Proposal: New table formattingEdit

I am looking for support and/or specific criticism of this proposal. "Tables in the wordbook should bear column headings in this order: English word (and a number where appropriate), part of speech, attested overbringing(s) (or "-" where none are yet known), true calques (or "-" where no calque has or can be found that sufficiently realizes the definition), "made-up" Anglish words that resort to semantics.

Notice this proposal condenses a number of criticisms I have with the present wordbook.

First, many entries in the present wordbook do not properly distinguish between multiple definitions of words sharing a spelling and part of speech. An example "add (vb)", which for example puts in the same row the definitions in the senses of appending and including. That is, there should be at least two rows for "add (vb)", which treat the definitions separately. Conversely, consider "absinthe (n)", which currently properly distinguishes between "absinthe1 (n)" and "absinthe2 (n)". Full attention to detail is not fun, but the wordbook is corrupted without it.

Second, the principle of accessibility dictates that a reader should not have to manually research every word to determine whether it was supplied as an attestation, calquing, or semantic. This is the single largest problem with the wordbook's current format.

The line for "zodiac", for example, should read:

zodiacn -wighttokenringtwelve-tokens


  • I do not know an attested Anglish word for "zodiac" and I have left a blank for future editors to perhaps fill. As long as it remains empty, a casual reader should no obvious candidate exists and continue to the next column.
  • "wighttokenring" is (according to me -- this particular example is freely debatable) a true calque for "animal sign circle", the etymological meaning of zodiac.
  • "twelve-tokens" is (what I will call) a "semantic", that is, it is derived from the semantics of zodiac and does not purely reflect the etymology.

Observing that very often the entry(s) in the pure calque column will be vague, there should be some standard way to denote that an entry in the column, though correct, is not recommended. For example, an accurate but imprecise calque might be colored differently to discourage use (and a note on the main leaf of the wordbook would instruct readers to this standard).

For example, the (or an) entry for "zombie (n)" might read:

zombien -godundead, dead-alive

I apologize for that this is not the most illustrative example, but the row is given by that:

  • Again, I do not know an Anglish attestation.
  • Again, "god" is the etymological meaning, derived apparently from Kongo or Kimbundu. "god" should be somehow marked as inappropriate overbringing since it does not precisely reflect the definition of "zombie". For example, I have pretended here that the standard would be to color the word red as indication. Note: it is a matter of style in Anglish as a whole and out of the scope of this proposal whether this column should alternatively or additionally read "Kongo god" or even "Kongogod". Choosing to write "god" in this example should not be taken to mean this proposal, itself alone, suggests a bearing on the Anglish as a whole matter.
  • "Undead" and "dead-alive" are semantically appropriate Anglish coinings nonetheless set apart due to their disregard for etymology. 00:17, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

For clarity's sake, a final first-version example:

abhorvbhate, loatheawaytremblemislike


  • Attested words have their own column and no longer need be colored differently.
  • "awaytremble" calques "abhor" (you are free to disagree with the suitability of this calque; I'm including it here to fill out the example and do not claim it is perfect). It is colored red because, while etymologically faithful, it does not (in my opinion) properly define "abhor" (particularly, it seems to suggest fear rather than hate, as it has come to us). Moreover, a fine attestation exists (two, even).
  • "mislike" can be given as a semantic coining: it is formed from Anglish particles and conveys the meaning of abhor. However, it is not a pure calque.

There are two questions you may have (among others)

  • Why include "bad" calques? I'm proposing that we do so to the benefit of editors. Rather than have each and every contributor attempt to independently attempt and ultimately fail to form a proper calque, we inform the community that a pure calque will not suffice to form the Anglish word, thereby saving time and energy for better work.
  • Why single out the impure coinings? After all, they are valid Anglish and do define. To this I say that I agree: that is why they are not excluded entirely. There are (barely) separated since it seems to me that it (only barely) blemishes the wordbook to settle for coinings when good attestations and/or suitable calques could exist. In particular, to see "- - coining(s)" instead of "coining(s)" inspires contributors to not settle for unattested words. This seems to me a very agreeable sentiment!
  • Does this mean use of coinings should be discouraged? No! Again, it simply serves as motivation to continue searching for the purer sorts of overbringings: attestations and calques.
  • Isn't coloring unfriendly to many users (in particular, those without access to a color printer)? Yes, I agree. I am not especially espousing coloring. For example, it might be better to italicize or shrink or even strikeout bad calques. Give us your feedback!

Thanks for reading this exceedingly long proposal. Here's where you come in and help. Please express support and/or give detailed and specific criticisms. Here's hoping that with our collaboration the wordbook can continue to improve and blossom. 00:17, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree (I express support). I spent ages colouring the A wordbook to distinguish attested from unattested, and people just ignore the colouring anyway. I think your proposal might lead people to input their entries in a more organised way. I disagree with what you say about printers, though -- very few printers are not colour nowadays. I also think we should formalise some rules for what words can go into the wordbook. Anglish is a contrained form of writing and so the constraints should be spelt out. ~Inkstersco
Oke, I tried out your format on Staff B of the wordbook (I know that I might be wrong on recatogirzing some of the words). Is this the kind of table format you meant?--Pyurio 10:51, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I like the layout, but I think the columns should be rethought. I agree there should a single column for attested words, but I don't think there should be seperate columns for calques ("etymological"), and other coinages ("semantical"). I think it gives too much prominence to calqueing, which ought to be discouraged. I see three worthwhile columns --
Column 1) Attested Words
Column 2) Words that are not attested but are legitimate English nonetheless(e.g. "lustener" for aphrodisiac is not attested but has a ready-made credibility and is immediately understandable)
Column 3) Outright coinages, such as Lightstain for Photograph. These may or may not be calques
Either that or
Column 1 Attestations
Column 2 Coinages(calque or otherwise)
Column 3 Comments(or no column atall).
Inkstersco 12:21, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Like this now? I could start on reformating other staffs afterwards.
--Pyurio 02:53, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
That looks so good. Please see my further comments at your user talk page. 19:31, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
Nice job! That'll do nicely for the other pages. We shall need decide on a strict rule on whether to count a word as attested. It's tempting just to throw "lustener" into the attested section, but the real word to describe "lustener" is not "attested", but "legitimate" English. What do you think? 19:11, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
I do say that the difference between the atested and the non-attested would be whether they shows up in dictionary/encyclopaedia or not. Of course it must also be noted that spaces are ussualy removed in Anglish.
Also, I should the collumn column name be Anglish. (Wordkind, Witnessed, and Unwitnessed) or English?
--Pyurio 12:17, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I came across some large spaces inserted in many entries among the wordbook; what are these for?
Anglofrench (talk) 13:08, March 9, 2013 (UTC)
I'm not really sure why that started happening, but it's just some weird formatting seems to go away though if you go into source mode and make sure the first line of text in the cell is on the same line as the "|" for that cell, and then just manually delete the remaining superfluous spaces. Hope that makes sense :P —Faxfleet (talk) 20:43, March 9, 2013 (UTC)

We have a problem.Edit

Some genius decided it would be fun to make the tables in staff a really long, and Im trying to make them smaller because it takes forever to scroll down and use them. Its driving me insane. I cant edit them because I keep getting kicked off my web browser. Someone fix them, because I cant and its pissing me off. Thank you.{{SUBST:User:CrabKakeZ MD027/sig}} 02:18, March 22, 2013 (UTC)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.