[r-t] Methods [was Grandsire/New Grandsire, etc]

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Mon Jul 21 15:38:53 UTC 2008

On Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 8:58 AM, Mark Davies <mark at snowtiger.net> wrote:
> Anyway, these aren't objections to jump ringing per se, just reasons why I'd
> like to classify "ordinary" changeringing as something different from jump
> changes.
>> You are a reactionary preserver of the status quo, trying to stifle
>> innovation :-)
> Ah, but no! Because what I would do, if I were in charge of the Methods
> Committee, would be to record and attempt to classify anything to do with
> bellringing. I would put "normal" changeringing methods in a category of
> their own, yes. Jump methods, cylindrical methods, dixonoids, anything else,
> I would catalogue as best as I could, looking initially to the originators
> for their ideas about classification. Description and catalogue, that'd be
> my job. Not prescription and omission, as we have now.

Thank you. I think I understand your reasoning much better now, and
think I now understand where we disagree, and it is on very little.
Based on this better understand I hope I can convince you to change
your terminology slightly.

The problem I see is you applying "change ringing" to a subset of what
we do. We all, whether Plain Bob only ringers, jump change method
ringers, dixonoid ringers or whatever, view ourselves as "change
ringers". It is the name of our community. By appropriating the
historical, overarching term for just a subset of what we you,
undoubtedly without meaning to do so, apply a strong, implicit value
judgement. Things near change ringing that are not change ringing are,
to may ears, inferior to change ringing.

While vastly less pernicious in its effects, it is really the same
process by which those who wish to discriminate against some subgroup
of the overall population based on race, religion, ancestry, sex,
sexual orientation and so on exclude those from the category
designating members of that population. In extreme cases, even pretend
they are not human.

Based on what you've written I'm confident this is not your intent.
But by appropriating change ringing to mean only a subset, and exclude
some of our community, that is the result.

I think it vital that we instead leaving "change ringing" as the
overarching term for what we all do, and find some other term for the
restricted version of change ringing that does not encompass jump
changes, dixonoids, cylindrical and so on. Doing otherwise strongly
sends the message to many that such exotic fare are inferior and
deprecated, and fragments our community needlessly.

It is interesting that an independent line of reasoning leads to
same conclusion, that a different term should be found for the subset
of ringing which is "changes solely as permutations moving each bell
between successive rows at most one place":

My understanding is that the basis for your nomenclature is that you
want to preserve the word "change" for the traditional, one bell moves
one place kind of animal, and currently believe that anything else
should get a different name.

But in the passage quoted at the beginning of this message you
yourself refer to "jump changes". While not completely consistent, in
the majority of cases in English such a construction is an adjective,
"jump" modifying a noun, "changes", and implies that jump changes are
in fact a restricted set of the wider category of changes. I'm
confident that most beginning ringers if asked "are jump changes a
kind of change" would answer "well, I don't really know what jump
changes are, but they sure sound like a kind of change".

Since you yourself appear, when speaking informally, to view jump
changes as a kind of change, it does seem that "change" should not be
appropriated to refer to just a subset of that category.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"Though the poet neglects to enumerate them, providing instead a mere
list, a simple inventory establishes that--if we omit the purely
hypothetical posthumous final one--Elizabeth Barrett loved Robert
Browning in precisely seven ways."  -- Paul Brians, "Mr Gradgrind's
                                    Literal Answers to Rhetorical Questions"

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