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Re: Omentielva Minya

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    In Elfling message 25104 ( ), Helge writes at characteristic length, and with characteristic obtuseness, a
    Message 1 of 1 , May 28, 2003
      In Elfling message 25104
      (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/25104>), Helge writes
      at characteristic length, and with characteristic obtuseness, a
      characteristically sarcastic, special-pleading-ridden, and revisionist
      re-interpretation of his dripping, contemptuous response to Bill
      Welden's announcement of this conference. Kai MacTane has already put
      the lie to Helge's posturing, and his astonishing contempt for his
      readers (does Helge really think that _anyone_ is so stupid as to
      accept his revisionism?), in Elfing message 25107
      (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/25107>), so I won't
      rehash that; but I would like to comment on a few other aspects.

      > Patrick Wynne wrote:
      >> It is shameful enough that Helge can only meet Bill Welden's hard
      >> work and good intentions with sarcasm and disdain;
      > Pat, Pat, please listen to the expert opinion of the world's leading
      > Fauskangerologist:

      So now we can add "patronizing" to Helge's list of rhetorical

      > they may seem to slip into the following mindset before they have even
      > read a single word: "This is going to be FULL of contempt, sarcasm,
      > disdain, depreciation, aggression and negative attitudes!"

      Indeed, history is in this case an uncannily reliable guide. Oh, and
      look who's talking!

      > I had to remark that "any" aspect may be too wide a scale of topics.
      > If, say, 20 people simply pick their Favorite Technicality in any
      > Tolkien-language and develop a paper on that, it seems inevitable that
      > we would end up with a
      > quite disjointed conference. I must maintain that the Internet lists
      > are probably the best forums for discussing technicalities,

      Helge seems to be unaware that academic conferences have been held for
      centuries, quite successfully, without Helge's input; and that they are
      _still_ occurring, despite the superiority of Internet mailing lists
      that Helge claims (which claim I find utterly laughable, especially if
      Helge has Elfling in mind, the chief advantages of which _to him_ seem
      to be that it encourages participation by people who turn only to
      Helge's writings as source and proof, and gives him free rein to be
      just as insulting, long-winded, and obtuse as he likes, while
      suppressing the response of other scholars to his claims and
      representations). A comparison of the contents of the past year of the
      Lambengolmor list with the past year of Elfling will show just how far
      short of the mark that Helge pretends to aim for the latter has fallen;
      but a comparison of Lambengolmor with, say, _Vinyar Tengwar_ or _Parma_
      will show just how inferior mailing lists are, or at any rate have
      historically been, to the presentation of substantial, comprehensive
      analysis and even synthesis. Review of pretty much any conference
      proceedings will show that they are much closer in form and value to
      the aforementioned journals than to any mailing list.

      > since we can here have a real continuous debate, people checking the
      > primary sources

      BWAH-HAH-HAH-HA HA HA HAAAAH!!!! <wiping tears from eyes>

      > I don't think much actual _research_could take place during such a
      > conference.

      Certainly more research could be done in a gathering of people together
      in one place, than can via exchange of public posts. In fact, precisely
      _no_ research has _ever_ "taken place" on Elfling; only (and very
      rarely) the _presentation_ of the _results_ of research (most often
      extending only to Helge's web pages, but that is research of a sort).

      > So what SHOULD we talk about at such a conference?

      That is for the conference organizers, and paper reviewers, to decide,
      not you. You of course are free to organize your own conference, and
      then can select topics as _you_ see fit.

      > Can we properly speak of a continuous evolution from 1915 to 1973, or
      > are we rather dealing with sharply defined conceptual phases? After
      > all, the genitive ending _-n_ does not evolve into _-o_ via some
      > intermediate stage

      This is a perfect example of the sort of straw-man, _reductio ad
      absurdum_ "argument" that Helge strongly favors and frequently employs.
      _OF COURSE_ an atomic feature does not "evolve via some intermediate
      stage" into another form; _any_ change in an atomic feature must
      _necessarily_ represent a _distinct_ development. But we are not
      talking about _individual_ features; we are talking about _systems_ of
      features, and their internal and comparative consistency (or lack
      thereof). It was _never_ the case, from the earliest beginnings to the
      end of the processes that are Quenya and Sindarin, that Tolkien
      _completely_ discarded all prior systems and details, and started anew
      from scratch. The Quenya(s) of the 1950s is _far_ more similar to Qenya
      of 1915 than either of them are to any other language Tolkien invented;
      and the continuity of the whole, of lexicon, phonology, grammar,
      morphology, etc., is overwhelmingly more maintained than disrupted.

      > Why travel to Stockholm simply to spend a few days discussing exactly
      > the same things we are discussing on the net all the time?

      You're right, Helge; by all means, do _not_ waste your time. I'm sure
      your non-participation will be appreciated by all.

      > one can't just _decide_ beforehand that people are going to have a
      > good time.

      That is certainly correct, if it is possible that _you_ might attend.
      As Bill said: _you_ are the only cloud on the horizon.

      > We have managed to avoid major flame wars lately,

      Due solely to biased moderation, as _evidenced_ by, and in _despite_
      of, your constant provocation and snarking.

      > but the divisions and conflicts are very much real.

      Indeed: there is reality, and then there is Helge, and never the twain
      shall meet.

      > the only thing we can do is to keep the conflicts latent rather than
      > explicit.

      Which can only happen if you are forced by _unbiased_ moderation to
      stop spreading your venom and provocations.

      > this can hardly be a great Feast of Reunion where everybody magically
      > turn into buddies once they are in the same room. That is simply not
      > going to happen,

      I agree that that will not happen if _you_ are in the room.

      > and if the organizers fully accept that it is not going to happen and
      > deal with this fact, they will greatly improve the chances that the
      > conference they have worked so hard to arrange won't end in disaster.

      The best and only way to ensure against this outcome is to ban you from
      attending. But since Bill and Anders don't believe in censorship --
      unlike you and David Salo and Lisa Star, -- even of those who employ
      and/or hide behind the protection of censorship to spread their venom
      unchallenged, I don't see that happening.

      Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org

      ho bios brachys, he de techne makre.
      Ars longa, vita brevis.
      The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.
      "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take such
      a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about."
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