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Capitalization of Tolkien's races

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  • drldonovan
    What is the latest practice about capitalizing Tolkien s races (Orc, Elves, Men, Hobbits, etc)? I know Tolkien tended to capitalize such when they referred to
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 17, 2014
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      What is the latest practice about capitalizing Tolkien's races (Orc, Elves, Men, Hobbits, etc)? I know Tolkien tended to capitalize such when they referred to the races themselves, though he was not completely consistent in this. I am trying to sort out a reasonable compromise with my publisher who would prefer to lowercase all of the races. Any new thoughts on this issue?


      Leslie Donovan

      (ldonovan@...)

    • John Rateliff
      I prefer lowercase for generic names of races (hobbits, elves, goblins), reserving uppercase for specific subraces (Sindar, Noldor, Vanyar). Tolkien initially
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 17, 2014
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        I prefer lowercase for generic names of races (hobbits, elves, goblins), reserving uppercase for specific subraces (Sindar, Noldor, Vanyar). Tolkien initially seems to have favored lowercase and later shifter to preferring uppercase (just as he started sticking in the diacriticals everywhere late in life).  I tend towards lowercase and light on the diacritics; some (e.g., Wayne & Christina) favor the uppercase and heavy diacritics.
           In the end, consistency probably counts for more than getting the 'right' answer from two correct options -- and even there I might not impose that level of conformity between essays in a collection, so long as each essay was self-consistent.
           Does that help at all?

           --John R.


        On Jun 17, 2014, at 2:23 PM, ldonovan@... [mythsoc] wrote:

        What is the latest practice about capitalizing Tolkien's races (Orc, Elves, Men, Hobbits, etc)? I know Tolkien tended to capitalize such when they referred to the races themselves, though he was not completely consistent in this. I am trying to sort out a reasonable compromise with my publisher who would prefer to lowercase all of the races. Any new thoughts on this issue?

        Leslie Donovan

      • David Bratman
        Here are the relevant instructions from the Tolkien Studies style sheet: Capitalization for the “races” of Middle-earth: Tolkien is not always consistent,
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 21, 2014
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          Here are the relevant instructions from the Tolkien Studies style sheet:

          Capitalization for the “races” of Middle-earth: Tolkien is not always consistent, but a good rule of thumb is to capitalize the names of most his “races” (Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Ents, Men) when speaking of the race as a whole, but use lower-case when referring to a smaller group or to individuals, even if unspecified (“no hobbit has ever killed another on purpose in the Shire”).

          Example: “There were also many families of hobbits in the Bree-land and they claimed to be the oldest settlement of Hobbits in the world.” The first “hobbits” in this example refers to those living in Bree; the second “Hobbits” refers to the entire race.

          Use Elven- or elven- in compound form when describing things pertaining to the Elves (e.g. Elven-tongue, Elven-rings, elven-mail), but Elvish or elvish when the word stands alone grammatically (e.g. Tolkien’s “The letters are Elvish, of an ancient mode”) or in a more general sense meaning reminiscent of the Elves (e.g. Tolkien’s “There is something strange about you, Frodo, an elvish air, maybe.”)


          -----Original Message-----
          From: "ldonovan@... [mythsoc]"
          Sent: Jun 17, 2014 2:23 PM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [mythsoc] Capitalization of Tolkien's races



          What is the latest practice about capitalizing Tolkien's races (Orc, Elves, Men, Hobbits, etc)? I know Tolkien tended to capitalize such when they referred to the races themselves, though he was not completely consistent in this. I am trying to sort out a reasonable compromise with my publisher who would prefer to lowercase all of the races. Any new thoughts on this issue?


          Leslie Donovan

          (ldonovan@...)



        • Jason Fisher
          Very good guidelines and examples! Thanks for sharing, David. ... not always consistent, but a good rule of thumb is to capitalize the names of most his
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 21, 2014
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            Very good guidelines and examples! Thanks for sharing, David.

            From: "David Bratman dbratman@... [mythsoc]" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2014 6:27 AM
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Capitalization of Tolkien's races

             
            Here are the relevant instructions from the Tolkien Studies style sheet:

            Capitalization for the “races” of Middle-earth: Tolkien is not always consistent, but a good rule of thumb is to capitalize the names of most his “races” (Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Ents, Men) when speaking of the race as a whole, but use lower-case when referring to a smaller group or to individuals, even if unspecified (“no hobbit has ever killed another on purpose in the Shire”).

            Example: “There were also many families of hobbits in the Bree-land and they claimed to be the oldest settlement of Hobbits in the world.” The first “hobbits” in this example refers to those living in Bree; the second “Hobbits” refers to the entire race.

            Use Elven- or elven- in compound form when describing things pertaining to the Elves (e.g. Elven-tongue, Elven-rings, elven-mail), but Elvish or elvish when the word stands alone grammatically (e.g. Tolkien’s “The letters are Elvish, of an ancient mode”) or in a more general sense meaning reminiscent of the Elves (e.g. Tolkien’s “There is something strange about you, Frodo, an elvish air, maybe.”)


            -----Original Message-----
            From: "ldonovan@... [mythsoc]"
            Sent: Jun 17, 2014 2:23 PM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [mythsoc] Capitalization of Tolkien's races



            What is the latest practice about capitalizing Tolkien's races (Orc, Elves, Men, Hobbits, etc)? I know Tolkien tended to capitalize such when they referred to the races themselves, though he was not completely consistent in this. I am trying to sort out a reasonable compromise with my publisher who would prefer to lowercase all of the races. Any new thoughts on this issue?

            Leslie Donovan
            (ldonovan@...)




          • David Bratman
            Thanks. That section is about 70% Verlyn Flieger and 30% me. -----Original Message----- From: Jason Fisher visualweasel@yahoo.com [mythsoc] Sent: Jun 21,
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 21, 2014
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              Thanks.  That section is about 70% Verlyn Flieger and 30% me.

              -----Original Message-----
              From: "Jason Fisher visualweasel@... [mythsoc]"
              Sent: Jun 21, 2014 8:27 AM
              To: "mythsoc@yahoogroups.com"
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Capitalization of Tolkien's races



              Very good guidelines and examples! Thanks for sharing, David.

              From: "David Bratman dbratman@... [mythsoc]" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2014 6:27 AM
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Capitalization of Tolkien's races

               
              Here are the relevant instructions from the Tolkien Studies style sheet:

              Capitalization for the “races” of Middle-earth: Tolkien is not always consistent, but a good rule of thumb is to capitalize the names of most his “races” (Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Ents, Men) when speaking of the race as a whole, but use lower-case when referring to a smaller group or to individuals, even if unspecified (“no hobbit has ever killed another on purpose in the Shire”).

              Example: “There were also many families of hobbits in the Bree-land and they claimed to be the oldest settlement of Hobbits in the world.” The first “hobbits” in this example refers to those living in Bree; the second “Hobbits” refers to the entire race.

              Use Elven- or elven- in compound form when describing things pertaining to the Elves (e.g. Elven-tongue, Elven-rings, elven-mail), but Elvish or elvish when the word stands alone grammatically (e.g. Tolkien’s “The letters are Elvish, of an ancient mode”) or in a more general sense meaning reminiscent of the Elves (e.g. Tolkien’s “There is something strange about you, Frodo, an elvish air, maybe.”)


              -----Original Message-----
              From: "ldonovan@... [mythsoc]"
              Sent: Jun 17, 2014 2:23 PM
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [mythsoc] Capitalization of Tolkien's races



              What is the latest practice about capitalizing Tolkien's races (Orc, Elves, Men, Hobbits, etc)? I know Tolkien tended to capitalize such when they referred to the races themselves, though he was not completely consistent in this. I am trying to sort out a reasonable compromise with my publisher who would prefer to lowercase all of the races. Any new thoughts on this issue?

              Leslie Donovan
              (ldonovan@...)






            • Mich
              yes this is verry interesting. as some one who has red only the first volume of lotr in braille back in school I would have never thought of the Capitalization
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 21, 2014
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                yes this is verry interesting. as some one who has red only the first volume of lotr in braille back in school I would have never thought of the Capitalization  as beaing importent. since then I red the rob inglis audio recordings of lotr put out by the now defunkt recordid books and long long before that I red the bbc dramitisation of lotr made back in 1981. with Ian Holme as frodo. this also brings up a good point. as some one who lissens to audio books alot and hardley ever reads braille it is in reading lotr in braille or in print of korce where one would take knote of the Capitalization. from Mich. 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:27 AM
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Capitalization of Tolkien's races

                 

                Very good guidelines and examples! Thanks for sharing, David.

                From: "David Bratman dbratman@... [mythsoc]" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2014 6:27 AM
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Capitalization of Tolkien's races

                 
                Here are the relevant instructions from the Tolkien Studies style sheet:

                Capitalization for the “races” of Middle-earth: Tolkien is not always consistent, but a good rule of thumb is to capitalize the names of most his “races” (Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, Ents, Men) when speaking of the race as a whole, but use lower-case when referring to a smaller group or to individuals, even if unspecified (“no hobbit has ever killed another on purpose in the Shire”).

                Example: “There were also many families of hobbits in the Bree-land and they claimed to be the oldest settlement of Hobbits in the world.” The first “hobbits” in this example refers to those living in Bree; the second “Hobbits” refers to the entire race.

                Use Elven- or elven- in compound form when describing things pertaining to the Elves (e.g. Elven-tongue, Elven-rings, elven-mail), but Elvish or elvish when the word stands alone grammatically (e.g. Tolkien’s “The letters are Elvish, of an ancient mode”) or in a more general sense meaning reminiscent of the Elves (e.g. Tolkien’s “There is something strange about you, Frodo, an elvish air, maybe.”)


                -----Original Message-----
                From: "ldonovan@... [mythsoc]"
                Sent: Jun 17, 2014 2:23 PM
                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [mythsoc] Capitalization of Tolkien's races



                What is the latest practice about capitalizing Tolkien's races (Orc, Elves, Men, Hobbits, etc)? I know Tolkien tended to capitalize such when they referred to the races themselves, though he was not completely consistent in this. I am trying to sort out a reasonable compromise with my publisher who would prefer to lowercase all of the races. Any new thoughts on this issue?

                Leslie Donovan
                (ldonovan@...)




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