“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.”
Dalai Lama XIV
There’s a stubbornly surviving shameful error in our lodges: about half of the Masons have no idea what the archaic plural of the noun “brother” is. In a non-Masonic context, they can easily say and write the regular plural form of the word – brothers.
However, when it comes to the more archaic plural form that is so often used in our ritual and degrees ceremony… despite the fact that is printed many times in The Work (yes, that small black book that you have) a surprising number of our members struggle with that word. It is brethren. BRETHREN.
Not brothern, not brotheren, not bretheren – as you can hear in almost every lodge by at least one guy that is in the officers’ line or just stands up to say something.
While we admit that not everyone is a linguist and not everyone paid attention to the grammar lessons in the school… even if nobody else in the whole world is using the correct word, at least Masons should be aware of the correct form since it is such an important part of our ritual and of our Masonic protocol and etiquette.
But we, Canadians, are polite people and never tell the uneducated, the ignoramuses to go and learn the proper word from the ritual book – we’d rather fight and argue with the one that raises the issue of members being uneducated and not saying correctly even the most important word in our ritual. You are my brother and you all are my brethren!
The uneducated and those that blatantly disregard the teachings in our FC degree’s lecture, with the reference to the seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, are eager to jump to the defence of their similarly ignorant peers, forming an offended front against any attempt to educate them. Remember, one of those seven arts and sciences was Grammar. Grammar should be used not only during final exams or in a PhD thesis but in our everyday communication to make sure that our message is conveyed in the most intelligible manner.