Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia is not a dictionary

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When obscure anime, non-charting albums, etc. have stubs with common words[edit]

Is the purpose of this policy page really to have words like toil, misfortunes and dissonants direct to trivial media products? Is that what those who made the page intended? In ictu oculi (talk) 07:46, 12 March 2016 (UTC)

IMO, anyone entering "toil" into the search field should be taken to either the dab page or to the article about the concept - not to the article about the album which (although a GA) appears to be fairly obscure (e.g. it only has inlinks from 4 other articles). But that's a WP:PRIMARYTOPIC issue, not WP:NAD. What part of NAD do you think should be changed? DexDor (talk) 08:41, 12 March 2016 (UTC)
@DexDor: I think what's needed is a caveat/common sense clause under the Handling Problems section which reads something like "WHEN A DICTIONARY TERM IS OCCUPIED BY A TRIVIAL SUBJECT" - something like "Just because Hurricane does not have an article (but redirects to a bigger subject does not mean that Hurricane (manga) should be moved over the Hurricane redirect. If a trivial subject which cannot claim to be the majority subject in reliable sources is occupying a dictionary term which does not justify an article then a disambiguation page pointing to relevant articles is a better option than placing Hurricane (manga) where a disambiguation page would more helpful." ... OWTTE. In ictu oculi (talk) 21:25, 12 March 2016 (UTC)
Not really following your example, but whatever. The point is correct, but as DexDor points out, we already know that. This isn't the place for it, I would argue, if we really need to write this down. I'd put it at WP:Disambiguation, or if we think it really rises to policy level, then put it in WP:AT, since it's a WP:PRECISE failure, and nothing more. It's an article titles and disambiguation matter; WP:NOTDICT is a content policy.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:32, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

So, was this discussion continued elsewhere? I am asking because dissonants still feel dissonating to me. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:31, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

WHy? Dissonants has a hatnote to the Dissonance disambiguation page (dissonants is just a derived word of the latter, and would redirect there if the article on the album didn't exist). The exact form dissonants is not a very likely search term and would never be used as the article title for a general-topic article (WP:PLURAL).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  12:13, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

How about a pic of an OED shelved next to EB?[edit]

   The EB pic is great for making the point that most 'pedias are plenty big (and IMO greater with the caption making clear that that is one copy of 1 'pedia, not several copies of 4 to 7 'pedias). IMO a picture of the biggest dict they may never have seen enchances the effect: OED (perhaps accompanied by a Compact OED with its magnifying-glass drawer open) would bolster the point by showing a dict that's close to or bigger than a damn big 'pedia! Better still, get a sympathetic librarian (librarian or professor at a MLS / MSLS / MLIS school?) to permit setting up for a shot of a book case with EB alone on top shelf, and OED occupying N full shelves and one partially full, of the same bookcase. (Note what i suspect: the EB volumes have larger page size for sake of illustrations, but thinner volumes, to keep each volume heftable, so shelf length occupied by those fewer volumes of OED will be comparable, & may well exceed EB's shelf length. And real point is the contrast between pocket dict & 'pedia.)
--Jerzyt 09:22, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

15th edition of the Britannica. The initial volume with the green spine is the Propædia; the red-spined and black-spined volumes are the Micropædia and the Macropædia, respectively. The last three volumes are the 2002 Book of the Year (black spine) and the two-volume index (cyan spine).
Oxford English Dictionary
OED2 volumes.jpg
Seven of the twenty volumes of the printed version of the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary

Country UK
Language English
Published 1884 (1884)
It is our policy that "Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia" and so such images of paper volumes are inappropriate. What would be better would be pictures of a typical dictionary entry for a topic alongside a picture of an encyclopedia article about the same topic. This would illustrate the different nature of the entries; one being focussed on the word qua word; the other being focussed on the general history and nature of the topic. The topic "dictionary" would be appropriate. Andrew D. (talk) 10:05, 12 June 2017 (UTC)
Agreed, though a photo showing entire entries from an encyclopedia and a dictionary might actually be a copyright issue (at least in the reasoning of WMF's paranoia about copyright, which bears little resemblance to actual US jurisprudence on fair use).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:57, 20 September 2017 (UTC)


I think our guidelines should find a way to fast-track deletions of articles on protologisms since they by definition do not have any sources. This could be done by clarifying a distinction between neologisms and protologisms since neologisms, unlike protologisms, can have sources. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 12 June 2017‎ (UTC)

Protologisms also often have sources, or they usually wouldn't make their way here in the first place; "has not gained wide acceptance in the language" and "does not have any sources" are not synonymous. Few have sufficient notability to be kept (though sometimes they merge to the article on their coiner). For literally brand new protologisms straight from an editor's head, that's already covered by WP:CSD#G1 and WP:CSD#A11, sometimes also WP:CSD#G3 if it's an obvious joke. Outside CSD, WP:NFT and WP:NOT#INDISCRIMINATE apply, along with WP:V and WP:N. So, there is no gap to patch here.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:55, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Mentioning protologisms in the policy[edit]

With this edit, an IP added "unlike protologisms." I question mentioning protologisms in the policy. This is because the term protologism, which was coined by Mikhail Epstein, has not gained wide usage and, per Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Words to watch/Archive 7#Adding "protologisms" to the "Neologisms and new compounds" section, can be said to be "a neologism that has not yet been accepted as a useful or substantiated addition to the vocabulary." As seen in that discussion, consensus was against adding the mention of protologisms to the guideline. So why add it the policy page? Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:03, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

And here is the RfC from that aforementioned guideline discussion: Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Words to watch/Archive 8#Request for comment: mention protologisms?. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 23:16, 21 November 2017 (UTC)

Agreed. This is back-door WP:FORUMSHOPping of an already-rejected proposal to include "protologisms" by name, which are already covered as a subset of neologisms anyway.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  00:33, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

"books and papers"[edit]

I've noticed that some editors have gotten confused about the phrase "books and papers" and have mistakenly concluded that this phrase refers only to printed sources when in reality online sources can also be reliable. In an attempt to clear up this confusion, I changed the phrase to just say "reliable sources".[1] This should have been a fairly innocuous edit as it doesn't change the meaning of this sentence. However, it was reverted[2] with the edit summary "Phrase "such as books and papers" doesn't imply that sources *must* be paper" which is correct: it does not imply that sources must be paper. That's not the issue. The issue is that some editors think it does. My edit was to clarify what this sentence actually means. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 07:24, 5 October 2017 (UTC)

  • Agreed. Mentioning two of many kinds of reliable sources serves no purpose here, and is potentially confusing.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  06:17, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. Would anyone else like to weigh in here? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 11:49, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
  • If the intended meaning is "reliable sources" then the phrase "books and papers" is misleading as there are plenty of books and papers out there that are not reliable. But I'm wondering whether there isn't a shade of meaning here that pulls in a different direction: the question isn't so much about the reliability of sources as it is about the amount of coverage: being the topic of a (possibly unreliable) book or paper should probably count for more than having received smaller coverage in other (possibly reliable, but brief) sources, like news reports. – Uanfala 12:08, 10 October 2017 (UTC)
    • I went through the page history, and it appears that this section was added on April 14, 2010.[3] Looking at the original text, it appears that the key point this text is addressing is to draw a distinction between sources which use a term and sources about a term. Apparently, the original author(s) of this section were concerned about editors cobbling together a bunch of different sources which use the term to create an article. In any case, that distinction is still in the policy. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 11:28, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
      Not an invalid concern, but doesn't have anything to do with NOTDICT's purpose and focus (it's a WP:SYNTH matter), nor with "books and papers" in particular.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  16:36, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Add example Bereavement -> Grief[edit]

This guideline has often been miscited by editors against WP:PRIMARYREDIRECT. A couple of examples of a primary redirect in the guideline such as Pedal bike -> Bicycle, Endearment -> Affection) would help enormously. Credit to @BD2412: for those. Hurricane -> Tropical cyclone is the one that has also been cited in the past. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:49, 2 December 2017 (UTC)

This seems very reasonable. I too also frequently see such mis-citation. NOTDICT is about what kinds of articles about words we can have. It has nothing to do with redirects that help people find the real article that pertains to the synonym they've tried. It's not WP's job to make people open a thesaurus and start guessing by doing down a synonym list until they find the page. >;-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  14:58, 3 December 2017 (UTC)