Wiktionary talk:Votes/pl-2017-06/CFI leading sentence

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As is, the sentence is inaccurate. We cannot literally include all words since we are barred by lack of evidence from doing so. Thus, we only include attested words. The point is to make the sentence accurate. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:12, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

This seems overly pedantic (not your comment, but the suggested new text), it is a tagline not a contract. We no more need to point out that there may be exceptions or that our definitions of what words and languages are included are constrained than we need to point out that we are referring to languages which are currently known by humans, or that words are limited to strings which convey some meaning. Leave as is I say. - [The]DaveRoss 17:28, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
@TheDaveRoss: Do you even object to adding "basically"? --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:04, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
@Dan Polansky: Yeah, I don't think it improves anything. - [The]DaveRoss 18:25, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I agree. I do think Wiktionary is intended to include all words in all languages. I see most of our restrictions as born of necessity, for practical reasons, and I tend to think that's how it should be. And of course, one of the practical problems is that we don't all share the exact same understanding of what a "word" is or what a "language" is, so for practical reasons, we try to build consensus about what to put in and what to leave out so that we don't have to keep arguing about what those words mean. Germyb (talk) 02:35, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
It is not intended to include words for whose existence there is no evidence. A database of city inhabitants can hope to take note of almost all of them. A geographic database of all rivers can hope to be rather complete. By contrast, a database of all words of all languages will always be hopelessly incomplete, not because of lack of resources, but because of lack of evidence. Our knowledge of a significant portion of all words that were ever used by humans on this planet is irretrievably lost, as far as we know. It has nothing to do with what a word is or what a language is. Again, it is about lack of evidence. --Dan Polansky (talk) 06:37, 18 June 2017 (UTC)


Does "basically" add anything, or could the text just say "As an international dictionary, Wiktionary is intended to include “all words in all languages”, subject to certain conditions." ? - -sche (discuss) 16:26, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Not sure. But the good thing is that the weakening or softening word or phrase is directly before "all". I kind of like it. It would be kind of cool if the sentence part before "," were true on its own. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:30, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
On account of there being an apparent redundancy, we might drop "subject to certain conditions", and let "basically" do all the softening job. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:36, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

basically sounds a bit colloquial to my ear, but that feeling might be unfounded. --Barytonesis (talk) 01:18, 23 June 2017 (UTC)

Purpose of restrictions[edit]

The current statement does a good job of explaining an overarching principle behind our policies of what should be included. While I don't know that we need to make it more precise, I would be happiest with a version that explains what principle(s) we use when choosing what to reject. For example, maybe our restrictions are for practical reasons. The proposal about "certain conditions" could be thought to reference arbitrary exceptions based on our fancies, and for me, that weakens the statement as a guiding principle. "Basically" might be better in this regard, but it seems painfully imprecise, at least to my ear. Germyb (talk) 02:52, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

"basically" should not and cannot be precise; it is there to account for there being the rest of the CFI, and we obviously do not want to repeat the rest of CFI in the first sentence. To drive the point home that the indeterminacy points to the rest of CFI, I have replaced "certain conditions" with "the following criteria". --Dan Polansky (talk) 06:25, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I think "the following criteria" is great. As has been mentioned, including "basically" as well might be redundant; I would be in favor of a version without it. Germyb (talk) 21:14, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
Using "the following criteria" sounds okay to me too, and I would also prefer to leave out "basically". —Granger (talk · contribs) 21:55, 18 June 2017 (UTC)