Thursday, January 3, 2013

Grognards

So I have considered myself a Grognard for a quite a while now. Its such an affectionate term. Old Grumbler. Basically a Grumpy Old Man. Which I certainly am. I know the whole back story of course. Its Napoleon's lovely description of his beloved Old Guard.

The definative image of the Old Grumbler. A Veteran Badass all the way.

Today its been associated with gamers for a few different reasons.

1. It was the veteran grey beards who always knew everything in the gaming circles you ran in. Older dudes with a been there done that attitude. True grumblers, and most not very helpful. Holding knowledge you had to assemble over a lifetime of gaming and research and playing and painting and writing homegrowns(or at least that's what you thought). And you wanted to be that. Count all of those Nappy Guys, Ancients Guys, and Civil War Guys in that group.

2. Its also associated with those of us that choose to play earlier versions of a game even though there is a more recent version. Those of us who do this in RPG circles also are a part of the OSR, or Old School Revolution (or Revival if you like it softer and nicer). Wilder funner times, absolutely frought with nostalgia and rose colored glasses, but also games that were great and engaging in 68 pages instead of 224. See any of the Red Cover D&D Basic Rules, GammaWorld, Star Frontiers, Etc. Or even AD&D 1st Edition or the LBB's(1st Ed. D&D).

3. There are some others. Mostly associated with Video Games and playing on full realism settings with no cheats. Hard core stuff or old stuff.

I always pronounced it with a hard syllable. Grog-Nard. Like Frog-Hard. I had never heard it any other way. I knew it was French, but I never really thought about its correct pronunciation. Then I came across this:


This sent me into a panic. Had I been pronouncing it wrong? Words matter, I tell my children. Pronouncing them right means something. Words are meaning and a reflection of you and your education, intelligence, understanding, etc. I never say 'irregardless'. It bothers me so much ( as you can tell from the blog, I on the other hand don't care about proof reading). So I had to find out if, by my own mispronunciation, I was being revoked of my self appointed Grognard status and Membership Card. And as ususal, the internet has value for something other than porn, videos of people getting hit in the junk, and ads for Spyware software.

Here is the pronunciation of the word Gorgnard --- (gro nyar) .  Here it is pronounced by a Frenchman. I am devastated...Here's my card. Since most of us in my age group were not trained in languages other than English, this may seem stupid to those of you from more civilized places than the Colonies. But I dare you to come to Mizzura and try to wade your way around why they call their ozark town Ver-Sails instead of Versailles and you'll quickly understand.

Now deep down I knew that Grog-Nard was wrong. I knew too much French to think otherwise. Hell I make sure I correct people on the correct pronunciation of Quatre Bras and Ligny when ever I get the chance. I can even count to 20 in French. And I even know some Spanish and Italian. (mostly drinking and fightin words).

So I guess I'll have to bail on being a Gronyar. Who do I give this card to? Is it you Neck Beard and Shorts in Winter? Is it you Affliction Shirt Power Gamer? Is it you Potbelly Flannel reeking of weed? Or you Bespectacled Polo Shirt with briefcase of ancients rules?

Aww Screw It. Let's just game. LONG LIVE THE GROGNARDS (GRONYARS). Now give me my card back Unwashed Dead Eyed, It doesn't work in a Magic: The Gathering game.


4 comments:

Bill said...

Awesome. :)

Simon Q said...

LOL a great read mate and very interesting

Scott said...

Interesting reading! Thanks for the heads up...

I always found the French had an annoying habit of putting as many letters as possible into a word that you don't actually pronounce!

In this respect I found German a little easier to pronounce from the written word - you pretty much say it all as written, with a few exceptions...

However I am far from being a linguist! ;-)

BaronVonJ said...

Why do you have to bring Versailles into this? And you forgot "Gravoys Mills"