Debbie and Sam Milligan miligan at anet-dfw.com
Fri Oct 18 21:10:04 PDT 1996

Vicki Marsh wrote:
> Greetings from Zara Zina
> >> Please don't settle on a name, or even start discussing names, before
> >> some basic research gets done.  Unfortunately, I'm not an onomastics
> >> expert, but if anyone wants help (personal or branch name -- um,
> >> "Gnomevale" might want to read his comments and suggested alternatives
> >> with much the same meaning), contact Prof. Brian Scott, Fauze Lozenge
> >> Herald, at scott at math.csuohio.edu.
> >
> >Actually, just for the record, it's "Gnomon Vale," and my understanding
> >is that the name has nothing to do with "gnomes," but rather with the
> >name found on the Heavener runestone.
> I have noticed of late that some of the heralds jump to conclusions based on
> *their* interpretation of a submission, and that knowledge of one particular
> style of naming practices and heraldry makes them an expert on all types of
> naming practices and heraldry.  Even when presented with documentation of
> differing types of these, some are quite slow in admitting their lack of
> knowledge in that particular area, even to the point of totally discounting
> the documentation.
>  Rather than backing up their arguments with sources, some of the consulting
> heralds have been resorting to rather subjective criticism in the Gazette,
> often critisizing the person's taste rather than their heraldry. I feel that
> "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".  I personally would not want a fat
> frog on my device, but someone else may think it is the most wonderful thing
> in the world.  If the device/name is heraldically correct and adheres to the
> rules set forth by the College of Heralds, then what right does a herald
> have to say that a device is ugly?
> It is hard on the local heralds who are really trying to do a good job and
> put in the submissions for their group.
> Thank you,
> (I will now get off my soapbox for the day and wait for the thrown objects)
> Zara Zina, Baroness of Elfsea, it's Cantons of Dun na Loch Ruadh,
> Dragonsfire Tor, and the incipient College of Three Bridges

Well said, Your Excellency.  I've long thought this to be a problem as 
well, and have heard much discussion on it.  It's good to see it aired in 
this public forum.  I heartily agree with you that names and devices need 
to be judged on the established rules of heraldry, and not by whether an 
individual finds them esthetically pleasing.  We all find different 
aspects of the thousand year era we attempt to recreate interesting, and 
it would be foolish to think that all times and cultures within that era 
held the same, or even similar, views on beauty and esthetics.  I think 
"different times, different customs" needs to be the watchword here, 
along with a respect and tolerance for our many cousins, who, after all, 
make our game such an interesting one.

Padraig Ruad O'Maolagain
of House Mac an Ghabhann
'When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'I
always pay it extra.'

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