Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2012-03/Overturning COALMINE

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Overturning COALMINE[edit]

  • Voting on: Overturning WT:COALMINE.
    • Currently, "[u]nidiomatic terms made up of multiple words" are held "to officially meet WT:CFI when significantly more common than a single word spelling that already meets CFI". This is a vote on revoking that exemption: if it passes, then the existence of a single-word term that meets CFI will not, in itself, cause a significantly more common but unidiomatic multiple-word spelling to meet CFI.
  • Vote starts: 00:01, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 16 April 2012 (UTC)


  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support The existence of a spelled-solid form might, of course, be evidence of idiomaticity; but once idiomaticity has been ruled out, I think the existence of a spelled-solid form becomes completely irrelevant. —RuakhTALK 00:14, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support My Eexperience has shown me that the existence of an attestable spelled solid form is often easily considered a typographic error. True decoding idioms and even merely terms included in other dictionaries will not likely be excluded, IMO. DCDuring TALK 00:18, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    "Experience has shown"? Any evidence? --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:32, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support Prosfilaes (talk) 00:19, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support - -sche (discuss) 01:42, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  5. Symbol support vote.svg Support.​—msh210 (talk) 20:02, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  6. Symbol support vote.svg SupportInternoob 21:32, 28 March 2012 (UTC) I kind of want to delete things like dung heap as SoP.
  7. Symbol support vote.svg Support. Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV 00:02, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  8. Symbol support vote.svg Support I used to be against it, but when I see it used to create obvious junk entries like him and and Chinese man, there is something seriously, seriously, seriously wrong with our rules. I want anyone here to reconsider their vote on this basis. -- Liliana 19:13, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
    Again, the existence of himand is the problem; get rid of "himand" and WT:COALMINE is harmless. I very much doubt that the quotations provided for "himand" are anything else but typographical errors. OTOH, if we accept "himand" (which I don't), "him and" does not do any additional harm. I see no problem with "Chinese man" as long as "Chineseman" is there, well attested. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:43, 30 March 2012 (UTC)
  9. Symbol support vote.svg Support, yes Liliana-60 I just have. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:19, 30 March 2012 (UTC)


  • Symbol oppose vote.svg BUZZ! If a compound is written together, it's a pretty good sign that some people regard the written apart form as a set phrase, and that, per our WT:CFI, "someone would run across it and want to know what it means". -- Liliana 00:00, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    I can't imagine anyone who would look up coal mine and not iron mine or copper mine.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:19, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    A few dictionaries at OneLook have copper mine, many have coal mine, perhaps one has iron mine. I'd follow the lemmings. DCDuring TALK 00:26, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    Nobody says iron mine. You don't gather iron from the underground, you gather ore. -- Liliana 00:30, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    Ironmine would be attestable though, as would iron mine. DCDuring TALK 01:00, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    Anyway, as discussion on the talk page, this vote doesn't mandate that set phrases be deleted. RFD exists so that we can decide whether a string is an acceptable set phrase or not: this vote just removes the bad mandate that we must keep hisown, Citations:oftused, Citations:oftmentioned, etc without any debate over whether or not they are worthy set phrases. - -sche (discuss) 01:41, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    Wait, what? As I read the vote, this is about his own and coal mine, not hisown and coalmine.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:06, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    You're right; I'm sorry, I was thinking "we must keep his own,... because of hisown", but the necessary first half of that didn't make it out of my mind and onto the page, lol. - -sche (discuss) 02:27, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Ƿidsiþ 06:05, 28 March 2012 (UTC). I strongly oppose this. The existence of compounds written together is an excellent sign that they are thought of as a single idiomatic unit. It's crucial for a good dictionary to include important compounds and we already have too few ways of supporting that under CFI.
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 10:26, 28 March 2012 (UTC) I'm totally against the categorical exclusion of SOP content. I even believe that cleanly tagged (maybe with {{head|en|SOP}}) SOP entries would not be harmful. In fact regular form-of entries could be regarded as SOP, and most printed dictionaries have no entries for them, but we have a overwhelmingly huge number included. Matthias Buchmeier (talk) 10:26, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    But that's not really the question, is it? The question is whether you support the categorical inclusion of SOP phrases whenever a solid-spelled variant is included. We've often kept SOP terms on various grounds, and this would not change that; it simply wouldn't force us to keep SOP terms on these grounds. —RuakhTALK 21:21, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Dan Polansky (talk) 18:22, 28 March 2012 (UTC) I don't see any problem that removing WT:COALMINE would solve. To me, the closed form, the open form and the hyphenated form of a compound are alternative forms of a single word, as it were; I see no point in including one of these forms while excluding others. If this tri-word is only represented as "compoundword" rather than also as "compound word" and "compound-word", and if "compound word" is more common, then I think it is represented on the wrong lemma, a secondary lemma, as it were. However, typographic errors should not count toward attestation of a vanishingly rare closed form. In particular, hisown is not plausibly attested as anything else but a typographical error; but even if it were properly attested, the existence of "hisown" in Wiktionary would be much larger problem than the existence of "his own". --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:26, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  4. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose EncycloPetey (talk) 20:18, 28 March 2012 (UTC) I'm against overturning this without replacing it with some other guideline, as creating a policy vacuum is usually a bad idea. I would rather see an attempt made to revise this principle, rather than to simply obliterate it. --EncycloPetey (talk) 20:18, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
    I don't see what that "policy vacuum" would be. COALMINE grants a certain exemption to our regular policies; this vote would revoke that exemption. If a policy vacuum would be left, then it's a policy vacuum we already have. —RuakhTALK 21:19, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  5. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose SemperBlotto (talk) 21:36, 28 March 2012 (UTC) - not perfect, but better than nothing
  6. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:44, 29 March 2012 (UTC) I was unsure for a while, but now I feel sure that we gain nothing by being more exclusionistic in this regard. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:44, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  7. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose --Daniel 22:55, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
  8. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I agree with Widsith. Widespread compounds are indispensable for any good dictionary. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 18:07, 11 April 2012 (UTC)


Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain. I feel about the same as EncycloPetey, that I could support replacing this with a better system, but I can't support replacing it with nothing. But I don't feel strongly enough to actually oppose. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:56, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg Likewise abstain. In principle I agree except that coal mine and dung heap might arguably be worthy of inclusion anyway. The only terms that I'm certain I have not liked are oft mentioned and his own. How are these to be divided? The rule may not be perfect, but it's an extreme convenience. DAVilla 04:33, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
    Wow, also him and! In the end though, I'd rather vote on three exceptions to coalmine than to overturn it outright. The grammatical structure is different enough that few would consider any an idiomatic unit, and I don't mind debate in some cases. However, too much debate on every contentious term leads to fickle and inconsistent outcomes. DAVilla 01:37, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
    We have a number of other items that are non-constituents. See Category:English non-constituents. DCDuring TALK 13:41, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
    Those look alright to me. DAVilla 01:55, 17 April 2012 (UTC)
  2. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:47, 2 April 2012 (UTC) I keep my hands away from RFV as much as possible, so I've only caught snippets of the conversations that have occurred surrounding the topic, and hence I'm probably not qualified to vote. However, it does seem like COALMINE sets a fairly distinct standard, which makes a lot of the discussions simpler, and more straightforward. It does, of course, let a few words in which many of us would prefer we didn't have. However, it seems like it's a fairly short list. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:47, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
  3. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain I'm not really sure. On one hand, I think a term like 'coal mine' should be included, even if it's a bit SoP-ish. And like Widsidth said, if a term is spelled without a space then it's a clear indication that it's perceived as a set phrase, and therefore merits inclusion. But on the other hand, I don't think this rule should override our common sense, and it seems to have been abused to do that. I would rather reform and refine this policy than overturning it altogether. —CodeCat 18:13, 11 April 2012 (UTC)


9-8-3 (52,94%)

No consensus. So, I believe this vote is not going to overturn WT:COALMINE.

Amusingly, the entries him and and his own were specifically discussed as to whether COALMINE applies to them, but these and himand and hisown were eventually deleted.

Some entries that meet COALMINE are listed in this discussion.

--Daniel 07:29, 17 April 2012 (UTC)