From: Alex Ferguson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Thu 09 Mar 2000 - 03:29:00 EET
> 'Carl' is simply the Old English word for farmer (or man), which is
> what a peasant is. 'Cottar' is an late Old English word for farmer.
> 'Cottar' specifically refers to a man who has a share of arable land and
> owes labor services for it. 'Carl' is slightly more general, and seems
> usable for anyone who engages in agriculture.
Denotationally, and in RW terms, what you're saying is broadly correct,
in that they all functionally mean 'farmer'. But the words carl and
cottar were being used in their Gloranthan terms, which are considerably
more particularised, and the word 'peasant' certainly carries very
different connotations. In particular the term 'Orlanthi peasant' does
more to obscure than it does to reveal, whereas 'carl' is a masterpiece
of both concision and precision, if that's the group you're speaking of.
Admittedly the above nit-picking says very little about how well fed
they are, but call an Orlanthi a 'peasant' (or some Gloranthocentric
term one might apply to a Lodrilite, or a Western farmer) and if you
only get a broken nose, you'll have found him in a remarkably good
frame of mind that morning.
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