Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2012-02/CFI and company names

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CFI and company names[edit]

  • Voting on: Modifying Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion to remove the specific prohibition on company names, and the subsequent reference thereto:
    Company names
    Being a company name does not guarantee inclusion. To be included, the use of the company name other than its use as a trademark (i.e., a use as a common word or family name) has to be attested.
    • Names of specific companies are subject to the “Company names” section of this page.
    leaving company-names subject to the more general rules for names of specific entities:
    A name of a specific entity must not be included if it does not meet the attestation requirement. Among those that do meet that requirement, many should be excluded while some should be included, but there is no agreement on precise, all-encompassing rules for deciding which are which. ¶ [] ¶ Such definitions as are included should be succinct rather than encyclopedic.
    and therefore, presumably, subject to case-by-case discussion at Wiktionary:Requests for deletion.
  • Rationale: The section can be easily read as excluding almost all company names, regardless of their being single-word ones ("Microsoft", "Verizon", "Exxon", "Intel", "Nokia", "Boeing", "Sony"), and regardless of their being able to carry lexicographical properties worth documenting, such as etymology, pronunciation and inflection. Moreover, company names that are initialisms ("IBM", "BMW", "KFC") are kept per common Wiktionary practice, which is in contradiction with the discussed section. Furthermore, I see no reason why company names should be regulated differently from names of other specific entities, such as names of literary works. Finally, the section has made it into CFI without a vote, and, as far as I can tell, has never enjoyed anything like a plain-majoritarian support, let alone consensual support. Thus, the section should better be removed from CFI, after which it can be attemted to be readded via a regular voting process.
  • Vote starts: 00:01, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23.59, 20 March 2012 (UTC)


  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support Dan Polansky 06:50, 20 February 2012 (UTC) per my rationale.
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support SemperBlotto 11:14, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support. Even per Liliana-60 below, if we do need some rule, the first step is to get rid off the old, bad rule, then work on a replacement after that. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:20, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
    From experience I can tell that this second step will never actually happen. -- Liliana 12:47, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
    In this case it might not, but as a general rule, getting rid of the old, bad rule is absolutely vital as it's harder to set up a vote to replace a rule than it is to add a new rule where there is at that moment in time no rule on the subject. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:25, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
    @Liliana: What stories of the second step never happening you are considering? Please share your experience with us. --Daniel 20:39, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support -- Cirt (talk) 20:38, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  5. Symbol support vote.svg Support --Daniel 19:04, 22 February 2012 (UTC) per Dan Polansky's rationale. --Daniel 19:04, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
  6. Symbol support vote.svg Support Names should be includable if they may be considered as words (e.g. Danone, but not Société nationale des chemins de fer belges. Lmaltier 21:19, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
  7. Symbol support vote.svg Support. Sometimes the line between company and brand gets really blurred. I would expect to see as high a bar for these entries, though. DAVilla 03:14, 26 February 2012 (UTC)
  8. Symbol support vote.svg Support. By excluding well-known company names (especially solid) we are excluding a lot of common modern vocabulary. --Anatoli (обсудить) 02:29, 27 February 2012 (UTC)


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I think we need some kind of rule to prevent arbitrary amounts of company names to be entered into Wiktionary, even if it's suboptimal. Having no rule at all would add a state of anarchy that is unacceptable. -- Liliana 02:16, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
    We have no specific rule for most names of specific entities, yet this has not resulted into any unbearable state of anarchy. To me, having an all-exclusive rule that excludes lexicographical information from Wiktionary (etymology, pronunciation) for no reason other than to just have some rule is a poor state of affairs. --Dan Polansky 06:50, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
    Taking a quick glance at past RFD discussions, sure, the lack of rules has made it a catastrophe as any entry can be kept for any reason, or no reason at all. I'm specifically referring to things like Hanging Gardens of Babylon and others.
    Oh, by the way, my village has a small bus company. Would they be included too if we had no company names rule? -- Liliana 11:10, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
    If it is called "The Village Bus Company" probably not. If it is called "VillageBus" (single word) probably yes (but it would need three citations). SemperBlotto 11:16, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
    You have not explained why keeping names of specific entities is a "catastrophe"; your use of hyperbolic rhetorical language as in "state of anarchy", "unacceptable", and "catastrophe" does not help clear thought.
    "Hanging Gardens of Babylon" may still get deleted, from what I can see in WT:RFD#Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I have voted for its being kept in RFD, as the entry hosts non-compositional lexicographical information.
    You have not explained what harm results from keeping such lexicographical information as the etymology and pronunciation of Rückingen, a small village in Germany. I do not see why the referent's being small or big should matter in a dictionary that is not constrained by size limits, whether for villages or for companies. Keep in mind that in all cases, attestation is a prerequisite for keeping. --Dan Polansky 11:36, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Equinox 20:42, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Royal Dutch Shell meets our general idiomaticity rule, as do American Greetings, Bank of America, Knight Ridder, and Colgate-Palmolive. Doubtless they're all attested, too, if we have no special attestation requirement for company names. IMO we should not have them as entries. Maybe the company-name part of the CFI needs to be fixed, but removing it completely is not the right fix.​—msh210 (talk) 00:21, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
    If the vote passes, you can vote "Royal Dutch Shell" down in RFD, as you can "Much Ado About Nothing", and other names of specific entities. Company names would be subject not only to the requirements of idiomaticity and attestation, but also to the section on the names of specific entities, which says that some should be included and many should be excluded. But given that you have agreed in the poll that "No company should have a dedicated sense line in any entry", you probably do not really want to see the section for company names fixed, nor are you disturbed by the fact that CFI contains sections that are not supported by consensus.--Dan Polansky 08:12, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
    I'll answer your last point first. That the CFI were never voted in as a whole may be a problem, but now that this vote is structured not as "shall we do away with all of the CFI except such parts as were voted in and start again de novo?" but as "do we want this part?", I say yes, we want this part. (Perhaps someone should start that vote, after determining what parts of the CFI have not been voted in. That'd be fun.) As to your point that such entries would be subject not only to usual attestation and idiomaticity provisions but also to the names provision, you're right, and many such names will therefore not pass RFD, but I prefer the even stronger criterion afforded by the section we're voting on here.​—msh210 (talk) 20:52, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
    It seems to me that core parts of CFI have solid support. The section on company names does not have that support, as is clear from the poll linked from this vote.
    If you want all company names excluded, your choice of multi-word company names above is misleading. It implies that the proposal of the vote would lead to inclusion of "Royal Dutch Shell", which seems unlikely. You actually want "Verizon" and "IBM" excluded, just because these are company names; it is inclusion of these single-word company names that the proposal makes likely, as some editors want to include "all words in all languages", and there is very little to prevent editors from asserting that "Verizon" is an attested word. --Dan Polansky 21:11, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
    No, that isn't clear form the linked poll, which was badly worded and not worded so as to be related to the current vote. The way in which you ask a question often introduces bias. The poll question was an all-or-nothing choice, which the current CFI rule is not. --EncycloPetey 21:16, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
    I do not see that the poll was badly worded. In any case, you have not explained in what way it was badly worded. The poll asked two logically complementary questions: whether at least one company name should be included as a company name, that is, with the company on a definition line, or not. There are no other options. The poll did not give two polar options (as white and black where in fact there is also gray) but rather two complementary options. These are the poll options: "Some companies should have dedicated sense lines in some entries"; "No company should have a dedicated sense line in any entry". Again, complementary rather than polar, no option has been excluded. --Dan Polansky 21:22, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
    I don't think it's misleading. This vote affects such multi-word names as well as single-word names. If this vote were about limiting the current CFI to multi-word names while leaving single-word names subject only the more general names-of-entities criterion, then my choice of examples would be misleading.​—msh210 (talk) 22:11, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
    If the vote passes, you can vote "Royal Dutch Shell" down in RFD - sure you can, but then the inclusionists will come and scream "keep" like their life depends on it, and the RFD will be closed as no consensus. -- Liliana 13:15, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
    For one thing, the same alleged problem is there for "Much Ado About Nothing", as I have pointed out.
    For another thing, I find it unlikely that inclusionists such as me or SemperBlotto will want to keep "Royal Dutch Shell".
    Finally, inclusionist don't "scream"; there is no easy way to scream in text on wiki, unless you use exclamation marks, which I have never seen in RFD (like "Scream!!!!!?!?"). I could equally well assert that "deletionists scream delete like their life depends on it", but that assertion is a pure invention, without any basis in anything.
    But I think you do not really want the section on company names fixed (as you want no definition line for a company, judging from the last poll), or having CFI that tracks consensus. You want that the will of a minority determines the text of CFI. --Dan Polansky (talk) 13:26, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
    Wow, that's quite an assumption. Where did you get it from, I wonder? -- Liliana 16:37, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
  4. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose EncycloPetey 21:16, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
  5. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per Liliana. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 21:22, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
  6. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose. I was leaning toward abstaining — although I don't think there are any company names that I'd want to include, I'm not opposed a priori to discussion of individual company-names at WT:RFD and development of a new consensus — but the thing is, I very strongly disagree with most of the stated rationale for this proposal. The writer of the rationale says, correctly, that "The voters are free to read the rationale, deem it wrong, and yet vote in support, for their having a different rationale that they find convincing"; but I think that a rationale on the vote page is really an integral part of a vote, and if a vote passes, then the rationale is implicitly endorsed (at least as a default rationale: obviously it's not endorsed by people who give different reasons for their votes). In this instance, the rationale goes beyond saying that company-names should be included on a case-by-case basis, and actually gives a number of criteria that are apparently intended as a basis for including them — criteria under which company-names would be treated like words. —RuakhTALK 21:14, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
    People will want to know how to write and say very well known company names used daily in foreign languages like Microsoft, Google, McDonald's, etc, even if they mean just that - a company name, especially in languages using quite different scripts and ways to transcribe them. Like personal and city names they are used and are useful. The rationale for inclusion and exclusion is difficult to define exactly to suit everyone. Admittedly, it should be phrased better to include really large companies written in one word. Case by case discussions of individual companies usually lead to their deletions. So, rephrasing you, I'm not opposed to discussing company names that we should NOT keep (case by case) rather than not allowing entries simply because they are company names. --Anatoli (обсудить) 23:50, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
    Re: "if a vote passes, then the rationale is implicitly endorsed": This cannot be the case. If people think so, then it needs to be made very clear that the only thing that people endorse by voting support is the "voted on" part. Furthermore, a voter can oppose and expressly state that he disagrees with the rationale and its tentative inclusion criteria (as you have done), so no one can later claim that the particular voter implicitly supported the rationale. Finally, if this vote passes (unlikely), then any voter will have the option to vote in RFD on a case-to-case basis using any criteria they choose to, so they do not commit themselves in any way to any inclusion criteria by voting support in this vote. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:00, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
    I understand why you feel that way, but I just feel differently. Sorry. —RuakhTALK 16:50, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
  7. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Per Liliana. JamesjiaoTC 00:24, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
  8. Symbol oppose vote.svg OpposeInternoob 05:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC) Per Liliana. I sort of like the rule....
  9. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Saltmarshαπάντηση 06:33, 4 March 2012 (UTC)


  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 05:20, 22 February 2012 (UTC) Personally, I think abstaining is pointless, but I'm doing so to point out that there really should be a vote on how to fix it, not whether or not to remove it.
    Abstain is not pointless. It demonstrates the number of people who have taken notice of the vote and considered the vote in earnest, even if they did not choose to support or oppose. --Dan Polansky 08:12, 22 February 2012 (UTC)


  • Vote fails, 8-9-1. --Yair rand (talk) 12:45, 27 March 2012 (UTC)