Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-06/Headers in ELE

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Headers in ELE[edit]

  • Voting on: Changes and clarifications to headers and header levels specified in WT:ELE
  • Vote ends: 3 July 2007
  • Vote started by: Robert Ullmann 18:23, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Discussion: Modify WT:ELE to state clearly the following:

At the start of the language section, headers at level 3, in order:

  • Alternative spellings or Alternative forms
  • Etymology
  • Pronunciation

If there are multiple Etymologies, the other headers may be nested at level 4 at the start of the sections. The POS sections are then one level deeper than in the single Etymology case.

Then, at level 3, POS and POS-like sections, headers listed in WT:POS, in alphabetical order.

Within each POS section, the following headers at level 4, the order is preferred but not required (note that the ordering of Translations and Conjugation etc. is moot, they never occur in the same entry):

  • Usage notes (may also appear anywhere at any level if properly nested)
  • Quotations
  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • other *nyms: Hypernyms, Hyponyms, Meronyms, Holonyms, Troponyms
  • Translations (may contain Translations to be checked at level 5)
  • Conjugation or Declension or Inflection
  • Descendants
  • Derived terms
  • Related terms

If and only if there is more than one POS and it is not known which POS to attribute terms to, the following headers may appear after the POS sections at level 3, at the end of the language section (or nested etymology section as appropriate to what is known):

  • Descendants
  • Derived terms
  • Related terms

Then, at level 3 at the end of the language section, in preferred order:

  • See also (may also appear at level 4 in a POS section if useful)
  • Dictionary notes
  • Anagrams
  • Trivia
  • References
  • External links
  • "Coordinate terms" is dropped: it is in ELE, but used in only one or two cases
  • Conjugation/Declension/Inflection are commonly used and useful in non-English entries, where tables can't fit on the headword/inflection line
  • There are additional level 4 headers used in POS sections for some languages, as permitted language variations (e.g. "Compounds" in Han character entries)
  • "Homophones" and "Hyphenation" in the Pronunciation section are just left out of this (different can of worms)
  • The format of "Descendants" is being taken up separately, that may also alter the preferred order


  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support Robert Ullmann 18:23, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support. I actually tend to agree with EncycloPetey and Atelaes below, but my support outweighs my reservations. (By the way, I don't know if this is what they mean, but I'm not sure this needs to be split into separate vote pages — multiple votes on a single page seems like the way to go.) —RuakhTALK 19:38, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support DAVilla 20:34, 3 June 2007 (UTC) I would actually prefer to abstain because changes that are simply clarifications reflecting current and agreed upon practice, such as listing headers under a POS but higher when none applies, do not need a vote, in my view. On the other hand many of these changes are quite detailed, such as allowing TTBC at level 5 (and sometimes 6?), and the specificity can be stripped down a little. It is one thing to make a bot flexible—as per the Flexibility preamble already on ELE—and another thing to solidify that flexibility on a page intended for human consumption. One change in particular does need a vote, and that is Alternative forms, which I don't completely understand, but having no strong objections, may be in favor of. So really I don't oppose the principle of anything proposed, although I'd prefer to see maybe two separate votes, the other major question being the three and four-level mess with etymology and pronunciation, with everything else just swept under the rug.
    I though I'd mention ttbc because ELE doesn't now and it does look odd (yes, it can be 6!). The thing about Alternative forms is that some of them just are not "spellings" (think Han characters, Symbols ;-), so it has been tacitly accepted that it is a semantic alternate of "Alternate spellings". Robert Ullmann 23:04, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
    simply clarifications reflecting current and agreed upon practice, such as listing headers under a POS but higher when none applies, do not need a vote. How do people know what is "current and agreed upon practice" unless we have a vote and a policy (ELE)!--Richardb 12:35, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
    From previous discussion concerning the pertinent topic, handling a corner case or making a clarification of the policies, to which there was resolution without any objections. DAVilla 13:01, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support Cynewulf 16:24, 11 June 2007 (UTC) This is not significantly different from what ELE already says -- sad to have a vote of confidence


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose EncycloPetey 18:25, 3 June 2007 (UTC) If this is a package deal, then I oppose it. There are too many points which differ from current practice. It places sections ahead of following the Translations. And although it covers too much in a single vote by trying to cover everything, it does not consider heteronyms. It puts Translations and Inflection in an order, but no article will ever have both (only non-English has Inflection; only English has Translations). Those languages that use Inflection (or the like) usually put it as the first subheader. The header "Alternative forms" is not standard. Etc.
    But it says the order doesn't matter because they can't be in the same entry. You didn't read it, did you? And the order is explicitly not required. You didn't read it, did you? ;-) It says *nyms. (and lists the ones presently in ELE) And "Alternative forms" does reflect current practice. Come on, take a bit of time with this? Robert Ullmann 18:45, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
    I did read it, and I found fault with some of the content and with the preferred order. Alternative forms is not standard (see WT:POS). You don;t know what heteronyms are do you? They are part of the same entry and cannot be listed as a *nym section. I have taken a lot of time with this. I've been mulling over some of these issues for over a year now. --EncycloPetey 18:49, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
    You just complained both that it does too much and then that it does too little! Your structure for heteronyms is another huge change; you think I should make this that much more complicated when you are opposing it for doing too much already?! Alternative forms has nothing to do with WT:POS. You took less than 2 minutes. (18:23 posted to 18:25 your reply) Please EP? Robert Ullmann 19:01, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
    I doesn't take long to put into words something I've been thinking about for months. No, I don't think this vote should be more complicated; I think it tries to cover too much and leaves holes as a result. It should be about three or four smaller votes. --EncycloPetey 19:18, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Atelaes 18:43, 3 June 2007 (UTC) I agree with EncycloPetey. This seems like a reasonable package altogether, but there are a few points which I disagree with as well. The fact is that this vote simply has too much in it, and does not follow enough conversation, in my opinion. I strongly agree that ELE needs to be made more specific. But it cannot happen in such a simple step.
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Connel MacKenzie 20:02, 3 June 2007 (UTC) It is my belief that en.wiktionary.org currently overemphasizes certain aspects of words with its layout structure. I sincerely believe our readers, writers and bots would be better served by an enormously flatter layout scheme, not one more deeply nested like this. Linguistically, the influences of different senses of a word conspire to give related and derived terms particular connotations. But more importantly is the simple fact that having numerous places to look for a piece of information, makes it much more likely that a reader will miss that information (because it is not where the reader expects it to be.) From the BP conversation, I thought this proposal would eliminate the L3 possibility (suggesting duplication at L4 where appropriate, instead) for Related, Derived, Synonyms, Antonyms, Translations, etc. But instead, it recommends an even more complicated structure? Furthermore, the ordering is actually more important than it is made out to be, in this proposal; translations are of least importance to our readers which is why it is listed last, in any given level of a hierarchy. --Connel MacKenzie 20:02, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
    Regarding snarking edit summary: My joke was meant as "oh what a surprise, that Connel is opposing this" as I think I have been pretty vocal in my opposition all along. --Connel MacKenzie 20:03, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
    (Note that I feel Translations should be last because they link out of the language of the entry, not because they are of "least" importance to anyone. --EncycloPetey 20:05, 3 June 2007 (UTC))
    huh? supra you complained that "It places sections ahead of the Translations." Which way do you want? eh? Robert Ullmann 23:37, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
    I want Translations as the last subsection for any POS. I have corrected my comment above. --EncycloPetey 04:13, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
    having undoubtedly caught my Alice snark ... as ELE says now, and you—correctly—insist on,there are derived and related terms that must apply to more than one POS, even though ideally we would be able to associate them, and often can. Making the structure deeper, rather than flatter, makes it much easier for bots, etc. to "read" the structure. Robert Ullmann 23:37, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
  4. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose — Beobach972 16:43, 6 June 2007 (UTC) (I believe this is putting too many separate issues to one vote; we ought to have specialised votes for each of the major parts (eg the order of all of the headers, the validity of ===Alternative forms===, etc). — Beobach972 16:43, 6 June 2007 (UTC))
    • "Vote ends: 3 July 2007
    • Vote started by: Robert Ullmann 18:23, 3 June 2007 (UTC)"
    Eh? A one-day-long vote? That doesn't seem right. — Beobach972 16:45, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
    ...and it isn't, I'm just blind... :-p    — Beobach972 16:54, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
  5. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose —Stephen 19:00, 6 June 2007 (UTC) (Too many points, some of which I disagree with. For instance, alphabetizing POS’s. This won’t work for some languages such as Arabic, where most forms and parts of speech are derivations of the verb, and the third-person masculine singular perfect verb forms the root of the vast majority of words. Some American Indian languages are exceedingly verb-heavy, and almost all "words" are verbs...for them, the few nouns are derived from verbs using special nominalizers, but generally a verb will be used where English uses a noun. An example is Ojibwe, where the days of the week are verbs, not nouns. In some languages such as Japanese, adjectives tend to be derived from verbs. In languages such as Tamil, there is no real division between nouns and adjectives, and they should both be listed under ===Substantive===. Dividing Tamil words into nouns and adjectives is artificial and just confuses people.)
    I agree, but keep in mind that we have a mechanism in place which allows individual languages to deviate from ELE. A language can have a policy page (such as Wiktionary:About Japanese) that amends ELE by explaining how format of entries in that language differs from the standard conventions in ELE. Such a page simply needs to be written and voted in as policy. So, if the only problems are specific languages, this shouldn't be an obstacle to voting for a revision to ELE. ELE is intended to provide a basis and default format as well as a starting point for discussion in other languages, not to quash everything else. --EncycloPetey 15:28, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
  6. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Dijan 01:50, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
  7. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Jeffqyzt 14:59, 27 June 2007 (UTC) Please repackage into more digestible policy bites. :-)


  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain. I cannot begin to spend the time to assemble any cogent arguments as I feel that the vote would have better been considered in smaller "bits". I am of course interested in the outcome and hence abstain. —Saltmarsh 06:34, 4 June 2007 (UTC)
  2. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain Rod (A. Smith) 04:36, 6 June 2007 (UTC) "Alternative forms" and "Etymology" are strange children for the L2 language header. Of what is the etymology section an etymology? I think of English Wiktionary as a collection of headwords, each of which (a) is a sequence of characters, (b) belongs to a single language (or to "Translingual"), (c) has a single (known or unknown) etymology, and (d) has at least one definition grouped by POS (or quasi-POS). So, I'd reflect that headword structure consistently by making L1 language headers, L2 headword headers, and L3 headers for each of the etymology, alternative forms, POS/inflection line/definition blocks, etc. For illustration, following is an excerpt of how the headword "word" would be structured:
    ===Alternative spellings===
    word (plural: words)
    # meaning
    ====Usage notes====
    word (words, wording, worded)
    # meaning
    word (plural: word)
    # meaning
    Since I think the current structure is illogical, I abstain. Rod (A. Smith) 04:36, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
  3. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain H. (talk) 14:33, 12 June 2007 (UTC) I’d also like this vote to be split up. Like you said, even the subdivision of the pronunciation section is a can of worms, so it is a bit utopic to reach a consensus here. It’s a pity, but that’s politics. Another point: the current schema isn’t suitable for most languages. Even in Dutch, which is still related to English, the word beken has two pronunciations, so I’d tend to put the pronunciation section *under* POS, to give just one example. Other languages will pose other problems. Maybe Connel is right that it should be more flatter, maybe we need more flexibility. But I hope it will converge some day into a format that fits all languages.
  4. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain Widsith 08:41, 13 June 2007 (UTC) I have tried and failed to read this proposal loads of times, but it's just too complicated for a single vote.


  • Fails 4-7-4. Could have been closed in half the time. Recommendation to divide into smaller chunks is already underway. DAVilla 01:14, 4 July 2007 (UTC)