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Plural of "kimono"[edit]

Swept from User talk:Ineffablebookkeeper

@Ineffablebookkeeper: I see you've been updating a bunch of pages to replace the word "kimonos" with "kimono", but I'm going to have to disagree with you. On WP this was discussed at w:Talk:Kimono#Plural of kimono is kimonos back around 2007, and I have to agree that the situation hasn't changed since then. Searching a handful of dictionaries online, all but one I checked list only "kimonos" as the plural. The sole exception is wikt:kimono, which lists both, but "kimonos" is first (meaning it's more common or preferred), and I'll point out there is no discussion on that entry's talk page and no references for the commonness of that plural. Jisho's entry on kimono also notes that "the standard plural of the word kimono in English is kimonos", and "kimono" as a plural is "sometimes used".

Personally, to my ear "kimono" as the English plural sounds odd and confusing, and "kimonos" sounds correct (and I'm somewhat fluent in Japanese, so that's despite being comfortable with the lack of plurals in Japanese and not just monolingualism at play). Why? Because English is a weird language full of exceptions, but it's the language we're stuck with.

Anyway, I think we ought to stick with that usage and use "kimonos" for the plural. --Bigpeteb (talk) 17:00, 8 September 2020 (UTC)

Hiya - I remember a bit of a to-do over the plural when I began editing the article over at wikipedia myself. I don't think it was posted on the talk page, but I have to say - as someone who's been involved with the kimono enthusiast community (which is, surprisingly, a thing) since about 2015, I'm the opposite - we use an awful lot of Japanese language terms, but I can't honestly say I've seen more than a small handful of people using "kimonos" before now.
Of all the English-language books on the subject that I've got - Peter MacIntosh's translation of The World of Traditional Japanese Hairstyles, Liza Dalby's 1983 book Geisha, Sheila Cliffe's 2017 book The Social Life of Kimono - I've not seen it pluralised that way even once.
You're right, English is a terrible language with wonky rules that make no sense, but coming from the angle of specialising in this stuff, I have to plead the opposite - though thank you for reaching out, I appreciate it, as not all people do :) --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 17:10, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
Well, I'm afraid that with 45,000,000 search results for "kimonos" with an S and 10 dictionaries that list only "kimonos" as the plural (count 'em! [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]) I'm going to have to continue to disagree on this point. I'm not sure what "bit of a to-do over the plural" you might be referring to, since the only discussion I saw on the WP talk page is the one I linked from 2007-2009, and the only relevant edit I see is a single one of yours which is from a decade later and doesn't appear to have been discussed anywhere. It looks like more of a unilateral change you made which no one has gotten around to questioning. (No offense... I know sometimes that's just how things happen on wikis. My point is just that your change was counter to the consensus from 10 years ago, and I don't see where that change was discussed or agreed upon.)
I'll grant that you may be correct that within the fashion industry "kimono" is the standard plural; a search for some books finds that almost all of them use "kimono" for the plural (but not all of them: ISBN 9780968790601, [11], and [12]). When you get outside of fashion, though, there are more publications that use "kimonos" as the plural: [13] [14].
Regardless, this is WV, and what's appropriate for an encyclopedia such as WP is not the same as what's appropriate for a travel guide that uses casual language. To the average person, I think "kimonos" is both acceptable and standard. Maybe in our Kimono buying guide it would be okay to use "kimono" as the plural (and if so I would want to add a note explaining this), but not in the rest of our articles we shouldn't assume readers are familiar with the peculiarities of a particular industry.
If you still don't agree, I guess we should take this elsewhere. WV:Spelling is probably the obvious place, but if it doesn't generate a lot of discussion there then it wouldn't hurt to list it on WV:RFC or the pub. --Bigpeteb (talk) 23:45, 8 September 2020 (UTC)
No response from User:Ineffablebookkeeper yet, but I figured this was worth getting other opinions on, so I swept it here. --Bigpeteb (talk) 00:24, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
I agree with using plain English in this case, and that means "kimonos".--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:49, 16 September 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Ineffablebookkeeper that I've heard "kimono" used for both singular and plural much more often. When I type here, the grammar checker seems to recognize both kimono and kimonos as accurate plurals, and that seems to be correct. Even in thinking of examples. "There were racks of kimono lining the walls." sounds better than "kimonos", but "All of her kimonos were beautiful." sounds better than "kimono". I'd say it doesn't matter that much, but we don't need a user purposefully changing all of the occurrences from one to the other. ChubbyWimbus (talk) 12:25, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

Even though I'd have to say I'd still plump for it being both singular and plural, I think @ChubbyWimbus: is probably right. I hadn't thought about the Plain English angle myself. For use on Wikipedia proper, kimono - based on specialist sources particular to the study of kimono - is something I'm going to stand by, as not every source on kimono is entirely accurate, but for a travel wiki where clarity is key, then some instances of "kimonos" will work fine too.

Apologies for the late reply - I have, as it turns out, been unpicking some kimono. --Ineffablebookkeeper (talk) 18:10, 17 September 2020 (UTC)

Variant of English in Oceania[edit]

@SHB2000: Before we change the policy to say that Australian English is the variety used across Oceania, I'd like to discuss this, and I think it is reasonable to ask for some evidence that this is actually the case. I do not agree that proximity to Australia is evidence. Rather than using conjecture, let's see some evidence from these countries, such as style guides, or usage by government and media. Ground Zero (talk) 00:04, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

I'm sure our Kiwi friends will be flabbergasted to learn that they speak Aussie English. As will many others in Oceania. Nelson Ricardo (talk) 00:15, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
With the exception of new Zealand and its colonies/territories, all of the other countries speak Australian english. (Especially, Nauru, Fiji, PNG, Tuvalu, and the Solomon Islands) SHB2000 (talk) 00:51, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Could you point us to a source that supports that? Thanks. Ground Zero (talk) 01:06, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I don't have a certain source other than the fact that most were all once Australian colonies or have heavy dependence on Australia. Also a fact they they teach this (about where Australian english is used in) in Australian primary schools. SHB2000 (talk) 01:10, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I am surprised that it is so difficult to find online confirmation of something taught in primary schools. You'd think that sort of thing would be repeated all over the place. The Wikipedia article on w:Australian English doesn't mention use in other countries. Wikipedia says that Fijian English is a thing, and it doesn't suggest any particular commonality with Australian English. Wikipedia isn't always right, of course, so I'll keep looking at other sources, and ask you to do the same. Primary school teachers aren't a reliable source, either. The International Dialects of English Archive has dialect recordings for four regions in "Australia-Oceania": Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and PNG, which suggests that they are different dialects. Ground Zero (talk) 02:01, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Agree with you on the primary school teachers one. But I don't really mind British spelling at all really, the only thing different would be the slangs (Cuppa, servo) and the -se and -ze endings. SHB2000 (talk) 02:19, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I'd like you to substantiate that "these were all once Australian colonies or have heavy dependence on Australia". Nouvelle Caledonie? Tahiti? American Samoa? Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:49, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Reworded it. SHB2000 (talk) 03:07, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
But in NC, patients with serious illness get transported here, or if they have to do surgery. SHB2000 (talk) 03:08, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I travelled to Fiji a few years ago but sadly don't remember any peculiarities of the English variety they used there. It was broadly speaking "Commonwealth" but can't nail it down any further. Australian and New Zealand English is mostly identical to British anyway. The main difference in spelling that comes to mind is using the American program instead of programme. Many terms are also closer to the US than UK like truck instead of lorry. There are words that are completely different in Australian/New Zealand English, sometimes more archaic than their US/UK counterparts. For example, "gaol" is still a legitimate spelling of jail. Anyway, we fall under the trap of navel-gazing and wasting time when we debate what the standard is when only a handful of words in the formal varieties of English mentioned here are different, and are unlikely to appear in a travel guide. Gizza (roam) 05:30, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
The thing main difference is the -ze is some cases like sanitize but -se in others like personalise. Confusing. SHB2000 (talk) 07:11, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Both the'-ise' and '-ize' endings are acceptable in British English, and a fair amount of the slang (including "cuppa") is the same.

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── But back to this, wouldn't it make most sense for the notices on Fiji, Samoa and any other English-speaking country to read "Use Fijian / Samoan English"?--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 08:14, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

How on Earth will most editors know what Fijian or Samoan English are? I think we're getting too specialized. More people literate in English probably know the basics of American and British English than any other systems of English spelling. Can we back up a little and make things more user-friendly, at least with clear explanations that, say "written Fijian English is very similar to British English"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:06, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Most editors writing about Fiji and Samoa will probably know what they are; if you think people who don't are not capable of using their initiative to find out, then an explanation as you suggest could work.
It just seems odd to impose a foreign variety of English on a country that already speaks English natively.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:12, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I now feel very guilty that I brought this up. Anyway, I've reverted all of them to Brit English except PNG (colony til the 70s), Nauru (same plus Australian detention centre), Solomon Islands (read this) and Tuvalu (basically they use everything Australia; another Christmas Island plus most of their imports are from Australia). Lets end this for good without restoring into arguments. SHB2000 (talk) 09:24, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I disagree that most people who've visited Fiji and the independent country of Samoa will know the ins and outs of the local dialects and spelling. I'm not suggesting "impos[ing] a foreign variety of English on a country that already speaks English natively"; I'm suggesting that people who visited a country are likely to be frustrated by being expected to know a variety of English they don't know. If someone uses the dialect of English they know and some Samoan or expat who's lived there for x-number of years wants to edit their English, fine, but let's avoid being user-unfriendly. Also, do we want all articles about India to be in Indian English, using the Indian forms of numbering with their idiosyncratic placement of comma separators and unexplained use of words like "crore"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:12, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
I mean, there are probably more speakers of Indian English than British, Irish, Canadian, Australian, South African and New Zealand English put together, so maybe. Who's to say what's idiosyncratic or not? We don't even get away with unexplained use of "chips" and "petrol station" on UK, so unexplained crore might be a bridge too far! I have no idea off the top of my head what the characteristics of South African English are, but apparently we recommend using it in South Africa articles (on this page, but not on Talk:South Africa, so one of the two is wrong). It just seems odd that some countries get to have their own Englishes recommended, and others don't.
Just for clarity, I'm not suggesting that you specifically are suggesting we impose a foreign variety of English on a country, but the infobox that says "Please use British spelling" on e.g. Talk:Fiji is mandating the use of a foreign dialect. If we're okay with doing that to make life easier for editors, then fine, but let's not pretend that's not what we're doing. Or we can do as you suggested, and put "Please use Fijian spelling (similar to British spelling)", and writers can just do their best.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 20:58, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
To my knowledge, current and former British colonies like Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands will use British spelling, while current and former American colonies like Palau, the Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia will use American spelling. My experience is that Australia and New Zealand also basically follow British spelling. There may be some vocabulary differences, but my experience is that generally speaking, Australian English is closer to British than to American, and when it comes to spelling, British conventions are followed. The dog2 (talk) 21:17, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── An important clarification here: we are providing advice on the spelling here, not on writing in dialect. The dialect we use should, ideally, be one that is as neutral as possible so that readers can understand it most easily, with local words thrown in for colour, and explained where necessary.

W:South African English doesn't address spelling. On the talk page, there is a comment that SA uses British spelling. Changing that to "South African" spelling is of no benefit. For that matter, if there are no substative variations from British spelling in Fiji, New Zealand, etc., then I think we stick with British spelling, which is a commonly understood term.

The US, Canada and Australia have developed their own spelling conventions, as identified in the corresponding Wikipedia articles, which we should try to follow. I don't know that India has, and I don't believe that other English-speaking countries have. Unless there is evidence that any country has, let's keep it simple. Ground Zero (talk) 21:26, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

PNG follows Australian english as it was basically part of Australia for 30 ish years. SHB2000 (talk) 21:55, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Very good points made by Dog and GZ.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:11, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

So we're leaving it as British English. (except PNG and Nauru) SHB2000 (talk) 22:42, 15 April 2021 (UTC)