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typing a paper when "when" was underlined and siad it was a colloq somthing does any body care to fill me in. ? (talk) 21:35, 4 October 2012 (UTC) ?

probably means that you said something in an informal manner and they want it said more formally. Hard to say when you just give us a single word from your paper. Wbm1058 (talk) 01:35, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Colloquial name[edit]

The term colloquial name is commonly used on Wikipedia. Somewhere this article should define it. A name is a word or term used for identification, i.e., a specific type of word or term. Terms are words and compound words. A colloquialism is a word, phrase, or paralanguage that is employed in conversational or informal language but not in formal speech or formal writing. A phrase may refer to any group of words. Therefore, a colloquial name is a word or term used for identification that is employed in conversational or informal language but not in formal speech or formal writing. Somewhat different than a common name, which is a word or term used for identification that is most commonly used in reliable sources. ;) – Wbm1058 (talk) 01:26, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Creating a list[edit]

If not already found somewhere on Wikipedia, it might be nice to create a List of colloquial expressions in English, perhaps with sections for different varieties of English. I suppose such a list could become pretty long, but I think it could be a useful educational tool. —BarrelProof (talk) 17:32, 3 December 2014 (UTC)


I removed the entire section. It was worthless in my estimation.

  1. Its only reference was to a web site at Princeton University, which was a mirror site of this page! In other words the "reference" was a citation of this page.
  2. The "examples" given are not colloquialisms at all, e.g. "Some examples of informal colloquialisms...aphorism ('There's more than one way to skin a cat')... " This aphorism is Standard English, with 48 million hits on Google.
  3. It repeated content found elsewhere in the article.
  4. All of the new content was not examples of colloquialisms.
  5. A significant portion of the content was not even about colloquialisms in any form.

Nick Beeson (talk) 17:55, 31 March 2015 (UTC)


As BarrelProof noted above, I think a list of common colloquial expressions would be fun, the "knocked up" example made me laugh! I also noticed that the link for formal speech went to public speaking, and I think this could be better directed. The paragraphs in the usage could also possibly be condensed as they're a bit repetitive. Overall I really like this page, I think ESL learners (and anyone learning another language) are especially keen on understanding and being able to properly use colloquialisms in their target language. Keep up the good work! MissCrystal907 (talk) 02:59, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

Recent move of article[edit]

Espoo, per WP:Requested moves, moves like this should be discussed first. I have requested that the article be moved back since it currently requires an administrator to move it because of your moves. Looking at your edit history, I see that you move a number of articles without discussion; I advise you to stop doing that, at least in cases where the move is likely to be contested. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 04:47, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

Hi, Flyer22 Reborn, it seems you've misunderstood when it's OK to move a page. Please read Wikipedia:Moving a page. And on the page you linked to it says: If you have no reason to expect a dispute concerning a move, be bold and move the page.. I always do intensive research before moving a page and provide reliable sources each time, as in this case too.
More importantly, in order to have a discussion, we need to hear your arguments and see your sources against the move, and you haven't yet provided any here or in your move request. --Espoo (talk) 06:02, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Espoo, hi. I haven't misunderstood. This is why I pointed to WP:Requested moves; I was specifically speaking of the WP:RMUM section, which states, "Anyone may move a page without discussion if: No article exists at the new target title; There has not been any discussion (especially recent discussion) about the title for the page that expresses disagreement with the new target title; And it seems unlikely anyone would reasonably disagree with the move." And above, I specifically stated, "at least in cases where the move is likely to be contested." I'm not sure how you came to the conclusion that this move was unlikely to be contested, but, as you can see, I contest it.
As for moving the article, you stated that you are careful, but, as seen with this link, you first moved the article to General parlance. Either way, the burden is on you to prove that the article should be moved. And since the move is contested, this should go through an official WP:Requested moves discussion. You based the move on "Ngram Viewer"; that has sometimes been considered a faulty rationale for moving articles. Also see WP:GOOGLEHITS. And this should not be used as a source for the lead. If we want to assess the WP:Common name for this topic, let's actually look at sources with regard to "everyday language" vs. "colloquialism." And that means not looking at sources that state "everyday language" in passing, which can boost the reported usage of "everyday language." I will go ahead and alert the WikiProjects this talk page is tagged with.
Also, no need to ping me to this page since this page is on my watchlist. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:22, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Alerted the WikiProjects here and here. Also pinging Boson, who deals with language issues on Wikipedia. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 06:33, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Please stop the unproductive wikilawyering. (And you are most definitely misrepresenting the intent of the directions on when to move.) The purpose of our editing is to improve the article.
Before i started editing this article, it was mostly nonsense because it was talking about the wrong topics because most people misunderstand the term. That was the reason i tried to find an at least as common term that prevents the article from again being turned into nonsense by more future naive editors who don't know how to use dictionaries and other reliable sources and assume they know something about the topic based on what they believe to be correct. I don't remember how i decided on "general parlance", but i had found sources to support my opinion that it's already much better than "colloquialism". It seems i didn't add any source because i was very surprised by the result of my extensive research, which i added to the article: "Interestingly, there is no well established term for this in everyday speech and writing in English, and many different terms are used, even more than those listed here." You see that therefore use of Ngram Viewer was definitely a good solution, at least for a temporary improvement in the article title that prevents nonsense from flowing back in. And Ngram Viewer is definitely more reliable than Google hits because it's based on Google Books, which you are apparently not aware of.
In addition, Wikipedia definitely needs an article on colloquial language, not just on individual colloquialisms. I see know that i ran out of time in editing and actually left the synonyms in a different order of usage frequency than that suggested by Ngram Viewer. I was planning to do more research and ran out of time and even forgot to add the link to the Ngram Viewer results.
Generally speaking, it would be a much better idea to first thank fellow editors for their improvements instead of only criticizing them and bossing them around, especially when you don't understand that bold page moves are encouraged according to the most important principles of WP when the old title is and/or causes problems. Did you even bother to look at my drastic improvements of this article before snooping around in my edits elsewhere as if i were a delinquent and you had enough knowledge or authority to police my work? --Espoo (talk) 07:04, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
There is no unproductive wikilawyering. Look at what WP:Wikilawyering means. I am only strongly suggesting that you follow protocol, and for good reason. Protocol in this case would be starting a WP:Requested moves discussion and alerting associated WikiProjects. I alerted associated WikiProjects and I pinged an editor who deals with language a great deal. You can wait for opinions from these people, or you can go ahead and start that official move discussion. As for thanking you, thank you for trying to improve the article. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:22, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
As for what Ngram Viewer is based on, I already knew what it is based on; it's easy enough for anyone to see. I stand by my statement that, like Google hits, it has been considered faulty for page moves. Are you aware of how many passing mentions are in Google Books? Are you aware that there is a lot of scholarly content not on Google Books?
As for "especially when you don't understand that bold page moves are encouraged according to the most important principles of WP when the old title is and/or causes problems." No, I know when an article should and should not be moved, and I know that, unless you can show that keeping this article titled "Colloquialism" is a problem, there is no problem with that title. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:29, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
And for the record... When an editor has an issue with one or more edits, that editor usually focuses on those edits. There is no obligation to focus on any positives and/or to compliment the editor first. I did not see any positives. But, yes, your attempt to improve the article is a positive. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:33, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
And let me be clear that the "Interestingly, there is no well established term for this in everyday speech and writing in English, and many different terms are used, even more than those listed here." wording you added is unsourced WP:Editorializing. I would be fine with this line if it was supported by a WP:Reliable source, and did not include "Interestingly," and did not use a WP:Self-reference by stating "even more than those listed here." Take this edit (followup edits here and here) that I made to the Human sexuality article, for example; as seen with that link, I used a source that explicitly supports "Because it is a broad term, which has varied over time, it lacks a precise definition." All we need to do for the Colloquialism article is figure out this common name issue, improve the sourcing and expand the article. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 07:47, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
As explained above and in the article, there was and is good reason to move it because 1) many if not most readers and even editors misunderstand and misuse the terms colloquialism and colloquial 2) Wikipedia needs an article on colloquial language more or at least before it gets one on colloquialisms 3) some dictionaries, e.g. Oxford have started to use the label "informal" instead of "colloquial", no doubt because the latter is misleading 4) my attempt to find a technical term less misleading than "colloquial language" and more common than "informal language" may have been unsuccessful, but your claims about disruptive editing in violation of protocols combined with an ad hominem attack claiming this is something i supposedly often do was aggressive and completely uncalled for lawyer-like or in fact judge-like behavior that clearly violates the purpose and spirit of the instructions given for when and how to move a page. --Espoo (talk) 11:49, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
I did not call your edits disruptive (I usually link to WP:Disruptive when calling an editor's edits disruptive anyway). I did make it clear that your moving the article was not a good decision and that I did not find your edits to be an improvement. I'm not going to state that I found your edits to be an improvement when I did not. And stating that you often move articles without discussion and that you should consider discussing such moves more often was not an ad hominem attack; it was a statement of valid concern, as this discussion shows (especially considering Boson's comment below). I didn't violate any Wikipedia spirit. You should be able to take criticism a lot better, especially when editing on a site like this. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:06, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Thank you, Espoo, for your removal of the recently added statement "Colloquial refers to the language or linguistic usage made in a particular region or location. Colloquial form of a language is understood only in a particular region or location where it is spoken."
However, I do not agree with the other changes to the lede:
I am not too keen on the explanation of why someone might misunderstand the meaning of colloquial: I would suggest a (sourced) statement in the body of the article giving the etymology of the word colloquial and explaining that colloquial language may often include regionalisms (but without any suggestion that the two terms are related).
I do not agree with changes suggesting that colloquial or informal language can be equated with "everyday language", "common parlance", etc. – or with a corresponding undiscussed change of the article title. Though "common parlance" and "everyday language" are frequently used, I don't think they mean exactly the same thing as "colloquial language". I would say that "common parlance" means the words used by ordinary people as opposed to the relevant experts using precisely defined terminology. For example,
  • what lawyers call "corporations affected with a public interest" may be known in common parlance as "public service corporations",
  • foreign corporations with headquarters abroad but branches in the United States might be known in common parlance as "alien corporations", and
  • unauthorized aliens might be known in common parlance as "illegal aliens".
I don't think there is any suggestion that "illegal aliens", "alien corporations", or "public service corporations" are examples of colloquial or informal style.
But the choice of title depends on what concept the article is actually about. As I see it, the article is mainly about "colloquial language", and it is the word "colloquial" rather than "common", "general", or "everyday" that is used by the referenced sources. So I would tentatively suggest "Colloquial language" as the title of this article, which I understand to be mainly about linguistic register.
I would understand the word colloquialism to refer (mainly) to a colloquial expression (used intentionally or otherwise) particularly when it stands out in a text or utterance that otherwise uses a more formal or literary register. I would give it a separate section in this article, with the possibility of making a separate article later (currently I would suggest a redirect from "Colloquialism" to "Colloquial language"); of course, this suggestion could be implemented in a number of different ways:
I'm not sure about the other use of "colloquial language" to mean unrestricted natural language, as opposed to an ideal, formalized or artificial language used in logic (e.g. when talking about the possible confusion caused by the ambiguity of the word is in "colloquial language"). This could also be dealt with in a separate section.
--Boson (talk) 10:45, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
I look forward to edits from an expert like you and am thankful that an expert can appreciate an amateur's efforts to get rid of the worst problems. I know enough about modern linguistics to be very surprised that this article isn't at least one of the best on a linguistics topic. --Espoo (talk) 12:00, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Basically what you suggest is what i tried to do, but i tried to find a better term than "colloquial language", i.e. one that doesn't confuse most users and editors but experts find acceptable - something similar to the ENGVAR solutions fixed-wing aircraft and soft drink - and "informal language" would seem to be the best, and not just because the OED has chosen that solution, at least at --Espoo (talk) 12:32, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
I tend to agree with "informal language", also because it is less ambiguous and better defined, but let's see what others have to say before starting a more formal move request. At the moment "Informal language" redirects to Slang, which is probably not ideal. One problem is the lack of a clear and generally recognized definition for some of the terms, which should perhaps be discussed more at Register. Even that term is used differently, but I think it is probably less ambiguous than, say, tenor or style. Since the meaning of the terms overlap, and the meaning of any one term depends on how it is differentiated from the others, it might be helpful to have a section discussing the possible meaning of various terms related to register or style like "slang", "colloquial", "familiar", "vulgar", "taboo". Informal is perhaps less of a problem because it it is defined as a part of a scale (from informal to very formal, etc.). Another possibility would be to redirect most of the terms to Register (sociolinguistics) and include more there. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Boson (talkcontribs) 09:18, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Boson, thanks a lot for weighing in. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:06, 17 July 2017 (UTC)