Wiktionary talk:Votes/2012-05/Emending the bank parking lot example

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Vote's creator's rationale: This wording has long bothered me. "Could plausibly mean either" sounds as though it means "logically could mean either", i.e., almost a repeat of the preceding "the remaining choices are". (Almost a repeat, not a repeat, because "the remaining choices are" is limiting logical choices to those two but allowing for further limiting, whereas "could plausibly mean either" is saying both are actually logically possible.) But what the CFI mean here is not that they're logically possible — that would not be sufficient to consider the phrase SOP. Indeed, if both were logically possible but only one existed in real life, we'd likely call that non-SOP. rather, what the CFi mean here is that both actually do exist. Hence this proposal.​—msh210 (talk) 03:28, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree that could be worded better. I have other issues with this paragraph below that may affect this wording. --BB12 (talk) 21:18, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Where did this come from?[edit]

Wouldn't such a thing be better resolved by a discussion? Or at least begun with one? As it stands we're now comitted to one wording or another. For the time-being at least, a third option is off the table, even a superior one. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 04:43, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

It's marked "This vote has not yet started. It has been created to solicit advice on wording and fitness to purpose. Feedback and new ideas are highly encouraged!".​—msh210 (talk) 05:47, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I agree that discussion is probably fine. Perhaps take it to the BP and look for consensus there...? --BB12 (talk) 06:11, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I took it to the BP, and invited people to comment here, which is much the same as doing so there. So much for the procedural: what about the substantive? Do you agree with the proposal, Atelaes, BB12? If not, why not? Is there some other change you think is better, and what is it?​—msh210 (talk) 15:12, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't have any strong opinions on the topic. As given, the wording doesn't seem problematic to me, but I don't have any qualms about your proposed changes either. Sorry. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 00:19, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

Fifth paragraph - other issues[edit]

I also have another issues with the fifth paragraph:

This rule must be applied carefully and is somewhat subjective. For example, bank has several senses and parking lot has an idiomatic sense of "large traffic jam". However bank parking lot can't possibly mean "to put a large traffic jam in a financial institution". With such clearly wrong interpretations weeded out, the remaining choices are "place to park cars for any of several kinds of business" or "place to park cars by, for or on a river bank or similar (as opposed to, say, the hill parking lot)." The whole phrase could plausibly mean either, depending on context (though the first is likely far more common), and so the phrase is not idiomatic.

  1. This equates the noun "bank parking lot" with the verb "to put..." and because of that, I parse "place" as a verb instead of a noun.
  2. I disagree that "bank parking lot" can mean "sperm bank parking lot" (i.e., several kinds of business; see bank). It's certainly possible that people who, say, drink at a bar and park at the next-door sperm bank say "I parked in the bank parking lot," but it would be jocular usage limited to a small number of people and probably cannot be attested. The "several kinds of business" item could be explained with an expansion, ignored or deleted. Alternatively, a different idiom could be found.
  3. I don't understand the logic. The last sentence says "The whole phrase could plausibly mean either, depending on context (though the first is likely far more common), and so the phrase is not idiomatic." Does having one of two possible meanings depending on context somehow imply a lack of idiomaticity?
  4. The expression "the whole phrase" is confusing because there have been a number of expressions used and "bank parking lot" is no longer foremost in the mind (mine anyway).
  5. A minor point: the period is outside the quotation mark in two instances (British style, after "jam" and "institution") but inside in one (US style, after "lot").

I hope I'm not hijacking this vote/discussion inappropriately. I think all of these issues can probably be solved through consensus alone, without a vote. --BB12 (talk) 21:18, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Ad 1, I agree with your change. I also think your change can be effected without a vote. (I wouldn't consider the one in the proposal so minor, since it changes the meaning of the paragraph.) How about changing "place" to "a place" as part of this vote?
Ad 2, bank can be an institution like CitiBank or any of its branches. (We have both senses.) But I agree that "to park cars near a financial institution" is better than "to park cars for any of several kinds of business" anyway. What say we work that change into this vote also? (Although, again, I don't think that that needs a vote.)
Ad 3, if it has every meaning it can possibly logically have, then it's the sum of its parts, yeah, not idiomatic. That's the idea here.
Ad 4, I don't find this confusing at all, to be honest, but I'm happy to change "The whole phrase" to "The whole phrase bank parking lot" as part of this proposal.
Ad 5, again, that doesn't require a vote. I'd rather not include it in this one, as we'd want to make the whole document consistent if we're looking for consistency (are we?) and I don't want to start a discussion on which way we should make it consistent.
What do others think?​—msh210 (talk) 20:20, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
Okay, I didn't understand above that you thought this requires a vote. That's why I was talking about the Beer Parlour.
Ad 1, it seems to me the article was left off because the article was left off "bank parking lot" (for grammatical reasons).
Ad 3, in that case, since "bank parking lot" cannot mean "sperm bank parking lot," it seems that "bank parking lot" is in fact idiomatic.
Ad 5, there is so much inconsistency throughout the page, I say drop it for now :)
Ad 4 and general comment: I find the overall wording of this section confusing. For example, your "every meaning it can possibly logically have" is implied but not really stated. If the section is rewritten for clarity, I think I would be able to follow the issue in point 4 without a problem. --BB12 (talk) 00:20, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
I've emended the vote in light of the comments above. Thanks for your input. Please have a look.​—msh210 (talk) 19:10, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Second and final paragraphs[edit]

For example, mega- can denote either a million (or 220) of something or simply a very large or prominent instance of something. Similarly star might mean a celestial object or a celebrity. But megastar means "a very prominent celebrity", not "a million celebrities" or "a million celestial objects", and only rarely "a very large celestial object" (capitalized, it is also a brand name in amateur astronomy).
The vote WT:COALMINE adds a criterion for inclusion without specifying text to be amended in this document, so please see it for the additional criterion.

Doesn't the fact that "megastar" is spelled as a single word make the discussion on "mega-" unnecessary? And can we agree to work the "coalmine" criterion in? --BB12 (talk) 21:18, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

IMO those are different enough from the current proposal that they should be separate.​—msh210 (talk) 23:24, 16 May 2012 (UTC)
I think that all of the discussion should be in the BP, but in any case, I'll wait to see what happens to this discussion and then bring it up again :) --BB12 (talk) 23:43, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Active vote?[edit]

This is at the top of the active votes, but it's obviously not active. It's been sitting here so long that I'm officially requesting that this vote is either run very soon or we stop transcluding it at the top of WT:V. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:07, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

I've set a start date.​—msh210 (talk) 19:10, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:53, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

Attestation, context.[edit]

The proposed text asserts that "bank parking lot" can be cited as meaning "river-bank parking lot", depending on context. I'm not convinced that that's true. Consider this passage (from google books:"bank parking lot" river):

He needed to be off the main street[,] for starters. He sailed by a bank parking lot, spying the boardwalk that ran along the edge of the Merrimack River and thought, what the hell, at least he could see the cops coming with enough time to still hide his smoke.

Despite the total lack of context suggesting a financial institution, and in fact, despite the dollop of context suggesting a river-bank, I still feel pretty confident that this "bank parking lot" is the parking lot of a financial institution. No?

I actually can't find any cites for "bank parking lot" where I think it has this meaning. (I see one for "west-bank parking lot", but that's "{west-bank} {parking lot}", not "west-{bank parking lot}".)

RuakhTALK 19:49, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

And I still think that "bank parking lot" is not possible when referring to a sperm bank. --BB12 (talk) 22:08, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
It's an example. Do you think we should switch from indicative to subjunctive?​—msh210 (talk) 06:31, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
@Msh210: If you are responding to me, then what I think is that "bank parking lot" is a great example that shows how judgment is required in a way that goes far beyond weeding out wrong interpretations. If you wish to put it in the subjunctive, I guess that's fine as long as it makes sense :) --BB12 (talk) 06:46, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I was replying to Ruakh. (That's why I indented but once (though of course that's no proof: I've sometimes messed that up).)​—msh210 (talk) 07:21, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I don't know. I guess I just don't support this change, for two reasons:
  • The proposed statement, "The whole phrase bank parking lot can be found in actual use with either of the meanings [] " seems to be false: I don't think it can. I don't think WT:CFI should be making empirical claims that are not accurate.
  • The proposed statement seems to imply that if a phrase can only be found in actual use with one meaning, then it would be idiomatic. Applying that test to bank parking lot would find that it is idiomatic, and I don't think it is, so I don't think the proposed implied test is a good one.
RuakhTALK 14:46, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Your first objection seems valid. (Can you think of a better example than bank parking lot?) To your second: My intent here was to change the wording of the policy document to bring it line with its own intent and how it's been interpreted but not to change any effective policy. Do you think that I have done more than I intended? If so, then do you think the current wording of the CFI (specifically, the part this proposal seeks to change) is accurate, or how would you word it?
I'm glad you spoke up before the vote start, which I will gladly push back (again) if this conversation continues for any length of time.​—msh210 (talk) 15:24, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
So, are you saying that the current effective policy is to allow/keep an entry for [[bank parking lot]] if no one can present cites with any other meaning but the one? —RuakhTALK 17:40, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
That's the way discussions at RFD seem to go. How would you word the latter half of that sentence? (Current effective policy is— what?)​—msh210 (talk) 20:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure I grasped the problem. Would the phrasing "The whole phrase could plausibly mean both" instead of "The whole phrase could plausibly mean either" solve this? Or something along this way. Not sure if I understand the finesses. --BiblbroX дискашн 21:13, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
See the very top of this page.​—msh210 (talk) 21:58, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

"bank parking lot" - a verb?[edit]

This mentioned meaning "to put a large traffic jam in a financial institution" of "bank parking lot" reads like it is a verb. I remember when first reading this whole section the wording appeared awkward, and now I see that the intended meaning of "bank parking lot" (which is to be ruled out as not possible) is actually a noun phrase. Right? --BiblbroX дискашн 20:56, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes. See number one above. --BB12 (talk) 21:05, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
So it should be However bank parking lot can't possibly mean "a large traffic jam in a financial institution" instead of However bank parking lot can't possibly mean "to put a large traffic jam in a financial institution", right? --BiblbroX дискашн 21:19, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
That's correct. --BB12 (talk) 21:34, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I thought it meant it as a verb, actually.​—msh210 (talk) 21:59, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps I see. "Bank" is also a verb. In that case, though it would have to be "bank a parking lot" or "bank parking lots," so that possibility is ruled out because of grammar, not because of logical meanings. (Or maybe I'm still not understanding something.) But this is just more evidence that this needs to be completely overhauled. --BB12 (talk) 02:56, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
How could "bank parking lot" possibly mean "to put..."? I realise it says it can't possibly mean that, but I'm hoping that isn't an entirely vacuous statement (like "bank parking lot also cannot possibly mean cheesy furry kitten")... I'm hoping there's some combination of the senses of "bank", "parking" and "lot" that could mean that except that it's impossible in practice... but what's the combination? (Hopefully this comment makes sense.) - -sche (discuss) 23:25, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Nevermind, I worked it out... what an odd combination of senses, indeed. - -sche (discuss) 23:27, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
More odd than cheesy furry kitten? :) --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:31, 23 July 2012 (UTC)