Talk:Vomit

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The introduction[edit]

Recently, a good-faith edit trimmed the introduction to this article.

What the introduction said before it was trimmed:

Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth.  This is known medically as emesis.  It can also be called puking, barfing, throwing up, upchucking, and ralphing.  When it's a baby doing this, it is usually called spitting up.  There are other, more-colourful colloquialisms for this activity, e.g., tossing one's cookies.

Vomit is the actual substance that is expelled from the stomach through the mouth.  It can also be called puke, barf, throw up, upchuck, ralph, and spit up.

What the introduction says now:

Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth.  This is known medically as emesis.

I wish to argue that the former introduction be reinstated.

(1) Now, if a person does a Google search for puke quotes (e.g.), this page will not come up.  By having a simple list of the synonyms, this problem is avoided.

(2) The edit removed all mention of the nouns, leaving only the verb.  Yet, this article is not merely about the act of vomiting; some of the quotes are about the substance of vomit, including the quote from the Bible.  If we leave out all mention of the substance of vomit from the introduction, this may lead some readers to incorrectly believe that this article only concerns itself with quotes about the act of vomiting, and thus those readers would incorrectly think, "I guess I have to go somewhere else for quotes about the actual substance."  This may also inadvertently cause people to assume that they should not add quotes to this article about the substance of vomit, or worse yet, to actively remove quotes from this article about the substance of vomit.

(3) The edit removed all mention of the nouns, leaving only the verb.  It should be made clear to the reader who finds this page that vomit is both a verb and a noun, in case that reader does not know.  If someone wishes to counter this argument by claiming that it's already obvious to every human everywhere that vomit is also a noun, and that there is no need, therefore, to note this in the introduction, I could counter by saying that it is no less obvious that vomit is also a verb, and that using that argument eliminates all need for an introduction at all.  If an introduction is needed because the reader does has to be informed that vomit is a verb, then the reader must likewise be informed by the same introduction that vomit is also a noun.

(4) This edit removed all synonyms for vomiting.  Those synonyms provided a valuable service to the reader.  It's not that those synonyms were there to merely act as a thesaurus; rather, those synonyms were there so as to inform the reader that quotes below may have other words in them other than vomiting or emesis.  If we leave out these synonyms from the introduction, this may lead soem readers to incorrectly believe that this article only concerns itself with quotes that specifically include the word vomiting or emesis, and thus those readers would incorrectly think, "I guess I have to go somewhere else for quotes with the word barfing" (e.g.).  This may also inadvertently cause people to assume that they should not add quotes to this article with the words barfing or throwing up (e.g.), or worse yet, to actively remove quotes from this article that omit the words vomiting or emesis (e.g., that wonderful quote from The Book Thief).

(5) Certain words redirect here, such as puke.  (Likewise, w:puke redirects to w:vomiting.)  Such redirects make sense here (just as they make sense on Wikipedia).  (If anything, they make even more sense here, since quotes are more likely to include informal language than are encyclopaedic entries.)  But, if there is no mention whatsoever of puke in this article, and the person who finds this article by (A) typing in the word puke or (B) following a link from the word puke does not know that puke and vomit can mean the same thing, the person might be confused as to why she or he was redirected here, or worse yet, actively remove the redirect which would otherwise impair people's ability to find this page when looking for it.

(6) Having the synonyms briefly listed encourages people to remember that there are other, less-formal terms that might be used in quotes about the subjects of vomiting and vomit.  Such a reminder will only help in the expansion of this article (which is currently still a stub), for those wishing to add quotes may be encouraged to think outside of the box when searching for quotes to add.  Reinstating the previous introduction may encourage a reader to think, "Oh, yeah.  Throw up is another term for vomit.  I want to expand this article, so I'll go searching for some good quotes to add, but I shall include in my search the words "throw up" in order to broaden my search and thereby increase my chances of being able to expand this article."

For all these reasons, I believe that the previous introduction should be reinstated.

Sincerely,
allixpeeke (talk) 17:52, 29 September 2014 (UTC)


I can accept much of your rationale, but believe compromises can be worked out here, which would trim the intro somewhat, and retain most or all of the synonyms you cite, with about half of its length. I did not trim the page, but I do believe the intros should generally be short, but there certainly are many proper exceptions to paring them down to a serviceable minimum. Earlier today I noticed an Intro on Robot which you had done which I believe to be excessive and certainly more of an expository essay than it need be to introduce that page (which I thank you for creating). I am currently too busy with other concerns to attend to this or that page much right now, so I did nothing, but put it down as something to do a general cleanup on within a few weeks. As with all things I generally prefer a working out of some sort of consensus determination, rather than any dictatorial impositions, whether by one or many or by few who neglect or remain ignorant of many proper roles of each and all towards one, many or few. So it goes Blessings. ~ Kalki·· 18:08, 29 September 2014 (UTC) +tweaks
I added a quote, and used more of a standard formatting on the page, while it as yet has few quotes. I have noticed in many of your additions that you habitually use a non-breaking space to end sentences. I am not seeking to forbid such a thing, but in with modern computer typography it is something of a holdover from the physical typewriter era to always place a double space between sentences, and I believe relatively few people do it. As with many things, the more elements one has exposed to edits, the more things can be altered and broken with inadvertent errors, and I would recommend not using them, but accept that it can be tolerated in additions you make, if it is truly a fixed habit with you for any reason. ~ Kalki·· 18:29, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
In the matter of the intro of this page, I would recommend something on the lines of:
Vomiting is the forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth. Vomit is also a term for the substance expelled. Synonyms and slang terms for the substance or the act include emesis, puke, barf, throw up, upchuck, ralph, spit up and tossing one's cookies.
To deal with this particular issue wasn't on my agenda for the day, but I believe the above intro, or a slight tweaking of it should be acceptable. ~ Kalki·· 18:45, 29 September 2014 (UTC)


I would approve either my lengthy introduction or Kalki's shorter introduction.  Both are superior to the current introduction (no offence to the editor who came up with the current introduction).  allixpeeke (talk) 16:22, 3 October 2014 (UTC)


Seeing as how no one has argued against this, I am moving forward and implementing the changes discussed.  allixpeeke (talk) 01:49, 30 June 2015 (UTC)