Talk:Glossary of literary terms

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WP:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_a_dictionary or a collection of lists. What's the value of this page? -Jcbarr 02:22, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia articles are not dictionary definitions, or lists of dictionary definitions, or mere collections of internal links
Except for:
I beleive this page is good for those who want to learn about literary terms they may not know about without having to find a 3rd-party list.
Mark4011 16:07, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

This page would be better if the elements were broken up into several categories. So many of them have to do with poetry, that it is difficult to find them for writing.

No, don't delete. This would be better if turned into a category, or perhaps into several categories. I guess the English majors don't have as easy a time figuring out wiki syntax as the computer science majors. All their lists are categories! --Metzenberg 11:00, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

NO don't delete this list; it will be a valuable in time. I've just added a comprehensive "Further reading" list and tried to clean it up a bit. I'll continue to expand it and clean it up now that I know that it exists. --WassermannNYC 15:49, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Someone needs to add "context", I came here looking for that page to give to someone as a reference but their isn't a literary page concerning "context" which seems very basic and necessary for completeness. Bryanpeterson 16:17, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Don't delete it! It is very informative for poets who are hungry for a further knowledge of how to use the terms in the list. ktn1

Added some more terms: Context, Discourse, Text. The article is certainly necessary for philologists reading books on literary theory in English. Not deleting is out of question. As a Russian philologist I know it. There also would be helpful an index of linguistic terms.--Чупакабр (talk) 14:53, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Inclusion criteria[edit]

Someone suggested this list/index be turned into a category. There are several items on the list that do not have their own Wikipedia articles and likely never will because they are not independently notable enough to merit such. If this was just a list of literary terms that have their own Wikipedia articles it would make sense, but as it is it is just an indiscriminate list of words that could be expanded ad infinitum. elvenscout742 (talk) 07:14, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Removal of Haiga[edit]

After Haiga was removed from the article, I reinserted it, but have since been reverted with this edit accompanied by the summary:
Revert: it's only a "literary term" to someone who doesn't speak Japanese/understand what the word itself means. It is a type of painting, and is only as "literary" as the word "illustration", which isn't on this list.
This is patently untrue, as haiga, far from being a mere illustration as the reverting editor appears to think, is a mixed form combining poetry and painting, and intimately part of the haikai literary movement. Haiga were produced by haikai poets, notably the haiku masters Matsuo Bashō and Yosa Buson, so an editor claiming that the term is not a literary one is merely displaying the limitations of his own knowledge. Is there any reason this literary term should not included in the article? --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 14:23, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Haiga is a Japanese style of painting. The word itself means "haikai painting". If the word has a different meaning in English and is used primarily by poets to describe works of poetry that are accompanied by images, please add that information to the article on haiga - and please cite reliable sources. Otherwise, add a definition of the term to this page, and help us turn this page into either a glossary of literary terms. Or an index of Wikipedia articles on literary topics. Perhaps a merge with Index of literature articles should be under discussion? elvenscout742 (talk) 03:01, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
See Stephen Addiss, Haiga: Takebe Socho and the Haiku-painting Tradition, University of Hawaii Press, 1995, pp. 9-10.Tristan noir (talk) 05:08, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
That is a book about painting. This list is supposed to be a glossary of literary terms. If you wish to add a style of painting that happens to use poetry as its theme, please also add illustration, comic book, film and manga. (By the way, the ga in the latter is the same as in haiga, and if manga means "whimsical drawings", then haiga means "vulgar drawings" or "humourous drawings".) elvenscout742 (talk) 10:59, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I offered the specific page references because Addiss there discusses haiga not only as painting but as a literary phenomenon also, e.g., It may seem odd to admire and study paintings that were not created primarily by painters, because in our own society we have honored the work of the finest professional artists almost to the exclusion of any others. In Japan, this has not been so, in part because of the close union of poetry, calligraphy, and painting. All three are created with the same tools of brush, paper, and ink by artists to whom poetic vision was paramount. Your comparisons to “illustrations,” "comic book," and “manga” are misplaced. It seems eccentric to insist that haiga is solely a style of painting when many of its best-known practitioners are poets first, graphic artists second. Visual poetry, in its many manifestations, incorporates image and text, like haiga, and visual poetry is commonly recognized as predominately literary in nature.Tristan noir (talk) 02:49, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
This REALLY isn't the place to argue over semantics and obscure aspects of Japanese language and artistic philosophy, although I am sure that I would win such an argument given that I speak Japanese and you don't. But I will humour this argument a little nonetheless. The passage you quote above is clearly a reference to the (relatively obscure/difficult to explain in a Wikipedia LIST) fact that in Japanese philosophy calligraphy, literature, painting and drawing are all closely linked. This is at least partly because Japanese has essentially one verb (書く・描く, kaku) for "to write", "to paint" and "to draw", and reinforced in this instance by the fact that the character 画 (ga), when read with the variant pronunciation kaku, refers to a single brush stroke of a Chinese character. I could find dozens of reliable sources that discuss comic books/graphic novels/manga as a literary form, but they still probably don't belong in a glossary of literary terms. You seem to have at least partly misunderstood the word haiga to mean "a mixed artistic form that combines poetry and painting"; this is incorrect, as haiga refers specifically to the painting, and not to the accompanying poetry (let alone the fact that poetry is not always "accompanying", per se, as haiga may just be pure paintings whose aesthetic is influenced by haiku). If the source you cite above is used to justify the inclusion of a style of painting in a glossary of literary terms, then in order to avoid undue weight we must also add ALL the other terms related to Japanese (and Western/other) visual arts, calligraphy, writing systems, etc. (Abugida, hanja, hangul, kanji, devanagari and hieroglyph are, equally, not literary terms except by the very loosest definition of "literary".) And the fact remains that your argument is fundamentally flawed in that it assumes the existence of professional poets who painted haiga as well means that the latter is a recognized literary term. The portion of the quote that you highlight also specifies that haiga are paintings. My comparison to illustrations is not flawed in this context (comic books and manga, on the other hand, are closer to literature than haiga); your comparison to visual poetry, however, is severely flawed, since the latter term refers to poetry, while haiga refers to painting. If either you or Bagworm wish to include reference to the obscure/minority/non-scholarly view that any picture (photo, pencil-drawing, etc.) accompanying a haiku is "haiga", please do so at the articles on Haiga or Haiku in English. Including a link to the haiga article, which discusses the early modern style of Japanese painting, in this list could only confuse readers, however. elvenscout742 (talk) 10:30, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────TN's campaign to undo/undermine every edit I make to Wikipedia's coverage of Japanese art, particularly Japanese poetry, has continued elsewhere, and he appears to have intended this comment as a response to my above argument. For the record, I want to close this matter now. Haiga is a style of Japanese painting. It is not a literary term, except in the broadest possible definition of "literary term". It therefore doesn't belong in a glossary of literary terms, since its inclusion means that THOUSANDS of other words that are only loosely related to literature have a right to be included as well. This would make the list incomprehensible and useless to readers. Apparently, TN and Bagworm are both under the influence of an obscure/minority POV that has been propagated online and does not exist in reliable, secondary sources, that haiga is either a poem that is accompanied by a painting or a word for the combination of poetry and painting. This POV is probably non-notable and does not belong anywhere on Wikipedia, but if it can be cited anywhere it should be given an appropriately tiny amount of coverage in the Haiga article, not in a glossary of literary terms. elvenscout742 (talk) 01:10, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Solution: Major Overhaul[edit]

Okay, I don't think my AfD request is going to go anywhere at this point. Honestly, I was not aware of the debate over the value of "indexes" overall until after I nominated this page, and now I think the page probably needs to stay where it is in the meantime anyway.

However, there are as I see it two main problems with this list as it stands at the moment: (i) the parameters for inclusion are too broad, leading to a significant number of red links, which seems to defeat the purpose of an "index", and (ii) the items in the list are just words, with no accompanying definitions or explanations of their relevance as "literary terms".

These problems can be addressed simultaneously by one of the following two solutions:
(1) The article is made into a true INDEX, where every item on the list links to a Wikipedia article that covers the topic. This would mean that all the red links need to be removed for the time being. Assuming at least some of them may one day have articles, those articles can be linked to after they have been created. This would also mean a significant, potentially problematic overlap with Index of literature articles, which at present only has 10 red links/non-article entries. Honestly, I think the two should be merged, and a discussion should take place over which is the better title for the page, with the other becoming a redirect.
(2) The page is renamed to Glossary of literary terms, and every item for inclusion requires at least a short definition. This is the more difficult solution to implement, but is probably the preferable one. It means that all the worthwhile words in the list remain, but the page avoids being an indiscriminate list of words and meets the criteria for a glossary discussed in WP:LIST.

As should be clear, I favour the latter solution, but I cannot implement it alone because of the sheer size of the project. I also probably shouldn't even begin to implement it until it is approved by the Wikipedia community or at least one or two other editors, since it involves moving the page and changing an "index" to a "glossary". The main issue with this page right now is that it isn't really an index or a glossary at the moment, but an indiscriminate list of words.

Any further opinions/thoughts/suggestions?

elvenscout742 (talk) 04:06, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I didn't notice until after I posted the above that a glossary of literary terms already exists. I now think we should either merge the words here in there, or create a separate page under that title. elvenscout742 (talk) 08:32, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Please explain what you mean by "create a separate page under that title"? --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 13:34, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Simply that glossary of literary terms currently redirects to the section "Annotated list of literary techniques" in the article Literary technique. Given that the inclusion of a glossary in that article that takes up well over 2/3 of the page seems a little excessive, I would suggest moving the contents of that glossary into a separate article, which we could start at the present redirect page Glossary of literary terms. We could then use that as a starting point and move the contents of this page over there, including definitions and whatever else is necessary (etymologies, where that content would not appear in a common dictionary), along the lines of what is already there. This way, we can also keep (and expand) the separate Index of literature articles, giving us both a comprehensive list of Wikipedia articles on literary topics and a meaningful glossary of literary terms. elvenscout742 (talk) 14:28, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the #2 solution, and agree the problem is very big. The Glossary of literary terms is a good model, exactly what this article should be. Maybe if we just convert the full list of words into a single sortable table with empty fields and a banner asking for help to fill in, it might attract someone looking for a project. We can use the Glossary of literary terms to populate some of the entries as an example to get it going.
For fields, suggest something like:
!Term, !Category, !Description, !Citation, !Notes
The "term" and "description" are self explanatory. The "category" is for organizing along categorical types (future project), and "notes" a catch-all for anything else. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 21:15, 1 November 2012 (UTC
Elvenscout742, I think your #2 solution is commendable. My reservation is that it may be over-ambitious, though I'd be happy to be proved wrong. In practical terms, I support #1 as more achievable. I don't agree that any overlap with Index of literature articles is/would be problematic: overlap/redundancy is not of itself a negative thing in a WP context. As I see it, when the goal is reached it may be worthwhile proposing that Index of literature articles be merged to this article, but that's a bridge to cross when we come to it. --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 20:56, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
There is no deadline. I think if we create a table with blank fields, people will naturally fill it in, perhaps sooner than we imagine. The key is to create the table and set the direction with some example entries, then it will take care of itself. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 21:38, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I am in favour of Green Cardamom's table with blank fields. Any idea which template/category/whatever we use to inform the Wikipedia community that we are producing an incomplete table and if anyone wants to help they are welcome? elvenscout742 (talk) 05:53, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

I believe {{incomplete list}} might be good inside a box header at the top of the table along with other information, like example Note in List of the world's richest literary prizes. Ok so who is going to make the table :) This is perfect for scripting. I could hack away at it using basic awk/sed but there might be a better way. Is there a forum for asking help for data formatting? There are some great tools out there for this sort of thing. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 10:01, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I honestly have no idea. I just recently got my head around formatting references here. ;) elvenscout742 (talk) 10:40, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Left a question here: Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Lists#Conversion_help -- Green Cardamom (talk) 04:43, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with any semi/automated tools or scripts.
I've recently been converting some glossary articles, to use the {{term}}&{{defn}} templates as suggested in MOS:GLOSS, eg Glossary of diabetes on Nov 7. I do that manually, by copying the article into a notepad [gedit], running a whole bunch of search&replace commands, and then previewing&fixing extensively before hitting "save". That glossary of diabetes overhaul took about 2 hours. (whilst listening to podcasts)
I'll be watching with interest, in case you find anything better! —Quiddity (talk) 20:59, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

Ok Giant Table done. Had trouble with Latin characters. Can anyone help fix those? -- Green Cardamom (talk) 03:09, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Fixed :) and much thanks for the table work. —Quiddity (talk) 20:27, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

New formatting[edit]

I think that the items in the list, now that they are in table-format and are to be made into a glossary, should have lower-case letters unless capitals are otherwise justified. When they were meant to be links to Wikipedia articles under those titles, it made sense to have upper-case, but not really anymore. I'm not going to start implementing it, though, until someone agrees, since changing the first letter of every entry on the list is a large task in itself. elvenscout742 (talk) 05:11, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't blame you for that, as someone is quite likely to come along and revert all your hard work with a single click of the mouse! Can you explain your thinking regarding lower case? Is there any precedent you can point to? It seems counter-intuitive to me. I think of each row of the table as like an entry in a dictionary: each of which would normally start with an upper case letter. --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 18:41, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure about precedent in Wikipedia glossaries, but one of the reasons dictionaries such as Wiktionary prefer lower-case for individual entries is that it allows for a distinction between proper nouns and other entries. As it is now, they look like they are all proper nouns. elvenscout742 (talk) 02:57, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
I've had a look at Portal:Contents/Glossaries (which contains a mixture of glossaries and indexes) and opened the first dozen or so entries in the arts section. While most retain normal casing, some do use lower case, so there is precedent for your proposal. I've no strong feelings either way (I don't see the entries all looking like proper nouns, but I accept that others might), so I won't revert if you make the change. --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 22:41, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
However, what we shouldn't do is have a mixture of lower case and normal case - it will look a mess. On this basis, I'm going to normalize the one entry I see in lower case, ji-amari, for the moment. --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 14:02, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Closed, already moved Mike Cline (talk) 05:39, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Index of literary termsGlossary of literary terms – Consensus was already reached above that the "index" should be made into a glossary so as to preserve content, create a useful resource, and not violate Wikipedia policies regarding lists. Formatting changes have already been introduced, and some full glossary entries have been entered. The rest are to be added later. I can't make this move myself because the target page is already a redirect to a much smaller, less significant page, which it was also hinted should be merged in here anyway. elvenscout742 (talk) 02:59, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Agree Glossary accurately describes this page now more than index, or at least strives to be a glossary. BTW I suspect this will be an uncontroversial move, when a redirect is in the way see WP:RM/TR, the heading "If the only obstacle to a technical move is a navigation aid". --Green Cardamom (talk) 06:08, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Support for the reasons outlined in the proposal above. I'm a little confused by your mention of the existence of the target article, albeit as a redirect to a third article - I can't see it. --gråb whåt you cån (talk) 22:24, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
I took Green Cardamon's advice above and got it speedied, before performing the move myself. I'm gonna go and do the same thing to Saigyō now, too. Waaai! :D elvenscout742 (talk) 05:42, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Not to be a jerk about reverting but many recent anons are adding descriptions without citations. This makes it difficult for later editors to add cites for unknown text. I think we need to really encourage editors to add citations otherwise this will become a giant list of original research. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 08:33, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Ok, now we have users adding citations, but the cites don't verify! It's like they are blindly copying and pasting a ref from another entry. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 16:39, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Given that this is a glossary page, which in just about every case links to the full entry, I fail to see why citations are necessary. None of the other glossary pages include citations for each definition. Keep the references and further reading, by all means, but if the goal is to fill in the blank entries, citation seems unnecessary. PCFleming05 (talk) 19:56, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Because Wikipedia requires reliable secondary sources and doesn't use itself as a source. Glossary of geography terms uses citations. Other Glossary pages have been deleted for lack of citations. This one almost was deleted. I'm trying to help prevent that from happening again. For contributions on Wikipedia to stick around for the long term, use citations. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 21:14, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I understand and support the citation requirement, and yes, there may be some glossaries that include citations. My point is that many don't, and this one is nearly empty. I'm just saying we should ignore rules that impede improving and maintaining this important page. From the discussion above, this page faced deletion because of redundancy, not because it lacked citations.PCFleming05 (talk) 12:44, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
It is nearly empty because we just created the description field only two months ago in response to the AfD which included a discussion about original research and the need for cites. Give it a chance to develop properly instead of rushing to create a low quality mess of original research ripe for deletion. Finding cites for these is extremely easy, there is no excuse other than laziness. There is no rush, if you can't or won't do it, let someone else work on it. -- Green Cardamom (talk) 16:03, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
I see, I hadn't realized it was so new (guess I should've looked at the dates). Yes, let's give it time. These are easily cited items. PCFleming05 (talk) 16:37, 17 February 2013 (UTC)