures and practices, which is why I like to actually explain my rationale for reversion, deletions, blocks, etc. The archiving means that it is a little easier to find something than if we have to go through the history of changes. DCDuring TALK 23:23, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Use of {{abbreviation}}[edit]

Hello there, I believe that the template {{abbreviation}} is actually a heading template. The way in which you are using it conforms to no formatting convention I have seen here before. I have reformatted Fe in a style more sympathetic to current conventions here.--Williamsayers79 17:45, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

There are many more. To what policy does it not conform? If I am violating policy, I would like to know. If it is not a policy, then perhaps it should be. I thought it was just a valid variation that conveyed some useful information about the PoS of the abbreviation. They aren't all nouns or proper nouns. Please let me know. DCDuring TALK 17:59, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

You're right that it is a bit of a minefield when the policy is not specific enough. I suppose it does not hurt using it in the definition line for now but it could cause us issues later on down the line when someone modifies the template so that it either breaks the definition line inclusions or the heading inclusions.--Williamsayers79 20:08, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps I can find another template or copy this one to a different name if abbreviation is really intended to be only for use in headings. I'm a little distressed when the PoS-level leader is used in ways that are radically different. Determiner really isn't so bad (although I'd love to hear a user-oriented justification for it), but the Abbreviation headers seem to positively interfere with the grammatical type information that ought to be conveyed. The Initialism and Acronym variants convey pronunciation information. We don't have any information for marking written-only abbreviations (as Longman's does, I noticed today). DCDuring TALK 20:44, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
{{abbreviation of}}?—msh210 20:54, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes. I don't think there is a corresponding {{initialism of}} and {{acronym of}}. Also I didn't think it puts the category in. DCDuring TALK 20:58, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
That could be fixed fairly easily. See the various form of templates.--Williamsayers79 17:39, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


I attended James Russel Lowell Elementary in Watertown, MA ... ;-) Robert Ullmann 23:51, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I lived in Belmont, MA for a year and have a warm spot for the whole area, having spent about six years there, mostly school. I was snooping around the old Webster 1913 articles (the right period to get lots of JRL quotations) and his name came up in that Websterian everybody-knows-who-Bradley-is way. It would be rather tedious to get all those Websterian citations correct, but it's a trip to an America (and UK) none of my ancestors knew, the first arriving a few years after publication. Lowell I knew only as a dated essayist in my youth, as a representative of the old Boston establishment, and the ancestor of the trust-fund poet, who was pretty good. DCDuring TALK 00:12, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

head, -head and head-[edit]

I've replied on my talk page. Thryduulf 16:16, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Prefix entries[edit]

I noticed you just created hypso- and some of its variants. I just thought I'd throw some of my thoughts on prefixes here, to give you some thought fodder. In my opinion, affixes should only receive entries when they are productive affixes. Thus, for example, I don't think we should have an English entry for -im as a pluralizing suffixes, even though there are a few English words which use it in this way (Nephilim, seraphim, etc.). The reason is that it's not a productive suffix in English; you can't add -im to an English word and have people understand the word is now plural, and, critically, -im was not added to these words in English. Certainly, we should have a Hebrew entry for ים-, which is a productive suffix (i.e., you can add this to a Hebrew singular noun, and Hebrew speakers will expect it to be plural). Now, I have no intention to call any of your creations into question right now, but I thought I'd give you a heads up that I do plan on contesting basically any affix entry which has no "Derived terms" sections, when I have time (mid summer probably). -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 19:02, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not too sure that hyps- comes up much. hypsi- and hypso- have about a dozen each in my MW3. There is hardly going to be a single greek or latin-derived prefix or suffix that does not have use in forming scientific and technical words. The need for the prefix for an entry I was cleaning up and adding an ety to is what lead me to create hypso-. I discovered the variants and entered them. It's not so bad to contest prefixes because at least we can find the appropriate entries, if we have them. It should lead to a flurry of activity in finding technical terms that use these. It seems unreasonable in the case of suffixes, where the search engine doesn't find them and few references are of any help.

I am interested in adding a fairly complete list of prefixes and suffixes in Latin preparatory to massive importation words from WikiSpecies. I was not intending to add all of the "terms using" because for many of these the list would be longer than the list for time#Derived terms, which seems to be giving folks a great deal of trouble.

In short, I don't get the point of this warning.

BTW, I've been wrestling with -head's use as a combining form, not like a morphological suffix. It also has a sense like -hood, which is a "real" suffix. It is like the distinction between -ship in flagship and in penmanship. It seems a little silly to list every noun that sometimes forms (productive!) a compound word without a space as a prefix and/or suffix. DCDuring TALK 19:29, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm certainly not expecting that every affix entry should include every derived term (although, in the long run, that would be nice). What I'm saying is that every affix should have some (two or three) derived terms, to prove that it's a productive affix. And just to clarify, this really wasn't intended as a warning (as I certainly don't perceive you to be doing wrong in any way). Rather, since you were doing some work with affixes, I thought I'd give you my thoughts and plans dealing with affixes just so you had the info. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 19:34, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
OK. I sometimes get a little touchy. Especially when I've been working on the very point. I have added large number of prefix and suffix templates to entries. The fact that we make so little use of the info frustrates me. I've been wondering whether it wouldn't be useful to have some kind of automatic link from all of the ety sections' "term" templates to the entries involved. I realize that the term links are usually only specific down to language, not ety or PoS. It's one of those places where the fundamental architecture seems defective. Any thoughts about -head? DCDuring TALK 19:54, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
-head is tricky. I suppose the dividing line between a noun which is simply used in a compound word and an affix is a rather poorly drawn one. If I were forced to offer a criterion for judging between the two I would say that if the word is used alone with the same meaning, then we would not define it as an affix, whereas when the word is not (or very rarely) seen alone in that sense then we do. The second (druggie) sense of -head seems to be a good affix, as head doesn't really carry that sense when used alone (that I can think of, at least), and yet it does have a number of compounds with a fairly clear meaning. I'm less convinced of the merits of the first sense (state of being). To begin with, I'd want to get some better etymological information on the two derived terms given, and I'd like to find a few more. However, as I check the OED, it seems to have an entry which is rather similar to ours, which gives me a great deal more confidence. However, this reminds me of the fact that Wiktionary desperately needs someone interested in Middle English, as our current treatment of that languages is sorely lacking, and this puts a severe damper on what we can do with our etymologies. Widsith does an outstanding job with Old English (for which I am very grateful), but Middle English just has no one cheer leading it as of yet, and really needs it. I've put up a wanted ad for this with a user on the 'pedia to no effect. Additionally, looking at head reminds me that we also need to work on a better format for grouping senses (an issue which has been previously raised, but never settled). </rant> -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:36, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Sense 40 (at least in yesterday's version) is very close to that "pothead" sense. The -hood sense of -head was news to me. I've just gotten confused about "combining forms", since so many nouns can have them. Your criterion seems as if it might be the best we can do. There may be one or two other senses of head that seem much more common in combination than as stand-alone. bulkhead is an example where the stand-alone sense is "technical" and the derived word is much more common and less technical. That might make a weak user-oriented case for showing the etymology to the combining form instead of the stand-alone. The length and poor structure of "head" make the problem worse. Visviva, Widsith, Thryduulf, and I (and Richardd, I suppose) are all interested in the problem of polysemic PoS structure, but no one has confidence in the solutions so far suggested. I think it makes folks nervous because it touches on the apparent limits of the fundamental architecture and the utility of this Wiki software for a database with more structure and more dense, complex structure than an encyclopedia. I wish I could help with Middle English. DCDuring TALK 21:12, 10 April 2008 (UTC)


I can only see 40 senses at head presently, but I'm presuming you mean it in the same sense as "petrolhead"? If so, then yes, although this is the first time that I've heard it used to mean a railfan / trainspotter (which are not quite synonymous, as the latter is (in UK usage) more specific and often used derogatorily by those people sometimes referred to (occasionally derogatorily) as "normals" (a sense we appear to be missing)). Thryduulf 10:11, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, I meant "railfan" or, as occasionally referred to here by our equivalent of normals, "train nuts". It is perhaps a kind of addiction, but my coinage (counterfeit ?) would be more like gearhead, propellerhead, Deadhead. I don't know whether that can be said to correspond precisely to any sense that the head entry has or should have. It may only come up in combining form -head. It's closely related to the "head for figures" kind of usage, but it's not about aptitude as much as interest, habit, enjoyment, obsession. As to the real meanings of railhead, do you think they were etymologically influenced by bulkhead (retaining wall at dockside)? I'm think of the loading platforms virtually required for some kinds of freight. In any event, my interest in US railroad equipment, routes, history, and prospects has not led to any great expertise, but continues so that I'm willing to do a bit of research in these areas if there's a call for it. DCDuring TALK 11:14, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not certain about your etymological suggestions. Like you my interest has not lead to any great knowledge, and I'm not certain about your etymological query. My focus is principally the British railways, where freight is proportionally less important (at least in modern times) than passenger transport. The "furthest point reached" sense is not one that I know of from the UK, as there wasn't the "opening up of the country" provided by the US railroads wasn't the same as what happened here. Thryduulf 15:45, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The railhead thought is a remote possibility. I was just testing it against your language sense. The fan/enthusiast/? sense of -head I am sure about as existing, but I'm uncertain whether it should be (or is already) a part of head or whehter it is really a sense of -head. I'd like to see free-standing usage in the sense I've identified. Maybe hyphenated usage is good enough. I was hoping for the easy road: that someone recognized it. It looks like some tedious google searching will be necessary. DCDuring TALK 16:16, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

for all intents and purposes[edit]

I noted that you were involved in moving to all intents and purposes to for all intents and purposes. b.g.c. shows "to" outnumbering "for" about 2:1. Does the evidence from other sources out weigh that? I have deleted the redirect, but didn't complete the switch I intended pending your response. I may revert myself. DCDuring TALK 20:56, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Honestly, I have never heard the version with "to"; I am honestly surprised by the Google responses. I suspect this may be a regional variation between two forms. --EncycloPetey 21:42, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Just thought I'd chime in here to say that my experience mirrors that of EP's. I have never heard "to all intents and purposes." Perhaps it is a UK/US thing? -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:44, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Also see Wiktionary:Requests_for_verification_archive/July_2007#for all intensive purposes. --EncycloPetey 21:42, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
We need both. The slang/idiom dictionaries I've looked at give pride of place to the "to" version, which is also in accord with the etymology (which is legal). I was going to suggest that the less common of the two in contemporary usage be the primary entry. It to the legal ety is true and "to", then the "to" version should probably bear the early etymology. Any one think differently? DCDuring TALK 00:00, 12 April 2008 (UTC)
The British National Corpus has to outnumbering for 98-7. The BYU American Corpus has it the other way round 203-34.--Brett 15:09, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

re: helluv[edit]

I suspect that in the end it all comes down to judgment calls, which is unfortunate in some ways (because we don't have an editor in chief) but every once in a while we might keep something worth keeping and get rid of something worth getting rid of. As for codifying sense...I have never been able to do it, but if someone else can manage it they have my respect :) - [The]DaveRoss 01:21, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

re: Chinese Wall: Yeah, the <pre> tag is for "preformatted" text, it only breaks lines where there are already line breaks. There really isn't a good way to show a block of un-marked up text, <nowiki> doesn't preserve line breaks and formatting so it is just a blob, <pre> preserves line breaks but doesn't wordwrap... it is a lose-lose deal. - [The]DaveRoss 14:44, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

You can reformat it if you like, I suppose the best way would be to enclose each line in <pre> tags and follow the closing tag with <br />, that is the best of both worlds. I can start doing this as well, I was more concerned with storing the old text than making it readable, but if people are reading it I will format it better. - [The]DaveRoss 16:41, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Latin declension templates[edit]

Just so you know, the noun declension table templates for Latin are screwy. The arguments are not in any standard order. I went through and standardized all the adjective tables, and am working on the verbs, but I haven't yet fixed the noun templates. It can take a few tries to figure out which order the required arguments need to be in. When I finish the verbs, that's my next project for cleanup. --EncycloPetey 02:08, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I was wondering. I was taking an experimental approach. For that one two arguments almost gave the right table, too. DCDuring TALK 02:11, 17 April 2008 (UTC)


I'm happy with tagging the rfv'ed senses as obsolete/archaic. That explains why I found them strange and tagged them. Thanks for quotes. Hekaheka 02:52, 20 April 2008 (UTC)


With the specific definition of -fod, I can't help you; I'm not a linguist, I just took the definition from a book. I'll try and use {{term}} a little more, but does it do anything much that I am not already doing manually? Just looks overly complex to me... J Milburn 21:23, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

We'll I'm no linguist, either. I was just hoping you happened to have a good source of information.
As to using "term": it just means that your work will be more useful. Bots can harvest etymologies for missing words. We will be able to do searches on these things by their attributes, etc. The format is predictable so that repeat users will know what they are looking at more quickly, Etymologies can be catagorized. Changing and customizing the appearance of the etymology could be done by changing the template. Whatever you do is fine. But it would be one less step for getting the entry into the best shape we can. DCDuring TALK 22:26, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Ok, Ssure, thanks for the advice. J Milburn 22:46, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

can't help but X = can't help Xing[edit]

Hi. Thinking hard about this. It would mean an entry [[can't help but]] as the following verb is an unknown X. I don't think this would be a helpful entry. Certainly add another usage note, by all means. These "negative only" constructions are very tricky to deal with can't wait, [[can't bear]], can't stand to mention a few. There are one or two of our companions who would rather not allow any of them, let alone with an additional word tagged on the end! -- Algrif 16:45, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I think we will have done a lot if a user is able to find something relevant$ on searching for it. I was looking for your thoughts on the best way. If it is not worth an entry (which I can understand), my own preference would be for a usage example in a closely related entry like can't help. If you think that is a bad idea, I would need to defer to someone who could write a better usage note on this topic than I, namely, you. I'll try to find a good citation/usage example.
Longman's DCE has some great print-dictionary-specific approaches to phrasal verbs. They also have some interesting notations for things that communicate to ordinary users better than things like "ergative verb" and are more specific. Sir Randolph Quirk was head of their advisory board, so that might give you the flavor. I'll float something about it at BP in due course, if nobody else does, but I'm a rank amateur. DCDuring TALK 17:17, 21 April 2008 (UTC)


Which page did you want to be linked to? The archived discussion or the related page or the diff of the RfV/D page? - [The]DaveRoss 21:09, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Sure, I'll link as often as I remember. - [The]DaveRoss 21:24, 29 April 2008 (UTC)


I laughed when I saw you call the word artificial. Obsolete or archaic perhaps, but not artificial. there seems to be a need for the word in modern usage, otherwise why do people use shadenfreude? Thanks for you help. I'm going to wait a bit longer before posting it. Evrik 00:19, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

If there were a need it wouldn't be so hard to find good citations. Schadenfreude fills the need adequately. We don't seem to need two words for the basic meaning of "bread". It is no accident that all major dictionaries exclude it. But it might meet WT:CFI. Any luck with Burton? DCDuring TALK 00:46, 3 May 2008 (UTC)


I don't understand this edit [1]. If you are relying on L&S to determine macrons, be advised that they tend to drop macrons from final syllables compared to all the top (recent) dictionaries and textbooks. --EncycloPetey 09:54, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

The someone is me. The macrons match those given in Wheelock's, Feyerabend, Oxford, and the several conjugation guides I have. Cassell's and L&S are not as reliable when it comes to current scholarship on macron placement. I don't trust them. --EncycloPetey 10:10, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
If you have Cassell's you need to read the "Advice to the User" at the start of the volume, especially the section on "Quantity". It explicitly notes that vowels in final syllables are not marked long or short when they follow the regular declension pattern. In other words, Cassell's never marks the long o at the end of verb entries. The user is expected to know that it is long. --EncycloPetey 10:14, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the tips.[edit]

Hi, DCDuring,

Thanks for taking to time to come over and drop me some hints. Yeah, we're kind of slow, but we'll eventually be using this taxonomy template, and I've got templates ported for links to commons, the Fryske wp and wikispecies already. I know it doesn't look like much over there yet, though! It's easier to bot in the English, Dutch and German than to write our own stuff (while we're trying to hit that 10.000 mark). My guys have held made me promise to pimp the place up right after that we meet that goal, though. ;-)

Take care, Winter (Username:Snakesteuben 17:27, 12 May 2008 (UTC))

we have an XML dump[edit]

So I have been able to update User:Robert Ullmann/Not counted. Working on other things. Robert Ullmann 18:08, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I'd checked since I'd noticed that the dump was in process. At last. I like the WP cites that you bring over. Good entry starters. True citations are secondary if we have an acceptable entry. DCDuring TALK 18:16, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I've been sick for a while so I haven't been running it; just letting the automatic things run while I lie flat ... should get back to it presently ;-) Robert Ullmann 17:15, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm going to run Not counted again now. Will be as of 13th, so then I'll remove a few since. Robert Ullmann 11:12, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

My talk page[edit]

Please comment here or on e-mail until I've finished the XML dump processing. --Connel MacKenzie 15:47, 22 May 2008 (UTC)


Nah, not sure at all. English is a second language for me. And far from being perfect:(. But someone did placed in the article that it not comparable, so since I have absolutely no opinion on that matter I did not change that. Vitall 03:12, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

I was reading some article on the net. And there was FANCD2 protein mentioned. So I looked up Wikipedia. It had an article on FANCD2, but there was thing that I didn't understood - word "monoubiquinated". I Googled it - but had no luck finding definition. So I asked Wikipedia Village Pulp. Here you can see original discussion. Someone added some sort of definition: "The protein had one ubiquinone unit attached to it". I figured it would take a sec to improve Wiktionary. Duh - at the end it become clear that there was misspelling in original NCBI publication FANCD2 article was referring too. And now example I originally put in monoubiquinated started to make sanse. But monoubiquitinated become not a big deal because there is/was ubiquitinated definition... PS. And now I hardly recall what was original publication about. Most likely lung cancer. Vitall 03:48, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


You're probably right about the adj & adv uses; I'm trying to translate from early-to-mid 19th century original sources.

The hawse sense of an area in front of an anchored vessel really describes positions relative to the vessel and its anchors, or occasionally the region before a vessel under way. It has the sense of "territory other vessels may not enter/anchor without risk to our vessel". Thus "hawse boat" is the boat the one who owns the region.

The adverbial sense... it refers to how the vessel is moored: "hawse moored" means lying to two anchors streamed from the bow.

And, yah, en.wt doesn't have the nautical sense for stream: originating from or connecting via. - Amgine/talk 19:07, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

No, the adjective is an either/or situation; you're either the hawse boat (the one with the rights) or the other one (the one in the wrong.) The adverb is a type, like parallel parked vs. calendar parked (examples: Bahamian moored, fore-and-aft moored... sorry, I was at lunch.) - Amgine/talk 20:02, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

crocodile tears, dog days, etc.[edit]

Hello DC -- You've been a busy boy, and I certainly agree with most of your recent corrective edits to some "always plural" terms; however some of them have me doing double takes. I might be able to buy crocodile tear. But dog day! Woof. -- WikiPedant 03:02, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

It's not a campaign against p.t. as much as an effort to accumulate knowledge about the phenomenon and standardize presentation thereof. I promise to revisit my edits. I'm picking up the pattern of legitimate p.t.s as I go. Especially on the first iteration, I will be getting better as I go. I then intend to revisit all of my edits (or at least the early ones) of this type to make sure that I'm being reasonably consistent myself. If I had to do it three times, that would be OK if the result was good.
There are some cases, like the two that got your attention, where the singular usage that I have found might be a kind of literary usage that is a back-formation from the plural (esp. "dog day", given its accepted etymology). It seems wrong to declare "dog days" to be p.t. when the singular form is in use, even if the singular use is not entirely in line with the etymology.
My principal objectives are to make sure that a user would know whether to use a singular or plural verb with a form, whether on could use "a" with a form ("a pliers"), and was aware of circumlocutions like "pair or". I am also trying to push the p.t. markers down to the sense level where there is mixed usage of a plural form (as p.t. and true plural).
I am unclear about regional differences (mostly just UK/US, I hope), trends over time, and evolutionary patterns in usage.
Yes, very nice clarification and quotations for dog day. Even Thoreau! Never heard the expression in Canada, but it clearly is vernacular in Cedar City and elsewhere. -- WikiPedant 14:49, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

What I don't get at all is the move of crocodile tears to crocodile tear. Why not just create the singular entry? Now all the edit history that focused on the plural form is lost to the catacombs of the singular entry. It's clear the plural form is the more primal entry, so why this method? -- Thisis0 17:28, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I may have been mistaken. If we had a regular practice (and supporting templates) of making plurals lemma entries without declaring them to be plurale tantum, I would have done so. (My thought would be that there would be a template {{singular of}}. Has that been discussed? It would also help if we would have a way of indicating "usually plural" on the inflection line for both plural and singular forms. To me the plurale tantum kludges are beginning to seem truly pernicious.
Perhaps we could take advantage our interest in these two entries to come up with a good model for handling "usually plural" entries. Would making the plural form the primary entry while also having a singular entry violate any principles, stated or unstated? Print dictionaries may not offer a sufficient model. I note that MW3 and Longman's DCE have only the plural as an entry, simply ignoring the singular form. DCDuring TALK 18:19, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I think the only consideration is to use our format to best portray the unique reality of a particular term or family of terms. In that light, there may be several slightly different approaches to handling terms with varying degrees of of plurale-ity. So, for crocodile tears, because of the primacy of that form, it should appear to be the primary entry (i.e. not have "plural of..." as the first sense); it should be tagged at the headword (usually plural, singular form crocodile tear). I guess one thing I feel is that plural/singular forms are best listed at the headword, unless the page is solely a "plural of...", "alternate form of...", "possessive of..." entry. -- Thisis0 18:36, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good, but let me think on it. DCDuring TALK 18:46, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Meaning of Alison[edit]

Alison really does mean "forbidden friendship!"

I'm sure that you have reason to believe what you say, but we need to provide some evidence, like the spelling and language of the word the name comes from. DCDuring TALK 00:36, 29 May 2008 (UTC)


I am interested in your thoughts about the aesthetics of presenting countable and uncountable senses for nouns like this. I have been showing uncountable and countable on the inflection line and on each sense line. You chose to omit countable tab for the one sense and not to show uncountability/countability on the inflection line. Is it the esthetics and overemphasis on this phenomenon that leads you to the presentation you prefer? DCDuring TALK 15:35, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

  • Err...well, often I assume that countability is "default", and only bother to mark up uncountable senses. But it depends on the word. Sometimes I think having a countability label on every line can look a bit busy, that's all. Widsith 16:26, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you think it is worth a "style guideline" or something? I think I prefer your approach to mine. The key elements are:
  1. No uncountability at the inflection line,
  2. No countability tags at the sense level.
  3. Uncountability tags at each appropriate sense
  4. Make sure that there is an "instance of"/"type of" (or equivalent or similar) sense among the definitions.
Is there anything else? I'll go look for prior discussion threads. DCDuring TALK 17:00, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Oh, the template that now is in the entry for a usage note. DCDuring TALK 17:05, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps we could retain the inflection line reference to uncountability but replace the wording "countable and uncountable" with "also uncountable". DCDuring TALK 17:51, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Medical Latin[edit]

I stumbled across per orem and per orum today. They are both readily attestable misconstructions or alternative versions of per os, which I added as an entry. I have some questions:

  1. What is the proper language header for well constructed medical Latin, of which I hope per os is an example?
  2. I have the impression that at least some medical Latin is a late variant of Latin. Is there a source you recommend?
  3. If entries like per orum and per orum don't have an etymology in some form of Latin, are they English (which is how they are now entered), Translingual, Latin?
  4. Do these kinds of entries warrant a category, either visible or invisible, to help with bringing them up to some kind of standard ? DCDuring TALK 00:14, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Those are a lot of good questions, and this issue is new enough that I don't have a large set of facts, many examples, or a well-structured opinion. I can express my current impressions and opinions, but they could change with additional data. If I added an entry for something like this, I would add it as English. If additional citations show that medical practicioners use these terms in a wide variety of other languages, I'd rewrite the entry as Translingual. As Latin, these are merely sum of parts, so I wouldn't create a Latin entry for them any more than I would for "once daily" or "do not exceed n doses in 24 hours". --EncycloPetey 02:11, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Very helpful to get things started. I'll see if I can find something on-line and copyright-free as an initial source for potential entries and something modern and authoritative to consult. I must remember the language-shift trick as a tactic to save entries that might otherwise not meet CFI. I've noticed them previously. I'll let you know if I find anything good. DCDuring TALK 02:21, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
If I could recommend a good source, I would, but I deal mostly in Classical, medieval, and biological Latin. Medical and legal "Latin" are largely outside the scope of my experience, which is one key reason I don't have any stronger opinions for cases like this. --EncycloPetey 04:03, 5 June 2008 (UTC)


Yes, for the time being, I don't think I'd have much use of the tools anyway (though that might be ascribed to my low level of activity in general). Knowing myself, I'd end up on deleting sprees or something. Circeus 18:38, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Lost errand[edit]

Thanks for the quick response and new entry for lost errand. I think there is a typo in the title for your Dickens quotation. Or, it is a broken link?Electricmic 16:20, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. It was both a typo and, once corrected, a broken link. I'd forgotten to check the link. d'oh. DCDuring TALK 16:44, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Rating definitions, take one[edit]

Hello, thought I'd show you There's a (currently undocumented) way of using it to read the entries off Wiktionary directly if you wish using the loadentry= parameter. See I'd appreciate feedback, if you have the time, and may start getting it to point out other possible issues with entries (and I'll certainly keep tweaking the scoring algorithm). Conrad.Irwin 12:58, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


Thank you for welcoming me and even coming to Commons to leave me a message! I've always been interested in helping out Wiktionary especially since I now try to stay away from Wikipedia (it got to be too much about Wikipedia the project vs. Wikipedia the encyclopedia, if you know what I mean). I've tried a couple times to learn the Wiktionary way, but it's so different than any other Wikimedia project and so rigorously structured, I felt afraid to edit anything, and I'm a fast learner with plenty of wiki experience. I hate to say it, but in my experience, this project is by far the most unwelcoming one (this excludes you, of course). There's so much to learn, but there's so little patience and understanding shown to newcomers, it's saddening. I have left here a couple times with the feeling my edits aren't wanted. Usually as an IP, but logged in, it's the same.

Trust me, I admin on Commons and I know how tiring it is when users continuously confuse your project with Wikipedia. I know how it is when they come here and apply another projects' rules and think everything works the same way. But the only way to get more solid editors is to spend time with these newcomers, welcoming and teaching them.

I wouldn't call myself a logophile or anything, but I do have a habit of looking up nearly every word I don't know. Most of the time, Wiktionary is missing these words, so I know much help is needed. I'm always tempted to add the entry, but there's so many layout rules and templates and such that it's not worth learning it all just to add a few lines. When I do edit something I just wait until someone else comes and completely redoes it. I just feel like wasting people's time. I go to the discussion pages and am even more turned off when I see things like people getting blocked after one good faith edit or admins simply reverting someones honest additions without any explanation, snappy responses, things like my suggestion of changing "Bad redirect" into "Unwanted redirect" with a link to the relevant policy going completely ignored, and the overall general feeling that it's too much of a controlled environment to be a wiki...

Sorry. I had to vent there a little bit. Now I feel better. None of this is directed at you. Thanks again for welcoming me (about time someone did). You'll be seeing me around in future the next time I'm ready to give this project a try. Cheers, Rocket000 04:11, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I do not have any facts that would justify all the differences in practices. It does seem very un-wiki. I just don't know whether or not it would work better if it were more wiki-like. There is something different about words because so much of our knowledge of words is unconscious. Making the unconscious conscious is difficult. I think of Wikt as more of an in-group wiki than some of the others, but the subsidiary wikis especially all have some of this. It could be that it would work better if it were more structured in handling new users and their contributions. What I do know is that we get about 1.5% the visits of WP, about 20% of the visits that MWOnline gets, and 6-7% of what gets. To me it seems that we ought to get more visits than WP.
Let me suggest that you liberally use WT:RAE (Requested Articles English) for missing words until you get the hang of entry layout. The OED depended on thousands of folks sending in quotations illustrating usage of words. Quotations, especially illustrating meaning-in-use and sourced, are probably the most valuable input we could hope for for words. Suggested definitions are next. A word alone is always welcome. Phrases can be "Sum of Parts", meaning that their meaning follows directly from the meanings of the components, as thereby are excluded, but they often illustrate a missing sense of the component words. It could be that it would be more wiki-like for us to include more phrases.
I am especially interested in the processes for improving our Googleability and improving our layout, especially of whatever first screen visitors see, usually a content page, not our home page because of "deep linking" from search engines or Wikipedia. I would welcome your thoughts on any of this as well as whatever specifically sticks in your craw about Wikt or just interests you. DCDuring TALK 10:44, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I'll take your advice and use WT:RAE more. I have had success with posting to it before. If some experienced editors are willing to make the entries, we can get a lot more words that way (vs. me having to continuous check WT:ELE and find the right templates and figure out how to use them).
To be honest, I do think it's sometimes better to be a little less wiki as far as the quality of the dictionary/encyclopedia/whatever goes. I think one of the main problems of the English Wikipedia is they worry too much about the wiki part and less about the encyclopedia. I've seen so many featured articles just deteriorate once they leave the main page. Good editors spend most their time on reverting vandalism and discussing policy instead of improving articles. When you have that much help, it's time to start having a little more of a controlled environment for the sake the whole purpose of the project. Imagine if Encyclopædia Britannica told its editors to "ignore all rules". :) But of course it's still wiki. The key is balance. Projects need to find the right balance to suit their needs. And given the nature of Wiktionary, it makes sense it's one of the less wiki ones.
I agree the site needs more Googleability. I think there should be more of an effort to "spam" other Wikimedia projects with Wiktionary links. Many links to Wikipedia would make more sense to come here. I always try to do this when editing articles (but sometimes WP has a definition and WT doesn't!) As far as the layout goes, I would like to see more useful links. I'm sure there were numerous discussions on it before but I think having a list of synonyms (and some antonyms) would be very useful. I see some things like "Related terms" but these are usually limited to one or two words. Also, links to external specialized dictionaries (medical, computer science, etc.) would be useful for technical terms where a greater depth of coverage would be provided. See the results when using for example.
Now for some questions:
  1. I think illustrating more words with images would really improve some entries (something I'm interested in doing). Are there any current guidelines on images in entries? If not written somewhere, what's the de facto standard?
    We just use Commons pictures as best we can. If a given article would have so many pictures that the text would be pushed far down the page, then we go to a gallery. I believe that almost every article that can have a picture should have one at the top, especially in any white space to the right of the ToC. Technical pictures are not all that helpful here. If someone needs a technical picture they probably also need a WP article. IOW, pretty much common sense. It's mostly for visual interest and assistance to non-English speakers. I would note hesitate to put in the discrete temaplate {{commonslite}} (together with {{specieslite}} and {{pedialite}}) under the "See also" heading at the bottom of the entry.
  2. What are rules on linking to other (non-wiki) dictionaries?
    I'm not 100% sure, but I believe that links are not a problem. One thing: Quoting a dictionary definition in WP is rarely a problem. Here it is almost guaranteed to be a copyvio problem. Arguably in WP it is fair use and incidental and even an advantage to the dictionary cited. Here we could be just ripping them off to compete with them. If we quote them, it is in our internal discussion pages where they can help us resolve disputes sometimes.
  3. Is there a place to request spoken pronunciations?
    {{rfp}} for phonetic-alphabet spellings; {{rfap}} for audio, both inserted in the entry (what we officially call an article here) under a "Pronunciation" header, which comes right after the language line, presumably "English". You can put a piped comment in for any specifics.
  4. And most importantly, what areas could use the most help where knowing all the layout rules isn't that important?
    Every area requires some formatting, procedural, linguistic, or semantic knowledge, but we have specialized lists of items that have specific classes of problems. The approach I have taken over the 9 months I've been doing this is to pick one list and learn how to remove items from that list. When I would get bored with that I would find some other list and learn what the items on that list needed. IMO:
    1. The worst place to start is generalized cleanup "rfc".
    2. Most high-frequency word lists already have been picked over so little remains.
    3. New entries are actually not too hard, especially if you have a good print unabridged next to your computer or good specialized print dictionaries. Most new entries don't have more than 3 definitions, usually only one. I would pick nouns or adjectives, learn how {{en-noun}} or {{en-adj}} worked and try a couple. Avoid compound words, idioms, and phrases at first.
    4. A fun thing to do is to add usage examples. Some of the items on the "rfex" list are ones that have proven resistant for some reason, so just going to an entry that doesn't have a usage example for each definition can be helpful.
    5. Something I liked and like a lot is the process of citing disputed entries or definitions (RfV). I required learning the simple rules about citation and learning how to use Google books, scholar, news, and groups searches (99%+ of cites come from those and from WikiSource and Gutenberg).
Thanks! Rocket000 20:23, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, thank you very much for all of this. I'm sure I'll find something to work on and in process gradually expand my abilities. At least I know who to go to with questions. ;) See ya around, Rocket000 17:24, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

βουστροφηδόν[edit] now blue. A very excellent suggestion. Thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:46, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm looking for opportunities to put in-line wiktionary links in WP articles. This is one of the first. DCDuring TALK 02:55, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Ah, an excellent idea. I've put a few in myself (most noteably at w:Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaomelitokatakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptekephalliokigklopeleiolagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon. However, I have not made a consistent project out of it yet. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:59, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
It's hard to make a real impact on the numbers, but I'm trying to get a feel for how much opportunity there is. The internal WP links are great, but often give more information that a reader would need. Nevertheless, I limit myself to words that seem to merit a link but don't have one, presumably because WP doesn't have an article. We would really need to get WP editors to be willing to try it out to get a large number of links. DCDuring TALK 03:05, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, I think that if wikt editors write enough of them, 'pedia editors will start to get greedy and start inserting them of their own accord. I mean, it benefits their project, not ours (although, it does benefit us indirectly by garnering attention for our project). I think that a general rule of thumb is that any non-English words are very unlikely to have an entry. Etymology sections are a great place, as are the first sentences of entries on famous non-English speaking people. Wiktionary has an excellent selection of Ancient Greek proper nouns, thanks to Gilgamesh. Aristotle does not currently link to Ἀριστοτέλης (Aristotélēs), even thought it probably should. So, if you're looking for some easy game, that would be a good place to start. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 03:30, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

sinker nail[edit]

It's seems Commons is lacking in this area. I found Image:Cluster-2.jpg on Flickr, though. I'm not sure if they are sinker nails or just something that looks like them (so many nail varieties) so I didn't add it or even write a good description for it. The Flickr page was no help. If these are the right kind and the composition is suitable, please add it to the entry so I can see how you would do it. If not, I'll keep looking. Rocket000 04:01, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Looks right the right kind, but the image is a little busy to look good as a thumb. This is a case where a line drawing would be better, as I think about it, to illustrate the contrast between common nail and sinker. My best plant and bird identification books do not have photos. Am I right that Commons is mostly photos? DCDuring TALK 11:14, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
You're right. I just viewed it as a thumbnail and it didn't look very good. I couldn't find anything on Commons. I did find a good comparison image (drawing) but I couldn't find the license to see if it was free. (This was using Google Images with Creative Commons images only turn on, but that's very unreliable.) Commons is mostly photos, but we do have a pretty nice selection of SVG illustrations (see commons:User:Rocket000/SVGs and commons:User:Rocket000/SVGs/Biology). If I can't find anything I may just make it myself since we should have something on this fairly common object.
I don't know if you ever heard of the Philip Greenspun illustration project but I'm on the review board for it and hopefully we'll be starting Round 1 really soon. Basically this guy donated $20K to WMF for us to give to artists who will create illustrations for us! Right now we're taking open requests so if you have any ideas feel free to make a request or two (or just let me know ;). Rocket000 04:58, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
I used to own a wonderful Visual Dictionary, Facts on File's I think, which is Macmillan now. That would seem like a good starter set of subject matter amenable to line drawings of not excessive complexity. Hardware is another great area where drawings are helpful to focus attention on what is relevant. I'll starting paying attention to entries that need line drawings. Commons must have a request area, which I should visit. It may be that there could be single commons drawings that each could serve multiple Wiktionary entries linked by "type of" relationships. Types of nails, types of screws. Interesting, important project. DCDuring TALK 10:03, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, there's Commons:Graphic Lab School/Images to improve which says it's also to request new images, however, the main request pages are still on local Wikipedias so it doesn't get as much activity as, say, w:en:WP:GL. I like the idea of having "type of" drawings that can be used in various entries (and various Wiktionaries! - translating labels, or even just fixing typos, in SVG is as easy as opening it in Notepad and typing the new names, no vector graphics knowledge necessary). I think I'm going to start a page with any images like these with links to WT pages where it could potentially be used. A little Wiktionary-Commons collaboration might just be what this project needs. Commons' relationship is great with WP, species, and not to bad with Wikibooks or Wikisource, but WT is almost forgotten (mainly due to being a less visual project). Same with the Philip Greenspun project, I haven't seen any requests coming specifically from WT, although many of the images would be useful here too. Initially, there was a concern that we might be too en:wp-centric with the types of requests we pass on to artists, but our goal is to request images that would be useful on the most projects, not just the encyclopedia ones, and of course be language neutral if possible.
Please do keep in mind entries in need of illustrations. You can even start a list on my talk page if you want. Or better yet, maybe there should be a request template for this. I see there's {{temp|rfphoto}} but that isn't ideal for when a drawing would be better. We could create a new template/category or simply widen the scope of [[:Category:Requests for photographs]] to "Category:Requests for images" ({{temp|rfimage}} currently redirects to the photo one). Rocket000 21:11, 23 June 2008 (UTC)


I provided citations and removed the +tag. The +tag doesn't have to stay until 'you' lord and master of wiktionary removes it. You might want to archive your talk page, it is to long now. WritersCramp 12:28, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

It is a community process. We leave things there until it is agreed that the item is properly cited. Please take the trouble to read the requirement for citations. If you cannot abide our system, please edit elsewhere. DCDuring TALK 12:54, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Your kidding right, go to Wikipedia and see the number of court cases it has been quoted in and applied too. Do you want me to add the court cases as citations? I am going to add two more citations, CCH and Carswell Publishing, two reputable tax publishing companies in Canada. WritersCramp 14:11, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
I provided the citation, reflecting that the plural of surrogatum is surrogatus, please provide your citation that surrogata is the plural of surrogatum. WritersCramp 18:05, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
A plain reading of what you provided suggested is the evidence that I need. Your dictionary source says that the plural is the stem plus "-a". See WT:RFV#surrogatus. DCDuring TALK 18:12, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Etymology of meze[edit]

Could you elaborate on your claim of "copyright violation. We cannot allow direct copies of another dictionary's material." here? The etyymology of a word is common knowledge, we're not citing poetry here. Is there a Wiktonary rule on that? Please revert.

—Giacomo Invernizzi @ 06:07, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

DCDuring, I have reinserted the etymology (+ a bit of formatting). Etymologies are admittedly a somewhat tricky thing when it comes to copyright. The trick is that information per se is not copyrightable, but the specific wording and formatting of that information can be. However, with something as formulaic as etymologies, the line can be blurry. The information appears to be valid (i.e. it conforms to all of my top sources), and I could not find any other dictionaries which used the exact wording, so I believe we're safe. Please feel free to revert if I have missed something. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 06:17, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

My concern is when the ety is too close to the wording of the sole source claimed in the edit summary. I am not concerned with the content, because often the etymology doesn't really have too many alternate interpretations. I usually consult three sources, sometimes just two. I always consult Online Etymological Dictionary and MW Online. I consult wiktionary entries for the words that seem to be involved. I try to consult a copyright-free Middle English, Latin, or Greek dictionary. I am willing to consult other online dictionaries as well. This etymology was a problem for me because I didn't have multiple sources readily available. My own introduction to Wiktionary involved my being blocked by CM for copyvio (of which I was guilty) because I didn't understand that what was acceptable occasionally on WP (quoting and citing a definition from a dictionary) was not going to be acceptable here for our entries. I hope editor Invernizzi will understand this. I'm willing to provide links to the good copyright free etymology sources, which perhaps should appear in our Etymology Appendix, if they do not already. DCDuring TALK 11:03, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Also if it had been a registered user, I wouldn't have felt compelled to shoot first and ask questions later. I would have asked about sources. DCDuring TALK 11:08, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Ah, yes, I didn't notice that particular comment in the edit summary. I probably would have done the same. In any case, Ivan's been kind enough to get us the Persian, and the gloss given on meze lines up pretty well with def of مزه, so I think we're definitely in the clear now.  :-) -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 17:19, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I hope that the contributor understands the issue and doesn't take it personally. DCDuring TALK 17:44, 24 June 2008 (UTC)


At least here in Australia (where they originated), when referring to the bathing suit the word never has an initial capital. If fact, that shows that it's being used as an ordinary word and not as a trademark. Wouldn't it be better to have this as a second sense at speedo with a link to Speedo as the brand name?

I'm also surprised by the words especially for a female. Here it would be assumed you meant something a man would wear. I have never heard a woman refer to her bathers as a speedo and I think it would certainly get you a funny look.

Moilleadóir 06:07, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Found a reference for the male usage: ANU Australian National Dictionary Centre - OzWords October 2003Moilleadóir 06:41, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I didn't remember what it was about at first. The reaaon the "Speedo" entry is female-focused is that, as with other words referring to men's lower-body garments (prototypically, pants), a man's bathing suit made by Speedo is usually referred as "Speedos" in the plural. If you have evidence to the contrary, fine. It just needs some kind of (tedious to me) discussion of the plural/singular distinction. Pants, eyeglasses, scissors, handcuffs and their analogs are the main type of "pairs of" nouns, all with similar characteristics with regards to number. DCDuring TALK 09:46, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I noticed that most of the other Ocker colloquial expressions for swimming trunks end in "s", like budgie smugglers. Speedo could be different, because because of the influence of the brand or because of the influence of the use of the singular from the female bathing suit. Facts are always governing. The reference that you gave was a little ambiguous on this and counts as a "mention" anyway. Sometimes when folks write about something their theories get in the way. I'm curious as to how this would turn out. DCDuring TALK 09:54, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
On more careful reading, I see that, for the most part, the article uses "speedo" when referring to the old shoulder-to-knee style of man's bathing costume (very similar to a woman's one-piece bathing costume) and "speedos" when referring to the trunks. DCDuring TALK 10:00, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes you're quite right, in fact most of the innovative local terms and are plurals seem to refer to men's swimming attire.
The singular however doesn't refer to the female bathing suit. Here I suppose it would (if divorced from context) refer to a speedometer. With a capital it could potentially refer to a bathing suit, actually made by Speedo, for either sex, but its primary meaning is the company.
Is it reasonable to include the company name as the primary definition?
I'm fairly sure that the use of Speedo to refer to a female bathing suit is confined to the US, but I don't have a reference to back that up. I have certainly never seen it used in that sense by Australians and I'm fairly sure I haven't seen it used that way by Britons either.
Moilleadóir 15:27, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

You can sort of say i made this just for you[edit]

This template i made for any user who is experienced in the wiki, or wiktionary. This template is used to identify who is "smart" and who is not. Here, you deserve it. Oh, and please protect it so that noone messes it up. I really think youll like it, i do. {{Smart User}} Hope you like it, The7DeadlySins

why did you delete it?[edit]

Why is my template gone? Anyway, i have a question. Where is all the projects i can join? Wheres all the fun?


Anyway, wat about my question? Wheres all the projects? The anti vandalism unit? The fun?


The fun is in finding out about words, new, old, changing, unchanging, formal, informal, vulgar, polite, etc. DCDuring TALK 16:40, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Replying to unsigned comments.[edit]


When you reply to an unsigned comment (e.g. at Wiktionary:Feedback), I don't suppose you could append {{unsigned}} to the comment and/or indent your reply to it? Otherwise it looks like a single multi-paragraph comment, which can be very confusing. :-P

Thanks in advance!
19:24, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


There is no English plural for kelvin, just as there is not for Fahrenheit. --EncycloPetey 23:23, 28 June 2008 (UTC) disagrees, so I've restored the entry and added a badly composed usage note. Conrad.Irwin 23:40, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Conrad. During's rule: Don't bet against 1. plurals 2. comparative forms or 3. multiple forms of idioms you may have only heard in one form. During's second rule. Don't bet against the facts. 3rd rule: In case of conflict, go with 2. I was curious as to whether Fahrenheit was used in the plural. The answer is basically no, though I would not be too surprised if there was such usage. I think that Fahrenheit degrees must have just been called degrees for a fairly long time, when there were no effective competitors. "degrees Fahrenheit" and "degrees Kelvin" are too long for convenience. Kelvins is easy to use just the way degrees was used. DCDuring TALK 01:44, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Appendix:English proper nouns[edit]


RuakhTALK 03:35, 30 June 2008 (UTC).