User talk:DCDuring/2010 QIII

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Anglo-Norman derivations[edit]

We have WT:RE:xno if you want to add anything. There's a website that allows you to search for attestations, and by nature they're uncopyrightable because the age of the texts involved. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:19, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

I keep on hoping for someone to extract the redlinked words in {{term}} by language. I think I have the link to that site, but I don't trust my French. DCDuring TALK 22:27, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
BTW, what I was doing is just a byproduct of cleaning up the etymologies of terms beginning in "dis". Many were claimed to be formed from dis- in English. Many were actually formed in Middle English, Anglo-Norman, Middle French, Old French, or some vintage of Latin. In addition many such terms have no Etymology section. I wonder what other affixes might be similarly fruitful of early French terms. DCDuring TALK 22:31, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Per Widsith and Barmar (separation discussions) I like adding the hard category [[Category:English words prefixed with de-]] as, even if that's not in the etymology, it's still true. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:49, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm. What was the reason for not having an etymology? Why would we want a word not formed by prefixation in English to show up in that category? I have long viewed those as etymological categories and not morphological ones and regularly add such wording to the category description. When I "clean out" material associated with a prefix, I would eliminate such entries from membership unless there was a proper etymology indicating prefixation in English. DCDuring TALK 23:28, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
I suppose the prefixing was before Modern English. I guess disagree isn't formed with a prefix, but you could say that it is prefixed. So that wouldn't go in the etymology (I agree) but it could be a hard category at the bottom of the page. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:38, 8 July 2010 (UTC)
Putting such a word in that category eliminates the possibility of using the category as a no-maintenance auto-updating replacement for hard content under "derived terms". It is already possible to find all terms beginning with any set of letters. We could also request the comparable capability for suffixes. DCDuring TALK 13:04, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Tabbed TOC[edit]

Tabbed languages now includes a working table of contents, which only displays the contents of the selected tab. If you're still not interested, it's quite understandable, but I thought I'd let you know. The TOC can be toggled on and off, but only if you don't have the right-hand TOC pref turned on, in which case it's just stuck on. I'm working on getting that fixed. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 19:43, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for persisting, despite my crankiness. As long as I can opt out, any interface improvement intended to make en-wikt easier for anons seems good. Though opt-out/in may be difficult it ought to make testing easier. Thanks for letting me know. DCDuring TALK 20:38, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Category talk:Picard Old French[edit]

Just because you asked a question about it a couple of months ago. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:06, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Your recent edits removing idiomaticity from proverbs[edit]

Hello DC -- I have doubts about some of your recent edits in which you removed "idiom" from the context of proverbs. It seems to me that any proverb which depends on a metaphorical usage (such as you can't judge a book by its cover) is also idiomatic. To be sure, some proverbs are probably not metaphorical (such as great minds think alike or necessity is the mother of invention), but a great many are.

WT:Idioms explicitly includes metaphors as idioms and explicitly characterizes non-idiomatic proverbs as "statements of wisdom whose meaning can be determined from the parts". But this leaves room for recognizing that metaphorical proverbs still qualify as idiomatic, since the meanings of metaphors cannot be derived from the usual meanings of their parts.

I think you should reconsider some of your edits. -- Ghost of WikiPedant (formerly User:WikiPedant) 15:29, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

Glad you asked. First, I believe that all proverbs are per se idiomatic in one sense of idiomatic. Accordingly, Category:English proverbs is a subcategory/member of Category:English idioms.
Most of our entries for proverbs, no matter how idiomatic they are, have not been labeled as "idioms". We risk trivializing the concept of "idiom" if we use the label to include proverbs, attributive noun-head noun noun phrases, phrasal verbs, miscellaneous non-constituents, and multiword entries for which the label is used as a fetish to attempt ward off an RfD.
I would be inclined to give proverbs a more specific analysis on their own terms. DCDuring TALK 16:04, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
I estimate my recent edits to have removed the "idiom" tag from about 40-50 entries that are now proverbs, of which 5 were not previously so labeled or categorized. This is out of 6000 idioms and about 400 proverbs, ignoring some that are probably "phrases" not labeled as "idioms". As you can see, my edits are only recognizing the existing pattern and regularizing it. DCDuring TALK 16:10, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
Hello DC -- Boy, I thought all of this was starting to sound eerily familiar -- we did have some back-and-forth about proverbiality and idiomaticity just about exactly a year ago. I'm of two minds: (1) On the one hand, yes, I agree that pretty much every proverb (even if it does not turn on a metaphorical usage) has some sort of lilt to the language or contextual appropriateness which makes its meaning a little harder to grasp for anyone but a perfectly proficient English speaker, even those proverbs which are quite literal, such as everything happens for a reason, a fool and his money are soon parted, great minds think alike. And so, yes, I agree that in this sense all proverbs can reasonably be regarded as idiomatic. But (2) on the other hand, it is not difficult to distinguish proverbs which use language more-or-less literally from those which are clearly metaphorical, supporting a perfectly reasonable distinction between idiomatic proverbs and non-idiomatic proverbs. I'd be open to further argument on this issue, but for now, I guess I'm OK with going with point-of-view (1) and acquiescing in the removal of {{idiom}} from all entries with POS proverb, since there's no need for the template if all proverbs are idioms anyway.
I understand your point and agree that a large class of proverbs are essentially metaphors. I would be inclined to incorporate that either in a category of Proverbs and/or in an Appendix. (The Appendix would be intended to provide some grist for a mill that might yield inclusion criteria to reduce controversy about includable proverbial sayings.) There may be some cases where a proverb includes figurative or idiomatic usage which already has its own entry as an idiom. I am not inclined to treat that as a heritable trait for a proverb or phrase, but could be convinced otherwise if that is how folks view it. DCDuring TALK 20:21, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
On the broader question of the overuse of the {{idiom}} template across numerous POS's, I agree that some pruning can be done, although each entry must be considered on its own merits. I'm not inclined to call single-word terms (like hotheaded) idioms, a point with which I think you agree. However, English is a mighty big tent and it really does contain lots and lots of idioms. -- Ghost of WikiPedant 19:52, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I have gotten very interested of late in w:Construction grammar. Many idioms are clearly not mere invariant set phrases. They inflect, accept adjuncts, accept many synonyms (or words of some semantic class), and generally allow all sorts of grammatical and semantic variation. This has implications for how they are presented most usefully for those with a higher level of appreciation of English. DCDuring TALK 20:21, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
PS -- BTW DC, you mentioned above that Category:English proverbs is a subcategory/member of Category:English idioms, but that's not what I see there. —This comment was unsigned.
That was what I had intended and thought I had done. DCDuring TALK 20:05, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
I have made it so. DCDuring TALK 20:21, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
[Reply to your reply to my PS] -- OK, DC, but you really shouldn't go and cite this as if it were authoritative or a supporting fact when you yourself organized the categories/subcategories in this way ;-) -- Ghost of WikiPedant 20:31, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
Well, it is rhetorically useful to be able to look at one's earlier works as if they were done by a different person. I has simply forgotten about the prior conversations. Sometimes I read some comment in an archive here and wonder "who wrote so authoritatively on this?" only to page down and find my signature. My wife is similarly blessed with a poor memory for the content of books she has read (also movies, television, etc), with the result that she can enjoy the same book every couple of years. DCDuring TALK 20:42, 20 July 2010 (UTC)
That's not too bad. Sometimes I forget that I have a wife (or did I mean to say "a life"?). Damn, now I'm lost. Why did I walk into this room, anyway? -- Ghost of WikiPedant 21:13, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

arsy varsy[edit]

I only recognise this as arsy versy. How does the Google hits for that compare? SemperBlotto 13:24, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

There are eight forms (ignoring hyphenation) on bgc, some reported in slang dictionaries. By far the most common are arsy versy (1030) and arsy varsy (397). Both should be main entries because of the slight difference in etymology, IMO. Each has 3 apparently attestable alternative spellings (the other combinations of -y and -ey). I am in process of making the other main entry. DCDuring TALK 13:31, 21 July 2010 (UTC)


Well you say "the noun" and "the verb", but the point is that there are two nouns (well three actually, but for the moment let's confine ourselves to Etymologies 1 and 2). Ety 1 is a noun which we inherited from an OE noun. However, as you rightly point out, "some of the modern senses of the noun seem to be more clearly associated with senses of the verb". Exactly so, which is dealt with by Ety 2. This is a word which was primarily a verb, but under the verb is a noun section which shows all those words which have developed from the verb (and that includes "big deal"). It would not be consistent with the facts to have one etymology for all the noun uses and another for the verb; as for whether it would be simpler or not, well, maybe, but English is unfortunately not very helpful in that respect. Ƿidsiþ 04:56, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

I also had ignored Etymology 3. I have often labored to tease apart related etymologies to provide users with intelligible groupings of senses. I don't disagree with the presentation, but I am uncertain about value of separating items derived from the OE noun and its cognate OE verb. I took an extreme position in part because I have read here comments from those who would seem to reduce such complexities, presumably in the interests of making it easier for a naive user to find all current senses in a given PoS.
Specifically, the informal senses in Etymology 2, "situation" and big deal, "unspecified object", and "the real deal" don't seem so clearly associated with Etymology 2. I am wondering how I can better understand the logic of this kind of association of meaning with Etymology and, for that matter, sense evolution in general. DCDuring TALK 11:14, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

meet with[edit]

Hi. Sense 1. Lit. OK (of course) Sense 2. have a meeting with (someone) is ok in most dicts. Sense 3. and 4. are variants of the same usage, and have support in Collins (for example) But Senses 5. and 6. ???? 5. at least needs citations - rfv?. Sense 6. is only there because meet needs a lot of work. eg. To touch or join. - ex.- The floorboards meet ("with" here is an optional preposition) the hearth stone. As always, imho. ;-) -- ALGRIF talk 11:27, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. That's roughly in line with my thinking. I was drawn to this because [[meet]] was prescriptive about the optional preposition. Is that a UK thing or just a grammar nazi thing? "Meet/meet with" didn't even rate a mention in MWDEU. Garner's discourages only "meet up with", not "meet with", except by the general principle of elminating "unnecessary" (ie, optional !) particles.
I am increasingly dissatisfied with the way CGEL punts on the grammar of phrasal verbs, though I'm sure they have good reason. What are your thoughts on w:Phrasal verb? DCDuring TALK 11:54, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
I find some grammar books can be rather "authoritarian", and more so if, like Cambridge, they are associated to an examination body. I prefer the official Wiki policy of descriptive rather than prescriptive examples. Phrasals, as you know, are a thorny area, but I like the way 'Pedia deals with the subject. Personally, I think we should have "meet with", "meet up", and "meet up with", but I might be overruled on the third one!
This leads me on to an idea I have been mulling around for a while. Phrasals and other multi-word entries is raw material for acres of screed in the forums concerning the acceptability or SoP-ness of each one. I think that a partial (or perhaps total) solution might be a Collocations tab to each entry, where typical collocations could be placed. A lot of SoP entries would in fact be useful, but unfortunately they are SoP. But showing the typical collocations of a word would give us a repository of immense value, and no arguments attached. Just as an example, think about what could be placed in the Collocations tab for "meet"! "Meet up with" now has somewhere to rest it's weary head; along with "one's eyes meet", "meet one's end", "more than meets the eye", "meet halfway", and many more. Some might well have a blue link. Most would be repeated in the tab for the collocate partner (end, eye, halfway, etc). What do you think? Would it be feasible? -- ALGRIF talk 13:03, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
MZajac advocated a similar idea, at WT:BP, I think. I don't know whether it would succeed in reducing conflict as many object to any kind of second-class status for their personal favorite terms (idiosyncratic idioms ?). As for myself, I wouldn't stoop to such solipsistic behavior, but some people [] . I think also that there are types of expressions that verge on being idioms, such as catchphrases. I've often thought that the list WP article title is a source of a useful set of collocation. Popular band names and song, movie, and fiction/self-help/pop non-fiction book titles, many of which are already WP articles, have seemed a useful source. For individual words we have our protologism Appendix. We need something similar for MWEs.
We could try creating an experimental entry with an illegal header "Collocations" or simply create a list of such terms under a {{rel-top}} under Derived terms. [[meet]] would not be my choice for the first experiment; probably not any word on the top 1000, or even on the GSL list. I might prefer to experiment with meet with and meet up (and other phrasal verbs using "meet" so that we could have a shorter list at [[meet]] itself. DCDuring TALK 14:19, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
I've put a tentative header in forced, if you want to peek and comment. -- ALGRIF talk 13:04, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

web pages as transient[edit]

Hello -- you had spoken to me thrugh EncycloPetey's talk page about a month ago ... see User talk:EncycloPetey#web pages as transient. I've taken your good advice and started a thread at the Beer Parlour → Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Inquiry - versus As I noted on EncyloPetey's page, I did do a search of the archives and found that this topic appears not to have been previously discussed .. at least not at the Parlour. --Ceyockey 03:15, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

WT:RFDO#Category:English homophones[edit]

I'm requesting your input, please.​—msh210 (talk) 16:08, 11 August 2010 (UTC)


Isn't turbellae from turba and not turbō the verb? Caladon 08:11, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Yes. I blame my eyesight as the sources I consulted all have "turba". Common sense should have led me away from the verb, but I am willing to ascribe all sorts of atrocities to New Latin (which this part of the derivation was not, but I thought was), and was rushing through turbellarian to complete a cleanup of [[-arian]]. Thanks for catching it. Sadly my corrections themselves have a non-zero error rate that doesn't seem to be declining any more. Feel free to make any corrections that you have reasonable confidence in. I watch these things and would ask, revise, undo, or revert without rancor if I thought a revision was wrong. DCDuring TALK 10:20, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

cede, seed and ceed[edit]

Sorry for the confusion. I should have paid attention at what the term "suffix" entails. Is there any other way in wiktionary to group words by a specific termination? E.g., for rhymes. --Waldir 14:41, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

We are wrestling with this a bit. See, for example, WT:BP#Long lists of cognates in etymologies. There is obviously something perfectly natural about pointing out the relatedness of the words you grouped. The three groups of words (plus "supersede") pose two distinct kinds of relatedness in our structure, but the distinction is not entirely natural to normal users.
All the words ending in "cede" (and "cede" itself) are derived from verbs already formed in Latin (or earlier !?!) by compounding a prefix to cedo (cedere). We could show them all as descendants at cedo#Descendants. (We don't, yet.) OTOH, someone working on Latin entries might just show "intercede" as a descendant at intercedo#Descendants. (We don't, yet.) It is messier yet for English as Latin words may have entered English, Middle English, Anglo-Norman, or {less commonly) Old English and via French (modern, Middle, Old) or occasionally via Spanish, Italian, or other Romance language.
The words ending in ceed and sede fit into this line of descent, further illustrating complications.
BTW, you might find this website on affixes interesting and useful. You can also use OneLook which has wild-card searches to find words ending in any group of letter. Wikisearch lacks the kind of capability a dictionary needs for this.
"Seed" is different. Most words ending in "seed" were formed in English by compounding or were derived from words formed analogously in Middle English or Old English. (There are other derivational possibilities, such as calques of words in other modern languages.) We do not now have any mechanism for automatically categorizing them. We do so manually under "Derived terms" at seed. Only in the last year or so have we begun to use {{compound}} for them. Categorization can be added to {{compound}} and may well be when we decide on how to present the information.
The risk of doing this badly can be seen in -arian, which as of a week ago (See history.) had a ridiculous list of derived terms including obviously wrong derivations such as "Hungarian", less obvious ones like "Tolcharian", and others, such as those mentioned in the -arian#Usage notes DCDuring TALK 15:13, 13 August 2010 (UTC)
It makes sense to put these at the places you mentioned (e.g. cedo#Descendants), but as you said, it might not be natural to normal users to search there. So, in Wiktionary all entries starting with a hyphen are explicitly for suffixes? If not, we could simply change the line in -cede -seed -ceed to read "termination", "word ending", "rhyme", or something alike, which would be more generic and more importantly, not incorrect. I appreciate the links you gave me and will surely use them myself (currently I use wolfram alpha for the effect), but I think it would be great if Wiktionary could provide users with this kind of information. What do you think? --Waldir 19:10, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, all entries beginning with "-" are supposed to suffixes in English (Other languages have additional possibilities in principle.). We don't have a very long list of "parts of speech" (See WT:ELE.). We do have a system for rhymes in the pronunciation section, but that requires knowledge of IPA.
I'll take a look at "wolfram alpha".
Within our existing rules, we could probably redirect users from [[-cede]] to [[cedo]] or to [[cede]]. We should have an entry at [[sede#English]] for an obsolete spelling of "seed" and also one at [[sede#Middle English]]. But [[-sede]] should probably redirect to [[supersede]] or [[cedo]]. And [[-seed]] should redirect to [[seed]]. We could have a Usage note at [[cede]] like but more elaborate than what I put at [[-arian]]. That only works because we happen to have an entry at [[cede]].
If we consider changing the rules then more options may seem open, but changing the rules is a real pain. If we thought through some kind of disambiguation page concept where there are multiple etymological paths that lead to a given word ending, that might lead folks to contemplate such a proposal. I think we may now have a long-standing policy or practice against pure disambiguation pages, but I can't remember whether it is explicit. DCDuring TALK 20:33, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
Would you mind performing these changes? I'm not entirely sure I'd do them right, especially the additions to current entries. --Waldir 11:01, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

Hey, what about Rhymes:English? --Waldir 12:36, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

You might be onto something there. I have been skeptical about the value of rhymes for "normal" users:
  1. I fear the IPA scares users away. (It scares me away!)
  2. It is not a general solution for multi-syllable suffixes/word endings (See "-arian".), as there can be almost as much variation in pronunciation (esp., stress pattern and vowel pronunciation) as in morphology/etymology.
I hold out hope for wildcard search or word-ending disambiguation pages. I'll raise the question about wildcard search at WT:GP and/or WT:GP. Based on the prospects or alternative solutions suggested, I might raise the word-ending access problem more general at BP. DCDuring TALK 15:23, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Judging by "what links here" for Rhymes: -ɛəriən, most of the words ending in "arian" shown on that page do not have links to the rhyme page. Also, see the note on that rhyme page for an example of two issues: alternative pronunciations and red-linked rhyme pages. DCDuring TALK 15:39, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Also see rhyme at cede#Pronunciation. It excludes the "s" sound so the rhyme page is not selective enough to be user-friendly. IOW, the Rhyme concept needs more widespread implementation to be useful for this purpose. How's your IPA? DCDuring TALK 15:49, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
  • My IPA is very basic, but I think it would work quite well if we had a template displaying tooltips over each IPA symbol (e.g.: "s as in sea"). See w:Template:IPAc-en for a possible implementation.
  • As for the -arian issue, it seems the problem was mainly caused by treating the suffix as a general word ending (the same mistake I commited). If those words were under the rhymes page, I think the list would make complete sense. There's the pronunciation problem, but I don't think it's a deal-breaker. As long as the note is visible, I wouldn't mind visiting other pages if I speak a variant where they are pronounced the same.
  • Regarding wildcard search: While we don't have that, could we at least add external links such as this? There could be a template {{ending}} which could construct the link given the intended ending as a parameter.
  • Finally, a suggestion: I think the rhymes should be ordered in reverse (from the end of the word to the beginning), and by sound, not by letter. This would mean that, e.g., cottonseed, intercede and supersede would be listed together. Does this make sense? --Waldir 18:53, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes. All of your thoughts make a lot of sense.
  1. What would actually be useful content for such tooltips? Wouldn't the content of the tooltip have to differ by language or by user preference? What would the default be for unregistered users?
  2. OK
  3. Wildcard search on OneLook within an entry (which would be relegated to External links) is not a good substitute for wildcard search within wiktionary, especially from main search box.
  4. To clarify, are you saying that rhymes for "ercede" comes first (?), then those for "cede", then those for "ede"?
-- DCDuring TALK 21:08, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
  1. Yes, I didn't think of that but using the language preference is quite sensible. I don't think that would be a problem for the javascript gurus here at wiktionary :) This is extensively used in commons, for the template autotranslation feature. Regarding unregistered users, we could think of some kind of IP-based geolocation, but I think that's too much. this is the English Wiktionary after all. Besides, I hate when websites display content in Spanish because I'm in Spain, so YMMV.
  2. N/A
  3. You're right. Too bad we'll have to wait for the devs to implement that in mediawiki. I wonder if there's a bug requesting that already in bugzilla.
  4. What I mean is the words ending with the sound /siːd/ (regardless of whether it is written "seed", "sede", "ceed" or "cede") should come together in the rhyme listing, instead of alphabetically. Of course, we'd have to choose between that or the syllables-based sections. For instance, some of the words listed -iːd would be ordered as (ignore my pseudo-IPA): Eid (iːd), bead(biːd), deed(diːd), indeed(ndiːd), misdeed(sdiːd), feed(fiːd), heed(hiːd), lead(liːd), bleed(bliːd), plead(pliːd), mead(miːd), knead(niːd), need(niːd), impede(mpiːd), speed(spiːd), read(riːd), breed(briːd), greed(griːd), reread(iriːd), creed(kriːd), screed(skriːd), seed(siːd), recede(risiːd), precede(prisiːd), accede(əksiːd), succeed(səksiːd), exceed(ɛksiːd), emceed(msiːd), concede(kɒnsiːd), cottonseed(tɒnsiːd), proceed(oʊsiːd), supersede(pərsiːd), intercede(tərsiːd), steed(tiːd), weed(uiːd). As you can see (e.g. in knead vs need), when the words are homophones, I resort to alphabetical order. Does this make things clearer? Does it make sense to you? Waldir 21:35, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
It certainly makes sense. I was just thinking that on the entry page we should have either only the link to the longest rhyme that actually exists (by number of syllables or phonemes) or to each of the many rhyme pages. If only the link to the longest rhyme page appeared, then the rhyme page would have itself have a link to page for the the next shorter rhyme. But all of that must have been covered at Rhymes:English. See also talk pages for Wiktionary:Pronunciation and Wiktionary:Rhymes. DCDuring TALK 22:28, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that it makes more sense to link each entry to the longest existing rhyme page that it belongs to. Listing all of them would be too much, imo. I really would like to see these changes implemented, but I'm not active enough to undertake such a project. Maybe we could link to this discussion in the Beer parlour (or some other place, if you find it more appropriate) and see whether other people get interested in the idea. What do you say? --Waldir 12:31, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps Wiktionary Talk:Pronunciation or Wiktionary Talk:Rhymes would be places to get more of the implementers involved. If no one objects you might be able to demonstrate how the implementation would look and how much work was involved. BP would be the next step or possibly a kind of appeals court if you didn't find acceptable resolution at the narrower forums. DCDuring TALK 13:58, 30 August 2010 (UTC)


Hello! I have a problem with Finnish SoP-translations to English non-Sop terms. The verb eighty-six serves as a good example. It can be translated into Finnish as poistaa listalta or heittää roskikseen. However, these terms would be SoP's in Finnish and therefore subject to deletion in future, if I wrote them. In order to avoid red links, I wrote them in the form poistaa listalta and heittää roskikseen. When you edited the page, you obviously reasoned that there are commas missing, and now they look like poistaa, listalta and heittää, roskikseen, which of course is misleading to say the least. What would be the correct way to handle this type of situations? Perhaps poistaa (listalta) and heittää (roskikseen), or poistaa listalta and heittää roskikseen? --Hekaheka 10:38, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I didn't really reason that way. They appeared on two separate lines, so that the rfc-trans message for duplicate language appeared. I think that your intended approach should work. I made the changes, in one case retaining {{t}}, in the other not, using conventional section editing. Now let's see whether the bot rejects it. If it does, it seems like a problem with the bot. DCDuring TALK 10:56, 15 August 2010 (UTC)
It appears that there's been no reaction from a bot. Do you think the ttbc-tags can be removed? --Hekaheka 06:11, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
In my experience, the bots check changes quickly, often the same day. But sometimes I see entries return months later for the same cleanup task. IOW, the experiment is not yet complete. I don't remove many English lemmas from my watchlist, so I'll find out eventually if there's a problem.
I don't see why the ttbcs can't be removed. I insert ttbc|Finnish (and attention|fi) tags only to efficiently and unobtrusively communicate with fi-knowledgeable contributors. Basically, that means you! Ttbc is almost always a request to make sure that a change I made for cleanup reasons hasn't messed things up. As far as I am concerned, if you say something Finnish-related is OK, it's OK. I don't think the ttbc's serve any other function, except possibly to prevent uncertain translations from spreading to other wikts via the t-bot. DCDuring TALK 11:07, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Sicilian etymology references re[edit]


  1. Sorry but I didn't understand rightly the first question.
  2. For the Sicilian etymologies, there is no much on web, only the suppositions expressed on the Sicilian Wiktionary or on this page [1] notwithstanding they are a few. For the rest I use to consult the same Wiktionary controlling Latin, Ancient Greek, Spanish, Catalan, Arab and French in the hope to find the requested word "ancestry".
  3. For Italian etimologies i use this [2]. There are a lot of words, almoust all.

Sorry for my eventual inefficiency. Cheers --Zoologo 19:14, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

Ok I understood. Indeed I don't own any book o print source. I know about the best etimology source: Vocabolario siciliano etimologico, italiano e latino of the abbot Michele Pasqualino edited in Palermo in 1789. Write soon...--Zoologo 20:07, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
The etymology of the word liscio


liscio provençal= lis; spanish and portug.= liso; french( XV century)= lisse. From Old High German LISE (which is suppose the existence from an adverb which appears in X century). Middle High German= LISE, LIS; Early New High German= LEISE= soft, light and fig. unobserved and Modern German =low, through a barbarized latin= LISEUS. Also the Ancient Greek LISSòS, if it could penetrate in the classical latin but this is highly improbable because it doesn't explain the appearance of sc(ʃ) sound. However Kluge supposes that LISI and LISSOS could be etymologycally linked with Greek= LEIOS and latin= LEVIS, maybe having a common root.

I hope I was useful. However, if I understood you'd want an aid for Romance languages etymologies... If it's this, i can collaborate. Bye --Zoologo 22:32, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

You're welcome, i'm happy to be helpful --Zoologo 23:15, 19 August 2010 (UTC)


What's current consensus about adding quotations in the entry vs using the citations tab?--Brett 03:24, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

In the entry tself, under each specific sense. Atelaes developed some Javascript that allows such quotations to be concealed until user pulls them down. DCDuring TALK 05:00, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

Everything is an adjective![edit]

Lasciate ogni speranza!

  • 1990, A. C. Lazer and P. J. McKenna, “Large-Amplitude Periodic Oscillations in Suspension Bridges: Some New Connections with Nonlinear Analysis”,[3] in SIAM Review, Volume 32 Number 4 (December 1990), Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, page 539:
    FIG. 1. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge. (a) The original bridge which was light, flexible, two lane, and cost $6 million. Photo 01940 Seattle Times. (b) The replacement bridge, which is heavy, rigid, four-lane, and cost $15 million. Photo 01974 Seattle Times.

RuakhTALK 19:37, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

I don't get excited about human language error, even same-breath inconsistency. Bridge-design error, for example, is much more important after all. I don't believe in the metaphysical existence of any PoS, so my hopes can't be so easily dashed. PoS categories are just bins. The bins that haven't required so much relabeling and re-shuffling of contents are the best in an evolutionary sense. Some "newcomers" show promise, like "determiner".
Who says either is an adjective?
The principle value of suppressing adjective entries for the attributive use that doesn't meet the adjective tests is just to eliminate all the duplication and to facilitate the identification of senses unique to the adjective. If users and contributors really need to see an adjective entry, I don't know how we can highlight the distinctive senses. This business of acting as if we can successfully serve all possible users often confronts us with difficulties in that most users don't really have the explicit grammatical knowledge that our entries sometimes presuppose. Even if we made it all explicit, apparently the least-read part of any dictionary is the front material. I still haven't mastered all parts of pages F7-F53 of my 1987 Longmans DCE.
  1. Do you think there is any value to having an adjective PoS section that we insert when an adjective PoS section is deleted on "attributive use" grounds?
  2. I have come across instances where a compound is used first attributively, then as a noun (eg, poison pen letter seems to predate poison pen#Noun and walk-off homer [or "-home run"] seems to predate walk-off#Noun. Many dictionaries seem to show such terms as adjectives, though these cases seem not to have gotten proper treatment in OneLook dictionaries. Should the diachronic facts (if correct) trump the synchronic fiction we (at least I) try to maintain about the primacy of nouns?
Your thoughts are always appreciated. DCDuring TALK 20:26, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I often think we dumb down and try to avoid readers using their brains. The danger with that is they pick up grammar and 'general rules' slower and they're being spoonfed the answers. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:29, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I don't really know how people learn these things. Native speakers seemingly dispense with explicit knowledge of syntax. I do know that we don't make it easy for any class of user to pick up grammar. What is your theory of how a dictionary would help? Usage examples? Usage notes? Grammar context tags and labels? Grammar appendices? Should all nouns include at least one usage example for one sense with attributive use? All senses? Should we force Atelaes to make sure that we always have two usage examples on display for noun senses?
I am constantly amazed at the complexity of English grammar, much of which I had an adequate working command of. But I could not and cannot articulate some of the most basic, for example, that any (non-obsolete) noun can be used attributively without violating syntax. DCDuring TALK 23:30, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
I didn't intend this as an example of human error; despite the multi-level coordination and the variation in hyphenation, I have to say the sentence seems relatively natural to me (though obviously it did strike me enough for me to notice it, copy it here, and suggest we abandon all hope). I'm not sure whether examples like this mean we need to re-evaluate our approach. I mean, I have always felt that our obsessive insistence on assigning each sense of each term to a specific POS, and separating different POSes' senses with as many onym and translation sections as we can cram in, is not beneficial; but taking that insistence as a given, I think our current approach to "adjective" vs. "attributive noun" is probably the best we can do. We shouldn't forget, though, that attributive nouns have a tendency to shade subtly into adjectives, and man can they be sneaky about it! :-P   —RuakhTALK 22:02, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
The tests, principally gradability and use after become, seem reasonable, especially as we don't usually apply them one sense at a time. There doesn't seem to be anything inevitable about the conversion to true adjective, although a highly polysemic noun used attributively in more and more collocations seems fairly likely to convert.
Another query: Part of the rationale for having an adjective PoS for nouns used attributively is that other languages often have a different word for the noun when used attributively. How do we make sure that translators remember to add the adjectives when appropriate under our existing approach? DCDuring TALK 23:30, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

talkback: Nils von Barth – affix entries[edit]

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non-headword search[edit]

In the GP, what do you mean by "non-headword search"? Do you mean searching for the word "boating" in pages other than boating or boat? --Bequw τ 04:08, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

I mean the search selected by "search" rather than "go" under the old skin, which is what I should have said. It is my understanding that the "go" search, if it fails, calls the broader search. I can off course cause the search now invoked to fail, which enables me to do the search that I really want.
For example, I was trying to root out instances of the use of the much less common anecdotic from our entries where anecdotal is better. The current search seems to be just the search formerly invoked by "go". It finds the entry anecdotic and nothing else. Typing "anecdotm" gives a failed result and allows a different search. I am not sure, but the search then seems to use stemming. I am not sure that it first uses exact search. Thanks for pursuing this. DCDuring TALK 10:31, 5 September 2010 (UTC)
Gotcha. Hopefully answered now at WT:GP. --Bequw τ 14:58, 5 September 2010 (UTC)


Hi DCDuring,

At Wiktionary:Grease pit#Finding out which pages call {{langname}} with a language name instead of a code, does your comment mean that you think it's user-unfriendly to change (e.g.) lang=Italian to lang=it? Or only that it's user-unfriendly to make lang=Italian unnecessarily nonfunctional? If the latter, then I take it you're O.K. with changing {{langname}} to make lang=Italian trackdownable?

RuakhTALK 19:16, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

My interest is first with what is displayed, which should always be language names not codes. Second, accepting input in our most common templates using language names and not just language codes seems desirable. I don't know the cost in terms of template complexity. It is hard to oppose on any logical grounds having the ability to track down the instances of "lang=Italian".
But I am concerned that the impulse to convert everything to language codes is symptomatic of an ever-growing separation between contributors and users. At the very least the templates that a user would use to start an entry should not require the use of language codes, unless we make provision for informing a contributor of the language code based on the L2 header. Once an L2 section is begun, there are likely to be instances of the language code available in the edit window. Maybe my concern is unrealistic: We may get little useful contribution from users who are not somewhat aware of our format and templates. But if we delete poorly formatted contributions and increase the knowledge required to usefully format an entry, we will be closing ourselves off from user contributions.
It might be useful to scan L2 sections to see whether all of them contain the correct language code for the L2 in at least one template in the section. An absence of such a code is prima facie evidence of likely problems in the L2 section: no proper use of templates. Once all L2s had the lang= code, maybe I wouldn't worry so much about allowing full language names. DCDuring TALK 23:21, 12 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughts. I read all of them, but will reply to only a few, I hope that's O.K.
Re: "My interest is first with what is displayed, which should always be language names not codes": I agree. Currently, we're pretty good about this; the only exceptions I can think of are:
  • Topical categories (Category:fr:Animals and so on), derivations categories (Category:fr:English derivations and so on), and possibly some other categories. (This we can certainly fix, and I find it a bit embarrassing that we never have.)
  • Our domain-name,, and those of our sister projects. (Obviously we have no control over this; and it's not a bad system, anyway.)
  • In {{t}}, {{t+}}, and {{t-}}. (I can't think of a better approach here, but there probably is one.)
Re: "Second, accepting input in our most common templates using language names and not just language codes seems desirable": I agree. I think language codes are always preferable — they let us language-tag our HTML, they let us choose better default fonts, they let templates do more and better things — but many templates can use language names with only diminished functionality. (It may also help — though I suspect this won't fly — to stop assuming lang=en as a default. Many templates would do better to assume that they simply don't know the language. Then it becomes cleanupable, whereas currently an erroneous {{slang}} where {{slang|lang=fr}} is needed will likely never be detected.)
Re: "I don't know the cost in terms of template complexity": Not bad. Templates that only use the language-code in order to generate the language name will not need to be any more complex; generating the language-name already requires special code to handle templates like {{ang}} (which by default produces [[Old English]] rather than Old English), so it's not more complex to just call {{langname}}. Templates that use the language-code in other ways may need to become a bit more complex, but overall there are only a few things that we use language codes for, and any complexity can be factored out into special templates that handle those things. Indeed, much of it already is.
Re: " [] if we delete poorly formatted contributions [] ": Do we? I think that poorly-formatted contributions are at higher risk of deletion (or reversion) than well-formatted ones, but I don't think that it alone is ever a factor. I would hope, at least, that admins have the sense to format contributions, or tag them for cleanup, when formatting is the only problem.
Re: "It is hard to oppose on any logical grounds having the ability to track down the instances of 'lang=Italian'": O.K., then. I've made that change now.
Thanks again,
RuakhTALK 17:54, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Two minor points. (1) Re {{t}} and its sisters: The display refers to the Web site, so it's pretty appropriate that it uses the abbreviation. (2) Re {{slang}}: I believe AF adds language codes.​—msh210 (talk) 19:52, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
If AF can do that, does it not do something similar for {{etyl}} (only the L2 header and "-" are valid for the second parameter) and all context tags? DCDuring TALK 20:02, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I believe it does it for all context tags. You can ask Robert. (Or do some test edits, removing language codes from context tags and adding {{rfc-auto}}.) I doubt it would do it for {{etyl}}: how would it know whether to add "-" or a langcode? but you can, again, ask Robert, or test.​—msh210 (talk) 20:27, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
AF doesn't correct {{etyl}}. That's why I generate Wiktionary:Todo/etyl problems. --Bequw τ 04:11, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I have been getting even more long-winded lately.
I rather doubted that we disagreed. I just seized an opportunity to lobby for somewhat related matters. I had no intention of blocking anything, just trying to adjust priorities a little. Certainly if you and BEQUW are in agreement or even just not in disagreement, I am very unlikely to disagree, especially if the matter is tainted with technicality.
Our templates and formatting are pretty daunting to would-be contributors. Why would someone expect that they had to enter a language or a language code, especially if the language was English? Any reasonable user of a non-wiktionary WMF wiki does not have to enter language codes. Treating it as a cleanup matter makes a great deal of sense in non-English sections, less so in English language, where the amount of effort required is large. When I review English categories, I often find non-English entries that have missing lang parameters in templates.
The first times someone enters material in a new language, the contributor may not have determined the language code or may not know or may have forgotten that the language code/language name is needed. Is there a way to get a reminder in the face of anon contributors and new registered users? Or is it better to treat such missing information as an indicator of other likely inadequacies in the entry? DCDuring TALK 20:02, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Y'know, it's just occurred to me that it's not terribly useful to support language-names, even minimally, if we make a point of always changing them to language-codes, because users will never realize that language-names are supported … —RuakhTALK 18:38, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I've been worried about that. I don't view this langname/langcode matter as essentially technical. It is about users.
If the folks who were taking on larger-scale user-interface improvement projects were around, I wouldn't be so concerned about our stale old edit-box interface. But some of our most active technical talent seem to be interested in building edifices that they control rather than in serving anon and casual users. As a result, I feel that the debate about langnames vs langcodes is a debate about our attitude toward anon and casual contributors. Is our user base growing? Our share of users? Are we getting contributions other than through the form-of plural and verb form links and the add-translation box? Are we making it harder for casual contributors to contribute?
We certainly don't have idiot-proof interfaces for them. We have incredibly elaborate formatting rules (partially undocumented) and practices (mostly undocumented) and complex templates that make it easier for experienced users. We haven't even brought our existing entries into a very high level of conformity with our rules or our rules into conformity with our best practices. Can users really make good inferences from our entries about what our preferred practices are?
I wish I understood what the grand program of template dirigiste-flavored reform was/is in aid of. I hope (against experience) that it is not as MG says. I found I was enjoying things here more when the dirigistes were not around. I really miss Atelaes, Conrad, RU, and Visviva and look forward to Hippietrail's return as well. DCDuring TALK 19:15, 16 September 2010 (UTC)


Hi. Can you please say why have you made this edit? --Daniel. 03:17, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

I think it appeared on some list on a Wiktionary:Todo subpage. DCDuring TALK 10:10, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Could you tell be why you do such non-transparent implementations of category naming? DCDuring TALK 10:12, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
What non-transparent implementations of category naming? I have simply followed instructions from Template:rfap and Category:Requests for audio pronunciation. If English requests for audio pronunciation are not supposed to be at Category:Requests for audio pronunciation (English), then these instructions are misleading and the template displays the defect of not redirecting |lang=en to the proper (?) category. --Daniel. 14:24, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Did you look at the cleanup subpages at Wiktionary:Todo? There may be some relics produced by AutoFormat from some earlier naming convention. Revising naming conventions for a mature project is not easily done, not matter how desirable from the perspective of one group of contributors or even of the community at large. CI and RU have shown good judgment in tackling the implementation of changes, especially transitions. As the "instructions" are even worse that typical "user needs" statements, they have to be carried out with at least the amount of good judgment that CI and RU have displayed. Even the highly desirable limitation of the display of quotations by Atelaes had some rough edges in its roll-out. And we have not realized all of the benefits because of the need to clean up many, many Quotations headers.
My concern about Category naming is associated in my mind with the undesirable structure of the content of category pages, with some having a huge amount of "content" such as links to other projects, sometimes redlinked, that pushes the actual content (category membership) off the landing screen. You have not been very diligent until recently at seeking feedback from the user community at large, nor at applying your skills to the really difficult challenges that we have in increasing the usability of entries. I view the Appendix-only efforts as a waste of your talents, but, if you wish to continue to do so, that is your prerogative. DCDuring TALK 15:29, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
re: armadillo. Following are the similar changes made. I was depopulating a red category based on Special:WantedCategories.
  1. (show/hide) 07:01, 24 September 2010 (diff | hist) armadillo ‎ (→Pronunciation: -lang=en) (top) [rollback]
  2. (show/hide) 07:00, 24 September 2010 (diff | hist) bleach ‎ (→Pronunciation: -lang=en) (top) [rollback]
  3. (show/hide) 06:58, 24 September 2010 (diff | hist) criterion ‎ (→Pronunciation: -lang=en) (top) [rollback]
  4. (show/hide) 06:57, 24 September 2010 (diff | hist) enhance ‎ (→Pronunciation: -lang=en) (top) [rollback]
  5. (show/hide) 06:56, 24 September 2010 (diff | hist) feng shui ‎ (→Pronunciation: - usage notes header, -lang=en) (top) [rollback]
  6. (show/hide) 06:55, 24 September 2010 (diff | hist) psalm ‎ (→Pronunciation: -lang=en) (top) [rollback] DCDuring TALK 16:07, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but there are too many presumably unrelated subjects in a short frame of text. Let me see if I understood correctly: You are talking about a "mature project" of categorization that I'm revising, so definitely it is not Category:Requests for audio pronunciation and its subcategories. For instance, are you against how Category:English language links to various related pages and describes major subcategories?
I don't remember neglecting the opinions of the Wiktionarian community, to provide a constrast between non-dilligent and dilligent selves. Yet, thanks for the praises I can see scattered in your message.
How can, for example, Appendix:Star Wars derivations be a waste?
As for applying my skills to challenges of usability... If I didn't ever apply skills related to challenges of usability, you wouldn't know that I possess them; good. I'm also regularly receiving suggestions on how to improve Wiktionary, which as accepted would be usually listed here and worked upon regularly. --Daniel. 16:54, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Sorry that I couldn't be clear enough for you. I'm sure your attitudes and behavior are beyond improvement and any disagreements are due to my stupidity, age, etc. DCDuring TALK 20:08, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think sarcasm will help. --Daniel. 20:25, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Deletion requests#Wikiquote[edit]

Hello. Since you participated in the deletion discussion above, I thought I might like to hear some input from you regarding this one. Thanks. TeleComNasSprVen 12:32, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Done/ DCDuring TALK 13:02, 26 September 2010 (UTC)


Much as the word gets on my nerves, I'll include it if I spot one and remember to do so. I suppose you've seen the collection at Equinox 15:09, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

I have disliked the word, but it is very useful as a search term. I would welcome a substitute that was nearly as useful. Suggestions? Thanks for trying to keep it in mind. Actually, I haven't seen that collection. Thanks. My special interest is in what of this type our users feel a need to enter or request. In some ways it is better raw data than linguist's collections. Perhaps we can take advantage of the evidence that their actions may offer us, accommodate their needs, and reduce some frivolous requests and entries.
I was thinking of asking SB and Dblfrs (sp?) to keep an eye peeled for the same. Perhaps "only a snowclone" (or something more user-friendly) could be a deletion reason. Once I have tested the waters, done a bit more research, and at least done my user-page draft of an Appendix, I will mention the matter on BP to try to get more eyes on it. DCDuring TALK 15:25, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Snowclone appendices[edit]

Seeing as you have recently been interested in snowclones, I thought I might acquaint you with an appendix I've been working on: Appendix:Snowclones. — lexicógrafo | háblame — 15:36, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

I had noted it around when you began working on it. That you were gave me hope that we might get somewhere on this long-standing irritant, problem, issue, opportunity, or dead end. I think we have to treat it as an opportunity just to determine whether it "really" is a dead end lexicographically or, more to the point, wiktionarily. IMO it can't succeed at Wiktionary unless there are a few people doing it. Two is way better than one, but not enough for something of this probable scope. Also, see w:Construction grammar for a generalization of the notion that may be more useful from a language-learner perspective, than the kind of curiosities that fill most discussions that use the word "snowclone". I think of snowclones as how folks can get interested in and exemplify the possibility of entries for the larger class of "constructions". I think WT:RFD#piece of clothing offers the other end of the space of possible entries for constructions. The common elements of both may give us some clues about what is essential to the concept and useful to Wiktionary. DCDuring TALK 15:57, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

You made a mistake[edit]

Why did you revert my edit to the definition "ugly"? All I did was correct a spelling mistake. Someone had spelt "obesaty" instead of "obesity". I just changed the spelling to it's correct form, then you go and revert it and say it was vandalism! Either you made a mistake or you were trying to be witty. How dare you! It was a first-class edit and you go and revert it! I expect you to re-revert it and and to receive a written apology from you for your disgraceful antics. Best wishes, Marco. 06:28, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

This is not what most people would consider to be "correcting a spelling mistake". And now you are blocked. Any chance you might consider not wasting time vandalizing the work of volunteers? --Yair rand (talk) 06:33, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

derv etymologies[edit]

Hello. What's all this derv business? Are compound and blend obsolete now or something? Equinox 20:37, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Definitely not obsolete. I have grown frustrated with the incompleteness of our Derived and Related terms lists. I would like to make them Category-driven, which eases maintenance greatly if component words autocategorize. Ruakh thought I should try a one-component at a time approach: Each unit of a morphological derivation has its own template that specifies the categorization. This is particularly good for prototyping, which is the stage it is in now. You could look at Category:English derived terms to get an idea of how little I have done so far. I am now scavenging around for erroneous uses of {{prefix}}, {{suffix}}, and {{compound}} and for words with no templates in the etymology or no etymology at all. When I have more than one member of a derived terms category, it is a candidate for bolder steps.
I need to consider how much further I can go before getting some greater consensus. I am now operating on the lack of opposition to my posting of what I have done. I probably need to have a new section and highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the approach. The idea was to get some sense of how long a purely manual approach takes. Conversion of {{compound}} and {{confix}} to autocategorization is not straightforward if there are more than two components. Conversion of {{prefix}} and {{suffix}} to autocategorize bases is not hard. The problem is that each language may have its own issues. English needs this kind of thing the most, so other languages may only see cost and little benefit.
The options are:
  1. manual implementation in English
  2. template replacement by bot in English
  3. all-language implementation
Both 2 and 3 require a lot of consensus. My hope is that pushing ahead non-disruptively on 1 will provide enough demonstration to win more consensus to achieve 2 or 3. DCDuring TALK 21:05, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Other places to look are: Template talk:derv and WT:BP on diachronic vs synchronic etymology and Raif'har's ideas on templates. DCDuring TALK 21:11, 30 September 2010 (UTC)