Wiktionary:Simple talk/Archive 3

From Wiktionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

List of wanted edits?[change]

I am new here, and I would like to start by helping fix pages that need editing before trying two write new entries. Is there a list or a certain place where I can find pages that need to be edited?

I am also new here, so may be I shouldn't answer, but I know there are a few pages in Category:Simplify that are good definitions, but are not in simple English yet. Some of those pages don't have examples yet either. -Haikon 20:08, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Most of the effort has simply been in populating the dictionary. Little attention has been paid to editing or compiling a list of wanted edits. If you're willing to add definitions, the BNC1000 would be a good place to start. You could also look at Special:Wantedpages. If you want to clean stuff up, you'll just have to browse through to identify things that need attention. Or if you want to expand stubs, do a search for "stub". I hope that helps. Whatever you end up doing, thank you!--Brett 02:06, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
For adding definitions, see requested definitions, the BE850, and I would look at the compressed, headwords-only BNC1000 before worrying about the whole list that Brett mentioned. You might also like to work on the comparison list between the BE850 and the BNC1000 headwords. We really need to start using a stub template on the entries that need more, I think. Special:Shortpages might be helpful. We might want to make a list of all these somewhere. Oh, and don't forget the transwiki of the Move to Wiktionary category on SEWP. That could help in starting or improving entries. I'm going to start importing those as soon as import is enabled here. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 17:55, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
I've started importing already. As mentioned previously, we've finished creating entries for the BE850 (and the comparison list), but those are perfect for someone who wants to fix what's already there instead of writing new entries. We need to also make sure that all of those entries are marked with {{BE850}} at the top so that people know that they are part of the BE850. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 19:02, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Partial, more partial, most partial[change]

What do we do when some meanings of an adjective are non-comparable while others are? Take a look at partial. The first meaning is probably not comparable while the second meaning clearly is.

Another thing: I have put a question on Template talk:adjective. --rimshottalk 09:17, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

I label each separately with {{adjective}} and {{adjective|positive|comparative|superlative}} (as applicable). --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 01:03, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Definitions versus explanations[change]

I think that explanations are often easier for the user than definitions. Consider:

  • explanation: If two or more things are different, they are not like each other.
  • definition: not like each other

To me, the definition seems abrupt and it takes a fraction of a second to work out the roles of the words (like = verb or preposition?). The explanation seems friendlier and, though longer, strikes me as easier to process. Certainly there are times when the explanation route really adds very little, such as with countable nouns, but I don't see any real disadvantage. Personally, I would like to see our defining style employ mainly explanations.--Brett 23:34, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

I don't really see anything wrong with the explanations except that they sound a little less dictionaryish, but hey, that's never been a crime! In fact, that probably makes it easier to read. I agree that some definitions should be changed to explanations (or "explaining definitions"), some are alright the way they are but could be changed, and a few should probably stay as short definitions. We can invoke the Wiktionary is not paper clause here. Certainly, a clear explanation is easier to understand than a definition that uses the same part of speech (as most do). I'm 90% with Brett on this one. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 14:04, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Let me start by saying that I also think that explanation are sometimes more easily understood than definitions. Still, I think that people come to a dictionary to get the information they seek as fast as possible. This includes a concise and standardized presentation. This is why dictionaries are the way they are, it is not (only) due to the restriction in paper space. Wiktionary has room to provide examples, and these examples are what really sets it off from paper dictionaries - not verbose explanations, which are more in the realm of an encyclopedia. The example above isn't optimal as it uses a word to avoid in Simple English, namely like. The entry should read
1. Not the same.
Writing "If two or more things are different, they are not like each other," in front of that distracts from the definition the user is most likely to seek here. Something like this could be given as an example of using the word different, but even there it isn't a very good idea due to the use of like as an adjective. --rimshottalk 09:01, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
"If two or more things are different, they are not the same as each other." The part of the explanation that says "two or more things" is an important part of the explanation. Just saying "two things" already begins to show the idea of "different". For many verbs, saying "someone sees something" already begins to show something about the verb. It shows whether it's usually something that a person does to a person, or that a person does to a thing, or that a thing does alone (singly, by itself), etc. I think it's good value to put that into the definition, most of the time. If the person can remember with difficulty what "same" means and hasn't seen "the same", if they just see "not the same" they might wonder whether it's a verb or a noun or what. They might have to look at the heading "adjective" and need to think hard or even look up what does "adjective" mean. They might assume "same" is a noun because it has "the". But if they see "if two things are different ..." they might almost guess what "different" means just from that, and it helps them remember what "same" means. So, explanations are good. Most of the time. --Coppertwig 16:42, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Cat House[change]

I ahve been sent a joke by an American and assume the words "cat House " refer to ahouse of ill repute. (Brothel) please confirm!

They do: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=cathouse --rimshottalk 16:16, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Talk page comments[change]

Note comments I left at Talk:news, Talk:north, Talk:parcel and Talk:payment where I wasn't sure about things. --Coppertwig 00:44, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Word drive[change]

We can do it! We have 1862 pages. We can have 2000 pages by August 4! We have 1 week. Come on -- let's do it! --Coppertwig 12:34, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

I think we've clearly got the momentum now to hit our goal. The only question remaining is who gets the glory of word #2000. Once again, the virtual beer is on me.--Brett 01:06, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
We have to keep working, though. It's good that there are some new people. How do you know which word was number 1900? --Coppertwig 01:36, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

How to write Simple English definitions[change]

You can learn how. After you write many definitions, it's easier. It's like learning a language. So go ahead and write definitions. If they are not very good, someone will make them better. When you see how someone makes them better, that will help you learn.

  • Choose a word to define: maybe a red link at Wiktionary:Requested definitions or Special:Wantedpages or AWL or one of the other Wiktionary:Word lists, or any word you type in that doesn't have a definition yet. Create a new page by clicking on the red link or searching for the word and if it doesn't exist, it will give you a link to create it.
  • If you don't know how to make the page look right, just write the definition and someone will fix it; or (better) copy from another page. There are some instructions at Template:noun and Template:verb.
  • You can make a list of many words that are connected to the word somehow, and their synonyms. For example, for "control" you can think of power, button, switch, stick, making someone do something, able, can, will, mind, thought, want, need, force, etc. Then see which of these are in a Simple word list, and try to use those to write the definition.
  • Edward de Bono has some ways to do creative thinking. One is "random input". Look around the room or out the window; open a book at any page and put your finger on a word; go for a walk. You will get new ideas and thoughts. Use these to help make the definition. Example: the word "control". I look at my wall and see a circle. How can I use "circle" to help with a definition of "control"? At first I don't know. Then I think of "feedback". That reminds me that part of the idea of "control" is being able to see or sense what you're controlling. That might help me write a better definition. (A circle was really the first thing I saw. You can take any idea and there is always a way to join it to another idea.)
  • Another idea from de Bono is using a quota. At first you might be thinking "I can't write a definition of that word." Stop thinking that and start thinking "I'm going to write 5 different definitions of that word." Suddenly your mind is willing to take definitions that aren't very good, (because you're not going to use most of them,) so you become able to write them. Example: control: Using control buttons; making someone do something; seeing something and changing it; moving something; making the world do what you want. After you write 5 definitions, then you can choose the best one, or take the good parts of some of them and join them together, or read them, think about what the word really means and write a new definition. Put the best one on the Wiktionary even if it's not very good (as long as you tried to make it good). Someone will make it better.
  • I think doing crossword puzzles or learning other languages helps (and those get easier when you do them more, too). But just writing lots of definitions helps you learn how, too.

Come on! Help with the word drive and write some definitions! --Coppertwig 12:50, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

Is "lead" a noun or a verb in Basic English?[change]

Does anyone have a copy of Ogden's book "Basic English: A General Introduction with rules and grammar"? I wonder whether it encourages people to use a word like "lead" as both a noun and a (completely unrelated and pronounced differently) verb, or whether it chooses one or the other. OK, I think I got an answer to this question: in the Basic English article in Encyclopedia Americana it lists "lead" under "things". --Coppertwig 14:33, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

If I understand Ogden correctly, Basic English does not have verbs at all, in the traditional sense. In any case, both meanings of lead can be nouns, namely "heavy as lead" and "take the lead". Therefore, if you use lead as a verb, it would still be counted as Basic English. --rimshottalk 18:40, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Interesting. I guess I'm not really doing Basic English as Ogden taught it, but maybe that's OK as long as it's simple. --Coppertwig 20:05, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
It is OK. This isn't Basic English Wiktionary but Simple English Wiktionary. Basic English is only a model of how to approach writing simple English. --rimshottalk 09:37, 30 July 2007 (UTC)


I'm doing some transwikis. I hope I'm doing them right. I'm not using the transwiki: namespace. I think it is not needed because I know the pages are good Wiktionary pages. Tell me if I should do it a different way. --Coppertwig 21:38, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Usually using the trasnwiki namespace is a good idea, but.... I'd have to see how you're working to tell you if you're doing it okay, but I'd guess that as long as you're adding words and formatting them okay, we'll be fine. Besides, we can always fix it later. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 19:05, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I started using the transwiki namespace. It only takes a few extra seconds, and leaves a redirect from the transwiki: page to the plain page, which might do some good somehow in future. I just didn't use it for the first two I did, parenthesis and massacre. Since then I've followed my list of steps at User:Coppertwig#Transwiki. Example: miner. --Coppertwig 21:40, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
It takes time to do a transwiki, but I think it's good value. Most of the time is in changing the links at Simple English Wikipedia to point to the new page here. I think those links are good because it will show people at Simple English Wikipedia how to put links to here, so I hope they will start doing it too. Then, over a long time, many people will know about Simple English Wiktionary. --Coppertwig 17:07, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
A lot of the stuff that's coming over via transwiki is of questionable value both in terms of importance and in quality. Perhaps this is not the best use of our time.--Brett 01:38, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

inflected verb forms[change]

It may happen that an entry matches, among others, an inflected verb form. This is the case with building. Shouldn't there just be a link under the verb heading that points to build? --rimshottalk 09:35, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I was thinking that too. --Coppertwig 15:07, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't see a problem with duplicating stuff and adding specific example sentences, but I think just a link would be sufficient in most cases.--Brett 15:48, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it needs to at least be a described link, not a "bald" link. At least "Present participle of [[build]]." Example sentences should probably come later, too. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 18:39, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Creating pages[change]

I'm having a slight problem with creating pages. This has happened on multiple wikis. When I try to save a new page, it loads a page saying, "there is currently no text under this title". when I click the "edit the page" tab, and then press save, it saves. This is time-consuming and I want to know if it's a problem on the wiki or just my very up-to-date computer. --Isis 14:35, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I've run into it too. I just go back to the page and save again. Sometimes it takes two or three tries. I don't have a better solution.--Brett 22:44, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I had that problem a few times and a similar one (see Wiktionary talk:Basic English alphabetical wordlist). I don't know why that happens sometimes, could be a bug. Either way, I don't have that issue now since I switched (for other reasons) to the secure server (this page on the secure server is here). It is a little slower in loading pages, but it doesn't seem to have that issue as far as I can tell. You could try it, at least. You'll have to log in again, but it is the same login and everything. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 22:57, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
I think it is not a problem. The first time you clicked "save", I think it saved your page. Sometimes it takes some time for the new change to show. Just do something else for a few seconds or minutes, and when you come back you will see your page (I think); or forget about it and hope that your page is saved. You should use "preview" first, so you know your page looks right and you don't need to see it again. --Coppertwig 17:03, 4 August 2007 (UTC)


I'm new here, and the Help section is not enough informative. So I'm asking here for help: with wealth, I didn't know how to stop the {{noun}} template from showing a plural form. How are we supposed to do that? Huji 15:37, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I changed wealth, and I put new instructions at Template:noun. Where did you look first for help? We need to put a link there to some instructions. There are verb instructions at Template:verb. I don't know whether I'm doing nouns correctly or not. --Coppertwig 16:16, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

New verb templates[change]

I hope it's OK that I made some new verb templates. See at the bottom of Template:verb. I would like to have only one verb template and have it do many things. But I think Mediawiki doesn't have "string" functions yet. Maybe it will soon. I also want to change the verb template so you can just say {{verb}} and it will do a regular verb. I think I can do that without string functions but I will need to think. (All those brackets!) Maybe I will do that later. --Coppertwig 16:13, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Wait! I thought of a different way to do it. How about a template that works like this:
  • If five arguments are given, it acts like the verb2 template.
  • If no arguments are given, it takes the pagename and does a regular verb.
  • If one argument is given, it treats that argument as a regular verb.
  • If there are two arguments and the second argument is "e", it acts like the verb_e template.
  • If there are two arguments and the second argument is "y", it acts like the verb_y template.

--Coppertwig 22:16, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

OK, I made a version of the verb template that works like that. It's displayed at User:Coppertwig/verb test. The template is User:Coppertwig/verb. (The documentation on the template itself should look right if/when it's copied to Template:verb.) Is it OK if I copy it over to Template:verb? --Coppertwig 01:28, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I haven't checked it, but it sounds good. Let me know if it works.  :) --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 02:36, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it works. See User:Coppertwig/verb test. I just checked that it also still works with "regular=true", and I added a feature for double consonants (You just say {{verb|grip|p}}). But I haven't copied it into the verb template yet. I still need to make a copy in template space of a template it uses. Later. --Coppertwig 14:22, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
OK, I put in the new version of the verb template. See that page for instructions. If I did it right, all pages already written will continue to display correctly. It just gives other ways to do it so people don't have to type as much. --Coppertwig 21:14, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Sounds great. The next time I add a verb, I'll let you know what I think (or if I forget, I won't, but if I don't like it, I'll probably remember...:) --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 00:35, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Policy templates[change]

I just deleted Template:policy (since it was superceded by Template:hard rule), and removed the references to those templates on the template messages page. But now I'm thinking: what if someone wants to put in the hard rule template, but doesn't know the name? Maybe we should have redirects there and at Template:guideline to the hard and soft rule templates, respectively. Then again, only experienced users and/or administrators should be playing with those templates. What do you all think? --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 02:36, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I have the same problem on all projects. Why is it not easy to find the rules (policy)? Not all projects have a link to policy from (for example) Wiktionary:Policy. This project does. That is good. Why do projects not have a link from the Main Page to the rules? Why not a link at the left of all pages to the rules? Someone said that on all projects, you click on the second link at the left, under Main Page, and somewhere there you will find a link to rules. I find that is not very good (the same problem on all projects). At Wiktionary:Community Portal you have to look around all over the page before you find the rules. On this project, there is one extra problem, that Community portal is not the second link at the left, so people using that way to find the rules might try to find them at Simple talk. Anyway, now I can find the rules here. I don't know whether other people will have trouble.
I think it is not hard to find the hard or soft rules template. If you can find the rules, you look at a rule and click "change this page" and don't change it but see what it says. If you can't find the rules you probably shouldn't be using the hard rules template. I like how the templates have links to the Rules page. --Coppertwig 13:40, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Forms of words[change]

For a word like "knives" that has only one meaning (not "building" which can be a noun or a verb), do we want a page like knives or should it just be a redirect to knife? I think just a redirect is better. Either way is fine, but we need a rule so we all do it the same way. By the way, thanks to Rimshot for doing lots of transwikis. --Coppertwig 14:30, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Usually I would do a redirect, but knives is an irregular plural. The other reason for creating the page was to set it off from the verb form knifes. That's my answer, I guess - create redirects in most cases, but create a short article where a redirect might be misleading. --rimshottalk 14:36, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah, that makes sense. --Coppertwig 14:40, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Maybe for now Rimshot's idea is fine, but I'd like to think that we can have simple definitions for all of the English words that EWT has, including plurals, etc. It could be confusing to someone who looks up a particular form (which will be frequent with our audience) and they don't know about redirects and are surprised when a different form appears without any explanation. Better to have a short description plus a link to the root word, IMO, at least eventually. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 01:04, 7 August 2007 (UTC)


Is it simpler to say "etc." or "and so on"? I think "and so on" is better but I'm not sure. I saw that Rimshot used "and so on" and I thought that's a good idea -- I can stop using etc. and even change all the pages that use "etc." What do people think? (I usually write "and other things", which is even simpler.) --Coppertwig 14:39, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

"And so on" is actually idiomatic (i.e. not a good idea here) while "etc." is not particularly idiomatic IMO and is common in several other languages because of its Latin root. "And other things" works fine, but I would avoid "and so on" the same way I would avoid "like" in all cases because of its confusing multiple uses. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 01:07, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
That's a good point. I will try to avoid "and so on" and "etc." altogether in the future. If it cannot be helped, I will prefer etc. We should make a dictionary entry on it. Would that entry be "etc" or "etc."? --rimshottalk 08:37, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I've created a short entry for etc., a complete entry for et cetera and made etc a redirect. --rimshottalk 09:31, 13 August 2007 (UTC)


This continues the previous discussion. I've put up a new logo. If you hate it, feel free to revert to the old one with all the mistakes that looks terrible and that nobody likes :-)--Brett 13:13, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

It looks great: different from all other projects, nice-looking, interesting. Friendly. I suppose the Greek lambda stands for "lexicon" or "lexiwiki" or something? I suppose it's the first letter of "Wiktionary" in many languages? One of them looks like a happy face. --Coppertwig 14:18, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The logo isn't my design, I just added the "simple english wikipedia" to the bottom. The logo was selected as a replacement for all the wiktionary logos but nobody followed up on it. It's not great but it's way better than what we had. The smiley face is the Japanese katakana character for 'shi'. The top right is Korean, and I think it's read 'eon'. The middle left one is Greek lamda. The bottom middle is the Chinese for dimension or thought. The other three I'd just be guessing at.--Brett 17:20, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
It looks great! Just came by for a second to check up on things, and, well, I noticed the logo. A lot more interesting than the other one. --Isis 20:08, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure about any of these, but: the one on the bottom right looks to me like a Hebrew letter with a "sh" sound. The one above that looks like an Arabic letter, perhaps also with a "sh" or "s" sound. The one on the bottom left looks like it might be a Russian letter, perhaps with a "shch" sound (no kidding, they have a consonant like that -- compare our "x".) --Coppertwig 21:54, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
No, I asked someone. The Russian one at the lower left is a "j" sound like the "s" in "treasure". There is a "shch" letter in Russian but it looks different -- more like a W. --Coppertwig 01:20, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
The French, Arabic and Italian Wiktionaries are also using the same nice logo. --Coppertwig 21:53, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
I like the logo, but I guess I should say that it is a little misleading. It may be part of the reason that OsamaK wanted to add Arabic words here. It makes this dictionary look multilingual. This is just something to think about. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 00:15, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


Hello! I would like to get a flag for this interwiki bot operated by w:ru:User:Volkov. The bot already has flags on es, fr, it, pt, ru, sv, vi wiktionaries. Botmaster can be contacted at w:ru:User talk:Volkov. Thanks. --VolkovBot 05:49, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

It looks fine to me.--Brett 20:12, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
This user (or bot) is requesting a bot flag so that when we "hide bots" on the new changes page, it doesn't show its changes (which are at the moment flooding NC). He/she will have to talk to our bureaucrat about that. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 00:26, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm sorry but h2g2bob seems to be inactive here since last January. Shall I contact him on wikipedia? --VolkovBot 09:26, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Isn't there a way to geta bot flag from meta? --Isis 14:52, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
I think they can refuse to intervene from meta since simple.wiktionary has its own bureaucrat. --VolkovBot 16:46, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the message - I've given VolkovBot bot status. I watch my talk page both here and on Wikipedia (using RSS), so leaving a message on either should get through to me fairly quickly. --H2g2bob 18:36, 20 August 2007 (UTC)


can we use proud in negative sense, suppose a person is have lit bit of arrogance so can we say "he is a proud person" This unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 09:01, 20 August 2007 (UTC).

Yes, that's correct. When used with an achievement (Ernie is proud of eating 50 cookies) it is neither good or bad. But when used generally (Bert is a proud person or Bert is proud) it is normally seen as a bad quality. --H2g2bob 22:26, 21 August 2007 (UTC)
"arrogant" is bad. "proud" can be neutral (bad or good) even in "Bert is a proud person". They may not be easy to be friendly with, but they will look after themselves and probably have good qualities like honesty because they don't want to look bad. --Coppertwig 18:26, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

is there a basic german?[change]

No, not yet.--Brett 18:11, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

The way they swat down these simple projects on Meta, there may never be. If we were trying to start this project at this moment, it would probably never happen. Sad, don't you think? --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 00:16, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

lol. Liam.gloucester 23:58, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Import cleanup[change]

After I import a page, I move it to the lowercase as it should be. I've been deleting the uppercase redirect after that, but I just realized that that might not be the best policy. I think EN Wiktionary has the uppercase redirects of most words. Maybe I should leave them. What do y'all think? --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 00:16, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

Definitely keep the uppercase redirects. If the following wikitext was placed in a page: [[Something]] that [[exists]], the link to Something would not redirect to something unless the page Something existed. This is the de facto standard for most wiktionaries. — Wenli (reply here) 03:37, 7 November 2007 (UTC)