User talk:Duncan MacCall/Archive 1

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Again, welcome! Thanks for the addition to squeegee. Note that we usually link our translations, and we also have a template {{t}} which will link to our entry, as well as the entry on the home language wikt (e.g. the entries on the Czech wiktionary). If you like, take a look at the changes I made. Any questions, feel free to ask. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:22, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Using talk pages[edit]

Atelaes is off-line right now, so I hope you don't mind getting your answer from a stranger.

Answering messages can happen a number of different ways. Some people answer on their own talk page. Some people do this but then post on the other person's talk page "replied on my talk page". Some people put the reply on the talk page of the person who posted the message. Some people copy-paste the original message and add both it and a reply on the sender's talk page (producing a duplicate of the conversation on both pages).

I've used all of these approaches at one time or another. It all depends on how well I know the habits of the other person, the topic discussed, and sometimes how energetic I feel. For example, if I know someone is really experienced at Wiktionary, then I may just reply on my talk page where the conversation started and trust that the person will know to check back. Likewise, if a conversation has more than two people involved, it's less confusing to have the entire discussion happening in one place. For conversations with less-experienced users, I'm more likely to reply on their page, since they may not know to check back on my talk page, or may just not remember where the question was posted. For in-depth conversations on narrow topics, where the flow of the conversation would be hard to follow, and I know the other person will want a copy, I may reply on my own talk page, but then paste the full text of their question/comment and my reply on their talk page as well.

So, there's more than one way to use talk pages to communicate, and it's up to your own best judgement in choosing which way is appropriate for what your doing. --EncycloPetey 00:25, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Reply to EncycloPetey[edit]

Thanks a lot, that explained it perfectly. I'm beginning to like Wiki more and more.

Duncan MacCall 01:05, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Note: This is one way to reply. The colon at the start of the line (edit to see) indents one level. Replies are usually made in the same section as the comment, like I have done. --EncycloPetey 01:07, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
I see. Ay, I think it's more clearly arranged like this. Duncan MacCall 01:16, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
EP has explained everything far more clearly than I could have, so I won't add anything to his comments. Good luck with the trial and error, and keep in mind that experienced editors are generally more than happy to ask any other questions you might have (you are providing free labour to a project which is important to us, after all :-)). -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:43, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

Translations request[edit]

Would you mnd adding the Slovak and Scots translations to the entries for listen and parrot? Thanks. --EncycloPetey 07:16, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

I added the Slovak (and Czech) translations where they were missing (I'm afraid though I couldn't be bothered to create new pages for the Slovak ones unless asked to, let alone new pages in Czech Wiktionary), but as far as I know these words don't differ in Scots from the English ones - to make sure I consulted The Concise Scots Dictionary (Aberdeen University Press) and didn't find any difference there either, except for terms marked as obsolete by 20th century. --Duncan MacCall 08:42, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
Later on, however, it occurred to me the words are of course different in Scottish Gaelic, so I at least added these. Duncan MacCall 19:23, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Phrasal verbs[edit]

Hi, is there a Wiktionary policy on under which heading should phrasal verbs be listed? I just added show off and show up under Derived terms on the page for show, only to find out (after saving this, mea culpa) they'd already been listed under See also. Which should I delete so that there isn't an unnecessary duplication? Derived terms seem more logical to me (and indeed I found it arranged thus at entries for put and go). Duncan MacCall 15:44, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Derived terms is the better place for them. See also should be used only as a last resort when no other appropriate header exists. Your instinct was correct to use Derived terms for phrasal verbs. --EncycloPetey 03:10, 23 September 2008 (UTC)


Hi, I have just edited pohlaví. To explain my edit: The main content of a Czech or any other non-English entry is the translation, not the definition. The definition is only placed there as a gloss in brackets, if it is needed to disambiguate the term. No usage note is needed to emphasize the possible ambiguity; it is understood that one English term can have more Czech translations.

The other Czech translations of sex could be there under the See also heading, if you prefer, but I think these can be found at the translation section of the English article. --Dan Polansky 18:32, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Point taken. Yes, it makes sense. BTW, why write {{i|gloss}} instead of ''(gloss)'' - does this list the page into some category? Duncan MacCall 21:51, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
The use of {{i}} versus roman text in () brackets is purely a matter of formatting and convention, no categories involved. When I came to Wiktionary almost two years ago, I have seen glosses in () and in italics at some non-English entries, it seemed to be the common practice, so I have made it a personal policy. This policy is now also mentioned at Wiktionary:About Czech. Now that I have contributed many Czech entries into the English Wiktionary, you can find this personal policy of mine applied in most of the Czech entries.
There is the template {{sense}} that serves a similar role in disambiguating synonyms, as you can see at e.g. car#Synonyms. The sense template uses italic formatting. In the same page, notice "(ballons only)", created using the {{qualifier}} template. These two models suggest to me that italics for the disambiguating glosses in the Czech entries is the preferable way.
Whether {{i}} or (''...'') is used does not really matter.
If it can be established that the common practice across other languages is to use roman instead of italics, I see no problem going for roman, changing the policy, and see if we can get a robotic replacement for the italics. So far, I have neglected this issue, hoping that some other language will get this clarified, and the Czech section is going to follow the lead.
I see the current solution as provisional, to be clarified at some later point, and aligned across the non-English languages.
See also Wiktionary_talk:About_Czech#Formatting_of_disambiguations/gloss --Dan Polansky 07:17, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I now see that I have misunderstood your question, having read into it something else. Uh-oh. You have asked about why write {{i}} instead of ''(gloss)''. I find it more convenient. It makes sure I do not make the error of putting the italic outside the brackets; it puts the italic inside where it belongs, rendering it as (''gloss''). --Dan Polansky 07:29, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your answers. The fault is mine, as I'm not too skilful in using the "nowiki" templates yet, and the way what I wrote appeared on the screen was misleading. Nevertheless I find the links you enclosed quite helpful, as I hadn't known most of them, so I'm grateful for the first comment as well. As for italicised or non-italicised brackets, I find it disputable which way it "looks" better (or rather, more appropriate), but I have no quarrel with abiding by WT convention and only italicising the text within. Duncan MacCall 08:08, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Scots/Scottish Gaelic[edit]

Hello. Could you please have a look at what I've done at Category:Translations to be checked (Scots Gaelic) to check out whether it's OK like that? As far as I know it only contained one item for months, and I think that having two pages for de facto the same category is superfluous anyway. I suppose it would be even better if each time anybody wrote in the Translations section on any page {{ttbc|Scots Gaelic}} the following would be redirected to Category:Translations to be checked (Scottish Gaelic) automatically, but I don't know if this can be done at all. Duncan MacCall 01:03, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Yep, looks good to me. The redirect would probably work too I imagine. Ƿidsiþ 07:52, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually what appears on the page now is an edit by Ruakh who apparently somehow noticed my clumsier one in the meantime and improved it. Anyway, thanks to you both. Duncan MacCall 08:05, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Re: vyceless[edit]

Hrm. Interesting. I learned scots years ago, and have seen it spelled both ways. It may of course be possible that the spelling vyceless that I have seen is a spelling error, or that vyce is a very odd alternate spelling (Shetland would be my guess, but mine is as good as any at this point, having been a year since I thought about creating this and therefore forgetting my original citation :)). Thank you for letting me know about this. Additionally, although no good as a citation, vyce seems to be a pretty standard spelling for --Neskaya kanetsv 22:05, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm a mite nervous about talking to people most of the time. But I will put it on the to-do list. --Neskaya kanetsv 01:28, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

RE: Wikifying languages' names[edit]

I'm sorry, I didn't know that policy. Seeing all the languages without brackets, I made 2+2 !! Thanks for the report. --Diuturno 15:50, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

stabil and pevná linka[edit]

Hi Duncan, first of all, thank you for all the Czech words you add, it is very nice to encounter them.

We clashed in pevná linka entry: I removed stabil synonym and you put it back. I have never heard the word stabil as a native Czech living in Czech Republic and Google finds nothing. Are you sure this word exists?

I also requested a comment about pevná linka in the Tea room.

Best regards, Karelklic 15:34, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Offline until 14/11[edit]

Or at least night UTC on that date. (BTW if it exists and anybody knows the English expression for "A regular, approximately one-week-lasting stay of a former inpatient in his old rehab to re-strengthen his determination to keep abstaining", I'd be much grateful for being told ;-).) --Duncan MacCall 13:08, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Template:cs-conj-kup-ovat and Template:cs-conj-ovat[edit]

Hi. Do we need both of these Czech verb conjugation templates? AFAIK, all -ovat verbs are conjugated identically. Also, I have checked carefully for mistakes, but please tell me if you find any mistakes. --Ro-manB 18:09, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

(Thread continues here).

Related terms[edit]

Hi, in dneska, "včera" a "zítra" belong to "See also", not to "Related terms". "Related terms" is only for etymologically related terms, such as "kouř" and "kouřit". It took me some time to notice that the header "Related terms" has this quite a special meaning here at Wiktionary, so you may come accross some entries I've created where I got this rule wrong. --Dan Polansky 20:25, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Corrected; thanks for letting me know. If I forget about this in the near future, please don't hesitate to remind me. (I'm fairly good sometimes in forgetting such things before they become a matter of routine for me). --Duncan MacCall 20:34, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
You may find the explanation of Related terms, Derived term, and Descendants useful on the Wiktionary:About Latin page. --EncycloPetey 07:21, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, this seems a better explanation than the ELE one. --Duncan MacCall 14:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)


Please note this correction to your edit. Your addition lacked a POS header and did not link any words in the definition line. --EncycloPetey 07:20, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, I wasn't certain about linking to the very name of a page within the same page, the ELE passage on this looked rather unclear to me. (The missing POS was of course just my rashness). --Duncan MacCall 14:49, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

No definitions[edit]

There should be no English definitions in Czech entries. Hence this edit. --Dan Polansky 09:41, 23 November 2008 (UTC)


Continuing the discussion from User talk:Ruakh, quoting the last posting:

Well it seems somewhat odd to me to dispute a statement that a word can only be used in some sense in the plural by citing a sentence in which it's used in the plural, and for someone who starts a debate by making a point of sticking to the rules to cite as his argument a WP article, which AFAIK is against WT policies, but I quit this debate. IMHO the page was reasonably useful to a user all throughout these edits, and in the context of all those "red words" in Index:Czech (and those which hadn't so far made it even there) and only a handful of Czech editors I'm afraid we're both making a mountain out of a molehill instead of spending our time here in a more useful way. --Duncan MacCall 10:53, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

To which I respond:

Look, just check the internet. Check any source that you can find, and come back with your findings. I've done my homework, and searched the internet. When there is a disagreement, it can be resolved using external, verifiable criteria. The Czech Wikipedia is not a rock-solid source, but it is a sign or a hint at what is the case; I can cite further sites with similar level of credibility as the Czech Wikipedia. I have had a look at other internet pages, and all say the same: all the chess pieces are called "kameny"; in chess, there are "16 kamenů".
I admit that the "kámen" entry per se does not justify the costs of this discussion. But it is also important that there is a predecent for a rational process of conflict resolution, one that rests on scientific and scholarly methodology instead of on personal opinions. --Dan Polansky 11:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Precisely, and that's why I was all along the debate more concerned about this general aspect than about "can or cannot be a queen called a kámen": what about expressions like vyjmenovaná slova? The concept is an integral part of Czech grammar, but as it apparently has no name in English (Josef Fronek, Comprehensive Czech-English Dictionary, 2000:"a list of words spelt with 'y' rather than 'i' after an ambiguos consonant"), what do we do? Use a definition? Coin a protologism? Say that not having an English equivalent it doesn't belong in the English WT? IMO using a definition is the least evil, and indeed AFAIC definitions aren't prohibited by ELE - it just states "translations into English should normally be given instead of a definition". Possibly you should really take this into the Beer Parlour, the implications I believe not being limited to the Czech language (maybe this had already been settled by some policy we aren't aware of). --Duncan MacCall 13:01, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

You know, Q-based narrowing might explain why the word kámen seems inappropriate for a queen even though its plural does cover queens. Unfortunately, if that is the explanation, then I'm not sure it's something we can cover very well; Gricean implicature seems slightly out-of-scope for a dictionary. The best we could do is something like "chess-piece, especially a pawn"; and the problem with that is that it would require us to have a separate sense-line for chess as for other games.
Alternatively, we could put this info in a usage note. And by "we" I mean "you". ;-)
I understand the desire to formulate broad, sweeping conclusions, but often I think it's better to solve one entry at a time, and try over time to discern a pattern of the best way to handle such cases. That pattern, once found, can then be documented/codified.
RuakhTALK 13:10, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
The issue of glosses, translations and "forbidden" definitions is now discussed in Beer Parlour, since today morning in CET (UTC+1).
The original definition that you have entered did not make it clear that the meaning of the word "kámen" is narrowed. So my original edit was plainly motivated by my having seen a definition where a single word with a gloss would do perfectly well.
The current English entry for piece says:
"One of the small objects played in board games, eg a pawn or a draught."
The entry kámen in the revision when you added the new sense said:
"A piece played in various board games, eg a pawn or a draught."
You did nothing in the Czech entry to indicate that the meaning of Czech "kámen" is in any way different from the English "piece". I read "eg" as "for example" or "such as", not as "especially".
I strongly doubt that the meaning of "kámen" in the context of board games is narrowed, and I am unable to find any internet resource that can falsify my thesis that singular "kámen" refers to any piece in board games. I would like to see unsourced assertions replaced with verifiable statements. I do admit that my sourcing with Wikipedia and the world wild web is worse than sourcing from Google books, but it is at the moment better than nothing.
I do admit that there are Czech terms such as "vyjmenované slovo" for which a definition may be wanted. But the point is that definition should be the last resort, not the first one. And even with "vyjmenované slovo", an attempt should be made to find a standard English translation, such as one used in English-written books about Czech grammar, and enter the definition in that English entry instead of the Czech one.
--Dan Polansky 13:54, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Uses of "kámen" in singular that are not restricted to pawns, from the internet:
  • "Tah každého hráče sestává z přesunutí jednoho kamene v souladu s pravidly (výjimkou je rošáda, při které se současně přesune král i věž)."[1]
  • "jestliže mezi králem a věží, s níž má být rošáda provedena, stojí jakýkoli kámen."[2]
  • "Pokud oba hráči provedli posledních 50 po sobě následujících tahů, aniž byl brán nějaký kámen nebo bylo taženo pěšcem."[3]
--Dan Polansky 14:04, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


I have corrected the definition of pepperwort. Please check to be certain the Czech translation still applies. --EncycloPetey 18:34, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, řeřicha applies to all Lepidiums (Lepidae?); I didn't know whether pepperwort does, so I wanted to be on the safe side. Thanks for the edit and for telling me. --Duncan MacCall 18:46, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Templates for noun forms[edit]

Hi, for noun forms, such as cikánům, there is {{cs-noun form}}. It classifies the entry as a noun form instead of as a noun.

Also, there is the {{form of}} template for noun forms, which I have now used in cikánům.

See also Wiktionary:About Czech. --Dan Polansky 09:40, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for reminding me, I haven't read Wiktionary:About Czech for some time and forgot about this. --Duncan MacCall 10:02, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Chistams - Game 4[edit]

Sorry, but Algrif added an extension to Game 4 a full four minutes before your extension. You may still add to the current end of the chain in that game. --EncycloPetey 17:11, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

On Game 8 - tener calor has no entry; it is a phrasal redirect. --EncycloPetey 00:06, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Fixed it to tenera. --Duncan 00:09, 9 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi, may I ask you something? Might this be Old English? It's not important, the character calls it "magic nonsense words to me" anyway, but I'm curious whether Steinbeck just made it up or whether it really means something.

  • Me beswac fah wyrm thurh faegir word.
  • Seo leo gif heo blades onbirigth abit aerest hire ladteow. --Duncan MacCall 00:25, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
It's OE all right. It means something like, ‘The coloured snake deceived me with a fair word. If the lion tastes blood, it bites the leader [or its master] first.’ Although blades is an unusual spelling if it is supposed to mean ‘blood’ – normally you would expect blodes. Ƿidsiþ 09:58, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks a lot - in that case, it even alludes to the story! --Duncan MacCall 10:11, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
No worries. Something very like this appears in the OE version of Genesis – se eg here, lines 897-899. Ƿidsiþ 10:19, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I see. The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. --Duncan MacCall 10:40, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Use of "also"[edit]

In this edit [4], you use the {{also}} template to link form parkour to parkur. That is an inappropriate use of the template, since the words are not spelled the same. The {{also}} template is used to link entries that differ by in their diacriticals or capitalization, not in the number of letters used in the word. --EncycloPetey 21:22, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I apologize; however, I didn't put there the template because of difference in number of letters - I had in mind the similar yet quite distinct semantic difference (I've a strong suspicion etymologically the words have the same origin). But thinking it over I can see that this approach might lead to too many such links, making more harm than good, so I'll abide by the rules next time. --Duncan MacCall 22:52, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi, I've noticed this and I'm not certain I understand - does it mean that although Scots WT doesn't exist at the moment (and the second link created by the edit just leads to a Wikimedia page informing of the fact), this is the preferable format anyway, as it would help if Scots WT is created in the future? And doesn't it confuse Tbot? (I admit I know b****r all about programming). --Duncan 02:06, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes! To your first idea. The plan is only to standardise how we enter translations, because if/when a sco:WT is created, all the links will start turning blue by magic. As it is, you can either change it to say "t-" rather than "t", or if you wait a while that wil be done automatically by bot. I know nothing about the programming side either, but I have found that this works through practice...! Ƿidsiþ 19:02, 13 December 2008 (UTC)