Wiktionary:Tea room/2014/January

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discussion rooms: Tea roomEtym. scr.Info deskBeer parlourGrease pit ← December 2013 · January 2014 · February 2014 → · (current)



The Russian for "libtard" The current definition: used as a designation for the adherents of unrestrained ultraliberalism or liberal conservatism..

It seems this definitions is used by anti-liberals, it's politically charged. To me, it's just a derogatory term for a liberal (person), roughly the same as libtard but perhaps more offensive. The term likens liberals to pederasts. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 14:33, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree. It is not applied to ultraliberals only. --Vahag (talk) 15:08, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, (even though I think "utraliberal" is also a politically charged term). I will rewrite the definition. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 08:06, 2 January 2014 (UTC)


I was expecting to find the definition for the jellyfish, as in the image, which was in the entry but not mentioned. Its sting is unpleasant but not fatal.

Bluebottle washed ashore at Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia

. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 14:46, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

  • It's there - definition number 2. SemperBlotto (talk) 14:54, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
    Maybe we need to rethink how we define animals/plants/etc. No ordinary person looking at the definition "Any of various marine creatures of the genus Physalia, such as Physalia physalis, the Portuguese man-of-war." would understand what a bluebottle is. --WikiTiki89 18:57, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
What is the point of the links to Wikispecies? The linked pages are useless, not even giving an explanation of the paltry information there, nor any links to something the reader might benefit from. Why not link to Wikipedia instead? Michael Z. 2014-01-01 21:08 z
My fault. I haven't checked definition number 2. The name is indeed confusing. The discussion about the format of definitions can go on but can I detag it now? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 21:11, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't know a hypernym for the sense of bluebottle under discussion that is both accurate and readily understood by ordinary users. For example, I don't think jellyfish is accurate. "Marine creature" is certainly not helpful. In this case the picture is rather uninformative too. OTOH many people have heard of Portuguese man-of-war. Not all that many vernacular names are particularly meaningful to people who are not familiar with the living thing involved. Most vernacular name entries will be problematic once we get past the living things that are on children's television. DCDuring TALK 22:19, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
How about "similar to a jellyfish"? or something along those lines? --WikiTiki89 22:21, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
We could call it a cnidarian and take advantage of the fact that we have hyperlinks. We could also say "often confused with jellyfish". DCDuring TALK 22:23, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I think "similar to" is more accurate than "often confused with". The problem with cnidarian is ordinary people are not likely to know what that is. Yes, we take advantage of wikilinks, but we should still try to have the entry itself as clear as possible. --WikiTiki89 22:26, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Take whatever actions you deem appropriate. BTW, I can't take credit for the wording, which has been there since February 2006. DCDuring TALK 22:28, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't blaming you or anything. I hope you didn't take it that way. --WikiTiki89 22:31, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
@MZ, the inline wikispecies links are placeholders that provide possible clues. Linking to pedia is not so easy, often requiring a fair amount of searching. I haven't spent much time on vernacular name entries, which are often, like this one, best considered disambiguation pages, especially as we purport to cover all brands of English and many of the living things are only known locally, especially by their most commonly used name. DCDuring TALK 22:42, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki: I take some responsibility for entries of this type because they connect so directly with taxonomic name entries, having either links to our taxa entries or to Wikispecies, via {{taxlink}}. But I can't take responsibility for them not being in a finished state. DCDuring TALK 22:42, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
  • @Anatoli et al.: Would the format at bridewort be helpful for this kind of page? DCDuring TALK 01:58, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I have no problems with either. I was only confused because I had no idea that "Portuguese man-of-war" is a living creature. :) My question has been answered. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 08:06, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I think "jellyfish-like animal" or similar is appropriate. Like jellyfish, its phylum is Cnidaria, so it's actually closely related to jellyfish, so saying "often confused with" may lead the reader to think it's less related than it is. Also note, the term "jellyfish" is losing traction with some biologists who prefer to call them "sea jellies" (to avoid calling them fish), but "sea jelly-like animal" just seems like a confusing phrase. edit: Also, my vote is for a bridewort-style entry. It looks much quicker to parse. Pengo (talk) 11:21, 3 January 2014 (UTC)Pengo (talk) 11:02, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
[[Bridewort]] may not be a fair example. It benefits greatly from having pictures for each taxonomic definition and no non-taxonomic definitions. Pictures are not always available. IMO, parallel, structured wording of the definitions helps greatly in getting users to the definition they seek where such wording is possible, as it is in this case. DCDuring TALK 15:22, 3 January 2014 (UTC)


There seems to be a slow-motion edit war between those who consider this the Scots equivalent of didn't and those who say don't. With all the faux-Scots in English muddying the waters, it's hard to be sure, but it looks to me like both may be true. Does anyone have better sources that could settle this? Chuck Entz (talk) 23:43, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

don't (dae + (-na | -nae) ) - Amgine/ t·e 23:51, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
FYI, my edit was prompted by this discussion at Wikipedia, see my clarification and citation there. Mutt Lunker (talk) 01:21, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Notice that did + (-na | -nae) is a perfectly acceptable construction, but didnae is not the same as dinnae, anymore than didn't is the same as don't. Similar, perhaps occasionally (mistakenly) interchanged, but not quite the same. - Amgine/ t·e 01:32, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Indeed, both "didnae" and "dinnae" are very commonplace in usage and equate in standard English to "didn't" and "don't" respectively, never any confusion between the two.
The refs I mention in the Wikipedia discussion, by the way, are: The Dictionary of the Scots Language entries for the verb "dae" (do) and the negated variants thereof (dinna/dinnae/dinny etc.) and Concise Scots Dictionary entry for "dae1", p132 in the 1985 edition. "Dinnae" is unequivocally present tense, "don't", not past tense. Mutt Lunker (talk) 01:40, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Didn't would be didinnae or something to the sound of that effect haha I didinae know how to spell it but I dinnae think it should be ignored. RTG (talk) 19:09, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Per above, didn't is "didnae". Mutt Lunker (talk) 13:21, 7 January 2014 (UTC)



Stress/accent marks for светить are different between the Russian and English entries for 3rd person singular. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Thanks. Our entry is incorrect. I'll fix it when I'm back to my desktop. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:29, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Fixed. светить uses stress pattern c, not b in the present tense. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 08:06, 2 January 2014 (UTC)


Shouldn't the third person plural present tense be *dadǫtь, rather than *dadętь? This is based on examining its descendants in every language listed on the page. Most of them have a reflex of ǫ and none have a reflex ę. --WikiTiki89 21:27, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

-ǫtь is a thematic ending, while -ętь is the (much rarer) athematic ending. If the descendants have only the thematic ending, that very likely to be a later levelling. The only language that could really let us know the true ending is OCS. What ending does it have? —CodeCat 23:09, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about OCS, but after comparing Appendix:Proto-Slavic/ěsti, it looks like the only languages that have different endings in the 3rd person plural between *dati and *ěsti are Russian, Ukrainian, and Lower Sorbian. Lower Sorbian seems to have changed the stem and dropped the d reflex, making it hard to compare (daju vs jěźe). Russian and Ukrainian, however have дадут (dadut)/дадуть (dadutʹ) versus едят (jedjat)/їдять (jidjatʹ), while Belarusian has the same ending for both verbs дадуць (daducʹ) and ядуть (jadutʹ), although Google also shows ядзяць (jadzjacʹ), probably under influence of Russian. All other languages have a reflex of ǫ in both verbs, likely due to leveling. So if leveling occurred in Russian and Ukrainian, why was it only partial leveling? --WikiTiki89 23:39, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Ukrainian дадуть (dadutʹ) is the future tense. I think you must mean дають (dajutʹ)Michael Z. 2014-01-04 03:18 z
There seems to be some confusion. Perfective verbs don't have present forms, so даду́ть (dadútʹ) is the future form of "да́ти (dáty)" (it doesn't have a present form, since it's perfective) and даю́ть (dajútʹ) is the present form "дава́ти (daváty)" (imperfective). There are no Ukrainian entries for "да́ти (dáty)" or "дава́ти (daváty)" yet but you can look at the Serbo-Croatian or Russian "дать (datʹ)" "дава́ть (davátʹ)" for endings. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:25, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Just to avoid confusion though, in the context of older Slavic, there's present, imperfect and aorist, regardless of whether a verb is imperfective or perfective. That's what we're discussing here. —CodeCat 03:30, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
OK, I'll read more carefully but I was just mentioning modern Ukrainian since endings are unrelated to whether verbs are perfective or imperfective where future forms for perfective verbs are often similar in forms to the present tense in imperfective verbs (not in this case though). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:34, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
As for the original question, *dadǫtь makes more sense to me as well in Appendix:Proto-Slavic/dati --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:37, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I was using "present" to refer to the present/future part of the conjugation, which for perfective verbs is the future, but for imperfective verbs is the present. The way I see it is that the датдут is the present tense of дать, but since it's perfective and can't have a present, the present refers to the future. Anyway, what CodeCat said below about leveling being irregular is likely the case here, meaning Proto-Slavic had *dadętь. --WikiTiki89 03:45, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I understood that, my comment was for Mzajac. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:56, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't replying directly to you, but to anyone who was reading this. --WikiTiki89 04:01, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Levelling isn't a regular process usually, so it's not really bound to rules. Why are some verbs in English still strong while others have become weak? No way to say really. Lunt's grammar for OCS gives the following forms for the present of дати (dati): дамь (damĭ), даси (dasi), дастъ (dastŭ), *давѣ (*davě), даста (dasta), дастє (daste), дамъ (damŭ), дастє (daste), дадѧтъ (dadętŭ). So it followed the regular athematic inflection (if you can call it regular with only a handful). —CodeCat 00:58, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I can find дадѫтъ (dadǫtŭ) along with дадѧтъ (dadętŭ). Is one form older/alternative of the other? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:56, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
It would help if you showed where you found it. --WikiTiki89 04:01, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Since I was expecting a big yus instead of the small yus here, I just googled for "дадѫтъ" and got 32 results. There's a bit more results with the small yus. Not sure if the sources for either form are OK.--Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 04:07, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, if all later languages have ǫ, then the analogical pressure must have been very strong. Strong enough that it would be surprising if no secondary form with ǫ existed in OCS. But ę is also found, and that must be the original Proto-Slavic form. It's possible Proto-Slavic already had both, but we have no way to tell, only the form with ę is certain. —CodeCat 04:11, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Googling isn't sufficient. You have to find the text it was used in to see if it's not possible that it was back-influence from Russian and whatnot. --WikiTiki89 04:23, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
What's the source for "дадѧтъ"? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 11:20, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Comparative and superlative of cardinal directions (north, south, east, west)

Would it not be correct to say that the comparative and superlative of the adjective/adverb forms of the cardinal directions is formed with farther and farthest (for example: farther north, farthest west)? The only unusual thing about these comparatives and superlatives is that the adjectival usage can only be predicative (you can't say *the farthest north country). --WikiTiki89 23:58, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

I think "more north" and "more east" are also generally/widely used even though they are grammatically incorrect compared to "farther north" or "more northern", and I believe you can say "most north of these" and "most north country". I'm not sure about "farthest west country" but you can say "farthest north of these countries". TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 00:42, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I guess what I meant by predicatively is "in any way other than directly modifying a noun". I agree that you can say "more north" and "most north", but they sound a little more colloquial. Currently, the entries say that they are uncomparable. --WikiTiki89 00:49, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Start with a comparative synonym: most northerly, northernmostMichael Z. 2014-01-03 00:59 z
A quick check indicates that northwestmost, southwestmost, northeastmost, southeastmost, northwesternmost, southwesternmost, northeasternmost, and southeasternmost are all attested. bd2412 T 02:18, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Interesting, I've never heard the -most forms, only the -ernmost forms, which are actually superlatives of the -ern forms and not the base forms. --WikiTiki89 02:23, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
norþmest is attested in Old English, in the travels of Ohthere of Hålogaland. It's actually not the word "most", but a suffix (Germanic *-umistaz) that was eventually conflated with it. It's also found in foremost. —CodeCat 02:45, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
But has it survived? --WikiTiki89 03:10, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
As northmost, yes. —CodeCat 03:10, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Or is northmost a more recent combination of north + -most? --WikiTiki89 03:14, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Maybe we should look for citations to see how it was used in time. —CodeCat 03:39, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I found this, dated 1519. I think it's Scots rather than English though. —CodeCat 03:46, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Another, from 1616. Apparently also Scotland-related. —CodeCat 03:48, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
So it's not very clear. --WikiTiki89 03:51, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Playing a hunch, I checked and found northwestermost, southwestermost, northeastermost, and southeastermost (note, "-er", not "-ern") are also attested, although their hits are only in the low hundreds, while the others are in the thousands. bd2412 T 03:04, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Neat. But they don't seem like what we can use in the headword lines of north, south, etc. --WikiTiki89 03:10, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Well looky here - 1918, Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, page 208: "The northernmore mound, the one nearer the water, is 18 feet in height..." A back-formation, I presume. As far as I can tell, however, "northmore" only exists as a surname. Northeasternmore also gets a single hit. bd2412 T 03:15, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
  • *cough* Well we were actually talking about the comparative-ness of the term "farther" as applied to the cardinal directions. BD2412, do you think you can find some cites for that? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 05:24, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
    • As in "farther North", "farthest North"? There are hundreds of thousands of those. bd2412 T 15:47, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
      But is it citeable in a way where it is clear that it is the comparative of "north" rather than of "far north"? --WikiTiki89 20:11, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
northward, westwards, note the interchangeable plural. RTG (talk) 19:05, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Why do you think it's a plural? —CodeCat 19:07, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
northward/northwards is neither a comparative nor a superlative. --WikiTiki89 20:11, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Because it is a plural. However I stand corrected by Wikitiki too quick to answer. Northward is a northerly direction. Westwards is in the westerly directions. Travelling towards the west, you are. RTG (talk) 20:52, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Not everything that ends in -s is a plural. In this case, the words are adverbs, and can therefore not possibly be plural. --WikiTiki89 20:58, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
It is a reference to the plural. It is in the plural category in that sense or it is missing from it. RTG (talk) 21:05, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Nope. It's just -ward vs -wards, there's nothing plural about it. --WikiTiki89 21:10, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
And Columbus argued with the church that the world was round, when in true fact they probably caused that information to be taught to him, inspiring his achievements rather than holding them back. Either this example is spectacularly unique, or it is rooted in the plural, from the days when people spoke like that commonly, and we today have simply lost the sense and sensibilities of our natural ways. HOhohoh. RTG (talk) 21:27, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
As theories go, there's nothing prima facie impossible about it. I prithee, show us your evidence for it, that we should all be enlightened. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 21:30, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
It is simple and sensible. If I should think only as I am told, where should I find my capacity to independently reason? In confronting those seeking to independently reason, reasoning independently that they should not? That's too complicated. It is in the westerly directions. The routes heretofore thataway are the directions in which the westerlies lie with their wards and ways. RTG (talk) 21:44, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
What are so special about the wards of the compass that they can be plurified without plural to be? None sais I for it is simple. To see, my friend. Rather than to not, and in that to be. RTG (talk) 21:47, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
You would be positively amazed how often the simple, sensible and obvious answer is completely wrong. What, beyond truthiness, is your evidence? --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 21:48, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Define me a difference and I might learn something. Otherwise all I can see is postulation, hence the postulation. It is only fair to out that and call it as you see it, for the sake of your intelligence, believe it or do not. RTG (talk) 21:51, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it is a symptom of indoctrinative philosophy that we can not say, "Well we do not rightly know," than to say, it is this and I have the job so it is now what I have said it is. We do not certainly live in lands which promote systems of merit, and that is not good enough. The unknown is always the premise, and your evidence to the contrary is not evidence at all. It is merely dictation and it is many decades since the philosophy of dictation and repetition has been discredited from education. When are we going to have the chance to embrace that truth? Never it would seem. and then, what is the point at all? What is the value of our logic? RTG (talk) 21:59, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Look, you are saying that I am talking nonsense, and I am saying in a nonsensical way, that it is nonsense that I am talking about, and suggesting it is perhaps not as nonsensical as it would lead us to believe. It's a plural. That is why it fits plurality and has an 's' on the end of it. Failure to report that in the annals of history, well, so what? I am not a book. And westwards is a plural, suited to a phrase in which singularity is undefined. RTG (talk) 22:04, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I am trying to do my dishes for my opening request because I have not brought any money. I am not drying them unless you have dessert too! RTG (talk) 22:06, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
We are the ones saying we don't know what it is. You are the one saying that you somehow magically know it's a plural against all evidence. --WikiTiki89 23:07, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You're wrong because you're wrong.;-) Seriously, though, there are other cases, such as sideways, where the s isn't there to make it plural. After all, a plural indicates there's more than one of something, and "I was sitting sideways on my chair" has only one of everything. If you think that simply adding an s makes something plural, how do you explain hers? the only differences between northwards and northward have nothing to do with the quantity of anything. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:14, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Okay. I am professing my faith in the human ability to reason. When you speak of sideways, you are speaking of the ways which are to the side. Is that not recognized by third level English? Help!! where am I!!? I cannot be swayed. I understand following academia to the letter so that you don't put a foot out of place. I do this trick where I put one foot in my mouth and the other up my, sleeve, and boom, instead of accepting the world as beyond comprehension and life as understood by humans, life becomes incomprehensible and it is the world that we humans can understand. Life is a mystery and knowledge makes sense. LOL. It says her+ *'s* (apostrophe) in the entry. It is simply let to slip. So I am satisfied that there is an explanation rooted in this, er, in that. And when it comes to etymology, I don't know very much at all but from what I do know, if it is in widespread use it tends to have an intelligent if not clever explanation behind it. Until about the sixties and seventies that is and then it's often a load of misinformation like *organic* or blatant mockery like the modern twisting of *truthiness*. On a serious note I think it is an awful detriment that we don't value language so much these days. When we did consider it the utmost importance, before any of our times, academia was a nightmare so we haven't really had the chance with it as it degrades. True shame that. Occasionally reported, never taken to heart. The Greeks had it down. They didn't whip each other to learn the tables of rote and they could have philosophized the understanding of the word what, and after that they could have told you very carefully, what is what. RTG (talk) 00:40, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
That's what we call a folk etymology. --WikiTiki89 01:12, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) See w:Adverbial genitives in English. Your method seems to be: 1) Guess. 2) When someone challenges your guess: a) philosophize vaguely and at length about human intelligence and/or capacity for reason. b) complain vaguely and at length about how modern "indoctrinative philosophy" is ruining the way people think. c) profess wonderment that anyone could not see how self-evidently true your guess is. As for your "little trick", it looks to me like the placement of your foot has led you to talk out of another orifice entirely... ;-) Chuck Entz (talk) 01:29, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
No matter what I read, I cannot believe that people in use of the word westwards do not tend to consider with a feel of plurality and there is, even if only I here and today have described it, there is a reasonable description of it as such, and I must refuse to accept that *truth* can be changed upon the reading of a book categorizing the word under a term, only because in this circumstance the position does not require changing the meaning of the word. It has the appearance and feel as well as a reasonable definition of a plural. It has a singular too. If the argument implied that it were confusion between east and west there would be something for me to learn. But I'd note, there is a possessive sense, and hers, though not recorded here, is a plural of the word her, whatever else it may be. If for example the New York Times quoted a person referring to two or more hers at the one time... we'd have to provide an explanation. Grammar Nazis of the world unite, and fall before me as I reason beyond reproach!! My infallibilty cannot fail!! RTG (talk) 05:59, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
This is approaching word salad territory, with a side order of delusions of grandeur --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 07:22, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
That's bullying. I assume you are an atheist. Well I am an agnostic. You insult my intelligence merely with your attitude. Your main concern should be my respect for your work, wether I have any, and my efforts if any, to hamper it. Mighty Lord Agnostos Theos, I pray that you will not save me from my trial of heresy, that you will not forgive me my sins or wipe clean my immortal soul should you have seen fit to grant one to me. That you will give me no strength so that when I do find myself in the midst of danger, I will not seek your guidance. It passed word salad territory long ago Catsidhe, and there is little in this human world which is not somehow insane. The fact remains (<-- in reference to surviving remnants, is it singular? The fact survives in the remains. Remains to be seen by all in a wonderful castle with servants fanning and children playing simple games in the courtyard.) Stop fighting with me. It has a plural sense. It is not recognized as such. Bluntly refuse its recognition. It's okay. Nobody is perfect. Even Chuck Norris scuffed a shoe one time. RTG (talk) 15:53, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
You are insulting our intelligence. So don't go complaining when we do it back to you. --WikiTiki89 16:19, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Can you speak English? As in not purple prose English, but a linguist's English? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 18:14, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
I insult human intelligence with generalization. They are allusions to and fantasies of, grandeur. In fact, I am community employed and live in a flat. That's about as grandly delusional as I get these days unfortunately. However, what with all the self flattery, there is definitely something pluralish about that word and a few others like it. If I let that go I might not be able to see it again. That may be worth more than ensuring I make no mistakes or appear more sane than I really am. I reserve veracity for suggestions to actually change entries and such. Everything else is open to enquiry.  :). RTG (talk) 19:16, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
TeleComNasSprVen, not in writing no. It sort of goes, yo and what and uh? so what can you do? RTG (talk) 19:19, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
As the saying goes: "if you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, blind them with BS". It's rather rude forcing people to wade through paragraphs of off-topic pontifications and other "filler" to find the few substantive points you've made. You may enjoy hearing yourself talk at great length about nothing at all, but the rest of us don't. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:25, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. You should go and have that twisty arm looked at. RTG (talk) 22:59, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
@RTG, please stop posting nonsense here. If you want to post nonsense, do it in your own or in a consenting user's userspace. --WikiTiki89 23:14, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
Wikitiki89, you have questioned me with nonsense drawing this whole thing out. If your reasoning about anything is not open to or responsive to debate, then it is not reasoning at all. Shame thing ain't recognized as plural when it is acceptable as such. It cannot however be fixed here. It is the fray of the archons. RTG (talk) 00:06, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Rather than relying on rhetoric, let's turn to evidence. Can you provide some citations to books or articles in print that clearly use "westwards" to indicate multiple instances of a "westward"? Cheers! bd2412 T 00:20, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Sure. Whatever. RTG (talk) 02:16, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm surprised this hasn't been pointed out yet (or has it been? I didn't read through the entire wall of text above), but the s in westwards etc is definitely adverbial rather than plural, because -wards descends, as a unit, from Old English -weardes ("towards", adv.). - -sche (discuss) 03:41, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
It has been. This guy doesn't listen to reason. --WikiTiki89 03:43, 5 January 2014 (UTC)

This symbol shows up as a P with a line through it on my computer, but the entry is for the spesmilo symbol. What's going on? —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 00:24, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

It shows up as a box to me. --WikiTiki89 00:27, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm using Firefox 26.0 so it's unreadable at the moment to me (a box, 20BinvertedL). TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 00:42, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Shows up correctly for me (Chrome / Win 8). Apparently the character exists in Arial. You can try installing the Symbola font which has it too. Pengo (talk) 11:10, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

On my machine the character is correct in Kliment Std and RomanCyrillic Std fonts (downloaded), but p-stroke in PT Mono and PT Serif fonts (included in Mac OS). My Arial 5.06 (from MS Office/Mac, I think), Arial Unicode and other Arial fonts included in Mac OS do not include this character.

The p has a terminal stroke continuing from the bottom of the bowl, and another across the leg. This is different from the w:Philippine peso sign, which has two strokes through the bowl.

The problem seems to be caused by incorrect glyphs in some distributed fonts, and a general lack of font support for this character.

Anyone know if any ULS font has this character? Michael Z. 2014-01-03 17:40 z

I can see it using my Kliment Std (Truetype)for Slavic Medievalists. None of the other major fonts, such as Code2000, Code2001, Tahoma, etc., offer it. —Stephen (Talk) 18:43, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
If you cannot see the symbol, and I can't either, what it used to mean in XP (I use 7 now), but what it was was that you needed to install of the language packs(? I think that's what they were called but you get the idea) in Windows from the Windows disk. RTG (talk) 18:52, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
It shows up on my computer just fine using FreeSerif, which is a pretty common install on Debian GNU/Linux.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:05, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

The P-slash is the glyph for the new Russian ruble sign ₽, to be at U+20BD in Unicode 7.0. Spesmilo ₷ is U+20B7. Michael Z. 2014-03-19 21:10 z

Ignoring and ignorant

Dear Wiktionary. It is blatantly obvious that if you are ignoring something you are ignorant of it, or else, there is no such word to convey that meaning. According to all of the dictionary resource I can find, these two words apparently are not and have never been aspects of the same. But surely they are today in todays world where we speak todays language. This has bugged me for the longest time. Every time I have seen the words related to ignore and ignorance I think of this gaping hole which I would like to see fixed. When I look up the word ignorantiam in latin it only seems to appear paired in the phrase "ad ignorantiam". Ignorantia only part of the phrase "ignorantia juris non excusat". When I google up the phrases "ignorance of what I/he/she/we am[etc] trying to say," in the hope of finding a citable source I get a singular obscure hits or none at all. I found a supporting statement on Yahoo answers where someone asked, am I ignorant by way of ignoring? And of course they answer was a sort of yes, but that is uncited and therefore it's not enough for updating the entry. So, this has perplexed me for ears this little thing. Here on Wiktionary are of course the greatest minds known to language ever and I am sure you will know how to fix it, saving the whole world so effectively that it will go away and stop annoying me at last, pleeeese!!? RTG (talk) 18:49, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Language just isn't as logical as you'd like. Equinox 18:52, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Wiktionary documents how things actually are (objective), not how they should be (subjective). So I don't think we can help you. —CodeCat 18:54, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Language is just as logical as I'd like. Humans however... Hmmm. How is it that I cannot even find a citation. It's odd. I am like big weird conspiracy going on but sure. RTG (talk) 20:26, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
How can language be logical if humans, who created it by accident, aren't? --WikiTiki89 20:30, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Humans do not have a monopoly on language at all actually. Humans once shared life with neandertals who could also make fire and stuff, and did you know that a little merekat can call out to its cousin, "There is a big fat man in a blue jumper coming this way, and he has a gun!!" Humans are all that, but much more we are the opposite. Oh man big lecture for you here but sure that is another story for another day children hoho ;D Some humans are very intelligent, but we are not very sentient as we tell ourselves unfortunately. RTG (talk) 20:46, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
So you're saying neanderthals were more logical than humans? --WikiTiki89 20:51, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I would claim it to be a foolhardy assumption. We do not exactly know what neandertals were in the philosophical sense. They could have been our slave masters or our slaves, or our bretheren (because we apparently interbred with them). The simplest creature is likely to be the most logical rather than the eejits that are humans :). RTG (talk) 20:55, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Considering that no known species is much more logical than humans, it is very unlikely that neanderthals were completely logical. Until you show some kind of reason for me to believe that they may have been logical, I have no reason to believe it. --WikiTiki89 21:00, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I could show you not the logic of the human but the ill logic of it and that you would understand. I would go with bretheren in the face of the unknown because I believe that to be the most logical assumption for our own current, um, that will suit us better today until we know better and then we can deal with it. Apes we are, without being any less human, for sure or else we are in denial. RTG (talk) 21:02, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
What you just made no sense to me at all. Apes are not logical, which is neither humans nor neanderthals are logical. --WikiTiki89 21:08, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Humans are apes. In fact, science has repeatedly changed the definitions between humans and other apes to say they are in or out of the same categories. total ill logic at the base level. It's an intrinsic societal superiority complex. And it is the root of many of our evils. You are a creature of some sort. The parent of the argument that humans have a mind quite unlike other creatures, rather than simply more complex or developed, is rooted in the idea of heresy. Is it good for the human race to allow ourselves to believe that *lesser* creatures have a consciousness therefore lessening our own self views of uniqueness and superiority, and basically, divine right. If it is a race, where on Earth is the finish line? What on Earth makes you think that non-human apes are illogical? I watched a video of a female orangutan once on youtube. I did not realize but what she was going to do was stand on the back of her neck and urinate into her own mouth (a little baby). However, if you wondered what urine would feel like in your mouth, this would be the most direct and logical thing to do. Humans however would tend to have great difficulty even imagining the possibility of performing such an action, let alone considering it to have a possible and simple logic. RTG (talk) 21:18, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I do not see your point. Did I say that humans are not apes? --WikiTiki89 21:22, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
You imply that our logic is infallible. If you do not see the fallacy in that I will consider your intelligence and I don't even know you!! Humans are astoundingly illogical and less complex creatures are usually quite logical insofar as they apply to their circumstance. RTG (talk) 21:30, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

ius, descendants, English,

It says the descendant of ius, the ancestor of the word jus, the singular of the word juris (of or pertaining to legality, juris-diction for example), it says that the English language descendant of this word is juice. I cannot say what precisely the descendant is, but the entry for juice does not support. RTG (talk)

There are two nouns on the page. One means "law", the other "gravy". —CodeCat 19:04, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Right you are apologies for my confusion. However, I wonder if anyone would like to review the juice entry. It has many entries which could grow into an ocean, steroids, soft drink, liquor, semen, vaginal fluid, and so on... you know, there is a definition of juice which is any sort of liquid, particularly involved with oral consumption, which is not water. There is a reasonable argument to be inclusive, but this may be obstructive when totally unleashed? RTG (talk) 20:32, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I think at the very least we should think about using indented subsenses for the literal vs. metaphorical ones. Equinox 20:39, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I would go ahead and do that but unlike the encyclopaedia I tend to be a bit confused about how to structure entries, so if I can use that to cop out? I've looked at it before and it didn't sink in I'd have to study it intently or something... RTG (talk) 22:08, 3 January 2014 (UTC)


Is this a mistake, or did Gaulish actually use hyphens at the ends of words? --WikiTiki89 16:56, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Neither. This is a word stem probably attested only in names. (The vast majority of attested Gaulish is names.) 17:57, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
    Well then the definitions need to make that clear. It led me to believe that the Gaulish word for "apple, apple tree" is "abalo-". --WikiTiki89 18:02, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

cherry pick

I think we are missing the derogatory sense of this idiom - hard to define, but it's the sense that implies you choose a limited number of examples to back up your argument while ignoring the larger body of evidence. E.g. cherry-picking examples of kindness and humility in the Bible. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:57, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

It's not a different sense, it's just the first sense used in a derogatory way. --WikiTiki89 03:12, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Not really. The current definition says that cherry picking involves picking the best options. But the sense I'm proposing does not involve doing that, but rather choosing options to back up an argument, with a connotation that other examples are overlooked. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:34, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I'd say it's more than a connotation. If you're cherry picking you're deliberately failing to mention or ignoring or going out of your way not to discover counterexamples to your hypothesis or counterarguments to your position. If such counterexamples / counterarguments honestly don't exist or you can e.g. plan a course of action where they really don't matter then it isn't cherry picking.
This is why cherry picking is always derogatory. It's a form of failure to mention relevant information, whether it be out of stupidity, timidity, or more commonly, downright dishonesty.
I agree that this is a distinct sense from simply picking out the best of a selection, and have added this as a subsense, along with a few cites.
(I'll note that at least one of the cites marks cherry picking as a tendency which it is too easy to do inadvertently, through laziness or flawed sampling. I wonder if we should mention "sampling bias". --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 06:20, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for adding that, that's exactly what I was referring to. The entry is much more useful now I think. :) ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:37, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
The options that back up the argument are the best options — for the arguer. Equinox 12:49, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree, I don't see any difference. Ƿidsiþ 13:51, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
@Catsidhe & TooIronic: IMO the citations don't support the assertion that "cherry picking" means a rhetorical fallacy. There might be such citations, but these are not the ones. They show only that cherry picking in sense 1 is used to draw attention to a basic tactic in advocacy. (Are all rhetorical tactics really fallacies? Has the use of the word degraded that much already?)
Perhaps it is only if one spends all of one's time arguing that the pejorative use in the context of disputes or advocacy seems the dominant one. DCDuring TALK 14:31, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
But that's cherry picking! TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:09, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I... what? It is a rhetorical technique, and it is a logical fallacy (in that it is the manipulation of data in order to come to a preconceived and probably wrong answer). Indeed, one of those cites points it out as something that a researcher must make a deliberate effort in data collection to avoid. (So that a study of, say, Georgian retail doesn't actually end up as a study of Georgian retail in the City of Bath simply because it's easier to find data from Bath than in other areas.)
At what point did I even hint that this example of the overlap of sets implies that the sets are conjoint? Moreover, "cherry picking" does not mean "logical fallacy", but is a logical fallacy, and is attested as such. It is obviously a subsense of the basic idea of 'choosing the best of a selection', as is the sporting sense (and if you want to strike the logical sense, then I hope you strike the sporting sense too in a spirit of jewel-like simplicity). And yet, I think it is distinct in meaning not only in domain, but in implication: cherry picking from a bowl of fruit is logical (I only want to eat ripe cherries), cherry picking from data sets is a logical failure, and the source of scientific error (All the cherries are ripe (because my sample is based on the cherries I picked because they were ripe)), and is a technique too often used in debates. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 19:58, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
The cites don't provide the unambiguous evidence needed to show that to cherry pick means to engage in a particular kind of logical fallacy. It would probably be easier to cite cherry-picking with the 'type of fallacy' sense. DCDuring TALK 03:52, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
The act of cherry picking information is a logical fallacy. That doesn't mean that the word "cherry picking" means a logical fallacy. --WikiTiki89 19:06, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Of course. That's why I said "to cherry pick means to engage in a particular kind of logical fallacy." Earlier I had simply assumed that was obvious and used the hypernym to stand for the extensive definition. It certainly added to the confusion. DCDuring TALK 20:44, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
My point there was that the fallacy is not a definition and does not need a separate sense. --WikiTiki89 22:29, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Why is cherry-pick not an {{alternative form of}} soft redirect to cherry pick like cherrypick is, when it's listed as an alternative form? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 04:38, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

Because no one yet has bothered to do that. I was going to go do it myself, but I can't decide which one to lemmatize. Take a look at these Google Ngrams:
--WikiTiki89 19:06, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Are you sure that you can count on Google's raw counts for anything, let alone mere orthography differences. You might want to try registering at COCA to use their 440MM-word corpus, not as big as the whole web, but great for this kind of search and with reliable counts. DCDuring TALK 20:44, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
It's Google Ngrams, which is specifically designed for that stuff. It uses Google books as a corpus and apart from scanos (which don't really apply here), it's pretty accurate. --WikiTiki89 22:27, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
Oh. I'd forgotten about that. DCDuring TALK 23:30, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
  • It's quite simple actually. While cherry picking can mean to choose only the best examples, it can also have a derogatory meaning of choosing some examples while ignoring others. When atheists say Christians cherry pick examples of high morality in the Bible they are not suggesting they are choosing great or best examples; on the contrary, they are saying that they are only choosing a few passable ones while ignoring other examples that could weaken their argument. So these two meanings of cherry pick are actually two different senses. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:37, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
    Then the definition needs to be revised. Cherry picking always involves ignoring bad ones. For example, when picking cherries out of a bag of cherries, you take the good ones and leave the bad ones behind. --WikiTiki89 01:40, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
    No, because it is the _act of selection itself_ which is skewing the result. Whether you are selecting good data or bad, you are still picking and choosing based on what you want (or expect) to see, and getting the wrong answer.
    That's why I think this is distinct from the "picking out the best" sense. As I said above: when you cherry pick from a bowl of fruit, you get to eat the best fruit. When you cherry pick from a data set, you get a wrong answer. (Or the right answer by complete chance.) --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:45, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
    When you cherry pick from a bowl of fruit, you are misrepresenting the fruit data in the same way, not to mention you're leaving the bad ones for everyone else. It's the same thing. --WikiTiki89 01:49, 8 January 2014 (UTC)
Note that I've centralized the content at cherry-pick. (If you think it should be centralized at cherry pick instead, feel free to switch the entries around.) - -sche (discuss) 04:10, 28 January 2014 (UTC)


Could someone undelete accentuar? I have something to add and the deletion log suggests it has been deleted inadvertently.—This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 06:15, 6 January 2014 (UTC).

Which language? The deleted entry is in Romanica, a conlang that we apparently don't allow in regular entries. The equivalent in Spanish and Portuguese is acentuar, with one c instead of two. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:30, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Added two entries. — Ungoliant (falai) 14:32, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

methyl etc

I'm wondering if these are really independent nouns. They only ever seem to appear in compounds. Are there examples of these being used on their own, like "the/a methyl"? —CodeCat 13:31, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes. Of course, one could interpret these as ellipsis from "methyl groups"- the Google search seems to treat the two as interchangeable. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:55, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, definitely nouns. Used as shorthand for "methyl group" or "methyl radical" and sometimes for the associated anion. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:58, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

racial supremacy

Isn't the third sense necessarily a subsense of the second? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 04:21, 7 January 2014 (UTC)

What do you mean by "subsense"? (And by "necessarily"?) —RuakhTALK 20:00, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
(and by "of"?) bd2412 T 20:18, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I was thinking about somehow merging the two senses; according to the example quotations given, they are almost the same. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 20:59, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I'd dispute that racial supremacy is a belief at all. It's just something you might believe in. ("How long have you had racial supremacy?" doesn't work; "how long have you had this belief?" does.) Equinox 21:14, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
("How long have you had this racial supremacy?") Apples and pommes. - Amgine/ t·e 06:51, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure what you're saying, but "How long have you had this racial supremacy" has no hits even on Google Web search. Equinox 07:00, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Just saying the sentence structure doesn't scan, which may be what you meant by "doesn't work". 'how long have you had belief' also doesn't scan well (though probably more understandable than 'how long have you had racial supremacy'.) - Amgine/ t·e 07:08, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
"How long have you had this racial supremacy" is grammatically correct, though not politically so. That's probably why it doesn't show on Google Web search. "How long have you had belief" probably is used to refer to belief in general rather than this specific belief (i.e. it refers to a specific dichotomous binary called belief/nonbelief whereas "this belief" refers to a choice among several beliefs). TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 08:49, 9 January 2014 (UTC)


Can we tag this with "literary", "archaic" or something? We should demonstrate how "tidings" and "news" differ (they do considerably in both usage and connotation). ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:32, 8 January 2014 (UTC)

trời đất‎

I'm having some trouble capturing the true meaning of the word and I don't think the current definition that I supplied can truly grasp it. oh my God is an expression that can be used in most senses of surprise, but trời đất‎ is mostly used with a negative or neutral overtone. To take three examples: "oh my god, that is disgusting" conveys negativity/frustration, "oh my god, what is that" conveys shock or surprise, "oh my god, that's so cool" conveys positive approval; and trời đất‎ is mainly used for the first two senses only. Does anyone know of a better, more equivalent English expression to supply this with? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 05:16, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

"oh god"? You could use a usage note to explain the term's valence. - -sche (discuss) 06:39, 9 January 2014 (UTC)


I disagree with the presentation of this word. Reading the main entry one gets the impression that it is a valid word, and the footnote saying that it is "sometimes" proscribed is too weak. I am not too sure about the position in earlier eras, but in modern English "seldomly" is just plain wrong and the entry should clearly say so. 18:11, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

What makes you so sure it's ‘plain wrong’ – as opposed to, for instance ‘rare’? Ƿidsiþ 18:19, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I've added some basic frequency information relative to seldom. Interestingly, Wiktionary itself has more uses (13) of seldomly than the 440,000,000 word COCA corpus (12). I take that as an indication that we have a lot of contributors who are not native speakers (Duh!) and that we need to remove inferior, rare, obsolete, archaic, and dated terms from our definiens, usage notes etc. DCDuring TALK 18:43, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I am a native speaker and I use seldomly. I wouldn't even think twice about using it in an entry, it doesn't seem at all wrong to me. —CodeCat 18:55, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
It seems clearly inferior as a matter of diction. I have extirpated seldomly from all the usage notes, usage examples, and translation tables where it occurred, replacing it with seldom or rarely. DCDuring TALK 19:01, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I prefer seldom to seldomly, but seldomly will I use "seldomly". I think it's merely a matter of personal preference, but "seldomly" is just as acceptable. —This comment was unsigned.
Garner's Modern American Usage (2005) gives it its lowest (most disapproving) rating. DCDuring TALK 19:04, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Still not as bad as nucular. google:seldomly TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 19:06, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Seldom is an adverb. Adding -ly is commonly used to form an adverb, so seldomly is a redundant formulation. That doesn't make it wrong, just... not elegant. - Amgine/ t·e 19:19, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
Language doesn't have to be elegant: Category:English vulgarities. —CodeCat 19:50, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
  • (OP) I did have a later thought that perhaps it was more accepted in AmE (I am from England), but I managed to find a specific reference to AmE in Garner's Modern American Usage[1] which calls it a "nonword" and marks it with an asterisk, so it seems it's just as wrong in the US as it is over here. 20:11, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
    • What do you mean by "wrong"? —CodeCat 20:18, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I see above that you think this word "doesn't seem at all wrong". While people are entitled to their opinons, I think, with respect, that you really should reassess this one. 20:34, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
But what is there to assess? I only wonder what "wrong" means in this context, other than someone's opinion. There is no objective definition that I can see. —CodeCat 20:39, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
No doubt some people believe that "irregardless" and "nucular" are valid words. That doesn't mean we have to recognise them as such in a dictionary. People come to dictionaries mostly for practical help about word meanings and usage. Giving them the impression that "seldomly" is a valid word is not helping them. When they use the word, others will judge their English to be substandard.
I think the problem is the fact that we are more descriptive of commons usage than prescriptive of what should be common usage. We can still mark something up as (rare) or (misspelling) though. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:01, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
We can be descriptive of the fact that usage guides and other authorities consider a certain word or usage to be wrong. This is what the "proscribed" tag is for, I assume. Also, the "nonstandard" tag is available. There are numerous precedents for use of these tags within Wiktionary. 21:06, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
"When they use the word, others will judge their English to be substandard" That's what we have the labels "proscribed" and "nonstandard" for. Wiktionary doesn't make any judgements on whether something is right or wrong, that's left to individual people to decide. We can report on commonly-held opinions, though. But they're still that, opinions. And Wiktionary doesn't recognise any authorities when it comes to language usage. Not even itself... Wiktionary doesn't claim to be an authority at all, nor does it expect people to see it as one. Wiktionary also doesn't take any responsibility to educate people, only to inform them. So we don't need to be practical in terms of what people can learn through Wiktionary. We only give what information we can, and it's up to the users to use that information in whatever way they decide. Saying "this is wrong" is not information, though, that's judgement, and we don't do that here. —CodeCat 21:14, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Re: "Wiktionary doesn't claim to be an authority at all, nor does it expect people to see it as one." Then we should cease to be a dictionary, and write encyclopedic articles instead. We should have some modicum of authority to be able to claim ourselves a dictionary without people laughing at us and thinking "It's only Wikipedia but smaller and for anti-social linguists." Perhaps our main strength and our main weakness, and indeed the strength and weakness of any of these projects where anybody can edit, is our scientia de vulgus (wisdom of the crowds). While we try our best to be descriptive, the problem with this approach is that as noted elsewhere all dictionaries have a tendency to be somewhat prescriptive, but we have minimized that facet of ours. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:47, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

These labels are merely politically correct ways of saying that something is wrong. I understand Wiktionary has to do it that way so as to appear objective. I'm not suggesting that the word "wrong" has to be literally used within the entry. 21:30, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
I think you're mistaken. We don't do it to appear objective, we do it to actually be objective. There's nothing politically correct about it. We just don't take sides, that's all. —CodeCat 21:32, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
That belief may give you a warm feeling, but it is pure fiction. We do (or certainly should) take sides with recognised authorities over people who, for example, believe that "irregardless" is a word. 21:37, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
The main Wiktionary policy, WT:CFI, doesn't seem to agree with you. It doesn't say anything about authorities. I think most Wiktionary editors disagree with you too. For example, we have irregardless, so we do treat it as a word, while also stating the facts. So I don't know where you get the idea that it's pure fiction, when I am describing the reality of how Wiktionary has worked in the few years I've been editing here. Maybe you need to work with Wiktionary more before you start to make claims about how things are done there? —CodeCat 21:41, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
The fact that "irregardless" is flagged as "proscribed, nonstandard" is proof that we do take sides. Those tags are giving precedence to the implied authorities over the people who think the word is correct. (BTW, I have been a very sporadic contributor here for many years.) 21:47, 9 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Even in our own discussion, user, appendix, project, citations and talk pages I could find only 2 uses of seldomly vs. 271 of seldom. It may be attestable but it is damned uncommon, appears only in Wiktionary and Collins at seldomly at OneLook Dictionary Search, seems most commonly used by non-English speakers at Wiktionary, and gets the scorn of the most comprehensive contemporary usage guide. People may like their adverbs with -ly, but they have not much exercised that preference for seldomly. DCDuring TALK 20:50, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

Wow, flash fire! Let's confine the discussion to this term, and not to interpretations of the mission of the Wiktionary project mission. - Amgine/ t·e 22:33, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Seldomly has an entry in the OED, with cites from 1549 to 1864 (the last cite being in the Dickinson poem, probably used to match the rhyme and meter). The OED considers that the word is obsolete, but Wiktionary has found evidence that it is still (very rarely) used. I think our entry now gets it about right. Dbfirs 10:25, 10 January 2014 (UTC)


Sense 1 is "Bellowing, as a calf ..." - should that perhaps be tagged archaic? moved anon addition to current discussion - Amgine/ t·e 23:00, 9 January 2014 (UTC)

unscrambling a word

hello, this may sound silly but I am playing a game and it has 4 pictures of different bacteria in each one. The letters they gave us are ...H O R T P T S C Z I A F, we can only use 8 of them. I have been stuck on this for days. Some of my younger friends can't get is either. My brain is tired & ageing (62)so could some one help me out. Thanks. xoxo Janie

What? —RuakhTALK 07:58, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Eight-letter words that can be made from those letters (based on a Scrabble list) are: actorish aphorist apricots atrophic chariots chartist citators haricots patriots piscator protatic ricottas sforzati straicht strophic tipcarts toparchs. Equinox 04:28, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I think the most likely answer is seven letters, but its application to bacteria depends on an obsolete definition (the term's been repeatedly redefined over the past couple of centuries, and our entry doesn't even hint at that variability). Chuck Entz (talk) 05:07, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
H O R T P T S C Z I A F => Protista. DCDuring TALK 05:54, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Oops! I forgot about the "a". Our definition specifies eukaryotes, but it originally was anything that didn't fit in the plant, animal or mineral kingdoms accepted at the time. A more recent concept was any living thing not in the plant, animal, or fungal kingdoms, and that's probably the definition used here. Molecular genetics has pretty much scrambled the old arrangements, anyway, so it's no longer really taken seriously as a taxonomic term. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:11, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I figured that a biologist wouldn't be asking us, so it could not be assumed that the pictures showed bacteria rather than other unicellulars. Multiple pictures suggested plural, which suggested not English names of taxa but rather Translingual ones, which are all plural above genus rank. I first tried exhaustive search for one-word taxa ending in -ia (which finds lots of genera - not so smart), then for one-word taxa beginning with rhiz-. I have no idea what specifically triggered Protista, except that your comment suggested staying near the bottom of the tree of life. Absence of "L", "E", and "D" should have suggested limiting the search to ranks above order, too. Also "F" and "Z" seemed safe to ignore on the first passes. DCDuring TALK 12:58, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
It would have made sense to search only through taxa with typical suffixes ending in "I" or "A", which would have led to dropping "I" as likely for taxa near the base of the tree. The search "intitle:*ISTA translingual" generates a list of just seven items. DCDuring TALK 13:08, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Latin duo

duo and ambo are the only two Latin words that preserve the old dual inflection of PIE. This inflection had the ending -ō in the nominative. But our entries only have a long vowel for ambō, but not for duo. The pronunciation also says that duo has two syllables, even though the related form bis shows earlier dw- (I don't think syllabic du- becomes b-?). So how does this fit? Is there specific evidence for the length of the vowel of either of these forms? And the syllabicity of the -u-? —CodeCat 15:28, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Duo comes from the PIE byform *duwō; in general in PIE, monosyllabic words of the form TRV- (T=obstruent, R=resonant, V=vowel) alternated with bisyllabic forms where the resonant resolved into a sequence of syllabic + nonsyllabic allophones. (Another example is *ḱwṓ (dog), which had the byform *ḱuwṓ—the monosyllabic alternative gave Sanskrit श्वा (śvā) while the bisyllabic alternative gave Greek κύων (kúōn).) Latin has a rule of "iambic shortening" by which a long vowel is shortened after a light syllable (e.g. ) but not after a heavy syllable (e.g. am); see Armin Mester's 1994 paper "The Quantitative Trochee in Latin" especially p. 13. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:56, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Does that mean that caro actually has a short final vowel? Also, if duo had a syllabic -u-, why didn't duis (or duonus)? —CodeCat 21:21, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't know about caro, but homo for example did have a short final vowel in Early Latin (Plautus, Terence) but later the long vowel was restored by analogy with all the other third-declension nouns whose nom.sg. ended in . But duo kept its short vowel because it didn't have any related words to analogize to, ambō not still being felt to have the same ending. Duonus didn't have syllabic -u- because it wasn't a monosyllable. If duis goes back to something monosyllabic in PIE, then it presumably did have a bisyllabic byform, but for whatever reason it was the monosyllabic version that got inherited into Latin, while with duo it was the bisyllabic form. (Which is a good thing, because bō, bōrum, bōbus, bōs, bōbus sounds really dumb. And what would we call the dual? The "bal"?) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:36, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
Of course, if we had grown up in a world where "bo-" was normal, we wouldn't think it was strange. Our judgement is shaped by our past experiences too. :) I'm still a bit confused why there is this difference between du-o and dw-is, especially because they're closely related forms. I doubt I'm the first person to ask about it, either... —CodeCat 21:42, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

price is down a 'net' of 2 cents

A quote: "The 4-cent move allowed PP resin to again follow the path of propylene monomer feedstock. It left market pricing down a net of 2 cents per pound for 2013, according to the Plastics News resin pricing chart."

  • Does "net" here serve to underscore that the price was wobbling up and down during the year? To say that the minus two cents outcome is the final result but that it does not reflect variations and trends observed during the year? --CopperKettle (talk) 16:56, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    Yes. Second etym, noun sense. (NB etym 2 adjective senses 3 & 4) - Amgine/ t·e 17:11, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    Yep. --WikiTiki89 17:21, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    In the context of that story, where total volatility is used as meaning the sum of the absolute values of quoted-price changes in the course of the year, that is the most sensible interpretation. BTW, it would help to include a link to the story, because for the kind of usages you seem to be uncovering context matters. DCDuring TALK 17:38, 10 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Thanks all! Sorry for the forgotten link! --CopperKettle (talk) 17:41, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

while we're at it

Does this deserve an entry? --Fsojic (talk) 21:54, 10 January 2014 (UTC)

Quite possibly, though not in that form. The "we're" part can be any semantically compatible noun phrase followed by the corresponding number and person of the simple past or present of be (I hope I covered all the possibilities). The non-temporal use of while and the semantically-empty use of it certainly make it hard to derive from its parts. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:30, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I was going to say that it can be simplified to just "at it", but that is just "at" + "it". --WikiTiki89 07:10, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
(editconflict)^ That's just what I was about to say. I believe "at it" might merit an entry, as it refers to an ongoing and persistent state or action, but "while we're at it" is SoP. (I haven't looked at the components for "at it" yet). Here are some examples:
  • "We're going to cook dinner for tonight. While we're at it, we might as well prepare the utensils as well."
  • "John, could you fix up the car? While you're at it, you can also take it to the gas station to fill up the tank."
  • "Why does Luthor still chase after Spiderman? He's been going at it for years." (alternatively: "He's been at it for years." "going" is optional)
The definition of 'at it' seems to be equivalent to 'doing that', replace all instances of 'at it' with 'doing that' and it will make sense. However, 'while' is not part of the expression, it is simply used as a lead from a previous activity, 'while you're doing this', 'while you're doing that', 'while you're cooking', 'while you're sleeping', etc etc, which leads into some other activity, 'while you're washing the dishes, could you also do the laundry?' TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 08:08, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I have decided that I think at it merits an entry since I can't think of anything else that can follow at in that same sense and the meaning of it is not exactly obvious. --WikiTiki89 15:21, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
See also "going at it" (often followed by "like rabbits") SemperBlotto (talk) 15:24, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it does deserve an entry. How do you say this in French? In Czech, it is "když jsme u toho" and "když už jsme u toho", which, admittedly, almost matches word-for-word. while we're at,while we're at it at Google Ngram Viewer is noteworthy, I think. In German, "wenn wir schon dabei sind" seems to be the phrase. The unpredictable elements include cs:když and de:wenn used instead of en:while, and the addition of cs:už and de:schon. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:04, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
In Dutch it's much different, and there isn't just one way to say it: als we (dan) toch bezig zijn (as long as we're busy [doing it] anyway) is just one of the possibilities. —CodeCat 18:48, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

having a locative with a verb is not new. English does it, Basque does it, French does it. Not forgetting the Prepositions which inform verbs in German, Russian,& Georgian.AptitudeDesign (talk) 08:40, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

In order to have this we should first decide on one (or more) lemmas. Then we should have redirects to the lemma from the various attestable tense and pronoun-cum-placeholder forms. As I see it, we probably need to have only the "present" and simple past forms of be. I think we need both to be lemmas. Perhaps while one is at it and while one was at it could both be "lemmas" referencing each other, with I, you, we, they, he, she, it?, and someone for both tenses being redirects to the "lemmas". DCDuring TALK 18:11, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Also both contracted and uncontracted forms, eg, "I'm", "we're", "she's", etc for the "present" lemma. DCDuring TALK 18:14, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't think we need those. Once we add "at it", then it would just be SOP for while + we + are + at it. --WikiTiki89 18:44, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
The question is not whether it is SoP for decoding. The question is what is the best lemma so we can create an entry useful for translation, such as the Dutch one mentioned by CodeCat above. "while we're at it" is not a perfect lemma, but it could be better than nothing; I am not sure how we could document the translations at while one is at it, while I admit that while one is at it abstracts away "we're" vs. "I'm" etc. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:39, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Why can't "at it" host translations such as "u toho"? --WikiTiki89 20:52, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I eagerly await the entry for at it. DCDuring TALK 20:54, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I can't tell if that was sarcasm, but at it is already there. --WikiTiki89 21:03, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Since the translation won't capture the mapping of the items outside of "at it"; check the Dutch translation provided above; also consider the Czech adding of "už" and German adding "schon", corresponding to no item in the English phrase. How do you say "while we're at it" in Russian? --Dan Polansky (talk)
That's just ordinary language use. In English you can say "while we're already at it", it just might not be as common. --WikiTiki89 21:03, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
How do you say "while we're at it" in Russian?
I wanted to show you an Ngram search, but it does not find anything for the phrase that is allegedly not as common: while we're already at it*,while we're at it at Google Ngram Viewer. Check the numbers of hits in the entire web; one just does not say the thing with "already" in English. --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:06, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
In Russian, you would say "пока мы (уже) ...". I don't know of any exact translation of "at it", but you could say "здесь/тут/там" ("here/there") or just say what it is that you're doing. I agree that adding "already" is not very common in English, but it is not wrong. If anything the lemma could be "be at it", since the "while we" part is 100% SOP. --WikiTiki89 21:17, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I thought of a concise way to say "at it" in Russian: "пока мы (уже) заняты этим/тем" ("while we're (already) busy with this/that". --WikiTiki89 21:25, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Пока мы еще заняты этим\тем, actually. (0: --CopperKettle (talk) 04:38, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I think "еще" vs. "уже" depends on context. But I thought of a another way "Раз мы (уже) заняты этим", but here "уже" cannot be replaced with "еще". --WikiTiki89 04:46, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Раз мы еще заняты этим is more or less OK. We could also say "раз уж взялись за это дело, давайте еще..". Or, say, if a person says to another person: "Будешь чистить свои ботинки, почисти и мои заодно" (When you'll be cleaning your boots clean mine too while you're at it). —This unsigned comment was added by CopperKettle (talkcontribs).
You're right, I was so focused on thinking of a phrase that I forgot about the one-word заодно́ (zaodnó). --WikiTiki89 16:09, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
If "at it" means "busy", can I say "while we're busy" instead? (A rhetorical question.) --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:00, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
"at it" doesn't mean "busy"; it means "busy with it". --WikiTiki89 21:04, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Another thing about the SOP-ness of this phrase: You can replace "at it" with anything more specific: "while we're eating", "while we're sleeping", "while we're here", "while we're awake", etc. --WikiTiki89 21:29, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
It's not just "while you're busy with it": "I'd like a pizza." "How about something to drink, while you're at it?" Chuck Entz (talk) 21:46, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree, but "busy with it" is more accurate than just "busy". --WikiTiki89 21:59, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
The phrase 'at it' in this context refers to 'liking a pizza' or 'eating a pizza', but 'while you're liking the pizza' is simply more cumbersome a phrase to utter. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 22:38, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I would have said it's "while you're waiting for the pizza" or "while you're ordering a pizza". --WikiTiki89 02:56, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
With the definition shown in [[at it]] it clearly refers to something clear from the context. IOW, it looks like a simple anaphora. Contrast the use of it in while we are at it with the use in hightail it out of here. In the second expression there is no referent to the it, at least in current English. Whether there ever was such a referent I don't know.
Of course, for the benefit of machine translation, humans who translate like machines, and those who are slow on the uptake this could be useful.
Not every phrase with it merits entry, though some do. DCDuring TALK 21:52, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
  • The phrase while one is/was at it is almost always used in a situation where
    1. "one" is/was engaged in the activity referred to by it and
    2. "one" is/was deciding whether or is/was being asked to
      1. do some activity that is somehow easier to do or
      2. achieve a result that is easier to achieve
    3. while (not if) one is/was doing the it activity.
On the one hand, it and while are not being used in very extraordinary ways. On the other hand, the entire phrase is commonly used as a way of attempting to get someone to do something or to explain why the associated task was performed. Back on the one hand, there are other very common phrases with similar effect for specific situations with similar economic efficiency logic: "'while you are out'/'next time you go/ shopping there, pick me up one of their pies."
It seems like a useful and common phrase (if only we had a phrasebook), but it also seems to be distinguished from very similar phrases only by its probably higher frequency. DCDuring TALK 22:25, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it has higher frequency only because it is more generic. Same reason that the word "it" has a higher frequency than "banana". The only word that is used unusually is "at", and that is why I think it is worth having [[at it]]. --WikiTiki89 02:56, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Does going at it also merit an entry? It's used synonymously to sometimes replace at it, and it has a fixedness that almost no other verb can replace, e.g. you cannot say "doing at it" or "reaching at it" or "leaving at it" with the same meaning. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 09:46, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Why ask? Just have at it; set to it; get on it. Just do it. DCDuring TALK 13:35, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm running into some problems with it that makes me reconsider reclassifying these as adjectives instead of prepositional phrases. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:57, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Well "prepositional phrase" isn't actually a part of speech. Prepositional phrases can be adjectival, adverbial, or other. As for which header we should give it, that's debatable, but I'd agree with using ===Adjective===. --WikiTiki89 22:00, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Stay at it. I'm sure you'll make a good decision consistent with usage. DCDuring TALK 00:35, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Re: translation into Russian. заодно́ (zaodnó) may fit "at it" in some contexts, specifically "while (we/you are) at it" (i.e. doing at the same time while doing something else). (as in the example suggested by CopperKettle) but not generically for "at it", as in "Oh they are at it (again)" - "они опя́ть за своё!". "We were at it until three o'clock in the morning" - "Мы э́тим занима́лись в три утра́". A Russian dictionary translated "to be at it" as "пло́хо себя́ вести́" (i.e. behave badly). In my opinion, the phrase "while (you're/we're) at it" is probably idiomatic but there needs to be a generic form matching different persons (I, you). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:25, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
If it wasn't clear from above, I never said that "заодно" translates "at it", but that it translates the full phrase of "while one is at it". --WikiTiki89 15:35, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

In more old-fashioned English it's possible to say "about it" in this sense. I just came across the following in A Tale of Two Cities:

"I don't mean that. I mean I am a man of more--more--"

"Say gallantry, while you are about it," suggested Carton.

"Well! I'll say gallantry. My meaning is that I am a man," said Stryver[...]

Shall we create about it while we're about it? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:56, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

"about it" is still used in "go about it". And I think it stems from usage such as "go about one's business". With "at it", you can't really say "Go at one's business." --WikiTiki89 15:36, 13 January 2014 (UTC)


does it mean anything? being zonal? does this mean having zones? this obsession with -ality is a bane, & leads to banality. It is a dysfunctional attempt to make a small word big, just to sound clever.AptitudeDesign (talk) 08:36, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

You're right, but if it is used, then it is a word. --WikiTiki89 15:25, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

on a transitive use of 'to scuttle'

A quote from Wilfred Owen ("The Calls"):

Quick treble bells begin at nine o'clock,

Scuttling the schoolboy pulling up his sock,

Scaring the late girl in the inky frock.

I must be crazy; I learn from the daisy.

  • Does he mean "sending the boy scuttling (running) for the school" ? --CopperKettle (talk) 10:40, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
    That seems a good bet. DCDuring TALK 13:09, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
    It does also have the secondary idea that the bell "sinks" the schoolboy's effort to pull up his sock. DCDuring TALK 13:21, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
    The secondary idea sounds appropriate too.. so I guess it's one of those ambiguous poetic phrases.. --CopperKettle (talk) 14:13, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree with everything that's been said here. --WikiTiki89 15:26, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

doesn't half make you think

A quote from a page on a website dedicated to Wilfred Owen:

Like all great poets. Owen doesn't half make you think!

- I believe there is a typo, a full stop instead of a comma, but still I don't get the expression "doesn't half make you think". --CopperKettle (talk) 17:28, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

It's like "not half bad". He's using rhetorical understatement to say that "Owen makes you think". --WikiTiki89 17:41, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Even though it doesn't make sense when you look at it closely, I think that is the effect he was going for. --WikiTiki89 17:45, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, WikiTiki! The phrase came out too convoluted, like that birthday greeting of Bilbo Baggins' in LOTR. (0: --CopperKettle (talk) 17:49, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
One shouldn't rely on poetic license when driving one's prose. DCDuring TALK 17:52, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
Ten-four, a nice pun, DC! --CopperKettle (talk) 17:56, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

well poisoning, poisoning the well, poisoned well

We don't seem to have an entry for this phrase- what title should it be? DTLHS (talk) 18:17, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

I'd say poison the well. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:32, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
That only works for poisoning the well. The other two don't connect to it as neatly. I think well poisoning (or well-poisoning?) and poisoned well are separate terms. —CodeCat 18:35, 11 January 2014 (UTC)
For the noun, poisoning the well is the form I'm most familiar with, and the one ngrams suggest is most common. The verb, which ngrams suggest is even more common than the noun, is poison the well. (ngram) - -sche (discuss) 18:34, 11 January 2014 (UTC)


Shouldn't this be split into two different translation sections? We have different words to refer to Korea (the old land/country) versus Korea/South Korea/North Korea (the currently divided two sovereign states that used to form Korea). TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 06:17, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Korea has translation for "Korea" as a whole. I've added see South Korea, see North Korea, which have own translations. Languages that use different words for North and South Korea also have translations @Korea. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 22:37, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

"shooting platform"

Does anyone know what we call a banquette de tir in English? A term from World War One, mostly, indicating a sort of low bank in a dugout from which you'd fire on the enemy. I see some results for shooting platform but I don't know if there's some other term available…. Ƿidsiþ 07:22, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

Trench construction diagram 1914.png
Sounds like a fire step or firebay, mentioned in w:Trench warfare#Trench constructionMichael Z. 2014-01-13 18:02 z
Field Entrenchments[2][3] uses firing step, and also firing platform which I suspect is a larger version or sort of catwalk. It is the source for this diagram – wish we could find its legend. Michael Z. 2014-01-13 18:23 z
Thanks Michael. I'll have a look into some of these in more detail…. Ƿidsiþ 20:52, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Several terms are apparently available, here's a Google N-gram. Fire step / firing step are historically the most common, although firing platform appears to be the most popular choice in recent works. Ƿidsiþ 21:07, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

automotive specialties

A quote:

Based on tin chemistry, Thermolite® heat stabilizers are used in PVC production, much of which is used in the construction sector, while Fascat® catalysts are used in automotive specialties and other applications.

Is this use of 'specialty' appropriate? It seems a bit strange: 'specialty' is not 'application', AFAIK. --CopperKettle (talk) 16:35, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I would have said "automotive industry". Also note the lack of parallelism at the end: "used in automotive specialties" works but "used in other applications" is wrong. It would be more correct to say "used in the automotive industry, but has other applications". Clearly whoever wrote this either was not a native speaker or was not focusing on grammar. --WikiTiki89 16:41, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Arkema is a French company, so I guess French translators are prone to making slips similar to their Russian-tongued counterparts. (0: --CopperKettle (talk) 16:46, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Similar to any-tongued counterparts. --WikiTiki89 16:48, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

shell overlapping senses

Senses 1, 4, 8, and 9 of shell all deal with shells as hard coverings of specific kinds of animals (mollusks, insects, tortoises, armadillos). Senses 5, 6, and 7 deal with shells as hard coverings of specific kinds of plants (nuts, legumes, cacao). I can't help feeling that there is redundancy there, since any animal or seed with a hard outer covering can be described as having a "shell" even if it is none of the specified types. Perhaps we could have a single sense for each concept, with these more specific uses as subsenses? bd2412 T 18:03, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

I would bring it to WT:RFC. --WikiTiki89 18:05, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
That is more or less the Wiktionary equivalent of "referring it to a committee". I'm going to just address it boldly, and see if that sticks. bd2412 T 20:43, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
To be honest, I agree with you. But I've gotten told off for it before. --WikiTiki89 20:45, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Done. Cheers! bd2412 T 20:57, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I just looked at the page... there are a ****ton of senses. I'm sure we can consolidate more of them. Also, did you make sure to reorder the translation tables for the senses you rearranged? --WikiTiki89 21:08, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I think it makes sense to wait and see whether the change itself is contested before addressing the translation tables; I'm not sure it matters if those are in an exact matching order anyway, since each one has a gloss saying what sense it contains translations for. bd2412 T 21:51, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I see your point. --WikiTiki89 21:54, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

trade secret - a mess

Are these two definitions really different senses? At any rate, they need to be cleaned up. ---> Tooironic (talk) 22:41, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

I agree. They are the same sense. --WikiTiki89 22:51, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
The second sense is just an excessively long and detailed repetition of the first. Also, the fact that trade secrets are non-patented is not part of the definition of trade secrets, but merely a consequence of the fact that patents are published. There have been patent systems from time to time where it was possible to keep aspects of an invention secret while still having the patent right. bd2412 T 00:37, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

take a break

I'm pretty sure that they both mean the same thing, and one of them is {{alternative form of}} the other. But on which entry do we host the lemma? From personal experience, they both occur with about the same relative frequency. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 23:07, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

I would even say they're SOP. Compare "take a nap", "have a nap", "take a ride", "have a ride", "take a look", "have a look". --WikiTiki89 23:14, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I had a feeling about that, but I couldn't decide if the primary meaning of break (a break in what?) is obvious. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 23:23, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
It would sound odd to me for someone to say "You've been working hard, have a break". I would use have a break only to discuss the existence of a break ("I have a break at 3 pm", "do you have a break before lunch?"), not the use of a break. Maybe that's regional (I'm in Los Angeles, California, US), but I don't remember ever hearing take a break and have a break with overlapping usage. I also have to say that both look SOP to me: the definition that says "A rest or pause, usually from work; a breaktime" covers this quite well. It's true that you don't "experience" a break or "perform" a break, but that has to do with the semantic range of those verbs and of break. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:19, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Speaking as an American, "have a break" sounds a bit British. If a Brit could confirm this, that would be helpful. --WikiTiki89 01:25, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, see below. Dbfirs 22:34, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
As much as I think both of these are SoP, I also think they are entry-worthy because the regional (I assume) differences in distribution of the two expressions indicates a kind of idiomaticity. BTW: See Appendix:Collocations of do, have, make, and take. An alternative approach would be to use {{only-in}} to softly redirect users to the Appendix, preferably using {{senseid}} to get them to the specific line. This would annoy those who must have translations.
@TeleCom: My definition of alternative forms does not include synonyms, which are what these are. Therefore I would have two lemmas, connected through either listings under Synonyms headers or through the wording of the definitions. DCDuring TALK 12:34, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice, but does that mean that you do not recommend using {{synonym of}} in favor of two distinct lemmas? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 17:40, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I never recommend the use of superfluous templates. I usually prefer lemma entries for major regional differences to avoid <pun alert>glossing over</pun alert> possibly subtle semantic or usage-related differences. Others here differ in their preferences, some with more ability and enthusiasm to enforce them on others. DCDuring TALK 18:30, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Synonyms don't even have to be exact. They often have different connotations, or different usage conditions. --WikiTiki89 19:30, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I think have a break does sort of have a British feel for it, even if it is rarer in some regions than others. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 19:39, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, more common here in northern England than take a break, though both are used. "Have a break" is often a synonym for "have a rest", whereas the "take" form tends to suggest an allocated time ("take the break that you are entitled to"). Dbfirs 22:34, 29 January 2014 (UTC)


Can someone verify the UK pronunciation? I can't imagine that the primary stress would be at the beginning of the word. It just sounds awkward. I don't put much stock in the given pronunciation because they used ɵ instead of θ... Ultimateria (talk) 02:46, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Yeah it was wrong, I've changed it. Ƿidsiþ 08:07, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
I have removed the portion about chloroplasts, as they are not a necessary component, e.g. they are not used by cyanobacteria. I don't think the bit about carbohydrates should be in there either, as I think their generation is a separate, albeit closely related, process. Perhaps a better definition would be "The process by which plants and other photoautotrophs convert light energy to chemical energy." It is perhaps less informative, but I suspect more accurate. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 08:54, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
If we used {{context}} (properly) to unambiguously signal register usage context rather than topic, we could have both a technical and a non-technical (schoolboy) definition. DCDuring TALK 12:38, 13 January 2014 (UTC)
So, a definition of what photosynthesis actually is, and a definition of what people who don't understand science think it is? Well, there is precedent for that; we do define "Java" as "Javascript, when the speaker doesn't understand the difference between it and Java"... - -sche (discuss) 18:48, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I think our current definition is perfect. We don't need to explain how photosynthesis works, that's Wikipedia's job. --WikiTiki89 19:01, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Better than that (but IMO still unnecessary) would be to have the more specific plant/chloroplast sense as a subsense of the main overarching sense. Equinox 23:47, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps we could say something like "often associated with chloroplasts of plants"? --WikiTiki89 23:49, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I must say I don't understand the utility of multiple definitions. The layperson doesn't mean something different than the botanist, though they might understand the process less thoroughly. Additionally, there isn't a subsense specific to plants; they do it in a slightly different manner than cyanobacteria, of course, but that difference isn't lexical. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 08:07, 15 January 2014 (UTC)


What's the difference between Category:en:Cardinal numbers, Category:English numbers and Category:English numerals? I noticed there were a few entries like twenty one and twenty four that belong in "English numbers" but the other terms appear in "English numerals. And I think most of these entries are also part of "en:Cardinal numbers", yet neither "en:Cardinal numbers" nor "en:Ordinal numbers" fall under "English numbers". TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 07:33, 13 January 2014 (UTC)

This has been discussed before. In the more distant past, there were even heated debates about it. In the more recent past, discussions have been calmer, and the community seemed to be moving toward consensus to use only one of the terms (though I don't offhand recall which one ... "numeral", I think). - -sche (discuss) 19:08, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Here are just a few of the many past discussions: an October 2006 vote, a November 2006 BP discussion, a January 2010 BP discussion, a September 2010 vote, a September 2010 BP discussion, a July 2011 BP discussion, a June 2012 BP discussion, a July 2012 BP discussion, an October 2012 BP discussion and this short November 2013 BP discussion. Unless you're really bored, I recommend reading only the last four. We should probably do as Ivan suggested in the Nov 2013 discussion and draft a new vote (and solicit discussion on its talk page or in the BP before starting it, obv). - -sche (discuss) 19:08, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
I think the July 2012 discussion best describes the current situation and why it's used. —CodeCat 19:57, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

the proof of the pudding is in the eating

I know the number of hits on Google books doesn't exactly support me, but I believe the shorter form the proof is in the pudding is more widely used, based on my experience alone. I'm not sure about the frequency with which you've heard each phrase pop up so I'm asking here for your opinions. Just in case this is true, if the shorter form is more common, should the location of the lemma move accordingly? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 10:29, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

  • I have never once heard your shorter version. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:33, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I've heard both, but I have no feeling as to which is more common. Can't we just keep both lemmas and call them synonyms of each other? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:11, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think I've heard the shorter version either. I've heard the proof of the pudding mostly, with the understanding that it's a reference to the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:08, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Our entry claims the short version originated in America, so I'm not that surprised SB hasn't heard it, but I am a little surprised Chuck hasn't heard it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:36, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
      • I haven't heard the longer version. The short form doesn't really even make sense and until I saw the long form just now, I had no idea what it actually meant. --WikiTiki89 15:51, 14 January 2014 (UTC)
Oddly enough, I've seen both forms in German texts (some Germans like to sprinkle English idioms into their writing...). I haven't seen either form in an English text. As noted by the OP, Google Books does suggest that the long form is more common, the short form being a more recent innovation. I would keep the current arrangement. - -sche (discuss) 18:45, 14 January 2014 (UTC)

soda pop

If it does have different meanings in different parts of America, separate senses should be listed, rather than just put in example sentences. ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:41, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

The Dictionary of American Regional English is the source. Someday, if no one does it before me, I will go the the not-so-local library that has this and fulfill requests for regional differences in meaning of such terms and the diverse regional synonyms for them. Perhaps I should create a request template and category to collect the entries and senses that would benefit. Would {{rfregionalUS}} be a good template name and Category:Requests for regional distribution of English words (US) be a good category name? DCDuring TALK 03:58, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
My university's library supposedly has this. I'll see if I can find it, but I need a list of things to look up. --WikiTiki89 04:04, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
That's the idea of the template and category. In the absence of that, the different words for 'soda pop', 'hero sandwich', 'frappe', 'egg cream', 'pickle', 'policeman', 'sidewalk', 'footpath' would be places to test out what's involved in getting info usable in our formats. DCDuring TALK 05:43, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
My impression is that the variation is mostly expressed in regional synonyms, not regional senses: soda, pop, tonic, soda pop, etc. , so most of it doesn't even belong there- why even mention the different meanings of soda in the soda pop entry? I'm also not so sure that usage regarding w:Ice cream sodas lines up as neatly by region as the entry claims- I think the senses of soda coexist in many places, with context determining whether you're talking about a carbonated beverage or a dessert.
It may be an interesting subject, but there's a Wikipedia article (w:Names for soft drinks in the United States) that covers it better. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:38, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
@Wikitiki: I wasn't recommending that we change the layout or coverage of our entries. DARE collected much of their data by asking people what they call X, getting different answers with different frequencies in different regions. So looking up 'soda pop' probably leads to multiple regional terms.
@Chuck: The terms I mention are just what came to mind. Therefore they are also the most likely to include some covered by WP. The overlapping coverage provides opportunities to calibrate one's evaluation of the much more comprehensive w:Dictionary of American Regional English. DCDuring TALK 13:32, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't saying that either. I was just saying that if anything needs to be looked up in DARE, I have easy access to a library that has it, i.e. I can go there pretty much any time any day. --WikiTiki89 16:20, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

cold appliance

Is cold appliance a proper term for "any appliance, such as freezer or refrigerator used to produce lower than ambinet temperature for preserving food, medicine etc.". I'm asking, because I want to find a translation for Finnish kylmälaite. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:36, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

I've never heard it in the US or in my travels or reading. DCDuring TALK 05:45, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, there are about 10,000 Google hits, many of them quite relevant-looking, for example this book [4]. On the other hand 10,000 is not much for an English term, as Finnish kylmälaite gets 300,000 hits. That's basically why I asked. Is there another, more commonly used term? --Hekaheka (talk) 07:20, 15 January 2014 (UTC)
I can't think of one. I would say "refrigerators and freezers", ignoring "wine coolers" (ambiguous BTW) and other things. I might say "cooling equipment" if I were also including air conditioners and evaporative coolers. And I personally use fans for personal cooling. DCDuring TALK 13:13, 15 January 2014 (UTC)


What is the hyphenation of heydeguy? Best regards --Yoursmile (talk) 11:23, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

Assuming it is English, I would venture 'hey-de-guy'. DCDuring TALK 13:17, 15 January 2014 (UTC)


I'm trying to figure out whether to split a definition on creative: Talk:creative#Split definition?. Not sure if it's better to talk here or there. Skalman (talk) 07:26, 16 January 2014 (UTC)


Should the first sense be moved to -goer? It doesn't seem to ever occur on its own, only as part of a compound. I wanted to add a translation table with a Dutch translation for it, but the Dutch -ganger only occurs in compounds too, so it doesn't really fit into the current entry. —CodeCat 00:22, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I disagree. If you want to RFV it go ahead, but I'm sure goer (in the first sense) can be and is used alone. --WikiTiki89 00:25, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
That may be true, but Dutch -ganger only translates the suffixed use, not the independent use. So what should we do? —CodeCat 00:27, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
List two translations. That is, if Dutch has a translation for a plain "goer". If not, then I guess just -ganger will have to do. --WikiTiki89 00:48, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Talk:-goer why keep only as redirect? Valid suffix, see churchgoer, partygoer etc. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 00:51, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
      • Well, if goer is a noun, then those would be considered compounds rather than suffixed nouns. We only consider a compound-part as a suffix (or prefix) if it doesn't occur freely at all, or if it does, not with the same meaning. So partygoer would only have -goer if the "goer" part meant something different from the noun goer. In any case, those two nouns translate into Dutch with -ganger: kerkganger, feestganger. —CodeCat 00:58, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
      • Also, if "partygoer" is a compound, then surely "party goer" is that very same compound, so it doesn't count as an attestation of "goer" on its own (just like "cranberry" doesn't count for "cran"). "comer and goer" could, in theory, be analysed as come and go + -er, with some odd suffixation rules. That would make it not an attestation of "goer" either. —CodeCat 01:00, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I've added Russian and German translations as best as I could, giving component and full words for German, where senses are not quite same, so I added a {{qualifier}}. Would Dutch be similar? Do we need to split sense further? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:06, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

see the forest for the trees

I don't know if this is ever used in a positive sense, I'm more familiar with not seeing the forest for the trees. But in any case, most of the translations are for the negative sense, so something needs to be done about that. I don't know what, though. —CodeCat 01:53, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

The positive form is much rarer than the negative form, I agree, but see cites 1 2 so I think it does exist. Also does a question form still count as a negative form, i.e. "Can you see the forest for the trees?" vs "Can't you see the forest for the trees?" TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 02:26, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
It is a general property of negative polarity items that they can be used in questions as well as negative sentences. I think this lemma is fine the way it is. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Ok, but what about the translations? —CodeCat 13:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
If possible, pull the negatives out of them; otherwise, add a note like the Swedish translation currently has. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

bigger fish to fry

I think this word is semantically equivalent to other fish to fry so I'm considering turning the other one into an {{alternative form of}}, in the sense that "There are bigger things to worry about" and "There are other things to worry about" appear to be semantically equivalent. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 02:31, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

NB I have done this for other fish in the sea. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:52, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't think they mean quite the same thing. I would take "other fish in the sea" to mean other opportunities, and "bigger fish in the sea" to mean threats (as in, "there's always a bigger fish"). bd2412 T 04:10, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that's a different definition, and I've heard that one before. But the definition I found equivalent was the "other goals, other mating partners" definition people are fond of using. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 04:20, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I think "I have other fish to fry" means "I have other things to do", while "I have bigger fish to fry" means "I have more important things to do". --WikiTiki89 16:40, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
But does not "I have more important things to do" necessarily imply "I have other things to do"? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 16:49, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but the reverse does not hold. "I have other things to do" does not imply "I have more important things to do". --WikiTiki89 16:56, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but "fish to fry" which means "something to eat" already imply "important things" to do or worry about. The current definition even says "To have more important things to do". The distinction is so minute I haven't found a single cite to support one which does not also support the other. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 17:04, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I bet you can't find any cites to support a difference between "I drank some ice-cold water" and "I drank some refreshingly cold water", yet there is a difference. And "other important things" is not the same as "more important things". --WikiTiki89 17:12, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
@Telecom: Perhaps not in print, but it seems to me that the sense at issue is in widespread use. In such use bigger fish to fry is a hyponym of other fish to fry as Wikitiki pointed out. These are (the?) important prototypes for paired snowclones of truly identical meaning and the same relative meaning (ie, hyponymy-hypernymy). DCDuring TALK 17:18, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


Is the second sense, "acts committed with intent to destroy the whole or a significant portion of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group", distinct from the first sense? How? (Can someone add some usexes illustrating the difference, if there is one?) Other dictionaries have only one sense. - -sche (discuss) 02:59, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

No. --WikiTiki89 03:01, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Exaggeration. Cf "Release of the abortion pill in Spain was tantamount to genocide of the Spanish people" versus "Release of the abortion pill in Spain was genocide of the Spanish people" TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:03, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
This sense does not cover hyperbole, AFAICT. However, you raise a good point: it is common to extend the meaning of genocide, not just hyperbolically but also in phrases like "cultural genocide" and "linguistic genocide", where it refers not to the murder of members of a group, but to the destruction of the group's identity/language/etc while most or even (hypothetically) all of the members of the group survive. - -sche (discuss) 03:14, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I think that you can do the same with other -cides like "cultural suicide/homicide" or "career suicide" (nb "job suicide" has connotations of actually killing oneself due to stress from work-related issues). TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:19, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Postscript: I do notice one difference. A regime does not need to succeed in killing all or most of a group, but instead needs only to kill some part (even <50%) of the group while intending to kill more of the group, for the act to be described as "genocide" — and that use of genocide is covered by the second sense but not the first. That still doesn't seem like a separate sense, but merely grounds for tweaking the first sense and/or the usage note which already partially addresses the issue by mentioning that the aim and effect of "genocide" can be to terrorise a group rather than to wipe it out completely. - -sche (discuss) 03:14, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
Both senses say that though, so it's not a difference. --WikiTiki89 16:42, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
"The systematic killing of substantial numbers of people..." "substantial numbers of people" sounds about right, and it's vague enough to be applied quite liberally, which is often how the word is (ab/mis)used by most people anyway, particularly against their political opponents. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 16:47, 17 January 2014 (UTC)
I have merged the senses. They had been separate for a long time (since before 2009). - -sche (discuss) 20:21, 17 January 2014 (UTC)


This entry is missing the dative singular indefinite form, which is "hug" according to the Icelandic Wiktionary. But the template has no documentation so I don't know how it should be added. —CodeCat 17:32, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I was able to find an entry with a similar pattern, áburður, and it just omits any i= or u= parameter. I would hazard a guess that perhaps the existence of those parameters somehow signals that there is i-mutation or u-mutation, but the content of the parameters consists of the actual endings for that form. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:02, 18 January 2014 (UTC)


We call this a non-comparable adjective, and a declension table has just been added for it. But I (a nonnative but fairly fluent speaker) have never heard this used attributively, only predicatively, and de:feil calls it an adverb and offers no declension table. What do other German speakers think? Can you say something like der feile Tisch for "the table for sale"? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:40, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

I have corrected the entry on German Wiktionary. You can take a look at the references, which call feil an adjective. I've added also two examples, where you can see the (antiquated) attributively use. The second sence ist used (mostly?) predicatively. Best regards --Yoursmile (talk) 09:59, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

none too

Does this deserve an entry? (I mean in phrases like "I'm none too pleased, happy", etc.)--Fsojic (talk) 18:08, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't think so, except possible a redirect to none#Adverb. It is also worth having a usage example containing "none too" there, whether or not we have none too as an entry. Yes check.svg Done without prejudice to a full entry. DCDuring TALK 20:10, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Collins and Cambridge Advanced Learner's among real dictionaries have this. Also 2 idiom dictionaries. Two other references redirect to too. Under the proposed Lemming principle (See WT:BP, this would be included, though the proposal explicitly allows for debate on presentation by redirect vs. regular entry. DCDuring TALK 20:25, 18 January 2014 (UTC)


The "Translingual" section is completely incomprehensible. Keφr 18:50, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

I would remove it, since it doesn't give any usable information beyond the fact that it's from Latin: just about any string of basic Latin-alphabet letters can be "Used as a specific epithet", and different specific epithets may derive from different senses of the Latin word. I'm not so sure the generic name w:Pupa is derived from it, either: it seems to be derived from the name for the developmental stage of an insect, rather than from the specific epithet. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:21, 18 January 2014 (UTC)
Presumably, pupa was used to name the stage of development of insects only well after Classical Latin. As in this case, we rarely have very good coverage of terms used in "scientific Latin", especially not before Linnaeus. As a result we have some terms and some definitions of terms used as specific epithets that are deemed Latin and some deemed Translingual. There are other derivational possibilities for specific epithets of this vintage as well. DCDuring TALK 21:21, 18 January 2014 (UTC)

capillary refill

Are the two separate senses entirely necessary? AFAIK it's not exclusive to emergency medicine anyway. ---> Tooironic (talk) 08:19, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

I had my doubts about the second sense, when I added the fi translation for the first sense (per your request). According to the Wikipedia entry for "capillary refill" it's the "capillary refill time" (CRT) that is used as indicator. Also, it appears that the use of CRT is not limited to emergencies. On the other hand, when I googled "did capillary refill" and "performed capillary refill" I found that in a small number of results "capillary refill" was actually used as short form of "capillary refill test". --Hekaheka (talk) 21:37, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
When I saw this lemma pop up, I thought it was to do with a certain type of fountain pen. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 21:49, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
In that case I suppose we should have a separate entry for capillary refill test, and perhaps put a soft redirect for it at capillary refill. ---> Tooironic (talk) 22:21, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
Sorry I got that wrong, it should be capillary refill time. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)


In the sentence "The color blue is a wonderful color" is color an adjective or a noun with blue as an adjective in the postposition? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 07:10, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Neither. Both "color" and "blue" are nouns. "The color" is a noun phrase modifying "blue", though I'm not sure of the correct terminology for such constructions. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:07, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
But we never refer to "the blue" directly, we always have to refer to it in grammatical contexts as "the color blue". For example, the same sentence "The blue is a wonderful color" is grammatically incorrect. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 08:28, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
"Blue" is already definite and therefore doesn't take "the". You can say "Blue is a wonderful color." "The color blue" is the same kind of construct as "the novel Of Mice and Men" or "the supervisor Bob". --WikiTiki89 08:37, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
We also don't say "the water is a liquid", but that doesn't make it an adjective. The word "blue" can be either an adjective or a noun, but in this instance, it's a noun. I'm still a bit fuzzy on the exact relationship between "the color" and "blue", but "color" is a noun (we can make it plural by saying "the colors blue and green"- try that with an English adjective), and so is "blue". Chuck Entz (talk) 09:05, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
Is it perhaps related to the fact that numbers/numerals are given their own PoS sections? Like "The number one is a wonderful number". TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 23:26, 20 January 2014 (UTC)


  1. ŋilna is the only Nenets word currently entered in romanization. The others are in Cyrillic.
  2. The link at the bottom to Starostin's etymology no longer produces a result. 12:04, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

dot (Albanian)

There is no meaning given for the Albanian word dot. 12:06, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

I've added {{rfdef|lang=sq}} to bring it to the attention of those knowledgable in Albanian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:15, 20 January 2014 (UTC)
This dictionary doesn't give anything useful. The Albanian section was created rather recently, see this diff by Etimo (talkcontribs). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:08, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
However much suspicion I may have of the numerous Indo-European "cognates" they've posted, I have no reason to doubt their Albanian work- Etimo is a native speaker. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:06, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
The entry just needs some fixing, that's all. It's a form of do (to want). --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 02:14, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

dot is a word used to express impossibility in doing or performing something. In a phrase it remains untranslated, its meaning could be explained as in fact, in deed (eg. Nuk e bëj dot - I can't do it indeed, ,). Orel (1998:71) defines it as 'particle of irreality', a sequence of do + . I don't know how to classify this in Wiki Etimo (talk) 19:09, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

I have improved dot#Albanian slightly but you have to do a bit more, IMHO. It now has the right headers but still lacks a definition, like a ... form of do.... --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 22:03, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

what's the president doing?

What's he doing?

Hi. Is there a more precise word for the faces being pulled in this picture? --Back on the list (talk) 13:56, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I doubt it. But the words gurn and chupse came to mind! — Oh, according to the press, it's a "not impressed" face. Equinox 18:50, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
My guess is a twisted smirk. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 18:55, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't any specific words, but I would call it scrunching or twisting his face or squeezing his lips. --WikiTiki89 18:56, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Or a wry grin. —Stephen (Talk) 11:43, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Based on both my reaction and the diversity of views expressed, I'd have to go with the generic idiom: making a face or "mugging for the camera". DCDuring TALK 13:23, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

clanjamfrie - an English word of Scots origin, or a purely Scots word?

There are multiple spellings of "clanjamfrie" with articles, most of which claim to be alternative spellings of "clanjamphry", with the actual definition being on that article. That spelling's article, and some of the others, have the word listed solely as a Scots word; but others, such as "clanjamfrie", have it listed as an English word of Scots origin. Is there any evidence of its use for serious purposes outside Scotland?

The OED has the entry at "clanjamfrie" and classifies the word as "Scottish and northern English dialect", though I've never heard it as far south as Cumbria or Yorkshire. Historic usage is almost entirely by Scottish writers (Walter Scott is widely read elsewhere, of course), but Thomas Hughes used the sentence " I only know the whole clamjamfery of them were there. in Tom Brown at Oxford, so it must have been known in Warwickshire and Oxfordshire in 1861. There are very few words that exist in Scots but not in English, and I would claim that there are even fewer that have moved into English since the Scots language gained recognition, because it is a comparatively recent language having its origins in northern English. (There might be a few that have crept in from Scottish Gaelic.) Dbfirs 12:31, 25 January 2014 (UTC)


I've noticed that this word, unreconcilable, is defined in Wiktionary. I think that it should at least be listed as proscribed, and preferably removed, because:

  1. It does not appear at all in the online version of the American Heritage dictionary, which is generally considered a prescriptive dictionary,
  2. It is not defined in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, although looking it up takes you to a page for the un- prefix, which includes a list of possible uses of that prefix, including 'unreconcilable',
  3. It is redundant with the significantly more widely used word 'irreconcilable'. This can be verified via a Google Trends comparison of usage frequency between the two words: http://www.google.com/trends/explore#q=irreconcilable%2C%20unreconcilable&cmpt=q

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? —This comment was unsigned.

If dictionaries only copied each other, not much progress would be made. You can see it's a real word that's been used: [5]. Also, there's no law against two words meaning the same thing: consider flammable and inflammable; you wouldn't want to remove one of those...? Perhaps we should just add a usage note saying that it is considerably rarer (or more dated) than irreconcilable. Equinox 19:13, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Unreconcilable seems to get enough b.g.c hits to be includable, though it is definitely rare in comparison with irreconcilable. I don't think you'll convince many people that a word that appears in Shakespeare is to be proscribed. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:35, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
It's hard to call it [[[unreconcilable]]] even "rare", as it occurs about 2% as often as irreconcilable in both BNC and COCA. It's just less common than its synonym, probably because it's more euphonious/easier to pronounce. DCDuring TALK 19:56, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
@Equinox: According to Google N-Gram, it seems to have increased (doubled!) to its current modest popularity in the last 50 years compared to the previous 50, so "dated" doesn't fit either. DCDuring TALK 20:13, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
We certainly don't want to remove the word (I might want to use it sometime!) The OED (one of the more prescriptive dictionaries) includes it, but says "now rare". In view of DC's research above, it is perhaps coming back into fashion? I agree that a usage note would be appropriate. Dbfirs 11:22, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
What makes you say the OED is prescriptive? --WikiTiki89 16:46, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Well it's not as keen as Wiktionary to include words that someone has recently coined (and mentioned on "Usenet"), or that appear as mis-prints or mis-spellings in three publications, but perhaps you are correct that the OED is more descriptive than prescriptive. It certainly is not in the same league as the Académie française (or the OP). Dbfirs 11:30, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Ok. The way I see it omitting words and prescriptivism are entirely separate things. The OED never says that any word it fails to include is not a real word. --WikiTiki89 14:54, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Well the OED tends to include all words that "good" writers use, and it sometimes comments on aberrant spellings. Wiktionary tends to include a word if three cites can be found in the strangest of texts (my opinion of a few entries, don't take it too seriously!) I agree with your second sentence. The OED has a vast database of words (with cites) that it has not yet included. Dbfirs 22:20, 29 January 2014 (UTC)


What is the hyphenation of architectresses? I'm especially interested on the hyphenation of the plural ending. Best regards --Yoursmile (talk) 19:15, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

I'd go with ar·chi·tect·ress·es. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:27, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you! Are there any rules for hyphenation in English? --Yoursmile (talk) 20:25, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but I've never found a place where they're all written down. And they sometimes differ between American and British English (but don't ask me how!), just to make life difficult. For the plural ending in this case, though, the rule is that if an ending can be separated while leaving the rest of the word correctly spelled, then you can divide after the fully spelled basic word, e.g. actress·es, walk·ing, tempt·ed. (But the part after the hyphen still has to reflect a spoken syllable, so *horse·s and *walk·ed are wrong.) When in doubt, I just check a dictionary, such as Merriam-Webster and American Heritage for American English; for British English you may have to resort to print dictionaries as none of the online ones I'm aware of (Collins, Cambridge, Oxford) include hyphenation information. "Architectress" is a pretty rare word; I deduced its hyphenation from "architect" and "actresses". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:36, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
Each dictionary has its own rules, which may or may not agree with other dictionaries' rules. There are differences between US and UK dictionaries, with Americans supposedly more likely to syllabify written words the same way they syllabify spoken words (i.e. to hyphenate at syllable breaks), but there are also differences between US dictionaries and other US dictionaries, and between UK dictionaries and other UK dictionaries. For example, Dictionary.com (a US dictionary) and oxforddictionaries.com's US version hyphenate predecessor as "pred·e·ces·sor", Merriam-Webster (another US dictionary) and oxforddictionaries.com's UK version hyphenate it "pre·de·ces·sor". (In this case, the syllabification of the spoken word is also variable: /ˈprɛd.ə.sɛs.ɚ/, /ˈpri.də.sɛs.ɚ/.) And both versions of oxforddictionaries.com have "ti·tan·ium" while Dictionary.com and MW have "ti·ta·ni·um". - -sche (discuss) 21:58, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

"the plot thickens" -- earliest use?

The phrase "the plot thickens" dates at least to 1693:

  • John Locke (1693) Some Thoughts on Education, p. 116.
  • (Anon.) (1702) Poems on Affairs of State: From the time of Oliver Cromwell, to the Abdication of K. James the Second. … , 4th ed., p. 88 ("The Hind and the Panther Travers'd" by Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax)
  • (Anon.) (1704) The Anthenian Oracle … , vol. iii, p. 156.
  • (Anon.) (1707) Glossographia Anglicana nova, or, A dictionary, interpreting such hard words of whatever language … , the pages of this book are not numbered, so see the entry for "epitasis".

The phrase probably antedates even 1693, since it was used in the fourth edition of The Hind and the Panther Travers'd.

As I suspected, the poem The Hind and the Panther Travers'd by Matthew Prior & Charles Montagu, Earl of Halifax, dates to 1687. The poem is a parody of "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse". The quote is: "But now, Gentlemen, the Plot thickens, here comes my t'other Mouse, the City Mouse."

Nope. It dates even earlier: In the play The Rehearsal (1671) by George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, during Act III, sc. iv, the character Bayes says: "Ay, now the Plot thickens very much upon us."

Cwkmail (talk) 21:26, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

break a law, break the law

My feeling is "break the law" is much more common than "break a law". Hits on Google Books confirm my suspicion. Is there some special reason why break the law is only a soft hard redirect for break a law? ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:27, 21 January 2014 (UTC)

"Break a law" almost requires a specific explanation of which law was broken and seems to limit the number broken to one. "Break the law" is indefinite as to the number of laws possibly involved and can refer to the body of law as a whole, so that the person who breaks the law is more likely to be considered an outlaw, a law-breaker, someone outside the bounds of law-abiding society. DCDuring TALK 23:38, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
To me "break a law" seems less idiomatic in every use I can think of, as dictionaries seem to agree. In at least many uses, break the law seems idiomatic to me, but not to other dictionaries. DCDuring TALK 23:39, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
And I'm speaking as the alleged (by the history) perpetrator of the move. DCDuring TALK 23:44, 21 January 2014 (UTC)
The law refers to the laws of the place in question as a whole. A law refers to any one individual law. "To break a law" is the same thing as "to break one law", while "to break the law" means "to break some part or all of the law". --WikiTiki89 00:04, 22 January 2014 (UTC)


Hello, I tried to contribute to the Wiktionary. There is a big difference between "confix" as defined here and "Konfix" as used in German linguistics. So I wrote the article for Konfix and brought German specialist literature to the citations tab, showing the possible confusions by not differenciating Konfix/confix. I begged for help concerning formatting but the citations-tab was deleted and with it all my editing versions. If this kind of work or work by me isn’t required here, I accept it, but please help that my text-compilation is given back to me. It‘s not a good feeling not to know who sits in the waste paper box, where my work was brought, and why. --LexyNN (talk) 02:40, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

I have restored what you put in the citations tab and moved it to the talk page. It is not a citation, but it may contain some useful information. --WikiTiki89 02:46, 22 January 2014 (UTC)
Many thanks--LexyNN (talk) 03:45, 22 January 2014 (UTC)


This is a form-of entry that points to the singular, but the singular only says that the plural is more common. So there's no actual definition in either of these entries. If the noun has only a plural, then the entry should probably be placed there, and the singular form should redirect to it with {{singular of}} or {{nominative singular of}}. —CodeCat 00:17, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

The singular entry defines it as varenyky. --WikiTiki89 00:25, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
(after EC) In Russian, it's a normal noun with singulars and plurals but in English "vareniki/varenyky" is better know than its singular form "varenik/varenyk", same with pirozhki, valenki, portyanki and others. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:27, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
The definition is still awkward though. How would we describe it? A single "piece" of vareniki? A single "unit"? A single "vareniki dumpling"? Or should we just go with "a varenik" and write an entry there? —CodeCat 00:40, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
It's a possibility, like "pirozhok", provided singular "varenik" exists in English. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:45, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
The English singular varenyk/varenik is in use, but not all speakers are aware of it. Michael Z. 2014-01-23 22:26 z
Also, in Russian, the singular is much rarer than the plural. --WikiTiki89 22:31, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
So, is the solution to put the definitions in the plural entries and have the singulars be defined as "singular of" in both languages? —This unsigned comment was added by -sche (talkcontribs).
I would say yes. --WikiTiki89 22:38, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
"Вареники" is seldom used in the singular because a single varenik (вареник) is just too small to be a dish, even smaller than a single "пирожок" (pirozhok). It's the same with "peanuts", "peas", "berries", anything small. I don't think single "вареник" is rarely used but as a dish, it's usually in the plural, the same way in English a single pea, peanut, berry is used less often. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 22:51, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I'll counter that with two Ngrams: peanut vs peanuts and вареник vs вареники. --WikiTiki89 23:06, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I won't argue with Ngrams but in any case, there is no problem with using single "вареник" in both Ukrainian and Russian. Perhaps there's no similar equivalent in English, I can't say off the top of my head because words like pea, peanut, berry (in the singular) are also used as attributives in English but Russian/Ukrainian have adjectives for these purpose. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:18, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
A good English equivalent is potato chips. See "potato chip" vs "potato chips". I would be ok with moving the lemma from potato chip to potato chips. --WikiTiki89 23:33, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Note that chips was borrowed into Russian as чипс (čips) for the singular and чипсы (čipsy) for the plural, similar to veriniki and varenikis in English. --WikiTiki89 23:35, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
There are quite a few other Russian borrowings from English with back formation, which add native plural ending (e.g. -ы) to the original plural (English -s) - джи́нсы (džínsy), бу́тсы (bútsy), кли́псы (klípsy), ба́ксы (báksy), etc. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:17, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
In the Slavic languages these words follow the perfectly regular and predictable form of singular and plural. There is no reason to diverge from the normal entry scheme. In English, dumplings has 3× the frequency of dumpling, but there’s no need to make it the lemma either.
But in English, the vareniki/varenyky form is used for the dish, and is the only one known to many speakers. It derives from the Slavic languages, but also from second-hand use in Yiddish, German, and Plautdietsch, where the native singular/plural form is already unfamiliar. Some speakers understand the original singular and plural, while some even back-form plurals like varenikis/varenikes/warenekis.
The English lemma should remain at varenyky, and the definition represent the variable analysis and inflection of the term. Michael Z. 2014-01-23 23:41 z
It's not about the form, it's about the usage. In the case of вареники, the ratio of plural to singular uses (in the nominative at least) is 5:1, which is not too bad, but there is no reason not to make the plural the lemma form. We do this in English with chips. --WikiTiki89 23:51, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
WT:Lemmas implies that it is about the form, and not the frequency. Lemma doesn’t mean “main entry in a dictionary” – it refers to a form. Maybe you should propose a change to that guideline. There are several reasons to consistently use the lemma as the main entry.
English varenyky/vareniki is not fully naturalized, and is inflected in more than one way. The main entry should be at the form which is common to them all. Alternatively, we could define it in two ways with two lemmas, but this would make it more complicated with no benefit to the reader’s understanding.
In the case of many foodstuffs, there is an item sense (“I took a chip from the bowl of chips”), and an overlapping sense of a dish (“three burgers, two chips, and four waters, please”). In the case of chip/chips, we have definitions in both the lemma and plural-form entries. I’m curious why you think this is a good idea in this case. Michael Z. 2014-01-24 00:17 z
See the recent BP discussion: Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2013/December#Entries that mix form-of definitions and lemmas. --WikiTiki89 00:22, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I had missed that one. It looks to me that consensus would support removing the redundant definitions from the plural-form entry chips (where chips 2 = chip 6, and chips 3 = chip 7, and none of these is a plural-only term). Michael Z. 2014-01-24 03:32 z
Yes, but there was also support for using {{singular of}} more often when the plural fits better as the lemma. --WikiTiki89 03:41, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Just a note that pirozhki and vareniki have singulars but there are also borrowings in plural from Russian and other languages like "portyanki", "pelmeni", "valenki", "lapti", for which there may not be singular forms in English. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 05:09, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, but most English speakers don't know that pirozhki and vareniki have singulars, and if they do happen to know that these are actually plurals, they usually don't know what the singulars are. --WikiTiki89 05:18, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm just giving examples of differences. These are lemmas in English but translations and etymology sections should show both singular and plural in Russian. If they are all singulars and only singulars in English, that's fine but if they have plural meanings in English, people will want to know their singulars or alternative singulars, if they exist, e.g. - "portyanka", "pelmen", "valenok", "lapot". Singulars "pirozhok" and "varenyk"/"varenik" are attestable, Michael has already added citations to "pirozhok". --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 05:28, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
But do they actually have plural meanings in English? I've never heard any of these words from people who don't speak Russian. The only similar word that I routinely hear from pure English speakers is pierogi/pierogies, where pierogi is exclusively singular and pierogies is the plural. --WikiTiki89 05:39, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
It's all about attestability, isn't it, not about what we think and say when it's convenient? The term "мазган" is not known in Russia but it's kept because it's attestable (I'm not saying it shouldn't), "викифицировать" is widely used and understood but not attested in the archived sources, so it got deleted. When you say "two portyanki" (as in this book) that means it's attestable to have both singular and plural meanings. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 05:57, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't know if you're misunderstanding me or just like to bring up irrelevant points. I'm not talking about deleting any words, just about deciding which one should be the lemma and what the definitions should be. --WikiTiki89 06:02, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
My point is that if we think that "portyanki" (pirozhki, varenyky, etc) is not really a plural or don't have plural meanings, citations may show that they are and when deciding whether a term is a plurale tantum (with or without rare singulars), uncountable or a singular with plurals, citing such usage may be the answer, not our opinion. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 06:19, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I never said we should ignore citations. I was just bringing up what I thought (a doubt about whether the words are actually used as plural in everyday language) and hoping someone without a Russian background would confirm or deny my impression. I am not trying to contest the fact that Russian cookbooks are usually written by people who have at least some connection to Russia, and therefore know that the word is a plural in Russian. I am trying to discuss, on top of that, the way it's used by ordinary people. --WikiTiki89 16:15, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Ordinary English speakers use these cookbooks, and their everyday language is influenced by them. Ordinary people also make up large immigrant communities and their neighbours, where they are more aware of the donor language, even if they don’t speak it. We should document the range of usage and spelling, and not make too many assumptions about which is more valid. Michael Z. 2014-01-24 17:08 z
I never made any assumptions. I'm just asking questions. But instead of answering them, everyone is just criticizing me for asking them. I want to know how the average English speaker (one who has never read a Russian cookbook and does not have a Russian background) would use the word. --WikiTiki89 17:22, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
That was not a criticism; sorry if it sounded like it.
I don’t think there’s a single way an average speaker uses the word. I suspect most speakers make up whatever works on the spot, if they haven’t learned how someone else uses it. The only way to really answer your question is to do some frequency studies, but COCA has only 4 occurrences of vareniki, so I doubt that enough data exists. Michael Z. 2014-01-24 18:27 z
See now you're helping to answer the question. I tried searching for various things in COCA and vareniki is the only form of the word it has. Considering this Ngram as well, I think we should move the lemma from varenyky to vareniki. I also think that we should not try to move the lemmas to the singular forms in English. --WikiTiki89 18:42, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Another data point: Canadian Oxford Dictionary has the headword varenyky with no variant spellings and not italicized, labelled plural noun N Amer. I can’t find it in any US or UK dictionaries at all. Michael Z. 2014-01-24 20:14 z
Most English speakers who aren't aware of the Russian usage have probably never heard of vareniki, so it's hard to find the usage you're looking for. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:32, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
You're right, which is why I'm tempted to suggest a context label that says so. --WikiTiki89 19:34, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Words with /uː/

On Sche's talk page, I posed to him a question regarding the dialectal realisation of /u:/-type words in my area. He suggested that I consult the Tea Room, which I am now doing. He also suggested that my conundrum might have something to do with my conservative New England accent, which it may well have to do with it:

Sche, this issue has been bothering me ever since I first became a linguist and became cognisant of its [the issue's] presence. Might you be able to help explain it to me?

My pronunciations (and the pronunciations held by everyone else I know in my area) of /u:/-type words seem to be quite different from the pronunciations listed on Wiktionary (and anywhere else I've checked, for that matter). Now, I'm not attempting to have the IPA transcriptions be changed or anything of that sort, I'm merely hoping that you might be able to explain these inconsistencies to me.

My pronunciations of the words "dew", "new", "newt", "knew", "sue", "lieu", "flute" and "lewd" (seem to) have the diphthong /ɪuː/. My pronunciation of the words "few", "pew", "mew", "feud" and "cue" (seem to) have /jɪu:/. My pronunciations of the words "rebuke" and "puke" have /ju:/. My pronunciation of the words "who", "mood", "food", "boot", "poot", "coup", "aloof", "rule", "tool" and "loot" have /uː/.

Yet my pronunciation of the word "you" seems to be /jɪu:/ when stressed, /ju:/ when slightly unstressed and mid-sentence, /jɪ/ when mostly unstressed and /jə/ when completely unstressed. Similarly, "to", "too" and "two" are /ɪu:/ when stressed, /u:/ when immediately following a another word (that may be stressed or partially stressed) [i.e. twenty-two is /twɛnˈtʰi.tʰ(ɪ)u:/ when stressed, /twɛnˈtiˈtʰu:/ when partially stressed, and /twɛnɾi'tu:/ when completely unstressed], /ɪ/ when mostly unstressed, and /ə/ when completely unstressed. My pronunciation of the word "mute" fluctuates between /juː/ and /jɪu:/, tending towards /juː/. My pronunciation of the words "rude" and "prelude" fluctuate between /u:/ and /ɪu:/, tending towards /u:/. My pronunciation of the words "dude" and "nude" fluctuate between /ɪu:/ and /u:/, tending towards /ɪu:/. My pronunciation of "shoot" and "chute" seem to fluctuate between /ʃɪu:/ and /ʃu:/ at unclear intervals.

So, might you be able to explain this huge pronunciation conundrum? If you can't explain the stuff I said in the fourth paragraph, can you at least explain the four way distinction I talked about in the third paragraph?

[NOTE: Before you ask, I'm not confusing /u:/ with /ʊ/ or anything like that. "Roof" for me has the same vowel as "who", and "who" for me doesn't have the same vowel as "wood" or "hood".]

Tharthan (talk) 12:20, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

There is so much variation in these vowels, even within fairly small regional areas, that I don't think we will ever be able to accurately record all the variant groupings. Perhaps each word should have more possibly pronunciations, but we could end up with so many variations that it would just be confusing? Dbfirs 11:13, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I've already stated that I wasn't trying to have the IPA transcriptions on Wiktionary changed. I'm merely trying to determine why my area's pronunciations are the way that they are my area. The closest explanation that I have gotten was this bit from Sche: "...yod-dropping after /l/, /s/, /z/ and /θ/, and especially after /t/, /d/ and /n/, was formerly nonstandard in England. The speech of New England is similar to that of England, which may explain why you don't drop the yod from 'dew', 'new', 'sue' and 'lewd'." Tharthan (talk) 12:16, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
"Why are things pronounced the way they are?" is more often than not an unanswerable question; the best anyone can hope to do is describe what's going on. I know someone from the New York City area who distinguishes lute from loot and dew from do not by the presence vs. absence of /j/ but rather by the vowel quality: /lʉt/ vs. /lut/, /dʉ/ vs. /du/, etc. But I wouldn't even attempt to say why he does it that way. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:30, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Can you elaborate on "describe what's going on"? I'm not sure I catch your drift in regard to what you are meaning by that statement. Tharthan (talk) 19:25, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I think he meant that we can describe what is happening, but not why it's happening. --WikiTiki89 19:29, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I meant. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)


side by side

Our definition of "adjacent" and "close to each other, together" is inadequate. First of all, no adjacency is actually implied, since two people walking side-by-side do not have to be touching. "Close to each other" doesn't cut it either, since two people walking close to each other, one in front of the other, are not walking side-by-side. --WikiTiki89 19:26, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Adjacent means “immediately next to.” It doesn’t necessarily mean touching for discrete objects or people. Although it does imply touching for continuous areas of a surface like colour fields, plots of land, or countries. Michael Z. 2014-01-23 21:56 z
But "side by side" does not mean "immediately next to". --WikiTiki89 22:01, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
Webster 1913 has the following (copyright-free) for side by side: "close together and abreast; in company or along with."
That's arguably two definitions. "Alongside one another" is another. There is a less specific sense, in which the "close together and abreast" is not to be taken literally, as in "Jews and Muslims lived and worked side by side for centuries in many cities." DCDuring TALK 20:00, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
In example of Jews and Muslims, it also implies being at an equal level. A worker and his boss would not be considered working side by side and slaves would not be considered living side by side with their masters. --WikiTiki89 21:15, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
For the literal definition, the implication of equality is not very strong, if it exists at all; Google Books has plenty of examples like this one:
  • 1991, George C Rable, Civil Wars: Women and the Crisis of Southern Nationalism, page 34:
    The slaveholders and their slaves lived side by side but in different worlds. The evidence suggests no particular sympathy by mistresses for female slaves; a Petersburg woman even whipped a pregnant slave.
Likewise, if a worker and boss have adjacent desks, they are indeed often described as working side-by-side.
For a less literal definition, I'm less sure of what is implied. - -sche (discuss) 22:23, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
  • @Wikitiki: I don't see how side-by-side makes a very strong statement about equality.
    • 1916, Scott Nearing, Social Religion: An Interpretation of Christianity in Terms ..., page 20:
      Side by side these things exist; side by side stand the mansions of Fifth Avenue, adorned beautifully; and the tenements of Hester Street, squalid, insanitary, hideous
[Hester St. and 5th Ave. do not even intersect.]
    • 1993, Andrea Giardina, The Romans, page 146:
      ... and when the owners were small landowners, slave and master worked side by side.
    We clearly need more than one definition. Two might be enough to span the possibilities. DCDuring TALK 22:52, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I admit that it may not always be the case, but in the example above about Jews and Muslims, I think it implies relative equality and that they were more or less at peace with each other. --WikiTiki89 23:01, 23 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't see that the words convey equality, rather than one's idiolectic associations. To me what the words convey is more like "neighborliness". DCDuring TALK 13:19, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
I said "relative equality", but now that you mention it, I think "neighborliness" is a better word for the idea I was trying to convey. --WikiTiki89 16:09, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
'Neighborliness' is really limited to use with something like 'living side by side'. 'Collegiality' for some uses of 'working side by side'. I doubt that there is a single noun that covers it all. It is an indication of the existence of a semantic gap that the word togetherness is in use and, for that matter, that peaceful coexistence was invented and became popular during the Cold War. "Living side by side" does not necessarily imply friendship, equality, or much of anything other than a lack of extreme violence in the relationship. DCDuring TALK 16:53, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps "without overt enmity" is all that we can be sure is meant by side by side. DCDuring TALK 17:14, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
If you look at what I said before ("relative equality and that they were more or less at peace with each other"), what you just described is exactly what I meant. Please excuse my idiolectal definition of equality. --WikiTiki89 17:19, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
It's the "equality" part that I continue to object to as a necessary element of the sole figurative definition. It could be part of one of multiple figurative definitions or as part of a string of "or"-linked terms.
It is hard to find "rival|rivalry|competition|competitor" in proximity to and not contrasted with "alongside|side-by-side", so it is not just 'enmity' that seems excluded. DCDuring TALK 17:32, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Like I said, please excuse my idiolectal definition of "equality" which includes things like "neighborliness". --WikiTiki89 18:25, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

no flies on

Should this be moved to no flies on someone? It doesn't seem to be a standalone noun. 10:34, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Well, the first two quotes show that there can be said to be no flies on something as well as someone. But it does feel odd to call it a noun. It's not a syntactic constituent, so it's odd to call it any part of speech at all, and it isn't a phrase either. Maybe it should be moved to no flies with a note saying it collocates with on? Is it ever used without the on, e.g. by someone saying simply, "No flies!" to mean "No flies on him/her/them/etc."? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:25, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
We have a few things in Category:English non-constituents. They are usually shown under the heading of "Phrase" in the category for English phrases, even though they aren't really phrases either. Since fewer normal users could define phrase than the traditional PoSes it's probably not confusing to most. It would be more confusing to introduce a technically correct heading.
IMO, in this case we could reasonably move it to no flies on someone or no flies on something, either one requiring a usage note to correct the impression created by the headword. I think "someone" captures it better. DCDuring TALK 13:09, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
See WT:RFM#no flies on. DCDuring TALK 13:14, 24 January 2014 (UTC)


This says "feminine form of bi-curieux". Shouldn't it be bi-curieuse then? —CodeCat 02:35, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes. AFAICT there should be two pairs of entries, one with hyphens and one without. (One pair should use {{alternative form of}}.) - -sche (discuss) 07:13, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Looking for Czech Word paskravty, ba skrafty ?? Help Please?

Dobry r'ano,

I have come here from a link from a cz translation page and in hopes that at least one of you can help me with some Old Worl or Slang Chech.

My Papa was from the old country and would say phrases here and there but due to the racism he and his family encountered here in America, he didn't talk much or much at all about the history of his family, his life or what the Czech phrases, songs, or words meant. My Mama usually explained them to me but Papa didn't always tell her the truth. For instance "soustal pul ja bon" isn't something you want to tell a lady.

At any rate, he would always go around saying a word. Mama and I were told it meant devil but it doesn't after searching & searching. I'll spell it as best as I can but will most likely come out phonetically: Bold textpaskravty, paskravte, ba trafty, like PA-SKRAF-teeqq

Does anyone know ifthat word is correct or close to it and if so, what does it truly mean please? I've spent nearly 40 years of my life trying to figure that out. There's also a song Papa used to sing that I would like to know as well.


edunvalvonta, etujärjestö, edunvalvoja

I have just completed a project of writing entries for 10,000 most common lemmata in the Finnish press, obtained from this source [6]. In reality it's about 9,800 terms because I have left out most proper names (some of them wrongly capitalized in the list) and those expressions which I have deemed SOP. I would ask a little help from the community with the three words in the header of this passage, because I feel not confident of having found the correct English translations. I want your comments on two things:

  1. is the meaning of the words explained clearly enough in the definitions?
  2. are the translations good?

Those completely ignorant in Finnish are encouraged to comment, because all Wiktionary entries should be clear enough for anyone to understand. --Hekaheka (talk) 12:33, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

I have no comment, but I wanted to note that you can use "law" as the label now, because it uses Module:labels/data. —CodeCat 13:20, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Perhaps lobbying, lobbyist? DTLHS (talk) 22:12, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
My understanding is that lobbying comes close but is still a slightly different concept. I may be wrong but in my vocabulary lobbying equals to influencing the politicians for a cause, which may be more or less in the self-interest of the lobbyist or his client. In the professional end of the scale, a lobbyist is a sort of consultant who rents his persuasion skills to anyone who wishes to pay for the service. An etujärjestö does try to influence the politicians pretty much the same way but it may also promote its members' interests in many other ways such as publishing a magazine, giving press releases, compiling statistics, financing research, representing the members or rather their joint interests in a court or entering in agreements on behalf of the membership, just to name a few. --Hekaheka (talk) 18:00, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Being completely ignorant in Finnish, I think I understand the definitions, but I have no way to tell whether my understanding is close to the actual meaning. --WikiTiki89 23:42, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
Based on your understanding, would you say that the translations (where provided) are valid? Would you use some other en translations for the extant definitions? Can you propose a word for the missing translations? --Hekaheka (talk) 17:36, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes, they make sense. --WikiTiki89 18:43, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

boson#Latin and other subatomic particles

The headword line says it's neuter, but it has a masculine/feminine declension. Can someone check it? —CodeCat 22:09, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

  • I would have guessed that it was neuter 2nd :-
    • {{la-noun|boson|bosi|bosī|n|second}}
    • {{la-decl-2nd-N-Greek|bos}}
  • but only because it feels like a Greek loanword (even though it isn't). SemperBlotto (talk) 22:22, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
    • It's borrowed as if it were a third declension noun in Dutch (with stress shift in the plural). There's also electrum which is a regular 2nd declension noun. But proton is like boson apparently. I really think it's a bit unlikely if there isn't also a Latin form electron... —CodeCat 22:28, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

thriftless reave

From G.M. Hopkins' poem Ribblesdale:

And what is Earth’s eye, tongue, or heart else, where
Else, but in dear and dogged man?—Ah, the heir
To his own selfbent so bound, so tied to his turn,
To thriftless reave both our rich round world bare
And none reck of world after, this bids wear
Earth brows of such care, care and dear concern.
Did he mean to say "thriftlessly" but cut the ending for rhyming's sake? --CopperKettle (talk) 06:53, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
P.S. Are " to rack or wrong" in the end of the second stanza verbs or nouns? --CopperKettle (talk) 06:57, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Adjectives can be used as adverbs. Compare "live happy, live healthy". My impression whenever adjectives are used as adverbs is that there is an implied "while" or "while being". --WikiTiki89 07:02, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Wikitiki! But I fail to twig the part with "while, while being". Does it mean that we can paraphrase "live happy" as "be happy while you are living your life", that is, for the rest of your life? --CopperKettle (talk) 07:09, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Well its more of a wish than a command, but otherwise yes. It's like "I hope that as you live you will be happy." But now that I think about it, it's not much different from "live happily". And I guess in the poem you could also replace "thriftless" with "thriftlessly" and it would have the same meaning (although it would mess up the rhythm). --WikiTiki89 07:18, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
In "Do not go gentle into that good night" I don't think there is any implied "while" or "while being"; it's completely synonymous with "Do not go gently", isn't it? Anyway, both this and the example above suggest that using an adjective as an adverb is poetic. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:54, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Yeah I think you're right. It's just that has always been my impression, or maybe just my way of explaining to myself why it makes sense to say that. --WikiTiki89 07:59, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Not that it really affects the meaning, but I think that's a valid alternative way to parse it. Especially given the existence of phrases like, ‘He drove home drunk’ where there is definitely a built-in while. Also consider that such words can set off full subordinate phrases, as in ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’. With all of that said, so-called ‘flat adverbs’ used to be a lot more common and a lot of them come from true adverbs in Old English which lost their weak dative -e ending; hence many other adjectives got used similarly by a process of analogy. This tendency hasn't really slowed down, but now it tends to be associated with colloquial US usage (‘He did it super good’, ‘Subway: Eat Fresh’ etc etc). Ƿidsiþ 08:28, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
"Eat fresh" is different though; it means "Eat (things that are) fresh", not "Eat in a fresh manner" nor "Eat while being fresh", and *"Eat freshly" wouldn't really make any sense. Then there are things like "He bought the fish fresh" where fresh is modifying fish, not bought; in that sentence I'm really not sure whether fresh is an adjective or an adverb. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:42, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure, I think the Subway slogan plays on both senses. Obviously it means "eat fresh food", but I think it's also intended to mean "eat in a fresh way". Ƿidsiþ 11:14, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Pronunciation of Croquet

I struggle with the pronunciation code, but I believe both pronunciations for croquet are 'krok-ay' and not 'krok-ee', but it appear in Australia, it is pronounced 'krok-ee'. Can someone please confirm this and cite whether the Australian pronunciation is official or incorrect? 09:24, 26 January 2014 (UTC) my post from Wiktionary: Croquet

The entry croquet currently says the British pronunciation is either "KROH-kay" or "KROH-kee" while the American pronunciation is "kroh-KAY" (with the stress on the second syllable). English doesn't really go in for "official" pronunciations; if "KROH-kee" is a common pronunciation in Australia, that's worth being noted in the entry. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:37, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
It's a little disputed. It seems that 'kroh-kay' is spoken by non-player and 'kroh-kee' is spoken by players of the game, but understandable, worth noting.

I'm gonna

"I'm gonna" is very often contracted to "I'm 'onna" (pronounced /ˈa(ɪ)mənə/) in speech. In Southern American English and AAVE, this can be further contracted to "I'mma". But unlike "I'mma", "I'm 'onna" is not very common in writing (it does seem to be attestable, though), despite being very common in speech. Since it is so uncommon in writing, there is no standard way of writing it and it can be spelled "I'm 'onna", "I'monna", "I'm'onna", "I'munna", "I munna'", etc. The question here is, which one should be the lemma form? And should we include a note about this pronunciation at gonna, since it is much more common than the written forms? --WikiTiki89 23:41, 26 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I think gonna should mention I'mma and I'm'onna (or whatever form becomes the lemma). As for which form to use as the lemma: unless one form is noticeably more common than the others, I'd suggest I'm'onna, since it conveys that the whole thing is spoken as one word, while also conveying that the 'g' is missing. - -sche (discuss) 01:25, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Imma has an entry --Back on the list (talk) 08:39, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes I know. But I consider Imma to be different from I'm'onna. --WikiTiki89 17:33, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

The perhaps archaic word 'tode'

When I search for the word 'tode', I get a German word. However, I believe there is an English word 'tode' that refers to a form of sled used for hauling. It is something like a toboggan. Is there any information about such a word? —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

I have added a definition for this word. --WikiTiki89 02:49, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

I found: Tode (1895), a rude sledge used in hauling logs, consisting of a treefork with a crosspiece on which the balk rests; possibly from the LG. Low German todden, "to drag". DCDuring TALK 02:58, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Thank you very much. I greatly appreciate it.

café vs cafe

Based on this Ngram, cafe beats out café by a ton. Why do we keep fooling our readers that café is a common spelling in English? --WikiTiki89 20:14, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Because it's not rare. But one should definitely be marked an alternative spelling of the other, rather than having two slightly different definitions, one for each spelling. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:31, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I didn't realize cafe actually had a full entry. But yeah, I think we should move everything from café to cafe, and leave café as a form-of entry. --WikiTiki89 20:36, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
I am also in favor of that, and have implemented it. - -sche (discuss) 21:16, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Excellent. DCDuring TALK 22:33, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

WikiTiki89, why did you limit your search to 1830–2000? It obscures some trends in the data, and perhaps some obvious problems with it.

I’d skeptical that any corpus reliably record differences in diacritics, without some confirmation that it does so. If you browse corpus.byu.edu you’ll see a big variation in frequencies: most corpuses record cafe as higher, the Strathy Canadian corpus indicates very close to 50/50, and a few don’t record café at all.

Also, the question is inherently biased in favour of the QWERTY keyboard over typographic expression. Diacritics may be dropped or unrecorded for any number of reasons. The frequencies don’t indicate usage the same way as simple spelling differences. Michael Z. 2014-01-27 22:51 z

Because there is some inaccuracies in the 1830s caused by scannos confusing f and ſ (long s), thereby causing a less precise view of the more recent and more relevant data. But you do seem to be right that many instances of café are scanned as cafe, but I still get the overall impression by clicking on random Google Books results that cafe is more common. BYU is making it tricky for me to look up words with it's "10-15 query limit". --WikiTiki89 23:36, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
Ah, yeah, comparing cafe & case is interesting. If you try entering “caſe,” you’ll see that Google is optimistic about distinguishing the long s.
It’s possible that the sharp convergence of the frequencies of cafe & café in the 2000s is a similar effect, resulting from many of the scannos that missed the diacritic being replaced with digital originals being submitted by the publishers. The same correction is present for a number of terms with diacritics.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] Or maybe this is a resort of by cultural changes, spell-checkers, typographical style, Unicode, or something else. Anyway, we don’t have any reliable statistics on diacritic use in English. Please stop choosing lemmas based on a selective sample of statistics of questionable reliability. Michael Z. 2014-01-28 02:18 z
Interesting find! But then how can we tell which is more common? --WikiTiki89 02:24, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Find out if any of the available corpora reliably capture that information, or start counting books. Short answer: we can’t. Michael Z. 2014-01-28 04:11 z
Of the 59 cites in the OED (including draft additions up to 2009), 54 have the accent, and one of the others is a complaint about the missing accent. The OED might be biased, of course, but I don't think we are fooling our readers. Dbfirs 20:01, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Questions arise. How do we choose which variation to use for a lemma? The most common usage? The most common this year, over the last decade, century, or over the language’s history? Do we only count usages that are allowed for attestation? Does etymology matter, or duration of use, or only frequency? Do we prefer the earliest attested form, or the one most prevalent today? Do we account for technological and media limitations and biases? – e.g., if I am forced to type the word café on a typewriter or a Windows computer, it would probably look like “cafe.”

Can we add some more guidance to WT:LemmasMichael Z. 2014-01-28 22:47 z

Support not making changes for no reason

[I have taken back my addition of this voting option.  Michael Z. 2014-01-31 19:33 z]

  1. Is there anything to support the change other than a whim? The Google Ngram viewer ratios vary crazily: 73:1 in 1946, 31:1 in 1996, 2:1 in 2008. The corpora at corpus.byu.edu disagree wildly with each other: COCA 3.3:1 (ignoring spoken), COHA 3482:0, Time 1.4:1, BNC 690:0, Strathy 1.0:1, GloWBE 21485:0. We have up to 3,600 percent variance in reported usage share of café: I think there is a notable error rate. It is clear that most of these don’t record diacritics reliably if they do at all, and no evidence that any of them do. Michael Z. 2014-01-31 17:23 z
    I agree that Google Ngrams are not a good guide in this case. That's why we are having the vote and looking at non-computer usage. Do you mean that we should go back to the entries as they were four days ago, with separate entries for each word? Dbfirs 17:59, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    No, I just mean let’s not follow data without knowing what it does and does not represent. I have not been looking at the changes made to the entries. They represent a single word and should be lemmatized, according to the best evidence and advice available. Michael Z. 2014-01-31 18:15 z
    In that case, I agree with you. Most British dictionaries put the accented version first (and Collins doesn't even mention the unaccented spelling). I'll see if I can find other evidence. Dbfirs 18:25, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    @Michael, The whole point of this poll is to make a decision despite inconclusive evidence. --WikiTiki89 18:51, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    Okay, yes, I have been going off a bit. Here’s some more evidence to add to that mentioned above:
    • AHD has café also cafe[15]
    • Collins has café[16]
    • RHD has café or cafe[17]
    • MWD has café also cafe[18]
    • Cambridge has café (also cafe) in Amer.[19] and Brit.[20]
    • Oxford has cafe also café[21] with sense 3 café in Amer.[22] (scroll down)
    • CanOD has café (2004 print ed.)
    I found most of these just searching for unadorned “cafe” in OneLook.com. I only considered the results in sites that acknowledge diacritics.
    If we agree that modern professional dictionaries are descriptive, and list the most frequent usage first, then café with the diacritic wins out clearly, but not unanimously. I will de-register my obnoxious protest vote and add myself to café above. Cheers. Michael Z. 2014-01-31 19:27 z

Straw poll

I'm starting to think we should switch the lemma to café. Maybe we should have a little straw poll? I guess this is the only way we really have to decide. --WikiTiki89 08:41, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Support lemma of café

  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support Microsoft's Word autocorrects to café; nearly all of the OED cites (up to 2009) use café; and at least one Merriam-Webster website claims that café is the standard spelling ("also cafe"), (though oxforddictionaries.com has the lemma unaccented). Collins (both the online dictionary and the printed Millennium edition) allow only the accented spelling. Cambridge dictionaries put the accented spelling first. Whichever way we decide, I think we should have a note that the other spelling is common. Dbfirs 09:43, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support This seems to be the normal spelling in the UK. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:56, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
    I agree it seems more common in the UK. Equinox 10:02, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support This seems to be the normal spelling in the U.S. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:06, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support More common in Australia, and 'cafe' is the fallback in the absence of being able to type an acute. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 10:49, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  5. Symbol support vote.svg Support Ƿidsiþ 18:46, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
  6. Symbol support vote.svg Support Based on survey of professional dictionary headwords. Michael Z. 2014-01-31 19:33 z
  7. Since the evidence is inconclusive, I don't have a strong preference for which one spelling the content is on, as long as it is on one and not both. (I was the one who initially centralized the content on cafe.) Café has the advantage of putting the English content on the same page as the French content, and better representing the two-syllable pronunciation. - -sche (discuss) 19:34, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Support lemma of cafe

  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support DCDuring TALK 11:56, 31 January 2014 (UTC)


the new black

Is "the new black" an adjective or a noun? BD thinks it's an adjective meaning "trendy", Semper and I think it's a noun meaning "fad, fashion, thing that is trendy". See User talk:BD2412#the_new_black. Dictionary.com has it as a noun, and oxforddictionaries.com] defines it as "a colour that is currently so popular [...]", i.e. as a noun. - -sche (discuss) 23:07, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

I would just call it a phrase. --WikiTiki89 23:37, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
That successfully ducks the question of what POS header to use, but how would you define it? As "trendy" or as "fad, fashion"? - -sche (discuss) 00:56, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't duck the question. It is a "noun phrase", since we don't have a "noun phrase" header, we have to use "phrase". For the definition, I think we can use nouns, for example "something trendy". Personally, I have never understood this phrase, so I don't know if that definition is accurate. --WikiTiki89 01:05, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
re the def: ah, OK. re the header: we don't have to use "Phrase"; in fact, in my experience, we more often use "Noun" as the header for noun phrases (e.g. red dog, the big sleep/big sleep, etc), since they function grammatically as nouns. - -sche (discuss) 01:16, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't see how it could be parsed as an adjective. What is the rationale? Equinox 00:58, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
"The new X" is something of a snowclone, where X is the noun to be replaced; e.g. "libertarianism is the new Marxism"; "in the Engineering and Scientific community Python is the new Fortran" (both programming languages). Equinox 01:09, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I get that, I just didn't get "the new black". Now that I know it's referring to fashion, I think I'm starting to understand it. --WikiTiki89 01:15, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I think that "the new black" is distinct among the snowclone forms as being the generic formulation. Perhaps it is the oldest, but it is very common to refer to anything as the new black to indicate that it is the current trend, even if it has nothing to do with fashion. To say that "libertarianism is the new Marxism" might suggest that libertarianism has the same status today that Marxism had previously as the trendy political philosophy, but to say "libertarianism is the new black" would be to say that libertarianism is trendy, period. In fact, googling "libertarianism is the new black" returns several thousand hits. bd2412 T 01:19, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
It certainly seems like a snowclone to me, eg:
  • 2010, Linda George, Handbook of Aging and the Social Sciences, 7th edition, page 39:
    So, in this example, age 72 is the new 65.
I suppose that the prototype of a snowclone would be a good access portal for an appendix entry for each snowclone, should be care to document them. DCDuring TALK 01:28, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm not saying that "X is the new Y" is not a snowclone, just that "the new black" is a special case of it. bd2412 T 01:43, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Interesting side-note: "the new black" is used the main example at w:Snowclone. --WikiTiki89 01:45, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
It looks to me like you have three lexemes: "the new black", referring to the color that fashion now dictates is as trendy as black used to be (the original sense), another sense of "the new black" referring to anything that "fashion" (in a broad, figurative sense) has dictated is now trendy, and the snowclone "X is the new Y" analogous to the previous. The latter two seem to represent two different strategies for developing a figure of speech from the first one. I would say that the original and the figurative sense of "the new black" are related to the snowclone, not part of it. Of course, the formula defining the snowclone can be used to generate the other two items, but not because they're all the same thing. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:04, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I've changed the POS to "noun" and added one of the references cited above. - -sche (discuss) 09:22, 30 January 2014 (UTC)


This term is a pluralia tantum, there is no reason to have it in the singular. Can someone move it to kalendae? --Fsojic (talk) 23:20, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Is it not ever attested at all, even a single time, in the singular? Then we could move it, but... it's possible that someone who wants to find "kalendae" looks for "kalenda" automatically if they understand Latin declension. So maybe deleting the entry altogether isn't the best option. —CodeCat 23:25, 27 January 2014 (UTC)
It might be, so we could keep a redirect, but the main entry should definitely be at kalendae, not the other way around. --Fsojic (talk) 23:32, 27 January 2014 (UTC)


According to De Vaan 2008, the "o" in this word was short, not long. That's also what would be expected etymologically. Can anyone verify this? —CodeCat 02:49, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

Is it actually what one would expect etymologically? Of course there was no long vowel (or vowel + laryngeal) in the Proto-Indo-European, but that's not the only possible source of a long vowel in Latin. As I understand it, sobrinus contains the entire word soror, which somehow became sobr-. The second vowel would have been lost through syncope, leaving the consonant cluster *zr at the end of the first syllable (I have no clue where the b came from). If the *z was lost, wouldn't we expect some kind of compensatory lengthening? Chuck Entz (talk) 05:34, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Based on the the etymology given on the page, what you said makes no sense since the "o" replaced "ue" by analogy to soror, meaning the vowel would be the same as in soror. --WikiTiki89 05:41, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
-zr- > -br- is a regular sound change in Latin. I don't think it triggers compensatory lengthening, at least judging from cerebrum. —CodeCat 12:54, 28 January 2014 (UTC)


This term is not a reconstruction, because it is attested in the w:Appendix Probi (cf. here), so we can't write *veclus, as it is done in vecchio for example. But veclus doesn't work as, according to Wiktionary:About Vulgar Latin, we can't have Vulgar Latin entries in the mainspace ("Only attested words are allowed in the main namespace in Wiktionary. Because Vulgar Latin is reconstructed, rather than attested, entries for Vulgar Latin words should not be present in the main namespace. Instead, they are placed in the Appendix: namespace, with all entries beginning with Appendix:Vulgar Latin/"). What should we do? --Fsojic (talk) 10:10, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

On the other side, oricla is in the mainspace, simply labelled as "alternative spelling"... --Fsojic (talk) 10:20, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
That seems silly. I think we should treat attested Vulgar Latin as a dialect, using {{context|Vulgar Latin|lang=la}} for it and putting it in Category:Vulgar Latin. (But being careful not to use {{context|vulgar|lang=la}} and put it in Category:Latin vulgarities.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:11, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
I took the liberty of moving it to the main namespace, but {{context|Vulgar Latin|lang=la}} doesn't work. --Fsojic (talk) 14:34, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
An admin has to add it to Module:labels/data in the proper section and in the proper format. Chuck Entz (talk) 15:10, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
That module is not currently protected against editing. Should it be? —CodeCat 17:02, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Actually it's protected cascadingly because it's transcluded on the Main page and on several FWOTD pages. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:10, 28 January 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. And that happens to be OK in this case, but in general suggests that the FWOTD pages need to be rewritten. (I've felt this before when I noticed that the language modules were cascadingly protected by the FWOTD pages.) They shouldn't end up protecting the language and label modules they use; if we want those modules to be protected, we should protect them directly; whereas, cascading protected might end up covering and restricting the editing of things we don't want restricted. - -sche (discuss) 18:44, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

sounds good

Does this deserve an entry? (I know, I often ask the same question) --Fsojic (talk) 23:04, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

(At least you ask it about different words) I'm going to say no. It's usage is no different from looks good, nor from sounds great, sounds awesome, etc. --WikiTiki89 23:22, 28 January 2014 (UTC)

as good as

I just created this but I'm not really sure what the part of speech should be. It requires an object so it's not an adverb, but it's not really a preposition either. —CodeCat 00:34, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

It's the same POS as as. --WikiTiki89 00:37, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
So a conjunction? I'm not sure. Conjunctions are used to join things, but "as good as" doesn't really join anything. It behaves like a preposition, but while prepositions usually combine with something to create an adverbial phrase of some kind, this seems to create an adjectival phrase instead. —CodeCat 00:43, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
I didn't say it was a conjunction. I said it was the same POS as as. Any argument you can make about what POS it should or shouldn't be will also apply to as. --WikiTiki89 00:50, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
The synonyms for the sense given are all adverbs. Isn't the term object reserved for nouns? The complement required is an adjective. The phrase is an idiom derived from a phrase used in current English for a comparative structure. We often show these under the Phrase header and in the phrase category even though they are not constituents. DCDuring TALK 05:19, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
"as good as" can be used different ways; some example sentence would help. In "He's as good as dead" I'd say it's an adverb; in "This cake is as good as that one" it's a conjunction. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:29, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

star jump

jumping jack

star jump vs jumping jack

Are star jumps and jumping jacks the same thing? I thought they were, but Google tells me otherwise. What does everyone think? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:12, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Well I grew up with the word "jumping jacks", and every time I've heard "star jumps" it was in reference to what I would have called "jumping jacks". --WikiTiki89 03:17, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg star jump on Wikipedia.Wikipedia redirects to w:Jumping jack. I'd not heard of star jump. DCDuring TALK 05:38, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
I have a feeling that star jump is usually British. --WikiTiki89 05:59, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
  • Well, based on my research (mostly looking at YouTube videos), I can confirm that star jump is a synonym of jumping jack, in Britain and Australia at least. I've added that secondary sense at star jump. Cheers. ---> Tooironic (talk) 21:42, 29 January 2014 (UTC)


I just saw The Wolf of Wall Street and I noticed they used the term double-team to refer to having sex with a woman at the same time (i.e. together, in the same room) as your friend. Someone who can put it better than me should add this additional sense. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:21, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Isn't it already covered by sense 2? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:11, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Yes I would say it is covered by sense 2. --WikiTiki89 14:45, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Hmm. Perhaps we should have a subsense of that sense for the sexual usage, {{cx|in particular}}. It isn't intuitive, at least for me, that something as broad and general as "deal with or handle a task or individual person by using a team of two people" can mean "fuck A at the same time B is fucking A". - -sche (discuss) 22:36, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
I'm gonna have to disagree. This term has a very broad range of usage, from eating two slices of pizza at once to chopping down a tree with two people. Basically any situation where there is two of something instead of one of something can be described as double-teaming. I think our definition needs to be broadened to reflect that. --WikiTiki89 23:06, 29 January 2014 (UTC)


meaning is incorrect on wiktionary!

Hello, the meaning on Wiktionary for 'carcinisation' is currently:

"A hypothesized process by which a crustacean evolves into a non-crab-like form"

This is backwards. The actual meaning is:

"A hypothesized process by which a crustacean evolves from a non-crablike form into a crablike form"

Here is the Wiki quote:


Thank you —This comment was unsigned.

  1. As this is a wiki, you could add the definition you propose.
  2. As many terms have more than one definition, sometimes even definitions with 'opposite' meaning, it is not necessarily true that the definition in the entry is not a sense in which the word is used.
  3. As we have processes to deal with possibly wrong definitions, I will insert {{rfv-sense}} in the entry.
  4. As we do not accept usage in other wikis as evidence, I will check with other dictionaries (some conveniently available at carcinisation at OneLook Dictionary Search), carcinization at OneLook Dictionary Search, and at Google Books to determine whether your definition seems attestable. DCDuring TALK 13:39, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Why don't we change this entry to "alternative spelling of carcinization" which seems to have the opposite (and accurate) meaning? (Or we could ask User:Beetlejuicex3 ‎if he meant it this way round.) Dbfirs 21:46, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Done. - -sche (discuss) 21:54, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I couldn't find any usages with the opposite sense, but if anyone finds three then they can add an entry. Dbfirs 21:57, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
I shouldn't have shot my mouth off. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 22:24, 29 January 2014 (UTC)


It was mentioned Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2014/January#A_new_part_of_speech_for_Mandarin. I wish to question the validity of these comments (I have commented them out): Note: This word may also be used as other parts of speech, depending on context. For example, verbally ("to be awesome; to empower"), nominally ("awesomeness, coolness"), adverbially ("in an awesome/powerful way") or interjectionally ("Awesome! Cool!"). It's basically describing the Chinese grammar and applies to almost any qualitative Chinese adjective. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:42, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Literally it means "something gives (me) force". It was originally a verb really. Wyang (talk) 00:07, 30 January 2014 (UTC)

I would like to post my Write it Down video as an External Link to the Write Down page. It has been removed as "spam"

Discussion moved to User talk: would like to post my Write it Down video as an External Link to the Write Down page. It has been removed as "spam".

Minivote: permablockblock IP and stop wasting everybody's time, they haven't added any value. I don't consider this bullying but I don't care if they do, IP's vote doesn't count:


  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:54, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support But I don't think it needs to be a permablock. I think we should start with a week. --WikiTiki89 03:59, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support Haplogy () 04:13, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support a block. But as WikiTiki says, start with a short block. (Note that permablocking IPs is usually a bad idea even if they've done something egregiously vandalistic, because IPs can be reassigned.) - -sche (discuss) 05:09, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  5. Symbol support vote.svg Support I guess -- but, um, I didn't notice that this thread existed, and when I saw more clearly disruptive and recalcitrant blather on CodeCat's message thread earlier this evening, I blocked this IP for two weeks for abusive edits. ... Should I (or someone else) unblock this address until this vote comes to a conclusion? ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 08:12, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
    Nah. I had thought about blocking the user myself, but decided to vote instead. - -sche (discuss) 09:19, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
    • Thanks, -sche.
    As an addendum to my support vote, I support a block in general, but not a permablock. As others have also noted, IP addresses often do get reassigned from time to time. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 18:33, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
  6. Support temporary block per Eirikr and -sche. If it gets worse, permablock, revoke talk page, but allow account creation. Keφr 19:20, 30 January 2014 (UTC)



No need to explain why, if you agree hasn't tried to add any real value to the project. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 03:54, 30 January 2014 (UTC)


We always define this term positively.

Huh? Could you make your point clearer please? —CodeCat 18:23, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

clickbait and linkbait

We define one negatively and one positively. Wikipedia seems to suggest they are synonyms (though its article is a pretty poor stub). Equinox 09:35, 31 January 2014 (UTC)

Not sure if these definitions are correct or comprehensive, but as given they are rather different things. The former is a headline designed to get you to click through to a destination, while the latter is a destination designed to get you to create links to, or to share on your Spacebooks. Michael Z. 2014-01-31 17:01 z
I searched for “click bait” and “click*bait”, and “link bait” and “link*bait” in the GloWbE corpus. After scanning over the KWIC results, I get the impression that the two terms overlap somewhat.
  • link bait, linkbait or less commonly link-bait is a marketing strategy that involves writing articles to attract links in the hopes of going viral. It is associated with SEO, and references vary from somewhat disparaging to neutral.
  • clickbait or click-bait or click bait (disparaging) refers to linkbait with sensational headlines and poor-quality writing. Syn. churnalism.
The nouns refer to content on websites somewhat loosely, but the former tends to focus on generating articles, the latter on headlines. Michael Z. 2014-01-31 19:54 z
I have tried to improve the definitions and moved link bait to the most common form. Michael Z. 2014-01-31 20:34 z
Thanks! Equinox 21:36, 3 February 2014 (UTC)