legendary = believe it (verificatory) or not (fabulatory)

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Wed Feb 17 12:40:54 UTC 2010

I like the folklorists' distinctions between folktale, myth, and
legend. Myth involves the sacred and is set in a time long before
this one; legend, as I think Linda Degh puts it (or was it Stith
Thompson?) smacks of reality: it's about a real person, place, etc.
in a historical or current time. Hence the class "urban legends."

But yes, that quote mixing "demigods" with King Alfred is mixing
those myth and legend divisions/distinctions and is being, as has
been said, semantically slippery.

---Amy West

>Date:    Tue, 16 Feb 2010 13:52:27 -0500
>From:    "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>Subject: Re: legendary = believe it (verificatory) or not (fabulatory)
>"Legends, in the most technical sense, are a branch of folklore
>relating to a sacred person, place, or incident."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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