Disputatio:Foramen vermis

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Vermiforamen[fontem recensere]

Foramen vermis does not sound to me like the best possible translation. Latin can create compound words exactly like English does (well, with a couple more rules to follow…). All we have to do is to take the root verm-, add to it the connecting vowel -i-, and finally add the last word, -foramen, thus obtaining vermiforamen. See armisonus, absinthifolius, soliloquium and undisonus for similar formations. --Grufo (disputatio) 17:34, 4 Maii 2020 (UTC)

I have not found any source for Foramen vermis. Moved to Vermiforamen. --Grufo (disputatio) 15:31, 7 Maii 2020 (UTC)
"Latin can", if a higher authority says so, but Vicipaedia can't. "Wikipedia is not for things made up one day". We don't make up words: we wait for reliable sources to do it for us. So "Vermiforamen" won't work for us (yet). Let's move at once, but not necessarily for the last time!
I have moved temporarily to "Vermiculatum", which exists and hasn't been used as a substantive in any other sense so far as I know. This may well not meet with others' approval. "Foramen vermiculatum" is a possibility. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:10, 13 Maii 2020 (UTC)
I agree, however, that "foramen vermis" was no good. To move away from that pagename was correct. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:27, 13 Maii 2020 (UTC)
I'd have suggested foramen or cavum or cuniculus, or even iter or via, scil. lumbricalis or vermium (given the English, the singular vermis looks wrong), but why not leave the article here and see what turns up. Since astrophysicists' wormhole refers to holes made by worms, maybe some zoological authority will be found to have used a suitable term in the Latin description of some taxon or other. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 12:46, 13 Maii 2020 (UTC)

Does the Latin name have to conform to the English name or its definition? It is really a tunnel, a passageway. [1] The English name is clearly a misnomer.--Jondel (disputatio) 03:31, 16 Maii 2020 (UTC)

Yes, it is a misnomer, you're right! Whether we believe in the whole idea or not, very very few of us believe that worms are involved. And you're surely right too that there's no need to imitate the English expression. Let's create a brief, descriptive Latin expression for a space/time passageway. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 07:50, 16 Maii 2020 (UTC)
It's a technical term, no matter how metaphorical, and other languages recognize that fact by preserving the metaphor in the calques they've invented for it:
  • Dutch: wormgat ("worm-hole," scil. 'wormhole')
  • Esperanto: vermotruo ("worm-hole," scil 'wormhole')
  • French: trou de ver ("hole of worm," scil. 'wormhole')
  • German Wurmloch ("worm-hole," scil. 'wormhole')
  • Portuguese: buraco de minhoca ("hole of worm," scil. 'wormhole')
  • Romanian: gaură de vierme ("hole of worm," scil. 'wormhole')
  • Spanish: agujero de gusano ("hole of worm," scil. 'wormhole')
So Latin phrases like foramen vermium and foramen lumbricale (and others) would echo that process. Surely by now an appropriate phrase has turned up in Ephemeris, or Finnish radio, or some other modern authority? IacobusAmor (disputatio) 12:01, 16 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Foramen vermis is from the undersigned's pen in iter transtemporale. I'd like to know what's wrong with it (except for lacking a supreme source — a problem that besets all proposals). It's a scientific metaphor, shared by tout le monde, and formally, it accords with other wikis in the above list. Why should it be foramen vermium, contrary to Romance languages? Vermiforamen looks like being a formation with which Plautus would have amused his public. Armisonus is not a relevant parallel; armipotentia would be a bit closer. I have no objection to foramen vermiculatum, if foramen vermis is objectionable (but why? I'm interested.). Neander (disputatio) 14:58, 16 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Why? I'd guess because the English objective genitive is singular in form but often plural in reference. I'd also guess that this may not be intuitively obvious to nonnative speakers of English, especially native speakers of languages that don't indulge so readily in compounding. A foramen vermis is 'a worm's hole'; no doubt about that!—but at least in my idiolect, that's not quite a 'wormhole'. (Where are the other worms? Where's the general worminess?) A snake charmer charms multiple snakes, not just the one coiling here before us; to translate his profession into noncompounding languages, we have to understand that he's a "charmer of snakes," not just of one of them. A shipbuilder builds ships, not just the one sailing there on the horizon; a crime solver solves crimes; a bird dog retrieves birds. A beehive is a hive of bees, a picket fence is made up of pickets, a violin section is made up of violins. A football is for feet, eyeglasses are for eyes, a handball is for hands, a train station is for trains. As for other holes: an eyehole is for eyes (usually one at a time), a keyhole is for keys (usually one at a time), a manhole is for men (usually one at a time), a pigeonhole is for pigeons (usually one at a time); but then again, a borehole is the result of boring, a swimminghole is for swimming, and (great fun!) a loophole is a hole for (archaically!) louping (watching, peering). Compounding is a messy art! Surely linguists have produced monographs on the subject. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 17:30, 16 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Re: "I'd also guess that this may not be intuitively obvious to nonnative speakers of English." It's not even obvious to some native speakers of English. In trade union, you see the traditional form; but some English-speakers (mainly in Britain?), not understanding that trade there comprehends multiple trades, prefer to say trades union. Also (standard) drug policy, but (in Britain?) drugs policy. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 17:30, 16 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Iacobe, thanks for putting your mind to my question. I agree with your guess ("because the English objective genitive is singular in form but often plural in reference"). Notice, though, that this principle (singular in form, plural in reference) carries over to many other languages; cf. Spanish agujero de gusano, Portuguese buraco de minhoca, and why not Latin foramen vermis. Indeed, why should Latin be different? What you say about eyehole: "an eyehole is for eyes (usually one at a time)," obviouslyly holds for earhole, too, which is, according to Celsus, foramen auris. I still fail to understand what's wrong with foramen vermis. Neander (disputatio) 06:36, 17 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Latin foramen auris can indeed be 'hole of the ear', but a wormhole isn't a 'hole of the worm'. Maybe Spanish can be comfortable with agujero de gusano ('wormhole') because it has a usefully contrastive pair of syntactical structures: if it wants to specify a hole made by a particular worm (the one wriggling away over there!), [I think] it can say agujero del gusano 'worm's hole', 'hole of the worm'; note the contrast of de (preposition) and del (preposition + article). As with agujero de gusano, the absence of an article in gusano de seda 'silkworm', gusano de harina 'mealworm', gusano de tubo 'tubeworm' isn't an accident. Articles aren't available in Latin to serve in that way—by being absent where their presence would change the meaning. So how else can Latin make a contrast between the general and the specific? ¶ However, even these Spanish musings are problematic in light of the variation evident between Spanish Día de Muertos ('Dead-Day' = 'Day of the Dead') and Día de los Muertos ('Day of the Dead', which some consider a Spanish back-formation from the English). Lots of questions here, too little time! ¶ How about the French? Do we have the same difference between trou de ver and trou du ver? ¶ These points will be moot as soon as someone find a plausible rendition of wormhole in an authoritative publication, such as those cited above, especially if the text shows an understanding that "a particular worm's hole" is a different idea from "a wormhole." If the term is foramen vermis, so be it! IacobusAmor (disputatio) 13:26, 17 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Addendum on the usefulness of definite articles (and what their absence can sometimes imply for Latin): I emailed the cited Spanish examples to two native-speaking friends, one from Mexico and one from Uruguay; both agreed that while gusano de seda means 'silkworm', gusano de la seda might mean 'a worm made out of silk', and the Uruguayan added that it might also mean 'worm on silk'. The other examples seemed less plausible. IacobusAmor (disputatio) 21:51, 17 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Iacobe, I'm afraid that your Spanish musings go beyond the point. Latin is a language without articles, and therefore it wields its own strategies that are best considered textually. It's hardly pertinent here to delve into this issue. But let's specify the genitive. In Latin, the compound foramen auris/vermis consists of the head or nucleus foramen (meaning 'foramen') which is determined or qualified by the genitive auris/vermis (meanng 'auris'/'vermis'). This is an example of genetivus definitivus, which establishes a (determinative) conceptual relation between the compound parts. Thus, foramen vermis is virtually synonymous with foramen vermiculatum. Functionally, it corresponds to Engl. tatpuruṣa-like compound earhole/wormhole. Neander (disputatio) 07:20, 19 Maii 2020 (UTC)
I feel a bit sorry now about my impatient dismissal of "Foramen vermis" (far above). I never bothered to say why I didn't like it. Among the reasons at the back of my mind were certainly (a) as Iacobus puts it, "a wormhole isn't a 'hole of the worm'"; (b) as Jondel puts it, what we're discussing "is really ... a passageway". For reason (b), even when we agree on the ideal Latin term for holes made by worms, we won't have got the concept we're actually getting at into a Latin reader's head. Our pagename will be an enigma, and that's not what they are supposed to be. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:48, 17 Maii 2020 (UTC)
OK, then, "passagium" being incurably medieval, I propose "Via transtemporalis". ("Transtemporalis" admittedly exists in two senses: the other has to do with brain surgery.) Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 14:24, 17 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Andrew, I'm afraid that via transtemporalis misses the wittiness of the metaphor: a worm travelling on the surface of an apple that represents the universe; the distance between two opposite points of the apple is equal to half of its circumference if the worm moves on the surface of the apple; if instead the worm digs a hole through the apple, the distance that it must travel to reach the opposite point becomes shorter. Neander (disputatio) 07:43, 19 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I'm afraid it does. It loses the metaphor, tout court, because (so far as I know) the metaphor doesn't exist in Latin, and therefore, used as a pagename in Latin, it becomes an enigma. It would be fine and dandy to borrow it from other languages and explain it in our text, offering our best Latin translation. I wish we would, and then maybe one of those respectable websites that already cite our "Iter transtemporale" would take "foramen vermis" (or whatever we say) from our text, and discuss it, and thus dignify it for our future use as a pagename. From that moment onwards, even the older versions of this page will be listed under the new title, and time will have gone backwards. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:28, 20 Maii 2020 (UTC)
I don't suppose anyone likes "Passagium transtemporale"? I know "passagium" as the term for the sea route taken by Crusaders and pilgrims (I haven't looked for other uses of the word). To adopt it here would be a tiny bit of a metaphor, therefore, but one whose meaning the untutored reader could hardly miss. Probably, when wormholes are found, Crusaders will use them all the time. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 13:11, 20 Maii 2020 (UTC)

I can see no other choice that's likely to gain consensus, so I'll move back to Foramen vermis which does undeniably mean what the English word means. Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 17:39, 22 Maii 2020 (UTC)

De eruditis[fontem recensere]

An eruditi omnes vermiculata exstare consentiunt, in dubio sum. Si sic, necesse erit fontem citare. Si non, alio modo scribere oportet. Ad interim "eruditos optimistas" scripsi :) Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:24, 13 Maii 2020 (UTC)

Vermiculatum vs. vermiforamen[fontem recensere]

Sorry guys, I have seen this discussion only now (how do we do in Latin Wikipedia what we do in the English Wikipedia with Template:Reply to?).


“"Latin can", if a higher authority says so, but Vicipaedia can't.”: The previous name, foramen vermis was a “made up” translation exactly like vermiforamen, but with the important difference that foramen vermis would be translated as “hole of the worm”, while vermiforamen would be translated as “hole of worm”, “worm-hole”. A correction was necessary.

“Whether we believe in the whole idea or not, very very few of us believe that worms are involved.”: Exactly. And so does that happen in the English “wormhole”, so a translation has to preserve this feeling of “ironical misnomer”.

I think that there are just two possibilities here:

  • We find a source for an appropriate translation
  • We don't find a source for an appropriate translation

In the first case we adopt the source. In the second case I think it is our duty to use the closest possible translation to the English “wormhole”.

“(Foramen) vermiculatum” is incorrect because it means “worm-eaten”. In this context it could be applied at most to the spacetime, but not to the wormhole itself. So for example we could say that a region were there are many vermiforamina the spacetime is vermiculatum (adjective!), worm-eaten, full of wormholes. But it is definitely not the wormhole itself to be vermiculatum, as in the suggested foramen vermiculatum.

Until we find a source I would suggest we move it back to the literal calque, vermiforamen, which literally means and would be understood as “wormhole”. --Grufo (disputatio) 11:26, 20 Maii 2020 (UTC)

I agree that "vermiculatum" won't do. I only intended it as a basis for restarting discussion, which has, luckily, happened.
Using the pagename you suggest would require a change in our general policy, which should be discussed as such, here for example.
You might enjoy Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae book 11 chapter 16. It's relevant, I think. It's amusing, whether relevant or not! Andrew Dalby (disputatio) 12:51, 20 Maii 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, Andrew, I think I will enjoy reading Gellius. As for the change in the policy, I believe that this is one of the cases were it would not be necessary. “Wormhole” is a made-up word even in English, and especially in names where some kind of irony is involved you want to preserve them as close as possible to the original form (think for example that in Italian we normally call it directly “wormhole”, using the English word, since Italian is way more adverse than English or Latin to creating compound words – the ones that we have normally come directly from Latin – and any longer translation would miss the metaphor). In the incipit we could even mention the English word as a Latin indeclinable word together with vermiforamen: “Vermiforamen, vel wormhole (indecl.), vel pons Einsteino–Rosenianus (Anglice wormhole)”. But the pagename in my opinion should be Vermiforamen. --Grufo (disputatio) 13:20, 20 Maii 2020 (UTC)
I have read Gellius' chapter now. It's very interesting to read the point of view of a Latin speaker, and I definitely agree that Latin compared to most of Indo-European languages is relatively poor in creating compound words (although it does create them when it needs to, and many have been created also after the fall of the Empire). But we are talking about science here, science and modernity. Think about the many Latin neologisms that are continuously created in botany and biology. This would not even be that extreme. --Grufo (disputatio) 13:30, 20 Maii 2020 (UTC)