minstrel: Definition of Bardic

Ed Hopkins Ed.Hopkins at MCI.Com
Wed Apr 23 09:51:00 PDT 1997

I overheard Gregory Blount, self-proclaimed social reformer, say to Og:

> > The words "garb", "feastocrat", and "remove" have all come to mean
> > things in the SCA which would be better served by the words "clothes",
> > "head cook", and "course". Change happens one person at a time, You,
> > for example, could ask the crowns of Atlantia to please call you the
> > Royal Minstrel instead of the Royal Bard, like James of Rutland did a
> > few years ago. Who knows if we'll change the world, but it's worth a
> > little effort.

To which His Royal Bardness (The Artist Formally Known To Princes),
Eogan Og MacLean, replied:

> I could.  But then if the next "Royal *Performer*" did not happen to style
> his or her self as a minstrel, the name of the office would have to
> change.  I think it would get a mite confusing to change the name every
> year.  I think it would be great to have a more period title that
> described all performing arts (other than the un-spiff "Royal Performing
> Artist"), but unfortunately most period terms that take in all performers
> are less than complementary. . .
>     Some generic terms are needed, I believe, to avoid confusion.

Quite so.  And what better source for those much-needed generic
terms than specific terms with new meanings?  If I may add a slightly
off-topic example to strengthen the case...
I don't like the terms "Heavy Weapons Fighter" or "Class-A Fighter"
to refer to all those who wield Rattan.  They are, as Og would
say, un-spiff.  (I would say the terms are not wlonk.)  But I
just get blank stares when I say "cataphract".  Therefore, I have
decided to use the term "Knight" to refer to any such fighter.
(As opposed to "Musketeer", who fights with epee or foil.)
It helps avoid confusion.

-- Alfredo el Bufon
Nalles aefter lyfte  lacende hwearf|No more will it fly  through the sky
middelnihtum,  mathmaehta wlonc    |In mid-night,  wlonk of the sight
ansyn ywde;  ac he eorthan gefeoll |of gold it stashed;  to earth it crashed
for thaes hildfruman  hondgeweorce.|by that warrior-king's  handworking.

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