Wiktionary talk:Entry layout/archive 2006

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Archive of Wiktionary talk:Entry layout explained for discussions which had posts timestamped to 2006.

Horizontal lines[edit]

Many pages have horizontal lines between language sections of an entry (see: nana). Is this right or wrong? I noticed there wasn't one in the ELE example but I seem to run across it more often than not. Millie 11:45, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

It is correct. Doing so gives a clearer separation between two languages when that would not be so striking with a simple heading. I have been working on a general revision of ELE; thanks for pointing out the omission. Eclecticology 16:58, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
We might want to list the CSS snippet that lets users suppress seeing it. They can put it in their custom monobook.css etc and not affect other users' views. I think I put it in the old Beer parlour discussion. — Hippietrail 18:34, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough. This is a recurring issue. Since I consider myself css-illiterate please suggest here what needs to be said, and I will be happy to find the place for it on the project page. Eclecticology 21:44, 28 December 2005 (UTC)
Here is the CSS snippet:
#bodyContent hr { display: none; visibility: hidden; }
People who hate the horizontal lines and use the monobook skin need to add it to their User:Username/monobook.css page.
There are side-effects that some other horizontal lines will be hidden on other types of pages. A good CSS hacker should be able to find a better solution. — Hippietrail 17:16, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
You can use .ns-0 as a selector to match only articles in the main namespace, which may be helpful in this. —Muke Tever 18:43, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
At the risk of taking too much pride in my ignorance, would it be a correct interpretation to say that there should be a single line which says
#bodyContent hr { display: none; visibility: hidden; } .ns-0
Eclecticology 20:57, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
No, this would be .ns-0 #bodyContent hr { display: none; visibility: hidden; } (The 'ns-0' class is connected to a higher-level element than the 'bodyContent' identifier, you can check this in the page sourcecode.)
Pbb 11:02, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
I regret to say that I totally disagree on the usage of a hard-coded divider line. As a webmaster, I have learned the merits of a strong seperation between content, structure and layout. Content is the actually text you read on the pages, structure is for example defined by the different level headings (= Head1 =, == Head2 ==, etc) and the HTML codes that MediaWiki generates from it, while layout is for example the line underneath every header, the choice of a bigger sized text for the headers, the choice of a sans-serif face, the Wiktionary logo in the upper right, etc. If you look closely at the (generated) HTML-source for every page, you see there are no codes whatsoevery to display a line beneath every 1st level heading. This is done in CSS. I strongly advice to keep all layout in CSS, with the following advantages:
  • As was mentioned by Millie, some articles show the horizontal line above the headers, while others do not. This is inconsistency which easily leads to confusion, plus an inconsistend look is often considered a sign of amateurism. Using CSS, the approriate code only has to be added once, to automatically show up on all pages!
  • How many Wiktionary articles excist at the moment? Who is going to add the horizontal line to all of them? And what if someone decides another layout would be better, is he going to remove the line from all articles and add another element instead of it?
  • All registered Wiktionary users can create their own favorite CSS-based layout, with little dependency on the contents of the page, see m:Help:User style. Seven hours after the first comment on the horizontal line, discussion began about how to remove it using CSS. This is the wrong way around. Instead of creating a custom CSS to remove this line, users who want this line should create custom CSS to add it! The code used could be the following: H2 {border-top: solid 1px rgb(170,170,170);}. (Note that this code is actually shorter than the code needed to remove the hard-coded line.) Another user might prefer another way to accentuate these headers: H2 {background-color: rgb(170,170,170); color: white;}.
  • If consensus is reached that a line above 2nd level headings is indeed needed, it can be easily added to the default Wiktionary CSS.
  • The suggested code for removing the horizontal lines above headers, actually removes all horizontal lines from articles. Also the ones that are placed in articles for other reasons, and might possibly be important.
  • Third parties might want to re-use the information from Wiktionary. They would probably change the layout of the pages, to fit with their own layout. The current hard-coded line conflicts with this possibility.
I will remove the horizontal line from the ELE example.
Pbb 11:06, 27 February 2006 (UTC)
The fact is that the codes are not editable for all skins, and even if they were it would be unreasonable to expect most users, who do not have any particular programming skills, to be able to make those adjustments. Not every skin has the horizontal line below level two headings, and I find the horizontal line a visually effective way of separating two languages. If you think it looks amateurish then perhaps you should begin a campaign to reduce the wages of those who want the lines. I make a point of adding the lines when they are missing, and see no reason to stop doing it this way. Eclecticology 00:12, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback, Ec. I totally agree with you (and most Wiktionarians, as it seems) that there should be a clear distinction between each language. Putting in a divider line is a possibility, and not a bad one either. Please understand me right, I am not against the use of an extra divider line. My point is that instead of manually adding it to every one of the (over 100.000?) multilangual articles, one person could add one line of code to the default stylesheet. That way automatically all articles will show the divider line, no more need to put it in every article manually, and no more inconsistencies if someone forgets adding it or doesn't know about it. And hey, it reduces typing ;-)
I've created an entry on Beer parlour about this, that may be a more appropriate place for this since I don't think many people would come across this page here. -- Pbb 12:25, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Priority of "Translingual"[edit]

Currently we say Second in priority is "Translingual"; this heading includes terms that remain the same in all languages.

I always thought Translingual came even before English since it also covers English and is special. It is essential that English-only speakers see both when both exist. — Hippietrail 17:01, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

It's awful to argue original intents when you're the one who firat introduced the term. That alone is not an argument even though the first vision was to put it after English. Then too, originally English was placed first without a level two heading.
The primary argument for having English first is, "This is the English wiktionary." But Hippitrail's argument is a strong one too. If the translingual form is to go first we should still insist on having a level two heading for that part of the entry.
I am prepared to go along with the community on this point. If there is significant support for either option, so be it. If there is divided support, it should be at the option of the person who first introduces the second of these "languages" to the article. Eclecticology 20:52, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
Just for the record, I agree that both English and Translingual should have level 2 headers, and I am also prepared to go along with the community. To me it just "feels" sensible that Translingual should be first. — Hippietrail 21:00, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I agree that both should be level 2 and Translingual should go first. I like the idea of a general case first then a specific case after. Millie 21:12, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
I also think Translingual should come first. Ncik 02:39, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
Both should be level 2 and Translingual should go first. Gerard Foley 03:42, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I've adjusted the page to reflect the apparent consensus. Eclecticology 01:27, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

More than one language heading for the same language[edit]

In the Essential Headings section it says there can be more than one heading for the same language. I don't understand. Don't you add different POSes or Etymologies under one language heading instead? Millie 16:11, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

I was thinking mostly of languages with more than one script, but the more I reflect on this the more it's clear that these different forms would be on different pages. I have dropped the reference, and won't bring it back unless I can back it up a bit better. Eclecticology 01:31, 2 January 2006 (UTC)


Why is this page protected from editing? Also, it needs a Category. - dcljr 02:49, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

The essential headings[edit]

Here part of a discussion between Eclecticology and me from my talk page, which is a result of my criticism of and changes to Eclecticology's edits in the above mentioned section of WT:ELE. I would like people to comment on it to see who's got the communitiy's backing, or if we need to find a compromise. Ncik 17:13, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I looked at the link that you made to User:Chimerical05's edit. I see no cause for concern there. We do indeed discourage empty headings, but that's not a major issue. I would not go out of my way to delete an empty heading if that's the only problem with an article.
Many BP discussions do not result in any kind of decision. I do not even read the section that you point to as having anything to do with references. True "references" were mentioned in passing, but there is nothing in there to lead to the conclusion that "references" should not be allowed.
I have never come even near to suggesting references should not be allowed. Ncik 23:12, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
As to the essentality of references, I see that as being increasingly important so I don't see how mentioning the article for the word helps your case. The fact that we have done without references in the past is no argument. If we accept that kind of argument we are stuck with all our past mistakes even when a method of correcting them is available. As far as I am concerned there should be a reference for every word in Wiktionary that has an article. I do not intend to make every article without them retroactively invalid. Still, if we are ever to become a credible dictionary the readers need to be convinced that our material did not come out of thin air. Making the "References" section "essential" is a step in that direction, even if it initially leads to having empty headings. If you want further discussion about whether references should be essential please do so on the ELE talk page.
Reading the above paragraph I get the strong impression the word essential means something different to you than to me. A is essential for B if taking A away from B changes the nature, usually to the point of non-existence, of B. If you had no language section in Wiktionary and wanted to look up an English word, do say, all the definitions of all the languages on that page would be commingled, and the dictionary becomes pretty much useless. Hence language sections are essential. Taking away references will still allow you to use Wiktionary for looking up words. This is what a dictionary is intended for. Hence reference sections are not essential. They are desirable, though.
I actually don't like that this section is mentioned in such a prominent position at all (even if it weren't called essential) on a page which most new editors will visit to learn how to edit a page. It's just not one of the basics you really need to know to get your editing started. More appropriate would be a sentence saying that links to other pages, (bibliographical) references, quotations, citations, etc. should be added whenever possible, rather than narrowing this general rule down to the References section. Ncik 23:12, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that it accomplishes very much to debate which meaning of essential is applicable. The fundamental difference is in your, "This is what a dictionary is intended for." That opens up the entire descriptivist vs. prescriptivist debate. In a descriptivist vision references are essential. Eclecticology 02:20, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
It seems to me that there is a strong community consensus arount the PoS headings. "Part of speech" should not be a term that's strictly applied. We call that heading "Part of speech", but that term does not appear in the heading. It could just as easily been called something else. I think that the community broadly accepts that "Initialism" and many other terms that are not parts of speech in the strict sense are perfectly acceptable at that point. Eclecticology 18:58, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
I know that the so called POS header does not necessarily have to contain a part of speech. I have no objection to (and do in fact support) allowing things like Affix (which has no function in a sentence since it is less than a word) and Proverb (which has no function in a sentence since it is a sentence), but most abbreviations and idioms do have a function in a sentence and this function has to be mentioned somewhere, and the logical place is the POS header (so FiS=Function in Sentence might be more appropriate). Consider for example WYSIWYG: It is an abbreviation of a whole sentence, but functions as a noun (and possibly as an adjective). On the other hand RTFM abbreviates an entire sentence too and is used as such in speech. In this case the PoS header can't contain a part of speech. I'd suggest the POS header Exclamation since this is how this abbreviation is used (functions) in speech (which incidentially abbreviates to FiS as well). Having PoS headers entitled Abbreviation, Idiom, etc. is unsystematic, confusing, and, at its worst, misleading. Ncik 23:12, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
As long as we have an abbreviation it should be called an abbreviation. The description that you seem to want should be on the page for what the abbreviation(s) stand for. Eclecticology 02:20, 2 January 2006 (UTC)
(My two pennoth) - It seems to me that the only heading that our users would feel to be essential are "language" and "part of speech". Certainly, they are tho only ones that I include in all of my contributions. I should think that "etymology" is interesting to some, and "translations" are useful to others. All the others may be useful, but we don't really know (or has someone done research, and obtained user feedback?) Anyway, my vote is to stick to the first two as being essential. SemperBlotto 17:31, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
My two penn'orth/cents (no cultural bias here ;) ): I agree that the minimum headings are "language" and "part of speech" when an entry is created. The optimum headings are debatable - I would say probably language, part of speech, pronunciation, translations, citations, references (all entries will have these, but not all will have rhymes, synonyms, etc).
References: Yes, I think these are essential, otherwise Wiktionary has no credibility as a reference work in itself. Wikipedia backs up its content with sources and references, and that helps makes it credible. Until we do the same, Wiktionary is of questionable usefulness. Here are my ideas on references for Wiktionary.
Sources: References should ideally be from print sources rather than the Internet (newsgroups are a good source of all sorts of made-up language and so are less believable than printed works, which are usually edited and checked). Other dictionaries should not be used as references, as this amounts to copyright violation (unless copyright has expired, as with Webster's 1913). Refererences should be provided for translations too. These should be to monolingual dictionaries, not from bilingual dictionaries, as this also amounts to copyright violation.
Format: I propose using a system of footnotes, similar to that which Wikipedia uses. Definitions and translations could have a superscript (or bracketed) number against them that links to a list of references at the foot of the page, broadly something like this:
  1. An animal [1]
  2. Another meaning [1]
French: chien m [2]
Italian: cane m [3]
Spanish: perro m [4]
[1]: The Big Book of Animals, A. N. Other, 2006
[2]: Le Grand Dictionnaire Français
[3]: Il Gran Dizionario Italiano
[4]: El Grande Diccionario Español
In this way, every definition and translation (and possibly other things too) is potentially verifiable by the user and showing that we have done our homework gives credibility to the content. — Paul G 10:15, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm sure it would be impractical to back up translations in the translations sections. The large and ever increasing number of translations many pages already have (dog is actually a very good example), and others hopefully will have, will inevitably lead to an enormous mess of numbers in square brackets. The only way to support translations with references is having them assigned to the definitions on the translation's own page. Ncik 14:18, 4 January 2006 (UTC)
OK, that's a good idea. I had another thought - instead of putting a long list of references at the bottom of each page, we could have a separate page (or multiple pages, if the list got long) for all references, in the form of an index. This is what the OED does. — Paul G 09:58, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
The way to do this is having templates like {{OED}} etc, which all will automatically be added to some Category, "Reference works" say. Ncik 18:24, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

More Inclusive Template?[edit]

Moved to Wiktionary:About Algonquian languages where I will be putting a few questions on the talk page. Eclecticology 21:36, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

The very simple example[edit]

The very simple example has an empty References section. Is that really what we want our contributors to use? SemperBlotto 14:24, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out this oversight. I've added a simple reference to a common dictionary. The important point with references here is to get people thinking in terms of verification based on whatever is available to them; the question of what is an acceptable reference is a more advanced one. Eclecticology 19:50, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
Could you please tell me where exactly 'True "references" were mentioned in passing' as you claim on my talk page? The way you are trying to push through your References section without responding to the criticism of others is shameful. I agree that references should be given whenever there could be doubt about something of different opinions exist (but there is certainly no point in giving a reference for "bed: something to sleep on" as done by you in the simple example), but these references shouldn't be in a level three header, they should be in a place where it is unambiguous which piece of information they belong to. They also shouldn't always be in a separate section, it is often much more convenient to add them as quotations accompanying definitions. Please make the necessary changes yourself, since I fear getting blocked again if I touched your impeccalbe edits. Ncik 15:36, 7 January 2006 (UTC)
My first reaction was that your quotation from me didn't make sense, but as I look back at the longer quotation that you made above I must apologize for not following the advice of the book Eats, Shoots and Leaves. What I intended was really "True, "references" were mentioned in passing"; a single comma can make a big difference.
Having references for all words, including the common ones, means that we don't need to determine which are common. I didn't choose bed as the word to be there, and the real entry for it should be more than a simple entry. The point to be made with a simple entry is that an everyday dictionary will be s sufficient reference. On the matter of the level three heading, we need to keep in mind that what we have here a simple example. A level 3 heading is correct for that context, but you would be right if we were talking about something more complex. Eclecticology 02:06, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
I'm still not happy with the way you introduce this section to the reader on WT:ELE and the description that you give of it. Since you don't seem to be willing to stop declaring it an 'essential' heading (although in cases in which there are more than one definition we would certainly do better with the references attached to each definition, as you just admitted yourself, and even in the case of just one definition there would be no problem in putting the references right under the definitions in the same way we do with quotations, and this would actually make it easier to add new definitions since the References header doesn't have to be transformed into a meaning dependent reference) let me rather say something about when we should provide a reference to another dictionary (this is what you have in mind, isn't it? You don't want references to prose or poems (ie. quotations, basically), do you? This should be pointed out explicitly, not just hinted at by means of an example) because I really don't think we need to equip every single definition with a reference. Everybody knows that looking up a word in a dictionary is always a way of verifying the correctness of the definitions (and other information) we give. So why cram our pages with thousands of references to the same few dictionaries? Providing a dictionary reference does make sense if the word was nominated on WT:RFD or when dictionaries give different spellings or inflections for words or disagree on some other matter. All this essentially boils down to that I think we'd do much better with the Dictionary References Hippietrail proposed. Ncik 18:54, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
It seems from what you say that we are down to the distinction between bibliography and footnotes. The references that you suggest after every definition are more in the nature of footnotes, and the references that I suggest at the end of an article are more like a bibliography. For the very simple entry with only one definition it should make no difference whether the reference is formatted as a quote or with a "===Reference===" heading, because it will be the last item in the entry either way. Remember too the very simple entry is a cut-down subset of the format for bigger more advanced entries. In terms of enforcing the reference guidelines there has to be a measure of common sense and practicality. We should insist on it when there has been an RfV (more so than RfD), But in the case of more common words anyone can add it in at his convenience, and there should be no blame attached when someone fails to do so. The important thing io to build a culture of verification and verifiability. I haven't really objected to the Hippietrail proposal, but it does seem to be a bit of a catchall. Eclecticology 00:47, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Copying material from translation dictionaries[edit]

Most individual translations from translation dictionaries are probably not copyright infringements. Material copied from translating dictionaries is probably "safer" than material from single language dictionaries because translating dictionaries strongly tend to have one word translations. If that word is the only way to translate a term it can't be copyrightable. If you coincidentally, and unknowingly write a definition that is identical to what is in a published dictionary you are not infringing copyrights. Copyright law protects writings from being copied; unlike patent law it does not prevent two people from independently writing the same material. This situation is virtually impossible with longer, but it is a reality when single words or short phrases are at issue. Eclecticology 09:44, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Hm, this sounds reasonable, however, I think there must be a line somewhere, otherwise bilingual dictionaries would not have copyright notices in them. Clearly, if someone creates a translation or definition themselves that happens to match that in another dictionary, copyright has not been breached, because all (accurate) dictionaries will say the same, and so the source is untraceable. If I copy the contents of ten pages, then that would be a copyright infringement. If I copy over a translation of a phrase that could be translated in various ways (such as text explaining a term that has with cultural meaning in the source language but none in the target language, like "Bonfire Night" or "Arbor Day") then that is a breach of copyright.
So what should we be saying about copyright regarding translations? I think we need some sort of notice on the page to warn against what is not permissible, even if the notice I added, by my own admittance, does err way too far on the side of caution. — Paul G 09:56, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
I've commented out the statement about copyright for now until someone comes up with a more appropriate one. — Paul G 10:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

Frankly, those copyright notices don't mean a thing. They used to be a part of uniquely US law, but since 1989(?) copyright subsists whether or not there is a notice. Copyright only applies to whatever in a work can be copyrighted, and it's up to the user to figure out which is which. Even if no malice is imputed to random copyright notices, to what practical extent can the publisher of a major dictionary with over 100,000 entries designate which of those individual entries is protected by copyright, and which is stolen from the public domain?

I have been eading bits of David Micklethwait's book "Noah Webster and the American Dictionary. Among other things he goes into the history of dictionaries since Cawdrey published the first English one in 1604. Copying from other sources has been rampant ever since, the three Samuel Johnsons and Noah Webster were certainly not above this practice. The result may be that very little in modern dictionaries is protected by copyright.

Making up one's own definitions is a problem too. Any effort to drift away from established dictionaries for the purpose of respecting the copyrights of others too easily results in new and original definitions that are not supported by evidence. If we aspire to become the biggest, this will not help our credibility.

This all suggests that some use of material that is prima facie copyrighted is warranted, at least to the extent that if it's protect there is a reasonable fair use/dealing claim.

The one thing that makes me hesitate to make specific recomendations to use material from other dictionaries is the literalism of some of our colleagues. Some short definitions (perhaps no more than five words) should be OK as long as sources are shown. We should also not be copying entire articles about words with multiple or complex definitions unless of course the work is clearly in the public domain. Our view of translations should be an extension of this. Eclecticology 05:01, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Question: is it clearly and unambiguously OK to copy definitions that are present in multiple dictionaries? That is, if I have three independent Korean-English dictionaries, is it reasonable to create a definition from the intersection of the entries in the three dictionaries? (referencing all three, of course). Or should this be avoided in any case? -- Visviva 09:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)f OrenBochman 15:47, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

A couple of insights: An editor who wishes to avoid copyright infringment must not copy in verbatum from a single source source. Profesional lexicographers will consult more than one dictionary when editing a term, and will then contibute something new. This mean you should aim to enhance the value of the existing definitions. A Wiki which does not have the printing restrictions of a paper dictionary can easily outshine it by providing less terse definition augumented by examples of current use. Also if you reference the dictionaries under copyright you are inviting legal action.

Companies which employ lexicographers to create dictionaries (and place them online) consider their database as intelectual property and thier copyright and terms of use generaly will reflect this.

One final point dictionaries which are in the public domain do to lapse of copyright reflect are lexigraphicaly speaking historical documents. Many of thier definitions could be osolete due to change say of a word's connotation. Alternatively the dominant word sense chould be a new one.

Asterisk for unattested[edit]

I'm new to Wiktionary, and I have a question. I was going to start the entry Romanice, from Vulgar Latin, which according to my A.H. Dictionary is an unattested word. My question is: do I have to indicate an asterisk:*Romanice (I will if that's the policy). Alexander 007 07:22, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

If the word is unattested or hypothetical it shouldn't have an entry at all. Eclecticology 16:58, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
Are you sure? Unattested words in Vulgar Latin, at the least, are very useful as entries, as are Proto-Indo-European roots. Can someone else input on this? In any case, I see that SemperBlotto has started the Romanice/romanice article: either he found that it was indeed attested, or he disagrees that unattested words should not have entries. Alexander 007 07:08, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
Words in Vulagar Latin and Proto-Indo-European are all hypothetical. There is no evidence that they ever really existed. I've requested verification for romanice. Eclecticology 12:03, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I have come across many etymology sections in Wiktionary in which people have linked hypothised Proto-Indo-European roots, and always have linked these myself. I think we should have entries for hypothesised words, and those other people too, otherwise they wouldn't have bothered to link them. We should be particularly careful to support these entries by hard evidence. Ncik 23:30, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Four policy proposals[edit]

  1. I propose that we stop the use of dual entry words. We already give the entry word at the top of each page, so why would we need to give it again after the part of speech (e.g., noun followed by go)?
  2. I also propose that we reduce the amount of subheadings within each entry. For example, we're the only dictionary that I know of that has a subheading devoted to quotations. That makes the entry more confusing for both the reader and the editor because there can be different quotes for different senses, sub senses, and definitions of the word. I guess we would just use an outline format in those cases under quotations.
    I have tried to start a discussion about this at template:new en. It seems pertinent because of all the attention that's being given to attestation. But in the end it will be the contributors attesting words who push though thier preferred format. Davilla
  3. I also think that it should be clarified that only when there are a large number of synonyms, related terms, usage notes, etc. should a separate section be created. This problem is going to get worse as the entries in Wiktionary become larger and more specific. We can adopt a formatting system to set off run-in explanatory notes (e.g., for synonyms, Synonyms:, synonyms, or just the word in all caps set off with a semicolon [e.g., to move quickly; HURRY]).
    There is no reason that this can't already be done, and in fact it is. Instructions are appended to the definition if they are brief. Synonyms are given as an alternate definition, without the small caps. I don't think most people would start synonym sections unless they have something to add. I find empty sections to be a much uglier problem than short ones. As to avoiding other headings, a few good examples go a long way, even if points within the examples aren't spelled out completely. Davilla
  4. I also propose that we adopt Wikipedia's position on the excessive use of links. As it is, there are editors adding links to my entries that pretty much no one would want to cross-reference. For example, in the entry "dog," there's a link to the entry "woman." My belief is that if it wouldn't say q.v., see also, or see in another reference work, then it shouldn't have a link here.
  5. Finally, I propose that we stop numbering entries with a single definition. I don't know of any published dictionaries that use this format. Primetime 14:43, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
    Well I will agree with you that we should try to be consistent, but rather than argue about what the standard should be, I suggest that you propose such specific style changes at template:new en. The advantage of the template is that the default style can be overridden by any user adding a new word, so making changes there isn't as strong a directive as instructions written (by creeps) here. Davilla 05:41, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
  1. Although this is a holdover from the days when the first letter of an entry was case insensitive, there was a consensus that it should be retained as a convenient place to deal with inflections and some other matters relating to how a word is written. I initially suggested as you now do, but have no problem living with the consensus. If you choose not to include this line when you initiate an entry no blame will attach.
    Besides inflections, this section is useful in other respects. I distinguish between required words in bold and, in italics, substitutes (as in Could one be any more) and extra words that may not be included in use, such as to or an. A good example of why this is meaningful is English, where the people collectively are only referred to as "the English". If I have been further abusing this idea, I do believe as much as I've described should be encouraged. Davilla 05:41, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
  2. As for the specific heading "Quotations", I do find myself drifting more to the model that you suggest, but have no complaints about those who use the heading. Feel free to move some of those quotes to a more specific place. I fail to see why you think that we have excessive headings.
  3. Just because there happens to be one questionable link at dog does not imply that there is a broad trend to excessive linkage. There is no problem here, so a policy would be pointless.
  4. This is a trivial issue. In many cases we hope that there will be further definitions. If you are the one adding the single new definition no-one is going to worry if you don't number it; if others choose to number it that's cool too. What other dictionaries do is not our concern.
Much of what you suggest looks like instruction creep. These are all points where we should retain more flexibility, and avoid hard policy. If your suggestions are good people will adopt them by following your example on what you write. No policies are needed when vague suggestions will be efffective. Eclecticology 17:36, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
What I'm writing is in reaction to the instruction creep already occuring on Wiktionary. I was trying to control the problem by nullifying abused guidelines. I think that the fact that many editors here follow the Entry layout explained page as if it's Scripture is a problem. Thus, I'm also open to having more freedom in how we construct entries. If you're worried about more policies, then I can simply add some notes to the Entry layout explained page to make it clear that the layout presented there does not need to be followed in all cases, especially with shorter entries. I could then add some further notes explaining the principles underlying such formatting. This will give editors more flexibility in constructing their entries. Although it seems that you haven't, most editors here seem to have gotten the wrong idea about why links are used and when the formatting guidelines should be followed. I have had my entries revised and when I try to revert them, other users complain [1]. The editors here aren't just adding unnesesary links to their own articles, but to mine as well [2] and then becoming aggressive when I try to undo them.
3.It absolutely is an issue for the frequently-read entries on Wiktionary. I wouldn't mind if there was at least a usage note somewhere telling why internal links are used. As it is, when I try to direct users to Wikipedia's page, they say that that's irrelevant because it's a different Wiki.
4.Actually, they do [3], [4]. What I wouldn't mind doing is making it clear that what you say is true (i.e., that disputes over the issue are trivial, and that it's OK to leave an un-numbered definition.)
So, what do you say? How about I clarify the Entry layout explained page to provide more flexibility? Primetime 20:03, 10 January 2006 (UTC)
In irrupt, before the copyvio issue was raised, it looks like you tried to introduce an eccentric format. Trying these is fair enough, but since this is a wiki you can expect that others will try to change it too. The established way of doing things is not always correct, but when you try to change something away from it you need to be ready to discuss why your change is an improvemrnt over the status quo. Whether a link is necessary is a subjective judgement with wide latitudes. Did you try to discuss it with the person who was removing the links? On thingness I see that the repeat of the word in bold, and the numbering of the single definition were both added after you edited. Are these important enough to dispute? At least give the discussion that you have started here time to develop. I also note that the RfV tag was removed. Evidence of the word was indeed found, but I'm sure that even Ncik will agree that an article that was subject of an RfV discussion should have references added to the article before the tag is removed.
I'm not to sure what you're trying to say at 3.
It is OK if you leave a definition unnumbered, but it's also OK if someone else adds the number. I probably won't edit an article just for the sake of that change, but I will if I'm already editing for something else. When people stop making that change it will indicate that you have made your point.
I can probably edit the ELE page introduction to clarify the matter of flexibility. Eclecticology 00:16, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Having read Primetime's proposals (which he also raised on my user page) and Eclecticology's points, I am currently of the view that these are minor issues. The existing format is not "wrong" as it stands, in that it does not obstruct the ability of users to understand the information we are providing. I don't feel that there is much to be gained by overhauling many thousands of entries to accommodate what are, to a large extent, minor changes.
I do agree with Primetime on the "quotations" section and the degree of subsub...headings. A nesting of four is probably sufficient for most purposes (and, in any case, deeper nesting does not produce smaller font sizes, so does not show up as deeper nesting). — Paul G 11:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I have noticed, though, that the format of some of Primetime's contributions diverges far further from the "standard" format than the changes he is proposing, which, in my view, is to be discouraged. — Paul G 11:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Where's Hrunk?[edit]

When (and why) was the "hrunk" example removed? --Connel MacKenzie T C 06:31, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Dunno, there's been a bit of change since I was here a few months ago. In my opinion the real words are more tangible, even if the examples are permanently incomplete. Davilla
"Hrunk" is still there, or am I missing something? Still I would find real words preferable. Eclecticology 00:49, 19 February 2006 (UTC)


What is the motivation of placing anything but the definition of any word first in the article? Having the etymology come first seems quite illogical, since it's most likely considered secondary information to most readers.

Peter Isotalo 17:11, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Presumably because
  • Some words have multiple etymologies
  • It enables etymologies to be shared between the adjective, noun and verb headers.
I'm not entirely happy with it either. However, I don't have any better solution that handles all cases. Do you? --Patrik Stridvall 19:05, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
There's nothing less determinate about having an etymology come after the definitions it applies to. Think of it as a postfix operator instead of prefix. If you want to write an etymology, put it under the definition instead of on top. If you want to read the etymology of a definition, look at the one below it instead of the one above it. That might not be as intuitive, and it isn't supported by different levels in the Wiki software, but it is consistent. Just to confuse everyone, think of it this way:
=2= Language =2=
=2.5= Invisible header =2.5=
=3= Part of Speech =3=
=3= Part of Speech =3=
=3= Etymology =3=
=2.5= Invisible header =2.5=
=3= Part of Speech =3=
Thus the etymology is, rather than the root, an annotation to divisions of the word handled as separate entries in print dictionaries. This style is analogous to putting the etymology at the end of each entry in a print dictionary:
word1 n. blah v. blah - From who knows where
word2 n. fubar - From you don't want to know where
Hope this adds to the discussion. I do think it makes sense to have POS at a consistent heading, even if it's level 4, as much as I'd hate to have to type it. Davilla 19:37, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I see that location for the etymology as the most logical place. Summarily anything before the definition does not depend on the definition, but leads to the definition; anything after that definition derives from already knowing the definition. There are a few more details than that, but that's the basic idea. Whether something is secondary information is a presumption that we should mostly avoid making. Eclecticology 19:45, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
The etymology is of minimal importance to the vast majority of people looking up a word in a dictionary. That's a safe bet. To call it "seconday" is misleading, though, because it is of prime importance to the creation of dictionaries. That I'd never understood until having to attest words here. Still, I remember very well a time when I didn't give a damn, and I wondered and still do why print dictionaries make readers wade through the etymology to get at what they're looking for. It's an exercise in self-importance to the writers, people who study words that must take on lives of their own, much as numbers take on lives to mathematicians. (That's probably a bad analogy unless you're a mathematician. Anywho...) Thing is, the writers here are users. This isn't about the idealistic importance of the etymology, it's about the pragmatic efficiency of the dictionary's use. Davilla 19:07, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
But we are a dictionary and we define words, right? I don't understand why we can't have etymology sections formatted in a similar way as translations. At least then, we'd have the so-called POS headings always at the same third level, instead of the random level it is now. I think that would allow for a cleaner "etym-stub" format for entries that currently are missing etymologies. At any rate, I think it is a concept that should at least be considered, not dismissed out of hand. --Connel MacKenzie T C 19:51, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Who is arguing that we don't define words? I see no problem with flexible (not random) heading levels. Templates for stubs are not meant to be a permanent part of any article, so they need not be considered in the formatting of an article. Eclecticology 10:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I was thinking about pretty much the same as Connel's suggestion. And assuming that etymology is secondary information isn't exactly a leap of faith. I can't recall seeing too many dictionaries that place etymologies before the definition, or indeed before the title itself. My suggestion is something like this
===Word class===
#definition 1
#definition 2
#definition 3
#etymology of definition 1
#etymology of definition 2
#etymology of definition 3
Mind you, this does not mean that every minor nuance needs a full-blown etymology, but it's invaluable for informing readers of first usage. Most entries don't have to be more than the year/decade/century/era when it was first recorded in writing.
Peter Isotalo 09:20, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Most important dictionaries like the OED or the Webster do put the etymology before the definition, since it is of such primary importance to the understanding of the word. Also note that a same etymology will often serve a number of definitions and parts of speech. When a word is first used is usually evidenced by the quotations, although it does sometimes appear in the etymology when it is specially coined. Eclecticology 10:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
People again make the mistake of confusing meanings of a word with the word itself. The word itself is its etymology (current use included). A word is not the set of all meanings a certain sequence of letters has at present. This fact is reflected in almost any dictionary containing some sort of etymological information. As Eclecticology pointed out, this is certainly the case for any dictionary with more than 100.000 entries or so, but even rather small dictionaries do this (eg. The Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 1963, Langenscheit's Pocket Dictionary of the English and German Languages, Langenscheidt, 6th edition, 1970, and Harrap's Mini Dictionary English-French, Chambers Harrap Publishers, 2003 [Note that these are just the three dictionaries lying around next to my computer, not one's I chose from a greater selection to prove my point]). It is done by having separate headwords (usually indexed by numbers) for identically spelt words (i.e. different etymologies). As far as header levels are concerned I can only suggest for the I-don't-know-how-manyth time to have all POS headers at level 4. Ncik 12:16, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
Ncik, no. You seem to be the one confusing a headword with a word. Same as you did several months ago. And six months ago. And almost a year ago. Right now we are talking about the strict Wikimedia definition of a headword ("entry title") not the strict technical definition of a word for historians.
Eclecticology makes two good arguments for having the "POS" headings be subordinate to etymology, but perhaps has not considered the case where there is no etymology. (That is, not known if etymology is "unknown" or if other references may have one, and not having the immediate resources to check.)
Forcing the majority of our contributors (many who may never have even heard the term "etymology" before) to enter an etymology as some kind of required field is very ill-advised.
Eclecticology, you say that etymology information is of primary importance to a word. I agree. You also say that one etymology corresponds to more than one POS heading. Certainly. But can either of these concerns not be addressed by what I suggested? Perhaps I should restate it:
By making all POS headings ===level 3===, (as they mostly are now) and etymology to also be a ===level 3=== heading, (with any deliniations needed spelled out similar to the way we do translations for multiple meanings) the most issues are addressed.
<soap box>Right now, the way we address words with multiple etymologies implies that there is no relation between them. This is in many (most?) cases perfectly incorrect.</soap box>
--Connel MacKenzie T C 20:45, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
As a newcomer to Wiktionary, I was surprised to see the etymology listed before the definitions. Most people are here to look up the definition of a word, so from a practical standpoint the definition should probably be listed first. I can think of no entry in Wiktionary that would suffer from such a rearrangement, nor would such a move make anything less clear to the reader. On the contrary, it would result in a more efficient and user-friendly experience for most users, by presenting them with what they are most likely searching for, prior to providing the background and history behind it. This probably reflects my preference for practicalities and getting to the point first (and providing background afterwards as additional information for those still interested), rather than the more academic tendency to ramble on before getting to the bottom line. --DavidGC 02:27, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
Some words have multiple etymologies, such as abode. In that case, the etymologies separate the different sections by being on a higher level than the parts of speech. This can only be done when they are mentioned before them. — Vildricianus 23:07, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
No, we could break out etymologies the way we do translations, synonyms, antonyms and related terms, retaining the same semantic relations. --Connel MacKenzie T C 04:05, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I am sorry to reopen this old topic. Taking as an example the entry for serendipity were the Etymology followed by the pronunciation fill the entire screen giving the impression of a more encyclopaedic article about the word. By putting the definition after these two headings, it makes a lot of extra 'work' for the reader to scroll down and find out what the word means. It is my opinion that a dictionary aiming itself at the users of the internet should focus on providing the most relevant information for the average person. In the majority of cases, the important information will be the definition, and thus the definitions should always be the first heading on a page. I appreciate I have added nothing new - but the discussion ended with no conclusion. Can we please move the definition to prime importance. Conrad.Irwin 23:12, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Indeed, this conversation died out for no apparent reason, except perhaps other distractions. The choices I see, from what you suggest are these:
  1. Should en.wiktionary "flatten" listings and have a ===Definitions=== section that is the first thing after the language identification (with POS, etc. indicated on the start of each definition, like regular dictionaries do, and with all other information "disambiguated" like "Translations" sections) or
  2. Demote the "Etymology" headings to level four headings, subordinate to a given POS heading, combining all simliar POS headings then disambiguating the etymologies like Translations are currently, while at the same time reorganizing all synonym, related terms, translations, etc., to shuffle into the "correct" subordinate section.
Of the two, the second option seems both harder to do, and less useful, than option #1. Which were you suggesting? Either, or one, or two? --Connel MacKenzie 23:29, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The approach of subordinating etymology to definitions is self-defeating. The use of etymology ahead of the definitions (which is what most dictionaries do) serves to conglomerate those definitions that are related by meaning. If the definitions are sorted primarily be grammatical function, this aspect of commonality among definitions is lost. The simpler solution is to avoid lengthy etymologies as much as possible. --EncycloPetey 23:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I believe we should use the same technique as the "academic" interface to OED2+ online: Etymologies should come first, but there should be a preference button to hide/display them as wished, as we already have for Translations. --Enginear 00:16, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
The immediately preceding suggestion sounds so good that I am surprised that there hasn't been favorable response. It both increases the amount of the material most wanted on the first screen seen by the user and gives a nice fat bar for revealing what is concealed (much easier than scroll bars). It would be a major improvement in utility to the user, with sacrificing much of anything. The same solution may apply to other aspects of the insufficiency of useful information on the first screen. Users are likely to have to work too hard to find the PoS needed if it isn't the first one. DCDuring 17:07, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
The reason it hasn't received acclaim is that most etymology sections on Wiktionary are one line only. A collapsible box would take up exactly as much space as the existing etymology section, so there is little point in making the effort to develop the necessary templates. --EncycloPetey 00:01, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
You could just use {{rel-top}} and its relations — there’s nothing to stop you. Using one may be suitable for a very long etymology. I’ve used it a few times for long usage notes, and once each for some pronunciatory transcriptions and for some alternative spellings (over a dozen). IMHO, rel-tables are OK to be used for every part of an entry bar its definitions.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 00:21, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Format of quotations[edit]

When I had tried to start a consenus-seeking discussion at Template talk:new en useful, I had always assumed the format for quotations is two lines. Using a single line for the text as well as the source is an old style, I thought. If it has to be debated, it certainly makes less sense not to have the two distinguished. The source goes first because of the year, and the text is set apart much like an example of use. georeactor is a good example of why a single dash doesn't suffice. Davilla 15:49, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

The problem with that discussion was that it was on a page related to templates instead of article format. Templates used as these are should reflect practice that already exists in its own right.
Agreed. In fact the idea was to stipulate that this template must reflect current practice, but at least it's just a template, not an instruction booklet. Don't you find an example so much easier to follow for the minor stuff? I'm not sure I completely understand what "Quotations here are formatted normally but without definition numbers" is supposed to mean. Davilla
That (unclearly) was the practice, when that template was created. --Connel MacKenzie T C 16:15, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
I saw the one vs. two lines issue and some of the punctuation changes as something new.
Unintentional. Where you would certainly know better than I, please make alterations to reflect the style common to the majority. Davilla
The order of things in there, I believe, has largely been settled: Year: w:Author, Work - quotation.
That's much better than the old style, e.g. at etymology, so I would say the argument over one vs. two lines is quite minor. The difference is essentially only a dash versus a newline. I had thought the latter was more popular now. Indeed, I didn't even know the hyphen was still used. But you know I don't comb entries like some of you more devoted folks. Davilla
For frequently quoted authors like Shakespeare this allowed for a scalable series of templates. Thus Template:RQ:Shakespeare Hamlet gives
c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals):
which links to Wikipedia for the biography and Wikisource for the text, and leaves the possibility that the template could be altered if Wikisource decides to break its text up into separate acts. At the beginning I added the indented heading #*Quotations but I no longer do. Beginning the line with a bold year strongly suggests that we are already dealing with a quotation.
No arguments there. Davilla
In terms of this discussion the order in the quotation at georeactor would seem irregular, but that can easily be fixed. Perhaps I misunderstand something in your comment.
Fixed georeactor, using the hyphen, which again isn't a very visible division between source and text. But I hate to have to argue something so trivial here. Davilla
I'm also puzzled by the second etymology section there. Given this and the immediately preceding discussion I wonder whether we all mean the same thing by "etymology". Eclecticology 00:41, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, what's the problem? In giving the word a specific definition, the article created the first ever published use of that sense. If that argument's wrong, just find a better place to preserve the reference. Davilla 18:42, 5 March 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I prefer the following format, under a separate header:

* '''year''': [[w:Author|Author]], ''[[s:Work|Work]]'', further specifications if possible.
*: Quotation.

Example at response. Linking to Wikisource is optional (only major works there). I don't like the quotations immediately under the definitions, for the sake of page aesthetics. — Vildricianus 10:23, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

The problem with a separate header is that it fails to link the quotations with a specific definition. Response currently has six definitions, so it is not immediately clear what the quotations are illustrating. Eclecticology 21:40, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Which is exactly the same problem for synonyms, antonyms, translations etc. This might be countered by moving quotations to subpages, starting from a certain number (10? 15?). — Vildricianus 21:46, 2 April 2006 (UTC)
Eclecticology, I disagree with the notion that quotations are inherently ambiguous. If confusion exists with which definition is intended for each of the quotations, then perhaps better quotations should be selected...or "disambiguate" them in the same manner we use for translations. But overloading the definitions section forces needless clutter, making an entries unreadable. If the quotations are moved to a "citations" sub-page, having the "translations" style makes even more sense. --Connel MacKenzie T C 16:15, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Please, look at "What Links Here", and think about this gigantic page.[edit]

One of the pages that links here is Help:Starting a new page
Can you imagine the reaction of a newbie going from that link to here ! Will someone please make the effort to break this page down to something for newbies, and something for the advanced Wiktionarian.--Richardb 16:30, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

I suggest having only two level 2 headers on ELE, "For the new editor" and "For the advanced editor", where the former section contains or is a fusion of the first five sections, and the latter includes the remainder of the page. Ncik 14:25, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
Gigantic? Certainly not "gigantic" compared to most of our other Wiktionary pages (but yes, probably a bit too much for someone brand new.) Ncik suggestion seems reasonable initially, but can only be considered a suggestion not an announcement. (See edit summary of this edit.) --Connel MacKenzie T C 16:01, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
There should be two pages, though. The one here, for more complicated stuff, and one in the Help: namespace for less contested format guidelines: Language header, POS, headword, numbered defs etc. — Vildricianus 12:10, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Quotations date format[edit]

For some time, the Quotations heading was used, with the year formatted at the start, as "*'''2001''', " in bold, before the author. More recently (but also for some time) WT:ELE has recommended using a colon instead of a comma, but only for "in-line" quotations. Since this is the exact syntax prohibited in the translations sections for languages, e.g. "*'''French''': " (which should be "*French:",) my semi-automatic cleanup trips over this frequently. Is there any reason the colon is recommended over the comma? If nothing else, it is inconsistent.

--Connel MacKenzie T C 22:06, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Of course this doesn't receive much response - no one notices comments here! The colon is the most common usage now, sorry to tell you that. I've fully updated Wiktionary:Quotations#How to format a quotation, reflecting "current practice". Current practice is a bit ambitious to say, but at least it's what I have been told to use long ago, and what I have been using ever since. Always open for discussion, though, like almost everything here. — Vildricianus 12:15, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Also, as quotations are among the worst things to tackle for the normalizers, perhaps we should sooner or later start discussing this again in order to find some kind of concensus? Your talk page topic has been a good example of the fact that it is possible to agree on a number of things! Always optimistic. — Vildricianus 12:18, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

Words spelled the same in different languages[edit]

There seems to be no convention for words spelled identically in different languages, such as explicar (es,pt), so explain#Translations has both pointing to the Spanish entry. This constitutes a namespace collision. Can search be jiggered to support /wiki/es/Explicar /wiki/pt/Explicar and reply to query explicar with a generated disambiguation page if necessary? Test case: sport (same spelling and meaning in many languages). Alternatively, should there be both explicar#Spanish and explicar#Portuguese, treating any slight differences in the one article under separate headings? Had a quick look, but couldn't find a discussion. Apologies if I missed a discussion on this elsewhere. StrangerInParadise 10:36, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

See "a" for an example of an entry with multiple languages. Does that address your question? Rod (A. Smith) 14:53, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Location of synonyms[edit]

Would it make more sense to put synonyms for specific meanings with their related meaning, as one might see in a printed dictionary? Example: under switch, (Computer Science) A command line notation allowing specification of optional behavior. Syn. flag. The current layout showing the synonyms together, referring to individual senses seems a little confusing, especially since other dictionaries which opt for this format refer to the senses by number, so one would see "flag (sense 4)" rather than "flag (Computer Science)". If such a change isn't possible, can the project page at least contain a justification for not inlining the see-alsos per sense? Just a random usability suggestion from a random visitor. 21:19, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

Examples and dependent prepositions[edit]


Is there a policy on including examples of word usage? As in go off - for each use of the word there is one or more example of the word being used in a natural way.

Advantages Principally for language learners (but also for native speakers). It allows a much clearer understanding of the meaning of the word and how to reproduce it a way that will sound natural. The inclusion of examples would be in line with the idea to make Wiktionary a multilingual resource. It would make it that bit more useful to many more people.

Disadvantages Would it make already large entries even more crowded?


Similarly these could be included in italics immediately after the word, i.e. depend on or upon.

Again language learners find these very useful.

--Jonthan 10:48, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the purpose is to have one or more example sentences for each definition. Lack thereof is simply a sign of the entry's immaturity. The same goes for prepositions, although there's not (yet) a clear-cut policy on that one. — Vildricianus 10:52, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Editing reminder[edit]

Please remember that all changes to this page WT:ELE are controversial. Seemingly minor edits should refer to the beer parlour or grease pit conversation(s) pertaining to the topic. --Connel MacKenzie 08:20, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Simple example[edit]

There is nothing simple about an example that insists on the use of templates. When it comes to the inflection line plain text is always acceptable. There is no reason why a new person with information to contribute should immediately be thrust into having to make sense of templates. The use of templates is optional for those who want to use them. Eclecticology 19:01, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

While that may be true in theory, the automated "preload" templates make it very easy for newcomers to use the proper inflection templates (as evidenced by hundreds, if not thousands of recent contributions.)
Insisting on text-only limits Wiktionary's ability to further explore better (more accurate) automation efforts.
I strongly agree with Rod, that we should be recommending new users use the inflection templates.
--Connel MacKenzie 19:15, 20 August 2006 (UTC)
The newbie needs to understand what's happening, and what he will see when he edits in its most simple. Even in the "bed" entry from the simple example it was intentional not to show the plural form. (I suppose if we used an uninflected part of speech like a preposition as an example, the problem would go away.) Nothing in what I said insists that text-only is the only way to go. Which way to go should be completely at the option of the contributor. Eclecticology 00:00, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
The entry's initial form is obviously up to the original contributor, regardless what we publish in WT:ELE. We accept contributions without so much as a Wiki header. So then, a natural question to ask ourselves is, "Why do we maintain WT:ELE at all?" I was under the impression that its purpose is to steer editors toward the the ideal article format. If so, then yes, we could duck this issue by documenting the ideal format for a word without a corresonding headword/part-of-speech/inflection template. Doing so, however, would be counter-productive, because the vast majority of Wiktionary entries do have appropriate headword/part-of-speech/inflection templates. Rod (A. Smith) 01:56, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Language or dialect[edit]

I would like to change the wording "language" to "language or dialect" in many places, in the translations section and the heading of "Language" in particular. The distinction between languages and dialects is not a scientific one linguistically. DAVilla 23:29, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Could you give specific examples? The practical issues become: (1) When do we use the term as a level-two header and when don't we do so? and (2) When do we create a Category:(Dialect) language? So, where are you suggesting this wording be used, and how do we keep it clear for practical purposes? --EncycloPetey 23:52, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

new part-of-speech header discussion[edit]

is happening here, in a subpage

Split this page[edit]

I would like to split this page into Basic/Simple/Explanatory entry layout (or possibly the current title), Entry layout of/for English/English terms, and Entry layout of/for foreign/any language/languages/terms/language terms. The latter should be the most inclusive but would contain the least information. DAVilla 07:29, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

We should try to keep the number of style guide pages to a minimum. We could have two pages for dictionary definitions, one describing the layout and the other guidelines for particular languages. Perhaps we could divide this page into overall sections? The unified style guide's page on dictionary pages is divided into sections depending on the scope affected (more intuitive than it sounds). That's some way off from completion, though, so I suppose we shouldn't hold off changes. —[admin] Pathoschild 19:13, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
You could never fit easily all the information relevant to all languages other than English onto a single style guide. There are too many bits of information to be covered just in considering Chinese, Japanese, Latin, and Swedish (which are languages currently with style guides).
My preference is to have to overall summary here, with the most important or most commonly occurring cases exaplained here, even if only in brief. I could see then having a sub-page for each major section to cover the nit-picky details and provide useful links and multiple examples of how to do it it more depth. There will be (and already are) pages to deal with issues arising in specific languages, which ideally would also have a version translated into said language when it's deemed reasonably complete. This page however, should be the clear organizing hub and primary location for all the information about formatting entries. I could never see splitting this page, but I could see having additional detail-oriented pages linked here with a summary provided. --EncycloPetey 23:45, 27 November 2006 (UTC)


Variations for languages other than English says "... including a gloss to indicate ...". I can make a rough guess at what this means, but not enough to know what I would actually have to do should the need arise. I'd like to suggest that the sentence be reworded to make it clearer, perhaps linking to a specific meaning of gloss if that is sufficient to convey the full intent. Hv 22:20, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I've had a go at this in koers. Hv 23:39, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Pronunciation in SAMPA[edit]

I know that the policy right now is to put either/both IPA and SAMPA in pronunciation guides. However, considering that SAMPA came about to represent IPA characters in 7-bit ASCII characters and since Unicode and templating have negated the need for SAMPA on Wiktionary, I propose that we do away with the redundant inclusion of SAMPA as part of this policy. This is how it has been done for quite some time on Wikipedia and I think Wiktionary ought to be brought up to speed. Ƶ§œš¹ IPA: [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 20:02, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

While I wholeheartedly agree with you, I think you might have more success discussing this in WT:BP. henne 23:34, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Ahh, thanks. Ƶ§œš¹ IPA: [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 06:17, 21 December 2006 (UTC)