Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Wikipedia Reference Desk covering the topic of language.

Welcome to the language reference desk.
Want a faster answer?

Main page: Help searching Wikipedia

How can I get my question answered?

  • Provide a short header that gives the general topic of the question.
  • Type '~~~~' (that is, four tilde characters) at the end – this signs and dates your contribution so we know who wrote what and when.
  • Post your question to only one desk.
  • Don't post personal contact information – it will be removed. All answers will be provided here.
  • Specific questions, that are likely to produce reliable sources, will tend to get clearer answers,
  • Note:
    • We don't answer (and may remove) questions that require medical diagnosis or legal advice.
    • We don't answer requests for opinions, predictions or debate.
    • We don't do your homework for you, though we’ll help you past the stuck point.
    • We are not a substitute for actually doing any original research required, or as a free source of ideas.

How do I answer a question?

Main page: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Guidelines

  • The best answers address the question directly, and back up facts with wikilinks and links to sources. Do not edit others' comments and do not give any medical or legal advice.
Choose a topic:
See also:
Help desk
Village pump
Help manual

July 14

Do you use italics or not?

For Wikipedia purposes, do you use italics or not in this example?

A: The city is Derby, Connecticut; its Native American name is Paugasset.

B: The city is Derby, Connecticut; its Native American name is Paugasset.

So, "A" or "B"?

In effect, what I am really asking is this:

In the following chart (List of towns in Connecticut), should the entries in the column entitled "Native American Name" (Column Number 8) be listed in italics or in regular font? Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 04:25, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

MOS:ITAL says, "Proper names (such as place names) in other languages ... are not usually italicized"—one of those guidelines that seem to be widely ignored in practice. Deor (talk) 06:10, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Joseph A. Spadaro -- even if you used italics in your example sentence (optionally, to emphasize the word's foreignness), you still might not want to use italics in the chart (which is a rather different context)... AnonMoos (talk) 12:01, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
I think it might be Derby which is actually "foreign" to North America in this case. Alansplodge (talk) 12:13, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, if pronounced Darbee. (Or, if you're from Brooklyn, Doybee.) ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 12:50, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't believe that pronunciation is relevant; every one of the 17 places called "Derby" outside of England would have been called something else had the original town of Derby never existed. Alansplodge (talk)
Places in Wales generally have an English and Welsh name, and our articles on Cardiff and Swansea have italicised the Welsh language names Caerdydd and Abertawe. However, when the Welsh name is more commonly used, like Caernarfon, neither the Welsh nor the English name (Carnarvon) is italicised, which shows the difficulty of this approach. Alansplodge (talk) 12:10, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, the articles on Cardiff and Swansea use {{lang-cy}}, which automatically italicizes the output. The documentation of Template:Lang says, "While {{lang-xx}} templates output text in italics for languages with Latin-based scripts, if plain text is required, such as for proper names, {{noitalic}} may be used"; but most editors aren't aware of that, so proper names in those templates tend to be italicized in articles. Indeed, the handling of italicization in Wikipedia is wildly inconsistent, bearing little relation to the MOS guidelines. Deor (talk) 13:56, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
The issue isn't the foreign language, but the use of a word that refers to a word. In that case, the word is often either italicized or put in quotation marks. (I think linguists tend to italicize and philosophers tend to use quotation marks, but I'm not sure.) For example, from our article on Derry:
In 1613, the city was granted a Royal Charter by King James I and gained the "London" prefix to reflect the funding of its construction by the London guilds.
Here, the six letters L-o-n-d-o-n make a word referring to the big city in England, but the six letters and two quotation marks "-L-o-n-d-o-n-" make a word referring to the six-letter word that's being used as a prefix.
In the inquirer's example, "Derby" refers to the city and "Paugasset" refers to a word (specifically, the Native American name originally given to the settlement). If the sentence were flipped around I would still use italics or quotation marks for the word that referred to a word, thus: "Paugasset was settled in 1642. It acquired the name 'Derby' in 1675, in reference to Derby, England." The first occurrence of "Derby" names a name, while the second names a town. JamesMLane t c 07:45, 17 July 2017 (UTC)

Root 'hild' in modern German

Are there words with the root 'hild' (see [[1]]) in modern German? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Clipname (talkcontribs) 20:14, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

"Hild" is a component of some German first names, e.g. Brynhildr, Hildegard Knef, but also see Hilda of Whitby. As a native German speaker I can not - offhand - think of any word (apart from names) which contains this root. --Cookatoo.ergo.ZooM (talk) 17:22, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
In Old High German the word "hiltja", "hilta" was used in the text as well as in the names of the Hildebrandslied. In Middle High German the dictionary form is "hilt", and Lexer's Middle High German dictionary notes that it is only used in proper names and in the following three compositions: hilte-diu, hilte-grîn, and hilt-matte. In New High German the word survives in proper names, see "Hild" sqq. --Pp.paul.4 (talk) 09:31, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

alternate wording in Anne Frank diary

I'm wondering about variant wording in the diary. I understand that her Dutch was cleaned up for publication, so maybe one of these was her own wording? Or are there two editions?

In the famous quote where she says she wants to be Dutch after the war, there's:

En al zou ik aan de Koningin zelf moeten schrijven, ik zal niet wijken vóór mijn doel bereikt is.


En als ik aan de koningin zelf moet schrijven, zal ik niet wijken voor mijn doel bereikt is.

I don't speak Dutch, so I can't tell if one has been corrected.

Thanks — kwami (talk) 22:03, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

There are different published editions, and Anne Frank herself also revised part of her diary entries with a view of publishing them. I don't have access to the critical edition, but the first Dutch publication (1947) has the first variant (see here).
Both variants are gramatically correct, but they are slightly different in meaning: The first one literally means "And even if I would have to write to the queen herself, I will not yield before my goal is reached". The second one has "And if I have to write to the queen herself, ..."; the second part is the same. The accents in "vóór" merely emphasize the word 'before'; "zal ik" or "ik zal" makes no difference here. Current spelling requires that koningin (queen) not be capitalized, but in older texts such spelling is not uncommon. - Lindert (talk) 23:59, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
See also answers to the same question over at the Humanities Desk. Alansplodge (talk) 08:49, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. That helps a lot. — kwami (talk) 21:41, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

July 15

'is a former restaurant' and 'awarded a star in 1998-2002'

Copy from July 8, as the case has not been concluded although the filer claims otherwise, seeing his edits
After seeing a contribution of mine reverted (here), I thought it best to discuss the changes I introduced here.

Recently I noticed that numerous articles on Michelin starred restaurants located in Ireland and the Netherlands include either one or both of the following phrases: 1) 'X is a former restaurant' and 2) 'X was awarded a Michelin star in the period YYYY-YYYY'.

I'll quote the text I modified in order to explain why I think these phrases are problematic.

1) Peacock Alley is a former restaurant

This I would construe as 'The venue called Peacock Alley used to house a restaurant, but is now in use for other purposes', while the intended meaning appears to be 'Restaurant Peacock Alley does no longer exist'. My suggestion therefore would be to simply write 'Peacock Alley was a restaurant.'

2) Peacock Alley was a fine dining restaurant that was awarded one Michelin star in the period 1998-2002

This wording strikes me as confusing, as it could be interpreted to mean that the restaurant was awarded that particular star at some unspecified moment between 1998 and 2002, while in fact it received the star in 1998 and managed to retain it until 2002. That's why I would prefer '(...) that held one Michelin star in the period 1998-2002' or a similar phrasing.

Any thoughts on the matter? Marrakech (talk) 13:57, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

Both the company and the restaurant as independent restaurant do not exist any more.
Secondly, I would like it when you stop following me around. You are harassing me on the Dutch Wikipedia and now you bring the same disruptive issues here. You have clearly no respect for other editors and their writing style. The Banner talk 14:53, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Regardless of any tiff between the two contributors above, I agree that "X is a former restaurant" could be ambiguous, and that the simpler "X was a restaurant" would be preferable for clarity. For the star: "X was awarded a Michelin star in the period YYYY-YYYY" sounds a bit odd. "X held a Michelin star in the period YYYY-YYYY" might be more acceptable, but for simplicity and conciseness try "X was awarded a Michelin star from YYYY to YYYY". Bazza (talk) 15:36, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I agree with the original poster and with Bazza. Loraof (talk) 15:59, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Is the latest compromise acceptable? Dbfirs 17:59, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
If you mean Bazza's proposal: yes. Though I would prefer 'X held a Michelin star from YYYY to YYYY', which I think rules out any possible ambiguity, while at the same time providing a solution to the question raised by The Wiki ghost below. Marrakech (talk) 19:26, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I have already changed the wording, so the questions of Marrakech are in fact moot now. The Banner talk 20:07, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
@Marrakech: Actually I do not see in which way your answer solves the question I raised below. For that, I think you'll need to find more relevant sources on this particular subject. The Wiki ghost (talk) 20:22, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
It's quite simple actually. Regardless whether the star is awarded only once (and is subsequently retained by the restaurant) or repeatedly in each successive year, you can't go wrong with 'X held a Michelin star from YYYY to YYYY', because it would be accurate in both cases. Marrakech (talk) 20:33, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I think most common readers will be more inclined to interpret the restaurant held a Michelin star from X until X as the case which I named below "option 2", while it might actually be option 1. So in my opinion, it would be less accurate in case the star is actually awarded each individual year again (for which, of course, conclusive proof must be found first). The Wiki ghost (talk) 20:46, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
My (Dutch) Michelin Guide mentions on page 7 Binnen de selectie onderscheiden wij jaarlijks de beste restaurants met Template:Michelinster tot Template:Michelinster. (English: Within the selection, we distinguish each year the best restaurants with 1 star to 3 stars.) Note the phrase "jaarlijks" (Eng.: each year). The Banner talk 21:03, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
I'd use "is a former restaurant" only for an entity that got out of the restaurant business but still exists. (How often does that happen?) Arnold Schwarzenegger is a former actor; Vic Morrow isn't. —Tamfang (talk) 07:44, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
I think the key question here is still a slightly different one. More clarification should be given on this rather important question: is a Michelin star actually awarded each individual year again to a restaurant (as for example this formulation suggests (let's say this is option 1), or does the restaurant get such a star awarded only once after which it keeps the star constantly until it loses its star in some subsequent year (let's say this is option 2)?
For the sake of completeness, I'd like to mention here as well the fact that the same issue has been going on during the last days on the Dutch Wikipedia, where Marrakech has replaced in some dozens of articles the formulation The restaurant got it awarded each year... (so this is option 1) with something like The restaurant had it from... (so this is option 2). The Banner put the old phrasing (so option 1) back at first, after which he was again reverted by Marrakech. In addition, this is the same kind of revert, now today on this wiki. It's furthermore very important to include in this the fact that The Banner was blocked yesterday on the Dutch wiki for being involved in an edit war, while Marrakech was not (see here). The Wiki ghost (talk) 20:07, 8 July 2017 (UTC)
Factual background: each year's Michelin guide will rate each of the restaurants it includes, some of which may have no stars, some 1, some 2 and some 3. Apart from the stars, which measures how special the restaurant is, the guide will also rate restaurants for whether they are comfortable/good quality (with a knife and fork symbol) or good value ("Bib Gourmand", denoted with the face of Bibendum, the Michelin Man). Michelin reviews its ratings regularly, and restaurants' star ratings are liable to increas as well as decrease each year, and most eventually drop to no stars, because stars denote "extraordinary" restaurants, and restaurants have a tendency to stop being special over time.
I think it's accurate to say a restaurant was "awarded" a star (or its second or third star) only in the year in which its rating changed. If it had two stars in 2016 and still has two stars in 2017, it's more accurate to say it "maintained" its two stars in 2017. If it was rated the same number of stars over a number of years, I think "held x stars in 200x-y" is both accurate and succinct. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 17:56, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Funny to see mention of the Michelin Man when this morning I got a spam in Spanish urging me to get rid of my michelines and hone my abs. —Tamfang (talk) 07:47, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
Discussions about how to edit Wikipedia really don't belong here; WT:MOS is a more appropriate venue. That said, I agree with Marrakech on the problems with both expressions, and his solutions to both (including by PalaceGuard008's reasoning with regard to the latter). However "held [some] stars" is awkward and potentially confusion for anyone unfamiliar with what a Michelin star is, which is a large number of people. I would suggest "held a one-star Michelin rating from [date] to [date]".  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  04:33, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
It's commonplace to see in company advertising statements of the nature X company has been awarded the Y prize three years running. There are various clues you can look at before formulating your description. One clue would be the title of the award, e.g. "best [category] of ... ", followed by a year. (talk) 09:12, 11 July 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for all the feedback, everybody. Meanwhile 'Peacock Alley is a former restaurant' was changed to 'Peacock Alley is a defunct restaurant', while 'It was a fine dining restaurant that was awarded one Michelin star in the period 1998-2002' was substituted by 'It was a fine dining restaurant that was awarded one Michelin star for each year in the period 1998-2002' (see the article). Personally I find 'X is a defunct restaurant' rather odd-sounding, but I am no native English speaker, so I could be all wrong. Also, 'that was awarded one Michelin star for each year in the period 1998-2002' is a bit wordy to my taste and could be taken to mean that the stars are actually accumulated by the restaurant. Therefore, I would prefer the simple 'Peacock Alley was a restaurant' and 'held a one-star Michelin rating from 1998 to 2002' (as suggested by user SMcCandlish).

So the question would be: is the article good enough as it is in its present state or should it still be slightly amended? Marrakech (talk) 15:05, 11 July 2017 (UTC)

So, it is just a matter of your taste? As stated before, the stars are awarded every year. The idea that the stars accumulated is a rather special reading of the text. Especially when the maximum rating is only three. The Banner talk 23:04, 11 July 2017 (UTC)
@The Banner: did you read the discussion above about how the ratings work? --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 13:04, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
I wrote a lot of the articles about Michelin restaurants in Ireland and the Netherlands myself, so yes, I know how the system works. The Banner talk 15:02, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
And yes, I am aware about the discrepancy between the truth (stars again awarded) and the public perception (kept the stars). I will not start singing and dancing when you state "restaurant PPP maintained the stars for the period ..." but I can live with that. It is far better than "restaurant PPP had the stars for the period ...", what in my opinion signals just to events: the awarding of the star and the loss of the star. The Banner talk 17:49, 13 July 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand why you think the stars are "awarded" each year. As someone familiar with the system, no doubt you know that Michelin stars isn't some sort of annual award ceremony, it is a system of ratings in a guidebook, conceptually no different to Lonely Planet stars or TripAdvisor scores. As someone familiar with the system you will also no doubt know that Michelin's standard cycle of ratings review is about 18 months (though sometimes more frequently), so it's odd to think of the stars as being "awarded" every 12 months. So the "truth" and the "public perception" you refer to is I think in fact reversed. The truth is that the stars are "kept" once gained until they are lost, and not re-"awarded" each year. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 10:42, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
At least in Holland there is a yearly event to announce the new ratings. The Banner talk 17:46, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
In Holland ([2], [3]), France ([4]) and Belgium/Luxembourg ([5]). Sorry, all links are in Dutch. The Banner talk 00:04, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes in the UK as well, Michelin holds an event where they announce the ratings in that year's guide. But does that make it a yearly "award"? --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 12:17, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
General consensus appears to be to write 'Peacock Alley was a restaurant' and 'Peacock Alley held a one-star Michelin rating from 1998 to 2002'. Would it be okay to change the article accordingly? Marrakech (talk) 10:13, 14 July 2017 (UTC)
I read something differently. The Banner talk 17:46, 14 July 2017 (UTC)

End restored section

Archiving is not the same as a conclusion, Marrakech. Could you have the decency to wait for that conclusion? The Banner talk 07:59, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
By the way, the phrase "defunct restaurant" that you clearly despise is derived from "Category:Defunct restaurants in Ireland". The Banner talk 08:26, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
To be honest, that's not how I see it. While the discussion that I started was still underway and a compromise seemed to be reached, you all of a sudden changed both phrases in question in a way that deviated from the compromise. And on top of that you declared the discussion moot. The truth is that you haven't been able to gain much support for your point of view. So if nothing happens until the discussion is archived again, I feel I am entitled to restore my most recent edit. Marrakech (talk) 12:29, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
What is the same as completely ignoring the discussion here and the improvements made based on this discussion. The Banner talk 13:48, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
One question: has anyone backed up your 'defunct restaurant' solution? Why didn't you restore the perfectly simple 'X was a restaurant', that everybody seemed to agree about? The whole point of a discussion is to reach a consensual solution, a process which feels useless when the solution is ignored. Marrakech (talk) 18:37, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Take a look at the name of the category used for this article. The Banner talk 18:48, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

User:Marrakech regardless of the "ideal" wording to describe a defunct place of business, which is really not that important, your persistence at following The Banner from article to article (he says dozens of articles) and across languages seems problematic. You've been asked above to stop the harassment and yet you continue the debate. You've crossed WP:HOUNDING and need to find another editing interest now. Legacypac (talk) 22:00, 16 July 2017 (UTC)

Legacypac, you are all wrong and you really should do your homework before entering a debate. I have only changed one (one!) article written by The Banner, which can hardly be called 'harassment', and have conducted myself politely in the discussion that ensued. You really should be much more careful before accusing anyone of misconduct. Marrakech (talk) 07:48, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
"is a defunct restaurant..." – a very clumsy construction for the first line of the Lead. Forces the reader to first believe that it is something and still operates, then negates it with "defunct". Make up your mind. Either it is still something or it was. Use the simple "was a restaurant". For the second paragraph, my suggestion: "It was a fine dining restaurant that was awarded a Michelin star in 1998 and retained that rating until it closed in 2002." Akld guy (talk) 07:56, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Do you really think people read an article word for word instead of sentence by sentence?
Beside that: the category of the article read already "Defunct restaurants in Ireland". Are you suggesting that that category also needs a name change? The Banner talk 09:24, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
I have changed the wording about the Michelin star according to your suggestion. The Banner talk 09:33, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I am concerned that your comprehension of English is not to the level of a native speaker, which is what I am. You indicated earlier that you are active on the Dutch Wikipedia. You also used the curious phrasing in this rejoinder: "What is the same as completely ignoring the discussion here and the improvements made based on this discussion.", instead of saying "Which is the same...", as a native speaker would. It appears that you are not a native speaker of English. If I'm right, you have no business insisting on a particular phrasing in the restaurant article when there are speakers whose first language is English who are trying to correct you and make the sentences read properly. It's a concern that you have just retaliated against me by asking, "Do you really think people read an article word for word instead of sentence by sentence?" This indicates to me that you are piecing together sentence constructions from thought processes in another language (Dutch?) and are not familiar with the flow of English sentences, as I and other native speakers are. The "Defunct" category has no relevance in the wording of the article. It's perfectly acceptable to place the restaurant in the defunct category and still say that it was a restaurant. Is there something about this that you do not understand? What is the sticking point? Akld guy (talk) 09:50, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
Aha, the moral superiority of the native speaker, dismissing a guy living in Ireland for the last eleven years. So, what is your point? The Banner talk 11:43, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
My point is, why do you find "was" incompatible with "defunct"? Why insist on defunct being present in the first sentence of the Lead, simply because the restaurant falls into the defunct category? Have you misunderstood what defunct means? Akld guy (talk) 12:52, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
By the way, changing 'X is a former restaurant' in 'X was a restaurant' was one of the two minor edits reverted by The Banner, which led to this discussion. I still don't understand why he reverted the simple 'X was a restaurant', especially since he himself has used the identical phrase in numerous other restaurant articles he wrote, like De Vergulde Wagen. Marrakech (talk) 22:12, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
I do not understand why you keep hammering on this, as you earlier stated that it was just a matter of taste. You have no other arguments than that you do not like it. The Banner talk 22:19, 17 July 2017 (UTC)
That is not true, The Banner. And like Akid guy I wonder why you keep rejecting the perfectly simple and natural wording 'X was a restaurant', which everybody prefers and which you yourself have used numerous times. Marrakech (talk) 05:23, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Ahem, I am not a kid and my name AKLD is one of the abbreviations for the remote forlorn ridiculed outpost Auckland where I live. Akld guy (talk) 06:25, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Lol, sorry... Marrakech (talk) 11:24, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
And why do you keep hammering on a change of a phrase that is correct but not according to your taste? The Banner talk 09:52, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
See the arguments put forward by Akld guy. Short version: as a non-native speaker of English you would do well to listen to users whose first language is English and who are trying to correct you and make the sentences read properly. Marrakech (talk) 11:24, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
@The Banner: The Banner, you have made no attempt, despite making several posts here, to justify why the first sentence in the article should say "defunct", so I have rephrased the entire sentence, as well as the start of the next, in this edit. Akld guy (talk) 13:27, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
I did try to justify the use of defunct, pointing at the category used for the article. But also to point out that the company running the restaurant is out of business, while the actual location might still be there. "was a restaurant" signals to me that there is no restaurant at all, not as location, not as company. The Banner talk 13:57, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Absurd, and simply reinforces the fact that your English is not adequate. Please stay away from en.wp and go practice your English somewhere else, such as a chat program. Akld guy (talk) 15:21, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Aha, you are playing the "my English is superior card" again. The Banner talk 15:57, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

Conform your failed block attempt and the information presented there, including a section about your complete misunderstanding understanding of the meaning of the word "defunct", I politely suggest that you restore the phrase "is a defunct restaurant" and stop editwarring. The Banner talk 09:16, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

There is no need to restore the 'is a defunct restaurant' wording, as nobody else but you prefers it to the simple 'was a restaurant'. Besides, compare the following sentences:
The Crystal Palace was a cast-iron and plate-glass structure originally built in Hyde Park
The Crystal Palace is a defunct cast-iron and plate-glass structure originally built in Hyde Park
Which of the two sounds more natural and more logical? Marrakech (talk) 10:08, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I know that you dislike the phrasing as a matter of taste but that discussion clearly stated that the phrase was correct and could be used. The Banner talk 10:26, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
This is an incredibly boring exchange over a phrasing that is obvious to native English speakers. We would never decribe a restaurant that has closed as "defunct". My Chambers dictionary defines the word as "having finished the course of life, dead". In my experience, restaurants don't die - parrots do. Correct English phrasing is "was a restaurant". I can cite my Grade 1 English language O level of circa 1970 as evidence. Phil Holmes (talk) 10:32, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
The Banner, consensus was reached on 'was a restaurant', a phrasing which so far nobody has objected to. Consensus was not reached on 'is a defunct restaurant', which so far several users have objected to. That in itself should be reason enough to keep the 'was a restaurant' wording. Marrakech (talk) 10:45, 19 July 2017 (UTC)

Meaning of Spanish "birrodado"?

"En China, el principal mercado de motos (en 2016 circularon más de la mitad de las motos del total mundial de 313 millones), un 50% de estos birrodados son eléctricos, según el informe Movilidad Eléctrica del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente de 2016." ([6]). This is from a Uruguayan website. DTLHS (talk) 18:43, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

It seems to refer to motorcycles. Google-image the term and you'll see plenty of them. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:54, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
It means "two-wheeled" vehicle (bi- rodado). —Stephen (talk) 07:51, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
According to Google Translate its talking about a motorcycle market in china - its seems news-like to me from what the translator detects.  PrimeArgon  Φ  15:58, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
Your Google Translate is acting up. It has nothing to do with China, it's Spanish for two-wheeled vehicles. I'll see if I can effect repairs on Google Translate. —Stephen (talk) 00:29, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
When Google translated this article the one word it didn't attempt to translate was birrodado. Looking at the original Spanish, the article is discussing the market for motor vehicles and the growing penetration of electric vehicles. The word appears as part of a statement that 50 per cent of two wheeled vehicles in China are electric. I base that on the Portuguese word for "wheel" being roda (no doubt from Latin rota) and an assumption that the Spanish word is the same. The Portuguese word for "motor cycle" is motociclo - motocicleta is the generic term. The article goes on to discuss "the project of electric mobility", which includes "two urban scooters". The Portuguese word for "bicycle" is bicicleta - the article contains a reference to bicicletas eléctricas. In Portuguese this means "electric bicycles" - assuming the Spanish phrase has the same meaning it will be referring to this: [7]. 2A00:23C0:7F02:C01:9DCF:5631:446B:F686 (talk) 10:48, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

Is this verb singular or plural?

Should the verb "to be" in the following sentence be singular or plural?

  • (A) I agree to sign any papers that your lawyer feels is necessary to accomplish this.
  • (B) I agree to sign any papers that your lawyer feels are necessary to accomplish this.

To me, Sentence "B" sounds correct, in that the "papers" are plural. And, thus, the verb should be the plural form "are". In other words, the sentence is saying: "any papers that are necessary to accomplish this".

However, Sentence "A" also sounds correct, in that it is describing the lawyer's feelings. In other words, the sentence is saying: "your lawyer feels that this is necessary" ... with the word "this" meaning "the signing of the papers".

Any thoughts? I'd like to know the correct verb for this specific sentence. Also, if there are any suggestions to reword the sentence, I'd appreciate that. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:41, 15 July 2017 (UTC)

I just realized --- after the fact -- that I had posted this same question a while back. (See: Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2016 May 4.) But, I wanted to hear more feedback, since the issue once again arose for me recently. Thanks. Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 19:50, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
Are is correct. The verb in a relative clause agrees with the antecedent of the relative pronoun; the antecedent of that here is plural papers. In "your lawyer feels that this is necessary", the that clause is a noun clause that's the object of feels, not a relative clause. Deor (talk) 19:48, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
It's important to note that in English a plural noun or expression can take a singular verb if it has the sense of referring to a single thing. "Two millimeters is a short distance"; "Two million dollars is usually considered a lot of money"; "Bacon, lettuce, and tomato is a good combination for a sandwich". I would not think of the signing of papers this way, but perhaps that's why Joseph thought the singular as well as the plural sounded correct. -- (talk) 22:48, 15 July 2017 (UTC)
... and the singular would be correct in "I agree to the signing of papers that your lawyer feels is necessary to accomplish this." Dbfirs 18:53, 16 July 2017 (UTC)
I guess it depends on what your lawyer feels is necessary to accomplish the task. If the papers themselves are what's necessary, then "that your lawyer feels are necessary" is correct. If the act of signing the papers is what's necessary, then "that your lawyer feels is necessary" is correct. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:26, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

July 18

Hebrew pronunciation

I'm writing a musical setting of Psalm 117 using the Hebrew words (see s:he:תהלים קיז), so I'd like to confirm the pronunciation. I'm going for a relatively careful Standard Israeli Hebrew pronunciation, appropriate for singing. The words are:

הַלְלוּ אֶת יְהוָה כָּל גּוֹיִם, שַׁבְּחוּהוּ כָּל הָאֻמִּים. כִּי גָבַר עָלֵינוּ חַסְדּוֹ וֶאֱמֶת יְהוָה לְעוֹלָם. הַלְלוּ יָהּ

As far as I can determine, the pronunciation is:

[halɛˈlu ʔɛt ʔadɔˈnaj kɔl ɡɔˈjim, ʃapˈxuhu kɔl haʔuˈmim. ki ɡaˈvar ʔaˈlɛjnu xazˈdɔ vɛʔɛˈmɛt ʔadɔˈnaj lɛʔɔˈlam. halɛˈlu ˈja.]

Anyone who knows both Hebrew and IPA: does that look right to you? Any corrections to make? Thanks! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 08:23, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

I am not a native speaker of Hebrew but my Hebrew professor was Israeli and a native speaker of a Mizrahi dialect. I would use [ħ] for ח and [ʕ] for ע. While these pronunciations are heard less and less in generic conversational Standard Israeli Hebrew, they are nonetheless used in Standard Israeli Hebrew by Mizrahi, educated Sephardim and even some Ashkenazi, especially in careful liturgical readings. Also, I think שַׁבְּחוּהוּ should sound more like [ʃabᵊˈħuhu] but a native speaker should double check that.--William Thweatt TalkContribs 11:22, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for your help! Since the people who will be singing this piece are native speakers of English and German, I think it would be asking too much for them to produce /ħ/ and /ʕ/. That's why I went for the more conventional Ashkenazi /x/ and /ʔ/. The coverage at Shva#Pronunciation in modern Hebrew is what led me to believe שַׁבְּחוּהוּ is a three-syllable word in SIH, although of course it was four-syllable /ʃabbəˈħuːhuː/ in Tiberian Hebrew. I hope a native or near-native Israeli speaker can help out. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:09, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

By the way, the glottal stop is phonemic in Modern Israeli only in narrow contexts like [lirʔot] "to see" vs. [lirot] "to shoot" (and I'm not too sure how often that distinction is maintained in ordinary casual speech). AnonMoos (talk) 21:42, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

@AnonMoos: OK, but even if it's not phonemic, is it there phonetically at the beginning of a vowel-initial word and in vowel hiatus? In other words, even accepting that וֶאֱמֶת יְהוָה is phonemically /vɛɛˈmɛt adɔˈnaj/, is it still phonetically [vɛʔɛˈmɛt ʔadɔˈnaj]? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:33, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
It would only phonetically be there in very careful speech. Last time I was in an Israeli synagogue, they didn't pronounce [ʔ] in these environments. The same applies to [h] by the way. -- (talk) 13:22, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
OK, thanks! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:23, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Meaning of "Auslander Bonzen raus"

What does "Auslander Bonzen raus" mean? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Clipname (talkcontribs) 12:19, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

It must be "Ausländer-Bonzen raus"; it means "foreign capitalists, get out!" It's hard to tell if it's a right-wing or a left-wing slogan, since the German right wing would only be interested in getting foreigners out (regardless of whether they're capitalists or not), and the German left wing would only be interested in getting capitalists out (regardless of whether they're foreign or not). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:12, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Apparently the culprits are left-wing radicals protesting against the gentrification of Berlin-Kreuzberg: Marrakech (talk) 13:34, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
Oddly, German Bonze, which seems to be a disparaging word for rich people, seems to be cognate with bonze, who are ascetic Buddhist monks (though the term is somewhat dated; it particularly calls to mind Thích Quảng Đức, whose self-immolation played a major role in the start of the Vietnam War). --Trovatore (talk) 05:37, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
You are right. The German wiktionary says: "von japanisch 坊主 () → ja [ˈbɔːzu] „buddhistischer Mönch, Priester“, über portugiesisch bonzo → pt [ˈbɔ̃zu] und französisch bonze → fr [bɔ̃z]; das Wort ist im Deutschen seit dem 16. Jahrhundert belegt, in der neuen Bedeutung (Funktionär) seit dem 18. Jahrhundert." Marrakech (talk) 06:43, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
Traditionally, in German "Bonze" means rather a mighty apparatchik, anyway the functionary of a mighty institution abusing his power and not doing any good. The shift to rich persons in general is indeed typically left-wing, however there are many modern right-wing extremists practicing Querfront (~Third position) - absorbing left-wing positions and terminology. --KnightMove (talk) 09:01, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
Either way, though, it makes very little sense to me. Buddhist monks are neither wealthy nor conventionally powerful. I tried reading the German article, both in the original and through Google Translate, and I really couldn't find any explanation. Can anyone provide any insight as to how this got started? --Trovatore (talk) 19:48, 19 July 2017 (UTC)
It looks like the development it went through was "Buddhist monk" > "priest" > "hypocritical priest" > "hypocritical influential man" > "rich man". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:38, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

July 20

Ambiguity in "everything is $1" joke

Is there a term for the sort of ambiguity expressed in this joke? Here, the word everything is interpreted as both "each item considered individually" and "all items considered collectively." It doesn't seem like a matter of quantifier scope, but I could be wrong. 2602:306:321B:5970:91B4:C260:DD4A:615C (talk) 04:05, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

The general concept of using ambiguity in the meaning of words for humor is called word play. The intentional use of a word with two meanings so as to play on the ambiguity of both meanings is called a double entendre. --Jayron32 12:00, 20 July 2017 (UTC)
A double entendre usually has a second meaning which is, in some way, sexually suggestive or offensive. It would not normally be used to describe that particular joke. Wymspen (talk) 13:15, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Chinese reader wanted

Hi wikipedians,

is any Chinese-speaker here? Or someone with a good OCR software for chinese?

I would like to get the text from these JPEGs with Simplified Chinese characters:

It has to do with coal.--BiggTime (talk) 12:45, 20 July 2017 (UTC)

Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Wikipedia:Reference desk/Language"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA