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The history of this page is kind of funny. But I dont like the phrase "wikipedia is not a dictionary". What is wikipedia? Wikipedia is a compendium of knowledge.

New example, new "see also" and new external link[edit]

I put a new example using the term used in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and linked it back to that page as well. The problem is I do not know enough about the therapy itself (as in, I don't have time to read the book given to therapists who work in DBT, I am a patient) to know about dichotomy in DBT enough to write about it there. I also added two new "see also" links to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and Borderline Personality Disorder (it is used in the treatment of BPD). Hopefully all this suits others. Although, it is late, and it may not be written as well as I could have. So feel free to edit.Charmedguy18 (talk) 06:27, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Lang stub?[edit]

Why is this a lang-stub? I don't see anything about applicable to languages. Is there a missing section on the term dichotomy as it applies to languages?


Maybe some examples would be good. Or if there are no simple examples, it could be stated so, and explained why. Just a suggestion, I can't tell what a dichotomy is from the page, so I can't provide any examples myself.

Ok, I just read the German article "Dichotomie", which is done somewhat better, and added a paragraph explaining the definition so also normal people will understand it, converted the enumeration of the various uses into a list for easier reading, and added an examples section - where I'm still not really sure what are good examples. Seems they always need some sort of explanation along them, which I'm too lazy to work out right now.


I removed the words "non-overlapping", which appear to be redundant: if two conditions are mutually exclusive, mustn't they also be non-overlapping? — Dan | Talk 04:58, 1 October 2005 (UTC)


"either" in the first sentence should be "neither", should it not? -Adam

Definitely. Someone who had no understanding at all of what the sentence said thought that "neither" was an ungrammatical double negative and changed it to "either". I've rephrased it. Michael Hardy 21:27, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Is there any chance of putting in an average joe example? Dumb people need smarts too you know :p I recall the phrase 'Microsoft Works' is an oxymoron, and in fact the only reason I ever heard dichotomy was because I played Diablo 2 but it's like a whole load of other words I never look up in any dictionary because I figure dictionaries are full of too much opinion. Words change, and their meanings depend on the people who use them. I guess what we really need to do is add dictionaries to games i.e. GTA 4. They could change the tag line to 'seek your fortune, destroy a city, improve your vocabulary and get revenge!'. It's perfectly plausible that he could hijack a book mobile at some stage, maybe read clockwork orange and have an epiphany of some kind... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:40, 20 May 2008 (UTC)


I added the theological definition of dichotomy to the listing of definitions. meng.benjamin March 27, 2006 16:34 EST

Merge with Binary opposition?[edit]

Merge with Binary opposition?--BMF81 22:41, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Minor sentence correction[edit]

Refer to the sentence: "In biology, a dichotomous key divides a set of organisms into two groups smaller groups, typically based on a single characteristic present in exactly one of the groups."

The phrase in red should be into two smaller groups, shouldn't it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:25, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


I think the introduction needs the inclusion of subdivision as a type of dichotomy. That is Dichotomies can be split into two types of dichotomies, opposites and complements (subdivision creating subsets). e.g.

In this image, the universal set is represented by the border of the image, and the set A as a disc. This image illustrates the complement of A in U, the additional complement, Ac which contains elements unique to U in this set operation -Subdivision e.g. Whole/part, between/within etc
Illustration of a dichotomy with two separate circles. - Opposites e.g. Yes/No Up/Down etc

The subdivision example is probably best described as complementarity. has some information on opposites vs complementarity. --Zven (talk) 02:46, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Bogus Definition[edit]

The definition encompassing 'execution' is completely bogus, neither existing in any English dictionary nor in any known, legitimate literature. How did it get here? Why is it here? It is precisely this kind of nonsense which de-legitimizes the fine work so many Wikipedia authors do.Busterbarker2008 (talk) 18:35, 11 February 2010 (UTC)Buster Barker

Regarding Bogus definitions: Would it be bogus to define "false dichotomy" as a stratagem in sophistical reasoning which solicits equivocation? And also, I believe I came across a definition of dichotomy which pertained to rhetoric (or persuasion) which said something like "any argument that involves comparing or soliciting a comparison of two things" So, perhaps in prose , something along the lines of " compare the rose, to the tree, now consider the road between the rose and the tree...", and etc. I admit this could be simply my opinion. I'm certain that is simply my opinion that my first allegation is more fitting than the present one, as the page links to "borderline personality disorder." Or, is that a pun on my part? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:33, 23 June 2010 (UTC)


I think we ought to include the correct (IPA) pronunciation of this word in the lead, and possibly an audio recording of the same. When I was younger I always thought it was pronounced "dick-otomy". I'm sure there are a lot of other people who, if they've only read the word in print and never heard it word spoken, might tend to mispronounce it the same way, which would obviously be embarrassing. Stonemason89 (talk) 20:10, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Removals of External Link and Sentence in Lead Section[edit]

This looks like a fan site to me, so I removed it from the external links:, Episode reference to the series Farscape (Season 2, Episode 22) Roseclearfield (talk) 02:27, 17 November 2011 (UTC)

Also, this sentence was removed from the lead because it doesn't make sense as a stand-alone sentence. It is clearly derived from False dilemma and needs more context here. The article is clearer without it:

"In the community of philosophers and scholars, many believe that "unless a distinction can be made rigorous and precise it isn't really a distinction."[1] ^ Jacques Derrida (1991) Afterword: Toward An Ethic of Discussion, published in the English translation of Limited Inc., pp.123-4, 126 Roseclearfield (talk) 02:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)