User talk:WikiPedant

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Hello, and welcome to Wiktionary. Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are a few good links for newcomers:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wiktionarian! By the way, you can sign your name on Talk (discussion) and vote pages using four tildes, like this: ~~~~, which automatically produces your name and the current date. If you have any questions, see the help pages, add a question to the beer parlour or ask me on my Talk page. Again, welcome! Have a nice week and god bless :) --La gloria è a dio 18:50, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


Is it appropriate to include some Usage History in Wiktionary entries?[edit]

I've edited Wikipedia for a while, but am a newcomer to Wiktionary, so I don't know my way around here particularly well yet. One feature of the Oxford English Dictionary which I've long found useful is the inclusion of a summary of a term's usage history. So, for example, under "doomsday" the OED cites milestone usages of that term by notable English writers like Shakespeare and Carlyle (providing a brief quotation, to show the word's usage in context, and a date for each). And under the relatively new term "doomsday machine" the OED will even cite the term's first usages (again with brief quotations and dates) in periodicals like The New Scientist or the Observer. Is there any provision for doing this sort of thing in Wiktionary? I honestly think it would be a helpful addition to some entries, since it would provide authoritative external sources and some validation. -- WikiPedant 17:17, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes (within reason). See the quotations section of hyperbole as a good example to follow. SemperBlotto 17:24, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Hello SemperBlotto -- Ah, yes, that's very much the sort of thing I had in mind. Many thanks. -- WikiPedant (occasionally blotto) 17:58, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Plural template[edit]

Greetings - we've adopted a template for plurals, e.g. {{plural of|[[philosopher]]}}. This makes it easier to conform entries, and create the desired appearance. Cheers! bd2412 T 13:57, 20 March 2007 (UTC)


No redirects in the main namespace. --Connel MacKenzie 19:35, 24 March 2007 (UTC)


A very reasonable critique. However, I do not believe that anything that was put into the etymology was in any way controversial. I checked two different etymological dictionaries and the OED and all three agree with everything I put into the entry. The statement about Aristotle believing science should come before philosophy was made by Asclepius. Now, I admittedly don't know who that is, and am trying to look into that. However, making statements about what philosophers from 2000 years ago believed is sketchy at best, this I will certainly admit. I think it would be more than reasonable to reword that statement. Perhaps once I track down who this Asclepius chap is, we could reword it to say "Asclepius claims that Aristotle thought such and such" or something like that, which would be a bit more factual. However, past that, from what I can tell, everything else about the etymology has pretty much uniform support among scholars. By all means please try and find a reasonable paper or book which contradicts it, and I will be happy to include the alternate point of view in it. In addition, I'll drop a line to Widsith, one of our top (probably the top) etymology people on Wiktionary and see if he knows anything. Atelaes 16:32, 27 April 2007 (UTC)


See fiesta for an example of a word that has migrated into English. --EncycloPetey 15:30, 13 May 2007 (UTC)


While I'm qite alright with dropping the bit about what Aristotle may or may not have thought, I think the part about meta meaning after and not before is quite important, as it seems to be a highly common misconception. I have checked a number of sources, and they agree unanimously that this is the case. At the absolute least, I think that we should include a part saying "most scholars currently believe that meta meant after and not beyond" or something to that effect. Atelaes 23:53, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Hello Atelaes -- I think most probably do take the "meta" in "metaphysics" to be used in the sense of "after" (especially those who believe that the term derives simply from the system used to organize the ancient library of Aristotle's works), although I don't have any references to show what most scholars think about this. Anyhow, "meta" is already rendered as "after" twice in the portion of the etymology write-up which is still out there, and I'm inclined to think that it's probably safest just to leave it at that. I'm concerned that, by really emphasizing the term "after," the impression might be created that Aristotle and the ancients regarded metaphysics as an area of study which is subsequent to, or dependent on, or secondary to the study of natural things, which is not true. Metaphysics is "first philosophy" for the classical thinkers, and I'm a little uneasy about going along with anything that might be construable as suggesting otherwise. Respectfully -- WikiPedant 14:03, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
It is mentioned twice, that's true. Ok, I'll accept it as is. Atelaes 19:38, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Parts of speech[edit]

We tend to put them in alphabetical order, just as with languages. So, Adjective comes before Noun. This seems to be the simplest way to be consistent and is the informal "rule" used by most editors. --EncycloPetey 19:36, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

Adjectives and attributive nouns[edit]

I was going to put this in the Beer parlour, but I fear no one else would be terribly interested, so:

Adjectives have three main uses, as far as placement goes:

  • attributive — "He drove off in his red car."
  • predicative — "His car is red."
  • absolute — "Red as a cherry, his car was the envy of the neighborhood."

(there are some exceptions — in particular, a few adjectives, such as lone/alone and my/mine, have one attributive version and one predicative/absolute version — but that's the general idea). In all three cases, the car is being described as red.

Now, nouns can generally be placed in all three ways as well, but:

  • Plural nouns generally can't be used attributively; a tiger who eats men is "a man eater", not "a men eater". This rule does have exceptions, but it's generally pretty strict, to the point that pluralia tantum are often singularized for attributive use; hence "pant suit", "scissor kick", etc. So, plural nouns don't tend to become adjectives.
  • Singular nouns generally require some sort of determiner in predicative and absolute uses; "It's a car". So, you can generally tell when a singular noun has become an adjective, because it stops needing the determiner in these uses. (Also, there's generally a semantic difference; "a city street" does not mean "a street that is [a] city".)
  • Mass nouns do not have these restrictions; they can be used attributively, and do not need determiners in other uses. That said, there's generally a semantic difference to be found; "work clothes" are clothes for work, while in "singing is work, talking is fun", singing constitutes work. (Note the difference from adjectives in this regard.) But there can be a bit of shading; "a work obligation" is an obligation for work, but also itself constitutes work. Some mass nouns start to blur into adjectives, such as fun; "a fun day" originally would have been interpreted as "a day of/for fun", but many speakers are happy to treat fun as an adjective describing the day, to the extent that "very fun day" is acceptable for them (contrast *"very work obligation", *"very man eater"). At this point, it makes sense to view fun as an adjective (not exclusively, of course; "a lot of fun" is certainly a noun use); and this is why the OED describes it as "attrib., passing into adj.". (What I can't tell you is why the OED only labels it as a noun; why the small note in one sense?)

Does that make sense? (Sorry if it doesn't; I don't have a lot of experience explaining this stuff.)

RuakhTALK 16:33, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

Hello Ruakh -- Thank you very much for this explanation, which is very clear and helpful. I find these sorts of fine points intriguing. Continuing with your example of "red," please help me out a bit with the corresponding noun forms:
  • Red is a lovely color. (noun, abs)
  • The color for today is red. (noun, pred)
  • That's a lovely red shade. (attributive noun or attributive adjective?)
  • That's a lovely shade of red. (noun, but attributive or some other kind?)
PS - The OED also calls "home" an "attrib., passing into adj.", but, unlike the example of "fun," we'd never say "very home comfort" or "more home comfort". Are there too many shades of gray here?
PPS - Actually, I've heard "scissors kick" many times (but I'm not so sure about "scissor kick"), and "scissors kick" is in my Random House Dictionary and many others (10 hits on Onelook).
-- WikiPedant 15:04, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome. :-)
Regarding your examples:
  • Red is a lovely color. (noun, abs) ← Noun acting as a subject, so the attributive/predicative/absolute distinction doesn't apply (that distinction describes how it's connected to what it modifies, and here it isn't modifying anything).
  • The color for today is red. (noun, pred) ← Yes, predicative noun, or predicate nominative. (Despite what I said before, predicative nouns are usually just called "predicate nominatives" and not treated as modifiers. The two viewpoints are essentially equivalent, though.)
  • That's a lovely red shade. (attributive noun or attributive adjective?) ← To me this construction is impossible (unless we're using "shade" in one of its tangible senses), but if a speaker did produce it, I think both interpretations would be valid.
  • That's a lovely shade of red. (noun, but attributive or some other kind?) ← Noun acting as the object of a preposition, so again, the attributive/predicative/absolute distinction doesn't apply. (The phrase "of red" is an attributive modifier, though.)
Regarding "home": The OED's rationale in that case is spread over two senses:
A. n. 15. attrib. and Comb. b. In relation to domestic economy: [series of examples]. (Nowadays indistinguishable from B1, since present-day hyphening cannot be assumed to be a reliable guide to grammatical function.)
B. attrib. passing into adj. These uses do not differ essentially from those treated under 15; but home, being here written separately, functions as an adjective used attributively; in sense 5 it is even used predicatively, and qualified by adverbs more, most, so, etc., like an ordinary adjective. In sense 1, the use is nowadays indistinguishable from 15.
So their specific rationale seems to be that historically, people would hyphenate something like "apple-pie" but not something like "good pie", so you could tell which part of speech they intended it as, but that people no longer do this reliably; I hadn't realized that. But, they still retain the general rationale that in one use home can be qualified by such adverbs, which I guess makes them more willing to acknowledge the other uses as potentially adjectival (albeit not as comparable adjectives).
Regarding "scissors kick": Sorry, I wasn't trying to say that "scissor kick" is the only correct form; I was simply pointing out the fact of its existence, which seeing as *"a scissor" is completely meaningless, is pretty strong evidence that English generally avoids using plural nouns attributively. (Another counter-example is the phrase "people eater" is a famous song.) Incidentally, even with its disadvantage, "scissor kick" is about twice as common on Google than "scissors kick" (though their relative frequency probably depends on dialect).
RuakhTALK 17:21, 23 May 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I'm learning things. But I'm having a hard time thinking up any examples of absolute or predicative placements of nouns used as modifiers. It seems to me that when a noun functions as a modifier it pretty much always has to be bumped up against the term being modified. Can you provide some examples? A couple of other threads:
  • Concerning "That's a lovely red shade," which constructions are possible and which are impossible strikes me as a somewhat dicey call, since in the last analysis spelling, meaning, conventions of sentence structure, and even grammatical rules are all functions of the ongoing evolution of usage. (Not that I don't have a prescriptivist streak -- as a philosopher, it rankles me when people use "begs the question" in what I can only regard as the corrupt sense of "raises the question.") I would be OK with someone saying "That's a lovely red shade" in the context of a conversation in which shades of colors were being examined and discussed at some length.
  • TRIVIAL HISTORICAL USAGE NOTE: "Scissors" is, I think, an ellipsis of "pair of scissors" and I'm sure there was a time when people (our great-grandparents maybe) routinely used to say "a scissor" for a what we now call "scissors." "Scissor" in the sense of "scissors" is in lots of dictionaries.
Enjoying this exchange, WikiPedant 13:54, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, the point I was trying to make — I didn't do a very good job, sorry — but the point I was trying to make in talking about "predicative" and "absolute" nouns as "modifiers" was that semantically they're different from attributive nouns. If I say "That man is a jerk", a jerk is semantically acting as a modifier; this sentence has roughly the same meaning as "That man is unkind." (This is why linguists are wary of using semantics to define parts of speech.) If I say "That man is a jerk eater", I'm not saying he's an unkind eater, but rather that he eats jerk. Attributive nouns generally have a genitive sense, indicating the source/purpose/possessor/originator/recipient/substance/whatnot of the noun they modify, while "predicative nouns" (predicate nominatives) and "absolute nouns" (nominatives absolute) are generally marked as being equal/unequal to the noun they "modify". With some nouns, however, the semantic line can be blurry; for example, a thing both is the substance it's made of and is of the substance it's made of; you can say "a metal desk", and also "a desk that is metal". Some of these blurry nouns can evolve and become adjectives. —RuakhTALK 17:17, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Proper adjective[edit]

no such header ;-). We just use Adjective ... (refer to WT:POS) Robert Ullmann 14:39, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

Quick reminder[edit]


Regarding smell the barn, we wikify all component headwords of an entry, especially showcase entries like the.

--Connel MacKenzie 17:50, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

{{literary}}[edit] for words that are only used by writers of literature, such as betwixt or morn. unreliable narrator needs a label like literary theory, although I don't think we have a template for that yet... Widsith 16:47, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. This question was kind of nagging in the back of my mind when I used it. I have changed it to {{context|literary theory}}. Also made the same change at point of view, which I edited a little earlier today. -- WikiPedant 17:12, 27 June 2007 (UTC)


Right now Wiktionary:Votes is a bit overflowing, but when it's a bit less crowded, would you be interested in being nominated to become an administrator? —RuakhTALK 00:57, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Hello Ruakh -- I'm flattered by your inquiry and thank you for it; however, I'm sure that the limited time I have to contribute to this delightful (and dangerously addictive) project is best spent immersed in the solitary pleasures of mainspace editing. For the foreseeable future, in addition to improving definitions, my priorities (both labour intensive) are adding good quotations and verified references -- the 2 things which I have now concluded Wiktionary most needs in order to distinguish itself and gain wider acceptance. Thanks again. -- WikiPedant 12:58, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. Let me know if you ever change your mind. :-) —RuakhTALK 16:18, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


Your Q to Ruakh caught my eye. Would any of the many quotes using held incommunicado qualify for adverbial use? From the Guardian (one of many, taken at random) He also says he was held incommunicado for five months.Algrif 18:03, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, Algrif, that's very much what I'm wondering too. My own examples used "kept" and "remained" which are verbs that behave similarly to "held," in that they are sometimes used with adverbs and sometimes with adjectives, as in "remained strong," "kept still," and "held tight." Trouble is, I just can't seem to think of a verb that works with "incommunicado" that isn't in this category (i.e, a nice verb that unambiguously always takes an adverb and never an adjective). Ruakh is very good at this sort of thing, though, and he may shed some light. Thanks for jumping in. Like you, I find such questions very interesting. -- WikiPedant 18:14, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
I see what you mean. Travel is a good one. How about work incommunicado as another example?Algrif 11:49, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, "work incommunicado" seems pretty plausible for this purpose, although some quick web and literary searches don't find much in the way of usages. There is this one, though:
  • 2004, Ben Westhoff, "Making Traks," Riverfront Times, St. Louis MO, 7 Apr,
    The Starz seem most comfortable when they're in the studio, where they can work incommunicado.
BTW, I'm starting to have qualified second thoughts about "travel incommunicado." I just put a note about this on Ruakh's talk page. Maybe "work incommunicado" is better. I'll keep thinking about it. -- WikiPedant 15:33, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

==Dictionary notes==[edit]

We do use this as a header, usually L4, the status hasn't been finally determined. Should just be left fo now, until someone gets around to adding it formally ;-) Robert Ullmann 23:39, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

On the outs[edit]

I'm on a campaign to get more recognition that there are few nouns that are uncountable (especially abstract ones) and few adjectives and adverbs that can't be compared. I also love idioms. That's what brought me to "on the outs". It's the kind of idiom I love. Thanks for putting it in. DCDuring 22:58, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Hello DC -- Thanks for your note and your many worthy improvements to Wiktionary. I am now quite persuaded that on the outs is comparable and agree with your observation about the countability of nouns and the comparability of adverbs and adjectives. Since your note, I've become a little more careful about my own entries in this regard. -- WikiPedant 17:52, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for you kind words. BTW, I do find that some adjectives that seem to be able to form comparatives and superlatives are actually never used that way. Analogously with plurals (and some verb forms). If it really sounds awkward, I check to see if there is any usage. Empiricism rules!!! DCDuring 18:30, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

plurale tantum for normal folk[edit]

Thanks for showing me how to treat users right in "plurale tantum" situations. DCDuring 20:12, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

And thanks to you, DC, for catching that typo in the italicization. Somehow it slipped in at some point. I like this technique because it allows one to use the standard {{en-noun}} template for plural-only nouns. Sooner or later someone is bound to come along who doesn't like it, though. Regards -- WikiPedant 20:25, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

wishful thinking[edit]

Thanks for that. It didn't look right and I neglected to check either the page history or Google. Judgment and intuition are a poor substitute for facts. DCDuring 20:26, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

no spring chicken[edit]

I'm no spring chicken myself and have found it a challenge to get the hang of this. It's more civilized than WP, but the rules still seem underdeveloped. There really aren't good fora for some kinds of issues. I'm inclined to inclusionism, even of items I'd be ashamed to admit to just knowing about in real life. I'm still wondering about how to handle dialect as one might find in Faulkner, Runyon, Lardner, Finley Peter Dunne, Twain. Fortunately some of their works are "well-known works" which gets them readily cited. But there is a lot of dialect speech that is not in such well-known works and is worth including in some way, IMHO. It just needs a couple of rules and the appropriate tags, I think. DCDuring 04:48, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary Hotlist[edit]

  • Thanks! I'm glad I could help. — BRIAN0918 • 2008-01-18 15:15Z

re: alternate universe[edit]

I anted to apologize if my comment insulted you. The main point I think is that I doubt the use is widespread enough to warrant inclusion (at least compared to the use it obviously derives from), and I doubt it has elements that are specific to it enough to warrant a separate definition. I think the use in that quote is clearly a reference to meaning 2, not a factual assertion that Bush is under a massive delusion (even though I myself think he practically is... But then it was Terry Pratchett that wrote that most people are under the delusion of being perfectly sane).

As a side note, I looked up the source of the quote, and it turns out it is a movie review for The American President, all the more an argument to use it for the narratology sense. Circeus 20:34, 23 January 2008 (UTC)


Note that ELE says a definition that is a sentence may begin with a capital letter. A single word or phrase isn't a sentence. "word, word, word" isn't either; easier (and compliant) to leave them the correct case. Robert Ullmann 16:16, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, Robert, I noted that, but I take that wording as a guideline favouring capitalization and also believe it is important to have stylistic consistency throughout. It's true that many dictionaries start defns with lower case letters, although the OED uses upper case. And the first (and, alas, only) example of a definition given at WT:ELE ("# A piece of [[furniture]] to [[sleep]] on.") shows a capital letter. Anyhow, I've gotten into the habit of routinely converting defns to begin with upper case. I'll gladly comply with whatever standard WT clearly enunciates. Right now, the capital letter strikes me as preferred. -- WikiPedant 18:12, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Mutt and Jeff[edit]

I noticed you edits to Mutt and Jeff and that you changed the label of the Cockney rhyming slang definition to wikified text. The template {{Cockney rhyming slang}} categories all the words under Category:Cockney rhyming slang and therefore you edit broke the link to that category. I'm going to modify the template so that it wikifies the terms. Please do not remove template from any more pages of Cockney terms as they be harder to search for in future.--Williamsayers79 19:53, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Got it. Sorry about that. -- WikiPedant 04:43, 29 January 2008 (UTC)


Please do not delete content from pages [1]. Doing this is considered vandalism and may result in a block. --EncycloPetey 02:07, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Please see and Wiktionary:Assume good faith. A message along the lines of "When you're viewing an old version or diff, the textarea in the 'edit' tab is pre-loaded with the old version, not the current version, so please take care to make sure you don't accidentally revert other people's edits" would probably have sufficed here. (Incidentally, Wikipedia gives a big honking warning-box at the edit-old-version page; we should probably steal that. I don't suppose you know where it comes from? Please discuss at Wiktionary:Grease pit#Old-revision warnings.) —RuakhTALK 02:59, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, EncycloPetey, this was unintentional. I think I must have been looking at C. MacKenzie's version from Dec 20/07, then forgot and added the {{rfv-sense}} template to that version. Glad you spotted it. Sloppy of me. -- WikiPedant 04:11, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

I thought something like that might have happened, which is why I didn't actually block or give a sterner warning (and thank goodness we don't use the ugly red traingle with an exclamation point that Wikipedia uses for this sort of thing, ick!). You're a long-time editor here with a good history, b ut sometimes a little warning can hit even the best of us after an accidental edit. --EncycloPetey 04:24, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the note[edit]

Thanks. It's not so often I get "fan mail" around here any more. I went around for over a year, I'd say, filling up little scraps of paper and eventually an entire notebook with interesting words I heard, mostly idioms. I still do jot them down, but I'm not as good about doing anything about the jotted notes. There are still plenty more to do, anyway. If you tune in, I'm sure you'll find some. --Dvortygirl 16:17, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

set the stage :)? --Dvortygirl 07:27, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I take charitable contributions. Done, and with gratitude. -- WikiPedant 00:37, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

on second thoughts[edit]

Hi. Why the redirect? Google, or anywhere else you care to check gives about 50 / 50 with on second thought. There is a possible UK/US bias. (in UK it is almost always with the "s"). This should be an {{alternative spelling of}} , not a redirect, wouldn't you agree? -- Algrif 14:21, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Hello Algrif -- Sure, {{alternative spelling of}} works for me too. As long as we don't created redundant definitions for the same thing (which always get out of sync after a while). -- WikiPedant 16:14, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Maunder minimum and[edit]

Just because Al Gore doesn't like it, .... It's just what popped into my head. The controversy is mostly about what it means rather than whether it exists. I shouldn't have tossed such a thing out where it was likely to annoy folks. But it's been that kind of day. See what would Jesus do. It's the kind of phrase we need. The question is how to define it. See if my def. is adequate. I know it might be a lightning rod but we need to be able to handle lightning. There's always semi-protection. DCDuring TALK 21:54, 7 April 2008 (UTC)


Thanks. I had made the change, went to look for quotes, got interrupted, went to bed, and forgot about it. If I actually find some significant usage as singular I'll change it back. If a find not very much, I'll probably insert a usage note. If I find only a little, I'll forget about it. DCDuring TALK 20:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Hello DC -- Thanks for the note. I didn't mean to seem to be stepping on your edit, but I just can't imagine a legitimate singular usage (but, then, there's the old problem of differentiating usage from "legitimate" usage). Anyhow, if you find some supporting usages, I'll be quite content to abide by any changes you see fit to make. (PS -- One of these days I'll get back to Maunder minimum. Astronomy is an interest area of mine.) -- WikiPedant 20:32, 21 April 2008 (UTC)


Hello Widsith -- I've long admired your editing here, but am wondering about this one. Are these really 2 distinct etymologies? Don't both the nominal and adjectival senses go right back to the same Latin root? -- WikiPedant 21:20, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes! Though by slightly different routes. Sometimes it is easier to put them under different headings and sometimes not; in this case I'm sure it would be possible to explain it fairly simply under one Etymology heading if that's what you'd prefer. Cheers, Widsith 21:25, 27 April 2008 (UTC)
Hello Widsith -- The OED supports this etymological distinction, but it has separate entries for the noun and the adjective. With a single, combined entry like ours, I'm inclined to think that the extra headings and levels add more visual clutter to the entry than the payback is worth. However, I'll hedge a bit. My feelings about the matter are far from overpowering. I won't try to change it. -- WikiPedant 04:37, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I hope you don't mind my butting in (I guess I'm still watching your talk-page from some past conversation), but I'm not sure I agree. If you're talking about the physical OED, where entries appear one after the other with no page breaks or anything, then it seems to me that our current approach (organizing hierarchically by etymology) is really quite analogous to their separate-entry approach. (There's a conceptual difference, in that we think of it as one entry split into two etymologies, whereas they think of it as two entries each headed by an etymology, but the result is quite similar.) If you're talking about the OED online, then you're right that their approach is less cluttered, but conversely, they felt that the etymologies were so separate as to warrant two completely separate entries (as opposed to a single entry with a more complex etymology section, or to a single entry with a normal etymology section but with additional etymological notes attached to certain senses: I've seen them take both of these approaches in other entries). It would be nice if we knew why they made that decision, though. :-/   —RuakhTALK 22:10, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Hello Ruakh -- I was talking about the online OED, since that strikes me as the comparator to Wiktionary. Generally, the online OED seems to create separate entries for each POS of a term which has multiple POS's. However, not always. I'm not exactly sure why the OED uses separate entries for some terms that have multiple POS's and not others, but it doesn't seem to be because of different etymologies (see, for example, the multiple entries for "sickly" or "side-line", where the etymologies are the same). All beside the point of the discussion above, though, which was based on my impression that the etymologies for "intestine" are so close as to hardly be worth noting. -- WikiPedant 04:16, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. My impression was that they always separate verbs from other parts of speech, but that adjectives, nouns, and adverbs can all go in one entry; but without knowing the thought behind it, I guess that doesn't tell us much. So, nevermind me. :-) —RuakhTALK 11:52, 30 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, Ruakh, as always, you raise a worthwhile and, I think, important line of questioning. I regard the OED as the gold standard of dictionaries, and I suspect most Wiktionary editors see it as some sort of worthy exemplar. So it's important for us to try to have a sense of the underlying reasoning that goes into the OED's design and you are very right to want to roll back the curtain. -- WikiPedant 19:18, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Richardb Citations[edit]

Instead of just instantly deleting them, it would be better if we could extract the useful information first, so that it doesn't have to be looked up again. Conrad.Irwin 23:31, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Hello Conrad.Irwin -- Yes, that's what I had initially intended to do. But it's all unattributed, so I don't see how anything useable can extracted. -- WikiPedant 23:33, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I was just trying to extract information from the Cheese off page, none of it makes any sense to me :). Ah well Conrad.Irwin 23:35, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

Re:Header level for references section[edit]

I've been having issues working those kind of things out, but I am fairly sure that the ELE says it should be a level four- see this section. J Milburn 10:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

No, J Milburn, I think that in the case of yan-a-bumfit, and other entries with only one POS or etymology, the appropriate example is the simple one in this section of WT:ELE. -- WikiPedant 18:20, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Is level 4 (as shown) if it is part of a specific POS; or level 3 at the end of a language section (not shown) if for the section. Robert Ullmann 11:25, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with what you say, Robert. Getting back to cases like yan-a-bumfit, where the entry only contains one part of speech, I believe it is standard practice to treat the "References" section as Level 3, since the references then necessarily pertain to the entire English-language entry. -- WikiPedant 18:20, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I've had another look at the ELE, and I now agree with you- with one POS, a level three references header is appropriate. I'll fix them now. Thanks for your comments and advice! J Milburn 21:15, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
In fact, I am not changing them. When I do, they are placed in the category saying that they have structual problems, so there must be something wrong. J Milburn 21:26, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm now not changing them- when I do, they are placed in the category for articles with structural problems, so I think they must be right the way they are. J Milburn 21:28, 19 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'm not sure what happened when you adjusted them, but I just adjusted tyan and hovera and they seem OK. -- WikiPedant 13:27, 20 May 2008 (UTC)
PS -- Okay, now I see what happened when you tried it. You adjusted the header level to Level 3, but did not remove this hidden tag: {{rfc-level|References at L4+ not in L3 POS section}}, which autoformat had previously inserted just below the header line. This tag was causing the "structural error" categorization (even though you had now fixed the error). -- WikiPedant 13:32, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


Just came across this -- nice work! -- Visviva 14:25, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Hello Visviva -- Thank you very much. I think we all find it satisfying when we come across a non-obsolete missing word with multiple senses and can write a full new entry from scratch. -- WikiPedant 03:41, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

cup of tea redirects[edit]

I've deleted the redirects and undone your redirect of not one's cup of tea because the policy on redirects on Wiktionary is that pronoun variants of a phrase should redirect to the gender irrelevant form, but the precise phrase should be used under the policy of all words in all languages.

This isn't to say your edits were bad, just that they didn't follow the least punctillio of Wiktionary standards. Thanks for your edits! - Amgine/talk 03:53, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Hello Amgine -- Okay, let's see if my new approach meets with your approval. -- WikiPedant 04:14, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

Quotations hiding[edit]

I thought that the point of having the Citations: namespace was so that we didn't need to include lots of Quotations inline? Conrad.Irwin 21:03, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Hello Conrad.Irwin -- I've never been a fan of the citations namespace (even its name is wrong, since "citation" is an ambiguous term) because it breaks one of the basic rules of database management -- do not create duplicate records requiring dual manual maintenance to keep them in sync. But, never mind that. Near the conclusion of this BP discussion TheDaveRoss said to me:
No one will yell at you for building the collapsible section for quotations and putting it on a few pages for example purposes, etc. - The Rabid Deletionist 23:22, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
So, I'm assuming he knows whereof he speaks, and that's all I'm up to. I've been working offline on new entry which turns out to contain 3 POS's and several senses within them, each of which I'm supporting with 1 to 3 quotations -- precisely the sort of situation where collapsible boxes will produce a clean, readable entry and where duplicating all of this on a citations page will be an invitation for everything to turn into an out-of-sync mess. For now--and if I ever manage to get around to it--I only plan to try the collapsible boxes in this single mainspace entry as an experiment/demonstration. When I put the needed template (which was created a while ago by Ruakh) in mainspace, I'll include a prominent caveat/notation at the top of the page saying that this template is experimental and intended for very limited use. No big deal, as I see it. But I'll be glad to consider any contrary opinion/advice you want to offer. Respectfully -- WikiPedant 22:47, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

fog bow[edit]

Yes. We routinely link all form of template contents. Pages with no wikilinks are not counted in the statistics; linking added by template doesn't get counted. The links must be explicitly added, which is why all of our form of templates are designed to handle explicit links. It's good to get in the habit of always including the links explicitly. --EncycloPetey 04:18, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Okay, thanks. I'll link them from now on. I've put an awful lot out there that I didn't link, though. Maybe a bot could clean this up some day. (BTW, sorry about the double posting on your talk page. For some reason my DSL connection gets balky at this time of day, and sometimes I retransmit only to find the first posting eventually went through.) -- WikiPedant 04:29, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I've accidentally double-posted myself from time to time. BTW, the only form of template that does NOT get wikilinked is misspelling of (since it's for a non-entry rather than a real word). --EncycloPetey 04:33, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

eye tooth[edit]

WikiPedant, thanks for your edit help with plural. Wayne Roberson, Austin, Texas 21:14, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

Hello Wayne -- No problem. It was a nice new entry. -- WikiPedant 21:33, 22 June 2008 (UTC)


Hello. FYI I have started a discussion in beer parlour on the scope of Related terms section, based on your removal of philosophy of science from epistemology, which per WT:ELE indeed was the right thing to do. Just that you know, for the case you would want to join the discussion. --Daniel Polansky 07:42, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Hello Daniel -- Thanks for the heads-up. I'm a professor in the field of philosophy and would have been inclined to remove philosophy of science from the "related terms" for epistemology anyway, since virtually every area of philosophy is related to epistemology (including ethics, logic, aesthetics, metaphysics, and the "philosophy of [pretty much anything]." This list is just too long. -- WikiPedant 15:49, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Epistemology and philosophy of science[edit]

Hello, you have removed epistemology—the branch of philosophy dealing with the study of knowledge; theory of knowledge—from See also section of philosophy of science—the study of the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science. Could you maybe explain to me how these two terms differ and the rationale behind your removal of the see also section?

I have cross-linked them using See also header, previously erroneously using Related terms header, for I am still confused about the distinction between the two, and feel them to be semantically close enought to warrant See also, which does not require all that much from their semantic relationship. --Daniel Polansky 08:28, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

I have now noticed your explanation in your reply to my previous post to your talk page, in which you say that epistemology is in use in many branches of philosophy, not particulary in the philosophy of science. I do not quite follow, mostly because I don't quite understand the definitions of epistelogy and philosophy of science. The definition of epistemology just repeats what it says in the word: knowledge-ology. Knowledge management and information science too study some aspect of knowledge, but surely some other aspects. So AFAICS the definitions of epistemology and of philosophy of science are both in need of futher differentia or of examples; major questions that these branches are asking could serve as points on which to anchor the meaning.
Another point is whether epistemology and philosophy of science get confused by people. They get confused by me, but does not tell about English speakers in general, unless we are willing to infer from one instance ;). But if these two get confused, they should IMHO better cross reference each other. --Daniel Polansky 08:44, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Hello Daniel -- You ask complex questions. Give me a couple of days to come up with a worthy answer. -- WikiPedant 17:33, 6 July 2008 (UTC)
Hello Dan -- Well, I've put off responding to your questions because philosophy seldom permits short answers and I already give long philosophy lectures at work. In fact, I guess I sort of come to Wiktionary to get away from all of that. But I'll try to answer briefly and on point.
1. Concerning your last question, I don't think that English speakers have any special tendency to confuse epistemology and philosophy of science, but, on the other hand, in my experience at one time or another North American university students are capable of becoming confused about pretty much anything.
2. Concerning your earlier question, yes epistemology does indeed basically mean "knowledge-ology" (the philosophical study of knowledge). And philosophy of science is basically "science-ology" (the philosophical study of science). Epistemology is arguably the most universal of all areas of philosophy, since knowledge is required for every kind of human inquiry and achievement. Philosophy of science, on the other hand, is a specific area of philosophy. Since the epistemological turn, mainstream Western philosophy has pretty much regarded epistemology as the single most fundamental area of philosophy. Philosophy of science, on the other hand, is not fundamental; it is a subordinate area of philosophical study, like philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics, or philosophy of art. Yes, science involves knowledge, but so does everything else. To include a "See also: epistemology" notation in a definition of philosophy of science is sort of like saying "See also: physics" in a definition of NASCAR racing, or backstroke, or bowling. (Anything that involves motion relies on principles of physics, but it would be silly to suggest that the definition of physics meaningfully illuminates the definitions of everything involving motion.) BTW, the opposite is also true: it would also be quite unhelpful to say "See also:Bowling, NASCAR racing, and Backstroke" in a definition of physics.
3. Concerning your suggestion that the definitions of epistemology and philosophy of science are in need of further differentia and examples, I have my doubts. A dictionary cannot be an encyclopedia--not even, alas, in the case of philosophical terms which are notoriously difficult to explain or define in a nutshell. The more one writes trying to explain a philosophical concept, the more doors one opens into controversies, schools of thought, and points of view (as the evolution of the Wikipedia entries on philosophical topics has sometimes illustrated), and this is a slippery slope which a dictionary cannot accommodate.
Well, Dan, I've said as much as I think I can (and probably more than I wanted to say). I hope this helps at least a bit. But now I'm heading back to mainspace, which is where I greatly prefer to be. Regards -- WikiPedant 05:44, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Hello WikiPedant, thank you for your extensive answer. I will refrain from cross-referencing the mentioned terms, unless I get support from other knowledgeable people. Thanks again. --Dan Polansky 08:17, 24 July 2008 (UTC) (Posted also on my talk page.)


WHAT??? I have never added new sense to application!!! never! What are you talking about? This is ridiculous. TestPilottalk to me! 02:31, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Hello TestPilot -- Sorry. I was looking at this edit, but was overly hasty. I see now that you did not add the entire sense. You just added the {{context}} template to that sense. My mistake. -- WikiPedant 04:19, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


Please do not replace Synonyms or other specific headers with generic "See also". When the word relationships have standard headers, it is better to be explicit and precise. We try to limit the use of See also as much as possible. Also, please do not remove valid synonyms from entries. --EncycloPetey 17:28, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Hello EncycloPetey -- Can you please point me to a policy on this? I don't consider a synonym to be "valid" for separate listing if the same term is already explicitly included in the definition (and linked to boot!). I also don't consider primate to be a synonym for simian ("See also" is a close as it gets.) -- WikiPedant 22:56, 1 August 2008 (UTC)


When it comes to quotations, I've gotten to love the google function site: (specifically Otherwise you end up with half the hits being stuff like dictionaries. Circeus 19:22, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Nice tip, Circeus. Thanks. I sometimes use academic data bases, but am also partial to searches at -- WikiPedant 20:59, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

In re seconded welcome message[edit]

Hi WP. Thanks for the kind message on my talk page, and sorry it took so long for me to respond. Explanations and plans are on Ruakh’s talk page. How ‛bout you? How’re things with you and what have you been up to whilst I’ve been away? Chat ‛n’ work soon!  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 01:27, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


This template duplicates the function of the existing template. All entries are expected to eventually have select quotations among the definitions but a longer list on the citations page. --EncycloPetey 06:03, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Hello Petey -- Yes, that's your expectation and mine, but it is not so clear to lots of other editors. I see people scooping up all the quotations in an entry and dumping them into those damned separate citations pages. Hopefully, the slightly different wording produced by this template will make it a little clearer that it's OK to leave a couple well-chosen, illuminating quotations in the main entry. -- WikiPedant 06:15, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be better to begin a program of education, rather than confusing people with additional templates? I imagine that the people who scoop up the quotations will assume this template is only to be used when not all the quotes have been moved, and that it will not actually solve the problem that led to its creation. --EncycloPetey 22:29, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree. I believe this template will cause more problems than it will solve. However, your point about citations getting dumped onto the citations page is a valid one, which should be addressed. However, I do not believe this is the proper route. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:36, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, Petey and Atelaes, I'm sorry but I don't agree on this point. I see this new template as serving the sort of educational purpose to which Petey refers, since it alerts users to the fact that some quotations can be left in the main entry. And, if the worthy goal of educating all users to leave some telling quotations in the main entry while storing the rest on the subpage is achieved, this new template will be the one with the correct wording. So maybe it's {{seeCites}} that will eventually be unneeded. In the meantime, I don't think there's anything confusing about putting accurate wording in the "see the citation page" message which is used in entries which do contain a few quotations. -- WikiPedant 02:47, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Wiktionary talk:Quotations colon discussion[edit]

I have formally requested at Wiktionary talk:Quotations that we end citation lines with a colon. It's just the way it should be! bd2412 T 03:49, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Hello bd2412 -- I've added my somewhat qualified support to your talk page proposal. My god, that book really is about goat medicine, isn't it? I thought it would be some sort of catchy title for a novel. (PS -- That citations page for scur has formatting problems. The citations should be ordered from earliest to latest and should be formatted using the format at WT:QUOTE. Also, 1 or 2 or 3 of the most telling quotations should also be placed in the main entry. Damn, but I dislike those separate citations pages--but that is another matter....) -- WikiPedant 04:16, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

bad penny and referencing[edit]

Hi WP. Just a note to say: bad penny is a good entry; thanks for adding it. Also, thanks for being one of the minority of editors who add citations when they add new words and senses, and for being one of the yet-smaller minority of editors who consistently use references. However, I’ve one requæst: Could you use in-line references, so as to better indicate what information is supported by what authority? That’d be great. Thanks.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:45, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Hello Doremítzwr -- Thanks for your message and your kind words. I do indeed believe that it is very important to try to include one or two telling quotations with each new entry (don't like to call them "citations," though, which tends to mean something else for us academics). Concerning references, I think (at least I think I think) that I recognize 3 distinct kinds of references: (1) Footnotes, for which I do use in-line references (see, for example, outport or undoubtably); (2) Links to other dictionaries (lately I usually settle for a single link to to give readers an easy way to get other dictionaries' "take" on an interesting term; and (3) Citations of other major dictionaries (like the OED or Random House) to establish that a term is recognized by other authorities (which I did for bad penny because the term had previously been deleted from Wiktionary, apparently after failing an RFD). Anyhow, for (2) and (3) I don't use in-line references, because I consider references of this sort to support the entry in its entirety. -- WikiPedant 21:05, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
OK. That’s definitely a sturdy rationale. However, I suggest that you add references of types 2 and 3 under a Dictionary notes section, to avoid confusion. Danke.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:49, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Raif, I certainly understand your desire to attach references to the specific elements of entries and to avoid confusion, but I do believe that the way I'm handling references is quite consistent with WT:ELE. I've encountered the "Dictionary notes" header in the past, but have always felt uneasy about using it for citations of this sort, since they don't really strike me as notes and "Dictionary notes" is not mentioned at WT:ELE. I know we're light on official policies (including formatting policies) here at Wiktionary, but I do try not to wander too far afield of WT:ELE and WT:QUOTE. Can you point me to any official or somewhat official write-ups on "Dictionary notes"? If anything is out there, I'll be glad to try to fold it into my practices. -- WikiPedant 05:04, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
(Soz for the long wait in my getting back to ya…) I s’pose you could not bother with Dictionary notes sections then (though I’ll still use them unless someone objects). I may argue for their officiation at some point. In the meantime, perhaps you should note the response to such a reference at antic#References (which I præsume is one of yours); maybe the longer string of text “PAGENAME is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [2nd Ed.; 1989]” would be better than the perhaps excessively pithy “OED 2nd edition 1989”…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:24, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Hello Doremítzwr -- Good to hear from you again. I guess I'd be more inclined to favor legitimization of External Links sections or, more precisely, External Dictionary Links sections for this purpose. The antic#References OED ref is not one of mine; it's a tad terse for my taste. I recognize the style, though. It was added by SemperB (in Feb/07). This strikes me as a good situation for an inline ref (footnote), since it is probably intended to support a specific defn. I'm not going to bother with it, but, since you spotted it, I think you should go ahead and make a change of the sort you propose above. -- WikiPedant 20:18, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

light someone's fire[edit]

But doesn't it make sense to include quotation marks when the citation is from within quoted dialogue? —RuakhTALK 00:46, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Hello Ruakh -- Always good to hear from you. I don't have superstrong feelings about it (to use one of those delectable "super" compounds that that anon keeps adding), but I do prefer to keep quotations as tight as possible. If all the text in the quotation comes from within a remark a speaker made in the original, then my usual practice is to keep it simple and leave out the quotation marks, since they have no effect on the quotation's illumination of the meaning of the definiendum. -- WikiPedant 02:28, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
But they might indicate register, dialect, etc.; for example, Dickens generally narrates in standard English, but his characters often speak in (eye) dialect. The quotation marks don't tell the whole story, but they're a good hint. —RuakhTALK 14:25, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
True. I agree that it would be best to use the quotation marks in situations like this, especially when the remark is uttered in a strong dialect. When extracting a quotation, though, the first question I always ask myself is "What's the minimum grammatical unit needed here to illuminate the meaning?" -- WikiPedant 17:40, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Proverbs and idioms[edit]

Hi WikiPedant, thank you for correcting my changes. Should all proverbs have the "Proverb" POS and {idiom} context? I've been browsing the proverbs in WT and I think they could use some more standardization. --Panda10 20:39, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Hello Panda10 -- Thanks for your note. We're pretty short on detailed standards and policies around here, so it seems there's not much to do but to try to follow best past practices of experienced editors and use one's own judgment, which is basically what I do in cases like this. I've always been a little wary of treating "Proverb" as a part of speech since I don't think it really is a part of speech (and I'm a little concerned about the fact that which phrases qualify as proverbs can be a bit subjective). But the entries whose POS you've just changed to "Proverb" are all so obviously proverbs that I'm not really disposed to quarrel with what you've done. However, some proverbs are also idioms, and in those cases it seems reasonable to include the {{idiom}} context template. Of the proverbs you've just been working with, I'm sure strike while the iron is hot is also an idiom. As for standardizing proverbs, that's a bit like nailing jello to the wall--We'd need some CFPI (Criteria For Proverb Inclusion) and I'm not sure I even want to think about that! Anyhow, I appreciate your desire and your work to move the project forward. Respectfully -- WikiPedant 21:02, 25 October 2008 (UTC)


Your changes are not in accord with WT:ELE. What is the point? If you object, then take it to the Beer Parlor and we can vote on it in due course. DCDuring TALK 01:49, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Hello DC -- Yes, the example in WT:ELE only shows separate level 4 "Derived Terms" sections for each POS, but the write-up at WT:ELE on "Derived terms" does say "If it is not known from which part of speech a certain derivative was formed it is necessary to have a 'Derived terms' header on the same level as the part of speech headings." Out there among the entries I've seen a number of these level 3 "Derived Terms" sections for combined POS's (especially when there are 3 or more POS's). Down struck me as one of the situations where a combined "Derived terms" section was appropriate, since I didn't feel 100% confident of my ability to assign all of the terms listed to specific POS's. But I don't have really strong feelings about the matter. You're one of the good guys; if you want to sort them into separate sections, I'm cool with that. (But I'd still be a bit concerned that future editors will make a mess of things when they add more derived terms.) -- WikiPedant 04:00, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Glad I asked. I think that the former practice must have been quite undemanding about splitting properly by etymology/PoS. Some of the related and especially derived terms lists would be better served by use of "what links here". I would find it impractical to distinguish such information between adjective and adverb PoS (even senses seem not worth repeating sometimes), but easier by distinctive etymology and Noun vs. Verb. DCDuring TALK 11:55, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

a horse of a different color[edit]

I've noticed that you create redirects from different versions of idioms to one - which I think is a great approach. Should the saying in the subject be a redirect to horse of a different color? --Panda10 19:22, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Hello Panda -- Yes, indeed. Done. Good catch. -- WikiPedant 19:35, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

add fuel to fire and add fuel to the fire[edit]

This might be another one when you have time: add fuel to fire and add fuel to the fire. Thanks. --Panda10 20:42, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Hello Panda -- Add fuel to fire still has an open rfv from May/08, which needs to be resolved before taking any drastic action. There might be a reasonable case for keeping these as separate entries. Anyhow, I've put both on my watch list. We'll see what, if anything, happens. Thanks for the heads-up. -- WikiPedant 23:16, 6 November 2008 (UTC)


Hello again. Could you look thereon, since I was struggling to add a Quotations section (without moving anything to Citations), but the result does not exhilarate me. Especially when I was struggling to induce the last asterisk just next to the number 2. Hopefully you will not disprove mine intervention, for we both seem to take delight in Carlyle's works, judging from his citations here. Bogorm 22:08, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Hello Bogorm -- Although the OED does it, we have no reasonable way (that I know of) to split quotations by sense and also include the {{timeline}} template. But in this case, it's no great loss, since there aren't really enough quotations to warrant using the {{timeline}} template anyway. My own practice is to give priority to splitting by sense over using a timeline template anyway.
As for the particular quotation you added from old Carlyle: it's certainly an interesting usage (and a bit of an oddity, as Carlyle's turns-of-phrase sometimes are), but I suspect that it really belongs with sense 2 (since it appears to be another countable usage). Unfortunately, the existing quotation for sense 2 is also from Carlyle, so I'm inclined to think that one of them should go, since I don't believe it's a good idea to use 2 quotations from the same author for a single sense. I very much appreciate your diligence and research, though. -- WikiPedant 01:32, 7 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi WikiPedant,

I saw you posting on VIP and thought "that's odd, why would an admin post on VIP instead of just blocking the user" ... then I realized you aren't actually an admin, despite your having been here for a couplenumber of years, doing lots of great stuff. Would you be open to a nomination? -- Visviva 07:32, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Hello Visviva -- Many thanks for your kind words and inquiry. I confess there have been a couple of times when I've wished I was an admin (same as one wishes one was a cop when one sees some clown make a reckless driving manoeuvre on the highway), but, in calmer moments, I realize that all I really want to do is edit mainspace and not get drawn any further into this dangerously addictive pastime than that. So, while I appreciate your offer, for the foreseeable future I'm content to remain an admin-less writer of defns and adder of quotations. Best regards -- WikiPedant 20:27, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
All right. Adminship does make things like cleaning up vandalism (which you do quite a bit of) much easier, and it doesn't come with any strings attached; you wouldn't have to edit any more, or any differently, than you do now. But obviously it's up to you... Let me know if you ever change your mind. Happy editing! -- Visviva 01:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Re: "Let me know if you ever change your mind": Sorry, but I've got dibs! —RuakhTALK 02:01, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Ha, should have seen that. -- Visviva 02:02, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Y'know, I remember seeing that discussion go by on my watchlist, but at the time I was so sure that WikiPedant already was an admin that it didn't really register. :-) -- Visviva 16:07, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


On a completely different topic, given your interest in documenting Canadian English, I thought I'd call your attention to these scans of missing words from the Toronto Star. It doesn't look to me like there are very many Canadianisms in the mix, but then I might not recognize a Canadianism if I saw it. :-)

Very nice. I noticed the word lists you have been building in this manner, and am glad that you've now included the Toronto Star. It is Canada's largest-circulation paper and also probably the one with the highest word count. The venerable Globe and Mail (also Toronto-based) is also very good, and probably a little less "down-home" in its English. A little earlier today I created the entry for onpass after seeing it in your Toronto Star list. I'll continue to check it. As for Canadianisms, I often surprised myself by what turns out to be a Canadian or mostly Canadian usage -- for example, until I started digging up citations, I had no idea that bird course and no screaming hell are among the worthy flourishes which we Canadians appear to have added to the language.
And despite being from the Great Lakes and listening to CBC programs several times a week, I had no idea those phrases existed.  :-) Very cool. The Globe and Mail was actually the first Canadian paper I thought of, but I was a bit disappointed with the yield -- I think I got only 8 or 9 words from the edition that I looked at, which didn't really seem worth the trouble of running a daily list. Down-homeness (or the lack thereof) and size probably both factor into that; the smaller and more linguistically constrained a newspaper is, the less likely it is to contain much in the way of unusual words. -- Visviva 07:34, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Also, with your philosopher hat on, could you perhaps name a few of the better philosophy journals? I'm looking for a good philosophy journal to add to the mix of tracking lists, preferably one that publishes in HTML rather than PDF. I was thinking of Mind, but don't have full-text access. I've tried Critical Inquiry, but the combination of PDF format and massive amounts of foreign-language text make it awfully difficult to extract any useful data. Unfortunately, those two titles pretty much exhaust my knowledge of major philosophy-related journals. If the concept of word-mining philosophical writings doesn't seem too barbaric, I'd appreciate any guidance you could give. Cheers, -- Visviva 16:07, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I grabbed the list of philosophy journals at Wikipedia and quickly culled it down to those which I think of as major journals (plus a couple which I just admire). It is here. Philosophers will never agree on something like this, but all those on this list are well established and can be counted on to contain sophisticated writing. There is a problem with word-searching philosophy journals though--more than one philosopher has a nasty tendency to coin terms which are not really intended to be used by others and which do not enter the general vocabulary of philosophy. Alas, most of these journals are probably not available in html, but the day may come. -- WikiPedant 06:10, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Wonderful, many thanks. Looks like Erkenntnis and Philosophical Studies have what I need. They're very rich in missing words -- close to 3%, almost twice the yield I've been getting from Science and Nature -- though you're right that some of that may not quite be dictionary material. Will start posting 2008 lists shortly, once I've written up the code to extract Springer's metadata. -- Visviva 07:34, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
These are up now, should you care to take a look: E, PS. Thanks again for your help. -- Visviva 14:43, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I added new citation (abnormal)[edit]

If it doesn't help, can you do it for everyone please? If I can't do it, then show me what you can really do, and not just ask me to do it for you. Steel Blade 21:59, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

This reply posted to User_talk:Steel_Blade:
Hello Steel Blade -- I reworked the entry for abnormal a bit and replaced the example sentences with classic literary quotations which I believe illuminate the meanings.
-- WikiPedant 04:59, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Leading bullets in R: templates[edit]

Hi WP. Please don’t do this; it breaks the instances where the template is included in an article in <ref>…</ref> tags. Ideally, none of the templates shouls have these leading bullets (in my, Visviva’s, and some others’ opinions). If you don’t mind, I’ll revert the revision. I’ll start a Beer Parlour discussion about this anon.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:01, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

OK, Raif. Seems to me there are lots of dictionary templates which have long had leading bullets, though, and the "References" sections look goofy if some lines have bullets and some don't. I made the change because of the inconsistent appearance of the "References" section at imposition. -- WikiPedant 16:05, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, but AutoFormat should be able to sort that out. I’ve made the appeal…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:57, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

drift off[edit]

Your recent edits are being discussed in the Tea room. I, for one, would like to hear your take on the issue.—msh210 18:11, 10 February 2009 (UTC)


I have created category:Operations as part of an effort to add to and organise the vocabulary of business and economics terms. I welcome your thoughts. DCDuring TALK 11:12, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Hello DC -- Yes, indeed, this strikes me as a desirable category. This is a standard area of business activity and studies. I added a couple more entries under the category. -- WikiPedant 22:36, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Commonwealth English[edit]


Thanks for the Canadian cites;[2] I haven't heard this version used here (crossing the floor is more common).

I'll take a turn at being a pedant: there's no such dialect as Commonwealth English, and I'll wager that your dictionary doesn't use the term. Terms which come from Britain or are used in several British colonies are labelled Brit(ish), and careful dictionaries also include Cdn/Canadian and N Amer(ican), since Canadian spelling and vocabulary differ from British and US.

For a case such as cross the aisle I would use British and Canadian.

Warning: I'm on a tear about this; outline of my scheming at WT:BP#British EnglishMichael Z. 2009-04-01 18:43 z

Hello Mzajac -- Yes, I know you're on a tear. I don't have particularly strong feelings about the viability/non-viability of {{CE}}, but it does make for briefer contexts than listing Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand (in all of which I suspect "cross the aisle" is used). I also notice that your current practice is resulting in a mix of adjectives (e.g., British) and nouns (e.g., Canada) in the contexts . You seem to be a person of strongly held convictions, but I'm not quite sure what your beef was with describing the context as (UK) rather than (British). I generally prefer to see the briefest terminology possible inside the context parentheses and don't care for the mixture of POS's. -- WikiPedant 18:53, 1 April 2009 (UTC)
If we can narrow the attestations enough, then we do need some efficient way to indicate the precise range of geographic usage, but it's not like we're wasting paper. It's not a big problem currently, because our paper references use a limited range of labels to save space, and because study of regionalisms fairly young. But more detail is available in several dictionaries of regionalisms worldwide; they are coming to the web, and we will be keeping pace.
“UK” is in the same category as CE: practically absent from linguistics and lexicography, and misleading, since many editors and readers take it to mean something other than the term in use. When every known dictionary labels a term Brit., and we have no choice to transcribe it as UK, then our scholarship is lacking. To save typing, I've just added {{Brit}} and {{brit}}, and {{UK}} won't stop working either. Perhaps the label text should be abbreviated as it is in many dictionaries, and rely on tooltips and links for fuller explanation.
Regarding label text, every single dictionary I've encountered seems to use adjectives, or lacking these, attributive nouns for their major labels: Brit(ish), Amer(ican), N(orth) Amer(ican), Cdn/Canad(ian), Aus(tral[ian]), NZ/New Zealand, Ir(ish). None use labels as we do. I'll propose changing the labels' text later. This is minor, but the correct usage more clearly denotes language variety or dialect, and will help avoid confusion with the rather different geographic subject labels (e.g., the COD's “in the UK” vs. “Brit.”).
There are many disadvantages of these arbitrary differences from universal practices in lexicography. They add up and result in editors having fundamental misunderstandings of basic concepts like the nature and function of context labels, and readers being confronted with categories containing a dog's breakfast of dialect, entries related regional geography, and entries merely in a location. Besides that, using made-up dialect names won't get us any respect. If it can be better, why not change it? Michael Z. 2009-04-01 20:04 z
Michael, I don't really disagree with any of this, although I think your crusade will result in adding to the intra-parenthetical character counts of many contexts (fattening them up a bit). However, you seem to be right about these being the usual practices of other dictionaries (including the OED, which is my gold standard). Knock yourself out. -- WikiPedant 05:11, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

laughing stock[edit]

In my experience (and on searching the web), the form written with a space is much more common. --EncycloPetey 04:55, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Hello Petey -- Yes a JSTOR academic search also favours the two-word version. Curiously, the OED uses the hyphenated version while the Random House (my favourite American-English dictionary) goes with the single word version. Anyhow, I'll switch it so that the main entry is the two-word version. May have to do it later, though -- Response time is going all to hell for me. -- WikiPedant 05:08, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Response time was problematic for me as well at about that time. --EncycloPetey 05:38, 18 April 2009 (UTC)


The usage notes you've added do not apply to the English word, but to the original Ancient Greek root. There was no English in antiquity. --EncycloPetey 23:32, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Hello Petey -- No, indeed there wasn't. However, I think these notes can reasonably be regarded as applying to both English and classical Greek. When (admittedly, educated) people speak of the sophists in English, they may be using the term "sophist" to refer to the first or relatively early sophists (who were very reputable professional teachers covering all the areas of learning of the time) or to the sophists of later antiquity (more likely to be specialists in rhetoric). These distinctions in usage exist regardless of the language, and the point of the usage notes is that one should try to be cognizant of the time period if one is speaking of sophists. (PS -- I realize that these distinctions can also be enunciated by creating different senses for the term, but I think usage notes are better, since the transitions from the sophistry of one ancient time period to the sophistry of another ancient time period are not precise.) -- WikiPedant 04:30, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Please re-examine the wording of the usage notes with an eye to the point I've raised. The first usage note says "In earliest usage, a sophist was..." which ought to mean the earliest usage of the English word sophist, but actually means "the original Ancient Greek sense" of a word not presented in the entry (except as a transliteration). The notes, as they are surrently written, do not apply to the English word's usage. --EncycloPetey 04:33, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. While you were writing this message I was already rewording the usage note. -- WikiPedant 04:36, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Business-related categories[edit]

I'm not 100% happy with the set of Category:Business. It seems to lack the right one for investing, especially personal investing. (stockpicker was the stimulus for asking you.) Should "personal finance" or "personal investing" be categories? There may already be too many categories, although I have tried to patrol them to keep them consistent at least in my eyes. Thoughts? DCDuring TALK 11:28, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Hello DC -- Funny you should mention it. I originally started this entry with {{context|investing}}, but ultimately went with the generic {{business}}. Stock uses {{finance}}. The current choices cause confusion because they overlap. But detailed cats like "personal finance" or "personal investing" might not reduce confusion since they will just proliferate the number of choices. It's a jungle out there. -- WikiPedant 15:16, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
There's also trading, banking. "Investing" might work for some things. Maybe I'll hold off until the existing categories seem overpopulated, which they are not. Already, I find that some items are in 3 categories. Let me know about any ideas you might have in this arena. DCDuring TALK 18:34, 28 May 2009 (UTC)


Is East necessary? Indian is of India, while West Indian is of the West Indies. Indian as in American Indian or First Nations isn't ever used as a language variety or regional dialect, as far as I know (and if it were, then couldn't East Indian English be the vernacular of the Passamaquoddy of Maine as opposed to the Navajo of Arizona?).

Dictionaries tend to be very concise, and I've never seen the label East Indian in any (but I admit I have very seldom seen Indian at all). In my opinion, it's bad form to add a disambiguator unless there really is ambiguity. I mean, if you really thought it might mean something else, then it could be justified, but please don't add qualifiers because you assume that someone else might make the mistake—write well by showing due respect to the reader. Cheers. Michael Z. 2009-06-09 00:08 z

Hello Michael -- I find "Indian" by itself to be a natural candidate for a double-take (for the very reason you mention, that it seems to hardly ever be used as a language variety or dialect name), and I don't think it shows any respect for the reader to give him/her occasion for double-takes. "East Indian" is a standard term used especially in distinction to "West Indian" and both (a) the English-speaking Indians of India and (b) the English-speaking inhabitants of the Caribbean Indies do have their own distinct English vocabularies and dialects. So, to answer your initial question, while I'm not 100% sure what is necessary around here, I am quite sure that the addition of the qualifier "East" is a clarifying improvement. -- WikiPedant 04:16, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
How does your dictionary define East Indian? In Canada it used to be used as an ethnic identifier for people from the Indian subcontinent, back in the days when it was okay to refer to First Nations people as Indians in formal writing. It never really referred to a country like India (or “East India”, which is what it sound like). Today it is becoming obsolete, replaced by South Asian—I don't know if anyone would find the term insulting, but it is definitely reminiscent of a speech register which would sound vaguely racist today.
Elsewhere, it means of South and Southeast Asia, of the Malay Archipelago, of Indonesia, or of the East Indies.[3][4]
But it doesn't actually mean Indian. It is incorrect, and potentially misleading. The label should say exactly what it means, Indian, and link to Category:Indian English, which needs to have a detailed explanation of the label and variety of English. Michael Z. 2009-06-10 13:37 z
The OED uses the label Anglo-Indian for the language variety, and says that in India East Indian is a dated synonym for Eurasian, meaning “[o]f mixed European and Asiatic (esp. Indian) parentage”. Michael Z. 2009-06-10 13:42 z
Yes, Anglo-Indian sounds best so far. But, frankly, none of the candidate labels strike me as being as good as the "Indian English" label that was superseded when you made all the labels adjectival. Anyhow, if you want to change the label to Anglo-Indian, I'm fine with that. -- WikiPedant 22:07, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Our regional labels are strictly regional, and aren't dedicated to a particular language, so neither Indian English nor Anglo-Indian is suitable. For example, template:India could be applied to Bengali terms used in India and not in Bengladesh, or Urdu terms used in India and not Pakistan. There's nothing wrong with the label “Indian” for a thing of India.
Please forgive me, but I'm going to revert. As I've mentioned above, there are some real problems with East Indian, not the least of which is that it doesn't mean “Indian” in India. I really think this needs more eyes in the Beer Parlour before it can be improved. Michael Z. 2009-06-11 01:02 z

two wrongs don’t make a right exemplars[edit]

Yeah, you got me! :-D    (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 12:36, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Hello Raif -- I took it as a welcome moment of levity in this all-too-often deadly-serious dictionary-building enterprise. -- WikiPedant 14:52, 19 June 2009 (UTC)


Could I get you to reconsider your objection to using chiefly? I've included some information from a related survey of dictionary labels, and rephrased the proposal. Michael Z. 2009-06-30 12:50 z


I appreciate your cleaning up after me. I'm trying to push on to normalize a lot of entries, which means that quality suffers a bit. I probably should sleep more. Thanks again. DCDuring TALK 04:17, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Hello DC -- The phrase/proverb situation was about due for straightening out. I've made many such little editing slips too, especially during the wee hours. Ah, to sleep. Perchance to dream. . . . -- WikiPedant 04:37, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
You might be amused by this description of a set of categories. Does anything about that set remind of anything here? DCDuring TALK 18:51, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh yeah, The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. That's us to a T. Old Borges is actually one of my favourite authors. This would also be a good title for the unabridged collection of all the mass-email memos dispatched by my university's administration. -- WikiPedant 19:03, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Proverbs and Idioms (2)[edit]

I don't know whether I should have removed the tags without getting a sense of the community. IMHO, a proverb is probably close to always is idiomatic. I was thinking it might be nice to include the Proverb category in the Idiom category if they are not already, as a reminder if someone is looking at idioms. I suppose there might be a case where there is a straight reading that we might show as a contrastive, in which case the idiom marker might get used. Do you think this should be BPed? DCDuring TALK 23:41, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Hello DC -- There are lots of aspects of proverbs I'm not so sure about. But it seems to me that some proverbs are not idioms. For example -- every rule has an exception, everything happens for a reason, shit happens, a fool and his money are soon parted. I read these as flat-out literal statements even though they have probably achieved proverbial status in the English language. -- WikiPedant 01:34, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
PS -- I thought this sounded vaguely familiar. I discussed it a bit last year with Panda10 --]. -- WikiPedant 01:37, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
OK, I have only done this to a very few of these (yesterday and today only are the ones I'll be able to find). I might have done it before. I will revert what I have done these two days with idiom tags for the past two days. I am trying to sort our other aspect of Phrase, Idiom, Proverb and Interjection, headers by assigning them to grammatical categories, mostly our L3 PoS header/categories, but also Category:English sentences (which includes independent clauses not normally used as sentences), Category:English subordinate clauses, Category:English prepositional phrases and rarely others. If I am ever going to get that substantially done, I guess I can't do full-blown cleanups and I'm likely to make an above-normal number of mistakes. So mostly I'm going to be inserting {{infl}} into entries that seem proverbial, whatever their header. BTW, There is some terse wikicode you can insert on a user page to monitor the most recent X additions to a category, like proverbs. I don't know that there is anything for removals. Let me know if you want it. DCDuring TALK 02:04, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
OK undone, I think. DCDuring TALK 02:28, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Righto, DC. I'm quite content to leave the full exegesis of the relationship between proverbiality and idiomaticity for another day. -- WikiPedant 16:56, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Why either of these are L3 headers is beyond me. The definitions for both are not sharp and they are not even a part of basic education. Whatever the weaknesses of the other accepted PoS headers, they are vastly more widely known, used and accepted (even "Phrase"). DCDuring TALK 17:06, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
I always change L3 "Idiom" headers to something else. In the past, I also often disposed of "Proverb" headers (usually opting for "Phrase"), but I've given up on getting rid of "Proverb" headers since you went to work standardizing them (which actually is OK with me). -- WikiPedant 17:16, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

pairs of proverbs[edit]

Hard to attest to any form of this except "proverbs come in pairs". It ought to be proverb itself, but doesn't seem to be - yet. DCDuring TALK 00:10, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Hello DC -- I'm pretty sure that when I originally added this material, I performed a variety of searches and found all of these forms (although some were very rare). And I prefer to include every minimally supportable alternative form so that users will get a hit for pretty much any reasonable variant they search on (and also so that subsequent editors will not create needless separate defns for the alt forms). But I sometimes wonder whether the really uncommon alt forms should just be redirects instead, although (as I think you noted once) one problem with our redirects is that Google doesn't seem to recognize them (even though I think it does recognize Wikipedia's redirects). -- WikiPedant 01:13, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Template R:OneLook[edit]

FYI, I have created the template {{R:OneLook}}, for simplification. You've been creating links to OneLook manually, so I thought you might like the template. --Dan Polansky 10:21, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Hello Dan -- Very nice. I just tried it out at dead duck to see if it works OK with multiple-word terms. I'll be using it. Thanks. -- WikiPedant 15:11, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
PS -- I suppose some editors (esp. Robert Ullmann) might prefer to see the quotation marks removed. He's been removing them from R:templates. There's some inconsistency on that. I sort of prefer the quotation marks, since quotation marks are often used to identify a mention rather than a use of a term. -- WikiPedant 15:17, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Hello WikiPedant, I'm glad you like the template. I prefer quotation marks too, but if someone removes them, I won't fight for them; it's not all that critically important. --Dan Polansky 15:24, 28 August 2009 (UTC)


I see you put the obsolete senses last, but why? That is not any kind of policy that I know of. It also makes the sense development of the word seem rather obscure, since the Old French source means "day". Ƿidsiþ 07:58, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Hello Widsith -- Yes, I know there's no policy. I've pretty much given up on looking for policy guidance on most points here. There are 2 ways to look at it: (1) The way you do, which is to treat the definitions as a kind of chronology, following the same logical progression as etymology (at which you so manifestly excel!), or (2) listing the definitions, more-or-less, in order of prevalence of usage of the senses, following the logic that the order of the senses should, more-or-less, mirror degree of familiarity, from most common to most obscure. Dictionaries are inconsistent on this. Even the OED sometimes seems to follow approach (1) and sometimes approach (2). But I favor (2) simply because I think, from the dictionary users' point of view, it seems to be natural and sensible to start with what people are most likely to be looking for and proceed to what is more esoteric. -- WikiPedant 17:19, 16 September 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for letting me know. It was my trackpad button's fault. I get 2 clicks for one sometimes. I have undone the revert. What he had done is the kind of thing I do, hardly what I object to. Time to use a standalone mouse and look for a new machine. DCDuring TALK 01:49, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Page moves[edit]

You're right, but you shouldn't convert one page into a redirect and move the content to the other, just move it back. But don't worry, that's just a technical issue, you are right. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:20, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Hello Mglovesfun -- Yeah, he'd already edited on top of his move. So I actually restored an earlier version. That's why I did it that way. -- WikiPedant 23:22, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
You should be able to move the page, then revert to an archived version. But you might have needed an admin to delete the redirect in between. Still, no harm done really. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:24, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

to not part of headword[edit]

Do what you want, but "to" isn't part of the headword. I also take the brackets from someone, somebody, one, oneself, and something. I would have though we'd want to indicate the inessential part of the inflection line. Leaving those words un-wikilinked seems to me to do the job. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 00:24, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Hello DC -- I thought those changes might flush you out. Long ago, when I first got here, I used to do what you are doing now, but then along came Connel (see User_talk:WikiPedant#Quick reminder above) to instruct me otherwise. I've since learned that there really are no standards for this sort of thing, but I have to admit that multi-word inflection lines only look aesthetically satisfactory to me now when every component term is blue-linked. -- WikiPedant 00:54, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree on the aesthetics, but IMO the usability argument trumps it.
OK, DC, look at it this way--The full definiendum does include the word "to", since definitions of verbs are properly expressed in the infinitive form. So it is perfectly reasonable to count the "to" as an implicit headword and to link it. And with regard to your point about distinguishing "inessential" parts of the definiendum, well I don't like to prejudge what users may find essential or inessential. If it's in the definiendum, it's in the definiendum.
Have you seen the vote that Ruakh is bruiting concerning the role of infinitives in translation? In any event, we use "to" principally as an extra reminder that we are dealing with a verb (certainly in glosses). Some English grammars focus on the "bare" infinitive, identical to the "base form" for almost all verbs. I don't see it a blue or white issue, we have some terms that are meaningful in the inflection line an some that are not. "To" is not even in the headword for any one-word verb. The indefinite pronouns as mere slot-markers also ought to be marked as different. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 19:56, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I also like to make sure that any multiword that is part of the inflection line is linked, rather than individual words and I wish that there were faint underlinings under the units linked to distinguish.
I agree. At least the underlining appears when you pass your cursor over the links. And in Wiktionary, under "My Preferences", you can select "Appearance" and then select "Always" for link underlining (but it's overkill really).
I'm not so concerned for me, but rather for anons. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 19:56, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Though I miss CM in many ways, I don't agree with every decision he tried to impose on en.wikt and don't think the more autocratic parts of his style were good for us.
BTW, I've been work on Help:Writing_definitions a bit. At the bottom is some stuff about specifics for parts of speech. I've put some material in on some of them. You seem to like idioms and proverbs. Perhaps you could say a few words on that or some other aspect of the subject. I've gotten inspired because I have been reading Landau, who should be required reading for all of us, though he is not exactly up to the minute. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 01:15, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Maybe I'll get to that, but I already spend too much time here (just can't seem to get the wiki-monkey off my back) and I try not to get drawn too far into the project pages. -- WikiPedant 19:19, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
It is a way of leveraging what you have learned for the benefit of the project. A paragraph or two won't kill you. DCDuring TALK * Holiday Greetings! 19:56, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Oh, it might. Wouldn't take much. I think I'll just stick to hobby time in mainspace for the foreseeable future. -- WikiPedant 23:21, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

What languages do you like to work on, while here at English Wiktionary?[edit]

I know English (Very well), actually its my home language, and french (not so good), all i really know is "bonjour" and "jeter", espanol (really not much took it back in 5th grade elementary school.) como es tas? and mal. Anymore, and I will notify you. Thank you. --Knoblauch 21:07, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

stopwords and search[edit]

Hi. The reason I didn't keep the redirect was that words like "the", "a", "you", "it" are search-software stopwords. That is, though the software uses them for exact matches with the headword (first tenth of a second or so after it gets the request), it drops them if it initial search fails (next second or so). Thus, a form of a multi-word expression without a leading article would show up at the top of the first search page for a search entered with the leading article. Of course, the presence of a redirect does eliminate the need for an extra download-and-click cycle so the user is better off with the redirect.

In short, I should have left the redirect selected. DCDuring TALK 10:21, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Hello DC -- I'm glad we're in agreement that the redirect is appropriate in this case. And I agree with you that the main entry needed changing, to remove the "a" from the headwords. -- WikiPedant 17:04, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Header for examples vote changed to "Samples"[edit]

As there seemed to a clear majority for a change in the header, it has been changed to "Samples". The vote has been extended 7 days to allow time to (re-)consider one's position. Sorry for the inconvenience. --Bequw¢τ 03:16, 20 January 2010 (UTC)