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Information desk archives edit

April 2020

How to create verb inflection table templates.[edit]

I am a somewhat experienced user, but I know next-to nothing about the computer engineering side of wiktionary. I want to add verb inflection tables for Munsee Delaware, (and others as well). I am totally able to create such tables linguistically, but really do not understand how to make them appear on wiktionary. Can someone run me through the process. I don't know what kind of scripts or computer languages it involves, and I really don't know much HTML, LUA or javascript.

A verb inflection table is crucial for being able to add entries in Algonquian languages, whose vocabulary is very verb-heavy, so it is essential that such templates exist. Thanks —This unsigned comment was added by Hk5183 (talkcontribs) at 20:24, 3 April 2020.

Would the specific inflected forms of a given lemma be added by hand, or are they best computed by an algorithm according to a limited number of paradigms (like for example in French, if you encounter the verb acalifourchonner, even if you have never heard of this and have no idea what it means, you do know that its third person plural past imperfective indicative is acalifourchonnaient )? In the first case, there are templates that you can use as a model. In the second case, you will either need to learn some Lua or recruit someone to do the coding.  --Lambiam 23:06, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
Can you tell me how difficult it would be to program rules for a language with somewhat complex verb morphology? The inflected forms could definitely be added by hand. (this is what I have done so far), but as there are countless thousands of possible verb forms this would be very tedious. While an algorithm could certainly produce proper forms, there are quite a few orthographic conventions which mean that certain letters combine with prefixes and suffixes to form diphthongs which can then further combine. Would it make sense to use a blank verb template for all verbs, or to make many templates for the many different types of stems? I do not know LUA well enough to encode complex spelling rules. For example --> Certain letters change when preceded by specific letters, such as N. Before N: /t/ changes to--> /d/; /k/ --> /g/; /s/ - -> /z/; /sh/ --> /zh/; /ch/ --> /j/... Additionally, many verbs have "unstable stems", which means that in some cases the verb-stem itself changes. For example, take the Animate Intransitive present indicative conjugation of the verb: (stem form) /-amangíixsi-/ "to talk in a loud voice". The first and second person forms can be broken down semantically into the personal prefixes /n-/ (1st person), /k-/ (second person) and the verb stem /-amangíixsi-/ Nŭmamangíixsi, Kŭmamangíixsi. In the 3rd person form, however, person is not marked by a prefix, but by a suffix, /-w/. The final /i/ of the stem blends with the 3rd person suffix in all such 3rd person singular unstable stem forms ending in /ii/, and is realized as a /u/, producing the form amangíixsuw "he/she talks in a loud voice". Hk5183 (talk) 20:58, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

IP transcribing Hepburn's English-Japanese dictionary[edit]

I found Wiktionary:Waei Gorinshūsei 1910 and subpage Wiktionary:Waei Gorinshūsei 1910/1 which is linked from Wiktionary:Public domain sources. Apparently the seventh edition of Hepburn's A Japanese-English and English-Japanese Dictionary. It was started by an IP 8 years ago and that anonymous editor was able to transcribe only one page which is Page 1.

Should these two be moved to an Appendix page? ~ POKéTalker) 11:41, 4 April 2020 (UTC)

It should be moved to Wikisource. —Suzukaze-c 02:19, 9 April 2020 (UTC)

Translations that are SOP[edit]

Hi, what's the procedure for adding a translation where the translation isn't a single word but the term in the foreign language is SOP and unlikely to ever get an entry of its own? I've seen this a few times, but as an example my most recent encounter was while adding translations at Cistercian—Chinese and Korean have no single word to my knowledge meaning "a Cistercian" and will instead say "monk of the Cistercian Order" (시토회 수도사 in Korean). But the Korean is straightforwardly just 시토회 (sitohoe, Cistercian Order) + 수도사 (sudosa, monk). It would make sense to just link the words separately but not sure how to do that properly (two t templates?). Nizolan (talk) 13:17, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

{{t|ko|[[시토회]] [[수도사]]}}. —Suzukaze-c 22:43, 11 April 2020 (UTC)
@Suzukaze-c: Thanks, have corrected accordingly. Didn't think to check since I assumed link syntax would break it. Nizolan (talk) 23:13, 11 April 2020 (UTC)

Word frequency[edit]

I am new on this platform and have a question. Not sure if this is the way to trigger replies.

With a colleague I wrote a book in Dutch on how to deal with dilemmas. Title "Dansen met Dilemma's - Op weg naar wederzijdse winst". (see www.dansenmetdilemmas.nl) We are now considering to have it translated in English but need to adapt some of its content to an English speaking audiance.

In a certain paragraph we discuss the meaning of the word dilemma and graphically list the frequency of usage of the word in articles (in our case the frequence in the NRC newspaper over the last 10 years. We compare its usage to that of words with a similar meaning: Paradox, contradiction, conflict.

In the English version we may limit ourselves to just mentioning the frequency number of those words. How do I find the frequency number of those words? For instance in the Project Gutenberg list of in TV programs? How can I sort the list in alphabetical order?

Thanks Allard Everts Evertsal (talk) 14:00, 14 April 2020 (UTC)

Those words have rather different meanings. In any case, you should probably use Google Ngrams results. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:26, 14 April 2020 (UTC)

Thank you so much. Didn't know this existed. Indeed the meaning of the words is very different, but each of them is used to indicate a situation of tension. For your interest: many times the words dilemma and paradox are used as synonyms. This is utterly wrong, but such is the way people (mis)use words. The Google statistics are not very recent, but they show the same trend as what we have in our book (2005-2016 statitics from the major Dutch newspaper). I could still approach the Guardian or the Financial Times, but for now this is perfect. Thanks again Evertsal (talk) 15:08, 14 April 2020 (UTC)

For future reference, another platform for asking questions is the Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language.  --Lambiam 20:42, 14 April 2020 (UTC)

Performing bulk edits[edit]

I'm a NLP researcher who uses Wiktionary to collect pronunciation data. As part of this effort we have noticed various inconsistencies (see also here) in phonemic transcriptions, and in one case even developed a spreadsheet with fixes. However there are often thousands of such fixes. Does there exist any tool or API that could allow us to apply bulk edits? Our team has the technical expertise to make use of such tools if they in fact exist. Kylebgorman (talk)

@Kylebgorman: Yes; see WT:BOT. However, you would need to create a vote to get your bot approved, and I would also like to see confirmation from a fluent Georgian speaker that these fixes are correct. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:50, 15 April 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Some Georgian grammars use one, some use the other, but none have both. And it seems that that they're not separate phonemes, they're just in free variation or something like that. I have a student who works with Georgian speakers and I'll ask if we can get an official opinion. Kylebgorman (talk) 18:03, 15 April 2020 (UTC)
@Kylebgorman: I think rather than manually editing transcriptions, it would be better to replace {{IPA}} with {{ka-IPA}} to automatically generate the transcription. Then if the transcription system needs to change, it requires a single edit to the module rather than many edits to entries. Some of the words in the TSV have already been switched over to {{ka-IPA}} and therefore don't need fixing (but not all based on this search). — Eru·tuon 18:07, 15 April 2020 (UTC)
@Erutuon: What you said about {{ka-IPA}} and Georgian...would this not also apply to {{bg-IPA}} and Bulgarian (which also has noted inconsistencies along similar lines) and also the Lithuanian pronunciation module (there's no template yet, but once again, there are known and seemingly random inconsistencies)? —This unsigned comment was added by Kylebgorman (talkcontribs) at 22:32, 15 April 2020 (UTC).
Well, not all languages can be applied without human intervention; respelling or special parameters may be necessary, like pitch accent in Lithuanian. Georgian is apparently a case where this can be done automatically, according to Giorgi. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:58, 15 April 2020 (UTC)
In general language-specific IPA templates make it easier to keep transcriptions consistent so it's a good idea to switch over to them when they exist, though it's not always be possible to do it using a bot, as Metaknowledge says. {{fr-IPA}} is a good example; it often requires manual input because French orthography isn't completely phonemic. — Eru·tuon 06:45, 16 April 2020 (UTC)
@Kylebgorman: the standard way to add pronunciation to a Georgian article here is to use Module:ka-IPA which is a simple one-to-one mapping from Georgian to IPA. The inconsistencies you guys noticed is due to some articles not using this module.
BTW, geo.tsv seems wrong. It claims აალებადი has this IPA ɑɑlɛbɑdɪ which it does not.
I give a green light to anyone who owns a bot to change all articles not using {{ka-IPA}} to use one. I can even give the interested person a javascript snippet I have been using to correct entries semi-automatically. Giorgi Eufshi (talk) 18:09, 15 April 2020 (UTC)

Creating word-forms en masse using ACCEL[edit]

I would like to ask if it is possible to create word-forms en masse using WT:ACCEL. Let's say the conjugation table of a word generates 100 word-forms that could be created using ACCEL (i.e. by opening the pages one by one and saving the pages), instead of going through the tedious process of opening and saving 100 pages, is it possible to quickly create all the word-forms generated by the table (given that I have confirmed the correctness of the word-forms, of course)? I am aware of the existence of bots, but I don't have the skills to create a bot. Jonashtand (talk) 10:21, 16 April 2020 (UTC)

I think it would be easy and useful to have a bot that just does what WT:ACCEL does. It would call the modules directly and generate the entries, then save. —Rua (mew) 11:41, 18 April 2020 (UTC)
@Rua: Not all languages are equally reliable. But you do have the ability to do that kind of bot run, and I would support it as long as you only do it for languages where a contributor has confirmed that the entries are generally reliable. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:22, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
Would it be possible for someone to do this without relying on another party to run a bot? Editor clicks "create accelerated forms" on a table, and whatever it is does its thing. Perhaps it could make edits in that editor's name, instead of having a bot account. —Rua (mew) 20:13, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
Help:Language inflection bot is a decent start to doing botting. --Vitoscots (talk) 00:05, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
@Rua: That doesn't really help with the problem at hand, e.g. hundreds of Swahili nouns that need plurals, etc. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:30, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
@Vitoscots Cool! I wasn't aware of such a help page. Thanks! Jonashtand (talk) 19:11, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

Is there a way to search by Middle Chinese Initials?[edit]

Either the characters themselves, or the various transliterations. I found Module:ltc-pron, and it seems like there should be some way to find entries based on that, but I have no clue if that's possible. Kiragecko (talk) 15:35, 17 April 2020 (UTC)

What was the word for "insect" in Middle English?[edit]

"Insect" sounds scientific and Latinate, and "bug" feels like a modern Americanism. What would Chaucer have called this type of organism? Equinox 09:25, 18 April 2020 (UTC)

beastie? --Vitoscots (talk) 09:32, 18 April 2020 (UTC)
Nah that is any kind of animal. That could be cats or dogs. Equinox 11:36, 18 April 2020 (UTC)
If I had to fake a Chaucer text, I'd call them creepie-craulies or beastlete. --Vitoscots (talk) 15:25, 18 April 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps it was still, like in Old English, wyrm – not yet specialized to the legless creepy-crawlies.
Maybe more specific terms were more common, like bitle (see the etymology of beetle) or flye? Or maybe there was an SOP umbrella term for them all.... Andrew Sheedy (talk) 17:55, 18 April 2020 (UTC)
wyrm most definitely did refer primarily to worm-shaped animals, as that is the primary meaning in all the Germanic languages. What the Germanic languages also have in common is the lack of an umbrella term for all insects. It's quite likely that speakers of the time simply didn't consider them to have much in common, other than all being small. In other words, not only is the word "insect" modern, but the concept, too. —Rua (mew) 15:32, 19 April 2020 (UTC)
It's definitely not a match for the modern concept, but it does seem like worm might be the closest term in Middle English, where it could be used in a broad sense to include all 'crawling things' (arthropods, worms, and reptiles). Taking some quotes from the MED, worms can be
  • spiders ('The venymous spyþur hatte aranea and is a worme')
  • scorpions ('Scorpiun is a cunnes wurm')
  • grasshoppers ('If hungir were sprungyn in þe lond & pestilence…& locust & werm [L bruchus]')
  • moths, six-legged and many-legged arthropods, salamanders, snakes ('Of wormes beþ many maner diuerse kyndes…somme beþ water wormes and somme beþ londe wormes, And of þilke some beþ in herbes and in wortes, as melschragges and oþere suche…and some in cloþes, as moþþes…and among wormes, some beþ footeles, as addres and serpentes, and some haueþ many feete, and some haueþ sixe feete, And some beþ…enemyes to mankynde, as serpentes and oþere venemous wormes…And some wormes…beþ ygendred and gendreþ nouʒt, as þe salamandra')
  • fireflies ('To make a continuall lyght withoute fyre…Take…wormys that schynen anyghte tyme in the ffeeldys')
  • ants and flies ('Many wormes he made also, As amptis, flies and oþir mo')
There's about half as many quotes for worm in this broad sense as for worm in reference to worm-shaped animals, so it wasn't the primary meaning by any stretch, but still pretty common. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 16:15, 12 May 2020 (UTC)
Maybe it didn't appear as much in formal writing? "Bug" is a very common word, but is typically limited to an informal register in the general sense. Perhaps "worm" was the general word for bug among the illiterate classes. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 02:55, 13 May 2020 (UTC)

Mount Niqiu now as Mount Nisha[edit]

Hello, can anyone explain if they know or have some information as to really why Mount Niqui was changed to Mount Nishan. Just curious in my Confucius studies...thanks

A better name than either in English is Mount Ni. The terms (qiū) and (shān) are synonyms, both meaning “mount”, ”hill”. So Mount Nishan is so much as Mount Mount Ni. I don’t know the reason for the Chinese name change. Perhaps to avoid confusion with the town by the name of Niqui located some 300 km to the south. The spelling in Chinese characters of the two Niquis is different, though, so Chinese pilgrims wouldn't have been confused.  --Lambiam 22:49, 19 April 2020 (UTC)
According to this archived web page, the name change was to avoid a taboo on the name Qiu, which, if I understand correctly, was given to Confucius. Someone who understands Chinese can probably be of more help.  --Lambiam 23:16, 19 April 2020 (UTC)
The same taboo explanation is offered in this book.  --Lambiam 23:25, 19 April 2020 (UTC)
And here is that story again, now in English.  --Lambiam 13:22, 20 April 2020 (UTC)

Why is there no category for homonyms?[edit]

We're having a discussion over at w:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of true homonyms and curious why there are no category for homonyms. Also if a bot could take words copy and pasted over somewhere, and then search for those words on the wiktionary and add that category automatically. I searched around and see you have a template at Template:nyms that list various other categories that could be added as well. Dream Focus (talk) 18:49, 21 April 2020 (UTC)

@Dream Focus, we have Category:English terms with homophones and Category:English terms with multiple etymologies, which cover both senses of homonym. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:36, 22 April 2020 (UTC)


In templates like {{RQ:Milton Paradise Lost}}, which I've been using for ages now, what do the letters RQ stand for? This is out of pure curiosity. Reference Quote?--Vitoscots (talk) 11:14, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

Well, R is the prefix for reference templates, and Q is the template (previously a template prefix) for quotation templates, so I suppose so. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:20, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

Avestan font?[edit]

On ire, I get "this font is missing" boxes for Avestan in the section "Etymology 2". How do I get to see it correctly? --Palnatoke (talk) 15:57, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

@Palnatoke: You need to download an Avestan font, or use a browser that already applies one for you (as I believe Safari does, for example). I don't think there's anything we can do from our side. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:18, 22 April 2020 (UTC)
@Palnatoke: Two fonts you can download and install: Ahuramazda and Noto Sans Avestan. These should be automatically used on Wiktionary at least once you have installed them and maybe restarted your browser. (They are assigned to Avestan-script text in MediaWiki:Common.css.) — Eru·tuon 05:51, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
Thank you very much, both of you. Not that I can read Avestan, but I do find the "this font is missing" boxes quite annoying. --Palnatoke (talk) 10:58, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
Now I have Avestan on the page, but in the edit box I still have the boxes. --Palnatoke (talk) 11:05, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
@Palnatoke: It might be browser-specific behavior. My browser is Firefox and it automatically applies Noto Sans Avestan to Avestan-script text in the edit box. (It tends to get fonts right more often than I remember Chrome doing.) Maybe you have a different browser? — Eru·tuon 19:31, 23 April 2020 (UTC)
Sounds plausible. I use Brave, which is Chromium-based. Oh well. Thank you for the help anyways. --Palnatoke (talk) 20:25, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

Loanwords list[edit]

How to get list of loanwords ? Borneq (talk) 16:58, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

@Borneq Category:English borrowed terms. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:31, 22 April 2020 (UTC)

How to edit content that is inside a template portion of a entry?[edit]

How do I access the content of a templated portion of an entry? I can see the source, which is only a link to the template, but I cannot select the text inside the template box:

 Ex: 齿

Trying to remove the extra "etc." TEXT: For pronunciation and definitions of 齿 – see 齒 (“tooth; tooth- or zigzag-like thing, such as sawtooth, cogwheel, fern, etc.; etc.”). (This character, 齿, is the simplified form of 齒.) Salty3dog (talk) 21:19, 24 April 2020 (UTC)

@Salty3dog: It depends on the template. In this case, the template is {{zh-see}} and the text comes from the entry being linked to, . — Eru·tuon 21:45, 24 April 2020 (UTC)
I've edited the entry to remove the extra "etc." — Eru·tuon 21:50, 24 April 2020 (UTC)

Why is it a lemma?[edit]

Excuse me for asking, but why does the Roman Empire is a lemma? -and the similar- It is not a term like the Holy Roman Empire which has specific meaning. ‑‑Sarri.greek  | 19:33, 26 April 2020 (UTC)
Of the empire#Derived_terms some regard both space and time: There is no 'other' Roman Empire. It is an empire by the Romans, by the Ottomans, etc. and the first word explains it all. Others are not, and I understand why they have a lemma (Russian Empire, British Empire: it is not clear what period we are referring to. ‑‑Sarri.greek  | 19:41, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

The proper noun does have a specific meaning: the empire that existed from 27 BC to AD 476/1453, rather than any empire pertaining to Rome. "Roman" only explains it sufficiently when it's used as a common noun, e.g. "Barbarossa ... aimed to establish a Roman empire that could compete with the church" ([1]). —Nizolan (talk) 21:29, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
Thank you Nizolan, I just saw your answer. ‑‑Sarri.greek  | 14:25, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

looking for word[edit]

Is there a word in English to denote something that causes a disaster, or any kind of trouble? Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:44, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Maybe troublemaker is too obvious... I think in general, the term that comes to mind is "inciting incident" or "cause" more than any specific word that means, "This is an immediate cause of something exclusively bad". A "hazard" has the potential to cause a problem but isn't necessarily actualized as one. Maybe that helps? —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:00, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
In some cases trigger, but not really specific to disasters. Equinox 14:35, 28 April 2020 (UTC)
Thanks everyone. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:21, 29 April 2020 (UTC)

Meaning of "c" in TV listings[edit]

e.g. "ALL NEW Bering Sea Gold | Friday 10/9c". Is it catch up? Should we add it to Wiktionary? Equinox 14:33, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

If that's a US listing that stands for "Central Time". As I understand it, network TV broadcasts are delayed to the appropriate hour for the timezone in the western half of the US, but not in the Central timezone, which is only an hour different. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:48, 28 April 2020 (UTC)

Grammatical terms used in the definitions of the Oxford English Dictionary[edit]

For example, the entry for the noun "counsel" reads:

(Usually a collective plural, but sometimes treated as a numeral plural; formerly, in ‘to desire the benefit of counsel’, treated as a collective sing.: cf. quot. 1681.)

The terms don't appear either in the Glossary of grammatical terms

I'd like to know where I can find the definitions/explanations of all the grammatical terms used throughout the OED, such as collective plural, numeral plural, collective singular. --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:26, 1 May 2020 (UTC)

The term “collective plural” can be used for a collective noun that takes a plural verb form in British English: Counsel have had little part in regulating and disciplining their colleagues.” If (mainly in non-British English) a collective noun is used with a singular verb form, for example as in “The counsel was disbanded”, it is a “collective singular”. Some nouns can also be used as a count noun that retains its singular form although representing a specified number of members: “The fourth respondent is not one of the three counsel nominated.” This is an example of a numeral plural.  --Lambiam 08:03, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
@Lambiam: Would numeral plurals and "unchangable plurals" then be the same? --Backinstadiums (talk) 11:51, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
It is likely that people mean the same, although I’d prefer to say “unchanged plural”. It is not hard to find examples of the plural “counsels”, as in “each of the counsels”; likewise for collective unchanged plural “fish” vs. the inflected plural “fishes”. So the nouns “counsel” and “fish” are not per se unchangeable.  --Lambiam 15:38, 3 May 2020 (UTC)

May 2020

Wiktionary:Main Page[edit]

I want it to be cascade protected because the main page is easy to break. Denimalt (talk) 00:18, 3 May 2020 (UTC)

How so? E.g.? —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:55, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
Like Vandalism. Denimalt (talk) 01:15, 3 May 2020 (UTC)
Cascading protection on Wiktionary:Main Page was disabled because it prevented many templates and modules that were used there from being edited. Instead, the templates or modules that are used on the Main Page that need protection are protected. See the history up to September 2016 and this discussion and others around the same time for more information. — Eru·tuon 01:41, 3 May 2020 (UTC)

What does this Chinese text say, if anything?[edit]

Top of this screenshot: [2]. (I don't think anyone looks at Translation Requests any more, and it's only one "sentence".) Equinox 22:21, 3 May 2020 (UTC)

嚴重急性呼吸系統綜合徵冠状病毒冠状病毒科 [MSC, trad.]
严重急性呼吸系统综合征冠状病毒冠状病毒科 [MSC, simp.]
yánzhòng jíxìng hūxīxìtǒng zōnghézhēng guànzhuàngbìngdú shì guànzhuàngbìngdúkē yǐ-xíng-dú [Pinyin]
severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus is a type-b sickness of coronavirology Coronaviridae
Fascinating design choices made in the character shapes. I wonder if the person who drew them knows Chinese. —Suzukaze-c 07:22, 4 May 2020 (UTC)
Nah, he got it from zh.wikipedia, I realise now. It's a satirical/parody game entered into a competition for poor-quality games! Equinox 20:32, 4 May 2020 (UTC)
死亡  ―  sǐwáng  ―  death
perhaps a reference to Hong Kong 97 (video game)? —Suzukaze-c 07:26, 4 May 2020 (UTC)

Words with the biggest number of meanings[edit]

Hello, is there a list, perhaps automatically created, containing the words with the biggest number of English meanings, according to Wiktionary? Jack who built the house (talk) 09:44, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

In case there is no such and anybody would like to write a script, here's rough jQuery code that extracts the number of English meanings on a page, including nested ones (i.e., it doesn't count prototypical meanings). It works in the browser console, but could also work in a Node.js bot (you would need the cheerio npm module to make jQuery work there):
var posSelector = ['Adjective', 'Adverb', 'Ambiposition', 'Article', 'Circumposition', 'Classifier', 'Conjunction', 'Contraction', 'Counter', 'Determiner', 'Ideophone', 'Interjection', 'Noun', 'Numeral', 'Participle', 'Particle', 'Postposition', 'Preposition', 'Pronoun', 'Proper_noun', 'Verb']
  .map((pos) => `[id^="${pos}"]`)
  .join(', ');
  .nextUntil('h2, :last-child')
  .filter(function () {
    return $(this).is('h3, h4') && $(this).has(posSelector).length;
  .map((i, el) => $(el).nextUntil('h3, h4, h5, h6, :last-child').get())
  .filter(function () {
    return $(this).parent().is('ol');
Jack who built the house (talk) 10:56, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

What's that word: a phonological setting[edit]

There's a word in phonology etc. for the (place, environment, setting, context?) in which a particular sound occurs. What is that word? Equinox 08:23, 10 May 2020 (UTC)

@Equinox: place of articulationΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:27, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
phonetic environment? It seems to be the term of art. That's not the same thing as the place of articulation though. PUC – 17:31, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
Or do you mean things like “Northern Appalachians, 1880s”? The term locale is used by some researchers in that sense.  --Lambiam 20:12, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
Oh, I meant the place between other vowels etc., not the physical point of articulation of a sound. Maybe "locale". Not sure. Equinox 03:10, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
I still have no idea what you're talking about. Maybe an example would help, but it sounds like "locale" is definitely not it. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:18, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: I mean the kind of situation that it occurs in. For example, in grammar, a word might occur immediately before a conjunction; in phonology, a vowel might occur immediately after a nasal. This is its "setting" or whatever. Equinox 05:58, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
I think what you're looking for is environment. For example, in many languages, voiceless consonants become voiced in an intervocalic environment. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:21, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
I think the term environment is used in that context because the consonant is surrounded by vowels. Otherwise, it is more common to use “prevocalic/postvocalic position”. And that term can also be used in combination with intervocalic: [3], [4], [5].  --Lambiam 06:55, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

racial classifications[edit]

We have a bunch of them, like mulatto (where, for lack of any better way to do this, I've been centralizing the lot of 'em), mustee, quadroon, marabou, etc. Do we want to put these in a category? A few are haphazardly placed into the "racism" category. - -sche (discuss) 08:45, 10 May 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure. And if there were a category for dated racial terms, should it include mongoloid and the like as well? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:26, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
These are not racial classifications, but English nouns for people with (various degrees of) multiracial ancestry. This is a bit of a mouthful for a category name, but better a long then a misleading name.  --Lambiam 20:02, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
Nouns which presuppose a conceptual classification, so the same thing. Just that some are less official than others. We have Category:Taxonomy; but since these terms only apply to one species there needs to have a special category – but here you have at least the supercategory; in principle special treatment of man here is not surprising, it is like the split between veterinary medicine and human medicine. Fay Freak (talk) 18:09, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

A weird red link, ⁠Charles...?????[edit]

Yup, you saw that right. A red link for Charles, which should most definitely be an entry here. What I did was include "%E2%81%A0" in the link. How do I know this?

Well, I was using a Python script to generate links to words from excerpts, that I copy into User:PseudoSkull/Words from my Atom text editor, and for some reason that particular word included that "%E2%81%A0" line before it after I copied it (it doesn't seem to be there in the text editor). So how could I have picked this up from my text editor?

According to Charbase, this is called "U+2060: WORD JOINER". The other thing I know is that the particular text this instance of "Charles" came from was wikisource:Oliver_Twist_(1922_film), and the original text for that "Charles" was in a cursive font.

...I am still genuinely confused. \o/ PseudoSkull (talk) 06:02, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

@PseudoSkull: Did a little detective work. That word joiner occurs on s:Page:Oliver Twist (1922).webm/7 and it comes from s:Template:Gap. Not sure what the purpose is though. — Eru·tuon 06:21, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
Gap just offsets text. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:34, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf: Yeah, but then why the word joiner? I thought maybe it would allow Arabic words to be joined across the gap (why that would be needed, I don't know), but that doesn't seem to be the case. — Eru·tuon 16:19, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
@Erutuon: Reckon it's to keep from line breaks before the text that has a gap. If you have Line A ends with "...text text text [gap]" and then Line B starting "Text text text...", then it's not clear that there ever was some reason why a gap was inserted for the initial print edition of the work. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:36, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf: Sorry, I'm confused by your wording, like "keep from line breaks"... do you mean that the word joiner is to try to make the word before the gap and the word after the gap both appear on the same line? — Eru·tuon 18:58, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
@Erutuon: Wow, I tried to be as clear as I could but I guess I'm just having an off day when it comes to communicating with intelligent adults. :/ Per my example above, you want the whitespace gap on the same line as the text that immediately follows it, so that it's clear that there even is a gap. From what I'm seeing, the joiner makes the gap and the following word on the same line but not the word preceding the gap. (I hope that's more clear--I just got bad sleep this past day.) —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:02, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf: Ah, thanks, I've got it now. Yeah, I have some days with the same malady. — Eru·tuon 19:06, 21 May 2020 (UTC)
I used to get invisi-junk somewhat similar to this when copy-pasting material from Google Books search results, but I think they changed whatever was causing it. (Almost related: this week I had a stupid bug where some SQL in a Web script got no results, despite being obviously correct when I printed the SQL to investigate. After spending ages checking if I was actually connected to the correct db, I realised I was looking at output in a browser, and yes, there was a whole HTML tag lurking in there. duh) Equinox 18:55, 21 May 2020 (UTC)

It is about role of round brackets in words transcription.[edit]

I've noticed that in transcriptions of some words there is round brackets, for example: letter, intellectual and government have transcriptions /ˈlɛtə(ɹ)/(RP)(https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/letter), /ˌɪntəˈlɛk(t)ʃʊəl/(https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/intellectual) and /ˈɡʌvə(n)mənt/(RP)(https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/government), respectively; what role is given to these brackets? I apologize if a similar question has already been asked before, but I will be very grateful if I get an answer to it. Thanks in advance.

They're called parentheses, and they mark that something is optional. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:22, 22 May 2020 (UTC)

Thank you very much!^_^

Question: Shortcut to Search Wiktionary box when typing in Arabic?[edit]

I use the shortcut alt-shift-f to jump to 'Search Wiktionary'.
However, when I'm looking up Arabic words I am typing in Arabic. alt-shift-f (which is actually alt-shift-ب when typing in Arabic) does not work.
Question: is there an equivalent shortcut when using Arabic? Or should I change a setting?
Thanks in advance for any help.

No. It is the usual bad software design to connect software actions with the strings returned from pressing keys, instead of binding the actions to the positions of keys (the keycodes). Fay Freak (talk) 12:45, 23 May 2020 (UTC)
@Fay Freak: I don't understand the distinction. Can you clarify what this means? —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:08, 23 May 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf: Easy example: Y and Z are reversed on the German keyboard layouts by reason of the frequency in the language. An US programmer makes a jump'n'run game where Z is the key to jump and X to shoot. But the way he has implemented it a German user needs to press a totally different key, stretching his hand to reach for both the jump and the shoot key. And with an Arabic layout one cannot do anything at all, because there is no Z or X. The application could have been programmed to listen to the position of the key only. Software development libraries designed to provide hardware abstraction layers (to provide a libre example, SDL2) offer easy methods for both ways for application developers. Fay Freak (talk) 18:29, 23 May 2020 (UTC)
@Fay Freak: Got it. So instead of "Alt+Shift+F", it should be "Alt+Shift+[the home row left pointer finger key]". —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:44, 23 May 2020 (UTC)

Thing and Object[edit]

Both Thing and Object are basal/fundamental terms in English. Thing also has the derivations: something, anything, everything, nothing; which are used a lot. Unfortunately, fundamental things are hard to define, particularly in meaningful ways (i.e. other than just using a synonym) and without circular definitions. Thing and Object currently show the following circular definitions: A thing is an object; an object is a thing. The same problem shows in Wikipedia for Object (philosophy) and Thing (disambiguation). --Rwilkin (talk) 13:21, 24 May 2020 (UTC)

Should the quote be on its obsolete spelling, or on the current one?[edit]

Looking at savage, there's currently a Dryden quote, "savage berries of the wood". In the first edition, it's ſalvage; in more recent copies, it's savage. I see that salvage lists itself as an obsolete spelling. Do I put the Dryden quote with the obsolete spelling under savage, or under salvage? grendel|khan 18:31, 26 May 2020 (UTC)

The obsolete spelling is far more valuable, because it displays that this spelling actually was used. It's probably less urgent to show that the word "savage" actually exists in English but I was totally ignorant that "ſ/salvage" was ever a word. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:21, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf: That sounds reasonable; done and done! grendel|khan 21:56, 26 May 2020 (UTC)
In general, it depends on the use for the quote: if it's for verifying that an alternative form exists/existed, definitely it should go on the alternative form page. If you're trying to show the range of usage, it should go on the main form page, or on the main form's Citations page if it would overload things. Of course, you can do both: have the verification quotes on the alternative-form page and also have a selection of the same quotes at the main-form entry or citations page.
The idea is to have enough at the main-form page to give a full picture, but to have at the alternative form only things that apply to the alternative form but not the main form, such as pronunciation, labels where the alternative form is limited in some way (e.g. it's regional or more formal/informal), and (rarely) etymology for cases where the main-form etymology is wrong when applied to the alternative form. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:22, 27 May 2020 (UTC)

Expressive origin[edit]

cuc#Catalan states under Etymology: "of expressive origin". What does that mean? 11:38, 28 May 2020 (UTC)


Can you inform us of any interviews with Wiktionarians? I remember there being an in-depth one a couple years ago. --Undurbjáni (talk) 23:35, 29 May 2020 (UTC)