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Tea room discussionEdit

See Special:PermanentLink/24549081#franchise. DCDuring TALK 19:20, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Tea room.

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Quoting from a work on chivalry:

Fionn's requirements for a "good champion."
Prowess, Justice, Courage, Defense, Honesty, Humility, Nobility, Loyalty, Largesse (Generosity), Faith, Courtesy, and Franchise.

Which of our definitions of franchise applies here? I'm thinking that it may signify some official license to act in some capacity granted or bestowed by a figure of authority, however, since all the others are virtues, or abilities, I would rather think that it falls into that category. __meco 23:36, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

I have added the following sense, taken from MW 1913: Magnanimity; generosity; liberality; frankness; nobility. As Honesty (~frankness), Nobility and Largesse (~Generosity with tangible things) are explicitly included, perhaps "generosity of spirit" is what the author intended. DCDuring TALK 23:49, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
No, I don't think so. Largesse would most likely also include generosity not only in regards to material possessions. I'm thinking perhaps franchise could mean sense of self-worth, one's own importance as seen from an independent, neutral, spiritually lofty vantage point, i.e. not inflated ego. Perhaps the realization of noblesse oblige? Although I do realize that this understanding may seem to overlap with nobility, I would care to argue that it merely dovetails into it. My argument is that nobility would connote being of the purest substance and the best quality, whereas the realization that one is such may lead one to arrogance and haughtiness unless an independent quality is present, one of being able see oneself as a tool not in the service of the mundane but in the service of something more complete and encompassing, perhaps something associated with piety or responsibility. Perhaps destiny is also relevant to this quality? __meco 00:32, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Then there seems to be no unduplicated sense from among the Webster's 1913 senses. We would need some evidence from texts contemporaneous and/or in the same context as the one given above. When did "Fionn" write? Did we write in English? (If not, when was the translation done?) DCDuring TALK 12:10, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
The list of virtues is derived from two sources, an anonymous 12th-13th century French poem "The Ordination of Knighthood" and Ramon Llull's 13th century "Book of the Order of Chivalry". I found this in a forum post on a white supremacist website called Stormfront. It's unclear to me from reading the post the circumstances of the translations, but both works were originally written in French (Llull possibly Catalan, but the English translation is most likely taken from a French edition). __meco 13:53, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's the modern sense of justice either, our definition of justise could be better, too. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:59, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
  • DCD is right, by my reading. Franchise used to mean a kind of noble-mindedness and I think that is what is intended. Ƿidsiþ 14:01, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Could you elaborate on that opinion? __meco 15:23, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Er...OK. There are many examples of "franchise" being used to mean "nobility, generosity of spirit". But there are no examples of it being used to mean "sense of self-worth, one's own importance as seen from an independent, neutral, spiritually lofty vantage point" as you put it -- unless this is an isolated example. More to the point, the established meaning fits and makes sense. Ƿidsiþ 15:33, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
With the latest quotation provided by DCDuring below, I don't believe my suggestion was much off target. __meco 16:11, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't go that far -- but yes, the def below certainly shows some leakage from the "freedom" meaning (which is what the word originally meant). We just need to gather a load of citations and see how it looks then. Ƿidsiþ 08:09, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Fionn? Isn't that a Gaelic name? Is Fionn the supposed author, a speaker in the text, or the name of someone posting on the forum ? DCDuring TALK 15:18, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Read the source of the forum post which I provided. There is also discussion of an Irish text there, "Teagasc an Riogh" (Instructions for a King) from the Ossianic or Fenian Cycle, but I didn't gather my quoted text was taken from that. __meco 15:23, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
[Robert] shows it as meaning "liberty", "privilege", and "nobility of spirit" in the 12th and 13th century French. DCDuring TALK 15:27, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Another definition:
  • 2005, Maurice Keen, Chivalry‎, page 249:
    ... his courage and his generosity, his loyalty to his plighted word, his independent spirit (what the old chivalrous authors had called his franchise)
-- DCDuring TALK 15:41, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Then I think I was pretty close on the mark with what I suggested above. __meco 16:11, 31 March 2010 (UTC)
Robert provides a fairly reliable indication of what it meant in French then. It is a good bet that the early use in ME or ModE would be close. If more enough recent English writers have a different reading of those texts or more recent ones, then there might have been some kind of sense evolution in among such writers. Some might uncharitably call it error. In any event we still have neither lexicographic authority nor usage citations for the sense you suggest. (Isn't Keen's a mention?) DCDuring TALK 16:25, 31 March 2010 (UTC)