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January 18[edit]

Counterfeit words[edit]

Looking through a language activity book Lingua portuguesa 5.° anno, published by Porto Editora in 2011 (ISBN 978-972-0-20102-7) I encountered the word privacidade. This word does not appear in their 1980 Dicionário português, unsurprisingly, because it would imply derivation from the Latin word privacitas, which does not exist. It appears to be a neologism - there was a discussion about this at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2020 December 18#Solidarity. It is listed in Collins Gem Portuguese Dictionary (Glasgow, 1990, ISBN 000 4586662) with the meaning "privacy". I can trace it back to a translation of the 1980 document OECD guidelines on the protection of privacy and transborder flows of personal data. Are there many of these words? (talk) 13:27, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

Could it not simply be a neologism? These happen all the time, in all languages, and in Western languages, many of them are based on a misunderstanding of Latin or Greek roots. By calling it a "counterfeit word", you imply that the word does not exist or is not used or was created to mislead, which is possible but unlikely. Xuxl (talk) 13:40, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
The Portuguese Wikipedia has an article on Privacidade, which is described as calqued from English privacy. French abounds with words formed with the suffix -ité, such as adaptabilité, while Classical Latin *adaptabilitas is not attested.  --Lambiam 16:19, 18 January 2021 (UTC) -- "Informatics" started out as a kind of counterfeit word (if you want to call it that) in English, since at the beginning it was used in English mainly by mother-tongue speakers of continental European languages, and is probably not a word that mother-tongue English speakers would have coined on their own. However, whether a word is a "real" word in a particular language depends on usage, not etymology... AnonMoos (talk) 20:30, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
English sawbuck is a calque of Dutch zaagbok, flea market is a calque of French marché aux puces, and cookbook is probably calqued from German Kochbuch. Are these counterfeit words?  --Lambiam 10:04, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Where was the word 'chimpanzee' first used in English?[edit]

Everywhere I look online, I read that the word 'chimpanzee' was first used in English in 1738, but I can find nothing that tells me where this was. All help appreciated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 18 January 2021 (UTC)

In general nobody knows when the first use of a word in English was. Dictionary researchers only know when the oldest use in written English that they can find was. In this case, according to the OED Online, it was used in the London Magazine for September 1738 and the passage reads: "A most surprizing creature is brought over in the Speaker, just arrived from Carolina, that was taken in a wood at Guinea. She is the Female of the Creature which the Angolans call Chimpanze, or the Mockman." (I assume "Speaker" is the name of a ship.) -- (talk) 23:42, 18 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes, Speaker was a ship; a 1746 account of the same event in A Tour through the Animal World, or, an Historical and accurate account of near Four hundred Animals, Birds, Fishes, Serpents, Insects &c. (p. 126) says:
"Capt. Henry Flower, in the Ship Speaker from Angola, on the coast of Guinea, brought over in August, 1738, a Female Pygmy, or Chimpanzee, which was two Foot and four Inches tall. Its face was like that of a Man, and pretty fair, except upon the Chin, where appeared a few straggling Hairs, like as is sometimes seen upon the Chin of Ancient Women".
Alansplodge (talk) 12:34, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
Also called "the Ship Speaker" in this announcement; in the passage in the London Magazine the name is given in italics, while there is also mention of "a Boy on board" of which the captive chimpanzee is said to have been very fond.[1]  --Lambiam 14:38, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
"...and gave great satisfaction to the ladies". ;-) Alansplodge (talk) 16:28, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
BTW, Flower's ape was not the first chimpanzee in England, just the first to be named so. Samuel Pepys in 1661 was shown "a strange creature... a great baboon but so much like a man in most things... it already understands much English; and I am of the mind that it might be taught to speak or make signs". [2] Another chimp arrived in 1698 but died soon afterwards and was dissected by Dr Edward Tyson, who published his findings in Orang-Outang, sive Homo Sylvestris. Alansplodge (talk) 16:46, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

January 19[edit]

What does "would have followed" mean?[edit]

Sentence: it was likely that Phoenix would have followed [Interview with the Vampire] by appearing as Susan Sarandon's son in Safe Passage (1994), a role that went to Sean Astin. Source Rizosome (talk) 15:39, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

It means that River Phoenix, the actor in question, was scheduled act in the film Safe Passage after he acted in the film Interview with the Vampire, that is he was going to follow his role in Interview with the Vampire with a role in Safe Passage. He ended up acting in neither, having died shortly before filming of Interview with the Vampire was scheduled to begin. He was replaced in that movie by Christian Slater, and in Safe Passage by Sean Astin. --Jayron32 17:14, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
For the grammar of the construction would have followed, see Conditional perfect. Deor (talk) 17:20, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
For a bit more on that, the lead of that article notes that conditional perfect tense is used in counterfactual cases. This means they describe things that did not happen, but which were going to happen but for some other event. In this case, Phoenix's death prevented him from acting in the films. --Jayron32 17:26, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
The quoted Guardian article has "Phoenix would have followed that by ...". Since the referent of "that", mentioned earlier in the Guardianarticle, would not be clear in the context of the quotation, the editor adding the quote replaced "that" by "[Interview with the Vampire]". Using square brackets is a standard convention for signalling an editorial alteration of an otherwise literal quotation; see Bracket § Uses in published text.  --Lambiam 09:39, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Term for "play on words"[edit]

Is there a term in language that includes: Euphemisms, Malapropisms, Faux Pas, Metaphors, Idioms, Puns, Oxymorons and Double Entendres ? Charles Juvon (talk) 18:40, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

Some are Rhetorical figures, some are language mistakes, and some are wordplay in the literal sense (jocularities). AnonMoos (talk) 20:56, 19 January 2021 (UTC)
@AnonMoos: Thank you. You have an amazing userpage! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Charles Juvon (talkcontribs) 01:39, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

January 20[edit]

Help translating llengua pròpia[edit]

There is an ongoing editing conflict in the page Valencian language about how to translate llengua pròpia from Catalan to English. In Spanish the equivalent expression is lengua propia. I don't know what the best translation is, but I'm positive that proper language is an unfaithful and misleading translation. Can anyone help? --Jotamar (talk) 17:59, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

How about "own" language? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:17, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
The other party rejects own, see his edit summary. --Jotamar (talk) 18:58, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
What user:Taurus Littrow says is:

"pròpia" CAN be translated as "proper", although this translation is less common. Anyway, "own language" (in this context) is bad English.

Regards, --Jotamar (talk) 19:05, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Well, I already changed it to "native language" and added a note saying that this term has no equivalent in English (which is true). As to "own language", I believe it must be preceded by a possessive pronoun (e.g., "his own language"). But we better ask the opinion of a native English speaker. Anyway, a previous wording (which I changed several months ago) said "official language", which was plainly wrong and confusing to boot. Taurus Littrow (talk) 19:14, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
"Native language" is probably clearer than "own language", though why you think that's "broken English" is hard to figure. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:16, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
I think in context the phrase would be something like The own language of the Valencian Community is Valencian, which I definitely agree is awkward English (for more than one reason, actually). I think this is one of those cases where the easiest solutions in English are likely to brush up against sensibilities. --Trovatore (talk) 21:23, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Rather than your sentence, a possible wording is The Valencian Community declares Valencian to be its "own language". --Jotamar (talk) 23:42, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
I believe that the English term must be universal, so we could use it in any context. We can't say "own language" in one sentence, and "native language" in another. Taurus Littrow (talk) 18:25, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Another note here: Anglophone readers (well, Americans anyway) are likely to misunderstand the reference to the Valencian Community, as "the foo community" has become a standard combining form. In Spain, it apparently refers not to a sociocultural "identity group" but to an actual semi-autonomous region with juridicial existence. I suggest that that be made explicit; it's wikilinked at first occurrence but you can't count on people following links if they already think they know what the text is saying. --Trovatore (talk) 21:32, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
The name Valencian community is itself the result of political compromise, as other names are controversial for different reasons. --Jotamar (talk) 23:42, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Just to clarify, the term "Community" here has two meanings; one is the socio-ethnic group and the other is the political subdivisions of Spain. Akin to what may be called "provinces" or "states" or "counties" or "departments" in other countries, the main subdivisions of Spain are known as the Autonomous communities of Spain. Spain itself is a plurinational country, made up of many different ethnicities and nationalities that have lived in the same geography for much longer than Spain has been Spain. It is akin to how the United Kingdom contains within it four distinct nationalities (English, Welsh, Scottish, and Northern Irish), each with its own distinct country within the UK, similarly Spain consists of a number of autonomous communities within Spain. The Valencian community (little c) largely lives in the Valencian Community (big C), but of course is a person of Valencian heritage moves to another part of Spain, they would still be Valencian, but living in Madrid or whatever. That's why the language here can get confusing. --Jayron32 16:47, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
A possibility, though perhaps not entirely satisfactory, might be "distinctive language". Deor (talk) 22:11, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
"intrinsic"? -- 2603:6081:1C00:1187:100B:4F20:7E4E:A4F0 (talk) 22:26, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
Perhaps, "the language belonging to the Valencian Community is Valencian".  --Lambiam 22:28, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
"The language native to the Valencian autonomous region is Valencian." or "The local language of the Valencian autonomous region is Valencian" -- Elphion (talk) 23:31, 20 January 2021 (UTC)
"Valencian is the native language of the autonomous region of the same name." --Khajidha (talk) 16:54, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Or "the Valencian autonomous region is named after the local language." --Khajidha (talk) 16:55, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
There are three reasons why this doesn't work. The statute refers to a community, not a region. In Valencian, the name of the region is València, the community is Comunitat Valenciana, and the language is valenciano. Finally, both the community and the language are named after the region, not the other way around.  --Lambiam 01:39, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Lambiam Just a minor clarification: valenciano is the Spanish word; in Valencian/Catalan you say "valencià". Taurus Littrow (talk) 10:44, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes, I was mistaken. I was looking at the sentence whose translation is sought in the text of the Statute conferring autonomy, which is written in Catalan.  --Lambiam 12:52, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
"The language pertaining to the Valencian Community is Valencian"? –Austronesier (talk) 17:15, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Then why not simply, "The language of the Valencian Community"? The term propi has more the sense of "belonging to" than "pertaining to".  --Lambiam 01:39, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Lambiam Well, we must translate the word "propi" somehow; we can't just leave it out. Also, the English equivalent must be an adjective and precede the word "language" (e.g., "native language"). The term must be universal, so we could use it in any kind of sentence. Taurus Littrow (talk) 10:27, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
There are various theories of translation, and there are some differences between the practices of translating official documents and literary texts, but in either case the common practice is for the translator to try to preserve, as much as possible, the meaning of the original text in its translation. That is obviously not always possible for puns, or rhyming poetry, but that plays no role for official documents with legal significance. The best practice is often not a word-by-word translation, but may entail leaving out some words of the original text, and inserting some others. The German sentence "Das wissen wir ja doch nun schon" is best translated as "We already know that", leaving out "ja", "doch", and "nun". Any attempt to insert translations leads to a strange sentence or one with undue emphasis (like "Of course we already know this really now", which one would not normally utter in the same situation, and in fact detracts from the implied slight irritation in the original at the redundancy of being told what one already knows). For literary translations, preserving the register, mood and connotations is important; not so with official texts, but there one does not want to introduce connotations that are missing in the original. For example, one should not translate the innocent English text "We must do some tests before we decide on the final solution" in German as "Wir müssen einige Tests durchführen, bevor wir uns für die Endlösung entscheiden". The adjective native has unintended connotations when used in “native language”. Valencian is the native language of people born to Valencian-speaking parents. When not referring to a person's birth language, it generally refers to the language of a Native or Aboriginal people, not to Europeans. Almost all other solutions proposed suffer from undue emphasis. (This language is ours, and ours alone!)  --Lambiam 13:42, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Lambiam I'll comment only the latest part of your statement, as far as "native" is concerned: It's just one of the proposed translations. Obviously not perfect. I'm ready to listen to all the options. Obviously not as drastic as skipping the adjective altogether. Thanks. Taurus Littrow (talk) 14:05, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
If you want to preserve the legal sense (in this statutory context), maybe the best option is to write "Valencian is an official language of the Valencian Community". Other proposed solutions do not convey the sense of being official imparted by the phrase llengua pròpia to English readers. If you think retaining the legal sense is not that important, I do not understand why skipping pròpia is so drastic.  --Lambiam 14:58, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Lambiam "Oficial language" is already mentioned elsewhere in the Statute (the Spanish term is lengua oficial), so translating lengua propia as "oficial language" would only create confusion: we'd have two different terms in Spanish, but only one term in English. To get an idea of what lengua propia is, you can carefully read this article. Note that Spanish is lengua oficial but not lengua propia, in neither of the autonomous communities. P.S. Correction: Spanish (Castilian) is lengua propia in Navarra, along with Basque. Taurus Littrow (talk) 16:33, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
That is why I wrote "an official language", not "the official language".  --Lambiam 17:56, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Lambiam Still very confusing to me. The two terms must be clearly distinct. Oh well, thanks for your suggestions anyway. Taurus Littrow (talk) 18:07, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Lengua propia refers to the following definition, contained in the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights: «la denominación lengua propia de un territorio hace referencia al idioma de la comunidad históricamente establecida en este espacio». In the English text of the Declaration in the UNESCO Digital Library, the corresponding sentence is: The term language specific to a territory refers to the language of the community historically established in such a space. [Italics in the original] Hope this helps.  --Lambiam 19:50, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
It sounds good, although not perfect (it's not an adjective). Taurus Littrow (talk) 13:55, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
I don't think "native" would be mistaken for meaning "non-European indiginous" in this case. If you look at the definition given for native (as opposed to the capitalised Native), the general sense is "originating in a particular area". It doesn't specifically mention language, but I think if you used it in this case it would be understood as "the language of the community historically established in such a space". Iapetus (talk) 13:16, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
What about "The Valencian Community's own language is Valencian"? Alternatively, "The Valencian Community has its own language, Valencian", "The Valencian Community has its own Valencian language", or "The Valencian Community's own language is Valencian"? It seems to me that "own" is a fine translation, it just needs to go along with a possessive. --Amble (talk) 18:26, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

January 21[edit]


Human poop is typically emitted in tapered cylindrical segments colloquially called "turds". Turd is a count noun, while poop, feces, scat, and all the other such words I can think of are mass nouns or have a somewhat different semantic meaning. Is there a more formal scientific or medical count-noun equivalent of "turd"? Yes I have an actual reason for wanting to know this. I am not seeking medical advice, however. Thanks. 2601:648:8202:96B0:0:0:0:313A (talk) 03:48, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

Stool? -- (talk) 04:56, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Hmm maybe, though I don't think one would speak of 1 stool, 2 stools, etc. Thanks. 2601:648:8202:96B0:0:0:0:313A (talk) 05:29, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
I'm certainly not a professional but possibly Human feces#Characteristics or Bristol stool scale can help.? --CiaPan (talk) 06:34, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
So one bit is a "fece"? Clarityfiend (talk) 07:53, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Actually, one bit would be a faex, although the Wiktionary examples of faex's use in English suggest that it has been used both as a count noun and as a mass noun. Deor (talk) 19:25, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Male sure it's the real thing, and not faux faex.  --Lambiam 20:24, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
So is this not the answer to the question: Yes, there is a more formal scientific count-noun: faex. One faex, two faeces. (As to the suggestion of use as a count noun: In three of the four quotations the term is unambiguously a count noun. In the first, used in "infection by [...] faex", it is ambiguous; the use of "infection by bite and faex" shows, though, that it is probably a count noun here, since "bite" is a count noun; compare also "infection by hookworm"[3] and "infection by injection",[4] where the infectious causes are identified with singular count nouns. In any case, it is sufficient that the term can serve as a count noun.  --Lambiam 20:24, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
I think the expression "found in the intestine and faex and blood and tissues of man" at the end of the first quotation clearly shows usage as mass noun. Deor (talk) 17:53, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
I've heard more than one person use stool as a count noun, even medical-type people. It sounds wrong to me, but I don't think you could say it's technically incorrect. Go with that if you must. (talk) 08:11, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
In more formal contexts, the word "dropping" for a single turd and "droppings" for multiple turds is well attested. --Jayron32 14:06, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Hmm, not sure. I'm really caught between two stools here. Martinevans123 (talk) 14:11, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Jayron32, I thought a dropping was something left on the ground. If a turd is deposited the usual way into a toilet bowl, calling it a dropping sounds odd to me. Is dropping really used that way? 2601:648:8202:96B0:0:0:0:313A (talk) 19:11, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
As an irreverent aside, In the UK a humorous grafitto is sometimes seen in public WC cubicles, and may appear as a printed sign in pub toilets, to the effect that "Turds weighing more than one pound should be lowered and not dropped." {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 19:27, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
As a perfectly reverent aside, I can attest to seeing, during a visit to a certain British Army camp in West Germany, during the 1970s, a very similar instruction, inscribed on a brass plate, reading: "Turds weighing more than one pound should be lowered by hand." Martinevans123 (talk) 19:52, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Who weighs turds? Is that an official duty in the British Army? If you fail at potato peeling, you get demoted to turd weigher, perhaps. - 2603:6081:1C00:1187:6CD8:6290:AF01:88E3 (talk) 16:40, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
See British humour. Alansplodge (talk) 17:37, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
Or better still, see ARRSEPedia.[1] Martinevans123 (talk) 17:40, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
Poo tin or Trump Brush... you choose! Martinevans123 (talk) 12:47, 24 January 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Main Page". ARRSEpedia.

The Nuclear football[edit]

I have just learnt about the existence of this interesting "thing". Can anyone explain, ideally with a source, why it's called a football? I have asked on the article's Talk page, but that sees minimal activity, so I am asking here as well. HiLo48 (talk) 07:23, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

It states in Nuclear football#History "An Associated Press article stated that the nickname 'football' was derived from an attack plan codenamed 'Dropkick'." And it is sourced. Clarityfiend (talk) 07:51, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes, I missed that on my careless reading. Sorry. HiLo48 (talk) 09:36, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Michael Dobbs, writing for Smithsonian, the journal of the Smithsonian Institution (which has a retired Football on display), ascribes the information that an early version of the Single Integrated Operational Plan was code-named "Dropkick" to Robert S. McNamara.[5] However, an article on the website of the National Security Archive hosted by George Washington University has a footnote questioning this: "There is no evidence of a U.S. war plan code-named Drop-kick, although a special study of war planning requirements was code-named DROPSHOT while the code-name of another one, OFFTACKLE, referred to a football play. The only place where a reference to “Drop-kick” can be found is in a statement by General Buck Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 black comedy Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb."[6] Perhaps McNamara got his information straight from the General's mouth. Before McNamara's days in office as Defense Secretary, Operation Drop Kick was conducted, a test of a sick military plan to use yellow fever-infected mosquitos as a weapon.  --Lambiam 11:22, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Not necessarily a definitive answer, but I went looking for the term in (pay site), and the first occurrences I found were in a November, 1968, article which was reproduced across a number of papers. The article talked about the JFK assassination 15 5 years earlier, with recollections of those who were present. It referred to transferring the nuclear-kickoff "football" to the custody of LBJ, also facetiously referring to the one who actually carries it as a "bagman". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 14:03, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Either "November, 1978", or "5 years earlier".  --Lambiam 01:15, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
D'oh! 5 years. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:17, 22 January 2021 (UTC)

Latin translation please[edit]

Can somebody please translate a passage by Victor Vitensis about the death of Huneric:-

"Tenuit sceleratissimus Hunericus dominationem regni annis septem, mensibus decem, meritorum suorum mortem consummans. Nam putrefactus et ebulliens vermibus, non corpus sed partes corporis ejus videntur sepultæ. Sicut ille legis datæ trangressor rex quondam, ut asinus sepultus est, ita iste in brevi simili morte periit."

I have pasted it directly from Eaten of Worms (p. 11), so some of the characters may not be right. Alansplodge (talk) 16:05, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

My attempt: "The infamous Hunericus ruled for seven years and ten months and suffered an end fitting his deserts. For he rotted and produced an abundance of worms, and it was as if not his body but single parts of his body were buried. Like that king of old who broke the law and was buried like an ass, so he, in short, suffered a similar death." (I've also corrected some of the scanning errors above.) Fut.Perf. 16:37, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Thank you kindly. Another piece in the puzzle for Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities#Who was Honoricus (the one eaten by worms)?. Alansplodge (talk) 17:14, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Older editions have "videntur esse sepultae":[7] "and not his body but body parts were seen to be buried".  --Lambiam 21:36, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
That makes sense; the 17th-century paraphrase has "worms and lice so gnawed his flesh that his whole body became putrefied, one member dropping off after another, so that he was buried piece-meal, thus coming to a horrible and not less ignominious end". Alansplodge (talk) 11:55, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
I don't think there is a semantic difference between "videntur sepultae" and "videntur esse sepultae" in Latin. The passive forms of "video" ('see') are all typically used in the sense of 'seem'/'appear', and the "esse" linking the dependent predicate is optional, as far as I remember. Fut.Perf. 22:11, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

"Hot" wire[edit]

In this discussion on the Misc desk, several people have referred to the "hot" wire in an AC electric supply, and nobody referred to it as "live". In fifty years of messing about with electrics in the UK (not professionally, but I've done my share of tech work in theatres) I have never once heard this use before: it is always "live" (as opposed to "neutral" and "earth") - usually nominal, as "I connected the neutral and then the live". I see that Electric power distribution uses the word "live" precisely twice, in this sense, and the first time it is glossed followed by "hot" in parenthesis.

Is this use of "hot" common in the US? --ColinFine (talk) 17:20, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

Yes. --Khajidha (talk) 17:28, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Definitely. Checking my 3-wire circuit tester, the descriptions printed on it for the various possible combinations of lights use the terms "hot", "neutral" and "ground". Hot is understood to mean live. "Earth" would be a Britishism. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:06, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
  • Also, in AmEng, "earth" is called "ground" in an electrical context. Neutral is still just "neutral". --Jayron32 17:38, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Thank you. I thought there must be a suitable article, but didn't think of looking for one so specific. I knew about "ground": I've never come across "hot". --ColinFine (talk) 17:59, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
To my North American mind, a "live" wire is one that actually has voltage on it. If you disconnect the power supply, the black wire is still the hot wire, but it's no longer live. But, having said that, I'm not sure that others would make the same distinction. -- (talk) 19:04, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
I tend to hold a similar distinction colloquially in my mind. A "live" wire is a non-technical term for any wire that can deliver an electric shock, the "hot" wire is specifically a specific wire from a wiring scheme; ideally your "hot" wire should not be "live" when you're hooking it up to something, or you're going to have a bad day. --Jayron32 19:22, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Also, I was also taught that, while black is a usual color for a "hot" wire, anything except white and green could be used depending on how a particular device is set up; white is a neutral color, green for ground, and all other colors are used for hot wires. But I could be wrong about that. I'm not much of an electrical expert.--Jayron32 19:26, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
If any of the wires in your home are hot you should turn off the electricity and call an electrician. DuncanHill (talk) 21:47, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Australian terminology, probably following the British, is Active, Neutral, Earth, with color coding brown, blue and green with a yellow stripe. Before this (international) standard, our colors were red, black and green respectively. Installing imported equipment could be tricky, with black being the American active wire and red being the German earth. Doug butler (talk) 21:55, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
If I recall correctly, British wiring used to be red for live, black for neutral and brown for earth. We had to learn how to wire a plug when I was a Cub in the 1960s, attitudes to risks for children being rather different. Alansplodge (talk) 11:50, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
It changed around 2004/2006: Electrical_wiring_in_the_United_Kingdom#Wiring_colours. Iapetus (talk) 14:48, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
I just tripped over This helpful graphic. It has standard wiring colors for different regions and countries around the world. --Jayron32 15:59, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
As I understand it, in Britain it used to be the case that appliances were routinely sold without plugs because various designs of socket were widely used; so wiring a plug was not an occasional thing, but something that everyone had to either do themselves or have it done for them. But I have no personal experience of this. -- (talk) 00:35, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
I was taught to wire a plug as a Cub in the late 70's. Plugs didn't start to come fitted until the 90's following a campaign by Lynn Faulds Wood and BBC Watchdog. DuncanHill (talk) 00:53, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
Strictly speaking the L terminal in a plug is Line, not Live (see link from Iapetus above), though there's obvious scope for confusion. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 12:18, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, you're wrong. You need to qualify your statement with a location. Where I am, L=live. Bazza (talk) 14:03, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
It appears you may be wrong, Bazza 7. AndrewWTaylor is also apparently in England, and besides the article Iapetus cited above, AC power plugs and sockets: British and related types confirms what Andrew says. I have not found the text of BS1363 (BSs are sold by the BSI, not made available free), but this non-authoritative source says "BS 1363-1 specifies requirements for 13 A fused plugs having insulating sleeves on line (or always quoted as live)". I am even more surprised than I was by "hot" on Thursday. --ColinFine (talk)
@ColinFine and AndrewWTaylor: As our world of wiring has apparently crumbled worryingly, I am keeping my glass half full. We are both obviously right: I with a reliable source and shared WP:COMMONNAME; and AndrewWTaylor (apologies for not checking your location) et al with direction via the article to a probably equally reliable source. I'll try to remember to use "line" next time it crops up in everyday conversation with my similarly pedantic friends and see what reaction I get! Bazza (talk) 10:52, 24 January 2021 (UTC)
I was in that discussion too. Usually I refer to the wires as earth, neutral and phase, but someone else had already used hot, so I used that to avoid any confusion. I'm a non-native speaker of English and, being European, I mostly use British English, but sometimes I don't know what's British and what isn't. PiusImpavidus (talk) 10:34, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

Question about English syntax[edit]

Is the name of this new article: Index of ancient Greece-related articles correct in the English language? If English had the same syntax rules about compound words as Finnish, it would mean an index of Greece-related articles that are ancient. The proper syntax would be "Index of ancient Greece -related articles". But what are the syntax rules in English? JIP | Talk 20:21, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

Normally, the Finnish "rule" you cite would be observed in English as well. The usual way of treating a compound adjective in which one element consists of two words—like "ancient Greece" in this case—would be to use an en dash rather than a hyphen, thus: "Index of ancient Greece–related articles". See MOS:PREFIXDASH for an analogous use, though our MOS doesn't seem to cover this exact usage (note, however, the example "Turks and Caicos–based company" in the MOS section I've cited). Deor (talk) 21:26, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Capitalising "Ancient" would avoid the confusion for readers. To avoid confusing listeners you would need to recast the title as "Index of articles related to Ancient Greece" - nobody can hear the difference between an en-dash and a hyphen, or a capital and a lower-case letter. DuncanHill (talk) 21:40, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
Capitalizing "ancient" would conflict with the usage throughout the article Ancient Greece (except when it begins a sentence) and with normal usage elsewhere. I agree that a move to "Index of articles related to ancient Greece" or similar might be advised, but that's not exactly what JIP asked. Deor (talk) 22:11, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
We also do not capitalize ancient Greek (the language), but Wiktionary does. In a kafenio on Ikaria I observed some ancient Greeks discussing contemporary politics.  --Lambiam 12:04, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
Ancient_Greek_dialects capitalises both "Ancient Greek" and "Modern Greek". Old English also capitalises the "Old" (for English, and for other "Old" languages). This sort of capitalisation would seem both normal and appropriate if referring to the actual named languages, as its a proper noun. On the other hand, if you are talking about "Greece in ancient times", then "ancient Greek" would be analogous to "medieval England", which isn't capitalised in England_in_the_Middle_Ages, and probably wouldn't elsewhere. Iapetus (talk) 15:00, 22 January 2021 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the "normal usage elsewhere" - perhaps "the current fashion on the internet". I am aware that the MOS deprecates the use of capitals, for reasons which are obscure. It depends what JIP means by "correct" - if "clear and understandable" then the title is - clearly - incorrect. If "abides by certain rules used by certain people" then perhaps it is correct. DuncanHill (talk) 22:18, 21 January 2021 (UTC)
For what it's worth, my Iphone capitalizes Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. So we'll continue seeing more of that. Not sure if it's right myself, but not a matter particularly worth caring about outside examples like this (where it does aid clarity.) Temerarius (talk) 00:50, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

JIP: There has been a #1 hit song about ambiguities of this general type: Purple People Eater. "Ancient history professor" could be a joke -- is that person an ancient professor of history, or a professor of ancient history? AnonMoos (talk) 23:08, 21 January 2021 (UTC)

January 24[edit]

Life is Good interlude dialogue[edit]

I can't find the interlude dialogue words from 2:54 to 3:28 in the "Life is Good" song video. All the website that I've looked at for the lyrics don't have the words of the dialogue

Can someone transcribe the dialogue word for word 2:54 to 3:28 here or give me a web link to a site that does?--2601:C4:C300:1BD0:F0B7:AA1F:3F5:50EF (talk) 23:15, 24 January 2021 (UTC)

Hang on, hang front...this is something I've not overheard. I'm in sort of fame...get my rags, but, but I miss studio time making that song.
Why? Yeah...for real?
I'm gonna go big. You can't stick...
Around the bars. M...E...a hard video.
If I do the video you got that right. I got the business.
Some gaff.
Yeah. You're thinking, eh, the guy's videos... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks.-- (talk) 22:37, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

January 25[edit]

The meanings of these phrases[edit]

I want to know the meaning of the phrases, "You are not alone" and "You're not alone". I have seen it being associated with crisis lines, twelfth-step programs, and mental health services. What does the phrases literally mean? Does it mean there is a network of peers who are laypersons (non-professionals) and licensed mental health professionals supporting an individual during a difficult situation? (talk) 12:44, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

It means that whatever ailment you're suffering, you're not the only one suffering that ailment. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:46, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
It means both. No, you are not the only one feeling this way. And, yes, there are people here who can help you. --Khajidha (talk) 17:52, 25 January 2021 (UTC)
Especially if some of the professionals have conquered the same ailments within themselves. I think of "you're not alone" as close kin to "we're all in this together". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:44, 25 January 2021 (UTC)

January 26[edit]