[r-t] What is a 'regular' method

Graham John graham at changeringing.co.uk
Mon Feb 6 10:46:17 UTC 2012

Philip wrote:

> I'm rather sceptical about the need for a standard definition here. 

It is a term which is frequently used and has historical context. I don't think it is unreasonable to want a clearer definition of what it 

> Conceptually, it seems to be a march down the "proscriptive"
> rather than "descriptive" route

I disagree. Just saying that method is regular or irregular is in no way proscribing what can be rung. We do however need clear definitions 
of terminology, classification and nomenclature.

> What would the advantage of having a formal definition be?

The reason is quite simple. Firstly to give people context and understanding when reading documents about ringing i.e. for ringing 
dictionaries. Secondly, and the reason that I am looking at it, is that there are 18000 rung methods. It is helpful when searching electronic 
collections to be able to filter methods in different ways. A filter for 'regular' methods can be quite useful for people who are looking for 
traditional/conventional/regular methods to ring. It has no more significance than that.

> On a practical point of view, your proposals classify 99+%
> of rung doubles methods as irregular, indeed nearly everything
> that is rung at odd stages. This is a nice irony.

That is why I am trying to understand the accepted use of the term. If it has not generally been applied to odd stages then the definition 
could be constrained to even stages only.


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