Author Topic: Knotting Nomenclature -- How/What are we talking about?!  (Read 32401 times)

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Knotting Nomenclature -- How/What are we talking about?!
« Reply #45 on: April 02, 2010, 10:51:19 PM »
Here's a first pass at a definition for "eye":

"An eye is the elliptical section of cord which is created when certain knots are tied (e.g. Bowlines).  Traditionally referred to as a loop."
..
How can we improve the above definition of "eye"?

Perhaps in this way:
An eye is a structure in cordage that encloses a space in which an object
can resist tension of the material in which the eye is formed."


What I'm aiming for is the notion of pulling the (away-from-closure-point (splice|knot))
end of the enclosure in opposition to the (single-strand) material leading to the structure.
-- which is a notably different sense of enclosure than that of a "ring sling", where
the opposition occurs between objects both within the enclosure.

I don't follow/like Barry's space-vs-material angle:  "eye splice" is an old and
well-understood term; we can build upon that pretty easily, and thus have
"eye knot".  "Loop" remains also problematically (*overly*) extant, and there's
scant hope of escaping some use of it, I guess, and inevitably confronting
unwanted uses of it in common parlance.  My thought is that "loop" is defined
appropriate to e.g. describing the Gleipnir and TurNip and difference
between Single & Double Bowlines.  Yet there will always be those speaking of
"multi-loop" knots and so on.

"Bight" I see as being a nice categorical term to cover the general case
that includes both "closed" and "open" bights -- the former being "eyes",
or perhaps just the away-from-closure-point part of the eye.  For I
see valuable use in "bight hitches", to include the Sheet Bend,
Becket Hitch (whatever names might denote respectively end-2-end vs.
end-2-eye structures), among others -- in the sense of hitching to the
bight (i.e., essentially tying just that non-bight cordage to the bight qua
object-structure (such as tying to a hook -- something shaped, but in
a categorically identifiable way).

--dl*
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Sweeney

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Re: Knotting Nomenclature -- How/What are we talking about?!
« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2010, 06:06:12 PM »
I think that this is becoming overcomplex. If what we want is a definition then it really doesn't matter too much what it is - it is what we say it is. I used "eye" to describe a space as the first building block. An eye splice is one which encloses an eye but the rope part is not in itself an eye. A bight is a geographical term. It simply is not a "closed loop" or else what is the point of the term - it would simply duplicate the term loop? I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that this thread was an attempt to introduce a semblance of order to the very loose language that has built up vis a vis knots and ropework - by introducing an element of precision at the most basic level and then building definitions of compound terms from the simpler basics.

So I disgaree with Dan - just because we have an understood term (in this case eye splice) does not mean that it lends itself to being a fundamental building block. Rather it is derived from "eye" and "splice" - which are defined terms used to make a compound term (ie eye splice). I agree we all know what an eye splice is but in order to produce order we need to start further back up the chain - then the logical progression makes sense. That said I don't care what one calls the space enclosed by a closed loop (irrespective of how it is closed - even a simple crossing) but that space exists and has a separate identity from the material which created it hence my differentiation between loop and eye.

Finally bight hitches makes no sense to me because the word bight is being misused and because to my simple mind a hitch is tied to make an attachment to something not in a piece of self contained cordage. The progression from loop to loop knot (ie the fastening which holds the loop) to type of loop knot (fixed, slip, slipped etc) is more logical. A bight exists within a bowline but only if the ends of the bight fall short of the closure (if the bowline were circular then a bight would always be an arc within that circle. Confuse bight with the circle itself and we're back to where we started).

Perhaps my conclusion ought to be leave it alone because only worse confusion can ever come of this!

Barry
« Last Edit: April 05, 2010, 06:07:57 PM by Sweeney »

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Knotting Nomenclature -- How/What are we talking about?!
« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2010, 07:14:25 AM »
I used "eye" to describe a space as the first building block. An eye splice is one which encloses an eye but the rope part is not in itself an eye.

While one can speak in this way, it's not how I see it; nor to I see
this as in any way helpful for knotting.  Rather, the eye is the
structure, the material, and I don't feel a need for naming the space
one might see enclosed (whose existence is dependent upon the
named object, and not vice versa).  I want to talk of "the legs of
the eye".

Quote
A bight is a geographical term.

Of limited acquaintance, and ambiguous meaning:  that of some elbow
in a linear waterbody, or some mild concavity of a shoreline.  And how
are either of these senses applicable to knotting?  I think that if you check
the uses of "bight" in the knotting literature, you'll see something different
-- either of a sharply folded material (yes, much like an eye), or just the
general "between /without ends" sense ("in the bight"), which carries not
the slightest need for any curvature essential in the geographical uses.

Quote
It simply is not a "closed loop" or else what is the point of the term - it would simply duplicate the term loop?

Nor did I describe it as such; rather, I did speak of "closed"/"open" bights
-- meaning only that both/only-one-of-the legs had tension.  And this distinction
is quite useful in knotting, and is in some naming the distinction e.g. between
a "Becket hitch" and a "Sheet bend" (both of which I now prefer to see
as hitches of one end to a U-shaped structure; I might later care to see
"becket" as rigid and "bight" not).

Quote
... just because we have an understood term (in this case eye splice) does not mean that it lends itself to being a fundamental building block. Rather it is derived from "eye" and "splice" - which are defined terms used to make a compound term (ie eye splice).

Which is just my point:  as we have common understanding of "eye splice",
let's carry that into "eye knots" for like sense.

Quote
Finally bight hitches makes no sense to me because the word bight is being misused ...

Again, let's see how "bight" is actually used in knotting and how the
geographical senses play in this, if at all; my assertion is that they have little
to do with it, at this point.

Quote
... and because to my simple mind a hitch is tied to make an attachment to something not in a piece of self contained cordage

Why exclude cordage?  At least in the case of the U-shaped parts, I find
it reasonable to speak of hitching to them --that common shape--,
which is often how the joint is formed (although, yes, the Weaver's Knot
can speak to a different path to the result, in which both ends dance to the
music).  And similarly I see the Mishipman's "hitch" (well, it is that, there)
adjustable eye structure as a noose based on the passivity of the
structure's SPart in it -- just passing through the knotted end;
ditto for the Two Half-hitches => "Clove noose(-hitch)".  This is
all from a structural analysis (in contrast to a behavioral one, too
-- as behavior is fickle with material & forces).

Quote
A bight exists within a bowline but only if the ends of the bight fall short of the closure (if the bowline were circular then a bight would always be an arc within that circle. Confuse bight with the circle itself and we're back to where we started).

Well, to my mind, the classic definitions of "bight" & "loop" supported the
assertion that a Bowline is a marriage of one with the other (the SPart
forms the loop, the tail the bight).

--dl*
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Sweeney

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Re: Knotting Nomenclature -- How/What are we talking about?!
« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2010, 08:31:34 AM »
If we stick fairly closely to existing nomenclature and understood terms there is little or no point in trying to actually define terms precisely as that would inevitably lead to some terms having a restricted meaning otherwise the "definition" would be no more than "this is what we usually mean". I don't have a problem with that - in fact I can see more of a problem trying to convert the usage of years into a structure. So I think that Dan has put this very well perhaps without intending to - if we all have a good idea what we are talking about and we use this "language" in talking to inexperienced knotters explaining terms as we go then this thread is, as I have thought from the start, swimming against the tide. A picture says it all so rather than keep on with an exercise in (futile) textual explanation why not have a simple diagram illustrating what a knot part is? And what its alternative names are if any. One last point, whereas a hitch may be misnamed it is still a term used for an attachment and to use it to describe the likes of a bowline would be a radical departure from generally accepted practice. A becket hitch attaches a rope to a loop - but not narmally in the same rope (I've never seen it used to make a sling). It might be more sensible to call it a becket bend but like a fisherman's bend changing the name of something that has been misnamed for so long (and is in so much literature) is another futile academic exercise.

Barry

Dan_Lehman

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Re: Knotting Nomenclature -- How/What are we talking about?!
« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2010, 05:56:33 PM »
If we stick fairly closely to existing nomenclature ...

... then IMO we are forever frustrated in clarity of discussion,
engulfed in confusion.

Quote
"this is what we usually mean".

What this thread has yet lacked although it has been asked for are citations,
quotations, of how various knotting terms are actually used -- in which
one would see that "bight", e.g., never has much sense that is its essence
in geography; and that "loop", e.g., is used in a couple of ways -- as is
"bight" (= "mid-rope" & "(highly) elliptical loop").


Quote
One last point, whereas a hitch may be misnamed it is still a term used for an attachment and to use it to describe the likes of a bowline would be a radical departure from generally accepted practice.

There have been cases of exactly "bowline hitch", where apparently the
motivation was that the eye knot then was tied around something versus
just being formed for potential use.

Quote
A becket hitch attaches a rope to a loop - but not normally in the same rope (I've never seen it used to make a sling).

But how odd to have a BH tying to an eye-splice of a dockline tossed
to you, but when making exactly the same joint with a that docline
and its own end you have to look for another name!?  But here, again,
my point was to see the U-part qua object, as it is a fairly common
and in a practical sense one can see that the knotting is done then
by the other part to this objectified U-form.  (There can be fuzzy boundaries
where the U deforms or where one might care to extend the involvement
of the U's material with some further tying, and that of course begs the
question of its being just a tied-to form; same sort of blurring of the
boundary exists if the case of the Crabber's Eye where one starts by
tying to an otherwise uninvolved part but on setting the knot the once
straight ("uninvolved") part is deformed into more of a U shape.)  But
we must accept fuzzy boundaries, I think; those that get crossed a lot
might best be dealt with definitionally, otherwise, just shrug.

Quote
It might be more sensible to call it a becket bend but like a fisherman's bend changing the name of something that has been misnamed for so long (and is in so much literature) is another futile academic exercise.

Here, the irony is that a Sheet bend if anything was a knot hitching
("bending") a line to an object (to a clew) -- and not the rope-2-rope joint
now seen as its essence (though I note that ca. 1870 Tyrrell Biddle only
gave the latter sense!?).  But as per Cyrus Day, I think that the Ashley-ian
push to have "bend" mean "end-2-end joint" is just that:  one man's wish,
contrary extant use.  So, to call things "misnamed" is to take a dubious side.

I'm all for names matching classification, though not so gung-ho to insist on
such names being used in normal parlance --i.e., in the structure name (as
opposed to being used when discussing classification:  to be comfortable
with saying "the Fisherman's Bend is a hitch").  This will be easier to do
in this particular case if we can figure out a good term to replace the Ashley
use of "bend" -- "end-2-end joint" is cumbersome (& cutesy, with '-2-', which
has English presumption ("two" for "to"), though also correct count (two ends)).

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I wrote previously without consulting Ashley.  And I do still want to pull out
quotations from the usual textual discussions uses of the terms about which
we're struggling to put into better form.  -- not just to quote books'
definitions , as I think we'll see that their definitions often are just
echoes of others', and that their uses show a different sense.  But
I now see that Ashley's Glossary pretty well matches the senses I've given
above re "bight" & "eye" -- to wit:

Quote from: Ashley
EYE:  a spliced, seized, or knotted loop.

LOOP KNOT:  a closed and knotted bight.  An eye splice is a multi-strand loop knot.

[Interestingly, "loop" itself isn't in ABOK's Glossary.
He early (p.13) gives the usual & somewhat impractical end-bight-SPart definition,
and also for "bight" the curved definition; then defines "loop"s as "open", "closed",
and --what other books define for "loop"-- also "turn" where ends cross.  terrific, eh?]

Consider Ashley's use of "bight" in #1017 (Angler's Loop :  Take a long end ...
and form a bight
, ..." :  by the between-end-&-SPart definition, there is nothing
to form --it's thus, at the start--; by the slightly-curved-like-a-maritime-bight definition,
there is little to form (and such a formation is dubious both in value & stability)!
This, I think, is what one will find in all cases, arguably, aside from those speaking
about using the rope without ends.  Ashley's discussion for knots #1040, 1043/4
uses or can be seen to use (is well consistent with...) the like-a-loop/eye bight sense;
that of #1038 stands in some contrast, as "middle a cord" would by my meaning
become "form a bight", and "turn down a bight" has some feel of the mild curve;
#1060 is consistent with definitions contrary to what I advocate.  Note that there
is an ambiguity in this case of speaking of drawing a bight through ... :  this
can be understood as first getting a bight (which is just some maybe slightly curved
part of cordage available) and then ... , or as getting some rope part and
then drawing that into a bight; I favor the latter sense, which then leaves "bight"
attached to the result.
Consider this description for the Cat's Paw (#1891):  grasp two bights and hold
them well apart.  Twist three full turns ... and then clap the bights together.

To me, this speaks of U-shaped things, not mere parts (maybe slightly curved)
of a line (for which the twisting would make no good sense).
And this U-part sense is evident/necessary for #1894, a sling shortener.

.:.  So, while we could attempt to take a vote in quantifying usage from
some selected sources, rather, I'm trying to show distinct (and inconsistent)
senses from extant usage, and pushing to draw --from that-- better-defined old
terms and maybe some new ones as well.  The conflicts exist already, so there
is no escaping that.
 In some cases, it might be that we can establish a new
term with a clear meaning and thereby step well clear of such conflict; but
even when adopting a narrower meaning for an old term I think we can
work to establish the new sense fairly successfully.

(And, until we share definitions, we cannot see "eye to eye" !   :D  
-- it might be "eye to loop" or "bight to loop" ... )

--dl*
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« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 02:59:43 AM by Dan_Lehman »

TheTreeSpyder

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Re: Knotting Nomenclature -- How/What are we talking about?!
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2011, 03:28:37 AM »
Please excuse this Bump of the topic and my ranting, but truly, truly these things are at the root of my passions and understandings of these things that i constantly think of; but then have had so pent up inside without such release in such a long time....

i also think  like ye, that it helps to communicate to others better to name something; and be more consistent, and so thereby more quicker in the evolving of their evaluations. 

But, then too; to speak more affirmatively to self and situation when invoking these things.  To do so seems to conjure them more affirmatively, confidently and purposefully forward.  To me it is alike the old religious idea of exorcising/releasing an ill force etc. By correctly calling out the proper thing to totally face it off and command it out, thereby curing the patient.   Looking at psychologists as doing similair, whether formally in the office, or similarly as hairdresser, bartender etc.; calling out something to full focus.  As one names a dog, then commands it, more intently. 

So too, i would more purposefully think the names of each stage/ building block, set more intently separately and in total.  Know what is needed and select specific knot mechanic to be invoked and used.

Also, the namings should be more consistent, in base parts especially; like elements of chemistry, principals of math, or any other building blocks.  This, can then make L-earning faster, as you seek to align basic, understood blocks.


Another reason to take this on and name scientifically with this intensity, is that knotting is not embraced by enough people, perhaps partially because of the un-scientific contradictions and mis-understandings. 


Constant thanx to one i first knew as knudeNoggin/ knot head in sorting many things to their present evolvemeant within me; but it is also great to see sum of the same usual suspect's passions persist in this direction on these elusive, yet important things.

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Re: Knotting Nomenclature -- How/What are we talking about?!
« Reply #51 on: May 24, 2013, 05:44:15 AM »
   This thread might have been dead (for a while...), but the issues that have been discussed here are alive and well. If knot tyers can not make up their minds regarding a minimum set of knotting terms ( that will help them talk to each other), how on earth will they decide which knots are "good" and which are "bad", "beautiful" / "ugly", "useful" / "useless" , etc ? Is the KnotLand condemned or cursed to remain in the state of the Tower of Babel ? 
  The narrative of the city of Babel is recorded in Genesis 11:1-9. Everyone on earth spoke the same language... People ... sought to make bricks and build a city and a tower with its top in the sky, to make a name for themselves, so that they not be scattered over the world. God came down to look at the city and tower, and remarked that as one people with one language, nothing that they sought would be out of their reach. God went down and confounded their speech, so that they could not understand each other, and scattered them over the face of the earth, and they stopped building the city. Thus the city was called Babel 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Babel
 
  Time and again there has been attempts to establish a common ground ( See (1)(2), foe example ), but they die too soon, without leaving any traces...Why is this so ?

1. http://nodeology.pbworks.com/w/page/23011471/Knots-Terms
2. http://igkt.net/sm/index.php?topic=1636.0