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November 18[edit]

Pronunciation entries for each topic - they are not understandable. Why are they there?[edit]

Example: The Assiniboine River (/əˈsɪnɨbɔɪn/) I just want to know how to pronounce it. As-ini-bone? The (/əˈsɪnɨbɔɪn/) does not help. Thoughts on why this spelling is there instead of something like "As-ini-bone"? If I have to take a course on how to use "əˈsɪnɨbɔɪn" then it is not a terribly helpful tool. -- 19:32, 18 November 2014 — Preceding unsigned comment added by FOY0CH00 (talkcontribs)

It's roughly uh-SIN-uh-boyn. If you hover your computer's cursor over the IPA respelling, it will show you how to pronounce each IPA symbol. You might also want to have a look at IPA for English. Deor (talk) 19:44, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
They're there because there are geeks who can interpret that notation which is called the International Phonetic Alphabet. You don't need to take a course. You just have to read Help:IPA for English. More information can be found at International Phonetic Alphabet chart for English dialects. One can also indicate pronunciation through respelling (see Wikipedia:Pronunciation respelling key) which may seem more familiar to you, but there's no general policy on Wikipedia that recommends one or the other, as far as I am aware. In the case of the Assiniboine River the respelling of the pronunciation indicated by the IPA notation would be "a-SIN-ib-oin", if I'm interpreting the IPA correctly, but I'm not one of those geeks so caveat emptor if you know what that means. The last syllable is "oin" so it rhymes with "coin" not with "cone". The primary stress is on "sin", the second syllable. Contact Basemetal here 19:55, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Anonymous OP, you must understand that fauxnetic transcription systems (like the one you recommended) do not take dialects into account, and as such, while they might help you out, they might be absolutely useless for a guy thirty miles away from you. No one pronounces things exactly the same way, and (as such) the use of fauxnetic transcription systems is a waste of time. Furthermore, IPA is not all that hard to learn, and is also one of the most highly recommended phonetic transcription systems out there. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 20:00, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually the OP isn't anonymous. He just forgot to sign. Contact Basemetal here 20:05, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Any college that has an English requirement for graduation should teach the IPA. It's standard in Europe, but in the US each dictionary maker has its own absurd system. Is there an article for fauxnetics? -- 20:39, 18 November 2014 Medeis
Also, because letters in English do not have one-to-one correspondence to sounds, amateur phonetic respellings are often open to more than one pronunciation even within a given dialect of English. Even a well-defined phonemic system will run into problems at boundaries between English dialects, since there is some variation in phoneme inventories between dialects. At least IPA expresses the pronunciation in a specific dialect fairly clearly and unambiguously. Marco polo (talk) 21:09, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Medeis -- One reason why many UK dictionaries use IPA and most U.S. dictionaries don't is that UK dictionaries indicate the RP (or nowadays quasi-RP) standard pronunciation, while makers of U.S. dictionaries are very aware that most Americans who consult a dictionary don't want to learn the pronunciation of a word in some arbitrarily-decreed standard dialect, but rather what the pronunciation of the word would be in their own dialect... AnonMoos (talk) 02:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Your point being? A phonemic transcription of General American with a brief note on non-rhotic varieties, the cot-caught, pin-pen and marry-Mary-merry merger would cover just about everything, and alternative forms could be given. My point is that learning the Am. Her. respelling and then the M.W. respelling and then the Collins Harper respelling makes us captive to corporate editorial boards, is non-transferable, doesn't help with languages other than English, and is still just as arbitray unless they too have notes on non-rhotic varieties, the cot-caught, pin-pen and marry-Mary-merry merger.
When I took Linguistics 201 we were expected to master the basic IPA for English by the time we returned for the second class period. It's absurd to argue that learning the schwa, θ="th" as in thin, ʃ=sh, ð="th" as in this, "ʒ"=zh and ŋ="ng" or /æ/ is the vowel of cat and /ɔ/ the vowel of caught as said in NYC is a hardship. Especially when most of the other signs are based on the latin alphabet. I'd much rather dictionaries say eye is pronounced /aɪ/ consistently, rather than some giving EYE and others "ī". Dictionaries also have the benefits of keys with footnotes, unless one tears out that page. μηδείς (talk) 03:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Medeis, when people from the South (for example) look up a word, most of the time they really don't want to know how Walter Cronkite would have pronounced the word -- instead, they want to know how the word would be pronounced in terms of the sound system of their own way of speaking. You may consider the reasons why most U.S. dictionaries don't use IPA to be inadequate, but there are real reasons -- it's not pure arbitrary whim or dumbing down... AnonMoos (talk) 03:58, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I dispute your claim that they don't want the Gen Am pronunciation, and again, a simple comment for readers on either (1) regional varieties, or (2) on mergers, or (3) alternative entries: "oil": /ɔjl/, /ɔ:l/ (Southern) /ərl/ (NYC, obs.) and "fine": /fajn/, /fa:n/ (Southern) is an extremely simple solution to the supposed problem. μηδείς (talk) 04:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, you have several misconceptions in this area. AnonMoos (talk) 07:13, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The Concise OED was using respelling or their own system of diacritics (depending on the entry) until about 1980. I guess there was a big surge of people suddenly wanting to learn RP about 1980? Besides don't Americans love audio pronunciations which are even more specific than IPA descriptions? In fact anyone (who can decipher IPA) on seeing an IPA description or hearing an audio pronunciation aid in a standard dialect is usually able to transfer that information to their own dialect. There must be some other reason why US dictionaries don't like IPA. Contact Basemetal here 03:04, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Webster's Dictionary with its more and less successful spelling reforms predated the IPA by some 70 years and in many American homes it might have pride of place next to the Bible. It set the precedent, and other American publishers seem to have followed along. μηδείς (talk) 03:12, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, people who don't know IPA are ignorant, and cannot communicate pronunciation as clearly as people who do. Readers indeed ought not be ignorant; they ought to know as much as Wikipedia editors do. And yes, it's someone else's fault that a great many of our readers are ignorant. But, whom are we trying to serve? Isn't it the ignorant? Jim.henderson (talk) 01:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
What mean 'people', 'ignorant', 'communicate', 'pronunciation', 'clearly', 'readers', 'ought to', 'editors', 'a great many', 'serve'? Contact Basemetal here 02:28, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
This is one of the reasons why in Europe there exists a stereotype about "dumb Murricans". While mature and educated people in God-blessed Murrica consider the well-known well-established transcription of their own language a great challenge, in Europe pupils from 3 or 4 grades are supposed to know English phonetic alphabet entirely and read it in dictionaries. Are 10-years old European children smarter than 40-years old Murricans?--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 05:45, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Simply better educated in certain subjects. μηδείς (talk) 06:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
When I tried in America to order a Coke, in my middle of the road Australian accent, I was not understood (more than once). There is no possible standard using common letters. HiLo48 (talk) 06:07, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Did you want a Coca-Cola? You'd probably've been understood if that's what you'd wanted and you'd said it. Then you'd've been asked if you were a furriner. Of course there's always the option of learning RP. No American has a problem with that. Unfortunately Australian vowels are uncouth to American ears. μηδείς (talk) 06:32, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Dunno about that. A lot of Americans told me they loved my accent. Of course, I don't actually have one. HiLo48 (talk) 07:03, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
No offense intended, of course, but you're bound to find out sooner or later: in the US, "I love your accent" is usually just a euphemism for "I can't understand a word you're saying". It's also often accompanied by a lot of blank smiling and nodding.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 07:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
William is, of course, being silly. We all know that the response to incomprehension between an American and a furriner is for the former to speak more loudly, not to smile blankly. HiLo, if you speak High Australian you'll be mistaken for a Brit. If you speak Low Australian you'll be taken for a South African, (at least by those who've heard of South Africa), make of that what you will. I suspect what they heard in your request was intermediate in their ears between coke and cake. Asking for a cake with your burger would be a bit odd. μηδείς (talk) 20:47, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Любослов Езыкин -- If you're using the IPA to learn the pronunciations of several different languages, then it's great for that purpose. However, if a literate English-speaker is only trying to understand English pronunciations, then the IPA has features which make it less than ideal for that particular purpose, such as [j] being the palatal semivowel and [y] being a front-rounded ("umlaut") vowel, something which is sure to constantly trip up people who have no interest in theoretical linguistics or learning an elaborate code, but only want to understand the pronunciation of a few words in a language which they already speak and read. In fact, the Africa Alphabet is basically IPA, but with certain such problematic features adjusted. Of course, that's in addition to the problem that most dictionary users in the United States want to know pronunciations in terms of their own dialect's sounds, not in terms of some standard pronunciation... AnonMoos (talk) 07:13, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
A few comments. First of all, while IPA can be used for "learning", its primary purpose is describing (as scientificly as possible) and that is what we do as editors. In writing articles we describe things in an encyclopedic manner. It is the readers responsibility to put in the effort to "learn". Secondly some editors in this thread keep saying something similar to "...dictionary users in the US want to know pronunciations...", Wikipedia is not a dictionary. There are other, more appropriate sites to go to if that's all the reader wants.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 09:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Just want to point out that {{respell}} (intended to be used in conjunction with Wikipedia:Pronunciation respelling key) and {{USdict}} exist for editors who wish to add respelled pronunciations to articles. Using these templates is not appropriate when the word in question contains sounds that cannot be accurately represented by a respelling. — SMUconlaw (talk) 09:00, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
This is another reason why I do not associate with the Modern United States. They've gone so far off the path that there's no hope for a safe return to it. As such, I associate with my region instead. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 14:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with the original poster. Those IPA symbols are difficult to understand (to the average reader). As such, they are rather unhelpful. I think many people see all of that gibberish, get frustrated by it, and then simply ignore it and move on. Most readers do not want to "invest" a lot of time (energy) into figuring out what all of that gibberish means. At that given moment, they just simply want to know how the word is pronounced. They don't want to have to "learn" what all that code means. It's not worth the effort. My opinion. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Its presence does not require the reader to understand it. If it helps some readers, great. It doesn't consume much space, and I have no problem visually skipping over it. Someday I might even feel inclined to learn IPA and make use of it. ‑‑Mandruss  18:20, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I guess my point was: if a person wants to know how a word is pronounced, that is not a helpful tool to that end. Of course, the reader can visually skip over it. But, that doesn't answer their question as to how the word is pronounced. Personally, I find an offer of "rhyming words" to be more helpful than that IPA code. For example, saying "The word gray is pronounced such that it rhymes with clay". Or some such. Using easy, basic words as the guide. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:47, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Knowing that gray rhymes with clay is not much help if you don't know how to pronounce clay (and there may be differences in the pronunciation of clay, depending on where you live). I assume that IPA is designed to be more universal. I'm not a linguist, I recognize that there's a ton I don't know about the use of English around the world, and I trust that we would use a simpler system if it would work. If you feel the need for pronunciation guidance in Wikipedia articles, stop spending your time complaining about things and learn IPA. ‑‑Mandruss  18:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
(1) If a person does not know how to pronounce a basic word ("clay" was my hypothetical example), they clearly will not be able to navigate the IPA code, either. The IPA itself uses "basic words" (for example, this "b" sound is pronounced like the "b" in "boy"). So, the IPA itself is premised (conditioned) upon the fact that a reader knows how to pronounce some basic words. (2) I am not "complaining" (as you claim). I am engaging in discourse on a Message/Discussion Board. There's a difference. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 22:40, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
It's a matter of simple logic. If what you propose were actually a workable solution, someone would have already developed it and become an eponym in their lifetime. Since neither you nor anyone else has produced a link to it for our edification, I assume it does not exist, ergo it is not a workable solution. QED, and I'm out. ‑‑Mandruss  22:54, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I didn't propose anything. I stated what works best for me, as an individual. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 23:54, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Mandruss -- I don't oppose including IPA transcriptions in Wikipedia articles, but it's a fact that for people who already speak and read English and who just want to look up the pronunciation of a few English words, IPA is overkill (not entirely practical for that purpose)... AnonMoos (talk) 01:11, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Fauxnetic spelling works pretty well for English words, because by and large they will indicate corresponding phonemes in different dialects. They work badly for non-English words and names (which includes many place names in most English-speaking areas other than England itself), because the vowels may be represented very differently depending on who's doing the transcription. I've sometimes fallen over American-inspired transcriptions and not realised that they were using the HOT vowel to represent what for me is a sort of 'a' and no sort of 'o'. Conversely, I was puzzled by the pronunciation guide in Eliot's Finish Grammar (round about 1900), and couldn't see how 'ä' could be anything like the vowel in "hat" until I realised that a now very old-fashioned and fruity kind of RP has a rather lower and more forward realisation of this vowel than in contemporary RP. --ColinFine (talk) 19:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
While we're on the subject of Americans and accents, how plausible are these Barely Political videos taking the mickey (supposedly) out of the Kiwi accent: Deck maintenance 1, Deck maintenance 2? How is Todd Womack's NZ accent? Contact Basemetal here 21:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The above is NOT SAFE FOR WORK (or kids) but it's hugely funny. His accent is good enough to know where it's meant to be from, but obviously a put-on. μηδείς (talk) 22:39, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I give the stranger words I find on Wikipedia to the nice lady at Google Translate. She almost always knows what to say. And if she's wrong, I don't want to be right. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:01, November 19, 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion for an essay (moved)[edit]

[moved this where I think it was intended to be -- Hope it's ok -- Apologies to Shirt and KageTora] Contact Basemetal here 13:26, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I would suggest that the IPA is analogous to the periodic table. The periodic table starts off your basic understanding of chemistry. You don't need to understand the intricacies of isotopes, valence electrons and a whole bunch of other stuff (most of which I don't understand) to benefit from knowing it. Knowing that salt is made up of Sodium and Chlorine and water is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen opens up your understanding of the physical world.
Similarly, learning that the <u> in "butter" is not the same sound as the <u> in "cough", "caught", "put", "fuel", and so on opens up your understanding of language. For me, finding out about what ə meant was like finding about the elements that made up water and salt.
So: Wikipedia:Why you should learn the IPA should be written. WP:RL/L people: what do you think about this proposal? P AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 10:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Wrong section. That was two days ago. See above. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I think the essay is a great idea. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 20:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I think it might be interesting to a select few, but knowing what salt is made of or what water is made of benefits no-one in the real world. Similarly, IPA benefits only a select few. I can read it, but I doubt anyone at the checkout in ASDA will even have a clue that it exists. Same with the periodic table. Asking the checkout girl 'how many molecules of water, and of which type, are in this bottle' in order to find out how much of each penny goes toward the price of each molecule and how many molecules and of which variety does your present bottle differ from the last one would probably end up with you being arrested. If people don't know what you are talking about, they think you are some sort of nutcase. Tell me what wood is made of. Does it matter to a carpenter? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:09, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
What you say is, indeed, true. But I think that the point of the essay is that, after completion, it is available to whoever wants to read it. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 17:59, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Is there a colloquial or formal term of address for female bosses?[edit]

I know in Chinese, people may use 老板 to refer to a boss, male or female. People may add a 娘 at the end in order to colloquially refer to a female boss. Likewise, is there a colloquial or formal term of address for female bosses in English? Also, is there a colloquial or formal English term of address for a male boss's wife or lesbian woman boss's wife? (talk) 22:01, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Female bosses are a modern phenomena and very rare, and lesbians even moreso that I doubt "female bosses lesbian wife" has ever come up in real life, much less enough for a specific word to have evolved to describe it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I just looked outside, and based on the detailed research conducted, I've determined that Chinese people are very rare.--Jeffro77 (talk) 00:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Are you limiting the scope of your answer to Gansu Province? Female bosses being very rare seems an odd statement to this American. μηδείς (talk) 03:04, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't think there is a single general term, formal or otherwise, but the words manageress (female manager) and chairwoman (female heading a committee) do exist. Manageress has a rather old-fashioned feel to it, and tends to be replaced by manager these days. Chairwoman is still fairly common, though chairperson and chair are gaining in popularity. — SMUconlaw (talk) 08:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The usual way to refer to a female boss in American English is boss. People usually don't specify gender, unless it's relevant, which it usually isn't. The gender becomes evident if you go on to refer to your boss as she. I have had female bosses for years, and I refer to them as "my boss". If my boss happened to be a lesbian, I would refer to her spouse using whatever term she uses, most likely "my boss's wife" or "my boss's partner". No one in the United States today uses words like manageress except possibly ironically. As for "terms of address", in American English today, if people have to address their boss directly, they generally use the boss's first (personal) name. Let's say my boss's name is Diane Smith, and I wanted to ask her if she had read a sales report. I would say, "Diane, have you read the sales report?" Incidentally, that has changed in the 35 years (yikes) since I first entered the work force. In the late 1970s, as a low-level manual laborer, I addressed my manager using his surname. For example, "Mr. Hill, where should I put these?" I don't think even low-level workers in the United States use surnames to address their bosses any more. Marco polo (talk) 21:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

English to a Japanese[edit]

Does English script look as weird and alien to Japanese people as Japanese script looks to us? (talk) 23:14, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

I can't say how weird it is. But I can say that the "English script" you are talking about is the Latin script. Or you may be talking about Anglo-Saxon runes. (talk) 23:50, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
The Latin alphabet (what everyone here is typing in) is known as Romanji (or "Roman letters") in Japanese. Romanji is not exactly rare over there, so there's at least a significant portion of the population who are familiar with Romanji. Most of the Japanese programs I've seen where someone was typing on a computer or sending a text message, they typed a Romanji character first, and the computer then changed it to the relevant Hiragana character. Ian.thomson (talk) 00:05, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
See Romaji. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:52, 19 November 2014 (UTC) -- Nowadays the Latin alphabet is pretty much a component of the Japanese writing system, which was not a great stretch, since the Japanese writing system already included 2,000 or more logographic characters, and two different syllabaries containing about 50 syllable signs each... AnonMoos (talk) 02:24, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
All Japanese learn English at school. Many, if not all, kindergartens teach English, so they can at least recognize the letters by the age of about five, even if they are unable to put them to any useful purpose (they just learn capital letters and the names of the letters). In elementary school, they study from 1st grade (though not for any exams), so by the end of elemntary school, they have already been exposed to English for at least six years. English is compulsory in Junior High and High schools. Also, the Latin alphabet is very often used in conjunction with Japanese even within the same sentence. I would not say they foud it strange to see, considering they are in contact with it on a daily basis. Also, as said above, in order to type in Japanese (on a mobile phone or computer), one has to type in the romaji first, then change it to the Japanese character required (Japanese computer keyboards do have Japanese characters on the in addition to the Latin ones, but that input method is not popular). Not to mention that website addresses are invariably in the Latin alphabet. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 11:52, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
@ Romaji, or as you call it "English script", it quite common in Japan, so I don't think you'll find many Japanese people shocked by it. However, even though romaji looks like English, it's not really English. Romaji is taught at Japanese elementary schools, but it's being taught as another way of writing Japanese, not as English. I've "taught" English at public Japanese kindergartens, public elementary schools and public junior high schools at various times during the last 20+ years, and can say that much of what KagaTora says is true. Things have changed quite a bit over that period of time and English is being introduced to more and more children at earlier and earlier ages. Even so, the level of instruction is still not very high, so you still tend to get more "let's have fun" types of classes than serious "let's study and learn" types of classes at the pre-JHS level. Based upon my experience, many public elementary schools/kindergartens still treat English as more of a "general studies" or "internationalization" type of thing and "classes" are still often just "taught" by a homeroom teacher, who typically isn't trained to teach English, and a native-English speaker, who is usually hired from an agency. The two "teach" together as a team doing various games and other activities designed more for fun than serious study. Private and international kindergartens/elementary schools, on the other hand, are set up a little differently than public schools, so they may be able to devote more time and resources to serious study. My observations are that even today most Japanese kids still get more exposed to English outside of school than they do at school either through private after-school lessons or through their parents, etc. - Marchjuly (talk) 13:41, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
"Sunset over Shinjuku" - kana and kanji a-plently, but Latin script at the center of the image
Not it doesn't. Japanese people are very used to the Latin alphabet. There's three main uses for the Latin alphabet in Japan: to write English (which everybody learns) or any other language that uses the Latin alphabet, to write things like those initials which use the Latin alphabet (e.g. N.H.K. or whatever) inside a normal Japanese text written in kanji and kana (when the Japanese text is written vertically the Latin letters are written sideways), and for transliterating Japanese. This last use is obviously the least useful and important to the Japanese themselves. But you do find some Japanese transliterated in Latin letters for some streets, subway stations, etc. for the benefit of foreigners. The term "roomaji" is used in a broad sense to mean the Latin alphabet in general or in a more restricted sense to mean only the last use (romanization of Japanese) and specifically a particular method of romanization (e.g. Hebonshiki Roomaji, Nihonshiki Roomaji, etc.; see Romanization of Japanese) Contact Basemetal here 14:03, 19 November 2014 (UTC) PS And of course I forgot a fourth important use which may be the most important of all (but which Kage Tora mentioned): computers, where the preferred method is to input Japanese kanji and kana through an English type keyboard. Contact Basemetal here 14:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd reckon that the Latin alphabet probably gives off the same impression to the Japanese as Roman numerals do to modern English speakers. They are familiar with them, and they don't look odd, but they give off a certain vibe differently than other things. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 14:30, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
If so then in opposite ways. Roman numerals would tend to look old fashioned in English whereas things written in Latin letters would tend to look cool and modern. Contact Basemetal here 14:46, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Cyrillic off-top[edit]

  • Total OR, but we used up a class period discussing this at University. First, the Greek and Roman majuscules as well as the Futhark are supposedly influenced by the exigencies of carving on wood and stone. This tends to favor simple combinations of straight lines: AEFHIKLMNTVXYZ, for example. Note also the Greek sigma, Σ and delta Δ. The minuscules were developed for a more cursive style using ink on parchment or papyrus, hence the rounded forms of the lower case, especially Greek: αβγδεζηθικλμνξοπρσ/ςτυφχψω.
Now, for the OR. We noticed that Chinese ideograms (the OP speaks of Japanese, but geolocates to western China) are much more 'organic' than the Wester alphabets, resulting in part from there being closer to pictograms, and the need to have many hundreds, rather than a few dozen forms.
While the Latin alphabet seems to have evolved for simple geometric forms (consider T, L, and X used to describe angles and intersections, and the K turn and the U turn) the Greek minuscules seem to aim for elegance and maximal distinguishability. English has qpbd, while no lower case Greek letters are simple rotations of each other, and only nu ν and upsilon υ really ever run the chance of being mistaken for each other if one is not careful. The Cyrillic alphabet was criticized for its many very similar letters that one needs to make sure are clearly distinguished:БВ ДЛП ЪЫЬ ИНЙ ЧЦ ШЩ. μηδείς (talk) 20:02, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I can reassure that judging by this criteria Latin deserves more critics for its illegibility and similarity than Cyrillic: h-n-b, rn-m-u, l-I, i-j, v-w, b-p, q-g etc. Many Russian children have problems distinguishing one or another letter when they firstly learn a European language. Those lazy Westerners who cannot distinguish Б-В or Ч-Ц, must either learn Cyrillic better or buy glasses.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:50, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Westerners? Contact Basemetal here 09:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I think I already mentioned qpdb, Ljuboslov. In any case, you'll be happy to know the occasion was the last day of Greek 202, after the final exam. Students were allowed to leave once the finished the exam, but many had nowhere to go and we were all familiar with many languages, so the comparison was between the superiority of the Greek alphabet, the minimalism of the Latin alphabet, and the brutality of Cyrillic. (Now someone's going to call me a Rusyn.) μηδείς (talk) 20:14, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
"Wise men say, only fools....." Don't worry, Medeis, we can't help falling in love with you... :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 06:24, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
many had nowhere to go and we were all familiar with many languages, so the comparison was between the superiority of the Greek alphabet, the minimalism of the Latin alphabet, and the brutality of Cyrillic - this is just stupid (was it enough brutal to say?).--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:17, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, "Westerners" are those silly poor people who historically have had to live at the of very edge the Eurasian continent and later they even have been forced to travel to another big continent (called "Murrica" in their corrupted creole) at the western edge of the Atlantic pond as nobody could stand them anymore. As usual they are characterised by their arrogance, ignorance and even fear of the people to the east of their edge.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I thought Russians were part of those silly poor Westerners. They are the silly poor Westerners who got their asses kicked numerous times by real Easterners (such as the Mongols) and so, to guarantee this doesn't happen again, they had to go all the way up to Vladivostok and Sakhalin, but in so doing they just extended Europe to the Pacific. Just ask the Chinese if they think Russians are "Easterners". Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 08:33, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Whether Russia is "the West" or "the East" is an everlasting existential Russian dilemma which may be dated back to the 16th century (if not to the 11th century). The early West-European authors of the 16th-18th centuries tended to treat Russians as "eastern despotic schismatic barbarians" as opposed to their holy only true western Christianity (later relabeled as "Freedom and Democracy"™). Most probably the well-known concept of "Russian (Red) peril" came from those times. Unfortunately, as you mentioned right, the "Eastern Easterners" like Mongols or Chinese or the "Western Easterners" like Turks or Arabs do not want treat Russians as any-sort Easterners either. So Russian are stuck in between. Maybe they are just "Centerers"? The ancestors of both Europeans and Asians came through Russia anyway. If we return to the perceptions of alphabets, so "brutal Cyrillic" (which sounds absolutely silly for me) is rather an echo of 500-year old "Russian/Eastern schismatics peril" stereotypes. Especially if we know that Cyrillic is just a 9th-10th century Greek alphabet with extra letters which later in the 18th century was restyled by Dutch typographers.--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 21:04, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
So it's the Dutch who made it brutal! I'm not surprised seeing how they play soccer (cf. Robin van Persie's "Flying Dutchman")! Face-smile.svg Let's note however that printing was introduced to Russia much earlier and using presumably a less "brutal" type. Already Иван Грозный founded Russia's Московский печатный двор in 1553 (having some innocent brutal fun here), which was Russia's first publishing house, although I don't know if that means it was Russia's very first printing shop. The first printing of Cyrillic characters however was done in 1513 by the Belarusian Francysk Skaryna on the territory of the then Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Regarding where Russia stands, let Russians not let themselves be defined by others. Besides, if UEFA and the Eurovision say that Russia is in Europe who cares what Hitler and Napoleon thought. Note that the Byzantine Empire and other places were at one time as eastern, as despotic and as schismatic, but never were as maligned as Russia. (That is if you ignore things such as the Sack of Constantinople where the Crusaders on their way to defend the Holy Sepulcher from the Turks thought they'd stop at Constantinople instead and burn the last remaining copies of Menander, Sappho, etc.) So there could be something else. Maybe size?
Skaryna's Bible: A kinder gentler type of Cyrillic?

Contact Basemetal here 12:03, 23 November 2014 (UTC)


The type of Fyodorov was nearly identical to the book handwriting of the style of the time (polu-ustav "Cyrillic uncial") that was in turn nearly identical to the Greek uncial of the end of the 1th millennium. Skoryna printed his books in Prague and was a sort of outsider to the Eastern Christianity (some suspected him of heresy and advocacy of western Protestant ideas). His type was quite unique. The story of the Petrine typographic reform is well told here (if you don't understand Russian, you can use Google Translate and get a general idea and look at fine illustrations at least).
The West-East Russian dilemma is a difficult subject, here is not too convenient place for discussing. But one thing I can say: the starting point and the first motive force of these anti-Russian sentiments were Russian-Lithuanian and later Russian-Polish wars. Lithuanians and Poles were the main intermediates between West Europe and Russia (this is why Russia fought westward then - it needed no intermediates). In their best interest was to create a bad image of their old rival for their Western potential allies. When Lithuanians beat Russians in 1514 under Orsha they even were issuing one of the first propaganda pamphlets about "barbaric schismatic Muscovites". Later on history this scenario has repeated many times, as you can see even from modern Western MSM (I think I stop at this point). And yes, other things like Russian geography complicate the matter also as well. --Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 08:50, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion for an essay[edit]

I would suggest that the IPA is analogous to the periodic table. The periodic table starts off your basic understanding of chemistry. You don't need to understand the intricacies of isotopes, valence electrons and a whole bunch of other stuff (most of which I don't understand) to benefit from knowing it. Knowing that salt is made up of Sodium and Chlorine and water is made up of Hydrogen and Oxygen opens up your understanding of the physical world.
Similarly, learning that the <u> in "butter" is not the same sound as the <u> in "cough", "caught", "put", "fuel", and so on opens up your understanding of language. For me, finding out about what ə meant was like finding about the elements that made up water and salt.
So: Wikipedia:Why you should learn the IPA should be written. WP:RL/L people: what do you think about this proposal? P AU aka --Shirt58 (talk) 10:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Wrong section. That was two days ago. See above. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:56, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Westerners? Contact Basemetal here 09:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The "u" in caught? What the devil does that mean? The "au" represents /ɔ/. The "u" by itself represents nothing here. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 02:49, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
You're not supposed to read beneath the lines. Contact Basemetal here 09:42, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
"The "u" in caught? What the devil does that mean?" It means that orthography ≠ phonology. Moshi-moshi KageTora. Have you read "Exercises in the Yokohama Dialect, Oh my? --Shirt58 (talk) 11:13, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Ha ha ha. "Japanese" along the AnonMoos principles. It's so demented it's brilliant. I love pp. 20-21 "Church = Oh Terror" (presumably from お寺 "otera"?) and "Punishment = Pumpgutz" (not able to decipher that one; anyone?). Contact Basemetal here 11:35, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
And another good one: "Officiating priest = Tacksan hanash bosan" that is "The Monk Who Talks A Lot". I think in normal Japanese this should be たくさん話す坊さん "Takusan hanasu bousan". And this is only from two pages and there's even more on those two pages. Thank you Shirt for uncovering this treasure trove. It should be clear this is not normal Japanese but a kind of pidginis Japanese that was presumably in use in the city of Yokohama as a communication means between Japanese and foreigners in the 19th c. Contact Basemetal here 14:09, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It's only now that everyone is realising that our United Kingdom tiny group of islands were the safest place all along, so now there are so many here, we are on the verge of sinking! :) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 09:25, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Did you mean to write United Kingdom or did you in fact intend tiny group of islands? Wiki syntax has got a few "irrversible binomials". Not a native speaker yet? Contact Basemetal here 10:01, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Seems like I did indeed. Thank you for pointing that out. I should employ you as a proofreader. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:00, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
It contains such amusingly rubbish glossary items like "bootmaker = coots pom pom otoko" (くつ ポンポン 男 - "shoes bang-bang male") and "earthquake = okee abooneye pon pon" (大きい 危ない ポンポン - "big dangerous bang-bang").
(Kage, I'm - as they might say in the Exercises in the Yokohama Dialect - "bikooree star" you hadn't heard of it!)
Now, about this proposed essay... Face-smile.svg--Shirt58 (talk) 09:08, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
You're not gonna produce an IPA version of the "Exercises..." are you! Face-smile.svg (And not to sound pedantic but "pom pom" is supposed to mean "hammer" (so "shoes hammer male person") while it's "pon pon" that's "bang bang". What distinction in Japanese that is supposed to represent is anyone's guess.) To be fair, if you read the preliminary matter, the humor is not entirely involuntary and Japanese readers were aware of it, witness this humorously despondent comment from a Japanese newspaper, the Nisshin Shinjishi (日新真事誌) (founded as it happens by the Scotsman J. R. Black): "We have feared this. Our currency tampered with, and our hair cut the wrong way; and now this book comes along, and pulls the roof off our language." Contact Basemetal here 19:31, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

November 19[edit]

What does "going down on me" connote in Irish English?[edit]

The term pretty much only means performing fellatio on me in American English, unless you pick some odd context like a stock investment, which does not apply here. Does Irish have that meaning for the phrase as well? Does it have any other literal or figurative meaning? Might it be a double entendre? I came across the phrase in a text written by an Irish author, but don't want to mention the text for fear of prejudicing responses--and it's not Joyce, but contemporary. Thanks. μηδείς (talk) 02:28, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

When I was involved in managing mainframe computers, the system crashing was often described as "the system went down on me". If it happened often, it would be "the computer kept going down on me". HiLo48 (talk) 07:01, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Don't let the sun go down on me ... ;) — SMUconlaw (talk) 08:56, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
@HiLo48 I've heard that in my local New England dialect as well. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 14:28, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Clarification, the definition of fellatio involves a penis. The phrase in AmEng can also refer to other forms of oral sex, e.g. cunnilingus. I have also heard HiLo's example usage in AmEng, all across the country. Oxford dictionaries have British uses here [1], including something about going to prison or finishing at university. SemanticMantis (talk) 15:37, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Those are really just uses of 'go down'. Someone finishing their studies at an Oxbridge college is said to have 'gone down', as in" He went down from Cambridge without a degree", while someone is 'sent down' from court to prison on conviction (from the time when court rooms were physically above the gaol) - "he was sent down for 10 years for murder". Neither of these can be used with 'on me'. I have to say, I've never heard it used here in Ireland to mean anything other than 'perform fellatio', so I think I'm going to have to ask to ruin the surprise and find out what the context is before judging whether there is some other sense intended. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 15:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
If you can say "he went down" you should be able to say "he went down on me" if that affected you. For example: "He went down for 10 years for murder on me and left me alone with the kids". Contact Basemetal here 17:58, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Should, eh? Hmm. I've never heard anyone say "He went to jail on me", or "He got caught on me". But "He went to town on me" is possible, and usually involves not leaving the house at all. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:03, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Maybe this is an AmEng thing? Basemmetal's examples are roughly what I was thinking of too, and though I haven't heard it specifically, I wouldn't balk at "He went to jail on me" in informal speech. A more realistic example that would be perfectly intelligible (but perhaps rustic/rural/informal) - "The old car went and died on me" - i.e. "on me" can be tacked on to many phrases ending in intransitive verbs, and it means that it has affected the speaker personally. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I've heard it as a horse racing term (both Irish and GB English) to mean that the horse(s) you backed have failed to win. - X201 (talk) 18:05, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

What I am looking for is idiomatic uses of "to go down on". I mentioned the stock went down on me. But the analysis there is (the stock went down)(on me), Not (the stock went down on)(me, not her). The context is the lyrics to the song "Until the End of the World" by U2:

which appears to depict the Last Supper and portray Jesus and Judas as lovers. I suggested to the person who asked me this question that it was perhaps a double entendre given the greater context. Since falling or raining down on me would be more idiomatic, the choice of "going down on me" seems deliberate. I am satisfied with the answers above, and will pass them on. Thanks for the help. μηδείς (talk) 19:25, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

This seems to be an example of how common words sometimes have sexual meanings in very particular contexts. Other examples include 'do' ("I would totally do her"), 'have', 'go with', 'know'. Usually they only have a sexual meaning if both the subject and object is an individual person, and even then not always. You can see why such usages arise, to let you discuss sexual matters without using rude words, perhaps to seem more polite, perhaps to disguise what you are saying so only those who are paying attention or who catch your suggestive glance understand your real meaning. I don't know if there's a general name for this phenomena. It would seem to be common enough and I would not be surprised if other languages have something similar.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 18:47, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

The general term for using ambiguity to hide an indecent meaning in decent wording is double entendre. This is extremely common in movies from the beginning of talkies to the mid sixties and on US TV until the mid eighties, when Louise famously called George an ass (they had been building up to this with the use of jackass) on The Jeffersons. The kids would miss the innuendo while the adults laughed inwardly. μηδείς (talk) 20:05, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Not sure that's the most appropriate term; looking at it double entendre is something with two meanings, making it the basis for a joke or embarrassment, or both. But the point here is these are mostly entirely unambiguous, if the subject and object is a person. Perhaps a better word for them is euphemism. The examples under euphemism#Common examples include "doing it" and other examples using common non-sexual words.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 21:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I did not understand you were excluding jokes double meanings and just referring to hidden meanings. μηδείς (talk) 21:34, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Ronnie Barker had the last word on doubles entendres: "The marvellous thing about double entendres is that they only ever mean one thing". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 07:51, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Only one thing. All of them. Contact Basemetal here 09:53, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I thought I made it quite clear that Mr Barker had the last word on the matter. Or are you practising your ultimoverbulence?  :) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 10:04, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I was going to say that, but I knew you'd understand. Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 10:18, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Languages in censuses[edit]

Hello, Dear wikipedians. I invite you to edit and improve this article and to add information about your and other country.--Kaiyr (talk) 08:00, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Shouldn't the plural be 'censi'? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:04, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
No, the Latin plural of 'census' is 'census'. - Lindert (talk) 12:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
With long u though. Contact Basemetal here 12:21, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Define "shouldn't". AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Define 'Grump'. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 17:42, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

West African origin of a Polish fish paste[edit]

I'm trying to trace the origin of a popular Polish paste made of fish, rice, tomatoes and spices, called paprykarz szczeciński. According to our Wikipedia article, it was inspired by an African dish known as chop-chop, which included a mysterious ingredient called pima. The same story can be found in several other places in the Internet (all in Polish), but they all cite a single original source: the memories of a one-time employee of the fish processing company that first produced the Polish paste. Now, while I believe that the African inspiration is plausible, as Polish deep-sea fishermen did work off the West African coast in the 1960's, I am quite convinced that the guy got the names wrong. Chop-chop and pima both link to disambiguation pages, but none of the meanings listed there fit.

Pima almost certainly refers to piment, the French word for a chili pepper. The use of a French word in West Africa is no surprise. Chop-chop is more difficult to identify, though. My guess is that the African delicacy in question may be thiéboudiène – a Senegalese dish made of fish, rice and tomatoes among other ingredients; but the name is not even close to chop-chop. I've also found that tchop means "to eat" in Camfranglais, the pidgin language of Cameroon. But Cameroon is quite far from Senegal. So my question to anyone familiar with languages spoken in West Africa is whether something that sounds like "chop-chop" could possibly be the name of a dish or be otherwise related to eating in any of the languages spoken in the area where thiéboudiène or something similar is a popular dish. I know it's a pretty vague question, but any suggestions or guesses are welcome. — Kpalion(talk) 18:01, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

"Chop-chop" to me means a mull for a bong. (Not that I'd know anything about such things, you understand.) -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:59, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I'd look at ketchup, which has a suspiciously similar name, and evolved from pickled fish and spices, later with tomato. This may be a wanderwort as is common with many related food recipes and spice names. μηδείς (talk) 20:30, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Not really related, but "chop chop!", meaning "hurry up", is still heard in London. Alansplodge (talk) 11:41, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
In a parallel universe, we're all editing Chopedia. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 14:00, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the answers so far. μηδείς's hint has led me to cachupa, but this Capeverdean dish is not as close, in terms of ingredients, to paprykarz szczeciński as thiéboudiène is. I will keep on searching, but any further clues will be appreciated. — Kpalion(talk) 11:26, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Term meaning[edit]

Can someone help me here, as you might now I am not a native English speaker and I ran across this expression "high energy bicycle accident", and I couldn't help but wonder what does the term "high energy" mean. Does this refer to a high speed or something? Thanks in avance. Miss Bono [hello, hello!] 20:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

It means that the vehicles involved in the accident have high momentum. Momentum is is the product of mass and velocity. So speed is a component, but so is mass. It suggests that the bicyclist hit a heavy object at high speed or that a heavy object hit the bicyclist at high speed. Marco polo (talk) 20:22, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Miss Bono [hello, hello!] 20:29, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Kinetic energy is more relevant, which is proportional to the square of the velocity: \begin{smallmatrix} \frac{1}{2}mv^2 \end{smallmatrix}
. μηδείς (talk) 20:33, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
    • Which means that the phrase could also include a low-speed accident where the other vehicle was a large one. -- (talk) 04:24, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It's just a high speed bicycle accident. But it's the first time I've heard a bicycle accident described this way. Somebody thought they were being clever introducing physics jargon into bicycle accidents. It is from a press release from the hospital (see for example here). It is repeated textually everywhere and enclosed in quotes. Enclosing it in quotes suggests: "I wasn't the idiot who was trying to be clever, I'm just repeating what I was told". Contact Basemetal here 20:39, 19 November 2014 (UTC) PS This is not an answer to Marco Polo or Medeis. I was answering the original question but as usual I got an edit conflict so it looks like I'm responding to Marco Polo and Medeis. Contact Basemetal here 20:42, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
Put (ec) or use a bullet if you don't want to be seen as responding to the response immediately overhead. I used a bullet because I wasn't responding to Miss Bono's thanks. μηδείς (talk) 20:51, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
You're not saying anything that is consistent with WP:INDENT. If you wanted to make it clear you were not replying to Bono, a simple single indent would have been fine. SemanticMantis (talk) 20:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Well ok. But you've got to admit in 2014 this system is antiquated. When are we gonna have a decent piece of software to automatically handle these things? Contact Basemetal here 20:57, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
That's an ongoing topic of conversation, someone can point you to the past botched rollouts and the dastardly 'flow' (note the similarity to flu, as in virus). My opinion is that learning these things serves as a gatekeeper function. Make people buy their own magic markers, rather than handing them to every juvenile graffiti artists who passes by. μηδείς (talk) 21:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I would guesss - purely speculating - that the 'high energy bicycle accident' was a head-on collision, as Bono was trying to avoid another cyclist. (Side note: Jet-lag + sunglasses + winter are not the ideal conditions for cycling through one of the world's busiest cities) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 13:04, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
One of the sources I read said swerved and fell over. Most likely they'd have reported a collision, or a second person involved. There'd also likely be a police report, given the severity and possible liability. μηδείς (talk) 19:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Here's the CNN article.[2] They put that "high energy" in quotes, as if to say, "We didn't invent this phrase." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:40, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
So you think CNN is better than BBC? Contact Basemetal here 10:04, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Not exactly. I had assumed that CNN quoted BBC. It was the "scare-quotes" which seemed relevant. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:57, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
BBC has no adverts. CNN is about 75% adverts (most of which are for itself - bizarre, because if I am already watching something which is free, then why advertise it? I always hated the 'And after the break....' bit. OK, the part they were promising to show you 'after the break' was technically after the break, but it was also after several other breaks, if they even showed it at all. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:45, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Agreed with all this. I was referring to the respective websites. I was just teasing Bugs because I had already linked to the BBC article. Don't know if Jesus would have approved though. Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 11:11, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
It means that he was accelerated to nearly the speed of light in a bicyclotron--Wikimedes (talk) 12:25, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Now that the better answers are out of the way, here's High Energy challenging Money, Inc. for the WWF World Tag Team Championship in 1994. InedibleHulk (talk) 23:11, November 22, 2014 (UTC)

November 20[edit]

Pairs of words[edit]

Is there a special name for set constructions like 'knife and fork', or 'mother and father', where by changing the order, the constructions sounds unusual? I noticed a lot with non-native speakers that they would switch the order - this is so common that I feel quite impressed with them if they say them in the order I am used to. I know that in Japanese, the order is always 'father and mother', and they transfer this into English (I found myself transferring my preffered order into Japanese, and I was told it was 'incorrect'). More interestingly, Japanese does not have a particularly set order for 'knife and fork', yet they invariably say 'fork and knife' when speaking English (which sounds particularly funny for Northern Br. Eng. speakers). I have also heard Chinese use the same order as Japanese, as well as speakers of (non-English) European languages. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:06, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

I would probably call that "cultural common usage", or some such thing. I don't know of anything more specific. I suspect one could find some differences in such things between American and British, which would mean that it's not necessarily native vs. non-native speakers. (Although a Brit is a non-native speaker of American English, and vice versa.) ‑‑Mandruss  10:17, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
See Siamese twins (linguistics). — Kpalion(talk) 10:28, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Well there you have it, and I think I'll use "irreversible binomials" as it has a nice ring to it. ‑‑Mandruss  10:31, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I knew there would be a name for it, thanks. So next time I am in hospital, I can tell them I fell down the Apples and Pairs, and the nurse will say, "You mean the 'stairs'?", and I will reply, "Yes, nurse. My doctor says I have a bad case of irreversible binomials." :) Anyway, thanks. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 10:47, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
That article needs just a bit of trimming, I think. "Last will and testament"? "No quarter. No mercy"? That was just a cursory scan. ‑‑Mandruss  11:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict; answering Mandruss "Well there you have it..." and ignoring everything that came after) Some pairs that are not included (yet?): "brother and sister", "mother and father", "father and son", "the quick and the dead" (but "dead or alive"), "cats and dogs" (I believe "cats and dogs" is more common, maybe because of "raining cats and dogs", but I've also heard "dogs and cats", or "a dog and a cat", uttered by people who were definitely native speakers of English), "no ifs, ands, or buts", "dot the i's and cross the t's", etc. You can probably expand those lists indefinitely. It's great to have a name for it but in fact it's a catchall. It doesn't say anything about why any such pair is "irreversible" (there maybe different reasons: rhythm, meaning, or simply habit). Knowing that you say "big bad wolf" not "bad big wolf" seems to be something similar and distinct from the fact that you say "I drink coffee" not "I coffee drink" which seems to involve a more basic component of the grammar although who knows there may be borderline cases. Contact Basemetal here 11:18, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I think there should be some sort of clear criteria for inclusion, beyond "word combinations that usually occur in this order". You don't include "last will and testament" simply because no one says "last testament and will". I believe it's a legal term, which is where the word order comes from. You could start by excluding combinations like that, and then use Google to determine the degree of preference. "Cats and dogs" is preferred to "dogs and cats", but it only has about 55% of the total, not enough to justify inclusion. Something along those lines. ‑‑Mandruss  11:32, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Also maybe we should not rush to grant the term "irreversible binomials" a status it might not deserve. It may just be someone's coinage. As alluded by Kage Tora's joke "irreversible" by itself usually carries another meaning. "Non reversible" or "Non invertible" may be a better description of what's going on. Also check out set phrase and all the see alsos in both articles. This may be a day to enlarge our linguistic vocabulary. Contact Basemetal here 11:36, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
"Mother and father" - 60%, still not enough. The more selective it is, the more meaningful the results, imo. Requiring 100% would be too much, being virtually impossible, but say 80% might be a good compromise. "Law and order", 86%. ‑‑Mandruss  11:50, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, we have to take into consideration that a very large number of websites, though written in English, are not written by native English speakers. So my second point in my original post still stands. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:04, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
A very large number, or a very large percentage? In other words, do you think they would skew the results to the point where they are no longer meaningful? ‑‑Mandruss  12:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
What is the difference between a large number and a large percentage? I was merely saying that in English we have these set phrases, and also in other languages they also have set phrases, some of which may have the same word order, and others which may not. It would be very difficult to find out the nationalities of all the people who wrote the websites, comments, sub-comments, etc., (plus the fact that lots of comments are written in 'nonsense' English, such as "ya, bu a no da, bu e woz ur dad's baba"). I don't think that in this case, Googling the results would be helpful, albeit inasmuchas giving us a very rough estimate of how people use the constructions. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 18:11, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Ok, forget the idea then. To answer your question, I think most people would call 20 million a large number. Whether it's a large percentage depends on the size of the total. Twenty million is a large percentage of, say, 30 million, but a tiny percentage of 30 trillion. ‑‑Mandruss  18:17, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Who in the world says father and mother? μηδείς (talk) 19:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
No one. Not even this guy Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 20:16, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't know, but it's said 18.9 million times on the web, starting with a couple of biblical references including "honor your". Could be the aforementioned non-native speakers. ‑‑Mandruss  20:24, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Despite what Al Murray might like you to believe, the Bible was not written in English. It was merely translated. Word for word. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 20:30, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Ok. No one. Not even this guy Face-smile.svg Face-smile.svg Contact Basemetal here 20:31, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
According to Google Ngrams, "father and mother" has been most common overall, with only a brief period of "mother and father" dominance between 1981 and 2004. Lesgles (talk) 20:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm late to the party, but I'll point out set phrase which is a related concept. By the way, regarding the listing at Siamese twins (linguistics), an objective criteria for example inclusion/exclusion is WP:Verifiability - that is, does an external reliable source provide them explicitly as an example of the concept being presented. -- (talk) 01:12, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you for set phrase. It had already been mentioned three times but no such thing as too much of a good thing. And now a fourth time. (That wasn't a set phrase now was it?) Contact Basemetal here 09:46, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The word order article explains that ' you say "I drink coffee" not "I coffee drink" ' because English is a subject–verb–object language. Under "word order" one might also file adjective order (you say "big bad wolf" not "bad big wolf"); however, the current "word order" article seems to deal only with syntax, whereas adjective order I guess is lexical semantics. But that's still a different pigeonhole from lexicon, where set phrases and Siamese twins are filed, being mere lexical items. Of course Big Bad Wolf is now a set phrase, but it wasn't when it was coined. jnestorius(talk) 13:36, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
This is getting slightly off-topic, but I recently saw a study that suggested that when speakers of any language, regardless of VSO, SVO, or SOV word order, used sign language to express anything, they would invariably use SOV order (pointing at the person first, then the coffee, then making a drinking motion). KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 14:11, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Is it an acceptable sentence?[edit]

Following sentence is from Wikipedia (
"Thus rotation allows increased yields from nutrient availability but also alleviation of allelopathy and competitive weed environments."
As per my Indian English I think it should be:
Thus rotation allows not only increased yields from nutrient availability but also alleviation of allelopathy and competitive weed environments.
Kindly comment. Thanks. Vineet Chaitanya (talk) 13:34, 20 November 2014 (UTC)Vineet Chaitanya

The second is an improvement, in my opinion, but we could improve further. The "not only—but also" construct doesn't serve much purpose here, and "allows alleviation" seems a little cumbersome. I also feel "provides increased yields" seems more natural (unless something besides rotation is required to get the increased yields). Here are some alternatives.
Thus rotation provides increased yields from nutrient availability and alleviation of allelopathy and competitive weed environments.
Thus rotation provides increased yields from nutrient availability. It also alleviates allelopathy and competitive weed environments.
Thus rotation provides increased yields from nutrient availability, and it alleviates allelopathy and competitive weed environments. ‑‑Mandruss  13:41, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Leaving style aside I wouldn't say "increased yields from nutrient availability but also alleviation of allelopathy and competitive weed environments" is unacceptable in the sense of it being ungrammatical which may have been what Vineet was asking. I've got here a recent example from an experienced WP editor who is also a native speaker of American English (Jerome Kohl -- I hope you don't mind my using your testimony in this context at the RD; regarding the figured bass thing I'll have something else to ask at that page). Here Jerome writes: "Andrew Manze has made a case for performing violin music from before about 1720 senza basso (on grounds that the continuo parts tend to be musically very simple, and even redundant, but also because of documentary evidence from the period)." so the dangling "but also" is definitely acceptable in American English per Jerome's testimony. The choice of the dangling "but also" (as opposed to "not only ... but also") may connote something like a hierarchy, or a difference in perceived importance, between the two terms, but I'll let others discuss that. Contact Basemetal here 13:24, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Comment: I do talk like that, it is true, but I hope that, when writing formal English for Wikipedia articles, I reflect on my first draft and improve the quality of the syntax. After all, there is a difference between informal and formal language, even in American English.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Why don't these English female names end in -a?[edit]

Why don't they end in -a? Examples include Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Esther, Eve, Ruth, Catherine and Rachel. They don't end in -a. But some variants do: Joanna, Isabella, Maria, Eva. (talk) 18:30, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Any reason why they should? DuncanHill (talk) 18:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
The short answer is they don't because there is no requirement (or convention) that English female names should end in 'a'. I suspect that many English female names ending in 'a' are in fact variants originally from elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
There are quite a few female names that come from Latin (Amanda, Angela, Barbara, Clara, Diana, Marcia, Stella etc.) but English is not one of the Romance languages so names more frequently come from other roots. Dbfirs 18:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I hope everyone realizes that there are VERY few personal names (male or female) used by modern English speakers that are "natively" English. The only common one I can think of off the top of my head for women is Ethel. The vast majority of recognizable English personal names are borrowings from other European languages. It's no wonder there's such a wide variance. --Jayron32 19:21, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Although some very common male names are Germanic: Edward, Harold, Robert/Robin, Richard, Roger. Less common these days: Albert, Alfred, Arnold, Bertram, Cuthbert, Edmund, Gilbert, Wilfred, Wilbert. Hence Roberta, Alberta, Alfreda. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:45, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Edith and Mildred (see [3]) also seem to be Old English. Hilda (which does end in 'a') is at least Germanic, if not natively English. Presumably the Anglo-Saxons brought Germanic names with them, so deciding what is or isn't 'native' is likely to be difficult. There were of course also Anglo-Saxon male names ending in 'a' e.g. Offa. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:58, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
And don't forget that indomitable woman Emma of Normandy and the Empress Matilda. --TammyMoet (talk) 21:12, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Emma of Normandy wasn't 'natively English' - she was of Norman/'Viking' descent. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:25, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
"Matilda" and "Hilda" have a common root.[4]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:10, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Agreed - but I've not found evidence that 'Mathilda' was used in pre-Norman England. It is of course possible, given its widespread use elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:29, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The a-less names that are mentioned are all either long nativized, like Mary, and have lost their final -a which in usually became a schwa, then a silent e, as in Eve. See also Marie. Or, like Ruth, Rachel and Elizabeth, they never had a final a in the original Hebrew or Aramaic. Isabella, Maria, and Eva are more recent borrowings from Italian or Spanish or some Romance source that retained the final a. μηδείς (talk) 21:28, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Elisabetha Nina Mary Frederica Lehmann was better known as Liza Lehmann. Her father was German, but I've never even heard that variant of Elis(z)abeth in German. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:23, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
  • EO has histories of popular names. Elizabeth apparently started as Elishebha, "God is an oath," and the trailing "a" had been dropped by the Greeks long before it worked its way through Latin and into English. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:40, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Baseball Bugs -- In the original Biblical Hebrew, it's [ʔĕlīʃeβaʕ], ending in a pharyngeal consonant sound, so the [a] vowel is not actually part of a feminine ending. In the transition from Hebrew to Greek, a "t(h)" was added to the end of the word -- which can be part of a feminine suffix in Hebrew, but not in Greek! AnonMoos (talk) 00:40, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
    • It makes sense for Hilda to have a trailing "a", as Hild means "battle" in Old German and the trailing "a" feminized it.[5]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:43, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Mention should also be made of King Anna, although I wouldn't recommend naming your son after him. Alansplodge (talk) 23:06, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

Yes, some Old English names are probably best left unrevived. I wouldn't recommend naming a daughter after 8th-century abbess Bugga. [6] AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:35, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, bugger, and that was my second choice after 'Frigg' was turned down by the authorities...:) KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 23:55, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd love to see the ditheme pattern become productive again. —Tamfang (talk) 08:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
In Old English, -a in the nominative singular was more often masculine than feminine. It was -u in the nominative singular which was more often feminine than masculine... AnonMoos (talk) 00:58, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I am not going to check this up, just now, but wasn't that from the P-Germ. -n stems? Also used as a diminutive? KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 01:11, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I was just coming to post what AM said, in Old English grammar, feminine nominatives usually end in -u, -e or -0 (no ending.) The proto-Germanic language had -ō-, not -a as the feminine thematic vowel. According to proto-Germanic grammar the original -Vn stems were masculine or neuter, and the feminine -ōn stems were an innovation based on the original feminine -ō stems with the -n added by analogy. μηδείς (talk) 01:22, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Griselda is Germanic, is it not? I'm not saying that it was loaned into English through a Germanic language, but it is ultimately Germanic in origin, no? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 02:45, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes. It's another "Hilda" variant.[7]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 03:08, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
I should point out that the reflex of pG -ō, in OHG was indeed -a, if not -a in English nominatives. μηδείς (talk) 03:21, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Oh, I almost forgot, one still has Amelia (a variant of Amalia which was influenced by "Emilia") which is ultimately derived from *amal ("bravery"). They also have "Milly" (from "Mildred"), Ashley (because it can be used as a female name nowadays), Hayleigh, Dawn, Dahlia (sort of), Adele (and thus "Adie"), Erica (sort of, also influenced by the unrealted botany term), Audrey, Beverley, Callie (originated as a short form of "Caroline"), Carol, etc. etc. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 04:03, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
"Emilia", the feminized "Emil". "Erica", feminized "Eric". "Milly", diminutive of "Mildred", "Milicent", etc. "Addie", diminutive of "Adeline", "Adelaide", etc. "Ashley" is mostly a feminine name now, was once mostly just a surname.[8] "Beverly" means "beaver lodge", I kid you not.[9]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 15:56, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

November 21[edit]

Acknowledgement/Proof read[edit]

Hello friends,

I hope you all are well.

I need help...

Can someone read the information in the link provided please, and let me know if this website functions the same way as Wikipedia or not.

The link:


( (talk) 14:47, 21 November 2014 (UTC))

Not exactly. That site uses a noncommercial Creative Commons license—that is, material on the site cannot be used for commercial purposes. The license(s) Wikipedia operates under allow all uses, including commercial, as long as attribution is given. Deor (talk) 14:57, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Thank you very much Deor. Regards Smile.gif -- ( (talk) 05:33, 22 November 2014 (UTC))

November 22[edit]

Usage of "suborn"[edit]

This Wired article[10] contains the sentence: "What does that mean for a society, for a democracy, when the people that you elect on the basis of promises can basically suborn the will of the electorate?"

Does this usage of the word "suborn" sound correct? It doesn't really match any of the dictionary definitions. I'm no prescriptivist but after some Googling I still can't find any other source using "suborn" this way. WinterWall (talk) 01:21, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

He was probably aiming for "subvert" and got suborned along the way. Clarityfiend (talk) 02:42, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
"Suborn the will of the electorate" might be legitimate in some contexts - see moral panic, Red scare, "millions were willing to fight against Popery without knowing whether Popery was a man or a horse" (Defoe, I think). However, I suspect over-enthusiastic use of the thesaurus, with the writer looking for a replacement for something like "corrupt". Tevildo (talk) 23:55, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, Tevildo, that potential quote of Defoe's was hilarious. μηδείς (talk) 23:06, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
No problem, it's what we're here for. Research indicates that it was actually written by William Hazlitt, although he attributes it to Defoe. Tevildo (talk) 09:14, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
That's what I suspected. Thanks, you two. Isn't the Wired editor supposed to put a [sic] behind these kind of mistakes? WinterWall (talk) 02:08, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
See Sic#Form of ridicule. It's possible that Wired didn't want to be seen as ridiculing Snowden. It's also possible that they just missed it. ‑‑Mandruss  03:00, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Google suggests alternatives like: influence, affect, sway, impinge. LEO (Translator started at Munich University) confirms like mislead, entrap. G also suggests a Catalan word for bribery, payola as part of corruption. The article's quotation is about voters in decission influenced by given promises. If the promises are impossible, it would be stubborn to vote this way. Journalists were traveling into former russian terretories and reported similar, like buying electors decission for $20. --Hans Haase (talk) 10:23, 24 November 2014 (UTC)


Guys, I need to insert the bulletins into the paragraph. I don’t know how to, I need help please.


The development of English orthography was dominated by Christian texts. Capitalized, "God" was first used to refer to the Judeo-Christian concept and may now signify any monotheistic conception of God, including the translations of the Arabic ‘Allāh’, Persian ‘Khuda’, Indic ‘Ishvara’ and the African Maasai ‘Engai’.

• ‘Adonai’ YHWH as "Lord GOD"

• YHWH ‘Elohim’ as "LORD God"

• ‘κυριος ο θεος’ as "LORD God" (in the Septuagint, New Testament and related writings)

I thought of typing,

Hebrew ‘Adonai’ YHWH as "Lord GOD", and YHWH ‘Elohim’ as "LORD God". - I'm not sure if this is correct.

I don’t know what to type for the latter.

Greek ‘κυριος ο θεος’ as "LORD God" (in the Septuagint, New Testament and related writings)

( (talk) 05:39, 22 November 2014 (UTC))


Will this work if I write it like this (I still don't know what I should insert exchanging the embolden words):

The development of English orthography was dominated by Christian texts. Capitalized, "God" was first used to refer to the Judeo-Christian concept i.e Hebrew ‘Adonai’ YHWH as "Lord GOD", and/or YHWH ‘Elohim’ as "LORD God", Greek ‘κυριος ο θεος’ as "LORD God" (in the Septuagint, New Testament and related writings), and may now signify any monotheistic conception of God, including the translations of the Arabic ‘Allāh’, Persian ‘Khuda’, Indic ‘Ishvara’ and the African Maasai ‘Engai’.

Can someone help me please?

( (talk) 13:36, 22 November 2014 (UTC))

Russell, I have no idea what you're asking. Are you asking if the words you're quoting are really from the Hebrew or the Greek language? Yes they are. What you say is Greek is indeed Greek and what you say is Hebrew is indeed Hebrew. Other than that I haven't got the faintest idea what the problem is. Contact Basemetal here 15:17, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I wasn't sure what I thought of was correct, I also thought something else could be inserted instead of what's embolden, I believe you cleared it... Thanks! Also, is it okay how I wrote the paragraph? -- ( (talk) 17:21, 22 November 2014 (UTC))
Your paragraph may come from WP article God (word) but the way it is written there takes into account context which you do not provide. So you may have have to adapt it a little bit. How about "The development of the English orthography of the word God was driven by Christian usage. Capitalized, God was first used to refer to the Judeo-Christian concept, i.e. Hebrew YHWH or Elohim or Adonai, adopted into Greek (first in the Jewish Greek writings, then in Christian literature) as ho Kurios or ho Theos, and may nowadays be used to signify any monotheistic concept of God, including that conveyed by Arabic Allah, Persian Khuda, Indic Ishvara and Maasai Engai." I can't vouch for the factual accuracy of everything here (even though it's from Wikipedia Face-smile.svg) but the English seems to me to be ok. Why are you transcribing the Hebrew but leaving the Greek? Are your readers familiar with the Greek alphabet? Note also that the way you (and the writer of the WP article) wrote the Ancient Greek phrase ignores accents and breathings which are normally part of how you write that phrase. Sometimes in Greek they capitalize sometimes they don't. Strictly speaking in Greek God is ho Theos. Ho Kurios ho Theos means the Lord God. And it is not necessary to provide English paraphrases (which are arbitrary anyway) for the Hebrew phrases. I don't know why you picked specifically the Maasai word as representative of Africa (except that it was in the article). It is not necessary to say African Maasai because I'm not aware of any other language with that name anywhere else in the world. Strictly speaking it is probably better to say that Ishvara is Sanskrit rather than Indic as there are other Indic languages than Sanskrit but it is true that many borrowed heavily from Sanskrit. Depending on your audience you may wanna include the original spellings (in the Hebrew, Greek, Devanagari, Arabic and Middle Persian alphabets) but then again that may just be overkill. Hope this helps a bit. Always remember to always examine what you find in WP critically. WP is famously the encyclopedia that anyone can edit and it had at the last count 4,653,687 articles and 744,266,268 edits. More than a few of them are bound to be garbage. So always adopt a defensive posture. Contact Basemetal here 20:54, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
I’m just trying to create a shortcut understanding. I don’t have a full knowledge of what I am doing. All I know a few volunteers helped and gave me tips and tricks like you have to fix my careless (unknown) mistakes. I don’t know who’s gonna read the Sh_ _t. I am dying to finish it. it’s been over two years and I just wrote 25 pages. I am sick and tired. Thanks for opening my mind though. Please guide me like this if you find anymore silliness. I’ll examine from now on, I think I got the idea of how to examine… -- ( (talk) 03:57, 23 November 2014 (UTC))


1)Yes check.svg Done

“He also had a white spiritual Horse, a white stallion he mentioned named ‘Pegasus’.”

Shall I take off the two words “spiritual Horse” or leave it, because stallion means horse… People hardly use the word stallion therefore I wish to use the word. Or, what can I write instead of the sentence I quoted? Any suggestions?

You could write "He [also] had a mythical white horse, a stallion named Pegasus" or "He [also] had a mythical horse, a white stallion named Pegasus" or even better in my opinion "He [also] had a mythical white stallion named Pegasus" which is the most concise. In any case you don't need to repeat "white". I don't know what you mean by "spiritual", I presume you meant "mythical". I don't know who "he" is so I don't know if you'd be better off writing "owned" or "rode" or what have you (instead of "had"). Whether your "also" and "mentioned" are redundant or appropriate (though I'm almost certain that "mentioned" is redundant) can't be answered unless you give the entire context, that is a paragraph, or a few sentences before and (preferably, but not as crucially) after. Contact Basemetal here 13:57, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Spiritual as in Ghostly, mythical sounds good though. Will it cover the word ghostly/spiritual? -- ( (talk) 17:22, 22 November 2014 (UTC))
But Pegasus was not "ghostly". He was a very real winged horse. Except he is a mythical horse. He's not dead. He's been turned into a constellation. You gotta love Pegasus's pedigree here. This is Nijinsky's. And this is a List of leading Thoroughbred racehorses in racing history. All these other horses are not winged and not mythical but not ghostly either. Contact Basemetal here 22:39, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Okay, I guess the word 'Pegasus' needs to be exchanged with something else, say the name 'Rosa'. I'm talking about a ghostly horse, just like a spirit/soul/ghost of a man/woman, same way as for a horse. A spirit that hangs around, like the 'ghostbusters' film but this spirit horse is good... This horse does come from a mythical story though i.e (I don't exactly remember where from) but in the paragraph it says "Heavens open and the angel fall down riding a white stallion justifying the right and wrong"... -- ( (talk) 02:07, 23 November 2014 (UTC))
"He also had a ghostly white stallion named Pegasus." There's no rule against giving your horse (or your fictional character's horse) the name of a mythical horse, so long as you don't imply that your horse is the winged horse of myth. —Tamfang (talk) 08:43, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I understand Tamfang, (out of curiosity) the word 'ghostly', doesn't it sound a bit childish? I do mean the 'horse', a friend like 'Casper' the ghost. Your sentence do ultimately state what I mean, its just the word 'ghost'. The book is kind of, based on religous stuff... Or, Shall I just not think about it too much as two views (yours and mine) do agree upon what you stated? Also, can I write "He also had a "_ _ _ _ _ _ _" white stallion named Rosa what look like a Pegasus." Or, "He also had a "_ _ _ _ _ _ _" white stallion named Rosa, a winged horse that is found in the mythical story named Pegasus." -- ( (talk) 17:51, 23 November 2014 (UTC))
No, ghostly does not sound childish to me. — It would be more natural to simply add winged to the description than to invoke Pegasus. — I wouldn't give a feminine name like Rosa to a stallion.Tamfang (talk) 20:21, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Lol. Understood, thank you. -- ( (talk) 21:44, 23 November 2014 (UTC))
I'd add a slight rephrasing to "a white, ghostly horse" to clarigy that the horse is both white and ghostly, rather than white like a ghost. If you want a more formal sounding word for ghostly, then "spectral" is a good alternative. MChesterMC (talk) 10:22, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Has anyone seen 'He-man'? What can I call Shira's horse? (a profound name please). I wanna describe that horse as a ghostly horse but mixing it with the word 'stallion', what I found in a religious text... -- ( (talk) 18:02, 23 November 2014 (UTC))

2) Yes check.svg Done

These individuals are the ones who were living (lived) their lives inappropriately , known to have followed their destiny to hell which was written from beforehand before they were born (by the God almighty), for the satanic activities they done in their lifetime, including the time and after H stood up.

Can it be written in another way? Any suggestions?

( (talk) 13:39, 22 November 2014 (UTC))

For the second sentence I sort of get a vague idea what you're trying to say. How about this: "Those people lived their lives inappropriately. They had been destined to hell by God Almighty from before they were born for the Satanic activities they would perform in their lifetime." This is sort of trying to reconcile (or cover) the logical difficulty (as with all those religious statements): did they go to hell because of what they did in their life or were they destined to go to hell and did they do what they did just in order that their destiny be accomplished. But I'll leave it at that. Contact Basemetal here 14:10, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
they were destined to go to hell and did what they did just in order that their destiny be accomplished. Thanks Face-grin.svg -- ( (talk) 17:22, 22 November 2014 (UTC))

Thanks Basemetal and Tamfang Sert - happy smile.svg -- ( (talk) 21:44, 23 November 2014 (UTC))


November 23[edit]

Term for almost an enclave[edit]

Is there a term for an area of land, that is almost surrounded by another country, and the only way into that area by road is through the surrounding country? Such as this area, north of the Finn River, on the Ireland/Northern Ireland border? 54°07′25″N 7°18′18″W / 54.123570°N 7.304907°W / 54.123570; -7.304907 ---- CS Miller (talk) 10:25, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Here we call it an "inaccessible district". Kahastok talk 10:55, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
It's also sometimes called "pene-enclave". —Tamfang (talk) 20:12, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
The book "The Exclave Problem of Western Europe" by Honore M. Catudal (ISBN 0-8173-4729-1) calls them "pene-exclaves"... AnonMoos (talk) 23:01, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

German translation[edit]

I need a translation of Lieder für Freunde der Geselligen Freude for our Gaudeamus igitur article. Google is giving me "Songs for Friends of the Sociable Joy" which makes sense but isn't really English. Can anybody do better than a machine please? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alansplodge (talkcontribs)

Gesell means fellow, so you could go with companionable. The problem here doesn't seem to be translation, so much as the lack of a felicitous English expression. ("Friends of joy companionable" might at least sound more mock-poetical.) You are probably going to be stuck with something bad sounding in English if you want to be literal to the German. μηδείς (talk) 19:15, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Okay, so ""Songs for Friends of Companiable Joy" doesn't sound too bad does it? Alansplodge (talk) 19:19, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Alternatively someone has translated it as "Songs for Friends of Convivial Joy". --Antiquary (talk) 19:28, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
"Convivial" is pretty good, I think. That's probably as close in meaning and style as you're going to get. Fut.Perf. 20:09, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
It doesn't quite have the ring of a Top 40 hit. μηδείς (talk) 19:48, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
I'd go with "Songs for Party Lovers". ‑‑Mandruss  19:30, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Thank you, one and all. Being a conventional sort of chap, I'm going with "Songs for Friends of Convivial Joy", although Mandruss's suggestion is a close runner-up (it puts me in mind of a title that might be used by Mrs Mills, for those Brits old enough to remember). Alansplodge (talk) 20:09, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

(after edit conflict with OP ;-) The pairing "gesellige Freude" sounds antiquated to most contemporary German ears, or so I claim. I found it used (in various inflections) by Goethe, Wieland, but unfortunately not in texts for which I found English translations. Mandruss has a point, though other gatherings are imaginable too. It's often hard to even come up with a good translation of "gesellig". Similarly, see Gezelligheid. ---Sluzzelin talk 20:11, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

*Songs for Friends in Joyful Gath'ring sounds very Lutheran.  Does that work? μηδείς (talk) 23:03, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Gaudeamus igitur = So let us be merry! first hit of G, also So let us be joyful!.
"Lieder für Freunde der Geselligen Freude" = Songs for Friends/Fans of convivial pleasure/joy
Todays use of gesellig in Employment reference letters mostly indicates an former employed was drunk at work or problems with alcohol. But the Geselle is still the Journeyman who is an examinated Craft under German medieval conserved regulation Handwerksrolle. --Hans Haase (talk) 10:52, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

November 24[edit]


How do you pronounce that surname? What does it mean? How common is it? Which ethnicity? (talk) 03:07, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Where did you see it? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 05:39, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm guessing it's Turkish. The suffix -oğlu means "son of": see "Turkish name#Surnames". — SMUconlaw (talk) 05:41, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
And a search on the surname Leblebici brings it up in Turkish-language texts and paired with Turkish first names. -- Deborahjay (talk) 06:24, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Turkish pronunciation: [leblebidʒioːʼlu] English pronunciation: /ləbləbɪdʒɪɔːˈluː, -oʊˈluː/--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 07:54, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Leblecioğlu means "son of leblebici, that is a master of making leblebi".--Lüboslóv Yęzýkin (talk) 07:58, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Languages in which it is (somewhat) possible to write down simple melodies[edit]

Earlier this year, there was a thread on the popular Thai forum asking for the identification of an opera song that included a line that went "ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha", sung by a woman. Within ten minutes, the first reply had correctly given the answer as the Queen of the Night Aria from Mozart's the Magic Flute, much to the amazement of the Thai online community.[11] Now this might sound rather amazing, but it really isn't. Being a tonal language with clear distinction between short and long syllables, the query "ฮะ ฮะ ฮะ ฮะ ฮะ ฮะ ฮะ ฮะ ห่า"  [háʔ háʔ háʔ háʔ háʔ háʔ háʔ háʔ hàː], when spoken aloud, actually sounds almost exactly like how it is sung in the aria. Similar threads also exist asking about various pop songs with lines consisting of na na na and other non-lexical vocables.

My question is, in what other languages is this conveying of melody through normal writing (not musical notation) also possible? Are most tonal languages able to satisfy this example? I'm guessing such is the case with the closely related Tai languages, but what about other Asian languages like Chinese or Vietnamese, or those of Africa? What about non-tonal languages? Is it even possible there? --Paul_012 (talk) 09:26, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Check out Whistled language. KägeTorä - () (Chin Wag) 12:26, 24 November 2014 (UTC)