Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2007 March 1

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March 1[edit]

Confusing Russian names[edit]

I'm reading some reference books in order to add more information to the article on the 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment and could use some help. Some books refer to "Yevdokia Bershanskaya" as the regimential commander, others refer to "Katerina Bershanskaya." I think these must be different versions of the same woman's name, is this likely? Crypticfirefly 03:05, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

No. Katerina and Yevdokia are quite different names. It wouldn't even be a case of confusing her first name with her middle name, because Russians don't have middle names in the sense that most Europeans do; they have patronymics instead. It looks like one of the references is a mistake. Sorry I couldn't help more. JackofOz 09:09, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
No, you have been a big help. Now I know I need to keep reading. Thank you. Crypticfirefly 06:09, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Myriad, comprise[edit]

What are the correct usages of the following words: myriad, comprises, consists, many, and encompasses? z ε n .ıl 06:28, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand exactly what you're asking about, but "myriad" originally meant "10.000" (which traditionally has been the highest "basic/conceivable number" in many cultures) with an extended sense of "extremely high number/amount". Otherwise, try out online dictionaries such as and . 惑乱 分からん 14:24, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
True. I meant: What is the best way to use it in a sentence? To me, these sentences are correct: I have a myriad of books. My room comprises of a bed. The school consists of buildings. I have many books. This topic encompasses everything. I have always used them this way, but recently I see myriad and comprises without the succeeding of. Why is that? z ε n .ıl 21:00, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Certainly I would say "I have a myriad books" because that is always how I've heard it, and it sounds right to me (and makes sense) like that. I might even say "I have myriad books", but to be honest I'm unlikely to use it at all! However, I'm can imagine "a myriad of" also existing. I think it might just be one of those things. Skittle 22:55, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't think "my room comprises of a bed" is right. I think you have to say "A bed comprises my room" or "my room is comprised of a bed." Also, the implication of both of these is that there is only a bed in the room, if that's what you mean. The others all look fine to me, except for myriad, where I agree with the above. -Elmer Clark 23:57, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
People frequently confuse "comprise" and "consist". In the sense I think you mean, "consist" is always followed by "of"; but "comprise" is only followed by "of" in the passive voice. Thus:
  • "The room consists of a bed" is ok.
  • "The room comprises a bed" is ok.
  • "A bed comprises the room" is ok.
  • "The room is comprised of a bed" is ok.
  • But "The room comprises of a bed" is not ok. JackofOz 00:20, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
Oh, ok. Yes, the second and third examples were what confused me initially. states that comprises means both "contains" and "forms", a la "cleave". Thanks.z ε n .ıl 03:57, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Um, "The room is comprised of a bed" isn't ok. (Besides the fact that the room has to have more comprising it than just a bed, i.e. walls, floor, etc) "comprise" really never needs an 'of'. People use an 'of' when they're confusing it with "compose". Same with "myriad of": 'myriad' never needs an 'of', and is used that way when people are confusing it with 'multitude'.--TyrS (talk) 00:09, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Your room doesn't have any walls? "The room contains a bed" is what a regular English user would say. - Mgm|(talk) 12:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
The problem is with the example of room/bed. Let's try "my library" and "many books". My library comprises many books. My library is comprised of many books. (This is a bit less common, and oft-derided, but it's perfectly fine.) My library [contains/is made up of many books. My library encompasses many books. (OK, but a little less literal or more metaphorical than the others, to my ear.) It is never correct to say "comprises of". Also, "myriad" can be an adjective as well as a noun, as in "Part of my job as dean is listening to the myriad problems that seem to plague every little person in this department." My personal experience is that this use is more common than either "a myriad problems" or "a myriad of problems", both of which refer to the word's provenance as meaning "ten thousand", a meaning that is certainly not used today. Tesseran 22:59, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
In the adjectival case, it is acceptable to say 'myriad' is equivalent to 'many': I have many problems = I have myriad problems? z ε n .ıl 03:57, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
To understand when it is used, yes. However, in my idiolect, myriad carries a connotation of "varied": "I have many problems, and they're all the government's fault." vs. "I have myriad problems, from my son's deliquency to my failing marriage to my testicular cancer." I don't know whether this distinction is observed by all speakers or not. Tesseran 09:35, 3 March 2007 (UTC)


i want to know the meaning of my name,SHIMOLI, in bengali language..!!can u help me plz?? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 06:43, 1 March 2007 (UTC).

y cant any one answer my question?? plzz help me find it!!!

Spanish conjugations[edit]

I'm struggling to understand how conjugations work, it seems especially confusing -

"A mi me gustan mucho las computadoras, la musica, los juegos de video, y los perros" as compared to "Rodrigo y su novia llevan tres cursos".

I don't begin to understand how the conjugation is supposed to agree with the subject/object.

Some help much appreciated, Harwoof 13:53, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

As an English speaker, you shouldn't have any problem with singular and plural conjugations. In the 1st sentence, the verb "gustar" refers to the hobbies, not to the speaker. The original sense of "gustar" is taste, but in this sense the construction is more akin to "they appeal to me", in the other sentence it's just a construction akin to "They take three courses", where it would be "Rodrigo y su novia llevan uno curso", as well. Anyway, good luck with your Spanish verbs, it gets tougher later... 惑乱 分からん 14:18, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Just for accuracy's sake, it should be "llevan un curso," as "uno" is only used when counting (ordinal form). [[User:smooha]Smooha] 02:48, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
But how do I know if the verb refers to the hobbies or myself in the first instance, and likewise if it should refer to "tres cursos" in the second or not? Harwoof 14:24, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, "gustar" in this sense is exceptional, just learn that it's a common exception, since "the hobbies" are the subject and "me" is the object. English constructs sentences like "games appeal to me" and "the game appeals to me" as well. Don't get confused by the word order, or interpreting the sentence as an English construction. Verbs do refer to the subject, just like in English. Hope this helps! 惑乱 分からん 15:13, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
So, sentences like "me gustan los juegos" or "me gusta el juego" have an Object verb subject word order. Don't mix up this common exception with the basic Subject verb object word order. Hope this is clear. 惑乱 分からん 15:21, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
That clears it up perfectly, thank you :) Harwoof 22:15, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome! 惑乱 分からん 01:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

aixelsyD si erom fo a melborp[edit]

What is the meaning of the phrase:

"aixelsyD si erom fo a melborp!!!"

I have seen this as a reply in several blogs. 16:57, 1 March 2007 (UTC)tulsatek

Is this a new language? Or is this a scramble code used by teenagers to hide the meaning from their parents?

Tulsatek 17:04, 1 March 2007 (UTC)tulsatek

"Dyslexia is more of a problem"... --Onorem 17:08, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Haha, I read it completely backwards: "problem a of more is Dyslexia". I like yours better though. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 17:47, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Me too... What's with all that half-backwards attempt? Can't anyone do anything properly, nowadays? @_@ 惑乱 分からん 17:51, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
It's just standard English with every word written backwards... elpmiS, t'nsi ti?? 惑乱 分からん 17:46, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Note: If this was a reply to you personally, it's a hint to check for your spelling... =S 惑乱 分からん 17:50, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
ouY wonk er'uoy eman sdrawkcab is "Ketaslut" eheheh. I tsuj dah ot yas taht. FruitMart07 21:40, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Dialect Pages[edit]

An issue has come up in Talk:New Jersey English about how or whether articles on English dialects should be organized on Wikipedia. The problem in a nutshell is that as it stands, there are articles that are focused on dialects such as New York Dialect and Philadelphia accent and articles that deal with political regions such as New Jersey English with more than one dialect, some of which are centered outside the region. New Jersey, for instance, has at least four different dialects according to the latest [Atlas of North American English] including New York and Philadelphia. :[[1]]. The question is what should be done. Should there be a template set up for language varieties? a wikiproject? Should articles like New Jersey English be eliminated? mnewmanqc 22:43, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

If "New Jersey English" is not a distinct variety of English, then I don't think that there should be an article on it. It seems to me that the right solution is to have an article for each distinctive variety of English. (It would be nice if these were titled consistently. Are we talking about accents or dialects? If it is debatable how to label these varieties, choose one label and use it consistently. I don't see a reason why New York should have a "dialect" when Philadelphia has just an "accent", or vice versa.) Each of these could be referenced in the lead article on a macro-grouping of English varieties, such as "North American English". Optionally, an editor could add a brief "Language" subhead to articles on major political units (such as U.S. states and Canadian provinces) referencing the varieties of English spoken in each political unit. Marco polo 14:05, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
That seems to me to be a sensible solution, all around. The placing of whatever discussion would be lost in the NJ English article into a larger NJ article satisfies the problem of losing information. The pages should be "dialect" not "accent." Dialect includes syntax, lexicon, and pragmatics along with phonology whereas accent is only phonology. I am not an administrator, so how would this policy be established? Pharos mentioned a Wikiproject, so I hope he or someone else takes the lead. mnewmanqc 14:30, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
I am not the right person to ask about how to get things done at Wikipedia! If you think that Pharos would know what to do, I would suggest contacting him/her on his/her user talk page. Marco polo 16:39, 2 March 2007 (UTC)