Editorial: On OoDs and ODs

My friend and teacher Iskender once described my sense of humor as “like a shotgun.” I try to hit everything. To use a different analogy, if it comes across the plate, I swing at it. Understand this is the person who is now saying: StopĀ using “OoD”.

To bring everybody up to speed: With the creation of the Order of Defense, there is now a tendency going around to abbreviate it as OoD, usually accompanied by a Doctor Who reference.

Leaving aside the aliens, the basic practice in acronyms is to only use the first letters of the important words. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is not NAaSA. FBI is not FBoI. University of North Carolina is not UoNC. USA is not USoA. So, the “o” is non-standard practice, to say the least.

Yes, stretches are made to make words, sometimes, for marketing purposes. OoD is not a word we need to make.

The Order of the Laurel is not abbreviated OoL or OotL. It is OL.
Members of the Order of the Pelican are not OoPs (Most of the time. Ā Told you I make every joke I can), or OotPs. They abbreviate it OP.
Knights of the SCA are not KoSCAs or KotSCAs. They abbreviate it KSCA.

Nor are these orders called by the abbreviation of their award.
We call Laurels ‘Laurels’, Pelicans ‘Pelicans’, and Knights ‘Knights.’
It would be jarring to keep with the standard of the Laurels and Pelicans and call members of the OD ‘Defenses.’ Calling them OoDs is still worse.

The OD is modeled after the London Masters of Defense (properly abbreviated LMD, but I’m not dying on that hill). Call them such – Masters of the Order of Defense. The Knights (the other combat peerage) already set this example – they’re called by their title, Knight, not their order, Chivalry. Masters of the Order of Defense even abbreviates to a word (MOD) for those who need to be able to pronounce it or don’t wish to say nine syllables.

The Order of the Laurel, Order of the Pelican, and Order of the Chivalry are the peers of the Order of Defense. Fencing has been recognized as the equal of these other activities in responsibility, prestige, and dignity. To then call the Order of Defense something intentionally stupid or silly is to negate all that the OD represents. It is belittling the singular achievement that is the Order of Defense, the result of decades of hard work and perseverance. This is the most important thing that has ever occurred to rapier (it is not, I’m sure, the most important thing that will ever occur to rapier). It should be granted due reverence.

So, please, no more OoDs. You make Wistric sad. Wait, not sad. Scornful. You disrespect a thing worthy of respect. You get scorn.

As with all advice relating to fencing, I should conclude with: Cardio.

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