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Helge's rhetorical methods (was Re: Why Not Reprint?)

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    In Elfling message 25263 ( ), Helge quotes a ... Notice the method that Helge employs to avoid answering a
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3 11:19 AM
      In Elfling message 25263
      (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/25263>), Helge quotes a
      query directed to him by Didier Willis (in message 25109):

      >> Do you imply that PE/11-12 are much more interesting than PE/13 for
      >> the study of Tolkien's invented languages?

      and then provides this "answer":

      > Depends on your angle. If you want to study the external history of
      > the languages, both would be equally interesting. But to Neo-Quenya
      > writers, the vocabulary of the Qenya Lexicon will be more interesting
      > than Parma 13, which barely deals with Q(u)enya at all.

      Notice the method that Helge employs to avoid answering a direct
      question, sc., instead answer a quite different question. What Didier
      asked was for Helge's opinion on the relative values of _Parma_ 13 to
      _Parma_ 11 & 12, with respect to "the study of Tolkien's invented
      languages". Despite Helge's opening assertion, this does _not_ "depend
      on your angle", and _certainly_ has nothing to do with _Quenya_
      specifically, as Helge's substituted question does. Of _course_ the
      _Qenya Lexicon_ will be more interesting to the study of Qenya than
      _Parma_ 13! But this facile observation has _nothing_ to do with
      Didier's question.

      > Obviously many of these people would want their own copy of the Qenya
      > Lexicon, and then I must wonder why it is so difficult for the
      > publishers to actually provide them with one.

      A natural thing to wonder, but the answer is also naturally easily
      discernible by anyone without an axe to grind: it takes time, time that
      for now must be spent working on publishing new material. Helge knows
      this, of course, but nonetheless could not resist the opportunity, in
      his _first_ response on this topic, to insinuate more sinister reasons,
      no matter how absurd, including collector's greed! Moreover, I some
      days ago already answered the question that Helge now, mysteriously, is
      asking yet again; so I must wonder what he still finds to wonder at.

      I also wonder why Helge does not also publicly wonder at the fact that
      David Salo's "366-page book on Sindarin", which David revealed he had
      written in an interview some years ago, has not yet been published,
      utilizing "the wonderful world of electronic publishing" that Helge
      announces as though it were an innovation in Elfling message 25148, and
      touts as a remedy for the tediums of paper publishing. But perhaps he
      doesn't want to focus attention on the apparent hypocrisy of his good
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