[Ansteorra] SCA Vocabulary

Jay Rudin rudin at ev1.net
Sun Nov 11 09:52:21 PST 2007

"Elizabeth Blackthorne" asked:

> Why does this have to end up in an argument about which terms are
> better?  Can't we all see that both sets of terms have historical
> meaning to us, one set of terms is SCA historical, the other set is
> more Middle Ages historical.  Does it really matter? If I am the
> person in charge at John's Day(How dare Bob's Day go up against
> me<grin>) and someone asks "who's the autocrat?" am I supposed to tell
> them, "there is no autocrat, maybe you should try asking for the event
> steward"  NO WAY.  The person in charge should answer to both names as
> well as the "who's in charge here".  The Feast-o-crat, head cook,
> feast steward is the same way, they should all answer to all of those
> as well as "who's cooking?"  There will NEVER be an acceptable to
> everyone answer because as I stated before both are historically
> accurate, one has to do with the organizations history and the other
> with Middle Ages history.  "Can't we all just get along"

There's no logical connection from "We are discussing which terms are 
better" to "We are not getting along.".  Yes, we can get along; no, we 
cannot all agree -- about anything.  That doesn't mean we have to hide our 
views; it means we can have an interesting discussion about them

I prefer "event steward" to "autocrat" because I know what autocrat means, 
and it's the ruling noble.  I prefer "privy" to "shrine", because I know 
what people do in shrines, and that's not what I do in the privy.  I 
believe speaking the simple truth in English is better than making up words 
that then need to be explained, so I prefer not to use "troll", 
"feast-o-crat", "Erik", etc.

It does not follow that I will be rude to people who ask me for help. 
Please don't suggest that having an opinion that differs from yours means 
that I will be rude to people.  I don't correct people's grammar in 
conversation; I don't correct their spelling in writing, and for the same 
good reasons, I don't correct people who want to go to the "temple of the 
swirling waters".  I assume somebody looking for the privy is in a hurry, 
and not particularly interested in discussion of linguistics.  (I may go as 
far as to say, "The privy's right up that hill."  If he decides to argue 
terms with me, then he probably didn't need the jakes that badly.)

One more point: "historically accurate" has a specific meaning in a 
re-creation society.  Let's not pretend that preserving the SCA's earlier 
historical inaccuracies is "historically accurate".  The SCA is established 
to re-create certain aspects of pre-seventeenth century Europe, not to 
re-create late 60s re-creation groups.  We have tax-free status as an 
educational organization.  Education means learning more than we started 
out with.

As a bard, I do try to preserve Ansteorra's history.  That means heroic 
tales of Inman leading Ansteorra in a great charge at Pennsic, not stories 
about Ronald looking for the "Shrine of St. John the Latrine".  No 

Robin of Gilwell / Jay Rudin

P.S. Someday it might be fun to do a re-creation event in which we 
re-create the early SCA -- freon can helms, carpet armor, sneering at 
fencers, not letting ladies fight on the Erik, etc. 

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list