Difference between revisions of "User:Athelstan"

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Revision as of 08:08, 30 June 2014

Early prominent Lojbanist from the Washington D.C. area; renowned for his pioneering translation of the Saki short story The Open Window, appearing in ju'i lobypli 10. Has not been active since sustaining injuries in a traffic accident in the early '90s.

Are you sure he wouldn't mind having his own page in such a dehumanizing medium such as the Wiki?

I didn't consult Lojbab in creating his page either :-) If he does, the answer is that this is a reference page, not a vanity page...

How did he translate "dehumanizing" into Lojban?


mi'e .filip. Various issues of ju'i lobypli say, near the beginning where they expand abbreviations of names such as "pc", "lojbab", and "JCB": Note that 'Athelstan' is that person's real name, used in his public life, and is not a pseudonym. And Issue 10 has this to say further:

There is a question commonly asked of us, not really relevant to Lojban, which we can answer in connection with the following article. This is 'Does Athelstan have a last name?'. The answer is both yes and no.
Athelstan's name comes from Old Norse; family names were not used for identification in that culture. Instead, surnames would be granted, generally by nobility, in recognition for some great or significant deed, somewhat after the manner of modern honorary degrees. In the absence of such an honor, different people with the same first name would be distinguished by their place of origin or trade, a practice that eventually led to our modern practice. Honorific surnames wouldn't be used in the same way as modern family names, but rather only in an appropriate context. Athelstan obviously has a place he was born, but he does not need this 'surname' to distinguish him from others. How many other people do you know by the name of Athelstan?
But, in addition to a locative surname, Athelstan has been rewarded (by appropriate authorities familiar with the tradition) with two different honorific surnames for noteworthy deeds in unrelated fields (Athelstan is a person of diverse talents). The stories are long, and perhaps I can talk Athelstan into writing of them (in Lojban) for later issues; he tells these stories quite interestingly, in the old bardic tradition. But in any case, he uses them only in the appropriate context. The following article is one such place, since one of his honorific surnames stems from his demonstrated mastery of skaldic forms. (T. Peter Park uses the other honorific surname in his description of the New York Lojban meeting, printed in lojbo karni K11.)

Would it be disrespectful to include those surnames here? I just hunted through the appropriate issues to find out what they were. --rab.spir

I considered whether to include them; I didn't, for a variety of reasons including

  • Honorific surnames wouldn't be used in the same way as modern family names, but rather only in an appropriate context and he uses them only in the appropriate context -- I don't know what an appropriate context would be, and I suspect most others wouldn't, either. I don't know Athelstan, but making it a bit more difficult to find the name may help to prevent the names being used inappropriately
  • How many other people do you know by the name of Athelstan? -- "Athelstan" uniquely (to me) identifies that person already
  • Why is it important to know them? I get the feeling that since he doesn't use them himself, it doesn't really matter whether people find them out or not, and the only obvious (to me) reason would be curiosity -- a curiosity similar to that which drives people to find out what a celebrity's tattoo in a private place looks like.
    • To defend myself here, my curiosity was mostly for what Norse honorary surnames are like, not for finding out random stuff about Athelstan. The LK11 one (adapted into Lojban and English) was quite surprising. --rab.spir
      • Indeed, especially since I'm reading LOTR at the moment. (At first the rafsi looked wrong, but that apppears to be due to the Great Rafsi Reallocation, according to the comparision list linked from that page.)

To answer your question: I'm not sure whether it would be disrespectful, but I can well imagine so. --pne