Talk:Vocabulary/fork

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Now that we have an Ancillary Page: Vocabulary/ModifierTrains do we need the following sub-page here at all? ...

u (f g [h]) [v] Modifier train Invisible Modifier

I propose we delete it and replace it with an additional paragraph in More Information of both Vocabulary/hook and this page which simply reads:

See: Discussion and examples of invisible modifiers.

Ian Clark (talk) 23:45, 22 December 2021 (UTC)


The issues I see are:

  • these things look like forks/hooks but are very different
  • we don't want new users to see them
  • The documentation needs to be complete and linked by the main NuVoc page
  • The natural place to look for them is under (f g h) in the main page

I agree with taking them out of the Fork page.

The table that is in the Fork page is the official reference, so it needs to go somewhere.

I like having the banner at the top to indicate that this is a language feature with a name etc. But then, I like the phrase 'Invisible Modifiers".

I suggest giving them a non-Ancillary page, pointed to from the line in the Fork cell in the main grid that says 'Modifier Trains', that has the banner & all below it that is now of the Forks page.

That is, I propose leaving the Ancillary Page to hold examples. The examples there now are too opaque to put into a NuVoc entry, but the people who care about this stuff are likely to have opaque examples.

--Henry Rich 00:05, 23 December 2021 (UTC)


I think fine generally the way it is. The modifier table should show in the Fork page, because that is probably how most will remember to find it. I've copied it to the modifier trains page as well. I hope to improve it over time (early next year) including adding a column in table with useful examples of each train.

--Pascal Jasmin (talk) 01:35, 23 December 2021 (UTC)


  1. I wonder if it would be best to give the "invisible modifiers" their own square in the Nuvoc table that links to https://code.jsoftware.com/wiki/Vocabulary/invisiblemodifiers (it's own page) and have a link at the bottom to the ancillary page that provides a more complete description https://code.jsoftware.com/wiki/Vocabulary/ModifierTrains .
    1. The link from Nuvoc provides essential knowledge.
    2. The link from the Ancillary table (also available from the essential page) provides fuller and more nuanced information.
  2. I do think that we should have a consistent name, whether it is 'modifier trains' or 'invisible modifiers'.
  3. I think that the graphics that we have on the Nuvoc link u (f g [h]) [v]u may be enough to keep newcomers from diving in too early. In addition, we can post a warning at the top of the invisible modifiers page that this is an area of J that requires some study to be useful and is not essential to most practitioner's enjoyment of the language.

--Bob Therriault (talk) 02:54, 23 December 2021 (UTC)


I like Bob's ideas the best so far. We should decide, perhaps on this page, whether to keep the name 'invisible modifiers'. I like it because it is surprising, thought-provoking, and accurate. The sequence of words creates a grammar with no symbols. 'Modifier trains', by Ken's definition of 'train', is any list of words that is not immediately executable to produce a noun. I say that a modifier train is composed of invisible modifiers. BTW I don't like the word 'train' but that ship has sailed.

Henry Rich (talk) 04:15, 23 December 2021 (UTC)