Wiktionary:Tea room/2007/August

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← July 2007 · August 2007 · September 2007 → · (current)

August 2007

Collective noun for collectors and displayers of flags

Does the Collective noun for collectors and displayers of flags exist?

That's a vexillophile. A vexillographer designs them, vexillology is the study of flags. SemperBlotto 16:31, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Or I was about to suggest vexillologist. Widsith 16:32, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
These aren't strictly collective nouns... I would suggest "a flap of vexillophiles."  ;-) -- Visviva 19:15, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
I prefer "field", personally. :-) —RuakhTALK 19:58, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
A "vexation of vexillologists" is proably the most syllabically alliterative option is there a word that means "syllabic alliteration" or "syllabically alliterative"?. Thryduulf 20:01, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
A "vacillation of vexillologists" ? But I hesitate to suggest this. ;-) Algrif 11:52, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
Ooh! What about a vexillation? Widsith 10:32, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
That I like! Thryduulf 10:37, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

How about adding 'IMNECTHO'

I recently came across IMNECTHO and wondered what it meant. I did a few internet searches, found it a few times, but no definition. After a few moments thought, I realised it meant 'In My Not-Even-Close-To-Humble Opinion'. There are Initialisms(?) IMO, IMHO, IMNSHO, so I suggest adding 'IMNECTHO' = 'In My Not-Even-Close-To-Humble Opinion'. I might have done it myself, but couldn't find the 'Initialism' template (like noun, verb, etc) Brewmanz 20:22, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

We don't encourage "leet" forms, so this should probably go on WT:LOP#I. A "preload" button was never created for the "[Go]" page, as there is relatively low demand for it. Using the heading ==={{abbreviation}}=== works for that type of entry. But again, it probably does not meet our criteria, so it should instead go on our list of new and made-up terms. --Connel MacKenzie 21:55, 7 August 2007 (UTC)


Colleagues were discussing 'globology' today - all are very unsure as to what it acutually is, definition etc. Has anybody heard of it, used it, or can shed some light on the word>

The 10th Google web hit gives: "globology, which simply means the science of the global or world-system.". It looks like there are sufficient books hits to verify its existence (coined in about 1972 it seems), so I'll add it when I have time. Thryduulf 08:44, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Shadow Cabinet Why caps?

Why is Shadow Cabinet capitalized? RJFJR 16:57, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

If that's how it's spelled, then we should use caps. The best way to tell is to check articles from the British press and see what they do. If the press capitalizes it, then that's where the entry should go. --EncycloPetey 18:49, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
My webster dictionary doesn't have it, my American encyclopedia doesn't have it, my UPI stylebook doesn't have. So I tried googling the BBC site [1] (per your suggestion) and got 343 hits but I see no consistant pattern to the capitalization. RJFJR 02:27, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
It looks to me like the general pattern (albeit some exceptions) is that a country can have only one Shadow Cabinet — a single entity that spans conceivably for centuries — but that it can have many shadow cabinets — groups of people who constitute the Shadow Cabinet at a given point in time. Hence, references to "the Shadow Cabinet" are generally capitalized, while references to "his shadow cabinet" are generally not. —RuakhTALK 02:46, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
In AU, three major parties exist alongside minor ones: the Nationals, the Liberals, and Labor. Because the first two form a coalition, it is like a two-party system. In any two-party system, there are likely to be one shadow cabinet and one cabinet. Only in the few transitional periods where three major parties function without coalition (or similar) will one find two or more shadow cabinets. Considering this rarity, and given that context is usually clear, the common noun usually can only describe one such object. For example, national references to 'the Shadow Cabinet' in AU last year referred to the federal shadow cabinet of Australian Labor. Similarly, 'the Queen' refers to the British monarch in Anglophonia, but not in Spain. Common nouns that happen to usually have only one object to refer to may thus become proper nouns and I think vice versa when a high king is needed. Thecurran 18:55, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


Looking for a definition of "Thiefdom" —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 02:21, 5 August 2007 (UTC).

Well, look it up. Widsith 18:51, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I thought the same. But I think he means with the capital T. -- Algrif 14:24, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it's a portmanteau denoting a fiefdom ruled by a thief in the sense that a fiefdom is not democratic, similar to a Kleptocracy. I recall people using "Hail to the Thief" instead of "Hail to the Chief" during the last US presidential term in reference to a notion that G. W. Bush stole the presidency from Al Gore. I'd be very wary of using this term in a public forum like this because its political loading may stir trouble. Thecurran 12:52, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

connotation of words

I am having trouble finding to connotative differences among these three words: disinformation, misspeaking, and falsifying. Could someone help me find this? I don't even know where to start looking. —This unsigned comment was added by Cindi1575 (talkcontribs) at 02:47, 5 August 2007 (UTC).

The best way to work out connotations is to look at the words in use and see if they're used in different contexts, so the first thing I would do is some searches on Google Books. But to me, disinformation implies some kind of official propoganda campaign, misspeaking gives a more general (and somewhat old-fashioned) sense of incorrectness, and falsifying suggests that something which already exists is being altered. Widsith 08:11, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
  • Even better is to do your homework yourself, rather than asking other people to just tell you the answer. You'll learn more by the process of discovery. --EncycloPetey 22:45, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Need Help with pronunciation

I will be making a business presentation on Wednesday, August 8th and need the correct pronunciation for the following cities:

Suzhou, China -> wp ->
Guangdong, China -> wp -> listen
Toyokawa, Japan -> wp ->
Komagane, Japan -> wp ->

I would appreciate any assistance that can be offered.

Respectfully: Tom Leigl

In which languages? English, Chinese, or Japanese? --EncycloPetey 19:44, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I understand that the date has passed but if they appear again, remember that the way English speakers accent foreign words is often not totally accurate, so don't stress too much. Try using Sue-zyoe (the second part starts with the strange sound "s" makes in "pleasure" and rhymes with toe); Gwong-dong (the first part rhymes with "gong" and the second part sounds more like "don't" with a "g" instead of a "t"); Toe-yo-caw-wha (that last part is like "what" without the "t"); Koe-mah-gah-neigh (the first one rhymes with toe and the middle two rhyme with "Ha!"). The w:IPA would've been better for me to use to transcribe the words but I assumed the reader didn't know it & spoke US English. Thecurran 22:57, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Redirects to Himalayas

Should the following all redirect to Himalayas?

Thryduulf 15:14, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

No. Each of those terms should have its own entry with a link to “Himalayas”, e.g. in ===Etymology=== or in ====Related terms====. Rod (A. Smith) 20:28, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

ought or ought to

I am in the process of tidying up the English modal and semi modal verbs. Also writing a concise (I hope!) appendix about their useage. I would like opinions about the entry ought which I believe should direct to ought to in some way, as ought to is the grammatical usage as a modal auxiliary verb. Thanks in advance for your input. -- Algrif 15:43, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

I disagree, I think ought to should redirect to ought, which is not always used with to. Sometimes it is used with the bare infinitive. It also has more archaic senses which are not used with the infinitive at all. Widsith 17:41, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Ought is also used with an implied to, e.g. "Are you going shopping?", "I suppose I ought", "Yes, you ought, but are you?". Thryduulf 21:25, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Is that a U.K. thing? I'm pretty sure that in the U.S., people say "I suppose I ought to" (or "I suppose I oughta") and so on. —RuakhTALK 21:39, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm as English as they come, and I cannot remember ever hearing "ought" without a following "to". SemperBlotto 21:42, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe it's that lesser dialect "Hollywood British"?  :-)   --Connel MacKenzie 21:45, 7 August 2007 (UTC) That is, I agree with Ruakh; I was under the vague impression "ought" without "to" was chiefly British English. --Connel MacKenzie 21:48, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, the example I gave above is how use "ought" not infrequently, although I do also use "ought to" as well. A b.g.c. search for ought - "ought to" gets over 130,000 hits. Most of these are where negation or other words (or entire clauses) are inserted between the "ought" and the "to", but there are uses like mine above.
  • 1813, Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice, T. Egerton, Page 19
“Then you would drink a great deal more than you ought,” said Mrs. Bennet; and if I were to see you at it I should take away your bottle directly.”
  • 1858, Rev. William Gannaway Brownlow, Rev. Abram Pryne, Ought American Slavery to be Perpetuated?: A Debate Between Rev. W. G. Brownlow and Rev. A. Pryne, Lippincott, Page 12
...that you accept my challenger, and that the question shall be stated — “Ought American Slavery to be perpetuated” or “Ought American Slavery to be abolished,”...
  • 1891 (published 2001), Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Courier Dover Publications, Page 140
“Then I 'ought not to hold you in this way — ought I? I have no right to you - no right to seek out where you are or to walk with you! Honestly, Tess, do you love any other man?”
  • 1992, James Fenimore, The Last of the Mohicans, Wordsworth Editions, Page 48
Alice smiled; but regarding Heyward, she blushed and hesitated. ‘Indulge yourself,’ he whispered' ‘ought not the suggestion of the worthy namesake of the psalmist to have its weight at such a moment?’
However the use of ought without a to, however much is between them, appears to be archaic (not found in a book post 1900). I use it, and as these groups messages use it - What should or ought we be doing with this life?, Mrs E. says I ought, [2] Public Transport User Council ought be set up.], Bush Gains Upper Hand on UN, Ought Score Against Terrorists, Too - not resricted to the UK either, then it seems to have survived in informal writing. Thryduulf 23:55, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your investigation. :-)   Just FYI, the bold date should be the actual date of the quote, not necessarily the date your copy was published; hence, your last cite should ought to be marked, "1826, James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans, Wordsworth Editions (1992), page 48". (Incidentally, I don't think Americans use ought negatively nowadays — oughtn't sounds old-fashioned and/or Southern to my ear, and I can't think of an alternative phrasing that uses ought; I think people have to use shouldn't or an entirely different construction, like had better not if it's deontic ought.) —RuakhTALK 01:03, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Interesting, I was unable to find any modern (post 1940) uses of "ought not" or "oughtn't" in Google books, which really surprised me. Google groups did bring up several thousand hits for both (far more for the former) but getting a true picture of the number is difficult as it was finding much quoting and cross-posting. From the impression I did get, "ought not" appears most in discussions of religion and philosophy, with political topics third. "Oughtn't" seems to be a primarily, but not exclusively, UK construction these days, the top subjects being the odd combination of legal philosophies and celebrity gossip - possibly the result of one or two prolific contributors, although I have not checked for this. Where I was able to identify a region in the USA, which I wasn't able to most of the time, use of "ought not"/"oughtn't" seems most common in Arizona and northern California.
All that said, Google scholar results show no pattern of either construction falling out of use with hits throughout the spectrum of dates. Neither is there an obvious correlation with region. There is a heavy bias towards philosophy and language discussion, particularly for "oughtn't", but other topics are covered. Google News archives results are probably even more interesting, in that they are exclusively American for both "ought not" and "oughtn't" (although this is likely an artefact of the sample) with "oughtn't" appearing most commonly pre 1950 but with hits as recently as 1997 and 2002; "ought not" returned nothing post 1920.
It think we can safely say they are uncommon in modern usage, possibly even rare outside academia. Both were very common up to the early-mid 20th Century though. Thryduulf 08:15, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not denying it's less common, but it's certainly not archaic and is still often found in print if not in speech. The OED has plenty of cites right up to the present day: There ought not be any doubt about it from 1992, Ought I feel ashamed of my ignorance? from the Oxford Times 1999 (both examples showing bare infinitives), and If Hirohito had been studying his in-box, as ‘a divine priest-king’ ought, he might have suspected that the US had been trying to get a rise out of him for many years from the New York Review of Books in 2001 (with infinitive implied), among others. What we require is some kind of Usage Note at ought and plenty of examples of the different kinds of use. Widsith 09:34, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I must admit I am surprised at seeing so many examples of ought without to. I think we should ought to have both entries, but the examples for ought should be real bare infinitive examples, as above. There should also be a see link to ought to with real full infinitive examples. Plus good usage notes in both entries. I will be happy to oblige, if you all agree? -- Algrif 13:54, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Given that "ought" can be used with or without "to" with the same meaning, I don't see why we need a separate entry for "ought to" - especially as the to parts be be split by entire clauses, e.g.
"You ought, given your noted propensity for constructing long subordinate clauses full of multisyllabic words that can confuse readers, and the designated style guidelines for the competition specifying ease of comprehension by non-native speakers as one of the key criteria, to employ the services of an editor, who ought, I'd have thought, to increase your chances of success, before submitting your entry."
"Indeed, I ought not let my chance of winning the grand prize slip by for want of an editor."
Surely what is needed is a usage note at ought explaining that it is commonly found in conjunction with "to". Thryduulf 14:48, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Given that ought to is considered to be a modal verb, and ought is statistically much less common, and that most (hesitate to say all, as I have not investigated) grammar books will give ought to but not ought as the modal verb (even though it is one by the looks of it), I think that ought to should have a separate entry. Don't forget that one of the basic rules of a modal verb is that it takes the bare infinitive, and cannot be followed by another modal. If ought to is commonly agreed to be a modal verb, then the to is essential, as it does not "belong" to the following verb. This resource is mainly about modern or common usage, with entries to reflect archaic and obsolete usages. Most interested people looking for modal verb information will be looking for ought to in the list, not ought. -- Algrif 16:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC) I think we ought have both entries. Huh? Algrif 16:10, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not certain I'm understanding everything here, but as
  • "ought <verb>" ("You ought wash the car"*, "Yes I ought" / "No, I ought not")
  • "ought ... <verb>" ("You ought really wash the car", "Yes I ought do it"* / "No, I ought not do it")
  • "ought to <verb>" ("You ought to wash the car", "Yes, I ought to do it" / "No, I ought to not do it"* / "No, I ought not to do it")
  • "ought ... to <verb>" ("You ought really to wash the car", "Yes, I ought really to do it"* / "No, I ought not really to do it"* / "No, I really ought not to do it")
  • "ought ... to ... <verb>" ("You ought really to vigorously wash the car", "Yes, I ought really to immediately do it"* / "No, I ought really not to immediately do it"* / "No, I really ought not immediately do it" / "No, I really ought not do it immediately")
are all interchangeable in terms of meaning (although the asterisked constructions feel odd to me), the "to" is not essential, particularly not with negation? Thryduulf 18:27, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Thryduulf. This information should be dealt with in a Usage Note at ought, to which ought to should redirect. I think splitting them over two pages is confusing. Widsith 09:32, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I think using a redirect for that would be very bad. A stub entry at the less common form that points to the more common form (or its usage note) is the way we normally handle situations like this. --Connel MacKenzie 16:44, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Except for very special cases where Unicode has multiple code points for a single spelling, we should prefer “soft redirects” instead of “hard redirects”. Rod (A. Smith) 17:31, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
So what are you suggesting then? Do we make an entry for ought to with a brief usage note plus a "see" link to ought? I would accept that idea, and would instigate it if you all agree. After all, my intention is to tidy up these modal entries in an acceptable way, with a view to placing a modal usage appendix. -- Algrif 16:13, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Based on comments above, I would have guessed that the soft redirect would go the other way, from ought to ought to. But a soft redirect going either way is acceptable as far as I'm concerned. --Connel MacKenzie 05:41, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I would also, in fact, prefer to use ought to for the main definitions (as you already know) with a see link to ought, but I think general opinion seems to be against that. That is why I wish to clarify if it would be OK for me to create ought to with a couple of examples plus some good, clear usage notes and a see link to ought, which would remain the main entry. What do you think? -- Algrif 13:17, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
That sounds OK. Remember to link to ought to from ought as well if you do it though. Thryduulf 13:41, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
OK. I'm on it now. -- Algrif 10:21, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

C of E

I've just entered C of E as an initialism for Church of England, but I'm now wondering whether this is actually an abbreviation? How should this be linked to from the Church of England entry? Thryduulf 16:26, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

The entry C of E looks OK. I've added the "abbreviated as..." link on Church of England in our normal style. --Connel MacKenzie 16:46, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
It probably has a wider meaning. It is what people like me put on forms as an easy way out - it means Protestant Christian in culture, goes to the odd baptism, marriage and funeral, but doesn't actually believe in any of it. SemperBlotto 16:54, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, I often too do that, epsecially when "non" isn't an option. I've heard this described this as "de facto C of E" and "nominally C of E" before now. It this citable at all? Thryduulf 17:52, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
!!!I have just tried a Google "advanced book search" specifying the exact phrase c of e and get an error message telling me that I am spyware!!! SemperBlotto 21:30, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
That's wild. If you don't use the "advanced" link, but instead put quotes around it, the search works fine. Likewise, if you limit search results to 50, instead of 100. (Sheesh, a 403-Forbidden from Google!) --Connel MacKenzie 23:18, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Odd! If we can come up with a defintion, there are plenty of cites that I've managed to find searching b.g.c for "c of e" religion. [3] (p58), [4] (p348/349), [5] (p114), [6] (p310), [7] (p79), [8] (p189). Thryduulf 22:34, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I just altered Anglican Church slightly to reflect its nature as something more than just the Church of England. I also made the Archbishop of Canterbury. Feel free to peruse them and change them. Thecurran 23:31, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


Is the second sense really distinct from the first? If it is, should it be marked as a self-reference or expanded to incorporate other wikis - isn't the admin hierarchy used by Wikimedia also used by (most? all?) other sites using MediaWiki? I don't know for certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if other wiki software uses the same sort of thing (I've never been active on any non-MediaWiki wikis). Thryduulf 20:21, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

There is definitely a distinction; sysop usually means someone with root and wheel privilege, that can essentially do anything. The WM usage is much more restricted. Maybe that sense could just be a usage note? Robert Ullmann 23:01, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
I know that to this day, I do not understand why Wikipedia (in general) is so weird about things it calls "self-references." If you could explain that, I might have fewer objections questions. But I see this term used a lot, particularly in this context. As Robert pointed out, it has quite a different meaning in older days (shudder: even pre-internet times...BBS sysops, etc.) I really would appreciate an explanation as to why genuine jargon terms specific to wikis shouldn't be defined (with or without external citations.) As long as they are tagged, I don't see what the problem is. My understanding is that this class of terms has had informal support for a long time here; during almost cyclical waves of incoming Wikipedians, the same objections are re-raised, as if this were Wikipedia. Can you Thryduulf, please try to clear this up for me? I sincerely don't understand the (Wikipedia-ish?) basis of the objection to "self-references." --Connel MacKenzie 04:42, 11 August 2007 (UTC) (edit) 04:55, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
My understanding regarding Wikipedia's objection to self-references (which may or may not be correct) is that it is primarily to keep references to project-specific links and jargon out of the main namespace (where possible) so they aren't picked up by mirrors. Where this isn't possible links outside the main namespace are enclosed in the self-reference template, so that mirrors can choose to not copy that template should they so wish. For most mirrors, the encyclopaedic content is all that is of value to them so they do not take copies of the Wikipedia: and Talk: namespaces for example - especially as these would not be editable locally and so fairly pointless, meaning that the link atop the w:Vandalism page to the Wikipedia policy about vandalism is also not useful.
My understanding regarding self-references on Wiktionary is less clear, the same issues regarding policies and internal discussion pages logically also apply (e.g. at tea room). Also it is my understanding that some Wikimedia jargon is also marked as a self reference, although I do not fully understand why this is.
My query here was in two parts - the first part "Is the second sense really distinct from the first?" has been answered by Robert Ullmann and yourself (thank you both), and the answer is that, yes it is distinct. If the answer was "no" then the definitions would have been merged and the rest of my query would be irrelevant. As this isn't the case, then the second part does come into play. This second part is rather more complicated in that it contains several options, best paraphrased as below:
  1. Is this usage specific to Wikimedia sites?
    1. If yes, should this be marked as Wikimedia jargon, for example like ["[Wiktionorian]]" is?
      1. If yes, mark it
      2. If no, don't mark it.
    2. If no, expand the definition to include this.
This second part of the query has not yet been answered, so which of these should happen is not yet clear. Thryduulf 09:54, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
PS: In writing this reply, I've just discovered there is a huge amount of cleanup to be done on jargon categories/templates. I am not certain where I should note this - here, the BP, the GP, RFC, RFDO? Thryduulf 09:54, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. For your remaining question above (the second part,) I know that MediaWiki software runs a lot of wikis, outside of WikiMedia Foundation. I do not know that such usage of the term "sysop" is attested though. I assume it is not (but maybe that is a bad assumption.) I think it should have the {{wjargon}} tag because it is specific to WMF sites. That is, using the tag as a "don't delete this definition" flag, and little else.
For assistance cleaning them up, I think the most appropriate place to post tje list of them would be WT:RFC. Or perhaps right here in this section, so context isn't lost.
--Connel MacKenzie 01:49, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
LOL on the shudder, C MacK. BTW, can someone explain AGF to me? Thecurran 23:36, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
See Wiktionary:Glossary#AGF. —RuakhTALK 01:07, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Ta, heaps. Seeing that glossary made a huge difference. Thanks for your patience. Thecurran 19:01, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


Is "Admiralcy" a word? I can't find anything verifying it. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Yes, a search of books.google.com shows this is a valid word. I've just created an entry, with several quotations showing its use at admiralcy. The definition might do with a bit of fine tuning though. Thryduulf 00:12, 12 August 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone know the meaning of the above word. It is in this weeks New York Times crossword and I have never heard it before?

Thanks to SemperBlotto, that page is up now. :) Thecurran 19:03, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Scots / Scottish English

There is now a corpus of Scottish English and Scots online at http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/. Unfortunately this is copyrighted, but it may prove a useful reference for verification of Scottish English dialect/Scots language terms. Thryduulf 16:38, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Great stuff. For research on Scots words, there is an excellent online dictionary here. Widsith 08:54, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

nimby (acronym)

The acronym definition at nimby is currently marked (mainly US). The noun and adjective uses (both unmarked) are certainly common on this side of the Atlantic and I think the acronym is as well. I'm not certain enough of this though to remove the tag myself. Thryduulf 22:58, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

It's not limited to the US, I've heard it often in the UK and in Australia.--Dmol 09:30, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

It was originally U.S. (coined about 1980) but has travelled well and is well understood in the UK, despite the fact that a UK back yard evokes a small area to the rear of a low income house, not a general reference to the neighbourhood. Chemical Engineer 15:37, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

out of bounds (noun)

  1. Is this uncountable? If it isn't, what is the plural ("out of bounds"?)
  2. Does this need a context tag? I've only heard it used in relation to American Football, but I'm far from an avid watcher of sport so there are not unlikely uses I'm aware of. Thryduulf 23:14, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
It's uncountable, and I think it may apply to basketball. On a related note, is this also an adverb? (The ball went out of bounds.) --EncycloPetey 03:45, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I think that is an adverbial usage; I'll add it. Thryduulf 08:15, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
I think that's a prepositional phrase, sum of parts.—msh210 01:15, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
We do have entries for prepositional phrases when they are set phrases; the fact that something is sum of parts is not reason in and of itself to exclude an entry, if the form is a set phrase. It may fail one criterion for CFI but still meet another. Consider that when out of bounds is used adverbially, it does not follow the same pattern as other phrases in the same position: "The ball went over the fence", "...under a chair", "...through some hoops". In each of these cases, the prepositional phrase includes a preposition followed by a determiner and a noun. In the case in question, we have a double preposition, no determiner, and a noun. It is unusual, and is a set phrase because you cannot go "out of bound", "out with bounds", or "in of bounds". So it many be sum of parts, but it still merits an entry for being a set phrase. --EncycloPetey 05:57, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed; I recant.—msh210 23:29, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't think the noun definition is correct. The first forty hits at google:"the out of bounds" basketball OR football don't support it. Most of them are irrelevant; those that refer to the line (or vertical plane) call it "the out of bounds line" or "the out-of-bounds line" (or plane), never "the out of bounds" alone. So you can say out-of-bounds line (or perhaps out of bounds line) refers to the line, or, far more likely, that the "out of bounds" or the "out-of-bounds" is the area outside the legal playing field and when it's used atributively in the out-of-bounds line (which should have hyphens), the whole phrase means "the line demarcating the out of bounds".—msh210 01:15, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
  1. Please use the exact entry title as the section heading, so the link from the page to here, works.
  2. Yes, 'out-of-bounds' is a noun in football, here in America. http://www.google.com/search?num=50&hl=en&safe=off&q=%22an+out+of+bounds%22+%28basketball+OR+football%29&btnG=Search Note that it is never "the out of bounds" but "an out of bounds" in football; in basketball it is opposite: http://www.google.com/search?num=50&hl=en&safe=off&q=%22the+out+of+bounds%22+%28basketball+OR+football%29&btnG=Search.
  3. Please be more careful to use parenthesis when doing ORs in Google searches.

--Connel MacKenzie 08:17, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

  1. Sorry, that is my fault.
  2. Looking at the first page of those Google searches, "an out of bounds" is about evenly split between basketball and American football, "the out of bounds" is 80% basketball. It is possible that these are exceptions and the general case is as you say. If it is do you want to write a usage note about which word is normally used in each sport? Thryduulf 09:03, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Re #2: Nonetheless, I don't see that "out of bounds" (whether with "an" or with "the" or with neither) is a noun meaning the line or boundary, in either (any) sport. I think it's a noun meaning the area outside the field (and possibly also meaning a state that the game or the ball is in). Can you provide a quotation or quotations showing it means the line/boundary?—msh210 23:29, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
For "an out of bounds", I'm surprised that I forgot the computing/programming sense. http://books.google.com/books?q=%22an+out+of+bounds%22. Pardon me while I blush. Although my recollection of it is distinctly football (not soccer,) I think most sports (basketball, golf, even soccer) seem to have similar imitative use.
RE: Line or boundary: The tenth or so example here looks like it. Or did I misunderstand your question? --Connel MacKenzie 03:42, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't recall ever hearing "out of bounds" related to soccer, commentators will usually refer to it having gone "out" or "(out for) a throw-in". In Rugby its "into touch" or "over the sideline"/"over the touchline"/"gone for a lineout". In Golf "Out of bounds" is a specifically defined area, "an out of bounds" is never used and the only use I can remember of "the out of bounds" was as part of "the out of bounds fence" or "the out of bounds area". Thryduulf 08:43, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Connel, for the cite showing out-of-bounds meaning "a line demarcating a field of play". I see two such cites on the page you linked to, which doesn't quite do it, of course, but doubtless there are more. Nonetheless, I think out of bounds out-of-bounds as a noun also means "the area outside the field of play".—msh210 19:16, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

to rip

What is the etymology of the internet slang word to rip? Is it from the first meaning, or maybe from to rip off?-- Rhingdrache 09:30, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't know for certain but rip off definition 3 "(idiomatic) to copy, especially illegally" seems the most likely origin. Thryduulf 11:32, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you.-- Rhingdrache 13:59, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

The verb "to rip" means "to tear off" or "to take off" (i.e. "to separate off").


Is this a word - meaning feeling bloated and a bit unwell? I cannot find it in Wiktionary but I am sure I have heard it used. In fact my husband heard it on Boston Legal and tried to look it up but could not find it. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 2007-08-15T21:02:49.

I think you are looking for “dyspeptic”. Rod (A. Smith) 21:10, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Thank you! —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:47, 15 August 2007 (UTC).

as far as

The entry as far as (definition, (idiomatic) With respect to; as relates to) says that as far as I know is a derived term. I disagree: I think the words as far as in as far as I know are the non-idiomatic as far as meaning to the extent that. Thoughts?—msh210 22:35, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I could swear this discussion was recently had somewhere. At any rate, yes, I agree with you. —RuakhTALK 05:00, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I raised the same issue on RFV, where it didn't belong, and no one addressed it there. Fine: I'll make the change.—msh210 16:21, 16 August 2007 (UTC)


The entry rubicon says that cross the Rubicon is a derived term. I disagree: I think cross the Rubicon is derived from Rubicon but not from rubicon. Moreover, I think that rubicon is derived from Rubicon or possibly even from cross the Rubicon itself. Thoughts?—msh210 22:35, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

My gut instinct is to say that you are correct on both counts. At the very least, cross the Rubicon as a derived term ought not be on the rubicon page. Medellia 02:48, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, mostly. I don't think rubicon comes specifically from cross the Rubicon; rather, both are allusions to the same event. (The existence of each might make the other more likely to be understood, though.) —RuakhTALK 05:04, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Fine, I'll change it (if it's not done yet); thanks for the input. I'm new enough to enwikt that I don't know whether it was proper to raise this issue (and rubicon, above) here or on the entry's talk page. What's better?—msh210 16:21, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Either is fine, really. Bringing it here increases the chances someone will see it. Alternatively, you could just be bold to begin with. :-)   —RuakhTALK 16:33, 16 August 2007 (UTC)


The pronunciation section for Celtic needs work. There are two pronunciations for the word - with a hard 'C' (/ˈkeltɪk/) and with a soft 'C' (/ˈseltɪk/). The article currently marks the former pronunciation as being for adjective uses ("Of the Celts; of the style of the Celts") and the latter for the proper noun ("Celitc language").

Certainly in modern UK usage both of these use the hard 'C' pronunciation, with the soft 'C' being used only for the football team. Does this differ in the US? If not, do we note the soft 'C' pronunciation that is not used for any of the definitions we have? (Whether we have entries for sports teams is an issue for the proper nouns debate, not here). Thryduulf 13:38, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

In the US, the hard-C is used for the senses pertaining to the cultural group of Gaels, Welsh, etc. The soft-C is used for the basketball team. However, many people knowing only or primarily the basketball team use the soft-C pronunication when referrring to the cultural group. --EncycloPetey 14:07, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
That's my experience as well, though I have to wonder if perhaps there's a historical pronunciation of Celtic with a [s], or else I don't see how the basketball team got that name; and if so, I have to wonder if perhaps that pronunciation survives in some quarters. —RuakhTALK 15:18, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I expect it's a result of violating expectations for the pronunciation of a soft c before e or i, which is the norm in English, Spanish, etc. Putting a hard c in that position seems wrong because it is highly unusual. It's one of the difficulties of learning Classical Latin pronunciation, since all uses of c in Classical Latin are believed to be "hard". Of course, it could also be the result of sportscasters, who invariably put an extra syllable in the word sophomore too. I cringe every time they do that. --EncycloPetey 06:00, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
Now I'm confused, where do they put an extra syllable in sophomore? At the end? Widsith 08:11, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I think he means, when they pronounce the "t"...soft + more...that pronunciation is very prevalent colloquially. --Connel MacKenzie 08:32, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
The pronunciation given in American dictionaries and used in most American high schools and colleges is /ˈsɑːf.mɔːr/. The pronunciation used in American sports broadcasting is /ˈsɑː.fə.mɔːr/ (and in British dictionaries /ˈsɒf.ə.mɔːr/). --EncycloPetey 05:59, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, so it should only have 2 syllables in the States? Interesting. Widsith 16:58, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
I only hear the hard "C" from wiccan witches and SCA folks. (That is, quite rarely, and only to set an archaic tone.) --Connel MacKenzie 08:32, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
The SCA folk I know are educated, and use the proper pronunciations. I won't deny that some are clueless, since I know some of them too. --EncycloPetey 05:59, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

From the above, it seems like the pronunciation should be marked as below (but with the IPA, etc not hard/soft "C")

UK: Sports teams: Soft "C", other uses: Hard "C"
USA: Sports teams: Soft C, other uses: Hard "C" or soft "c"

Any objections? Thryduulf 10:58, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

As there were no objections I've now restructured the pronunciation section as above. It could do with a request for audio template, but I can't remember the name of that and have run out of time just now. Thryduulf 12:16, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
I think EP was partly objecting to my observation...so I'm not sure the US wording is OK. I must say, those tables look downright strange. There was a big push to simplify pronunciation section layouts, the tables seem to be quite the opposite. Request-For-Audio-Pronunciation is {{rfap}}. --Connel MacKenzie 03:55, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

The pronunciation "seltic" (for all meanings) was considered correct at one time. It only ceased to be acceptable within the last few decades. At one point, the spelling "keltic" was also in contention, but that seems to have dropped away, even though the associated pronunciation has been adopted. In 1926, a leading authority on English usage, H. W. Fowler, wrote in his "Modern English Usage": "The spelling C-, and the pronunciation s-, are the established ones, and no useful purpose seems to be served by the substitution of k-." 02:10, 20 September 2007 (UTC)02:10, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

erotic literature story codes

If you've ever read any erotic literature online, or even just browsed any of the alt.sex.stories* newsgroups, you will almost certainly be aware that almost every story has a string of codes (initialisms and abbreviations) that identify what takes place in the stories - e.g. "MF" for heterosexual sex between a single adult male and a single adult female, and "ff rom cons" indicating romantic (rom) consensual (cons) sex between two teenage females (ff).

These codes have been in use for a long time, probably almost as long as alt.sex.stories has existed (created in May 1992 according to w:alt.sex.stories) and are used on literally thousands (probably even hundreds of thousands) of posts, so they should meet the CFI handsomely (or at least the basic ones as MF, MFF, MFFF, MMFF, MMMMMFFF, etc are all valid codes, but I don't think you need more than two or at most three in sequence defined here). However I am not certain what context tag to use - do we have an existing one or should I create {{internet erotic literature}} or {{erotic literature}} and use that in combination with the existing {{internet}}? Thryduulf 00:15, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I would just use an {{internet}} tag and include the information in the def, something like designating consensual sex in pornographic writing or something. The MF stuff should already be covered at M and F, since their use as male and female is hardly limited to internet sex stories. I don't think we need a new "erotic literature" tag. Besides, "literature" might be pushing it a bit.... Widsith 08:27, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the use of "M" to represent an adult male in this context should be noted at M, similarly using "m" to represent a teenage male should be at m. Should there also be entries for MF, Mf, etc?
Regarding "literature" - the quality of writing varies hugely (as in any other genre) from works that are better literature than many mainstream novels (check out the works of Al Steiner and Frank Downey for example), right down to those with primary school English whose sole intention is to put a fantasy down on paper. Where the primary focus of the story is the plot (regardless of the amount/level/type of sex in it) the work is generally described as "literary". The opposite sort of work is described as a "stroke" story - your imagination should be able to fill in why! Anyway, I don't know that "literature" imparts any meaning as to the quality of the literature (compare Mills and Boon to Charles Dickens for example. Thryduulf 22:12, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
While erotic literature is a set phrase, (or at least a euphemism,) I'm not sure it is a useful category, as described above. I think Widsith's idea is probably best; using {{internet}} seems more appropriate. --Connel MacKenzie 16:56, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Why not edit 'cons', 'f'/ 'm', & 'rom' to contain the extra meanings of merely 'consensual', 'young female/ male', & 'romantic' and add the internet tag without adding the erotic spin. Wiktionary is accessed by minors and people who completely object to erotica but because people on alt.sex.stories will be sure they're tapping into erotica, they can fill that sense in for themselves. I hope this sounds fair to everyone. Thecurran 19:25, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


[9] says that sopimus is Finnish for agreement, but I don't know anything about Finnish, so could someone who does add it? Thanks. Nadando 05:05, 18 August 2007 (UTC)


Hello, Shouldn't there be a Hebrew audio pronunciation for the word Hanukkah along with the English pronunciation? I'm not a linguist so I don't know if this is the right way to put it, but isn't the English word nothing but a transliteration of the original Hebrew? I've always wanted to know how it was pronounced in Hebrew.
This is also true for other words such as sheik, Ramadan, haram and many more.
If there are no objections, I can provide the pronunciation to the last three words in Arabic. Gbeebani 05:38, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

No. Those are all English words. The Hebrew pronunciation should appear at the Hebrew entry חֲנֻכָּה, not at the English entry Hanukkah. Likewise, Arabic pronunciations appear for Arabic entries (in Arabic spellings), not at the entries for English words derived from Arabic. We would still like to have those pronunciations recorded and uploaded to Commons, of course. See Help:Audio pronunciations for information about how the files should be named. --EncycloPetey 05:53, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
ThanksGbeebani 05:59, 18 August 2007 (UTC)


Is the plural of slaughter really "slaughter"? Thryduulf 16:56, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm betting that was added by someone who didn't know how the template worked and wanted to clarify that there's no plural form. (I don't know if such a clarification would have been correct, though; and b.g.c. is unhelpful, as it tends to mis-scan daughters as slaughters.) —RuakhTALK 19:24, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
"slaughters" is also the perfectly valid third person singular form of the verb "to slaughter", so if it is an infrequent plural it will be hard to find. Thinking about it, where more than one instance of slaughter (of people) is referred to "massacres" is generally used. For animals, "culls" seems to be the equivalent. Thryduulf 20:43, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I was bypassing that problem by searching for google books:"two slaughters", but then ran into the daughters scanno problem. —RuakhTALK 21:39, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Regardless, "two slaughter" is incorrect, so I'm omitting the plural as better than nothing. DAVilla 09:28, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


Is "powder-room" a common alternative spelling of powder room? (We have one redlinked use of this spelling and I don't know whther to make an entry as an alt spelling or to change the spelling of the link.) RJFJR 13:36, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

In the first 12 pages of b.g.c hits, there are 10 independent occurrences of "powder-room" - almost all very old -
As there are 0 g.g.c hits in the first twelve pages for "power-room" (although there are a few for "powederoom", I've not checked these for independence, etc), I'd say that the hyphenated from deserves inclusion as an archaic alternative spelling - a b.g.c for pre-1910 publications results in a roughly even split between hyphenated and unhyphenated forms. The 1996 hit above I am thus inclined to treat as an uncommon misspelling. A post 1995 book search gets three additional hits in the first 10 pages, one of which is a 2004 edition of a Jules Verne (1828-1905) novel, and another a scanno. I'm uncertain whether the 1958 book is an outlier of the archaic usage or a misspelling.
Unless it is clearly in an archaic context, I'd change the redlink to use powder room. Thryduulf 14:58, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Changed link at take a powder to use powder room. RJFJR 15:46, 20 August 2007 (UTC)


I don't know how to define it, but I'm sure crack (verb) has some meaning in relation to the process of refining oil into petroleum etc, that is not obviously covered by any of the definitions we have. Thryduulf 22:41, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Now added, using info from w:Cracking (chemistry). —RuakhTALK 23:25, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I do know something about this, so I have modified, and also added to cracker. Chemical Engineer 20:25, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


The heraldry page says that the plural is heraldries, and Webster's agrees. However, it is the name of a science/art like biology, psychology, or printing. Surely that makes that definition {{uncountable}}? Google gets about 2300 returns for heraldries and all the top hits are dictionaries, which is usually a bad sign. I can find a few quotations, but they don't seem to apply to the primary definition. Opinions? --EncycloPetey 01:39, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Looking through b.g.c., it appears that the countable sense is the one that refers to an armorial ensign along with its history and description. I updated “heraldry” to reflect that. Let me know if that seems off base. Rod (A. Smith) 01:54, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
It looks OK, though heraldry in the sense of "an armorial ensign" is not a sense that heralds or "serious" heraldic writers use, so it looks odd to me. --EncycloPetey 03:19, 21 August 2007 (UTC)


Are the two meanings distinct? Compare asymmetric. Which is best? DAVilla 08:44, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

They weren't, I've merged them. Widsith 14:48, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

no lach

what is ythe meaning of "no lach" in:

"i am no lach pilot. but i do fly arazus often"


"great, still no lach"

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 08:57, 21 August 2007 (UTC).

"lach" is short for "Lachesis" a ship or ship type in the EVE game milieu. "arazus" is plural of "Arazu", another type. Robert Ullmann 13:21, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

pull somebody's leg

Shouldn't this be pull one's leg? -- Algrif 14:49, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

We seem to use the placeholder “one's” in entry names here to represent the verb's subject, usually in a reflexive sense but with the subject omitted. E.g. “feel one's oats”, “tip one's hat”, “have one's cake and eat it, too”. The placeholder pronoun we use to represent a third person is usually “somebody's” or “someone's”, one variant of which usually redirects to the other, e.g. “put words in someone's mouth”, “hot on someone's heels”, and “rattle someone's cage”. There is already a redirect from “pull someone's leg” to “pull somebody's leg”, so I think the entry at least matches convention. Rod (A. Smith) 16:24, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I wasn't sure of standard practice for this kind of phrase. -- Algrif 17:48, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
Hang on a minute. You listed several with 'one's' or 'someone's' but only one with 'somebody's'. Wouldn't it make sense to just use 'someone's' instead of 'somebody's'. Thecurran 19:33, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
My listing was not extensive. google:site:en.wiktionary.org someone's -redirected and google:site:en.wiktionary.org somebody's -redirected shows that the two words are used with similar frequency for lemma entry titles (well within a decimal order of magnitude). It probably wouldn't hurt, though, to discuss the better location for lemma entries with non-reflexive personal placeholders on WT:BP. (Has that already been discussed?) Rod (A. Smith) 19:54, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

help just need the spelling for a word obviously cant spell it --repore, repour,repoir ??? help

not much just that someone help i cannot find a simple a-z english dictionary that i can just look through till i find

the word sounds like re-pour

if i had a good repour with someone means i would have a comforatble standing with them

You mean rapport SemperBlotto 09:25, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Or French (?) repoire. Seems to be misspelled as such all over the place. DAVilla 09:26, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Repoire is not a French word, except that it could be a form of a nonce from re- and the old-fashioned slang poirer meaning "to take, trap someone by surprise, grab him, overtake him". I don't know why people would misspell rapport that way. —RuakhTALK 16:27, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it is because they think (correctly) that it is from French, and are using re + poire, which is a fairly common word, especially if your French comes (at least in part) from reading menus. Given the level of confusion, and rather impressive number of googles (15,000, including CNN :-), it is I think worth a "misspelling-of" entry? Robert Ullmann 16:41, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
15,000 googles merits a "misspelling of" entry in my book! Thryduulf 23:30, 23 August 2007 (UTC)


Visiting this article to sort out Greek translations I find it a bit of a mess. Can I tidy this entry up, specifically:

  • It obviously has some history - I don't want to stand on toes.
  • It's not clear why there are 2 Adjective headings.
  • Is the Persian-Farsi translation template remaining - it is listed for deletion Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion/Others#Template:Persian-Farsi - are the entries to be copied to the two linked articles ?

Saltmarsh 06:31, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Per the RFDO, yes, the information copied and only the template deleted (with its history merged). No one seems to have objected. DAVilla 09:23, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Familial relationships (again)

Currently, of a whole series of related entries, few, such as nephew, aunt or uncle seem to have the correct single English definition, with separate translation tables for other languages. Did these (grandmother, grandfather, niece, etc.) get lost in the shuffle? The question came up again on IRC this evening. --Connel MacKenzie 04:57, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


says it can be guan4 and xie3, but I am not sure if it is right. All other dialects also Ja rendering suggests xie3 is the only right pronunciation. Or just there is a modern phenomenon I just missed. Could anyone please to enlighten me?

Thanks! --Aphaia 07:42, 25 August 2007 (UTC)


The Gitmo entry says "Guantanamo Bay, the US naval base and concentration camp in the place of that name in Cuba. " Is concentration camp considered accurate/NPOV? RJFJR 00:14, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, it certainly fits our definition #1 at concentration camp, but it seems really wrong to me. To me "concentration camp" evokes the Holocaust, and I'd only ever use the term in referring to Nazi concentration camps or in fairly explicitly comparing something to Nazi concentration camps. (This is speaking as an American Jew. Non-Jews, especially from countries without many Jews, might not be reminded so easily of the Nazis. This might be fodder for a usage note at concentration camp; and maybe it would make sense to revise the definitions there as well.) —RuakhTALK 01:34, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh dear, I hope I don't offend anyone here. I think the biological, ethnic, political, & religious groups in those Nazi camps and some similar ones in proximal countries/ timeframes were concentrated into a small place from the surrounding area. This idea becomes stretched the further a captive was transported. In the case of Gitmo, the population of Afghans & Iraqis, of Arabic, Dari, & Pashto speakers , or of Sunni or Shi'ite Muslims approaches 100% inside Gitmo but approaches 0% outside and stays that way for thousands of kilometers. I would say that Gitmo as such, does not represent a concentration of the population by any conceivable stretch and therefore should not technically be called a 'concentration camp'; all metaphors aside. It seems that 'gulags' are the only thing that come close and that all of the political hubbub demonstrates that this is a somewhat new type of entity. The wars between the UN member states that filled these prisons with POWs are well and truly over, so can we agree on calling it a 'political prison'? Some of these people have not been classified as 'enemy combatants' or charged with terrorism, so 'political prison' is the only term that springs to my mind that could be technically accurate. Thecurran 20:02, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry but your comment is difficult to read, so I may have got this wronng, but the first part seems to be saying that Guantanamo Bay is not a "concentration camp" based on the meanings of the words "concentration" and "camp". Were "concentration camp" solely a sum of parts phrase ("SOP" in Wiktionary jargon) then you might have a point. However "concentration camp", whatever its original meaning, has taken on a specific idiomatic meaning that is not apparent from its constituent parts - otherwise we could legitimately describe the Scouts' recent centennial jamboree as a "concentration camp", as it was a camp that concentrated one group of people (Scouts) into a single area (Essex). Thryduulf 22:00, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
"Internment camp" might be less problematic. Note that w:concentration camp is currently a redirect to w:internment. -- Visviva 00:23, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Forgive me for looking at this completely differently, but I think this debate is misdirected. "Gitmo" is short for "Guantanamo Bay," which also happens to be the location of a US Naval Base, (and US detention camp), but do we really need to say anything other than that it is short for "Guantanamo Bay"? We're not an encyclopedia; readers can follow the link to find out more. Dmcdevit·t 02:27, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough on all counts. As an aside, I think 'concentration camp' should include the aspect of forced labour. Thecurran 03:17, 7 September 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I didn't find CV in this page when I tried to access the last 500 in history here. Please, forgive me if my computer messed up. I want to talk about CV. Around US-DC in the early '90's, CV seemed to only mean curriculum vitae (resume -- I'm having trouble adding the accents). Perhaps, I was unaware of an age/sex/culture barrier. I had close family and friends in the Navy and many of the families I knew were involved in the Air Force base. I don't remember ever having heard CV mean aircraft carrier (carrier variant). I haven't lived in the US post Sep-11, but I heard from close family in the FAA that much of the atmosphere (pun not intended, but recognized on re-read) had changed and the military was mentioned constantly everywhere. I assume CV came to mean aircaft carrier in the public mind after this change, but have not ruled out an a/s/l/culture barrier. I would like to hear of other US experience with the term CV. Us not having the aircraft carrier meaning on the CV page tempts me to believe its widespread public acceptance is recent, which is why I posed my above assumption. I have remarked on the discussion page there that I will add the aircaft carrier meaning pending a wait for objections to arise. Thecurran 01:13, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

I've never heard "CV" mean "aircraft carrier" in common usage in the US. I have heard it mean "curriculum vitae" in a professional context, but usually only when a job candidate, recruiter, or hiring manager was not from the United States. Mike Dillon 01:27, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Actually, this is an error with our definition. CV (and curriculum vitae) is widely used in academic contexts and resume is rarely used. I'm not sure the appropriate way to tag this in the definition, otherwise I would do it myself. Should it read (UK, academics)? This seems to suggest UK academics instead of UK or academics... Sorry this is an aside from thecurran's question. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 22:18, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Now that you mention it, I guess I've heard it in an academic context as well. As far as I understand it, a resume and a CV are different sorts of documents in that a CV is generally longer and more thorough while a resume is focused (or should be) on things that are relevant to getting a particular type of job. Mike Dillon 22:26, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that's true. CVs are long, and usually contain most everything an academic has done within the scope of being an academic. But they are still usually limited to things specific to an academic's job (like teaching, research, departmental "service", awards, grants, etc.). Graduate student's CVs might include classes taken, information about one's dissertation, etc. This is usually only done when seeking a job. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 22:35, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
UK, Academic sounds great but there is a {.{.UK.}.} but no {.{.Academic.}.}. I tried to add it on the curriculum vitae page. In this case, my knowledge of wiki-formatting has failed me. I need help from someon with more experience. It would be great to hear about more US contexts for CV, but I think kzollman's suggestion represents an NPOV that'd satisfy most of us for the time being. If curriculum vitae needs to be divided and enhanced to explain that in academic contexts, it means a longer resume with both academic and employment achievements, then so be it. Thecurran 23:41, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it should be fine the way it is. CV standards are different in different countries and different fields, so being more specific might be a problem. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 03:24, 27 August 2007 (UTC)


I looked through some of the history and couldn't find resume (sorry for not adding accents). I want to ask how resume (CV) seems to have bypassed UK English on the way from French to US English. I find Cajun and Quebecois connections tenuous and find believing that the UK dropped the term in a period of rare contact with the US easier. I would like to know for sure, though. Thecurran 01:23, 26 August 2007 (UTC)


There are two points here. 1) Why isn't Belizean listed under a derivation in the Belize page? I want to add it if nobody objects. I think some people will come up with Belizan, Belizer, Belizite, Belizman, Beliz, Belizteco, Belizian, Belizino, Belizano, etc. if they don't know the right adjective.

2) How do Belizeans spell?

—This unsigned comment was added by Thecurran (talkcontribs) at 01:43, 26 August 2007 (UTC).

1) Yes, please do! It should go in a "Derived terms" section.   2) I don't understand your question, but feel like it should be the first part of a joke! ("How does a Newfy/Polak/blonde spell?") —RuakhTALK 01:59, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
That's funny! You made me LOL. I am interested in trying to understand how people from different regions use English. Guyana seems to be associated with the Caribbean. Malaysia and Singapore seem to go with Oceania. Sub-Saharan Africa, Northern North America, South Asia and the British Isles are other populous regions of interconnected English use. Many specific places have uses related to nearby languages. Hong Kong may fit with SE Asia but I don't know where Belize fits in the puzzle. I don't know many Belizeans well. As for point 1, I think I should wait 24 hours after suggesting a change before implementing it in order to give each time zone a fair go because I'm a relative newbie and want to avoid getting in hot water. I just made a Beer Parlour suggestion to add National adjectives across the board. Thecurran 02:23, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
1) There's no need to wait; that's exactly what the "Derived terms" section is for: listing terms that are derived from the current term. (This doesn't work for all nationalities — "American" is not derived from "United States", and I don't think "Finn" is derived from "Finland" — but it covers most. And in the latter case, it would go in the "Related terms" section.)   2) Wow, I always assumed Belize spoke Spanish! Shows how much I know. :-P —RuakhTALK 02:38, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
English and Spanish are both official languages in Belize. Mike Dillon 03:11, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. After closer reading of w:Belize, it seems that English is the only "official" language (the infobox says English, Spanish). The article text implies that most people speak a creole called Belizean and that Spanish is a common second language. This statement seems to conflict slightly with the 2000 census information noted below. Mike Dillon 03:22, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
The Belize article on Wikipedia has an interesting table: Languages in Belize according to 2000 Census. It shows nearly 50% claiming Spanish as the mother tongue and 32% or so claiming one of various creoles as a mother tongue. Mike Dillon 03:15, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
w:Belize#Ethnic groups, nationalities & w:Languages_of_Belize show conflicting numbers. The former gives 46% speaking Spanish as a mother tongue in 2000 census and yet the latter gives 35% percent speaking Spanish in the same census, even though there share a table. Either way, literacy and education in English is high, the lingua franca, Kriol, is derived from English; not Spanish, English is official in Belize, Belize gained its modern independence from the UK, Belize is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, & Belize is surrounded by Hispanic nations. Which figures you follow is up to you -- I just wanted to see what region Belizean English fit into and it seems that Caribbean is the fit rather than Northern North American, British, African, or an isolate category. I hoped to hear tidbits from people closer to Belize than myself, especially because Kriol is one of the few well-recognised languages that come largely from both English and continental Amerindian languages; many Caribbean ones exist. I find that fascinating. Thank you so much everyone for your help and opinions. You've enriched my worldview, made me feel less alone, and gladdened me. Thecurran 14:54, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Poker sense of cover

Hello. Cover (verb) has a specific meaning in poker which ought to be added here. However, I need some assistance. In poker, it is only used in the perfect tense. One only says "James has/had/will have Jill covered", never "James covers Jill" or "James covered Jill". What's the standard for this here? Should I add the definition to covered or to cover (or somewhere else)? Thanks --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 22:13, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

That doesn't look like the perfect aspect to me (N.B. perfect aspect, not tense, BTW); the perfect aspect of to cover would be something like *"James has covered Jill." Here it seems that "covered" is acting as a predicate with "Jill" as its subject; compare "James almost had Jill believing that jacks are actually called 'james'", "James had Jill at a loss for words", etc. So, I think this would go at covered#Adjective. —RuakhTALK 00:13, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Yup... that sounds right. Thanks for your help (and sorry for the mistake)! --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 02:23, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Neo-Latin in Antarctica

Antarctica#Etymology says that Antarctica comes from Neo-Latin, using the wiki markup [[neo-|Neo-]]{{L.}}; this adds the article to Category:Latin derivations. However, given the existence of Category:Late Latin derivations (and {{LL.}}), it seems that Category:Latin derivations proper is only intended for Classical Latin derivations? If that's the case, then how should this section be marked up? (Also, does anyone know whether that's indeed Greek, as opposed to Ancient Greek? Maybe we should change {{Gr.}} to read "Modern Greek" so people know not to use it for Ancient Greek derivations?) —RuakhTALK 06:52, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

P.S. Category:Late Latin derivations says it belongs to Category:Latin derivations, which doesn't list it as a subcategory. What am I missing? —RuakhTALK 06:53, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

It shows up under "L", which isn't on the first page: [10]. Looks like we also have Category:New Latin derivations. Mike Dillon 15:07, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
O.K., fixed, thanks! (And, that seems like a bug. The category page doesn't indicate in any way that the "previous page"-"next page" thing applies to subcategories as well as entries.) —RuakhTALK 16:20, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
FYI, I copied the above bug conversation to WT:GP#Subcategories hidden in populous categories. Please continue any discussion about the MediaWiki bug there. Rod (A. Smith) 17:46, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Left as a synonym for 'permitted'.

There is a use of the word "left" to mean "permitted" that is common in Ireland. Examples are, "We were not left go to the beach when we were young", or "They were not left through the new roadway". I want to add a colloquial meaning for this, but not sure what part of speech it would be. I though it might be verb, but not sure. Is this meaning used in the UK also.--Dmol 16:46, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, "leave" has a sense of "let, permit" for some speakers — I only use it in "leave be" (="leave alone, let be"), but I've heard some speakers use it in other contexts. (I'm not sure if it's actually productive for those speakers, or if they simply have a few more fixed expressions they use it in.) We currently don't seem to document this sense as leave (though we do have the corresponding noun sense). If Irish speakers use this sense productively but only in the passive voice, then I think that probably leave needs to document this verb sense and usage notes should explain the various regional restrictions on its use. —RuakhTALK 17:23, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Comment from the peanut gallery: That is fascinating, that in Irish English, you can use left without alone to reach that meaning. The only similar idiom I've heard is left well enough alone which I presume should redirect to leave well enough alone. --Connel MacKenzie 18:47, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Requesting help with daystar.

I updated daystar a bit--it was a popular idiom in poetry, possibly going back pretty far (see [11]), where it meant "morning star". It's since become a popular bit of hacker/internet slang for "the Sun", usually in the context of "Your star burns!" or the like. I see it in some modern fantasy novels, and I think it means "Sun" there as well--a meaning I don't see in any pre-1900 quotations. (I don't have anything from 1900-1990, which is a pretty sizable gap.) Questions that I've been unable to answer are:

  1. Did "daystar" ever mean the sun, as opposed to the morning star, in its classic usage?
  2. If not, when (and where) did the use meaning "Sun" originate?
  3. Does there exist a good reference for word's use in hacker culture, if the second definition is in fact limited to that doman?

Thanks! grendel|khan 22:20, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, daystar has often been used to mean the sun. This is from Milton's Lycidas (1637):
Sunk though he be beneath the watry floar,
So sinks the day-star in the Ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled Ore,
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky
I'm fairly sure Spenser uses it this way too, although I can't find a reference at present. Widsith 10:43, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
A dual search for "Spencer" and "daystar" truned up nothing on Wikisource, but I did find:
  • 1913 Thomas Bulfinch, The Age of Fable, ch 9
    "Ceyx was king of Thessaly, where he reigned in peace, without violence or wrong. He was son of Hesperus, the Day-star, and the glow of his beauty reminded one of his father."
  • 1860 George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Bk2 ch 2
    But old Christmas smiled as he laid this cruel-seeming spell on the outdoor world, for he meant to light up home with new brightness, to deepen all the richness of indoor color, and give a keener edge of delight to the warm fragrance of food; he meant to prepare a sweet imprisonment that would strengthen the primitive fellowship of kindred, and make the sunshine of familiar human faces as welcome as the hidden day-star.
I also find the following figurative usage:
  • 1860 George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss, Bk5 ch 4
    "But suppose, Maggie,–suppose it was a man who was not conceited, who felt he had nothing to be conceited about; who had been marked from childhood for a peculiar kind of suffering, and to whom you were the day-star of his life..."
--EncycloPetey 02:16, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
The first of those is not referring to the Sun; Hesperus is another name for Venus. (It means either "morning star" or "evening star", I don't remember which.) —RuakhTALK 02:46, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Etymology information for marble

Could someone please add the etymology information for the word marble (definition 1). It is interesting how most translations sound almost the same. Gbeebani 05:40, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

One source I have found says the following.
  • c.1200, by dissimilation from O.Fr. marbre, from L. marmor, from or cognate with Gk. marmaros "marble, gleaming stone," of unknown origin, perhaps originally an adj. meaning "sparkling," which would connect it with marmairein "to shine."
But this needs to be checked. Algrif 13:36, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Algrif, that is good too. Gbeebani 17:50, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Why would a change from "br" to "bl" be 'dissimilation'? What do b and r (whatever sound they were using for r) have in common that b and l don't? —RuakhTALK 19:27, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I would assume they mean dissimilation from the other "r" in the word "marbre". I would see the likely sequence (pure speculation) as "marmore" (ablative/dative of marmor) > "marmre" (elision of short vowel) > "marmbre" (epenthetic "b") > "marbre" (elision of nasal) > "marble" (dissimilation of liquids). Mike Dillon 21:30, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Oh, good call. So — if "curler" became "curlle", would that be assimilation to the "l" or dissimilation from the "r"? :-P —RuakhTALK 21:54, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Could someone add an entry for "epenthetic" please. I doubt I'm the only one reading this discussion not familiar with the word. Thryduulf 21:38, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Done. See “epenthesis” for the main entry. Rod (A. Smith) 21:59, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


This is a neologism claimed to be coined by someone named Kedar Joshi. So far, its sole appearance in physical works that I've found is Joshi's own Superultramodern Science and Philosophy, published through Red Lead Press, a self-described "print on demand" (i.e., "vanity") publisher. This entry was created by (talk), who went through some effort in Summer 2006 trying to establish articles and references to Joshi and his works on Wikipedia, Wikiquote, and Wiktionary. Google Book Search turns up not a single hit for "non-spatial thinking process", Joshi's pet project, and only the book title above for "superultramodern". On Amazon.com, this unranked work has only a single review thoughtfully provided by — you guessed it — Kedar Joshi. I respectfully suggest that this is Joshi attempting to use Wikimedia to promote his work. Both Wikipedia and Wikiquote long ago deleted the relevant articles (see q:Wikiquote:Votes for deletion archive/Kedar Joshi for some history), and I just found myself having to re-delete the WQ article again today.

If I understand Wiktionary policy, I should first file a request for verification on this term, which takes at least a month to review. Does Wiktionary have any procedures for fast-tracking obvious self-promotional neologisms? ~ Jeff Q 06:04, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

It would be a request for deletion ({{rfd}}), but something that should be basically shot-on-sight, {{delete}} (aka "speedy") works too; if an admin thinks it should be reviewed instead, he/she will probably move it to rfd. In this particular case: it is an admitted neologism ("coined by Kedar Joshi in 2005"), has no independent citations. If not for the spamming of various WM projects (which I have reviewed), almost certainly by him, it might be rfd'd. As it is, treated as spam and deleted. Thanks for pointing this out. Robert Ullmann 11:56, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Further note, this entry was added to the rfv for "NSTP theory" by the same author in June 2006, which failed rfv; it should probably have been deleted then. Robert Ullmann 12:06, 28 August 2007 (UTC)


I was looking for etymology for this word. but it is not here. I had assumed it would be given here, because of the word's Latin "looks", it made me think it would be an easy one to find out. Does anyone here know what the etymology is? Thanks a lot in advance, and sorry if this is not a reference desk, I can ask at the language reference desk on Wikipedia instead. --Lgriot 11:52, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

The reference sources all seem to say unknown, or obscure. It is a conundrum ;-) Robert Ullmann 12:10, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I picked the following out of a fairly reputable web site. I don't know if it is correct though. Algrif 13:26, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
  • 1596, Oxford University slang for "pedant," also "whim," etc., later (1790) "riddle, puzzle," also spelled quonundrum; the sort of ponderous pseudo-Latin word that was once the height of humor in learned circles.
Thanks everyone Lgriot 20:05, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Etymology of Canoe

I'm curious, does anyone knwo the etynmology of the word canoe? There's nothing in our entry. RJFJR 15:43, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I found this. But it needs to be confirmed.
  • 1555, from Sp. canoa, term used by Columbus, from Arawakan (Haiti) canaoua. Extended to rough-made or dugout boats generally.
Algrif 16:12, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
The canoa part is legit; see his journal of the 1492 expedition: "Estas son las canoas." Although interestingly Columbus usually refers to these vessels by an Arabic derivative, almidias. -- Visviva 15:12, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
As for the ultimate root, this Taino dictionary appears to suggest that the original form was in fact canoa; of course, no authoritative dictionary of Arawakan will ever exist. canaoua may be an error which has been passed from one etymological dictionary to another (or maybe I'm just looking the wrong place). -- Visviva 15:18, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
This online Carib-English dictionary provides more info. Looks like kanoa is the proper Arawakan form, canaoua being the 1655 (Fr. Breton?) spelling of Carib kanawa. -- Visviva 15:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
None of the various online sources which mention the 1555 date can be bothered to tell us the title of the work in which the term first appears. Of these, Answers.com is the least uninformative.[12] It is certainly attested by 1608, when we find the form "Canowe" in John Smith's journals. [13] HTH, -- Visviva 15:38, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Gilberti, Fr. Maturino, 1901: Diccionario de la lengua Tarasca ó de Michoacán. Impreso en Mexico el Ano de 1559, reimpreso bajo la dirección y cuidado del Antonio Pel'iafiel. Mexico. Dictionary of Tarascan, apparently dated 1555, printed in Mexico in 1559, reprinted 1901. Robert Ullmann 14:33, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I should note that it doesn't say canoa is Tarascan, it uses the Sp. canoa in defining a Tarascan word (specifically the morpheme "Xu", using canoa as an example of what it applies to) Robert Ullmann 14:46, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I guess I was assuming that the 1555 was the (asserted) date of the word's first use in an English work. Perhaps not, though. -- Visviva 11:40, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

black and tan uncountable?

Even the talk page uses a plural. Algrif 16:09, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Good catch. Yes, "black and tan" refers to an individual serving, not to the liquid itself. Fixed. Rod (A. Smith) 16:27, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, I just realised that this discussion was going on here, and had already changed black and tan to countable. It is a drink that can only be mixed at point of consumption, unlike say wine which can be either countable or uncountable. But that said, there is alsoan entry under Black and Tan (caps) which I think is correct.--Dmol 14:45, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Has anyone else heard of 'Black and tan' referring to a type of dog? Thecurran 20:14, 6 September 2007 (UTC)


Per this edit, the usage note appears to be incorrect:

AP Style does not permit the statement: Fifty states compose the Union.
The correct usage would be: The Union is composed of 50 states.

What gives? DAVilla 10:33, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Aside from possible incorrectness, that has the problem of not actually bearing on the word comprise, that the entry's supposed to be about. I'm guessing it was an anticipatory typo: he meant to say that "Fifty states comprise the Union" is incorrect, but substituted "compose" by mistake? —RuakhTALK 18:28, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
That's what I get, for not checking the older version. We really shouldn't use the AHD example at all. Perhaps restarting the usage note with a better example (like fleet/boats or army/soldier?) would be better, particularly since there are still exact sentence matches from AHD's usage note. --Connel MacKenzie 18:56, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Sir, I did check the older version, and that's why it was removed in my edits. I can understand removing the AHD quotation, and in fact I had stripped it down some myslef. Perhaps you would like to explain why you rolled back my changes? Or how completely removing any reference to AHD doesn't constitute point-of-view pushing? DAVilla 04:17, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
  • The exact text from AHD: "USAGE NOTE: The traditional rule states that the whole comprises the parts and the parts compose the whole. In strict usage: The Union comprises 50 states. Fifty states compose (or constitute or make up) the Union. Even though careful writers often maintain this distinction, comprise is increasingly used in place of compose, especially in the passive: The Union is comprised of 50 states. Our surveys show that opposition to this usage is abating. In the 1960s, 53 percent of the Usage Panel found this usage unacceptable; in 1996, only 35 percent objected. See Usage Note at include."
  • The exact text from DAVilla: "===Usage notes=== The third usage above, whereby the passive form effectively means “the fifty states comprise the Union”, is traditionally considered as incorrect but is an increasingly accepted usage. Strictly speaking, the Union comprises fifty states, whereas fifty states compose the Union. The American Heritage Dictionary states that "The traditional rule states that the whole comprises the parts and the parts compose the whole.... Even though careful writers often maintain this distinction, comprise is increasingly used in place of compose, especially in the passive: The Union is comprised of 50 states. Our surveys show that opposition to this usage is abating." However, with regard to journalistic writing, the Associated Press Stylebook does not allow for such a substitution. Indeed, Associated Press Style does not permit the last statement. The correct usage would be, “The Union is composed of 50 states.”"
As I said, the 50 states example should be entirely removed. The text as you reworked it, seems pretty clearly a derivative work from the earlier AHD edits. That makes it a potential copyvio which there is simply no justifiable reason to retain. When I edited it, I tried to remove sentences that matched (exactly, or nearly exactly) AHD's version. From the edit history, I tried to replace the text that was removed in lieu of the AHD's wording. Since that came out as a total mess, yes, the entire usage note as it is should be scrapped. It isn't that the current entry should be brought as close to possible to a copyvio without breaking the law; there is no need to copy their text. The text that was copied should be thoroughly expunged. We should devise a better example of our own. We should link the AHD in the ===References=== section without copying any of their verbiage. And yes, we should avoid their particular example, as that (a) was reworded wrong, (b) is indicative that we don't recognize the difference between comprise/compose ourselves; that we're only able to parrot AHD.
Do you want me to make a more genuine effort and reworking it, or would you like to? I suggested fleet/boats, army/soldier above. Perhaps machine/parts, database/rows, menu/items would also work as better examples. At this point, Union/States is just too unwieldy.
--Connel MacKenzie 15:56, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
You say that it is my text, but understand that I did not introduce the AHD quote, so reverting my changes did not correct the problem above. If you had simply removed the AHD quote, that would have accomplished your goal. Otherwise you would have had to revert to a much earlier version. Instead, you reverted my changes, thereby reintroducing the error, and then removed any reference to AHD entirely.
I am substituting the example, as you propose, and if you wish you can rework it from there. DAVilla 08:51, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Futhermore, you are slightly misrepresenting me. The text as I finally revised it eleven minutes later was slightly different. To be sure, this doesn't counter your point about copyvio, but it neither supports an attention to detail. DAVilla 09:03, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry if I "slightly misrepresented" your text somehow. FWIW, I did go back to a much earlier version, and mangled it when comparing the [Show changes] current version. I think the current version is OK, but should probably link AHD and APstyle in a ===References=== section. --Connel MacKenzie 17:06, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Do we say "the parts are comprised by the whole" or "the parts are comprised of the whole"? DAVilla 09:24, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Surely one is much better off not saying either, and removing this treacherous word from one's lexicon completely. I personally have gone for years without ever using "comprise" in a sentence. However, if I found myself in a life-or-death situation which required me to use "comprise" in the passive voice, I would say "comprised by." "Of" reflects that the whole is made of, or from, the parts; I don't think that would apply in reverse. -- Visviva 04:41, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Added: of course, if you are following the modern "convention" of using 'comprise' as a synonym of 'compose', as alluded to in the AHD, you would say "the whole is comprised of its parts." However, doing so will guarantee you a place in the inner circle of Grammar Hell. -- Visviva 08:06, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Under water current word that sounds like sishe.

Does anyone know a word for an underwater current that sounds like sishe? (si- rhyming with pie / -sh rhyming with blush) I heard it on Discovery, they were talking about Loch Ness but I don't think it is a Scottish word exclusively.--Dmol 14:49, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Possibly seiche, aka the "bathtub wave," although I wouldn't have thought the topography of a Scottish loch would be ideal for such phenomena. -- Visviva 14:59, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah, but it is. Google "loch ness seiche" and you'll find what you are looking for! Robert Ullmann 15:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. That's what I was looking for.--Dmol 17:46, 29 August 2007 (UTC)


Is Decapod proper? Or should it be merged to decapod and the capitalized version delted or something? RJFJR 15:31, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I would merge with lowercase and delete uppercase. SemperBlotto 21:13, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I merged the def from {{Decapod]] to decapod. Now what do we do about the Decapod entry? Do we make it a redirect to the lowercase or what? RJFJR 13:37, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
A proper merge would involve deletion of target, move to target, delete (again), restore (merging edit histories), then edit to select desires pieces to be merged -- in order to preserve the edit history per the GFDL. --EncycloPetey 14:52, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I've made the upper-case an alternative spelling for that sense. DAVilla 08:33, 1 September 2007 (UTC)


A long time ago someone added this obscure definition:

The expression of an understanding — see "Language is Understanding"

I just cannot grasp the meaning of this definition, however profound it may be. I would've simply deleted it myself, but the problem is that over time our editors have contributed a plethora of translations for this sense. So, what shall we do with it? Perhaps, someone can clarify or expand the definition in question? Dart evader 19:20, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I would suggest merging it with number 4, as "a medium of expression of ideas, such as a nonverbal system of communication" e.g. sign language, body language. DAVilla 08:28, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Appendix:Animals gnat

I see the adjective from gnat in the table is trumpet. Any reason for this? Or can I delete it? Algrif 11:59, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

It was added by user:Paul G (almost 3½ years ago!) in this edit. Given that the same edit introduced the adjacent column for the sounds animals make, I would hazard a guess that "trumpet" was intended for this column. While indeed it does sound odd, a b.g.c search does verify that a gnat does indeed trumpet [14], [15], [16]! I'll correct it now. Thryduulf 23:12, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Proving once again that you learn something new every day on Wikt. :-) -- Algrif 12:00, 31 August 2007 (UTC)


Could someone tell me why the entry for 'taw' has been removed? 'Taw' is an old word in playing marbles meaning your 'favorite marble', and is used in square dancing with a derived sense of 'favorite', 'beloved', 'partner', or 'spouse'. —This unsigned comment was added by Rsvk (talkcontribs) at 01:37, 31 August 2007 (UTC).

It was deleted because it was a redirect to tav. It never gave any of the senses you mention. Please, create the entry. :-) —RuakhTALK 02:30, 31 August 2007 (UTC)