A Flame
From: Michael Alford
Newsgroup: rec.games.go
Subject: A Flame
Date: 2001-05-14

2nd Warning!

The other day we were chatting and the word 'antidisestablishmentarianism' came up. This word is interesting for several reasons - how the mixture of the prefixes and suffixes it contains alter its meaning, its history, including how part of it became a technical term, and at one time it was the longest word in the English language (1) . The root word is 'establish', '-ment' is a suffix denoting an action or process and concrete result, '-arian' is a believer, advocate, or producer, and '-ism' denotes practice of or adherence to a doctrine. The prefix 'dis-' (not to be confused with 'dys-', which means bad or impaired, see below) means to do the opposite of, and 'anti-' is opposed or hostile to. Many words can be formed, establishment, disestablishment, establishmentarian, and so on.

The word has its roots in the 1500's, when Henry was looking for an excuse to loot the Catholic monasteries and established the Church of England. The history of England has establishmentarians and disestablishmentarians on the throne, the two families, their unification, and Cromwell. During this time 'Establishmentarianism' became a technical term for a church being supported by the state as official, with the force of law. Here in the United States, we had the debates between Washington and Paine as establishmentarians with Jefferson as a disestablishmentarian over the Virginia Protestant Church. Jefferson won the debates and today the US Constitution has the 'establishment clause' (2) .

While we were chatting about some of the history of England, someone threw out 'antidisestablishmentariannngsism', and we all had a good chuckle. Later, I got to playing around with this in my mind, and came up with all kinds of things, including 'dysestablishmentariannngsism', (see above). Now there is nothing wrong with establishing Go servers, such activity is beneficial to the entire world-wide Go community. However, there is the matter of 'the end does not justify the means', a subject of much debate re political matters when I was at university. Our modern day Henry did just the opposite of the Henry of the 1500's, he looted before he established (3) ! What we have then is 'NNGSism' which entails establishing servers through copying code, copying game records, misappropriation of files, copyright violation, false advertising, and etc. Establishing servers in this manner I would label 'dysestablishment', and 'dysestablishmentariannngsism' is the belief that this is acceptable. A 'dysestablishmentarian' in this regard would have no ethics, and an 'antidysestablishmentarian' would argue that all such servers should probably be shut down. You can have all kinds of fun playing with these words, but I will forego any more of that here :) In the end, I conclude that you don't have to adopt any '-ism' to be anti-NNGS, all you have to have are some ethics.

(1) the longest word in the English language currently has 1,913 letters.

(2) even after the Constitution was ratified, disestablishment took some time, the Congregational Church continued to collect tithes (taxes) in three states well into the 1800's.

(3) there are posts to this newsgroup that continue to deny this, but it is well-known that not only was IGS hacked at the time of the creation of NNGS, it was not the only site hacked. Arguments about this are nothing more than attempts at obfuscation.


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