User talk:DCDuring/2008 QIV

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pronunction request for put pedal to the metal[edit]

I've removed the pronunciation requests (and associated sections) at put pedal to the metal and put the pedal to the metal, as the pronunciation is completely predictable from the component words. I've expanded my reasoning a bit more at Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Pronunciation of multi-word idioms where you may wish to comment. Thryduulf 17:09, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

XML dumps and reports[edit]

The present dump (8th October) should be complete, and I've used it to update a few. In particular "Not counted" has been re-generated. Feel free to prod me on my talk page if you want others run; previously I did a whole set after each XML dump, but now we have those every day, so they will get run when needed or asked for. And any other ideas of course. Robert Ullmann 16:47, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, both for doing it and for letting me know.
I noticed "not counted". I'd be willing to manually remove items from that list as I do them. The few-frills, small-sections layout makes it simple enough. This would just need once-a-month refreshing unless other contributors start working it without deleting, which I have not noticed much (not that it hasn't happened).
I've been working on the L3 header list to eliminate as many of the one-offs and few-offs as I could. That could stand to be re-run fairly soon.
"Missing" is a little frustrating to work with because there are a large number of misspellings, wrong choice of words, and bracketing of non-CFI phrases, some of which seem to be corrected by many folks so that some of the entries get revisited several times by different contributors or even the same contributor (me!, because I forget what I already did.) at different times. I don't know what approach would make it easier to work with. I doubt that daily runs would be worthwhile. I might try copying sections to my user space and removing them from my personal copy as I make changes, discover that others have made good changes, or decide I have nothing to contribute. DCDuring TALK 17:17, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


Please see a message for you at dignity's discussion page in Wiktionary Pyrrhon8 04:25, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


What do you mean by "pragmatics" (on the discussion page for "I'll see your X" etc.)? I'd take it to mean something like "things done for convenience rather than accuracy", but I don't follow exactly how it fits there. Equinox 22:23, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Glad you asked. Take a look at w:Pragmatics. It's an aspect of the meaning of something that derives more from the situation in which it is used than from the words themselves. I may be a bit sloppy in how I use the word, but folks often try to make dictionary definitions carry meanings that have much more to do with the situation than with the words' actual meanings, IMO. It's because most of us are, at best, word-lovers and only amateur linguists and lexicographers. DCDuring TALK 22:31, 14 October 2008 (UTC)


A new message awaits your attention at dignity's Discussion page. Pyrrhon8 22:05, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Notification of Resignation Amina (sack36) 00:58, 18 October 2008 (UTC)[edit]

In lieu of explanation:

6 Marking pages in progress

I think that the idea of marking pages in progress is actually okay. But it has to be implemented in a reasonable fashion. The Czech Wikipedia has a template and policy that makes it possible to soft lock a page for, I think, 3 days, by placing a marker template in there. The marker contains text that encourages editors, after the three days are gone, to remove the marker and edit the page as they see fit. However, three days is not three weeks, emphatically. --Dan Polansky 10:46, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

At this point in time I don't really give a crap load what your ideas are. That you can even write that last paragraph shows a self serving, overweening, blockhead that is beyond my capacity to work with. I've tried to plow on despite the roadblocks you've put forward and it has taken it's toll on my health. The "free hand" that was promised to me when I resurrected this project was as ephemeral as the "paint with broad strokes" encouragement. Do enjoy your new job, Polansky. Wikisaurus is all yours. Admin can delete my profile. Amina (sack36) 00:58, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

various lists[edit]

Hi, You've noted in various places that some of the lists and cats collect entries that are un-resolvable, and make it harder to work on others. (refractory is a good word ;-) It would help (since I generate a number of these) to know very specifically what is in the way, so they can be moved. For example, I've screened "only in" and "misspelling of" out of the not-counted list (as of the next run). I know about the pronunciation N mess, of course; I'm working that one out. Anything else, drop me a note. Robert Ullmann 16:34, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

removal of etymology image for a[edit]

Hi. I noticed you removed the image that showed the evolution of the shape of the lower case letter a from the upper case source. Is there some reason not to show that in the etymology section? Rod (A. Smith) 00:57, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


Hmm. I can only think of examples where force (often capitalised) is a separate word e.g. High Force - do you have any examples? SemperBlotto 15:59, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, White Force, Bleabeck Force, Maizebeck Force, Summerhill Force ... no -force names? Robert Ullmann 16:16, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I've entered the separate ety at Force. Where can I do a suffix search? DCDuring TALK 16:21, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
There is Wilberforce, supposedly from wild boar foss. (however this is from, which is very unreliable; their idea of where my name (Ullmann/Ulman) came from is entirely bogus ;-) But the places named Wilberforce are named after people with that surname. The surname would have come from some unknown place. Robert Ullmann 16:27, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
You can do a suffix search on the OED (but no placenames), and at here for English and Welsh surnames (actually registered with the NHS) but I don't know how to do it for placenames. (The gazeteer serach at [1] doesn't do suffixes explicitly) SemperBlotto 16:36, 21 October 2008 (UTC) p.s. The surname Wilberforce is rarer even than mine.
I'm almost done with an exhaustive search on OneLook, which allows wildcard searches of the form "*force". I'll probably be deleting it as a mistake shortly. DCDuring TALK 17:06, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

back - adv vs adj[edit]

Hello. As three weeks have passsed since I provided some support for my point of view on this matter at the Tea room and nobody opposed it, would it be alright for me now to change the page itself accordingly, or would it be seen as unethical for some reason?. Also, if it would be alright, should I also "cross" the title of the section at the Tea room and remove the "Tea room box" (or whatever it's called) from the page, or is this something for an admin to do? (I'm sometimes pretty good in making gaffes, you know ;-)). I'm asking you as, after all, nobody else took part in this discussion. --Duncan MacCall 18:08, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

cash cow coordinate terms[edit]

Hello DC -- OK, you've stumped me: star, question mark, and dog as coordinate terms for cash cow. What's the overarching category -- nicknames for kinds of businesses? A bit of stretch, n'est-ce pas? -- WikiPedant 23:35, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

They are a staple of business-school courses. See w:Growth-share matrix. All businesses in a company's portfolio could be characterised by the growth of the market they were in and the company's market share relative to the competitor with the biggest market share. High share, low growth=cash cow (take the $); high share, high growth=star (invest); low share, high growth=question mark (decision needed); low share, low growth=dog (divest). The three words with appropriate senses not yet attested would be attestable, for example by searching for collocations with "cash cow". IMO, Wiktionary is a little deficient in business terminology, partially attributable to a high level on non-commercial orientation by contributors. Wiktionary is even behind WP in this regard, I think. DCDuring TALK 00:00, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Hello DC -- I'm all for beefing up the business vocabulary in WT. However, I'm not so sure that these Boston Matrix categories really are B-school "staples." The Wikipedia article notwithstanding, a full Google web search on the combination of "cash cow, star, dog, question mark" only returns about 400 bona fide usages of these senses of these terms (presumably with a lot of duplicate content, copied around the web). A search of the ABI/INFORM academic database (one of the biggies for business searches) only returns 10 papers which contain "cash cow, question mark, dog", 8 of them dating from the 1970s and 1980s. Although it is common enough to refer to people, things, and institutions as "stars" or "dogs," I'm not satisfied that the particular Boston-Matrix-based senses have any significant currency in the business vernacular. I'm also not satisfied that it is appropriate to assign highly technical definitions to terms like "cash cow," since these terms are very informal and there is no real consensus as to their precise technical meanings. I'm disposed to see the Boston Matrix as one more cute consultant's chart featuring loosey-goosey "pop" language that was cooked up to explain a concept in a down-home way. And I'm not sure that this particular grouping of coordinate terms had much staying power beyond its proprietary dissemination. Consider this abstract from a 1984 article in Accountancy:
  • Bhattacharya, Keron. "Dogs and Cash Cows Revisited," Accountancy. London: Nov 1984. Vol. 95, Iss. 1095; pg. 134, 3 pgs
    (Abstract) Bruce Henderson of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) produced the experience curve theory in portfolio planning in the early 1970s. Calculation of the market interplay is the source from which use of this theory provides important deductions which lead to strategy. The BCG's portfolio matrix yields 4 classes of products according to their market growth potential and competitive position: 1. Stars, 2. Cash Cows, 3. Dogs, and 4. Question Marks. The simplest view of this theory has brought criticism in recent years revolving around these points: 1. All market definitions are arbitrary. 2. A high market share is not necessarily more profitable than a low market share. 3. The effect of market strategy may determine the competitive position. 4. Not all dogs are losers. The BCG theory is one of several matrices produced in the 1960s and early 1970s to point companies toward appropriate portfolio management. The main object of all these plans is to work out an appropriate portfolio planning strategy.
-- WikiPedant 04:58, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

How furtunate for us that we can completely dispense with such questions as whether something is too technical or dated or wrong or misleading or even evil. It need only meet WT:CFI. I think your research suggests that it does. In addition, the books on my own bookshelves would provide the attestation required. DCDuring TALK 09:34, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

my faulty edit of ambitious[edit]

Hi DCDuring,

I've been away for a while. Maybe I'm back now, maybe not. I'm trying to resolve ttbc for nl translations. I usually use a php script Annabelleke wrote for marking up the translations. In the case of ambitious, I did it manually apparently leaving the closing braces. When I use Transtool, Transtool takes care of removing them, but since I didn't use it this time they were still there. Sorry for that Polyglot 19:38, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi DC, that's part of the reason I wanted to tell you it was my mistake/oversight. Say, do you know how I can get to the page where I can set preferences for Javascript. I found it while perusing somebody's talk page, but that was on the other machine. Now I would like to do it here as well. It's apparently dependent on the computer/browser one is using. Of course I don't know who's talk page it was. I have not looked at those pages for around three years now, so there are alot with interesting tidbits of information on them. Polyglot 20:09, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Take a look at User:Conrad.Irwin, especially the monobook and .js pages. DCDuring TALK 21:13, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, what I was looking for was this: Wiktionary:Preferences. (I'm back on the first computer and I looked into Firefox's history) Polyglot 21:54, 4 November 2008 (UTC)


Are you sure about that entry at the end? I can't help noting that the president elect is associated with change. SemperBlotto 12:07, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Not at all. It could easily be propaganda. I just looked at it and conformed it in the process. There would be case for moving the new material to the talk page and protecting the page. Or we could just let people's positive enthusiasm run its course and clean up. I don't think we should delete inoffensive material on this page now until we know it is wrong, but you have more experience and are more likely to have seen analogous situations. DCDuring TALK 12:28, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
And it almost certainly should be lower case. I've asked the contributor for sources. DCDuring TALK 12:41, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

sorting the translations of Hydrogen[edit]

Hi DC,

I would have gladly left the task of sorting the translations of Hydrogen to AF, but I had inadvertently created three duplicates, while harvesting from the Wikipedia interwiki links. After AF borked on two of them, I decided to sort them myself. I wouldn't mind if the translations would be sorted + an rfc left behind. That way it's easier to find the duplicates. Of course this is a borderline case. Most people wouldn't go adding a gazillion translations from wikipedia interwiki links and maybe I shouldn't either. I tried to use safe entries to do it with though. And I'm just having a bit of fun. In fact all the entries for chemical elements were created by a php script I wrote maybe 5 years ago with data from somebody in Holland. Back then they were the entries that contained most translations of all. The fun part is, that I managed to double that number once more. Well, at least for Hydrogen, I'm not planning to tackle all elements by hand. Polyglot 18:38, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

No idea why my comment was added twice. For the moment I'm going to leave the cleanup bots to Robert. He is very good at creating bots. I might create something else, but nobody should hold their breath. Polyglot 19:21, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

vice versa[edit]

Well, I started the section - see [[Wiktionary:Tea room/Archive 2008/March#vice versa]] - but nobody else commented on it.

The pronunciation is less than ideal, but I honestly cannot see a way to improve it while sticking to the standard format as there are three alternate pronunciations in the UK and US. I can't even work out how to present it in a non-standard way that would be more clear. Suggestions more than welcome! Thryduulf 19:57, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I wonder why I didn't find it in my search. It is one of the exhibits for radically rethinking pronunciation. The rel-top approach has always seemed a reasonable solution that enables us to keep the entry structure simple enough to maintain the fantasy that ordinary users could make contributions. Another approach would be "pronunciation space", like citation space. It could be accessible both from a tab and from compact link icons at each inflection line. This would allow comparison of pronunciations in Pronunciation space and rapid availability of links to specific pronunciations from the inflection line (or even from inflection tables). It would be even less transparent to casual contributors. Do you see what the other drawbacks are? DCDuring TALK 21:42, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The problem with this entry isn't the vertical space it takes and so I don't see that {{rel-top}} or moving it to a separate page is going to clarify it at all. The problem is the three long strings of pronunciation make it difficult to read, even for someone like me who is familiar with the alphabets. A layout like
(UK, 1) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
(UK, 2) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
(UK, 3) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
(US, 1) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
(US, 2) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
(US, 3) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
Would be clearer, I think. This would have vertical space issues, particularly if there are rhymes and audio added into the mix -
(UK, 1) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
Rhymes: -...
(UK, 2) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
Rhymes: -...
(UK, 3) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
(US, 1) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
(US, 2) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
(US, 3) IPA: /.../, SAMPA: /.../
However, this would be sortable by rel-top -
Or divide it appropriate to the word. I know there is at least one entry where I've put the entire pronunciation section in a single rel-top, and at least one other where I've done two sections based on different parts of speech. Alas I can't remember which entries these were though.
I don't think that pronunciation should be on a sub page, as it's only a minority of entries where there is anywhere near enough information to warrant it. Thryduulf 23:41, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
If you lay it out vertically for clarity, then the vertical-space consideration would suggest rel-top for now. For such exceptional cases, I wouldn't think there would be much objection. I have long been curious as to why audio isn't on the same line as the phonetic spelling for the accent. The advantage of pronunciation space would be that it provided:
  1. same ability to compare and contrast multiple pronunciations within languages
  2. more vertical space to get definitions onto initial screen
  3. enhanced ability to compare and contrast pronunciations across languages
  4. enhanced ability to link individual PoS to specific set of pronunciations
  5. virtually unlimited ability to accommodate the needs of those concerned with pronunciation without jeopardising the usability for those more oriented toward conventional text and without losing connection to the text.
The rel-top approach only provides the first improvement.
I expect that there will be more and more desire to expand the pronunciation section. To do so without making the entries uncompetitive with the other on-line dictionaries for those who are text-oriented would be the thrust of such an effort, when, as, and if appropriate. DCDuring TALK 00:03, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes I see what you are getting at, and a {{temp|see-cites}}-style flag to the location of the pronunciation information would be possible. Something like a For pronunciation information, see [[Pronunciation:vice versa]], or For pronunciation information, including audio files, see [[Pronunciation:vice versa#Latin]] given by {{seepron|audio=1|lang=la}}. Thryduulf 02:22, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd even like the {{seecites}} to potentially be on the inflection line with an attractive icon, if we can find one that isn't too easily interpreted as an audio icon. Thanks for sticking with me on this. I don't really know whether it's workable in detail, but it affords enough advantages to be worth a little thought. It might not offer enough now because we don't have enough really big pronunciation sections. It would obviate the need for "Pronunciation n" headers, too, while still offering pronunciation info links next to the pos. As I think about it, there is a problem that the user would need some kind of gloss information while on the pronunciation page, which gives us the coordination problem, until there is some kind of gadget that automagically provides such (as popups does). And we don't always have unique glosses for a PoS. My mind is stuck on relational-database-type architecture. DCDuring TALK 02:46, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

One thought I had is that homophones provide a sort of "did you mean" function. For example if you heard someone talk about their "google foo", didn't see a definition that made sense in context but you see that foo is homophonous with -fu you can click on the link and see that you actually heard "google-fu". If this was on a pronunciation page, then the link would be less useful. However if there is a pronunciation page, homophones are something that clearly belongs on it. Unlike, e.g. translations, keeping two sets of homophones in sync shouldn't be too difficult, but it's something to think about. Thryduulf 03:05, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that seems useful. Pronunciation items that did not require somewhat arcane knowledge to use and did not require many choices might well remain in principal namespace. I'm sure there is something like our emerging practice about what goes in citation space that could be worked out. Homophones and audio files, when present, provide feedback useful to many. It would be nice to have a compact way of presenting multiple accents. Have you looking at the discussion about generating audio from IPA (BP? GP?)? When that happens, if it is at least as accessible as our audio files now, we will really be getting value for all users from the Pronunciation section. But, even then, space will be an issue. DCDuring TALK 08:47, 24 November 2008 (UTC)


  • I remember when I first added this, thinking "what a weird word". Now it all makes sense.. Ƿidsiþ 11:39, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

strip down[edit]


Just a small thanks for adding it Serpicozaure(talk) 20:40, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I always like to add legitimate terms, especially ones common in US. DCDuring TALK 20:49, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

prepositional phrases[edit]

Hi. I was quite surprised at your response to in office given your earlier comment :- " I thought the weak point was that we don't have the right figurative sense of "in" and that the OneLook dictionaries I've looked at don't either. It is parallel to "in country" (vs. "in a country", "in the country"), "in position", "in arrears", "in house" (adverb), and probably many others, whose virtual in-ness is not well shown at in. Many of those phrases already have enwikt entries. " ... Surely here you are tacitly acknowledging the existence and usage of prepositional phrases. Their importance stems from the fact that you cannot define everything under the preposition itself, and the coupling of prep + noun (or noun phrase) is too idiomatic to place the item in the noun entry. You are quite right to say that this needs to be discussed somewhere, sometime, as not all Wiktionarians agree with my PoV, but many do (otherwise the category would have been deleted long ago!) But I don't think it will ever become a PoS, judging by other discussions held at various times and places. I don't even think it should be, either. But the category is of great interest. It would be nice to try to get a bit closer to a definition of what is a prepositional phrase, as I believe it would be a useful tool in CFI, at the end of the day (he said, using a well known prepositional phrase ;-)) -- ALGRIF talk 17:24, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

The existence of the category has no necessary relationship to the inclusion of "prepositional phrase" in cfi. It is not a sufficient criterion in and of itself under current cfi and I would not favor it becoming a sufficient condition in the proximate future. cfi now consists of attestation plus a list of conditions. Meeting any one of them clearly is a sufficient condition for inclusion. As I see it, folks make arguments using different conditions because sometimes a given condition or its application to a particular case is not actually understood by others. I assume that you must be seeking to make being a prepositional phrase a sufficient condition for inclusion, because there is no other meaningful function for it in cfi. Not to put too fine a point on it, that is precisely what I would oppose. I would rather that there be many more senses of prepositions, usage examples or prepositional phrases, citations of prepositional phrases, and appendices about prepositions and prepositional phrases, than there be entries for each attestable prepositional phrase.
More useful, IMHO, would be some kind of simplified mechanical rules by which prepositional phrases could be deemed includable without having to argue from none-too-transparent first principles. DCDuring TALK 17:46, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
It seems that you are making a stick to beat your own back going down the "words and words only" path. This is where many of the SoP vs. non-SoP arguments stem from. The concept of a prepositional phrase is similar to the concept of a phrasal verb in sorting these things out quickly and neatly. The English language is most definitely not simply breakable into either words, clauses, and sentences. We have mentioned "chunks" before, which are groups of words which form a building block of meaning. Prepositional phrases are an example of these, and provide a useful "box" to demonstrate idiomatic usage of a group of words. If not, then how on earth would you enter at the end of the day so that a non native speaker could A: find it easily and B: understand that the writer is trying to say "when all arguments have been heard and considered"? How would you propose to strip out the at with a definition that would be useful? The fact that adding a preposition to the front of a noun or noun phrase thus converting it into an adjective or adverb is of great semantic interest. And the list of useful everyday expressions that so enrich our language is, yes, thousands of entries long. I certainly hope to see, one day, this category being truly functional. I hope that at the end of the day you will be in agreement with this position, if only to a small extent. And I must agree that it would be very nice to see some easy-to-apply rules by which prepositional phrases could be deemed includable. (There you go, you DO want it in CFI!) Although in general, the simple demonstration of idiomatical use, or having more than one meaning, is sufficient. Cheers and beers. -- ALGRIF talk 10:17, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
First of all, I am in no way opposed to the categorisation of the prepositional phrases that otherwise meet wt:cfi. I was only denying the relevance of potential membership in the category to inclusion in wiktionary. You seemed to be offering potential or actual membership as a relevant consideration in the RfD discussion. It is irrelevant at present. I, too, have been known to ride my hobby horses into action in TR, RfD, and RfV discussions, but, when called on it, I stop. I am not opposed to including all prepositional phrases. I only want them to meet the criteria for inclusion that have been or will be voted on.
I think and hope that users know to strip prepositions (especially leading ones) from phrases that they are searching for, just as they know to strip "the" and "a" and, for the most part, to form lemmas from regularly inflected words. It is the normal function of a preposition to participate in the making of modifying phrases. [[end of the day]] would be OK with me, though I am unaware of any significant idiomatic use of that phrase without "at". DCDuring TALK 13:34, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Talk:magnum opus[edit]

From my talk page:

If we could just use that energy for good. |;)) Stumbled across it on patrol. So weird. Good exemplar of problems in handling loan words. DCDuring TALK 17:11, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

It’s meant as a reductio ad absurdum for our policies, and should, I hope, give impetus for their clarification. I’ll præsent it for discussion in the Beer Parlour when I’ve collected enough evidence for all the verifiable forms I can think of. (As an aside, what ought I to do with my energy? I’m curious…)  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:37, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I have come to dread our policy tempests, even on matters that need improvement. Not that I don't fan the flames.
A positive agenda could include anything that helped us reach and satisfy more passive users, get more registered users, channel anon and other contributions more productively, and thereby get past the neglect that we seem to suffer in terms of technical support from WMF. I would like to see some of the scholarly energies devoted to user needs at a more concrete level. I would measure our success by our ability to beat competitors like MWOnline. DCDuring TALK 01:59, 9 December 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for your help; sounds better with your changes. When I want to clarify something, I often "Show Preview" to save what I've already done, then I search Wiktionary for words already entered that may enlighten my effort. Maybe I've occasionally hit "Save page", and it seems that's when you (or another editor) are alerted. After your change I put "lunar phase" to replace "lunar" "cycle", the latter being cumbersome as two entities and not quite so precise. Wayne Roberson, Austin, Texas 19:12, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I keep my watchlist and a subset of "Recent changes" open in tabs on my browser. Other folks' contributions stimulate my own thinking. For example, I had simply missed the error at "wane" that you had corrected. I had a brief interest in the vocabulary of the moon (favorite word: gibbous). Wording these definitions is tough because of the diverse audience. Feel free to edit anything I've done. It's your right on a Wiki and my feelings won't be hurt - usually. DCDuring TALK 19:21, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


Please take a look. --Dweller 23:45, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the help. I'd also find a definition for [[Scratch team]] useful, for an article I'm writing in en: --Dweller 10:56, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I can tell a Wikipedian because their wikilinks are 1. capitalised instead of scratch team and 2. around the entire phrase instead of its parts scratch team, not that either would have gotten you anywhere in this case: DCDuring TALK 11:35, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
    • 1961, Frederick Compton Avis, The Sportsman's Glossary, page 133:
      Scratch Team: one not fully representative of the club, and only taking part in a friendly game

Lol re Wikipedians. OK scratch team. That looks good for starters. --Dweller 15:40, 15 December 2008 (UTC)


If there is a word in the Latin (and not the Greek or Carthaginian), then I'd guess it's related to potior (take possession of) or portō (carry). --EncycloPetey 02:15, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. I wonder about General MacDougall's command of Latin and his source. DCDuring TALK 04:04, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
It could also be that he had an inaccurate source, or perhaps was reading through a French discussion. The word could have French roots. Unfortunately, I don't know what his source was, or I might be able to say more, particularly if it was a Classical writer and I could find a relevant passage in the original Latin. --EncycloPetey 18:24, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I've looked into his work further. It was a popular work without footnotes or bibliography. Here is what he writes about his sources: "The following Narrative of the Campaigns of Hannibal has been carefully compiled from the different and, in many cases, differing accounts of the best ancient and modern historians and essayists, including Livy, Polybius, Sir Walter Raleigh, Niebuhr, Arnold, Guiscard, and Vaudancourt."
Unless those few words, plus the quote, give you the scent, it doesn't seem we can run this to ground. Are there any other hounds who might have the nose for this? We should probably just rfv it and let that process run its course. DCDuring TALK 19:28, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
There's no one on Wiktionary (or Wikipedia) that I'd expect to be able to track this down. The two friends I have who might be able to are both swamped with responsibilities right now. Still, one of them has a Classics education and might relish trying to find the information if she finds the time. I'll pass this along to her. --EncycloPetey 19:36, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
To me it is beginning to have an aroma more of MSG than of real meat. DCDuring TALK 19:42, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, it does appear to exist in French (in some form), and I have one cite I've found that suggests there may be an Eccleciastical Latin depotatus (deputy), but niether of these pertain to the current situation. I've sent off a query to my friend. --EncycloPetey 19:52, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Sometimes I enjoy these things. Sometimes I wonder if there will ever be someone who will need or want to find them. DCDuring TALK 23:15, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I just received this reply:
There is a typo in the MacDougall quote or it would make sense. The word should be deportantes. That is the nominative plural of the present participle of the verb deporto which means to carry off or to carry away. (It is the source for the English verb deport.)
--EncycloPetey 23:22, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I hoped that we might get a low-labor answer from someone! You have the right kind of friends and had made a good guess of your own at the beginning of all this. Thanks. I will copy this discussion to the talk page there and determine exactly what to do with the entry. I'll let you know. DCDuring TALK 23:40, 15 December 2008 (UTC)


Personally, I always figured that "derived" terms meant, e.g. for foo "all words and phrases which have the given meaning of foo in their name" i.e. fooless, fooful, fooer, fooable, unfoo, fooiferous etc. However, now I realise that [[derived terms]] is actually very SOP - "e.g. all terms whose etymology is derived from foo" (including portmanteaus), while [[related terms]] have a similar etymology. I'll change it back to a derived terms, and I'll pay closer attention to this in the future. --Jackofclubs 14:40, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

The only place this is discussed is WT:ELE, which is not explicit about what constitutes a "morphological derivation". It is not in, for example, Wiktionary:Glossary or Appendix:Glossary. I'm going to put this on the Information Desk to make sure. DCDuring TALK 15:10, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


Moved to Meksikatsi User Talk:Meksikatsi


Just to nitpick: the plural of corpus is corpora, not *corpera (hence corporal &c.).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:38, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, it wasn't my best subject in high school either. Thanks for helping me to avoid continuing to embarrass myself. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 19:49, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
‛Sall good! Looks like a fair few people make the same mistake (albethey in a clear minority). NATALE HILARE!  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:53, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


I was puzzled by the "dated" and "UK" tags for this entry. My research indicated the contrary, but, to save me repeating and extending my own research, I wonder if you came up with any evidence about the source of this spelling. It is not recorded by either Merriam-Webster or the OED, but it seems too common to be a mis-spelling. Even Microsoft seems to use "instal" sometimes. Personally, from a UK point of view, I would regard instaling and instaled as incorrect spellings (I might even have blamed them on US usage!) but they seem to occur occasionally world-wide. "Instals" seems to be used as both verb and noun (short for installations). I'd be interested in your view. Dbfirs 08:26, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

I regret having gotten into this when I don't have enough time to fully resolve it in my own mind, but: Wiki to the rescue! It doesn't depend on me! For background: see w:American_and_British_English_spelling_differences#Doubled_consonants. Full disclosure: I am also influenced by the following simple heuristic: If it looks/sounds "funny" to me but gets support only from some UK sources, I assume it is UK/commonwealth, unless I get clear contrary evidence. Both coca (US) and bnc (UK) show no current usage of "instals", "instaling", and "instaled". Bnc shows >2% usage of instals; coca ~0%. Books shows more one-"l" spelling of all forms, which suggests that the one-"l" spellings were once more prevalent. With older book spellings, I also infer greater prevalence in the UK. News (current only) provided the data that "instal" had frequency of ~0% (US), 1% (UK), 3+% (Other). My reasoning may well have flaws. Your views welcome. HTH. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 12:29, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your analysis. I join you in regretting that I ever got involved with this myself! Pam Peters (the reference for the Wikipedia article) is herself Australian, but she seems to be an authority on variants of English. She claims that the single "l" spelling is a rare variant recorded in some British dictionaries (the OED has just one cite with this spelling and it is from the 1600s when spelling was vague). Perhaps all the modern usages I found elsewhere were errors? I'll have a look through some more British dictionaries to see if any regard it a correct variant, but I found more US & Australian (and Indian!) usages in my search (not as sophisticated as yours). Meanwhile, can we agree that it is a rare variant? Sorry to take up your time, and best wishes for the new year. Dbfirs 19:19, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
It seems rare currently, but also seems to have had more use in the past. Our "rare" and "dated" tags don't exactly convey that. "Misspelling" doesn't seem appropriate, though the one-"l" past and participle forms might be considered misspellings. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 20:02, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
On fourth thought, "rare" seems to mean more "barely attestable" than "low relative frequency". DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 20:06, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I'd be happy with "common misspelling". On reading more of Pam Peters, she seems to have an agenda, defying British and Australian dictionaries to reform Australian spelling (Noah-Webster-style?). This is not what Wiktionary should be doing, but I'm not sure what is the correct way to reflect occasional world-wide usage, whilst at the same time indicating that the word is non-standard. Dbfirs 09:26, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
How about allowing instal and instals as valid variants, which is what the 2006 American Heritage Dictionary does, but insisting that only the double "l" participles are correct? Would this satisfy everyone? Dbfirs 10:21, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
That satisfies readers and writers of current English. At the very least, a usage note would seem warranted for the apparently higher level of earlier usage of the one-"l" forms. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 11:27, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your corrections to the entry. They have my full agreement. I hope you don't mind, but I've removed the UK & dated tags from the first sense (non-participle usage) because my research found numerous world-wide examples of current use (see citations page for a couple). I suppose it is possible that all current usages are misspellings, but then, perhaps the ones from the 1600s were, too (because they just didn't have the rules then!), and perhaps some were scannos? Best wishes for the new year, and apologies for having taken up your time, but I think we now have a much better entry. Dbfirs 12:56, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
It is too bad that it can take so long to get it right. I'm glad that we didn't have to take it to the Tea Room. I'm happy to work with you on anything that gives us improved entries if I can help. I'm sorry that my own errors slowed this down. DCDuring Holiday Greetings! 15:22, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

replied at my talk[edit]

msh210 18:20, 30 December 2008 (UTC)