Wiktionary:Tea room/2013/January

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← December 2012 · January 2013 · February 2013 → · (current)

January 2013

IPA of दुःख

The IPA for the Hindi दुःख is [d̪ʊhkʰ], but [ʊ] is not a Hindi sound found on Appendix:Hindi_pronunciation. I don't know anything about Hindi. Is there a reason for this? --BB12 (talk) 08:46, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

You would be better off looking at WT:HI TR or w:Hindi-Urdu phonology. There's a conspicuous lack of native speakers on both of the Wiktionary treatments, but I would trust Ric Laurent's judgement over JackPotte's hands down. I suspect that there's a reason the appendix uses slashes instead of square brackets- it allows for more vagueness about the actual sounds. Some of it may have to do with averaging out dialectal variation, but it might also be along the lines of the use of u and o for transliterating Japanese: it's close enough for practical purposes because it's unambiguous, but you would need to hear a native speaker to get it right. Not that I have any experience with spoken Hindi myself, so don't take my word for anything... Chuck Entz (talk) 10:01, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for the information. I'd like to know what the actual pronunciation is just for my own trivial satisfaction, but in general, it would be nice to make the issues clear on the Hindi pronunciation page. --BB12 (talk) 19:04, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
The source (Ohala 1999 - a professional linguist and, I think, a native speaker) listed at w:Hindi-Urdu phonology gives /ʊ/ (and /ɪ/), so I would prefer those transcriptions to /u/ and /i/. —Angr 19:49, 2 January 2013 (UTC)


I don't know how to format reojo - it is only used in the phrase de reojo. It looks like a noun, but it isn't a noun, just has a nouny feel to it. What heading do we need? Or should I just forget the heading? --Wikt Twitterer (talk) 16:30, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Adverb - sideways. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:33, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
    • Thanks, but the question wasn't about the Spanish, but the format. --Wikt Twitterer (talk) 16:39, 4 January 2013 (UTC)
      • If a word doesn't fit into any other part of speech, you can label it a ===Particle===; that's the header for everything that doesn't fit anywhere else. - -sche (discuss) 02:47, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Why do you say it’s not a noun? Looks like a noun to me. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:20, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, it’s a noun. It’s the intensifying prefix re- + ojo. de reojo is an adverb. —Stephen (Talk) 10:31, 5 January 2013 (UTC)
If the noun reojo is really only used in the phrase de reojo, wouldn't this be a good time to make an exception to our usual habit and make reojo a redirect to de reojo? —Angr 18:22, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
A search for "el reojo" gives quite a lot of Google Books results so it seems like it is used just as a normal noun as well as in the phrase de reojo. BigDom (tc) 18:42, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
OK, then our entry needs to reflect that. —Angr 18:49, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd do it myself but I know sod all about Spanish... BigDom (tc) 19:00, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Trouble is, it seems to me you are picking up a lot of hits (no pun) for a musical band called El Reojo. I can't find (and don't expect to find) any other mentions for "reojo" outside of de reojo. I think the entry is correctly formatted, and would recommend leaving it just the way it is. -- ALGRIF talk 10:40, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Nope, here are some example sentences that I found: "Si las rayas asoman por el reojo siniestro, busque males del otro brazo y pierna.", "El reojo triunfal de Benito Adolfo significaba su tercera victoria nocturna.", "Rifoso ademán que recorre desde el refrán hasta el reojo del espejo de ultramarinos...". It's definitely used as a noun in all those and there's plenty more examples if you want them. BigDom (tc) 17:33, 8 January 2013 (UTC)


On the Main Page, we have "ekyúma" as our FOTW today. Yet the entry is at ekyuma, and the acute accent has never been part of the entry (it appears in the IPA, presumably as a tonal mark, but not in the orthography). What's going on here? This, that and the other (talk) 10:08, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

Probably equivalent to macrons’ situation in Latin. — Ungoliant (Falai) 05:20, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Or that of the accents in Serbo-Croatian or Thai transliteration. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 05:30, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
My point is that the acute accent seems to have materialised out of thin air when the word appeared on the main page. This, that and the other (talk) 00:13, 9 January 2013 (UTC)


This has only one sense, which is labelled "proscribed". So is there a "normal" sense? If so, what is it? But personally, I don't see why it is labelled "proscribed" in the first place. -- ALGRIF talk 11:32, 6 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm guessing that the usage note is the reason for the label? In which case, I'm not sure "proscribed" is correct - it's just that one is discouraged from overusing it (as with all words, really). But perhap I am missing something? Furius (talk) 12:45, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
I'd get rid of the tag, unless we are going to put such tags on have a nice day and other expressions I find annoying. The usage note is more than enough. DCDuring TALK 13:49, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
Off-topic, but I've never understood why people are annoyed by "have a nice day". Is wishing someone a nice day when saying goodbye to them that much worse than wishing them "good night" at the end of the day, or "good morning" or "good afternoon" or "good evening" when greeting them at those times of day? —Angr 18:19, 6 January 2013 (UTC)
It's just the way that it is often used: mindlessly or passive-aggressively by a service person or traffic cop or [] who has just ruined your day. It seems often to be the byproduct of some four-hour service-training course. DCDuring TALK 13:33, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, it's more the tone it's usually said in than the phrase itself. --WikiTiki89 13:37, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I guess I never read that much into it. It's usually said to me by someone from whom I have just bought something, and more often than not I will have a nice day with my new purchase. So I just smile and say, "Thanks, you too!" —Angr 18:18, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I think the word has some very legitimate uses. Working in IT, I'm familiar with the distinction between "reactive support" (customer reports product is broken, you help them fix it) and "proactive support" (you remotely monitor the customer's system, hoping to catch failures before they occur). This is a useful distinction, and the pair of words reactive/proactive describes it well. Another pair of words which does the same thing is corrective/preventive, but I'm not sure how that pairing is better than reactive/proactive - it is longer. Sure, maybe some business folks overuse the word "proactive", but not all use in business is overuse. SJK (talk) 01:10, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

I think that's the point: The pair is active/reactive -- I think that's also the pair used in the general industry. "Pro-active" often really seems to be Newspeak to cover up the fact that the people using it are really quite passive and reactive. No offense inteded, present company excluded etc. :) 07:59, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

academia - additional sense

I added what I believe is a valid additional sense: "Continuous study at higher education institutions; scholarship." I put the example sentence of: "Not every university graduate wishes to pursue academia." IMO this is quite different to the "academic community" sense given in the original entry. However, I don't think I worded the sense very well. What do you think? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:55, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

MWOnline: "A place of instruction"; "The academic life, community or world"; a "pedant". DCDuring TALK 11:47, 7 January 2013 (UTC)


Is it just me, or is this more of a Britishism? --Æ&Œ (talk) 13:42, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

It's used in the US, but as more of a fancy term. --WikiTiki89 13:47, 7 January 2013 (UTC)

change furniture ?

How does one describe in English the act of moving pieces of furniture around in an apartment (e.g., to find a better or more pleasant arrangement) -- to change the place(s) of the furniture? to swap (pieces of) furniture? to rearrange the furniture? something else? Can one say "I changed (the place of?) the sofa and the armchair" or something like that? Thanks in advance! (The sentence I'm thinking about is the last example but one for the word mainīt.) --Pereru (talk) 04:22, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

I would usually use rearrange the furniture or (simply) move the furniture. I swapped the sofa and the armchair around seems right to me also - unlike the other two, it strongly implies that the sofa is now where the armchair was and vice versa. Change the place seems unusual to me. Furius (talk) 04:40, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, rearrange the furniture or (modernly) feng shui the furniture. —Stephen (Talk) 10:21, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
But "feng shui" relates to a specific Eastern pseudoscientific practice of harmonious energy or some such — not just moving furniture in general. Equinox 11:23, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, he said moving pieces of furniture around in an apartment to find a better or more pleasant arrangement. We often use it just for that. Not many people know much or anything about the Eastern pseudoscientific practice of harmonious energy. —Stephen (Talk) 11:29, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Definitely rearrange or move depending on what you're trying to say. Also, the correct way to say "the last example but one" is "the second-to-last example". --WikiTiki89 13:23, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
It's not universal correctness: next to last is predominant in the US; last but one in the UK. The difference is probably worth the entries. DCDuring TALK 13:42, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Oh sorry, I didn't know about last but one. In my experience, second-to-last is much more common than next to last. --WikiTiki89 13:45, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I check these things at BYU, which has BNC, COCA, and COHA, because I am often surprised by them. Also, next-to-last is twice as common as second-to-last at COCA. DCDuring TALK 13:50, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Maybe it's a regional difference or something. --WikiTiki89 15:52, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, "next to last" is the only common version in my (northern UK) dialect. I understand "last but one" and "second to last" but would not normally use them. Dbfirs 18:51, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

all cats are grey in the dark

and all cats are gray in the dark and all cats are grey at night and all cats are gray at night - merge, or what? -- ALGRIF talk 11:41, 8 January 2013 (UTC)


There is an Interjection sense here that says

  1. (informal) Yeah, yes.

and then there is an adverb sense that says

  1. (obsolete) yea; yes

I don't think there is any distinction between the two. Shouldn't they both use {{obsolete|or|informal}}? -- Liliana 23:18, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Well the obsolete sense is spelled the way it was originally, while the modern sense can be either from German ja (used in the American Mid-West), from Dutch/Afrikaans ja (used in South Africa and usually spelled "ja") or from an internet abbreviation of "yeah" (used on the internet and in text messaging). All of those are completely independent of each other. --WikiTiki89 00:34, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I've added an Etymology at 3 to help put things into perspective a bit. I agree, Etyl_3 is EME/UK dialectal for "yes, yea". The current usage reflects the German/Dutch/Scandinavian influence in America. Leasnam (talk) 00:42, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Additionally, I have removed the snippet from Chaucer as being Middle English. Leasnam (talk) 00:57, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Ahle Hadith

The Wikipedia page suggests it means something else, but I can’t understand what exactly. — Ungoliant (Falai) 16:48, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

First and foremost, I don't see how this can be a noun meaning "Of or pertaining to the Sunni branch of Islam". Mglovesfun (talk) 17:08, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Fixed. The creator had changed the definition, but not the POS. — Ungoliant (Falai) 17:39, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it seems it should have been 'fixed' the other way, by changing the definition; Wikipedia suggests it's any "Islamic movement[] (both historical and modern) that emphasize[s] the use of hadith in Islam". - -sche (discuss) 18:04, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I amended it. Pass a Method (talk) 20:59, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Are you sure it’s only related to Sunni Islam? — Ungoliant (Falai) 21:01, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Pass a Method (talk) 21:14, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

I've also seen the spelling "Ahl-e Hadith". It is a movement in Sunni Islam which emphasises the use of the hadith literature as a source of beliefs, and especially legal rulings; this compares to other Islamic groups which emphasise the works of later legal scholars (e.g. taqlid - following the opinions of a renowned scholar rather than forming your own opinions from the original texts), and yet others who emphasise the Quran over the hadith. SJK (talk) 00:48, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

body temperature

I think this is missing a sense. Is this used only to refer to normal temperature, or is it also for the current temperature of any body? For example you can measure your current body temperature with a medical thermometerCodeCat 17:38, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Take a look at what other dictionaries have for this: body temperature at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 17:41, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I've modified our definition accordingly. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:48, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I think they are distinct senses though. It's possible for one's body temperature to be higher than body temperature, isn't it? I suppose one sense is countable while the other is uncountable? —CodeCat 17:55, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't think so, no. It's possible for your body temperature to be higher than my body temperature, but just "higher than body temperature" wouldn't make sense unless it's modified as "higher than normal body temperature". —Angr 20:26, 9 January 2013 (UTC)


On the talk page, no-one can figure out what plant the "Herculean" is, or what plant "батыргъэн" is. Any ideas? - -sche (discuss) 19:15, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

I think he means борщевик (w:Heracleum (plant)). —Stephen (Talk) 19:46, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

He she

Are there any languages which treats he and she as a single word i.e. genderless? Pass a Method (talk) 20:56, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

From WP: Indonesian/Malay, Malagasy of Madagascar, Philippine languages, Maori, Rapa Nui, Hawaiian, and other Austronesian languages, Chinese, Burmese, and other Sino-Tibetan languages, Vietnamese and other Mon-Khmer languages, Swahili, Yoruba, and other Niger-Congo languages, Turkish and other Turkic languages, Luo and other Nilo-Saharan languages, Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, and other Uralic languages, Hindi-Urdu, Georgian, Japanese, Armenian, Korean, Mapudungun, Basque, Persian. — Ungoliant (Falai) 21:02, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
A little note on Chinese, Japanese and Korean:
In written standard Mandarin there IS a distinction between he and she: and , both pronounced as "tā". In many informal Chinese dialects (topolects) writing and speaking there is no gender distinction.
In informal Japanese there IS a distinction between he and she, written and spoken: (kare) and 彼女 (kanojo). In the formal speech genderless pronouns (also considered nouns or collocations) are used instead: あの人 (anohito), あの方 (anokata). There are lot of pronouns in Japanese, most derived from nouns.
Korean has similar situation to Japanese: (geu) and 그녀 (geunyeo) - he and she--Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 13:03, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Can you give me a link to the article please? Pass a Method (talk) 21:06, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Personal pronoun#Gender. — Ungoliant (Falai) 21:10, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I've always thought that genderless pronoun languages were superior because in most usages the specifying of a gender is pointless. Pass a Method (talk) 21:16, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
However the page uses the past tense "have/had" indicating it is no longer genderless. Does that mean the above genderless pronouns are no longer used? Pass a Method (talk) 21:22, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Also, Tlingit, Navajo, Cherokee, Ojibwe, Yup'ik, Dena'ina, Apache, Quechua (most if not all American Indian languages). —Stephen (Talk) 21:23, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Also Abenaki and, as Stephen says, almost all Amerindian languages (which distinguish animate from inanimate instead of female from male). In English, plural "they" is attested since the 1200s-1300s, singular "they" is attested since the 1300s-1400s (including in Shakespeare and the KJV). - -sche (discuss) 21:41, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I don't know about any of the others, but Burmese can distinguish between "he" and "she" if the need arises. —Angr 21:53, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
The internet and its obscurity has created a real need for gender less pronouns (possibly a neologism/new word) as the use of he/she or singular they is seen by many to be awkward. Pass a Method (talk) 21:59, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
People have tried to create genderless pronouns (see w:Gender-neutral pronoun#Invented pronouns), but most people do not like them. —Stephen (Talk) 22:08, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
I won't speak of the rest of the internet, but on Wiktionary, it's usually possible to reword definitions so that no pronoun is needed, but whenever a (plural or singular) genderless third-person pronoun is needed, I follow well-established English-language practice and use "they". - -sche (discuss) 22:35, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
This is not entirely related, but it would be great if someone went through Category:English pronouns and double-categorised (or, if you prefer, re-categorised... though double-categorisation seems preferable) all the third-person pronouns like [[per]] into Category:English third person pronouns, the first person pronouns into their category, etc. - -sche (discuss) 22:36, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Simply put: grammatical gender isn't a universal. It's developed in a few major language families such as Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic, and has been borrowed into a few other languages, but I would suspect that most language families never had it. It's generally not a good idea to make value judgments based on linguistic characteristics- many of the most virulently sexist cultures throughout history have spoken languages without grammatical gender. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:21, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
Interesting. Pass a Method (talk) 15:42, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I wouldn't say that the Bantu languages have no gender in the loose sense. Gender in Indo-European is based on a distinction in animacy, and the Bantu noun classes have that distinction too but extend it further. Grammatically, Bantu noun classes are not so different from Indo-European genders. And if you look even more broadly, the noun classifiers used when counting objects in Chinese resemble noun classes, too. As English speakers who are in contact primarily with other Indo-European languages, we naturally tend to think of gender as an obvious way to divide nouns up, but if you look around the world's languages it's really much more common to divide nouns up in some way. If you look for gender alone then it seems almost Euro-centric. —CodeCat 00:08, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I should have said "sex-based grammatical gender". Indo-European languages are very strong in influence and sheer numbers of speakers, so we tend to take it for granted that certain linguistic features are universal, when they're anything but. Another example is our system of past, present and future tenses, which isn't even universal within Indo-European. The norm seems to be systems based on things like completed and incomplete action. As with grammatical gender, it doesn't mean that such things can't be described in languages without a given feature, just that they have to be expressed in other ways. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:18, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

definition passenger kilometer

not sure this is the correct place for my question, first time i want to comment on a Wiktionary entry. please let me know if inappropriate, and sorry in advance then. what i stumbled upon: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/passenger_kilometer defines passenger kilometers as the result of dividing total distance traveled by the number of passengers. shouldn't this rather be the result of multiplying total distance traveled with the number of passengers? seldomuser —This comment was unsigned.

Thanks for bring it up.
The quantity is tabulated as the sum of the distances traveled by some defined group of passengers (eg, on a given airline for a given month). For a given transportation vehicle carrying N passengers for M miles on a given stage of a flight, the number could be calculated as N times M. As a definition: "(transportation) A kilometer traveled by a passenger, as on an airline." DCDuring TALK 19:29, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
The same goes for passenger mile. -- 09:10, 14 July 2013 (UTC)


Entry claims that grabbing something is consuming it (grab a sandwich, grab a coffee). I disagree: grabbing is the act of hastily picking it up. You could grab a sandwich and then not have time to eat it, right? Equinox 23:53, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

It is certainly often used with the implication of eating something. I'm not sure if that counts. —CodeCat 23:56, 10 January 2013 (UTC)
I kinda agree with Equinox. I see it as meaning the same thing as "get". Of course, your intention is to eat it, but one doesn't use "grab" = "eat" once it is gotten. Leasnam (talk) 00:06, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
So do I. Of course if you grab a sandwich, you usually intend to eat it, but that's part of real-world knowledge, not part of the semantics of "grab". —Angr 00:12, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
The entry does reflect a difference in meaning between I picked up a sandwich and I grabbed a sandwich. For the latter it would be very surprising to continue but I didn't have a chance to eat it, but for the former not really surprising. I think it comes from the idea of the affair being so hurried that there is no chance for an interruption. DCDuring TALK 00:31, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
It seems like a US/UK difference: COCA has 75 instances of "[grab] a bite" (450MM words); BNC 3 (100MM), making it 6 times more frequent in US, despite BNC having a lot more transcribed informal speech. DCDuring TALK 00:36, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
There may be a way to tell the difference. Are there any references to any kind of food that you can't physically grab, because they're liquid? Can you grab some water for example, or soup? —CodeCat 00:54, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
As I understand it, it’s something like “to fetch or obtain something hastily”. For example, you can tell someone “grab your cellphone before leaving”. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:44, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, that's a normal, more or less literal meaning, though the must literal one is "take or seize (something) with a rapid motion of one's hand". But the extended meanings include that in "grab someone's attention". With respect to prepared, ready-to-eat food, it seems to imply that the food is not just grasped or obtained, but actually consumed. MWOnline has this as "take hastily" and uses "grab a bite" and "grab a cab" as usage examples. One can also find "grab a train/ride/plane" at bgc.
About other terms that are of prepared food: "grab some takeout" does not imply that the food was eaten without delay, ie, as soon as one got in the car or outside. Perhaps the completion is implied not in the verb but in the particular term: "bite", "snack", "meal". "Sandwich" and "coffee" are more ambiguous, like "pizza" etc.
I think the event structure (completion vs first step in a sequence) is not inherent in the verb, but rather in at least the complete predicate if not more of the context. I don't think we should have the definition that bothered Equinox. DCDuring TALK 04:17, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
The cellphone example is pertinent. If grabbing a sandwich implies eating it, grabbing a cellphone could imply making a call on it! "I grabbed my cellphone and told my boss I wouldn't be coming in." Equinox 13:38, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
There is a difference. Compare "grab a cellphone and make a call" with *"grab a meal and eat it". Whether or not the associated following action is very strongly implied seems to depend on the specific word chosen and may also vary by context with many words. DCDuring TALK 15:39, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
I can easily imagine a conversation like this: A: "Are you hungry?" B: "No, I grabbed a sandwich on the way over." This works for "thirsty" and "water" as well. It doesn't work with cellphone, though: A: "Did you call her?" *"Yes, I grabbed my cellphone on the way over." --BB12 (talk) 17:14, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
What about the expression "I grabbed a shower"? That doesn't seem to be covered by any of our senses of [[grab]]. Or is it just an extension of the metaphor in [[take a shower]]? The fact that that's a red link suggests it's regarded as SOP, but none of our sense of [[take]] seems to cover it either. Anyway, not to stray too far from the point, I still maintain that "I grabbed a sandwich but then I didn't get a chance to eat it" is potentially a semantically felicitous sentence and that "consume" is at best part of the connotation of this meaning of "grab" but not part of its denotation. —Angr 17:35, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Should the definition be along these lines then: to take, often quickly, with the intention of using, consuming, etc. ? Leasnam (talk) 17:39, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
I once got a big laugh from a coworker when he said "I think I'll go grab a sandwich", and I replied "you might as well go ahead and eat it, too". It wouldn't have been funny at all if eating weren't part of the basic meaning. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:31, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
Leasnam's idea might be OK, but "quickly" is essential, IMO, for the sense that involves consumption or use. But note that it would be impossible to specify all of the encoding information required for someone to use the sense properly within the customary length of a dictionary definition. In contrast, Leasnam's suggestion is adequate for helping someone decode the usage. DCDuring TALK 14:12, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

quote unquote

Previous Tea Room discussion here (it didn't address these questions). Is the "adjective" really an adjective, or just a particle? And how should we handle the "adverb" (if it is truly an adverb), which is separable? quote ... unquote? - -sche (discuss) 05:57, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

Shraft, Shrovetide

Are these common nouns, as listed, or proper nouns, like Christmas?

Even Christmas can be a common noun: see our entry, and consider "every Christmas", "some Christmases are colder than others". I have just given Shrovetide its plural. Equinox 13:33, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
The difference between common and proper nouns are not always clear. The names of days, months and holidays are considered proper, but they recur every year so they are not "unique individuals". And even names for people have plurals, like in "How many Sarahs do you know?" —CodeCat 14:13, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah. Looking around, I see we make a distinction between proper noun and common noun "Christmas" and PN and CN "Schrödinger's cat", we sort-of distinguish PN and CN "English" (CN: "One's ability to employ the English language", "The English-language term or expression for something" and PN: "The language originating in England"), we don't distinguish PN from CN "German" ("we spoke mutually unintelligible Germans", "we spoke German") nor, as CodeCat points out, PN from CN "Sarah". - -sche (discuss) 19:25, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Was a decision made at some stage not to include plurals of given names? I vaguely remember something like that. At least Talk:Jesuses was controversial. Equinox 19:46, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
I hope not. If it was, it needs to be reconsidered. "Sarahs", "Ricks", "Emilys" etc are well-attested and not always intuitive. - -sche (discuss) 19:49, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
They are not always intuitive to some: the ones ending in "y" and "s" and hyphenated ones, those from other languages that might be pluralized by the other language's rules.
EP spoke against plurals of "Proper nouns" and carried the day, AFAICR. Given names and surnames can be and are routinely pluralized. Arguably the are thereby usually not being used as proper names, though in the US the Kennedys, for example, clearly refers to the US political family and arguably is a proper noun in such use. Personally, I am not at all sure that it has been a good idea to try to maintain a distinction other than an orthographic one between nouns used as or as part of proper names and other nouns. DCDuring TALK 22:56, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

UK usage of greenhouse

The usage note at greenhouse says, "Large commercial greenhouses are called glasshouses by professionals." I suspect that non-professionals also call them "glasshouses." (See, for example, [1], [2] and [3]. Can someone familiar with UK English clarify this point? --BB12 (talk) 09:38, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

No idea, but they shouldn't throw stones. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:36, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
We need a rimshot sound effect file. DCDuring TALK 16:55, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
See and ye shall find:
DCDuring TALK 16:59, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
Well I'm not a professional horticulturist, and I would call them "large greenhouses" because "glasshouse" has several other meanings. I've heard them called glasshouses, but I don't think the usage is universal here in the UK. There are lots of adverts here in the UK for "commercial greenhouses". Dbfirs 18:27, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

The word "fannot"

Hello from Denmark. I Have problems with the word "fannot". What is "fannot" We are a group people who are searching for HMS Belette. she went aground on a sunken rock called "John" (or "Fannot") off

It appears to be a person's name, presumably a surname.
For reference, the information is cited at w:HMS Belette (1806) and w:Johns Rock, crediting Gossett, William Patrick (1986) The lost ships of the Royal Navy, 1793-1900, (London:Mansell), →ISBN and Hepper, David J. (1994) British Warship Losses in the Age of Sail, 1650-1859, (Rotherfield: Jean Boudriot), →ISBNPingkudimmi 09:51, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I know all the old UK Marine litteratur where "Belette" is mentioned. I also know the exsact position of "Johns" knot, mentioned in the danish pilot. But it makes no sense to me at all. The problem i the word "fannot", there has to be a meaning with that word.

Sorry for my bad english.

tag (in)

tag does not seem to contain the sense I see in http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/YPComics/~3/HnHCsXxleIo/. It seems to be derived from the children game sense. Or should this be placed under tag in? H. (talk) 18:41, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I'm not too familiar with w:Tag Team Wrestling, but that seems to be the source. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:00, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
That's a good catch. No OneLook dictionary or glossary seems to have the right sense of tag or tag in. There may be other derived terms from that kind of wrestling. DCDuring TALK 19:36, 12 January 2013 (UTC)


Should this word be obsolete/archaic/dated? We could compare it to the closely related term fortnight, which is rarely used in North America, but still in common use in much of the Commonwealth. By contrast, I don't believe sennight is in common use anywhere in the world, but I wanted to check with other editors their experiences. SJK (talk) 09:20, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Yes, most dictionaries mark "sennight" as archaic. I think it was dated when last used without archaic intent (by Virginia Woolf in 1928?). It would hardly be understood today by most people who don't read old books. Is there any dialect that retains the word? I don't know of any. Dbfirs 18:12, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

Think Virginia Woolf wasn't being archaic eh? W∴Bro∴ Froggo Zijgeb M∴ M∴ (talk) 02:05, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

Well she was a "modernist" with a very Victorian upbringing, so I wasn't sure. Dbfirs 15:26, 22 June 2013 (UTC)


The current definition describes it as being only Christian, but i can think of several non-Christian religious groups who also describe their places of worship as a church, i.e. Church of Scientology, Universal Life Church, Church of Satan, Native American Church etc. Should the definitions be amended? Pass a Method (talk) 02:14, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

I’d prefer that this problem be corrected by adding a by extension definition (though amending the current definitions is also a reasonable solution), because people do tend to refer to churches as the house of worship specific to Christianity, just like mosque is the HoW specific to Islam and synagogue to Judaism. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:38, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Can you give me an example of another entry with a "by extension" definition please? Pass a Method (talk) 03:23, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
alcateia, worship, google, organism, Jehovist. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:27, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
The Jehovist entry is a bad example: the two senses aren't really connected, unless one considers the biblical-writer sense as a specific case of the more general sense which is tagged "by extension". The biblical-writer sense is rather specialized and used mainly by biblical scholars, so I would doubt that the other sense was coined with that one in mind. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:33, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I agree. For now, I've re-ordered the senses to be slightly more logical, but that doesn't preclude more comprehensive cleanup. - -sche (discuss) 06:05, 14 January 2013 (UTC)


Someone wrote OTRS (ticket:2013010810012259 for those who can see it) in broken English about this Romanian entry. As well as I can understand him, he seems to be saying the entry should be tagged offensive, tagged obsolete, deleted as nonexistent, or more than one of the above. I don't know the facts (and don't wish to RFV it without a clear indication from the OTRS correspondent that he thinks it doesn't exist), so I'm simply bringing it here for your attention.​—msh210 (talk) 21:00, 14 January 2013 (UTC)

What is OTRS? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:36, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
See m:OTRS.​—msh210 (talk) 16:30, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

There's no need to be a grammar nazi—This unsigned comment was added by Dz572 (talkcontribs).


What part of speech is disincentivized in the sentence "Thus, both sides are disincentivized to settle." —This unsigned comment was added by RJFJR (talkcontribs).

perfect passive participle? Furius (talk) 02:14, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
Not it's not. It's just a past participle. Perfect passive participles don't exist in English. Beside, this doesn't really answer the anon's question. He was asking for a part of speech. It is considered an adjective here, as most past participles are. JamesjiaoTC 02:22, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I had thought that "past participle" was just one of the acceptable names for such items - and not necessarily more accurate than 'perfect passive' given that the English past tends to be absolute, but past participles are only in the past relative to the main verb. Further, while "disincentivized" is functioning as an adjective with regards to "sides", it is functioning as a verb with respect to "to settle". Why does the adjectival aspect receive priority? Furius (talk) 06:27, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

The entry on disincentivized only has the verb. I take it there is not a need to add an adjective section? RJFJR (talk) 18:05, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

There is no automatic need. But in this case the relatively easy search for "very|too|more disincentivized" finds 2 clearly valid uses at Scholar and one each at Usenet and Books. Thus the more time-consuming searches for unambiguously adjectival usage (and debates over said usage) are not necessary to justify an adjective PoS section. DCDuring TALK 20:01, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Preposition Following 'Culminated'

I've seen both prepositions used, but which way is preferred/more common, "culminated with", or "culminated to"? "Culminated with" seems to sound a little better to me, but I'd like to get a second opinion. Thanks in advance. Also, I apologize if this is in the wrong place, I'm not entirely sure how this all works. —This comment was unsigned.

The Information Desk WT:ID is the right place for this kind of request, but this is the second best place. in is by far the most common preposition to follow forms of culminate, on BNC and COCA. With is less than 20% as common. At is about one fortieth as common. I don't see to at all. DCDuring TALK 04:29, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

No no no no, this is false information and needs to be changed. 'lö' means hello? This was actually something completly new to me. Where I come from in Sweden (westcoast), 'lö' means body hair, or it can also mean junk or other fluff/fuzz junk. I've also heard it used with that meaning in other places. It may not be in SAOL, but it is common known old slang. Here is another reference (http://www.folkmun.se/definition/l%C3%B6) When it comes to IRC slang however, we often used 'lu' or 'lulu'. But that might have been completly different between different channels or networks, or just common withing one certain small group of people. -- 14:38, 16 January 2013 (UTC)


This word is also found in islamic books. Should the biblical tag be renamed to abrahamic traditions? Pass a Method (talk) 18:10, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Do the Islamic books derive their usage from the bible or from the older Hebrew texts? Dbfirs 15:23, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
I cannot tell where it comes from. It is used in the Qur'an. —Stephen (Talk) 20:46, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
This should be tagged as both biblical and Koranic/islamic (we don't seem to have a template for Koranic or equivalent). Abrahamic is an obscure term that explains nothing to virtually all of our audience. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:04, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


We have this interjection (per Wonderfool) as a form of "God!". I don't know, but can someone confirm this, and that it isn't a form of "golly!"? Equinox 23:28, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

golly etymology 1 says it's from "god" so if it is from golly is it then from 'god' via 'golly'? RJFJR (talk) 18:07, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
That sounds right. DCDuring TALK 20:03, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

red scare

I always thought that this term didn't refer to the perceived threat itself, but to the reaction to it in the west. So I thought it meant "being scared of the reds". —CodeCat 03:12, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

The definition is not perfect, perhaps it could be expanded, the word "alleged" suggests it's a perceived threat. Other random definitions (some amateurish but good, IMHO) of red scare I found:
  1. a period of general fear of communists.
  2. fear that communism would spread to other nations
  3. a series of actions by governments against people who were believed to be Communists. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:07, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
From those three definitions, I don't think we should differentiate between 1 and 2. And I don't think 3 is more of a reaction to the red scare rather than the red scare itself. I would support changing the definition to a combination of 1 and 2. --WikiTiki89 04:37, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

"it may happen that"

Is this construction grammatically correct? I've only seen non-native speakers use it, typically at the beginning of a sentence. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:42, 19 January 2013 (UTC)

It sounds a little old-fashioned to me. About 3.3 million raw hits on Google Books. --BB12 (talk) 07:46, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Can you give some examples? Because every use I can think of seems completely natural. --WikiTiki89 15:07, 19 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. I wouldn't blink at it, it doesn't sound at all old-fashioned to me, and I can easily imagine saying it myself. Granted, searching my Gmail history, I can't find any cases where I actually have written it, but I've come close: I once wrote, in the context of embedded Youtube videos that would stop working after a while, "It also happens sometimes that the video actually ceases to be available, but not in this case". —RuakhTALK 06:12, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
The expression certainly violates no express grammatical or stylistic rule that I am familiar with. Stylistically, it seems didactic to me, but not obnoxiously so. DCDuring TALK 14:27, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
"As some day it may happen that a victim must be found..." Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:18, 26 January 2013 (UTC)


A skittles game is an informal game of chess played while waiting for the next scheduled tournament game to begin. It's played on the skittles tables, in the tournament's skittles room. Any idea what part of speech skittles (in this sense) is? (We're missing the sense, and I'd like to add it, but am stuck on POS.)​—msh210 (talk) 07:08, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Looks like the other sense, used attributively- therefore, a noun. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:01, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Like the other sense? You mean "a pub game in which a ball is rolled"? How is the chess sense that sense used attributively?​—msh210 (talk) 08:15, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
I would guess that it's not the details of game play, but the social aspects of the game, that are being alluded to: an informal game played for fun in a friendly environment. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:35, 20 January 2013 (UTC)
Maybe, but even if the two words are related etymologically — perhaps both originally meant "a game played for fun" — they're surely to be considered distinct senses now.​—msh210 (talk) 00:45, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I was talking etymology, not suggesting the senses be merged. They're clearly totally independent in current usage. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:00, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I get you now. Sorry for the, er, density. I agree it should be listed as a noun if that's its etymology and we see no further uses (viz, besides in the three phrases I pointed out above), and I agree that that sounds like a plausible etymology. But plausible doesn't necessarily mean correct.​—msh210 (talk) 04:12, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, SB's added it as "(uncountable) An informal form of chess played without a clock". Striking.​—msh210 (talk) 07:29, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

hurry-up wagon

Hi. Any of you guys know what the defn of this is? I thought it might be a horse drawn hearse, but I'm really not sure. -- ALGRIF talk 11:01, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Usage at Google books suggests that it is archaic with the heyday of non-literary usage from 1888 through the 1920s. AFAICT, it seems to have been used originally to mean any kind of "rapid"-response vehicle, but became specialized to mean a police van (which Cassell's has) or paddy wagon. DCDuring TALK 14:41, 20 January 2013 (UTC)


The entry has two senses:

  1. (countable) A steel reinforcing bar in a reinforced concrete structure.
  2. (uncountable) A grid-shaped system of such bars.

This doesn't match the usage I'm familiar with. I've always heard people treating "rebar" as an uncountable mass noun, referring to a single bar as "a piece of rebar" (There's a already a citation that reflects this usage). A quick check shows usage of "rebars", so we do need both countable and uncountable, but I'm skeptical that being in a "grid-shaped system" would make the difference between the two. You'll notice, also, that both senses refer to rebar(s) in concrete. Are we to believe that no one uses the term until the concrete has been poured? I somehow doubt that we have a sheep-vs.-mutton type of distinction at play here, especially since suppliers advertise rebar all the time along with other raw materials like cement and lumber.

I'm not quite sure how to structure the entry, though. It seems like the mass-noun usage I'm familiar with could be pluralized when one is talking about different types of rebar, but that would be different than the countable sense of more than one piece. I'm also not sure if the two overlap- would it be possible for a someone to ask: "could you go to that stack of rebar over there and bring me a couple of rebars?" Chuck Entz (talk) 06:48, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

The "type of reinforcing bar" sense could be considered to apply to any mass noun, so we could dispense with it. Otherwise I agree with your assessment of the usage. I might even want to verify the second sense given. I think we do need indicate both countability and uncountability. We could split the uncountable and uncountable usage double the number of definitions or we could reword, indicate that both countability and uncountability apply, and have usage examples (not citations, IMO) for each sense illustrating countable and uncountable usage. An example of the combined approach:
  1. (countable, uncountable) Reinforcement in the form of steel bars typically used in a grid arrangement for concrete structures.
    Rebars are available in various lengths and diameters.
    We're going to need a lot more rebar for a taller retaining wall.
    Electric arc furnaces produce most of the tonnage of rebar.
Especially if the second existing sense is not verified, it would not be a waste of bytes to split the definition into countable and uncountable senses, though it may not be easy. DCDuring TALK 12:48, 22 January 2013 (UTC)


French-speakers! Lend me your ears. I just added a new sense of que, one which has always confused me slightly. I put together the following definition, which might perhaps be improved if anyone knows more about this construction:

  1. Links two noun phrases in apposition forming a clause without a (finite) verb, such that the complement acts as predicate.

With the following examples:

  • 1874, Barbey d'Aurevilly, ‘Le Bonheur dans le crime’, Les Diaboliques:
    —Quelle grande bête, avec tout son esprit, que votre marquise, pour vous avoir dit pareille chose! — fit la duchesse […].
    ‘What a beast your marquess is, for all her spirit, for having told you such a thing!’ said the duchess.
  • 1918, Jean Giradoux, Simon le pathétique:
    —Quelle belle fleur que la rose! dit-elle soudain, alors qu'aucune rose n'était en vue […].
    ‘What a beautiful flower the rose is!’ she said suddenly, though no rose was in sight.

I've just moved house and all my best grammar books are still in boxes, so in the meantime, can anyone comment on this ‘appositive que’? Does it have a name? Should it be marked dated (I associate it with 19th-century literature)? Is the definition more or less right? Is it connected in some way with the final que in phrases like qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?, qu'est-ce que c'est que ce bordel etc.? Ƿidsiþ 09:21, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't know French, but shouldn't you have boldfaced the is in each of those translations? It seems to be translation of que (even though que has a different part of speech).​—msh210 (talk) 07:33, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
In the Trésor de la langue française informatisé entry, this use is given as sense I. A. 5. c.:
I. − Empl. conjonctionnels
A. − Conj. de sub.
5. [Introd. une complét. en fonction d'appos.]
c) [Apposée à un groupe nom. qui fait office de thème, la compl., réduite à un groupe nom., joue le rôle de prédicat] Quelle belle fleur que la rose! (v. H. Bonnard,infra bbg.).
I. − Conjunctive uses
A. − Subordinating conjunction
5. [Introducing an appositive complement]
c) [In apposition to a noun phrase serving as theme, with the complement, reduced to a noun phrase, playing the role of predicate] What a beautiful flower que the rose! (v. H. Bonnard, in bibliography below).
which more or less accords with your def.
I note that in both of your examples, the sentence would work just fine without the que-phrase:
Quelle grande bête, avec tout son esprit, pour vous avoir dit pareille chose!
Quelle belle fleur!
So I think the closest analogue in English is something equally verbless, such as:
What a great fool, your marquess, for all her wit, to tell you such a thing!
What a beautiful flower, that rose!
By the way, I'm pretty sure I've seen it in more recent works; I think it's "literary" rather than "dated".
RuakhTALK 01:08, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks Ran. I don't know if "is" is always a translation for que, because since I wrote the above I've seen several examples where the verb be is present in the French as well. Eg (also from Barbey's Les Diaboliques): C'était une hypocrite de premier ordre que cette comtesse, where the que mainly seems to be a way of shifting the subject to the end of the sentence – and I wonder if that isn't actually the primary idea of this construction, so that Quelle belle fleur que la rose is actually best translated by rearranging it to "The rose is such a beautiful flower!" Ƿidsiþ 13:21, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Irish has a similar construction using (in a sense that isn't added to that page yet). For example, the opening sentence of the story of Séadna is "Bhí fear ann fadó agus is é ainm a bhí air Séadna", which means "Once upon a time there was a man and it's the name that was on him Séadna". Like que it's just a way of separating the predicate nominative from the subject. —Angr 16:35, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
I didn't mean that is is generally a translation of this que. I meant only that it's a translation of it in the translations above, so should be boldfaced in them (if those are the translations you're using).​—msh210 (talk) 16:55, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Well you may be right...but in my analysis, is is introduced to translate the construction as a whole, not to translate the specific word que, however I admit that when I write this down the distinction seems a bit vague. Ƿidsiþ 17:11, 29 January 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, rethinking this with reference to languages I actually know (Hebrew and English), I realized that even though a translation seems, to someone who doesn't know the languages, to translate a certain word a certain way, it is not necessarily doing so. So kindly ignore my ideas about French, above.​—msh210 (talk) 15:23, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Re: C'était une hypocrite de premier ordre que cette comtesse: As with your first two examples, I think the closest English translation is to map the que to a comma: "She's a first-rate hypocrite, that countess!" (Funnily enough, there are some dialects or registers of English where people use is this way, à la "She's a hypocrite of the highest order, is that countess!" — see e.g. google:"she's a tall one is" — but for sociolinguistic reasons, I don't think that's a viable translation of this use of French que.) —RuakhTALK 06:53, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I also considered this...I feel that the French is more formal, but these nuances are beyond me really. Interesting discussion, anyway. Ƿidsiþ 12:20, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

According to Magali Rouquier, the que marks a topic rather than a predicate.

  1. La rose est une belle fleur. (a simple proposition)
  2. La rose, c’est une belle fleur. (definition by ce with a left dislocation)
  3. C’est une belle fleur que la rose. (anti-dislocation: reintegration of the topic into the phrase)

It is therefore best translated to a comma in English, as Ruakh has already said. I have just opened a discussion at fr:Wiktionnaire:Questions sur les mots/février 2013#que. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 10:21, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

  1. Well, not so fast. French also has C'est une belle fleur, la rose, exactly as in English, and this is actually a very natural way of saying it in spoken modern French. Whereas using que sounds decidedly literary. So using a comma in English is not necessarily the most desirable translation. Ƿidsiþ 10:29, 5 February 2013 (UTC)


User:Brian0918/Hotlist/0-9 only has two redlinks left: 0898 number and 24-. Let's decide whether these merit entries or not, so the page will be finished. bd2412 T 15:17, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't think so. DCDuring TALK 16:56, 25 January 2013 (UTC)
If there is no objection, I'll delete the page tomorrow. Cheers! bd2412 T 04:18, 29 January 2013 (UTC)


Did I do this right? I'm thinking about programming a bot to make a few hundred more of these Spanish compounds, and this is a start, at least. --One angry dwarf (talk) 11:11, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

I wouldn't call it a compound, because it has only one lexical root. It's a verb form with two enclitics, se and lo. And to judge from some recent discussions, I'm not at all sure everyone is happy to keep things like this. Personally, I think we should have them, because they're written together and have a single main stress, indicating that they are perceived as single words in Spanish. But I know other people feel forms like this are unidiomatic "sum-of-parts" forms and so should not be included. Per WT:BOT, you have to get permission to run a bot before running it, and there might not be consensus to create entries for forms like this. —Angr 13:23, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I would love if we raised the bar on entries like this to require including attestation in the form of a quote or example sentence. DTLHS (talk) 20:48, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Spanish isn't a limited-documentation language so terms do require 3 citations to pass WT:RFV. However, with over 700 Google Books hits, this term seems likely to pass any RFV it was subjected to. —Angr 21:19, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
However, as these constructions are basically imperative forms, I suggest they are included at the bottom of the conjugation table. Simple and effective. -- ALGRIF talk 11:06, 30 January 2013 (UTC)


So that we don't get into a revert war, could others advise on User:Etym's recent change at gay? See further comments at User_talk:Equinox#gay. Thanks. Equinox 20:45, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

I'd say hostility is definitely the wrong word. I would have said something along the lines of dislike. --WikiTiki89 20:49, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
What do you mean? I'm referring to his edit stating that the offensive/insulting use of "gay" (= lame, uncool) might be directly from the "happy" sense, and not the "homosexual" one. Equinox 21:00, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I see the same thing that Wikitiki89 does. To wit, Etym's changes seem to be as follows:
  • Editing the etymology to add the sentence "The reason behind the recent pejorative usage is not documented, though it is primarily speculated to be due to hostility towards homosexuality."
  • Adding a series of poorly-formatted one-line citations from the Wife of Bath's Tale, together with a link to a page on Wikisource that does not seem to substantiate them.
  • Adding a poorly-formatted list of derived terms.
Personally, I would not object to a rollback.
RuakhTALK 00:29, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
I was referring to this revision: [4] but I see it's now out of date. Equinox 04:37, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Look closer at that revision and you will see what I was talking about. (Hint: Ctrl+F "hostility") --WikiTiki89 05:27, 27 January 2013 (UTC)


Just for info, see waitron and Talk:waitron, and ongoing discussion at User_talk:Bluewhim. Anyone happen to know about this word's origins? Equinox 03:32, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Google Books has a cite for 1982, which seems to show that it's already widespread, but that doesn't add much to the discussion.
Another way to look at this is that they could be telling the absolute truth, but still be wrong about the origin of the word: People independently come up with things all the time, or hear things and forget about them, only to come up with them later without any idea where they came from. We would need evidence taking it back as close as possible to that time and that place, and not to other places at the same or an earlier time. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:34, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Given the timing, Bluewhim's explanation doesn't seem very plausible. I think it's much more likely that Ms. Beltran was promoting a term that she'd encountered and liked, and Bluewhim mistakenly thought she was introducing her own coinage. (The annals of linguistics and sociology are replete with this sort of thing — people thinking that a term or cultural practice is local and new, when in fact it's older and widespread. My own example: I went to high school in Portage, Michigan, and I was informed by classmates there that po-po was local slang for "Portage police". Turns out no. ;-)   ) —RuakhTALK 04:44, 27 January 2013 (UTC)


man- was deleted as an English prefix, but two entries (manoratra, manapitra) suggest that it is a Malagasy prefix. Any takers? bd2412 T 01:37, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Presumably cognate with Malay meng- if that helps. —Angr 16:41, 29 January 2013 (UTC)


Do the majority of English words have one definition of multiple definitions? Pass a Method (talk) 02:14, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Did you mean 'or' where you typed 'of' the second time? If so, then, when counting entries to answer your question, how do you wish to count things like preventing: as having one definition (because it's listed only as a participle of prevent), as having more than one (because it's a participle of something with more than one definition), or not at all (exclude from the count all words that are defined only as forms of other words)? (Same question for "common misspelling"-only words that are misspellings of polysemous words.)​—msh210 (talk) 06:23, 30 January 2013 (UTC)


One apparently common path for an English noun to convert to a verb is to first sprout -ing and -ed as affixes, followed not long thereafter by being used in clearly verbal ways, such accepting modification by manner adverbs, appearing in an infinitive construction, etc. This has happened in the case of ablaut#Verb (which still needs a definition, BTW).

What are the implications for [[ablauting]]? Diachronically, there was a time when it was not implausible to have Noun and Adjective PoS headers. We are approaching a time when both noun and adjective will probably seem redundant from a synchronic perspective. DCDuring TALK 16:01, 30 January 2013 (UTC)


Defined as "a file extension indicating a file of JPEG file format; i.e., a digital picture". Are filename extensions a word in a language? Equinox 16:37, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

  • Almost certainly not. However, although we aim to include "all words in all languages", we don't confine ourselves to just that. Maybe these should go in an appendix (it would be a big one). SemperBlotto (talk) 16:40, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
  • When they're used that way, sure. I'm not finding [[jpg]] per se, though; just [[JPG]] ([5], [6], [7]) and .jpg ([8]). —Angr 16:44, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
A search for "a jpg" on Google Books yields "a jpg", "a .jpg" and "a JPG". See [9], [10] and [11] for "jpg". --BB12 (talk) 18:18, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
We should not include file extensions: they don't belong to any language. But if "a jpg" is used in running text as a noun, that's English. (I didn't check the linked-to cites.)​—msh210 (talk) 06:51, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I thought it was quite common to say (or email) "I'll send you a jpg file tomorrow". "Is a jpg file ok for you?" and so on, in the same way with pdf doc and so on. -- ALGRIF talk 11:52, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
The point is that this entry doesn't define jpg as "an image in JPG format"; it defines it as a computer filename extension. Equinox 17:30, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
JPEG and jpeg seem good as entries and the spelling fits the pronunciation. But I would expect folks to write "jpg" or "JPG" also, as Google searches for "a jpg" or "jpgs" confirm. So perhaps this should be just an alt form entry? DCDuring TALK 17:55, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
JPEG means the Joint Photographic Experts Group or an image using the JFIF format. The words jpeg, jpg, and JPG mean only the latter. The pronunciation is always jay-peg. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 15:36, 5 February 2013 (UTC)


The New Oxford Dictionary of English (2001) gives radioes as the third-person singular of radio#Verb. I'm less than convinced, though, how frequently is this used? I think it might actually be a misspelling. I can see radioes as a plural on Google Books, too. Mglovesfun (talk) 22:54, 31 January 2013 (UTC)