User talk:Doremítzwr/Archive/01

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Please stop messing up plurals. Jonathan Webley 15:17, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm not 'messing up plurals'; if you would like me to give you reasons for the plurals I write, feel free to ask - I would be entirely willing to explain. Doremítzwr 15:22, 2 June 2006 (UTC)



The plurals we accept in Wiktionary are those found in standard English dictionaries. Any others are just vandalism. Please stop. If you wish to start a deabte on this subject try the tea room. Jonathan Webley 15:27, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for taking the mature approach and discussing the subject in the Beer Parlour. Jonathan Webley 20:31, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

No problem (by the way, sorry I didn't open the discussion in the Tea Room - I believed that the Beer Parlour was a better forum for that kind of topic). I (being a new user) was unaware that there was a specific policy for determining legitimate plurals (although, in retrospect, I ought to have guessed); being that there is one, it is best that I endeavour to change it, rather than simply edit entries contrary to its guidelines, without at least giving my reasons first. However, being that I wrote practically everything in the English section of the scenario entry (previously, all there was under the English section was the title "Noun" followed by the one word "scenario" (in bold) without a definition), I believe that entry ought to be left unaltered until the discussion has taken its course; for that reason, I shall revert the plural form of scenario to scenarii until such time. I hope this is acceptable to you, and that this discussion can now commence in the Beer Parlour.

Doremítzwr 22:18, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Ho hum, talk talk is better than an edit war. We try to achieve consensus where possible. If you're keen, there is still lots and lots to do, for example. Jonathan Webley 18:10, 3 June 2006 (UTC)


Please see the discussion Wiktionary:Requests for verification#myrialemma. — Paul G 05:41, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

combining languages[edit]

On Wiktionary we have always given separate sections for each language in which a word has a definition, never combining languages in the same header. See for instances how I have split your entry on Ancien Régime to see the usual format. Note also that this particular entry is a bit of an oddball, since the French definition really needs to exist rather than a simple translation. The entry for hyperbole is another good example to look at. --EncycloPetey 04:12, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Not that I mind (you edited the entry far better than whoever did so last), but why bother? Both sections say the same thing. Doremítzwr 04:14, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
The language headers are standardized across wiktionary. It also makes it much easier to know how to cross link entries to specific language sections when the headers are invariant. --EncycloPetey 04:16, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
OK. I was unaware of that. Doremítzwr 04:17, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
It also makes it possible to add separate pronunciations, etymologies, and quotations -- which most definitely should not be combined in the same section. --EncycloPetey 04:18, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that the etymology was the only (minor) difference betwixt the two sections. Point taken. Doremítzwr 04:20, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
By the way, you may want to edit the lower case entry (ancien régime) - it has a similar layout to Ancien Régime. Doremítzwr 04:23, 16 June 2006 (UTC)


Oh, and before I forget (and before I log off here in a moment), Wiktionary frowns on redirects (unlike Wikipedia). When a spelling is legitimate for any language, it gets a separate entry, even if the entry consists mainly in saying that there is a more common standard spelling and linking to that entry. The reason for this is partly that there are regional differences, so we want to avoid wars over things like color (US) vs colour (UK). When the variation in spelling results from the addition of diacriticals, we insert a {see|this one} tag at the top of the page, since some people may have trouble typing certain characters. See the page more for an example involving capitalization. This is a lot to dump on you, but I do it because you're actively contributing to Wiktionary, and I would very much like to see that continue to the best work we can get from you :) --EncycloPetey 04:25, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you very much. I included the redirects so that people who could not / found it difficult to write diacritics could access sénéchal, sénéchaux, Ancien Régime, et cetera; I have never seen any of these words written without diacritics (the more Anglacised spellings of the first two are seneschal and seneschaux). I am also logging off right now, so I'll look into everything you said after a much needed nap. Doremítzwr 04:31, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

coördinate et alibi[edit]

See answer on my talk page. —scs 19:45, 27 June 2006 (UTC)


I have issued a very short-term block, while trying to assess the damage you have done to coordinate and related entries. Please do not re-enter the bogus entry again. Do not redirect correct English entries to your imaginary entries with diacritics. Thank you. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:54, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I would like to apologize for the language above. You are correct that there is some difficulty assuming good faith, though we strive to do so. However as you must understand now it is often necessary to talk about these issues to make sure everyone's on the same page. Policies are often unwritten because there is only partial consensus. Perhaps then it would be to everyone's benefit to have them partially written.
You clearly have a rational opinion to contribute, and I hope that now that you are familiar with some of Wiktionary's policies that you will be willing to voice those in the appropriate forums. It's okay to disagree on policy, but something quite different to try and push your point of view through edits. I hope you can consider the comments on your talk page thus far as more of an attempt to avoid edit wars than to ignore your point of view. It is unfortunate that there is such a steep learning curve even for good-faith contributors such as yourself. Certainly we want you to feel that your contributions are welcome, both in terms of edits that do not conflict with policy (or semi-policy), but also in terms of opinions on where that policy is wrong. When you join that discussion you will find that there are many factors to take into consideration and good reason for some of the counter-intuitive ways things are done.
DAVilla 17:39, 27 October 2006 (UTC)


Could you explain all these forms here? Also, should we really list these "incorrect forms" ? Not if they're not widely used I guess. — Vildricianus 14:14, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Well, the correct forms are self-explanatory. As for the incorrect forms, the entry already noted rhinoceri, so I thought it ought to note rhinoceroi as well (in point of fact, I mistakenly took it to be the correct form for a while). I think we should distinguish typos from forms used in the genuine belief that they are correct; so we’d mention rhinoceroi, but not rinoceros. Agreed? Doremítzwr 14:29, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Could you provide some quotations from printed works for these incorrect forms, to show they're indeed widely used? — Vildricianus 14:33, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
From Google Books: rhinoceri and the rarer rhinoceroi. Are these sufficient? Doremítzwr 14:38, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Tea room#rhinoceros - plural forms. Others may want to see this. — Vildricianus 14:41, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Done. Doremítzwr 14:48, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Why are you breaking WT:TR?[edit]

What are you doing to those links? Purposely breaking things that deep link? --Connel MacKenzie 16:03, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

No, no. I was simply trying to improve the titles’ typography. Did what I did cause any trouble? I checked to make sure the links were blue rather than red afterwards... Did something go wrong of which I am not aware? If so, I sincerely apologise. Doremítzwr 20:46, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
By the way, was this comment included in your reverting edit intended for me: “Sections are linked from user talk pages, other discussion pages and the like. Changing section headers is an attempt at obfuscation, only, to cover one’s tracks”? If so, please explain what you mean. What tracks ought I be trying to cover? Doremítzwr 20:50, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
The problem that causes, is that many of those entries (and talk pages, and general discussion pages) link directly to those sections. Any page that uses {{rft}} will have a link to the section title in WT:TR that corresponds to that page. I frequently navigate using that type link (similar ones exist for {{rfd}}, {{rfv}} and {{rfc}}.) When the pagename no longer matches, the link is incomplete. Sometimes that causes duplicate sections to be entered. --Connel MacKenzie 20:55, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
When I came across those edits, they looked highly suspicious. I truly was at a loss as to why someone would do typographical corrections, not to the text content, but only to the navigational headings. I have seen other people make heading edits without the realization that they were breaking links (so no, that comment was not for you alone.) But I rarely see the edits limited to typographical corrections... especially to navigation headings only. --Connel MacKenzie 21:01, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
  • I’m sorry. That comment of mine was out of line. I was wrong. --Connel MacKenzie 21:08, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Don’t worry about it; I can now see how what I did could seem suspicious. I didn’t have the time or the inclination to improve the typography, et cetera of the whole Tea Room, so I stuck to doing so only in the titles, where primes are more noticeable and annoying than when they are used in the body text. I apologise for my thoughtlessness. Thanks for not just banning me this time ;) Doremítzwr 12:22, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
I’ve just added an extra paragraph under the Tea Room’s header, so that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again. If possible, could you add it to the header, so that it comes before the Archives section? Doremítzwr 13:02, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

talk:hoi polloi[edit]

It helps to pause for a minute or two, when you are entering a dispute. In the case of hoi polloi, it is absurdly prescriptive to add the tag you indicate. Please discuss it in the Tea room, before attempting that change again. --Connel MacKenzie 17:38, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

The tag has been removed, and the usage note edited. If it is not satisfactory, then yes, I will open a discussion in the Tea Room. Doremítzwr 17:43, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Recent moves[edit]

You are not supposed to move entries from the %27 apostrophe, only to them. The contents of the entry may use the typography apostrophe, on the line immediately after the part of speech.

Please move them back now.

--Connel MacKenzie 11:16, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, I do not understand; what is a %27 apostrophe? Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:17, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
A normal ASCII apostrophe. The %27 appears in the URL. You just moved them exactly the wrong direction. --Connel MacKenzie 11:20, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Oh, you mean a prime (which is a foot (length) marker, not an apostrophe). Sorry, but I’m going to have to disagree that I moved them in the wrong direction; please direct me to the policy that enforces the use of primes over typographically correct apostrophes. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:23, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
In re your edit summary: err, no, just plain dumb I guess; I had never heard of the prime or ‘straight quote’ refered to as a ‘%27 apostrophe’ before. You seem to have difficulty assuming good faith. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:32, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me? Why don't you go did up the past discussions before you engage in disruptive activity. You can even ask about it in some of the discussion rooms yourself! --Connel MacKenzie 11:26, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
How was I to know that Wiktionary discourages the use of typographically correct quotation marks? Furthermore, if it does discourage their use, where is the policy that says so? How can I be expected to know the entire arcane process by which Wiktionary conventions have developed? Lastly, what possible objection could anyone have to using the correct marks in entry titles, if there is a redirect to them from the forms that use primes? Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:32, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

The primary objection is that the standard keyboard layout for an English speaker (the primary users of this dictionary) doesn't contain the ´ mark, but the '. This means the moves you are making would make it more difficult for one to type in the entries name. As for arcane processes...that is all we have at the moment, sorry. For now, please don't move based on apostraphes, thanks. - TheDaveRoss 20:17, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

I totally understand that point; however, as there is a redirect entry from the form which uses a prime to the form that uses an apostrophe, then there is no difficulty in reaching the desired entry. Surely Wiktionary does not object to redirect pages for this purpose...
As for the arcane processes, I would mind a lot less being asked to stop doing / undo things if there was a policy that was cited to back up the request. I do not feel that it is reasonable to expect people to follow rules that amount to little more than an unformalised, and perhaps not even extant, coincidence of the established editors’ opinions, which are themselves based on very shaky logical grounds. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:23, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
If you wish to be insulting, rest assured that worse things regarding a lack of cooperation could be said of you. Your assumption (that this is based on opinion) ignorantly fails to recognize that we've dealt with problems pertaining to the "curly apostrophe" already. The conclusion on is to not use them in entry titles.
I can understand your desire to see such things hammered out in official policies. I think it would be more productive (for all) if you offered to help flesh them out, instead of bashing their absence. --Connel MacKenzie 19:59, 7 October 2006 (UTC)


You said: a tautology is a statement that is logically true by virtue of the way in which it is constructed; the hoi polloi is not tautological, but rather redundant.

Def 1 of Wiktionary defines my use of the word — and I should add that it will be more widely understood! Perhaps the object of a definition? — Saltmarsh 11:12, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


It should say irregular plural, as scenarios is the regular plural. Otherwise looking at the entry doesn’t tell the reader that they need to look further for the regular plural ;-) Robert Ullmann 10:57, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Then why does children not state that it is an irregular plural as well? Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:12, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Because it is the standard plural. There is no childs (go look). Btw: the second of your citations is someone clearly borrowing the Italian plural into English text, because he doesn’t know the English. (or maybe just prefers to affect the Italian? ;-). The point is to give the user the information they need to know it isn’t the usual plural. We could tag scenarii with non-standard as well. Robert Ullmann 19:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, children should be listed as an irregular plural. --Connel MacKenzie 19:31, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Only if you want to also explain in a usage note that it is the “actual” plural. Otherwise you have an endless stream of “but what is the real plural?” … ;-). The point at scenarii (and childs) is to give some indication that it is not the standard plural form. Robert Ullmann 19:44, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree that scenarii should be marked non-standard, but not children. Children is, however, irregular (but standard). Clear as mud? --Connel MacKenzie 19:52, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Tagging any plural, particularly one that does not end in ‘-s’, as irregular is pointless; if “regular” is taken to mean “formed by adding an ‘-s’ or ‘-es’”, then any half-wit can tell a regular plural from an irregular one just by looking at it. As for the “non-standard” tag — why? ~Consider virtuosi, concerti, et cetera; or if it’s with the terminal ‘-ii’ that you disagree, consider radii. Finally, considering the Italian section at scenario, would the author of the second citation not have used the far more common Italian plural form scenari if he did not know the correct English plural form(s)? I myself use scenarii (pronounced /sɛnɑːɹiː/) simply because scenarios (pronounced /sɛnɑːɹiəʊz/) sounds so terrible in comparison. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 03:33, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Any dictionary, not just Wiktionary, will contain an extroardinary amount of “pointless” or redundant data… arguably all contents of a dictionary fit that description. So yes, things that any half-wit can see, should be spelled out (otherwise someone may come along entering an exotic form, asserting it is the “norm”).
As far as scenario’s non-standard plural: what other secondary sources list that plural? I see none; all list scenarios as the plural. [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], and OED online (North America). Furthermore, the normal rules for forming the plural in English are followed, not the Latin rules.
Comparing this with [6], one can say with certainty that the form scenarii is rare and not widely accepted. With an accepted spelling (using the normal rules for formation, especially) that is in common use and identified in all available secondary sources, one is very hard pressed to assert that an incorrectly formed plural (using the rules from another language) is even valid at all. Native English speakers are not going to invent an alternative spelling and start using it because of some misplaced prescription for a different language!
I’m sorry, but scenarii doesn’t pass the “laughable” test, or the “common sense” test. Unfortunately, by our current CFI, it clearly does merit an entry. But I don’t see a compelling reason to list it as a valid plural on scenario. (If we are to follow policy, that is!)
--Connel MacKenzie 16:31, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, what falls into the category of “regular plurals”? ~Just ‘-s’, or do we include ‘-es’; how about “‘-y’ → ‘-ies’”, or “‘-is’ → ‘-es’”? What about words which usually don’t change in the plural; such as craft and fish, although sometimes do (to become fishes and crafts)? Whilst neither you nor I would be likely to dismiss a word as “inferior” simply because it’s irregular, there are many who would misinterpret such a qualification as meaning that it is not acceptable to use a plural form tagged thus. It is far more likely that someone would make such a mistake than it is that he would misbelieve scenarii to be a regular plural form.
You wrote: As far as scenario’s non-standard plural: what other secondary sources list that plural? I see none; all list scenarios as the plural. — Is this not an argumentum ad verecundiam? If we followed such logic, then there would be a great many words hereïn (both plurals and singulars) which we would have to delete (unless we were to accept the Urban Dictionary and the like as reliable sources). By the way, scenarii is the etymologically correct Italian plural (not Latin).
As shown by words such as virtuosi and concerti, the “‘-o’ → ‘-i’” rule for forming plurals is, by now, a genuinely English pattern for forming plurals (albeït rare); it is therefore incorrect to call scenarii an “incorrectly formed plural”. The “‘-o’ → ‘-i’” rule’s limited degree of naturalisation into English is what leads to the use of etymologically incorrect plurals such as avocadi (which is very, very rare; and in any case, the plural of avocado ought to be avocados, being that it comes form Spanish (or, if you wanted to be even more pedantic than I am, you could use the Nahuatl plural instead, whatever that is)). The same tendency for absorbing patterns for forming plurals is what gives us the far more common platypi, octopi, viri (as the plural of virus), and, due unto the sound, peni (we both know that the correct forms are platypodes, octopodes, and penes, whereäs virus doesn’t have an etymologically correct plural form, being that in Latin, it is a mass noun); the “‘-us’ → ‘-i’” rule for forming plurals is far more naturalised than the the “‘-o’ → ‘-i’” rule is. However, it is the “‘-o’ → ‘-i’” rule, and not the “‘-io’ → ‘-i’” rule which is part of English, which is why scenarii is an English plural, whilst the modern Italian scenari is not (see here for an explanation).
You wrote: I’m sorry, but scenarii doesn’t pass the “laughable” test, or the “common sense” test. — What’s that supposed to mean? What exactly are the “laughable” and “common sense” tests? If this is a descriptive dictionary, as it is, then the “compelling reason” for listing scenarii as a “valid” plural of scenario, is that it is used as such.
In your reply, please define what a “regular plural”, the “laughable” test, and the “common sense” test are. Also, please explain why, if virtuosi and concerti are correct, that scenarii isn’t. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:33, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, don’t listen to me. See instead Category:English nouns with irregular plurals (and Category talk:English nouns with irregular plurals) both of which are (obviously) not my doing. Virtuosos is the English plural of virtuoso. Concertos is the English plural of concerto. Avocados (or even avocadoes) is the English plural of avocado. Viruses is the English plural of virus.
An appeal to authority has been used many times on, not as a measure of attestation, but to resolve standing disputes. Urbandictionary is repeatedly not considered a reliable source (particularly, since their methods of accepting anything that comes in, actually encourages people to make up new words). Even if this past year’s reform of (allegedly now reviewing words before publishing them) is true, the older UD entries certainly have not met that same level of review. --Connel MacKenzie 02:03, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Your first paragraph doesn’t answer my question. You propose tagging scenarii as non-standard. I asked why scenarii should be labelled as non-standard, when virtuosi and concerti — which are both plurals formed by following exactly the same pattern — aren’t. I do not contest that scenarii (or indeed any plural formed using the “‘-o’ → ‘-i’” rule) is an irregular plural, and nor do I disagree with the existence of Category:English nouns with irregular plurals — I only object unto labelling a word as an irregular plural as part of its definition, due unto the possibilty of misinterpretation thereöf. I objected unto your argumentum ad verecundiam because things ought to be resolved by logical argument, rather than by hiding behind the rulings of some experts, the rationale behind whose decisions cannot be known. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 03:45, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry I wasn’t clearer... the community consensus reached is described on that category page and discussed at great length on the talk page. My interpretation from what is there, is that scenarii, virtuosi and concerti should be labelled as non-standard. By the way, scenarii is not the same rule, for the same reason that “yourss” is not acceptable — suffix formation does not normally result in doubled letters (such as “i”) without an explicit (obvious) exception. --Connel MacKenzie 03:59, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
P.S.: Thank you for the notices on my talk page! They are very helpful today. --Connel MacKenzie 04:00, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmm... their definition of a “regular plural” is quite strict. However, I do not æquate “regular” with “standard”. The “‘-o’ → ‘-i’” rule is not regular, but I do believe it to be standard. “Scenarii” is formed according unto the same rule as virtuosi and concerti, for the very reason that English does not use the modern Italian “‘-io’ → ‘-i’” rule instead of “‘-o’ → ‘-i’”, irrespective of the fact that it leads unto a terminal double vowel; such a thing is precedented, most authoritatively by radii (which shows that English follows the “‘-us’ → ‘-i’” rule in pluralising masculine nouns from the Latin second declension (as well as some others), irrespective of whether the case leads unto “‘-ius’ → ‘-ii’”). Concerning your “yourss” example (though “kisss” would have been a better one): yes, English is far stricter in disallowing a bare ‘-s’ to pluralise a word ending in a sibilant than it is in disallowing terminal ‘-ii’s.
In my view, we cannot justifiably label scenarii as non-standard without doing the same unto all plurals formed according unto the “‘-o’ → ‘-i’” rule — and I would also disagree with doing that. As for labelling plurals as irregular, I am also opposed unto doing so, for the reasons that it merely invites misinterpretation, and that a word’s membership of a category such as Category:English nouns with irregular plurals, coupled with the word’s intrinsic form, makes such a label redundant.
In re your postscriptum: you’re welcome. I recognise that people cannot feasibly watch every talk page unto which they contribute, and that if I expect a prompt reply, then I ought to show such a courtesy. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 04:58, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
I do see your point. In a biology textbook, I’d expect to see virii as the taxonomy naming rules are more important (to a biologist) than normalizing English spelling (as is done by common folk, such as me). I think the main thrust of the discussion at English nouns with irregular plurals is that the most common / normal plural form is the one we should “recommend”.
Categories are useful for many different interests. Not having the unusual cases listed in the category would be a big step backwards.
I tend to agree that perhaps all plurals formed with “-o” → “-i” should be tagged as irregular. Especially when a normal English plural already exists. Usually, a simple Internet search will show a clear favorite. (This is the sort of arena where descriptivism is useful — some prescriptive constructs are too unweildy to enter the language properly.) --Connel MacKenzie 05:31, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
  • At any rate, I think you and I have expressed our differences on this topic. I understand why you object to the proper labels, and you understand why I think they are proper. Can you summarize these points on that category talk page, and link it from WT:BP please? --Connel MacKenzie 05:31, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Done. Please make sure that what I have written on the category talk page is accurate. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 18:38, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
Excellent. Thank you. I’m trying to reply, but I’m on my third edit conflict right now… --Connel MacKenzie 19:25, 7 January 2007 (UTC)


Please see the archived discussion concerning coördinate before reverting the entries again. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:21, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I remember the conversation well. The consensus seemed to be that the forms with diaereses are archaic, or dated at best. At any rate, it seems neutral enough to include all information on both pages. Widsith 14:32, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Very well. Agreed. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:33, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

What personal attacks?[edit]

What personal attacks? --EncycloPetey 15:09, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

“He has an agenda to push, and he’s pushing it on as many people as he can” on User talk:BrettR, for one. I’d call that a personal attack. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:27, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, I would say that it doesn’t fit any of our definitions of attack, but on looking at that page it doesn’t really have good definitions anyway. What definition of attack would you add that would include your interpretation of the above quote? --EncycloPetey 02:58, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I added “an attempt to cause damage or injury unto, or to somehow detract from the worth or credibility of, a person, position, idea, object, or thing, by physical, verbal, emotional, or other assault” as an extremely broad fifth definition unto attack. I think it covers what you wrote. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 18:36, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I don’t think that “attempt to cause injury” and “detract from worth” are the same sense. They should probably be separate. Do you honestly feel that stating someone “has an agenda” would detract from a person’s worth, because I see it as detracting only from an argument’s worth. Agendas can be either positive or negative, so it shouldn’t be offensive to state that a person has one and is making vigorous use of it, unless there is a regional connotation I’m not aware of. If there is such in your region, then I’m sorry to have offended you. --EncycloPetey 05:16, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

pædantic and prætentious[edit]

pædantic and prætentious. 21:49, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

This put a smile on my face. Thank you. They are both, it seems, etymologically consistent — though I doubt that they would survive the verification process. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:42, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Derived terms[edit]

Hello again.

As per WT:ELE, the heading ====Derived terms==== is always plural, even if there is only one. Jonathan Webley 12:51, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

OK. I believe you, but where exactly does it state that? From a quick scan of the page, I cannot find it. It seems like a pointless rule — what is the rationale behind it? Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:59, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Standardisation of headers makes it easier for the bots. Jonathan Webley 13:00, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
And when someone adds a second derived term, they don’t have to remember to change the heading. SemperBlotto 13:02, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, OK. I guess that the bot reason is a good enough reason (though I think editorial shortcoming reason is a bit weak). Thanks unto the both of you for taking the time to explain it unto me. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 13:10, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I’m surprised you didn’t make it præclusive, by the way… Widsith 13:03, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I probably would in mine own writing, but not for Wiktionary (in any case the only Google Book Search results are in Teutonic languages). It was User: who added pædantic and prætentious, not I; I doubt that they’d survive WT:RFV either. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 13:10, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

As for the pronunciation, isn’t it /pɹɛˈklju.sɪv/ rather than /pɹɛˈklu.sɪv/? Jooge 14:05, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

No, I think that it’s /pɹɛˈklu.sɪv/; /klju/ is a difficult consonant cluster in comparison. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:01, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
"/klju/ is a difficult consonant cluster in comparison." Yeah, I think mine actual pronunciation would be /pɹɛˈkly.sɪv/ rather than /pɹɛˈklju.sɪv/, but still not /pɹɛˈklu.sɪv/ (which sounds like "precloosive" to me). Does yourn actual pronunciation sound like "precloosive"? Jooge 15:23, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

A couple of points: the object of pronunciation sections is not to represent your own accent as accurately as possible but to represent "Standard [insert country here] English" (we seem to be moving away from RP, which sounds a bit dated). The second vowel of preclusive is /u/ even though you might realize this as [y]. In other words, we are trying to be broadly phonemic rather than narrowly phonetic because that is more helpful to more users. On a specific point with this word, the first vowel is surely /ɪ/ rather than /ɛ/ – that's certainly how it's given in the OED and Collins. Widsith 15:31, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Pour and poor[edit]

Do you pronounce “pour” and “poor” the same way? For me, they’re clearly different. “Pour” is /pəʊɹ/ and “poor” is /puːɹ/ for me. Jooge 13:18, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I say /pɔː(ɹ)/ for “pour” and /puːɹ/ (like you) or /ˈpʊ.ə/ for “poor”. I use a pronunciation system based on RP, with strong Welsh and etymological influences, and a weak US influence (in mine occasional pronunciation of terminal /ɹ/). Most importantly, as they aren’t for you, neither are “pour” and “poor” homophones for me. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 13:26, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I say /pɔː(ɹ)/ for “pour”. So for you then, “pour” rhymes with “for”? For me, “pour” is /pəʊɹ/ (rhyming with “four”) but “for” is /fɔːɹ/ (rhyming with “or” and “nor”). My pronunciation system, by the way, is based on Welsh and Scottish English. Jooge 13:34, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I do indeed say it as you describe (almost perfectly RP). Your pronunciation is interesting — I wonder whether it is yours or mine which is superior… Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:05, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
As for my pronunciation, I have /əʊɹ/ (the vowel in “tow” /təʊ/ followed by a /ɹ/) in various “our” words like “court”, “course”, “four”, “source”, “pour”, etc. and /ɔːɹ/ in “or” words like “cord”, “fork”, “horn”, “form”, “sort”, “nor”, etc. It seems as if in your pronunciation, /əʊɹ/ and /ɔːɹ/ merge to /ɔː(ɹ)/. Jooge 14:23, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I think you’re right. In making the əʊɹ/ɔːɹ disinction, whereäs I do not, and in more logically pronouncing words (as they are spelt), your accent, in this respect, is superior unto mine. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:29, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


I am confused by your correction. You do mean the sound in words like “I”, “my”, “pie”, and so forth, don’t you? If you do, I was right. Your correction would mean that the syllable has two sounds, two phonemes — first the ‘cat’ sound, then the ‘fish’ sound. So how is that syllable pronounced? zigzig20s 22:05, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

No, no. See this; it will explain everything. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:25, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
In the diphthong table, you are talking about this line, right?
aɪ aɪ ɑe my, wise
zigzig20s 02:32, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
No, English vowels:
æ æ æ lad, cat, ran
† Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:35, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Alright, so it goes: ‘cat’ sound + ‘fish’ sound in the first syllable of the word eisteddfod, and this syllable is unstressed — this is what you transcribed. You’ll have to agree that this is an unusual grouping of phonemes in English. The word seems difficult to say. I think it could do with an audio recording. zigzig20s 02:41, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
That’s right; would you consider that weird? I’m afraid that I can’t help with audio files — only with IPA transcriptions… † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:56, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I don’t like the word ‘weird’ but what bothers me actually is that the vernacular pronunciation seems easier to say — with an /ei/ sound as in ‘hey’. By the way, I’ve tried to put up an audio request, hopefully someone will get back to me. zigzig20s 03:19, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Both easier and more euphonious; unfortunately, however, that’s what people say — regardless of how ignorant, incorrect, and unpleasant the pronunciation. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 03:34, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


You are blocked 1 hour: removing non-standard tag from campi, reverted.

This is your second block for vandalism: pretending non-standard forms are standard. The next will be longer. Robert Ullmann 22:43, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

for the record[edit]

There is nothing wrong with creating and citing the entry at scenarii.

There is nothing wrong with creating and citing campi.

Ditto metropoleis etc. These are all good. Very worthwhile contributions.

However: pretending that these (or, e.g., preëmpt) are somehow standard forms is not acceptable.

Creating campi is good. Adding it as the standard plural to campus (you listed it first) is POV vandalism.

Your contributions are appreciated (really!) when they are constructive contributions. When they are pushing your POV that the plural of metropolis could or ought to be metropoleis, they are destructive and will be treated as such.

There is plenty of room for all sorts of contributions; the wiki isn’t paper and all that. But we are descriptive; we don’t invent terms, we don’t pretend that things ought to be some new (or archaic) way we’d like to see. Robert Ullmann 21:01, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Your contributions are appreciated (really!) when they are constructive contributions. When they are pushing your POV that the plural of metropolis could or ought to be metropoleis, they are destructive and will be treated as such. — It sure as hell doesn’t feel like my contributions are appreciated. I recently reädded metropoleis as a plural of metropolis — not to piss you off, not for the sake of furthering my POV, but because it was absurd not to do so. The reasoning that states that metropoli (which has zero citations and is præsently going through the WT:RFV process) is a legitimate plural form of metropolis, whilst simultaneously stating that metropoleis is not (when it has six citations), is too abstract and complex for even the likes of me to understand. You may not believe me, but all my contributions are intended to be constructive. (Who am I kidding? –Of course you don’t — you blocked me but a few days ago!)
I wouldn’t mind my contributions being labelled as “non-standard” one-tenth as much if there was a good reason for having them labelled thus. I can almost understand why people wish to tag scenarii as “non-standard” (though I don’t agree with them). However, labelling campi as “non-standard” is absurd, and doing so unto preëmpt and metropoleis is utterly indefensible. The entry for preëmpt has a link unto its entry in the 1913 edition of Webster’s dictionary. Look at the pertinent definition of nonstandard: Not conforming to the language used by the educated sections of a society. How does that include “campi”, “metropoleis”, “preëmpt”, or “scenarii”? None of those four words are used in nescience of educated use of English — they are all indicative of a yet higher level of education than the usual. You may mean something else when you write “non-standard”, but readers will believe you mean what’s written as its defintion. If you want to use “non-standard” to mean whatever you use it to mean, then you have to change its definition (including, presumably, getting consensus support to do so first). As it now stands, “campi”, “metropoleis”, “preëmpt”, and “scenarii” are all mislabelled.
My two cents: the word “educated” above can have different connotations, which you seem to be assuming out of place. A kindergartener is “educated” to a kindergarten level. A first-grader is educated to a first grade level. A high school senior is educated to a twelfth grade level. You seem to be limiting the definition of educated to those with post-grad training (i.e. beyond Doctorate). While that is a valid connotation, it is also pretty clear, that that is not what is meant in the definition of nonstandard. Lastly, I wish to point out that the Wiktionary entry for “nonstandard” has not been rewritten yet, in light of the edit war in progress at “illiterate”, so you’d do much better to refer to AHD’s usage note at for now. --Connel MacKenzie 22:59, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I wasn’t limiting the definition of educated unto such a high level (though I understand how such an impression could have been apprehended). Campuses, metropolises, pre-empt, and scenarios are all correct, literate, sufficiently educated usages. I was merely making the point that campi, metropoleis, preëmpt, and scenarii are all more-educated usages. As such, they should not bare the “non-standard” tag. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:21, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Good catch, I stand corrected: post-graduate training usually implies courses taken after college graduation, not after attaining a doctorate. --Connel MacKenzie 23:38, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
What I’m saying in a rather convoluted manner is what dmh keeps saying: Wiktionary needs rules, it needs to consistently stick unto them, and it the rules need to be based on objective measures and criteria. I can’t see how anyone can disagree with that.
Two minor points:
  1. I listed campi before campuses in the entry for campus because it’s first alphabetically. Sticking unto the undisputed order of the English alphabet seems to be another element of POV behaviour of which I was not aware.
  2. I find the fifth citation for metropoleis to be humorously ironic at this point:
    • Our census takers, population experts, sociologists, economists and urban planners all point to the bigger and better “metropoleis” (to use the accepted plural) of the future.
;-) † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:34, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
The uses you promote are not “all indicative of a yet higher level of education than the usual”. They make the user look like a blithering idiot. It is our job to ensure that our readers know that the standard plural is campuses, and campi will get you laughed at, that the standard plurals are scenarios and metropolises, and usage of your rare, non-standard forms is illiterate; they reflect overweening pretentiousness and very poor education. Robert Ullmann 22:52, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
“Pretentiousness”, as you regard it, is never a sign of lack of education. However, it may be an ostentatious display of one’s “over”education. Using campi shows that you are aware that Latin second declension masculine nouns form plurals according unto the “‘-us’ → ‘-i’” rule. Using scenarii shows that you are aware that a number of words borrowed from Italian form plurals according unto the “‘-o’ → ‘-i’” rule. Using metropoleis shows that you are aware that the plural of polis is poleis. Using preëmpt shows that you are aware of how to use a diæresis. Using these may cause others to consider you a prætentious wanker, and doing so may be indicative of poor social skills; they may, indeed, “reflect overweening pretentiousness”. However, their use never reflects illiteracy or a poor academic education. The “non-standard” tag is for words which betray such illiteracy or poor academic education. Therefore, neither “campi”, “metropoleis”, “preëmpt”, nor “scenarii” are non-standard. Quod erat demonstrandum (if you want a truly bloody prætentious phrase) † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:10, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that is the basic point that you have failed to convince the community of, myself included. When a word exists that all language speakers know, and are taught as the correct form, the hypercorrection form then is (IMHO) nonstandard. --Connel MacKenzie 23:34, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Not according unto our definition (although you accept that it needs to be changed, so I admit that this is a somewhat irrelevant point). I think that the “non-standard” tag should continue to be used only to label usages which exist because of nescience of some fairly basic rule of English. For “hypercorrect” usages, I think a different tag is needed, as people who use them are almost always fluent and literate English speakers and writers. Their motivations for using unusual forms can be manifold; the one outlined above (and which seems to be the one that most people here are most ready to accept) is the motivation of appearing to be superiorly educated. Sometimes “hypercorrect” usages (read: attempts to be etymologically consistent) are mistaken, but appear so often as to become the standard nonetheless (as in the case of octopi). There are three different forms of unusual usage here: the first is the traditional “non-standard” (or “sub-standard”) nescient usage, the second is born of misapplied patterns (that which is usually termed “hypercorrection”), and the third is etymologically consistent usage (for which those who fall into the second category are usually aiming). As a guy of the third category, I use campi and metropoleis (though my use of scenarii may show that I have one hypercorrect foot in the second category). It seems we already have suitable tags for the first two categories (“non-standard” and “hypercorrect”, respectively) — but what shall we call the third? I was OK with platypodes being listed as “pedantic” in the entry for platypus, so we could perhaps use that. Or we could use the more ironic “pædantic” (!)† Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:03, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
That last thing I need now, is for my bots to start crashing due to ligatures in template names!  :-)   I can personally see “pedantic” as a good compromise, but at this point, I’m not sure what the WT:BP response will be. Starting the whole conversation over, labelling all past disputes on the topic as “misguided good intentions” might need a day or two or three, for people to calm down first. --Connel MacKenzie 00:15, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Good idea. I’ll genuinely take that break now, and raise this issue again when I return. It’s been good conversing with you. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:20, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Deletion of pronunciations[edit]

Please do not delete pronunciation information. We accept and encourage the use of AHD, IPA, and SAMPA. --EncycloPetey 23:58, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I shall take care not to do so in future. I tidied the pronunciation section again. Please note that in English, /e/ occurs in only two places: as part of the /eɪ/ diphthong, and as the francophonic pronunciation of é. Otherwise, it is only correct to use /ɛ/. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:51, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I can think of two places where [e] occurs in English: Australian English and New Zealand English. As for the use of "/e/", the editors of the Cambridge Dictionary don’t seem to think it’s incorrect. You might like to check this out. Jimp 23:59, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
OK, fine. But they are all just simplifications — I was talking about being strictly correct. We could also use /r/ in place of /ɹ/, as English doesn’t have the latter; however, that would also, strictly speaking, be incorrect. Besides, these minor differences are more important for Wiktionary, as it is a mutlilingual dictionary; therefore, not only do English pronunciation aids need to be consistent with one another, they also need to be consistent with the pronunciation aids for all other languages. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:40, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
If we want to be strictly correct, we'll have to specify which dialect we're talking about rather than making general statements about English. The phonetic realisation of the DRESS vowel can vary from a very open [ɛ] in (most) North American dialects to a very close [e] in Australian and New Zealand dialects. In Recieved Pronunciation the phoneme falls in between. This is not "just simplifications" but how the phoneme is actually realised in the aforementioned dialects. As for Cambridge's use of "/e/", this could be a simplification, yes, but I feel it's more likely that they are basing their transcription on the scheme of A.C. Gimson (mentioned by Wells - see the last link above). Here's what Wells had to say.

In some languages, notably French and German, one needs to distinguish two e-type vowels, a closer one (IPA [e]) and an opener one (IPA [ɛ]). The English bet vowel lies between them, but is more similar to [ɛ], which is why Upton prefers that symbol. However, from the point of view of an EFL learner whose native language is, say, Japanese or Greek -- languages that have no such distinction -- it is quite unnecessary to distinguish the "[e]" at the starting point of the face diphthong from the "[ɛ]" invalid IPA characters ("[]") of bet. And following IPA principles, if we are to choose just one of the two symbols we should prefer the simpler one.

You might say that "Cambridge has redefined the use of /e/ for the purposes of their dictionary." Sure they have (in a sense), they've "redefined" it as the vowel in head. Had they chosen to use /ɛ/ no less would this be "redefining" a symbol. "/e/" does not represent a cardinal vowel nor does "/ɛ/" invalid IPA characters ("//"), if this be what you prefer. Whichever you use you've got to "redifine" it as a given phoneme (assuming that your transcription scheme is phonemic).
EncycloPetey, you write that Cambridge's usage "differs from conventional use of IPA." I put it to you that it does not. If we are to trust John Wells, then we'll have to accept that there's nothing incorrect, unconventional nor non-standard about using "/e/" for the DRESS. Indeed, Wells calls Grimson's scheme "the standard scheme". Nor is this scheme against IPA principles, rather it better adheres to them by using the simpler symbol.
Jimp 17:49, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Ah, but doesn't this principle apply only when the symbols are being set for a single language? --EncycloPetey 03:07, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Of course, we are talking about phonemic transcriptions here - hence the slashes as opposed to square brackets. Jimp 04:50, 30 January 2007 (UTC)


I don't want to make a big thing of this, since most of us only find it mildly irritating, but why do you change other people's pronunciationpunctuationedited 17:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)? I suggest that it is a symptom of an intolerance of other people's styles which has no place on a wiki such as this.

As we are a descriptive rather than a prescriptive dictionary, it is important that we respect each others' right to use our own styles back of house and to include entries for all citeable spellings, even if we disapprove of them.

The reason no one has complained so far (and please take this as a friendly warning rather than a complaint) is not because your interference with our writing is acceptable, but because we are in general tolerant of minor misbehaviour.

I hope you will be as tolerant if someone else bad-mannerdly removes the diacritics from your writing because he feels they are inappropriate. Please do as you would be done by! --Enginear 20:33, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Before I fully address what you wrote, please clarify: what do you mean “change other people’s pronunciation”? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:32, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Whoops, brainfade. I know I felt tired yesterday evening, but that was a really odd transposition! Now corrected. --Enginear 17:06, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Renaming AHD?[edit]

As one of the people who voiced an opinion in the discussion, I thought you'd like to know that a VOTE has been initiated regarding the name of our "AHD" pronunciation system. --EncycloPetey 06:06, 4 February 2007 (UTC)


Hiya. I rolled back your pronunciation changes: the unstressed vowels are NOT given full value in this word (do you really pronounce it like that??). This pronunciation is also supported by the OED, so if you want to make such a counterintuitive change, please find some references for it. Widsith 10:24, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

PS, you can change the /r/ back if you want to — the more accurate character seems to be more accepted nowadays. Widsith 10:25, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Yup. That’s how I pronounce it; it’s quite common to give most or every vowel its full value in Welsh accents. I changed your /r/ unto a /ɹ/, as you suggested; I also added periods between the syllables. Other than that, I left your pronunciation changes in, and reädded mine original additions. I mean seriously, how can I reference a pronunciation? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:21, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Riiiiight… OK then, but you should probably label that pronunciation (Wales) since it has quite a limited and specific range. Widsith 21:54, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

No, the Welsh pronunciation would be /aˈkro.po.lɪs/. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:04, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

So what accent is it then? Come on – it's not very helpful information if no-one except you pronounces it that way (which seems to be the case). We are trying to aim for a representation of Standard English (or other dialects too, if specified). Widsith 17:42, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the modern British prestige accent (it’s not realistic to say that it’s still RP) tends to move away from the overuse of the schwa (/ə/). For the sake of example: I only ever hear asbestos pronounced as /æsˈbɛs.tɒs/ nowadays, and not as /æsˈbɛs.təs/, as in RP — the only time I’ve heard the latter pronunciation was in a dial-a-lawyer advertisment, and that sounded very strange indeed. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:50, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Sure, that's normal with asbestos. Not so with acropolis. Widsith 11:47, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Response to Welcome...[edit] my Talk page. Joe Webster 10:56, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Smart-quote-ifying my comments[edit]

Hi, please feel free to fix obvious typos and errors in my comments, but please don't replace my apostrophes and quote marks and so on with their smart-quote counterparts; call me old-fashioned, but I prefer " and '. Thanks in advance! —RuakhTALK 19:46, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

OK, since you asked specifically. Just so that you are aware & are actually a prime and a double prime, representing a foot and an inch, respectively (as in five feet and eleven inches = 5′11″, not 5’11” or 5‘11“) — they have a specific purpose and their use as apostrophes and quotation marks is therefore erroneous. Nonetheless, I have no right to implement them in your talk page comments, particularly if you ask me not to, so I won’t. Just for interest, also note that the twelve (or in some systems ten) divisons of an inch, lines, are denoted by a triple prime: , and the further subdivided unit, the gry (1/10 of a line), is denoted by a quadruple prime: . † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:52, 7 February 2007 (UTC) Postscriptum: TYVM?
Sorry to just barge in on this conversation, but I always wondered what you were changing in everyone's comments. I kept seeing apostrophes changed to apostrophes, and I was confused as to what was happening. I'm glad to finally have the answer. Anyway, I thought it might be worth mentioning that you may want to consider taking this as a general rule of thumb for everyone (not just for Ruakh). Obviously it's your fate, and thus your call, but I think that people usually don't appreciate their comments being edited at all, for any reason (it's sort of an unwritten Wiki rule). That being said, I'm curious how you get the "correct" apostrophes and quotation marks in (and furthermore, how you distinguish between the two, they look identical to me). Are you cutting and pasting from a character map of some kind, or is there a specific key sequence that accomplishes this? Thanks. Atelaes 21:43, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
That's not true; ' and " are multipurpose — they date from the days that ASCII unified characters with similar glyphs — and their Unicode names are APOSTROPHE (=apostrophe-quote, =APL quote) and QUOTATION MARK. Unicode has separate prime and double-prime characters. (Granted, Unicode does list other characters as being preferred for actual quotation-mark and apostrophe use, but for some reason I just don't like them in Web contexts. Maybe I should just get over it. I do support other forms of pedantry. :-P) —RuakhTALK 03:29, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Just so that you are aware, ' & " are actually different characters from & . Cynewulf 13:54, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Doremítzwr: you have been warned about modifying other user's comments before. You will not do it again. Understand? Robert Ullmann 02:18, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Do not threaten or command me. Those who do not wish me to do so may ask, as Ruakh did above, for me to stop, and I will immediately comply. I only make minor changes, such as correcting typos and directing punctuation — things that exist 99>% of the time because of error (in the case of typos) or disinclination to expend time (in the case of directed punctuation). Ruakh seems to appreciate the former type of editing (“please feel free to fix obvious typos and errors in my comments”) — shall I nonetheless expect a typically heavy-handed block the next time that I correct one of his typos? As I explained here, the convention of not correcting others’ comments exists to prevent unscrupulous editors from putting words in others’ mouths. I never do that. Neither do I add diacritics or ligatures to others’ words. Neither do I switch alternative spellings (such as color → colour or vice versa). I only make changes that would universally be regarded as corrections. Furthermore, any objection from the individuals themselves whom I correct is immediately honoured by me. Stop championing this non-existent cause on behalf of a community of people who could not care less, just for a pathetic little excuse to unjustifiably browbeat me. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:53, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
It is never acceptable to change other people's comments in any way. It does not matter that you think the changes are "minor". Robert Ullmann 03:45, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I assure you Doremitzwr, that Robert is not simply coming up with an excuse to bully you. It is, in fact, a very wide scale general consensus (on a number of wikis) that editing other people's comments on talk pages is not ok. While you are correct in that the primary motivation behind this (admittedly unwritten) policy is to prevent people from changing the meanings of people's comments, the fact remains that even minor changes, such as the ones you make, are generally frowned upon. Atelaes 04:14, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, good to know. I also sometimes fix people's typos (when I'm editing anyway, and it's clear that they're typos), but now I see that the English Wikipedia (where I spend most of my wikitime) has the same policy ("It is not necessary to bring talk pages to publishing standards, so there is no need to correct typing errors, grammar, etc. It tends to irritate the users whose comments you are correcting."link). Hopefully I've never angered anyone by doing so … —RuakhTALK 05:06, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Even if Robert Ullmann’s motivations are entirely noble (which I seriously doubt that they are), he is going exactly the opposite of the right way to dealing with this. I refuse to obey dogma and rank-pulling. I do not listen to commands or threats. However, as I would hope is becoming abundantly clear, reasoning and respect works a treat. In an attempt to seek a resolution to this current dispute, I have organised a poll here. Ruakh, please bullet and sign this section. Thank you. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 13:48, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Singular form of…[edit]

The singular form is considered the standard form, and so should get an English translation rather than a grammatical description. --EncycloPetey 18:03, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

That works in English, but in many cases, Welsh has plurals which then inflect for the singular (as in the case of plantplentyn). Don’t worry — I’m giving the translations at the linked plural forms. By the way, Template:singular of is my first template (the code admitedly being largely copied from Template:plural of) — how did I do? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 18:10, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
The coding looks fine, but you'd first need to argue for an exception for Welsh to have a lemma form that isn't singular to have such a template. We have broken with standard lemma form practice in Latin and Ancient Greek, where we selected the first-person singular present active indicative to be the lemma for verbs instead of the infinitive (as it is in most languages here). You'd need to initiate a page for Wiktionary:About Welsh and propose the variation. The page doesn't have to be comprehensive--it's merely the means by which variations are proposed and cataloged (so that we can verify the variant is acceptable should the same or a similar question arise in future). The one thing that I might change in that Category:Welsh singulars is a bit odd looking. It means that there will be Welsh nouns, Welsh singulars, and Welsh plurals. --EncycloPetey 18:17, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
OK, thanks, I’ll do that sometime soon. One thing — it would be necessary for some Welsh words’ lemma to be the singular and others’ lemma to be the plural — would this be OK? Also, what’s wrong with Category:Welsh singulars? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:04, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
That's the question you'd need to pose on the "About Welsh" page. Because the lemma form for nouns is (masculine) singular in all the languages I know of on Wiktionary, there are no "(Language) singulars" categories anywhere. Such words are all categorized in "(Language) nouns". I also don't know of any cases yet where the lemma form was variable. Of course, in English we do have the plurale tantum nouns, but that's not really the same thing. Again, it would involve a discussion to sort out what would be consistent practice. We tend to want all the lemma forms in a single primary category, and your suggested approach is something new. --EncycloPetey 19:50, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Removing edit capabilities...?[edit]

Hi, again. Do you, perchance, know how to block others from editting one's user page? I am setting up a list of my own or collected protologisms and don't want others to make changes to those pages. They should still be able to contact me on the associated talk pages. --Joe Webster 06:39, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

You need an admin to protect a page from editing. However, I would recommend just going ahead with what you're doing. It is generally unlikely that people will screw around with your userpage. If it does become a problem, just ask me and I'll protect it for you (but I won't until there's evidence that there are problems). Keep in mind that, if other admins have a problem with what you're putting on there for some reason, there's not much that can be done to prevent that (admins have access to all pages). Besides that, if an admin has a problem with what you're putting up, it probably shouldn't be up. Atelaes 06:57, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Your list of protologisms that link to sub-pages of yours are very unlikely to be frowned upon (in fact, I have been inspired by you to do the same, and shall likely follow suit soon). It is a written guideline and an unwritten law of the Wiki-projects that only the user himself may edit his talk page, so even if someone objects to the content of your talk page, he is likely to discuss the problem with you first. On Wikipedia, only offensive / libellous / racist content is removed, and even then only after attempts at reaching compromise with the user. If somone does edit your talk page, you can always use the undo function after clinking upon diff. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 09:55, 15 February 2007 (UTC)


Hi there. The names of elements are not capitalised here, as they are not proper nouns. We also have a couple of nice templates ({{nuclide}} and {{nuclide-2}}) that you can use to form things like Template:nuclide-2. We really need a {{nuclide-3}} to handle these big ones. Cheers SemperBlotto 22:57, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

p.s. One of my projects is to add them all - well, the more important ones.


I was looking at the etymology of talisman, and comparing its etymology with that given in the OED online. According to the OED: "An Arabic pl. tilsaman, alleged by Diez s.v., and thence in various recent dictionaries, is an error: no such form exists in Arabic, Persian, or Turkish." Any thoughts on this? I was thinking I'd throw this past Stephen, the resident expert on Arabic (among dozens of other languages), and see if he can dig up something. I know you two don't play well in the same sandbox, so I'll try and mediate this. If you could do some research and let me know what you find, I would be quite grateful. Thanks. Atelaes 07:02, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

On a completely unrelated note, I've been curious about your name for some time. Is the w acting as a vowel? Is it a name of some sort, or simply a word that you've taken on as your eponym? What language? Atelaes 07:05, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
One more thing, if you have a Greek word in an etymology, please feel free to leave a request at Wiktionary:Requested articles:Ancient Greek. I'd be more than happy to fill any requests, and you don't even have to know the actual Greek spelling, a Romanization or descendant will suffice. Atelaes 08:00, 22 February 2007 (UTC)


If you have a problem with the American pronunciation of vacuum as given in Webster's, please keep it to yourself. Don't threaten newcomers who are making good-faith edits. --EncycloPetey 01:15, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Repeating: If you have a problem with the American pronunciation of vacuum as given in Webster's... (emphasis added for the second instance). --EncycloPetey 01:19, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, yes. I wrote the note to you as you were writing your note to me. How do Americans pronounce residuum then? (BTW, how was I threatening?) † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:21, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
With four syllables, almost the same as in the UK. In America, residuum and continuum do not rhyme with vacuum. --EncycloPetey 01:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
You can see that Webster's lists the pronunciation you object to, but I have a feeling it's not going to do any good... 02:22, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Editing WT:ELE[edit]

Please be more careful. Your edits to WT:ELE did not follow a vote, and could likely get you blocked from editing.

You may wish to assert that "Infix" or "Circumfix" is an English part of speech, but without a vote, clearly is against community consensus.

You may wish to assert that the typographical quotation marks should be used instead of ASCII quotation marks, but without a vote, clearly is against community consensus. Discussion pages are one thing; examples of proper formatting are quite another.

--Connel MacKenzie 14:47, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I thought that the warning that edits should only follow votes applied to material policy changes, rather than corrected spelling and changing examples, et cetera. Do I go to WT:VOTE to start a vote about whether to apply my edits, or do I do so somewhere else? (By the way, -o- and en- -en are examples of an English infix and an English circumfix, respectively.) † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:52, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
You start a discussion about it on WT:BP, then if supported, you start a WT:VOTE. Note the listing of those absurdities on RFD. Circumfix and infix are not valid in English. --Connel MacKenzie 14:57, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
I added en- -en after reading the comment by Ruakh here (in case you thought it was an attempt at vandalism). As for -o-, noöne seems to have sent it to WT:RFD, and it is evidenced to exist in English (cf.: -logy, -ology, -o-, and genealogy). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:08, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
<Edit conflict>Wow, thanks for pointing that out. -o- wasn't correctly listed on WT:RFD yet. --Connel MacKenzie 15:08, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
All that aside, you still had neither a beer parlour discussion, nor a vote behind your edit. Repeating that error is likely to be dealt with, with a block! Be more careful! --Connel MacKenzie 15:13, 2 June 2007 (UTC)
OK, sorry. Thanks for correcting my error in a considerate manner. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:22, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Using etymology templates on personal pages[edit]

Please do not use etymology language templates on personal pages since they end up in the categories under Category:Etymology and this looks messy.--Williamsayers79 19:13, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

OK. Sorry about that; I’ll be more careful in future. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:16, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Proving a point[edit]

I see you are trying to defend the en- -en thing. When creating words (and their etymologies) that may defend this piece of English grammar, could you, at the very least, cite a reference which derives the etymology as "from en- -en + xxx". Every etymology source I can find only has "from en- + xxxen". Thanks. Atelaes 20:18, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi, I'm sorry to say you are going about defending your claim the wrong way. While illustration of a point is always useful, it is highly inappropriate to push a point under contention through page edits. The links to en- -en in the etymology are what worry me most. If you want to keep track of your new page creations, you may link them from en- -en derived terms since that page is itself under debate. However, please refrain from adding this unsupported information to the etymology unless, as Atelaes says, you really can support it. If through well-intentioned efforts you create a bulk of attested terms as blue-linked from en- -en, then that may sway opinion to your side. And if the resolution of that debate goes towards including circumfixes then the etymology will be simple enough to add later. But filling in your opinion right now is just going to enrage people. DAVilla 20:56, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

Hi Atelaes and DAVilla. Sorry, but I didn’t get your messages until after I created enmilden. Atelaes — as you can see my etymologies are all either/or in their construction — stating that the word was either formed fromed from the base noun/adjective + the circumfix, or from the already suffixed verb + the en- prefix (for those where an already suffixed verb form does not exist (e.g.: encolden, engolden) — I gave the etymology as +circumfix only, as no other construction is possible). If you have sources which specify etymologies for these words, then please — correct the etymologies as they prescribe. (I hoped that it would be recognised that I am trying to be fair by not stating without documented proof (that is, citations, rather than morphological analysis) that a word was formed by circumfixation unless I were absolutely certain that that were the case.) DAVilla — Thank you for the advice, which I shall follow. Until the present debate in re circumfixes is resolved, I shall omit these terms’ etymologies, adding them to en- -en / em- -en instead. By the way, the reason I’m creating these entries is that the OED states (according to Ruakh here), regarding this simultaneous prefixation & suffixation: “Most of these verbs were formed by prefixing en- to an already existing verb in -en; but a considerable number seem to be directly f. the adj. or n. on the analogy of those of the former class” — or, in layman’s terms (courtesy, again, of Ruakh): “en- was often added in combination with -en[.] [W]hile in most cases the en- was added to an already-existing verb in -en, in many cases it en- and -en seem to have been added simultaneously to the noun or adjective, rather than going through an intermediate -en-only verb state”. However, the OED does not distinguish in its list of en-X-en words (given by Ruakh here) between those formed by prefixation of a verb and those formed by simultaneous prefixation & suffixation of a noun/adjective — hence the either/or nature of the etymologies I’ve given. Finally, nota bene that the list of en-X-en words I’m adding does not come solely from the OED — it has been supplemented by those enumerated in Ingo Plago’s book Morphological Productivity: Structural Constraints in English Derivation (p74). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 21:36, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
You are basing all of this nonsense on one source? And with that, you suggest that all linguists recognise your brand-new classifications as being applicable to the English language? If you compose a list of such constructions, you may convince User:DAVilla of something (I'm not sure what) but that still would not justify rewriting the English language. "Encolden?" Come off it. Even babies know the word is "chill." --Connel MacKenzie 10:44, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Spell-checkers, discussion and questions[edit]


You raised some interesting theories about how spell-checkers work. As that is now so far off-topic, I felt it better to reply here. While some of the techniques you describe can be used for building the stop-lists of spell-checkers, the technology in principle relies on lookups of particular spellings. Some endings can (sometimes) be removed, but the second-pass is the very similar to the first.

For any decent spell-checker, enormous manual review of the generated misspellings is required. If something is a word, statistics (presumably) are all that can be used to differentiate between "rare" words and "common mistakes." Such work has to be conducted by paid, professional linguists.

When something appears as a misspelling in one spell-check program, it could be questionable. When something appears as a mistake in most (all known) prevalent spell-checkers, it is extremely irresponsible to suddenly promote the "rare" term as valid (on

It is my personal POV, that en.wiktionary currently encourages such misinformation. It is my personal observation is that you seem hell-bent on finding precisely those terms and entering them here. I don't pretend to understand why.

But with that hobby of yours clearly condoned by WT:CFI and WT:RFV, I do not understand why you object (militantly) to having such items marked clearly as mistakes, first and foremost. Are you trying to prove a point, that using citations the way we do, is inadequate "original research"? Or are you pushing (indirectly) for reform? What sort of reform are you seeking?

--Connel MacKenzie 19:33, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

As I said at the time, I have no idea how spell-checkers work — I was just guessing. You may be right in what you said hereinbefore, although the simple lack of evidence for the use of usuress as a misspelling of usurers implies otherwise. The strongest argument against having the misspelling definition is the pragmatic one, namely that if not even three examples (that is, enough to pass the WT:RFV process) of the misuse can be cited, then there is little practical use in having a definition claiming that such a misspelling is common (in fact, it would be downright misleading, as something that occurs fewer than three times across the entire internet is not “common” by any definition). I still believe that the correction suggested by your spell-checkers stems from the general incompetence of computers in understanding grammar, morphology, and other linguistic matters — computer programming algorithms are a long way from being adequate substitutes for the intricacies of the human brain (pretty much without exception).
I agree that Wiktionary is too permissive of illierate constructions (e.g.: irrespective, your guys’s), coming, as it does, from the “post-prescriptive perspective”. Namely, the perspective that makes the valid yet over-laboured point that the “misuses” which lexicographers and grammaticasters throughout the ages have decried were often objected to, not for reasons that such constructions were any more semantically inexpressive and ambiguous than the standard, but rather because of misunderstanding, ignorance of meaning, or prejudice against the linguistic traits (such as accent) of those who employed such sub-standard constructions. (Note, that in the spirit of this perspective, that disparaging label is rarely ever seen nowadays, having been superseded by “non-standard”, which is semantically speaking far more neutral in its POV, even though it, pragmatically, has developed the same implications of nescience and illiteracy due to being used in an identical context to its predecessor’s.) What Wiktionary lacks is balance, which is why it, as a resource, will not be taken seriously, which, I observe, understandably and legitimately bothers you; moreover, it will be incapable of fulfilling its supposed rôle of being Wikipedia’s “lexical arm” until it can be taken seriously — Wikipedia is already ridiculed enough without it institutionally advocating unacademic constructions and styles in its articles.
Tomorrow and its tomorrow have long since come and gone. --Connel MacKenzie 05:37, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, so much for the “promise” denotation of “shall”. I forgot about this. There’s quite a lot I want to say, so please bear with me, I’ll notify you when I’ve finished. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 10:18, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
You talk of my “militant objection” to marking words as errors or as non-standard. That objection only exists when such labels would be unwarranted. (Admittedly...


You seem to have disagreed with some of my pronunciatory changes to résumé. Firstly, according to w:French phonology, /ʀ/ is a dialectal pronunciation of the French ‘r’ grapheme; /ʁ/ is the standard form. Secondly, why are stress markers not given in IPA transcriptions of French words (apparently)? Thirdly, the two ‘é’s indicate that they are pronounced as /e/, and not as /ɛ/ & /eɪ/ invalid IPA characters (/&/) as you edited (you transcribed the theoretical French word “rèsumée”). Fourthly, why did you change the transcription for the ‘u’ from /ʊ/ to /uː/ — surely you don’t say “reh-zoo-may”? These questions/criticisms notwithstanding, thank you for correcting me concerning the French /y/ vowel. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:06, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

  1. /ʀ/ and /ʁ/ are equally correct; I prefer the first because it's less weird-looking for newcomers, and because being the Parisian form it's proportionally more often encountered on French radio/TV broadcasts, and because it's used by all major French dictionaries. Change it back if you really feel strongly about it.
  2. French words are not stressed; syllables are given equal stress. (If you want to be really picky, some linguists argue that true stresslessness may only be hypothetical; but at any rate stress is certainly not phonemic in French.)
  3. I'm well aware how the French word is pronounced. What I was changing was the English pronunciation. /e/ is not a phoneme in English (except as part of a diphthong).
  4. I'm more open to persuasion on this one. I've heard it pronounced either way. (For the record, I've just checked the OED and they give it with a long U-sound as I did; but like I say I've heard both used.) Widsith 21:34, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
  1. Hmm… I’m not terribly convinced by the fact that “all major French dictionaries” use /ʀ/. It’s likely that their reason for doing so is the same as your first one (that it’s “less weird-looking for newcomers”), and that since /ʀ/ and /ʁ/ are not distinguished phonemes in French, representational correctness falls by the wayside — after all, irrespective of the fact that standard English does not have trills (well, except for the borrowed French /ʁ/; but I meant /r/), the COED uses /r/ in place of /ɹ/ (furthermore, neither does it use tesh or dezh (/ʧ/ & /ʤ/ obsolete or nonstandard characters (ʧʤ), invalid IPA characters (ʧ/&/ʤ), replace ʧ with t͡ʃ, ʤ with d͡ʒ), and, more seriously, /a/ & /æ/ invalid IPA characters (/&/) are left undistinguished, both being represented by /a/). If you don’t mind, I will change this character back, unless you can cite a dictionary which has explicitly opted to prescribe the /ʀ/ phone in place of /ʁ/.
  2. OK; I didn’t know that. However, English words are stressed; therefore, the French-like pronunciation transcription in the English section ought to bear stress markers.
  3. Yes it is! It occurs, as you said, in diphthongs, but it also occurs terminally (as in the surname Brontë: /bɹɒntˈe/) and as the correct pronunciation of ‘é’ (as in café: /ˈkæfe/); hence /ˈɹezʊˌme/. (I could understand it if you gave the pronunciation of either of the variant forms (resumé or resume) as ˈɹɛzʊˌme, considering the abscence of an acute accent on either of the first ‘e’s thereof.)
  4. The COED gives the pronunciation of the ‘su’ as /zjʊ/. I think our best bet is to include transcriptions for all three of the different ‘su’-pronunciations. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:52, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  1. Well, the Trésor de la Langue Francaise, the biggest French dictionary and one which is available on the internet, uses /ʀ/. I don't actually know any which don't.
  2. It doesn't say French-like, it says French. Now it's either French or it's English. If English people are pronouncing it in the French way, in practice the stress will appear any old place. That is why for example cliché is stressed differently in UK and US. If you're labelling something French, don't use a stress mark.
  3. This is just nonsense. Where do you get this from? These terminal Es are all pronounced /eɪ/, unless you're affecting a European accent. If you don't believe me, check w:IPA chart for English, or for that matter any textbook on the subject. Widsith 22:16, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
  1. Not a dictionary which uses the /ʀ/ character in place of /ʁ/, but rather a dictionary which prescribes the /ʀ/ sound in place of /ʁ/. Is there any dictionary which states that it does that? (By the way, the French Wiktionary uses /ʁ/, according to Beobach in this revision.)
  2. Yes, but certain ways of stressing the word will be considered non-standard, such as, in the case of résumé, with the stress placed on the medial syllable as /ʁeˈzʊme/. For lots of English words, it doesn’t really matter which of their syllables one stresses; however, arbitrary as it often is, only one or two of those stress combinations will be considered correct pronunciations. For that reason, I think it best to provide stress markers for all polysyllabic English pronunciation transcriptions, even if those pronunciations are intended to imitate stressless languages. However, I agree that a better label than “French” ought to be used; can you suggest any word that means “French-sounding”?
  3. Yeah, I know it’s very common (probably more common) for ‘é’s to be pronounced as /eɪ/ rather than as /e/, but that is — prescriptively — incorrect. I know what you’re going to say — Wiktionary is a descriptive, and not prescriptive dictionary. However, the arguments that justify such an approach (the strongest being that people ought to be able to use Wiktionary to discover the meaning of any and every word used in English — both standard and non-standard, dialectal, archaic, obsolete, and so on) do not apply to pronunciation transcriptions. Noöne can, and noöne does look up a word by its pronunciation; therefore, the pronunciations we give should be the most prescriptively correct — which means, amongst other things, maximal pronunciatory distinction, which includes retaining distinctions between, amongst other sounds, /e/ and /ɛ/. I’m not the only one who thinks this — consider Wiktionary:General American English with maximal distinctions and Wiktionary:Well-Enunciated American English (neither of which, as far as I can see, explicitly argue this, but I do believe that it is an implicit premise). Noöne would consider /ˈɹezʊˌme/ to be incorrect, but some (albethey mostly pædants) would consider /ˈɹɛzʊˌmeɪ/ to be incorrect. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 09:41, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

[RETURNING TO MARGIN — † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:10, 30 June 2007 (UTC)]

1 — Look I really don't care one way or the other which symbol you use. We should probably have some consistency though so maybe this discussion should happen at Wiktionary:About French. (hmm - can't believe we don't have this page yet)
2 (points 2 & 3) — I understand what you are saying about giving people the correct information if they want to pronounce it à la française. I wholeheartedly accept that there is an argument for giving the true French pronunciation within the English section. But if you want to do that, just use the actual French pronunciation, not some weird hybrid. There should be a pronunciation which shows "naturalised" English, and one which shows for those who want to see it how the word is pronounced in French (or whatever language). But they are separate things. /e/ cannot appear in a naturalised English pronunciation, and stress marks cannot appear in a French one. As it happens I don't accept that pedants would hear /eɪ/ as incorrect, since in English [e] is just heard as an allophone of /eɪ/ anyway.
3 — Concerning dénouement I think we have to accept that, pace the COED, the consensus seems to be in favour of /ɑ̃/. So I'm asking you to please change it back, or go to the Beer Parlour and argue for the use of a new phoneme which is not currently recognised in the IPA charts for either English or French. Widsith 08:06, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

1 — I’ve written a proposal governing the ‘r’ grapheme on Wiktionary:About French — please take a look and make comments.
2 — I’m not too bothered whether the French-like pronunciation given in the English section has stress markers or not; although there is the risk that readers would come away pronouncing it in a way considered incorrect (e.g.: the pronunciation /ʁeˈzyme/ would be considered strange or just plain wrong by many). I think that most people (not just pedants), whilst regarding /ˈɹezʊˌme/ as correct, would consider /ˈɹeɪzʊˌmeɪ/ (written with /eɪ/s, which you claim to be allophones of /e/s) to be incorrect (try pronouncing the two alternatives for yourself). I wouldn’t contest it if Wiktionary were to give /ˈɹɛzʊˌme/ as the pronunciatory transcription for resumé — the reason is that consistent pronunciation of accented characters is an ideal in English, due to the abstruse irregularity of the rules for the proper pronunciation of its words (in line with this ideal, all ‘é’s should be pronounced as [e]).
3 — I’ll defer to your references regarding dénouement, though I’m still perplexed by why the COED would use an apparently non-existent phoneme in its pronunciatory transcriptions. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:10, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Since it’s been over a week and you haven’t yet replied, I’ll go make the changes to résumé. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 09:35, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't know what you want me to discuss. /e/ is not an English phoneme and is not appropriate for a Pronunciation section labelled as English. That /eɪ/ is not considered wrong (despite what you say) can be judged from the fact that it is given in the OED (along with the correct French pronunciation for reference). I don't know what your problem is - the French pronunciation is there and those who are sticklers for hypercorrection can refer to it. But trying to create a hybrid English is nonsense. 99.9% of English-speakers (including me, and I've lived in France), if they hear /[e] invalid IPA characters (/[]) in an English sentence, will simply interpret it as /eɪ/. Widsith 16:49, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Since you seem to grasp Rod's point below, let me try to rephrase this in phonological terms. You might describe the phonetics of someone's pronunciation as using [e] or [eɪ], but both of these will be interpreted in English as the phoneme /eɪ/. Widsith 16:58, 10 July 2007 (UTC)


Sigh. What are you doing? I have left the English pronunciation in for now in the hope that you'll change it back yourself, but I have re-added the correct French pronunciation. Please note that /ɒ̃/ is not a phoneme in French. If you want to check the pronunciation, consult the Trésor, or check the chart at w:French phonology. If you accept this, then I can only assume you're asserting that we change the nasalised vowel in English, for no reason. But I have never heard it pronounced this way, and furthermore the OED gives the pronunciation as /deˈnumɑ̃/, in other words the same as French but with a stress mark. What is going on? Widsith 14:15, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Huh? The OED and the COED disagree? That’s weird. I (as well as my friend next to me, whom I consulted) pronounce it with an /ɒ̃/, as the COED gives, and not with an /ɑ̃/, as the OED and Trésor give. (By the way, the /ɒ̃/ in the COED is not a one-off — it occurs frequently in “French-ish” words with such a nasalised vowel.) I shan’t argue with your knowledge of French pronunciation (I only changed it as I assumed that it would be the same as the English one as given in the COED), but concerning the confusion that has arisen around the English pronunciation, I must ask as you did — what is going on? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 08:57, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

me again[edit]

If you're going to fiddle with /r/s, then at least bear in mind that American English uses /ɻ/ and not /ɹ/. If you don't know what you're doing with IPA (which, as you can see from the last few messages here, is what I have concluded) then don't mess with it. Widsith 22:20, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Noted. I know what I’m doing with RP transcriptions. And anyway, /ɹ/ is a lot closer to /ɻ/ than /r/ is. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:25, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
For what it's worth, /r/, /ɻ/, and /ɹ/ are phonemic transcriptions and are all identical in English. [r], [ɻ], and [ɹ], however, are distinct phonetic transcriptions. See w:IPA#Usage for details. Rod (A. Smith) 21:19, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, sorry. I sometimes forget to use brackets and solidi correctly in IPA transcriptions. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 21:29, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/2007-06/Expand default namespaces for searches[edit]

Hi, you've voted on this topic before, but the vote was restarted almost a month ago. Will you be able to cast a vote in the next few days, before it closes? The new vote is here. Thanks! DAVilla 00:56, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for the heads-up. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:14, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Possessive forms exclusion WT:VOTE rewritten and restarted[edit]

I have rewritten and restarted the vote, having attempted to reword the proposal to address the issues that people have raised. You may want to reread the proposal and reconsider your vote. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:06, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I've been busy tidying up the interjections category. My vote still stands.--Williamsayers79 20:15, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Good to hear. Are you happy with my revisions? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:26, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes the vote makes a lot more sense now.--Williamsayers79 20:52, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

{{p}} template on scenarios[edit]

What is the purpose of the {{p}} template?

I removed the {{p}} in the scenarios definition. I thought it was an obsolete template indicating plural. Since you changed it back, I gather I was wrong, but I am really confused now. The Template:p says only, "An abbreviation (rather than full spelling) is required here for purposes of differentiating grammatical comment from the base text." I have seen {{p}} once or twice in other entries where it appeared to me to indicate plural since it only appeared on plural nouns. I read some of the scenarios/scenarii discussion, but it seemed not to have anything to do with {{p}} Makearney 18:37, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

When we phased out the ==Plural noun== header, I started writing (already plural) in the inflexion line of plural noun entries to mark nouns as plurals. On one occasion, another editor replaced it with {{p}}, which I thenceforth used. It’s my substitute for a nounal inflexion line (it isn’t obsolete — it’s just not often used in English entries). It isn’t strictly necessary, but neither is it objected to — as it is my preference, I ask that you leave them in wherever you see them. By the way, you are correct that the scenarios / scenarii discussion had nothing to do with the use of {{p}}. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 18:24, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I'll leave them alone from now on. Makearney 02:01, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. I appreciate it. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:04, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Personal attacks[edit]

Please, can we dispense with personal attacks? I know that the editor in question is often unreasoningly stubborn, and isn't himself the last one to jump in with personal attacks, but you're not helping your causes by stooping to his level. Also, while he's a mixed bag — he does scare off a lot of new editors trying to contribute, but he also spends a lot of time patrolling edits, undoing vandalism, and scaring off destructive editors — you don't have the same things going for you. It's one thing to let an argument get heated, but there's no point launching into personal attacks at unrelated discussions, and if you're seen to be harassing him, you will probably be blocked.

I'd rather not see that happen, and certainly rather not be the one who actually does it.

RuakhTALK 17:18, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

French <r>[edit]

When I suggested that we needed an About French page, I didn't mean for you to invent your own policy. I have deleted the page. However, I have started a discussion at Wiktionary talk:About French which I would encourage you to contribute to. Hopefully once we have a clear consensus we can re-establish the policy page. Widsith 08:42, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

This is not something I’m used to doing, but I’m sorry if it seemed as if I was asserting policy without a vote / explicit consensus — what I wrote was intended as a policy proposal to be discussed on its talk page, and thereafter edited accordingly. I shall go post a coment thereon very soon. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:56, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Black Forest gateau[edit]

As an aside: Thank you for admitting your blatant assumption of bad faith. That does nothing to mitigate the deceit you have wrought on WT:VOTE but perhaps some people will soon realize their error.

I noticed your recent addition of Black Forest gateau. I am alarmed that you are still proceeding in bad faith, even with such a simple entry.

The letter "â" is not a letter in the English language. I object severely to your assertion on Black Forest gâteau (and an astonishing number of related pages) that it is. At best it is an obscure, very rare borrowed term. But the prescriptive suggestion of the wrong spelling is inexplicable. It is a French term, and should only be listed as such. The borrowed spelling is very clearly normalized to "a", especially when doing a comparative b.g.c. search.

Furthermore, each of those pages should say (succinctly) that each of those variants mean "chocolate cake", "German chocolate cake" or, in some cases, "chocolate cherry cake." Forcing readers to hunt past numerous links is bad form.

The links you are using are also nonstandard. The deep-link "#English" is not correct in that situation. Even if it were correctly the primary English spelling, using the "#English" style link is not correct - the link is to that spelling not to a language section of that spelling (just as etymology links direct readers to "related" information about a other languages.)

Lastly, I have a minor complaint: you aren't wikifying the "alternative spellings" links within the {{alternative spelling of}} definition lines, causing dead links within the navigation pop-ups context. (That is, specifically forcing me to click-through each page, instead of following all the deep linking off the original page as a popup.) The convention has been (for a very long time now) to wikify that style of template link, for all the general purpose templates except {{misspelling of}}.

Should I raise these points on RFV/RFC/RFD/TR/BP/GP, or will you be able to clean up the mess you made, without further discussion?

--Connel MacKenzie 16:07, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Connel: Do you really not see the irony (and, I daresay, hypocrisy) in accepting his apology for assuming bad faith on your part, while simultaneously accusing him of intentional deceit? The amazing thing is that you not only manage to scare off new contributors with your continual assumptions of bad faith, but even fairly longstanding contributors who are trying to apologize and make peace with you are subject to them. —RuakhTALK 17:27, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I do not see hypocrisy on my part; I do see a contributor pushing an invalid POV (that English uses diacritics) based on his own original research. As far as his misconduct on WT:VOTE, I am beyond disgusted. I fail to see his snide "ooops, sorry for insulting you" non-apology is in any way "trying to make peace." Regardless, my comments are directed towards his current actions. --Connel MacKenzie 18:14, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
  1. WTF? What “deceit” have I “wrought” upon WT:VOTE?
  2. I didn’t feel I knew enough about Black Forest gâteaux to adequately define what they are (I don’t know what varieties there are, or what ingredients are common to all of them), so I entered the information that, to the best of my knowledge, is true for all of them. Feel free to change the definition — I’m sure that it can be improved (though omitting the information about where it was invented would be a negative thing).
  3. I don’t get your point about the deep-linking. Black Forest gâteau and Black Forest gateau are alternative spellings of the same English word, so I directed the link to the pertinent language section, namely the English one. In the extremely unlikely event that two languages had homographic words with homographic alternative spellings (such as if two languages contained the term Black Forest gâteau as well both containing the alternative spelling thereof, Black Forest gateau) then their respective {{alternative spelling of}} sections would link to the respective languages (that is, the English section for Black Forest gateau would link to Black Forest gâteau#English and the (let’s say) Scots section for Black Forest gateau would link to Black Forest gâteau#Scots). I do this for everything (though I use a POS header title instead of a language name in cases such as those shared by a plural noun and a third-person singular present tense verb form both formed by “+s”). What’s wrong with that?
  4. By “wikify”, do you mean the bracketting I used in this revision? –I’d always thought that doing so was untidy and pointless, but if it serves a useful purpose I’ll do that in future.
  5. Anyway, I made no “mess”, and all my contributions were made in good faith. Feel free to raise these “issues” in any or all of those fora you mentioned, as I’ve done nothing wrong. Yeesh! Just ‛coz you have some weird hatred for diacritics / irregular plurals / feminine forms / archaïsms / numerous other things used in English doesn’t make them messy or wrong… † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:45, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Dunno if this is what Connel's talking about, but there's generally no point linking to the English language section, because it always comes first unless there's a Translingual section (in which case it comes second). —RuakhTALK 16:56, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I don’t think that that’s his point. It is often unnecessary to link to the English section for the reason that you mentioned, though it does no harm; in the cases of a preceding Translingual section or a massive contents box (as in be), it is certainly useful to link specifically to the English section, to by-pass that. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:00, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
I assert that Black Forest gâteau does not occur in English. I assert that Black Forest gâteau is only a French term; when borrowed into English, it is written as Black Forest gateau, written in italics or otherwise clearly expressed as a French term. I assert that Doremítzwr is pointlessly promoting invalid terms that (as a whole collection) will need extensive correction later. Since Doremítzwr knows they are wrong before entering them, I am asking him to stop it. --Connel MacKenzie 18:14, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
You “assert that Black Forest gâteau does not occur in English”? –All ten accessible hits from Google Book Search suggest otherwise; none of them italicise the term. You are wrong (again). Or do you care to provide some evidence for your assertions (for once)? Or perhaps to explain in what way my contributions “as a whole collection” are invalid? They are not wrong, and until you can prove otherwise, kindly refrain from these pointless and baseless accusations. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:12, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
What did I say above? "Obscure, very rare borrowed term." Why is there a ten-to-one ratio of the real spelling vs. the Doremítzwr spelling? Could it be, that all ten of the citations you gave are using poetic license? No, in fact, some of those are in a regular font because the sentence they appear in is in italics. You are again wrong. Still. --Connel MacKenzie 19:39, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but you changed your mind soon after, didn’t you? I never asserted that this was the most common spelling, only that it is a correct one. “[S]ome of those are in a regular font because the sentence they appear in is in italics” — you mean this one? –Therein it is followed by another sentence, and one with a different purpose (it gives an address, telephone number, opening dates, and some initialisms) — which is why it is italicised; the rest of the sentence in which the phrase occurs is not italicised (it may be difficult to tell, but it isn’t). “Poetic license”? –Erm, no. “Doremítzwr spelling”? –Connel, you are priceless; I’d say “circumflex spelling” — it’s more descriptive, less POV, and its meaning isn’t as esoteric. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:56, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Why do you suggest I changed my mind soon after (after what?) Oh I see - just more deceptive circumlocution. Reading your comments above, you assert that the "Doremitzwr spelling" is correct, despite it being badly outnumbered, over 10 to one, from a descriptivism standpoint. By what basis do you make your assertion? It is your personal POV only. Hence, your POV pushing. --Connel MacKenzie 19:07, 23 July 2007 (UTC)


Do you have any evidence (in the form of actual usage or the plurals given in other dictionaries) for what you claim are the English plurals of "flatus"? English does not decline like Latin and does not use macrons. In any case, I would say that this word is uncountable. I have added the word to WT:RFV. — Paul G 16:42, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Note from this revision that I only added flatuses as a plural; the usage note that I also added was meant merely to instruct readers as to what the etymological-consistent plural would be (granted, ‛twould have been better had I have written “…its etymologically–derived plural would be formed by lengthening the ‘u’…” instead of “…its etymologically–derived plural is formed by lengthening the ‘u’…”, but I didn’t, and that was my minor error). Consider my writing “…the “us→ūs” rule is seldom if ever used in English; the “-es” suffix is used instead…” — does that sound as if I’m saying that “‘us’ → ‘ūs’” is a common rule for forming English plurals? Later, another contributor mistakenly added flatus as a second plural in the inflexion line (again, granted, probably because of my bad wording in the usage note). Then, as this revision demonstrates, I “[a]dded [a] macron for clarity”, for, I reasoned, if the macron-less etymologically consitent plural existed, so would the form which retained the macron (though, I daresay, I was probably wrong).
For what it’s worth, English often declines like Latin (well, in number at least) — consider the far more common “‘a’ → ‘ae’” (Latin first declension), “‘us’ → ‘i’” (Latin masculine second declension), and “‘um’ → ‘a’” (Latin neuter second declension) patterns (as well as many, rarer, others). As for macrons, what about mujtahidūn and lapsūs linguae? Flatus, as counter-intuitive as it may be, is a count noun (as per the COED [11th Ed.] and Ruakh’s 1730 citation from Jonathan Swift). I believe flatūs will fail WT:RFV. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:30, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
Please stop asserting terms you know are not used, especially in English entries. --Connel MacKenzie 18:15, 20 July 2007 (UTC)
  1. I wasn’t initially assering that flatūs is used English; I merely added the macron in response to BiT’s adding flatus as a plural to the entry for the singular flatus (interpreting his addition as evidence of use); and,
  2. This all happened six months ago; I don’t “[assert] terms [I] know are not used”. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 18:34, 20 July 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I was wondering why you removed the "Inf marker" at give stick? Isn't it normal for verbs to be defined using full infinitive phrases? —RuakhTALK 15:56, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Here or in other dictionaries? (–The COED [11th Ed.] omits it.) I’ve seen both styles used on Wiktionary. I much prefer the one without infinitive markers. For one, our entries for verbs are at their unmarked base forms, not their infinitive forms, so it would seem to me more appropriate to define them as such (even though the infinitive is given first in the inflexion line). Secondly, it is unsightly to have every definition beginning with the same word, especially when there are many of them (please see this example that I prepared which illustrates my point). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:11, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
I guess that's what makes it the concise Oxford: the OED Online does include the to, as do all of's dictionaries except WordNet, as does the Merriam-Webster Online. —RuakhTALK 16:18, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
And it looks damn awful. Argumenta ad verecundiam aside, I really think that we shouldn’t have them. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:04, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Looks aren't everything. :-)   Seriously, though, we could go back and forth here all day. Really, we should have a general BP discussion on format of definitions; for something so basic and so fundamental to what we do, it's amazing how much inconsistency there is. I'll probably start such a discussion this afternoon — night, your time. —RuakhTALK 17:46, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
OK. I’ll post something thereäfter. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 18:23, 25 July 2007 (UTC)


The convention still is to move to a subpage when there are nine or more citations entered, correct? --Connel MacKenzie 02:58, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I don’t know; I didn’t know that there was such a convention. Does it matter though? –Using trans-tables, rel-tables, and {{seecites}} links hides lists that may be of no interest to most Wiktionary users in places that are nonetheless easily accessible without being obtrusive. Citations are given immediately after the pertinent sense, are they not? –Consider what that would do to take if its senses were interlarded with 3–8 citations each. Not pretty. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 08:41, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Connel on this: if there aren't very many citations, they should go under the definitions they correspond to (generally no more than three per sense, though personally I think four or even five is fine if there's only one sense); if there are too many for that to work well, we can have a "Quotations" section; and only if there are really a heck of a lot is it worth having a subpage. (Even then, it would be nice to have a few particularly illustrative quotations at the main page.) It might be nice to have collapsible quotations boxes, though, rather than sending people to subpages; what do you think? —RuakhTALK 17:51, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
The Wiki-Pedant has brought this up for discussion here, I see. My personal view is that definitions should be “interlarded” with an example sentence (or two, maximally), not with quotations — we can make them far more expressive and illustrative as we can customise them for that very purpose, rather than trying to find another author who, by chance, has written a sentence somewhere which makes a particular word’s meaning particular obvious (consider, for example, this revision of mine). The Wiki-Pedant’s most important point is that there may develop dissonance between the definitions given in the entry and those given at the subpage — the ideal solution would be some kind of mechanism which “imported” the definitions from the entry to the subpage, if that’s possible. Unfortunately, the only solution to his problem that I can see at the moment is to keep the citations where they originally started being written — under the pertinent definition; nota bene that quotations sections carry the same risk of definiential dissonance as subpages do — both require, as the Wiki-Pedant put it, “redundant user-maintained data fields” (however, I grant that the risk of such dissonace is probably lower if the two sets of identical definitions are on the same page — but the risk is still there). Worse yet, we would not only have to keep the citations between the definitions, we would also not be able to do as you suggest — interlarding them with rel-boxes (that is, collapsible quotations boxes) would break definition numbering (every definition would be definition №1). I really think it would be best to try to develop that “ideal solution” I described above. If developed, I would be willing to personally institute it on every Citations subpage on Wiktionary (there are fewer than six hundred, so it wouldn’t be too monstrous a task at the moment). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:23, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, and I forgot to mention — citations subpages have one modest advantage over quotations sections: entry size (that is, number of bytes). Whereas Citations subpages mean that the additional data needn’t be loaded with the rest of the entry, quotations sections (irrespective of whether the citations therein are “hidden”) offer no such space-saving benefits; considering that most of our users, IMO, would not be particularly interested by our citations, I think it best that they be moved out of the way, to prevent those with slow connexions from being frustrated by their computers’ trying to load data for which those users have no use. (Granted, this is not a particularly strong argument until there are many, many citations. However, ideally, we will (one day) have “many, many citations” for many, many words. I have personally added 30+ citations for some words; considering that the average citation is around 300 bytes in size, that’s around nine kilobytes of data that everyone would have to load, but for which few would have any use.) † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:24, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
But I don't think an entry benefits from having 30+ quotations; after all, if all someone wants to see is large numbers of quotations using the word, they can use Google — and that way they can get much more context for each quotation. The point of including quotations here is to give a few representative examples showing how the word has been used, as well as to give an impression of the timespan over which the word has been used. If you'd like to give 30+ quotations for every word, I won't stop you, but it would be nice if you'd leave a usable number in the entry itself for the rest of us. —RuakhTALK 02:55, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
It can be very hard to use that method to find an instance of listen as a noun, and then to follow the usage and development of that sense. It's even harder to follow usage of a term like set in a particular sense. Making people conduct their own searches is not something a dictionary should do; rather a dictionary should provide the data as supporting evidence. The large numbers of citations are the underpinning of any serious dictionary. --EncycloPetey 07:00, 3 August 2007 (UTC)


Can you please provide page numbers and links to the URLs when giving citations, instead of just titles and authors of entire works, as you did here? Thanks. Dmcdevit·t 03:30, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

It was not I who added à contrecœur or any of its citations (consult its history for proof). I, whenever possible, do add page numbers, and, if the medium is suitable (such as if it is an article available on-line, a Google group, or what have you), I include a hyperlink too. So we seem to agree on the standard for citing — ‛tis good to see. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 08:30, 26 July 2007 (UTC)


Can a term be both archaic and a neologism? (I would remove the neologism tag). Cheers. SemperBlotto 17:06, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

So would I, but it is meant as an example; please see this. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 17:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

"K" in Welsh[edit]

I've just spotted this edit you made to kilometr. My Welsh dictionary uses "kilometr" as an example of a loan word with the letter K. It is one of the two Welsh words in this dictionary starting with K, the other being "kilogram". Under C it does give "cilogram", but not "cilimoetr" or "cilomedr". Thryduulf 08:11, 31 July 2007 (UTC)


Okay I do apologise. Sorry to cause you any trouble... —This unsigned comment was added by Jakeybean (talkcontribs).

Don’t worry about it. It’s good to see an enthusiastic new editor here. However, please check what you’re about to add with dictionaries and other sources, or, at the very least, cite examples of such usage. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:55, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Welsh templates[edit]

The main Welsh templates that I use are the mutation ones, e.g. {{cy-mut-c}} and {{cy-mut-M}} (for use with words that start with a capital letter.

The use of them is simple, use the template that matches the first letter of the word, and add everything other than the first word as the parameter, e.g. "Cymru" {{cy-mut-C|ymru}}, "llan" {{cy-mut-ll|an}}.

There is the inflection template ({{infl}}) but I haven't got my head around that yet. Thryduulf 08:40, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I created {{cy-noun}}, and I've used it in about 50 entries. Feel free to expand or change it. StradivariusTV 03:39, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

for all intensive purposes[edit]

Hey thanks for your help at this mistake of an article. However, I'd like to discuss a few small things. You obviously know it's fruitless to engage in a two sided debate with the likes of Connel, but let's see what kind of consensus we can reach when two rational people have discourse.

  • rare tags

I think the number of instances of the first sense tell us it's not rare. Wrong, yes. Rare, no. The second sense is indeed rare. This is how it is currently marked, and I think Connel is amicable to that.

  • 2nd sense verbiage

I rewrote it once as "for all highly demanding purposes" because it is easier to understand the sense implied. By replacing only one word in the phrase, you get a stronger emphasis. We are really trying to define intensive, showing one way this phrase can be used without error. The emphasis and simplicity is important because the malaprop usage doesn't make sense and has brought confusion to the word "intensive." Replacing only the one word is stronger communication. And come on, it seems almost juvenile to just insert synonyms for simple words like "all" to feel like you've "written a definition." It's more like "look what I can do," rather than letting others quickly understand what we are implying. Can I change it back?

  • Usage notes compromise

How about something like "Though this phrase has become common in some English-speaking communities, it is still widely prescribed against as a malapropism for "for all intents and purposes." (+ref) Then, to restore an earlier discussion, I think we can do away with the etymology, because that information is redundant in both the definition and usage notes. I know you prefer an actual Etymology section, but others agreed it wasn't always necessary. [7] In this case, the info is better served in the usage notes section. If you still really want the Etymology secion, I will not protest as long as you are OK with being redundant. Then again, how about "Colloquial alteration of "for all intents and purposes." Does that sound harmless enough to pass the master, who loves this erroneous phrase? -- Thisis0 19:16, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. There’s quite a lot to address here. I need to go out for a while now — I’ll try to reply as soon as I can when I get back. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:28, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Connel’s variable. Noöne can doubt that he’s a useful contributor and administrator around here. However, if he opposes something, he is breathtakingly stubborn — he will not let go no matter what; it can get extremely frustrating… That aside; to address your points:
  1. The rare tag — yes, this is obviously a tag that cannot be maintained. Connel opposes it, I oppose it, you oppose it, Ruakh opposes it — in fact, everyone opposes it, so it isn’t an issue.
  2. The wording of the second definition — Ah, I see what you’re doing now. I simply thought it sounded better the other way. (Come now, “it seems almost juvenile to just insert synonyms for simple words like all to feel like you’ve written a definition. It’s more like look what I can do” — that is an absurd assumption of bad faith — one of the things that you, I, and many others have been criticising Connel about of late. I really don’t want someone else around here assuming bad faith on my part for such ridiculous reasons.) Nota bene that the second sense is not idiomatic, and therefore (technically) fails WT:CFI; hopefully noöne will bother raising this issue (though it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Connel did upon reading this), but if one does, I’m sure we’ll find a way of retaining that information in some incarnation in the entry. Oh, I forgot to mention — change the second definition back if you’d like; just make sure that the definition in the entry and the one on the citations subpage are in harmony. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:37, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
  3. The wording of the usage note and the existence or otherwise of the etymology section — IMO, I think the way the usage note is written now (“This phrase is exceedingly rare outside of North America, and is currently prescribed against by most even there” + nine references) is fine as it is. As the entry currently stands, the etymology is not redundant, as malapropism is only mentioned therein. Also, keep in mind that we must be careful not to misrepresent our authorities — if they don’t state that they proscribe for all intensive purposes because it’s a malapropism, then we can’t claim that that is their reasoning by rewriting the usage note to imply thus.
I’m fairly happy with the entry as it presently stands. –Do you have any objections thereto? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:35, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
  1. Bad faith -- I certainly didn't mean to accuse you of bad faith. I was (as is the requirement here) commenting on the content and its appearance, not your intentions or character. That is the problem with people like Connel (and you and I) constantly crying wolf about "good faith," or throwing around words like troll and spam like they were nothing. First, it weakens the word and gives you no recourse when it actually does happen (cf. The boy who cried wolf). Second, it makes everyone jumpy and sensitive (cf. your last response). So let's proceed in good faith, which to me means assuming we mean each other no ill will or offense in what we write (read: not easily offended), and maybe these kilobytes can get to progress rather than re-hashing.
  2. second sense not idiomatic -- This is true. However, since the group of words can be used in a correct way, it deserves mention. I was first turned on to this sense after finding the page at, which you have now cited. I then noticed that one of the five sources Connel dug up from Google books to support this retarded phrase actually was an example of this true sense. This is why it became def. 2. As long as that cite is there, it should be that way. If it disappears, we would say something in the usage notes similar to the entry, but I think I prefer it as-is in def.2.
  3. Usage notes -- I think you've missed something. We've just agreed that the phrase is not rare, but your maintain its rarity in your usage notes. I think the truth is that it is not rare, but prescribed against by grammar people. I think from the Google book sources we have (which should top the list, starting with Broadview, and also links to Google Books are good; I can do this) it is fair to say that they are recommending against it and saying that it is wrong. The phrase's rarity is not the truth, but what we have are sources that prescribe against it. Maybe we shouldn't use the word "malapropism" in the usage notes because our sources don't. So, leave the etymology as-is, and let's accurately represent what our top book sources have to say about it. -- Thisis0 01:25, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
    Oh, and regarding "rarity outside of North America," i think that fact is covered by the "US" template tag, and besides, it's a little POV and appears "Britian-protective" the way it's written now. -- Thisis0 01:30, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
  1. It’s not that I’m easily offended — it’s just that I really can’t be bothered with accusations of bad faith any more. Granted, I’m a little more sensitive to it than usual, probably because I’ve been getting so many lately (though, granted, from only one source). Be fair now — you were commenting on my character: “And come on, it seems almost juvenile to just insert synonyms for simple words like all to feel like you’ve written a definition. It’s more like look what I can do, rather than letting others quickly understand what we are implying”. However, yes, it doesn’t matter — we both know that our efforts and intentions are directed towards improving the entry (primarily).
  2. I am in complete agreement on this point.
  3. The usage note states that this malapropism is rare outside of North America. (–Which it is, right?) Despite the seeming redudancy, I still think that noting its rarity outside America Septentrionalis is worth while; I don’t see what you mean by it seeming “Britian-protective”. Feel free to reörganise the references as you see fit, but keep the reference to The Eggcorn Database as last. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:45, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Firstly, I'm not sure we have any basis for the claim that it's rare outside of North America; at least, it seems to be rare outside of North America insofar as it seems to be rare in all dialects, but we don't have any evidence to justifying implying that it's more common in North America than elsewhere. (As far as I can tell, "North America" is here a term for "Connel's imagination". In my experience, almost every time someone says something he dislikes is acceptable, or (less often) that something he's O.K. with is considered nonstandard, he decides it must be a regional thing, with himself the spokesman for his region. I'll grant that usually he speaks of "GenAm" rather than "North America", but I really don't see whence else this could have come.)
Secondly, I really think the second sense is nonstandard as well — it results from taking the malapropism at face value. It's not like someone using "for all intensive purposes" literally is doing so because they're aware of "for all intents and purposes" and that's not what they mean; rather, they're doing so because they think (mistakenly) that "for all intensive purposes" is a stock expression. I'm not sure how (and, for that matter, where) we should explain this, but it's something you see with many or most malapropisms.
RuakhTALK 02:02, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

--Rest assured, I have no MO for attacking your character; that was not my intent or purpose :) I see how my wording seems personal, but I was commenting on the outside appearance (to a reader, who has no regard for specific authorship). Please substitute "It might appear juvenile," and the like. And forgive me.
--Britian-protective -- The North America mention just looks like we are trying very hard to say "Oh, but this error absolutely does not occur in Britian... This error isn't even conceivable in the Queen's English; it's most certainly limited to those Yanks." Certainly, you cannot guarantee that the error has not spread, nor can you even guarantee it did not originate in Britian for that matter! Let's play English and not play oceans, yes? I am not at all fond of Connel's constant US–UK bitching. Let's stay far from it. Rewriting the usage notes entry, I think, would be in the interest of brotherhood -- Thisis0 02:13, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

  • “The second sense is non-standard” — Ruakh, this doesn’t make sense. You are arguing that the unidiomatic yet perfectly grammatical use of these words is non-standard because an idiomatic use exists for them. Following your logic, any sequence of words thitherto correct would become non-standard upon the development of a new, idiomatic sense thereof. This can’t work. The literal usage for many probably does arise from mis-taking this as a “stock phrase”, and forasmuch as this is an error of intention, the objectively visible outcome is not erroneous, wherefore regarding it as non-standard is inappropriate.
  • Personal attacks — “And forgive me.” –Of course unnecessary. I see what you meant now. However, on the subject of personal attacks, please lay off the personal attacks of Connel; apart from it being inimical to a professional working environment, it works to strengthen his case against you (see this, for example). And y’know, two wrongs don’t make a right and all that…
  • A US error only? — I agree that Connel seems to use the “divergence in US–UK usage” card a tad too often (and with little to no evidence) nowadays. Nevertheless, however often he cries wolf, his claim may nonetheless be true. “Brotherhood” doesn’t come into it — if this is a US error, it ought to be labelled as such; however, if it just an English error (being an error of the language, not of the country), then it ought not to have any regional use tag. That’s as far as the issue extends for me. Ruakh, you wrote here: “…it doesn’t make sense to claim that for all intents and purposes is dated/archaic in the U.S.: google:site:gov "for all intents and purposes" gets more than 300 times the hits that google:site:gov "for all intensive purposes" does. (Using site:us instead, the difference is less dramatic, but it’s still a more-than-fifty-fold difference.)” — which suggests that this error is around five or six times more common in the US than it is elsewhere; is this not the case?
  • Formatting minutiæ — Generally speaking, the combined use of italics and quotation marks is unnecessary and erroneous; choose one or the other. Please do not italicise words which are used as part of a definition (“For all highly demanding purposes”), as such formatting (in definitions) is appropriate for mentioned words only; I know what you’re trying to do (show that “highly demanding” are there synonymous with “intensive”), but that is not obvious from how the definition is written (and is perhaps better noted in a usage note). Lastly, though you can write howsoever you like in your own writing, please ensure that you use logical quotation when editting and creating entries.
  • † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:21, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • If I misunderstand "hot dog" to mean "dog that's sexually attractive to other dogs" (a straight-up compositional interpretation of the idiom), and start saying things like, "Her poodle is a hot dog", that's nonstandard. (I mean, it's one thing to make a pun, with special intonation indicating the joke; but if I'm saying it just like that, [ˈhɑt dɑg] invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ, that's nonstandard.)
  • I don't understand your "five or six times more common in the US" thing. You do realize that both gov and us are American top-level domains? (gov is special for the Federal government, while us theoretically acts like other countries' TLDs, though it's not nearly so widely used in the U.S. as other TLDs are in their respective homes. U.S. organizations usually use com, org, edu, etc.)
RuakhTALK 14:35, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, but it’s questionable whether that use of “hot” is standard in the first place. Here’s an example:
    A curious beekeeper sees a shifty character skulking around her garden with a teaspoonful of something in his hand. As she is wont to doing, she approaches him and asks “What’s that you’ve got there?”, to which said shifty character defensively answers: “None of your beeswax!”.
    Thinking about it, a better example is: Two people walk past a parked car with a panting canine on the front seat, upon which one of the people remarks to the other: “What an irresponsible owner, leaving his dog in his car on such a sweltering day! Poor little hot dog…” — such use would be standard. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:26, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Unlikely perhaps, but standard nonetheless.
  • I suppose I didn’t; I was just quoting some evidence that you’d presented which seemed to indicate that this misconstruction is chiefly a US one. If it doesn’t, then I misinterpreted what you were saying.
  • † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:05, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

mondegreen, malapropism, and eggcorn[edit]

Rather than revert you, I cam here to discuss these words. Mondegreen refers specifically to misheard poems, psalms and song lyrics. Malapropism refers specifically to (usually intentional) gaffes replacing "large" words with similar sounding (but not homophonous) "large" words, for comic effect and usually in the context of a play or TV show. The etymologies of these names are instructive. (Mondegreen literally words misheard from a ballad, and Malapropism from the name of a character whose comic trait was commiting the gaffes.) The precise term might be eggcorn, but this term is too new to use for a solid etymology. The term was indeed invented because there is no precise term for common gaffes like this. Can I revert back? Or, tell me what your specific issue is with what I wrote, and I will address it. -- Thisis0 17:00, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

When you removed malapropism from the etymology, I reread the definition and found myself agreeing with you — although for all intensive purposes is an error, intensive is not an “absurdly inappropriate word”; therefore, malapropism is not a suitable word for that etymology. However, I felt that mondegreen would be a far better substitute, as for all intensive purposes is an error “arising from mishearing a spoken … phrase” — our contemporary definition disagrees with you that the phrase need be sung. Of course, our definitions may be wrong, and as I find your etymological argument persuasive, I think it would be appropriate to discover how other dictionaries define these words (unfortunately, neither of my dictionaries list mondegreen or eggcorn, so I can only quote their respective definitions of malapropism):
  • The Concise Oxford English Dictionary [11th Ed.]:
    malapropism /ˈmaləprɒˌpɪz(ə)m/ (United States also malaprop)
    • noun the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one (e.g. ‘dance a flamingo’ instead of flamenco).
  • The Collins English Dictionary [2007 reprint] (ISBN-13: 0–00–777–386–2; ISBN-10: 978–0–00–777–386–2):
    malapropism n the comic misuse of a word by confusion with one which sounds similar, for example under the affluence of alcohol [after Mrs Malaprop in Sheridan’s play The Rivals]
The combined strength of our definition, Collins’ one, your objection, and the COED’s example convince me that malapropism is not the right choice here. However, in comparing our definitions of mondegreen and eggcorn, I conclude that the former would be more appropriate — for all intensive purposes is hardly an “idiosyncratic … substitution of a … phrase for … a word … that sound[s] identical, or nearly so” — it is clearly widespread. I therefore suggest that the etymology be reädded to read:
As Ruakh has said, I don’t think that we can call this a “colloquial alteration”, as its use seems to transcend the colloquial register (that is the specific issue with your revision). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 21:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
As postscripta, nota bene that:
  1. It is not uncommon for Wiktionary to use neologistic terms; protologism was itself a protologism when it was first used here, and you will not find our language header translingual in any dictionary I’m aware of.
  2. “Revert back” is redundant (just like “refer back”) — just “revert” (and “refer”) will suffice.
Thanks for correcting my grammar... a true pedant, every step...
And regarding mondegreen, you are mistaken that is is not necessarily a mishearing of a lyric, poem or recitation. That is, in fact, its specific category. And, mondegreens are definitely idiosyncratic. Like I said, how the term was coined is instructive to its purpose. Please see Wikipedia:Mondegreen, Mondegreens: A Short Guide, and the original essay about the creation of the word "eggcorn" where the reason for not using the term mondegreen is: "because the mis-construal is not part of a song or poem or similar performance." Also take a look at these instructive links: [8] [9] [10]
You are correct that the focus of eggcorn would appear to be individual, rare, idiosyncratic substitutions, but in general use, so far, it has been applied to wider errors. Note that one of our own references is indeed the Eggcorn Database, which claims this phrase (for all intensive purposes) as it's own, saying, "The makings of a true eggcorn: it just makes sense." Note also that the eggcorn article at wiktionary and wikipedia both list this particular error as an instructive example.
The problem is, truly, that there still is no exact word categorizing this most common brand of mistake. Because of this, I've seen the enthusiasm with which people have flocked to add their particular pet-peeve-error to the list of eggcorns at wikipedia as soon as they heard the concept existed. (So much so that they had to harshly regulate it.) If the word eggcorn takes root, it will probably become limited to rare idiosyncratic errors like "egg corn" for "acorn". (Like the other terms, how it was coined will remain instructive to its purpose.) Until we have a precise word, we'll have to make do with real words like: mistake, mishearing, misconstruction, alteration, etc. And, as before, I agree with Ruakh in that we don't need an Etymology if it contains the same info as the definition. I'll make sure to let you in on it if they ever coin the right word. -- Thisis0 22:22, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
To me "mondegreen" means a misheard lyric (based on the etymology and my experience of hearing/seeing it used), and as "for all intensive purposes" is not the mishearing of a lyric "mondegreen" is the wrong word. I'm convinced by what is written above here than "malapropism" is similarly not right. Based on this the word I would choose would be "misconstruction", as it seems to fit the bill the best. Thryduulf 23:46, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

none of your bee's wax[edit]

First, be sure that I am referring to the Wiktionary entry, and not actually telling you to "mind your own beeswax." :)
Don't you think this is more common as "none of your beeswax"? Beeswax is indeed the word referring to the wax of bees, and wouldn't it actually be bees' wax, anyway? Wouldn't "none of your bee's wax" refer grammatically to the wax produced by the one and only bee in your possession? Google books finds 233 instances of "none of your beeswax" and only 5 occurences of "none of your bee's wax". Similarly, Google web search is drastically in favor of the same results. Can we put this article in the beeswax form, with the others as alternate spellings? (Including mind your own beeswax which gets significant search results -- Thisis0 22:04, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Interestingly, Google Book Search yields only one search result for “none of your bees’ wax” (as for “none of your bee’s wax”, I only get three). Anyway, the official ideal behind alternative spellings and alternative forms is that they are all equal, irrespective of which spelling or form “houses” the “primary” entry; needless to say, perceptions often deviate considerably from the said “official ideal”. Though it’s almost entirely irrelevant either way, I’ve gone ahead and “moved” the entry. Feel free to add any other alternative forms. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:48, 7 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi, in future please wait for an admin to call the result of a vote, especially one of which you've been such an active proponent. Widsith 11:45, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Is that an administratorial prerogative? –Sorry, I was unaware. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 11:55, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Usuress RFV[edit]

If your striking of this is overturned again, then I suggest that you do not strike it again yourself but wait for another admin to do so. I will certainly do it if needed, I suspect Ruakh would as well and I'd be surprised if he is the only one. Also, no matter how much Connel pisses you off, do be careful to avoid making personal attacks against him, and think about how you word things with an eye to not pissing him off (I know this can be difficult!). Thryduulf 23:46, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

OK; thanks. If he rolls back my striking again, that’ll kinda violate w:WP:3RR (not technically applicable, but he seems to be developing a penchant for quoting Wikipedia policy pages of late). I recognise that what I wrote here recently was slightly personal-attacky, but other than that, I think I’ve been fairly cool-headed; if there is another instance where I haven’t, please let me know, as I may not be entirely aware of how my tone is being perceived. Yeesh! –I think I’m pretty patient, but the endless crap he’s been throwing my way recently is really starting to try my patience — what with being repeatedly called a troll, vandal, disruptive editor, liar, POV-pusher, et cetera, as well as having him publicly ask another administrator to block me. Anyway; again, thank you for the note. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:56, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clear, my note about keeping cool was a general note intended as a friendly reminder and moral support rather than a criticism about a specific comment. Thryduulf 00:07, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Certainly, and that’s how it was taken — I’m just being cautious; I would be glad to receive constructive criticism from you anyway. Thanks again. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:11, 9 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi! I noticed that you added a request for the etymology of philodox to be, for lack of a better word, Greekified. There actually isn't an Ancient Greek word that would be transliterated as "philodox." Are you certain that the etymology is correct? Medellia 18:45, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I’m relying on the reference I gave in the entry (scroll down for philodox) — it seemed well researched, so I believed it; if I misread the reference, or if it is erroneous, please correct the entry as appropriate. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:54, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for letting me know. Medellia 15:12, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for correcting the entry. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:18, 10 August 2007 (UTC)


hey, check this link and see if you can decipher the bibliographic reference at the bottom of the page. To what volume of text is this referring? Hist. MSS. Com., Cd. 2319, p. 27 -- Thisis0 00:06, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

I’m sorry — I don’t understand what you’re referring to. I couldn’t find that emboldened text anywhere on the page whither you sent me. What do you want me to do exactly? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:29, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I hope the link is working for you... [11] This book is one you had listed on usuress/citations, but your link there had only snippet view (this one). I found the same work in "full view" and saw your citation sentence was actually from a footnote, sourcing an older text. This is, in fact, the same older text that several of the citations on usuress/citations were quoting from. I took those redundancies out, but if we can cite that original source, we can at least have this sentence represented on usuress/citations. The text Hist. MSS. Com., Cd. 2319, p. 27 is what you should see at the bottom of the page at this link. I can't decipher what older work that emboldened text refers to. I just thought you might know a little more about citations and could expand some of those abbreviations. -- Thisis0 02:08, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
In re: your message on my page, I think four citations that have the exact same syntax in quotation marks are not right for the citations page. They are not examples of mentioning the word, nor are they earlier cites than others; they are all quoting the same passage of a (mysterious) older work, which is not Crime and Punishment based on context here and here (scan for note three within the text ["Manor courts in the middle ages"]). It's a historical volume represented by this bibliographic reference: Hist. MSS. Com., Cd. 2319, p. 27, and I think that is the text we can include, not the cites quoting it. -- Thisis0 02:08, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
see a similar source cited here -- Thisis0 02:10, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
progress. It means Historical Manuscripts Commission [12], followed by a city name, I think -- Thisis0 02:16, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

One week’s absence[edit]

I've replied with a question at User talk:Connel MacKenzie#One week’s absence. --Connel MacKenzie 14:43, 12 August 2007 (UTC)


Please note that I just reverted your general improvements to Antartica. What exactly were you trying to do there? Neskaya talk 23:02, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

*Sigh* –The following:
  1. Standardise the format of the etymology by using templates, linking, et cetera (though I don’t think that it’s 100% correct, as it really needs proper Greek script);
  2. Move the Wikipedia box to the top of the English section;
  3. Standardise the pronunciation by putting the regional context tag and transcription on the same line;
  4. Link to the singular form of a word rather than its unnotable plural form in the second sense’s definition ([[islands]] → [[island]]s);
  5. Add a derived term (Antarctican);
  6. Add a translation table, complete with gloss;
  7. Link all the translated words; and,
  8. Add single spaces between the asterisks and words in the related terms and see also sections.
Why, what’s the problem? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:17, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Your general improvements made no general improvements to the article? Neskaya talk 23:18, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Wiktionary has very strict formatting rules; just take a look at WT:ELE. Irrespective of that, I don’t see how you can consider my changes anything but an improvement (especially changes 5–7). Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to remake the changes. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:24, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
There is NO NEED for spaces between asterisks and words?
  1. This
works just as well as
  1. this
and produces similar results. I've read WT:ELE several times, thank you. And I will revert again if I see it makes NO general addition to the value of the article. Neskaya talk 23:27, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
So, you revert a general clean-up because of… four externally invisible spaces? I added them because they improve code readability. Note that I consider your reversion a disruptive act. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:32, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Really, it made no additions to the article. I would appreciate your ending this, before I revert it again or request protection of the article. If you have an edit that adds real content (and note that I do not consider Antarctican real content), then go right ahead. Until then, please try and limit yourself to productive edits that don't take up other people's time to see whether it helped the project at all. --Neskaya talk 23:35, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
You’ve been here for two months. –What makes you think you know what is and what isn’t considered a useful addition? WT:CFI sure as hell considers Antarctican “real” content. Go ahead and request protection — you won’t get it. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:42, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Hrm, I've been here for over two years, I have only just recently gotten an account, as before I didn't have consistent enough computer access to let myself think that it warranted an account. At this point however I'm just going to ignore you for a couple weeks and let you go about your merry little way. Because I don't have the patience for this and it seems like you do not either. Neskaya talk 23:45, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Both of you are being quite Silly. First, Doremítzwr definitely improved the article, even if the impact was rather insignificant. Second, even if his edit hadn't improved the article, and had been entirely invisible changes, that's no reason to revert. All you're doing is wasting Foundation resources by reverting a neutral edit, not to mention butting heads with another editor, which is non-good. Third, personal attacks are Lame. Don't make them. Atropos 23:47, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you Atropos. I can’t believe this — I’m away for almost two weeks, and the first edit I make upon my return (which I would not in my wildest dreams think could be considered controversial) is attacked by an editor with whom I’ve never before had dealings, over four externally invisible spaces! –WTF † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:54, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Atropos: it would be useful if you had an email. Don't feed trolls.
Doremítzwr: Blocked, 1 month, personal attack, repeat offence. Article "Antarctica" protected sysop/sysop 120 days, at user request. Robert Ullmann 00:01, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
This is not about the article content, it is about "You’ve been here for two months. –What makes you think you know what is and what isn’t considered a useful addition?" added to a track record on Wikipedia and here that indicates that this user is at best a troll. It is a shame; he is knowledgable, could make valued contributions (and has), but cannot resist making trouble.
Notice to other sysops/admins: please review this action; but please note his direct public attack on Connel on BP, and review the entire history on the pedia where he has been effectively (but note not de jure) banned. Robert Ullmann 00:10, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I do not believe that † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr is a troll. Further, Neskaya's revert seems completely unjustified. This does not justify his comment to her, however — open disdain for newcomers qua newcomers is irredeemably disruptive to the project — and while I feel that a month-long block is a bit long, I'll trust your judgment if you don't want to shorten it. (N.B., though: Connel has several times told me, in approximately so many words, that my opinions don't matter because of my newness. If we regularly treated this as a blocking offense, especially a blocking offense of such duration, he'd by now be blocked indefinitely.) —RuakhTALK 00:29, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't know that I've ever suggested your opinions don't matter; I have suggested they are very typical of Wikipedia and your newness here sometimes plays a large role in that. I have not seen any of the alluded-to history on Wikipedia that Robert talks about...I avoid Wikipedia in general. But if that is true, then is seems very likely there is cross-project disruption going on that shouldn't be ignored. --Connel MacKenzie 07:21, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
If anyone is curious, look at this. More recently, he was sharply criticized for adding entries to the Wiktionary, and using them to justify very strange spellings and usage on the 'pedia. Robert Ullmann 07:41, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
(Of course, Connel somewhat falls into a separate category — if we blocked everyone who attacked him personally, and blocked him every time he attacked someone personally, we'd soon have neither him nor any other editors!) —RuakhTALK 00:34, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Excuse me, I had a wonderful day mountain biking. I was not even online when any of this unfolded. WTF was that personal attack for? (For the record: I think Neskaya should have simply removed the questionable/invalid derived term; the formatting changes themselves were good.) --Connel MacKenzie 06:27, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Beh, I'm sorry; I really shouldn't have brought you up at all, as our disputes aren't relevant here. (I think you came into my head because you and Doremítzwr are a lot alike in some ways, actually, and I hope you don't take that as an insult, because I don't mean it as one: I actually find him quite charming, and unlike some people, do not believe him to be a troll or even an unintentionally disruptive editor.) So yeah, anyway, sorry. —RuakhTALK 08:11, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Apology accepted. --Connel MacKenzie 14:18, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Every change Doremítzwr made to the “Antarctica” entry was an improvement, including the style changes and the addition of “Antarctican”, which b.g.c. shows easily meets WT:CFI. So, was Doremítzwr blocked just for asking, “What makes you think you know what is and what isn’t considered a useful addition?” after his improvements were reverted by somebody whose account is clearly new? Yes, Doremítzwr has been warned against making jabs toward other editors, but that comment does not seem to qualify. It's difficult for me to find any action here worthy of a block. Rod (A. Smith) 06:58, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
He's using his nonstandard IPA for "r" again, I see. Did you look at those b.g.c. hits? They all seem to be either jocular or comedy or secondary sources about comedy. Proposing that that "word" is the valid form is pretty absurd, particularly when it isn't explained as "nonstandard - humorous only." --Connel MacKenzie 07:11, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I am alarmed by Ruakh's un-protection or the entry in question. It seems pretty clear some cooling-down period is needed (for all involved.) This is especially true for Ruakh himself, given the amount of bias he has shown in the past on behalf of User:Doremitzwr. --Connel MacKenzie 07:14, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Note that I protected the article without reverting Doremítzwr's changes. As you say, just to let it sit for a while. I think though that you are mistakenly attributing bias; it may be more carry-over of the way Wikipedia coddles disruptive users and tries to turn them into good citizens? The pronunciation came from "Leftmostcat", who also thinks RP=UK ... Robert Ullmann 07:28, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I really don't think a cooling-down period is needed on this entry, because the argument pretty quickly stopped being about the entry. (Also, protection doesn't affect my ability to edit the entry, so if you think I should voluntarily cool down by not editing the entry, please say so.) —RuakhTALK 08:11, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
It is a 3rd block. If anyone wants to review/change go ahead. Robert Ullmann 00:44, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

A small note to the involved - I admit I may have been in the wrong initially, and was fairly curt in my wording. Neskaya talk 00:13, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

I appreciate that; but this user has been trouble all along. (and, as I said, made some good contributions) We'll just leave it for review. Robert Ullmann 00:24, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Of course. However, I really didn't feel comfortable leaving it at what my actions were – as after thinking about my actions and whatnot I could have acted better, you know? --Neskaya talk 00:28, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but in our experience you never get anywhere with this user. If you make a mistake he turn to personal attacks. He is only interested in making "contributions" that are as disruptive as possible; the example(s) I first noted were campi and scenarii, both of which more-or-less uncommon illiteracies, but which he insisted were the correct plural forms. This is more of the same; adding an entry for Antarctican as a noun, a "native or inhabitant of Antarctica". Yes, there are humorous references to such a mythical person, but the real definition is an adjective, and even some of those references use an adjectival form. He knows this, but would prefer to be obtuse. Robert Ullmann 06:50, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Any admin who thinks the block is inappropriate or too long is welcome to change it. (Then you deal with it ;-) Robert Ullmann 06:50, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Not that it is my place to say. However, I have cleared up all issues with Doremítzwr and I think that perhaps he should be unblocked, or at least – one month is far too long for a conflict that was easily resolved via email. --Neskaya talk 21:07, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

My initial impression is that you saw the edit, and said to yourself "oh no, not again", and were annoyed by having to check through all of the changes carefully looking for the usual illiteracies promoted by Doremítzwr; finding that it was pretty much all cosmetic was a waste of time. With almost any other user, one just marks the edit patrolled, more or less automatically, with this user every last thing does have to be checked. (Another editor just cleaned up the attempt to make Islāmic the standard form instead of Islamic in July.) I spent half a day once going back through contribs, fixing one thing after another. As I have pointed out to him repeatedly: the contribution of oddities and unusual usages is fine (quite interesting at times), the pretence that they are, or should be, standard usage is not fine.
Unblocked, at Neskaya's request. Someone else's turn to deal with it next ;-) Robert Ullmann 11:09, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

The archival process[edit]

Regarding your comment on my talk-page:

I don't know if there are widely accepted rules, but my personal policies are roughly as follows:

  • Never to archive a discussion that's had a new comment in the previous week, and only when the page is really overflowing to archive a discussion that's had a new comment in the previous few weeks. (Beobach972 has sometimes archived RFV discussions immediately after marking them RFV-passed or RFV-failed, and I trust his judgment enough that this doesn't bother me, but I'd never do it myself, and I don't recommend it.)
  • At RFV, RFD, and RFC, only to archive discussions that have arrived at a conclusion, as indicated by a struck-out header, or a header that's a redlink, together with a lack of new comments.
  • When a word passes RFV, to copy the discussion to its talk-page (using {{rfv-passed}}); likewise, when a word fails RFV but the entry continues to exist due to other senses (in which case I use {{rfvfailed}} — yes, I know these templates aren't parallel, but that's how it is — but each one's parallel version is an appropriate redirect, so it's not something to worry about). I'm not sure if corresponding templates exist for RFD; if so, they don't have the same names as RFV's.
  • To move the discussion to the appropriate archive page. There's a separate archive page for each month of each year. It's not clear to me how exactly these are supposed to work — does it go by the month when the discussion started? the month when it was last touched? the month when it was archived? — but at BP I've gone with the first of these and at RFV with the last, and no one's complained about either way. Of course, the RFV archives are a total mess, so the lack of complaints must really just mean that no one's paying attention. ;-)   Within an archive page, I don't worry too much about order; if an archive page grows over time, then discussions archived later appear further down the page, even if they started earlier. (Discussions archived at the same time appear in the same order as on the original discussion page, which as you know is nearly always the order in which they were started.)
  • I should note that of the high-volume discussion pages, I've only ever archived RFV and BP; the other pages might have quirks I've never had need to think about. But I'm sure you'll figure it out. :-)

RuakhTALK 03:32, 8 September 2007 (UTC)


Hi, saw you were having trouble there, think I've solved the issue. For further reading on those funky transclusion tags, see m:Help:Magic_words#Default. -- Visviva 12:20, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

You have. Thank you for the link; that’s going to come in very useful. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:52, 11 September 2007 (UTC)


Please note that the anonymous IP edits to my userpage are normally me. I was using that edit to find the IP address of my school to block. However, thank you for reverting it. --Neskaya talk 17:46, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Additionally, if someone does in fact vandalize my user page I can easily revert it myself, as that is in my watch list. Rather, I use editing a rather nonimportant page, my user page, to find out bits of information and keep a log of anon IP addresses of places that I have edited from -- like school, the library, and so on. --Neskaya talk 17:51, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Woops! Sorry about that. I’m sure you appreciate that it looked like vandalism… Why do you want to block your school IP address exactly? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 18:53, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Of course it looked like vandalism. If it hadn't, I would not have let you know. Why do I want to block the IP address of a high school with thousands of bored teenagers who routinely vandalize 'pedias? Because I don't want them vandalizing here, and occasionally they do. The block assures that the consistent vandalism from high school students who think that learning and education is square assures that we do not have to deal with it. --Neskaya talk 22:05, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Is that a real problem? Fair enough, I suppose. Just as long as well-meaning students can still register and edit as named editors. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:54, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Judging by previous years broswer histories and whatnot, combined with edit histories that I watched after a student would finish, I would say that it is a problem. --Neskaya talk 05:41, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

For your information, Squidward is not a starfish. Patrick is a starfish. Squidward is either a squid or an octopus. —SpongeBob 01:59, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Oh, of course. My bad. Shows how much I watch the cartoon. Anyway, now that you’re “back”, are you going to be of some use around here, or do you just plan to earn yourself a speedy permablock? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 04:13, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
If he earns himself one, lemme know? --Neskaya talk 09:10, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
If noöne else gets there first, I’ll notify you especially (along with reporting him to WT:VIP). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:19, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Appreciated. Coöperation is good. --00:46, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Format question[edit]

Since I rarely do quotations and their format seems to matter to you a great deal, would you please check the one I added to succedaneum? --Connel MacKenzie 14:52, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

You got it mostly right. However, you should note the following (the first two are WT:QUOTE prescriptions, and the other three are the best way I’ve found of listing citations):
  1. The source title ought to be italicised, not emboldened (sometimes, the word being cited is used in the title, so if it were emboldened, there would be no way of pointing out its use therein);
  2. The quotation should not be enclosed in quotation marks, unless the source uses the quotation marks;
  3. Sub-titles are best written as part of the title, separated by a colon (though, if they ramble on and on, as many legal or older works often do, sub-titles are sometimes best simply omitted);
  4. “Foreword”, “Introduction”, “Preface”, and other such succedaneal section titles are best written in SMALL CAPS; and,
  5. The use of directed typography is preferable (as in entries per se).
Also, contrary to WT:QUOTE, I tend to type a colon (rather than a comma) after the year, as I consider citations to be making statements to the effect of “this is how this term was used in this year: DETAILS & EVIDENCE … this is how this term was used in this year: …”; furthermore, as you did, I don’t write anything after the page № (or foreword, or whatever), despite WT:QUOTE’s prescription that a comma be written there. Lastly, now thinking about it, ISBNs should be written parenthetically at the end, as their inclusion creates links which would otherwise exist (to a Google Books page) in the page number, so it makes sense for them to be in roughly the same place.
This all means that I’d have added the quotation thus:
  • 2002: Laurence Urdang, New York Times Everyday Reader’s Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused, and Mispronounced words: Words We Know (until someone asks us what they mean), FOREWORD →ISBN
    Not a succedaneum for satisfying the nympholepsy of nullifidians, it is hoped that the haecceity of this enchiridion of arcane and recondite sesquipedalian items will appeal to the oniomania of an eximious Gemeinschaft whose legerity and sophrosyne, whose Sprachgefühl and orexis will find more than fugacious fulfillment among its felicific pages.
Of course, if you think that there’s a better format, please feel free to suggest it. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:37, 29 September 2007 (UTC)



FYI, I've created User:Doremitzwr and User talk:Doremitzwr as redirects to your user-page and talk-page; you might also want to create an account with that username, just to make sure no one “doppelgangs” you. (Unfortunately, there's no way to make the Special: pages redirect.)

RuakhTALK 15:16, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the redirects. I tried to create the acute accent-less account, but the system flagged up this warning:

Login error: The name "Doremitzwr" is too similar to the existing account "Doremítzwr". Please choose another name.

So it seems as if my name is doppelgänger-proof! ;-) † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:48, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Quotation template[edit]

Thank you for your observations. :) I answered partly on Connel MacKenzie's talk page. You are right, I tried it with numbering and it breaks it. I have no idea what to do to that. Best regards Rhanyeia 21:01, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Here is a test page. I have to go now for today. Best regards Rhanyeia 21:41, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Do keep me posted on developments. Please note that you really need to sort out the problems I mentioned for you proposal to have any chance of being accepted (that’s the harsh truth). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:47, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
I think the problems are mostly solved. It would work now. May I ask if you could have a look at the two color possibilities I added there please? Best regards Rhanyeia 07:39, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

foreign entries[edit]

There is (further) talk at Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup#glatt concerning how to include Latin-alphabet spellings of words meant as foreign but often published using Latin letters. Your thoughts are sought (there).—msh210 18:21, 1 October 2007 (UTC)


Sorry about the RFD tag. Got ahead of myself. sewnmouthsecret 19:46, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

That’s OK; I was just going to ask you about that. BTW, the tag you added ({{delete}}) was the speedy delete tag; for RfD, use the {{rfd}} tag, and then make a section with the entry’s name on WT:RFD explaining why you think it should be deleted. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:51, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't even mean to put the delete tag on there, whether RFD or DELETE. I've been tagging a lot of deletes today. sewnmouthsecret 19:54, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Understood. Not a problem. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:57, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Finally, regarding vandalism in progress, that was my first time placing someone in there. Thus noted. sewnmouthsecret 19:58, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Again, not a problem; we all make mistakes when we’re new to something. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:00, 2 October 2007 (UTC)


Korg recently changed the IPA pronunciation transcription given for guillemet, claiming that the terminal vowel in the French French pronunciation is [ɛ], as it is in Québécois French, rather than [e]. I initially added those pronunciations as they were given on Wikipedia — which source he also changed to match shortly thereafter. Is it he or is it the information originally given in the Wikipedia article which is correct?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:08, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Certainly it is pronounced as /gijmɛ/ invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ in French, yeah - but how you'd do the pronunciation in English I have no idea. Is this word ever used in English? I've never come across it. But yeah, in French that looks OK. A good place to check French pronunciations is the Trésor. Widsith 08:58, 11 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I now have Trésor de la Langue Française bookmarked for such events in future. It is used in English, albeit not always correctly, but I don’t know of any extant Anglophone pronunciation.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 09:52, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

re:“Correcting” perceived errata[edit]

In re your “correcting” ther to there in the 1390 citation for the Middle English word ygo : Be very careful when changing the spellings given in quoted works to what you perceive to be the correct form. Wiktionary faithfully reproduces the works whence it quotes — typos and all; if you think that you’ve found an actual typo, it is best to check the original and/or ask the person who added the quotation if the suspected typo was intentional (that is, included because it was present in the original). When it comes specifically to Middle English, it almost seems as if there’s no such thing as a typo in that language (see the eighty-eight alternative Middle English translations given for necromancy for what I mean).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:28, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't entirely sure about that one, being that it was an older version of English. Google didn't help, either. Thanks. :) — [ ric | opiaterein ] — 21:23, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
You’re welcome. Just take care in future. I see EncycloPetey has dragged you up on the same issue.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:03, 21 October 2007 (UTC)


Hi, shortcuts have to start with "WT:" which is a namespace (ns:112, ). "CAT:" just ends up in the main namespace, where we don't want it :-) I'd avoid "RFC", since we use that acronym already, stick with RFQ? WT:RFQ Robert Ullmann 13:05, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

What is the difference between "quotation" and "citation"? This is two times too complicated. Yes, and I know the difference between the illustrative quotations and the citations needed to meet CFI, etc. But do we need two different request structures? Robert Ullmann 13:12, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see you've created redirects; but it would be much less confusing to just use one? In any case, we have to fix the "shortcuts" ;-) Robert Ullmann 13:21, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I used the CAT: shortcut because that was the one mentioned on the page for Category:Requests for pronunciation, so I assumed it was standard; if this is an error, it may be a widespread one that needs correcting. However, for me, it makes more sense that CAT:-prefixed shortcuts redirect to Category:-prefixed full titles (as it makes sense that WT:-prefixed shortcuts redirect to Wiktionary:-prefixed full titles), so I think it would be a good idea to make CAT: available for such purposes (if possible). I created as I assumed a few might use it as a shortcut; however, due to the ambiguity you indicated, I only listed as a shortcut on the page for Category:Requests for quotation. My understanding is that a quotation is just that — a quotation, whereas a (valid) citation is one which counts towards satisfying CFI (so a citation, I suppose, is a specific type of quotation). The “two request structures” were created due to the agreed outcome of the discussion in the Beer parlour.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:25, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


I see you've entered a few shortcuts outside of the "WT:" namespace. Can you please indicate where that (shortcutting outside WT) was discussed or just tag them for deletion (how many are there, anyhow?) --Connel MacKenzie 17:51, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I've tagged the three I saw with {{delete}}. WT:CRFC would follow Wiktionary conventions better. --Connel MacKenzie 18:00, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

I've deleted all CAT:* shortcuts. None were in genuine use, so it's no big loss. —RuakhTALK 18:25, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

*Shrug* –That’s fine with me. I still think a CAT: shortcut namespace would be a good thing.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:59, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


No problem. I have added this information about the plural to the -um page. Mallerd 09:53, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

That note is more appropriate for the Dutch entry, which I have created at -um#Dutch. Please flesh it out like the English section, and consider the English usage note and the commented inflexion. Thanks.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 12:09, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
or -ums — or is this merely a SOP formation of -um + -s as described in the English usage note above?

It is the same as the English -s. So I will change that, but what do you mean with flesh it out, I don't understand. Mallerd 12:17, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Flesh it out; that is: give it a definition, add derived terms, and the like; make the entry “fuller” and more detailed. Regarding -ums : please add a Dutch section to -s — it will help me to understand how it’s used and to explain what I mean. Thanks again.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:37, 23 October 2007 (UTC)


I’m glad to see someone else working systematically on citing words. However, please take note of my elaborations of your citations. If you could follow that format et cetera in future, that would be grand. Thanks, and keep up the good work!  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:50, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

That's fine, but I'm using Wiktionary:Quotations as the closest thing to a formal Wiktionary guideline that I've found. Shouldn't your alternative be discussed there? I must say that your form is cleaner, but it does present some problems with non-prose quotations, like poems, inscriptions, and lyrics, which have special formatting needs that may interfere with simply appending the citation. (I know this from years of thrashing over these issues at Wikiquote.) ~ Jeff Q 16:59, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
By the way, I noticed your extension of my quotation in salinize. Could you explain why you felt this desirable? I've been trying to keep quotes as short as possible while providing enough context to demonstrate the meaning, in order to avoid overwhelming the primary content, the definition. ~ Jeff Q 17:03, 23 October 2007 (UTC)
Could you let me know what you think about our differences in formatting? You're obviously far more involved here than I am, and I want to make sure I follow whatever the overall Wiktionary community deems a preferred format. WT:QUOTE isn't a formal policy yet, but I'm not aware of anything that suggests your format is, either. I've made several revisions in the past to my earlier efforts due to bot disapproval, others' advice, and my own learning curve, but I'm getting a little vexed with periodically redoing formats. Thanks. ~ Jeff Q 12:53, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, sorry — I’ve been rather slow in responding:
  1. The format I use is a personal alteration of the “standard” prescribed by WT:QUOTE — I suppose I should try to make it the formal standard if I’m going to ask others to follow it. You say it presents some problems for citing poëms, lyrics, &c. — seeing as you’ve had much pertinent experience of quoting such works over on Wikiquote, could you explain what those problems are here please?
  2. I noticed that the following sentence also used salinize, so I thought that it might as well be added; it didn’t really offer much extra useful context, but what with wiki not being paper, why not? If you ever feel that quotations given “overwhelm” a definition, you can also move said quotations to a Quotations subsection or a /Citations subpage — a move particularly suitable for monosemic words. (However, such moves — particularly the latter kind — can cause problems as they rely upon “redundant user-maintained data fields” (to quote WikiPedant), which can be a very real problem with highly polysemic words with several very similar yet distinct senses; moreover, there is apparently some degree of consensus that quotations ought not to be moved to subpages until their number exceeds nine (according to Connel MacKenzie).)
  3. Well, my preference is for my style, generally to the exclusion of other styles — if that answers your question. Of course, if you bring up significant problems with this style (as asked in point № 1), I’ll change the way I format quotations to accommodate necessary flexibility. I can understand your frustration — Wiktionary is not the best for codifying its policies.
 (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:14, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


Quote found. Have you tried using the advanced Google search, restricting the search to I've found it extremely useful. --EncycloPetey 02:16, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. Useful. I’ll keep that in mind for the future. Thanks!  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:37, 28 October 2007 (UTC)


Why on Earth would you remove those bullets? --Connel MacKenzie 04:15, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

Dunno if this is his reason, but the presence of the bullets means the templates can't be used inside <ref> tags. (That said, I'm not supporting simply removing the bullets, as that would break all the many current uses of the templates. Something should be figured out.) —RuakhTALK 04:48, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, that wasn’t my reason, but it’s another good one. My reason was that I wanted to stick them in a numbered, rather than a bulleted, list. (Which recurring problem WikiPedant fixed in this revision.) I’d say that such flexibility is generally desirable. Of course, as Ruakh has noted, I shouldn’t have just removed the bullets without thought to the implications that so doing would have on the templates’ transclusion elsewhere. I would be prepared to go through every page which includes any one or all of these templates, and manually reädd the bullet. Is that acceptable to you two.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:13, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
We could add a "nobullet" parameter, analogous to the "nocap" and "nodot" parameters in other templates … —RuakhTALK 03:42, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
That’s an effective solution, but an overly short-termist one. Whereas the various templates which feature the nocap and nodot parameters are most of the time supposed to have a cap at the beginning and a dot at the end, these bulleted templates ought, ideally, not to have the bullets at the beginning most of the time (though I’ve been arguing for Dictonary notes sections all this time, it is still far better to reference specific assertions rather than just plonk a number of links at the end of the article saying “and all these list this word too”). For that reason, in the long run, it would be better to add the desired bullet or number manually, rather than having to remove it with an additional parameter in the vast majority of cases. As I’ve said, I wouldn’t mind sorting this out; the number of pages to edit is not too great. (Anyway, wouldn’t we want to go for something shorter, like “nobull”.   ;-)   )  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 10:54, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
If you're willing to do that, I'm O.K. with it. (Lord knows I don't speak for Connel, though.) —RuakhTALK 19:02, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Cool. I’ve asked him to tell me what he thinks.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:35, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with "nobull" but not for the reasons you posit. The <ref> approach has more problems than you perhaps realize. That is why we don't use it here. The Wiktionary references format uses the bulleted items for rendering appearance. The side benefit is that it can't be misused, i.e. in a numbered list. Since this type of references should always be bulleted, I can't fathom why Raifʻhar suggests running a bot to change all the existing occurrences to the wrong style. (A bot would do them all in about ten minutes, if the network continues to respond as slowly as it has recently.) I'm also not convinced there would be any benefit at all, to allowing (or encouraging) the wrong style. Lastly, it would needlessly complicate the templates themselves. They already suffer from over-complexity, in general. --Connel MacKenzie 20:03, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
  • I wasn’t aware that using <ref> tags had so many problems. Please tell me what they are, so that I can attempt to solve them.
  • Why is numbering a misuse? I believe numbering to be better for POS definitions and References and Dictionary notes sections, whilst I favour bulleting in other lists. However, I willing to listen to the reasons for your preferences to the contrary.
  • A bot would be an excellent idea, if and when this plan of action is agreed upon.
  • The benefit would come from allowing their use without bullets, with numbers, and in in-line references — purposes which you deem problematic or say are wrong styles; I’d like to hear what the problems are, and why you disapprove of those styles.
  • This change would actually slightly simplify the templates — by removing an asterisk from the code of each (not a big change, but a change in the simplifying direction).
  •  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:27, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Never mind the numbering argument, Robert Ullmann has given adequate reasons for not using them except for definition listing.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:29, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
<ref> has many problems. The major one, is that it can't be split across language sections. ("One and only one.") I was not aware that you are developing in PHP now.
The recommendation above is not to remove the bullet, but to add an obscure parameter to conditionally remove it. As I indicated previously, doing so would be incorrect, anyway, since the bullet is always needed.
--Connel MacKenzie 20:35, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
  • Ah yes, I know about the problem caused by using multiple <references/>-generated lists, but that is only problem that I’m aware of. What others are there? (They may be ones that I can do something to help fix — adding a group= parameter to the <ref> &c. tags is presently beyond my little technohead.) Though, IMO, the benefits outweigh the problems with using them; that major problem you mention (and it is a major problem, I accept) only really rears its ugly head when more than one language section in an entry contains references; I don’t recall ever having coming across one, and I imagine that there are only a handful, so, whilst I’d like to see more referencing generally (of all language sections, not just English ones), the fact that there isn’t as yet means that this problem is not too urgent at the moment. Contrast not using them at all, where we lose the ability to specify which parts of an entry are supported by which authorities — a problem which means that as more details are added to an entry, the references we provide convey less and less meaning to readers.
  • As you know, I opposed the nobull= parameter; I think Ruakh suggested it chiefly as a labour-saving measure. Yes, in lists, the bullet is always needed. However, the use in <ref> tags remains; secondly, apparently (according to Robert Ullmann), though “templates often include [bullets] … they shouldn’t[;] the format should be in the wikitext”.
  •  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:03, 27 October 2007 (UTC)


How have you been lately?
Question: This has probably been discussed before, but I thought if anyone knew where to locate any former discussion on this, it would be you. In all the discussion of Citations on main pages vs. subpages, has it ever been proposed to have a drop box for quotations? To me, that would solve the current inelegance and not separate the cites for potential database redundancy issues. -- Thisis0 14:59, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Not so great. Yourself?
Yeah, it’s been considered, but AFAIK never really put into practice. It would only work for quotations sections though, as interlarded rel-tables break numbering. (BTW, if anyone knew how to solve that, it would be the most significant technological breakthrough that comes to my mind.) The definition could be written as the table gloss. Unfortunately, there are still redundancy issues introduced thereby, as the definitions given as glosses will need to match the definitions given under the POS header — which, AFAIK, can only be done by humans. (This, IMO, would be the second most significant technological breakthrough.) However, when it comes to writing an identical definition in a quotations section without special formatting versus writing an identical definition in a quotations section as the gloss of a rel-table, then the latter obviously wins — firstly because of the neatness of using rel-tables, and secondly because the larger, emboldened, and stand-alone text makes non-matching definitions obvious. The one advantage that subpages have over both “interlarding” and quotations sections is that it reduces the size of the entry, lowering load time for slow browsers (not much of a big deal in this modern age of broadband).
I hope that answers your question.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:17, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Quotations formatting.[edit]

As you're probably the single editor who'll care most deeply (barring editors who simply care deeply about anything Wiktionary-related), I figured I'd bring this to you first before proposing it at the Beer parlor: User:Ruakh/quotations. What do you think? (Anyone else reading this is also welcome to comment, obviously.) —RuakhTALK 03:37, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Oh, you are brilliant! I don’t have time to comment right now (but I do have comments to make); is it possible that you could hold on until tonight? I’ll get to this as soon as I return from my board meeting. Thanks.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 08:39, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
As Widsith notes, it's already waited months; another few days is no problem. —RuakhTALK 17:21, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Can I also just say YES! I mooted this idea a few months ago and I think it solves a multitude of problems. Nice job! Widsith 10:18, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Totally. Apparently I didn't have this idea in a vacuum; I'm glad to have help making this come to fruition. I do think, however, the dropboxes would be better suited in a separate Quotations header, looking similar to Translations dropboxes. I think interspersing dropboxes preserves our current inelegance. Copious book citations are indeed essential to our goals here, but aren't we making the case to move to dropboxes to improve the clarity, usefulness, and conciseness of a dictionary? Also, moving Quotations to it's own provenance makes way for the return of simple example sentences or fragments that would be interspersed in that place. -- Thisis0 15:53, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Again, but in more cohærent terms, I’d like to thank you for, and congratulate you on, a job very well done. This for most intents and purposes addresses my concerns with “interlarding” I expressed hereinbefore; those quote-/cite- tables are far less obtrusive for those only interested in scanning through the definitions than are several quotations written fully in their steads. I have one question and one complaint, however. –The former: Is it possible to precede the quotations with one or two example sentences, and to divide the latter from the former using a dividing line (as we use for separating language sections; code: ----)? –The latter: The tables kinda dwarf the definitions, as their glosses are emboldened and the hidden bars are higher than the height of the letters used in the definitions. I tried to solve this problem by enlarging the definitions’ font, but the result is not really what I hoped for, the size of the definitions numbers remain too small, and the solution is, as a whole, unæsthetic. Another possible solution would be to write the definitions within the bars themselves, as glosses, but I’m unsure how suitable this would be, and I wonder whether that would mean that the definitions would go unnumbered… Any suggestions?

Without wishing to appear impossible to satisfy, I tend to agree with This is 0 that quotations are things that are ideally placed separate from the definitions — in a Quotations subsection or on a /Citations subpage. However, æsthetics and elegance being considerably less important than cold functionality, this will only become preferable in general to the new quote-tables when the problem of “redundant user-maintained data fields” is solved by the software’s being able to copy definitions as glosses in quotations, or, even better, copy them wholesale to citations subpages where they can be “interlarded” with quotations, as traditional (probably utilizing the new quote-tables template). (That would be “the second most significant technological breakthrough” for Wiktionary.  )  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:32, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Re: preceding quotations with example sentences: Yes. See the new version — still at User:Ruakh/quotations — for a few different ways this can be done.
Re: inserting horizontal rules: Yes, but unfortunately, ---- doesn't seem to work within lists, so this has to be done with the HTML-style version: <hr />. Of course, we can always create a {{----}} or something.
Re: tables dwarfing definitions: The new version de-bolds the bar-text in all examples, and includes a version with a smaller-text bar and without borders and margins; what do you think of it? (We can also do this only partway — e.g., de-bold, de-border, and de-margin, but not en-small-text.)
Re: putting the definition itself in the bar: I don't really like that idea, but it can probably be done if people think it's a good idea.
Re: putting quotations in a ====Quotations==== subsection or separate Citations: page: That's really not a problem; both the existing collapsing-table templates, and the template demonstrated fourfold at User:Ruakh/quotations, work in that sort of environment. However, a lot of editors (myself included) believe it to be useful for a small number of quotations to go with each sense in order to help elucidate its meaning and use. And to be honest, seeing as many sections (synonyms, translations, etc.) are already broken down by sense, I can easily imagine that we might someday decide to replace all such sections with collapsing tables that go with the sense. I mean, just one collapsing table that would say "more information" and hold synonyms, quotations, translations, and so on, not several separate collapsing tables.
Re: software-based copying of definitions to glosses: O.K., but don't hold your breath. ;-)
RuakhTALK 01:10, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
This all looks very promising. Unfortunately, it’s 1:26 a.m. over here, and I’m tired after a long, taxing day. I’ll respond in full tomorrow morning (probably late therein ;-) ).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:26, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
So, have you had a chance to think about it? —RuakhTALK 19:23, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, here goes… (I may cut off part of way through, but I’ll finish my reply by the end of tonight):
  1. That works well. Keeping the examples inside the boxes with the quotations looks best to me;
  2. It would be great if the horizontal divider seemed a more integral part of the template, like {{rel-mid}} seems to {{rel-top}} and {{rel-bottom}} — that would discourage its omission. However, this is a minor point — in the meantime, {{----}} or some such would do nicely;
  3. I’d go for style № 3, but with the border reduced to a darker line touching upon the grey box, but without the intermediate white space — can this be done?;
  4. It would probably look strange, but it would be very suitable for quotations sections;
  5. (In re “hold-all” more information tables for each sense) Do you believe that to be the best way forward? Regarding keeping some quotations tied to each sense: I see what you mean, but I’ve always thought that example sentences, having been tailored to exemplify a given sense, would be better than quotations at showing use, as the latter’s reason for using a given word is unlikely to be to “elucidate” the meaning thereof. However, I do not feel strongly against the inclusion of good quotations (certainly not when those quote-tables are used) — all I suggest is that they be duplicated from those in the quotations subsection or on the citations subpage, so as to keep all the citations together;
  6. That would be such a brilliant and far-reaching capability to develop — I just wish I knew how to develop it!
 (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:13, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
O.K., thanks for all your feedback; I've incorporated nearly all of it, and started a BP discussion. :-) —RuakhTALK 06:46, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Great. I’ve responded there.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:46, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
The differences between different senses of a word can be subtle and hard to grasp. Example sentences are crucial to demonstrate such differences. That is why it's so important to have quotations tied to individual senses rather than in a separate section. The problem with this before was that it just took up too much room and was distracting. You can see from looking at the OED how much space there is between definitions because of all the citations. Now that problem has been solved, and we should make the most of it! Widsith 10:27, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I pretty much agree. However, in the absence of any particularly clear quotations, the provision of an example sentence becomes a high priority.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:46, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

RFV archive[edit]

The problem you are having is that the June Archive page is transcluded in the main page; when you section edit you edit the archive page. If everything in June is resolved, just remove the one line:


from WT:RFV. Robert Ullmann 12:50, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

OK. I’ll see if I can help resolve some of those discussions.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

East Jesus[edit]

Sorry it took me so long to get to it. DCDuring 12:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

No need to apologise (least of all to me).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests for verification archive/June 2007[edit]

Well, you could wrap them in <noinclude> tags. —RuakhTALK 19:41, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

The Citations: space[edit]

It looks like I stalled progress on the move, and that wasn't my intention. The majority of pages are not under contention of any sort, having only a single spelling, all lowercase, without diacritical marks or punctuation. Perhaps if we weed those out we'll have a better idea of what issues remain. DAVilla 04:20, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

And get an idea of other issues that have to be considered. See Wiktionary talk:Citations. DAVilla 06:03, 26 November 2007 (UTC)


Where did you get the Anglicised transcription? Is it a UK pronunciation? Are you sure it’s correct? –[ʈʂ] seems more similar to between [ʧ] obsolete or nonstandard characters (ʧ), invalid IPA characters (ʧ), replace ʧ with t͡ʃ and [ʤ] obsolete or nonstandard characters (ʤ), invalid IPA characters (ʤ), replace ʤ with d͡ʒ than to [ʒ]; conversely, the spelling (without knowledge of Mandarin) implies /ʤɪŋʒe/ obsolete or nonstandard characters (ʤ), invalid IPA characters (ʤ), replace ʤ with d͡ʒ. By the way, please correctly format pronunciation sections in future as per WT:ELE#Pronunciation.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 12:43, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, you can change it if you like. I think you should list the Anglicized version before the Chinese though... Widsith 12:49, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I don’t think that there really is an Anglizised pronunciation. Nonetheless, I recognise that most of the IPA characters used for the Chinese pronunciation will be undecipherable for most readers. Furthermore, tonality doesn’t tend to persist in English borrowings from Chinese. Therefore, an Anglicised pronunciatory transcription is necessary. I’ve tried to keep the Anglicised pronunciation as faithful to the original whilst only using characters that appear in English pronunciatory transcriptions (except for the tacks, which aren’t distracting anyway) — what do you think? (Of /ʧ̝iŋˈʧ̙ʌ/ obsolete or nonstandard characters (ʧʧ), invalid IPA characters (ʧʧ), replace ʧ with t͡ʃ, ʧ with t͡ʃ?) I list pronunciations in alphabetical order of language; in the case of Jingzhe, I think the order is appropriate, seeing as the Anglicised pronunciation is clearly secondary to the original Chinese.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:56, 27 November 2007 (UTC)


Hi Raifʻhār, I just wanted to thank you in person for informing me about the {{rfquote-sense}} template. It is very helpful and I will definitely use it for many terms that I look up. I have meant to ask about such a template for a while but could never find the time. I did not have the time to thank you appropriately because I had two important exams. I know I should not give excuses for my mistakes, but I do apologize for giving a short and impersonal thank you note.Gbeebani 04:35, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Goodness! I didn’t notice… There’s no need to thank me; I’m glad to have been able to help.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:05, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I just wanted to make sure you didn't feel the same way Stoical Iceman did in WT:ID#taciturn, if his comment was actually a reply to my short thank-you. Also, thanks for pointing out the misspelling in my profile page :-) Gbeebani 02:11, 30 November 2007 (UTC)


You must be kidding. These are synonyms or translations? DAVilla 08:06, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I assumed they’d be both (I got them from the Wikipedia article). It turns out that none of them (bar caron) see sufficient usage in English to be considered synonyms. I’ve moved them all to the translation table. The only use in English of any of them I could find was for strešica — in this article: «As the “shibilant” accent is called in SLS (strešica), -ie, what is often referred to by its Czech name, háček.», which probably wouldn’t count as a valid citation anyway. Interestingly, it appears that hattu (with (a) different meaning(s)), Hattu, and Hattu Pir all exist and deserve entries. I’ve added the truly English synonyms given atop the Wikipedia article to our entry. Thanks for having me look at this again.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:00, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
A few years ago, I did a study looking for names for all the various Slavic diacritics. I found the same results--the name for this diacritic in English is unsettled and is inconsistent between major dictionaries. I couldn't even find some of the "standard" terms in some of the major dictionaries! --EncycloPetey 22:21, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, for « ˇ », neither of the names inverted circumflex and inverted hat are suitable as the diacritic does not look like either of those things when it is combined with certain letters (such as ď, ť, as well as other letters, depending on the font used). Wedge is just too vague, and is a more suitable colloquial term for shapes like cuneiform letters. That leaves caron and háček. The former’s origin is unconfirmed (the Wikipedia article mentions that it may derive from a blend of caret + macron, but warns that this may be a folk etymology), whilst the latter is Czech for “little hook”, whereto, it must be confessed, the mark does bear some resemblance. As I’ve already mentioned, the other seven names from the other six languages that also use « ˇ » (videlicet: hattu, katus, kljukica, kvačica, kvaka, mäkčeň, and strešica) seem to enjoy no usage whatsoever, even in academic writs discussing the mark’s use in those languages. So the choice is between caron and háček, of which I prefer the latter; how about you? What do other dictionaries say?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:11, 9 December 2007 (UTC)


See whether you agree with my modifications to the RP pronunciation (change it back if you like). But more importantly, notice the use of {{hyphenation}}, which saves some typing and formatting difficulties. --EncycloPetey 22:18, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out {{hyphenation}} to me — I’ll be sure to use that in future. I changed the pronunciation back, though — this class of word tends to retain the original syllabic boundaries; I’ve had this discussion before (see Talk:wherealong#Pronunciatory transcription). Thanks for bringing your modifications to my attention.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:52, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
OK. I've changed the GenAm location of the suprasegmental back, tough. It really is different in the US from RP. Even the Oxford Pronouncing Dictionary of English notices this pattern difference between the two for many words, including this one. --EncycloPetey 22:53, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
OK, fair enough. (BTW, I assume you meant to write “I've changed the GenAm location of the suprasegmental back, though”… ;-) The Oxford Pronouncing Dictionary of English lists thereatop? –What does it say about it?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Er, I would certainly pronounce it with a liaising /r/. Please, give me some basis for this weird pronunciation or your claim that this class of word retains syllable boundaries. It's not in the OED, but thereabout, thereafter, thereabove, thereagainst, thereanent, thereat and several others all are, all with pronounced /r/s. Widsith 23:05, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Just my experience. However, I shall defer to the learnèd scholars of Oxford if they assert differently! You may want to change the pronunciatory transcription given for wherealong to match that pattern, as well. Please provide in-line references when you do. Thanks.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
OK I'll have a look at it. Widsith 10:04, 9 December 2007 (UTC)


Hi there. I have always used an equal sign made from two wiggly lines to mean "approximately equal". I don't know how to find that character. SemperBlotto 19:44, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Do you mean (almost equal to)?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:30, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

infix / interfix[edit]

The other two itmes in WT's "infix" category are "-bloody-" and "-fucking-". There are obvious differences, but does the name "interfix" apply? DCDuring 00:12, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

To put it simply: an infix is shoved into an already-extant word, whereas an interfix is only affixed in the formation of a word intermediately between two affixes (or whatever the word is made of). Understand the difference?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:56, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Barely, but I at least recognize that there is one. This doesn't come up very often in English so I'll not be getting much practice. The two cases of each will have to serve as my model. Thanks. DCDuring 18:02, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

waxen images[edit]

I noted your white-space-elimination technique, which addresses the content-interrupting white-space problem. Is there a technique to get one or more images into the white space next to the table of conents? I will try to apply your technique where applicable until something even better comes along. DCDuring 23:25, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

How do you mean? You could just stick the images in section 0 (before the first language header). Is that what you meant?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:13, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
Maybe that is what I mean. I used to do that on WP sometimes, but I never had a systematic knowledge of how the software worked. Why did/do you not do it that way? DCDuring 02:16, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I just reckon entries generally look better with their 0-sections empty, and what with {{wikipedia}} now being proscribed, that seems to be the way most of our entries end up.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:20, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


About a year ago, you stated that the etymology of educated is "educate + -ed, the penultimate e having been elided". Is this true? I, as a rule, don't know etymology, but I find it hard to believe that the word was formed this way, rather than descended from some older form of educated.—msh210 21:52, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

That’s so long ago — I really can’t remember. It’s probably best just to omit the bit about elision as I can’t imagine that the assertion can be sourced.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:00, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Quotation formatting, again[edit]

Hello Doremítzwr -- There has been additional discussion of Ruakh's proposed template on Beer Parlour recently and I just dropped a note to him about it on his talk page. I know you have taken a thoughtful interest in this question in the past. Can making Ruakh's template available to the Wiktionary community be given further consideration and, maybe, be put to a vote? Any thoughts? -- WikiPedant 20:12, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Hell, yes! I was surprised that the proposal collapsed the last time round, and am stunned that the discussion died this time. In terms of intuitiveness and the like, I don’t think that anyone disagrees that Ruakh’s template is the best solution; the only objections seem to come from Connel. Unfortunately, I don’t have the technical knowledge to understand what he’s going on about — perhaps he could explain the problems with the template, for dummies like me? FWIW, I prefer the second style of quotations box, though with the first style’s dark grey border. Unfortunately, it seems that I arrived too late to do any advocating. If such a discussion starts once more, could you e-mail me to tell me about it, rather than leaving a message on my talk page (which I would probably not see for a while)? Thanks.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 03:25, 14 March 2008 (UTC)


To request translations directly, use Wiktionary:Translation requests. In the case of "Latin for antler", the word is cornu. --EncycloPetey 13:33, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

OK, thanks — I’ll know to do that in future. So does that mean that something antler-shaped would be corniform?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:59, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


I have made some changes to this entry's etymology. First of all, there is no way that Galen could have coined this word, as he died centuries before the English language came into being. What the source probably meant was that he coined the grc word. However, not specifying such is confusing and linguistically sloppy, and we shall have none of that here. Finally, I can find no evidence of any grc word with the spelling you gave in the etymology, and so have removed it. Quite frankly, I would have expected a word with λαιός (laiós), a cognate of laevus with the same meaning, but there is no ἀμφιλαιός (amphilaiós) either. If you have any alternative transliterations, or perhaps a work in which the word is found, or any other clues as the word, I'm happy to investigate further. As it is currently, I have hit dead ends. Finally, when you have an etymology that you would like a grc person to look over, it is far more reliable to leave {{attention|grc}} in the entry than a plea in the edit summary. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 18:29, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for taking a look at this. I’ll note {{attention|grc}} for the future. I found the alleged Ancient Greek root in the 1658 citation (which is triplicated, somewhat more clearly, in two copies of an 1835 publication); furthermore, it and other sources attribute the coinage to Galen. I of course meant that Galen coined the Ancient Greek word whence the English term derives, but I can see how that was not clearly expressed in the way I wrote the etymology. Anyway, does any of this help you?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:31, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Got it. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:25, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Great! Thanks for sorting that. A couple of things though: Shouldn’t the transcriptions of the Greek have acute accents? And: Do you agree that it’d be good to include a reference to the coiner of the Ancient Greek word (i.e., Galen)?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:23, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
No, we don't include accentuation in Ancient Greek transliteration. Ultimately, transliteration is not meant to be precise, but rather to give a user uninitiated with Greek script a general semblance of what the word sounds like. grc diacritics are simply too complex to be reasonably transcribed into a workable transliteration scheme. Remember, there are three accents, and they are tonal accents (not stress accents), and we don't fully know what they represented. Modern Greek transcribes their accents here, but they only have a single stress accent. Ultimately, we have IPA pronunciations (and the actual Greek script) where more precision is necessary. I'll take a closer look into coinages sometime later today (a bout of frisbee shall otherwise occupy me for awhile). -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:31, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Ah yes, the spiriti asper and lenis (amongst other things) — point taken. Regarding the coiner: I’ve copied literatim the old etymology to Talk:ambilevous, if you need some bits from it to put back in the entry. See ya!  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:40, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Welcome back![edit]

Hey, welcome back! :-)   —RuakhTALK 19:52, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

I second that motion. -- WikiPedant 03:34, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Galen and Romanization[edit]

So, made any headway in finding out whether Galen did indeed coin ἀμφαρίστερος (ampharísteros) — the root of ambilævous?

While I’m here, I’ve a quæstion:
In traditional Romanisation, <αι> becomes <ae> or <æ> and <οι> becomes <oe> or <œ>. However, <αη> (as in the many aër- words) becomes <ae> or <aë>, but never <æ>. So I was wondering, how are the digraphs <οη>, <ωι>, and <ωη> Romanised? I thought I’d ask you as you’re the person whom I’ve contact with who’s most likely to know… Danko!  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:10, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

It does not appear that Galen coined the word, as Aristophanes used it something like six hundred years earlier. It is conceivable that Galen commandeered the word for a new sense, perhaps a medical, more specific sense, but it was around before him. Unfortunately, the use is not in one of Aristophanes' surviving plays, but rather in a surviving fragment of one of the non-surviving plays. Sadly, I cannot find any copies of the fragments (in the original Greek) online, and I possess no copies myself. As for the romanization question, the trick is in the diphthongs. αι and οι are diphthongs, while most of the other combinations you've presented are not. I think ωι sort of was, at least in early Greek. However, my impression is that any diphthongs that began with long vowels (such as ω, η), if they ever existed, died out in later Greek (later Ancient Greek, that is). Also, as far as I know, there aren't any diphthongs which end in η. In any case, the Romans did a fairly faithful job of importing Greek sounds with the Greek words. My guess (and it's just that, a guess) is that ligatures (which, bear in mind, are a medieval invention, and did not exist in classical Latin) represent diphthongs in Latin. So, if a combination of vowels was not a diphthong in Greek, they wouldn't take it as one in Latin, and thus no ligature. However, you should know that phonology is really not my strong suit. If you like you may want to pass this by User:Gilgamesh, as he's a fair hand with Ancient Greek phonology, and representing sounds in different scripts is somewhat of a hobby of his. However, be warned that if you ask him, you're liable to hear more than you ever wanted to know on the subject. He's really into the stuff. Hope that helps. Let me know if my response was unintelligible. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 06:30, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
OK, I’ve noted all that in the entry for ambilevous; please check it out to make sure that what I’ve written is correct.
Regarding the diphthongs and ligatures, I forgot to mention the vowel combinations which include epsila (is that the correct plural of epsilon BTW?), namely <αε>, <οε>, and <ωε>; how would they be transcribed? –As <aë>, <oë>, and <ōë> (though without a macron in reality), respectively?
I noticed this revision of yours to the etymology section of paradigm; it’s interesting to note that the Greek <ει> was reduced to <ī> in Latin. Any idea why that happened?
Gilgamesh and I share an interest in such things, so I probably shall draw his attention to this exchange of ours at some points. Thanks for your help.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:16, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Your additions to ambilevous look fine to me. Ancient Greek had no diphthongs ending in epsilon (epsila does appear to be the correct plural). The ει diphthong (I always have to put a great deal of mental effort into remembering the first h in that word) is interesting in that it ceased being a true diphthong very early in Ancient Greek, and was represented by /eː/ → /iː/ → /i/, at least according to our grc pronunciation template. Thus, the Latin transliteration would mimic this. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:38, 8 September 2008 (UTC)


My apologies; I think I screwed up.

The Oxford English Dictionary does not include æquilibria - according to Oxford it's Latin, not English - and I only intended to remove the text stating the two words were equivalent, or the one descended from the other. The ligature use, generically, is a medieval latin development, scribal rather than traditional font. - Amgine/talk 14:28, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

No problem. It prompted me to reference the entries, thereby improving them, so some good came of the whole exercise. The OED doesn’t list equilibria (i.e., the Latinate plural without the ligature) either, but it most certainly sees use in English, being considered the only correct plural of equilibrium in most cases. The ligatures æsc (Æ, æ) and œthel (Œ, œ) were adopted in Mediæval and Early Modern Latin because the diphthongs of Classical Latin formerly repræsented by <ae> and <oe> had been reduced to the simple vowels [ɛ] and [e], respectively; whence, præsumably, derives the practice of writing ligatures in English, which though now considered dated for most words (though not for dæmon, for example), was extremely common — particularly in British English — up till a few decades ago (check some old British English dictionaries, and you’ll find that a great many list only the ligated spelling — eschewing entirely the monographical and digraphical spelling variants).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:47, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
<grin> As someone who chose a ligated surname (Sæwyc), I'm slightly aware of the fun discussions regarding them in English. - Amgine/talk 14:53, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
Heh. Ditto the ʻokina, the macron (ā), and the acute accent (í) — in order of lessening obscurity…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:03, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


Forgive my pique. I get very annoyed at the liberal placement of non-standard tags, misspelling templates, and other pejoratives by this supposedly descriptivist institution. You were quite right to remove "hypercorrect". I would only wish to remove the hypercorrect and censorious from the ranks of our contributors. DCDuring TALK 16:12, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Think nothing of it. The objection to the looser sense can’t really be founded upon etymology; in Ancient Greek it just means “sharp-dull” — a contradiction in terms — a wooden iron or contradictio in adjecto. If you want to weaken the proscriptive strength of that usage note, you may want to mention that and take the non-standard comment out of the “External links” section. I much præfer dispassionately laying out the arguments on either side in a clear fashion and then letting the reader consider which position of præscription suits him best.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:46, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

break the buck[edit]


you make it pretty much how i would have expected to see it. not sure what you mean about excessive length of context. i'm guessing you are referring to "(US, idiomatic, stock market, of a money-market fund’s share price)"? "stock market" is not really needed or quite precise. a money-market fund is a type of mutual fund (which may or may not be listed on an exchange but that's a whole other discussion).

i would, given my own druthers, leave out "stock market" and substitute the broader term "finance." the definition for mutual fund doesn't categorize at all (although i suspect you are going to tell me that its page is not fully up to wiktionary's current standards!). if a category is required for "mutual fund," i would elect the broad category of "finance." i see that treasury bill and certificate of deposit are both categorized under that broad label (finance) as well. i'm certainly comfortable, at the moment anyway, with all 4 (a. money-market fund (also known very precisely as a money-market mutual fund), b. mutual fund, c. treasury bill and d. certificate of deposit) using the context category of "finance."

hope this is what you were flagging.

thanks for you help. quite honestly i hope not to get "addicted" to editing with wikitonary. as it is, wikipedia editing is quite addictive! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 02:15, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Right you are. Indeed, being “up to standard” for a Wiktionary entry is fairly similar to featured status for a Wikipædia article — rarity included. In all fairness, this is because we set ourselves very high standards, not because our entries are tosh. Personally, I hope you do get addicted to Wiktionary; the way you’ve approached this issue leads me to believe that you could quickly become a competent and valued contributor here. Again, however, I urge you to register an account — surely you’re not sacrificing much anonymity, yet you gain much… BTW, please sign your comments on talk pages and in other discussion fora with four tildes (~~~~).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 05:50, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
FYI: I deleted and restored all versions, so the original contribution is in the history. Robert Ullmann 05:55, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
That’s good. Thanks Robert.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 06:07, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

"Latin" pronunciations[edit]

Latin is not a dialect, and certainly not a dialect of English, so please do not add a "Latin" pronunciation to an English section. It uses different phonemes and pronounces its vowels very differently from English. Please do not add Latin IPA pronunciations when you do not know the IPA coding for Latin pronunciations. --EncycloPetey 22:39, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I didn’t intend to imply that it was. However, there will be people who will want to know how to pronounce it as in the original Latin. Nota that I provided a phonetic — not phonemic — transcription, so the phonemes arguments does not apply. If I got the pronunciations wrong, then I apologise; I got what I know from Wikipedia. If that is the case, please point me somewhither where I can relearn how to write Latin pronunciatory transcriptions properly.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:43, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I recommend reviewing basic Latin grammar before trying to add IPA. Your etymology, pronunciation, and plural were all incorrect for nomen nescio. Adding entries for languages you don't know is never a good idea. --EncycloPetey 22:53, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
The incorrect etymology I got from Wikipedia. I based the plural on it. I figured that the plural of “I do not know the name” would be “I do not know the names”, not “we do not know the names”. Regarding the pronunciation, my writing [j] instead of [i] was a genuine error stemming from my own nescience, whereas my use of [c] instead of [k] was a mere careless lapsus mentis. I’m starting a Latin degree course in two weeks, so I should have plenty of opportunity to brush up on my Latin grammar; consequently my Latin contributions here will probably increased both in quality and in quantity.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:04, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
If they want the Latin, then they should look in the Latin section. Putting the Latin pronunciation in the English section is never correct. --EncycloPetey 22:45, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
What if, as in this case, there is no Latin section?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:47, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Then you can add the word to Wiktionary:Requested entries:Latin. --EncycloPetey 22:49, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Both added. I guess there may be a problem with this solution in re non sequuntur.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:04, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
No, no problem. Users can look up the individual words. --EncycloPetey 01:19, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
What about “non–sum-of-parts” changes in pronunciation caused by certain words occurring in sequence? That may not be an issue for Latin, but it is for English, and I can imagine that it would be for other languages as well. It would be far simpler to just allow such foreign pronunciations to be included in other languages’ Pronunciation sections — especially in the case of words and phrases that are patently unnaturalised and thus will tend to be pronounced in the original, foreign-language way anyhow. Come on: what harm could it do?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:28, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Your proposal and the argument in favor of it are patently ridiculous. You are suggesting that we ignore the separation of languages, which is the fundamental division of organization within a page. I see no point in discussing this further. --EncycloPetey 01:43, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I’ve news for you: Native speakers and writers often “ignore the separation of languages” — namely by using unnaturalised foreign phrases in writs and conversation. An average, educated English speaker will occasionally slip in a French or Latin phrase, which he will know is a foreign phrase, and he will probably attempt to pronounce it in a manner faithful to the phrase’s language of origin (and, depending on his company, may need to do so to avoid losing face). “[T]he fundamental division of organization within [our] page[s]” matters a lot less than our utility as a dictionary to our readers; we do them a disservice by obfuscating pertinent information on the grounds of the formalities (and not even the functionality!) of our structural distinctions.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:55, 25 September 2008 (UTC)
Or use {{rfp|lang=Latin}} if the Latin exists but lacks pronunciation, as many do. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:50, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Shall do.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:04, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

losing face[edit]

Remember that we generally don't want redirects, but rather short entries. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 01:11, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Generally, yes. However, not in the case of multi-word idioms which vary in form only due to conjugation and/or choice of pronoun, such as this one. I shan’t revert you, but I just wish to note that I am acting in accordance with policy/convention (whichever it is in this case).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 12:11, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


Heh, I really wanted to write "salmon", but decided that would be too foofy. I went with "pink" because it's "salmon pink", not "salmon orange"; but "apricot" is good, too. :-D

RuakhTALK 22:05, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

It’s funny how accuracy in colour-naming is considered “foofy”…   ;-)    (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:36, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Do we know whether that color is OK for the colorblind? --EncycloPetey 22:39, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Are you serious? If you are, it’ll show up darker than the surrounding grey, I should think.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:50, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I'm serious. I've had quite a number of friends who were red-green colorblind. The issue is not with how light or dark the color is, but with the choice of hue. Red/pinks and Blues will always be problematic, which is why Wikipedia (somewhere) has a guide to color selection for avoiding this problem. --EncycloPetey 21:25, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
OK. Well, I wouldn’t know about that. Feel free to change the colour if the præsent one is liable to cause problems.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:39, 29 September 2008 (UTC)


This is the ISO expanded code for Latin as a whole, not for New Latin. The template was deleted by Robert because it caused problems. Please do not recreate it without discussing the issue with Robert first. --EncycloPetey 21:23, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

OK. What is the ISO code for New Latin then?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:26, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
New Latin has no ISO code. It is treated as a dialect of Latin, not a language in of itself. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:27, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
OK. Well, I’ve used a non-{{etyl}} hash in the etymology section of rhotacism. If you could fix it in a more elegant manner, I’ll copy that schema in future.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:33, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
For now, we're using {{NL.}} to mark New Latin etymologies. --EncycloPetey 21:38, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Corrected.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:51, 29 September 2008 (UTC)


Hi. While actual rhyming words are not normally placed in pronunciation, this is not a hard and fast rule, as I read ELE anyway. In this particular case I believe the addition of a good example of a simple, well-known word that rhymes exactly is helpful, wouldn't you agree? -- ALGRIF talk 15:48, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I suppose that it is a boon to our non–IPA-literate users. Because of the strange way in which Gaelic is spelt, I guess that the intuitive pronunciation of ceilidh for many would be *[ˈkeɪlɪd] or *[ˈkaɪlɪð] or something. It looked a bit “wrong” as it was, so I’ve made a minor revision; what do you think?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:27, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Did you…[edit]

…happen to see the recent Guardian exchange of letters, on a word close to your heart? [13]. Ƿidsiþ 11:57, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I did not. Thank you for drawing my attention to it. It is interesting that Cecily Roberts says that “[schadenfreude [sic]] is arguably more English than [epicaricacy]”. If, by “more English”, she means “more familiar to speakers of English”, then I agree with her. However, the form of the word Schadenfreude is undoubtedly German: it is still prædominantly spelt with an initial capital where English grammar does not require it to be, and whilst many stray from the German pronunciation [ˈʃadn̩fʀɔʏdə], uttering instead a more Anglicised [ˈʃɑːdənˌfɹɔɪdə], I’ve yet to hear anyone pronounce it as *[ˈskeɪdənˌfɹuːd], which is what its spelling may suggest to a highly-insular English eye. Conversely, epicaricacy, whilst rare, is certainly English in its form: all its phones are typical English, and it has both a commonly-recognised præfix (epi-) and a familiar ending (-acy).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:11, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Talk:magnum opus[edit]

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

It’s meant as a reductio ad absurdum for our policies, and should, I hope, give impetus for their clarification. I’ll præsent it for discussion in the Beer Parlour when I’ve collected enough evidence for all the verifiable forms I can think of. (As an aside, what ought I to do with my energy? I’m curious…)  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:35, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

æ, diacritics[edit]

Hello, Doremiwítzwr. A would like to express my gratitude with regard to your position in Talk:naïveté. I was also delighted to make myself familiar with the authentic plural of campus - campi, although I am no native English speaker. Howbeit, I am infatuated with dated, or, lest it sound pejorative, literary English as in classical writings. Therefore I consider the resurrection of authentic spellings such as æ an enticing idea and would like to ask you whether it is to be written wherever the Latin language has ae. I would fain embrace that propensity too, but I need to clarify the rules. Exempli gratia, prævalent is the authentic spelling because of praevaleo, right? How about celestial - in Latin there are two spellings: caelestis and coelestis. Which is the beseeming English spelling - cælestial or cœlestial? Bogorm 19:36, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

In re Talk:naïveté: You’re welcome, though I must stress that that is my personally-held opinion, and not one that I adopted ad hoc.
In re campi: Yes, campi is an interesting one. Campuscampi is an instance of that very common xenogenous English pluralisation rule (-us-i), adopted from Latin’s second-declension masculine nominative-case nouns; as with cactuscacti, it is widely accepted as forming valid alternative plural forms which in many cases are primary or even the sole correct plural forms. However, campi was, perhaps inconsistently, widely decried when I first added it (so much so that it led to my being blocked). The belief seems to be that campi would result more often that not from hypercorrection than from informed usage — considering the existence of *octopi, *platypi, *magnum opi, *non sequituri, and other such linguistic lusūs naturæ, this is perhaps not unreasonable. Nevertheless, this ought not to prævent our using campi, lest we cower in the face of guilt by association.
In re the use of the æsc and œthel ligatures in English: The rule is that English spelling (in the præscriptive system that I use, and that you also seem to have adopted) makes use of ‹æ› in words where Classical Latin had the ‹ae› diphthong (pronounced as [ai]) and in words where Ancient Greek had the ‹αι› (alpha-iota) diphthong; likewise, it makes use of ‹œ› in words where Classical Latin had the ‹oe› diphthong (pronounced as [oi]) and in words where Ancient Greek had the ‹οι› (omicron-iota) diphthong.
Where the Classical Latin word was written with ‹ae› or ‹oe› without its being pronounced as a diphthong (i.e., as [a.e] and [o.e], respectively), then English has ‹aë› or ‹oë› (thus indicating diæresis, as opposed to synæresis), and not ‹æ› or ‹œ›; e.g., poëm (from Latin poema).
Where the Ancient Greek word was written with ‹αε› (alpha-epsilon) or ‹αη› (alpha-eta), English has ‹aë›; with ‹οε› (omicron-epsilon), ‹οη› (omicron-eta), ‹ωε› (omega-epsilon), or ‹ωη› (omega-eta), English has ‹oë›; and with ‹ωι› (omega-iota), English has ‹oï›. (These are the rules; some of the scenarii may be hypothetical, since I don’t Ancient Greek to be sure that all these coöccurrences actually occur in the language.) A fairly common example of this exception is the aër- words which, because of deriving from the Ancient Greek word ἀήρ (aḗr, alpha-eta-rho), are written with the diæresis, and not with the ligature (as ær-…).
Latin and Ancient Greek are the most common source of English words spelt with ligatures. Æsc and œthel are self-referentially also spelt therewith; Old Norse, Icelandic, and other languages where the æsc is a letter in its own right give us a few words, for example Æsir; whereas, French has the œthel, so thence we get œillade, coup d’œil, et cætera.
As for the case of cælestial vs. cœlestial: Sorry that I took a while to answer this. I couldn’t think of a reasonable criterion upon which to base a præscription. Both are easily attested in use in English. Eventually, I asked EncycloPetey what the situation is in Latin. From what I gleaned thence, I conclude that cœlestial is the præferable English spelling; because c[æ/œ]lestial and its relations derive from the caelvmcoelvm (“heaven”, “sky”) Latin spelling pair, which can be confused with the caelvmcelvm (“chisel”) Latin spelling pair, it is better that the œthel spelling be used, so as to avoid confusion with any English words deriving from caelvmcelvm, which may be caused by using the æsc spelling. Is that an acceptable rationale for you?
 (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:09, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your circumstantial clarification. I shall try to adhere to this rule when it comes to Latin and French derivations, but I am liable to omit the diacritical spelling in words derived from Ancient Greek due to my lack of knowledge in that language. Regards. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 10:30, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Ancient Greek diacritics? Do you mean the spiriti asper and lenis? Or the other pitch accents? I’d omit them all, if I were you, for various reasons. If you meant you’ll omit the necessary ligatures, don’t worry about it; however, one thing you can do is look at the transcriptions of Ancient Greek etyma in English words’ entries’ etymology sections — if you see (…ai…) you can pretty much assume that English uses ‹æ›, and if you see (…oi…), then ditto ‹œ›. BTW, since we’re on this subject: adhære   :-)    (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


Doremítzwr, I am even keen to adopt the marvellous ſharp ſ, I had no idea that it was digitaliſed, but now that I beheld it, I feel elated. What do you think? Do you like it? Bogorm 14:37, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Hmm. I’m not an enthusiastic proponent of the use of the long s. I use it in my handwriting, but I would not use it in print, because it is far too easily confused with the letter ‹f› when read by the unaccustomed eye. (This can result in some fairly obvious and puerile, yet nonetheless mirth-inducing, guided malapropisms.) BTW, note that proper use of ‹ſ› is restricted to instances of ‹s› in the initial and medial positions only — and never in the terminal position; therefore, you ought to write “ſharp s” or “ſharp eſs”, but not “ſharp ſ”.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:09, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Christmas Competition[edit]

I thought you'd like to know that two of your recent additions to the Christmas competition appear to be invalid--all letters after the first three borrowed from the word from the last player must appear in the final word outside of the parentheses, is what my understanding was. --Neskaya kanetsv 19:42, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

You’re right; sorry for my errors.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:36, 11 December 2008 (UTC)


Just a note: Latin vowels are never long before the consonant combination -nt-, so there would not be a macron over the first "a". --EncycloPetey 18:35, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

Well then, the OED must be wrong in this case.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:13, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Which is surprising since the Oxford Latin Dictionary (and kin) have the correct macrons as īnfantia. --EncycloPetey 20:34, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I think you've told me before that our understanding of Latin long-vowel placement has changed over time, including in the last hundred years? Well, the OED entry for infancy most recent quote is from 1875, so presumably it's been a while since the entry was last revised; maybe when it was written, people didn't know that vowels were never long before the consonant combination -nt-? (But it's weird, I thought the current revision was pretty far through the alphabet. I guess I misunderstood how that process works.) —RuakhTALK 04:25, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Quoting of newsgroups[edit]

I’d like to suggest to use {{cite newsgroup}} for this. The format is a bit less clobbered than what you use, in particular, I do not see the use of linking to the contributions of a person, and it links to the newsgroup itself, in addition to linking to Google Groups (though the nntp link does not always work, I am afraid). H. (talk) 09:53, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

google counts[edit]

hi. you recently made a note about google counts about disyllabic vs bisyllabic. they are unreliable. See: You really should a professional corpus for believable statistics. Note that I'm not disputing that bisyllabic is more common disyllabic: I'm certain that it is. I do think that google is inaccurate and unsuitable for comparisons since no one knows what it is counting (it is a secret afterall). It may be that google is more accurate with non-boolean searches, but we have no way of knowing. Ishwar 23:21, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

OK, then; how do you suggest we provide comparisions of usage frequency?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:52, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
With a real corpus.
Here are some free ones:
The American corpus is very large and unlike google it is balanced (e.g. it includes spoken texts). have fun Ishwar 00:05, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and although its counts are also unknown (I think), yahoo is apparently more believable than google. (for whatever that's worth, I'd still use a corpus as theyre made for what you are wanting.) Ishwar 00:10, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Done.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:24, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
As I understand it, these corpera (!) do not do so well on low-frequency words, because of the relatively "small" sample size. But they are certainly worthwhile. I wonder what the sample variance is for a word that has only five occurrences in the whole BYU corpus. Would 8 be significantly different from 5? I wonder for Google, too. DCDuring TALK 02:01, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Well what else can we do to compare word frequencies? Despite the margin of error that having such a small sample can bring about, I find it difficult to explain away a >10:1 frequency ratio.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:18, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
BTW, why “corpera (!)”?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:19, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
You had corrected me on "corpera" once, I believe.
I agree that 10:1 is probably enough even if it a count of exactly ten and one. But the sampling error might be 10 or it might be 2. At 10 we really wouldn't have enough information to be very sure and Google might be better despite its unreliability. At 2 we would have enough certainty. DCDuring TALK 02:43, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
  1. I did; the correct plural form is corpora.
  2. So is our collection of statistics (disyllabic, dissyllabic vs. bisyllabic: 18:1, 17:1, 13:1, 1:1) reliable, in your opinion?
 (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:50, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
  1. I feel like such an old dog.
  2. Maybe. I calculated some iso-confidence numbers for comparing the frequency of two "low-frequency" words, which can be assumed to have a w:Poisson distribution. For the same corpora: 10:1 ~ 12:2 ~ 15:3 ~ 17:4 ~ 19:5 ~ 21:6 ~ 28:10 ~ 36:20 ~ 85:50 ~ 147:100 ~ 1141:1000.
For the same corpora: 16:1 ~ 19:2 ~ 27:5 ~ 38:10 ~ 169:100 ~ 1198:1000.
That is we can have a lot of confidence about a small relative frequency ratio among higher-frequency words, but not so much about a much higher relative frequency ratio among low-frequency words.
If we are trying to "predict" out-of-sample (eg, current) usage, we could have less confidence yet. DCDuring TALK 12:37, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
  1. Here’s an easy way to remember: The plural of corpus is corpora, not *corpera, just as corporal, corporation, and corporeal aren’t spelt *corperal, *corperation, and *corpereal. (Conversely, the plural of opus is opera, not *opora, just as modus operandi, operate, and operatic aren’t spelt *modus oporandi, *oporate, and *oporatic.)
  2. OK, I get that. However, in this case, the usage note is not specific about *how much* more common disyllabic + dissyllabic is than bisyllabic, and the references only talk about relative frequencies within those corpora.
 (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:33, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

lest thou shalt be/lest thou shall be/lest thou be[edit]

Hello, Doremítzwr. I and Ivan Štambuk try thou-ing, but the problem is that none of us is a native speaker. So I would like to request your opinion on his talk page. Which of the above constructions do you think is wrong? Both of us stated own arguments, but a native speaker is the most reliable one. Bogorm 13:31, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I’ve responded thereat.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:14, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
What do you think about the ſharp ſ? I even adopted it into my ſignature, do you like this letter? I do? Sorry, if I am perſiſtent, I just immediately took thereto. The uſer highteth Bogorm converſation 19:13, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Vide supra for an answer. Though I’m not too fond of ‹ſ›, I do like the “bound ‘st’ ligature”: ‹st›, which I have used throughout my postings contemporaneous with this one, to exemplify it for you.   :-)    (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:09, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I believe you mean either "the user hight Bogorm" or "the user that highteth Bogorm". Otherwise you have a complete sentence, "the user is called Bogorm", which doesn't make much sense. —RuakhTALK 23:05, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, your advice was helpful. I wondered why among so many examples in hight in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913 there was none with -eth/-s endings for 3rd person singular and I thought that they all referred to the past. I still can't figure out what form of the verb is this user hight, if not past simple. I initially build it on analogy with Er heißt .../Han heder ... (De/Da). Why is there no -eth/-s ending? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 21:50, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Past (passive) participle. This is one of a large number of English verbs whose transitive use is causative (or, conversely, whose intransitive use is mediopassive); for example, we can say both "the door opened" and "the door was opened" (or "someone opened the door"). In the case of hight, we can say both "he hight John" and "he was hight John" (or "people hight him John" — or "in walked a farmer hight John"). The latter use was so prominent that many dictionaries (including us) list hight as a participial adjective, either additionally or exclusively. —RuakhTALK 01:35, 27 February 2009 (UTC)


Hi Widsith. Does the Old English hæþen have a plural form? The entry says that it’s just an adjective in Old English. I’m very ignorant of Old English grammar, so: Was it used as a noun? Do Old English adjectives agree in number? Either way: What is the plural form of hæþen? Or what would it be, even if it doesn’t have one? Thanks in advance…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:41, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Adjectives in OE could be used substantively, as they can in modern English. ("I am here to help the disaffected....", "I seek a fair wife and a true.." etc etc, in fact this kind of construction was even more common in OE.) It was never a proper noun, and always inflected as an adjective, as though there were an implied subject "the heathen (ones)". I've added a declension template to the page which should help you work out whatever you're currently trying to work out.. Ƿidsiþ 18:58, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
    Thanks, this was for a friend. He says: “Diolch yn fawr, a Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!” (That’s Welsh for “Thank you very much, and Happy St. David’s Day!”, by the way.)  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


Hello. I hope you do not mind seeing the template which you once had added being removed after I provided the entry with a good quotation from Dante Gabriel Rossetti's St. Luke the Painter. If you are willing to see more quotations in order to accede to the removal of the template, do not hæsitate to notify me. Regards The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 22:11, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

That’s absolutely fine; it was mere laziness that prævented me from adding quotations myself, despite the fact that I could see it needed them (hence my adding of {{rfquote-sense}}). Nota, however, that I have reformatted the quotation (&c.) to be roughly in line with WT:QUOTE (give or take a few of mine own variations that I am reluctant to stop using); could you add the writ’s year, s’il vous plaît?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:56, 3 March 2009 (UTC)


There are at least a half dozen orthographic variations for representing Ancient Greek that I can think of off the top of my head. Unless you want to figure them all out, maintain a series of redirects for every entry, and pay WM for a bunch of utterly worthless server load, please don't create these. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 01:38, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

*Shrug* I thought ϑ was an isolated variant, and that this sort of redirect would be of marginal use. I’ll leave this sort of thing, then. However, what do we do if someone looks up a word using an orthographical variant?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:44, 4 March 2009 (UTC)


Hi Ruakh. How come {{DISPLAYTITLE:…}} worked for you with ^_^, but it didn’t work for me with s’il vous plaît? I thought that this would be a nice way to fix the display of apostrophes in our page titles…   :-(    (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:11, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

It works iff the displytitle requested and the real title are the "same" for purposes of the wiki. Since the page ^_^ and the page ^ ^ are the same page (not just a redirect but the same inherently), it works there. Thus, for example, on enWP, where the page Foo and the page foo are the same, displaytitle will work to make the initial letter of a page lowercase; they use it on [[w:eBay]] (well, actually, they use their template lowercase, which calls displaytitle).—msh210 23:18, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
*Sigh* How annoying. Is there any way to extend DISPLAYTITLE’s remit to include the various types of apostrophë and quotation mark? Or to pretty much anything, for that matter?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:41, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, according to mw:Manual:$wgAllowDisplayTitle. We'd have to vote on it, and it would allow any title to be used, not just a choice of apostrophes and the like. (I doubt such a vote would pass, personally.) Then a developer would have to be asked to effect it for us.—msh210 23:47, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, well at least there’s a way… Perhaps I’m just being naïf in my tiredness, but I don’t see any particular problems with allowing this; conversely, allowing this function should eliminate the desire of some of the editing community to use typographically-correct apostrophes in page titles themselves, since every aspect of an entry’s display can now be tailored to display the desired apostrophë (it eliminates mine, in any case) — i.e., this could quite nicely resolve that long-standing little bone of contention. What problems do you vaticinate?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:05, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
The issue is one of orthographic convention. Let me make my point by analogy. Unicode has multiple codepoints for some Ancient Greek letters. So, for example, the letter theta has two forms, θ and ϑ. They represent the same letter, so there is no meaningful difference. This is useful in that it allows a more flexible system, giving people the ability to represent stylistic differences. However, on a project where we distinguish between spellings (such as Wiktionary), this can be potentially problematic. θάλασσα (thálassa) and ϑάλασσα (thálassa) are not different spellings, and do not deserve two separate entries. Thus, the convention is that ϑ is not used, but rather that the character θ is always used to represent theta, lest we mire ourselves in confusion. Many other languages have similar orthographic conventions (such as Latin and Old English). Now, I can't speak for everyone who does not wish to see the character ’ on Wiktionary, but my reasoning is similar to that of theta. I see no reason why ' is not a valid apostrophe, and since many keyboards (such as my own) do not have the character ’, we cannot reasonably expect most users to use it, either in using Wiktionary or in editing it. Thus, the orthographic convention that ' will be used in all cases seems an utterly useful and reasonable one. People may well say that ’ is prettier or somehow more correct, but ' has a long history of being used as an apostrophe. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 00:37, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Yours is a disanalogy; is the standard character, but ' is the most convenient-to-enter character, whereas θ is the standard character as well as the most convenient-to-enter character. That is to say, in looking for a given term, users are most likely (for reasons of convenience) to enter ' rather than and θ rather than ϑ. Arguments for using ' rather than have hinged on practical points like avoidance of redirects; arguments for using rather than ' have hinged on largely æsthetic considerations such as concerns with professional appearance. By using DISPLAYTITLE, both these positions are satisfied: On the technical-structural level, entries remain at the easily-keyed entry title, whilst on the display level, entries have proper typography, thus making them look more professional. Everybody wins.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:10, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, for one thing, I would argue that ' has become the standard character, simply out of habitual usage. I have yet to hear a convincing argument for being the more correct character. Ultimately, in the absence of some authoritative body (is there one?), I don't know if there is such a thing as a "correct" character. I think that θ is the "correct" character because it is the more easily typed character. Seems to me that displaying ’ while using ' amounts to an assload of work (which will almost surely not be done completely) for just shy of zero gain. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 01:23, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
is the character that professionally-edited and -published texts overwhelmingly more often than not use; this fact, traditionalism, élitism, and whatever, lends its use in place of ' an air of professionalism (rightly or wrongly). At præsent, many users already go to the effort of entering typographical apostrophes when they edit (me included), which often “amounts to an assload of work”, especially when it involves specifying a word’s form with piped links in templates. Yet this assload is undertaken. Whilst we’re unlikely ever to see complete consistency in the use of typographical apostrophes on the English Wiktionary, we are just as unlikely to see such consistency in the use of ASCII apostrophes; consistency within entries, however, are a far more realistic aspiration — DISPLAYTITLE permits such consistency of use of typographical apostrophes.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:39, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Professional looking and correct are not exactly the same thing (although I must admit that they are often intimately related). My point is that consistent use of ' is possible (there are probably only five users on the project who use them regularly), whereas the consistent use of ’ is not, as many users have no idea how to produce them. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 01:47, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
And mine is that complete consistency in the use of either is impossible, in practice. (BTW, knowing how to enter only requires a cursory knowledge of what the edit-tools have to offer.) As an æsthetic consideration, consistency within entries is better than inconsistency within entries; however, IMO, use of typographical apostrophes throughout a given entry, with the single inconsistency of the headword being written with an ASCII apostrophë, is better than completely consistent use of ASCII apostrophes in a given entry. Anyway, good night.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:59, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, I believe we've both said our peace. I think it ultimately comes down to differences in personal philosophy which are unlikely to be resolved in a single convo. In any case, I think we both have a better idea of the reasons behind the other's position. However, I think that in any future vote on the issue, we will remain cordial enemies. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:02, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I've never knowingly vaticinated before in my life; thanks for teaching me the word. (Would you be so kind as to mark it {{transitive}} or {{transitive|and|intransitive}}, as appropriate? You know, to help out us ignoramuses.) In any event, I think that feeling are just too high on the quotation-mark issue to allow any vote to pass with any meaningful majority, certainly a vote to change a status quo. I would personally vote to allow displaytitle, provided that there were strict guidelines specified in the vote proposal delineating when displaytitle can be used (and that I agreed with those guidelines). I doubt it would pass even under such circumstances. I would be glad to be proven wrong.—msh210 19:20, 4 March 2009 (UTC)


Come on, you know that this is the sort of assertion that should be referenced; it shouldn’t be difficult to find an example to support the claim if it is indeed the case. (On Wikipedia, they’d call those weasel words.)  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 02:07, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I don't know what you mean. The unreferenced tag came after four separate references, all of which do support the claim; I assumed it had been left there by mistake. Or are you talking about a different assertion? Ƿidsiþ 06:58, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes; I refer to the assertion that follows it: “However, some linguists use the term bisyllabic.” Can you suggest a way to make it more explicit which assertion is being challenged?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 04:27, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't know, I just think this kind of usage note is so clumsy and awkward-looking. Can't we just get rid of it? There aren't any prescriptivist authorities who actually talk about this word, because it's so rare – it's assumed that they wouldn't like it because it's not in any dictionaries. But that point is well enough made by the Dictionary Notes, and the opposing point of view – that some people use it anyway – would be better made by citations. The etymological point is frankly a bit of a red herring, considering words like television or homosexual. Ƿidsiþ 07:05, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, all that’s needed as a reference to support the opposing view is citations of the use of bisyllabic in the works of two or more somewhat-notable linguists (then the {{unreferenced}} template can be removed). I don’t really agree that the usage note is “clumsy and awkward-looking” — I reckon that it makes the necessary points clearly and fairly succinctly. I don’t think that the etymological point is a red herring — there are exceptions to it, just like any other prescriptive rule; however, resisting etymological hybrids tend to be more consistently done when it’s a choice between number affixes from different roots (-tuple words always use Latinate prefixes and -gon words always use Grecian ones, for example).  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:13, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Actually, to me, the "weasel words" are the onces which say that prescriptivist "language users" consider it malformed. This seems to me to be a way of implying that language authorites dislike "bisyllabic", but without having to actually find any authorities which say so. Some "language users" may not like it, but "language users", whatever they are, have all sorts of strange ideas, which are not always especially helpful to list in an entry. Ƿidsiþ 16:40, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

hi. I added that info. It seemed to be trivial and readily apparent to anyone who reads linguistic literature. I think that Ƿidsiþ has a point: does anyone really approve of disyllabic over bisyllabic? That may be the case but it hasnt been demonstrated here. (Most linguists could give damn about prescriptivism — it has nothing to do with what most of them do.) To demonstrate that linguists do use the form, here are some quotes from reviewed linguistic journal articles by well-known linguists:

The originality of the tone of bisyllabic prepositions in anastrophe is proved in addition by the fact that this accent is demanded by the corresponding Sanskrit words whenever the etymology is clear. – Maurice Bloomfield 1883 The American Journal of Philology, 4, 24

Stems with long vowel or bisyllabic stems with accent on the first syllable retain their accent in the intransitive continuative form – Franz Boas 1935 IJAL, 8, 106

This happened in original monosyllables and in bisyllabic words with intervocalic glottal stop preceded by rising tone: gǎ, ga, gàʔ nine from *kǎʔ – Morris Swadesh 1947 IJAL, 13, 226

After the loss of the ending -os, the sūsl forms would have been bisyllabic, the setl forms monosyllabic. – W. P. Lehmann 1955 Language, 31, 359

Second, it is not normal for non-final or final juncture to occur within the boundaries of a phrase, and it is difficult to utter a phrase of twenty morphemes (most of them bisyllabic) without pausing at some point. — Andrew Pawley 1966 Anthropological Linguistics, 8, 8

However, in many cases bisyllabic words that did not undergo stress retraction showed an unreduced vowel with tertiary stress in their first syllable – Morris Halle 1973 LI, 4, 459

Stress feet are of two basic types—monosyllabic and bisyllabic — Lisa Selkirk 1980 LI, 11, 570

But when consonant deletion in the Weak Grade reduces a bisyllabic sequence CVCV to a single syllable CVV, the resulting vowel or diphthong is always overlong. — Alan Prince 1980 LI, 11, 512

We see that it is also bisyllabic, unlike the CVC and CVVC roots. — Diana Archangeli 1983 NLLT, 1, 367

Since the adjective biísai ‘red’ is bisyllabic, the final syllable, sa, of the noun is included in the first foot. — Dan Everett 1988 NLLT, 6, 224

One much-discussed restriction on the phonetic shape of child language is a bisyllabic maximum on word size, which applies at about age 2. – Joe Pater 1997 Language Acquisition, 6, 202

This paper examines round harmony in Classical Manchu and Oroqen, where round spreading occurs only when the first two syllables of a word are round, that is, it requires a bisyllabic trigger. – Rachel Walker 2001, NLLT, 19, 827

Ishwar 21:31, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

From 1973–2001, they are phonologists. The list is, of course, nonexhaustive. Ishwar 21:35, 23 March 2009 (UTC)


I've now added the Related and Derived terms to both etymology sections of caelum, and have created the entry for caelestis as well. --EncycloPetey 21:40, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. I’ve added the eleven derivations which don’t yet have entries to Wiktionary:Requested entries:Latin#C. Attend to them at your leisure; there is, of course, no rush. Thanks again.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:21, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Nonstandard characters and personal choice[edit]

Hello there.

I would like to call your attention to the fact that the alternate spellings which you insist upon using in discussion fora actually make reading your comments difficult for some or most users of our Wiktionary. This is especially true for users who may be dyslexic or have other difficulties already. Such spellings are confusing at best, and often make reading a comment take a great deal of time, if they do not make it entirely impossible.

Further, most screenreader technology cannot process such special characters as æ or ſ. Your use of these characters, therefore, potentially debars both partially sighted and blind users of Wiktionary, as these characters require special set-up for the most part.

Use of these characters in signatures is currently acceptable by community consensus as far as I know. However, these characters are otherwise discouraged from conversation, including uses in the Beer Parlour or on user talk pages except specifically referring to existing pages where the character is in the page name. I am aware that you no longer use these as frequently as you once did, however I wanted to bring it up.

For that matter, I would like to request (not requæst, but request) that you use standard or at least close to standard spellings of words as much as possible. I thank you for your consideration in the matter. —Neskaya kanetsv 22:41, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Incoming email[edit]

Hello Doremítzwr -- I just sent you an email message. -- WikiPedant 04:17, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. I’ve responded thereto.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 04:26, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Okay. Noted. Thanks. -- WikiPedant 05:18, 14 April 2009 (UTC)


Hello. I'm not sure about the correct way to add such a reference, but it is this: David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (1995, Cambridge University Press), →ISBN (hardback), page 200: "Four nouns add -en, in two cases changing the vowel sound as well: ox > oxen, aurochs > aurochsen, child > children, brother > brethren. The use of /-n/ as a plural marker was a feature of an important class of Old English nouns." Equinox 19:38, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Added.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:43, 19 April 2009 (UTC)


Wow. I've been thinking for ages about how to expand the alternatve forms sections, but even I never imagined anything this....extensive! It's great, I just hope we can do this kind of thing without infringing OED copyright (if that's the only source). Ƿidsiþ 20:18, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

WikiPedant raised the same concerns; I checked with bd2412, according to whom what I’ve done carries virtually no risk of copyright infringement. OTOT, I’m working to cite all those obsolete forms individually as a medium-term project, so that’ll constitute independent attestation. Thanks for noticing, and for the compliment!  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 12:45, 3 May 2009 (UTC)


Hi there, I see you are an established editor, and I therefore would like your opinion on my first entry from scratch: coldė. Have I done it right? Cdhaptomos 12:06, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Also, please take a look at herė. Cdhaptomos 12:24, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

They’re not at all bad for first tries. From the top to the bottom:
  1. {{also}} is normally reserved for near-homographs (which usually means those words whose differences are limited to capitalisation, diacritics, punctuation, &c. — that sort of thing); so, for example, coldė should display “See also colde”, but not “See also cold”. Also, I noticed this; see how I corrected it — multiple pages are linked to by using multiple parameters, till you end up with something like me, where {{also|ME|mé|më|mě|mé-}} displays “See also ME, , , , and mé-”.
  2. Alternative spellings sections are unnecessary in entries whose definitions are limited to {{alternative spelling of|…}}, {{archaic spelling of|…}}, {{obsolete spelling of|…}}, or the like, especially when the only alternative spelling given in the section is also the one given in the definition line(s). Furthermore, when there are many alternative spellings, it becomes a problem of entry synchronisation; for example, could you imagine having copies of the Alternative spellings section of scion in the entries of each of its variant spellings? (FYI, this sort of thing has been considered with a technique known as section transclusion; however, AFAIK that is not a very common practice.)
  3. Inflexion lines: For English (as well as many other languages), there are tailored inflexion templates for most (all?) of the POS; for adjectives, use {{en-adj}}, and for pronouns, use {{en-pron}} — guides to using them can be found in the documentation on the templates’ talk pages. POS templates autocategorise the entries in which they are transcluded into appropriate and useful categories (for example, {{en-adj}} autocategorises into Category:English adjectives, whereas {{en-adj|-}} also autocategorises into Category:English adjectives that lack comparative forms), as well as, usually, generating generic information applicable to most terms of that given class. If you can’t find a specific POS template for the language in which you’re editing, you can always fall back on the universally-applicable {{infl}}.
  4. X spelling of … — Nota that we also have {{archaic spelling of}} and {{obsolete spelling of}} (as I mentioned above); for old spellings which are rarely or never used any more, they may be more appropriate. Archaic roughly means pre–20th-century, whereas obsolete usually means the term or spelling had fallen out of use at least two or three centuries ago (although the latter is far vaguer a term than the former, and can just mean a form that would be incomprehensible even to educated language users of today).
  5. Citations: Please take a look at WT:QUOTE, which is more or less the standard for citations on Wiktionary. (I don’t agree with it 100%, but my deviations therefrom are very minor.) One thing that’s vitally important is that quotations come with the year from which they herald; please add them to the quotations you’ve added to the entries for coldė and herė. Which brings me on to my final point…
  6. The English language, like many other major languages having undergone significant changes over time, is split into chronological variants; it is subdivided into time periods, viz. Old English (circa 450–1066), Middle English (1066–1470), Early Modern English (1470–1650), and Modern English (1650–present). These subdivisions are, to a significant degree, fairly arbitrary, and in borderline cases supporting quotations may be attributed to a chronological variant to which, strictly speaking, it does not belong; but alas!, taxonomy necessitates that we have clear demarcations. Old English and Middle English terms are sorted verbatim under language headers of those names, whereas Early Modern English and Modern English are both sorted under the English language header. Judging from your quotations, your two contributions seem to be more appropriately categorised as Middle English rather then English (Geoffrey Chaucer having lived circa 1343–1400 and the Mediævum having spanned AD 476–1453).
I hope that my feedback is helpful. If you have any further questions, or you would like clarification and/or elaboration of what I have written, please don’t hesitate to ask.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:40, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Your feedback is very helpful, and I have implemented some of your suggestions; I shall do the rest soon. Thank you. Cdhaptomos 21:53, 3 June 2009 (UTC)


Any reason why you pulled a citation out of this template? --Spangineerws (háblame) 01:39, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Also, in the interest of not getting yelled at again, I'll just ask: was this replacement of an uncited example phrase appropriate? --Spangineerws (háblame) 01:51, 19 May 2009 (UTC)


When you mark one of these for deletion, please first be sure there are no links to the page. Otherwise, the deletion generates red-links to bad titles, which are then prone to re-creation. --EncycloPetey 14:58, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Aah, OK; I’ll note that for the future. It was such a link that lead me thither, IPOF.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:10, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


  • distālis (~distant?)
    It would help if you could say where you came across this term. English distal (which, I've heard an erudite anatomy professor argue, is properly an adverb) did not come from Latin, and there does not seem to be an equivalent in Classical or Late Latin. Given its use primarily in anatomy, I'd not be surprised if it didn't show up before the Late Renaissance. Of course, I haven't yet seen it in Latin at all, so any direction you can provide would help. --EncycloPetey 01:06, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
    It is one half of pars distalis which is, as you said it probably would be, a term in anatomists’ jargon.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:14, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
    The question, then, is whether the term ever appears outside of English medical terminology. It may be a case of English jargon pseudo-Latin, like the legal phrases we have. I wouldn't declare it to be Latin unless I saw it in a properly Latin context. I can poke around, but my access to the really good resources is a bit limited right now. It may take a while. --EncycloPetey 01:21, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
    Not a problem. Take your time. It’s not a priority. Thanks.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:33, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

be the way to go[edit]

I think the way to go might be a better place to put this. What do you think? Equinox 19:52, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I do, actually. I had to think of some inventive ways to avoid using “be” as the first word of either of the two halves of the definition. Unfortunately, AFAIK, we’re not allowed to begin the names of entries for idioms with either of English’s articles. That leaves way to go, which is something else entirely. I think it’s a lot less confusing to our users if we keep the two idioms separate. Since the way to go is virtually always prefaced with some conjugation of be, I decided upon be the way to go as the least bad way to go. As exemplified, there are problems with that. Any suggestions?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:15, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
I just looked at way to go and it appears to have this sense already! I suppose I'm inclined to leave it there, perhaps with a note or gloss saying that it is always preceded by the (at least when talking about the best/preferred decision). Equinox 20:34, 25 June 2009 (UTC)


Thank you! --Panda10 01:17, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

That’s quite all right. You managed to block him before I could report him to WT:VIP.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:21, 4 July 2009 (UTC)