What follows is my contribution as delivered at the first PAGABOX event held at GOR.
(As a side note this was to be called SOAPBOX GOR - but it was realised that such a title would exclude Hoode from participating.)
John Norman uses two words for when people meet – Tal and greetings.
As I am sure you are all aware the word “Tal” is used 96 times on 58 occassions. “Greetings” is used 170 times on 113 occasions.
You will, of course, have spotted that these figures only cover Books 1 -26. I have not found anyone yet bored enough with their life to have counted such in the latest books.
There does not seem any set rules as to where and when – and by whom - each term is used. Generally speaking “Tal” seems to be a more formal greeting.
In PalGor – although not found in the books – it is usual that Free of any status use the term “Tal” only to each other and slaves use “greetings”.
Personally I have no issue with what word is used – although I like to use “Tal” as there are few ways we can follow Gorean traditions so it seems a shame to waste an opportunity.
My issue is really 2-fold.
First one's station in life is VERY important on Gor. It is a hierarchical society and so any greeting needs to reflect respect.
When I first came to PalGor – many moons ago – most homes had Rules and also an Order of Greeting.
It was wise to consult both. There were differences – some maybe only slight – within Homes that could and did cause insult and conflict if not adhered to.
Some may think of such as petty –but – and no apologies for repeating – One’s station in life is VERY important to a Gorean.
What ever term is used it needs to show respect – Greeting in an acceptable manner also illustrates knowledge and understanding of Gorean society.
I am not going to go into what would be an acceptable order of greeting – what I will say is I believe greeting in an unacceptable order is not only disrespectful – it is ignorant.
Entering a room and acknowledging a low caste person before a Tatrix for example – or a FW before a FM of the Home is wrong and shows the greeter as having little respect for others, no understanding of Gor and no selfrespect.
We do not accept such behaviour from slaves – Free need then to set an example.
My second gripe as to greetings is similar in that it again shows the greeter to have little regard for how they appear to others.
This is the ”Tal A/all” brigade.
The “Greetings E/everyone!” club.
"Tal and greetings" – Tal is greetings so not sure what that one shows. Parrot Gor?
Gor needs structure!
Gor does not need lazy people who show such disregard for the rigid hierarchy that is Gor. Again it reflects badly on the greeter.
The use of capped and uncapped nouns comes from D/s I believe – not sure on that – again maybe that’s another times discussion.
So that’s my PagaBox gripe – lazy and disrespectful greetings.
Administrator of White Water