Awarded or Won? - The discussion continues

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by BFBSM, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    Heimbrent likes this.
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    I would imagine we have been using Won for a long time and it is hard to change
  3. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    I prefer the term "earned" when referring to the awarding of a medal for valor.
  4. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I've decided to use 'awarded' whenever I touch on gallantry medals and the like on my website. This is because all these decorations are given out generally at the discretion of those in authority above the recipient and after a period of consideration.
  5. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    On use of the word "won" in connection with the Victoria Cross, the author states that this makes some people uncomfortable and "it is often asserted" that this is disrespectful and inappropriate. Which people feel uncomfortable about this? I've never met any. And where is it asserted that this is inappropriate?

    Seems to me the article has been written to address a problem that doesn't exist.
  6. Lotus7

    Lotus7 Well-Known Member

    For me it's awarded, that's only because on my Father's documents/paper work it says he was Awarded.
    I do not think it makes much difference really it's a matter of personal choice.

  7. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I prefer to use the phrase "Awarded" for all medals, regardless, and rely on others to know whether or not it has been awarded for valour or simply because of the area of combat in which the recipient served.

  8. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    How can it be anything other than awarded? Although I'm sure the likes of the Daily Mail et al will prefer the incorrect 'won'.
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Surely what matters most is discussion about the recipient and the circumstances of the award, not which word was used.

    I too made a decision to use 'awarded' for all cases of gallantry, partly because it seems more correct linguistically, but mainly because I didn't want the subject of the award to be diverted into a discussion about semantics. It's a common bugbear among phalerists but IMO has also joined the ranks of objections to the term Union Jack when referring to the flag, detracting from the actual topic.

    By way of general observation: 'Won' can apply to 'recognition', so why can it not also apply to awards bestowed as a result of that recognition. Would it be ok to say: "He won an award", or would that have to be "He was awarded an award".
  10. lionboxer

    lionboxer Member

    Surely you win the lottery not a medal? They are usually hard earned and as a recognition of that an award is made.
    Having said that I use both terms!!
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Again, f you can win recognition, and not through competition but by way of effort or act, why can't an award be won?

    Win can mean earn = to win one's spurs - to achieve recognition in some field of endeavour; (historical) Gain a knighthood by an act of bravery.
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  13. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Isn't this whole thing more to do with local dialect/preference and context etc rather than any 'fixed' convention?

    Surely all that matters is the meaning and not how it's said. It's what it is and not what you call it.
  14. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Purely personally? And having met two holders of the Victoria Cross...

    I actively dislike the term "won". It is not a competition. It is not a lottery (well, there is a PhD in there which I might address after finishing the one I am doing). My father, an infantry officer in NWE, also dlsliked the term. So I do not like "won".
  15. Puttenham

    Puttenham Well-Known Member

    Individuals awarded military medals are medal recipients, not medal winners.

  16. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    Interesting that the OP hasn't returned, simply lit the touch paper and sat back to see how heated the "discussion" could be.

    Some VC's were issued (see what I did there, perhaps another topic for discussion) to a unit that had all distinguished themselves but lots were drawn.
    So one chap may have done enough to deserve it but it was "won" by someone else, perhaps equally, more or less deserving....
    The chap with the VC might say he was awarded it, his fellows might say he "won" it....

    Does it really matter which term is used?
    BFBSM likes this.
  17. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    Puttenham - is it possible for a dead person to receive something?
  18. BFBSM

    BFBSM Very Senior Member

    I have returned just not commented, but reading what others thought.

    As far as I have read/understood it the VC was referred to as won, and the other gallantry medals awarded and received. I like the idea of phrasing it as "earned the relevant award through their actions", but that is verbose, but works on the PC front.

    I wasn't looking for a heated discussion but what people honestly thought of how things should be worded, thank you to everyone for your input.

    dbf likes this.
  19. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Oh dear I must flagellate myself for the heinous crime of saying this in an old thread.

    I have some grid references to where Sgt Rogers of 2 Wilts won his VC.

    Oh dear , naughty me.
    Then again everyone knows what I was on about , so as long as I was understood does it really matter I used the word 'won' ?
  20. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Don't worry Owen, you're in good company -
    From The Times, about one of two VC recipients in our family tree:

    I still believe win and earn can be synonymous

Share This Page