Wednesday, September 27, 2006

For "The Word Gang" at Love2Learn

One of the very interesting things from the past which I have learned is something called "heraldry" which is the art and science of designing coats of arms.

It would be delightful to go into how I first began to learn it (during my college life), and what good it is (identification and family heritage) and why it was invented (knights wore helmets) and how Chesterton admired it ("An alphabet is a set of symbols, like heraldry. And a time may easily come, as it has come before, when it would seem as absurd to say that a man could not be well-informed without writing his name as it seems now to say that a man cannot be chivalrous without blazoning his shield." ILN Nov 29 1915 CW30:323), and many other things.

But unfortunately I am already late on some work I must finish tonight, and so I will have to postpone all these topics for now.

Now I am not an expert, but I have learned some basic principles, and I am bold enough to try things when I am inspired.

The inspiration hit me when I was reading a recent posting by my friends over at "Love2Learn" who are trying to devise a kind of group for study and delight in words... clearly they have all the machinery running, but they lack a name. I could not come up with a name, but somehow an idea hit me for a design of a coat of arms, together with a motto, so I jotted it down:
Arms: Fesswise azure and vert; in chief a mullet or, in base an open book argent.

Correction: This ought to read:
Per fess azure and vert; in chief a mullet Or, in base an open book argent.

Crest: A lighted lamp proper.
Motto: Lucem verbi audaciter sequimur.
That is, "We boldly follow the light of the word." (Boy, I hope I got the Latin correct!)

Now the really COOL AND AMAZING thing about heraldry is that it is a "universal graphics language" - it is just about the closest thing to a truly computer-science thing invented during the Middle Ages! Because when a blazoning is correctly written, you can give it to an artist and he can draw the coat of arms from those instructions - almost as if a computer obeyed a drawing package to plot a blueprint or diagram... and since I spent much of my early work career doing that kind of software, I have always liked the language... but since I do not have the time to explain the meanings of the terms I used, I will just show you the arms...

And the funny thing is that once I drew it and scanned it, and the scanning software wanted a file name to save the picture, I thought up a name for their club, too...

So, "love2learn", see what you think. I will be happy to revise it if you like.


At 27 September, 2006 21:40, Blogger Dr. Thursday said...

Oops. I drew the book "proper" - (so it shows the cover and text) and probably that would be a better blazon than "argent" (all white)...

At 27 September, 2006 21:54, Blogger love2learnmom said...

Thanks for the treat! We'll pray for your challenges at work.

At 27 September, 2006 23:33, Blogger Kevin O'Brien said...

OK, Dr. T., when you get done with your paying gig, what about designing a coat of arms for my inchoate group, The Theater of the Word, Incorporated? See for our preliminary site. Not only do we really need a coat of arms, but if you design it you'll get paid in free tickets - only a boon if we come through PA, but you never know. Seriously, a coat of arms for what we're trying to do and trying to be would be fantastic and it would look great on the website. It would also intimidate the forces of darkness, I suspect.

You may have stumbled onto your new career! Not as lucrative as plumbing, but you never know.

At 28 September, 2006 13:27, Blogger love2learnmom said...

By the way, I think the Latin is correct (though my Latin knowledge certainly isn't very sophisticated - I use 501 Latin Verbs too, by the way). Isn't it interesting that the word for "follow" uses what looks like passive endings for the active?


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