Humility and Formality

#2 Familiarity

Date: Fri, Feb 27, 1998 3:43 PM EDT
From: SandraDodd

I read that in the Middle Ages writings weren't titled, they were just referred to by the first phrase. That's why prayers are called things like "Our Father" in that tradition. Even essays and philosophical writings or letters were "named" by the first line (and often it was Latin).

I'm going to number posts instead so people can tell if they have the whole set. If I miss a number, let me know, please.

Artan and I have been on a raising-formality campaign for years. It's worth bringing up every once in a while again.

In his second reign (and third probably too) there was hugging. I criticized this and suggested hugging later, not right at the thrones. I think it looks bad when kings and queens hug people who get awards. I think people who get awards should bow or curtsy really deeply and then go away formally.

I think that's true of baronial court and lots of other situations too. If we don't distinguish between in-persona at events and everyday life, what good is the SCA? Why do we even dress up?

In Helena's vigil she was really great about this–she'd stand up to greet visitors and curtsy to those who outranked, and she knelt to the queen. That was very impressive, but who saw it? Who knows?

Well for one thing each person who went in received an impression of that.

For a much bigger thing, it set the tone for each meeting. Helena knew it. Her attitude toward each person was set. Their attitude toward her was improved.

Had she hugged each person and been familiar and mundane, the tone of their advisement would have changed and the mental posture with which she received and considered it would have been different.

Think about that some and I'll be back later. The kids want the computer.


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Copyright © Sandra Dodd
1998, 2002