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Re: Medieval studies

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  • William Cloud Hicklin
    ... have written one ... a great many ... how it looks and ... So its recognition ... low. Fair enough, but the column s reference to speaking or knowing
    Message 1 of 18 , Jul 9, 2007
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      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff
      <sacnoth@...> wrote:
      >
      > Perhaps it would have been more accurate for him to
      have written
      "one
      > of the most widely KNOWN invented languages", since
      a great many
      > people know about it and may even have some idea
      how it looks and
      > sounds, but they can't actually read or write it.
      So its
      recognition
      > threshold is high, though its mastery is extremely
      low.


      Fair enough, but the column's reference to 'speaking'
      or 'knowing' or 'knowing of' the language "Elvish" is
      simply ignorance. One can't, even in theory, speak
      "Elvish" any more than one could speak Romance, or
      Finno-Ugric.
    • Linda DeMars
      What a delight! You certainly brightened my day. As a fan of Bill and Ted movies, at least the first one, I really appreciated this silly link and laughed as I
      Message 2 of 18 , Jul 9, 2007
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        What a delight! You certainly brightened my day. As a fan of Bill and Ted
        movies, at least the first one, I really appreciated this silly link and
        laughed as I scrolled through each one.

        Linda D.

        On 7/9/07, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
        >
        > Here's something very silly I happened to come across last week:
        > Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the RIngs' as experienced by a bunch of
        > numskulls trying to play thorough the story as if it were a typical
        > D&D adventure.
        >
        > http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=612
        >
        > The story is still ongoing, after about a hundred and twenty
        > installments; they're currently messing around in the middle of the
        > Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The best episode of those I've seen so
        > far is the one covering Elrond's sudden appearance in Rohan, here
        > presented as a desperate attempt by the DM to fit a plot-hole caused
        > by narrator inattention:
        >
        > http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1148
        >
        > So, if you like D&D jokes, enjoy. If not, or if you don't like to
        > see the Jackson films mocked, better to give this a pass.
        >
        > --John R.
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • John D Rateliff
        ... Or Indo-European. Of course. But I m willing to cut him a break on that point, since Bilbo himself often uses Elvish when he means Sindarin (e.g.
        Message 3 of 18 , Jul 9, 2007
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          On Jul 9, 2007, at 12:58 PM, William Cloud Hicklin wrote:
          > Fair enough, but the column's reference to 'speaking'
          > or 'knowing' or 'knowing of' the language "Elvish" is
          > simply ignorance. One can't, even in theory, speak
          > "Elvish" any more than one could speak Romance, or
          > Finno-Ugric.

          Or Indo-European. Of course. But I'm willing to cut him a break on
          that point, since Bilbo himself often uses "Elvish" when he means
          Sindarin
          (e.g. "Translations from the Elvish" or "I thought you knew enough
          Elvish at least to know dun-adan: Man of the West, Numenorean").
          Finally getting a chance to read the article itself, I think it
          does a pretty good job of pointing out that today's scholars don't
          become medievalists by reading BEOWULF in college; they discover a
          love of medieval literature either through reading JRRT, or playing
          D&D, or (in the vast majority of cases) both.
          It's funny that as a gamer I see pieces like this every year
          where a reporter goes to regale people about the odd going-ons at
          GenCon; seeing the same treatment transferred to a scholarly
          conference is bemusing. Though as a purist I do scoff at the idea
          that finding a computer to play D&D Online isn't the same thing as
          finding a place to play D&D.
          Thanks to Wendell for posting the link.
          --JDR

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Merlin DeTardo
          ... himself often uses Elvish when he means Sindarin (e.g. Translations from the Elvish or I thought you knew enough Elvish at least to know dun-adan: Man
          Message 4 of 18 , Jul 9, 2007
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            >>John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
            >>But I'm willing to cut him a break on that point, since Bilbo
            himself often uses "Elvish" when he means Sindarin
            (e.g. "Translations from the Elvish" or "I thought you knew enough
            Elvish at least to know dun-adan: Man of the West, Numenorean").

            Good point, but in the first instance, mightn't Bilbo have
            translated from works in both Sindarin and Quenya at Rivendell?


            >>I think it does a pretty good job of pointing out that today's
            scholars don't become medievalists by reading BEOWULF in college;
            they discover a love of medieval literature either through reading
            JRRT, or playing D&D, or (in the vast majority of cases) both.

            In further support of that point, Richard Scott Nokes and other
            medievalists responded to the article with additional comments on
            their introduction to medievalism by way of Tolkien, RPG, etc. at
            Nokes' blog:

            http://unlocked-wordhoard.blogspot.com/2007/07/sir-nokes-knight-of-
            faculty-lounge.html
          • William Cloud Hicklin
            ... speaking ... Elvish is ... theory, speak ... Romance, or ... to cut him a break on ... Elvish when he means ... thought you knew enough ... West,
            Message 5 of 18 , Jul 10, 2007
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              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff
              <sacnoth@...> wrote:
              >
              > On Jul 9, 2007, at 12:58 PM, William Cloud
              Hicklin wrote:
              > > Fair enough, but the column's reference to
              'speaking'
              > > or 'knowing' or 'knowing of' the language
              "Elvish" is
              > > simply ignorance. One can't, even in
              theory,
              speak
              > > "Elvish" any more than one could speak
              Romance,
              or
              > > Finno-Ugric.
              >
              > Or Indo-European. Of course. But I'm willing
              to
              cut him a break on
              > that point, since Bilbo himself often uses
              "Elvish" when he means
              > Sindarin
              > (e.g. "Translations from the Elvish" or "I
              thought you knew enough
              > Elvish at least to know dun-adan: Man of the
              West, Numenorean").

              Ok, good point. Come to think of it, I don't
              believe the names "Sindarin" or "Quenya"
              actually appear anywhere in the narrative proper
              (unsurprisingly in the former case, since at the
              time it was still "Noldorin.")
            • Lynn Maudlin
              Oh, John, thank you so much - this is great (I must send it to my son, who will also love it); just really good facial expressions and word bubbles! Um,
              Message 6 of 18 , Jul 10, 2007
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                Oh, John, thank you so much - this is great (I must send it to my son,
                who will also love it); just really good facial expressions and word
                bubbles! <grin>

                Um, are we living in a bizarre world where Jackson LotR fans the
                equivalent of Muslims reacting to "Danish" cartoons? The LotR novel
                gets lampooned ("Bored of the Rings") and that's minimally tolerable
                if not okay and sometimes actually embraced in a kind of dualism but
                to mock the movie causes great frothing? Surely not--

                -- Lynn --

                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                >
                > Here's something very silly I happened to come across last week:
                > Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the RIngs' as experienced by a bunch of
                > numskulls trying to play thorough the story as if it were a typical
                > D&D adventure.
                >
                > http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=612
                >
                >
                > The story is still ongoing, after about a hundred and twenty
                > installments; they're currently messing around in the middle of the
                > Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The best episode of those I've seen so
                > far is the one covering Elrond's sudden appearance in Rohan, here
                > presented as a desperate attempt by the DM to fit a plot-hole caused
                > by narrator inattention:
                >
                > http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1148
                >
                > So, if you like D&D jokes, enjoy. If not, or if you don't like to
                > see the Jackson films mocked, better to give this a pass.
                >
                > --John R.
                >
              • Lynn Maudlin
                Remember: That which does not kill you was simply not permitted to do so for the purposes of the plot. bwahahahahahahahaha!
                Message 7 of 18 , Jul 10, 2007
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                  "Remember: That which does not kill you was simply not permitted to do
                  so for the purposes of the plot."

                  bwahahahahahahahaha!
                • Merlin DeTardo
                  ... or Quenya actually appear anywhere in the narrative proper (unsurprisingly in the former case, since at the time it was still Noldorin. ) I never
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jul 10, 2007
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                    >>---"William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...> wrote:
                    >>Come to think of it, I don't believe the names "Sindarin"
                    or "Quenya" actually appear anywhere in the narrative proper
                    (unsurprisingly in the former case, since at the time it was
                    still "Noldorin.")


                    I never noticed that (or didn't not notice those missing words,
                    rather)! Your comment sent me on a search of _LotR_, using Scull
                    and Hammond's (wonderful) index to the 2005 one-volume, paperback
                    edition. No doubt I'm repeating what others have done before, but
                    for fun or further comment, here are the appearances of "Quenya"
                    or "Sindarin", by those or other names, in order of appearance;
                    references are to Book, Chapter, page(s):

                    ---Quenya---
                    High-elven speech (I, iii, 81)
                    Ancient Tongue (I, iii, 81)
                    Ancient Speech (I, iii, 85)
                    ancient tongue of the Elves beyond the Sea (II, viii, 377)
                    high tongue of old (V, viii, 863)
                    Valinorean (V, viii, 864)
                    High-elven (App. A, I, ii, 1038; App. A, I, iii, 1039; App. F, I,
                    1127; App. F, II, 1137)
                    Quenya (App. D, 1107, 1110, 1111; App. E, I, 1113, 1114, 1115, 1116;
                    App. E, II, 1118, 1120, 1121, 1122, 1123, 1126; App. F, I, 1127,
                    1128, 1131)
                    High-elven Quenya (App. E, 1113; App. F, I, 1128)
                    Q. (App. E, 1113, 1114, 1115)
                    High-elven tongue (App. F, I, 1131)

                    ---Sindarin---
                    Elvish (II, i, 233; II, iv, 307)
                    Elvish tongue (II, iii, 283; App. A, III, 1074)
                    elven-tongue of the West of Middle-earth in the Elder Days (II, iv,
                    306)
                    our woodland-tongue (II, vi, 339) [1]
                    elven-tongue (II, vi, 342, 343; IV, iv, 659; App. F, I, 1129) [1]
                    Elvish speech (III, viii, 555)
                    noble tongue (V, viii, 864) [2]
                    Sindarin (App. D, 1107, 1110, 1111; App. E, 1114, 1115, 1116, 1117;
                    App. E, II, 1120, 1121, 1122, 1123, 1126; App. F, I, 1127, 1128,
                    1131)
                    S. (App. E, I, 1113, 1114, 1115)
                    Grey-elven (App. E, II, 1123; App. F, I, 1127, 1128, 1130, 1132)

                    Apologies for any omissions or errors. Also for the missing
                    diacritical marks in these notes:

                    [1] S&H apparently refer to the terms "our woodland-tongue"
                    and "elven-tongue" in the chapter "Lothlorien" when they index the
                    same pages under both "Sindarin" and "Silvan Elves, language of",
                    presumably per the first note to Appendix F (p. 1127), which says
                    that Frodo at first misunderstood the accented Sindarin speech of
                    the Lorien elves to be a Silvan tongue. (Though perhaps that note
                    also should be indexed under "Silvan Elves, language of"?)

                    [2] S&H give "noble tongue" as a name for Quenya. The only
                    appearance I found for "noble tongue" is in "The Houses of Healing",
                    where the herb-master uses it to describe the name "athelas",
                    contrasting it to the name "asea aranion" in the "Valinorean"
                    language, which is Quenya. I have listed "noble tongue" under
                    Sindarin on the assumption that "athelas" is therefore a Sindarin
                    word...

                    ...and after searching for "athelas" on the lambengolmor list, and
                    reading this post and its successors:

                    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/lambengolmor/message/850

                    I am a bit lost. So "athelas" is Sindarin, but with an unresolved
                    etymology suggesting a strong element of Quenya (or Old English?) --
                    is that right?
                  • Cathy Akers-Jordan
                    RTFL! Thank you, John! You are right: the Elrond bit is particularly funny. Cathy
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jul 11, 2007
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                      RTFL! Thank you, John! You are right: the Elrond bit is particularly
                      funny.

                      Cathy

                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Here's something very silly I happened to come across last week:
                      > Peter Jackson's 'The Lord of the RIngs' as experienced by a bunch of
                      > numskulls trying to play thorough the story as if it were a typical
                      > D&D adventure.
                      >
                      > http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=612
                      >
                      >
                      > The story is still ongoing, after about a hundred and twenty
                      > installments; they're currently messing around in the middle of the
                      > Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The best episode of those I've seen so
                      > far is the one covering Elrond's sudden appearance in Rohan, here
                      > presented as a desperate attempt by the DM to fit a plot-hole caused
                      > by narrator inattention:
                      >
                      > http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1148
                      >
                      > So, if you like D&D jokes, enjoy. If not, or if you don't like to
                      > see the Jackson films mocked, better to give this a pass.
                      >
                      > --John R.
                      >
                    • William Cloud Hicklin
                      ... with an unresolved ... (or Old English?) -- ... It s definitely Sindarin. I would suggest that the etymology isn t unresolved, either, although the note
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jul 11, 2007
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                        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin
                        DeTardo" <emptyD@...> wrote:

                        >
                        > I am a bit lost. So "athelas" is Sindarin, but
                        with an unresolved
                        > etymology suggesting a strong element of Quenya
                        (or Old English?) --
                        > is that right?


                        It's definitely Sindarin. I would suggest that
                        the etymology isn't unresolved, either, although
                        the note in question hasn't been published (except
                        via Internet: my fault, but the wars were still in
                        the future at the time). The plant apparently was
                        not native to Middle-earth, but brought by the
                        Noldor; they called it in Quenya athea > asea (see
                        The Shibboleth of Feanor). In exile, the Sindarin
                        name was coined: regular cognate athe- compounded
                        with -las. My speculation is that Asea Aranion
                        was a specifically Numenorean term, the King being
                        associated with healing in that culture; the
                        translation would be something like 'kingsbalm.'

                        The link to Old English aethele was entirely my
                        guess- but it wouldn't be the only time OE found
                        its way into the Elvish tongues: see CT's note on
                        Orgel in Children of Hurin, or for that matter S.
                        orch (from OE orc: Tolkien expressly said this
                        word was 'Rohirric,' and it plainly comes from OE
                        orc-neas and not L. orcus.).
                      • William Cloud Hicklin
                        OMG, Dr John, that is *screamingly* funny! And I ve been that DM, too.
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jul 11, 2007
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                          OMG, Dr John, that is *screamingly* funny! And I've
                          been that DM, too.
                        • Merlin DeTardo
                          ... unresolved, either, although the note in question... Thanks very much for that explanation. ... tongues: see CT s note on Orgel in Children of Hurin... I
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jul 15, 2007
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                            >>"William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...> wrote:

                            >>>---"Merlin DeTardo" <emptyD@> wrote:
                            >>>So "athelas" is Sindarin, but with an unresolved etymology ...?

                            >> It's definitely Sindarin. I would suggest that the etymology isn't
                            unresolved, either, although the note in question...

                            Thanks very much for that explanation.


                            >>...it wouldn't be the only time OE found its way into the Elvish
                            tongues: see CT's note on Orgel in Children of Hurin...

                            I can't find Orgel in the list of names at the back of _The Children
                            of Hurin_ -- which character is that?

                            Just kidding. Do you think Christopher Tolkien is right that it
                            was "too late" to change "Saeros" to "Orgol"?
                          • William Cloud Hicklin
                            ... right that it ... Well, look at it from the perspective of CRT s purpose in publishing CoH. He very openly intended it to serve as a bridge to The
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jul 15, 2007
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                              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin
                              DeTardo" <emptyD@...> wrote:

                              >
                              > Just kidding. Do you think Christopher Tolkien is
                              right that it
                              > was "too late" to change "Saeros" to "Orgol"?
                              >

                              Well, look at it from the perspective of CRT's
                              purpose in publishing CoH. He very openly intended
                              it to serve as a bridge to The Silmarillion for
                              readers of The Lord of the Rings. Not direct to
                              HoME! Thus in this one case consistency overrode
                              what was generally his 'extreme scrupulosity' in not
                              altering the Narn papers at all beyond, in effect,
                              copy-editing. (He was fortunate in the fact that the
                              Narn papers, to all appearances, predate the 1958-60
                              writings which underly so many 'canonicity' debates).
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