General Question

Jeruba's avatar

What does this dictionary entry mean?

Asked by Jeruba (53264points) 1 month ago

Facing a Scrabble challenge: the word si.

The entry in Merriam-Webster Collegiate, 11th ed., says

n [It] (1728).

which I read as “noun, Italian, first recorded instance in 1728.”

Then follows this:

superscript 2 followed by TI in small caps, with no space in between, as 2TI—double-checked with a magnifying glass.

What does this 2TI (superscript 2) mean?

It’s significant that it says “noun,” which I think means it can’t be “yes,” since I believe yes and no are classed as adverbs.

That’s all there is. No definition otherwise. Nothing.

I need somebody who knows Italian and/or dictionary notation to help me interpret this.

And yes, I consulted all the front pages but did not find an explanation of the small caps used like this.

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7 Answers

LostInParadise's avatar

I looked the word up online. Link The first definition is a link to TI entry 1. Maybe this is related to the TI that you saw. When I followed the link, the first entry for ti defined it as the seventh musical note, as in do re mi fa so la ti.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Do ray me fa so la ti do. From music.

luigirovatti's avatar

2ti: trasferimento tecnologico e innovazione?

Demosthenes's avatar

Yes, an entry that consists of another word in all-caps means that this word is an alternative with identical meaning to this other word and the dictionary has chosen the other word as the primary term that receives the full entry and is telling you to see that entry (the 2nd entry for “ti”, that is) to get a definition of “si” (in this case, the name of the musical note). This naming system of the notes (solmization) originated in Italy, and “si” and “ti” are both acceptable names of this note (what we would call B).

Zaku's avatar

It is “the seventh tone of the major scale in solf├Ęge”, and in DO RE MI FA SOL LA TI DO, where TI can also be SI.

Jeruba's avatar

While I was afk, you folks figured it out—thank you! I figured it out, too, by looking harder at the dictionary. And the big giveaway was the noun designation.

Then I found that small caps were used for an equivalent that’s not in English, and realized that it was a cross-reference to the musical note ti. I tested that by looking up sol, the fifth note, and saw that it too had noun status.

And the 2 indicated that it was the second sense of the term being cross-referenced.

Came back here and saw that you all had looked at it much more directly and straigtforwardly than I had. No surprise there. Why go for a simple solution when you can entertain yourself with a complex one?

I do know the notes, have known them since I was a little child, but I never knew that there was another name for ti.

So thanks, all, for helping me with this little mystery.

And so si is going on the no-good list. Luckily the collective approval of this term when it was challenged did not change the Scrabble outcome. He would have lost anyway.

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