Re: Centa [Not really about "centa" of course...]
- Gaeriel Leenay wrote:
> Helge, please, just ignore [CFH] next time! I can see some of the pointson 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
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the hope of finding errors or outdated information.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
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 hasconsiderable 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
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 sametactics?)
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
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...]
- On 7/2/02 8:53 PM, "Helge K. Fauskanger" <helge.fauskanger@...>
> Elfling subscribers may remember that on that list, CFH even concluded whatActually, that was "squawk".
> 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 onMost certainly not. Just stating the inevitable.
> "defending himself".
> Previous experience strongly suggests that CFH will _never_ let this threadROTFLMAO! If you had just stuck to the topic of this list, this thread would
> die before he has the last word,
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 asOnce again, you totally misrepresent my words. What _is_ it with you?
> nothing less than THE "indispensable" work within the field of
> one does wonder what he is doing on a list that is (in theory at least)And what have you been doing in every one of your posts in this thread? At
> devoted to exchanging fresh Quenya compositions.
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
| 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." |