[Northkeep] Classes at wInterKingdom

OttokarLuther at aol.com OttokarLuther at aol.com
Wed Dec 8 22:06:54 PST 2004

If you are going to use the von thing do it with authority.
Probably more info than you want but being a German persona I had  to put my 
two Pfennige in.
Ottokar Luther v. Holstein
("Ein Mann ist nur ebenso gut als sein Wort, das mit seinem Schwert  
unterstützt wird.")
The basic designation of the nobility is the predicate  "von", which the vast 
majority of German nobles carry. There  are a small number of noble houses, 
almost exclusively of the Uradel, which have  never used the "von" or any other 
noble predicate, but are nevertheless of fully  equal standing with those 
that do.  
In northern and eastern Germany there are a substantial number of families  
(such as the von Kranichfelds) that use the "von" as designations of the towns  
where they come from (as is the case with most older noble families) but have 
 never been noble and make no pretense to be so.  
A few noble houses use "von und zu", meaning they are not  only from the 
place mentioned but still retain it. Another Uradel house is named  "aus dem 
Winckel" instead of "von dem Winckel" but having the  same meaning. Other noble 
predicates sometimes seen are "von  dem", "von der", or "vom". "Van" is  not used 
by German nobles but is Dutch or Flemish and does not usually connote  
nobility in those countries.  
As a way of differentiating themselves from non-nobles, the aristocracy of  
northern Germany in most cases uses the abbreviation "v.", instead of writing  
out the "von", while still pronouncing the whole word. The southern Germans 
most  often write out the "von". It is always spelled with a small "v" unless it 
would  be grammatically incorrect, such as in the beginning of a sentence. 

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