Wiktionary:Formatting Policy Proposal

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There has been recent contention over exactly how we ought to format entries, especially when they become complex with multiple etymologies, languages, pronunciations, etc. There are a few ideas floating around but I thought I would make a full entry for each of three that I have encountered today, and then more can be added and we can discuss their merits and perhaps chose what we want to move forward with, or we can drag our feet and squabble some...whatever. - TheDaveRoss 21:49, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Layout 1 | Layout 2 | Layout 3 | Layout 4 (imported from la:)


<Jun-Dai 22:35, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)> To begin with, I would like to assert that my format (layout 2) is the closest to that followed by pretty much all print dictionaries. I would like to be corrected if this is wrong, as it is, in part, the basis of my formatting. I recognize that this alone does not mean that we should follow the format, but I make as my second assertion that we should follow this convention in the absence of any strong reasons not to. Between the layouts, there are essentially two arguments (correct me if I misrepresent your position--I'm merely trying to clarify things as I see them):

  • Should we separate terms with different etymologies?
    • Yes: Jun-Dai, TheDaveRoss, Eclecticology
    • No: Connel *1, 24
    • Maybe so: Hippietrail
  • If we do decide to separate terms with different etymologies, how should we do it?
    This is where layouts 1, 2, and 4 come into play.

Outside of this, there are a number of side discussions that should take place, but they can wait until we've made something of a decision on this matter. Once we reach a decision--if we reach a decision--we should overwrite all the talk on Wiktionary:Multiple etymologies and establish it as policy there, to be changed as future editorial communities see fit. The key thing is that we articulate a decision that feels more like it has been arrived at by the community (consensus or no) than the one currently written out at ELE. </Jun-Dai>

  • 1: Footnote one: My bigger problem is the amount of separation. I think it is misleading to have a verb meaning more than ten-screens away from a noun meaning, in the same language, on the same language page, for the same spelling. Since spelling is the primary lookup of words (moreso here than in a paper dictionary) the etymologies should be listed as ancillary information about the origin of the word. Because we have not summary table concept that appears at the top of the page to help long-page navigation and/or multiple etymology navigation, we should instead list the meanings of that spelling all sequentially...with links to other sections that describe the word's origin, synonyms, translations, etc. For that matter, having separate headings for parts of speech is counter-productive. # ''(noun):'' or # ''(verb):'' would be better. --Connel MacKenzie 22:56, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)