Wiktionary talk:Criteria for inclusion

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Old threads have been archived to Wiktionary talk:Criteria for inclusion/Archive 1 and Wiktionary talk:Criteria for inclusion/Archive 2.

Proposed changes to the CFI can be made and discussed at Wiktionary:Editable CFI.

Subpages of Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion and its talk page:

Criteria for inclusion/Brand names Criteria for inclusion/Editable Criteria for inclusion/Editnotice
Criteria for inclusion/Fictional universes Criteria for inclusion/Language-specific Criteria for inclusion/Languages with limited online documentation
Criteria for inclusion/Well documented languages Criteria for inclusion/attestation

Criteria for inclusion/2002-2003 Criteria for inclusion/Archive Criteria for inclusion/Archive 1
Criteria for inclusion/Archive 2 Criteria for inclusion/Brand names Criteria for inclusion/Editable
Criteria for inclusion/Fictional universes Criteria for inclusion/Well documented languages


The rule for inclusion of proper names are outdated, they are not followed and unhelpful. Maintenance complexity should not be a factor if name spelling can be checked against a variety of dictionaries.

The changes I propose are:

  • Allow all country names, their capitals in the English language and in the original language and script, etymologies, alternative spellings, meanings, pronunciation and translations.
  • Allow regional centres - capitals of states, provinces, counties, shires, regions, prefectures, oblasts, etc. regardless of their size.
  • The inclusion of other place names to be discussed. Population, historical or economical importance? Provide reference to a dictionary (to discuss, which dictionaries are considered valid)

In any case, I suggest not to restrict but encourage the inclusion of proper names. Anatoli 03:14, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

What do you suggest we use for evidence? Should all administrative units be included or just primary ones? Should the regions have a governmental administrative structure or could they be statistical areas or popularly used names for areas. We have obsolete meanings of words; should be have obsolete meanings of place names? Should we have official names or popular names or both. What about mythical places (Valhalla) or historical "places" with uncertain boundaries (Scythia)? Obviously not all of these questions need be answered at once. DCDuring TALK 03:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Judging from your questions, I can see that your main concern is maintenance and who is going to verify the accuracy? Like in all Wiki projects, there is always a risk and someone who knows the correct information can change.
My main concern is that a gaseteer adds no value. The "maintenance" include conceptual concerns.
  • By the regions I mean governmental administrative structure, like Urumchi/Ürümqi - capital of Xinjiang. Include unrecognised/partially recognised and disputed territories - in a neutral informative tone. (Western Sahara, Kosovo, etc). The status can have a leading entry explaining the status.
    Should that include statistical areas that are officially defined? Such as SMSAs and SCAs in the US?
  • Can't see any problem with obsolete names, if they are a redirect entry, "alternate or obsolete spelling" entry.
    I meant obsolete definitions of a word. Should every major border change be reflected?
  • Official names for place names (cities/towns), countries - popular names (as is the case already)
Some possible variations in the name in the name can be described in the entry, as was the case with Rostov. The Russian city of Veliky Novgorod was officially called Novgorod till 1999. I I were to create the entry (it's an administrative centre of a region) now, I would call it "Veliky Novgorod" with a link to the alternative or older spelling - "Novgorod". Popular names may be useful but if they are appropriate for this language. In the Russian entry I would make Великий Новгород the main entry with a popular name Новгород.
  • Mystical and uncertain historical names are not my concern. Not sure if they need to be included but I don't see why not, if they can be useful for users. The leading sentence should specify what the entry is. Perhaps, we can exclude them for now but it's up to other Wictionarians. Anatoli 04:11, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Evidence? Happy to discuss this but in most cases, the names are obvious, well-known and easily verifiable by a simple search. The evidence may only be required in cases of a dispute. Then one needs to provides something solid. But isn't this the case already? If I write a name and you agree with the spelling, then there is no need for any evidence. This could be happening with the spelling of well-known names, such as San‘a’ (capital of Yemen), El Aaiún (Western Sahara), Urumchi, etc., which can have more than one spelling. In this case, we need to discuss the correct spelling for the entry. Anatoli 04:21, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
You seem focused in this discussion on big entities, but you have spoken of all places, whatever their population. There are many of them. Should governmentally designated places be automatically included, whether or not there is a government associated with the place? See w:Place (United States Census Bureau), especially w:Census-designated place.

Furthermore, there is likely to be a great deal of interest in natural features: bodies of water; mountains, hills, mountain ranges; valleys, plains, plateaus; below-surface features; and man-made structures (buildings, kurgans, jetties); public places (parks, squares, plazas); public transportation; and roads. Are these items beyond your present concern? Should they be? Are the entities for which you would propose amending WT:CFI more or less meritorious?

Lastly, but most importantly, how are users better off because Wiktionary includes such place names and/or names of political/governmental entities? DCDuring TALK 14:49, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

  • I think the proposed changes (1 and 2) would be fine, inasmuch as they mostly reflect current practice and keep the set of permitted entries small (countries, primary subdivisions of countries, and capitals thereof -- I suppose this would be a bit over 10,000 words, many of which we already have). Even though I'm not thrilled with the idea, and there are very serious unresolved problems in our treatment of proper nouns, I would support the change, just because it would reduce the current gap between policy and reality. Then we can go back to arguing about exactly how to handle these, and what to do with all the other place names.  :-) Question: there are some very large cities that aren't the capital of anything, notably Los Angeles and Chicago in the States; should we have a clause permitting any city of more than 1 million people? -- Visviva 15:29, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
    • I think we should at least have a clause for including the most heavily populated city in each state. It would be absurd to include Tallahassee but exclude Miami. I'd go farther down than a million, at any rate - 250,000 is a reasonable baseline. For place names with multiple uses (e.g. Jacksonville, Springfield), if one comes in, all should come in to avoid confusion. It's also fine to handle this, as we have, by defining the term as the name of multiple places and referring the reader to the Wikipedia disambiguation page. bd2412 T 03:47, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
    I think the proposal looks fine, for the same reasons as Visviva (having the same reservations as well). -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 18:48, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Natural features are beyond my present concern (although, I don't see any reason to object their existence, if they are correct), neither are smaller town districts. If the number of governmentally designated places are too many, I am happy to reduce and limit to about next level of the nations capital (states, provinces, prefectures, autonomous regions, territories or oblasts). The entries are not forced to be created and are not created automatically, they are created by editors manually, so I don't see any reason for concern of having too many to handle. I've been checking the appendixes, they seem to be mainly linked to the main body of Wiktionary, anyway, and if I tried to create an entry from a red link, it would create an entry in Wiktionary, not in the appendix. Am I missing something? The benefit for the users? - I have already explained, like any dictionary, it's for the information, besides, here, it's multilingual, allows to discuss/inform about etymology, pronunciation, transliteration, grammar and other linguistic issues. In reality yes, we have quite a number of proper names already, which is behind the policy. As I said before, my attitude is more is better than less, as long as it is accurate. Los Angeles is a big place and having it here is only beneficial. All 1 mln. (if not less) cities must be included, IMO. Sorry, mixed all answers in one paragraph, hopefully, it's readable. :) Just in case, I prefer "New York" to "New York city", and names of regions coinciding with its capitals/centres can go into one entry. Anatoli 00:45, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Why is Wiktionary the right home for such entries, as opposed to Wikipedia? The users would seem to get vastly more from Wikipedia. Is all of this just so the various names can be translated? DCDuring TALK 02:46, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Wiktionary is an online dictionary (among other things). Wikipedia has large article with volumes of information irrelevant for finding translation for proper names. The linked multilingual articles (if you mean using this method for finding out what it is called in another language) are not necessarily linked to an identical article in another language, e.g. "USA" may be linked to "United States of America". The translations are not grouped in one place and the etymology, basic pronunciation is not available. I understand what you are referring to but this method is not for everyone and not is user friendly. Besides, Wiktionary provides a concise meaning of a proper name (at least, country and what it is, e.g. a city). That's all you need from a basic dictionary. Etymology and related terms would be a bonus but if you don't have a stub, there won't be anything to improve on. Anatoli 03:41, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Toponyms are a special case, and I think a few extra rules need to be stated explicitly. As a general principal, we should handle them strictly lexicographically, and leave the encyclopedic documentation to Wikipedia. They should qualify for inclusion the same way as any other term: three attestations in durable works.

Contrary to common sense, most geographic references should not be used. Only references which examine place names from a linguistic (onomastic, toponymic, or etymological) angle should be used.

  • Exhaustive official lists of place names should not be used, because they are prescriptive. If no one has ever written about Lower Slobovia in English, then it shouldn't have an English entry in a descriptive dictionary like ours.
  • Place-name entries in general dictionaries should not be used as references or examples:
    1. General-reference dictionaries add toponyms to increase their quick-reference value for users. We add a Wikipedia link for the same purpose.
    2. General-reference dictionaries don't treat toponyms lexicographically, providing etymologies, documenting attested use, etc., rather they give encyclopedic or gazetteer information, like population, etc.
  • Atlases should also be prohibited as references:
    1. Modern atlases are prescriptive, relying on official lists of approved geographic names rather than actual native-language usage.
    2. Modern atlases transcribe native place names for all but the most well-known places, and don't necessarily present names as used in English.

The “definitions” or descriptions, like those of other terms, should be the minimum necessary to define the place. Encyclopedic information like population, etc, should be prohibited. Michael Z. 2009-03-16 03:12 z


The proverbs section states that if the phrase is a complete sentence, it should start with a capital letter. The linked example redirects to an uncapitalised version, and all entries in Category:English proverbs that do not begin with a proper noun are uncapitalised. I assume this document is dated, as opposed to many entries in that category being wrong, and thus needs revision. Mindmatrix 20:52, 24 March 2009 (UTC)

I've removed the section. Mindmatrix 13:45, 8 April 2009 (UTC)


The formatting says # {{misspelling of|[[...]]}} but I thought practice was # {{misspelling of|...}} with no linking (provided by the template instead). RJFJR 20:21, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

See discussion and news (s.v. December).—msh210 20:41, 19 May 2009 (UTC)
No, that's different. RFJFR is right: we don't even want misspelling-only entries to count in the statistics. (Of course, it's hard to prevent it, because some of the other Wiktionaries will automatically create entries in response to ours, which means that we get interwiki links, which contain [[. But that's the idea.) —RuakhTALK 21:43, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Translation target[edit]

The criteria for inclusion could be extended to include sum-of-parts terms if they serve as a translation target. Specific criteria for how to recognize a translation target are not yet clear.

Examples of possible translation targets:

  • high school student – French: collégien or lycéen; added later: but: "highschooler"
  • indoor football – Dutch: zaalvoetbal; added later: is this actually a non-SoP name of a sport?
  • problem solving – German: Problemlösen; added later: but: "problemsolving"; but-but: "problemsolving" is much less common than "problem solving"
  • small boat – Czech: loďka, lodička; diminutives in general; added later: but: "boatlet"; but-but: "boatlet" is rare.
  • two-wheeled – Finnish: kaksipyöräinen
  • email message – Finnish: sähköpostiviesti
  • rice noodles - German: Reisnudeln


See also:

Feel free to add further examples and bullet items identifying discussions to this post.

--Dan Polansky 17:01, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

I believe that indoor football is a set phrase to be included anyway, and isn't SOP: indoor football is the name of a sport, with its own rules, it's not only football played indoor. high school student might be considered as a set phrase too, it would not be absurd. But adding small boat, small ... for the purpose of translations to languages such as Dutch, with a heavily used diminutive suffix, does not seem appropriate nor useful. So, yes, but only if a set phrase. Lmaltier 08:32, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
These are good points. Yet, "high school student" is a sum-of-parts, and set phrases are not included per current WT:CFI, so "high school student" would be a newly included term if translations targets are added to WT:CFI. --Dan Polansky 09:26, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Why mentioning two-wheeled? It is already includable with current CFI. Lmaltier 13:21, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
It is not all that clear that "two-wheeled" is includable per current CFI, given the current request for deletion of "two-wheeled". To me, "two-wheeled" seems rather SoPish.
Feel free to add to the list above good examples of terms that would be added because of their translation-targetness. --Dan Polansky 14:33, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

None of the examples of SoP terms needed as translation targets are necessary; a high-school student is also a highschooler (or, specifically, a highschoolboy or girl, if you like), indoor football is idiomatic, problemsolving (written as a single word) is common, a small boat is a skiff (or, more predictably, a boatlet), and something that has two wheels can be called birotate.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:51, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

What's wrong with glossing by simple glosses, like “small boat?”
Accepting this proposal would multiply the potential inventory of acceptable words by an order of magnitude. Every inflected verb or noun would suddenly need a dozen or two new English entries created exclusively for it. Agglutinative languages might require English entries like for your (plural) repeated pretending to be undesecratable (Hu. megszentségteleníthetetlenségeskedéseitekért).*
This is taking glosses which belong in quotation marks and setting them in italics. It is also inviting editors to create entries for 100,000 S-o-P terms, phrases, and whole sentences. This is to increase the load on RFD a dozen-fold.
There will always be terms which have no synonym in a foreign language. Heck, every language has many regionalisms which have no general equivalent.
I'd be in favour of some new criterion for accepting “set phrases” or common expressions, but not for pretending that English has direct translations for every term in every language. Michael Z. 2009-08-23 18:11 z
I agree, -ish. We should never include a term that no one would ever look up. We can include terms that only a professional translator would expect to be able to look up; and we can include terms that most people would come across via internal links rather than by looking them up directly; but we should not include every series of English words that would be used to translate any foreign word. So, why do I say I only agree "-ish"? Because your comment purports to be objecting to Dan's proposal, but I don't think that is what Dan is proposing. He gives examples of series of English words that would be used to translate certain foreign words, and then labels them very explicitly as possible translation targets. Meaning that his proposal doesn't mandate all such entries. So, where you actually say what you don't think we should do, I agree; but where you object to "this proposal", "this", etc., I don't agree, or I don't know if I do, because I don't know if you're even talking about what you seem to be. —RuakhTALK 19:27, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Okay, maybe I misinterpreted it some. But our RFV and RFD pages are already swamped with totally s-o-p phrases. Allowing more entries by criteria that require subjective judgment might be asking for trouble. I'd rather include English phrases by their intrinsic English qualities than because they are handy for reasons involving every language but English. Michael Z. 2009-08-23 22:23 z
Am I correct in assuming that the whole point of this proposal is to allow translation tables to exist housing single terms in foreign languages whose English-language æquivalents are SoP phrases?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 20:23, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
(indent) An explanation: I am not proposing anything yet. I am trying to execute a descriptive undertaking: to understand the specific and concrete, meaning example-based, impact of the proposal. I am sorry that I have redirected the discussion here; it could have stayed in Beer Parlour. I have created this section so that the topic has its home location, from which it should be possible to link to the discussions in Beer Parlour. The discussions should be easier to find months or years later.
In any cases, examples of the impact are desperately needed; the above discussion shows that people do as yet agree on what the impact of the proposal would be. And it is the impact or consequences of the proposal that make the proposal good or bad. --Dan Polansky 07:30, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Voting on clarification at Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-08/Clarify names of specific entities[edit]

I started a vote, after BeeP discussion, to clarify the wording without changing the meaning of this section. Michael Z. 2009-08-27 04:54 z

The OED cites Usenet, too.[edit]

I find it interesting to note that the OED’s sub-entry for “ˈfelching n. cites a Usenet newsgroup as its earliest quotation in support of the term; I reproduce it literatim hereat:

1989 Re: How can you eat Unwashed Pussy? in alt.sex (Usenet newsgroup) 17 Nov., The story also talks about sucking on the clitoris… But‥I want to read about *felching!

It seems like we’re not the only ones who allow Usenet groups as evidence of attestation…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 18:08, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

They also cite plain old websites occasionally, tagging it as something like "OED archive." I understand their thinking, and obviously they have the resources to create their own "durable archives", but it seems kind of lame. -- Visviva 08:26, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Why? For better or for worse, we’re past the lexicographical age of restricting our quotations to those from literary magna opera. For a term in frequent current use, whether or not its use is in durably-archived media has nothing to do with whether a person will “run across it and want to know what it means”. Durable archiving is necessary solely for lexicographical verification. If a particular website coined or popularised a term, or represents the earliest recorded instance of its use, then it seems entirely appropriate to quote it as such; and if it isn’t durably archived, then it also seems entirely appropriate to durably archive it oneself, be that in the form of a printed screen-capture or whatever. In the continuum of descriptivist ethe, I could scarcely be described as a rabid inclusionist/inclusivist (Which is the better term there? Exclusionist, exclusivist, inclusionist, and inclusivist are all in the OED.), but I don’t see what value durable archiving has other than to facilitate lexicographical verification.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:15, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Even if an attestation doesn't help qualify a term for inclusion, it might still be useful to show when and wherefrom it came into use, how it was used early on, etc. Michael Z. 2009-09-21 13:46 z
Agreed.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 14:16, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
My view was probably soured by the fact that I first came upon this when researching some dictionary word or other (not sure if it's one I've added to the list yet or not). Their lone bona fide citation for this word, which had been coined in the mid-17th-century and passed from one dictionary to another since, was from a 21st-century German website. It seemed painfully obvious that this was simply the infelicitous choice of a hapless website translator who made the mistake of relying on a German-English dictionary that had copied the word in turn from some earlier dictionary. I would have liked to think that the OED might feel just the slightest twinge of shame for their own role in perpetuating this misinformation.
But yes, there is certainly a valid use for this. -- Visviva 15:13, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps they felt “just the slightest twinge of shame” for harbouring a “zombie word” based on an argumentum ad verecundiam and wanted to bolster their descriptive credentials by showing the word to be attestable. (That would also explain why so many of these dictionary-only words get tagged {{obsolete}} in post–second-edition draft revisions.) It seems to be their policy that once a word is added it never gets thrown out.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:14, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
It's also kind of lame in that their Web-site says, for example, “At the moment, because Internet addresses and references can change, texts that exist solely online cannot be used as a source for quotations.”[1] They don't say anything about an OED archive that renders a text non–solely online. —RuakhTALK 12:05, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, they should probably clarify that…  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 17:14, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

What Wiktionary is NOT[edit]

I believe we also need some statement of what Wiktionary is not.

Wiktionary is NOT an arbiter of what is suitable english, good english, correct english, grammatical. Like any English dictionary, Wiktionary is merely documenting, explining what is in use in English. It should be sufficient to show that a word or idiom is (or has been) in use, be it common useage or a specific group (such as the medical fraternity).

It seems to me that every time I come to Wiktionary and check through some of the words or idioms proposed for deletion, there are purists using arguments that essentially sets them up as arbiters of what is good, acceptable english.

To quote from WT:RFD#US_American

  • "US America" is not a term that I have heard or read and is not plausibly an etymon of "US American". It seems not to matter to this self appointed arbiter that several citations of use are given.
  • Acceptability as English is one thing. Suitability for any specific purpose is another.

And neither has anything to do with whether it should be in an English dictionary. No one here is/should be setting themselves as some authority to decide what is acceptable, what is suitable. Wiktionary should only be concerned with what is and is not used. If you want to decide what is acceptable or suitable use, or "Linguisitically Correct" you should go join the French Academy (or similar). The role of Wiktionary is not to decide any such thing. Is it used? Is there reasonable evidence of its use? There is. End of argument.

see also WT:TR#chillaxin --Richardb 11:09, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

You seem to be looking for WT:NOT. A line about "Wiktionary is not prescriptive" would be a useful addition there. But this line seems especially pertinent to the current situation: "Wiktionary is not a battlefield. Every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly and in a spirit of cooperation."
You may also wish to reacquaint yourself with the distinction between idiomaticity and attestation, both of which are discussed at length on the present page. -- Visviva 11:41, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree (anyway, there is no other possible practical option on a wiki if you want to avoid edit wars, this is the NPOV principle). I just want to add that this is true for all languages, not only English. Lmaltier 17:24, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Clarification Required[edit]

The CFI need clarification on one point:-

“Attested” means verified through
 *Clearly widespread use, 
 *Usage in a well-known work, 
 *Appearance in a refereed academic journal, or 
 *Usage in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year. 

Are those 4 attenstation criteria joined by OR, or by AND.

My personal view is that they should be joined by an OR, so that a term that meets ANY of the criteria, and does not need to meet ALL of the criteria.

I would suggest a change of the paragraph to

“Attested” means verified through meeting ANY of the following conditions
 *Clearly widespread use, 
 *Usage in a well-known work, 
 *Appearance in a refereed academic journal, or 
 *Usage in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year.

I cannot be bothered to mount a campaign or vote on my own. Any agree enough to take it on ? --Richardb 14:31, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

It may be that the wording could be better, but the "or" reading is how it is applied, without any controversy (about the "or", anyway) in my experience. DCDuring TALK 16:42, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
I believe the "or" on the end on the second to last line makes it clear that disjunction is intended. I missed that word reading it the first time, though, so it could be clearer. --Bequw¢τ 17:48, 2 October 2009 (UTC)

Blunder needs to be corrected in CFI definition[edit]

Someone, at some time, has made a blunder, that has apparently been subsequently accepted by a vote.

Under ==General rule== we find the line-

A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means. This in turn 
leads to the somewhat more formal guideline of including a term if it is attested and idiomatic.

I hate to point out the absurdity, but, if obeyed, this would mean we would have ONLY idioms in Wiktionary !

I propose that the General Rule should be changed to:-

A word should be included if it meets any of the following criteria
*Clearly in widespread use, 
*Used in a well-known work, 
*Appears in a refereed academic journal, or 
*Used in permanently recorded media, conveying meaning, in at least three independent instances spanning at least a year. 
(See below under Attestation for clarification of these criteria)

A term other than a single word needs to meet the above criteria, and additionally be idiomatic. (See below for Criteria for Idiomaticity)

This change would also remove the disparity between the very loose, almost colloquial general rule (if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means) and the more formal attestation requirements.

Again, it needs to be changed, but I personally can't make the effort to mount a vote and a campaign. Anyone want to take it on ?--Richardb 14:58, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

So, you want to get logical about this, eh? To avoid a premature vote on all the wording changes, Wiktionary:Editable CFI has been begun. How that will interact with "official" CFI remains to be seen, but it is likely to be constructive. And it's an easier place to make such suggestions. DCDuring TALK 16:48, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Not necessary in this case. It says "if", not "only if". The effect only applies if the condition is true. If the condition is false, then take no action one way or the other. --EncycloPetey 00:02, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I think some of the confusion may be due to the different meanings of idiomatic, two of them listed here:
 1) Pertaining or conforming to the mode of expression characteristic of a language.
 2) Resembling or characteristic of an idiom.

I think CFI is using the first meaning here, not the second. (Please correct me if I'm wrong) Facts707 09:53, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

medical terms policy?[edit]

I'm wondering if there is any set policy on medical terms. Many of them are of Latin or Greek origin and the same term is used in many languages (eg: aorta). But bruit (from the French) is commonly used in English speaking medicine to describe a certain heart sound, but that is not mentioned in bruit. Also, foramen ovale is defined but not foramen magnum. Facts707 10:08, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

MW3 includes "bruit" in medical sense, but without a medical context, suggesting that it is likely worth inclusion. (Citations would be conclusive.) One of the best features of Webster's Third New International Dictionary ("MW3") is its coverage of scientific vocabulary. My print edition has Addenda with mostly technical terms dated as late as 1993. In the main (1961) portion they have five different singular compounds of "foramen" and one of "foramina". They add nothing further in the Addenda.
Are you asking about Translingual status? I don't think we would make something Translingual until we had evidence that the term was used in a "significant" range of languages. Thus for "bruit" attested usage in running English text, should just lead to an English entry. If it is attestably used in German, French, Swedish, Italian, Russian,I would think that there is a case for Translingual. I haven't seen any particular shortcut to Translingual status for medical terms. Perhaps if multiple medical dictionaries declared it something like "International Scientific Vocabulary" ("ISV") as MW3 does with many entries, but not "bruit". DCDuring TALK 11:52, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

"Not a sum of parts" - proposed entry[edit]

We need an entry in "General rule" (after “Terms” to be broadly interpreted) to say that an entry shouldn't be included if it is just a sum of parts. For example, party leader should not be included (means "leader of a political party", "leader of an expedition", "leader of a celebration" depending on context), but post office should be, as it means "a place to send or receive mail" and not "a place that manages posts (such as football posts or signposts)" or "a place that manages jobs or positions (I'll put a new guard in that post). Facts707 19:52, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Uh, we do. See WT:CFI#Idiomaticity, "An expression is “idiomatic” if its full meaning cannot be easily derived from the meaning of its separate components.". --Yair rand 20:14, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Why should we have "Given and family names"? - they are handled better and more completely by Wikipedia[edit]

I don't see why we need "Given and family names". Wikipedia has all the same information, but with greater coverage of names included and usually better etymologies and translations. If someone searches for a term that is not found in Wiktionary, the user will see the same term at Wiktionary, plus other related searches.

Compare Smith with w:Smith and w:Smith (surname) for example.

I don't think we should spend our limited resources trying to do something our sister project is already doing, and better.

Likewise, why do we have Seattle, but not Tacoma or Redmond? Or why do we need Tower of London when we have w:Tower of London?

These are not words in the English language, they're historical names and thus belong in Wikipedia unless they have entered the language for some other reason such as an idiom, e.g. Waterloo. Facts707 14:24, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

The toponym Churchill, for example, is an English word (more precisely, a lexical unit). It has an etymology, an eponymous literal meaning (“church hill”), and it is applied to certain kinds of referents (places and people). We systematically compile such lexicographical information, and a person who just wants to “look it up in the dictionary” needn't read a whole encyclopedia article for it. Wikipedia could (but currently doesn't) have an article about w: Churchill (name), including encyclopedic information which doesn't belong in the dictionary. There is also an open question of whether we should include onomastic information, more specific to names than to other words.
Of course, the person of w: Winston Churchill and the town of w: Churchill, Manitoba, are not words or names, so we shouldn't be duplicating Wikipedia's efforts by “defining” them here.
As you may have noticed, place names are not accounted for by our guidelines, and there have been many discussions and proposals regarding them over recent months, but none has yet achieved concensus. Michael Z. 2010-05-13 19:14 z
For an academic justification for proper names in dictionaries, see Mufwene (1988), “Dictionaries and Proper Names,” in International Journal of Lexicography, v 1, n 3, p 268. Michael Z. 2010-05-13 19:16 z
By the way, there's no deadline, so our resources are effectively unlimited. As long as we define concrete limits on the scope of the project, by our wt: CFI, then it will remain doable. Michael Z. 2010-05-13 19:19 z
Wikipedia's articles on names have none of the same goals as Wiktionary's. Wiktionary includes pronunciation, etymology (from a linguistic standpoint), translations, inflections (for non-English names), and other information, basically the same kind of things as for words. Names fit perfectly into the mission, I can't see any reason not to have them. Wiktionary includes information about words, Wikipedia covers concepts. Thus, information such as that Seattle in American Sign Language is S@NearSide-PalmForward Sidetoside and audio pronunciations of the word exist in Wiktionary, and information about the things themselves belong in Wikipedia. There is little (if any) overlap. --Yair rand 19:26, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Permanently recorded media[edit]

For a discussion of "permanently recorded media", see also Wiktionary talk:Searchable external archives, and #The OED cites Usenet, too. --Dan Polansky 16:05, 19 May 2010 (UTC)


  • Beer parlour: What is Usenet?, September 2010

--Dan Polansky 12:04, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Durably archived source[edit]

See #Permanently recorded media. --Dan Polansky 16:03, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

compare to Wikipedia[edit]

I added this at Wikipedia:Notability, but Wiktionary's CFI is locked:

"It is similar in basic concept, but has vastly different criteria from, the criteria for inclusion (CFI) on the Wiktionary project."—This unsigned comment was added by Facts707 (talkcontribs).

The basic concept is different: Wikipedia has articles on various topics, things, ideas, people, places, etc, while Wiktionary's entries are only about terms, names, proverbs. Michael Z. 2010-05-25 21:45 z

WT:Phrasebook not mentioned[edit]

While this page does mention the term "phrasebook", it does not explain what to do with these types of phrases, nor does it mention WT:Phrasebook. Facts707 21:36, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Nobody yet has any inspiring vision for the Phrasebook and accordingly we don't have criteria either. Some think a phrasebook is sufficiently distinct from a dictionary that it should be a separate project. Some think it must be part of Wiktionary. Some think we should have a limited experiment. Some think it should have a separate namespace within Wiktionary. Some think that we should have a sex-tourism phrasebook as it is a neglected area in print phrasebooks. Other are offended or think it risks making us a laughing stock or placing us on blocked-site lists. In the meantime, I would not hesitate to add any phrase that is actually in a contemporary phrasebook. DCDuring TALK 15:50, 10 July 2010 (UTC)


Shouldn't Láadan be moved to "languages whose origin and use are restricted to one or more related literary works and its fans"? The complete use of the language is pretty much restricted to w:Native Tongue (Suzette Haden Elgin novel). And while I'm at it, shouldn't we remove Orcish from that list? w:Orcish doesn't even mention a language, and while I'm sure there have been many unnotable proto-languages named Orcish, it's not a real language of any note. And even further, why don't we delete Delason, Glos, Jakelimotu, Kyerepon, Latejami, Linga, Sasxsek, Suoczil, and Tceqli from the list? None of them have Wiktionary entries, and I'm somewhat familiar with the field and don't recognize any of them. We can't exhaustively list constructed languages, so why mention a bunch of unnotable ones?--Prosfilaes 15:01, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Those seem like good changes. I haven't heard of anyone arguing for the inclusion of any of those languages. And none of the languages listed at the end even have Wikipedia pages. Bring it up in the WT:Beer parlour to hopefully others will agree. --Bequw τ 23:55, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

Generic use[edit]

The attributive rule got voted out, but I didn't object to its idea, just its wording. It's was as badly worded as can be imagined. It would be nice to add it back in a new form, that is fully explaining what it means. A few points

  1. Most important IMO and most potentially controversial, specific entities should not 'require' generic use, but generic use should be one way for an entry to pass. Therefore if Late Latin isn't used generically, it won't be deleted.
  2. Uncontroversially, the wording should be precise and leave as little room for doubt as possible. For example, attributive use could mean grammatical attributive use. So David Beckham haircut would be attributive use of David Beckham to modify haircut. Generic use, IMO, should be a meaning other than the primary one. So Billy Elliot would pass because of three citations of 'a Billy Elliot' referring to a young male dancer. All three citations would have to back up the same meaning, not just any meaning. Mglovesfun (talk) 08:38, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Can you give some context please. What part of the CFI are you proposing to modify? What do you want to see included/excluded that isn't currently? Why? You appear to be talking about both generic use and attributive use, (although it's not clear what the uses are of) yet the section title is just generic use? Can you link to the vote in question so we can see what it was about and what the wording was? Have you got any specific wording in mind or is this just a statement of desire for someone to do something about something? Thryduulf (talk) 09:27, 4 August 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-05/Names of specific entities. Now that we don't have an attributive use rule, I'd like a generic use rule. I'll try and work out some wording when I have time. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:22, 5 August 2010 (UTC)
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Usage in a well-known work[edit]

For a discussion of the criterion of "usage in a well-know work", see also WT:BP#CFI: Removing usage in a well-known work, January 2011. --Dan Polansky 13:01, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Delete or improve?[edit]

Can I suggest, rather than flagging entries for deletion, we should try and improve the entries by adding missing etymology, pronunciation, linguistic info, etc? User Msh210 has again started a war against place names entries, e.g. Cannes and a few others starting with C. I was heavily involved adding translations for many and I feel upset. Place names are allowed to have and missing info should be nicely requested without threats to delete within a month.

Adding {{placename/box}} takes a second, adding all the required information takes much more effort. Can we all be more proactive and not try to wipe somebody's work but add the required information? --Anatoli 23:53, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry that I upset you. It was not my intention. I's also not my intention to delete the entries after only a month. More discussion on this is still in the BP, at [[#placenames up for deletion]]; might I suggest that you contribute to that discussion rather than here?​—msh210 (talk) 18:00, 9 March 2011 (UTC)


I don't see the point of linking to Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-01/Renaming CFI section on genealogic names. DAVilla 13:50, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

"Encyclopedic" entries, attestation of individual elements of definitions[edit]

Those wishing to discuss the above-named issues(s) in the future may find this long, thoughtful discussion (sooner-or-later to be archived to Talk:Baidouska) interesting. - -sche (discuss) 04:17, 19 August 2011 (UTC)

Incidentally, baidouska might be considered a variant of pajduska/paidushka/pajduško/pajdusko/paidushko, which appears to be verifiable in English without too much trouble. Michael Z. 2012-01-30 22:55 z

SOP applied too deletionist[edit]

I feel that WT:SOP is applied too freely, and the result is words that aren't particularly SOPy are deleted anyway, often almost arbitrarily. Part of the problem is that in a two-word phrase, one or more of the words has multiple definitions, and it isn't always 100% clear which definition is meant. Therefore, I propose a slight relaxation of SOP involving composite words where one of the words has multiple definitions Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 16:01, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

There are a few problems with this. The main problem is, that means that any combination of words where at least one of them has two meanings being allowed. So, readily has two meanings, I readily agreed and I readily said yes would meet CFI. They're both attested. I has more than one meaning anyway, so any combination of words including the word I meets CFI. There are other objections, but if I lump them all in one message, the conversation will get too sparse. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:49, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
IMO, the alternative, keeping SOP the way it is, is much worse. It means that phrases that aren't crystal clear are being deleted anyway. SOP really is in conflict with NOTPAPER Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 20:14, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
CFI are not clear, and misunderstood, because they are much too complex. The simple way would be to clearly state: all words (including set phrases) used in a language and that may be considered as belonging to the vocabulary of the language may be included. Lmaltier 20:32, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
"may be considered" does not seem like a usable rule. Considered by whom on what grounds? That's why we need CFI. Equinox 20:33, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
It's a simpler sentence, but applying it would not be simpler than what we have now. BTW I don't think NOTPAPER means "add every conceivable combination of words". We do need some credibility. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:37, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Of course not every combination of words. Only elements of the vocabulary. And I'm sure that such a sentence would help very much (but additional rules would be required nonetheless, to understand what the rule means, and when limits are required for practical reasons, e.g. for numbers). Lmaltier 20:55, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Since Purplebackpack89 hasn't replied to my first point, I'll go on to my second. The policy would support a fundamental mistake in how language work. In a dictionary, we define words and terms in isolation (one at a time) whereas in the real world words and terms appear in a context. It's often very clear from the context what something means. For example 'car crash' could mean the crash of a 'first part of a cons in LISP. The first element of a list' (etymology 2 of car) however the context tells us this, so we don't need to define car crash separately. If you spend to much time breaking something down into its parts, you forget about the whole. Mglovesfun (talk) 09:45, 26 November 2011 (UTC)
I didn't reply to your first point because I don't see any problem with that. Perfectly fine with lots more entries. Your argument seems to be based on a line of thinking (unproven, I might add) that. I think the opposite of the that is true...if readers can't find a definition for the word or phrase they're looking for, or have to go to Wikipedia to complete the definition, they'll be disappointed. And if this community keeps thinking that commonly used two-word phrases like car crash and television show don't belong, I feel that readers will not think too highly of it and use something else Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 15:08, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

General rule incomplete for Wikisaurus[edit]

The current general rule is "A term should be included if [and only if?] it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means."

I think this rule is incomplete for Wikisaurus. For the most part, this rule addresses reading. A thesausus primarly addresses writing. You know the definition of a word (possibly with great attention to its subtleties); you just want to find a synonym.

I would suggest that we ammend the rule to read something like "A term should be included if it's likely that someone would run across it and want to know what it means or (for Wikisaurus) that someone would want to find a word or phrase with a similar meaning." Or we could deal with this in a new subsection. Or even in a brand new project page: say, CFI for Wikisaurus.

The reason for this is that the current rule has led us to delete thousands upon thousands of Wikisaurus idioms and slang phrases that do not meet the current criteria for inclusion in Wiktionary but, in my opinion, are useful in finding a synonym. A phrase may be defined by its words (and thus need no separate entry in Wiktionary) but still be useful in finding a synonym idiom with just the right connotations.

For example, the phrase "exercise my anus" was an entry in Wikisaurus's defecate in January 2009 but doesn't appear now. Similarly, "bikini stuffers" was a synonym for breasts in March 2006 but not now. If I was writing a story about a lazy summer on the beach, I might want to use "bikini stuffers" instead of "racks" or "boobs".

The Wikisaurus:Breasts entry now includes the warning "Only words that meet criteria for inclusion can be included." My point is that it's incomplete for thesauruses. --RoyGoldsmith 01:10, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't think it unreasonable to include things in Wikisaurus that we don't have entries for. I don't find your examples the most convincing, though.--Prosfilaes 11:16, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Why should Wikisaurus have laxer criteria for inclusion? Shouldn't a writer using this reference be confident that a suggested synonym is an attested part of the language, rather than some nonce coinage? Furthermore, should the writer find an unfamiliar word, he would also benefit from a detailed definition, notes about connotation, register, usage, etc., so she can employ the word correctly and appropriately. We have no business making up such entries out of the blue.
I don't see how we can include such terms sufficiently well, and I it looks to me like this dictionary would suffer from their inclusion, while the thesaurus wouldn't really benefit. Michael Z. 2012-01-30 22:15 z
To answer my own question, perhaps currently-popular neologisms, too recent to meet our CFI could be included, but I would think they should be labelled as such. Michael Z. 2012-01-30 23:12 z
Because often the best term is SOP. Frequently, "at the seashore" is better then "littoral" and "named after a person" is better than "eponymous". But those two are rightly not eligible for entries.--Prosfilaes 00:21, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps, but those feel more like definitions than something I would be hoping to find in a thesaurus. Michael Z. 2012-01-31 16:18 z
Can't thesaurus entries include non-dictionary-worthy items, just not making them links? Equinox 22:59, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
We used to have pages like Wikisaurus:breasts/more, but they were so embarassing the community decided to get rid of them. -- Liliana 16:24, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
OK, let's say I'm a writer, writing a story about the beach. I might want to use "bikini stuffers" (if I knew about it) as opposed to "breasts" or "boobs" or "rack". Breasts are too clinical, boobs too teenage-ish and rack too racy. I might want something that specifically relates to swinsuits and bikinis. Roget's splits terms by numeric category so that you can find exactly the same meaning terms (synonyms), almost-exact-meaning terms (hyponyns or hypernyms), sort of the same meaning terms, terms that are related in some vague sense to other terms and, particularly, terms that are like other terms but with a different connotation.
In another example, "spitting chips" (a current red link) does not have the exact same connotations as any other synonym for Ws:angry. Are we supposed to leave out spitting chips (or bikini stuffers) just because they aren't listed as terms in Wiktionary? (And I'm not saying that spitting chips or bikini stuffers deserve an entry in the main dictionary.)
Remember, a thesaurus is not merely a list of synonyms. And it certainly isn't a list of attested synonyms. Creative writers want "nonce coinages" and one-time-only usages. In certain cases, they may even prefer phrases that have yet to see the light of publication. If a reader wants only attested usages, they always have blue links vs. either red links or straight text. For non-published phrases, I would isolate them on /more pages. --RoyGoldsmith 05:15, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
Are there professional thesauruses that make up new words, or are we about to corner the market in this category? Is there evidence of demand for this service, or is that speculation? Michael Z. 2012-02-01 17:35 z
What is a professional thesaurus? Do you mean published thesaurus? Perhaps even "published in paper-book form"? Or do you mean well-known thesauruses? Well, in Roget's International Thesaurus (5th edition, published by Harper Collins in 1992) has tons of new terms. On virtually every page, in virtually every entry, you have roughly as many new reference terms (not in the thesaurus as a root) as root terms. For example, the first entry on page 1 is BIRTH. It has 28 noun terms, including "having a baby", "giving birth", "the stork", "birth throes", "blessed event" and so on. Most of these phrases are not used as root terms.
What I'm trying to say is that there should be NO connection between a dictionary (used for looking up meanings) and a thesausus (used for finding like-meaning terms). The methodology for constructing them is totally different. For one thing, idiomaticity gets thrown out of the window. In a thesaurus, you want the root terms to be "easily derived from the meaning of [reference terms'] separate components" but a reference term might not be easily derived from the root term. For example, you can easily figure out that "bikini-stuffers" means "breasts" but, given the concept of breasts, you probably would not derive the phrase bikini-stuffers. --RoyGoldsmith 04:36, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

A summary?[edit]

I often thought that CFI is quite long and dense to read, as it uses a lot of technical terms. This makes it hard for newcomers to understand, which is a problem because they are the ones who need it the most! So maybe it would be a good idea to provide a short summary of the most important parts of CFI, maybe on a separate page, in simple "welcome message"-style prose? —CodeCat 19:11, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Use full name of COALMINE[edit]

If you aren't going to summarize what WT:COALMINE means you could at least give the full name of the vote/policy ("Unidiomatic multi-word phrases to meet CFI when the more common spelling of a single word") which pretty much explains it. Siuenti (talk) 14:12, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

If you want it to be fixed, raise the issue in the WT:BP and get community consensus. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:06, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done it used to give the full name, but Daniel changed that with no discussion, so I reverted it. -- Liliana 12:16, 18 July 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I see. Good call. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:46, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Text for COALMINE.[edit]

Currently, § "Idiomaticity" ends with this indented, italicized paragraph:

:''The vote [[Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-12/Unidiomatic multi-word phrases to meet CFI when the more common spelling of a single word]] adds a criterion for inclusion without specifying text to be amended in this document, so please see it for the additional criterion.''<ref>([[WT:COALMINE]]) [[Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-12/Unidiomatic multi-word phrases to meet CFI when the more common spelling of a single word]]</ref>

I'd like to propose that it be replaced with this unindented, unitalicized paragraph:

If a collocation is significantly more common than an included single-word spelling, then the collocation ismay be included as well, even if it is unidiomatic or debatable. For example, {{term|coalmine|lang=en}} is well attested, but {{term|coal mine|lang=en}} is significantly more common, so both are included, regardless of whether {{term||coal mine|lang=en}} is otherwise idiomatic.<ref>([[WT:COALMINE]]) [[Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-12/Unidiomatic multi-word phrases to meet CFI when the more common spelling of a single word]]</ref>

(O.K., so that wording isn't great. But it's an improvement over what we've got now. And I'd welcome further improvements.)

RuakhTALK 21:05, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

I'd support that, but this isn't the venue to propose it in. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:20, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Why not? —RuakhTALK 21:22, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I expect non-admins don't watch this page. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:26, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I think it should read "then the collocation may be included as well" rather than "then the collocation is included as well." "Should be included" would be fine too, AFAIAC. DCDuring TALK 23:10, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I see no need for such a change. However, if we're to make it, then I think the text should indicate in its discussion of the coal mine example that coal mine and coalmine are forms of the same word phrase thing, which it doesn't now.​—msh210 (talk) 05:13, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Er, also in the normative part. As currently worded, it allows the house as significantly more common than encephalon.​—msh210 (talk) 05:20, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Discussions of durability[edit]

Because it may be useful to have this index of them, here are some past discussions of durability:

- -sche (discuss) 23:43, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Formatting of misspellings.[edit]

I assume it's uncontroversial to change this:

Once it is decided that a misspelling is of sufficient importance to merit its own page, the formatting of such a page should not be particularly problematical. The usual language and part of speech headings can be used, followed by this simple entry:
# {{misspelling of|[[...]]}}
An additional section explaining why the term is a misspelling should be considered optional.

to this:

Once it is decided that a misspelling is of sufficient importance to merit its own page, the formatting of such a page should not be particularly problematical. The usual language and part of speech headings can be used, followed by this simple definition:
# {{misspelling of|...}}
An additional section explaining why the term is a misspelling should be considered optional.


(I.e., changing "entry" to "definition", and removing the [[ and ]] from inside {{misspelling of}}?)

RuakhTALK 15:22, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Never assume.  :-)  But I, for one, support such an edit without a vote.​—msh210 (talk) 16:29, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I would support something like "... followed by a simple definition using the following format:". --BB12 (talk) 18:28, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I support the spirit of the change, but it needs to mention and explain the lang= parameter too. —CodeCat 19:21, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
O.K., first of all, @BenjaminBarrett12 and @CodeCat: your comments imply that you don't support the currently proposed changes unless modified as you propose. If you don't, then — why don't you? Do you not consider them to be improvements? Do you feel that they're too minor, on their own, to warrant editing WT:CFI? Something else? (I ask because part of the point of being able to make uncontested changes after mere discussion, without a full vote, is that it allows smaller changes to be made piecemeal, without much bureaucracy. If lots of people jump on and add riders, refusing to support the original change, then I think we'll end up back where we started. I hope that you two aren't holding this change "hostage" to other changes you want.)
Those questions out of the way . . . how about:
Once it is decided that a misspelling is of sufficient importance to merit its own page, the formatting of such a page should not be particularly problematical. The usual language and part of speech headings can be used, followed by a simple definition using the following format:
# {{misspelling of|occurred|lang=en}}
An additional section explaining why the term is a misspelling should be considered optional.
 ? (This incorporates BenjaminBarrett12's change; it adds lang=en per CodeCat — though I suspect that now DCDuring will object; and it uses the "occurred" example from earlier in the "Spellings" section, rather than .... This last part is because lang=... was too vague, and I feared that of|...|lang=en could be taken to imply that only English misspellings are allowed, whereas of|occurred|lang=en seems more obviously just an example.)
RuakhTALK 19:41, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Some people here think black and white like that but I try not to. Any improvement is good, even if it's not yet the end result I would prefer. I support the change, but I'm also pointing out that it can be improved further and that I would prefer that. —CodeCat 19:51, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Basically ditto. --BB12 (talk) 21:39, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

Support with all changes (Ruakh's, BB's, and CodeCat's) --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:00, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Does that mean that you only support if all changes are made? Or do you support each change independently? —RuakhTALK 22:44, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Independently. In general, you can assume that my votes for certain changes must be enacted together iff I say "iff". --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:27, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Support Ruakh's original change, don’t mind (would support, but would also be OK without) BB's or CC's. - -sche (discuss) 19:21, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I support Ruakh's and Ruakh+BB12's also.​—msh210 (talk) 20:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Does that mean that you object to CodeCat's change, or merely that you don't actively support it? —RuakhTALK 22:44, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It's a good idea in theory, but I can't think of an implementation that is not too wordy or awkward and that refers to English also (not only foreign entries). So I suppose I'm opposed to the exact wording proposed above while in favor, perhaps, of another.—msh210℠ on a public computer 03:27, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
lol, this is almost as bureaucratic as a vote... - -sche (discuss) 23:14, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
"Fancy thinking the Bureaucracy was something you could hunt and kill!" said the head. "You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you?" —RuakhTALK 23:29, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Sche. This really isn't that complicated, guys. Nitpicking ≠ consensus-gathering. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:27, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I mean to say, אוי#Yiddish. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:38, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
I support Ruakh’s and CodeCat’s changes, and don’t mind Benjamin’s. I also assume it’s uncontroversial. — Ungoliant (Falai) 23:32, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes check.svg Done Any admin who objects, please comment here and revert. Any non-admin who objects, please comment here saying so, and an admin will revert for you. —RuakhTALK 15:08, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Suggest writing guidelines for...[edit]

Suggestion to add guidleines about why not to provide the definition of phrases like at the, or other words which are often paired but convey no special meaning or importance over the same words singularly, such as biker gang. And, why it is important, if a word is often used to describe something which shirks or goes against the usual defining meaning of the word, to explain with etymology or irony as appropriate, such as the use of the words hero and protagonist in literary review, to describe a main character irrequisite of the quality of being heroic, or the position of protagonising. RTG (talk) 12:12, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Grammatical error[edit]

"A name that occurs only in the works of fiction of a single author, a television series or a video game, or within a closed context such as the works of several authors writing about a single fictional universe is not used independently and should not be included." I think it should be "If a name that occurs only in the works of fiction of a single author, a television series or a video game, or within a closed context such as the works of several authors writing about a single fictional universe is not used independently then it should not be included."Trongphu (talk) 05:59, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

And the reason for that is the former sentence doesn't make sense.Trongphu (talk) 06:00, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
It is fine. It says "a name [of that kind] should not be included". Equinox 06:13, 27 December 2013 (UTC)
Maybe a comma could help prevent future (mis)conceptions:
"A name that occurs only in the works of fiction of a single author, a television series or a video game, or within a closed context such as the works of several authors writing about a single fictional universe, is not used independently and should not be included."
Just my two paras. --biblbroksдискашн 17:36, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Archaic inflected forms[edit]

There is a number of verbs in Russian that have multiple choices of inflection for all forms of the same verb (not just one complementary form). And these forms are equal in use, for example: "брызгать": я брызгаю/я брызжу, "алкать": я алкаю/я алчу, "рыскать": я рыскаю/я рыщу etc. For some of the verbs there is a contemporary way of inflecting them and the old one, that was used in the 19th century pretty widely (by Russian classic writers). The old ways of inflection might even encounter as main ones in some grammar books of the beginning of 20th century. Lexicographers, of course, do mention the contemporary way of inflecting in today's dictionaries and either omit the old ones or mark them as archaic. Sometimes the words get considered as w:defective verbs in the new dictionaries: they even get infinitive as not-existent, while preserving the most widely used forms, for example: an infinitive "обымать" is stated to be eligible only for the standard conjugation, but for the old one it's not longer considered as an infinitive; for the old conjugation ("объемлю" 1st.p. pres.) only present tense is considered existent.

Since the main purpose of Wiktionary is to describe all words (and their forms) despite their outdatedness to be able to search for any form, my idea is to specifically prescribe in the Wiktionary policy, that all, even old forms (which belong to this language not the Old Language counterpart) to be included in the word articles, no matter there are in use today.

As an example, I made this article with two conjugations with the second one marked as old one. The other user, being guided by today's dictionaries moves the second conjugation into a defective verb article. Please, arbitrate, who was right, and prescribe the correct way of dealing with such cases. Soshial (talk) 16:30, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't know if that's really feasible. Sometimes there are many different ways that an old form was written (seien is an extreme example), and we can't fit all those forms into one table. —CodeCat 17:02, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
I see, but I was talking not about spelling variants, but about forms that are equal in usage but their production belongs to different classes of conjugation. Soshial (talk) 18:14, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

children's language[edit]

Do we need to tweak CFI for children's language? For example, i seem to remember from long ago that "pesk" was used at least by children as a noun in English in the USA (S/He's a real pesk.). I haven't lived in an English-speaking country for a long time, so i don't know whether it's still used. Websites and even Google Books do a bad job of recording the language of children, so i'm not surprised Google only finds very few hits for "a real pesk". --Espoo (talk) 10:45, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Slang and dialect will be hard to cite, but I don't see any reason to change our rules. On one hand, IMO the citation rules are important in keeping words that people might actually find and look up instead of pretending to cover all unrecorded slang. On the other, children's language is at the bottom a hopeless mire; every family has its own cute mispronunciations and English spellings will vary over the map.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:00, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Relevancy, misspelling or just not a word[edit]

Is "overcommissioning" a word, as it only has 125 hits on Google? (A virtual disk might rather be overcommitted, than overcommissioned; but acting role slots for a play, maybe not.) --Alien4 (talk) 08:37, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

It's rare, but I found 2 hits on Google Books, as well as at least one for hyphenated over-commissioning, so it's not completely made up. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:23, 20 May 2014 (UTC)
In context, such a word might be easily understood, so the fact that it might not meet the standards for inclusion in a dictionary need not keep one from using it happily in an appropriate situation. OTOH, without more context I don't really get the connection between a verb overcommission or a possible noun overcommissioning and "acting role slots". DCDuring TALK 12:19, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

"Some examples include..."[edit]

This phrase has some redundancy about it. IMO, we should say "Examples include..." or "Some examples are..." Equinox 21:14, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Question re attestation.[edit]

So we can't quote Wikipedia, or anything else Wiki. But if book, otherwise quotable, quotes Wikipedia, can we quote its quote as attestation of words quoted? DeistCosmos (talk) 06:19, 23 August 2014 (UTC)

Constructed languages[edit]

The "constructed languages" section may be out-of-sync with (a) the set of codes the ISO has approved, and possibly also (b) practice on Wiktionary. (See also #Láadan.) In particular, the line "at present another 12 of the 7000 languages in the ISO 639-3 list are constructed languages" may be out-of-date, and there has been a tendency among some editors to create appendices for other constructed languages which the CFI says "there is no apparent consensus for including", such as Appendix:Toki Pona; at the same time, some appendices were recently deleted pursuant to a BP thread because they were copyright violations. I plan to look over the section and determine the extent of any discrepancies between it, the ISO's current list of codes, and Wiktionary's current treatment of constructed languages, but I leave this note here describing the issue so other people can look into it if I get distracted and fail to. - -sche (discuss) 18:32, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

If any significant changes are made to this page, ping me, so I won't end up fucking shit up. Pass a Method (talk) 20:20, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

Widespread use[edit]

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As a practical matter, it is resolved by vote, but evidence of any kind may be appropriate. It is intended to allow for acceptance of colloquial expressions not appearing in print and expressions that are hard to otherwise cite because they are swamped in search by even more common terms (eg, abbreviations) and to reduce abusive use of {{rfv}}. It is clearly beneficial to Wiktionary not to overuse this rationale as users benefit from citations, even more than they benefit from manufactured usage examples. DCDuring TALK 16:06, 13 March 2015 (UTC)