Wiktionary:Tea room/2008/June

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
This is an archive page that has been kept for historical purposes. The conversations on this page are no longer live.
discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← May 2008 · June 2008 · July 2008 → · (current)

June 2008

the extra French revolutionary days

The OED has sansculottid for these extra days added to Fructidor - but, annoyingly, its quotations give Sans-culottide and Sans Culottides. Wikipedia has Sansculottides (like the OED quotes, capitalised, with an extra "e"). Which should I add (or all of them?) (Italian is simple - it is sanculottide) SemperBlotto 11:14, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Going by b.g.c., the e-less spellings are not even in the running. (The OED sometimes infers what it thinks is the "correct" spelling, quotations notwithstanding; that might be what happened here. Obviously that's not something we can do.) Restricting consideration to e-ful spellings: the hyphenated (or spaced) variants beat the unhyphenated by a healthy margin, but both meet the CFI very easily. Skimming the hyphenated results, it looks like the uncapitalized hyphenated variant (sans-culottide(s)) is the winner, but the simply-capitalized (Sans-culottide(s)) definitely meets the CFI, and the doubly-capitalized (Sans-Culottide(s)) might as well. I don't see any spaced results there. Skimming the unhyphenated results, the capitalized variant (Sansculottide(s)) is the clear winner, but the uncapitalized variant (sansculottide(s)) might meet the CFI as well. Overall, I think either sans-culottide(s) or Sansculottide(s) should be the main spelling, and any other CFI-meeting spelling should be an {{alternative spelling of}} it. —RuakhTALK 12:33, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Well done. I'll go with that. SemperBlotto 21:30, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

behavior / behaviour

Why does behavior have two senses and behaviour only one? Is the UK usage more restricted? RJFJR 14:54, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't think so. I edited the inanimate sense BTW. DCDuring TALK 15:55, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Also, are these words sometimes uncountable? RJFJR 15:01, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, possibly even more commonly. "A behavior" (countable) means an instance of behavior (uncountable) or a habit (repeated behaviors). "That kind of behavior won't be tolerated in this classroom." is an example of the uncountable sense and seems to me to exemplify the most common everyday usage. The countable sense is used in psychological contexts. An analogous distinction would apply in the device/system sense, I think. DCDuring TALK 15:55, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
But "that behaviour won't be tolerated" is commonly said and countable, no? Michael Z. 2008-06-02 17:28 z
Firstly, I'm not sure that that has to be countable; I don't see anything wrong with "that rice is disgusting", but I'd never say *"that's a disgusting rice" or *"those rice(s) are disgusting." (Or am I missing something?) But secondly, "that behaviour won't be tolerated" (possibly countable) gets 2 distinct Ghits, while google:"such behaviour won't be tolerated" (clearly uncountable) gets 36, and "that behaviour will not be tolerated" gets 11, while "such behaviour will not be tolerated" gets 308. Even when we remove the context from the search, and therefore include psychological examples in the counts, Google estimates "that behaviour" at 322 kGhits and "such behavior" at 529 kGhits. —RuakhTALK 22:37, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

drop a line

Who (Where?) uses this idiom to mean "call" rather than write? I've read it as being AAVE, but would like confirmation or contradiciton. DCDuring TALK 15:38, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I do for one (UK), and it's common. Bilky asko 13:27, 17 August 2008 (UTC)


There are currently three verb senses for etymology 2 -

  1. (transitive, automotive, transport) To transport via a motor bus.
  2. (transitive, automotive, transport, especially US) To transport students to school, often to achieve racial integration.
  3. (intransitive, automotive, transport) To travel by bus.

The first part of the second sense is redundant to the first sense, but the additional meaning makes it distinct, although you don't get the impression from the current wording that the second part is required to make the whole sense distinct.

"Bus" is used as a verb in the UK per senses 1 and 3, however the use in relation to transporting students does not contain any additional meaning beyond sense 1 - except when the context is clearly the US racial integration policies. Does Canada follow the US or UK in this regard?

Additionally, is etymology 3's verb sense "To clear and clean a table in a restaurant." US only? I don't recognise it from the UK (looking up it's meaning was why I arrived at the entry). Thryduulf 16:36, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

I inserted both transitive and intransitive versions of the sense previously at ety 3 because conjectural etymologies suggest that the term derives from the four-wheel carts often used to transport meal remains in food-service establishments. Feel free to revert if this seems wrong. DCDuring TALK 03:31, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Sense 3 seems rather informal to my US ears. Sense 1 is much less common than sense 2 in US, though 2 is clearly derived from 1. DCDuring TALK 16:43, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
Sense 2 is not used here in Canada—I would definitely change it to especially US”, or more precisely “in the US”, because it is the context, not the dialect. More info at w:Desegregation busing in the United States. Syns.: desegregation busing, forced busing.
I doubt that either “automotive” or “transport” should be present. Schools bus their students, tours and conventions bus their people, the military busses soldiers around, political parties sometimes bus voters in to the polls—none of these are in either of these specific contexts.
But etym. 3 is restricted to restaurants, or food services. and in Canada, a busboy does bus tables. Michael Z. 2008-06-02 17:25 z
If I (a 23-year-old U.S.ian) hear "busing" devoid of any context, I think my first thought would be of desegregation (even though that was before my time); but for me I think "bus" as a real verb can only have sense #1. For example, "I grew up back in the days of busing" sounds right to me; "I grew up back in the days of busing students" sounds crazy, firstly because it's missing a mandatory "to school", and secondly because we still bus students to school. That's just my take as a young 'un; an old fogie (someone 24 or older) might have a different take entirely. —RuakhTALK 03:12, 4 June 2008 (UTC)


"I knocked him out cold." I read this as an adverb, meaning "with finality". Several others have read this as an adjective.

"The steel was processed cold." also seems to have "cold" as an adverb.

"He read for the part cold." also. Thoughts? cold#adverb. DCDuring TALK 21:53, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure about "out cold"; can you think of other examples where "out" is followed by an adverb that modifies it? I think it might be an idiom from which we can't easily infer part of speech. —RuakhTALK 00:54, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I read it as an adverb modifying the phrasal verb "knock out". Does "out like a light" fit the bill? DCDuring TALK 02:54, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I think "knock out" and "out cold" are both fixed idioms, here combined and sharing their "out". You can definitely say, "He's out cold; I've been trying to wake him for hours. I don't think that "out like a light", "out on the dance floor", "out in the cold", etc. don't say one way or the other, because prepositional phrases can be used both as adjectivals (or whatever the word is) and as adverbials. —RuakhTALK 03:24, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm guessing that in "the steel was processed cold", it's a delayed adjective; compare "Never go to bed angry" or the (admittedly nonsensical") "He went to bed hungry and in the morning woke up dead", for example. —RuakhTALK 00:54, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Most of the substitute wordings I would use for this seem adverbial to me: "while cold", "in a state of cold". Not that I trust my readings. It is not just that the steel was cold, it is that the process works in a "cold" state, not adding (much) heat to the steel. DCDuring TALK 02:54, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but "while cold" = "while it is cold". I agree that "cold" could describe the process, but I think that in this case it only describes the process insofar as it describes the steel undergoing it. (But it's really hard to tell, and semantic arguments aren't a great way to identify part of speech, anyway.) —RuakhTALK 03:24, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
w:steel-processing is divided into hot processing and cold processing. "Hot-rolled steel" and "cold-rolled steel" are the products. Not the combining forms, which clearly show modification of the participle. See w:Cold rolling. DCDuring TALK 03:38, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
To "cold press", "cold iron", "cold work", "cold draw", "cold process", "cold treat", and "cold form" are some instances of "cold" serving adverbially as I read it. I suppose you could say that all of these are idiomatic, .... DCDuring TALK 03:55, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I would think that some of those you've listed are set phrases or idiomatic compounds deserving their own entries, rather than the mere combination of a verb and cold. All the similar sorts of examples I come up with (where the "Verb" is second) turn out the same way, e.g. dry clean or deep freeze. It seems that the norm in English is that an adjective form is used ahead of the verb in these cases, at least so long as the following verb also has a noun sense to it. So, I'm not sure that any of these really help answer the question at hand. --EncycloPetey 04:15, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
If at half a dozen phrases (and I haven't really pushed the search) are constructed in the same way it seems like a helluva stretch to say they are all just idiomatic. Cold (and hot) + material-processing verbs form phrases this way. That seems like a grammatical rule to me. "Dry" and "wet" work the same way with other kinds of processing verbs. "Deep" and "shallow" might also with a different set. "Hard" and "soft" also. In all these cases, I think, it the process that is being differentiated. DCDuring TALK 05:49, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I completely agree about "He read for the part cold." —RuakhTALK 00:54, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean that you agree it is an adverb or agree it is a delayed adjective? You could say: "He read for the part unprepared." couldn't you? --EncycloPetey 04:15, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I mean that I agree it's an adverb; if I were "agreeing" it is a delayed adjective, who would I be agreeing with? :-)   In "He read for the part unprepared" that's probably an adjective — you can also say "He read for the part while unprepared", "He was unprepared when he read for the part", etc. — but "He read for the part while cold" or "He was cold when he read for the part" or the like would have a very different meaning. —RuakhTALK 22:41, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Slang Terms: seam cricket

I have heard a friend refer to the term "seam cricket" as a term for cooties or body lice. He tells me he heard the term while staying at Christian Mission sites while hitch-hiking across the US years ago. I tried to find the term on your site, but received a message stating there was no such entry. I am submitting this term for your consideration should you wish to add it to your list of terms in reference to body lice, cooties, and similar terminology.

Sincerely, <e-mail address redacted>

It is a very plausible term. Body lice live in seams. "Cricket" is a euphemism for lice. "Seam squirrel" is another term for body lice, according to the Dictionary of American Regional English. I don't have any convenient access to the page that might refer to seam cricket itself. DCDuring TALK 23:24, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Inspired by your contribution, I have located nine slang synonyms for body louse. As we get some citations we will add them as proper entries. DCDuring TALK 23:46, 4 June 2008 (UTC)


Would you consider this a valid entry? Google search returns several hits. I am trying to find the adjective counterpart of hangover to translate a Hungarian word. --Panda10 01:54, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

The first page of bgc results show valid uses from 1955 to 2005, possibly 2006 (I'm not certain about the latter from just the summary), indeed the 1955 cite is from Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita which might count as a well-known work for attestation purposes. So, yes I'd definitely say hangoverish is a CFI-meeting word, but you might also be looking for "hungover", which, to my mind at least, is the more usual adjective form. Thryduulf 02:17, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I would create citations:hangoverish to document it, but -ish probably covers it well enough, if it's a borderline neologism. Michael Z. 2008-06-04 02:43 z
I wouldn't say a word that's been around for at least 53 years was a neologism! I will provide cites when I create it though. Thryduulf 09:15, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! --Panda10 10:55, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

beef tongue

Do you think this phrase could be added (as a dish)? I'm not sure. Lmaltier 05:56, 4 June 2008 (UTC)


Reading about the Phoenix Mars mission, I get the impression that the word sol is bsing used to mean a day but on another planet. E.g. Over the last couple of sols, the Phoenix team made its first test scoop and dig into the Martian surface. Can anyone confirm this? Is it current use, or prologism? -- Algrif 11:13, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

No it's an established word, used for some reason only of Mars. The OED traces it back to the early 70s. I'll stick it in. Widsith 11:23, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Many thanks. See you the sol after next. -- Peace -- Spock. (aka Algrif 14:13, 5 June 2008 (UTC))

rendition verb

Does rendition have a verb sense as listed? RJFJR 16:03, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd just rfv it. DCDuring TALK 16:20, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

made man

Does anyone know this as a term for a successful person (similar to saying a self made man)?

I was listening to something on Mark Twain and when describing the book Pudding Head Wilson, at the end Wilson is a great success, he's a made man, the people love him; but the book's actual title is the Tragedy of Pudding Head Wilson, because he loses his identity in his success. We don't have this sense, but I don't know how common it is. RJFJR 02:22, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

See have it made. Apparently goes back to Elizabethan times. "a made man" used in Dr. Faustus and some editions of Loves Labour's Lost, but not good brief exemplars of meaning. DCDuring TALK 03:24, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Poe and Whitman to the rescue:
The sentence is the conclusion of the story, and the final two paragraphs provide ample context of the circumstances that lead the charatcer to make this statement.
  • 1855-1891 [1854]Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, Book XX, "A Boston Ballad"
    Stick your hands in your pockets, Jonathan—you are a made man from this day
But perhaps the best quote for context is from Butler:
  • 1872Samuel Butler, Erewhon, chapter 1
    I had no money, but if I could only find workable country, I might stock it with borrowed capital, and consider myself a made man.
There is also this quote by Dickens, but it could be considered anti-Semitic, and so might not be the best choice for an example quote under the definition:
--EncycloPetey 01:40, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Does the tag (dated slang) belong on the first or second sense? RJFJR 19:33, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd have thought that the Victorian non-Mafia sense is more likely dated or archaic (?) than the Mafia sense, but neither seems truly dated to me. DCDuring TALK 20:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)


Should this page contain some discussion of the capitalized Internet Service Provider vs. the semi-capitalized Internet service provider? __meco 14:43, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

The correct expansion would be Internet service provider, or internet service provider. It's not a proper noun, but as with other initialisms, I suppose many of the people who use it capitalize its expansion.
The expansion shouldn't use the clunky-looking bold initials. This is not good typesetting practice, and advised against in Wikipedia (w:Wikipedia:Capitalization#Acronyms and initialisms).
The second definition is a proprietary company name, and probably doesn't belong.[1] Michael Z. 2008-06-08 13:50 z

Nautical word needed

I'm looking for a translation of the Italian noun mezzanave. It means the direction perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of symmetry of a ship. All I can think of is athwartships - but this is an adverb. Any ideas? SemperBlotto 16:20, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

I'm not very nautical, but would abeam work? DCDuring TALK 16:35, 6 June 2008 (UTC)


I see in the edit page a query if this is colloquial. I know the word well in UK. Is it not common in US? Does it need a UK tag? -- Algrif 17:01, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Common in the US at least in the New England region. RJFJR 18:24, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
A b.g.c. search for "California tarps" or "tornado tarps" suggests no obvious geographic limits. Also books about Australia use the term. DCDuring TALK 18:51, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanx. Good enough for me. I'll remove the query. -- Algrif 16:02, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I've marked it as informal, because, though it is used in print abundantly not merely in fiction dialog, it seems limited to travel, sports, outdoors, how-to books rather than more formal writings. This reflects the relevant contexts so perhaps the informal tag is not warranted. DCDuring TALK 17:14, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Also commonly used in Canada, and in the military. It's less formal than tarpaulin, but I don't know if I would mark it as such because it seems to have completely replaced the original word in normal usage (but that's just from my experience—I think I've only seen "tarpaulin" in print, and it sounds kind of pedantic to me).
At least in a military context, it refers to the canvas cover specifically for the cargo bed of a truck, or the soft roof and sides of a jeep. It is also used as a verb meaning to fasten down with a tarp, or cover with a tarp for protection, as "we're going to move out soon, so tarp the load on that truck". Michael Z. 2008-06-08 14:06 z
Added verb sense. -- Algrif 15:12, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

next door

What's the POS of this term? It's currently listed as an adverb, but it seems to me like it should be an adjective. Quite frankly, it almost seems like a noun which is basically always used as an adjectival noun (i.e. the next-door neighbors = the neighbors who live at the next door over). But, to be honest, I'm a but puzzled by this, and so I thought I'd get some more opinions. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:50, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that it can be an adverb: I went next door to borrow some sugar. DCDuring TALK 21:16, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
next door is the adverb, next-door is the adjective. SemperBlotto 22:11, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the discussion above. --EncycloPetey 01:30, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Maddeningly, all three spellings, nextdoor, next-door, and next door, are used for both adjective and adverb. DCDuring TALK 02:11, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

I always thought of "I went next door" as a a noun—it's where I went to. It definitely can be a noun too: "he came from next door". "Nextdoor" seems to me like a misspelling of the adjective next-door". Michael Z. 2008-06-08 14:19 z

"He came from next door" doesn't necessarily mean it's a nominal; from frequently takes adverbials as its complements, such as in "He came from atop the roof", "He came from over there", etc. Can you say "He went over to next door"? "He's at next door"? (Note: my test don't necessarily say one way or the other, either. I think the right answer is that this is primarily adverbial, but that English is flexible with its parts of speech; but that doesn't tell us how to include it.) —RuakhTALK 14:34, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't object to characterizing nextdoor as a misspelling, but it seems fairly common even in books. In the US especially, compounds seem more likely to be spelled "solid". The on-line dictionaries don't have nextdoor as an entry. DCDuring TALK 14:59, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
Would we call 'nextdoor non-standard, since it doesn't seem to appear in dictionaries? Michael Z. 2008-06-10 03:39 z
Is that an alternative spelling, tagged as nonstandard? That would seem to reflect the facts. DCDuring TALK 03:56, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good.—msh210 18:58, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

IPA for Spanish "dulce"

Currently, the IPA for "dulce" is /ˈdulθe/ however I believe θ represents a "th" sound which I am almost certain is not how this word is pronounced. --RMFan1 17:22, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

That's the most common pronunciation in Spain; we should probably also include the pronunciation /ˈdulse/, which is the most common pronunciation in Latin America. —RuakhTALK 19:38, 8 June 2008 (UTC)
I've updated our entry for dulce to show that "z-s distinction" is not universal, and created a stub Wiktionary:About Spanish#Pronunciation section and a draft Wiktionary:Pronunciation/Spanish page. Anyone interested is hereby invited to collaborate. Rod (A. Smith) 07:28, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

go for a drive

Hi. Is go for a drive a keeper? I created it, then later added an extra definition for go for, which is probably sufficient. I mean, people can go for many things - go for a hike/swim/burger/wash/walk etc. --Borganised 08:23, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

No, this belongs at go. This doesn't feel like a phrasal verb, which can place the object before the "particle". In other words "go a walk for" does not make sense. In any case, it does not deserve it's own entry. --EncycloPetey 14:56, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with EP. -- Algrif 15:03, 9 June 2008 (UTC)


Is this the adverb form of superior? It is how I have translated superiormente but looks ugly. SemperBlotto 10:15, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

It is a word and it sounds a little ugly. This awkwardness doesn't seem to stop too many from using it in print. How does superiormente sound to an Italian, I wonder. DCDuring TALK 11:24, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
Going through b.g.c., it seems to be mostly a anatomical term. (In anatomy, a feature is superior to another if it's higher up on the torso, head, etc., and sometimes if it's higher up on the arms or legs, though I believe proximal is preferred for that.) Of the first 30 hits at google books:superiorly, all seem to be using it in the anatomical sense; I'm not sure whether any other sense would meet CFI. —RuakhTALK 11:32, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
200+ in fiction, certainly not all medical fiction, usually in the sense of "in a superior manner", "superciliously". DCDuring TALK 11:46, 10 June 2008 (UTC)


The dictionary definitions (say at MWOnline) for this term seem problematic. Man as biological organism and manufacturere is not included as used. Petroleum, coal and limestone, for example, are biologically derived ultimately. I can't define this non-encyclopedically. DCDuring TALK 20:09, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

The key difference is that abiogenis means "not produced by the biochemical processes of a living organism". Human manufacture is not part of his natural biochemical processes; the formation of coal, limestone, etc. is through a natural physical processes acting on the remains of dead organisms, not through the activity of living ones. —This unsigned comment was added by EncycloPetey (talkcontribs) at 20:57, 10 June 2008 (UTC).

resume vs résumé

The resume entry contains in the noun section a redirect of sorts to résumé instead of a definition, and the following usage note:

The spellings résumé and resumé are to be preferred over resume as this last spelling could be confused with the verb of the same spelling.

Googling finds 182,000,000 hits for resume while 40,300,000 for résumé. Is the reason stated in the usage note more important than the more than 4 times higher hits? Although some of the hits are for verb occurrences. A review of search results for resume shows many hits in the meaning of CV.

Also, is the kind of prescriptive information in the usage note worthy? Great many English words have the same spelling in their noun and verb forms.

I would prefer the resume entry to have a definition instead of just being an alternative spelling. What do you think? --Daniel Polansky 14:01, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be a UK/US difference. Educated Brits often retain French spellings and have been doing so for centuries. Especially since Webster, my fellow Americans have voted with their fingers to drop most orthographic traces of foreign influence, including accent aigue. I think a usage note might mention the advantage of retaining the accent to avoid confusion in some cases, but many of my fellow citizens find almost all educated foreignness affected, which merits a mention in usage notes as well. DCDuring TALK 16:36, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
How many hits for resumé?
I'm skeptical of Daniel's interpretation of the Google search results. I would expect many online pages to be resumés, so based on their headings and titles they will sort to the top of the list. But forms of the verb to resume would certainly show up in more results overall than all spellings of the specific noun resumé. I could be wrong too, so let's rely on published lexical research rather than drawing conclusions based on our own speculation.
NOAD gives the main headword as résumé, with both alternate spellings. From memory, the CanOD gives resumé, with both alternate spellings shown. Michael Z. 2008-06-11 19:26 z

I would focus on b.g.c. and news and groups and take a sample of 100 from each for rough relative frequency until such time as someone comes across with the official lexical research. I don't have access to such research. It is welcome input, but absence of it just means that we have to rely on what we do have access to: other dictionaries and the various free corpora and associated software, for which orthography is not a strong point.
Groups is particularly valuable because it reflects the future, in which I would predict that English typers would dispense with accents for the one of the reasons that that they use IM-style abbreviations (even b4 IM).
MW3 shows 3 spellings résumé "R2", resume "R0", and resumé "R1" in that order, as does MW3 online. If we are a dictionary that reflects actual usage by the worldwide English-speaking, Internet-using population, my money would be on R0. If we reflect those with some tertiary education, R1 would get my money. I'm not sure how to characterize the population that would use R2.
Fowler (3rd) says that R2 is "BrE", with "AmE" preferring R1 and R2.
All of this would support DanP's suggestion. Maybe the R0 and R1 spellings need US tags, but I'd be interested to know Canadian, Indian, Australian, and NZ usage too. DCDuring TALK 20:10, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
The dictionary reflects both the present and past, but it must never try to predict the future. We have to use the available resources, but let's not use that to put undue weight on resources which simply don't help answer the question.
I would also disagree that informal writing in public forums, where writers are hampered by the QWERTY keyboard, should be given more weight than professionally written and typeset publications. The typewriter was already "the future" in 1829, but your pate is still not pâté (cf. exposé, öre, piqué, etc). In this age of globalization, English can also add its own diacritics, as in maté, and the non-standard latté. But this belongs to a different discussion.
CanOD's headword supports R1 as the preferred Canadian spelling (from memory, I will double-check in a few days), and in my experience all three are used. Michael Z. 2008-06-11 22:27 z

Well, restricting consideration to “his r([eé])sum(\1|é)”:

so I think we should say that the accents are usually dropped, especially in colloquial contexts; and that the hybrid version, with only the second accent, sees some currency but is not as common as either other approach. —RuakhTALK 22:54, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the discussion. I understand that what is now at issue is whether dictionaries should be given more weight than Googling results.
Whatever the case, what do you think of me replacing the note: "The spellings résumé and resumé are to be preferred over resume as this last spelling could be confused with the verb of the same spelling." with "The spellings résumé and resumé are preferred by dictionaries, while the spelling resume is more likely to be found on the web."?
--Daniel Polansky 14:14, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
How descriptivist of you! Nicely put. DCDuring TALK 15:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Looks good. Perhaps the note and dictionary citations should be at one entry, with "see note" links at the others, to keep it all synchronized. I'd put it at résumé, which I presume is the oldest spelling. Michael Z. 2008-06-12 18:39 z
I have inserted the bit about web usage at the extensive Usage notes for résumé. I will insert DanP's test and a link to those usage notes in the others.
The changes look good to me; thanks. I have now also redirected Dictionary notes of resume to those of résumé. --Daniel Polansky 20:10, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Just to bring more context, for me and for a casual reader of this thread: there has been an extensive discussion on the topic of resume vs résumé and resumé at Talk:résumé.--Daniel Polansky 08:11, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out that discussion.
I have a couple of reservations about the usage note.
I'm leery of the statement about "the usual justification"; I'd rather cite some sources than imply that this is the result of some research.
Also, the note is rather US-oriented: to me as a Canadian, resume has two syllables, and cafe, emigre, and nee just don't look right. Many Canadians lack the US aversion to diacritics, and are more likely to pronounce é as /ej/ (just as we may Francify Italian al dente /al 'dente/ into /æl 'dantej/).
By the way, the acute accent is a native English diacritic. Not only does it differentiate words in normal writing (e.g. expose/exposé, lame/lamé, pate/pâté, pique/piqué), it is also standard in maté, from Spanish mate (cf. saké and nonstandard latté). Michael Z. 2008-06-13 16:09 z
It would not surprise me that the low level of use of no-accent spellings on the Web relative to on b.g.c. is a result of folks not knowing how to insert accents using their keyboards and not caring enough to learn. The relative prevalence of the spellings may end up depending more on the design decisions of the makers of edit-software components than on the decisions of users themselves. DCDuring TALK 16:47, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
But even on b.g.c., accent-users seem to be in the minority. —RuakhTALK 19:16, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Interestingly 722 (of 924) of the no-accent spelling hits on b.g.c. are in the last 10 years. DCDuring TALK 20:20, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Certainly, practically all orthography in informal web use (forums, comments, most weblogs), and much formal web publication is restricted by the QWERTY keyboard. It is effectively written in a different register from much print publication, which still involves professional writers, copyeditors, typesetters, etc.
I suspect practically all print publication about resumé-writing is written specifically in US office English, and mostly aimed at readers who can't find MS Word's "insert character" command. It may be that spelling résumé is considered to put one in danger of looking affected or British to a prospective employer. Even Canadian publishers would use Americanese, because it is acceptable to Canadian readers, while Canadian spellings look like errors to most US readers, and restrict their market.
Even a Google books search doesn't necessarily represent a broad section of usage. Michael Z. 2008-06-13 22:21 z
It is all the more remarkable that the accentless spelling seems to have no adverse effect on the three-syllable pronunciation of the word AFAICT. DCDuring TALK 00:17, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Of course we in the UK/Commonwealth deal with this problem by simply spelling it CV (;-) Robert Ullmann 15:21, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

But then you have the problem of curriculum vitæ or curriculum vitae ;) Bilky asko 13:38, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

trade etymology

I'm looking for the etymology behind trade, and this page seems quite helpful, except all the abbreviations. What are M.Du., M.L.G. and O.E. supposed to mean? --Jackofclubs 14:24, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Middle Dutch, Middle Low German, Old English, respectively. The templates {{MD.}}, {{MLG.}}, and {{OE.}} or {{etyl|ang|en}} (only for the last) are how we would show those origins. Rather than risk inadvertently violating the copyright of the wonderful site you consulted, you might insert {{etystub}} or {{rfe}} to request an etymology. The formatting and templates also make it tricky to do an etymology that doesn't have to be edited. DCDuring TALK 14:54, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I inserted what I could find from multiple sources. The OEtyD etymology is worth an external link in this case, IMO. DCDuring TALK 15:14, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Novyi Saratovskiy Bridge

Why isn't there an article on the Novyi Saratovskiy Bridge? I think {{notwikipedia}} sums it up quite well. We're interested in words, not objects. Conrad.Irwin 16:31, 14 June 2008 (UTC)


I've seen this in exam papers. What does this mean? -- 17:36, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

You're more likely to have seen it in mark schemes. It means "or words to that effect", i.e. if you say something that means the same as what's in the mark-scheme they'll give you the marks. Conrad.Irwin 17:38, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Glad you asked. owtte means "or word to that effect". DCDuring TALK 17:41, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Umm, I think you'll find OWTTE means that :p, I hate this case-sensitive idiocy, which should be the correct entry? Conrad.Irwin 17:45, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Usually I check. Sorry. I would think that lowercase is better, in line with typical usage as I've seen it and the way it would be typed in a search box most commonly. We need to have something at each spelling (one as alternative) to prevent spurious additions. Wouldn't this be somewhat botable. DCDuring TALK 18:32, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I had just created it, so it's possible that had you checked you wouldn't have found it anyway. I suppose we could write a bot to aid inclusion of lowercase forms of all fully uppercase terms, as these are generally used lowercase too, however if people are using the search then it will find words that differ only by case. Conrad.Irwin 10:36, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
The value of having proper entries would be that no-one would add entries that did not meet our standards. We could make sure that one entry was primary for each definition, etc. DCDuring TALK 11:55, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks -- 17:43, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

See also DINK and the recently added dink SemperBlotto 17:48, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

plural of pandemonium

Just wondering... Is there a plural of pandemonium? And what is it? -- 18:29, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes. The more common is the "regular" plural pandemoniums. Less common is pandemonia, which mimics the Greek plural. DCDuring TALK 18:39, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
No, that mimics the Latin plural. Greek nouns do not end in -um. However, the noun is almost never plural. --EncycloPetey 21:59, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I, um, misremembered. Surprisingly, pandemoniums and pandemonia combined occur in b.g.c. about 910 times, not much less than half as often as pandemonium at 1880. DCDuring TALK 22:25, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
On looking at the quotes pulled up for pandemoniums, I find that there are at least two senses not covered in our current entry at pandemonium. One sense appears to pertain to functioning of the mind in psychology (possibly something like a seizure), and the other is a 19th century use in America that seems to refer to a physical object, but I can't quite figure out the meaning. --EncycloPetey 00:33, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Generalisation and Sterotype

Could anyone explain me the difference between "Generalisation" and "Stereotyping" ?

This sounds like you're asking for help with your homework. Why not try to figure it out for yourself from the definitions of generalize and stereotype? --EncycloPetey 19:49, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

What is 'Tilak'/'teeka' called in english?

please answer

In English, this Hindu mark is called a tilaka or tilak. Few outside the Hindu community will know the words. —Stephen 10:30, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

IPA for chiasmus

Feedback requested an IPA pronunciation (in addition to the current SAMPA) for chiasmus. RJFJR 13:24, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Added. I typically look at Special:RecentChangesLinked/Category:Requests for pronunciation at least once a day and add what I can (generally, words I know how to pronounce or words that have either IPA or SAMPA and need the other). Thryduulf 17:40, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I've made a minor correction; the SAMPA was not entirely correct. --EncycloPetey 20:06, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

triple suffixes

Are these allowed in English? As I recall, Connel disputed the validity of possessionless, stating that adding two suffixes is not considered correct (That, as Ruakh noted, is clearly wrong, due to percussionist, revisionism, confessional, etc.). Is three suffixes an acceptable number (possessionlessness, impressionability, disestablishmentarianism, etc.)? Teh Rote 15:27, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

If you can find cites, then they are "allowed". Wiktionary (in general) tries to stick to a descriptive view point. Conrad.Irwin 15:30, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Inclusion is based just on what WT:CFI says, as Conrad sumarizes. Our usage notes make some prescriptive statements (but shouldn't). Usage notes describe other people's descriptive rules and the compliance therewith or the circumstances surrounding various usages. It might be interesting to compile some prescriptive rules and put them in an Appendix, possibly for ridicule, possibly for historic interest, possibly for a fact base for usage notes and disputes.
I personally think such words often have terser, more vigorous substitutes but sometimes the substitutes don't present themselves in a timely fashion and sometimes the less vigorous word is necessary to maintain continuity or for other reasons. DCDuring TALK 16:27, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the issue is more of etymological perspective than allowability. That is, should we think of possessionless as formed through the addition of two suffixes to possess, or through the addition of the single suffix -less to possession? Or again, are words typically formed by the addition of a single suffix to an existing word, or can a new word be formed by the addition of two suffixes such that the hypothetical intermediary with one suffix did not already exist? --EncycloPetey 20:11, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

post free?

Is any one familar with the term post free? I'm just curious. I saw it on an image of the cover of a journal published in 1975 (in Australia) that says "Annual subscription #4 post free" where # is actually that L shaped character for pound sterling. Does it mean cost includes postage (postage is free) or excludes postage (cost is free of/doesn't include postage)? RJFJR 17:14, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

google books:"post free" pulls up plenty of examples where it doesn't immediately follow a price, which would seem to rule out the "cost is free of postage" interpretation; and the "postage is free" interpretation fits perfectly all the hits I looked at. (BTW: £.) —RuakhTALK 22:56, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Common enough to be worth adding? RJFJR 14:53, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

used to

An anon contributor has some thoughts on the talk page for this. It is shown as an adverb which seems utterly wrong to me, but I leave such entries to the professional or semi-pro linguists among us. DCDuring TALK 11:22, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

There is an adjectival meaning to used (accustomed) for sure. It seems to always be used with "to" + a gerund.

MW3 labels used to (formerly) as an adverb. At use, we treat used as a defective verb.

But I am unclear as to whether and why a phrase should inherit the PoS of its head in these two cases. In the second case, the "to" seems to "belong" to the verb following, making an infinitive. DCDuring TALK 16:54, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

used to (did formerly) is a verb, not an adverb, and MW online agrees with me on this. —RuakhTALK 02:34, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
So they do. They've changed their mind. I prefer their current and your reading. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 02:58, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Understanding of the word SEVERAL

I heard from someone recently that the word "SEVERAL" derives from the word seven. My understanding and the dictionary's is that is 2 or more but not above three. Can anybody comment on the truth of the origins of this word.

Most lexicographers give rather different etymologies for the two words. several is closely related to sever, not to seven. See seven#Etymology and several#Etymology. I have long been under the influence of the spurious folk etymology that you refer to and find myself completely unable to say "several" unless referring to more than a few (3-5), but fewer than ten. For me the "influence" of "seven" is strong: several to me means a number from 6 to 9. I do not find any support in dictionaries for an upper limit of three for several, not for my personal definition of several. DCDuring TALK 15:54, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

e pluribus unum

Hello Tea-Folks;

I am looking for a word. I saw it the other day. I looked it up, so I know its in the dictionary, but I can't remember it.

I was reading an article about hybrid vehicles and one of the commentors said that electric cars are " - - - ".

The word means that it has one source of power, but the power can be generated by various methods.

I think this is only an example of how the word is used. The meaning is not tied to electricity. Perhaps another example is that rope can be made from many different sources of materials but the purpose of the product is the same.

This is driving me loco, can you help!?

muchas gracias; Westtxtodd

Retrieved from "http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Tea_room"

Eureka! The word is "fungible". (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/fungible) I heard it used again on an NPR program discussing events in Iraq. Regards; Westtxtodd

Sorry we weren't able to help. I'm not used to hearing "fungible" in that context, though it makes sense. DCDuring TALK 15:18, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

A new coinage : IDENSITY

Hi Tea room-mates,

While discussing with my department colleagues on identity I suggested a new coinage "idensity" which I used in one of my blogs. I coined it to mean a different kind of identity with a greater density felt by one who experiences oneness or at-one-ment with all fellow living beings. Such a feeling extends to the vast expanse of the cosmos. While identity is at the level and domain of ego-consciousness, idensity is that of a centre whose circumference is nowhere and finds its centre everywhere.


Where did the word corker come from? -- 16:49, 21 June 2008 (UTC)


Also - when did the word disco come from? -- 16:52, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

I've added that information to the entry for disco. You can use the {{rfe}} template to request that an etymology be added to an entry. --EncycloPetey 17:33, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks! -- 17:53, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

velvet verb sense?

Is there a verb sense to velvet? RJFJR 20:39, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes. I have a cookbook that explains how to velvet pieces of meat before stir frying. Yummy. --Una Smith 03:06, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

German word Sieg heil..

Sieg heil simple means Long live, like a soccer team, it is a jubilant expression after a game. If it is meant to indicate a person or leader than it would include the name or title, Like Sieg Heil Hitler or Fuhrer [leader, president, like Sieg Heil Bush unsurrer Fuhrer Bush.[I know he is the most despised and hated individual in history,but they liking him to Hitler, like Sieg Heil Hitler...Sieg Heil Bush..[ you know what I mean.] But the expression of the German soccer team is an exclaim victory, that is how I see it. Long live the German Team.

I agree with you. German-speakers tried to define the word but, in the end, those who speak no German won out and it is now claimed that it means "hail to victory" or some nonsense. —Stephen 14:17, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

my ass

Wakablogger has added a pronoun sense to this entry. The entry seems valid, as does his ass (and presumably your ass, etc.) However, do these all merit their own pages, or is this just a metonymic use of ass? If so, then the information should be located at ass instead of as separate entries, yes? --EncycloPetey 00:59, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

It had never occurred to me to look at the expressions that way. My principal wish is that each and every form, when entered in the search box, lead the user directly to a meaningful entry. That might need redirects if it is all to appear at ass without that entry becoming cluttered, but any approach with that result seems OK.
But it seems to me that each of these is a synonym for the corresponding -self pronoun. Is the only difference that the -self pronouns are spelled solid and the ass pronouns are not? DCDuring TALK 01:21, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
There's the additional problem that my ass is also an interjection, so a redirect is out of the question. (This is one reason we frown on redirects; they complicate things) --EncycloPetey 01:29, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
The more I roll them around in my auditory loop, the more I recollect their use every person, singular and plural, as subject and object, and the "better" they sound. The whole set of them seem warranted. DCDuring TALK 01:57, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
These are genuine pronouns, acting AFAIK in all cases: subject, object, genitive with (and possibly without) 's, and reflexive. Though the reflexives may have special rules, a sentence like "I saw m'ass in the mirror" seems perfectly fine. One test as pronouns is that the ass series of pronouns can be substituted for their corresponding standard pronoun versions (there might be a few exceptions such as with reflexives): "I saw him" -> "M'ass saw his ass". For discussion of the ass pronouns in linguistics see, for example, http://www-linguistics.stanford.edu/semgroup/archive/2002/beavers_akg.html. I haven't added "her ass," "our ass," "they ass" or "youse ass" because I'm not familiar enough with them to be confident in their definition and sample sentences.Wakablogger 01:39, 23 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
Is there an English language grammar that explicitly lists these kind of constructs as pronouns, other than some some academic papers? --Ivan Štambuk 03:00, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
If you're asking for a prescriptivist source, probably not. My understanding is that Wiktionary is not a prescriptivist resource. Wakablogger 03:20, 23 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
Ivan is saying nothing favoring prescriptivism, I think, rather that we like to have items that are broadly accepted, not bleeding edge. The obvious other analysis of the "ass" words offers a perfectly acceptable view. It would be perfectly reasonable for the entries to be challenged as Sum of Parts under our Criteria for Inclusion WT:CFI. Most dictionaries don't devote as much space to "vulgarities" as we do, so it may not be possible to readily find evidence of broad acceptance. DCDuring TALK 10:18, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, to me the explanation boils down to "1+1 is a numeral just because it can be substituted with 2 in every usage context of the latter". one's ass is just a phrase whose non-SoP meaning has pronominal function, but I wouldn't go as far to call it a "pronoun" by itself. The class of lexical category of pronouns is a very fixed and narrow one, and has been changing in the grammars for many years. Moreover, one's ass is not really synonymous with real pronouns, because is obviously stylistically marked and not used formally. ass is just the metonymic of the object of reference, and one's part is there to provide the "flexibility" of appearing in every context the real pronouns can. The ass part also restricts it's usage to animate humanoid objects who have "the ass".
As EP point's out, it's very unfortunate these can't be redirected to universal one's ass entry. Putting the separate entries of my ass, your ass etc. to me seems to be Sum-of-Parts of of the one's + ass meaning by extension "the person of reference". So I'd put it under the ass. But then again, this is used so idiomatically and there is a limited number of usage forms that it might be good to create all the separate entries. And of course, variants such as your stinking ass and similar. --Ivan Štambuk 13:58, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Also popular, at least in Texas, is his dying ass (or my, your, etc.). It’s more emphatic. —Stephen 14:22, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, quite a range of adjectives can be inserted between the determiner and the noun; heck, "get your lazy ass up" alone gets roughly 256 independent hits on Google. There seem to be two problems here: first, that my ass etc. do not belong to any part of speech (they're determined noun phrases, or determiner phrases, depending on your definitions), and we're completely incompetent when it comes to those (we generally just "round to the nearest" part of speech, in this case probably ===Noun===); and second, that these are not fixed or indivisible series of words, and we can't very well include every possible variant. Neither problem is insurmountable — no problem is — but this isn't the first time they've come up, and we haven't yet found a satisfactory solution. We need one, badly. —RuakhTALK 16:43, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
As Ivan and DCDuring point out, the call to academic papers is not a descriptive/prescriptive issue. Descriptivism affects whether the entries are listed, but it has very little bearing on what part of speech we give to entries. Unlike traditional English pronouns, these noun phrases can be modified by adjectives (as shown in Ivan and Stephen's examples, as well as Back off before I knock your ugly ass out, and, I ran my black ass home.). We already list some more traditional noun phrases as pronouns, including your grace, your Honor, Your Highness, Your Majesty, and His Majesty. Some of those phrases can be modified by a limited set of adjectives (royal, etc.), though, so I'm not sure where to draw the line between pronoun and noun phrase. Since there is some question, we should look to grammar publications to tell us what part of speech title to give these phrases. Rod (A. Smith) 15:40, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I've found this discussion interesting (and surprising as I thought this was very straight-forward), but I still feel the ass series is a clear set of pronouns in English. I have three comments in response to the discussion above.

"Get your ass out of bed," is an expression I grew up with and I consider metonymic. However, the use of ass pronouns has grown and people generally now understand them to be pronominal. Because of the derivation, there are borderline cases, but I think it's generally clear which is which (and more so in conversation than on the written page).

My note about substitution is not about whether "1 + 1" can be substituted for 2, it is a diagnostic test for pronouns. Another diagnostic is that pronouns cannot generally be modified. So, "lazy your ass" passes that text, though others have comments "your lazy ass." My opinion is that "your lazy ass" is metonymic, though there might be cases that are hard to pin down.

Style (or register) should not be a consideration as to whether these are pronouns. Pronouns in English with such marking include youse guys and y'all.

Here is further evidence of these being called pronouns by experts and by Urban Dictionary: http://www-linguistics.stanford.edu/semgroup/archive/2002/beavers_akg.html http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/jtb44/georgetown-handout-working.pdf http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/andrewkg/ass.final.pdf http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/ling.2006.37.3.503

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=your+ass Wakablogger 18:36, 23 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger

Well, if Wiktionary choses to format every pronominal expression as ===Pronoun===, then your ass certainly is also a ===Pronoun=== (just as your grace and others are). But both PDFs you gave links to, when talking about the "pronoun" category of your ass, use the local definition of it ("universal pronoun" and pronominality with respect to the properties of pronominal typology of discussion). The first one even explicitly states: "There is no standard non-theory-internal definition for a pronoun.".
Since things like your ass are not ever likely to enter normal English grammar books, it would be nice to somehow keep them separate from real pronouns.
However, I still think it would be wrong to say that you is synonymous with your ass (by same logic it would be synonymous with your grace, your majesty - but those all are not directly mutually interchangeable because of the additional semantics they carry and which is absent in real pronouns). --Ivan Štambuk 08:43, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
When I'm writing and seeking a synonym, I like to have options such as your grace available to me. That's what a thesaurus is for! If I'm writing a book with urban youth talking, having your ass as a synonym makes a thesaurus a much better resource. There's nothing wrong with adding a label.
The other day, I added the Japanese ondore as a translation for the second pronoun you. Ondore basically translates as the f-word, but grammatically it's the second person pronoun, so I added a label of vulgar to it. When a Japanese screenwriter is looking for a synonym for you for a gangster, the inclusion of ondore might very well be of use.
I think the use of the word "real" is argumentative; as ISS himself points out, linguists seem to agree that there's no universally accepted definition of pronouns. Moreover, using standard English textbooks as the way to draw the distinction is prescriptionist as I pointed out earlier. Additionally, that the claim that "additional semantics" are "absent in real pronouns" fails to address pronouns such as youse guys and y'all. Wakablogger 19:58, 24 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
Unfortunately, as long as there is no universally accepted definition of a pronoun, using the definition of it by standard English grammar books is the only way to draw the distinction between real pronouns, and pronominal phrases that are only interesting in academic scenarios. I would like to also express fears that treating these like pronouns gets propagated to other languages via translations, because expressions like your ass and your grace are present in many variations in many languages. --Ivan Štambuk 02:51, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
The tools linguists use to assign part of speech are internal grammatical intuition and diagnostics. Grammar books are not considered reliable.
If you ask people who use the ass series (such as myself), you will find that at least a significant percentage of them have internal grammatical intuition that they are pronouns.
I am open to considering diagnostics; however, I believe that the usefulness of classifying the ass series as pronouns has been adequately demonstrated and that failing to classify them as such would be a disservice to users of Wiktionary. Wakablogger 04:15, 25 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
As far as the the topics that are a matter of consensus/agreement and not of rigorous scientific definition are concerned, the tools that professional linguists use might as well be labeled as original research :)
Their semantic quality is pronominal, but I'd personally feel very uncomfortable formatting a NP that would undergo usual nominal declension as a ====Pronoun===. For once, it would be the first "pronoun" ever to have vocative case forms :)
These kind of "diagnostic" tests are completely misleading IMHO, especially in English where there are very little flexion markers preserved. You can e.g. substitute the real adjective marine with attributive usage of sea in lots of contexts, but that doesn't make sea any more of an adjective. Same with your ass vs. you.
I do agree that removing it would be a disservice to the users of Wiktionary, but I still have a strong feeling that all these pronominals need to have detailed ====Usage notes==== explaining context of usage, the position of traditional grammars, their individual relationship to real pronouns and a Wiktionary workaround practice of using ===Pronoun=== for both real pronouns and (idiomatic) pronominal phrases. --Ivan Štambuk 04:54, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I can see using a hyperlink to an article in Wikipedia to explain items like the position of traditional grammars and the controversy as to whether such items are pronouns or not (I don't understand how templates work, but perhaps something like that would work as well). More than anything, such an explanation would be of service to people seeking information on them. (Such a Wikipedia article sounds like an article I'd like to read as well.)
In terms of quantity, I can think of only about twenty items that are not generally covered in a traditional treatment of pronouns: the royal pronouns (we, your grace, etc.), dialectical/sociolectical pronouns (y'all, youse guys, probably a few more), archaic pronouns still in use (thou, ye), foreign pronouns (perhaps only moi is current) and a few special words like baby and doggy used to avoid using he/she (When baby is crying...). How many more might there be?
I'm not sure what a "Wiktionary workaround practice" refers to. If there are a lot of these pronominal expressions, is a new part of speech such as quasi-pronoun reasonable? I think it possible that baby/doggy are quasi-pronouns, though in this case, I'd prefer that the ass series be classified as both pronoun and quasi-pronoun with usage notes explaining their status. Wakablogger 09:28, 25 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
Again, it would be misleading to call these nouns/NPs pronouns (that's what they really are!) just because the semantics of their surface realization is pronominal in character (metonymic of noun component). It's as misleading as to call sea in sea people or sea food an adjective, just because they qualify a noun and because they can be substituted with real adjective (you'd be surprised how many folks - even native English speakers - add ===Adjective=== definition for attributive noun usages here on Wiktionary). Archaic/obsolete pronouns are real pronouns - but not of modern, standard English. "Foreign" pronouns as moi present an interesting discussion point, but are irrelevant for the treatment of one's ass series.
When speaking of "Wiktionary workaround practice", I was referring to the fact that, if these are chosen to be formatted as ===Pronoun===s, it would be good to emphasize that it's not because they are generally accepted as real pronouns, but as a workaround scheme (in the absence of a better alternative). So far, I'm inclined to either to format format all these as ===Noun===s, or with some quasi-pronoun PoS header as ===Pronominal===, or with a context label {{pronominal}}. These kinds of quasi-pronouns are limited in number, highly idiomatic in usage and all of them probably merit inclusion in all of their variant forms. --Ivan Štambuk 13:54, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Other than the +/-pronoun status of the ass series, I think I pretty much agree with everything. As I mentioned earlier, I also think there has to be some sort of link between the traditional pronouns and the ass series as well as the other pronouns. I have no problem with labeling those as related terms instead of synonyms.
As to the syntax of the ass series, perhaps running diagnostics is the best solution. I could dig through my boxes and find a linguistics text that gives diagnostics for pronouns, I'm sure. There is a prohibition, though, on Wikipedia and probably Wiktionary about doing individual research, and I don't know if that would be a violation (even if it is an acceptable solution).
Other than that, would it work to create subcategories within pronoun such as foreign, archaic, debated, etc.? Wakablogger 18:38, 25 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
I don't think we should bill them as ===Pronoun===, but if we include them, I have no problem with listing them as ====Synonyms==== of the personal pronouns (provided they're tagged {{qualifier|vulgar}}). Synonyms aren't always the exact same part of speech. Certainly ====Synonyms==== seems more accurate than ====Related terms====, as the latter is about etymology rather than meaning. —RuakhTALK 19:29, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
So far, a number of reasons for not including the ass series in the category of pronoun has been raised, but they all seem prescriptivist or else for reasons that have not been supported in the ensuing discussion--at least nobody has responded to my responses in a way that seems convincing. For example, I responded to the claim that pronouns are not marked for additional semantic meaning (slang, etc.) by saying that y'all and youse guys do so, and no further evidence has been presented on this. Some evidence such as that pronouns are not subject to modification has been presented (your ugly ass), though again, nobody has responded to my claim that these do appear to be metonymic but separate from the ass series under discussion.
There has been an objection to diagnostic tests because of original research and for the reason that they are "misleading." The latter is a questionable claim as diagnostics are the standard way of determining parts of speech for nouns, adjectives, pronouns, etc., in linguistics; moreover, there are many tests that can be performed beyond what has been mentioned here.
Absent using diagnostics, however, to sum: there is literature in the links above demonstrating that the ass series is considered to be pronouns by at least some linguists and the Urban Dictionary, and, other than the absence in traditional grammars, so far no external documents or other evidence has been presented demonstrating they are not considered pronouns. Does anyone have objective evidence that points to the ass series as not being pronouns or some other objective evidence that should be considered here? Are there any objective reasons for not classifying these as pronouns? Wakablogger 22:44, 26 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
Your prescriptivist comment does not make sense to me. It would be prescriptive to tell readers not to use these phrases, or that they are not “proper” English, but whether we call them pronouns or noun phrases has nothing to do with prescriptivism so far as I can tell. Have I misunderstood you? Rod (A. Smith) 00:11, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Traditional grammar prescribes which words are pronouns. Linguists use diagnostics and internal grammar to provide evidence as to which words are pronouns, which is a description. Wakablogger 02:20, 27 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
Ah, I see what you're saying. That's not what's usually meant by "prescriptivist" ("prescriptivist" means "prescribing how language ought to be, not how it is", not "inaccurately describing how language is"; the two often go together — prescriptivist claims are often phrased in a way that disguises them as inaccurate descriptions of language, or are justified using such — but this is one case where they don't), but I guess I can be descriptivist and accept your innovative use of the term as an additional sense. :-P   "My ass" obviously originated as a determiner phrase/determined noun phrase, obviously continues to be one for all speakers outside its idiomatic use, and obviously continues to be one for many or all speakers even in its idiomatic use in some cases (e.g., when an adjective is inserted just where you'd expect one). You say that it's also a pronoun; fair enough, that's a good theory. But in scientific terms, it's not the null hypothesis here, and you need to present solid evidence for it if you want us to reject the null hypothesis. (You are providing some evidence, and I appreciate it, but you also seem unduly miffed by your fellow editors' expectations of solid evidence.) —RuakhTALK 02:43, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm apparently blocked from using diagnostics. Since that's the method used for determining part of speech in linguistics, what sort of evidence outside of the linguistic papers can I possibly come up with? As far as I can tell, those papers offer much more evidence than the view that they aren't pronouns. (Sorry if I seem miffed. I really dislike these sorts of discussions and really regret opening this can of worms. I just want to wrap it up so I can get back to the fun stuff.) Wakablogger 03:00, 27 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
Fair enough. It's just that you objected strongly to Ivan's use of the term "real pronouns", even though your references all either (1) consistently refer to "your ass" as a pronominal, not as a pronoun, except in sentences of the form "we argue/conclude/c. that 'your ass' is a pronoun" and so on, or (2) call "your ass" a pronoun, but still contrast it with "normal" or "standard" pronouns. I've argued in the past that our total dependence on part-of-speech for structuring entries is a liability, because it means we can't practice NPOV with respect to part-of-speech classification; this is one example of that. A few papers argue that "your ass" is a pronoun, and they make a decent argument; but it's not obvious to me that this view is now mainstream among linguists, so it seems wrong to use ===Pronoun=== without a <ref> tag right in the header, which we can't do. :-/   And anyway it seems mostly pointless to include a ===Pronoun=== section that will mostly just duplicate the ===Noun=== section above it. (Also, pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean when you say "I'm apparently blocked from using diagnostics"?) —RuakhTALK 03:58, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I think I'd like to say there was a misunderstanding about the word "real" and leave it at that. BTW, I should mention that I am very grateful for all the people including those in this conversation who put in the work in these discussions to build the infrastructure. For me, contributing to Wikis is a form of entertainment as a break from my very dry job and I don't enjoy anything more than casual interchange or tips. As for the tag issue, are you saying that it's not possible to create a subcategory under pronoun called "quasi" (or whatever)? Can a new category be created that is separate from both? (By "blocked from diagnostics," I was referring to the fact that using diagnostics would violate the Wiki rule against independent research. I need to write a Wikipedia article on them, but diagnostics is the tool used in linguistics to determine if a word is a noun, pronoun, verb, etc. For reference, a simple diagnostic is the "the" test, where if you can put "the" in front of a word, that word is a noun. Obviously you have to be careful not to say things like "the delicious seafood," so diagnostics have to be used with care or else defined carefully, which is itself a theoretical process.)
Although I think this conversation is about run its course, I don't quite understand the concern about duplication that you mention. What sort of information specifically would be duplicated in the noun section and the pronoun section? (And is the quantity so large that it would bog down/confuse the articles?)
If a linguist concludes that "'your ass' is a pronoun," that is a normal part of the scientific process, no different from a physicist concluding from an experiment that gravity bends light. If linguists are writing papers concluding that "your ass" is a pronoun, my reaction is that they be classified as pronouns, possibly adding a qualifier stating that this appears to be a new finding in linguistics. If a paper is found that disputes that, that information should be added as well. If linguistics academia comes out in force against "your ass" being a pronoun, the pronoun status can be dramatically modified or eliminated for them at that time. I don't think any more evidence is forthcoming about the +/- pronoun status of the ass series; in conclusion, I think either a new tag or a new subtag should be created, or the ass series should go under pronouns. I prefer the latter. Wakablogger 05:30, 27 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger

grave dancing?

is this a def or what does this mean? --Barvok 01:16, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

"to dance on someone's grave" is "to celebrate their death" or perhaps "to celebrate victory over their side after their death". DCDuring TALK 01:33, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

is this worth a def? --Barvok 01:34, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't know. Probably. Possibly both noun: grave dancing and verb: to dance on someone's grave. Best place is usually WT:RAE, our English requested entries page. DCDuring TALK 02:27, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

burning cross?

not sure? --Barvok 01:37, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

definitely worth an entry, not mere sum of parts because of historical meaning in US. DCDuring TALK 02:29, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

double edged

double edged? --Barvok 02:34, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Did you have a particular question about this word? See double-edged, which is the usual spelling. --EncycloPetey 03:19, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Should this be added as a alternative spelling of double-edged? RJFJR 19:41, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
It seems not very common. About 6 uses visible in the first 200 titles on B.g.c. (some 300 uses). In attributive use it is highly likely to be hyphenated because "double" can modify almost any noun and the hyphen is necessary to make sure that it is taken to modify edged. I could not find predicative use in sentences. DCDuring TALK 20:14, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

bloody roar

not sure about this one either what does it mean? like a crazy roar? --Barvok 02:40, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I'd expect this to be a use of the British intensifier bloody, thus a great (or particularly loud) roar or noise. RJFJR 13:25, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

sea goat?

is their such a thing that exists on earth? google? --Barvok 02:41, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

The constellation Capricorn is one. There is probably at least one species of something called a sea goat by somebody. DCDuring TALK 03:03, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I've not been able to find any real animal nicknamed a "sea-goat", though finding one wouldn't surprise me given the large nummber of "sea-"creatures. Incidentally, "capricorn" merely means "goat horn", and the depiction in older texts is a regular goat. Its association as a "sea-goat" comes from the fact that it lies in a region of the sky dominated by sea-themed constellations, and this has apparently led to fish-tailed depictions. There are some Classical myths associated with this depiction, but there are more myths associated with a land goat. --EncycloPetey 03:18, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

for what it's worth

I tried to write a definition for for what it's worth, but couldn't come up with anything useful. Is anyone up to the challenge? Rod (A. Smith) 03:05, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Interjection. {{non-gloss definition|Used to soften the giving of unsolicited advice or information that may not be relevant}}? DCDuring TALK 03:10, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
That seems right. Is there a glossy definition that might do the job just as well? Rod (A. Smith) 15:53, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I can't think of a brief suitable one. I can think of synonyms, but they are more idiomatic, eg, "my two cents". Non-glosses are common with interjections, if that's what this should be called. How about "although I am not sure how valuable it is to you"? DCDuring TALK 16:20, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
I would call this an adverb, since it functions to introduce a phrase or clause in much the same way as however, on the other hand, and other similar expressions (although not with the same meaning). --EncycloPetey 16:40, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, you two. It seems that historically, the phrase was used to qualify a statement that was mentioned separately from making the statement, but now the phrase is typically used with a statement without a separate mention (or rather, only with an implied mention). Hopefully the glossy definition I added (“considering what limited worth that this advice, opinion, or suggestion might have for you”) works for both the historical and the modern uses and the new etymology explains that shift. If it seems a bit wordy, feel free to polish it. Rod (A. Smith) 19:24, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Excellent. The first cite seems to be the original, mostly SoP, adverbial use. The others show how it has become more formulaic and parenthetical or interjectory. The usage realities seem to be morphing. My two cents. DCDuring TALK 19:39, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

ghost hunter

? like a one who hunts ghosts. --Barvok 03:15, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

son of a biscuit?

def? --Barvok 03:24, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Without looking it up, I'd bet on euphemism for son of a bitch, (but only if I were betting against people without dictionary access before placing the bet). DCDuring TALK 03:51, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

what is vibroturgy?

what do you mean by vibroturgy?

  • It appears to indicate "creation or generation of vibration". Not a word I've ever seen used though. Widsith 12:42, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

May Latin cunae mean a swing as well as cradle?

English French German Greek Latin Swedish
to cradle bercer wiegen
pt: berço nl: wieg it: culla es: cuna da: vugge
cradle berceau Wiege kunia cunae vagga n./v.
seesaw balançoire Schaukel
swing balançoire Schaukel kunia cunae ? gunga n./v.
pt:balanço Wiege fi: keinu ko: geune no: gynge
to balance balancer wiegen

—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 16:27, 24 June 2008.

Dear KYPark, if you want to ask for attention from usual Latin contributors (namely EP) for a speciic Latin entry, please use {{attention|la}}. Otherwise please keep your usual IE-Uralic-Korean comparisons out of both mainspace etymologies and discussion rooms because we don't care about them. Thank you. --Ivan Štambuk 14:41, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Reply: No. --EncycloPetey 14:50, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Readdition of pluto

Upon scouring Google News, I found two results unrelated to the coinage. This totals four citations - two from books, two from news, see Citations:pluto. Would that not qualify it for readdition? Teh Rote 18:57, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't believe so, as the two older defs seem to mean something different than the newer meanings (although I can't be sure, I'm having a difficult time interpreting the older ones). In any case, Pluto's demotion was a recent event, and I would thus think that any quote supporting a usage relating to that would have to be a recent one. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 19:05, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
IMHO, the 1828 cite is best taken as of "out Pluto", which we would now spell "out-Pluto". "The hellish scene in the kitchen out-helled hell." It is the kind of use that one can give to many proper names with a distinguishing characteristic: K-2 out-Everests Everest.
In the 1848 cite "Plutoed" might mean "sent to the underworld", "sent to oblivion", critically panned. What follows the excerpted part in the linked page (thanks Teh Rote) indicates that the play would be called in the US a turkey. DCDuring TALK 19:29, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Aren't two of those cites for Pluto (capitalized)? RJFJR 19:40, 24 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but that's an alternative spelling. Now, I managed to find one more citation, which brings it to three for the lowercase (possibly qualifying) and two for the uppercase (not qualifying). As DCDuring mentioned, the second old cite seems to show that the described play failed - that would be the meaning we are looking for. If I could get some approval, we can re-add the entry. Teh Rote 03:52, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
The Arizona reader comment letter is another mention " [...] have been "plutoed" (devalued) ... " No usage in 2008 yet. DCDuring TALK 11:09, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I thought the sense of plutoed that we're talking about has to do with "demotion", not failure. "Pluto" didn't fail as a planet, nor did it have an author who failed.
AFAICT WT:CFI requires that each spelling of a lemma have its three cites, thought we are not usually picky about alternative spellings that are shown on the lemma entry without having their own full entry. DCDuring TALK 10:22, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Also, if the etymology of the term is the 2006 demotion, it is difficult to see how the 19th century cites could be relevant. DCDuring TALK 10:28, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
It is possible that the 19th century cite was someone who attempted to coin the word relating to the Roman god but failed. I can't find any more book or news cites, so I'll start scouring Google groups when I find the time (busy with summer reading today) Teh Rote 15:39, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
After finishing my summer reading, I checked Google Groups and found two more, one from 2007 and one from 2008. That stretches further over a year- it now seems to qualify (At least I hope so, because this is all I could find). Any takers? Teh Rote 01:42, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
It seems to have limped across the finish line. Dismissing the pre-2006 cites for the main sense and the mention (with quotes), there would seem to be four valid cites, apparently spanning a year. It might still warrant a neologism tag. It is amazing that all of the hoopla surrounding the word could only generate the four usage cites. DCDuring TALK 03:25, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I have re-added it with the citations you specified, leaving the other citations on the citations page. Whew...just barely squeaked in. Teh Rote 17:54, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy

I just recently added that word to the wiktionary. I was curious as to how the wiktionary will take that word, as an adverb, adjective, noun, or just a word. Please discuss, i need your help (im new). Thanks, The7DeadlySins

It’s a noun, but you have to use the correct capitalization, which is takotsubo cardiomyopathy. —Stephen 15:27, 25 June 2008 (UTC)


Where does the -roon bit of octaroon come from? Is it like coon? --Borganised 06:53, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

To answer your second question: No. See octoroon and quadroon. DCDuring TALK 10:46, 25 June 2008 (UTC)


Nbarth and I have found two different, but not necessarily incompatible, etymologies for this Latin word. L&S identify the word as coming from the verb accino, apparently as a participle. Etymology on-line suggests that the word originated as a calque from Ancient Greek. While it is possible that both etymologies are correct in some way, neither source makes any mention of the ideas in the other. Anyone have additional information that will help sort this etymology out? --EncycloPetey 00:43, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

See User talk:Nbarth#accentus for the discussion we've had between us. --EncycloPetey 00:44, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

BTW, the link to the claimed calque in question is:
“from L. accentus "song added to speech," from ad- "to" + cantus "a singing," pp. of canere "to sing". Loan-translation of Gk. prosoidia, from pros- "to" + oide "song,"”
Also found in:
“L accentus (as AC-, cantus song) repr. Gk prosoidia (PROSODY)”
Nbarth (email) (talk) 00:54, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Accinō strikes me as being an unlikely source. I once wrote a paper on canō; I'll try to dig it up and see if my instructor made any pertinent comments. I can also take a look at TLL next time I visit the library. My Italian etymology source suggests canō as the root of accento. Medellia 16:52, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
Is this word only used in Classical Latin in commentaries? If it is really only used by the "language professionals" of the time, it seems all the more likely that it be a calque. DCDuring TALK 19:35, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
No, its use is not thus restricted either in time or in scope, and it has additional meanings beyond the grammatical/linguistic sense. --EncycloPetey 20:29, 25 July 2008 (UTC)


Is there a sense of presumptive meaning 'will assume' as "presumptive president" is elected but not yet inaugurated? I don't see that sense in our definitions. RJFJR 21:27, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

I think presumptive is also a synonym for presumed, implicit in the definition “based on presumption.” Michael Z. 2008-06-26 21:49 z
RJFJR: I am not sure that I understand "will assume" as an adjective.
I get the idea that presumptive included a range of very high probabilities. It excludes things that are true by predicate logic (p=1). On the other end it seems to exclude being merely the favorite (p=.6). I think of it as possibly excluding the proverbial "acts of god", under which "all bets are off". DCDuring TALK 01:12, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm trying to describe a usage where presumptive president means the same as president elect. (I meant 'will assume' in the verb sense 'assume the office', 'will become' might be better wording.) RJFJR 13:11, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure it actually would be used that way. To me "presumptive" implies more uncertainty than merely whether the president-elect (and the entity he would preside over) will survive until a date certain. Have you found usage of the term presumptive president (or governor, mayor, senator, congressman, representative, councilman, minister, MP)? DCDuring TALK 14:19, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

mind you

This says it's an adverb. Is that really the best way to look at this expression in its parenthetical usage? Also, its usage note refers to a "non-idiomatic" usage that seems to much a relic to really be so and seems to need a definition. DCDuring TALK 01:02, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

It is an adverb in current speech, yes, just as however, for what it's worth, incidentally, etc., but it is typically restricted to the beginning of a sentence. The second (non-idiomatic) sense on the page looks like sum of parts to me. I agree that the second sense does not belong there, altough I might be worth having in a Usage notes section because there seems to have been a historical shift in use, just as we found in researching for what it's worth. --EncycloPetey 23:59, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the American Corpus, it certainly is not "restricted to the beginning of a sentence". Quite the constrary, it seems to have pretty much the same distribution as "however", except it is a bit more informal. Circeus 22:51, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Looking at the 2 usage examples for incidentally, the first is indisputably an adverb. In the second usage, it seems to be merely a conversational directive, which, I thought, would make it an interjection in that usage. DCDuring TALK 00:20, 2 July 2008 (UTC)


I believe I’ve heard the term “pallorous state” (or “parlorous state”) for “deathly ill” (fit for the parlor, or with a pallor), but this (or at least this spelling) doesn’t seem to be a word or phrase, and I can’t find any variant that’s correct, though I see several misspellings of this. Is there some such word or phrase?

(…and is this the right forum for this question?)


Nbarth (email) (talk) 14:11, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

"Parlous state" is the only phrase that I can readily recall that uses the word parlous. I'm pretty sure that must be what you're looking for. This or the information desk are the right places for such a query. DCDuring TALK 17:22, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

"parlous times", "parlous situation", and others show up in b.g.c. It seems dated or archaic to me in any of its uses. DCDuring TALK 17:26, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks DCDuring – that was exactly what I was looking for!
I’ve written an entry for parlous state, and to ease finding it in future, I’ve written Wikisaurus:dilemma and linked it from a few places, so I can find it from up the creek, among other places.
Nbarth (email) (talk) 01:14, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
And hey, are you calling me dated‽ (^.-)
More seriously, Google says that people do use it these days, but it seems more British or Australian (and largely restricted to discussing the state of British football).
Nbarth (email) (talk) 01:18, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
(typo fixes at 01:19, 29 June 2008 (UTC))
I'm a big fan of archaic expressions, especially idioms, but I prefer a more US flavor. In the US parlous might be dated or archaic. In the UK they seem to keep some terms longer, especially if they have some life in regional dialect. I wonder if parlous fits that model. Is it like a regional pronunciation of perilous, for example? It sounds like some out of JM Synge. It also seems a half-syllable shorter than perilous. DCDuring TALK 01:56, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Are you sure about the adverb? DCDuring TALK 02:06, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
It might be dialect usage. I sometimes tag such as "dialect", but methinks 'tis a dated term among those in the know. DCDuring TALK 02:11, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, it was used just over 2 weeks ago (2008-06-15) by the economics editor of The Observer, a major UK newspaper (Darling to warn about parlous state of UK plc), so it’s clearly used, but as Tories in a 'parlous state' (2003) suggests by quoting it, it’s somewhat affected. Not sure how that qualifies under the dated/archaic spectrum – sounds a bit dated to me.
Also, you ask the etymology of “parlous”, which parlous gives, as you intuit, as a corruption of “perilous”.
Nbarth (email) (talk) 21:18, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the quotes only indicate that the newspaper is reporting an allegation rather than making one itself. I would say parlous is still fairly common in rhetorical speech or writing. Widsith 16:09, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

give me

This had long been labeled an interjection. I don't see how, but maybe I'm missing something. It just seems like an imperative form of the firm with a particular pronoun object. I don't really understand why it warrants an entry with the definitions given. DCDuring TALK 17:39, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


The temperature unit. I might come close to understanding this, finally, in part. But, I still don't understand the relationship of the official definition (which we appropriately parrot as sense 1) and the 2 senses I added based on the WP article's distinction between the interval kelvin and the specific temperature level. There are at least two distinct common usages: "372.12 kelvin is the boiling point of water." (specific temperature) and "100 kelvins" is the interval over which water is liquid at 1 atmosphere." {interval). The second allows for a plural. The first does not. But I'm not sure that the first should be considered a noun. degree Kelvin is obsolete usage, BTW. DCDuring TALK 18:07, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

How is degree Kelvin obsolete? By "obsolete", we usually mean that not only is it no longer in use, but also that modern speakers would not understand the expression. Do you really believe that people today do not understand the meaning of degree Kelvin? --EncycloPetey 19:59, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't know how we handle the pronouncements of scientific authorities. We seem to give their sayings great weight selectively, but not systematically. Perhaps we need a tag for terms that are part of an official scientific vocabulary. There are certainly taxonomic names that are obsolete, for example, but may still be used in gardening books. In what sense is that obsolete? DCDuring TALK 23:10, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
They would be obsolete in the sense that even taxonomists would probably have to look them up in order to determine the current name. The old name is obsolete because it isn't in current use and is meaningless to most people. This is not the same as degree Kelvin which, even if it may not be in regular current use (though I disagree with that), it certainly doesn't have to be looked up to be understood. --EncycloPetey 16:56, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I don't disagree with a word of what you have said, but I am wondering what you recommend for accommodating the sense in which is has been obsolete since 1968 per the CGBM. Do we treat a scientific nomenclature body as we would a national language academy? I am unfamiliar with whether we or any wiktionary assign any weight whatsoever to a national academy or whether there would be grounds for treating a scientific body differently. DCDuring TALK 17:09, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
In English anyway, it is attestation which is most important. If the term is becoming obsolete in practice, then it can be labelled nonstandard, or dated. The status according to an international standards body should be mentioned separately in a usage note (and this status is distinct from our dictionary “obsolete”). Michael Z. 2008-06-30 17:47 z
I agree that "deprecated" != "obsolete". We have {{proscribed}}, but it's only used in 50 main-namespace entries. I used it for a bit, personally, but stopped when I discovered that a number of editors (and IIRC even a few commenters at Wiktionary:Feedback) were mistaking the meaning and thinking that we at Wiktionary were the ones proscribing. A usage note is probably the way to go. —RuakhTALK 02:43, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
There is constant deprecation of terminology in scientific communities. It recurs so often that I would think that it would warrant a status indication of some kind that did not require editors to reinvent the proverbial wheel at each instance.
The difference between scientific language and ordinary language seems to be that the identity, legitimacy, and value of the authoritative body are fairly clear. The force of the deprecation is fairly strong, presumably mostly through the editorial review process at academic journals as well as other kinds of peer pressure. IUPAC, CGBM, and other bodies seem to matter.
Ought we not have a tag for this specific purpose? Should it say "(deprecated by BIPM)" in this instance ? DCDuring TALK 04:44, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I think the second definition is not quite correct, or at least unclear. 100 kelvin is analogous to 100 Celsius (it may be an abbreviation of the non-standard 100 degrees Kelvin), and should properly be capitalized: 100 Kelvin. Michael Z. 2008-06-29 20:51 z
It may well be unclear. Since 1968 there is no use of the unit kelvin that is properly capitalized, according to my consultation of the website that reports the decision of the CGBM (I think). "degrees Celsius" = "kelvins" in the interval sense. "degrees Celsius" corresponds to "kelvin" in the specific temperature sense. The convenient, nearly definitive source seems to be here, (at the BIPM).

By the way, the second example in Kelvin scale seems wrong. The Kelvin scale is a technical concept, not a piece of lab equipment. Any objection to removing it? Michael Z. 2008-06-29 21:15 z

Remove it you like. I'm betting it is used as example indicates. The world of science is backed up be a world of measurement by specific instruments. I think it would be an example of metonymy, if I remember my nyms correctly. 21:48, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
A Google search on ("kelvin scales" calibration -celsius) resulted in about 25 hits. I checked a few of them, but they did not offer any proof that Kelvin scale is used to mean an instrument. I did two other searches (including Google images) and could not find anything that looked like a Kelvin scale other than thermometers or paper guides showing gradations. I do agree that it would seem that such usage exists, but I did not find any. Wakablogger 21:54, 29 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
I had a look at all of those search results (12 unique links). Most refer to “Fahrenheit and Kelvin scales,” and some are mistakes. Not one refers to an instrument such as a Kelvin scale, although three use the phrase "generally an observing block should be self contained, and be able to be calibrated independently, although it might use system calibrations e.g. Jy/Kelvin scales and bandpass," which I assume refers in plural to the Jansky and Kelvin scales.
I'm surprised at how few uses there were, but even if used as in the example, it is referring to something else: either an instrument or an indicator, rather than the sequence of temperature intervals. I'll remove the example, and I'll also try to improve the definition, so that it doesn't use the word scaleMichael Z. 2008-06-29 22:30 z
Thanks for the help. IANA physicist or chemist. DCDuring TALK 22:45, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Adjective derived from parity

I can't think of an adjective derived from parity - the best I can come up with is equal. (I am trying to translate the Italian adjective paritario, which my (Italian) dictionary defines as based on parity.) SemperBlotto 10:11, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

having parityMichael Z. 2008-06-30 15:17 z


We mark this as non-standard. I do not see a justification for doing so. The word (a back-formation from biceps, which was originally singular) has plenty of usage from the best exemplars of "standard" English usage: for just two obvious examples, see results from The (London) Times and the New York Times. By contrast, the plural form bicepses seems only to be used by very bad writers who are trying to conform to some kind of perceived notion of correctness. Widsith 19:22, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree that it is widely used, certainly in US (MW3) and certainly among the sport set and exercise enthusiasts. The OEtyD, which I usually respect, declares there to be no such word as "bicep", but that seems cranky. IMHO, bicepses would need a usage note, but seems valid. Is it dated? MW3 treats bicep and biceps as acceptable in the singular, but biceps is the main entry. biceps is the first-listed plural. biceps in classical Latin seems to be a not-common adjective meaning "two-headed" or "two-part". The application to anatomy seems to be New Latin. {{informal}} would be the strongest limitation qualifier I'd like for the US. I just don't know about UK. DCDuring TALK 19:55, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
But biceps was not originally singular; it was originally plurale tantum from the plural Latin. Yes, it is widely used that way, I agree, but the form bicep is proscribed in many situations. The word biceps appears in the works of both Cicero and Ovid, as well as in the Vulgate Bible, and is inherently plural in Latin. --EncycloPetey 07:36, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Its use in Latin is something else. (In Latin it's an adjective anyway, isn't it? The only use of it I can find in the Vulgate is Proverbs V:4 "gladius biceps", which seems to mean double-edged sword.) Its interpretation as a plural form in English seems standard to me. Why do you think bicep is proscribed, and by whom? Widsith 08:12, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

Hot dog

Does a hot dog have to be in a bread roll? Definition 1 says "A food consisting of a frankfurter, or wiener, in a bread roll, usually served with ketchup, mustard, relish, etc." Also, the translation listing for this definition talks about a bun and ketchup.

To me, a hot dog *usually* differs from its *generally longer* cousin the frankfurter and may be with or without a bun, with or without condiments; the frankfurter also may be with or without bun/condiments. The Japanese translation (which is why I'm asking) is hottodoggu (hot dog) if there is a bun and furankufuruto (frankfurter) if there is no bun.

I think the difference between hot dog and frankfurter is a usually-type issue and perhaps regional as well. I suggest making the bread roll optional (perhaps change to bun) in the definition and eliminating any reference to ketchup and roll in the translation definition.

Also, the photo for frankfurter seems most definitely to be more hot doggish to me. Wakablogger 21:17, 30 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger.

MW3 gives definitions structured like ours. "Hot dog" is either the whole package or just the wiener. "Frankfurter" is just the wiener. I'd be surprised if the size difference was very general. It would be hard to attest to as well. "optionally served with condiments" might cover all the possibiities adequately. The "bread roll" is suitably vague, but perhaps one could mention the dual function of the roll as food and means of isolating hand from wiener. Its easy to get encyclopedic in such an entry. DCDuring TALK 21:58, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I read the hot dog entry to insist on having a bread roll. Is it possible to read the Wiktionary definition as possibly not having a bread roll? Here's one page with a bun labeled as a frankfurter http://eatbma.blogspot.com/2006_09_01_archive.html. Wakablogger 22:22, 30 June 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger.
Sense 1 is the whole package. Sense 2 is just the sausage itself, no roll. I don't know why that is called "slang". I wouldn't trust an expat living in Singapore to give me correct usage of "frankfurter". It seemed to be what we might call a cheese dog. DCDuring TALK 23:41, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the help. I think the slang label was throwing me off. Also, the links among wiener, frankfurt(er), hot dog, and sausage have made my head hurt. In some places, they seem to be defined equivalently, but in others, not so. I'll consider these over the next couple of days. In the meantime, I'm taking ketchup and bun off of the translation definition. Wakablogger 07:02, 1 July 2008 (UTC)Wakablogger
The definition and translation box header must match so that users and editors can easily determine which set of translations go with which definition senses. Changing one but not the other results in an undesirable mismatch. The first definition is for the food item that includes a bun, so the definition and translation box should both mention this. The second definition is for the sausage meat product, without bun. --EncycloPetey 07:29, 1 July 2008 (UTC)