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essay used in reference to another article this author had read where people
in thew were referred to as "lawless", substituting the word
"thew" for "law". If
one is in-thew, on is in-law. The
commonly understood term “law” is valid here.)
Garman and the Theodish might've wanted to draw a distinction between secular law -- common law, that binding all peoples in our rather religiously and ethnically diverse modern society -- and tribal law, and might've wanted to use words commonly understood. To then call tribal law a thew or some other original term reinforces what one means. To do otherwise is to first confuse the listener, and then to "let them in on it".
What is a "thew"? It is a duty, a requirement, a trust...in short, a law. It is imposed on or assumed by the individual and on the people from within (the Gods are, after all, within), in our case as a condition for being counted among our people (I'd hope).
If one wishes to distinguish the duty one owes one's tribe from what one owes one's neighbors as members of the common society, that is good. It's nobody outside the Innangardh's business, but it's OK. But, to use words like "lawless" to me smacks of saying your tribal law takes the place of one's duty to society, which is not only false -- I would hope -- but misleading to ütländer.
In short, it's just like self-marginalizing Wiccans calling themselves "witches".
The use of "lawless" in this case may be very minutely explained, but even the seasoned reader might not shake the parallel between "lawless" and "outlaw". They are, to my mind, synonyms, after all. So a "lawless society" is one which might lead a reader, serious or not, inside or outside, to think that no law exists...and, given the rest of the piece posted, might lead one to think -- with the "king's word is law" business -- that the society being explained is some sort of Middle Eastern tile'd-and-cushion'd despotism...which is foreign to our blood.
I'm all in favor of using -- if anything, overusing -- the word "law", and in fact -- once we arrive at a commonly agreed and equitable codex -- using it with an initial capital..."The Law".
The word "law" itself is a heavy word, not a "fun" word. It implies "duty", "requirement", "task", and "we're making a list and checking it twice". For that reason, particularly today, I'd rather use a heavy and serious word for a serious subject.
I'm not part of any "lawless society", and I have little use for anyone who is.