Wiktionary:Votes/2007-10/The Joy of Categories

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Add a "common categories" subsection to WT:ELE[edit]

Voting on: Adding the following to WT:ELE as a subsection of the section, "Category Links". The following new subsection would be called, "Common Categories":

===== Common Categories =====

Some categories are common enough to warrant mention.

  • There are categories for each type of word, for example, Category:English nouns. You usually needn't worry about these, because the inflection templates automatically add them. But if you use no inflection template, it's necessary for either you- or a bot- to explicitly add these. In that case, you can also add a category like Category:English nouns that lack inflection template.
  • There are categories which further distinguish a word from other words of its same type. Some of these include:
    • Category:English irregular verbs
    • Category:English transitive verbs
    • Category:English intransitive verbs
    • Category:English ergative verbs

  • Vote ends: 13 November 2007 closed early
  • Vote starts: 13 October 2007
  • Vote Created: Language Lover 05:49, 13 October 2007 (UTC)


  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support Language Lover 05:49, 13 October 2007 (UTC) It purely enhances WT:ELE, making it give more explanation, without creating any policy changes. Indeed, what policy changes it would create, are already widely in use... by definition! :)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support generally, though it'd be nice to make clear that we don't expect editors to add these categories if they don't know what they mean. —RuakhTALK 06:13, 13 October 2007 (UTC) (Striking, per EncycloPetey's comment below. I'll vote for this again when the text is better hammered out.) —RuakhTALK 16:25, 13 October 2007 (UTC) (De-striking, per DAVilla's comment. Man, am I indecisive. Please, no one else make any comments I might agree with!) —RuakhTALK 18:24, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support DAVilla 18:21, 13 October 2007 (UTC) The point of the vote is to add some information that would be helpful. I don't think the exact wording matters because non-controversial edits can be made to the page without all this formality. Edit: Of course, it would be better to have already gone through all that first, but we can leave it up to LL to change approach if desired. DAVilla 18:21, 13 October 2007 (UTC)


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose EncycloPetey 15:32, 13 October 2007 (UTC) I'm not against the idea behind this vote. In fact, I think a section of this kind should certainly appear in ELE. However, I don't care for the particular wording used in the proposal above. The draft above is lacking some key exaplantion about what is going on, and contains grammatical errors. This really should go through some discussion first to hammer out the specific text; otherwise, we'll have to go through this vote again just to modify it to what we want. --EncycloPetey 15:32, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Connel MacKenzie 20:59, 14 October 2007 (UTC) Violates the TLDR principle. Better suited for the Help: namespace, without a vote. --Connel MacKenzie 20:59, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
    I admit it could be much more concise. DAVilla 02:23, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Cynewulf 01:38, 17 October 2007 (UTC) These categories can be handled automatically by templates ({{en-verb}}, {{transitive}}, {{ergative}}, etc). There should have been a discussion of what should get done instead of this vote.
    I don't think {{ergative}} is very helpful, since in all cases an ergative verb should have two separate definition lines, one for the transitive sense and one for the intransitive. Being ergative is a consequence of the unexpected relationship between these two senses. —RuakhTALK 03:47, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
    Yes, it doesn't belong on the definition line, and I guess it would look a bit odd to start putting things on the POS repeater line for English. Anyway, this is why the goals should have been discussed before throwing a specific implementation out for a vote: people will find problems with specific implementations. If the goal here is to populate categories, there are better ways. If the goal is to explain what these categories are for, there doesn't need to be an explicit, uneditable list of them in ELE. Encouraging people to add categories is fine, but the proposed text doesn't do that to any great extent. Cynewulf 16:56, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
    I don't think "uneditable" is really accurate; with a section like this that's more informative than normative (as a W3C spec would put it), I don't think there's any problem with future cleanup, expansion/trimming, clarification, etc. —RuakhTALK 18:02, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
    This vote comes from LL's attempt simply to add the section to ELE and the resulting "you can't do that, this is a policy document" reverts. Apparently people do think there's a problem. I'd like to see separate "How to read an entry" (informative, of course), "How to make a good entry" (informative), and "Formatting requirements" (normative) documents, but that is a matter for another debate. Cynewulf 18:30, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
  4. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Rod (A. Smith) 19:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC) I agree with Cynewulf. Besides, this vote was created without the usual discussion to refine its wording. If there had been any such discussion, we could have corrected the language that would otherwise lead editors in the wrong direction. As it stands, the examples it gives should instead be handled by templates instead of manual categories. Rod (A. Smith) 19:43, 17 October 2007 (UTC)
  5. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Too wordy, wording not discussed, both does too much and too little, etc. ELE should just reference Wiktionary:Categories, which can use some work. (and vote named improperly) Robert Ullmann 14:16, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


Guys, as it stands, I could theoretically up and decide that "English nouns" should be changed to "English nominals", and make a bot start going through and changing all the categories. This wouldn't violate any regulation or anything and there's nothing anyone could do about it. So please change your "Oppose" votes to "Support" votes. Most the objections seem to be about the specific wording, we can always change that later. Language Lover 09:10, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, it's not advisable to push through changes that others disagree with. I promise there is someone here who see to it that such a bot be blocked. But I understand your sentiment, which I'd phrase something like this: Something should be decided, and though we'd abide by any consensus, flatly there isn't one. As long as it's undecided who's to stop progress in saying that nothing can be done about it?
Frankly, although a new section may be a bit much, I agree with you in principle on this this issue and on flexibility of the wording, but recently the community has been very careful with changes to policy pages. If that's too much caution then I do wish it could be turned around. This is a wiki after all, so what's with the pre-emptive avoidance of any conflict? Conflict isn't necessarily evil, and imperically fear of conflict leaves pages outdated.
I don't feel that our pleas are going to change anyone's opinion, so I would suggest a different course. What I propose is this: Instead of calling for a vote for any page change, even one that doesn't attempt to actually change policy, just make the change. If it's wrong it will be reverted, and the editor told that policy changes require a vote. If someone disagrees with the edit subjectively they can revert or substantially modify it and start a discussion on the talk page, or they can partially modify the change and leave a discussion up to the original contributor, if he or she is unsatisfied. In other words, significant alterations, such as rewording critical sections, are not allowed, but beyond just minor tweaks, revisions can be made if they are not controversial.
What that means in this case is to have the discussion on the talk page before bringing this to a vote. In other words, if this vote were suspended, then people could talk about the issue itself without arguing about whether the wording is flexible or not, and who knows, if agreement is reached maybe we wouldn't even need a vote after that discussion. To say that a vote is required for every change is a somewhat outlandish restraint. DAVilla 02:24, 19 October 2007 (UTC)
What's wrong with using a vote to confirm consensus for a suggested policy page change? The extra delay seems a reasonable price to pay for wheel war prevention. Rod (A. Smith) 16:40, 26 October 2007 (UTC)


# Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain Rod (A. Smith) 09:26, 13 October 2007 (UTC) I'd rather ELE not state such an arbitrary list of categories. Can the actual list be left somewhere like Wiktionary:Index to templates, with just a link from WT:ELE? Rod (A. Smith) 09:26, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain H. (talk) 18:40, 28 October 2007 (UTC) I think it would not be bad to add something like this somewhere, but TLDR is indeed a good reason not to do this. Generally, WT:ELE should be worked over, redirecting to more specific pages in about every paragraph, only mentioning the basic stuff.


  • With 3 supporting, 5 opposing, and 1 abstaining, this fails. (Technically, this has till tomorrow, but it's obviously not going to garner consensus between now and then; no need to keep this open. Clearly nothing along these lines is going to pass without discussion in advance.) —RuakhTALK 20:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)