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Terry Pratchett Knighted

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the sir-discworld dept.

Books 366

ackthpt writes "Headlines have been popping up on Google News: 'Terry Pratchett declared himself "flabbergasted" to receive a knighthood as he led a group of writers, actors and performers honoured today.' The Discworld author and stalwart adversary of Alzheimers Disease has been a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to Literature since 1998. He will be entering the new year as Knight Commander. Well done and Oook, Sir Terry."

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Bill Gates (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277625)

Gates knighting comes to memory.

Re:Bill Gates (0, Troll)

Francais Troll (1442059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278089)

Bill Gates est un grand homme qui a fait beaucoup de grandes choses, mais tous et a changé la face de la grande entreprise. Dites ce que vous les produits de Microsoft, mais M. Gates est une classe. En outre, ce n'est pas pertinente pour le sujet traité. Mai-vous de toujours marcher sur le sable chaud.

Who? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277633)

I'm sorry - I've never heard of him.

Re:Who? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277973)

Then Google it and stop contributing to Slashdot's already high signal-to-noise ratio.

Re:Who? (5, Funny)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278253)

Yes. We wouldn't want a high signal to noise ratio on Slashdot.

Re:Who? (5, Informative)

retyurecvb (1442035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277985)

He's a fantasy author who is best known as the author of the Discworld series.

Re:Who? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278135)

He's not American.

flabbergasted?! (0, Troll)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277635)

he became a vampire?

Re:flabbergasted?! (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277703)

How exactly can one be a "stalwart adversary of Alzheimers Disease"?

I mean, other than the classic "I will die young, thus depriving it of another victim."...

Re:flabbergasted?! (-1, Troll)

Francais Troll (1442059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278101)

J'espÃre que vous obtenez sur vos genoux et de stimuler mon pénis par voie orale, monsieur?

Re:flabbergasted?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278231)

That must be because he is very fond of using sarcasm [slashdot.org] in his books

Congratulations (5, Insightful)

Nil000 (927828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277639)

Congratulations Sir Terry, a well deserved honour.

Re:Congratulations (5, Informative)

poena.dare (306891) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277893)

http://www.paulkidby.com/news/index.html [paulkidby.com]

Folks,

There are times when the phrase "Absolutely, totally, gobsmackingly, mindbogglingly amazed" just doesn't cover it, but I find that in the Queen's New Year Honours list I am now a Knight, for services to literature. This means that fans, while not calling me Sir, must now refrain from throwing things. Regrettably, no sword is included in the box :)

What more can a modest Knight say?

Happy New Year, which on Discworld is the Year of the Pensive Hare.

PS - We have had about twenty film crews through the office today and so you should be able to catch some footage on one channel or another.

Re:Congratulations (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278145)

Congratulations Sir Terry, a well deserved honour.

That would be "Sir Terence".

Services to literature since 1998? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277653)

Really? That's knightable? Sir JK Rowling? Sir Alan Dean Foster?

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (1)

Smuttley (126014) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277675)

Another way to write it would be.

Since 1998 he has been a member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to Literature.

get it now?

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277707)

Technically, the members are designated MBE, it's the officers that are OBE. He got himself promoted.

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (4, Informative)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277791)

Last time I checked, J.K. Rowling had a vagina.

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (5, Funny)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277847)

You checked her vagina?!

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (1)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277869)

Everything was in order, just in case you were wondering.

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (4, Funny)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277873)

Why not, we all know she's a dirty old woman anyway: http://bash.org/?111338 [bash.org]

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (2, Insightful)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278023)

In which case they will make her a Dame eventually. Not that she is as deserving as Terry mind but if she works at it for another 15 - 20 years she might get it.

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278033)

Hmmm.. That should make her a Damsel me thinks, for a Dame is a lady Lord.
Now I'm gender confused for what a Lady knight should be termed.

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (4, Informative)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278189)

Hmmm.. That should make her a Damsel me thinks, for a Dame is a lady Lord. Now I'm gender confused for what a Lady knight should be termed.

No, a Dame is the female equivalent to knight. The female equivalent to a Lord is Lady.

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (1)

teg (97890) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278051)

Really? That's knightable? Sir JK Rowling? Sir Alan Dean Foster?

JK Rowling also has an OBE, from 2001 [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:Services to literature since 1998? (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278157)

Really? That's knightable? Sir JK Rowling? Sir Alan Dean Foster?

Are you kidding? JK Rowling will get made Queen at least.

MD5 in CAs has been cracked!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277657)

why is slashdot SOOO behind in the news? why is there not article?

Re:MD5 in CAs has been cracked!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277739)

Dope. It's a couple stories down from this one.

It's a shame ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277663)

It's a shame he won't remember it soon :-(

Re:It's a shame ... (1)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277681)

Yeah, a reference to his alzheimer's. Even worse/ruder - he might rewrite some of his old books, thinking it is new material, and either make more money or lose his publisher.

Re:It's a shame ... (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278149)

Or end up suing himself for copyright infringement.

Just for the record, only UK subjects (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277673)

Are supposed to call him "Sir Terry." I recall Ben Kinglsey being a prick about this, insisting everyone call him "Sir Ben Kingsley."

Well, since 1776, the US is no longer part of the UK, so no sir for you, except waiters asking of you want more tea.

Just a little FYI. Sorry if we republican (small r) Americans find the whole royalty thing anachronistic, not to mention flying in the face of the concepts of equality and consent of the governed. Who really does care what these inbred people think?

I've never been a huge fan of the French, but they did one thing right in 1789: "Off with their heads!"

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (5, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277697)

I think we can agree that Terry Pratchett has earned an honour of one kind or another.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277725)

Absolutely.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (5, Insightful)

Smuttley (126014) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277699)

Yet it doesn't stop you coming over in large numbers to hang around outside Buckingham Palace taking photos of the Changing of the Guard.

and how (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277733)

The amount of film shot on those days before digital cameras must have been astounding.

Anyway, I was there on October 2nd this year, and while there, the Queen's Guard band played a Star Wars medley (including the Cantina music!) John Williams might be an O.B.E. by now too (heck, John Barry is), except he's American.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277741)

Just a little FYI. Sorry if we republican (small r) Americans find the whole royalty thing anachronistic, not to mention flying in the face of the concepts of equality and consent of the governed. Who really does care what these inbred people think?

There are many monarchies in Europe, most are stable, democratic countries where individual rights are very well protected... There is nothing anachronistic about keeping traditions...

I've never been a huge fan of the French

What kind of dumb remark is that?

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277787)

Yes, keeping around government-supported, government-entwined birthright positions and riches is what equality is all about. And not only that, but there's something inherently magical about the queen that she, or the people she delegates these matters to, get the power to suddenly make someone "special" enough that they deserve a special title. Is it just me, or does the left sometimes slobber over authority as much as the right tends to do?

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (4, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277861)

In all honesty, I find the idea of a society where everyone is so equal that they can't even be told "hey, you've written some really good books, well done" an appalling idea. I'll keep my birthright based head of state, or even some guy a moistened bint threw a scimitar at over that.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1)

feyhunde (700477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277947)

That's why we have medals. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is given to people who have enriched America through their works. Yeah it's a bit political, but Fred Rogers, Frank Sinatra and a mess of other folks.

Although I don't have a problem with constitutional monarchy, with a bit more power than the British do. It seems to me there's some merits when you have a decent Royal line that needs to think on a much longer scale than election cycles

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (5, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278065)

>needs to think on a much longer scale than election cycles
Which is also a large chunk of the reason we have (had) a House of Lords. Blair and his vile mob did their best to wreck all that though and rip out a perfectly functional line of sanity that allowed him to shove through laws that would never have got passed otherwise. Of course, he used his usual campaign of disinformation and whipping up a frenzy of stupidity in large swathes of the people via the Daily Mail etc.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278003)

I'm not opposing people being told they did a good job--you made that up because you don't have an argument. No, what I said is that the queen isn't (or shouldn't be) any more special as you or I, and her awards SHOULDN'T be treated as though they are.

When you view the queen's honors as being worth more than your own, when the queen has her position due to birth and not due to personal ability or bravery or somesuch, then you devalue yourself and inflate the worth of someone who hasn't earned it.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278013)

In all honesty, I find the idea of a society where everyone is so equal that they can't even be told "hey, you've written some really good books, well done" an appalling idea. I'll keep my birthright based head of state, or even some guy a moistened bint threw a scimitar at over that.

One doesn't have anything to do with the other. There's nothing wrong with praising people for their achievements, yet there's no need for a monarch to do it.

In fact, being praised only by a monarch is rather sad for an author. The true test of success is if the readers praise him, and go out of their way to let him know. The queen is just one reader among millions (and that's assuming she actually read his work - if not, then her honouring him is just plain silly) .

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278211)

Hey, at least if you have an idiot as the head of the state, at least said idiot was born into it, so you don't have to suffer through the collective self-blaming for having elected him. Or her. Or it, in case of tentacles.

Whatever Mr Vimes may say, kings are useful in that regard. They are born into it, so fuck'em and get on with your life.
Besides, revolutions are more... interesting than elections.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278257)

It seems that the British Empire used to award knighthoods to people who actually did something - social reformers, military heroes, literary giants, and so on. These days, they give it out to pop singers, movie set designers, and funny book writers. It would be nice for the award to have some other meaning than "you sure sold a lot of books!" It seems to be sort of like the Oscars or Emmys...more like a popularity contest than an award of any genuine merit.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278067)

You are an idiot. You have no idea what you're talking about. The only statement I can be arsed to refute properly is that the Queen doesn't decide who she gives honours to in the same way as she doesn't decide what's in her speech or at the opening of parliament. She is a tradition. I know Americans have a problem with the concept.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278087)

Special title? Well, no more than 'President' or 'Prime Minister' who are, after all, people who could afford to take a step out of real life to 'play politics' and are almost certainly pretty bent political hacks.

A monarch is a person who's been educated from birth, and has had plenty of time to think about role, responsibility and necessary education.

They also have tenure of a sorts, which means they can afford to take a long view - most major shifts in a country don't really start to take effect for years anyway.

It's not actually much worse than the current perversions of a democracy that various other countries seem to run - a 4 yearly popularity contest where you're trying to buy the maximum number of voters with a minimal amount of investment. It's about as much a question of birthright as a monarchy is too - your 'average working man' rarely has enough money to afford the luxury of spending years campaigning and polticiking, and dropping large amounts of cash on the political campaign. (OK, so they can sell out to someone rich and get funding as a result but that's not much different).

*shrug*. The reason a monarchy _still_ works quite well, is because you still typically have an elected government, but you have a person who's a representative of the country's interest in the long term as well.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277745)

considering what i've seen in the south, who the fuck are you to call any country inbred??

OK, US bashing is "Insightful" here (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278139)

But French or UK bashing, that's a troll. Got it.

considering what i've seen in the south, who the fuck are you to call any country inbred??

The difference being, 1) Most people from the US South are not, in fact inbred; 2) Inbred trash are looked down upon in the US, not placed into a higher ruling caste.

Why do we even have a moderation system here? It really is off-putting to see how people abuse it.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277769)

The Queen, Knights, etc. have no power more than their cash assets can bring to bear. So shut the fuck up.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (3, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277871)

Actually, the Queen has a whole lot of power in the UK. She has for example the power to say "oi, parliament, fuck off, I'm in charge now". It's only through choice that she delegates power to democracy, not through any lack of power.

Having said that, a large riot would tear her limb from limb if she ever tried that.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (4, Insightful)

paganizer (566360) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277943)

The monarchy is sort of like the 2nd amendment; if things just get totally and completely screwed up beyond any hope of repair, The 2nd amendment, and the Monarchy, are the built-in reset switches.
And, just like the 2nd amendment, a bunch of idiots don't realize what a blessing it is that they have that reset switch.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278213)

Having said that, a large riot would tear her limb from limb if she ever tried that.

Oddly enough that didn't happen in Australia in 1975 [wikipedia.org] . Her local deputy took the blame.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277891)

You sound like a hick.

Here's the thing about hicks and sci-fi. You guys last like 10 minutes. You make a couple 'rah rah america' or 'that guys skin is different' comments, wave a beer bottle or a gun around and then you get shot or crushed by something.

When will you guys ever learn to just shut up and smile and talk shit after everyone else is gone?

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (2, Insightful)

unapersson (38207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277909)

Where does all this US loathing of the French come from? Perhaps you should send back the statue of liberty to teach them a lesson.

We've always had a reputation for hating the French but I've never seen the foaming at the mouth loathing shown by quite a few Americans, despite the UK having been involved in quite a few wars against the French. Including a little spat that ended in 1776.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278227)

Where does all this US loathing of the French come from?

Their refusal to play ball.

Re:Just for the record, only UK subjects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278203)

Err. I think you mean "only subjects of the 16 Commonwealth Realms". HM is the Queen of the UK, yes, but she's also the Queen of fifteen other countries, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and the Honours system extends there too (in a variety of different ways).

Anyway, no one "has" to call anyone anything; it is merely a sign of respect. Respect is generally a good idea, though in these individualist times people evidently feel that deference is beneath them. Note especially the practice of using the correct clerical form in the United States, something which is rather rare in the UK now, and exceptionally so for non-Anglican clerics.

Congratulations, Sir Terry! (5, Funny)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277721)

Congratulations! I'm glad to see that you didn't settle for a new dartboard, even if Detritus does ruin them.

Real honor (-1, Troll)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277777)

I know I'll be modded down as troll or flamebait, but so what? Why is the QUEEN so special that she can give people special titles? She's nothing, she's a rich dinosaur that gets to live an easy life do to peoples' propensity for keeping around pointless traditions. Yeah, people talk about how great the royal family is with charity, but it's easy to be charitable when life is handed to you on silver platters.

Re:Real honor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26277829)

Dear sir,

You should be modded down as OFF TOPIC more than anything else. The flame bait (which I'm taking, you can see) was very weak, and calling you a troll would, in one sense be appropriate because this is Discworld's author after all, but highly inappropriate considering that Terry Pratchett was (A) Funny and (B) Coherent.

Thanking you,
With (few, if any) regards,
Anonymous C Oward.

Re:Real honor (3, Insightful)

horatiocain (1199485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277833)

Yes but, she's bestowing honors on people who contribute to society. Say what you need to about the outdated notion of royalty but I wish America had someone official to hand out awards for generating culture. We have halls of fame and parades but they're reserved for athletes and soldiers, the most useless occupations ever invented.

Re:Real honor (3, Interesting)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277855)

Why should any governing body, or something affiliated with a governing body, decide for people what moral causes are worth awarding shiny medals and titles for, instead of simply popular consensus? Why is that not good enough? Perhaps we should have President Bush award medals to anti-abortion groups, for "fighting for the sanctity of life", or anti-gay groups, "fighting for the sanctity of marriage?" Or for culture, how about giving Mel Gibson a medal for Passion of the Christ? Or, is it only OK when you agree with the cause or media?

And why does ANYONE need to hand out trinkets for these accomplishments? The honor, the REASON behind these awards are given almost always after such reasoning is evident to most people. Trophies and titles do not make peoples actions more or less great.

You know what? You want someone handing out blue ribbons so badly, why not you do it? What? You mean nobody cares about what you think? Well, why should I care about what the government thinks, or the queen, for that matter?

Re:Real honor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278133)

Why should any governing body, or something affiliated with a governing body, decide for people what moral causes are worth awarding shiny medals and titles for, instead of simply popular consensus? Why is that not good enough? Perhaps we should have President Bush award medals to anti-abortion groups, for "fighting for the sanctity of life", or anti-gay groups, "fighting for the sanctity of marriage?"

Each sitting U.S. president has the opportunity to hand out awards that are the closest thing America has to knighthoods -- Presidential pardons. Arise, Sir Lewis of Libby!

Re:Real honor (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278175)

Well, why should I care about what the government thinks, or the queen, for that matter?

Well, why do you care? You seem to be getting very angry over something that apparently doesn't matter to you at all. Nobody is forcing to care.

To answer your other points - firstly, if you're so concerned with the monarchy 'leeching off the state', conveniently ignoring the benefits they bring to the country in terms of tourism, diplomatic relationships and the income from their holdings (which is fully taxable, you may note), please send me your address and I will send you the sixty-six pence it costs per citizen per year to keep the monarchy going. I am glad of it, even if you are not.

Secondly, last time the electorate was polled, about 80% of the British said keep the monarchy, so unfortunately your views are still very much in the minority. If you want to live in a country without a monarchy, I suggest you go find one.

Re:Real honor (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278259)

I voted for the republic here in Australia in 1999, and I will do the same the next time it comes to a vote.

But I don't care what the British do. People who want to winge about the Monarchy in Britain should say the same about Holland, Sweeden, etc.

Re:Real honor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278163)

--soldiers, the most useless occupations ever invented.

From a top-down view of the world, yes they are useless. But not from the point of view of any individual nation.

Re:Real honor (1)

Candid88 (1292486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277837)

You post would be modded a troll because it is a troll. If Britain wants to have a monarch, who are you to tell them they shouldn't be able to have one?

I've been to England several times and the Queen is very popular there. Heck, a few centuries back the country brought back the monarchy after being a republic for a few decades, so the situation is obviously one that's right for them.

Aside from the democratic questions, I can see the appeal, I really wouldn't want a corrupt political swine like Bush awarding me an honor like this!

Re:Real honor (3, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277895)

"Britain" is not a monolithic entity. Many people there also think the royalty should be abolished, and as far as I'm concerned, everyone who doesn't agree with the presence of the royal family is being leeched upon. I don't care about your shallow excuses of democracy, democracy can justify anything so long as the mob agrees to it.

You might as well state that because Bush won the election, that Europeans shouldn't criticize our elections! Sorry, but that's not how it works, I'll criticize my government, I'll criticize your government, and I'll let other people do the same. Governments are not the people, and your flag does not represent you or who you are.

Re:Real honor (2, Interesting)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277839)

True, but it's called tradition. I do agree that the cult around the British royal family, and other royal families around Europe, still has ludicrous proportions, though many Britons think the Queen's just a boring old bat, stuck in the 1940s. But then again there is a similar cult and a large amount of unnecessary pomp around the US president and military. All that needs to be scaled back.

Re:Real honor (2, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277911)

Tradition is something that holds us back from progress. Mindless repetition of things done for the sake of doing what was done before. Instead of wasting time and energy avoiding stepping on cracks so we don't break our mother's backs, let's just get on with the show and not waste time, eh?

And yes, I agree with your assessment of the unnecessary "pomp", as you put it, over our president and military. And especially our president-to-be, I'm particularly frightened of his cult status, although he's obviously better than Bush.

Re:Real honor (4, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277889)

Why is the QUEEN so special that she can give people special titles?

You're correct of course. Another way of looking at it, though, is that this whole thing is not about the queen of England at all; it's about honouring Terry Pratchett.

Re:Real honor (-1, Offtopic)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277955)

Then by all means, honor him! You don't need a decrepit old coot to tell you if he's great or not--and what if I don't agree with the decrepit old coot? If I was British, I'd be embarrassed that the person that is supposed to represent me (in the eyes of many around the world, at least) makes it look like I think Bill Gates deserves a particular honor of the sort he got! My point is that governments or bodies affiliated with the government should not be in the business of handing out awards because governments should strive to be neutral towards these subjective things.

Re:Real honor (1)

Beomeph (1280022) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277897)

Agreed the queen is a rich relic from a bygone age, but as she is the head of state her giving out honours makes sense. Politically the queen is toothless and doesn't even choose who she gives honours to. Changing the UK's traditional system would be more of a statement than leaving it in place, and since the royals do pull in a lot of tourists and their money, what's the point in changing it?

Re:Real honor (2, Informative)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277915)

titles have an associated meaning to them, typically, you could call yourself MindlessAutomata ruler of the ants! and nobody would give two hoots, to be given a title from the british monarch means something.

Maybe not to you, but it isn't a typically easy thing to get, and most people would agree it takes some level of skill/achievement.

You seem to be under the impression that being a monarch would be an easy job, I propose it would not, to be a horrible monarch may be easy, but being the example of manners and and grace 24/7 while going about your business would not be an easy job.

As for 'pointless traditions' what do you think culture is?, I know the points I have raised to not delve into the more meaningful aspects of it all, but it's 8pm new years eve here, so I'll return and post a more detailed comment later perhaps.

Re:Real honor (2, Insightful)

xous (1009057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277919)

This is pretty much all that is left of her power. These days a monarch is nothing more than a figurehead who dances for the public. Not a job I'd want.

Re:Real honor (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277959)

Yeah, but she's damn wealthy to boot. Where'd she get that money? Through hard work or her family's toil and labor? HAH! I wish I were royalty for the sole purpose of being the one person who could abolish it.

Re:Real honor (4, Informative)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278053)

I wish I were royalty for the sole purpose of being the one person who could abolish it.

The king doesn't have power to abolish his seat. The most you could do was abdicate, after which a successor would be found according to a well-defined modified primogeniture succession order. No approval from you would be needed for the coronation -- in fact, you would be in no position to approve or disapprove, having abdicated.

Re:Real honor (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278099)

Read a bit of history damn it! Their families fought wars of conquest and won. Then they created empires with massive economic, social and industrial might That's how they got the money. It's called 'Old Money' and lots of the rich=titled people in the Old World have lots of it floating about.
And to see who owned who, check out the flag of the British East India company and compare it the to Stars and Stripes.

Re:Real honor (1)

xous (1009057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278169)

Inheritance like any regular person would. Even if you went back a few hundred years and completely removed royalty it is very likely that her family would still be considerably well off.

Re:Real honor (1)

vectorious (1307695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278037)

I think you may be missing the point- the entire thing is antiquated and out of date - to single out the queen on issues of giving Knighthoods (rode any flashing white chargers of late?) or Orders of the British Empire (what Empire would that be then?) is like complaining that there are hazelnuts on your peanut butter and brazil nut ice cream. The whole thing is nuts and removing one of them won't make it less so.

Re:Real honor (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278041)

Nothing is really so special about Her Majesty. You can award people titles too if you wish.

Re:Real honor (0, Offtopic)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278071)

Yes, but why are other people treating "Her Majesty"'s (why are you addressing her as if SHE'S so special?!) awards as if they mean anything more than your own?

Re:Real honor (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278055)

Why is the QUEEN so special that she can give people special titles?

Simple, really. She's got the specialest title. Ergo, she may dispense with special titles as she pleases.

Re:Real honor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278081)

Its still better than being modded down on /. And a complement is better than a insult.

Re:Real honor (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278105)

Why is the QUEEN so special that she can give people special titles?

Simple, she's better than you are. What have you done for the world, or the UK?

Re:Real honor (2, Informative)

gedhrel (241953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278201)

She's the head of state. But she doesn't choose those on the honour roll: there is a lengthy nomination process (which is how so many local councillors wind up with small honours). You can nominate anyone for an honour; the paperwork is extensive and putting together a case is hard work.

Well deserved (1)

boef (452862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277819)

Known mostly for his fantastic Discworld series - around 36 books - his work has brought joy and laughter to millions of people. Anyone who can create a characters as diverse as DEATH, who likes cats to our beloved Wizzard, Librarian and 'men' in the Watch.
If you have not tried his books, do yourself a favour. (Ok, I have to be honest the first one I tried was not my favourite, but after my second one I was hooked!)

Ook!
Bugrit, millennium hand an' shrimp

Re:Well deserved (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277961)

On that note, Terry Pratchett recently released a new book which stands alone from all the others: Nation [amazon.com]

One of his best books yet, as far as I'm concerned, and one I would heartily recommend to anyone between 10 and 110 years old.

Knighted? (1)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277823)

I'd have thought sergeant-at-arms would have been a better title :D

His books have been a delight, guards guards was always a favorite along with interesting times along with a plethora of his other discworld titles (You don't get the chance to say plethora often these days :P) I'm not liking the latest serial ones as well as I'd have liked, "wintersmith" and "making money" I found not to be as good as the books they are sequels to. I guess it's a feeling of he might no longer be writing to please himself and is perhaps wrongly trying to please some market-group as well, I'm guessing his childrens award is having an effect.

He's made me think, smile and even chuckle, and that's the good thing about his books.

Never seen a knighthood I've been happier about. (3, Insightful)

lattyware (934246) | more than 5 years ago | (#26277937)

The man is one of the best authors ever to have graced the earth.

Re:Never seen a knighthood I've been happier about (0, Flamebait)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278153)

The man is one of the best authors ever to have graced the earth.

Ummmm... wow. I mean, I know his paperback genre fiction appeals to geeks and all -- I get a little tickle when I read Edgar Rice Burroughs, myself -- but seriously??

Re:Never seen a knighthood I've been happier about (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278193)

Yeah. Seriously. I judge authors based on how much I enjoy reading their books. He rates very highly for me.

Re:Never seen a knighthood I've been happier about (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278223)

Hmmm. Well, no offense to Mr. Pratchett -- he's written a lot of books and they've been very popular and I know a lot of people enjoy them, so I'm sure the honor is well deserved -- but I, for one, could never read more than one or two before moving on to something else. It seems to me there's a whole universe of letters out there waiting to be read, rather than just revisiting the same thing over and over again. But I guess it's no worse than TV.

Re:Never seen a knighthood I've been happier about (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278251)

I see your point, however, I find that the variation in charachters and viewpoint is enough.

If there's a sir elton and a sir mick ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26278009)

... need I say more? nudge nudge wink wink

Yours,
Sir "Big" Lancealot

Wow! (3, Interesting)

19061969 (939279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278025)

I just read this and a big smile spread across my face. I've been a fan of Pratchett's books for many years now (mid 1980s I think) and it's surprising how well he is known around the world. Isn't he something like he sells the third most books of any British author? His work is fantastic, though sometimes slated by critics - undeservedly IMHO because his books can be so original and funny and still be insightful.

Just as an example, when a very close relative of mine was undergoing major high-risk surgery, the only way I could pass the time other than biting my nails was by reading one of his books.

Congrats Sir Terry! And thank you very much for all your work.

Next stop: Duke of England (1)

martinmarv (920771) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278115)

I, for one, welcome our new fantastic overlords.

Congrats, Sir Terry!

Also Sir Chris Hoy (1)

Trull (95206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278143)

Most notable to be honoured is the Scot Sir Chris Hoy - triple Olympic medal winning, World Champion and all round good egg.
And I've been overtaken by him on the track at Meadowbank many many years ago...

And don't forget Robert Plant! (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278241)

You know, that singer guy? From the 70s?

The full regalia? (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26278269)

He doesn't need to wear the tights, feathers, and shiny breastplate now does he?

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