[r-t] Naming methods & compositional devices

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Sat Aug 2 16:38:34 UTC 2008

On Sat, Aug 2, 2008 at 12:00 PM, Ben Willetts <ben at benjw.org.uk> wrote:
> I can't recall if anyone's said *why* the CC Decisions disallow calls that
> shunt you to another part of the same course.  Does anyone know when and why
> the rule was put in?

I do not know when or why.

But there is a ramification of relaxing that restriction, which I
conjecture may have been part of the rationale. If the requirement to
shunt you into a different course were relaxed it would then be
ambiguous whether you are ringing one method or two. Is Driver's
popular extent of the Cambridge six an extent of six different methods
spliced with one kind of call, or of three different methods spliced
with two kinds of call?

If this is indeed the rationale for the wording of the Decision it
seems a blunt instrument for dealing with an inherent ambiguity in
what we as ringers do.

I may be mistaken, but I believe that the way most practical ringers
would approach


would be ringing a single method with three kinds of calls. But most
of the same practical ringers would approach


as ringing 16-spliced with one kind of call, not 8-spliced with two
kinds of call.

It doesn't seem that either perspective is inherently better than the
other. Pretending that one is always right, and legislating which is
to be blessed, seems backwards.

It's a bit like what I believe was the first peal of the now
enduringly popular style of cyclic spliced maximus using a link
method, composed by David Pipe. The band had one view of what the link
method was, and learned and rang it that way. The Council's Decisions
didn't allow such a view of it to be a legitimate method, and so it
was recorded by the Council as something completely different, I think
something with a strange lead end and a funny bob, which was never
called and certainly not thought of as a bob by the band that rang it.
Making it even stranger, if memory serves (it may not, mine is even
worse than Robin Woolley's), this was the same link method that was a
few years later discovered, in its officially blessed form, to be
false in the plain course, and so was "required" to be changed again.
All these changes wasting time, ink and paper, and bearing no
relationship at all to what the band really thought as they rang it.

When we force fit what people really ring into something completely
foreign to meet some theoretical need of the record keepers, we are
doing ourselves a disservice. It is not what we ring that is at fault,
it is the inflexibility of our record keeping protocols.

And if my conjecture is correct, and that ambiguity is the rationale,
it hasn't really solved the perceived "problem", as it only addresses
the simplest case. A peal of spliced Lincolnshire and Gainsborough
could be described as a peal of Lincolnshire with two additional
flavours of fractional lead singles, always occurring in pairs. And at
root it's all really the same kind of ambiguity as that between
extents of Single Court Minor and of Original Minor.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"There is a large element of chance in these matters, and a second
chance occurrence, that of our own death, often prevents us from
awaiting for any length of time the favours of the first."
                -- Marcel Proust, _À la recherche du temps perdu_,
                   tr. C. K. Scott Moncrieff

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