User talk:Paul G/2007

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

no time like the present[edit]

I would think this would be the better title, since I've heard it without "there's": "You've got no time like the present." or simply an exclamation of No time like the present!" --EncycloPetey 10:11, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

The full form is "there's no time like the present"; the form without "there's" is a shortening of this (rather than vice versa). Note also that "no time like the present" is not a sentence in its own right (it contains no verb). "There's ..." should therefore be the main article, IMO. — Paul G 10:17, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
"To each his own" is also lacking a verb, but that doens't make it any less a valid platitude, just an ungrammatical one. --EncycloPetey 10:31, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Quite right. This comes from the French chacun à son goût which does not have a verb either. I didn't intend to suggest that "no time like the present" is invalid, just that it comes from the full sentence. — Paul G 10:34, 1 January 2007 (UTC)


There are several threads touching on color/colour that I think would benefit from your input, at this time. --Connel MacKenzie 06:30, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Connel, I'll take a look. — Paul G 18:25, 14 January 2007 (UTC)


Sir Francis Bacon, Letter to the Decipherer (1623).
To the garden,
Whose western side, circummured with brick,
Is with a vinyard back’d.
To that vinyard is a planchéd gate
That makes his opening by a little door
Which from the garden to the vinyard leads.
Use by Sir Francis Bacon in most any work of his meets the CFI, but this is the only prominent use I could find - could be put down as either a misspelling or an obsolete use. What do you think?
Also, where is this on the RfD page? It has a tag but no entry. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:59, 14 January 2007 (UTC)


Hi, can I ask why you reverted my edits to cow? Fair enough, I was not logged in at the time, but they were legitimate (in my view) and not vandalism. I will restore them - if you feel anything needs changing, please edit my edit. Thanks. — Paul G 18:36, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I probably suspected someting amiss, however since it was your good self I'm not concerned, please accept my appologies for any hassle caused.--Williamsayers79 08:59, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
It's OK, William, no problem. Thanks for getting back to me. — Paul G 06:45, 16 January 2007 (UTC)


Paul, would you be so kind as to glance at the discussion page for whoop? I noticed that on 12 June 2006 you added a definition at the at the end of that word that may be worthy of a bit of discussion. --Caswick 04:11, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, I've looked at it but I don't know what the answer is. I'm no expert on etymologies. — Paul G 12:26, 18 January 2007 (UTC)


What part of speech would you say BOAC was in the lyrics "Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC / Didn't get to bed last night / On the way the paper bag was on my knee / Man, I had a dreadful flight / I'm back in the U.S.S.R."? It seems to be used as an adverb (how he flew) or is it just a simple initialism with the word "by" missing? SemperBlotto 10:28, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

In this sense it is an adverb (standing for "by BOAC"). I hope you're not thinking of adding it as such though... — Paul G 10:32, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Why not? It is standard usage - "We flew Alitalia to Rome, then Meridiana to Palermo." SemperBlotto 10:34, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Hm... possibly. I'd raise this for argument discussion before adding it though. Separately from this, BOAC should go in as it is an abbreviation, but Alitalia, etc, probably should not as they are just company names, which don't usually pass CFI. — Paul G 10:37, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll leave it for them moment (other fish to fry) - but is my noun addition to TWA OK? SemperBlotto 10:39, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, you have a citation for it. I don't know whether it is legitimate or not (could be an informal/slang/nonce usage). — Paul G 10:41, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

penillion - pronunciation[edit]

I'm not sure what you mean by the Welsh sound for 'l'. The 'l' with a wave (as you transcribed it) would mean the 'l' sound as in 'well'. Is that what you meant? zigzig20s 10:06, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

It is the correct symbol for the sound of the Welsh letter ll (not l), and is a belted l, not an l with tilde. See this Wikipedia article (section "Welsh"). — Paul G 10:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand. Surely when it is said in English we don't use a Welsh phoneme...zigzig20s 10:37, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The English dictionaries I consulted (OED 1989, Chambers 1998) claim that the pronunciation uses the Welsh sound. — Paul G 10:41, 28 January 2007 (UTC) EDIT: suggesting that the word is not naturalised in English. — Paul G 12:29, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I think we need an audio recording from an English person. zigzig20s 10:58, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


we've just started working on a Croatian wiktionary, and I thought you might give me some tips. First of all: how do you put interwiki links on articles, cause it doesn't say on your help pages? And and how do you categorise articles? Do you use noun, verb, adjective (...) or do you categorise them by the meaning of the word (food, medicine, robotics...)? Thank you, --Luka Krstulovic 10:23, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for your questions.
First of all, there is already a Croatian wiktionary here, unless this is the one you have set up.
Interwiki links to other wiktionaries are done like this: [[lang:word]], where lang is the two- or three-letter language code, and word is the word linked to in the other dictionary. So, for example, fr:chien links to "chien" ("dog") in the French dictionary. Interwiki links to other wikipedias are done as (for example) w:fr:chien, which links to the article "chien" in the French Wikipedia.
You can categorise articles by part of speech (noun, etc) but this can result in very large categories. Some people think this is a bad idea.
Categorising by subject (food, etc) is, however, a good idea.
I hope this helps. Good luck with your wiktionary! — Paul G 10:32, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the answers, you really helped me a lot,

oh yes, and when I said, we've started working I didn't mean we've started the project, I meant we've started doing something on that project. It already existed for about two years and now we're trying to enable it :-))

thanks for the good wishes :-)) bye, --Luka Krstulovic 10:41, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Renaming AHD?[edit]

As one of the people who regularly works in pronunciations, I thought you'd like to know that a VOTE has been initiated regarding the name of our "AHD" pronunciation system. --EncycloPetey 06:09, 4 February 2007 (UTC)


Replied on talk page for 'comber'. zigzig20s 16:01, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. — Paul G 16:11, 13 February 2007 (UTC)


We are using {{transitive}} and {{intransitive}} on the definition lines; the header is always Verb Robert Ullmann 19:53, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

OK, thanks for the update. — Paul G 19:58, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Formatting conventions[edit]

Hello Paul,

I am rather disturbed about this edit. You might have noticed that you undid most of what I did about three edits before that. I try to follow WT:ELE here. In the points where it is unclear, I try to do what I find other people doing. Now this clearly does not conform to your idea of how entries should look like. I invite you to have a look at what I did, and please try to convince me why it should be like you did. In particular:

  • Etymologies are formatted like a sentence, usually starting with ‘from’, and with ‘<’ between steps.
  • Definitions should start with a capital and end with a stop.
  • Citations/example sentences should be preceded by ‘#*’.
  • I like it if there is a space after a *, # or :, because it makes the edit text more readable, while still rendering the same. That is of course a matter of taste, but notice that Connel’s JS does this automatically too.

Cheers, henne (talk) 11:52, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi henne. Much of the above is a question of taste. My view is:
  • Etymologies in print dictionaries are usually not formatted as sentences, but there is no reason why we need to do the same. However, I am particularly against using "from" when the etymology is the result of some operation, such as forming a compound (eg, the etymology of the compound teardrop should be "tear + drop", not "from tear + drop", because would mean "from teardrop", and clearly a word cannot be derived from itself). I am also strongly against the use of "<" because it is not clear to the user. Use "from" here instead. I have also seen ">" in etymologies - I have no idea what this is meant to mean.
I agree on not using ‘from’ if it is something else then a language from which the word is derived, it should be used in the other case, though. Just ‘Latin some word.’ is too cryptic. I am also with you on the < thingie, but I have been corrected myself by I think it was Robert Ullman on this. Maybe we should start wider discussion on this.
  • From WT:ELE: "Each definition may be treated as a sentence" (my italics). This means this is optional, and so writing a definition all in lower-case is a valid alternative. I prefer this when the definition is clearly not a sentence (eg, when a one-word synonym is given as a definition).
Hm, I haven’t been all satisfied by this either. I think I’ll change my style here, too.
  • Citations and example sentences: agreed bullet points here are useful as they help distinguish multiple examples or citations.
  • The space after the bullet, hash or colon is, of course, as you say, a matter of taste. — Paul G 10:16, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
In that case, if you don’t mind, I would ask to at least leave them there, since I think it makes the edit page more readable, and I am not the only one in this.
Glad we seem to be able to sort this out so easy. I was rather pissed with your edit, since it really undid a lot I had been doing, but I agree that not everything I do is optimal... Maybe I dare suggest you take a look at the recent history of an article before editing it, so that clashes like this can be avoided? H. (talk) 11:18, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi H,
Thanks for your reasoned feedback. I think leaving formatting that is optional as it is (if it is not incorrect or messy) is probably a good idea. Bear in mind though that this a wiki, and one principle of a wiki is "if you don't want your content to be edited mercilessly, don't post", so others may still change your formatting to their preferred style.
I agree that some points are worthy of further discussion. Could you raise them in the Beer parlour? — Paul G 11:41, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Re '<' "correcting" is a bit strong ;-) it just seems that's what we've been using at least recently. It does help not having a long string of ... from ... Citations should start with * bullets like elsewhere. (one reason, btw, is that it is very good for all sorts of automated tools if only definition lines start with #). Do we have an Etymology format page anywhere? Robert Ullmann 12:12, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
WT:ELE has a link to a page on formatting etymologies. I don't like "<" because it's not clear what it means to the average user, IMO. — Paul G 16:42, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

cerca trova[edit]

Hi Paul. Can anything be made of this page? I'm only familiar with the phrase "chi cerca trova". SemperBlotto 12:55, 21 February 2007 (UTC) p.s. Time for a talk page archive?

I think it's moot. I've posted it to RFV.
Oops, yes, you're right about the archiving. I should have done that last month. Thanks. — Paul G 15:14, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

RE:Place names[edit]

I know about Wikipedia, but I thought they could just know a teeny little bit about the place, sorry. - Patricknoddy 17:29, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

That's OK. Remember that we just define words here - over at Wikipedia they give full details about places. — Paul G 17:33, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Egyptian fractions[edit]

Hey :) Thanks for all your work on Egyptian fraction. I was wondering if you could explain what evidence suggests that "unit fraction" is the original definition. Is that based entirely on that 1989 dictionary? I think even if it is the original meaning (which I find a little dubious), the "sum of unit fractions" should remain the main definition, since that's what people mean by the phrase 99.999% of the time. I think a more appropriate place to talk about the history of the word, would be in an etymology section. Anyway, thanks again for all the work :) Are you a mathematician? It's interesting to learn from you, I hope if you have solid evidence of the word's etymology, you might enrich the entry by posting that in an etymology section :-)

Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I'm a mathematician. My evidence is based on an entry in a mathematics dictionary. No other dictionaries (of English or mathematics) that I own define "Egyptian fraction", so I wonder if my dictionary is incorrect.
The etymology is that they come from the fact that Egyptians only used unit fractions and 2/3, so all other fractions they used were sums of these.
You'll see from the discussion about the term "Egyptian fraction" that I'm coming to doubt the definition I have. — Paul G 16:16, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


Greetings, #1 bureaucrat - I believe this vote is ripe for 'crat action! Cheers! bd2412 T 16:19, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I've done the necessary. Cynewulf is now an administrator. — Paul G 20:22, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Nicely done. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:30, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

A request: Dvortybot[edit]

Would you be so kind as to do the honors on this one, simply as a matter of good form? Thanks. --Dvortygirl 05:16, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

<waves magic wand> Granted. — Paul G 06:53, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-02/Trademark designations[edit]

Greetings! Since you participated in the discussion at Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Use of ® and ™ in entries, I thought you might want to cast a vote at Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-02/Trademark designations. Cheers! bd2412 T 04:06, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the heads up. I'll do that. — Paul G 09:28, 23 March 2007 (UTC)


I've posted at Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Time to whittle about your recent expansion of the "Derived terms" section of time. Thought you might want to comment there.... - dcljr 22:05, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

in service[edit]

Hi Paul, could you have a quick look at this. I can't decide what the part of speech should be. SemperBlotto 08:28, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

Adjective - yes; adverb - yes; noun - no. That would be "service" alone, surely? Try using each in a sentence to see how they relate to the surrounding words. — Paul G 14:52, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

retard (French)[edit]

This is defined as a noun (and that seems to be the case), but the translation is late (which is an adjective, but also seems to be correct). What am I missing? SemperBlotto 13:20, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

"En retard" means "late" (in the sense of "behind time"). "Retard" by itself as a noun means "delay", I think. "Late" as a translation of the noun is wrong. I've fixed it - thanks for pointing it out. — Paul G 17:13, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Apologies, I was copying out of the AQA GCSE Syllabus. In that case I need to check next time - thanks; JameiLei 09:52, 11 April 2007 (UTC)
No problem. — Paul G 14:51, 11 April 2007 (UTC)


It looks like someone edited the entry now. I would to confirm that it's not then possible to use Wiktionary as a Persian-English dictionary. Does that mean if we want to put more information on the wordایرانی then I should, in fact be editing the Persian version of Wiktionary? Pistachio 20:38, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the editing, I think I probably understand now. :-D Pistachio 21:21, 11 April 2007 (UTC)


Paul, why did you remove the gloss I put on the adjective? With no gloss, it won't be clear whether this word applies to just one sense of Iranian or to more than one sense. --EncycloPetey 19:42, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I think that was my fault. I got Paul's message about not defining words and so checked back to ایرانی and removed your gloss, thinking I was removing my original text. Pistachio 21:00, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
The adjective doesn't have a gloss and never has, but Pistachio, if you could add one to show which senses of "Iranian" it applies too, that would be great. (There are several meanings at Iranian for the adjective - of Iran, its people or language - does ایرانی apply to them all?) — Paul G 07:23, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
ایرانی can be a noun, "an Iranian", and an adjective meaning "of, from, or pertaining to Iran or the Iranian people". Since there is no single Iranian language, adding "and the Iranian language" isn't exactly right, but it is possible to talk about "Iranian languages". Pistachio 08:16, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
That's great - can you add this information in summarised form to ایرانی, please? — Paul G 08:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
Sure, but I'm not sure whats the difference between that and what I wrote in the first place (apart from deleting "Iranian languages"? :-/ Pistachio 08:36, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
I've added it - have a look. Originally, it was a definition. Now there is a translation and a gloss explaining which senses of "Iranian" are intended. — Paul G 11:11, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:About Persian[edit]

I noticed there are differences between the system of transliteration used in Wiktionary for Persian words so I created this page which I thought might interest you. I don't want to have to go back and edit large amount of words so I want to be sure before I add many other entries. Some words (not many) have vowel markings while others don't, and transliteration is varied accross different words. Pistachio 21:00, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

That's good, thanks for that. So long as you stick to a consistent scheme for transliterations you will be OK. If, later on, there are mass changes to be made, you wouldn't necessarily have to take responsibility for doing these - that would be up to you. — Paul G 11:14, 16 April 2007 (UTC)


Hello Paul. How should we define abbreviated adjectives such as this? SemperBlotto 14:28, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Hm, I would say, "shortened form of 'maggiore'" or something like that. I think we need so show that they are not just synonyms or spelling variants. For example, you can't say "Lago Maggior".
I had a look in Wikipedia to see if I can find anything about dropping final e, but I didn't found anything. I've posted a question there. — Paul G 09:03, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Got an answer: apparently this is called "apocope". The related adjective is "apocopic" according to, so you could say "apocopic form of ...". See also what the Italian Wikipedia has to say on this phenomemon; note that it applies to other truncations other than just those that drop the final e. — Paul G 16:03, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Paul. I've come across a couple more recently, so will try to come up with a reasonable format. SemperBlotto 16:44, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Replied to your latest on my talk page - see maggior, far, vuol (so far) SemperBlotto 10:15, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Bot flag[edit]

Hello Everybody! Can you please accept my bot on your Wiktionary. I intend to run the bot to support and maintain the interwiki links to Thanks.--OsamaK 13:51, 9 May 2007 (UTC)


Can you think of an English translation for this word? SemperBlotto 16:23, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. I'll have a look when I get the chance for words like "unfindability" or "indiscoverability"... no doubt you already have, though. How about "absence", or doesn't this quite cut it?
OK, the OED (second edition) does have "unfindable" but not "unfindability". No "unlocatable"/"unlocatability" either. My Italian-English dictionary has the nicely idiomatic "nowhere to be found" for "irreperibile", and translates "irreperibilità" only by means of an example: "causa l'irreperibilità dell'imputato... — given that the accused cannot be found...". So maybe "the state of being nowhere to be found" might be a good general-purpose translation.
Thanks Paul. In case you are interested, it is from "Codice di Procedura Penale" - the longest article on it.Wikisource (I wikified it offline and sorted the words into frequency => User:SemperBlotto/sandboxit SemperBlotto 21:52, 11 May 2007 (UTC) (rimessione is the next one I'm having trouble with)
"Rimessione" or "remissione"? The latter is also a legal term, meaning "remission" or "withdrawal". Is the former something like "the act of putting back" (from "rimettere")? "Rimettere" has the legal sense "to quash", so maybe it is "quashing". — Paul G 08:53, 12 May 2007 (UTC)


The main reason is that they see he.witkt as a Hebrew-Hebrew dictionary only. I've translated the core two paragraphs of the Bureaucrat's position in the most elaborate discussion on this matter held in October 2006:

My opponents will ask, justly, “who does it bother [that someone will write foreign entries]?”. It bothers [me] when users who can contribute to Hebrew entries don’t do that because they invest time in foreign entries... I just want that we will decide what languages we deal with. Whoever wants to write foreign entries - let him do that in WiktionaryZ.
Let me ask you: when you write an entry, what do you think of? What are you aspiring for? I always aspired for us to make together a Hebrew-Hebrew dictionary, and I think it is a very feasible aspiration. But aspiring to build a multilingual dictionary, here, in the Hebrew wiktionary, (we exist more than two years and we don’t even have 4,000 entries!) - is no more than a fantasy.

The irony is that the reason why there are never poeple to contribute foreign entries, is because whenever somebody tries, the Bureaucrat orders them to stop, so they leave... I don't want to fight him, he's a friend of mine, but I'm frustrated by not being able to contribute English and other foreign words to a Hebrew speaking public. Shai 14:50, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

If we continue this policy, we'll be lucky to achieve 1000 in the next two years...
Thanks, and boker tov to you too :) Shai 15:44, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

boker tov[edit]

No, "boker tov" only means "good morning", and you can see how it is pronounced in בוקר טוב. If you want to say good day, you should greet him with "yom na'ím" or "yom tov" :) Shai 16:40, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for that. Since "Yom Kippur" is the Day of Atonement, I deduce that "yom" means day :) — Paul G 14:45, 16 May 2007 (UTC)


Yes, the weird acute/apostrophe thing (for lack of a better word, there's probably a technical term which I don't know) above the vowel indicates a raised pitch. A stress accent is indicated by the small raised vertical line before the syllable, which can be seen in the Koine pronunciation. You may find w:International Phonetic Alphabet#Suprasegmentals helpful. I hope that answers your question. Atelaes 19:34, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

My training was purely Ancient and almost solely in reading/writing (since there are not a lot of Ancient Greeks to talk to :-)), and so, while I could possibly read a modern Greek writing, owing to the similarity between the two languages/periods/whatever, I don't think there's a snowball's chance of me understanding a spoken word in modern Greek. Atelaes 09:48, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

se Dio vuole[edit]

(Discussion moved to the RFV page, where it belongs.)


Please see the discussion in the Beer parlour and add any comments. (especially re format) SemperBlotto 07:17, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Looks good, apart from the missing hyphens.


I can't find this (or similar) in the online OED. Where did you see it (apart from TV)? SemperBlotto 14:04, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

See the OED's sitePaul G 09:38, 23 May 2007 (UTC)


Another one for you to get your teeth into. Even I know an adjective when I see one. SemperBlotto 16:18, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

See also white water

Hm... unfortunately compounds like these often used to be hyphenated (see citations in the OED). There's no real need to, however. "Apple-pie" can of course be an attributive use of the noun, but then it isn't used outside phrases such as "apple-pie bed". Even there, it can be argued that the hyphen is not necessary as "apple" is not an adjective and so cannot modify "bed" (or *"pie bed").
Similarly for white-water - I'm going to replace that content with derived terms as "white(-)water" is only used attributively. — Paul G 09:45, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

rapid / rapids[edit]

The OED has rapid as a singular noun (though it does say "usually in plural"). Wikipedia has w:Rapid. I'm having difficulty in finding g.b.c quotes because of the overwhelming usage as an adjective. SemperBlotto 11:52, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Good stuff. I've updated "rapid" and "rapids" accordingly. — Paul G 08:45, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

rotta#Rhymes with[edit]


I've got a question about Finnish rhymes, and you seem to be the only person who might should the Finnish section of rotta be formatted, to show those rhymes? TIA.

--Connel MacKenzie 22:41, 23 May 2007 (UTC)

Well spotted. Well, they certainly don't belong on the page for "rotta". If n words rhyme, then that means putting n - 1 rhymes on each of the n pages, and then when another rhyme is discovered, these pages all have to be updated. You've heard my arguments about duplication and inconsistency before, so I won't repeat them here.
First of all, they belong in Rhymes:Finnish, which doesn't exist yet. (Compare Rhymes:English.) That page will require a table like the one in Rhymes:English, assuming that Finnish has stress that falls on syllables (rather than tonic stress, like French). That table would then link a table for each vowel, and these tables would link to the rhymes page. In summary, you have, broadly speaking, Rhymes:Finnish -> Rhymes:Finnish:Words stressed on "o" -> Rhymes:Words ending in "otta", with this page containing the rhymes.
I think the best option in the short term is to comment this section out (rather than remove it) and to ask the contributor if they would like to start setting up pages for Finnish rhymes, using the system for the English rhymes as a template. What is not acceptable is to leave the rhymes as they are, as you point out. I've commented the section out and dropped a line to Jyril, who contributed the rhymes. — Paul G 09:20, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for contacting Jyril. I really don't know IPA (still) so the English Rhymes page still does nothing for me, personally. Thanks for looking into it - hopefully it will work itself out, from here. (And thank you for the reminder on my talk page - yes, I would have missed this.) --Connel MacKenzie 17:30, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Please proof-read entries![edit]

Can we take more care with the words of the day, please? Twice recently I have had to correct a typo in the definitions ("kaleidoscope" was misspelled a few days ago, and I have just fixed today's entry, which spelled "herdsmen" incorrectly).

It makes us look amateurish when we have a typo slap-bang on our front page. Please let's be a little more thorough.

Thanks. — Paul G 09:00, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Are you volunteering? I would appreciate the help. Please note that WOTD entries are chosen and put up two to four weeks ahead of time and may be corrected at any point in the interim, long before they appear on the main page. Why is it that no one bothers to help proofread entries, but then people complain that no one does this, that makes us look amateurish. The entries you complain about were up and available for proofing since the middle of April, yet you waited until they were on the main page to act. One person working alone cannot catch and fix all the problems all the time, but two people might just. Instead of bemoaning the lack of foresight, why not use your foresight, please? --EncycloPetey 15:42, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Well then, how about a new selection for Wiktionary:Word of the day/June 17. --Connel MacKenzie 23:02, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Reply posted at Wiktionary_talk:Word_of_the_day#Please_proof-read_entries!Paul G 08:36, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Not all the June entries are in yet (some are still the "recycled" entries from last June), but thank you for proofreading those so far. FYI, the entry for the 10th, and those for the 19th-30th have not yet been put in (although I have selected them), and depending on the conclusion regarding the 17th, that entry might change as well. All entries for June should be in by this weekend, though. Normally, I have the first half of any new month in by the middle of the preceeding month, and the remainder in by the start of the new month.
Understand that when I select and update WOTD, it is not simply a matter of sticking words into the templates. I spend a great deal of time balancing issues of word selection (POS, initial letter, complexity, field of use, etc.); I check our existing entries against at least two major dictionaries for missing definitions; I update those entries accordingly; I add the IPA pronunciation and a sound file; I often have to fix basic formatting; I add entries for Latin roots; and I do a lot of mechanical behind-the-scenes work with archiving. In all that, there will be occasional mistakes. While I do much proofreading, I am not perfect. I do welcome the extra assistance of checking new entries. --EncycloPetey 15:41, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
FYI, all the July entries are in and ready to be looked over. --EncycloPetey 09:05, 29 June 2007 (UTC)


Another one you might like to finger-wave at. (p.s. bot flag time Saturday?) SemperBlotto 21:43, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I've waved a (not fat) finger at it. Thanks. Multiple definitions for a new term and comment along the lines of "spell it how you like" = suspect. Cleaned up and RFV'd. — Paul G 06:46, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Format of etymologies[edit]

Please don't embolden words in scripts other than Latin (eg, Greek or Arabic words) in etymologies (as in sugar). This makes them difficult to read. Our usual format is to italicise foreign words in Latin scripts and to leave words in other scripts in roman text, with no formatting. Thanks. — Paul G 06:12, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough, we do need to get the format of etymologies pinned down into policy sooner rather than later in my opinion, votes sound like the best way to achieve a good consensus. Regards, --Williamsayers79 18:10, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

at a time and one at a time[edit]

Looking at these two entries of yours. I am not clear about your definition 2. in at a time Although simultaneous is a basic part of the meaning, also the idea of repeatedly should be included somehow. You climb the stairs by repeating the action of two steps at a time. Furthermore, isn't one at a time a special case of a single item at a time? It only applies when we know what the one refers to. A page. An animal. A schoolboy. etc. (Sorry, those last two are a tautology :-)) Also, it seems that one at a time is no more an antonym than is three at a time. This being the case, I was wondering whether in fact these two should be combined into one entry? Algrif 14:02, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Replied to on user's page. — Paul G 09:51, 26 June 2007 (UTC)
at a time looks a lot better now. It will be interesting to see what others think about one at a time. To be honest, I'm turning this around in my mind without reaching any definite conclusion. Algrif 14:17, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

greek: past of είμαι[edit]

I was: ήμουν, ήμουνα (the first form is more formal)
you were: ήσουν, ήσουνα (the first form is more formal)
he/she/it was: ήταν
we were: ήμαστε, ήμασταν: (the first form is more formal) we are: είμαστε
you were: ήσαστε, ἠσασταν: (the first form is more formal) you are: είστε or είσαστε
they were: ήταν (or ήσαν - but it sounds too old)

I hope it's clear enough now.
You can use either εννέα or εννιά, nobody will notice the difference. Still, εννέα is a little bit more formal than εννιά.
--Flyax 14:11, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Word of the day/July 25[edit]

I chose to revert your insertion of a parenthetical tilde in this entry. No matter how I size the font, it just looks like a mess on my computer and isn't possible to see the tilde for what it is. I think its inclusion is more likely to cause confusion that to enlighten. --EncycloPetey 19:05, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

OK, no problem. It looked a bit odd to me too (more like an italic quotation mark). — Paul G 09:57, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

template:en-noun and regular possessive forms of modern English nouns[edit]

There is currently an active vote at [[1]] regarding whether regular possessive forms of modern English nouns should have their own entries or not. As part of this it has been suggested that the {{en-noun}} template might be modified to show the possessive forms in the inflection line of modern English noun entries (irrespective of the outcome of the vote). Your comments and/or votes are welcome until the end of the vote on 5th August 2007. You are receiving this note as you have edited template:en-noun and/or template talk:en-noun Thryduulf 17:27, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

French <r>[edit]

Hi. There has never been a clear consensus over which IPA symbol to use here to represent the French <r>. Please consider adding your thoughts to the discussion at Wiktionary talk:About French so that we can come up with a definite policy on the matter. Cheers, Widsith 08:48, 15 July 2007 (UTC)


Hi Paul. I'm trying to figure out a general rule for when this should or shouldn't retain the hyphen in the derived terms. Any ideas? SemperBlotto 08:10, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Hm, in what way is "quasi-" similar to "semi-"? In meaning, usage or hyphenation? I think this is misleading, at least as it stands.
There is no hard-and-fast rule on hyphens, alas — see what the OED lexicographers have to say about them. However, I would say this:
  • For a prefix ending in a vowel, the hyphen is often retained before a vowel in UK English, and almost always when these vowels are the same (example: pre-empt; exception: coordinate).
  • US English tends to join the prefix without using a hyphen (which can lead to some odd-looking combinations to British eyes, such as "reelect" ["reel" what?], "coworker" ["cow" what?] and "miniseries" [plural of *"minisery"?]).
  • Is "Quasimodo" really from "quasi-"?

You therefore won't find one single answer for each word - UK and US spelling may very well differ.

Google won't answer this question either, because most Internet users can't spell. I suggest seeing what UK and US dictionaries say for each word. — Paul G 13:45, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Katharevousa and pending questions[edit]

User:Saltmarsh now has some sort of template worked up so that those entries could get tagged as katharevousa and the standard entries will be unmarked, as it should be. I don't know that a decision has been made yet though exactly how they'll be marked. Anyways, katharevousa is considered a (dead) dialect of greek, not a separate language, certainly.

Oh btw I wasn't ignoring your earlier question (ήμουνα, κλπ) but by the time I saw it User:Flyax had already given you a fine answer. ArielGlenn 09:51, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

I have started a discussion at Wiktionary talk:About Greek#Katharevousa - your contributions would be welcome! —Saltmarsh 11:17, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

format of Greek translations[edit]

I noticed that you have been cleaning up some translations into Greek; thanks for doing that. One note about the format: entries don't get tagged as Greek, Modern, only as Greek (see WT:AEL#Greek_translations_for_English_words). Ancient Greek ones do get tagged, but the default (so far) is that Greek by itself means the modern language. Thanks! ArielGlenn 01:47, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for that. Time was when we did use "Greek, Modern", so I was just not up to date. — Paul G 14:49, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Example sentences[edit]

Hi, You might have noticed the pending vote on example sentences. Since it looks like it is going to be accepted, you might as well already start adopting it: no emdash between examples and their translation, but rather on their own line. Groetjes, H. (talk) 16:00, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

stance against “-ology[edit]

Hi, Paul.

I noticed that you took a rather strong stance against the suffix “-ology” in the entries “-ology” and “ology”. Is there some documentable reason for your proscription or is it just a pet peeve of yours because of its use in relatively recently coined words? It seems like an alternative form of “-logy”, used when the preceding morpheme ends in a consonant, e.g. after dropping its final vowel due to certain phonological pressures. If there were no such suffix, how should we describe the etymology of terms like “climatology”, “endocrinology”, “hematology”, etc. Rod (A. Smith) 02:07, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

That seems fair enough. The original suffix was apparently "-logy", according to Chambers, but if the form "-ology" has come about as a suffix in its own right, then of course we have to feature it, as has now been done. — Paul G 14:47, 16 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi Paul, could you close this admin vote if Dvorty hasn't gotten to it? It was accidentally skipped, so it's been a few days. DAVilla 16:55, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for pointing it out. — Paul G 13:42, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Now User:Medellia, User:Hamaryns, User:Saltmarsh, and shortly User:AugPi. DAVilla 02:17, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Never mind, User:Dvortygirl got it. DAVilla 16:43, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Please rename me[edit]

Wiktionary:Changing_username#User:Edmundkh. Thanks! --Edmund the King of the Woods! 17:41, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Orthography of mentioned words[edit]

Hi, Paul G.

I am preparing propose on WT:BP a way to standardize our orthography of mentioned terms. As you know, we mention terms in etymologies, definition lines, usage notes, and elsewhere, and each contributor seems to prefer his or her own orthography for doing so. My proposal will be to introduce a template for mentioning terms, e.g. in an ===Etymology=== section, one might use “From {{term|word}} + ...”, which displays as this:

From word + ...

Or, for mentioning terms written in non-roman scripts, something like “From {{term|sc=Hang|말|tr=mal}} + ...”, which displays as this:

From (mal, word) + ...

The real benefit comes from the fact that the template gives readers the ability to choose how they want mentioned terms to display. I was told that you prefer mentioned terms to be in bold. Other editors prefer mentioned terms in italics or just wikilinked. To customize the output of {{term}}, readers can add any of the following to Special:Mypage/monobook.css:

  • For plain mentions (i.e., to mention word), add this:
    .mention { font-style: normal; }
  • For bold mentions (i.e., to mention word), add this:
    .mention { font-weight: bold; }
  • For italic mentions (i.e., to mention word), add this:
    .mention { font-style: italic; }

To help me prepare to propose this template, I'd like to know whether your preference for showing mentioned terms in a bold font is limited to just the etymology section. If you prefer mentioned terms to be bold everywhere, then I think the template is nearly ready for me to announce. However, if you prefer mentioned terms in etymology sections to be bold but mentioned terms elsewhere to be in some other style, I'll need to think more about how to achieve that effect.

Thanks in advance for your feedback. Rod (A. Smith) 16:01, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Paul. I have one request for your clarification, if you don't mind. You said, "Hypothetical etymons (such as those in Proto-Indo-European) should be are treated like other non-English terms, but not italicised, as Wiktionary does not define them (they are non-words)." Did you mean, "but not wikilinked" instead? Rod (A. Smith) 17:00, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, indeed - my mistake. They should be italicised but not wikified. — Paul G 09:25, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Your opinion regarding whether to display English and non-English words differently would be appreciated at the bottom of WT:BP#Consistent format for mentioned terms. Rod (A. Smith) 07:34, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
FYI, I have moved the discussion about whether to distinguish between the style of English and non-English mentions. That conversation is at Template talk:term#Separate styles for English and non-English mentions, with a brief pointer from WT:BP#Consistent format for mentioned terms. Thank you for your help so far and for any additional advice you will give as we move forward. Rod (A. Smith) 05:07, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Adjective phrases again[edit]

You cited a rule a while back that cleared up a lot of questions about noun phrases vs. adjective phrases. That is, (in general) the hyphenated forms were the adjectives, the compound or space separated items were nouns.

A question has come up here based on that assumption. Ruakh is asserting that something must be used with "very ..." to be an adjective. (He disclosed that he recently re-wrote the Wikipedia article he refers to.) While the example "pudding-basin" is probably an exception to the rule, there apparently are hundreds or thousands of entries under debate.

While Ruakh's test is interesting, it ignores the point of what we do here, identifying each role a word takes (not just its most "popular" role.) His approach of replacing content with a redirect is, I believe, generally prohibited by policy.

I was asked to comment there. However, since Ruakh is incapable of reading any disagreement with me with a calm demeanor, perhaps you could attempt an explanation? If not, could you at least clarify the rule as you understand it, again, there? Is it something worth discussing in WT:BP?

Thanks in advance, --Connel MacKenzie 04:58, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Hm, this is a tricky one. The trouble is with hard-and-fast rules in language (especially the English language) is that they are rarely hard and fast.
Ruakh's rule is not hard and fast. "Unique" and "infinite" fail his test. In fact, his rule is only part of a more general one.
Here's a summary of what the Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (1993, ISBN 0-000000-024976) has to say about adjectives, including the more general rule:
  • Adjectives can be attributive, predicative, or central. An attributive adjective is one that precedes the nouns it modifies (eg, "red" in "a red car"); a predicative adjective is one that follows a noun + a form of "to be" (eg, "he is alive"); a central adjective is one that is both attributive and predicative (eg, "red" in "a red car"/"your car is red", but not "alive", because it is predicative only: "the patient is alive", but not *"the alive patient", which would be "the living patient").
  • As well as being both attributive and predicative, central adjectives can usually be modified by words like "very" (this, without the "usually", is Ruakh's rule) and have comparatives and superlatives; this property is called "gradability".
  • Adjectives that are central but not gradable include "unique", "infinite" and "supreme".
  • Adjectives that are not central include "alive" and "afraid" (which are predicative) and "utter" (which is attributive). "Afraid" is gradable; "utter" is not; "alive" is in some senses ("Climbing the mountain made me feel more alive than ever") and not in others ("His mother is still alive").
  • Some predicative adjectives come after the noun; eg, "proper" meaning "in the proper sense", as in "We arrived in Paris in the morning, it wasn't until the afternoon that we reached the city proper."
Note also that a "modifier" is a word that modifies (affects the meaning of) another. Adjectives are modifiers, but nouns can be too (such as "land" in "a land mammal"). Although "land" functions as an adjective here, it is still a noun, but one used as a modifier. It is attributive, but not predicative or gradable. Of course, some are not predicative or gradable either (eg, "utter" in "an utter fool") but the distinction can easily be made because "utter" is not a noun.
So to summarise, I would say adjectives are words that qualify nouns attributively, predicatively or both attributively and predicatively, that may or may not be gradable, and that are not nouns used as modifiers. I think this more general rule is much more grammatically sound than Ruakh's, while also being more flexible.
Note also that some dictionaries treat nouns used as modifiers as adjectives (eg, Chambers), but I think this is misleading and grammatically lazy.
This also means that "pudding-basin" is a noun used as a modifier, not an adjective, so I would say that Ruakh is correct here, but for the wrong reason.
I think this may be something worth discussing in the Beer parlour, and certainly something that should go into WT:ELE, or somewhere similar, once we have agreed on it. — Paul G 09:22, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand why Connel doesn't understand things I write — do I write unclearly, or does he just not bother? — but I am not claiming that something must be used with "very" to be an adjective. In that discussion, I asserted that "pudding-basin" is not an adjective, only an attributive noun, and described some tests: use with an adverb, predicative use, separability from the head noun, and so on. —RuakhTALK 18:58, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I think your writing style is very unclear, Ruakh. Note that everyone else (so far) that read your comments there arrived at the same conclusion I did, about what you were trying to say. --Connel MacKenzie 19:11, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Nonsense. I see no evidence that msh210 misunderstood me, and if Paul G did skim that discussion and misunderstood me, it's probably because he was influenced by your flawed description. —RuakhTALK 20:11, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
You asked a question - you asked for an opinion - I answered clearly. I don't expect you to like that answer, but it is not nonsense. --Connel MacKenzie 21:37, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
Wow Paul, thank you. I guess I didn't quite look close enough at the "very" simplified rule: [2], [3], [4], [5], [6] and [7] seem to pass that "over-simplified" test. While not grammatically sound, it (in itself) probably deserves a closer look. (It could be argued, that those all represent misuses but that would be a nightmare.)
As far as inclusion of nouns used as modifiers as adjectives though, I am certain that Wiktionary has (for a long time now) shown words by use, like Chambers. The distinction certainly seems lazy, but is actually a much more complete way of addressing how words are used.
Since it bears repeating: I agree that pudding-basin itself is a bad example. I don't expect that to survive here or elsewhere, as an adjective. On the other hand, it is an interesting demonstration of the "very" test.
The remaining problem I see is: how do we incorporate the hyphenation rule for noun phrases. That is, a noun phrase, usually when separated by a space, acts as a noun. When that same phrase is separated by a hyphen, it usually means it is being used as an adjective. (Obviously, I'm over-simplifying that, for the sake of discussion. Yes, I'm talking about a hyphen appearing only between the first two words of the noun phrase, etc.) By limiting discussion to noun phrases only, it is perhaps useful to use the "very" test.
The lingering issue is then: what to do with items that fail that test. A hyphenated noun phrase sometimes is just a noun phrase, other times (especially prescriptively) it is used as an adjective. I'm not sure we want to (now) say that noun phrases can't be used as adjectives if they aren't used with "very." To say that they are noun phrases themselves would be just as bad. As per our broken CFI, they obviously merit inclusion, so what should they be called?
--Connel MacKenzie 19:09, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
I think I see what the issue is. If I use "pudding basin" (for want of a better example), then I would resolve it like this:
  • Entry "pudding basin": noun
  • Entry "pudding-basin haircut": noun phrase
  • No entry "pudding-basin" as it isn't used outside this phrase (or variants of it)
Whether the would-be adjective does exist alone, I would write (using "household" as an example):
  • Entry "household name": noun phrase
  • Entry "household":
  1. Those living in the same residence, composing a family.
  2. (as a modifier) Belonging to the same house and family.
Note that I have listed the purported adjective sense under the noun. Note also that household currently gives the second sense as an adjective (I've cleaned it up but left the adjective section in for illustration), but the only way that it could possibly qualify as an adjective is because it modifies nouns attributively, which is a characteristic of some adjectives. It is not predicative, nor is it gradable. Of course, that alone doesn't mean it's not an adjective, because the same is true of "utter" (as mentioned above), but the distinction is that the "household" is claimed to be an adjective merely because it has been put in front of another noun. To my mind, it is still a noun, even though it is modifying another noun.
Consider the case when we have a long string of nouns, as newspaper headline-writers are fond of:
  • Celebrity drug scandal exposé
I don't think it is very meaningful to claim that the first three words of that phrase are adjectives merely because they qualify a noun.
Note also how a phrase like this would be expressed in Romance languages, such as French or Spanish: the above phrase would be reversed with "de" inserted between each noun and the next. In French or Spanish, the nouns definitely remain nouns. Of course, that doesn't mean we can extrapolate to English and say that this disproves the idea that they are adjectives, but I think it helps strengthen the case against that suggestion. — Paul G 11:31, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
That is an interesting approach. But it is also a bit different from how things have been handled, to date. I've never seen house-hold hyphenated, so I can't say for sure, that it really is an analogous example. It is, itself, a household word, so defining it as both a noun and an adjective seems fine (or unrelated to this discussion, anyhow.)
While celebrity drug scandal exposé doesn't meet our CFI, I'd guess that drug scandal easily does. (Checking b.g.c....) But it fails the "very" test. Hmmm. Well, that makes sense, as I don't recall it ever being used as an adjective.
Taking a step back, for a second (as it seems other side issues keep edging their way in,) I'd like to return to the original discussion. That is, two or more words composing a noun phrase can (almost always) be used as an adjective, by the magic addition of a hyphen between the first two words of the noun phrase (instead of a space.) While dozens of exceptions to the rule exist, there is a very concrete distinction there. To me, it doesn't make any sense, to have the hyphenated form redirected to the hyphen-less form, just to see a comment there that says the hyphenated form is an adjective. That would be in pretty direct opposition to the approach that Wiktionary has been using.
So, I guess I'd still like clarification on the hyphenation rule. Is the problem with pudding-basin the fact that it doesn't meet CFI as an adjective, for lack of real-world use? I'm still having a little trouble distinguishing that from pudding basin meeting CFI. The secondary question is then, shouldn't pudding-basin (the redirect) just be deleted, rather than being replaced with a redirect? (We don't replace content with redirects.)
--Connel MacKenzie 21:37, 28 October 2007 (UTC)
I'd say "pudding-basin" can only be variant form of the noun (some people would argue for a hyphen because it means "a basin for puddings" - search the Internet for "a pudding-basin" and you'll see plenty of examples. It can't exist alone as an adjective or modifier (whichever you want to call it) because it is attributive only. — Paul G 15:40, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


My Italian/English dictionary only translates this as inhale; but it translates English inspire as inspirare. Am I correct in adding inspire (meaning to motivate etc) as a translation? SemperBlotto 17:09, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

"Inspirare" means to breathe in, to inhale, but "inspire" in the sense of "motivate" is "ispirare" (no "n"). So where we have one word "inspire" (which can also mean "to inhale" in English, but is rarely used in this way), Italian has two. — Paul G 20:58, 2 November 2007 (UTC)


Hello Paul. Can you think of a decent translation of this reflexive verb? Jeff

Jeff - see [here]. If you do a Google search for "rubarsi", you'll see how it's used in context. — Paul G 15:36, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Tbot entries[edit]

Hi Paul. have you seen the new Category:Tbot entries (Italian)? I have a look at it most days, but there are a couple that I am not over the moon about. SemperBlotto 17:35, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

translation v definition[edit]

Hi Paul. Would you like to add anything to this discussion? I seem to remember you have explained these issues well in the past. Widsith 08:44, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out - I've added my thoughts. — Paul G 11:00, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


Over a million Google hits, but I can't find a translation anywhere. Any idea? SemperBlotto 11:55, 17 November 2007 (UTC)