Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2007/March

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Beer parlour archives edit


Wikicast : WOTD


WikiCast - The free content broadcast is considering a Word of the Day slot,

Would anyone on Wiktionary be interested in assisting?

ShakespeareFan00 - 21:50, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Depends; what kind of assistance is needed? Can you provide a link to the relevant pages? --Connel MacKenzie 18:48, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
http://www.bitshuffle.org/wikicast/Word_of_the_Day is the specifc programme hub, the main

wiki is at : http://www.bitshuffle.org/wikicast/Main_Page ShakespeareFan00 - 22:56, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:About Sanskrit

This "policy" document was created out-of-process in December. It then [1] attempted to specify that Sanskrit entries should be made under the IAST romanization, with the Devanagari form redirected to the romanization.

I cleaned it up and modified it to specify that entries be made correctly in Devanagari (or other Indic script if appropriate, but we always have Sanskrit entries at least in Devanagari; see Category:Sanskrit language and e.g. Category:Sanskrit verbs. I also attempted to accommodate the previous version by allowing soft redirects (with {{romanization of}}) from the IAST transcription, even though we normally do not permit romanizations as entries (unless they are used, e.g. Romaji, Pinyin). (Attempting to find common ground here was clearly a serious error.)

This leaves us with the question of what to do from here:

  • Delete the "policy" document, our standard is fine (Sanskrit is in Devanagari or other Indic script that it was/is written in, no entries at romanizations).
  • Keep the document and allow the IAST soft redirects.
  • Keep the document and dis-allow the IAST entries.
  • Make some other change.

What do you think? Robert Ullmann 10:33, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

There seems to be a growing set of "About X" documents, which seem to be helpful to those working in the "X" languages. If there is a question about the best format for entries in those languages (and based upon recent B.P. discussions and elsewhere, I would most certainly suggest that there is such a question for Sanskrit) then a policy page would seem to be of use, in order to direct newbies toward. So, basically, deleting the page might be shooting ourselves in the foot. However, most of the existing "About" pages seem to have a caretaker group of concerned wiktionarians. Other than User:Robert Ullmann and User:Dbachmann, other frequent contributors of Sanskrit material seem to include User:Dijan, User:Taxman, User:Dannown, and User:TheDaveRoss (not trying to present a comprehensive list; I've just browsed through a few edit histories in the Sanskrit categories.) If those who are knowledgeable in the subject can be persuaded to contribute, even a short policy document would probably be preferable to none.
But back to the point; while I know nothing about Sanskrit, I would suggest that if scholars of the language use the IAST spellings, then they are probably at least as useful as the Romaji and Pinyin entries. --Jeffqyzt 21:51, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know enough to advise on the content of such a page, but do feel that such a page should exist, if only so that people such as myself can evaluate newly added Sanskrit words according to the script in which they are entered. That is, if a new word is entered in Latin script and labelled Sanskrit, do I pass by it or mark it for deletion? Having the policy spelled out somewhere for significant languages like Sanskrit that may or may not be written in Latin is very helpful. --EncycloPetey 00:59, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
As I noted, we don't usually have entries for the romanizations used in scholarly literature, dictionaries, etc., they are all mention at best, we have romaji and pinyin because they are used. Sanskrit isn't written in Latin script. Robert Ullmann 06:39, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Major backlog at WT:OP (Copied from the Information Desk per request by Connel MacKenzie)

Could an administrator please clear out the backlog at Wiktionary:WikiProject on open proxies? I went there to report a zombie proven on Wikipedia, and noticed the large backlog. Thanks. Jesse Viviano 15:28, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for the reminder. The WT:OP list went inactive for several reasons: User:Pathoschild has indicated a centralized approach from meta, which may still be in development, and VCN died. Perhaps this should move to WT:BP where more sysops are likely to see it and chisel away at the backlog? --Connel MacKenzie 15:37, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Further Transwiki automation: new bottleneck

In the science of high-end computer performance, one is always chasing a bottleneck. Optimization is always about first finding the bottle-neck (AKA limitiing factor) and focusing on ways to reduce it.

I am nearing completion of the proof-of-concept fully-automated Wikipedia to Wiktionary transwiki tool. At this point, I see only three remaining steps that need additional automation to have it run once an hour (but that's my problem.)

Running my Wikipedia interwiki bot w:User:CopyToWiktionary has finally caused a problem here though. The transwiki backlog is not showing any signs of decreasing. I do expect a flurry of Wikipedia "dicdef" nominations in the next two months, as people discover the process is significantly automated to run on a regular basis.

In the current (running) pass, I'm finally able to pick up some of the sub-categories, particularly w:Category:Vocabulary and usage stubs. Half of these need to move to a special page (Appendix/Index, etc.) while the majority of the rest need simple history merging into our existing main namespace entries. Do we have a mechanism for non-sysops to request a history merge?

I have specifically excluded the "glossaries" for now, as they seem to be much lower quality (as a whole) than the regular Wikipedia items tossed over the wall. Furthermore, as they are brought here, they will inevitably cause policy-level problem (glossary of terms used in a single movie?) that really should be addressed first. We have very few specific-author concordances right now; it is hard to imagine extending that handful of exemptions to hundreds of non-notable movies.

As far as I know, we have never made Transwikis, as such, go through full RFV or RFD processes. A glance at Special:Allpages/Transwiki: suggests that a very significant portion of the items are things that Wikipedia Administrators were simply too timid to eliminate, opting instead to defer it to Wiktionary, since we might be interested in it.

So, the backlog...

My current estimate (with the transwiki bot still running, throttled slowly) is ~3,500 entries in the Transwiki: namespace that have come here from Wikipedia.

I would like to request that all sysops try to knock off two or three Special:Randompage/Transwiki entries per day. If all 40 sysops do that, we can reduce the transwiki backlog to something reasonable in about one month.

If all 15 active sysops did that, for three months... well, anyway. Yes, it is a significant problem now.

Since regular users can help just as well (using {{delete}} instead of the delete button, using [move] for entries that don't exist and cleaning out the encyclopedic stuff in favor of dictionary definitions, or adding citations to questionable terms, etc.,) I hereby suggest that the first five contributors that fix one hundred transwikis will get a WT:A nomination from me.

Note that my offer is not exactly kind. I do not have the power to make anyone a sysop, and have a somewhat outspoken reputation. But I am confident that by the time you've cleaned up a hundred messy entries into standard Wiktionary entries, you'll be more than worthy of the extra duties of a sysop, and most likely will have passed beyond the "unexpected pitfals" stage that has been rampant, lately. You also will inevitably have gotten to know the community here, in the process of clearing them.

Please note that you may want to keep track of your "count of 100" (or count of 500 if you find yourself well suited for it) on your own Special:Mypage/100 transwikis page, as speedy-deleted entries are hard to keep track of.

Thank you all, for helping the English Wiktionary.

--Connel MacKenzie 02:16, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Where is the procedure for dealing with Transwiki entries described? I assume that if no entry exists for the "word" that has been brought over, it's simply a matter of moving the page and formatting it. However, if an entry already exists, how is the transfer of information handled in order to preserve edit history? --EncycloPetey 02:27, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
The draft document WT:MTW describes the sysop process. For users, tagging with {{merge|{{PAGENAME}}}} should be sufficient. Hmmm. The WT:MTW page was trying to address too narrow a circumstance, I think. Bah, the whole thing should be rewritten, anyhow. --Connel MacKenzie 02:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
So the delete-move atop-restore effectively merges the two edit histories? Or is my question not answered by the draft? --EncycloPetey 03:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Delete the NS:0, move TW to NS:0, restore NS:0, yes, merges the history. But don't forget to re-promote the "last good" NS:0 version. --Connel MacKenzie 04:55, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requested articles:English/Inverse Requests

I have some grave concerns about this thing. First of all, where did it come from, and why? Did it have prior approval? Any prior discussion at all?

  • It seems to be a protologism-generator, therefore harmful.
  • It seems to be organized quite wrong; the /Answers subpage idea is flawed. But then, an alphabetic archive would be much worse (as the "lookup" phrase is never going to be consistent, for free-form prose.)
  • It seems to be a solution in search of a problem. Can anyone explain what need this fills? The [Search] button finds these as it is; truly trick questions have their place at WT:ID.

--Connel MacKenzie 18:28, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Requests for words have always been made to the Tea Room in the past. This system should be deleted. SemperBlotto 22:33, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the concept of such a page is great — and sorry, but looking at current answers, it does not seem to me to be a protologism generator — but:
  • The two-page system is silly; just because someone has proposed an answer, that doesn't mean discussion should end.
  • The page name is a bad one, since the articles in question might well already exist.
  • The page should offer some tips for doing reverse lookup on your own, using Wiktionary's search facility, using Wikipedia, and so on, rather than just giving the Q&A forum.
RuakhTALK 22:40, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with SemperBlotto, this function is already served in the Tea Room, which is already in place, and will likely receive greater attention. However, I do think that it is a great function of the Tea Room, because, contrary to Connel's opinion, I don't think the search function is terribly useful for this kind of a search, as you're unlikely to find what you're looking for unless you type in your definition quite closely to what the listed definition is (if the word does, in fact, already exist). Atelaes 22:58, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
There seems to be agreement this is a bad concept...the tea room is a beter place for such requests, where the threads are kept together more coherently. Do I just nominate these pages on RFDO now? --Connel MacKenzie 16:06, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Go4it. SemperBlotto 16:08, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Grouping Protologisms

I would like to propose that suggested protologisms be grouped by how they are constructed. Worthwhile categories might include:

I believe this will help separate humorous coinages from serious ones. --Joe Webster 17:32, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm not so sure that it will actually help separate humorous coinages from serious ones; it might help separate geeky coinages from hoi-polloi coinages, but I'm not sure Wiktionary should actively strive for classism. That said, assuming we can agree on how to classify the various protologisms, I think it might be interesting. —RuakhTALK 19:18, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Why would there be a straight-up borrowed words category? Seeing as Wiktionary is a panlinguistic dictionary, I don't see why protologistically borrowed words need to be listed at WT:LOP anyway. —RuakhTALK 19:18, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
It was my understanding that borrowed words, like gestalt had to be attested to before they could be considered part of the English lexicon. Is this understanding incorrect? --Joe Webster 03:25, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
No, it's quite correct; but if asfeaeswasdg is a protologistic borrowing from Seaseasian into English (as in, the word definitely exists in Seaseasian, and someone has used it in an English text), then we can still have an article on asfeaeswasdg, because it's a word that exists in one of the world's languages, and there's no need to list it at WT:LOP, because anyone can go straight to that article and see that it's a Seaseasian word that means whatever it means. (For non-protologistic borrowings, there's sometimes a change of meaning from the source language to the target language — English douche is not the same as French douche, for example — but I can't imagine that's the case with a protologistic borrowing.) The only exception I can think of is a protologistic borrowing from, say, Klingon; but in that case, we should probably have a separate WT:LOKT (list of Klingon terms) anyway. —RuakhTALK 03:43, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Another thing to consider is the difficult nature of such a task. Even if all the words came stock with complete etymologies it would be a daunting task, a lot of man hours spent on a rather low-priority category. And, last time I checked, most of them don't have etymologies, and so, while the origins of some may be inherently clear, others will likely not be. Further still, assessments of words with apparently obvious etymologies may well be incorrect. So, at the very least, I'm not volunteering for such a job. Atelaes 19:36, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
"Geeky" neologists usually know which category to place their coinages into. Everything else can start out in the "Anything Else" category and sort through open editing. --Joe Webster 03:25, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm in favor of just junking the list of protologisms and establishing a Citations: namespace, which would include citations for both legitimate and not-yet- or il-legitimate words, as well as references e.g. in slang and urban dictionaries. That would at least clear out the invented-today style of protologims. Your classification could then be accomplished with categories. DAVilla 02:34, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Using the category method, the last group above would just be the general category of protologisms. The other groups would be subcategories. --Joe Webster 03:25, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
  1. Davilla, have you started a vote for the new namespace, or thought out the proposal further?
  2. Shouldn't we be pursuing the "one year deletion" of items in LOP, instead?
--Connel MacKenzie 16:08, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Types of transitive phrasal verbs

Do we distinguish the types of transitive phrasal verbs? Like, do we distinguish somehow among (1) think of, where the particle (preposition) always precedes the object ("to think of it"), and (2) give up, where the certain lightweight objects (mostly pronouns) typically precede the particle ("to gave it up") but slightly heavier objects typically follow it ("to give up knitting"), and (3) send away, where all but the heaviest objects precede the particle ("to send all one's clothing and all one's furniture away")? There are a number of articles where no such distinction seems to be being drawn, such as turn on (where the "become hostile toward" sense is type 1, the "activate" sense is type 2, and the "attract" sense is type 3). Is this something to be addressed by giving usage notes? Or by giving illustrative examples? Or something else? —RuakhTALK 19:24, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Such definitions should be consolidated whenever and wherever possible, with multiple examples given to illustrate, as needed. I'm not sure the example you give above holds in all cases, but you can certainly add a usage note if the pattern is widespread. Actually, that could potentially be tagged with {{unreferenced}}...hmmm. Yes, the illustrative examples are probably the most useful approach. Also, I don't think "phrasal" is ever valid in an en.wiktionary.org heading. --Connel MacKenzie 16:27, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. :-) What do you mean by "consolidating" definitions? And don't worry, I wasn't suggesting that "phrasal" appear in the headings on actual articles. (Or do you mean that this discussion shouldn't have the word "phrasal" in the heading?) —RuakhTALK 18:25, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your patience. In general, a definition for an intransitive sense is only useful (to be split to a separate "#" definition line) if that sense is not also used in a transitive sense. The argument for splitting out transitive senses is even more tenuous. For "give up", we currently list six separate definitions, even though they aren't noticably distinct. Those six really should be consolidated into one definition, and the "supplication"/"offering" sense added as a second definition. I'm also not sure the "idiomatic" label is appropriate. (And yes, I was referring only to main namespace entries' headings.)
So, for the give up example, I do not like the notion of further splitting of English definitions to accommodate distinctions in other languages. Perhaps the individual entry give up should move to WT:TR? --Connel MacKenzie 19:54, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Polish (language) template

I'm sorry if I'm bringing up a topic which has been broached before, but I'm kind of new and my attempts at searching for this topic didn't come up with anything. This regards the template {{pl}}. This template resolves to 'Polish', but it is only ever used to mean that once in the entire wiktionary. On the other hand, it is misused many many times instead of {{p}} - (plural), which is a somewhat understandable mistake. I propose that the template be changed to 'plural' rather than 'Polish', as these sorts of mistakes are bound to continue happening.

AggyLlama 16:34, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

All two and three letter template names are reserved for the ISO codes of languages. It is quite common for users to paste in entries from other Wiktionary projects (especially French), where such language templates are used routinely to identify language names. We automatically subst: such templates to resolve the English name of those languages. So no, we can't use {{pl}} for "plural" because it means "Polish" everywhere on all the various Wiktionary projects. --EncycloPetey 18:19, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course that makes sense. Is there then a way to quickly get to all the pages that include the aforementioned {{pl}} tag so that they can be verified to contain the correct usage of the template? AggyLlama 19:36, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Go to the page for Template:pl and at the left click on "What links here". That will pull up a listing of all the pages that link to the template. --EncycloPetey 19:43, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for checking those listings and making changes! --EncycloPetey 15:27, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
echo Thanks for checking those listings and making changes! --Connel MacKenzie 17:19, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
One issue: yeast contains translations into Polish which include a {{pl}} mark at the end. Obviously this should not be 'Polish', and was probably meant as plural (just like in the Russian), but I am not familiar enough with Polish to know whether to change it to a {{p}} or just remove entirely.AggyLlama 04:04, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Should be removed. It's a masculine noun and the plural would end in a -y. --EncycloPetey 04:31, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Pronouns feel left out

I have begun cleaning up POS categories that have bad names, and have noticed a pattern. Among the various parts of speech, Pronouns haven't had as much attention lavished on them as nouns, verbs, and adjectives have had. Right now, we have many, many variant level 3 POS headers in use such as Personal pronoun, Possessive pronoun, Reflexive pronoun, Indefinite pronoun, and so forth. Would anyone object to my reformatting the lot of them to all have Pronoun as the L3 POS header, and using a set of templates (akin to {{uncountable}} and {{transitive}}) to identify and categorize the various sorts of pronoun?

Specifically, this might mean that Spanish yo would look like this:


  1. (personal pronoun) I

and would be categorized in Category:Spanish personal pronouns and Category:Spansh first person pronouns.

We also have many, many formats for how pronoun forms (person, number, case, etc.) are handled. Do people have thoughts about an inflection teplate for Pronouns? That is, should the entry for he mention the feminine and neuter counterparts? The plural counterpart? The objective and possessive counterparts? Or would it be simpler to have an Appendix:English pronouns where the user is directed for the related forms? Keep in mind as you think about this that other languages would need similar treatment, and languages such as Greek and Latin may have many inflected forms for a particular pronoun and Asian langauges (whose grammar I know little about) might have many shades of social status applied to them. So, if we have an inflection line, what information should it contain, and what should be shunted to an Appendix?

This is a big issue and would like to see lots of input from our many and varied experts. --EncycloPetey 18:36, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

I think it's an excellent idea. Certainly the inflected languages (Greek, Latin, etc.) will have inflection tables for the personal pronouns, as they do for every other type of nominal. The trickiest decision is probably for non-inflected languages that were inflected at one point, like English. English prounouns are inflected (the only nominals that are, if I remember correctly), but English as a language is not set up for inflections. People won't know how to respond to such a thing on English pages. Also, should person be an integral part of the pronoun categrorizing process. It seems to be one of the most important groupings of pronouns in all the languages I've studied (which admittedly, isn't that many). —This unsigned comment was added by Atelaes (talkcontribs) 19:58, 10 February 2007 (UTC).
Linguistics started out mostly interested in European and Semitic languages, and these all have the same general system of pronouns (distinguishing personal pronouns from demonstrative pronouns from interrogative pronouns, and so on, with all pronouns distinguishing singular from plural, all personal pronouns distinguishing first, second, and third persons, and many but not all pronouns distinguishing the two or three genders); even though this classification scheme doesn't work for many East Asian languages (which tend to have specialized nouns rather than distinct pronouns), pronoun systems still tend to be viewed through the Euro-Semitic lens (though progress is being made). I think it might be advisable either (1) to continue using that lens until linguists have developed a better consensus for how to describe these languages' systems of deictic nouns, or (2) to avoid applying the "Pronoun" POS header at all for these languages, using "Noun" instead.
Leaving these languages aside — I think we should have a general "Pronoun" header. Even this will cause a lot of blurriness, as it's not always clear whether something is a noun or a pronoun, a determiner or a pronoun, a preposition or a pronoun, and so on; I really don't think it's worthwhile to start worrying about what kind of pronoun something is in the POS header; a usage note can give a much more nuanced explanation.
Also, I don't think Category:Spanish first person pronouns is a good idea, since the great majority of pronouns are third-person, so it wouldn't split up Category:Spanish pronouns very much: we'd have two small categories and one large one. (And again, we have ambiguities: is usted second-person, or third-person? If second-person, then are l@/le both, or only third-person? What about el mío?)
I think pronoun tables should definitely go in appendices, as this allows a language's entire pronoun system to be explained in one place; I think it could get confusing if we try to re-explain the pronoun system at the article on each pronoun.
RuakhTALK 21:11, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the greater number of third person pronouns will make the division by person lopsided. But in case I wasn't clear, I had intended that pronouns be subclassified both by person and by grammar, but each independently. So Cat:English first person pronouns would include: I, me, my, mine, myself, we, us, our, ours, ourselves; and in more highly inflected languages the list will be longer. There would also be a Cat:English possessive pronouns containing my, mine, our, ours, but also containing your, yours, his, her, hers, its, their, theirs. So Pronouns would not be divided up just one way into three categories, but by two independent systems. There's also no reaon why all Enslidh pronouns couldn't also appear in Category:English pronouns; that is, inclusion in a subcategory doesn't have to mean removing it from the primary pronoun category. There aren't so many pronouns in any language that they couldn't be doubly or triply categorized.
If the proposal applies poorly in certain languages, then we need not use any subcategorization for those languages. --EncycloPetey 21:21, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Re: "There's also no reason why all English pronouns couldn't also appear in Category:English pronouns; that is, inclusion in a subcategory doesn't have to mean removing it from the primary pronoun category": I see. In that case, division by person does make sense, but I think instead of Category:English third person pronouns, it should be Category:English third-person personal pronouns; there's no point including all non-personal pronouns in the third-person category. Also, I'm not convinced that it makes sense to list my and mine as first-person pronouns: my isn't really a pronoun, and when mine is used as a pronoun, it's always with a third-person antecedent ("You'll see two cars. Mine is the one on the left."). —RuakhTALK 21:57, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Re: my/mine. Grammar traditionally classifies these and similar pronouns in other languages as the first-person possessive because of the relation to the speaker and the inflection pattern, rather than because of the referent. And yes, my is closer to being an adjective or determiner, but we haven't sorted out the use of determiners yet. We can always re-classify the possessive pronouns later if we make such a decision. And your comments are exactly the sort of useful feedback I was hoping to elicit by starting this conversation. Hopefully many more people will begin actively thinking about how we handle pronouns in the same way that you are. --EncycloPetey 22:04, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
They are the "first-person singular possessive adjective/determiner/pronoun" and "first-person singular possessive pronoun", respectively, but I don't think you can drop the "possessive" and still call them "first-person singular pronouns"; the "first-person" and "singular" really describe the "possessive", not the "pronoun". (I know that doesn't completely make sense, but when traditional grammar has tried to make sense of it, it's done so by dropping the "first-person singular" classification altogether; for example, the OED defines my in the relevant sense as "adj. The possessive adjective corresponding to I pers. pron.") —RuakhTALK 22:56, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I have the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language on order, and hope that it will help with suggestions. As you say, traditional grammar hasn't always worked well at describing what the language is actually doing. --EncycloPetey 00:54, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to using the CGEL's classification scheme, but that would definitely be a major decision; it's very much at odds with how most dictionaries classify words. For example, what the CGEL calls "determinatives" (words that serve as determiners), most dictionaries label adj., pron. (or the like). —RuakhTALK 01:41, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
So I hear, but for now I'm limiting my major project concerns to Pronunciation and Pronouns. I'm no good at juggling. --EncycloPetey 01:43, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Support the revamping of the en.wikt treatment of pronouns. Go for it! And, how can I help? Could you use "pronoun"-specific cleanup "/todo" lists? --Connel MacKenzie 16:30, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure that would help. The pronouns are in a pretty bad state, such that not all the pronouns in some languages have been put into any Category at all; such categorization will have to be added. The POS header for many (most?) will have to be changed. The inflection line (if we have one) will have to be inserted. The in-line grammatical tags will have to be added. The definitions will even have to be clarified for a number of them to the correct format, since some were never linked. I would probably have to go through language by language manually given this sorry state of affairs. One thing that might help is having a list of all existing Category pages containing the word "Pronoun(s)" or "pronoun(s)", so that I know which ones exist. --EncycloPetey 16:44, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, it takes my computer about 40 seconds to traverse the latest XML dump. I meant, I could provide a /todo list of all entries that contain the word "pronoun", for example. We're talking about a closed class, in English, right? --Connel MacKenzie 17:17, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
A closed class, yes, but I wasn't just thinking about English. --EncycloPetey 17:22, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Calling all editors interested in Latin!

Editors are busy annotating all of the poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus, over at The Poetry of Gaius Valerius Catullus. These annotations include cross-links to Wiktionary for any tricky vocabulary. If you are an editor who is interested in increasing Wiktionary's coverage of Latin, you can help by adding any supporting Wiktionary articles that are currently missing, and expanding any supporting Wiktionary articles that are currently stubs. Wikibooks will benefit. And Wiktionary will benefit (since you can always expand any stub articles that currently lack quotations with quotations from Catullus, for example). Please help to build the interwiki web. Uncle G 14:15, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Constructed Languages

I came upon some words in Brithenig and looked at CFI policy on constructed languages, only to find that constructed languages are not defined terribly well in CFI, and this language is specifically mentioned as one on which no decision has been reached. I have to admit, it's a pretty sweet idea, creating a language based on an alternate reality hypothesis, but I still wonder if such words belong in Wiktionary. EncycloPetey mentioned that perhaps constructed languages should only be allowed if they have a large enough fan base, such as Klingon. I'm inclined to agree with him, but this needs to be hammered down a bit more precisely, I think. I was wondering if the Wiktionary community currently has the time and energy to expend on discussing such a topic. Cerealkiller13 04:35, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Also, this particular language was created in 1996, and so I wonder if it could be cut simply out of copyright concerns. Even if this is the case, I think it would be a good idea to discuss the concept of constructed languages in general. Cerealkiller13 04:37, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Here is the conversation so far, copied from RfV:

So, is there a consensus on the Brithenig language? It's a constructed language, but it does have an ISO code. CFI states that we're undecided on this one. Is this the time to make a decision, or should we just leave it for the time being. Some other words in this language include can as ag dew sei pyramid cant caer dagar deserth destruithiwn fodka fideo ffyr Ffreinc' ffulyer ffradr achelerar arth aer yn llefeg', among others. Cerealkiller13 20:46, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

We've included some constructed languages. Most of these seem to fall in a category of artificial languages designed for easier communication (e.g. Esperanto, Ido, Novial, Interlingua, Interlingue). We also have a smaller number of words in Klingon, Quenya, and Sindarin. This is the first I've encountered other languages deisgned for fictional purposes, and I don't think I'd want to see them included. Klingon &c. are at least used in a wide enough fan base with significant enough popularity that I had heard of them before working on Wikipedia, and have seen books, tapes, and the like promoting their use. I think any other such fictional language would need to be demonstrated as viable for inclusion, and we ought to draft some sort of criterion to judge such cases. --EncycloPetey 02:00, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Klingon is legit? I guess I'd better stop deleting it then. DAVilla 17:12, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
It's legit, but potentially has copyvio problems, since most of the words are defined in copyrighted dictionaries. --EncycloPetey 19:11, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Klingon is not legit according to the current CFI ("Words in those languages have not yet been approved for inclusion in the English Wiktionary...Brithenig...Klingon"). Mind you, I don't think it is a big deal to change this if we like, but that's what it says now. (And since we have been forced to get hypertechnical about CFI to deal with some recent demands ;-( ). The present text and list of languages seems pretty good to me. In my opinion, we don't want Klingon (or Brithenig either, but I don't know that much about it. Does it see/has it seen any real use, like say Esperanto?) Robert Ullmann 19:34, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
From what I can dig up, it doesn't seem like it has (although check this out [2], it's quite......interesting). It would appear to simply be a novelty for language nerds (such as ourselves), but with little real-world (i.e. spoken) usage. I imagine there may well be a few enclaves of speakers, but there does not seem to be any evidence for them, and so I imagine that, if in existence, they are rather small and rare. Cerealkiller13 21:54, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
The linguistics of Klingon is not a subject I have bothered with, but I have several friends and a sister who are avid enough Trek fans to have heard stories. For instance, I know that the Bible is being translated into Klingon by the Klingon Language Institute and there has already been a major theological split on the "correct" Klingon translation of certain passages. There was also sold about fifteen years ago a series of Klingon language tapes akin to the Berlitz series of language learning tapes (including a "Power Klingon" for businessmen as I recall). Klingon dialogue has also appeared on the Simpsons and in a number of films (and although I couldn't personally tell you which ones, I'm sure there's a list somewhere on Wikipedia). In all, I'm receptive to the idea on including Klingon in Wiktionary, but I wouldn't be heartbroken if it were determined to fail CFI -- and I personally won't be entering any Klingon words ever. As I said, I'm more concerned about the possibility of copyright violation. --EncycloPetey 22:59, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
The compromise of last year, to allow reconstructions in the Appendix namespace (give them an inch, watch them take 50 miles) has let to so many bad feelings all around, I think it would be better if Wiktionary simply opted not to include any constructions or reconstructions for a couple years. Perhaps by 2010, Wiktionary will have the infrastucture, internal consistency and genuine answers from WMF lawyers on the topic. As I see it now, they each pose legal risks, ancillary issues, technical challenges and policy burdens; none of which can be adequately dealt with now. Despite every one here being fluent in English, our basic language coverage of English is too lacking to properly deal with the enormity of all the others (as we've tried to do in earnest for two years now.) By trying to be everything to everyone, we've lost significant ground. --Connel MacKenzie 04:53, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
I am definitily pro inclusion of any constructed language. They may be copyrighted, but I very much doubt we would get any trouble with that, since most of the ‘communities’ will be only glad that they get some attention. I even doubt there is copyright on any of them. Note that I am not talking about reconstructed languages. So as far as I’m concerned, change CFI to make it way much liberal. henne 19:35, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Recommended format for Inflected form pages

I am writing Wiktionary:About Greek and would welcome comments on the layout of the exemplar word αδελφοί. In particular the indented lines masculine nominative plural, are they OK - would bullets be better? And any other points please. —Saltmarsh 08:03, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

In other lnaguages, we have opted for a form like this:
  1. masculine nominative plural of αδελφός.
  2. masculine vocative plural of αδελφός.
...so that each inflection gets a separate "definition" line. I prefer to see non-definition grammatical context in italics, but that is usually handled by CSS preferences through a template. It could also be nice to have words like nominative and vocative linked. --EncycloPetey 19:04, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
<mostly joking>Maybe we shouldn't have them linked, until a more comprehensible definiton is entered for nominative and vocative.</joke> --Connel MacKenzie 04:37, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Here's an example of what the standard practice has been within Ancient Greek (although not enough of these have been done to really merit a set-in-stone standard). I agree that it would be a good idea to have nominative and vocative linked, as well as others such as subjunctive, participle, etc. I think the first line of αδελφοί (inflected form of αδελφός) is probably unecessary. I wonder though, should we include a pronunciation section within these non-lemma entries? The etymology, meaning, etc. may well be the same as for the lemma, but the pronunciation likely won't be. Cerealkiller13 22:04, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Certainly. While most people don't bother to put pronunciations on the inflected form pages, they are desirable to eventually have on every page. Even among English regular nouns that add -s, the plural -s may be pronounced [s] (as in cats) or [z] (as in dogs). The rule for deciding which pronunciation to use isn't easy for a non-native speaker, so pronunciations are always a good thing. --EncycloPetey 22:44, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you all - very useful! —Saltmarsh 07:25, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Please have a look at Wiktionary:Votes/2006-12/form-of style. This is the agreed upon style. IMHO, it is best to create templates for any of the form-of like thingies, and have them use the proper CSS code. henne 19:31, 12 February 2007 (UTC)


The subject of whether Klingon meets WT:CFI was previously decided. The decision here was that it did not meet CFI. Apparently, there is a Klingon Wiktionary with 223 entries, qualifying it for listing on the Main page as 100+. (Sigh) A note at the top of the main page is a notice which reads: "Warning: this site will be closed in a few days, unless there's some overwhelming reason not to." Does anyone know about this wiktionary? Is it staying up (and so should be listed) , or is it going away? --EncycloPetey 04:30, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

It looks like Brion VIBBER put up the close notice a little under a week ago. So, I would imagine that it is going to be deleted. Poor guy, just one user on the wiktionary, put up hundreds of words in the span of a few weeks, and now it's all going to get deleted. Atelaes 06:16, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
A warning of interpretation: any word meets CFI as long as it is citable within the context of another (a natural?) language, e.g. Pig Latin ixnay. DAVilla 14:08, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
How does this apply the the question at hand? --EncycloPetey 18:20, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Saying it's Pig Latin doesn't mean it's not English. Similarly, saying it's Klingon doesn't mean it's not English... potentially, as I don't know of any examples of this. It seems that anyone who writes Klingon treats it as another language rather than incorporating it into an English context. DAVilla 17:38, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Klingon has been verboten here for quite a long time. The experiment of a Klingon Wiktionary demonstrates that even with one or two avid fans, such an endeavor is subject to a tremendous amount of vandalism, outweighing the possibility of a favorable outcome. How many of those 233 were vandalism? I do not think we list (nor link) inactive projects, in general, without a really good reason. --Connel MacKenzie 16:21, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
But it's not inactive. The project has only recently taken off and rocketted to over 100 in the past week. A random sampling of pages shows that they're not the result of vandalism. I'm not arguing for or against inclusion, just noting that your reasoning is predicated upon baseless assumptions. What I was asking (and still haven't found out) is whether Klingon is considered a valid language under the MediaWiki umbrella to have started a Wiktionary in the first place. --EncycloPetey 16:31, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Note: Not "baseless assumptions" but rather "hearsay". That is, that was my understanding of what I saw discussed on the topic...if that has changed in the last week (as a direct result of the proposal to close) then I'm not sure what to conclude, just yet. --Connel MacKenzie 17:23, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Is it OK to delete all the stuff under Category:Klingon language together with all the categories etc? SemperBlotto 16:29, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I would wait to see whether the Klingon Wiktionary is indeed deleted. If it stays, we may have to rethink CFI. If it goes away, then so should all our listings. Note that we also have a Category:Quenya language and Category:Sindarin language, though neither of these has a corresponding Wiktionary or Wikipedia to support their continued inclusion. --EncycloPetey 16:35, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
(about 4 edit conflicts later) Looks pretty good. Has the Klingon definition of the Somali word for water (biyo), which is more than we can say ;-) This is SEP. Robert Ullmann 16:37, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Feeling sorry for this guy, I added Qapla' to the English Wiktionary. I have already sent it to WT:RFV with two of the requisite three citations. I have informed the editor in Klingon of this, and he may soon be here attempting to verify Qapla'’s use in English. Good luck to him. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 20:08, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Language categories

How come we have Category:German interjections and Category:Polish interjections but Category:it:Interjections and Category:el:Interjections? Is this something in the process of change or a matter of disagreement? —Saltmarsh 07:38, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I believe that the policy is that parts of speech get the full language name and topics get the abbreviated form, so it should be Category:Greek interjections. Atelaes 09:25, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Because when the topic cats were being discussed and implemented, some people thought that it applied/should apply to the POS cats, and started creating/moving things. The result is that there is still confusion. Think Category:(language) (POS) and Category:(code):(topic). Robert Ullmann 10:41, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Because I haven't finished retro-fixing all 389 languages. I've fixed some of them in the last month, but will want bot help with moving articles from some of the larger "bad" category names. --EncycloPetey 15:26, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I did a bit of editing on WT:CAT which had gotten badly out of date. Still a bit more to do. Note that there are code-POS cats for Chinese languages (in addition to the correct cat names) because we are still sorting out what do with "Min Nan nouns written in traditional script" (now Category:nan-tw:Nouns ;-) See A-cai's description at WT:AZH. We do have the proper Category:Min Nan nouns. These are all controlled by the templates (e.g. {{nan-noun}}) so we can sort them easily. Where would bot stuff be helpful? Robert Ullmann 16:11, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, Chinese languages have an additional layer of complexity. I haven't even considered trying to edit any of those categories. I'm starting with Indo-European languages and those small language categories that don't contain many words yet. --EncycloPetey 16:20, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Do we have a centralized place to request 'bot category moves, yet? They are very easy for me to fire off. --Connel MacKenzie 16:33, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
If so, I don't know about it. Otherwise, I'd have put in a number of requests already ;) --EncycloPetey 16:45, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
When I proposed it, it got shot down, due to a bad example (which I thought was an even greater example of why a cursory review is needed before "pulling the trigger.") Please be bold and create a request page of some sort. If it doesn't work out, we can zap it. --Connel MacKenzie 17:15, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I support Category:(language) (POS) and Category:(code):(topic) as the standard here.--Jusjih 17:26, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Romanization of Russian (and others)

I’ve been disturbed by the romanization for Russian words used in translation sections. Some people are trying to pur some system in it, but there seems no consensus, I found nothing in Wiktionary:About Russian about this. There seem to be several systems for this. Wikipedia uses some English-like romanization which I do not like at all, here people tend to use the ‘scholarly’ system. There is an ISO standard for this too. I think it would be nice if some agreement would be made as to how to do this. So the question is: what are those glosses for and which system do we want to use? Maybe placement of it can be discussed too (before or after the gender/aspect information etc.). henne 19:20, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

We've been having similar problems with Greek and Ancient Greek, which is why the topic is being discussed on Wiktionary:About Ancient Greek. I don't recall any conversations about Russian happening. You might ask Stephen what system he's using. --EncycloPetey 19:35, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Interwiki links in translations: when?

As a follow-up on Wiktionary:Votes/2007-01/Translations - wiki links (run off), which is almost finished now, I am inclined to use {{t}}. I am consistently doing this for Dutch, and occasionally for other languages, if I see they need a language section link anyway, such as {{t|da|ild|c}} on fire, since ild is both the Danish and Norwegian translation for it. The main reason I do this is not having to type [[ild#Danish|ild]], i.e. the language section links all the time. The second effect this has is that it adds a link to the foreign language wikt, which is, IMO, an advantage. Now I have got some comments (see my talk page) that this creates interwiki links to non-existent pages. EncycloPetey’s comment that this causes vandalism on lesser-populated wikts makes sense. OTOH, I think at least the bigger foreign wikts, such as nl, da, no (i.e. the 40 language codes that work with {{t}} anyway) can handle this.

To summarise: clarification is needed whether the FLwikt link is wanted

  • always (this is how I read the vote above)
  • only if that page really exists

Other things I heard was:

  • only if it is a red link here

but that seems to be counter-productive to me.

A disadvantage of the second option is that one would have to check each time.

Please comment. A vote may be started if considered appropriate. henne 20:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

As decided in Wiktionary:Votes/2006-12/Translations_with_or_without_interwiki_links, links to foreign-language Wiktionaries should be added in all cases. Cynewulf 21:17, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
If that's what we decided, then I misunderstood the vote. I understood "red links" to refer to red links on Wiktionary. Links to FL wiktionaries do not show up as red in my browser. --EncycloPetey 21:58, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
On that vote, for Option 1, yes. But the winning Option 2 does not distinguish between red and blue links.
Please be careful with your use of the word "vandalism". Even if something is incorrect, it is not necessary to present it so harshly. Assume that a contributor will alter behavior when he or she is better informed. Edit: Wait, when did you use the word? On the talk page, apparently not. DAVilla 22:47, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
re "vandalism": wouldn't it be at least as likely to encourage someone to add the word to its "home" wikt? Isn't that why we generally encourage red links (though this one appears blue)? Seems to be to be a good thing. Robert Ullmann 07:53, 14 February 2007 (UTC)


How important is the en-noun template thing? --Gobbler 22:16, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

It's desirable but not obligatory. Someone else will probably add the template if you leave an article without one. Widsith 22:23, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
It shows the noun in question inflected for the plural by adding an -s, and also adds the word to [[Category:English nouns]]. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
...the plural in -s or anything else (see Template_talk:en-noun). --Enginear 14:34, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I meant when it’s used in its bare form, minus any trimmings (as {{en-noun}}). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:47, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Request for conflict resolution

Stephen G. Brown and I are in disagreement, and it seems unlikely that we will be able to come unto agreement in discussing the issue alone. Our discussion can be found here; it links on from the earlier discussion here. I am oblidged to revert his revision unto -polis, as I said I would in our discussion. He also said that he would in reponse, so I imagine that he is oblidged to do so as well. At which point, I believe the issue will require discussion by the wider community here. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:44, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Everything panned out as expected. I shall wait a couple of hours before reverting him again, to allow the community an opportunity to interject. I really cannot be bothered with an edit war. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:01, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I don’t see the problem. Stephen has included both plural forms on the -polis page. It seems fair. How can you object to that? Widsith 15:03, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Because -polises is incorrect for the reasons I gave in both the above linked discussions. The point here is accurately representing the nature of the -polis suffix, not allowing erroneous data in the entry for the sake of a compromise which satisfies both Stephen and me. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 15:08, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Plural forms in -polises are well attested, as well as being supported by the OED, which is more than can be said for -poleis. In light of that, the inclusion of -poleis at all seems pretty magnanimous. There is nothing incorrect about -polises; the Greek forms are utterly irrelevant to English grammar, and if some English speakers use -polises out of ignorance of the Greek, that doesn’t make them wrong, however much it seems to annoy you. Widsith 15:16, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

To summarise the lengthy Tea room discussion, Raifʻhār Doremítzwr argued successfully that various English words ending in -polis had plurals in -poleis which met CFI. He used this as reason to alter -polis#English to show the “irregular” English plural (based on most definitions of irregular) -poleis. As noted in the Tea bar, I confirmed that -polises was also a well-cited plural of -polis#English and noted that in the entry as an alternative plural. Raifʻhār Doremítzwr reverted me, and Stephen reverted him. Lists of cites of -polises words are available here. The list of Raifʻhār Doremítzwr’s contributions to wikt is intriguing. --Enginear 15:36, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Since there seems to be some confusion concerning it, I’ll try to set out my position as clearly as I can here. In the context of WT:CFI, acropolises, megapolises, megalopolises, and metropolises are all undeniably valid plural forms of acropolis, megapolis, megalopolis, and metropolis; however, acropoleis, megapoleis, megalopoleis, and metropoleis are also all undeniably valid plural forms of the same. I do not contest any of that; for practical reasons, I accept WT:CFI. However, methods of verification cannot apply unto affixes; they are always mentioned, not used. Therefore, we must reason the plural forms of affixes suffixes. (Since almost all English plurals are formed with suffixes (lilangeliemalangeni (hmm, this is a circumfix which seems to pluralise as li- -liema- -ni) being the only exception that I can think of), prefixes and infixes wouldn’t have plural forms.) Reasoning states that as polispoleis is formed indepedent of any other morpheme, it is an intrinsic plural form, whereäs polispolises is formed by the addition of a morpheme, namely -es, making it an extrinsic plural form; therefore, the plural of -polis is -poleis (because the pluralising pattern is part of the word), but not -polises (because this plural is formed by the addition of a different morpheme). Is this clearer now? If not, I’ll now show hereunder how this would affect the words’ etymologies (apologies for the Romanised Greek morphemes):

  1. For the regularly formed plurals, in alphabetical order:
  2. Now for the etymologically consistent plurals, again in alphabetical order:

I think that explains it. If an epexegesis is needed, let me know. I hope this shows that I have good reasoning for opposing the addition of -polises as a plural form of -polis, and proves that I’m not just unreasonably pushing my POV. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 21:45, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

modified previous paragraph so that BP doesn't cat in Greek derivations Robert Ullmann 11:37, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Doremítzwr: your contributions of interesting forms in either rare (scenarii) or fairly common (campi) use are both interesting and valuable.

Your attempts to promote “etymologically correct plurals” that are non-standard, irregular, and often rare as the preferred plurals for English users are not acceptable. The users of this dictionary need to know what the standard English plurals and forms are, and need to know when a form is non-standard, rare, or indicates pretentiousness that will be seen as illiterate.

See edit [3] (which I have reverted), in which you attempt to say that a writer who uses the standard English plural is “ignorant”. This is simply not true; the standard, regular English plural is always acceptable and always proper usage.

You insist on adding your plurals first in the entries for the singular form: this is a clear indication that you are pushing a POV, rather than adding less common (and quite interesting) content to the wikt.

If you can contribute and at the same time understand that we must document and describe the standard forms, your contributions will be (and are) useful. Otherwise, they are simply disruptive. Robert Ullmann 20:44, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, Robert Ullmann, for the kind words concerning my contributions. I think a lot of our disagreements come from mine overemphasis upon what words denote, and your seeming tendency to presume that you, I, and others share some unspoken definition of a number of words. With that in mind, I hereby define:
  • non-standard — a construction that is based upon nescience (lack of awareness) of a mandatory rule of English;
  • irregular (of a plural) — not formed either by: “+‘-s’”, “+‘-es’ after a sibilant”, or “‘-y’ → ‘-ies’”;
  • rare — this one’s vague; I suppose it means proportionally far less common than an alternative form (be it a plural, spelling, or whatever), by a fairly considerable ratio;
  • etymologically consistent (plural) — remaining faithful unto the rules of inflexion et cetera of the language from which the word originates;
  • Standard English — whatever doesn’t reach this is non-standard, slang, or the like; whatever goes beyond this is hypercorrect, pædantic, or the like;
  • regular (of a plural) — formed either by: “+‘-s’”, “+‘-es’ after a sibilant”, or “‘-y’ → ‘-ies’”.
When I use any of the above words, please take what I write to mean the applicable above definition.
In re second eisteddfodau usage note revision: I did not say that a person who uses eisteddfods is ignorant, only that he may be assumed to be. Again, please read what I write carefully; all the meaning that I attempt to convey is to be found within the lines of text that I write — there’s no need to look between them. To be completely fair, we must mention that we were having a discussion about what wording to give the usage note, and that having suggested the (now reverted) revision thereunto, I waited 21/2 days for a response before enacting my revision. I think that was a fair amount of time to wait consider that I had received no response unto my proposal. Since you entirely reverted what I wrote, please respond unto my suggestion, and propose a revision thereunto.
I list plurals in alphabetical order, as that is the least POV way that I can think of doing so. It is not a clear indication that I am pushing my POV, only that I make no judgement of precedence based upon order of listing. As an example, see how I recently edited aria — therein, the two plurals are listed in alphabetical order — arias followed by arie. I believe this to be the best order for listing plurals, but I wouldn’t reverted anyone for reörganising them any which way he desired.
Though it may not be obvious, I do wish to work within consensus — I’m not a fan of conflict. However, I am unwilling to take rules and statements that aren’t backed up by any reasoning. If the rules are explained unto me, and they are good rules, then I will obey them; if the rules are explained unto me, and they are not good rules, then I will respect that they are there, and then seek to change them through the correct channels, via endeavouring to build consensus on the issue. I do try to act in good faith.
A reply unto this and mine above explanatory comment would be appreciated. Discussion is the way in which consensus is built. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 01:58, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I’d like to note (humorously) that I’ve never seen anyone need a glossary for their own WT:BP post before. For {{rare}}, I’m pretty sure User:Dmh was fleshing out a more specific definition that I had come up with; either way, I think the Wiktionary meaning is much more specific.
Now, forgive me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we reach a decision with regard to rare “etymologically consistent plurals” the last two times you tried this? What exactly is it that you want? <incredulity> A policy, just for plurals? </incredulity> --Connel MacKenzie 05:36, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Woah, this conversation was going in a nice smooth direction, talking about the plural of -polis and then it veered off in eight directions. Let’s attempt to stick to the original issue, as that may well be difficult enough to handle on its own, without any tangents. It seems to me that you’re asking that -poleis be the sole plural form of -polis and -polises not be included at all. The reason you state is that polises is incorrect with respect to its Greek origins. Please correct me if I am in error here, I have a bad habit of misinterpreting people’s comments. The simple fact is that English speakers don’t know and don’t care what the Greek inflection of πόλις is. If you were trying to argue that the English language should be changed and poleis be the only allowable form, I would agree with you. But you’re not. You’re arguing that poleis should be the only form on Wiktionary, the mission of which is to accurately describe what people are actually saying/writing (even if that may be “incorrect”). The simple fact is, that most words using -polis use the plural form -polises (at least more commonly than any other form). So, it must be listed, and there’s no getting around it. I’m glad that you’ve fought and won the right to include -poleis, to the great benefit of Wiktionary. But there is no reasonable way to exclude polises. Cerealkiller13 06:07, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Also, may I suggest that -polis could include a usage note, stating that -poleis comes from Greek inflection, while -polises comes from English inflection. I see nothing biased about that, and it would give users a bit more info on the origins of and distinctions between the two. Cerealkiller13 06:11, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
My position on this matter has changed somewhat since Enginear and I thrashed this out a little more here. Please read the latest five or six posts thereat, and then voice your opinions here. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 14:35, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

The core problem here seems to be related to the “unique” definition of “non-standard” espoused above. While it may be true that most non-standard usage results from ignorance (and even that is debatable: any given person talking trash in the ‛hood is likely to be able to speak perfectly standard English when desired…), “more educated” doesn’t mean somehow “more standard”. Using pedantic “etymologically correct plurals” (that are often simply wrong in English) is just as non-standard as chillin’ or boxen. Both of which are used by well educated people. Just as metropoleis is sometimes used by educated people referring to Greek metropolises, without it being in any way standard. One of the purposes of giving people the standard plural, with a non-standard and uncommon (or incorrect, albeit used) plural referenced under see also or related terms, and clearly tagged as nonstandard or slang, rare or not, on its own page, is so that people who use our dictionary as a reference or to learn English, know how to not sound like a pedantic, pompous, pretentious ass. Robert Ullmann 00:42, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Maybe we should have a {{pompous}} tag? And a {{archaic-except-pompous}} tag for archaisms that some people still use pompously? :-P —RuakhTALK 01:44, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I think the “core” problem is that we don’t have clear policy with regards to various -fixes. However, my take on it is that, with regards to the present situation, -polis is a suffix, -polises is a suffix, -poli is a suffix, and -poleis is a suffix, but none of them have plurals, except in the esoteric sense when speaking of the suffixes (or perhaps the category of words using them) themselves, even though the latter three indicate the plural nature of the words they form. In other words, a suffix can imply plural-ness, but does not pluralize itself. Any attempt to specify a plural of something that isn’t yet in existence is by definition prescriptive. However, that isn’t specified in our “partial words” guidelines, because we don’t appear to have any (yet.) --Jeffqyzt 20:40, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Robert Ullmann is going somewhat off-topic here. In response, I disagree that the definition of non-standard that I gave above is unique; the American Heritage Dictionary’s seems similar, and the beginning of the usage note also backs me up (“The term nonstandard was introduced by linguists and lexicographers to describe usages and language varieties that had previously been labeled with terms such as vulgar and illiterate”). Please take my giving of a definition as an attempt to dispel miscommunication, as it was intended. Using just the one tag (non-standard) to refer to every “misuse”, from the most ignorant illiteracy to the most obscure scholarly construction is misleading and unhelpful. Each may or may not be frowned upon for different reasons — should we not clarify that whilst your guys’s may be suitable usage for conversing “inda ‛hood”, and ditto platypodes in arcane arguments in the dusty halls of academia, the usage is certainly not acceptable were the scenarii reversed? Connel and I have argued out a possible solution here — a three-tiered approach to the labelling of all usages currently clumped together under the banner “non-standard”.
Jeffqyzt, my most recent post here attempts to explain why we should have the plural forms of suffixes. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 22:44, 5 February 2007 (UTC)


I'm new here (so new I haven't even registered an account, since whether I think it's worth contributing depends on this question) so I don't know if this is the right place to ask this. Some wikipedia articles about words seem, from a wikipedian point of view, like they'd be better moved here, but they contain lengthy usage notes and etymology discussion which doesn't seem to be in any of the articles on here. So, would that sort of material be acceptable here, or do people here think that's better for an encyclopedia article? --Random832 00:35, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Our etymology sections aim to be brief; that is, not full word histories, just etymologies. That said, I consider it an error when there is an etymology on Wikipedia, and not on Wiktionary. On Wikipedia, you can tag the entry with {{dicdef}} or {{Copy to Wiktionary}} (or any of the others) to have it transwikied here. Once in the Transwiki namespace here, it can be merged or moved into a proper entry. Does this answer your question? --Connel MacKenzie 04:31, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
We like etymology and usage notes (and citations and examples). A lot of entries here don't have such things because no-one has done them yet. Note that it isn't an either/or; a pedia entry may be a good candidate for a transwiki copy to the wikt, and still kept as an article. Look at our entry 三人成虎 and w:Three men make a tiger. Robert Ullmann 04:39, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Remember that Wiktionary is not paper. Whilst we aim for etymologies, we aren't constrained by the limits of paper dictionaries. We don't write in telegraphese. We can add references to etymologies. We can list alternative etymologies presented by different authorities. We can go into detail. We aren't constrained by paper considerations when it comes to usage notes, either. There's no reason that we cannot cover all of the usage and abusage territory for individual words and idioms that is covered by Fowler, Partridge et al., and indeed it is our aim to do so.

    The important thing to remember is that Wiktionary is barely started. We are the most ambitious project of all of the Wikimedia Foundation projects, and will eventually be the largest. Most of our articles are stubs. They are nowhere near being full articles. Don't measure, and certainly don't limit, what we can do at Wiktionary by what we've done so far. Uncle G 14:15, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

  • So, to put it in more concrete terms, my question is would it be acceptable to merge most or all of the material from, to choose an example, wikipedia:Irregardless into irregardless, or should it be made more brief (then what of the material that's not included? I don't think Wikipedia's the place - I think there needs to be a unified view of what belongs on Wikipedia and what belongs here, or there will inevitably be things that don't belong either place (nevermind that there clearly are things that don't belong either place, I mean of things that logically must belong in either one or the other being on a spectrum between them) --Random832 16:36, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Reflexive verbs

I apologize if this has been asked before, which it likely has. I see that French reflexive verbs, such as s'appeler, are put on the page of the non-reflexive verb (appeler). I also see that Dutch reflexive verbs tend to have pages of their own with the reflexive pronoun (such as zich voelen alongside voelen). Do we have a policy on which is preferable, keeping in mind that in some cases the non-reflexive form of the verb doesn't exist? Paul Willocx 19:47, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

We put then on the non-reflexive page with {{reflexive}} in-line with the definition. See: WT:POS --EncycloPetey 22:00, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I tried one like that, see voelen. However, I have further questions: how does one know what the "reflexive infinitive" is now, and how to conjugate the verb? And it appears that, although WT:POS mentions "French and Spanish verbs", most of those are actually done in a rather different style (by simply adding the reflexive verb on the non-reflexive verb's page, but without the template, see for instance appeler. Paul Willocx 22:25, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
For Italian reflexive verbs, we create a separate entry, complete with conjugation table. See tenere and tenersi as an example. SemperBlotto 22:41, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
So there is no single policy that goes for all languages, then? And I shouldn't bother to go merge those pages? Paul Willocx 18:19, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
YOu have to play it by ear depending on the language involved. If the reflexive infinitive is not easily predictable, common sense dictates you'll probably want it on a separate page. This is something we have only discussed fairly recently, which is why WT:POS may seem not to cover the instances you're dealing with. Widsith 22:26, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
It was informally decided for Spanish (and French?) that the lemma page would be a non-reflexive infinitive, and the reflexive infinitive would be a non-lemma page pointing to the lemma for the definition. That is, the reflexive definition of lavarse should be given on the page for lavar, and lavarse would identify the entry as a reflexive form of lavar. However, this has not been implemented consistently. --EncycloPetey 01:18, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Romanisation - wikified?

From Wiktionary:Grease pit#Template help needed (13 Feb 2007) Side question from the peanut gallery: are Romanizations of Greek wikified? E.g. {{#if:{{{1|}}}|([[{{{1}}}]])}}? Also, FYI: m:Magic words & m:Parser function. --Connel MacKenzie 15:43, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Greek Romanizations are not wikified. Atelaes 19:32, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I think that Wiktionary:Transliteration#Transliteration policy implies otherwise. The last para of the section says For a foreign term written in a language that does not use a phonetic alphabet, a transliteration article should be provided for every term, redirecting to or pointing to the non-transliterated form of the term.
  1. What does phonetic mean - ie Japanese is non-phonetic, but Greek is ?
  2. I had been thinking that a romanisation was intended as a guide to pronunciation. Hence useful for all non-roman languages. But no link needed.
  3. Is now a time to polish Wiktionary:Transliteration and make it policy? —Saltmarsh 15:17, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
That's not what it says or even implies. It means that those languages whose writing system is ideographic rather than alphabetic should have entries for romanizations. Chinese, Japanese, and Mayan are mostly ideographic while Russian, Greek, and Armenian use an alphabet. So, we would have transliteration entries for the former three, but not the latter three.--EncycloPetey 04:08, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I must admit, it's a bit unclear. The paragraph in question says nothing about ideographs. It only mentions phonetic and non-phonetic alphabets. I don't know if the term "phonetic alphabet" is terribly well defined. I would say that the Greek alphabet only corresponds roughly to sound production in modern Greek. Does that make it a phonetic alphabet? I think the term should be discarded altogether and replaced with simply alphabet and ideographic system, probably with some examples. Anyone agree or disagree with this? Atelaes 04:21, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
The term "alphabet" is kind of ambiguous. Taken narrowly, it can exclude syllabaries, abjads, and abujidas (all of which are fairly phonetic); taken broadly, it can include logographic systems (sometimes misleadingly called "ideographic"). Even once we've clarified exactly what we mean by "alphabet", what about languages, like Japanese and Korean, that have both phonetic and logographic systems (kana vs. kanji in Japanese, hangul vs. hanja in Korean)? I would think the current policy would not allow transliteration articles for these (since the languages do use phonetic-ish systems, albeit alongside logographic ones), but I'm not expecting romaji (romanized Japanese) to disappear from Wiktionary any time soon. —RuakhTALK 06:11, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmm.. the intent of the ideographic/phonetic distinction seems to be to let people who hear a word but don't know what it means look it up by its sound, which is a good idea. I think the page しん exists for this reason (likewise shin#Japanese). In languages where it's easier to guess the customary written form from the sound, this sort of thing would be less important. Cynewulf 04:53, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
OK - that is one bit of my question - someone wants to look up a Japanese word that they've heard. So (1) we need articles for each possible romanisation as said in Wiktionary:Transliteration#Transliteration policy.
And - we need - do we? (2), after for example words in 'Translations' sections, an aid to pronunciation, since Russian and Chinese writing are both inscrutable to me and the casual user will want a simple aid. — Saltmarsh 06:52, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
We have しん and shin because Japanese is written in hiragana and romaji as well as kanji, not as "helpful" ways to look up the kanji. Likewise we have Mandarin pinyin entries because it is often written in pinyin. Note that search for a romanization/transliteration should find the relevant articles. (indeed, search "shin Japanese" finds all of the Kanji with the reading (e.g. , not just the usual ones listed at shin). I think we should have entries only for the actual written forms of the language(s), anything else is a search/index function. (And do note that we could be building indexes automatically.) Robert Ullmann 07:48, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Sorry about this - can I try again? I should have asked two direct(ish) questions, with specific reference to modern Greek:
1. "there should be a transliteration for all occurrences of words in non-latin scripts in inflection lines and in Translation sections". This will be un-wikified and provide a clear guide to pronunciation?
2. A user hears a Greek "No!" (όχι). Is s/he to be able to seach for ocki, ochi, ohi and any other variation in order to reach όχι ? (WHich is what I felt the guidance was saying)
Saltmarsh 15:48, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
(1) Mostly yes. For entries in non-Roman scripts, a non-wikified transliteration should be provided in the inflection line. For translations in non-Roman scripts included in a Translations table, there should be a non-wikified transliteration included. But there is no guarantee it will provide a clear guide to pronunciation. The transliteration should follow a consistent standard interpreting the spelling mainly into Roman letters, and it therefore may not accurately reflect the pronunciation. This will vary according to the language being transliterated.
(2) This kind of search may be done using a text search feature. It does not require that we have an article for any transliterated spelling. Just as we do not have entries for every possible "phonetic" spelling of English words, we do not need them for other languages. --EncycloPetey 01:13, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

A dispute from User talk:Stephen G. Brown

You reverted my revision of alchemy

Why? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:26, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

You changed the common, modern spelling of a word to an asinine antiquated spelling, then inserted a directed apostrophe. Don’t do it anymore. —Stephen 23:30, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh, what is this new conflict now‽ You might have some justification for complaining if I had replaced it with mediæval (my preferred spelling). I changed medieval → mediaeval because the word is often mispronounced /mɛˈdiː.vəl/ — adding an ‘a’ is at least a reasonable step to encourage the proper pronunciation /mɛ.dɪˈiː.vəl/. Second point: noöne except you has ever objected to mine instituting directed punctuation within entries. Not that I care enough. Reäpply the rest of the changes that I made, and I will leave the punctuation undirected, and leave “medieval” as it is. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 23:46, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
Your "preferred" spelling makes us look like dimwitted gits. I have told you that you are judged by your writing, and you write like a pompous ass. If you get less respect that you think you deserve, you only have yourself to blame. Medieval is the appropriate spelling, especially for International English. No one in my country mispronounces medieval, so it appears you have a literacy problem in England. We cannot address that concern here. Directed quotes breaks the search engines, and they have to be straight quotes in order to work properly. This has all been explained to you over and over. I’ll give you a few minutes to digest this, then I'm going to delete your pompous crap because I don't want that sort of language on my page. —Stephen 23:57, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Does the community agree with him on these points? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 00:00, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree with him on all the points pertaining to the article. We should certainly use the standard apostrophe (even if it's not really an apostrophe) because that's what people will be using to search. We should use the standard spelling of medieval. Perhaps he could have been somewhat more pleasant in making these points, but, at the same time, he is correct in that there has been discussion on the usage of the different apostrophes and their effects on search engines, etc. And I think that the general point, that we should be using the most common language, not the language which is deemed "most correct", has been covered rather thoroughly before as well. Atelaes 00:11, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Wiki policy is usually that editorial spelling changes should not be made if the original spelling is valid. For example, we don't go around Americanizing all instances of colour, or Britishizing all instances of color, because both spellings are valid. Your spelling change falls in this category; it was pointless. And Stephen is right, we do not use directed apostrophes. --EncycloPetey 01:04, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Stephen G. Brown (talkcontribs). You can't go round changing the spellings to your personal preference, especially when its not plain English. As for literacy in the UK, pompous glaiks going round telling people how to speak and spell things, when there was nothing wrong with the way in which it was conveyed in the first place gives all us British folk a bad name (it also annoys our American pals too!) - please refrain from this type of activity.--Williamsayers79 09:06, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
You can see a similar issue on my talk page. Doremítzwr: no one is on a vendetta against you. I and Stephen both reverted page edits instead of spending time sorting out the valid bits from the pompous crap. Much easier. You just can't comprehend the concept of standard English can you? You keep trying to redefine it. You can write any way you like on talk pages, and it just makes you look like a pompous ass. But the content pages represent all of us: the language used is standard English, (American/Commonwealth/International) and entries for words and forms that are not must be tagged as such. Your contributions of interesting obscurities are much appreciated. Attempting to pretend they are some kind of super-educated English is not acceptable, and never will be acceptable. Robert Ullmann 11:24, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree, for the reasons stated above.
It does though lead to a more general point about the type of language we should use, which I don't recall being in the guidelines or being discussed recently:
I believe we should aim to make articles in the main name page as accessible as possible, bearing in mind the regional differences in usage and the fact that English will not be the first language of all who use us as a reference book. Therefore:
  • We should aim wherever possible to use words which are themselves defined in the dictionary
  • Further, where possible we should use "basic English" words, where that does not impair the nuances of the definition so this sentence might be inappropriate in an article
  • Similarly, we should avoid unnecessarily rare spellings, eg no one is good, but noone or noöne would not be, even if in the future someone enters those rare spellings.
  • Finally, we should avoid unnecessarily complex constructions or words which are ambiguous (or understood differently in different regions).
What are other people's views on this, and do we have a relevant draft policy page? --Enginear 12:00, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the above - and people should think 3 times before editing someone elses text - are they being chauvinistic?
(I have used mediaeval in Wikipedia and was unhappy when someone changed it to medieval BUT I would NOT edit someone elses medieval. Mediaeval a way that it can be spelt (or is that spelled) in the UK (30% Google UK-hits - cf 5% worldwide)) —Saltmarsh 12:16, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Google Book Search shows that medieval is about six times more common than mediaeval is, and the latter is around thirty times more common than mediæval is. I’ll write a reply to the other points hereïn later today (rather than just posting statistics). † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 12:48, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Please don't bother writing a long-winded reply trying to justify ignoring what we are telling you over and over and over again. Instead, you would be better served to listen to what everyone is telling you. Let it sink in. Robert Ullmann 14:41, 15 February 2007 (UTC)


I logged on 20 minutes ago - intending to suggest that there should be a Wiktionary:Glossary - low and behold, there is one! Sadly out of date and downright misleading (it stated that (British) and (UK) are different - in fact the template British points to UK).

Please can I urge people to check that it's correct - and to put ALL technical terms there. (It took me ages to interpret POS). What may be obvious to you is probably Greek to newbies, and may just put them off. —Saltmarsh 10:21, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

New MediaWiki extension just for Wiktionary

I've been laying low for a while, learning PHP and SQL and MediaWiki programming with the goal of finally getting some developer awareness of Wiktionary. This means I'm becoming a dev myself since so few others seem to be interested in both hacking the wiki software and working on the English Wiktionary.

My first extension automates the {{see}} template so the tens of thousands of missing links will now just appear automagically when the software sees that articles have similar titles.

It has its own web page.

You can find the source code and comments from other wiki developers on Bugzilla, where you can leave your own comments.

I've tested it on real Wiktionary data but my machine is not powerful enough. I would really like to find somebody who can install it on a live test wiki that Wiktionary users can try out. See what they like and what they don't and try to find any bugs so I can fix them.

After testing I'd like it installed right here.

I'm already working on my next extension, which will add language-awareness to the English Wiktionary at the software level. This will make possible future improvements such as a version of Special:Allpages that just works for a certain language - thus replacing indexes which have to be edited by hand, and previous and next links on article views to allow alphabetical browsing.

Feedback, support, (constructive) criticism greatly appreciated. — Hippietrail 12:29, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Support for installing DidYouMean on en.wiktionary immediately or sooner. If it is very buggy and bugs are found that can't be corrected in a day, it can always be turned off (but from the code I've read, even a single bug seems unlikely.) --Connel MacKenzie 17:43, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Yay! Both long needed. How would language-awareness be implemented as it pertains to the use of templates? DAVilla 20:51, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Ready for testing!

Brion Vibber has kindly installed DidYouMean on http://test.leuksman.com/view/Main_Page

Please go try it out and report any bugs. Please check for corner cases.

So far there is one obvious issue on Brion's machine that didn't show up on my machine. That is that when adding a word which is similar to a previously existing word, the previous word will get a link to the new word but not vice versa. Let me know if you find any other problems. — Hippietrail 09:47, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

To use DidYouMean, do we have to do anything more than a simple search? I'm not getting any close results, or it doesn't appear that I am, although it's difficult to tell what exactly is or isn't garbage at that site. DAVilla 18:08, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
The bug that was preventing the "last" in a chain from appearing right away, is now fixed. I've tried some whacky stuff, and haven't seen any problems (other than the one that Hippietrail fixed so quickly.) --Connel MacKenzie 01:36, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
  • I'll start a vote for this; by the time it gets approval, a lot more people will have pounded on the test server. --Connel MacKenzie 01:36, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Bueno . . .

Bueno, es que me gustaría añadir vínculos entre wikis, pero no sé como hacerlo, ¿entiende? Traté de hacerlo, pero no pude. Al propósito, ¿que es un noun en inglés? También al proposito, buen sitio, pero necesitas trabajar más duro. Saludos, Está bien 10:46, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Inter-wikis son agregados automáticamente por RobotGMwikt. No necesitas hacer cualquier cosa. Inter-wiki links are added automatically by RobotGMwikt. You don't need to do worry about it. Robert Ullmann 11:01, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Y "noun" = sustantivo. Paul Willocx 22:05, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Japanese hiragana

Now that I've renovated all the katakana pages, I'm going to start work on hiragana. I'll be doing all of them, starting with the 48 in the gojūon, then the 26 others. Since most of the hiragana pages have Noun or other sections, I'll just be replacing the section dealing with the kana itself. See , , and for examples of the style.

I'm not really sure how bold I should be with this sort of thing, but I guess it doesn't help to ask for suggestions before I start.

Hopefully this will go a bit easier than last time. Cynewulf 18:09, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Recommended format for inflection/tag lines

(What IS the correct name for the the line following the POS heading?)   I would welcome some more advice for work on Wiktionary:About Greek. I have laid out below suggested formats for the "inflection" line in Greek entries. Please be picky about punctuation, boldness etc. Although a difference with Ancient Greek, after looking at Russian and other languages, I have put this immediately following the Greek word. I have left them out for following inflections, they are to be found by following the link.


πρόβλημα (próvlima) f nominative sg,     plural:προβλήματα


ζεστός (zestós) m nominative sg,     f:ζεστή, n:ζεστό


   γράφω (grapho),     simple past:έγραψα

Simple POS    (for: non-lemma words forms, words lacking inflections, preliminary entries, etc)

   πότε (pótai)
Saltmarsh 07:49, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

One question, does Greek still have first, second and third declensions? If it does, that may be useful to have (especially for irregular forms). Also, is it simply called "simple past"? In Ancient that would be the "aorist" form. But the terminology may well be different for Modern. Other than that, I think it looks great. Atelaes 08:04, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I must study a few Greek grammars again - but I have not found a consistant nomenclature for declensions. "Αόριστος" is still used in Greek for what I called the "simple past" and my Greek teacher said 'used to be called "aorist"'! —Saltmarsh 08:43, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Used to? Hmmm. That's quite interesting, because an emerging trend in Ancient Greek is that we can't even call them tenses anymore, they're "aspects." Scholars are beginning to wonder if we interpreted Ancient Greek "aspects" incorrectly based on their similarity to Latin tenses. Atelaes 08:52, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Here are some examples of what we're doing for Latin:


auscultātor (genitive auscultātōris); m, third declension


augustus m; (feminine augustua, neuter augustum); first/second declension
Of course, in Latin we don't have to worry about transcription from Greek to the Latin alphabet. In Latin, the addiitonal form of the noun traditionally given is the genitive singular, rather than the nominative plural, because it provides more information about other inflectional forms. --EncycloPetey 01:15, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
(1) I was trying to avoid repeated parentheses, thus we could have
πρόβλημα (próvlima) f nominative sg,   (plural:προβλήματα)
Which seems visually clumsy - or I'm being silly!
(2) Is there deep logic in the difference in order between Adj and Noun
Adj : Word : (genitive) : Gender, whereas
Noun : Word : Gender : (Genitive)
thanks —Saltmarsh 07:21, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
No, no deep logic. It's primarily the result of different people setting up the templates at different times. However, it's also true that a noun tends to have a fixed gender, whereas adjectives have variable gender. It thus is more important to display the gender up-front for adjectives. --EncycloPetey 18:49, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Modification to Wiktionary:Page deletion guidelines

aving noticed that this is not already explicitly mentioned, I would like to modify Wiktionary:Page deletion guidelines to add that articles in the transwiki namespace which have identical or better definitions in the main namespace already may be deleted by administrators (or {{delete}} tagged by non-admins) at any time. My understanding is that this is already common practice (at least, no one raised a fuss when I tagged some), and this is a necessary task in cleaning out the transwiki: namespace, since probably half or more of the current entries are duplications of current content. Leaving duplicated content there to rot wastes time when multiple editors end up looking at it and recommending an RFD for each one would be an unnecessary time lag for an uncontroversial act. Any thoughts on this? Dmcdevit 01:31, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a fine clarification to me. --Connel MacKenzie 06:30, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree, I've been deleting and redirecting myself, but clarification is needed in the guidelines for those who are less bold.--Williamsayers79 17:06, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree as well. No need to clutter RfD with such items. --EncycloPetey 05:43, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Arabic welcome

Thanks to User:Chahibi, we now have an Arabic translation of the {{welcome}} template at {{ar:welcome}}. --EncycloPetey 03:45, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

AHD runoff voting

The initial round of voting for changes to AHD concluded with enPR and WPR favored as possible replacements for the name AHD we currently use for our internal pronunciation system. With no clear majority favorite, we now go two two runoff votes at WT:VOTE. The first runoff vote officially decides whether we retain the name AHD or opt for a change. The second runoff vote decides which option will serve as replacement, should we vote for the change. Both votes run until the end of this month. --EncycloPetey 05:47, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Translations - wiki links (run off)

The vote was finished the other day - with the most popular being for the format:

henne asked about parentheses, and V-ball would prefer their absence. Where parentheses were mentioned in this and the original vote it was in support of their inclusion. —Saltmarsh 08:29, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

My suggestion is about including the parentheses in the FL link, since it gives a larger hit space for the link. I definitely think they should be there. If anyone objects against them being part of the link, please react here, otherwise I’ll change the template. henne (talk) 14:50, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
A few questions: Is there a template which does this automatically? What about languages which don't have a wiki? Should Ancient Greek link to the Greek Wiktionary? How about words in Aramaic or Coptic? Should these languages simply not have the link? Atelaes 08:49, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Template: yes, see {{t}}. henne (talk) 14:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary structure awareness extension prototype live for testing

Also on WiktionaryDev you can see my progress on Feature request 6104 to make the HTML structure reflect the structure of the article headings.

I've rewritten part of the parser to do this and there are some side effects and some features such as TOC not supported.

By default POS sections and their subsections have been given colours. Log in as user "HippietrailTest1" password "password" to see minimal articles with most sections hidden.

Feedback appreciated! — Hippietrail 13:01, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Spanish verbs conjugation template

I noticed that "usted" and "ustedes" are stated as the 3rd person cases (singular and plural respectively) in the template for spanish verbs conjugations, for example:


This is wrong, it should be "el/ella" (he/she) and "ellos/ellas" (they). "Usted" is the formal case for the singular 2nd person, as "ustedes" is the one for the plural 2nd person (in Spain). Guirro 00:57, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I think it is wrong, in that the headings are listed in Spanish, not English. --Connel MacKenzie 01:09, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, the headers are listed in English as well, because it says first, second, third person. However, I agree that, at the very least, usted should not be listed as the only reference in the third person section. There is a sense where the Spanish language itself is "wrong", in that it conjugates usted verbs (2nd person) according to third person inflection, but that's neither here nor there. I believe the best option would be to put el/ella and ellos/ellas in the spot, and if there's enough room, usted(es) as well. Perhaps it could also be useful to have somthing on the template linking to an appendix page that explains the overall inflection scheme, as well the fact that usted is a formal second person which is declined as third person. Atelaes 01:42, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Frankly, I don't see the point in including any Spanish pronouns in the table (it's a verb table, not a pronoun table, and the English headings specify enough), but if any are, it should definitely be él and ellos, not usted and ustedes. —RuakhTALK 04:08, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Corrigendum: if pronouns are retained, the imperative row should continue to have usted(es). (BTW, why does the imperative row only give the affirmative forms?) —RuakhTALK 18:31, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with that. Everyone knows that the 3rd person is he/she/it, but it is a special feature of Spanish that it is also usted. Putting and usted adds important information. Without this, some people might try to write "usted estás", "ustedes habláis". I think it’s good the way it is. —Stephen 10:42, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary as a closed group

Sort of ... a dictionary is a function, the domain is the set of headwords, the range is the set of definitions: themselves made up of words.

As Enginear pointed out just above, we should be defining words in terms that themselves appear in the wikt. Which raises the question: how many words used in definitions do not have entries? About 25,000. See User:Robert Ullmann/Missing for a bit of analysis, and an interesting list of entries one might add. Robert Ullmann 20:15, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

This list is extremely useful. I have already added three new entries as a result thereof. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 21:06, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I am also impressed with his formula:
y = f(x)

definitions = f (headwords)

Although it may seem simplistic at first, the formula is powerful in the way it is being interpreted. When a word is defined, the words used to define it are defined as well.—Eternamente 21:53, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Very useful; I've already fixed a bunch of typos it found. :-) —RuakhTALK 22:57, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Just as a side note, the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English has a defining vocabulary of roughly 2,000 words. That's more or less what we're aiming for with the Simple English Wiktionary too.--BrettR 13:34, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Yes, the definition of each word should consist of words that have already been defined in the Wiktionary. Um - how do we add the first word? and what should it be? SemperBlotto 13:38, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
    Like an old mainframe -- put the bootstrap tape in the reader, use 16 switches to enter the first address and start the tape reader? Seriously, isn't it a logical impossibility with a single word, since a useful definition must use a different word to define the headword? Ditto for two words, since their definitions would have to be circular. I've forgotten too much maths to argue about three or four words, though if any map can be drawn with five colours, it feels as if the right five words it might be possible (I know that's an illogical comparison, but it feels good!) However, to give upper bounds, if Forth can define "anything you want" in terms of 100-odd well chosen core words, and Longman uses 2000 English words [is that 2000 lemmata?], we should be able to cope with the >>100,000 English words which we already have! ;-) --Enginear 18:03, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
In the Longman defining vocabulary, word is closer to word family than lemma. Only the most common meaning of the word is allowed. Phrasal verbs using the words are excluded. A list of 30 afixes is inlcuded. These include: -ed, -ical, -ly, non-, etc.--BrettR 13:10, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Entries lacking inflection template

What's the category for this? I can't find it. I've used "Pages lacking inflection template" in libero, but that's not correct. — Paul G 10:49, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

There isn't any regular cat, probably since it isn't generally considered an error; we don't usually require the templates in entries, they just make life easier (sometimes a lot easier: following the format and cats for a Min Nan noun without {{nan-noun}} would be very fiddly ;-). We did have a cat for English nouns lacking a template at one point. It would probably have to be language specific, and then should go in Category:Requests (language). The question at libero seems to be: what is the plural? (Having been derived from an Italian adjective ...) Robert Ullmann 11:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
The English plural is liberos. I think the Italians use the word difensore. SemperBlotto 12:23, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. The template I was looking for was "English nouns lacking inflection template", but now that SemperBlotto has given me the plural (it could not have been "liberoes", but might have been "liberi") and it that plural has already been added, this is academic. — Paul G 14:12, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Four AM in Nairobi

So how much bandwidth do you use? Broadband? A megabit/sec? Ten? What do you suppose the average is where you live? Even if your raw bandwidth is 10Mbps, what you get when it is shared through the cable and switches is probably less. 2Mbps? What do you think it is per capita? 100K bits per second per capita on average would be fairly good?

In Burundi, network access is 0.25 bits per second per capita.

Mind you, we are doing a lot to improve that, and that is a ~2005 figure; we are building 3 different ocean cables, and loops through Rwanda and Uganda and Tanzania to Kenya and Mozambique on the coast. We are putting used computers in schools, and working with universities to provide teacher training.

And then there is content: given access, how do users—students, young and old—access the net? What do they use? They often know some English, often not; the web has information in many, many languages, and the key just may be an English dictionary to it all. And if they don't know English, or are more comfortable with Swahili?

Someone here today looked at the entry for 山. "Ah," he said to me, "mlima! I know what 山 means now.". He was looking at . When he wants to know what いぬ means, it will be there too. And when a Kinyarwandan speaking cousin in Kigali wants to know what papillon is in the French text he is reading (not unlikely, a Francophone country ;-) it is there too, thanks to the contributors to the English wikt.

We will get the network bandwidth there. And people will have access to every amazing reference on the web. And they will be able to understand and use it, because they have the key.

So if you ever think that wiki-lexicography is being a "harmless drudge" ... think again

Robert Ullmann 01:54, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Primetime, again

Watch out for Primetime, he's back editing from (talkcontribsglobal account infodeleted contribsnukeedit filter logpage movesblockblock logactive blocks) IP range. --signed by vandal: 6839 174 . 238 wiki (talkcontribsglobal account infodeleted contribsnukeedit filter logpage movesblockblock logactive blocks) impersonating w:User: 01:08, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

He's moved from Colorado to Liverpool? Well, maybe ;-) Robert Ullmann 10:43, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Expert blank template

Where is the "Expert blank template" defined, that is, the text you get when you click on "Expert blank template" in the Search page you get when you click on "Search for near variants" after entering a URL that does not exist in Wiktionary?

I ask because some things look a bit wrong with the pronunciation. AHD is given with spaces between the syllables, where we use hyphens; the primary stress is marked with an apostrophe, where ʹ should be used (the apostrophe is for secondary stress). The word "name" is shown as being pronounced /neɪɱ/ in IPA. Now, /ɱ/ is the sound of an "m" heard before /f/ in words like "emphasis" made by putting your upper teeth against your lips, as opposed to a normal "m" made by putting your lips together. The sound in "name" is /m/, not /ɱ/. Furthermore, it's debatable whether we should be using /ɱ/ at all, even for the pronunciation of words like "emphasis", as we aim for a broad transcription of pronunciations.

There may be other things wrong too, but I haven't checked. — Paul G 17:15, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I think the consensus was to eliminate it from MediaWiki:Noexactmatch, not fix it; I've never seen it used "correctly." Special:Prefixindex/Template:new en is where those hide. That one is Template:new en useful.
OK, now removed. --Connel MacKenzie 17:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary language awareness extension live for testing

Brion has given us a development wiki on his own server. See the main interface to language awareness here: http://wiktionarydev.leuksman.com/index.php/Special:WiktionaryLang

Currently you can combine synonyms for languages and see live indeces of entries per language.

There is also a new magic word {{NUMBEROFLANGUAGES}}.

The extension actually tracks which languages have entries on which pages and could be useful for many more things:

  • Language-specific random links
  • Previous and Next word alphabetically in this language
  • Putting an index link at each language heading
  • A user preference to select which languages you are interested in.

The extension does not track which languages are included in translation sections, etymologies, etc... yet.

Try it, try to break it, let's hear your ideas. — Hippietrail 12:10, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I assume this is just the initial list of languages. Six specific comments:
  1. Anglo-Saxon is not a "good language name", since we use Old English instead. If "Anglo-Saxon" appears in any headers or translation tables, it should be changed. So, is the list on the development page generated dynamically or from a set list?
  2. When the list is expanded to include all 389+ languages currently on Wiktionary, it would be helpful if the WT:TOP40 were listed separately at the start, and then a full alphabetical list. Right now, not all of the "top 40" appear in the list.
  3. It could also help to have the native language name and/or ISO code by the language name. Some of the lesser-known languages have various synonyms that aren't obviously related.
  4. Translingual should be active by default. Requiring users to toggle it on is a bad idea because most won't realize what kinds of key entries (such as symbols) it would deactivate.
  5. Some "languages" should be paired. I imagine people wanting Mandarin will also want to see the Han characters, which have a different language heading.
  6. When I "merge" Greek and Ancient Greek, it alphabetizes them under "A".
--EncycloPetey 17:15, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
  • WiktionaryLang makes no policy decisions. We really do have articles with "Anglo-Saxon". It helpfully provides a way to treat them the same irregardless of what policymakers decide or how long they take to decide. Then it helps by providing links to all articles using each variant so editors can be sure they have corrected every single one to match a policy.
  • The list of languages at WiktionaryDev is the dynamic list of languages currently used in level 2 headings on that wiki - try adding or deleting some. All pages are cut and paste from Wiktionary, many having been hand chosen to illustrate the features of each extension being developed on WiktionaryDev.
  • I'm trying to think of the best way to add ISO codes and names. I'll probably add them in database tables but their presence will only heat debates between splitters and joiners I fear. Also note that WiktionaryLang makes no decisions about what is a real language or a pretend language or a dialect. Thus it is possible to include languages which have no ISO code.
  • I don't know what you mean by "toggle on Translingual". To WiktionaryLang it's just a language like any other.
    He means Translingual should be "on" by default, otherwise people will miss information they are expecting. They won't know they want it "on" essentially always unless they see it. If you are looking up Au with only English on you will get nothing. Robert Ullmann 11:13, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
  • On pairing languages I've been thinking about ways to group languages but how to do it without just providing something else to fight about is harder. It's probably better to leave anything like that to user preferences.
  • When languages are merged it takes the variant which appears on the most level-2 headings as the main one. In the event of a tie the main language is not defined.
  • WiktionaryDev does not have a full copy of Wiktionary because the host that Brion Vibber has so generously provided us is short on disk space. When Versageek's new WiktionaryDev box is ready it will be a dedicated box I believe and we'll be able to import entire Wiktionary dumps onto it.

Thanks for having a look - please try it out further! — Hippietrail 12:46, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Radical numbers in Han character entries

Background: when Nanshu was generating these entries, he started out without putting the radical number in the entries; after a while Eclecticology suggested that it would be good to add, and the entries were generated that way staring at that point. (Nanshu apparently had a write-only bot, either couldn't edit or couldn't write over the existing ones.) That left about 1700 of the 21,000 entries without the number, basically all the entries up to the middle of radical 30. (Similarly, he fixed the way he was doing Pinyin and Korean Yale part way through, without going back to fix the errors, I've sorted those previously.)

I've sorted out all of the characters, with a list of remaining entries still needing formatting (~230 out of ~21,300) and I'm working on getting them fixed, then I can tell the 'bot to add the radical numbers to those 1700 entries.

Please see User:Robert Ullmann/Radicals for current status. Robert Ullmann 12:02, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to stress that I am in no way "bashing" Nanshu for these errors and problems. At the time these entries were created, they were one half of all the entries in the wikt. Our entry layout wasn't developed, WT:ELE barely existed (look at the version at the time). A lot of our CJKV development would not have happened without these entries. (see my comments supra about the wikt structure). He had a Perl script that could POST only if an article didn't exist. (You can't do that now, you have to collect an edit token in any case.) And he was frustrated at the lack of structure, even while making a very important contribution to it. Robert Ullmann 13:42, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
If anyone is inclined to add to entries in Category:CJKV characters with little information, have at it! Robert Ullmann 16:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Can that be merged with {{rfc-cjkv}}? --Connel MacKenzie 07:53, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
It is a sub-cat of the {{rfc-cjkv}}/{{zh-attention}} category: Category:Chinese words needing attention, at some point soon it will probably go away. Robert Ullmann 11:25, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Completed, zero errors reported. Will re-check after the next XML dump. Robert Ullmann 15:13, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

category:Esperanto endings vs. category:Esperanto suffixes

Why is there category:Esperanto endings? Should it not be category:Esperanto suffixes? Anway I've noticed some of the previous Esperanto suffixes are being changed to be included in category:Esperanto endings. Any ideas? --Williamsayers79 10:22, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I noted a user adding a lot of Esperanto recently; probably just likes "endings" and doesn't realize there is a standard cat naming. Robert Ullmann 10:38, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
In Esperanto, suffix and ending is not the same thing. An ending is something that most words have, for example, all nouns have the ending -o, and the infinitive has the ending -i. A suffix is something you can put between the stem and the ending, for example, domo (house) - dometo (small house). See here and here--Gilward Kukel 12:30, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, the person I'd normally ask about Esperanto peculiarities is on the road, somewhere in Texas at the moment. In English, those each would still be described as a suffix. Some of them might be a compound suffix, but a suffix, still. An infix is something put before a suffix. Inventing your own terminology or definition variants for "suffix" doesn't seem exactly productive. Maintaining consistency with existing conventions, seems much more reasonable. --Connel MacKenzie 03:59, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
In English, they are all suffixes (an intentionally generalized term) and users will expect to find them all in one category. Distinguishing them in the definitions and usages notes is of course a good thing. Robert Ullmann 11:46, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I didn't invent it. It's the normal way how esperantists call these things. See here and here. --Gilward Kukel 08:35, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Moving Chinese indexes

We have a collection of Chinese index pages that are in the Wiktionary: namespace (the Index: namespace did not exist at the time they were created.) They need to be moved to the Index: namespace. There are a lot of them; I've written code to move them and correct all of the references, including redirects in between them. The code at the moment does no changes, just writes a report of what would be done.

See User:Robert Ullmann/Chinese indexes. There are 403 moves (or new redirects), and 2,659 references to be updated. I'd appreciate it if anyone interested would look at this. Please don't try to fix part of it without asking me: it would probably mean I would have to go make code changes to work around the fixes! (E.g. trying to help by adding templates would just mean a lot more work; we can improve things as desired after the moves.) Any and all comments appreciated, here, or start a talk page on the report. Robert Ullmann 04:10, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

The radical and other indices work perfectly fine without moving them somewhere new. Thus, I don't see this pressing necessity to move them. Badagnani 05:41, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Are you fracking kidding me? Your demands that the radicals in Han character entries link to the indicies are part of the impetus. They belong in the Index: namespace, and we do not want 21,000 entries pointing to the wrong place. Geez. Can't win for trying. Robert Ullmann 06:57, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I'll apologize (a bit at least) for the tone of the last comment. Let me explain: part of the process of formatting the Han character entries was replacing a lot of boilerplate text with templates, including over a hundred thousand explicit links to index pages in the Wiktionary: namespace. The intent was (and is) to reduce the number of references to something manageable, move the index pages to the Index: space where they belong, then add the link(s) in the template.
Sometime early this morning (UTC) Badagnani modified a number of Han character entries to add an explicit link to the template calls (unwittingly also breaking the category sorting, but I doubt he knew that). Cynewulf cleaned them up again, and kludged the template. I then spent a couple of hours before dawn this morning, getting the move list into shape so that I could announce it here and everyone in Europe and the Americas and then Asia would get a chance to see it today; maybe we could run it soon, and fix the template references properly. And then the first reply here is Badagnani saying this isn't needed. Can you spell exasperating? Robert Ullmann 09:26, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, I suppose I will just have to realize that it's simply your personality to always answer discussion posts in this manner; you just can't help it. In fact, I don't recall an instance, ever, where you responded in a normal, calm manner to any discussion post; instead, it's generally a continuum ranging from moderately patronizing to hyperbolically insulting, always with a constant note of pure dismissiveness. It would, of course, be much more pleasant if we interacted in a more collegial way, working together and learning from one another, and when there are areas that can be improved, listening to one another and improving them. We do share common interests and a sincere desire to expand Wiktionary and make it the most comprehensive, well designed, and usable multi-lingual dictionary it can be. Things work that way at Wikipedia and should here as well. Regarding the move, it makes a bit more sense but I'd like to know how things will look and work in contrast with the previous arrangement. In the changes to the Han character entries, several things were improved but others became worse and more confusing for the general user in the transition from the old format to the new. Such sweeping changes should be worked out to be acceptable to all rather than imposed unilaterally and without those making the changes being open to any comment, as has been the case in recent months. Badagnani 14:33, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Does anyone have any comments on the moves and reference changes? (commenting on the substance of the issue? eh?) Robert Ullmann 17:22, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Badagnani, please be assured that this has been in the works for some time now. The listing at RFDO is now over a month old, and has had several side-conversations, which have worked out a solution "acceptable to all" except you, apparently. No, these cannot stay in the Wiktionary: namespace. A sweeping unilateral change would be for me to simply bot-delete them. This particular cleanup effort started last summer, but has been deliberated for a couple years, now.
Robert, please don't use a tone that can give opponents invalid arguments, to be used against logical, deliberated and helpful solutions. It gives an ounce of seeming validity to his invalid arguments. Yes, this is something I'm working on, myself, too.
--Connel MacKenzie 18:45, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Run through 10 moves/redirs/edits seems okay. Odd thing though: the first edit to one of the Nanshu pages (like these) causes the page size as reported in RecentChanges to shrink by 500-2000 characters. The WM software must be doing some kind of normalization, there isn't any difference (except the edit itself of course). Robert Ullmann 06:36, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Complete. Unfortunately the XML dump was run in the middle of the process, so I have to wait for the next one to run a complete re-check on the work. (The net here is sometimes slow or goes away for a bit; I've had to re-write large bits of wikipedia.py to give it any robustness at all. Not helped by the fact that someone added in use of urllib2 as a special case, keeping most of the httplib code, so to use urllib2, which is much better, I had to fix a lot of the basic code as I needed it ;-) Robert Ullmann 10:48, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Re-check complete, all moves correct, 42 reference changes on 4 pages missed, corrected on re-run. Done. Robert Ullmann 11:33, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Do we want an appendix of palindromic phrases?

See w:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of palindromic phrases in English. Uncle G 03:01, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

I see little merit in importing such an article. Perhaps a list of palindromic words would be nice, but these sentences are all sort of......shady. Most of them don't make much sense. If someone were to sort through them all and pick out some good ones.....then maybe. But I don't think most of that would add anything worthwhile to Wiktionary. Atelaes 04:43, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I've tagged the list of words, w:Palindromic words for the bot to transwiki, but I agree with you that a list of arbitrary phrases is rather meaningless. Dmcdevit 05:13, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I haven't yet looked at the lists in question (and judging by the comments above, I won't be impressed,) but I think I disagree with the general notion. That is, lists, in and of themselves, are often useful. For palindromes, the list could be used as a feeder list for someones User:TriviaBot to add such things to the entries themselves (and perhaps a category) instead of the Wikipedia-style "List of ..." stuff. If attempts at paring it down (after moving to Wiktionary) fail, then it can always be nominated for deletion, say in a few months or a year. --Connel MacKenzie 06:59, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
There are already categories for this: Category:Palindromes and Category:English palindromes isn’t this enough? Maybe one should just go over the above list and add the category tag everywhere. henne 11:26, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I haven't looked at the list, but since it's a list of phrases, it could quite conceivably contain entries that we do not want in the main namespace. Not all palindromic phrases are worthy of addition by default. Without an entry, it's hard to put something in a category :-) --Jeffqyzt 18:13, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Connel. Lists like that, unless of very poor quality, should be added as appendices. Someone will find them useful. --Enginear 11:28, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Something broken with trans- templates?

The translation table for pasteurisation has a second table within it. Has something broken? I don't think anything has been changed. Or have I done something wrong that I don't quite see? — Paul G 09:51, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

There was a {{trans-top}} and the bottom of the table rather than {{trans-bottom}} - now fixed.--Williamsayers79 09:56, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Duh. How did I not spot that? Thanks for fixing it. — Paul G 09:58, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm. Did the vote finish for converting all {{top}}s to {{trans-top}}s? If so, the various people running bot stuff (hrm...I guess I fall in that category too) need to start converting them all. Once done, they can be unified, to avoid similar problems. --Connel MacKenzie 04:03, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
The vote for changing the standard completed, was approved, and was implemented in WT:ELE. There was no vote as to bot conversion (at least not on the WT:VOTE page.) However, since that is now the standard, that would seem to me to be a reasonable activity that would not require a vote. --Jeffqyzt 18:09, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Also, has it been fully implemented so those of us who like them to always be open get to see translations without having to click?  Either I'm doing something wrong (very possible), or the setting on the PREFS page doesn't work right. — V-ball 14:20, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Who minds my proofreading their comments?

Most of you have probably noticed that alongside adding mine own comments, I often make minor revisions to yours — almost exclusively the correction of typos and turning primes and double primes into directed apostrophes and directed quotation marks — namely things that 99>% of the time result from error or disinclination to expend time. However, Ruakh has recently objected to my doing the latter, whilst expressing appreciation at my doing the former. As someone has actually objected, in felt it wise to ask the community if anyone else personally objects, and to what practice; if you personally do, please bullet and sign in the relevant section below:

It's wrong to alter somebody else's comments. What they wrote, they wrote, and should stand, warts and all. Correcting a typo affects the nuance of what somebody is saying, changes the readers' interpretation of what was written. Was it written in haste? In anger? Is it leet? Does the author care about the rules of grammar or orthography?Jonathan Webley 13:26, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Hence this ballot. If an editor wants his typographical errors and poor orthography left as they are, then I will respect that desire. However, the vast majority, I’m sure, either don’t mind or appreciate all errors being corrected. Ruakh only objects to my changing his apostrophes and quotation marks, not to my correcting his typographical errors. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 13:33, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
No, no, no. As a reader I object. I don't want to read edited comments. I object to you altering anybody's comments (other than your own). Jonathan Webley 13:38, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
No, Doremítzwr. You should not be doing this whether people mind or not. Widsith 13:40, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
No. You must not edit anyone's comments. Robert Ullmann 13:44, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
It's sad that I have to actually explain this, but signed text means that exactly one person said something, not that a team of editors worked together to figure out the best way to write what one person intended. Editing someone else's signed text is equivalent to misrepresenting what they have said. This should be obvious. Cynewulf 14:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
No one has the right to alter text that someone else has signed as a personal comment. They are quotations from that person and should be accepted as is. If you fear that an error in a comment will lead to confusion, comment to the author on the author's talk page, or if necessary post a comment asking for clarification following the text you are confused about. --EncycloPetey 19:00, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I object in principle both as a reader and a writer, for the reasons given above and also those in my earlier "friendly warning" which you failed to heed. Even where the sense is not altered, I find it irritating. If the sense appears wrong, it is best to do what you did there -- ask a question and wait for the original author to correct it. If urgency or convenience makes that inappropriate, you should at least sign and time your edit (perhaps inline in small, as I did), leaving the original visible but stricken.
The only occasion where some feel it is appropriate to remove (not alter) words is if they are clearly libellous and extremely offensive. Even that is contentious. Also, note that a person's User page, although not specifically signed, reads as their work, and should only be altered with their express prior permission. --Enginear 19:17, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I should think it would be universally considered appropriate to remove harassing comments or comments containing copyright violations, no? —RuakhTALK 06:01, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually it's not completely improper if the change is necessary, as long as you comment the edit, and probably apologize at the same time, even if you feel you shouldn't have to. The types of edits you're proposing are not necessary. DAVilla 14:08, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I object to having my typos corrected

I think it's clear from our answers above that all of us above totally object to this unless signed, although some of us will accept a signed inline variation. --Enginear 19:17, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

A'll fix me own glaiky spellin mesel so divint fash yersel with out and nowt.--Williamsayers79 13:56, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

  • I do not mind having obvious typos corrected. What constitues "obvious" is rather subjective, though, so when in any doubt at all, please leave intact. --Connel MacKenzie 16:12, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I object to having my typography directed

I think it's clear from our answers above that all of us above object to this. --Enginear 19:17, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Objection registered.--Williamsayers79 14:04, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

  • I object to typography changes. Searching discussion pages is much more difficult with the screwy "directed" quote marks. --Connel MacKenzie 16:10, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your time. Your objections will be noted and honoured. † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 13:16, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Editing the comments of others may be constued as vandalism and result in a user block. --EncycloPetey 19:00, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I partially disagree; sometimes yes, sometimes no. "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here." --Connel MacKenzie 16:13, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Vandalism is construed as vandalism. Good-faith edits are not, even inappropriate behavior that might warrant a notice of such. DAVilla 13:59, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I siad constued and I maent constued. I noticed precisely what I had written, and intentionally saved it that way. But yes, that is how one would go about clarifying an apparent typo; write a comment to get clarification. Altering the comments of others is not a good-faith effort. --EncycloPetey 18:51, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Misguided does not equate with bad faith. The point is no harm is intended. If what you say is true then anyone who wound up, say, running a spell checker that accidentally applied to an entire talk page would be considered a vandal. Yikes! And please stop misspelling. That I don't get the point of. (Or is constue a real word?) DAVilla 18:24, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
The "misspellings" are a combination of my sense of humor, sarcasm, and making my point. I have seen misspellings deliberately used by authors for humorous intent (such as in a deliberate malapropism). Also, when we give historical citations, we want to preserve the originally published spellings, not the "correct" ones. Spelling matters, but sometimes misspelling matters more. --EncycloPetey 18:47, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
In the wikt, "correcting" intentional spelling or typography is serious vandalism. If well-intentioned, well, it gets reverted, and the user advised to cease and desist. (The problem arises when you have a user that has to be told by a dozen people to stop, while whinging all the way ... one wonders what would happen if we all routinely corrected the usage of, oh, some given contributor ... ;-) Robert Ullmann 16:24, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

OK; whatever. This is not a battle which I consider worth fighting. Considering that my motivation all along was the minor æsthetic improvement and therefore improved readability of talk pages, it really isn’t worth all this hassle. I could give some smart-ass response, but I doubt that that would achieve much. In future, I shall only make such æsthetic improvements on my talk page. Happy, everyone? † Raifʻhār Doremítzwr 02:28, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

The objections didn't seem to pertain to where you were editing people's comments, but to the fact that you were doing so at all … —RuakhTALK 06:01, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Substituting Unicode quotation marks for " breaks the MediaWiki search function. See m:Help:Searching#Searching limitations and Gotchas. Uncle G 15:16, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

In addition, anyone looking at the page history diffs to determine who made which comments might be mislead, especially if they don't have the CSS color highlighting enabled, or are color blind. --Jeffqyzt 18:15, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that editing another's comments is inappropriate for the reasons already given, and also for the simple reason that doing it is rude and condescending. To me, it says, "I know better than you; your English is bad and your typing is substandard."

What it is appropriate to do, however, is to say something like "When you wrote X, did you mean Y?" or "I don't understand what you mean by X — could you explain?" or "If I've understood you correctly, when you wrote X, you meant Y — is that right?" This polite approach avoids offending anyone, and has the added benefit that everyone sees both the original form, the corrections and any clarification.

Not only that, but consider that any "corrections" you make might well be hypercorrective or not corrections at all (eg, changing "minuscule" to "miniscule", or changing "license" (as a noun) to "licence" in a comment posted by an American user). — Paul G 12:18, 3 March 2007 (UTC)