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Still OT: CFH complaining (again)

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... misrepresentations of my words in revisions he made to his Sindarin verb article, yet despite having plenty of time to respond to people s posts online, he
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 5, 2003
      Carl F. Hostetter writes:

      > It has been one week since I posted my corrections to Helge's
      misrepresentations of my words in revisions he made to his Sindarin verb
      article, yet despite having plenty of time to respond to people's posts
      online, he has yet to remove his false claims [etc. etc. etc.]

      Yeah, I read it and found the "corrections" to be little else than academic
      hair-splitting, produced by a man who is moreover obsessed with reading
      insults and misrepresentations into anything I can write. For instance, in
      one place I observe that one of the disagreements between him and myself is
      actually of very little consequence. (The thing is, I refer to finite verbs
      without pronominal markers as "3rd person" forms, as Tolkien himself often
      did, but since in one exceptional environment -- where the subject is
      expressed by an independent pronoun -- similar verb forms may apply to any
      "person", CFH feels that we should rather speak of "personless" forms. Big
      deal...) I wrote, in what I thought to be a conciliatory tone:

      > First of all, it should be noted that this "controversy" only has to do
      with what terminology it is best to use when describing the Sindarin verb
      system; there is not (in this case) any disagreement about how the verb
      system actually works. Hostetter is undoubtedly right that an Eldarin verb,
      where it occurs without pronominal endings, is strictly speaking
      "personless" rather than belonging specifically to the 3rd person.

      However, even here CFH manages to find a supposed misrepresentation; he
      wrote on the Lambengolmor list:

      > it is Helge who refers to this as a "controversy" (with quotes that give
      the false impression that he is quoting me in that term, and thus that I
      used it).

      Please...! The sentence in question IMMEDIATELY follows a long quotation
      from CFH, and any reader endowed with a short-term memory will know that
      the word "controversy" did not occur there. Is it not obvious, if one reads
      the sentence where it occurs, that I put "controversy" in quotes because I
      see this as a mere academic disagreement about what a certain verb form is
      best called -- hence not much of a real controversy at all? For CFH and I
      don't seem to disagree much, or at all, about how these verb forms are
      actually used in the language. Yet in CFH's eyes, even a couple of innocent
      quotation marks instantly become sinister devices of deliberate and
      malicious misrepresentation. The rest of the supposed "misrepresentations"
      similarly have to do with CFH reading into my words something that is not
      there. (For instance, I do NOT say that he has claimed that _dangen_
      "slain" must descend from *_ndákina_, something I hope we agree would be
      quite impossible. But he cannot deny that it was he who brought
      Quenya-style participles like _rákina_ into the discussion, and then I must
      be allowed to point out that the formations associated with the ending
      _-ina_ do not match the evidence from Noldorin/Sindarin at all -- which
      fact does not strengthen CFH's theory that the Sindarin and the Quenya
      ending are cognates.)

      > I respectfully request that he do so immediately, as should any who care
      about truth and accuracy in discussing Tolkien's linguistic inventions.

      ("Respectfully"? Yeah, I really feel the full impact of his respectful
      attitude...) CFH once told me that when I become the editor of Vinyar
      Tengwar, I can publish whatever I want. Very well: When he becomes the
      webmaster of Ardalambion, he can alter the articles in any way he sees fit.
      Even immediately.

      As for "truth and accuracy", I can only assure that I have not deliberately
      misrepresented him in any way. I think a neutral third party reading my
      article and then his comments would be left to wonder why he is making so
      much noise, since the disagreements seem quite trivial or (for practical
      purposes) even non-existent. Yet it is indeed difficult for me to adjust to
      CFH's way of thinking. So if he feels he has been so grotesquely
      misrepresented (it must really mean the world to him whether the Sindarin
      participial ending -en descends from -ênâ or -inâ), let him write a proper
      article in response to mine, setting out in some detail HIS ideas about the
      Sindarin verb system. Then, if he places the article on the web, I will
      consider linking to it.

      > I'll also take this opportunity to note that Helge has an unclosed
      italics tag in his article [...]

      Yes, I noticed it days ago, but my Internet connection wasn't working well
      at the time and I couldn't fix it right away. I think it is all right now.

      Right. Let's get back on topic.

      - HKF
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      ... They are not. You, for example, claim that I said that original long vowels coming to stand in an unstressed final syllable in Sindarin should remain long.
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 5, 2003
        On Nov 5, 2003, at 3:32 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

        > Yeah, I read it and found the "corrections" to be little else than
        > academic hair-splitting,

        They are not. You, for example, claim that I said that original long
        vowels coming to stand in an unstressed final syllable in Sindarin
        should remain long. I never said any such thing. Your false attribution
        to me of an argument I never made is not mere hair-splitting, it is
        misrepresentation, pure and simple. That you are content to let it
        remain, and your dismissive attitude towards corrections (not
        "corrections", per your condescending form) to your errors, exhibits a
        contempt for truth and accuracy.

        > produced by a man who is moreover obsessed with reading insults and
        > misrepresentations into anything I can write.

        No, not "anything your write" (you do love the hyperboles), only your
        insults and misrepresentations (see above for a prime example, just one
        of many).

        > I wrote, in what I thought to be a conciliatory tone:
        >
        >> First of all, it should be noted that this "controversy" only has to
        >> do with what terminology it is best to use when describing the
        >> Sindarin verb system; there is not (in this case) any disagreement
        >> about how the verb system actually works. Hostetter is undoubtedly
        >> right that an Eldarin verb, where it occurs without pronominal
        >> endings, is strictly speaking "personless" rather than belonging
        >> specifically to the 3rd person.
        >
        > However, even here CFH manages to find a supposed misrepresentation;
        > he wrote on the Lambengolmor list:
        >
        >> it is Helge who refers to this as a "controversy" (with quotes that
        >> give the false impression that he is quoting me in that term, and
        >> thus that I used it).
        >
        > Please...! The sentence in question IMMEDIATELY follows a long
        > quotation from CFH,

        Yes, which you IMMEDIATELY label and refer to as "this 'controversy'".
        _You_ labeled it such, not me, as I pointed out; _you_ applied the term
        only so that you could belittle the point being made, without actually
        having to respond to it.

        > and any reader endowed with a short-term memory will know that the
        > word "controversy" did not occur there.

        Utterly beside the point, since I never claimed that were saying I used
        the word, only that your word-choice _creates an impression_ that I
        considered it such. Whether deliberate or not, that _is_ the impression
        created; and it seems calculated to allow you to dismiss the actual
        point of my words as irrelevant -- which, in fact, is precisely how you
        _did_ use it. I'm willing to believe that you are not _aware_ of your
        rhetorical faults, that they really are just conditioned reflexes, not
        deliberate calculations; but either way, they misrepresent that actual
        situations and issues under discussion, and you should learn to avoid
        them. Happily for you, I'm willing to help you learn, by correcting
        your excesses when I can.

        > Is it not obvious, if one reads the sentence where it occurs, that I
        > put "controversy" in quotes because I see this as a mere academic
        > disagreement about what a certain verb form is best called -- hence
        > not much of a real controversy at all?

        How is it "conciliatory" to falsely imply that there is a
        "controversy", only to dismiss the issue out of hand? Moreover, as I
        have already said, it is _not_ true that the issue is one only of
        terminology: 3rd sg. and personless do _not_ indicate or imply the same
        things, when used without qualification, and so are _not_ silently
        interchangeable terms. As you would know if you had actually given my
        words any thought instead of reflexively dismissing them with
        belittling, fabricated labels and misdirections..

        > The rest of the supposed "misrepresentations" similarly have to do
        > with CFH reading into my words something that is not there.

        Untrue. See, for instance, the example of the issue of vowel length
        above.

        > (For instance, I do NOT say that he has claimed that _dangen_ "slain"
        > must descend from *_ndákina_, something I hope we agree would be quite
        > impossible. But he cannot deny that it was he who brought Quenya-style
        > participles like _rákina_ into the discussion,

        Yes I can; I was citing only the _ending_ of such forms: it is _you_
        who brought "Quenya-style participles" as a whole into your response;
        pointlessly as even you now seem to admit.

        > and then I must be allowed to point out that the formations associated
        > with the ending _-ina_ do not match the evidence from
        > Noldorin/Sindarin at all

        Since that was never at issue -- until you pretended that it was --
        then it is pointless and misleading for you to "point out" any such
        thing.

        So why, then, _did_ you bring them in in a response to my observation?
        What possible purpose can it serve, other than confusion, to even bring
        things like *_ndákina_ up? Perhaps -- PERHAPS -- you did not _intend_
        to create the impression that I had said any such thing; but that is
        the effect, and I requested -- and request still -- that you correct
        it.

        > CFH once told me that when I become the editor of Vinyar Tengwar, I
        > can publish whatever I want. Very well: When he becomes the webmaster
        > of Ardalambion, he can alter the articles in any way he sees fit. Even
        > immediately.

        Your little parable has _nothing_ to do with the point of this
        discussion, which is: that your revisions to your article introduce
        erroneous claims and misrepresentations about my words and positions;
        and yet you are unwilling to correct them.

        > As for "truth and accuracy", I can only assure that I have not
        > deliberately misrepresented him in any way.

        Very well, then, I want you to state, for the record, whether the
        following statement, quoted from your article, is factual:

        "Carl F. Hostetter argues that the final vowel should remain long in
        the Sindarin words, since it was long at an older stage (e.g. *onúr
        rather than *onur, because the older form would be *onôr-)"

        I have already shown that this is false. If you are going to maintain
        that it is true, then it should be very easy for you to prove it to us,
        by pointing us to where I ever said any such thing. But if you are
        willing to set aside your prideful obstinance and admit that it is
        false, then please explain to us why you believe it acceptable to allow
        known falsehoods to stand uncorrected on your web site.

        > Yet it is indeed difficult for me to adjust to CFH's way of thinking.
        > So if he feels he has been so grotesquely misrepresented (it must
        > really mean the world to him whether the Sindarin participial ending
        > -en descends from -ênâ or -inâ),

        Your condescending, snide attitude here speaks volumes about your
        contempt for any standards of scholarly discourse.

        > let him write a proper article in response to mine, setting out in
        > some detail HIS ideas about the Sindarin verb system. Then, if he
        > places the article on the web, I will consider linking to it.

        This is pure fallacy. I do not have to write an article on the entire
        Sindarin verb system in order to demonstrate that particular claims you
        make about the system are false. What I have already written on the
        particular subject of the Noldorin and Sindarin past-tense verb systems
        are quite sufficient to show _some_ of the deficiencies of your own
        treatment of the subject.



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • mach
        ... I believe the same applies to you. If your deliberate calculation were to miscredit Helge Fauskanger, then you re on the wrong way, since with your posts
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 6, 2003
          Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
          > I'm willing to believe that you are not _aware_ of your rhetorical faults,
          > that they really are just conditioned reflexes, not deliberate calculations

          I believe the same applies to you. If your deliberate calculation were to
          miscredit Helge Fauskanger, then you're on the wrong way, since with your
          posts full of rhetorics against him you're miscrediting yourself.

          You seem not to be aware of the effect you posts have on people not involved
          like me: On one hand I see Helge Fauskanger, a normal contributor to this
          list; on the other hand I see you writing one post after the other full of
          hate against him.

          Of course, Helge Fauskanger uses rhetorics, but rhetorics are natural and
          even very helpful as long as they're used to miscredit arguments, not
          persons. Of course, he makes misinterpretations, but that's natural as well.

          I wouldn't even deny that he possibly might make more misinterpretations
          than other people; but if that's what you're trying to demonstrate in your
          posts, then you should know that this demonstration has failed (at least on
          me) because it's drowned out by your hate.

          Just to make it sure: I don't want to know the reasons of your hate, and
          after all I don't want to take anybody's sides. I'm just trying to show you
          the effects your posts have on me because I believe they have similar
          effects on other people. Yet I fear I'm trying in vain.

          mach
        • Carl F. Hostetter
          ... Rhetoric is useful when it furthers the goal of finding the truth. The sort of rhetorics Helge employs are directed towards obscuring the truth. That is
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 6, 2003
            On Nov 6, 2003, at 8:08 AM, mach wrote:

            > Of course, Helge Fauskanger uses rhetorics, but rhetorics are natural
            > and even very helpful as long as they're used to miscredit arguments,
            > not persons.

            Rhetoric is useful when it furthers the goal of finding the truth. The
            sort of rhetorics Helge employs are directed towards obscuring the
            truth. That is not helpful to anyone but Helge.

            > Of course, he makes misinterpretations, but that's natural as well.

            Nor is the mere fact of his misrepresentation the (sole) issue. The
            most serious issue is that, _even when his errors are pointed out_,
            Helge steadfastly refuses to correct them, because it serves his
            purposes to maintain the falsehood.

            > then you should know that this demonstration has failed (at least on
            > me) because it's drowned out by your hate.

            I don't hate Helge. I don't even know him. But I do hate his
            self-serving, truth-obscuring rhetoric and his unwillingness to correct
            his errors.

            But that is _your_ error: that you can't separate criticism of methods,
            claims, and deeds from hatred of a person.
          • Carl F. Hostetter
            ... P.S. My goal neither is, nor ever has been, to discredit Helge. My goal is simply what the goal of scholarship is, and what the goal of anyone claiming to
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 6, 2003
              On Nov 6, 2003, at 8:08 AM, mach wrote:

              > Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
              >> I'm willing to believe that you are not _aware_ of your rhetorical
              >> faults, that they really are just conditioned reflexes, not
              >> deliberate calculations
              >
              > I believe the same applies to you. If your deliberate calculation were
              > to miscredit Helge Fauskanger, then you're on the wrong way

              P.S. My goal neither is, nor ever has been, to discredit Helge. My goal
              is simply what the goal of scholarship is, and what the goal of anyone
              claiming to be a scholar should be: the search for truth.
            • Carl F. Hostetter
              Since Helge seems not to have noticed it, I want to set forth these simple questions again in plain sight. In his article on Reconstructing the Sindarin Verb
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 6, 2003
                Since Helge seems not to have noticed it, I want to set forth these
                simple questions again in plain sight.

                In his article on "Reconstructing the Sindarin Verb System"
                (<http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sverb-rec.htm>), Helge writes:

                "By this system we would have [past-tense] forms like *ebid "spoke"
                (ped- "speak"), *ewidh "bound" (gwed[h]- "bind"), *idir "watched" (tir-
                "watch"), and *onur "ran" (nor- "run")."

                Note the short vowels in each form.

                To this, Helge has now appended a note that begins:

                "NOTE: Carl F. Hostetter argues that the final vowel should remain long
                in the Sindarin words, since it was long at an older stage (e.g. *onúr
                rather than *onur, because the older form would be *onôr-)."

                As anyone can plainly see from what I actually wrote
                (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfscript/message/2783> and
                <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfscript/message/2794>), and as I have
                detailed elsewhere
                (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lambengolmor/message/510>), this is a
                complete misrepresentation of my words and position. I argued only that
                original long vowels _might_ remain long _in stressed position_; I said
                precisely _nothing_ about them remaining long in _unstressed_ position,
                such as in the

                Questions:
                ---------

                For Helge:
                ---------

                1) Do you still maintain that your statement, quoted above, is factual?

                2) If so, can you please show us where I ever made such an argument?

                3) If not, will you correct your misrepresentation?

                4) If you will not correct it, why not?

                For Mach:
                --------

                1) Having read the sources, do you find Helge's statement to be factual?

                2) If so, can you please show us where I ever made such an argument?

                3) If not, do you find it acceptable for Helge to attribute absurd
                positions to me and then to leave them uncorrected when his
                misrepresentations have been pointed out?

                4) If so, why?

                5) If not, then why are you defending Helge's practice of doing such
                (instead of arguing against it, or at least remaining silent)?

                I await your answers.
              • Helge K. Fauskanger
                Until recently, one article on my pages implied that Carl F. Hostetter thinks older *_itîr-_ as a possible (though unlikely) past tense watched would
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 10, 2003
                  Until recently, one article on my pages implied that Carl F. Hostetter
                  thinks older *_itîr-_ as a possible (though unlikely) past tense "watched"
                  would produce Noldorin/Sindarin *_idír_ rather than *_idir_. CFH himself
                  writes:

                  > this is a complete misrepresentation of my words and position. I argued
                  only that original long vowels _might_ remain long _in stressed position_;
                  I said precisely _nothing_ about them remaining long in _unstressed_
                  position, such as in the

                  As we understand, somebody hit the SEND button a little prematurely here,
                  but CFH's point is still reasonably clear, especially in the light of other
                  posts of his.

                  It is hardly entirely correct that he said "precisely _nothing_" about
                  vowels in unstressed position. Rather he said he thought the vowel would be
                  _especially_ likely to remain long in stressed position, with the seeming
                  implication that he thinks it could very well remain long even when
                  unstressed.

                  When I wrote that I thought we would see *_idir_ rather than *_idír_, and
                  he in direct response to this states: "I see no reason why the vowel would
                  not remain long", then it does sound to me as if he is arguing FOR *_idír_
                  and AGAINST _idir_. If I misunderstood him and he only meant we would see
                  _idír-_ before some ending, then he was really begging to be misunderstood.
                  Rather than making a circus about this, as if I were deliberately
                  misrepresenting him to make him look stupid, it would be far better if he
                  could say: "I'm sorry, it seems that in the heat of the argument I didn't
                  express myself adequately. Please allow me to clarify this..."

                  Very well, let's just be happy that some sort of clarification did
                  materialize after all. CFH now claims he meant that the older long vowel
                  would remain long in the _penultimate_ syllable of suffixed forms, where a
                  long vowel would attract the stress. Unfortunately, there is _still_ little
                  evidence to support such a view, and good reasons to doubt it. With more
                  recent compounds as the main exception, the general tendency is to shorten
                  long vowels in polysyllabic words. For examples, check out the Revised Note
                  in my article:

                  http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/sverb-rec.htm

                  (Search for "Hostetter argues that before"...)

                  - HKF
                • Carl F. Hostetter
                  ... I.e., until _today_, after weeks and weeks of evasion... ... And the same page in fact _still_ claims that I argued this, which I never did. Helge has
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 10, 2003
                    On Nov 10, 2003, at 6:15 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger wrote:

                    > Until recently,

                    I.e., until _today_, after weeks and weeks of evasion...

                    > one article on my pages implied that Carl F. Hostetter thinks older
                    > *_itîr-_ as a possible (though unlikely) past tense "watched" would
                    > produce Noldorin/Sindarin *_idír_ rather than *_idir_.

                    And the same page in fact _still_ claims that I argued this, which I
                    never did. Helge has merely displaced his false, unevidenced assertion
                    further down in his now longer note, and replaced it with a different
                    set of false assertions (such as, that I "dismiss" agorech, or argued
                    that the stem vowel would be different in "some cases" -- in fact, I
                    merely pointed out that _if the sole example of past-tense formation
                    exhibited by _agor_ < *_akâra_ is to be applied to other verbs_, then
                    the _whole_ pattern needs to be applied, and not set aside silently as
                    Helge does; and the pattern exhibited by *_akâra_ _includes_ an
                    extended base with suffixed _sundóma_.

                    > Rather than making a circus about this, as if I were deliberately
                    > misrepresenting him to make him look stupid, it would be far better if
                    > he could say: "I'm sorry, it seems that in the heat of the argument I
                    > didn't express myself adequately. Please allow me to clarify this..."

                    I expressed myself with perfect adequacy, and far more precisely than
                    you bothered to notice in your zeal to attempt to discredit one that
                    you view as your "opponent" (which is at least 95% of your problem as a
                    "scholar": that you view it as a combative sport). No clarification was
                    necessary beyond that provided by simply reading my words with the care
                    and thoughtfulness due to -- and from -- any scholar.

                    I reject Helge's continued falsifications of my words and of the
                    evidence, and I deplore his unwillingness to discuss these issues in an
                    open forum so that the truth can be reached and so that he can come to
                    understand my arguments and the evidence before he falsely attributes
                    claims and positions to me.

                    And I say again to all readers of Helge's work: do not accept
                    _anything_ he says as true, unless you can verify it independently.
                    This is true even when Helge cites evidence (as he has a disturbing
                    tendency to quote out of context), and _especially_ when, as
                    frequently, he cites no evidence at all. His failure to quote any words
                    of mine supporting his misrepresentations of my claims should alert any
                    considerate reader that things are not as he wants you to believe they
                    are.
                  • John Cowan
                    ... You may have *expressed* yourself, but you obviously failed to *communicate*, since that (like the tango) takes at least two. -- Kill Gorg)Bûn! Kill
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 10, 2003
                      Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:

                      > I expressed myself with perfect adequacy,

                      You may have *expressed* yourself, but you obviously failed to
                      *communicate*, since that (like the tango) takes at least two.

                      --
                      "Kill Gorg)Bûn! Kill orc-folk! John Cowan
                      No other words please Wild Men. jcowan@...
                      Drive away bad air and darkness http://www.reutershealth.com
                      with bright iron!" --Gh)Bân-buri-Ghân http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
                    • Carl F. Hostetter
                      The fact that _Helge_ misunderstood my words (if in fact he did), because he couldn t be bothered to read them with any care, does _not_ mean that I failed to
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 10, 2003
                        The fact that _Helge_ misunderstood my words (if in fact he did),
                        because he couldn't be bothered to read them with any care, does _not_
                        mean that I failed to "communicate"; only that he failed to understand
                        what I wrote.

                        It also takes two for a mugging to occur; that doesn't mean the muggee
                        is at fault. Don't pin Helge's failure on me.



                        On Nov 10, 2003, at 9:18 PM, John Cowan wrote:

                        > Carl F. Hostetter scripsit:
                        >
                        >> I expressed myself with perfect adequacy,
                        >
                        > You may have *expressed* yourself, but you obviously failed to
                        > *communicate*, since that (like the tango) takes at least two.
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