Wiktionary:Simple talk/Archive 5

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Like the English Wiktionary has done, I think that we should create some standard templates such as Template:plural of, in order to standardize the pages on this wiki. For example, using {{plural of|word}} will display: Plural form of word. (or something like that) — Wenli (reply here) 02:07, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

That seems useful to me.--Brett 10:35, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Fine by me, but make sure it is in simple English, please. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 01:20, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Template:plural of has been created. Feel free to change it if you can make it better. — Wenli (reply here) 00:21, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm all for templates for variant forms. I would also like guidance and some agreement on the standards for entries for variant forms. I am new to the project. As several here know, I have added several such entries. I was following existing models, then adjusting new entries to try to conform to what I inferred were standard formats as others modified my work. It is not clear whether the explanation should:

  1. Use a brief format without repeating the entry word as with talking.
  2. Repeat the entry word in a full statement as with increasing or
  3. increasing also points out differences as to whether definitions and examples are added to the entry -- in this case the example for the base word increase uses increasing which seems to make the example of this form redundant in the entry for increasing.
  4. When the briefer form is used, how should it be formatted? The templates have dead links to the grammatical forms gerund-participle, participle and tense. I realize that the templates are all brand new, but if the standard is to use links to the gramatical forms, shouldn't there be an entry written for each of those forms? And I think that the link should be to the phrases past participle and past tense rather than past, participle and tense.
Anyway, I think I'll stop trying to cherry pick the variant forms in the most-wanted list until this gets all sorted out.Grapeguy 06:55, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry that I didn't see this before. I'm not sure why. Anyhow, as I've said before, I variant forms are not a big priority for me. That being said,
  • I prefer to write almost everything in full sentences rather than fragments.
  • I think it's a good idea to have a variety of forms in the examples for the headword. If you're going to include examples for variants, I think they should reflect that variant.
  • I think it would be good to have definitions for gerund-participle, participle and tense. Go for it. I can also see the sense in linking to past participle and past tense rather than splitting them up.
--Brett 01:07, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I've noticed that English Wiktionary does not have an article on gerund-participle; instead, it has an article on gerund. Should we use that instead? — Wenli (reply here) 01:55, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I think there are good reasons to use gerund-participle, the main one being that the gerund form and the present participle are identical. Check out the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language [1].--Brett 03:04, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, of course any examples should reflect the variant. I was simply pointing out that the example for the head word increase used the gerund-participle as well, so there was no variety of examples between the head and variant increasing. I try to use the head word or 3rd singular in examples, or sometimes simple past.
As for priorities, I am doing variants for irregulars because when someone encounters an irregular form one might never find the head. I mentioned somewhere else that I had that problem in studying Spanish, which probably has fewer irregulars and less irreular that some English words. And if the variant does not have other meanings, it doesn't take long to do. I put off doing those with other meanings until I can enter those meanings so they stay on the wanted list.
I'll take a stab at defining the forms if noone else does it. I think that the phrases and individual terms for the gramatical forms should have separate entries and each should link to the others. Along these lines, perhaps we could have an entry to both gerund and present participle linked from the gerund-participle entry. I know that I learned each of these forms separately when I was studying grammar back in the days of the dinosaurs. The hyphenated form seems to be a newer term from what little I've read on the web. And what ever happened to gerundives?Grapeguy 04:43, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Brett, just because the gerund form looks like the present participle doesn't mean it is the same thing. I think a distinction should be made. Present participle (or "-ing" form) is a form of the verb. Gerund is a verb-based noun-type construction: it is used as if it were a noun. We are not here to redefine or change anything about the language or its description, as I've mentioned before. This wiki should generally follow the lead of other wikis. I wish you could list one or two more references for your ideas. If you could convince en.wikt to change their usage, it would make me much more willing to accept your somewhat novel interpretation. If they have it another way, they probably have a reason for it (like consensus). "There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors." Please understand that I respect you, even if I disagree with you. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 19:26, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
When two or more grammatically distinct forms merge into one form, this is called syncretism. In general traditional grammatical analysis favours maintaining historical distinctions which have syncretised. For example, the modern forms that derive from the historical "past subjunctive" are now identical to the modern forms of the past indicative for all verbs but be. But unless you're specifically interested in historical linguistics, there is little reason to maintain such a distinction.
The traditional distinction between present participles and gerunds is that present participles function in the same way that adjectives do and also in conjunction with be to form the progressive aspect; at the same time, gerunds function similarly to how nouns do. This reflects the historical difference of the two terms that have syncreted. Thus, we have the following:
  1. [Walking the dog] was difficult.
  2. Have you thought of [changing the drapes]?
  3. I remember [putting them in the drawer].
  4. I found [working out every day] difficult.
present participles
  1. Those [walking the dog] experience difficulty.
  2. [Changing the drapes] she thought of a great idea.
  3. They are [putting them in the drawer].
  4. We saw them [working out every day].
Clearly, then, there is no internal difference between the "gerund" and the "present participle". In both cases we have a verb ending in -ing. This is not just to say that they are formed from verbs, but that both remain truly verbs. Both take objects (nouns and adjectives don't do this). Both are modifiable by adverbs (nouns never are). So even thought the traditional account has them functioning like nouns and adjectives, we should not think that they actually are nouns and adjectives. Note that these are different from words like interesting, which though derived from verbs, truly are adjectives (cf. that is very interesting (adj) & she got busy interesting him in the dish (participle)).
If, however, we accept these functions, then we would expect to find [that the distribution of gerunds and present participles matches that of nouns and adjectives respectively]in complement positions, that is after linking verbs. Yet, that is not what we find. After 'be', we find only the present participles despite the following:
  • He is big. (adj)
  • He is a man. (noun)
And after seem, become, make and other such verbs, we should expect both but find neither:
  • It seems helpful. / *It seems helping us.
  • He became happy. / *He became feeling happiness.
  • He made her angry. / *He made her wanting to hit him.
We should also be able to turn things around and put adjectives in when we find present participles, but this isn't always true either.
  • Please, keep trying / Please, keep calm.
  • He went on working. / *He went on calm.
  • He stopped working. / *He stopped calm.
This suggests that in modern English, there is no principled basis, or indeed useful purpose, on which to draw a distinction between these two forms other than simply a historical difference. It is a needless complication and one best relinquished.
The ideas above are not mine. They are accepted by many linguists, and the above follows very closely the arguments laid out in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. For some reason, when there is change, when there is innovation, when there is a new discovery in physical sciences, people will look at the facts of the case and come to a reasonable conclusion. Quarks, for example were first described in the 1960s, but soon were incorporated into physics textbooks at the relevant level. No reasonable person would argue, "but Newton doesn't recognize quarks, so I think we should stick with Newtonian physics." With grammar, however, new understandings are typically ignored and tradition favoured. If you disagree with the above analysis, please base your disagreements on logic, syntax, morphology, and other linguistic facts, not on tradition or precedence.--Brett 09:47, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
This is a very interesting explanation. I am in agreement with you that people tend to hold on longer to how things used to be in linguistics. I am not afraid of change even there, but it is not our place to be changing those things here. I must admit that I do not have sufficient knowledge of these things (though I'd love to obtain it) to answer you. However, I know there are people with that knowledge over at en.wikt. I still stand by my two previous statements: please provide at least one reliable resource besides the grammar book you mentioned and please convince en.wikt before you try to convince me. Actually, I'd love to follow the discussion over there, so please let me know where to find it. :) This is not the forum to follow the latest idea, even if it has been around for a while (note that "latest" does not necessarily mean "recent"). Here, we follow what has been established, not trying to change things. For an analogy, there are many logical things that are not allowed on (they are deleted from) English Wikipedia, because they feel that their job is to describe what has already been established, not to innovate. An encyclopedia is not a forum for innovation, and neither is a dictionary. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 23:18, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't have the time or energy to take this up over at en.wikt. It's hard enough just getting them to understand what a determiner is. There's no reason at all that we need to follow their practices. I think we've made numerous improvements on what they do, and I hope that continues.

Here are some other sources:

  • The English Gerund-participle: A Comparison With the Infinitive. By Patrick J. Duffley (2006)
  • "...the gerund-participle dichotomy is alien to English and often meaningless..." -"Gerund/Noun" and "Participle/Adjective". Philip B. Gove. American Speech, Vol. 40, No. 1 (Feb., 1965), pp. 40-46
  • Term is used in: "English usage: Prescription and description". Pam Peters. In The Handbook of English Linguistics Bas Aarts & April M. S. McMahon (Eds.) (2006)
  • "I only recognize one ing-form", German-English Verb Valency: A Contrastive Analysis By Klaus Fischer. (1997)
  • A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language by Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, and Jan Svartvik argues that there is no difference, though I forget what they call the result.
  • The Longman Grammar of the English Language also dispenses with the difference, but prefers to call it the "-ing form", which is problematic for other reasons.
  • A description of the history of the two forms can be found in A History of the English Language By Richard M. Hogg, David Denison. (2006). This book prefers the term like this: "gerund/participle".

Note that of all the comprehensive English grammars published since 1985, none recognises a difference. --Brett 01:43, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

PS. "An encyclopedia is not a forum for innovation, and neither is a dictionary." I completely disagree. All the major learner dictionaries published in the last 20 years or so (e.g., Longman, Oxford, COBUILD Collins, & Cambridge) have been quite innovative, much more so than traditional dictionaries.--Brett 01:49, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that both gerunds and present participles can be used after "be"

  1. "The dog is changing a tire."
  2. "The most dangerous roadside activity is changing a tire."

Whesse 00:53, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, good examples! Thank you! I've gone back to the CGEL and can't find this particular point it there. I'm not sure what I was basing this on, but I appear to have introduced an error into the argument (which I've struck out above). I would strongly urge anyone whose interested in this not to rely on my poor summary, but to go to the sources I've listed above, in particular the CGEL, and read the arguments there.--Brett 15:43, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Examples using other forms[change]

Tygartl1 and I have been wondering whether all the examples for a given entry should share the form of that entry. It seems that there are a number of options:

  1. The basic form (headword) takes examples from the entire paradigm, but inflected forms should only take examples of that particular form.
  2. All forms should only take examples from that particular form.
  3. All forms take examples for any form.
  4. Only the basic form takes examples unless the derived forms have some particular nuance that needs exemplification.

What are your thoughts?--Brett 15:55, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Like I mentioned briefly on my talk page, I think that the sentence examples on each page should only show how to use the headword in a sentence. If they want to know how to use the plural, past, or gerund form of the word, they should click on that word to see an example. In my opinion, part of being a simple dictionary is making the usage simple too. For example, I think the blue/lavendar boxes in our templates are fantastic for making our articles much clearer than English Wiktionary's pages. I think that using various forms of a word on the headword's page could be confusing for some users. Let's not complicate things.
Having said that I like option #2 the best, I think #4 goes hand in hand with #2. If there's some sort of strange circumstance that needs exemplification, we can make an exception (although I can't think of a situation that would require this). I don't particularly like option #1. I could perhaps live with it if we were consistent about adding an example for each of the derived forms. I don't like option #3 at all. To me, it amounts to chaos and confusion. I like the KISS method (Keep It Simple, Stupid). :-) Tygartl1 19:40, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Tygartl1 in that the usage of the dictionary should be simple as well. I like the boxes, and I think we should have them on things like adverbs as well, to keep everything easy to understand and easy to read. We used to have them on adverbs, etc., but some people thought they were a waste of space. I'm with #2, but I would say that headwords should probably be able to take the 3 s form, since it can be hard to avoid. #4 is okay for now, and more emphasis should be placed on those that have nuances, but I don't think we need to go around deleting the other examples or necessarily avoiding them if it is convenient to add them to a form without a nuance. Actually, I think that examples help a lot with usage, even if a form is totally regular. It reminds us that it is regular and shows us how to use it. It makes it obvious for those to whom it might not normally be. It can help some people and doesn't hurt anyone. But as I said, for now #4 is okay. I think #3 is out, though I must admit that I've done a bit of that in the past. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 20:31, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I favour #1 and I think that is in keeping with how users use dictionaries. I don't think many users will actually go to the trouble, after looking up, say picture or bear to check the past participle, even though it's not common for picture, and downright rare for bear to appear in other forms. I agree the #3 is silly. I just put it there for completeness.--Brett 00:54, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I favour #1 and I think that is in keeping with how users use dictionaries. I don't think many users will actually go to the trouble, after looking up, say picture or bear to check the past participle, even though it's not common for picture, and downright rare for bear to appear in other forms. I agree the #3 is silly. I just put it there for completeness.--Brett 00:54, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes, #3 is just chaos.
  • If #2 means you should not use 3rd person singular in examples, it is too restrictive in my mind.
  • #4 is reasonable and acceptable. I would not prohibit examples for derived forms of any word, regardless of nuances, as long as the examples don't muddy the waters.
  • I have questions about #1. Does it mean that examples should be given for all entries for derived forms; or does it simply mean that if examples are given, then they should use that form? The latter seems a given. I'm not sure about the former.

Does #1 mean that the entry for the base form use examples for all forms of the the paradigm? This would be demanding for the contributor. If it means that each exanple, however many, may use any form, then it is agreeable. I would, however, require that at least one example uses the basic form. and I would inclued 3rd singular here. I would repeat one example that I mentioned elsewhere. For increase, the gerund-participle was the only form used for the main entry. The example for the gerund-participle was almost identicle to the example for the main entry. This seems to limit the users exposure to varied examples of the meaning of either the base or g-p form.

In summary, the main entry should have at least one example using the base form. More examples would be optional and could use any form - alternate forms in additional examples would be preferable. Inclusion of examples for derived forms could be optional. However, if an entry for a derived form has an example, I would expect the examples to use the derived form.Grapeguy 19:57, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, Grapeguy, that's what I meant, that you would have the OPTION to include examples from the entire paradigm, not that you would have to. And, yes, I agree that there should usually be at least one example using the base shape. But for verbs, that could be present simple rather than, say, a bare infinitive, which would truly be the base form. It seems as though the third person singular form would also be acceptable. I guess I didn't think this through completely, did I?--Brett 20:10, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Homophones vs. Sounds like[change]

I have been adding homophones, when needed, under the heading "Homophones" but just came across morning, which has mourning listed under the heading "Sounds like". I would like to hear what people think about switching to "sounds like". On the one hand, it is nice to teach people what "homophone" means if they don't know. On the other hand, we are trying to use simple English and "sounds like" is certainly simpler. I would support making a change from "homophone" to "sounds like". What do others think? - Tygartl1 -talk- 15:40, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

No more protected titles[change]

Protected titles is being deprecated on all wikis in favor of the new MediaWiki create-protect function. Instead of using Wiktionary:Protected titles, you can protect pages simply by clicking the "protect" link. See wikipedia:Wikipedia:Protected titles for more details. — Wenli (reply here) 11:29, 28 December 2007 (UTC)


People who stop in from time to time may be wondering where the milestones are. They have been moved to Wiktionary:Announcements. Any new announcements of milestones or of another nature may be added there. You can also find a full transcript of milestones in the Simple talk archives. - Tygrrr -talk- 14:44, 4 January 2008 (UTC)


I would like to expand the functionality of User:WenliBot, with some or all of the following features:

  • Automatic substituting ({{subst:template}}) of templates, such as Template:welcome.
  • Automatic welcoming of users; it has been implemented on the English Wikiquote, but has been refused many times on the English Wikipedia.
  • Finding broken redirects (or deleting them, requires sysop privileges).
  • Removing broken external links (or instead of removing them, placing them on a page where they can be manually checked).
  • ...possibly other things, please suggest.

What do you think? — Wenli (reply here) 04:16, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Generally sounds good to me. I don't think we have any issues with broken redirects at this time. I'm ambivalent about automatic welcomes.
Tygrrr has been manually importing pronunciation information from en:wikt. This might be a useful thing for a bot to do. I'm not sure how suitable it would be for a bot, but finding nouns without count/non-count tags or verbs without trans/intr tags would also be useful.--Brett 13:51, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
All that sounds fine. If we start to have an issue with welcoming users that end up being vandals, we should probably stop the automatic welcoming. I don't see that being an issue any time soon though.
As far as the pronunciation, I wouldn't mind a bot doing if we can set some criteria for what it brings over. I have been somewhat choosy about what I bring over and I always make sure I am making the format the same. There isn't a whole lot of standardization over there so many of them look different. For example, I don't bring over the "Rhymes" or "Hyphenation" subsections. Also, if the AHD, IPA and SAMPA are all on one line, I put each one on its own line. They go in alphabetical order from top to bottom (i.e AHD, then IPA, then SAMPA). The exception to this is if there are separate pronunciations for different countries. In that case, they get alphabetized by country and each country's pronunciations go on the same line (in alphabetical order). If there is no template, just a pronunciation, I don't bring it over. If it says what the system used is, but doesn't use the template, I place it in a template. The audio link always goes last. Homophones are always placed as a subsection with a level 4 heading, never just with a '*'.
As a specific imaginary example, let's say the pronunciation section of choice on en:wikt looks like this (and it is very common to see something like this over there):
*{{audio|en-us-choice.ogg|Audio (US)}}
*{{IPA|/tʃɔɪs/}}, /tʃɔɪs/, [[w:SAMPA|SAMPA]]: /tSOIs/

*:Rhymes: [[Rhymes:English:-ɔɪs|-ɔɪs]]

*Homophones: [[non-existant homophone]]
What I would put on our page here is:
*{{audio|en-us-choice.ogg|Audio (US)}}

*[[non-existant homophone]]
Basically what I'm getting at is it isn't as simple as just copying and pasting it here. There are decisions involved. I don't know what exactly bots are capable of, but if you think yours can handle pronunciations effectively, I would be all for it. If not, it's probably best we stick with the current method. - Tygrrr -talk- 17:21, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I'll start writing the code, then I'll manually test it on a few pages and see what you think. — Wenli (reply here) 02:13, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Other spellings[change]

Grapeguy has brought up an interesting point recently about words that have alternate spellings. If I understand his idea correctly, he has suggested merging the words into a combined page if they have the same meaning. An example of such a page is organise / organize. He has also suggested, as an alternate suggestion, adding a note on each of the pages reminding a user to make the same changes to the page of the alternate spelling.

Of these choices, I would prefer adding the note to the pages if they have the exact same meaning. For example, notes on the pages of color and colour are fine, but probably not on theater and theatre as their meanings are not always the same. This choice is preferable to me because I think each word should have its own page.

What do others think? - Tygrrr -talk- 17:30, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Thank you, Tygrrr. I'm Grapeguy, and I approve this message. Of course, there are also redirects from organize and organize. These could be links with stubs for needed clarification. Let me include the text of some points I made in our discussion along with some additional comments.
Coming from a computer programming background, I get concerned about maintenance issues. I have seen that issue ignored all too often. Generally the problem is addressed by using macros or includes or some other way to insert common text. I would agree that we wouldn’t want to use templates except for very general purposes.
I'm not sure that the organise / organize entry is a great solution to the problem, althought it obviously holds

some appeal for me. I basically wanted to try it out one time and send it up as a trial balloon. However, I counted 44 pairs already in the all pages list and several more in the list of most wanted. There are some inconsistencies in the pairs, or missing entries for potential pairs. There are countless other -or/our, -er/re -ise/ize words (and I'm don't recall off hand what other diffs there are between US and British spelling) not in either list yet. I'll be happy to bring it to simple talk at some time.

I checked en.wiktionary for several pairs. They do not seem to have addressed the maintenance problem. Each of these pairs is treated differently. I think a reference source needs consistency as far as possible so that users aren’t left scratching their heads when they see new formats and wonder how the format used is different from formats in other entries.

examples from en.wiktionary.

  • favor/favour - They had two full entries for these alternatives. There was no note to the editor and there were several differences between the entries.
  • organize/organise - There is an editor note for both organize/organise pairs, and they are substantially the same except for the Alternate Spelling usage note.
  • center/centre - There is no editor note. They are about 90% the same, but there are several differences in the handling of some definitions.
  • color/colour - Both color and colour have notes to the editor. However, there are significant differences between the two.
  • toward/towards - The American version, toward, is defined in full. The British, towards, has a brief statement "variant of toward.
  • theater/theatre - I'm not sure exactly how this was done. It uses a template:theater with a number of arguments and I suppose a substitute. It is in sync, but it mixes theater and theatre in the examples for the theater entry.
Well, enough for now.Grapeguy 20:24, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't look like there is support for making this sort of change at this time. I'm going to go ahead and make organize and organise separate pages again. Maybe at some point in the future we may want to combine like words onto one page, but let's stick with the standard until there's widespread support for the idea. · Tygrrr... 20:44, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

No problem! I wasn't real wild about the idea to start with, but it solved the problem. I still think there is a problem of consistency to be addressed before this goes on prime time. It would probably be better to address it before it grows too big. Perhaps the ADMINs or techies have some tricks up their sleeves. Grapeguy 19:40, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Okay, so I've come up with a test example of one way that this could possibly be done on pages where the definitions are exactly the same. For my example, I created a template called {{organise/organize}} that had the definitions and examples for organize and organise. Any time the defined word was used, I used {{PAGENAME}}. Then on the pages themselves I left the parts that were different: the "Other spellings" section, the interwiki and the {{verb}} template. It seems to work okay in simple situations like this. I can foresee some potenial difficulties though:

  1. For words that change spelling in their different tenses, there could be some difficulty. For example, for centre/center you can easily say "The {{PAGENAME}}s of the cities are similar." But to say that you centered or centred something, center needs an "ed" and centre just needs a "d", so the examples would have to be listed separately or not at all.
  2. For words that have sections that could be combined and sections that couldn't, more than one template would likely need to be created.

We'd also want to decide whether we'd want a different template for each page section (even if they could be combined), something like {{color/colour pronunciation}}, {{color/colour verb}}, and {{color/colour noun}} or try to combine as much of it as possible.

The good news is that aren't very many words with alternate spellings with the exact same definitions so the hassle would be pretty small if we decide we want to do something like this. And I'm kind of intrigued by it so I would be glad to work on these special words.

So...what do others think? · Tygrrr... 21:09, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

I like the idea. It definitely gives a nice approach for some cases. I wonder whether you want to use templates for such limited use with only two cases of individual words rather than reserving them for more more general cases. This would certainly expand any listing of templates and it wouldn't be immediately obvious whether a template on the list is useful for a general case or for some specific case. Would it be possible to create another category like wordtemplate: for these limited cases? I guess you could use a special prefix flag for a word template: to keep them separated from the rest - like template:zzworda/wordb . With such a new restricted kind of template it wouldn't be so messy to have templates for subsections of the word. One problem - it might be harder for new editors to use. But then there is a lot else for them to do and not all that many cases of alternate spellings. Grapeguy 22:54, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd create a category for the templates if there's support for the whole idea of using templates. · Tygrrr... 02:50, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I think it's an elegant solution. One small problem I see is that novice editors will not know how to get to the template.--Brett 13:01, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

We would have to put a hidden note on each page where to make the changes, similar to what I put on organize and organise. Come to think of it, we may also want to put a note on the template pages themselves that gives basic instructions on how to add info to the page. · Tygrrr... 14:43, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
I've created Template:other spellings as something we can place on the template pages. It could probably be simplified some, so if anyone wants to add or change anything on it, go for it. · Tygrrr... 15:14, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
Looks good to me (I'm easy and simple). I think you've got it. I agree with Brett about novice editors. But I say let's see how it works as-is, then think about novice editors. I'll try a couple of others sometime soon to see how it works. Not sure what my schedule will look like. Grapeguy 17:54, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I did template:color/colour color and colour. I had to put the model into Word to replace many occurrences of color with {{PAGENAME}}, but OK. There are a few gotchas to this approach - like be careful not to change all occurrences. But it works fairly well. I need to try one like forward/forwards where some uses are and some not interchangeable. It may not be worth the trouble. Later. Grapeguy 19:24, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I did template:program/programme program and programme. Small problems, but worked well. I'll stop here. Program had some inconsistencies with programme. Looking at other alt spellings, most are in sync and we can just leave them as far as I'm concerned. Brett did a good job of syncing them. There are a couple of others - harbor/harbour - out of sync but I won't worry about them now. There are some that have no alt spellings in the Wiktionary - metre/meter. We have a tool if others like it. Grapeguy 22:15, 9 February 2008 (UTC)


I think we should add Wiktionary:Bots to the list of "hard rules", but I'll need approval from the community first. What do you think? — Wenli (reply here) 02:35, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

How does it constitute a rule?--Brett 12:12, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Looking for"Images/Excellent Pix of Viking Warriors( for my web-page design)?[change]

I hope there is a "cool user" out there who may direct me to any site, (SANS"FLICKR'") where I will find the BEST, most detailed,colorful,AWESOME larger (or "sizeable") images or pix of Viking Warriors, Viking "babes", "Thor", (Norsk God of Thunder),even Viking WarLords in "action" (pilaging,being they're "PAGAN" selves, etc.) Please, REPLY.... I'm waiting! Sincerely, ValhallaPrincess 21:44, 30 January 2008 (UTC)21:44, 30 January 2008 (UTC) 21:44, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Simple English Wiktionary's purpose is not to provide you with pictures of Viking warriors. Good luck with your search, but you won't find an answer here. - Tygrrr -talk- 22:12, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

English Wiktionary[change]

I don't think we need {{wiktionary}}. All the pages have interwiki on them now and if someone wants to go to the English Wiktionary page they can just click the interwiki link. Plus, I think it's kind of a negative thing to basically say "go here if you want a better definition". I would suggest we remove it from all the pages that use it. · Tygrrr... 19:40, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Seems a good idea. We don't display a prominent link to English Wikipedia on Simple English Wikipedia for a "better" article - no reason why this should be any different; Majorly (talk) 19:53, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Hear, hear!--Brett 20:14, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Great, I'll get to it. · Tygrrr... 20:59, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Done. I've deleted it as well so that it can't be used in the future. · Tygrrr... 21:45, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks! As always, effected with great dispatch and focus!--Brett 00:02, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

most wanted list[change]

  • I have been working on words from this list which was created in Sept '07. The number of links has change. In some cases, in a brief spot check, I find words that have many more links than words above them in the list. Is it time to post an updated list?
  • I also find that many of the large numbers of links for many words are to multiple working lists (BNC1000, BNC1000HW, general service, several lists for top 1000 most frequent words, categories, templates, etc.) rather than to single word entries. There are many cases where the count of lists distorts the order of the number of links to entries.

It seems to me that these other lists on their own are helpful for To Do lists for many. Personally, I would like to reduce the number of red/dead links in entries and the lists will take care of themselves.

  • Is there a way to give just statistics for links to words and not to lists? Does this seem like a logical way to handle the most wanted list?

Whoops! Forgot to sign.Grapeguy 19:21, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

This list is updated by the MediaWiki software. There's no way for any of us to do it. I think most (if not all) of the wikis are waiting for the Special:Wantedpages list to be updated. In short, there really isn't much that we can do. · Tygrrr... 19:59, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Oh my goodness! Is the master serving the slave!? I'll accept that the list has to include links from other lists, etc. But MediaWiki software rules!? Or is it just the ADMINs of WikiMedia?? Grapeguy 23:16, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Here's what I know about it: this and this. · Tygrrr... 02:53, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
OK. Amazing. Thanks for the info. I can see that the production of the list could require major resources, especially for the larger databases. Simple.Wiktionary is so small that I can't imaagine that it would take long to process. But if there is a switch that enables it for all databases at once, then we may have to wait until Gabriel blows his horn. I wonder if Gabriel could produce the list for us. Grapeguy 03:18, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

Speaking Problem[change]

Hi, May I get the proper word for the person who is unable to speak properly because of some biological problem with tongue. sameer

Does "biological" = "anatomical" here? There are several issues, but I'd recommend asking at Simple English Wikipedia or English Wikipedia for help. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 00:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

a huge resource[change]

the work in OpenOffice translation could maybe be very useful here. see here. cheers Spencerk 20:41, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

confessions of an obsessive compulsive[change]

Hello Brett and tygrr and all you others
I've been working on this project, sporadically, for about 3-1/2 months. I've appreciated all the help and corrections from those who've been around much longer. And thanks for the Barnstar. As I go along I start to realize that I am a lot more Monkish (def: like the obsessive TV detective, Adrian Monk) than I realized/realised. I have looked at the lists and the definitions to try to get an idea of the scope of the project -- what's in and what's out. Allow me to indicate what I have discovered (for myself - I guess the rest of you guys may know a lot of it), and what I have been doing on the side.

  1. All BE850 words have entries - I know this was your earliest project - hooray!
  2. Only 585 (last count) of the BE850 have template to put them into one version of the list - no biggy.
  3. Only a fraction of the irregular verbs have a template to put them in the irregular verb list. This is a bigger deal for me because, as I have said in other posts, in studying Spanish on my own, it was difficult to find the base for many inflected verbs that I found in reading. So, I spent some time to correct some of this. I also plan to work on the irregular verbs not defined - a working list of the irregulars is in my User:grapeguy/irregulars.
  4. In the list of most-wanted', which I regret is outdated, many of the counts of links are links to the master lists of words. Often as many as 100% of the links. In most cases, the count of links to word entries is a rather small fraction of the # links listed. C'est la vie. In a Monkish period, I took the list of the most-wanted and put them in a Word table with the word(with paranthetical link counts), the number of word entries'' that I found link to the word, whether the word is on the BNC1000 or General Service lists, and a quick estimate of what parts of speech each represents. There are about 300 words in the list (past 100). After 400, the list tended to be mostly counts of links to master lists.
  5. As my Monk disease worstened, I started to look at the definitions for words in the BE850, to find that a vast number of them have one or more undefined (red/dead) words in their definitions and similarly others had one or more undefined words in the examples. I have gotten thru the J's. I've created a table in Word with all the words that have undefined words, how many in definitions and how many in examples. I started out actually listing the undefined words but gave up after clean when my disease started into remission. If the disease returns, I expect I will finish the count list. I will also merge it with the list of most wanted. I don't know how to put these tables into Wiki form, but I would be glad to share some of this with any other obsessives (I'm sure anyone mad enough to work on this project must have at touch of it) out there. My most recent edits were an attempt to reduce the red words by pointing derived words to the base. Another was an experiment that I didn't clean up. I accept the decision of the tribe to leave them alone.

So why? you may ask. My view is that while this dictionary is small, it is aimed at a group with small vocabularies. However, with the limited vocabulary, it should be made as helpful as possible by being completely self contained. That is, create a small vocabulary like BE850, as has been done. Then be sure that all of those words are defined words that are defined within the Wiktionary. Then start to expand the base vocabulary into longer lists, maintaining the objective to keep it self-contained. I realize this has been one objective with the list of Wiktionary:Simple_English_word_list. It just seems to get out of control, and has been from the start. Grapeguy 17:44, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the observations. These should be useful in helping the project and its individuals decide on direction. I agree with the approach of listing word with red links rather than identifying red words that have been used in definitions with the intention of defining them. At this stage, most of the high frequency headwords have entries, so it might be best to rework existing definitions to contain no red links (i.e., simplify them).
Currently I'm working through the BNC1000 list. I think it's more important right now to focus on words that have been shown empirically to be very common in the language, rather than get tied up defining the specific words that individuals have chosen to use in definitions. But I think that simplifying existing definitions is also very valuable.--Brett 19:29, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

I concur that simplifying defs rather than defining rarer words used in defs is a good approach. There are probably also some words that were used that may not be in a high freq list that may need to be defined. I don't have examples right now, but I'll work on the defs of BE850 from both points of view and report my assessment.
So, my plan:

  1. I would like to learn how to locate and upload images to the the Wiki Entries so I can do this occasionally in defs.
  2. I will start by defining the remainder of the words in the template for parts of the face. These are fairly simple to do and they are high on the most wanted list because they are cross-referenced in the template. I would like to insert images in at least a few of these for practice.
  3. Finish work on irregular verbs - flagging them for the list using verb2 and defining those not defined. I'll split time on this with other tasks, but it is a pet project.
  4. Finish identifying and listing BE850 words with red words.
  5. Review the BE850 words and:
    • Try to simplify red words used with high freq words.
    • If use of high freq words seems difficult:
      • then if others don't object, I will define those red words strictly for the sense used in the context of the BE850 words and flag these as stubs. I could publish those BE850 words that I think fit this category and others could try to fix defs or give me the go ahead to minimally define the words used in definitions.
    • Identify and as time permits, finish incomplete definitions of BE850 words -- give defs where they are stubs. Maybe add examples.
  6. Review most-wanted.
    • Define those that are in the BNC1000 or general services list.
    • Look at usage of those that are not on those lists and define or replace.
  7. Expand the list of base words with BNC1000 or general services list - or maybe, Brett, you could do this. I could give you a cross-ref of BNC1000 words and frequency of use in other defs if you don't have such a list already.

Phew! Somewhere during this process, either the Democrats will pass universal health care in the US or I'll move to Canada for treatment of my mental health problems.

The only other issue is whether others would like access to my Word tables. If so, how do I get them out there?Grapeguy 02:27, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
About images:
  • the bad news: we don't allow uploads here
  • the good news: you may use all the lovely images you like from Wikimedia Commons :-)
Generally, to include a pic in an article you use this wiki mark-up [[Image:Example.jpg|thumb|Caption]]. Sometimes the picture size needs to be specified, but this is only really used in situations where the picture in question is either much wider than it is tall or much taller than it is wide. If you'd like more specific instructions, you can check out Help:How to use images.
Regarding the other things, it sounds like you've got a good plan! If anyone wants to access your Word tables, they could probably email you. If it translates well to wiki mark-up, you could also put them in your namespace on a User:Grapeguy/ page. · Tygrrr... 03:34, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm not troubled by the 'no upload' rule. I'll check out the Help. For lists, I could simplify and give 2 columns with dashes or tabs(?) in between. Is there an appropriate simple Wiki markup, like a tab, which doesn't use the full table specs? Or I could email the Word tables if someone wants all the details. Grapeguy 03:46, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Definitions vs. explanations[change]

As I've said in the past, I much favour full-sentence explanations to terse definitions. My students (ESL learners) all tell me that they generally prefer such explanations. An explanation is what you would say if you were talking to someone face to face. If you're not sure what I mean, consider the explanations in raise vs. the definitions in sole.--Brett 01:53, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree. — Wenli (reply here) 04:30, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

New changes header[change]

I'm kinda bored today and was playing around with a possibility for a new header for the New changes page. This is what we have currently and this is what I've come up with. Things like colors, size and alignment can be tweaked. I wanted the font size to be 90% like it is currently but for some reason everything is bolded and it just looks kind of tacky at 90%. If someone can figure out how to fix the bolding problem, that'd be cool. We don't have to switch to my proposal but I thought I'd see if there was any support for a change. · Tygrrr... 18:26, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm easy.--Brett 18:43, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
User:Creol fixed the bolding problem. I think that the current Recentchanges page and your proposal are equally functional, so both will be fine. — Wenli (reply here) 01:46, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I went ahead and changed it. Obviously changes can be made later. I had a couple of other color options which could still be used. Anyone who wants to mess around with colors or the like can still do so at Wiktionary:Recentchanges/New. · Tygrrr... 00:14, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Kent State Vandals[change]

Should we request a IP range block to cover all anonymous edits from Kent State? I'm not sure, but I would say anything from 131.123.184.xxx.--Brett 18:48, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

As admins, we can do range blocks ourselves. I haven't had to do one yet so I'd have to look into it a little bit. Am I correct in remembering you saying at one time that you had reported the abuse to the school? If that hasn't been done yet we could start there. If you've already done it, I think a soft range block for like 6 months would be a good idea. That would allow users to create an account from that range but not edit anonymously. · Tygrrr... 18:56, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I reported it, but have heard nothing back at all. Yes, I'd allow account creation.--Brett 19:12, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Here are the offending IPs from what I've been able to determine after looking at the block logs and warnings given by me, you, and Wenli:





few others

· Tygrrr... 19:50, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Based on that table I soft blocked, 131.123.177.XXX, 131.123.181.XXX, and 131.123.184.XXX for a year. Do you think that'll pretty much cover it for now? · Tygrrr... 20:23, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Let's hope.--Brett 21:44, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

Let's just see how it goes. When new IPs start vandalizing, we can update the table and discuss this again. — Wenli (reply here) 01:43, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Survey analysis of the BE850 definitions[change]

I don't believe it, but I have now looked at all of the BE850 definitions and taken notes on defects with them. Following is what I did.
1. I have a list in Word of all of the BE850 words with one or more defects:

  • Defintions with words that are not defined in Simple.WikTionary (red words). This was my main focus, and I think I got them all.
  • Examples with red words. I got most of these in the list.
  • Entries that have a stub for one of the sections, parts of speech with no definitions. I think I got most of these.
  • Entries with missing sections and no stub. I got a few of these, but I don't know how many more there are. I wasn't really focused on this issue.
  • I did not look at words in the definitions and examples that were not links. There were a lot of definitions and examples with few or no links. A sporadic check shows that some would be good simple words, and some are undefined words.

2. Results:

  • About 400 of the BE850 words have one or more defects.
  • There are about 700 defects in all of the 400 defective entries that I identified.
  • Most of those defects are red words in either definitions or examples or both.
  • The list includes each of the red words in the definitions, and most of the red words in examples.
  • The list identifies a number of the entries with stub sections or missing sections. While I didn't focus on them, I think there are actually few of them.

3. Types of red words:

  • Several of them are capitalized versions of words in the SW and could be fixed easily. (I did a few.)
  • Others are inflected forms of words in the SW. Many could be fixed by bracketing the simple form or adding an entry for the inflected form.
  • Some are words in the Most frequent 1000 words in English, but have not yet been defined. E.G., sheet, soon, realize.
  • Most of the examples could be modified.
  • Some of the words in defs occur frequently enough to maybe justify adding to the SW.
  • Some of the red words are grammatical terms that are used in several entries. E.G.,comparable, superlative, types of pronouns - possessive, feminine, etc.
  • Some will need looking at to see if the defs can be reworded.

4. I made some changes as I went along.
5. For anyone who is interested, I will post the list in my user space when I figure out how to.

So there you have it. Like a good witling, I'll work on whittling down the list.

Nice job. When you're changing words in the examples, please, be conscious that many of the examples that I've put in are painstakingly chosen to highlight the most patterns in which a word appears. I've tried to balance this with frequency, but there may be situations in which a particular sense almost requires a particular collocate.--Brett 00:32, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
OUCH! I hope I haven't stepped on any of those already. How can I know and avoid this? Without looking carefully at the history, I can't know which ones you did. I also don't know whether others have a similar take on their examples. I'll slow down until I get some feedback.Grapeguy 01:13, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Don't worry too much about it. I usually have a look at what changes each day. I'm just asking you to think about the naturalness of the examples as well as the simpleness. That's all.--Brett 03:02, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

The list of BE850 entries and their defects are here This is not formatted as well as it could, but you'll get the point. The first word on a line is the BE850 entry and what follows is a red word in the def or ex or is a description of a missing section or other problem. Grapeguy 05:28, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Lists relating to BE850 and most-wanted tables[change]

I finally figured a way to transfer the main info from the Word tables to lists on Wiki. Here are some more lists that I derived from the most-wanted list and my BE850 analysis, in case anyone wants to take up the task of correcting some of these difficulties.

  1. The original list with some cleanup by Brett. What I posted didn’t give Brett a lot to go on for his cleanup, but it is a nice complete list of BE850 entries with some type of flaws. Brett added links from the words to the entries and the red linked words used in them that did not have entries as of the time that I posted.. User:Grapeguy/BE850 defects
  2. A list of a few words with 2 or more links from definitions and/or examples of BE850 and the words they link from – about 70 words User:Grapeguy/Most linked from BE850
  3. BE850 words with missing definitions – total of 40 (no claim to being comprehensive) User:Grapeguy/ BE850 - missing definitions
  4. A list of words from most-wanted in order by links to SW words only. Listed with whether they are BNC1000HW or General Service. User:Grapeguy/Most Wanted - Word links only

I am thinking of shortening my lists by coordinating it with others’s stated projects. Please, forgive any presumption. But here goes. The number after each word is the number of BE850 entries that use the words. The number in parentheses is the total number of entries that use the word (as of about a month ago).

I noticed on User:Tygrrr that you are working on alternate forms of standard words. I found a few alternate forms in the list of links from BE850.

There are also a number of other alternate forms in User:Grapeguy/Most Wanted - Word links only that link from words other than BE850.

Somewhere Brett mentioned you are working on the BNC1000HW. There were a few words on links from the BE850 with multiple occurrences. I’m listing them below.

For myself, I am going to cherry pick a few from the BE850 list that have only one grammatical form and few meanings. I will also start from the top of my list of most-wanted words and see which ones might go fast and not overlap with yours for now. Grapeguy 22:18, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Whoops! Sorry, Brett. At least if I am going to presume to suggest other's tasks, I can be correct in my claims. As you may have figured out quickly, the following words are not BNC1000HW. I was looking in the general service list column. There are the 2 left above that are BNC1000HW, for what it's worth. I'll work on the words from the GS list below.

Grapeguy 19:34, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

US Idiom crisis[change]

The Onion reports here. It sounds like a bit of a robin in a snow bank.--Brett 12:27, 29 February 2008 (UTC)


It looks like the main English Wiktionary has abandoned the old noun/verb/adjective template formatting. Should that affect us at all or should we just go with the older templates?--TBC 03:46, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't know what it used to look like. What advantage do you see in abandoning it here?--Brett 13:30, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I think that we should keep our current template, because it has large labels and is easy to read. As far as I can remember, the English Wiktionary has used their current format for at least a few years. — Wenli (reply here) 20:00, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Another milestone![change]

We've just completed the BNC1000 list of words! Last definition to be completed was "therefore".--TBC 07:24, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Don't forget that the full list (including variants) is still mostly red. BTW, I just got the BNC2 list into shape today and realized that we don't want to call it the BNC2000 (since it is only the next 1000 words), so I recommend changing everything from BNC1000 to BNC1. You may have noticed that I've been trying to update the Requested defs page every so often. I try to keep at least three words per letter from the BNC lists on there. I like to see that some people seem to like working on the requested defs especially. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 00:49, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

New corpus of American English[change]

"The BYU Corpus of American English is the first large corpus of American English, and it is freely available online. It contains more than 360 million words of text, including 20 million words each year from 1990-2007, and it is equally divided among spoken, fiction, popular magazines, newspapers, and academic texts (more information). The corpus will also be updated at least twice each year from this point on, and will therefore serve as a unique record of linguistic changes in American English."--Brett 15:50, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Turf Grass[change]

When is the best time to sow grass seed.

Try looking on the English Wikipedia article. That could help. This question does not really belong here. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 20:23, 21 March 2008 (UTC)


I've noticed that all the "tlh:" interwiki pages no longer work properly. Instead of showing in the lefthand margin, it shows in the article's body as a broken link. Is it a bug? A typo? Has the tlh Wiktionary (whatever language that may be) been deleted? If the links are permanently broken, we need to remove the links from all the pages that list it. I presume one of the bots could easily handle it. If it's something that needs to be fixed, we may need to contact meta to see if we've got something wrong with our code or something. · Tygrrr... 20:20, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Okay, it seems it was the Klingon Wiktionary and that it's no longer functional. Would one of the bots please take care of removing the dead links? · Tygrrr... 20:25, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
I'll run interwiki.py -force on all pages, if that's OK. -force means that the program will remove links without confirmation. I don't think that there'll be any major problems. — Wenli (reply here) 04:42, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I think that'll be just fine. I don't think they had many entries anyways so it should be a quick, easy fix. · Tygrrr... 16:13, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Would one of the bots mind taking care of this? This request has been sitting here for over a month... · Tygrrr... 17:56, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm running my bot in -force mode right now. As you can see in its contributions, it is removing links quite aggressively. I don't think that it has removed any tlh: links yet, though. Can you give me an example of a page with an invalid tlh: link so that I can test it? — Wenli (reply here) 04:02, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
Take a look at this diff. It seems that interwiki.py won't remove tlh: links because the wiki doesn't exist. The tlh: link was moved to the top because it was considered to be part of the content. A custom script will probably be required to remove the tlh: links. — Wenli (reply here) 04:34, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I made a list of pages with a link to tlh here. I can run User:W7bot to remove the link, but since there are 70 pages, we might want to wait until Brett can flag it. --Werdan7 05:14, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

All the links have been fixed by WenliBot using AutoWikiBrowser. Problem solved. — Wenli (reply here) 19:22, 30 June 2008 (UTC)

A Question About Grammar Words[change]

I just finished writing meanings for two words that are used for grammar. But this led me to a question: Would it be appropriate to put the meaning of a category in that category? In this case countable in countable nouns and uncountable in mass nouns. Would it be a good idea? These words are not part of the categories, and are not nouns at all. But they could be useful for someone who wants to know more about the category.

For now, I've not put them into these categories. I decided to see what others thought first. --Jared 19:40, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

No, those words should not be included in the category unless they are normal members. The categories, however, do allow for explanations to be given. See, for example Category:Mass_nouns.--Brett 20:09, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Meaning of FYA[change]

Meaning of FYA This unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Can you be more specific? — Wenli (reply here) 03:31, 5 May 2008 (UTC)


Since we don't have an administrator's noticeboard, I wanted to bring it to the other users' attention that a new user, Benniguy, is a banned user on EN WP and SE WP. He was banned for disruption at SE WP and is looking for redemption by trying to prove himself here. He is attempting to show that his behavior has changed now that he is on medication so that he may be given a trial 2nd chance on SE WP. I just want to make other users aware of this situation. I will be keeping a close eye on him. More information about the situation may be found by looking at some of these pages: [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]. To clear up any confusion over the difference in names, this user was originally Iamandrewrice, was renamed to Benniguy, and then created the sockpuppet Inkpen2. · Tygrrr... 20:03, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Ok thank you Tygrrr, if I make a mistake here, I will gladly follow your correction. However, it is rather a hindrance that everywhere I go, my past is mentioned. Can we just try and start afresh here, ok? ;) Benniguy 20:08, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Also, I'd like to correct, you... I'm banned at EN WP, but just indef blocked at SE WP. A ban is where there is a consensus to keep you blocked. An indef block is where there is mixed feeling. I was only ever indef blocked at simple. Benniguy 20:17, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Most wanted[change]

Thanks to Creol, we now have a makeshift, (fairly) up-to-date "Most wanted" list. His list can be found here. I have updated the New changes header to reflect the actual most wanted pages. · Tygrrr... 16:38, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Updated to the 4/10/08 backup. -- Creol(talk) 06:35, 12 April 2008 (UTC)


I've noticed that a lot of the pictures on pages bold the entry word when it is used in the caption. This goes against the Manual of Style guidelines for all other wikis I am familiar with (en:wiki, en:wikt, simple:wiki). The caption guideline everywhere else is as follows: Begin captions with a capital letter, don't end with a period unless you have more than one sentence. Bolding is not standard and would undoubtedly be quickly reverted anywhere else. I think we should follow this practice here. It doesn't help the reader any to bold it and it just looks kind of sloppy, if you ask me. I see no reason not to follow the example set by these other well-established wikis. I'm currently going through all pages, mainly adding pronunciations, but also making formatting changes, adding other parts of speech, definitions, examples, etc when I feel like it. Removing bolding in captions is one of the formatting changes I've been making. I suggest we go ahead and add the guideline to Help:How to use images, unless, of course, there is a compelling reason to change from a long-standing guideline across the other wikis. I think we can agree that continuity across sites makes it easier for users to edit everywhere. · Tygrrr... 16:00, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't agree about the aesthetics of it, but that kind of thing is pretty hard to argue. I think that this is just another example. If we bold in the examples, then it makes sense to bold in the images. The other advantage is that bolding allows other uses of the database to quickly and automatically identify the relevant word. For example, a vocabulary learning system based on this data would be able to present the image and the caption with the target word blanked out to be filled in by a learner. I don't see any drawback to having it bolded and there are some potential advantages. Given that, I'd ask that it not be removed.--Brett 16:14, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I see that you make no argument against the fact that the method I am suggesting is used everywhere else. New users already have a lot to get used to here, formatting-wise. Why add one more thing they have to learn for arguably little to no benefit? All other wikis agree with me and probably went through a process to determine the most effective, visually pleasing, consistent method. What I have suggested is the status quo and I feel like unless there's a compelling reason, which I don't think you've provided, we should keep it.
As far as a vocabulary learning system based on the data, I'm sure the word in the caption could be blanked, even if not bolded. · Tygrrr... 16:42, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
The point is, if it's coded with ''', then it can automatically be identified. If it's not, then it can't, or at least not a simply. The vocabulary learning thing is just an example. The are numerous applications for which it would be useful to have the target word hard coded. Again, why should the caption example be different from the other examples?--Brett 23:17, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Tygrrr on this one. I understand that the coding might help with some stuff, but in the captions? If it is already in the rest of the entry that way, putting it that way in the captions seems excessive. I don't think we have to follow other wikis, but when it makes sense, we should. This is not a "let's experiment" wiki. Just because it's small doesn't mean we should throw out what has worked on other wikis. In fact, the way I think of it, if we don't have a specific policy on something, then SEWP policy and/or EWT policy automatically apply here. There are probably some reasons that it would be nice to use [[this]] on the page about this, (it automatically bolds the link, for example, and it requires two less keystrokes), but that is against policy on all the wikis I've checked because it creates an unnecessary self-link. There is no compelling reason for bolding the headword in captions, and there is a reason against it. And the caption isn't another example, it is a description of the picture, which most people would recognize as related to the definition even if the caption were absent. The picture's very presence on the page implies its relationship to the definition. The caption may help by making it clear which definition the picture fits with or in what way the picture reflects the definition, but it is not an example. That's my two cents. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 19:49, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Definition of juristriction[change]

Hi everybody,

Since a few month I'm looking for a defintion of juristriction. During my investigation I found out, that in earlier days it seems to be used in an other content than today. Today juristriction is often used in content with legal entities and the local law of a country.

I tried to find a definition of the word juristriction but couldn't find anything in German or English. If somebody could give me a defintion it would be great.

Thanks in advance. Thomas

Do you mean jurisdiction? I'm not familiar with juristriction. · Tygrrr... 14:35, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Choosing good examples[change]

Adam Kilgarriff has an interesting paper about choosing good examples for dictionaries.--Brett 14:33, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Sentence check[change]

I want to know that if this sentence is right or not. ihave got nothing to say right at thi moment. This unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 07:14, 25 April 2008.

Do you mean "I have got nothing to say right at the moment"? If so, that is a good sentence, but you could say it "I have nothing to say right now." That would be simpler. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 20:04, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Given that "nothing" is difficult to actually "have", and that the statement is somewhat complicated through the use of the negative term (i.e. "nothing"), I would recommend, "I do not have anything to say right now." as an alternative.

Vulgar terms[change]

User:The dust was a city is adding many vulgar terms here, as well as some medical terms, etc. He or she was nice enough to ask me on my talk page if that was okay. I thought I'd bring the topic up here. His/her definitions may not be very "dictionaryish", but the idea might have some merit. I think the medical terms like vagina should be here, with good definitions. As far as the vulgar terms and insults, if they are not neologisms and have representation and good definitions, they probably do belong here, IMO, but are far from being a priority. They should certainly not be our focus, nor should they form a very large percentage of our wiki. They should not only be tagged with "vulgar" but also "slang", I think. We might even want to put them in an appendix or something. Let me know what y'all think, or tell The dust was a city directly if you wish. I should also mention that this user seems to be acting in good faith (the note to me is one indication), and also has worked constructively on other pages. --Cromwellt|talk|contribs 20:22, 27 April 2008 (UTC)

Not a priority, but certainly words, so in they go, I say.--Brett 23:39, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


I would like to run my bot, ChenzwBot, on this wiki. It will use the Pywikipedia framework to do interwiki links in autonomous mode. The bot will use AWB sometimes for template substitution and categorising. More details are on the bot's user page.

Thanks. Chenzw  Talk  07:03, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Rollbacker/patroller group[change]

It may be a good idea to create a rollbacker and/or patroller user group, which would enable users in that group to rollback/patrol edits. It has been done on many wikis, such as the English Wikipedia and English Wikibooks. — Wenli (reply here) 18:25, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Simple English Wikiquote is staying open[change]

There was a proposal to close Simple English Wikiquote, but now it will be kept. Simple English Wikiquote will continue! Coppertwig 02:30, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


How does one spell that sounds like (sague)?

Related words / Changing words[change]

I realize I made a mistake because of being a native speaker: I did not see a difference between knowing "usual" and knowing "usually." I saw "usual" as a top 1000 headword, and it seemed common. The change as so natural to me that I did not think about it. Maybe there should be more work into defining related words for common headwords. And maybe things added to the beginning and end of words that change there meaning (derivational affixes) should be added and given categories?

Often people who have even a basic knowledge of English can make the leap from usual to usually. For that reason, my personal feeling is that adding more basic headwords (like these) would be more helpful than filling out the family members of the headwords for which we already have entries. That being said, other people certainly have other priorities. Eventually, we would want entries for everything.--Brett 15:34, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Bot flag request for CarsracBot[change]

  • Contributions
  • Operator: Carsrsac (or on my home wikipedia Carsrac)
  • Programming language: Pywikipedia scripts updated by SVN
  • Function: interwiki
  • Description: Adding interwiki links where there are none. I'm good in english, but not that good, that I use difficult words.

I can translated from simple into en and other way around :) Also translation from de, nl is not that a big problem. More info on the userpage of the bot.

Special task is adding the interwiki links to the entries I create. Also removing interwiktionay is what I do with this bot on other wiktionaries. Thanks Carsrac 06:44, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Can you run a few edits to test it out first? — Wenli (reply here) 03:38, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


Hello, I am running my Bot User:SpaceBirdyBot as interwikibot on is.wikt (and de,es,pt,ga,af,fo,nah,scn,nl,sv,ro) lately because not all links are catched by the current active bots there. If You are interested I can set my bot to run here also.

I am using SVN pywikipedia (latest) and run it using

interwiki.py -wiktionary -autonomous -force -noauto -nobacklink -noshownew -neverlink:fur,ilo,nov,sco
  • Botmaster: is:Notandi:Spacebirdy
  • Bot's name:User:SpaceBirdyBot
  • List of bot flags on other Wiktionarys:af,ar,co,ca,oc,da,de,el,es,it,is,pt,ga,gd,af,fo,nah,scn,nl,sv,ro,yi,zh-min-nan,... [11]
  • Purpose:interwiki
  • Technical details:svn pywikipediabot, latest versions

Best regards, --Spacebirdy 23:52, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

please let me know how You decide, thanks, --Spacebirdy 10:45, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
We don't have a policy about bots and my knowledge of them is rather limited. I would say, make a few edits per day over a week or so using the bot. If all goes well, I'll flag it.--Brett 12:47, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Allright, please let me know if You are disturbed by his edits, I stop him then again, thanks, --Spacebirdy 19:54, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
If this is just a simple interwiki bot, I have no problems with this bot and I think that it is ready to be flagged. — Wenli (reply here) 03:37, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


I reformatted the template to make it more aesthetically pleasing (see the "English" article, as an example). Any opinions? I'm also thinking of changing the BE850 template as well.--TBC 09:05, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not opposed, in theory. It definitely is more visually pleasing but is a little on the large side, imho. It also has created some gaps on some of the pages on which it has been implemented. Most people probably wouldn't notice, or care, but I feel like I've finally gotten most of the pages to a point where the formatting/order displays in a way that is visually pleasing. I consider the gaps that are caused by the template on some pages to be just a slight step backward. Here's an example of gaps formed by the template. Perhaps there can be some tweaking of the template? · Tygrrr... 16:48, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Here is another example of screwy formatting caused by the template. · Tygrrr... 14:54, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Word of the Day[change]

Word of the Day selections should have a small icon at the top left of the main page and a tag in the talk page, instead of the current italicized line at the top. Any objections? --TBC 09:38, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

We're not doing WOTD now so I don't think we need anything on the main page. I agree with you that the tag on the definition pages should be moved to the talk page. The template should probably reformatted for this process as well. · Tygrrr... 16:38, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Is it possible to do it with a bot? I'm not very tech-savvy, so I'm not sure how it would work.--TBC 01:24, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Gerund-participle to present participle[change]

I'm currently switching Gerund-participle to present participle, on the grounds that present participle is far simpler and more commonly used than Gerund-participle. The two have identical meanings in Modern English, and Simple English's intended audience will be much more familiar with the word "present" than with the word "gerund". --TBC 17:01, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree. · Tygrrr... 16:38, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Transcluded subpages for RfD[change]

I think we should use subpages for RfD threads, which are then transcluded on the main RfD page (like on the English Wikipedia). It would make archiving and finding deletion discussions a lot more convenient and efficient. Any objections?--TBC 11:57, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

This would allow for better organisation. It's already been done on the Simple English Wikipedia. However, how often do we have an RfD here? :P Chenzw  Talk  12:42, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I still post RfD entries, even if there aren't a lot of users active here to respond. Force of habit, I guess.--TBC 12:46, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't really think it's needed here. On wiktionaries, there are very few RfDs because it's pretty obvious what belongs here and what doesn't. Things can generally be QDed or kept. For as rare as we actually have an RfD, why make the process more complex and bureaucratic? · Tygrrr... 16:33, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

American Eagle[change]

American Eagle, an occasional editor here and administrator on Simple Wikipedia, has retired to focus on other goals. It's tough to see such a valuable member of our community leave... hopefully he will come back.--TBC 22:41, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

As I'm sure you've noticed, he's back and in action (at least on simple wikipedia anyway)! --Andrew Kelly 16:03, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Proper verb for you[change]

Which is correct:

"What about you? You who hasn't experienced this magical place?"


"What about you? You who haven't experienced this magical place?"

Thanks, Martha

Both are used, but the second is about 10 times as common as the first, and the first is rare in edited written English.--Brett 13:19, 13 August 2008 (UTC)


My page has been blocked. I just want it to be deleted now. SoundStageDirect. Can Someone please assist me in this? Every time i try to edit my page and follow the directions to request the page to be deleted, it brings me to a page saying that I have been blocked. Thank you in advance

I've placed a {{qd}} tag on it so an admin should delete it soon. - tholly --Talk-- 17:39, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

dicitonary download[change]

I am a peace corps volunteer teaching english in rural ukraine. many of my students have computers but do ot have access to the internet. I would like to make a simple english dictionary like on wictionary.com available to those students. si there any way I can download the simple english wictionary? If there were a downloadable version, it would be very useful for people all around the world in my students' stiuation, who need and want to learn english and to exploit the resources available on the net but don't have access.

Yes, you can download the entire dictionary here. To use it, however, you will need to either reformat the data that you get, or install the wiktionary software on the computers. I'm afraid I don't know much about how to do that.--Brett 11:46, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

The simple.dictionary also needs many new additions so please try to add a few if you find unwritten ones. (guess thats a given but always worth saying) G Luck RTG 18:32, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

situation of the world[change]

this world you see what happens hungry , die ,kill toture,all of the world how we can solve that proplem as soon as possiple bacasue the blood still runing we want to stop it what is your about that if you are intilgent person? plz send me your idea my e-mali qajifyare@hotmail.co.uk and my mobile +2521-5503233 byyy

i'm student and i like to learn english succesfully so i need more lessons about english learning as soon as possiple how can i get this also i need dictonries about english to simple english to undrstand all the english every word plz help me and give idea about this i'm waiting for you answer emergency???!!!! yeah i forger to tell you my name is mohamed mire qajifyare student of university simad thank you my dear if you're helping for me


What are CRAP elements in writing papers


can i ask what is hello to korean language?

Help with book manuscript?[change]

I am helping to write a fictional children's book, primarily about horses. Knowing very little (OK, nothing) about the animal's care, please tell me what the name of the "box" a horse eats from? Or is the hay just put on the ground? And do all horses need a "saltlick"?

--TalkerCat 00:43, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

This isn't really the purpose of this page, but the "box" is called a manger (if you've studied French, you'll see why). And, no, salt licks aren't necessary for horses, but they do help them get the minerals they need.--Brett 01:24, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

hi, encountered some sort of bug with the redirect system but want to debate grouping words[change]

I have redirected definitely and definitly to definite. When entering the redirect I entered "Definite" not "definite" and it would not redirect to the definite page (wow is this a mouthfull or what). So, I have redirected "Definite" to "definite" and will look for the right place on meta.wiki to report the bug. RTG 03:11, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Welcome to Wiktionary! Typically we keep derived and inflected words as separate entries, as per Wiktionary's "all words in all languages " mandate. The main reason for doing so is to include different pronunciations, rhymes, homophones, alternative spellings, etc. for a derived/inflected word on one specific page.
Also, to edit a redirect, simply click the hyperlink in the parenthesis located under the entry name (it appears there when you search for the redirected entry). --TBC 05:08, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi, about this... from what you say about seperating the words... If I looked up definite, I would find information about the word and all its derived words but if I looked up definitely I would not find "definite" and all its words and would be unlikely to see the word definite. This has certain flaws because the word "Definitely" is, for all intents and purposes, the word "Definite" with an ish, ing or ly added on to it as a punctuation. In english, no words are changed in meaning by adding a line or a dot above a letter etc., only tense and value (ie. possible or impossible). All of the "definite" words have a definite relation to the meaning of "definite". I did not expect this debate but nontheless, for me, what you are suggesting is not simple enough unless you repeat the "definite" page on all pages such as "definitely", "indefinitely", "indefinite", etc.. Explain: It is best for the learner to see all these words, and their definitions, on the same page. The "definite" page should be definitive not disjointed. Understanding prefix and suffix is fundamental (in simple and learning especially) to understanding English, regardless of categorising and cataloguing issues. As far as I recall, English is one of the most heavily reliant on prefix and suffix and although it is simple to understand, it is difficult to learn as one word appears to have many meanings. My final word there "meanings" is actually one of the most complicated for prefix and suffix as the meaning of the word does change, but although this is a common word, it is very rare that meanings change upon fixation and, in fact, I cannot think of another word that changes meanings this way. (I do not have a high level of English education, but as for simple to understand, it is the language I speak) Difficulties in grouping the words may arise in, for instance, the words "define" and "definite". Definite, quite simply, is the rock form of define, and this may be unsuitably complicated for a person looking up the word "definitely". Nontheless, this again rare, and almost all words should be grouped with prefix and suffix relations defined, with specific exceptions, such as mean and meaning or define and definite. RTG 16:11, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, it is not true that English is particularly heavily reliant on affixes. Indeed, the number of inflectional affixes is rather small in English. That aside, it is also not true that the meaning of a derivationally related word is always easily extracted from an analysis of its parts. Consider electric, electrical, and electronic. How is one supposed to understand the differences between them simply by considering their suffixes?
The current system is such that each lemma should have a list of derivationally related words. Thus, definite would have links to definitely, definitive, definitively, indefinite, and indefinitely. Similarly, indefinite should link to definite and indefinitely. This should take care of both showing the related words, and having clear definitions for all of them.--Brett 11:30, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Bot flag request for CarsracBot[change]

  • Contributions
  • Operator: Carsrsac (or on my home wikipedia Carsrac)
  • Programming language: Pywikipedia scripts updated by SVN
  • Function: interwiki
  • Description: Adding interwiki links where there are none. I'm good in english, but not that good, that I use difficult words.

I can translated from simple into en and other way around :) Also translation from de, nl is not that a big problem. More info on the userpage of the bot.

Special task is adding the interwiki links to the entries I create. Also removing interwiktionay is what I do with this bot on other wiktionaries. Thanks Carsrac 06:44, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Can you run a few edits to test it out first? — Wenli (reply here) 03:38, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
I will start the test edits. Carsrac 17:51, 19 June 2009 (UTC)