[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: January 2002

Message-ID: <49CD34C43D91D511823E00105A9CB0EF04283A@SERVER3>
From: Bev Bentley <bbentley@town.hinton.ab.ca>
To: <masonry-ask@mit.edu>
Subject: Freemasonry
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 14:01:22 -0700

I am forwarding this question to you, as the subject came up at our last Festive Board, meeting of Lodge 178 Hinton Alberta.

The question was, What is the proper use of the term Compass, there are those that feel the proper use is "compass" and there are those that feel the proper use is "compasses". When I use them in the lectures and other memory work I am inclined to use compass when it feels singular, as you are just referring to your lodge. In other cases I will use compasses when I feel things are referred to in the plural sense, as in all lodges.

I have also read some information on the subject from the internet and there seems to be a general consensus that either way is permissible.

If you know this answer would you please send it back to me, or if you know a source that I can read up on it, please let me know that to.


To: Bev Bentley <bbentley@town.hinton.ab.ca>
Subject: Re: Freemasonry
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Thu, 10 Jan 2002 14:01:22 MST."

Dear Bro. Bently,

Tell me:

  • Do you wear 'a pant' -- or pants?
  • Do you read with 'an eyeglass' -- or eyeglasses?
  • Do you cut with 'a scissor' -- or with scissors?
  • Do you pick up ice with 'a tong' -- or with tongs?
  • Do you bend wire with 'a plier' -- or with pliers?
  • Do you pluck out a splinter with 'a tweezer' -- or with tweezers?

"COMPASSES" I think, falls under the same rule. So I always teach candidates to say "the Square and Compasses" for instance.

Although, I will admit the other usage is widespread, especially when referring to a "Square and Compass club". But I don't think that being widespread makes it right.

So... that's my two-cents, anyway.

| Gary L. Dryfoos <dryfoo@mit.edu>| PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus, MA
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  | PM: Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden, MA
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/  | Richard C. Maclaurin Lodge, MIT, MA
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
|                                 | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not
|                                 | R.W. Grand Rep. GL Russia near GL Mass.
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|  whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|  or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."

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