Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2010-12/Names of individuals

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Walt Disney[edit]

I have a question related to the proposed guideline "Individual people are not to be defined in entries where the title includes both a given and a family name."

Would the sense of Walt Disney that defines the name of a person be excluded, according to it? I would argue that "Walt" is a nickname derived from Walter instead of a given name. Moreover, I would argue that "Walt Disney" as a whole is the nickname to be kept and defined here. --Daniel. 02:41, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

I take Walt to be a given name, but this should probably be clarified. In this case the individual could only be listed in the etymology. Of course this says nothing about Disney. DAVilla 16:38, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
This has now been clarified. DAVilla 19:55, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Various feedback[edit]

The proposal seems to contain two major changes of the section for names of specific entities:

  • 1. Rephrasing the introductory paragraph.
  • 2. Introducing the sentence "Individual people are not to be defined in entries where the title includes both a given and a family name".

I do not like the rephrasing of the first paragraph, and would oppose the vote because of that. The rephrasing drops the list of various classes of names of specific entities and replaces it with examples, which I do not think is an improvement. In anything, the list of examples should be added to the list of various classes of names of specific entities. The set of examples mentions a two-word name of a star but no single-word name of a star; the same is true for names of people. I find the sentence "These encyclopedic titles are proper nouns that refer to unique persons, places or things" objectionable, as it seems to say that proper names are encyclopedic per their being proper names.

I do not like the formulation of 2, but agree with the substance; what it is trying to say I think is that "Charles Darwin" should be excluded.

The vote would be easier to discuss if it focused only on 1 or only on 2. I suppose that the core of the vote lies in 2.

The vote is not urgent; it is fairly easy to create a precedent in RFD that "Charles Darwin" and "Charles Dickens" should be excluded. Hence, as I am in considerable doubt, I err on the side of opposition. ---Dan Polansky 09:45, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I list specific examples because I want it to be clear that proper nouns with two words are acceptable in certain cases, but I would not object to any changes that would win approval. Please modify the vote as you see fit, or if you really think it is not required then I will simply unlist it. DAVilla 13:23, 9 January 2011 (UTC)
I am trying to mostly avoid editing votes that I have not created, leaving it to the creator to incorporate my feedback into the vote; I make exceptions to this, though. I still think what I have written above. On another note, you seem not to agree with the core proposal made in the vote, as you have voted keep in RFD for "Charles Darwin". I have now voted keep in "Charles Darwin" too, on the ground that "<person> was the Charles Darwin of" is attestable in Google books. This makes me reluctant to accept even the main proposal of the vote, numbered 2 above. --Dan Polansky 09:42, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
No, I'm serious. Edit it, and you can be a co-author. My understanding is, you're not opposed to a list of examples, right? You just feel there should be some classification.
Charles Darwin is going to be deleted, and I am not conflicted in backing a resolution that I know has community support, especially if it provides a sliver of clarity on an issue such as this. DAVilla 06:28, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I have edited the vote, then. --Dan Polansky 20:09, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, back to the original? Okay, I'll stick to that structure, but I think we can do a bit better. Mythological creatures for instance are not really contested here, are they? DAVilla 21:52, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
(unindent) Names of mythological creatures ("Odin", "Medusa") are names of specific entities, aren't they? I do not know whether editors contest the inclusion of names of mythological creatures; I think some do. --Dan Polansky 22:36, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any discussion on those pages, so that seems doubtable. I don't even know if they are specific entities. It might be a fictional universe type of question. I'd prefer to leave it unanswered rather than try to regulate something that no one cares about is quibbling over. DAVilla 23:14, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
I do not see why you are removing names of mythological creatures from the formulation. This will lead me to oppose. --Dan Polansky 23:11, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] Really? OK, how about adding Medusa or Odin as an example? If that's not sufficient then I have no problem in putting it back, it just doesn't seem like such a broad category.
Per your last edit, I'm trying to give varied examples, so let me see if I can find a single word song or something. DAVilla 23:14, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
But the question is not whether mythological creatures are questioned; it is whether they are specific entities. As far as I can see, they are. They are fictional or unreal specific entities (fictional individual things), but specific entities nonetheless; there are also fictional classes such as gorgon or Titan. If you want to remove them from the scope of the regulation, there should be a good reason. --Dan Polansky 23:18, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Mythological creatures include gods, which is quite a numerous category. For a tentative taxonomy of names of specific entities, see Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2010-05/Placenames with linguistic information 2#Other kinds of specific entities?. --Dan Polansky 23:25, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
OK, I've been playing with specific examples and I don't like where it's going. I'll add the broad categories you link to and exclude all examples that fall into those categories for sake of brevity. DAVilla 00:12, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Weakest example[edit]

I don't want to have this vote fail because of a single objectionable name. What in your opinion is the weakest of the examples given, and would it keep you from voting in favor? Thanks for your participation! DAVilla 00:59, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't like the last revision. IMHO you are fixing things that do not need fixing. I want to have a list of classes without examples rather than classes mixed with examples. Having examples in another list is okay, though.
I don't like this sentence: "Generally speaking, well-known topics of historical significance are more admissible, but notability is not the deciding factor. These names are included for their linguistic value and should not be given encyclopedic descriptions." It does not provide any operational criteria. It refers to how well-known "topics" are but then goes on to discard notability, a contradition. We do not need to state that encyclopedic descriptions are excluded. We do not include topics but terms and their definitions. "History of China" is a topic but not a name of specific entity.
Sorry for breaking in here, but I've removed that text rather than trying to fix it. If you think it's salvageable then I don't disagree with anything you've said. The motivation was to add a little meat to brittle bones. DAVilla 10:18, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I think removing the text is the best option. I acknowledge that the current text of CFI is austere, having a poor rhetorical quality. Nonetheless, we are writing a regulatory code rather than a novel ;). Thus, we are justified in writing short boring sentences that use as few juicy adjectives and as little stuffing as possible. It won't make a nice read, but it should make a good code. --Dan Polansky 10:32, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
I prefer referring to individual people using the term "individual people" rather than "individuals"; the latter is ambiguous.
There is now "names from mythology" instead of "mythological creatures"; why? You seem to have a problem with "mythological creatures" that I do not get.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I find this revision basically okay, in spite of the examples being out of order of the classes. Importantly, the revision focuses on one voted thing. --Dan Polansky 08:14, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

I have added back some language: "Where allowed, descriptions should be succinct rather than encyclopedic." The point is not to write a novel of course but to regulate the content that is added. It may seem obvious to you and me but I don't believe it's always obvious to new contributors. It also channels that frustration that Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia. Since specific entities trespass on at least some encyclopedic topics, it's appropriate to mention here. DAVilla 20:15, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Company names[edit]

I have now realized one more thing. The section of CFI on company names is not supported by a vote and I do not support the section. This vote is so worded that it could imply endorsement of the section on company names.

The vote should focus on one thing only:

  • Individual people are not to be defined in entries where the page title includes both a given and a family name.

It should avoid referring to the section on company names. The single sentence is loaded enough to require thorough thought and attention of voters. --Dan Polansky 08:22, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

We would be doing more by ignoring that section in this vote than we are doing by correcting this oversight. Companies are specific entities, and the guidelines that pertain to them are already in CFI whether we like it or not and regardless of how they got there. Think of this as an acknowledgement of that section rather than its contents. I'm not completely satisfied with complete exclusion either, and have already pointed out the problems where brands and companies conflate. I would expand the brand name rules to service marks and company names, basically anything where there is a commercial interest, and hopefully simplify the rules at the same time. But as you say, the focus should be on one voted thing at a time. DAVilla 07:33, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
The section "Company names" should not be acknowledged. I question the legitimacy of that section. The text 'Other guidelines are provided in the sections "Company names" and "Place names". Otherwise, there is no agreement on objective rules for the inclusion of names of specific entities' implies that there is an agreement on names of companies, which is not true. After such an agreement is found in a vote dedicated to company names, the section on specific entities can be amended. --Dan Polansky 08:36, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Put differently, the current text of CFI accurately states what the case is, unlike the proposed change: "With the exception of geographic entities (for which see the section "Place names"), there is no agreement on specific rules for the inclusion of names of specific entities." --Dan Polansky 08:41, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Names of celestial objects[edit]

I find "names of planets and stars" better than "names of celestial objects", per "be specific". The point of listing the classes is not to create a complete list but rather to give a flavor of the variety of specific entities. Everyone knows what a star and a planet is, while "celestial object" is an artificial headword that could be naively taken to include artificial satellites or even airplanes. Admittedly, celestial objects also include comets and other things listed at Wikisaurus:celestial body. Also, "geographic entity" is as broad and artificial as "celestial object". I would be okay with "names of celestial objects including planets and stars". --Dan Polansky 08:33, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

  • Or "astronomical entities". It's likely the basis for another subsection. Eclecticology 00:01, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Objective rules[edit]

I would like to see this edit to the text vote: "there is no agreement on objective rules for the inclusion of names of specific entities." There is no agreement on any rules, objective or not. The vote should avoid adding the word "objective" to the text of CFI. --Dan Polansky 08:38, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Specific rules[edit]

Only now have I noticed the removal of "specific" from "specific rules"; you meant to replace "specific" with "objective". I have used "specific" here in contrast to "vague" and "indeterminate". I think there is some agreement on vague and indeterminate rules; there is at least agreement on "Many names of specific entities should be excluded while some should be included"; most people would also agree that names of literary works should be mostly excluded, I think. I think "specific" should better say, although this would probably not be a reason for my opposing the vote. --Dan Polansky 10:40, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

How about definite, particular, explicit, precise or definitive? DAVilla 06:39, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Definite and precise look okay, but I do not see how this is much of an improvement over "specific". Webster 1913 has also this definition of "specific": "Specifying; definite, or making definite; limited; precise; discriminating; as, a specific statement." MWO has this one "3 free from ambiguity : accurate <a specific statement of faith>". But the more I think about it, I think I am actually quite okay with dropping "specific" if "specific" disturbs you. --Dan Polansky 08:40, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I should add that, given the current wording of the proposal, what disturbs me most is the implicit acknowledgment of the section on company names, mentioned by me at #Company names. --Dan Polansky 08:48, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm waiting to hear other opinions on that. I've just made some related changes that may draw attention. DAVilla 15:46, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

More general rule[edit]

Il would propose a more general rule:

  • Names of specific entities (with this specific entity as the definition) are includable only when they usually are considered as a word (in its linguistic sense). London, New York or Confucius are considered as words and are includable. Winston Churchill is a name but, from a linguistic point of view, it is not viewed as a single word but as a given name + a surname (two words). Therefore, no llinguistic information can be provided about this name, and this name is not includable (note that words such as Granny Smith are includable, but should not defined as specific entities).

This rule does not solve everything, because what is a word (in its linguistic sense) might be disputed (more guidelines should be added to this rule, and we should make sure that these guidelines do not contradict the general rule). But this rule is consistent with the general CFI rule (all words, all languages), and it already clarifies things much, it solves most cases, if not all cases. Lmaltier 06:54, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

I cannot support this, perhaps unsurprisingly given my past comments on this line of proposals. You have not yet explained to me how "New York" is a word while "Winston Churchill" is not a word. You seem to say that "Winston Churchill" is a semantic sum of parts, which I do not follow. I have no clear idea of what you mean by "linguistic word", other than that you include multi-word terms under this head, multi-word in terms of typographic word. --Dan Polansky 08:45, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
See word (3) (note that the typographic sense has been forgotten, it should be added to the page). I use the usual sense of word: some names are considered as words, e.g. town names (including New York, where the space obviously does not change anything to the nature of the term). Some names are considered as composed as several words (e.g. Winston Churchill or Excelsior Hotel). It's easy to understand once you forget the typographic sense of word, which is mostly irrelevant here. A rule of thumb might be that proper nouns (composed of several typographic words) that anybody may create (parents for their children (Winston Churchill), hotel owners for their hotels (Excelsior Hotel), etc.) are not considered as words, because they don't belong to the vocabulary of the language, while everything that can be considered as part of the vocabulary, and that language learners may have to learn, is considered as a word by linguists. Lmaltier 17:50, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I would accept such a rule only if it were supported by references. Personally, I don't think of London and New York and Confucius and Winston and Churchill as "words", but rather as "names". I can accept the existence of alternative classifications, whereby some names are words, but before we amend WT:CFI to simply assume such a classification, I'd like to see references that support the classification and give additional information. (I'm not saying that WT:CFI itself needs to list such references, necessarily — though that might be a good idea, actually — but I need such references before I can accept such a WT:CFI.) —RuakhTALK 05:19, 23 January 2011 (UTC)
You are right, this question is not simple. Here are references explaining what a word is, from a linguistic point of view. The first one explains kinds of words (parts of speech) and defines a noun as a person, place, or thing. It gives cat, horse, mother, Denmark as examples of nouns; but I think that almost everybody would agree that Denmark or Confucius are words: The word "Confucius" has no meaning to Chinese who call the philosopher Kong Fuzi or Kong Qiu (Master Kong). (oregonstate.edu), The word "Confucius" occurs as such in the following languages: English, Franco-Provençal/Arpitan, Bambara, Central_Bicolano, Bislama, (...) (www.tititudorancea.com).
The second one is interesting, as it explains that a usual sense of word is lexical item, and explains what a lexical item is (this is very important here); it also explains what a grammatical word form is (we include them too, unlike other dictionaries).
http://www.uottawa.ca/academic/arts/writcent/hypergrammar/nouns.html#noun considers Portia White as a noun and therefore, seems to consider it as a word. But this is not a lexical item from a linguistic point of view, as no interesting linguistic information can be provided about it (but it might be considered as a lexical item in an encyclopedic dictionary).
I am convinced that we should strictly follow the rule all words, all languages, and we should focus discussion and get a consensus on three fundamental points
  • what is a word?
  • what is a language?
  • when is it possible to consider that a given word is used in a given language?
Lmaltier 08:42, 23 January 2011 (UTC)

Ready to open[edit]

According to the vote page, this should already be open. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:09, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm glad it hasn't started yet though. The wording still needed a few days to work out the kinks, and to get some oddball ideas out of my system. DAVilla 18:34, 25 January 2011 (UTC)


I don't think "the Tories" is a good example to use in the phrasing. They are the Tory (common noun) + -s. Equinox 17:35, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Okay. Thanks for pointing it out early. DAVilla 18:31, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Walt Disney (the man)[edit]

DAVilla's just added "For instance, Walter Elias Disney is allowed a definition line at Disney but not at Walt Disney." which incorporates a controversial allowance where only the negation is needed: "For instance, Walter Elias Disney, the person, is not allowed a definition line at Walt Disney.".​—msh210 (talk) 07:28, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it would imply that defining people by their real surname is commonly accepted, and I'd certainly vote against that idea.--Makaokalani 17:19, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Corrected. Let me know of any other objections to this. DAVilla 18:30, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • I think that Walt Disney could be an excellent candidate for deletion as encyclopedic. Using one's own name for a corporation or organization does not strike me as a distinct usage; there's no shortage of people who have done that. A better example of a usable name would be John Hancock because of its general application to anyone's signature. Eclecticology 00:20, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Defining individual people[edit]

Instead of this:

  • "Individual people are not to be defined in entries where the page title includes both a given and a family name."

there could be this:

  • "No individual person should have a definition line in an entry whose page title includes both a given and a family name."

This would resolve Ruakh's complaint that people are not "defined" anyway. Instead of "definition line", the term "sense line" can be used, if preferred. --Dan Polansky 19:04, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Modified a bit further to contrast the sentence that follows. DAVilla 19:39, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
  • Put the person himself in the etymology. Eclecticology 00:22, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

how to word the definitions[edit]

See diff. How to word the definitions doesn't really belong in the CFI. Moreover, including this line opens a can of worms: how do we define 'succinct'? 'encyclopedic'? I certainly agree sense lines should be succinct rather than encyclopedic, but I don't that that should be included in this vote.​—msh210 (talk) 20:13, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

See my comment in #Weakest example. It is not a criterion, but it is relevant in this section.
I added the language precisely because it is agreed upon and not in dispute. It is important to state somewhere as a guideline, and precision is not important as we already have a very good sense of how to apply it. A brief mention of content is entirely pertinent to topics that tread on what have often been construed as encyclopedic. DAVilla 20:26, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Component words[edit]

I'm not entirely opposed to excluding terms whose "full meaning is transparent from component words", but I want to make sure you understand that this will almost certainly result in the deletion of Church of England and Anglican Church, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church of Rome and Roman Catholic Church, Church of Scotland, Church of Scientology, and Episcopal Church. It will leave the Catholic Church defined as Roman Catholic only. It will also bring into question how idiomatic terms like World War II are, although I suppose there is always room for argument. I doubt 1 Corinthians and Ancient Rome will survive, Great Wall of China will probably be truncated, and we will see many other bystanders. DAVilla 20:44, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

I added that because I assumed it was uncontroversial, but if you think I was mistaken, please revert. —RuakhTALK 20:46, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm honestly not sure. I've seen that exact argument made but not universally applied. I'm OK with the implications as long as everyone else is. DAVilla 20:50, 25 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, and Jesus Christ becomes an epithet. Yikes, maybe not! DAVilla 21:09, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

The full meaning may be transparent from component words, and the term be a set phrase, a word, nonetheless, if it belongs to the vocabulary of the language, if learners have to learn it to be able to write the language well. Each case has to be considered. Users read, but they also write. Lmaltier 06:30, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I think that, for the definition of attestation and idiomacity, the reader should be referred to the existing sections, to avoid redundancy. So I would propose this edit or the like:
  • "The attestation and idiomaticity requirements apply to names of specific entities, just as to any other terms: see #Attestation and #Idiomacity.if a name is not found in use, or if its full meaning is transparent from component words, then it should not be included.
Or the result could look like this:
--Dan Polansky 07:32, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Although, on a second thought, idiomacity of proper names is an odd concept, not quite like idiomacity of non-proper names including common nouns.
What can be safely stated I think is this:
  • "The attestation requirement applies to names of specific entities, just as to any other terms."
--Dan Polansky 07:35, 26 January 2011 (UTC)


The recently added text

  • "Although the attestation requirement applies to names of specific entities, permitted entries could be characterized as well known enough that attestation is not valuable. There are proposals for criteria that seek citations with particular qualifications. If these have merit, there is not yet consensus on any such requirement."

should be replaced with

  • "The attestation requirement applies to names of specific entities, just as to any other terms."

or with

  • "To be included, the name of a specific entity must meet the attestation requirement."

by my lights anyway. --Dan Polansky 08:45, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I kind of went a new direction with this, and you got to it before I could say anything. DAVilla 09:08, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Dan on this, not because I think that names not "well known enough that attestation is not valuable" should be included, but because I fear others think so and inclusion of this clause might possibly doom the vote where it otherwise would pass.​—msh210 (talk) 07:34, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I also agree. We must keep simple. I even believe that the same simple criteria should apply to everything characterizable as words with linguistic information (exceptions being trademarks, which require special criteria, and infinite lists such as numbers, which deserve special attestation rules). Lmaltier 08:18, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Revised. I'm not trying to sneak anything in here. Rather, I'm trying to add something without saying anything, and that can be tricky. Why bother? Because these guidelines need to be developed, and it's easier to build from a foundation. We all know that the Great Sphinx of Giza is not immediately justified just because we might decide that it can be included at Sphinx, so I've modified Dan's wording to "the title of its entry" though I'm not sure if there's a better way of saying this. ("Headword" seems strange since it wouldn't necessarily be a single word.) Also I think it gives entirely the wrong impression to leave this hanging at attestation since attestation will never be the sole criterion unless we want to include every title of every research paper ever published. So Dan et al., if you have any objection to the current wording, which is hopefully much more moderate and not focused on notability, please give a reason for every piece to be cut if at all possible. DAVilla 09:05, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

You seem to try to introduce some tentative criteria, in spite of "There is no agreement on precise, all-encompassing rules for the inclusion of names of specific entities, ...". I don't like this. The attestation is there as a condition necessary for inclusion, not sufficient, so there was nothing wrong with "To be included, the name of a specific entity must meet the attestation requirement" that would require the use of the phrasing "title of its entry". The title of the entry is identical with the each name under discussion, anyway. If this is not obvious from the phrasing, it can be made even more explicit: "As a necessary but not sufficient condition for the inclusion, the name of a specific entity must meet the attestation requirement". --Dan Polansky 09:40, 30 January 2011 (UTC)


This should be removed, IMHO:

  • "Although there is not yet consensus on any particular guidelines, in practice certain citations may prove more valuable than others in demonstrating that the name has entered the lexicon."

I have never understood what it means for a name to "have entered the lexicon". Wiktionary currently does not even have a suitable definition of "lexicon"; the best matching one seems to be "The vocabulary used by or known to an individual". I do not understand what it means for the name of a star such as "Aldebaran" to have come a part of the vocabulary. This smells of requiring proper names to refer to something else than their literal referents, a requirement that I reject. --Dan Polansky 09:33, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand why this sentence was added or what its purpose is. Of course some citations may prove more valuable than others: any of us who have ever attempted to cite a word knows that. Why put that statement into the CFI?​—msh210 (talk) 21:39, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
I suspect that the statement is an allusion to "attributive use" and "out-of-context use" rules past and present and the like: three quotations could adequately demonstrate that a term is in fact used as a name for a given specific entity, without being the sort of quotations that would convince all editors that such use merits inclusion. —RuakhTALK 22:10, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense now. Thanks. But it's vague enough (and adds no criterion) that I don't think it merits inclusion.​—msh210 (talk) 03:10, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree. —RuakhTALK 16:35, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Well, since three of us think so and no one else has commented, I'm removing it.​—msh210 (talk) 04:00, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

This may seem trivial, but[edit]

I want to revert diff. The second half of the edited sentence should be written as an explanation for the first. When they're written as two sentences, it seems as though the second stands alone and might even supersede the paragraph's first sentence (requiring attestation). Thoughts?​—msh210 (talk) 16:08, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. Actually, how about:
Among those that do meet that requirement, many should be excluded while some should be included, but there is no agreement on precise, all-encompassing rules for deciding which are which.
 ? That makes the relationship even clearer, I think.
RuakhTALK 16:30, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
Your (Ruakh's) last proposal sounds good to me. --Dan Polansky 17:11, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
And me.​—msh210 (talk) 17:26, 4 February 2011 (UTC)
What about the relationship with the next sentence? Either of the above could be done there as well:
"There is no agreement on precise, all-encompassing rules for the inclusion of names of specific entities; however, policies exist for names of certain kinds of entities."
"While there is no agreement on precise, all-encompassing rules for the inclusion of names of specific entities, policies exist for names of certain kinds of entities."
As to Ruakh's proposal, I don't like having a counterpoint followed by a counterpoint. All of the sentences in the paragraph carve out little sections on the same topic. I don't see more compelling reason to link any two together than any other pair. But this is quite minor. DAVilla 06:54, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Seeing three quarters of the very few people who've commented in this section in favor, I've effected Ruakh's proposal.​—msh210 (talk) 17:33, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Changes needed[edit]

I come to this without having read the proposal before it was put to a vote, and in my fresh view I find much of it wordy and difficult to follow. I would make these specific points:

  1. Is this a section or a subsection? Much of it seems to deal to deal generally with names (or better "Proper Names") rather than any clearly defined entities. To the extent that that is the case it would be better placed there, and the rest significantly reduced.
  2. As long as the page is "CFI" there is no need to mention "exclusion" if one follows the principle that whatever does not fit inclusion must be excluded.
  3. Delete the examples in the first paragraph of the proposal. These only add to the confusion; It is difficult to relate them to the preceding list.
  4. Why mention attestation here? Attestation is a broader more general rule. Either it applies everywhere or it doesn't. It should not need to be mentioned except where a clear exception is being made. Referring to it here only introduces doubt.
  5. Stating in some form that there is no agreement is better mentioned only at the head of the names section. This allows its various subsections to deal only with issues where a clear decision exists.
  6. The expression "No individual person should be listed as a sense ..." is incomprehensible. I have no idea what that clause is trying to say.
  7. The other two bulletted clauses aren't needed because sections already exist for them.
  8. The final sentence isn't needed either because it deals with a general pprinciple that applies to all articles.

Eclecticology 23:14, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

1, 5 & 7. CFI could probably use an overhaul at some point, but that's nearly impossible to do when people don't agree on the substance of what it should say. I suppose it might be reasonable to adopt an outline somehow without altering the exact text except as it refers to this outline. That's a much bigger undertaking however.
2. Unfortunately we don't agree on what should be included in this case, so we have to chip from both ends.
3. It is impossible to list every type of proper noun under consideration. I had tried to delete the list instead with some objection. The examples given are all terms that fall under this section. Giving only examples of things listed would be misleading.
4. I don't know. It had evolved from something else. Idiomaticity should also be a general rule, but it's stranger to apply here. We're left stating what we do know for certain, obvious though it may be.
6. Then read the for instance.
8. There is a bit of discussion of that already on this talk page. I would point out that CFI has a lot of information that is relevant to particular sections but does not fall under the heading of criteria. For instance:
* "When citing a quotation from a book, please include the ISBN."
* "An additional section explaining why the term is a misspelling should be considered optional."
* "Care should be taken so that entries do not become encyclopedic in nature; if this happens, such content should be moved to Wikipedia, but the dictionary entry itself should be kept."
DAVilla 08:10, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia[edit]

We've failed to realize that WT:CFI#Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia is in direct contrast to current practice. It says that Wiktionary is not about places, contradicting the section on place names. The example of Houdini is actually defined as the escapologist in the entry, an issue put to RFD. And I'm not sure that we shouldn't identify David as a statue. Should we just remove this section entirely? DAVilla 07:45, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I have proposed removing the second paragraph of the section in Beer parlour recently, but there was some opposition. We may give it a try in a vote anyway. Removing the complete section, both paragraphs, seems likely to meet with even greater opposition. I am all for removing the second paragraph. See also Wiktionary:Beer parlour archive/2010/December#CFI and encyclopedic content. --Dan Polansky 08:22, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
...which I participated in, to my surprise.
The second paragraph is the crux of that section. The first paragraph mirrors what I wrote here, that definitions should be succinct rather than encyclopedic, which several people had objected to and only I have defended. I say delete the second paragraph and sooner or later we'll realize the two sections are talking about the same thing and should be merged. DAVilla 11:43, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
If you create a vote for removing the whole section, I will support, but chances are higher more people will oppose. A vote could propose both the small removal and the big removal as subvotes. --Dan Polansky 11:51, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I would find it more acceptable to keep and seriously clean up the essential not-an-encyclopedia section than to keep the final sentence of the present proposal. "Succinct" and "encyclopedic" are not antonyms, and it is easy to conceive of a text that is both or neither. "Wiktionary is not an encyclopedia" and "Wikipedia is not a dictionary" need to be viewed as complementary; some overlap is both necessary and desirable. There is not and should not be a bright line that separates the two. It takes reading the entire CFI page after a couple of years of absence to see what kind of a disjointed patchwork it has become. The current process of voting on everything only makes things worse because it encourages looking at certain paragraphs and sections in isolation without regard to what is said in other sections. A good rule of thumb in rule-making is to move from the general to the specific. The general applies to everything. The more specific provisions that then follow do not override the general unless that is made explicit. That obviates the need to keep repeating that a general principle continues to apply. Eclecticology 19:45, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
CFI is no more disjointed now than it was the last time it was edited by you, 2 February 2006: see this revision. Voting does not make anything worse. Ever since the requirement of all changes to CFI being made by a vote was there, the uncontrolled growth of CFI has stopped. We have achieved some significant improvements of CFI through voting, such as the removal of the unsupported attributive-use rule. Step at a time, we are moving CFI closer to saying things on which we actually widely agree. --Dan Polansky 20:22, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say the existing text was worse, I used words like "mirror" and "merge" to say it was the same idea. If you like, replace what I wrote with that text, not that we regularly transwiki to Pedia but whatever. A big part of the problem is that encyclopedic can mean different things to different contributors here. What does it mean when content is removed because it has "become encyclopedic in nature" yet leaving "the dictionary entry itself"?
I'm not keen on voting in every minor change either, and I'm sure a top-down approach would produce a much better result, I'm just not certain we can go top to bottom because we're not all in agreement on what CFI should contain. But I think it's worth putting some thought into.
In my opinion the current rules are all refinements of specific points, most already made in the general rules. Fictional Universes in essence specifies that works within the same fictional universe are not independent. This vote indicates that first name plus last name is not idiomatic. Brand names adds two criteria that could be generalized: no commercial interest, and not defined within, the latter applying nicely as a criterion to abbreviations and to mathematical terms.
Place Names as manifested throws a wrench into the whole situation. DAVilla 09:05, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand. Where is the contradiction? Wiktionary is not about places, it's not about animals, it's not about clothes, etc., it's about words, their sense, thei pronunciation, their etymology, etc. This includes words such as cat, shirt, London or Houdini, with their sense (for Houdini, the sense is an individual, this is a fact). Both Wikipedia and Wiktionary may have pages titled cat, shirt, London or Houdini, but their contents must be very different. If you assume (this is not quite true in practice) that Wikipedia is 100% encyclopedic and Wiktionary 100% a language dictionary, the only common part should be the definition (an encyclopedia normally also includes a short definition before developing the subject). Here, this definition should be as succinct as possible, but should always be sufficient to understand what the word means (in some cases, e.g. in mathematics, understanding what the word means requires a long, very technical, definition). Lmaltier 22:29, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Some have insisted that, while Wiktionary must not be encyclopedic, whenever Wikipedia can be used as a dictionary, then Wiktionary should not have such a dictionary entry. Sometimes there is crossover, but Wiktionary should have dictionary entries regardless of whether Wikipedia can be used as a dictionary for some terms. For example, we can’t have a dictionary entry for 陳港生 because Wikipedia can be used as a dictionary for this (to a certain extent). —Stephen (Talk) 23:45, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
It would be absurd to exclude lightning on the ground that Wikipédia explains what lightning is. This is a word, therefore it should be included. Never forget that a language dictionary provides a definition, but also much linguistic information that Wikipedia cannot provide (e.g. translations in 1000 languages or more, anagrams, etc.), because Wikipedia pages are about topics, not about words. Principles are simple, they should be applied. And I don't understand your example about 陳港生: obviously Wikipedia (in English) cannot create this entry. Lmaltier 17:25, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Lmaltier, if you try to access the article "陳港生" on the English Wikipedia, you'll discover that it is a redirect to Jackie Chan. Here is a link: w:陳港生. --Daniel. 00:20, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm bewildered... But I assume that it should not be included here, not because of WIkipedia, but because it's not a word (if it's considered as a single word, it should be included). Lmaltier 21:56, 18 February 2011 (UTC)