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Re: Semantic mismappings

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Monday, November 3, 2003, 21:44
Quoting Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>:

> > > Whether you openly renounce allegiance to your lord/lady, or just > > > silently betreys him/her, he/she has every right to have you executed > > > in a maximally painful way, but only in the later case does he/she have > > > any right to look down on you. In the former case you're an _achatear_, > > > with your honour intact, in the later a _goembho_ ['gwemBo], something > > > like "traitor", with your honour lost. Can anyone think of a convenient > > > way of making the distinction achatear~goembho in English? > > Andreas, > > I was interested not only in John's historical discussion written in answer > to your question but also in what you wrote about your conculture. I'm > curious about something. Given the consequences of openly renouncing your > allegiance, why would anyone ever do it? I can deduce that renouncing > one's allegiance is something that is actually done, because there is a > special name for a person who does it, but there must be something > sociological going on here that would induce someone to become an > _achatear_, because doing something that would give someone "every right to > have you executed in a maximally painful way" is a fairly counterintuitive > move, to state it mildly.
Of course, it is an activity chiefly indulged in by those who think they can get away with their lives - what passes for justice among the Camant does frequently not reach very far. Still, it's by no means a common phenomenon - outside of literature, that is! One relatively common reason is that someone perceives him-/herself to have been intolerably ill-treated by his/her lord - he/she must then first renounce allegiance before he/she honourably can seek revenge. It can also be part of a rebellion - an unpopular lord/lady may suddenly find him-/herself confronted by a large number of achatearan, who, weapon in hand, make sure that an heir more to their liking succeeds to the leadership of that camath. Finally, renouncing allegiance means placing yourself outside the jurisdiction of your former lord/lady - if you're forced to assume that he/she is going to act against you, you may conclude you might just as well get yourself in a position where you can honourably resist. Andreas