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  • Sue Bridgwater
    Belated but nonetheless sincere congratulations to Edith on her nomination - rooting for you!   Congrats also to John D. Rateliff for his article in TS6, 2009
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 13 3:18 AM
      Belated but nonetheless sincere congratulations to Edith on her nomination - rooting for you!
       
      Congrats also to John D. Rateliff for his article in TS6, 2009 - A kind of Elvish craft; Tolkien as literary craftsman. It is so good to see this excellent opening up of the matter of the how of writing.  Tolkien was a literary craftsman par excellence. 
      One thing that often comes up on the Plaza when new (very) young folk join, is that having seen the films, they try to read LOTR and, particularly if they have not a great habit of reading, they find the language difficult.  I do understand this, and we older hands do our best to nurture and encourage.  One thread I started in this connection was to encourage people to seek out passages in which Tolkien had deliberately woven the text out of simple vocabulary, and it turned out to be often at moments of deepest significance, e.g on the slopes of Mt. Doom: I am glad that you are with me, here at the end of all things, Sam.  An entire sentence of monosyllables, at just the right time.  The mood and cadence are perfect.  Only one person, whose mother-tongue was not English, said that glad was an unfamiliar word to him.  Otherwise all agreed that you could not call this difficult!



      from Sue


      Perian’s Journey is the first tale in a series set in the world of Skorn.
      ISBN 0862034043 (1989)




      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • John D Rateliff
      Thanks, Sue. I m glad you like the piece. The more I study Tolkien, the more convinced I become that small details matter, and the more impressed I am by the
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 14 11:49 AM
        Thanks, Sue. I'm glad you like the piece. The more I study Tolkien,
        the more convinced I become that small details matter, and the more
        impressed I am by the sheer amount of work involved in his creating
        and perfecting his books (a characteristic I think his son Christopher
        shares).

        As for the matter of language difficulty in Tolkien, I recommend Brian
        Rosebury's TOLKIEN: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT [1992], which does a good
        job of refuting the claims that Tolkien wrote mostly in archaic
        language and syntax. In fact, as Rosebury points out, most of THE LORD
        OF THE RINGS is in good, straightforward modern English, with
        heightened vocabulary or sentence structures generally reserved for
        emphasis at particular points. I like your complementary point that
        often moments of great dramatic tension are presented very simply;
        I'll be on the look-out for this next time I re-read LotR.

        But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and there
        will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.

        --John R.


        On Aug 13, 2009, at 3:18 AM, Sue Bridgwater wrote:
        > Belated but nonetheless sincere congratulations to Edith on her
        > nomination - rooting for you!
        >
        > Congrats also to John D. Rateliff for his article in TS6, 2009 - A
        > kind of Elvish craft; Tolkien as literary craftsman. It is so good
        > to see this excellent opening up of the matter of the how of
        > writing. Tolkien was a literary craftsman par excellence.
        > One thing that often comes up on the Plaza when new (very) young
        > folk join, is that having seen the films, they try to read LOTR and,
        > particularly if they have not a great habit of reading, they find
        > the language difficult. I do understand this, and we older hands do
        > our best to nurture and encourage. One thread I started in this
        > connection was to encourage people to seek out passages in which
        > Tolkien had deliberately woven the text out of simple vocabulary,
        > and it turned out to be often at moments of deepest significance,
        > e.g on the slopes of Mt. Doom: I am glad that you are with me, here
        > at the end of all things, Sam. An entire sentence of monosyllables,
        > at just the right time. The mood and cadence are perfect. Only one
        > person, whose mother-tongue was not English, said that glad was an
        > unfamiliar word to him. Otherwise all agreed that you could not
        > call this difficult!
      • Merlin DeTardo
        ...
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 15 5:32 PM
          ---Sue Bridgwater <suebridgwater@...> wrote:
          <<... when new (very) young folk join, is that having seen the films, they try to read LOTR and, particularly if they have not a great habit of reading, they find the language difficult. I do understand this, and we older hands do our best to nurture and encourage. One thread I started in this connection was to encourage people to seek out passages in which Tolkien had deliberately woven the text out of simple vocabulary, and it turned out to be often at moments of deepest significance, e.g., on the slopes of Mt. Doom: "I am glad that you are with me, here at the end of all things, Sam."  An entire sentence of monosyllables, at just the right time. >>


          A brief observation concerning that sentence, and since you mention the films, its use there. Note that Tolkien actually writes Frodo's utterance twice, first at the end of "Mount Doom", and then a few pages later in "The Field of Cormallen", and the phrasing varies slightly:

          1. "I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.'"

          2. "'I am glad that you are here with me,' said Frodo. 'Here at the end of all things, Sam.'"

          Should Jackson therefore have filmed the line twice? In a way, he did -- though he also changed it. As Mount Doom erupts, his Frodo says, "I'm glad to be with you, Samwise Gamgee. Here at the end of all things." This echoes Frodo's final words* at the end of the first film: "Sam, I'm glad you're with me." (That earlier film line also derives in part from the book, from Frodo's comment in "The Breaking of the Fellowship" when he realizes Sam is coming with him to Mordor: "But I'm glad, Sam. I cannot tell you how glad.") Some viewers have argued that the contrasting "with you" / "with me" phrasing serves the films better than Tolkien's original words would have, though I don't remember their reasoning.

          -Merlin DeTardo


          *I don't know the films well, having only seen them once, and only learned of this connection through comments made here:
          http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=55320
        • Alana
          ... There will also always be some young readers for whom LotR becomes how they expand their vocabulary. :) -Alana
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 15 5:49 PM
            > But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and there
            > will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.

            There will also always be some young readers for whom LotR becomes how they expand their vocabulary. :)

            -Alana
          • Lynn Maudlin
            I don t know to what degree it s a problem in the UK but I m very discouraged by the general drop in literacy & related skills I ve been watching here in the
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 16 7:47 PM
              I don't know to what degree it's a problem in the UK but I'm very discouraged by the general drop in literacy & related skills I've been watching here in the USA. When a fan of the story comes to the books and finds them difficult, I expect to hear they're under 12 years of age, not that they're high school students (or college; eeep!).

              *pounds head on table*

              -- Lynn --



              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
              >
              > Thanks, Sue. I'm glad you like the piece. The more I study Tolkien,
              > the more convinced I become that small details matter, and the more
              > impressed I am by the sheer amount of work involved in his creating
              > and perfecting his books (a characteristic I think his son Christopher
              > shares).
              >
              > As for the matter of language difficulty in Tolkien, I recommend Brian
              > Rosebury's TOLKIEN: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT [1992], which does a good
              > job of refuting the claims that Tolkien wrote mostly in archaic
              > language and syntax. In fact, as Rosebury points out, most of THE LORD
              > OF THE RINGS is in good, straightforward modern English, with
              > heightened vocabulary or sentence structures generally reserved for
              > emphasis at particular points. I like your complementary point that
              > often moments of great dramatic tension are presented very simply;
              > I'll be on the look-out for this next time I re-read LotR.
              >
              > But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and there
              > will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.
              >
              > --John R.
              >
              >
              > On Aug 13, 2009, at 3:18 AM, Sue Bridgwater wrote:
              > > Belated but nonetheless sincere congratulations to Edith on her
              > > nomination - rooting for you!
              > >
              > > Congrats also to John D. Rateliff for his article in TS6, 2009 - A
              > > kind of Elvish craft; Tolkien as literary craftsman. It is so good
              > > to see this excellent opening up of the matter of the how of
              > > writing. Tolkien was a literary craftsman par excellence.
              > > One thing that often comes up on the Plaza when new (very) young
              > > folk join, is that having seen the films, they try to read LOTR and,
              > > particularly if they have not a great habit of reading, they find
              > > the language difficult. I do understand this, and we older hands do
              > > our best to nurture and encourage. One thread I started in this
              > > connection was to encourage people to seek out passages in which
              > > Tolkien had deliberately woven the text out of simple vocabulary,
              > > and it turned out to be often at moments of deepest significance,
              > > e.g on the slopes of Mt. Doom: I am glad that you are with me, here
              > > at the end of all things, Sam. An entire sentence of monosyllables,
              > > at just the right time. The mood and cadence are perfect. Only one
              > > person, whose mother-tongue was not English, said that glad was an
              > > unfamiliar word to him. Otherwise all agreed that you could not
              > > call this difficult!
              >
            • John D Rateliff
              ... Absolutely! But it s not just young readers I m thinking about. I don t mind at all coming across an unfamiliar word in something I m reading; I just make
              Message 6 of 24 , Aug 16 9:12 PM
                On Aug 15, 2009, at 5:49 PM, Alana wrote:
                >> But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and
                >> there
                >> will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.
                >
                > There will also always be some young readers for whom LotR becomes
                > how they expand their vocabulary. :)
                >
                > -Alana

                Absolutely! But it's not just young readers I'm thinking about. I
                don't mind at all coming across an unfamiliar word in something I'm
                reading; I just make the best guess I can as to its meaning from the
                context and make a mental note to look it up sometime. If the next
                time I come across it my theoretical meaning still makes sense, I tend
                to think I've more or less got it right.* That's how I've learned most
                of the words I know post 1st & 2nd grade reading classes.

                On the other hand, some readers just resent what they see as writers
                "showing off". I remember Darrell Schweitzer once wrote a piece
                attacking Clark Ashton Smith more or less on the basis that CAS knew
                more words that Schweitzer did. Like hobbits who want their books to
                be filled with things they already know, these readers (who can be any
                age) don't like writing that calls attention to itself, and that
                includes unfamiliar words.

                As for Tolkien and young readers, I remember my high school librarian
                telling me that readers of THE LORD OF THE RINGS tended to fall into
                two categories: those who read a lot, and those who hardly read at
                all, and that a surprising number of the latter got hooked on the book.

                Rowling is another example of an author who demands more of her
                readers than the average reader is supposed to be willing to give.

                --John R.


                *The one time I got it wrong and didn't realize it for years was the
                word "tacit", since the meaning I'd guessed at was plausibly close to
                its actual literal meaning.
              • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
                ... I too usually picked up meaning from context (usually getting it right). It was an ingrained habit from an early age. So it was one reason I wasn t
                Message 7 of 24 , Aug 16 11:21 PM
                  John Rateliff said:
                  >
                  > Absolutely! But it's not just young readers I'm thinking about. I
                  > don't mind at all coming across an unfamiliar word in something I'm
                  > reading; I just make the best guess I can as to its meaning from the
                  > context and make a mental note to look it up sometime. If the next
                  > time I come across it my theoretical meaning still makes sense, I tend
                  > to think I've more or less got it right.* That's how I've learned most
                  > of the words I know post 1st & 2nd grade reading classes.
                  >
                  > On the other hand, some readers just resent what they see as writers
                  > "showing off". I remember Darrell Schweitzer once wrote a piece
                  > attacking Clark Ashton Smith more or less on the basis that CAS knew
                  > more words that Schweitzer did. Like hobbits who want their books to
                  > be filled with things they already know, these readers (who can be any
                  > age) don't like writing that calls attention to itself, and that
                  > includes unfamiliar words.

                  I too usually picked up meaning from context (usually getting it right).
                  It was an ingrained habit from an early age. So it was one reason I
                  wasn't particularly bothered by reading Stephen Donaldson. On the other
                  hand, I fully appreciated Pat Wynne's cartoon about Donaldson (I still
                  have the original framed on my wall) - about Donaldson's (pregnant) mother
                  being frightened by a "thesaurus" (drawn as a dragon-like critter). Heh.
                  Now THERE was a vocabulary that was "showing off"!

                  Sarah
                • Larry Swain
                  One of the things I ve always liked about Donaldson is his vocabulary....he s not a philogist, nor were his parents, but he has the philologists love of the
                  Message 8 of 24 , Aug 16 11:41 PM
                    One of the things I've always liked about Donaldson is his
                    vocabulary....he's not a philogist, nor were his parents, but he has the
                    philologists' love of the *word* for its own sake, especially in his
                    early work.

                    Larry Swain

                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: scribbler@...
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: [mythsoc] Attention seeking vocabularies
                    Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 02:21:24 -0400 (EDT)

                     

                    John Rateliff said:
                    >
                    > Absolutely! But it's not just young readers I'm thinking about. I
                    > don't mind at all coming across an unfamiliar word in something I'm
                    > reading; I just make the best guess I can as to its meaning from
                    the
                    > context and make a mental note to look it up sometime. If the next
                    > time I come across it my theoretical meaning still makes sense, I
                    tend
                    > to think I've more or less got it right.* That's how I've learned
                    most
                    > of the words I know post 1st & 2nd grade reading classes.
                    >
                    > On the other hand, some readers just resent what they see as
                    writers
                    > "showing off". I remember Darrell Schweitzer once wrote a piece
                    > attacking Clark Ashton Smith more or less on the basis that CAS
                    knew
                    > more words that Schweitzer did. Like hobbits who want their books
                    to
                    > be filled with things they already know, these readers (who can be
                    any
                    > age) don't like writing that calls attention to itself, and that
                    > includes unfamiliar words.

                    I too usually picked up meaning from context (usually getting it
                    right).
                    It was an ingrained habit from an early age. So it was one reason I
                    wasn't particularly bothered by reading Stephen Donaldson. On the
                    other
                    hand, I fully appreciated Pat Wynne's cartoon about Donaldson (I
                    still
                    have the original framed on my wall) - about Donaldson's (pregnant)
                    mother
                    being frightened by a "thesaurus" (drawn as a dragon-like critter).
                    Heh.
                    Now THERE was a vocabulary that was "showing off"!

                    Sarah



                    --
                    _______________________________________________
                    Surf the Web in a faster, safer and easier way:
                    Download Opera 9 at http://www.opera.com

                    Powered by Outblaze


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • David Emerson
                    ... As a counter-example, I suggest Gene Wolfe s Shadow of the Torturer et al., where obscure vocabulary is used for a specific effect, i.e. creating the
                    Message 9 of 24 , Aug 17 9:46 AM
                      >... Pat Wynne's cartoon about [Stephen] Donaldson (I still
                      >have the original framed on my wall) - about Donaldson's (pregnant) mother
                      >being frightened by a "thesaurus" (drawn as a dragon-like critter). Heh.
                      >Now THERE was a vocabulary that was "showing off"!

                      As a counter-example, I suggest Gene Wolfe's "Shadow of the Torturer" et al., where obscure vocabulary is used for a specific effect, i.e. creating the sense of a baroque world, millennia in the future yet somehow archaic at the same time.

                      emerdavid

                      ________________________________________
                      PeoplePC Online
                      A better way to Internet
                      http://www.peoplepc.com
                    • Jason Fisher
                      ... For a similar effect, let me recommend Michael Chabon s Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure . [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      Message 10 of 24 , Aug 17 9:51 AM
                        > As a counter-example, I suggest Gene Wolfe's "Shadow of the Torturer"
                        > et al., where obscure vocabulary is used for a specific effect, i.e. creating
                        > the sense of a baroque world, millennia in the future yet somehow archaic
                        > at the same time.

                        For a similar effect, let me recommend Michael Chabon's "Gentlemen of the Road: A Tale of Adventure".

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Marie-Pierre BODEZ
                        I m suprised that glad should be considered difficult by a person whose mother-tongue is not English. I think I learned that word during the first year of my
                        Message 11 of 24 , Aug 17 2:50 PM
                          I'm suprised that "glad" should be considered difficult by a person whose mother-tongue is not English. I think I learned that word during the first year of my English lessons.
                          I haven't found the reading of the book in the original language difficult, except some descriptions (names of plants etc.). But Lost Tales was quite a different thing...
                          Marie (whose mother-tongue is French)



                          > > >
                          > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff > wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Thanks, Sue. I'm glad you like the piece. The more I study Tolkien,
                          > > the more convinced I become that small details matter, and the more
                          > > impressed I am by the sheer amount of work involved in his creating
                          > > and perfecting his books (a characteristic I think his son Christopher
                          > > shares).
                          > >
                          > > As for the matter of language difficulty in Tolkien, I recommend Brian
                          > > Rosebury's TOLKIEN: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT [1992], which does a good
                          > > job of refuting the claims that Tolkien wrote mostly in archaic
                          > > language and syntax. In fact, as Rosebury points out, most of THE LORD
                          > > OF THE RINGS is in good, straightforward modern English, with
                          > > heightened vocabulary or sentence structures generally reserved for
                          > > emphasis at particular points. I like your complementary point that
                          > > often moments of great dramatic tension are presented very simply;
                          > > I'll be on the look-out for this next time I re-read LotR.
                          > >
                          > > But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and there
                          > > will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.
                          > >
                          > > --John R.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > On Aug 13, 2009, at 3:18 AM, Sue Bridgwater wrote:
                          > > > Belated but nonetheless sincere congratulations to Edith on her
                          > > > nomination - rooting for you!
                          > > >
                          > > > Congrats also to John D. Rateliff for his article in TS6, 2009 - A
                          > > > kind of Elvish craft; Tolkien as literary craftsman. It is so good
                          > > > to see this excellent opening up of the matter of the how of
                          > > > writing. Tolkien was a literary craftsman par excellence.
                          > > > One thing that often comes up on the Plaza when new (very) young
                          > > > folk join, is that having seen the films, they try to read LOTR and,
                          > > > particularly if they have not a great habit of reading, they find
                          > > > the language difficult. I do understand this, and we older hands do
                          > > > our best to nurture and encourage. One thread I started in this
                          > > > connection was to encourage people to seek out passages in which
                          > > > Tolkien had deliberately woven the text out of simple vocabulary,
                          > > > and it turned out to be often at moments of deepest significance,
                          > > > e.g on the slopes of Mt. Doom: I am glad that you are with me, here
                          > > > at the end of all things, Sam. An entire sentence of monosyllables,
                          > > > at just the right time. The mood and cadence are perfect. Only one
                          > > > person, whose mother-tongue was not English, said that glad was an
                          > > > unfamiliar word to him. Otherwise all agreed that you could not
                          > > > call this difficult!
                          > >
                          >
                          >


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • David Emerson
                          ... The Lost Tales can be difficult even for those of us whose mother tongue is English! emerdavid ________________________________________ PeoplePC Online A
                          Message 12 of 24 , Aug 17 4:48 PM
                            >I haven't found the reading of the book in the original language difficult, except some descriptions (names of plants etc.). But Lost Tales was quite a different thing...
                            >Marie (whose mother-tongue is French)

                            The Lost Tales can be difficult even for those of us whose mother tongue is English!

                            emerdavid

                            ________________________________________
                            PeoplePC Online
                            A better way to Internet
                            http://www.peoplepc.com
                          • Diane Joy Baker
                            Ohh, yes. Wolfe is using it just for that effect. It s one of the things that attracted me to the series. Aside from Severian s character. ---djb ... From:
                            Message 13 of 24 , Aug 20 11:49 AM
                              Ohh, yes. Wolfe is using it just for that effect. It's one of the things that attracted me to the series. Aside from Severian's character. ---djb
                              ----- Original Message -----
                              From: David Emerson
                              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Monday, August 17, 2009 12:46 PM
                              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Attention seeking vocabularies


                              >... Pat Wynne's cartoon about [Stephen] Donaldson (I still
                              >have the original framed on my wall) - about Donaldson's (pregnant) mother
                              >being frightened by a "thesaurus" (drawn as a dragon-like critter). Heh.
                              >Now THERE was a vocabulary that was "showing off"!

                              As a counter-example, I suggest Gene Wolfe's "Shadow of the Torturer" et al., where obscure vocabulary is used for a specific effect, i.e. creating the sense of a baroque world, millennia in the future yet somehow archaic at the same time.

                              emerdavid

                              ________________________________________
                              PeoplePC Online
                              A better way to Internet
                              http://www.peoplepc.com




                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • lynnmaudlin
                              I always like it when I come across new words, ESPECIALLY when someone is speaking - sometimes it turns out to be a word I ve been mispronouncing in my head
                              Message 14 of 24 , Aug 25 1:16 AM
                                I always like it when I come across new words, ESPECIALLY when someone is speaking - sometimes it turns out to be a word I've been mispronouncing "in my head" for years--!!! I'm like you re: figuring out from context; I assume that's the common approach to unknown words but I don't really know... anyone? anyone? bueller?

                                -- Lynn --


                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > On Aug 15, 2009, at 5:49 PM, Alana wrote:
                                > >> But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and
                                > >> there
                                > >> will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.
                                > >
                                > > There will also always be some young readers for whom LotR becomes
                                > > how they expand their vocabulary. :)
                                > >
                                > > -Alana
                                >
                                > Absolutely! But it's not just young readers I'm thinking about. I
                                > don't mind at all coming across an unfamiliar word in something I'm
                                > reading; I just make the best guess I can as to its meaning from the
                                > context and make a mental note to look it up sometime. If the next
                                > time I come across it my theoretical meaning still makes sense, I tend
                                > to think I've more or less got it right.* That's how I've learned most
                                > of the words I know post 1st & 2nd grade reading classes.
                                >
                                > On the other hand, some readers just resent what they see as writers
                                > "showing off". I remember Darrell Schweitzer once wrote a piece
                                > attacking Clark Ashton Smith more or less on the basis that CAS knew
                                > more words that Schweitzer did. Like hobbits who want their books to
                                > be filled with things they already know, these readers (who can be any
                                > age) don't like writing that calls attention to itself, and that
                                > includes unfamiliar words.
                                >
                                > As for Tolkien and young readers, I remember my high school librarian
                                > telling me that readers of THE LORD OF THE RINGS tended to fall into
                                > two categories: those who read a lot, and those who hardly read at
                                > all, and that a surprising number of the latter got hooked on the book.
                                >
                                > Rowling is another example of an author who demands more of her
                                > readers than the average reader is supposed to be willing to give.
                                >
                                > --John R.
                                >
                                >
                                > *The one time I got it wrong and didn't realize it for years was the
                                > word "tacit", since the meaning I'd guessed at was plausibly close to
                                > its actual literal meaning.
                                >
                              • lynnmaudlin
                                I enjoyed meeting him at Mythcon 14 but, man! he swung that vocabulary like a sledgehammer--! -- Lynn --
                                Message 15 of 24 , Aug 25 1:18 AM
                                  I enjoyed meeting him at Mythcon 14 but, man! he swung that vocabulary like a sledgehammer--!

                                  -- Lynn --


                                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Swain" <theswain@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > One of the things I've always liked about Donaldson is his
                                  > vocabulary....he's not a philogist, nor were his parents, but he has the
                                  > philologists' love of the *word* for its own sake, especially in his
                                  > early work.
                                  >
                                  > Larry Swain
                                  >
                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                  > From: scribbler@...
                                  > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Subject: [mythsoc] Attention seeking vocabularies
                                  > Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 02:21:24 -0400 (EDT)
                                  >
                                  >  
                                  >
                                  > John Rateliff said:
                                  > >
                                  > > Absolutely! But it's not just young readers I'm thinking about. I
                                  > > don't mind at all coming across an unfamiliar word in something I'm
                                  > > reading; I just make the best guess I can as to its meaning from
                                  > the
                                  > > context and make a mental note to look it up sometime. If the next
                                  > > time I come across it my theoretical meaning still makes sense, I
                                  > tend
                                  > > to think I've more or less got it right.* That's how I've learned
                                  > most
                                  > > of the words I know post 1st & 2nd grade reading classes.
                                  > >
                                  > > On the other hand, some readers just resent what they see as
                                  > writers
                                  > > "showing off". I remember Darrell Schweitzer once wrote a piece
                                  > > attacking Clark Ashton Smith more or less on the basis that CAS
                                  > knew
                                  > > more words that Schweitzer did. Like hobbits who want their books
                                  > to
                                  > > be filled with things they already know, these readers (who can be
                                  > any
                                  > > age) don't like writing that calls attention to itself, and that
                                  > > includes unfamiliar words.
                                  >
                                  > I too usually picked up meaning from context (usually getting it
                                  > right).
                                  > It was an ingrained habit from an early age. So it was one reason I
                                  > wasn't particularly bothered by reading Stephen Donaldson. On the
                                  > other
                                  > hand, I fully appreciated Pat Wynne's cartoon about Donaldson (I
                                  > still
                                  > have the original framed on my wall) - about Donaldson's (pregnant)
                                  > mother
                                  > being frightened by a "thesaurus" (drawn as a dragon-like critter).
                                  > Heh.
                                  > Now THERE was a vocabulary that was "showing off"!
                                  >
                                  > Sarah
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --
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                                • lynnmaudlin
                                  There was a period of time where affected names were the rage, mostly in SF as I recall: lots of punctuation, no phonic sense... made me nuts, I d take to
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Aug 25 1:22 AM
                                    There was a period of time where affected names were the rage, mostly in SF as I recall: lots of punctuation, no phonic sense... made me nuts, I'd take to thinking of characters as "double appostrophe" or "P hyphen" or other uneuphonious mnemonics...

                                    -- Lynn --


                                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Emerson <emerdavid@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > >... Pat Wynne's cartoon about [Stephen] Donaldson (I still
                                    > >have the original framed on my wall) - about Donaldson's (pregnant) mother
                                    > >being frightened by a "thesaurus" (drawn as a dragon-like critter). Heh.
                                    > >Now THERE was a vocabulary that was "showing off"!
                                    >
                                    > As a counter-example, I suggest Gene Wolfe's "Shadow of the Torturer" et al., where obscure vocabulary is used for a specific effect, i.e. creating the sense of a baroque world, millennia in the future yet somehow archaic at the same time.
                                    >
                                    > emerdavid
                                    >
                                    > ________________________________________
                                    > PeoplePC Online
                                    > A better way to Internet
                                    > http://www.peoplepc.com
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                                  • lynnmaudlin
                                    I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation: keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently... I ve never tried that but I
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Aug 25 1:25 AM
                                      I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation: keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently... I've never tried that but I wonder if my reading skill is good enough - there are so many different verb forms in French! *whimper*

                                      -- Lynn --


                                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Marie-Pierre BODEZ <m.bodez@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > I'm suprised that "glad" should be considered difficult by a person whose mother-tongue is not English. I think I learned that word during the first year of my English lessons.
                                      > I haven't found the reading of the book in the original language difficult, except some descriptions (names of plants etc.). But Lost Tales was quite a different thing...
                                      > Marie (whose mother-tongue is French)
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > > > >
                                      > > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff > wrote:
                                      > > >
                                      > > > Thanks, Sue. I'm glad you like the piece. The more I study Tolkien,
                                      > > > the more convinced I become that small details matter, and the more
                                      > > > impressed I am by the sheer amount of work involved in his creating
                                      > > > and perfecting his books (a characteristic I think his son Christopher
                                      > > > shares).
                                      > > >
                                      > > > As for the matter of language difficulty in Tolkien, I recommend Brian
                                      > > > Rosebury's TOLKIEN: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT [1992], which does a good
                                      > > > job of refuting the claims that Tolkien wrote mostly in archaic
                                      > > > language and syntax. In fact, as Rosebury points out, most of THE LORD
                                      > > > OF THE RINGS is in good, straightforward modern English, with
                                      > > > heightened vocabulary or sentence structures generally reserved for
                                      > > > emphasis at particular points. I like your complementary point that
                                      > > > often moments of great dramatic tension are presented very simply;
                                      > > > I'll be on the look-out for this next time I re-read LotR.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > But of course it's true that Tolkien has a large vocabulary, and there
                                      > > > will always be some readers for whom this will be a problem.
                                      > > >
                                      > > > --John R.
                                      > > >
                                      > > >
                                      > > > On Aug 13, 2009, at 3:18 AM, Sue Bridgwater wrote:
                                      > > > > Belated but nonetheless sincere congratulations to Edith on her
                                      > > > > nomination - rooting for you!
                                      > > > >
                                      > > > > Congrats also to John D. Rateliff for his article in TS6, 2009 - A
                                      > > > > kind of Elvish craft; Tolkien as literary craftsman. It is so good
                                      > > > > to see this excellent opening up of the matter of the how of
                                      > > > > writing. Tolkien was a literary craftsman par excellence.
                                      > > > > One thing that often comes up on the Plaza when new (very) young
                                      > > > > folk join, is that having seen the films, they try to read LOTR and,
                                      > > > > particularly if they have not a great habit of reading, they find
                                      > > > > the language difficult. I do understand this, and we older hands do
                                      > > > > our best to nurture and encourage. One thread I started in this
                                      > > > > connection was to encourage people to seek out passages in which
                                      > > > > Tolkien had deliberately woven the text out of simple vocabulary,
                                      > > > > and it turned out to be often at moments of deepest significance,
                                      > > > > e.g on the slopes of Mt. Doom: I am glad that you are with me, here
                                      > > > > at the end of all things, Sam. An entire sentence of monosyllables,
                                      > > > > at just the right time. The mood and cadence are perfect. Only one
                                      > > > > person, whose mother-tongue was not English, said that glad was an
                                      > > > > unfamiliar word to him. Otherwise all agreed that you could not
                                      > > > > call this difficult!
                                      > > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      >
                                    • Jason Fisher
                                      ... I do the same with my Italian copies, and I ve read pieces of the French translations too. It s very good practice, and you do notice different things. I
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Aug 25 7:25 AM
                                        > I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation:
                                        > keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently...

                                        I do the same with my Italian copies, and I've read pieces of the French translations too. It's very good practice, and you do notice different things. I have a friend who likes to read the French while his high school students are doing busy-work. One of his students once asked, "Wow, so you know French well enough to read The Lord of the Rings in it?!" To which my friend replied, "Not really; it's the reverse: I know The Lord of the Rings well enough to manage with the French!"

                                        Jase
                                      • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
                                        All this talk of reading Tolkien in other languages to practice the language is getting at me! I may give it a try, even though my French is very, very rusty.
                                        Message 19 of 24 , Aug 25 10:51 AM
                                          All this talk of reading Tolkien in other languages to practice the
                                          language is getting at me! I may give it a try, even though my French is
                                          very, very rusty. Maybe I'll do THE HOBBIT instead of the whole of LOTR.

                                          Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D



                                          >> I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation:
                                          >> keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently...
                                          >
                                          > I do the same with my Italian copies, and I've read pieces of the French
                                          > translations too. It's very good practice, and you do notice different
                                          > things. I have a friend who likes to read the French while his high school
                                          > students are doing busy-work. One of his students once asked, "Wow, so you
                                          > know French well enough to read The Lord of the Rings in it?!" To which my
                                          > friend replied, "Not really; it's the reverse: I know The Lord of the
                                          > Rings well enough to manage with the French!"
                                          >
                                          > Jase
                                          >
                                        • Marie-Pierre BODEZ
                                          Try LOTR in French, it s great (I m afraid there is no Latin translation) ! My dream is to be able to read LOTR in Icelandic ! Tolkien has said that it was the
                                          Message 20 of 24 , Aug 25 1:03 PM
                                            Try LOTR in French, it's great (I'm afraid there is no Latin translation) !
                                            My dream is to be able to read LOTR in Icelandic ! Tolkien has said that it was the best language to translate it, hasn't he ?
                                            one day... perhaps... but it's so hard !
                                            Marie




                                            > Message du 25/08/09 19:52
                                            > De : scribbler@...
                                            > A : mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                            > Copie à :
                                            > Objet : [mythsoc] Reading translations for practice.
                                            >
                                            > > All this talk of reading Tolkien in other languages to practice the
                                            > language is getting at me! I may give it a try, even though my French is
                                            > very, very rusty. Maybe I'll do THE HOBBIT instead of the whole of LOTR.
                                            >
                                            > Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D
                                            >
                                            > >> I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation:
                                            > >> keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently...
                                            > >
                                            > > I do the same with my Italian copies, and I've read pieces of the French
                                            > > translations too. It's very good practice, and you do notice different
                                            > > things. I have a friend who likes to read the French while his high school
                                            > > students are doing busy-work. One of his students once asked, "Wow, so you
                                            > > know French well enough to read The Lord of the Rings in it?!" To which my
                                            > > friend replied, "Not really; it's the reverse: I know The Lord of the
                                            > > Rings well enough to manage with the French!"
                                            > >
                                            > > Jase
                                            > >
                                            >
                                            >


                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • David Emerson
                                            ... Don t know about that, but you could start out with WINNIE ILLE PU, which I read in high school for extra credit in 4th-year Latin. emerdavid
                                            Message 21 of 24 , Aug 25 2:21 PM
                                              -----Original Message-----
                                              >From: scribbler@...
                                              >
                                              >Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D

                                              Don't know about that, but you could start out with WINNIE ILLE PU, which I read in high school for extra credit in 4th-year Latin.

                                              emerdavid

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                                              PeoplePC Online
                                              A better way to Internet
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                                            • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
                                              Oooo! Winnie! I did not know. I do have THE CAT IN THE HAT in Latin, though. A friend gave it to me for Christmas. She understands my Geekitude.
                                              Message 22 of 24 , Aug 25 6:37 PM
                                                Oooo! Winnie! I did not know.

                                                I do have THE CAT IN THE HAT in Latin, though. A friend gave it to me for
                                                Christmas. She understands my Geekitude.


                                                > -----Original Message-----
                                                >>From: scribbler@...
                                                >>
                                                >>Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D
                                                >
                                                > Don't know about that, but you could start out with WINNIE ILLE PU, which
                                                > I read in high school for extra credit in 4th-year Latin.
                                                >
                                                > emerdavid
                                                >
                                                > ________________________________________
                                                > PeoplePC Online
                                                > A better way to Internet
                                                > http://www.peoplepc.com
                                                >
                                              • Croft, Janet B.
                                                And then there s Alicia in Terra Mirabilis... Janet Brennan Croft From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                                                Message 23 of 24 , Aug 26 6:48 AM
                                                  And then there's Alicia in Terra Mirabilis...

                                                  Janet Brennan Croft

                                                  From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of scribbler@...
                                                  Sent: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 8:38 PM
                                                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Reading translations for practice.



                                                  Oooo! Winnie! I did not know.

                                                  I do have THE CAT IN THE HAT in Latin, though. A friend gave it to me for
                                                  Christmas. She understands my Geekitude.

                                                  > -----Original Message-----
                                                  >>From: scribbler@...<mailto:scribbler%40scribblerworks.us>
                                                  >>
                                                  >>Hmmm.... anyone know if someone has translated THE HOBBIT into Latin? :D
                                                  >
                                                  > Don't know about that, but you could start out with WINNIE ILLE PU, which
                                                  > I read in high school for extra credit in 4th-year Latin.
                                                  >
                                                  > emerdavid
                                                  >
                                                  > ________________________________________
                                                  > PeoplePC Online
                                                  > A better way to Internet
                                                  > http://www.peoplepc.com
                                                  >



                                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                • alexeik@aol.com
                                                  ... From: Jason Fisher To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 10:25 am Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Congratulations x 2 ... I
                                                  Message 24 of 24 , Aug 26 10:23 AM
                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...>
                                                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Sent: Tue, Aug 25, 2009 10:25 am
                                                    Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Congratulations x 2

                                                    > I have a friend who likes to read LOTR in French translation:
                                                    > keeps her French in practice & she processes the story differently...

                                                    I do the same with my Italian copies, and I've read pieces of the
                                                    French translations too. It's very good practice, and you do notice
                                                    different things. I have a friend who likes to read the French while
                                                    his high school students are doing busy-work. One of his students once
                                                    asked, "Wow, so you know French well enough to read The Lord of the
                                                    Rings in it?!" To which my friend replied, "Not really; it's the
                                                    reverse: I know The Lord of the Rings well enough to manage with the
                                                    French!"
                                                    <<

                                                    I've done that with the Bible for years -- given that not only do I
                                                    know the content pretty well, but it's the one book that's been
                                                    translated in many of the languages I study.
                                                    Alexei
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