Disputatio:Systema internationale unitatum

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Avitus, why change names to neuter? Do you have a source or citation supporting these changes? Also Frequentia has a different meaning in latin than in romance languages. The proper latin word is crebritas.--130.215.96.195 12:41, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't Amperius be the man himself (Mr. Ampère), while Amperium would be something named after him? Likewise Hertzius and Hertzium and so on? Thus we have einsteinium (the element), named after a presumed Einsteinius (the man). IacobusAmor 12:53, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I fixed it to be consistently neuter for all the units named after men with names ending -us but how about the unit Tesla? Teslum? And if you consider a feminine unit like Tesla to be ok why isn't a masculine unit ok too? What's wrong with Amperius as a unit?--Rafaelgarcia 16:20, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
As I was saying on my user's page, I have to go now (I'm late already) for a weekend away from the computer. I will explain about the -ium (not just -um) ending when I come back. Also about frequentia. Basically, what we cannot forget is that, whatever classical word we may think would better convey a concept, the fact is that there is a century long tradition of science literature in Latin that we cannot turn our back on. Newton wrote in Latin, as many other scientist, and it's not for us to decide how a physical magnitude should be called. They already have an established Latin name. See you after the weekend. 91.104.103.14 18:11, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
If you have a source to cite for frequentia, we would all be happy for it. I have seached and have not found one. On the other hand, every dictionary I have gives crebritas as the correct translation for frequency.--Rafaelgarcia 19:42, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I couldn't help myself. I had to come back to this. The term "frequentia" is applied to things happening frequently in time already in classical times (cf. OLD frequentia 5) although you are right that "crebritas" also has that meaning. It is the word "frequentia" though that displays an increasing frequency along the history of the Latin language and By the 17th century we find it well established in technical literature with a special reference to periodical phenomena in the sense we are talking about here. One of the most frequent uses initially is in medicine and in reference to the beating of the pulse: "frequentia pulsús/pulsuum". A Google search of those phrases will provide you with several instances from good scientific Latin. No instance is retrieved of any "*crebritas* pulsús". From cases like the "frequentia pulsús", the term passes on to other technical sciences (physics, electricity) with reference to cyclical phenomena (the expression "pulsus electricus" itself is not unknown as you are surely aware of). The term "crebritas" never had this evolution nor was used in such contexts. We cannot just disregard the Latin tradition and invent a Latin of our own, however classical it may seem to us. The Latin term for the concept of frequency in physics is "frequentia", and to use "crebritas" in such context is like using in English "crowdedness" or "reiteration". They may mean something similar and might as well have been chosen for the concept, but they weren't, and so they are just not the established technical term we need. More, if needed, at the end of the weekend. Avitus 23:32, 3 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Are both crebritas and frequentia equally correct then? Or should one be preferred? I see that medical doctors in the 16th and 18th century used frequentia so I agree it should at least be admitted as also correct. But it is the use of frequentia to mean frequency that is an odd use of an old word with a perfectly good clear classical meaning. I don't have the OLD. But the dictionaries I have all prefer crebritas and indicate that it specifically means closeness in succession or in space and time while frequentia means crowd or crowdedness as in a physical mob of people. Given this I think that crebritas should still be the preferred physical term although, given the evidence above, frequentia is acceptable as well.By the way, none of the physicists like Newton or Gauss etc appear to have used frequentia--only periodum (which is 1/frequency). This is why I did not find an instance of frequentia when I searched since I never thought of seaching medical items for a scientific term. --Rafaelgarcia 01:44, 4 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Cicero writes (see: M. Tullius Cicero, Letters to Atticus (ed. L. C. Purser) LIBER QVARTVS AD ATTICVM):"sed haec epistularum frequentia non tam ubertate sua quam crebritate delectavit." which Evelyn Shuckburgh translates "But this constant supply of your letters did not give me so much pleasure by the richness of their contents as by their frequency." I think this sentence summarizes beautifully the difference in Latin between frequentia and crebritas. It's a distinction that is very important to emphasize. Furthermore, upon searching the medical literature online the term "frequentia pulsus" always occurs as a two word phrase--this technical term can as readily be translated as "the concourse of pulses" instead of "frequency of pulses". Thus I am removing "frequentia" from the SI page as a possible synomym of "crebritas". Of course the term frequentia pulsus should be explained and cited in the forthcoming (at some point forthcoming anyway) page Crebritas.--Rafaelgarcia 00:53, 7 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
The problem you (and not a few other people not sufficiently acquainted with the Latin language but eager to use Latin anyway) have is that you fall into the temptation to completely disregard the Latin tradition and think we have some kind of right to guess how we believe Cicero would call a given concept if he was to come back to life today skipping the whole history of western civilisation. Well, we cannot start the Latin language anew as if no history, and no history of the Latin language in particular, had taken place between Cicero and us. What you are doing is like saying that we shouldn't use the non-classical word 'Ecclesia' (and no, I'm no Christian, it's just an example) but look at the word Cicero in correct classical Latin would have used instead (the exact equivalent of Greek 'ecclesia' being Latin 'concilium') and so call the Church the "Concilium" in our ever so "pure" version of modern classical Latin. Well, it's not a matter of how precisely you think a word names a concept or how important a distinction or other is to be emphasised in your personal opinion (in fact what you say about crebritas and frequentia in Cicero no one denies), but of what the history of that specific specialised term is in the Latin language as it is. In Latin, "Ecclesia" is the word for the Church, not Concilium; and, in Latin, "frequentia" is the word for frequency in physics, and not crebritas. And the way Cicero does or does not use those words has little to do with it, because he knew neither about the history of the Christian religion nor about that of modern physics. Now, this is a free encyclopedia, so you, and/or anyone after you, can remove any correct word and use whichever other you believe would have better conveyed the concept in classical Latin in spite of the extant Latin tradition being otherwise. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to have a battle with every single person over every single wrongly used Latin word in this encyclopedia. If my improvements are reverted, so be it. I only have so much time. Erasmus already wrote very clearly about all these misconceptions regarding Latin. It would be pointless for me to write his thousands of pages here all over again everytime someone thinks they have a better flair of Latin than the Latin language attests. I recommend reading Erasmus directly. In the meantime, I'm sorry to express my disappointment; but, as I said, I cannot have a fully-fledged philological discussion everytime someone decides to defend the indefensible. There is just not material time in one life, certainly not in mine. As I said elsewhere, therefore, good luck, and may Latin survive the Latin wikipedia. Avitus 00:39, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I am as interested as the next man in getting it correct, if not more so since I myself am a physicist. But in an encyclopedia the onus is on one to provide sources for our assertions and so far the one source for your assertion that frequentia is a physics term in latin meaning frequency is only the existence of the terms "frequentia pulsus" and "frequentia pulsuum" in the medical literature. That is pretty flimsy evidence, for an encyclopedian to go on. --Rafaelgarcia 04:33, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Really? Well, I may have provided what you call "flimsy" evidence of the use of "frequentia" in Latin scientific literature. You on the other hand have so far provided "no" evidence of the use of "crebritas" in Latin scientific literature. Do you realise that? That's the problem, that here people who are working on their guesses feel entitled to force those who have hard philological data to persuade them through neverending discussions, while themselves resting in no other evidence than their guessings. Such bullying is intolerable. Avitus 09:08, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I myself find it point to bicker over a simple word. Yes, in classical Latin, no concept of frequency in its current sense existed; however, since every on this website seems to be using Latin, must we not consider the possibility that Latin, though it were "dead", can evolve. Actually, as a practical matter it is not dead because the Catholic church uses it and is actively inventing new words. Therefore, in order to solve this spat, why not we just put two words down, acknowledging that one is more modern than the other. The word "freedom" originally existed in English, yet we also borrowed from Latin to make liberty. Does that mean we are going to have a fight over if the Statue of Liberty should be rechristened the Statue of Freedom, no. Therefore, I suggest that the two words be put next to one and other acknowledging that at certain times, they mean the same thing. This steadfastness to what people consider classical Latin is very puzzling to me. Yes, a great civilization existed that created this language, along with many works of literature, mathematics, etc. However, I feel that many of this people are holding the literature they wrote as if it were the only basis of creating modern text. Languages are affected by other languages. If there exists no word in one language but a very convenient in another, it is borrowed. Heck, the word wiki comes from a Hawaiian word that means quick, was converted into the name of WikiWikiWeb. Then that name was used to name wikipedia which was converted int the latin Vicipaedia. Does this mean that we should call the sight celerapaedia or celoxopaedia or even veloxopaedia? No. For Vicipaedia is sufficient. Andy85719 02:47, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
For centuries, students have been taught that the ideal is to write Latin prose using the grammar & vocabulary of the Golden Age. For example, Bradley's Arnold famously says to translate bullets (which of course Golden Age Romans did not have) as if it were arrows. Generally, writers here in Vicipædia appear to be trying to follow the old pedagogy with regard to grammar, but usually not with regard to vocabulary. In the living Latin of the Middle Ages, some masculine nouns became neuter (e.g., mons); duration of time was often rendered by the ablative, not the accusative; partitive constructions were used (ex aqua bibere instead of aquam bibere); suus was confused with eius (and the confusion sometimes arises in Vicipædia!), and hic, is, iste, and ille were used interchangeably; some intransitive verbs became transitive; many deponent verbs gained active forms, and vice versâ; the imperfect & perfect became confused; indirect discourse often involved clauses in the indicative marked with quod or quia instead of infinitive constructions; the subjunctive became a mess; periphrastic expressions proliferated (cantare habes 'you have to sing, you must sing'); and on & on. (I take these examples from Beeson's Primer of Medieval Latin, which lists 114 of them.) All these innovations will be questioned if they appear here in Vicipædia. ¶ The story with vocabulary is different, and noster Avitus is quite right: there's quite a large body of Latin from the past few centuries, and its authors have accommodated all sorts of modern concepts. We don't have to invent terms for Gunpowder Plot and Speaker of the House—because those terms already exist, and have been used by numerous Latin writers for centuries (even if we, in the insufficiency of our experience, don't know them). If frequentia has been established as the word for 'frequency' in physics of the past few hundred years, then it's the word for Vicipædia, and nothing but a mischievous love of archaism is going to bring crebritas back. IacobusAmor 03:34, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
My point is that I dispute any physicist has ever used the word "frequentia" to mean frequency. Other than Avitus' find of the term 'frequentia pulsus' in the medical literature, "frequentia" has never been used by Newton nor Gauss nor Euler nor any other physicist or mathematician. If anyone has ever found frequentia used by a physicist or chemist or mathematician with this meaning I certainly would back down and admit frequentia is correct. My issue is that if there is no unambigous use of frequentia with the meaning of frequency in the literature yet many instances of modern latin literature using crebritas clearly meaning frequency dating to the early part of the the 20th century (Vatican sources especially), why should be use frequentia here??--Rafaelgarcia 04:12, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Very relieved to find that there is a lot of good philological sense among some of our editors (thank you Andy85719 and IacobusAmor), I'll add a couple more of notes. First, that we obviously have a problem in that the use of Latin was almost obliterated for the past couple of centuries, so there will be times when we won't indeed be able to find instances of the exact use we need (which, by the way, hasn't stopped you, and shouldn't indeed stop anyone, from using as unclassical terms as "capacitantia" or the like). In such cases, we can only look for precedents of the usage in the extant Latin literature, plus study the history of scientific vocabulary of other languages, which have for centuries been themselves closely replicating the Latin tradition. Second, that the translation you give by Evelyn Shuckburgh is just a rendering. Cicero's sentence could just as well be translated as "But this frequent supply of your letters did not give me so much pleasure by the richness of their contents as by their abundance in number", or in different other ways conveying a similar meaning (by their amount, by their copiousness, etc). The bottom line is that "frequentia" and "crebritas" are so close synonyms in classical Latin that you are going to find it difficult to prove a given specialisation of sense between them; and that, even if that was possible, neither of them was used in a modern physics specialised sense in any case, so they can hardly be used to substantiate a point in either direction. Third, that my precedent of "frequentia pulsús", although you tried to discard it by giving it an unacceptable English translation (unacceptable because that one is a scientifically specialised term there), is, despite being from the area of medicine in particular rather than that of physics (although isn't medicine part of the physical sciences and weren't indeed medics called physicians for centuries?), so close a precedent, as opposed to your Ciceronian example, that it is in fact possible beyond dispute to trace the origin of the physical term "frequentia" from the "frequentia pulsús" through the evolution of the term "pulsus" from "pulsus venarum" to "pulsus electricus", and the like, as I already explained and as any etymologist and word historian will be able to confirm to you. Fourth, that if you look for any further confirmation, your mention of modern church usage has reminded me of Carolus Egger, the previous head of the Vatican Latin office, after the death of cardinal Bacci, who, in his "Lexicon recentis Latinitatis" (Neues Latein Lexicon, über 15.000 Stichwörter der heutigen Alltagssprache in lateinischer Übersetzung, Bonn, Lempertz, 1988 [the translation I have of the italian original of the Libraria Editoria Vaticana 1992]), clearly says: Frequenz, f frequentia, ae, f [in re technica]. Happier now? Amen. Why is proving the obvious so time consuming in this damned encyclopedia? Avitus 08:54, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Because it isn't and wasn't obvious given the contradiction between this and what available dictionaries state is the preferred translation. Also, as you agree, there are no instances in the physics or math literature. There are also so many examples of bad late latin, as Andrew points out, so one should be especially suspicious of using romance languages as insight into proper latin scientific terminology. I'm ok with using late latin terms that, or coining one's own term, if there isn't any good latin ciceronan latin term already. But if there is a perfectly good ciceronan term, then that one should be preferred.
Andrew makes a wise, necessary and very clear distinction between matters of phonetics, morphology, syntax and style and matters of vocabulary. Also, I'm not using Romance languages per se: I mentioned all languages sharing of the western terminological (i.e. Latin) tradition. As pointed out, among others, the German term is "Frequenz". For a reason. No Romance language involved. It is not a Romance loanword. It is a Latin loanword. Further than that, you don't listen to my arguments: that there is a good Ciceronian term for something (abundance, copiousness, crowdedness, continuity) doesn't mean that that's the best term for something else that was only identified centuries later (physical frequency).
If the use of crebritas is an error than it would have to be corrected throughout the encyclopedia, which is a lot of work. Thus, it is important to verify for *certain* which term is right, wrong or optional. If optional, i.e. if both terms are perfect synonym as you imply, then no changes to the vicipaedia are necessary other than to point out on a particular page, say crebritas, that a synonym exists. On the other hand if crebritas is an error, then radical and time consuming changes are in order.
I imply that both terms are synonyms in non techincal usage (again, as meaning in general abundance, copiousness, crowdedness, continuity, etc.). In technical usage they are not interchangeable, because one is correct and the other is wrong, one is used and the other is not. End of the story. Just as in English you cannot start saying "recurrence" when you mean "frequency", however synonymous they may appear in some contexts or in non techincal usage. Radical and timeconsuming changes are more than in order, I'm afraid.
I have not been convinced by philological "look at the romance languages" argument above, but Egger is a much more convincing source, since he has access to the latin literature of the church, but still that is only a convincing source to point out that it is a late latin word. It is not evidence, convincing to me by any means, that it is the *best* latin word. Also I dispute your translation of Cicero's sentence, because frequentia is used to mean crowd or multitude in many other places in his writing.
See above for your imaginary quote "look at the romance languages". Of course no argument is going to convince someone who refuses to be convinced and that's why I said this is all a tremendous waste of time. I have given you the most authoritative Vatican lexicographer and you are still not convinced. Don't make me laugh. You don't even dare give the title of the "available dictionaries" you are using. My translation of Cicero was just a way to deconstruct your argument. I didn't give it a second of thought. Your recourse to Cicero is wrong in a much more serious way, and independently of the precise meaning the two words in question may or may not have in that non technical passage. Further than that, "crebritas" means many other things, just as you say "frequentia" also does. This is neither here nor there. Also, you forget another important matter: distribution. The word "crebritas", already in classical times, and in Cicero himself, is rather a rarity, and "frequentia" is the standard synonym. That's why it continued to grow in Latin literature, technical and otherwise, until it became the standard term for physical frequency; and your "crebritas" remained, well, what it did: the awkward choice of someone in the early 21st century ignoring tradition and dying to be too clever.
So in the end, there is not in my opinion enough evidence to be convinced or certain that Frequentia is the proper term, but there is now sufficient doubt about it that it is necessary to admit that it is a close enough synonym to be mentioned in the SI article. For sure, this little bit of scholarship and discussion also needs to be incorporated into a future article on the subject. If one day the vatican encyclopedia in latin becomes available to me I will certainly look this up! --Rafaelgarcia 12:40, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I've given you an authoritative Vatican Latin lexicon. The day I give you an authoritative Vatican Latin encyclopedia you will also be able to tell me that "that is only a convincing source to point out that it is a late latin word. It is not evidence, convincing to me by any means, that it is the *best* latin word". You just refuse to accept the facts. There is no convincing anyone who acts like this. That's how the three wise monkeys remain so wise ... monkeys. Avitus 19:24, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Avitus, maybe its just me, but you are being deliberately insulting when it is not called for at all. I have a very well documented history of correcting my mistakes which do occur more often than I'd wish, but I do pride myself on my honesty and for you to imply so crudely that I am too dishonest to argue with, well for me this is for me too much. Personally, I find it rather difficult to ignore your repeated personal insults above, in order to focus on the truth of the matter. I really wish you would stop it. Despite my getting around to seeing that frequentia is probably the correct term instead of crebritas for frequency (although I don't see *any* difference between physical frequency and frequency as a rate of something occuring in general and really don't see why anyone ever would), you apparently are trying to turn this into an insult match and I am not going to participate in that. I am really not impressed by your manners.--Rafaelgarcia 20:55, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I don't think I have said anything that can be qualified as an insult without a certain degree of exaggeration, but I do certainly not want to turn this into any sort of insult match just as I am not interested either in turning it into an eternal argument and counterargument match. I do apologise though, because I acknowledge I do get carried away by overwhelming frustration. Only too human, after all. Anyway I have just watched a wonderful programme on BBC 4 about Cantor, Boltzmann, Goedel and Turing, and have just been reminded that it's better to accept that there are many things which will defy logical settlement. I don't want to end up following the aforementioned to the mental asylum, let alone to suicide, so this will have to be the end of my attempt to convince anyone. I think the argument for frequentia and against crebritas is ever so clear, and it has indeed been so from a very early stage in the discussion, so all my further attempts to prove the proven, and hence the trials on my patience, are due to my own stupidity and gullibility. It won't happen again if I can help it. I pledge not attempt to improve a single jot from anyone's rubbish or otherwise Latin ever again in this encyclopedia, as this invariably develops into a grotesque ordeal every single time. Once again, may just Latin miraculously survive the Latin wikipedia, and a very good bye. Avitus 23:28, 8 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
It's nothing you haven't heard before, Avite, here and elsewhere. If you were less caustic and insulting, many more people would listen to you. How can you not think yourself to be insulting? "rubbish", "may Latin survive Vicipaedia", "monkeys"? We may not all be perfect Latinists here, but we are all scholars, and if we aren't all even that, we are certainly all headed in the direction. Your rhetoric is odd, somewhere in between a frustrated and tantrum throwing child, and a mean-spirited, unhappy old man. I know you think I'm darling, but man, the feeling isn't mutual.--Ioscius (disp) 15:18, 9 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Nevertheless, mi Iosci, you have to admit that one of his major points—that in matters of vocabulary Vicipædia should prefer attested uses in reputable sources—is essentially what you & Iustinus & Andrew & others & I have always accepted. Isn't it comforting to know that all of us, despite the diversity of our ages, backgrounds, personalities, abilities, and aims, agree on a fundamental point regarding the lexicon? IacobusAmor 16:19, 9 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Of course. I have said before that I think Avitus could be a valuable addition to us, based on some of his merits. But I believe Rafael has the same opinion about attestation, and was trying to express his as well, with quite a different tone.--Ioscius (disp) 16:30, 9 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
Thanks again to IacobusAmor. Not so happy to see my dear Ioscius intervene in a discussion between me and Rafaelgarcia, who can surely speak for himself, but nevermind. Having said that, and although I can honestly not be so confident in which direction some people are headed, and I am on the other hand sure it is not only me who have heard certain things before either, I have to admit that most of what you say is very true, Iosci. It makes me ashamed, but I do often feel frustrated and bitter. I am not sure it's always entirely my fault, in fact I'm not like that in normal conditions at all; but there you go, it does seem to be recurrent here, and maybe in some other similar fora where people also ... Nevermind. Apologies, and bye again. Avitus 20:10, 9 Augusti 2007 (UTC)
I fixed the issue with frequentia, changed various pages I could find where the term frequentia rather than crebritas should be used and also created a new page frequentia. As to other issues regarding style of debate noted above, my two cents are: just take it easy, life is too short to waste being mean. Also remember that nine times out of ten (noviens e decem?) a concerned, benevolent human being is what is being interacted with. The latin language is what it is and no one has the power to destroy it or alter it. All we have a chance to do here is learn a little latin ourselves, contribute to a free encyclopedia, and have fun volunteering and sharing our benevolence for humanity.--Rafaelgarcia 15:42, 10 Augusti 2007 (UTC)