Hello, welcome to Wiktionary, and thank you for your contributions so far.
If you are unfamiliar with wiki editing, take a look at Help:How to edit a page. It is a concise list of technical guidelines to the wiki format we use here: how to, for example, make text boldfaced or create hyperlinks. Feel free to practice in the sandbox. If you would like a slower introduction we have a short tutorial.
These links may help you familiarize yourself with Wiktionary:
- Entry layout (EL) is a detailed policy documenting how Wiktionary pages should be formatted. All entries should conform to this standard. The easiest way to start off is to copy the contents of an existing page for a similar word, and then adapt it to fit the entry you are creating.
- Our Criteria for inclusion (CFI) define exactly which words can be added to Wiktionary, though it may be a bit technical and longwinded. The most important part is that Wiktionary only accepts words that have been in somewhat widespread use over the course of at least a year, and citations that demonstrate usage can be asked for when there is doubt.
- If you already have some experience with editing our sister project Wikipedia, then you may find our guide for Wikipedia users useful.
- The FAQ aims to answer most of your remaining questions, and there are several help pages that you can browse for more information.
- A glossary of our technical jargon, and some hints for dealing with the more common communication issues.
- If you have anything to ask about or suggest, we have several discussion rooms. Feel free to ask any other editors in person if you have any problems or question, by posting a message on their talk page.
You are encouraged to add a BabelBox to your userpage. This shows which languages you know, so other editors know which languages you'll be working on, and what they can ask you for help with.
I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wiktionarian! If you have any questions, bring them to the Wiktionary:Information desk, or ask me on my talk page. If you do so, please sign your posts with four tildes: ~~~~ which automatically produces your username and the current date and time.
Your question to Wikitiki89 showed you have a lot to learn about the way we do things, so I thought I'd start the process rolling. The short answer: we go by usage, not by authoritative sources. We have a page dedicated to the issue (WT:CITE) because it's so counter-intuitive to anyone used to Wikipedia's rules. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:16, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
- Thanks Chuck Entz. I understand the diff between primary and secondary sources, of course, but had noticed that references to other reputable dicts were sometimes invoked in discussions as a sign that a word or sense was indeed in use (on the understanding that they would have only entered things they had evidence for); and putting this together with the fact that all the Webs 1913 defs were transported into Wiktionary ... you can see where my thoughts led me ... anyhow, thanks again for letting me know, I will stick to primary sources from now on. Sonofcawdrey (talk) 03:25, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Hi. A noun is uncountable if you can't refer to some number of them ("some rice", not "two rices"). Something like Fegatello Attack, on the other hand, might merely have no plural, which probably makes it a proper noun instead. Equinox ◑ 22:19, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
- Hi. Indeed. But it is sometimes tricky to determine. I was following the system in place for other chess openings, most of which had been input as uncountable. Basically, they can be uncountable under the grounds of there is only one of them (e.g. the sun, the moon). Whether or not it is a proper noun doesn't affect its countability, proper nouns can be either. But, it is also difficult to determine if these are actually proper nouns - though, to be fair the convention seems to treat them as such (i.e. capitalised headwords), but not label them as such (none seem to have proper noun as the pos label). But I digress.
- Your example "rice" is a mass noun, which is one type of uncountable noun. These are another type of uncountable noun - at least as far as I am aware that is a very common usage of the term "uncountable" in grammar texts, and amongst linguists. The current Wiktionary def. for uncountable "Describes a meaning of a noun that cannot be used freely with numbers or the indefinite article, and which therefore takes no plural form" is a bit nebulous ("used freely"). Perhaps some tightening up of the def. is needed and some agreement among Wiktionarians.
- Finally, any count noun can be turned into a non-count noun, and vice versa - e.g. In the tournament three Fried Liver Attacks (or Alekhine Defences) were played. But the plural form is unlikely to meet CFI's three-count for many of these, should anyone try to do the research (i.e. not only for chess openings, but for absolutely every non-count noun in Wiktionary). So, in the end, my feeling is perhaps best to leave as uncountable for the while. What do you think? - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 22:48, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
- I used to enter various medical conditions (like Alzheimer's syndrome — only seen with an -s in a group, e.g. "Alzheimer's and Parkinson's syndromes") as uncountable nouns, but found it unsatisfactory, and these days I do them as proper nouns. I gather there is some general debate over whether proper nouns can be pluralised, and whether we want to distinguish them from other nouns at all (since some languages don't; it has occasionally come up here). In terms of the potential inflections of something: my personal feeling is that we ought to need three citations for every single form (so certain odd verbs used by Shakespeare and Spenser might be missing a past tense, for example) but that doesn't seem to be the policy of most mainstream dictionaries, or of Wiktionary, so apparently if we have an attestable lemma we do not need three citations — or even one! — in order to add the "obvious" inflections (plural, past tense, etc.). I would see it as damaging the project to add a plural to an only arguably pluralisable noun where there isn't even one citation, though. Equinox ◑ 02:19, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
- As far as proper nouns go, some are usually count (the Himalayas), some are usually uncount (the Sun, the Amazon), some can be both (an Aboriginal, two Aboriginals; I spoke to Dave last night, there were two Daves at the party). Seems to me that proper nouns behave in the same way as common nouns with regard to countability. I note also that while Alzheimer's syndrome is entered as a proper noun (without any info about its countability status), Alzheimer's disease is in as a common noun, labelled uncount. Clearly Wiktionary as a whole is in a bit of muddle over this aspect of grammatical labelling, but, then again, as we discussed, it isn't always clear, and there is no clear policy statement (though, personally I'd shrink from trying to write one in the first place), so I guess it is to be expected. - Sonofcawdrey (talk) 05:23, 6 August 2016 (UTC)
- ^ This survey is primarily meant to get feedback on the Wikimedia Foundation's current work, not long-term strategy.
- ^ Legal stuff: No purchase necessary. Must be the age of majority to participate. Sponsored by the Wikimedia Foundation located at 149 New Montgomery, San Francisco, CA, USA, 94105. Ends January 31, 2017. Void where prohibited. Click here for contest rules.
Your feedback matters: Final reminder to take the global Wikimedia survey
(Sorry to write in Engilsh)