Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2007/August

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Beer parlour archives edit



Do we have a page for recording known copyvio offenders? --EncycloPetey 00:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I extracted a list from 15,000 block log entries from April 2006. All of the lines that contain "copy" without matching the case are being included in it. --Tohru 07:24, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it is reasonable to have something to this effect. Would the primary focus be on contributors or targeted articles or both? Beyond WT:OP, I don't think we have an existing mechanism for tracking these, yet. --Connel MacKenzie 16:33, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Are names translingual?

Symbols like B (the blood type) and C (the chemical symbol) have language header Translingual. Now consider names -- especially surnames, but also, to a lesser extent, given names. Aren't (many of) these translingual also? For example, consider García, listed as a Spanish surname. Yes, it's a Spanish surname. But it also appears numerous times in English texts, unitalicized, used (not mentioned), etc., and meets, I think, CFI as an English word. Of course, you'll tell me, "So add an 'English' section.". But this discussion is more general than just being about García. The same is true of many surnames. See, e.g., Reich (listed as a German, but not an English, surname), Ahmed (Arabic, not English, given name), Dupont (French, not English, surname). These are all English names also; in fact, I suspect that they're names in any language that uses the Latin alphabet. So shouldn't they all be listed as translingual? —msh210 13:54, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

The trade-off with "translingual" language sections is that they don't admit of pronunciation sections (since pronunciations are language-specific). —RuakhTALK 14:25, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Translingual also imples things that aren't necessarily true of names. A translingual word is accepted as an international standard in most cases, like chemical symbols for elements, blood types, or scientific names of biological taxa. Names are very individual, and only cross languages when an individual crosses languages, either through physical immigration or through extraordinary fame. Also, translingual imples that it is always spelled the same way in various languages, which is not always the case. As a specific example of both points, consider the name Josephine, which in most usages can be traced back to the fame of Napoleon Bonaparte's wife. Although a few scattered usages of the name can be found earlier as a feminine form of Joseph, it is very, very rare and occurs in only a couple of languages before the 19th century. The name therefore has a specific origin and etymology through one individual in a single language, and spread from there. However, it isn't always spelled Josephine. In Polish, the name is Józefa. In Italian, it is Giuseppina. So, we can't simply mark names as "Translingual". --EncycloPetey 16:52, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Why do we use translingual as a heading, anyhow? Shouldn't we restrict headings to actual words? [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]. --Connel MacKenzie 19:18, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
As an aside, Connel, do you think I should add a definition for a sixth sense to translingual? Something along the lines of “Common misspelling of translating”? ;-) † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 19:28, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm to assume good faith of that troll, precisely how? --Connel MacKenzie 07:45, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
By recognizing it as a joke. —RuakhTALK 16:53, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
So then, you advocate insults if they are directed at someone you don't like? Or if they come from someone you are protecting irrationally? Very interesting. And very typical of you. --Connel MacKenzie 18:01, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm glad to hear I'm consistent. :-)
In all seriousness — if you think the above comment is an insult, then either you are a raging hypocrite, or you must think your own, frequently over-the-top comments are out-and-out death threats. Should I be fearing for my life?
RuakhTALK 19:02, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I suppose it would be inconsistent, if you didn't say something so ridiculous and obviously untrue. If you note the timestamps, my comment (about the troll he posted) was shortly after being asked to AGF of a user who has repeatedly demonstrated actions in bad faith. Much, I might add, like some of yours (e.g. your preceding comment.) --Connel MacKenzie 19:22, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Reading the third sense, I’d say he already does… :D † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 16:58, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Fine, so people from 200 years ago (like the original Joséphine) (and also people in the Bible) are known by different names in different languages, and if the original Joséphine were the only Joséphine, then I wouldn't call it translingual. But the entry Joséphine doesn't have "Napoleon's wife" as its definition. It has "a given name" as its definition (as it should). And that name is, in fact, translingual, isn't it? Giuseppina and Josephine are other names, cognate, if you will, to Joséphine, which are also translingual. No?
Let me forestall the argument "When translating books, translators often translate the personal names too, so we see that they are not translingual": (1) They often don't, especially, I suspect, for names that are in wide use today and that people, therefore, know, like Ahmed. (2) Even assuming they always do: My argument above stands: the word Ahmed does appear in English (in a way, even, that satisfies the CFI); so the translators are, I guess, foolish/wrong to translate it. —msh210 20:05, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Names are never translated, in any usual sense of that word. When it comes to Arabic, the names aren't translated; they are transliterated, which is not the same thing. And different authors or publishers will transliterate Arabic differently. The same applies to Russian, Chinese, etc. Remember sometime back when the Chinese government declared a preference for a particular transliteration scheme over the one currently in use? Overnight, the spellings of hundreds of well-known Chinese names of people and places changed their "English" spellings. This is because the names had been transliterated. If they had been actual English words, then it wouldn't have mattered what the Chinese government thought, because their government has no control over the English language.
When it comes to European languages that share the Latin alphabet between them, names are either:
  1. retained in their original forms ("Jan Sobieski" does not become "John Sobieski" or "John of Sobieszyn" in English; "Lorenzo dei Medici" does not become "Laurence of the Doctors"), or...
  2. normalized to local equivalents (like King Stephen of Hungary, who was and is known as "István" in Hungarian). Such names are almost never "translated", and there are very few cases I know of where a name is actually translated in the sense of replacing words in one language with words in another. Charlesmagne is one example that comes to mind, as I have seen his name rendered in English as "Charles the Great". Such translations are usually restricted to translating a descriptive epithet, rather than translating a surname or proper name element.
It is not meaningful in most cases to speak of name "translations", but rather of "equivalents" between languages. These equivalents are borrowings, often from an intermediary language such as Latin when dealing with names in Europe. --EncycloPetey 08:05, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

If this my suggestion is turned down, and names are not listed as translingual, I suppose we can have a spate of additions to the dictionary such as García, Reich, Ahmed, Dupont, Giuseppe, all listed as English words. (There already are a number of such entries, such as Leonardo, Antonio, and Brutus.) I can't see why anyone would object to that, assuming each such sense individually is attested, but does anyone? —msh210 20:05, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps we should have some kind of a guideline assigning the language of origin for names based on the popularity of the name in particular language regions. Consider the construction of names themselves. The English surname "Smith" comes from blacksmithing. The Spanish equivalent is the Spanish word for smith, Herrero. Formation of patronymics is also key. An English and a Spanish person named Roger and Rodrigo, respectively, might spawn a line with the names Rogerson and Rodriguez, respectively (but not Rogerez and Rodrigoson). bd2412 T 23:51, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

New vote: Wiktionary:Votes/cu-2007-08/SemperBlotto

I have started a new vote, for another (much needed) CheckUser. Without being too beans-ish, I feel that he is by far the best candidate at this time. In e-mail discussions, it is clear he understands the technical basics, which can be fine-tuned once all CheckUsers (particularly meta:'s CheckUsers) can speak to him openly. --Connel MacKenzie 07:41, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Slovak language

There are a quite some entries in Slovak (581 after User:Robert Ullmann/L2), but there is not really a system. Any people who speak some Slovak willing to think about writing Wiktionary:About Slovak and standardizing some entries? H. (talk) 14:28, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean "not really a system"? What sort of stardization is needed? Could you please elaborate? --EncycloPetey 18:19, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Putting quotations on subpages—an idea that flunked Database Management 101

This issue may be old hat for some, but I intensely disagree with the practice of putting quotations on subpages of entries. Examples of such subpages can be found appended to give stick, caughten, romance, the scandalous for all intensive purposes, and (most appropriately) mess. No doubt there are many more.

Aside from the issues of convenience and aesthetics (and I do believe that this subpage configuration is a kludge that is both inconvenient and inelegant), the biggest problem with this practice is that it requires that the definitions in the main entry be duplicated in the subpage. This violates one of the most basic and venerable rules of database design: Do not include redundant user-maintained data fields within a database. The result is inevitably that the separate, redundant records (or definitions, in our case) get out of sync as users (and Wiktionary has a whole planet of users) change one but not the other and the whole database turns inexorably into a pile of dog biscuits.

As an editor who puts a lot of effort into adding quotations, I am increasingly fearful that much of my work will sooner or later be banished to these sorts of disaster-in-waiting subpages. It frankly does not speak well for the collective judgment of the administrators that this dangerous, foolish practice is being tolerated. -- WikiPedant 17:56, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Your a bit late with this discussion. We voted to put them in a new Citations: namespace last month. --EncycloPetey 18:17, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Ouch, I've never followed the voting. Well, my interest in sticking around here as an editor just took a nosedive... -- WikiPedant 18:37, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
You should also know that we recently discussed the format of example sentences as placed before quotations, even stating that quotations are preferable. There are several reasons for adding a separate space for citations, none of which involve banishing quotations to that space. One is to preserve citations of terms that are not fully attested. Another is to consolidate quotations of similar spellings, inflections, etc. that in the main namespace must be separated. I've found that when there are many quotations, having a full listing is useful for selection of those highlighted in the main space.
I assume that your quotations are mainly of undisputed terms and from well-known works, so none of those are issues that you often deal with, or that apply to your contributions. Your interpretation of that decision and its motivation could easily be misguided. Furthermore, the separate pages do not violate the principle you stated since definitions are to be glossed, at most, and only when necessary. A good example is the criteria subpage, where the only distinction that needs to be made is in the countability. DAVilla 07:43, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The wording of that vote says nothing about whether we shall prefer quotations within the entry page or quotations on a separate page. Instead, it just decided whether separate quotation pages, when they exist, should be in the main namespace or in the “Citations” namespace. The “Voting on” line of Wiktionary:Votes/2007-06/Citations namespace says, “Creation of a Citations: namespace to be populated by all current /Citations subpages, explicitly for listing quotations and references of English words and phrases.” I don't think there has been any official decision about whether we prefer inline quotations or quotations on separate pages. Rod (A. Smith) 18:56, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
In fact, the policy page WT:QUOTE#Subpages even cautions against using separate pages, saying, “Beware here... a not widely accepted format, developed and defended by only a handful of users. It may prove beneficial in the long run, but some people will encourage you not to.” Rod (A. Smith) 19:10, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Now that the Citations: namespace has been approved, I think it's fair to assume that there's general support for the use of citations pages in at least some cases. They're definitely being overused, though. —RuakhTALK 21:26, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Personally, I want to see at least one dated citation per definition in the main entry. I only shift Quotations to a subpage when the list becomes too unwieldy for the main entry and needs its own page. Consider the citations pages for listen or parrot. I would consider a citations page like that the minimum length necessary to warrant a separate page. Of course the Citations namespace was nominated originally for an entriely separate reason: that we needed a place to accumulate citations for potential entries that did not yet exist, and for which we haven't yet accumulated sufficient citations to pass CFI. That's a valuable use of the namespace that can't be cirumvented by putting citations on the main page. --EncycloPetey 21:54, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I think this brings up an important point, which is that Citations pages should not be broken down by definition, and especially not by numbered definition (although some sort of rough context/semantic-field labelling might not go amiss). WikiPedant is right to note that this will rapidly lead to irreparable messiness. -- Visviva 22:51, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
When citations are not marked according to POS and sense, they loose their function as documentary support for a particular sense of a word. If I'm trying to evaluate and possibly revise the definitions for a particular word, I want to see them sorted according to the proposed sense they support. While I understand your position, I don;t think its results are ultimately beneficial to the user who will want to see quotations supporting a particular sense. We already have a coordination problem as you describe between the definitions/synoynms/translations even when they're on the same page, so having the same problem with the quotations isn't any different. --EncycloPetey 07:05, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I think breaking it down the way translations are broken down on the page works fine. Hey, why don't we just use a collapsible section like we do for translations? Then we can have citations on the page but out of sight unless they are sought? Or are there actual page-size issues in citations? bd2412 T 02:22, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Can you explain to me how that would work for an English entry like set? --EncycloPetey 07:06, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
If anyone’s interested, this is also being discussed here. Especially note my proposal to develop “some kind of mechanism which [to import] the definitions from the entry to the subpage”. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:30, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

(what possible indent level ;-) I voted for the namespace, we should get it created (have we asked the gnomes yet?). But I am very much against moving illuminating quotations from the main namespace pages, much less automatically. Most lexicographers maintain a huge "clippings" database. We, not so much, because we can use google books and such. But that requires analysis every time. We should be adding anything we come across that might be useful sometime to the Citations: namespace, including for entries that do not exist yet. The entries themselves should always—whenever possible—contain a few useful quotations; they should not all be banished to the Citations pages. The tab at the top of the page that now appears if you select it, and there is a (psuedo) subpage should appear in the standard I/F if there is a Citations: namespace entry. Robert Ullmann 19:09, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Cool, but could you give us a specific example to go see? --EncycloPetey 20:12, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Discussion of specific users

Currently, there's no general way to discuss a user. Certain specific actions can be proposed at certain pages (viz, addition to the patrolled-edits whitelist, endowment with a privilege (administrator/checkuser/bureaucrat/etc.), revocation of a privilege), and a user can be given a warning at his talk-page (which allows a certain kind of discussion to take place), but there's no good, general way to say "I propose action ____ regarding user ____", or "I think user ____ should be discussed, with the possibility of some action being taken as a result of this discussion." For example, if I think a certain user might be a vandal, there's no good place for me to solicit other administrators' attention; I can either post a comment on the user's talk page and keep an eye on his contributions page to see if his intentions become clearer, or I can block him. I can't take advantage of other administrators' (and other editors') experience in recognizing patterns of vandalism; I have to act fairly unilaterally. For another example, a certain administrator attempted an action not so long ago that many of us felt was inappropriate and warranted censure. (Specifically, he tried to delete an active discussion that he had, rightly or wrongly, taken personally. As it happens, he got confused and accidentally deleted the page it was on — a high-volume discussion page — which led to a vote to revoke his administrator privilege. When his true intent became clear, this vote failed.) However, nothing came of these feelings, as not only do we lack a formal system of censure, but indeed, we lack even a page at which to discuss such things. (Note: In the interest of full disclosure, I should make explicit what most of you probably already realize: neither of these examples is my actual motivation for proposing such a page.)

So firstly, do y'all generally agree that such a page would be useful? Secondly, what would be a good name for it? (I want to suggest something like Wiktionary:Gossip lounge since we'll be talking about people, but something tells me that might set the wrong tone for the page.) Thirdly, what would be some good starting rules? I'm thinking:

  1. Do your best to assume that all editors are acting in good faith at all times. Even if an editor acts misguidedly in anger, that does not mean that all of that editor's actions are suspect.
  2. If you bring up an editor for discussion, be sure to leave him or her a note at his talk-page, so he or she has a chance to participate in the discussion. (If the editor has been blocked, please note that here as well.)
  3. If you are brought up for discussion here, you are welcome to participate. Please do your best to keep a cool head; neither going on the offensive nor becoming very defensive is likely to convince other editors of your good faith.
  4. If you are actively involved in a dispute with an editor, bringing him or her up for discussion can seem like an escalation of that dispute, and make matters worse rather than better. It might be best to ask a neutral party to evaluate whether a discussion here is warranted, and if so, to ask that party to bring the editor up for discussion here.
  5. Be positive and constructive, and where possible, use specific examples to illustrate your points.
  6. It can be helpful to mention specific relevant policies, but be careful to avoid so-called "wikilawyering" (no offense to lawyers). The spirit of a policy is more important than its details. Keep in mind also that Wikipedia policies, while often instructive, do not necessarily apply here.
  7. Discussion here does not authorize an action. If an administrator or other editor takes an action (e.g., blocking a user) based on discussion here, that administrator or editor is responsible for that action. Actions requiring a vote (e.g., granting or revoking a privilege) should be brought to Wiktionary:Votes.

Opinions welcome. :-)

RuakhTALK 22:26, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I like the guidelines, but wonder if we couldn't just broaden the mandate of the Beer Parlour to include such discussions. I don't know if having more fragmented discussion spaces is a good idea. -- Visviva 23:09, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but I don't much like that idea, firstly because it might make an editor uncomfortable if an old, resolved discussion about them is just sitting here until someone gets around to archiving it, secondly because I imagine discussions about users will mostly be negative (human nature being what it is), so I don't think we'll want them on a high-volume discussion page that we often direct newbies to — not that they shouldn't know we have a dark underbelly, just that we might not want to show it off — thirdly because we'll probably want a well-organized archive such that it's easy to find any past discussions about a given user, and fourthly because having user discussions on the same page as policy discussions might make it more likely for policy discussions to spill over into user discussions. —RuakhTALK 00:15, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
As far as gossip, we probably have enough taking place already. I don't think it's healthy or should be legitimized. What's important personally is to have a place to determine if certain actions are acceptable. Without resurrecting any of the issues that I've argued in the past, I will turn on myself and say that on more than one occasion I've tampered with templates live when, though seemingly innocuous, the changes should have been completely tested first. A big job queue comes hand in hand with trouble since updates are greatly delayed. I would like others to have a place where they would feel comfortable asking about such actions, possibly mentioning my name, without having to confront me directly. Unfortunately it seems like the most acknowledged effort reflects on those who are willing to make confrontational statements and push others around, while it is not clear that the policies that are being pushed align exactly with those that have been agreed upon. In other words, the users where gray lines are questioned are not the vandal sort, so we should be questioning the policies and not the users. Since the Beer Parlour is ideal for that, I don't really see a need for another page. However, as far as reigning in administrator abuse, or creativity if you will, I would be interested in learning about and importing some of the resolution techniques that have been developed at Wikipedia. Nomination for desysopping is a huge step, and it seems like the only tool we have amongst ourselves. As we grow and gain more admins, there are going to be more disputes among us and it is going to be harder to keep everyone on the same page. This can already be a very ugly place, and I'd prefer to add tools that are more constructive than destructive. DAVilla 07:22, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree that there's already enough gossip; the problem is that it doesn't take a constructive form. I think part of the reason for this is that if a discussion is supposed to be about foo and turns into a personal dispute between two editors (or between one editor and the rest of the known universe), then no one's going to step in and help the editors try to resolve the dispute, because the whole thing is already off-topic and dispute resolution is even more so. There are certain editors whose disputes have become personal, and we need to deal with that somehow; and I don't think a general beer-parlour discussion that concludes "It is unacceptable to harass an editor because you've noticed that he tends to contribute words you dislike" is going to cut it. —RuakhTALK 15:01, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, so what are you proposing now? What type of actions would need to be taken against contributors who are not outright vandals? Presumably warnings would be a first step? How could we be certain that the behavior is not acceptable when bringing the issue up? How can we keep the conversation constructive? DAVilla 17:36, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Re: "Okay, so what are you proposing now?": What I've stated above is actually the extent of what I'm proposing. Re: "What type of actions would need to be taken against contributors who are not outright vandals? Presumably warnings would be a first step?": I'm thinking warnings, plus possibly voluntary good-faith measures — for example, if two contributors are regularly locking horns, we can ask each to agree not to get involved in discussions the other is already involved in for, say, two weeks. (Refusal to accept any such measures might ultimately result in blocks and/or votes to revoke privileges.) Those are just my thoughts, though, and I'm consciously not including them in the description of the page; over time, and with the input of many different editors, I assume we'll develop better organization of such things. (I direct your attention to guideline #7, by the way. That's one of the starting rules. At some point we might decide that a certain kind of action should be authorizable by discussion at this page, in which case we'd presumably have a beer-parlour discussion and/or vote to approve that rules change.) Re: "How could we be certain that the behavior is not acceptable when bringing the issue up?": If an editor is not sure whether a behavior is acceptable, then he probably shouldn't be bringing the issue up there at all — though he might ask other editors for their opinions. Alternatively, he can start a beer-parlour discussion about the behavior, though that really only works if it's a single specific behavior (as opposed to a long-term pattern of related behaviors). Re: "How can we keep the conversation constructive?": Through the good-faith participation of many parties. While a two-person discussion can rather easilydevolve into non-constructive pettiness, we'd have to be in pretty dire straits for a discussion among many editors to do so. —RuakhTALK 21:57, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I think that if an editor (user:X) is not certain whether the behaviour of another user (user:Y) is acceptable or not, then it would be a good idea for them (user:X) to start a discussion about that user's (user:Y's) behavior. Not to censure, but to bring it to the attention of the user concerned (user:Y) that (some of) their behaviour is being interpreted as close to the mark by at least one user (user:X). The user that is the subject of the discussion (user:Y) is quite likely unaware that their conduct is being so interpreted, and this will allow them chance to explain thier motivations. It is also possible that one or more other users could have similar concerns, and in this situation User:Y would probably be wise to reconsider their future behaviour.
Alternatively, it could be that only the commenting user (User:X) has an issue, in which case other users could reasure the commented-upon user (User:Y) that theor actions are not at fault, and at the same time give advice to User:X on how to interpret User:Y's actions.
In the event that User:Y's conduct is the wrong side of the line, then a resolution could be reached before the conduct gets worse.
Should a user bring excessive, pointless, frivalous or malicious discussions to the page, then this would warrant censure and/or action against them. Thryduulf 22:35, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. :-) —RuakhTALK 23:07, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Wiktionary:Requests for lynching? --Connel MacKenzie 17:49, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
    • support, but only if it has that title. ;-) Rod (A. Smith) 18:07, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
      • Although intended as a joke, it would not be funny at all in certain parts of the United States, where regular racial lynchings occurred in living memory. --EncycloPetey 18:32, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
        • What joke? Ruakh is proposing this, to target me specifically, because of my increasing frustration with a particular troll, of which he is sympathetic with. So he wants to penalize all of en.wikt, rather than take an honest look at the situation he walked into the middle of. --Connel MacKenzie 02:09, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
          • I am not proposing this to target you specifically. It's true that I think some of your various personal disputes need some sort of discussion if they're ever to reach a peaceful resolution (N.B. I do not consider lynching to be a peaceful resolution), and that this is my immediate motivation for proposing this page; but seeing as I'm not exactly a neutral party in all of those disputes, I wouldn't be the one to start such a discussion, and I leave open the possibility that neutral parties would examine these disputes and conclude no discussion could be productive. Further, while I've acknowledged that the above examples aren't my specific motivation for proposing this page, I nonetheless meant them seriously; neither is a hypothetical example, but rather, both are actual examples of times I've wished there were some good, productive-seeming way to get wider input on a user's conduct, and a recent comment here made me aware of Wikipedia's request-for-comments approach, which seemed readily appropriable for this purpose. (I take your comment to mean that you disagree? At least, you describe my proposing such a page as my "want[ing] to penalize all of en.wikt", which suggests that you think it's a bad idea. If you could elaborate, I'd appreciate it.) —RuakhTALK 02:59, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
            • Ignoring the first bit you wrote, (as I find it far too hard to believe,) I'll elaborate as you requested. No one has commented on your suggestion regarding naming it "Requests for arbitration" I believe, because so few Wiktionarians can lower themselves into the bureaucratic nightmare that is Wikipedia...I don't think the majority of readers here even understood your joke ("WT:RFA" vs. "w:WP:RFA") at all. (If wasn't a joke, then shame on you.) A handful of isolated incidents is not cause for that class of drudgery. I think all efforts to imitate Wikipedia in this regard should be excoriated immediately. We can't keep any of the backlogs we have under control, yet you wish to provide a troll-friendly forum to chew up inordinate amounts of peoples' time? We do have a de-sysop mechanism without that overhead, thank-you-very-much. De-bureaucrat, de-checkuser and even de-botting obviously would follow the same convention (although there hasn't quite been cause for any of those yet. The closest so far, was Ec's unilateral blocking & de-botting of a voted-on bot.) You suggest several names that don't fit, then conclude with "usurp WT:RFA" (to result in the name you apparently desired originally, Wiktionary:Requests for arbitration.) I'm so sorry, but that nightmare is not needed, nor desired here. As the personal focal point of numerous trolls this week, yes, I maintain that you suggested this explicitly with me in mind. --Connel MacKenzie 03:30, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
              • Yes, sorry, the "requests for admonishment" name suggestion was a joke — to me the word "admonishment" sounds very frivolous (or least, very childish), so I thought it would be clear when I described it as "less frivolous-sounding" that I was not being serious. In retrospect, I shouldn't have taken for granted that the word would have the same associations/connotations for other people as it has for me. (And perhaps I took the joke too far by suggesting an acronym in the RFC/RFV/RFD vein. By the way, note that w:WP:RFA actually points to w:Wikipedia:Requests for adminship.) As for your predictions of how the page would be: maybe you're right. I don't think it would be terribly troll-friendly, in that users who go on the offensive and refuse to calm down would obviously get blocked pretty quickly, and in that I think trolls would prefer to troll on a neutraller and better watched page (like the beer parlour), but I'm sure you have more experience with trolls than I do, so perhaps I should defer to your judgment. As for a vote to de-sysop you: but I don't want you to be de-sysopped. —RuakhTALK 15:52, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
                • Indeed. That's why as one of the newest sysops, you bait long-term sysops, disregard everything you are told unless supported by unreasonable volumes of evidence (always reiterating what you were first told and refused to believe) as well as irrationally supporting known-bad users, despite previously implicating yourself in those same disputes. Then blame it all on your predecessors. Nice. You should expect similar treatment, yourself. "I don't want you to be de-sysopped," Ruakh. --Connel MacKenzie 06:38, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Regarding the name, I'm not certain I like any of the suggestions so far. The best I can think of are Wiktionary:User discussions, Wiktionary:Clear the air and Wiktionary:Round table. I'm not especially convinced by any of these either though. Thryduulf 22:35, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
      • In the vein of "clear the air", how about Wiktionary:Oxygen bar? (See w:Oxygen bar.) Or, if we want something a bit less frivolous-sounding, how about Wiktionary:Requests for admonishment? (Currently WT:RFA is an all-but-unused redirect to Wiktionary:Administrators, and I think it should be fine to appropriate it.) —RuakhTALK 23:07, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
        • I don't like the word "admonishment" in this context, as the way I envisage this page working it will be for more than just admonishing users. imho the goal of the page should be a positive outcome for the project and those involved - whether that be through discussion, admonishment, stronger sanction or outright banning if there is nothing else that can be done. To this end I feel the page name should be neutral or positive, and I don't interpret "requests for admonishment" in this vein. As to the Oxygen Bar, I'd rank it "not bad" alongside my suggestions - we could do worse, but I think something better might be possible to. Thryduulf 00:07, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Verb transitivity

How should we split up the definitions of verbs that have multiple types of transitivity? Many English verbs behave this way, but for illustration, consider “spatter”. Currently, the entry lists only one definition:

  1. to splash with small droplets
    When my chihuahua shook his wet body, I was spattered with smelly water.

From the definition alone, it's not clear whether the verb is transitive or intransitive and, if it's transitive, whether the direct object is the substance being spattered or the surface onto which something is spattered. The example sentence helps clarify the transitivity, although the use of the passive voice makes it just a little more difficult. For clarity, here is the example in active voice:

When my chihuahua shook his wet body, he spattered me with smelly water.

In that active form, it's clear that the editor wanted to show the sense of “spatter” whose direct object is the surface upon which something is splattered. To fill out the entry, though, I wanted to show other ways that “spatter” interacts with its objects. When I started to do so, I found are more than I expected:

  1. (intransitive) to become dispersed as small droplets that splash forth
    When the can exploded, paint spattered everywhere.
  2. (transitive) to disperse a substance as small droplets that splash (upon something or someone)
    When the can exploded, it spattered the wall with paint.
  3. (transitive) to disperse (something) as small droplets that splash forth
    When the can exploded, it spattered paint everywhere.
  4. (transitive) to become dispersed as small droplets that splash (upon something or someone)
    When the can exploded, paint spattered the wall.

Each of those senses may have a unique translation in languages whose verbs have different forms for passive and causative senses. Korean, for example, has a distinct translation for each form. It seems exessive to list all of those definitions, though, since there is really only one underlying sense of the word, and English often lets us rearrange direct objects rather freely. Is there an easier way without sacrificing clarity? Rod (A. Smith) 02:28, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the fact that other languages translate those separately is mostly irrelevant, but I nonetheless think we should give them separate senses, because different English verbs behave differently; for example, with some verbs (like change and break) the intransitive subject corresponds to the transitive direct object ("it changed" ~ "__ changed it"), but with others (like speak and manage) the intransitive subject corresponds to the transitive subject ("I managed" ~ "I managed __"), and some verbs support either construal ("I cooked" ~ "I cooked __", but "the pasta cooked" ~ "__ cooked the pasta"). That said, I'm not sure all these senses need to be given so repetitively; I think it's fine for senses to refer to each other where appropriate. —RuakhTALK 03:06, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
By the way, to qualify that: I think sense distinctions are one good way to handle this. Another way is with comprehensive usage notes; see for example penser, which has a two-word definition (well, translation really) and yet manages to explain all the different ways the objects can be arranged. With spatter I think sense distinctions might be preferable because they make the translations easier; while I don't think we should be splitting senses that are really the same in English just to support the translation effort, it seems silly to choose long usage notes over definition-splitting when the definition-splitting has other benefits. —RuakhTALK 14:47, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Ruakh that we give different senses separate defintion lines. However, I don't see senses 2 & 4 as different. They have the same meaning; only the execution is slightly different. In both, the substance of the drops is received by the wall. The transitivity is not different. However, for such suttle differences I would rather have some backing citations over theoretical examples. Some words aren't always used in ways that are possible for them. --EncycloPetey 04:30, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Ruakh that translations are irrelevant to how the senses are divided. I agree with EncyloPetey that not all of the senses are distinct. However, the two that match most closely for me are definitions 1 & 4. Regardless of the transitivity, the meanings are identical. The distinction between 2 & 3 is easy to overlook and needs to be handled delicately. Did we come to any conclusions on how to handle the ergative case, which would explain some other parallels? And does anyone really care for these silly little parenthesis parentheses things in the definition line? DAVilla 06:48, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The "little parenthesis things" become increasingly useful when you begin dealing with Romance languages, where you have transitive, intransitive, and reflexive on a regular basis. I favor them in English as well, since it tells you whether or not to expect an pbject. That's not to say that it isn't possible to combine transitive and intransitive at the head of a single definition line using {{context}}; I've seen that done and have done it myself on occasion. If the only different is in the transitivity, not the meaning or inflection, then I so no reaosn not to combine them. --EncycloPetey 06:56, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I think splitting out separate senses detracts from a concise definition, whether done to clarify for foreign languages, or to simply inflate our WT:STATS. The separate translations in other languages does not help an English reader to understand how the term is used. Looking at other dictionaries, some split tr/i others do not...many mention that it can be used as both though. Rather than the (distracting) over-verbose {{context|transitive|intransitive}}, I think a simpler {{pos_vti}} gets the point across better. --Connel MacKenzie 18:10, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Speaking of inflated WT:STATS#Detail, did anyone notice when we passed 1/2 million language sections? At this rate, we'll have 1,000,000 definition lines soon; perhaps before we have 500,000 entries. --Connel MacKenzie 18:15, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
For the language learner, it is very valuable to have the transitive use(s) separated from the intransitive ones, at least. And an indication of whether a particular definition wants an indirect object and with which preposition(s) is also invaluable. I am less clear about whether all of the senses need to be carefully divided in the defs. ArielGlenn 05:59, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
If we decide not to separate them, it will be a significant break from the way major print dictionaries handle such verbs. The OED, AHD, and Webster's all separate intransitive and transitive definitions. This doesn't mean we have to follow them, but if we're going to do it differently, people will notice. We should therefore ahve a very good reason for going that way if we choose to do so. --EncycloPetey 20:15, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

OK. How about the following addition to WT:ELE#Definitions immediately following “The key terms of a definition should be wikified.”:

If the defined sense requires one or more objects (e.g. in the definition of prepositions and of transitive verbs), indicate the objects with a generic pronoun within parentheses. For example, the verb sense of “word” is defined as follows:
# {{transitive}} To [[say]] or [[write]] (something) using particular words.
  1. (transitive) To say or write (something) using particular words.

Please help refine the above wording so it can be taken to WT:VOTE for approval. Rod (A. Smith) 23:09, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Rod, was the above comment intended for a different conversation? --Connel MacKenzie 23:42, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
No. This conversation is about whether and how to indicate the different types of objects a verb requires. The conversation appeared to have died down, after people answered DAVilla's initial objection to the parentheses. So, I proposed an addition to WT:ELE to reflect what EncycloPetey, ArielGlenn, and I suggested to indicate required objects within a definition. Are you trying to confuse me? Rod (A. Smith) 00:12, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
No, I'm not trying to confuse you. But I don't see that there is agreement on how these should be handled. Most English verb are transitive and intransitive; it only makes sense to identify transitivity of a verb when it is only one or the other. That said, I think most of our "transitive" labels are simply wrong. Almost daily, I see English verbs that can be transitive or intransitive, tagged as transitive only. --Connel MacKenzie 16:40, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you're right that we should not require object placeholders for definitions of senses that can be intransitive. (unindenting...)

So, how about this wording instead?

If the defined sense requires one or more objects (e.g. in the definition of prepositions and of strictly transitive verbs), indicate the objects each required object with a generic pronoun within parentheses. For example, the verb sense of “word” is defined as follows:
# {{transitive}} To [[say]] or [[write]] (something) using particular words.
  1. (transitive) To say or write (something) using particular words.

Any better? Rod (A. Smith) 22:08, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Admin nomination

Overdue, in my opinion, given the level of contribution to both entries and discussion, and experience and intended future research in linguistics: Medellia. Robert Ullmann 21:41, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Place-names: Édition française

I'd like to bypass some recent IMHO-overly-specific language and propose that the following text be added to the CFI:

  • Place-names in clearly widespread use should be included. This includes, for example, the ordinary English names of many or most or all of the world's countries; the ordinary English names of a number of major bodies in our Solar System (as well as the widely recognized names of some not-so-major bodies, such as Halley's comet); the names of major natural features on Earth, such as the Himalayas and the Amazon; the ordinary English names of a number of major world cities (especially major Anglophone cities); and so on. It also includes many historical and fictional place-names. It also includes many foreign-language terms, with foreign-language terms being considered separately from their English counterparts. Borderline cases should be discussed, with accepted names being recorded at Wiktionary:Accepted place-names and rejected names being recorded at Wiktionary:Rejected place-names (to help us keep our standards consistent from one discussion to the next).

Before I do so, I'd like to make sure firstly that no one would be offended by my doing so, secondly that other editors agree with me that it's better for the CFI to consist of this sort of general criterion than for them to be filled with details and minutiae, and thirdly that this seems like a good general criterion.

RuakhTALK 19:45, 4 August 2007 (UTC) and edited 22:44, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Could we specify "place names in clearly widespread non-localized use"? Even the name of the smallest of towns is probably in widespread use in that town, and its neighbors. bd2412 T 19:55, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, strange. To me "widespread" implies "used over a large area". I'm O.K. with making it more explicit, though; how does "Place-names should be included if they are clearly in widespread use over a large area" sound? (And, thanks for your input.) —RuakhTALK 22:44, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Cross out "a number of" x2 since major implies inclusion. "Most or all" countries rather than "many.
While the goal, ideally, is to have objective criteria that we don't have to argue over, it's better to have in place, while we hammer out those criteria, some informative wording that reflects the decisions that are being made. Do we all agree that place names should have "literary use" or something, without specifying what that means, exactly? DAVilla 21:24, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
O.K., I've made some changes, some of them based on your input; please take a look. I don't feel comfortable with the term "literary use" without some sort of explanation of what that might mean. Which of the following (in any) would you say constitute literary use? :
  • Use in a news story to indicate where an event took place.
  • Use in a news story to give an impression of a person by describing where they live or have lived.
  • Rhyming use in a poem, where seemingly any rhyming place-name might have done as well.
  • Use in a fiction work to indicate the setting.
  • Use in a fiction work to provide information about a character.
  • Use in a non-fiction narrative memoir to give flavor to an anecdote.
RuakhTALK 22:44, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I would actually be inclined to combine this with A-Cai's proposal above to include place names mentioned in a classic work of fiction (sort of a 'single famous use is enough' standard) for places like Verona as used in "Two Gentlemen of Verona" or Norwood in "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder", although I would not extend it to fictional places. bd2412 T 01:35, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure "countries" is the best term to use, but don't have an alternative. Please take a look at our definitions #1 & 2 for that word, and see if that's what you intended. On the one hand, it permits Sparta and other ancient city-states, but on the other hand it permits all the little splinter city-states of Medieval Europe. That may be either a good or bad thing, but I'd like to know up front how people understand this phrasing. I would also like to see language explicitly allowing for major natural features: such as mountains, forests, deserts, rivers and bodies of water (those likely to appear on a globe). However, that means that some features (such as the Thames and Mount Sinai) would be excluded as they are too small to appear on a globe. Can someone suggest better language? I discarded the idea of "likelty to appear on a national map" because that covers a very wide range of scales between Russia and Vatican City. --EncycloPetey 20:10, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

The point of this proposal is specifically not to get into fine details — those can be hashed out organically over time — but rather to convey the general essence of our criteria. (I'm not opposed to there being a finely-worked-out parallel proposal, but don't expect one to get consensus.) And yes, I did mean pretty much what it says at country, which is why I originally said "many or most countries"; that's since been changed to "most or all countries", but I think both "most or all" and "country" are vague enough to prevent wikilawyering and force people to recognize the essence of the proposal (which would probably admit of Sparta, but not of Galicia, though I'm not sure). —RuakhTALK 21:15, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm envisioning a double set of criteria - one standard for place names for which there is clearly widespread use, including prominent use in a famous work of fiction; and another more exacting set of standards for various types of place names based on verifiable use out of context. bd2412 T 21:23, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Why was this section restarted again? The question in the above section was, is this ready to be voted on? Wording changes can be suggested there. Restarting the conversation for the 50th time really isn't helpful, particularly when again commingling separate issues (each which have their own discussion points.) The numerous attempts at combining the various types die when the pros and cons of each specific type overwhelm the discussion, again killing the entire initiative off. --Connel MacKenzie 04:28, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I think I made my reasons quite clear, but if you'd like me to repeat them: This is a single, fairly simple proposal to outline our general criterion for including place-names; my intent is to bypass all the detailed discussions, which can make changes simultaneously or subsequently. I'm not "commingling separate issues"; I'm cutting to (what I think is) the heart of the topic, which is a single issue that applies differently to different kinds of place-names, making previous discussions overly complex and unable to gain consensus. Now, there are some differences of opinion even over the general criterion, but I think (?) that most editors have roughly the same view of it, the one I've described above, and I'm hoping that the editors on either side of that stance (those who want much stricter criteria, believing that only the most major place-names warrant inclusion, if even that, and those who want much laxer criteria, believing that place-names can have linguistic or literary importance without being in clearly widespread use) can at least accept this is a working compromise. (Personally, I'm actually O.K. with pretty much anything on the continuum — I don't think it's essential to our purpose that we include place-names, but I also don't think it's detrimental to our purpose if we include even the names of fairly unimportant towns, provided that names shared among many places don't get a separate sense for each one — but I'm not O.K. with the current CFI, as attributive use is a poorly-thought-out and ultimately unworkable criterion, and I'm also not O.K. with having a detailed specification without specifying the overarching thought process. This proposal, in other words, is for an overarching thought process that reflects what most editors seem to me to be thinking — and you'll note that while there have been some changes to the description of the criterion, the criterion itself, "Place-names in clearly widespread use should be included" has not seen any criticism (yet), though a few users have expressed desires for additional alternative criteria as well.) —RuakhTALK 15:48, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't see the utility of rewording the general (not-so-bad, working-version) CFI while the finer points are actively being hammered out. It can only stymie the detail effort by giving misleading generalizations, while actually avoiding none of the sub-topics, many of which haven't been mentioned here yet. --Connel MacKenzie 21:20, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Would anyone object if I move both sections to a separate subpage dedicated to this topic? I think it's going to grow to be quite a discussion. bd2412 T 04:57, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • I think that moving these discussions about place names to separate subpages, one per type of place name being discussed, will make things a lot easier to manage. Thryduulf 07:14, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I think any place-name that presents a problem for translators should be okay to include. For foreign place-names, I would only make it a requirement that the article exist also (or in many cases, only) in the script and spelling used locally for that place. For example, anyone translating an article about Whalen would never guess how to write it in Russian, not even a native Russian-speaker. (It’s in Russia.) —Stephen 12:37, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, BD2412, I agree the discussions are becoming absurdly fragmented. While I dislike subpage discussions for genuine beer parlour conversations, I can't see this becoming comprehensible without some significant consolidation. Perhaps Wiktionary:Beer parlour/Proper nouns & Wiktionary talk:Beer parlour/Proper nouns, with softlinks from each section here? That would allow for "sensible" refactoring on the subpage by section, (perhaps with a summarized ====Pros==== and ====Cons==== for each) while retaining the conversations intact on the talk page? --Connel MacKenzie 14:04, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
    Retained intact on this talk page? Or on the one to be created? I think I get what you mean, I just want to be sure. Cheers! bd2412 T 14:41, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
    Sadly, due to the size of this page, retained only as section soft-links here. I hate that method, but this has spiraled out of control. --Connel MacKenzie 05:09, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support Thryduulf 21:12, 7 August 2007 (UTC) Connel's suggestion. I was going to suggest almost exactly this (same sub-page name; but hadn't thought of the Pros/Cons). Thryduulf 21:12, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

The good stuff about Wiktionary

I haven't gushed for awhile about Wiktionary, so let me just say that in no other dictionary (on-line or off) is an entry such as 渠帥 even possible!!! Since Wiktionary is a part of the Wiki family (a key detail not always exploited to its fullest around here), I am able to fully explain a term, linking to pertinent information from Wikipedia (which I can also add to if needed), and providing example sentences which link to the original document in Wikisource (where I have provided a fully cross-referenced, bilingual translation of the passage in question). We sometimes get a little negative around here, there are a lot of annoying details yet to be worked out about Wiktionary, all of which invites vigorous debate. But when you step back, and look at what we are creating, it is truly amazing :) -- A-cai 23:03, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

To which I would add that your contributions are one of the reasons I'm so pleased to be associated with Wiktionary. Widsith 18:33, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Hear, hear! Rod (A. Smith) 19:58, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Is it necessary to link words in the quotation, though? I like the entry, and I would't consider undoing that, but it does seem to fly in the face of what we've agreed to. Are there exceptions to be made for classic texts? For other languages? In cases where all words are linked rather than just a handful? DAVilla 02:05, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think words in example sentences should be linkified, and the progress of a current vote suggests that there's some consensus on that point, but I think quotations are different. As I see it, the main reason example sentences shouldn't have links is that example sentences shouldn't need links: they should be understandable as is. We can't control quotations, however; if a quotation contains an obscure word, then we probably ought to linkify said word, especially if it's essential to understanding the quotation, and especially especially if it's essential to understanding the use of the headword. And if a quotation is in a language whose writing system is such that it's hard to tell where one word (FSV of "word") ends and the next begins, linkifying every word, or nearly every word, can help clarify that. (That said, I never linkify words in quotations, because I can never decide which to linkify, and worry that the entry might come across as condescending or grade-school-​textbook-ish if it linkifies words that it doesn't expect the reader to know; but if another editor has the confidence to linkify words, I say more power to him/her.) —RuakhTALK 02:52, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, that's a good point. I don't like links in example sentences because it creates the motivation to think of examples that use "your word" that was just added somewhere else. Both in that respect and per your point of clarity, quotations are different. Especially considering that this is in a foreign language, and that the translation is not linked (locally, and I guess I'm okay with the proper name), I drop all reservations previous. DAVilla 05:59, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

I should add a follow-up comment about linking words in quoted passages (for foreign languages like Chinese, not necessarily English). It is yet another way to encourage contributors to turn red links into blue. Consider the word 刊行: just recently a contributor added definitions for 以來 and 華人. If you look at the time sequence (and then look at the word order in the example sentence), it is quite clear that the contributor added the words as a result of reading the quoted sentence. Ruakh is absolutely correct about the concept of marking where one word ends, and another begins. Since Chinese sentences do not contain spaces, parsing a sentence into "words" can be a notoriously difficult task, especially for beginners. Moreover, many of the texts that I quote (particularly in the Etymology section) are from ancient Chinese texts that would generally be incomprehensible to the average reader of Modern Chinese. It would be akin to quoting from Beowulf, and expecting that the average English reader would not need any of the words linked. -- A-cai 12:23, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Min Nan category

Does anyone have any idea why Min Nan is the only language under Category:All languages that doesn't have the word "language" in the name of its category? Mike Dillon 01:07, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

For background info, please read the first paragraph in the Wikipedia article on Min Nan, as well as the Wikipedia article called Identification of the varieties of Chinese. In brief, Min Nan is neither a true language nor is it a dialect. Rather, it is a family of mutually incomprehensible language/dialects (none of which are mutually comprehensible with other varieties of Chinese such as Cantonese or Mandarin). Since the varieties of Min Nan do not have ISO-639 language codes of their own, the practice has been to assign the code for Min Nan (nan) to the dialect which is widely considered to be the de facto standard for Min Nan (Amoy), and to give it the L2 header of Min Nan. By avoiding calling it "Min Nan language" or "Min Nan dialect" in Category:All languages, we avoid the political trap of calling it a language, dialect or language family (in keeping with Wiki NPOV policy). If you would like to read an earlier debate about the status of Min Nan, please see (Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2007/April#Amoy). -- A-cai 10:50, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I was just asking because it makes {{nav}} unusable for the "nan" categories. Is it worth adding a langcat parameter to {{nav}} to allow an override of the category? Mike Dillon 15:23, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
The recent discussions on WT:GP seem to conclude that all uses of {{nav}} are inappropriate (and problematic.) I'm pretty sure that nav, as you knew it, no longer functions at all. --Connel MacKenzie 05:22, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I've been following the discussions about {{nav}} at WT:GP and it seems to me that they have been focused on a different issue than the one that prompted me to post my original message. What I was pointing out was the fact that the language category created by {{nav}} is always named [[Category:{{{langname}}} language]], but the category for "Min Nan" is Category:Min Nan, not Category:Min Nan language, so there is no way to use {{nav}} with "lang=nan|langname=Min Nan" and have it work correctly. It doesn't have anything to do with the table that used to be shown on every use of {{nav}} (now only on the English category) and the excessive category links that it used to create. Mike Dillon 06:42, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

DeLone copyvios?

Are all these references to a book by DeLone et al copied from the source? With permission? bd2412 T 02:27, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

According to User talk:Hyacinth, those definitions were copied almost verbatim. I have tagged them with RFC and listed them at Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup#DeLone copyright definitions along with similar ones for Lerdahl copyright definitions at Wiktionary:Requests for cleanup#Lerdahl copyright definitions. They should all be rewritten. Rod (A. Smith) 05:20, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
So they should be deleted...and all derivative work. Great. Too bad senses can't simply be replaced with {{substub}}. Leaving the copyvios in the edit history obviously is not OK. --Connel MacKenzie 04:33, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Forgive me if this is a dense question, but why would it be objectionable to leave copyrighted definitions in the edit history? Rod (A. Smith) 05:44, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Because Wikimedia would then be hosting this webpage permanently. bd2412 T 06:38, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
IANAL, so I'm probably on the incorrect side of this discussion, but I don't understand why that's such a bad thing, especially considering that the history page attributes the copyright holder. I don't know why it was deleted, but we used to have a MediaWiki:History copyright notice for serving such history pages. That notice said this:
“This version of the page has been revised. Besides normal editing, the reason for revision may have been that this version contains factual inaccuracies, vandalism, or material not compatible with the GNU Free Documentation License.”
The notice was deleted by User:MediaWiki default on January 7, 2007 with the comment, “No longer required”. Any insight as to why? Rod (A. Smith) 16:26, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I believe the default messages were removed, so that the meta: version(s) of those pages could be retrieved directly. ([User:Mediawiki default] indicates an automatic conversion resulting from a software release.) --Connel MacKenzie 20:07, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
As an intellectual property attorney, I can assure you that the accessibility of the information makes the means of accessing it irrelevant. Now, as a practical matter, copyright owners are unlikely to search our millions of page history changes (and so far as I understand no search engines yet have this function), but they have the right to demand that such hosting of their copyrighted material be obliterated. bd2412 T 16:56, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
OK. I just realized that a critical aspect of this particular infringement is probably the quantity of material used in the DeLone definitions. If that's irrelevant, our quotation system seems like it must also violate copyright laws. Assuming that the quantity of quoted material is relevalt, maybe we should establish guidelines in our citation system to ensure that we don't take more that one or two quotes from any given copyrighted work. Like the page above, our citations attribute the copyright holder, but if we quote more that one or two sentences from any given copyrighted work, need we delete and purge the page histories? 17:14, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that is a fair comparison; there is a difference between "citations of use" vs. taking definitions from a secondary source "verbatim." If WMF has a limit they want us to hold to, for citations of use, they should be more explicit (or perhaps, we should ask more clearly/persistently.) --Connel MacKenzie 20:03, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
It's a moot point. We don't use other dictionaries as citations of use anyway. So, copying the definition for that purpose would be useless, and copying it as our own definition would be violative. bd2412 T 20:32, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I meant for straight (regular) "citations" not "definitions." I never did find out if there is an upper limit of example sentences we can take from any given book, for different words we define here. --Connel MacKenzie 20:43, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Or, more specifically, if something like this →ISBN is OK. --Connel MacKenzie 20:59, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
That, being just a word list, is fine. As Wordsworth said, poetry is the best words in the best order (or something like that). Get rid of the architecture, and what's left is words in the public domain. Cheers! bd2412 T 21:53, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for that answer and sorry for my excessive brevity. I meant, (in the context of the mis-signed question above,) would it be OK to use examples on those pages from that single fiction novel for each of those terms? --Connel MacKenzie 08:48, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
That is a good question. I would think so, since there is no single central directory telling a user how they can piece together the whole work by visiting the different pages and reading a line here and a line there. This is a de minimus/fair use argument - the use of the work does not affect the value of the whole. Quoting a line of a lengthy work to illustrate the vocabulary never does. As with any fair use argument, the less of the original work you can make do with, the stronger the argument. Cheers! bd2412 T 14:39, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Did anyone compile a list of these, for specific cleanup? They don't seem to have been deleted yet. --Connel MacKenzie 16:41, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Redundancy in Category:Spanish conjugation templates

There are two sets of Spanish conjugation templates. The names of the templates in one set begin with “es-conj-” (e.g., {{es-conj-ar}}). The names of the others begin with “es:-” (e.g. {{es:-ar}}). They should probably be consolidated to the more prevalent naming system, i.e., to the ones named “es-conj-”. Rod (A. Smith) 01:12, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

The version es-conj-ar is the older one (by two days!). --EncycloPetey 01:20, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
It looks like the only difference between {{es-conj-ar}} and {{es:-ar}} is that the former supports reflexive verbs by means of the ref_stem parameter. I've been working on Spanish a bit lately and the main reason I've been using {{es-conj-ar}} besides the reflexive support is that the "es:" name requires the use of a "Template:" prefix when calling the template to avoid being interpreted as an attempt at interwiki transclusion. I pulled down the two templates and diff'ed them and the only difference is the support of "ref_stem" and interwikis, so I think the interwikis could be merged to {{es-conj-ar}} and {{es:-ar}} could become a redirect. I haven't looked at the other templates for -er and -ir verbs. Mike Dillon 05:14, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

From what I could find, the similarity of the two templates was implemented in May 2007 by Stephen G. Brown. Compare the old version of {{es:-ir(zurcir)}} with the current one and with {{es-conj-cir}}.

Also, I'd say that another point in favor of the "-conj" templates is that they are named more consistently with the templates for other inflected languages. Yet another point is that the "-conj" templates take what I would consider an easier approach to dealing with atypical conjugations by only requiring one template parameter. The {{es:-ir(zurcir)}} example works by requiring two parameters. In these cases, a simple redirect would not work, nor would a meta-template since the "-conj" template requires a substring of the first and second parameters of the "es:" template. Mike Dillon 05:28, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I've redirected {{es:-ar}} to {{es-conj-ar}} with no ill effects as far as I can tell. I also copied the interwikis to {{es-conj-ar}}. I haven't looked at the "-er" and "-ir" templates for the normal conjugation to see if a redirect is safe, but I'm positive that it's safe for the "-ar" verbs. Mike Dillon 05:36, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Note that we don't put iwikis on templates, they should be removed. They go on the documentation (talk page) where they might be useful. Putting them on a template is just extra transclusion overhead (even stuff in noinclude has to be sorted), and cause lots of job queue works when someone adds or modifies one. Robert Ullmann 12:32, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Is the template doc subpage pattern that is used on Wikipedia ever used on Wiktionary? Mike Dillon 15:45, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
No, we have been trying to standardize the template documentation onto the first sections of the respective "template talk:" pages. --Connel MacKenzie 19:59, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I made all of the Spanish conjugation templates the same. Since then, the {{es-conj-ar}} style has been improved, and therefore the ones like {{es:-ar}} are outdated. —Stephen 12:22, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I have now removed the interwiki links from the template page. We should never put interwiki links into a template. Any interwiki links should be from the corresponding Talk pages, not in the template page itself. Such links greatly slow the server. --EncycloPetey 18:47, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

A criterion which should be applicable to all proper nouns

“A proper noun deserves an entry if there exist common nouns (which themselves satisfy the criteria for inclusion) which derive thence.” –So, for example, the existence of a “proper adjective” would mean that the proper noun to which it relates deserves an entry. Is this a reasonable criterion? –Or are there problems with it which I haven’t foreseen? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 10:19, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Hard to guess what you even mean, considering there is no such thing as a "proper adjective"; it is an invalid label in Wiktionary. If you mean, should referents automatically get entries, the answer is no; in general, the trend has been to point instead to the Wikipedia entry. Although there was a time that was experimented with, practice showed that the Wiktionary stubs for those were not appreciated. If this is simply another comment for 'proper nouns' as it seems to be, then it belongs in one of the discussions above. --Connel MacKenzie 13:37, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I think that the idea behind the suggestion is that if a word which meets the CFI is derived from a proper noun, then the proper noun from which it is derived should also have an entry. For example the words in the left column derive from the proper nouns in the right column, † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr's suggestion would mean these proper nouns merit entries:
derrived term proper noun
Roman Rome
cheddaring Cheddar
Zimbabwean Zimbabwe
meander Meander (English)/ Büyük Menderes River (Turkish)
himalayan Himalayas
Atlantic (adjective) Atlantic (proper noun)
Bristolian Bristol
Texan Texas
Dickensian Dickens / Charles Dickens
Orwellian Orwell / George Orwell
IMO, this is a good criteria for geographic names, but I'm less keen on the personal names. Thryduulf 15:31, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Thryduulf. Also, even if Dickensian, Orwellian, Bushism, Reaganomics, Clintonesque, or Blairite should support entries on the surnames from which these are derived, that does not speak to having entries for the full names of those persons (which should remain only in Wikipedia). Only in the very rare case where a full name itself has meaning as a word (Benedict Arnold for a traitor, Roy Rogers for the name of a drink) should a full name ever be included.
I think I would agree with that assessment of personal names. The word Dickensian supports having an entry for Dickens, specifically mentioning Charles Dickens, but does not support having a Wiktionary entry for the full name Charles Dickens. Full names of individuals only very rarely deserve an entry on Wiktionary; we should prefer to link full names to our sister project Wikipedia. In any case, I think it's over-optimistic to want a single criterion to apply to all proper names, since proper names are unique to specific individuals, places, and things. There is nothing general about them, otherwise they'd be common nouns. --EncycloPetey 18:40, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

New context template

We have a new {context} template, a write-through building on all the work DAVilla has done; simplifying the implemention and hugely reducing the server load.

This is just a notice here for those that don't follow WT:GP, discussion is at Wiktionary:Grease pit#New context template. Do please note there or on my talk page if you see any oddities. Robert Ullmann 15:21, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Protection of high-volume templates

Should {{en-verb}} and similar templates be protected to prevent server strain from edits like this? If so, what level of protection? Rod (A. Smith) 17:59, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I'd argue for sysop-only, and would recommend that we check for and remove iw links while protecting them. --EncycloPetey 18:45, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Why remove interwiki links? (I'm not saying you shouldn't: I'm merely asking why you would.) If they're kept, though, they should definitely be in noinclude tags.—msh210 22:35, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I have been told by many long-time tech-savvy users that IW linking of templates "is not done" on Wiktionary. As I understand it, every link from a template is checked when a template is called, so the templates linked via IW from our templates will slow the server because their content is pulled as part of the template call. --EncycloPetey 23:02, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Your informants may be right that the interwiki links are checked when the template is called even if they are within noinclude tags, but, if so, (a) I'm surprised and (b) that should be changed.—msh210 23:09, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
The main problem is that adding a robotic interwiki link to a template, causes all pages that use that template to be added to the job queue for re-rendering. For templates used about 100 times that is not really noticeable. But for templates used on over 100,000 pages, the job-queue remains saturated (sometimes for days.) --Connel MacKenzie 23:14, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that explanation; obviously, I mis-remembered the rationale. --EncycloPetey 23:43, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree some sort of protection would be wise. Perhaps permanent semi-protection, i.e. that no one except a registered user who has had his account for a while can edit. (See w:Wikipedia:Protection policy.) On WP, "a while" is five days. I don't know the mechanics of this, so don't know whether that number can be changed for Witionary, or for each page.—msh210 22:35, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand the mechanics of semi-protection either, but AIUI the value of "a while" is set by developers. As it is based on the age of an account, and accounts are per-project, it would seem logical for the setting also to be. This does not mean it necessarily is though! Thryduulf 22:42, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Semi-protection prevents new accounts from editing. After a few days (or a week) those same users can edit pages that are semi-protected. The latest version of the page-protection tools allows sysops to specify the duration a protection (move or edit, semi- or full) will last; apparently on WP they have an internal policy that instructs them to limit that to five days. We don't have 1,000+ sysops though, so re-protecting pages is a much more overwhelming chore. (I don't know what their policy on template protection is, offhand.)
Pages in the MediaWiki: namespace are user-interface pages; therefore the software never allows their protection to be anything less than "edit=sysop,move=sysop." Templates seem to fall in the same general category, in my view. With the added factor of the job-queue, trivial edits should be avoided or delayed, so that later edits can combine changes to happen all at once. Interwiki links should be kept on the talk page, preferably in the documentation section. --Connel MacKenzie 23:11, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I think you're confounding the duration of protection on a page with the length of time that one must be a user before he's no longer considered a new user as regards the protection against new users' editing. One can set up a permanent block that prevents only new users from editing. There's no WP policy limiting protection to five days; the five days are the days that one must be an editor in order to not be considered new. (If you understood that and I misunderstood what you wrote, excuse me.) So (as I see it at least) there's no argument against semi-protecting along the lines of "we'll then have to re-protect periodically": you won't. On the other hand, you make a good argument about server load from minor edits. I still like semi-protection (i.e., old users can edit), but perhaps put a large-print notice on the associated talk page along the lines of "This template is heavily transcluded in other pages; please do not edit it without first getting some support from your fellow editors here on the talk page or over in the Tea Room.".—msh210 23:25, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think we misunderstood each other (at first,) rather, I tried to cover both aspects of it (to answer both your and Thryduulf's questions.) To be more specific, still, I am pretty sure the "confirmed editor days" setting is in LocalSettings.php for each Wiki instance. But the per-page setting has it's own type (e.g. edit=editconfirmed,move=sysop) and duration (e.g. 1 day, 3 weeks, 1 year, indef.)
I can't see any justification for having templates that are used on over 1,000 pages unprotected. For templates used on less than 1,000 pages, maybe. But not for the widely used templates. We don't require that sysops discuss changes to widely used templates before changing them, but we do strongly encourage it (particularly on WT:GP.) New or experimental templates really should be kept separate; once a proof-of-concept template is "ready" a sysop can easily migrate the template (deleting residual redirects, etc.) My vote will still be to fully protect all templates used on 100 or more pages. I just don't see the wisdom in allowing rampant changes to so many pages all at once (even if the typical mistake is merely an interwiki link that was supposed to be on the talk page, with the documentation.) --Connel MacKenzie 00:12, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Will this issue be affected by transcluded templates within templates? For example, the various Latin adjective and noun inflection table templates are currently used on a relatively moderate number of pages each. However, they all are intended to call certain cell style templates. Would a change to the style template back up the job queue if it's not called directly from any entry, but is called via template from many pages? --EncycloPetey 00:20, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Re: your last question: Yes. Any edit to a template results in the reassembling (or whatever the right word is) of absolutely all pages that include that template, whether it be directly or indirectly (and even, as recently discussed, if it be in the unused branch of a conditional). —RuakhTALK 01:16, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Support fully protecting all templates used on over 100 pages. --Connel MacKenzie 23:11, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Currently, all templates used on over 20,000 pages seem to be fully protected. --Connel MacKenzie 23:26, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Full protection of every template that winds up on over a hundred pages? That seems like overkill to me when semiprotection would suffice. More selfishly, it means that some verb templates I have kicking around will in a few months be uneditable by me, and I'll have to either nag a sysop or become one, neither of which is appealing in the slightest. ArielGlenn 16:13, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, Connel is setting the number too low; a template used on more than a few thousand pages might be semi-protected if it attracts any vandalism; once it is at 20-50K it should be fully protected. If you are then working on those, you are then probably overdue for a sysop nomination anyway ;-) Not that sysops don't do dumb things. Robert Ullmann 20:02, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Anyone who can be trusted not to abuse the tools ought to be a sysop. There's no such thing as "too many". And only sysops should be bugging with templates which could serve as the source of major disruptions. bd2412 T 20:52, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Semi-protect templates that are used 100 - 1,000 times then, fully protecting all that are more widely used? Or are you suggesting the 1,000 should be 2,000? While I myself think all over 100 should be fully protected, I support just about any systematic approach that prevents template changes without discussion. --Connel MacKenzie 19:09, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, one fun way to determine where the delineation should be is to hold a vote where the median value is selected. If you don't think any templates should be protected, you vote infinity. If you think all templates should be protected, you vote 1 (or zero if you think the template space itself should be protected). The rest of us will vote somewhere in between, you know, in the tens to millions range. And the median value is the point at which half of the voters think it should be higher and half of the voters think it should be lower. DAVilla 11:00, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
You know, I've been thinking about the recent controversy over whether a certain vote passed, and how we can decide the consensus-constituting ratio of support votes to oppose votes. Your median-value-vote seems like a good way: we can have a metavote wherein someone who thinks a simple majority vote is needed can vote ">1:1", someone who wants a 2/3-supermajority can vote "2:1", someone who wants a 3/4 supermajority can vote "3:4", someone who wants unanimity can vote "∞:1", etc., and at the end we compute the median. (Does that make sense? I feel like there might be some problem with this idea, but I can't quite put my finger on it.) —RuakhTALK 16:15, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Sure, if people agreed to it, why not? I have a feeling it would come out pretty strongly as 2/3 though, and even so it's probably better to do something a little less significant first. DAVilla 01:41, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

automatic redirects to capitalized form

If you go to http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/afaIct you get redirected to AFAICT, but without there actually a being a redirect (or anything else) at afaIct. What gives?—msh210 22:57, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

You can 1) add {{see|afaIct}} to the top of AFAICT (the recommended method, if "afaIct" meets WT:CFI,) or 2) wikilink afaIct directly from some other page, or 3) turn off automatic redirects at WT:PREFS. This is an artifact of June 2005's so-called "decapitation" of en.wiktionary.org. (At the end of June 2005, first-character case-sensitivity was turned on against community consensus...we've never fully recovered.) --Connel MacKenzie 23:20, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
No, this is different. There is no page afaIct; yet the user is redirected momentarily to the entry AFAICT. --EncycloPetey 23:41, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
That is not different, it is just as I said. If my brevity was too concise, I apologize. But I think I might actually understand how the Javascript I wrote, works. Following an internal link leaves you at the desired (empty) page; following an external link to that same page redirects you, instead, to the page that exists. --Connel MacKenzie 07:02, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for the explanation, Connel.—msh210 05:08, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
When you visit a nonexistent entry, our MediaWiki:Noarticletext does some fancy wiki manipulations to test for the existence of various capitalization variants of the entry name, including the all-caps version; and if exactly one exists, our MediaWiki:Monobook.js uses some fancy JScript/JavaScript manipulations to redirect to it. —RuakhTALK 01:19, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
As Connel said, if you don't like this behaviour then you can turn it off in WT:PREFS. Thryduulf 07:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

How I intend to treat User:Connel MacKenzie in future


Due to Connel’s never-ending barrage of paranoid accusations and logically fallacious arguments, I shall henceforth be ignoring every such thing he writes, as they serve only to distract from the relevant points at hand, as well as wasting my time in replying to them, and everyone else’s time in reading them. Note well that such silence on my part ought not to be construed one way or the other as some kind of refutation or validation of his accusations. If anyone else reads a personal attack by Connel and agrees with him, say so, as I shall not answer any of them without it being shown that they express more than just his opinions. I hope that everyone can understand that I make this declaration only because I wish to avoid the kind of fruitless arguments that emerge whenever Connel and I discuss something where our opinions differ. I shall continue to answer the points he makes which are relevant to the discussion at hand — this “boycott” applies only to his “paranoid accusations and logically fallacious arguments”. This notice will be copied to a user sub-page of mine, and will be quoted when necessary. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:55, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, I'm not so sure this is healthy. I doubt you're actually breaking any policies as long as you're not ignoring him outright, but this certainly isn't a constructive discourse. If you were to make this stick and give your silence any legitimacy, you'd have to reply to every one of his comments that you do not believe to be paranoidally accusative or logically fallacious, which is quite frankly impossible. Such are the rules of debate. So I don't think you're making any headway with this announcement, and I wouldn't be surprised if a number of contributors, in the same vein, simply ignored it. DAVilla 04:07, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Little else has been constructive up till now. I think that it’s only necessary that I reply to comments directed towards me (direct questions, contraärguments, and the like). If and when his comments directed towards me are no more than “paranoid accusations and logically fallacious arguments”, I may ignore them, or I may simply write “User:Doremítzwr/Connel 1” in reply. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 10:30, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Doremítzwr, in the larger scheme of things, it really doesn't matter who said what to whom. The fact of the matter is that we all have to find ways of compromising and working together. This is not always easy, because we are all passionate about this project, or we wouldn't be here. So what to do? One problem is that Wiktionary does not have any policy articles dealing with such issues (or if we do, they're certainly not in prominent locations, such as the top of this page!). I think that most people generally try to follow the guidelines and policies already spelled out on Wikipedia. Here is a list of such pages:
My suggestion would be to put links to similar Wiktionary policies (if they exist) at the top of the beer parlor page (and other prominent places). If we don't have our own policy for these things, perhaps it would be appropriate to provide links to the relevant Wikipedia articles. Again, the top of the beer parlor page is an excellent location for such links:) -- A-cai 11:07, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
P.S. I take some of that back, some of these policies are at the top of beer parlor (below the TOC)!!! Either I'm blind, or they need to be placed in an even more prominent location (i.e. above the TOC). -- A-cai 11:10, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
About time we had an entry for don't feed the trolls SemperBlotto 11:18, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

We have a Wiktionary:Policies and guidelines page (shortcut: WT:POL) that is linked above the TOC - but only in the middle of a long block of text. I was not aware of this page until I previewed what I was going to write, which was a suggestion for such a page, and spotted it was a blue link! I agree with A-cai that this need to be made more prominent. Thryduulf 12:03, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Oh, what? –I’m the bad guy here?! I’ve tried talking to Connel (see WT:TR#usurer, WT:RFV#usuress, as well as many, many others), refuting his accusations, clarifying, explaining, and so on; it makes no difference — he never stops. And it’s not just me that he’s doing this to. His vituperation is draining. I try assuming good faith, I stick up for him, and I ask others not to insult him — yet he continues to call me a troll, vandal, POV pusher, and problem contributor, and makes paranoid accusations that I’m only here to wreck the technical foundations of Wiktionary. What can I do but ignore all his shit? I honestly, truly believe that the most constructive thing to do would be to ignore all these attacks; and unless anyone else has a better suggestion, that’s exactly what I’m going to do. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:20, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Doremítzwr, as you can see from above, I never said that you were the bad guy! I merely suggested that Wiktionary has inadequate policy documentation for these types of situations. SemperBlotto added something that you might have perceived as inflamatory, but that was followed by another post which made no comment about you whatsoever. That being the case, I would suggest reading w:Wikipedia:Resolving disputes if you have not already done so. Perhaps there is something in there that can help you out.
In my personal opinion, I think that it is not a good idea for an administrator to accuse someone of being a troll or vandal, even if he is one!! This tends to only inflame the situation further. A more appropriate response would be to give one or more dispassionate warnings (if a policy violation has occurred), and if the problem still persists, to take appropriate administrative action. All of which is spelled out in the Wikipedia policy documents, but could admittedly stand for a little more fleshing out in the documents here at Wiktionary. Beer parlor is probably not the best place to air out personal grievances against other contributors. This should not be a popularity contest between you and Connel. If you have specific disagreements about policy, then by all means discuss it here in Beer parlor. If you are having personal issues with Connel, it is probably better to follow the policy guidelines that are spelled out in w:Wikipedia:Resolving disputes. -- A-cai 13:57, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, that was chiefly a reaction to Semper Blotto’s snide and unfair comment. I’ve just read the Wikipedia policy page. “Avoidance” and the “First step” have already been tried a lot; the “Second step” not so much, but I doubt it would do much good, as if I give up on one entry, he’s immediately on my back again about another one (so the suggestion that I “[f]ocus [my] contributions on another article where [I] can make constructive progress” is unworkable). Wiktionary doesn’t have Wikipedia’s elaborate mediation and arbitration infrastructure, so much of the “Further dispute resolution” and “Last resort: Arbitration” sections is inapplicable (though IMO, Wiktionary benefits from being far less considered in this respect — were we to import such measures, I predict that we would also import Wikipedia’s significant vandalism problem). “Editor assistance” is given here, but on a more informal basis (namely, new editors ask questions of experienced editors on the latter’s talk pages, which are then answered thereby with advice, links, explanations, and the like). Thanks for trying to help, but I don’t think any of that will help; this is the way Connel is — he gives people stick if they disagree with him or add content which he personally doesn’t like, he ignores policy, he cites conventions and “common practice” without deigning to provide any links, he is inconsistent in the standards he applies to differing scenarii, and “bites” both new and experienced editors very, very often — this is pretty much a fact of life on Wiktionary; however, as he does so much good work, he is valued here (even by me), which is why, whilst I shall ignore his flaming, I shall continue to collaborate with him on this project. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:45, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you've been willing to make compromises, and that you're sticking around. I was a bit upset when Keffy took off, but maybe his comments were more restrained and not as harsh as it seemed at the time. Anyways it's hard to be angelic under those circumstances. I'm curious now, I'll have a look at that dispute resolution thing myself. DAVilla 12:49, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Hey, I've tried, offline. But since the point of this thread is to troll, I doubt you'll have any greater success than I have had. --Connel MacKenzie 18:55, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
While I'm not supposed to feed the trolls, and this obviously is a troll, I wish to point out several blatant lies of User:Doremítzwr. Note: this is not atypical of User:Doremítzwr, instead rather defining. #1) Gives stick: no I identify valid complaints. When User:Doremítzwr actively enters disruptive material (starting with his first edit, continuing in the same vein despite numerous sysops telling him to stop) and he exhibits increasing resistance to following guidelines, yes that is dirsruption. Since it is increasing over time, it is fair to call that vandalism. #2) "ignores" is an outright lie; identifying specific failings of an illegitimate vote is quite different from what whould be done; simple removal of the vandalism. #3) "Cites convention...without deigning to provide links." Flatly slander. Abusive editors such as yourself (and on occasion, others) who in the past I've "deigned" to provide links for, have continued to ignore such guidance. If Ruakh or you ask me to back something up, it is beyond reasonable to spend hours finding relevant links, when either of you will ignore or vehemently disagree with previous conventions anyhow. #4) Inconsistent? Perhaps - but that is the nature of the English language - each dispute over a word is unique to that word. #5) BITE. Perhaps a valid complaint, but then again, perhaps not. If I had bitten User:Doremítzwr at the very start, we'd have one less abusive troll now, and therefore fewer very obscure, incorrectly labeled obsolete terms and fewer invalid alternate spellings passed off as valid English alternates (that are "well cited" from obscure sources.) If you wish to live in a glass house and throw rocks, you should expect shards of glass to injure you. Your belligerence has passed the "merely annoying" stage now. Your penchant for edit-warring has met an unlikely ally with User:Ruakh joining your vandalism of usuress, but that too, won't last. --Connel MacKenzie 18:55, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I would add that "ignore" is poor word choice and "inconsistent" is unfair, but I was hoping you would think Doremítzwr has come around or at least made progess on the first point. Your fifth point is completely off-track. Even if a contributor's views of the English language are completely wrong, they are entitled to have them and to try to pursuade others to their view. I know I have felt that way about some statements that you have made, but I don't think I've ever told you off on any, and indeed I've shifted position on some. It is only the behavior of ignoring the community that can lead to trouble. Biting new users is never okay, and by the way blocking vandals is not the same thing, and if you think about it even they are given second chances, to what end? If you had been meaner to Doremítzwr from the start then we would have one fewer contributor. DAVilla 01:58, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I know you aren't joking, but it seems more than a little unreasonable to claim he "has come around or at least made progress..." If I had seen any evidence of that, you'd have heard hardly a peep from me. --Connel MacKenzie 06:35, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Not going to take sides, but would love to point out this and this which I think that everyone involved could take a refresher course in and benefit. ᏁᏍᎧᏯֶ talk 08:54, 14 August 2007 (UTC)


Reposted from WT:GP#Rumors

Allegedly at WikiMania2007, Brion said that SUL (AKA CentralAuth) would be turned on this week. (Note that for three years now, the promise of "in the next two weeks" has finally diminished to only one week...so it could be turned on for real, some time this year!) You can experiment with it at http://test.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:MergeAccount if you've set up an account on test. If not, set one up, and play. --Connel MacKenzie 18:10, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

So ... what happens when the matching username on a different wiki that has never edited is not the person who primarily uses that name? *grins* Actually, it looks great, aside from that. ᏁᏍᎧᏯֶ talk 08:49, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't know. There is a SemperBlotto user defined on -pedia (no edits) that isn't me, and does not have my password. Should I worry? SemperBlotto 09:36, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I ran the demo tool linked above, and it would have automatically merged all my various accounts everywhere, as they all have the same email address defined; despite using three different passwords. The exception to this was the account on the Dutch Wikipedia (~5 edits) which was using a different password to my main account (defined as en.wikipedia as it has the most edits) and had no email address defined. It asked me to confirm this was me by entering the password for it - meaning it would then be merged with no issues. So if you want all your accounts to be merged automatically, the simplest thing to do is to set the same email address in the preferences as is used on the account you have with the most edits.
From reading the documentation on the test site and a bit on meta regarding user-name clashes is that the owner with the most edits wins. In your case SemperBlotto, as your Wiktionary account has more edits than the Wikipedia one then that account will become yours, and you will get a note (email probably I think) saying "You are now the owner of the global user:SemperBlotto, but as there was a different user with this name on en.wikipedia (1) be nice and (2) be aware that other users might confuse you with this other person."
The other person will have their account renamed - I think they will first be given the option of doing this voluntarily, but if they don't take up this offer then their account will be forcefully renamed.
I don't know what will happen if two users have the same number of edits, how strictly the more edits is applied (i.e. does a difference of 1 count?) and whether the number of wikis are taken into account (e.g. user:FooBar123 has 100 edits on en.wiktionary and 100 edits on en.wikipedia; and another person has 150 edits as user:FooBar123 on en.wikinews). Thryduulf 10:49, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Assume good faith

Is there anything we should discuss about Wiktionary:Assume good faith before voting on whether to move it from draft policy to policy proper? Rod (A. Smith) 04:06, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

While I respect your intent to add something helpful to an ongoing situation, the scope creep of introducing the Wikipedian concept in a way that it does not apply to Wiktionary won't help avoid future similar situations, nor mitigate the current one.
The talk page of that 'import of the Wikipedia page' points out that the focus is quite contrary to how en.wiktionary.org functions; the wording of the draft policy now, suggests that the Wikipedia approach should be taken in all cases, which simply is not true. As always, it is worth pointing out that en.wikt does not have the thousand+ admins that Wikipedia does. While far less than half of our sysops are active during any given month, the absurd "second chance, third change...ninth chance" stuff that works on Wikipedia is far too much of a burden here.
If anything, the Wiktionary AGF page should emphasize to newcomers here that they should not expect the same absurd level of over-permissiveness that can be found on Wikipedia. If bad intentions are shown, it is the exception to the rule for a bad user to remain unblocked.
--Connel MacKenzie 04:49, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
There is some sort of (perhaps informal) policy about when new editors (including anonymous IPs) get blocked and for how long depending on their actions. Certainly some actions incur an immediate block without even a note to the IP's talk page. It might be a good idea to write up the basics of this and point to it as a reference from Wiktionary:Assume good faith. That way the intent (and boundaries) of assuming good faith can be made clearer. ArielGlenn 06:36, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
God, I hate spelling ninth since I can never seem to remember if there's and e.
You're right, we don't have to give nine chances. The policy draft doesn't mention how many chances we have to give. It only says that we should punish behavior rather than presume any intent. By increasing the length of the block for each incidence of bad behavior, the age of this project is exceeded in short time, and indeed it's reasonably possible, using a multiplicative factor of 5, to ban someone for longer than their lifespan in fewer than nine steps. Of course a more reasonable approach is to be a little lenient early, and much harsher later. After all, indefinitely is only about three Moore's law doublings in computer years. DAVilla 12:16, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Looks good to me. DAVilla 06:22, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I like it. I don't think it's a uniquely Wikipedian concept; it's just good manners. Widsith 09:00, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I too think it is plain good manners and should apply on every wiki. Thryduulf 10:51, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
That is an important misconception, that our policy should address unambiguously. What AGF means on Wikipedia is quite different on Wiktionary, by merit of Wikipedia having an astonishing number of admins that know the formatting conventions (there,) therefore having the resources to deal patiently and inefficiently with every last newcomer. (Even when those newcomers are hostile.) The nonsense that is both permitted and encouraged on Wikipedia, is not beneficial to smaller projects; Wiktionary seems to be the first-stop for newcomers who have abused Wikipedia and are upset with being told off - seeking greener pastures in smaller projects by that type can't be given the same patient coddling here, as we simply don't have the resources for it. There are about 230 active contributors here; almost 20 active sysops. I don't know about all other sysops, but I spend all my volunteer wikitime here already, chasing down nonsense or dealing with other sysop-y things. Frankly I'd like to be able to get back to more serious Project Gutenberg analysis that got pushed to the wayside a year or two ago. The misconception that Wikipedia's AGF should apply on every wiki, was one of the discussion points, when it was rejected outright by Ec about three years ago. Since that time, I've seen that problem grow in importance, not diminish. Blindly importing Wikipedia's policy only worsens that misconception. --Connel MacKenzie 16:06, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't make any difference how many of us there are. You can't run any kind of user-generated site without assuming good faith. Nor can you have any kind of meaningful discussion with anyone. If you want to work on the Gutenberg stuff then do it! There are plenty of us around and in my experience disruptive newbies are usually dealt with pretty swiftly. Widsith 10:00, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
A pithy platitude? Please, that is simply not realistic. The wording of this proposal takes entirely the wrong tact and has entirely the wrong focus. Today, a newer sysop assumed good faith of a vandal (previously banned here, and on en.wikipedia by their ArbCom) with regards to the entry conspiracy theory. Way ta go.
The only reason to have a formal AGF policy is to encourage trolls to wikilawyer reasonable contributors to death. Yes, we make reasonable assumptions of good faith. The wording of this thing implies that at all times unreasonable assumptions of good faith must be made. That is ludicrous.
--Connel MacKenzie 00:58, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

The current draft is very unbalanced. I would vote against it as it stands, and I'm persuaded by Connel's concerns. There are two items missing that would have to be included for me to consider voting in favor of the draft as policy. First, the draft belabors the point of current established users assuming good faith on the part of newcomers, but says nothing about newcomers assuming good faith on the part of sysops who delete entries, experienced users who edit entries, or users who give insruction and advice about Wiktionary standards and formatting conventions. Second, it does nothing to encourage newcomers to adapt to the community. It instead stresses that the community should adapt to the newcomers, which is very one-sided. Newcomers (and trolls) should have notice in a policy document like this that "good faith" means making an effort to learn and practice community norms, not simply have "good feelings" and "helpful desires" while repeatedly making the same mistakes over and over. Part of "good faith" is making the effort so that other people don't have to clean up your mess. A puppy should eventually learn not to piddle on the rug, or else he will live in the yard. --EncycloPetey 06:33, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks to Connel and EncycloPetey for your valuable feedback. I have incorporated your suggestions into the draft policy. Please review it and see whether it more accurately reflects your view of this community’s stance on good faith. (BTW, I restructured it as a Wiktionary entry to make it clear that our stance is not the same as WP's and, at the same time, to make it a bit more light-hearted. I hope that's OK.) Rod (A. Smith) 19:15, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
This revised version also looks good. I was intrigued by the spelling of "leighway" though ;) Thryduulf 20:37, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Yikes, did you write that yourself? I was a bit surprised not to see CM or EP in the edit history. How about scaling it back some? Throw equally somewhere into "a big emphasis of assuming good faith is on newcomers." And I do not agree with the whole burden on few admins argument that Connel makes. Our number reflects the size of the project. If anything, we sometimes go too far as admins, pushing our own points of view, concentrating on the wrong battles. Maybe that's why it feels like a burden? DAVilla 20:50, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm glad that someone noticed that I haven't edited it. :-)   --Connel MacKenzie 22:36, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I merely incorporated copyedited versions of Connel's and EncycloPetey's comments from this discussion above. Per your request, I scaled back the “experience-trumps-ignorance” stance. Let me know whether the latest change addresses your concerns. Rod (A. Smith) 21:43, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, perhaps my use of “subversion” isn't the best word choice there. Suggestions are welcome. Rod (A. Smith) 21:46, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
That's a pretty hefty rewrite. I'd like some time to think over some of the subtle implications. (Me personally, of course, would have rewritten it with a much harsher slant.) I strongly disagree with DAVilla; the smaller size of the project means that the existing sysops (a much smaller number) necessarily are required to cover a much broader range of sysop activities. Consequently, very few sysop-related activities here have solid 24/7 coverage. (A lot of the stuff on WT:DW gets addressed only monthly - if at all!) I mean, c'mon - I caught flak (albeit minor) for being offline for 9 hours (sleeping, I promise) last night. --Connel MacKenzie 22:36, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I'd like a clearer warning regarding w:WP:AGF (i.e. WWAGFIN - what Wiktionary Assume Good Faith is not.) That is, if this is going to be official policy here it should be explicit that the WP version is no longer referred to, even as a guideline; instead only for comparison. --Connel MacKenzie 22:36, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I like the pseudo-entry-page format for the policy; in theory it sounds like a fun idea, but in practice I think it ends up putting things in the wrong order. (Also, it gives newcomers the wrong idea about how long usage notes should be!) Personally, I'd prefer something structured like this (though not necessarily that exact wording; I think the ideal would probably be a blend of the two). —RuakhTALK 22:39, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
OK, I removed the Wiktionary entry formatting, incorporated pieces of User:Ruakh/Assume good faith, and added an explicit introductory WP divergence warning per Connel's suggestion [7]. Is the new version better for everyone? Rod (A. Smith) 02:36, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
The second paragraph of "Dealing with mistakes" should probably be moved to the preceding section. Its last sentence "Behaviors arising from these perspectives are not necessarily malicious" might be better as "Behaviors arising from these perspectives, while harmful, are not necessarily malicious."
This is a little out there. I don't think you've considered what that would mean exactly. You couldn't believe it's harmful in every case "for a newcomer to believe that an unfamiliar policy should be changed to match their experience elsewhere". Do our policies not benefit from transparency, common sense, and a shorter learning curve? Are contributors not entitled to their own opinions, and allowed to express them? I'm sure you agree that our policies have not reached perfection. Do you think it might be possible for even a new contributor to stumble upon a good idea? How on earth could that be harmful?
You couldn't believe it's harmful for newcomers to "bring experience or expertise for which they expect respect", at least a little. You respect the experience and expertise of our translators, don't you? You respect the technical experience of those from other projects, don't you? You can't tell a linguist he's wrong on something you know very little about, turn away his voluntary contributions, and expect him not to be offended by that.
Yes, harmful behaviors arising from these perspectives are harmful, but not all behaviors. I dare say you've entirely missed the point of that section. The point is that "behaviors arising from these perspectives are not necessarily malicious." I simply couldn't phrase it any better. Newcomers want to feel comfortable here. Newcomers want to be respected. We should strive to reach out to them. If there's something in any of that which strikes you as being fundamentally wrong, then maybe I could offer a better explanation of why, as you claim, we are so short-handed. DAVilla 10:06, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, DAVilla, I have considered "what that would mean." I do find both of your assertions fundamentally wrong. Demanding respect on a wiki due to unverified (and unverifiable) credentials is harmful, especially if assumed to be valid. That pompous mentality is the exact opposite of collaboration. While I am generally biased towards giving translators an extra benefit of the doubt, it is never the result of them claiming to be translators. Instead, it is based on their actions; demonstrated ability to make an honest attempt at matching formats, while consistently entering rock-solid translations. That is, your comparison there is apples to oranges. Or perhaps, watermelons to raisins.
Your first point is so obtuse, it seems absurd. No one should stroll in here, saying they don't follow the few policies we do have because they know better. Fuck them; they are trolls. They are 100% harmful to this project. Someone that can't comply with the conventions we've developed over the course of several years, accept it, and gradually make arguments for alternate methods is not here to help. --Connel MacKenzie 16:33, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
The wording does not talk about a new users who reject conventions, rather those who "believe" a change should be made. Similarly, not users who demand respect, rather those who "expect" it. If you want to block for actions, such as not complying with conventions even when informed of them, or being uncooperative with others, then AGF allows that. What it says, in a nutshell, is to discipline behavior and not intent, since the latter can only be based on assumption. Belief and expectation can only be assumed, and do not fall under behavior. We have our own expectations and form our own opinions of newcommers, after all, and there isn't anything wrong with that.
I agree with a rewording such as: "Some newcomers refuse to comply with an unfamiliar policy that doesn't match their experience elsewhere. Similarly, newcomers may bring with them experience or expertise for which they demand respect. Behaviors arising from these perspectives are harmful." However, I completely disagree with it being on this project page, since it has absolutely nothing to do with assuming good faith, even on the part of the new user. This has to do with assumptions about policy, not assumptions about other users, and it has to do with blocking, which you know a lot about. But how about leaving blocking to a page on that topic? Put stuff on this page that has to do with good faith and assumptions about other users, such as the current verion. Whether or not certain behavior is harmful has nothing to do with that. DAVilla 08:59, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I have removed the explanation of reasons for newcomers' behavior, per above. Rod (A. Smith) 17:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Your recent comment on my talk page (regarding w:User:Uncle G's absence,) led me over the wall to WP, where on their message boards they are complaining about another mass-exodus of sane contributors and sysops. I can't help but think their version of AGF is to blame, given the comments I read there. It has certainly renewed my doubts about adopting this version over here...especially when considering the character of the influx we've seen here this year, since May. I understand why people would be chomping at the bit to see this vote started before the influx worsens with the start of the school semester. I remain unconvinced that formalizing it, is helpful to the project. --Connel MacKenzie 16:33, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
That's a lot of recommended actions when encountering a single erroneous edit! Besides fixing it, the other actions are optional, aren't they? Yikes! And the paragraph after that seems to be missing about a half of a sentence. Or is it really trying to say that blocks help new users read their talk page? :-)
The preamble seems to be missing? Something like ":In a nutshell: Assume Good Faith - give the benefit of the doubt regarding a contributor’s intentions when it is reasonable to do so." This is moderately important when hovering over a link to it with WT:PREF's navigation popups turned on (first paragraph only...up to the first blank line.) So removing the blank line after the Policy-DP link would help.
FWIW, I really enjoyed the "definition style." While I partly agree with Ruakh, seeing that was a refreshing change...it underscored the differentiation with some elegance.
--Connel MacKenzie 07:23, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I added a parenthetical “although the latter steps may be omitted if time constraints so dictate” to prioritize the steps, per Connel's suggestion above. I also copyedited the sentence that seemed to suggest that blocks help users see talk page messages. I removed the initial blank line and added a second sentence with the crux of the principle. That principle is repeated below, but the repetition seems helpful. Rod (A. Smith) 17:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

It must be obvious to anyone still reading that two camps are in violent opposition. I need to know how and whether to proceed. Please indicate your preference for any of the following options:

  • Compromise. (Try to maximize support to vote in a weak policy, and perhaps take incremental steps from there.)
  • Split the document. (Prepare for a three-way vote: (A) support strong version A, (B) support weak version B, or (C) oppose both versions.)
  • Give up.

Rod (A. Smith) 22:32, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Compromise. I never suggested removing the following text, which I like:
"Newcomers are often unfamiliar with Wiktionary's customs and guidelines. It is not uncommon for a newcomer to believe that an unfamiliar policy should be changed to match their experience elsewhere. Similarly, newcomers may bring with them experience or expertise for which they expect respect. Behaviors arising from these perspectives are not necessarily malicious."
I just don't want to see it hijacked. DAVilla 23:29, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
In other words, DAVilla, no compromise at all, is acceptable to you? Putting crap-wording in, like that, encourages newcomers to make exactly those abuses, then cry wolf/start wikilawyering when they get blocked. Those are harmful behaviors and should be portrayed as such. Saying that sysops should be aware of other's perspectives is one thing, but that goes over the top and is very one-sided. Those are necessarily malicious activities; that's why people are (and should be) blocked for those behaviors. When a newbie drops in and starts changing policies here, you think (after a warning) they shouldn't be blocked? You think someone dropping in claiming they are a linguistics PhD randomly reformatting (dozens or hundreds) of entries to their liking shouldn't be blocked? --Connel MacKenzie 02:17, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm compromising. I never objected to stating that newcomers should assume good faith when working with admins. That's a pretty fundamental change to the document, one that changes the tone considerably, but one that's on the topic of assumptions about other users and one that, in my opinion, does balance the focus.
How many times do I have to say that the wording above is NOT about harmful behavior!? I said before, "if you want to block for actions, such as not complying with conventions even when informed of them, or being uncooperative with others, then AGF allows that. What it says...is to discipline behavior and not intent."
How about something like this:
"Behaviors arising from these perspectives can be harmful but are not necessarily malicious."
Certainly not all behaviors that arise from these perspectives are harmful! DAVilla 03:06, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I restored the paragraph with the above suggestion and copyedited it slightly. Let me know if the new version seems balanced. Rod (A. Smith) 02:11, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Rod, I'm not sure what splitting the document would entail, but I think that would be a negative step. Personally, I think we are making progress with the document, even if it isn't fully hammered out yet. I'd like to see us continue to work to improve that starter document. --EncycloPetey 02:41, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think those are mutually exclusive. At this point, it makes sense to still try to work toward a compromise — that's kind of what a wiki is all about. However, I'm not sure that will eventually find a compromise version that we're all O.K. with, in which case we can either find a different kind of compromise — the status quo, with no explicit policy — or we can do the split-y thing, find the versions that are just minimally acceptable on either side of the gap (one version that's as pro-newbie as the anti-newbie-ite can stand, one version that's as anti-newbie as the pro-newbie-ites can stand), and vote to determine which side of the gap more people prefer. But again, that's only if we can't find a compromise version that we're all O.K. with, which might be the case, but isn't productive to dwell on. —RuakhTALK 03:38, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Survey of new entry forms

In the interest of making the new user experience more accommodating, I'm going to do a survey of forms used by contributors to start new entries.

If you type all new entries by hand or use the existing entry templates then this may not apply to you. However, if you have any templates for personal use on Wiktionary, or if you have ready-made forms off-line that help you add content to the site, then I would be very interested in seeing it, no matter how obscure you might think it is.

We currently have entry templates for English and Swedish for things like plurals and compartives, but we're lacking templates for many common prefixes and suffixes as well as other classes of words that might lend themselves to this type of batch handling.

Please link any relevant resources here or on my talk page. Thank you for making Wiktionary a less intimidating place to contribute! DAVilla 07:24, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

I have templates for creating basic English plurals and verb forms, the same design could work easily for comparative and superlative forms. I also have templates for creating blank translation sections and the header for ttbc sections. The table below is a slightly modified copy of the one from user:Thryduulf, feel free to add any others to it from elsewhere. I'm happy for the templates to be moved/copied/edited as any other template but please update the table on my userpage if you change the functionality/syntax of what results from calling the template from my userspace. Thryduulf 11:12, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Template Description and notes
Noun and verb form templates. These all have 1 mandatory parameter - the singular noun / infinitive of the verb
{{user:Thryduulf/plural}} simple "plural form of" entry, with headers, etc. parameter is passed to {{plural of}} template
{{user:Thryduulf/plural3rdperson}} "plural form of" and "third person present tense of" entry, parameter is passed to {{plural of}} and {{third person singular of}} templates
{{user:Thryduulf/3rdperson}} "third person present tense of" entry, parameter is passed to {{third person singular of}} template
{{user:Thryduulf/present}} "present participle of" entry, parameter is passed to {{present participle of}} template
{{user:Thryduulf/past}} "simple past and past particople of" entry, parameter is passed to {{past of}} template
{{user:Thryduulf/pastp}} "past participle of" entry, parameter is passed to {{past participle of}} template
{{user:Thryduulf/simplep}} "simple past of" entry, parameter is passed to {{simple past of}} template.
Translation section templates
{{user:Thryduulf/transcheck}} level 5 header "Translations to be checked"¶, {{checktrans-top}} [no parameters]
{{user:Thryduulf/transcheck6}} as above but with a level 6 header [no parameters]
{{user:Thryduulf/trans1}} 1-5 blank translations sections.
Parameters are the definition gloss for each {{trans-top}} section.
If more than 5 are needed use multiple templates (e.g. for 7 use {{user:Thryduulf/trans5}} and {{user:Thryduulf/trans2}})

Translating the attributive use of nouns

We decided some time ago (I think) that when a noun is used attributively as an adjective we should not list it as an adjective. So, what is the best way of adding a translation for the attributive use? As an example, neutron is used attributively as neutron star; the Italian translation is stella neutronica i.e there is an Italian adjective, but not an English one. In this instance, I have added a note in the translation section of neutron. Is there a better way? SemperBlotto 10:43, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

First a quick question about the example: stella di neutroni seems to be more common for Italian (though apparently stella neutronica doubles as New Latin). Does that seem correct to you? (Non-linguistic Italian technical jargon really isn't my strong suit!)
Perhaps for neutronico the entry could open with the standard adjective definition phrase, i.e. "of or relating to a neutron." That sounds a bit awkward, though... And to be honest, I don't really have a problem with the way you've done things. Medellia 16:35, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
What you have at neutron#Translations looks correct to me. Other dictionaries don't list it as an adjective; if we did, the difference would look wrong. --Connel MacKenzie 17:38, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

User:VolkovBot - second attempt

I would like to make a second attempt requesting a bot flag on English wiktionary too, for the following reasons:

  1. RobotGMwikt seems not to be working for quite a long period of time (since July 22).
  2. VolkovBot distinguishes between uppercase and lowercase, and ignores redirects to avoid errors from old articles created when wiktionaries were not case-sensitive yet.
  3. VolkovBot proved to be harmless and helpful on other projects. It currently has flags on French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian wiktionaries.

Bot master can be contacted at w:ru:User talk:Volkov --Volkov 15:00, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Considering the single point of failure that we currently have with RobotGMwikt, there is arguably a risk-reducing benefit to introducing a second bot for interwiki links. So far as I can see, the previous defects in VolkovBot are now resolved, so I cannot object to this request. Rod (A. Smith) 17:12, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Given the conversation at m:WM:IW-WIKT, I think VolkovBot is now much more relevant than it was a couple weeks ago. Can you please start an official WT:VOTE for it? --Connel MacKenzie 17:27, 15 August 2007 (UTC)


Hello! I want to make some publicity (yes, sorry) for a new Wiktionary, a multilingual Wiktionary (see m:Requests for new languages/Wiktionary multilingual). If you are interested, you can go to Incubator: incubator:Wikt/mul (and, the main page is based on the Community Portal here :p) SPQRobin 15:40, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Could you please explain how this is different from http://www.omegawiki.org/Main_Page (AKA UltimateWiktionary, AKA WiktionaryZ.) What benefit do you see by dispersing the user base further? --Connel MacKenzie 16:13, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
See the request page at Meta. SPQRobin 19:45, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

alternative way of presenting translations

I've just had a quick look at the multilingual Wiktionary on the Wikimedia incubator (see #Interested? immediately above) and what really struck me was the way of presenting translations. See for example the mirror image entry.

What do people think about using this method here? Thryduulf 16:38, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't see anything better about it as compared with our system. One problem is how difficult it is to edit those translations. When I click the "edit" link for the translations section, I get a section with just a transcluded translations subpage. So then I must click the link for the subpage and click "edit" again, for a total of three clicks and a search through a long unordered list of included templates. Then, the translation table I finally can edit has rather verbose syntax compared with ours. {{trans-top}} and {{t}} seem leaps and bounds easier for editors. Another problem is that there appears to be no synchronization between the sense being translated and the translations, so it's not clear to which sense a set of translations applies. Further, specifying the ISO 639-3 language code followed by the English name of the language seems pointlessly verbose for English Wiktionary. Finally, the "Language select" control at the bottom of the translations box seems awkward and doesn't work as expected when the sought language translation is absent. How difficult is it for readers to find a particular language when the languages are sorted alphabetically? It's difficult to look past those shortcomings, so maybe I missed the part you like about it. Is there some other aspect of that translation system that seems better than the one here? Rod (A. Smith) 17:44, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry I should have been way more specific. The part I like is the display of either the desired translation or the entire list. I agree that the way it is implemented is far less useful for editing than here, but from I have been able to find I think the display format is done by a div; which could be implemented here by modifying {{trans-top}} to include the div header, leaving the rest unchanged (although how it finds the language is something I don't know). For a small list of translations, finding the one you want in the list is not an issue, but for an entry with lots of translations (e.g. "my") it is less easy to immediately find. Thryduulf 18:48, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
It looks a bit difficult, but that's because we want to use the translations on every word in that template. And I don't use a template like {{trans-top}} because then it doesn't work anymore (unless you don't use a template for the translations themselves). My opinion: Better to edit a difficult template, instead of adding your translation on every Wiktionary site. SPQRobin 19:19, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I don't get your point. On the multilingual Wikipedia, assuming you have one page for each word with a section for each language (like here), then I don't see why you need templates - the Welsh translation for "railway" is "rheilffordd" regardless of what your interface language is. The name of the language will change, but you can use a template for that, probably based on the ISO 639-3 code as that seems to fit with what you are using there, e.g.
*{{cym}} [[rheilffordd]]
With English as your interface language {{cym}} expands to "Welsh", with German as your interface language it expands to "Walisisch" with Welsh as your interface language it expands to "Cymraeg", etc. Thryduulf 21:30, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I've just realised that this isn't the entire story as "rheilffordd" is the translation of "railway", "chemin de fer", "bahn", "железная дорога", etc. and you don't want to have to enter the same words on every page. Yes, I think a template is the only answer I can think of here, although only one layer should be needed e.g. {{translation-railway}} (obviously you will need a standard language for this, or a heap of redirects) which contains my suggestion above.
The problem with this comes with differences in meaning, just because English "Foo" translates to "Bar" in French and "Fish" in German, doesn't mean that the German translation of French "Bar" is "Fish". I'm not certain how you get around this. Thryduulf 22:36, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
About your first reaction: The full text is this:
<div class="multilingual translatable">
<div class="lang-cy" lang="cy">
* Welsh: [[rheilffordd]]</div>
You can't make that only with templates; or you can make a template for <div class="multilingual translatable">, or you can make a template for <div class="lang-{{{1}}}" lang="{{{1}}}">. Both isn't possible, i've tried that.
About your second reaction: A template is indeed the only solution. I have even seen one template here on the English Wiktionary, but I can't find it anymore. And we use English as standard language (off course, though the reader doesn't experience problems with that).
And maybe (just an idea) some years later, when we've got many translations per word, we can substitute that template, so we can specify the exact meanings of a word. Anyway, this is a problem every Wiktionary has. SPQRobin 00:56, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The way you get around that is by putting all the words (native and foreign) in Wikisaurus, where synonyms are approximate anyways. Otherwise there's something of value to be said for one-by-one translations. DAVilla 17:45, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I think http://wiktionarydev.leuksman.com/'s language separation is much cleaner. The translations portion (e.g. give me only translations for three languages, by default) is an easy adaptation that won't need obscure templates to be accomplished. That is, the concept of "language folding" should be done at the software level; not as a Javascript UI add-on. Either way, editing a long list of translations is likely to be very confusing (since they aren't displayed on the normal page view.) --Connel MacKenzie 16:34, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Can I view somewhere the source text of the WiktionaryLang extension? On the page on MediaWiki.org, I can't find a link. SPQRobin 21:10, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
An older copy is hiding here released under the DWTFYWWI license. :-)   I think it is a little out of date. --Connel MacKenzie 06:35, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Example sentence format for WT:AJ

Per our established process for amending policy pages, I noted the following at WT:AJ#Example sentence format:

As noted here, the recommendation in WT:AJ to format example sentences with a leading bullet ("#* 例...") was developed before the modern WT:ELE. We should probably align that recommendation with WT:ELE (i.e. "#: 例..."). That means we must also remove the recommendation to provide brief usage notes as "#: note...", and usage notes should be moved into the standard "====Usage notes====" section. To do all this, it seems we need a vote to approve the change, a bot to move usage notes into "====Usage notes====", and a bot to convert existing examples to the new format. Thoughts? Rod (A. Smith) 04:45, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Nobody commented about it at WT:AJ#Example sentence format, so I thought I'd give a brief chance for people to comment about it here before taking this presumably uncontroversial matter to WT:VOTE. Any comments? Rod (A. Smith) 01:56, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree it look uncontroversial. You want approval for a new bot to convert the entries, so that they comply with ELE. I see no problems with that. Thank you for mentioning it here - I haven't checked back on WT:AJ in ages. --Connel MacKenzie 06:45, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay of a response. I should have said something before I poked about an XML dump and let the days pass... I agree with all the move. The proposed ELE compliant style of example sentences is basically same with the one we chose in a collaborative effort to make a model entry on .
I'm almost prepared to convert example sentences obeying some typical patterns into the new style by operating a bot. On another front, I'm afraid that we need to move those usage notes manually. Some one-line example sentences are starting with "#:" while some usage notes residing among definitions are starting with "#*", deviating from the existing WT:AJ's rule set, and as a result they are jumbled together at the moment. It might be quite tricky to dicern them automatically. ―Tohru 08:45, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think you need to vote. I made a whole series of changes to WT:AJ a year ago to update it and conform it to WT:ELE when there was no reason not to conform. But that still left a number of things. (there is a reference to hiragana that should clearly by kana, and so forth). The result was made policy without a vote. You'll probably be fine just updating it? On the other point, doing very much by 'bot is, as you note, problematic. Robert Ullmann 17:34, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, a change of this type seems quite reasonable, and a vote for it seems somewhat bureaucratic. However, I did have to revert this unapproved edit recently, so anything beyond simple formatting change should probably suffer the red tape to avoid claims of impropriety. Rod (A. Smith) 18:13, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Certainly, just neglecting the previous vote's implication wouldn't be an option. Let's be consistent with it and activate and get through the vote. I think we can try to casualize the overall approval process later if necessary. ―Tohru 02:47, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
The vote is now active. See Wiktionary:Votes/2007-08/Layout of example sentences for Japanese entries. Rod (A. Smith) 02:57, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
There are a couple of pesky cleanup issues to address. If you're interested, feel free to join the conversation at Wiktionary talk:About Japanese#Example sentence format. Rod (A. Smith) 03:34, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
The cleanup issues have been addressed. The vote (Wiktionary:Votes/2007-08/Layout of example sentences for Japanese entries) will open shortly. Rod (A. Smith) 22:34, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Conclusion: The vote passed. WT:AJ is updated. (Thanks, Tohru!) Rod (A. Smith) 23:42, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Spaces before punctuation: how faithful should we be?

Older texts sometimes place a bit of space before certain punctuation marks, namely the "double" punctuation marks (semicolon, colon, question mark, and exclamation point). When quoting these works, I've been dropping this bit of space; but I've recently noticed that another editor has been more faithful to the works, representing this bit of space with a normal space character (ASCII SP), which MediaWiki is smart enough to convert to a non-breaking space (see w:fr:Wikipédia:Conventions typographiques#Espaces et signes de ponctuation). I'm O.K. with either approach; certainly there are other ways in which I've been more faithful to the original works (e.g. by not changing ſ to s), but then, there are also some ways in which it's unfeasible to be so faithful (e.g., Unicode offers no way to include old-fashioned ct and st ligatures with the swoopy top-thing; I don't think HTML+CSS offers any way to include a double-6 quotation mark in the left margin of every line that starts in the middle of a quote; and for a less old-fashioned example, HTML makes it kind of a pain to put double-width spaces between sentences).

So, my question is twofold: firstly, do we want to include these pre-punctuational spaces? And secondly, more generally, how faithful should we be in reproducing typographic conventions?

RuakhTALK 16:22, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm quite likely the editor referred to (see the 1902 quotation at dictionaric) above. I included the space as it was in the original, and was unaware that this was an older convention. In the b.g.c source it is not clear that this is a shorter space than the following one. If I was quoting a source with a medial s (ſ) then I would use this in the quotation. Other than these and the "æ" and "œ" ligatures I don't think I would attempt to replicate any other archaic formatting. If there is a convention that is different to this though I'd happily follow that. Thryduulf 17:14, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Re: "I'm quite likely the editor referred to": Indeed you are. Re: "I included the space as it was in the original, and was unaware that this was an older convention.": Yes, these spaces are quite prevalent in older works, and rare or nonexistent in modern ones. (There might also be a regional component to this; French printing typically uses the spaces, while Quebecker printing does not, which might suggest that historical British printing would be more likely to use them than historical North American printing. I really don't know, though.) Re: "In the b.g.c source it is not clear that this is a shorter space than the following one": Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that it was. All I know is that in printing, there are a lot of different widths of spaces, and as I didn't know for sure whether this bit space was exactly the same as the normal between-word space, I decided to stay on the safe side and not be explicit either way. (I guess that failed, since I ended up implying one thing in my attempt to avoid implying the other!) Re: "If there is a convention that is different to this though I'd happily follow that.": I don't think we here have a convention for this yet. Other sources don't replicate this sort of space in quoted texts, but then, other sources also don't replicate the use of ſ. (By contrast, other sources do replicate the use of æ, œ, þ, and ð.) —RuakhTALK 18:20, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I've actually looked up the Unicode for different width spaces, for one particular quotation, but it was mostly guesswork as they are so similar. With soft hyphens as well, those funny characters seldom work correctly, it seems. I remember one time when the hyphen was optional, it worked out better to just <!-comment-> that the word was split at the end of a line. Other characters I've run across that I couldn't code I also commented, but fortunately old texts don't find me often, as my descriptions involve "swoopy thing" language. Mostly I think mine is just a response to not knowning enough about how English has changed. I don't doubt I've made silly mistakes. DAVilla 17:34, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Re: "Mostly I think mine is just a response to not knowning enough about how English has changed.": I think most of us are in that boat. In this case, though, it's not even a matter of how English itself has changed, but rather of how conventions have changed for printing English text. While I think it's pretty clear we need to be faithful to the actual language used in texts we're quoting, I'm not so sure how much attention we need to pay to details of printing. —RuakhTALK 18:20, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
How do you tell how many spaces an author put after a sentence? In any given printed text, the actual width of spaces on any given line is variable (depending on the age of the printing.) The general practice that User:Muke started ages ago was to be as faithful as possible to the original text. Since that text was published, the published text should be what we go by, with as little re-interpretation as possible. Second-guessing regional typographic variants would just compromise the veracity of the citation. How much attention should be paid to the printing details? As much detail as the contributors remember to give (or verify.) --Connel MacKenzie 20:23, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
That makes sense in most cases, but some typography sure seems like a more of a property of the print medium than of the author's intent. For example, when the original quotation has line breaks and line-break hypenation, I usually remove the line breaks, and consequently the hyphenation. Should I preserve line breaks and line-break hyphenation? Rod (A. Smith) 20:34, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Generally I agree about line breaks and consequent hyphenation. I think the rule of thumb should be to reproduce the spelling and punctuation of the original as faithfully as possible so as to reproduce the meaning of the original as faithfully as possible. Reproducing the typography should be reproduced as accurately as possible where this affects the meaning or spelling, but held to a lesser standard than the spelling and punctuation. Whether there are 1 or 2 spaces between the end of sentences does not affect the meaning or spelling, the width of the spacing similarly - we should try and be faithful but we shouldn't be paranoid about it.
In the body of works of prose the line breaks and line-break hyphenation do not have any affect on the text - were the work printed on different sized paper they would be in different places. In a poem the line breaks are an important part of the work and should be reproduced as in the original. Headlines and sub-headlines of works are often chosen with a view to them fitting in the space available, and choosing where to break a line can have an impact on the importance placed upon certain words. It is a judgement call on an individual basis whether this was the case for the (sub-)headline in question, but where it was then it should be reproduced. Thryduulf 21:32, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree...well said. --Connel MacKenzie 22:17, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Could you put a note about this near the bottom of Wiktionary:Quotations? DAVilla 09:06, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I've added a lengthy section (about half as much again as the rest of the page) regarding this at the bottom of that page. This definitely needs copy editing, quite likely reducing and simplifying (my writing tends to be verbose and complex), and possibly restructuring as well. Some additional synonyms for "reproduce" would not go amiss either! Thryduulf 13:33, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think I understand your first question. It's true that the width of spaces often varies from line to line (in justified printing), but I don't think I've ever seen a typeset text where the width of spaces varied within a line. So, to see whether the typesetter used one or two spaces at the end of a sentence, you find the end of a sentence, and compare its space width to the width of a space between two words in that same line. —RuakhTALK 21:02, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I didn't say they "varied within a line", I said "on any given line." So I guess you agree with me on that? Your eyes must be way better than mine; a measurement of spacing at the end of a sentence still wouldn't be conclusive, if you factor in Kearning. I suppose it doesn't matter, as our citations aren't supposed to be more than one sentence (without very good reason) anyhow. --Connel MacKenzie 21:43, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
"our citations aren't supposed to be more than one sentence (without very good reason)" Am I wrong then in including two or three sentences where this makes the context of the cited word clearer? See the 1902 and particularly 2006 citations for dictionaric for example. Thryduulf 22:06, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Possibly. The last citation's meaning can't be understood without the first sentence. But the first citations use can be understood without the extra first sentence. I think your wording above fits this situation better than mine: "it is a judgment call on an individual basis." We could ask a copyright lawyer for clarification, but my understanding of it was that one sentence to show "use" of a word is covered by the fair-use clause. --Connel MacKenzie 22:26, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Keeping in mind that the 1902 citation is probably not under copyright any longer, so we need not feel reprisal for longer quotations from older works. There are a few cases where longer quotations add significantly to context and thus to understanding the sense of usage, such as the 1837 quote for parrot. I've seldom had to use more than a sentence, though, and there are even cases of certain Victorian authors when it actually improves readability to replace a portion of the text with ellipsis. --EncycloPetey 06:18, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Having lost track of this conversation, I stumbled today across the enormous addition to WT:QUOTE. I am more concerned with the unnoticed addition, than the specific content. I am tempted to say that the entire addition could be rephrased into one or two sentences. But the addition itself shouldn't be there, without a vote. --Connel MacKenzie 15:26, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
    • The addition was announced above, on a page which is watchlisted by about every regular contributor here. So I think it's fair to say that if there was serious opposition it would have been removed by now. (That said, I'm not really crazy about the whole concept; we're not Wikisource or Wikiquote and text characteristics which are not linguistically relevant should not concern us.)
    • Frankly, since you brought it up, the only thing I'm interested in voting on is modifying {{policy}} so that it no longer makes that ridiculous assertion about not modifying "Policy" pages. I mean honestly, is this a wiki or not? Even the English Wikipedia, which is fairly drowning in bureaucracy, does not go to such lengths. It's no wonder our policy pages are in such a painful state of neglect. -- Visviva 15:55, 3 October 2007 (UTC)


English, at least, has expletives such as the hell, in the hell, in hell, and on earth, which can be added gratuitously after Wh- question words. What part of speech are these? Adverbs? Or do we need an Expletive POS header?—msh210 17:52, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I think in (the) hell/Hell and on earth/Earth are normal adverbials (so, "adverb" in Wiktionary jargon), albeit idiomatic ones. I'm not so sure about plain the hell/Hell, though. —RuakhTALK 18:30, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
In Spanish or Dutch, they'd be Particles, but such things are rarer in English. They function to intensify, which is usually considered an adverbial function as Ruakh says. --EncycloPetey 06:11, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
In some dialects, we call those "punctuation." -- Visviva 15:45, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Vote on L4 header sequence

Getting back to this ... vote set at Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-06/ELE level 4 header sequence. Robert Ullmann 14:53, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Vote invalidated by DAVilla edits, reverted. DAVilla: DO NOT EDIT open votes.
Everyone else: please vote again. Sorry about this. Robert Ullmann 23:34, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Disable file uploading here?

I would like to ask if we should disable file uploading here entirely. English Wikiquote has entirely disabled all new file uploading while claiming fair use on copyrighted images is deemed undesirable there. As Wiktionary can probably not claim fair use on copyrighted images, I would like to suggest disabling all new file uploading here as Special:Upload has not been fully disabled.--Jusjih 18:13, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with disabling uploads here. We don't use many images, and there can't be that many uploaded to here (are there?). There are going to be quite a few audio files, but these should definitely be on Commons and I'd be amazed if even 1% were not PD or a free license I'd be amazed. This shouldn't to be too much extra strain placed on Commons admins (there was a huge fuss when one of the Spanish projects turned off local uploads as there are not many Spanish-speaking Commons admins). I'm a little out of touch with Commons at the moment (I'm spending far more time here atm), but I'll put a note on commons-l informing them of this discussion. Thryduulf 21:17, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
According to Special:Imagelist there are not too many files at all... which is encouraging. Commons would be very happy for this to happen. (and by Commons, I mean me ;))
There is a page commons:Commons:Turning off local uploads which has some advice. For my part, I guess the potentially hard part is not making people upload at Commons (since it seems virtually no one does it), but making sure you guys are happy with understanding how Commons operates.
Does you have a meta:CommonsTicker? If not, I really recommend getting one! cheers --commons:User:pfctdayelise 00:28, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Uploads here are sysop-only (for the occasional logo and whatnot.) There are no "fair-use" nor "PD" images uploaded here; GFDL only. Yes, we have WT:CT / Wiktionary:CommonsTicker (we were among the first group to get it!) --Connel MacKenzie 00:48, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Wait, why wouldn't we accept images in the public domain? —RuakhTALK 01:50, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not that we can't, we simply have no need to. (I was talking specifically about stuff uploaded here, not on commons.) By uploading anything on en.wiktionary.org, you are specifying it is now released under the GFDL (since we don't have supplemental license specifications like commons does.) --Connel MacKenzie 05:14, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
...but we don't have the manpower to investigate uploaded files to be certain of their copyright status. Also, files uploaded here are also unavailable to other projects. That makes collaboration between various Wiktionaries in various languages difficult. We should advise/enforce that all images be uploaded to Commons. If they're released under the GFDL anyway, then they're acceptable for Commons. --EncycloPetey 06:07, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
How about holding a vote here to decide? Not all Wiki sites under GFDL presume GFDL licensing for uploaded images. Some will still consider an untagged self-made work unlicensed. --Jusjih 16:46, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
The option of allowing sysop-only uploads is a safeguard against problems we've had with commons in the past; from server availability issues to inexplicable logo deletions. Having local image ability doesn't imply that it is used widely. Have we had files uploaded since we disabled uploads? I know of only a couple goofy thing, (that I've just deleted now.)
I agree with EP that we should advise that all files be uploaded to commons, but I think enforcing it would be unwise. The recent effort to move remaining files from here to commons (or simply delete from here) I fully support. This is the third or fourth pass; I think everyone that would move files there, already has. Simply deleting the remaining few items does not seem problematic; certainly not a big loss of content, especially when considering that the various media files are supplemental to being with.
--Connel MacKenzie 17:15, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Also of note, is that there has been a fair amount of board-level clarification on the WMF logos since this first came up. Since they are now copyright-protected images, I'm not sure how using them here fits into the larger scheme of things. And Ruakh's objections to GFDL-only seem more reasonable than I first assumed. I do recall significant technical problems in the past, particularly with thumbnail resizing and purging issues. The only images I see as being fairly important these days are 1) the ones used for inter-project links, 2) the ones used for voting, 3) the ones used on WT:AN, 4) the ones used on Wiktionary:Community portal, 5) {{rfd}}, rfv, rfc, et al. and 6) the individual "page logos" used on WT:GP, WT:BP and WT:TR. Many of those exist only on commons already, but I'd be really uncomfortable not having the ability to restore them locally, at times when commons is down. --Connel MacKenzie 17:50, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
There is absolutely no need for images to be uploaded here. They can all go to commons and be used on all wikis. p.s. Do you know if we can upload Quicktime videos? SemperBlotto 17:54, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I think commons:COM:FUS has a thing to convert .mov files to .ogg (vorbis.) That would certainly help with the (abandoned again) sign language initiative. --Connel MacKenzie 07:33, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Can't we put some custom text on the upload page that tells our uploading sysops: don't upload it unless it's an image on commons that we use for our infrastructure, in case commons is out to lunch? That's really what we're trying to ensure, isn't it? ArielGlenn 21:41, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Compare MediaWiki:Uploadtext. It already has a big warning on it about uploading to Commons. Mike Dillon 22:34, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Wow! w:MediaWiki:Uploadtext has been nicely rewritten! The wording I remember from the distant past, was pretty absurdly permissive. I guess they figured it out eventually. (Wow! Blocked for falsifying image licensing info! Bravo!) I agree that our wording can be enhanced. Any specific suggestions? --Connel MacKenzie 22:51, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Here is a first draft of language to add to the banner: "Only upload an image here if it is already on the Commons and it is needed for Wiktionary infrastructure. Examples of such images are Copyright.svg and Symbol support vote.svg." ArielGlenn 02:13, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Done. --Connel MacKenzie 06:17, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

(outdent) English Wikipedia has seen a big push in the last six months or so to drastically cut back on the number of dubious "fair use" images. I think that this rewording of w:MediaWiki:Uploadtext was part of that effort. There was also a move a month or two ago to replace the direct link in the sidebar to Special:Upload with an "upload wizard" like the one found on Commons.

In the case of Wiktionary, I don't really see the point of even talking about this. The sidebar link already goes to Commons and only admins can upload anyways. I highly doubt that anyone will even find the local Special:Upload unless they know what they are looking for since the only link to it that is even marginally prominent is the "Upload a new version of this file" for the few images that are already here. So we're basically talking about a reminder for the 50-odd admins who already know not to upload stuff here (the last upload was six months ago). Mike Dillon 01:38, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Conjugation descriptions

I think that verb entries in many languages would benefit from a brief description of their conjugation, rather than a mere table; for example, someone looking for the conjugation of the French verb rompre would probably like to know that its conjugation is the same as rendre, vendre, perdre, etc. (a fairly large and commonly encountered group of verbs that nearly any student of French would be familiar with) except in the third-person singular present indicative (which is rompt, rather than *romp). (Note: I'm not saying that a note should replace the table, only that a note should supplement it.) This wouldn't be a controversial thing for me to start adding to "Conjugation" templates, would it? Is there anything like it in any existing article, that I could borrow phrasing from? Thanks in advance. —RuakhTALK 04:34, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

We've toyed with the idea for Spanish and Latin entries. I think the Spanish verbs may actually have that information in some of the entries, and there is a crude subdivision of verbs into categories by ending (though not by conjugation pattern). --EncycloPetey 06:04, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
In the articles -are, -ere and -ire I have grouped irregular Italian verbs that have the same patterns of conjugation. Though my motive was to make it easier for me to feed them to the bot (process not yet complete). SemperBlotto 13:58, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I've edited {{fr-conj-pre)}}; if y'all could take a look at rompre and interrompre and tell me what you think, I'd appreciate it. :-) —RuakhTALK 00:12, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
The way it indicates the conjugation group seems great. In reviewing, I noticed that we don't (yet) have an entry for se rompre, so I added transitive tags and a reflexive sense to rompre. However, Wiktionary:About French is practically blank, Wiktionary:About Italian and Wiktionary:About Portuguese are missing, and Wiktionary:About Spanish is silent about reflexives, so I'm not certain the reflexive sense belongs there, or whether we should also specify the reflexive conjugation separately. (I'm not committed to showing the reflexive conjugation anywhere or convinced there's much benefit to doing so for French, but I thought I'd throw that out here to see if it sticks.) Do we have a norm for French reflexives or, if not, maybe for romance language reflexives in general? Rod (A. Smith) 01:44, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it is good. By the way, Wiktionary:About Italian is on my (offline) list of things to do. SemperBlotto 06:59, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Yep. I recall a conversation about Spanish reflexives with Hippietrail. The informal decision was to use the non-reflexive form as the lemma, as you've done. --EncycloPetey 20:13, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that rompre does not actually have "the same conjugation" as those verbs.Similar, yes, but not identical. Circeus 19:10, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I don't see why that's a problem? —RuakhTALK 19:46, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
This sounds like something that is perfect to fit in categories. I propose to make a Category:French verbs on -re or something more useful. Then one could, via the category, see the conjugation of similarly conjugated words. And of course, some sort of base table should be in the category description, along with the suitable templates etc. etc. H. (talk) 15:11, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

some less straight-forward input to knowledge classification

  • reverse dictionary, (&/or a
  • thesaurus),
  • more/less specific categories,
  • historical definition changes,

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 05:49, 18 August 2007 (UTC).

I'm not entirely sure whether this is a question or not, and if so what it is asking, but the following links might help:

I hope this helps. If it doesn't, please reply giving more detail about what you are looking for. Thryduulf 13:51, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I thought we had consensus to delete the Inverse requests. That must have been overlooked, since we apparently still have them. (The individual questions are better addressed in WT:TR, with resulting entry enhancements and Wikisaurus updates.)
I am intrigued by the notion of different level topical categories (and similarly, strict vs. weak synonyms & antonyms.) Hearing people's brainstorming on how this could be improved would be productive, I think.
The last item might be addressed by a category such as Category:Words whose definition changed over time, but offhand that seems like overkill. Since it would be a very subjective category, it would probably be a lot more trouble than it's worth.
--Connel MacKenzie 18:02, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't know of any discussions regarding inverse requests, I only found the page a couple of days ago (I forget how now). Looking at Special:Whatlinkshere/Wiktionary:Requested articles:English/Inverse Requests, there was a short discussion in February this year [8], the consensus of which appears to be that the concept is a good one, but that the tea room would do it better. You (Connel) suggested sending it to RFDO, SemperBlotto told you to "Go4it" but nothing more appears to have happened as there are no links to the page from RFDO. Going forward, I suggest we:
  • copy the active threads to the tea room
  • archive the old ones somewhere
  • mark the page as inactive, with prominent links at the top and bottom to the tea room
  • include a note in the tearoom header that that is the place for inverse requests
  • wait ~1 month and then nominate the IR page for deletion at RFDO.
Now I know about this, I wont object to the WT:IR shortcut either being retargetted to the tearoom or deleted outright. Thryduulf 20:26, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Combine the above outline with my laziness and you may understand why it hasn't happened yet. :-)   Rather than archive the old ones somewhere, I'd see if any of those could fit in as example sentences or usage notes (or even ===Trivia=== sections) in the target entries themselves, so that someone doing a partial search of those terms will (perhaps) find the entry they are looking for (or that WT:IR suggests.) FWIW, I do recall other conversations about the "inverse requests" but I don't think they are important, nor substantially different from what you found. --Connel MacKenzie 06:09, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Checkuser votes

There are a number of new CheckUser nominations on the voting page. We currently have too few CheckUsers, who are overburdened. This can be a difficult vote as they are required to have a balance of 25 votes in favor. Please inform everyone you know who might be registered here. DAVilla 09:27, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Foreign abbreviations

How do we handle abbreviations in foreign languages, such as the translations of RIP, namely REP, RIF, DEP? Do we give the foreign language term, the translation into English, or both? Wiktionary:Translations is incredibly short and uninformative. DAVilla 08:57, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure if a formal policy exists for this. Check out LKK for example of the way I've been doing Chinese entries. -- A-cai 10:40, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
You can also look at CA (which I did) and ADN (which someone else did) for Spanish examples. --EncycloPetey 15:20, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I’ve done a lot of these for Russian; for example, г., г, мг, ДНК, до н. э., зам., and напр. —Stephen 16:12, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Three different languages, three different styles. If there's anything wrong with the abbreviations I moved, I'm not going to be the one to fix them, as I just wouldn't know. DAVilla 06:02, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Consistent format for mentioned terms

Previous conversation in this topic is now archived at Template talk:term#Separate styles for English and non-English mentions. Rod (A. Smith) 05:03, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

As noted previously, we have multiple competing styles for mentioned terms. Some editors use bold to mention terms.[9] Others use italics [10] or just wikilink them. Some editors italicize transliterations and some just enclose in parentheses. Some editors designate English translation glosses with single quotes, some with double quotes, some with italics, some with parentheses, and some with no marking at all.

{{term}} lets editors apply a consistent style to terms mentioned within running text (e.g. in ===Etymology=== and ====Usage notes==== sections). Each reader can customize the output style of Latin script (i.e. roman script, not specifically Latin language, not “roman” type style) mentions through WT:PREFS or through WT:CUSTOM. Please see the documentation at {{term}}.

Note: Unless there is renewed interest in distinguishing the style of English mentions from that of non-English mentions, we will have just one template. Please speak up if you feel we should also promote {{en-term}}.

Now I need help determining the default, reader-customizable style for {{term}} to apply to mentioned Latin (roman) script terms. Our choice will not apply to mentions in other scripts (e.g. to Arabic, Hebrew, or Chinese). Each of those scripts has a style determined by its script template. The short-lived straw poll Wiktionary:Votes/2007-08/style for mentioned terms gathered weak support for italics as the preliminary default for demonstration purposes, but now we need more participation in order to promote {{term}} into general use.

Please comment about what style to use as the default for mentions within running text. I will use such comments to create a formal vote. (And, by the way, please also give any advice on the best structure for such a vote.) Rod (A. Smith) 05:03, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Please see the proposed vote Wiktionary:Votes/2007-10/style for mentioned terms and let me know if it should be changed in any way. Rod (A. Smith) 04:23, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

If we must vote on this, I think it would be best to have a simple up/down on the italics (the option which seems to have the highest degree of support). The previous vote showed some of the problems with approval voting in this context. That said, in the context of {{term}}, this is something that can be customized by those users who wish to do so, ergo not really a major policy shift, so I wouldn't have said it requires a vote at all. -- Visviva 07:03, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I would also prefer a simple “italics” vs. “bold” vote, but it was noted that Wiktionary:Votes/2007-08/style for mentioned terms was improperly structured for use in an official vote because it lacked an option for dissension. I don't yet know how to handle dissension for this vote (e.g. "I don't like needing different systems for different languages, so I favour neither option."). If this end with significant dissension, I'd have to rethink {{term}}, and gather more feedback. Admittedly, I suffer from naïveté regarding voting systems, so I welcome education from anyone who can explain the implications of “approval” voting as compared with “up/down” voting. Rod (A. Smith) 17:48, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, Wiktionary:Votes/2007-10/style for mentioned terms is now open. (Thanks for the feedback, Visviva, but to reduce this to an up/down vote without a little more input would seem to discount the feedback from DAVilla and Thecurran in the earlier straw poll.) Rod (A. Smith) 00:45, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Anglicized names

Do all names have Anglicized versions, or should we be translating English Hansel at German Hänsel instead, in contradiction to our rules? DAVilla 07:05, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, it seems clear to me that many East Asian (esp. CJKV) personal names have origins so independent from Western ones that there is often no standard Anglicized version and where they do exist, these are relatively new. Consider, among Western ones, Spanish's common Ignacio. When I wanted to Anglicize it I thought of Ignatius, Ignatz, Aidan, or Aiden. None of these bear both the commonality of Ignacio and a pronunciation or spelling of obvious relation. Jerome, Jacques, Jake, Jacob, Seamus, James, Jim, Jimmy, Jimbo, Jimmie, Jimi, Iago, Yakov, Diego, Jacobus and Santiago on the other hand are all cognates of Ya'akov (יַעֲקֹב) so Anglicization to one of these is marred by having too many reasonable choices. Thecurran 20:01, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure "Jerome" comes from "Hieronymus" (something like "holy name" in Greek). Mike Dillon 01:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

No, Davilla, not all names have Anglicized versions. Many old names don't even have a single form in the original language; for Hansel (which is a double diminutive of Johann), I can find Hanczel, Hansel, Hänsel, Hansl, Hanzl, Hensel, Hennsel, Henczil, Hensl, Hentzil, and Henzl all documented as forms of this name from the German-Czech border for a period spanning 1350-1650. Names don't behave like other words because they are tied to specific individuals. --EncycloPetey 00:15, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't think any name can be translated. The word is "cognate", but I've been adding "translations" because you cannot create a new header for every type of word. I would list Johann/Johannes in translations of John, and Hans and Hänsel as "Related terms" in the article Johann and Johannes. Listing Hänsel as a translation of Jack or Johnny would seem far-fetched. As for Ignacio, couldn't you define it as a Spanish male given name, cognate to Ignatius? Differences in usage can be explained in the article.
There are names in all languages that have no cognate in English. All you can do is to explain what they mean and where they come from. But what should you do with names that don't exist in English but have cognates in other languages, e.g. Sven/Svend/Svein or Ulrich/Ulrik? Is it enough to refer them to each other under "See also" header?--Makaokalani 15:28, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
When a person with a name that is not natively used in English wishes to become known by an English name they often (but not always) take a name that is either etymologically related or sounds similar. For example the husband of one of my friends is known as "Steven" in England but was named "Sven" by his parents. Thryduulf 17:55, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
In response to Mike Dillon, you may be entirely correct about 'Jerome'. I was referring to how people hebraicize 'Jerome' as 'יַעֲקֹב'. I was wary of including it as a cognate until I read "Naming Children: A review of Jewish practices from the Bible to the present" by Novak, David in "חדשות: Temple David Newsletter", 2007, Issue 7, published in Mount Lawley, AU-WA. Either way, ta 4 yr pointer. BTW, I think that once a personal name becomes common enough in English to merit an entry, its non-accented form should be included as well as its accented form, as 'José' becomes "Jose" rather than "Joseph" on many databases. Thecurran 09:38, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Infrequently-used headers in WT:ELE

As noted at User:AutoFormat/Headers#level 4/3 headers, Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-06/Headers in ELE, and Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2007/June#ELE level 4 header sequence, the heading “====Coordinate terms====” is rarely used. To align WT:ELE and Wiktionary:Semantic relations with practice, we should probably remove the undesirable headers. Please note any objections to removing the following infrequently used headers from WT:ELE and from Wiktionary:Semantic relations:

  • Coordinate terms
  • Holonyms
  • Hypernyms
  • Hyponyms
  • Meronyms
  • Troponyms

Rod (A. Smith) 18:16, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Most (if not all) of the -onyms should go. Some will be adequately covered in the definition lines - for example, "musical instrument" is a hypernym of "guitar", because "musical instrument" includes "guitar" - but it would be ridiculous to have a definition of a "guitar" that does not already state that it is a "musical instrument". The rest will be adequately covered as related terms or synonyms, or in Wikisaurus. bd2412 T 18:28, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. —RuakhTALK 20:56, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Me too. We do not do terminology, we do lexicology. Those are only relevant in detailed lexical or terminologic analysis, not in a dictionary. Circeus 21:43, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Keep Hyponyms: see parrot for a very useful example. I would prefer that subordinate terms such as kinds of parrots or breeds of dog be listed under Hyponyms, rather than tossed into a mixed bag of "See also" entries. This concept is used often in entries for the scientific names of taxa, even if the header itself isn't. On the page for Juglandaceae, I want to be able to mention that Carya and Juglans are hyponyms. Hypernyms could serve a similar function, but I prefer to put that information in the definition (as above). --EncycloPetey 23:17, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
The problem is, I doubt most people know what the word hyponym even means. (It's not even in Firefox's spell-check dictionary!) I think it might work better for hyponyms to be listed together in the "See also" section; for example, parrot's "See also" section could include a line headed "(kinds of parrot)". —RuakhTALK 23:45, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Ick... The "See also" usually ends up being a mish-mash of assorted terms. I'd rather avoid a decision that officially makes it a junk bin, or a decision that means we end up with odd collected formatting on all our taxon pages. If this is a widely-applicable header (and it is), then its use should be both allowed and explained, if not actually promoted. (And there are many words and acronyms I use every day that put various spell-checkers into fits.) --EncycloPetey 02:35, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Allow all of them, but push the description of this more detailed stuff off to a subpage of ELE. DAVilla 23:39, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Hmm. In the past, I have seen cleanup efforts change these uncommon headers into more common ones. It’s not clear to me when to use the more precise but less common headers. For example, should I use ====Cooridnate terms==== or ====Synonyms==== for the heading in phonetics that lists phonology, and vice versa? They are coordinate terms since they overlap but are not strictly synonyms, but I expect if I use ====Coordinate terms====, it risks being “cleaned up” to something like the dreaded ====See also====. Rod (A. Smith) 23:25, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

You have been temporarily blocked

I'd like to create a {{block-notice}} that administrators can subst onto talk-pages of editors they block temporarily. (With permanent blocks, it's probably not worth bothering.) I figure such a notice should:

  • inform the editor of the reason he or she was blocked (using a {{{reason}}} parameter that expands a few common values — v or vandal for seeming vandalism, spam for adding links or other content that appear to be spam, above for failing to comply with a notice higher on the talk-page, attack for personal attacks — and passes through longer explanations; and/or a {{{policy}}} parameter that provides a link to the violated policy if it's been codified; and/or a {{{page}}} parameter that links to the specific article edits to which precipitated the block).
  • inform the editor of the duration of the block (using {{{length}}} and/or {{{until}}} parameters).
  • link to the administrator's talk-page and e-mail page (using an {{{admin}}} parameter) with some sort of "if you have any questions about your block" type phrasing.
  • be able to include a welcome message (maybe just {{welcome}}) — say, conditional on a {{{welcome}}} parameter — in the case that the editor has not already been welcomed.

Assuming administrators actually made use of it, I think this would encourage consistency and transparency, and signal to the blockee that we're not just being vindictive, arbitrary, or overzealous.


RuakhTALK 23:37, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like instruction creep to me. How often do you block, that you would therefore be (newly) required to clog the database with this stuff? The block message already links to the blocking sysop's page. For those of us that have (spam-protected) e-mail addresses listed in plain sight, that is to say, those of us that go above and beyond reasonable requirements it is more than a little irritating when "blockees" decide to skip it and go sysop-fishing instead...particularly when fishing out new sysops. --Connel MacKenzie 01:59, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I didn't say anything about requiring its use; I don't know where you got that from. And I highly doubt that any blockees fish out new sysops; I think you're being paranoid. (As for skipping the blocker and looking for a different sysop, I'm not sure if that happens, but I don't think it's terribly unreasonable if it is.) Re: "The block message already links to the blocking sysop's page.": Interesting! I didn't know that. What is this block message exactly? Where is it displayed? Is it something we can edit the text of via one of the MediaWiki-namespace pages? —RuakhTALK 02:34, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Somewhere in the dark past, I blocked myself and copied & pasted the block message into my talk page archives...but I don't feel like searching for it, at the moment. --Connel MacKenzie 04:41, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I know you didn't say "required." I think you even went so far as to imply the opposite. But traditions like that have a very predictable way of growing into requirements in a fairly short time. --Connel MacKenzie 04:44, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
The page for blocking already seems to basically satisfy Ruakh's desires. I agree with Connel MacKenzie about it being instruction creep or data clog if we created separate pages for each variety of blocking reason as well as the danger of letting that e-mail posting tradition become a requirement. How about <please don't hate me> making it so the only page the user can edit is the sysop's talk page, so that communication can be achieved without leaking e-mail details. Another solution might be to allow blockees to edit their own talk pages, because even if they contacted the sysop the sysop may not want to reply anyway and this decreases the danger of wasting the sysop's page with angry vandalism or flames. Anything the blockees say would be on their own pages and recorded so others can agree with the block or extend it. It gives them the dangerous power to vent in public, so maybe while they are blocked, their pages could have a notice saying so at the top and even # links could be forced to go there first. That way any potential viewers would know they might be in for a rant. If this was actually practical the only danger I would see is that they could try to chew up memory, so maybe an edit limit could be placed on them. I don't even know if half this stuff is possible. It would be nice if potential blockees had one-three official warnings before a block, if this is not possible, because that way, they still have a chance to seek clarification and make amends while knowing the gravity of their deeds. As far as the length or end of the block goes, that would be nice to add into the template as $4. Don't worry, be happy! Thecurran 04:23, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
The ability to post messages on one's own talk page exists on Wikipedia, so that much is possible, but I don't think it is desired. But from what I've seen, it is frequently (always?) abused, until someone decides to protect that talk page. As for adding $4; there is no way to make it optional (show for some, not for others) and would therefore encourage vandals to return on a specific date. Likewise, I think a link to Special:Log/block would be gratuitous. --Connel MacKenzie 05:02, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
At Wikipedia they only block people who are seriously disruptive, so it's not shocking that allowing them to edit their talk-page could have problems. Here we block people much more readily (or some of us do), so it makes more sense to allow talk-page editing by default. —RuakhTALK 05:49, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
If they return on a certain date and vandalize, they can have a new, longer block imposed, until they get a permanent block, right? If you're talking about anonymous IP's, maybe permanent blocks aren't an option. If there's trouble when blockees edit their own pages, maybe they should lose that option, but still be able to talk to the sysop by going anonymously to the discussion page, and the revelation of their IP address would be the deterrent. I could be barking up the wrong tree. Thecurran 05:43, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

National Adjective

I looked for this discussion but didn't find it. The adjective forms for nations in English are quite irregular: Spaniard, German, Swede, Dane, Briton, Frenchperson, Canadian, American, Brazilian, Thai, Norwegian, Saudi, Iraqi, Mexican, Filipino, Marylander*, Arab*, Muscovite*, etc. * not pertaining to Sovereign nations. I think it would be great if we instituted a policy of attaching the proper adjective form(s) of a nation to the page on each nation. I would also like to extend that to first-level administration areas of nations, like states, provinces or countries. Thecurran 01:57, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

I doubt there will ever be a "policy" for this, but adding these terms to a "Derived terms" or "Related terms" section as appropriate in perfectly aligned with common practice. Mike Dillon 02:23, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
They should probably all have links to Appendix:Countries of the world, while you're at it. --Connel MacKenzie 03:30, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, maybe I shouldn't be asking to institute a policy on this matter. I do want to get a day's worth of tacit permission to do so for each of the UN member states, observer states, and non-decolonized territories as well as their first-level administration areas or countries (like Siberia, Scotland or Honshu(macron missing)). In many cases using the place name as an adjective is acceptable, probably rendering this effort unnecessary. This is especially true of those places where the predominant language does not have special adjectives derived from the place names. Japanese, for example, would universally make adjectives of all place names by adding the no postposition, so I wouldn't say it has specially derived adjectives. Indonesian would simply use the name as the adjective, but somehow Sumatran, Balinese, Buginese, Javanese, Sundanese, & Timorese made wide forays into English. Bornean from Malaysia did not, however. Oops! Rambling point reached. :-B3 Links to Appendix:Countries of the world sounds good I'll do that when I start. I'll still wait for a day's permission. Luckily, this is a dictionary and Taiwan is still officially the Republic of China on the island, so I won't upset Taiwanese or the PRChinese. :) Thecurran 03:53, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I think Countries_of_the_world = Appendix:Countries of the world . Thecurran 08:33, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Yikes! And 50 entries linking without Appendix: DAVilla 11:52, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Welcome pages

I felt really good when I was welcomed recently. The person gave me important advice and a boost into Wiktionary. It gave me a rush and encouraged me to contribute as much as I can. I would like to suggest a change to the welcome template, though. I recently heard that we newbies regularly make trouble for everyone else by editing articles or discussion pages without searching the beer parlour or tea room for relevant history first. As only people who have made a few edits are welcomed, I think it's safe to assume they know what Wiktionary is and how to operate the edit functions but assumig we actually check the beer parlour and tea room and really understanding how vital they are to avoid opening up old wounds may be the source of the aforementioned problem. I think it may have been in my case. I thought the rooms were just glorified chat rooms and that all important discussion was to be done in the discussion pages of articles. I wanted to speak my mind on a certain policy-related matter, so I should have gone straight to the beer parlour. Instead, I started discussions on many of the pages involved in that matter, thinking the only way people would see my idea was if it showed up in their watchlist. I had no clue a recent changes page existed. In the end, I think it would be nice if we were advised to check the tea room or beer parlour for related discussions before(underline) making any further edits and perhaps suggest our edits there and wait a day before implementing them. Then again, maybe I'm just a unique nerd who just didn't get the point and everyone else does. Either way, have a nice day. Thecurran 03:25, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it would be helpful to Wikipedian imigrants for {{welcome}} to mention that WT:TR is a better place to get feedback about an individual entry than the entry's talk page. Rod (A. Smith) 05:48, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I believe we do have {{pediawelcome}} too though. --Neskaya talk 23:41, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
{{pediawelcome}} is great. I don't remember any link to it standing out when I first started. Is there any chance we could make it more prominent or have it as an automatic link on Welcomes? Thecurran 11:01, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure about that, but it sounds like a generally good idea. I try and use {{pediawelcome}} when I know that the editor is a 'pedian. However this doesn't often seem to be possible to know, and certainly someone more familiar with the 'pedia community would be able to do this better than I. --Neskaya talk 21:33, 7 September 2007 (UTC)


I recently made Category:Automobiles, which may be redeundant with Category:Automotive. Should I merge all of one into another, or just undo my revisions? --Umbrella 09:43, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

That looks like a useful category for finding trademark/brand names that don't meet our WT:CFI (i.e. all of the members of Category:Automobiles,) so I think for now, until they are deleted, it can stay. --Connel MacKenzie 14:38, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
FYI, this pending vote may have some bearing on whether WT:CFI includes or excludes names of automobiles. Rod (A. Smith) 06:19, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

no longer productive

There are a number of affixes with (no longer productive) noted (a-, -er, -ing, for-, אר-) and still more that should have such a note; can this be made a context template? (I don't know how and also don't know whether it needs some sort of community approval.)—msh210 20:46, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Makes sense to me. The wording may need to be worked on, but regardless of whether it is "no longer productive", "non-productive", or "unproductive", I think it should probably link to a glossary entry since I'm pretty sure "productive" is a term of art specific to linguistics. Mike Dillon 01:17, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Context labels are still new enough that no attempt has been made to limit them; in general there is no "community approval" for individual labels - at least, not yet. You can always use {{context|no longer productive}} in lieu of creating a separate label. It might be worth having a label for; it might not...it's hard to guess if that will be useful. --Connel MacKenzie 16:07, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

What does 'no longer productive' mean? RJFJR 18:17, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

It means that the language rules used to allow speakers to add the morpheme (or phoneme in some cases) to any word of a given open set (e.g. to nouns or to transitive verbs) to create new word with a predicatable meaning, and that the language has changed such that it no longer supports that construction in general but it may still be used with a select set of words. Rod (A. Smith) 19:21, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
At first it scared me that someone would mention -er and -ing as unproductive when they're clearly appended to many of the newest words to the English language, but when I saw that the common productive senses are still labelled as such and that the it was only certain senses that received the unproductive tag, I understood that it is being used appropriately. I support a move to establish this tag firmly with a template to help ESOL speakers to refrain from creating terms that would be difficult for most natives to understand, but it seems that the tag of productive might be a waste of time, because the article's or section's mere presence seems to indicate productivity. Thecurran 19:37, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

{{no longer productive}} now created; it uses the label text "no longer productive" and adds its article to Category:Obsolete. —RuakhTALK 19:52, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Might it be an idea to change the category to a sub-category (perhaps category:Obsolete affixes) to differentiate these from actual obsolete words as the words formed from the no longer productive prefixes and suffixes are frequently not themselves obsolete. Thryduulf 22:10, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I'd be O.K. with Category:No longer productive or something. Category:Obsolete affixes is a bit too specific, as it's not just affixes that can cease to be productive. Another example — not a great one, because it's not the sort of thing we usually cover in a dictionary, but the first one that comes to mind — is the inverted-present-subjunctive construction of "be it resolved" (="let it be resolved") or "come Hell or high water" (="even if Hell or high water comes"), which is no longer productive, but survives in various fixed expressions such as these. —RuakhTALK 22:55, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
The word affix is not used to describe English, even though it is used a great deal for describing that feature in other languages. Obscure or exotic terminology should be avoided whenever possible, especially when describing English. As Ruakh said, it is way too specific for this simple tag. I agree with Ruakh, that Category:No longer productive seems like a good compromise. I'll make that happen now. --Connel MacKenzie 02:11, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Um, the word affix is used to describe English. It's so used in the Oxford Companion to the English Language and in Gleason's An Introduction to Descriptive Linguistics, which happen to be the first two books I checked. --EncycloPetey 04:23, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I think he means that we don't use the word affix to describe English. Think "mistakes were made". :-) Personally I think English is actually a language, not an affix, but whatever. ;-)RuakhTALK 15:45, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

This tag should be completely deprecated, as it is prescriptive and POV. There is no way in which we can predict whether these affixes will be productive in the future. The richness of the language still allows them to be used. The ones that I have seen do not even have any evidence about why that person was making the allegation that they were not productive. Eclecticology 08:03, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand this comment. Let me take each sentence separately: (1) Linguists (i.e. descriptivists) talk all the time about productiveness. Granted, usually it's seen somewhat of a scale — some constructions are more productive than others — but I don't think choosing a cut-off point magically turns this into prescriptivist POV. (2) We're not making that prediction. (I don't know about you, but I don't assume that every one of our articles will still describe English accurately two hundred years from now. If we want permanent correctness, then we need to restrict our scope to dead languages, and frankly, that's not a trade-off I'm willing to make.) (3) The same goes for obsolete, archaic, and (especially) dated words, but we still label them: we're not telling our readers not to use these things, just letting them have the facts and judge for themselves. (4) "Allegation"? We're not saying they're criminals! Just retirees. And anyway, whether or not we have this tag should not hinge on whether a few examples lack evidence. —RuakhTALK 15:45, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
As an aside, when I looked into this I did find the more appropriate term for what you are trying to say is "formative". Talking about something is different from putting a negative tag to the usage. This is the sort of thing that can be handled in a note much better. You mention a "cut-off point"; how do you define that?
In 200 years, if Wiktionary is still around, it will have evolved. In effect the formativeness is a part of the word's etymology. The contemporaneous quotes which were current at the time will still be there to describe the language as it was at the time of the quote. New quotes will have been added as the language evolves.
The labels "archaic" and "obsolete" are tolerable, but I find "dated" to be offensive. The statement that it is still used by older people smacks of ageist discrimination. The fact that gay has fashionably come to mean homosexual does not automatically render the traditional meaning dated. Many of these so-called dated words continue to be used by large segments of the society, and yet those segments are cast aside to linguistic pasture.
Perhaps I use "allege" more broadly that you. Substitute "claim" or "hypothesize", and I will be just as happy with those terms. As for evidence, how do you know that these affixes are "non-productive"? Eclecticology 21:03, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
If you find the label "dated" to be offensive, open a new discussion about that here on BP to discuss it. Then, when it has been discussed enough, if there is no clear consensus, open a WT:VOTE to choose the best label. Because we use consistent tagging techniques, we can update that label in all the entries that use it in one single edit if the community so decides. Rod (A. Smith) 21:12, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
There is no need to decide these things by a vote. Saying that you can somehow change everything with a single edit makes no sense at all, because the new label may not be so robotically applicable to every circumstance where "dated" now appears. The use of the term "dated" is entirely subjective, and in many of those circumstances it has been placed without any justification and should just be removed. Plain language is always preferable to a template. Eclecticology 09:38, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Re: "Plain language is always preferable to a template", no. While that was true in the early years of Wiktionary, it is clearly no longer acceptable. Inflection templates in particular cannot be simply subst:'ed. There has been very little opposition to "templating everything" (notably: my own sort-lived opposition and Eclecticology's.) The major factors for change were:
  1. Brevity of syntax: newcomers like the compact syntax.
  2. Usability: Preferences allow formatting "battles" to be accommodated to everyone's satisfaction.
  3. Ease of use: Since AutoFormat handles the re-parsing and re-formatting, newcomers don't have to know any arcane syntax to achieve the desired result.
  4. Parsing: derivatives of en.wiktionary.org (like http://ninjawords.com/) are possible only with discrete syntax.
  5. Error checking: Bots and XML analysis is enormously easier therefore more in-depth than would be possible otherwise.
  6. Statistics: Things like WT:STATS#Detail would not have evolved as quickly, if we used plain-text only.
I think it is too broad a statement to accept anymore. The community seems to feel the exact opposite is true, for about a year now. You could start a straw-poll WT:VOTE to confirm or deny that templates are preferred in all cases. But I don't think that would be particularly helpful and might harm Wiktionary's flexibility. --Connel MacKenzie 16:07, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not saying that those who want to use these templates should be forbidden, but then neither should those who want to use plain language. The apparent "lack of opposition" to templating everything is superficial. These templates are very long, detailed and convoluted, and as such are not likely to have been analysed to any extent by newcomers who are just trying to wade through that morass.
  1. Plain language can be just as brief. Claiming that newcomers "like" it is a matter of pure speculation; have they been exposed to anything else?
  2. Plain language is no less usable. Isn't saying that "formatting battles can be accommodated to everyone's satisfaction" a little arrogant when you really mean that everyone has the right to conform to the received wisdom of the template wallahs.
  3. Are you really claiming that plain text is not easy to use? AutoFormat is a huge grab-bag of policy impositions. Some are acceptable, but certainly not all. When you say that newcomers don't have to know anything to achieve your desired results we have a situation akin to governments saying, "Trust us, we know better." At the very least AutoFormat should be broken down into a series of discrete components that can be applied separately.
  4. How outside websites use Wiktionary is not our concern. It's up to them to adapt to whatever we do.
  5. I'm not too sure what errors you are talking about, or what kind of analysis.
  6. Statistics are only incidental. In case you have forgotten the purpose of this project is to build a dictionary.
I don't see what a vote would do at this point except to confirm the tyranny of the majority. Please avoid extrapolating your sentiments into the whole community. Reducing the many facets of template applicability into a single up or down vote debases the entire debate. Flexibility would require the greatest number of options for all users. Eclecticology 18:43, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I think "Tyranny Of The Majority" would be a great name for a punk rock band.
I think I'd like to request a username change to User:TemplateWallah on WT:MV.
You missed the point about the templates: the software abstraction provides features that make the final result acceptable to each (as per their preference.)
I think you are mistaken, about what "debases the entire debate." You suggest that the foregone conclusion isn't really so. I'm sorry, but you have an uphill battle on that point. What you suggest (text only) is undeniably less flexible. By moving the flexibility to a software level, many more needs are met. Your silly refutation of my individual examples of precursors has nothing to do with the fact that en.wiktionary does rely on templates for many features. Simply saying you don't like it is your prerogative, but please don't suggest you represent the community (you know: that tyrannical majority.)
We each have rules we don't like; for this collaborative project to succeed, solutions are sought that meet the needs of the most contributors (i.e. consensus.) As it evolves, I expect the focus to shift steadily towards the reader, instead of the contributor, but we have a ways to go, yet.
During your previous absences, lacking a 'benevolent dictator,' the WT:VOTE process was adopted. While I myself have some complaints about its efficacy, the community here at en.wiktionary seems (overall) quite happy with it. I assume that when you say "confirm the tyranny" above, you mean that you agree that the community, as a whole, accepts/welcomes/desires this use of templates. The idea of building a dictionary is founded on each of us working together to build it.
I know you yourself are an excellent contributor here. I know you have an enormous memory of formative events in Wiktionary's history (also very helpful.) I know it is difficult to return to a project, when it has changed in subtle (or not-so-subtle) ways during one's absence. My wish is that you'll stick around, voicing your opinion, while maintaining some respect for the substantial improvements that have been made to the infrastructure. --Connel MacKenzie 21:26, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
As Ruakh points out, the term "productive" is a standard linguistic term for describing affixes and other constructions that do not show evidence of idiomatic usage in the creation of novel terms and utterances. One of the things that you removed the tag from, the diminutive sense of -ing, is not productive. Maybe you're thinking of -ling, which is only really semi-productive. If the diminutive sense of -ing is productive, then it should be easy to come up with a new word that is immediately recognizable as a diminutive form to a native speaker. Same thing goes with -ling. Do you honestly think that nouns like "elephanting" or "catling" would make sense to you as diminutives outside of this discussion? Mike Dillon 03:10, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
"Standard linguistic term" in what context? Again leaving aside the distinction between "formative" and "productive", there is a big difference between describing tendencies in proper sentences of text in notes, and making a bald assertion in a tag. As for -ing I see the "-l-" as an added letter to make the pronunciation more euphonious, or to preserve the pronunciation of the root morpheme. The real test is whether my use of "elephanting" in a sentence would clearly convey my intent. That your proposed words might now sound awkward may be a factor in deciding to use the word in the first place, but the meaning would still be clear in "Stephen Colbert sought to populate Wikipedia with elephantings that had been torn away from their mothers." Eclecticology 09:38, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I actually don't think that would clear at all, but insofar as it's comprehensible, it's in spite of the suffix's not being comprehensible. If I say, "Our elephant just gave birth. The floobret is adorable; you want to come see him?", you'll probably understand what "floobret" means, but that doesn't mean there's some sort of productive process generating "floobret" from "elephant". But really, this "comprehensible" thing is a bit of a blind; if I started saying foxen (by analogy with oxen) you'd probably understand it, but -en is nonetheless not productive, because people don't start saying foxen — and if they do (as with geeks who say boxen), then we owe it to our readers to explain the very narrow context in which -en is productive, and not to pretend that everyone goes around using it that way. —RuakhTALK 14:31, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Your "floobret" would not be understood because it is a non-sequitur; it does not even pretend to follow any kind of word-formative process. I don't know what you mean by a "blind" in this context. Your "-en" example for a plural is clearly formative; your reference to the geekish "boxen" only serves to prove my point. That plural may not find favour in the broader community, and may not even persist among geeks, but being formative does not require a particularly high standard. As I have said before a statement that an affix has fallen into disfavour as a formative would be better placed as a comment in the etymology section. Eclecticology 18:43, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

set phrase

I just noticed that I have been using “set phrase” in a manner that is inconsistent with our entry for that phrase, inconsistent with “phrase” in the glossary, and not supported by anything in WT:CFI. Our de facto RFV process allows exceptions for “sum of parts” nominations when the questionable phrase is used much, much more often than any other phrase that would otherwise mean the same thing. Some RFD archives show other editors call such phrases “set phrase”,"set+phrase"+CFI+"sum+of+parts" but that does not appear to be described anywhere official. Should WT:CFI say something about “set phrase”? Should Wiktionary:Glossary indicate the meaning we normally use for “set phrase” in RFDs? Rod (A. Smith) 17:43, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Not sure what you mean. The page set phrase describes my personal understanding and use of this term. --EncycloPetey 00:07, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, maybe I just have the wrong impression. Our entry says, “A common phrase whose words cannot be replaced by synonymous words without losing some meaning.” I thought, however, that one could replace words in a set phrase with synonyms and still achieve the same meaning, but with a highly affected result. E.g., "day laborer" is a set phrase, and "daytime laborer" means the same but sounds affected. Is my "synonyms sound affected" criterion mistaken? Rod (A. Smith) 00:16, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Er, perhaps better, "fringe group" seems like a set phrase because "fringe organization" sounds affected. Rod (A. Smith) 00:17, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
What you've discovered, if you read w:set phrase, is that our definition is wrong. DAVilla 03:08, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
That's debatable, since the Wikipedia article in question cites no sources. --EncycloPetey 04:19, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Nor does ours, and it would be good to have the term defined correctly—if I suspect it's not, that's lacking any expertise—regardless of what we mean by it. Substitution of synonyms is not unheard of. It's a criterion that has been floating around but is not particularly strong. As you point out, what we let fly is closer to a collocation with a single meaning. If that's what most people mean by a "set phrase" I don't know. For me it means that the phrase is recalled as a unit rather than being mentally summed, which would make it a different experience for each person. Regardless, I used to be satisfied that “idiomatic” covered it, but the envelope has been pushed and, for sake of clarity only, I would like to go so far as to make terms like oblique leaf acceptable. Either way, the best way to explain might be through illustration via examples. Prime number passed with surprising support. DAVilla 12:25, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Category for Template:proscribed

In cleaning up hun#Dutch, I noticed that there was not yet a {{context|proscribed}} tag. I created {{proscribed}}, which I have categorizing its entries under Category:Disputed usage. That seems to be where the prescritivism battle left the matter, but if I missed something, feel free to correct that categorization. Rod (A. Smith) 22:55, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

sign languages, revisited

I have drafted Wiktionary:About sign languages, q.v., and added translations into American Sign Language for one and two. I request comments.—msh210 22:12, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I have now seen four separate attempts at entering sign languages in Wiktionary die on the vine. I wish to assist you in any way possible, since you seem capable of getting it going. I strongly prefer the format you use in two to the format you have in one. But, if there were some kind of separate image-y section for sign language translations, the thumnails could go side-by-side (or in a gallery?) Having them in the midst of the translations section (as you have for one) is just too problematic.
Can you experiment with cloning {{audio}} to {{signing}} (or some more appropriate name?) so we could see what that looks like? Also, for the commons: file names, have you devised a strong naming convention yet? For audio, we've traditionally used languageCode-regionCode-WORD-(pos).ogg, for example en-us-entrance-noun.ogg & en-us-entrance-verb.ogg. The "WORD" is the page it is being put onto, generally. So, "Asl-three.jpg", not "Lsq 3.jpg".
Thank you for getting this started. --Connel MacKenzie 04:59, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Could we use an "image exists" icon, akin to the speaker icon used in the pronunciation section? That would improve the Translation section less format while still providing direct access to the image. --EncycloPetey 14:55, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, let's do some sort of "American Sign Language: (see this illustration or video)" format. Cynewulf 15:01, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
FYI, from the #wiktionary-gfdl conversation: w:List of sign languages. Yes, ASL is the most obvious example, however, Msh210's approach to show it as a "Translation" seems to be the only workable solution (as opposed to smushing it under the =Pronunciation= heading somehow.) Not all words will have 122 sign languages represented. And I think it is fair to finesse the creation of entries for them until we know some more about their notation. Yes, that have different grammar and morphology, but without seeing some examples, I haven't a clue as to how to represent them. (By the way, Msh210, thank you for the informative lesson.)
So, as Cynewulf pointed out, using a template similar to {{audio}} for these should work nicely. If it is a subsection of Translations, or a separate section from Translations, a gallery of thumbnails might work too. I think it would be silly to rule out that possible future development (presumably triggered by a WT:PREF setting.)
--Connel MacKenzie 15:48, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
{{audio}} looks good to me, per EncycloPetey.—msh210 17:29, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
In answer to Connel's "Also, for the commons: file names, have you devised a strong naming convention yet? For audio, we've traditionally used...": If that's the tradition, I see no reason not to continue it for sign languages, noting though that some signs will be video and some stills (e.g., JPEGs). The reason I used the files I did for one and two is that they pre-existed. (The only ASL signs I have found on commons -- after a not-too-thorough search -- are the numbers 1–20 and then by tens through 100, and the letters of the alphabet. Some of these I, for one, will not add as translations, as they are not the same signs I leanred, so I cannot vouch for their accuracy. A total of approximately fifty signs to be added is, of course, not very satisfactory. Perhaps we can either (a) beg sign-langiage Web sites for GFDL use of their images (ha!) or (b) beg ASL-fluent (Deaf or CODA or terp, say) Wiktionarians (or Wikimedians in general -- especially since en.wikipedia has a category for ASL-fluent users and we don't) to upload image/video files of themselves (also ha!).—msh210 17:57, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
(b). But we can't really ask people to do so, until we have a test-bed worked out. (a) is wishful thinking - but stranger things have happened, so, who knows. It certainly could happen. --Connel MacKenzie 19:26, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
They aren't a Wiktionorian (or even a Wikimedian), but I do have a friend who is fluent in British Sign Language (BSL), which can be very different to ASL (e.g. the letters of the alphabet signs use two hands in BSL, but just one in ASL AIUI). I might be able to get some video of her that she'd be happy to release under the GFDL and/or similar, but I can't promise anything. Thryduulf 09:04, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Shouldn't the sign have its own page, rather than just a link to the file? Nadando 00:51, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
The draft Wiktionary:About sign languages addresses this and notes that there's no good way to list a sign as a title of a page. (Unless you can think of one?)—msh210 20:39, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I strongly agree with Nadando. Important nuances of sign language signs can only properly be described in a full entry. Since Stokoe is the only wide-spread Unicode canonicalization available, we should use it to determine the canonical page name for the entry for each sign language word (not just for ASL). The entry page itself can then show full size images, etmologies (why the shape represents what it does), semantic nuances, usage notes, etc., and can differentiate between different languages and near homoshapes, if you will. Further, just as we follow each instance of a non-Latin (non-Roman) script mention with a Latin (Roman) script transliteration, we could do similar with sign languages by showing a small (25px or so) image followed by the linked Stokoe notation, through readers could click to a full entry. Rod (A. Smith) 16:21, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the entries should have their own page (for various sign languages, note that they have ISO codes, and the translation entry can link that page (and section). But Stokoe isn't going to work: it uses } [] and # in symbols. (The overall set of symbols chosen is absurd. Go look at w:Stokoe notation) We can't use it in pagenames, unless we invent our own rationalized variant. (Ever notice how all academics choose wierd unusable symbols when creating a written form for some previously un-written language? Fortunately all of the Bantu languages have simple phonetics and always use a-z; although there have been attempts to use something wierd for clicks and such. The unusable circumflexes are a large part of what did in Esperanto, and Zamenhof didn't even need 26 phonemes!). I don't think we want the images in the translations sections. But what to use for entry names? Robert Ullmann 16:45, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps have a detailed entry (like any other foreign entry) at the :image: page?—msh210 17:40, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
That wouldn't solve the core problem: to determine the proper location (PAGENAME) or title for each sign language entry. Instead, it would just move sign language entries to the inappropriate Image namespace. Rod (A. Smith) 18:03, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
As luck would have it, a deaf acquaintance of mine is involved with the linguistics department of a college near me. I explained briefly that our dictionary needs a way to represent signs as letters etc., and that Stokoe appears to be the only option. He noted that Stokoe notation is considered outdated, and that there is a better notation ("Liddell", I think). I didn't have the chance to explain clearly, however, that we just need a simple system for creating a canonical transcription, so I will follow up with him and try to get him to join our little community here. Rod (A. Smith) 19:35, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Please, don't forget AUSLAN, the Australian version, which is again different from those other two and spoken English in a few ways. AUSLAN speakers are a vibrant community, have regular TV programming in AU and the archives of these form durable citations, I believe. Another form of spech for the hard of hearing that I find quite helpful for the hard-of-hearing when jargon is involved is Cued Speech. In it, words aren't spelled but their pronunciation is shown. It takes advantage of the obvious mouth shape differences for certain sounds to limit the number the hand shapes for consonants and hand motions for vowels that must be learned, making clear syllables that can be quickly repeated audibly by the audience. I've watched it used proficiently in ad lib Chemistry class discussions and found it easy to learn. I don't know of a better way to communicate in real time without a script to novices of technical terms. Thecurran 10:47, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Re: Auslan: I don't think anyone is forgetting that there are numerous sign languages. See the list of sign languages. I don't think we need durable citations for translations according to policy, but someone can correct me if I'm mistaken.—msh210 19:27, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Re: cued speech: I don't know much about it, but from what I understand it's not a language, but merely a means of communicating a (spoken) language (e.g., English). So you can have cued-speech English, which is just a means of communicating English. Cf. Braille, also a means of communicating a language; cf., for that matter, standard orthography. This is then irrelevant to Wiktionary.—msh210 19:27, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Any preference for the format in one (image file embedded in the page) vs. the format in two (image file linked to from the page)?—msh210 17:59, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

A preference for one, but the image is way too big. You should restrain its size using the px argument. Restraining its height to 25px looks best to me. That means you have to enter it like 50x25px, the 50 is for the width and is irrelevant. Furthermore, I think it is a good idea to have the word as a caption. If one wants the full image, one can still click on it. Have a look at how I changed one. H. (talk) 15:53, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
You say I think it is a good idea to have the word as a caption. What word is that? The English word that we're using the sign as a translation of? Why?—msh210 17:40, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, this is the English Wiktionary...the only reasonable caption would be the English equivalent.
I discussed this with Msh210 on irc. There are some conventional descriptions of the sign, though rather complex. They can be used as caption. Or maybe they should be there as a ‘transliteration’, but they tend to get rather long. H. (talk) 14:48, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
The more I think about this, the more I think we need a separate ===Sign languages=== section comparable to the ===Translations=== section; not because they aren't translations (they are, after all,) but because the formatting concerns are too dramatic. Plus, there doesn't seem to be a usable transliteration scheme. --Connel MacKenzie 18:18, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
If we do go for a separate section for sign languages then perhaps we should make the header 1 level below ====Translations==== so as to allow the specific formatting and make it clear they are translations. Rod's comment above suggests to me there might be a usable transliteration scheme - if so then we can link to a separate entry with picture(s) and/or video, along with the origins of the sign (is "etymology" the correct word for signs?), derived terms, etc. Thryduulf 20:21, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
Sounds OK to me. Taking it one step further, though, would be to have ==American Sign Language== sections stored under the English spelling (since there isn't a usable equivalent?) --Connel MacKenzie 20:28, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I think not. (1) Note that ASL signs and English words don't match up: there is more than one sign that translates "garage" and there is, for some English words, no ASL translation. (That's not a great argument against your suggestion, but some of my other points are.) (2) Where then do we put the sign for "friend"? At friend? at chum? at pal? (3) There are homonyms in ASL -- for example, the sign for "french fries" and the sign for "ninety-nine" are identical (in some dialects at least) so should (per our usual practice) have the same page; according to your suggestion, they wouldn't. (4) It's morally wrong, as the ASL word is not related in any way to the English (except of course by being a translation of it). (5) What then do we do with other sign languages' signs? Put them on the page of the local spoken language's word?—msh210 20:55, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
How about having the information belonging to the entry at the image page? Granted, there is a lot of irrelevant stuff around there as well, but it’s the closest we get, for now. H. (talk) 14:48, 11 September 2007 (UTC)
See the same suggestion by Msh210 above. Choosing to locate sign language entries in the Image namespace would move entries to the wrong namespace without help us determine the entries' proper locations or titles. Rod (A. Smith) 16:28, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Another issue: an index? I've raised this at Wiktionary talk:About sign languages; please comment there. Thanks!—msh210 18:08, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

WT:CFI, WT:RFV, and "durably archived"

Hello, Ec. As you know, *wintard was rejected by WT:RFV.[11] When you restored the entry for it, [12] you circumvented a process that contributors are compelled to follow. If you'd like to change some aspect of WT:CFI, please discuss your suggestion somewhere appropriate, e.g. in WT:BP. Otherwise, please follow that process. Rod (A. Smith) 20:39, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with my restoration of wintard, except that it should probably be capitalized. I was responding to a request made in OTRS where the valid point was made that there was unequal treatment of that and Mactard. The fact that it went through some kind of RFV process does not prevent restoration of an article when it is reviewed, and certainly the presence of numerous citations on the page, and over 3000 Google hits is more than adequate evidence of the term's existence. That is more important than any kind of rigid adherence to to the letter of the CFI guidelines. After all, the purpose of CFI has always been for dealing withI don't know where you dragged up the notion that editors are "compelled to follow" this or the RFV process. There was no proposal to change the CFI guidelines, so I don't see why you introduced that subject. Eclecticology 01:35, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Because you refuted the "durably archived" clause of WT:CFI in this edit. Rod (A. Smith) 02:09, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
The "durably archived" clause is not phrased there as a requirement anyway. Eclecticology 09:59, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
So, we don't have to follow RFV, CFI is not a requirement.. is there anything you have to adhere to, or is "do what thou wilt" the whole of it? Cynewulf 14:51, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Your response shows that you have wholly misunderstood my last statement. If you look at the sentence in question in CFI it does not say that "durably archived" is a requirement. Eclecticology 16:56, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
You didn't answer the question. It looks like you're saying "I can do whatever I want because nothing is required of me." With respect to CFI section 1.2, "Clearly widespread use" is applied to words like "dictionary". "Usage in a well-known work" is applied to words in Shakespeare and similar. "Appearance in a refereed academic journal" is for, well, journals: w:SIGPLAN Notices and such. Then there's "permanently recorded media". Which of these four does wintard meet? It isn't in "clearly widespread use" since we're having this disagreement, it isn't in Shakespeare or Milton any such thing, it isn't in some journal to the best of my knowledge. If it isn't used in permanently recorded media, and it isn't used in the other three cases, then it does not meet CFI. You're saying "wintard should be kept since the requirement for durable media is not a requirement" -- well, it doesn't meet any of the other requirements, either. Since you're saying it must be kept, and since it doesn't meet CFI, then you're saying that CFI is not a requirement. Please give me some other reason besides "I am king of all the 'verse" that I shouldn't just delete this on sight, since it failed RFV previously and still doesn't have three acceptable citations. (There's a simple way out of this: add acceptable citations) Cynewulf 17:24, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Wait.. are you actually saying that "Usage in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year." doesn't actually require "permanently recorded media"? That makes no sense to me. Cynewulf 17:47, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
The key statement in CFI is the first one: "A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means." The 3000+ Google hits is more than enough to establish that it is in widespread use. Trying to read excessive restrictions into the concept of widespread use is just not appropriate. (Neither for that matter is your rhetorical badgering.) Eclecticology 19:38, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Here are some "words" that have more than 3000 Google hits:
None of those "words" would pass WT:CFI. Rod (A. Smith) 20:05, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Er, well, maybe "whatthefuck" would, but nobody would be confused about what it means. Rod (A. Smith) 20:12, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Eclecticology, I apologize if you feel annoyed by the reaction to your end-run around our policies and claims that they have no force, and that I am persistent in my defense of the policies; if you find our policies distasteful there's always Urban Dictionary. I refuted your claim about "durably archived"; Rod (A. Smith) and Connel MacKenzie have refuted your new claim that 3,000 google hits is "widespread use". Also, compare their results with 176,000,000 hits for "dictionary" -- that's a difference of about 5 orders of magnitude. Cynewulf 20:28, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Further refinements to CFI had been established long ago as an objective way of measuring that precise statement. Otherwise we would have these heated arguments about each and every term. If you disagree with the measure then you should state why rather than claiming it doesn't apply. It does, rather explicitly, as a "somewhat more formal guideline". Is it the word "somewhat" that throws you? It's a somewhat formality, not a somewhat guideline! DAVilla 03:40, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
The restoration was inappropriate. If that was the same (ahem) contributor that was making a similar complaint here on Wiktionary, prior to going to OTRS, then that person should not be rewarded for their snarky underhanded (trolling) methods. We went through this already. An acceptable remedy on Wikipedia might be to delete Mactard to maintain a NPOV; however, we don't focus on concepts, we focus on the words themselves and how they are used. In this case, all the citations given were from bogus sources. All of them. Now, as an RFV, if someone digs up three print citations they can conceivably recreate the entry with those citations given. Otherwise, it should be deleted with prejudice, as a bogus re-submission. As it is, the four illiterate blog posts do not count as valid citations. --Connel MacKenzie 05:17, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
There are more than 1500 hits on Usenet, showing use over a wide range of groups; are these for some reason problematic? -- Visviva 06:21, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
If Usenet citations turn out to be acceptable, that would not excuse the end run around WT:RFV. OTRS is important and may override other process, but any acceptable solution would include discussion in a public forum. Rod (A. Smith) 06:37, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, the longstanding wording of the CFI specifically mentions Usenet groups as acceptable "durably archived" online sources (the same wording also mentions blogs, although there seems to be consensus to remove that). This has been accepted in a fair number of recent RFVs. Beyond that, I honestly don't see the problem in an "end run"... If a term is verified, it's verified; whether that takes place through any specific process seems irrelevant. -- Visviva 08:15, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
The entry failed RFV, so there is some disagrement or at least some confusion about whether Usenet citations are acceptable. Discussing an intent to overturn an RFV decision would have brought the dsagreement or confusion to the forefront where it could have been resolved. We can now have such a discussion an so benefit, not because Ec worked through our process, but because I noticed his disregard for it. Rod (A. Smith) 15:43, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
The reason that it failed RFV is not that it doesn't meet the CFI — it may or may not, I don't know — but that it was challenged, and no one — including the editor wanting to keep it (who has not behaved appropriately, IMHO, but that's a side matter) — demonstrated that it met them. 1500 hits on Google Groups does not necessarily mean it meets the CFI: it could be a bunch of mentions, plus a bunch of actual uses in two Usenet groups (say, comp.os.advocacy.windows and comp.os.advocacy.mac.trolling — I don't think those are real groups, but you get the idea) which therefore constitute a "narrow community", plus several hundred hits that Google Groups just made up: it tends to overestimate, often by factors of ten or more, even. —RuakhTALK 18:43, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
No negative result in RFV was ever intended to be permanent. It seems that during the time that wintard was there on that list, no-one spoke up to support it. That's fine. It was deleted more than a month ago for lack of interest, but that does not represent any kind of permanent solution. If someone wants to revive it after that that's fine too, especially someone who was not involved in the original debate for whatever reason. Eclecticology 19:38, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
No one is suggesting it is permanent. The resubmission needs to have three print citations. The blogs that were submitted the first time around have no relevance as they are invalid. There are 1,620,000 hits for Connel MacKenzie but that obviously doesn't merit an entry. Without real citations, wintard should not be here. --Connel MacKenzie 20:02, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
One of the points of having things like the CFI, the RVF, and so on, is that we have transparency and accountability in our actions. This is much too large a project now for unilateral actions of the type that you took, Ec. Working through the process as a community is slower and more cumbersome but the alternative is endless edit wars (as well as bad feelings all around). ArielGlenn 22:18, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Correct, it is not permanent. However, it can always be brought to RFV until it passes, and if recreated within the year, it must be cited. The citation rule was Connel's insistence and a reasonable requirement against trolling, and the year expiry was a compromise on that position that extends naturally from the requirement of a one-year timespan for quotations. Personally I would like to see the deletion log make both those points explicit, that it must be cited, but only within a year from deletion. Fairly recent changes that at least indicate an entry has been previously deleted are a step in that direction. DAVilla 03:20, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I would like to eliminate that the wording from CFI to make it clear. Blogs and RSS feeds are not permanently recorded... unless there's a print version, which I have rarely seen, or potentially some other argument for a particular feed (BusinessWire springs to mind). I would also like to eliminate the "well-known work" proviso which is subjective, usually unnecessary, and otherwise allows for nonces that aren't used anywhere else. See Wiktionary talk:Criteria for inclusion. DAVilla 03:40, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I would think that blogs, and other internet sites, that have been archived at archive.org would count - given that the mission of that site is to durably archive Internet content. So if you find a good hit in a blog, it might be worth looking there. I think though that copies of pages are not added to their public archive until they are 1 year old though. Thryduulf 08:59, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe, if the link goes to archive.org and not the blog itself. But what would be the purpose of allowing text that is not editorially reviewed? To encourage misspellings? To analyze typos? --Connel MacKenzie 22:20, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Archive.org? No, they are scardy cats. They're all about volume, but they can't preserve anything with certainty. Basically everything on their servers is copyrighted, and they are at the complete mercy of the copyright holders. They never challenge any website that requests to remove information. I bet by taking over a domain or even faking an identity, it would be possible to turn nearly any recorded media into permanent wasteland.
I have heard about private services that archive webpages for a fee, but these are probably more useful in legal cases and the like, where solid proof is necessary. Anyways, it isn't public, it isn't free, and we do much better at archiving ourselves, for what that's worth. DAVilla 23:04, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Use of Wiktionary by the blind

Does anyone have any experience of blind users of Wiktionary (or Wikipedia etc)? I have a feeling that they would find it difficult just to navigate the front page and find the search box. I know that they cannot create accounts because the screen-reading software can't "see" the check words you have to enter. In the UK, the RNIB offer an audit service for websites (but you have to pay) - can anyone find a free automated service (in the same way that you can check your html automatically)? SemperBlotto 16:38, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I'll look into it, and I'll talk to some folks I know. It's a very good idea. I've used Wiktionary with a screen reader before because if I don't have my glasses on it is very hard for me to read, although I can do basic navigation from knowing where things are on the screen, and it wasn't the easiest thing I've done. I'm sure that someone who is blind would have a hard time. --Neskaya talk 18:48, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
One of my good mates's legally blind. He's a literature student with a voracious reading appetite, some innovative ways to understand visible writing and a keenness for the Internet. I'll ask him about it but before I bug him, I'd like to know what other questions I should ask. BTW, I often use Microsoft Magnifier 1.0 with Windows, control-plus with Firefox, View> Text Size> Largest on MSIE, and Menu> Zoom> Largest on Windows Mobile IE all the time. I find that most computer lab techs are willing to enable the All Programs> Accessories> Accessibility... options like Magnifier on Windows or similar as soon as they know about it. It helps me see the distorted text and pictures while all four help me read unfamiliar, emboldened, or italicized complex Han characters, etc. The Firefox text size increaser is way more versatile and helpful than the MSIE one but these discussion pages get squeezed and stretched annoyingly if there's too much indentation. For Windows Mobile IE and Firefox, I almost always disable the automatic loading of images because they just crowd the page and waste download limits. For people without any vision, I guess having a person that's not visually impaired help with establishing the account, and then changing the password in private ASAP might be the easiest way to go. On the Create account page, [13] , there's a (more info) link next to the distorted word image to Special:Captcha/help , which explains the problem a little and suggests contacting the site administrators. This's good but right now finding the contacts for those site adminstrators on a text-based system without being a user is kind of difficult. I would like a good link to the right contact details directly on that page. Is wiki@wikimedia.org the right point of contact for these users? Thecurran 10:31, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Mood in "form of" templates

Are there any potential problems with adding a parameter to specify whether a verb form is indicative or subjunctive (with no specification defaulting to indicative)? I'm planning on going through all the bot-created Spanish verb forms and templatizing them, so that they are also categorized, and separate categories would also be good. I have a mock-up of the idea for {{third-person singular of}} at User:Dmcdevit/Test, and examples at User talk:Dmcdevit/Test. This produces the "X third person singular forms," like English uses now, if you don't specify mood, or "X third person singular subjunctive forms" / "X third person singular indicative forms" when you do specify a mood. I imagine some languages will want the specificity, others not. Or feel free to suggest some other method, but if there are no objections, I'd like to update the template and start my bot on the substitutions. Dmcdevit·t 19:25, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I think third-person-singular-of is mostly English-specific; in English, only one tense-mood combination (the present indicative) treats the third-person singular specially. In most other languages, either there's no such thing as a "third-person singular" form at all, or there are many third-person singular forms; in Spanish, there are eight or nine different ones (indicative present, imperfect, preterite, future, and conditional, and subjunctive present, ra-imperfect, se-imperfect, and sometimes future). Hebrew's not so bad, as there are only four (masculine future, masculine past, feminine future, feminine past). Rather than tacking on all these different things onto a template that was designed for English, I think it's probably best to have a general verbform template that can accommodate a variety of features (tense, mood, aspect, person, number, gender, voice, etc.), or perhaps one verbform template for each language (with some similarly-conjugating languages being able to share templates, perhaps). —RuakhTALK 21:07, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I was only concerned with the present. Whether or not English has only one form for all third-person singular forms, I think you misinterpreted the template, as it (says) it is for the "Third-person singular simple present form," so it fit my purpose fine, and I assumed the template name was just shorthand. I'm not sure how much work it involves, but we could do the same thing with a {{{tense}}} parameter, for all third-person singulars, but I would be afraid that a "verb form" template for all forms will become to abstract and unmanageable. Dmcdevit·t 22:04, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
The template name is indeed shorthand — specifically, shorthand that only makes sense for English (and maybe Scots?). In English, if you talk about the third-person singular form a verb, it's clear what you mean, because there's only one form of a verb that it would make sense to describe that way. But I can't imagine there are too many other languages that's true for. I mean, it wouldn't bother me if you decided to extend {{third person singular of}} to cover verb-forms in other languages for which "third-person singular" happens to be part of the descriptor, but I don't think it's the right way to do it. I think better way would be something like {{es-verbform|hablar |mood=ind |tense=pres |pers=3 |numb=s}}. The same template can then be used very transparently for any indicative or subjunctive form, regardless of tense, person, and number. (Imperfect-subjunctive forms can be special-cased to say "A …" to indicate the existence of the other form.) The participle, gerundio, and imperative forms might need separate templates, though; I'm not sure. (It looks a bit ugly, but I think it's quite understandable, and hopefully most such entries would be created by bots. More importantly, I don't think it looks any prettier to have a separate template for each person-number-tense combination, taking a special parameter for the mood.) —RuakhTALK 22:25, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
But that's precisely why we have {{form of}}, isn't it? If it is appropriate to fit non-English terms into English templates that have lang= parameters, it can be done. But I think you've both made the case quite well, that {{third-person singular of}} won't work here. --Connel MacKenzie 23:13, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, {{form of}} is way too flexible to be very useful; it can't help give consistency across many entries, because it really doesn't know anything. A language-specific template can take a "pers", a "num", and so on, and put them in the right order for display, preventing typos, adding the right categories, and possibly adding useful information (such as the corresponding pronouns — potentially quite important for clarity in some languages, ensuring that our naming conventions don't trip up the reader). —RuakhTALK 00:30, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
{{form of}} should really only be used for isolated instances. Right now it's impossible to patrol for emerging patterns because it's not isolated from the others, but I intend to have {{stylized root}} take over the indirect function. DAVilla 04:55, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
It seems like every time I ask for a simple confirmation, someone has had an opinion that what we were doing all along was wrong, but never mentioned it before then, so it's becoming painstaking. :-) I'm not concerned about it being pretty, but about it being understandable, and it looks bretty complicated, actually. So, are you going to be making this template? Dmcdevit·t 22:39, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I've created Template:es-verbform, and will document it shortly. It didn't turn out to be too bad to include support for imperatives, and thinking about it, it shouldn't be too bad to incorporate participles and gerundios, either. Take a look, let me know what you think. :-) —RuakhTALK 23:05, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Right now it just sorts entries into Category:Spanish verb forms, as we don't seem to have a full category structure for those, but I think ideally it would sort entries into hyper-specific categories, such as Category:Spanish second-person affirmative imperatives; what do you think? —RuakhTALK 23:05, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
P.P.S. I didn't worry about the formal/informal distinction, since our conjugation templates don't, and anyway since "second-person formal" is mostly just a pedagogical way to refer to one use of the third person, but I wonder if we might actually want to have separate sense lines for both? The thing is, it seems strange to describe, say, vaya as the "third-person singular imperative" of ir. (This is assuming we want to bother with those imperatives at all, seeing as they're just subjunctives … I notice that the conjugation templates do include all the affirmative imperatives, even the ones that are just subjunctives, but don't include the negative ones. Wiktionary:About Spanish is silent on the subject.) —RuakhTALK 23:05, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

People, am I being ignored? Template talk:form of#New version, WT:RFDO#Finnish categories gone wild, Category:Form-of templates, Wiktionary:Form-of templates. I've been working on it for a couple of weeks now. DAVilla 08:06, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

No, DAVilla. At least, I'm not ignoring you. I posted a question about your new template Template talk:stylized root#Mentions in and out of "form of" definitions several days ago. Rod (A. Smith) 16:13, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean to be ignoring you. The only one of those discussions I've seen is Template talk:form of#New version, which didn't seem to bear on this discussion here at all. Obviously once your stylized-mention thing is functional, then {{es-verbform}} and any other such templates would make use of it; but the two problems (CSS formatting vs. text structure and content) seem rather orthogonal to me. —RuakhTALK 16:32, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Okay, well I should state more clearly then that one principal intent of the reform is to match the form-of template name with its text. Active third-person singular simple present indicative form in English is the reason for allowing language-specific templates as substituable. See User talk:Mike#sv verb from templates for a discussion of {{past of}}. DAVilla 20:25, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I've thinking long about the issue, but haven't said some things yet that I've considered. Mainly that it might be worthwhile in the long run to have a separate {{conjugation of}} template for verbs. Verbs don't behave like other parts of speech, don't infelct like them, and use different terminology to describe what's happening. Rod has helped create an {{inflection of}} template for Latin noun and adjective needs. It was designed to take a series of abbreviated parameters in any order and render a description for a non-lemma "definition". (see alba#Latin for examples of the template in action) The template is also expandable, so that additional parameters can be added. Theoretically, it would work for verbs too if the right abbreviation calls were added, but that's a lot of extra work to pack into a single template considering that verb conjugation descriptions don't overlap with descriptions of noun and adjective inflections. At least nouns and adjectives both have case in most inflecting languages, and gender often as well. Verbs don't have either, but do have mood, tense, voice, etc. Just a thought. --EncycloPetey 02:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Verbs do have gender in some languages, such as Hebrew. And insofar as a participle is a verb-form, participles in many languages have gender and case. I'm not terribly opposed to a single translingual inflection template for each part of speech (with some parts of speech perhaps sharing a template if appropriate), if you think you can hack that out, but the more I think about it, the more I really think it's preferable to have one for each language, so that each language can handle its own peculiarities. (For example, as I'm sure you're aware, Spanish verbs have two mostly-interchangeable sets of imperfect subjunctives: a -ra series and a -se series. While I don't know how these should be handled in an inflection template, I do know that I don't want that decision to be made on the basis of what a generic translingual template can easily support.) —RuakhTALK 03:02, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Matching template names to template text sounds like a good idea in theory, but in practice I think it would eliminate many of the benefits of templates. Besides, it wouldn't solve the problem with the fi- tempates: if we have separate adessive, inessive, elative, etc. templates (or whatever they're called), even if they're theoretically translingual, they're still essentially Finnish-specific. I think having a single {{fi-nounform}} (and so on) would simplify matters considerably. —RuakhTALK 03:02, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Okay, so what you two are saying is that we would use {{en-conjugation|sing}}, {{en-conjugation|pres part}}, {{en-conjugation|past}}, {{en-conjugation|pp}}, and {{en-conjugation|past & pp}} for English verbs, and {{en-inflection|pl}} for English nouns? DAVilla 20:04, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Something like that, yeah, though with English specifically people might find it easier to stick to the current scheme. —RuakhTALK 20:30, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Two standards? Ugh. I would prefer to rewrite {{past of}} etc. to use {{en-conjugation}} and then gradually substitute all existing instances.
I'm assuming no one objects to standardizing the parameter names? Otherwise it would be difficult for those working in multiple languages to remember which to use where. The way I was thinking of it, s=sing=singular would all be fine, pp=past part=past participle, etc. DAVilla 04:49, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
One objection to your new naming scheme is that the old one is too-well established. Flinging a brand new series of template names into the wild is ill-advised. And yes, there is a plethora of software that looks at specific template names. (Is the intent to kill off TheCheatBot?) --Connel MacKenzie 15:40, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
It is well-established but also flawed or lacking in various ways. {{past of}} is unusable for anything other than a handful of languages. There's the problem of translations for inflected forms that we didn't think to thwart earlier with a soft redirect under that section. Likewise synonyms etc. The Etymology section would be fairly straight-forward but is missing almost universally. The links being optional produces extra unnecessary code. Even if I'm wrong on any of these, there must be some of these things that could be changed. I don't have any objections to TheCheatBot unless you think that the way you've decided to lay them out somehow finalizes all the entries. Opposing change for the sake of opposing change is a very weak position. DAVilla 00:08, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
And that's where we start running into snags by trying a "one-size-fits-all" approach. Latin has no "past participle" in the usual sense of that word, but it does have three passive perfect participle forms. Ancient Greek is even more confusing, with about five different things that could legitimately be called a "past participle". The abbreviation pp is ambiguous for languages like these, since it could mean past participle, perfect participle (a kind of past participle), present participle, or principal part. Standardization is good, but it's got to work in all the potential situations. --EncycloPetey 05:02, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Way ahead of you here. The lang- prefix is what allows different templates to treat different languages specially. If you don't see everything you need in the initial list of abbreviations, please add it. What are the three types of pas perf part=passive perfect participle? Also, "pp" is not in the list because yes, it can be ambiguous. I was thinking of English, and misspoke eariler. DAVilla 05:26, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, did I say three? I was thinking of the three nominative forms of the (passive) past perfect participle. There are actually 18 inflected forms for each such participle. --EncycloPetey 00:25, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

Webster pages webster 1913:1681 and the rest

I want to check what were trying to do with these pages such as webster 1913:1681. I pretty sure we should not have them in the main namespace (Appendix?), anyway should we not delete them once all the terms on them have been created as seperate articles and tidied up?. --Williamsayers79 12:30, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

The SOP for working from Special:Prefixindex/webster 1913 is to create the new entry via cut-n-paste from the webster 1913 page, removing it form the webster 1913 page when done. AFAIK, no one has gone near this project in a long time. Pure automation of creating those entries was avoided for a very long time, as the quality of the entries often is questionable (that is to say: better off rewritten from scratch.) I haven't attacked this project directly, yet, myself. Any takers? --Connel MacKenzie 15:35, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the namespace suggestion, I mentioned the same thing at Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Others#Wiktionary:Webster 1913, but that was after the RFD was stricken, so the suggestion likely went unnoticed. Rod (A. Smith) 16:16, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Interesting. (Yes, that escaped my notice.) I don't particularly like overloading the Appendix namespace that way (I lie: sure I do...but it is "improper" to do so,) but that doesn't help much with splitting them up. If we dedicate the pseudo-namespace Special:Prefixindex/Appendix:Webster 1913/ to this task, it would make it almost trivial to split them apart by bot. (E.g. Appendix:Webster 1913/zymogenic.) More importantly, it would pave the way for full bot-uploading of all the Webster 1913 definitions still missing.
Even better would be to have an "Imported:" namespace (not a pseudo-namespace,) so that we could do goofy stuff like Special:Randompage/Imported (confer: Special:Randompage/Transwiki.) For example, Imported:zymogenic or Transwiki:zymogenic. Perhaps they could/should be split up into the Transwiki: namespace, since that already kindof fills that role? Hmmm. That would increase the signal to noise ratio of the Transwiki namespace, possibly encouraging more people to use Special:Randompage/Transwiki? --Connel MacKenzie 21:39, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Um, waitasec. [14] vs. [15]. Looks like these weren't exactly perfect imports to begin with. Heavy-metal umlauts in zoology terms? Pretty freaky POV pushing. Note: [16] vs. [17] vs. [18]. Does this mean they must've been imported from the crappy copyright-protected version? --Connel MacKenzie 21:39, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm guessing you know this, but those aren't umlauts: they're diereses. (An umlaut being a diacritic indicating that its vowel is pronounced further forward in the mouth; a dieresis being a diacritic indicating that its vowel is pronounced separately from the one before. Of course, a heavy-metal umlaut serves a slightly different purpose, indicating that its vowel is totally bitchin'.) —RuakhTALK 21:53, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
OK, those same errors appear here in the public domain version. Still very strange. (In the file, it is encoded as &umlt;.) So, totally bitchin' indeed. :-)   --Connel MacKenzie 22:14, 31 August 2007 (UTC)