minstrel: Vocabulary and Terminology

Vanessa Layne dagoura at MIT.EDU
Wed Apr 19 09:08:56 PDT 2000

Quoth Gregory:

> I guess we haven't all agreed that we aren't going to beat up rude
> people here. This could go on for months. Should I create another
> mailing list?

Don't bother.  This issue is so fundamental to all SCA artistic
endeavors, that it will come up over and over again, where ever
Scadians discuss art.

But do not lose heart.  There *is* a process happening, and this
argument *isn't* endless.  We *are* getting somewhere through this
discussion.  Each time it comes around it has a slightly different
character.  Each time we come closer to a mutual understanding.

It is my opinion (clearly, yours may differ) that we've made *immense*
strides over on sca-dance.  There is a sort of community
understanding.  Not everyone agrees with it, but we all understand it
well enough to talk about it in a way which respectful of those

Similarly, and all you here might want to take note, on the East
Kingdom list the word "nazi" is *not* *used*.  Several esteemed
members of that list spoke eloquently of members of their families
killed by the Nazis, and asked that, if only out of personal respect
and affection towards them, people not use "nazi" as a term of

Minstrels all, think about this: those two lists have the same
circumstances as this one, new people constantly joining, with their
own backgrounds and opinions, and no idea of those list concords.
They manage this way.  When a new person posts, for example, to
sca-east using the word "nazi", the senior list members politely (and
publically) ask the new person "please don't do that, we don't do that

We aren't ready for that.  We haven't had enough argument, evidently,
since we clearly haven't come to a conclusion of what it *is* we
"don't do here."

I would remind those of you who have defended the use of that word
that it is offensive.  Not to those people you wish to insult, but to
completely innocent by-standers with whom you had no quarrel.

I find it quite ironic that some those same people who go on about how
their feelings have been hurt by others' criticism are so cavalier
about the feelings of the families of murder victims.

You have the "right" to use whatever words you choose, of course (you
have the right to be an ass, a bastard, a fink, a jerk and any a
number of things which you probably don't actually want to be.)  You
are being *asked* not to.  We're not asking that you agree there's
anything intrinsically wrong with it, we're asking you refrain out of
a respect for your fellow Scadians, e.g. "Well, *I* don't think
there's anything wrong with it, but there's some people I really
respect who's feelings it hurts, so I don't do that".

We're asking you to refrain because in the Society we're supposed to
care how we treat one another.  That *is* what "courtesy" and
"chivalry" mean.  At least, that is the moral high horse most people
using that word are on.

Back to your regularly scheduled flame war.  Lay on.

-- Tibicen

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