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Information desk archives edit

August 2018

word order in English[edit]

Why do we say "traditional Chinese medicine" and not "Chinese traditional medicine"? What is the grammatical rule that dictates this order? What is it called and how does it work? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:45, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Adjectives are grouped semantically and placed in an order that is set for each language, with varying degrees of flexibility. Here is the order for English. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:15, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, that's very helpful. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:42, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
I was wondering just the other day, when I expanded w:Adjective#Order, whether Wiktionary should include some of that info in Wiktionary:English adjectives. What do you think? - -sche (discuss) 06:25, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Sure, why not? It would be useful. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:32, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
"Chinese traditional medicine" doesn't sound outright wrong, though, does it? It would just be treating "traditional medicine" more as a set type of thing, and considering the Chinese version. Equinox 20:38, 2 August 2018 (UTC)
That's also my sense, FWIW. - -sche (discuss) 06:25, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Well it's not outright wrong, but I've never heard TCM referred to that way in English. I note the few hits for "Chinese traditional medicine" on Wikipedia are from non-native-speaker sources. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:32, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

What steps are currently being taken to find all the words?[edit]

Do we have people with bots looking at other collections of words and looking to see if any are not represented here? Is it generally known that certain fields are not well-represented here in terms of jargon? JustOneMore (talk) 21:49, 3 August 2018 (UTC)

I run scripts to look for missing words in various news sources for English and Spanish. For most languages the answer to the question of which words are missing is "most of them", and doing these types of searches is somewhat pointless (although interesting). DTLHS (talk) 21:52, 3 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. I'm thinking about running scripts as well through other word lists, but wanted to know if there was already something like that, perhaps even a list of lists that have already been searched for words not currently on WT. JustOneMore (talk) 03:13, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Some examples: User:Visviva/Tracking (a lot of the pages have been completed and deleted), Special:PrefixIndex/User:DTLHS/tracking. DTLHS (talk) 03:24, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
[edit conflict] Equinox and other users have assembled various lists of words that we are missing (I have a shortish list on my userpage as well). I know that the industry I worked in for a while (window coverings) is pretty underrepresented, for instance, as are some technical usages of certain (often common) words in Roman Catholicism. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 03:29, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, this is just the type of stuff I was looking for. Now that I see how others generally do this sort of stuff I will copy them. I'm also going to start linking userpages like those on my userpage, just so I have a place to keep track of other people tracking this sort of stuff. JustOneMore (talk) 04:04, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
User:DTLHS#taxonomy, which I compile by recursively trawling Google Books (find one word -> look it up, write down all the words we don't have entries for in the results, repeat). DTLHS (talk) 04:08, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
User:SemperBlotto/sandbox and its subpages contains lots of pages that we are missing. I also scan technical websites for missing words, but generate the wordlists offline. (currently working through articles within [1]. SemperBlotto (talk) 04:41, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
Wiktionary:Redlink dumps is where all or most "lists of missing words" are (or should be) listed. - -sche (discuss) 06:29, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
You may also like Wiktionary:Wanted_entries/en and Wiktionary:Requested_entries_(English)/Wordlist. I have further lists of my own that I dip into (not on Wiktionary, sometimes for copyright reasons). Equinox 17:20, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

"so am I" vs. "so I am"[edit]

It amuses me that these don't mean the same thing. Per utramque cavernam 17:48, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

"I am so" is something else again (childish reassertion of something denied: "You're not even ____..." "I am so! / I am too!"). Equinox 18:28, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Live Updates on Watchlist[edit]

What should the incon in the "Live updates" box show if "Live updates" is selected, the empty square or the solid right-pointing triangle? Is this some kind of standard user-interface design feature? Is there a more intuitive, obvious way of communicating the current status of the selection? DCDuring (talk) 15:51, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

It's like the icons on the buttons of a cassette player (and so on): right-facing triangle for play, square for stop. — Eru·tuon 19:22, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
A check box would make more sense to me, or even one of those trendy new two-way toggle switches that seem to have replaced check boxes (and are harder to understand the selected state of). Equinox 23:48, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
A check box makes more sense to me too. With the streaming-player controls you get feedback from seeing or hearing within seconds. I have no trouble with commons video and audio. With watchlists, which are, after all, just text, the feedback might take many minutes. Also, the background-foreground color reversal on the existing control confuses simple souls like me. DCDuring (talk) 06:43, 9 August 2018 (UTC)

What happened to the new editing interface?[edit]

What happened to the new editing interface? We had for some time, then it was gone. I never saw any discussions. Is it available in preferences? There were positive and negative things about it. Perhaps it could be improved. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:42, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

Obscure Chinese character ⿰坐瓜[edit]

This page from an 1896 book uses a character ⿰坐瓜, which I can't seem to find online. The following page gives a definition and the pronunciation pǎi, and mentions that the character is "not noted in the dictionaries". Is this character in Unicode? Does anyone know where I can find more information about it (in English or in Chinese)? @WyangGranger (talk · contribs) 13:15, 12 August 2018 (UTC)

No luck yet either. A good tool to use for this is 教育部異體字字典, which offers component or pinyin lookup, however this char seems to be missing from their database. Also the composition seems strange- maybe it's actually ⿰坐爪 similar to 爬沠 etc. Wyang (talk) 08:59, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

RussianGram - Chrome plugin to insert stresses and letter "ё" on a Russian web page[edit]

If anyone is interested, there is lightweight RussianGram Chrome plugin, which inserts word stresses and letter "ё" on a Russian web page. I have tested and it looks very promising. It doesn't insert stresses for words it doesn't know, such as foreign names or rare words. Where there are multiple stresses possible (depends on the context or if there are variants), the variant words are separated by a pipe: са́мого|самого́, по́зднее|поздне́е.

It's very helpful for learners of Russian, IMO, since one of the most difficult part is knowing the correct stress in a running text and knowing where "е" should be read as "ё". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 05:16, 13 August 2018 (UTC)

Chat up as used in Time of August 27, 2018[edit]

In an article about the candidates to represent Arizona, a photo is captioned Ward chats up voters ... — this does fall under the definition currently given for chat up, but I was surprised, since to me it almost always has connotations of flirtation or similar, as in both examples given there and, under See also, hit on and pick up. Could there be a difference between usage in the US, the UK and other regions? PJTraill (talk) 14:13, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

As an American, I would think "chat up" would probably refer to hitting on or flirting but I can easily see it being "having small talk with..." —Justin (koavf)TCM 00:29, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

most definition lines[edit]

Forgive me if we've already had this converation (in fact, I know we have but I can't find it, despite great effort)... Do we have a list of the entries with the most separate definitions? I recently made palomilla, which has 19, and is probably my own personal WT record. set has 85 definition lines on WT, but is probably not the record for the most. --XY3999 (talk) 18:37, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

I don't think there's been any systematic attempt to track them, but I track 'em when I see 'em, at User:-sche/exceptional#Most_senses, but the numbers are evidently out of date. - -sche (discuss) 20:41, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Adding new parts of speech for existing words[edit]

I have repeatedly attempted to add words that are ignored in current Wiktionary pages, namely different parts of speech, such as adjectives that are ignored when only past participles are listed, as well as both nouns and adjectives which are ignored when only present participles are listed. My attempts have run afoul of the fact that I don't know how to do so without apparently destroying the current part of speech, namely a verb, that is the only meaning recorded on Wiktionary's page. How can I add a new meaning without replacing the old one? —This unsigned comment was added by Scottmacstra (talkcontribs).

You can look at your contributions and note the edits that follow correcting your mistakes. DTLHS (talk) 16:18, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

September 2018

Challenges to Grammatical Affixes[edit]

How do I signal a challenge to a grammatical affix that is only stored in a Lua module? Can I raise a tea room topic? To make matters more complicated, the affix appears in a separate module for each of the half dozen or so scripts the language is regularly written in. If a tea room topic is appropriate, should I attempt to raise the challenge in each of the modules, or just the most important one? If my doubts are confirmed, pages will have minor edits rather than being deleted. -- RichardW57 (talk) 00:51, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Would it be terribly obtuse to ask you to name the affix you are unhappy about. Equinox 00:57, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Pali dative singular in -atthaṃ for masculine and neuter a-stems, which I cannot find in my grammars. They only give -assa and semantically dodgy -āya for these stems. The main module is Module:pi-decl/noun/Latn; there are 8 other modules, which appear to have less use. I would be less bothered if I only had to change one or two master entries, but gluing on the affixes is fiddly, as the writing systems and their encodings variably use implicit vowels and visual non-phonetic order, and so each script has its own list of affixes.
(See w:User:RichardW57m for my aliases.) RichardW57m (talk) 12:43, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
Whew, I suppose you can't RFV the guts of a module because it isn't an entry. I would suggest you use the proficiency templates to find any active users who are familiar with Pali, and start a discussion with them. Equinox 22:45, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Pinging users who have edited Module:pi-decl/noun and its submodule: @Octahedron80, @AryamanA. — Eru·tuon 01:21, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

The affixes are collected from the textbook. And it has every possible forms (because they are needed in poetry). I don't know how do you learn it but let's see Wikibooks. -atthaṃ is อตฺถํ you said. For verb, I gave up because there are totally near-hundred of forms. By the way, every rule has exception; some special words are not dealt with yet. --Octahedron80 (talk) 01:54, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Self-taught, I'm afraid, and not very proficient. I started work on a Hunspell-using spell-checker with a view to puzzling out Lanna Pali texts, as modern Pali seems to largely separate words by spaces. I had a list of 966,668 'words' sorted by frequency, which I've used to clarify matters. I used Duroiselle, "Mazard's version of Mason's..." and a new book I've actually bought, Steven Collins' A Pali Grammar for Students; all fail to mention any such case ending. Duroiselle is reported to have taken into account relatively recent versions of Pali, such as chronicles. The best I can come up with is that the accusative of atha in Pali Text Society (1921–1925), Pali-English Dictionary, London: Chipstead. (licensed under CC-BY-NC) can function as a postposition, and that often it forms a compound with the preceding noun instead. That would give the appearance of a dative case ending, but to count it as a case ending I'd want to be confident that tolerable Pali could have:
adjective_in_dative + noun_compounded_with_attha_in_the_accusative
That test assumes that adjectives don't compound with atthaṃ when they're qualifying nouns.
So where did the former user 'Khun panya' get the ending from? His Holiness's work?
You've missed that neuter plural nouns can form their nominative, vocative and accusative plural as though they were masculine nouns. I don't know what happens to their accompanying adjectives - could the adjective and noun appear to disagree in gender in the NVA plural?
I think we need to set up a database module for irregular noun inflections - some of the ablatives of a-declension nouns in -so and -to do seem to be real ablatives. I'd like to just set up a master entry in one script - we have eight scripts to support already, and inflections have only a very limited variation between scripts. Round AA v. tall AA is the worst complication to handle, though there are a few differences that would show up in Romanisation.
I was getting a lot of sandhi with ca, eva, api, and iti, and had added them to my spelling checker's inflection tables. If I hadn't suspended work, I would have added attā to the spell checker's adjective inflections ('vuttattā' was the commonest instance) - but I wouldn't have called it a case ending! - RichardW57 (talk) 19:21, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

@Octahedron80, @AryamanA, @Erutuon - RichardW57 (talk) 19:30, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

About tall AA of Myanmar and Lanna, it is stricted only to put after some consonants; it cannot be put anywhere or interchangeable with round AA. I already have logic to adjust that. --Octahedron80 (talk) 01:39, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
Unfortunately, @Octahedron80, it is not as simple as that. In the Thai Tham script, there are five consonants which everyone who uses tall AA agrees should in general be followed by tall AA: BA (non-Lao Pali <p>), WA (Pali <v>), LOW TA (Pali <d>), LOW THA (Pali <dh>), and LOW KA (Pali <g>). There are differences of opinion as to LOW PA (Pali <b>) - the MFL uses tall AA after it, but Wyn Owen reports that the Tai Khuen don't. I've a feeling some people add HIGH CA (Pali <c>) to the list, but I haven't seen that in action. I've heard of a strange rule (may be it's the wrong way round) that tall AA should not be used in Northern Thai words of Pali/Sanskrit origin. The next problem is the exceptions to the rule. I believe it doesn't apply before spacing subscripts. This is an exception in the MFL, but perhaps Northern Thai and Pali behave differently. By this rule, the spelling of byagghā 'tigers' will depend on the shape of the subscript <gh>. (It may show up sooner in the nominative singular byaggho.) The existence of these different rules is why they are encoded differently in Unicode, though I'm sure the precedent of the recent disunification in the Myanmar script also affected thinking. In the MFL, <pr> and <br> also lack tall AA, but these are mostly native or Sanskrit words. Finally, Wiktionary is supposed to support common misspellings, so we can't appeal to grammar rules to eliminate alternative spelling styles! - RichardW57m (talk) 11:04, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
I've also read a small book in Northern Thai that entirely lacked tall AA. - RichardW57m (talk) 09:43, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
One of the reasons for the Myanmar script's disunification is that the rules have changed in Burmese; Christian materials still tend to use the old rule. If Burmese Pali has had the same rule change, then there will be different forms for old Burmese Pali and modern Burmese Pali. - RichardW57m (talk) 09:43, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

Formatting error[edit]

Fix the error on Pyraminxes for me please. Torrent01 (talk) 11:02, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

  • It was fixed before you asked. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:10, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

Question about the rules[edit]

Does Wiktionary have a "one-person-per-account" rule like in w:WP:NOSHARE? —This unsigned comment was added by Torrent01 (talkcontribs).

No. DTLHS (talk) 00:58, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
In other words, I can let family and friends use this account if I like? Torrent01 (talk) 09:36, 13 September 2018 (UTC)
You will be held accountable for all ensuing mishaps.  --Lambiam 12:20, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
If I were you, I wouldn't have told us about it, TBH. BTW, what's our sockpuppet policy anyway? --XY3999 (talk) 06:14, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Days of seasons[edit]

Why can there be a summer's day and a winter's day but not a spring's day or an autumn's day? Equinox 00:55, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

Who says there can't be? DTLHS (talk) 03:40, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Google does: I searched for "spring's day", and it gave me the results for "spring day" instead because "spring's day" had only about 300 hits, while "spring day" had over a million. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:51, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
And how is that relevant? [2], [3], [4], [5]. DTLHS (talk) 05:11, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Well, it is totally normal and natural to say the first two, but the second two sound weird and wrong — perhaps only in my local British English? I suspect more widely. Equinox 05:49, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
The same in Canada. "Spring's day" sounds like something a non-native speaker would say. Only "spring day" and "fall day" seem natural (or "autumn day," but we prefer "fall" in Canada). Conversely, "summer day" and "winter day" sound fine (and are more likely to be used in speech than the possessive forms). Andrew Sheedy (talk) 14:17, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

possessive + gerund + direct object in English[edit]

I have a couple of questions about a type of noun phrase that consists of a possessive or genitive element, a gerund and a direct object. For instance: "The hunters' shooting large game roused a passionate diversity of opinion." Any potential for ambiguity aside, is this considered informal or regional as opposed to the hunters' shooting of large game or the hunters shooting large game? Is there a term for this kind of construct? Could this also work for indirect objects (e.g. "The assembly has approved their giving the victims support", which doesn't sound too flash to me)? ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 13:01, 10 September 2018 (UTC)

The issue becomes a bit clearer if the term for the agent does not end on an s, so that one can also hear the difference. “In 1984, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that limited the insanity definition to the defendant not knowing that he was acting wrongfully.” Or, “In 1984, the U.S. Congress passed a bill that limited the insanity definition to the defendant’s not knowing that he was acting wrongfully.” Aristotle said that “the pride of man proceeds from his not knowing himself.” Here, you cannot insert “of”: ✲“his not knowing of himself.” I see no problem with indirect objects, as in, “I expressed my uneasiness at his giving me so often the appellation of yahoo, an odious animal, for which I had so utter an hatred and contempt.” (Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels – To the Houyhnhms.) I do not know the answers to the other questions.  --Lambiam 02:08, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Question about Korean manhwa title[edit]

There's a Korean manhwa named "Angry" or "앵그리".

My question:

  • Is "앵그리" just a transliteration of the English word "angry"?

Thanks in advance. --Daniel Carrero (talk) 21:25, 12 September 2018 (UTC)

I think so. It is used in many titles in hangul that are obviously transliterated English, like the titles of Angry Mom (앵그리맘) and Angry Birds (앵그리버드).  --Lambiam 00:40, 13 September 2018 (UTC)


I have babel on my user page. Am I doing it right? Torrent01 (talk) 09:35, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Looks good to me! Andrew Sheedy (talk) 14:18, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Why do words meaning "bad" end up meaning "cool"?[edit]

Like wicked, sick, ill (in hip-hop), perhaps gnarly, and bad itself. Has this been studied at all? Is it for example some kind of linguistic revolt against the dominant culture (or parents/school!) by using words to mean their opposites — but in that case, why do positive words like "sweet", "lovely", "good" not end up meaning "bad"? Equinox 22:11, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

And when do we have to categorize such words as contranyms? Fay Freak (talk) 08:19, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
terrible can be confusing too. Per utramque cavernam 08:31, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I know how to cook a real mean steak. It’s terrific.  --Lambiam 11:38, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
And then there's using awfully as an intensifier for positive adjectives. Though since awful itself started out more positive than negative (“provoking awe”), maybe it's not in the same category. — Eru·tuon 19:24, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
In some cases, like "awfully" and "wicked", I wonder if the words were initially intensifiers for negative adjectives, and then became general intensifiers. Mitt Romney once described himself as "severely conservative" evidently intending "severely" to have positive or neutral connotations instead of the negative ones it often has. And you can still use both as intensifiers for negatives: "that's awfully rude", "wicked ugly", etc. - -sche (discuss) 21:22, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
Oxford wrote a bit about the history of inverted meanings, but not much about the why. - -sche (discuss) 21:22, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

I made Appendix:Hip hop slang and have always meant to expound upon it. My recollection is that it's 1.) ironic and 2.) a way of "taking back" language that denigrated African-Americans' music. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:29, 17 September 2018 (UTC)

Adjective senses of pet[edit]

Prompted by a question on the feedback page, I was wondering: are the adjective senses we list over at pet not just attributive uses of the noun? — Mnemosientje (t · c) 16:28, 15 September 2018 (UTC)

Which noun sense could be used for the professor's "pet theory"? It's not an animal or a darling person. Equinox 17:17, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
It's metaphorical use of the "darling" sense, though the "pet rock" sense is the "animal" sense, as would be "pet hamster". Chuck Entz (talk) 18:54, 15 September 2018 (UTC)
I think it's sufficiently common and distinct from the noun sense to merit a definition as an adjective. If I were a non-native speaker who was unfamiliar with that usage, I probably wouldn't immediately understand it solely based on the noun senses. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 19:11, 15 September 2018 (UTC)