Wiktionary:Votes/2022-01/Excluding trivial present participal adjectives

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Excluding trivial present participal adjectives[edit]

Voting on:

  • For an English adjective sense to be included, at least one of the following conditions has to be met (for it is otherwise trivial):
  1. The adjective sense does not coincide with a present participle in pronunciation (i.e. is not a homophone).
  2. The adjective sense does not coincide with a present participle in orthography (i.e. is not a homograph).
  3. The adjective sense does not coincide with a present participle in etymology.
  4. The adjective sense does not have a 100% transparent meaning based on our definition of the corresponding verb (i.e. it does not mean "which VERBs" for any one of the verb's senses). The corresponding verb is understood as the verb whose present participle coincides with the adjective sense regarding criteria 1-3.


  1. By precedent: In the deletion discussion of spiring, the community has established a precedent of not including these kinds of adjectives. Judging from the currently ongoing RFD discussions, it is clear that it is merely a matter of time until one or the other RFD of such an adjective entry is going to fail, leaving the dictionary in an internally inconsistent state. The vote serves to remedy this.
  2. Of marginal use: Once somebody knows the grammar rule that present participles can be used adjectivally, all of these entries become self-evident.
  3. Bloat: These transparent adjective entries make navigating the existing articles harder, especially on mobile, not least because, unlike the true present participle entry, these adjectives are actually allowed to come with translation boxes (as is the case in growing). They also make it look like there's more than there actually is, when all there is is just duplication with no new semantics.
  4. Suppressing true information: Their inclusion makes looking up actually interesting information harder, an example of which is finding a list of all present participles that have acquired additional, unpredictable semantics in their adjectival sense (e.g. eating or becoming).
  5. A categorical mistake: Although each individual present participle has the property of being able to be used adjectivally, it is in fact the category of present participles that intrinsically possesses this quality. We shouldn't include this trivial information about the category of present participles within each present participle entry. The information of how to use present participles in general belongs to a grammar section.
  6. By analogy: To provide another point of reference, in German and Romanian, almost all adjectives (bar a few exceptions) can be used adverbially with no orthographic or phonetic alteration. Including every transparent adjective sense in all English past participles is tantamount to including adverb senses in all Category:German adjectives and Category:Romanian adjectives, which is, of course, patently absurd.


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 15 January 2022 (UTC) (suspended indefinitely until the current proposal's shortcomings have been satisfactorily addressed)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 13 February 2022 (UTC)
  • Vote created: — Fytcha T | L | C 〉 13:32, 12 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]