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Re: Centa [Not really about "centa" of course...]

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    ... on both sides, but Carl s nitpicking and pointless faultfinding has been less than tolerable for a long time. I fully agree that the best response to many
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 2, 2002
      Gaeriel Leenay wrote:

      > Helge, please, just ignore [CFH] next time! I can see some of the points
      on both sides, but Carl's nitpicking and pointless faultfinding has been
      less than tolerable for a long time.

      I fully agree that the best response to many of CFH's posts would be "noble
      silence" (as the Buddhists say). Elfling subscribers may remember that on
      that list, CFH even concluded what some would call an attack on me with a
      remark to the effect that "Helge will now squeak" -- CFH possibly hoping to
      invite a reply which would allow him to go on "defending himself". Well,
      Helge didn't squeak. It would not have served the general well-being of the
      Elfling list.

      Previous experience strongly suggests that CFH will _never_ let this thread
      die before he has the last word, and attempting to deprive him of it will
      tear the list apart. So unless I see any really interesting responses to
      this message (and I don't expect to), I will not make any further
      contributions to this thread.

      But let this be clear: I did _not_ "attack" CFH in my original message.

      CFH may seem to be reading my online articles with the greatest scrutiny in
      the hope of finding errors or outdated information. Well, that could be
      good; a critical reader may find errors others would not spot. CFH has
      correctly identified two entries in my Corpus Wordlist that should be
      emended: _centa_ and now _óre_ (his comments on the latter were posted on
      the Lambengolmor list). I have already corrected the entry for _centa_, and
      I will also emend the entry for _óre_: According to information published
      after I wrote this wordlist, the meaning of the word is more specific than
      the current glosses would suggest (but let it also be said that these are
      Tolkien's very own glosses, based on sources that don't discuss the word in
      the same depth as the material that was published later). I will not attack
      CFH for pointing out errors when his angle is at least potentially
      constructive, i.e., allowing me to make corrections (as opposed to merely
      insinuating that my works are untrustworthy without providing the correct
      information or -- if his "special agreements" with the Tolkien Estate
      forbids him to do anything else -- at the very least pointing out the
      errors so that I can delete them without substituting anything else).

      In the _centa_ case, CFH's criticism was potentially constructive, so I
      would not attack him for it. On the other hand, one has to be pretty naive
      to believe that CFH presented his criticism primarily to make sure that
      more accurate information about Tolkien's languages will be available on
      the net (especially since we all know that he isn't fond of web-based
      Eldarin wordlists anyway). Why do I never receive any lists of errata from
      him in _private_ e-mail? Well, he apparently likes to demonstrate before
      all the world that HELGE HAS MADE A MISTAKE, and I can't complain, since
      _I_ have publicly pointed out certain shortcomings in the works of CFH's
      own group.

      But if there was any complaint (not an "attack") in my initial response to
      CFH, it was this: If CFH is so eager to find and publicly point out errors
      or outdated information in my articles (outdated only in the last couple of
      years at the most), maybe he should also stop hailing a study published a
      quarter of a century ago as nothing less than THE "indispensable" work
      within the field of Tolkien-linguistics? (You know, to the unwary,
      "indispensable" may suggest not only Really Great Stuff but also that you
      literally CAN'T DO WITHOUT this book if you want to study Tolkien's
      languages...and I think most people will agree that by 2002, this is a
      not-so-mild exaggeration. Since several of CFH's present colleagues
      contributed to this book all those years ago, I do suspect that there is
      some nostalgia involved here...)

      As far as I'm concerned, what I wrote was an example of gentle irony. But
      of course, I should have known that to CFH's ultra-defensive mind, it would
      instantly appear rather more serious and sinister: "It was Helge who took
      advantage of seeing a post with my name attached to it to abuse the purpose
      of this list and launch into another of his wide-ranging, tangential
      attacks." - "It was _Helge_ who started this mess, with his entirely
      gratuitous and off-point slam of _An Introduction to Elvish_, and of me." -
      "Some people can't resist the opportunity to drag the list off-topic with
      an opportunistic attack." - "What was in question was the value of _Intro.
      to Elvish_, and Helge's mocking [!] of my endorsement of it." Please...WAY
      too many big words wasted on too small an offense...

      But frankly, I do open any post with CFH's "name attached to it" with an
      attitude of _well, what is he complaining about NOW?_ His posts to this
      list have never yet disappointed me, if that is the right word... I don't
      want to see CFH banned, but one does wonder what he is doing on a list that
      is (in theory at least) devoted to exchanging fresh Quenya compositions.
      That is the "purpose of this list", and if I am "abusing" it, CFH would
      seem to be _despising_ it. After all, he rarely wastes any opportunity to
      tell everyone that any form of "living" Quenya would be a linguistic
      Frankenstein's Monster, a hopeless patchwork of parts "arbitrarily chosen"
      from Tolkien's writings and "coerced into an idiosyncratic system for which
      consistency is nonetheless claimed and artificially imposed" (as he now
      writes on his own Lambengolmor list). So why, really, does he want to be
      seen on such a Frankenstein list as this one? Or can we expect to see CFH's
      very first Quenya letter to this list soon?

      CFH replied to Gaeriel Leenay:

      > What "hardline stance"?!? That _An Introduction to Elvish_ still has
      considerable value as a book on Tolkienian linguistics? How is that a
      "hardline stance", while Helge's stance -- that it is worthless -- isn't?
      Did you _read_ any of our posts, or did you dispense with that nicety
      before replying?

      Well, did CFH dispense with the same "nicety"? If I were CFH, I would now
      write something like "I DEFY you to prove that I have ever called
      _Introduction_ worthless!" Of course it is not totally void of any
      qualities whatsoever. At the very least, the section about the writing
      systems still reads well, so _Introduction_ is certainly not "worthless".
      But in this day and age, it is certainly not "indispensable" either: Where
      this book got it right, you can normally find the same information
      elsewhere today -- and moreover presented with far greater confidence
      because so much more material is now available. The same post-Tolkien and
      post-_Introduction_ sources will also give you a wealth of extra
      information that no one even suspected when _Introduction_ was written.

      > (Fess up: Is this Helge posting under another guise, but using the same
      tactics?)

      If Gaeriel Leenay and I ever meet in the flesh, I will make sure to have a
      photograph taken and send it to CFH to prove that we are two different
      persons. :)

      That's it as far as I'm concerned. If I say "Carl will now squeak", maybe
      he will resist the temptation just to prove my prophecy wrong, somewhat
      like I opted not to fulfill his own similar-sounding prophecy on Elfling
      some time ago?

      [Noble silence ensues...]

      - HF
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      On 7/2/02 8:53 PM, Helge K. Fauskanger ... Actually, that was squawk . ... Most certainly not. Just stating the inevitable.
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 2, 2002
        On 7/2/02 8:53 PM, "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@...>
        wrote:

        > Elfling subscribers may remember that on that list, CFH even concluded what
        > some would call an attack on me with a remark to the effect that "Helge will
        > now squeak"
        >
        Actually, that was "squawk".

        > -- CFH possibly hoping to invite a reply which would allow him to go on
        > "defending himself".
        >
        Most certainly not. Just stating the inevitable.

        > Previous experience strongly suggests that CFH will _never_ let this thread
        > die before he has the last word,
        >
        ROTFLMAO! If you had just stuck to the topic of this list, this thread would
        have died before your _first_ word. But previous experience strongly
        suggests that you will never let that happen, either.

        > Why do I never receive any lists of errata from him in _private_ e-mail?
        >
        Because you have long since made personal communication between you and
        myself and my colleagues unbearable, with every attempt rewarded with page
        upon page of your usual invective, and often enough by having our private
        communications divulged to the world when it suits your purposes.

        > he should also stop hailing a study published a quarter of a century ago as
        > nothing less than THE "indispensable" work within the field of
        > Tolkien-linguistics?
        >
        Once again, you totally misrepresent my words. What _is_ it with you?

        > one does wonder what he is doing on a list that is (in theory at least)
        > devoted to exchanging fresh Quenya compositions.
        >
        And what have you been doing in every one of your posts in this thread? At
        least _my_ initial post was on topic.

        > That's it as far as I'm concerned.
        >
        Right. And just why couldn't my pointing out the correct meaning of _kenta_
        have been "it" as far as you are concerned?

        Well, really, we all know that answer to that: because it had my name on the
        post.


        |======================================================================|
        | Carl F. Hostetter Aelfwine@... http://www.elvish.org |
        | |
        | ho bios brachys, he de techne makre. |
        | Ars longa, vita brevis. |
        | The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne. |
        | "I wish life was not so short," he thought. "Languages take |
        | such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about." |
        |======================================================================|
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