The months of the year

CLAN A: I don’t like saying “month x” when referring to the months in-game. It seems artificial. Using real life months wouldn’t be much better and could be confusing. I suggest that we come up with names for the Yarvinia months.

Two easy solutions that come to mind are the month names (or cardinal numbers) in Latin or Esperanto. They are similar to real life months but different enough that there shouldn’t be any confusion. What do you think?

CLAN B: As long as the months don’t look like January, February etc, I’d get confused having July in the middle of summer

There was a time when TN (or Tribe Vibes as it was) almost went to 6 seasons – Spring, Summer, Solstice, Autumn, Winter, Equinox  There was some talk of adding Samhain and Beltane (Gaelic, I believe). With double movement and skills. There wasn’t enough support to move that way.

But there’s 8 months, and there’s some tenuous link to the game.

CLAN A: That might rule out Latin and Esperanto month names then because they are similar to our months. In Latin July is Iulius and in Esperanto it is Julio.

We already use seasons to describe three-month periods so it would be confusing to have months that are named the same.

I think that Latin and Esperanto month names are too similar to English month names. Celtic month names are too different. Which means they would be difficult to remember and therefore would not be used. The Latin numbers would work but there would be confusion with the similarity and placement of Septemus and Octovus. I think that of these options the Esperanto ordinal numbers would be the best choice. They would be easier to remember but are different enough to not be confused with English words.

CLAN C: It’s an interesting idea, but I’m concerned that I’d forget the names and muck it up.  😉  Also, if Peter continued to use 1, 2, 3, … we would still need to “translate” back and forth. Actually, here’s a thought!  How about we simply “invent” month names?  But maybe, in order to make it easier to remember which month name goes with each month number, we do something “clever” to help memory (first letter of each name is alphabetical or starts with the same letter as the ordinal number, etc…

CLAN A: I was thinking along the same lines after my first message. Here is what I came up with. “Mi” is Gaelic for month. Some of it is tongue-in-cheek.

  1. Plowmi – 1st month of plowing
  2. Plantmi – Planting follows plowing
  3. Treemi Tree rhymes with three and follows the plant theme
  4. Firstharvest – self explanatory
  5. Handmi – Five fingers on a hand
  6. Sunmi – Sun is highest in the middle of the year
  7. Luckmi – Lucky 7
  8. Atemi – Ate is a homonym for eight
  9. Harvestend – Last month to harvest
  10. Frostmi – First winter month
  11. Snwomi – Middle of winter
  12. Goatkillmi – The month that {Clan D] slaughtered his goats

CLAN B: I think if the names become too idiosyncratic there’d be less chance of them catching on. How about we are guided by the rules and game mechanics. So, what is special about each month?

1. Seeking
2. Herd increases
3. Tending fields for permanent crops
4. Fair
6. Another reminder about permanent crops
9  Last chance to harvest before winter
10. Fair

​I like [CLAN A]’s Harvestend – last chance to harvest before winter​.

In a similar naming style:

1. Springseek
4. Firstfair
10. Lastfair

CLAN A: I considered Firstfair and Lastfair but thought that it might be cumbersome to say things like, “What are you trading at the Firstfair fair?”  But I suppose one could just say, “What are you trading at the Firstfair?”

Springseek seems redundant since there is only one seeking. The “mi” suffix makes the month name different from the root word so you could just say Seekingmi so that the name of the month isn’t confused with the word seeking.

CLAN B: Firstfair fair – reminds me of PIN number. [Clan B] would be more likely to say ‘What are you doing for Firstfair’, but that may depend on tribal dialect.

What about Seekmi instead of Seekingmi?

And how about simple things like Midsummer and Wintersend for months 05 and 12?

CLAN A: I like all of those suggestions. But we’d have to lose Goatkillmi in favor of Wintersend.

CLAN C: Let’s not forget the Winter months (10-12) are more dangerous for Mining

The idea was then floated on facebook, with a few replies. 30 days later the conversation was taken up again.

CLAN B: We never did get a consensus on this. Trying to find words that aren’t too far from the current names but which are also relevant to the function of the month, so that people aren’t asked to remember something too hard.

Midfall/ Fall

It’s not as if it is an important thing, but it adds a little uniqueness to the game and helps create a specific TN culture. I’ll see if Peter is interested in using them on the turn sheet. No doubt it will be resisted. Change usually is.

CLAN C: I actually kinda like all this.  I like that the “in-between” monhts are all named “Mid-xxxx”, as it “reminder me of what season we are in (so I would rename 2 Mid-Spring).  I kicked around a similar idea of calling the first month of a season something like Springstart, but wondered if it was too dull.

CLAN B: It should be that it doesn’t make any difference what month I say, it should always be immediately apparent what time of year it is. Solstice and Equinox probably don’t do that as easily as the other names, but they are also ‘traditional’ times of the year. You just have to remember which is a summer time and which is a winter time.

And here’s a funny thing: I think of hippies and dancing nymphs around Stonehenge in Summer Solstice, and Christmas at Winter Equinox. We all know the reality is that Christmas happens at the height of summer, as witnessed by all those cards with burnt forest ash all over the ground and pictures of a reindeer that didn’t wear sunblock and hat.

CLAN C: Honestly, I seem to always confuse solstice and equinox, so perhaps a “gentle” reminder name, something like, “Solsummer or Summerstice” and “Equiwinter or Winternox”

CLAN A: I was thinking along the same lines and came up with Newfall.

CLAN D: Yeah, I also like that. The mid-summer, winter etc…

1 and 3 are the only months that don’t sit 100% right.  I’ll be buggered if I can think of anything. Something related to vernal could work, but seems unrelated to the other months (which have a general easy to follow theme).

CLAN B: “ I’ll be buggered if I can think of anything.”

In that case you’d better not think too hard about it.

  1. Seek is there because that’s when Seeking happens. So that month needs to have ‘seek’ or ‘seeking’ in it. I think it works as the name itself – Seek or Seeking. Firstfair and Lastfair are the months in which the Fair occurs. So they speak for themselves. That only leaves the first of Autumn/Fall. I think that autumn should remain in the name in recognition of non-US usage, and as Fall is used in Midfall, then Autumn looks like a good choice. And it’s a pretty word.
  2. The ‘mids’ I quite like: Midsummer, Midfall, Midwinter. So why not Midspring. The down side of them is that they are no different from what we have already. But maybe that’s a good thing, as alluded to by [TRIBE C] earlier.
  3. The ‘ends’ are ok as well. I particularly like Harvestend. Summersend and Wintersend have a certain visual appeal to me. That leaves Late Spring. If we are to go with the others maybe it should be Springsend, but for some reason it doesn’t sit well with me. However, if we go for minimalist change, then Springsend is ok.

Essentially, that means that the only months that change are:

1 Seek/Seeking
4 Firstfair
7 Autumn (ie it drops the ‘Early’ part of its name)
9 Harvestend
10 Lastfair

All the others use the season with ‘end’ attached to it or use the same name but only as a single word. Equinox and Solstice would be cool in my opinion, by breaking up the repetition of mid- and -end, but I can appreciate the problems it might bring. It does occur to me that in trying to be minimalist, the naysayers might argue that there’s so little change so why bother?

Would name changes affect code in any way? Would it be easy to change the code to reflect new terms?

Anyway, let’s keep it in mind and see if something bubbles to the surface over the next bit of time.

CLAN C: What about Autumstart?  or Autumset?  Also, while I really do think that “Seek” needs to be in the name, how about something a little better, perhaps, “Newseek” (or commemorate a new year) or “Seekstart” or “Firstseek”?

CLAN A: The whole reason for this, in my mind, was to add a more “in character” flavor to our communication. Saying month 1, month 2, etc. seems bland or sterile.

I like the scheme proposed with the for mids instead of the alternatives – they are just easier to remember. I’ve been using Autumn and it works for me. I think I like Springsend better than Endspring. I’m a little disappointed to see Goatkill dropped but I understand that a certain clan might not want it commemorated in this way. (I’m just kidding, it was always a joke.)

CLAN D: Anyway, all your points are good. Springsend is ok and keeps with the theme, and Midspring is a good suggestion. So, only leaves Month 1 – Seek/Seeking. Which could be left as is if no alternative comes up.

  1. Seek/Seeking
  2. Midspring
  3. Springsend
  4. Firstfair
  5. Midsummer
  6. Summersend
  7. Autumn
  8. Midfall
  9. Harvestend
  10. Lastfair
  11. Midwinter
  12. Wintersend

It makes it easy enough to follow without reference if we keep relatively simple, whilst still retaining an air of something a little different.

Ah Goatkill. What a month. A terrible, terrible month (for goats). When we get around to religion, I think I’ll turn it into a festival of some type.

CLAN C: Newseek?   Seektime?  Soughting?

Newseek conveys 2 concepts (“Seeking” and (the start of a) “New Year”).  So, I do like that, because I don’t have to remember “Oh yeah, Seeking occurs in Month 1”.

Probably the trickiest component is Autumn, Midfall and Harvestend.  Fortunately, “mid-” and “-end” help keep the sequence in the correct orders, but it’s 3 months, all part of the same season, with 3 un-related names.  One word we have not thrown in there is “tide”.  I wonder if there’s any utility to that?

CLAN D: I’m just not sure about month 1. Nothing feels like a fit. Although I’m happy to go with consensus as I really like the idea of this as a ‘flavour’ addition. Autumntide sounds good. I see where you’re coming from with that season, but it could stand as is (like you say, mid and end denote position quite well).

CLAN E: For anything such as months 6 and 12, I keep reading them as ending with the word “send” – perhaps Summerend and Winterend?

CLAN B: Good point. I kept doing the same thing, but didn’t think much of it. But I think you are right that it needs to change.

Month 1 seems to be a problem child. Newseek sounds like an allowance paid to people looking for a new job. Maybe we need to drop the reference to ‘seek’, simply call it Newyear. All other seasons have a variation to start with – Firstfair, Autumn, Lastfair. Or Newyearseek if we include ‘seek’. Or Vernalseek. Springseek.

Springsend, Springend, Endspring for month 3 seems to be another sticking point. I think there’s a case for keeping the ‘s’ in Springsend, rather than having it look like the end of a spring. I think I prefer Endspring. The end of Spring is also the last month that permanent crops can be sown. Could we use that for something in the same way that Harvestend is used? Springsowend – urgh! no thanks. Springseed?

I don’t know. I give up … for now.

CLAN C: What about:

1) Firstseek for month 1?  It has the connotation of first of the (new) year, as well as seeking?  I suppose it could be construed as the first seeking (but there are NOT additional seekings), but I think we could live with that.  Other possibilities:  Annumseek, Seektide

2) Springtide still sounds better to me then the others.

CLAN B: What about, for Spring:

  1. Springtide
  2. Midspring
  3. Springsend

CLAN A: That sounds good to me.

CLAN E: I’m still reading #3 as spring-send

CLAN B: Lol. I now find myself reading some months as Summer-rend, Winter-rend. When I write Springend I read Sprin-gend.

I just think Springsend looks better than Springend, but I’m not going to die in a ditch over it. Springend it is.

CLAN B: Hi Peter

We’ve been discussing a new way of denoting the months – early spring, late autumn, etc or 7/806 and 3/807 etc – and felt that that’s a bit sterile and bland.

We thought that if they had their own names it would add to the uniqueness of the game, infuse a bit of TN culture to differentiate it from other games that use seasons.

The conversation has been  going for a while now but we have now all agreed on names (I’ll forward the conversations in another post so you can see what went on in case you are interested – there are two different threads).

The main guiding principle was that new names shouldn’t be too far removed from what they are and be instantly recognisable, but at the same time have their own identity.

The names we have come up with are:

Springtide; Midspring; Springend; Firstfair; Midsummer; Summerend; Autumn; Midfall; Harvestend; Lastfair; Midwinter; Winterend.

We’d like to see the names adopted throughout TN.How do you feel about using them instead of (or as well as) the usual names when issuing reports? Would it cause a programming problem?

Maybe ‘as well as’ would be best to start with. We’ve started using them among ourselves, but also adding the month number sometimes, eg Harvestend (9), until we get used to them.

What do you say?

GM: In general I like the idea…  what about Springsteen to mark the on set of the Summer Fair?

CLAN A: Why didn’t we think of Springsteen?

GM: this is now in the rules:

Springtide; Midspring; Springend (the Spring seasons)

Firstfair; Midsummer; Summerend (the Summer seasons)

Autumn; Midfall; Harvestend (the Fall/Autum seasons)

Lastfair; Midwinter; Winterend (the Winter seasons)