Webelos was Re: "outside of a dog" (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mullins, Bill AMRDEC Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL
Tue Jun 15 15:28:34 UTC 2010

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Neal Whitman
> Sent: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 8:58 AM
> Subject: Re: Webelos was Re: "outside of a dog"

> Cub Scout organizers seem to be confused, mixing up Asian, African,
> North American animals and folklore. They talk about "Akelas" as adult
> leaders, a term lifted from _The Jungle Book_, but also like to bring
> in Native American stuff.

When you are eight years old, an internally consistent set of cultural
referents isn't as important as it is when you become an adult

> Webelos (sorry, I just can't capitalize the whole thing) may be
> presented as an acronym, but it's an unfortunate one because it ends
in <s>,
> inviting it to be interpreted as a plural. Indeed, the <s> is
pronounced like a
> plural [z] ending, and the backformation "Webelo" is the standard term
for one
> such scout. If "Webelo" is an acronym, it would have to stand for just
> "We('ll) be loyal."

When I was a cub scout (about 40 years ago), it was given as "We Be
Loyal Scouts".  I wonder what the Cub Scout Manual from that era says.

> In fact, if "Webelos" were truly used as an acronym, the
> singular should be "IBeLoS." And (I'm not done yet) why does loyalty
alone get
> elevated from the Boy Scout oath into this acronym? To be consistent,
> should have "WeBeTruLoHelFrienCurKiObCheeThrifBraCleRevS".

You are confusing the Boy Scout Law (A Scout is Trustworthy, Loyal,
Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave,
Clean, and Reverent) with the Boy Scout Oath (On my honor, I will do my
best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to
help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight).  There is also a Boy Scout Motto
(Be prepared) and a Boy Scout Slogan (Do a good turn daily).

You are also presuming that Cub Scouts should incorporate Boy Scout
laws, etc.  They have their own.

Cub Scout promise:
I, (name), promise to do my best To do my duty to God and my country, To
help other people, and To obey the Law of the Pack.

Law of the Pack:
The Cub Scout follows Akela.  The Cub Scout helps the pack go.  The pack
helps the Cub Scout grow.  The Cub Scout gives goodwill.

Cub Scout Motto:
Do Your Best

> Oh, well, maybe
> they're talking about meta-loyalty, loyalty encompassing ordinary
> loyalty and all the other scout virtues.

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

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