User talk:DCDuring/2009 QIII

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OK, thanks DCDuring. I have corrected all my entries, which were in the category (I have left the Chinese ones in the category - this is a mysterious language for me!) And the Autoformat autobot is almost like a sentient being. It can detect so many errors, very useful for the folks who haven't totally understood format. Are there any other things, which are incorrect with my entries? --Rising Sun 07:33, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

re:rain cats and dogs[edit]

Answered here. Ferike333 15:36, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Invitation to visit[edit]

Progress on Simple English Wikt is quite slow at the moment, and I was wondering if you and a few other thoughtful editors here would consider visiting for a few weeks. I know there's tons of stuff to do here, but it would be nice to have some interesting company at home for a spell.--Brett 01:46, 7 July 2009 (UTC)


Hi. I have a vague impression that you're working through our interjections. If you're editing them anyway, do you think you could also add {{non-gloss definition}} where needed? I've noticed that many true interjections are defined with non-gloss definitions.​—msh210 17:39, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

It is on my mind. I have been populating proverbs from idioms and phrases because it is a little more straightforward and gives me a chance to scan the categories. When I understand all four categories a bit better, I will move some "interjections" to those other categories/headers. I'm not at all happy with names and concepts behind these categories. They remind me of a discussion by Borges in one of his stories about categorization. Not entirely dissimilar from the abbreviation L3 headers. The confounding of types of categories into headers (after L2, any way) is maddening.
When I work on conversational-directive-type idioms and interjections, I almost always (?) insert {{non-gloss definition}} so that such things can be appropriately tracked and formatted when the time comes for some kind of action on them. I take it that you use that template. Who else?—This unsigned comment was added by DCDuring (talkcontribs).
Thanks. Much of what goes on here at Wiktionary reminds me of Borge, too.  :-)  In response to your last question: Beats me; Rodasmith wrote it, so I'd guess uses it. ​—msh210 18:55, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, you made me laugh. DCDuring TALK 19:01, 8 July 2009 (UTC)


I guess this user is also User:Fghjnfoefn who did the same thing yesterday (example). I think longer blocks might be in order. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:33, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

And User:Bfbggonnnn. Equinox 17:55, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
This is a job for a checkuser or experienced patroler. The question is how many different IP addresses this character is using. Also perhaps whether he is doing the same thing on other projects (yielding more data). DCDuring TALK 18:18, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I should coco[edit]

I don't understand why you deleted this. It's an alternative spelling of a current entry, not an inflection of a deleted one. Equinox 17:59, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Because it is built on the sense of coco as an alternative spelling of cocoa that was recently deleted. The inflection of choice was just the closest, quite analogous to the situation at hand. Feel free to restore it so we could put it through RfV. DCDuring TALK 18:04, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Search-box special characters.[edit]

Hi DCDuring,

I saw Hippietrail's BP comment, suggesting that one of my changes to MediaWiki:Edittools might have been what caused your search-box special-character problem. I have to admit, I hadn't realize that MediaWiki:Edittools was used anywhere besides where the software used it (i.e. below the edit-box), so I didn't know there was other stuff to test.

If you don't mind, could you do the following for me? :

  • Revert MediaWiki:Edittools to this version from 1 June, right before I started making those changes.
  • Clear your cache/hard-refresh/whatnot. (I don't know if this step is actually necessary, because I don't know how that PREF works, but I figure you might as well, just to be sure.)
  • See if it works again.
  • If not, revert back to the current version of MediaWiki:Edittools. (Heck, even if so, it might be better to revert back to the current version, if you can put up with waiting for the issue to be fixed properly.)
  • Let me know the results.

If it was one of my changes, then I guess I'll have to delve into the guts of the PREF and figure out how to fix it. :-)

RuakhTALK 00:21, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Never mind, yes, it was definitely my changes. That PREF is controlled by User:Connel MacKenzie/keypad.js, and is very much out of date … this could take a while to fix. :-/   —RuakhTALK 00:36, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Am I the only one who has/d the problem? Does no one use search for special characters? What is weird about my set up or my use of wikt? I hope my troubles are not completely sui generis. I'd like to think that at least I'm the miners' canary. DCDuring TALK 00:46, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
That PREF is totally nonfunctional at the moment. My changes totally broke it. (Sorry!) Whether you're the only one using it, or merely the only one using it who's spoken up, I don't know. I'm pretty sure we don't track PREFS usage (though from a technical standpoint that would not be difficult to do). But it seems like a useful PREF; once I get it working again, I may use it myself. :-)   —RuakhTALK 01:45, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm glad I brought it to your attention. Though it's very nice to have, it is not indispensable. There must be others who use it more. I'd have thought many, but perhaps not. I will patiently await the return of the capability. DCDuring TALK 02:01, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
O.K., I've figured out an easy hack that fixes it, at least on Firefox. To load the new, hacked version, visit and do a hard-refresh. And then it should work. (It'll be kind of fragile, though.) —RuakhTALK 02:02, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Cool. Quick! Thanks. If there's a problem, you'll be the first to know. Would my exercising this be of any value for whatever the long-term solution, or is it *just* a hack? DCDuring TALK 02:08, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Nah, just use it normally, and let me know if you find problems. I made a hackish modification to kind of "trick" the existing code into doing what I want; but since I haven't read most of the existing code, I don't know what kind of consequences that might have. (For example, my hack leaves a floating </span>, instead of a floating </charinsert>. Could this cause problems? I have no idea. Normally I tend to think my code through very carefully before committing it, but in this case I figured anything vaguely functional would be a step up from the total breakage. Once I look through the code, and probably rewrite much of it, I'll hopefully find any issues.) Thanks for your patience, BTW. :-)   —RuakhTALK 02:21, 11 July 2009 (UTC)


Do you think your new sense ("potent") is similar to the existing sense "harsh, severe"? They seem to be angling at the same thing. Equinox 00:19, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

The user who asked for the meaning of "stiff drink" may not have looked at the entry, but I didn't see a sense that I could have referred him to.
I take my cue from the OneLook dictionaries. MWOnline for example has 8 main senses with a grand total of 18 senses with a all subsenses. Clearly there must be a lot of relatedness and overlap among the senses, but the definitions are definitely not identical. If we had a clear strategy of how the end-product of our efforts would be different from our competitors (simpler, more modern, more learner oriented, more oriented toward non-English speakers, covering more time periods, etc.), it would be easier to make entry design decisions that accepted being less complete than competitors. If our entries used the available corpora to determine which senses were in fact the most common and which distinct senses encompassed the range of meaning a polysemic word had, it would also be easier to make limited editorial decisions.
If we could limit the number of silly multi-word entries, it would be a small price to pay to have more senses of the component words. I only wish we could present them more compactly and with better organization. Of course we are well on the way to having:
  1. many silly multi-word entries,
  2. many encyclopedic entries (both single- and multi-word),
  3. a mix of some overlong entries for components words and many entries missing important modern senses,
  4. a mix of protologisms and words with definitions unchanged since being copied from Websters 1913,
  5. inferior layout,
  6. not to mention extremely uneven quality.
  • Hmmmmm. You may have caught me at a bad time. DCDuring TALK 01:55, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 17:26, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

See Wiktionary:Glossary#S. —RuakhTALK 17:34, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

duh[gues when context not obvious2me,imis'em..:/]-extremelyhandylist,herew/bookmarkd,txheaps!!--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 18:35, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Grammar appendices[edit]

I'm certainly willing to give this a shot, at least for the main functions, but I haven't spent all that much time around here; simple.wikt is my main gig. Obviously, you've spent a good deal thinking about this, so I'd appreciate your thoughts about what's needed. Is something like the Wikipedia entry for modifiers the kind of thing that would be good?--Brett 00:56, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

If WP has it, then we have to make it more useful for the needs of our Wiktionarian-citizen-lexicographers and users. I would focus on Wiktionarians first because the feedback is more immediate. The veteran Wiktionarians have opinions, some newer ones know they need guidance. Some contributors need specific feedback. Patrollers need to be able to point to specific articles that calm contributors down when their entries are deleted. Recurring classification issues arise with gerunds, and past participles, prepositional phrases, and attributive use of nouns. This is mostly settled for the latter two, but the limiting cases seem to involve a lot of thrashing. We also have persistent entry of adjective sections for nouns where the use is merely attributive. A standardized usage note and a linked section of an appendix on attributive use of nouns might prevent a great deal of wasted effort. Prepositional phrases often are both adverbial and adjectival modifiers with little or no change in the wording of the senses required. It would be useful to allow us to eliminate the duplication in at least some of the cases with a usage note and another section in an appendix.

Given the number of articles about Parts of Speech that have not yet been created, it might be useful to pick one or more of the parts of speech congenial to you (determiners, adjectives and adverbs?) and talk about how the modern grammatical functional categories map to that part of speech. Any discussion that led us to the most effective presentation generally consistent with existing headings would be good.

My authority on matters Wiktionary is limited to the fact that I have done a lot of edits without pissing people off too much, despite my lack of education in these things. I have participated in a lot of discussions and asked questions about policies, rules, criteria, knowledge about user behavior etc. Many of those answers have been negative in the sense that no one seemed to think there was valuable material around. There are very few non-entry content-type pages that seem to have much use. WT:CFI and WT:ELE and their linked are just about it. Other pages with shortcuts of the form ":WT:" must be ones someone has found useful. There have been many plans to do great things which bear no fruit. The current state of en.wikt seems to be the product of many ambitious but incomplete reforms and a few simple innovations that have survived. All on a software platform not designed for a dictionary.

We have a fairly weak set of appendices. I don't think many have even been categorized. I dread finding out how many are not much linked to. That may be something I amuse myself with. A likely set of appendices to look at for your purposes is the list beginning with "English" which I have sorted and put on User:DCDuring/Grammar pages. The BEST titles are below. I can't vouch for any of the articles. There might be others in Appendix space and Wiktionary space. (eg Wiktionary:phrasal verbs).

Appendices on the "parts of speech" headers

Appendices on categories of parts of speech

PoS headings apparently without Appendices: Interjection; Adverb; Adjective; Preposition; Conjunction; Determiner; Particle; Numeral; Abbreviation, Initialism, Acronym; Phrase; Character; Symbol

  • [[Appendix:English determiners]]

patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels[edit]

This is a statement by Samuel Johnson from 1775. It is widely quoted, but is it a proverb? Would it be better as quotation in the entry patriotism? --Hekaheka 07:34, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Proverbs and idioms, cabbages and kings[edit]

Hello DC -- Re your removal of the {{idiom}} template here, can't a proverb be idiomatic? Or are they all idiomatic anyway? -- WikiPedant 22:13, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


I am interested in why you dislike Middle English sections. I sometimes add them, especially when there is paltry use of the spelling and sense in English and a different etymology section would be required in English and the only citations given are from Chaucer and Spencer (largely unintelligble to most normal users). Taking Middle English seriously wouldn't be much fun for an amateur because there seem to be so many alternative spellings. DCDuring TALK 15:46, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Yeah, the spellings are part of the problem. The other part is that there aren't actually that many words which were only used in Middle English without surviving into early Modern, and so generally I find it much more useful to see them in an English section where I can see any possible meanings which arose in later (modern) use. But I'm kind of being facetious, I have accepted that Middle English entries are probably unavoidable and even useful, I just dread all the duplication of information that they will entail.. Ƿidsiþ 15:59, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
OK. I wanted test my understanding of the situation. BTW, I have found free online access to the OED citations via BYU very useful to check on when use of a term waned. A further question, I often ignore 19th century usage spurts in the OED, ascribing them to Burnsian and other efforts to document or revive dialectal speech - not that there's anything wrong with that. I just don't have enough of a feel for UK dialectal speech to contribute all the context tags etc. DCDuring TALK 16:39, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

RFD archives[edit]

My message is here; you seemed to be the best person to ask, along with Equinox and Msh. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:30, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

MSH has done this well in the past. I would have to infer the protocol from the history or someone's explanation. DCDuring TALK 09:50, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Category:English allusions‎[edit]

I'm confused. How is the description on this category different from "idiomatic"? --EncycloPetey 18:03, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

  1. That's why I always hide categories to start.
  2. I see your point. I'll try to reword. Feel free to correct. I think the idea is that the entries are terse references to the title or memorable characters in a well-known story, intended to evoke aspects of the story. DCDuring TALK 18:13, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
If so, then the word literary should probably appear in the description as a qualifier. --EncycloPetey 18:16, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
I didn't mention literary because I was thinking that religious, mythical, and proverbial material might also be included (if it didn't have or merit a more specific category), no matter what the authorship. Similarly famous events and figures from history.
Question: What about Classical myths/stories? Would you consider Pandora's box or Achilles heel to fit this category? --EncycloPetey 18:18, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, certainly. I'm focused on the way the alluding term evokes a fairly specific narrative that is shared fairly widely in a given culture/subculture. I have been noticing all the terse noun-phrase entries that evoke a proverb. That primed me for the category, though I'm not sure whether these terse allusions to one-sentence proverbs fit in the same category as the allusions to more elaborate narratives. DCDuring TALK 18:45, 3 August 2009 (UTC)


Why remove the compound template? OED uses this exact notation in the etymologies Manitoba + maple, North American + IndianMichael Z. 2009-08-05 12:37 z

We consistently don't call headwords with spaces (or hyphens) "compounds", reserving that for terms spelled solid, withhout spaces. We usually rely on the wikilinks (inf=, sg=, pos=) in the inflection line to hook users up with the component words. The dozen or so entries of yours (I could tell they were yours from the subject matter) were almost the only ones like this. I know this because today Dan Polansky edited {{compound}} to make it put items in categories. I took a look at Category:English compound words and started cleaning up what I knew (or thought I knew). If you think that our normal practice (not a policy) is wrong, then it should be discussed. I'd be happy to enact the new practice, starting with cleaning up my changes to your contributions. DCDuring TALK 14:04, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I see the definition of compound word. I guess that, it we take this seriously, we might be able to have a bot insert Category:English compound words or [[:Category:English hyphenated compound words]] and [[:Category:English spaced compound words]] to conform to such a desired practice. DCDuring TALK 14:12, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't care how we define the word, I just thought that template was a standardized way to make word + word in an etymology. If it's only meant for certain kinds of words, then the docs should say so. But it's probably not wise to create conventions typographically identically, yet different in substance from those of the OED's.
Headword links are fine, but etymological information shouldn't be removed from the etymology because they're there. Michael Z. 2009-08-05 20:09 z
If we documented every practice, then eventually there would be be some studious newbie whom we couldn't be superior to. Or is it Darwinian anti-prescriptivism even as regards to our own conventions?
The logic of it isn't too bad, because users ought to get the convention that the inflection line blue links convey the information. But I could understand and accept another approach. One issue is consistency of practice so that categories have some use. I would go with any agreed upon practice, especially one that could be rapidly implemented with a bot. DCDuring TALK 20:21, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
Portuguese water dog” doesn't include the information in “Portuguese + water dog.” And even if you assume that no editor will ever link the headword components just because they saw it in another entry, and that all readers will wave their mouse over the components to see whether each space is a divider or not, and that they will automatically know that you removed information from the etymology and encoded it in the headword using the hidden whitespace method, then, still, to the blind user of a screen reader, “Indian red” cannot convey the information in Indian + red”.
If you write some information, then it's there. If you don't, then it's really not. Michael Z. 2009-08-06 00:23 z
I'd be in favor of enhancing the visibility of multi-word wikilinks. I try to make sure that inflection-line links are to any multi-word terms available, phrasal verbs, etc. So it should be {{en-noun|sg=[[Portuguese]] [[water dog]]}} and there probably should be an entry at water dog. (I'm a standard-poodle man myself, but I knew an agililty champion Portuguese water dog.) I don't disagree with your points, though I'm not sure I reach the same conclusion at this point. DCDuring TALK 00:33, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
There are many other problems with this. In hundreds or thousands of entries there are headword links which are certainly not etymological—especially borrowings: ball lightning, Father Frost, flea market, farmer's sausage, even point of view. Readers should expect that the etymology is sometimes under “Etymology”, sometimes in the headword, sometimes split between both, and sometimes it only looks like its in the headword but isn't? It's one thing to have convenience links there, but unacceptable to actively remove explicit information and make the reader guess whether it's somewhere else or maybe not.
The links look like hell anyway. The focal point of every main entry section becomes a rainbow of black, blue, and purple, as in St. Elmo's fire or cock of the walk. The boundaries between links aren't even necessarily whitespace, as in trompe l'oeil#Italian.
This is shabby and inconsistent. I'll start a topic at the Beer Parlour shortly, to at least be consistent about what is what. Michael Z. 2009-08-06 02:50 z
Some of the inconsistency is because some entries haven't been looked at very seriously lately. Some is because some experienced editors don't know or don't like a specific practices. Having a sense of what is currently desirable-achievable would be good. I hope that there can be consensus on something reasonable. DCDuring TALK 03:30, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely true, but in the meantime, I'll ask you please consider not removing anything from etymology sections on the basis that it is represented in the headword links. Sincerely, from one raised by (miniature) poodles. Michael Z. 2009-08-06 03:37 z
It was only the compound template that concerned me - and I could be wrong about that. I don't usually add etymologies to multi-word entries. I have sometimes removed one's that had nothing but the component words. That seems like it should be part of the discussion. I'm sure that I picked up some confirmation for my personal prejudices (though I recall no specifics) but it may well be less than widely accepted. DCDuring TALK 03:47, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

under erasure[edit]

Hello DC -- Re this edit, I read 2 of the 5 usages in the quotations in the main entry as adverbial and the other 3 as adjectival. I think this is one of those annoying slippery phrases which swings both ways. In younger editing days, for these sorts of phrases I used to create sections for both POS's in the entry and split up the quotations. Now, I suspect that approach is too clever by half, but I don't have any firm suggestions for what to do instead. -- WikiPedant 04:34, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

That's what I always did too. But, in modern grammar they would just call it a modifier or something and not bother with the mostly empty distinction. It is hard to get excited about "It is under erasure" vs. "He wrote it under erasure." And what about verbs that might be considered copulas besides "be" and "seem". Sometimes I insert a usage note saying it could also be used as "Adjective". In this case, there are so many quotations (see Citations:under erasure.) that we may as well split them. But the usage note approach works OK IMHO for prepositional phrases.
I'm beginning to have more respect for some aspects of modern grammatical classes, but I don't see how we could justify replacing the traditional PoSs, although certain adverbs, interjections, some pronouns, as well as "idioms" and "phrases" could well stand replacement or supplementation. DCDuring TALK 05:00, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

blood in the water[edit]

Hi DCDuring. I changed the entry, as discussed on rfv (except that I got rid of the "Idiomatic" section). I also broke protocol by removing the rfv tag, because I'd deleted the definition it was attached to... Let me know if you have any comments: by return, on rfv or just edit the page. Cheers, Pingku 19:32, 6 August 2009 (UTC)

go to someone's head[edit]

Hey DC, before you delete all these entries it would be good to get some consensus for it, or if you really want to do it then at least leave the originals as redirects. go to one's head as a phrase has over 600 hits on google books compared to 58 for go to someone's head, and there is also good attestation for things like [[went to one's head]] (199) compared to [[went to someone's head]] (4 hits). Ƿidsiþ 20:42, 7 August 2009 (UTC)

The main issue is what is the lemma form. It is seriously misleading to have one's for a verb phrase because it implies that the subject is the "one". I estimate that 10-15% of the verbs with "one's" in the headword should have "someone's" in accordance with the practice of dictionaries that have good coverage of idioms. Once we have differentiated reflexive from nonreflexive, then it gets easier to do the rest. Bot-assisted redirects from the most common forms to the lemmas would be my objective. I'd be perfectly happy to devote some hours to proper redirects instead of just what happened to be left behind. Should the focus of redirects be on the variation of the verb forms, on pronoun variations, or both? I actually haven't seen much effort devoted to inserting pronominal redirects and little effort devoted to verb form variation. What evidence of preference that I've seem suggests that inflected forms of verb phrases (excepting phrasal verbs) are not popular among the senior contributors who voice an opinion.
The most frequent forms in COCA are (go/your: 22), (go/his: 18), (go/my: 13), (gone/his: 13), (go/her: 10), (went/my: 9), (went/his: 8), (gone/her: 5), (gone/my: 5), (gone/your: 4), (goes/your: 3), (goes/my: 2), (going/your: 2). "My" is the only pronoun that has all four verb forms covered. No other forms, including "go/one's" and "go/someone's", appear more than once. It would be interesting to see how this compares with google books, google news, google scholar, and google groups, not to mention BNC and Time. I welcome your thoughts. DCDuring TALK 21:24, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree that go to someone's head is probably the better form for the main entry. But we must also allow for what users are liable to enter when they do look-ups, so I have reinstated go to one's head as a redirect. (PS: Whenever I create an entry with "someone" in its title, I also create a companion redirect with "somebody" in its title.) -- WikiPedant 01:46, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Fine. You don't have to worry about my nose getting lastingly out of joint. After that first burst of defensiveness, I'm usually OK unless strongly reprovoked. Of course only a real dictionary-using veteran will form a lemma using either "one's" or "someone's", which is why we need to have more redirects to lemmas to let the wording of the lemma convey some information instead of bearing the load of the search. The headword wording is reinforced by the definition, usage examples, and citations. Eventually repeat users would pick up any consistent pattern we provide. DCDuring TALK 02:01, 8 August 2009 (UTC)


I have tried to explain further why I think 1992 is different from other years (even ones where major events took place). I include two additional references.

John Cross 20:00, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

run for one's money[edit]

Hello DC -- I just created this entry. You may or may not feel disposed to change it to run for someone's money. After thinking it over, I decided to go with this form, since the usual context for this expression is in a larger expression of the form "give someone a run for his/her/their money." The "his/her/their" refers not to the subject of the verb "give" but to the indirect object of that verb ("someone"). An interesting and more complicated situation than usual. For me, "one's" works best here (but I did create a number of redirects to play it safe). -- WikiPedant 04:45, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

PS-- I am starting to think I should have titled the entry a run for one's money. Do you think the "a" should be in the title? -- WikiPedant 04:49, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
"Run for one's money" is certainly consistent with how we name idioms that are not verb phrases. I don't think that "run for someone's money" is an improvement, all things considered. The inconsistency in using "one's" in one way for verb phrases and in another way for all other phrases seems not likely to confuse users who can manage to find the lemma entry to begin with.
As to the "a", we try to exclude both "the" and "a" except in unusual circumstances. There are lots of noun phrases that seem to take "a" or "the" mostly to the exclusion of the other. I can't put a name to the why of it. It may just be that the semantics are such that one or the other is rarely appropriate. It may be that we should have an article at the start of a phrase that begins with a noun that can also be a verb or other PoS so that it appears distinctly on lists. If the phrase were a "set phrase" rather than a more flexible idiom, perhaps including "a" would be appropriate. But adjectives can intervene between "a" and "run for one's money", eg, "real", "good". Perhaps we need the redirect from a run for one's money, but "a" and "the" are ignored stopwords for many searches.
run for the money is 22/148 of the COCA hits. It also needs a redirect.
One entry, many issues. Thanks for asking. I hope that this can generalize a bit, but the perfect "a" answer still isn't clear to me. DCDuring TALK 11:23, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, DC. It was precisely the fact that "run" can be both a verb and a noun (causing a double-take on "run for one's money") that was nagging at me. But, after reading your thoughts, I'm quite content to leave it as I initially added it. Thanks for noodling through this one with me a bit. -- WikiPedant 15:50, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

WT:RFD#Giving what for (certain forms)[edit]

I see what you're saying about Google hits, but creating 'null entries' to get more hits seems like a bad idea. I tend to think Wikipedia's biggest problem (of many) is the low quality of articles, I (personally) wouldn't want us to lower or CFI just to get more readers. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:59, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Regular inflected forms are hardly a matter of quality one way or the other. And what is quality supposed to mean? Average number of characters per entry? Findability? Least numbers of clicks to get what user really wants? Repeat users? Users who become contributors? High or low readability scores? Total number of lemmas? total number of senses? total number of senses at lemmas? total number of Parts of Speech for lemmas? We obviously don't take any measurement seriously because we measure and track virtually nothing, certainly nothing about users. I wonder: is that because doing so might limit our unbridled freedom to play with the free resources we've discovered? DCDuring TALK 20:18, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Landau 2[edit]

I was referring to Sidney I. Landau 2001, Dictionaries: The Art and Craft of Lexicography, 2nd ed. I've read about 2/3 of it in dribs and drabs (found it in my local public library). I haven't read too much else on the subject, just compared parts of a few of the other practical lexicography books while searching in Google Books.

Landau is very readable and interesting for its own sake, up-to-date in terms of computer technology (esp. the use of corpora). He often mentions the recent class of dictionaries for foreign learners which have introduced a number of innovations. I recommend it for anyone working on Wiktionary. (Although I haven't seen Zgusta 1971, Manual of Lexicography, which everyone refers to a lot). Michael Z. 2009-08-17 17:23 z

Thanks for the response. I do prefer something that deals with the implications of corpora. I am also interested in what can and cannot be treated lexically. And how dictionaries accommodate newer grammatical theory. I just visited two local libraries, one of which had the English Grammar of Quirk et al and the other of which had Huddleston and Pullum. I was impressed by the greater confidence and consistency of H&P. I imagine it must seem so much more modern to professionals than Quirk, maybe even more than the 18-year difference in publication dates. But there seems an element of unwarranted stridency to the tone in some questions of categorization. I'll have to see about getting Landau. No library in my immediate area here has it, but it is not expensive 2nd-hand from Amazon. DCDuring TALK 18:28, 17 August 2009 (UTC)


Hi DcDuring, Did you mean Verbo? He is a "returned" user, (previously Matricularius or Arcarius) who had been blocked before after he had given most Dutch pages example sentences that were all related to sexual kink. Mostly spanking and such. We spent quite a bit of time cleaning up the mess Jcwf 16:07, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for the typo. Thanks for the rapid response.
Well, I haven't seen any of that. But I haven't checked closely. He just doesn't seem to be responding to other users legitimate requests that his efforts use templates, etc. DCDuring TALK 16:19, 19 August 2009 (UTC)


Numerous elements of this entry were and are not in conformity with our formatting standards. Please feel free to make them conform to WT:ELE. Most especially the headings are non-standard. We also no not have glosses for terms under the various semantic relationship headings. DCDuring TALK 09:49, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Who's 'we' kimasabe? Do you have a pointer to a fascistic rule that specifies that you must not include glosses that may help the user? If so, I'm going to change it.Wolfkeeper 15:02, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
Feel free to propose any changes that you would like. The customary approach, if you can abide custom, is to start a discussion at WT:BP. DCDuring TALK 15:23, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

Re: section editing[edit]

What exactly do you mean? Usually I do edit sections only. The computer I work on is so slow that for a long page like WT:TR or WT:RFC it takes 2-5 minutes just to load it, so I don't dare click the edit tab at the top (I did once & my browser quit on me...) But for individual entries I usually edit the whole page at once as the stuff I clean up is spread throughout the entry. I'm sorry if what I'm doing is inconveniencing other editors. L☺g☺maniac chat? 18:56, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . I didn't know that. Yeah, I guess I do delete the /* stuff . . . I thought that was just an automatic edit summary that i could replace with my own. So that's why. . . OK, I won't do that anymore. And yes, I have fiddled with the gadgets in PREFS. (I tend not to use popups because they can get annoying if I'm reading something and my cursor just happens to rest on one of the words, and then it gets in the way...) Thanks for telling me. And happy editing to you too... L☺g☺maniac chat? 20:03, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

banker's acceptance[edit]

I have just moved "banker's acceptance" to "bankers' acceptance" but have a bad feeling about it. Please revert my move if you think it was unjustified.

Only after I have moved the entry have I noticed that you have entered "banker's acceptance" as singular but "bankers' acceptances" as plural. That makes sense: one particular acceptance is from one banker (one bank), whereas the plurality of all the acceptances on the market naturally comes from a plurality of bankers.

Some Google searches:

--Dan Polansky 08:22, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I have undone my move myself. --Dan Polansky 08:24, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that I checked too carefully. I good search engine does not need every form. I think I did (or accepted) that plural just to enhance the chances of the main entry being found without all the redirect entries. It does have the logic you suggest. BTW, I think precise checks on google would need to have search lines like "banker's acceptance" -"bankers acceptance" -"bankers' acceptance" (possibly even with all the plurals subtracted out). It gets to be tedious. Sometimes there is a time-saving advantage to just following a rule, even if the rule has not been empirically demonstrated. Also, I don't get too excited by reversions of my edits. There are often substantive deficiencies. I'm trying to improve articles, not necessarily "perfect" them. I err when tired and due to lack of knowledge coupled with occasional failure to know when I am out of my depth. DCDuring TALK 15:41, 30 August 2009 (UTC)


hey, your adj section is attributive noun use. -- Thisis0 17:06, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

I checked before adding the section: used with "very", for example. I didn't add the cites out of lazinesseconomy of effort. DCDuring TALK 17:46, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

re: Westchester County[edit]

No, actually never heard of the place (had to go to WP to figure out where exaclty it was.). That's interesting, though. Has it been in the news lately? (We don't follow any news but the local paper, so are pretty out of touch with the world.)  :) L☺g☺maniac chat? 21:24, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

In the local news here and, I suspect, in many other places in US as a backlog of such matters is being accelerated by the HUD appointees of the new administration. DCDuring TALK 21:45, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Arnold Schwartzenegger[edit]

Will you also be starting a page for Arnold Schwarzenegger? --EncycloPetey 00:08, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

No need, apparently. DCDuring TALK 00:19, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
I was inspired to create the generic noun Schwarzenegger entry. --EncycloPetey 00:21, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Why should the anons have all the fun? DCDuring TALK 00:23, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Schwarzeneggeresque :) Equinox 00:25, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Some information on the name (etymology, etc.) might be nice too. Nadando 00:26, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Apparently it's "black ploughman" (schwarze Negger), but I'll leave the proper research to somebody who remembers more than about 20 words of German. Equinox 00:30, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

therz Unteregger,'parent'ratheRAREsurname ,so explaind:under-egger/plower[source:from pesn w/that name,Saarland academic/entrepreneur/politician

I've looked for etymological info several times before. My sources don't list that sepcific name, but from what I do find in Bahlow's Deutsches Namenlexikon, the surname could also originate either as "son of black Eggert" or as "person from black Egg(e)" (where Egg(e) is a place name). I don't know which (if any) is "correct". --EncycloPetey 00:33, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't find Negger as a word in modern or 19th century German dictionaries. It doesn't appear as a surname with that meaning in medieval German either. I do find Neger (from Latin niger, which suggests that Schwarzenegger may be the German equivalent of blackamoor. --EncycloPetey 00:39, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
He he. I'm still looking for two more quotes to support non-Jabba-esque. --EncycloPetey 00:26, 8 September 2009 (UTC)


Great that you have extended Appendix:English gerund. I just wonder: why are you calling the thing "gerund-participle" instead of "gerund"? In Google books, I have found many English grammar books that call it "gerund" and that call the longer construction that uses a gerund a "gerund phrase", so in "Writting letters is my favorite activity", "writing letters" is a gerund phrase. Anyway, not a big deal either way. --Dan Polansky 17:02, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry I jumped all over what you'd begun, but it is something I've been thinking about. I am afraid to give much currency to the the "gerund" terminology. I find myself convinced by the discussion of CGEL on this. Since there is no difference in form according to the functions that the -ing forms take, it would seem to "be" one thing that plays various roles (more than two!!!): subject, predicate, attributive adjective, complement, etc. Quirk et al. called it an -ing form, I believe. CGEL called it a gerund-participle. I don't know what Biber called it. Gerund does not have the widespread use of participle, let alone of the traditional PoSs, so I am not so sure that we need to honor it so much.
In your original version you had said that gerunds and participles shouldn't be confused. My question to you is why? I ask it sincerely. I don't see the point in the distinction between gerund and participle when neither word characterizes a grammatical role or subset of the roles played by -ing forms. DCDuring TALK 20:40, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
The only thing I would note to be cautious of is that we not link "gerund" and "participle" too closely. Yes, in English the gerund has a participle form and CGEL has a decent analysis (better than just about anywhere else in fact), but we need to keep in mind that this isn't necessarily the case in other languages. So, an opening section or paragraph that clarifies this point would be a Good ThingTM. Once that point is made, then I have less concern about the remainder of the article (for now). People do make this kind of error in generalization with regard to Proper nouns. Many seem to think that since English (typically) capitalizes proper nouns, that somehow nouns are only proper if they're capitalized, even though many languages do not capitalize names of languages and a variety of other proper nouns. So, I'd want to see a cautionary note at the outset that although gerunds in English have the form of a present participle, that isn't always so. --EncycloPetey 21:49, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Ideally we would have grammatical appendices about relevant concepts in each language. Do we have any yet? It would be great to have even one to refer a reader to for contrast. For all practical purposes I'm monolingual, so I'm not the one to do it. We can have a disclaimer as the second paragraph of the English one. I don't even like the word "gerund" because it is more limiting even than "present participle", being solely concerned with one "PoS" when at least three are involved. DCDuring TALK 23:36, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Not for gerunds, we don't. The one for Latin gerunds will not be easy to write since most textbooks give it only passing consideration. The Latin gerund is derived (sort-of) from the oblique substantive neuter forms of the future passive participle. That right there will take a section to explain. The closest document in the Appendix space we have (that I can recall) is the Appendix:Latin cardinal numerals page, which I have not yet completed, but which has quite a lot of grammatical coverage written. I also started an appendix on English proper nouns some time ago, but became sidetracked and haven't yet had the inspiration to complete it during a suitably long block of free time. It will take a large block of time for me to focus properly on the issues involved because some of them are rather abstract and weighty. I've acquired a copy of a recent doctoral thesis on the topic which was recommended to me by a friend who new of my interst. I'm considering a split and/or restructure of the contect I've already done, because it starts out covering the "philosophy" of what a proper noun actually is (in general) then goes on to cover the grammar of proper nouns in English. I'm beginning to think those parts would be better trested as two separate articles, with one covering the situation in English and the other treating the general topic of proper nouns. In any case, the draft is in my user space for now. --EncycloPetey 02:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Coming a bit late, to your question "In your original version you had said that gerunds and participles shouldn't be confused. My question to you is why?": From Wikipedia, from Wiktionary's present participle and from Google search, I have gathered the following hyponymy structure:
  • -ing-form
    • verb form
      • present participle – I was swimming; I have been swimming
      • gerund – Climbing is dangerous.
    • noun – building (a structure), meeting, being (a creature)
In this structure, present participle and gerund are mutually exclusive. I wanted to drive the reader's attention to this distinction.
But if you say that the term "gerund" is much less common, much less current than the term "present participle", possibly you have the following hyponymy structure in mind:
  • -ing-form
    • verb form
      • present participle – I was swimming; I have been swimming; Climbing is dangerous.
    • noun – building (a structure), meeting, being (a creature)
In this structure, present participle includes what is also called gerund.
When Wiktionary says "# Present participle of swim" in its entries, it should be clear to which of the possible senses of "present participle" Wiktionary is referring to, whether to the broader one that includes gerunds or to the narrower one that excludes gerunds.
To the question what the distinction in the first hyponymy structure is good for: what I call gerund gives me an impression of a noun; it is surprising for me to learn that it is considered a verb form and that it can be modified by an adverb. So for me, whose grammatical mind has been shaped by an early exposition to Czech, certain things trivial for natives look surprising; also, certain things look like different cases because I have to map them to different grammatical features in Czech.
A general remark: the sameness of form far from determines the lexical category of an occurrence of a term, let alone semantics: "I had to <verb>fire</verb> him, as he has caused a <noun>fire</noun>." Thus, that all the various occurrences of an -ing form look the same is at best a condition necessary for their being the same thing, rather than condition sufficient. --Dan Polansky 07:14, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
When Quirk et al refer to -ing form and H&P to the gerund-participle they seem to include nominal, adjectival, and verbal uses of the form, but not the true nouns or adjectives that may be derived from them. That is what I personally follow. IOW, -ing form = gerund-participle = a verb form. There may also be true nouns and adjectives with the name spelling.
Nothing about this is trivial for a native's conscious understanding of grammar. I think it is a question of whether the vocabulary of gerund and participle adds anything. They don't seem to be universal lexical categories, present in every language. They are not a major component of English education in the US. They do not reflect the actual grammatical variety of uses of the form and can mislead those familiar with the term as used in other languages.
The identity of form between gerund and present participle is true not just for a few or some, but for all verbs. It is reminiscent of the situation with Proper nouns, which always have an associated common noun. "There many wannabe Grand Canyons in the world, but only one Grand Canyon." We don't show it because it is a universal feature of Proper nouns that they can do this.
I have the enthusiasm for this of a recent convert, but am willing to accept other arguments and even just a weight of judgment contrary to the view I've expressed. DCDuring TALK 10:54, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Re: Literalness[edit]

That's OK, I tend to apologize anyway. I haven't been functioning exactly right this week anyhow so it's no surprise that I misunderstood you. I remember thinking right after I pressed "Save" and wondering if I had gotten you wrong somehow and whether or not I was addressing the right issues. I hope you understand that it is completely OK with me if we delete faccedilade. I wanted to keep it before, obviously, but once I realized it wasn't properly attestable I changed my mind.  :) L☺g☺maniac chat? 19:49, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

I like to stick to what few rules we have, though I wouldn't mind some clarification and even some change. I really have an intense dislike for the introduction of typographical folderol into Wiktionary, which approximately two people seem to favor. It is a related matter, but it has enough peculiarities and special needs to warrant some kind of special treatment probably in another kind of wiki with folks who are able to deal with all the peculiarities of that world. It would be wonderful if there were a lot of copyright-free fonts, for which such a thing might be a home or access point.
I feel that Proper nouns for places especially, organizations, and people also belong in a special homes. I see the point of having a place for translations and transliterations of such things but that content would go well with a lot of other kinds of content like maps, satellite photographs, etc. all in such volume as to dwarf the text content we have. DCDuring TALK 20:25, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Appendix:English grammar[edit]

FYI: I've started the section on English nouns, since issues concerning nouns seem to be frequent topics of discussion here. I've added the information in a format approximating that already used on the page. --EncycloPetey 20:45, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

I was just about to click on it. DCDuring TALK 20:47, 12 September 2009 (UTC)
I've now created and populated Category:English grammar appendices. --EncycloPetey 15:30, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

User:DCDuring/Problem entries[edit]

I've moved this page into the User: namespace, the redirect remains, but can be deleted if you want. Conrad.Irwin 14:55, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Sorry. Sigh. DCDuring TALK 15:00, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

See also[edit]

When used as a L4 header, See also should follow Translations, per WT:ELE and the vote we took on L4 header sequence. --EncycloPetey 22:53, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Interesting. Since I first internalized ELE in August 2007 when it was silent on See also and wasn't invited to the vote, I never noticed the change. No one brought to my attention 'til now. I've made hundreds to reversals of the correct order and possibly thousands of erroneous placements. Thanks for letting me know. It does change my attitude about using "See also" it to house references to sister projects, which are then often pushed far down the page. As much as I dislike the big boxes, at least they often go in the right place for a user to find them. DCDuring TALK 23:15, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Should I fall on my sword? Is that what one does when inserting non-standard headers or otherwise violating rules? I hope Ivan's OK. DCDuring TALK 23:19, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
Trusted editors don't have their edits looked at often enough. I try to peek at what people are doing from time to time, not primarily to spot format problems like this, but rather to see what others are up to and to be inspired by it. I sometimes find that I can assist with the expansion of an entry or series of entries that someone else has started working on. --EncycloPetey 00:41, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Anyway, thanks. It is embarrassing. DCDuring TALK 00:45, 14 September 2009 (UTC)


re: -ism. Try to learn format. If you would like to start your own wiki where you can make your own rules, you can do so. You might ask WMF if they would support it. DCDuring TALK 20:15, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

If you want to continue being obnoxious, please ask the WMF if they would give you a server for that.Wolfkeeper 02:20, 16 September 2009 (UTC)


...for such a fascinating project --Ki no Senshi 22:43, 18 September 2009 (UTC)


I don't understand. It is not a citation for the term. It is for an alternate spelling. I thought that, for English, we insisted that citations be for the exact spelling of the headword. It might be different for Old English, Middle English, and for other languages. Refer me to some place where I can learn otherwise.

Relatedly I noted that you had reverted the Middle English entry to which I had moved the Chaucer citation. Chaucer is clearly Middle English. There might also be English use of the the term, but a Chaucer citation doesn't support it.

I recall that you don't like Middle English and I understand that there is some arbitrariness as to where one would set boundaries with Old English and English, but we clearly have Middle English as an accepted language. DCDuring TALK 18:16, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

  • Hi. Well, I don't think we do insist that citations reflect the same spelling as the headword; my understanding has always been that citations of alternative forms can support either the alternative form page, or the main lemma entry, which seems to make sense (otherwise consider that e.g. Shakespeare quotes would usually be inadmissable to support entries in the original Folio spellings, I think that would be crazy). As for the whole Middle English thing, I apologise about that: the word did of course exist as well in Middle English but I changed it out of laziness because I couldn't be bothered to research exactly how the word looked in ME at the time. You have to note that the citation was actually in modern English (presumably you got it from a modern English translation of Chaucer?) so it's not a very good ME quote, indeed it's not one at all. I will fix all that tonight or tomorrow - sorry. My position on ME is that I totally accept it, but I only think we should also be allowed to use ME citations to support modern English words (so that that we properly illustrate a word's history). Ƿidsiþ 18:34, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Webster 1913[edit]

thank you for your advice - perhaps the template itself or the category text is slightly unclear. I checked that the modern meanings I knew about were present rather than that the entry was substantially modernized which is a stronger condition.

John Cross 19:09, 21 September 2009 (UTC)


Does this look like it's ever an adverb to you, or just a post-copula adjective? I've put in an rfv since it's scheduled to be WOTD on Oct 1st. --EncycloPetey 23:23, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Re:Quotes from Milton: Because of their frequent importance, I invested in a copy of his (complete?) poetical works edited to carefully match the original punctuation, spelling, and capitalization. If you ever use a Milton quote and don't have this information, just ask. I also have a Shakespeare First Folio facsimile copy. --EncycloPetey 01:11, 28 September 2009 (UTC)