languages without tense; pointy weapons

From: Bender the Robot <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jan 2001 20:35:51 -0500

Mike Dawson asked whether some RW languages lack tense. The answer is yes. One of the most extreme in this regard is Navaho, which outsiders describe as being completely unfettered by Western time constructs.

Mike and others speculate about why spears were so prevalent in RW armies. Col. David Grossman, in his book "On Killing," has an extensive discussion about this very issue. One important point (no pun intended): a minor puncture wound can be deadly, while a slashing wound tends to get air in it and is more likely to avoid tetanus. Further, the fear of pointy things is deeply ingrained (it's why nobody likes getting shots), and a pointy weapon has a powerful psychological effect on foes, which wouldn't be present in an SCA fight. Third, spears lend themselves to unit combat, in which it is the unit which takes responsibility for killing, thus lessening the psychic burden of killing a fellow human being. YGMV, and in fact official Glorantha may vary, depending on whether healing magic is common or rare.

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