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August 14Edit

"from last one century."Edit

Are the structures "from last one century", "from last one year", correct and standard English? Somehow I see it more often used by Pakistani speakers. Would it be like "since last century" or "since last year"? --C est moi anton (talk) 19:35, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

It may be correct in Pakistani English (I can't imagine people just make up such a construction), but it's certainly not correct in standard English. I'd be guessing as to its meaning. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:51, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Full context: "Natural languages have been an area of interest from last one century. In the late nineteen sixties and seventies, so many researchers as Noam Chomsky (1965) [5], Maron, M. E. and Kuhns, J. L (1960) [6], Chow, C., & Liu, C (1968) [7] contributed in the area of information retrieval from natural languages. "C est moi anton (talk) 19:53, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
"... so many researchers as Noam Chomsky". I presume that means "many researchers, such as Noam Chomsky". -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 19:57, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
Well, it stands literally like that in the original article. I assume their mastery of the English language was not that high. Quite amusing for a published work. Authors are one Portuguese and one Pakistani.C est moi anton (talk) 20:48, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

August 15Edit

When did an "icon" become "iconic".Edit

When I was at school in the 1960s and 1970s, I'm fairly certain that an icon only referred to an Orthodox religious image - you may correct me if I'm wrong. Is its wider use as a best example of something connected to the little computer screen symbols, and if so, which came first? Alansplodge (talk) 14:31, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

This is from the Greek, which means simply "likeness". Of course, in the Orthodox Church it has a specialised meaning. 2A00:23C4:7997:6F00:BC9D:5A89:EEB8:D485 (talk) 15:29, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
The OED has a citation for the sense of 'A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol, esp. of a culture or movement; a person, institution, etc., considered worthy of admiration or respect' from 1952, which long predates the computer sense (first citation 1982). The 1952 citation is about F Scott Fitzgerald's The Diamond as Big as the Ritz. For the metaphorical use of 'iconic', the earliest citation is from 1976, referring to 'Robert Smithson's iconic "Spiral Jetty"'. AndrewWTaylor (talk) 15:43, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
When I checked the OED before posting I found references going back to 1572. 2A00:23C4:7997:6F00:BC9D:5A89:EEB8:D485 (talk) 15:50, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
'The OED’s first citation in writing for “iconic” is from Thomas Blount’s dictionary Glossographia (1656): “Iconic, belonging to an Image, also lively pictured' [1] (so not really the modern sense of the word). Alansplodge (talk) 16:24, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
The computer and traffic-sign sense of the word "icon" was probably influenced by the writings of Charles Sanders Peirce, whether directly or indirectly. According to the "II. Icon, index, symbol" section of that article, Peirce was using the word "icon" in his special meaning as early as 1867, though ordinary people in Western societies didn't commonly confront sets of visual "icon" signs (contrived by graphic designers) in their daily lives until well into the 20th century... AnonMoos (talk) 16:18, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Some "icons", in the modern sense, existed long ago. There's the Rod of Asclepius/caduceus, for example, or many symbols from heraldry (some of them on the sinister side [2]). SinisterLefty (talk) 01:45, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Yes, but in earlier decades we might have said "emblem" or "symbol". The word "iconic" is bandied about very frequently these days; 1976 seems to have been the start of it. Alansplodge (talk) 12:01, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
SinisterLefty -- Consciously-designed sets of symbols which are visually meaningful, but not simply artistic drawings, occurred later. Isotype dates from 1925. According to our Traffic sign article, "In 1909, nine European governments agreed on the use of four pictorial symbols, indicating 'bump', 'curve', 'intersection', and 'grade-level railroad crossing'", while "intensive work on international road signs" started in 1926... AnonMoos (talk) 01:12, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
Thanks everyone. Curiously, I read The Diamond as Big as the Ritz at secondary school, but had forgotten all about it. Alansplodge (talk) 16:27, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
I don't have access to right now, but I'm under the impression that a very important meaning of icon (or legend) is "person who gets at least a few hits at Google". Now that the meaning has been so devalued, I can only get excited about legendary icons (example) and iconic legends (example). -- Hoary (talk) 03:33, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
In their draft additions of June 2001, the OED has the definition: "A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol, esp. of a culture or movement; a person, institution, etc., considered worthy of admiration or respect. Frequently with modifying word." with cites from 1952 to 2000. Dbfirs 07:07, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
... sorry, just noticed that this is mentioned above. Dbfirs 07:09, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
Don't apologise; it's interesting that this definition wasn't included until 2001. Alansplodge (talk) 14:35, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

August 16Edit

Personal pronoun "I" capitalised in EnglishEdit

Written English has the unusual feature that the first person singular pronoun "I" is capitalised, while none of the various other personal pronouns is, not even "me" or "my".

Is there any other language that's exactly like this? -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 18:55, 16 August 2019 (UTC)

Huh, apparently English is the only language that capitalizes the first person singular pronoun at all. Source. Interesting question and fact for the day! (talk) 19:03, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
I got about two sentences into that link when the New York Times informed me I had to subscribe to see the rest of it. So much for that. However, EO also has an explanation.[3]Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:12, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
It's done for the same reason that the original SI requirement to represent liters as "l" in lower case was abandoned: legibility. The single lower case letter "i" as a word by itself would be too easy to misread. -- (talk) 21:13, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
What would it be mistaken for? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 21:50, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
That statement in our I article is referenced to Is capitalising "I" an ego thing?. Alansplodge (talk) 23:01, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Or maybe vice versa. And, again, what would lower case i be mistaken for? EO's explanation seems more likely. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:14, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
EO says "It began to be capitalized mid-13c. to mark it as a distinct word and avoid misreading in handwritten manuscripts." Anyway, the "use of swash for distinctiveness" and "capitalization for distinctiveness" explanations are not fully mutually exclusive. As for misreading, in the blackletter alphabet style commonly used in England during the late medieval period, the letter "i" was written as a minim, while the letters "u"/"v", "n", and "m" were written as sequences of minims. Minims belonging to adjacent letters were not reliably written differently from minims within a single letter, which could sometimes lead to confusing situations. (Of course, word-spacing was often erratic during that period...) AnonMoos (talk) 00:26, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
Maybe if someone's copying it but not reading it. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:31, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
What do you mean by "but not reading it", Bugs? Are you saying that reading the text in the image at right is a trivial exercise? Deor (talk) 02:07, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
Sorry about that Baseballbugs - I don't have a subscription either and was allowed to read the whole thing so for all I knew it was not paywalled. Will see if I can extract some judicious quotes.
"The generally accepted linguistic explanation for the capital “I” is that it could not stand alone, uncapitalized, as a single letter, which allows for the possibility that early manuscripts and typography played a major role in shaping the national character of English-speaking countries."
"“Graphically, single letters are a problem,” says Charles Bigelow, a type historian and a designer of the Lucida and Wingdings font families. “They look like they broke off from a word or got lost or had some other accident.” "
"The growing “I” became prevalent in the 13th and 14th centuries, with a Geoffrey Chaucer manuscript of “The Canterbury Tales” among the first evidence of this grammatical shift."
At the end of the article, the writer speculates on a link to egotism but makes it clear that is speculation alone, and challenges the reader to write their next email using reverse capitalization--You and i--to see how it feels. (talk) 02:34, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
This discussion made me think of the practice of capitalising the third person pronouns in hard core Christian writing when it is used to refer to that faith's god - He, Him, Himself, etc. Does this happen in other languages? HiLo48 (talk) 00:00, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
Dunno, but even the typical Bible doesn't do that. It seems to be a non-biblical convention. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:14, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
There's an apocryphal story that the reason why 5-bit telegraph codes (Baudot code) were printed out in all-capitals instead of all-lowercase is that a late-19th-century telegraph corporation executive objected to the spellings "god" and "jesus" that would result from all-lowercase... AnonMoos (talk) 07:56, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
  • The Danish pronoun I ("you", plural nominative) is likewise always capitalized. It has a different pronunciation and origin from the English pronoun, so the two are homographs even in the narrow definition of the term. --Theurgist (talk) 17:08, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

In Polish it is common to capitalize the second-person pronoun, but not the first-person one. This is, however, a stylistic, rather than grammatical rule. In other words, the words for "you, your, yours", etc., are capitalized to show respect to the reader, but it's still grammatically correct to leave them in lower case. — Kpalion(talk) 10:04, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

August 17Edit

Pronunciation of "gauche" as English wordEdit

wikt:gauche#Pronunciation gives IPA and an audio sample with the middle "au" pronounced like the o in "go", which is close to the French pronunciation. But I've heard and have been pronouncing it more like the "a" in "raw" or "law". Is there any wisdom about this? I'm ok with a "gauche" pronunciation as it were. The French-way sounds a little bit fancy to me (US west coast). Thanks. (talk) 21:53, 17 August 2019 (UTC)

FWIW, this ageing BrE speaker has only ever heard it pronounced as you first describe.
A friendly question: why do you consider pronouncing a word, well known to be a recent borrowing from French, in a manner similar to its French pronunciation "fancy"? Presumably there is not a standard way of pronouncing it differently in your part of the world, otherwise you'd just use that. {The poster formerly known as} (talk) 23:08, 17 August 2019 (UTC)
In terms of Wikipedia:IPA for English transcriptions, the prevalent English pronunciation would be [ɡoʊʃ]. That's the only pronunciation given at (except for a technical chemistry meaning), and I don't think I've heard it any other way. There are some words where attempting to pronounce the French accurately could be considered pretentious ("hors d'oeuvres"), or where a wrong attempt to pronounce in French has resulted in a horrible botch which is neither natural English nor accurate French ("lingerie"), but I don't think this applies to "gauche"... AnonMoos (talk) 00:56, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Ok, the French way it is then. The "non-fancy" pronunciation sounds to me more like an English word of French origin (loanword) while the French pronunciation is more like a French word shoehorned into an English sentence. I just came across the articles inkhorn term and aureation which also convey the image. Ideally I want an effect that's sort of the opposite, more down-to-earth or whatever, but without actually being an error, so oh well. Thanks! (talk) 02:11, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

The OED has /ɡəʊʃ/ for the UK (RP) and /ɡoʊʃ/ for the American pronunciation, though, here in Northern England, my "standard" pronunciation is closer to the American. I think I have heard [ɡɔːʃ] but I wouldn't say it that way: my local dialect (Yorkshire) would be [ɡo̞ːʃ] Dbfirs 06:58, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
The American pronunciation of French loan words such as "premier", "debut" and "route" are at variance with the original vowel sounds too. Perhaps it's because they're a bit further away from France (ditto Yorkshire). ;-) Alansplodge (talk) 11:52, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
At least the pronunciation [ˈɡæɹɪdʒ] doesn't exist in the U.S., only [ɡəˈɹɑː(d)ʒ]... [4]   -- AnonMoos (talk) 16:48, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

August 18Edit

German exonym of PaduaEdit

I have been researching and recording the exonyms of various cities across Europe for various Europea languages, specifically the ones that are no longer actively used in in the modern era in addition to having enough different pronunciation and spelling from the native version. I have come across the city of Padua in Venetia, Italy and while the German Wikipedia page would indicate that the German exonym is the same as the English one, the Hungarian wikipedia page and the German Wikitionary page for Padua state that Esten is also another of its exonym in German. Is this correct and is there any reliable source backing this up? (talk) 01:42, 18 August 2019 (UTC)

Esten in German means "Estonian", I'm pretty sure. (talk) 02:15, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
Possibly a confusion with the nearby town of Este, Veneto, from which came the House of Este. --Wrongfilter (talk) 07:06, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
Interesting. Apparently Padua is not the only place in the area to have an alternate unrelated German name. Vicenza has Wiesenthein and Cimbria. -- (talk) 07:36, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
"Padova or Padua (Latin: Patavium, , German Padua (historically: Esten)) is a city and Province in the Veneto Region of northern Italy" Italia Outdoors - PADOVA | VENETO REGION, although Wikipedia could easily be the source for this.
The same question was asked on Talk:Padua#Ancient german name: Esten in December 2013, which says; "Is there any source for Esten as the historical (until when?) german name of Padua? The only reference I can find with Google is de.wikipedia, itself without any external source. I am italian, I do not live in Padua but I have never heard of such a name". But answer came there none. Alansplodge (talk) 14:23, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
It was also asked at the German reference desk in 2015: de:Wikipedia:Auskunft/Archiv/2015/Woche_19#Angeblicher_alter_deutscher_Name_der_Stadt_Padua. The editors reach the same conclusion Wrongfilter did: Confusing Padua and Este (formerly Ateste) which aren't identical. Pinging Florian Blaschke because he asked the question at the time, and may have more to add. ---Sluzzelin talk 16:13, 18 August 2019 (UTC) -- "Cimbria" is derived from the name of the Cimbri (not to be confused with the Cumbrians or Cimmerians)... AnonMoos (talk) 17:02, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
That is not so clear. There are (more accurately: were) pockets of speakers of the Cimbrian language, a German dialect, around Vicenza. These people, the de:Zimbern, may have been named after the Cimbri, but it seems also possible that the name is cognate with timber and the similarity of names is a coincidence. Was the city ever named after these people? This page says the name Cimbria for Vicenza was a legend created by some humanists from Vicenza. I guess we would need to dig quite a bit deeper into the history of the region to come up with solid facts. --Wrongfilter (talk) 17:37, 18 August 2019 (UTC)
I suspect the page is right. For the name of the Zimbern, see Cimbrian language § History. I can't vouch for the timber etymology, but it is reasonably plausible; in that case, the connection with the Cimbri may be due to learned pseudo-etymology by humanists, again. Zimbrisch/Cimbrian is a strikingly conservative and also deviant form (more precisely group of dialects), influenced by surrounding Romance dialects, of Southern Bavarian (Tyrolese/Carinthian etc.), with numerous traits reminiscent of Middle High German and even Late Old High German. There's no connection to the ancient Cimbri (who may actually have been Celtic- rather than Germanic-speaking). Vicenza is close to the traditional settling areas of the Zimbern, as can be easily verified on the map.
@Sluzzelin: I don't really have anything to add. I still think the conclusion that Este(n) properly refers to Este, Veneto, is probably right. The modern German exonym of Padua is Padua, indeed, and I don't know any other one. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:22, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

August 19Edit