[r-t] Call names (was Asymmetric Doubles)

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Fri Aug 6 20:37:03 UTC 2010

On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 3:58 PM, Graham John <graham at changeringing.co.uk> wrote:
> What use is that to anyone? If you are asked to call a touch of Bob Doubles
> at a tower you are visiting, are you going to say, "I am going to call 145
> Singles" and then call a Single every four leads?

But coming up with a consistent taxonomy to apply to all calls isn't
going to help, either. You'd only be supplying a rule that goes from
the call to its name, but what we need in practice is a way to figure
out how to go from the name to what we ring when it's called.

The example you're citing is where there is already a strong, existing
convention. For nearly all "normal" methods* folks have a pretty good
idea of what you're going to mean if you shout (err, say loudly,
sorry) "bob" or "single." In those case, yes, of course, you're well
advised to stick with the familiar names if you're actually ringing
something that uses those calls. I may have missed it, but I don't
think anyone has disputed that.

But the example that started all this was a method where it wasn't
clear what calls one might use. Perhaps some, even most, multi-doubles
ringers have a clear name in mind for place notation "123," though I,
and I suspect a lot of ringers not well-versed in that specialty, do
not. If they've not been otherwise primed before hand, I think that
most ringers who do not specialise in that field on hearing the
conductor say "single" in a single hunt doubles method will probably
instinctively ring the null change. Certainly that's been my
experience in practice when ringing Bob Doubles, where it can be
entertainingly useful in getting unusual length MEBs.

I'm pretty sure that when calling a touch of Harrington Bob Doubles
you'd be well advised to tell the band beforehand what calls you
expect them to ring, and what you intend to call them. Given that, it
doesn't seem to make much difference whether you call them "Bob,"
"Single" or "Æthelflæd."

Once you're in the world where there are no strong, existing
conventions, pretending there are for the sake of tidy definitions may
not be the best way forward.

* In fact, even for "normal" methods with plain hunt lead ends other
  than m you probably have to clarify ahead of time the calls to be

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"'When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone,
'it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’"
                 -- Lewis Caroll, _Through the Looking Glass_

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