Anon v. Trad

Posted by – August 13, 2009

Which is better, Anonymous or Traditional?


  • Beowulf
  • House of the Rising Sun
  • The Federalist Papers
  • Distilling alcohol


  • Gilgamesh
  • Whiskey in the Jar
  • The Bible
  • Brewing alcohol

Unknown is pretty good too…

5 Comments on Anon v. Trad

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  1. To answer, I myself would first need some clarification as to your use of “anonymous”, which strikes me as eccentric. The Federalist Papers are obviously pseudonymous rather than anonymous, while “The House of the Rising Sun” is traditional rather than anonymous.

    Or if we want to think that way, both “The House…” and “Whiskey…” are obviously anonymous in the sense that some specific person came up with them, we just don’t happen to know their name. But the parts of folklore whose authorship is lost to the mists of time are precisely what is usually called “traditional” and not “anonymous”, and both songs fall under this category equally well.


  2. sam says:

    Ok, so I cheated a bit to make a better entry.

    Federalist Papers: kind of guilty as charged, although if you had to put it under Anon or Trad, it’d be Anon.

    House / Whisky: Whisky is much older and has likely undergone way more folk-evolution than House. So I spuriously filed the latter under Anon.

    I’m not really making a lot of sense. Bottom line: Anonymous is way better.


  3. “Anonymous is way better”: if you say so.


  4. Incestuous Jihad says:

    Your lists make my intuitions incline to dark, gritty anon over docile, cuddly trad, but I’m still going with the latter. Consider:

    Anon: The Prose Lancelot, crystal meth.
    Trad: Homer, marijuana.

    Actually, I’ll take Gilgamesh over Beowulf in any case thanks to its marked programmatic superiority. Great literature is about ideas, not alliteration.


  5. Incestuous Jihad says:

    Actually, replace crystal meth with crack cocaine. We know who to thank for the former.