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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tom Bliss Is traditional song finished? (621* d) RE: Is traditional song finished? 07 Mar 10

"The general misuse of the term comes solely from the clubs, where no consensus exists and can cover anything from Chevy Chase to "Jumpin' Jack Flash".

Various Consensi do exist, some in clubs and some elsewhere, but these consensi are not universal because people are free to use words as they choose, and people have chosen - through natural linguistic evolution - a number of diverging uses for these terms.

The 'misuse' of the term (only it isn't misuse, it is correct usage because no-one has any right to police any definition except a legal one) is widespread, and in popular parlance far beyond folk clubs.

Your (and that of the authors you mention) appropriation of the word 'folk' is 'correct' Jim, but it is no more 'correct' than that of, for example, the many thousands of contemporary artists on MySpace, who check the 'folk' box, but play not one traditional song or tune.

I don't know why you seem never to hear this, but I'll say it yet again: Please, go listen to some popular radio, read some newspapers, browse some contemporary music magazines, eavesdrop on some pub conversations, bug some teenagers' bedrooms, go to some open mic nights, look at the Mercury nominations, (or the Radio Two Folk Awards), read this very forum - the evidence is overwhelming and staggeringly so.

""But it's important that everyone understands that the only one of these words with a 'fixed' meaning is 'Traditional,' Perhaps you might elucidate on this extraordinary statement Tom."

With pleasure.

I'm beginning to suspect that you don't read posts very carefully before replying.

I wrote: "But it's important that everyone understands that the only one of these words with a 'fixed' meaning is 'Traditional,'and only because of it's quasi legal definition."

I also explained, above and many times in other threads to which you were a contributor, that Traditional (big T) has a legal meaning in the UK and, I think, in other jurisdictions around the world.

It means 'in the public domain.' So when it is being used to denote published ownership (or lack of) its definition IS fixed in civil law, so cannot evolve. The courts have the power to fix language, no-one else does.

'Folk' and 'traditional' when not applied to ownership are not legal terms. So you can write as many books as you like on the subject - you still won't be defining the term for anyone who hasn't joined the club.

Tootler has explained it very well (thank you Tootler).


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