Lynching

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Lycanfire
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:52 am

So, this popped up in the T-shirt thread but it's probably best discussed in its own thread.

The suggestion was that we should have a different word to describe our current "lynch" system.

I decided to look up the etymology for this word, because surely lynching has occurred for a long time, but I can't seem to find any source outside of a connection to linch that nobody seems to believe. All sources seem to reference William Lynch and Lynch Law. Seemingly, its use is based in early American prejudice and vigilantism.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1992)

Lynch law n.
The punishment of persons suspected of crime without due process of law. [After William Lynch (died 1820).]
WORD HISTORY:
“Whereas, many of the inhabitants of Pittsylvania... have sustained great and intolerable losses by a set of lawless men... that... have hitherto escaped the civil power with impunity... we, the subscribers, being determined to put a stop to the iniquitous practices of those unlawful and abandoned wretches, do enter into the following association... upon hearing or having sufficient reason to believe that any... species of villany [has] been committed within our neighborhood, we will forthwith... repair immediately to the person or persons suspected... and if they will not desist from their evil practices, we will inflict such corporeal punishment on him or them, as to us shall seem adequate to the crime committed or the damage sustained... In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands, this 22nd day of September 1780.” These are the words of a compact drawn up by Captain William Lynch and a group of his neighbors. At the time, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, was troubled by its “set of lawless men.” The courts were too distant to deal with them, so it was agreed to punish criminals without due process of law. Both the practice and the punishment came to be called lynch law after Captain Lynch. Although lynch law and lynching are mainly associated with hanging, other, less severe punishments were used. William Lynch died in 1820, and the inscription on his grave notes that “he followed virtue as his truest guide.” But the good captain, who certainly hadn’t invented vigilante justice, yet had tried to justify it, was sentenced to the disgrace of having given his name to the terrible practice of lynching.

Wikipedia: William Lynch speech

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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:47 am

Keep in mind the modern day interpretation of the word is tied to racism
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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:47 pm

The word 'lynch' is probably inaccurate - in most scenarios - since there is a process (it's just not fair process) that leads up to a player being removed from the game via that mechanic e.g. talking, discussing, arguing, and so and and so forth.

I have to wonder what the original word was for the lynch mechanic before the game was translated from Russian to English and thus became known as the 'lynch' mechanic. Here's a link to a copy of the original creator's webpage [Dimitry Davidoff]. Apparently, the original website is no longer available (according to this site).
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:51 pm

So the original flavor is “sentenced to death”. Interesting, and SyLo/SeLo (vs. LyLo) works as an acronym imo
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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:01 pm

I mean, in today's society walking around wearing a t-shirt with the word lynch on it (or sentenced to death) is prob not the best idea
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Lycanfire
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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:16 pm

In post 1, Gamma Emerald wrote:Keep in mind the modern day interpretation of the word is tied to racism


There doesn't seem to be any literary record of the word lynch before 1782. In this context, it was used for in the sense of some very tenuous (read: likely racially motivated) vigilante justice. It's been passed on that William Lynch made a speech in 1712 (above) that was entirely dealing with controlling the slave population.

I think the main takeaway is, no matter which origin you believe to be true, this word is relatively new and didn't necessarily refer to the act of hanging somebody. It's firmly rooted in vigilante justice-at least-what the perpetrators believed to be justice. I think this point alone makes it agreeable that the word in its original meaning ("lynch law" e.g. William and Charles Lynch) does not compliment what our meaning of lynch is, and the colloquial meaning (to hang) is racially charged.

In post 4, Nero Cain wrote:I mean, in today's society walking around wearing a t-shirt with the word lynch on it (or sentenced to death) is prob not the best idea


"I like hanging with my friends @ mafiascum.net" is probably a good slogan.

It's wordy and long, I guess something like

___I like hanging
__with my friends


_____@
MafiaScum.net


would do as a full-back design

or even some derivative like, "hanging out @ mafiascum.net" would be good, too

just no ropes.
Last edited by Lycanfire on Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:23 pm

execute vs lynch?
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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:29 pm

In post 5, Lycanfire wrote:"I like hanging with my friends @ mafiascum.net" is probably a good slogan.

As if were a friendly game.
#banallhydras

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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:39 pm

i mean

In the United States, the origin of the terms lynching and lynch law is traditionally attributed to a Virginia Quaker named Charles Lynch.[12]:23ff Charles Lynch (1736–1796) was a Virginia planter and American Revolutionary who headed a county court in Virginia which incarcerated Loyalist supporters of the British for up to one year during the war.


Lynch was not accused of racist bias. He acquitted blacks accused of murder on three separate occasions.


In several incidents in 1780, Lynch and several other militia officers and justices of the peace rounded up suspects who were thought to be a part of a Loyalist uprising in southwestern Virginia. The suspects were given a summary trial at an informal court; sentences handed down included whipping, property seizure, coerced pledges of allegiance, and conscription into the military.


So I don't think the term "lynch" is really racist though in this day and age it's too closely linked to racism ro be used outside of this site.
#banallhydras

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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:41 pm

I don't see it being very likely to change regardless, as much as I'd be into it. If there are people on the site though that feel really uncomfortable with it, it could be possible, and I would support it. I just don't know that anyone would change.
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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:14 pm

Lmao this is never going to change, lynch is an iconic mafia phrase and everyone who gets into mafia can understand the real meaning of words independently from their historical connotation.

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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:35 pm

In my in person games I have gone with "exile" after one session where the one black guy was lynched day 1. Everyone laughed it off but I think the politics of the word is waaaaay more obvious when the skin color of the player is evident. But I also do some other rules for in person games because I like to foster a specific dynamic.

I think online it is more abstract cause you feel like you're lynching "the chicken avi" or "pikachu" which makes it absurd and funny
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Post Post #12  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:55 am

I am 100% in support of changing the wording
Obviously no census has been done on site (that I'm aware of) but it may be that the racial makeup of the userbase reflects a racial discomfort with the word "lynch". I feel some amount of discomfort with the word, even as I agree that it is less uncomfortable online than it would be IRL.

I would not play mafia IRL with people who chose to use the word lynch.

It is not hard to use a different word, nor is "lynching" necessarily the most appropriate word to use, especially depending on game flavor.

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Post Post #13  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:16 pm

In post 10, Awoo wrote:this is never going to change, lynch is an iconic mafia phrase and everyone who gets into mafia can understand the real meaning of words independently from their historical connotation.
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Post Post #14  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:40 pm

I support changing the name. I'm not sure that we as mafiascum are likely to enforce it (perhaps we should for newbie games), but I think it'd be a good idea to come to a different word. "Eliminated" is a pretty good word, but I wouldn't mind seeing various versions used by mods and see what sticks.
.

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Post Post #15  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 28, 2018 6:48 pm

execute??!?!?
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Lycanfire
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Post Post #16  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:48 pm

I made this thread as a dialogue, and not as a poll or petition. I did this because I wasn't convinced until I looked at multiple sources for the word lynch, and also because if my sources were correct, I couldn't think of a good name to replace it, anyway.

To reiterate: my point is that sources indicate the etymology of the word lynch is rooted in the concept "lynch law" which is either attributed to William Lynch, who if accounts are believed, definitely advocated it to control a slave population, or Charles Lynch, who had a potentially racist motive; lynch in this case means vigilantism in a broad spectrum, and not just the act of execution as we interpret it. It's my conclusion is that even in the best case, the word doesn't make much sense, and if it's making sense, we ought to check on our bed sheets.

Furthermore there's no rule that says a "lynch" has to happen in the day phase. Mafia as a game (what separates it from other social games) advocates an abstract version of a lynch mechanic. There's precedent of other words being used, especially in theme games, or no lynch mechanic at all, though without care that blurs the line between Mafia and a variant.

From the games not archived we have:
Bad Idea Mafia - uses day killing instead of lynching [mechanics+flavor]
Echo Bay Grits SEO - uses day killing instead of lynching [mechanics+flavor]
Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires VII - modified day killing ("prevention") instead of lynching [mechanics+flavor]
Only YOU Can Prevent Forest Fires VIII - modified day killing ("prevention") instead of lynching [mechanics+flavor]

I'd wager most people could remember a game they've come across that didn't use the word "lynch" in favor of another word, too.

The most official body Mafiascum has that decides "what Mafia is" is the NRG, and I'd imagine they'd roll their eyes at a meaningless question, such as, "can I change all references to lynching in my game to exile?" There's having rules ("pre-made PMs") then there's being a stick in the mud over a single word that isn't even constant throughout mafia.

What takeaway I'm trying to present with this post is that the "lynch" mechanic itself is an abstract one. If game mods find the word "lynch" to be in some way repugnant, they can choose another one. I'm not advocating a site rule binding this practice. As far as I can tell we have no record of somebody voicing concern about the community or for the community to use this word in a racially charged matter. It's my opinion that nobody has done anything wrong, because the community was negligent regarding the meaning of the word, and meant no ill-will in its use.

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Post Post #17  (ISO)  » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:23 pm

Interesting. If I were to mod another game in the future, I would not use the word "lynch" in any mod text and highly discourage usage of the word by players. Using the word was always unacceptable outside the realms of mafia, but upon learning of its etymology, using the word now feels gross even within the context of mafia.

I would consider banning the word wholly in my games, but I'm sure some slips by players will invariably happen since it's currently part of standard mafia lexicon.

I think the word "killed" would be an adequate substitute, but I wonder if it will caused some confusion since I tend to think of NKs when the word "killed" is used. Or perhaps, the phrase "killed by the mob" conveys the meaning without the racially charged meaning. Or just "day killed" as lycan suggested.

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Post Post #18  (ISO)  » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:59 am

I agree that this shouldn't be a change in site rules... It's a cultural thing that is more or less culturally relevant for various users on the site, and anyway enforcing wording is a way of annoying people regardless of the context. I do think that any mod or prolific player that feels willing and able to use a different word/find different flavor for the voting out mechanic should be encouraged to do so.

I've seen even non-theme games that, by way of flavor, use a word other than lynch. I approve wholeheartedly.

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Post Post #19  (ISO)  » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:28 pm

In post 14, zoraster wrote:I support changing the name. I'm not sure that we as mafiascum are likely to enforce it (perhaps we should for newbie games), but I think it'd be a good idea to come to a different word. "Eliminated" is a pretty good word, but I wouldn't mind seeing various versions used by mods and see what sticks.

I've been using "eliminated" in rulesets where accuracy is required (referring to all ways in which a player can leave the game via the game mechanics, typically the vote during the day and the scum's factional night action). This is partly because if you use words like "killed" you have to start drawing a distinction between a player and a player character, to ensure that the rules don't attempt to kill people in real life. (Not that anyone would likely try to interpret them like that, but I don't like ambiguity.) "Eliminated" works because you can interpret it as referring to the player themself with no semantic methods.
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Post Post #20  (ISO)  » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:37 pm

what if people start expressing discomfort with the idea of getting murdered in their sleep? use euphemism for that term too?

imo lynching is fine under the context of forum mafia, and there is no need to change it just because it can be interpreted with negative connotations while under completely different contexts

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Post Post #21  (ISO)  » Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:44 pm

I guess the argument is partially that the context isn't different enough from the original one

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Post Post #22  (ISO)  » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:52 am

You are forcing that context upon a concept when it is perfectly fine for that concept to be interpreted in isolation.

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Post Post #23  (ISO)  » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:52 am

As players are basically sentenced to death by a "jury of their peers", why not use "convicted" for the final vote count, and "executed" for EoD flavor?
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Post Post #24  (ISO)  » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:20 am

MURDER
DEATH
KILL


Or just flip
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