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Tags to click "Yes" on (2)

This is a continuation of the topic Tags to click "Yes" on.

This topic was continued by Tags to click "Yes" on (3).

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1lilithcat
Jun 21, 2012, 7:33pm Top

> 251

Thanks for that. I've changed my vote from "undecided" (my default when I don't know a language) to "no".

I do wish people would consider that although "A" means "B" in their language, it may mean something entirely different in another. (Thinking of the early, similar proposals to combine "roman" and "novel".)

2BarkingMatt
Jun 22, 2012, 3:37am Top

I noticed that "West Germany" and "German Federal Republic" are currently combined. This is a mistake. The present unified Germany is still officially called the German Federal Republic (Bundesrepublik Deutschland).

http://www.librarything.com/tag/West+Germany

3inkcrow
Jun 24, 2012, 2:20pm Top

Mike Briggs: "romaani means Romance in Estonian. Which is why I voted no.

At least 95 of them are romance books judging by tagmash.
contemporary, fiction, romance (95)

Shall we combine it with Romance also?"

lilithcat: "I do wish people would consider that although "A" means "B" in their language, it may mean something entirely different in another."

I am well aware that words can have different meanings in different languages. I looked at romaani from Wiktionary, and didn't find the Estonian meaning, so I was unaware of it. Should I have consulted ten different dictionaries before being knowledgeable enough to post about the proposal? I don't have them in my home. And it wasn't my proposal, so don't blame me.

More about the Estonian word. According to these dictionaries, the word romaani means Romance as Romance languages, not as a genre or relationship. It can also mean romanesque. According to word choices in Estonian Wikipedia, it doesn't mean music or book genre, because the articles don't mention word romaani. They mention word romaan, which is a novel.

The tagmash contemporary,+fiction,+romance shows that romance is a Portuguese word for novel. You can't measure Estonian tag usage with it. I didn't find many Romance language books from the tagmash. I suspect they would be tagged with something like romaani keeled, not with romaani. The tagmash romanesque, romaani contains only three books, so the Finnish usage must be a lot more common than Estonian usage. I still vote yes.

4andejons
Jun 25, 2012, 4:02pm Top

I understand the hesitation to usually combine tags of the type "Foo" and "series: Foo", but "Roma Sub Rosa" is really the name of a series and nothing else:

http://www.librarything.com/tag/Roma+Sub+Rosa

Also, some Swedish:
"Guvernant" is the same as "governess", a female person hired to educate children:
http://www.librarything.com/tag/governess

"Fornsvenska" and "old Swedish" are names for the same language period:
http://www.librarything.com/tag/fornsvenska

5lilithcat
Jun 25, 2012, 5:05pm Top

> 4

re: Roma sub Rosa

Some of the proposed combinations, though, are for numbered tags (i.e. Roma Sub Rosa #10) to be combined with the series tag, and that would be wrong. Those proposals, of course, could be just slips of the finger. What I cannot figure out is where the proposal to combine that with "Times 2/10 Historical Novel(s)" comes from.

6BarkingMatt
Jun 26, 2012, 12:06am Top

My hesitance comes from the fact that "sub rosa" is a standing expression (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub_rosa) - but I won't stand in the way of the proposal.

7andejons
Jul 2, 2012, 4:04pm Top

Some Swedish suggestions:

First, I'm quite sure we're the only one's who have managed to inflate our list of kings to get twelve King Charles/Karls, and even if we weren't, it's still a valid combination. There are also some spelling variants already combined:
http://www.librarything.com/tag/Charles+XII

Second, "weather" and "väder" is the same awful thing you see when you look outside:
http://www.librarything.com/tag/weather

Third, while "syskon" is a more commonly used expression than "siblings", it does mean the same thing:
http://www.librarything.com/tag/siblings

8MikeBriggs
Jul 2, 2012, 4:43pm Top

Holy Roman Emperors only got up to Charles VII. Though they had a thousand years to try and the first was a Charles. France only got up to Charles X. England only got to two Charles. Well, I can't find any other Charles XII.(was bored, figured I'd look)

9Phlegethon99
Jul 2, 2012, 5:49pm Top

>2 BarkingMatt:

"I noticed that "West Germany" and "German Federal Republic" are currently combined. This is a mistake."

It is? Why? When the East/West dichotomy still existed (before October 3, 1990) East Germany was used for the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and West Germany for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). Especially in the publishing world East and West Germany were used by publishers for their English-language copyright information. "German Federal Republic" is a misnomer.

10prosfilaes
Jul 2, 2012, 5:55pm Top

#9: I don't see how that's a response. We know what West Germany was used for; the point is, German Federal Republic also pertains to the modern state.

11Phlegethon99
Jul 2, 2012, 7:51pm Top

There is only a Federal Republic of Germany, no German Federal Republic, because the Federal Republic of Austria would also be a German federal Republic historically and ethnically, hence the distinction. And I fail to see any error in the combinations at http://www.librarything.com/tag/West+Germany

12prosfilaes
Jul 2, 2012, 8:06pm Top

#11: If there is no such thing as the "German Federal Republic", it shouldn't be combined with West Germany. The History of Germany has a chapter on the German Federal Republic after 1990 (Google Books page view) so someone is using the German Federal Republic for both West Germany and post-unification Germany.

13BarkingMatt
Jul 3, 2012, 1:15am Top

I agree it's not the best translation. But if you can argue that even Austria falls under the name "German Federal Republic" - all the more reason to separate it from West-Germany.

14Phlegethon99
Jul 3, 2012, 8:19am Top

German Federal Republic may be a term used collquially in English, therefore the tag may be justified. It is not the correct official technical term, though. The general problem with the linking of such tags is that in Europe ethnicity does not really correlate with citizenship. Although this was one of the issued which led directly into two World Wars not so much has changed after 1945 with the demise of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia etc. Considering this it is probably a good idea to keep ethno-geo-socio-political tags separate.

15BarkingMatt
Jul 3, 2012, 8:42am Top

Yes, I agree. But, this is a separation proposal.

16eromsted
Edited: Jul 8, 2012, 12:53am Top

Kolumbia is Polish for the country Colombia. But before it can be combined there it must be separated from Columbia, a common misspelling of Colombia but also correctly used for the river, the university, the space shuttle, various US cities, the record company, the encyclopedia company, etc.

17marq
Jul 10, 2012, 6:47pm Top

marq has proposed combining the tag British mystery and Mystery - British Fiction.
Vote: Yes | No | Undecided Current tally: Yes 1, No 3, Undecided 1

Note that the following tags are already combined with British Mystery:

mystery fiction - british
Fiction--British--Mystery
British Mystery Fiction

18lilithcat
Jul 10, 2012, 7:00pm Top

British mystery may also be non-fiction. I'd propose separating those last tags from "British mystery".

19marq
Edited: Jul 10, 2012, 11:26pm Top

I've proposed the separations but I assume the vote will just be the opposite of the vote on the combination proposal. So I assume on the current trend, given the (stupid) voting rules, neither will go through.

Similar situation with British Writers vs. British Authors a while ago. Can't combine but can't separate.

20marq
Jul 18, 2012, 10:43pm Top

Of the 832 uses of "chats", there seems to be only one where "cats" was not meant.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/chats,+--cat,+--cats,+--kat

That is good enough for me but the vote is against. However, recalling the Thai vs. Siamese cats controversy perhaps I should vote "No" in order to limit social connection between cat lovers.

21andejons
Jul 24, 2012, 12:55pm Top

Proposing a separation of "March" and "mar". The latter is Spanish for "sea", and there are books like Moby Dick tagged with it.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/March

22marq
Jul 29, 2012, 3:04am Top

Another Dewey: 823 - British Fiction: Historical proposed to be combined into "British Historical Fiction".

823 being Dewey for "English Fiction". I suppose there could be French British Historical Fiction?

23Edward
Jul 29, 2012, 3:14am Top

22: Interesting point. I've changed my vote from Yes to Undecided. I notice that the British historical fiction tag includes British History-Fiction, in which "British" apparently indicates the setting rather than the author's nationality.

24BarkingMatt
Jul 29, 2012, 3:19am Top

My problem with these is always that there are way too many classification systems in the world. And even though you're very probably right in thinking it refers to Dewey in this case, I'm simply not going to bother checking if that code couldn't possibly give an entirely different twist on things in Japanese NDC, Dutch NUR, etc., etc.

So I always vote undecided on these.

25jjwilson61
Jul 29, 2012, 7:07am Top

But surely the user who uses the tag means for the text part to be a description of what the code means. So even if he has the code wrong it's irrelevant. Just combine or not depending on the description.

26BarkingMatt
Edited: Jul 29, 2012, 7:56am Top

Yes, I get what you're saying. But my point is that the code could mean anything, depending on which coding system you happen to be using. So it could also modify the further description. For example, as I understand it, in Japanese NDC the 820's are for Chinese language stuff - so in that case this just might refer to British fiction translated into Chinese.

Again, I agree it's not likely. That's why I only vote undecided. I won't stand in the way of the combination.

P.s.: Also, personally, I wouldn't combine "British fiction" and "English fiction". British fiction could also be in Welsh or Gaelic, and English fiction could be from the US or Australia or wherever.

27marq
Jul 29, 2012, 8:24am Top

I interpret "823 - British Fiction: Historical" as:

823 - (Dewey) English Fiction: (Personal) sub-classification: British Historical Fiction.

Firstly, I agree there may be some doubt about 823 being Dewey. Extremely remote in my opinion. But further, if not Dewey, what could modify the sub-classification such that books with this tag should not be connected to books tagged "British Historical Fiction"?

Secondly, I see an even more remote possibility that "823 - British Fiction: Historical" could mean 823 as a sub classification of British Historical Fiction, i.e. British Historical Fiction that is not English Fiction.

Thirdly, there is a minute nuance between Historical British Fiction and British Historical Fiction. It is not absolutely clear where British Fiction: Historical jumps.

So, yes, there is doubt (not much in my opinion), but the guidelines say something very specific about what to do when there is doubt (and it isn't "just vote no").

28BarkingMatt
Edited: Jul 29, 2012, 9:05am Top

And that's why I vote undecided, which isn't no.

Sheesh guys, I'm merely trying to explain why I don't vote "yes". I'm not actively opposing the combination.

29MarthaJeanne
Jul 29, 2012, 9:12am Top

Noone has voted no. Several have voted undecided.

In this case both books have many copies, but they seem to be specifically Irish, so that neither Historical British Fiction nor British Historical Fiction has ever been used for either. According to the way I read the guidlines, this would be a good argument for not voting yes.

30marq
Edited: Jul 29, 2012, 6:43pm Top

28> Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you had voted no, just that previous "Dewey" type combinations get no votes.

And (29) sorry to go on about this but the primary purpose of tag combination is to create meaningful connections between books and users on LT, not to identify tags with the same meaning or usage, although the later is the best guide to achieving the former.

31prosfilaes
Jul 29, 2012, 7:56pm Top

#30: the primary purpose of tag combination is to create meaningful connections between books and users on LT

And where do you get that? What the guidelines say is "Tags should be combined only when they are the same in both meaning and usage on LibraryThing." When I cited http://www.librarything.com/tag/RPG%2C+Russia in another forum recently, I certainly wasn't trying to get connections on users. I wanted to know what RPGs were set in or about Russia.

And even if the sole purpose of tag combination is to create connections, you trying to create connections meddles with any attempt the LT staff may have to do the same thing. If you're counting voters in a posh neighborhood, figuring the goal is to get an approximation of the number of the voters in the state and factoring in your estimation of how that neighborhood differs from the state is going to screw with the people whose job it is to factor in estimations. If you trying for a hard ill-defined goal, you want good solid base data to work with and that you can try different strategies with, not data that has already been polluted by people making their guesses as to what would work best for that hard ill-defined goal.

32marq
Jul 29, 2012, 11:46pm Top

To fix my grammar:
“the primary purpose of tag combination is to create meaningful connections between books and (therefore) between users on LT”

Referencing the paragraph in the guidelines (with the same grammatical ambiguity):

When in doubt, attention should be paid to the effect that tag combination will have—how books and users will be linked together—rather than to abstract question of semantics.

Tag combination only links users with users indirectly, through the linked books.

I would say in your example of Russian RPGs, you illustrate the purpose. You are trying to connect books about RPGs related in some way to Russia. The purpose is achieved by combining tags where (in our best judgment) the taggers intended to indicate the book had something to do with role playing games and Russia. The purpose is defeated where people vote no because of “an abstract question of semantics”. I would count “abstract” as any possible exception in meaning or usage that is not actually represented in the tagged books.

If people do not think the primary (if not only) purpose of tag combination is to link books together I would like to know what they think the purpose is.

I think the guidelines are OK but badly structured. They should be structured around a purpose and effect, remove the demonstrably false LGBT/GLTB example and perhaps include a decision tree or flow chart.

33eromsted
Jul 30, 2012, 12:16am Top

>32 marq:
Good luck. I tried similar arguments before. I gave up.

34prosfilaes
Jul 30, 2012, 7:10am Top

#32: The purpose is achieved by combining tags where (in our best judgment) the taggers intended to indicate the book had something to do with role playing games and Russia.

If you combine Moscow and Russia, you can't search for books about Moscow without books about St. Petersburg coming up. Just because a tag indicates that the book has something to do with Russia doesn't mean we can combine all those tags together. Same meaning, same usage.

35BarkingMatt
Edited: Jul 30, 2012, 7:57am Top

> 32: In the words of television court trials : "Objection, calls for speculation".

Would you, on the same principle, combine both "RPG - New York" and "RPG - Texas" with "RPG - America"?

36marq
Jul 30, 2012, 10:19am Top

>35 BarkingMatt:, no. In my judgement, if someone tags a book "RPG - New York", they intend roll playing games that are to do with New York. I would vote to combine "RPG - New York City", "RPG - New York State", "Roll Playing Games - NY". I would probably vote yes for "RPGs - Russia" and "Soviet Union RPG". I would certainly vote yes to combine "RPG - Petrograd", with "Leningrad RPGs" or "Roll Playing St. Petersburg Games".

(not saying that any of these actually exist)

My decision scheme would be:

If the tags are the same in meaning and usage - vote yes.
else If I don't know (language combinations, etc.) - vote undecided (maybe review later).
else consider what books are linked together by a yes vote or fail to be linked together by a no vote:

if in my judgement, a tagger using tag "A" intends the same thing as a tagger using tag "B" OR if a person searching for books tagged "A" would ~always also want to find books tagged "B" and vice versa, vote yes.

otherwise vote no.

I'm not saying that that is much different to the way most people vote but there are enough ridiculous votes that prevent useful connections on LT for me to wonder about what people think the purpose is.

To give a fairly recent example:

"ISKCON" used 153 times by 19 members, all referring to "International Society for Krishna Consciousness". Proposal voted down.

Because without a clear understanding of purpose and effect of tag combination, "Guiding Principles" and "Rules of Thumb" (phrases used in the guidelines) become strict rules and purposes in themselves.

37BarkingMatt
Edited: Jul 30, 2012, 10:50am Top

Oh, I agree with you on the case-to-case principle. It's just the fringe cases we disagree about. You're willing to make a proposal on best guess. I'm reluctant about that.

38prosfilaes
Edited: Jul 30, 2012, 6:48pm Top

#36: I would vote to combine "RPG - New York City", "RPG - New York State", "Roll Playing Games - NY".

That's a lot like combining African Americans -- Fiction with Asian Americans -- Fiction. If I mark a book with something like RPG - New York State, that's because I wanted specifically to make a distinction from books marked RPG - New York City!

I would probably vote yes for "RPGs - Russia" and "Soviet Union RPG".

And you don't understand why people would object to combining books about a state that has existed for about a thousand years with a nation that existed for a hundred that happened to include that state? You don't understand why I wouldn't want RPG - Soviet Union to come up with books that have absolutely nothing to do with the Soviet Union, like GURPS Russia (ends with the Petrine era)?

if a person searching for books tagged "A" would ~always also want to find books tagged "B" and vice versa

The examples you gave don't indicate that you understand what other people searching want to see. To pick a concrete example, I think it's clear that most of the people searching for Tempest want to find Shakespeareana, not Clifford And The Big Storm, and yet you proposed to combine Tempest and Storm anyway.

39jjwilson61
Jul 31, 2012, 3:53pm Top

And you don't understand why people would object to combining books about a state that has existed for about a thousand years with a nation that existed for a hundred that happened to include that state? You don't understand why I wouldn't want RPG - Soviet Union to come up with books that have absolutely nothing to do with the Soviet Union, like GURPS Russia (ends with the Petrine era)?

Because many people aren't as exacting as you. One person may tag a book RPG - Russia and another would use RPG - Soviet Union to mean the exact same thing and if enough people do that there isn't much point in trying to keep them separate.

40lilithcat
Jul 31, 2012, 3:59pm Top

> 39

But "Russia" is not the same as "Soviet Union". The fact that some people misuse the names is not a reason to combine them inappropriately. The history of Russia is not the same thing at all as the history of the Soviet Union, anymore than New York City and New York State are the same place.

41andejons
Jul 31, 2012, 5:49pm Top

That might have been a bad example, but there are certainly others were a potential difference in meaning have stopped combinations or lead to separations. "Danzig" and "Gdansk" are separate tags, despite referring to the same towns, and both being used today, but in different languages.

42prosfilaes
Aug 1, 2012, 12:29am Top

#39: In common casual use, "Soviet Union" may be a subset of "Russia". But there are many uses of Russia that would never be tagged Soviet Union, and I think it's worth noting that RPG, Russia and RPG, Soviet Union are entirely disjoint right now.

#41: I don't think that's a bad example; I think that's a different argument altogether.

Danzig and Gdansk as an English separation is complex. There is a definite element of temporal separation between the two uses, and given the massive edit war on Wikipedia, certainly a degree of cultural separation. Given that they are used for the whole period in different languages, I might agree with combination, but if they were just English tags I would keep them separated.

43marq
Aug 1, 2012, 1:32am Top

e.g. (hypothetically) "Cold War US vs Soviet Union" and "Cold War US vs Russia"?

44BarkingMatt
Aug 1, 2012, 1:55am Top

In that specific case: maybe. (There I go again with my case-to-case opinion).

But in most instances I would say no. Not just because Russia has a much larger time span than the Soviet Union, but also because the Soviet Union included several other countries than Russia.

45marq
Aug 1, 2012, 3:17am Top


I think we understand that "Russia" and "The Soviet Union" by themselves have very different meanings but there may be certain contexts where it would be obvious that taggers use either "Russia" or "Soviet Union" but meant the same thing.

Technically, the tagger might have used the wrong word but we still know what they meant. The value of tag combination comes ONLY from the connections made between books by combining tags with the same meaning and usage. "Meaning" is what people "meant" when they used the tag.

Why is the bias towards "maybe", "undecided", "if in doubt vote no" which is a preference towards failure to build meaningfull functionality by tag combination, on the basis of abstract ideas not actually represented in the books?

46MarthaJeanne
Aug 1, 2012, 3:38am Top

The point is a disagreement about 'meaningfull functionality'. I suggest that we all agree that simply combining all tags does not create meaningfull functionality. We probably also agree that combining some tags improves meaningfull functionality.Somewhere in between is a maximum that we are trying to achieve. But where that maximum is is a matter of opinion.

You tend to combine things if there is any connection. Many of us think the nuances are very meaningful and don't want to lose them. This sort of disagreement is the very reason the voting was instituted. We now know your stand and will look at your proposals with that in mind. ("RPG - New York City", "RPG - New York State", "Roll Playing Games - NY" ! I think you will find even lumpers disagree with you on htat one.)

47BarkingMatt
Edited: Aug 1, 2012, 3:41am Top

> 45: Hence my case-to-case... In combination with "Cold War" - I would probably vote in favour. In combination with "Art" - definitely not. Etc.

Mostly not though. I do think it needs to be clear at least - from context - that Soviet Russia would be meant, and that was so dominant in the Soviet Union that I mostly wouldn't object.

The example above: Combining RPG - Soviet Union with RPG - Russia is just one step too far, I think. RPG - Russia might be set in Tsarist times, and RPG - Soviet Union might be set in the Baltic States or in Kazakhstan. And I beg to differ with jjwilson61 in #39 in that respect. I think tag pages (and tags in general) should also remain useful for finding more specific stuff.

As to why the vote swings that way - I think it's the old "meaning AND usage" adage.

48marq
Edited: Aug 1, 2012, 4:42am Top

46> I certainly don't combine tags with any connection. Didn't I say above (45) "The value of tag combination comes ONLY from the connections made between books by combining tags with the same meaning and usage."?

Doesn't "ISKCON" and "International Society for Krishna Consciousness" have the same meaning and usage?

Yes, bad example with State and City but certainly "RPG - NY" with "roll playing games new york", if my best guess (from looking at the books) is that the taggers meant the same thing. I am sure this would be voted down though. Plurals and acronyms being anathema.

Some basic common sense is required. If I say I was kept up half the night by my dog loudly purring and then woken at 5am by it meowing to be let outside, what do you think I meant by “dog”? Undecided?

As I have said, I don't have a problem with most of the decisions or with the guidelines themselves. I just wish people would focus on the purpose, effect and value of what they are doing.

a. The purpose of tag combination is the identify tags that have the same meaning and usage.
b. The purpose of tag combination is to add value for LT users by creating meaningful connections between books by combining tags where the taggers meant the same thing.

a, b or other?

We now know your stand and will look at your proposals with that in mind.

Better add it as a "rule of thumb".

49prosfilaes
Edited: Aug 1, 2012, 5:00am Top

Yes, there are examples of tags that use Russia or Soviet Union that I wouldn't have a problem with combining. But the concrete example you gave was absurd! Again, the tagmash RPG, Russia has 8 entries, and 0 of them are about the Soviet Union. (You could make a case for labeling the post-apocalyptic one Soviet Union, but even that one is based on Russian myth; the other 7 are explicitly medieval Russia or medieval Russia translated into fantasy.) The tagmash RPG, Soviet Union has 2 entries, both about the Soviet Union. The separation is working just fine as it is.

#48: You say that, but you actually proposed combining Tempest, where people meant "that play Shakespeare wrote" and Storm, where people meant "that weather that gets you wet". And proposing that anything "New York State" should be combined with anything "New York City" is ignoring that what "New York State" means is "No, I'm not talking about New York City. I'm talking about the State of New York.".

#49: Again, who cares what the ultimate purpose is. Let's do what needs to be done, and provide LT with useful data. If we go meddling in ultimate purpose, what's left will be useless for even the smartest algorithm to work with. Even if the swimming pool's job is to maximize fun, that doesn't mean the lifeguard's job is to maximize fun, and forgetting that may get someone killed (which is very unfun.)

50BarkingMatt
Aug 1, 2012, 5:14am Top

If I say I was kept up half the night by my dog loudly purring and then woken at 5am by it meowing to be let outside, what do you think I meant by “dog”? Undecided?

Actually, strictly: yes. It might be the purring and meowing thing you made the mistake in. ;-)

Plurals and acronyms being anathema.

Yeah, again, I try to do that case-by-case. But acronyms are tricky. Take TBR for example. I can understand how, for English speakers, that "obviously" means "to be read". But in fact here in the Netherlands it's a well known acronym for a legal measure enabling forced treatment and separation from society of the criminally insane, which is also something of a hot political issue here.

(Since it's mostly now replaced by TBS - which has been it's official acronym for several years now - I see no reason to propose separating. But it gives me the shivers every time.)

51lilithcat
Aug 1, 2012, 8:26am Top

certainly "RPG - NY" with "roll playing games new york"

No, no, no! The latter is for bagel ball, a game originating on the Lower East Side when a bunch of kids couldn't afford a baseball and one of them stole a bagel from his mom's kitchen to use instead. There's also a Brooklyn variant, called bialy ball.

52marq
Aug 1, 2012, 8:51am Top

50> yes, acronyms can be a problem and I too look at each case and the books affected. Recent failures of obviously useful and exclusive combinations like SSPX and ISKCON show that enough people just automatically vote no when they see acronym.

Language combinations often get undecided from me, especially where the English term is a homonym. I recall a recent combination with English "wood". I may not be remembering this accurately but I think Google translate came back with "trees" but the books were about furniture. It is another sign of what I complain about when some of those get through without a single no vote where acronyms with single meaning in the books tagged get clobbered. Work that one out.

(I suppose the English homonyms of "wood". e.g. the material wooden things are made from, a stand of trees, a type of golf club (etc.?) are all somewhat related but it is nearly impossible to know how the word in another language maps to that unless you are a native speaker. Wouldn't that be exactly the same problem that we have with acronyms?)

53BarkingMatt
Edited: Aug 1, 2012, 9:16am Top

Yes, the English word "wood" can either mean forest, or the material, or - derived from that - a golf club (or whatever). In most other languages there will be separate words for those. Then again, English may differentiate between words meaning the same in other languages. "Angst" is an example: in Dutch it simply means fear.

Especially when deciding on single word tags, mostly you can't say which language it's in - and therefore we can't understand context. And yes, pretty much the same problem with acronyms. Automatically voting "no" seems just as bad to me though.

54BarkingMatt
Edited: Aug 1, 2012, 9:47am Top

P.s.: I'm glad we're having this discussion though. Maybe we - meaning all of us - can reach some form of consensus here.

P.p.s: However much marq and I might disagree about some specific things, I hugely appreciate his effort to improve this site.

55AndreasJ
Aug 1, 2012, 11:51am Top

47 > The Baltic states* were part of Russia for much longer than they were part of the Soviet Union.

* Except for a small region around Klaipeda that wasn't ever part of Russia; it belonged to East Prussia before WWI.

56BarkingMatt
Aug 2, 2012, 1:11am Top

> 55: I know. But not always, and they don't now.

57marq
Aug 3, 2012, 3:53am Top

54> Thanks Matt. I appreciate your efforts too and also on the "fix this book" thread. You have made the key point actually, which is that tag combination is all about improving the site for us, the users.

55> Isn't Kaliningrad Oblast a Baltic State (in a sense) but still part of Russia? I wonder what language they speak.

58AndreasJ
Aug 3, 2012, 5:01am Top

The Kaliningrad exclave isn't generally considered part of the Baltic States, AFAIK, but most people there speak Russian nowadays. The previous, mostly German-speaking, population was largely kicked out at the end of WWII.

Obviously, as a mere descriptive term, even Sweden and Denmark could be considered "Baltic states": they're on the Baltic Sea after all.

Going the other way, one might deny that Estonia is Baltic - unlike the Lithuanians and Latvians, they dont' speak a Baltic language (in the sense of one belonging to the Baltic branch of Indo-European).

But Baltic States = Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania is I believe the overwhelmingly most common usage.

59marq
Aug 4, 2012, 7:13pm Top

PNR used 869 times by 29 members. Using tag mashes, all of them seem to mean Paranormal Romance (used 2,369 times by 1,831 members).
Although PNR can have other meanings, they are not used on LT. The tags PNR and Paranormal Romance are therefor the same in meaning and usage for all practical purposes.
If I have missed examples, please post them here. If some are added in the future, they may be grounds to separate.
So thanks blackdove07 for a very useful tag combination proposal that improves LT for its users.

60lorax
Aug 4, 2012, 8:23pm Top

59>

Ordinarily I don't like combining acronyms with their expansion, but in this case current usage really does seem to be synonymous. None of the top four or so results for a search on "PNR" on acronymfinder have any results as tags on LT, and all of the users I checked (all of them with ten uses or more) seem to be using it to mean paranormal romance. I will vote yes in this case, with the caveat that I'd also support a separation proposal if even a single counterexample is produced.

61marq
Aug 4, 2012, 9:36pm Top

60>

Thanks for your rational vote. I've bookmarked that site (www.acronymfinder.com). Interesting. (Although I don't get how PNR is an acronym for "Polymerase Chain Reaction").

62lilithcat
Aug 4, 2012, 9:49pm Top

> 61

(Although I don't get how PNR is an acronym for "Polymerase Chain Reaction").

That must be an error. I've only ever heard PCR used for polymerase chain reaction.

63MarthaJeanne
Edited: Aug 5, 2012, 4:50am Top

Some people are using both, including both on the same book, which indicates to me that there is a difference. http://www.librarything.com/work/8074561/book/63551678

64prosfilaes
Aug 5, 2012, 5:08am Top

#63: I have over a thousand books tagged RPG, roleplaying game. I use RPG to keep it connected to most of the other roleplaying games out there, and roleplaying game because that's the full unambiguous tag for this case.

65marq
Aug 5, 2012, 9:03am Top

63> Do you mean because they are the same in meaning and usage that they are different?

66MarthaJeanne
Aug 5, 2012, 9:27am Top

I mean that that member is using them differently.

67jjwilson61
Aug 5, 2012, 10:14am Top

66> But he's not using the differently, for him both meanings are the same. He's just using both to get the full connections because they aren't combined.

68eromsted
Aug 5, 2012, 2:27pm Top

I use WWII and World War Two differently. Should we separate them?

69marq
Aug 5, 2012, 5:55pm Top

Well there are four votes against combining PNR with Paranormal Romance" now. So here we have another example of a useful, interesting and valuable tag combination that is clearly "the same in both meaning and usage on LibraryThing" but which is unlikely to combined.

The argument is that because some people have tagged a paranormal romance both PNR and Paranormal Romance, they must be different.

I don't understand why some people clutch at straws to vote no and thwart the efforts of people to try to improve LT. I hope blackdove07 is not as discouraged as I am.

70prosfilaes
Aug 5, 2012, 7:12pm Top

There aren't enough TLAs for people to feel comfortable combining them as tags. If you can't handle the fact that people honestly disagree with you, perhaps you should work in a less contentious field. I can criticize your choice of tag combining (again, Tempest and storm? really?) without getting personal.

71marq
Edited: Aug 9, 2012, 8:16pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

72BarkingMatt
Edited: Aug 10, 2012, 8:49am Top

There was only one Akhenaten, but there are different opinions about dates in ancient Egypt - hence the different dates for the guy.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/Akhenaten

I'm less sure about Ameophis / Amenhotep IV. Though that's totally the same person, you could argue the name change reflects the religious change and so points to a significant difference in his life / rule. Then again: every Pharao had several names, so you could easily argue against that too.

73AnnaClaire
Aug 12, 2012, 11:08am Top

I've proposed separating several variants of "Hernan Cortes" out of "Cortes." The Hernan-and-company ones should be recombined with each other and with Hernán Cortés.

74BarkingMatt
Edited: Aug 12, 2012, 11:19am Top

Also "Cortes" has several meanings: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortes. They should never have been combined, even if the majority usage refers to the Conquistador.

75eromsted
Aug 18, 2012, 12:20pm Top

So I'm confused. The proposals to separate variations of Hernan Cortes from cortes passed unopposed. However, people are voting against my proposals to also separate Cortés and Cortez. Having those tags combined with cortes only makes sense for cortes meaning Hernan Cortes. For other uses, like Cortes de Cádiz or authors names Cortes who do not use an accent neither Cortez nor Cortés applies.

76Jarandel
Aug 18, 2012, 2:48pm Top

>75 eromsted: Depends which language you're considering, as an example I'm fairly sure if you pulled from a variety of french works, depending on the period, how academical, and how typographically faithful, etc... you'd find them all, Cortes or Cortez, with and without the accent, unambiguously referring to the same historical figure. Tagging may do likewise.

77AndreasJ
Aug 18, 2012, 3:06pm Top

76 > As eromstead says, Cortes, Cortez, and Cortés can all apply to the historical figure. The point is that some of the other meanings of "Cortes" don't show the same orthographical variability.

78andejons
Aug 21, 2012, 3:56pm Top

I know that French genitives sometimes are seen as reason to not combine German and Scandinavian names of places with the English, but "Nubien" is currently only used by German taggers.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/Nubien

"Undergång" and "Untergang" are clearer. The meaning is essentially the same. I guess the same goes for the Dutch "ondergang" as well.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/Untergang

79henkl
Aug 22, 2012, 3:59am Top

I guess the same goes for the Dutch "ondergang" as well.

Yes, it does.

80andejons
Aug 31, 2012, 4:04pm Top

"Islands historie" actually means "history of Iceland", but given the usage, I think "Icelandic history" is perhaps a more accurate combination. I hope the votes against are not because of the English homonym:

http://www.librarything.com/tag/islands+historie

And then some of my own suggestions that need some votes:
"Missionaries" and "Missionärer" are the same thing:
http://www.librarything.com/tag/Mission%C3%A4rer

"Euclides" is a variant of "Euclid" without the ending cut. It seems to be the standard spelling in some languages. I don't think anyone uses the variant to distinguish the philosopher from the mathematician.
http://www.librarything.com/tag/Euclides

"Cykel" is a Swedish shortening of "bicycle". All books so tagged are about bikes or biking.
http://www.librarything.com/tag/cykel

"Protoindoeuropeiska" could be used in sentences with meanings other than the language, but as a tag, the language is the only one that makes sense:
http://www.librarything.com/tag/protoindoeuropeiska

81MarthaJeanne
Aug 31, 2012, 4:21pm Top

Wouldn't it be better to combine the last one with http://www.librarything.com/tag/Proto-Indo-European?

82AndreasJ
Aug 31, 2012, 4:52pm Top

81 > The basic Swedish adjective meaning Proto-Indo-European is "protoindoeuropeisk". The form "protoindoeuropeiska" is either an inflected form (which would be unlikely to be used as a tag), or a derived noun meaning "the Proto-Indo-European language", or a derived noun meaning a "Proto-Indo-European woman" (which also seems unlikely as a tag). The one book using the tag is about Indo-European languages.

So, if "Proto-Indo-European" is to be separate from "Proto-Indo-European Language", the Swedish tag surely belongs with the later if either.

83anglemark
Sep 3, 2012, 6:57am Top

Norse history and Nordic history (and related tags) are currently combined but should be separate.

http://se.librarything.com/tag/Norse+History#combine

Norse refers to Scandinavia (Sweden/Norway/Denmark/Iceland) in the Viking Age (800-1100 AD). Nordic refers to the current Nordic countries (Sweden/Norway/Denmark/Iceland/Finland) in all eras.

84BarkingMatt
Sep 11, 2012, 5:59am Top

Chartres Cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Notre Dame). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chartres_Cathedral. So "Notre Dame - Chartres" and "Chartres Cathedral" are identical.

By the way, I'm the only person to use "Notre Dame - Chartres" so in this case there is also confirmation of what the user means.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/Notre-Dame+-+Chartres

85marq
Sep 14, 2012, 6:54am Top

Books tagged KZ seem to be overwhelmingly related to concentration camps. However, I see "knitting" in related tags.

The only source I could find is The Knitting Goddess: Finding the Heart and Soul of Knitting Through Instruction, Projects, and Stories by Deborah Bergman.

No idea why. I'm voting Yes.

86andejons
Sep 14, 2012, 3:32pm Top

Swedish has separate forms for the language and the adjective. I mistakenly made some separation suggestions for what I thought was just the adjective, but then I remembered that Danish and Norwegian is like English in not making this distinction. Anyway, just vote yes to separate out those tags ending in -a and it should be fine:
http://www.librarything.com/tag/German
http://www.librarything.com/tag/Spanish
http://www.librarything.com/tag/Dutch
http://www.librarything.com/tag/English
http://www.librarything.com/tag/French
http://www.librarything.com/tag/Italian
http://www.librarything.com/tag/Danish
http://www.librarything.com/tag/Norwegian

87andejons
Sep 16, 2012, 3:39pm Top

There's suddenly some people voting against the separations above. I wonder why?

88Edward
Nov 28, 2012, 4:48am Top

DuncanHill's proposal to separate Private Eye from private investigator is a good one. As well as being a synonym for "private investigator", "Private Eye" is the name of a British satirical magazine with numerous spin-off publications. It's very confusing to have "private investigator" appearing prominently in the tag cloud for works like The "Private Eye" Story: The First 21 Years and 30 Years of "Private Eye" Cartoons.

89andejons
Dec 9, 2012, 3:13pm Top

There's a suggestion of separating "Chicken" and "Chickens". I think it's a good one, since the former has a significant amount of cookbooks.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/chickens

90omargosh
Jan 3, 2013, 5:33am Top

Since MarthaJeanne got the ball rolling separating out tags containing "UK" from the London tag, I decided to continue the job with all the Finnish/Spanish/Polish/Italian/etc. versions, since, from what I can tell on Wikipedia, all those languages use a literal "London" for the Canadian city. Despite my lack of faith with regard to tag separations, I'm crossing my fingers.

So pretty-please vote "Yes" on all the separations from "London", so that this becomes the catch-all/ambiguous tag page, and I will keep a list of all the UK-specific variations so that they can be recombined at a later date. Thanks!

91jjwilson61
Jan 3, 2013, 9:41am Top

But this isn't some esoteric exercise in creating categories of meaning. I believe that the vast majority of people using the London tag use it to mean the London in the UK. What you're saying is that if I want to make my London tag match up with the one I mean then I should change it to London (UK) which is unreasonable. People in general prefer short tags and it seems reasonable to me that if someone leaves off the (UK) part to presume that they mean the more common one. How many people in the world even know that there are other Londons?

92PolymathicMonkey
Jan 3, 2013, 10:00am Top

>91 jjwilson61: There is also Jack London.

93BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 3, 2013, 10:08am Top

I'm okay with "London" being drowned out by books about the capital of the UK and with having the tag combined with "London (UK)" and such. But if we think that shouldn't be the case, then it's logical to separate "Londres", "Londen", etc. out as well, since they only ever mean London in the UK.

The author isn't called Jacques Londres in French ;-)

94BarkingMatt
Jan 3, 2013, 10:11am Top

p.s.: If we decide accordingly, we should probably also tackle Paris, Venice, Rome, St. Petersburg, etc.

95andejons
Jan 3, 2013, 11:14am Top

>93 BarkingMatt:
I don't think separating will do much difference with regards to the drowning.

96BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 3, 2013, 11:18am Top

> 95: Neither do I. I meant: if we think "London" shouldn't be combined with "London (UK)"...

Sorry if I didn't myself clear enough.

97omargosh
Jan 3, 2013, 11:18am Top

> 91

I definitely see your point. I guess I just find it frustrating to see something like the combination proposal for Mount Everst completely fail only because the tags "Mount Everest", "Mt. Everest", etc. hiding behind "Everest" (the winningest tag), so people just see "Everest" in the combination proposal and too easily hit the "No" button. It's like once "Everest" became the winningest tag, nothing else will ever be able to move through the door.

Maybe we don't care about that case because it's a misspelling, but here are two more cases where, if you look at all the aliases, there is clearly a ton of overlap, and yet, they will probably never get combined, nor clearly separated and re-combined: Dr. Seuss vs. Seuss and wo 2 1939-1945 vs. WWII.

Ok, thinking about this problem some more, here are some ideas that could help this kind of problem. What do you guys think of them?
  1. Aliases stick together. Do tag combos at the alias level (not everything dumped into the same pot). Aliases stick together until they are separated. Proposals would read something like:

    "Membername has proposed combining the tag 'Mount Everst' with 'Mount Everest' (currently combined into 'Everest')".

  2. Undo pre-voting combinations. Have Tim go through and undo all the combinations that were done prior to voting. Don't know whether this is even possible or would cause more problems than would solve.
  3. Allow per-proposal commentary. Near where the vote happens (not here in Talk, which I'm sure many people don't read). So you might see something like:

    "Membername has proposed combining the tag 'Mount Everst' with 'Everest'. Comment from Membername: 'Please note that 'Everest' already includes 'Mount Everest'."

  4. Tag moving. This would allow one to move all the tags currently aliased to "WWII" that including dates into "wo 2 1939-1945", instead of separting them out into the wilderness (as if they would ever be separated under current implementation). Since this would only work for cases where there were already two decent groups out there, see my next suggestion:
  5. Tag splitting. This would differ from the current implementation of separations in that it would be a batch operation: multiple tags would move out from the winningest tag together. The proposal might look like:

    "Membername has proposed splitting 'Everest' into (1) 'Everest'/'everest'/'EVEREST', (2) 'Mount Everest'/'Mt. Everest'/'MtEverest', and (3) 'Mount Everest (Asia)'."

    Similar to splitting authors. Could work with tag moving. Could create conflicts with multiple proposals.
  6. Tag disambiguations. Somehow allow the "Turkey" tag to be split into two "subtags" for the country and the bird. Not sure how this would be implemented exactly, but maybe people could assign the book to subtags like they currently assign works to split author names? Oh, I see it's been discussed before. Awesome.
  7. Tag page description. Like the description space for publisher's series pages, people could put things like "This tag is exclusively for ...". Could even show up at proposal time, like how disambiguation notices show up in red when combining works. Probably would lead to disagreements, though.
  8. All of the above? ;-)
Ok, what do you guys think? Was going to go to the "Recommended Site Improvements" to put one or more of these there, but maybe I haven't thought things through, or haven't been clear, or maybe y'all just plain disagree, but it would also be nice to go with some group backing.

98jjwilson61
Jan 3, 2013, 11:21am Top

Let me put it another way. We know that part of the recommendation algorithm is based on the tags people assign to their books. How many people do you really think use the tag London (UK) or some equivalent instead of London when they mean the city in the UK? Would it improve the recommendations if the books tagged London were kept separate from those tagged London (UK)? I don't think so.

99BarkingMatt
Jan 3, 2013, 11:26am Top

Definitely. Yes, I'm frustrated by these many stand-offs too. In fact I proposed "tag disambiguation" in RSI already (only I called it "tag splitting").

Like you: not a clue if #2 would actually even be doable though.

100BarkingMatt
Jan 3, 2013, 11:29am Top

> 98: No, I agree. That's one of the reasons why I'm fine with having them combined. But this came up because the combining proposal for "London" and "London (England)" - or something like that - is failing.

101jjwilson61
Jan 3, 2013, 11:36am Top

I've already put in my support for Tag disambiguations (6) but I'm afraid that Tim would have a philosophical problem with it (based on what I've seen Tim write about tags but he could surprise me).

I also like Tag splitting (5) and the conflicts could be resolved by not allowing someone to propose a split or combination of a tag that's already been proposed for a split or combination until that one is resolved.

For #1 are you saying that the tag name shown on the voting page be the name that was actually proposed instead of the "winning" name for the tag? If so, I agree.

2 no; 3 yes;4 no (similar to 5 and 5 is better);7 no

102omargosh
Jan 3, 2013, 11:38am Top

> 93

Yeah, that's why I now changed my votes for MarthaJeanne's London proposals to "No"s. I know that might seem like the kid who says "if I can't get my way, you can't either!", and it kind of is, haha, but I will of course change my votes back to yes if mine seem like they might have a chance of passing. I've even undone my "No" vote on London (England) for now!

103BarkingMatt
Edited: Jan 3, 2013, 11:45am Top

Ah, yes, #7 somehow didn't scan properly. That one would be a problem. I see editing wars over the "beer" tag page, for example. (In Dutch it means bear).

104omargosh
Jan 3, 2013, 8:49pm Top

> 98

I'll have to read through the suggestions again, but I think tag disambiguation could be presented as a "suggestion" instead of rigid categorizations. That would lend itself to being able to be done by lone users without needing votes. I guess it still wouldn't help with getting "Islandia" connected to "Iceland", unless the disambiguations on "Islandia" could somehow talk to the "Iceland" page.

> 101

For (5), that's one way conflicts could be resolved. Might take forever. Another way would be to have competing proposals enter into "competition" with one another. When the last proposal's time-limit ran out, the proposal that met threshold and had the highest net votes would win.

For (1), yes, exactly. In fact, that's how I used to assume the system worked (silly me). I do fear it might create some problems where aliasA ≈ aliasB, and aliasB ≈ aliasC, but aliasA ≠ aliasC. But I still think it would be more transparent, and there might also be ways to help that intransitivity problem. I mocked one up:



Idea 1.5 would be to not bother with alias-to-alias connections but still show the text that was actually entered instead of exclusively the winningest tag.

I don't think any of 1-7 would completely solve the "London" problem; it's still not entirely clear to me why the collective thinking here goes that "London" = "Londres" while simultaneously "London" ≠ "London (UK)". I know I've added to the confusion lately. Sorry about that. I did like one proposal I saw to lower the separating threshold, but maybe not all the way down to a simple majority.

105xuesheng
Jan 14, 2013, 9:53pm Top

Hello everyone,
I have a list of tags that we in the 2013 Category Challenge would appreciate a "yes" vote upon. When I checked on January 6th, we were the only ones using these tags, and we would like them combined so that we can see our list of most read books. Please refer to our thread on tagging here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/143348.

These are our current tags that still have combinations pending:

13 in 13

2013 Category Challenge

I appreciate your assistance.

106andejons
Jan 29, 2013, 3:21pm Top

"Skata" is indeed magpie in Swedish (the book that it's used for seem to be some kind of fairly tale):
http://www.librarything.com/tag/skata

Swedish "Skåne" and German "Schonen" both mean "Scandia". I won't suggest a combination with the English name, as that is also the name of a company, and there are some who have used that meaning.
http://www.librarything.com/tag/Schonen

Finally, the ""First 10 Penguins" 50th anniv. boxed ed" is used for the exact same books as "first 10 penguins". I don't think the fact that one of the tags spells out how the books were bought is really significant here.
http://www.librarything.com/tag/%22First+10+Penguins%22+50th+anniv.+boxed+ed

107lilithcat
Jan 29, 2013, 3:30pm Top

Finally, the ""First 10 Penguins" 50th anniv. boxed ed" is used for the exact same books as "first 10 penguins".

Were they only available as a boxed set? If not, I think the distinction is a valid one.

108MarthaJeanne
Edited: Jan 29, 2013, 4:25pm Top

'Skata' is also Greek for 'Shit'.

German 'schonen' also has other meanings.

109andejons
Jan 30, 2013, 4:08am Top

>107 lilithcat:
Of course not; one of the books is "A farewell to arms". I can understand that there is a distinction, but I don't think it's large enough to be actually important.

>108 MarthaJeanne:
None of those are actually used, though. And the German verb "to spare (someone)" is unlikely as a tag.

110prosfilaes
Jan 30, 2013, 5:39am Top

#106: Finally, the ""First 10 Penguins" 50th anniv. boxed ed" is used for the exact same books as "first 10 penguins". I don't think the fact that one of the tags spells out how the books were bought is really significant here.

? You don't think what the tag means is really significant?

111andejons
Jan 30, 2013, 6:29am Top

No, I think that the fact that it explicitly says that it is a boxed set is not very significant compared to the fact that it is a set. I also usually vote to keep tags like "Series name" and "Series name (series)" together. I don't really see "meaning" as something that's very distinct from "usage" (as per "Schonen". The books are either set there or is about travel around the Baltic. That a combination of letters "might" mean something is rather unimportant; most reasonably short words could mean something else in some language somewhere). It's OK to disagree with me on this; I understand that others might take a different view.

112inkcrow
Jan 30, 2013, 10:12am Top

108: 'Skata' is also Greek for 'Shit'.

People likely write such Greek words in Greek alphabet.

113omargosh
Jan 30, 2013, 1:07pm Top

I'm really baffled by the opposition to vpfluke's proposal of combining What If...? with what if. Especially since what if already contains what if ... ? and What If? and What if.... And both groups contain comics (I can't imagine there's a canonical orthography for the comics vs. whatever else is in what if). And I can't think of an instance where a non-comma-separated "what if" in English isn't intended to be the introduction of an question (even if its tone is rhetorical or that of a supposition).

114prosfilaes
Jan 30, 2013, 6:39pm Top

#111: I don't really see "meaning" as something that's very distinct from "usage"

You don't think "read" means something different from "unread"? They're used on the same books.

115andejons
Edited: Jan 31, 2013, 5:53am Top

They aren't really (The Harry Potter books are the most read, but "Philosopher's stone" come around 220 on unread), but if they were, it would mean that the tags would be basically devoid of any meaning here.

Edit: fixed link

116JerryMmm
Jan 31, 2013, 4:39am Top

As tags are used to denote a number of things, a work can be both read and unread, checked and unchecked, good and bad, 16th century and 21st century. That doesn't mean the tags are devoid of meaning, it just means different people use tags for a number of uses.

But I'm probably not understanding your point completely..

btw, I think I saw something about a bug combining tags with apostrophes or quote marks somewhere. This may impact your example in #106

117andejons
Jan 31, 2013, 6:05am Top

What I'm saying, is ultimately, all meaning is derived from usage. If "read" and "unread" are used for the same works, with the same frequency, then the tags effectively mean the same thing. However, as we can expect (there are reasons why books like Ulysses and Silmarillion are more "unread" than "read"), they are in fact not used in the same way, so there is a difference between them. In the same manner, if "lastname" and "firstname lastname" is used for the same books, or "singular form" and "plural form", then the formal differences are unimportant for our purposes. On the other hand, even if dictionaries would tell you that "Apple" is the same word as "Apfel", "Pomme", "Manzana", "Äpple" etc. the tag is dominated by books about a company, so the meaning is in fact not the same.

118prosfilaes
Jan 31, 2013, 6:27am Top

#117: What I'm saying, is ultimately, all meaning is derived from usage. If "read" and "unread" are used for the same works, with the same frequency, then the tags effectively mean the same thing.

Then we shouldn't be combining any tags; "First 10 Penguins 50th anniv. boxed ed" is used on a book that "first 10 penguins" isn't. We have to derive meaning from what we know the people used them to mean. "read" and "unread" obviously mean different things, so we shouldn't combine them even if they had the same statistical usage.

119andejons
Jan 31, 2013, 7:40am Top

There are also matters of how much statistics one have. I never said one could ignore meaning, but for me, "possible difference in meaning" is not nearly as important as "actual difference in usage".

In the case of "read"/"unread", sure, there is a clear difference in meaning - but only in English. There is also a difference in English between "roman" and "novel", but it is mainly because there is a significant amount of books written in Latin tagged "roman" that they are kept separate, and not because this meaning exists in one language.

BTW, you have the tags mixed up. It's the "boxed set" tag that is only used 9 times.

120prosfilaes
Jan 31, 2013, 5:59pm Top

#119: In the case of "read"/"unread", sure, there is a clear difference in meaning - but only in English. There is also a difference in English between "roman" and "novel", but it is mainly because there is a significant amount of books written in Latin tagged "roman" that they are kept separate, and not because this meaning exists in one language.

Mentioning English is obfuscating the matter. What matters is the meaning of the tag in the mind of the users. We keep separate "roman" and "novel" because many LT users who use those tags don't consider them the same thing.

In any case, my (obviously non-exclusive) sources say that unread only has meaning in English, and read only in English, Swedish and Frisian, wherein it has a different meaning from unread. (And if un- has the same meaning in Frisian it does in English and German, then there's definitely a difference between read ("red") and unread ("unred").)

121andejons
Edited: Feb 1, 2013, 4:04am Top

No, it's to the point. The existence of a separate meaning of a word is not relevant unless it is reflected in usage. I'll try another example that is less abstract: If the tag "horses" was used completely randomly, without any regard for whether the books had anything to do with horses, then the fact that the word has a meaning in English would not matter one iota: the tag would in fact be completely meaningless. Similarly, if there is no difference in usage between "read" and "unread", the fact that they have meanings in some language is not what should keep them separate. I tried the "roman"/"novel" example to illustrate this better, but it seems that didn't take.

We keep separate "roman" and "novel" because many LT users who use those tags don't consider them the same thing.

No, not just because they are considered different. It's because they are used differently - or at least it should be. If no one used "roman" for books about romans/written in the Roman Empire/etc, it would be plain ignorant to oppose a combination with "novel" purely on the ground that that's not what you think the word "means".

Similarly, I think it would be quite silly of me to stop the combination of Dutch plural indefinite nouns with their English translations because they happen to be homonyms with Swedish singular definite nouns when there is no usage in that sense (which would only happen if it is a proper name of something), or English national adjectives/language names with what in Swedish only is the adjective, while it has both meanings in Norwegian and Danish. The goal is to improve the utility of tags, not to create some kind of dictionary.

122prosfilaes
Feb 2, 2013, 7:57am Top

#121: Tags are all about meaning. People tag a book "horses" because they want to communicate with themselves and others that the book is in some way about horses. People tag a book "unread" because it is "unread"; they tag a book "read" because it is "read". Even if they were statistically identical, we should keep them separate. Even if there were provable optimizations in LT from combining them somehow, we should still keep them apart, because combining them would defeat the primary purpose of tags; human to human communication.

It's because they are used differently

That bears no relationship to how tags are usually combined in reality. I proposed combining anthrolopology and anthropology not because they were used in particularly similar ways; Celebrating Motherhood: A Comforting Companion for Every Expecting Mother is not a book tagged with "anthropology", and that represents one-third of the usage of "anthrolopology". It's because I believed I understood the message being communicated to me, and that it was the same as "anthropology".

On the flip side, Bruce D. Smith and anthropological account have identical usages. I don't expect anyone to propose them for combination, because they're clearly meant to state different things about the book. This is true even though "are used for the same works, with the same frequency".

It has nothing to do with how they are used; it has to do with the meaning the users invest in them.

The goal is to improve the utility of tags, not to create some kind of dictionary.

It is inconcievable, even if they were "used for the same works, with the same frequency", that combining "read" and "unread" would improve the utility of tags. Doing anything with tags that confuses or annoys their creators and users is not going to make tags more useful. Anything done with tags needs to recognize that they are human labels to communicate with humans first and foremost.

123andejons
Feb 2, 2013, 9:16am Top

Please stop making strawmen. Where have I said I would combine "read" and "unread"? I said that if they are used the same (remember also that these tags are used hundred of thousand times by thousands of users, so there is some sense in looking at statistical measures), they would effectively be meaningless (maybe I should have said that the meaning assigned to them here does not appear to have anything to do with the meaning assigned to them in everyday English).

But I suspect even you would not have suggested combining "anthrolopology" and "anthropology" if the former were only used for books about high-energy physics, or gardening, or the economy of the Soviet Union.

124prosfilaes
Edited: Feb 2, 2013, 6:02pm Top

#123: Where have I said I would combine "read" and "unread"?

#117.

I said that if they are used the same (remember also that these tags are used hundred of thousand times by thousands of users, so there is some sense in looking at statistical measures), they would effectively be meaningless

And that's wrong. There would be deep meaning in the fact that the tags "read" and "unread" were used in a statistically identical manner, so much so that first conclusion would be that someone is deliberately stacking the numbers. You said that "there are reasons why books like Ulysses and Silmarillion are more "unread" than "read""; which is exactly why them being used the same wouldn't be meaningless.

But I suspect even you would not have suggested combining "anthrolopology" and "anthropology" if the former were only used for books about high-energy physics, or gardening, or the economy of the Soviet Union.

Yes. Because that indicates to me that the meaning the users invested in the term was not "anthropology". It would still be about meaning, not usage.

125andejons
Feb 3, 2013, 4:02am Top

What I said in #117 was
If "read" and "unread" are used for the same works, with the same frequency, then the tags effectively mean the same thing.

I stand by this (well, except that it should really be "relative frequency"). That is not necessarily the same thing as saying they should be combined, as that meaning would be so small that combining them would not really improve anything but reduce some clutter.

And that's wrong. There would be deep meaning in the fact that the tags "read" and "unread" were used in a statistically identical manner, so much so that first conclusion would be that someone is deliberately stacking the numbers. You said that "there are reasons why books like Ulysses and Silmarillion are more "unread" than "read""; which is exactly why them being used the same wouldn't be meaningless.

Or there is something else that the taggers use the tags for. The reason for the difference between "roman" and "novel" is not that non-English readers like historical novels.

Because that indicates to me that the meaning the users invested in the term was not "anthropology". It would still be about meaning, not usage.

I don't get this. I really don't. Unless you are claiming that you have some psychic powers, or message all the users of a tag, I don't see a way to get at that meaning in any other way than by deducting it from the usage.

126prosfilaes
Feb 3, 2013, 4:32am Top

#125: I don't see a way to get at that meaning in any other way than by deducting it from the usage.

As above Bruce D. Smith and anthropological account have identical usages. If all you have is usage, you either have to combine or never combine tags that are only used on one work. Most of us are pretty clear that those two tags have different meaning and that, say, "Baby-Sitters Club #1" and "Babysitters Club #1" have the same meaning by simply reading what's written there.

127andejons
Feb 3, 2013, 7:01am Top

Thank you. It's now perfectly clear that I'm incapable of getting my point across to you. I could copy what I said about "anthrolopology" and "anthropology" and apply it to "Baby-Sitters Club #1" and "Babysitters Club #1", but I don't see why I should bother.

128prosfilaes
Feb 3, 2013, 11:55am Top

#127: "Bruce D. Smith" and "anthropological account" have identical usages. So do "Baby-Sitters Club #1" and "Babysitters Club #1". Why would we combine one pair and not the other if it wasn't for meaning? What's so hard about that question? You could copy what I said about "anthrolopology" and "anthropology", but it would completely miss the point, since the statement was about tags with identical usage.

129andejons
Feb 3, 2013, 4:13pm Top

Let me quote myself (#119):

I never said one could ignore meaning, but for me, "possible difference in meaning" is not nearly as important as "actual difference in usage".

On the other hand, how do you know that the two babysitter club tags aren't because there are two series, were the hyphen is the only difference in their names? It seems in fact even more likely than "anthropology" being anything other than a misspelling.

130prosfilaes
Feb 4, 2013, 3:37am Top

#129: When does the "possible difference in meaning" come into play? And what does "actual difference in usage" mean? A small tag won't have the full range of a large tag, and other factors can come into play. If someone had a tag G.U.R.P.S. and only has a dozen books bought several years ago, it's likely that G.U.R.P.S. could be a subset of GURPS 3rd Edition; that doesn't mean that G.U.R.P.S. should be combined with GURPS 3rd Edition instead of GURPS.

On the other hand, how do you know that the two babysitter club tags aren't because there are two series, were the hyphen is the only difference in their names?

Because these slightly hypothetical tags are both on Kristy's Great Idea which is in but one series. Because I can look at series tags and see that forms with and without space and/or hyphen between baby and sitter are used for the exact same series.

131andejons
Feb 4, 2013, 6:10am Top

I should have snipped that quote better, I see. But to reiterate: that German "schonen" might be a verb meaning "to spare (someone)" as well as the name for the Swedish province Scandia (Skåne) is irrelevant if there is no one actually using it that way. One can't sit and invent ways in which a tag could possible mean and claim that this is enough to keep them separate: what matters is what it is actually used for.

And then we have the reverse argument:

Because I can look at series tags and see that forms with and without space and/or hyphen between baby and sitter are used for the exact same series.

My point exactly: you don't know this only from looking at the combinations of letters as you first claimed, but by actually comparing usage.

132prosfilaes
Feb 4, 2013, 8:58pm Top

#131: that German "schonen" might be a verb meaning "to spare (someone)" as well as the name for the Swedish province Scandia (Skåne) is irrelevant if there is no one actually using it that way. One can't sit and invent ways in which a tag could possible mean and claim that this is enough to keep them separate: what matters is what it is actually used for.

I don't think we should let the first person to use a tag dictate what it means. If we have a small enough tag and reasonably think there are multiple meanings, we shouldn't combined. I don't profoundly think in that "to spare (someone)" is a reasonably likely meaning for a tag, but neither should one use dictate the entire range of meaning for the tag.

My point exactly: you don't know this only from looking at the combinations of letters as you first claimed, but by actually comparing usage.

Context is important. I also know that the Babysitter's Club is a valuable trademark and that anyone trying to horn in it would get hit by a C&D. I never claimed that I knew things "only from looking at the combinations of letters"; meaning is a complex thing, and I've frequently been surprised by the meanings people were putting on their tags, as shown by how they used them. Certainly the meanings that people use for large tags are frequently clear from the way they've been used.

133prosfilaes
Feb 4, 2013, 9:26pm Top

Back on topic: I proposed combining "- GENRE: Fiction" and "fiction". I wouldn't have done so had I realized that Genre: Fiction was combined with fiction, but it is, and combining it won't change that one way or the other. It will make things a little neater tag wise, though.

134andejons
Edited: Feb 5, 2013, 3:32am Top

>132 prosfilaes:
I picked Schonen here as a nearby example, there are other tags that have been used by more people. That's really not the point here: any reasonably short word could have a number of meanings in the thousands of languages that are known, so if we had to make sure that there were no possible homonyms, we'd get nowhere. Also, there's no reason to not treat this as a work in progress: today we can combine, tomorrow we might separate if a new usage crops up.

I never claimed that I knew things "only from looking at the combinations of letters"

Oh? From #126:
most of us can see that "Baby-Sitters Club #1" and "Babysitters Club #1" have the same meaning by simply reading what's written there

135omargosh
Feb 7, 2013, 11:26pm Top

I'd like to explain my recent combination/separation proposals involving viagens, viaggi, travel, voyages, viaje, etc., in case some of you are wondering what the heck I was thinking.

A while back, I opposed the combination of viaggio (Italian singular) into travel because I knew that its Spanish cognate, viaje, while perfectly possibly translated as travel, can also mean trip, voyage, journey, and I imagined that other singular cognates, like viatge (Catalan), vojaĝo (Esperanto), and viagem (Portuguese), probably had the same issue (I say it's an "issue" only since I doubt that travel, trip, voyage and journey would ever be successfully combined ... maybe this is untrue). Voyage, of course, is a odd case, since in French it probably has all those varied translations, while in English it has sort of specific connotations.

Today a proposal was made to combine viajes (Spanish plural, and already combined with the Catalan plural viatges), with travels which reminded me that there is some inconsistency with the plural cognates. Right now, viagens (Portuguese) is combined with voyages, and viaggi (Italian) is combined with travel. Unless I'm missing some "false friend" issues, it seems to me like it would be better for viajes, viatges, viagens, and viaggi to all be together (there are currently no books tagged with the Esperanto plural vojaĝoj). That's why I proposed the separations, so that viagens and viaggi could be combined with viajes, wherever the latter ends up (on its own or with travels). Of course, if travels and travel should ever be combined, the viaggi separations may have been a waste of time.

I proposed combining the singulars, in case it's not obvious by now, so that they're all bundled together instead of one getting combined into travel, another isolated into voyage, etc. (Of course, if there's some "false friend" issues with them, then of course the problematic combinations should be opposed.)

136BarkingMatt
Feb 17, 2013, 6:20am Top

Currently the tag "Wyndham Lewis" refers to works by/about D.B. Wyndham Lewis and (Percy) Wyndham Lewis. No problem of course, but I think it's thus a mistake to keep it combined with the tag "D.B. Wyndham Lewis". So I proposed separating them.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/wyndham+lewis

137eromsted
Feb 18, 2013, 9:12pm Top

randolph a. philip is simply the last name first version of A. Philip Randolph. Last name first is very common in name tags.

138andejons
Mar 7, 2013, 3:30pm Top

I'm suggesting the separation of "Intelligens" from "Intelligence". Scandinavian intelligens can only mean "human intelligence", but the English word can also mean activities related to spying and such, and it is used in this sense about as often.

I don't know enough about the other variants that are combined or the current proposal for combining to say whether that's good or not, but hopefully someone else can check.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/intelligence

139andejons
Mar 22, 2013, 5:54pm Top

"Internatskola" is indeed the translation of "boarding school". "Internatskolor" is the plural (not that there seem to be any difference in usage).

http://www.librarything.com/tag/boarding+school

140andejons
Mar 29, 2013, 4:39pm Top

"Tjeckoslovakien" is Swedish for "Czechoslovakia", not the corresponding adjective. The combination is probably due to someone mistaking it for French, but they spell the country "Tchécoslovaquie".

http://www.librarything.com/tag/Tjeckoslovakien

(I also made the mistake of trying to separate "tjeckoslovakien" from "Tjeckoslovakien"; please vote against that.)

141andejons
Jul 27, 2013, 2:59am Top

I don't see why people are voting against combining "St. Francis" with "San Francesco", except possible that they are misreading the latter.
http://www.librarything.com/tag/St.+Francis

142anglemark
Jul 27, 2013, 5:53am Top

Me neither. Five uses of San Francesco, all of them for books about the saint. Seems clear-cut to me. Of course, there are places called San Francesco, but then there are places called almost anything. As long as it's not reflected in actual usage on LT...

143prosfilaes
Jul 27, 2013, 8:16am Top

#142: all of them for books about the saint.

About who? Because the English Wikipedia lists 9 saints by the name of St. Francis, and the Italian Wikipedia lists ten people under San Francesco. With this level of polysemy, I wouldn't blame anyone for being cautious about combining.

144anglemark
Edited: Jul 28, 2013, 3:47am Top

But the terms are synonymous. Each and every one of these nine saints is called St Francis in English and San Francesco in Italian. St Francis means San Francesco.

145lorax
Jul 27, 2013, 7:14pm Top

I suspect people are either misreading "San Francesco" as "San Francisco" or think that it is or could be used as a typo for the name of the city (which is of course named for one of the saints, but that's not really relevant.)

146AnnaClaire
Aug 16, 2013, 9:16am Top

I've proposed splitting three variants of "Curie Marie" from Madame Curie. As many people have voted 'undecided' as have (besides me) voted 'yes.' This is understandable, since "Madame Curie" often means the chemist, but I proposed the separations in order to join "Curie Marie" to "Marie Curie" -- the vote for which I suspect would fail if the former were still combined with "Madame Curie."

147andejons
Oct 29, 2013, 4:53pm Top

A couple of no votes for combinations with "Grace Theology", probably under the impression that this is a name of a concept. However, the closest such thing appears to be "Free Grace Theology" (but I could have missed something when I googled it). Anyway, voting yes until someone can show that this is in fact a term, and not just two words put next to each other.

http://www.librarything.com/tag/Grace+Theology

148inkcrow
Nov 2, 2013, 7:43am Top

Tag aamusivut should be combined with morning pages. Both the tags have the same literal meaning. Theoretically they both can mean pages that you read or write in the morning. ( I can't imagine that someone would use the tag for an occupation.) In practice, both the tags mean a writing technique presented in Julia Cameron's books.

149JerryMmm
Nov 2, 2013, 10:09am Top

"Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning."
- http://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/morning-pages/

Sounds like that's exactly what they mean :)

150PolymathicMonkey
Nov 9, 2013, 8:34am Top

I plan on going through and combining my tags that I make a bit more distinct (by adding keywords, such as "series" in front of them) with the "regular" versions. Starting with http://www.librarything.com/tag/LoEG since I just added two of them. Not sure what's to be "undecided" about there, seems pretty clear to me, but apparently it needs a little explaining! ;)

151BarkingMatt
Nov 9, 2013, 8:53am Top

Well, on "LoEG" (loeg / LOEG) I see Harry Potter, the Complete works of Poe, and Story of O for example. Clueless why, but it suggests to me those letters don't just mean "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"

Sorry.

152PolymathicMonkey
Nov 9, 2013, 9:20am Top

Ahh. huh. Well that is odd!

153eromsted
Nov 9, 2013, 12:42pm Top

It's especially odd because those uses come from a member who has also used the tag for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books. The tag is capitalized LoEG in all cases by this member which does suggest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is mean even when it doesn't make sense to us. Though clearly books outside the series are being tagged, so combining with tags that specify the series would still be wrong.

154PolymathicMonkey
Nov 9, 2013, 2:14pm Top

I'm really wondering what it means in these other cases now.

And being irritated that if you use a different version of a tag it "can't" be combined with the other regular one, when it'd be with that if you just used that. Which doesn't sound like it makes any sense at all but I'm sure you get what I mean. Not blaming anyone, of course, just irritating situation! I guess I will have to look closer at all the rest and make sure there's no outliers corrupting them, too! lol

155PolymathicMonkey
Nov 15, 2013, 11:21am Top

Can the 5 people who think nothing should be combined explain why "location:LocationX" should not be combined with "LocationX," and so forth?

156prosfilaes
Nov 15, 2013, 12:14pm Top

Because location: probably means something, either the book is set there or the physical copy of the book is there. Neither case would apply to a book that is, say, titled "Heading towards Paris" and is about our protagonists travelling towards Paris (spoiler warning: they get eaten by a Cornish dragon in Cornwall and never get there.)

Whenever looking at foo:X being combined with X, warning signals go off. If X alone was good enough, then why was Foo: added?

157PolymathicMonkey
Nov 15, 2013, 12:23pm Top

Because it's more specific. Yes, I could just use one location word for everything. And then be in the big tag pile with everyone else. But I don't want to. I want them to be specific. I still don't see how your example would mean anything. Either some part of the book takes place in Paris and hence, the tag applies, or no part of it does and why would the book be tagged "Paris" in the first place? Either way, location:Paris is the same thing as Paris and should be with it.

158BarkingMatt
Nov 15, 2013, 12:26pm Top

Well, actually Paris was also a major figure in the Trojan war. ;-)

159PolymathicMonkey
Nov 15, 2013, 12:29pm Top

lol, good thing Paris isn't actually in any of my suggestions then :P

160jjwilson61
Nov 15, 2013, 12:41pm Top

If the tag was location:Kitchen then that would be different than Kitchen because in the latter case the book may be about Kitchens and not just where the book is located.

161prosfilaes
Nov 15, 2013, 12:52pm Top

#157: no part of it does and why would the book be tagged "Paris" in the first place?

Because the whole bent of the story is towards Paris. Because the book revolves around Paris, even if they never get there.

Hetalia: Axis Powers has Russia, Japan and Germany as characters in the book.

162PolymathicMonkey
Nov 15, 2013, 12:58pm Top

>160 jjwilson61: Except I'm pretty sure no one is using the tag location:CountryX to mean their book is located in some random spot of CountryX...

163prosfilaes
Edited: Nov 15, 2013, 1:03pm Top

#162: They are; Tim Spalding actually messaged one user to see if the tag Belgium on The Diary of Anne Frank was a mistake, and it was because that's where that user had their copy of the Diary of Anne Frank. (He mentioned this in one of his videos on tags, I believe)

The Glass Menagerie is tagged Tennessee, even though it takes place in St. Louis, probably because its author is Tennessee Williams.

164PolymathicMonkey
Nov 15, 2013, 1:11pm Top

That's utterly absurd. The Belgium thing, I mean. Tagging by author's first name is ...well let's just say not something I'd ever conceive of but at least semi-reasonable.
It's kind of really ridiculous that tags can't be combined due to minority random outlier behavior and you're essentially penalized for actually being specific. Why even bother? :|

165BarkingMatt
Edited: Nov 15, 2013, 1:21pm Top

One thing puzzles me though. You say you want to be specific so as not to "be in the big tag pile with everyone else". But combining those tags would have exactly that effect. The specific tag would get gobbled up by the unspecific one.

166PolymathicMonkey
Nov 15, 2013, 1:30pm Top

Yeah, but it wouldn't change my catalog, and would connect it to where most uses would be the same. Doesn't matter, I'm not even going to attempt to connect them like that anymore, obviously it's not gonna happen.
I'll connect the location ones to ones that are already there for location/setting (and yes, I did the first one and "loc:Russia" is already combined in "setting: Russia" so if anyone tries saying no to that one I'm going to have to seek you out settle this once and for all! haha).
However, the Judaism one should not meet objection. Judaism IS a religion, sticking "religion" in front of it does nothing to change that. It simply allows all books that have something to do with some religion to be nicely categorized.

167jjwilson61
Nov 15, 2013, 1:37pm Top

166> I could see someone tagging some books with religion: Judaism and others with culture: Judaism though.

168PolymathicMonkey
Edited: Nov 15, 2013, 7:30pm Top

Forget it.

169prosfilaes
Nov 15, 2013, 1:50pm Top

#164: That's utterly absurd. The Belgium thing, I mean.

It's utterly absurd that someone told that they can tag their books as they will might put the location of their books in the tag field?

170PolymathicMonkey
Nov 15, 2013, 1:51pm Top

It's absurd that someone would consider an entire country as the "location" of a physical copy of a book.

171AndreasJ
Nov 15, 2013, 1:57pm Top

Belgium is pretty small ...

Seriously, maybe their other library is in Canada or Java. Seems perfectly sensible to me to consider the first as simply in Belgium then.

172lilithcat
Nov 15, 2013, 2:18pm Top

To me, the word "location" suggests that that is where the book is set, a concept that I associate primarily with fiction. I would not, for instance, say that a book about the history of Venice is "set" in Venice.

Personally I'd think both "religion:Judaism" and "culture:Judaism" could/should go into "Judaism" but if only one did then religion should.

I don't think either should go into "Judaism". The problem I have with that is that the first two are narrower, and I can easily see one person using both tags. "Religion" and "culture" are not the same, even if they are both modified with "Judaism".

173MarthaJeanne
Edited: Nov 15, 2013, 2:42pm Top

170> Well, I have @ Maine (without the space) on the books I have sent to my grandchildren, and Maine is a lot bigger than Belgium (in area). Makes sense to me.

174PolymathicMonkey
Edited: Nov 15, 2013, 7:31pm Top

>172 lilithcat: I disagree that its setting is automatically fiction. A non-fictional book about Stalin would be location:Russia. He was Russian and anything dealing with his life would have the location of Russia. Just because a book is non-fiction doesn't mean the events don't take place somewhere.

>171 AndreasJ:/173 There's several million people, it isn't that small. I would never consider putting that my books still in the US with my mother are "located in Illinois." That is huge and super vague. I would specify "mom's house" or "IL house" or something. Regardless, like I said, doesn't matter, I give on attempting to combine those, you guys win there.

175prosfilaes
Nov 15, 2013, 3:49pm Top

#174: If you guys insist on keeping it out for sheer stubbornness

Or someone might decide to try and separate it out.

As for location, I disagree that its setting is automatically fiction.

Tags have a communal meaning, not merely any one persons.

Stalin ... was Russian

He wasn't; he was Georgian. He was head of the Soviet Union, an union of many states, including Russia.

IL house

Even if we accept that IL means Illinois, how is that any smaller then Illinois? I don't see the point of the size; if I have one book collection in China, why wouldn't I tag that collection as "located in China"? That is completely unambiguous to me, and I'm the only person to whom it matters.

176PolymathicMonkey
Nov 15, 2013, 4:04pm Top

I'm not even going to bother on the rest. But you seem to be purposely ignoring the word house. Illinois HOUSE. Not Illinois. My own personal opinion is that saying one's copy of a book is located simply in a country, or yes, a state, nothing more, is hugely vague, and total outlier use of a tag. Once again, not that it matters, I've said multiple times now that I'm not pursuing it. Minority use wins, the end.

177prosfilaes
Nov 15, 2013, 4:44pm Top

#176: My own personal opinion is that saying one's copy of a book is located simply in a country, or yes, a state, nothing more, is hugely vague

Not that it matters, but I don't understand how "Illinois house" which could signify any number of places in Illinois, or even multiple places, is much less vague then saying Illinois. Either one is entirely clear as to the location to the user, and entirely vague (possibly intentionally) to anyone else.

178lilithcat
Nov 15, 2013, 4:59pm Top

> 174

I did not say that it was "automatically fiction". I said that I associate it "primarily" with fiction.

God, I'm tired of people responding to things nobody wrote.

179PolymathicMonkey
Edited: Nov 15, 2013, 7:30pm Top

Nope.

180jjwilson61
Nov 15, 2013, 7:17pm Top

That just means it was slipped in before tag combination voting was added. All someone has to do is to propose separating those out and it will probably pass.

181PolymathicMonkey
Nov 15, 2013, 7:20pm Top

I give up. No one wants anything combined, fine. My tags will all be mine only.

182gilroy
Nov 21, 2013, 10:29am Top

Okay, let me throw a new question out there.

mathematical formulae is trying to be combined with both mathematical formula and mathematical formulas. So is it a singular or a plural?

I voted no on both because of that conflict.
(I still agree with Tim -- no combining singular and plural tags.)

183AssyriaQ
Edited: Nov 21, 2013, 11:18am Top

> 182

I suggested the first one (formula with formulae). After a quick search, I see that formulae is one way of writing the plural of formula (1). Therefore, please vote no on the suggestion to combine mathematical formula with mathematical formulae. Formulas should be combined with formulae.

(1) Oxford Dictionaries

184The_Froo
Dec 10, 2013, 6:52am Top

I've started separation votes to take the three capitalization variations on "dragon" (singular) out of "dragons" (plural) since the singular spelling has a different ordering of the first 10 or so most tagged books and then a whole bunch of different books in the next 40 or so most tagged (including a wider variety outside the fantasy genre). I figure if this undoes the combination of the three singulars (it looks like all three were together and then the main for that got combined into dragons), we can go back after they've been separated and recombine those three on their own.

185eromsted
Dec 15, 2013, 12:28am Top

Mexico Distrito Federal or Mexico DF is the official name for Mexico City. This is not only a technical term. In fact, in Mexico the capital is usually simply referred to as "DF".

186MarthaJeanne
Dec 15, 2013, 6:10am Top

But of the 5 members using the two DF versions, three of them also use Mexico City. Hard to tell if they just used different tage at different times or meant there to be a distinction.

187eromsted
Dec 15, 2013, 9:30am Top

Each of the members you speak of uses both Mexico DF and Mexico City exactly once. And each member uses both tags on the same book. This is no indication of distinction in meaning. Mexico, D.F. is more correct but less well known among English speakers than Mexico City. This is the only reason I can think of to use both, as there is no distinction in denotation or connotation.

For reference, here are the books with both tags:
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/csaavedra&tag=m%C3%A9xico+df&alias=1
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/sinaloa237&tag=Mexico+DF&alias=1
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/danielmacy&tag=Mexico+DF&alias=1
http://www.librarything.com/catalog/jesusrosas&tag=M%C3%A9xico+D.F.&alia...

188eromsted
Dec 18, 2013, 9:00am Top

I don't understand the no votes on Brown-vs-Board, Brown vs. Board, and Brown v Board. All are clear references to the landmark US Supreme Court ruling, Brown v. Board of Education.

189The_Froo
Jan 1, 2:32pm Top

Eromsted proposed combining http://www.librarything.com/tag/ancient+civilizations and http://www.librarything.com/tag/Ancient+Civilzation. "Ancient Civilzation" is a clear spelling error for "Ancient Civilization". "Ancient Civilization" (and other capitalization variants) has already been combined with "ancient civilizations".

Therefore, I think everybody ought to be voting yes on this proposal that has 13 "no" votes.

190lilithcat
Jan 1, 2:37pm Top

> 189

I expect that the "no" votes are because the proposal is to combine a singular with a plural, not because of the spelling error.

Rule of thumb: Combining singular with plurals should be avoided in general. See the Tag combining Wiki page.

191The_Froo
Edited: Jan 1, 2:43pm Top

Except the singular "ancient civilization" has already been combined with the the plural "ancient civilizations". So if the problem's the singular/plural issue (which is a good rule of thumb, not combining the singular and plural), a separation vote's in order. Either way, I think "ancient civilization" and "Ancient Civilzation" should be combined regardless of whatever else they are or aren't combined with.

192eromsted
Edited: Jan 1, 11:28pm Top

which is a good rule of thumb, not combining the singular and plural

Actually, it's a terrible rule of thumb. There are occasional special examples like apple and apples where one word has a special meaning. But for the most part singulars and plurals are used interchangeably. In this case one might imagine a distinction between comparative books on multiple civilizations and books on a single civilization. But no such distinction is apparent in how people actually use the tags.

Certainly one should not automatically combine singular and plural forms as there may be unexpected surprises in meaning and use. But it is equally silly to oppose combining such tags as a general rule.

193jjwilson61
Jan 1, 10:28pm Top

192> Actually, it's a terrible rule of thumb.

I have often thought so. I can't even remember if I tagged my computer books with computer or computers.

194gilroy
Jan 2, 7:26am Top

I think it's a perfect rule of thumb. Just like I agree with don't combine acronyms with the full word.

195eromsted
Jan 2, 8:35am Top

>194 gilroy:
Would you care to say why?

196gilroy
Jan 2, 8:46am Top

For the reasons it has always existed.
A singluar doesn't mean the same as a plural.

Using the most recent as a example:
Ancient Civilization refers to just one group of people.
Ancient Civilizations refers to all the older groups of people.

Not the same.

But then I also look at the combinations and don't judge just based on the books within them, but also what the phrase says. So word order means as much to me as the words themselves.

Punctuation is also another of those sticky situations. A colon changes the meaning of the tag, in my mind.

197AndreasJ
Jan 2, 9:03am Top

196 > Lots of instances of "Ancient Civilizations" are on books that patently aren't about all the older groups of people, while conversely many books tagged "Ancient Civilization" deal with multiple groups. So I'm going to go descriptive here and assert you're just wrong about the distinction in meaning.

198eromsted
Jan 2, 9:10am Top

And yet when people tag ancient civilizations is frequently use on books about just one civilization and ancient civilization is frequently used on books about several civilizations. The asserted difference in meaning does not exist in practice.

Tag combining is tag combining. It is not the creation of a general dictionary of equivalent terms. Meaning is only relevant in the context of book tagging and this is best found by looking at the books being tagged. To make decisions based on other hypothetical meanings not evident in how people actually tag is to frustrate the purpose of tag combining.

199PolymathicMonkey
Jan 2, 9:41am Top

To make decisions based on other hypothetical meanings not evident in how people actually tag is to frustrate the purpose of tag combining.

Except the people in this group, who are most of the people doing the voting, focus near entirely on the hypothetical potential uses of a tag and not what's actually in it at the moment, but what could be in it.

200gilroy
Jan 2, 10:39am Top

#198

And this is exactly why we have a voting system and not just a computer saying "Yup. These two belong." Differences of opinion so that majority rules.

It happens.

201eromsted
Edited: Jan 3, 7:42pm Top

202Edward
Jan 19, 3:37pm Top

"F-4 Phantom" is a shortened form of "F-4 Phantom II", and does not indicate an earlier model of aeroplane. (The original Phantom aeroplane was in fact the "FH-1 Phantom" – see Wikipedia.)

203lilithcat
Jan 19, 8:09pm Top

> 203

On that subject, correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume that the "McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom" is the same as the "F-4 Phantom"?

204Lyndatrue
Jan 20, 12:19am Top

203 > yes, those (McD F4 Phantom and F4 Phantom) are the same thing.

205gilroy
Jan 27, 2:08pm Top

Question: There is a propsal to link Yangtze and Yangtze River... Is there a providence in China known as Yangtze?

206lilithcat
Jan 27, 2:12pm Top

I wondered that myself, but, after a bit of Googling, can't find any other usage.

On the other hand, there is also a proposal to link "Kalahari" with "Kalahari Desert", and there do seem to be quite a few other uses for "Kalahari".

207AndreasJ
Jan 27, 3:07pm Top

Acc'd to Wikipedia, "Yangtze" (pinyin Yangzi) once refered to a ferry crossing in Yangzhou. But that seems very unlikely to be used as a tag.

I threw in a combination proposal for Yangtze River and Chang Jiang (the river's official Chinese name).

208gilroy
Feb 10, 2:46pm Top

Normally, I don't question some of these things that come up for vote, but this one has me stumped.

Someone wants to separate Giallo http://www.librarything.com/tag/Giallo from giallo http://www.librarything.com/tag/giallo&norefer=1. Caps vs non caps. It's a foreign word to me, so I'm tempted to say undecided and move on, but I wanted to hear the reasoning...

209eromsted
Edited: Feb 10, 2:56pm Top

>208 gilroy:
See the discussion starting here. Giallo is combined with various versions of "detective novel". It has been argued that the Italian term does not have the same meaning and usage as the English terms. It would be nice to be able to separate Giallo and leave the rest combined. But Giallo is the most common, making it difficult to separate. As a technical test, I proposed a separation of a version of the tag differing in caps to see if it would separate the dominant tag from the rest in one shot. Of course, with all the no votes we probably won't get to find out.

210gilroy
Feb 10, 3:27pm Top

Ah, okay, read the discussion and see what's going on. Got it.

212PolymathicMonkey
Feb 23, 5:13am Top

Probably because singular and plural are "supposed to" be separate. I don't know if this is an official rule or something some consensus was reached on in the past or what but, that's why.

213countrylife
Mar 13, 9:10am Top

Tags: 2014CC and 14 in 14

I didn't know that the combiners had a dedicated thread for advocating "Yes" votes, so I had started a new topic about the above tags here.

I appreciate the answers I was given there, but am reposting here in the hopes that more of your group will see it and help us garner more "Yes" votes!

:::

RE: "hailelib has proposed combining the tags 14 in 14 and 2014CC."

I'm here to advocate for combination. These tags (along with 2014 CC) are what the readers in the 2014 Category Challenge group use to tag their books for the category challenges.

This is the thread where we discussed tags to use in the category challenge.
This is the thread where hailelib let us know that she proposed the tag combination.

Do you know of any other uses to which these particular tags are put, that should prevent their combination?

Thank you for considering this!

214anglemark
Mar 13, 9:46am Top

2014CC is a common abbreviation for the 2014 Volkswagen CC Sedan. I doubt many people would tag their books with it, though, but it's not inconceivable.

14 in 14 seems to be a common abbreviation for all sorts of challenges relating to achieveing 14 of something during the current year, I find when googling.

215PolymathicMonkey
Mar 13, 10:10am Top

And what do you find when you actually look on LT? The ridiculous "it's possible that some day one person might potentially conceive of using Tag X to mean Word Y" notions that abound in this group are so far beyond reason I can't even fathom.

216lilithcat
Mar 13, 10:19am Top

When I "actually look on LT", I cannot tell the reason someone is using those tags. Unlike, a tag such as "Literature-Italian", the connection between "2014CC" or "14 in 14" and the books given those tags is not obvious. So I have no reason to assume that they are all part of a challenge group.

217anglemark
Mar 13, 10:46am Top

#215 by PolymathicMonkey> I agree. I just tried to see if I could find any conceivable reasons. I would vote yes to combining.

218BookLizard
Mar 14, 1:06am Top

Maybe a short history of the group would help? It started back in 2008 as the "888 Challenge" with the goal of reading 8 books in each of 8 different categories in 2008. In 2009 it was the "999 Challenge." Some people felt 100 books were too many to read in a year, so in 2010 it became the "1010 Category Challenge" with however many books in 10 categories in 2010. In 2011 it became the "11 in 11 Category Challenge" because the "1111 Category Challenge" looks silly. (OK, I may have made that part up, but it does!) 2012 was the "12 in 12 Category Challenge," then it changed to the "2013 Category Challenge" dropping the 13 category requirement. So now, some people use the 2014CC tag because it fits the current name of the group, but the traditionalists who still strive for 14 books in 14 categories use the "14 in 14" tag.

So more people are using the 2014CC tag, but the people who use "14 in 14" are using their tag more because they're planning to read 196 books this year. But it's all the same group and the people who care about tags and stats and tracking what's popular in the group would like the tags combined.

219cbl_tn
Mar 14, 7:00am Top

I don't believe there is anyone outside of the 2014 Category Challenge group who is using either tag (14 in 14 or 2014CC). The combination would be extremely useful for group members, and it won't harm anyone outside of the group.

220lilithcat
Mar 14, 9:29am Top

We're over 200 posts, so I'm continuing this in another thread.

This topic was continued by Tags to click "Yes" on (3).

Group: Combiners!

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