Talk:Merriam-Webster

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Several of these so-called "errors" are absurd. To wit:

"The date and description of pogrom is not precisely correct. Merriam-Webster provides a date of 1903 and calls it an organized massacre of helpless people. Pogrom is a Yiddish term used in Russian beginning in the late 1800s to describe an organized campaign of violence (not always a "massacre") against Jewish people in Russia."

Question: Of what language is Merriam-Webster a dictionary? I'll answer that for you: English. Dates of word origin in English dictionaries refer to the year the word entered the English language. Thus it is irrelevant that "pogrom" was "used in Russian beginning in the late 1800s."

"The entry for Yiddish is too narrow in describing it as only a language of Jewish residents and descendants of central and eastern Europe. Yiddish is spoken worldwide."

Hogwash. Except for a very small number of scholars and hobbyists, Yiddish is spoken only descendants of Jews from Central and Eastern Europe. It is indeed true that it is spoken worldwide -- by descendants of European Jews, like the dictionary article says. --Scalito1776 00:55, 17 March 2007 (EDT)

I agree, this specific complaint about the definition of Yiddish is ridiculous: "The entry for Yiddish is too narrow in describing it as a language of Jewish residents and descendants of only central and eastern Europe. Yiddish is spoken worldwide." Removing it for the above reasons. --Prenvolost 12:06, 18 September 2009 (EDT)

About the "Group Theory" error: Aschlafly on 6 January 2007 added that the M-W definition of "Group Theory" is wrong to use "group" to define itself. Conservapedia's definition of group theory (written by Aschlafly, 6 January 2007) also uses "group" to define itself. Like Merriam-Webster, Conservapedia then has a separate entry for mathematical group. Reg32Idaho 13:37, 10 January 2009 (EST)

My 1994 printed copy of Merriam-Webster does not have a definition for mathematical group, so its definition of group theory in at least that edition remains circular. But thanks for your observation.--Andy Schlafly 13:43, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I find this hard to believe -- did you look under the definition for the word "group"? There should be a definition like "a mathematical set that is closed under a binary associative operation, contains an identity element, and has an inverse for every element." The phrase "mathematical group" wouldn't be there, but "group" should. I'm looking at a copy of M-W right now. --Prenvolost 11:54, 18 September 2009 (EDT)
Calm down, Prenvolost. We all know that the online edition can depart from print editions. It sounds like you're trying to play gotcha, but we don't do that here. If you want to clue us in about something, don't hit us with a clue stick but phase your suggestions politely. Then you'll be welcome to stick around. --Ed Poor Talk 12:12, 18 September 2009 (EDT)

Inclined to Revert

Many informative items have just been removed by one editor from this entry. While each one in isolation can be debatable, taken as a whole this seems to be a misguided censoring of information. Here we let the reader decide. Any reason not to revert these changes as a whole?--Andy Schlafly 12:14, 18 September 2009 (EDT)

My removal was hasty, and I intended to go back and restore the informative items. But a phone call intervened. I will undo my own removal. --Ed Poor Talk 12:39, 18 September 2009 (EDT)
I defended most of the removals in the comments. Removing the complaint about the definition of "invisible hand" is simple; it simply exists in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Whether the original complainer was looking at a 15-year-old dictionary or not seems besides the point to me. The others I can discuss here if you like. --Prenvolost 12:49, 18 September 2009 (EDT)
I won't comment on the debatable items, but I can help clear up factual questions about the content of the dictionary. I have in front of me a recent print edition of the M-W dictionary, and it has both an entry for "invisible hand" and an appropriate definition of "group". These entries on this page need to either be removed or instead updated to note the fact that M-W took many years to add these terms. If there are any other particular terms whose current definitions you would like me to check, post on this page and I will reply. --MarkGall 13:43, 18 September 2009 (EDT)

Dating of eminent domain

This should probably be taken out. Most likely the dictionary only dates the first English usage of a word or term. For example, Parousia was used long before 1844, but this is the first time that MW's editors have found it used in our language and in Roman characters with this exact spelling. --RickD 23:16, 21 September 2009 (EDT)

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