ANST - Re: Newbie

dennis grace amazing at
Sun Aug 3 19:38:18 PDT 1997

Greetings, Cosyns,

Lyonel ici.  

In response to M. de la Mare's clever:

>>>1.  What is a "newbie"?  Is that similar to the children's television
>program which displays "good bees" and "bad bees"??????  We don't have
>"newbies" in Ansteorra, Caladin.  We have new members, we have new
>interests, we have folks recently introduced to the Society and
>Ansteorran customs and culture.  However, we simply DO NOT HAVE

a "very offended" Ghia posts:

>Oh no, not again!!!!  Come off it!! It's just a word.  A harmless little word
>that insults no one except a select few people to whom the word does not even
>apply.  Get over it, guys.  If a couple of people like to use the word 'chic'
>instead of 'woman', or if we call someone a 'girl' instead of 'young
>femperson'.....  the world will not fall apart.  

Oh yes, again.  And again and again and again, if necessary.  No reason to
be offended; the individual responding to Caladin's use of the word "newbie"
was polite, playful, and respectful of the individuals most likely to be
injured (albeit mildly so) by the use of this devalorizing, diminutive term.
I'm glad Ghia decided to introduce the examples "chick" and "girl" (though
I've *never* met anyone who wanted to be called a "young femperson").

Ghia further claims:

>It really does insult me that some people are so petty as to quibble over
>phraseology.  It doesn't matter.  

Sorry, but I can't buy this.  Intelligent, adult women should object to
being called "girl" for exactly the same reason adult African-American men
once objected to being called "boy."  In both instances, the use of the word
is diminutive and devalorizing.  Boys and girls are children, by and large
incapable of making adult decisions, incapable of caring for themselves, and
in need of adult supervision.  A man who regularly calls adult women of his
acquaintance "girls" is, therefore, doing them a great disservice.

>The fact that of all the worlds problems we
>could be working to solve, someone has chosen the word "newbie" to pick
>on....  well it just makes me want to scream.    

That's odd.  Have I somehow stumbled onto the
news list?  I thought this was a mail list dedicated to the discussion of
SCA activities related to the Kingdom of Ansteorra?  In fact, a recent
discussion of condom distribution was cut short by the administrator for
going too far outside the realm of such concerns. 

>Political correctness is a
>waste of my precious aol-minutes, and I'd like to see it off the list.  I'm

I could make the same claim about rants against "political correctness."

>Let's talk about chivalry and grace, let's discuss honor, let's
>talk about our garb, our personnas, our magic moments, or any other subject
>relevent to our society.  

All right.  Now we're getting somewhere.  Let's talk about chivalry and
grace.  It is simply ungracious to belittle someone by attaching a
diminutive label like "newbie."  One of the premises of the SCA is that all
members are nobility.  Nor is it noble to take offense at another's
honorable attempt to prevent the belittlement of others.  Moreover, since
the word "newbie" is frequently used by folks in the SCA in reference to
folks with less SCA experience than themselves, I'd say this discussion is
relevent to our society.  

>But if the word "newbie" is all we have to talk
>about here, then I will gladly un-subscribe and go play on some other
>kingdom's list serv.

Funny, I don't recall anyone saying that the word "newbie" is all we have to
talk about. In any case, if someone *did* make such a claim, she or he was
apparently mistaken.  There, now.  I guess you won't have to unsubscribe
after all.

As to the use of terms to describe recently introduced players, I find
myself in agreement with the implications of Monsieur de la Mare's post:  we
don't need a convenient label.  Convenient labels are difficult to shake.
At a recent fighter practice, I heard an experienced layer refer to another,
less experienced player as a "newbie."  The "newbie" in question just
received an AoA at TRM Kein and Alisha's coronation.  To my mind, this way
of labeling people results in some erroneous and potentially dangerous

lo vostre por vos servir

Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace
Dennis Grace
University of Texas at Austin
English Department
Recovering Medievalist
amazing at

Micel yfel deth se unwritere.
                           AElfric of York


To be removed from the Ansteorra mailing list, please send a message to
Majordomo at Ansteorra.ORG with the message body of "unsubscribe ansteorra".

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list