Wiktionary talk:Citations

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Quotations: seeCites[edit]

I think the existing format for linking from dictionary entries


is kinda ugly:


For usage examples of this term, see Citations:Citations.

In some cases this should say "other examples" since a handful of quotations can be given on the page. Citations pages can have references, and in theory one could have only references, so it wouldn't always be applicable under this header. It especially doesn't make sense to list several times on a page, as on imbetween. Is there a better place to put the link? DAVilla 06:00, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

How about changing the text to "Citations illustrating the usage of this word are collected on the citations page." ? This leaves the matter of how many citations have (so far) been collected out of the issue, and focusses on the purpose of the citations page.
As for the L4 inclusion, that fits what we do for other similar headers. We sometimes have the same problem with repeated Synonyms sections. In this case, I think we just have to trust that further exapnsion of the page will make the repeated section look less odd. It would also be nice if we had a regular way to link from the entry section to the corresponding POS section in the Citations namespace page. Whatever mechanism we use for this should be able to accomodate both a language and a POS parameter, and would have to be flexible enough to allow for more than one of the same POS in the same language, with differing etymologies. :P --EncycloPetey 19:41, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree about the change in the wording, but I also think that we should be moving most usage examples other than the one liners in italics away from the main pages, they take up a lot of real estate, some entries having 8-10 of these for a single defined sense. Again I will propone a major entry layout overhaul, because I like to have that floating around in everyone's heads at all times :) - [The]DaveRoss 19:51, 30 March 2008 (UTC)


The documentation of the meaning of initialisms is, in my opinion, rather important. Anyone can drum up initialisms; the challenge is in demonstrating that they are actually in use. Thoughts on how this draft proposal might accommodate this part of speech? --Ceyockey 02:49, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Could you be more spcific? I would think that some initialisms would be easy to find citations for, especially those in use in chemistry, electronics, or other scientific and technical fields. Likewise for initialisms such as EU and UN. The problem is more one of limiting the search fireld to find a "word" that is only a couple of letters that occur commonly in that combination. One approach might be to search the sources used as references for the corresponding WP article on the subject. --EncycloPetey 17:33, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Here's "specific" for you: Special:AllPages/AA. Still too broad? Take a look at w:ALU and find your way back here. DAVilla 21:43, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Inflected forms[edit]

I'd like to ask about the bit about inflected forms. The page seems to indicate that inflected forms should not have their own citations page, but rather, their citations pages should redirect to the lemma. Well, let me just say that that will absolutely not work for Ancient Greek.....not at all. Ancient Greek verbs have something on the order of 500 inflected forms, and I intend to cite each and every one which is attested. That doesn't work well without inflected forms having their own page. This is how I was seeing it: Each inflected form should have its own citations page, showing citations for only that form. The lemma citations page gets a bit more interesting. As I see it, the lemma page is actually two entries in one. It's the entry for the specific lemma form (e.g. for an Ancient Greek verb, the present active indicative first person singular form), as well as the entry for all the forms, viewed collectively, which is why it's the place where the most info is (the info which applies to all forms, which would be silly to be duplicated five hundred times, not to mention completely impractical to maintain). Now, we don't note that it's the present active indicative first person singular form on the entry itself, as that's kind of a Wiktionary convention, however, for the citations page, we need to be a bit clearer on that distinction. So, the lemma citations page has two sections, one for the specific lemma form (similar to the citations pages for all the other inflected forms), and one for all the forms, collectively. This section will contain the best cites, chosen to illustrate things, such as the word's history, and its various senses. Thoughts? -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 08:56, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

I think that inflected forms should be cited at their own page, AND at the lemma-form page. I think that is what you are also saying. However, I am increasingly unhappy with the Citation namespace in general and I think there will be lots more problems along these lines. Ƿidsiþ 16:33, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
That's because no one's yet made use of their full potentials. I feel confident that, in time, their utility will be realized. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 18:51, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Well I already did all my yelling about the way it's set up, and I'm done with that. We have a tab at the top of every entry now and no talk pages, the way someone decided they wanted it. DAVilla 21:40, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
It seems to me that the talk pages are used so infrequently anyway that they can serve a dual purpose. The bigger problem I've noticed is that there is no system for anchoring the templates that tke you back and forth. On one level, this means that definitions can't be tied easily to quotes, nor can parts of speech be tied to sections of quotes, and worst of all they aren't even coordinated by language. Citation pages for entry pages featuring multiple languages are going to get very messy. --EncycloPetey 16:14, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Widsith concenring both dual use of citations and unhappy problems of the Citations namespace. However, the problems are more the result of little use of the space so far and a dearth of discussions of some of the problems. --EncycloPetey 20:21, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Greek Wiktionary can't accommodate this? Are we going to wind up being the storage house for all citations in all languages?
Anyways the text as I wrote it was only meant to apply to terms in English. If you want to apply it to Greek then it needs to be reconsidered, although I honestly don't believe this is the right pace for that in the long term. DAVilla 21:38, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Of course it's the right place for it; what other Wiktionary is going to translate all those cites into English? Also, I think that this should work the same for English, honestly. I think we should be verifying our inflected English forms, limited as they may be in comparison. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:40, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
I haven't seen any other Wiktionary that has citations, and as Atelaes has pointed out, I wouldn't want to make use of Mandarin or Hindi citations that did not have a transliteration and English translation. So yes, we're going to end up with all citations in all languages just as we plan to end up with all words in all languages. --EncycloPetey 16:14, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
If we ever have a vote on this, I shall vote against the draft proposal. The citation should be for the exact word being defined. SemperBlotto 07:37, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you except in the case of the lemma entry. Requiring all citations from parrot to be only in the singular, or all citations from sit to be the infinitive or present active indicative for all but the third-person singular, is silly. Leeway should be allowed for the lemma form's citations to vary a bit, just as we allow the example sentences to do. --EncycloPetey 18:48, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
That sounds sensible to me. And it would be nice if some of those "best cites, chosen to illustrate things" were in entries as well. (I notice that some editors have been shearing entries of their quotations in favor of Citations:-links. I can only assume they'll next start shearing them of synonyms and antonyms in favor of Wikisaurus:-links, usage notes in favor of Talk:-links, and so on.) —RuakhTALK 18:25, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I thought that we had resolved some time ago that that was not ok. Why are people still being permitted to do so? -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 18:28, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Oh! I don't remember that resolution. They may have stopped doing it, then — as you can guess, I notice when someone does do something to an entry I'm watching, not when they don't, so they could well have stopped without my noticing. If I see any editors still doing that, I'll send them to you for smack-downs re-education rehabilitation. :-)   —RuakhTALK 19:18, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I think you had it right the first time. With Connel gone, someone's gotta be mean around here; keep people in line. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 19:22, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Foreign language citations[edit]

I haven't added many Italian citations yet (though it is on my (long) list of things to do). However, it was my intention to always supply an English translation. Do you think that is a good idea? And, if so, should it be mandatory, or just nice to have? SemperBlotto 07:39, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

I would say it best to leave as "something nice to have". It is my intention to eventually (perhaps around the time when pigs learn to fly) get a citebot up and running for grc. However, a bot would not be able to translate the passages, and so we would be stuck with grc only. I think that such citebots will be the way to populate these pages efficiently at first, no reason to prevent them by requiring such translations. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:47, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
How would this be formatted, though? I've been mimicking NS:0 entries and always putting in L2 language headers in case someone comes along and wants to add cites for another language. --Bequw¢τ 08:30, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
That's exactly how I was thinking it should be done. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 08:34, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree, but that needs to be integrated with the existing {{citation}} header template, which currently creates a L2 section, but does not specify the language. --EncycloPetey 20:39, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Several citations from one work[edit]

How shall one proceed if more than one citation stems from one work, may one introduce a new section, exempli gratia:

  • adverb
    • Carlyle, Past and Present
      • ... , book x, ch. y
      • ... , book X, ch. Y (...)

with regard to Citations:withal. Is it accepatable? Bogorm 21:23, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Take a look at what I did with the 1963 citation of scæne and the 1725 citation of ænigma. AFAIK, that is the solution that conveys one’s meaning most clearly whilst wasting the least space.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:05, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
My opinion prefers what you've presented here (above) over what is shown on Citations:withal. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:24, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for noting your præference.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:24, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Separation of senses[edit]

Why does the main page say,

"Definitions are not to be included on Citations pages. However, in the case of more than one meaning, quotations may be broken down by definition by differentiating parts of speech, with short glosses if necessary"

Why wouldn't we separate quotations be sense as well as by POS? Do we think the senses would change too much and lead to synchronization headaches? I came across -a-palooza, with two noun senses, and moved some of the excess citations to Citations:-a-palooza, but kept the distinction between the senses on the citation page. Should I have merged them together under a generic "noun sense"? Cheers. --Bequw¢τ 02:10, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

IMO, this is fine. We don't want to lose information. I think the situation differs somewhat between a) citations for words that do not yet have an entry, b) citations for senses that are not yet included in an entry, and c) citations for senses that are already included. In case a), there shouldn't normally be a definition; in cases b) and c) it probably makes sense to identify the pertinent senses. -- Visviva 03:18, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
My interpretation of that statement was, "there is no need to include a full definition, but if there's more than one sense, put a gloss, just enough to inform the reader of which sense the citation is for." -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 03:52, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
That's my interpretation as well. —RuakhTALK 20:16, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, that's a better interpretation. --Bequw¢τ 09:32, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Why split the citations?[edit]

Excuse me, I'm a Wiktionary reader, and I can't understand why you should split citations on different pages. Can you link me a page or discussion which can explain me that, please? However, the example does not seem to follow the style policy. Thanks, Nemo bis 12:19, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

As I see it, there are three main advantages to splitting the citations:
  1. It allows us to reduce the length of pages.
  2. It allows to keep citations useful for attestation separate from those useful as usage examples.
  3. A separate page allows us to have citations for words that may not warrant an entry yet.
HTH. DCDuring TALK 14:42, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
The policy given was formerly the only way things were done in this regard. I think that the mauve example was intended to show format for the citations themselves rather than the use of the separate namespace. For short entries I think we still prefer the former approach of having everything on the same page. When the considerations mentioned above apply then we start the citations page. DCDuring TALK 14:49, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
If you look at the large number of citations present on a page like Citations:listen or Citations:parrot, you can see why a separate page becomes important. Consider what will eventuall happen to an entry like set once the definitions are similarly supported by citations. The page would become incredibly long and take much time to load. --EncycloPetey 22:35, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

This is a very bad idea in my book. I see no reason whatsoever to split off the citations. It just creates overhead in maintaining more pages. I have never so far seen a lemma page on Wiktionary that was in danger of becoming too long.

A good dictionary has lemmas with example citations. See OED. I could only see a point in moving the citation collection to a subpage if it became ridiculously long (say 100k), but in such a case it may make more sense to clean up and shorten the page rather than just splitting it. --Dbachmann 11:59, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

You've only discussed one of the reasons we have separate Citations pages. They were created out of necessity. Some words do not (yet) qualify for inclusion, and so cannot have a page for the word. By having a separate namespace, we can accumulate supporting citations in the absence of an entry. We also have no desire to "shorten" the citations. So, your proposed solution fails to account for two of the reasons that the Citations namespace was started. --EncycloPetey 18:28, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Earliest uses?[edit]

Should we not, in assembling these pages, be seeking to add the earliest use of a word that we can find, in order to establish the best historical record? bd2412 T 21:16, 5 July 2013 (UTC)

Of a word, perhaps, but it is really hard to tell when a polysemic word picks up a new sense, though it can be fun to try. It's not like a "sense" is something that really exists. Each added sense is our after-the-fact effort to put in a marker around which usage seems to be accumulating. We often reword and regroup definitions to improve their modern presentation. The transition from an SoP expression to a true idiom often leaves few traces. A first use of a phrase in a literary work does not establish the meaning it has in even its early uses. DCDuring TALK 22:03, 5 July 2013 (UTC)