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Re: [xml-dev] Gothic definitions (was Re: [xml-dev] Re: Markup, an abstraction)

On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 1:10 PM, Uche Ogbuji <uche@ogbuji.net> wrote:
On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 10:58 AM, Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org> wrote:

The Goths were not people to adhere to the formal social conventions of
other groups, I think. The Goth approach to markup would be to demolish
it and to take what they could from it and move on, perhaps :-)

Formal XML markup is closer to the Roman Empire, whose organization was
powered by bureaucracy and whose buildings, ideas, language and even
their legal systems endured long after their socks had crumbled to dust.

Right-O. "I am heere with thee, and thy Goats, as the most
capricious Poet honest Ovid was among the Goths" (sith a Foole a Foole a motley Foole).

There are Goths and there are Goths.  Here's a bit from L. Sprague de Camp's 1939 novel _Lest Darkness Fall_, a time-travel tale about a one-way trip by an American archaeologist back to fifth-century Rome.  He's talking to the Princess Mathaswentha, whom Norman may remember, during the run-up to Justinian's conquest of Italy:

"At the present rate, God knows when I'll get time for anything but war and politics, neither of which is my proper trade." 
"What is, then?" 
"I was a gatherer of facts; a kind of historian of periods that had no history. I suppose you could call me a historical philosopher." 
"You're a fascinating person, Martinus. I can see why they call you Mysterious. But if you don't like war and politics, why do you engage in them?" 
"That would be hard to explain, my lady. In the course of my work in my own country, I had occasion to study the rise and fall of many civilizations. In looking around me here, I see many symptoms of a fall." 
"Really? That's a strange thing to say. Of course, my own people, and barbarians like the Franks, have occupied most of the Western Empire. But they're not a danger to civilization. They protect it from the real wild men like the Bulgarian Huns and the Slavs. I can't think of a time when our western culture was more secure." 
"You're entitled to your opinion, my lady," said Padway. "I merely put together such facts as I have, and draw what conclusions I can. Facts such as the decline in the population of Italy, despite the Gothic immigrations. And such things as the volume of shipping." 
"Shipping? I never thought of measuring civilization that way. But in any event, that doesn't answer my question." 
"Triggws, to use one of your own Gothic words."

("True", that is.)

Here's a wonderful trace of the Germanic migrations from Icelandic saga.  In the _Saga of King Heidrek the Wise_, after the king's death, one of the characters quotes an ancient poem:

The pike has paid / by the pools of Grafa
For the death of Heidrek / under Harvath-fells.

Now what are Harvath-fells?  The cliffs of the Harvath mountains, certainly; but where are they?  The saga writer didn't know, nor most probably did the poet.  But we moderns do.  When we run Grimm's Law (which relates the Germanic languages to their Indo-European relatives) backwards on "Harvath", we get "Karpat", the Carpathians, most of Europe away from Iceland.

Agreed, but what was that [1] you intended? Surely not MicroXML?

And/or FtanML.  I'd be interested to know how your aesthetic sense reacts to that (modulo the |...| for rich text), Uche.

GMail doesn't have rotating .sigs, but you can see mine at http://www.ccil.org/~cowan/signatures

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