Wiktionary:Tea room/2008/July

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← June 2008 · July 2008 · August 2008 → · (current)

July 2008


I would like to edit indignify as a synonym and definition of abash, do you agree?--Rollyta 08:10, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I think it's more like scorn or insult, but look through these 8 hits in books published in last 50 years. Some are reprints or excerpts from older works. One is a thesaurus mention. This might be considered {{archaic}} or {{dated}}. DCDuring TALK 15:44, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

up a creek without a paddle

definition includes "superlative of up a creek". Do we have room for humor in Wiktionary? I hope so, but this seems like weak "humor" at the expense of consistency and correctness. Should this be notes as an intensified version of up a creek? DCDuring TALK 15:34, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

I would say this is a variation of up the creek without a paddle, which sounds much more familiar to me. Michael Z. 2008-07-01 22:00 z
The Brigham Young University American Corpus has a 5/5 split on this, for the record. Circeus 22:44, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

plural of divitis

divitises is a properly-formed but apparantly completely unattested plural. Should divitis have this plural form shown, or should it be labelled as singular only? Michael Z. 2008-07-02 00:38 z

divitis just got updated with the edit summary “-itis words are generally uncountable.”
That's wrong. There's the divitis where every table cell from 1997-era code is turned into a div, the divitis where every semantic element is replaced with a div and a class attribute (synonym for classitis), and probably other divitises.
There also appear to be bronchitises, laryngitises, and tendinitises. See also itis, pl. itises.
From whence comes this reflex to categorize every mass noun as uncountable? That seems to be incorrect more often than not. (I see that a mass noun is defined as uncountable, which looks demonstrably false to me, as are some of the cited examples).  Michael Z. 2008-07-02 03:17 z
The medical words that end in -itis form their plurals -itides. Sometimes, usually in popular publications, the plural is "-itises". For this neologism, I'd expect the plural to be "divitises" when it finally shows up. If you use {{infl|en|noun}}, you do not have to address it now. I think that {{en-noun}} has led less-expert contributors to put in a "-" when the plural has came out wrong after saving. Most of the easy errors get corrected by more expert editors. Some editors, when confronted with a word uncommon in the plural or with a less common type of plural don't change the "uncountable" indication. This extends far beyond mass nouns to various nouns that don't get used in plural forms except by those who do business in the field. Philosophers form plurals of most abstractions. Tuna fisherman and merchants will perhaps discuss "tunas". Most normal folks will not discuss either in the plural. DCDuring TALK 10:19, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Please notice that the lead google books hit for bronchitises is from the humor magazine Punch. There are also only 60 hits total. These are cases where the plural is practically nonexistent, and the noun is in fact uncountable. If you disagree, please find a citation for "three bronchitises". The grammatical term "uncountable" does not mean that a plural is impossible; it means that the plural is exceedingly rare to nonexistent, and that the noun may not be used with a numeral. Hence: uncountable. --EncycloPetey 16:34, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Humbug. The Punch is a fine attestation, as are about 40 others, including “all the bronchitises,” “a few more malarias and bronchitises,” “some of our obstinate chronic bronchitises”, “the sixth ward, in which the hernias, rheumatisms, bronchitises . . . were placed,” “a series of bronchitises,” “the bronchitises will start up,” “Nana had had one of her bronchitises,” “any more of these colds and bronchitises,” “many bronchitises,” “certain of the chronic bronchitises,” “many of the so-called ‘bronchitises’," “an asthma and two bronchitises.”
Bronchitis is not the same kind of noun as information—it has an uncountable mode, ‘the disease,’ and also a common sort of countable one, ‘an occurrence of, a case [patient] of, or a type of bronchitis,’ which pluralizes as bronchitises. It also has an indeterminate mode, as in “his bronchitis,” which cannot be called either (it is not “countable and uncountable,” which would be like calling a number “positive and negative”). For this reason, I would lump them all into a single definition line rather than splitting them into two.
Clearly, itises can take plurals, numbers, and the definite article. Divitis is new technical jargon, and we haven't been able to attest a plural, but it clearly follows the same form as bronchitis. You may be able to argue that we shouldn't show an unattested plural spelling, but how can you argue that it is uncountable?
I think our glossary and dictionary definitions of countable, uncountable, and mass noun need to be tightened up a bit to prevent nouns like these from being painted “uncountable” by default. The examples of money and soap are contradictory. The expressions “used freely,” “practically nonexistant,” and “exceedingly rare” make the definition unclear, and the statement that uncountable nouns have no plural form is just wrong.
And by the way please use the language specific template is unfair. {{en-noun}} cannot be used in all cases, for example, in plural entries, or when there needs to be no note on the inflection line at all. Michael Z. 2008-07-02 19:47 z
You have said "clearly, itises can take plurals, numbers, and the definite article", but have not provided a single example of one that has been used with a cardinal number. The sole, odd exception you have noted is "two bronchitises", where the word is used in its countable sense of "a case of bronchitis in a particular person". That definition does not appear in the entry for that word; the sole definition given is the uncountable one. The {{en-noun}} template is capable of handling both countable and uncountable when used correctly in cunjunction with {{countable}} and {{uncountable}} on the definition line.
But back to the thread of this topic, you still have failed to demonstrate that divitis is countable. In fact, other authors of the page have noted that they have found no use of a plural form attested at all. Since the word is uncountable, the template {{en-noun}} works just fine. --EncycloPetey 20:09, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I have just updated bronchitis. As I said, the senses are not distinct, because a usage like “his bronchitis” cannot be placed into one or the other. Am I mistaken, or have you just switched from arguing that the noun bronchitis is uncountable, to arguing that the uncountable sense of bronchitis is uncountable? You asked me to cite “three bronchitises”, but I failed by only finding “two bronchitises?”
Divitis follows the same form and usage as other itises. The closest I can attest is “you can end up with a case of divitis,” and “another classic example of divitis kicks in when...” These are indeterminate (i.e. not demonstrably uncountable). Michael Z. 2008-07-02 20:42 z

I do not fully understand how our agreed-upon rules apply in the case of uncountability. It would seem that, if the plural form exists, then not every sense of the word can by uncountable, which would suggest that the inflection line should show the plural. I see no reason to assume that uncountability is the default. To the contrary, to learn from the practice of professional lexicographers, it seems most dictionaries simply present the plural or let the user assume that the plural forms by the usual rules, which are, after all, remarkably simple in English, especially since adding -s or -es works when one is in doubt, even if only as a less-preferred form. Following non-English plural rules is much more than one would expect of normal English speakers.
Just as has been suggested by someone in the case of Proper nouns, where any Proper noun can automatically be used as a common noun without our acknowledging it, so, in the case of many nouns with uncountable senses, I would suggest that it can be assumed that any noun with an uncountable sense always has the sense "type of" which is automatically countable. The cases to the contrary should be readily attestable or agreed to.
Whatever the specifics, we need to take this kind of thing out of the realm of controversy. How should plurals be presented in the lemma? Under what circumstances do they need to be separately attested? Do they need to be attested for each sense? By the same standard as applies for lemmas? Is what is appropriate or customary for "dead" languages appropriate for "living" languages. It's just a matter of trying to figure what would be best for the different classes of our current users, especially those who are most like the users whom he hope to benefit with a more successful Wiktionary. DCDuring TALK 20:45, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

game show

Should these two definitions really be separate - surely they should be merged?

  1. A radio or television programme ...
  2. An episode of such programme ... —Saltmarshαπάντηση 15:19, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I would mark the second definition with {{rfv-sense}} and post in RFV. I've never heard of a single episode of such a program referred to as a "game show"; I've only ever heard the term applied to the program(me)/series itself. Consider: "There were two Price is Right game shows each morning." doesn't sound right. There might be two episodes or two airings, but there is only one game show. --EncycloPetey 16:30, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
But if one watches a "game show" today, isn't that only one episode. I would expect both definitions to be true and readily attestable. In a frequentative use of "watch" it would have to the the first sense" "I watch may favorite "game show" every day." DCDuring TALK 21:27, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, yes, you're only watching one episode, of course. But you're watching the program, no? And I think that the latter is meant by "watch a game show today". Kinda like "I watched M*A*S*H today": the referent is the television series, even though I only watched one episode.—msh210 17:43, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Hot dogs and sausages

The hot dog entry has the first noun definition as being a frankfurter or a wiener in a bun. The second definition then says it's a sausage as used in the first definition. This is extremely confusing and should be fixed, but first I have a question about the difference between hot dog and sausage. It seems that at the least a sausage is different from a hot dog. Perhaps sausage includes hot dogs, but in my experience, a sausage is generally something like a bockwurst or brat, whereas a hot dog is (not sure how to say it) blander or more processed in some way. Does this sound right to others?

For reference, here are the first two definitions of hot dog:

  1. A food consisting of a frankfurter, or wiener, in a bread roll, usually served with ketchup, mustard, relish, etc.
  2. A sausage of the type used as a general ingredient in sense 1 (above).

Wakablogger 21:59, 2 July 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger

It's essentially correct, but maybe confusing.
A hot dog is a kind of sandwich, consisting of a sausage on an elongated bun. The sausage is called a wiener, frankfurter, or frank. In North America at least, the rather bland and very finely ground wiener has become strongly associated with hot dogs for kids, and it may sometimes be called a hot dog on its own—perhaps an abbreviation of hot dog wiener. Frankfurter is more likely to refer to a coarser, tastier European-style sausage, served by urban street vendors (also a smokie, in Canada). Michael Z. 2008-07-02 22:51 z
So you're saying that a hot dog wiener is a type of sausage? (For me, calling a hot dog wiener a sausage is wrong.) Wakablogger 05:05, 3 July 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
The sausage is a wiener, and might be described with the attributive as a hot dog wiener (wiener of the type for hot dogs). Michael Z. 2008-07-03 05:43 z
Sorry, I'm still not quite getting it. I think you are saying that a sausage is a type of wiener, and the product used in a hot dog is a wiener. Is that correct? (For me, a wiener is the meat portion of a hot dog, and I normally call a wiener a hot dog; a sausage is something different from a wiener/hot dog.) Wakablogger 08:01, 3 July 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
A wiener is a type of sausage, the type usually used in a hot dog. Michael Z. 2008-07-03 14:35 z
Okay, thanks. I'm going to ask for other opinions and will take your classification into account. Wakablogger 19:58, 3 July 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger

I was just at the grocery store, and there seemed to be a clear difference between what is being marketed as a hot dog/frank/wiener and what is being marketed as a sausage. (That itself doesn't mean that a hot dog cannot be called a sausage, though at least in one sense, there seems to be a differentiation.) I think frankfurters are going to generally be bigger, but I have to look around and ask around. Wakablogger 05:00, 4 July 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger

I guess that many kinds of sausage will be marketed by their specific name, e.g., bologna, salami, liverwurst, smokies, chorizo, &c. Wieners probably more so, because their usage in North America is stereotyped (barbecues & weenie roasts), so they are sold in large amounts in their own section. Michael Z. 2008-07-05 01:54 z
In the grocery store I went to, both were sold in the same section.
As a continuation of trying to figure this out, I did an informal survey of family and friends. Of eight adults I asked, six agreed with me that a hot dog is not a sausage, and two were emphatic that a hot dog is of course a sausage. It seems that there is a separation here, and it would be nice to capture it. Possible points of differentiation that we discussed are that the hot dog's casing is removed before being packaged, that the hot dog is more finely ground, that the hot dog is pre-cooked, and that only certain, milder spices are used in hot dogs.
BTW, I certainly don't consider bologna or liverwurst types of sausages, either. The former is a deli meat and the latter a wurst (which is evidently just a sausage). I see that Wiktionary disagrees with me once again, though, on both counts. For the case of bologna, at least, I think there might be two types, one of which is a sausage, and one of which is a deli meat. Wakablogger 07:52, 5 July 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger

Some comments from a Brit living in Canada. Take with a pinch of salt! A sausage: 1. is sold uncooked 2. is coarse in texture 3. has a thicker skin, which can make it curve 4. is traditionally fried or grilled (broiled)

A Wiener: 1. is sold cooked and only requires heating 2. is fine in texture 3. is traditionally warmed in water

The British seem to make hot dogs with sausages. The Americans seem to make hot dogs with Wieners. The Brtish "Frankfurter" seems to equate with the American "Wiener".

The situation is further confused by "Polish sausage" or "German sausage" which is coarser, but sold cooked in a deli. -- 19:26, 19 August 2008 (UTC)


[1] is that really English? In my entire life I never saw that character. Google define find nothing but Wiktionary entry. 08:28, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

It's just an old way of spelling it. See ſ. Personally I think these entries are a bit pointless, but anyway... Widsith 08:31, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
But very popular, #140 popular English word link to it, claiming to be "form of perſon". Could it be somehow fixed? 08:43, 3 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you! Looks much better now. 08:57, 3 July 2008 (UTC)


A recent article in Salon.com used the word doyen, which I hadn't heard before, in a way that doesn't seem to match our definition perfectly (though it does seem close).

Our definition (like all the definitions at Dictionary.com) seems to suggest that doyen is a superlative (that's not the right word, but hopefully y'all can see what I mean), but I've skimmed a number of the hits at google books:"a doyen", and Ms. Schaffer doesn't seem to be alone in her non-superlative use. Is this a separate sense, or does the existing sense just need to be expanded, or am I just missing something?

RuakhTALK 02:10, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Widsith! :-) —RuakhTALK 13:59, 4 July 2008 (UTC)


I cannot find a sense among the many senses that corresponds to "He wrote a book." Could someone explain which sense does or add an appropriate sense. I would myself, but am having trouble understanding metonymy well enough to get it right. DCDuring TALK 18:35, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

We had the sense A major division of a published work, larger than a chapter, commonly an academic publication or the Bible, which was not broad enough, so I've taken the liberty of changing it to A long work fit for publication, typically prose, such as a novel, textbook, or titled section of the Bible. Doubtless could be worded better.—msh210 18:44, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, genius. You have combined two senses with "or". You have defined something as a whole or a part. Maybe that is the way to handle the game show thing and other "metonymies". Whether it appears as a separate "#" is not of great concern. In fact it is a space-wasting negative. I think that is what I have been looking for. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 19:22, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
I hope you don't mind, I've taken the liberty of separating those senses. One is tied fairly closely to sense #1 (a bound collection of sheets), while one is more akin to chapter, canto, and so on; I think they're clearer separate than together. —RuakhTALK 13:48, 5 July 2008 (UTC)
Mind? I have no mind. I am the village idiot. (Actually, I like it better your way. Thanks.)—msh210 22:04, 7 July 2008 (UTC)


Our sense is "one who overachieves", that is, achieves beyond expectations. An anon has added a sense "one who has overachieved, and expects to do so again". I think the most common sense is "one who tries to overachieve". Thoughts?—msh210 19:28, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

How about simply "someone who achieves at a level exceeding expectations." Our previous definition forced a user to click to another entry for no good reason. It also invited the user contribution, which seems to reflect some psychological theory and represent a fairly arbitrary subset of the universe of overachievers. DCDuring TALK 20:08, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't think any of these ideas capture the concept. An overacheiver is not simply someone who achieves a high level of success, like a university professor, or more than would be expected, as in a rags to riches story. Neither of those cases are best labeled that way. An overacheiver is more like a workaholic, someone who works their pants off to do the most that they possibly can, someone who burdens themselves with success. Anyways, regardless of how you phrase the definition, it shouldn't be two lines. DAVilla 00:21, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

But that just seems like another species of narrowing the concept to fit a theory. I don't think it's yet clearly supportable even if the meaning is evolving in that direction. We could go that way if we had some cites, of course. DCDuring TALK 00:34, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Anglo-Saxon vs. Old English

Our entries for Anglo-Saxon and Old English characterize them as synonyms, but our etymology for ago takes them as distinct (and has since that entry's creation in March 2004, assuming that OE. and AS. stand for what our entries say they do). Is there a distinction that [[Anglo-Saxon]] and [[Old English]] are missing, or is the problem with [[ago#Etymology]]? —RuakhTALK 00:14, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

The problem lies with the entry for ago. The terms "Old English" and "Anglo-Saxon" are synonymous. It is possible that someone pulled etymological information from two sources, once of which called it OE and the other of which called it AS. Notice that if you follow the "Anglo-Saxon" link to agan, it takes you to an Old English entry. --EncycloPetey 00:30, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, O.K., thanks. :-)
I've looked into this a bit further, and it seems that our entry was pulled from ago in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913 Do you know whether Webster's 1913 drew a consistent distinction between OE and AS, or was this just a one-off weirdness due to whatever sources it pulled from?
RuakhTALK 01:12, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
It could be an OCR problem with the creation of the on-line version. My 1968 copy of Webster's Unabriged says ME (in place of OE) and OE (in place of AS) in the etymology they give. --EncycloPetey 03:17, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • This is a known (and extremely irritating) issue. Older Webster'ses call Old English "Anglo Saxon" and Middle English "Old English". Widsith 10:23, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Wow, confusing. —RuakhTALK 19:52, 7 July 2008 (UTC)


The definition for this word might benefit from being trimmed. I don't know whether what we have is encyclopaedic (if so is it in Wikipedia?) or just needless waffle. Thryduulf 22:57, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Here's a link for those who, like me, cannot see the word.—msh210 23:06, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

a word meaning "to move to and fro"

Discussion moved to Wiktionary talk:About sign languages#Suggested naming scheme. Rod (A. Smith) 06:24, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


There are newly comments on talk:whiner.—msh210 18:17, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

fair and square

Where did the phrase "fair and square" come from? -- 09:22, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

It is a kind of rhetorical tautology – a common old meaning of square is fair (people used to talk about "square play" for instance). So they mean the same thing, and they rhyme....it was a phrase waiting to happen. Widsith 09:38, 12 July 2008 (UTC)
I had always assumed that it was from Freemasonry. SemperBlotto 09:59, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks! - -- 08:24, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

please i want to know what dose the word means

i want to know what dose this word means piscipalian

i would be very thankfull if some one could explain it to me or reply it to me on my email [email removed for privacy]

If you mean Episcopalian, then it describes a type of Christian, those who attend a church which respects the authority of a bishop. For more information see Wikipedia's article. Conrad.Irwin 21:26, 12 July 2008 (UTC)


There seems to be some occurrences on the web of mistaking canvas for the verb canvass (e.g. canvass the neighborhood). I added a homophone section to canvas. Should canvas and its inflections have some kind of note that sometimes mistakenly used for canvass? (It wasn't until I was trying to figure thjis out that I found how canvass is correctly spelled.) RJFJR 20:41, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

To further confuse matters, the etymology of 2-s canvass is thought to be from 1-s canvas and the 1-s spelling is an allowed variant of the 2-s sense. DCDuring TALK 21:03, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
  • They are both same word. The double-S spelling is somewhat older, but both are still valid, and canvas = look for votes is perfectly OK. The OED shows several examples. Widsith 07:49, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
There appears to be more usage of the two-s spelling for the survey sense, but only the infinitive and some present tense forms show it more than the participles, the past, and the 3rd person singular, because of the doubling of the s for those forms in UK spellings. DCDuring TALK 10:20, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
In a quick look at past (-ed) forms on b.g.c., almost all of the 2-s form usage is about surveys or something similar. The one-s usage is more mixed but the "application of canvas" sense predominates. The two-s form is about 4 times more common in total. The one-s form is more than 2.5 times as common for "canvas" and "canvases", which seems to reflect the common use of the noun in the one-s form for the fabric and the paint surface. Actual print usage seems to correspond to a differentiation between the two senses, possibly because of the distance of current experience from the etymological connection between the two. DCDuring TALK 10:42, 14 July 2008 (UTC)
It is hard to know how we should treat this....you are right that a distinction is starting to emerge in spelling....but the two words do not have separate etymologies or anything. It's inetresting. Widsith 09:48, 15 July 2008 (UTC)


The meaning "marijuana" appears at etymology 1 sense 5 as "(slang, uncountable) marijuana, cannabis." and also as the sole definition for etymology 2 as "(slang, uncountable) The drug marijuana". Presumably then it doesn't belong in Ety 1?

Also, I've added a sense to etymology 1 (the rail transport sense, currently number 13), but my definition is probably a bit verbose if anyone wants a go at improving it. Thryduulf 22:59, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

It does not belong in Etymology 1, but can be expected to recur there because users often don't look for other etymologies or even scroll down the page. I will delete it as a redundant sense. DCDuring TALK 01:03, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Copyright infringement

k sgnifica any en español?

Are you asking about the Spanish meaning of any, or about a particular case of infringement against a Spanish copyright? --EncycloPetey 18:19, 14 July 2008 (UTC)


  • To make something look dangerous.

Is this in enough usage to add to the dictionary, or should I add it to the WT:LOP? It gets 138 hits from google, and Dangerization gets 459 hits Martin451 (talk) 21:27, 15 July 2008 (UTC)


The use of Etymology 1 and 2 in grind looks strange to me. I don't see two etymologies. - dougher 04:32, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I think it is intended to say that the Old English word gave rise to the first group, from which the second group then came later. I have my doubts about making these kind of splits too. --EncycloPetey 04:34, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
I think ideally you would simply list the verb first, and then the noun afterwards. But because many editors arrange POSs alphabetically, it becomes difficult to show this kind of relationship without splitting the sections. Widsith 10:48, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Also, is it true that coffee grounds is the plural of coffee grind? I think they're simply synonyms, one of which happens to be uncountable and one of which happens to be plural. I find it really hard to imagine "one coffee grind", "two coffee grounds". —RuakhTALK 01:53, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Based purely on my own usage: A coffee grind is a (countable) type of ground coffee in the sense of "fineness": drip grind, percolator grind, filter grind, etc. A coffee ground is a single particle of what is left after brewing, known collectively as "coffee grounds". It is based on the experience of my youth when some supermarkets had grinding machines which offered those selections. Consider this a hypothesis for the state of current usage in the US, because I haven't had too many conversations on the subject in the past decade or two. DCDuring TALK 02:36, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I think coffee grounds is one of those things which some dictionaries call “usually plural.” Not sure if a single particle is “a ground.” Michael Z. 2008-07-17 04:11 z
Perhaps I can add that this (DCDuring's) is precisely my (UK) usage. —Saltmarshαπάντηση 05:45, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense. (I don't drink coffee, and was having difficulty making sense of what I was seeing on b.g.c.) Thanks! —RuakhTALK 03:13, 17 July 2008 (UTC)


Can brouhaha be uncountable? I changed the entry from plural brouhaha to brouhahas. RJFJR 16:11, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes. There are 639 Google Books results for brouhahas. NOAD says “usu. in sing.” Michael Z. 2008-07-16 16:17 z

Cape Verdean crioulu

Maybe I'm not looking in the right place (sp?) but I can't seem to find anything in the way of the creole spoken in Cape Verde. I've heard that there might be a million or more speakers of this oral language in the world. Would be interesting to have online access to any compilations that exist.—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 21:03, 16 July 2008.

You're looking in the right place: we aim to have all words of all languages. Unfortunately, we don't seem to have any from Cape Verdean Creole. Please add some, if you're fluent enough in the language to do so authoritatively! (See WT:ELE for how to format an entry.)—msh210 22:16, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Actually, we do have some. they're in Category:Kabuverdianu_language. This is the spelling used by both SIL and Ethnologue. --EncycloPetey 01:57, 18 July 2008 (UTC)


Is axises an alternative spelling or a common misspelling of the plural of axis? RJFJR 19:38, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

It seems prevalent mostly in technical writings by authors for whom English may not be their first language. Not so rare in Groups and newspaper comments (but rare in articles). Hard to separate out from plural of ax/axe. I would favor misspelling. DCDuring TALK 20:19, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
I think it's actually {{misconstruction of|axes}}. Alternatively, we may wish to create a new {{misconstructed plural of|axis|axes}} or something, seeing as there are tons of these. —RuakhTALK 00:22, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Not to be pedantic about it, but it seems not a "misconstruction" as much as a simplification, an application of a standard plural rule to what is seen as a standard English word. Increasingly I see the unreasonableness of trying to force people to learn which non-English plural rules are mandatory (Latin, Greek, Italian, Hebrew?) for good English and which are not (Lakota, Aramaic, Bantu). DCDuring TALK 01:24, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
It's not Wiktionary's place to try to force people to talk a certain way, but it's also not our place to pretend that all ways of talking are equally standard. All the major online dictionaries — AHD, MW, Dict.com, OED — give the plural as axes without comment, and they're borne out by practice in edited works. (Note: I'm speaking only of the senses that we actually define at axis. Apparently it also refers to a kind of deer, and in that sense has plural axises.) Your comment implicitly recognizes that certain things "are mandatory for good English"; why would you wish to deny our readers that same recognition? —RuakhTALK 01:40, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Many languages have irregular forms, and it is usually considered erroneous to apply regular rules to these words. It's not unreasonable to “force” people to spell correctly. In English, axises for axes is just a misspelling—or misconstruction, if we really feel so confident in explaining its mis-etymology. Michael Z. 2008-07-18 02:09 z


verb (recoopering and recoopered exist). I found it on line but I can't find a definition. Seems to mean either fixing a container (a cooper makes barrels so it could comes from repairing a barrel) or taking the contents out of one container and putting in a new container (again, from changing the barrel). Seems to be a technical term (legal term?). Does anyone have a dictionary that includes this? RJFJR 20:00, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Both of the barrel meanings are supported by the b.g.c. hits. It seems to come up in print in legal disputes about damage and loss in transport and in discussion of contamination of food products in the process of repackaging, but is not especially legal, AFAICT, as opposed to "recouper". DCDuring TALK 20:23, 17 July 2008 (UTC)


I have just added that this a past participle but is it definitely also an adjective as stated? Pistachio 19:31, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

First thing is that "missold" and "mis-sold" are almost equally common on books.google.com. Can something be "very mis-sold" (or "very missold") (gradability), "more mis-sold than" something else (comparability)? Is there any meaning to a word as an adjective that is not within the meaning of the participle? There may be other tests, but those are the ones I use. Do the gradable and comparable uses actually occur in written works (fictional dialogue for colloquial usage). If none of these are true, then we wouldn't take it to be an adjective. See w:Adjective.
In this case "very missold", "too missold", "very mis-sold", "too mis-sold" are not found on google Books, Scholar, News, or Groups. (NOT gradable). Nor was "more missold" or more "mis-sold". (NOT comparable) I would need to see usage of any meaning in the participle or past.
Despite all this, we may have an entry for a word as an adjective that is really just a participle. Feel free to correct it or put it into the Request for Verification ("RfV") process by inserting an ((template|rfv}} tag and clicking on the "+" to add it to our RfV page or ask about it in the Tea Room at WT:TR. DCDuring TALK 16:31, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
One questionable assumption in the above: that mis-sell or missell is actually a word. No dictionary I have checked has it. DCDuring TALK 19:33, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
mis-sell, but not missell (hits are for proper noun Missel or scannos). DCDuring TALK 19:42, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Necessities that are missing

Is there a word other than frustration to describe situations where the most obvious of necessities is missing in public. For instance, a clock which is missing from the airport lounge which houses 20 gates or the north south sign which is missing from a train station to orient you to which side of the station to wait for your train. Or the sign telling you that an elevator is not operating which you have to walk 100 yards out of your way to get to? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

"Normal"? This seems a product in part of our rising expectations about what ought to be in our built environment. I would not be surprised if there were not a good word or idiom of great age for this phenomenon. "Unusable" or "user-hostile" have part of the meaning. The first three items involve design that neglects the cognitive needs of some users in normal operations (See Design of Everyday Things and other works by Donald Norman). The fourth involves handling a system failure, which is likely to not be anticipated well and be relatively costly to address. DCDuring TALK 16:48, 20 July 2008 (UTC)


Normally, the past of stick is stuck - but you can "stick" someone - i.e. use a stick to hit someone, and that past is sticked. How to convey this information? --Felonia 15:26, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Look at how hung and hanged are referenced at hang. Should have usage note(s) explaining as with hang. For stick, the adhere/jam/place/etc senses (i.e. most) are stuck, and the others are sticked. The printing sense is missing. Robert Ullmann 15:36, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
And the aviation sense for the verb. E.g. "over sticked" (rare, and probably just SoP) and dead sticked. (we have dead sticking) Robert Ullmann 15:44, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

To scruffle

While i was reading an English book, i couldn't understand the word 'scruffling' in the following sentence.

'I burrowed upwards again, reaching the surface after twenty minutes of snuffling, scruffling and turning my beady nose up at the juicy worms i uncovered every couple of scrapes.'

I can't find the word 'scruffling' in any dictionary. Can anyone help me? Thanks. Vin 08:18, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

I believe this is a nonce word that the author made up to fit the situation. From context it means to push dirt away and aside when tunnelling. From curiousity, what book were you reading? RJFJR 14:17, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
The book is The Amulet of Samarkand. But it isn't a nonce word, it is used at least in Yorkshire, meaning to push soil away whilst weeding. And in several other senses. Should have an entry scruffle, scruffling. Robert Ullmann 14:24, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
How come i couldn't find the word in any other dictionary? Thanks for the information! Vin 15:03, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Would this be tagged as dialect or slang? RJFJR 16:00, 24 July 2008 (UTC)


Are we missing a "recommend" sense ("I suggest that you invite him; otherwise he'll be very hurt." "I suggest you eat the salmon. The beef is rotten."), or is that included in one of the sense we have?—msh210 16:33, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

I think our current sense #3 ("to ask for without demanding") is a special case of the sense you describe. (The overall sense seems to be something like "to recommend, propose, or bring up (an idea or course of action)" — though maybe they're actually three separate senses?) —RuakhTALK 19:17, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I teach this as different senses. I suggest we do something, is different from I suggest you do something. The first is "to ask for without demanding", while the second is "recommend". IMHO. -- Algrif 17:40, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree that those are two senses, but don't draw the line at you vs. we. The examples I gave when starting this dicussion ("I suggest you eat the salmon" and the other) are recommendations, not requests.—msh210 17:48, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Isn't this another case of the context and "politeness" altering the interpretation? Do such cases really require a separate sense? If every case of irony, politeness, understatement, etc. required a sense line, there's hardly a word that would escape being multi-screen. I suppose that the RfV process would keep the entries from becoming overlong, but at the expense of clogging the RfV process for a while. DCDuring TALK 18:03, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Just to clarify, do you mean, "The sense we should have is 'recommend', and the 'request' sense is just a special use of the 'recommend' sense, where one says 'suggest'/'recommend' as a polite euphemism for 'request'."? I, for one, am okay with that.—msh210 18:08, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, to me suggest might mean "propose" or "offer as a possibility". If a waiter "suggests" something, we wonder exactly what's motivating the suggestion, but he is displaying "politeness" by advancing it as a modest suggestion. I think we have to stop usually at the surface meaning ("propose") instead of going to the interpretation as "recommendation". After all, if one's boss "suggests" that one put in a little extra effort on a specific project, that is virtually an order, but we would not add "order" as a sense, would we? Admittedly the case at hand is much less clear-cut than the "order" instance, but it certainly ventures into being very situational. DCDuring TALK 18:32, 23 July 2008 (UTC)


Why specifically internet slang? Come to that, why slang at all? When I started high school (more years ago than I care to think) I was called a newbie. This word has too long a history to be slang, surely. And certainly not internet slang. -- Algrif 17:35, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree it did not originate on the Internet; it is older. Maybe check Usenet for a pre-Internet use there? --Una Smith 05:40, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Maybe {{colloquial}} would be more accurate. Widsith 17:39, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
This is an interesting test of the meaning of colloquial. There are 2400 raw hits in Scholar for "newbie", many of them are mentions, many are in discussions of gaming, usenet, etc. But some concern "newbie" nurses and newcomers or "rookies" in other social settings. Is this merely "informal"? DCDuring TALK 17:56, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Is the adjective sense just an attributive use of the noun? (I'm paranoid when it comes to incomparable adjectives that mean "of or like a [PAGENAME]".)—msh210 17:41, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I'd say this supposed adj is best interrupted as an attributive noun, since it only works when placed directly before the noun it modifies. We might say "This is a newbie editor" but not "This editor is newbie." -- WikiPedant 17:50, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
It seems so to me, too. DCDuring TALK 17:56, 23 July 2008 (UTC)


Is it improper to call someone who is very concerned with that which is proper, i.e., one who is concerned with propriety, "proprietary" or does that only relate to propetry rights?

The word proprietary is used to refer to property or possession, not to "properness". --EncycloPetey 00:13, 24 July 2008 (UTC)


Coudre doesn't have the conjugation there. Is there anywhere I could request it or anyone I could request it from? I don't actually know it well enough myself. -Oreo Priest talk 14:30, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

On the bar on the left side, below the search box, you will find the link French Wiktionary which might have what you need. DCDuring TALK 15:10, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Or not. You would have to page through the "what links here" equivalent in French wiktionary to find the forms that are entered there. DCDuring TALK 20:46, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't have time to add the conjugation table right now — I'll try to remember to later, if no one beats me to it — but the rule is pretty simple: it's conjugated just like vendre, perdre, etc. (sometimes called the regular <-re> verbs), except that its stem alternates between <coud-> (/kud/, /ku/, /ku(t)/) and <cous-> (/kuz/). <cous-> is written before endings that start with written vowels ("nous cousons", "qu'il couse", "on l'a cousu", etc.), while <coud-> is written before endings that start with written consonants ("je couds", "nous coudrons", "coudre", etc.), as well as in the (endingless/<-Ø>-ending) third-person singular present indicative ("il coud"). Given this, the forms are pronounced as you'd expect. —RuakhTALK 16:41, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we have a template for this one. Come to think of it, I can't actually think of any other verbs which conjugate exactly like coudre. Except for recoudre. There must be some... Widsith 20:06, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
Does découdre count? :-)   —RuakhTALK 21:30, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
So if this comes up again, who should I go to? -Oreo Priest talk 06:39, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Bring it here. We'll sort it out eventually, and quicker if someone like you mentions it! Widsith 07:06, 25 July 2008 (UTC)


The sea-bird, "gannet", is used as a symbol of gluttony or ravenous eating. It appears with that meaning in at least two current slang and dialect dictionaries. The citations I am finding are mostly for eating "like a gannet". I assume this does not illustrate use. DCDuring TALK 21:13, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

cash money

Have I got this right? —RuakhTALK 10:23, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Certainly seems right to me. What is the name for this kind of redundancy-for-emphasis construction? DCDuring TALK 11:43, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't know. w:Pleonasm doesn't give one, and google:pleonasm emphasis pulls up many statements of the fact that pleonasm can be used rhetorically for emphasis, but not SFAICS any parenthetical notes or anything giving a term for it. google:"redundancy emphasis" does get a bit of use, but not much. —RuakhTALK 17:55, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
It might be synonymia: The use of several synonyms together to amplify or explain a given subject or term. A kind of repetition that adds force. But, note "several"; to some that means more than two. From Silva rhetorica DCDuring TALK 18:40, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
"Synomymia simplex", the simplest form of synonymia, involves mere doublets of synonyms. I guess that's an answer. DCDuring TALK 18:48, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
It may also be a retronym, if the term was coined as a result of the word money coming to mean credit and savings in addition to cash. --EncycloPetey 20:44, 26 July 2008 (UTC)


Is the plural listed for this word correct? Is both impieties and impietys correct plural? --Eivind (t) 15:47, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Impietys is not correct. The contributor used the en-noun template which, by default, adds "s" for plural. Fixed, thanks. DCDuring TALK 15:51, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Terms derived from else

The word else was recently discussed (see Wiktionary:Tea_room/2008/March#else) but there is an extra meaning missing from the derived terms "any... else". For example:

  • In Anyone else would have spotted the flaw immediately, "anyone else" means "any other person". This is the definition we already give.
  • In Is anyone else coming? this is the interrogative form of someone else, and can refer to one or more people. The same is true in negative sentences: "I didn't see anyone else" is the opposite of "I saw someone else".

The interrogative and negative senses of "anyone else" are distinct from the sense of "all other persons".

The same applies to all of the expressions of the form "any... else", and may or may not also be true for "every... else", "no... else" and "some... else" (I haven't given these any thought).

And yes, of course I could do this myself, but I'm hungry so I'm logging off now. :) — Paul G 18:05, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. anyone else is SOP, and I'm not sure we need an entry for it; but seeing as we have one, our definition is quite correct. "Is anyone else coming?" = "Is any other person coming?" The polysemy that you describe, between a positive sense and a negative-polarity sense, is common to any and most of its derived terms (including anyone). But if we want to keep this entry, it might be nice to have a few example sentences showing the various uses. I'll add them now. —RuakhTALK 18:41, 27 July 2008 (UTC)


The above brings my attention to any. The definition looks a bit "short". I understand that any is often used in a situation where the speaker is NOT certain of the existence of a thing or person. (As opposed to the definiton which mentions a "guarantee" (??)). Compare Are there any eggs in the fridge? (I have no idea if there are or aren't any) to Are there some eggs in the fridge? (I believe there are, but I need to make sure, and how many). Opinions? -- Algrif 11:41, 28 July 2008 (UTC)


foutre needs conjugation. -Oreo Priest talk 15:25, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I believe it's conjugated just like vendre, perdre, etc., but with the spelling <fous> instead of *<fouts> in the first and second persons present indicative and imperative; but, I doubt all of its forms will actually meet CFI. The TLFi entry, http://www.cnrtl.fr/definition/foutre, says that it's not used in the passé antérieur, passé simple, conditionnel présent, conditionnel passé, imparfait du subjonctif, and subjonctif passé — except that I must be reading it wrong, because a bunch of its quotes are in the conditionnel présent. —RuakhTALK 15:55, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

there you go

The entries at there you go seem odd to me. The sense of voila! seems to me to be missing. I'm not sure how something like [after a discussion on US presidents] "There you go! It says here that Richard Nixon was the 37th president after all." would fit in. The second entry also seems a bit suspect to me, and perhaps is subordinate to this sense. Maybe it's British or something. I think an entry at there we go could be created out of a subset of these definitions once it's all straightened out. -Oreo Priest talk 17:08, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

The "you" in the first definition should be removed (You have done it, or are doing it, correctly.), and maybe be replaced with "one". As far as I know it doesn't need to be a "you" that did it correct. As you can see from Oreo's example over, it can be oneself: "there you go, I was correct". When it comes to the second entry/definition, that one seems ok to me. That's a normal use of the interjection to me, and may, as you said, be British, since I've mostly hanged out with Britons through the years ... I've at least heard it used like that numerous of times. --Eivind (t) 17:20, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
I thought the strange part was that it's "expressing exasperation", when it seems to me not to be limited to that. Obviously the example shows exasperation, but I think it might not be necessary. -Oreo Priest talk 18:13, 28 July 2008 (UTC)


I just found a page where someone has embedded the wikisaurus page inside the wiktionary page. Is it supposed to be like that or are they just supposed to reference the page?Amina (sack36) 20:35, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

The latter, unless the saurus page is so badly formatted as to be just a list of synonyms, in which case I suppose it could be transcluded into the Synonyms section of the entry. But it shouldn't, as you know better than I, be formatted that way.—msh210 21:30, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
well at least I'm working toward that end! Amina (sack36) 00:31, 29 July 2008 (UTC)


this template is locked, but is no longer used in any pages Amina (sack36) 10:07, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean {{Wikisaurus-more}}? If so, it itself isn't protected; rather, it's used on protected Wikisaurus pages. And according to Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Wikisaurus-more, it's still used in Wikisaurus:sexual intercourse and Wikisaurus:prostitute. —RuakhTALK 10:52, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

fictive comparable?

Is the adjective fictive comparable the way the entry says? RJFJR 15:53, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

145 raw hits for "more fictive than" at b.g.c. DCDuring TALK 16:39, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
The raw hit count is misleading for that one; about half the hits are in google books:"more fictive than real|historical|actual|factual", and aren't using "more fictive" as a comparative of "fictive". Still, there are a bunch of hits that are using it that way, and plenty of comparative uses at google books:"more fictive" that don't use "than", so I agree that it's comparable. —RuakhTALK 17:07, 29 July 2008 (UTC)


Some summer-movie buzz writer thought he was cool and used this word to describe the new Batman. Obviously a word in the everyday vocabulary and knowledge base of his target demographic at MSN/Blockbuster video's 2008 Summer Movie Guide o_O

"The sudden death of Heath Ledger in January 2008 inescapably charges the enterprise with additional intensity and Pirandellian power; this Joker will be cackling at us from beyond the grave."

I guess I am looking for a tidy definition of whatever narrow interpretation of Pirandello's work is employed in such comparisons. It doesn't seem to be as readily defined as Machiavellian or Orwellian, and in researching the author (Pirandello), I get images of "actors becoming inseperable and indistinct from their characters", "outrageous dystopian absurdity", "contempt for actors and their inablility to do justice to a work", "one soul and his insignificance in service to the whole psyche of mankind". Which of these themes (or something else entirely) is the narrow theme through which this adjective is usually understood? i.e. what is Luigi Pirandello's narrow lasting legacy? What did this movie buzz writer mean? What do 99% of a million people do when coming across this word on an idiot-friendly page like MSN/Blockbuster video? Probly not spend an hour on it like me. :-P -- Thisis0 20:42, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

It could mean all of these; the usual sense is of a breakdown between "author" and "character" – in this case, the loose idea is of reality (Ledger's death) interacting with fiction (Ledger's new movie). It's not an excellent use of the word. The OED defines it only as concerning Pirnadello, with especial "reference to the relationship between illusion and reality". Ƿidsiþ 20:53, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

It's never too late to mend

I'm not nominating this on RfD or RfV, since I know this phrase is considerd a proverb (the American Heritage Dictionary labels it as such), but is it really? Honestly, sounds more like a SoP to me. Or does it have some distinct connotation that I'm not aware of?--TBC 21:27, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I think that Wiktionary includes proverbs, so as a proverb, it is included. Conrad.Irwin 21:29, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
I know. I'm not questioning its inclusion or anything (hence why I didn't go to RfD or RfV). I'm just wondering if there's some sort of connotation associated with it.--TBC 21:33, 29 July 2008 (UTC)


Having initially removed a citation (Wendell Holmes) and having this reverted by a fellow editor, I'd like to see others having their say on this. Although the the work by Emerson obviously is a threnody, the fact that the only mention of this word is as the title of the poem blurs the value of this quote as a citation for the term. Am I being pedantic beyond reason here? __meco 15:27, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

If it were the only quote, then yes it would be of dubious value, since it would not be clear whether the meaning is bound up in the word itself. Howeveer, since there is another quote, I don't see that it does any harm, and does show that the word was used for the title of a poem on an appropriate theme for the word. --EncycloPetey 15:33, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, Emerson called it "Threnody" because it is a threnody, and in the context of Holmes' quotation, in which Holmes explicitly says that Emerson's "Threnody" is a "lament" and the "tenderest and most pathetic of Emerson's poems", the meaning of the term threnody is illuminated. This quotation thus ably serves the main purpose of quotations—to illuminate meaning. I honestly believe that the entry is enriched by the presence of this quotation. -- WikiPedant 16:02, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that titles are proper nouns, so while the quote may help to show something of the meaning of the word, it shows incorrect usage for the word itself. --EncycloPetey 16:12, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, interesting point, Petey. But is it fair? Any word or phrase can be capitalized and used as a title of a work. And I'd be inclined to argue that the meaning of a term is not abrogated or compromised by the fact that, by your nicely explicated criteria, that term graduates to proper noun-hood as soon as you make it a title of a work. After all, the term was selected by the author as an appropriate title because of the meaning it had back when it was a lowly common noun, and surely that meaning still carries through. -- WikiPedant 16:37, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
But it is still being used in an unusual way. If someone says "I enjoyed Stephen King's Misery," they mean something very different from "I enjoyed Stephen King's misery." It is easier to see in this example that the meaning has changed considerably. In the first example, Misery means "a particular book", but in the second example, it means "suffering". Changing a word into a title applies it to a specific entity as a name, and while it retains connotations and associations of the original word, it will no longer carry the same meaning. --EncycloPetey 16:55, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
In general I think that it's a bad idea to use proper nouns senses of words for examples of their common noun senses. The reason is that there is no guarantee that they coincide, in meaning or in grammar. I'm a bit torn in this case, as Threnody appears to be a threnody, both in meaning and in syntax. However, I can understand meco's point of view in removing a proper noun sense on principle. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 17:11, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Though I agree with WikiPedant that this particular quote enriches the entry, on one hand, on the other hand there is an obfuscatory element because the word appears as a proper noun. I may write a short story called "Soliloquy" for its analogous bearing on the text, without the short story actually being a soliloquy. Similarly I may write a novel called "Short Story", which, again, obviously isn't a short story. It is this confounding situation which I believe we find ourselves in in relation to the threnody article, even though we here happen to have a work titled "Threnody" that also is a threnody. __meco 17:19, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
All the examples are valid, but much the same sorts of situations can occur with common nouns, which are widely subject to figurative and metaphorical usages. I guess my main point is that, common noun, proper noun, or whatever, no term defines itself, and the purpose of quotations is to supply a context which provides a sense of how the term has been and can be used (i.e., a sense of the meaning). That's the demand made of every expository quotation (i.e., that's the criterion of its appropriateness), and this quotation fulfills the demand. -- WikiPedant 19:29, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't suppose we can use footnotes in the articles, however, if we did, this would be an instance where that would be fitting. __meco 19:45, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. While there is some merit to the example, I would feel much safer if we noted the irregularity of it being a proper noun. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:07, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
It'd be ridiculous to add a footnote to a quotation saying something like, "This quotation is sort of OK, but doesn't quite fill the bill." If measures like this are seriously being contemplated, it's better just to yank the quotation, so I have. I replaced it with a 20th-century quotation from an academic journal, which also illuminates the meaning. -- WikiPedant 22:09, 30 July 2008 (UTC)


What's the meaning of the words "recievers or conservators"? These words are used in relations with Ombudsman in OCC in the US. Appointment of receivers and conservators may not be appealed to the Ombudsman. —This comment was unsigned.

Presumably the OCC means the USOffice_of_the_Comptroller_of_the_Currency. Receivers and conservators are fiduciaries who may take charge of a bank under some circumstances. The exact meaning or relevance or the specific words depends on which laws govern the situation. State laws differ. DCDuring TALK 07:39, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

anatomy of animals?

Is there a word that means the study of animal anatomy (as opposed to human anatomy)? RJFJR 15:54, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

on the back burner

I would have simply changed this to Adverb. But as it was Connel who labelled it as a Preposition, I feel I must double check. -- Algrif 16:04, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Er. Surely in this form it's usually an adjective? Ƿidsiþ 16:09, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Er, I could easily be (and often am) wrong. But as this refers to a figurative "place" and not a state, I would call it an adverb. -- Algrif 16:17, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Well if you say "It's on the back-burner" then it works adjectivally. But I guess if you're saying "Put it on the back-burner" you could read it adverbially.. Ƿidsiþ 16:23, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
So basically, I can change this from Preposition to both Adjective and Adverb, then, can I? (BTW. I like your new sig.) -- Algrif 16:44, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I would say so too, though I wonder if back burner would be a better place for this, since I've encountered "to the back burner" before. I think back burner is the real idiom here. --EncycloPetey 17:39, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Ƿidsiþ 17:56, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
There are lots (>700 raw b.g.c. hits) of uses of back burner and backburner and back-burner without "on", most in the idiomatic sense. But there are >1100 for "on the back burner". Some other dictionaries have "back burner", some "on the back burner". We could have both. DCDuring TALK 15:24, 1 August 2008 (UTC)